Fact Check

Condoleezza Rice and Osama Bin Laden

Rumor: Photograph shows Condoleezza Rice posing with Osama bin Laden.

Published Feb. 19, 2015


Claim:   Photograph shows Condoleezza Rice posing with Osama bin Laden.


Example:   [Collected via email, February 2015]

Is the Newly Released Photo of Condoleezza Rice and Osama Bin Laden real?


Origins:   A photograph of former U.S. National Security Advisor and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice posing with terrorist mastermind Osama bin Laden has been circulated on the internet since it was created for an April Fool's Day Photoshop contest held in 2008 by the web site FreakingNews.com:

In this contest you are asked to photoshop anything related to April Fools Day. Examples may include showing some pranks and hoaxes in photos, paintings, magazine covers, etc.

The image was originally accompanied by a brief caption referring to Osama bin Laden as an "American Hero," but the story became more elaborate as it was passed around the Internet. When the fabricated photo was shared on Marcosun's Blog on 1 April 2014, that web site claimed that it was a "newly declassified" photo taken at a bar in Afghanistan shortly before the terrorist attacks of 11 September 2001:

A newly declassified photo showing former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and super terrorist Osama Bin Laden has been released under the Freedom of Information Act. The photo purportedly shows the two partying at a wine and dine in an American owned bar at Kandahar, Afghanistan just two weeks before the infamous and fateful 9/11.

Unnamed C.I.A. sources say the purpose of the soiree was to drug Bin Laden with truth serum and get him to divulge any impending terrorist plans. According to the sources Bin Laden got very drunk and was whisked away by his bodyguards before the truth serum could take affect.

Freaking News has been hosting Photoshop contests for the last decade; and occasionally some of the better images created for the site, such as the above-displayed picture of Condoleezza Rice and Osama bin Laden, take on lives of their own when they are shared out of context:

Freaking News is a photoshop contest site focusing on news, politics, and celebrities. Actual news stories fuel our photoshop contests with scores of wacky doctored pictures.

Last updated: 19 February 2015

David Mikkelson founded the site now known as snopes.com back in 1994.

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