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Gates: Sit Room Photo Fakes Gave Pause When It Came to Bin Laden Photo

BY Nancy Scola | Friday, May 13 2011

Defense Secretary Gates reluctance to support the release of photos of Osama Bin Laden was influenced by the altered photos of the Situation Room that were floating around the Internet, reports Politico's Josh Gerstein:

Gates said his concerns about releasing the bin Laden photos were dramatized by Photoshopping of an official White House picture taken of Obama's national security team while they were monitoring a live video feed of the operation in which Navy SEALs ultimately killed bin Laden. 

"I have gotten from friends all over the country copies of the picture that was this iconic picture taken in the Situation Room while we were watching the operation. And they have been photoshopped in every way you can imagine, including putting you know, coming after the royal wedding, one of these had all of us in one of these big, wide-brimmed hats from the wedding. Another had various football players seated at the table that had been photoshopped in," Gates noted.

Gates take on all this helps to clarify one aspect of all this: what, exactly, were the photo manipulation worries of administration figures when it came to the Bin Laden death photo? Was it that he'd be made to look worse? Undead? What Gates seems to be hinting at is a concern that we, the people of the Internet, might make him look ridiculous.