First a Leak (or Rumor) about Secret Bilateral Peace Talks, Then a Leak about a Drone-Plane Standoff

CNN is reporting that two Iranian jets shot at–but did not hit–a Predator drone flying in what their report says is international airspace (though see Max Fisher and Steve Hynd on the location).

Two Iranian Su-25 fighter jets fired on an unarmed U.S. Air Force Predator drone in the Persian Gulf last week, CNN has learned.

[snip]The drone’s still and video cameras captured the incident showing two SU-25s approaching the Predator and firing its onboard guns.

The Iranian pilots continued to fire shots that went beneath the Predator but were never successful in hitting it, according to the officials.

After a month straight of unauthorized leaks pertaining the Benghazi without a peep in response from anyone in the Administration, DOD’s Press Secretary has already labeled this story an unauthorized leak.

This comes less than 10 days after a report–which both sides dispute–of planned (or potentially started) bilateral discussions between Iran and the US. (Not to mention the stories that Bibi tried to provoke an Iranian attack at some censored time in 2010.)

The warning shots over disputed territory is, of course, a non-story that CNN’s unauthorized leakers are trying to turn into one.

And that, it seems, is the desperation with which some people are trying to prevent peace from breaking out.

Marcy has been blogging full time since 2007. She’s known for her live-blogging of the Scooter Libby trial, her discovery of the number of times Khalid Sheikh Mohammed was waterboarded, and generally for her weedy analysis of document dumps.

Marcy Wheeler is an independent journalist writing about national security and civil liberties. She writes as emptywheel at her eponymous blog, publishes at outlets including the Guardian, Salon, and the Progressive, and appears frequently on television and radio. She is the author of Anatomy of Deceit, a primer on the CIA leak investigation, and liveblogged the Scooter Libby trial.

Marcy has a PhD from the University of Michigan, where she researched the “feuilleton,” a short conversational newspaper form that has proven important in times of heightened censorship. Before and after her time in academics, Marcy provided documentation consulting for corporations in the auto, tech, and energy industries. She lives with her spouse and dog in Grand Rapids, MI.

14 replies
  1. Casual Observer says:

    Next leaked story will be of the shaken little drone, weary from its ordeal but smiling bravely, receiving a medal.

  2. JTMinIA says:

    But please note that the drone will not be wearing his two Hellfire missiles when he receives said medal. And any photos released by Iran that show Hellfires on the drone are evil photochops and must be ignored.

    (Apologies in advance for assuming that drones are all male.)

  3. noble_serf says:

    Leaks like this hurt on the home front.

    Think of that drone’s family! Sheesh media, always giving info to those who would do us harm.

    /snark (in case my friendly neighborhood Farm boy is reading along.)

  4. bigchin says:

    Another priceless paragraph from Glenn Greenwald:

    “First things first: let us pause for a moment to extend our thoughts and prayers to this US drone. Although it was not physically injured, being shot at by the Iranians – while it was doing nothing other than peacefully minding its own business – must have been a very traumatic experience. I think I speak on behalf of everyone, regardless of political views, when I say that we all wish this brave hero a speedy recovery and hope it is back in full health soon, protecting our freedom.”

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/nov/08/cnn-iran-drones-gulf

  5. jerryy says:

    I am sure once this brave little drone is released from its intensive rehap back stateside, it will have no trouble finding a job in some security firm, prowling the skies once again.

  6. joanneleon says:

    Seriously. Go to the link to see the picture.

    A Christmas hat is place on a MQ-9 reaper at the 62nd Expeditionary Reconnaissance Squadron, Dec. 16, 2011. The MQ-1 and MQ-9 were both dressed for a group photo embracing the holiday spirit. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Corey Hook)
    dvidshub

  7. lefty665 says:

    When a drone is shot down does its handler impale him/herself on the joystick, or just hit reset and start a new game?

  8. lefty665 says:

    I’m dreaming of a drone Christmas
    With every Christmas card I write
    Where the corpses glisten, and children listen
    For hellfire missiles from the sky…

  9. DonS says:

    Pre-positioning, people! Talks coming up. Gotta stir the pot a bit. Bibi’s not going to like this, ergo, neither will Congress.

  10. Stu Wilde says:

    The way I understand this story is a day or 2 AFTER the election, a story is leaked about the Iranians firing at a U.S. drone in [supposed] international airspace. The DoD then comes out and says we couldn’t mention this BEFORE the election because it was classified, but now [I suppose] the classification was suddenly changed?

    In this day and age, it nearly impossible to discern fact from fiction — propaganda from the objective news.

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