Truth Is Stranger Than Conspiracy Theory, or..

…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.

‘Filipino Monkey’ behind threats? – Navy News, opinions, editorials, news from Iraq, photos, reports – Navy Times:

“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.”

The Strange Story of Don LaRose :: Northwest Arkansas’ News Source:

The story of Don LaRose reads like a script for an old made-for-television movie – Satanism, brainwashing, kidnapping and assumed identity…

For Ken Williams – who has been mayor of Centerton since 2001 and has been a radio personality in the county since the early 1980 s – the story of Don LaRose has been a deep, well-kept secret…

The similarities between the two men are striking – from a resume history of radio personality, ministry and parallel trips to Israel to facial features and a comb-over hairstyle.

There’s a reason for the similarities: Ken Williams is the name Don LaRose assumed when he began a new life before coming to northwest Arkansas in the early 1980 s.

Apparently this fellow has a history of being “kidnapped by Satanists” and disappearing from his old life and starting a new one under an assumed name. It’s happened a couple times. The last time, it lasted for over 20 years, and his former life was only revealed when he, in his new identity, put up a web site about his old identity, not realizing, apparently, that people who knew him in his old identity (in this case, his nephew, Ed Miller of Holland, MI), who found the web site could track him down via the whois information.

Saw the story originally here via Reddit, and tracked down more info with google. This blogger has many many links if it’s details you crave.

Pete Hoekstra (R-MI): Republicans Can Only Succeed By Frightening America

Leaked memo: “Democrats want to force us to focus on defending the surge, making the case that it will work, and explaining why the President’s new Iraq policy is different from prior efforts and therefore justified. We urge you to instead broaden the debate to the threat posed to Americans, the world, and all ‘unbelievers’ by radical Islamists. We would further urge you to join us in educating the American people about the views of Radical Islamists and the consequences of not defeating radical Islam in Iraq. The debate should not be about the surge or its details. this debate should not even be about the Iraq war to date, mistakes that have been made, or whether we can, or cannot, win militarily. If we let Democrats force us into a debate on the surge or the current situation in Iraq, we lose.”