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Violent international countermeasures
Documents

Iran Air 655 and Pan Am 103: An eye-for-an-eye?


by Charles Judson Harwood Jr.


“ Americans don’t trust details. They only trust headlines.”

Gene Hackman, as Senator Keeley, in Birdcage (1996) (Elaine May, writer; Mike Nichols, director)

If he’s not talking about you, then you’ve found the right webpage.  CJHjr

We hear about this (‘Lockerbie’: Pan Am 103, Dec. 21 1988, 270 victims):

“Lawyers representing the families of the victims of the Pan Am 103 bombing struck a deal with Libyan officials last year involving a $10 million payment to each victim’s family. An initial $4 million would be paid once U.N. sanctions have been formally lifted. An additional $4 million would be paid once the United States lifts its sanctions. The final $2 million would be delivered if Libya is removed from the State Department’s list of states allegedly sponsoring terrorism.”

Colum Lynch, “Deal Reached With Libya on Pan Am Bombing{pf} (The Washington Post, August 12 2003, page A17).

But we don’t hear about this, less than 6 months earlier (‘the other Lockerbie’: Iran Air 655, July 3 1988, 290 victims):

“The survivors of each victim of the Iran Air shootdown will be paid $300,000 (for wage-earning victims) or $150,000 (for non-wage-earning victims).”

Bill Clinton, U.S. President (Jan. 20 1993-2001 Jan. 19), “Developments Concerning the National Emergency with Respect to Iran” (May 16 1996).

British and American news editors rarely report that one Anglo/American is worth 33 “rag-heads”.

An American child or student or housewife or elder are each worth 66 of their Muslim, Hindu, and other lesser counterparts.

Or, 10,000 Afghanis, at $1000 each. (It’s cheaper to kill them all than to bother with them).

Adolph Hitler had a forthright label for such people.

And you can be certain, that nearly every Arab, every Muslim, and the rest of the world’s Untermenchen know these ratios and understand their significance.

Why do people hate America?


This webpage is in progress:

This a documented analysis of the negligence, gross negligence, reckless negligence, and intentional torts by the United States Military, being the proximate cause of its ambush of the civilian airliner Iran Air 655 (July 3 1988, 290 victims); the subsequent lies (including material omissions) by U.S. Military Officers; the wrongful refusal by U.S. Officers to admit wrongdoing and pay damages, or else consent to litigation; the foreseeable consequences of their decision, being the bombing of the civilian airliner Pan Am 103 (Dec. 21 1988, 270 victims); the resulting crime, being involuntary manslaughter by those U.S. Officers responsible for lying about Iran Air 655 and for the willful decision by United States Officers to not accept responsibility for U.S. wrongdoing; thereby legalizing the foreseeable resulting bombing of Pan Am 103, an apparent international countermeasure by law enforcement officers (the bombers), if they were acting for Iran. The fruitless lawsuits by the victims of Iran Air 655 in U.S. Courts which refused to hear their case. Iran’s lawsuit in the United Nation’s International Court of Justice, in the teeth of President Reagan’s extensive efforts to prevent all victim-nations of U.S. wrongdoing access to that Court. President George H.W. Bush’s partial, restricted settlement offer without apology to induce Iran to drop its case. Clinton’s eventual settlement to preempt that Court’s ruling. The law of violent international countermeasures (a species of self-defense).

First, was the ambush of Iran Air Flight 655 by U.S. Military Officers lawful, or unlawful?

CJHjr


The Flight

“ I believe that the actions of Iran were the proximate cause of this accident.”

William J. Crowe Jr.
(Admiral, Chairman, J.C.S.), DoD Report, Endorsement, p.3, ¶ 3 (Aug. 18 1988)

On July 3 1988, a Sunday morning, an Iranian airliner took-off from Tehran on a round-trip flight to Dubai, with a stopover at Bandar Abbas, on Iran’s Gulf coast, where it landed normally at 8:40 a.m local time (05:10 UTC). This was a regular passenger service, on a published schedule, which Iran Air had operated twice a week for 20 years, on Sundays and Tuesdays.

Iran Air Flight 655 was scheduled to depart Bandar Abbas at 9:50 a.m. (06:20 UTC) and arrive Dubai at 11:15 Dubai time (07:15 UTC), gate to gate. It was a short hop across the Strait of Hormuz, only 130 nautical-miles, requiring only 28 minutes in the air. A passenger’s immigration problem at the gate delayed the flight 15 minutes, and the pilot requested engine-start at 10:05 a.m. (06:35 UTC).

No other aircraft had taken-off from Bandar Abbas airport that morning. Iran Air Flight 655 was the only airliner from Bandar Abbas scheduled to depart that morning and the only one scheduled to cross the Gulf that day.

The IR655 flight plan, filed with the region’s Air Traffic Control authorities 8 hours 40 minutes earlier, requested a cruising altitude of 16,000 feet (“pressure altitude,” flight level 160). But the pilot changed his request to 14,000 feet, in his initial radio contact (flight level 140), perhaps thinking to pick-up lost time that way. The winds aloft were the same at both altitudes: a 15-knot tail wind for his course (205°) (14,000 feet: 090°/18 kt, 18,000 feet: 080°/25 kt, at 0700/10:30 a.m.). ICAO Report, ¶ 1.7.3, p.4.

And, he likely took account of the low air pressure that day (QNH 998 hPa), his density altitude calculations, and the high temperature (35°C) and humidity (65%) on his engine performance. His actual altitude that day would be roughly 500 feet higher than his flight-level pressure altitude (QNE 1013.25 hPa), i.e. he would be at roughly 14,500 feet at flight level 140.

The pilot was Mohsen Rezaian, a 38 year old veteran with 7000 hours, including 2057 in an AirBus A-300. He had flown this route for the previous two years. ICAO, ¶ 1.5, pp.2-3.

When its door closed at Bandar Abbas airport that morning, at 10:05 a.m. (06:35 UTC), Iran Air Flight 655 had 290 people on board from 6 countries, 274 passengers and 16 crew: 254 were nationals of Iran, 13 of the United Arab Emirates, 10 of India, 6 of Pakistan, 6 of Yugoslavia, and 1 of Italy. 57 were children and 8 were infants. It was an AirBus A300B2-203, tail number EP-IBU. (Sister photo). ICAO, ¶ 1.2.1, p.2, ¶ 1.1.1, p.1; p.D-14, D-15.

All of the pilot’s conversations on the radio, and all of the responses he received, were in the English language, as required by ICAO on international flights, except for a few incidental exchanges. These broadcasts were all on the worldwide standard, published, civil aviation frequencies (VHF: 116.000-139.975 MHz).

Anyone in the area who tuned-in heard this:

Time
UTCLocalTalkerTranscript
Bandar Abbas Tower (BND TWR) 118.1 MHz
06:34:5010:04:50IR655Tower, IranAir 655
06:34:5610:04:56BND TWRIranAir 655, Tower; go ahead
06:34:5910:04:59IR655 * Request start up clearance
06:35:0610:05:06BND TWR655, say again please
06:35:0810:05:08IR655Start up clearance
06:35:1010:05:10BND TWRRoger; standby; confirm 160 Dubai
06:35:1510:05:15IR655Flight level 140 if possible
06:35:1610:05:16BND TWR140
06:35:1710:05:17IR655Okay
06:38:0010:08:00IR655 * Tower, 655
06:38:0510:08:05BND TWR * 655, go ahead
06:38:0610:08:06IR655 * Request start up for taxi
06:38:1010:08:10BND TWRCleared to start, temperature 35 {Celsius}
06:38:1410:08:14IR655655; thank you
06:40:2110:10:21IR655Tower, 655; request taxi
06:40:2610:10:26BND TWRIranAir 655, taxi to holding point, runway 21, via Tango 05; wind calm; QNH 998 {barometric pressure in millibars}; time is 0640 {UTC}
06:40:3710:10:37IR655IranAir 655 cleared taxi for runway 21, taxiway 5; 998
06:41:1710:11:17IR655 * Confirm taxiway 5 is open
06:41:2010:11:20BND TWR * Yes, it is open
06:41:2210:11:22IR655(Microphone click)
06:41:4410:11:44BND TWR * 655, caution; construction work in progress at the entrance of taxiway 5
06:41:5010:11:50IR655(Microphone click)
06:41:5910:11:59IR655 * Tower, can we use taxiway 7
06:42:0810:12:08BND TWR * Continue taxi via parking area to taxiway 7. Caution construction work on both sides
06:42:2010:12:20IR655(Microphone click)
06:43:1910:13:19BND TWRIranAir 655, copy your ATC clearance
06:43:2410:13:24IR 655Go ahead
06:43:2510:13:25BND TWRIranAir 655 is cleared to destination Dubai via flight plan route 1 ; climb and maintain flight level 140 {14,000 feet, pressure altitude}; after take off follow simulated MOBET 1 BRAVO departure 2  {a straight ahead climb}, squawking ALPHA 6760 {transponder ID code}
06:43:4110:13:41IR 655IranAir 655 cleared destination flight planned route; flight level 140; simulated MOBET 1 BRAVO; and squawk 6760
06:43:5310:13:53BND TWRSquawk 6760, IranAir 655; that is correct; call when ready for departure
06:43:5910:13:59IR 655Call you for departure
06:45:3010:15:30IR 655Tower, IranAir 655 ready for take off
06:45:3410:15:34BND TWRIranAir 655 cleared for take off runway 21; wind calm; after departure contact approach 124.2; have a nice flight
06:45:4310:15:43IR 655655 cleared for take off 21; after take off, with approach; thank you very much; good day
Bandar Abbas Approach Control (BND APP) 124.2 MHz
06:49:1810:19:18IR 655Good morning; IranAir 655 airborne out of 3550 {feet, actual**}
06:49:2410:19:24BND APPIranAir 655, good morning to you; continue as cleared; next report at MOBET {30 n.miles from the VORTAC navigation radio, at the center of the airport}  * and standing by for your estimate
06:49:3310:19:33BND APPRoger; estimate MOBET time 52 {10:22 local time}, FIR 58 {10:28}, destination 0715 {11:15 Dubai time} {FIR refers to DARAX, 69 n.miles from the center of the airport, the next waypoint after MOBET, and the Flight Information Region boundary between Tehran ACC (Area Control Centre) and Emirates ACC}
06:49:4310:19:43BND APPIranAir 655, roger
Iran Air Company frequency 131.8 MHz
06:50:00?10:20:00?IR 655{No transcript}: “On reaching 1000 ft altitude the flight would have commenced flap retraction and transition from initial climb to enroute climb followed by the after take-off checks. During this time the call was made to the Iran Air office at Bandar Abbas with a departure message.” ICAO, ¶ 2.10.9, p.16
Tehran Area Control Centre (THR ACC) 133.4 MHz
06:50:5410:20:54IR 655...(unreadable)...
06:50:5910:20:59THR ACCStation calling Tehran
06:51:0410:21:04IR 655IranAir 655 from Bandar Abbas to Dubai; out of level 70 {7,525 feet actual**} for 140; estimating FIR 58, Dubai 0715
06:51:2010:21:20THR ACCRoger; report maintaining 140 and passing DARAX
06:51:2610:21:26IR 655Roger
06:51:2810:21:28THR ACCConfirm you are squawking 6760
06:51:3010:21:30IR 655Affirmative
Bandar Abbas Approach Control (BND APP) 124.2 MHz
06:54:0010:24:00IR 655655, position MOBET, out of 120 {12,525 feet, actual**}
06:54:0710:24:07BND APPIranAir 655, roger; contact Tehran Control 133.4; have a nice flight
06:54:1110:24:11IR 655Thank you; good day

_____

Source: ICAO Report, pp.B-2,3,4 (Nov. 7 1988, derestricted Dec. 7 1988), text {in braces} added. These transcripts are omitted from portions of the ICAO report published at 28 I.L.M. 896 (1989). Accord: U.N. Doc. S/PV.2818, pp.11-15 (U.N. Security Council, July 14 1988) (without time stamps).

 *   Translation from Farsi.

 **   See below for the difference between actual altitude and the flight-level pressure altitude broadcast by the aircraft’s transponder.

__________


Just as Mohsen Rezaian, the Iran Air pilot, reported reaching MOBET and 12,500 feet (flight level 120) (06:54:05) — more than 12 miles inside Iran’s own territoryWilliam C. Rogers III, Commander of the USS Vincennes, 12 miles away, in the center of the airway (A59W), and also inside Iran’s territory, turned his firing key (06:54:05). DoD Report, ¶ (8)(a), p.37; Crowe Endorsement, ¶ d, p.5.

14 seconds later, following a confirmation and a faulty effort by one crew member to press the right buttons, the Missile System Supervisor (MSS) pressed the “Firing Authorize” button (06:54:19). 3 seconds later the first missile launched (06:54:22), and 1 second later the second, at a speed of Mach-2.5 (1,650 knots, 1,900 mph). DoD, p.38, ¶ (n); Senate Hearing, p.12; House Hearings, p.94; ICAO, p.18, ¶ 2.11.5.

32 seconds after Rezaian’s final “good day,” as Iran Air 655 reached 13,500 feet and still climbing, 1,000 feet below his assigned flight-level 140, two surface-to-air SM-2 missiles — each with passive homing (radar echo), a proximity fuse, and a high-explosive warhead wrapped in 6,000 steel ball-bearings — exploded (06:54:43, 44) (ICAO, p.1, ¶ 1.1.5 (time); DoD, p.39, ¶ (bb)), 21 seconds after launch — shredding the bodies of those on board and blowing off the tail and the left wing. More than 2-1/2 miles high, and still climbing at 380 knots, Iran Air 655 plunged 82 seconds, into the sea (06:56:05). ICAO, p.22 (time). “Few of the bodies recovered were complete”:

“1.12.3.  One of the large pieces of engine cowling showed external damage, some 15-20 penetrations, 1-10 cm in size and in a horizontal direction in a 45 degree angle from behind. The cowling originated from the aft left side of one of the engines. The penetrations were consistent with missile detonation beneath the aircraft, between the wing and the tail.”

“1.13.1.  The bodies of the flight crew had not been recovered by 1 October 1988. By early August 1988 the remains of some 192 victims had been recovered. Few of the bodies recovered were complete. Some 180 victims were identified, many based on circumstantial evidence.”

ICAO, ¶ 1.12.3, ¶ 1.13.1, p.7.

______________________

Sea of Lies

Part Two

U.S. Military Officers did what they always do when they get caught, doing something wrong.

They lied.

“ You can say anything you want during a debate, and 80 million people hear it.” If “anything” turns out to be false and journalists correct it, “So what. Maybe 200 people read it, or 2,000 or 20,000.”

Peter Teeley, Press Secretary to George H.W. Bush (Oct. 1984), quoted by John R. Macarthur

This, on the principle well articulated by George H.W. Bush’s Press Secretary, that lies, at the time the news breaks, will reach tens or hundreds of millions of people, and mold their opinions and their memories.

And years later, when some nobody journalist patiently dissects their deceit, it’s history, not “news”. And, if any news editor does bother to report it, on a slow news-day, s/he’ll put it at the bottom of page-32 of some newspaper and “So what. Maybe 200 people read it, or 2,000 or 20,000.”

The national myth remains intact. Mission accomplished.

For many hours, the Commander of the Vincennes huddled with his fellow commanders and his fleet commander and, presumably, by phone with higher commands and the Joint Chiefs of Staff in the States. And finally — after 9-1/2 hours — he made his agreed Operation Report of the incident (July 3 1988, 16:30 Zulu/UTC/GMT, 12:30 p.m. EDT), which the DoD report concealed, but summarized:

Vincennes OPREP-3 031630Z Jul 88 was readdressed by the CJTFME {Commander, Joint Task Force, Middle East} under the same DTG {dating} providing a timeline for both surface and air engagement and reconfirming altitude as 7800 feet and descending, speed 455 kts, Mode II, 1100 {military transponder squawk-code}, ID as F-14, and that the aircraft had ignored MAD {Military Air Distress} and IAD {International Air Distress} warnings. Additionally: TN 4131 {Track Number, the computer-assigned display label}, Bearing/Range 005T/9NM; Mode III, 6675 {civilian transponder squawk-code}, course 185T, and CBDR {Constant Bearing, Decreasing Range} amplifying data was supplied.”

DoD, ¶ (2)(e), p.42.

This report asserts, as unassailable fact, information which, in 9-1/2 hours, the author of the report, William C. Rogers III, Commander of the USS Vincennes (CG-49), had ample opportunity — and the duty — to discover was erroneous. And equally, his commander at Fifth Fleet headquarters, Bahrain, Anthony A. Less (CJTFME), who endorsed this false report by submitting it to the Pentagon.

During this 9-1/2 hours, David R. Carlson, the Commander of the USS Sides (FFG-14) — only 18 n.miles away, nearer the airport (but outside the airway), in real-time data-link with the Vincennes (Link-11) — who tracked the whole incident on his radar, was certainly consulted and reported what he and his officers saw, which bore no resemblance to this false report. DoD, ¶ 2, p.8; ¶ i, p.28; ¶ i, p.33; ¶ c-e, p.36; ¶ m, p.37. Even as John James Kearley, Commander of the USS Elmer Montgomery (DE-1082), was also consulted — the third member of the 3-ship squadron and an eye-witness to the explosion and descent of the aircraft into the sea (DoD, ¶ cc, p.39), but without his aircraft radar switched on at the time (DoD, ¶ i, p.31). Additionally, during this 9-1/2 hours, the Commander of the Vincennes had ample opportunity to rerun his computer tapes of the incident which recorded nothing resembling his false report. This he apparently did, judging from the DoD summary of his concealed report, because he provided a time-line, “and CBDR amplifying data was supplied”.

The U.S. criminal law requires United States Officers to file truthful reports. 18 U.S.C. § 1001. If, in addition to the actual facts of the incident, the officers wish to also include their erroneous view, in the heat of the moment, of the actual facts, then their erroneous view is also a suitable topic to report, provided what they claim to believe is a truthful account of what they actually believed.

But it’s a criminal lie to conceal the actual facts, and to conceal conflicting views of the actual facts, and, instead, to assert as unassailable fact their erroneous view of the actual facts. And this is what the Commander of the Vincennes apparently did and his commander as well (CJTFME), who surely was not so incompetent, and derelict of his duty, as to omit to confer with his Commander of the USS Sides and to order the Vincennes tapes to be reviewed prior to the report.

On the basis of this (concealed) false report, William J. Crowe Jr., Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, held a press conference later the same day, at the Pentagon, about 10-1/2 hours after the ambush (1:30 p.m. EDT, 17:30 UTC, AP880703-0071):


Washington Post

Navy Missile Downs Iranian Jetliner

By George C. Wilson
Washington Post Staff Writer
Monday, July 4, 1988

A U.S. warship fighting gunboats in the Persian Gulf yesterday mistook an Iranian civilian jetliner for an attacking Iranian F14 fighter plane and blew it out of the hazy sky with a heat-seeking missile, the Pentagon announced. Iran said 290 persons were aboard the European-made A300 Airbus and that all had perished.

“The U.S. government deeply regrets this incident,” Adm. William J. Crowe Jr., chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told a Pentagon news conference.

The disaster occurred at mid-morning over the Strait of Hormuz, when the airliner, Iran Air Flight 655, on what Iran described as a routine 140-mile flight from its coastal city of Bandar Abbas southwest to Dubai in the United Arab Emirates, apparently strayed too close to two U.S. Navy warships that were engaged in a battle with Iranian gunboats.

The USS Vincennes, a cruiser equipped with the most sophisticated radar and electronic battle gear in the Navy’s surface arsenal, tracked the oncoming plane electronically, warned it to keep away and, when it did not, fired two Standard surface-to-air missiles.

Navy officials said the Vincennes’ combat teams believed the airliner to be an Iranian F14 jet fighter. No visual contact was made with the aircraft until it was struck and blew up about six miles from the Vincennes; the plane’s wreckage fell in Iranian territorial waters, Navy officials said.

Iranian vessels and helicopters searched for survivors, but there was no indication last night that anyone survived what apparently is the sixth worst aviation disaster. Iranian television broadcast scenes of bodies floating amid scattered debris.

It was the first time any U.S. military unit had shot down a civilian airliner. It occurred almost five years after a Soviet fighter pilot shot down an off-course Korean Air Lines Flight 007, killing 269 people.

Iran accused the United States of a “barbaric massacre” and vowed to “avenge the blood of our martyrs.”

President Reagan in a statement {1:30 p.m. EDT, 17:30 UTC} said he was “saddened to report” that the Vincennes “in a proper defensive action” had shot down the jetliner. “This is a terrible human tragedy. Our sympathy and condolences go out to the passengers, crew, and their families ... We deeply regret any loss of life.”

Reagan, who was spending the Fourth of July holiday at Camp David, said the Iranian aircraft “was headed directly for the Vincennes” and had “failed to heed repeated warnings.” The cruiser, he said, fired “to protect itself against possible attack.”

News of the downing of the plane began with sharply conflicting accounts from Iran and from the Defense Department of what had transpired in the Persian Gulf. Early yesterday, Tehran broadcast accusations that the United States had downed an unarmed airliner.

The Pentagon at first denied the Iranian claims, declaring that information from the fleet indicated that the Vincennes, equipped with the Aegis electronic battle management system, had shot down an attacking Iranian F14 jet fighter. But after sifting through more detailed reports and electronic intelligence, Reagan directed the Pentagon to confirm there had been a tragic case of mistaken identity in the war-torn gulf.

Crowe, in his hastily called news conference at the Pentagon, also backed up the skipper of the Vincennes and faulted the Iranian airline pilot. Crowe said the Airbus had flown four miles west of the usual commercial airline route from Bandar Abbas to Dubai and that the pilot ignored repeated radioed warnings from the Vincennes to change course.

Why and how the Vincennes mistook the bulky, wide-bodied Airbus A300 for a sleek, supersonic F14 fighter plane barely a third the transport’s size will be the subject of “a full investigation,” Reagan promised. A military team under the command of Rear Adm. William N. Fogarty of the U.S. Central Command will leave this week to begin that investigation, Defense Department officials said.

The shootdown of the Airbus represents the biggest loss of life on the strategic waterway since the U.S. warships began escorting Kuwaiti tankers in and out of the Persian Gulf last July. Pentagon officials then said the increased U.S. naval presence would have from a “low to moderate risk” of provoking confrontations with Iran.

But in the past year, although the United States and Iran are not in a formal state of war, there have been a series of brief but fierce sea battles in the gulf between the two countries’ military forces. Vigilance and readiness among U.S. forces intensified after the near-sinking of the patrol frigate USS Stark by an Iraqi fighter-bomber on May 17, 1987, in a missile attack that killed 37 sailors.

Yesterday started out as another sea battle, and ended with what the Vincennes Commanders misinterpreted as a “Stark profile” attack on the high-tech cruiser. Crowe in his briefing and other Navy and Defense Department officials offered a detailed version of how the shoot-down occurred.

At 2:10 a.m. EDT, the Pentagon said, three Iranian Boghammar gunboats fired on a helicopter that had flown off the Vincennes on a reconnaissance mission. The helicopter flew back to the cruiser unscathed. The Vincennes and a smaller warship, the frigate USS Elmer Montgomery, a half-hour later closed on the gunboats and put them under fire with 5-inch guns, sinking two and damaging the third.

At 2:47 a.m. EDT, the Iranian Airbus with almost a full load of passengers took off from Bandar Abbas, a big Iranian naval base on the northern coastal elbow of the Strait of Hormuz. The field at the base is used by civilian and military aircraft and recently had become the center for Iran’s dwindling force of F14s, a twin-engine, two-place fighter that the United States sold to Iran during the rule of the shah.

Two minutes after the Airbus took off, the far-reaching radars of the Vincennes Aegis cruiser saw the plane was coming its way. The skipper of the ship, operating under liberalized rules of engagement that call for U.S. captains in the Persian Gulf to fire before being fired upon to avoid another Stark disaster, warned the approaching aircraft to change course, according to the Pentagon.

The Vincennes and most airliners are equipped with identification of friend or foe (IFF) electronic boxes that query each other across the sky to establish identities. The Vincennes’ IFF questioned the Airbus IFF via telemetry, but received no response. A response would come in radio pulses that would be deciphered and displayed as an identifying number on the ship’s combat information center consoles.

Failing to raise the Airbus by IFF, the Pentagon said, the Vincennes broadcast its warnings by voice radio, using the emergency UHF and VHF channels that aircraft crews would hear if they followed standard practice of monitoring those frequencies. Crowe said three warnings were sent over the civilian emergency channel and four over the military one, called “Guard.” The Pentagon said the Vincennes could have issued the warning over the Air Traffic Control channel but did not.

“The suspect aircraft was outside the prescribed commercial air corridor,” Crowe told reporters. Defense Department officials said later that the Airbus was four miles west of commercial air corridor. “More importantly,” Crowe continued, “the aircraft headed directly for Vincennes on a constant bearing at high speed, approximately 450 knots.”

Without becoming specific, Crowe said there were “electronic indications on Vincennes” that led the U.S. crew to conclude the approaching airliner was an F14. “Given the threatening flight profile and decreasing range, the aircraft was declared ‘hostile’” at 2:51 a.m. EDT. The airliner at that crucial moment was on a course of almost due south, 185 degrees, and descending toward the Vincennes from an altitude of 7,800 feet, according to Crowe. Visibility was no more than five miles, Crowe said.

Three minutes later, at 2:54 a.m. EDT, the Vincennes launched two Standard surface-to-air missiles from its deck. The missiles whooshed toward the twin-jet airliner, which was nine miles away and not visible to the naked eye because of the haze hanging over the gulf. The Standard missiles homed in on the heat of the quarry’s engines and at least one of them exploded when it pulled abreast of the Airbus. Such a missile hit usually slices an aircraft apart and turns it into a fireball of burning fuel.

“At least one hit at an approximate range of six miles,” Crowe said. “We do have some eyewitness reports {USS Elmer Montgomery} that saw the vague shape of the aircraft when the missile hit, and it looked like it disintegrated.”

Asked if the Vincennes’ skipper had been prudent or impetuous by firing at a plane he could not see, Crowe replied: “The commanding officer conducted himself with circumspection and, considering the information that was available to him, followed his authorities and acted with good judgment at a very trying period and under very trying circumstances ... Not only was he following this aircraft and concerned about it,” but he also “was engaged on the surface with Iranian units.”

Crowe said it was “logical” for the skipper to assume an aircraft that was coming down from the sky at high speed and would not respond to radio warnings was putting the Vincennes “in jeopardy.”

At another point in the news conference Crowe broadened his defense of the Vincennes skipper, declaring “the No. 1 obligation of the commanding officer of a ship or units are the protection of his own people. We deeply regret the loss of life here, but that commanding officer had a very heavy obligation to protect his ships, his people. We’ve made that clear throughout the Persian Gulf mission ...”

Crowe, who used a chart of the Strait of Hormuz that displayed the approximate positions of the vessels and the route of the airliner, said he did not have enough data to explain fully why the multiple kinds of detection gear aboard the Vincennes mistook a wide-bodied jetliner for a fighter.

But he noted that the Vincennes’ radar was focused on a plane coming at it head-on, reflecting a smaller dot on the console screens than would be the case from a side view. Also, he said, no Air Force Airborne Warning and Control System (AWACS) or Navy Hawkeye sentry planes were aloft over the Strait of Hormuz to provide additional identification data to the Vincennes at the time of the shootdown.

Navy leaders said Iranian commercial aircraft had flown over U.S. warships in a threatening manner at least eight times before the Stark was hit by two French Exocet missiles fired by an Iraqi jet. Ever since the Stark attack, skippers in the gulf have been less tolerant of such apparent threats.

Asked if the skipper of the Vincennes would have held his fire under the interpretation of the rules of engagement followed before the Stark was attacked, Crowe replied: “I don’t know. Certainly the rules of engagement would not have been as specific as the authorities granted him.” He said another review of the rules of engagement would be part of the general investigation of the shootdown.

Crowe said there were “fundamental differences” between the actions of United States in this incident and the Soviet Union in the downing of Korean Air Lines Flight 007, which strayed into Soviet airspace on the night of Sept. 1, 1983, during a flight from Alaska to Japan. The Soviet airspace was not a war zone like the Persian Gulf, Crowe said, “and there was not combat in progress” as was the case yesterday. “It was at very high altitude” and no Soviet warnings were issued.

“In the Persian Gulf,” Crowe said, there is very little time or maneuver room when ships are put at risk. “We’re fighting in a lake.”

Staff writer Molly Moore contributed to this report.

© Copyright 1996 The Associated Press


This Sunday afternoon press briefing, broadcast on TV and radio, gripped a worldwide audience of hundreds of millions of people, live and in later news broadcasts.

It was the day of the 1988 Wimbledon men’s tennis final. Interrupted by rain, with news reports of the ambush filling some of that time. Concluded the next day, a U.S. national holiday, and a day of more such news, and rebroadcasts of this press briefing.

SSR/IFF: Transponder squawk-code

Crowe stated the aircraft did not broadcast a civilian transponder squawk-code:

Question:  Was the airliner squawking, as it should be, with its IFF? ...

Admiral Crowe: ... You’re asking me about IFF. We did have some electronic emanations, but I really can’t say any more than that.

Question:  He didn’t identify himself as a commercial?

Admiral Crowe:  No, he did not.

Question:  He was squawking something but not the recognizable “I am an airliner?”

Admiral Crowe:  Well, it led us to believe that it was a military aircraft.

Question:  How come?” {unanswered}

William J. Crowe Jr. (Admiral, Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff), Press Briefing, July 3 1988.

This was a bold, powerful, persuasive lie. A lie of Crowe’s own personal fabrication, independent of events thousands of miles away.

Persuasive, because the absence of a civilian SSR/IFF transponder squawk code is very fishy. Every airliner broadcasts a squawk-code (as required by binding international Air Traffic Control regulations), to identify its digital data-block, and its pressure altitude (flight level), displayed on radar screens equipped to decode Air Traffic Control data — like the ones on board the USS Vincennes, in its Combat Information Center, the Commander’s cockpit.

Bold, because other U.S. Officers had also seen what Crowe had, in his possession, and knew, for a fact, that Crowe was lying:– The Operation Report from the Vincennes Commander which, though false in most respects, nevertheless disclosed receipt of the aircraft’s IFF civilian transponder squawk-code. But, senior U.S. Military Officers well know that lying is part of their duty, and they can be certain that if they don’t keep quiet when their colleagues lie, and themselves lie on orders, their career prospects are doomed. At this Press Briefing, Crowe was modeling for all senior U.S. Military Officers, and their junior aspirants, what it takes to reach the top of the pile in this powerful United States Government institution, operating in secret and largely outside the rule of law, an essential character quality for leadership:– bold deceit.

“ The Mode III IFF of 6760 and increasing altitude seen in the data tapes from USS Vincennes were corroborated by testimony and statements from USS Sides.”

William M. Fogarty, CentCom, DoD Report, p.28, ¶ i (July 28 1988)

A lie, because Crowe also had, in his possession, an account of what the Commander of the USS Elmer Montgomery saw. And, if he had that, then he certainly also had a account — later disclosed in the DoD report — of what the officers of USS Sides saw (the third member of the 3-ship squadron). The Sides officers absolutely refuted the Vincennes Commander’s false report, and themselves saw the aircraft’s IFF civilian transponder squawk-code, and no other IFF signal of any sort, with no equivocation.

“ Information [{redacted}] further corroborated that TN 4131 was squawking Mode III-6760.”

William M. Fogarty, CentCom, DoD Report, p.28, ¶ j (July 28 1988)

A lie, because Crowe surely also had, in his possession, the very same “electronic intelligence” the President had, and later mentioned in the DoD report (¶ 2, p.8; ¶ j, p.28), doubtless reporting the aircraft’s civilian transponder broadcasts — squawk-code (mode A) and pressure-altitude (mode C). And, convincingly, a tape recording and transcript of the radio broadcasts between the pilot and Air Traffic Control, and the supposed “warnings” broadcast by U.S. warships. And an account of the radar flight-profile (high and climbing, in the middle of the airway).

“ Senator Carl Levin:  On page 6 of your report, paragraph 4, you indicate that Flight 655 was directed by the Bandar Abbas tower to begin a normal climb to an assigned altitude of 14,000 feet, to squawk Mode III code, et cetera. How do we know that?

Admiral Fogarty:  Sir, I have to talk to that in closed session. I cannot discuss that at this level.”

William M. Fogarty, CentCom, Senate Hearing, p.25 (Sept. 8 1988), referring to DoD Report, p.6, ¶ D.4. (July 28 1988).

These redacted intelligence sources were, presumably, Naval/NSA signals intelligence officers onboard the Vincennes itself at the time with the Naval Security Group Command (NSGC) in charge of the Ship’s Signals Exploitation Space (SSES); the NSA/DIA on-shore listening/radar station in Oman, on the Musandam Peninsula (at 2,000 feet elevation, with line-of-sight to Bandar Abbas airport, 45 n.miles north); the Hawkeye crew aloft nearby at the time above the Northern Gulf of Oman; the AWACs crew aloft at the time above the Northern Persian Gulf; British Intelligence; British/Italian warships; etc. (several of these).

“Surely,” because that would be the first thing any competent officer in Crowe’s position would ask for. He had many hours to get it. And, naturally, the President apparently also wanted it. And got it.

CBDR: Constant Bearing, Decreasing Range

“ The suspect aircraft was outside the prescribed commercial air corridor. More importantly, the aircraft headed directly for Vincennes on a constant bearing at high speed.”

William J. Crowe Jr. (Chairman, J.C.S.), Press Briefing, July 3 1988

Crowe listed among his reasons — that the Vincennes Commander “acted with good judgment” in deciding to attack — that Iran Air 655 was “headed directly for the Vincennes,” “coming its way,” “headed directly for Vincennes on a constant bearing,” “coming at it head-on”.

Duh! is the expression which now leaps to mind – an exasperated: “So what”.

But it did not leap to the minds of the hundreds of millions of TV viewers of his press briefing, because Crowe concealed the whereabouts of the Vincennesdead-center in the airway — one of those material omissions referred to in 18 U.S.C. § 1001 which denominate a “materially false statement” (a prima facie “lie”). And, he elaborated his deceit by asserting that the Vincennes was “outside” the airway, claiming the “suspect aircraft” (which was headed directly for the Vincennes) was four milesoutside the prescribed commercial air corridor”. Very, very fishy.

Like his transponder lie, this too was a deceit of Crowe’s own personal fabrication (in conspiracy with his complicit staff), independent of events thousands of miles away.

Crowe had, in his possession, the Operation Report from the Vincennes Commander. And, his staff had been on the phone for many hours investigating this incident. Certainly, this report, and those investigations, specified the geographical coordinates of the Vincennes at the time of the attack, a normal part of an Operation Report, a preoccupation of all naval officers dealing with charts, a direct read-out from the display of the warship’s laser-gyro inertial navigation system, recorded continuously and time-stamped as the log of the warship’s movements, and no doubt broadcast automatically every minute or so via satellite to the Pentagon, charting in real-time the position of all U.S. warships at sea. Crowe produced a chart at his Press Briefing showing the (supposed) position of the Vincennes.

And, Crowe certainly had a published chart of the public airway — which itself is defined by geographical coordinates 1  — showing its 20-mile width. Yet, that airway chart would have provoked questions at the press briefing and exposed his deceit. So, he concealed that as well:

Admiral Crowe:  This is sort of a simplistic chart, we’re trying to keep it simple.”

William J. Crowe Jr. (Admiral, Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff), Press Briefing, July 3 1988.

_______________


Judging from his bold lies at his Press Briefing, I wonder if Crowe was complicit in consenting that the Commander of the Vincennes could file a false report in the first place (a criminal act), to enable Crowe to supplement his own lies at his Press Briefing with details from that false report.

I would expect this, from a chain of command conducting an unlawful secret offensive war against Iran, as a Belligerent, which had already offensively attacked and destroyed much of Iran’s Coast Guard fleet in offensive secret acts of war, not to mention other tactical military support to Iraq, in further aid of Iraq’s war of aggression against Iran (1980-1988), rendering the United States a co-Belligerent with Iraq in willful violation of the U.S. Constitution (without a vote by Congress).

Such bold lies are routine by senior U.S. Military officers, to cover-up their unlawful actions, and their President’s unlawful actions. This President had made secret unlawful offensive wars, a violation of his oath of office, the hallmark of his Presidency, beginning with launching a secret offensive war against Nicaragua (1981-1990). And lying about them when discovered. Such labelling the bombing of the U.S. Marine Corps barracks in Beirut (Oct. 23 1983) a “terrorist” act. What was, instead, plainly, a prima facie lawful military operation in a complex war Reagan had secretly, and unlawfully, directed (Sept. 11 1983) the U.S. Military to enter offensively, as a Belligerent. Which they promptly did, 6 weeks before the bombing, well knowing what they were doing was offensive warfare which Congress had not authorized.

Rogers’ (concealed) Operation Report, submitted 9-1/2 hours after the event (12:30 p.m. EDT, 16:30 UTC), looks to be one of the most carefully crafted criminal lies in the history of the U.S. Navy (and there have been many). Criminal lies on orders are never prosecuted by the U.S. Government.

Crowe certainly lied at his Press Briefing, to the worldwide public in their hundreds of millions, Members of Congress amongst them, a routine way to lie to Congress without risking criminal prosecution.

And I wonder if Crowe also lied privately to his Commander-in-Chief (the President) (a criminal act) and to his other political masters (Secretary of Defense, Secretary of State, National Security Advisor, Vice President, White House Chief of Staff) (a criminal act).

But, looking over the cast of characters in the conference telephone call with the President (and they talked variously with each other earlier), and judging from the bold, confident audacity of Crowe’s lies, my guess is they all agreed for the Vincennes Commander to file a false Operation Report and for Crowe to lie at his Press Briefing.

National myth-making, a Reagan/Bush speciality.

It wouldn’t be the first time that U.S. Military Officers lied, in a criminal conspiracy, on the criminal orders of a U.S. President, as Ward Boston, to his credit, eventually confessed (Oct. 9 2003) (USS Liberty, June 8 1967).


“ The White House was alerted to the shooting early Sunday. National Security Adviser Colin Powell called the President at 4:52 a.m. {08:52 UTC} Reagan received a written update from Powell’s deputy, John Negroponte, at 8:14 a.m. {12:14 UTC}

But it wasn’t until 9:50 a.m. {13:50 UTC} that Negroponte called Reagan and said it appeared it was a civilian plane that had been shot down—not an Iranian fighter.

The President, at Camp David, was on a conference call with Vice President George Bush and other top White House officials at 1 p.m. {17:00 UTC} Twenty minutes later, press secretary Fitzwater issued the President’s statement of regret. {17:20 UTC}”

Timothy J McNulty, U.S. Downs Iranian Jetliner, 290 Aboard, © Chicago Tribune, July 4 1988, p.1.


“ In on the call were Vice President George Bush, Secretary of State George P. Shultz, Defense Secretary Frank Carlucci, Crowe, Powell and White House chief of staff Kenneth Duberstein, {White House spokesman Marlin} Fitzwater said.”

Fred Kaplan, 290 Killed as US Cruiser’s Missile Downs Civilian Iran Jet Over Gulf, © Boston Globe, July 4 1988, p.1.

AP880703-0044, AP880703-0055, AP880703-0071.


It’s no defense to a criminal indictment, that the President, Secretary of Defense, and Members of Congress may consent to be lied to. Their consent does not render a criminal report lawful. Likewise, Crowe and his subordinates in the U.S. Military do not have the legal capacity to legalize a criminal report by their subordinates. If they authorized the Commander of the Vincennes to file a false report, they are simply complicit with him, and equally guilty with him, in their collective criminal act (18 U.S.C. § 1001) — gang members, henchmen, aiders and abetters, co-principals (18 U.S.C. § 2), united in a criminal conspiracy (18 U.S.C. § 371).

This is an offense against the United States of America. The President is not the United States of America, nor any other U.S. Officer. The United States of America does not consent to be lied to. 18 U.S.C. § 1001.

Though, it’s the apparent secret policy of the U.S. Department of Justice to not prosecute U.S. Government Officers who lie on orders of the U.S. President.

_______________


If you park your car in the middle of the railroad tracks, then any train which happens along will be CBDR your position (Constant Bearing, Decreasing Range).

So too, if you race down the middle of an airway in your warship: Any civilian aircraft which happens along will be CBDR your position.

Hence, if you’re in the middle of an airway, it is not a marker of hostile intent that an aircraft is “coming your way,” “heading directly for you,” “coming at you head on” — thus explaining Crowe’s decision to lie about the whereabouts of the Vincennes.

And a U.S. warship commander is therefore not entitled to take that factor (CBDR) into account in evaluating a target. Precisely the opposite of Crowe’s deceitful pretense.

If the warship commander doesn’t have the stomach to be overflown by aircraft in an environment rich with civilian overflights, then he’s unfit for that command. And, until he is relieved from duty, his commanders have the duty to ensure that he avoids civilian airways so that his unsuitable temperament does not imperil innocent lives.

But, as we shall see, Rogers did not attack because of a queasy stomach.

ATC frequencies

Crowe simply lied that the aircraft was warned seven times.

And the power of this lie lingered, after other of Crowe’s deceits were slowly exposed, one by one, in subsequent days. It proved to be the most persuasive influence on public opinion inside the US, which was desperate for any excuse to blind themselves to the proposition that their armed forces could act so recklessly and so ruthlessly, and their Commanders could lie so boldly.

If you ask anybody today inside the U.S. (the willfully deceived viewers) who watched these events, as they unfolded on TV in 1988 — smothered in TV coverage of the 1988 Presidential election campaign, Arms for Hostages, Iran/Contra, and other sleaze in the Reagan/Bush Administration — my guess is that 10 out of 10 them will, still today, cite their memory of these supposed warnings as justifying the U.S. ambush of Iran Air 655.

The simple truth is, the U.S. Military did not warn the aircraft a single time. And this decision by U.S. Military Commanders to not warn civilian aircraft is the third-most proximate cause of the killing (there were several).

Crowe began his warning lie with the truth, that the Vincennes broadcast its supposed warnings on two distress frequencies, MAD (243.0 MHz UHF) and IAD (121.5 MHz VHF).

For the pilots in Crowe’s audience, this straight-away marked the first glimmer of understanding how this killing came to be. But not for the rest of the hundreds of millions watching Crowe’s press briefing on TV. And Crowe managed to confound the pilots still, with his transponder lie and his airline route lie. Crowe’s entire audience was united in perplexity; just the way Crowe intended.

The warship officers did not broadcast on the frequencies the aircraft was certain to be listening to, as required by international civil aviation Air Traffic Control regulations, binding on all countries in the world, including the United States. It’s as simple as that. The warship radio-talker broadcast supposed warnings into the ether, but not into the radio receiver on board his postulated civilian target, which U.S. Military Officers could be certain was switched on, with the volume turned up.

All U.S. Navy commanders and officers know what those frequencies are. And if they don’t know, it’s because they don’t need to know, but they know how to find it out should their duties change and require them to. Or — as in the case of the Vincennes Commander and his officers, and their higher commands — it’s because they were recklessly indifferent to their duty to know.

This frequency information is available from any pilot, including the crews of the two helicopters on board the Vincennes itself, the flight centers on board all U.S. Navy aircraft carriers, the Air Traffic Control personnel on board all U.S. AWACs and Hawkeyes aloft, from the United States National Flight Center at Washington DC, the U.S. military’s own flight centers, any Air Traffic Control authority at any airport, including the Bahrain ACC, the home base of the U.S. Gulf Squadron for 40 years. And it’s published on all aircraft charts of the region. And how many thousands of those were in the hands of the thousands of pilots and navigators on U.S. Navy aircraft carriers and Air Force bases in the Gulf region, and onboard the Vincennes itself, boggles the mind to contemplate.

Yet, the Vincennes Commander paid this no mind; nor did any of his fellow commanders and officers or higher commanders.

And this I classify as “reckless negligence,” because the commanders responsible for deciding to not warn civilian aircraft could foresee the deadly consequences of their decision to violate their duty. And this includes the fleet commanders, and higher commands, responsible to design the protocol for antiair warfare in fleet operations.

But it also includes the individual warship commanders with authority to kill, and their subordinate officers whose conduct and decisions inform and influence the commander’s decision to kill. It’s the duty of all such killers to apply their minds to their separate and joint tasks and ensure that their operational protocol is suited to its purpose — the first of which is to not target civilians.

This reckless negligence by these senior U.S. Military Officers — a primary proximate cause of the wrongful killing of 290 people — deserves an award of prison time, for involuntary manslaughter (18 U.S.C. § 1112), arson (18 U.S.C. § 81, § 3559(c)(3)(B)), and criminal neglect (18 U.S.C. § 1115), exactly as the Iranians claimed, not the Legion of Merit.

This reckless negligence by these senior U.S. Military Officers did not occur in the heat of battle, and did not occur in the fog of war. It occurred days, weeks, and months earlier, in calm surroundings, when they decided to not do what their duty required them to do; namely, to apply their minds, to design and implement a protocol for talking to civilian aircraft, and to gather information into the Combat Information Center, on each of their warships, necessary to implement and operate that protocol.

Crowe’s lie about the warnings, is another deceit of Crowe’s own personal fabrication (and his complicit staff), independent of events thousands of miles away. It’s a compound lie, a false assertion coupled with a material omission.

Here’s the false assertion: The Iran Air crew would have heard the warnings “if they followed standard practice of monitoring those frequencies”. There is no such standard practice, as explained below, unless you’re over a vast ocean. And, as to four of the supposed warnings, the airliner could not possibly have been “monitoring those frequencies,” because no airliner is equipped with a military UHF transceiver (243.0 MHz UHF).

Here’s the material omission: There is a standard practice of what frequencies to broadcast on if you want to talk to a civilian aircraft which is not over a vast ocean. And this standard practice senior U.S. Military Officers violated when they decided to order their warship crews to broadcast warnings on the wrong frequency. This, Crowe didn’t mention in his press briefing.

This material omission, coupled with his “standard practice” assertion, is Crowe’s lie:– willfully inducing his audience to wrongly believe that the U.S. Military did what they were supposed to do, if they wanted to kill somebody.

A separate, additional, Crowe warning lie — falsely characterizing the broadcasts as “warnings” — is so pernicious that it’s discussed separately, below.

As evidence of Crowe’s willful deceit (that he understood the significance of his warning lie), the U.S. — after the ambush — changed its antiair warfare protocols to require U.S. Military Officers to monitor civilian Air Traffic Control frequencies — as their duty required them to do before the ambush — and to broadcast warnings on those frequencies, as a condition to targeting. And, they also changed their radio-talker script to conform (partially) to the binding international Air Traffic Control protocol on how to address an aircraft in flight (additional reckless negligence by Vincennes officers, and their higher commanders, discussed below).

NOTAMs

Crowe listed the failure of the aircraft to respond to the supposed seven warnings as a marker of hostile intent, which the warship commander was entitled to take into account in evaluating the target. This, too, President Reagan emphasized in his written statement approving the Vincennes ambush of Iran Air 655, which “failed to heed repeated warnings.” And his Vice President, George H.W. Bush, among his lies to the United Nations Security Council: “After seven — I want the Council to be sure to understand this — seven unanswered warnings, the captain did what he had to ...” And U.S. Military Officers in subsequent sworn lies to Congress.

To support his assertion, Crowe fabricated yet another deceit (together with his complicit staff), independent of events thousands of miles away. And, like his warning lie, this too is a compound lie.

Here’s the false assertion: That a U.S. NOTAM required civilian aircraft to respond to a warning, “to identify themselves and to state their intentions”:

Admiral Crowe: ... In September 1987, as a result of the attack on the USS Stark and other incidents, the United States issued a Notice to Airmen, locally known as a NOTAM, which advised all aircraft in the Persian Gulf region that U.S. Navy ships were taking additional precautions, and of the need to identify themselves and to state their intentions.

Additionally, they were advised that {}failure to respond to requests for identification and intentions, or to warnings, and operating in a threatening manner could place the aircraft at risk by U.S. defensive measures{}.”

William J. Crowe Jr. (Admiral, Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff), Press Briefing, July 3 1988.

Here’s the material omission: Nobody, ever once, asked the pilot to reply to a “warning,” to identify himself and state his intentions. And this Crowe certainly knew because he certainly had the text of the warnings and undoubtedly several copies, one from the Vincennes and the rest from at least three separate electronic intelligence sources.

Though Crowe misrepresented what the NOTAMs required, and lied about the text of the supposed “warnings” (below), I’m sure Mohsen Rezaian, the Iran Air pilot would have happily replied, had anybody asked him to (which nobody did). He was trained by Boeing in the USA, and his brother and sister-in-law lived there, now in Salt Lake City.

Yet, the NOTAMs nevertheless did not require civilian aircraft to respond to U.S. warships — contrary to Crowe’s claim, even if asked to reply — if they complied with the NOTAMs’ simple safety rule: Be higher than 2,000 feet within 5 miles of a U.S. warship, and don’t be “operating in a threatening manner”.

To reinforce it’s promise of safety, the United States included in its NOTAM (which Crowe cited) this reassurance (which Crowe concealed), that aircraft could overfly U.S. warships:

“The measures will be implemented in a manner which does not unduly interfere with the freedom of navigation and overflight.”

NOTAM, FAA FDC 052/87.

Bandar Abbas airport is on the Gulf coast, but it’s 42 miles inside Iran’s territory along airway A59W (and 47 miles along IR655’s route), due to its geography, at the base of a deep territorial bight, an indentation of the shoreline, like a bite out of a sandwich. Hence, any civilian aircraft departing Bandar Abbas airport is quickly above the NOTAMs’ 2,000 foot safety limit within a couple miles of the airport, more than 40 miles from where any U.S. warship might be. Departure is under Air Traffic Control. And climbing to altitude is not a threatening maneuver:

“Aircraft at altitudes less than 2000-feet AGL {above ground level} which are not cleared for approach/departure to or from a regional airport are requested to avoid approaching closer than 5-nm {nautical miles} to U.S. naval forces.

It is requested that aircraft approaching within 5-nm of U.S. naval forces establish and maintain radio contact with U.S. naval forces on 121.5-MHz VHF {civilian} or 243.0-MHz UHF {military}.

Aircraft which approach within 5-nm at altitudes less than 2000-feet AGL whose intentions are unclear to U.S. naval forces may be held at risk by U.S. defensive {ie: offensive} measures.”

NOTAM, 112119 KFDC, italics and text {in braces} added.

Crowe omitted to mention this NOTAM. And this NOTAM is so fatal to the pretense by U.S. Officers that the United States committed no wrong, that the DoD report-writers also decided to conceal it, from their deceitful report. But they weren’t content to simply conceal it, a prima facie criminal lie by material omission (18 U.S.C. § 1001). They went further and fabricated a blatant prima facie criminal lie (18 U.S.C. § 1001), pretending that their other NOTAM replaced all previous NOTAMs, notwithstanding they both appeared together in every weekly edition of the International Notices to Airmen (U.S. FAA):

“As a result of the attack of the USS Stark, the JCS {Joint Chiefs of Staff} issued an up-dated Notice to Airman (NOTAM) for the Persian Gulf, Strait of Hormuz, Gulf of Oman and North Arabian Sea dated 8 September 1987, which notified all Persian Gulf countries of additional defense precautions which U.S. warship would be exercising.”

William M. Fogarty (Rear Admiral, U.S. Navy, Director of Policy and Plans, U.S. Central Command), DoD Report, p.15, ¶ (17), italics added. This statement contains two blatant lies. The second, that the NOTAM disclosed what it concealed, is explained below (criminal Rules of Engagement).

Crowe, besides concealing the 2000 foot safety-rule NOTAM, quoted part of another NOTAM, also in effect at the time, which added an additional threat to aircraft above 2,000 feet. But only if the pilot did two things: fail to respond to requests (if asked to respond) and operate in a threatening manner:

“Failure to respond to requests for identification and intentions, or to warnings, and operating in a threatening manner could place the aircraft at risk by U.S. defensive {ie: offensive} measures.”

NOTAM, FAA FDC 052/87, italics and text {in braces} added.

The full text of both U.S. NOTAMs is quoted below. U.S. radio-talkers on the civilian frequency never once asked the radar-contact “to respond to requests for identification and intentions,” as the U.S. NOTAM required them to do.

And this, Crowe concealed, at his deceitful press briefing.

Taking both NOTAMs together, if you take off and climb normally, and stay above 2,000 feet, the NOTAMs do not require civilian aircraft pilots to respond to any radio contact from a U.S. warship, even if U.S. warship radio-talkers asked them to, even if they broadcast on the correct frequency, and even if they managed to speak correctly so that the pilot could know who the warship is trying to talk to.

None of these three things did the Vincennes civilian radio-talker do.

Hence, the failure of a pilot to respond (above 2,000 feet, and climbing normally) can not be taken as a marker of hostile intent (as Crowe asserted), there being no notice to pilots that they might be targeted if they do not respond.

Accordingly, a U.S. warship commander is not entitled to take that factor into account (failure to respond) in evaluating that target. Precisely the opposite of Crowe’s deceitful pretense.

By contrast, the IR655 pilot complied with the NOTAMs, in marked contrast to the U.S. warship commander. IR655 took off, and climbed steadily, on a steady course, to 12,500 feet, and was climbing still, when the Commander of the Vincennes12 n.miles away — turned his firing key (06:54:05), in blatant violation of the firm formal published written promise by the United States of America to not attack, as plainly stated in the U.S. NOTAMs — the precise opposite of Crowe’s pretence.

As evidence of Crowe’s willful deceit (that he understood the significance of what he quoted, and what he chose to conceal), the U.S. quickly, but quietly, revoked the 2,000 foot safety rule and issued a single replacement NOTAM (August 13 1988) — after the ambush (July 3), and before releasing the DoD Report (July 28) to the public (August 19) — changing the “and” to an “or,” in the bit Crowe quoted, to license themselves to attack a plane which does not respond even if it’s not also operating in a threatening manner. Though, to actually do so would be a text-book war-crime, under the targeting laws of war, and murder (18 U.S.C. § 1111) or manslaughter (18 U.S.C. § 1112), arson (18 U.S.C. § 81, § 3559(c)(3)(B)), and criminal neglect (18 U.S.C. § 1115), under the laws of peace:

“Failure to respond to requests for identification and intentions, failure to accept recommended headings, failure to respond to warnings, or continuing to operate in a threatening manner could place the aircraft (fixed wing and helicopters) at risk by U.S. defensive {ie: offensive} measures. Illumination of a U.S. naval vessel with a weapons fire control radar will be viewed with suspicion and could result in immediate U.S. defensive {ie: offensive} reaction.”

NOTAM, FAA FDC 056/88. Source: Photocopy of “Foreign Notices, Persian Gulf,” International Notices to Airmen, February 23 1989 (U.S. Department of Transportation, Federal Aviation Administration), originally issued August 13 1988 via AFTN (Aeronautical Fixed Telecommunication Network), italics and text {in braces} added.

IAD: 121.5 MHz VHF

Instead of themselves complying with obligations binding upon them — international flight rules concerning how to contact aircraft in flight — U.S. Military Officers arrogated unto themselves authority, which they did not possess, to impose upon civilian aircraft in foreign lands (where the United States has no such jurisdiction) an obligation, they did not have, to monitor 121.5 MHz. And, to license U.S. Military Officers to kill people who do not obey that unlawful order. And this we see daily, today, on the streets of Baghdad, just as we have seen on the streets of the USA as well, at Kent State University, for example:– U.S. Military Doctrine in action: Obey, or die.

Aircraft are obligated by international flight rules to monitor 121.5 MHz in only one instance:– when they are over a vast ocean and out of reach of their Air Traffic Control station. (VHF range is line-of-sight). This, to assist ships and boats and aircraft in distress.

And, ICAO recognizes that you can’t have two conversations at the same time and, so, you’re not obliged to monitor 121.5 MHz, even then, when you’re talking on another frequency:

Guard of VHF Emergency Frequence

Pilots should remember that there is a need to continuously guard the VHF emergency frequency 121.5 MHz when on long over-water flights, except when communications on other VHF channels, equipment limitations, or cockpit duties prevent simultaneous guarding of two channels. Guarding of 121.5 MHz is particularly critical when operating in proximity to flight information region (FIR) boundaries; for example, on Route R220 between Anchorage and Tokyo, since it serves to facilitate communications with regard to aircraft which may experience in-flight emergencies, communications, or navigational difficulties.

Reference– ICAO Annex 10, Vol. II, Paragraphs 5.2.2.1.1.1 and 5.2.2.1.1.2.”

International Flight Information Manual, “Oceanic Long-Range Navigation Information” (Federal Aviation Administration, U.S. Department of Transportion).

If an aircraft is intercepted in flight by a military aircraft, then, at that time, “the pilot of the intercepted aircraft shall attempt radio contact with the interceptor aircraft on 121.5 MHz”. International Flight Information Manual, “International Interception Procedures” (FAA). Accord:Interception of Civil Aircraft,” {66kb.html} § 5 (Action by intercepted aircraft), being Attachment A to ICAO Annex 2 {395 kb pdf}, International Standards: Rules of the Air (Ninth Edition, March 12 1990), to the Convention on International Civil Aviation, quoting Annex 2, Appendix 2, § 2.1(c).

In recent years, the U.S. FAA has ordered a listening watch on this frequency in the near vicinity of about 19 named large airports inside the U.S., where the United States does have jurisdiction to impose such a requirement.

In all other circumstances, 121.5 MHz is a frequency which a pilot, at his or her option, can choose to broadcast on, in an emergency, though pilots are recommended instead to contact the Air Traffic Control frequency they are then monitoring, where help is sure to be listening. In special circumstances (e.g., at low altitude, offshore, in remote areas, near boats, emergency ground personnel, or known rescue stations, and such), the pilot might feel s/he has a chance to find a closer listener on 121.5 MHz and s/he’s free to try that frequency if s/he wants to.

One of the two U.S. NOTAMs “requested” a listening watch on 121.5 MHz only if the aircraft was within 5 n.miles of a U.S. warship. Iran Air Flight 655 was never within 5 n.miles of any U.S. warship. The Vincennes Commander attacked (turned his firing key) when IR655 was more than 12 n.miles away.

The second U.S. NOTAM was not precise about when a pilot “should maintain a listening watch on 121.5 mHz” (“aircraft operating in these areas,” “within the Persian Gulf, Strait of Hormuz, Gulf of Oman, Arabian Sea”). In addition, the U.S. left in place its 5 n.mile rule, and this provides a gloss on what this second NOTAM means.

Iran Air Flight 655 was never itself within the Strait of Hormuz or the Persian Gulf. When the Vincennes radio-talker started his first warning broadcast, IR655 was 30 n.miles from the Strait of Hormuz, 7,000 feet above Iranian soil, and busy talking to Air Traffic Control on another (published) frequency. When he started his second (and final) warning broadcast, IR655 was 22 n.miles from the Strait of Hormuz, at 10,000 feet, paralleling Iranian soil less than 1 n.mile offshore. And the radio-talker, in that broadcast, never asked the pilot to do anything or to reply to the broadcast.

The pilot was probably one minute away from turning up the volume on his backup radio, which he may have already tuned to 121.5 MHz. He had just that moment finished his obligatory final report to Bandar Abbas Approach Control, that he had reached MOBET, exiting the Terminal Control Area (TCA) under the jurisdiction of Approach Control. At precisely that moment, when Rogers turned his firing key, the pilot had only two further immediate ATC radio obligations: First, to immediately switch frequencies from Approach Control (124.2 MHz) to the Tehran Area Control Center (131.8 MHz), his new ATC controller, beginning at MOBET. And secondly, to make his obligatory report, to Tehran ACC, upon reaching his assigned flight level 140, which he was then approaching at 1,500 feet per minute, about 1 minute away, about as long as it takes to read this paragraph.

Following that report to the Tehran ACC, still some 8-10 n.miles distant from the Strait of Hormuz, and that far inside Iranian territory, the pilot would then expect no further ATC conversations for the next 39 miles. He could then be free to listen to both his ATC frequency (131.8 MHz) and, on his backup radio, to 121.5 MHz, until he reached DARAX, about half-way to Dubai, where his next obligatory report was due, to both Tehran ACC and, immediately following yet another frequency change, to the Emirates ACC.

U.S. Military Officers did not possess authority, nor the United States jurisdiction, to impose a listening watch on aircraft in other lands. But they did possess authority, and the United States jurisdiction, to impose a listening watch on their own warship crews, to stand watch on relevant Air Traffic Control frequencies.

The ATC radio obligations on the pilot richly demonstrate why U.S. Military Officers were so extremely recklessly negligent in failing in their duty to require their radio-talkers to monitor the Air Traffic Control frequencies. This reckless negligence, by senior U.S. Military Officers, is the second-most proximate cause of the unlawful ambush of Iran Air 655 and the unlawful killing of its 290 innocent souls on board.

Had they done their duty, U.S. Military Officers would never have ordered their warship crews to broadcast on 121.5 MHz in the first place. Monitoring would have immediately revealed to the warship officers that the aircraft was an airliner, long before MOBET. And no broadcast to the pilot would have even been necessary. But if they wanted to broadcast a warning, then only a reckless fool would broadcast on 121.5 MHz to a pilot the fool knew was talking and listening on another, ATC, frequency.

The Vincennes Commander attacked in violation of his own NOTAM:

“Unidentified aircraft, whose intentions are unclear or who are approaching U.S. naval vessels, will be contacted on these frequencies and requested to identify themselves and state their intentions as soon as they are detected.”

The Vincennes civilian radio-talker never once asked the radar-target “to identify themselves and state their intentions,” contrary to Crowe’s repeated deceitful claim. And this can only mean, in the mind of the pilot, even if the radio-talker had broadcast on the right frequency, that the aircraft’s intentions were not unclear and the pilot was not approaching a warship.

Here is the full text of both U.S. NOTAMs, exactly as they appear on the page, in the FAA weekly publications prior to the ambush:

Iran – Persian Gulf

In response to the recent attack on the USS Stark and the continuing terrorist threat in the region, U.S. naval vessels operating within the Persian Gulf, Strait of Hormuz, Gulf of Oman, and the Arabian Sea, north of 20 degrees north, are taking additional defensive precautions. Aircraft (fixed wing and helicopters) operating in these areas should maintain a listening watch on 121.5 mHz VHF or 243.0 mHz UHF. Unidentified aircraft, whose intentions are unclear or who are approaching U.S. naval vessels, will be contacted on these frequencies and requested to identify themselves and state their intentions as soon as they are detected. In order to avoid inadvertent confrontation, aircraft (fixed wing and helicopters) including military aircraft may be requested to remain well clear of U.S. vessels. Failure to respond to requests for identification and intentions, or to warnings, and operating in a threatening manner could place the aircraft (fixed wing and helicopters) at risk by U.S. defensive measures. Illumination of a U.S. naval vessel with a weapons fire control radar will be viewed with suspicion and could result in immediate U.S. defensive reaction. This notice is published solely to advise that measures in self-defense are being exercised by U.S. naval forces in this region. The measures will be implemented in a manner which does not unduly interfere with the freedom of navigation and overflight. (FAA FDC 052/87)

U.S. Naval Forces in the Persian Gulf, Strait of Hormuz, Gulf of Oman, and Arabian Sea (North of 20 Degrees North) are taking additional defensive precautions against terrorist threats. Aircraft at altitudes less than 2000-feet AGL which are not cleared for approach/departure to or from a regional airport are requested to avoid approaching closer than 5-nm to U.S. naval forces.

It is requested that aircraft approaching within 5-nm of U.S. naval forces establish and maintain radio contact with U.S. naval forces on 121.5-mHz VHF or 243.0-mHz UHF. Aircraft which approach within 5-nm at altitudes less than 2000-feet AGL whose intentions are unclear to U.S. naval forces may be held at risk by U.S. defensive measures. This is a joint USCINCPAC and USCINCCENT NOTAM affecting operations within their respective area of responsibility. (112119 KFDC)”

Source: Photocopy of “Foreign Notices, Iran–Persian Gulf,” International Notices to Airmen, June 30 1988 (U.S. Department of Transportation, Federal Aviation Administration), italics, text {in braces}, and highlighting added. ICAO, p.F-4. NOTAM FAA FDC 052/87 was originally issued Sept. 8 1987. DoD, ¶ (17), p.15. NOTAM 112119 KFDC was originally issued in 1984. ICAO, ¶ 2.2.1, p.10. Both NOTAMs appeared like this in every weekly edition of FAA NOTAMs, and both were in force on the day of the ambush.

Secret 13 n.mile killing zone

“ He had to act quickly to defend his ship and crew before the contact got much closer than 10 miles (in order to give himself fire depth and to stay outside of {redacted: Maverick} range).”

William J. Crowe Jr. (Chairman, J.C.S.), DoD Report, Endorsement, p.4, ¶ 4 (Aug. 18 1988)

U.S. Military Officers, in their NOTAMs, induced the public to believe, that a U.S. warship would not regard an aircraft to be a threat unless it closed within 5 n.miles at less than 2,000 feet and, above 2,000 feet, if it did not “operate in a threatening manner”.

But, U.S. Military Officers maintained secret Rules of Engagement ordering its commanders to attack an aircraft approaching from Iran, before it closes within 13 n.miles, and regardless of its altitude (up to maybe 25,000 feet), and regardless of its flight profile (climbing at 1,500 feet per minute); i.e., even if the aircraft did not “operate in a threatening manner”. And, even if the aircraft broadcast a civilian transponder squawk code:

“IV.  Opinions ...

E.  Air Engagement ...

“1. ... Unless an aircraft can be visually identified as a non-threat, any aircraft approaching a U.S. Navy ship could be considered a threat. However, an aircraft at high altitude (above 25,000 ft) will likely not be evaluated as a threat.”

“4.  Any aircraft, including commercial aircraft, could be used in a suicide mission role, therefore, Commanders cannot disregard an aircraft squawking Mode III, IFF, flying on a commercial air corridor, and on a CBDR to his ship.”

William M. Fogarty (Rear Admiral, U.S. Navy, Director of Policy and Plans, U.S. Central Command), DoD Report, pp.48-49, ¶ E.

The secret Rules of Engagement were a blatant violation of the U.S. NOTAMs, both of which senior U.S. Military Officers themselves drafted and issued.

Attacking, in the teeth of these NOTAMs, on the basis of those secret Rules of Engagement, is the war-crime of “perfidy”:

“ Article 37. Prohibition of Perfidy.

1.  It is prohibited to kill, injure, or capture an adversary by resort to perfidy. Acts inviting the confidence of an adversary to lead him to believe that he is entitled to, or is obliged to accord, protection under the rules of international law applicable in armed conflict, with intent to betray that confidence, shall constitute perfidy.”

1977 Protocol-1 {copy} (Geneva, June 8 1977, December 7 1978) {status: 183kb.pdf}, article 37, 1125 U.N.T.S. 3, 21 {U.N. Doc.: ST/LEG(05)/U5, ISSN: 0379-8267, LCCN: 48022417, WorldCat}, to the 1949 Geneva Conventions, illustrating the Hague-4 {copy} (Oct. 18 1907), annexed regulation article 23(b) (“to kill or wound treacherously”), ratified by the U.S./U.K. (Nov. 27 1909), status (Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Netherlands, depositary, 1907 Hague Peace Conventions), and enunciating customary international law.

This same war crime of perfidy was prima facie committed by Margaret Thatcher (Prime Minister) when she gave her order to ambush the Belgrano (May 2 1982, 18:58 UTC, 368 killed), in violation of her public promise to not attack outside of a 200 n.mile radius on the center of the Falkland Islands (Malvinas). She gave this promise in order to deter any attacks on London by the many thousands of Argentineans living in Britain and to garner international support for her desire to initiate a hot war, without exhausting peaceable alternatives. Assisting her, in their joint prima facie criminal act, agreeing in person at their meeting at Chequers (May 2 1982, 12:00 UTC), were her war cabinet: John Nott (Defense Secretary), William Whitelaw (Deputy Prime Minister and Home Secretary), Cecil Parkinson (Trade and Industry Secretary and Conservative Party Chairman), Anthony Acland (Permanent Secretary, Foreign & Commonwealth Office) who may not himself have agreed to it, as he was deputizing for Francis Pym (Foreign Secretary) who was absent but informed by phone and who agreed to it and approved it; her chief legal officer: Michael Havers (Attorney-General); her military adviser to the war-cabinet: Terrence T. Lewin (Chief of the Defense Staff); incited by her task-force commander: John F. ‘Sandy’ Woodward (Naval Battle-Group Commander); and implemented by her chain-of-command: John D.E. Fieldhouse (Commander-in-Chief, Fleet, Unified Military Command), Peter G.M. Herbert (Flag-Commander, Submarines), Christopher Wreford-Brown (Commander, HMS Conqueror, nuclear attack submarine). Each of these individuals had prima facie “specific intent” to commit this war crime, because each knew for a fact that the U.K. Government did not, and would not, notify Argentina of this secret revocation of the 200 n.mile containment of the laws of war (which permit ambush of military objectives), a secret change in the secret UK Rules of Engagement, and did not, and would not, notify the Commander of the Belgrano (which, besides via notifying Argentina, they could have done directly by radio broadcast) and give him an opportunity to redeploy. When torpedoed (18:58 UTC, May 2 1982), the Belgrano was south of the circle-of-hostilities (as it had always been), 35 miles, and on a slow (13-knots) steady course away from the circle towards Argentina (270/280-degrees), which it had maintained continuously for 11-hours (since 08:05 UTC). This was a prima facie willful, malicious, perfidious, cold-blooded murder, an extrajudicial execution, by senior U.K. Government Officers, of 368 innocent Argentinean young men. (Documentation planned for this website).

This same war crime of perfidy was prima facie committed by U.S. Military Officers who targeted the el-Ameriyyah air-raid shelter in Baghdad, in violation of the notice/response rules. (Feb. 13 1991, 314 killed). (Documentation planned for this website).

This same war crime of perfidy was prima facie committed by U.S. Military Officers who twice targeted the Red Cross Warehouse compound in Kabul, in violation of the notice/response rules. (Oct. 16, 26 2001). (Documentation planned for this website).

Under the law of peace, attacking in the teeth of the published U.S. NOTAMs, on the basis of the secret, unlawful, perfidious Rules of Engagement, is certainly involuntary manslaughter (18 U.S.C. § 1112) and criminal misconduct (18 U.S.C. § 1115). And it’s conceivably murder (18 U.S.C. § 1111), on account of its perfidious nature, depending upon the definition of “malice” (which I’ll have to research) and the particular facts of this ambush. Certainly prima facie murder, if Rogers attacked eagerly, hoping to kill an F-14 pilot, because he had a plausible pretext to do so (his secret, unlawful, perfidious Rules of Engagement), just as he asserted a bogus pretext to eagerly kill Iranian Coast Guard Officers (also prima facie murder). Certainly prima facie murder, if Rogers attacked reluctantly, not out of fear for his warship, but out of fear for his career, if he did not obey his secret, unlawful, perfidious Rules of Engagement.

These perfidious U.S. NOTAMs induced pilots to believe they had no need to worry about 121.5 MHz, 36 n.miles inside their own country’s territory from the Strait of Hormuz and the Persian Gulf, or 30 n.miles, or 20 n.miles, or 15 n.miles, from where any U.S. warship might be, while they were busy attending to their ATC radio responsibilities. And certainly not at high altitude (12,500 feet) and climbing (at 1,500 feet per minute), with their civilian transponder broadcasting continuously, and talking on published ATC frequencies. They could safely wait, to finish their ATC business (which they could not do with the volume turned-up on another radio), before turning their attention to 121.5 MHz.

And, these perfidious U.S. NOTAMs induced pilots to believe — if they did have that volume turned-up, when not talking at the same time to their ATC controllers — they would be asked to reply and state their intentions, before any U.S. warship would consider them a threat, as the NOTAMs expressly promised U.S. radio-talkers would do. No U.S. radio-talker ever once asked the IR655 pilot “to identify themselves and state their intentions”.

If U.S. Military Officers had issued an honest U.S. NOTAM which conformed to their secret battle doctrine, it would have said this:

Aircraft in Iranian airspace WILL BE ATTACKED 12 n.miles deep into Iranian airspace, regardless of their altitude, regardless of their flight profile, regardless of their transponder setting, if at any point they approach a U.S. naval vessel within 12 n.miles, unless U.S. naval vessels are CERTAIN, and remain CERTAIN, the aircraft poses no threat.

Would the pilot of Iran Air Flight 655 have filed the same flight plan, or any flight plan at all, faced with this honest NOTAM, threatening certain death from warships he couldn’t see. Instead, corrupt, cowardly, and dishonorable U.S. Military Officers dangled a lure to innocent Iranian pilots to trick them to their death when they drafted and published their perfidious NOTAMs with one hand while secretly handing out secret Rules of Engagement and secret battle doctrine orders to their hired killers with the other, part of an unlawful offensive war in violation of the U.S. Constitution, better known as murder and arson. So much for Democracy, Freedom, and the Rule of Law.

Why do people hate America?

What would international leaders have said, upon publication of this honest NOTAM? And what difference would it make what they said?

And what if U.S. warships patrolled U.S. shores, under the same NOTAM, 12 n.miles offshore New Orleans, Mobile, Miami, Charleston, Norfolk, Manhattan, Boston, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Portland, Seattle?

{More to come}

Warnings

“ I think there were some 12 challenges between the Vincennes and the Sides.”

Frank C. Carlucci (Secretary of Defense), Press Briefing, Aug. 19 1988

“ 7 Vincennes warnings went unacknowledged and unanswered.”

William J. Crowe Jr.
(Chairman, J.C.S.), Press Briefing, Aug. 19 1988

Two separate radio-talkers on board the USS Vincennes broadcast warnings. One, the MAD radio-talker (Military Air Distress), broadcast 4 warnings, on a military frequency (243.0 MHz UHF) which no airliner is equipped to receive.

The other, the IAD radio-talker (International Air Distress), broadcast two warnings, on a civilian frequency (121.5 MHz VHF). And the first of these well illustrates the reckless negligence of the U.S. Military Officers who ordered him to broadcast on the wrong frequency.

While the IAD radio-talker was broadcasting his first warning, the pilot was busy talking to Air Traffic Control on the published ATC frequency.

This fact, Crowe, Crist, Fogarty, and the rest of the U.S. Military and Government Officers concealed from their DoD Report, concealed from Congress, and concealed from the public, in aid of their lie that the IR655 pilot “ignored” their “warning”. This fact was well known to U.S. Officers from their “electronic intelligence,” but for the rest of us, the public, we can only ascertain it from the subsequent secret ICAO Report (issued in secret, Nov. 7 1988, the day before the U.S. Presidential election), which ICAO itself concealed from the public, which quietly mentions this fact in its text (p.16, ¶ 2.10.9), documented by timed-stamped transcripts in an appendix. ICAO also concealed this fact from its detailed “Background Material” (7 pages) attached to its press release (Dec. 7 1988) announcing derestriction of its secret report which it nevertheless continued to conceal from the public. (Derestriction means that the Report could be revealed to member nations of ICAO who were not members of its governing Council; one of these nations eventually leaked the report, or parts of it, to the New York Times).

The American Society of International Law (which eventually got a copy) mysteriously omitted these transcripts when they selected other portions of the ICAO Report to publish the following year in International Legal Materials, an expensive publication for specialized international law libraries, not available to the general public. The ASIL published Appendix A to the ICAO Report which summarizes the transcript of this broadcast and falsifies its time-stamp (p.A-6, A-7), consistent with other (apparently willful) errors in the ICAO Report. The ATC transcripts quoted in the U.N. Security Council (July 14 1988), and excerpted in some newspapers the next day, were not time-stamped.

Why do people hate America?

The IAD radio-talker violated the first rule of radio-talking: Listen before you speak. In this case, first check the two possible ATC frequencies the aircraft might be talking on at the time (Bandar Abbas Approach Control 124.2 MHz, Tehran Area Control Center 133.4 MHz). And, Iran Air’s Company frequency (131.8 MHz), available from past fleet signals intelligence, who record broadcasts at Bandar Abbas Airport, e.g., the Musandam Peninsula listening station, 45 n.miles away at 2,000 feet elevation, Hawkeyes and AWACs aloft, and Naval/NSA signals intelligence officers onboard the Vincennes itself, and other U.S. warships, with the Naval Security Group Command (NSGC) in charge of the Ship’s Signals Exploitation Space (SSES).

{Flight regulation to come}

But before he broadcast his two warnings, the IAD radio-talker first broadcast a routine hello-message, which was not a warning, though all U.S. Military and Government Officers lied it was.

And this too he broadcast while the Iran Air pilot was likely talking on the radio to somebody else, this time to Iran Air’s airport office (06:50:00–06:50:15?). The time and duration of this Iran Air conversation are not specified in the ICAO Report, but I don’t suppose the pilot would have contacted his office until after he had first done his duty, and contacted Approach Control (06:49:18–06:49:45), as the Tower had ordered him, prior to take-off, to do after take-off. And, it fits there; otherwise, there’s no good reason the pilot would wait a minute between his two ATC contacts. Having turned his attention to his radio responsibilities, I imagine he would normally attend to them all in the same interval, one after the other.

You can be sure that the U.S. Government has a transcript of this broadcast conversation (between IR655 and the Iran Air airport office), from its “reliable intelligence sources,” and that it fits exactly where I surmise it fits, in the transcripts quoted above:– Precisely while the Vincennes radio-talker was broadcasting his hello-message, a “warning,” as U.S. Officers deceitfully mislabel it, which they negligently ordered him to broadcast on the wrong frequency.

Here’s the initial hello-message from the IAD radio-talker. Its apparent purpose is merely to encourage the target, and anyone else listening, to abandon any hope of sneaking-up on the warship (if that’s what they had in mind), because the warship has its equipment switched-on and its crew standing watch:

“ The transmission and interpretation of such position information was time consuming and error prone, even in aircraft equipped with navigational equipment that could display such information. Thus, geographical co-ordinates were not a practical method of establishing identification.”

ICAO, p.17, ¶ 2.10.17.

06:50:02–06:50:22: “Unidentified aircraft on course 206, speed 316, position 2702 North 05616 East, you are approaching a United States naval war-ship. Request you remain clear.”

ICAO, p.B-16; DoD, p.31, ¶ (4)(a).

The “unidentified aircraft” was well identified, by its transponder squawk code, staring the radio-talker in the face from his computer console, refreshed automatically with each pulse of the warship radar. This 4-digit number (6760) uniquely identified that one aircraft, and no other, on the warship’s radar. And the pilot would immediately know that the radio-talker was talking about him, if the radio-talker bothered to speak that squawk-code, if the pilot wasn’t talking to somebody else at the time, and if the radio-talker broadcast on the Air Traffic Control frequency the pilot was certain to be listening to.

Iran Air Flight 655 was not headed for a U.S. warship, when the radio-talker commenced his broadcast. IR655 was headed for Iranian soil (the large island of Qeshm), about 4,000 feet high, crossing an internal territorial bay, 36 n.miles from the Strait of Hormuz. One U.S. NOTAM explicitly said the pilot had no need to monitor 121.5 MHz at that time. The pilot was entitled to interpret the other, vague, U.S. NOTAM to mean the same, with IR655 headed towards dry land, so deep inside Iran’s territory, and so far from the Strait of Hormuz.

The pilot was, however, under an obligation to be monitoring and talking to Bandar Abbas Approach Control, and this, U.S. Military Officers could be certain of. The pilot was also under an obligation to talk to his Company office, and this too, U.S. Military Officers could be certain of, if they had bothered to inquire from any pilot of any airline about their departure routine, or from fleet intelligence which had doubtless recorded many such conversations in the past.

“ 0650 Zulu. Vincennes began to issue the first of several IAD warnings.”

W. Fogarty, CentCom, Senate Hearing, p.10

Robert J. Kelly, J.C.S., House Hearings, p.90

Significantly, this hello-message did not ask the pilot “to respond and state his intentions” and did not ask the pilot to change course, contrary to Crowe’s repeated deceitful claim. The U.S. radio-talker did not ask the pilot “to identify themselves and state their intentions,” as the U.S. NOTAM required the radio-talker to do if the aircraft’s “intentions are unclear” or if it was “approaching U.S. naval vessels”. The radio-talker did not ask the pilot to do anything, did not threaten him, and did not hint at any urgency or emergency.

This, plainly, in any lexicon, was not a “warning,” e.g., that you are about to die and what you must do to live.

Even if the radio-talker had broadcast on the correct frequency, and even if the pilot hadn’t been talking to somebody else and had heard this broadcast, and even if the pilot had imagined it was directed at him, he could feel content that he was already “clear” of any warship and that the radio-talker agreed, not least by not asking the pilot to identify himself and state his intentions. The pilot could therefore assume, as the NOTAM said, that the radio-talker was not uncertain about the pilot’s intentions, that the warship saw his squawk-code and had monitored Air Traffic Control, as the U.S. implied it would do by referring to aircraft “cleared for approach/departure to or from a regional airport”. And, the pilot knew he would “remain” clear too, as the radio-talker desired.

Wherever the warship might be — and the radio-talker concealed his location and distance from the aircraft — the pilot was “cleared for departure from a regional airport” and was already above 4,000 feet, and climbing, towards Iranian soil, and 36 miles or so from international waters. He was way above the 2,000 foot safety altitude already and, by the time he reached his assigned flight level 140 (14,500 feet), he would still be more than 10 n.miles from any U.S. warship in international waters, wherever it might be, and more than 2 miles higher than the 2,000 foot safety rule in the U.S. NOTAM. The pilot was “well clear” already and becoming more and more clear as he climbed, then at the rate of 2,000 feet per minute.

In his hello message, what did the Vincennes IAD radio-talker ask the pilot to do? Nothing. And so the pilot, by doing nothing, as the radio-talker asked, manifested hostile intent in what way, exactly?

At 4,000 feet enroute to 14,500, and under Departure Control, the pilot could only presume that this broadcast (had the radio-talker not negligently prevented him from hearing it) was a routine hello-message, asking for no response, and requiring no response:– A simple ‘Hello; I’m looking at you; and remember’: “Request you remain clear”.

The Radio-talker was negligent in his duty to ascertain whether the target was listening, by failing to ask the target “to identify themselves and state their intentions,” as the U.S. NOTAM required him to do.

“ 0651 Zulu. Continuous warnings began.”

W. Fogarty, CentCom, Senate Hearing, p.11

Robert J. Kelly, J.C.S., House Hearings, p.91

The IAD radio-talker broadcast his first warning (of two), again while the Iran Air pilot was talking to somebody else, this time to Air Traffic Control (06:50:54–06:51:30):

06:51:09–06:51:43: “Unidentified aircraft on course 207, speed 350, altitude 7,000 feet, you are approaching a United States naval warship, bearing 205, 30 miles from you. Your identity is not known. You are standing into danger and may be subject to United States defensive measures. Request you remain clear of me. Request you alter course immediately. Over. To 270 immediately.”

ICAO, p.B-16; p.16, ¶ 2.10.8; DoD, p.33, ¶ (5)(g). The last phrase (“To 270 immediately”) was broadcast — not by the Vincennes IAD radio-talker, as the DoD Report pretended, but — by a radio-talker on the USS Sides, 18 n.miles away, which the DoD Report concealed. ICAO, p.16, ¶ 2.10.8. What that sounded like, two different voices 18 miles apart, God only knows. But it was a meritorious effort by the Sides radio-talker, about whom we’ll hear more, shortly.

“ The SSR code ... being unique to a particular flight ... indicated on the SSR selector box, could be expected to be immediately recognizable to the flight crew.”

ICAO, p.17, ¶ 2.10.18.

The “unidentified aircraft” was well identified, by its transponder (SSR) squawk code still staring the radio-talker in the face from his computer console. And still being refreshed with each pulse of the warship radar. The pilot would have immediately recognized himself had the radio-talker spoken that squawk-code, but it’s unlikely he could absorb the string of unfamiliar babble which the radio-talker spoke, preoccupied with uncertainty about whom the radio-talker was talking to, even if the pilot hadn’t been talking to somebody else at the time. A violation of the second rule of radio-talking: First establish contact, and only then say what you’ve got to say, at least if it’s long-winded and unfamiliar and you aren’t certain if anyone is listening.

Iran Air Flight 655 was over Iranian soil (Qeshm Island) throughout the first warning broadcast — 30 n.miles from the Strait of Hormuz when the Vincennes radio-talker started talking. One U.S. NOTAM explicitly said the pilot had no need to monitor 121.5 MHz at that time. The pilot was entitled to interpret the other, vague, U.S. NOTAM to mean the same, with IR655 over Iranian soil, far from the Strait of Hormuz.

If the Vincennes radio-talker had been maintaining a listening watch on the Air Traffic Control frequencies — as his senior U.S. Military Officers recklessly neglected to order him to do — he would probably have never broadcast this warning in the first place, listening to the apparent airliner which the schedule said was due, and looking at its civilian transponder ID code and ascending flight profile down a civilian airway. But if his commander did order him to broadcast, he would then at least have waited for the pilot to first finish talking, and he would never have broadcast on 121.5 MHz to a pilot he knew was listening on another frequency.

The radio-talker broadcast his first warning to nobody, because he negligently broadcast while the pilot was talking; because he negligently broadcast on a frequency which one U.S. NOTAM explicitly said the aircraft was not required to be listening on (not clearly contradicted by the other NOTAM); because he negligently failed to broadcast on the ATC frequency he could be certain the pilot was listening to; and because he negligently failed to ascertain whether the target was listening, by failing to ask the target “to identify themselves and state their intentions,” as the U.S. NOTAM required him to do.

“ 0652 Zulu. Two minutes prior to firing, warnings were being issued continuously.”

W. Fogarty, CentCom, Senate Hearing, p.11

Robert J. Kelly, J.C.S., House Hearings, p.92

The IAD radio-talker broadcast his second (and final) warning while the Iran Air pilot was not talking to anybody else and could have been listening:

06:52:33–06:53:03: “Unidentified aircraft on course 210, speed 350, altitude 10,000 feet, you are approaching a US naval warship, bearing 201, 20 miles from you. You are standing into danger and may be subject to United States defensive measures.”

DoD, p.33, ¶ (6)(h). The ICAO Report adds to the end of this: “(Garbled),” and claims a British warship received these additional words: “Request you remain clear of me”. ICAO, p.B-16.

The “unidentified aircraft” was well identified, by its squawk code still staring the radio-talker in the face from his computer console. And still being refreshed with each pulse of the warship radar. If the radio-talker bothered to speak that squawk-code, the pilot would immediately know who the radio-talker was talking to, if the radio-talker had broadcast on the Air Traffic Control frequency the pilot was certain to be listening to. The radio-talker could not be certain the radar target was listening on 121.5 MHz, not least because it was 20 n.miles away, over Iranian land or just offshore (Qeshm Island), and not within 5 n.miles of the warship which one U.S. NOTAM explicitly said was the earliest point at which aircraft should listen on that frequency.

Iran Air Flight 655 was less than 1 n.mile offshore (paralleling the Qeshm Island shoreline) — when the radio-talker commenced his broadcast — 22 n.miles from the Strait of Hormuz, and less than 2 n.miles offshore throughout the broadcast. One U.S. NOTAM explicitly said the pilot had no need to monitor 121.5 MHz at that time. The pilot was entitled to interpret the other, vague, U.S. NOTAM to mean the same, with IR655 paralleling so close to his own shoreline, and so far from the Strait of Hormuz.

The IAD radio-talker in this broadcast — the first warning the pilot could have heard — did not ask the pilot to change course, and did not ask the pilot to identify himself and state his intentions, contrary to Crowe’s repeated deceitful claim. The radio-talker did not ask the pilot to respond, and did not give the pilot a frequency to transmit on if he wanted to inquire who the radio-talker was talking to. (If the pilot had been tuned to this frequency, he wouldn’t have known which frequency this broadcast was on, because he was also tuned on his other radio to Air Traffic Control). And, the radio-talker negligently failed in his duty to ascertain whether the target was listening, by failing to ask the target “to identify themselves and state their intentions,” as the U.S. NOTAM required him to do.

Climbing at 1,500 feet per minute, already two miles high, and 20 miles from the warship, the pilot was fully complying with the U.S. NOTAMs and the radio-talker did not ask him to do anything different, or to do anything at all.

According to the Vincennes radio-talker, the pilot’s course (210°) was significantly different from the warship’s bearing (201°). This means the pilot was not headed for the warship and would pass more than 3 n.miles wide of the warship, 20 miles down the road, at 14,500 feet. He was headed for the USS Montgomery, 20 n.miles away, but the radio-talker didn’t tell him that. From what the radio-talker said, the pilot could only see that he was headed wide of the U.S. warship (which the NOTAMs said he could overfly anyway) and way above the 2,000 foot safety rule.

Tracking the new tougher NOTAM the U.S. issued after the ambush, the pilot did not:

“Fail[] to respond to requests for identification and intentions, fail[] to accept recommended headings, fail[] to respond to warnings, or continue[] to operate in a threatening manner” ...

NOTAM, FAA FDC 056/88.

In his second (and final) warning, what did the Vincennes IAD radio-talker ask the pilot to do? Nothing. And so the pilot, by doing nothing, as the radio-talker asked, manifested hostile intent in what way, exactly?

Not much of a “warning,” that a firing key is going to be turned in exactly one minute (06:54:05), and you’re going to be dead in less than two minutes (06:54:43). No notice of this and no instructions about what you can do to live.

Very, very fishy.

Most perversely, the radio-talker did not disclose that a command decision had already been made to attack — two minutes earlier, with the consent of the higher CJTFME commander at Bahrain (06:51:00) — regardless of whether the aircraft “operated in a threatening manner”. If the aircraft continued on its present course and did not respond to a warning, the Commander was authorized to attack, even if the aircraft was still climbing, and he had declared he was going to attack. And this was stated in the plain hearing of the IAD radio-talker and over the Link-11 radio net where it was also heard by the officers and crew of the Sides, in its Combat Information Center. DoD, p.32, ¶ (4)(j), (k); p.33, ¶ (5)(a).

{Quotations to come}

Yet, the radio-talker did not tell this to the pilot. He did not give the pilot a chance to deal with these two conditions. He did not ask the pilot to change course; he did not ask the pilot to reply by voice on the radio. He did not state he will attack. He did not use the Mayday emergency lexicon.

This is the text of a “warning” you give when you want to trick your target into doing nothing so you can kill him and later claim you did nothing wrong because you gave him a “warning”.

Very, very, very, very fishy.

If this was a purposely deficient warning, to preserve an excuse to kill, then this killing was not involuntary manslaughter. It was 290 counts of cold-blooded murder.

And somebody else smelled this fish, in real-time, in the moment. Somebody on board the USS Sides — the DoD Report redacts his name — was very alarmed at what he was hearing, and what he was not hearing. He finally grabbed that airwave frequency and broadcast his own warning (121.5 MHz), starting 22 seconds after the Vincennes radio-talker shut up, and finishing 22 seconds before Rogers turned his firing key:

06:53:25–06:53:43: “Unidentified aircraft squawking 6760 mode-3, you are approaching a US Navy war-ship bearing 090, correction 204, at 31,000 yards. You are standing into danger. Request you alter course 270.”

ICAO, p.B-16, partially paraphrased in the DoD Report, but not quoted, presumably to conceal the bearing misspeak, and to deemphasize the distance in yards (15.3 n.miles), U.S. Navy surface distance jargon unknown to pilots. DoD, p.37, ¶ (7)(m): “IAD challenge issued by {name redacted} (USS Sides) to aircraft BRG 204 to Vincennes, RNG 31 kyds, squawking Mode III-6760.”

The Sides radio-talker started well, speaking the aircraft’s squawk-code, which the two radio-talkers on the Vincennes never once did. And he finished well, broadcasting an instruction, what the pilot should do.

But, he should have started with this: “Mayday, Mayday, Mayday,” the attention-getting emergency signal, specified in flight rules. And after next speaking the squawk-code, he should then have promised imminent death and demanded an immediate right-turn and a voice response, omitting the rest of his confusing and irrelevant message: The whereabouts of a warship, about to kill you, obscures the information you need to avoid the killing.

This was an emergency, and this sense of emergency — an extreme emergency — the Sides radio-talker negligently failed to communicate.

“A pilot who encounters a Distress condition should declare an emergency by beginning the initial communication with the word “Mayday,” preferably repeated three times. For an Urgency condition, the word “Pan-Pan” should be used in the same manner.”

Air Traffic Control, Chapter 10–Emergencies, Emergency Determinations, ¶ 10-1-1.b (U.S. Federal Aviation Administration, Order 7110.65N, Feb. 21 2002).

And, the Sides radio-talker negligently failed to first ascertain whether the target was listening, by failing to ask the target “to identify themselves and state their intentions,” as the U.S. NOTAM required him to do. Or, at this late stage, simply: “Mayday, Mayday, Mayday, aircraft squawking 6760, 6760, 6760; warship on 121.5, 121.5, 121.5, over, over, over”. Had he done so, he might have thought to switch frequencies, when he got no answer, to the ATC Approach Control (124.2 MHz), and had another go. He was a pretty fast thinker. I imagine he would.

The negligent failings of the Sides radio-talker were not his negligent failings. He was an “innocent agent,” faithfully (as I suppose) implementing the negligent failings of senior U.S. Military Officers, who recklessly neglected to provide him with a protocol, talking-script, and training fit for his duties. He faithfully (as I suppose) read from the text of the faulty talking-script senior U.S. Military Officers had negligently provided to him and ordered him to speak. He faithfully (as I suppose) followed the faulty training (if any) he had received, negligently designed by senior U.S. Military Officers who negligently required him to listen and broadcast on the wrong frequency, negligently required him to violate the U.S. NOTAM and accepted radio practice by not first seeking contact with a listener, and negligently omitted to train him in emergency radio lexicon and procedures which (at that late stage) were mandatory, and for a good reason. The culpability for this multiple negligence rests with those recklessly negligent senior U.S. Military Officers, not with the radio-talker who, himself, was not negligent, because he faithfully (as I suppose) performed the duties which others negligently designed and negligently trained him to do.

The innocent negligence of the heroic Sides radio-talker, however, probably didn’t matter, apart from listening and broadcasting on the wrong frequency, as he was negligently trained to do. Still more than 15 n.miles from the Strait of Hormuz, where any U.S. warship might be, at 11,000 feet, climbing at 1,500 feet per minute, the Iran Air pilot was occupied with his own business and poised to click his own microphone button. He was only 30 seconds away, himself, from broadcasting his obligatory final report to Bandar Abbas Approach Control (124.2 MHz) on reaching MOBET, the boundary of the Terminal Control Area (TCA); 45 seconds from switching frequencies to the Tehran Area Control Center (131.8 MHz), his next ATC controller; and 90 seconds from his obligatory report to Tehran Center on reaching his assigned flight-level 140.

Mohsen Rezaian was watching the dial on his DME (Distance Measuring Equipment), rolling up the n.miles by tenths, towards 30.0 (MOBET), and glancing at his altimeter, rate-of-climb, indicated air speed, and power gauges, curious, whether, by coincidence, he would reach his flight level 140 at about the same time. It was hot humid day, and every seat was full. Not today. Maybe if that 15 knot tail-wind had been a head-wind instead. He would have to wait about a minute, after reporting at MOBET to Approach Control (124.2 MHz), before he could report at flight-level 140 to Tehran Center (131.8 MHz).

On the verge, himself, of broadcasting, any moment now (06:54:00–06:54:11) — 17 seconds after the Sides radio-talker clicked off (06:53:43) — Mohsen Rezaian likely, and understandably, had the volume turned down on his backup radio, tuned to 121.5 MHz, as it may have been.

The Sides radio-talker was surprised at the intention of the Vincennes Commander to attack (which he heard via the Link 11 radio net). But he was on his toes, and if he had only tuned to the ATC Approach Control frequency, especially earlier, he would certainly have stopped this killing. This is excellent evidence of the recklessly negligent fleet protocol for antiair warfare operations, imposed upon him, for which he was not responsible.

The Sides radio-talker made a valiant, heroic effort: first to perceive something fishy; next to edit the deficient first warning (while the pilot was talking to ATC); and finally to seize control of the airwave and do the best he could, in the final seconds, obeying the faulty training negligently provided to him, to nullify the criminal orders somebody else was prepared to unlawfully obey, 22 seconds later, on a warship 18 n.miles away. And for his alert, bold intervention, to preempt somebody else’s pretext killing, he certainly deserves a medal.

And I’m sure Mohsen Rezaian would agree.

The IAD talking-script

U.S. Military Officers provide U.S. warship radio-talkers with a talking-script, and order the talkers to follow the script.

But the U.S. DoD Report writers omitted from their report the text of this talking-script. I don’t know why, because this script is central, and hence “material,” to the killing they were investigating.

But it was also recklessly negligent. And, it wasn’t written by a radio-talker. It was written by senior U.S. Military Officers, approved by other senior U.S. Military Officers, and issued down a chain of command by other senior U.S. Military Officers.

Could this be the reason senior U.S. Military Officers, writing a report of an investigation, decided to omit it?

According to the ICAO Report, this is the talking-script, which senior U.S. Military Officers ordered the Vincennes civilian radio-talker to follow, and which he did not follow:


“ United States Navy Procedure
for Communicating with Unidentified Aircraft

United States Navy ships are required to warn unknown or potentially hostile aircraft that are approaching a Navy ship.

Prior to this warning, a request for information is transmitted. The request is:

Unidentified air contact on course _____, speed _____, altitude _____. You are approaching a U.S. Navy warship operating in international waters bearing _____, range _____ from you. Request you establish communications, identify yourself and state your intentions.

If the unknown aircraft fails to respond and continues to approach the naval ship or the aircraft movements are not understood, the following warning is given:

Unidentified aircraft on course _____, speed _____, altitude _____, you are approaching a U.S. Navy warship bearing _____, range _____, from you. Your identity is not known/your intentions are unclear (one or both). You are standing into danger and may be subject to United States defensive measures. Request you remain clear of me. Request you alter your course immediately to _____ (course) to remain clear.

Requests for information and warnings are made on both the Military Air Distress frequency (243.0 mHz) and the international Air Distress frequency (121.5 mHz).

United States Navy ship captains realize that not all commercial aircraft transmit their proper IFF (Identification Friend or Foe) code or remain in the proper airways and will take this into account when they encounter such an aircraft.”

ICAO Report, Appendix F. Caveat: Is this the text in actual use on the Vincennes that day? Or was this text created after the fact and given to ICAO? And was there any talking-script in use on the Vincennes that day?

The Vincennes civilian radio-talker violated his orders and did not broadcast the “request for informaton” which his orders required him to do, and which the U.S. NOTAMs promised U.S. radio-talkers would do.

In none of his three broadcasts, did the radio-talker ask the pilot to “identify yourself and state your intentions”. As his talking-script required him to do.

Of course, it would have made no difference if he had, because senior U.S. Military Officers had ordered him to broadcast on the wrong frequency. In obedience to which, he broadcast while the pilot was talking to somebody else, at the same time, on another frequency (once for sure, and probably twice). Explained above.

But the topic of this section is the text of the script. And it’s fatally flawed:

“ The SSR code ... being unique to a particular flight ... indicated on the SSR selector box, could be expected to be immediately recognizable to the flight crew.”

ICAO, p.17, ¶ 2.10.18.

The talking-script violates accepted international civil aviation practice by failing to order the radio-talker to speak the squawk-code, broadcast by the aircraft transponder, automatically, in response to each interrogation pulse by the warship radar, and each separate interrogation by warship computer operators, with their separate manually-operated transponder interrogators.

Instead of  “course, speed, and altitude,” the talking-script should specify this:


“Aircraft squawking _____ (squawk-code). 1  ...”

_____

 1   Say this, only if  there is no IFF/SSR squawk-code:

“Aircraft on course _____, speed _____, altitude _____.”

For altitude, use the Mode-C pressure-altitude broadcast by the aircraft transponder. Use the warship radar actual-altitude value only if  the aircraft is not broadcasting an altitude value or if  the aircraft is below the “transition altitude” specified on the published aircraft charts for his location. {Explained below}.

At any one time, every single squawk-code, in every single data-block, for every single aircraft target, on the warship radar displays, will be unique. No two aircraft will broadcast the same squawk-code.

This, because Air Traffic Control takes care to ensure this is case, when it assigns squawk-codes to the aircraft in their care.

ICAO assigns each Flight Information Region a block of transponder codes, which no adjacent FIR is allowed to use.

Thus, for example, in the Gulf region, with the junction of several FIRs, this ICAO system prevents the Tehran ATC from assigning the same squawk-code as the Emirates ATC.

So, when an aircraft crosses an FIR boundary, for example at DARAX, the new ATC controller orders the pilot to change his transponder squawk-code to a new one, from that ATC controller’s ICAO-assigned block of numbers.

The pilot himself selects the squawk-code, on orders of his ATC controller, by turning a dial on the transponder box in his cockpit, and the box displays the number he selects.

So, when a voice on the radio says “Aircraft squawking 0000” (squawk-code), he knows that voice is talking to him, and not to anybody else, if it’s his squawk-code. It’s unique. And it’s fool-proof.

U.S. Military Officers were aware of their grievous reckless negligence in issuing a faulty radio talking-script. They didn’t dare mention this topic directly. That would have educated the public, and Congress, about their reckless negligence and the consequent negligence, and State Responsibility, of the United States of America, on whose behalf they were acting, when they ambushed Iran Air 655.

But, for the benefit of those who spotted their negligence, they provided some oblique smoke, hoping to obscure their reckless negligence. Their smoke does not obscure their reckless negligence. But it does constitute evidence, of their corrupt intent to deceive.

{Quotations to come}

By contrast to the unique squawk-code, the sky could be full of aircraft on the same “course, speed, and altitude”. Less likely at the same altitude. But not impossible, with non-intersecting airways, for example. In a congested area like the Gulf, for example.

And what does this mean?

This means that — when a radio talker states a “course, speed, and altitude,” as a means of identifying which aircraft he’s talking about — all of the pilots hearing that broadcast can only wonder whether the voice is talking about somebody else:— out of sight and far away. And this, even if their particular course, speed, and altitude are similar to what the voice said.

Most troublesome, however, these three data-items are inherently unreliable. Because what the warship radar sees is different from what the pilot sees, on his instruments. And this difference can be very substantial.

These problems — attending the use of  “course, speed, and altitude,” as a means of identification — emphasize the reckless negligence of senior U.S. Military Officers, who decided to not order their radio-talkers to speak the transponder squawk-code instead:— a fool-proof method of precise identification.

Speed is very troublesome, as a means of identification. What the pilot sees, on his instrument panel, is “indicated air speed”. This can be vastly different from his ground-speed, which is the only speed value the warship radio-talker knows to say (computed by the radar). This difference is due, not only to the effect of winds aloft (tail-wind, head-wind, cross-wind), but also to air density (air pressure, temperature, humidity).

Modern, expensive, DMEs (Distance Measuring Equipment) can compute and display ground-speed, on their separate displays, but only if (as I suppose) the aircraft is flying a course directly to, or from, the navigation radio the DME is tuned to. Not, if the DME is tuned to a station off to one side of that course.

These modern DMEs did not exist in 1988, at least not the two onboard Iran Air Flight 655 (per their specifications).

The AirBus did, however, have onboard an inertial navigation system. And I presume it can compute and display actual ground-speed on its separate display. I don’t know if that’s part of its main display, or whether the pilot has to call-up a special display to see it.

But, I don’t suppose the pilot would bother to program his inertial navigation system for a simple 28-minute flight between airports he knew well, and for a course he had flown many times. He would have no use for inertial navigation. And I imagine he had it switched-off. Though, query, did his autopilot work independently, so that he could have his autopilot without programming his inertial navigation? (Surely so, but I’ll have to check this). Apparently so. The pilot climbed-out over Qeshm Island, presumably to ensure no U.S. warship would consider him a threat. This course was slightly right of the airway centerline, which would be impossible if the inertial navigation system was controlling the autopilot, and if the pilot programmed that system with the geographical coordinates of MOBET (a point on the centerline).

Without a modern DME (which didn’t then exist), and without inertial navigation operating, the only speed value the pilot would have available to look at, when the voice spoke a speed value, was his indicated air speed. That was likely as much as 100 knots different from what the voice spoke.

If he had heard the voice speak. Which, of course, he couldn’t hear. Because he was guarding a different frequency. And talking at the same time anyway, during one, and probably two, of the warship broadcasts.

Altitude is also troublesome, as a means of identification. This, due to the pressure-altitude — broadcast by the transponder and set on the pilot’s flight-panel altimeter (above the local “transition altitude”) — being different from the actual-altitude perceived by the warship radar. Which itself is not actually the actual-altitude. Due to the height of the radar above the sea. This difference is explained below.

On the day, this altitude difference was 525 feet.

As in the case of the squawk-code, U.S. Military Officers did not comment on this altitude difference. Instead, they loaded their deceitful DoD Report with innuendo, in several places, implying the pilot was untrustworthy, when he reported his altitude to Air Traffic Control and, hence, untrustworthy in other respects as well.

{Quotations to come}

In addition, they silently chose between altitude values at various places in their report to conceal and deceive other elements of their tale.

One of these elements was the location of the warship inside Iran’s territorial waters. This location could be computed by reference to when IR655 reached MOBET, at the center of the airway, 30.0 n.miles from the VORTAC navigation radio at the center of the Bandar Abbas airport.

To thwart this computation, they lied, by confounding this difference between altitude values, to pretend that the pilot was not at MOBET when he said he was. (When he reported reaching MOBET, he also reported his flight-level, pressure-altitude. And this altitude report, adjusted by the 525 feet the report doesn’t mention, connects with warship radar data in the DoD Report — most of which the report-writers concealed from their report, in aid of their various deceits.)

The pilot’s DME displays the aircraft’s distance from the airport VORTAC, in tenths of miles, with mathematical certainty, computed automatically, by timing the responses from the VORTAC transponder, to the automatic interrogations by the DME, at the rate of 22 pulse-pairs per second.

Setting aside minor deviations from the centerline of the airway (which do not affect the computation of the whereabouts of the Vincennes, inside Iran’s territorial waters), the pilot had the information displayed to him to know, with mathematical precision, the instant he reached MOBET. And he could see it coming, from the DME display, rolling-up the n.miles by tenths, as he approached MOBET, and prepared to faithfully perform his duty, and broadcast his required report. As he did.

{Quotations to come}

The warship pursued the fleeing small boats into Iran, trying to murder them. And U.S. Military Officers were very keen to conceal this, and the location of the Vincennes, inside Iran.

Long after the DoD Report, the ICAO Report contained geographical coordinates for the location of the Vincennes at missile-launch, proving the Vincennes was inside Iran’s territorial waters. This information was supplied to ICAO by U.S. Military Officers, perhaps the same ones who were members of the prima facie criminal conspiracy to lie to Congress, and to lie in official reports. Hence, anything they have to say is suspect.

The ICAO Report being secret, the geographical coordinates did not become public knowledge until long after the ambush. U.S. Justice Department lawyers quietly disclosed it in papers filed in the United Nations International Court of Justice in the Hague, in the law suit filed by Iran.

Course is less troublesome, as a means of identification.

What the pilot sees, from his compass, is his magnetic heading, not his true course.

If he has his navigation radio (VOR) tuned to a station, which happens to be directly in line with his course, then his course is displayed on that instrument, as a radial in degrees true to the station, or its reciprocal from a station directly in line behind (add 180-degrees to get your course).

In a cross-wind the aircraft flies a heading which is different from its course, as perceived by the warship radar.

And this you can see watching birds fly, in a cross-wind: Their track along the ground is different from the direction they are heading, as the wind carries them sideways. In a strong cross-wind, this difference can be very dramatic.

Like a pilot, birds allow for this. They know exactly where they’re going. And what they have to do to get there. They know they’re not going where they’re heading. And that’s exactly what they want. They’re allowing for the wind.

Like the birds, the pilot is also aware of this. And though his compass shows his heading, and not his course, he has an idea of what his course is because, like the birds, he sets his heading to allow for the wind, precisely to maintain the course he wants (and what the warship radar sees).

This, if he happens to be going somewhere, and he’s not out just enjoying the view, or navigating by landmarks, flying VFR (Visual Flight Rules), without a course-number in mind (in degrees true).

On the day, there was not much cross-wind (maybe 5-10 knots). And so the aircraft course (spoken by the radio-talker) was close to the aircraft heading (displayed to the pilot).

SELCAL: Selective Calling System

The DoD report-writers omitted from their report the flight plan message, containing the text of the flight plan filed by the Iran Air pilot 8 hours 40 minutes prior to scheduled departure of Iran Air Flight 655.

This flight plan message, which they omitted, was promptly, and routinely, telexed via AFTN to the region’s air traffic controllers, including the Oman Area Control Center and the Dubai airport Air Traffic Control.

Why would they omit this from their report?

Was it because the filed flight plan message disclosed the pilot’s private cockpit ‘telephone number’? His SELCAL code. And if they wanted to ask his intentions, or give him instructions, or a warning, all they had to do was call him on the ‘phone’? And talk to him? Regardless of what radio frequencies he was tuned to? And regardless of whether he was talking at the time on the radio?

Was this the reason, they decided to omit the filed flight plan message, from their report?

And was this the reason, an anonymous hand at the American Society of International Law also decided to omit the filed flight plan message, and the flight plan too, from the ICAO Report excerpts they printed the following year in International Legal Materials? 28 I.L.M. 896 (1989).

SELCAL does not figure in the lies told by Crowe at his July 3 1988 press briefing (the topic of this main section). It figures in its omission from the DoD Report (the next main section). And it figures in an analysis of the negligence of U.S. Military Officers.

For more about SELCAL, see below.

MAD: 243.0 MHz UHF

“ I will never apologize for the United States of America. Ever. I don’t care what the facts are.”

George H.W. Bush, Rocky Mount N.C., August 30 1988

According to George H.W. Bush, the U.S. gave seven ‘warnings’ to the foolish, reckless, negligent pilot of Iran Air Flight 655, who had only himself to blame when the United States lawfully killed him and the 289 innocent other lives in his care:

“After seven — I want the Council to be sure to understand this — seven unanswered warnings, the captain did what he had to do to protect his ship and the lives of the crew. As a military commander, his first duty and responsibility is to protect his men and his ship, and he did so.”

George H.W. Bush (U.S. Vice President), U.N. Security Council, July 14 1988, U.N. Doc. S/PV.2818, p.56.

Well, that’s it then. If George Bush says it’s so, it must be so. Case closed.

Why do people hate America?

{Coming up}

Applause

By the end of Crowe’s press briefing, on July 3 1988, Crowe had lied about the transponder, lied about the airline route, lied about the NOTAMs, lied about the warnings, and lied about Rogers’ lies. Altogether a spectacular theatrical performance, worthy of a prominent place in the very crowded Pantheon of U.S. Military liars.

But, not content with the applause, from his many complicit admirers, Crowe demanded an encore. Six weeks later, he embellished his performance with a new Second Act, of brand new, equally staggering, additional lies, when he released the DoD Report to the public, at a second press briefing, on August 19 1988.


“ During that first news conference, Crowe said the Iranian plane was flying “outside the prescribed commercial air corridor” and was “headed directly for Vincennes ... at high speed – approximately 450 knots.” He further said that “electronic indications” led the crew to believe the plane was an F-14 fighter jet.

These statements — presented as facts — created an impression in the public’s mind that there was something fishy about the whole business. Some of the more sensationalist newscasters raised the possibility of an Iranian suicide mission, with bodies placed onboard the plane ahead of time.

Polls taken a week after the shootdown indicated that 73 percent of the public believed Iran more to blame than the United States.”

Fred Kaplan, “Pentagon Sees But One Villain: Iran,”
© Copyright 1988 Boston Globe, August 28 1988, p.28


______________________


DoD Report

“ The downing of Iran Air 655 was not the result of any negligent or culpable conduct by any U.S. Naval personnel associated with the incident.”

William M. Fogarty, CentCom, DoD Report, p.43, ¶ 4

CJTFME Authorization:
CBDR + no response

3 minutes before he turned his firing key (06:54:05 UTC), Vincennes Commander William P. Rogers III secured permission (06:51:05 UTC) to attack, from his commander at Fifth Fleet headquarters, Bahrain, Anthony A. Less CJTFME (Commander, Joint Task Force, Middle East). Apparently to trick him into agreeing — or, more likely, to give him the excuse he needed — Rogers lied to his commander (according to the DoD Report), who may have desired to be lied to, as is the institutional reputation of senior U.S. Military Officers, at least those commanding field operations:

  Rogers lied to Less that an F-14 was approaching him.

  Rogers misinformed Less that he had warned the target.

  Rogers misinformed Less the target had ignored him.

  Rogers did not inform Less of the target’s civilian transponder broadcasts.

  Rogers did not inform Less of the target’s high climbing flight-profile.

  Rogers did not inform Less of his location, inside Iran’s territorial waters and in the center of the airway.

  Rogers did not inform Less that an airliner, scheduled to take-off, had not previously taken off.

Captain Rogers’ right-hand man, sitting beside him, Lieutenant Commander Scott Lustig, did the talking on the radio (06:50). Lustig knew what Rogers knew, and so Lustig was equally guilty with Rogers for each lie that he spoke, each negligent assertion that he spoke, and each willful or negligent omission that he did not speak.

“(4)  0650Z ...”

“(j)  [{Title/surname redacted: LT CMDR Scott Lustig}] (“GW”) reported an inbound Iranian F-14 to “GB” [{Title/surname redacted: RADM Anthony A. Less CJTFME, at Bahrain}] (BRG 025/RNG 32 NM). He also reported that he had warned TN 4131 and that the challenge was ignored.”

William M. Fogarty (Rear Admiral, Director of Policy and Plans, U.S. Central Command), DoD Report, p.32, ¶ 4(j).

Caveat:  The radio talk between Lustig and Less was recorded, but the DoD concealed the transcripts of these recordings from the public and, presumably, from Congress as well. All we have (the public) is what the DoD report-writers claim was said in these conversations. The report-writers do not quote anything; they summarize what was supposedly said. By their concealment, the DoD report-writers force the public to evaluate what they conceal based solely on their selective supposed summary.

Rogers knew he had no earthly idea what aircraft was approaching him. Yet, he told Less, as an unassailable fact, it was an F-14.

This is an exemplar of a “reckless lie”. It’s a “lie” by reason a knowingly misleading material omission, that Rogers was merely guessing, imagining, supposing, assuming, hoping it was an F-14. “Reckless” because it was not “willful” as to the asserted fact, as it would have been had Rogers known for a fact it was not an F-14. But it was willful as to the material omission, because Rogers did know for a fact that he did not know for a fact that it was an F-14 and decided to lie that he did know (conceal his ignorance). This, based on what the DoD report-writers said (quoted above) that Lustig, his radio-talker sitting next to Rogers, said on the radio, as repeated in sworn testimony to Congress:

“0650 Z ...

Golf Whiskey, the officer sitting next to the commanding officer, charged with monitoring the air picture, reported to Golf Bravo, the Commander Joint Task Force, Middle East, that an F-14 was approaching Vincennes on a bearing 025 degrees at a range of 32 nautical miles. The same officer informed Golf Bravo that a radio warning has been issued and ignored.”

William M. Fogarty, CentCom, Senate Hearing, p.11; Robert J. Kelly, J.C.S., House Hearings, p.90.

Caveat:  If both Rogers and Lustig became psychotic and delusional, then they did not recklessly lie, because they did not have the mental capacity of adults to form the necessary intent to lie. In that event, what they said to Less was merely negligent, a simple violation of their duty, without regard to their intent, or their mental capacity.

Nobody had “warned” the target, contrary to what Rogers told Less. The only civilian broadcast had been the hello-message. This message was not a warning in any conceivable sense of the term. It contained no threat, made no demand, and requested no reply (and hence would not have been a “warning” even if it had been broadcast on the correct frequency and when the pilot was not talking to somebody else at the time). Rogers either knew this was not a “warning” (a willful lie), or else knew that he didn’t know the text of the broadcast (a reckless lie), or else was mistakenly certain that what he said was true (negligence, unless he asked for confirmation and the radio-talker negligently misinformed him).

The target had not “ignored” his “warning,” contrary to what Rogers told Less. The hello-message did not ask the target to do a single thing, to reply, or to change course (another willful or reckless lie, or negligent assertion).

Rogers did not inform Less about the target’s continuous civilian transponder broadcasts (ID code and ascending pressure-altitude), information contradicting a threat. Apparently so, as the DoD report-writers don’t mention it. If Rogers purposely concealed this from Less (in aid of his F-14 lie), then he willfully lied to Less (a material willful omission). If it didn’t occur to Rogers that a civilian transponder was a material relevant fact, then Rogers did not willfully lie to Less by omission, he was merely negligent instead (a non-criminal act), if he didn’t tell Less.

Rogers did not inform Less about the target’s flight profile (then 6,700 feet and climbing), information contradicting a threat. Apparently so, as the DoD report-writers don’t mention it. If Rogers purposely concealed this from Less, then he willfully lied to Less (a material willful omission). If it didn’t occur to Rogers that a high climbing flight profile was a material relevant fact, then Rogers did not willfully lie to Less by omission, he was merely negligent instead (a non-criminal act), if he didn’t tell Less.

Rogers did not inform Less about his location (in the center of the airway, inside Iran’s territorial waters), an innocent explanation for the approaching aircraft. Apparently so, as the DoD report-writers don’t mention it. If Rogers purposely concealed this from Less, then he willfully lied to Less (a material willful omission). If it didn’t occur to Rogers that his location in the center of the airway was a material relevant fact, then Rogers did not willfully lie to Less by omission, he was merely negligent instead (a non-criminal act), if he didn’t tell Less.

Rogers did not inform Less about the airline schedule, another innocent explanation. Apparently so, as the DoD report-writers don’t mention it. Another willful material omission-lie, or else another negligent neglect (a non-criminal act), if Rogers didn’t tell Less.

Rogers declared to Less his intention to attack at 20 n.miles, unless the target turned away, and asked, did Less concur?; ie: even if the target continued to climb and did not operate in a threatening manner.

On the basis of these seven items of misinformation from Rogers — one a certain lie and the rest either lies or negligence — Less authorized Rogers to attack, but to warn the aircraft first before firing. The DoD report-writers conceal the exact time of this authorization but, based on the quoted range values (28-30 n.miles), it was coincident with the first IAD warning (06:51:09–06:51:43, while the pilot was talking to Approach Control):

“(4)  0651Z

(a)  “GW” identified TN 4131 as Iranian F-14 (BRG 024/RNG 28 NM). Indicated intention to engage at 20 NM unless he turned away. Asked “GB” if he concurred. “GB” told USS Vincennes to warn aircraft first before firing.

(b)  In the limited time available, CJTFME could not verify the information passed by USS Vincennes on TN 4131.”

“(h)  USS Vincennes’s systems held TN 4131 at an altitude of 7000 ft at 29 NM.”

William M. Fogarty (Rear Admiral, Director of Policy and Plans, U.S. Central Command), DoD Report, p.33, ¶ 5(a-b); William M. Fogarty, CentCom, Senate Hearing, p.11; Robert J. Kelly, J.C.S., House Hearings, p.91.

But did Rogers and Lustig lie to Less? I doubt it.

U.S. Military Officers had a very powerful motive to portray Rogers and Lustig as liars (by falsely summarizing the radio transcripts), namely: to conceal their own secret, unlawful, perfidious Rules of Engagement — an order to commit murder: to attack an unidentified aircraft from Iran approaching within 13 n.miles, before it had a chance to operate in a threatening manner.

Based on this powerful motive, and the many other lies by senior U.S. Military Officers, my guess is the particular liar we are dealing with here is their designated liar: William M. Fogarty, the principal investigator and author and signatory of the deceitful DoD Report.

I imagine Rogers and Lustig told Less the simple truth, because they too had a powerful motive, to tell Less the truth, to protect themselves from a criminal prosecution in a later court martial proceeding for attacking an unidentified high altitude target with an innocent flight profile. Hence, I imagine they told Less (as the concealed transcripts doubtless reveal) they could not identify the radar target; it was closing, at 7,000 feet and climbing, not responding to “warnings,” a possible F-14, and the Rules of Engagement required them to attack even though they didn’t know what the radar target was, and even though it was not operating in a threatening manner. Did Less agree?, and thereby insist that Rogers obey the unlawful, criminal Rules of Engagement?

An order to attack an unidentified aircraft in a non-threatening flight profile:– A violation of the U.S. NOTAMs and a preemptive attack in violation the law of self-defense.

An excellent motive to conceal the transcripts of tape-recorded radio broadcasts and to willfully falsely summarize them in an official U.S. Government Report and in sworn testimony to Congress — multiple prima facie criminal lies (18 U.S.C. § 1001) in a prima facie criminal conspiracy (18 U.S.C. § 371).

Flight delay

“ The plane took off 27 minutes late.”

William J. Crowe Jr. (Chairman, J.C.S.), Press Briefing, Aug. 19 1988

A published airline schedule is designed to inform customers when you’re going to shut the door and when you’re going to open the door. It’s “gate-to-gate” time. And so, a flight is scheduled to “depart” the moment it closes its door at the embarkation gate, after loading passengers, and it’s scheduled to “arrive” the moment it opens its door at the destination gate.

This worldwide standard airline industry practice starkly exposes Crowe’s audacious deceit that Scheduled Time of Departure means take-off time. And the reason Crowe decided to lie about this too, in unison with his many minions, will appear shortly.

The flight was scheduled to depart Bandar Abbas at 9:50 a.m. (06:20 UTC) and arrive Dubai at 11:15 Dubai time (07:15 UTC). The 130 nautical-mile flight was scheduled for 55 minutes, comprising 27 minutes on the ground and 28 minutes in the air, as specified in the flight plan.

IR655 departed 15 minutes late, at 10:05 a.m. (06:35 UTC), based on when its door closed, judging from the pilot’s first radio transmission (10:04:50 a.m., 06:34:50 UTC), requesting permission to start his engines. This 15 minute delay, and the reason for it, are specified in the departure message, telexed to Dubai and Tehran by the airline’s Bandar Abbas ground crew at 10:25 a.m. (06:55 UTC), just as the aircraft, 35 miles away, was plummeting into the sea:

BNDKKIR {Bandar Abbas International Airport, Iran Air Office} 030655/JUL {July 3, 06:55 UTC}

MVT {Movement Message}

IR655/03JUL EP IBU {Tail Number} BND {Bandar Abbas International Airport}

AD 0635/47 {Actual-Departure/Take-Off Time} EA 0710 {Estimated Arrival Time} DXB {Dubai International Airport} DL98/0015 {“Delay Code 98: Industrial Action Outside Own Aeroplane, Excluding ATS: Air Traffic Services”/0015: 15 minutes} DUE TO CHK BODY AND IMM”.

And, recorded in the airline’s Flight Movement Log for the day:

“STD {Scheduled Time of Departure}: 0620; ATD {Actual Time of Departure/Take-Off Time}: 0635/47; Amount of DLY {Delay}: 0015; Reason of Delay: IMMG/Body CK {Immigration/Body Check}”.

ICAO, p.D-19, D-20.

The anonymous ICAO report-writers claimed the delay was 20 minutes:

“The departure from the terminal at Bandar Abbas was delayed 20 minutes due to an immigration problem involving one passenger”.

ICAO, ¶ 1.1.3, p.1.

But only 15 minutes was due to the immigration problem they cite, not 20, based on when the aircraft door closed:– as the ground crew recorded in their telex, as airline staff recorded in their Flight Movement Log, and as the pilot confirmed when he asked permission to start his engines.

The anonymous ICAO report-writers apparently base their 20 minute claim on when the plane began to taxi, 5 minutes after the door closed. They thus equate “departure” — not with when the aircraft door closed, but instead — with AOBT (Actual Off Block Time). They add an additional 5 minute “push-back delay” to what Iran Air itself regarded as only a 15 minute schedule delay.

But a push-back delay at Bandar Abbas was normal part of its published schedule, if the passengers had to climb the stairs from the ground (as I suppose to be the case at that modest airport, like most in Iran, without aerial walkways). If so, the pilot would certainly spare them his noxious engine exhaust, and post door-close pre push-back procedures would be routine. The airline schedule budgeted 27 minutes on the ground (at both airports combined) and could not assume the plane would load passengers with its engines running and begin to taxi the instant the door closed.

After the aircraft door closed, the communication pause with the Air Traffic Controller in the Bandar Abbas Tower was 3 minutes, marked by when the Tower gave permission to start the engines. (During this 3 minutes the Tower passed the pilot’s request via Tehran to the Emirates Area Control Centre and was awaiting a relayed reply). The pilot thereafter used 2 minutes to start his engines and check his instruments before asking permission to taxi.

The only way the 20 minute claim by the anonymous ICAO report-writers could be true is if Iran Air’s normal business practice in 1988 was to close the aircraft door 5 minutes early at Bandar Abbas airport. Such a business practice would enable the aircraft to move off block on its Scheduled Time of Departure but would also violate the purpose of its published airline schedule (to inform customers when the aircraft door would close) and deceive its customers (by omitting to inform them of this practice).

But the anonymous ICAO report-writers do not make this claim, and they do not substantiate their supposition that the flight was 20 minutes late instead of 15 minutes, as Iran Air’s ground staff recorded.

U.S. airlines schedule their flight times to equal their block times, referring (originally) to when the chocks under the wheels are removed and replaced, the “blocks” of wood which prevent the plane from rolling. They make no allowance in their schedules for push-back delays and consider that the flight departs the moment the plane is about to move, as reported by ACARS (Airborne Communications Addressing and Reporting Systems), an onboard computer which, among other things, automatically reports OOOI (Out, Off, On, In). “Out” is the moment the aircraft’s electrical sensors report all doors are shut and the parking brake is released by the pilot.

The U.S. Department of Transportation specifies that — whatever airline schedules may say — a departure is not “delayed” until it’s more than 15 minutes past the flight’s Scheduled Time of Departure (STD), and the flight is not “delayed” unless it arrives at the gate more than 15 minutes past its Scheduled Time of Arrival (STA). This, partly to account for what the U.S. airlines themselves refuse to schedule for, that an aircraft can rarely begin to move the instant its door closes. Witness 79% of British Airways flights, for example (at British Airports, Aug.-Sept. 2001, 234kb.pdf). And see, e.g., Christopher Mayer, Todd Sinai, Why Do Airlines Systematically Schedule Their Flights to Arrive Late? (April 21 2003) (299 kb pdf).

Recently, some U.S. airlines now say they close the aircraft door 5 minutes early, or even 10 minutes, prior to Scheduled Time of Departure. This, to improve their flight delay statistics by folding into their schedules the usual push-back delays at the gate. Today (2003), Iran Air states: “The departure gates for Iran Air flights close ten minutes before the departure time” (emphasis added). But this does not necessarily mean it also boards all passengers and closes the aircraft door early.

Of the 27 minutes the Iran Air pilot budgeted to be on the ground during the flight (ie: with his doors closed), he used 12 minutes on the ground at Bandar Abbas prior to take-off (0635/0647), leaving 15 minutes after touch-down at Dubai to roll-out, taxi-in to the gate, and open the door.

There’s no evidence that 15 minutes on the ground at Dubai Airport is insufficient for its budgeted purpose. And there’s no evidence that Iran Air’s business practice in 1988 was to board passengers and close the aircraft door 5 minutes early at Bandar Abbas. The Iran Air AirBus did not have the ACARS computer system installed (then a new technology, not installed in most airliners), and Iran Air likely accounted for pushback delays in its published schedules. Though it might have been the case, any report making assertions about flight delays premised on an unusual business practice would, in order to be credible, have to assert this unstated premise as fact. This, because early door-close was very unusual in 1988, and perhaps even altogether unheard of in airline practice worldwide at that time (as far as I have been able to discover). The anonymous ICAO report-writers make no such assertion and they conceal their unstated premise.

All we have is the pilot’s evidence that the door closed 15 minutes after Scheduled Time of Departure, the evidence of the Iran Air ground staff who telexed and recorded in their Flight Movement Log that the flight was delayed 15 minutes, and the 15 minutes available from the flight plan for the AirBus to be on the ground at Dubai before the pilot set the parking brake on arrival and the cabin crew opened the door (“In,” in ACARS-speak).

Based on this evidence, Iran Air Flight 655 departed the terminal 20 minutes after its Scheduled Time of Departure, but only 15 minutes behind schedule, and not 20 minutes as the anonymous ICAO report-writers asserted.

Whether the flight was delayed 15 minutes or 20 minutes has no bearing on the State Responsibility of the United States for this ambush-killing. The 20 minute claim by the anonymous ICAO report-writers is dubious, and not merely because it’s an unstated premise unsubstantiated by any evidence. It’s because they exhibited a willful intent to deceive in other of their assertions, which are plainly erroneous, some being exceedingly pernicious. In the light of their other assertions, their 20 minute delay claim appears to be their willful attempt to lessen the reckless negligence of U.S. Military Officers and to diminish the materiality of the 27 minute lie by many senior U.S. Military Officers.

Other anonymous ICAO officials had second thoughts when they wrote their press release. They did not explicitly endorse the claim of their report-writers that the flight was “delayed” 20 minutes, but they might as well have, that’s they implied:

“The aircraft left the passenger terminal of the joint civil/military airport of Bandar Abbas 20 minutes after its scheduled time.”

ICAO, News Release PIO 15/88, Dec. 7 1988, annexed Background Material, p.2, announcing “derestriction” of the secret ICAO Report (dated Nov. 7 1988, issued the day before the U.S. Presidential election), written specifically to inform the United Nations Security Council what were the facts of the ambush. The ICAO Secretariat continued to conceal the derestricted Report, refusing to release a copy to the public. With no convenient access to the Report, and preoccupied with other news, the U.S. Media paid no attention to justified complaints about old news from the victim nation (Iran), demonized by their Government.

Take-off time

There being no other traffic on the ground, there was no apparent “taxi-out delay,” and nobody claimed there was.

Thus, Iran Air Flight 655 took-off 15 minutes late, based on the evidence, 15 minutes behind schedule, 15 minutes later than it would have done normally had there been no 15 minute immigration delay with one passenger.

IR655’s delay was not, in any event, the 27 minutes which U.S. Military Officers repeatedly asserted — ad nauseam, in press conferences, the DoD Report, sworn testimony to Congress, and later writings — shamelessly equating Scheduled Time of Departure (STD) with take-off time.

The silent purpose of U.S. Military Officers, in lying about the IR655 delay, was to minimize their reckless negligence in failing to stand watch and be on the look-out for the only flight scheduled to depart Bandar Abbas airport that morning, as plainly stated on their airline schedules posted at every relevant Watch Station in the Combat Information Center of the USS Vincennes.

The repeated assertion of this erroneous claim, by many U.S. Military Officers is ample evidence that they are either criminal liars (18 U.S.C. § 1001), united in a criminal conspiracy to deceive (18 U.S.C. § 371), or else recklessly negligent by failing in their duty to educate themselves, and those under their command, what the times in an airline schedule mean; so that the killers amongst them, and those with a duty to stand watch for these flights, can estimate a take-off time from a scheduled departure time.

It’s unlikely that so many United States Officers could be so ignorant and so unquestioning.

Hence, recklessly negligent criminal liars is the likely explanation. Their best defense, in a criminal prosecution for lying, would be materiality:– That just as a 15 minute delay is not material, so too a 27 minute delay is not material to their duty to stand watch for this flight. And therefore their lie about the extent of the delay is not material to an evaluation of the events which they reported and testified about.

Crowded skies?

How can we look out for only one flight among thousands, U.S. Military Officers exclaimed, in a orgy of spin:

“At least 1,775 commercial air flights passed through Oman Center for the week ending 13 July 1988.” (p.14)

“A total of 18 commercial air routes cross the Persian Gulf area covering at least 50% of the navigable waters.” (p.14)

“A total of 12 commercial air routes cross the southern Persian Gulf/Strait of Hormuz area alone.” (p.14)

“With over 1,000 commercial flights per week within the Persian gulf area, it would be difficult for individual ships to maintain current, accurate airline information.” (p.49)

DoD, p.14, ¶ 5(a)(6), (2)-(3); p.49, ¶ (F)(2).

Poor babies. “Don’t bother me with airline schedules. I’m no travel agent; I’m a warrior. Just give me a target.”

But the USS Vincennes was not troubled by airport activity at Kuwait, Bahrain, Dammam, Doha, Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Sharjah, and such. And it was not troubled by high altitude airliners transiting between Europe and Asia. The USS Vincennes was offshore the only airport in Iran on the Southern Gulf:

“Bandar Abbas International is the only active joint use (military/civilian) Iranian airport in the southern Persian Gulf area.”

DoD, p.17, ¶ (2).

And despite their whinning, U.S. Military Officers managed to overcome their pretended difficulties “to maintain current, accurate airline information”:

Question:  What about the commercial airline schedules? Was the Vincennes unable to ...

Answer:  They did check the commercial airline schedule. That, too, is not a crucial element. Actually the plane was some 20 minutes behind schedule.

Question:  Mr. Secretary, what happened when they checked the schedule? Did they see the fact that Flight 655 was scheduled for that time period, or did they miss that also?

Answer:  I’ll have to defer to Admiral Fogarty.

Answer:  He referred to the schedule and the plane took off 27 minutes late.

Answer:  He identified 655 on the schedule. If your question is was it on the schedule that he had, the answer is yes.”

Press Briefing, August 19 2002, Frank C. Carlucci (Secretary of Defense), William J. Crowe Jr. (Admiral, Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff), William M. Fogarty (Rear Admiral, U.S. Central Command).

Iran Air 655 was not one flight among thousands. It was one flight among one. IR655 was the only flight scheduled to depart Bandar Abbas airport that morning, and the only departing flight scheduled to cross the Gulf that day. The three afternoon and two night departures were all domestic, to Iranian destinations. And notice how senior U.S. Military Officers, at the top of the tree, inflate these 6 flights to 10, a good lesson to junior officers on how bold a liar you have to be, to earn the trust of the United States Government, the careful guardian of who gets to climb that tree and who gets to investigate the U.S. Military:

“On Sunday, 3 July 1988, there were 10 {sic: 6} civilian flights scheduled from Bandar Abbas. They were:

Flight No.ToDepart TimeAircraft Type
IR 655Dubai0950LAirBus 300
IR 236Bandarlengeh1240L737
IR 236Shiraz1240L737
IR 236Tehran1240L737
IR 452 * Tehran1340LAirBus 300
IR 394Isfahan1400L737
IR 394Tehran1400L737
IR 134Shiraz2050L737
IR 134Tehran2050L737
IR 458Tehran2245LAirBus 300 ”

_____

 *   IR 452 would have been the IR 655 AirBus and crew, on their return from Dubai, stopping over at Bandar Abbas on their way back to Tehran, to complete their round trip flight for the day. ICAO, p.1, ¶ 1.1.1.

DoD, p.15, ¶ 5(a)(16), indentations added to the four duplicate phantom “flights” inflating the list, and correcting the departure time of IR655, wrongly listed at 09:59, which Fogarty asserted in a written statement to the Senate to be a typographical error, though query was it an accurate copy of a typo present on the warship’s flight schedule, reducing the take-off delay from 15 minutes (actual) to 6 minutes (perceived). Senate Hearing, p.26.

In that same written statement, supplementing his sworn testimony, Fogarty repeated his frequent claim that The takeoff was 27 minutes late.

This could be honest negligence, and not a prima facie criminal lie, if Fogarty and the eight senior U.S. Military Officers (including two lawyers) assisting him had never flown on a commercial airliner during their lives, nor any others who helped them write their report, type it, and review it. In that event, they might, all of them together, honestly have never felt prompted to wonder what the times in an airline schedule mean. Or, they might have felt they could successfully defend a criminal prosecution for perjury on the grounds their lie was not material. Given their extensive other bold lies, however, it’s obvious they believed they were addressing a sympathetic, complicit audience and feared no criminal prosecution.

It’s no wonder the U.S. Government entrusts investigations of the U.S. Military to U.S. Military Officers on active duty. U.S. Officers outside that Military chain-of-command might feel their careers are not threatened if they conduct an independent investigation, report facts truthfully, and express honest opinions. And it’s no wonder the U.S. Congress refuses to permit the U.S. Government to be sued in U.S. Courts over the conduct of the U.S. Military. It’s useful to have a powerful, violent, corrupt organization ready, willing, and able to carry-out orders of the U.S. President and do what needs to be done and cover it up afterwards with criminal lies. Very handy. And this is what Adolph Hitler also concluded when, surrounded by lawyers, he too created the exact same legal system to exempt the Nazi Military (Wehrmacht) from the rule of law.

A schedule of commercial airline flights for the Gulf was posted at every relevant Watch Station in the Combat Information Center of every U.S. warship in the area. On board the USS Vincennes that morning, this schedule was:

“reviewed by decision-making personnel (CO, TAO, ‘GW’, TIC, IDS) on a regular basis prior to the engagement. IDS specifically looked at the schedule at his console when TN 4131 {IR655} first appeared”.

DoD, ¶ (16), p.15, ¶ (2)(b), p.30, text {in braces} added, referring to Commanding Officer (CO) William C. Rogers III (Captain), Tactical Action Officer (TAO) Vic Guillory (Lieutenant Commander), Force Antiair Warfare Coordinator (GW) Scott Lustig (Lieutenant Commander), Tactical Information Coordinator (TIC) ?John Leach? (Petty Officer), and the Identification Designation Supervisor (IDS) Andrew Anderson (Petty Officer). Additionally, the Vincennes radar had presumably tracked the arrival of the Iran Air flight from Tehran, also shown on the schedule, and its touch-down at Bandar Abbas an hour and fifteen minutes earlier, at 8:40 a.m (0510 UTC). ICAO, ¶ 1.1.2, p.1; arrival telex, July 3, 8:47 a.m. (0517), reporting touchdown at 8:40 a.m. (0510) and arrival at the gate 5 minutes later, at 8:45 a.m. (0515), 5 minutes ahead of schedule (8:50 a.m., 0520): “AA 0510/15”. ICAO, p.18.

And, Iran Air Flight 655 was not merely the only scheduled flight that morning. It was the only aircraft of any kind which departed Bandar Abbas airport that morning, prior to itself. And what does this mean? It means that any U.S. Officer or warship crew member standing watch on the skies who was faithful to his duty would know that the airliner they were expecting had not yet previously taken off. And so this must be it.

{Quotations to come}

Warship clock

Answer:  He identified 655 on the schedule. If your question is was it on the schedule that he had, the answer is yes.”

“ At 0648 Zulu the identification supervisor reviewed the commercial air schedule at his station and, because Iran Air 655 was 27 minutes late, he incorrectly concluded that the contact of interest was not flight 655.”

W.M. Fogarty, CentCom, Senate Hearing, p.10

Robert J. Kelly, J.C.S., House Hearings, p.89

And ...?

He looked at the schedule. And ...?

He looked at the schedule. He saw the airliner was due to depart. And ...?

He did what? He said what? And why?

We have no statement from the IDS himself, only the unsubstantiated claim by the deceitful author of a deceitful report.

Could this be the answer?:

Senator Carl Levin.  In any event, it took off at 10:17 local time {06:47 UTC} and you indicated, I believe, that —

Admiral Kelly.  Sir, that is 10:17 local Bandar Abbas time, which is 30 minutes different from the time on the clock on the ship.”

Robert J. Kelly (Rear Admiral, Vice Director for Operations, Joint Chiefs of Staff, U.S. Department of Defense), Senate Hearing, p.26 (Sept. 8 1988).

Mr. Kelly does not state what time the warship’s clock was set to. Nor does the DoD Report mention the warship’s clock. But the warship clock was obviously set to Bahrain Time, the headquarters of the U.S. Navy Fifth Fleet in the Gulf for 40 years, and the location of the fleet commander at the time of the ambush, Anthony A. Less (CJTFME). Bahrain Time was the same as Dubai Time (IR655’s destination): UTC/GMT + 4 hours. Bandar Abbas Time was 30 minutes earlier: UTC/GMT + 3-1/2 hours.

And what does this mean?

This means, when Iran Air Flight 655 took off, at 10:17 a.m. Bandar Abbas Time, the warship clock showed 30 minutes later, 10:47 a.m., about an hour after the flight’s Scheduled Time of Departure, as shown on the warship’s airline schedule, either 9:50 a.m. or 9:59 a.m., depending on whether the typographical error in the DoD Report was a faithful copy of the warship’s airline schedule.

Was the Vincennes Identification Designation Supervisor (IDS) ignorant — when he looked at the schedule as IR655 lifted off — that his warship clock was 30 minutes ahead of his airline schedule? And is the negligence of his superior officers to inform him of this fact the reason those superior officers concealed the warship clock setting from their DoD Report? And is their negligence the true reason their IDS took no notice of what he saw on his airline schedule when he looked at it? (Though he too was separately negligent in failing to stand watch).

U.S. Commanders were negligent if they omitted to explain to their warship crews (1) what a Scheduled Time of Departure means (gate time, not take-off time) and (2) that Bandar Abbas Time (as shown on the airline schedule) is 30 minutes earlier than the warship’s clock, set to U.S. Gulf Fleet Time (Bahrain Time).

Without these two explanations, U.S. Commanders would incite their warship crews to wrongly assume that an airliner taking off 15 minutes late from Bandar Abbas was taking off an hour late (the sum of the two items of negligence).

In their ignorance, it might not occur to the IDS and his crew that their radar target might be the airliner shown on their schedule, if they were themselves negligently inattentive to their duties and negligently failed to be on the look out for this flight during the past hour.

To prevent this deadly mistake, U.S. Commanders had the duty to explain to their warship crews responsible for killing-decisions what Bandar Abbas Time was and what the times in an airline schedule mean.

Distraction

The Vincennes Commander was distracted, U.S. Military Officers said. He devoted his attention to his offensive effort to kill as many Iranian Coast Guard Officers, going about their lawful business in small boats, as he possibly could — attempted murder in an act of war in a unlawful secret offensive war by the U.S. Military, in violation of the U.S. Constitution (without consent of Congress), against Iran in support of the war of aggression by Iraq against Iran (1980-1988), discussed below.

But, the U.S. Commander was not alone in his Combat Information Center. Others of his officers and crew there with him were tasked with other important duties. Including those in “Air Alley,” an entire contingent of the Combat Information Center whose sole responsibility was to devote their attention to stand watch and be on the look-out for aerial threats to the warship, regardless of what others were doing at the time.

Each of these Watch Stations had posted, for the crew member manning that station, a copy of the airline schedule showing Iran Air Flight 655 to be the only flight scheduled to depart Bandar Abbas airport that morning.

Each of the individual officers and crew members manning those stations knew — or would have known, if they did their duty — that no aircraft had departed Bandar Abbas airport that morning, prior to lift-off of Iran Air Flight 655.

Each of the crew members in the Vincennes Combat Information Center standing watch on the skies therefore knew — or should have known — the moment it lifted off, that Track Number 4131 on their computer consoles (Iran Air Flight 655) was likely to be a commercial airliner. This knowledge required them to report that likelihood to their supervisor and the basis for their opinion, namely: that a commercial airliner was scheduled to depart 27 minutes earlier, to take-off about 15 minutes earlier, and it had not taken-off previously. This duty they did not perform.

And the appearance of Track Number 4131 required them as well to do the rest of their duty as normal too, namely: to pay attention to what their computer consoles displayed about that Track Number.

And what did their computer consoles display?:– That Track Number 4131 (IR655) was squawking a civilian transponder code and a steadily ascending pressure altitude. As independently confirmed by the warship radar data, also displayed on their consoles, which also showed TN 4131 was climbing steadily, on a steady course, down Airway A59W, marked on their computer display. Their Watch Station duty required them to observe this information and to report to their supervisor what they saw. And there’s no reason to doubt that they correctly performed this duty.

And, their knowledge, that this flight was scheduled, required the relevant Watch Stander in Air Alley — long before Iran Air Flight 655 actually lifted off — to tune one of his VHF transceivers to the published airport tower frequency, and stand-by for the Air Traffic Control conversations. And, after lift-off, to retune that VHF transceiver (or his other one), exactly as did the Iran Air pilot himself, to the published frequency of the Bandar Abbas Approach/Departure Control, and stand-by for further conversations. His Watch Station duty required him to monitor these radio broadcasts and to report to his supervisor what he heard on the radio.

At least that’s what his duty required.

Unless his commanders negligently omitted to so specify in his written Watch Station protocol, or in their training protocol.

And unless senior U.S. Military Officers neglected to supply him with VHF transceivers. And, instead, supplied only a single VHF transceiver, for use by the CIC crew, stuck away in a distant radio room, connected only by the warship’s Integrated Communication System.

The VHF transceiver operator did not perform the duty the law required of him, though he doubtless performed the duty senior U.S. Military Officers negligently designed and negligently trained him to do. And the foreseeable direct result of their negligent disregard of their duty to correctly specify the VHF Watch Station duties, with the safety of innocent lives in mind, was the unlawful killing of 290 innocent lives.

Monitoring: ATC frequencies

The second-most proximate cause of the unlawful ambush of Iran Air Flight 655 was the recklessly negligent failure by senior U.S. Military Officers to order their warship crews to maintain a listening watch on published civilian Air Traffic Control frequencies, relevant to the locations of their warships. And, their recklessly negligent failure to require the relevant Watch Station officers, among their warship crews, to be trained in the radio procedures of civilian pilots and their Air Traffic Controllers. “Reckless,” because these senior U.S. Military Officers could readily foresee the deadly consequences of their decision to violate their duty.

“ Senator Glynn.  I would be interested ... if you considered assigning any responsiblity for the Vincennes shoot down to the Commander of the Joint Task Force of CinCCent for failure to recognize and extablish adequate procedures to deal with commercial air traffic in the Gulf.

Admiral Fogarty. ... There was nothing that I found during the course of my investigation in this regard that would have made me consider assigning any responsibility for the Vincennes incident to Commander Joint Task Force Middle East of USCinCCent.”

W.M. Fogarty, CentCom, Senate Hearing, p.55-56

This reckless negligence by these senior U.S. Military Officers did not occur in the heat of battle, and did not occur in the fog of war. It occurred days, weeks, and months earlier, in calm surroundings, when they decided to not do what their duty required them to do; namely, to apply their minds, to design and implement a protocol to posit that a radar-target is a civilian aircraft and to monitor for radio-traffic on the relevant civilian ATC frequencies in order to test that postulated hypothesis. And, to gather information into the Combat Information Center, on each of their warships, necessary to implement and operate that protocol, including airway and airport charts, showing navigation waypoints and radio frequencies.

By their recklessly deficient antiair warfare protocol, and their reckless decision to not train their crews in ATC radio procedures, and to not provide them with airway and airport charts, senior U.S. Military Officers recklessly blinded their warship crews, and thereby recklessly violated their duty of care, and the duty of the United States of America, to not target non-combatants (under the laws of war), and to not attack in violation of the law of self-defense (under the laws of peace).

And, they aggravated their reckless neglect when they modified their secret Rules of Engagement, following the Iraq attack on the USS Stark, to require greater aggressiveness from their warship commanders, to attack in preemptive self-defense “to protect his ship and crew from absorbing the first blow”.

This reckless negligence by these senior U.S. Military Officers — the primary proximate cause of the wrongful killing of 290 people — deserves an award of prison time, for involuntary manslaughter (18 U.S.C. § 1112), arson (18 U.S.C. § 81, § 3559(c)(3)(B)), and criminal neglect (18 U.S.C. § 1115), exactly as the Iranians claimed, not the Legion of Merit.

As well as military frequencies (UHF: 225-400 MHz), every warship and every aircraft (including Navy helicopters) in the U.S. Military — then and now — has at least two radios which both receive and transmit on civil aviation frequencies (VHF). And this includes Navy Hawkeyes (E-2), airborne 24 hours a day above the U.S. fleet, with more than a dozen such VHF transceivers, and Air Force AWACS (E-3), ditto, which also transport NSA staff with their own separate radio kits to monitor and record all radio traffic, including civil aviation traffic at the Bandar Abbas airport.

In addition, if requested to do so, Hawkeyes, AWACS, and all other aircraft (including Navy helicopters) and warships — then and now — can automatically relay in real-time, on military frequencies and data links, to U.S. warships and onshore and embarked command facilities, any broadcasts they receive, including those on civil Air Traffic Control frequencies (Link-11, JTIDS, Have Quick, SINCGAR, and their predecessors).

In addition, the warship doubtless had several VHF transceivers on the Bridge, which could also be connected to the CIC via the warship’s Integrated Communication System.

If the Commanding Officer had merely applied his mind to this topic.

Also in the English language, on direct speech circuits narrowcast via microwave towers, were the conversations between Iranian and Emirates Air Traffic Control authorities. On these links, the airport tower narrowcast the pilot’s request to its Air Traffic Control authority in Tehran (10:06:23) which in turn narrowcast the request to the Emirates Air Traffic Controllers (10:07:34) which approved (10:08:03) the requested altitude and assigned the transponder squawk-code (6760) which the pilot was required to select to identify his digital data-block appearing on any radar screen equipped to decode Air Traffic Control data, including — then and now — all U.S. warships, all U.S. AWACs, all U.S. Hawkeyes, and all civil Air Traffic Controllers. Tehran Air Traffic Control narrowcast these facts via the microwave towers to the Bandar Abbas tower, which confirmed them in a reply narrowcast.

Microwave transmissions can be received by any warship or aircraft or satellite or ground station positioned within the narrowcast cone. It’s the routine daily practice of U.S. Intelligence Agencies (NSA, DIA, CIA), in cooperation with British Intelligence (GCHQ, BBC Monitoring) and others, to monitor and record all such microwave narrowcasts in countries of interest, such as Iran. And besides airborne surveillance, and shipborne Naval/NSA intelligence (NSGC/SSES), ground stations are also established for this purpose, in all cooperative countries in the region: Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates.

In the English language, the Bandar Abbas tower broadcast IR655’s transponder squawk-code via voice radio, on its published, and worldwide standard, tower frequency (118.1 MHz); the pilot voiced the code in his broadcast reply; and the Tehran Area Control Center voiced the code in a broadcast on its published frequency (133.4 MHz). IR655 also conversed in English with Bandar Abbas Approach/Departure Control on its published frequency (124.2 MHz). And, “Shortly after take-off IR655 was in contact with the Iran Air office at Bandar Abbas on company frequency 131.8 MHz” (ICAO, ¶ 1.9.3, p.5). This latter broadcast was likely recorded by U.S. intelligence, on board the Vincennes, aloft by the Hawkeye and AWACS, and by the on shore listening station. I imagine U.S. Officers concealed it because it coincided with the initial hello-message broadcast by the Vincennes radio-talker, talking while the pilot was talking to somebody else.

Incredibly, the anonymous ICAO report-writers asserted what no U.S. Military Officer, or any other U.S. official, was ever so bold to pretend, and in direct contradiction to Congressional testimony (below) by U.S. Military Officers two months previously:– That the USS Vincennes — the most modern, the most expensive, and the most electronically-intensive U.S. warship ever to set to sea — did not have on board tunable VHF transceivers, only VHF transceivers fixed-tuned to 121.5 MHz:

“2.8.4.  There was no co-ordination between United States warships and the civil ATS units responsible for the provision of air traffic services within the various flight information regions in the Gulf area. Such co-ordination would have enabled or at least facilitated identification of civil flight operations. The United States warships were not provided with equipment for VHF communications other than on the international air distress frequency 121.5 MHz. Thus, they could not monitor civil ATC frequencies for flight identification purposes.”

“3.1.13.  Apart from the capability to communicate on the emergency frequency 121.5 MHz, United States warships were not equipped to monitor civil ATC frequencies for flight identification purposes.”

“4.1(e).  Military units should be equipped to monitor appropriate ATC frequencies to enable them to identify radar contacts without communication.”

ICAO, ¶ 2.8.4, p.14 (Analysis), ¶ 3.1.13, p.23 (Findings), ¶ 4.1(e), p.26 (Safety Recommendations).

And other anonymous ICAO officials emphasized this erroneous claim in their press release about their report, written specifically to inform the United Nations Security Council what were the facts of the ambush:

“The United States warships in the area received no electronic emissions from the aircraft, other than secondary surveillance radar responses. Apart from the capability to communicate on the emergency frequency 121.5 MHz, United States warships were not equipped to monitor Air Traffic Control frequencies.”

ICAO, News Release PIO 15/88, Dec. 7 1988, Background Material annex p.3.

This erroneous ICAO claim is very very very very fishy.

What could be the origin of this ridiculous claim, that the US warship did not have tunable VHF transceivers? A CIA suitcase full of $100-bills (mendacity for money)? Foolishly naive ICAO report-writers, lied to by U.S. Military Officers? Willful or negligent ICAO report-writers asserting to be unassailable fact what they conceal to be their erroneous inference from the deceptive DoD Report, written specifically to induce this erroneous inference? More of this mystery below.

Had the erroneous claim by the anonymous ICAO report-writers been true, then the list of recklessly negligent U.S. Military Officers criminally responsible for the ambush-arson of Iran Air Flight 655, and the involuntary manslaughter of its 290 innocent lives on board— This list would balloon, with whole categories of U.S. Military Officers who decided to not properly equip their warship with the readily available VHF transceivers their warship officers required in order to perform their task: to properly identify aerial targets.

But fortunately for themselves, and for the would-be victims of other U.S. warship commanders, officers, and crews — who are not recklessly negligent in their duties — these other U.S. Military Officers performed their duty and did in fact supply the Combat Information Center onboard the Vincennes, and all other U.S. warships, with tunable VHF transceivers, though exactly how many, and at which Watch Stations, the DoD Report conceals, as did U.S. Military Officers testifying to Congress:

The Chairman {Les Aspin}. ... Is there some reason to doubt that when you are asking a plane to identify itself or its purpose, it may be the plane doesn’t know that it is being addressed? ...

Admiral Kelly.  What I said was basically that the international distress frequency on VHF, which is a frequency of 121.5, is what is commonly used for these warnings. There is also an effort underway to install more VHF radios on our ships over there. The VHF radio on Vincennes was difficult to re-tune, so it couldn’t be done very quickly.

One of the recommendations and steps that we have taken is to install an additional VHF radio on those ships which is dialable. In other words, the guy can just dial in the new frequency like a telephone and it will change. What we were hoping to be able to do was to establish through some network over there another method besides 121.5 to communicate if a coordination problem arises.

For example, if we knew what the frequencies the aircraft were assigned as they transited certain areas of the Gulf, our ships could then come up on those frequencies. We are still working on that. In the interim, we have already installed radios on the ships that are serving in the Middle East forces.”

Robert J. Kelly (Rear Admiral, Vice Director for Operations, Joint Chiefs of Staff, U.S. Department of Defense), House Hearings, p.184 (Sept. 9 1988).

We can be sure there were at least two tunable VHF transceivers for use by the Combat Information Center, because it would be very great negligence to set to sea without a backup radio, in case the first failed. These two, in addition to others in the hands of the Naval/NSA crew commanding the warship’s Signal Exploitation Space, the four VHF transceivers on the warship’s two helicopters, at least one of which was airborne at the time, as a CAP (combat air patrol). And, of course, a bunch of VHF transceivers on the Bridge, for the crew driving the warship. Or several, at any rate.

Mr. Kelly did not identify the model number(s) of the VHF transceivers on board the USS Vincennes, or the name of the manufacturer which purposely made a transceiver which was “difficult to re-tune”. The U.S. Military owns some tens of thousands of VHF transceivers, at least two on every aircraft, including helicopters, plus warships, boats, Coast Guard vessels, ground stations, and such. He didn’t explain why the U.S. Military decided to purchase a model “difficult to re-tune” for an expensive, state-of-the-art, violent killing machine.

I don’t imagine a radio manufacturer supplying the U.S. Military would be in business long if it manufactured radios which were “difficult to re-tune”. There are no such manufacturers. And the Vincennes VHF transceivers were not “difficult to re-tune”. Some models do have a quick-switch feature between preselected frequencies, but all VHF transceivers are easy to re-tune, crystal-controlled, with click-dials (1980s vintage). If an aircraft pilot can re-tune a radio (click, click, click), then so can a warship radio-talker.

I suppose Mr. Kelly to be just one more senior U.S. Military Officer, with the usual character of that self-selected ilk, a facile liar, covering-up the reckless negligence of himself and his fellow senior officers who decided to not require their radio-talkers, by written protocol, to tune their VHF transceivers to the published Air Traffic Control frequencies relevant to their locations, which they could be certain civilian aircraft would be tuned to with the volume turned-up.

But Mr. Kelly was not so bold a liar as many of his brethren, and this might account for why he was only a deputy, and not the head of operations on the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Mr. Kelly disclosed that the VHF transceivers were tunable, which none of his brethren did. And, Mr. Kelly disclosed the warship clock, which none of his brethren did (that it was not set to Bandar Abbas Time). These disclosures would rescue Mr. Kelly from any criminal indictment for lying to Congress.

Not that Congress would call for such a prosecution. The Members of Congress in these hearings were themselves anxious to cover-up the implications of these and other disclosures. They were not in the mind-set to inquire into any wrongdoing by U.S. Military Officers. They were every bit as eager as the U.S. Military Officers — more eager, some of them — to conceal and bury the many negligent acts and omissions of U.S. Military Officers and thereby pretend the United States of America did not have State Responsibility for this unlawful ambush.

A pity, for the 259 souls on board Pan Am 103, and 11 residents of Lockerbie Scotland, three months later (Dec. 21).

However, I imagine what ICAO was referring to — and what senior U.S. Military Officers were careful to conceal from the public and from Congress — is that the warship’s VHF transceivers for use by the Combat Information Center were not in the CIC, where the IAD radio-talker could tune them.

Instead, I suppose they were located far away. In the warship’s radio room. Connected to the CIC by the warship’s Integrated Communication System. So the radio-talker could not tune them, but could only dial one up on his telephone, his handset.

And so, the Commanding Officer would have to work out a protocol, to enable the radio-talker, and the radio room, to retune the two transceivers. And to give the radio-talker two channels to listen and talk on, for two transceivers, not just one.

A little advance preparation. Perhaps adding in a transceiver from the Bridge.

Or, bringing VHF transceivers into the CIC. From the Fleet’s stores, at Bahrain. So the radio-talker could tune them in person, just like the pilot did.

An easy problem to solve.

By a competent Commanding Officer.

Who wanted to apply his mind to his responsibilities.

Instead of play golf. (About which, more later).

Flight Plan

The flight plan for Iran Air 655 was filed with Tehran Air Traffic Control 8 hours 40 minutes prior to its scheduled time of departure, at 1:10 a.m. (July 2, 21:40 UTC).

The flight plan shows the estimated departure time to be the same as the airline’s published Scheduled Time of Departure (9:50 a.m., 06:20 UTC EOBT, Estimated Off-Block Time, departure from the gate, the onset of Air Traffic Control, not take-off time); estimated time in the air (28 minutes EET, Estimated Elapsed Time, from lift-off to touchdown), from which a take-off time can be estimated; airway route (A59, A59W); requested flight level (F160, 16,000 feet pressure-altitude); radio call sign (IR655); the pilot’s on board ‘telephone number’ (SEL BD HK); and such.

The flight plan was not a State Secret. It’s details were telexed at 1:34 a.m. (July 2, 22:04 UTC), 24 minutes after the flight plan was filed at 1:10 a.m. (21:40 UTC), via the worldwide AFTN (Aeronautical Fixed Telecommunication Network), as a standard Filed Flight Plan Message (FPL), in ICAO-compliant format, to the Air Traffic Control Authorities responsible for the flight; namely, Tehran Area Control Center (ACC) at Tehran (OIII), Emirates Area Control Center at Abu Dhabi (OMAE), and the Air Traffic Control offices at Dubai International Airport (OMDB) and Bandar Abbas International Airport (OIKB).

It’s not bed-time reading:

“NNNN
ZCZC IRB122 022204 AB
FF OIIIIRAW OMDBZOZX OMAEZQZX
     OIKBZGZX OIIIZRZX
022140 OIIIZPZX
(FPL-IR655-IS
–A300/H-SDH/C
–OIKB0620
–N0460F160 A59 A59W
–OMDB0028 OIKB
–REG EP IBU SEL BD HK OMAE0012)”

ICAO, p.D-15, omitted from 28 I.L.M. 896 (1989).

But it’s easy to read, once you learn how to do it.

For example, it’s easy to read for any U.S. Military Officer working in Air Traffic Control operations at the Pentagon, at the many U.S. Military Flight Control Centers, at U.S. Military Air Force Bases, on board aircraft carriers, AWACS and Hawkeye aircraft.

Any of these U.S. Military Officers could be tasked to sit in the modern air conditioned office at the Oman Area Control Center at Abu Dhabi, with a laptop, to tick-off flights, in a U.S. Military database of scheduled flights of interest to U.S. warships, namely: those flights to and from an Iranian costal airport, such as Bandar Abbas.

And, if s/he didn’t want to sit there, I’m sure the Oman ACC Director, and other ACCs in the Gulf, in the interests of flight safety, would be happy to automatically transmit a copy of each flight plan message received at that office to the AFTN address of the U.S. Fifth Fleet Naval Headquarters, Bahrain, or the U.S. Military National Flight Data Center Headquarters at the Pentagon, in Washington D.C.

“ We have not had direct conversations or talks with Iran ... We have not made any arrangements with Iran ...We are not talking directly.”

Robert J. Kelly, J.C.S., Senate Hearing, p.35

And I imagine Iran Air would be glad to add a U.S. Military AFTN address to its filed flight plans in the interests of flight safety, if U.S. Officers could overcome their ideologic psychosis and contact Iranian officials. U.S. Government Officers hate it when you whine and complain just because they overthrow your democratically elected government by force (August 19 1953); install their violent criminal police state template, a stable-boy as dictator (Shah), and brutal secret police (SAVAK); initiate a 26-year reign of terror (1953-1979); and loot your nation’s oil wealth.

AFTN address codes, and flight numbers, make for easy automatic computer selection of flight plans of interest. And so a U.S. Military Officer’s computer could even do this task automatically, update a flight plan database, without interfering with the baseball game s/he may be watching on U.S. Military satellite TV.

The flight plan specifies the Estimated Elapsed Time (EET) for the flight, the time in the air, from lift-off to touch-down: 28 minutes. From this value, U.S. Military Officers could estimate the time of lift-off (“launch,” in U.S. Military jargon): Flight time per the published schedule, gate to gate (55 minutes), minus time in the air (28 minutes), equals time on the ground (27 minutes), divided by 2 equals time on the ground at each airport (13.5 minutes). Scheduled Time of Departure (06:20) plus estimated time on the ground following door-close (13.5 minutes) equals estimated lift-off/launch time (06:33). IR655 lifted-off at 06:47, 14 minutes late, based on this estimate.

Most significantly, the filed flight plan message of Iran Air 655 stated its SELCAL code (BD-HK). That’s the code the warship could have broadcast to activate the pilot’s VHF transceiver (chime tone plus indicator light), to get the attention of the pilot, regardless of what frequencies he was tuned to and regardless of whether he was talking at the time on that same radio. It’s like a telephone number, direct to the pilot. By doing this, the warship crew wouldn’t have to worry what frequency the pilot was listening to; they could simply call him on the ‘phone’, and test directly whether the target was the postulated airliner, scheduled to depart 15 minutes earlier.

Of course, a warship crew might choose to not demand the pilot’s attention in this way, if senior U.S. Military Officers did not recklessly neglect to order their warship crews to maintain a listening watch on the relevant ATC frequencies (the second-most proximate cause of the unlawful ambush-killing). Listening to the pilot talking to Air Traffic Control would likely satisfy them, with the other corroborating evidence: airline schedule, ESM (DME VHF SSR), SSR, flight profile, route. But if they wanted to be 99% certain, a simple ‘phone call’ would do it.

Then again, a check with Hawkeye — then feeding radar images of IR655 to the USS Forrestal (aircraft carrier) in the Northern Gulf of Oman — or their own crew member on-board Vincennes itself evaluating raw radar returns, would add confidence, that it was a likely AirBus, not an F-14.

But if they wanted to be 100% certain, they could station their own on-board helicopter above the haze, at 8-10,000 feet, as a CAP (Combat Air Patrol), and look at it, 10-15 n.miles away. Or, call in U.S. F-14s, standing by on station no more than 50 n.miles away precisely for this duty, to look at it and elevate their confidence level from 99% to 100%.

And if they insisted on being 100% certain without a CAP inspection, then they could ask the pilot to change course, and give him a chance to confirm with Air Traffic Control, by talking on a frequency the pilot was actually listening to, instead of broadcasting on the wrong frequency while he was talking and listening on the right frequency.

And if it’s an airliner on a suicide mission, well that’s the risk you run, when you’ve earned for yourself a justified worldwide reputation, over the past 50 years, as a violent, criminal, rogue, terrorist, state above the rule of law. Unless you want to verify confirm and embellish your already fulsome disreputable worldwide reputation, as Rogers did, you have to wait for the pilot to make his move, and put your trust in those 1,650 knot missiles you lug around for that purpose. And in the Sidewinders and Sparrows arming the U.S. Navy F-14s standing by on CAP for that purpose, (And fitted to the warship’s own helicopters?).

And if its a military aircraft, apparently minding its own business, not at war with you (like the Iranian C-130, on the same route, following Iran Air 655), you have to put your trust in your missiles, as before, and, in addition, in your phalanx guns, designed to create a dense wall of depleted-uranium metal, to detonate a missile before it reaches the warship.

“ With the new VHF radios I mentioned earlier, we are examining ways to monitor several air traffic control frequencies in the area. We are also seeking access to flight plan information, not just airline schedules, to better track commercial airliners.”

Robert J. Kelly, J.C.S., Senate Hearing, p.18, House Hearings, p.103

U.S. Military Officers did not trouble themselves to set-up a flight plan database so its warships could download, via their military communication networks, the details of the flights of interest shown on their airline schedules, including their SELCAL codes.

But despite their negligence, in failing to set themselves this simple task, in the interests of performing their duty to preserve innocent life and not target civilians, U.S. Military Officers could nevertheless have provided to their warships the SELCAL codes for all of Iran’s airliners, by simply walking down the street to the SELCAL Registrar where every airliner in the world, and every other aircraft equipped with SELCAL, is registered by owner (eg: Iran Air) and by tail-number, and verified annually. ARINC: Aeronautical Radio Inc., SELCAL Registrar, Annapolis Maryland {SELCAL Registration Form, 4kb.pdf}.

Even without the flight plan, the Vincennes crew could have broadcast the SELCAL codes for all six Iran Air AirBuses, the aircraft designated for that flight in the published airline schedule.

I guess U.S. Military Officers would rather play golf, strut the taxpayers’ money (hundreds of billions of dollars a year) in their military exercises, and salute each other, than do their duty.

Let’s have a go at that Filed Flight Plan Message:

NNNNEnd of message:  NNNN

ZCZC IRB122 022204 ABStart of ASCII code message: ZCZC; ?Originator?: IRB122 (?Iran Air Tours message number 122?); Message Time: [July] 02 [1988], 22:04 UTC; AB (?)

FF OIIIIRAW OMDBZQZX OMAEZQZX OIKBZGZX OIIIZRZXTransmission priority: Flight Plan (FF) (priority 2 of 3); AFTN Addresses: Tehran Mehrabad Airport (OIII) Iran Air: Iran National Airlines Corp. (IRAW); Dubai International Airport (OMBD) Area Control Center, IFR Flights (ZQZX); Oman Area Control Center (OMAE) IFR Flights (ZQZX); Bandar Abbas International Airport (OIKB) Air Traffic Control (ZGZX); Tehran Mehrabad Airport (OIII) Area Control Center (ZRZX)

022140 OIIIZPZXFiling Time: [July] 02 [1988], 21:40 UTC; Originator: Tehran Mehrabad Airport (OIII) Air Traffic Services Reporting Office (ZPZX)

(FPL-IR655-ISStart-of-ATS-Data Signal: ( (open parenthesis); Message Type Designator: Filed Flight Plan (FPL); Radio Call Sign (Aircraft ID): IR655; Flight Rules: IFR, Instrument Flight Rules (I); Type of Flight: Scheduled Air Transport (S)

–A300/H-SDH/CStart-of-Field Signal: (a single ASCII hyphen); Type of Aircraft: AirBus A300; Field element separator: / (oblique stroke); Wake Turbulence Category: Heavy (H); Equipment: Standard communications/navigation/approach-aid equipment (S: VHF RTF, ADF, VOR, ILS); DME (D: Distance Measuring Equipment); HF RTF (H: High Frequency Radio Telephone transceiver, 2-30 MHz); Field element separator: / (oblique stroke); Surveillance Equipment: Secondary Surveillance Radar (SSR) (C: Transponder, Mode A ID (4 digits, 4,096 codes) and Mode C pressure-altitude)

–OIKB0620Start-of-Field Signal: (a single ASCII hyphen); Departure Aerodrome: Bandar Abbas International Airport (OIKB); Departure Time: 0620 UTC (EOBT: estimated off-block time, gate time, not take-off time)

–N0460F160 A59 A59WStart-of-Field Signal: (a single ASCII hyphen); Cruising Speed: 0460 Knots (N) (TAS: True Air Speed); Requested cruising level: F160 (Flight level 160: 16,000 feet, pressure-altitude); ATS Route Designator: A59 A59W, airway numbers per the charts, officially defined in AIPs (Aeronautical Information Publications) issued by the relevant FIRs (Flight Information Regions)

–OMDB0028 OIKBStart-of-Field Signal: (a single ASCII hyphen); Destination Aerodrome: Dubai International Airport (OMBD), Total Estimated Elapsed Time: 0028 (28 minutes, lift-off to touch-down); Alternate Aerodrome: Bandar Abbas International Airport (OIKB)

–REG EP IBU SEL BD HK OMAE0012)Start-of-Field Signal: (a single ASCII hyphen); Registration (REG) tail number: EP-IBU; SELCAL (Selective Calling System) (SEL) Code: BD-HK; FIR boundary designator: OMAE (Oman ACC, referring to DARAX, the navigation radio waypoint at the FIR Boundary on the route, airway A59W); Accumulated Estimated Elapsed Time to the FIR boundary: 0012 (12 minutes from lift-off); End-of-ATS-Data Signal: ) (close parenthesis)

This Filed Flight Plan Message simply copies the information contained in the ICAO-designated portion of the ICAO-compliant flight plan form filed by the airline. ICAO, p.D-14, omitted from 28 I.L.M. 896 (1989). For details, including abbreviations, see Rules of the Air and Air Traffic Services: Procedures for Air Navigation Services, Part IX: Air Traffic Services Messages, Appendix 2: Flight Plan, Appendix 3: Air Traffic Services Messages (ICAO Doc 4444-RAC/501, 13th Edition, Nov. 7 1996) (714kb.pdf, courtesy of the U.S. Department of Defense, Joint Chiefs of Staff: those people who like to play golf and tell lies instead of do their duty).

{More to come}

Squawk Ident

{Coming up}

Illumination: Fire control radar

A good way to distinguish a civilian aircraft from a military one is to bleep it with your targeting radar.

If it’s civilian, you’ll get no reaction, because they don’t have a radar warning receiver to warn the pilot that s/he’s being targeted with a radar-controlled missile system.

If it’s military, a loud alarm will sound in the aircraft’s cockpit, and you’ll get a visual yelp! in return, as the pilot abruptly jenks course, hoping to placate the targeting-radar operator. This sudden course/altitude alteration is immediately observable on the warship’s radars.

And this is exactly what the officers on the USS Sides did (06:48 UTC), about 1-minute after IR655 took off (06:47 UTC):

“ At 0648 Zulu ... Iran Air 655 was at a range of 44 nautical miles ... at an altitude of 2,500 feet. It was at this stage that the U.S.S. Sides, which was about 18 nautical miles northeast of Vincennes and who had been tracking the aircraft, trained her fire control radar on flight 655.”

W. Fogarty, CentCom, Senate Hearing, p.10

Robert J. Kelly, J.C.S., House Hearings, p.89

“(k{Name redacted} (TAO-Sides) observed TN 4131 {IR655} leaving Bandar Abbas and although it was crossing with respect to USS Sides, he directed his Weapons Control Officer to lock-on with FC 2. The aircraft was heading southwesterly at approximately 400 kts at an altitude of about 10,000 ft {sic: 2,500 feet}.

(l{Name redacted} (WCO-Sides) confirmed receiving the order. He thought he noticed an IFF of 6710 but didn’t see an altitude.

(m)  {Name redacted} (WCC2-Sides) generally confirmed the range report and recalled an altitude of 3500 ft with speed 480 kts.”

DoD, ¶ (k)-(m), p.31, summarizing interviews about a week after the ambush, text {in braces} added.

But this is not what the officers of the Vincennes did. Had they followed the example of the Sides’ officers, it’s unlikely they would have labeled Track Number 4131 “F-14”.

And the reason they didn’t is apparently because the crew member responsible for operating the fire-control radar was not qualified for his duties, a fact which appears from the documents, and a fact which Vincennes commander Rogers well-knew, negligence on his part. I’ll document this later.

Whether their failure to illuminate, in aid of identification, was a violation of the written fleet protocol for antiair warfare operations, which the Vincennes officers were duty-bound to obey, is not disclosed in the DoD report. Yet, it’s a widely utilized useful tool for an IDS (Identification Designation Supervisor), and the rest of the crew in “Air Alley,” in the warship’s Combat Information Center, responsible for identifying threats and non-threats. And, it may be a generally accepted protocol in the U.S. Navy, even if it’s not formally written-down and issued as an order. If so, it would constitute negligence to not do it.

Some of the members of this antiair warfare crew on board the Vincennes were not qualified for their duties. The Commander knew this, and he had altered the duties of some of them as well, further degrading their ability to perform their vital tasks. And, he had altered their protocol as well.

These failings on the part of the Vincennes Commander, directly affecting the ability of his crew to properly identify targets, may be either negligence or gross negligence on his part, and I will return to this topic later (as I’m still working on this webpage).

ESM: Electronic Support Measures
(Electronic surveilance of the target's broadcasts):
DME, SSR/IFF, Coms, Radio Altimeters, Weather Radar

“ The unknown aircraft radiated no definitive electronic emissions.”

William J. Crowe Jr.
(Chairman, J.C.S.), DoD Report, Endorsement, ¶ 4, p.3 (Aug. 18 1988)

U.S. Military Officers, to excuse their killing, claimed the aircraft “radiated no definitive electronic emissions”. And this entitled them to attack:

“There were no ESM indications.” DoD, ¶ (d), p.7.

Vincennes could detect no radar emanations from the contact which might identify it”. DoD, Crowe Endorsement, ¶ 4, p.3.

“The unknown aircraft radiated no definitive electronic emissions.” DoD, Crowe Endorsement, ¶ 5, p.6.

“If the AirBus had its air weather radar on and we’d picked it up it would definitely have identified it as a commercial aircraft.” Crowe, Press Briefing, August 19 2002, p.12.

Another bold lie, an unequivocal assertion of an unassailable fact which was not a fact.

Five AirBus transmitters broadcast four separate “definitive electronic emissions”.

Four of these transmitters broadcast continuously, and the fifth nearly so (VHF). One weak transmitter was likely out of range (radio altimeter). In summary, the Vincennes Commander and his officers ignored three “definitive electronic emissions,” one of which they admitted receiving.

  Civilian transponder broadcasts: a pulse, containing a 4-digit identification code (IFF mode 3, SSR mode A) and a pressure altitude code in 100 foot increments (SSR mode C), from the two AirBus transponders which broadcast continuously, in response to interrogation pulses from anybody (only one broadcasts at a time, the one receiving the strongest signal, with its antenna best-situated to the received interrogation pulse): Collins 621A-6, 1090 MHz, 250-watts (current model: TPR-901).

  Civilian VHF voice radio broadcasts, from the two AirBus VHF transceivers (both can broadcast at the same time): King KTR 9100A, 116.000-139.975 MHz, 25-watts.

  Civilian DME continuous broadcasts from the two AirBus DME transceivers (both can broadcast at the same time): Collins 860E-5, 1025-1150 MHz, 700-watts (current model: DME-900).

Source: “Aircraft information, Equipment,” ICAO, ¶ 1.6(c), p.4. And see these specification sheets: Rockwell International, Series 500, Collins ATC Transponder, 621A-6A ARINC 572, Rockwell document 074-3874-000, 7M-SP-3-85 (March 1985). Rockwell International, Series 500, Collins Distance Measuring Equipment, 860E-4/5, ARINC 521D, 568, Rockwell document 074-3867-000, 7M-SP-3-85 (March 1985).

Nobody ever mentioned the two most powerful transmitters operating on board Iran Air Flight 655 that day. Neither the U.S. Defense Department Report, nor any U.S. Military Officer, nor the anonymous writers of the ICAO Report, nor any Member of Congress, nor any member of the Press: The AirBus’s two, continuously broadcasting, DME transceivers (Distance Measuring Equipment), 700-watt monsters, 1025-1150 MHz.

The aircraft DME broadcasts pulse-pairs, with random “jittered” time-spacing, to the VORTAC (or VOR/DME) ground navigation radio the pilot tunes to, and the VORTAC transponder broadcasts reply pulse-pairs. The aircraft DME determines which of that VORTAC’s broadcasts are in response to its particular jitter-pattern (and not some other aircraft’s), locks-on (to reject and not bother about VORTAC broadcasts to other aircraft), times the responses to its own broadcasts, and computes and displays to the pilot the aircraft’s distance from that VORTAC in nautical miles. The aircraft DME broadcasts continuously, at the rate of about 22 pulse-pairs per second.

Source:  What is DME? (Rockwell International, Collins Air Transport Division, Avionics Group, Cedar Rapids Iowa, Instruction Guide, Rockwell Document No. 523-0769886-20111R, 4-1-86, 19 pages, April 1 1986).

Distance Measuring Equipment. A very handy item. Invented by the United States Military decades ago and released in the 1950s for public use worldwide by civilian pilots and civilian Air Traffic Control authorities and installed in every airliner in the world and nearly every other civilian aircraft.

The Vincennes had on board an ESM receiver (AN/SLQ-32). Surely, a U.S. warship owned by the self-same United States Military, which invented the DME, has an ESM receiver designed to monitor for DME broadcasts, a very persuasive indicator that the aircraft is civilian, especially when corroborated by its other “definitive electronic emissions” (civilian transponder and civilian VHF voice radio broadcasts) and by its flight profile (steadily climbing on a steady course down a civilian airway).

This, because a military aircraft, on a mission to kill, switches off its transmitters, precisely to avoid detection by ESM receivers and to avoid targeting by radiation-homing missiles which might be able to home on such signals. Though, no military aircraft could expect to sneak-up on a U.S. warship from a medium or high altitude, due to direct detection by the warship radar.

The DoD report asserts that Iran Air Flight 655 emitted no “definitive electronic emissions,” and yet, the report is silent about these powerful aircraft DME transmitters. The pilot certainly tuned one of his two DMEs to the Bandar Abbas VORTAC, which then had DME installed (the “TAC” part of VORTAC) and operating normally (below), enroute to the VOR radio waypoint/intersection MOBET, 30 n.miles away. That’s how you know you’ve reached MOBET, when the DME display rolls over to 30.0 n.miles. (A much less-precise, and more troublesome, way is to tune-in a VOR designated on the chart, if there be any not in-line with your heading, dial-up the designated radial to that station on that VOR receiver, and wait for the needle to center). And he probably had his other DME tuned to the Dubai VOR/DME.

“There were no reported discrepancies to the navigational aids on 3 July 1988. The Bandar Abbas VORTAC was the subject of a NOTAM (A532, 21 May 1988) stating that the flight check had expired on 21 May 1988. A flight check was subsequently carried out on 30 July 1988. The VORTAC was found operational with no discrepancies.”

ICAO, p.5, ¶ 1.8.2.

The DoD report shouts loudly in its silence. And what is it shouting?:– Either the Vincennes ESM receiver correctly reported the DME broadcasts, and the ESM operator recklessly neglected to inform his supervisor. Or else, the ESM operator switched off or disabled the DME frequency range so he wouldn’t be bothered with DME receptions. Or else, U.S. Military Officers negligently specified their ESM receiver to prevent it from receiving DME broadcasts, an important diagnostic tool for identifying airborne targets. Or else, the Vincennes SSES crew received the DME broadcasts (and the VHF voice broadcasts and the SSR transponder broadcasts) and Rogers negligently failed to check with them first, before deciding to attack. Or else, a combination of these negligent failings. Which could it be?

In the same way, there is no mention that the warship ESM receiver reported the almost continuous voice radio broadcasts from the aircraft’s civilian VHF radio transmitter and the continuous broadcasts from the aircraft’s civilian transponder, both its ID (mode A) and its pressure altitude (mode C).

I guess faulty ESM design is the likely explanation. No wonder the DoD report-writers, and all other U.S. Military Officers, kept quiet about these three “definitive electronic emissions” which the AirBus transmitters broadcast and which the U.S. warship’s defectively designed ESM receiver failed (allegedly) to detect.

But not content to merely keep quiet about their failings — a prima facie criminal lie by material omission — U.S. Military Officers, united in a prima facie criminal conspiracy (18 U.S.C. § 371), asserted a blatant prima facie lie (a materially false assertion), to conceal their failings, claiming the aircraft did not broadcast what it plainly did broadcast, an equally prima facie criminal lie. 18 U.S.C. § 1001.

As for the anonymous ICAO report-writers, this is not the only thing they kept quiet about, not the only mistake they made, and not the only thing they misreported. See below. No wonder they decided to make themselves anonymous (with their CIA-suitcase full of $100 bills?).

If the warship ESM receiver was designed to be unable to receive “definitive electronic emissions” from DME transmitters (1025-1150 MHz), transponder transmitters (1090 MHz), and VHF voice radio transmitters (116.000-139.975 MHz), then U.S. Commanders were negligent if they omitted to explain this to their crews (the restricted frequency-range of the ESM receiver). Without this explanation, they would incite their warship crews to wrongly assume the absence of a signal received by the ESM receiver confirmed that a target was not an airliner. The design failure of the warship’s ESM receiver to detect these three “definitive electronic emissions” does not mean there are no such emissions; it’s proof of nothing.

To prevent this deadly mistake, U.S. Commanders had the duty to explain to their warship crews responsible for killing-decisions the limitations of their ESM receiver.

The AirBus had two radio altimeters: Telecommunications Radioelectriques et Telephoniques, TRT AHV5-011A5, 4300 MHz, 400-mW (milli-watts: 0.4-watt) (a current model: LRA-900). These supplied information to the aircraft’s Ground Proximity Warning System (GPWS).

The DoD Report did not mention radio altimeters but, by implication, asserted the Vincennes ESM receiver did not receive their broadcasts. The frequency of their continuous wave broadcasts (4300 MHz) is certainly within the ESM frequency detection range.

The anonymous ICAO report-writers asserted that the warship ESM receiver did not receive these broadcasts (a mere inference they drew from the DoD Report? an undisclosed assertion to them by U.S. Military Officers?). But they omitted any discussion or analysis of why the U.S. warship did not receive any signal from these two radio altimeters (if so). They merely asserted this, without substantiation or comment, to be a supposed fact. ICAO, ¶ 2.9.2, p.14.

But even if the U.S. warship’s ESM receiver was designed to receive this broadcast frequency (4300 MHz), and it supposedly is, the continuous broadcasts of these two radio altimeters were probably out of range when the Vincennes Commander attacked.

A radio altimeter antenna is a microwave channel mounted in a conical horn (like a small stereo speaker), inset into the belly of the aircraft. It’s a directional antenna, which focuses the tiny power of its 1/2-watt radar transmitter straight down, in a 120° cone perpendicular to the belly of the aircraft, an electrical “ground-plane” which blocks the propagation of its broadcast signal in all other directions. (Though “side-lobe” radiation might escape the electrical ground-plane and the confines of the 120° cone).

Sources:  What is a Radio Altimeter? (Rockwell International, Collins Air Transport Division, Avionics Group, Cedar Rapids Iowa, Instruction Guide, Rockwell Document No. 523-0773758-00111R, 12-1-84, 16 pages, Dec. 1 1984); Maintenance Manual 34-47-00, Collins AL-101 Radio Altimeter, Antenna 437X-1/1A, p.431 (outline and mounting dimensions) (Apr 1/85), pp.439-440 (location and mounting instructions) (May 30/86) (Rockwell International, Collins Air Transport Division). See also, William F. Croswell (Head, Antenna Research Section, Langley Research Center, National Aeronautics and Space Administration, a “false-flag” for the CIA?), M.C. Bailey (Langley), and Richard C. Kirby (Director, International Radio Consultative Committee, Geneva, former Director, Office of Telecommunications, U.S. Department of Commerce, Boulder Laboratories), “Antennas and Wave Propagation,” Section 18 of Donald G. Fink, Alexander McKenzie, Editors, Electronics Engineers’ Handbook (McGraw-Hill, New York City, Second Edition, 1982).

I don’t suppose a weak 1/2-watt transmitter is detectable by a distant U.S. warship ESM receiver, even if the directional antenna of the radio altimeter were aimed directly at the warship. And it wasn’t. At its 12,500 foot altitude, the 120° broadcast radius of the AirBus radio altimeters was miles out of reach by the ESM receiver on board the USS Vincennes, more than 12 n.miles away when Rogers attacked, even with the aircraft’s nose pitched up in its 1,500 foot-per-minute rate-of-climb. This, if you diagram it on paper. The radio altimeter is designed to work close to the ground and is itself unable to detect a ground echo from its own broadcasts above 2,500 feet, let alone 12 nautical miles.

And, there’s another factor. A warship ESM receiver is designed to detect strong broadcasts, originally from an aircraft’s fire control targeting radar. And the sensitivity circuits of that receiver are doubtless designed accordingly. I don’t suppose a warship’s robust ESM receiver to be a sensitive detection device for weak distant signals, of the sort the National Security Agency (NSA), for example, might labor to detect in its electronic surveillance. If there be any experimental data on the long-range detection of radio altimeter broadcasts, I haven’t found them. But these experiments have certainly been done by the U.S. Government (NSA, CIA, DIA, NASA), and the results are certainly known by the U.S. Military.

U.S. Commanders were negligent if they omitted to explain this to their crews (the limited range and weak signal of a radio altimeter). Without this explanation, they would incite their warship crews to wrongly assume the absence of a radio altimeter signal confirmed that a target was not an airliner. The inability of the warship to detect that weak signal, at that range, does not mean there is no signal; it’s proof of nothing.

To prevent this deadly mistake, U.S. Commanders had the duty to explain to their warship crews responsible for killing-decisions the restricted range of a radio altimeter.

“ The weather that particular day was clear, with 8 or 10 miles visibility. So they probably did not have it on.”

Robert J. Kelly, J.C.S., Senate Hearing, p.36

So too, the AirBus weather radar: Bendix RDR-1F, 9375 MHz (X-band), 3500-watts (current model: ART 2000). There was no weather that day which could reflect an echo back to the airplane (water droplets in the air, rain, heavy clouds). So the pilot apparently, and prudently, left that expensive piece of equipment switched off, to husband its service life. And, for this reason, this is presumably the practice among airlines generally, around the world. And nobody has claimed otherwise.

U.S. Commanders were negligent if they failed to inform their warship crews of this practice. Without this explanation, they would incite their warship crews to wrongly assume the absence of a weather radar signal confirmed that a target was not an airliner. On a day with no wet weather, the absence of a weather radar signal is proof of nothing.

To prevent this deadly mistake, U.S. Commanders had the duty to explain to their warship crews responsible for killing-decisions the customary operation of an aircraft weather radar.

Crowe’s deceitful lie about the weather radar is revealing, about the criminal conspiracy he headed, the object of which was to lie about the U.S. Military culpability, and to conceal his own criminal rules of engagement.

Besides criminal lies, part of their tactics was to throw blame onto the Iran Air pilot. There are many elements in the deceitful DoD Report and statements by Crowe and others (which I’ve not yet mentioned) which endeavor to falsely blame the pilot.

And this is one of them. The willful innuendo and implication: If the pilot hadn’t foolishly and reckless neglected to switch-on his weather radar, the warship wouldn’t have attacked.

“If the AirBus had its air weather radar on, and we’d picked it up, it would definitely have identified it as a commercial aircraft.” Crowe, Press Briefing, August 19 2002, p.12.

This, of course, is just one more of Crowe’s many prima facie criminal lies.

All military aircraft carry the same weather radar as do airliners. And Crowe & Co. are at pains, elsewhere in their utterances, to assert that a military aircraft could spoof an airliner (electronically), as a tactic to approach within missile-launch range, in the absence of a CAP (Combat Air Patrol) which could otherwise visually identify it.

And so, could switch-on its weather radar, civilian transponder, DME, radar altimeter, and talk on the published civilian VHF Air Traffic Control radio frequencies, and follow an ATC airway, in an airliner flight profile (climbing), on a spoofed ATC flight plan, towards a U.S. warship in the middle of that airway.

Thus, had there been bad weather that day, and had the pilot switched-on his weather radar, we would have had the corrupt Crowe & Co. talking about spoofing — to conceal their criminal rules of engagement — as a reason why the Vincennes commander was entitled to disregard the target’s “definitive electronic emissions”.

Civilian ESM

It’s plain that, in testing a postulated hypothesis that a radar-target is a civilian aircraft, warship antiair warfare crews would be greatly assisted by a ‘civilian’ ESM receiver designed to detect the 3 “definitive electronic emissions” normally broadcast by civilian aircraft, and which the Iran Air 655 AirBus transmitters broadcast, and which the USS Vincennes’s defectively designed ESM receiver did not detect (allegedly).

These three “definitive electronic emissions” doubtless were received onboard the Vincennes by its SSES signals intelligence officers (below), who were not asked (supposedly), and did not report (supposedly) to the Combat Information Center (CIC), what they monitored.

A ‘civilian’ ESM receiver is simple for U.S. suppliers to produce, though it needs a memory (via interface with the warship’s computer) to provide a broadcast history for the target, so the ESM operator can see a record of past VHF voice broadcast signals by that target.

The continuous SSR (transponder) broadcasts are already received and displayed in the CIC, but they need to be reported, as well, as ESM signals, monitored by the ESM operator. This, so that when the warship commander asks, “Is there ESM?”, the ESM operator can reply, “Yes: Civilian SSR, DME, VHF”.

These other two “definitive electronic emissions” (continuous DME and intermittent VHF) are also non-directional broadcasts (like the SSR transponder) but, not being transponders, the warship would require a directional antenna so the ESM receiver can attribute those broadcasts to the broadcasting radar target.

The basic RCA SPY-1A phased array antennas on the Vincennes do this already. Thus, for example, it can likely attribute a Squawk Ident to a radar target, a manual broadcast by the pilot, pressing a button on the transponder (ie: not an automatic transponder response to an interrogation pulse from the warship radar). Your everyday airport radar can do that, and a phased array (electronic scanning with 4 fixed antennas) mimics the direction detection capability of a rotating antenna, which the Vincennes also had (SPS 49(V)). And, the SSES crews (Navy-NSA signals intelligence) on U.S. warships may have separate directional antennas. The U.S. has long experience in the design and operation of such antennas of many different designs, which evaluate signal strength on different bearings. Just like a naturalist, with a Yagi Antenna, looking for that bird or bear in the wild s/he tagged with a tiny beeping transmitter. But on a warship, it’s done in a nano-second or, at least, in a micro-second.

Is this negligence? That U.S. Military Officers did not install a ‘civilian’ ESM receiver on the USS Vincennes? It seems incredible to me that they didn’t. But then the reason they didn’t do it is their still more incredible indifference to their duty to posit for civilian aircraft. If they had applied their minds to testing this hypothesis, they would have quickly realized the value of such a simple ESM receiver.

To be negligent, you have to have a duty which you perform incorrectly or fail to perform. U.S. Military Officers would argue that they had no such duty and, instead, they had absolute discretion, to either do this, or not do this, as they chose. And it would for the person (eg: me) asserting the duty, to prove it. Where is it written that U.S. Military Officers have a legal obligation to equip their warships with a ‘civilian’ ESM receiver?

I can show where it’s written they have a duty of care in how they deploy their violent killing machines and target their ordinance. But they have scope, in how they obey their duty — to do it this way, or do it that way instead — so long as they do it. And it may be that (for the future) monitoring ATC frequencies, airway/airport charts, SELCAL, a flight-plan database, and such, may be sufficient to properly identify civilian radar targets without also having a civilian ESM receiver. But this ESM receiver is so cheap, and so useful, I don’t imagine a conscientious U.S. Military Officer would dwell long on in deciding about it for the future.

But the lawyers in the U.S. Justice Department would dwell very long and very hard in defending the United States against the failure of U.S. Military Officers to do this in the past. If you could contest this failure in a U.S. Court, that is, which you can’t: Congress prohibits U.S. Courts from exercising jurisdiction to sit in judgment on the U.S. Military, at least not for “any claim arising out of the combatant activities of the military or naval forces, or the Coast Guard, during time of war” and not for “any claim arising in a foreign country” which is not a “headquarters claim” attributable to decisions made in the U.S., and not for any “failure to exercise or perform a discretionary function”. 28 U.S.C. § 2680(j), (k), (a).

In the furious cascade of negligence, of many sorts, by many U.S. Military Officers, most of them senior and far from the ambush site, it’s difficult to single-out the defectively designed ESM receiver to test, in isolation, for negligence. It’s certainly out-ranked by many other deadly negligent acts and omissions in the long list of proximate causes of this unlawful ambush-killing.

In the absence of the other negligence — and the criminal rules of engagement — the defective ESM receiver would not have induced the commander to attack and so, on these altered facts, it would not have been a proximate cause of the killing, because there would have been no killing. Hence any negligence in its design would have been harmless.

Yet, on the actual facts, and in the teeth of the other negligence — and the despite the criminal rules of engagement — a civilian ESM receiver, on its own, “probably” (more likely than not) would have stopped this killing, in my opinion.

On this view, the defective ESM receiver was a proximate cause of the killing (one among many) and was negligence if U.S. Military Officers could reasonably have been expected to foresee this deadly result of their faulty ESM design. This question could be illuminated by testimony and documents where this possibility was discussed and the decision taken to disregard it.

These documents — which the rule of law requires governments to create and maintain — have doubtless been destroyed, if they were ever created, as part of the criminal conspiracy.

Yet, this question does not require a decision, because the long list of other negligent acts and omissions — and, independently, the criminal rules of engagement — firmly fixes State Responsibility on the United States of America for its unlawful ambush of Iran Air Flight 655.

No ESM

“Definitive electronic emissions” the AirBus did not broadcast, and the absence of which the Vincennes Commander, and his officers, ignored:

  Military transponder squawk code broadcasts (IFF mode 2).

  Military UHF radio broadcasts.

  Military fire control radar broadcasts.

Haze

Omitted, by U.S. Military Officers, from their commentaries and disclosures, was the role of haze, on the day.

“Visibility was no more than five miles,” Crowe said.

You can’t launch a TV-guided Maverick missile in the haze, and hope to hit anything. Certainly not from 12 n.miles away.

If you knew where your target was (range and bearing), maybe you could. Launch it blind in the right direction, and the target will eventually show-up on the cockpit TV monitor, as it closes. And you can guide it from there. (Or so I imagine).

Let’s see now. How can a pilot know where an out-of-sight warship is? So he can launch his TV-guided missile in the right direction?

Oh. I know. All the pilot has to do is switch-on his targeting radar. Let it sweep around. And the several ships in the area will show up on his radar screen.

He picks out the one he wants to attack. Changes course to head directly for it. And then launches the missile blind. But in the right direction.

Let’s see now. How can the pilot know, which of those out-of-sight ship targets is the one he wants to attack? And which are innocent merchant shipping? And which are warships of his own fleet? Maybe an IFF/SSR response from his own ships will rule them out, the big ones, if they have an IFF/SSR transponder. But how to know, from the rest, which is his target? And which are innocent?

Hummm ... Sounds impossible.

Curiously, the U.S. warship informed the target of its own range and bearing, thereby supplying the targeting information the pilot needed:— If he believed it. If he actually were a military aircraft intent on attacking. If the warship radio-talker broadcast on the right frequency.

And why would a U.S. warship supply targeting information to a postulated military aircraft intent on attacking?

Good question. The term “negligence” springs to mind.

And, curiously again, it’s precisely the very same negligence which explains why the Vincennes IAD radio-talker didn’t properly state which aircraft in the sky he was designing to talk to: A faulty radio talking-script. A proper talking-script would properly identify the target aircraft without also supplying targeting information.

Makes you wonder what all those senior U.S. military officers are thinking about, out on the taxpayers’ golf course, hitting the taxpayers’ balls. They’re obviously not thinking about their duties, the taxpayers are paying them to think about. Pouring money down the drain.

But the radar target did not broadcast a targeting radar signal. Nor did any other aircraft. Nor any other facility. Even the normal airport approach control radar wasn’t switched-on, though it couldn’t have seen a warship 42 n.miles away, below the horizon.

The U.S. warship Vincennes received no targeting radar broadcasts. Or any other kind of radar broadcasts. From the target. Or from any other source.

And what does this mean? This means the Commander of the Vincennes knew, at the time he turned his firing key, that the pilot would be unable to launch his postulated Maverick missiles, until the pilot approached close enough to see the warship, through the haze.

The Vincennes Commander may not have had any firm idea how close that would have to be. But he might have, because his own helicopter had only recently returned from a distant mission. And his crew likely took careful note of its range, when they first sighted it through the haze, on its return. I imagine that’s standard operating procedure, to inform the Combat Information Center, what the visible range is. (You tell the radar-operator when you first see it, and the radar operator notes its range at that moment).

But Rogers’ visual watch-standers on the bridge, looking towards the target with binoculars, including those giant ones, they couldn’t see the target. And so Rogers knew the pilot couldn’t see him either. And couldn’t launch a Maverick missile. At the time Rogers turned his firing key.

So, in the mix — of many items of negligent, and intentional, acts and omissions — where does this fit? The haze?

Well, for one thing, it corroborates the criminal rules of engagement:

Rules of Engagement

“ The commanding officer ... his obligation to protect his ship and crew from absorbing the first blow, as was the case with the U.S.S. Stark.”

W. Fogarty, CentCom, Senate Hearing, p.17

Robert J. Kelly, J.C.S., House Hearings, p.100

This is the foremost proximate cause of the unlawful ambush of Iran Air Flight 655:– The secret Rules of Engagement.

They were never disclosed. And for good reason, because they were obviously unlawful, and could not be lawfully obeyed (the particular rule responsible for this ambush).

Based on what U.S. Military Officers said about them, the secret Rules of Engagement required the warship commander to attack an unidentified aircraft approaching from Iran, regardless of its flight profile (even if non-threatening: high and climbing), if the warship crew could not identify it by the time it closed within 13 n.miles (the range-limit of a Maverick TV-guided missile).

Attacking an aircraft, which is not operating in a threatening manner, just because you don’t know what it is, is simply cold-blooded murder. Small wonder, U.S. Government Officers concealed the text of their unlawful Rules of Engagement.

“... the Peacetime Rules of Engagement (ROE) ...”

“The primary responsibility of the Commanding Officer under the ROE is the defense of his ship from attack or from the threat of immenent attack {sic: imminent}. [Remainder of ROE deleted].”

William M. Fogarty (Rear Admiral, Director of Policy and Plans, U.S. Central Command), DoD Report, p.4, ¶ I.14; p.13, ¶ III.A.3.

“As a result of the Stark incident, our commanders were given a revised set of ROE which clarified their authority to take positive protective measures when hostile intent was manifested. It was emphasized that they do not have to be shot at before responding and that they have an unambiguous responsibility to protect their units and people.”

William J. Crowe Jr. (Admiral, Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff), DoD Report, Endorsement, p.1, ¶ 2.

“1.  The CJTFME {Anthony A. Less, Commander, Joint Task Force, Middle East} and CO {William C. Rogers III, Commanding Officer}, USS Vincennes, properly selected and applied the correct Rules of Engagement to both the surface and air engagements.

2.  Based upon the information presented to Captain Rogers, engagement of TN 4131 {IR655} was within the parameters of the Rules of Engagement.”

William M. Fogarty (Rear Admiral, Director of Policy and Plans, U.S. Central Command), DoD Report, p.46, ¶ (B).

“The No. 1 obligation of the commanding officer of a ship or units are the protection of his own people.”

William J. Crowe Jr. (Admiral, Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff), Press Briefing, July 3 1988.

“Captain Rogers had every right to suspect that the contact was related to his engagement with the IRGC boats — until proven otherwise. The proof never came.”

“It was only prudent for Captain Rogers to assume that the contact was related to his engagement with the Iranian boats until proven otherwise. The proof never came.”

William J. Crowe Jr. (Admiral, Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff), DoD Report, Endorsement, p.6; Press Briefing, August 19 1988.

Caveat:  Because U.S. Military Officers concealed the text of the secret Rules of Engagement, we don’t know whether the order to attack an unidentified aircraft was stated plainly on the face of the RoE. But it’s unlikely; otherwise, the U.S. Navy would be ambushing airliners every week, off shore LAX (Los Angeles), JFK (Manhattan), Boston, Miami, etc.

Every U.S. Military Officer who transmits a criminal order through the chain of command (eg: Crist, Less) is equally guilty with those who decide to issue that criminal order (Crowe et al.). So too, the President and Secretary of Defense (who had authority to revoke it), and each Member of Congress who knows of criminal orders (eg: “Wanted: Dead or Alive”) and do not request a formal justification and reconsideration of it and do not request and vote to expose it to the public (eg: Members of the Armed Services Committee of the House and Senate).

“ The guidance advises the commanding officer not to put that as a single piece of information to make decisions on the base of it because we know the Iranians can and do play with the IFF in order to confuse our ships. It is supporting information, but it is not crucial in itself.”

William J. Crowe Jr. (Chairman, J.C.S.), Press Briefing, Aug. 19 1988, p.9

More likely, the Joint Chiefs of Staff (Crowe et al.) drafted the secret Rules of Engagement to be purposely ambiguous, and they issued detailed orders separately, interpreting the ambiguities, tailored to the Gulf, and to Iran in particular (and these may have been oral).

In that event, the unlawful ambush of Iran Air 655 was not murder by those who transmitted the secret RoE but not the separate secret criminal orders, or by those who knew of the one but not the other. Though they might be recklessly negligent (manslaughter), or willful (murder), in authorizing ambiguous Rules of Engagement, knowing (manslaughter) or designing (murder) that the RoE could be later tailored to authorize and order criminal violence.

This is likely a purposeful use of intentional ambiguities by a corrupt chain of command. Concealing such criminal conduct is the usual motive, and object, of a cover-up.

{More to come}

Cover-up

“ The existing rules of engagement did not contribute to the accident.”

Robert J. Kelly, J.C.S., Senate Hearing, p.17 House Hearings, p.101

The ambush of Iran Air Flight 655, and the killing of its 290 souls on board appears, from the evidence, to be a simple, routine, willful, intentional, authorized attack in violation of the U.S. NOTAMs (against a high altitude, climbing aircraft), and in violation of the law of self-defense.

But in strict compliance with secret, unlawful, perfidious Rules of Engagement.

And who issued these secret, unlawful, perfidious Rules of Engagement?:– George B. Crist (CinCCent: Commander-in-Chief, Central Command, based at MacDill Air Force Base, Tampa Florida, and Anthony A. Less (CJTFME: Commander, Joint Task Force, Middle East), based at U.S. Gulf Fifth Fleet Headquarters, Bahrain. This is the chain of command from which more junior officers (aspiring to be more senior officers) were carefully selected to conduct a faulty investigation and write a deceitful report.

And who ordered Crist and Less to issue these secret, unlawful, perfidious Rules of Engagement?:– William J. Crowe Jr. and his fellow members of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, who review, authorize, and issue all Rules of Engagement.

And who authorized Crowe, Crist, Less, et al. to issue these secret, unlawful, perfidious Rules of Engagement?:– The National Command Authority: Ronald W. Reagan (U.S. President) and Frank C. Carlucci (Secretary of Defense).

And who acquiesced in these secret, unlawful, perfidious Rules of Engagement?:– The Members of Congress serving on the Senate and House Armed Services Committees, as I suppose, because I presume they are privy to all Rules of Engagement.

The ambush-killing was induced as well by an anti-air warfare protocol which recklessly neglected to order the warship crew to maintain a listening watch on relevant Air Traffic Control frequencies.

And who issued this recklessly negligent anti-air warfare protocol?:– The self-same Crowe, Crist, Less, et al.

And to whom was entrusted the investigation of this ambush-killing?:– The self-same Crowe, Crist, Less, et al, reporting to the National Command Authority (the President and Secretary of Defense) who had themselves authorized the self-same secret, unlawful, perfidious Rules of Engagement under the oversight of two Committees of Congress who had themselves (presumably) also acquiesced in the self-same secret, unlawful, perfidious Rules of Engagement.

Now guess what the result’s going to be.

Small wonder, that aspiring subordinates in the chain-of-command (investigators/report-writers) — in the rich, tradition of the United States Military — were ordered, encouraged, or believed themselves expected to please their masters. And small wonder, that they delivered as expected, endeavoring to substantiate the tale, fabricated within 9-1/2 hours of the killing, to conceal secret, unlawful, perfidious Rules of Engagement behind the veil of a fabricated delusion of self-defense which (even if true) would not relieve the United States of America from State Responsibility to the Islamic Republic of Iran and to the next of kin of each of the 290 victims.

And small wonder, that complicit Members of Congress were eager to bury the apparently unlawful Rules of Engagement they themselves apparently approved. Or, did U.S. Military Officers conceal from Congress (their two Armed Services Committees) the secret “guidance” from the Joint Chiefs of Staff to their Commanders in the Gulf. And was it their secret “guidance” which contained the criminal orders to assume all aircraft approaching from Iran are hostile and to attack them if that assumption could not be disproved in time.

Some jurisdictions don’t punish killers in the grip of an honest belief, even if their view of the actual facts be erroneous, unreasonable, irrational, or even psychotic, but not if their delusion is willfully or negligently self-induced. (“I honestly believed that red light was green, when I killed the child crossing the intersection, though I didn’t get a good look at the light, or see the child, because I was distracted by tuning my radio and typing out some text on my mobile phone; and I was a little bit drunk as well and had mislaid my spectacles; it wasn’t my fault; I didn’t mean to do it.”)

While a delusional killer might escape criminal punishment in some jurisdictions on some facts, those same jurisdictions do not excuse payment of civil damages for the wrongful killing on the actual facts, regardless of the killer’s mistaken, distorted, delusional view of the actual facts.

Two extravagant tales were included by the Vincennes Commander in his Operation Report, dated 9-1/2 hours after the ambush. Both tales are based entirely on activities and statements which, supposedly, were not recorded on the “21 {sic: 19} possible tape channels on the ship” that day (Vincennes). Dan Howard, Pentagon Spokesman, AP880714-0004. And, contradicted by all of the recordings disclosed in the DoD Report. Neither has any bearing on the many negligent acts and omissions by many U.S. Military Officers and crew members, imposing State Responsibility on the United States for this unlawful ambush-killing.

The DoD Report is subject to the U.S. criminal law as to honesty. 18 U.S.C. § 1001. The DoD report-writers are therefore deemed by U.S. criminal law to represent that their account of these unrecorded activities and statements is an honest account (without material omissions) of assertions in interviews with all relevant crew-members, each with personal knowledge of what s/he said and heard, presumably not on oath and not cross-examined, and presumably contained in transcripts which the DoD concealed from Congress and from the public. (“You can trust us; we’re from the Government”).

The DoD report-writers did not interview all relevant witnesses and did not mention relevant tape-recorded conversations. These failings are discussed further below.

Phantom F-14

Vincennes Commander Rogers initially reported that he killed an F-14 (military fighter), even though the Commander of the nearby USS Elmer Montgomery (DE-1082), under the command of Rogers, was an eye witness that the plummeting aircraft was an airliner. Rogers could not possibly have reported as he did without hearing this account from an eye-witness under his command. Hence, Rogers’ initial report was a lie (07:19 UTC). And his final Operation Report was a lie (16:30 UTC). And each of the reports by his Commander at Bahrain was a lie, because Less also knew for a fact that the aircraft was an airliner each time Less lied in his report that it was an F-14 (07:27 UTC, 14:45 UTC, 16:30 UTC). These were prima facie criminal lies for the written record, and for intermediaries in military communications, because all of these prima facie criminal liars were speaking the truth to each other, and to senior Officers in the USA, by radio and satellite telephone.

“2.  Operational Reporting

a.  0719Vincennes reported F-14 splashed.”

“c.  CJTFME {Commander, Joint Task Force, Middle East} updated their OPREP-3/004 with CJTFME 030727Z Jul 88, OPREP-3/004A, confirming kill of an Iranian F-14. Details of Altitude, spped {sic: speed}, and IFF were provided.

d.  CJTFME OPREP-3P/004B 031445Z Jul 88 reported the downing of the probable F-14 and noted that CJTFME had been informed of the fact that IR 655 was overdue at Dubai.

e.  Vincennes OPREP-3 031630Z Jul 88 was readdressed by the CJTFME under the same DTG {dating} providing a timeline for both surface and air engagement and reconfirming altitude as 7800 feet and descending, speed 455 kts, Mode II, 1100 {military transponder squawk-code}, ID as F-14, and that the aircraft had ignored MAD {Military Air Distress} and IAD {International Air Distress} warnings. Additionally: TN 4131 {Track Number, the computer-assigned display label}, Bearing/Range 005T/9NM; Mode III, 6675 {civilian transponder squawk-code}, course 185T, and CBDR {Constant Bearing, Decreasing Range} amplifying data was supplied.”

DoD Report, ¶ III.D.2, p.42 (July 28 1988). Reagan was told it was an airliner at 13:50 UTC (9:50 a.m. EDT).

The DoD report-writers asserted that Rogers had a basis for assuming, before the ambush, that the aircraft was an F-14. (But these assertions do not excuse his deceitful reports after the ambush). And, they imply he was required to allow for the possibility it could launch a Maverick TV-guided missile, with a 13 n.mile range, though Iran’s F-14s, purchased pre-1979, under the Shah, were not fitted to launch Mavericks (it’s an aerial fighter, not a fighter-bomber).

“(4)  0650Z ...”

“(b)  [{Name redacted}] (IDS) reported seeing a Mode II-1100 and Mode III-6675 on his RCI about 3-4 minutes before engagement {06:50-06:51, when a C-130 took off} when TN 4131 was at 9000 ft {06:52:00, 23 n.miles} and near the SE corner of Qeshm Island. He reported possible F-14 and Mode II-1100 over net 15/16 to “all stations”. USS Vincennes’s system data showed only Mode III-6760 at this time.”

“(d)  Multiple CIC personnel recalled hearing F-14 report on internal net 15 or 16 or recall it being said aloud.”

“(f)  [{Name redacted}] (TIC) reported rechallenging TN 4131 after Mode II report but only got a Mode III.”

“(n)  [{Name redacted}] (OSDA {Own Ship Display Assistant}) tagged TN 4131 as F-14 on the LSD {Not recorded on the Vincennes tape recordings. LSD: Large Screen Display, in front of the Commanding Officer, Tactical Action Officer, and Golf Whisky: the Force Anti-Air Warfare Officer}.”

William M. Fogarty (Rear Admiral, Director of Policy and Plans, U.S. Central Command), DoD Report, p.32, ¶ III.C.2.(e)(4)(b, d, f, n).

Note:  As part of his deceit, Fogarty positioned on the time-line 2 minutes earlier than where they apparently belong the supposed recollections and actions he here summarizes (and he did this often). Presumably to protect himself from a criminal prosecution for lying (18 U.S.C. § 1001), Fogarty included detail from those recollections from which the correct position on the time-line can be determined, though access to the concealed transcripts, tape recordings, and other documents would be more authoritative.

The recollection from the IDS of the 9,000 feet detail is precise, and the vague time estimate (3-4 minutes) is both imprecise and not directly attributed to any supposed recollection by the IDS (ie: likely a concealed editorial false embellishment by Fogarty). Yet, Fogarty chose to position this recollection at the earliest possible vague imprecise time, which he himself likely fabricated by his (apparently) false embellishment. This time (06:50:00) is 100% incompatible with the IDS’s precise 9,000 foot recollection (06:52:00).

This, presumably to conceal a rational explanation for the supposed IDS statement, because a C-130 took-off at 06:51 broadcasting a military transponder code (Mode I-11), which the IDS would be expected to click-on and interrogate.

I attribute these corrupt motives to Fogarty based on the totality of his deceit in his report, which is so extensive that it can only be properly documented in a separate lengthy appendix to this webpage, devoted solely to that topic. Desirable, but I probably won’t bother:– Dissecting deceit is extremely tedious work, as this webpage amply illustrates. And a fruitless effort, without access to the concealed evidence.

I would happily evaluate the full extent of Fogarty’s deceit-on-orders if I had access to the concealed evidence, which it is within the power of the Senate and House Armed Services Committees to release to the public. Unlikely, as these secret documents would likely implicate Members of Congress in the criminal conspiracy.

The boss of the DoD report-writers took this flimsy notion and elaborated it into a massive fort to hide himself behind. He, who had transmitted secret unlawful criminal orders to attack an unidentified aircraft in a non-threatening flight profile:

“2.a.  Opinions. Opinion E.1 {redacted entirely}: Approved with the qualification that [{41 characters redacted}], the Identification Supervisor (IDS) identified the aircraft as “mode II-1100, breaks as F-14,” thus forming a positive, authoritative identification.

Rationale: [{redacted}] IDS confirmed [{redacted}] identification.”

“3.b.  The report substantiates that a Mode II-1100 Identification Friend or Foe (IFF) signal was received on USS Vincennes through the Remote Control Indicator (RCI). This signal was received only once in the first minutes of the Iran 655 flight and never received again. It was not picked up by the ship’s SPY-1 Radar System. While the source of this signal cannot be verified, the possibility of emanation through the “ducting” phenomenon from a military aircraft on the ground at Bandar Abbas appears to be plausible.

c.  Although the initial identification of the incoming aircraft as an F-14 is in question, it was clearly identified by the IDS operator [{?name? redacted}] as “Mode II-1100, breaks as F-14”. From that moment on, the Anti-Air Warfare Coordinator’s (AAWC) organization, most especially the Tactical Information Coordinator (TIC), [{?name? redacted}], and the Golf Whiskey (Force Anti-Air Warfare Coordinator) [{?name? redacted}] were convinced that the incoming aircraft was an F-14, despite the fact that the Mode II IFF signal did not reappear and the ship’s SPY-1 Radar System only held Mode III 6760.”

George B. Crist (CinCCent: Commander-in-Chief, Central Command, Tampa Florida), DoD Report, Endorsement, ¶ 2.a., ¶ 3.b-c (August 5 1988).

Crist boldly asserted that the aircraft was not unidentified in the minds of the killers, because of an “authoritative identification” by the IDS, based on a supposed transponder response.

But the IDS made no such “authoritative identification”. He never claimed it was an F-14, merely a possible F-14, according to the DoD Report. And, the supposed transponder response was contradicted by numerous computer consoles on the warship tracking the target for 7 minutes. And this was only one momentary remark he may have made among many and, by his own remark, certainly not “authoritative” (as Crist pretended) or definitive and it did not influence the Captain.

Because U.S. Military Officers have concealed the transcripts of the interviews of the IDS, and other witnesses, and tape recordings, we (the public) have no idea of anybody’s imperfect recollection of who said what to whom and when and why. And, we can’t know what statements (if any) were made, and concealed by the DoD report-writers, contradicting this tale. Additionally, the DoD report-writers carefully concealed the mouse cursor activity of the various warship crew in Air Alley, following the IDS declaration of a “possible” F-14, apart from the one TIC verification that the aircraft was not squawking as IDS claimed. We can only observe that what Crist claims is contrary to the evidence before us.

Vincennes Commander Rogers himself never pretended to believe it was an F-14. He simply couldn’t rule out the possibility it was a tactical military aircraft of some sort coming to attack him. Had Rogers pretended to believe it was an F-14, he would have admitted his own incompetence, because only an incompetent Commander could believe his crew could know for a fact a target squawking civilian was an F-14.

Admiral Fogarty:  I do know that the commanding officer testified that he did not even recognize an F-14. What he was worried about was the threat to his ship from an unidentified aircraft. So I think the F-14 determination was not a large determination in the commanding officer’s mind.”

Senate Hearing, p.20 (Sept. 8 1988).

Capt. Rogers:  I thought it was a tactical aircraft. Did I think it was absolutely an F-14, or an F-4, or a Fokker D-27? I don’t know. I thought it was a tactical aircraft engaged in support of the ongoing surface action. That’s what I thought, otherwise I would have certainly never released two standard missiles at it.”

Nightline, July 1 1992.

Larry King:  What did you think you were shooting at?

Capt. Rogers:  Well, we thought— what I thought was a tactical aircraft. I wasn’t certain if it was an F-14. It might have been an F-4, an F-27. But, obviously, I certainly didn’t think it was an AirBus.”

Larry King Live, July 2 1992.

Crowe did not run and hide with the cowardly Crist, who was happy to issue unlawful orders in secret but a coward to stand-up and admit it in public.

Crowe squarely justified the ambush on the secret Rules of Engagement:– The aircraft was unidentified. That was good enough for Crowe. If it was unidentified, then the Rules of Engagement required Rogers to attack it, if it approached from Iran within 13 n.miles of the warship, even if it was not operating in a threatening manner. Crowe was backed by powerful, complicit, forces: The Joint Chiefs, the President and Secretary of Defense, and the Members of Congress on the two Armed Services Committees.

Yet, Crowe, like the rest, was not so courageous as to disclose the secret, unlawful, perfidious Rules of Engagement he had issued.

“a.  Shortly {5 minutes: 06:52} after liftoff {06:47} Flight 655 was identified within Vincennes as an F-14. The Identification Designation Supervisor [{name redacted}] had detected a Mode II squawk on his RCI and announced the contact was an F-14 {a “possible” F-14}. The initial “unidentified assumed hostile” designation was changed to F-14. Although one officer suggested the possibility of ComAir (commercial aircraft), no one else in the CIC took issue with the F-14 classification. The fact is the sensors gave no clear piece of information that it was not an F-14. However, if the F-14 identification had never been made, the contact would have remained designated “unidentified assumed hostile”. In that event, it is unlikely that the CIC Team would have proceeded any differently or elicited additional information in the extraordinarily short time available. As long as it remained a possible “hostile,” the Commanding Officer would be obligated to treat it in the same manner as he would an F-14.”

William J. Crowe Jr. (Admiral, Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff), DoD Report, Endorsement, p.4, ¶ 5.a (August 18 1988).

On the evidence, the tale about the F-14 is a likely fabrication to conceal the unlawful Rules of Engagement, either an entire fabrication or, possibly, a willfully misleading elevation of a single remark, among many passing among the crew, to a level of importance not warranted by the concealed evidence, including the mouse-cursor activity of the crew checking the transponder broadcasts and other possible remarks contradicting this claim, recollected or recorded, which the report-writers concealed in aid of their deception to support the original deception in Roger’s false Operation Report 9-1/2 hours after the ambush.

Ducting

The Vincennes crew member (IDS) did not claim he did what the DoD report-writers speculated on his behalf that he did. They speculated that he clicked with his range-gate (mouse cursor) positioned at the airport and then, mistakenly, attributed the supposed response (not recorded on the computer tapes), from a military aircraft on the ground, to the airborne radar target, on which his range-gate was not positioned.

This speculation does not “substantiate,” as Crist pretended to believe, or negligently believed, that the IDS received what the report-writers claim he said he received (a military transponder response, Mode II-1000) or that he received it otherwise than normally, from one of the several U.S. Navy F-14s standing-by on station, about 50 n.miles away, for example, awaiting orders from Rogers (which he never gave) to go visually identify the aircraft.

“ 13.  Recollection of Mode III IFF responses other than 6760 for TN 4131 were caused by imperfect recall by the IDS, ACS, AAWC, console operators in CIC, as well as the post incident SITREP writer.”

Wm. M. Fogarty, CentCom, DoD Report, p.48, ¶ IV.E.13.

Every crew member on the Vincennes misremembered the aircraft’s transponder number (6760) and the report-writers themselves further speculated that, instead of the Mode II-1000 (F-14) they claim the IDS later recollected he received, the IDS actually received the Mode I-11, recorded on the computer tapes, broadcast from an Iranian C-130, which took-off (06:51) 3 minutes before missile-launch (06:54:22), a minute before the time the IDS supposedly later recollected he detected a military transponder code (06:52:00).

The Iranian C-130 route was the same as IR655 to MOBET, but then with a right-turn at MOBET from course 200° to course 258°, to follow airway W17F. Having attacked IR655 the moment it reached MOBET, there’s no explanation why Vincennes Commander Rogers did not also attack this aircraft, which also did not reply to warning broadcasts:

“ 0651... Iranian military C-130 takes off from Bandar Abbas, destination Lavan Island, flight planned route A59-MOBET-W17F.

0656:34-:55 USS Vincennes, IAD operator challenges TN 4133 (Iranian C-130) on 121.5 MHz ... altitude 5700 feet...”

ICAO, pp.A-8, 12, B-13.

“(8)  0654Z ...”

“(n)  TN 4133, [{Redacted: ?Iranian C-130?}] was reported by SPY-1 [{redacted: ?launching 0651?}] from Bandar Abbas. RNG was 42 NM.”

“(z)  [{Name redacted}] (49 ADT) took TN 4133 in close control and identified it as [{redacted: ?C-130?}] TN 4133 was squawking Mode I-11. AAWC and IDS also took TN 4133 in close control.”

“E...(10)  TN 4133 which departed Bandar Abbas {06:51} almost simultaneously with missile launch {06:54:22} was squawking Mode I-11 and could have been a potential source of confusion between Mode I-11 and Mode II-1100 on IDS and AAWC’s RCI.”

William M. Fogarty (Rear Admiral, Director of Policy and Plans, U.S. Central Command), DoD Report, p.38, ¶ III.C.2.(e)(8)(u, z) (findings of fact); p.48, ¶ IV.E.10 (opinions) (July 28 1988).

Caveat:  It’s certain that the warships’ radars (Vincennes and Sides, connected by microwave data “Link 11”) detected the C-130 much sooner than Fogarty lied (by material omission), as they detected IR655 at 900 feet altitude by the Vincennes Spy-1 phased array radar, and sooner by the Sides’ more elevated rotating air search radar. (The Sides, much closer to the airport, first detected IR655, and Track Number 4131 was initially assigned to IR655 by the Sides’ computer). The C-130 took-off 3 minutes before Fogarty’s disclosure, according to the ICAO Report. The maximum rate of climb of the C-130 models Iran had (E and H), purchased pre-1979 under the Shah, was 1800 feet per minute, though the pilots probably climbed, normally, near the 1100 feet per minute average reported by ICAO (5700 feet in 5 minutes), to preserve their engines.

Fogarty’s tale (which has no bearing on the State Responsibility of the United States for the unlawful ambush) depends, for its plausibility, on concealing the take-off time of the C-130 (which he did) and on “ducting”. And depends upon ducting the warship’s IFF interrogation pulse (1030 MHz), and the transponder response (1090 MHz), 42 n.miles to and from the aircraft on the ground under atmospheric conditions which did not duct the warship’s radar pulse and the echo from the body of that same aircraft — either sitting on the ground, or for the first 3 minutes of the C-130’s flight — from either the warship’s rotating AN/SPS-49 Air Search Radar (850-942 MHz) or from its RCA SPY-1A phased array radar (???? MHz), which first detected IR655 at 900 feet altitude (06:47:37). Senate Hearing, p.10; House Hearings, p.88; ICAO, p.A-3. Fishy?

And, it depends upon the hypothesis that no warship crew member was curious enough to click on the airport prior to lift-off of IR655 or, if s/he did, ducting wasn’t working one or two minutes before it suddenly sprang into life. Very, very Fishy?

{More to come on ducting}

Phantom descent

Recognizing the F-14 claim was never more than a mere hypothesis, that Rogers never believed it was actually true, and that it was contradicted by the computer tape-recordings, a second cover-up tale was also decided upon at the outset: Not that the aircraft was identified to be military (and so what if it was) but that the aircraft, whatever it was, was operating in a threatening manner. Extravagant tale number two:– The phantom descent:

“III.  Findings of Fact ...

C.  Air Engagement ...

2.  Time Line ...

(7)  0653Z ...

(j)  [{Name redacted}] (TIC) recalled target altitude of 11,000 ft at 15 NM. He began to update the range every open spot on net 15/16. USS Vincennes’s system data indicated the same values at 06:53.

(k)  [{Name redacted}] (GW) heard continuous reports of declining altitude.

(8)  0654Z ...

(m)  [{Name redacted}] (TIC) recalled giving range and altitude reports once a mile after 11 NM. Between 15 NM and 11 NM he recalled no change in altitude.”

“IV.  Opinions ...

E.  Air Engagement ...

2.  At no time did IR 655 actually descend in altitude prior to engagement. ...

9.  The range and altitude information passed to the CO on Net 15 was correct until TN 4131 reached approximately 15 NM. Approximate time 06:53. ...

11.  In the excitement of the impending engagement, it is entirely possible that reports of decreasing altitude passed over the net by TIC after the 15 NM point could have occurred if TIC passed only range values, which were interpreted as altitude, or he simply mis-read his CRO and interchanged altitude and range.”

William M. Fogarty (Rear Admiral, U.S. Navy, Director of Policy and Plans, U.S. Central Command), DoD Report, p.36, ¶¶ (j-k); p.38, ¶ (m); pp.47-48, ¶ E (July 28 1988).

The boss of the DoD report-writers took Lustig’s apparent statement that he heard what no one (apparently) said and elaborated this idea into an fantasy contradicted by the DoD Report, which he often misquoted:

“3.d.  The matter of ascending and descending altitude of Flight 655 deserves special attention as there is a direct contradiction between the data tapes obtained from USS Vincennes and the situation report submitted by USS Vincennes to the Commander, Joint Task Force Middle East (JTFME) following the engagement.

(1)  The primary source for the reports that the aircraft of interest was rapidly decreasing in altitude, at 1,000 feet per mile, and increasing speed on a course directly toward USS Vincennes was the TIC [{3 characters redacted}]. He apparently interjected these reports on the ship’s Command Communication Circuit 15 every time he had the opportunity “to make sure they were staying informed and ... [{3 characters redacted}] getting too sidetracked by the surface engagement where there forgetting about the guy coming in.” ...

(2)  [{Name redacted: Scott Lustig},] the principal Anti-Air Warfare (AAW) advisor to the Commanding Officer, apparently accepted the TIC’s reports of descending altitude and increasing speed at face value without further evaluation on his part from the CRO at his position and, passed the assessment on to the Captain, which in turn had a direct bearing on the decision to fire. ...

f.  The performance of the AAW leaves room for question. He was the one officer upon whom Captain Rogers had placed his trust and confidence to evaluate the AAWC situation and provide accurate assessments and recommendations upon which to base an engagement decision. ...

(2)  ... the AAW made no attempt to confirm the reports on his own. Quick reference to the CRO on the console directly in front of him would have immediately shown increasing not decreasing altitude.”

George B. Crist (CinCCent: Commander-in-Chief, Central Command, Tampa Florida), DoD Report, Endorsement, pp.2-5, ¶¶ 3.d, 3.f. (August 5 1988).

According to the DoD Report, and contrary to Crist’s bold pretense, the TIC reported decreasing range, not altitude, and himself had confirmed the aircraft was squawking only civilian, not military, after the IDS (supposedly) stated it squawked both.

“ There is also the possibility that he or some of the listeners could have confused range and altitude.”

Frank C. Carlucci (Secretary of Defense), Press Briefing, Aug. 19 1988, p.7

On the evidence, if Lustig heard decreasing altitude values then it’s because he misunderstood what the TIC said. And, if this tale be true, the TIC was negligent in not speaking the word “range” when speaking the range value, precisely to avoid such misunderstanding. Or did the TIC faithfully follow his negligent training which his superior officers (eg: Lustig) negligently designed and/or negligently imparted to him? Or did the TIC faithfully speak the word “range”, or values (eg: yards) which could only be range, not altitude, and Fogarty simply lied to enable Crist to lie in a fantasy trip, desperate to conceal his criminal act in issuing criminal guidance to interpret ambiguous Rules of Engagement.

In their later prepared sworn testimony to Congress, U.S. Military Officials restated that the TIC reported decreasing range values, not altitude:

[Viewgraph image pre-prepared by DoD Officers to illustrate verbal and written Congressional testimony by DoD Officers:]

“0653Z: ...

  FLT 655 Brg 018, RNG 16 nm, SPD 371 kts, ALT 11230 ft by SPY radar

  TIC begins to update range of FLT 655 at every open spot on internal net 15/16

  By SPY radar, FLT 655 RNG 14 nm, 12,000 ft SPD 382 kts

Admiral Fogarty/Kelly: ... Concerned that the aircraft continued to close despite repeated warnings, the tactical information coordinator began to update the aircraft’s range at every opportunity.”

William M. Fogarty, CentCom, Senate Hearing, pp.11-12 (Sept. 8 1988); Robert J. Kelly, J.C.S., House Hearings, p.93 (Sept. 9 1988). Note:  “By SPY radar” ostensibly means the altitude value was 525 feet higher than the value broadcast by the aircraft’s transponder (Mode C) and 525 feet higher than the value displayed to the pilot on his flight-panel altimeter, as explained below. However, the DoD Report does not comment upon this difference and falsely reports one or the other altitude values variously as it suits the deceptive tale they weave. An altitude value which does not end in a round 100 feet (such as one of the two values above) is not a transponder broadcast (Mode C), which only broadcasts in even 100 foot increments.

Because U.S. Military Officers have concealed the transcripts of the interviews of the TIC, and other witnesses, and tape recordings, we (the public) have no idea of anybody’s imperfect recollection of who said what to whom and when and why.

“ The mistakes in shouting out range probably wouldn’t have substantially affected the outcome.”

Frank C. Carlucci (Secretary of Defense), Press Briefing, Aug. 19 1988, p.6

We are unable to determine whether the phantom descent was a fabrication invented to mask the unlawful Rules of Engagement, or whether Lustig actually thought he heard what his computer console, staring him in the face, plainly disproved in real time. Lustig may have been simply a willing participant in a cover-up of unlawful Rules of Engagement issued by a chain of command which later rewarded him, and Rogers, with honors, presumably a payoff for being faithful liars — a leadership quality essential to enter the highest ranks of U.S. Military Officers.

Given the concealed evidence, however, we can only observe that Crist’s bold unequivocal explanation, for Rogers’ false Operation Report — blaming the TIC for Lustig’s failings — is contrary to the evidence before us.

Crowe was more faithful to the evidence and, again, declined to hide with Crist:

“d.  ... The investigation established that the range and altitude information passed to the Commanding Officer was correct until the contact reached approximately 15NM. The time was 0653:45Z. Shortly thereafter, at a range between 15 and 12 miles, the Tactical Information Coordinator (TIC) reported that the altitude (which he estimated had previously reached 11,000 feet) was decreasing. At that moment, the Commanding Officer was rapidly reaching a point of no return with his Standard missiles and was inside the potential Iranian air-to-surface missile threat envelope. The TIC testified that he reported declining altitude at 11 miles {ie: after Rogers turned the firing key}, possibly 10 miles, and at nine miles. The last report was given as the missiles went off the rail {06:54:22} and played no part in the process — the firing order had been give a few seconds earlier at 0654:05Z. {IR655 was at 12 miles at 06:54:00} Actually, the investigation concluded that the time from the first report of decreasing altitude to the decision to fire was in the neighborhood of 20 to 30 seconds.”

William J. Crowe Jr. (Admiral, Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff), DoD Report, Endorsement, p.4-5, ¶ 5 (August 18 1988).

{More to come}

Sedition

When a U.S. Military Officer issues an unlawful order, most of the people listening to this order will not appreciate, at first, that it is a unlawful order. Such is the presumptions and trust which attend a chain of command hiped-up continuously on unrelenting propaganda about how wonderful they are and how subhuman their opponents are.

Reinforcing this climate of acceptance is Adolph Hitler’s law, adopted by the U.S. Military, criminalizing criticism of the leader (superior officers). This law, violating fundamental human rights and the U.S. Constitution (outside the military), is an essential core law of any fascist criminal corrupt chain-of-command, whose criminal activities can not long survive the sunshine of public scrutiny and political debate.

But, those who do appreciate that the order is unlawful, or have doubts about it, will stew on this betrayal by their commanders, enlisting into a violent unlawful, prima facie criminal, enterprise innocent patriotic loyal immature young men and women. Easily deceived, by reason of their youth, ignorance, naivety, and deference to their elders and officers, these young people, after the action, and later in their lives, will (many of them) come to understand what they did, and they will hate their commanders, who tricked, betrayed, and deceived them into implementing a violent unlawful, and prima facie criminal, action. And, they will vow not to be tricked, betrayed, and deceived a second time.

Some, though, will happily participate — and are groomed and flattered and medelled for their criminal inclinations and actions — because they rightly believe their commanders will shield them and their extrajudicial executions. They like the action and they know the route to the top of a violent corrupt chain-of-command.

We’ve seen such at work in the field, on TV: Johnny Span, CIA Agent, promising death if his American PoW (John Walker Lindh) in Afghanistan would not say what Span wanted him to say. And U.S. Military Intelligence Officers in Baghdad threatening the same to wounded PoWs (withholding medical care).

This is reminiscent of sedition, by those U.S. Military Officers who decide to issue, or transmit, or obey a criminal order. They don’t have “specific intent” to incite mutiny among their forces. Their specific intent is to preserve their career prospects by obeying their superiors, and glory, among their isolated secret fraternity of senior U.S. Military Officers and in the annals of U.S. Military history, action-packed with criminal glory.

But they have “general intent,” because they can foresee what their criminal action causes, namely: “insubordination, disloyalty, mutiny, or refusal of duty by any member of the military or naval forces of the United States,” those patriots who wish to obey their legal duty to disobey an unlawful order:

Sec. 2387. Activities affecting armed forces generally

(a)  Whoever, with intent to interfere with, impair, or influence the loyalty, morale, or discipline of the military or naval forces of the United States:

(1)  advises, counsels, urges, or in any manner causes or attempts to cause insubordination, disloyalty, mutiny, or refusal of duty by any member of the military or naval forces of the United States; or

(2)  distributes or attempts to distribute any written or printed matter which advises, counsels, or urges insubordination, disloyalty, mutiny, or refusal of duty by any member of the military or naval forces of the United States —

Shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than ten years, or both, and shall be ineligible for employment by the United States or any department or agency thereof, for the five years next following his conviction.

(b)  For the purposes of this section, the term “military or naval forces of the United States” includes the Army of the United States, the Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, Coast Guard, Naval Reserve, Marine Corps Reserve, and Coast Guard Reserve of the United States; and, when any merchant vessel is commissioned in the Navy or is in the service of the Army or the Navy, includes the master, officers, and crew of such vessel.”

18 U.S.C. § 2387.

{More to come}

Sidewinders? Stingers?

The failure to arm Vincennes with intermediate-range air defense:

“(4)  The Iranians have Maverick missiles. Each missile can be launched from ranges of .5 to 13 NM and television guided. The launching aircraft must be able to keep visual track of the target but does not have to illuminate the target with radar.

(5)  Although there has been no record of F-14s being used for iron bomb attacks, the aircraft is capable of being modified to be used in that role. To use iron bombs, the F-14 would have to close to within 2 NM of the target. That information was included in the intelligence information provided to USS Vincennes on inchop.

(6)  The most recent, confirmed Iranian Air Force anti-shipping attack was on 2 February 1988 when 2 Iranian F-4s launched Maverick Missiles at the Liberian Tanker, Petrobulk Pilot, at 30 NM SSW of the point where USS Vincennes launched its missiles on 3 July.”

“(o)  Iranian F-14s have an air-to-surface capability with Maverick missiles, iron bombs, and modified Eagle unguided rockets {2 NM?}.

(p) TN 4131 could have been a suicide attack.” {0 NM}

William M. Fogarty (Rear Admiral, U.S. Navy, Director of Policy and Plans, U.S. Central Command), DoD Report, p.10, ¶ III.A.1(c)(4-6); p.44, ¶ IV.A.9(o-p).

Fogarty well knew Iran’s pre-1979 F-14s (fighters, not fighter-bombers) were not fitted to launch Maverick missiles, only its F-4s.

The postulated “Eagle unguided rockets” — if they existed at all, and were not a mere imaginary supposition by U.S. intelligence officers — were a non-deployed experimental prototype air-launched version of a big unguided ground-artillery rocket, which had a CEP (Circular Error Probability) of 0.6 miles at its 25-mile range. This means that half of the rockets fired would miss their target by more than 6-10ths of a mile.

An aircraft cannot launch an unguided rocket at a target it cannot see. The haze on the day reduced visibility to 5 miles, according to U.S. officials.

An aircraft launching an unguided rocket from 12,500 feet altitude would have to allow for the wind, and its variability down the column of air, especially at a range of 12 n.miles For this, you need artillery balloons, to maintain a constant map of the air column. And without them, a pilot can only guess about the wind, from his own drift at his particular altitude, if he can perceive it, and allow for it within the tight tolerance of targeting.

In the history of the world, I don’t suppose there’s ever been a pilot who launched an unguided rocket at a target 12 n.miles away. Or even 5 n.miles. Hoping to hit anything. Or even 3 n.miles. But I’ll have to research this.

An aircraft at 12,500 feet altitude can not launch a rocket in a nose-up attitude (climbing). It would have to go nose-down, and point itself at the warship.

When Rogers turned his firing key, Iran Air 655 was nose-up and climbing. It was 12-miles away, out of sight behind 7 miles of thick haze. And, it was not pointed at the warship. It was on course to pass wide of the warship by more than 3-miles.

“[T]he report indicates that Iranian F-14s were thought to be armed with “modified Eagle” missiles/unguided rockets. Department of Defense sources believe that these are modified versions of the Oghab surface to surface missile. ...

Between 29 February and 21 April 1988, Iran and Iraq engaged in what has become known as the Second “War of the Cities.” Over the 52 days of this battle, Iran made extensive use of the Oghab, launching approximately 253 missiles against a variety of civilian and military targets. During the first month (1 March-31 March) of the War of the Cities, the daily average of Oghabs fired was approximately 6. On 17 March, however, they fired a total of 32. During the second month (1 April-21 April), this daily average declined to three.

These 253 Oghabs brought the total number of these fired in the entire war to approximately 365.

Query:  “Could”? As in “theoretically”? With ifs?: If they could figure-out how to fit it to the aircraft? If they could develop an aiming-sight and launch control? If they could manufacture enough to train pilots with, and to deploy? If they decided to do it? CJHjr

Development of the Oghab continued through 1987 and 1988. According to US Navy sources, by early 1988 an air-launched version of the Oghab had been developed that could be carried by the F-4 and F-14 fighters”.

Iran Profile, “Long-Range Artillery Rocket Programs” (Center for Nonproliferation Studies, Monterey Institute of International Studies, Updated January 2004).

“The Oghab has a range of only about 25 miles, a 650 lb. warhead and, because it is unguided, it has a CEP of about .6 miles even at that small range. Launched from trucks, Iran fired about 300 during the war against Iraq, suggesting that Iran manufactured about 250 of them, the others being supplied by China.”

Kenneth Katzman, “Iran’s Long Range Missile Capabilities”, in Commission to Assess the Ballistic Missile Threat to the United States (Rumsfeld Commission Report), 15 July 1998, Appendix III: Unclassified Working Papers.

Capt. Rogers:  The aircraft was warned, warned a number of times, continued to close. Time is a demon here. If I have a long time to sort things out, you’re going to take more time to look at this and more time to look at that, but when you don’t have time, you basically take what you have, and you’re— at some point in time, you have to make the decision. I was having— I had difficulty at 20 miles. I just did not want to shoot. I could not believe that this was really happening to us. So I held my fire. When the aircraft reached a little over 10 miles, at that point in time I either make the decision then, or I don’t make it at all, because I reach minimum weapons range. And the decision was made at that, and it intercepted and killed the aircraft.”

Nightline, July 1 1992.

6th Caller [Washington, D.C.]: Captain, my question is about the information you had at the time. What were your final two considerations prior to giving the order to launch the missile?

Capt. Rogers:  The final two considerations would be, A, did he respond to that last final desperate warning, which had been put out at about the range of around 12 miles? {20 n.miles from the Vincennes, which did not ask the pilot to do anything, 15 n.miles from the Sides, when the pilot was about to broadcast on another frequency}.

The second consideration was that, if I did not make the decision to engage at something under 10 miles, the decision would be made for me because he would be well within my minimum range of my weapons, at which point I had no decision left.”

Larry King Live, July 2 1992.

Query: Were the Vincennes’s two helicopters fitted with Sidewinder and/or Sparrow missiles and therefore able to provide CAP for the Vincennes (Combat Air Patrol)?

{More to come}

SSES: Ship’s Signal Exploitation Space

“ The Ship’s Signal Exploitation Space (SSES) is that space in the ship, physically separated from the CIC, that collects tactical intelligence on a real-time basis. The information is evaluated in the SSES and, if appropriate, is passed to the Combat Information Center for use in the tactical situation.”

W. Fogarty, CentCom, Senate Hearing, p.54

Senator Carl Levin:  On page 6 of your report, paragraph 4, you indicate that Flight 655 was directed by the Bandar Abbas tower to begin a normal climb to an assigned altitude of 14,000 feet, to squawk Mode III code, et cetera. How do we know that?

Admiral Fogarty:  Sir, I have to talk to that in closed session. I cannot discuss that at this level.

Senator Levin:  We were not in touch with that tower?

Admiral Fogarty:  No, sir.”

William M. Fogarty (Rear Admiral, Director of Policy and Plans, U.S. Central Command, U.S. Department of Defense), Senate Hearing, p.25 (Sept. 8 1988), referring to DoD, p.6, ¶ D.4. (July 28 1988).

{More to come}

“Operation Praying Mantis”

“68. The Court notes that the attacks on the Salman and Nasr platforms were not an isolated operation, aimed simply at the oil installations, as had been the case with the attacks of 19 October 1987; they formed part of a much more extensive military action, designated “Operation Praying Mantis”, conducted by the United States against what it regarded as “legitimate military targets”; armed force was used, and damage done to a number of targets, including the destruction of two Iranian frigates and other Iranian naval vessels and aircraft.”

Iran v. United States (“Oil Platforms”) (U.N. I.C.J.: International Court of Justice, The Hague, Judgment on the Merits, November 6 2003) {29.1mb.pdf, source}:

“125. The Court, (1) By fourteen votes to two, Finds that the actions of the United States of America against Iranian oil platforms on 19 October 1987 and 18 April 1988 cannot be justified as measures necessary to protect the essential security interests of the United States of America under ... the 1955 Treaty ... as interpreted in the light of international law on the use of force ...”

Iran could not recover damages, because President Reagan withdrew the United States from the compulsory jurisdiction of the Court (April 6 1984), in a desperate unsuccessful to prevent Nicaragua from suing the U.S. for its war (1981-1990), unlawful, as the Court later held (June 27 1986).

The U.S. has ever since refused to be held accountable for its wrongdoing under such general principles of international law. Only for fractions of its wrongdoing which constitute violation of certain treaties which prevent the U.S. from disabling the Court’s jurisdiction (unless the U.S. withdraws from such treaties). Lawsuits based on such treaties rarely encompass the full extent of U.S. wrongdoing.

Likewise Iran’s lawsuit against the United States for the ambush of Iran Air 655. Yet, as in its Oil Platform case, Iran managed to frame a lawsuit for the ambush also as treaty violations. These treaties too did not embrace the full extent of U.S. wrongdoing in its ambush of Iran Air Flight 655.

{More to come}

Brown & Root Fire-Base Barges

{Coming up}

The Small Boats: Stop and Search
The Law of Blockade

“ Iran has intercepted hundreds of commercial vessels in the past years, searching for Iraq-bound war-related cargo.”

Associated Press, Aug. 20 1988, AP880820-0023

Iran-Iraq War (Sept. 22 1980–1988 July 18). Interfering with Stop and Search: an act of war.

{Coming up}

Offensive ‘Self-Defense’

{Coming up}

Red-Alert

“It’s certainly not our job to make sure that the Iranian military communicates with Bandar Abbas airport. ... All we can do is hold the Iranians responsible for sending a civilian aircraft into a zone where they had initiated a fire fight.”

William J. Crowe Jr. (Admiral, Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff), Press Briefing, August 19 1988, p.14.

{Coming up}

Watch Stations

{Coming up}

Commander’s Computer Ignorance

{Coming up}

ICAO (mis-)Report

{Coming up}

Presumptions, Pre-Emptive Self-Defense

{Coming up}

Laws of War

The U.S. was not engaged in an “armed conflict” with Iran, in 1988. The legality of force employed by U.S. Military Officers against Iranian targets was governed by the law of peace.

A nation desiring to claim protection of the laws of war, to excuse the violence it metes out, must first declare war, and thereby give notice and reasons and an ultimatum to the opponent and an opportunity to reply, as required by customary international law and enunciated by Hague-3 {copy} (Oct. 18 1907), ratified by the U.S. (Nov. 27 1909).

If the U.S. Congress had declared war on Iran, Iran Air 655 would never have embarked on its flight in the normal way that it did, illustrating one of the important purposes of declaring war (notice).

However, under the targeting laws of war, the ambush of IR655 by the Vincennes would have been unlawful as well, just as it was under the law of peace.

{More to come}

Negligence v. Culpability

{Coming up}

State Responsibility

{Coming up}

Warsaw Convention

{Coming up}

Above the Law?

“The result would be no different if the downing of the civilian plane had been deliberate rather than the result of error. The combatant activities exception applies whether U.S. military forces hit a prescribed or an unintended target, whether those selecting the target act wisely or foolishly, whether the missiles we employ turn out to be “smart” or dumb, whether the target we choose performs the function we believe it does or whether our choice of an object for destruction is a result of error or miscalculation. In other words, it simply does not matter for purposes of the “time of war” exception whether the military makes or executes its decisions carefully or negligently, properly or improperly. It is the nature of the act and not the manner of its performance that counts. Thus, for purposes of liability under the {976 F.2d 1328, 1336} FTCA, it is of no significance whether a plane that is shot down is civilian or military, so long as the person giving the order or firing the weapon does so for the purpose of furthering our military objectives or of defending lives, property, or other interests. To put it in the terms of the statute, the only question that need be answered is whether the challenged action constituted combatant activity during time of war.”

Stephen Reinhardt (Circuit Judge), Koohi v. United States, 976 F.2d 1328, 1335-1336 (9th Cir., No. 90-16107, Oct. 8 1992), cert. denied, 508 U.S. 960 (June 7 1993).

Why do people hate America?

This decision applies the U.S. Federal Tort Claims Act, declaring that Iran Air Flight 655 was ambushed during a “time of war” within the meaning of that Act, which exempts the United States of America from paying damages for the unlawful violence of the U.S. Military. 28 U.S.C. § 2680(j) (Federal Tort Claims Act, “combatant activities” exception).

This decision does not interpret the laws of war and does not purport to hold that this supposed “time of war” was an “armed conflict”.

Does this mean the Congress of the United States of America, “We the People,” are the final judge of our own wrongdoing? Do we get the final say whether or not we will pay? And as for our victims, fcuk you and fcuk off?

Or is there another legal remedy available to the victims of wrongdoing by the United States of America? And to Hell with its Congress?

It’s this Act of Congress, the Federal Tort Claims Act, which legalizes violent international countermeasures against the United States, and against its (sort of) innocent citizens — “sort of,” because they continue to vote for people who will not amend the Federal Tort Claims Act.

This, and Reagan’s withdrawal (April 6 1984) of the United States from the compulsory jurisdiction of the United Nations International Court of Justice in The Hague, in a desperate (unsuccessful) effort to prevent Nicaragua from bringing the United States to that Bar of Justice (April 9 1984) for Reagan’s unlawful war against that nation (1981-1990) and to give himself a free hand to wage his unlawful violent enterprises against other nations during his reign without the embarrassment of 15 judges condemning him.

This, and the decision by Reagan, and by the Congress, to disobey the order of that Court, which the United States had agreed to obey, to terminate its unlawful war against Nicaragua and to pay damages. Nicaragua v. United States (U.N. I.C.J., June 27 1986).

This violent remedy, because Congress by licensing the U.S. Military and CIA to wage violent crimes and torts, exempt from the rule of law and free from accountability in a U.S. Court, and Reagan by running and hiding the United States from the Bar of Justice in the U.N. Court, deny a peaceable remedy — a determination of wrongdoing, an apology, and damages — to the victims of unlawful violence by the U.S. Military and the CIA and their proxies. These United States Officers have decided to deny all peaceable remedies to the victims of U.S. wrongdoing and to accord them only one legal remedy, should they choose to pursue it: violence, an eye-for-an-eye.

To defend themselves from the grim determination of the United States to continue its unlawful violence in the future — this is what refusal to apologize and pay damages, or else consent to litigation, demonstrates — foreign victim nations are left with no other remedy to protect themselves in the future but to demonstrate in return, if they choose to do so, the price U.S. citizens can expect to pay for such future unlawful violence, for standing by, indifferent to the suffering their armed forces and CIA unlawfully inflict and their proxies for hire:– An eye for an eye for the past unlawful violence, and an expectation of more of the same in the future. For so long as U.S. citizens choose to continue to vote that their nation remain above the rule of law, inflicting their unlawful violence, as and when it suits their elected leaders to do so, without accountability under the rule of law.

This law of violent international countermeasures is not a ballot-item in U.S. elections, to accept or reject as the voters may desire. And it’s not within the jurisdiction of the U.S. Congress to amend or repeal. It’s a legal remedy in the hands of victim-nations, for their self-defense, should they be so bold, so resolute to exercise it, a reply to “fcuk you and fcuk off.

And, they are free at their option to employ the services of any group of law-enforcement officers ready willing and able to conduct the violent countermeasure — a.k.a. “terrorists,” in the Orwellian NewSpeak of U.S. Officers desperate to divert attention from their own personal responsibility for inciting and converting into a lawful law-enforcement action what would otherwise be a criminal act. And what could easily be avoided by a simple “I’m sorry”, an admission of wrongdoing, and payment of damages, or else consent to binding litigation, arbitration, or other cooperative dispute resolution.

{More to come}

And as for Pan Am 103 (Dec. 21 1988, 270 victims)?:–


“ [A]bsolute abandonment of all claim of our citizens for indemnification and submissive acquiescence in national indignity ... would have encouraged in these lawless men a spirit of insolence and rapine most dangerous to the lives and property of our citizens ... and probably emboldened them ... or ... leave them impressed with the idea that they might persevere with impunity.”

Franklin Pierce (U.S. President), State of the Union message, December 4 1854, justifying the destruction of a town in Nicaragua by the U.S. Military as a countermeasure for supposed wrongdoing by occupants of the town.


“ Charlayne Hunter-Gault:  What about the Ayatollah Khomeini’s warning that there would be retaliation on air travelers?

The Chargé in London said there would be tit for tat. Which has in part raised concern about the American hostages.

Is that concern unfounded?

Mohammad Ja-Afar Mahallati:  You will remember, and you can recall, that through war of Iraqis, that for many years, Iraqi used chemical warfare against Iranians. And we never retaliated. Because we abide by our Islamic principles.

And this is a principle that we always abide by. We act upon our own Islamic principles. Which to some extent covered international regulations. ...

We will use any legitimate means to exercise our right for self-defense.

And therefore we, in having a self-defense act, we use all legitimate means and ways in order to punish this act of terrorism.

Not merely to punish. Punish for punishment. But punishment to prevent further occurrence or recurrence of such unfortunate incidents.”

Mohammad Ja-Afar Mahallati (Iran’s Ambassador to the United Nations), The MacNeil/Lehrer NewsHour, July 4 1988, Transcript #3206 (Public Broadcasting Corporation).

______________________


“ God:  We gave Moses the Book ... explaining all things in detail ... So follow it and be righteous. {6:154-155} ...

God:  We revealed the Torah. Therein was guidance and light. ...

We ordained therein for them:

“Life for life, eye for eye, nose for nose, ear for ear, tooth for tooth, and wounds equal for equal.” ...

We sent Jesus the son of Mary, confirming the Law that had come before him. We sent him the Gospel. Therein was guidance and light. {5:43-46} ...

God:  And those who, when an oppressive wrong is inflicted on them, help and defend themselves:

The recompense for an injury is an injury equal thereto.

But if a person forgives and makes reconciliation, his reward is due from God, for (God) loveth not those who do wrong.

But indeed, if any do help and defend themselves, after a wrong to them, against such there is no cause of blame. The blame is only against those who oppress men, and wrong-doing, and insolently transgress beyond bounds, through the land, defying right and justice.

But indeed if any show patience and forgive, that would truly be an exercise of courageous will and resolution in the conduct of affairs. {42:39-43}.”

Koran (Qur'an, Qu'ran), (Noble)

“ Then the Lord said to Moses:

God:  Tell the Israelites this: You have seen for yourselves that I have spoken to you from heaven: ...

These are the laws you are to set before them: ...

If there is serious injury, you are to take life for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot, burn for burn, wound for wound, bruise for bruise.”

Bible, Exodus 20:22; 21:1, 23-25
Torah, Exodus 20:19; 21:1, 23-25

“ The Lord said to Moses: ...

God:  If anyone injures his neighbor, whatever he has done must be done to him: fracture for fracture, eye for eye, tooth for tooth. As he has injured the other, so he is to be injured.”

Bible, Leviticus 24:1, 19-20
Torah, Leviticus 24:1, 19-20

“ Moses proclaimed to the Israelites all that the Lord had commanded him concerning them. ... East of the Jordan in the territory of Moab, Moses began to expound this law, saying: ...

Moses:  You must purge the evil from among you. The rest of the people will hear of this and be afraid, and never again will such an evil thing be done among you. Show no pity: life for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot.”

Bible, Deuteronomy 1:3, 5; 19:16-21
Torah, Deuteronomy 1:3, 5; 19:16-21


Raw radar returns (undigitized)

Mr. Bennett:  I read in the press that there was some lesser type of radar or something that did have an ability to see the plane rather than just a speck. Is that corrrect?

Not correct?

Captain George N. Gee:  There are some single target, non-cooperative target recognition developmental programs underway in the Department of Defense.

Mr. Bennett:  I am talking about in the fleet. Any of them in the fleet? Any of them on ships?

Captain Gee:  None in the fleet, no sir. There is one experimental processor, which is aboard one fleet unit, which is being prototyped right now.

Mr. Bennett:  It wasn’t on the Sides? Sides had no equipment—

Captain Gee:  No. sir. They did not have any additional equipment.

Admiral Robert J. Kelly:  Captain Gee is referring to surface units. It is a little bit different story when talking about systems that are attached to aircraft, but that is beyond the classification of this hearing, sir. ...

[The following information was received for the record:]

Non-Cooperative target recognition

The Navy is currently working on a non-cooperative syustem to positively identify aircraft. This system does not rely on intereaction with the aircraft of interest, as is requied in a classical “question and answer” IFF system. [Deleted.]

Background

[Deleted.] Over 50 civilian and military aircraft are in the SARTIS library. ...

Current Efforts

[Deleted.] As compared to Electro-optic identification alternatives, SARTIS is not effected {sic: affected} by weather, time of day, or surface humidity. [Deleted.] ...

Limitations

SARTIS is tactically limited in its support of AAW {anti-air warfare}. The system can identify [deleted].”

House Hearings, p.180-181.

{More to come}

______________________


The questions nobody asked

{Coming up}


This figures later in the discussion:

Aircraft transponders have a dedicated altimeter, locked to a “standard” barometric pressure of 1013.25 hPa (29.92 inches of mercury) (QNE). This is 15 millibars higher than the actual air pressure at the Bandar Abbas airport when Iran Air Flight 655 took-off: 998 hPa (29.47 inches of mercury) (QNH) (as adjusted by ISA standard formula to mean sea level pressure).

Now what does this mean? If the pilot, sitting at the gate prior to departure, had briefly set his flight panel altimeter to match his transponder altimeter (1013.2 hPa), he would have seen an altitude roughly 400 feet below sea level (about 28 feet per millibar).

When he set his flight panel altimeter to the actual air pressure reported to him by the tower (“QNH 998” hPa), he would have seen an altitude of 22 feet (the runway elevation).

This roughly 425 foot difference is due to the actual air pressure on the day at the airport (adjusted down, 22 feet, to mean sea level) (QNH 998 hPa), being lower than the transponder’s “standard” pressure setting (QNE 1013.25 hPa). This actual airport air pressure reflects the heat and humidity on the day.

According to the DoD report, which did not comment on this topic, IR655’s transponder broadcast a pressure altitude (QNE) (flight level) of about 525 feet lower than the aircraft’s actual altitude, as perceived by the Vincennes warship’s radar.

See DoD, ¶ (g), p.28, and add 75 feet to the transponder’s broadcast altitude, to reflect the aircraft’s climbing rate of 25 feet per second (1500 feet/minute) during the 3 seconds prior to the warship’s radar reading.

The warship radar thus showed the AirBus to be 100 feet higher than the airport air pressure accounts for. Query: Did the warship radar computer program fail to adjust down to sea level for the height of the radar above the sea? Was the tide up (above mean sea level) and, with it, the floating warship? Was the air temperature aloft a factor: At 10,000 feet, 5 minutes after the ambush, it was 2.3°C higher (ICAO, ¶ 1.7, pp.4-5) than called for by the ISA “lapse rate” to which altimeters are calibrated. ISA specifies, in its model of the atmosphere, temperature declining with altitude at a lapse rate of 1.98°C per 1000 feet, on average. This likely accounts for 10-20 feet, though which way (up or down) I’m not (at the moment) sure. (I’ll calculate it later).

The DoD and ICAO both omitted to comment on the 525 foot difference between the pressure altitude (flight level) broadcast by the aircraft’s transponder and its actual altitude, as perceived by the warship’s radar. Indeed, the anonymous ICAO report-writers even asserted erroneous conclusions based on a disregard of this difference. This, even though the worldwide International Standard Atmosphere model (ISA), as well as the mandatory “standard” pressure setting for transponders, were both promulgated by none other than ICAO itself, an organization devoted solely to civil aviation, and surely peopled with experts who would instantly appreciate this difference. (I’ll detail these erroneous conclusions later).

To avoid mid-air collisions, due to altimeters set at different air pressures, all pilots are required (by ICAO and by national Air Traffic Control authorities, implementing ICAO rules) to reset their flight-panel altimeter to 1013.2 millibars anywhere in the world above the local “transition altitude” (4,000-feet at Bandar Abbas). To avoid collision with the ground, and obstacles on the surrounding terrain, pilots below the “transition altitude” are required to set the actual air pressure, as broadcast by the ground station then controlling the plane, if it’s flying IFR (instrument flight rules), or by the nearest ground station if it’s flying VFR (visual flight rules).

In obedience to these rules, the Iran Air pilot correctly reported his actual height above sea-level when passing 3550 feet, because he was below the 4,000 foot transition altitude at Bandar Abbas, which was both his closest station and his control station as well, because he was flying IFR within the Terminal Control Area, under the control of Bandar Abbas Approach/Departure Control, located at the airport tower. In order to make that report, the pilot, prior to take-off, had correctly set his flight panel altimeter to the actual airport air pressure broadcast by the airport tower (“QNH 998” millibars). Or (the short-cut method), he likely set his altimeter to read 22 feet (while sitting on the ground), because he knew that to be the airport altitude; this automatically sets the altimeter to the actual air pressure.

Meanwhile, his transponder (locked to 1013.25 millibars) (QNE) was simultaneously broadcasting, in ascending 100 foot increments, an altitude of 525 feet lower than his actual altitude as perceived by the warship radar, in reply to each pulse from the warship radar.

In his next report, the Iran Air pilot correctly reported his altitude as flight level 70 (“pressure altitude”), having already passed the 4,000 foot transition altitude. In order to make that report, the pilot had meanwhile already correctly reset his flight panel altimeter to 1013.2 millibars (the flight level standard pressure), as his duty required him to do in order to comply with international Air Traffic Control flight rules.

Hence, what the pilot thereafter saw on his flight panel altimeter (above 4,000 feet actual) was the same altitude which his transponder was simultaneously broadcasting. This pressure altitude (flight level), which the pilot saw on his altimeter, was 525 feet below the actual altitude perceived by the warship radar.

This 525 foot difference is possibly significant. If the warship radio-talker broadcast a warning specifying the warship’s radar altitude value, as a means of informing which pilot in the area he was addressing, the Iran Air pilot might not have recognized himself, above 4,000 feet. This 525 foot difference was not great, particularly when the aircraft was climbing at 1,500 feet per minute. Yet, it was not accurate either, and it would likely cause uncertainty and hesitation in the mind of the pilot, wondering whether he was the one the warship radio-talker was talking about. This, had the warning been broadcast on the frequency the pilot was certain to be monitoring (which it wasn’t).

The warship radio-talker himself would not be negligent, however, in wrongly speaking the warship radar altitude value, if that’s what his talking-script ordered him to speak. If the talking-script did not specify which altitude value to speak, then he was negligent if he omitted to inquire from his superior officers which altitude value he should speak.

Of course, the superior officers of the warship radio-talker were themselves recklessly negligent, in the first place: (1) by providing him with a faulty talking-script, because it did not require him to speak the squawk-code, if any, broadcast by the aircraft’s transponder, uniquely identifying which aircraft he wished to speak with and, for this reason, a binding protocol of international Air Traffic Control regulations, (2) by ordering him to tune his VHF radio to 121.5 MHz, instead of first the Tower and then the Approach Control published frequencies of Bandar Abbas airport (118.1 MHz, 124.2 MHz), which the aircraft was required to monitor by binding international Air Traffic Control regulations, and (3) by providing a faulty talking-script, if it did not specify that the radio-talker must speak the transponder altitude value (mode-C) broadcast by the aircraft, if any, and not the warship’s radar altitude value.


“ Rogers was given the Legion of Merit award for his performance as commanding officer of the Vincennes, to which he was assigned in April, 1987. A letter written on behalf of President Bush by Navy Sec. H. Lawrence Garrett III described Rogers’ “superb professionalism, confidence and exceptional leadership and dedication to excellence.”

During the ship’s tour in the Persian Gulf, Rogers’ “tactical skills and calm direction enabled his crew to successfully engage seven heavily armed high-speed Iranian surface craft” attacking the Vincennes in “confined and confused waters,” the letter stated. “As a result, five craft were destroyed and two retreated.“

The letter made no mention of the Iranian airliner, which Rogers ordered shot down that day in the mistaken belief that it was an Iranian fighter plane.”

Jane Fritsch, “Rogers Steps Down as Vincennes Skipper Captain, Also Honored for Actions During Tour of Duty in Persian Gulf,” © Copyright 1989 Los Angeles Times,
May 28 1989, San Diego Edition, p.14

Footnotes

 1  IR655’s flight plan route followed airway A59W from Bandar Abbas to Dubai defined by navigation radios, or radio intersections (“waypoints”), at these geographical coordinates then in effect: Bandar Abbas VOR (BND), situated near the center of the runway: 27.13.1N, 056.22.8E — 30 n.miles to — MOBET: 26.46.3N, 056.09.1E — 39 n.miles to — DARAX: 28.09.7N, 055.53.0E (also referred to as “FIR,” the Flight Information Region boundary between the Tehran ACC (Area Control Centre) and the Emirates ACC — 54 n.miles to — Sharjah VOR (SHJ): 25.19.7N, 055.31.2E — 9 n.miles to — Dubai VOR (DUB). Source:  RAC 3-2-2, ATS (Air Traffic Services) Route, AIP (Aeronautical Information Publication), Directorate General of Civil Aviation, General Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA), United Arab Emirates, Dec. 15 1988). IR655 flight plan: ICAO, p.D-17.

The airway, the navigation radio frequencies and waypoints, and their geographical coordinates, are — then and now — specified by the United Nations International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) who, in the case of the physical radio facilities, regularly inspect and certify their location and operational status. These details are published on all aviation charts and by the national aviation authorities, such as the U.S. Federal Aviation Authority (FAA).

 2  The “MOBET 1 BRAVO departure” at Bandar Abbas was very nearly a straight ahead climb, on course 203°, which is also the initial heading for airway A59W, IR655’s flight plan route. The runway 21 heading was then 206° magnetic. The magnetic variation at the airport at about that time was 1° 35′ East. Adding that to the runway’s magnetic heading gives the true heading of runway 21: 207° 35′.

Sources:  Civil Aviation Organization of Iran, AIP AGA 2-1 (Sept. 29 1986) (magnetic variation). “Bandar Abbas, Iran,” Jeppesen Sanderson Inc., Englewood Colorado, 1987 (departure route, runway magnetic heading). These chart pages, commercially published in the United States by a subsidiary (now) of the Boeing Corporation, diagram the airport, the runway headings, the departure routes, and all airways to and from the airport; specify the radio frequencies then in use: Tower: 118.10 MHz, Approach/Departure Control: 124.20 MHz; Ground Control: 121.90 MHz; navigation VOR: 113.1 BND; and specify the ATC transition level altitude (4,000 feet), at which pilots must reset their flight panel altimeter to 1013.2 millibars (if climbing) or to the reported local actual ground-level air pressure (if descending).

Sources

I plan to post most or all of these sources. CJHjr:

Admiralty Chart 2888, widths: 620px, 780px, 1000px, 1263px, 1580px. Space Shuttle photo: Hormuz

Press Briefing, July 3 1988, Sunday, 1:30 p.m. EDT, Pentagon: William J. Crowe Jr. (Admiral, U.S. Navy, Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff), “Defense Department Briefing on Current Developments in the Persian Gulf, Briefer: Admiral William Crowe, Chairman JCS, Sunday, July 3, 1988” (Federal News Service transcript).

Ronald W. Reagan (U.S. President), “Statement on the Destruction of an Iranian Jetliner by the United States Navy Over the Persian Gulf (Camp David Maryland, July 3 1988), Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States: Ronald Reagan, 1988-89, page 920 (book 2) {SuDoc: AE 2.114:988-89/BK.2, ISSN: 0079-7626, LCCN: 58061050, DL, LFDL, WorldCat}.

U.N. Doc. S/19979 {44kb.pdf}: “Letter dated 3 July 1988 from the acting permanent representative of the Islamic Republic of Iran to the United Nations addressed to the Secretary-General,” attaching a letter dated July 3 1988 from Ali-Akbar Velayati (Iran minister for foreign affairs) to the U.N. Secretary-General.

Ronald W. Reagan (U.S. President), “Questions and Answers with President Reagan Regarding USS Vincennes Shooting Down of Iranian Aircraft,” White House South Lawn, 12:00 P.M. EDT, Monday, July 4 1988 (Federal News Service, transcript, id=19880704z0052), AP880704-0133. “The plane began lowering its altitude.”

Ronald W. Reagan (U.S. President), Report on United States Military Action (White House, July 4 1988) (U.S. Congress 100-2, House Document 100-210, July 6 1988) {SuDoc: Y 1.1/7:100-210, Serial Set: 13880, CIS: 88 H380-8}; accord: Ronald W. Reagan, “Letter to the Speaker of the House of Representatives and the President Pro Tempore of the Senate on the Destruction of an Iranian Jetliner by the United States Navy Over the Persian Gulf (White House, July 4 1988), Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States: Ronald Reagan, 1988-89, pages 920-921 (book 2) {SuDoc: AE 2.114:988-89/BK.2, ISSN: 0079-7626, LCCN: 58061050, DL, LFDL, WorldCat}. “There has been no further hostile action by Iranian forces, and, although U.S. forces will remain prepared to take additional defensive action to protect our units and military personnel, we regard this incident as closed.”

U.N. Docs.

These U.N. document links {pdf} work, only after the U.N. server sets a session cookie. To get it, visit ODS, click Welcome, click Advanced Search, search once (Symbol: S/PV.2818 ), click the search result link, to reach the “mother.asp” page.  CJHjr

U.N. Doc. S/19981 {38kb.pdf}: “Letter dated 5 July from the acting permanent representative of the Islamic Republic of Iran to the United Nations addressed to the president of the Security Council,” Mohammad Ja'afar Mahallati (Iran acting permanent representative), requesting a Security Council meeting.

U.N. Doc. S/19989 {34kb.pdf}: Letter dated 6 July 1988 from Herbert S. Okun (Acting Permanent Representative of the United States of America to the United Nations) to the President of the Security Council, claiming self-defense.

Secret Senate Briefing: Committee on Armed Services met in closed joint session with the Select Committee on Intelligence to receive a briefing on the recent activities in the Persian Gulf, and the shooting down of an Iranian commercial airliner by U.S. military forces, from representatives of the Department of Defense and the Central Intelligence Agency. (U.S. Congress, Congressional Record, Daily Digest, July 6 1988, daily edition page D872, permanent volume page D460).

Ronald W. Reagan (U.S. President), “Informal Exchange with Reporters” (White House, Oval Office, July 11 1988, 10:42 a.m.), Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States: Ronald Reagan, 1988-89, page 934 (book 2) {SuDoc: AE 2.114:988-89/BK.2, ISSN: 0079-7626, LCCN: 58061050, DL, LFDL, WorldCat}. “I want to make it plain that there’s certainly going to be no compensation for the Government of Iran or anything of that kind, because we don’t feel that any such thing is called for. But as I’ve said, I think we all can have compassion for the innocent people who were the victims.”

Marlin Fitzwater (Assistant to the U.S. President for Press Relations), “Statement on United States Policy Regarding the Accidental Attack on an Iranian Jetliner Over the Persian Gulf (White House, July 11 1988), Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States: Ronald Reagan, 1988-89, page 934-935 (book 2) {SuDoc: AE 2.114:988-89/BK.2, ISSN: 0079-7626, LCCN: 58061050, DL, LFDL, WorldCat}. “...The President has decided that the United States will offer compensation, on an ex gratia basis, to the families of the victims who died in the Iranian airliner incident. Details concerning amounts, timing and other matters remain to be worked out. It should be clearly understood that payment will go to the families, not governments, and will be subject to the normal U.S. legal requirements, including, if necessary, appropriate action by Congress. ... Is is offered on a voluntary basis, not on the basis of any legal liability or obligation. ...”

U.N. Doc. S/20005 {40kb.pdf}: Letter dated July 11 1988 from Vernon A. Walters (Permanent Representative of the United States of America to the United Nations) to the President of the Security Council, attaching Marlin Fitzwater’s statement.

U.N. Doc. S/PV.2818 {9904kb.pdf} (61 pages): “Provisional Verbatim Record of the Two Thousand Eight Hundred and Eighteenth Meeting” (U.N. Security Council Meeting 2818, U.N. Headquarters, New York City, Thursday July 14 1988, 11:00am-1:00pm), C-Span video (request) {2:08:34, smil, July 14/17, 144296342, 3376-1}.

U.N. Doc. S/PV.2819 {6809kb.pdf} (58 pages): “Provisional Verbatim Record of the 2,819th Meeting” (U.N. Security Council Meeting 2819, Friday July 15 1988, 11:15am-1:05pm).

U.N. Doc. S/PV.2820 {4561kb.pdf} (41 pages): “Provisional Verbatim Record of the 2,820th Meeting” (U.N. Security Council Meeting 2820, Monday July 18 1988, 4:15-5:30pm).

U.N. Doc. S/PV.2821 {2444kb.pdf} (17 pages): “Provisional Verbatim Record of the 2,821st Meeting” (U.N. Security Council Meeting 2821, Wednesday July 20 1988, 3:55-4:25pm).

U.N. Doc. S/Res/616 {copy, copy 144kb.pdf}: U.N. Security Council, Resolution 616, July 20 1988.

George J. Church, “High-Tech Horror” (Time, July 18 1988) {copy, txt, pf}.

DoD report: William M. Fogarty (Rear Admiral, U.S. Navy, Director of Policy and Plans, U.S. Central Command), Formal Investigation into the Circumstances Surrounding the Downing of Iran Air Flight 655 on 3 July 1988 (July 28 1988), together with Endorsement (August 5 1988) by George B. Crist (General, U.S. Marine Corps, Commander-in-Chief, U.S. Central Command), Endorsement (August 18 1988) by William J. Crowe Jr. (Admiral, U.S. Navy, Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff), Approvals (August 19 1988) by Frank C. Carlucci (Secretary of Defense) (U.S. Department of Defense, News Release No. 419-88, August 19 1988) {SuDoc: D 1.2/2:IR 1, OCLC: 18396562, WorldCat}, and as partially declassified in 1993.

Press Briefing, August 19 1988, Pentagon, Friday, 11:00 a.m.: Frank C. Carlucci (Secretary of Defense), William J. Crowe Jr. (Admiral, Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff), William M. Fogarty (Rear Admiral, U.S. Central Command), C-Span video (request) {45:08, smil, .rm, August 19, 144327685, 4065-1}.

U.S. Congress, House Hearing, Iran Air Flight 655 (U.S. Congress 100-2, House Appropriations Committee, Subcommittee on Defense, Hearing, September 8 1988) (unpublished). Witnesses: Leon A. Edney (Admiral, U.S. Navy), Vice Chief of Naval Operations; William M. Fogarty (Rear Admiral, U.S. Navy), Director, Policy and Plans, (J-5), U.S. Central Command; Robert J. Kelly (Rear Admiral, U.S. Navy), Vice Director, J-3 Operations, Joint Chiefs of Staff; George N. Gee (Rear Admiral, U.S. Navy), Combat System Division, Department of the Navy.

Investigation into the Downing of an Iranian Airliner by the U.S.S. “Vincennes” (U.S. Congress 100-2, Senate Armed Services Committee, Hearing, September 8 1988, S. Hrg. 100-1035) {SuDoc: Y 4.AR 5/3:S.HRG.100-1035, CIS: 89 S201-17, LCCN: 89601978, OCLC: 19707230, GPOCat, LL: paper, microfiche, DL, WorldCat}. Witnesses: William M. Fogarty, George N. Gee, Richard D. DeBobes, Robert J. Kelly.

Iran Air Flight 655 Compensation (U.S. Congress 100-2, House Armed Services Committee, Defense Policy Panel, Hearings, August 3-4, September 9, October 6 1988, Committee Serial H.A.S.C. No. 100-119) {SuDoc: Y 4.AR 5/2 A:987-88/119, CIS: 89 H201-60, LCCN: 89602463, OCLC: 20071376, GPOCat, LL: paper, microfiche, DL, WorldCat}, C-Span video (request), August 3 1988 hearing, “Iranian Air Compensation” {2:01:00, smil, August 3/4/7, 144313058, 3777-1}.

ICAO Report: Anonymous, Destruction of Iran Air Airbus A300 in the Vicinity of Qeshm Island, Islamic Republic of Iran on 3 July 1988, “Report of ICAO Fact-Finding Investigation, November 1988” (International Civil Aviation Organization, Appendix to “C-WP/8708 Restricted,” November 7 1988, derestricted December 7 1988), reprinted (omitting important appendixes), 28 I.L.M. 896-943 (1989).

USS Stark settlement: United States to Iraq, March 29 1989, Exchange of Notes, March 28-29 1989, 28 I.L.M. 644, 645-648 (1989) ($739,200 each):

“... concerning the claims advanced for the deaths of 37 Americans ... as a result of an attack on U.S.S. Stark on May 17, 1987 ... :

1.  The Government of the Republic of Iraq will pay to the Government of the United States of America the sum of U.S. $27,350,374 in a single payment as promptly as possible.

2.  The Government of the United States of America will accept the amount paid on behalf of all the claimants seeking compensation as a result of the deaths of the 37 individuals involved, and will be solely responsible for the distribution of the funds.

3.  The agreed amount, when fully paid as agreed, will constitute a full and final settlement of all claims concerning the deaths of the 37 individuals involved.”

Iran v. United States (“Aerial Incident of 3 July 1988”) (U.N. I.C.J.: International Court of Justice, The Hague, filed, May 17 1989) {437kb.pdf, source}, announced, “Iran brings a case against the United States” {70kb.pdf, source} (I.C.J., Communiqué, No. 89/6, May 17 1989), discontinued on settlement, “Order of 22 February 1996” {248.7kb.pdf, source}, 1996 I.C.J. 9 (February 22 1996), announced, “Case concerning the Aerial Incident of 3 July 1988 (Islamic Republic of Iran v. United States of America), Discontinuance{source, copy, source} (I.C.J., Communiqué, No. 1996/6, February 23 1996), “Settlement Agreement” {115.1kb.pdf, source}, signed February 9 1996 (U.N. I.C.J.).

First U.S. Settlement Offer (July 17 1989). “The compensation plan calls for payments of up to $250,000 to families of each full-time worker, while the families of most others would receive $100,000. ... The United States takes the position it is not liable for damages because the plane was shot down during a lawful exercise of self-defense. ... A senior department official ... said the Iran Air case was not comparable to Iraq’s payment of $700,000 for each of the 37 crew members killed in May 1987 when an Iraqi plane attacked the USS Stark, a missile frigate operating in the Persian Gulf. The official noted that the Stark twice had identified itself to the Iraqi pilot and had taken no hostile action against the plane.” John M. Goshko, “U.S. Offers Amends in Iran Jet Deaths” (The Washington Post, July 18 1989, page A14).

David R. Carlson (Captain, U.S. Navy), Commanding Officer, USS Sides (FFG-14), “The Vincennes Incident” (Proceedings, U.S. Naval Institute, Annapolis Maryland, volume 115, September 1989, pp.87-92) {LCCN: 64054905, ISSN: 0041-798X}.

Nejad v. United States, 724 F.Supp. 753 (80 kb) (C.D. Cal., Nov. 7 1989).

Koohi v. United States, 976 F.2d 1328 (80 kb) (9th Cir., Oct. 8 1992).

William C. Rogers III (former Commanding Officer, USS Vincennes), interviewed by Ted Koppel (Editor and Anchor), “The USS Vincennes: Public War, Secret War” (ABC News, Nightline, July 1 1992, transcript).

William C. Rogers III (former Commanding Officer, USS Vincennes), interviewed by Larry King, in “The True Story Behind the U.S.S. Vincennes” (CNN, Larry King Live, Transcript No. 596, July 2 1992).

William C. Rogers III (former Commanding Officer, USS Vincennes), interviewed by Scott Simon, in “Storm Center: Vincennes: Iran Air Disaster” (National Public Radio, Weekend Edition Saturday, July 4 1992).

John Barry, Roger Charles, “Sea of Lies” (Newsweek, July 13 1992).

The July 3, 1988 Attack by the Vincennes on an Iranian Aircraft (U.S. Congress 102-2, House Armed Services Committee, Subcommittee on Investigations and Defense Policy Panel, Hearing, July 21 1992, Committee Serial H.A.S.C. No. 102-77) {SuDoc: Y 4.AR 5/2 A:991-92/77, CIS: 93 H201-21, LCCN: 93231140, OCLC: 28295879, GPOCat, LL: paper, microfiche, DL, WorldCat}, C-Span video {2:11:00, July 22/25, 145315456, 27276-1}, witness: William J. Crowe Jr.

David Evans (Lieutenant Colonel, Retired, U.S. Marine Corps), “Vincennes: A Case Study,” Will Rogers (Captain, Retired, U.S. Navy), former Commanding Officer, USS Vincennes (CG-49), “Counterbattery” (pp.57-58) {52kb.html, 120 kb doc, 121 kb doc, 53kb.pdf} (Proceedings, U.S. Naval Institute, Annapolis Maryland, volume 119, August 1993) {LCCN: 64054905, ISSN: 0041-798X}.

Settlement: William J. Clinton (U.S. President, Jan. 20 1993-2001 Jan. 19), Developments Concerning the National Emergency with Respect to Iran (White House, May 16 1996) (U.S. Congress 104-2, House Document 104-214, May 16 1988) {12kb.txt, 183kb.pdf} {SuDoc Y 1.1/7:104-214, Serial Set: 14353, CIS: 96 H460-18, OCLC: 34952916, GPOCat, LL: paper, microfiche, DL, WorldCat}; “Message to the Congress Reporting on the National Emergency With Respect to Iran” (White House, May 16 1996), Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States: William J. Clinton, 1996, pages 756-758 (book 1) {11kb.html/txt, 91kb.pdf} {SuDoc: AE 2.114:996/BK.1, ISSN: 0079-7626, LCCN: 58061050, DL, LFDL, WorldCat}: “The survivors of each victim of the Iran Air shootdown will be paid $300,000 (for wage-earning victims) or $150,000 (for non-wage-earning victims).” “Settlement Agreement” {115.1kb.pdf, source}, signed February 9 1996 (U.N. I.C.J.).

William E. Brooks Jr. (Commander, retired, U.S. Naval Reserve), comment, in “Anonymous” (Comment and Discussion) (Proceedings, U.S. Naval Institute, Annapolis Maryland, volume 125, November 1999, pages 22-24) {LCCN: 64054905, ISSN: 0041-798X}.

Roger Charles (Lieutenant Colonel, retired, U.S. Marine Corps), co-author, “Sea of Lies” (Newsweek, July 13 1992), comment, in “Anonymous” (Comment and Discussion) (Proceedings, U.S. Naval Institute, Annapolis Maryland, volume 125, August 1999, pp.22-23) {LCCN: 64054905, ISSN: 0041-798X}.

M. Conrad Agresti (Lieutenant Commander, retired, U.S. Navy), on the Bridge of the USS Vincennes (CG-49) on July 3 1988, comment, in “Anonymous” (Comment and Discussion) (Proceedings, U.S. Naval Institute, Annapolis Maryland, volume 125, November 1999, pp.22-24) {LCCN: 64054905, ISSN: 0041-798X}.

Keith F. Amacker (Captain, U.S. Navy), former Executive Officer (post July 3 1988), USS Sides (FFG-14), and former Operations Officer, USS Tattnall (DDG-19) (Naval Tactical Data System (NTDS) Tactical Action Officer (TAO) and Antiair Warfare Coordinator (AAWC) during the Iran-Iraq War), comment, in “Anonymous” (Comment and Discussion) (Proceedings, U.S. Naval Institute, Annapolis Maryland, volume 125, December 1999, pp.18-20) {LCCN: 64054905, ISSN: 0041-798X}.

Reuben S. Pitts III (Head, Data Analysis Team, supporting Admiral William M. Fogarty’s Formal Investigation), comment, in “Anonymous” (Comment and Discussion) (Proceedings, U.S. Naval Institute, Annapolis Maryland, volume 126, March 2000) {LCCN: 64054905, ISSN: 0041-798X}.

More to come

 

© 2003-2004 Charles Judson Harwood Jr.

The text of U.S. Government documents, and statements of U.S. Government officials in the course of their duties, are not copyrighted.

This document may be freely copied.

CJHjr

Posted August 14 2003. Updated Feb. 3 2008.

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