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I read "A tough call on photo of dying Marine" (ombudsman, Sept. 8). Mark J. Prendergast makes a compelling argument; I tend to agree with him on the points he makes. His position is communicated very well.

However, if the decision were left to me, I would not have published that photo. Why not? Simply because that photo is not a quality photo. I believe [Associated Press photographer] Julie Jacobson was doing her job, and I commend her for being on point with the Marines. Had the photo been of excellent quality, I would have published the photo for the reasons Prendergast articulated.

I thank Prendergast for a thought-provoking column, and for his service. Of course, my thoughts and prayers are with the family and friends of that fine Marine.

Lt. Col. Rob GowanKabul

EDITOR’S NOTE: Stars and Stripes chose not to publish the photo referred to in this letter. For a discussion of Stripes’ decision, see


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