Thursday, July 5, 2012

To Drone Or Not To Drone

So now we are told that the bodies of the two Turkish aircrew have been recovered from the wreckage of the F-4 that was shot down by Syrian air defenses on June 22.

Before I begin, please examine these two stories on the supposed finding of the bodies -

The story at Al Jazeera is here.

The story at PressTV is here.

Note that the AJE story says, "The military has been conducting a search operation since the jet was downed on June 22 and this week brought in a specialised ship to recover the wreckage, some 1,000 metres underwater."

On the same subject, the PressTV story says, "According to Turkish sources, the bodies of Captain Gokhan Ertan and Lieutenant Hasan Huseyin Aksoy were found on the Eastern Mediterranean sea bed by a US deep-sea exploration vessel on Wednesday. The bodies were located at a depth of 1,260 meters."

Interesting, no? The now-western-aligned Al Jazeera makes no mention of the fact that the deep-sea recovery vessel was an American ship. Let us bear in mind, dear reader, that AJE is owned and controlled by the Emir of Qatar, and Qatar is one of the main financiers of the "Syrian resistance".

Note that the AJE story denies that the Turkish military gave any information on where the bodies were found, while the PressTV story explicitly states the depth of water and general location.

Ah, the joys of being a citizen of the 21st century, sifting through all the different flavours of bullshit, attempting to triangulate some approximation of truth from the alignment of the lies.

It is worth noting that the Latakia Basin does closely approach the shore at that point. I am told that the water just off the beach plunges abruptly to 3000 feet or more (1000 meters). And yet, this all seems so very convenient, and I cannot help but be reminded of the equally-convenient "burial at sea" of Osama bin Laden, which neatly prevented any forensic examination of the body.

Honestly, I don't know enough about the specialized disciplines of diving and air crash investigation to comment on whether the bodies are likely to have remained intact under such circumstances, or whether it is reasonable for the location of the wreckage to have taken 12 days.

So, was I off-base in reporting that the F-4 was an unmanned drone? Possibly so. It wouldn't be the first time I have made a bad call, and I severely doubt it would be the last. Such are the perils of speculation, such are the perils of being a blogger, such are the perils of being human. And yet, I still have my doubts.

There is, in this current age, given the extent to which all information to which we have access has been massaged, edited, and manipulated, a very real need for a healthy level of skepticism. And yet, at what point does skepticism become paranoia? That, dear reader, is for you to decide.

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