Sunday, December 27, 2009

The pattern continues II


Beyond the previous blog entry, another "dodgy military reports and/or uncritical press reprinting" issue is the one that insists on portraying the enemy as stupid. Not overtly mind you, but by periodically labeling some tactics and or weapons as "sophisticated" and thus prima facie evidence of external, usually Iranian, meddling. The April 28th, 2008 blog entry, 'Backward Iraqis', and the July 12th, 2008 entry, 'Lobbing (more than bombs)', tackled examples of this (EFP shaped charges; 2007 Karbala attack; and IRAMs i.e improvised rocket assisted mortars Note: shaped charges and IRAMs are in no way 'new' e.g. both used by the IRA in the '90's).

Recently we had a flurry of articles similar to the Wall Street Journal article, Insurgents hack U.S. Drones: $26 Software Is Used to Breach Key Weapons in Iraq; Iranian Backing Suspected, which continued this tradition/meme... Iraqi insurgents suddenly showing evidence of "sophistication," intercepting unencrypted UAV video feeds... hmm, surely foreign intervention!

OK, so this has been reported on since at least 2002 (e.g. a CBS-TV report that showed feeds from UAVs in Bosnia being intercepted...), and know from even earlier in the '90's. Other sensational language exaggerates what has happened e.g. intercepting an unencrypted, over-the-air signal is hardly "hacking", etc. But, when done by insurgents (rubes) it must be "sophisticated" and they must have had help! Great reporting!

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