Reporters on the Job

Poster to the Wise: Amid the furor over pictures of US soldiers abusing inmates at Abu Ghraib, there's another set of photographs, also leaked to the press, that has been largely forgotten: pictures of flag-draped American coffins, delivering dead US soldiers back home.

But, reports Monitor correspondent Annia Ciezadlo, the US military hasn't forgotten. "Last week, I was in the Baghdad Convention Center when I noticed an unusual poster. Produced by a military "Op-Sec" department - operational security - it reminded me of WWII propaganda warnings that "loose lips sink ships" and "the ears of the enemy are always listening."

In the middle of the poster was a picture of coffins, much like the one that Tami Silicio took. Ms. Silicio, a US military contractor, was fired last month for breaking a Pentagon rule against allowing pictures of dead US soldiers or of their coffins.

"Like to tell your friends about all the 'cool' stuff you see at work?" asked the top of the poster. At the bottom was a warning: "Are you ready to tell their families what happened because their mission was compromised?"

Extended Hours: Monday was the last day of polling in India, where voters had their fingers marked before entering the booth. And according to the Monitor's Scott Baldauf, a collective sigh of relief could be heard from some 600 million voters - and others - across the country.

"You think the Oscars take a long time," Scott says. "India's latest election started almost four weeks ago, with four rounds of voting so that the police departments won't have to protect all the sites on the same day. The result has been relatively safe elections, with a few blasts in Kashmir, Bihar, and Bengal, but also incredible voter fatigue."

The results will be available Thursday. Scott says that many Indians are looking forward to a change of topic in their daily news diet. "Most of my Indian acquaintances are looking forward to picking up the newspaper and reading about something other than the elections."

Cultural snapshot

Amelia Newcomb
Deputy world editor

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