December 15th, 2011
01:53 PM ET

Crashed drone was looking at Iran nuclear sites

By Tim Lister, with reporting by Kathleen Johnston and Pam Benson

The Sentinel drone that crashed in Iran last week was on a surveillance mission of suspected nuclear sites in the country, U.S. military officials tell CNN.

Previously, U.S. and NATO officials had said the drone was on a mission to patrol the Afghan-Iran border and had veered off course.

The officials say the Afghan government was unaware of the use of its territory to fly surveillance drones over Iran, and that the CIA had not informed the Defense Department of the drone's mission when reports first emerged that it had crashed.  One official told CNN that the U.S. military "did not have a good understanding of what was going on because it was a CIA mission."

In Kabul Wednesday U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta refused to comment directly on the specifics of the drone's mission but did not deny that it had been spying on Iran and said the drone program carried out "important intelligence operations which we will continue to pursue."

The RQ-170 Sentinel is one of the United States' most sophisticated drones and flies at up to 50,000 feet.  It is designed to evade sophisticated air defenses.  One former intelligence official told CNN that it's "impossible to see" and discounted Iranian claims that it had been brought down by some form of electronic counter-measures.

"It simply fell into their laps," he said - after satellite communication was lost.

An Iranian engineer working on the captured drone claimed to the Christian Science Monitor that Iran was able to overtake the drone control system and land it.  The engineer described to reporter Scott Peterson how Iran was able to exploit a vulnerability in the drone system.

House Intelligence Committee Chairman Mike Rogers said categorically that Iran had nothing to do with the fate of the aircraft.

"I will say without hesitation that this was not something that anyone had anything to do with, coming down with, other than a technical problem," he said. "I will tell you there was a technical problem that was our problem, nobody else's problem. I think there is a lot of PR going on."

But Panetta did not categorically rule out the possibility when asked whether the drone could have been taken down by a cyberattack or jamming.

"You can make all kinds of guesses at this point. Obviously there's nothing that you can rule out and nothing that you can rule in right now," Panetta told Fox News earlier this week.

The former official doubted the intelligence value of the drone to the Iranians.  For example, the sensors on the underbelly of the drone would have been badly damaged, he said. And coolant could have damaged the main computer.  The sensors are designed to detect airborne chemical traces that might come from a nuclear facility or intercept cell-phone conversations.

But Bill Sweetman, the editor in chief of Defense Technology International, believed everything inside the plane would be in one piece based on what he could see from the video released by the Iranians.  Sweetman added this aircraft did not represent the crown jewels of U.S. technology. "This is not the most advanced stealth technology out there."

Iranian officials have said the drone came down over eastern Iran, hundreds of miles from the cluster of nuclear sites in central and north-western Iran. Some said it came down close to the city of Kashmar in Khorasan province; others that it was recovered in the Tabas desert to the south-west.

The Iranian ambassador to the United Nations, Mohammad Khazaei, told CNN, "It was brought down somewhere in about some 150 miles or 250 kilometers deep into the Iranian territory in the province of Khorasan in the northern city of Tabas."

The Tabas desert is a remote region used by the U.S. military in 1980 as a staging area during the abortive attempt to rescue the hostages at the U.S. embassy in Tehran.

According to experts who follow Iran's nuclear program, this part of the country is not known for nuclear facilities.  More than a decade ago there were reports that Iran had developed an enrichment facility with North Korean help in the Tabas Desert.  But its existence was never confirmed, and an official at the International Atomic Energy Agency said its delegations had not been to the area.

David Albright, the president of the Washington-based Institute for Science and International Security (ISIS), expressed doubts that North Korea would have shared centrifuge technology with Iran at a time it was developing its own enrichment facilities.

The area is known for its uranium mines. which Iran is under no obligation to subject to international inspection.  The main mine is at Saghand in Yazd province, to the south-west of the Tabas desert.  According to ISIS, it supplies uranium ore concentrate to a facility at Ardakan.  Other mines in Iran's eastern provinces are being developed, according to the IAEA.

Equally the drone may have been traveling across eastern Iran toward other known or suspected nuclear sites, experts say. In its most recent report, the IAEA identified many of these in and around Tehran as well as around Qom and Isfahan.

It is still unclear where the drone was based in Afghanistan. Previously reported sightings of the RQ-170 Sentinel were at the Kandahar base in southern Afghanistan.  But Afghan officials say this mission began at the former Soviet air base at Shindand in western Herat province.  A straight line from there to known nuclear facilities identified by the IAEA in north and central Iran would have taken the drone close to Kashmar.

The International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan has refused to confirm the Sentinel left Shindand.

CNN's Kathleen Johnston and Pam Benson contributed to this report.

Post by:
Filed under: Afghanistan • Central Intelligence Agency • drones • Intelligence • Iran • Kabul • Nuclear
soundoff (1,201 Responses)
  1. James

    Iran hit the drone with "fuzz" blocking it's ability to communicate with it's home base it then used an already known exploit in the GPS system to tell it it's home base was actually in Iran. This is being reported with several other new agencies...CNN is always behind. Just one blunder after another for the CIA. The fact they didn't fix the vulnerability is just pathetic and so arrogant. There needs to be a house cleaning at the CIA from the top down.

    December 15, 2011 at 4:02 pm | Reply
    • Tony

      you would be mistaken to believe that we cannot track it at all.

      December 15, 2011 at 4:07 pm | Reply
    • Zebby

      I don't think so... military GPS signals are encrypted and can't be "spoofed" to the same degree as civilian GPS. I can believe Iran might possibly be able to jam the signals, but not falsify a signal that would make the drone believe it was somewhere thousands of kilometers away. Moreover, I would assume that, like airplanes, the drone's GPS antenna points UP... so the Iranians would have to have something that could detect the drone, overtake and fly above it, and spoof a military-grade encrypted signal. Not very likely, considering ICBM technology would be less sophisticated. I think it's more likely–as much as we all love to believe in James Bond type villains–that the thing simply lost communication and was programmed to land in that event (these things do cost quite a bit, and GPS locks can be lost due to natural circumstances).

      December 15, 2011 at 6:04 pm | Reply
  2. nocman_2

    Good, I'm glad they are looking for them. Keep it up!!

    December 15, 2011 at 4:02 pm | Reply
  3. cataloochie

    Yeah, that's right – tell everybody all our operational secrets.

    (by the way – the button to click on to submit this comment was labeled "Publicar". Did I overlook the button written in English? Or have we already officially started speaking Spanish in this country?)

    December 15, 2011 at 4:01 pm | Reply
    • Rich

      It says "Publicar" for me too.. LOL

      December 15, 2011 at 4:38 pm | Reply
    • Timetraveler

      That's because CNN is hiring illegal aliens to slap together pathetic web sites.

      December 15, 2011 at 6:34 pm | Reply
  4. A Plant?

    I'm thinking this drone was 'put' there by our government, it is collecting data while it sits, listening to every word spoken, sending back the data.......waiting for voice recognition of what is not the most wanted terrorist leader in the world ....... Al what's his name! When he's within range ........ booooooooooooommmmmmmmmmm!

    December 15, 2011 at 4:00 pm | Reply
    • Rich

      That would be pretty freaking cool. Modern day Trojen of sorts..

      December 15, 2011 at 4:40 pm | Reply
  5. Just_One

    Jiminy H Christmas!! Is the CIA is run by morons? If they want to look for nuclear sites in Iran just Google it. If they can find secret Chinese Aircraft Carriers in the middle of the ocean I am certain they could spot this.

    December 15, 2011 at 3:58 pm | Reply
    • Watanon

      Sure, and why the hell don't they just use the google nuke sniffer and cell phone eavesdropper options too?

      December 15, 2011 at 4:00 pm | Reply
    • Syphor

      Yea, the CIA is a bunch of morons, but I think google maps might be a bit out of date compared to live data from a drone

      December 15, 2011 at 4:11 pm | Reply
    • Cyrus

      You are not very bright, are you?

      December 15, 2011 at 4:17 pm | Reply
    • Zebby

      Great idea for an iPhone app!

      December 15, 2011 at 6:06 pm | Reply
  6. Mike Tyson

    If anyone thinks these types of things didn't happen under Bush, Clinton, or even Reagan are kidding yourselves. Heck, we got caught, why not own up to it? Bush would have used it as propaganda to attack Iran full force.

    December 15, 2011 at 3:58 pm | Reply
    • Rich

      I agree 100%

      December 15, 2011 at 4:34 pm | Reply
  7. Joe Blow Van Dyke

    Flying a drone into another country's airspace is an act of war. Would americans tolerate foreign drones spying on them?

    Come on. In this case, it is America that owes Iran an apology.

    December 15, 2011 at 3:57 pm | Reply
    • giuseppe

      can't they juts fly it away again remotely?

      December 15, 2011 at 4:00 pm | Reply
    • rick

      too much blow, joe? would you have the US give up intelligence gathering and just rely on the word of the iranians et al?

      December 15, 2011 at 4:01 pm | Reply
      • Tim

        No Rick – I just think we should consider how we would all feel if some other country did this to us. Whoa....!

        December 15, 2011 at 4:05 pm |
      • rick

        tim, you dont think that every country, both friend and foe spy on every other country to the best of their ability? of course they do, from biblical days, spying has been part of every countries arsenal. anyone who says otherwise has an agenda beyond naivete. our abilities just exceed those of most other countries and we should all hope it stays that way!

        December 15, 2011 at 4:23 pm |
    • Brian H

      If Iran wants to declare war they can. Nothing is stopping them.

      December 15, 2011 at 4:02 pm | Reply
    • Tim

      Gotta agree with ya, Joe- Imagine how Po'ed we'd be if some other country did this to us. Yet, we seem to have a double standard about these things.

      December 15, 2011 at 4:03 pm | Reply
      • rick

        any country that could, would, obviously.

        December 15, 2011 at 4:24 pm |
    • john

      1.2 million illegals enter the county every year.. i don't see anybody declaring war

      December 15, 2011 at 4:04 pm | Reply
      • john

        and iran is free to declare war anyway... oh wait.. they already did when they seized the american embassy in 79.

        December 15, 2011 at 4:07 pm |
      • wordsdontmatter

        No, "WE" did, or washington did.. in 1953 when the CIA and MI6 overthrew Iran's democratically elected and quite popular and very pros US government.. actually they "looked" up to us and believed the hype that you do now... "that we are the greatest and most bestest nation and people in the world.." and they got a wake up call. 1953 to 1979 they were oppressed in a police state by the Sha, supported by the US, and their SAVKA intelligence trained by the Mousaad tortured women and anyone who did not support the legitimacy of the coup and puppet sha. I think YOU declared war.. on them buddy boy.. and you must look at everything IRAN does and says within the prism of the 79 iranian revolution. blowback is a bitch baby.. ignore history at your peril, rewrite it at your leisure... live it regardless. Iran does not forget, and they maintain a living memory of these events whereby BP was created in 1953, and the US only focuses on new consumer products while washington runs AMOK like kids in the candy store of the world shaping your uninformed views in convenient sound bytes selling you toasters

        December 15, 2011 at 4:17 pm |
    • Hizzy

      Except Iran is run by a lunatic with a shady nuclear program. US is doing nothing but gathering intelligence for everyone's safety.

      December 15, 2011 at 4:06 pm | Reply
    • bigDizzle

      We've caught Russian spies just this year and there was no big deal about it. I'm pretty sure its well known in the International community that everyone spies on everyone else. This has been going on since sovereign nations have existed. That being said; asking is a courtesy. I'm not saying we aren't at fault or did nothing; but to act like no other country spies do (or wouldn't spy given the opportunity and means) is naive. Basically; asking for it back is just a nice way of saying "we don't have to send in people to get it or consider bombing it if you just hand it over".

      December 15, 2011 at 4:09 pm | Reply
    • Adam

      Of course we would! We allow them on the ground. Just land in Mexico and walk on over :)

      December 15, 2011 at 4:10 pm | Reply
    • C.Brown

      People like Joe Blow are the reason why military vets such as myself don't talk in detail about things that happen in the military with civilians.........You don't know ish thats why!!!!!! How do you figure this is an act of war????? So if your correct Joe than we should be at war with Russia since we caught them spying on us and they used actual people who could have planted bombs or done real damage in this country yet you think by the U.S. fly a Drone with no weapons or any means to attack Iran you call that an act of war.

      December 15, 2011 at 4:21 pm | Reply
  8. bigDizzle

    We got caught doing reconnaissance for proof of nuclear arms. They got caught trying to hire an incompetent Mexican to try and bomb DC. One of these things is not like the other....

    December 15, 2011 at 3:57 pm | Reply
    • Myles

      we overthrew an elected goverment in thier country and we suspect they sent a retard car salesman to bomb a Saudi. These two things are not the same.

      December 15, 2011 at 4:10 pm | Reply
  9. ABC123

    What ever happened to that Iranian boat Ahmadinapussy said would be off the east coast of the US? The should plop this drone model paperweight on it to keep their oh so threatening vessel from capsizing. I'm sure the "people that can control" the drone over there can get it on there.

    December 15, 2011 at 3:56 pm | Reply
  10. Tony

    Do you think we let Iran secure it so we can trace where it is moving and find out secret bases using a GPS system :)

    December 15, 2011 at 3:56 pm | Reply
    • Watanon

      Interesting theory...

      I wonder if it's a Transformers movie type of scenario -.- That autobot is going to transform and take out the baddies before soaring off into the sunset with Linkin Park blaring in the background.

      December 15, 2011 at 3:59 pm | Reply
      • Tony

        Well I seriously don't view flying robots and lincoln park going hand and hand with an amazing plan of mapping out a countries infrastructure without doing a thing other then following the trojan horse

        December 15, 2011 at 4:03 pm |
      • Watanon

        Clarification: My post is far from serious.

        December 15, 2011 at 4:07 pm |
      • Tony

        I gotcha man, but if I was able to come up with this theory in 5 seconds i am sure that it is not that hard to conceive. Transformers 3 was a train reck though

        December 15, 2011 at 4:09 pm |
  11. Todd

    So, why didn't we tell the truth to begin with?

    December 15, 2011 at 3:55 pm | Reply
    • bigDizzle

      No one lied. I know we didn't confirm it; but I don't recall anyone saying that the drone wasn't ours. When your dealing w/any kind of organization with thousands of people (military or otherwise) it takes a long time to figure out "exactly what happenned". Charity organizations to military regimes alike have this problem. Just because no one fessed up to it within seconds it doesn't mean there is a conspiracy to hide something.

      December 15, 2011 at 4:00 pm | Reply
      • NN

        Reading comprehension problems? Of course they lied, originally saying it was off course from a reconnaisance mission over Afghanistan. They lied then and they're lying now, everything they say is a lie, all they know how to do is lie, it is all about lying.

        December 15, 2011 at 4:13 pm |
      • bigDizzle

        I'd call that an inconsistency as opposed to an all out lie. At any rate; even if they did flat out lie with all of their hearts and souls in an organized way which only benefits those in power; you're more than welcome to run for political office and fix the system.

        December 15, 2011 at 4:20 pm |
    • Myles

      the DOD said that the drone was never in Iranian airspace and that it was at the border but was not looking into Iran!

      That is a lie and now they admit (once again) that they lied to the American people not out of a need to protect national security but because it would hurt thier image! Your goverment can, will, and does lie to you about important issues just to save face! This is why you can't believe them when they say its time to go to war! does not matter who Iran, Syria, Yemen, Lybia, Egypt, Pakiastan, or Russia. If you know they lie about little things how can you believe anything they say as provocation for war!!!

      December 15, 2011 at 4:17 pm | Reply
  12. SHepherdsvilleKAT

    Looks to be in pretty good shape to have "fallen" from the sky...

    December 15, 2011 at 3:54 pm | Reply
    • USA

      Can't see what the under belly looks like. They have conveniently disguised that.

      December 15, 2011 at 4:32 pm | Reply
  13. Canadian Bacon

    It doesn't look like it crashed from 50,000 feet, I'm with Iran on this one, someone probably hacked it and landed it.

    December 15, 2011 at 3:54 pm | Reply
    • USA

      Can't see the under belly. They conveniently disguised that in all their pictures.

      December 15, 2011 at 4:33 pm | Reply
  14. Frank

    Obama was actually spying on Iran to see how wonderful a country can be without any Jews. New policy.

    December 15, 2011 at 3:53 pm | Reply
    • frank

      What a disgusting comment. Did you actually read the article. And are you really 12 years old?

      December 15, 2011 at 3:55 pm | Reply
      • Sam

        I call that lower case frank is a k1ke.

        December 15, 2011 at 3:57 pm |
    • frank

      Sorry, Sam, but I am an Episcopalian living in Connecticut. Anti-semitism is disgusting, and so is your incorrect slur about me.

      December 15, 2011 at 3:59 pm | Reply
      • Sam

        The only creature worse than a Jew is one who sympathizes with them.

        December 15, 2011 at 4:01 pm |
      • Frizanj

        ... hitler missed one. DAMN

        December 15, 2011 at 4:14 pm |
    • Daniel

      That's just the sort of blinkered, philistine, pig-ignorance I've come to expect from non-creative garbage like you.

      December 15, 2011 at 4:03 pm | Reply
    • allu akbar

      did your mother have a jewish doctor who caused you to be miscarried?

      December 15, 2011 at 4:05 pm | Reply
    • rick

      Sam and Frank must belong to the same KKK chapter, in gaza

      December 15, 2011 at 4:07 pm | Reply
    • blahblah blah

      Actually, Iran has a very high Jewish population, I believe it is second in the region next to Israel. Contrary to popular belief, Iran is not against Jews. Just Zionists, which are like ultra-mega-fanatic-extremist Jews. Kinda like the KKK claiming to be Christian, when really they just want an all white Christian country.

      December 15, 2011 at 4:10 pm | Reply
  15. Bombs Away

    So we were looking for nuclear sites? Did we find them? Good, let's drop a few hundred bombs on them and send them further back into their backward ways of life ........ while we're at it, go git that drone!

    December 15, 2011 at 3:53 pm | Reply
    • CyrusIII

      If finding fathers of America had the same views as you, America today was the same size as Lichtenstein.

      December 15, 2011 at 4:04 pm | Reply
    • Myles

      And if they didn't should we appologize to the Iran goverment for violating thier airspace unjustly? ... didnt think so, now ask yourself why!

      December 15, 2011 at 4:20 pm | Reply
  16. David S

    "The sensors are designed to detect airborne chemical traces that might come from a nuclear facility or intercept cell-phone conversations." BOY ... atta way to tell them exactly what the hell our stuff can do! Great job! The government needs to find out who this "one former official" is and air-drop him over Iran.

    December 15, 2011 at 3:53 pm | Reply
    • frank

      David, sensor technology has been around for years. The next time you go to ballpark or football stadium, there are sensors somewhere between the parking areas and the building envelope. Try to understand that the article pointed out this drone did not have very spohisticated technology.

      December 15, 2011 at 3:57 pm | Reply
  17. Sumguy

    That is one seriously cool looking drone!

    December 15, 2011 at 3:52 pm | Reply
  18. james

    Obama is planning something big...Expect the nuke plant to be a heap of ashes soon..that should set them back awhile.

    December 15, 2011 at 3:52 pm | Reply
    • Big_D

      I doubt we will even know about it until it is over.

      December 15, 2011 at 3:54 pm | Reply
    • Jason

      If we bomb them it makes it easier by law, held under NATO, to attain nuclear arms legally to defend themselves from China or Russia. We would have to wipe them out to stop them from getting nukes. It's inevitable because they are doing this all as "the good guys", by the book, and they have legitimacy because they are surrounded by nulcear powers. It's a genius plan and it's our fault as a country for thinking they are lacking in technology....come on...Russia? China? "Hey..we have this drone...help us and we help you" Then Russia recently said they WILL target missile defense systems in Europe if we don't renegotiate it to their liking...I wonder why they want to get rid of that? Iran will own Iraq from the inside since we are leaving (manipulation by fear) They will use it to nuke Israel and probably walk it to em.

      December 15, 2011 at 4:12 pm | Reply
  19. Big_D

    The more we ignore Iran the more it will fall apart inside. The Iranians seem to be tiring of the Ayatollah puppet government.

    December 15, 2011 at 3:52 pm | Reply
    • nights_garden

      Not true.
      Fox news lies.
      Ahmedienijad is more popular in Iran than Barack in America.

      December 15, 2011 at 4:41 pm | Reply
  20. DecoderRing

    The Iranians have broken the drones code: "Be Sure To Drink Your Ovaltine"

    December 15, 2011 at 3:52 pm | Reply
    • Brian H

      Haha, a timely Christmas reference.

      December 15, 2011 at 4:06 pm | Reply
  21. MaryM

    The U.S. is waiting for just the right moment to push the self destruct button. lol

    December 15, 2011 at 3:52 pm | Reply
  22. Anonymous

    So we have drones looking for Iran's nuclear sites but we still can't find them.

    December 15, 2011 at 3:51 pm | Reply
  23. sunny lovetts

    FACT: Obama is signing a bill today that allows you, the US Citizen, to be indefinitely detained forever without trial or evidence. Its called
    NDAA 1031 Citizen Indefinite Detention Law.....
    ON THE BIRTHDAY OF THE BILL OF RIGHTS!!! Dec 15th!
    Democrats and Republicans work together to give the government more power and steal your God given rights from you! GET MAD! STOP LICKING THEIR CRIMINAL BOOTS AND SPEAK UP! Our future children deserve better. Be a true American for once, and care about the future of this country. DOWN WITH THE NEW WORLD ORDER!

    PEACE AND FREEDOM IS VICTORY!

    December 15, 2011 at 3:51 pm | Reply
    • glyder

      too bad a lot of people on this forum would be proud of bi-partisanship.

      December 15, 2011 at 3:56 pm | Reply
    • livinlife420

      I just heard about this last week...why is no one reporting on this? Oh its the ole "look over here" crap again....people should be scared

      December 15, 2011 at 4:00 pm | Reply
      • USA

        It's been all over the news since the day it happened. You're right, we should be scared. You scare me.

        December 15, 2011 at 4:29 pm |
    • livinlife420

      USA
      No it has NOT been in the "mainstream" media since "day one!

      December 15, 2011 at 4:46 pm | Reply
  24. why

    The USA should have all their spy planes set to blow up if they loose control over the craft. (On ground or in the air.) It would have been great if they could have blown the craft up in their faces.

    December 15, 2011 at 3:51 pm | Reply
  25. Craig1234

    Sigh, it's 'propaganda' when their government lies, and 'national security' when our government lies. Does anyone still wonder why no ones listens when the US goes harping on about democracy and transparency? It's because we've lost our way as a leader and on the international level we're just as dirty as anyone else now (Guantanamo, extraordinary rendition, water boarding, lying to our own people about this drone). Who would see us as a role model now?

    December 15, 2011 at 3:50 pm | Reply
    • mslman71

      Role model? Are there those out there who are so arrogant as to assume the rest of the world is of the maturity level of an 13 year old?

      December 15, 2011 at 3:52 pm | Reply
      • L05ER

        if you had ever seen videos of some second world representation in governments, you'd know this to be the case.

        countries that are new to things, aren't familiar with how to use them best... we (as the champion of democracy) have lost sight of that, and no longer serve as a good example of democracy.

        December 15, 2011 at 4:03 pm |
    • Mick McCrory

      Thank you. Everything they say is a lie. Everything we say is a lie. After the Bush administration, I have always assumed EVERYTHING our govt. says is a lie. It doesn't matter, anyway. The Israilies will blow up their nuke plants, if they get too far along in development, just like they blew up Saddam's reactor. One of these days, there will be a whole bunch of really big explosions at the Iranian nuke plants, & our Govt. will say "They must have had some really bad accidents there".

      December 15, 2011 at 4:07 pm | Reply
  26. Jesus C.

    Spy vs Spy

    December 15, 2011 at 3:49 pm | Reply
    • ORLY?

      Well played! I loved those cartoons. And, I vividly remember the cold war...

      December 15, 2011 at 4:01 pm | Reply
  27. Detada

    Okay, so one fell in your lap. You have the right to spread all the propaganda you can imagine, all the while 100 more are flying overhead. Go for it.

    December 15, 2011 at 3:47 pm | Reply
    • JCQueipo

      You are so right, let them have the drone, I'm sure the technology is already obsolete !!!!

      December 15, 2011 at 3:51 pm | Reply
  28. Jahoo

    Slowly but surely the public is being informed of the facts...Next week we'll learn a little more...and the next week just a little more....Before we know it we'll be in December of 2012 and by golly we'll have it all figured out. Thanks CNN for making this the top story 3 weeks in a row.

    December 15, 2011 at 3:47 pm | Reply
    • Davethecanuck

      Comeon, quit teasing us with tidbits of your insantiy...
      Throw it all out there, lets hear the theory your seem to be hinting at...

      December 15, 2011 at 3:52 pm | Reply
  29. BlackDynamite

    We do thousands of things overseas that we publicly state otherwise.
    It's called business as usual.
    It's called a global empire.
    BD

    December 15, 2011 at 3:46 pm | Reply
  30. Total Non Sense

    take no chance and nuke the whole place. a muslim does not qualify as a human anyway.

    December 15, 2011 at 3:44 pm | Reply
    • sunny lovetts

      You are sick.

      December 15, 2011 at 3:48 pm | Reply
      • Gmas

        No he is actually pretty healthy just uneducated.

        December 15, 2011 at 4:00 pm |
    • JCQueipo

      You name is so appropriate with what you write !!!!

      December 15, 2011 at 3:48 pm | Reply
    • Jahoo

      wow your sick. I'm gonna guess your parents were slave owners.

      December 15, 2011 at 3:48 pm | Reply
    • WOW

      so many ignorant comments...ist amazing....

      December 15, 2011 at 3:50 pm | Reply
    • WOW

      damn redneck......

      December 15, 2011 at 3:51 pm | Reply
    • HurtfulTruth

      Your screen-name BEST describes your comment!

      December 15, 2011 at 3:51 pm | Reply
    • joe

      From a self proclaimed Christian I am sure.

      December 15, 2011 at 3:52 pm | Reply
    • Jesus C.

      Cancel TLC's "All American Muslim." The program teaches children how to make bombs and kill people.

      December 15, 2011 at 3:53 pm | Reply
    • csam18

      That hate spreading attitude helps no one. There are good people in all parts of the world. Don't tie them with the oddballs that are bent on wreaking havoc.

      December 15, 2011 at 3:53 pm | Reply
    • Peter_stanley

      You need a bullet

      December 15, 2011 at 3:56 pm | Reply
    • ORLY?

      I didn't realize that the "short bus" stopped at CNN's comment boards!

      Wow. Are you trolling for fun, or do you really believe what you posted?

      December 15, 2011 at 4:03 pm | Reply
    • InyourFace

      Oh Yea..i wish i could piss in your mouth for the rest of my life.

      December 15, 2011 at 4:07 pm | Reply
    • jesus

      don't mix any religion with politic.

      December 15, 2011 at 4:15 pm | Reply
    • Myles

      that same mentality lead to people flying planes into buildings... they didnt think we were people!

      Way to come full circle you @S$ clown

      December 15, 2011 at 4:26 pm | Reply
  31. us1776

    Is this admission by CIA somehow linked to getting the drone returned?

    .

    December 15, 2011 at 3:44 pm | Reply
  32. thinkharder2

    Funny how the world works. Military and CIA refused to confirm that it was areal drone and yet, Obama was asking for its return :-).

    December 15, 2011 at 3:41 pm | Reply
    • us1776

      I'm thinking CIA is playing a little rogue here.

      .

      December 15, 2011 at 3:46 pm | Reply
      • thinkharder2

        I understand that they tried the concept of "plausible deniability", but at this point they are just trying to deny that Iran has anything to do with the capture of the drone. I hope they are right. Otherwise Iran is technically much more advanced that anybody suspected.

        December 15, 2011 at 3:50 pm |
      • ORLY?

        Maverick-y!

        December 15, 2011 at 4:03 pm |
  33. Madtown

    Just tell Iran it's a remote control airplane, Biden's Christmas present. Obama was test flying it. They'll give it back.

    December 15, 2011 at 3:41 pm | Reply
    • Jay

      If Iran agrees to that proposal, than what does that say about the US wanting to spy on them?

      December 15, 2011 at 3:47 pm | Reply
    • Timetraveler

      It IS a remote controlled plane. What do you think a drone is? Idi0ts.

      December 15, 2011 at 3:51 pm | Reply
    • Madtown

      Sheesh fellas, take a big breath. Trying to have a laugh in stressful times! Why don't you two log-off your computers, and go in search of your lost senses of humor.

      December 15, 2011 at 3:59 pm | Reply
  34. Deathstalker

    They got a drone.. Well good for them what are they going to do with it fly one over here and spy on us?? Doubt it.. I think this is a blow to our national security to a point but these things happen what can you really do about it? I think better planning and capabilities to recover something like this should have been set up but oops. Oh well better luck next time..

    December 15, 2011 at 3:40 pm | Reply
    • mslman71

      Meh, there's nothing they can do with it. It's just a surveillance vehicle. They have no infrastructure to support or utilize it, assuming they could actually manage to get it to do anything at all. Maybe they could learn something from the geometry of the airframe but that's about it. In the grand scheme of things it's not a major loss.

      December 15, 2011 at 3:46 pm | Reply
      • David S

        Oh, they could give it to China like Pakistan did with the tail of our stealth copter.

        December 15, 2011 at 3:56 pm |
  35. james

    What a bunch of idiots, now they have our technology, you could have used a satilite to spy on the perskies. Who aurthoized the military to piss away the tax payers money anyway? Some one should be shot for this.

    December 15, 2011 at 3:39 pm | Reply
    • Watanon

      Yesss, gooood, let the rage flow through you! Feel the power of the dark side!

      December 15, 2011 at 3:51 pm | Reply
    • Jhon

      James very smart observation. We need more citizens with clean brain. (drug free) not like the pentagon republicans idiots.

      December 15, 2011 at 4:02 pm | Reply
    • USA

      The officials say the Afghan government was unaware of the use of its territory to fly surveillance drones over Iran, and that the CIA had not informed the Defense Department of the drone's mission when reports first emerged that it had crashed. One official told CNN that the U.S. military "did not have a good understanding of what was going on because it was a CIA mission."

      Read. What part of this do you not understand? This was not a military mission, it was a CIA mission.
      And since when does our military need to ask you anything? Who made you Commnader in Chief?

      December 15, 2011 at 4:27 pm | Reply
  36. spooky

    Well, gee, with all that technology surely the defense dept could program it to blow up, fry its components, something that would destroy the technology enough so that another country couldn't figure it out? Oh, here's an idea! Let's sneak in and steal it back.

    December 15, 2011 at 3:37 pm | Reply
  37. southern_gent_from_mississippi

    It just seems odd to me that a third world nation that hasnt won a war since the 1940s still spys on every other nation out there and starts wars that it never wins, regularly. Sooner or later, Chinas going to come knocking at the door and call in their markers. Everyone knows our country has been living off of their loans for decades. 1)Stop all of the superpower talk and thinking, america isnt a superpower and hasnt been for decades 2)Stop starting wars everywhere only to withdraw in defeat 3)Come to terms that China owns america, play nice or they may tighten the purse strings 4)Realize that were in the final day of imagined military supremacy, just like the USSR was before that country broke apart from runaway military spending.

    December 15, 2011 at 3:31 pm | Reply
    • Steven Brooks

      Oh, 'third world nation' my a**.

      Are you lacking for food, shelter, transportation, security, and not to mention creature comforts and numerous high-tech devices to make your life easier?

      Thought not.

      Kindly shut it.

      December 15, 2011 at 3:44 pm | Reply
    • Sumguy

      You are very misinformed. China only owns a very small percentage of U.S. Debt.
      We owe most to ourselves. And as far as the U.S. not being a super power? Are you for real?
      Newsflash...Iraq was a bad idea, but it was FAR from a defeat.

      December 15, 2011 at 3:48 pm | Reply
    • god

      I for one welcome our Chinese overlords

      December 15, 2011 at 3:49 pm | Reply
    • Alaskan

      I don't believe that you are from America, as America is capitalized. Just like you capitalized China.

      December 15, 2011 at 3:51 pm | Reply
    • Ian

      Have you ever been to a third world nation? I can assure you the United States is not one, and if you know anything about what constitutes "winning" a war, you will know that militarily even Vietnam was winnable. Its was political and homeland dissent that ended the war. Grab a book once or twice or do some research. Your statements are idiotic at best.

      December 15, 2011 at 3:52 pm | Reply
    • mackd1313

      Dude you are an idiot! 3rd world nation. WOW! You ever been to a 3rd world nation.

      PS: Tell China to come get their money. They dont want to have to collect the hard way believe me. America will live up to her obligations.

      December 15, 2011 at 3:55 pm | Reply
    • rick

      "from mississippi" but now living in Russia? Iran? a real american patriot, not! or ae you just senile? hard to tell. if you are jus senile, please excuse my thinking that your post had any substance

      December 15, 2011 at 4:11 pm | Reply
  38. Muldoon in Ohio

    Time to drop the big one on the old Persians.....

    December 15, 2011 at 3:28 pm | Reply
    • Timetraveler

      Time to nuke Ohio. This piss-ant state has been a zit on America's butt since the 2004 election. Reduce the whole thing to rubble, which it kinda is already.

      December 15, 2011 at 3:56 pm | Reply
      • Sucka Punch

        John Titor is that you ????

        December 15, 2011 at 4:11 pm |
  39. RobertaZ

    ...and pray tell, why did this drone not have a self-destruct facility?

    December 15, 2011 at 3:26 pm | Reply
    • CandyHar

      because this is not a movie....

      December 15, 2011 at 4:25 pm | Reply
    • Zebby

      I would guess: weight considerations, the fact that communications can be lost under natural circumstances, and the danger of exploitation by enemies.

      December 15, 2011 at 6:17 pm | Reply
  40. Yester Day

    Republicans claim that Obama getting OBL was really Bush getting OBL – because Bush didn't fire all the Navy Seals, or something...

    But the Economy doing poorly – that has nothing to do with the Bush Great Recession that started winter of 2007, with the disaster gathering steam in 2008 and reaching a crescendo in 2009 – that was all Obama. Totally started in January 2009.

    Now, with stealth drones screwing up – is that all Bush, because they were designed and built under him ? Or is it all Obama, because he was in the Oval Office when the Iranians somehow came up with an undamaged RQ-170 Sentinel ?

    It seems to be all Bush, because it's not about the economy – but then again, it's a big screwup, so those all go under the Obama column, amirite ???

    December 15, 2011 at 3:23 pm | Reply
    • twiggy

      Are you retarded?

      December 15, 2011 at 3:26 pm | Reply
    • Andrew

      It's our fault because we all buy into their lies and vote these idiots into office. Happens every time there is an election. On all levels of government.

      December 15, 2011 at 3:36 pm | Reply
    • Bob

      I was going to ask the same question.

      December 15, 2011 at 3:37 pm | Reply
    • Tim

      You are demented. It was just a matter of time on this board before some Fox viewer came out, both guns blazing, blaming Obama for it all -

      December 15, 2011 at 3:55 pm | Reply
  41. Val Rankov

    Do you consider the possibility that someone has been paid for delivering a drone to Iran/China and this was the actual delivery act? In this economy and low morale I would expect anything.

    December 15, 2011 at 3:19 pm | Reply
  42. Dano

    Lets just go to war and get it over with ... these childish games of poking one another is getting old

    December 15, 2011 at 3:13 pm | Reply
    • wakeup

      You can't be serious, i don't think we can afford another war. They will actually fight back you know

      December 15, 2011 at 3:20 pm | Reply
      • Sucka Punch

        Whats the Cost? We have at least 10-15 100kt Cold war nukes already bought and paid for. They want Nukes....... Delivered Deployed and Detonated :)

        December 15, 2011 at 3:51 pm |
    • max

      you going to join up?

      December 15, 2011 at 3:29 pm | Reply
      • Iamsam

        Really, Put him on the front lines.

        December 15, 2011 at 3:45 pm |
  43. AJS

    I would take Iran's word over the U.S. officials word any day of the week.

    December 15, 2011 at 3:11 pm | Reply
    • steve

      That shows how dumb you really are.

      December 15, 2011 at 3:13 pm | Reply
      • Adam

        Moron, you need to first learn that Microsoft is not an 'operating system', but a 36 year old company that has changed the way people live their lives and do business. Secondly, Windows 7 is the most secure operating system ever, more than iOS. So get your facts right before embarking on childish tirades.

        December 15, 2011 at 3:21 pm |
  44. Robert E

    A few months ago the news media published reports the computers controlling the drones had an unknown computer virus. Well hello, hello, anyone home?

    December 15, 2011 at 3:10 pm | Reply
  45. Filthy Jews

    This is actually an oily k1ke false flag op playing out. Just like it did on 9/11 with the 5 dancing Israelis, missal hitting the pentagon, flight 93 landing in Ohio as confirmed by the mayor etc etc.

    December 15, 2011 at 3:10 pm | Reply
    • rick

      paranoia can get so bad than it can lead to suicide. just hoping

      December 15, 2011 at 3:25 pm | Reply
      • Steve

        Yea, Rick is defiantly an oily k1ke.

        December 15, 2011 at 3:27 pm |
    • Jay

      Zhids have always been a scourge on Earth.

      December 15, 2011 at 3:29 pm | Reply
      • rick

        room in the kevorkian room for Jay and steve as well. paranoia aggravated by bile and hatred can be cured quickly in the kevorkian room

        December 15, 2011 at 4:14 pm |
  46. TOADEARS

    I will not read the story due to the two sources of information: the US government and CNN. It is all lies, whatever they are saying, when it comes to military screw ups.

    December 15, 2011 at 3:08 pm | Reply
    • Ethan Wilson

      Then sweet baby Jesus, please step away from the internet, don't read anything!

      December 15, 2011 at 3:14 pm | Reply
    • C.Brown

      The C.I.A. isn't part of the U.S. military so your the only one who I know for sure is posting lies.

      December 15, 2011 at 3:30 pm | Reply
    • s timmons

      that's entertainment!! pure entertainment.

      December 15, 2011 at 4:17 pm | Reply
  47. Yester Day

    One former intelligence official told CNN that it's "impossible to see" and discounted Iranian claims that it had been brought down by some form of electronic counter-measures.
    "It simply fell into their laps," he said – after satellite communication was lost.
    ----------–

    Yeah, Iran is too stupid to figure out how to capture our well-designed drones.

    Our stealth drones will simply fall into the laps of the countries we spy on, due to inexplicable software glitches – but rest assured, they're too sophisticated to be CAPTURED.

    Good to know.

    December 15, 2011 at 3:08 pm | Reply
    • Achmed

      I heard a team of Iranians linked arms and cradled the drone as it fell to the ground, then they gently pulled the landing gear out, and gave is a nice buff and polish. Afterwards they sent their smallest soldier inside, but the he didnt have a boarding pass so the CIA dwarf in there asked him to leave kindly.

      December 15, 2011 at 3:11 pm | Reply
    • JAKE533

      You are too stupid !!! you can undrestand the big picture. Do you have a job?????

      December 15, 2011 at 3:12 pm | Reply
      • MrKnowItAll

        I'm thinking 3 exclamation points and 5 question marks is excessive. Maybe 1 exclamation point and 2 question marks would have better made your point.

        What was your point, again?

        December 15, 2011 at 3:44 pm |
  48. Stteve

    If it crashed like the US gov tells us, how come it wasn't damaged at all? Without any damage to the drone, the Iranian explanation of hacking in and bringing it down could be possible

    December 15, 2011 at 3:04 pm | Reply
    • frank

      except for the missing landing gear, the wrong color paint and the 'non stealthy' wing welds. Yeah.

      December 15, 2011 at 3:29 pm | Reply
    • NODAT1

      It would be highly unlikely that the Iranians hacked into the drones control signal. It’s a protected by class 1 encryption gear if they were able to break the encryption code the Iranians wouldn’t bother with a drone, they would be going after the Military telecom systems. A more plausible explanation is that the reported virus that was causing problems in the drones a couple of month is causing more problem then what is being disclosed the virus is now overrideing the control system and forceing the drone into an emerengy landings .

      December 15, 2011 at 3:39 pm | Reply
  49. wow

    We go from a nation of having the most elite intelligence community in the world and maybe even the universe, a nation who put men on the moon – to a nation of fck ups working in intelligence agencies who can't do anything right – to a nation who is hitch hiking with the Russians. This is a sad time to be an American. I want the old America back.

    December 15, 2011 at 3:03 pm | Reply
    • Curious

      (raised eyebrow)
      what do you mean that you want the old America back?

      December 15, 2011 at 3:10 pm | Reply
      • Achmed

        the one without Herpes

        December 15, 2011 at 3:12 pm |
      • wow

        I think you know what I mean. Modern day America is being laughed at by the rest of the world. Government agencies like the TSA who are supposed to be protecting us are terrorizing our own citizens and capitalizing on America's fears of terrorism by violating our rights whenever they want. Agencies are selling guns to criminals, covering it up then lying to Congress and other agencies. I understand that a certain amount of corruption should be expected in a developed nation, but we are rapidly on the decline in just about every category – and it's showing.

        December 15, 2011 at 3:20 pm |
    • billy

      AMEN to that – where is the old America where I grew up Lost to the stupid politicians in DC who are only looking to get reelected.

      December 15, 2011 at 3:10 pm | Reply
  50. epicjourney

    I wonder if the operating system used for the drone is microsoft? If so then that would explain how Iran was able to hack it so easily.

    December 15, 2011 at 3:03 pm | Reply
    • Achmed

      bwahahahahaha +1

      December 15, 2011 at 3:04 pm | Reply
    • Anusgremlin

      Well, if it were an Apple OS and it just broke and fell out of the sky like the article said, they'd have to send it back to us to get it fixed.

      December 15, 2011 at 3:16 pm | Reply
    • Brandon

      "Doesn't understand anything about hacking or operating systems, posts anyway"

      December 15, 2011 at 3:29 pm | Reply
  51. Joey

    I see where Obama asked them to return the drone. That'll show 'em!

    December 15, 2011 at 3:02 pm | Reply
    • Achmed

      Next he is going to pull their hair and run, skipping down the road.

      December 15, 2011 at 3:03 pm | Reply
  52. pipe dream joe

    My country has become a joke. And a disgrace to the men and women who serve it. We have clowns in Washington pulling strings thinking they're smarter than anyone else. Here's a suggestion to Barrack and his generals: Get our troops out of all hostile occupied countries and cut ALL foreign "aid" to zero dollars. Especially Pakistan. The world hates us anyway. Just ask them. Then control the border to the south so my tax dollars stop paying for illegal aliens to get healthcare and good jobs WITHOUT having to learn to speak one syllable of English. Bring the textile industry back here so when I buy 5 pairs of "identical" pants they all fit the same and don't have five different countries of manufacture. Make everyone that got a bailout pay back the the money 10 fold. They should be embarrassed for holding out their hand in the first place. And then give themselves billions of dollars in bonuses. Fire everyone in Washington. Those bastards act like they got a lifetime pass when they signed on to congress. If a nuke needs to get dropped anywhere the capital building is an excellent start. just sayin'

    December 15, 2011 at 3:02 pm | Reply
    • USA

      Disgrace, really?!
      Do not pretend to speak for me or any others who are currently serving or who have served.

      December 15, 2011 at 4:51 pm | Reply
  53. Jake

    I really think Cheney is an idiot but I kind of agree with him that we should've blown up the drone. I mean, what is Iran going to do about it? They already hate us so that can't be any worse. And its not like they have the capability to attack us in any way. If we knew where it crashed maybe we should've sent in a quick strike ti destroy it.

    December 15, 2011 at 2:59 pm | Reply
    • CyrusIII

      Dont forget that there are 10s of thousands of us soldiers in Afghanistan, and the navy's 5th fleet in the Persian Gulf. Iran can easily target them.

      December 15, 2011 at 3:05 pm | Reply
  54. adamcrazeepants

    the Iranians are soooo good. they play the perfect foil to the Americans hijinks! kudos! they totally make Americans seem like the hapless, heedless buffoons that they so totally are!

    December 15, 2011 at 2:59 pm | Reply
    • 7o3y

      your name says it better than i could...ignorance is something you cant get rid of..your the perfect example.

      December 15, 2011 at 3:02 pm | Reply
    • Dronefan

      I'd like to have a drone look for you and take care of your sorry arse.

      December 15, 2011 at 3:07 pm | Reply
    • adamcrazeepants

      I wish I could like my own comment. . .that'd be great

      December 15, 2011 at 3:13 pm | Reply
      • Dano

        You would be the only one liking it , go back to facebook , then you can .

        December 15, 2011 at 3:17 pm |
  55. Pertnear

    Surely these drones have a tracking device – I think the US should inform Iran that at 1:00 today, there will be 3 missiles coming to destroy the drone, wherever it is. If you choose to be close to it, so be it.

    December 15, 2011 at 2:57 pm | Reply
    • Achmed

      call them, "Hi this is the US, we will be destroying the drone at 1pm EST, it is now (short pause) 1pm..Goodbye"

      December 15, 2011 at 3:02 pm | Reply
      • Chris

        where iran will then conveniently move the drone to an elementary school

        December 15, 2011 at 3:33 pm |
    • Sucka Punch

      I agree 100 percent

      December 15, 2011 at 3:22 pm | Reply
    • Jojo

      You don't think the mockup was the real drone do you? The real would suffer major damage as indicated by satellite recon photos immediately after the crash site. The pieces were taken to a non nuclear underground research facility. It is protected by a German built compression pad. Basically an deeply buried huge slab of steel seated on enormous piston that absorbs the all the kinetic energy of any bunker buster, short of a nuke. The Chinese have already live streamed the dissection back to the homeland.

      December 15, 2011 at 3:42 pm | Reply
  56. larry5

    It's simple and simple is often the right choice when determining the answer. The drone had a technical failure and flat spun to the ground. Those kind of crashes often don't destroy a flying wing. I have an RC flying wing and flat spins happen and I've never had much damage when I could not recover. My wings vary in size from 1 to 2.5 meters and they all fly the same. If anything good comes out of this it's the fact that this is generations old technology in the over all design and the instrumentation is going to be tough to crack and will yield little if anything of value. At least it was a drone and we don't have another incident like Gary Powers.

    December 15, 2011 at 2:56 pm | Reply
  57. 7o3y

    On a side note:We now know all these recent UFO sightings were just our government spying on us....SLEEP good knowing that.

    December 15, 2011 at 2:54 pm | Reply
    • Achmed

      true, but why the anal probs....I mean....I DID have corn last night, it is not uranium

      December 15, 2011 at 2:56 pm | Reply
      • A guy

        hahahahahahaha

        December 15, 2011 at 3:05 pm |
  58. sd

    NUKE THE GODLESS BASTERDS!

    December 15, 2011 at 2:54 pm | Reply
    • Anon

      What's the difference between a islamic extremist and you?

      There isn't one.

      December 15, 2011 at 2:59 pm | Reply
      • Oceanminded

        Sandals, Camels and a retarded religion that wants to kill everyone who does not believe in it.

        December 15, 2011 at 4:00 pm |
  59. Achmed

    They used the same technology as the airplane that hit the pentagon in 2001...ohh wait....

    December 15, 2011 at 2:53 pm | Reply
    • 7o3y

      Acccqmed you see that shiny thing in the sky? Your on CIA tv ;)

      December 15, 2011 at 3:00 pm | Reply
      • Achmed

        Holy sheet!!!!! I bet if I use my smart phone I can hack it and order a pizza......DAMMIT NO MUSHROOMS!!

        December 15, 2011 at 3:08 pm |
  60. bks

    What is a big deal about Iran nukes ? Pak has . Israel has.

    December 15, 2011 at 2:52 pm | Reply
    • MikeyZ

      For one, Israel isn't interested in wiping Iran off the map, whereas the opposite intent has rung consistently in Iranian clerical and political circles.

      December 15, 2011 at 3:02 pm | Reply
      • Pretty Jenny

        So just an opinion of a political leader of one country (Iran) should be taken way more seriously than the actual perpetration of war by another country (Israel)? How biased, no wonders US because of it blind support of Israel has lost all its political credibility and goodwill around the world.

        December 15, 2011 at 3:16 pm |
      • MikeyZ

        *A* political leader in Iran? Try just about all of them. And what about the clerics in positions of power, that you've so conveniently overlooked in your "reply"?

        Perhaps you're content to wait until Iran actually has nukes before deciding whether or not avoiding confrontation was actually a good idea. That sort of thinking leads to the unthinkable. It lead to things like 9/11 and Pearl Harbor.

        When you start thinking about what most people perceive as "unthinkable" (until the unthinkable actually happens), then the decision about whether or not preventing Iran from having nukes is sensible, becomes obvious.

        December 15, 2011 at 3:34 pm |
      • US1

        Israel not interested only in keeping the land they stole from Palestinians/Palestine, but also interested in confiscating more land as they already done with Syria, Lebanon..etc. Our economy is destroyed, lost our jobs and homes because our tax money is going to Israel instead of us. Our presidents had the interest of Israel (foreign illegitimate country) first instead of America! Our kids died overseas fighting wars on behalf of Israel and now Israel want us to attack Iran! Israel can send their own mercenaries to fight Iran instead of our kids.

        December 15, 2011 at 3:42 pm |
    • thechosenone

      Exactly and so does North Korea, China, USSR, USA, UK, France, and India have nukes, so why can't Iran have nukes???????????????? Israel and US have been involved in the most number of wars in the last 50 years not Iran???????????????????????????????

      December 15, 2011 at 3:09 pm | Reply
      • Brian

        There is one country that has used nuclear weapons. Wanna take a guess?

        December 15, 2011 at 3:15 pm |
      • MikeyZ

        I'm not following your so-called "point", Brian.

        What would you have done in 1945, when faced with the decision either to drop two nukes that would kill 100,000 Japanese and perhaps a handful of Americans, ending the war right then and there, or to invade Japan with conventional means, killing hundreds of thousands to millions of Americans, millions to tens of millions of Japanese, and protracting an already expensive and earth-shattering war another two or three years?

        When you put nukes in the hands of reasoned grownups, using them ends wars. When you put them in the hands of despotic, idiotic children, using them starts wars.

        Stop acting like the decision was morally reprehensible. You'll look less like an idiot if you do that.

        December 15, 2011 at 3:43 pm |
      • C.Brown

        So your mad at the U.S. for dropping Nukes on Japan and ending a war that saw some 50-70 million people killed. do you realize that Japan and Germany started this war? Do you understand that if this war never started and caused so many deaths their would have been no reason to Nuke anyone? I guess you would have rather the U.S. not Nuke Japan and allow WWII to continue on.

        December 15, 2011 at 4:02 pm |
    • Jojo

      Nothing really. It just leaves Isreal and the US without leverage to bend countries to their will. Notice we do not invade evil countries with nukes. North Korea, Pakistan, etc. Even Amejab isn't crazy enough to use nuke as a first strike against Israel and as of now they, still have no way to get them to US soil. They would use them for retaliation of any major land invasion though, and that would give them security which would reduce profit for oil and military industrial complex.

      December 15, 2011 at 3:32 pm | Reply
      • C.Brown

        You really don't have a clue do you? You assume that the U.S. and the rest of the world for that matter is concerned that IRAN will launch a Nuke when that isn't the whole truth. The truth of the matter is Iran could pass this tech onto one of the many proxy Armies they support and that could prove dangerous to both the U.S. mainland and our troop around the world. You do realize that a nuke isn't this huge bomb that can only be transported by a B-52 don't you?

        December 15, 2011 at 4:09 pm |
    • rick

      uh, i dont think pakistan and Israel have threatened to wipe out another member of the UN. nor are they run by a grouo of people who think that martyrdom is a good thing

      December 15, 2011 at 3:33 pm | Reply
  61. vatoloke

    Never seen a plane that crashed without damage to at least one of its wings. This one doesn't even appear to have any scratches. Hmmm.

    December 15, 2011 at 2:51 pm | Reply
  62. Brian

    I read that the weld on the right wing (no pun intended) was suspicious since the real drone doesn't have it, obviously. To me, it looks like the wing broke off on landing and was then welded back on by a rather inept welder. In this pic there doesn't seem to be any weld on the left wing.

    December 15, 2011 at 2:51 pm | Reply
    • Dano

      I bet your Brian from Family guy , huh?

      December 15, 2011 at 3:19 pm | Reply
    • CHUCK

      The welder was the same 5 year old who painted the American flag with the E.T. heads on it.

      December 15, 2011 at 3:44 pm | Reply
  63. Iseeitall

    There's a way to have Iran destory the drone for us, tell them it was built by a Jewish Homosexual

    December 15, 2011 at 2:50 pm | Reply
    • patNY

      you get the funniest post award today

      December 15, 2011 at 3:33 pm | Reply
    • Marcei

      ha ha ha :) good one !!! :)

      December 15, 2011 at 3:45 pm | Reply
  64. Cassandra Chu

    ... there aren't any Iranian "nuke sites"... just like there weren't any Iraqi "WMD sites".... it's all Israeli propaganda...

    December 15, 2011 at 2:50 pm | Reply
    • Anon

      Your ignorance is beyond your racism.

      December 15, 2011 at 2:52 pm | Reply
      • CyrusIII

        Which part of his comment was racist?

        December 15, 2011 at 3:01 pm |
    • rick

      cassandra chu aka cchu aka palestinian/muslim apologist says there are no Iranian nuclear sites! what else would we expect from you. the palestinians and their armorers Iran never lie, exaggerate, or cry "woe is me, everyone picks on us" do they?

      December 15, 2011 at 3:38 pm | Reply
      • rick

        cyrus: you must be new to this site if you are unfamiliar with the racist rants of "cassandra Chu" who you identify as a "he" which suggests that you do in fact know this racist and it is a male and not a female. writing from the same hut in gaza as Cassandra, are you?

        December 15, 2011 at 3:41 pm |
      • CyrusIII

        No I am certainly not. But what I meant is by simply reffering to a statement as Israeli propaganda does not make one racist.

        December 15, 2011 at 3:50 pm |
  65. Andrewx80

    with this being such a high tech remote control vehicle maybe they should have thought about a remote controlled self destruct button... you know like the old mission impossible tape recorders .. that way the secretary could have disavowed any knowledge of it's actions... Duuuuu !!!!

    December 15, 2011 at 2:49 pm | Reply
  66. TowelHeadsAreMorons

    I bet they try to tie it to a horse and fly it like a kite.

    December 15, 2011 at 2:47 pm | Reply
    • Sucka Punch

      LMAO

      December 15, 2011 at 3:26 pm | Reply
    • Marcei

      :) ha ha ha :) another good one ! :)

      December 15, 2011 at 3:49 pm | Reply
  67. Scott A

    Command from Allah to Iranians – "Jump up and down and hit the evil Drone thing with sticks immediately"

    December 15, 2011 at 2:47 pm | Reply
    • Marcei

      :) :) :)

      December 15, 2011 at 3:50 pm | Reply
  68. REG in AZ

    Was it a compromise of important intel or not, that obviously will continue to be debatable but one thing that seems to say it wasn't is the belief that the darn thing would be designed to self-destruct rather than compromise important intel ... maybe I am just giving them too much credit though.

    December 15, 2011 at 2:47 pm | Reply
  69. Bob

    Weren't these spy drones obsolete the day satellite imaging came about? We can see zits on Ahmadinejad's face from outer space.

    December 15, 2011 at 2:46 pm | Reply
    • rad666

      Have to spend taxpayer money.

      December 15, 2011 at 2:52 pm | Reply
    • Lerxt

      Satellites can be tracked from the ground and follow a predictable path. All the enemy has to do is "hide" during the time that the satellite is tracking them.

      A drone can operate quickly and without anyone noticing their approach (usually).

      The best bet would by manned spy planes but new ones would be too expensive to build and maintain. A drone does not have to have all of the crew requirements (air supply, ejection seats, etc.) and thus can be smaller, cheaper and operate at more extremes (altitude, speed, g-forces). They however are useless once control/contact is lost with them.

      December 15, 2011 at 2:57 pm | Reply
      • Sumguy

        Drones are fine...who cares if one crashed. There are more where that came from. Kind of wish we had a self destruct built in though.

        December 15, 2011 at 3:51 pm |
    • bobjones

      " The sensors are designed to detect airborne chemical traces that might come from a nuclear facility or intercept cell-phone conversations." Doubt a sat could sense these.

      December 15, 2011 at 3:00 pm | Reply
    • The Straight Dope

      What pretty much every article on the RQ-170, including this fails to note, is how long the drone can loiter of a target area. They always mention that it can fly at 50 000 ft. but that's not what matters. What makes this drone, and all other advanced recon drones, useful is that they can spend hours (10 – 20 hrs.) over their assigned target. And satellites, typically, only have a short (90 minutes or so) window over the target at any one time. Satellites are great for snapping a bunch of shots, or even streaming live video, but only for short bursts. And the other down side is that satellites are easy to track once they're in orbit so it's not particularly difficult to hide anything small and / or mobile before a satellite passes overhead. But with a drone, it can show up and any time and stay for hours and stealthy ones are basically untrackable because radar can't detect them. So, if you can have "eyes on" a target for 10+ hours at a time you can actually see who's coming, who's going, what they're shipping in, what they're shipping out and so on.

      December 15, 2011 at 3:03 pm | Reply
  70. H2Oracing

    This wouldn't be an issue if Iran would let U.N. inspectors look over their nuclear power plants since they say that is all they are building.

    December 15, 2011 at 2:45 pm | Reply
  71. A.D.DiSorda

    "Duane

    Guess as long as ISRAEL DEFINES OUR MIDDLE EAST FOREIGN POLICY we will continue to spy on them

    December 15, 2011 at 2:44 pm | Reply
    • Filthy Jews

      The k1kes will lead us all into WWIII. "Happy Holidays".

      December 15, 2011 at 2:52 pm | Reply
      • Gregg

        You might wan to find out why you are so filled with hatred. The usual diagnosis is lack of self-esteem, inattentive or indifferent parenting, envy of those more successful than yourself etc. Psychotherapy can help.

        December 15, 2011 at 3:01 pm |
      • Response to racists

        Why don't you refrain from infecting us all with your racism!

        December 15, 2011 at 3:08 pm |
      • Marcei

        happy hanukah :)

        December 15, 2011 at 3:52 pm |
    • max

      what a completely uneducated and ignorant response.

      we have several other allies in the mid-east that are very concerned about the iranian progress towards nuclear weapons capabilities. most of the mid-east, in fact, if you judge by the lack of condemnation for the US spying activities...

      December 15, 2011 at 2:58 pm | Reply
      • adamant

        no, i don't think so. mid-east governments are really annoyed about Iran's rise of power, that part is true. but they like the idea of having their own nuke weapons, and they think "if Iran develops this technology, after than that noone in the world can object our own right to develop nukes too". so they are irritated about Iran's rising in the region, but they are secretly happy about their progression. next month Saudi Arabia announced that they are going to build 4 nuclear reactors and willing to pay $100bn for that. i am from Turkey and i read similar opinions in columnists close to ruling party AKP supporting Iran's nuke development, for they think it will allow Turkey to develop it's own in future too.

        so your claim is wrong.

        December 15, 2011 at 3:15 pm |
  72. Bob

    Humans are so stupid, but they claim to be the smartest animals on earth. I think the population of 7 billion is going to be alot smaller very soon.

    December 15, 2011 at 2:43 pm | Reply
    • Steve

      I dont see deer landing on the moon, just saying.

      December 15, 2011 at 2:59 pm | Reply
      • Dano

        @Steve - Dumbest comment ever – and I wont end this with the repetitive , ignorant , teeny bopper expression >Just sayin

        December 15, 2011 at 3:23 pm |
  73. Patriot

    Reason #5. We intentionally landed it in Iran so they'd download the technology thereby embedding a secret virus within their secret technology enabling us to spy on them. wheeeeeeeeeeeeeeee

    December 15, 2011 at 2:42 pm | Reply
    • Kerry

      Not that far fetched.

      December 15, 2011 at 2:43 pm | Reply
    • Anon

      Hmmm, that actually makes alot of sense.
      Perhaps a tracking beacon as well? I've given up hope for a self destruct button.

      December 15, 2011 at 2:51 pm | Reply
    • gps137

      Stuxnet required no such drone and required no follow-up actions to successfully disrupt the nation's nuclear program.

      December 15, 2011 at 3:11 pm | Reply
    • Dan

      I was thinking that there is probably an esaier, cheaper way to infect an electronic system with a virus.

      December 15, 2011 at 3:28 pm | Reply
  74. Kerry

    Given the unreliability of these drones spying is not exactly going to be secretive. Good they come out and confess because the U.S. citizens don't mind spying on people who want nuks to blow us up with.

    December 15, 2011 at 2:41 pm | Reply
    • Kerry

      Better drons than bombs (like in Iraq). I'm sure Iran would agree.

      December 15, 2011 at 2:43 pm | Reply
      • vatoloke

        The bombs are next. Trust me.

        December 15, 2011 at 2:50 pm |
      • Kerry

        If we start bombing one more country OWS will become a national past time for everyone.

        December 15, 2011 at 2:51 pm |
  75. Nick San Diego

    Oh,I don;t know of any Americans being killed by Iran, but I sure remember when Israel killed our navy personel in 1967 with the USS Liberty. And what did we do ? Thats right NOTHING. Pay attention, our country is in trouble.

    December 15, 2011 at 2:41 pm | Reply
    • Anon

      You're the one that needs to pay attention, the USS Liberty accident was the fault of the US, our government even said it was our fault. Check the wikipedia page if you dont believe me.

      December 15, 2011 at 2:48 pm | Reply
      • Max

        Having served in the Navy and actually met and spoke with a USS Liberty survivor, I concur. LBJ gave US Naval units direct orders to not come to the aid of the Liberty despite the Liberty's incessant distress calls. The Liberty was not supposed to survive the attack and being a top secret intelligence ship, the government could have made up any story about it seeing as how the official records were top secret. This would have been a perfect excuse to intervene in the Six-Day War, but much to the government's surprise the ship survived. Odd how top secret stuff always "happens" to get destroyed or captured by people our government doesn't like to often, granted it is unlikely the Iranians shot down this drone, but it's not the first time this stuff "accidentally" fell into "enemy" hands. USS Liberty, USS Pueblo, Gary Powers and the U-2 incident, Iran-contra, Osama-CIA-trained-operative-Bin Laden, etc. Odd how all these terrible "accidents" happened at the expense of the taxpayers to the tune of what coupld be speculated at trillions of dollars, and not to mention the various unknown off the record American lives lost due to all these "accidents"

        December 15, 2011 at 3:10 pm |
    • max

      were you alive in the late 70s? remember the hostages?

      December 15, 2011 at 3:01 pm | Reply
    • Gregg

      Nick of San Diego, how about 250 American marines killed by Hezbollah (arm of the Iranian government) in Lebanon?
      Is that enough for you? How about the entire staff of our Teheran embassy scarred for life by being held hostage by the Iranians for more than a year?

      December 15, 2011 at 3:03 pm | Reply
      • For3ignPo1icy

        Did you really just say check Wikipedia for facts..??

        December 15, 2011 at 3:34 pm |
    • rick

      war is hell, accidents happen and friendly fire occurs, get over it, or are you still pretending 44 years after the fact to be obsessed with a friendly fire incident during an actual war? or more likely you are just a jew hater or a Palestinian/arab aplologist that is always trying to switch the subject of an article from arab issues with the US. It's tired rhetoric and most people are too smart to be swayed by the Palestinian mantra "woe is me. Its the jews fault, we are innocent"

      December 15, 2011 at 3:50 pm | Reply
  76. Watcher

    When we destroy iran from within then that 'engineet' (I use that term loosly when defining an iranian) then he will understand the might of the USA. One question for that bozo: What does STUXNET mean to you?

    December 15, 2011 at 2:39 pm | Reply
  77. Nick San Diego

    Just what has Iran done to the USA to have us think that they're our enemy. You see we have been brainwashed into thinking that Israels enemy is ours.
    Last time I looked, we are 2 SEPERATE countries, although our bought government does;nt act like it.

    December 15, 2011 at 2:38 pm | Reply
    • Dave

      I seam to remember them holding hostages in the 70's.
      I wonder if those folks will say they like Iran or not?

      December 15, 2011 at 2:42 pm | Reply
      • Andrewx80

        ,maybe Iranians were a little pissed off that we support the brutal dictatorship of the Shaw of Iran for so many years... but then again George Bush was good buddies with Saddam Hussein and standing up for him when those darn liberals were complaining about his brutal dictatorship... oh that is until Saddam got uppity and tried to take more oil than we wanted to let him have... from the dictator (sorry I mean Prince) next door who we were are still supporting... and you wonder why they hate us in the middle east.

        December 15, 2011 at 3:01 pm |
    • gtk1065

      That has to be one of the most uninformed, ignorant statement I have ever read.

      December 15, 2011 at 2:49 pm | Reply
    • Rick

      They took over our embassy for over a year among other things......

      December 15, 2011 at 2:49 pm | Reply
    • US

      "It simply fell into their laps," – That is the most stupid comment of unintellegent "intellegence official". If we have this type of intellegence officials – we will lose any war. Falling from 50,000 feet and being intact. Either he is playing and thinking American people are stupid or he is really stupid.

      December 15, 2011 at 2:50 pm | Reply
    • Dale

      USS Stark. Look it up.

      December 15, 2011 at 3:05 pm | Reply
    • Doobie Wah

      One day people will wake up and understand
      "we all live on the same planet".
      A one world order might not be such a bad thing.

      December 15, 2011 at 3:10 pm | Reply
    • George Orwell

      Yep, I tried to warn ya.

      December 15, 2011 at 3:33 pm | Reply
    • rick

      another iranian spokesman writing from a basement in tehran

      December 15, 2011 at 3:52 pm | Reply
  78. Anon

    My thoughts is that the drone is real, it was somehow sighted in the air and shot down (I seriously have doubts that they "hacked" into a CIA drone and landed it). The part that I think Iran isn't telling us is that this is just a model, the real drone would not be that color nor would it look like to have a hand-made grill on the front. What I think happened was that it crashed and was reassembled with plaster to make it look like the original drone. You can tell this from the first video of some engineer looking like he knows what hes talking about when he's explaining the jet to some general. The tape marks clearly show where they are holding the damn thing together, curious why the bottom or back was not shown at all.

    The hardware inside the drone is most likely useless if it fell and crashed and this is just a replica. Iran is going to puff out it's chest and act like the idiots they are by proclaiming they "hacked" into it, please, get real. You still use pre 80s naval boats, your missle technology is pre 90s and you have no clue what you're doing with your nuclear power since you keep having random accidental explosions in half of your facilities.

    Iran is a joke, a child with a small stick that pretends it's a lightsaber.

    December 15, 2011 at 2:37 pm | Reply
    • bloopers

      I I agree with almost all of what you say besides the drone being shot down. Sadly we are so paranoid nowadays when something does just have a malfunction we have to assume its a conspiracy or something over the top when most of the time the simplest answer is normally the right answer.

      December 15, 2011 at 2:50 pm | Reply
    • US

      This is a model. And the real plane is intact but in the garage protected from any types of waves. Remember – it is a secret plane and has a detonator and enought tnt in it to make it disappear. Signal of selfdistruction just does not get through those thik metal plates the palne is in. As soon as Iranis roll it out on the open – the plane will detonate.

      December 15, 2011 at 2:54 pm | Reply
    • max

      The thing is still turned on and recording videos of the Iranians for you-tube.

      December 15, 2011 at 3:24 pm | Reply
  79. Cory

    This thing is bait for someone. The question is who. Was it meant for Iran/china to have to act as some informational trojan horse. Or was it meant as bait to get Iran acting even more arrogant and provocative toward the US, so as to arouse US public opinion negatively toward Iran. Basically starting the propaganda machine going for the upcoming war, beating the drums so to speak.

    December 15, 2011 at 2:36 pm | Reply
    • Xtype

      Interesting questions, but don't forget the US was already committing a crime by spying on the country with the drone. And now they admitted it.

      December 15, 2011 at 2:49 pm | Reply
      • bloopers

        Nobody admitted anything. Do you see the persons name who CNN got the info from? Wonder why, just more speculation.

        December 15, 2011 at 2:51 pm |
    • US

      The answer was on CNN – Military officials requested Obama to approve military strike on the site. Obama did not approve it. If he did – we will be in war with Iran for sure. And we want it, don't we?

      December 15, 2011 at 2:56 pm | Reply
  80. Reasonably

    Lost contact....boom. Way it should have happened. Now it's just a circus and our military looks like clowns. Of course, the Iranian military are the evil clowns. Clown showdown!

    December 15, 2011 at 2:36 pm | Reply
  81. mR. mYXLPTLKX

    CAN ANYONE SAY "SELF-DESTRUCT MECHANISM? I CAN'T BELIEVE THE COMPANY HAD ANYTHING BUILT WITHOUT ONE...

    December 15, 2011 at 2:36 pm | Reply
    • lgortman

      I agree 100%, maybe we are the ones that are way behind in technology...

      December 15, 2011 at 3:04 pm | Reply
    • Doobie Wah

      *** SELF-DESTRUCT MECHANISM

      There, i said it.
      Do you feel better ?

      December 15, 2011 at 3:16 pm | Reply
  82. rad666

    Iran got an early Xmas present.

    December 15, 2011 at 2:36 pm | Reply
  83. Alex

    Trojan Horse!

    December 15, 2011 at 2:34 pm | Reply
  84. whosurdaddie

    so this thing "is designed to evade sophisticated air defenses?" Then what is it doing in Iran? The world knows nothing about that country is sophisticated. Could have flown one of those toy helicopters you see in the mall, and save for any crash, it wouldn't have been detected by these numskulls

    December 15, 2011 at 2:34 pm | Reply
    • adamant

      well pointed. maybe Iran has really "sophisticated air defenses"? maybe this kind of a "fact" is unacceptable for "patriotic" Americans. I am really very surprised how proud these Americans for their countries military and intelligence power, of ability to destroy countries like Iraq and having skills to win against any power in this world. Whenever this belief and image in their minds and hearts is damaged, they feel bad.. Hey men, now I saw and found Americans' weak point! You are prideful more than necessary, and enemies of America can use this weak point. They can play to effect this pride, and results can be out of your control. Just by humiliating your military power, your country can be forced to enter a war against any country; because your people is very angry when your country is beaten. This is very dangerous because sometimes you could not want to fight against these "enemies" but because of the public pressure, your leadership parties can change. So, this is really a weak point. Beware!

      December 15, 2011 at 3:33 pm | Reply
  85. JCDavis

    It's amazing how our government tells one lie after another. And the latest one is that it was a glitch and Iran had nothing to do with it. I suppose one day we'll learn that the CIA set it down in Iran on purpose, to give the Iranians our top secret stealth technology to make it impossible for Israel to go to war with them. And that would be the only good thing we've done in this sad affair.

    December 15, 2011 at 2:30 pm | Reply
    • bloopers

      I would bet on the fact that it really was just a malfunction (which happens all the time concerning remote controlled vehicles) but thats not enough for conspiracy nuts like you

      December 15, 2011 at 2:54 pm | Reply
  86. lgortman

    By Author Brad Taylor, Excellent Read and better than the reporters out their starting rumors without hard facts..

    When we lost a drone to Iran the other day, I thought, “Wow. Someone is in trouble.” What I didn’t think was, “Wow. It’s the end of the world. Now Iran has our most top-secret information.” I wouldn’t even blog about this, because it’s really a non-issue, but then a drone crashed in the Seychelles islands doing work over Somalia, and the next thing you hear is that OUR ENTIRE DRONE INFRASTRUCTURE IS IN DANGER. Really? Come on. Drones are made for one thing: Disposable intelligence.

    Yes, we lost a drone in Iran, but it’s not that big of a deal. Yes, it’s a semi-stealth drone, and yes, it had a lot of high-grade optics on board, but it’s a DRONE. We built the thing knowing we would eventually lose one. We did not build it with our most precious secrets, then set it free wondering what we would do when it lost contact with its ground station. Which happens all the damn time. We lose drones on a regular basis. Here’s a database of such losses from official reports. It happens frequently. I saw it happen innumerable times in Iraq and Afghanistan. It’s just the price of doing business. So, given that history, there’s no way we would implant our most top-secret capability in a drone.

    The biggest issue with the loss to Iran is whether it simply lost contact with its ground station (which happens more times than we like to admit), or whether Iran had the capability to hack our systems, given our encryption. A lot of folks are talking about that right now, and maybe they’re right, but I think not. The evidence used is a specific group highjacking the downlink from the video – back when we didn’t encrypt the downlink – and now applying that to the flight mechanics. Yes, there have been some groups that have been able to steal the downlink of the feed – before we began encrypting it – but that’s a world apart from highjacking the actual controls of the aircraft. The downlink is nothing more than a signal like anything being used for Dish network on your TV. It’s like seeing the DVD movie in the headrest of a car, but not driving the car itself. Bad enough, because the enemy was now seeing what we were seeing, but nowhere near as bad as taking control of the drone.

    We now encrypt the downlink, and have always encrypted the flight controls, with a cipher that’s about as hardened as possible. I find it hard to believe that the Iranians brought down our drone by taking control of it. Maybe I’m wrong, and will eat crow in a couple of months, but my vote is it crashed due to a glitch, which anyone who’s an RF model pilot will tell you happens all the time. When a plane loses contact, it goes into glide mode, attempting to land at the nearest opportunity. This opportunity proved to be a boon to Iran, but it’s not a catastrophe to us.

    The intel collected on the mission profile is the only thing that would cause me to pause. Luckily, the intel from the drone is real-time. It’s not taking pictures and storing it for a drop in outer space like the old spy planes. It’s transmitting continuously and being collected by computers at the ground station. Thus, when the thing came to earth, it had nothing in its storage. All the Iranians got were some high-speed cameras and a really big remote controlled plane. The cameras themselves aren’t classified, and, while the Iranians might learn something from them, the Chinese probably looked at them and said, “Ours are better.”

    Because they can’t admit that we kick their ass in that arena…

    Of course, the administration probably didn’t expect the Iranians to find it in the middle of the desert and then display it to the world, but that’s the way of things. In the end, it’s just not that big of a deal.

    December 15, 2011 at 2:30 pm | Reply
    • Tom Albert

      It was just a trade of arms for cash for the CIA, which they did in the 1980s

      December 15, 2011 at 2:32 pm | Reply
    • Jojo

      Yeah the classified stealth skin technology was nothing, right? And I suppose the comm link hardware will not make it easier the Chinese/Iranians to hack the next one. You are delusional. It might not be as big as dropping nuclear secrets in their laps, but this was a total win for the Russians, Chinese and the Iranians.

      December 15, 2011 at 2:48 pm | Reply
      • Joe

        Jojo, Igor makes a much better argument. Besides, the Chinese already know about the stealth covering thanks to the helicopter the SEALS had to leave behind when they nuked Bin Laden. Combine that with the fact that the Chinese can't even make drywall correctly and this becomes a headache maybe, but not a catastrophe.

        December 15, 2011 at 2:57 pm |
    • Doobie Wah

      Good post Igor.
      All the little Sherlock Holmes on here gets annoying.
      Yesterday there was some nut screaming for President Obama to be
      arrested for treason for "giving" this thing away (chuckle).
      Just another day on CNN.

      December 15, 2011 at 3:36 pm | Reply
  87. Jojo

    It would probably be easier to hit the satellite relaying the comm link than the actually drone. It should be pretty easy to disrupt or take out spy satellites with a powerful ground based laser. Ironically, we have now given the intel on the underground sites we know about and I am sure the infrastructure has already been moved. Also, they probably has already traded access and sample of the tech to the Chines for enriched uranium. We have probably actually help them further along the road to nukes.
    Now here is a scenario no one has explored. We actually drop the drone down on purpose. Not as a trojan, but to help Iran finally get a few deterrent nukes to stop an Israeli attack on Iran, that would have destroy the USA economically. Even a nutjob like Amajad wouldn't use a first strike nuke, but it would finally be enough for Iran to stop living in fear of any major Israeli or US intervention in their country.

    December 15, 2011 at 2:29 pm | Reply
    • Doobie Wah

      *** We actually drop the drone down on purpose. Not as a trojan, but to help Iran finally get a few deterrent nukes to stop an Israeli attack on Iran, that would have destroy the USA economically.
      ----------------------------------
      So you are saying there is a couple of nukes inside the drone ?
      You might want to rethink that one.

      December 15, 2011 at 3:45 pm | Reply
  88. george

    This is getting pretty obvious this "drone" was intended for China to have. When you "lose" control of it, and you don't detonate it, and it lands kind of intact, and you ask for it back, and then you leak out that you were actually spying with it.............Anybody get the feeling China/Iran are probably looking for the hook in this one?

    December 15, 2011 at 2:29 pm | Reply
    • Marvin The Martian

      What happened to the earth shattering kaboom ?
      There was supposed to be an earth shattering kaboom !!!
      That makes me soooooo angry.

      December 15, 2011 at 3:49 pm | Reply
  89. Josh

    DUH! what else was it looking for, candy?

    December 15, 2011 at 2:26 pm | Reply
    • Achmed

      It was searching for the creator of Toddlers and Tiaras.

      December 15, 2011 at 2:52 pm | Reply
  90. Tom Albert

    Yet another CIA mess up with Iran. First they sell them arms to bring Ronald Reagan into office, and use that money to buy drugs from the Columbians and develop crack for the US market, aand then they take that money to fund the Contras. Now they HAND Iran an advanced spy plane that they could reproduce, it seems too intetional to be an accident. The rest is a cover story. Odds are, somthing is afoot that we citizens aren't allowed to be aware of, as it may create issues for the black money flow the CIA utilizes to do off the books black ops. It is time they are replaced as an agency, as the CIA has proven that incorporating Nazi and Stalinist techniques leads to pure corruption. Agents all retire as multi millionaires.

    December 15, 2011 at 2:25 pm | Reply
    • Lean6

      Tom, open a window and let the smoke out...you're thinking too hard about this one. We fly high, we spy, we compare new imagery with old imagery, we launch Tomahawks and send in bombers. The world is a lot uglier place than the average Tom, Dikk, and Harry could handle. That's why U.S. presidents turn grey overnight.

      December 15, 2011 at 2:32 pm | Reply
      • Tom Albert

        Just realize, this is just another round of the CIA selling arms to Iran.

        December 15, 2011 at 2:35 pm |
      • Lerxt

        I'm sorry but mistakes like these make me want to see the SR-71 Blackbirds back in flight. They cost a fortune to operate but weren't as expensive and no one was able to or is able to shoot it down. It's also controlled by a live pilot who can initiate a self destruct protocol if something were to go wrong. It could also fly high enough over friendly airspace to spy on neighboring states.

        December 15, 2011 at 2:47 pm |
      • Tom Albert

        Unfortunately you can't sell a pilot who thinks he's doing his duty for his nation, when the CIA wants to trade. A live pilot would have created problems and the Iranians could not reproduce them.

        December 15, 2011 at 2:50 pm |
      • Lean6

        Not plausible, Tom.

        December 15, 2011 at 3:11 pm |
    • LErxt

      Somewhere Tom Clancy is secretly developing the plot to his next novel...

      I think it's quite an interesting theory – how does a sophisticated drone land intact in Iranian hands – could it be "payment in kind" for something? Possibly to keep them out of Afghanistan or to assist with Pakistan or China???

      December 15, 2011 at 2:43 pm | Reply
      • Tom Albert

        The answer is simple the payoff for the CIA is a clear smuggling route for the opium harvests they get from the Afghans. The CIA has been in the drug trade since right after WWII.

        December 15, 2011 at 2:45 pm |
      • bloopers

        how can you be this dumb? Look again at the picture and notice all the plaster on it? This did not come down intact or "land" it malfunctioned and crashed, notice you never see the back of it?

        December 15, 2011 at 3:02 pm |
      • Lean6

        You do realize that "delivery" of such an arrangement wouldn't have had to be complicated at all...don't you? Could have just landed. Why the Iran-initiated media hype? I hear we might "sell" them a bunch of missiles and bombs here shortly too, by the way. We gave Iraq and Afghanistan such a good deal that Iran decided to throw in their own bid.

        December 15, 2011 at 3:17 pm |
    • bloopers

      I can just Imagine Tom sitting in his closet watching this story on TV wearing his tin foil hat, twitching from time to time and then going out to murder his next prostitute

      December 15, 2011 at 3:00 pm | Reply
      • Tom Albert

        Prove me wrong. History sides with me. The facts side with me. So, to win your arguement you decide personal attacks are warranted? REALLY???!!?? How mature is that? Show me wrong and I'll bow to you, otherwise, get an education.

        December 15, 2011 at 3:02 pm |
    • Ground Zero

      Ya know Tom,
      I believe that 911 was done by our own government, but.......
      You are flat out freaking crazy.

      December 15, 2011 at 3:52 pm | Reply
  91. Norm

    Too bad that damn thing doesn't have a small tactical nuke on board as a self destruct mechanism, or maybe it does?? Anyway, how did it get shot down by the Iranians if it is perfectly intact? This seems to be an enigma wrapped in a conundrum huh. This incident will be fodder for the conspiracy folks for decades.

    December 15, 2011 at 2:25 pm | Reply
  92. Truthwillsetyoufree

    why do they not have a self destruct in them?

    December 15, 2011 at 2:24 pm | Reply
    • Jason K

      Yeah, a thermo-nuclear one at that.

      December 15, 2011 at 2:46 pm | Reply
  93. drpollack

    Why is that drone still in one piece? We should have blown it up and called it a day.

    December 15, 2011 at 2:23 pm | Reply
    • Joe

      Yes, but that would have necessitated a US airstrike on Iranian soil. We'd be at war with Iran right now if we'd done that.

      December 15, 2011 at 2:26 pm | Reply
      • alan seago

        Joe: We probably wouldn't be at war with Iran if we had destroyed our drone on their soil. I'm sure the Iranians would play it for all it was worth, and make a big production in the press and the U.N., but that would be that. Surely you don't think Iran would attack the U.S. over our destroying our own drone, no matter where it was sited.

        But even if we were to be at war with Iran, and I agree we should avoid that if we reasonably can, that might not be the worst scenario possible. It would simplify our decision-making process regarding what to do about their nuclear facilities. With U.S. forces out of Iraq those people would no longer be a convenient target for the Iranians. And, as horrible as war with Iran today would be, it would not be as bad as a war with Iran five years from now, when they have nuclear weapons, credible delivery platforms, and much of our stealth technology, reverse-engineered from the drone we left intact.

        December 15, 2011 at 2:33 pm |
      • Kai Ping Wong

        That is what Dick Cheney suggested Obama should have done. He seems to like starting wars.

        December 15, 2011 at 2:34 pm |
      • dH

        But Cheney likes it. He is so obsesses with this game.

        December 15, 2011 at 2:35 pm |
    • DemFL

      Dear CIA, please put self-destruct devices on all future drones, once they lose sat-com they should self-destruct...but hum guess that could freak out a few sky watchers...UFO

      December 15, 2011 at 2:30 pm | Reply
    • Done

      This drone is severely damaged. Notice in the photo they have the belly totally covered with flags and other drapery.

      December 15, 2011 at 2:38 pm | Reply
  94. bill

    We don't need to Duane. Israel is getting ready for the first strike. That is why our guys are coming home. It is going to be a mess over there and may well be nukes. In 1967 Israel shut Nasser's mouth. Now Egypt is not even a player.
    Arjabigmouth is about to become silenced. I say by June. Stay tuned.

    December 15, 2011 at 2:22 pm | Reply
    • Nick San Diego

      WRONG . Iran is no Iraq 1982. Stay tuned.

      December 15, 2011 at 2:29 pm | Reply
  95. RR

    Am I the only one who thinks this craft was brought down by a Chinese team located in Iran? Iran doesn't have this level of capability for electronic warfare and wouldn't know what to do with the craft once they have it in their hands. The Chinese on the other hand, have the capbility, the motivation and opportunity.

    December 15, 2011 at 2:22 pm | Reply
    • yes

      yes you are the only idiot who thinks that

      December 15, 2011 at 2:28 pm | Reply
      • sundance

        lol

        December 15, 2011 at 2:40 pm |
    • Truth Hurts

      The Chinese probably built most of the drone...

      December 15, 2011 at 2:30 pm | Reply
    • ZOG - Ruler Of The Underground

      As we speak, the Chinese are tunneling through the center
      of the earth, and are going to attack us from under our feet.
      If you hear Chinese voices coming from under your lawn,
      run for your life.

      December 15, 2011 at 4:03 pm | Reply
  96. steve harnack

    How would we react if we discovered spy planes in our airspace? Would we declare it an act of war? I'm sick of the U.S. riding roughshod over everyone else and one of these days we are going to find the whole world to be on the "other" side.

    December 15, 2011 at 2:21 pm | Reply
    • chaps

      say "riding roughshod" again. it gives me goosebumps.

      December 15, 2011 at 2:28 pm | Reply
    • Fairplay99

      Well Strvie, it's all about protecting ourselves.

      December 15, 2011 at 2:29 pm | Reply
      • Nick San Diego

        Hmm. Would you say that they were protecting themselves, if they had drones and stealth aircraft in our space, or if they had troops on our borders of Canada and Mexico. No I don;t think so.

        December 15, 2011 at 2:35 pm |
    • JRB123

      It could be considered a act of war but is not. Now everyones does it all the time in all countries of intrest they just dont get cought because ther equiptment has not malfunctioned yet is all. So its not just about the U.S doing what they want we just got cought due to malfunction. That Drone is in great condition to have been downed.. No holes or anything of that sort.

      December 15, 2011 at 2:31 pm | Reply
    • Dumas

      you are stupid... left wing nut... you probably voted for obama didn't you...dolt

      December 15, 2011 at 2:42 pm | Reply
      • JRB123

        I hope this comment was for steve!

        December 15, 2011 at 2:47 pm |
      • DeTamble

        Sorry Dumas,
        Stupid people vote republican.
        Its a lack of education.

        December 15, 2011 at 4:08 pm |
    • Brian

      Countries spy on each other. Many have entire departments committed to the task. Not a recent development. The public likes to get up in arms when it becomes more obvious, as it does with a slip up like this, but any government that is shocked that attempts have been made to obtain their secrets is incredibly naive.

      December 15, 2011 at 2:50 pm | Reply
    • ZOG - Ruler Of The Underground

      Steve, come to the dark side.

      December 15, 2011 at 4:05 pm | Reply
  97. Joe

    Iran is going to become a nuclear power – we'd best start planning for it. After all, Israel, China, India, Pakistan, Russia...all neighbors, all nuclear. Not to mention the US. Libya and Iraq...no nukes and they're gone. North Korea – nuclear and still here. Hell, if I were Iran I would absolutely be going after nuclear weapons.

    December 15, 2011 at 2:18 pm | Reply
    • jimmyray

      Not only that, but now they have stealth technology to deliver it. What a shame.

      December 15, 2011 at 2:24 pm | Reply
    • JRB123

      We dont need nukes to be the best military in the world that we are.. Just bad ass Marines

      December 15, 2011 at 2:34 pm | Reply
      • Jason K

        Ok, put the beer down, and listen up. The only reason we are the "best" in the world is because we have superior technology to all the 3rd world countries we pick on. And the sad thing is we still haven't actually won anything since WWII. Korea=Fail Vietnam=Fail IranContra=Fail DesertStorm=What were we there for? Iraq2.0=Fail Libya=Fail. Great track record eh? Plus we are generally the only nation fighting all the time. Meanwhile China and Russia have all this military equipment and soldiers itching to use them. If we attack Iran, we piss off Russia AND China. And we don't have the money to deploy unless we do QE whatever the hell number we're up to, and that will completely destroy whatever economy we have left.

        December 15, 2011 at 2:52 pm |
      • JRB123

        As long as we kill more of them then us we are winning.. No matter the political view

        December 15, 2011 at 2:58 pm |
    • Kai Ping Wong

      Iran has as much right to have nukes as the USA or Israel does.

      December 15, 2011 at 2:35 pm | Reply
      • Brian

        I think it was the whole wiping Israel off of the map rhetoric that had some concerned that they might opt to use one if they developed it. That coupled with the harsh response to protestors leaves a compelling image in my mind of a toddler with a loaded handgun.

        December 15, 2011 at 2:54 pm |
      • Jason K

        According to you. This is not a smart ass remark, think about it...who determines who has what rights in this world? Iran doesn't have many friends, but the ones it does have are powerful masters. But they still don't want to screw with the west in WWIII its just not profitable.

        December 15, 2011 at 2:54 pm |
    • DeTamble

      if I were Iran I would absolutely be going after nuclear weapons.

      And then the saudi's will want one.
      then the egyptians........
      Pakistan/India/china/russia have them
      It only takes one hot head who thinks he is right
      to launch world war 3.
      So lets just give a nuke to every nut out there.

      By the way, even countries who dont get nuked, suffer
      Not just from fallout, but the economic destruction will be total.

      Letting Iran have a nuclear weapon is a very BAD IDEA !

      December 15, 2011 at 5:12 pm | Reply
  98. rad666

    They can't control it? But it landed intact?

    December 15, 2011 at 2:16 pm | Reply
    • Kai Ping Wong

      Excellent point! How did it land intact? Seems to me that Iran could control the landing, as I doubt the USA would have given it a soft landing.

      December 15, 2011 at 2:24 pm | Reply
      • USA

        Hey, Chinese chicken...can you see the under belly or the entire drone?

        December 15, 2011 at 5:04 pm |
      • DeTamble

        The Americans lost a drone.
        The Iranians slapped one together out of paper mache, and scream....
        Look what we have !
        The guy behind the camera is laughing his butt off.

        December 15, 2011 at 5:16 pm |
    • closetiguana

      It's sad when we have to believe an Iranian government over and American one.

      December 15, 2011 at 2:28 pm | Reply
      • csam18

        You mean it's sad that SOMEONE would believe the Iran government over ours. Don't toss WE in there.

        December 15, 2011 at 4:00 pm |
    • csam18

      Hence this is why there are many that don't believe Iran is telling the truth. They're obviously bluffing for their propaganda. It's more likely that they pieced things together and made it look pretty for the camera. And Iran has a long long history of flubbing the truth so they can flex their fake muscles.

      December 15, 2011 at 3:59 pm | Reply
      • Iman ajedi or something

        My musles not be fake.
        My country is be super power.
        May the fleas of a thousand camels infest the great satan.
        We dont behead witches, we have no witches, or gay people,
        they no exist in Iran.
        Death to Amerika, death to Izreal
        death to infidels whoever they be
        gotta go....somebody dropping bombs...........

        December 15, 2011 at 5:43 pm |
  99. Osama

    WWIII IS JUST AROUND THE CORNER!

    December 15, 2011 at 2:14 pm | Reply
    • Fairplay99

      I don't think so.

      December 15, 2011 at 2:32 pm | Reply
    • JRB123

      Im all about WWIII USMC all the way baby.. all the way

      December 15, 2011 at 2:35 pm | Reply
      • USA

        Get some!
        SEMPER FI

        December 15, 2011 at 5:05 pm |
    • Petrox

      World War III

      There are some people who want this war,
      because it fills a biblical prophecy.
      Those people control governments, the vatican, world banks.
      You cant fight what you cant see.

      You come here and post your comments
      but you should use the internet to find the truth.

      Americans never question the masonic symbols on thier money.
      You Europeans never question why, the euro has the rebuilding of babylon
      on thier money.
      Canada, Australia, and New Zealand are called "crown lands"
      They are in fact, owned by the crown.
      Its not the "crown" that sits on the Queens head.
      Its a "business" crown.
      They own you, lock stock and barrel.
      The United States Of America is not a country.
      Its a corporation, that owes its allegiance to.....The Crown.
      You need to read the peace treaty signed between the US and Brittian.

      Just like the Roman Empire,
      the Brittish empire could no longer hold on with armies
      the next and best thing to do was.....
      Buy the world.

      Dont need armies, or plantation owners having slaves.
      Now its "finacial slavery".

      Armies are good, they enrich the military industrial complex,
      but there is a better way of controlling the world.

      December 15, 2011 at 6:05 pm | Reply
  100. Duane

    Guess as long as Iran pursues a nuclear capability we will continue to spy on them

    December 15, 2011 at 2:13 pm | Reply
    • Kai Ping Wong

      Other countries have just as much right to fly drones over the continental USA, or US military bases and embassies around the world.

      December 15, 2011 at 2:22 pm | Reply
      • GI Joe

        LIke heck they do We are teh peacejepper of the world at this time in history. That's why we do it. ! 'd love to see anyone try. We will shoot it down very quickly and then pursue actions against the country who did it.

        December 15, 2011 at 2:29 pm |
      • Fairplay99

        Hey Kai Ping, you are so wrong. We will destroy them thar things before they get to our door.

        December 15, 2011 at 2:31 pm |
      • alan seago

        Of course other countries have as much right to TRY to fly drones over the US as we Americans have to fly, or try to fly, drones over their countries. And we in the U.S. have a right under international law to shoot down any drones overflying the U.S., just as the Iranians have a right under international law to shoot down drones flown over their country.

        What is your point?

        December 15, 2011 at 2:35 pm |
      • USA

        Bring it.
        OOH F'ING RAH!

        December 15, 2011 at 5:01 pm |
    • JCDavis

      If Iran was really intending to manufacture nukes. they would already have them. And if they already have them, they sure won't admit it–not any more than Israel admits to having hundreds of nukes and a plan to destroy the entire world if they get into trouble.

      December 15, 2011 at 2:33 pm | Reply
      • bloopers

        You realize you cant just go "make" nukes, back when the US made the first couple bombs they were using something like 25% of the entire countries power output for the enriching process.

        December 15, 2011 at 3:09 pm |
      • rick

        wow, it was time for your meds and now its several hours later. paranoia is a bitch, isnt it.

        December 15, 2011 at 3:58 pm |
    • Jason K

      We will be spying on them perpetually, they are a "thorn in the side of our national interests" I.E. The land of black milk and honey.

      December 15, 2011 at 2:56 pm | Reply
      • Tom Albert

        Iran has been the best CIA customer buying arms and technology to them for one form of payment of another, right now the CIA wants to ensure it's opium trade goes uninterrupted now that the US military is no longer in Iraq. They are safe guarding their profits.

        December 15, 2011 at 3:00 pm |
      • bloopers

        Hey Jason, let me know when you stop using all products the require petroleum to produce or fuel. Otherwise shutup because you are part of the problem you are complaining about.

        December 15, 2011 at 3:11 pm |
1 2 3 4

Post a comment


 

CNN welcomes a lively and courteous discussion as long as you follow the Rules of Conduct set forth in our Terms of Service. Comments are not pre-screened before they post. You agree that anything you post may be used, along with your name and profile picture, in accordance with our Privacy Policy and the license you have granted pursuant to our Terms of Service.