A typical Iranian Tir Class patrol boat used in the Straits of Hormuz
The recent incident of Iran patrol boats allegedly harassing a US warship on patrol in the Gulf of Hormuz may be over-hyped - may in fact be completely bogus, according to a report on Amy Goodman's Democracy Now!
Goodman interviewed Gareth Porter, an historian and national security specialist. Mr Porter raises serious questions about the accuracy of the video and sound bites released by the Pentagon. He claims that it was someone in the Pentagon disinformation office who called CBS, and other major media.
"So I think that the major thing to really keep in mind about this is that it was blown up into a semi-crisis by the Pentagon and that the media followed along very supinely. And I must say this is perhaps the worst—the most egregious case of sensationalist journalism in the service of the interests of the Pentagon, the Bush administration, that I have seen so far."
"And it seems very possible that indeed the Pentagon did splice into the recording, the audio recording of the incident, the two bits of messages from a mysterious voice in a way that made it appear to occur in response to the initial communication from the US ship to the Iranian boats. And it seems very possible that, in fact, those voices came at some other point during this twenty-minute incident."
The timing of the Pentagon's urgent call to the media it is suspicious, as it coincides with the departure of President Bush to the Middle East on his "peace" trip. Obviously, somebody in the Pentagon wanted to get the attention of the Gulf states about Iran's dangerous inability to navigate properly in international waters.
By the bye, standard operation procedure for all US warships is to maintain a minimum of 2,000 yards separation between themselves and all other ships, foreign or friendly, except for standard procedures, such as fueling, steaming in close formation, transferring personnel, or interdicting another vessel.
Vessels of the Soviet navy used to play dodge 'em with the US Navy all the time, and, yes, formal protests were lodged each and every time. Ultimately, the USSR & the US jointly signed the Agreement Between the Government of The United States of America and the Government of The Union of Soviet Socialist Republics on the Prevention of Incidents On and Over the High Seas. Ref: http://www.state.gov/t/ac/trt/4791.htm
We have no similar agreement with Iran.