A photo of White House counselor Dan Bartlett and press secretary Tony Snow in helmets and flak jackets for a helicopter ride between Baghdad International Airport and the U.S. embassy has been widely circulated on the Internet and appeared on Page Two of The Washington Post, accompanying a "Washington Sketch" column by Dana Milbank. The photo raises a question: Did President Bush wear similar protection when he was transported around Baghdad, and, if not, why not? If so, where is the photo?
Here is the Associated Press photo:
Assuming that the president of the United States received at least as much protection as two high-level aides, it is understandable that the White House would not want a photograph of Bush similar to that circulated of Snow and Bartlett. First, it reminds the public of how dangerous Iraq is. Second, as Milbank put it, "the result was more Michael Dukakis than Mission Accomplished."
But why would the media agree not to take such a photograph -- or if they took it, not publish it?