The Iranian government made a video of the British sailors and marines it is holding hostage, and showed it on Iranian state television. I assume it is likely to be played on other Middle Eastern stations as well, if it hasn’t been already. The British have protested the video; a report is here.
The video features the one woman who was seized, Faye Turney. It is, as you would expect, creepy:
Here are some excerpts from the letter by Turney that is depicted in the video:
I have written a letter to the Iranian people to apologize for us entering into their waters.
This “confession” is the main point of the video.
I am being fed 3 meals a day and have a constant supply of fluids.
I would guess that the letter was dictated by someone who speaks English very well, but not exactly in the idiom of a British sailor.
Hopefully It won’t be long until I am home to get ready for Molly’s birthday party with a present from the Iranian people.
As I said, creepy.
UPDATE: There is a vigorous discussion of these events going on at the Forum; follow the link below. A reader noted this article in The Independent, titled “US troops ‘would have fought Iranian captors'”:
A senior American commander in the Gulf has said his men would have fired on the Iranian Revolutionary Guard rather than let themselves be taken hostage.
In a dramatic illustration of the different postures adopted by British and US forces working together in Iraq, Lt-Cdr Erik Horner – who has been working alongside the task force to which the 15 captured Britons belonged – said he was “surprised” the British marines and sailors had not been more aggressive.
Asked by The Independent whether the men under his command would have fired on the Iranians, he said: “Agreed. Yes. I don’t want to second-guess the British after the fact but our rules of engagement allow a little more latitude. Our boarding team’s training is a little bit more towards self-preservation.”
The executive officer – second-in-command on USS Underwood, the frigate working in the British-controlled task force with HMS Cornwall – said: ” The unique US Navy rules of engagement say we not only have a right to self-defence but also an obligation to self-defence. They [the British] had every right in my mind and every justification to defend themselves rather than allow themselves to be taken. Our reaction was, ‘Why didn’t your guys defend themselves?'”
The same article suggests that “British intelligence had been warned by the CIA that Iran would seek revenge for the detention of five suspected Iranian intelligence officers in Iraq two months ago but refused to raise threat levels in line with their US counterparts.”
Another reader linked to this commentary by Tammy Bruce, which questions the seemingly ready cooperation of the British hostages with their captors. Some may think it harsh, but I believe that Tammy accurately sets forth the traditional expectation of soldiers who are captured in combat:
People are already claiming she did not write the letter. That is belied by the fact that she has given this interview, saying essentially the things she says in the letter. Is she under pressure. Yes, of course. But the question becomes, exactly how much pressure is required to get a British sailor to cooperate with the enemy these days?
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