Tuesday, January 19, 2010

A Case of Mistaken Identity

Dear Friends,

Sorry for my absence--I was abroad in a country where my blog is blocked (not because of my infamy, but because all blogs with words like 'war' and 'terrorist' in them are blocked in that country).

A friend send this story to me. Apparently a poster showing ways Osama bin Laden 'might look' has the picture of an existing MP from Spain as one of the possibilities. The FBI forensic artist admitted he had used a 'picture he found on the internet', which turned out to be the MP's old campaign picture and just cut-and-pasted it to his poster.

The MP in question is justifiably concerned that he's now on no-fly lists (not that that prevents people from getting on planes). I'm sort of amused that the forensic artist just picked some random picture of a real person for his work. That seems a bit lazy and sounds like something that an unprofessional artist would do (you'd think he'd at least notify the FBI that he's using a real elected official's picture from an allied country that has its own counter terrorism team, who hopefully isn't drawing mock-ups of our politicians...).

Either way, it's another sign of our counter-terrorist strategy needs thorough and serious improvement.

Best of luck to us all,

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