US Navy to Discipline Officers and Crew for Obeying Higher Command Orders to Sail Illegally into Iranian Waters

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US Navy to Discipline Officers and Crew for Obeying Higher Command Orders to Sail Illegally into Iranian Waters
by Stephen Lendman
Last January 12, Iranian forces seized two small US naval vessels, operating illegally in Iranian waters – detaining 10 crew members at the time.
Washington spies intensively on Iran, both vessels likely involved in surveillance, caught red-handed. GPS devices taken from crew members confirmed their illegal presence in Iranian waters.
They were detained for 16 hours, humanely treated in custody, Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) saying at the time it released the US servicemen and their vessels after determining no harm was done – blaming Washington for “excited and unprofessional moves.”
Following the seizure, Iranian naval commander Rear Admiral Ali Fadavi said “the US Navy and (a nearby) aircraft carrier resorted to unprofessional behavior as well as aerial and seaborne provocations in the area, which were deflected through the IRGC’s timely action.”
“Any country’s territorial waters are where the presence of vessels should come with prior notification and permission.”
IGRC forces acted responsibly, calm restored in short order. Washington considers international waters its own. 
Defense Secretary Ashton Carter asserted America’s right to “fly, sail and operate” anywhere it wishes, governed solely by its own rules, risking world peace and stability.
A Thursday US Department of the Navy report deflected blame from higher command authority where it belongs, intending disciplinary action against nine of the sailors involved – on the phony pretext of rule of conduct violations.
Allegedly during interrogations, they said more beyond their name, rank, serial number and date of birth.
The US officer in charge was accused of violating code of conduct rules by encouraging his crew to eat, along with making a videotaped statement as a condition for his crew’s release.
US Navy investigators called the incident “the result of failed leadership at multiple levels from the tactical to the operational” – falsely saying the vessels strayed off course, one boat experiencing a mechanical failure.
Claiming “they were unaware (of being) in Iranian waters” was a bald-faced lie. GPS devices on board indicated precisely where they were – in Iranian waters illegally where they didn’t belong.
Higher-ups should be disciplined for provocatively violating international law – not officers and crew involved in the incident obeying orders.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at
His new book as editor and contributor is titled “Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III.”
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Stephen Lendman
Stephen Lendman
Stephen Lendman was born in 1934 in Boston, MA. In 1956, he received a BA from Harvard University. Two years of US Army service followed, then an MBA from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania in 1960. After working seven years as a marketing research analyst, he joined the Lendman Group family business in 1967. He remained there until retiring at year end 1999. Writing on major world and national issues began in summer 2005. In early 2007, radio hosting followed. Lendman now hosts the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network three times weekly. Distinguished guests are featured. Listen live or archived. Major world and national issues are discussed. Lendman is a 2008 Project Censored winner and 2011 Mexican Journalists Club international journalism award recipient.