Politicano publishes a photo-manipulation about Zbigniew Brzezinski

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Reading Time: 3 minutes


On May 27, 2017, on the day of death of an American political scientist, Zbigniew Brzezinski, a new Georgian left-wing political-economic portal Politicano published a photo, which, allegedly pictured Zbigniew Brzezinski and Osama Bin-Laden. The edition wanted to illustrate with this photo that USA was sponsoring Islamic fundamentalism."

The caption of the photo is not true – the man next to Brzezinski is a warrior of the Army of Pakistan, not Bin Laden, who was not a member of the Army of Pakistan by the time the photo was taken – in 1980.

Fact №1. The original photo was taken on February 3, 1980 and its description does not even mention Bin Laden.

The original photo is searchable from a system of licensed photos – Getty Images – in Otto Bettmann’s archive section, which unites millions of photo-collections. According to the description of the photo, it was taken on February 3, 1980 close to Afghanistan’s border. As far as the description goes, Bin Laden is not mentioned, so the man pictured on the photo is most likely a member of the Army of Pakistan.


Fact #2. Bin Laden was not a member of the Army of Pakistan in 1980.

The man pictured on the photo is a member of the Army of Pakistan, considering the logos on his uniform. The logo on the right side of the chest, close to the pocket – parachute with wings – is a sign of a military qualification of the Pakistani Army. The Head of the Army of Pakistan, Rahil Sharif wears this logo. As for the star pictured on the arm, it is a military rank of the Army of Pakistan. In this period (1980 -1983), Osama Bin Laden was in Peshawar, providing assistance to Afghan mujahideen in the fight against the Soviet Union. In 1980, which is the time when the given photo was taken, Bin Laden was not a member of the Army of Pakistan.


Fact #3. Brzezinski and the military man on the photo are nearly of same height, whereas Bin Laden was higher than Brzezinski.

According to the FBI, Bin Laden’s height was between 193-198 cm. Brzezinski’s height is not known, however, based on historic photos, we can assume it to be around 177-185 cm. On the photo below, Brzezinski is pictured with Ronald Reagan and Jimmy Carter, whose heights are 185 cm and 177 cm, respectively. As the photos show, Brzezinski was higher than Carter, but lower than Reagan. The given photo shows that Brzezinski and the Pakistani soldier are nearly of same height, therefore it is impossible to see a 9cm difference between them.




Dea Maghalashvili

Myth Detector Lab

Topic: Politics


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