…Never Attribute To Malice What Can Adequately Be Explained By The Sheer Weirdness of the World We Live In.
If you’ve been tuning in to the mainstream news you know that a bunch of tiny Iranian ships threatened an American navy destroyer, and we have video/audio of it.
If you’ve been tuning in to slightly less mainstream news, you know that the Iranians deny making the threats and point out that the voice making the threats sounds nothing like the Iranian officer who was speaking at the time, and appears to be clumsily cut in to the audio.
Given the atmosphere of mostly baseless panic about, and aggression towards, Iran that has been encouraged in America in the last couple years, it seemed logical, at least sort of, to think of this as a manufactured “Gulf of Tonkin Incident” intended to justify a war, just like the fake Weapons of Mass Destruction intelligence.
But so clumsy! So obviously fake! There wasn’t even a Colin Powell presentation before the U.N.! Surely they’d do a better job this time around wouldn’t they?…
Via GniobGniob, there are reports coming out that it may have been the maritime radio equivalent of an internet troll. One who’s been doing this for 25 years.
“Based on my experience operating in that part of the world, where theare is a lot of maritime activity, trying to discern [who is speaking on the radio channel] is very hard to do,” Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Gary Roughead told Navy Times during a brief telephone interview today.
Indeed, the voice in the audio sounds different from the one belonging to an Iranian officer shown speaking to the cruiser Port Royal over a radio from a small open boat in the video released by Iranian authorities. He is shown in a radio exchange at one point asking the U.S. warship to change from the common bridge-to-bridge channel 16 to another channel, perhaps to speak to the Navy without being interrupted.
Further, there’s none of the background noise in the audio released by the U.S. that would have been picked up by a radio handset in an open boat.
So with Navy officials unsure and the Iranians accusing the U.S. of fabrications, whose voice was it? In recent years, American ships operating in the Middle East have had to contend with a mysterious but profane voice known by the ethnically insulting handle of “Filipino Monkey,” likely more than one person, who listens in on ship-to-ship radio traffic and then jumps on the net shouting insults and jabbering vile epithets.
Navy women — a helicopter pilot hailing a tanker, for example — who are overheard on the radio are said to suffer particularly degrading treatment.
Several Navy ship drivers interviewed by Navy Times are raising the possibility that the Monkey, or an imitator, was indeed featured in that video.
Rick Hoffman, a retired captain who commanded the cruiser Hue City and spent many of his 17 years at sea in the Gulf was subject to the renegade radio talker repeatedly, often without pause during the so-called “Tanker Wars” of the late 1980s.
“For 25 years there’s been this mythical guy out there who, hour after hour, shouts obscenities and threats,” he said. “He could be tied up pierside somewhere or he could be on the bridge of a merchant ship.”
And the Monkey has stamina.
“He used to go all night long. The guy is crazy,” he said. “But who knows how many Filipino Monkeys there are? Could it have been a spurious transmission? Absolutely.”