Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Updated: Fake Osama Bin Laden Death Photos Surfacing

UPDATED: OBAMA WILL NOT RELEASE BIN LADEN DEATH PHOTOS. There are fake photos out there, as expected. Here are two of those fakes making the rounds on the Internet this week. There are more, and will be more still. Let's stick with these two for now.

May 4, 2011 - Was Osama bin Laden shot in the left eye? Was part of his front skull blown away by a bullet? We've gotten conflicting stories from the Obama Administration, which only serves to fuel rumors and encourage photo fakery. 

There has been no official release of any Osama bin Laden death photos as of today at 11:30 a.m. CDT. U.S. officials say the still-secret photographic evidence "shows a precision kill shot above his left eye, which blew away part of bin Laden’s skull. He was also shot in the chest," reports The Independent.

But the White House said the photograph of a dead Osama bin Laden is "gruesome" and that "it could be inflammatory" if released. (Obama, as noted above, has said the death photos will not be released.)

The first bin Laden death photo (top) is a fake. Hollywood Gossip posted it yesterday (May 3). They noted that "someone who really needs to get out more took a photo of some other mangled corpse and superimposed bin Laden's face onto it. Sick."

The second photo is another fake, but it's more realistic for a couple of reasons. First, the green overtone makes it look like the night vision photos that we've all become so used to seeing.

That night vision effect lends an air of authority to the image. Second, the man who seems to be handling the body looks very military, from his clothing to the tough look of his profile. It was posted at late on the evening of May 3. The only commentary there was, "Liveleak cannot confirm the authenticity of this Osama bin Laden dead picture." However, LiveLeak later "determined" that the photo is a fraud, and offered the third photo (left) as, well, proof.  

The fakery is addressed well by John Le Fevre in a post on his blog today. He writes, "As some web commentators stated, one would expect better quality photos coming from the killing of Osama bin Laden."

Le Fevre does a nice analysis of the green photo, too, and gives his readers a warning. "Early on the morning of Tuesday, May 4, 2011 the US CIA issued a warning to people not to open eMails purporting to contain attached photos of Osama bin Laden dead as such eMails contain a computer virus."