Gretchen Carlson introduced the theme Fox News is hammering with regard to the United States sailors who were captured in Iranian territorial waters and released about 12 hours later. In a nutshell, she just simply cannot understand why these sailors apologized to the Iranians.
The truth is, the only thing we know about that video Iran released is that it may have violated Geneva conventions. The other thing we can glean from it is that the captain who apologized did not do so on behalf of the United States, but on behalf of him and his crew.
But that doesn't stop Carlson from just focusing on the question of the apology, in spite of Bolton's best efforts to get her to look at the bigger picture, which is that the boats were probably spy boats, and Iran got a twelve-hour look at the equipment on board. As much as it pains me to admit it, I tend to agree with him on that point.
Bolton first tried to get Carlson to focus on the propaganda value of the video.
"Inside Iran today, they are broadcasting that they caught the Americans red-handed, they arrested them, basically found that they were spying on Iran, and have now released them," Bolton explained.
He continued, "But the fact is, I think what they were really after was they got the propaganda -- that's kind of an extra bonus. They got the boats! They were able to look over these boats which I'm willing to bet were intelligence-gathering. That was one of their missions, among others. Very sensitive communications equipment and possibly the weapons on the boat, the sensors that may be there, the dimensions of the boats themselves. A whole range of things that they didn't need to bring the crews and ships to land, they could have just turned them away."
Carlson just couldn't leave it alone, though. She kept coming back to this apology, suggesting it was appeasement, or that these sailors violated the Military Code of Conduct. It was almost as if she didn't want to hear what Bolton was saying about them spying.
Whatever the circumstances were of their presence in Iran's territorial waters, that apology was not something that was on behalf of the United States. It's entirely possible those sailors were under orders to do and/or say whatever they needed to say to avoid an international incident, or worse, reveal what their purpose was in that area.