"“We have lent a huge amount of money to the U.S. Of course we are concerned about the safety of our assets. To be honest, I am definitely a little worried.” "

Chinese premier Wen Jiabao 12th March 2009

""We have a financial system that is run by private shareholders, managed by private institutions, and we'd like to do our best to preserve that system."

Timothy Geithner US Secretary of the Treasury, previously President of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.1/3/2009

Friday, April 06, 2007

Navy put on a good show - few questions and definitely no answers

The intelligence vessel USS PUEBLO (AGER-2) was sent on an intelligence mission off the coast of North Korea and on January 23, 1968, was attacked by North Korean naval vessels and MiG jets. One man was killed and several were wounded. 82 surviving crew members were captured and released 11 months later in December, upon signature of the US admitting to espionage in the coastal waters of the Sea of Japan.

When exposed to the press by the DPRK they subsequently achieved a degree of fame for the way they assembled hand signals when photographed and used phrases such as not making "full penetration" a phrase from the US Navy Penal Code which defines rape.

In the pre-internet era and one of intense press censorship it took many years for these gestures of defiance to surface and circulate. On return on 28 December, 1968 they were ignored and did not receive their POW medals (to which they were entitled) until 1990.The ship is moored today in Wonson harbour as a war trophy for visits by visiting VIP's. (Go here for fascinating history)

It was whilst tying to find the appropriate photograph for the above story, that the remarkable Royal Navy ex cons roadshow hit BBC TV 24 - it was as if another Big Brother House had emptied itself. If the ex-prisoners felt under psychological pressure in Teheran it was rapidly apparent that they were in the UK. 3 squaddies who could hardly form a sentence , opinion or decent vowel sound, obliged as decent sons. The officers, evidently well briefed gave an apparently confident,yet (unsurprisingly) confusing account of their boarding party, previous "intel" trips obligingly filmed by Sky etc., .... the assembled press either by habit or persuasion laid off the difficult questions... the Missing Lynx .. why no resistance ?

2 thoughts arise. They were lucky they were not handed over to the Royal Lancashire Regiment for “tactical questioning” or that they were treated to “maintain the shock of capture” in a room for 36 hours at about 60C. Also that the lessons of the Pueblo incident should form part of any post capture training - not that it was evident that they had ever received any.

1 comment:

sam_m said...

From what I have gleaned from the radio this past day, our jolly jack (and jill) tars were,after one week's "solitary", broken and compliant.
What then of those who've had four years in Gitmo??

(C) Very Seriously Disorganised Criminals 2002/3/4/5/6/7/8/9 - copy anything you wish