Friday, April 06, 2007

A Wilderness Of Mirrors -- PR disinformation in the British Sailor Case


Below are excerpts from the AP stories on the PR battle between the Iranians and the US/Brits. Well, I don't believe either of them, nor the convenient stories of the Brit sailors. I have no doubt this is how it went down:
  1. Brit sailors crossed into Iranian waters to test their limits and to provoke an unpopular response.
  2. Iranians chased them back to the ship that Brits referred to as the point of illegal detention.
  3. The sailors were taken captive despite extraordinary support from a flotilla nearby.
  4. Brits then pulled out their prepared pics of their GPS trackers in the hands of helicopter support showing "inarguably" the "legal position" of the British sailors.
  5. Iran then proved that the Brits had been in Iranian waters prior to their arrest using equally accurate GPS evidence.
  6. Iran appropriately questioned the sailors while in detention and asked them, "How do you explain these pics?" To which the sailors, said "Oh yeah, you're right. We were in your waters. Oops, sorry."
  7. They laughed and had a nice hummus falafel and were treated far better than the US treats Guantanamo prisoners.
  8. Iran saw the world had realized the truth of the matter, and released the sailors as an "Easter gift".
  9. The sailors arrived back in HQ and reneged on their confessions, claiming to have been coerced by the Iranians while under extreme coercion and duty to their new captors, (HMS).
I just hope these sailors had a nice vacation/cultural exchange and enjoy their new suits the Iranians bought for them!

Britons: Iran bound, threatened captives

By TARIQ PANJA, Associated Press Writer 57 minutes ago

ROYAL MARINE BASE CHIVENOR, England - British sailors and marines held for nearly two weeks in Iran were blindfolded, bound and threatened with prison if they did not say they had strayed into Iranian waters, a Royal Navy lieutenant who was among the capitives said Friday.

Lt. Felix Carman, safely home with his 14 colleagues, said the crew faced harsh interrogation by their Iranian captors and slept in stone cells on piles of blankets. Unable to see and kept isolated, they heard weapons cocking.

"We were blindfolded, our hands were bound and we were forced up against a wall. Throughout our ordeal we faced constant psychological pressure," Carman said. "All of us were kept in isolation. We were interrogated most nights and presented with two options. If we admitted that we'd strayed, we'd be on a plane to (Britain) pretty soon. If we didn't, we faced up to seven years in prison."

Within hours of the news conference, Iranian state television said the British military had "dictated" to its sailors what to say.

In new letter, sailor says she was ‘sacrificed’

Propaganda war heats up amid British anger over Iran’s display of troops

New footage of seized U.K. troops aired
March 30: Iranian TV airs new footage of a British serviceman apologizing for entering Iranian waters. NBC's Keith Miller reports.

Today show

New footage
March 29: Iran has released more video of when Iranian troops captured the 15 British sailors and Marines.

Nightly News

Slide show
Iran-Iraq War
Iran’s perilous path in pictures
A click-through history of modern Iran and its love-hate relationship with the United States
Iran's nuclear network
An interactive look at Iran’s nuclear facilities
Slide show
An Iranian girl has her face painted like the Iranian flag during a demonstration in Tehran
Unseen Iran
27 years after the revolution, conservatives rule Iran. But Western culture still seeps in. Click to see images.
Updated: 8:56 a.m. ET March 30, 2007

TEHRAN, Iran - The Iranian Embassy released a third letter purportedly written by British sailor Faye Turney saying she has been “sacrificed” to the policies of the British and U.S. governments.

The letter, addressed to the British people, also said that Turney had been treated well, unlike the prisoners held at Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq. “I’m writing to you as a British service person who has been sent to Iraq, sacrificed due to the intervening policies of the Bush and Blair government,” the letter said.

It also said: “It is now time to ask our government to make a change to its oppressive behavior” toward others.

Do you believe a word of any of it?

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