USS Vincennes was engaged in combat

07/25/2014 9:07 AM

07/24/2014 9:29 AM

Re "U.S. once shot down innocents" (Letters, July 23): The letter writer omitted that the USS Vincennes was at general quarters and fully engaged in combat with Iranian gun boats at the time Iran Air 655 was shot down.

Any terrorist sponsoring government that sends a civilian airliner over a war area may be masking that aircraft's true intent. Pilots can change their transponder to "look" like a civilian aircraft. During the Iran-Iraq war, Iran would use gunboats to harass and attack US and British ships and then use fishing boats within hours to run the same "attack" formation trying to create an international incident where civilians are killed by the U.S.

The letter writer would have done better to compare the situation to that of Korean Airlines Flight 007 shot down by the Soviet Union in 1983.

-- Steve Fehrenbacher, Rancho Cordova

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