In November 2008 Ann Dunwoody was promoted to the rank of four-star general, making her the first female four-star general in U.S. history. To publicize the event, the U.S. Army released a photo of Dunwoody to the media. However, Bob Owen, Director of Photography at the San Antonio Express-News
, noticed that the image (top) appeared to have been altered, and he soon found the original version (bottom) on the internet.
In the original image, Dunwoody could be seen sitting in an office with a bookshelf behind her. This background had been replaced by a U.S. flag. In addition, her face had been smoothed to make her appear more youthful.
The Army insisted the manipulation of the photo did not violate army policy, which only prohibits the editing of images "to misrepresent the facts or change the circumstances of an event."
Nevertheless, since this was the second incident in two months in which the Army had been caught supplying altered images to the media (see the case of Staff Sgt. Dawson
from Sep. 2008), the Associated Press suspended the further use of photos provided by the Defense Department.
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