“What we showed,” he added, “challenges and perhaps contradicts the Defense Department’s case about this man being an Islamic State facilitator, or a man carrying explosives.”
Regarding the supposed explosives, The Post asked experts to analyze imagery of the damage caused by the strike, and found a dearth of evidence “that the car contained explosives,” Nadine Ajaka told me.
The power of ‘visual forensics’
Hill and Ajaka are competitors but they appeared together on Sunday’s “Reliable” and complimented each other’s efforts. Hill said both are “part of this new wave of open-source reporting that relies on things that you can get online — videos, photos, data, metadata,” satellite imagery, and more. The materials allows “both us and this community of online open-source researchers to piece together things that no one could piece together a decade ago,” he said.
“So, whereas before we might have had, you know, the account of the government versus the account of the witnesses — and Americans, maybe at least in the past, were inclined to give their government some credence in what it said in the claims that it made — now we can take all of this visual data that you can see for yourself, piece it together for you in a very transparent way, and use that to create a story that holds the power to account and challenges the government’s narrative.”
The Post calls this work “visual forensics.” Ajaka said it can add to “the public’s understanding of an event and also can reveal instances of overreach by those who are in power.”