Being skeptical by nature, principle, and habit, we don’t look for conspiracy theories, much preferring the “cock-up theory” of history and politics.
But when it comes to what happened last January to two US boats and their crews in the Persian Gulf – their capture by the Iranian enemy – our suspicions are aroused by a very strong smell of rat.
Ari Lieberman sums up what is known and unknown about the episode, writing at Front Page:
On January 12, at approximately 9:23 a.m., a pair American navy riverine command boats or RCBs, set sail south from Kuwait to Bahrain, headquarters of the U.S. 5 Fleet.
At 2:10 p.m., the navy received a report that the RCBs had been intercepted by the Iranians. At 2:45 p.m., the military reported that all communication with the RCB flotilla was severed.
At 6:15 p.m., the U.S. Navy cruiser USS Anzio received a communication from the Iranians that the sailors were being detained. Coincidentally, their detention coincided with Obama’s scheduled State of the Union Address, which predictably, made absolutely no mention of the event.
The Pentagon claimed that the RCBs strayed into Iranian territorial waters as a result of a “navigation error” and thereafter, one of the RCBs experienced engine trouble. They were then greeted by a pair of Iranian speed boats. Photos and video of the incident released by the Iranians show that the Iranian boats were armed with nothing more than forward-mounted Russian 14.5mm DShK machine guns of Korean War vintage.
At gunpoint, the Iranians transferred the boats and their crew to Farsi Island where they maintain a military base.
The boats and crew members were released some 16 hours later. … The Iranians thoroughly inspected the RCBs. Two satellite phone sim cards were stolen by the Iranians and the Pentagon has not divulged what, if any, information they contained.
The groveling John Kerry thanked his Iranian counterpart profusely for releasing the illegally detained sailors.
Aside from these bare facts, the Pentagon has not released any new information concerning the embarrassing incident, a humiliation unparalleled in modern U. S. naval history. …
Troubling questions remain unanswered.
First, how did an experienced naval crew, equipped with sophisticated navigational equipment and traveling a well-charted, straight forward path, encounter a “navigational error” that led them into the territorial waters of an extremely hostile entity? In the absence of additional information, the Pentagon’s explanation makes absolutely no sense. There has been speculation that the Iranians employed a device that spoofed or tricked the RCB’s on-board GPS devices with fake signals, leading the sailors into believing that they were on a correct course when they had in fact, substantially deviated. If the Iranians had in fact employed such a device, it would not have been the first time. In 2011, they reportedly misdirected a U.S. drone operating in Afghanistan by hacking into its GPS. The drone and all of its technology fell into Iranian hands relatively intact. The Pentagon has not issued any comment on this theory and notably, has not issued any denial of this troublesome scenario.
Second, and even more troubling, is how did 10 American sailors surrender their heavily armed and armored RCBs to a vastly inferior Iranian force without firing a single shot?
Why weren’t readily available military assets immediately deployed and dispatched after the military was notified of the hostile encounter?
Who gave the commander the order to surrender and was the decision to surrender influenced by political considerations, notably Obama’s State of the Union Address?
While the Pentagon continues to remain mute on these and other crucial issues surrounding the seizure of the RCBs, the Iranians have been extremely talkative, missing no opportunity to humiliate the “Great Satan”.
The list of outrages includes the following:
The sailors were forced to kneel at gunpoint with their hands interlocked behind their heads. The display was videotaped.
The commander was forced to apologize and acknowledge his “navigational error” and the graciousness of his Iranian captors on Iranian TV.
The Iranians re-enacted the surrender spectacle during one of their annual “Death to America” demonstrations.
The sailors were subjected to rather intense interrogation. Iranian TV aired footage purporting to show an American sailor crying. A female sailor endured further humiliation and was forced into Sharia compliance by being made to wear a head covering.
Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, publicly issued the Iranians responsible for capturing the RCB sailors with “medals of conquest”.
Approximately two weeks after the sailors were freed, Iran released footage of one its drones shadowing the U.S. aircraft carrier Harry S. Truman … on the very day the sailors were captured. A U.S. Navy spokesman called the flyover “abnormal and unprofessional”.
As noted, two satellite phone sim cards, likely containing classified information, were stolen by the Iranians. In mid-March, naval commander Gen. Ali Razmjou of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards announced that Iran had retrieved thousands of pages of information from laptops, GPS devices and maps used by U.S. Navy sailors.
It is likely that we have not heard the last from the Iranians on this humiliating saga. In fact, Razmjou said that the IRG will publish a book about the incident.
The Iranian bombast stands in marked contrast to the Pentagon’s almost docile stance. The reasons for the Pentagon’s silence are not hard to fathom. Something happened in the Arabian Gulf on January 12 that if revealed, would likely cause considerable embarrassment to the Obama administration. …
Obama will continue to order the Pentagon to obfuscate and remain silent on the circumstances surrounding the seizure of U.S. personnel in the Arabian Gulf, because it will likely embarrass the administration and add to further congressional calls to toughen sanctions against the Islamic Republic.
The order to the “experienced naval crew” to “surrender their heavily armed and armored RCBs to a vastly inferior Iranian force without firing a single shot”, MUST have come down the line from the highest authority.
We have frequently argued that Obama wants Iran to become a nuclear armed power, which is why he went to such great lengths, making every possible concession, to get his dubious “deal” agreed with the Iranian regime. Furthermore, Obama has shown consistently that he loves Islam, holding it in far higher esteem than the country he was so improbably elected to lead.
Looked at in the light of those suppositions, the incident of the captured RCBs can be seen as highly congenial to Obama’s agenda. So did Obama have anything personally to do with its occurrence?
Even if the story of the Iranian trick is true – their amazingly expert use of some technological marvel, the modern equivalent of the Sirens who lured Odysseus into their clutches – it does not explain why nothing was done immediately to recover the boats and the crews. Nothing, that is, other than Secretary of State John Kerry getting down on his knees and begging the Ayatollahs to return them. Which he did – though the groveling was called “diplomacy”, for the “success” of which Kerry expressed personal pride.
So how was it done? Why was it done? Was there a secret agreement between the White House and the Dark Tower to have it happen? If so, when was it brewed?
Thing is, the only beneficiary of it is the Islamic regime of Iran. So was the boost to the prestige of those evil men allowed for want of any other choice, or was it planned and intended?
Did the incident come about regrettably because of a series of cock-ups? Or was there a conspiracy over which the conspirers are crowing, one side openly, the other side secretly?
The fact that those questions can plausibly be asked, must cause American patriots to shudder.