Thursday, January 10, 2008

that incident

it's really remarkable how the story of the belligerent iranian boats confronting the u.s. in the gulf of hormuz has completely fallen apart. after some pointed out that the threatening voice's accent didn't sound iranian and that there was no ambient noise or wind and waves that one would expect from a transmission from a small boat speeding across the water, the pentagon is now acknowledging that the voice may not have come from the boats at all. the pentagon admits that it separately recorded the audio portion and then edited it together with the video of the iranian boats, making it appear as if the audio was coming from the boats.

then the iranians released their own video which shows a routine exchange between the american and iranian ships. (of course, that video could also be doctored)

and now this article notes even more holes in the pentagon's original story:
-while the pentagon's original announcement described the boats as "visibly armed", "The only boat that was close enough to be visible to the U.S. ships was unarmed, as an enlarged photo of the boat from the navy video clearly shows."

-contrary to the initial reports that the iranian ships threatened the american vessel, vice admiral kevin cosgriff, commander of the 5th fleet, said that he didn't ave any "sense of being afraid of these five boats"

-contrary to the claim that the iranian vessels dropped white packages which the americans feared might have been explosives, the ships did not treat the packages as threatening at the time and "passed by them safely" without bothering to investigate whether they were explosives of some kind.

-vice admiral cosgriff also contradicted the initial report that the americans came close to firing on the iranian boats, admitting that the crew "did not believe they needed to fire warning shots", much less engaging in a direct firefight. cosgriff "specifically denied" that u.s. commanders were in the process of ordering sailors to open fire when the iranian ships turned away, as has been widely reported.
who knows what really happened, but it looks to me like the pentagon is simply retreating from every element of its original account.