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Friday, December 30, 2005

Husam Husam exposed in pictures

Elaph has published pictures of Husam Husam at the crime scene of George Hawi, who was killed on 21 June. Husam is the witness who recanted his testimony to the UN probe, claiming he was tortured and bribed by Saad Hariri. Here he is on the day of car bomb that killed Hawi, wearing a red shirt and standing very close to Hawi's family. Husam approached the UN commission in June and signed his testimony in September. He claimed he was held in captivity, drugged and threatened. You judge.

dear kais,

this is very interesting, but how certain can we be that this is indeed husam husam? i mean ... has anyone done a biometric check?

i am not disputing the claim - i am just trying to be careful here.

well, the picture is very neat, it's easy to tell that it's Husam.
"The Boudreaux story illustrates, once again, the emerging weakness of photography in a digital age. There was a time when photographs were synonymous with truth -- when you could be sure that what you saw in a picture actually occurred. In today's Photoshop world, all that has changed. Pictures are endlessly pliable. Photographs (and even videos) are now merely as good as words -- approximations of reality at best, subtle (or outright) distortions of truth at worst. Is that Jane Fonda next to John Kerry at an antiwar rally? No, it isn't; if you thought so, you're a fool for trusting your own eyes."

We need to be very careful with photographs that are released after the fact to serve a political purpose. Jane Fonda/John Kerry famously taught us this lesson.

Bloggers can serve a great service to society by either debunking or verifying such photographs. We should dig deeper and not accept things at face value even if it serves your own political agenda.

The fact is these photos could have been easily doctored by competent engineer that does his or her work in the digital arts. So questions to ask are what is the source of these photos? Why are they released only after 6 months? You can see what looks like a reflection of a white shirt in his glasses. Is that a real reflection or something the doctors of this phot tried to insert to show authenticity? Why is Hussam looking seemingly disinterested in the proceedings and not interacting with anyone? Rather he almost appears as a pasted 'layer'?

I can not tell whether these photos are real or not from my naked eye. I hope bloggers will answer some of these and other questions to shed more light on these photographs.
EG, stop developping conspiracy theories. Those photos are real because Syria is guilty. Since they do exist, they are proofs unless YOU prove otherwise.
Gotta love he conspiracy guys (of course some caution is warranted with pics)

But EG says look the white shirt is reflected in his glasses: someone could have put it there, its a conspiracy!

What if there was no white shadow? Conspiracy too!!

Anyway, Kais, what is the source of these pics? Can you tell us?

And what does it mean? I mean as a Syrian agent, Husam may have gone to the scene to just "report" intelligence. No?
Yes joseywales my main question toois what is the source? And, I think the relevence of these photos is to show Husam was lying--That he was supposed to be held in captivity at the time of the photos? Do I have this right?

"EG, stop developping conspiracy theories. Those photos are real because Syria is guilty."

Nice argument you have there. Really air-tight.

Just because I cannot prove something false with my infinite resources does not mean it is true. Its no grand conspiracy people, I merely allow for the fact that these photos could have been doctored.

If people are willing to accept these photos with no question and try to label me a conspiracy theorist, it merely shows that you are either too ignorant to recognize the photos could easily be faked or too politically biased to care or accept this.
dear all,

"Those photos are real because Syria is guilty. Since they do exist, they are proofs unless YOU prove otherwise." (anon. 3:11 PM)

that's the stupidest piece of crap that i've read in a long time.

this is the same circular logic that the syrian regime is employing ("the hariri & other killings are against syrian interests, and that's why the syrians couldn't have done them.")

i always thought that we were different. all that EG said was that in the age of digital photography & the tampering with pics we have to be extra-careful before we take them as bases for our own claims. those pics may very likely be real.

but unless an expert (or, preferably a number of experts working independently) have examined them & verified their authenticity, they are no proof. sadly, i have to add.

now i'm hoping that it turns out they are originally not digital pics but taken with a "regular" ("old"?) camera.

I was told the source of these pics was a photographer who found them in his collection - and others, who have even taken videos, will be checking.

However - this is a digital picture, and anyone with photoshop (well, something slightly more advanced - but the point is that with the right software, and experience, I can create similar ones in relatively short time)could have created it. Regardless of whether that is a conspiracy or not, it should be kept in mind.

With pics, always be careful. Even if they are the film type.
Lazarus, a simple individual cannot make perfect fake pictures. Intelligence agencies can always find the truth. Creating perfect fakes demand is difficult and need the work of many professionals.
i think lazarus has hit the nail on the head. if the images are authentic, other people will have caught husam in their photos/videos as well.

now i guess it's wait-and-see...
VP - if the pics are digital, it is very easy to modify them. Enough so that these intelligence agencies won't be sure. If it is a digital pic - which is what I heard today, but that's only a rumor for now - then one person can do this. Who said this person was simple?
I love it how some people look for anything to prove Syria innocent, even when they know that the evidence is right in front of them, they choose to look elsewhere.

EG, is it becoming increasingly difficult for you to defend your Baathists friends?

The pictures did not just come out now. A photographer who was at the memorial service was looking over his collection, when he saw a familiar face. He cross checked his pictures with a database and found that it indeed looked like Houssam Taher Houssam. After confirming this with several colleagues (read lots of other photographs out there by other journalists - which will be released in due time and not to you but to the UN commission), he released the picture to Elaph.

I wish he hadn't, and only sent it to Hariri or the UN commission.

After all the evidence, I don't know how you can still defend an undefendable cause!
Check out the new pictures revealed today:


Good bye baathist conspiracy theories!!
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