Date: Jan 12, 2008 12:27 AM
Subject: Official Version of Naval Incident in the Persian Gulf Starts to Unravel
It would appear that the alleged incident of 5 small Iranian boats in the Gulf threatening U.S. naval vessels was a very distorted reportage of what actually happened, and on which major news media, and the Bush administration, got captivated by an appetite for sensationalism. This account by Gareth Porter of the International Press Service puts the whole thing in a much less alarming context.
QUOTED EXCERPT: Despite the official and media portrayal of the incident in the Strait of Hormuz early Monday morning as a serious threat to U.S. ships from Iranian speedboats that nearly resulted in a "battle at sea", new information over the past three days suggests that the incident did not involve such a threat and that no U.S. commander was on the verge of firing at the Iranian boats. The new information that appears to contradict the original version of the incident includes the revelation that U.S. officials spliced the audio recording of an alleged Iranian threat onto to a videotape of the incident. That suggests that the threatening message may not have come in immediately after the initial warning to Iranian boats from a U.S. warship, as appears to do on the video. . . . Bush administration officials seized on the incident to advance the portrayal of Iran as a threat and to strike a more threatening stance toward Iran. National Security Adviser Stephen Hadley declared Wednesday that the incident "almost involved an exchange of fire between our forces and Iranian forces". President George W. Bush declared during his Mideast trip Wednesday that there would be "serious consequences" if Iran attacked U.S. ships and repeated his assertion that Iran is "a threat to world peace". END QUOTE