I understand that most Congressmen and Senators in the Capitol are dumber than a pile of bricks. I get that.
I understand that they need their Congressional or Senatorial aides to assist them and break things down to the lowest common denominator for them, but give me a break! Were all the Congressional and senatorial aides off duty today?
Those pictures were not authorized or distributed by the State Department or the Administration. Could it be that people like my Senator Saxby Chambliss (R-GA) are so filled with blood lust that they just had to see and then pass along unauthorized pictures of the bin Laden killings?
What a bunch of dumb phucks! Who elects these people? Oh, nevermind!
Doctored photos purporting to show bin Laden’s corpse rocketed around the world on television, online via social media and in print almost as soon as his death was announced.
The pictures have spread without regard for their origin or whether the images are real. Meanwhile, scammers have piggybacked on the popularity of the images and spiked supposed online links with computer viruses.
Newsrooms and the public have been left in the tough spot of deciding what to believe when software has made doctoring photographs easier than ever. And the hunger for visual evidence of bin Laden’s death may only grow now that President Barack Obama has said the government’s photos will remain classified.
“I don’t think society tolerates the invisible anymore,” said Fred Ritchin, a professor of photography at New York University who has written about digital technology undermining trust in the veracity of photographs. “Everything has to be imaged.”
The photos on the Internet did not come from the operation that killed bin Laden, according to a senior defense official who spoke on condition of anonymity because the mission was classified.
Still, the appetite for images remains. In perhaps the most widely distributed photo, a bloodied bin Laden appears to be missing his left eye, and he is grimacing as if he died in pain. The White House says bin Laden was shot above his left eye.
Reuters reported on its photography blog that the mouth, ear and beard in the picture exactly matched a photo the news agency had snapped of bin Laden at a news conference in 1998. The upper half of the face appears to be from a different corpse.
Another photo released on the website liveleak.com shows bin Laden lying on his back with a wound over one eye as a soldier with an American flag insignia on his shoulder stands over the body. The photo is in green and black, as if taken with a night vision lens.
The website has since retracted the photo, which liveleak.com indicated was made with a photo of bin Laden digitally stitched into a still from the 2001 movie Black Hawk Down.
Another picture, by far the most gruesome, shows an extremely bloody face that resembles bin Laden with most of the skull missing and brain visible.
The spread of fake photos and the ease of making them have forced news organizations to be more vigilant than ever.
“The challenge here is these techniques are quite sophisticated,” said Santiago Lyon, director of photography for The Associated Press. “A good Photoshop forger … can make it very difficult at first glance to detect whether an image has been manipulated or not.”
Experienced photo editors can often spot telltale inconsistencies such as shifts in color, contrast or light source that signal a fake, Lyon said.