Except... maybe they weren't...
Just two days after the U.S. Navy released the eerie video of Iranian speedboats swarming around American warships, which featured a chilling threat in English, the Navy is saying that the voice on the tape could have come from the shore or from another ship.
The near-clash occurred over the weekend in the Strait of Hormuz. On the U.S.-released recording, a voice can be heard saying to the Americans, "I am coming to you. You will explode after a few minutes."
The Navy never said specifically where the voices came from, but many were left with the impression they had come from the speedboats because of the way the Navy footage was edited.
Today, the spokesperson for the U.S. admiral in charge of the Fifth Fleet clarified to ABC News that the threat may have come from the Iranian boats, or it may have come from somewhere else...
Could be... The New York Pravda:
TEHRAN — Iran’s Revolutionary Guard accused the United States on Wednesday of fabricating a video showing Iranian speedboats confronting United States Navy warships in the Persian Gulf over the weekend, according to a report carried by the semiofficial Fars news agency and state-run television.
“Images released by the U.S. Department of Defense about the Navy vessels were made from file pictures, and the audio was fabricated,” an unnamed Revolutionary Guard official said, according to Fars, which has close links to the Revolutionary Guard. It was the first time Iran had commented on the video that the Pentagon released Tuesday.
The audio includes a statement that says, “I am coming to you,” and adds, “You will explode after a few minutes.” The voice was recorded from the internationally recognized channel for ship-to-ship communications, Navy officials have said.
The Pentagon immediately dismissed the assertion that the video, which shows Iranian speedboats maneuvering around and among the Navy warships, had been fabricated. Bryan Whitman, a Pentagon spokesman, said Iran’s “allegation is absurd, factually incorrect and reflects the lack of seriousness with which they take this serious incident.”
Naval and Pentagon officials have said that the video and audio were recorded separately, then combined...
The audio includes a heavily accented voice warning in English that the Navy warships would explode. However, the recording carries no ambient noise — the sounds of a motor, the sea or wind — that would be expected if the broadcast had been made from one of the five small boats that sped around the three-ship American convoy...
Maybe they were just some Blackwater boys joyriding who wanted to get the ships out of their way. It wouldn't be the first time.
The Guardian voices its doubts, too:
...On Tuesday, the US administration released video footage that it said showed the Iranian speedboats harassing the American vessels. A voice in English with a strong accent was heard to say: "I am coming at you - you will explode in a couple of minutes."
Yesterday the Iranians put out their own four-minute video that showed an Iranian patrol officer in a small boat communicating with one of the US ships. "Coalition warship number 73, this is an Iranian navy patrol boat," the Iranian said. An American naval officer replied: "This is coalition warship number 73 operating in international waters."
The voice of the Iranian sailor in Tehran's footage was different to the deeper and more menacing voice, threatening to blow up the warships in the US version. Nor was there any sign of aggressive behaviour by the Iranian patrol boats...
Yes, but them Eyerainians support them other guys in Palestine, and thus contribute to its instability. You know, the ones we don't fund directly, anyway. No, Virginia, I am not talking about Israel...
Oh, and an update: the Pentagon does not dispute the Iranian version of events. But you won't hear that tonight on FOX.
You might also check out the Dark Wraith's compilation of the situation:
...How did this encounter, which now appears to have been nothing out of the ordinary, turn into an "incident" that would prompt a dire warning from the President of the United States? As it turns out, behind the "anonymous Pentagon sources" the mainstream media were ominously citing when the story first broke was a gentleman named Bryan Whitman, the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Public Affairs, Office of Strategic Influence. For readers unfamiliar with Mr. Whitman, he was none other than the architect of the propaganda push originally put forth about the "rescue" of Private Jessica Lynch, a story that turned out to be so at odds with what actually happened that Ms. Lynch, herself, repudiated the Pentagon version in testimony before Congress.
That's right: The latest, hot-off-the-presses story of a nearly deadly naval battle between the United States and the Iranian Revolutionary Guard in the Strait of Hormuz came straight out of the office of a disgraced Pentagon propagandist, a man already caught at least once before using a military incident and associated video to pump lies to an ever-receptive, ever-gullible U.S. mainstream media and its Right-wing warhawks in the Blogosphere. True to form, the American media instantly swallowed the story, complete as it was with ominous implications for an ugly new war, and repeated it as gospel truth to the ever-receptive, ever-gullible U.S. audience.