Sunday, August 13, 2006

Was "Reutersgate" A Planned Manipulation?

Different angles of the same photo re-used on different dates. Photoshop manipulated clouds to emphasize smoke and bomb devastation. Non-existent rockets attacking a non-bomb-dropping jet.

The Los Angeles Times wrote:
"There are two problems here, and they're the reason this controversy shouldn't be allowed to sputter to its inglorious conclusion just yet:
  • One of these has to do with the scope of what strongly appears to be wider fabrication in the photojournalism Reuters and other news agencies are obtaining from their freelancers in Lebanon.

  • The other is the U.S. news media's grudging response to the revelation of Hajj's misconduct and its utter lack of interest in exploring whether his is a unique or representative case."
It seems obvious that some of the photojournalists involved are either intimidated by or sympathetic to the Hezbollah terrorists for them to fraudulently manipulate photos as they have done.

Or perhaps there are some bigger players involved. This could be just the sort of trick that Rolling Stone's James Bamford wrote about when he was describing the activities of John Rendon and his Rendon Group on behalf of the CIA and DoD. In that expose Bamford described a scene where a terrorist described an event that was going to happen but when he was given a lie-detector he failed completely.
The fabrication might have ended there, the tale of another political refugee trying to scheme his way to a better life. But just because the story wasn't true didn't mean it couldn't be put to good use. Al-Haideri, in fact, was the product of a clandestine operation -- part espionage, part PR campaign -- that had been set up and funded by the CIA and the Pentagon for the express purpose of selling the world a war. And the man who had long been in charge of the marketing was a secretive and mysterious creature of the Washington establishment named John Rendon.

Rendon is a man who fills a need that few people even know exists. Two months before al-Haideri took the lie-detector test, the Pentagon had secretly awarded him a $16 million contract to target Iraq and other adversaries with propaganda.
If the shoe fits . . . ?

Perhaps we could eliminate from our governmental expenditures monies that pay for the Rendon Groups activities along with the blatently campaign activities being done from within the Whitehouse by Karl Rove. It might not save much in dollars but it could reduce tensions and false illusions by quantum leaps.