Obama to Iran: Please Give Our Assassination Surveillance Drone Back

Sorry, this is absurd.

“We have asked for [our Sentinel drone] back. We’ll see how the Iranians respond,” Obama said during a joint news conference with Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki after the two met at the White House.

We violate Iran’s airspace, almost certainly conducting surveillance to support illegal assassinations, and we have the audacity to ask for our legally-suspect drone back?!?!

What are we going to offer them in exchange? Manssor Arbabsiar and a number of other, more competent spies to be named later? Because doesn’t the request for the drone implicitly suggest assassinations are acceptable and really shouldn’t interfere with polite diplomacy?

Besides, doesn’t this violate trade sanctions on Iran?

23 replies
  1. ApacheTrout says:

    As a former boss once said, “the answer’s always no unless you ask.” Besides, maybe we can find an Iranian Anna Chapman to play red rover red rover with.

  2. rugger9 says:

    Maybe that’s who the Scary Iran Plot star witness is supposed to be. I doubt the Iranians would trade the drone for him, however.

  3. person1597 says:

    Why not double down on a bad bet?

    Of course, to make it really effective they’d have to replace the warhead with rehypothecated derivatives.

    The deleveraging this would cause would be catastrophic. A significant chunk of the shadow banking system (about $10 trillion) is dependent on the liquidity that is created by hypothecation. (The situation is bigger and more problematic in the UK)

    A pratfall in the desert with financial wmd’s?

    That could evoke new meaning to “collateral damage“.

    What could possibly go wrong?

  4. Tom Allen says:

    Shorter al-Maliki presser: “Thanks for your blood, US. Now come get our oil!”

    Shorter Obama presser: “Was Iraq a dumb war? *mumble mumble* They need more US blood, so we can get their oil. But look — Iran!”

    Shorter everyone else: “ORLY??!?”

  5. William Ockham says:

    While it may be absurd, I think this is one of the more interesting things that Obama has done recently. He is publicly admitting that the drone is ours. I know that’s not a news flash to anyone, but in the diplomatic world there is a big difference between “everybody knows” and “head of state has acknowledged”. Also, it’s non-trivial for us to ask the Iranians anything because we don’t have an embassy in Iran. I guess the Swiss must have passed on the request for us.

    Most of all, Obama going public with this is an insult to the Iranians because we are tacitly admitting to an aggressive act and implying that no one is going to do anything about it. If I had to guess, I would say that Obama is trying to goad the Iranians into some sort of rash act. It seems like a reckless thing to do, but, for all his faults, Obama has never seemed reckless. Which leads me to think that there is something else going on that we don’t know about.

  6. jo6pac says:

    @Dusty, hells most vocal bitch:
    Yep sure the Russians and Chinese have taken apart and maybe they’ll give back in a couple of crates like we did with Russian jet fighter 20yrs ago or so.

    Yah WO
    What we don’t know won’t hurt us, that’s worked so well in the pass no reason to change now.

  7. stryx says:

    This really is too much of a coincidence for me.

    MW, this past May

    Now, most observers of this hack have suggested that the hackers–who might work for a state actors or some other sophisticated crime group–were after Lockheed’s war toy information (which partly explains why you’d ask Lockheed’s aerospace competitors if they’d been hacked too).

    RSA gets pwnd this Spring and 6 months later the Iranians are able to bring down a Lockheed Martin “stealth” drone electronically.

    Totally unrelated, I’m sure.

  8. GKJames says:

    I read it as one more case of arrogant pricks mugging for the cameras and stoking the home-team fans. As Obama’s demeanor and comment indicated, the US knows the drone isn’t coming back. Ergo, this was nothing more than juvenile behavior, and confirmation that, in a country of 320 million, there’s not a statesman to be found in high office.

    And speaking of Prime Minister al-Maliki, it takes balls the size of China (mainland, not Taiwan) to invade Iraq, spend a decade rending the social fabric, killing and maiming and terrorizing millions, and then drag the leader of that country to Arlington Cemetery to remind him of the sacrifices that Americans made.

  9. person1597 says:

    Part of a load
    not rightly balanced
    I drop off into grass,
    to fail where I may fall,
    and turn to earth –
    and that is all,
    all that will come to pass.


  10. emptywheel says:

    @GKJames: Yup. As I said on Twitter, if we were really going to do this to someone we should have made him lay a wreath on the VA landfill the Air Force dumped the remains of some of our servicemen and women.

  11. DonS says:

    arrogance . . . exceptionalism . . .

    . . . . it just hurts the brain to contemplate what games these assholes think they’re playing.

  12. Snarki, child of Loki says:

    Hey, we can give them Cheney, Rumsfeld, and a first-round neocon draft pick to be named later. Win-win!

  13. thatvisionthing says:

    @Mary: Thank you Mary.

    We suck. I am so ashamed. Nobody did this to us. We did this to ourselves. And to think I voted for the assassinator in chief, back when he called it hope. I wonder if Michelle is still proud of her country?

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