Four-Star Fraud Allegation: AP Suspends Use of Military Photos After Another Photo Alteration

size2-armymil-2008-11-14-1226676724In the last few years, the military has been repeatedly accused of altering photographs — causing policy changes in the military. However, the Associated Press suspended the use of photos provided by the Defense Department after it discovered major digital alteration of a photo of Army Gen. Ann E. Dunwoody, the U.S. military’s first female four-star general.

In the original photo, the general was sitting at a desk with a credenza and bookshelf behind her. Three stars on her uniform identify her as a lieutenant general — her lower prior rank. The altered photo, distributed by the Army shows Dunwoody in fatigues in front of an American flag. Her rank is obscured.

Col. Cathy Abbott, chief of the Army’s media relations division, insists that it can alter photographs so long as it does not change its meaning — a very dangerous standard for journalists to accept: “We’re not misrepresenting her. The image is still clearly Gen. Dunwoody.” Yiks, that is a pretty scary standard. The military decides what the import of a photo is and then enhances it to simply make that point stronger or downplay negative images. Could the military remove a double chin or love handle from a general? How about bulk the general up or place him in a more heroic setting? The point is that the photo is showing something that did not occur.

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2 thoughts on “Four-Star Fraud Allegation: AP Suspends Use of Military Photos After Another Photo Alteration”

  1. Where’s George Orwell when you need him? Wasn’t it one of those Bush senior aides who said: ”We’re an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality. And while you’re studying that reality — judiciously, as you will — we’ll act again, creating other new realities, which you can study too, and that’s how things will sort out. We’re history’s actors . . . and you, all of you, will be left to just study what we do.”

    Study we will, with power of subpoena I hope.

  2. I guess I should not be surprised at anything that happens under a Bush Administration. The Pentagon has been hand in hand with the nonsense promulgated by the White House. I am still amazed that the media accepted the restrictions placed on them concerning pictures of the coffins of the deceased soldiers that gave their lives. This attitude that we can change any reality and make it a different reality is for the movies, not for journalism. I guess somebody forgot to tell the Pentagon photo service. I would like to alter some pictures if they are so anxious to change reality. Why don’t we alter the photos from the two separate times Bush was sworn in and put Al Gore’s face in the photos and maybe we can go back in time and wipe out the reality of torture and illegal spying. I guy can dream, can’t he?

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