Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Osama's latest video: Dead Terrorist Fauxtography

It is the anniversary of 9/11. I wanted to put up something smart and sassy in reply to the Bin Laden Videos and still may do so. As I contemplate that, I am smoking a cigarette and downed a jigger of Crown Royal. Not because I want to, but because I can. I'm free and nothing OBL and crew has done or will do will change that. In fact, my cigarette smoking privileges are more at risk from nanny state "tax it into oblivion to protect the stupid masses" than from Bin Laden, et al.

Many folks have noted that Bin Laden's latest video includes a lot of "leftist" talking points like American economy, mortgages, global warming, etc. I think this is the worst forged propaganda the Islamists have come up with in awhile, including the infamous "giant spiders attacking American forces", "missiles" that turn out to be unused Pakistani artillery shells and "bullets" supposedly shot into some poor old Iraqi lady's house by American forces, but turned out to be unfired "civilian" type ammunition. There are so many other forged videos, pictures and reports from "stringers" and "anonymous" sources, it must be noted that this video doesn't even come close to the others.

It's cheap and pointless really. It does not take a technological genius to take some old video, splice it together, rub out a few unwanted beard hairs or photoshop some new "young" beard hairs in, or even adjust the contrast and color of a video to change the appearance of something that was recorded over three years ago.

Seriously, look at this side by side comparison of shots from the 2004 video to the latest from Stop the ACLU:

The anomalies caused by photo doctoring are all over the place. Dissecting it, look at the picture of his "upper" face. On the left hand side of the split the "new" beard shows a hint of the "old" beard. There are "gray" anomalies there that are not from lighting or enlarging. That is the "old" beard that can't be totally erased from the image.

Then there is that rather disturbing pencil line trying to define his "eye" and causing bin Laden to have even more "I've toked too much weed" droopy eye lid than usual.

Not convinced yet? Look closely at these images:

In an attempt to define and re-align the beard on his upper face, they accidentally changed the shadow lines that are blurry, but still apparent in the original 2004 video. I have to commend them for an attempt to stay true to the color, but it's not even close to the "color" they've made his current skin tone by darkening and contrasting the image to make him appear "healthy". That actually happens throughout the image.

Not to mention that this "reshaping" of the beard gives bin Laden a disturbing resemblance to certain cast members from "Planet of the Apes":

His nostrils could have come out of the "planet of the apes" make up gallery since the one on the left looks bigger than the one on the right and is probably, also, the result of the attempt to darken and define his mustache which now looks some what "Saddam-esque":

Right here you can see the reshaping of the mustache that now also appears to have had a "skin tone" applied. There is a minute line towards the top of the encircled area which would be much more apparent in a better quality blow up, but clearly shows the original line of his beard contacting his mustache. The skin tone is either the closest color or was taken from the original still image to cover it up.

His lower lip on the left shows the same problems where it is apparent that someone got a little loose with the black shading and ran it up on his lip. Just a small, round blip that could be unnoticed if you weren't looking for photo-shop enhancements.

Check out the color and shape of his lips. Even though his over all skin tone is now "darker" and "healthier", his lips are lighter than they were in the previous video on the right which clearly shows them to be close to or darker than his skin tone.

Now, suddenly, they look like Al Jolsen in black face:

Then we get to the bottom of the picture, the bottom of the beard. The anomalies showing the removed "gray" beard are so obvious, even my cheap picture program shows them up.

When you invert the colors, you can clearly see there is something wrong with the beard. It's been edited.

A little video demonstration showing what I could do with these pictures in 10 minutes.

Now imagine if I was a determined takfiri, mufsidoon trying to show the world that bin Laden is still alive and kicking.

I didn't even get to the speech yet. A good voice recognition and recording program could create some of that. However, it is just as possible he recorded the audio and it was dubbed over the video with the many minutes of still shots. Either way, bin Laden couldn't or wouldn't show his face. Maybe he is in worse shape than people think?

As for the "new" video with the 9/11 hi-jacker's "last will and testament", without new, relevant images of bin Laden included (I mean "new" not this regurgitated garbage), I'll have to chalk that up to AQ video archives and I'll still assume that Osama is either dead, too sick and horrific looking to appear or in a place where he is unable to video in front of a backdrop and knows his position can be easily compromised if he gives away any images.

Since it's easy to do a nondescript back-drop, my guess is one of the first two.

It's 9/11 and Bin Laden wants to stay relevant. Which is interesting since this article some what echoes several posts from 2005 that I did where I basically say that Zawahiri is now the head of Al Qaeda. He just doesn't want to lose Bin Laden as a figure head since he was so instrumental in forging an international jihad where Zawahiri could not even after many years of studying, writing and fighting the Islamist cause in Egypt. Over several books on the subject, Zawahiri lamented the inability or lack of desire for Muslim nations to interfere with or assist in the defense of Palestinians and other "persecuted" Arab Muslims.

He still needs the figurehead of a relatively young and energetic "prince" that has come down to live, work, eat and die with the common martyr. I believe that is why we see Osama hear trying to look that part.

One thing that I keep in mind when I view this is that the Taliban, al Qaeda and various other Islamist organizations do not believe in trimming the beard. While Spencer might note that mujihadeen are allowed to change their image to confound the enemy, there is little doubt in this blogger's mind that this "change" was profoundly an act of some video hacker geek trying to make the lord and master feel better.

My one and only hope is that this guy is dead in an unmarked grave where no one can or will want to find his grave site.

IN regards to the leftist garble coming out of Osama's mouth, there is a few other similarities. Funny enough, many seem to think of AQ as a "fundamentalist" group most closely associated with the right and evangelicals. However, I reminded of the reports from Michael Yon and Michael Totten talking about AQ killing or maiming people for smoking a cigarette. A deadly sin for Muslims in the sites of AQ. According to the left, they don't want to "kill" me for smoking, they want to "save me" from myself. Kind of like what the Islamists say they are doing by keeping people from making their own choices. Instead of breaking arms, cutting off fingers, or simply shooting people, they are going to institute a 156% tax on cigarettes to make it "prohibitive".

Now, I'm not saying that cigarettes are good. I'm just saying that it seems interesting, among all the similarities, some people seem to think the only way they can "save" me is to take away my freedom of choice, insisting it is for my own good.

There is definitely an echo chamber around here.

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