Let's give a big Defense Tech hug to Russ Kick and The Memory Hole.Pentagon photographers were secretly taking pictures of dead soldiers returning to America. But the Defense Department refused to let any of the haunting images out into the public realm.Using a Freedom of Information Act request, Russ forced the Pentagon to release 361 of the photos. And now, the pictures are all over the Internet and front pages everywhere.Despite all our protections, despite all our technologies, war still exacts a terrible human toll. And it's important that average folks get to see the cost that Iraq is taking on our soldiers. This is a huge -- and rare -- win for the public's right to know. Thanks, Russ.THERE'S MORE: "President Bush was 'moved' by recently published photos of caskets containing U.S. military personnel slain in Iraq," according to CNN, "but (he) stands by his policy barring their publication."AND MORE: "Many news organizations across the country are mistakenly identifying the flag-draped caskets of the Space Shuttle Columbia's crew as those of war casualties from Iraq," says NASA (via Drudge).

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