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The Army Times and AP Use False Photo to Denounce "Obama Blew off the troops" email

RE: Obama's visit to Bagram

First, I must say thank you to commenter FreedomWarrior.  Without his cynical posts, I would not be able to point this out.

The Army Times decided to weigh in on the email from Afghanistan about the Obama visit.  Please go read their account.

Yes, for the thousandth time, we have established that Senator Obama did not play basketball at Bagram airfield or visit a specific tent. 

I apologize, sincerely and contritely, for posting an email from a soldier in Afghanistan suggesting that Senator Obama played basketball.

However, that is not very important in establishing whether he did indeed blow off the troops (like Landstuhl).  I posted photos of the Senator meeting with troops at Camp Eggers and other places.  He did meet with troops and did not blow them off at other bases.  This is a fact (one that we here at Blackfive helped establish).  I commend Senator Obama for visiting the troops and making his first trip to Iraq.

I have been asking for photos and searched for hours for photos of the Senator talking to troops at Bagram.  That would debunk this whole notion that he didn't talk to the troops at Bagram, wouldn't it? 

At that Army Times post, part of their evidence is a photo of Senator Obama talking to troops at Bagram - the caption states "Presidential candidate Sen. Barack Obama speaks to troops at Bagram Air Field on July 19.". 

Here's the AP photo on the Army Times site:

AP Photo

Just one minor problem here - that's not Bagram Airfield, Afghanistan.


Here's the official US Army Photo of the same group of people (and we posted photos of Senator Obama signing autographs there too).

Senator Barack Obama speaks to service members, at the Zone 1 Gym, Camp Arifjan, Kuwait, July 18, 2008.  Photographer: Sgt. Jarod Perkioniemi, 20th Public Affairs Detachment.

The main problem here is that Snopes and the Army Times are claiming that the email was either a hoax or completely false.  When I stated that I was reasonably certain it was legit, that was from a non-hoax point of view.  I knew it was from a real soldier in Afghanistan.  And my responses were based on the claims that it was not a real soldier in Afghanistan who sent the email.

So, here we have a patently FALSE photo in the Army Times from the Associated Press.

And I keep getting all kinds of email about how dishonorable I am for posting the email in the first place...

That takes care of the Army Times and the AP.  Now, on to Snopes:

Snopes provides the following pictures of Senator Obama meeting the troops in Afghanistan:


Now, while the Senator may certainly wear the same shirt on more than one day, the photos of him in Afghanistan are like this:

US Army Central Command Photo of Senator Obama meeting with troops at Camp Eggers, Afghanistan.

The photos of him in Iraq are these (the embassy in Baghdad, Ramadi, and a flight line):

Illinois Senator Barack Obama visits with Staff Sgt. Harrison Wright of Multi-National Force - Iraq during a breakfast visit at the Embassy Compound in Baghdad, Iraq, July 22. Senators Obama, Jack Reed D-R.I. and Chuck Hagel R-Neb. were part of a senatorial delegation visiting Iraq.  Photographer: Sgt. 1st Class Derren Mazza, Multi-National Forces Iraq Public Affairs.

Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) speaks with Maj. Ricardo Young, during a recent visit to al Anbar province in Iraq, July 22. Sens. Chuck Hagel (R-Neb.) and Jack Reed (D-R.I.) accompanied Sen. Obama on the trip.  Photographer: Lance Cpl. Casey Jones, Regimental Combat Team 1

Senator Obama in Iraq.  Cpl. George Papastrat, 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing (Fwd) Public Affairs.

I do not doubt that the Senator met troops in Afghanistan (I was the first to post photos of him at Camp Eggers).  But it seems, at least likely, that the photos that Snopes has are of Senator Obama speaking with troops in Iraq.

Snopes is usually very reliable.  Perhaps this was an error.

Update:  Via a reader, here is an AFP photo showing Senator Obama and the brass at what appears to be Bagram.  This should validate the Snopes photos above.