For the past few years Iran has been trying to parlay its experience manufacturing knockoff North Korean intermediate range ballistic missiles into establish a homegrown satellite program. Iran avows that, just like its nuclear program, it is peaceful and will benefit the human family. Sane people look askance at it and see it as a test bed for developing ICBM technology.
To date, all they’ve done is scatter cheap Iranian hardware over the desolate moonscape that is most of Iran.
SCOOPLET: Iran's second space launch attempt in less than a month is an apparent failure, according to @DaveSchmerler @ArmsControlWonk based on imagery from @planetlabs:https://t.co/J9AjGV0HsP pic.twitter.com/D5DuUTCQZT
— Geoff Brumfiel (@gbrumfiel) February 6, 2019
Just a couple of days ago, they tried again and achieved pretty much what they had in the past. An explosion. At first they denied it had happened
the commercial imagery seemed to confirm the initial reports
A satellite image appears to show what US officials believe to be smoke from a rocket explosion on the launch pad at Iran's Khomeini Space Center https://t.co/ljZNjGKMKy
— CNN International (@cnni) August 29, 2019
Today, President Trump was hard at work trolling Iran.
The United States of America was not involved in the catastrophic accident during final launch preparations for the Safir SLV Launch at Semnan Launch Site One in Iran. I wish Iran best wishes and good luck in determining what happened at Site One. pic.twitter.com/z0iDj2L0Y3
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 30, 2019
Coming on the heels of reports that US Cyber Command shut down the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps’s naval arm in retaliation for it shooting down a US drone in international air space:
American military cyber forces in June knocked out a crucial database used by Iran’s elite paramilitary force to target oil tankers and shipping traffic in the Persian Gulf hours after that force shot down a U.S. surveillance drone, according to U.S. officials.
The retaliatory strike by U.S. Cyber Command against the system used by the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps was approved by President Trump, who that same day called off a military airstrike against Iran because killing Iranians would not be “proportionate to shooting down an unmanned drone.”
U.S. Cyber Command did not address questions on the secret operation. “As a matter of policy and for operational security, we do not discuss cyberspace operations, intelligence, or planning,” Elissa Smith, a Pentagon spokeswoman, said in a statement.
It seems like a lot of people do believe the US was behind the explosion.
And the legend will grow as not only are the Iranians as susceptible to conspiracy theories of the “hidden hand” as your typical Democrat talking about Rupert Murdoch or the Koch Brothers, the last people who want to admit failure are the management and engineers who can’t seem quite able to do what should be the pretty simple task of replicating 70-year-old technology.
Of course, virtually no story on Trump is complete without something like this:
… @cnbc: a u.s. defense official told cnbc that the picture in trump’s tweet… was included in a friday intelligence briefing.
— fake nick ramsey @ 🏡 (@nick_ramsey) August 30, 2019
Trump shares potentially revealing image of Iranian missile site on Twitter https://t.co/oRcoz4JmBX
— The Washington Post (@washingtonpost) August 30, 2019
Just the standard reminder that a) the president has declassification authority and b) the odds of the White House release a classified image without IC approval is basically zero.
Can’t wait for Fat Jerry Nadler to sink his tiny little teeth into this one.