Thursday, February 02, 2006

Yon prepping lawsuit against the Army

Sometimes you run into people who resolutely refuse to acknowledge that the military has improved since Vietnam. They still think they're the bumbling morons who get stuck in their rut attempting to justify this or that stupid move and won't adjust regardless of the circumstances. You try to convince them by showing them today's military as it really is today.

Then you run into something like this.

Bar no one, save possibly Bill Roggio, Michael Yon has been the Army's greatest scribe and herald in this war on terror. His embed with the Deuce-Four in Mosul produced some literally Pulitzer-class material. By far, however, Yon is noted for a photograph he took showing a G.I. cradling a dying Iraqi girl after terrorists had blown up a car bomb near a group of children. The image saw worldwide publication and was carried on so many blogs I can't count them all. Time magazine included the shot in thier "Best of" spread for the year. Yon has apparently been trying to get compensated for the shot after the picture had been published and attributed to "Army/AP", neither of whom actually took the shot.

Up to that point, you're looking at a matter of whether Yon could reasonably have been considered on the Army's payroll. The Army lawyer, however, makes one of the most ludicrous claims I've seen yet. He asserts that since Yon signed a waiver of injuries sustained during his embed, and since the Army's failure to compensate him for the photo constitutes "an injury", then the liability waiver means Yon can't sue.

As I saw written in one of the comments over on Mudville Gazette, does this (ahem) lawyer suggest that a landlord could get you to sign a liability waiver for injuries on his property and then punch you in the face with impunity? I'm thinking not. The Army needs to recognize that 1) this lawyer's giving them bad advice and 2) Yon's been the conduit for a huge chunk of the confidence and goodwill the American people have toward them. They need to do the right thing, here, and they need to yank this lawyer's leash. He clearly needs it.

Hat Tip: Mudville Gazette, Pundit Review.