Kabul/Washington : An apparent attempt to alter photographs of a meeting between US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Afghan President Ashraf Ghani on Monday at the Bagram Airbase near Kabul has set social media abuzz.
Soon after Tillerson’s two-hour unannounced visit to Afghanistan on Monday was publicly disclosed, the US Embassy and the office of President Ghani made statements about their productive meeting in Kabul.
The two met in a windowless room in Bagram, the heavily fortified American military base a 90-minute drive away from Kabul.
The versions of similar photographs released by the Americans and the Afghans have discrepancies, apparently meant to obscure the true venue, the New York Times reported. Both the photographs – released by the US and the one provided by Afghanistan – depict Tillerson and Ghani seated at the head of the room, two giant television screens behind them. On the coffee table between them are a thermos, two cups and bottled water. Their delegations sit across from each other.
However, the version released by Ghani’s office erased the large digital clock showing “Zulu time” — the military term for Coordinated Universal Time — and a red fire alarm behind Tillerson and Ghani, in what would be a giveaway that it was an American military facility.
A close inspection by The New York Times found significant discrepancies in the photographs that may be explained by an effort to use image-manipulation software to doctor at least one of the images.