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April 23rd, 2012
06:17 PM ET

Letters to the President #1190: 'The Iranian drone claim'

Reporter's Note: I write to President Obama every day. Like today.

Dear Mr. President,

Oh those pesky Iranians! Now they’re claiming that they’ve taken apart that unmanned droned they captured four months ago and figured out how it works; control commands, where it’s been, all sorts of things. Like your defense secretary, Leon Panetta, I have my doubts. However, I am reluctant to dismiss such statements despite their history of exaggerating things. Why?

Well, for starters, because it seems plausible. I know, I know, you have security experts who say the Iranians aren’t capable of this kind of thing, but let’s face it…as best I can tell, all they need is one dedicated college kid sitting around in his dorm all day with a laptop, and I’m pretty sure they can crack into anything.

On top of which, we still don’t know (do we?) precisely how they even brought this drone down last December.

I know that Irans leaders are…well, kind of big mouths. They like to lay claims to things that are exaggerations at best, deceptions at worst. And maybe that’s what they are doing this time. But it’s worth at last taking their claims seriously enough to look into them. We’ve come to rely pretty heavily on the capacity of our drones for security for our troops, surveillance, and attacks in far flung locales where we would rather not send a pilot. If…and again, I know it is a big if…the Iranians have somehow cracked the code with which we control these craft, it would be a lot better to find out sooner rather than later.

Regards,
Tom

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