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Monday, August 1, 2011

Qaddafi's New Photos - Delayed?

Ever since Qaddafi and his supporters like IAC and ANSWER have been screaming about "massive civilian causalities" that they claim have been caused by NATO bombs, many who support the Libyan people's struggle to overthrow the dictatorship have been saying "Show us the pictures."

Even the bomb damage film that Cynthia McKinney has been showing on her national "Brother Qaddafi" tour was notable for its lack of footage of women and children. All the dead and wounded appeared to be men of military age. I said here that the only reason they didn't show them was that they didn't have them.

So no sooner than my pro-Qaddafi friend LB received an email from Jeunesse D'Afrique, MEDEN SWEHELI, 10458 Tripoli, GREAT LIBYAN PEOPLE'S ARAB SOCIALIST JAMAHIRIYA with it's collection of 50 Ci-joint, les images des bombardements de l'OTAN sur la Libye [Attached images of the NATO bombing of Libya] that he forwarded them it to me with the added note,
A graphic-but-true picture of the results of US/NATO "humanitarian bombing campaign." Put that on your blog
Of course I downloaded the zip archive of them and had a look see. It was pretty gruesome stuff, war causalities usually are. 50 images with no descriptions, even the file names didn't give a clue, they were numbers. Still they did appear to show a picture of damage and death in Libya much greater than I've witnessed in my blog here. If this was being caused by the NATO air strikes, it would go along ways towards validating the Qaddafi regimes claims of war crimes perpetrated by NATO.

Since I'm a technical guy, I hoped to learn something about the photos by reading the EXIF data that all modern digital cameras embed in the JPEG file and most modern photo software will preserve, if you want it to, as you manipulate the photo.

Of course there is also software are will remove or replace EXIF data so even when that data exists it doesn't necessarily prove anything if the data might have been changed but that would require very specific counterfeiting techniques.

At a minimum, I would expect the EXIF data to tell me the time and date the image was taken and the type of camera that was used to take it. For example, when I run the Linux exif command line utility against a picture file generated by my Canon camera, I get:
cjc@home:/Server/vol3/LA MENA protests/Jan30$ exif IMG_8546.JPG
EXIF tags in 'IMG_8546.JPG' ('Intel' byte order):
--------------------+----------------------------------------------------------
Tag |Value
--------------------+----------------------------------------------------------
Manufacturer |Canon
Model |Canon PowerShot S3 IS
Orientation |top - left
x-Resolution |180.00
y-Resolution |180.00
Resolution Unit |Inch
Date and Time |2011:01:30 04:08:17
YCbCr Positioning |centered
Compression |JPEG compression
x-Resolution |180.00
y-Resolution |180.00
Resolution Unit |Inch
Exposure Time |1/1600 sec.
FNumber |f/3.5
Exif Version |Exif Version 2.2
Date and Time (origi|2011:01:30 04:08:17
Date and Time (digit|2011:01:30 04:08:17
Components Configura|Y Cb Cr -
Compressed Bits per |3.00
Shutter speed |10.66 EV (1/1613 sec.)
Aperture |3.62 EV (f/3.5)
Exposure Bias |0.00 EV
Maximum Aperture Val|2.88 EV (f/2.7)
Metering Mode |Pattern
Flash |Internal error (unknown value 80)
Focal Length |6.0 mm
Maker Note |1830 bytes undefined data
User Comment
FlashPixVersion |FlashPix Version 1.0
Color Space |sRGB
PixelXDimension |640
PixelYDimension |480
Focal Plane x-Resolu|2844.44
Focal Plane y-Resolu|2840.24
Focal Plane Resoluti|Inch
Sensing Method |One-chip color area sensor
File Source |DSC
Custom Rendered |Normal process
Exposure Mode |Auto exposure
White Balance |Auto white balance
Digital Zoom Ratio |1.00
Scene Capture Type |Standard
Interoperability Ind|R98
Interoperability Ver|0100
RelatedImageWidth |640
RelatedImageLength |480
--------------------+----------------------------------------------------------
EXIF data contains a thumbnail (4177 bytes).

And when I run it against a screen shot captured in by video editing program, I get this:
cjc@home:/Server/vol3/jun17$ exif Gaddafi_TV-634.jpg
EXIF tags in 'Gaddafi_TV-634.jpg' ('Motorola' byte order):
--------------------+----------------------------------------------------------
Tag |Value
--------------------+----------------------------------------------------------
Software |Adobe Premiere Pro 5.0
Date and Time |2011:06:26 17:57:08
x-Resolution |72.00
y-Resolution |72.00
Resolution Unit |Inch
SubsecTime |00121
Exif Version |Exif Version 2.1
FlashPixVersion |FlashPix Version 1.0
Color Space |Internal error (unknown value 65535)
However, when I used the same tool to examine the photos fresh from Qaddafi's Tripoli, this is what I got, over and over, for every one of the fifty image files:
cjc@home:/Server/vol3/Libya/LB_pixs$ exif nato.jpg
Corrupt data
The data provided does not follow the specification.
ExifLoader: The data supplied does not seem to contain EXIF data.
cjc@home:/Server/vol3/Libya/LB_pixs$ exif nato1.jpg
Corrupt data
The data provided does not follow the specification.
ExifLoader: The data supplied does not seem to contain EXIF data.
cjc@home:/Server/vol3/Libya/LB_pixs$ exif *.jpg
Corrupt data
The data provided does not follow the specification.
ExifLoader: The data supplied does not seem to contain EXIF data.
cjc@home:/Server/vol3/Libya/LB_pixs$
cjc@home:/Server/vol3/Libya/LB_pixs$ exif 209847_118505458231768_118504744898506_161194_1863345_o.jpg
Corrupt data
The data provided does not follow the specification.
ExifLoader: The data supplied does not seem to contain EXIF data.
cjc@home:/Server/vol3/Libya/LB_pixs$ exif 1111111111111111.jpg
Corrupt data
The data provided does not follow the specification.
ExifLoader: The data supplied does not seem to contain EXIF data.
So I replied to LB: Nice try, but I wasn't going to post these photos to my dairy when I couldn't authenticate the first thing about them and especially when each and every one of them had corrupt or removed embedded EXIF data. I explained that this data was normally expected and especially important when the photos are to be offered as proof of anything.

I asked him why that data wasn't there and he said that I should put my question to Jeunesse D'Afrique, Secretary General of MDPR, Tripoli, GREAT LIBYAN PEOPLE'S ARAB SOCIALIST JAMAHIRIYA. This I also did in an email on Sunday. Now, I have been told by reliable sources that the only people with Internet access in Tripoli are Qaddafi's people but I don't think that will be a problem for Jeunesse.

I have yet to hear back from him. He might be busy Photoshopping a new batch. At any rate I have changed my mind and decided to publish the photos anyway, at least in the thumbnail collage below because I wanted to tell this story and because these photos or something like them, probably with something reasonable in terms of replacement EXIF data, may be making the rounds soon as "proof" of NATO civilian causalities in Libya.

Suspect images from Qaddafi's Tripoli


Here is a recap of my other DKos diaries on the Internet, North Africa and Anonymous:
NATO over Tripoli - Air Strikes in the Age of Twitter
How Many Libyans has NATO Killed?
Qaddafi Terror Files Start to Trickle Out!
Have Libyan Rebels Committed Human Rights Abuses?
Tripoli Green Square Reality Check
Behind the Green Curtain: Libya Today
Gilbert Achcar on the Libyan situation and the Left
NATO slammed for Libya civilian deaths NOT!
Qaddafi's Million Man March
NATO's Game Plan in Libya
February 21st - Tripoli's Long Night
Did Qaddafi Bomb Peaceful Protesters?
Tripoli Burn Notice
Libyans, Palestinians & Israelis
'Brother' Qaddafi Indicted plus Libya & Syria: Dueling Rally Photofinishs
An Open Letter to ANSWER
ANSWER answers me
No Libyans allowed at ANSWER Libya Forum
Are they throwing babies out of incubators yet?
Continuing Discussion with a Gaddafi Supporter
Boston Globe oped supports Gaddafi with fraudulent journalism
Doha summit supports Libyan rebels
Current Events in Libya
Who's running Egypt?
Amonpour Plays Softball with Gaddafi
Californians Support North African Revolts
Google Supports Revolts | Anonymous does too!
Secret U.S. Intelligence Source on Middle East Revealed !
Arming Gaddfi
Are "mutinous officers" are being executed in Egypt now?
Algeria's 19 year long State of Emergency to end soon, President says
Senior Egyptian Army Officers Ordered Massacre!
Tales of Tyrants: Ben Ali, Mubarak & Suleiman
The Mubarak Screw Up & the Suleiman Danger
BREAKING: Mubarak is Defiant
The Google Search for Wael Ghonim
Tunisia's Revolution Continues
Google Goes Rebel, Supports Egyptian Protest
Tunisian Anonymous activists take on Egyptian cause
Protesters roar back with "Day of Departure" for Mubarak
Act Now to Stop Mubarak's Thugs From Killing More! w Petition
Act Now to Stop Mubarak's Thugs From Killing More!
They Should Have Helped That Street Vendor
Million Egyptian Protest Planned as Resistance Continues
Huffington Post Disses the Jasmine Revolution Redux
No Internet? No Problem! Anonymous Faxes Egypt
Egypt is on Fire!
North African Revolution Continues
Egypt Protests Continue, Tunisia Wants Ben Ali Back
BREAKING: Protesters Plan Massive "Day of Wrath" in Egypt Today
Tunisians Thank Anonymous as North Africa Explodes
Huffington Post Disses the Jasmine Revolution
Tunisia: A Single Tweet Can Start A Prairie Fire!
Anonymous plans Op Swift Assist in Tunisia
Arrested Pirate Party Member Becomes Tunisian Minister
Is Libya Next? Anonymous Debates New Operation
Tunis: This Photo was Taken 66 Minutes Ago
The WikiLeaks Revolution: Anonymous Strikes Tunisia
EMERGENCY: DKos Must Act Now to Protect Tunisian Bloggers!

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