Are We Faking It Again?

That’s what the Iranians say. They say the US took video and superimposed audio to it with the menacing threat, "I am coming to you. You will explode after a few minutes," but that the threat (and the claimed throwing of small boxes in front of the US Navy ships) didn’t happen.

Iran’s Revolutionary Guard accused the United States on Wednesday of fabricating video showing armed Iranian speedboats confronting United States Navy warships in the Persian Gulf over the weekend, according to a report carried by the semi-official Fars news agency as well as state-run television.

“Images released by the U.S. Department of Defense about the navy vessels, the archive, and sounds on it are fabricated,” an unnamed Revolutionary Guard official said, according to Fars. The news agency has close links to the Revolutionary Guard. It was the first time Iran had commented on a video the Pentagon released Tuesday.

The US, for its part, admits that it matched the audio to the video, but claims that both are authentic.

The video and audio were recorded separately and then matched, Naval and Pentagon officials said Tuesday.

Now, frankly, I’m not surprised the Iranians were playing chicken with the US Navy. With all the war-mongering Dick has been doing, you’d have to imagine they’d be testing our defenses in the Straits of Hormuz. And maybe the Iranians even radioed something to the US–though the audio here sounds more like some frat boys playing with helium than a real threat. 

But what I want to know is why–authentic or not–the military released video that looks so fake? Particularly when you watch both the YouTube and the DefenseLink version, which blacks out at the end when they play the claimed threat. And with the guy on the radio repeating the threat–somehow he can understand what helium-man says right away, with no "huh" or "what"–and no continuation of the tape to hear what came next.

See, whether or not the video is authentic, I just don’t think it particularly helps the US make the case that the Iranians threatened the US. Better to leave the video alone with the bright blue boat playing along in the ships’ wake and the horns blaring than to have something as farcical sounding as helium-man issuing odd threats. We already have damaged our credibility on these issues–and particularly on Iran. We don’t need helium-man to damage it further. 

83 replies
  1. snowgeek says:

    Seems fishy…
    Coincidentally, seen the report yesterday re: recently released NSA signal intercepts showing that the second attack in the Gulf of Tonkin (1964, vietnam…) never happened…?

    • JamesJoyce says:

      “In August of 1964, United States President Lyndon B. Johnson made a false claim that North Vietnamese forces had twice attacked American destroyers in the Gulf of Tonkin.[1] Although there was a first attack, allegedly in response to U.S. equipped and orchestrated South Vietnam’s commando raids on the coast, claims of a second attack were later proven to be unfounded.[2] Known today as the Gulf of Tonkin Incident, this led to the open involvement of the United States in the Vietnam War, with the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution.”

      Do these *sshole think Americans are still stupid?????

  2. JamesJoyce says:

    History repeats, the ghost of LBJ and the escalation to War, just like the Gulf of Tonkin in 64′………………………

  3. emptywheel says:

    Yeah, but at least with the Gulf of Tonkin, we didn’t release video that inclined everyone to believe that it was fake. It kind of ruins the point of it all.

  4. bmaz says:

    You have got to be fucking kidding me. That looks like a couple of guys in speed/ski boats getting some jollies wake jumping and dancing. I used to do the same thing behind tour boats on Lake Powell all the time; its fun and scares the bejeebies out of your dates. That is the lamest thing I have ever seen….

    • JamesJoyce says:

      Mr. “H” runners!!!! Like the cigar boats outrunning the coast guard in past years with the cocaine motherloads!!!

    • emptywheel says:

      Nah, I expect the speedboats are real, and have a real military purpose. The war-gaming we did before the Iraq war showed that if a force launched a bunch of attacks with precisely this kind of speedboat they could do serious damage, not to mention clog up any kind of ship traffic in teh straits. The Iranians know this, and at the very least are going to keep buzzing us to keep us thining about that. But I would imagine they’re also testing our responses so that if they decide to have some fun with speedboats when and if the time comes, they know what to expect.

      So the threat of the boats–or at least the annoyance caused by them–is a real military issue. But it’s a hell of a lot less menacing than the US scheduling war games in the Straits, as we have done.

      • bmaz says:

        Nah, I expect the speedboats are real, and have a real military purpose

        Well, if you say so…. The whole gig, from the boats, to the video, to how far away they are,,TO BORAT; it just kinda cracks me up. Those better be some super hi-tech James Bond SeaRays stolen from Q’s laboratory or something though….

        • ProfessorFoland says:

          The USS Cole was dispatched by a rubber dinghy packed with explosives. As EW points out, the Millenium Challenge 2002 simulations showed that these are precisely the sorts of tactics that could bring the US Navy to a standstill in the Gulf.

          A speedboat could close 200 yards in a matter of 8-25 seconds depending primarily on the speed of the destroyer.

          In the whole incident, what I was most surprised by, was that I would have guessed that the lifetime of speedboats closing to 200 yards could be measured in milliseconds.

          • bmaz says:

            The Cole was idly moored up in a civilian harbor, being refueled, with little attention being paid. These boats are underway and, given their location, undoubtedly on battle alert or whatever. And I didn’t see any of the Bekins Box Bomb dumping either. If that was any kind of threat whatsoever to our ships, then they ought to get them out of the Hormuz canal. It is what it is; but it sure doesn’t look too serious to me. I fully admit I am no Navy man though, so what do I know? Really, I am trying to keep serious here. Its hard work I tell ya, hard work….

            • ProfessorFoland says:

              Umm, I think you just made my point: if the Cole had been on the sort of battle alert that these ships are, that little ruber dinghy would never have gotten close because they would have opened fire.

              JimWhite–the risk is that they are suicide bombers, not bomb-droppers. With multiple boats, depending on what your tactics are, I guess I could imagine an argument for any of the front, back, or side.

              Do we have any law-of-the-sea lawyers out there? Because I’m curious who’s in the right if the US Navy opens fire in this case. It’s not obvious to me (though maybe it should be?)

              And just to make life interesting: if I were Iran, and had decided I did in fact want to sink a US Navy ship this way, might I send a first wave of boats unloaded with anything to get shot in precisely such a provocative incident? In the hopes of provoking a more gun-shy set of Rules of Engagement in the ensuing uproar.

              • bmaz says:

                Oh, my apologies. I thought you were saying the ships in the Hormuz were is some danger.

                “the risk is that they are suicide bombers, not bomb-droppers” But that is what Gen. Von Ripper McHale’s Navy is telling us they were concerned about.

                I don’t know any chicken law of the sea attorneys; maybe we can ring up ‘ole Capn. Jack Goldsmith…

  5. bobschacht says:

    I think this admin is trolling the waters, looking for something that gains some traction.

    I think the U.S. is baiting Iran more than Iran baiting the U.S. Our ships are placed more provocatively than theirs. It is, after all, their neighborhood.

    This all reminds me a bit of another old imperialist tactic. Remember “manifest destiny”? In “settling the West,” we allowed, even encouraged, traders, hunters, miners and farmers to invade Native American lands (Hey, it looked like vacant land to us), settle, and do their thing, and when Indians fought back to reclaim their land and resources, why those resource extractors called in the cavalry!

    So now that our oilmen are in Iraq, they also want to “settle” across the border in Iran. . . .

    Bob in HI

    • JamesJoyce says:

      “Dancing with Wolves”….. like when Costner comes to the top of the bluff and sees the thousands of dead Buffalo slaughtered just to take the Indians food supply away and starve them out. General Custard, Manifest Destiny and the Devil are one in the same. The Nazis claimed maifest destiny to!

  6. bmaz says:

    If Bush would just let up on the sanctions crap, they could import and buy proper JetSkis like the rest of the cool kids have……

  7. Leen says:

    Justin Raimando’s latest on this issue

    anuary 9, 2008
    ‘A Heartbeat Away’ From War
    With Iran and Pakistan
    by Justin Raimondo

    As the American people amuse themselves with the illusion that they have any say in the way they are presently governed, our rulers are moving toward war. Two recent incidents underscore the imminence of this prospect.

    The Iranian “provocation” in the straits of Hormuz has set the stage for a new “crisis” manufactured wholly by the War Party, the rationale for which is uncritically accepted by our passive “mainstream” media. We are expected to believe that five minuscule speedboats “menaced” the USS Hopper, a destroyer armed with missiles; the cruiser USS Port Royal; and the USS Ingraham, a frigate. That’s rather like five gnats “menacing” a trio of elephants. Oh, but that’s not all. In addition to intercepting the American flotilla, CNN reports the Iranians supposedly issued explicit threats:

    With the two war candidates winning in New Hampshire, I am deeply concerned about the welfare of the Iranian people and the American soldiers serving in Iraq. Hillary and her yes vote on the Kyl Lieberman amendment, McCains “bomb Bomb Bomb Iran” response delivered with such disregard and amusement.

    It was five months between the 2002 war resolution and the invasion of Iraq. The cakewalk crazies still have time to implement their Iran Plans and if Hillary or McCain got in they would have another four years to implement those PNAC plans

  8. phred says:

    “Credibility? We don’t need no stinkin’ credibility.”

    Honestly, EW your notions of what this administration needs could be described as “quaint”. ; )

  9. Leen says:

    Humor helps a bit, but the potential disaster is terrifying.

    “And maybe the Iranians even radioed something to the US–though the audio here sounds more like some frat boys playing with helium than a real threat.”

    But the warmongering psychopaths..Cheney, Feith, Bolton, Lieberman, Woolsey, Wurmsers, Micheal Ledeen etc etc mean bloody fucking business.

    They could care less that over a million Iraqi people have died and that there are 4 million Iraqi refugees as a direct result of our invasion. All in 7 years of work for these crazies.

  10. phred says:

    Ok, so what really bugs me about all this is why fuck do we spend so much of our treasury building the damn Navy if a handful of speed boats that you or I could buy at our local Boats ‘R Us show room pose a credible threat to said bazillion dollar Navy ships? Perhaps it’s time we made the DoD buy retail goods.

    • BillE says:

      The PNAC crowd are going to bomb us with propoganda to associate this event with something like the bombing of the USS Cole. That was a ship docked in a underguarded port. In open seas, no chance of a bomb ladden motorboat getting to any of these navy ships. Let the conflation begin.

    • bobschacht says:

      Ok, so what really bugs me about all this is why fuck do we spend so much of our treasury building the damn Navy if a handful of speed boats that you or I could buy at our local Boats ‘R Us show room pose a credible threat to said bazillion dollar Navy ships? Perhaps it’s time we made the DoD buy retail goods.

      You & Donny Rumsfeld. One of the delicious ironies here is the thought that the Iranians have been reading Rummy’s playbook, and are now using it against us.

      Bob in HI

      • phred says:

        Damn, that’s the second time I’ve been compared to Rummy. Harumphh.

        Although my comment was intended to be somewhat tongue-in-cheek, I agree with EW that in fact speed boats can be used against our ships (as BillE points out in reference to the Cole). But that kinda begs the question of whether we should change the configuration of the fleet to address different types of attacks.

        But that is still somewhat beside the point. DoD is using this video to demonstrate to the world that the Iranians were trying to pick a fight. Visually, this message is not conveyed. On the contrary, the message that is conveyed is that any half-wit with a trailer hitch and a dock can launch an attack against the U.S. Navy.

        BushCo is such a dismal failure that they can’t even cobble together a 3 minute piece of video propaganda. Truly, they take incompetence to a whole new level.

  11. CasualObserver says:

    Let me see here. The Iranians were bouncing around in the waves in MOTORBOATS. You know, like you pull water-skiers with.

    And these motorboats are threatening a US flotilla, composed of a guided missile Cruiser, a Destroyer, and a Frigate?

  12. oldtree says:

    no voices by the sailor using a consumer video camera, only wind noise. no sound except wind noise, you can see the boats staying away from the the ship. all wind noise
    then it cuts to a still image of a ship, and a radio voice by the english speaking voice, and a radio or megaphone voice, (frequency distortion) and you hear no wind noise whatsoever?
    You can’t hide wind noise in a speedboat real easily, and the voice on a microphone would be half wind.

    this is a bad edit by a kindergarden standard. pure hoax. the condition of the water and sky are clearly different in the two videos as well, if it weren’t all ready obvious

  13. bobschacht says:

    Just found this:

    Secret government is dangerous government. Government must be accountable to its citizenry. But how is light shed on government activities for public monitoring? That is where the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) comes into play.

    The FOIA was enacted in 1966 so that the American public could gain access to government information to monitor the service of elected and appointed federal officials. The FOIA was amended in the 1970s with sharper teeth in the wake of the Watergate scandal. Much later, in the mid-1990s, the statute was further revised to allow for the discovery of government information in electronic form.

    There has been a perception that the current administration in practice has diluted the timing and quality of provision of information under the statute.

    Those days appear to be coming to an end, as the House of Representatives recently passed a bill referred to as the Open Government Act of 2007 that passed the Senate just days earlier. Perhaps seeing the ultimate writing on the wall, President Bush signed the act into law on December 31.

    As noted in the findings supporting the act, the FOIA originally was signed into law because “our constitutional democracy, our system of self-government, and our commitment to popular sovereignty depends on the consent of the governed,” and that such consent “is not meaningful unless it is informed consent.”

    The rest of the article may be found here.
    The original article contains some embedded links to sources.
    Anyone have more info about this?

    Bob in HI

  14. LS says:

    I am coming tew yew. Yew will expleuoood after a few minutes.

    Fechez la vache, I pleuk my neuz in your generral dirrection….


  15. BayStateLibrul says:

    The video and audio was sent to the White House’s fact checker and
    she ok’ed it. End of story

  16. nomolos says:

    How can one believe anything coming out of this administration. It seems to me that they are determined to (1) Create a confrontation with Iran and (2) try to stop elections in this country or (3) ensure a Hillary victory to carry on the family business.

    The bush1/clinton1/bush2/clinton2 succession would appear all they will settle for. This will ensure that the bush/clinton treasure trove of illegal activities would be kept from the prying eye of the public.

    Keeryst they have bloody satellites hanging over the gulf of hormuz 24 hours a day. I they really have “proof” that these boats from Iran were threatening they would show it.

  17. merkwurdiglieber says:

    Dubious soul that I am, I know we’re just faking it. The voice tapes
    from the Tonkin incidents are missing from the archives for probably
    the same reason. Plus ca change.

  18. IndianGiver says:

    This is absolutely HI-LA-RIOUS as Old Perot used to say. That it is a fake audio is beyond question – that it is as poorly faked as it is, is what makes it so damn funny – definately a Borat whanabee. And funnier still is to imagine that after the US Cole incident, and given that our fair Government has pretty much blanketed the entire coutry with surveillance cameras, our Naval fleet, rather than being equiped with sophisticated camera equipment that takes high resolution video from every conceivable angle of approach, etc., allows our poor sailors are to rely on shaky cell phone cameras to document the pernicious “attacks” to which they are subjected in the Gulf of Hormous (or is is Hummous) – HI-LA-RI-OUS!!

  19. emptywheel says:

    Here’s why the US has reason to fear speed-boats buzzing their ships:

    Lt. Gen. Van Riper commanded the “Red Team”–the Iraqis of this simulation-–against the “Blue Team,” U.S. forces; and, unfortunately for Rumsfeld, he promptly stepped out of the script. Knowing that sometimes the only effective response to high-tech warfare was the lowest tech warfare imaginable, he employed some of the very techniques the Iraqi insurgency would begin to use all-too-successfully a year or two later.

    Such simple devices as, according to the Army Times, using “motorcycle messengers to transmit orders, negating Blue’s high-tech eavesdropping capabilities,” and “issuing attack orders via the morning call to prayer broadcast from the minarets of his country’s mosques.” In the process, Van Riper trumped the techies.

    “At one point in the game,” as Fred Kaplan of Slate wrote in March 2003, “when Blue’s fleet entered the Persian Gulf, he sank some of the ships with suicide-bombers in speed boats. (At that point, the managers stopped the game, ‘refloated’ the Blue fleet, and resumed play.)” After three or four days, with the Blue Team in obvious disarray, the game was halted and the rules rescripted. In a quiet protest, Van Riper stepped down as enemy commander.

    The Iranians, if they are as close to Hezbollah as everyone claims, are already masters of this kind of insurgent warfare. And the Straits are the achilles heel (one of them, anyway) of the entire oil industry, to say nothing of our little empire in Iraq. If war breaks out, the first thing the Iranians will try to do is to plug up the straits to prevent any ships from getting in (war ships) or out (oil).

    • phred says:

      Exactly, which is why massive war ships may not be the most appropriate choice for the current threat. Perhaps the Navy should consider speed boat equivalents to a carrier group. If you can load up a bunch of planes and schlep them around the planet on ships, you can certainly do the same with speed boats that can be deployed wherever they may be needed in large enough numbers to deter a handful of enemy speed boats.

      It just seems like we are once again witnessing a group of people so wedded to technologies and tactics that were successful in the past that they can’t truly envision alternatives for evolving threats. If terrorists are the scariest kids on the block, then we should not be relying on a fleet that is designed to engage large scale fleets deployed against ours by hostile governments.

      It’s a pity Van Riper resigned. Sounds like he had a lot of useful things to teach his hide-bound colleagues. Or maybe Rummy only wanted to solve problems that required expensive high tech solutions to keep his industrial contractors happy, rather than applying smart low-tech low-cost solutions where applicable.

  20. bmaz says:

    You have got to admit, it is a little odd to have an Admiral leading the ground troops and a General running tactical ops for the fleet. Has any other “wartime president” used this “Strategy for Success”?

  21. JimWhite says:

    Uhm, if these boats were actually posing a risk of dumping a bomb that the ships would run into, shouldn’t they be in front of the ships? Every one on the speedboats in the video is well behind the closest ship and never crosses over the immediate path of a US ship. This is completely overblown by the US.

  22. MarkC says:

    Okay, even if this is legit, it is clearly a Jack D. Ripper trying to start something. Bush’s rhetorical escalation gives the extremist just what he wants. Where have I heard this story before?

  23. bmaz says:

    Since I clearly have a pre-9/11 naval mindset, I am going to try to banish myself from this thread. This Administration craps in their pants over everything; next time I guess we better blow the Bayliner Brigade into tiny little bits. Danger Will Robinson Danger!

    • phred says:

      Oh please don’t go bmaz, between your comments and “Fetchez la vache”, I’ve been chuckling all afternoon. That footage is a joke. There may well be a credible threat posed by speed boats, but that little episode was not it.

  24. SeamusD says:

    The real problem with the Iranian Navy is not suicide bombs, it is small patrol boats armed with anti-ship missiles. They have a very deadly, Russian made supersonic anti-ship missile called the Sunburn. The US Navy has virtually no defense against a Mach 2 missile with a 100 mile range and violent maneuver capability specifically designed to be used against it, especially in the confined waters of the Persian Gulf. More here

    • bmaz says:

      I’ll grant that one; but they sure as hell are not going to launch a Sunburn Cruise Missle from one of these Bayliners. The Skipper and al Gilligan may get a sunburn if they don’t wear caps, but that is as close as they are getting.

      • SeamusD says:

        No, but they are very effective at causing confusion. Those missiles don’t have to be ship launched, in the Persian Gulf they will probably be in camouflaged sites on land as well.

    • phred says:

      Again, this begs the question of why we spend such an enormous part of our GDP on an ill equipped and ill prepared Navy. It’s not like Iran and the Middle East are presenting a new unanticipated problem. We are hemorrhaging money into DoD and for what? So a handful of little speed boats can take out our Navy? I’m not sure what drugs they’ve got next to the coffee pots in the Pentagon, but I want to get me some.

      Either those little boats weren’t a real problem (ding ding ding!) or they were and your Sunburn makes it worse, in which case we should have been retooling the Navy since 9/11. Oddly enough, both of these choices appear to be correct. So why haven’t we gone with the second option? Oh I know, it’s because BushCo is comprised of a bunch of ignorant hacks, some of whom aren’t qualified to “run a lunch counter”, much less the camera in a cell phone, or a very large and complicated Department of Defense.

  25. JohnJ says:

    I like the idea of retooling our navy to match these low tech threats. I am sure some gooper partner could make up a fleet of rubber inflatable assault boats for $1.2 – $3.6 BILLION each. Then everybody wins!

  26. veblen says:

    I’ve been writing about this issue at my blog Left of Centre since Monday. Here is a bit that I hope you might find interesting. Following Admiral Cardiff’s account of the events in the Strait of Hormuz I wrote:

    That sure does make it sound like the Iranians were trying to provoke a reaction from the US in the Strait of Hormuz.

    On the other hand, last month here’s what the Admiral had to say about the Iranians and the Strait of Hormuz.

    U.S. Naval Central Command, headquartered in Bahrain, has pledged to keep the international waterway open at all costs, regularly moving aircraft carrier strike groups in and out of the Gulf and drilling on Iran’s doorstep.

    In December, Vice Admiral Kevin Cosgriff, head of U.S. Naval Forces Central Command, called Iran’s gesturing on the strait irresponsible and intimidating.

    “I wake up thinking about Iran, I go to bed thinking about Iran,” he said

    Now that sounds provocative, as well. Particularly since most people don’t take Iran’s braggadocio about closing the Strait very seriously.

    …[A]nalysts say the probability of Iran attempting to block the strait is low — even the U.S. military says there is a slim chance of it happening.

    “Iran is by far the most dependent for exports of its hydrocarbons through the strait. So there is a striking illogic in this,” said Richard Schofield, an expert in international boundaries at King’s College in London.

    In case you are missing the point, let me spell it out for you: The US responds to a low probability event with bellicose rhetoric and aggressive action, which, in and of itself, has a high probability of triggering a confrontation which could provide the causi belli which the Cheneyites are looking for to attack Iran. That sounds like a plan to me.

    Fortunately, Sunday’s event didn’t cross the line which would have triggered an armed response, but it has been put to use as fodder for agitprop by the Bush administration. The next time we may not be so luck and Cheney may get the war he’s looking for.

    The post ends with a picture of Admiral Cardiff briefing Cheney last May during the latter’s visit to the Middle East.

  27. Spincitysd says:

    Those little boats could have been a problem. Loaded with explosives or with shoulder-fired missiles they could have done some major damage to the ships. That is why the US ships were ready to blast them out of the water.

    The USN is not entirely without resources they do have smaller quicker ships and some very fast and nasty boats. It is hard to know what the exact “force package” those ships were riding with so we can only guess what evil lurked in the heart of the Senior Officer who was commanding.

    I hate to break it to all you CTs out there but ship-to-ship radio communications really, really stink. It is not unusual for transmission to be unnaturally high, to be garbled, and to sound like they are being filtered through a bathtub. Ship-to-ship radios are not exactly audiophile equipment. Best guess is the Iranians were broadcasting on the very cluttered channel used for routine shipping chatter- Big Grey is always listening in so as not to go bump in the night with the Merchant Seamen.

    It looks like the Iranians got a little frisky trying to test Big Grey’s defense tactics. The test became a bit too close for the USN’s comfort and they were just about to slice, dice, and make Julian fries out of the Iranians when the Revolutionary Guardsmen decided that discretion was the better part of valor and broke off.

    The question is :are those speedboats really Iranian? If so why were they playing a game of chicken with Big Grey? Did the USN do something to irritate the Iranians? (maybe a little provocation with our SEAL teams?) Or maybe the Rev Guards were just showing what a Pain in the a** they could be.

    While the mixing of sound and video for public release was a bad move on the Pentagon’s part; it is much more likely a typical bureaucratic screw-up than anything nefarious. The military really doesn’t have the time to be faking videos gentle reader they have got an occupation that is totally going down the crapper in Iraq and a war in Afghanistan that isn’t going too swimmingly either. They have a full plate guys and gals.

    Look if Bush-Cheney and crew really wanted to use this as an excuse for war, the Tomahawks would already be flying and those speedboats would be flotsam and jetsam by now. The real danger is that Cheney can now start pushing for his jolly little war again with the excuse of keeping the shipping lanes clear as his justification. Hopefully cooler heads will prevail- but with Bush one never knows.

    • bmaz says:

      So the Iranians paint their super stealth rocket attack skiffs bright blue before they man em up with a dude in a may west life jacket in each bucket seat? Are you sure you want to roll with the story that these Bayliners were some kind of lethal threat? I was born at night, but not last night…..

  28. JohnJ says:

    Could’a ain’t good enough. The first burden of proof is that these boats have ANYTHING to do with the Iranian government. Don’t some Iranians that are not part of their government own small fast little boats? Are these idiots going to try to go to war because some private citizens went out joy riding on a boat? Aren’t these international waters? I would take any of this fatal analysis seriously if anyone could point to the slightest indication that this was some kind of official action.

    By the same logic any car next to you on the highway could conceivably blow you up. That’s not a very good reason to start a war because someone could do something.

    Geeze, I know a hell of a lot of Floridians that would’ve started WWIII by now with their antics if thats a threshold for war. In Florida waters they think you’re up to something if you’re NOT doing something stupid.

    “BREAKING FAUX SPEWS…..drunken Florida sailboat captain starts war with Bermuda in spite of female passengers removing tops to show they are unarmed….Chimpy and Darth nuke Iran in retaliation.”

    • ProfessorFoland says:

      The first burden of proof is that these boats have ANYTHING to do with the Iranian government. Don’t some Iranians that are not part of their government own small fast little boats? Are these idiots going to try to go to war because some private citizens went out joy riding on a boat? Aren’t these international waters? I would take any of this fatal analysis seriously if anyone could point to the slightest indication that this was some kind of official action.

      Would confirmation from the Iranian Foreign Ministry suffice?

      BTW JimWhite you were right, I was wrong–there was in fact reference to them dropping boxes in front of the ships.

      bmaz–I hope it is clear I’m not trying to sell “OMG the Izlamofashists are in ur Gulf explodin ur navi!!!”, but I can totally see how a US Navy commander in that situation would be ready to give the order to open fire. That said, I just now got to a computer where I could view the video, and the video is a lot less threatening that the written descriptions I’ve read. Although I wouldn’t leap to say it’s faked, it certainly is underwhelming.

      • bmaz says:

        Heh. Yes, I found the video a tad underwhelming myself. Seriously, I too can totally see how a US Navy commander in that situation would be ready to give the order to open fire. My point is simply that if the boats were any threat whatsoever, all the commander has to do is, you know, give the order to open fire. It is hard to see much reason to contemplate that from the video though. Anybody out there related to a bosun’s mate or something on the USS Hopper, USS Port Royal; or USS Ingraham? I would like to hear what a regular sailor has to say about this incident.

  29. bmaz says:

    If I wasn’t convinced Jane would whack us for crossing the WGA picket line, I would say we should submit this Administration ruse to Comedy Central. Stewart and Colbert need material you know….

  30. CasualObserver says:

    Clearly, we have a motorboat gap, admiral. Why, our massive navy is totally unequipped to deal with this new, serious, and deadly Iranian threat. We must have motorboats. And more. We need shrimpboats, houseboats, and boston whalers.

    This agression against our helpless naval vessels can not stand.

    • bmaz says:

      The hits just keep coming on this matter. How can Bush veto the defense bill and leave our naval troops vulnerable to this motorboat gap? These Hydro-terrists want to take our freedums.

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