Another bogus photo? (Update: “The Passion of the Toys”) (Update: U.S. News cover staged?) (Update: NYT photo fraud, too?) (Bumped)

posted at 7:09 pm on August 8, 2006 by Allahpundit

Just got an e-mail about the following photo from someone who claims to work at Boeing.

nasser.jpg

Caption:

Two Lebanese army soldiers inspect a damaged vehicle that was struck by Israeli ware [sic] plane missiles at the village of Kfar Zabad in the eastern Bekaa Valley, Lebanon Sunday, Aug. 6, 2006. Israel and Hezbollah sharply intensified fighting Saturday with airstrikes, rocket attacks and brutal ground fighting, an apparent bid to inflict maximum mutual damage even as the United States and France agreed on a draft U.N. resolution calling for a halt to the violence. (AP Photo/Nasser Nasser)

Says my correspondent:

I am not saying the description is false, but I spent 20 years in the Air Force, much of that time doing targeting and mission planning for aircrews which involved a lot of post-strike analysis. This is by far, the lease [sic] amount of damage from an “air strike” I have ever seen. Even a Hellfire missile does more damage than this, remember the Predator strike on the car of some Al Qaeda operatives some time back? Total destruction of a soft vehicle like this. The only damage, other than minor body damage, I see is a missing sun roof. Thought you might want to add it to your list of possible fakes.

Dan Riehl noticed precisely the same problem a week ago with photos of the “airstrike” on a Lebanese ambulance. Except the hole in the roof in that case was even smaller than this one.

I’m going to e-mail Noah Shachtman of Defense Tech. If there are any mini-missiles capable of causing this kind of damage, he’ll know.

By the way: does the name “Nasser Nasser” ring a bell? It should. It really should.

Update: SeeDubya reminds us of what cars usually look like after they’ve been introduced to missiles.

Update: Reader “Kaltes” e-mails to point out that the car has an, er, intact windshield. The miracles of Zionist technology.

Says Kaltes, “This is nothing more than a beat up old junker stripped and left in a ditch as garbage.”

Update: Dan at RightWired notes that there are no skid marks or debris on the road and no burn marks on the grass. I suppose the car could have been moved from the spot where it was hit. Given the condition it’s in, it might have been driven away.

Update: James Taranto finds it verrrry suspicious that one of the corpses laid out at Qana appears to be sitting up. Check the third photo in this post by Confederate Yankee. It’s not that suspicious.

Update: Brilliant. Ten times as damning as the car photo, if not more.

Update: Reader Thomas S. e-mails with a beautiful catch regarding that U.S. News & World Report cover from a few weeks ago:

usnews.jpg

Rifle in hand, a roaring fire — caused by an Israeli airstrike, presumably — consuming Lebanon just over his shoulder. He’s even got shades on, the epitome of jihadi cool.

Perfect.

I don’t know who took it, but would it surprise you if I told you Adnan Hajj was at the scene? Here’s a shot he took of what plainly appears to be the same guy which Thomas pulled off the Yahoo newswire:

hajj-usnews.jpg

The photo’s apparently no longer available online — but Thomas was prescient enough to take a screencap. Hajj’s credit is clearly visible.

Who’s that he’s aiming his rifle at, though? Are Israeli troops advancing? Might that fire be the product not of an airstrike but of IDF artillery?

Here’s a closeup:

usnews2.jpg

They’re burning tires. It’s a garbage dump.

Update: Reader Harry Moon thinks he can explain the car photo:

The IDF regularly removes the explosive from the missiles as the kinetic energy of the missile traveling at 1000kph and the residual rocket fuel can do the job with minimal collateral damage away from the target…

It went thru the roof, as the roof is bent inwards, probably thru the floor as well and the ricochet material came back up and dented the engine cover from underneath. The car may not have even stopped rolling forward; you can sometimes see that with some IDF videos. There is dirt and skid marks in the lower right of the photo, suggesting it skidded around backwards into the bank and is now pointing in the opposite direction to its original travel.

Anyone know whether he’s right about the IDF removing its payloads? And whether a missile relying purely on kinetic energy would cause this kind of damage?

Either way, right through the roof. Nice shootin’, Tex.

Update: Speaking of the passion of the toys.

Update: As usual, Riehl got there first.

Update: People are sending me stuff faster than I can update. The latest comes from Gateway Pundit, who’s tracking a photo sequence at the New York Times with a very surprising conclusion [Update: Maybe not. See below.]:

tyre.jpg

Update: Just received this response to Harry Moon from a reader:

It is sort of an urban myth that the Israelis, or anyone else, fires a missile emptied of explosives. It isn’t the same as pouring the black powder out of a cannon ball. Modern munitions have a very tight tolerance on the location of the Center of Gravity. Especially those that are PGMs. So if you pull 10kg of explosives out of a warhead you have to replace it with 10kg of something else…something else that exactly fills the same space.

The kinetic kill answer is also close, but not quite accurate. There _are_ kinetic kill munitions but they are hypervelocity missiles and shells. They are unguided and use the extreme speed with which they impact the target to transform a metal into a plasma jet. I know of no PGM that does this; the speeds are simply too low.

What Israel and other countries does do is, depending on the munitions, either degrade the explosive’s effectiveness, or replace it with an explosive that is lowered powered. Witness the various vehicles that have been hit with such a missile. Simply search LGF for “car swarm”.

Yes, the idea is to limit collateral damage but no one is going to launch the equivalent of a $200,000 bowling ball at a target. There will be enough explosive to surely take out the occupants.

The car in the picture shows no such damage. Besides, if the munitions was traveling that fast it surely would have produced a wave front strong enough to pop the window.

From another reader:

I work in missile research. This looks like nothing more than an abandoned car. The “hole” in the roof looks like a sunroof with a few extra dents around the rim. I find it impossible to believe a missile just happened to enter through the sunroof and do no external damage to the vehicle. I am afraid Harry Moon is just way off here. I find it difficult to believe anybody would remove a warhead to reduce damage. Taking the explosive off changes the weight of the missile which is part of the entire missile system and would require extensive re-engineering. It would be pointless to deliver a missile with no explosion. This photo and that explanation are complete nonsense.

See also the comment below by “Centurion68,” who happens to be the guy who first tipped me to the photo.

Update: Ace says the Gateway Pundit post might be much ado about nothing. I agree, the caption he points to certainly fits much better with the photo — but that’s not the caption they used on the New York Times website.

Definitely not as bad as previously thought, though. A staged death is a mortal sin, a botched caption is a venial one.

Assuming it was, in fact, botched, and not made to be deliberately deceptive. It certainly is funny how the “botched” captions always seem to cut towards greater Israeli culpability.

Update: Now here’s an interesting e-mail. Looks like it’s not just U.S. News that got snookered:

When I saw the US News photo I knew I’d seen it somewhere else as well. This exact same scene is shown on page 45 of the July 31st issue of Time Magazine. The caption reads:

“The wreckage of a downed Israeli jet that was targeting Hizballa trucks billows smoke behind a Hizballah gunman in Kfar Chima, near Beirut. Jet fuel set the surrounding area ablaze.”

The photo credit is to Bruno Stevens – Cosmos. Upon closer inspection the blaze indeed appears to be a tire fire.

Although I disagree with your opinions on Qana and the toll taken on innocents, I hope you’ll take heart that there are Democrats, such as myself, that are outraged over the demonization of Israel in this affair.

Anyone have that issue of Time? And would be willing to scan it?

Update: According to another e-mailer, he e-mailed Time about the photo — and received an e-mail apology. No record of it on the site, though, from what anyone can tell.

Here’s the photo the guy attached. Supposedly the caption attributed the explosion to a downed Israeli jet.

time-lebanon.jpg

Update: Here’s the caption that accompanied the photo in Time. Thanks to reader Allan A.

time-caption.jpg


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“Nasser Nasser”?

Is he related to Durka Durka?

Mr. Bingley on August 8, 2006 at 2:41 PM

That car looks very similar to this one at Powerline, but it’s not upside down…

kimsch on August 8, 2006 at 2:48 PM

I’d suggest that MOST of the captions on such photos are incorrect, misleading or outright lies. After all, did the photographer WITNESS this “air strike” or is he merely taking the word of people that have an agenda to push?

Warner Todd Huston on August 8, 2006 at 2:58 PM

Nasser Nasser was one of the “photographers” at Qana. He was mentioned in that AP release saying how wonderful a job they did when the nine of the frauds got to split $500. Adnan Hajj was also there.

Yes, you have every right to question this.

JammieWearingFool on August 8, 2006 at 3:02 PM

Sorry, Allah. I didn’t read all the way to the end.

JammieWearingFool on August 8, 2006 at 3:04 PM

It looks to me like they took an abandoned car, tore open the roof a little bit, and then beat it with a bat or something to put in some dents.

You’d think if it were hit by a bomb or a missile, there’d be some charring or some type of fire damage.

Iowa Voice on August 8, 2006 at 3:08 PM

At this point I’m thinking thats a orange orchard in Florida the car was stolen by local teens after a night of ‘hell raising’ and those two, emerging guys, posing as if they just stumbled upon ihis wreckage, after a night of war games.
Nesser Nesser-folks!

mimi on August 8, 2006 at 3:24 PM

I’m going to e-mail Noah Shachtman of Defense Tech. If there are any mini-missiles capable of causing this kind of damage, he’ll know.

While I applaud the fact checking effort, you’re wasting your time. No such thing.

Pablo on August 8, 2006 at 3:37 PM

I’d bet a five-spot that the car’s registered to Green Helmet.

Kid from Brooklyn on August 8, 2006 at 3:39 PM

Kimsch —

“That car looks very similar to this one at Powerline, but it’s not upside down”

That is exactly the same conclusion I came to. Look at the building in the background on the right side of the road and then go look at the Powerline article.

Looks like the same car in the same general area to me, it’s just been moved (again).

crosspatch on August 8, 2006 at 4:11 PM

The body damage of the car looks a lot like it’s been rolled over. That “wrinkled fabric” texture on the hood and top in particular look like cars I’ve seen rolled on soft ground or dirt roads.

High Desert Wanderer on August 8, 2006 at 4:52 PM

I seem to remember hearing that the US was dropping bombs filled with concrete to limit collateral damage in Iraq, so the missles sans warhead theory may be a good one.

Is it just me, or does the Newsweek cover jihadi have his left hand contorted in a strange manner? It looks as if he is turning his hand out, thumb down with the palm facing front. It looks painful.

rw on August 8, 2006 at 6:08 PM

It is true that the U.S. has been using munitions with cement “warheads”, bombs, to my knowledge. I’m not aware of missles being given the same treatment. But, of note, the Israeli’s have targeted terrorists with missiles before and in populated areas, they made no effort to use modified munitions then. Why would they now, particularly when they are actively involved in a war ?? There are no structures evident in the photo that might preclude the use of a full power munition. The simplest explanation is that this photo has been staged and/or altered.

Edward Lunny on August 8, 2006 at 6:23 PM

Someone posted on lgf that it looks like the car’s sunroof is next to it.

I can’t tell…it could be.

MamaAJ on August 8, 2006 at 6:25 PM

If the “IDF Payload Removal Theory” holds true, then, it looks like Hizbullah called in The Wolf before clearing the photo shoot. No need to give the Zionists those kind of props, right?

Kid from Brooklyn on August 8, 2006 at 6:28 PM

Rifle in hand, a roaring fire — caused by an Israeli airstrike, presumably — consuming Lebanon just over his shoulder. He’s even got shades on, the epitome of jihadi cool.

I’m amazed at how liberals are glorifying Hezbollah just as they have done left-wing freedom fighters such as Che Guevara.

It’s come to the point where you can’t trust any reporting and photographs of the mainstream media.

januarius on August 8, 2006 at 6:40 PM

Here are my thoughts in response to HM:

The IDF regularly removes the explosive from the missiles (I would question this. Is he saying they remove the warhead? That will throw off the aerodynamics of a missile; depending on the model used they aren’t that big to begin with.) as the kinetic energy of the missile traveling at 1000kph (Ok, let’s do the math. That is 621 mph. Is he seriously suggesting that a missile going that speed will do so little damage? Not credible.) and the residual rocket fuel (I take it he means “missile fuel” but, most “rockets” and missiles from aircraft quickly burn their fuel and there would be likely none left on impact. Even if there was a residual amount, it would show some obvious burn damage) can do the job with minimal collateral damage away from the target…

It went thru the roof, as the roof is bent inwards, probably thru the floor as well and the ricochet material came back up and dented the engine cover from underneath (The hood of the car is designed to look like that, it’s a uniform shape. A ricochet from underneath would not come out that perfect, especially one that was going 621 mph!). The car may not have even stopped rolling forward; you can sometimes see that with some IDF videos. There is dirt and skid marks (the skid marks are going in a straight line. The skid marks would not look that way if the car skidded backwards. Furthermore, if it was just “rolling forward”, why skid marks?) in the lower right of the photo, suggesting it skidded around backwards (right next to the skid marks?) into the bank and is now pointing in the opposite direction to its original travel.

Centurion68 on August 8, 2006 at 7:02 PM

Re: NY Times photos:

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!

I can’t wait to see Fox et (I hope) al get hold of this.

mikeyboss on August 8, 2006 at 7:26 PM

…another crack in the dam….

HUZZAH!!

venmax on August 8, 2006 at 7:44 PM

What’s the date on the US News cover? I can’t read it but it looks like July 19… which would be OK. But if it said anything before July 17th then that photo that Thomas S found online was yet another case of “same photo, [supposedly] different day”…

RH

RobertHuntingdon on August 8, 2006 at 7:47 PM

Tip of the iceberg, I suspect.

There’s never just one cockroach.

mikeyboss on August 8, 2006 at 8:08 PM

Hey.. wait a minute, I recognize that car… I saw green helmet guy driving it around Qana a week or so ago..

RobertCSampson on August 8, 2006 at 9:09 PM

Listen to the audio of the NY Times slideshow linked in the Gateway Pundit post. Even it contradicts the caption for the ‘pieta’ pic. The reporter says “It ended almost as quickly as it began.” “…the building had been empty. No one had been inside.” The caption says, “They mayor of Tyre said that in the worst-hit areas, bodies were still buried under the rubble, and he appealed to the Israelis to allow government authorities time to pull them out.” Perhaps this reporter, who was on the scene when the building collapsed, should help out her paper’s editors and mention that her audio and their captions are in clear contradiction, even aside from the obvious fakery of this photo.

insomni on August 8, 2006 at 9:51 PM

Where is the flame damage to the nearby brush? There is no damage to anything near the car. Okay, so it might’ve rolled. How long does it take a car partially on fire to go out before it rests? The brush is totally clean. I’ve seen cars in similar condition flying down the I5 in LA.

Coronagold on August 8, 2006 at 9:53 PM

rw – I seem to remember hearing that the US was dropping bombs filled with concrete to limit collateral damage in Iraq, so the missles sans warhead theory may be a good one.

I’ve seen hundreds of concrete filled bombs dropped during my career, ranging from 25 lb to 3000 lb bombs. Even the 25 lb bomb causes far more damage than that picture. No way was this car damaged by any sort of air dropped munition.

TC464 on August 8, 2006 at 10:15 PM

I have never heard of the U.S. military dropping concrete bombs in wartime.

However, to the best of my knowledge, they do drop inert, concrete bombs on various training ranges in the U.S., such as the naval CAS (close air support) bombing range at San Clemente island off the coast of California.

I believe they do this because of range safely considerations, and I am speculating, for economic reasons as well.

EFG on August 8, 2006 at 10:45 PM

In the photo where the guy supposedly fell, I find it interesting that this guy fell, and is unconscious, and only one guy is helping him while 7 or 8 others are just standing around watching.

Am I expecting too much to suggest they would act similarly to anyone else when an “accident” occurs? Everybody would rush in to help…or at least get a better view?

91Veteran on August 8, 2006 at 11:22 PM

And a rescue worker trying to lift an injured, unconcious victim by pulling on his arm?

Does the Koran teach EMS protocols widely divergent from those of the rest of the world? Maybe that why there are so many casualties.

mikeyboss on August 9, 2006 at 12:24 AM

I know when I suddenly fall, I ususally tuck my hat under my arm.

-T

The Therapist on August 9, 2006 at 1:06 AM

Hey ya’ll, check this out… I found an AFP picture of the same dump/tire pile burning… No, they don’t identify it as a downed Israeli jet like Reuters… they say it’s the result of an Isreali attack on a Beirut neighborhood. I’ve updated my original post, scroll towards the bottom for the newly discovered photo/caption.

http://www.rightwinged.com/2006/08/more_media_lies_hezbo_with_gun.html

RightWinged on August 9, 2006 at 5:34 AM