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Bill McCarthy
By Bill McCarthy February 19, 2020

Don’t fall for these altered images of Obama, Clinton and Rice with bin Laden

If Your Time is short

  • Photos showing Obama, Clinton and Rice with Osama bin Laden were altered.

If you’ve come across images purporting to show President Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton or Condoleezza Rice with former al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden, you’re probably not alone. 

These images have been around for years. But they’re photoshopped.

"Have they forgotten these pictures," reads the text over a Jan. 24 Facebook post that splices together three separate photos of Obama, Clinton and Rice, each one manipulated to make it appear as though they were posing with bin Laden.

The post was flagged as part of Facebook’s efforts to combat false news and misinformation on its News Feed. (Read more about our partnership with Facebook.) 

We’ve previously debunked the image showing bin Laden shaking hands with Clinton, the former secretary of state and 2016 Democratic nominee for president. Other fact-checkers have, too.

That image appeared in a 2007 Photoshop contest on and gained traction after a Russian official was duped into talking about it on state TV. The original photo shows Clinton shaking Indian musician Shubhashish Mukherjee’s hand in 2004.

Other fact-checkers have also addressed the image of bin Laden with Rice, the former secretary of state and national security adviser to President George W. Bush. That image appeared in an "April Fool's Day" Photoshop contest on in 2007.

Finally, other fact-checkers have also debunked the third image, which shows Obama wearing a Hawaiian lei and smiling beside a thumbs-up-giving bin Laden. The real photo shows Obama and Hawaii attorney Andre Wooten. 

The photo appears on Wooten’s website and Facebook page and also on the cover of attorney Daphne Barbee-Wooten’s 2010 book, "African-American Attorneys in Hawaii." 

According to Andre Wooten’s Facebook page, the photo was taken in December 2005 when Obama, then a U.S. senator representing Illinois, visited Honolulu. Barbee-Wooten told the Daily Caller’s Check Your Fact that she snapped the original photo.

We rate this Facebook post Pants on Fire!

Our Sources

Facebook post, Jan 24, 2020

Various reverse image searches on Google, TinEye

Check Your Fact, "Fact Check: Did Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama and Condoleezza Rice Pose for Photos with Osama Bin Laden?" Dec. 19, 2019

Check Your Fact, "Fact Check: Did Condoleezza Rice Pose for a Photo with Osama Bin Laden?" April 23, 2019

BBC, "Reality check: Was Hillary Clinton photographed with Osama bin Laden?" Oct. 31, 2017

Snopes, "Condoleezza Rice and Osama Bin Laden," Feb. 19, 2015

Snopes, "Hillary Clinton Meets Osama bin Laden," June 5, 2015

"African American Attorneys In Hawaii" on Google Books, accessed Feb. 19, 2020

Website for attorneys Andre and Daphne Wooten, accessed Feb. 19, 2020

Andre Wooten on Facebook, March 10, 2009

Andre Wooten on LinkedIn, accessed Feb. 19, 2020, "April Fools day," April 1, 2007, "HIllary Clinton for president?" Jan. 23, 2007, "Asia in Washington,", May 20, 2004

PolitiFact, "This image of Hillary Clinton and Osama bin Laden is doctored," Nov. 5, 2019

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Don’t fall for these altered images of Obama, Clinton and Rice with bin Laden

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