This is both disgusting and absurd. I was flicking through a Yahoo Photos thread called "US Military" when I came across six photos of the same small group of 'insurgents' posing for the photographer. The photos originate from both Reuters and Associated Press and are dated October 3rd, 2005. Reuters attributes the photos to 'Stringer', while AP attributes them to 'Bilal Hussein'.
Note the distinctive yellow piping is common to all photos, though I'm unsure if the same alley is featured in all six.
(Reuters). "Excuse me Mr Insurgent - could you please move forward slightly so that you're better framed by the light?"
(Reuters). The man (or boy?) at back-right is clearly unconcerned about incoming fire. I initially thought he was in photo 1, but that guy seems to have black trackpants with a white stripe rather than baggy brown pants.
(Associated Press). This photo appears to have a running car in the background (note the brake light) - and is that guy out back using a cellphone? From the looks of his shirt he was either holding the AK in photo 1 or at the back of photo 2. The photographer has used a different lens here to make it look like he took the photo from across the street - note the slightly bent yellow pipe 2nd from left is also in photo 2. But from photo 1 we can clearly see the other side of the (empty) street is a wall.
(Associated Press). This is the only photo which has both "insurgents" successfully posing in a Hollywood-type fashion. Of course they're probably aiming at the same wall visible in photo 1.
(Associated Press). This may be a different alley - the doorway visible at left in photo 1 is absent here and the ground seems to have more debris. Note the different light angle.
(6) [New Addition] Source
(Canadian Press/AP). Clearly the same guy from photo 1. Is he wearing homeboy pants? This photo has been carefully cropped to frame Mr Homeboy Pants and Mr Insurgent #5 in the context of an abandoned street, presumedly to create the impression they have the area under control.
What can we take from this? That Reuters and the Associated Press happily purchase photos from photographers who actively collude with the "insurgents". And that Reuters hides the identity of the photographer it uses.
Your media at work. Trust the Reuters and AP photos you see republished in the NZ Herald? Trust the footage filmed by Reuters and AP video-cameramen for CNN and other news services?But wait, there's more
It's 2004 and the United States is attacking Fallujah. The Associated Press files a popular article
titled "AP Photographer Tells of Flight From Besieged City of Fallujah" starring the very same stringer - Bilal Hussein.
Bilal Hussein joking around with his family in Baghdad
Here's what Hussein said about the US attack on Fallujah:
By Tuesday afternoon, as U.S. forces and Iraqi rebels engaged in fierce clashes in the heart of his neighborhood, Hussein snapped.
"U.S. soldiers began to open fire on the houses, so I decided that it was very dangerous to stay in my house," he said.
"I decided to swim … but I changed my mind after seeing U.S. helicopters firing on and killing people who tried to cross the river." He watched horrified as a family of five was shot dead as they tried to cross. Then, he "helped bury a man by the river bank, with my own hands."
"I kept walking along the river for two hours and I could still see some U.S. snipers ready to shoot anyone who might swim. I quit the idea of crossing the river and walked for about five hours through orchards."
Get the picture? If you don't, then why not browse through Hussein's other photos
presently on Yahoo Photos. They all feature something positive for the 'insurgency' and negative for the Iraqi Government and US troops.More! More! More!
Here's a montage of Bilal Hussein's more obvious propaganda-type photos, collected using Google Images
. I avoided the gruesome photos, of which there are many.
Click to enlargeThe inevitable updateThe BBC hops on the bandwagon
: the very same "insurgents" and yellow piping feature prominently in a BBC video clip claiming the 'rebels' control several western Iraqi towns.