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Hoist by his own F-Stop

AL over at Sir Humphrey's thought he noted something odd about AP and Reuters photographer Bilal Hussein's pictures of "insurgents" in Iraq, so he did a bit of digging. And what he found is highly damning.

Go ahead, take a look. I'll be here when you get back.

I think it's indisputable that Mr. Hussein is not simply capturing images of the Iraqi war, but is actively cooperating with the terrorists. In fact, they like him so much that they will pose for him, in dramatic postures and weapons, helping him put them in their best light.

I think it's safe to say that Mr. Hussein clearly has sympathies in the war... and it's with those who target and kill civilians wholesale, those that behead hostages on videotape while screaming "God Is Great!," and send suicide bombers after such targets as school buses and marketplaces. And the AP and Reuters seem to be glad to continue to subsidize his efforts.

(Hat tip to Little Green Footballs)


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Comments (21)

I've seen a lot of wedding ... (Below threshold)

I've seen a lot of wedding photos that looked less posed than that.

"C'mon, Achmed! I wanna feel your rage against the oppressors! Mohammed, stop scratching yourself, we need you to be the embodiment of Islamic righteousness! Work with me, people!"

"I think it's safe... (Below threshold)
Marc:
"I think it's safe to say that Mr. Hussein clearly has sympathies in the war... and it's with those who target and kill civilians wholesale, ... "
While that statement is undoubtably true, I have a couple nits to pick. Note in picture one there is a slightly raised curb to the right of the yellow pipe and building. It appears in no other photo.

Secondly the image of the running car with the "brakelight." How can a brakelight be on with no driver in the car? Is the driver on the floor? Is it a tail light vice brake light and the right one is burnt out?

The translation is of Allah... (Below threshold)
Al:

The translation is of Allah Ackbar is 'God is the _Greatest_!'

It it was 'God is Great', we might not be having this whole conflict.

marc:The "missing ... (Below threshold)

marc:

The "missing curb" is because they didn't shoot from another angle that would have shown it.

I think the "brakelight" was just an odd reflection.

Either way, the details in the photos are sort of trivial, since the photog got to stand around in multiple places for several minutes, shooting photos of an "ambush." A real reporter/photographer would have been chased off or shot for giving away the ambushers.

Continuity errors in photos... (Below threshold)
Peter F.:

Continuity errors in photos and movies are just so much fun! I just love the guy in the first shot just standing there casually, like "go ahead and hit me, infidel. I betcha you...." Twap! Right between the eyes. Oops.

I think these pictures are just another good example of how terrorists are masters at media propaganda. They know who can take the pictures in the way they want them, what media outlets to sell them to and the reactions they'll illicit from the audience.

Sort of like when they pull some teachers from a classroom filled with children, take them to adjoining room, execute them and then let the media speculate that the act has something to do with a Sunni/Shia division. My ass. It's to undermine the U.S. public's resolve and support for the war via the media. It's a formula: The more atrocious the act, the more coverage it gets, the more the MSM speculates, the greater the public outcry and the quicker (hopefully, in the terrorists' eyes) we leave. It's a brilliant strategy when you're getting routinely crushed every time you run into the superior foe directly (that'd be us). And like morons, some of us keep falling for it over and over and over and over and over....

Sorry for the tangent.

Looks like Mr. Hussein shou... (Below threshold)
John S:

Looks like Mr. Hussein should be photographing life in Gitmo. Or, better yet, he should be targeted for the terrorist he is.

OK, I realize it's probably... (Below threshold)
Chris:

OK, I realize it's probably more trouble than it's worth to post this, but I have a couple of questions. Perhaps I didn't follow the links back far enough, but I didn't see where these guys were engaged in an "ambush." If they were in a firefight, believe it or not, an international news agency will consider it just as legitimate to photograph them as to photograph US soldiers. And I know this one will be really hard to get your heads around, but I'm not so sure every insurgent is a terrorist. For those who feel that the US is invading their country, it's perfectly legitimate to fight back. Because the Bush administration beats the drum so loudly that everyone's a "terrorist," I'm just not sure how that all shakes out.

And no, I'm not supporting the people that blow up civilians, and no, I'm not in favor of our soldiers being killed. But if our country was invaded (and believe it or not, a sizable number of people think of us as invaders, whether we think they should or not), I'm sure many of us would take to the hills and organize whatever kind of resistance we could. I doubt we would go out of our way to wear uniforms.

It's possible that every single insurgent is totally in favor of blowing up civilians, in which case I say kill them all. But I think the reporting is not that clear in that regard. As much as it's hard for people to swallow, every time one of our soldiers is killed, it's not an act of "terrorism." It's an act of war. I realize it doesn't make our soldiers any less dead, but it's not like the photographer took pictures of a suicide bomber as he walked into a crowded restaurant.

What a foul propagandist! ... (Below threshold)
Snarf:

What a foul propagandist! These photos probably convinced hundreds of otherwise peaceful Iraqis that the insurgents, um, point rifles, set up mortars, and wear masks, when every true lover of freedom knows they just sit around eating hummus and smoking cigarettes.

I agree with his conclusion... (Below threshold)

I agree with his conclusions, but fail to see the point.

I take a lot of photos. Every once in a while I think, "Hmmm, this the SacBee might be interested in this one" if they are, we work out a deal for publication. So far, they haven't been intrested.

The assumption in this is that the SacBee is only going to buy photo's that will generate some sort of revenue for them.

The AP (for what ever reason) has decided that pictures of terrorists are what sell, and pictures of American troops, flowers, and puppies don't (unless they are being gunned down, plucked, or kidnapped by terrorists).

Bilal Hussein is simply giving the AP what they think will sell. Getting upset with him for doing so, is like being upset with Playboy for publishing pictures of naked women.

So he stages them. So what? As a capitalist I have to aplaud his efforts.

Now, for my one caveat.

If there is a story involved with the photo's, i.e., a reporter is using them as the biases of a report then there is a problem because using "actors" to stage a story. That would be fraud.

Using actors to stage a stock photo...is a question of ethics and capitalism. I personaly wouldn't do it, but I have no issue with someone doing so as long as the photo's aren't misrepresented by the news agency

I have a better idea. I thi... (Below threshold)
jesusland joe:

I have a better idea. I think Mr. Hussein should be brought in for questioning by the Iraqi authorities. I'm willing to bet that he would be a treasure trove of information on the "insurgents" and their activities in the Bagdad area.

Chris:One way to t... (Below threshold)

Chris:

One way to tell that it wasn't any sort of "firefight" was the fact that the photog would have been standing in the middle of the street while the "firefight" was going on. Another way to tell it was a posed photo op was the fact that there was no brass on the ground around the guys with guns.

It was either a pure photo op or a well-documented prep for an ambush of our forces.

So when do our forces get t... (Below threshold)

So when do our forces get to shoot this son of a bitch!

When all is said and done b... (Below threshold)
moseby:

When all is said and done be happy that a "snap-happy" Hussein amongst the terrorists will mean that there will be many photos for the obituary writers to choose from ...

"And I know this one will b... (Below threshold)
Ken:

"And I know this one will be really hard to get your heads around, but I'm not so sure every insurgent is a terrorist. For those who feel that the US is invading their country, it's perfectly legitimate to fight back."

Only if they feel that the US is worse than the government that would arise after its overthrow. And if they feel that way, it's difficult to escape the conclusion that they think that individual liberty, free speech, religious liberty, competitive elections, or freedom for women, or some combination of the above, is such a bad thing that it's worth killing people to get rid of. And people who are willing to fight against these things need to be hunted down and eliminated whenever possible.

"But if our country was invaded (and believe it or not, a sizable number of people think of us as invaders, whether we think they should or not), I'm sure many of us would take to the hills and organize whatever kind of resistance we could. I doubt we would go out of our way to wear uniforms. "

Depends on who we were invaded by. For instance, my home state was once part of a country that was invaded and conquered by the United States. After that war was officially over, plenty of folks organized violent resistance, citizen uprisings, the whole bit. They did have the decency to wear uniforms part of the time, and those uniforms were certainly distinctive, if not militarily orthodox; they also had the advantage of concealing the "militant's" identity, which is kind of unusual as uniforms go. The solid white color scheme didn't provide much in the way of camoflauge, though. But they'd been invaded and conquered by a hostile power, and they were fighting back on behalf of their country.

And yet, most people (with good reason!) stubbornly persist in seeing them as the bad guys. Some of those same people excuse the insurgents of Iraq for resisting an American occupation and fighting to bring about the sort of regime that's typically found in the Middle East. Or perhaps fighting explicitly on behalf of "their" glorious regime that was overthrown by the invader. Odd, isn't it?

Only if they feel that t... (Below threshold)
Snarf:

Only if they feel that the US is worse than the government that would arise after its overthrow. And if they feel that way, it's difficult to escape the conclusion that they think that individual liberty, free speech, religious liberty, competitive elections, or freedom for women, or some combination of the above, is such a bad thing that it's worth killing people to get rid of.

This argument assumes a premise that is certainly debatable, namely that the only possible US-sponsored government would value individual liberty, free speech, etc. The US has a poor track record in this regard and skepticism about its true intentions, despite the Administration's rhetoric, is not unreasonable.

Nothing surprises me origin... (Below threshold)
penny:

Nothing surprises me originating from Reuters. Most of their stringers are the locals. Reuters has been consistently contemptuous of all things American for years.

I have requested more than once that Yahoo drop them as a wire service. Even their financial reporting is shoddy and inaccurate.

Complaining to Google, Yahoo and newspapers that use their service is the only way to hit back at them.

Because the Bush administration beats the drum so loudly that everyone's a "terrorist," I'm just not sure how that all shakes out.

Chris, stop being stuck on stupid. The Bush administration has NEVER called everyone a terrorist. Get off of the playground and join the rest of us in the real adult world.

For instance, my home st... (Below threshold)
penny:

For instance, my home state was once part of a country that was invaded and conquered by the United States.

And what state would that be, Ken?

"This argument assumes a pr... (Below threshold)
Ken:

"This argument assumes a premise that is certainly debatable, namely that the only possible US-sponsored government would value individual liberty, free speech, etc. The US has a poor track record in this regard and skepticism about its true intentions, despite the Administration's rhetoric, is not unreasonable. "

The US actually has no recent track record of even attempting an occupation on its own, preferring to keep foreign governments in place and influence them with bribes, intimidation, or both. Some of those foreign governments were not much more friendly to our ideals than the enemies we were using them against. Whether we should have spent the blood and treasure in all those cases to do an occupation ourselves is a good question, but quite beside the point here.

"And what state would that be, Ken?"

I was thinking of my native state Louisiana when I wrote this, but it would apply (to a lesser degree if memory serves) to my current home state of Texas.

Read more carefully, Ken. ... (Below threshold)
Snarf:

Read more carefully, Ken. I said US-sponsored, not US-occupied.

Chris, I've got to point ou... (Below threshold)
Chad:

Chris, I've got to point out a couple of things in your statement that I disagree with. First, the administration doesn't label these people as terrorists. The official label is Anti-Iraqi Forces, or AIF. Terrorist is not defined by a person's political beliefs, but by the tactics used. The radical islamic "insurgents" have waged a campaign of terrorism, therefore, they ARE terrorists. Terrorism is: Use of violence or intimidation to convert the populace to a different political or religious system. At least that's one definition I came across. The terrorists target civilians, and police in a brutal campaign to restore the government to a dictatorship, or theocracy, to their own benefit, and not the will of the people. That's why they are terrorists. They aren't criminals, insurgents, or freedom fighters. We want to leave Iraq, but not until the people of Iraq can determine what form their government will take, and can support that government. Go read Michael Yon, he's got some great insights on what these guys do.

Please look at this transcr... (Below threshold)
Chris:

Please look at this transcript of the President's press conference,

http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2005/09/20050922.html

and point out to me where he describes the fighters in Iraq as anything but terrorists. I have no doubt that the military uses a lot of different terms and anagrams, but they're not the one's the country is hearing. The president has been beating the drum since before day one of this war that Iraqis who resist us are terrorists. I don'rt think it's too far-fetched to think that a sizable number of Iraqis see us as invaders, and believe that they are soldiers opposing us.




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