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Wednesday, January 07, 2015

Cannon DEMOLISHES Charles Johnson, Alan Dershowitz' defender and associate! (With added notes...)

(Note: Originally, this post appeared as a late appendage to the one below. But this investigation is fairly detailed and deserves separate publication. Please spread the information. I think that what you are about to read is one of the most important posts I've ever published.

ADDED NOTE: Yes, I am aware of the important and horrifying events in Paris. I will nevertheless keep this story at the top of this blog, because it represents original research. The Epstein story is also quite important and should not be ignored. We'll look into the French massacre soon.)

As seen in our preceding post, Alan Dershowtiz associate Charle C. Johnson has claimed that the photo depicting Prince Andrew and Ghislaine Maxwell with Virginia Roberts (the claimed "sex slave" of billionaire Jeffrey Epstein) is a forgery.

This allegation struck me as very unlikely. The photo was first published in 2011. It has been causing a huge public stir in the UK for years, yet neither the Prince nor Maxwell ever said "It's a fake." The UK has stricter libel laws than does the US.

Charles C. Johnson, the Dershowitz associate, now claims that he can prove that the photo reproduced above is a fake.
We consulted with experts in photography and analyses performed using the computer program, Image-Pro Plus by MediaCybernetics.

The key to investigation is the size of the pixels. You would expect a photograph to have the same pixelation throughout. And yet the sections with Andrew and Virginia have different sized pixels that become clear when you zoom in.
Which experts? Any "expert" with impressive credentials would not hide his or her name.

(Longtime readers may recall my responses to the "expert" operating under the pen-name "Techdude," who caused a media flurry when he made the very first claims about alleged forgery in the Obama birth certificate. We never conclusively identified who Techdude was. If he had the qualifications claimed for him, he obviously would have divulged his real name. At any rate, my analysis was proven correct, and Techdude was proven to be a liar. Nevertheless, the "birthers" continued to propagate inane claims about that document.)

I was a little puzzled by Johnson's reference to Image-Pro Plus, because I was under the impression that other applications were more likely to be used for such a purpose. If you Google the terms "Image-Pro Plus" and "forgery in photography," you will find that Johnson's "expert" seems to have been the first to use that app for this purpose. (At least, that is the story told by the first three pages of Google results.)

If you Google the phrase software used to detect forgery in photography, you'll immediately be linked to a couple of very interesting articles -- here and here. A number of important tools are mentioned. None of those tools are Image-Pro Plus. In fact, the "Digital Forensic Investigator" website has never in its history made a reference to that app. Why didn't Johnson's "expert" use the apps that have been created for forensic purposes?

Now let's get to the meat of things.

Johnson -- or his unnamed "expert" -- claims that the pixel sizes differ in varying parts of the image. The pixels are smaller in the part of the image showing the Prince, as compared to the pixels in the part showing Virginia's face.

This, says Johnson, proves that two separate images were pasted together.

This claim about varying pixel size falls to pieces when we understand that Johnson never specifies the exact file used for analysis. In other words, Johnson doesn't tell us where he got the photo. He doesn't tell us which version of the photo he used.

Why doesn't he give us that information?

The picture has been published many times, with different jpg compression each time. Jpg compression will impact the apparent size of the pixels.

We don't have access to the original file made available to the first newspaper to publish the photo.

In the earliest publication of the photo I can find -- here -- the pixels are uniform at 700 percent magnification. But there's a problem: That version of the photo seems to be smaller than the one Johnson used.

So I went searching for a larger, more detailed online version of the picture.

If you go here, you will see a version published by The Mirror on January 4 of this year. It is cropped; Virginia's face is shown in a circular inset. The important point is that Virginia's face is shown in much higher resolution than is the case in Johnson's version of the photo.

Let me demonstrate. Here is the evidence Johnson offers...

And here is Virginia's left eye using the above-mentioned Mirror image from January 4. (I'm using Photoshop, which is the industry standard tool, but any graphics program will suffice for a simple zoom-in.)

I've zoomed into the eye 700 percent, as did Johnson's "expert." At this magnification, Photoshop shows each pixel as a discrete unit.

Obviously, the pixels are much, much, much smaller in this version of the photo. I suspect that they are much finer still in the file first sent to newspapers in 2011. In short, the Mirror's image demonstrates that the original photo had much higher resolution than does the image used by Johnson's "expert."

I encourage each reader who owns a copy of Photoshop to replicate my experiment. Again: Here's the link to the image I used. Note Johnson's strange refusal to link to the version of the photo he used. Obviously, he does not want us to replicate the work he did. As far as we know, he may even have used two different reproductions of the photo.

Bottom line: Johnson's analysis is meaningless. Totally meaningless.

The pixels which are the foundation of his argument are NOT the original pixels; they were simply an artifact of reproduction.

Moreover, any true expert would have known this. Any true expert would have demanded the best available version of the questioned photograph before setting to work.

Frankly, I question whether there is an expert. I suspect (but cannot prove) that Johnson simply zoomed into the photo himself. I suspect (but cannot prove) that the name of Johnson's expert is Charles Johnson.

We can definitely state that Johnson has committed two journalistic sins:

1. He does not tell us where he got his version of the photo.

2. He does not name the expert.

What kind of journalist would do such a thing?

And why doesn't Johnson address the obvious question of "the silence of the photographed"? Again: If the photo is a fake, why didn't Ghislaine Maxwell or the Prince bring action against the British newspapers which published the photo in 2011? The UK has very strict laws against libel. Why didn't Maxwell and the Prince at least say in public that the photo was a fake? The photo garnered much attention when first published. Maxwell cannot credibly claim that the photo was unknown to her.  

Charles Johnson was unknown to me until yesterday. However, a reader sent me the following information about Johnson:
He is in the habit of handing out addresses of people he comes into conflict with and he lies regularly. He likes to create controversy purely for the attention. Sometimes he might get the right info- but he is sloppy and lies.

I first ran across him, while reading about how a journalist had sued to have the sealed records of Michael Brown records. He refused to believe that the prosecutor, who stated that Brown had not been convicted of any crimes, was telling the truth.

Today--He even tweeted a lie today about Cassell-stating that he resigned after one year as a judge. Just not true.
These allegations are certainly disturbing.

One final item: Johnson's original post ends with these words:
Full disclosure: I worked for Alan Dershowitz who I believe has been falsely accused of raping Virginia Roberts.
In response, I wrote:
Frankly, it is starting to look as though Dershowitz persuaded a friend to perform a journalistic "hit" while he (Dershowtiz) himself keeps his hands clean.
Did Johnson see what I wrote? Quite possibly. Check out the new "full disclosure" blurb he offers...
Full disclosure: Alan Dershowitz, who is also falsely accused of raping Virginia Roberts, was an employer of editor-in-chief Charles C. Johnson. As always, Johnson writes under his own capacity and without any involvement of anyone else.
Emphasis added. What was it Shakespeare said about protesting too much?

Given the shoddiness of Johnson's work (as demonstrated above), and given what I know of Dershowitz, I am not necessarily inclined to take this assurance at face value. That is to say: I would not be terribly surprised to discover that Johnson is acting as Dershowitz' agent in this matter. (I am not so stating. I am simply admitting that I would not be surprised.)

Would Dershowitz be willing to state under oath in court that he did not discuss the Epstein matter with Johnson before publication of Johnson's story?

Here's the ironic thing: In an earlier post, I expressed my belief that Alan Dershowitz was probably innocent of the charges leveled by Virginia Roberts. But now...

Added note: Dershowitz claims that he is the innocent victim of an "extortion" conspiracy.  Obviously, there can be no extortion without a demand for money or services. When did this demand occur, Mr. Dershowitz? If there was no such demand, Mr. Dershowitz, do you not stand revealed as a liar?

Also: National Review, of all publications, has pinpointed some fascinating curiosities in Dershowitz' filing. The details in his response do not match the details in the original complaint.
One has to wonder whether Dershowitz mischaracterizes these allegations in order to be able to deny them with such specifics. A more innocent possibility is that he wrote the draft declaration in a hurry and that he simply didn’t pay sufficient attention to Jane Doe #3’s allegations.
But the corrected motion filed three days later contains the same language. So hastiness is not the excuse. Remember, Dershowitz has also said that Virginia Roberts claimed to have sex with Clinton. I have yet to see any evidence that she made any such claim; in fact, she has denied having sex with the former president.
If the photo was a fake, of course 'Prince' Andrew Mountbatten would have called it a fake by now.

Question: have the US criminal authorities investigated the allegations made against him? We are talking about acts of statutory rape allegedly committed on US territory.

Profile of Johnson
Good job Joseph! As b said....the Royals would have made this an issue if it were fake. There is no way in hell The Daily Mail would get away with this. Johnson is in the habit of lying for his agenda, regularly-and hopes that his readers are stupid enough to not see the obvious.
Case in point, he said that The National Enquirer refused to run with a story on Roberts. But- The National Enquirer was not avail online for many years, to verify...if you look up the story now- you see that they claim to have been the first to ID her as Jane Doe #3 and had an interview with her.

He is also extremely shoddy in his work. I am not going to go into too much detail, because that's not my style- but the fact is she is not married to a man with the name he claims-it's another name. She is not born on the date he claims - her birthdate is sitting there in a court record on his site- and he couldn't get that right. He has the info and he still couldn't get it right. If he has a reason to say another date - I don't know, but it's all just wrong. He is notoriously sloppy-as politico points out. It's best to leave him under a rock where he belongs....turn and walk quickly away when you see his name. For all the obvious reasons.

Both Johnson and Dershowitz are in the habit of calling these young girls prostitutes & liars. The irony here is that this was part of the plea deal- sex with a prostitute was in the language instead of sex trafficking or sex slave or what have you. Even in admission of guilt, Epstein and counsel (Dershowitz) put these young victims in their place, to save their face.

It's all sick really. But who is Epstein really...I would really like to know more about his relationship with Hoffenberg and Wexner. I would almost leap to say he is involved in a Ponzi scheme, but that's too easy. It's something else.
The images analyzed are of Andrew's right eye and Virginia's right eye. They are to the left of the viewer, photo/camera left.

The red-eye indicates that it was probably an on camera flash, with the flash very close to the lens. The flash reflection picked up by the camera off the plate glass window pane should be perpendicular to the camera, which puts the camera camera-right to Virginia. But the shadow cast on the window by Virginia's head, indicates that the flash was camera-left to Virginia. Why didn't her arm cast a similar shadow?
Good one. Johnsons protest article smelt like absolute bs.

This comment has been removed by the author.
Cbarr, you may have missed my discussion in the preceding post. The shadow IS a bit odd -- you'll notice that it appears only where there is glass. I think that the only way to understand how it works may be to restage the photo. But, speaking as one who has done some photo manipulation (for commercial purposes), I see no reason why a forger would ADD a shadow where one was not needed.

We've all noticed the red-eye, but that's normal. One British newspaper, apparently for aesthetic reasons, seems to have published a version of the photo with the flash removed and the red-eye fixed. I disagree with that choice, but it still offers no evidence that the original photo was a fake.

None of the above issues have anything to do with my point, which is about pixelization. Johnson's claim about pixel sizes has zero validity if his "expert" did not use the version of the photo with the greatest resolution.

I honestly do not believe that this "expert" exists. Given Johnson's background, I think that we are dealing with what I call hoaxlore.

Oh...and I did catch that bizarre claim about the National Enquirer. Johnson was clearly wrong there.
Joseph, I agree that the pixel size argument shows that Johnson is incompetent and a liar at best. What started me posting here was your labeling the eye enlargements as being left eyes, so I then just continued on with the flash alignment. Sorry to backtrack, but it's here now.

I took a lot of photos of small animals in aquariums and learned to be very aware of the flash-glass-camera relationship. Really, with a small point-and shoot-camera with flash I wouldn't expect to see much of any shadow because the flash is so close to the lens, though some cameras are long in width with the flash to the left. I only mentioned the red-eye as evidence that it was a point-and-shoot with built in flash. Andrew's knuckles even show up in the shadow below the window sill. But the shadow on the window sill doesn't seem to follow the three dimensional shape of the protruding sill.
I have to agree there is something odd about the "shadow" surrounding the viewers right of Roberts'. Where the "shadow" crosses the open window it appears to be a different shade of black, than the open window. A shadow cannot be cast on an open window, so the open window area should be a uniform shade of black.

Is it possible that the "shadow" was added by the original publisher of the photo to "sweeten" the sensational central subject of the photo (Roberts) for the print addition of their paper?

The "shadow" makes Roberts "pop", and seems to masks a specular reflection to the viewers right of Roberts' head.

Well, this *%&$#! post has eaten 6 hours of my life so far today -- so for now I'm saying 'get thee behind me' and walking away.

However, I *did* want to point out that as soon as a supposed expert refers to JPEG artifacts as 'pixels,' or talks about there being multiple sizes of pixels in a single image, you can freely ignore him, as he hasn't the faintest idea what he's talking about.

Anyway, I have about half of an honors thesis written to explain exactly why it is that Johnson is an ass, and some day I may actually finish and post it.

But in case that never happens, I think I've managed to locate the Q Source for the Roberts photo, weighing in at 2197 x 1463 pixels: . This still isn't a camera original, so it should still be considered of questionable provenance.

In fact, even if the photo was taken with a digital camera, there's a good chance the version available online was scanned from hardcopy. Although this is a *much* cleaner version of the photo than any I've seen previously, it still contains a surprising amount of noise. What's more, the noise is abnormally variable -- take a look at Roberts' hair, for instance. While this *might* indicate it's ben edited, I think it's far more likely an artifact of having been scanned from an inkjet print.

maz, I have to go out now, so all I have time to say is...bless you!
Maz...yow. I really DO have to go, but let me just say this: Now that I have had a chance to study the original (or at least the closest thing to a camera original that we are likely to get) I now think I have an explanation for that shadow. I'll go into the details later. But as I suspected, there was cropped out a lot of information to the left of the Prince. Look at the knob attached to the staircase. IT is casting a shadow in the same direction. And obviously, a forger would not have added a shadow there.

Conclusion: Another light source. The fill light created by the flash eradicates the shadow created by that light source. This is the case where the subject is close to the flash, and especially when the subject is colored white. This is not the case in the distance.
I wouldn't make the case that Johnson's claims are Dershowitz's doing.
From what I've read, it sounds as though Johnson is genuinely mentally ill, possible bipolar. He allegedly referred to himself in a Facebook post as "neuroatypical."
This is just my speculation. The larger point is that Johnson is widely known as a fantasist and harasser. He's a rightwing fantasist, sure, but there are a lot of people on the right who are done with him (and probably a lot who secretly love him). Honestly, Johnson's defense of Dershowitz could be looked at as masterful trolling--except I doubt Johnson's ego could see his reputation as damaging. I'm also curious to know what Dershowitz's connection to him actually was.

I'm really grateful you're doing this work, Joseph. I hope you keep focused on Epstein (or -stain, as I've been thinking of him) and whatever evil things he and his enablers did to keep him out of jail for the rest of his life.
Have you read yet that he allegedly boasted of purchasing his main sex slave, a Yugoslavian girl, from her family when she was 14? She took the Fifth under oath.
I used GIMP on the photo Maz dished out. I zoomed 800%, cropped, cut and pasted both eyes into new file. I overlaid a grid and adjusted it down to its finest setting which just so happens to match the pixels in both images dead nuts.
Shadow: I did similar work on that image, and it was clear that the resolution is much finer than on the Johnson example.

Anon (and please try to think of some sort of nick) -- I've been giving thought to this. In another post, Johnson refers to Dershowitz as his friend and adviser, present tense. This wording indicates ongoing communication.

That post is devoted to proving Virginia's alleged criminality. The proof is in the form of a shoplifting arrest when she was still a teen. That's it.

There must, of course, be millions of women who are guilty of having shoplifted as a teen. According to Johnson, one may rape such women with impunity, because any accusation they make should be ignored.

We know that Dershowitz dug deeply into the backgrounds of the women who wouldn't take Epstein's payoffs. I suspect that Johnson was one of the young people that Dershowitz tends to hire to do that kind of scut work.

How ELSE would Johnson happen to have that document?

Dershowitz condemns Virginia as a "serial prostitute" yet considers Epstein a good friend, even though he is a serial rapist of young women -- many of them coming from Eastern Europe. We all know about the thriving "sex slave" trade in that part of the world.

Dershowitz once said that he would send copies of the books he writes to Epstein. Almost no-one else would see the manuscripts. Epstein and Dershowitz were THAT close.

Also, Dershowitz falsely claimed that Norman Finkelstein's mother was a Nazi collaborator. Not true.

Dershowtiz is vile.
Dershowitz is a serial liar. In this case, the lies are so rampant that they become a confusing, convoluted distortion of reality. Dershowitz has a history of lies and deceit. His intellect is not up to legitimate debate. He resorts to slander, lies, and throws the discussion off with a different focus to avoid the subject at hand.
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