Read time: 2 minutes

Is Trump Taking A Page Out Of Stalin's Book?

Why did John Bolton get replaced with Bill Barr in this photo?
Is Trump Taking A Page Out Of Stalin's Book?
Image from: DOD, May 2018

One of the things that Joseph Stalin famously did after The Great Purge was to recreate reality to suit his purposes. A whole cottage industry of photo retouching emerged as Stalin steadily removed the existence of his enemies from photo documentation.

After he came to power in 1929, Stalin declared war on Soviets he considered tainted by their connections to the political movements that had come before him. Beginning in 1934 he wiped out an ever-changing group of political “enemies.” Some 750,000 people died during theGreat Purge, as it is now known, and more than a million others were banished to remote areas to do hard labor in gulags.

During the purges, many of Stalin’s enemies simply vanished from their homes. Others were executed in public after show trials. And since Stalin knew the value of photographs in both the historical record and his use of mass media to influence the Soviet Union, they often disappeared from photos, too.
[..]
Stalin did the same with scores of party officials who had been photographed next to him at various events. Sometimes, official censors had to retouch photos over and over again as the list of political enemies grew longer. In one photograph, Stalin is shown with a group of three of his deputies. As each deputy fell out his favor, they were snipped out of the photo until only Stalin remained.
stalin.jpg

Our tools for photo retouching has gotten more sophisticated than in Stalin's day. But sophistication is not a hallmark of the Trump administration on any level. Which is why this is just a weird, weird thing for them to do:

They've disappeared John Bolton from a DoD photo.

Look at the photo at the head of this post. Now look at this one.
barrshop.png
It's the same photo, with Bob Barr photoshopped in place of John Bolton.

Why???

Leave aside that the photoshop job isn't particularly skillful (once you know what to look for, it's painfully obvious), what is the purpose of "disappearing" John Bolton here? Is the plan to just pretend he never existed or was part of the administration?

Or is this just part and parcel of Trump's admiration for cold-blooded dictators?

H/T @christoq on Twitter and angka on DU

Can you help us out?

For 16 years we have been exposing Washington lies and untangling media deceit. We work 7 days a week, 16 hours a day for our labor of love, but with rising hosting and associated costs, we need your help! Could you donate $20 for 2020? Please consider a one time or recurring donation of whatever amount you can spare, or consider subscribing for an ad-free experience. It will be greatly appreciated and help us continue our mission of exposing the real FAKE NEWS!

More C&L Coverage

Discussion

New Commenting System

Our comments are now powered by Insticator. In order to comment you will need to create an Insticator account. The process is quick and simple. Please note that the ability to comment with a C&L site account is no longer available.

We welcome relevant, respectful comments. Any comments that are sexist or in any other way deemed hateful by our staff will be deleted and constitute grounds for a ban from posting on the site. Please refer to our Terms of Service (revised 3/17/2016) for information on our posting policy.

Please Do Not Use the Login Link at the Top of the Site.

In order to comment you must use an Insticator account. To register an account, enter your comment and click the post button. A dialog will then appear allowing you create your account.

We will be retiring our Crooks and Liars user account system in January, 2021.

Thank you.
C&L Team