Fauxtography: Iranian rocket launch looks suspiciously familiar

posted at 10:38 am on February 26, 2007 by Allahpundit

Gateway Pundit’s been working the story of the Iranian rocket launch for the past 24 hours but I held off linking his first post because he wasn’t sure at the time what the Farsi news services were alleging. The photos published on the Baztab news website are clearly recycled images of Australian and American rockets, but for all we know, the caption reads, “Seen here are western rockets similar to the one launched today by the Islamic Republic” etc.

So GP called in an Iranian blogger, and it turns out the captions are a little more “nuanced” than one might hope:

The [article] indeed do[es] not say that these pictures show the actual rocket, but neither do they say they don’t. After all, I thought they are real. I am going to post this all over the Persian Blogsphere.

GP’s got a new post about the launch this morning, this time involving the Kayhan news service that’s under Khamenei’s supervision. Second verse, same as the first — except this time they stretched the recycled image horizontally to fill out the page a bit. Who needs Photoshop when you’ve got Google Images?

Exit question: Why the chicanery? Presumably it’s because they don’t want the west gleaning info about Iranian missiles from published photos, but surely they can’t believe we’re relying on Kayhan and Baztab for intel about their weapons. Besides, the rocket that was launched — if it was launched — is supposedly militarily insignificant. So what gives?


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question: wouldn’t we be able to detect a rocket launch, somehow – to (dis)prove such a claim?

yo on February 26, 2007 at 10:49 AM

Rocket envy. Tsk, tsk.

robblefarian on February 26, 2007 at 10:50 AM

The other explaination is that the news release is for domestic consumption. Trying to make the gov’t look more advanced than it is in weapons technology. Thier tax dollars at work.

Babs on February 26, 2007 at 11:17 AM

Is the “fauxtography” word getting a little tired? Just asking.

Matticus Finch on February 26, 2007 at 11:20 AM

Maybe they didn’t have official pictures available yet. I could be an incident of using a “file photo” in place of a real one to add dramatic effect.

I don’t really see any other reason to not publish the real thing.

NPP on February 26, 2007 at 11:22 AM

Granting these are the recollections of a total outsider, I seem to recall that we’ve long had satellites that can detect the launch plumes of missiles, at least of a certain size. If that’s true, I would assume they spend a fair amount of their time peering at Iran and North Korea lately. So if Tehran tested anything, I’m betting it was seen.

Blacklake on February 26, 2007 at 11:30 AM

Its because our Rockets are so much BIGGER than theirs… makes them feel… inadequate…

Romeo13 on February 26, 2007 at 11:34 AM

What truly amazes me is that they are so “dumb” as to think we would not get to the truth. They may be good at “killing”, but they have a long way to go for anything else. The only reason they get away with so much here is the MSM thing, their only supporters in the media.

sharinlite on February 26, 2007 at 11:47 AM

That’s assuming that we (the West) are the intended audience.

I think it’s more likely that this is similar to jihadi propoganda which portays a visually impressive but highly unrealistic view of the opponent’s and their own forces.

Kai on February 26, 2007 at 12:37 PM

Hermans’ Hermits?

They didn’t want to publish the real photos because the rubberband was showing.

Coronagold on February 26, 2007 at 12:49 PM

What gives?
How about this? Perhaps the Iranaians have gutted their human resources over the past twenty years, killed off their real scientists, have wrecked their education system, Koranic verse memorization takes precedent over sciences, and now are finding out, like Kim Il Jong, that primitive societies aren’t very good at maintaining the high tech/quality control standards to put together a credible bomb, even if most was bought.
I actually find this sort of stuff very reassuring.

naliaka on February 26, 2007 at 1:00 PM

I am sure the Iranians are getting our satellite tracts from France, Russia, or China. It’d be real easy to launch and move all sorts of stuff without our knowledge.

Sorry, couldn’t find a decent Hot Air link, though I am sure there is something in archives.

csdeven on February 26, 2007 at 1:00 PM

‘Dey be frontin’.

Tony737 on February 26, 2007 at 1:30 PM

Western intelligence services seem to be noticeably silent on this announcement.

rockhauler on February 26, 2007 at 1:56 PM

Is the “fauxtography” word getting a little tired? Just asking.

no. It’s getting it’s own place in someone’s dictionary somewhere. /chuckles

Rick Donaldson on February 26, 2007 at 2:27 PM