Advertising Agency: Scholz & Friends, Hamburg, Germany
Creative Directors: Matthias Schmidt, Gunnar Loeser, Heiko Schmidt
Art Director: Stefan Schabenberger
Copywriter: Lars Lindigkeit
Photographer: Eike Schleef
Other additional credits: Sven Horror
Released: December 2006
“On 1 March 07, I was scheduled to fly on American Airlines to Newark, NJ, to attend an academic conference at Princeton University, designed to focus on my latest scholarly book, Constitutional Democracy, published by Johns Hopkins University Press this past Thanksgiving.”
“When I tried to use the curb-side check in at the Sunport, I was denied a boarding pass because I was on the Terrorist Watch list. I was instructed to go inside and talk to a clerk. At this point, I should note that I am not only the McCormick Professor of Jurisprudence (emeritus) but also a retired Marine colonel. I fought in the Korean War as a young lieutenant, was wounded, and decorated for heroism. I remained a professional soldier for more than five years and then accepted a commission as a reserve office, serving for an additional 19 years.”
“I presented my credentials from the Marine Corps to a very polite clerk for American Airlines. One of the two people to whom I talked asked a question and offered a frightening comment: “Have you been in any peace marches? We ban a lot of people from flying because of that.” I explained that I had not so marched but had, in September, 2006, given a lecture at Princeton, televised and put on the Web, highly critical of George Bush for his many violations of the Constitution. “That’ll do it,” the man said. ”
Powerful anti-smoking groups have been pushing the MPAA to slap any movie that shows smoking with an automatic R rating, unless that movie deals with a historical figure who actually smoked (think Good Night and Good Luck) or shows people suffering hideous consequences as a result of their folly.
In other news, murder, dismemberment, and people on fire still A-OK for the kiddies to watch..
Though journalists struggle mightily to cut through the fog and spin, Americans are left without a complete account of a prolonged, bloody war that is devouring billions of taxpayers’ dollars. Correspondents are hamstrung when it comes to independently verifying information from military press briefings or rhetoric from the Pentagon. Without risking their lives, they can’t go into the festering city of Fallujah or certain Baghdad neighborhoods to conduct their own investigations (see “Out of Reach,” April/May 2006). Embedding is an alternative, but it offers a limited view under scrutiny of the military.
To blend in, female journalists often don an abaya, a long robe worn by Muslim women, and a head scarf. Some male reporters with dark features grow moustaches and beards and try to emulate the attire of Iraqi men. Some blondes dye their hair black. Many operate on the 15-minute rule: They never stay longer in any one place for fear that someone with a cell phone will alert killers that a soft target is in play. Sometimes the smallest things can expose them. Wearing a seatbelt in a car is a clear giveaway: Iraqis rarely use them.
“You cannot move; you cannot go anywhere on your own,” says Detroit Free Press photojournalist David Gilkey, who returned from his eighth trip to Iraq in January. Deadly strikes, he says, can come from any direction–an IED planted underground, a sniper on the roof of an apartment building, a gunman hiding in the trunk of a car, a teenager strapped with explosives, a car bomb set off by remote control as the killers sip tea nearby.
“Every time you get out of the vehicle, you are almost paralyzed, with your eyes darting around looking for where the shot might come from. Every time you are riding around it’s all you can do to keep from plugging your ears, waiting for the blast to happen,” says Gilkey, who survived an IED explosion on his last trip.
Photographer Samantha Appleton has been to Iraq five times for Time and The New Yorker. In 2003, she roamed freely with minor concerns about security. A year later, when foreigners became favorite targets, she began wearing an abaya, hoping to deflect attention as she documented the lives of Iraqi civilians, mostly in the Baghdad slum Sadr City. She now finds it impossible to travel by road anywhere outside of Baghdad. “Iraq is a country that hears and sees everything. A foreigner cannot blend in,” Appleton wrote in an e-mail. She says it is common to travel with a minimum of two cars and three to five gunmen. “Few wars have required that,” she says.
Besides being the most dangerous war for journalists, this also has become the most costly. Foreign editors for good reason are reluctant to discuss the specifics of their security strategies or what they pay to protect their staffs. It is no secret that companies like AKE Group Ltd. or Backwater USA charge around $1,500 a day for each member of a personal security detail. Armored vehicles can cost $100,000 or more, depending on the level of protection.