The U.S. Navy officer who apologized to the Iranian government while in captivity for U.S. vessels entering Iran’s territory has been identified. He is Lt. David Nartker, a 27-year-old who grew up in Chicago. He was one of 10 U.S. sailors who were captured and held prisoner by Iran, but released on January 12. President Barack Obama failed to mention the incident during his State of the Union address on January 11. Nartker is a graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy at Annapolis.
Iran released video and photographs of the crewmembers of the two U.S. Riverine Command Boats kneeling in submission with their hands behind their heads. Around them were their weapons and various pieces of equipment, including .50 caliber machine guns. There have been calls to try Lt Nartker under the Uniform Code of Military Condut. See Spero News article.
In a video released by Iranian media, Lt. Nartker is heard responding to questions posed to him by an interpreter, “It was a mistake. It was our fault and we apologize for our mistake.” Sitting next to him was a female sailor, not yet identified, who was wearing an Arab keffiyeh - a scarf or headress normally worn by Palestinian males that has become a symbol of Palestinian nationalism and terror. In Iran, women are required to cover themselves according to Muslim religious law. The scarf is not part of U.S. Navy uniform dress.
On the “Inside Edition” program, former Navy SEAL Chris Heban said, "It is quite possible they were coerced or threatened into an apology. It certainly doesn't make us look good."
Of the incident, Republican Senator John McCain, who survived a six-year stint of torture and imprisonment in Vietnam, was disgusted by the “humiliating” incident. The former Navy aviator said, “This is one hell of a propaganda coup.”
On November 14, Defense Secretary Ashton Carter said the two U.S. Navy boats went off course due to a navigation error.
U.S. Navy personnel have discovered the remains of an American aviator who was shot down in combat over the Pacific Ocean in 1944. A team aboard USNS ...