Is the Obama “Situation Room” photo a fake?

A year ago, the White House released this photo when it broke the news that a team of Navy SEALS had broken into al-Qaeda mastermind Osama bin Laden’s secret compound in Abbotabad, Pakistan, and assassinated the nefarious terrorist. The picture supposedly was taken in a “Situation Room” in the White House, where Obama and his key military and civilian advisers watched, in real time, the take-down of Osama.

This is the photo:

~Click pic to enlarge~

At the time when the pic was released, many of us gleefully observed how dwarfed Obama appeared — a chipmunk in the small chair — next to the other individuals seated around the table.

Gateway Pundit reports that the Swedish news agency Afton Bladet is now casting doubt on the authenticity of the photo. Suggesting the pic was photoshopped, the agency asks: “Ser du det grova felet i denna bild?” Translated: “Do you see what is wrong with this picture?”

Mara Zebest is a graphic artist and co-author for a number of Adobe product books, including the Inside Photoshop series, which has been published in at least ten different languages around the world.

Writing in American Thinker, May 9, 2012, Zebest asks if there are other hints of manipulation beyond the obvious blurred photo (see left) in front of Hillary Clinton.

Referring to Afton Bladet, Zebest notes the following anomalies in the “Situation Room” photo:

1. Obama looks like a midget in the chair despite his six-foot-plus stature. When comparing the size of the surrounding people in the photo to Obama, the photo certainly gives the impression that Obama’s head (or possibly the entire body) was placed into the photo and resized a tad too small.

2. Why is everyone in the room dressed in work attire — as if they went to work that day — except for Obama?

3. Compare the size of surrounding heads in the “Situation Room” photo to the size of Obama’s head.  Even if you use a perspective argument — in which objects appear smaller at a greater distance — then why are the faces behind Obama still larger?  Marshall Webb’s head is larger as well, and keep in mind that Marshall is sitting next to Obama (on the same plane).

4. In the Situation Room photo, Obama’s head looks much smaller than Biden’s. But in other photos of the two men, they have similar head shapes and sizes.

5. Look at the eyes of everyone in the room. Follow the direction of the center of focus for all the surrounding faces in the room. When zoomed in closely, the eyes are clear and detailed for many of these faces.  However, not only do Obama’s eyes lack detail in this overexposed photo, but the direction of his glance appears to be pinpointing a higher plane than that of everyone else in the room. It was reported here that the famous picture was taken not in the situation room, but rather from a smaller conference room next to the situation room. A search for images of this conference room suggests that monitors are mounted on the wall just slightly above eye level when sitting — which is consistent with the gaze level of the surrounding members in the photo.

6. There is a consistency in lighting and softness to the skin tones for the majority of faces in the room — except for Obama, and two players standing behind Bill Daley. Their names are Anthony Blinken, national security advisor to Vice President Biden, and Audrey Tomason of the National Counterterrorism Center.  The Daily Beast speculates on the reasons for Tomason’s presence in the photo as diversity balance so Hillary Clinton would not be the only woman in the room.

7. From the directional glance of the eyes for Blinken and Tomason, they appear to be glancing on a different vector path than the surrounding faces. The lighting for these two individuals appears off when taking into account how the light falls on many of the other characters in this iconic photo. Blinken and Tomason seem to have a different set of rules regarding how the light falls on their faces compared to their co-workers.

8. In addition, when zooming in close to examine the shirt area of Blinken, there appears to be some indistinct areas for a shirt so well-lit and strongly contrasted at the upper area of the torso. It is hard to determine if this could be due to image-editing or normal shadowing and light falloff.

9. A close-up from the overexposed photo shows Tomason’s hands are in front of Blinken’s shirt and even appear to come out in front of Daley’s jacket. While the lack of detail could be natural due to Tomason’s position in the photo, both arms seem to mutate into odd or unrecognizable hand shapes.

In an update, Swedish news agency Afton Bladet openly mocks the White House by inserting Keanu Reeves into the photo. LOL

Of course, all of this assumes that the assassination of Osama actually took place. Responding to a Freedom of Information Act request by the Associated Press, the Pentagon says it has no records — not one photo, not one video, not even an e-mail — of bin Laden’s death.

Then there is that curious downing by “Taliban rebels” of a U.S. Chinook helicopter on August 6, 2011, three months after the purported assassination of bin Laden. All 30 Americans on board the Chinook were killed, including 22 members of the same Navy SEALS Team 6 who had assassinated bin Laden. What a coincidence!

Hope and Change and the Most Transparent Administration, evah. Yeah, Baby!

H/t dan.

~Eowyn

20 responses to “Is the Obama “Situation Room” photo a fake?

  1. Keanu Reeves looks more believably there than Obama does!

  2. The whole mob is fake.

  3. I never understood the purpose of this photo. Since when do Presidents even show us photos of what goes on behind the scenes, especially with the military. Always thought it was odd.

  4. Hahaha…didn’t even notice Keanu when I first looked at the photo on this post….at least not until after I read the post!

    Here’s your sign, Mir! :D

  5. Thank you, Dr. Eowyn, for this marvelous post! Another thing I noticed is that Obama. for his size, even if he slumped in the chair, would not be down that far. And, a close look at the rest of Obama’s body shows that this isn’t Obama’s body at all – it is someone else’s body because it is so small! What a riot! Why, or why would no evidence exist, why wouldn’t the evidence be carefully preserved, of Bin Laden’s death! From the preponderance of the evidence, everything is very “fishy” indeed!

  6. lowtechgrannie

    Doctored or not, it’s amazing that the White House allowed this photo depicting Skippy in such a lowly position to see the light of day.

  7. It does look like a collage. Or cardboard cutouts.
    Or sadly, maybe it’s the Obama Administration.

  8. Obama looks odd, even HIllary looks a little odd too. My burning question is; why do something like that? Why take a photo of them at all? Something smells bad.

  9. Just Breaking: They were viewing David Foreman (Earth First founder) and George Soros giving a report on the many successes of Project-21 for the last three years. It is in this report, what key positions the viewers will be directed to hold.

  10. Like the Clintons with their Tsunami of Corruption…there’s
    always another insult of deception by which we are manipulated
    and diverted.The importance in this instance is how the fool has
    strutted and crowed making this the crowning achievement of his administration and a focus for his re-election campaign.

  11. Homeschool Mama

    One thing that I found odd is that we are always hearing how President Obama is hot natured, and therefore underdresses at the White House (no jacket, shirt sleeves rolled up, collar unbuttoned. Yet, here Obama is wearing more layers than most of the men in the photo. And if the situation was so tense, why was this considered a photo op?

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  13. leave it to a foreign news agency to actually report the news.. the useless american news media should just go away they are no longer relevant . when the picture first came out i took it at face value i mean whats the point of faking a photo but on further analysis it seems that obama was added to the group afterwards. figures most useless president ever and the guy takes credit for something he never had a hand in. and probably never happened bin laden had been dead for years. maybe.

  14. i took another look at the obama photo and to me it looks like someone took a pic of him squatting on the toilet as he was taking a dump.

  15. I just noticed he IS wearing a golf shirt under that jacket, haha! And didn’t I hear somewhere that he was on the golf course and couldn’t be located in time so somebody else had to give the OK? But they REALLY need to hire a new graphic artist…maybe Julia??

  16. SUSPICIOUS PERSON

    JMHO……either OBL has ben DEAD since 2001 from mafran’s sydrome or he was NEVER killed in the rade and is being held in a disclosed location under heavy guard perhaps in a military camp UNDERGROUND!

  17. Afton Bladet is a tabloid, like the ones with vampire boy

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aftonbladet

  18. Pingback: Reggie Love: Obama and I played cards during raid on Osama bin Laden |

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