Information Warfare: Hizbollah Photo Scam Revealed

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August 8, 2006: News service Reuters has taken 920 photos, supplied by one of its freelancers (Adnan Hajj) in Lebanon, from its database, after several online communities (people on discussion groups associated with blogs) noted that one, than several more, of Haij's photos had been altered. The alterations made the damage, by Israeli bombs, look worse, or made it look like there had been a bombing when there wasn't. Haij told Reuters that he had altered some photos to "remove dust." Reuters did not believe him.
Arab journalists, and Islamic terror groups, have played the media like this in the past. During the recent Palestinian terror campaign against Israel, there were several attempts to foist fake Israeli " atrocities" on the media. Some Arab and Moslem media accepted these scams, but the fakery was pretty blatant, and most media eventually rejected it. The prime example of this was the purported "Jenin Massacre."
The mass media is particularly susceptible to these scams, and quick to accept "proof" from shadowy Arab "journalists." These "plants" of false stories is an ancient trick. During the Cold War, the Soviet Union created an intelligence organization whose sole job was to create and circulate useful lies. Many of these successful and some remain in wide circulation. For example, there's the one about AIDS being a CIA experiment gone wrong (or right, depending on the version you encounter.)
But it's not just fake photos you have to worry about. Lebanese reporting of civilian causalities has also been suspect for some time. The Lebanese don't report any dead Hizbollah, only that, "nearly a thousand civilians have been killed." Independent reports mention dozens of armed Hizbollah fighters being killed in some of these Israeli smart bomb or missile attacks. Thus it's more likely that the Lebanese death toll is not only smaller than reported, but composed mostly of Hizbollah fighters.
Aerial photos show that nearly all the Israeli strikes have been very precise, with targets selected to avoid civilian casualties. Now we have the Haij photos, some of which indicate staged casualties. Examination of photos from Qana, where an Israeli smart bomb was alleged to have killed over fifty women and children, indicates that the dead bodies had been dead for some time already, and were brought to Quana so they could be brought out of a bombed building.
This isn't news, it's lies. But it's also war, and sometimes the lies work.

 


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