Friday, May 20, 2016

Iran's Detention of U.S. Sailors: Story Still Wrong

Background



"Viewership for Obama's State of the Union addresses has been in decline since 2009, when he drew 52.4 million television viewers. Subsequently, 48.0 million watched on television in 2010, 42.8 million in 2011, 37.8 million in 2012, 33.5 million in 2013 and 33.3 million in 2014." -CNN

Despite the sudden development of a perfectly-timed human interest story (just hours before) President Obama's 2016 (final) State of the Union (S.O.T.U.) address, national viewership declined another 5%, attracting just 31.7 million viewers (1.6 million fewer than in 2015). Embarrassing? Yes, viewership was predictably better than it might have been otherwise.  

An Administration Manufactured Event?

"Ten American sailors have been taken into custody in Iran," he said in a statement. "But President Obama completely omitted this latest example of Iran's provocative behavior so as not to interfere with his delusional talking points about his dangerous nuclear deal with Iran." - House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy      

M.E. Comment (15 MAR 16):  "U.S. taxpayers should have expected this administration to have fired another admiral (or general) by now for poor planning in the embarrassing capture 2 months ago of ten U.S. sailors, including one female.  No such firing at the U.S. Navy's Bahrain-based 5th Fleet, which is responsible for American naval forces in the Gulf, nor in a higher authority has yet come to pass. Obviously then, the quick "catch and release" may have been a nefariously pre-arranged excuse to either plant false information with an enemy, or to share accurate information with Iran's government."  

UPDATE  (12 MAY 16)

Navy officer fired over Iran's capture of U.S. sailors [color emphasis mine] ...
 
Navy officials believe that a navigational error, along with some baffling errors in judgment on the part of the crew, led to their capture. Officials have suggested that the crew may have been taking an unauthorized shortcut through Iranian waters to meet up with a U.S. Coast Guard vessel for refueling. source
 
"Cmdr. Eric Rasch, who at the time of the Jan. 12 incident was the executive officer of the Coastal Riverine Squadron 3, was removed from his job ... for what a Navy Expeditionary Combat Command release said was “a loss of confidence” in his ability to remain in command." source

Rasch had actually been promoted to commander of his unit in April, at a time when the investigation into the capture was still ongoing. His leadership duties have now been transferred to another, AP reported. source

Although this is the first firing by the Navy regarding the incident, several other sailors received administrative reprimands. The investigation is expected to be finished by the end of the month, and others are likely to be disciplined. source

QUESTIONS:   

  1. "...others are likely to be disciplined?" -  This thinly veiled publicity stunt stinks so much that Cmdr Rasch (a decorated officer) appears to be the designated fall guy and the most senior officer who must fall on his sword among the U.S. Navy's entire Bahrain-based 5th Fleet (and all higher authorities responsible for American naval forces in the Gulf), who allowed the embarrassing publicity stunt on the eve of Obama's last S.O.T.U. 
  2. Will the investigation wrap up "...by the end of the month?  Only time will tell.
  3. Was the quick "catch and release" actually a nefariously pre-arranged excuse to plant false information with a potential enemy or to share accurate information with Iran's government?  In either case, time is unlikely to tell, as such actions would be classified secrets for at least 3 decades.   
Submarines are always silent and strange.

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