Thursday, July 10, 2008

Iran's Missile Photo Editing Revealed

Many folks are finding problems with the images distributed by the Iranians via AFP. Here's one such individual's contribution. Charles at LGF originally found problems. Suitably Flip has more.

This is the edited image:

I think I found the original image:

It's apparent that the second missile from the right was edited because it did not launch as the Iranians had hoped. They edited the image to include smoke trails using cloned items from adjacent missile launches.

Both were obtained through the AP wire report on the missile launch and perusing the image gallery associated with both. It's curious that the original image is directly linked on the page, but when you click through the image, you only find the AFP image of the launch.

Iran has fired off still more rockets in a night time show of force, but I wonder if at least one of those rockets launched was defective as it sent fireballs in multiple directions.

Iran's intent is clear - they want to rattle sabers. They want the world to know that they're serious. They want the world to think that they've got missiles that can hit more than a 1,000 miles away - hitting Israel and US interests throughout the Middle East and South Asia. However, their tests didn't go as planned, and didn't want people to see the problems, so they've edited some of the images. That's my best hunch on why they've done it.

AFP has retracted the image as it was found to be digitally altered. No kidding. Many US news outlets used the bogus image, including the Los Angeles Times, Palm Beach Post, and even the NYT website.

I want to be clear here. The fact that these images were photo edited does not detract from the danger posed by Iran's missile tech or nuclear ambitions. It only shows the lengths the Iranians will go to pursue their ultimate goals.

The New York Times is running the Iranian photo edit story above the fold on their website.

That's how to report this kind of correction (since the NYT failed to note the photo edit until well after it ran on their front page) and the related back story on what happened and why no one bothered to catch it.

More missile recycling by the Iranians? Quite possibly. Nice to see that they're concerned about the impact of all those missile contrails. [heavy sarcasm alert]

Others on the trail of the Iranian missile launches and the veracity of Iranian claims: Snapped Shot, and Michelle Malkin.

It's curious to read through the comments at the Lede, BBC, and other big media outlets that have noted the Iranian photo edits. The commenters by and large can't help but somehow blame the US for the photo edits or the Bush Administration for pushing this issue. Moral equivalence in action.

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