The Associated Press retracted two government-issued photographs last night after a photographer in Texas alerted the agency that the photos in question appeared to be doctored.
Bob Owen, chief photographer of the San Antonio Express-News, notified the AP that the photos of two deceased soldiers, who died in Iraq on Sept. 14, were nearly identical. Upon examining the photos, Owens noticed that everything except for the soldier’s face, name, and rank was the same. The most glaring similarity, Owen told CJR, was that the camouflage patterns of the two uniforms were “perfectly identical.”
After inspecting the photographs, the AP confirmed that the images were, indeed, Photoshopped, and issued eliminations on the two photos.
The elimination reads:
The content of this image has been digitally altered and does not accurately reflect the scene. No other version of the photo is available.
The photos were released by the U.S. Army at Fort Stewart in Georgia. Officials at the base could not be reached for comment.
“I’d like to think that the media holds itself pretty accountable and we try really hard to keep high standards,” Owen said. “Obviously the army, and the government, doesn’t see anything wrong with that [photo altering] at all.”Megan McGinley is an intern at CJR.