During the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, the US Department of Defense burned the majority of its solid waste in open-air pits or trenches, producing large amounts of potentially hazardous emissions. While journalists have covered stories of US service members who link their illnesses to these fumes, they have almost entirely ignored potential civilian impacts. However, satellite images demonstrate that pollution from open-air trash burning on US bases could not have impacted US personnel without also harming Iraqi and Afghan civilians living near bases, indicating that burn-pit pollution is an important, if unacknowledged, environmental justice issue. Content analysis of news articles shows the extent to which civilian impacts have been left out of mainstream US media reporting on burn-pit pollution. This selective attention is symptomatic of the way military violence is legitimated, which involves a complicit news media that typically overlooks the humanitarian impacts of war.