Democratic officials apologized yesterday for displaying an image of Russian navy vessels during a tribute to American veterans at the Democratic National Convention
On Sept. 6 an image of the Russian warships, many from the Soviet era, were projected on a giant screen at the DNC. The image was shown above 50 veterans as retired Admiral John Nathman honored U.S. veterans' contributions to the U.S. The error was spotted and Navy Times was notified and an apology was requested.
The DNC committee apologized on Wednesday (Sept 12) saying:
The DNC committee could not simply put a period after the apology but had to bring politics into it with a swipe at Mitt Romney.
There was no explanation of the vendor error. Naval experts who reviewed the image claimed that it was actually a composite of Russian ships together with F-5 trainer jets not used by the Russian navy streaking overhead. The experts were also able to identify specific ships including the cruiser Kerch now due to go to the scrap heap. The ships were identified as probably part of the Black Fleet.
There were a number of specific features of the ships that gave away their origin. Eric Wertheim noted several characteristic features associated with the Black Sea Fleet. The Kerch in the foreground had a square radar antenna at the top of the masthead he identified as the MR-700 Poberezovik 3D. Another ship had the MR-310 Angara air detection radar shaped like two bananas.
Another expert A.D. Baker III thought that the photo had been taken at least six years ago at a Navy Day parade near Sevastopol in the Ukraine where both the Black Sea Fleet and Ukrainian Navy are based. A former Air Force pilot thought that the planes could be Turkish Stars a demonstration team of the Turkish Air Force. Some veterans were angry that the DNC had not been able to detect the wrong image beforehand. The image can be viewed here. Maybe the vendor was a Republican!
:"Due to vendor error, incorrect images appeared briefly on screen behind fifty-one veterans during the convention and the DNCC apologizes for this mistake...This error should not distract from the words of Admiral Nathman and others who spoke to President Obama's strong record on issues that impact those who have served our nation. We're proud of the service and sacrifice of our veterans and military families, and while they were an important and active part our of convention, Mitt Romney failed to even mention them in his speech in Tampa."