For eighteen years, the American media was prohibited from showing photographs of fallen soldiers’ coffins. In February 2009, defence secretary Robert Gates lifted this ban and images flooded on to the Internet. Officially, family members have to give their approval before anything is published, but such a rule is unenforceable. Why was this ban created in the first place? To conceal the true costs of war. We can easily find out the number of casualties, but statistics leave us cold. People, on the other hand, especially dead people, spark an emotional reaction.
Excerpt from: The Art of Thinking Clearly by Rolf Dobelli