Remember Iran Air Flight 655

 

revisionist-historySurely I can’t be the only one who remembers this

by O Society Jan 9, 2020

Listen folks, please don’t believe the propaganda jive they are selling you about some “miscalculation or misidentification of civilian aircraft” being responsible for the Ukrainian/ Canadian Boeing 737 airplane shot down by a missile yesterday in Tehran killing 176 people.

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There is a history between the US and Iran. In this case, I believe Iran is retaliating for a similar “mistake” accidentally-on-purpose event which occurred in 1988.

The American government murdered 290 people on board an Iranian passenger plane. This count includes 66 children.

This is what I am telling you: Yes, despite what they may have taught us in school, sometimes America is not the “good guys” like it always is in the movies. Ronald Reagan blew up an Iranian plane and said “Oops, sorry! Thoughts and prayers” back in the day. Now the Iranians play the eye for an eye the card some 30 years later. See they didn’t forget.

Here is the Washington Post’s account of the incident from July 6, 1988:

REAGAN APOLOGIZED TO IRAN FOR DOWNING OF JETLINER

President Reagan said yesterday he apologized to Iran on Sunday for the USS Vincennes’ shooting down of an Iranian passenger jet over the Persian Gulf that killed all 290 persons aboard and declared treparations or compensation to the families of victims are “a matter that has to be discussed.”

Reagan, a White House spokesman disclosed yesterday, sent a five-paragraph diplomatic note expressing “deep regret” to the Iranian government on Sunday, shortly after U.S. military leaders learned the guided-missile cruiser destroyed the Iran Air A300 Airbus apparently after mistaking it for an Iranian F14 fighter plane.

The president’s message sought to assure the Iranian government the attack was an accident, White House spokesman Marlin Fitzwater said.

Reagan, speaking to reporters as he boarded a helicopter for a visit to ailing Salvadoran President Jose Napoleon Duarte at Walter Reed Army Medical Center yesterday afternoon, replied “Yes” when asked if he considered his message to Tehran an apology.

Amid these conciliatory gestures by a leader who repeatedly denounced Iran, Defense Department officials yesterday revealed new details of the incident that in turn raise new questions about the circumstances of the disaster.

Pentagon officials said they learned the Airbus may have been flying higher than originally believed and the military aircraft signal the Vincennes reported receiving may have come from a separate plane. In addition, House Armed Services Committee Chairman Les Aspin (D-Wis.) said Defense Department officials said for the first time at a Capitol Hill briefing yesterday the Airbus was indeed flying in its assigned commercial air corridor.

At a briefing, a Pentagon spokesman said electronic data from another U.S. warship in the Persian Gulf, the frigate USS Sides, indicate the Airbus may have been at an altitude of 12,600 feet when it was hit by a U.S. surface-to-air missile. The Vincennes reported the Airbus was at 9,000 feet when it fired the missile. The spokesman said officials are uncertain which is correct.

The spokesman also said classified data indicate the Vincennes picked up two different electronic signals from the Airbus, one of which indicated it could have been a civilian aircraft, and a second, separate signal that indicated it was an Iranian F14 warplane.

Defense Department officials said they have no explanation for why a civilian aircraft would transmit electronic messages usually restricted to military planes.

“The signals . . . that the Vincennes was receiving from that aircraft were signals that we had previously identified or associated with an F14,” Pentagon spokesman Dan Howard said.

However, Howard said the frigate USS Sides, which was in the area, did not detect the same F14-like identification signals.

The Vincennes, equipped with the sophisticated Aegis electronic combat system, shot down the aircraft as it approached within nine miles of the ship, just minutes after the cruiser exchanged gunfire with three small Iranian boats.

Defense Department officials yesterday disclosed new details of the “electronic information” that helped convince Capt. Will Rogers III his ship was in danger. Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman William J. Crowe Jr. on Sunday refused to provide details of the electronic signals, saying the information was classified.

With conflicting details raising even more questions about the incident, Pentagon officials yesterday described the previously classified electronic information picked up by the Vincennes’ Identification Friend or Foe (IFF) radar system.

When the Vincennes IFF system electronically questioned the approaching aircraft, the plane responded with electronic identification codes on two separate channels, according to Defense Department officials.

One channel, called Mode 3 and used by all military and civilian aircraft, provided the Vincennes with a four-digit number used by a civilian air traffic controller to locate aircraft. Pentagon officials said that emission indicates the plane could have been a commercial jet, but said the skipper of the Vincennes would not necessarily be able to positively identify the aircraft by that number.

Even more critical, according to Defense Department officials, was a second transmission received by the Vincennes from a Mode 2 frequency used only by military aircraft. That emission indicated the aircraft was an Iranian F14 fighter plane, based on codes U.S. military officials in the region previously identified as those used by the Iranians, officials said.

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Pentagon officials declined to speculate yesterday as to why a civilian aircraft would have the two transponders. One official familiar with the systems said he has never known of a civilian aircraft transmitting on both the Mode 2 and Mode 3 channels.

Defense Department officials briefing House leaders yesterday said the military signals could possibly have been emitted from other aircraft flying in the area and been distorted by the gulf’s hot, humid atmosphere, or they could have come from a plane following closely behind the Airbus, according to House members. Those explanations, however, are considered only hypothetical by the Pentagon officials conducting the briefing, lawmakers said.

Officials also said the military code must be set manually on the ground before a plane takes off. One possible explanation of the dual frequencies is Iran, in the past, used some commercial aircraft to ferry military troops and could have outfitted the aircraft with both transponders.

The frigate Sides, operating near the Vincennes, picked up only transmissions from the airbus’ Mode 3 channel, however, and had no indication of transmissions on the military frequency, Howard said.

On Sunday, Adm. Crowe told reporters the Vincennes received no IFF indications the airplane was a commercial jet and refused to elaborate on what he called “electronic information” indicating the aircraft was a fighter jet. He said such information is classified.

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Howard said yesterday this was the first time the Defense Department had revealed it knew the codes used by the Iranian military Mode 2 transponders.

Howard said the electronic signals would be only one piece of information used by the Vincennes skipper to determine whether the approaching aircraft was hostile or not.

But new conflicting details also emerged involving the other evidence used by the skipper, including the location and altitude of the aircraft.

Pentagon officials told House leaders in a briefing yesterday the Iranian aircraft was not outside the commercial aircraft corridor as originally reported by Crowe on Sunday, according to Rep. Aspin.

Aspin said he was told the aircraft was flying about four miles west of the center line of a commercial flight corridor approximately 11 miles wide. Crowe on Sunday said the Iranian plane was about 4 1/2 miles outside the established commercial flight corridor.

According to Aspin’s briefing, the aircraft turned easterly toward the center line of the corridor to readjust its course, which sent it flying head-on in the direction of the Vincennes.

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Pentagon officials said they had no immediate response to Aspin’s report last night.

Defense Department officials also said yesterday while the Vincennes reported the aircraft was descending and at an altitude of about 9,000 feet when the two Standard missiles were fired, the Sides had no indications the plane was descending and reported it above 12,000 feet.

The air control tower at Bandar Abbas reported the pilot had just received authorization to climb from 7,000 to 14,000 feet when the aircraft was shot down, according to the last recorded radio conversation between the plane and Iranian air controllers.

A six-person team headed by the U.S. Central Command’s Rear Adm. William Fogarty arrived on the Vincennes today to begin an investigation of the incident and the conflicting information, officials said. The investigation is expected to take two to three weeks to complete, officials said.

“The investigation is a Monday morning quarterback excercise,” Howard said. “But it is one in which they try to look at that period of time in which the commander of the ship had available to him to make a decision.”

Howard reiterated the Pentagon’s full support of the actions of the Vincennes skipper.

“The commander had a very few minutes in which to make a very crucial decision that was certainly life-or-death for {him} and for his ship and for his crew,” Howard said. “And he had to make that decision based upon the information available to him at the time.”

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9 thoughts on “Remember Iran Air Flight 655

  1. Hmm…this is a strange situation indeed, it’s difficult to know what to make of it so far. I’ve read articles and reports that make a compelling case for the downing of PanAm fight 103 in December 1988 over Lockerbie, Scotland being the Iranian revenge act for the US Navy shooting down the Iran Air civilian Airbus earlier that year. The Lockerbie bombing was officially portrayed as an act masterminded by Libya’s Muammar Qaddafi but lack of evidence pointing in that direction and gross inconsistencies at the trial of the Libyan guy it was eventually pinned on suggest that this is almost certainly not the case. Also, both Qaddafi and the patsy always maintained that they had nothing to do with it.

    There is no smoking gun that points to the Iranian state being behind the Lockerbie crash but I do remember there being circumstantial evidence and leaked intelligence agency information that suggests this a realistic possibility. It also makes a certain amount of intuitive sense. Most of the passengers on the PanAm flight were American and the plane blew up only a few months after the Iranian plane was shot down.

    In contrast, the Ukrainian 737 crash happened over 30 years after the Iran Air shoot down and the vast majority of passengers on board were Iranian. Shooting it down or blowing it out of the sky as an act of revenge for that incident doesn’t make a lot of sense to me. I obviously don’t know what happened (it wasn’t me, I swear!) but the accidental shoot down hypothesis isn’t completely implausible.

    The United States, Israel, the UK and other regime change agitators that took part in, or cheered, Soleimani’s murder can’t be counted on to tell the truth or be honest brokers either. They will likely milk this incident for for all the anti-Iran psyop potential they can get out of it. Since many of the victims were Canadian citizens it would make sense for the Canadians to take a more nuanced “truth based” approach but given the recklessly amoral times we live in and PM Trudeau’s record of eagerly throwing his lot in with the US/NATO western supremacist crowd at every turn that might be giving them too much credit.

    Everything at this point is pure speculation and the “open source” sleuths who are busting out the aerial photographs, crash scene shots and document scans and claiming that they’ve figured it all out are just pulling a Bellingcat and can’t be taken too seriously.

    What do I think happened to that plane? I don’t know. It’s a very unusual event. It might take a very long time for any sort of verifiable facts to emerge from fog of disinformation and propaganda it is already shrouded in.

    —-
    (Bonus Material!)
    One thing we seem to have forgotten in this era of instant everything, “social” media and dumbing ourselves down to the level of binary calculating machines is that ambiguity is still a thing. It didn’t go away only because we have lost our capacity to reflect dispassionately and admit that it is impossible for us to sit behind our devices and determine exactly how every contentious and disputed geopolitical event played out. Back when we still had a tolerance for ambiguity, before confirmation biases and internet induced binary thinking took over our minds and fried our collective capacity to think independently, it was called speculation and it was understood that most of the time we don’t know, can’t know, exactly what happened at events we did not experience or witness first hand.

    The irrational jettisoning of ambiguity as a useful concept began on September 11, 2001. Each “truther” faction, as well as those determined to take the government’s explanation at face value, fanatically believes against all reason, that their pet theory is the whole truth and nothing but the truth and everyone who thinks otherwise is a gullible dupe or a hopeless conspiracy theorist.

    That kind of “thinking” has become mainstream since 2001. Take any contentious and disputed geopolitical event and watch people pick their team, shut off their brains and delude themselves into believing they know without a shred of doubt what they logically and realistically cannot know. e.g. who poisoned the Skripals, what brought the Ukrainian plane down. The only honest answer here is “I don’t know” but almost nobody is saying that.

    A though experiment:
    Pretend there exists an omniscient godlike truth machine that knows whodunnit and how they did it. Want to know who killed JFK? Ask the God Machine! Want to know if your girlfriend/boyfriend told you the truth about what they did with that flirty co-worker they met for drinks last week? The God Machine will tell you! Now, pretend you are one of those people who “knows” who poisoned the Skripals or who did 9/11 etc. Tell the God Machine and if your “truth” is correct, you get a free internet ready NSA smart toaster and another item of your choosing that you really want or need. However if your “truth” is not the truth, the God Machine will still tell you the true truth, and give you the toaster, but it will also punish you for your sloppy thinking by doing something terrible to a loved one or a beloved pet.

    How many of those annoying internet forum people at Moon of Alabama and OffGuardian who try to browbeat and berate everyone into accepting their preferred narratives as true would test their “truth” against the omniscient God Machine?

    Exactly.

    We have become a society that eschews basic reason and logical thinking while embracing wilful self-deception and overly emotional tribal allegiance signalling. But instead of taking a step back and thinking and reflecting honestly about the implications of this and other regressive social and intellectual trends that are playing themselves out in our troubled civilization, we seem to be sliding ever further down the rabbit hole of wholesale conspicuous reality denial.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Well spoken, Eric. Agreed.

    My first reaction to hearing about this recent plane tragedy is written from a frame of mind which accepts what was reported, namely a missile hit a passenger plane near Tehran. I connected this event with a previous event in 1988.

    The bottom line being a missile striking a plane this close to the event of Iran firing missiles at targets in Iraq seems just too related temporally to be unconnected.

    https://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-51042156

    Binary thinking. Either “we” did it or “they” did it.

    Could be neither or even both or we’ll never know. Accident? On purpose? Spontaneous? Missiles? Us? Them? Someone else? There’s more than 2 possibilities in any case. I dunno which one is most likely as I don’t live in Tehran and have no access to anything more than publicly available information.

    However, upon further review, it appears a missile may not be involved in the recent plane crash at all. That part of things may be completely made up. As we know from previous experience, our news reports are not always accurate, especially when it comes to evidence of shenanigans in the Middle East.

    Time to get skeptical and humble. I am not God and reserve the right not to have an opinion.

    My guesstimate of the 1988 and 2020 bombings is a belief based on having grown up in the Reagan Era. At that time, the Ayatollah was on TV every day. He was Dr. Evil. The Iran Conra affair selling drugs and running guns with Uncle Ron. The October Surprise and the hostages.

    The point being the hatred people like McCain and Pompeo – the bomb ’em all maniacs – feel towards Iran must be reciprocated by some folks on Iran’s side of the fence as well. Folks who may have fingers on buttons. My unsolicited advice is try to take both sides in your mind and then realize there’s more than two sides to take.

    Here’s the latest, in which Iran denies any missile involved:

    https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2020/01/cloneofiran-tensions-soleimani-killing-latest-up-200110034737843.html

    Iran rejects claim missile downed plane

    Al Jazeera’s Assed Baig reporting from Tehran said according to the aviation authority, the pilot did contact Mehrabad airport, which deals with domestic flights in Tehran, seeking permission to climb to a higher altitude of 26,000ft.

    “We’re getting that extra information because before we thought the pilot had no communication but now we’re hearing that he did communicate with Mehrabad airport,” Baig said.

    The aviation authority also said the plane caught fire for a minute and a half to two minutes.

    “They said he did try to turn the airplane around and his priority was to save the aircraft and the passengers,” Baig said.

    Iranian authorities have said they will try to repair the damaged black box to retrieve the data, but if they do not succeed, they will seek assistance from Canada, the US and Ukraine, Baig added.

    Ali Abedzadeh, head of Iran’s civil aviation department, has rejected claims that Tehran unintentionally hit the airliner with a surface-to-air missile, saying it was impossible due to close coordination between Iran’s air defence and civil aviation department.

    “As I said, based on the law, there is full coordination between our air defence and our civil [aviation] system. Our civil aviation personnel and air defence personnel sit side by side, so it is absolutely impossible for such a thing [shooting down a passenger plane] to happen,” Abedzadeh told a news conference.

    He called on the US and Canada to share any information they have on the crash.

    “What is obvious for us, and what we can say with certainty, is that no missile hit the plane,” Abedzadeh said.

    “If they are really sure, they should come and show their findings to the world,” in accordance with international standards, he added.

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      1. Which part is wrong?

        The part about America overthrowing the democratically elected leader of Iran in 1953 for oil for BP?

        or the part about Reagan making an October Surprise deal with Iran over the hostage crisis in the ’80s?

        I’m not an Iranian or a Muslim or any of that stuff. I am an American who thinks we’ve been lied to repeatedly by our government and that all things considered, we’ve basically fucked up this whole Iran situation from day one in ’53 and ought to get the hell out of there and leave these people alone.

        That’s what I’ve written so far…

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Now the Iranians contradict themselves and claim to have fucked up. An eye for an eye or a fuckup for a fuckup? You decide. Truth is malleable and the hammer is hot.

    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/jan/11/iran-admits-shooting-down-ukrainian-airliner-unintentionally

    ^This is exactly why no one should possess nuclear weapons. Not Americans and not Iranians. Accidental or intentional, dead is dead either way. Humans are fallible creatures and get spooked. Eventually we’ll off ourselves with doomsday devices.

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  4. I vaguely knew of that earlier incident. But in 1988, I was a young kid still in elementary school. If someone as old as me doesn’t have much memory of it, think of what large portion of the less informed population has any clue.

    Anyway, I don’t doubt it could be connected. I think cultures in general have long memories. In the collective moral imagination, many Americans see our country still fighting the American Revolution or Civil War. Some argue the Chinese have never forgotten or forgiven what happened to the Boxer Rebellion and one day will seek their revenge.

    An event from a few decades ago is nothing. If I was Iranian, I’d probably be chanting, “Death to the Americans!” The US military and CIA has done enough to Iran to inspire generations of violent retribution. So, that there are some people still burning over what Reagan did to their country, it seems plausible to me.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Glad the structure of the argument means something to someone, Ben. You follow the logic.

      Here in the US, we have a bunch of crazy neoconcervatives represented by the likes of John McCain who hate Iran. Why?

      Because Iran is a huge part of their memories. Just as cold war with Russia is something people remember. The propaganda imprint is strong of events such as the hostages crisis.

      https://theconversation.com/why-does-the-american-right-hate-iran-so-much-96304

      So imagine what the propaganda imprint must be on the other side. How many Iranians remember USA as the Great Satan from their younger days?

      The point being, any event which happens today is tied to a long history, which makes it more likely we’ll fuck up again in the present, just as we fucked up in the past – On Both Sides!

      Liked by 1 person

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