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Photo: Seized British sailors after release
April 4, 2007 8:49 AM   Subscribe


 
From The Independent:

TEHRAN, Iran — President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said Iran would free the 15 detained British sailors and marines Wednesday as an Easter holiday "gift" to the British people.

He said the captives, who were seized while on patrol in the northern Persian Gulf on March 23, would be taken to the airport at the end of the news conference that he was addressing. An Iranian official in London said they would be handed over to British diplomats in Tehran.

The release of the crew members would end a 13-day standoff between London and Tehran that was sparked when the crew was seized as it searched for smugglers off the Iraqi coast. Britain denied Iranian claims the crew had entered Iranian waters.

Recent days saw talk of direct negotiations between Britain and Iran, and a decrease in tensions that had risen after Iran broadcast videos in which female British sailor Faye Turney and others "confessed" to violating Iranian territorial waters, and Britain expressed outrage.

"On the occasion of the birthday of the great prophet (Muhammad) ... and for the occasion of the passing of Christ, I say the Islamic Republic government and the Iranian people — with all powers and legal right to put the soldiers on trial — forgave those 15," he said, referring to the Muslim prophet's birthday on March 30 and the Easter holiday.

"This pardon is a gift to the British people," he said.
posted by chuckdarwin at 8:52 AM on April 4, 2007


Or, perhaps more helpfully: Google News coverage.
posted by the dief at 8:52 AM on April 4, 2007


On preview: thanks for clarification, chuckdarwin.
posted by the dief at 8:52 AM on April 4, 2007


More info.

On preview - plenty of folk trying to rescue the post, I see!
posted by jack_mo at 8:53 AM on April 4, 2007


The Iranians gave them suits? That is so against the Geneva Convention.
posted by parmanparman at 8:54 AM on April 4, 2007 [4 favorites]


they look well treated...
posted by sexyrobot at 8:54 AM on April 4, 2007


mirrored
posted by Mach5 at 8:55 AM on April 4, 2007


Man, the American Enterprise Institute must be blueballed to hell and back at this point.
posted by solistrato at 8:56 AM on April 4, 2007 [12 favorites]


damn, guess i'll have to wait a bit longer for WWIII....
posted by TechnoLustLuddite at 8:56 AM on April 4, 2007


If I were that chick, I wouldn't have let them put a scarf on me. Unless the alternative were death, then I might.
posted by DU at 8:56 AM on April 4, 2007


pwned
posted by ryoshu at 8:58 AM on April 4, 2007 [1 favorite]


sexyrobot -

The world awaits their story when they get home, and I'm sure the Beeb will be all over it. Looks can be deceiving.
posted by chuckdarwin at 8:59 AM on April 4, 2007


I bet they were treated mostly cordially the whole time, to compare favorably against Guantanamo, Abu Ghraib, and so on.
posted by TheOnlyCoolTim at 9:02 AM on April 4, 2007


How come the guys got suits and all she got was that crappy jacket and shirt combo??
posted by matty at 9:03 AM on April 4, 2007


The Iranians gave them suits? That is so against the Geneva Convention.
Actually the violation occurred in denying the shorter gentleman the services of a tailor in fitting that suit. You can barely see any fingers coming out of his sleeve.
posted by exogenous at 9:04 AM on April 4, 2007 [3 favorites]


The world awaits their story when they get home, and I'm sure the Beeb will be all over it. Looks can be deceiving.

I really doubt they were ill-treated. This is a pretty typical gambit of international diplomacy all-around, and if we weren't bucking for WWIII, we would've barely noticed this. Ahmadinejad wanted to see how far he could push, but the Iranian government isn't stupid.
posted by jefgodesky at 9:04 AM on April 4, 2007 [1 favorite]


To the dief -

Did you see this bit:

He criticized Britain for deploying Leading Seaman Faye Turney, one of the 15 detainees, in the Gulf, pointing out that she is a woman with a child.

"How can you justify seeing a mother away from her home, her children? Why don't they respect family values in the West?" he asked of the British government.


?

Ahmednejad said 'family values'....
posted by chuckdarwin at 9:04 AM on April 4, 2007




Speaking of scarves, the LGF types are freaking out that Peloci wore one in mosque in Syria.
posted by delmoi at 9:05 AM on April 4, 2007


Looks like Ahmadinejad let them borrow some suits from his closet.
posted by thecjm at 9:06 AM on April 4, 2007


I love that they are basically dressed like Ahmadinejad, if only they'd had a little more time to grow those nice trimmed beards. He might be a theocratic holocaust denying nutter, but Ahmadinejad got style man, style.
posted by Divine_Wino at 9:07 AM on April 4, 2007 [1 favorite]


They are all dressed like Ahmadinejad. I suspect their involvement in mind control experiments whilst in captivity.

Why don't you pass the time by playing a nice game of Ghahveh?
posted by psmealey at 9:07 AM on April 4, 2007 [5 favorites]


delmoi, you could have stopped at "the LGF types are freaking out".
posted by DU at 9:13 AM on April 4, 2007


delmoi - Thanks for that link - great stuff.
posted by chuckdarwin at 9:13 AM on April 4, 2007


Does anyone here think that the story is going to be: "We were treated cordially and well and certainly not tortured or mistreated?" Regardless of the truth, does anyone seriously think that's going to be the story out of Britain? This picture of a bunch of people leaving a stressful, but not obviously physically abusive situation, is going to be decried as a set-up and a fake in no time.
posted by The Bellman at 9:14 AM on April 4, 2007


The Iranians gave them suits?

But did you see the tacky fabrics? The bastards!
posted by Bearman at 9:14 AM on April 4, 2007 [1 favorite]



Does anyone have information on the issue about if they were in the wrong waters?

I mean either the US or UK must have this whole area painted with AWACs - therefore there should be a radar map of where the boat was. So let's see it.
posted by fluffycreature at 9:19 AM on April 4, 2007


They are all dressed like Ahmadinejad.

Right down to the lack of a necktie.
posted by Martin E. at 9:19 AM on April 4, 2007


More photos here.
posted by hoder at 9:20 AM on April 4, 2007


If I were that chick, I wouldn't have let them put a scarf on me. Unless the alternative were death, then I might.

I would've been mad if they'd called me a "chick," too.
posted by The corpse in the library at 9:22 AM on April 4, 2007


If they treat POWs that well, imagine how well they treat everyone else. It's time to move to Iran people!
posted by chunking express at 9:22 AM on April 4, 2007 [1 favorite]


I'd like to say that myself and my whole team are very grateful for your forgiveness. I'd like to thank yourself and the Iranian people... Thank you very much, sir.

Wimps or brainwashed?
posted by A189Nut at 9:23 AM on April 4, 2007


What were they supposed to say, A189Nut?
posted by thirteenkiller at 9:27 AM on April 4, 2007


Man, no one is wearing ties over there...
posted by delmoi at 9:29 AM on April 4, 2007


I also saw a bunch of stuff from right-wingers the other day basically bashing these troops for daring to be polite to their captors. It was pretty lame. Looking around today I'm not finding anything quickly.
posted by delmoi at 9:30 AM on April 4, 2007


Sorry: If I were that Earth Mother Goddess, I wouldn't have let them put a scarf on me. Unless the alternative were death, then I might.
posted by DU at 9:30 AM on April 4, 2007 [1 favorite]


How about nothing very much or a bit lighter on the adjectives?
posted by A189Nut at 9:31 AM on April 4, 2007


chuckdarwin: "President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said Iran would free the 15 detained British sailors and marines Wednesday as an Easter holiday "gift" to the British people."

So, what, are they filled with chocolate?
posted by Plutor at 9:31 AM on April 4, 2007 [13 favorites]


Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is the bravest, kindest, warmest, most wonderful human being I've ever known in my life.
posted by psmealey at 9:33 AM on April 4, 2007 [8 favorites]


Sitting on Persian rugs eating kibbeh for two weeks and putting on a show for your captors seems more comfortable that two weeks aboard a cramped HMS Scurvybutt eating canned god-knows-what and putting up with a bunch of Limey sailors. Not that I've endured either.
posted by Burhanistan at 9:33 AM on April 4, 2007 [1 favorite]


Well, that's a relief. Here are a couple of articles which I also posted in another thread on the intrigue which might have been behind this whole thing:

The botched US raid that led to the hostage crisis: How a bid to kidnap Iranian security officials sparked a diplomatic crisis

15 Britons In a Sea Of Intrigue
posted by homunculus at 9:35 AM on April 4, 2007 [2 favorites]


here's their photo if they were Iranian and captured in Iraqi or US waters....

Come on, that photo is obviously digitally altered. We all know people are treated like less-than-human shit in Guantanamo, but that level of poor photoshopping helps no one. Just look at the shitty masking!

Now, of course you can say that this photo is also doctored. But at least it was set up with some care, instead of badly altered to enrage people in post.
posted by fake at 9:36 AM on April 4, 2007


Call me cynical, but I'm not holding my breath... Mahmoud seems just nutty enough to pull a "Gotcha!" and not release them afterall.

delmoi: Man, no one is wearing ties over there...

Didn't you know that neckties are a Zionist plot?
posted by CKmtl at 9:40 AM on April 4, 2007


I'm more interested in why they were released.
speculation is likely to continue over whether it had anything to do with developments in Iraq, where an Iranian envoy has reportedly been given access to five Iranians captured by US forces, and where a kidnapped diplomat was released on Tuesday.
BBC article

OP - damn you, homunculus
posted by djgh at 9:41 AM on April 4, 2007


thank God Jimmy Carter stayed away from this one.


that Peloci wore one in mosque in Syria

fuck! next thing you know, John Kerry will wear a yarmulke in shul! this is an outrage!!!
posted by matteo at 9:42 AM on April 4, 2007 [1 favorite]


This is barbaric. Something must be done.
posted by stbalbach at 9:46 AM on April 4, 2007 [1 favorite]


If I were that chick, I wouldn't have let them put a scarf on me.

If I were that sailor, I wouldn't appreciate you calling me a "chick".
posted by oneirodynia at 9:46 AM on April 4, 2007 [3 favorites]


"Speaking of scarves, the LGF types are freaking out that Peloci wore one in mosque in Syria."
They also still wear them in Eastern Orthodox churches. Teh Horror.
posted by 2sheets at 9:50 AM on April 4, 2007


oneirodynia writes "If I were that sailor, I wouldn't appreciate you calling me a 'chick'."

Yeah, get it right. It's "bird".
posted by mr_roboto at 9:51 AM on April 4, 2007 [1 favorite]


...Earth Mother Goddess...
posted by zoinks at 9:52 AM on April 4, 2007


I found Waldo.
posted by mazola at 9:54 AM on April 4, 2007


They're really cute
posted by grobstein at 9:58 AM on April 4, 2007


I think the ones who got on TV and "confessed" should be tried for treason.
posted by OmieWise at 10:04 AM on April 4, 2007


Why aren't they in uniform?
posted by pax digita at 10:06 AM on April 4, 2007


I think the ones who got on TV and "confessed" should be tried for treason.

They weren't under duress?
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 10:07 AM on April 4, 2007


For people who were asking who was in the wrong on this one, Britain or Iran, right now it looks like Iran. Especially since according to the BBC the first meeting between the diplomats went like this:
Iran: Here are the coordinates where we captured them. So can see without a doubt that your navy was in our waters.
Britain: Ummmm that's still not in your territorial waters.
Iran: BRB.
...30 minutes later...
Iran: Here's the NEW coordinates where we captured them.
posted by thecjm at 10:08 AM on April 4, 2007


I wonder if the next batch of US/UK troops they find fucking around in Iran will be treated as nicely.
posted by quarter waters and a bag of chips at 10:09 AM on April 4, 2007


Why aren't they in uniform?

They're on mandatory vacation apparently. I wonder if the sailors got to keep their uniforms in a doggy bag or something, or if the Iranians kept them for future shitstirring blackops.
posted by hoverboards don't work on water at 10:14 AM on April 4, 2007


Both of homonculus's links above are good ones, but in case folks don't read them, they only speculate about why (in the large sense) the Iranians might have wanted to snatch the sailors. There's no evidence in them that the Brits were actually in Iranian waters.
posted by OmieWise at 10:14 AM on April 4, 2007


the LGF types are freaking out that Peloci wore one in mosque in Syria.

The wingnutosphere's increased interest in women's rights in recent years is just such a cravenly obvious and opportunistic use of a stick to bash people they hate. It makes me wonder just how evil and terrible Islam would have to be for them to pretend to support gay rights as well.
posted by Armitage Shanks at 10:15 AM on April 4, 2007 [4 favorites]


They weren't under duress?

Of course they were. I wasn't serious. Although I do think that they should have refused to say that stuff on camera.
posted by OmieWise at 10:15 AM on April 4, 2007


"mandatory vacation" -- heh. I thought the Geneva Convention figured in there somewhere, but everybody's been wiping their @$$es with that anyhow...
posted by pax digita at 10:16 AM on April 4, 2007


I think the ones who got on TV and "confessed" should be tried for treason.
I sincerely hope this isn't serious. Confess to any old shit that's not operationally sensitive or a danger to comrades. What they wasn't.
posted by Abiezer at 10:18 AM on April 4, 2007


Can we move the Doomsday Clock back a few minutes now?
posted by eurasian at 10:18 AM on April 4, 2007 [2 favorites]


I do think that it's certainly possible that both sides adamantly believe that they're right here. What I mean is that Britain is sure that the sailors were not in Iranian territorial waters and the Iranians say that they can prove by their systems that they were (on the second try). I do think that Iran was and still is spoiling for a fight (after the US and Britain's actions and attitude over the past few months I can hardly blame them) but I think that it's quite possible that the Iranian systems are navigation systems are a little screwed up and they thought that the British were in Iranian territorial waters when they weren't. I really doubt that the British encroached on Iranian territory after the debacle when this happened before.
posted by ob at 10:20 AM on April 4, 2007


let's just move it to midnight and get it over with already.
posted by quarter waters and a bag of chips at 10:20 AM on April 4, 2007 [1 favorite]


Does anyone have information on the issue about if they were in the wrong waters?

It seems like the line was never agreed on. Still, Iran should have released the sailors immediately. Overall this is still a PR coup compared to the US treatment of foreigners we have captured.
posted by ryoshu at 10:21 AM on April 4, 2007


Should have previewed. And constructed a sentence.
posted by Abiezer at 10:21 AM on April 4, 2007


Speaking of scarves, the LGF types are freaking out that Peloci wore one in mosque in Syria."
They also still wear them in Eastern Orthodox churches. Teh Horror.


And in theWestboro Baptist church too. (You can find the segment yourself - I watched this on TV.)
posted by biffa at 10:21 AM on April 4, 2007


Although I do think that they should have refused to say that stuff on camera.

I just saw a sidelink somewhere (but can't find it right now), which mentioned that the sailors hadn't been trained for possible capture and 'interrogation' mindgames. So, they probably thought that playing along was the best thing to do.
posted by CKmtl at 10:21 AM on April 4, 2007


Speaking of scarves, the LGF types are freaking out that Peloci wore one in mosque in Syria.

What's funny is if you follow that blog's link to LGF (I wanted to see the nutbags try to respond to the pictures of Laura and Condi also wearing the scarf), they block your connection based on referrer. Not only that but it blacklists your IP so you subsequently can't even get in by typing the URL for the site. A lot of people get accused of preaching to the choir, but these guys are -- justifiably -- terrified to preach to anyone except the choir.

(Getting around the block, I see they've posted a rebuttal -- if you can call it a rebuttal when it's only for consumption by the faithful. In summary it says that Laura wore a scarf "in Israel", and that's different. They don't respond about Condi, of course.)
posted by George_Spiggott at 10:25 AM on April 4, 2007


As I understand it, countries have a right to the waters extending 12 miles from their shoreline. After that, I believe that the waters become international.

I imagine that if the Iranians or Chinese or Russians had some ships sailing 12-15 miles from the coast of the US looking for smugglers or some other activity that it would really not be treated as much of a big deal in the US.
posted by flarbuse at 10:30 AM on April 4, 2007


The Secret War Against Iran:
A Pakistani tribal militant group responsible for a series of deadly guerrilla raids inside Iran has been secretly encouraged and advised by American officials since 2005, U.S. and Pakistani intelligence sources tell ABC News.
Speaking of scarves, the LGF types are freaking out that Peloci wore one in mosque in Syria.

I'm sure they're equally outraged by Laura Bush and Condoleeza Rice doing the same thing. And I'm also sure their criticism of Pelosi for even going to Syria is also directed at the White House-backed Republican delegation that just went there.

Man, no one is wearing ties over there...

Islam is business casual. For dudes, anyway.
posted by kirkaracha at 10:31 AM on April 4, 2007


It does kind of seem familiar, though, doesn't it? Declare your failure to be a victory and pin a medal on who-ever screwed up?
posted by mmahaffie at 10:31 AM on April 4, 2007


Plutor writes "So, what, are they filled with chocolate?"

Blaire's going to eat their ears first.
posted by brundlefly at 10:32 AM on April 4, 2007 [1 favorite]


As I understand it, countries have a right to the waters extending 12 miles from their shoreline. After that, I believe that the waters become international.

The 12 mile boundary does not apply here as this is the (disputed) border between two countries.
posted by OmieWise at 10:33 AM on April 4, 2007



For people who were asking who was in the wrong on this one, Britain or Iran, right now it looks like Iran. Especially since according to the BBC the first meeting between the diplomats went like this:


Actually that was according to the Ministry of Defense, who never distort the truth.
posted by smackfu at 10:41 AM on April 4, 2007


You can almost hear what they are thinking. Clockwise from front left:
"I make this look -good-".
"Hah, that's what he thinks. I'd be the cute one in the front if they'd bothered to press this damned suit".
"Yeah, mate. Whatever. Wonder if there is any more of that local vino back in me cell."
"I'm so going to break Bob's neck".
"I wonder if they'll realize I'm only twelve."
"I think me headscarf is quite fashionable, thankyouverymuch!"
posted by Ogre Lawless at 10:42 AM on April 4, 2007 [1 favorite]


Wait, so who gets the boat?
posted by M.C. Lo-Carb! at 10:42 AM on April 4, 2007 [1 favorite]


For people who were asking who was in the wrong on this one, Britain or Iran, right now it looks like Iran.

The waters are disputed, and even by Britain's calculations, it's very close. Iran's seeing how hard it can push, and Britain's egging them on sending patrols that close to a disputed border. Who's wrong isn't much of a question, really, nor would it take much coercion to convince a bunch of British sailors that they'd wandered into Iranian waters. We're really overestimating Britain's side of this (as we'd naturally be inclined to), but even under the best of circumstances, martitime jurisdiction involves a lot of hand-waving, and this kind of thing is really par for the course. Iran didn't hold them for very long or seem to abuse them, and Britain's not admitting to any fault so that the waters remain disputed, rather than Iran's. This is nothing more than just trying to press a claim for a little more waterway. The fact that it's been so blown out of proportion is telling, but the "Easter gift" angle is a clever one that gives Iran the chance to step back from the brink a bit while saving face.
posted by jefgodesky at 10:44 AM on April 4, 2007


Islam is business casual.

Just so you know Ahmadinejad owns a controlling interest in the Men's Warehouse of Downtown Tehran.

"Impeccable tailoring. Current fashions. Ten rial less than the competition! Guaranteed!"
posted by tkchrist at 10:45 AM on April 4, 2007 [1 favorite]


I bet they were treated mostly cordially the whole time, to compare favorably against Guantanamo, Abu Ghraib, and so on.
posted by TheOnlyCoolTim at 9:02 AM on April 4 [+] [!]


On the other hand, the folks in Guantanamo tend to be evil terrorist fucks while these guys were apparently sailing in international waters and were kidnapped by the Iranians.
posted by b_thinky at 10:49 AM on April 4, 2007


Actually that was according to the Ministry of Defense, who never distort the truth.

That's a job for the Ministry of Truth.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 10:51 AM on April 4, 2007 [1 favorite]


What's funny is if you follow that blog's link to LGF, they block your connection based on referrer. Not only that but it blacklists your IP so you subsequently can't even get in by typing the URL for the site.

I get through just fine.
posted by Martin E. at 10:51 AM on April 4, 2007




... the folks in Guantanamo tend to be evil terrorist fucks ...

Are you shitting me? They tend to be random-ass Muslims from around the Globe as far as I can tell, nevermind that Gulags should have gone out of fashion shortly after Stalin died.
posted by chunking express at 11:00 AM on April 4, 2007


"A Pakistani tribal militant group responsible for a series of deadly guerrilla raids inside Iran has been secretly encouraged and advised by American officials since 2005, U.S. and Pakistani intelligence sources tell ABC News."

Have We Switched Sides on the War on Terror?
posted by homunculus at 11:01 AM on April 4, 2007


They also still wear them in Eastern Orthodox churches. Teh Horror.

not to mention many Italian women of my beloved late grandma's generation -- she was a devout Catholic with a picture of the Pope (John XXIII, she was indeed kinda nostalgic) hanging in the house together with the framed family pictures. and she wore -- together with many of her contemporaries -- a silk scarf, or a lace veil over her head in Church, in sign of devotion and modesty.

if she were still with us, quick-witted woman that she was, she'd have a good laugh learning that some fascist assholes in America think she was a Muslim just because she covered her hair in church.
posted by matteo at 11:13 AM on April 4, 2007


Ahmadinejad trumps the West, again.
posted by zorro astor at 11:16 AM on April 4, 2007


Seems logical to me that, when 'captured' by the military of a country with which I am not at war, I am bound to be polite and respectful. Of course, when the other guys have guns and such, it pays to play those cards anyway.

As for the scarf, well, last time I was in London, they had a law there that required I wear pants! Can you imagine? As an upstanding American, I can assure you, I refused to wear those damned trousers. Free Willy isn't just a movie title.
posted by Goofyy at 11:22 AM on April 4, 2007


How come the guys got suits and all she got was that crappy jacket and shirt combo??

Um, because, we wouldn't want her to start attracting the lustful glares of all of manhood and their inability to govern their individuals piece of manhood, now would we ... ? Gotta keep women covered up and frumpy. Did you see those red n black stripes?
posted by Azaadistani at 11:23 AM on April 4, 2007


One guy got a sharp black vest too.
posted by smackfu at 11:26 AM on April 4, 2007


I think I'm dyslexic: individual pieces of manhood, i meant
posted by Azaadistani at 11:35 AM on April 4, 2007


"I wonder if they'll realize I'm only twelve."

Wasn't that guy in American Idol last year?
posted by Bearman at 11:53 AM on April 4, 2007


If anyone wants to know who is actually detained in Guantanamo, here is a recent study from Seaton Hall Law School (HTMLIZED PDF via Google). The report is based on Dept. of Defense data.

A little taste:
1. Fifty-five percent (55%) of the detainees are not determined to have committed any hostile acts against the United States or its coalition allies.

2. Only 8% of the detainees were characterized as al Qaeda fighters. Of the remaining detainees, 40% have no definitive connection with al Qaeda at all and 18% are have no definitive affiliation with either al Qaeda or the Taliban.

3. The Government has detained numerous persons based on mere affiliations with a large number of groups that in fact, are not on the Department of Homeland Security terrorist watchlist. Moreover, the nexus between such a detainee and such organizations varies considerably. Eight percent are detained because they are deemed “fighters for;” 30% considered “members of;” a large majority – 60% -- are detained merely because they are “associated with” a group or groups the Government asserts are terrorist organizations. For 2% of the prisoners their nexus to any terrorist group is unidentified.

4. Only 5% of the detainees were captured by United States forces. 86% of the detainees were arrested by either Pakistan or the Northern Alliance and turned over to United States custody.

...

This 86% of the detainees captured by Pakistan or the Northern Alliance were handed over to the United States at a time in which the United States offered large bounties for capture of suspected enemies.


Evil terrorist fucks indeed. Sorry for the derail, it's just shameful what people will believe in the face of all available evidence.
posted by Divine_Wino at 12:01 PM on April 4, 2007 [3 favorites]


Just so you know Ahmadinejad owns a controlling interest in the Men's Warehouse of Downtown Tehran.

HI, I'M MAHMOUD AHMADINEJAD. WHEN ALLAH GRACED ME WITH A BRITISH BIRD FROM A BOAT, I WASTED NO TIME IN INTRODUCING HER TO THE SECRET TENETS OF SHIA SABER-RATTLING. MY SCIMITAR SLICED THROUGH THAT BROAD'S BURQA LIKE BUTTER, AND LET ME TELL YOU HOW SHE WAILED WHEN MY OWN BLACK ROCK FELL TO EARTH. SHE CIRCLED MY KAABA THREE TIMES ON HER OWN PERSONAL HAAJ INTO PERSIAN PLEASUREMAKING. I GUARANTEE IT.
posted by solistrato at 12:10 PM on April 4, 2007 [2 favorites]


posted by tkchrist Ahmadinejad owns a controlling interest in the Men's Wearhouse of Downtown Tehran.

"Allah will like the way you look. I guarantee it! Also, death to America."
posted by fandango_matt at 12:14 PM on April 4, 2007 [6 favorites]


Clearly the woman's been tortured:  those barbarians have forced her to wear horizontal stripes.
posted by miss lynnster at 12:17 PM on April 4, 2007 [4 favorites]


the folks in Guantanamo tend to be evil terrorist fucks

Yeah, especially the elementary school teachers. Those evil bastards don't deserve a fair trial.
posted by homunculus at 12:17 PM on April 4, 2007


Wow, forty-five percent (45%) of the detainees are determined to have committed hostile acts against the United States or its coalition allies. That's a pretty good hit rate for just rounding up some random-ass Muslims from around the Globe.
posted by found missing at 12:23 PM on April 4, 2007


Yes found missing, it's almost 50-50. Go America!
posted by chunking express at 12:28 PM on April 4, 2007


Yeah, especially the elementary school teachers. Those evil bastards don't deserve a fair trial.

One of London's July 7th bombers worked in a primary school. Not that that's really got anything to do with anything.
posted by hoverboards don't work on water at 12:30 PM on April 4, 2007


>> I think the ones who got on TV and "confessed" should be tried for treason. <<

Oh? For why, exactly?
posted by kaemaril at 12:45 PM on April 4, 2007


Wow, forty-five percent (45%) of the detainees are determined to have committed hostile acts against the United States or its coalition allies

By the united states and their tribunals
posted by Reggie Knoble at 1:06 PM on April 4, 2007



A win-win for Iran, I think.
posted by bukharin at 1:15 PM on April 4, 2007


Ah, here is a quote of some of of those reprehensible conservatives:

Once again, it's me and Ralph Peters on the same wavelength, deploring the cowardice of the British sailors and marines kidnapped by Iran. When it happened, I said I hoped the ones who'd shamed their country would be court-martialed on return to Blighty, and given dishonorable discharges after a couple years breaking rocks in the Outer Hebrides (which, believe me - I've been there - have a LOT of rocks). Now, I confess, I wouldn't shed a tear if some worse fate befell them.
posted by delmoi at 1:24 PM on April 4, 2007


Oh, BTW, America? Commence bombing the fuckers if you feel like it.
posted by Artw at 1:48 PM on April 4, 2007


I suppose media exposure makes a difference, as does being at war in the total sense, but even given that, I find it hard to imagine that their grandfathers would have collapsed or cooperated so quickly after being captured at Dunkirk or Singapore.
posted by A189Nut at 2:17 PM on April 4, 2007


I have a question: Why were some of the British sailors dressed in desert camo fatigues when we first saw them on tv?

Just curious...
posted by sunexplodes at 2:20 PM on April 4, 2007


Glad they're safe, first and foremost.

But as long as we're taking out Iran's enemies (Saddam, Taliban) and giving them a western Shia puppet state (Maliki in Iraq), giving them gold-plated PR wins like this is a drop in the bucket.
posted by bardic at 3:05 PM on April 4, 2007


sunexplodes writes "I have a question: Why were some of the British sailors dressed in desert camo fatigues when we first saw them on tv? "

They aren't all sailors; some are marines.
posted by mr_roboto at 3:20 PM on April 4, 2007


bardic, how is this is a PR win for Iran? It seems to me the rest of the world is pretty much laughing at Iran over this.

On the other hand, I'm sure they pumped it all over state-controlled media to look tough in front of the domestic audience. I'm sure Kim Jung Il has no problem scoring domestic PR points either.
posted by b_thinky at 3:21 PM on April 4, 2007


Simple. It's a PR win because it demonstrates that they treat prisoners better than the US or Britain does.

Just look at some non-American newspapers for once.
posted by bardic at 3:43 PM on April 4, 2007


The world is laughing at Iran for getting Britain to grovel for two weeks to get its captives released? And for flaunting its ability to parade a bunch of scared-looking Western kids in front of the world media?

A few weeks ago, a writer for the Revolutionary Guard newspaper was quoted as saying, “We’ve got the ability to capture a nice bunch of blue-eyed blond-haired officers and feed them to our fighting cocks.” And that was a week before the sailors were grabbed.

So who's laughing? If anyone's laughing, it's Ahmedinejad.
posted by blucevalo at 3:48 PM on April 4, 2007


posted by tkchrist Ahmadinejad owns a controlling interest in the Men's Wearhouse of Downtown Tehran.

"Allah will like the way you look. I guarantee it! Also, death to America."


And a 40% Discount for all Guests of the Beneficent State of Iran.... I will pull my beard to make you a better deal. Look at me. I am pulling my beard! Allah be Praised.
posted by tkchrist at 4:03 PM on April 4, 2007


Very sharp suits on the guys, and they put the woman in horizontal stripes!?! ugh.

/fashion warcrime police
posted by amberglow at 4:10 PM on April 4, 2007


So, this means no attack on the 6th or whatever, right?
posted by amberglow at 4:11 PM on April 4, 2007


Here is the entire Bush cabinet adopting the Ahmadinejad look.
posted by JackFlash at 4:23 PM on April 4, 2007


Here is the entire Bush cabinet adopting the Ahmadinejad look.

They're not really pulling it off.
posted by delmoi at 4:44 PM on April 4, 2007


I wonder if suits are expensive in Tehran--most of those look tailored to them too.

Digby on the rightwing jerks on hostages and headscarves, etc: ... To actually blame the sailors for surviving is unbelievable to me.
The rightwing is filled with these flatulent armchair warriors, ready to condemn everyone from intrepid reporters to the professional military for cowardice when they are captured by the enemy and fail to behave in what they consider a properly Rambo-esque manner. They seem to think these people should die rather than be taken alive or some other such puerile nonsense. ...
These are empty, cruel little boys and girls with serious deficiencies in their characters. They are lost souls, walking this earth without ever learning the meaning of decency, empathy or morality. ...

posted by amberglow at 4:52 PM on April 4, 2007


It really is masterful PR on Iran's part--just perfectly spun.
posted by amberglow at 5:22 PM on April 4, 2007


I bet they were treated mostly cordially the whole time, to compare favorably against Guantanamo, Abu Ghraib, and so on.

For sure. Iranians being as they are, I would suggest that Guantanamo & Abu Ghraib are ridiculously low targets for comparison.

I bet they were treated mostly cordially the whole time, to compare favorably against VIP guests at an American Thanksgiving dinner.
posted by UbuRoivas at 5:37 PM on April 4, 2007


They're not really pulling it off.

That's because all those stick-in-the-mud jackasses (Condi included, probably) are wearing those boxy Brooks Brothers jackets that don't look good on anyone. They need to go for that more tapered, sartorial look that Ahmadinejad rocks.
posted by psmealey at 5:40 PM on April 4, 2007


I await the post imprisonment press conferences with interest. Hard to see how the officers can continue their careers anyway, if no retraction is made or coercion spoken of.
posted by A189Nut at 5:57 PM on April 4, 2007


actually, their suits aren't fitting them well--definitely off-the-rack, and guessing at sizes too.
posted by amberglow at 6:02 PM on April 4, 2007


Hard to see how the officers can continue their careers anyway, if no retraction is made or coercion spoken of.
Why? Do we even know the truth about why they were out there to begin with? Boarding boats? Protecting oil tankers? In waters without clear boundaries?
posted by amberglow at 6:04 PM on April 4, 2007


...hearing a lot about the "gift to Britain" line.

Anybody know if that is an accurate translation of Ahmadinejad's speech?
posted by jaronson at 6:17 PM on April 4, 2007


"Hard to see how the officers can continue their careers anyway, if no retraction is made or coercion spoken of.

Why? Do we even know the truth about why they were out there to begin with? Boarding boats? Protecting oil tankers? In waters without clear boundaries?"

There is a clear boundary - it's just that both parties claim the RN personnel were on a different side of it (though GPS-wise the Iranians claimed the wrong right side, so to speak, in their first statements.)

I can't see that a Captain in the Royal Marines who after only 10 or so days captivity pointed to a map and admitted his "guilt" and then later thanked his captors profusely is going to be greeted with a round of applause in the Mess. An ex- Marine I know says he could at least have had the decency to get a black eye!
posted by A189Nut at 6:29 PM on April 4, 2007


I see the chap in front dresses to the left.
posted by tellurian at 7:00 PM on April 4, 2007


Of
those CSRT summaries that contain a ¶3(b) “hostile acts” determination, the mean number of sub-paragraphs is two; that is, for the 55%[sic] of detainees the Government has found committed ¶3(b) “hostile acts” the Government lists, on average two pieces of evidence.


Evidence exhibit A: He's Muslim
Evidence exhibit B: Dubya said he's a bad guy.
posted by bashos_frog at 8:18 PM on April 4, 2007


Simple. It's a PR win because it demonstrates that they treat prisoners better than the US or Britain does.

Just look at some non-American newspapers for once.
posted by bardic at 3:43 PM on April 4 [+] [!]


Do you actually believe that? Forcing people into bogus confessions counts as treating them well? If tomorrow the hostages recant their "confessions" will you change your tune?

You may disagree with the status of prisoners in Guantanamo (as do I), but at least we know a good portion of the individuals belong there. Near as anyone can tell, NONE of the kidnapped British sailors did anything to justify their capture.

It's just complete apples and oranges. Unless you want to admit that a) westerners are more civilized than arabs/persians because the Brits presumably did not attack their captors and pelt them with feces and semen as the Guantanamo prisoners are noted for doing and b) westerners love their citizens more because in 5+ years no government has lobbied for the return of their citizen-prisoners as the Brits did over the past 13 days.
posted by b_thinky at 9:46 PM on April 4, 2007


For sure. Iranians being as they are, I would suggest that Guantanamo & Abu Ghraib are ridiculously low targets for comparison.

I don't understand this comparison. Isn't it obvious that because of the nature of these hostages -- military personnel defended at the highest levels of government, over whom a large-scale diplomatic incident was brewing -- that they would be treated exceptionally well for PR purposes? The real question is how Iran treats people it suspects are subversive of its government and who don't have such prominent backing or media attention. On a related point, Iran had a history of hunting down and executing radical dissidents who fled to Europe, if I'm not mistaken (though I think it supposedly changed under intense pressure from European governments).
posted by shivohum at 9:49 PM on April 4, 2007


What's funny is if you follow that blog's link to LGF, they block your connection based on referrer. Not only that but it blacklists your IP so you subsequently can't even get in by typing the URL for the site.

And now they're apparently being censored by Websense for being a "racist hate site."
posted by homunculus at 10:15 PM on April 4, 2007




Meanwhile, back in Iraq: McCain’s Market Photo-op ends in disaster
posted by homunculus at 11:36 PM on April 4, 2007


b_thinky:

we know a good portion of the individuals belong there

Absolutely not. There are a couple of people there who may have been involved in some meaningful way with violence against the US, however that does not mean they should be in camp X-Ray in my opinion.

Unless you want to admit that a) westerners are more civilized than arabs/persians because the Brits presumably did not attack their captors and pelt them with feces and semen as the Guantanamo prisoners are noted for doing


Incarcerated illegally and indefinately, what would you do? No legal recourse and continuous torture for years on end, designed to debase and destabilise your sanity. You might go a little crazy. Don't forget the dirty protests of the Irish detainees.

and b) westerners love their citizens more because in 5+ years no government has lobbied for the return of their citizen-prisoners as the Brits did over the past 13 days

Yet another straw man argument, is it a convention?
posted by asok at 4:20 AM on April 5, 2007


Empty Evidence:
Some of the men Rumsfeld described -- the terrorists, the trainers, the financiers, and the battlefield captures -- are indeed at Guantanamo. But National Journal's detailed review of government files on 132 prisoners who have asked the courts for help, and a thorough reading of heavily censored transcripts from the Combatant Status Review Tribunals conducted in Guantanamo for 314 prisoners, didn't turn up very many of them. Most of the "enemy combatants" held at Guantanamo -- for four years now -- are simply not the worst of the worst of the terrorist world.

Many of them are not accused of hostilities against the United States or its allies. Most, when captured, were innocent of any terrorist activity, were Taliban foot soldiers at worst, and were often far less than that. And some, perhaps many, are guilty only of being foreigners in Afghanistan or Pakistan at the wrong time. And much of the evidence -- even the classified evidence -- gathered by the Defense Department against these men is flimsy, second-, third-, fourth- or 12th-hand. It's based largely on admissions by the detainees themselves or on coerced, or worse, interrogations of their fellow inmates, some of whom have been proved to be liars.
...
Some of the men at Guantanamo came from targeted, U.S.-guided raids in Pakistani cities, and the cases against those men tend to be fairly strong. But the largest single group at Guantanamo Bay today consists of men caught in indiscriminate sweeps for Arabs in Pakistan.
Who Is at Guantanamo Bay:
The first thing that jumps out of the statistics is that a majority of the detainees in both groups are not Afghans -- nor were they picked up in Afghanistan as U.S. troops fought the Taliban and Al Qaeda, nor were they picked up by American troops at all. Most are from Arab countries, and most were arrested in Pakistan by Pakistani authorities.

Seventy-five of the 132 men, or more than half the group, are...not accused of taking part in hostilities against the United States or its coalition partners.
...
The government's documents tie only eight of the 132 men directly to plans for terrorist attacks outside of Afghanistan.
The charges against the eight alleged terrorist plotters were all dropped or dismissed.
posted by kirkaracha at 6:24 AM on April 5, 2007 [1 favorite]


b_thinky likes to say the same thing again and again and again.

b_thinky likes to say the same thing again and again and again.
posted by chunking express at 6:28 AM on April 5, 2007


b_thinky writes Forcing people into bogus confessions counts as treating them well? If tomorrow the hostages recant their "confessions" will you change your tune?

It's demonstrably more civilized than, say, stripping them naked, ramming sticks up their anuses, making them into human pyramids, sicking dogs on them, and, oops, if one of them dies, packing them in ice and duct tape.

You may disagree with the status of prisoners in Guantanamo (as do I), but at least we know a good portion of the individuals belong there. Near as anyone can tell, NONE of the kidnapped British sailors did anything to justify their capture.

Special Ops, CIA agents, and Afghani informers walking around the wilds of that country, handing out wads of hundreds to anybody who would out their neighbor as Taliban? What utter horseshit. Most of the guys in Gitmo are poor SOB's who got caught up in a drag-net. Simple as that.

Belive me, I'm well aware of Iran's attrocious human rights record. For example, gays kids are hanged. That's awful and terrible, but in the realm of public opinion, yes, Iran won really big. Don't take my word for it, again, read some foreign press. The US has no leg to stand on when it comes to talking about the humane treatment of captives. Bush and his apologists have spent the last seven years basically saying, do as we say, not as we do. That attitude has a bad habit of boomeranging once in a while, wouldn't you say?
posted by bardic at 3:25 PM on April 5, 2007


Eh, asok beat me to my main points.
posted by bardic at 3:27 PM on April 5, 2007


I think it's cute that the BBC report that the Brits gave "confessions" ... but the Arabs at Abu Ghraid gave confessions ... without the quotes.

If our people are said to have spilled the beans, it must be a lie. But if the enemy people spill, it's because they're evil and our "interrogators" are too smart for them.

I keep thinking of those WW2 posters with the Japanese and German soldiers portrayed as apes. Are we ever going to tire of these stupid games?
posted by Twang at 11:35 PM on April 5, 2007


Now the story comes out.

British hostages certify they were 1.7 nautical miles away from Iranian waters when they were kidnapped. All confessions were forced. They were kept isolated in stone rooms and told if they did not confess they'd be imprisoned for 7 years. They were interrogated constantly, blindfolded and heard weapons cocked, forcing them to fear the worst. The female sailor was forced to pen letters of confession as she was told all the other sailors had been freed and she was left in Iran alone.

Yeah, Iranians are extremely hospitible. This behavior is no better or no worse than Abu Ghraib or Guantanomo; the only difference being most of the prisoners we hold actually belong there.

I'll never understand how disagreement with policy leads American citizens to hate their own country and their own countrymen. Maybe we're not perfect, but we're sure as hell a lot better than the Iranians... unless we've held a public stoning lately or kidnapped soldiers from international waters purely for propoganda purposes.
posted by b_thinky at 9:58 AM on April 6, 2007


we're sure as hell a lot better than the Iranians

As long as the old "us vs. them" dualistic mentality is being employed nobody is worth horseshit, really.
posted by Burhanistan at 10:29 AM on April 6, 2007


If you have to be jumping though semiotic hoops and pulling out all sorts of excuses for your own shit to be be better than the Iranians, then you are in deep, deep trouble.
posted by Artw at 12:26 PM on April 6, 2007


This behavior is no better or no worse than Abu Ghraib or Guantanomo; the only difference being most of the prisoners we hold actually belong there.

How many of the British sailors were raped? How many had panties put on their head while they were handcuffed to statioanry objects? How many had gaping wounds inflicted by dogs? How many were beaten to death and packed in ice? Why were they only there for two weeks, as opposed to a lifetime with no trial? How many were put on dog leashes? How many had menstrual blood smeared on their faces?

As Artw says, if the standard for American behavior is that, well, at least we're not Saddam or the Iranians, then my country is well and truly fucked. You're smart enough to know that b_thinky. But you're too ashamed to admit it. I don't blame you, but the sooner you wake up the better.
posted by bardic at 2:26 PM on April 6, 2007 [1 favorite]


what bardic (and others) said.
posted by amberglow at 2:38 PM on April 6, 2007


Charles Krauthammer (fyi, about as big a hawk regarding Iran that I can think of):

Iran has pulled off a tidy little success with its seizure and subsequent release of those 15 British sailors and marines: a pointed humiliation of Britain, with a bonus demonstration of Iran’s intention to push back against coalition challenges to its assets in Iraq.

Again, I'm not defending the human rights record of Iran. Nobody could, credibly. But get used to the fact, for the coming decades, that the US has no position from which to effectively critique the human rights record of another country.

To put it bluntly -- you don't get to scream about the goddamn Geneva Conventions when you've spent the past seven years using them as toilet paper.
posted by bardic at 2:42 PM on April 6, 2007


More goodness via the right-wing: By committing an act of war, Iran has simultaneously made itself look peaceful and made the West look impotent.

Again, don't take my word for it. Those lines are from the editors of the National Review.
posted by bardic at 2:47 PM on April 6, 2007


Hysterical! Inappropriate Freed-British-Hostage Hottie Rundown! -- If lasciviously evaluating the British sailors and Marines newly freed from Iran is wrong, America doesn't want to be right! Pip-Pip, Cheerio, these 14 blokes and 1 bird are HOT. My colleagues and I are rating the hostages on a scale of 1 to 4 handheld GPS units showing they were never in Iranian waters in the first place! Remember: If these troops don't get a flag-wavin' workover when they get home, the terrorists will have won. Ahoy, mateys! ...
Excuse us, but is Royal Marine Mark Banks the captain of the HMS DREAMBOAT! Move over, Daniel Craig, now there's something meatier! (And potentially STD free). Hot-cha-cha! 4 out of 4 handheld GPSs!!!!
...

posted by amberglow at 5:14 PM on April 6, 2007


It's both sad and funny to see the wingers bash these soldiers as being cowards. The very same ones who've never served their country a single day themselves. Fucking chickenhawks just need to shut the hell up.
posted by bardic at 11:12 PM on April 6, 2007


By committing an act of war, Iran has simultaneously made itself look peaceful and made the West look impotent.

The day the neo-cons gave Iran control of Iraq (by discriminating against experienced Baathists in Iraq) was the day we lost control of everything. I don't think anyone's even tried to explain why. It was just neo-con stupid, like their flat tax in an oil-rich country.
posted by Brian B. at 9:10 AM on April 7, 2007


Brian, i just reading that some are even saying now that we should have killed all Iraqi men 18-35. Just appalling.
posted by amberglow at 3:52 PM on April 8, 2007


here it is: It was only a week ago that John Podhoretz wondered if the big tactical mistake we made in Iraq was that we didn't kill enough Sunnis in the early going to intimidate them." As he put it: "Wasn't the survival of Sunni men between the ages of 15 and 35 the reason there was an insurgency and the basic cause of sectarian violence now?"

And now the New York Times reports today: "Four American soldiers from an Army combat unit that killed three Iraqis in a raid in May testified Wednesday that they had received orders from superior officers to kill all the military-age men they encountered." ...

posted by amberglow at 3:57 PM on April 8, 2007


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