DeWine used altered 9/11 images

In one of his campaign ads, GOP Senator Mike DeWine of Ohio uses altered images of the World Trade Center burning after the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

Reports Bret Schulte in U.S. News & World Report:

The controversial video of the burning World Trade Center towers in a television campaign ad for Ohio Sen. Mike DeWine is doctored, U.S. News has learned. The television spot, which has been lambasted by critics as a political exploitation of the Sept. 11, attacks Democrat challenger Rep. Sherrod Brown for being weak on national security.

On the air in major Ohio markets since last Friday, the ad shows the towers, with the south building billowing smoke, which gradually drifts upward. In the video, the north tower, which was struck first on September 11, is undamaged.

"This particular image is impossible," says W. Gene Corley, a stuctural engineer who led FEMA’s building performance study on the World Trade Center after the 9/11 attacks. Corley reviewed the ad for U.S. News. "The north tower was hit first [so] the south tower could not be burning without the North Tower burning." Corley also says, "the smoke is all wrong." The day of the attacks, the plumes of ash were drifting to the southeast. "The smoke on 9/11 was never in a halo like that," Corley says.

DeWine’s office acknowledged the error. "The Senator was unaware that the image of the towers was a graphic representation and has instructed the campaign to replace the footage with a picture of the Twin Towers," his office said in a statement on Wednesday evening.

DeWine spokesman Brian Seitchik says the image of the burning towers in the ad is a still photo with computer-generated smoke added.

In a sign of how politically charged the issue of politicizing the Sept. 11 attacks has become, DeWine’s camp promised a newly edited version would be produced immediately and released as early as Thursday.

Last week, DeWine joined fellow Republicans in castigating Democrats for running a television ad showing images of flag draped coffins of American solidiers coming home from Iraq.