Iranian state TV showed footage of one of the 10 U.S. sailors detained and released Tuesday by Iranian authorities apologizing for what appears to have been an accidental incursion by two U.S. boats into Iranian waters:
“It was a mistake that was our fault and we apologize for our mistake,” he says, before appearing to affirm his interlocutor’s suggestion that a malfunctioning GPS device was to blame.
On the one hand, this is probably just a reasonable thing to say if you really did accidentally steer your U.S. Navy boat into another country’s legal territory without permission. On the other hand, Republicans are already trying to make the incident into an example of President Obama being a pathetic weakling, and Vice President Biden went on TV earlier Wednesday to say no apology had been given to Iran, so the sailor’s the apology will likely be a Thing for a little while until the next Thing comes along. (It’s probably also reasonable to assume Biden meant no formal diplomatic apology had been given, and that he wouldn’t have known every detail of what the sailors said while they were detained, but we all know that reason doesn’t have much to do with whether a thing becomes a Thing.)