January 1, 2004

Palm Trees Never Lie
Discovery of Saddam's Spider Hole Showing Ripening Dates
But the Bush Administration Apparently Can and Does
by Susan Barber

An email has been going around the Internet saying that the photo we saw of Saddam Hussein's spider hole being opened on the 15th of December actually had to have been taken months before that.

You see, there's a date tree in the background — complete with dates in the yellow stage of early ripening. But dates start to ripen in August and early September. After that, they turn brown. AND BY DECEMBER, THE DATE TREES ARE BARE!

The message about the yellow dates is all over the Internet, but in every case it's accompanied by the photo above, which was sent out from someone in Iraq. Drunvalo also received an email from Iraq, complete with picture. This email also contained comments lauding Saddam to the skies. We had no reason to trust that the photo had not been doctored. Easy enough to take a photo with a palm tree and zap in a bunch of dates.

So we decided to check this out for you, to see if we could find the original photo and see whether it was really so blatantly "dated" — so obviously a hoax.

"Someone" Disappeared the Photo from the 'Net

I searched the Internet. And searched. And searched and searched and searched. There were plenty of hits on what I was looking for, but when I clicked on the links, I'd find either a message informing me that the page did not exist, or a page that no longer contained what the search engine said was there! I checked dozens and dozens of links, all with the same result. Actually, I did find a nice big copy of the photo in question — but it had been cropped! All you saw was the soldiers. Same photo, but un-dated. Scarey.

Eureka! Two New Dated Pix!

I finally found the proof we sought in a database-driven website in Bangladesh. They are wire service photos by Efrem Lukatsky and Laurent Rebours, and they are not the same as the title photo.

Efrem Lukatsky's photoThe picture heading off this article is the one that was sent around by email and posted on the 'Net. The one at left (click to see enlargement) and the one below were taken from postings at the time Bush said he captured Hussein, in mid-December.

The first photo has this caption: "U.S. soldiers demonstrate access to the spider hole used by Saddam Hussein before he was captured last Saturday, on a farm near Tikrit, northern Iraq, Monday Dec. 15, 2003.(AP Photo/Efrem Lukatsky)"

Laurent Rebours's photoThe second says: "U.S. soldiers remove the cover hiding the spider hole used by Saddam Hussein before he was captured last Saturday in a farm near Tikrit, northern Iraq, Monday Dec. 15, 2003. (AP Photo/Laurent Rebours)"

I found them on InfoBanglaDesh.com. They were not clickable or downloadable, but I managed to grab the underlying graphics off the linked site. Since the photos themselves were not on the Bangladesh website, they remained lurking on the 'Net for us to discover.

But we didn't really need them. The fact that they'd been so thoroughly "disappeared" would have been enough.

It's Not the First Time

If you have viewed the documentary we talked about in December (see The Whole Truth About the Iraq War), you already know that this Administration has lied to us over and over again in order to pursue its own agenda. Now here's proof positive that George Bush wants us to believe that they found that spider hole and captured Saddam Hussein on the 15th of December — when it's just absolutely not possible that it could have happened that way.

Also, it should be noted that two different wire service photographers shot these "dated" pictures... It's interesting to imagine what it must be like to work for the press in these times.

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