The sincerest form of espionage flattery – Iran shows off flying copy of captured US UAV

An Iranian replica of a US spy drone, seized by Iran in 2011, is inferior to the US version, which was initially captured by Iran, according to the Pentagon. Iran released a video of their similar design earlier this week.

“There is no way it matches American technology,” Colonel Steve Warren said when asked about the Iranian replica. Warren added “Replica being the operative word there.”

READ MORE: Video emerges of Iranian version of US stealth drone

Iran has just presented its “reverse-engineered” homemade variant of a US spy drone, the RQ-170 Sentinel, which it shot down in December 2011 after the aircraft entered Iranian airspace from Afghanistan while on a CIA mission.

The video showed a black mono-winged aircraft flying over mountains and arid terrain, before landing at an unknown airbase.

“Today is a very sweet and unforgettable day for me,” Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei praised the drone earlier in the week, according to a video posted by the Tasnim News Agency.

The US has been claiming that its unmanned craft was protected in such a way as to make it impossible to copy, but Tehran responded back in August, saying it had managed to reverse engineer the aircraft.

READ MORE: Iran releases video ‘proof’ US drone decoded (VIDEO)

Now Iran claims its drone is even better than the American RQ-170 Sentinel it seized.

“The Iranian version’s weight has remarkably become less, it consumes less fuel, its speed has been increased and the duration that it can fly has improved a lot because of its enhanced body,” said General Amir Ali Hajizadeh, the head of the aerospace division of Iran’s elite Revolutionary Guard. “The Americans had used metal in building the body but we did not use metal at all. It helps to reduce its detectability by radars,” he added.

Iran plans to build two or three more prototypes and gear up to mass produce them next year.

The US RQ-170 Sentinel is reportedly not the only drone that Iran took down. Tehran claims that over the course of a few years it has captured several US drones, including the American Boeing-designed ScanEagle. Iran says that it is also copying the ScanEagle and plans to put its version into service.

READ MORE: Tehran claims capture of US spy drone in Iranian airspace

Iran has accused the US of sending drones to spy on the Iranian nuclear program. As for the RQ-170 Sentinel, Washington insisted that it crashed because of a technical glitch.

I Can’t Be Forgiven for Abu Ghraib –

The Torture Report Reminds Us of What America Was


I SPENT this semester teaching creative writing at Lehigh University. I’ve been a soldier, a police officer and an interrogator. So hearing students call me “Professor” and assigning homework was a significant change of pace.

But the course’s title, Writing War, kept me from straying too far from the memories that have haunted me over the last decade. I am grateful to Lehigh for the opportunity to teach the course. The school’s willingness to put a veteran in the classroom is the very thing this country needs to be doing in order to collectively process what the last 13 years of war have wrought. But teaching a class about war reminded me daily that I am no college professor.

I was an interrogator at Abu Ghraib. I tortured.

Black Female Jewish Criminal Attorney, former cop from Ferguson talks Michael Brown and more

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VWPoliceWhen I think about Ferguson, Missouri I think about the Star Wars Trilogy. I spent every summer between the ages of 10 and 25 in Ferguson; and, I also spent a few weeks over the winter holiday there as well. So, I always waited with baited breath for summer, and the next movie in the trilogy. Every Saturday during those times, we ate Faraci’s pizza. When the riots first happened, I remember thinking, “I hope they leave Faraci’s alone because I really want some when I go back”…and I was grateful to see Faraci’s still standing when I went back to Ferguson for my mother’s 85 birthday party.

I also remember trudging to Schnucks grocery store during the “great blizzard” and I got my very first job bagging groceries at that same store. The summer I turned 24, I spent jogging the streets of Ferguson as I prepared for the physical agility part of the police application process.

Having grown up spending time in Ferguson, served as a police officer in Columbia, Missouri, and a career as a criminal defense attorney, I had lots of personal reactions to the death of Michael Brown. After the news broke about his death the inevitable media rush to the bottom began to occur. Everything about Ferguson, the citizens, the population, the police was fodder for debate and commentary. I began to wonder if I lived in a Ferguson vacuum. I never, ever heard my family talk about racism, racists cops anything that suggested things were as bad and one sided as the media suggested. None of my family ever told me, “hey be careful, you know the cops will harass you if they see you jogging down the street”; no one ever said, “hey be careful while you’re driving”. They alerted me to speed traps but nothing about bad cops. But then I realized…that was literally 25 years ago. My, how things have apparently changed.  – more…

Aaron Joseph Purmort, Spider-Man, Dead At 35

Spidey and fam

A Minneapolis-area man recently lost a battle with cancer. But just before his death last week, he wrote an obituary where he revealed a startling secret to the world.

Aaron Joseph Purmort, 35, said he was none other than the Amazing Spider-Man:

Purmort, Aaron Joseph age 35, died peacefully at home on November 25 after complications from a radioactive spider bite that led to years of crime-fighting and a years long battle with a nefarious criminal named Cancer, who has plagued our society for far too long. Civilians will recognize him best as Spider-Man, and thank him for his many years of service protecting our city. His family knew him only as a kind and mild-mannered Art Director, a designer of websites and t-shirts, and concert posters who always had the right cardigan and the right thing to say (even if it was wildly inappropriate).

The touching obituary published in the Star-Tribune also notes that Purmort was once a member of a band called The Asparagus Children, “which reached critical acclaim in the northern suburbs” and that his son, Ralph, “will grow up to avenge his father’s untimely death.”

Read the full obit here.