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Osama Bin Commie
January 15, 2010 9:25 AM   Subscribe

A Spanish newspaper has noticed that the State Department's identikit picture of Osama Bin Laden appears to have the hair and forehead of Spanish Communist leader Gaspar Llamazares.
posted by Skeptic (49 comments total)

 
Photoshop Phail?
posted by Halloween Jack at 9:26 AM on January 15, 2010


Oh man, is this the part where we invade Spain?
posted by entropicamericana at 9:28 AM on January 15, 2010 [7 favorites]


I believe that seems to be the case, HJ. Especially if you look at the hair. How weird. also notice the lack of 9/11 references on the text accompanying the state department photo oh hold on there's someone at the door
posted by Baby_Balrog at 9:28 AM on January 15, 2010 [3 favorites]


I have in my hand a list of Communist (hairs) in the State Department!
posted by DU at 9:31 AM on January 15, 2010


Oh man, is this the part where we invade Spain?

No blood for olive oil!
posted by Mayor Curley at 9:31 AM on January 15, 2010 [25 favorites]


Man, the search for Bin Laden has really gotten hairy.
posted by Lutoslawski at 9:34 AM on January 15, 2010


also notice the lack of 9/11 references on the text accompanying the state department photo
posted by Baby_Balrog


Except the first sentence? "Usama bin Ladin is wanted in connection with the September 11, 2001 attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon"
posted by haveanicesummer at 9:36 AM on January 15, 2010 [1 favorite]


So...Osama is the world's first CGI terrorist?

We've all been chasing a ghost?
posted by swimming naked when the tide goes out at 9:37 AM on January 15, 2010


So the hair and forehead are similar... So...?
posted by I-baLL at 9:40 AM on January 15, 2010


We've all been chasing a ghost?

I don't know about you, but I haven't noticed a whole lot of chasing going on.
posted by adamdschneider at 9:42 AM on January 15, 2010 [6 favorites]


Those eyes! That can't be right. And why are his eyebrows two different colors?
posted by echo target at 9:43 AM on January 15, 2010


This is it! Just stake out the barbershop where this Gaspar Llamazares chap got his hair cut.
posted by tula at 9:44 AM on January 15, 2010 [6 favorites]


Except the first sentence?
er duh. yeah you're right. I guess I was thinking of the FBI listing here. Which, iirc, is often referenced by truther weirdos. Speaking of which, there was a fantastic iama thread on reddit the other day written by a debunker of 9/11 myths. The author referenced this particular conspiracy theory explaining: "There have been several semi-conflicting answers to this question. The most likely "official" answer is that the evidence tying Bin Laden himself to other attacks is stronger and a conviction would be more likely. Bin Laden was not the "mastermind" and was not believed to be directly involved with 9/11 like other attacks. He was, however, the head of the organization that did it -- Al Qaeda."
posted by Baby_Balrog at 9:45 AM on January 15, 2010


The sad truth is that Osama never removes his hat except in the most trusted company or otherwise we'd know he sports a Mr. T mohawk. This State Department photoshop attempt is completely ignorant of this truth!

..o' where, o' where are the government men like Lt. Frank Drebin?
posted by Atreides at 9:48 AM on January 15, 2010


No one expects the Spanish identikit addition!

Our main identifying part is the hair. The hair and the forehead.

Our TWO main identifying parts are the hair and the forehead and the eyebrows.

Our THREE...
posted by GuyZero at 9:55 AM on January 15, 2010 [10 favorites]


What are the Islamic rules regarding male headwear and beard-trimming Bin Laden supposedly follows? Is it reasonable to think he'd ever shave or go hatless, even presuming he was a desperate man on the run from the world's most powerful military's elite band of tireless blahblahblah? I kinda thought he only had one look because he was prohibited from changing it.
posted by The Winsome Parker Lewis at 9:57 AM on January 15, 2010


So the hair and forehead are similar... So...?

I think the point is that they're identical. Down to the random hairs out of place.
posted by inigo2 at 10:00 AM on January 15, 2010 [1 favorite]


So the hair and forehead are similar... So...?

I think the point is that they're identical.


I think the point is that it's a major diplomatic blunder to use foreign leaders of good repute to assemble an image of the world's most wanted villain. ("communist" doesn't mean "eats babies" in most of the rest of the world.)
posted by DU at 10:06 AM on January 15, 2010 [2 favorites]


The "this is sort of like the 'click' of Playmobil hair" analogy that they make towards the end of the piece is kind of adorable.
posted by besonders at 10:09 AM on January 15, 2010


Llamazares looks kinda cute in that pic, like a Spanish George Clooney...wait, that was the point of this, right?


(Also, Osama bin Laden is almost 2 meters tall!)
posted by Sova at 10:09 AM on January 15, 2010


It is not very hard to invent a narrative of how this might come about.

"You're good with that Photoshop, right Al?"
"Well I made that one of Frank fucking a pig"
"Okay we want a mock-up of Bin Laden with no turban and a conservative haircut."
"What should I use for the hair?"
"Here, this guy looks like a pretty easy match."
"So who's he?"
"Some Commie."
posted by nanojath at 10:16 AM on January 15, 2010 [4 favorites]


I believe that seems to be the case, HJ. Especially if you look at the hair. How weird. also notice the lack of 9/11 references on the text accompanying the state department photo oh hold on there's someone at the door

Are you suggesting that the US Department of Homeland Security is working in cahoots with Candleja
posted by shakespeherian at 10:20 AM on January 15, 2010 [1 favorite]


I think the point is that it's a major diplomatic blunder to use foreign leaders of good repute to assemble an image of the world's most wanted villain. ("communist" doesn't mean "eats babies" in most of the rest of the world.)

Also, since the hair and forehead are pulled from a copyrighted campaign picture, it's an odd sort of faux pas against a country which Congress regularly berates for not fighting copyright piracy enough.
posted by Skeptic at 10:21 AM on January 15, 2010 [3 favorites]


It is not very hard to invent a narrative of how this might come about.
posted by nanojath


The truth is much stranger than you imagine.

"Al, the boys down at the lab need more of your 'piglove' series. You know. For research."
"No problem Smitty, I gotta show you what new stuff I've been working on though."
"More ducklust?"
"Naw, this doesn't even feature animals."
"Oh?"
"It's a series called Gaspar Llamazares As Everyone. It depicts facial and hair characteristics of the Spanish Communist leader transplanted onto various figures of pop culture, history, and art."
"So who's this beardy guy with the sad eyes?"
"Some terrorist."
posted by haveanicesummer at 11:33 AM on January 15, 2010 [11 favorites]


I think what the State Department has neglected to address is what he would look like in drag. That's how I would disguise myself if I was he. A nice chestnut bob, I think, with not too much makeup...just a little mascara and a natural lip gloss. How could they overlook that? [working on new Photoshop image]
posted by SixteenTons at 11:35 AM on January 15, 2010 [3 favorites]


Has anyone noticed Gaspar Llamazares has George Cluny's eyes? CONSPIRACY.

Also: epoynysterical!
posted by Ogre Lawless at 11:35 AM on January 15, 2010


What are the Islamic rules regarding male headwear and beard-trimming Bin Laden supposedly follows?

Well, since he doesn't seem to follow the Islamic rules about not killing people, I don't guess he's big on the haircut rules either.
posted by rocket88 at 12:14 PM on January 15, 2010 [1 favorite]


Well, Spain was an Islamic country. Once. A thousand years ago or so. Maybe the State Department is just being extra careful. Or at least they will be when they open in 779 years.
posted by ob at 12:15 PM on January 15, 2010


You go to war with the hairstyle you've got, not the hairstyle you want.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 12:18 PM on January 15, 2010 [3 favorites]


He's actually a digital composition of all the CIA's favorite boogeymen.
posted by Salvor Hardin at 12:21 PM on January 15, 2010


That explains why Spain was one of the only countries in Continental Europe to support the war.

Bastard stole their hair.
posted by qvantamon at 12:28 PM on January 15, 2010 [2 favorites]


Check out these knuckleheads on the make-a-face!
posted by organic at 12:29 PM on January 15, 2010 [1 favorite]


Now I want to see what he looks like with Carlos the Jackal glasses.
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 12:30 PM on January 15, 2010


like a Spanish George Clooney

You're right.
posted by kirkaracha at 1:41 PM on January 15, 2010


I am more liking the idea that some entry level analyst was tasked with putting this image together and just used Google Image Search or maybe an unattributed photo sitting on the office server, and that he had absolutely no clue that it was a Spanish Communist leader.

And right about now he's getting called into his bosses office to have explained to him the importance of knowing who people are before you composite their image with the most wanted man in the world.

And what the boss doesn't know is that the first draft? Yeah, it was his hair and forehead, but that was considered and dropped in the interest of office self-preservation.

The image is still hanging up in the non-executive coffee room though.
posted by quin at 1:54 PM on January 15, 2010


Sounds like this is causing quite a to-do!

You know, like hairdo?

... I'll show myself out.
posted by No-sword at 2:50 PM on January 15, 2010


adamdschneider wrote: I don't know about you, but I haven't noticed a whole lot of chasing going on.

I was going to say we've only been "looking for" him, but then I realized that description was also too active. I think we've been "wondering about" bin Laden for some time now, with all the results one could expect from such an activity.
posted by wierdo at 2:52 PM on January 15, 2010


KSM shaved and cut his hair while on the run.
posted by A189Nut at 3:46 PM on January 15, 2010


Shave and a hair-cut, two wars
posted by furtive at 9:29 PM on January 15, 2010


I'm confused. Osama Bin Laden is in Spain, pretending to be a Communist leader?
posted by eye of newt at 9:41 PM on January 15, 2010


Is it reasonable to think he'd ever shave or go hatless, even presuming he was a desperate man on the run from the world's most powerful military... I kinda thought he only had one look because he was prohibited from changing it.

If you think he's a pure ideologue, that's a reasonable assumption. But if you think that, you're not nearly cynical enough. Does he "hate us for our freedom," or are there a bunch of interconnected motivations that might make someone aspire to be the West's top boogeyman?

Religion is the instrument/justification, not the end.
posted by Mayor Curley at 10:17 PM on January 15, 2010


Bring me the head of Alfredo Garcia - the spectacles of Jesus Hernández and the eyebrows of Vincent Uribe and I think we can 'shop this baby!
posted by Abiezer at 11:48 PM on January 15, 2010


So, now there's a turban on the photo on the page linked above.
posted by Señor Pantalones at 2:41 AM on January 16, 2010


So, now there's a turban on the photo on the page linked above.
posted by Señor Pantalones


That picture was already there at the bottom, and is either the source of the rest of the picture previously complained about, or is also a photoshop job but with a turban added. The eyes in that picture and most of the face are the exact same as the previous one, and the forehead and haircut make it seem like it's the EXACT same hair/forehead that still came from Senior Commie, just with turban added. Pretty hilarious that they left that one there.
posted by haveanicesummer at 9:12 AM on January 16, 2010


So, now there's a turban on the photo on the page linked above.
posted by Señor Pantalones

That is some impressively shoddy Photoshop paid for at some impressively non-shoddy federal rates.
posted by bokononito at 11:23 PM on January 16, 2010


So, now there's a turban on the photo on the page linked above.

Your tax dollars at work.

We once sent human beings to the moon and back but we can't send them to Photoshop Academy. America has officially jumped the shark.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 3:28 AM on January 17, 2010


State didn't mess this up on their own, they had the FBI to help them.

And just down the hall, the FBI specialists are plying their Ouija boards....

Seriously, folks. Name three major cases the FBI hasn't screwed the pooch on in the last ten years.
posted by warbaby at 2:17 PM on January 17, 2010


Update
posted by Skeptic at 3:56 PM on January 17, 2010


"The FBI claimed to have used "cutting edge" technology, but Mr Llamazares said it showed the "low level" of US intelligence services and could cause problems if he was wrongly identified as the Saudi."

They could've farmed this out to 4Chan and had better Photoshop done within 15 minutes. Sure, they might not like some of the results. But sometimes the risk of getting back Bin Laden photoshopped urinating on Michael Jackson's corpse is worth the risk.
posted by haveanicesummer at 5:24 AM on January 18, 2010


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