The Ghost of Snapped Shot

Or, welcome to my low-maintenance heck.

Fauxtographic Bullet Injury?

Notice: This story was first reported by Bob Owens over at Confederate Yankee. He's placed an inquiry with his contacts at the Associated Press, but at time of writing, has not heard back from them yet.

A blogger over at the Virginia College Republican Federation has raised some questions about the truthfulness of this AP photograph (alternate angle here). I don't know if I'm totally convinced yet, but if any of y'all have experience with the standard techniques for removing bullets from a patient's arm, I'm definitely open to hearing your thoughts.

Here's a real close crop of the area in question. Hopefully, this is just enough of the picture to show you what we're talking about, without angering the angry mob of lawyers. (Oh, and if you're from the aforementioned mob and have a problem with this, just let me know, and I'll fix it for you.)

A doctor tries to pull out a bullet from a woman's arm in a hospital in the Shiite enclave of Sadr City in Baghdad, Iraq, Wednesday, May 14, 2008. The woman was hit yesterday standing in front of her house in Sadr City. It was not clear who fired the round. (AP Photo/Karim Kadim)

Of course, the truly important thing in this scenario is what I've bolded in the caption above. A bullet was most likely fired. It appears to have hit a bystander. It is not, however, known where the bullet came from, which means that the blame can't be immediately laid on the U.S. Army and its Iraqi allies.

(And for the record, I'm very glad to see that the Associated Press didn't start by repeating such baseless allegations!)

Update: I can comfortably say that upon review of the alternate angle, Archimedes' point #10 is total bunk. And while the crop on the alternate shot is too tight to say for sure, I'd suspect that there's also a good chance that #7 is, too—as there's most likely a surgical table around somewhere with instruments on it. In fact, if you look in the lower-right-hand corner of the main shot, you can see the legs of such a table.

It does look pretty crowded for a surgical operation, though. Perhaps that's another "cultural thing" about Iraq that I just don't understand?

I'd definitely love to hear from all you medical and weaponry experts about this.

Update: From the "How'd I miss that?" department, Bob Owens points out that he's already covered this story. His conclusion?

I suspect that this is less a case of "fauxtography" than a curious physiological response, but Associated Press cameraman Karim Kadim captured this photo of a Sadr City woman having a bullet removed from her forearm.

In his (e-mailed) opinion, the only points on Archimedes' list that are most likely valid are #1 and #7. (I'd argue about #7, since there may have been an incision that is obscured by the doctor's hand, but I'll admit that's not a very strong argument..)

Sorry I missed your earlier post, Bob! :)



#1 DMartyr 16-May-2008
So, does she now need to be stoned to death - or at least given a few lashes - for allowing so many unrelated men to see her bare forearm?

Or does that not apply to propaganda?
#2 yonason 16-May-2008
Looks like a case of psychic surgery to me. And look at that team of highly trained professionals who give each patient the personal care the audience will be impressed by. And isn't amazing how there is no tissue damage around the wound, as one might expect from such a trauma? I mean, none at all! ....a real bullet wound...

Yeah, I think it's fake.
#3 captainfish 17-May-2008

I love this comment, "What motivation would the AP have for faking this photo? Isn’t the danger of being found out, and the resultant negative publicity, awfully high?"

Yeah, Right. Like the AP has never produced suspicious photos before now. And, who ever ever thought to produce gimmicked photos to move people to their viewpoint? Never. (right. and dirt isn't dirty)

Also, isn't that bullet a tracer round? I am looking at the red tip to it. If it is a tracer round and it had been fired, then there would be no red tip remaining. And, if it is not a tracer round, then how can it be so perfectly shaped and still colored?

I agree, no wounding, no trama, no blood...(even cleaning up a bloody wound leaves traces of blood on skin)

And, don't put anything past the bad guys trying to make America look bad. If it happens here in USA, it can happen anywhere.
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