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:
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?
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.
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!