Caption from website: "We took this photo of dowtown Baghdad while we were in Iraq. Iraq (including Baghdad) is much more calm and stable than what many people believe it to be. But, each day the news media finds any violence occurring in the country and screams and shouts about it - in part because many journalists are opposed to the U.S. effort to fight terrorism."
The only problem is that appears NOT to be Baghdad, but a city in Turkey.
Roman- not Arabic-based alphabet...Turkish ice cream chain (edo)... Western wear on the woman... a freaking UPS delivery van(!)... The folks at Kos are all over this one.
That UPS van is the clincher for me. I am pretty certain that in a city where Westerners of any identifiable stripe are at risk of kidnapping, and Iraqis that work for US or Western companies are murdered, there are no guys driving around in UPS vans wearing brown uniforms and casually delivering packages.
Of course the real issue here should be that a snapshot of any moment in time is not any more proof that Baghdad is a Shangri-la, any more than a carbomb photo means it is a constant warzone (which it hapens to be). That this clown would try to make this point even with a genuine photo of Baghdad is ridiculous enough, but when he uses a photo from another country and references it as proof of his point, he's not just disingenuous, he's a fucking liar.
If there is any justice, this will finish his political career.
UPDATE: Adding to the preponderance of evidence... Check out the taxi in the foreground and the booth at the parking lot entrance here.
And compare the planters in this photo of Istanbul with the ones in the "Baghdad" photo.
UPDATE AGAIN: Case closed. From an intrepid commenter at Kos:
It is indeed a street in the bustling Istanbul suburb of Bakirkoy:
Wow. That only took half a day. I imagine Kaloogian will attempt to explain this by throwing the web designer or a staffer under the bus. "So-and-so accidentally posted the wrong photo from the trip..." It's bullshit. It may very well be a photo from the same trip when they went to Iraq (and stopped over in Turkey?). Kaloogian seems to be very active on matters related to Armenia, and may go to the Middle East often, resulting in countless photos. I don't know, and I don't care. This is inexcusable. If you are going to offer a photograph as damning evidence that the media is lying about Iraq, it behooves you to make sure the photo you are using is what you say it is. There is no "honest" mistake here. It is either a deliberate lie, or rank incompetence. Either way, this guy deserves to be the laughingstock on tonite's late night talk shows and finished in serious politics.
[h/t to The Other Steve who brought this to my attention in an unrelated thread at John Cole's.]
THE "SHOCKING" CONCLUSION UPDATE: As expected...
Kaloogian Blames Iraq Photo Error on Staffer
By Justin Rood - March 29, 2006, 1:06 PM
Howard Kaloogian, a leading GOP candidate for Randy "Duke" Cunningham's seat in Congress, posted a photo on his Web site of a quiet Turkish suburb. No problem there -- but his site said it was of Baghdad, taken during his trip there. He called it proof that Iraq was calmer than the media was reporting.
Josh tells the story at TPM of how the blogosphere rounded up a posse and proved the pic was a fake -- or rather, the pic was real, but the caption was hooey.
We reached Kaloogian by phone moments ago. Here's what he had to say:
[O]n the way back from Baghdad some of the crew stopped in Istanbul as a layover. We turned all the photographs [from the trip] over to the webmaster, and it appears he took one from the stopover and not from Baghdad. If a mistake happened, we'll correct it.
Kaloogian noted that he brought back "hundreds and hundreds" of photographs from the trip. He declined to identify his webmaster's name, saying only that he was "a member of my staff."
Yeah, well it's your campaign website, and you were probably still the idiot that thought it was a good idea to post a Baghdad photo to start with. Whether or not somebody posted the wrong photo shouldn't obscure the fact that the whole thing displayed poor judgement and an attempt at misleading propaganda.
CREDIT WHERE CREDIT IS DUE UPDATE: It seems salon.com's "Daou Report" is linking here (thanks CB), and that is generating some traffic. That's exciting, and I hope people look around at some other stuff while they're here. But I want to point out that all I did here was compile the info from an 800-comment thread over at Kos and add my opinion. The real "Where in the World is Carmen (Would-be Representative from-) San Diego" detective work was done by the folks in that thread. Especially Jem6x. Josh Marshall has also been on this, and it seems Will Bunch was one of the firsts.