January 16, 2010 8:12 p.m.

It turns out not only is the FBI good for counter-terrorism, domestic law enforcement and various other stuff. They’re also good at national comic relief.

Remember a few days ago the State Department released a photograph of what Osama bin Laden might look like today, having aged several years since we saw him last? I kind of figured they’d churned it out of some super-expensive, high-tech photo-age-o-matic device we’ve been spending homeland security dollars on.

Well, ‘fraid not.

It turns out the technician who produced the picture did so by combining bin Laden’s features with a photograph of another 52 year old guy he found using Google image search. Said FBI spokesman Ken Hoffman: “The forensic artist was unable to find suitable features among the reference photographs and obtained those features, in part, from a photograph he found on the internet.”

And it gets better.

It wasn’t just any random 52 year old on the web. It was a prominent left-wing Spanish politician named Gaspar Llamazares.

After the FBI’s admission the US Department of State has withdrawn the image.

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