Friday, September 29, 2006

What's the Story Behind this Photo?

First person who either already knows it, or correctly guesses as to the significance of it....well, go ahead and give yourself a cookie. For those who have never seen this photo, I'd be curious to know what the mood of the image conjures up in you. Thoughts? Emotions? Impressions?

(Don't be shy or embarrassed if you are completely in the cave on this one, even though it's a famous photo...I only discovered it for the first time about half an hour ago).

I'll update this post afterward with more, once the guesses/answers are in.

CONGRATULATIONS OUT TO TOM'S COMMON SENSE!!! Tom brought the contest to a quick end and decisive win. Tom: go stick your hand in the cookie jar! You earned it buddy! Atheling2 was the first-responder in the comments section and gets an honorable mention; go ahead and lick the cream-filling from your Oreo, buddy.

The story behind the photo is this: it's a propaganda photo taken of captured members of the USS Pueblo in 1968 at the hands of the North Koreans. Atheling2 was correct in guessing the signficance of the middle finger in the photo. Those soldiers are under duress, and giving the "Hawaiian good luck" sign as a secret protest, unbeknownst to their captors.

What got me started on this, was that I was poking around the 'net, and came across this gem, from Pundit Review back in January:

It's a true photograph, taken in Iraq from Thanksgiving 2003; the year that President Bush made his secret trip to spend Thanksgiving with the Troops. Some of you might have received it before in e-mail forwards. Just click on the photograph to be taken to Snopes for the full story (also, the Pundit Review link) and a bit of history lesson on how soldiers under "coercion" might give away secret signs that they are appearing on camera against their will. I thought about linking to more examples, but I'm headed out the door. If anyone else wants to leave any more links in the comments section on other examples, feel free, and I will add them to the post later tonight. I seem to recall hearing, when I was a kid, about an instance where a captured soldier used morse code by eye-blinking. But, that could have just been an ABC Friday night movie-of-the-week, or something....

Also, check out Blackfive's John Kerry photo op.

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Blogger atheling2 said...

Are they POWs? And are they giving the finger to whomever is addressing/lecturing/harangueing them?

Otherwise, I'm clueless.

Friday, September 29, 2006 1:28:00 AM  
Blogger Patrick Joubert Conlon said...

I'm drawing a complete blank. All I can say is that they don't look like criminals to me and they don't look happy.

Friday, September 29, 2006 11:04:00 AM  
Blogger mormonbradybunchdad said...

It looks like me in my Advance Criminal Justice class when my professor says for the 50 millionth time, we are going to reading one of his own research papers for reference. Nothing better than a professor who can back up their own argument with that same argument in paper form. Screw you Dr. Whorell.

Friday, September 29, 2006 11:23:00 AM  
Blogger WomanHonorThyself said...

ok times up..Tell us! lol :)

Friday, September 29, 2006 1:25:00 PM  
Blogger Tom said...

I'm going to guess that it's a photo from the prisoners of the North Koreans from the USS Pueblo giving their captors the "good luck" sign...

Friday, September 29, 2006 2:40:00 PM  
Anonymous Anna said...

Love that photo with Billary!

Friday, September 29, 2006 8:12:00 PM  
Blogger atheling2 said...

Hehehe, I feel good about my shot in the dark. I was just a little toddler when that happened!

Friday, September 29, 2006 10:20:00 PM  
Blogger Skye said...

I've seen a couple of these pictures with other Democratic leaders and a failed DNC presidential nominee.

Interesting, that this never occurs with Republican officials...

I recall viewing a photo similar to the one you have posted. This happened approx last year - an AP Photo'journalist' snapped a picture of two or three American soldiers resting in an alleyway after a battle. The picture was supposed to convey the weariness of the troops - looking more closely at the picture, one of the soldiers, not facing the camera, had has hand on his helmet and was giving 'the bird' to the photographer. The pictures was posted on AP website for weeks before it was discovered then promply pulled by AP....

God Bless our Troops :)

Saturday, September 30, 2006 9:19:00 PM  
Blogger The WordSmith from Nantucket said...

Would have loved to have seen that photo, skye.

Saturday, September 30, 2006 9:44:00 PM  
Blogger Skye said...

I will find it...

Sunday, October 01, 2006 10:23:00 AM  
Blogger Skye said...


Sunday, October 01, 2006 10:26:00 AM  
Blogger The WordSmith from Nantucket said...

Thanks, skye! I found the comments there to be a good read.

Sunday, October 01, 2006 12:35:00 PM  
Blogger Little Miss Chatterbox said...

Awesome post!!! I would've never guessed about the photo but that is very cool that they had the wherewithall to do that.

Sunday, October 01, 2006 11:02:00 PM  

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