Friday, December 9, 2011

Are things as they seem with the downed RQ-170 drone in Iran? Which story would you prefer to believe?

Color me skeptical. You will notice, conspicuous by his absence, in this alleged video of the Great Satan's flying monkey is Official Iranian Salute Guy. If he were there, along with his little buddy Ahmie, I would be inclined to give the story more credence. Then again, maybe not.

For a reconstructed crash, it is amazingly clean looking, save for what appears to be one cheesy looking tape-up job on the left wing. And, why do the Iranians have the drapery around the object's bottom/landing gear? What's to hide? Why not show that gear? I realize it is beyond their abilities to resist the temptation to display the Great Satan Flag, (sporting as it usually does, skulls in place of stars in the field of blue, along with pithy statements “We’ll trample America underfoot” and “The U.S. cannot do a damn thing” (what? no "Death to America?" Come on now.)) but why not do so, in order to make it harder for Satan to deny your amazing cyber prowess in bringing the bird down? In any case, the drapery looks a bit odd, like something a magician would do to hide the workings of the trick. If Li'l Ahmie, OISG, the Mullahs and their comrades were really intent on establishing the authenticity of the thing, wouldn't they show that bottom portion as well?

Not surprisingly, news stories relay several conflicting things about the drone, some being conflicts between the "semi-official" FARS news service and western outlets, others internal to U.S. reaction to the alleged shoot-down, take over, or whatever the hell it was.

It was shot down. No, it wasn't, it glided in to a landing. It was 'taken over' and flown in by OISG's peers in the Iranian military. No it wasn't. It malfunctioned while flying in Western Afghanistan. It has a self destruct that was overridden by Iranians. Nope. It has no such thing. It's the real deal. Nope, it is a model.

U.S. intelligence agencies were examining the Iranian footage on Thursday, with some officials expressing skepticism that the aircraft shown was the downed drone, citing inconsistencies in its color and shape.

U.S. officials do not dispute that Iran has possession of a stealth RQ-170 that had been flown by the CIA. But U.S. officials have said they do not believe the drone was brought down by cyberwarfare, and that a technical malfunction is more likely to blame.

And that near contradiction is in the same single story at WAPO. The same ambivalence is reflected in this account from ABC:

ABC News presents a story that hems and haws about the drone.

Early Thursday, U.S. officials said, and ABC News reported, that the craft displayed did not appear to be the highly sensitive RQ-170 Sentinel and might be a model, in part because U.S. imagery indicated the Sentinel had not landed intact. Later, however, officials said it was possible that the Iranians had reconstructed the drone for display on television, but that the evidence was "inconclusive."

Might a look under the drapery settle this?