In 25 years, John le Carré or his son or some new spy thriller author will write a hell of a novel based on our undeclared war with Iran. If they’re taking notes now, the next plot point will come when the US government acknowledges that the unmanned drone now in Iran’s possession belonged to the CIA:
The unmanned surveillance plane lost by the United States in Iran was a stealth aircraft being used for secret missions by the CIA, U.S. officials said Monday.
The officials said Iran’s military appears to be in possession of one of the more sensitive surveillance platforms in the CIA’s fleet, an aircraft that was shaped and designed to evade enemy defenses.
The charitable explanation is that this was a reconnaissance plane gathering intelligence information about Iran’s nuclear activities. But we’ve also seen computer viruses disabling Iranian missile systems, the assassination of nuclear scientists on the streets of Tehran, even multiple explosions at key missile sites, one of which killed their top ballistic missile expert. This book has it all!
This is the same type of plane that the CIA used to surveil Osama bin Laden’s compound in Afghanistan. The question remains: did the CIA plane simply malfunction, was the plane shot down, or did the Iranians somehow take remote control of the aircraft and down it? The latter would be a nightmare scenario for US intelligence officials. It would mean their drone technology has been breached by a cyberattack, and that the fully intact drone would be available for the Iranians to study.
Quite an embarrassment for the CIA. Yet they will continue to man these missions, and the country will probably just go about its business and ignore it.