Friday, October 29, 2004

The Battle of the Bulge

Such a cheesy title! I love it. This is about Bush's back and the rectangular box under his jacket again. It is an important topic which gets lost under the sillyness it all: if Bush was wired for the debate, he was violating the agreed-upon debate rules and if the Box is something health-related, that plus his refusal to have a medical checkup at the usual time should worry voters.

Now Robert M. Nelson looked at the frames of Bush's back in some detail. He is an international expert in image analysis, a senior research scientist for NASA and for Caltech's Jet Propulsion Laboratory. He has been studying similar frames of Saturn's moon, Titan, to determine if it has craters.

Using the same methods of analysis, Nelson determined not only that Bush's bulge is not a wrinkled shirt (which I told you already). He also pointed out that the device is T-shaped and appears to have a wire running from it up to Bush's right shoulder:

Nelson stresses that he's not certain what lies beneath the president's jacket. He offers, though, "that it could be some type of electronic device -- it's consistent with the appearance of an electronic device worn in that manner." The image of lines coursing up and down the president's back, Nelson adds, is "consistent with a wire or a tube."
Nelson used the computer software program Photoshop to enhance the texture in Bush's jacket. The process in no way alters the image but sharpens its edges and accents the creases and wrinkles. You've seen the process performed a hundred times on "CSI": pixelated images are magnified to reveal a clear definition of their shape.
Bruce Hapke, professor emeritus of planetary science in the department of geology and planetary science at the University of Pittsburgh, reviewed the Bush images employed by Nelson, whom he calls "a very highly respected scientist in his field." Hapke says Nelson's process of analyzing the images are the "exact same methods we use to analyze images taken by spacecraft of planetary surfaces. It does not introduce any artifacts into the picture in any way."

One could argue that all this is irrelevant. Those who oppose Bush already believe that he was wired for the debates (and that something went wrong with the transmission in the first debate). Those who support Bush believe that the wires are attached to a transmittor from god, so either way who cares? But the rest of humankind should care. This is an example of the lack of transparency so evident in more serious news about the administration recently, and it is also evidence of the idiotic mistakes the administration makes, then denying that any mistake ever has been made. Like what's happening with the disappeared explosives in Iraq.

Besides, I really want to know what Bush harbored under his jacket. A pet ferret?