CIA, NATO Lied to Press About Lost Drone

December 7th, 2011 - by admin & The Washington Post – 2011-12-07 01:08:37

CIA, NATO Lied to Press About Lost Drone

CIA, NATO Lied to Press About Lost Drone
Jason Ditz /

(December 6, 2011) — This weekend’s story of Iran shooting down a drone came with odd commentaries from the CIA and NATO, with officials claiming that they were “missing” a drone but that there were no indications Iran actually shot it down.

The CIA/NATO story was silly on the surface, as missing a drone and having someone say they shot it down seems like indication in and of itself, but now the Washington Post is reporting that the comments were a flat-out lie. [See story below.]

Or “head fake,” if you will. Not content to call them liars just because they were caught in a lie, the official explanation is that the CIA was trying to trick Iran somehow by making false claims about the lost drone.

Which itself is pretty absurd, because in the context of stories about all the great US technology Iran can now access with the downed drone, the Iranian government could probably care less if Western newspapers are claiming they didn’t really shoot that drone down, and its unimaginable that it would change their strategy of recovery the drone.

The more likely explanation is that the CIA and NATO were lying to the Western press in an attempt to save face with the Western public after losing an extremely expensive, top secret drone in a botched spying effort.

After Drone Was Lost,
CIA Tried a ‘Head Fake’

Greg Miller / The Washington Post

WASHINGTON (December 6, 2011) — In sports they call it a “head fake” — leaning in one direction to throw a defender off-balance before heading in another. The CIA and Pentagon appear to have employed a variation of that move on Sunday, obscuring the agency’s role in operating a stealth drone that was downed in Iran.

Hours after Iranian news outlets reported that the country had recovered a sophisticated American surveillance plane, US officials responded with an apparently deliberate media misdirect.

CIA press officials declined to comment on the downed drone and reporters were directed toward a statement from the military. And sure enough, the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force seemed to step up to take the blame. “The UAV to which the Iranians are referring may be a US unarmed reconnaissance aircraft that had been flying a mission over western Afghanistan late last week,” ISAF said in a statement.

Mystery solved. The US military operates plenty of drones as part of the war effort in Afghanistan, and this one just veered off course. But the wording of the ISAF statement was curiously ambiguous, particularly on the question of who was really flying the drone.

Some senior US officials seemed troubled by the attempt at deception from the start. On Sunday, a senior defense official voiced skepticism about the idea that a precious stealth drone would be doing surveillance work in western Afghanistan. “At the very least, the statement is splitting hairs,” the official said. “And more likely it is a howler.”

By Monday, the story had changed. The CIA and the Pentagon continued to deny comment, but other US officials confirmed that the drone belonged to the CIA. Asked why ISAF issued the statement, the CIA declined to comment.

“Accurate information was provided in the statement,” said a senior US official. “There’s no obligation to disclose all the details of sensitive reconnaissance missions. If that’s the test, then we may as well knock on the doors of our adversaries, wherever they may be, and ask them to answer our questions. Of course, we’d get the Heisman.”

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