The White House is being criticized for a photograph of President Barack Obama saluting the return of the remains of the 30 American troops killed in an Afghanistan helicopter crash.
The Pentagon had banned all media and the government from covering the ceremony at Dover Air Force Base in Delaware.
Officials said any public depiction of the scene would violate the wishes of most of the families of the men being honored.
But an official White House photographer snapped the picture of Mr. Obama anyway and the photo was listed on the White House website as the Aug. 10 "photo of the day."
A Pentagon spokesman said it did not know the photographer was at the event.
White House spokesman Jay Carney said the picture was carefully taken so that it did not show the cases containing the remains.
He said the pictures were released, "So that the American people could have as much insight as possible into this historic and sobering event."