From the ABC News:
The Los Angeles Times tracked down the artist of the evocative, unflattering depiction of President Obama as The Joker from The Dark Knight and he may not be whom you pictured.
Firas Alkhateeb, a 20-year-old senior history major at the University of Illinois, took a TIME cover photo of the President and with Adobe's Photoshop software crafted the haunting image. Two days before President Obama's inauguration, Alkhateeb uploaded the photo and put it on his Flickr site.
Someone else downloaded the image, removed the references to TIME, added the word "socialism," and created a poster that has appeared all over the country.
"After Obama was elected, you had all of these people who basically saw him as the second coming of Christ," Alkhateeb told the Times. "From my perspective, there wasn't much substance to him."
Alkhateeb clearly didn't care much for President Obama appointing Rahm Emanuel as his Chief of Staff.
"Emanuel is a fervent anti-Islam voice in Washington," he wrote on his Flickr page. "A Zionist, he takes a hard line stance against the Palestinian cause, and shows a clear anti-Muslim racism. Besides that, he is the embodiment of 'political partisanship' that Obama was supposedly going to change!"
He wrote: "Note: I am neither Democrat nor Republican, Conservative nor Liberal, didn't support Obama or McCain. I just call it like I see it."
Alkhateeb's politics are clearly not that of the conservative Republicans who have embraced the image he created. He told the Times that the "Socialist" label on the posters "doesn't make any sense to me at all. To accuse him of being a socialist is really … immature. First of all, who said being a socialist is evil?"