Credulous photojournalism of the day Update: Type of round identified? Update: A typical MSM "correction"

Look at the bullets that the woman is holding.


Now read the caption:

An elderly Iraqi woman shows two bullets which she says hit her house
following an early coalition forces raid in the predominantly Shiite Baghdad suburb of Sadr City.(AFP/Wissam al-Okaili)


The only way those two bullets hit anything is if someone threw them or launched them from a slingshot. They’re still pristine, still in their shells. And whoever wrote the caption obviously doesn’t know enough about firearms to know that. Either that, or as the tipster who sent this to me says, they’re actively helping create negative media stories against the US.

Update: Uncle J over at Blackfive may have found a media tour at work.

Update: Bob Owens looks into the photographer and his chosen subjects. AFP’s photo editors are passing off obviously staged photos as legitimate journalism. And Andrew Sullivan is passing one of them off to his readers as bona fide news.

Update: Snapped Shot and Ace are looking into this photo by the same photographer, Wissam al-Okaili, published on July 10th.


It may or may not be the same woman in today’s photo (could be her sister if it’s not her though) and yet another magic bullet. Gateway Pundit has an expert who says that based on ballistics evidence, it could not have been fired. Here’s what the photo’s caption says:

An Iraqi elderly woman inspects a bullet which she says hit her bed during an alleged overnight raid by US and Iraqi troops in Baghdad’s impoverished district of Sadr City. Residents said two people were killed and four wounded during the raid.(AFP/Wissam al-Okaili)


I’m no ballistics expert, but I call shenanigans based on what I do know: There’s no way that bullet hit her bed unless she or someone else dropped it there. The force of a slug hitting any object at projectile speed does far more damage to the slug that this photo depicts. Far more. I’ve seen spent rounds with my own eyes. So what we have here, folks, is fauxtography staged for enemy propaganda purposes.

Update: I just contacted the AFP’s photo department. I’ll post results here if and when they get back with me. I won’t pull a Johnny Fever and suggest that anyone else contact them, but I won’t discourage it either.

Update: Confederate Yankee agrees with commenter JackS here, that the rounds shown aren’t even US military rounds.

But here’s the thing: The standard 62-grain M855 5.56 ball ammo used by our military today has a green tip, the M856 tracer has an orange tip, the M995 AP a black tip, and the Mk262 is a hollowpoint with an open tip.

The picture seems to show common commercial 55-grain civilian ball ammunition patterned after the Vietnam-era M193. With this in mind, I’d state that this ammunition wasn’t even dropped by American forces, as they don’t carry such ammunition.

Or perhaps it’s an AK-47 round? Hard to say based on that comparison, but it makes me lean toward accepting it as an AK round as opposed to any US round. Perhaps we should check with weapons expert Scott Thomas Beauchamp, but I believe that US forces are probably the only forces in Iraq who aren’t using the AK.


Update: AFP has issued a correction, of sorts:

CORRECTS BULLETS TO UNSPENT An elderly Iraqi woman holds up two unspent bullets at her house following an early coalition forces raid in the predominantly Shiite Baghdad suburb of Sadr City, 14 August 2007.

When I wrote to them earlier today, here’s a close paraphrase of what I said (I don’t remember the exact wording), having identified myself as part of Hot Air:

You are currently running a photo identified as taken in Iraq. It depicts a woman holding two bullets, captioned as having struck her house during the course of a US-coalition raid. But as you can plainly see from the photo, the bullets are pristine and have never been fired. Perhaps your photographer and caption editor ought to be, though.

And I followed that up with a link to the photo on Yahoo (which has since been moved, but that’s how these daily photo galleries are — they do move frequently as new photos come in) so they could see it for themselves. But to see the dishonest “correction” above now, well, I have to conclude that they’re reacting to what I wrote to them in the way that the MSM does these days, by engaging in a little coverup. These dishonest hacks want us to trust their coverage of wars and everything else, but can’t even get the basics like whether or not a bullet was ever actually fired right, and then get downright Nixonian when confronted with their errors. If they were a government agency (which many of them think they are), there would be talk of scandal and resignations, coming from the press itself. But when it’s the press, they basically get away with lying to the world, constantly and blatantly.


More: By the way, Yahoo still has the photo up with the old, uncorrected caption, currently here. It moved from photo 38 to 118 over the course of the day.

Update (AP): I’m pretty sure this caption is accurate, though.

Update: Heh. Perfect. And about as accurate as anything the AFP can come up with.

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