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Thursday, June 24, 2010


American hikers arrested in Iraq, not Iran?

The Nation is out with a well-publicized report today that the three American hikers were not in fact in Iran when they were arrested by Iranian police, but were in fact in Iraq. Of course it's possible, but color me highly skeptical. To begin with, that these witnesses suddenly materialize nearly a full year after the incident? Questionable.

Then there's this from the article:

"Part of the mountain lies in Iraq and part in Iran, but except for a few watchtowers and occasional signposts, the border here is largely unmarked, although local residents are familiar with its boundaries.

"The witnesses, who followed the Western-looking hikers out of curiosity, say that around 2 pm on July 31, as the hikers descended the mountain, uniformed guards from NAJA, Iran's national police force, waved the hikers toward the Iranian side using "threatening" and "menacing" gestures. When their calls were ignored, one officer fired a round into the air. As the hikers continued to hesitate, the guards walked a few yards into Iraqi territory, where they lack jurisdiction, and apprehended them."
So the border is "largely unmarked" (and as far as we can tell is unmarked at this point, or else why mention that fact to begin with?), yet these witnesses, from some unspecified distance away from the hikers, can judge the location of the border with an accuracy of a few yards? Again, color me highly skeptical.

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