OBL Death Photo a Fake – Will Obama Administration Release The Real Thing?

Last night, after seeing this (too good to check) photo in many different places on the web, I posted it in an update to my Osama Bin Laden Dead post, noting that I had no idea if it was legit, but it was something I had been seeing. Then almost immediately, I felt foolish, and applying the internet 3 second rule, I took it down, because I was about 100% sure it was fake.


The MSNBC Photo Blog looked into it:

An image circulating on the Internet and displayed on some television news programs abroad purports to show Osama bin Laden’s bloody corpse. No U.S. or Pakistani officials have confirmed its authenticity, and two U.S. officials have warned NBC News that the image is a hoax.

Based on an initial look into the image file, we agree, and think it’s a fake. At first glance, the pixelation around the “wound” area and the odd lack of transition between different colored cloth and flesh indicate that the image has been manipulated.

Furthermore, the facial expression and beard are very reminiscent of a 1998 image of bin Laden, the first picture shown below. Next to it, we show the original resolution of the “corpse” image as we’ve seen it (197 by 263 pixels), “flopped” 180 degrees on the horizontal axis to conform to the original 1998 image’s beard orientation. The third image is a blended image of the two, with the “corpse” image at 100 percent opacity below the original image at 43 percent opacity. The way the images “lock” in place at the mouth, beard and nose indicate to us that the image circulating on the Web and some foreign television outlets is nothing but a clumsy fake:

Anyhoo, I’ve gotten 5000+ Google searches for that pic, (how embarrassing) since I took it down. There is definitely a hunger out there for the death photo.

MSNBC further reports:

A senior U.S. official says that they are still deciding whether to release a still photo of dead bin Laden.

“It is really, really graphic,” the official said, adding that U.S. officials are trying to decide whether it is just too graphic to put out.

9/11 was really, really graphic, too, if I remember right.

I say, release the photo.

UPDATE:

Jake Tapper reports:

The argument for releasing them: to ensure that the public knows and can appreciate that he’s dead. There is of course skepticism throughout the world that the US government claim that it killed bin Laden is true.

The argument against releasing the pictures: they’re gruesome. He has a massive head wound above his left eye where he took bullet, with brains and blood visible.

To which Drew at AoSHQ responds:

I want a nice high quality copy to use on my computer’s desk top.

Linked by Michelle Malkin, thanks.

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Video: Inside The Bin Laden Compound (Updated)

ABC News reporter, Nick Schifrin toured the compound, and got this exclusive footage:

The location was a fortified compound in the affluent Pakistani suburbs of Abbottabad, about two hours outside of Islamabad. The target was Osama bin Laden.

Intelligence officials discovered the compound in August while monitoring an al-Qaida courier. The CIA had been hunting that courier for years, *ever since detainees told interrogators that the courier was so trusted by bin Laden that he might very well be living with the al-Qaida leader.

The AP reported:

Nestled in an affluent neighborhood, the compound was surrounded by walls as high as 18 feet, topped with barbed wire. Two security gates guarded the only way in. A third-floor terrace was shielded by a seven-foot privacy wall. No phone lines or Internet cables ran to the property. The residents burned their garbage rather than put it out for collection. Intelligence officials believed the million-dollar compound was built five years ago to protect a major terrorist figure. The question was, who?

The CIA asked itself again and again who might be living behind those walls. Each time, they concluded it was almost certainly bin Laden.

For nearly a decade, American military and intelligence forces had chased the specter of Bin Laden through Pakistan and Afghanistan, once coming agonizingly close and losing him in a pitched battle at Tora Bora, in the mountains of eastern Afghanistan. As Obama administration officials described it, the real breakthrough came when they finally figured out the name and location of Bin Laden’s most trusted courier, whom the Qaeda chief appeared to rely on to maintain contacts with the outside world.

Detainees at the prison at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, had given the courier’s pseudonym to American interrogators and said that the man was a protégé of Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, the confessed mastermind of the Sept. 11 attacks.

American intelligence officials said Sunday night that they finally learned the courier’s real name four years ago, but that it took another two years for them to learn the general region where he operated.

It would have been a nice gesture if Obama had given the Bush some credit for the Bush era GWOT policies that had  led to this outcome, in his speech, last night.

UPDATE:

The MN Star Tribune is reporting that it was Khalid Sheik Mohammed, himself,  that gave up the name of the courier:

Current and former U.S. officials say that Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the mastermind of the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, provided the nom de guerre of one of bin Laden’s most trusted aides. The CIA got similar information from Mohammed’s successor, Abu Faraj al-Libi. Both were subjected to harsh interrogation tactics inside CIA prisons in Poland and Romania.
Still waiting for Obama going to give some credit the Bush administration.

Statement From Keep America Safe On The Successful Mission To Kill Osama Bin Laden

Today, Keep America Safe released the following statement on the successful mission to kill Osama bin Laden:

“Today marks a major victory for the people of the United States and the forces of freedom and justice all over the world. We are grateful for the bravery of the Americans who raided the compound near Islamabad and killed Osama bin Laden. We are also grateful to the men and women of America’s intelligence services who, through their interrogation of high-value detainees, developed the information that apparently led us to bin Laden. The war goes on and al Qaeda continues to plot and plan against us. We must remain vigilant and we must continue to provide our men and women in uniform and our intelligence professionals all the tools they need to fight and win this war. Today, especially, we remember the brave Americans who have given their lives in the service of our nation and the nearly 3,000 men, women and children who lost their lives on 9/11. Justice has been done.”

Keep America Safe Board Of Directors

Liz Cheney
Debra Burlingame
Bill Kristol

The Corner: Gonzales: Obama Sent Military, Not F.B.I.

In ordering the raid on Osama bin Laden’s hiding spot, President Obama evinced a military-minded approach to the War on Terror, former attorney general Alberto Gonzales tells National Review Online. “He did not send the F.B.I. into Pakistan to retrieve Osama bin Laden as if he were a common criminal,” Gonzales observes. “He sent our military because this is a war. And Osama bin Laden is a military target; he’s a military leader.”

Reports are circulating that the U.S. procured the name of bin Laden’s courier from Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the infamous resident of Guantanamo Bay. “I’m not going to speak to the suggestion that information came from detainees or interrogations,” Gonzales says. “I would just say generally it’s important in this conflict to get information any way you can that’s constitutional. I’m gratified to see many of the same policies adopted by the Bush administration have been continued by the Obama administration, including the legal framework that this is not a [criminal-system issue].”

Andrew McCarthy, NRO: ‘We Removed the Taliban’?

One aspect of President Obama’s speech last night — part of the “If it’s on my watch I did it, if it’s on Bush’s watch we did it” theme — is particularly grating. Obama said:

Over the last 10 years, thanks to the tireless and heroic work of our military and our counterterrorism professionals, we’ve made great strides in [the war against al Qaeda]. We’ve disrupted terrorist attacks and strengthened our homeland defense.  In Afghanistan, we removed the Taliban government, which had given bin Laden and al Qaeda safe haven and support. 

I pass over for now the fact that “we” disrupted terrorist attacks and strengthened our homeland defense by tactics like interrogation and stepped up surveillance that Obama has disparaged. Obama brags that “we” removed the Taliban. But “we” did that a decade ago. In recent months, the Obama policy has actually been to negotiate with the Taliban — i.e., to encourage Karzai to negotiate with the Taliban — with an eye toward integrating the Taliban in Afghanistan’s final political settlement.

Ace: Confirmed: Trail That Led To Bin Ladin Began With Enhanced Interrogation Methods of High Value Targets That President Obama And His Suddenly Rah-Rah Kill-Crazy Media Allies Completely Opposed and Campaigned To End

So apparently Obama and the left like to campaign hard on naivete in order to make partisan attacks on a Republican President, but they will gladly take the information they themselves opposed procuring and then claim credit for the fruit of that information.

Michelle Malkin: Then and now: The Left, Obama and secret prisons

Linked by Michelle Malkin, thanks.

Posted in GWOT. 4 Comments »
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