THE ROVING EYE The Dead Drone sketch
By Pepe Escobar
(Hats off, of course, to Monty Python)
A group of journalists attend a United States Central Intelligence Agency (CIA)
press conference in a nondescript room in Langley, Virginia.
Journalist 1 [approaching the podium]: Excuse me, I wish to register a
[CIA spokesman/spook does not respond.]
Journalist 1: 'Ello, Miss?
CIA spook: What do you mean "miss"? I'm no Victoria Nuland, buddy.
Journalist 1: I'm sorry, I thought this was the State Department. I
wish to make a complaint.
CIA spook: We're closin' for now, gotta move forward with our shadow war in
Journalist 1: Precisely. I wish to complain about this spy drone of yours that
disappeared this week in eastern Iran.
CIA spook: Oh yes, the, uh, the RQ-170 ... And your information is incorrect,
that was in eastern Afghanistan. What's, uh ... What's wrong with it?
Journalist 1: I'll tell ya what's wrong with it, buddy. It's dead, that's
what's wrong with it.
CIA spook: No, no, it's uh ... it's resting.
Journalist 1: In the freaking Iranian desert? Look, buddy, we all know a dead
drone when we see one, and I'm looking at one - in Iran - right now.
CIA spook: No, no, it's not dead, it's ... it's restin'! Remarkable drone, the
RQ-170, ain't it? Beautiful radar-evading piece of technology, right? Can't
tell you more about it because it's classified.
Journalist 1: "Classified" doesn't cut it. It's stone dead.
CIA spook: Nononono, no, no! It's resting!
Journalist 1: All right then, if it's restin', I'll wake it up! [Shouting at a
joystick] 'Ello, Mister Dodo Drone! I've got a lovely fresh IRGC [Iranian
Revolutionary Guards Corps] target for you if you just show ...
[CIA spook hits the joystick]
CIA spook: There, it beeped!
Journalist 1: No, it didn't, that was you hitting the remote control!
CIA spook: I never!!
Journalist 1: Yes, you did!
CIA spook: I never, never did anything ...
Journalist 1: [Yelling and hitting the joystick repeatedly] 'Ello!!!!! Dronie
Boy! Testing! Testing! Testing! Testing! This is the god damned CIA calling!
[Thumps joystick on the CIA spook's lectern. Throws it up in the air and
watches it plummet to the floor.]
Journalist 1: Now that's what I call a dead drone.
CIA spook: No, no ... No, it's stunned!
Journalist 1: STUNNED?!?
CIA spook: Yeah! You stunned it, just as it was wakin' up! RQ-170s stun easily.
Journalist 1: Um ... now look, buddy, I've definitely 'ad enough of this. That
drone is definitely deceased, and when you guys issued a press statement a
while ago, you assured us all that its total lack of movement was due to it
bein' tired because of its prolonged secret mission.
CIA spook: There is no indication, I repeat, no indication, that Iran shot it
Journalist 1: But you're missing a drone. It was on a secret mission. It
crash-landed in Iran. And Iran says they shot the bloody thing down.
CIA spook: Well, it's ... it's, ah ... it probably thought it was in the Nevada
Journalist 1: NEVADA DESERT?!?!?!? What kind of crap is that? Look, why did it
fall flat on its back in Iran, of all places? By now the Revolutionary Guards
must be throwing a party to the Russians, the Chinese, the Pakistanis, the
North Koreans for God's sake, so everyone can rip your technology apart, for a
CIA spook: The RQ-170 prefers keepin' on its back! Hey, remarkable drone!
Lovely tech features, radar evasion, portable ...
Journalist 1: Look, the IRNA news agency took the liberty of examining that
drone after it crash-landed, they discovered that, yes, it was nailed to the
soil of eastern Iran. [Pause]
CIA spook: Well, o'course we nailed it over there! If we hadn't nailed that
drone down, it would have flown away and VOOM! Feeweeweewee!
Journalist 1: "VOOM"?!? Buddy, this drone wouldn't "voom" if you sent the Navy
SEALS Team Six to give it an electric shock. It's bleedin' demised!
CIA spook: No no! It's a trick! It's a top-secret counter-insurgency trick to
fool the enemy!
Journalist 1: It's not a bloody trick! It's passed on! This drone is no more!
It has ceased to be! It's expired and gone to meet its industrial-military
complex maker! It's a stiff! Bereft of life, it rests in peace in a Shi'ite
paradise! Its metabolic processes are now history! It's off the twig! It's
kicked the bucket, it's shuffled off its mortal coil, run down the curtain and
joined the bleedin' choir invisible!! THIS IS AN EX-DRONE!! [Pause]
CIA spook: Well, we'd better replace it, then. (he takes a quick peek behind
the lectern). Sorry sir, I talked to our boss, General David Petraeus and uh,
we're right out of secret drones.
Journalist 1: I see. I see, I get the picture.
CIA spook: We got loads of bunker-buster bombs though. [Pause]
Journalist 1: Do they spy?
CIA spook: Nnnnot really.
Journalist 1: WELL THAT'S HARDLY A BLOODY REPLACEMENT, AIN'T THAT
CIA spook: N-no, I guess not. [Acts stiff, looks at his feet]
Journalist 1: Well. [Pause]
CIA spook: [Quietly] D'you ... d'you want to go visit the Pentagon and take a
peek at their ... contingency plans?
Journalist 1: [Looks around] Yeah, all right, sure.
(And now for something completely different…NOT! Monty Python's Terry Jones'
latest piece on the war drums beating for an attack on Iran: Here