Monday, January 14, 2008

The Hormuz Hoax, Part II

By Capt. Fogg

George W. Bush wants a war with Iran so badly that I have to be suspicious of any news item that relates to Iranian matters, particularly when the information comes from the US government. When I first heard the mysterious voice saying

I am coming to you... You will explode in a few minutes,

something sounded wrong about it. It's not only that the voice seemed to be putting on a deliberately thick accent, it certainly wasn't coming from a speed boat pounding through the swells at 30 knots or more as the video seemed to indicate; no effect on the voice of the impact of the hull against the water, no background noise of roaring engines or wind. I spend a lot of time on the radio, both from my boat and from my amateur station. I can tell the difference. It's unusual, but not unknown for such behavior to be found on the Amateur Radio bands and less often on the police and public service bands. On CB radio, it's almost standard procedure. When such people are identified, the punishment can be rather severe and the perpetrators are very often teens who are using dad's radio equipment when he's not around. Of course the VHF marine channels used by everything from pleasure boats to battleships are not immune to abuse.

Now the
Navy Times is blaming the incident on a mysterious pirate radio operator or operators who have been doing just this sort of thing on the Marine VHF channel 16 for decades at all hours of the day and night. It seems in fact, to be happening all over the world and is said to be attributed to the mythical "Filipino Monkey." Someone with a radio on shore or on another ship gets his kicks from listening to conversations, interrupting with obscenities and making threats. According to many radiomen, female voices on the radio often elicit vulgar comments from these people. All ships and most boats are required to monitor channel 16 and so it is difficult to claim that the transmission was intended for one vessel or another and impossible to know where it originated, particularly in crowded shipping lanes like the straights of Hormuz. Such radios can be bought at any marine supply store without having to show any identification or license.

We were shown the audio and video of the boats simultaneously said
Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Gary Roughead, because “ it gives you a better idea of what is happening” not because there is really any evidence that the voice came from the boats. Can it be that we have just narrowly escaped fulfilling Bush's dream of a massive air attack on Iran using this random and meaningless incident as an excuse? We've been fooled in just this way before at the cost of millions of lives and we have a president with a record of fooling us again and again.

(Cross-posted from
Human Voices.)

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