Obama Wants His Drone Back – Dick Cheney: Barack Obama Should Have Ordered An Airstrike Over Iran – Iran Says It’s Scientists Can Now Control Captured US Spy Drone

Update: 🙂

Obama Wants His Drone Back (ZeroHedge, Dec. 13, 2011):

Several days after being humiliated by Iran which either shot down a EQ-170 drone, or worse, hacked into its navigation system and landed it, Obama has decided to double down, and stick the other foot in his mouth. As ABC reports in connection with Obama’s handling of this embarrassing predicament, “”We’ve asked for it back. We’ll see how the Iranians respond,” Obama said at a news conference. Obama said he wouldn’t comment further “on intelligence matters that are classified.” Great, the only problem is Iran will never return it, as they have already indicated, for the simple reason that it has already been reverse engineered 5 ways from Sunday somewhere deep in the bowels of one of China’s unpopulated cities, which just doubles as a very populated military intelligence base. The only good news is that within 6-9 months every American will be able to buy a personal stealth drone for a new low, low price at their friendly neighborhood Wal-Mart. Our only concern is whether FoxConn will be able to handle the supply of both iPads and straight for re-export drones: it would be ironic if this massive military embarrassment ends up as being a catalyst to short Apple. 🙂

Imagine Iran would order an airstrike on the US to destroy a captured Iranian drone.

Ouch.

Before:

Iran Claims It’s Almost Done Decoding US CIA Drone

Iran Shows Off Captured US Drone, Claims To Have Overridden Drone Flight Control Systems (Video)

US Drone Lost Over Iran Was On CIA Operation – Rep. Dennis Kucinich: ‘The Events Have Been Confirmed, So When You Start To Connect The Dots, Those Dots Start To Spell The Word WAR’ (Video)



Formal request: President Obama at Monday’s news conference with Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki

‘They’ll likely send the drone back in pieces’: Dick Cheney rips Obama for failing to act on downed spy plane (Daily Mail, Dec. 13, 2011):

  • Dick Cheney says Barack Obama should have ordered an airstrike over Iran
  • U.S. admits it does not hold out much hope for spy plane’s return
  • Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad thanks Americans for ‘giving’ craft

The downing of a U.S. drone in Iran and its subsequent capture by the country’s military has been nothing but an embarrassment for the President Obama as he faces a tough re-election battle.

Former U.S. Vice-President Dick Cheney blasted Mr Obama for his soft approach in trying to get the surveillance plane back, insisting he should have ordered an airstrike over Iran instead.

He told CNN: ‘The right response would have been to go in immediately after it had gone down and destroy it.

‘You can do that from the air and, in effect, make it impossible for them to benefit from having captured that drone, but [Obama] asked nicely for them to return it, and they aren’t going to.’Mr Cheney added that the Iranians will likely send the drone back ‘in pieces after they’ve gotten all the intelligence they can out of it.’

The White House made the formal request to Iran yesterday for the drone’s return to U.S. forces.

During a White House news conference with Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, Mr Obama said: ‘We have asked for it back. We’ll see how the Iranians respond.’

But, like the cranky old codger who just got a ball kicked into their backyard, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad refused to give it back.

Instead, the Iranian president took to the airwaves, taunting President Obama on Venezuelan state TV as he bragged that Iran now ‘has control’ of the once-secret spy plane.

Speaking through an interpreter, Mr Ahmadinejad said: ‘There are people here who have been able to control this spy plane, who can surely analyse this plane’s system also.

‘In any case, now we have this spy plane.’

Ahmadinejad also claimed his scientists have already learned how to control the high-tech craft.

He said: ‘The Americans have perhaps decided to give us this spy plane. We now have control of this plane.’

Mr Obama refused to comment on what the Iranians might learn from studying the downed aircraft.

U.S. Defence Secretary Leon Panetta said it is difficult to know ‘just frankly how much they’re going to be able to get from having obtained those parts’.

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Mr Panetta said they are not optimistic about getting the drone back because of recent Iranian behaviour that Clinton said indicated ‘that the path that Iran seems to be going down is a dangerous one for themselves and the region’.

Speaking to reports at a U.S. State Department news conference with British Foreign Secretary William Hague, she added: ‘We submitted a formal request for the return of our lost equipment as we would in any situation to any government around the world.

‘Given Iran’s behaviour to date we do not expect them to comply but we are dealing with all of these provocations and concerning actions taken by Iran in close concert with our closest allies and partners.’

Mr Panetta said the request to return the drone was appropriate.

He said: ‘I don’t expect that that will happen. But I think it’s important to make that request.’

Neither Mr Obama nor Mrs Clinton would provide details of the drone request, but diplomatic exchanges between Washington to Tehran are often handled by Switzerland, which represents U.S. interests in Iran.
‘You can do that from the air and, in effect, make it impossible for them to benefit from having captured that drone, but [Obama] asked nicely for them to return it, and they aren’t going to.’

Mr Cheney added that the Iranians will likely send the drone back ‘in pieces after they’ve gotten all the intelligence they can out of it.’

The White House made the formal request to Iran yesterday for the drone’s return to U.S. forces.

During a White House news conference with Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, Mr Obama said: ‘We have asked for it back. We’ll see how the Iranians respond.’

But, like the cranky old codger who just got a ball kicked into their backyard, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad refused to give it back.

Instead, the Iranian president took to the airwaves, taunting President Obama on Venezuelan state TV as he bragged that Iran now ‘has control’ of the once-secret spy plane.

Speaking through an interpreter, Mr Ahmadinejad said: ‘There are people here who have been able to control this spy plane, who can surely analyse this plane’s system also.

‘In any case, now we have this spy plane.’

Ahmadinejad also claimed his scientists have already learned how to control the high-tech craft.

He said: ‘The Americans have perhaps decided to give us this spy plane. We now have control of this plane.’

Mr Obama refused to comment on what the Iranians might learn from studying the downed aircraft.

U.S. Defence Secretary Leon Panetta said it is difficult to know ‘just frankly how much they’re going to be able to get from having obtained those parts’.

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Mr Panetta said they are not optimistic about getting the drone back because of recent Iranian behaviour that Clinton said indicated ‘that the path that Iran seems to be going down is a dangerous one for themselves and the region’.

Speaking to reports at a U.S. State Department news conference with British Foreign Secretary William Hague, she added: ‘We submitted a formal request for the return of our lost equipment as we would in any situation to any government around the world.

‘Given Iran’s behaviour to date we do not expect them to comply but we are dealing with all of these provocations and concerning actions taken by Iran in close concert with our closest allies and partners.’

Mr Panetta said the request to return the drone was appropriate.

He said: ‘I don’t expect that that will happen. But I think it’s important to make that request.’

Neither Mr Obama nor Mrs Clinton would provide details of the drone request, but diplomatic exchanges between Washington to Tehran are often handled by Switzerland, which represents U.S. interests in Iran.

The State Department said yesterday that the Swiss ambassador to Iran met with Iranian foreign ministry officials last week but refused to say what they discussed.

Iran television reported yesterday that Iranian experts were in the final stages of recovering data from the RQ-170 Sentinel, which went down in the country earlier this month.

Tehran has cited the capture as a victory for Iran and displayed the nearly intact drone on state TV. U.S. officials say the aircraft malfunctioned and was not brought down by Iran.

Despite the incident, Mrs Clinton said the administration and its allies would continue to push Iran to engage over its nuclear program while at the same time increasing pressure on the regime with new, enhanced sanctions.

‘We obviously believe strongly in a diplomatic approach. We want to see the Iranians engage and, as you know, we have attempted to bring about that engagement over the course of the last three-plus years. It has not proven effective, but we are not giving up on it,’ she said.

Standing beside Mrs Clinton, Mr Hague agreed.

‘We’re not giving up on engagement with Iran, but on a number of occasions Iran has behaved in a way in recent weeks and months which has intensified confrontation with the rest of the world,’ he said. ‘We have seen an increasing predilection for dangerous and illegal adventures on the part of at least parts of the Iranian regime.’

Mrs Clinton and Mr Hague referred to the storming of British diplomatic compounds in Tehran, allegations that Iran tried to arrange the assassination of the Saudi ambassador to the U.S., Iran’s ongoing support for militant groups and its continued defiance of demands to prove its nuclear program is peaceful.

General Hossein Salami, deputy head of Iran’s elite Revolutionary Guard, said on state television that the violation of Iran’s airspace by the U.S. drone was a ‘hostile act’ and warned of a ‘bigger’ response.

Officials in Iran even believe they can ‘mass produce’ the captured bat-winged stealthy RQ-170 Sentinel and build a ‘superior’ version following its crash on December 4.

Parviz Sorouri, the head of Iran’s parliamentary national security committee, said today: ‘Our next action will be to reverse-engineer the aircraft.

‘In the near future, we will be able to mass produce it … Iranian engineers will soon build an aircraft superior to the American [drone] using reverse engineering.’

Iranian officials say a Revolutionary Guards cyber-warfare unit hacked the aircraft’s flight controls.

Mr Sorouri said Iran experts were in the ‘final stages of cracking (the drone’s) code’.

He also denied accusations from the U.S. that Iran didn’t have the technology to replicate the drone, and that it would only be able to do so with Russian of Chinese help.

He added: ‘We will not need Russian or Chinese cooperation to copy the drone.

‘They will definitely not be involved. This great defensive capability is reserved for us, and we are not ready to share it with others.

‘We will use this capability as a deterrence. And I doubt the Islamic republic would share this technology with other countries.’

Iranian television broadcast video last Thursday of Iranian military officials inspecting what it identified as the RQ-170 Sentinel drone.

General Salami called its capture a victory for Iran and a defeat for the U.S. in a complicated intelligence and technological battle.

‘Iran is among the few countries that possesses the most modern technology in the field of pilot-less drones. The technology gap between Iran and the US is not much,’ he said.

Officers in the Guard, Iran’s most powerful military force, had previously claimed that the country’s armed forces brought down the surveillance aircraft with an electronic ambush, causing minimum damage to the drone.

American officials have said that US intelligence assessments indicate that Iran neither shot the drone down, nor used electronic or cybertechnology to force it from the sky.

They contend the drone malfunctioned. The officials had spoken anonymously in order to discuss the classified program.

But General Salami refused to provide more details of Iran’s claim to have captured the CIA-operated aircraft.

‘A party that wins in an intelligence battle doesn’t reveal its methods. We can’t elaborate on the methods we employed to intercept, control, discover and bring down the pilotless plane,’ he said.

The plane, which is known as the ‘beast of Kandahar,’ is believed to be the same aircraft that spied on Osama bin Laden’s compound before and during the Navy SEAL raid that led to his death.

The White House declined to comment but officials did not seem unduly alarmed, suggesting that the drone’s capture would not provide Iran with significant information about U.S. surveillance technology and techniques.

Trita Parsi, president of the National Iranian American Council in Washington, said last week that the build-up of incidents with Iran ‘add up to a very worrisome picture’.

This was, he said, in part because ‘the Iranians are absorbing all of these assassinations without seeing the pace of their nuclear program slow down to the extent it would be acceptable to the West.’

But if Iranian retaliations grow serious enough, he said, they could provide ‘the pretext for a much larger war’ in which the Israelis, and possibly the Americans, launch a full attack on Iran.

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