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 (1,508 Responses)
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  4. Ziggy

    You Sir/Madam are the enemy of confusion eyevrwhere!

    January 30, 2012 at 1:32 am | Reply
  5. adam murphy

    i cant believe the government hasnt figured out why it went down, the iran scientist said they were able to take over its control system and land it, Previously cnn had an article saying that our drones were infected with a virus (all of them) and they didnt know what the virus did, or when it would start doing whatever it was programmed to do, they also said they were unable to remove the virus, heres the link ?

    January 26, 2012 at 7:53 am | Reply
  6. caucasion

    there is no such thing as ALLAH. no hope for the islams, except to change. praise be to god.

    December 16, 2011 at 11:07 pm | Reply
    • caucasion

      the god of the caucasions, and the god of the jews, who also happens to be the god of some of the arabs whom are both part caucasion and part jew, like ahmadinejad, looks down from heaven upon the silly whirling dirvishes in places like turkey, who twirl about in place to get a high, and upon the silly whirlers whirling about a black stone in arabia called the kaaba, and the turbanites who whirl a towel around their head, and laughs, and wonders whatever happened to them, that they could be so lost, and drive themselves to such insanity by so much twirling

      December 16, 2011 at 11:17 pm | Reply
    • otterknow

      Everyone thinks their religion is the right one, otherwise, they would not belong to it. You need to drop that whole christian obligation to say yours is the right one. Do not worry, nobody is going to hell because you did not convert them on some basis of fear of the heaven bribe that seems to be the response most of your kind gives when asked why they are what they are.

      All three religions were spawned from the same place and the details are their only divide. Please try to fully understand the other side of your argument. Otherwise, you are making yourself look like a ignorance based bigot who, sadly, only your buddy's in wherever you are from will agree with. There are 6 billion people on this planet and we can count on one hand the conflicts that were not promoted or backed by a religious undertone.

      5000 years ago, even the most educated person only had the equivalent of a 4th grade education. That lack of understanding along with mans need to explain his surroundings led to the religions we have today. Thankfully, we know that lightening is cased by atmospheric conditions these days and god is not angry with us.

      Summary., your god is just dumb to billions of people just as those peoples god is dumb to you. Why? Because its fake but it lets the hopeless and ignorant sleep at night.

      January 21, 2012 at 11:42 pm | Reply
  7. Sayan Majumdar

    Incidentally Iran operates a number of Russian origin Kvant 1L222 Avtobaza Electronic Intelligence (ELINT) systems that includes passive ELINT signals interception system and a jamming module capable of disrupting airborne radars including fire control radars, terrain following radars and ground mapping radars as well as missile data links.

    The ELINT system operates over the Ku and X bands (8-18 GHz frequency range) and may have a role in “interception” of RQ-170 Sentinel (according to general media).

    I personally am not buying that idea, I still love the Trojan concept ;).


    December 16, 2011 at 9:05 pm | Reply
  8. Cassandra Chu

    I'm saddened that I am really starting to lose faith in the stupidity of American politics and the abuse of the CIA...

    December 16, 2011 at 6:24 pm | Reply
    • HM

      Cassandra, I'm guessing you never had any respect for the CIA in the first place, nor for that matter, the U.S. Military.

      January 13, 2012 at 4:30 pm | Reply

        Many of us have seen the CIA at work in Central America, and in Africa, and in many other places have serious concerns that damage caused to our nations's reputation by the evil which it has done and which it continues to do "in our name' in many parts of the world may far outweigh the benefits of much of its work. Of course, those who believe that American exceptionalism sets us above any moral judgement other than our own, aren't troubled by such things. For them, mindless cheering will always suffice.

        January 14, 2012 at 5:44 am |
  9. Redeye Dog

    They can try to talk it down all they want. We have had freedom to fly drones as the only country with the technology. You can bet this technology will be studied by the Iranians (backed by Russians) and a new counter drone strategy developed for use against our own interests.

    We have just lost air(drone)superiority.. If what the Iranians are saying is even partially true, it immediately opens the possibility of our own drones being used against our own troops against our will.

    If they successfully did it once, they can do it again. Now that they have an "intact" drone, it will be replicated and then sold to the Chinese who will mass produce their own versions for sale to the highest bidder... Maybe not in that order but one can see the explosive potential of having such a technology. No pun intended..

    Our drones can no longer be deployed with the same confidence. We are no longer the only ones "hanging around."

    December 16, 2011 at 5:15 pm | Reply
  10. dreamer96

    Here's another theory for what really happened to this drone...Santa Claus was making a dry run through the Middle East trying to locate all the children for Christmas evening, they have been moving around a lot and Santa did not want to spend Christmas night looking for them, anyway this darm drone got attracted to Rudolph's red nose and started following him, so Santa headed for the ground trying to lose the drone...cussing as he flew wildly this way and that way, but he ended up over Iraq when the drone ran out of gas..

    December 16, 2011 at 2:32 pm | Reply
  11. Robot Monster

    Here's a theory that would explain things. This drone is not faster than an Iranian fighter jet. The fighter jet spots this thing flying over a sensitive installation and goes up wing-tip to wing-tip with the drone. The software in the drone is stupid and dives to avoid a collision. The fighter follows and the drone continues to dive. The merry chase continues until the drone gently plows into the desert. Perhaps with a fighter plane above between drone and satelitte may play a role.,

    December 16, 2011 at 1:31 pm | Reply
  12. arale norimaki

    Russia may have helped Iran down spy drone

    It's possible that Russia directly aided Iran in downing the sophisticated U.S. drone that crashed in Iranian territory last week, America's former U.N. Ambassador John Bolton said today in a radio interview.

    "You would have to think that that is a possibility," said Bolton, commenting on the likelihood of Russian assistance in the drone's capture

    Bolton noted speculation that Iran in recent months purchased from Russian sources the advanced jamming and electronic warfare system known as Avtobaza, which he said could have been used to hack into the downed drone's system.

    December 16, 2011 at 12:31 pm | Reply
    • Mr No It All

      The Russians surely aided in supplying high end technical gear and help. Spectrum analyzers explore anything in the airwaves. The drone may have been pro-programmed and there was no communications, too. The drone may have encountered a relatively common mechanical problem and then did an automatic self-landing, but in the rough where the landing gear got crunched up a bit -why they won't show the bottom? High flying speculation. RE; hacking? The drone probably has standard Digital Encription Scrambling in all communications which has around 720 Quadrillion possible access codes.

      December 16, 2011 at 3:17 pm | Reply
  13. Clint

    Understand the complexity of the situation. Also, do you really think the US would have flown this drone over Iranian airspace with the possibility of losing it, and no self distruct mode. Or why not blow it up with a missle. Keep in mind it was only 150 miles inside the border.
    The US wanted the Iranians to have this. This drone contains a shawdow system and advanced data gathering techniques. Iran can brag all they want and move the drone all around while it gathers information all while providing false information to the Iranians. CIA is sitting back and smiling...

    December 16, 2011 at 12:14 pm | Reply
    • J-Ex

      Oh please...

      December 16, 2011 at 2:01 pm | Reply
  14. dk

    I wonder how we'll feel when the Iranians fix it and send it over our territory on a spy mission?

    December 16, 2011 at 11:47 am | Reply
    • nowthatsfunny

      we can only be so lucky. as soon as its in the air we will know and we be targeting it for retreival or destruction. let er rip tator chip!

      December 16, 2011 at 12:03 pm | Reply
      • nadie

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        April 5, 2012 at 5:34 am |
  15. davey

    Simply feel into their laps and landed pretty much undamaged. Wow, what luck. Like we are going to believe one of Sotoero's .ying little butt buddies. glad you are so much better than Bush.

    December 16, 2011 at 11:21 am | Reply
  16. davey

    It just fell into their laps, and landed itself for the most part intact. Wow what luck. Another lie from another one of Sotoero's butt buddies. Nice to see you are so much diferent than Bush.

    December 16, 2011 at 10:56 am | Reply
  17. Caveman

    Its sad to see how the pro Americans posting here think the rest of the world are ignorant and are still in the stone ages. The most famous American business men and scientists have been migrants. (pls dont ask me for stats. Its called general knowledge... try googling that word) American IT industry and science are led by Asian, Arabian and European brains. So don't think for a moment that Iran may not have the ability to bring down your precious drone through a cyber attack. It looks like it has just landed safely. just think for a moment...... if it lost control in mid air,what would happen. it will run out of energy and crash. Do you think it will look anything like what is shown in the picture if it crashed from 50,000 feet. Then again...... I'm asking you to do the impossible here... THINK (yes... you can google that word too)

    December 16, 2011 at 10:29 am | Reply
    • fred

      maybe you should google the word "migrant" and then google "immigrant". You really are dumber that most of the other pro arab non english speakers. time to get out of that basement in Tehran and get some fresh air

      December 16, 2011 at 10:46 am | Reply
      • Rick

        Haha, the pot calling the the kettle black; Iranian are Persians, not Arabs. Anyway, the other guy, even if by accident, is partially right. Unfortunately most of our IT brains are migrants now, and not immigrants like in the past (think about all the Asian, Indian, and Middle Eastern contractor that come here and work only for a few years, and then take their experience home. This is a huge national security risk. We should really limit those kind of visas, unless they come here to teach. Better to train our own people.

        December 16, 2011 at 12:22 pm |
    • Grey

      You're clueless on what America is. America is the one and only melting pot. A place for those with brains to come to use them and where the government won't limit them from doing so. You're correct in that much of the ancestory is from elsewhere, but most (90%+) of the high technologies are from people born right here. Fix your governments so that your citizens don't have to come here to be free, and then you can actually take credit. Short of that realize that those citizens all claim american status when they patent and copyright, because they are proud to have been accepted for who they are.

      December 16, 2011 at 10:53 am | Reply
      • Caveman

        True... people came to US for the American Dream.... well hope you know the latest facts. Today there are more new inventions and technologies coming out from China and India not to forget Europe. Former "immigrants" are now "emigrating" cos US is not the promised land any more. What you get now if you come to US is Unemployment and Homeless. Now who wants that for a change.... Welcome to the 21st century.

        December 16, 2011 at 1:09 pm |
    • C.Brown

      Hey Caveman use your brain and ask yourself how they landed this Drone without landing gear.

      December 16, 2011 at 11:10 am | Reply
      • Caveman

        what exactly is the point. Are you trying to say that since it does not have landing gear that it has crashed. Have you ever see an out of control aircraft crash..... it definitely does not come down on its landing gear. Point is, for a drone that comes down from 50,000 feet and with no controls this one is in really good shape.

        December 16, 2011 at 1:27 pm |
  18. Saber

    I am completely entertained by the comments here. Iran has the same problem that North Korea has. They don't read history books and get a good education. Once upon a time there was these two cities in Japan. In 1945 a B-29 Superfortress called Enola Gay, and another called Bocks Car dropped just two bombs and poof the war was over. Today we have these long black objects called Submarines which fire a ICBM version of the same thing, only ten times more powerful, with a device called a MIRV, (Multiple Independent Remote Vehicle). Given the right conditions, poof no more Iran, no more North Korea! Oh yeah, and it would be no great loss either! Harsh? Poor Baby!

    December 16, 2011 at 9:47 am | Reply

      Another freedom loving American addicted to tjhe fantasy that mass murder and genocide are viable solutions to political disagreements with other nations and in to dealing with nuclear proliferation. In spite of the gibberish taught in American history books, Japanese leaders were as concerned about massive and successful Russian attacks on their largest armies in northern China and invasions of some of their outer islands by Russian as they were about atomic strikes. Military leaders suspected correctly, that the U.S. had only a limited number of atomic weapons and were fully prepared to meet an invasion of mainland Japan with hundreds of thousands of troops, while millions of others were prepared to continue to fight on in the rest of Asia. Even with the home islands invaded, the Pacific war would have gone on for years. It was the Emperor who made them stand down, not any fear of atomic annihilation. There is no emperor of the Muslim world with the power to call it off just because America adds a few million more lives to its body count.

      December 16, 2011 at 10:16 am | Reply
      • fred

        so your argument is that the US should have used ground troops to invade Japan and suffer horrendous losses instead of using nuclear weapons? its certainly an argument but I'm not sure it makes any sense in the context of the war we were fighting at hat time,

        December 16, 2011 at 10:50 am |
      • rick

        id say this was revisionism if your argument wasnt so confusing and inherently contradictory.

        December 16, 2011 at 10:55 am |
      • Yeah, Right

        So Dean, what you are saying is that the Japanese were more concerned about Russian attacks in China and some small islands than they were a massive U.S. led invasion of their homeland backed by nuclear weapons? Go back to your hole, you're embarassing yourself and you don't even know it.

        December 16, 2011 at 11:57 am |

        In August of 1945 the Russians annihilated about 600,000 Japanese troops in Manchuria/northern China in a matter of days.They also moved into the Kuriles/Sakhalin, areas which matter a lot to the Japanese. Japanese leadership was every bit as alarmed about these situations as they were about the fire bombings, atomic attacks, and the impending invasion by America and its allies. In fact, these and other Russian activites in Asia may have encouraged Truman to approve the use of the atomic weapons because the only thing Western leaders dreaded more than invading Japan was having to share a conquered japan with Stalin. How many Japanese were stationed on Iwo Jima and Okinawa in comparison to the numbers on the Asian mainland? Several million versus less than 150,00 on those two islands. If the emperor had not ordered to stand down, those millions would have fought on, probably for years. There was no plan to nuke most of Asia in 1945.

        December 17, 2011 at 5:22 pm |
      • Mr No It All

        "Stalin" would have set up forward bases and delivered Megatons of conventional explosive and ordnance on Japan at an increasing ratio, hammering them to a pulp within months to a year. The extended sea support the allies could provide would have faced 5000 suicide planes and been scathed badly. They'd have been hammered to a pulp without nukes. Good way to test the bomb and end a war they started.

        December 17, 2011 at 6:35 pm |
  19. RGeneration

    Under no circumstances will the US admit that Iran took down their spy plane by hacking into it. You think a spy plane that lost connectivity would be intact the way it is?? There's barely a scratch on that thing. Goes to show that someone "landed" the plane. Don't for once believe the US with its high claims that they just "lost" the signal. Iran just screwed the US and now Obama is begging for it back.

    December 16, 2011 at 9:44 am | Reply
    • Dylan

      Actually the craft was quite damaged. You can see that both wings were severed and reattached, It is obvious that it crashed and Iranians have done cosmetic repairs to make it appear as if it was in good condition. I seriously doubt that they had any part in bringing this drone down. They will take any opportunity to appear superior to America so of course they will claim to be technological genius's that were cunning enough to bring it down. It is all a propaganda game.

      December 16, 2011 at 10:22 am | Reply
    • Mr No It All

      Iran surely had spectrum analyzers full time vacuuming up everything about the drone. Might have had help from China or Russia in electronically observing their behaviors. Computer-Hacking? The US has to play catch-up with Asian counterparts in that arena who have the drive & motive to test barriers and attack. The scene in the CIA sounds like a bunch of guys padding their retirements that hire computer gamer teens for that division, sons, nephews. The satellite signal could've easily been blocked and/or the drone taken over by a bandit with no more skill than a typical ham radio operator. The carelessness of the CIA though; they probably think they can operate them over the city of Bejing ... Yeah, that stupid...

      December 16, 2011 at 10:32 am | Reply
    • Hani

      ABERA JALETA GEMTA Posted on My name is Abera Jaleta Gemta and i am an ethiopian.I was grdtauaed with BA in Business Management in 2006 from Jimma University, Ethiopia. i have been working in the same university since January2007 as Human resource management expert. i want to study my master's degree in GLITEMA (German Literature in the European Middle Ages)at your university if i get the chance. thank you in advance for considering my application.

      September 12, 2012 at 11:33 pm | Reply
  20. Sayan Majumdar

    Let RQ-170 Sentinel remain the object of intense media discussion while RQ-4B Global Hawk(s) clandestinely completes their necessary tasks.


    December 16, 2011 at 9:27 am | Reply
  21. Abu

    What a BS!

    December 16, 2011 at 9:17 am | Reply
  22. Awabnavi

    As usual the US tries to LIE OUTRIGHT at first and tell slowly begins to tell the TRUTH. The US is the GREAT LYING SATAN.

    December 16, 2011 at 8:46 am | Reply
    • Josh Soed

      Listen here you damn terrorist....just LOOK at the picture of where the Iranians hide this stealth drone, INSIDE A SCHOOL GYMNASIUM, on a basketball court. They use there own civilians as defense and are a bunch of towel heads. One more thing... Actually you moron, Iran who continues to pursue nukes which violates many international laws, which gives any member of NATO the right to do whatever the hell we want. When you damn tree huggers realize the importance of a nation like the USA who watches over these countries who are ruled by one person, and that one person can change the course of history a nuclear will be down in your basement with your children for 50 years hiding from radiation. And at that moment you will look back on your stupid comment and view of the United States and wish your country had bigger balls.

      December 16, 2011 at 9:01 am | Reply
      • youfirsttoughguy

        F you and your country the US of BS, full of rednecks, terrorists and dumb wits like yourselves. The world doesn't need your garbage country.

        December 16, 2011 at 9:46 am |
      • ben

        haha funny how the americans dropped couple of nukes in Japan just to test them, n dem millions of bombs in vietnam, afghanistan, iraq n now who s next... wander wat iran has done so far.. its funny how the ignorant israels occupy next mans land n no justice or watso ever brought or being spoken by the us.. cos they alies n hold a vital role in US political reformation.
        be global, the america is just a war monger n a country which has a wron foreign policy.. if americans want a real war why dont u guys provoke nations like russia or china.. u wudnt cos u r just a bunch of pussies attacking the weak n claiming world super power title.. this freaking hilarious

        December 16, 2011 at 2:00 pm |
    • Jeffo

      They are hiding it in a school gymnasium because they know that's one of the few places where it is safe. It's really sad when these people hide behind civilians.

      December 16, 2011 at 9:05 am | Reply
    • littleman

      Weapons of mass destruction all over again. At least time, before an invasion, intelligence is actually being gathered.

      Too bad the drone blue screened deep over the line...sigh

      December 16, 2011 at 9:51 am | Reply
    • paul

      and the koran doesn't teach lying to spread islam is not only permitted but encouraged? which than makes everything a muslim says totally suspect.

      December 16, 2011 at 11:08 am | Reply
  23. Todd

    So Iran shot the drone down because we were getting to close to their "secret," which everyone knows anyway?

    December 16, 2011 at 8:43 am | Reply
  24. Jeffo

    I'm still expecting this thing to blow up in another "accidental" explosion. It will likely happen while the Iranians are standing around whacking it with sticks. It almost reminds me of the Coke bottle in "The Gods Must Be Crazy".

    December 16, 2011 at 8:38 am | Reply
  25. dru

    thye should put a self destruct button on the drones!!

    December 16, 2011 at 8:36 am | Reply
  26. Benedict

    It was quite surprising to see a UMV on a block in the middle of an Iranian military base. However,it's not impossible that the Iranians brought this drone down;but before they could do this, they had to spot it on their radar and then override it's flight controls. These two scenarios are most unlikely,since i don't believe that they have the necessary military hardware to carry out an midair cyber-attack on state of the art hardware.

    December 16, 2011 at 7:06 am | Reply
    • Modyfl

      I just can not believe that there is still people that don't believe that they have our drone. The fact is they have it don't belive all the lies told by our government. yes they can do this they hijacked our drone. Please stop sending more drones we should try to send some more Hikers.

      December 16, 2011 at 9:01 am | Reply
      • ben

        knowledge is limited when a man sets off to be a big headed twat, all these comments about iran this iran that, wtf get a life... look wat America has caused.. wars after war, spending millions n billions n now trillions.. for wat, there is a lot of ppl in america who lost their jobs, bankrupt and small business going off the hook.. and single mums left helpless due to so many cut down on public spending.. there s a lot of poor n violence within the US itself.. rape n paedos wandering free on streets .. judge urself first.. wipe ur ass once u flush is ur foreign policy.. simple

        December 16, 2011 at 2:11 pm |
    • Yamileth

      Posted on My mom was watching a spiaecl on those houses in your hometown the other day and was practically salivating over them. She would gladly have changed places with you.And that's why I can't criticize that kind of thing I mean, obviously, the waste of resources is problematic, and calling anything tacky is just jerky, but I see the joy that spreads across my mom's face when she drives past houses like that, and I know that there's a pure purpose to them, buried beneath all the commercialism.In a perfect world, we'd all profess the life-affirming sentiments of Christmas all year long, but in an imperfect world, I'll take those few bright spots of December joy over nothing.(This is not to say that I don't think this is a lovely, eloquent, well-argued post, of course. But with your writing, that goes without saying. If Kevin Spacey and Denis Leary didn't both irrationally freak me out, I'd take up your recommendation.)

      September 10, 2012 at 2:40 pm | Reply
  27. Sayan Majumdar

    Wonder why the RQ-170 did not self destruct or by default return to the home base after loss of communications.

    Or is it projected to play the role of a Trojan horse ;).


    December 16, 2011 at 7:00 am | Reply
    • Awabnavi

      "Or is it projected to play the role of a Trojan horse " - YEAH! Under cover of darkness tiny CIA trained insects will creep out of the drone and make their way to Iran's nuclear facilities and try to sabotage them or carry intelligence back to the US. Very ingenious indeed.

      December 16, 2011 at 8:57 am | Reply
      • Sayan Majumdar

        Your failure to understand and appreciate WIT is your problem and not mine.


        December 16, 2011 at 9:10 am |
  28. sandy

    Iran, Russia, & China will not try to copy the captured drone. Instead they will develop radar which can 'see' such stealth drones. In fact such radar will probably be able to 'see' the B2 stealth bomber as well making the B-2 not so stealthy anymore. Doesn't the B2 shape look very much like the RQ-170? Basically, the $2Billion B2 Stealth bomber will become obsolete because of this event.

    December 16, 2011 at 6:58 am | Reply
    • MedianRoad

      Don't worry too much about using the drone to figure out how to design radars to detect stealth technology – its already done and an established fact that a radar using Cell phone frequency RF, I.E 1 GHz and above, will detect stealth aircraft. In fact the stealth bomber that went down in Bosnia in the 90's was detected using that kind of Radar. The Russians have already had that radar for over a decade.

      December 16, 2011 at 7:16 am | Reply
      • Sam

        Actually it is the Czech made Tamara radar that is capable of detecting Stelth Crafts.

        December 16, 2011 at 7:59 am |
      • Volksair

        The F-117 was shot down during a bombing raid, it's bomb bay doors were open which will expose the aircraft. Please get your facts correct before you make an idiotic statement.

        December 16, 2011 at 9:30 am |
      • C.Brown

        MedianRoad you need to go check your facts as I'm sure you are nothing more than a civilian with second or third hand knowledge of what happened and no understand of anything that has to do with the military. First of all the bomber was shot down over Serbia not Bosnia those are two different contries. Second of all it wasn't detected by radar as the Serbians learned in the first days of bombing that by turning radar on when useing AAA NATO aircraft could detect that and take out said AAA so the Serbians started shooting blindly after day two of the bombing campaign. I was on the U.S.S. Wasp LHD1 during this campaign and was part of the T.R.A.P. Team so I'm sure I have more knowledge of these things than someone who dosen't even know what country this event took place.

        December 16, 2011 at 11:25 am |
  29. Waterfall

    Very well studied report.Good CNN. But a lot of time elapsed .US might have started strike Iran 9 yrs back, not Iraq

    December 16, 2011 at 5:47 am | Reply
  30. ragitator

    Maybe we should just stop saving these countries from each other. Let the ragheads and sand crabs just kill each other off. They have been hacking each other to death for thousands of years. Let them figure it out themselves. If we are lucky, one of the sand gooks will touch off a nuke during testing

    December 16, 2011 at 5:44 am | Reply
    • MedianRoad

      Oh is that what you are doing – saving us from each other ? That's nice to know because here was poor ole us thinking it was to do with greed, Israel and establishing your superiority (the reverse actually happened). Now we know it is all due to your kind hearts that sought to save us from each other.
      Do us a small favor – get an education.

      December 16, 2011 at 7:11 am | Reply
    • icrals

      I completely agree let them kill themselves. The world would be a better place.

      December 16, 2011 at 7:57 am | Reply
      • Kevin

        Sad that you fuggin ignorant, racist bigots have the same voice on here as everyone else. Go educate yourself before you giving foreign policy advice regarding countries that existed before your great grand fathers were nothing more than a cumm stain on great great grammy's under garments. Piss off.

        December 16, 2011 at 8:08 am |
    • USandCDN

      Yes I completely agree!

      December 16, 2011 at 8:06 am | Reply
      • Kevin

        Thanks for your 2 cents. Fact is, we've meddled in the Mideast for far too long and they have too much of our precious oil for us to ignore them. Consider the quagmire we're in in the region a sick form of poetic justice for our misguided foreign policy decisions over the last 60 years. Sad that twits like you are able to twist the story into something else. Read sometime, it won't kill you.

        December 16, 2011 at 8:13 am |
  31. Nuno

    What I dont understand is why Iran is revealing to the world what they have accomplished....
    Why dont you explay all the details of the drone capture so CIA can update their tactics and next time they will land a bomb on your heads without you even knowing

    December 16, 2011 at 5:28 am | Reply
    • Dylan

      Iranians are like children. All they care about is attention. Of course they will parade this around claiming to be responsible for taking it down. Hopefully one day all countries will mature, and there would be peace.

      December 16, 2011 at 10:31 am | Reply
  32. Ravenwing

    The RS71 normally would do this run, but Chaney cancelled it.
    Guess what else he cancelled? The Space Shuttle.

    December 16, 2011 at 5:17 am | Reply
  33. Mikaa

    The belly of the drone could not digest what it saw in Iran and came down , what an excuse , the problem with USA is that it consider it self above law and always interfere in the affairs of other.
    The day it will stop interfering in other affairs the world will be at peace

    December 16, 2011 at 4:30 am | Reply
    • merk

      you are just dumb

      December 16, 2011 at 5:50 am | Reply
      • Will

        I'm sorry but he has a point, the US does not respect sovereign nations and always expects to get a deal that will benefit itself, no mater what the effect is on the indigenous populations, or human rights, respecting other nations.

        December 16, 2011 at 8:12 am |
  34. Electro-Jesus

    Well, first the belly is covered up on the clip (the clip where they display it) so the belly is probably badly damaged.

    For the second, they have it on display, which probably means that it no longer has an "intelligencevalue" attached to it, more than to mock CIA and the Americans.

    It should be kind of obvious for it to spy, not only on nuke-sites, but on SAM-sites and other military assets too.. Perhaps for other drones to strike in the shadows or for an all-out future attack.

    I hope it wont be used as pretext for an attack by either party but instead the situation is solved like a couple of adults having a temporary dispute about something..

    December 16, 2011 at 4:00 am | Reply
  35. Bill from Rotonda West

    I am beginning to believe that the drone was intentially "given" to the Iranians. It now appears from the latest CNN reports that there are newer stealth drones that are just about ready to be placed in active duty. The new drones probably make the old drones look like a kids toy. What better way to keep the Iranians under the watchful eyes of American intelligence. We are watching a high tech cat and mouse game to play out before our very eyes.

    December 16, 2011 at 2:54 am | Reply
    • stupid usa

      Sure, go with that. Anything to save face.. clown..

      December 16, 2011 at 3:44 am | Reply

      your stupidity is beyond insanity

      December 16, 2011 at 6:49 am | Reply
  36. richard

    What you will witness is the power of knowing the "secret code", a secret that sounds like salesman talk when spoken, and that's why it must be seen in real-time, so that you can believe your own eyes and your own ears.
    Ready To Join The Revolution? Google “Oil Trading Academy.”

    December 16, 2011 at 2:30 am | Reply
  37. America

    America has freed millions of people throughout its history. This ,Bo is also a fact. It seems Bo would prefer rulers that imprison women for being raped. Rulers that stone women for not covering their faces or walking five paces behind a man. Bo sounds like a towel wearing, women hating hard line Muslim to me. I Guess Bo would behead a person for sorcery. America figured out long ago this kind of crap is inhumane. Hell Americans treat pets better than Bo treats hes own Wife's. By the way Bo you would be arrested for stating your beliefs in the country's you are defending. Poor Bo has been brainwashed.

    December 16, 2011 at 1:44 am | Reply
    • leotra

      Freed millons of people? Are you talking about the 11 millon african slaves that built your country or the 16 millon that died during capture and transportation? That is the very basis of the economic foundtions of the south. Or are you negationist? Black people improved their lives in the plantation?

      December 16, 2011 at 2:08 am | Reply
      • America

        Do not forget that is was Africans that captured and sold the slaves to the US. Slavery is and was a tenable thing, White Americans realized this and and through civil war put a stop to it. 620,000 men were lost in that war to free slaves. Today the slave trade is still flourishing in Africa.

        December 16, 2011 at 4:05 am |
      • Mike Tyson

        Black people sold out black people don't forget this.

        December 16, 2011 at 9:21 am |
      • fred

        the most active slave traders now and for the past 100 years have been arabs. the best kept secret in the arab world apparently as you seem to have had no idea!

        December 16, 2011 at 10:19 am |
      • JQ

        That is a big lie! They were not sold by blacks...the winner writes history!

        December 16, 2011 at 3:11 pm |
      • Efi

        They would do even better if they usdtied Machiavelli. Both he and Shaky are renowned renaissance men although from different countries. And both has been highly influential although in very different ways.

        April 4, 2012 at 2:37 pm |
    • Peter

      America appears to love Saudi-Arabia where everything that America says it despises, happens on a large scale in the most gruesome way.
      But SA is friend of USA and therefore they are considered a good, well run, modern democracy.
      SA gets no criticism even if they are ten times worse than the Iranians.
      Remember that AlQuaeda is based in SA and that USA attacked Irak for it. 911 was operated from SA.

      December 16, 2011 at 2:50 am | Reply
      • Ian

        Hello Mahood.Thanks for your comment in the Silver Rain blog, also tnahks for your interest in uploading Brainticket's Adventure 😉 Sometimes it just pays off to ask, as written in the Bible "ask and you shall receive" ;)One tiny comment: you'd better post your next messages to me under the posts I put myself (so far I posted only Manuel Gf6ttsching's E2-E4 & Wallenstein albums) so there's a better chance I see them! This time, for some reason I received a notification, altough your comment was in a post I was totally uninterested (well, I have most Steey Dan albums!), probably the blog owner friend wanted to notify me, hence, I got the notification from his e-mail address! About Wallenstein: if you read my review, you must have noticed that I regard that album of inferior quality to the earlier Wallenstein albums, but by no means a "bad" album. It has its moments.. Well, whatever! It's only 32 MB's, you got nothing to lose ;)speaking of which, I hope you also saw my request under the link in comment, that is, if you happen to find any post '77 Wallenstein album, I hope you'll post them in your blog, and let me know 😉 (actually you don't need to, as I'm checking this blog almost everyday!)Can't wait to hear Adventure!Keep up the good work!Regards

        September 10, 2012 at 4:18 am |
    • Andre

      Have you seen the latest news in CNN? 1 in 3 women are raped in USA and sufers agression, you always have horrorific stories happeneing in your country, you killed millions of natives to have their lands to be able to start a country, you are talking about freedom all the time but you can not do 80% of the things that we can do in Europe.
      Better to think and read before talk.

      December 16, 2011 at 4:14 am | Reply
      • 13123

        ooo so your European Andre? Hmm strange if what you said is true then we'd have extremely high rape rates in America last time i checked its pretty god damn low.. and we killed millions to gain freedom.. excuse me but im pretty sure before America was America it was apart of your beloved Europe ... and most of the territory gained and taken from Native americans was due to the british. Europeans... the same people who went into Africa and set up colonies to take resources and leave once you got what you needed. Get your facts straight Europe has done some messed up stuff in the past including the stuff you claimed Americans did bythemselves. Yes America displaced native americans but europeans started it. Since you clearly dont have any facts i suggest go to wikipedia first then go on and read some articles and other stuff to get your facts straight Andre 🙂

        December 17, 2011 at 12:57 am |
    • Nasir

      plz & plz don't give invasion name of freedom.america invaded afghnistan and iraq in which they killed almost two million people and still people like u calling it for freedon its really "SHAME', i think u americans do not know & take lessons from history as it happened to Russia once was calling itself fake super power do u remember what happened to it and same will happen to us which thinks i m above all.U AMERICAN BASTARDS DESTROYED WHOLE WORLD AND ONE DAY WHICH IS VERY CLOSE U WILL BE DESTROYED.AND FOR UR KIND INFORMATION TAKE LESSONS FROM HISTORY ALSO TEACH UR OTHER AMERICAN BASTARD OFFICIAL LIKE OBAMA UR POLICY MAKERS ,CIA,HILARY CLINTON .I KNOW U WIL NEVER CHANGE BCOZ AMERICA IS KNOWN AS LAND OF BASTARDS SO U WILL NEVER CHANGE.

      December 16, 2011 at 5:31 am | Reply
      • fred

        you need to get out of that hut in gaza and get a job and see the reality of your world. I expect you will be in line at the US embassy trying to get a visa

        December 16, 2011 at 10:22 am |
      • Swanderman

        Nasir, which is worse : An American Bastard or a brainwashed radical who pours gasoline on innocent children & lights them afire ?
        Do you think that you're going to get rewarded with virgins for throwing acid in the faces of young girls who want to learn to read ? Will you earn youir martyrdom by stoning to death a poor girl who was violently raped ?
        You are one sick bastard yourself. Do I blame you for wanting the occupiers out of your country ? No. But until your kind & your radical Imams stop trying to pawn off these practices as the "Religion of Peace" then you need someone to come in & try to civilize you & bring you into the human race.

        December 16, 2011 at 10:36 am |
    • Nasir

      plz & plz don't give invasion name of freedom.america invaded afghnistan and iraq in which they killed almost two million people and still people like u calling it for freedon its really "SHAME', i think u americans do not know & take lessons from history as it happened to Russia once was calling itself fake super power do u remember what happened to it and same will happen to us which thinks i m above all.U AMERICAN BASTARDS DESTROYED WHOLE WORLD AND ONE DAY WHICH IS VERY CLOSE U WILL BE DESTROYED.AND FOR UR KIND INFORMATION TAKE LESSONS FROM HISTORY ALSO TEACH UR OTHER AMERICAN BASTARD OFFICIAL LIKE OBAMA UR POLICY MAKERS ,CIA,HILARY CLINTON .I KNOW U WIL NEVER CHANGE BCOZ AMERICA IS KNOWN AS LAND OF BASTARDS SO U WILL NEVER CHANGE.

      December 16, 2011 at 5:32 am | Reply
      • 1whoknowz

        Too bad that drone didn't land on this nut job.

        December 16, 2011 at 8:03 am |
      • MIKE TYSON

        See this is the problem you sandbox haters are calling the USA the land of bastards is like me saying all of you sandboxers are dirty and dumb. I know not all of you are but you group Americans together like we actually decided to invade you. Have you ever stopped yourself before you open that cum dumpster and thought what if some Americans didn't vote for Bush or Obama. I want to eat your children just so you know. I have a solution for you tho and its called go kill yourself but don't do it like your brothers and take innocent people with you a razor would do. Oh and by the way good luck with all them virgins when you go bc they are not there you dumb sandbox 3rd world idiots. Yeah I have hate for you. 4500 Americans and 800 billion later and your president doesn't even show up to say thanks. What a joke burn in hell I hate you not all of you but mostly just you and the ones who act like you.

        December 16, 2011 at 9:58 am |
      • fred

        anyone who screams with a keyboard needs some serious help. there is a real world outside of the refugee camp.

        December 16, 2011 at 10:23 am |
    • Mike Tyson

      Very well said America. So sick of these ungrateful people. We did not get to vote on this war or we wouldn't of been in your sand box anyways. Piss on all of you bc you think you have hate for the US. Well I am hear to tell you most of us could give two shits less what you think. In all reality I will be sitting at home playing my xbox and enjoying my running water and my steady flow of electricity while you are whipping your ass with your hand. So once again fuck off!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      December 16, 2011 at 9:18 am | Reply

      Modern Columbians do not force Americans and Europeans to buy dope. In the same way, Africans never forced Americans or Europeans to take risky voyages all the way to and from Africa to buy slaves. In both situations, Westerners refuse to take personal responsibility for their own behavior. Western intervention made indigenous slavery grow exponentially to feed a global market and in the process, made it far more destructive than it would ever have become by spreading to other hemispheres, and by raciallizing it. Fact check, one of the two American armies involved in the Civil War was actually fighting to preserve chattel slavery, not to end, amend or modify it, or to make it more humane or less racist. The Civill War did not end slavery in the New World. Places such as Brazil, and Cuba, remained slave states until the late 1800's, and America happily traded with them. Blacks in America remained second or third class citizens within the United States, well into the 20th century. Meanwhile, White Americans supported White racist colonies in Africa which rose as the slave trade died away. Countless millions of African people have died directly as a result of these actions. The fact that their killers were neither communists nor Nazis does not make their killers or the behavior of their killers any less repugnant.

      December 16, 2011 at 10:44 am | Reply
      • rick

        this is what you get when you get your masters in history from a small southern university. I hope your children get into a better college.

        December 16, 2011 at 11:04 am |
      • JQ

        At least he has a masters...unlike you!

        December 16, 2011 at 3:16 pm |
  38. real genius

    Humans are utterly stupid worthy of self annihilation, divided in different countries, religions and cultures, thinking and defending theirs considering theirs to be the best.

    Why don't you leave this planet and relax in non-existence.

    December 16, 2011 at 12:49 am | Reply
    • Cocopuf

      Obviously, from ur own mouth that includes you. Lol But u r wrong. Wake up to a reality check.

      December 16, 2011 at 1:54 am | Reply
    • Nazia

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      April 4, 2012 at 5:30 am | Reply
  39. Adam

    Theres one thing that I keep thinking to myself; Dont we have sattilites in space that do this type of crap?

    December 16, 2011 at 12:35 am | Reply
    • icallbs

      they do go hand in hand

      December 16, 2011 at 12:40 am | Reply
  40. moussa

    That's a big lost because iran,China and Russia will study on it and copy this high technology from USA

    December 15, 2011 at 11:36 pm | Reply
    • lionofnarnia

      They can try. Buy *not* made in China this holiday season.

      December 16, 2011 at 12:08 am | Reply
      • Bo

        In the US? Good luck looking at your sad kids on the 25th

        December 16, 2011 at 12:21 am |
      • ram

        Many americans cannot afford to buy american goods and services. So they will do without, what about you? Can you afford not to buy inexpensive chinese stuff from Walmart et al.

        December 16, 2011 at 12:57 am |
      • Emm$

        is just a drone,probably a set up.think in and also out.what if this drone is there watching..1what if is an accident whether iran got it or us lost...2 what big is this issue?for or against?

        December 16, 2011 at 4:26 am |
    • BlueColorMinded

      Unthinkable to Copy from one of the most sophisticated and Codified Drones of the Greatest Army by any other Country, let alone the silly claims of Iran to have brought down that drone by using Cyber techniques for the high tech product which Iran does not know how to get it produced or what its exact inputs are.

      December 16, 2011 at 1:59 am | Reply
    • wowrealy

      Didn't we see these flying saucer looking things in the 70s flying around in the desert and before world war II gave out with the Germans? Wow Iran really thinks they have up to date technology. I'll bet if we bombed them back to the stone age, they would think it was an upgrade....LOL

      December 16, 2011 at 2:21 am | Reply
      • Celt

        You sound like a juvenile.

        December 16, 2011 at 4:17 am |
    • Prince

      Thanks for showing up such faulbous information. I have bookmarked you and will remain in line with your new posts. I like this post, keep writing and give informative post...!

      September 10, 2012 at 8:28 am | Reply
  41. moussa


    December 15, 2011 at 11:34 pm | Reply
  42. larr01

    Locate the drone by GPS, lock on target, and blow it up, by any means. Technology like this cannot fall into the hands of the enemy, especially Iran, Russia and China! Something also isn't right with the way it was lost, sounds like someone inside was paid off by foreign agents to pretend it went down in one piece into enemy territory! Sounds like someone or some people were paid off by foreign agents!

    December 15, 2011 at 11:31 pm | Reply
    • Bo

      Sorry to jump in but bombing a sovereign country is called war, i'm not sure how Iran would feel about this. Perhaps just like the US would if Iran's spy plane crashed on american soil and then Iran would fly into the US air space and bomb US land... Interesting what a little change of view can do for the way you think

      December 16, 2011 at 12:30 am | Reply
      • Neo

        He is talking from Romney's playbook who said exactly the same thing on FOX news interview. Blow up the drone as soon as its captured. Its like these people have no brains at all. And the way Romney attacked Obama on this issue just shows he lacks judgement especially when it involves complex diplomatic issues and manoeuvres . Cheney said exact same thing too. And this is what people want to vote for and yet are claiming of being weary of wars?!!!!

        December 16, 2011 at 12:47 pm |
    • ram

      I think one of the expectations of the Afghanistan people is that the US will not use their soil to attack or instigate war with another sovereign nation. And now, Iran. Do you know how much dirt is going to fly around the table in Afghanistan. They should know that the american always push the envelope to the limit to their advantage but time will tell if this arrogant attitude will pay off. This, with the US senate trying to make the whole world its battleground will backfire on the us to such an extent that it will have a free-fall. The whole world is watching and learning and they now know for sure, that the usa has an unwelcome agenda.

      December 16, 2011 at 1:04 am | Reply
    • Alexander the Great

      in your dream idi....!!!

      December 16, 2011 at 5:34 am | Reply
    • Will

      I'm sorry but if America keeps violation sovereignty, which is an act of war, It will gradually lose all of its suck-up friends, including Britain.

      December 16, 2011 at 8:17 am | Reply

      Yeah his name is Dick Cheney and he is war hungry!! How else would we start a war with Iran but to give the US a reason and try to get the people behind them. Love the USA but hate the people running it and its the same people every election. We need a revolution and we need it quick.

      December 16, 2011 at 10:02 am | Reply
  43. Carlos

    Lies or Truth..Iran is support Hezbollah, Hamaz, AQ...they took our people Hostages and we stood by like Cowards...trying to negotiate.

    Americans should get this through their head..we don't negotiate with people who inflict violence on Innocents..the only way to negotiate with them is through the way they negotiate with...and its Violence.

    December 15, 2011 at 11:18 pm | Reply
    • ram

      and the people up north of the usa who live in igloos and tents and sometimes play puck hockey had more balls than the americans. They saved the 38 or so americans in Tehran, while the americans were flexing their muscles and complimenting each other on late night shows.

      December 16, 2011 at 1:14 am | Reply
    • wasso

      And thatsa Carlos the Jackal talkin' for ya'll !

      December 16, 2011 at 3:24 am | Reply
  44. Damagon

    "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. For it has only one flaw, it falls right into the laps of those it is spying on."

    December 15, 2011 at 10:42 pm | Reply
    • icallbs

      lol...ok its 35 yrs old guy :))

      December 16, 2011 at 12:35 am | Reply
    • JQ

      Lol! That is funny!

      December 16, 2011 at 3:20 pm | Reply
  45. Tom Joad

    Why didn't the drone fly over Israel to look for nuclear sites?

    December 15, 2011 at 10:40 pm | Reply
    • icallbs

      it already knew they had sites 🙂

      December 16, 2011 at 12:41 am | Reply
    • Leo D. Lundang


      December 16, 2011 at 2:43 am | Reply
      • Camilo

        Its easy to become jaded by buzz words and ploepe selling stuff. But if you think that analysis, monitoring etc. just tends to fall into place automatically,' you must be working somewhere that gives you a lot of free time. Even for someone who knows excel, SAS, SPSS, reasonably well, there is an upfront cost in time moving from any common data storage that I've seen, to something that is easy to use. When data start getting stored as pivot tables, etc, then I'll be happy to agree that analysis will fall into place.

        June 28, 2012 at 10:01 pm |
  46. CheeseSteak

    Something is stinky in the Deli here. It is obvious to a blind man that the drone on display by the Iranians is a fake. OUr Government is acting as though it's real while many experts including retired Air Force people say otherwise. Let this play out and see what happens. I think we're watching a CIA game play out.

    December 15, 2011 at 9:18 pm | Reply
  47. hp

    "during the abortive attempt to rescue the hostages"

    Yeah, right, an abortive attempt. That's the ticket. Kinda like a jet aborting its mission due to due to "engine damage" when a missile blows an engine off.

    If I remember correctly, and I do, the "abortive attempt" occurred when a chopper ran into a C-130 in a wind storm and the whole shebang got pretty much aborted.

    When you get used to non-stop lying, like the sociopaths and psychopaths who run the organized crime syndicate known as the USA do like breathing, then everything is an abortive attempt, including life itself.

    December 15, 2011 at 9:16 pm | Reply
    • George Bush

      Well said, I was wondering if there would be someone here to bring up the facts, and I appreciate your candor.

      Good work.

      Oh, and don't listen to TS anyone, who is clearly smoking too much crack.

      December 15, 2011 at 11:18 pm | Reply
  48. larr01

    Why don't these drones have a back-up control device, and why don't they have explosives on board to detonate remotely by a third back-up device, either by GPS, Spy Satellite or manual detonation so these kind of sophisticated equipment like this doesn't fall into enemy hands. Remote control detonation and the whole thing goes up in smoke!!

    December 15, 2011 at 8:41 pm | Reply
    • ryan

      obviously you gont understand the aspect of "stealth". these drones are bad to the bone. Why would they have explosives to weigh it down while on a reconnaissance mission.

      December 15, 2011 at 8:56 pm | Reply
      • icallbs

        these drnes are very capable of being destroyed remotely

        December 16, 2011 at 12:42 am |
    • icallbs

      they do have means of destroying the drone in its entirety or by mechanical means such as thru fiber optics

      December 16, 2011 at 12:36 am | Reply
      • Alberto

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        September 10, 2012 at 4:34 pm |
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    • leotra

      Putting auto destructive devices on it will only accumulate one more possibility of malfunction. This time destroying the vehicle. This things are sofisticated but it is impossible to make them invulnerable but remember the guy that build them are specialists not stupid there are no easy solutions none of the ones you propose is feasible

      December 16, 2011 at 2:19 am | Reply
      • Bridget

        Well, Sparkyduck is the ONLY one who picked Utah over Bama. What's up with that?2 games to go.. three-way tie for first, I'm alone in last.If Texas and Florda win, then Anthony and I tie for 3rd/last and Sparky and Bond tie for first. Bond is the only guy with a chcane to win it free and clear, if Oklahoma beats Florida it's all his.

        September 13, 2012 at 12:26 am |
    • Marcos

      I agree that the next wave of growth in IT will be nuarod interfaces/tools that allow non-experts to view, manipulate, and take action on contextualized data. The caution there is the pop mistake that knowing MS Word makes you a novelist or having SPSS endows one with statistical understanding and skills. For management, the right side always happens, with or without the left, and has throughout out history. The promise of the right side has been that we can improve what we do on the left through better information inputs be they more comprehensive, more timely, more complexity, more efficient, improved quality, etc. The right side needs to make the rules by which the left side access information and produce results. The challenge to the left side is to accomplish these things without increasing the perspective that the right side is feeding the machine, they don't call this decision SUPPORT for nothing. But if the left side does not deliver relevant , useful and timely products, the right side will continue to drive on using the tools of experience, hunches, speculation, intuition and SWAGs, the same tools used to evaluate the products of the left side, because it must.

      April 7, 2012 at 3:04 am | Reply
  49. Krish

    Why spend money on pointless drones, attacking Iran? They're bound to destroy from within, I believe. Their government is built upon lies and their people aren't exactly happy, either. I'm from India so this issue really doesn't affect me, but to see another pointless war is stupid; society should do all it can to stray away from war.

    December 15, 2011 at 8:19 pm | Reply
    • Michael Petch

      " I believe. Their government is built upon lies and their people aren't exactly happy, either". Not sure, are you referring to the US or Iran?

      December 16, 2011 at 12:41 am | Reply
      • ram

        I suspect he is describing the uS. Just in the last 24 hours, there have been 2 stories...firstly, the vehicle strayed away from the border region.....secondly It was a mission and will will continue to do the same type in the future....I dont think they mean the same thing...2 stories from the us and one has to be a lie....just a random sample of one out of one.

        December 16, 2011 at 1:25 am |
  50. Bo

    Greatest country in the world? It always baffles me when americans say that. Not because it simply can not be measured, but because while i appreciate patriotism, pure ignorance is something that applies here much more. I mean about 80% americans have never had a passport and about 90% have never been in any other country in the world so saying USA is the best country in the world is like a color-blind man saying green is the best color. Maybe americans should come up with something more original and well, true, like america is the only country in the world that has statue of liberty, or the only country in the world where about 63% of adults are obese, now those are facts i can get behind

    December 15, 2011 at 8:15 pm | Reply
    • Krish

      Bo, I like your general idea. However, you're generalizing 300,000,000 people. I think Americans are like any other people. I'm not American but I've had the pleasure of knowing many Americans as well as Europeans, and they weren't bad at all. Unfortunately, a few stray ruin the reputations of everyone. Never generalize large groups of people, however, it's purely stupid. On a side note, all forms of nationalism are flawed. I'm proud to be Indian but when that means claiming that anyone who's not indian is lower than you, something's wrong.

      December 15, 2011 at 8:22 pm | Reply
      • hp

        "There is no distinctly American criminal class – except Congress."
        – Mark Twain .

        December 15, 2011 at 9:23 pm |
      • Bo

        I know what u r saying, i too have MANY american friends and i never said, nor do i think, that they're bad people, they're uneducated, especially in the history and geography area, a bit ignorant, have a little problem with common sense and r a bit over-patriots, one could say nationalists, they have a little problem understanding the "other side's view"... that's simply that, but i never said they're bad people so don't make it sound like i did please. BTW lovely name, Krish 🙂

        December 16, 2011 at 12:18 am |
    • larr01

      Bo, I don't know where you get your facts or figures, but Americans continue to year after year the most tourists to travel abroad! Almost everyone I know has been South to Central and South America, Canada and the Caribbean. I myself have been to Europe several times, and going this Spring. Most of my neighbors have been not only to Central and South America, Europe, Asia and Australia. For you to say what you say has you sounding like you are jealous of Americans. Yes, they continue to be the greatest country in the world, still have the biggest and greatest economy in the world, and it's citizens continue to tour the world! Your comment about Americans being fat, is just as true in Europe and other parts of the world. Your narrow-mindedness and ignorance is telling the world that you just don't like Americans, and if you are living here, we ask you WHY?, if you think it is not the greatest country in the world?

      December 15, 2011 at 8:48 pm | Reply
    • hp

      h yeah! Well we got more people in jail than any nation on earth! Oops... never mind.

      December 15, 2011 at 9:20 pm | Reply
      • TS

        "Figures often beguile me,"....... "There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics." and then there are people like HP which one should completely avoid

        December 15, 2011 at 11:11 pm |
    • TS

      "Bo might know football" (old Nike TV commercial for athlete Bo Jackson) But this Bo above OBVIOUSLY doesn't know the facts. It reminds me of Mark Twains comment about "Lies, damned lies, and statistics" Yes America's don't have an overwhelming majority of people with passports but much more than 20% have passports - just google it - Its over 30%, maybe not a lot more but making up statistical numbers puts you in a class of people that one shouldn't listen to – I would say a vast majority of Americans And its a RIDICULOUS statement to say 90% of American's have never been outside of the USA. (Most people with passports actually get them because they TRAVEL ! So those 30% aren’t wasting the time and money for a passport to stay home! – Duh ) Then take into account that for a long time many Americans didn’t need a passport to a travel lot of countries like Mexico, Canada, many Caribbean islands, etc. A valid drivers license would do for many years. ALSO we have a VERY large and isolated country – Europe on the other hand, its just a few miles and a car ride to another country and thus many Europeans HAVE to have a passport, thus the higher percentage of people that DO have a passport - Its costs a lot of money to travel overseas when it comes to travel & America already has a LOT to offer to never have to go outside the country : "From the mountains, to the prairies, to the oceans, white with foam," ….. Beautiful beaches in Florida, crisp skiing in Colorado and the desert sun in Arizona are among thousands of domestic destinations competing to lure visitors. – Think about it and pull your heads out of your self-aggrandized arse’s

      December 15, 2011 at 11:07 pm | Reply
      • Bo

        I'm not gonna get into a big argument here i'm just gonna note that 1st: my facts are from a 2009 US census and 2nd: much like the US, EU has the same-no need for passport-Schengen border system

        December 16, 2011 at 12:03 am |
      • Bo

        While u said 30% and i said 20% the actual number is 25% from a 2010 US Census, which i found very interesting since we both made compelling cases based on these numbers, but that's hardly the point and i think you know very well what the point is and hiding behind 5% difference is not making any sense

        December 16, 2011 at 12:08 am |
      • Bo

        again, numbers were from 2010, not 2009 -mistake

        December 16, 2011 at 12:10 am |
      • Bo

        BTW the 63% of obese adults is the most in the world so please don't say "just like in Europe" 'coz that's simply not true

        December 16, 2011 at 12:12 am |
      • TS

        LOL.. Dodge and weave dude - Dodge and weave...... And that explains the comment that 90% of American's have never traveled out of the country. That is SUCH BS...its laughable !... In FACT OVER 61 MILLION AMERICANS traveled outside the USA in 2009 ALONE (and that was the year the depression/recession hit !) The SECOND you start making up your own numbers are the SECOND you LOSE credibilty (ps.. get NEW numbers of people with Passports) PLUS also you didn't need a passport to travel to mexico, canada etc until 2007-2008. Also lower percentages than europe don't surprised me. After all, the United States is nearly thrice the size of the EU and borders only two foreign countries (It would take most americans driving 5000 km just to go to a 3rd country (Guatemala), while the EU is made of 27 countries and depending on how you want to count them borders another 19..... (

        December 16, 2011 at 12:27 am |
    • 13123

      You and alot of other people here are so bias! All i can basically see is "America sucks, they kill people, they are fat and ignorant." I'm pretty sure you are just the same if you make such generalizations. Think of the good stuff America has compared to the middle east and other countries. 1) a free market where you can make a living doing what you enjoy (more opportunities), 2) education... free education from Pre-k to 12th grade .. Aren't we just terrible? 3) Emergency services.. call 9-1-1 get help for most accidents .. geesh whats wrong with our country? we are so evil! 4) if you dont have health insurance its ok emergency rooms will still treat you.. 5) anywhere you go you can find people of all races .. its called diversity something which you forget we have which means despite not leaving the counrty we can still learn about other places... do i have to go on or are we still some horrible country? o btw for the emergency services that reduces our crime .. We also have thing called gyms.. many Americans use it and we still have obese people but we dont judge unlike you who thinks less of them. Have you ever come to America? probably not? you are the color blind man you where refering to.

      December 17, 2011 at 1:08 am | Reply
  51. jo

    Dirty muslims..cause of every war in this

    December 15, 2011 at 8:13 pm | Reply
    • Kevin

      Way to stereotype over a billion people you bigot.

      December 15, 2011 at 8:31 pm | Reply
  52. Proud U.S. citizen

    First it says,"The officials say the Afghan government was unaware of the use of its territory to fly surveillance drones over Iran" then later on it says, "But Afghan officials say this mission began at the former Soviet air base at Shindand in western Herat province".

    December 15, 2011 at 8:11 pm | Reply
  53. Tom Clark

    The CIA is NOT under the control of the US military, which is under the control of the elected government????? The US population has lost control of their gov. So who IS in control? This is a serious problem which could have far reaching, disastrous consequences. And a major violation of constitutional principals! Will their be investigations by congress? I doubt it. If so, i doubt they could come to any consensus because they are corrupt and dysfunctional.

    December 15, 2011 at 7:59 pm | Reply
  54. adam murphy

    am i the only one that sees a coincidence between this article and this ?

    December 15, 2011 at 7:46 pm | Reply
  55. Timetraveler

    Another example of why I stopped believing ANYTHING the US government tells me years ago.

    December 15, 2011 at 7:46 pm | Reply
    • carioca

      Like since the Johnson Administration or the Nixon Administration. Please clarify.

      December 16, 2011 at 5:53 am | Reply
  56. The dude

    This is a government of corrupt, greedy, self-serving men. They should all be put on trial for treason.

    December 15, 2011 at 7:37 pm | Reply
  57. Cody

    Dear CIA, May I have a drone for christmas? I think the neighbors dog is going number two on my lawn, and I want to catch him.

    December 15, 2011 at 7:35 pm | Reply
    • Ray

      sure ,just apply for a stealth drone grant

      December 15, 2011 at 7:38 pm | Reply
    • icallbs

      we can send u possibly a drone 35 yrs old would that sparkle up your eyes xmas morning lol

      December 16, 2011 at 12:39 am | Reply
  58. Ray

    oops, one of our drones is missing! Now maybe our President will reign in the CIA activities.They waste millions like this on a daily basis.

    December 15, 2011 at 7:30 pm | Reply
  59. Kevin

    It's sad how misinformed people are when it comes to Iran yet how eager they are to start another war. Truly a sad state of affairs. Let me guess, how many of you "let's nuke 'em" folks think Iranians are Arabs?

    December 15, 2011 at 6:36 pm | Reply
    • Anon

      Oh Persia, how great you have fallen...

      December 15, 2011 at 7:15 pm | Reply
    • Ray

      I agree,if thing escalate,like Isrel attacking Iran,we as allies will be pulled into it.This drone incident is just one of many violations that have happened or are yet to come.

      December 15, 2011 at 7:35 pm | Reply
  60. james

    Yeah it just "fell into their laps". From 50,000 feet, it fell... It is a festivus miracle, an aircraft falls 50,000 feet and its intact. Either this was landed by the US or Iran. Simple as that. I would prefer to think that this is indeed some type of Trojan "gift" and that our drones are not being hacked.

    December 15, 2011 at 6:28 pm | Reply
    • J3sus Sandals

      Well, the first lie from the US government was that it was flying over western Afghanistan. The second lie was that substantially destroyed as evidenced by satellite photos. THEN the US government contacted Switzerland to petition Iran for its return. Now the US government claims it didn't know because this was a CIA operation. You see a pattern of "truthiness" here, right? I don't care about covert activities – every countries conducts them, I care about integrity. If you don't know the truth, don't feed me a line of s&^t and expect me to not question it.

      December 15, 2011 at 6:44 pm | Reply
    • Felipe

      Maybe it proves that God is on the other side?

      December 15, 2011 at 7:29 pm | Reply
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