Sunday, May 02, 2004

Not worth a thousand words? 

Could the pictures, published in "The Daily Mirror", of British soldiers abusing Iraqi prisoners be fake? Most probably not, but the "Independent" raises some questions about the photos' authenticity:

"The rifle that one of the men is carrying is an outdated model... for instance, and the webbing and headgear is not standard issue for soldiers in that regiment serving in Iraq... Perhaps most worrying for ["The Daily Mirror"] is the claim that the model of truck, a three-ton Bedford, has not been used in Iraq by the British Army.

"Then there are questions about the fact that the photographs are high-resolution black-and-white images... A former regimental commander was reported as claiming: 'The photographic and weapons intelligence sections which form the battalion intelligence unit both shoot with ... black and white film because the definition is better for that kind of work than colour film... There have been several cases of military photographers stunting up pictures and spoofing scenes for the private amusement of their colleagues.'

"The man pictured is obligingly wearing a T-shirt with the Iraqi national flag on it, a suspiciously convenient form of dress. There was also little physical evidence that corroborated the account of the savage beating meted out to the man as told to the newspaper by the soldiers who passed over the photograph."

A few weeks ago, of course, we can recall the minor furor over the infamous "Lcpl Boudreaux killed my dad th(en) he knocked up my sister!" photo, of which there are so many different versions circulating on the net right now that it clearly shows just how much fun people can have with Photoshop.


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