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Can I photograph the Pentagon?

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by dking99, Oct 5, 2008.

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  1. dking99

    dking99

    644
    Aug 19, 2008
    Rockville, MD
    It is now 6:30am and I am leaving in about 30 minutes to go downtown to cover the Army 10 Miler race. I intend to take as many pictures as possible, but I noted at the bottom of this link that photographing the Pentagon is prohibited:

    http://www.armytenmiler.com/

    Pentagon Photo Policy - Please be advised that for security reasons, photographing of the Pentagon is prohibited.

    Am I truly prohibited of taking pictures from a public street of the externl structure of the Pentagon? I am not even sure if I will take a shot of the Pentagon (Depending on location of the runners) but I would like some clarification.

    Other Reference:
    http://www.krages.com/ThePhotographersRight.pdf
     
  2. dking99

    dking99

    644
    Aug 19, 2008
    Rockville, MD
    So if I said, right now, in this thread, that anyone is prohibited to use the word camera, would that make it illegal? Of course not. Just because it is printed somewhere doesn't make it LEGAL.

    I am asking if I have the LEGAL RIGHT to take a picture of the pentagon from a public street. I believe I do, and I would like someone to confirm my belief, OR, reject it with some logical support.
     
  3. dking99

    dking99

    644
    Aug 19, 2008
    Rockville, MD
    Dude, chill out....

    Do you believe everything you read? This is not the Pentagon's website...this is the Army 10 Miler's website which may have misinformation. This is why I am asking. If it were the Pentagon's website, I would have no question about it.
     
  4. aspiringphotos

    aspiringphotos

    Sep 26, 2008
    Kansas
    Have you looked at the Pentagon's website? Maybe it says something there.

    I have no idea whether it's legal or not, but I'd err on the side of caution and not photograph it.

    We went to downtown KC a few years ago to shoot the architecture of some of the buildings. We went inside one of them (can't remember which one) with our young kids and I hadn't shot but maybe 10 frames. A security guard asked us to leave and escorted us out of the building. As if someone interested in breaching their security couldn't take some sort of hidden camera. :rolleyes: 
     
  5. The policy is clearly stated. If you disagree and want to challenge the USG, then by all means do so. They have a bunch of lawyers. How many do you have?

    If you're looking to shoot the race, shoot the race. If you're looking to challenge the US Government and their willingness to enforce their own security rules...then have a blast. Let us know how that works for you.
     
  6. Check out this page, which is from the Pentagon's Official Website.

    http://pentagon.afis.osd.mil/security.html


    Go down to item #9:

    There is no photography allowed inside and outside of the Pentagon.

    BUT.. it is conflicting. Because it says in item #6:

    The following items are not prohibited inside the building, but cannot be used along the tour route:
    Electronic devices (i.e. cell phones, picture or video cameras, PDAs, blackberries, laptops, etc) and tobacco products. You are encouraged to leave these items in the hotel, bus or van or at home as it will slow down the processing into the building.



    So this leads me to believe.. you can carry your camera inside the building, but cannot use it. And you cannot take your camera on the tour.

    Would I take a pic of the Pentagon? From a distance.. a few quick shots.. Of course.
    Would I stand there and shoot pictures for 20 mins. NOT ON YOUR LIFE! :biggrin:



     
  7. Do you really want to become "known" to Homeland Security? Forever more?
     
  8. kirbinster

    kirbinster

    949
    Nov 24, 2007
    NJ, USA
  9. I agree, taking a picture of a building is no biggie. When I was in art school, we did sessions where we would memorize faces within a short period of time and then have to draw them by memory. I swear, all these new fangled security laws are just made to make the insecure feel secure. A real patriot should know better.

    "Anyone who trades liberty for security deserves neither liberty nor security."

    - Benjamin Franklin
     
  10. wbeem

    wbeem

    Feb 11, 2007
    Sanford, FL
    William Beem
    I think you're being a little absurd. Federal law prohibits photography at sensitive federal sites, including military bases. The Pentagon falls under this protection. If you decide to challenge it in court, my guess is that you will LOSE big time. This isn't some security dork putting up a sign. There's law behind it.

    Don't screw with the Pentagon. I work for a company that sells them some very nasty weapons and they can surely beat you in any confrontation.
     
  11. PeteZ28

    PeteZ28

    Oct 5, 2007
    Newtown, PA
    La la la la la... this is why Americans loose rights, because people are all too willing to say "oh ok well if that's what they say..."

    See, we have this little thing called the Constitution. People died for that. Lots of people. And they died fighting a government that told everybody what to do so we would not have to go through what they went through.

    So it's a secure government building, so what? It's secure on the inside. Anything outside is in plain sight from public sidewalks. Why should it matter if I stand there and look at it or take a picture of it and look at it at home? There are literally THOUSANDS of pictures of the Pentagon available online, just do a google image search. Anything a "terrorist" could find out from a picture is already out there. Anything they couldn't find out could be bought in the intelligence black market.

    The only difference is they are restricting our RIGHTS.

    Today, it's government buildings. What's next? Another little chip out of our rights and another notch in the bedpost of government control.

    Keep giving them away just don't come crying to me when you wonder why we have none left.
     
  12. wbeem

    wbeem

    Feb 11, 2007
    Sanford, FL
    William Beem
    Whether the restrictions are silly or not doesn't matter. Of course, they're silly. There are plenty of pictures available. Even the original construction plans are probably out there. Besides, the 9/11 terrorists who hit it with a plane didn't need to look at a picture to make sure they crashed into the right building. It's the damn Pentagon. It's pretty recognizable.

    None of that matters in the face of federal law, though. If you want to go prove how silly it is, then rush right up there with your camera. Ignore the federal law that restricts photograph at military installations and nuclear facilities. I'm sure the nice men with guns will take that into consideration when they approach you and offer an all-expenses paid trip to the Caribbean.
     
  13. If is so against the law to photograph the Pentagon, how come they show images of it on TV every single day? How do news crews get around this "law"? At any rate, I don't think I would care to have an example made of me. Too much trouble, especially if I was there to take photos of a race.
     
  14. wbeem

    wbeem

    Feb 11, 2007
    Sanford, FL
    William Beem
    Dude, go for it. I won't mind a bit. I'm not here to support the law or go into any detailed explanation.

    Just remember that we shoot pictures, they shoot bullets.
     
  15. 'Cause we all know how trigger happy law enforcement is when they see some photographer taking photos where they're not supposed to.:rolleyes: 
     
  16. wbeem

    wbeem

    Feb 11, 2007
    Sanford, FL
    William Beem

    http://www.pfpa.mil/index2.html
     
  17. PeteZ28

    PeteZ28

    Oct 5, 2007
    Newtown, PA
    Oh no the Pentagon uses rent-a-cops??? Now I AM scared!!! :eek: 
     
  18. Anyone one else notice the irony......nice image of the pentagon right on the home page of the security force agency. :smile:
     
  19. Ok. And? I checked their page and FAQ, and couldn't find the part about shooting photographers. Care to point that part out?
     
  20. Lurker

    Lurker

    Jul 21, 2007
    NJ
    That would be (visiting info, code of conduct):

    Sec. 234.15 — Use of visual recording devices.
    (a) The use of cameras or other visual recording devices on the Pentagon Reservation is prohibited, unless the use of such items are approved by the Pentagon Force Protection Agency, the Installation Commander, or the Office of the Assistant to the Secretary of Defense for Public Affairs.
    (b) It shall be unlawful to make any photograph, sketch, picture, drawing, map or graphical representation of the Pentagon Reservation without first obtaining permission of the Pentagon Force Protection Agency, Installation Commander, or the Office of the Assistant to the Secretary of Defense for Public Affairs.

    Of course one can argue the relevance of this in relation to the constitution but that is a whole different story. Or whether it makes sense or not. Fact is that there is a rule that prohibits photography.
     
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