I thought Hezbollah had deliberately set fire to a pile of tires at a garbage dump to make it look like an Israeli jet had crashed there after being shot down. Not so, says Bruno Stevens, writing today at the Lightstalkers forum for photojournalists. For one thing, it wasn’t a garbage dump.

And it wasn’t a jet that crashed there.

According to Stevens, this was the caption he submitted with his photo:

“Kfar Chima, near Beirut, July 17, 2006 An Israeli Air Force F16 has alledgedly been shot down while bombing a group of Hezbollah owned trucks, at least one of these trucks contained a medium range ground to ground missile launcher.”

And this was the caption that appeared in Time:


He says he went back to the site to collect more evidence and eventually submitted a revised caption, although it’s unclear if he did so before or after the photo had been published:

“Kfar Chima, near Beirut, July 17, 2006 The Israeli Air Force bombed a group of Hezbollah chartered trucks parked on the back of large Lebanese Army barracks , at least one of these trucks contained a medium range ground to ground missile launcher, at least one missile was hit, misfiring high into the sky before falling down and starting a huge fire in the barracks’ parking lot.”

Emphasis again mine.

Why would Time deliberately omit key details about what Israel was targeting and, just as importantly, where it was located? Charles has a theory.

You owe it to yourself to click through on the Lightstalkers link and check out the last photo in the series of four that Stevens has posted. (The page may take a minute or two to load, but it’s worth it.) Did Time have that photo in hand when it chose to describe the vehicles as nothing more than “Hezbollah trucks”?