Fully intact:

Iranian TV has shown the first video footage of an advanced US drone aircraft that Tehran says it downed near the
Afghan border.

Images show Iranian military officials inspecting the RQ-170 Sentinel stealth aircraft which appears to be undamaged.

US officials have acknowledged the loss of the unmanned plane, saying it had malfunctioned.

However, Iranian officials say its forces electronically hijacked the drone and steered it to the ground.

Obama rejected plans to launch a covert operation to take back or at least destroy the drone and all its sensitive military technologies for fear it would spark a larger confrontation.  But if it is true, as the Iranians claim, that the drone did not fall by accident but was brought down by Iranian electronic means, then isn’t that already an act of war?

There are a lot of mysteries here:

The enigmas surrounding its capture continue to pile up. How did Iran know the drone had entered its airspace? How was it caused to land? Most of all, why did the craft’s self-destruct mechanism which is programmed to activate
automatically fail to work? And if it malfunctioned, why was it not activated by remote control?


Update: The readers called it correctly, the U.S. is calling the vehicle in the photo a fake:

The aircraft shown on Iranian television today was not the American stealth drone that crashed in Iran last week, as the Iranian government claimed, but was likely just a model, U.S. officials told ABC News.

BUT, now officials saying it’s not fake, it’s the real thing.

Update 12-10-2011 – Nice to see Glenn Greenwald has taken notice.  The original reports were that the drone was downed near the Afghan border and the U.S. military initially asserted it lost contact with the drone in Western Afghanistan.  That was the context of my assertion that it could be considered an “act of war,” not that it was brought down while hovering over an Iranian city.  But let’s talk about what really is going on here, I’ve repeatedly called Greenwald out for his outrageous and repeated use of the slur “Israel firsters,” his disloyalty charge against Eric Cantor, and misguided defense of the Iranian mullahs under a misconception that supporting brutal tyranny is supporting the rule of law.  Greenwald is upset that I have called him out on these topics, so he takes a single sentence of mine out of context.  So much for what passes for the intelligentsia these days.


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