Photo analysis is tricky, as I have seen family photos that I know to be real that look fake. So I offer this up with that cautionary note – this photo could be real.
That said, it’s an odd photo. Much has been made of the book Assange is apparently holding, Gore Vidal’s History of the National Security State. That comes off as misdirection. If Assange is, as I suspect, controlled opposition, then any book he sports will be chosen to enhance his stature as opposition. Vidal, a close friend of the Kennedy’s and himself part of the families (the name “Gore” a hint?), surely knew that the JFK Assassination was a hoax, but spent his public life telling us it was real, and that Oswald did it. So Gore Vidal was also controlled opposition. The book, then, is put there deliberately. (Its sales on Amazon.com have spiked, by the way.)
But set all of that aside. Who took this photo? It’s not a police booking photo. We are led to think that a news camera was on the scene to capture the event, but that does not happen in real life. The photographer was told to be in a certain place at a certain time to capture this image. (I always try to place myself in the shoes of the person with the camera. It can be revealing.)
Now look at the angular momentum of the men in the photos. The four men surrounding Assange are each moving to the right, the lead man in gray obviously preparing to negotiate some stairs. (Another man can barely be seen, his ear poking out behind the large man in black.) So what about Assange? He is stiff and straight, as if being carried. But where are the hands of the men who arrested him? ? The two men on his left (our right) appear to be carrying something directly between them, but not Assange. The man in darker gray in the very back is not in a position where his arms would have much use in carrying Assange. The bald man in blue on the left (Assange’s right) is looking down as well, perhaps at the same object as the others, beneath sight line?
It looks as if these men are all involved in carrying something … a casket? Does this look like a funeral? Is that why they blacked the entire are around the Vidal book, to blot out the object being carried? Is that why they put the book there to begin with, as an eye-stop?
So what is Assange doing? He is looking directly at the camera. The only thing I can make out beyond his face are two hands, properly placed to be his and sporting what appear to be cuffs. I am not an expert on arrests, but don’t they usually cuff a prisoner from behind while not allowing him to hold anything that might be a potential weapons, like, say, a book? The hands don’t look right, but I cannot can’t say why. Maybe they appear girly, but that might be right about him.
What is that ivory-colored board-like thing that is right next to the Vidal book? It appears to vanish into the man’s pant leg. Its color matches the door frame in the back. Is it part of a railing?
The smirking cop, lower right, makes a nice eye-stop. I wonder if he is also pasted in the photo, just to add a real cop to a scene that is not an arrest.
I do make mistakes with this stuff, but it appears to me that we have a photo of some men carrying something large, perhaps a casket, down some stairs, and that Julian Assange’s face was pasted in the midst. There was no arrest.
In my view, Julian Assange was never held under siege at the Ecuadorian Embassy in London, and is not now under arrest. Wikileaks was an Intelligence front. Perhaps Julian will now join Chelsea Manning in Santa Catarina, a honeymoon.
Footnote: After seeing video given us in comments below, a number of possibilities arise. The strange thing is Assange making direct eye contact with the photographer. That could be just burst photos, or selection of a best frame from a movie camera. But it is eerie. The book is deliberately placed, maybe even Photoshopped in, part of the selling of the project. I am sensing maybe choreography, as in everyone being in on it, cops, Assange, camera operator, so that when they enter on the public stage as the camera comes alive, the last words they all hear is “And … action.” Everything about it seems fake.