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On the Picture Page of the Nov. 11 News, there was a stirring photograph of an anonymous wounded soldier in Iraq being carried by his or her courageous comrades. The photo carried an Associated Press credit and its taking was presumably approved by the Defense Department.

Yet today's war correspondents are forbidden to take photos of the flag-draped coffins of similarly anonymous soldiers who have been killed in this war. The Pentagon says that this is to protect the privacy of the dead and their families.

It is hard to see the difference in the anonymity of this wounded soldier and the closed, flag-draped coffins of the dead.

This double standard exposes the real motives of the policies of this Defense Department -- and they have nothing to do with protecting anyone's privacy. Photos of soldiers heroically aiding their comrades build sympathy for the war, while photos of the coffins of too many dead heroes might lead to too many questions about the length of and the necessity for this war. It is time that we demand an end to this hypocrisy.

Michael Toner