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Doctoring Photographs or Censoring War Crimes?

Joe Quinn, Signs of the Times

August 7, 2006

The war lovers and child massacre apologists at Ynet News and obvious government psyop faux right wing cut-out alternative news site 'Little Green Footballs' (LGF) have taken the fact that a Reuters photographer, Adnan Hajj, blatantly "cloned" smoke in an image of an Israeli bombing in Lebanon to not-so-subtly suggest that all of Reuters images from Lebanon might be faked and therefore that we should all ignore Israeli massacres in Lebanon.

Referring to the image, neo-fascist Charles Johnson of the LGF blog told his favorite Israeli daily tabloid, YNet News:

"A photographer who would blatantly falsify an entire 'news' image would certainly not be above posing and staging photographs of rescue workers."

It is no surprise that this comes hot on the heels of the comments by Dean Rotbart, host and executive producer of Newsroom Confidential an la-BASED weekly one-hour radio program that "offers listeners an insider's guide to journalists and public relations", where he stated:

"How do words -- no matter how true and rational -- compete with photos of wailing mothers carrying their dead babies?" asks Dean Rotbart, host and executive producer of the program. "It is next to impossible to try to go on camera and explain any justification whatsoever for the compelling visual images that are aired over and over again.

"Yet if the world at large thinks with its heart instead of its head, terrorism will prevail." Indeed, the terrorists understand and harness the enormous power of emotional news coverage to win support for their deadly goals."

Indeed, how do you compete with the "true and rational" when your goal is to spread lies and disinformation? I mean, what's a closet Zionist to do when images of dead Lebanese children are "unfairly" grabbing the headlines and, god forbid, making Israel look like it is murdering innocent children (which it is). This isn't what the pro-Israel mainstream media is meant to be doing!

Apparently, the answer is to find an image by a Reuters photographer that he has allegedly "touched up" (not "staged" mind you, just touched up a little) and then use that fact to imply that ALL photographs of dead Lebanese civilians should be viewed with extreme suspicion, that they may, in fact, be totally "staged". The goal, of course, is to find a way, any way, to stop the world (and in particular Western citizens) from finally understanding that Israel, along with the American and British governments, is and always has been the aggressor in the Middle East conflict.

Missing, however, from the analysis of this mini "scandal" is any explanation as to how the very obviously "photoshopped" image could ever have made it past the Reuters censors.

Many members of the "Sports Shooter" web forum (a forum for professional photographers) who examined the photo, all concluded that, if this was an attempt at fakery, it was a very crass one. One photographer stated:

"I'll second the cloned smoke...but it looks so obvious that I don't know how the photographer could have gotten away with it."
Little Green Zionist Johnson himself states:
"This has to cast doubt not only on the photographer who did the alterations, but on Reuters' entire review process. If they could let such an obvious fake get through to publication, how many more faked or 'enhanced' photos have not been caught?"
The only question left unanswered is whether or not this was a failure of oversight, or something more deliberate. If it was deliberate, then we are either dealing with a cabal of anti-Israel newsmen and photographers in Reuters, or someone with more than two brains cells understood that this was a perfect opportunity to go some way towards justifying Israeli butchery in Lebanon by publishing this touched up photo and that it could then be exposed and used to cast doubt on the authenticity of all news reports and images from Lebanon and therefore the reality of Israeli war crimes against the Lebanese people.

The real irony here however, is that news reports and images and graphics from mainstream news outlets really cannot be trusted, but not because they play up Lebanese suffering but rather because they distort the facts - "however true and rational" - about just how much the Lebanese ARE suffering and instead to make Israel look like the victim. See here and here for evidence.

Apparently, the Reuters photographer is also alleged to have sent a a threatening mail to Charles Johnson of the LGF blog saying: "I look forward to the day when you pigs get your throats cut."

Johnson then used his fascist supersleuth powers to immediately trace the movements of the sender of the threat, and somehow found direct parallels between the internet locations of the sender and Inayat Bunglawala, the Media Secretary of the Muslim Council of Britain no less!

Johnson says:

"There is strong circumstantial evidence connecting Bunglawala to the threat, but there is no way for me to verify this for certain. Only a Reuters network administrator would have access to the necessary records."
Notice how Johnson finds a way to connect a photograph allegedly touched up by a Reuters photographer to "western citizen-hating terrorists" and the Muslim council of Britain! Now do you see!? It's the terrorists! They're all Muslims! They're everywhere and they 'hate us because of our freedoms!'

Did this guy go to the Michael Ledeen School of Manufacturing Terrorist Threats or what!

The really strange thing in all of this is that a Reuters photographer, even very pro-Lebanese and Palestinian one, would bother touching up a photo by cloning the smoke in the image. After all, it's not as if there is a lack of very real and very potent images of Israeli war crimes in Lebanon. Did Hajj really expect that a little extra smoke in his image was going to turn the tide against Israel?

Today, Reuters has announced that another photograph by Hajj of an Israeli F-16 fighter over Nabatiyeh, Southern Lebanon, dated Aug 2, had also been doctored. In this case of alleged fakery, the number of flares dropped by the plane had been increased from one to three. Again we have to ask: why add two flares? Flares aren't even bombs! Could an image of an F-16 dropping three flares rather than one really be expected to alter in any significant way the already tarnished image of the Israeli government or military??

As it turns out, Hajj is not even a member of Reuters staff but a free-lancer working in Lebanon. In this capacity, Hajj would probably have had more freedom of movement within Lebanon to get to areas where other non-Lebanese official Reuters photographers could not. Was Hajj deemed a threat for this reason? Was he identified as a "problem" as a result of the question posed by Israeli sympathiser Dean Rotbart: "How do words - no matter how true and rational - compete with photos of wailing mothers carrying their dead babies?

Apparently we have the answer because, as a result, Reuters withdrew all of Hajj's 920 photographs and removed them from the Reuter's database, which excludes them from future sale to any of the many, many news agencies that purchase them.

So relax, John and Jane Q Israeli, British and American public, from now on, you can expect to see a significant decrease in the frequency with which 'unsavory' images of dead Lebanese children grace the covers of your favorite mainstream daily papers, threatening to shock you out of your apathy and reveal the true face of your governments. Of course, the carnage and murder of children will continue behind the now-censored scene, indeed Israel may ramp up the slaughter, but you won't have to look at it anymore.

How's that for compassionate government?

Needless to say, this little 'scandal' emits the particular odour of a US or Israeli government frame up, but forget that, just take your medicine and keeping believeing the lies, and for god's sake, whatever you do, never, ever use your brain and look to who actually benefits.

:: Article nr. 25538 sent on 08-aug-2006 00:24 ECT


Link: signs-of-the-times.org/signs/editorials/signs20060807_DoctoringPhotographsorCens

:: The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website.

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