A message was spread by a series of blogs and news sites that 27 crew members of the US destroyer Donald Cook submitted their resignation reports after a Russian Su-24 fighter made 12 close-range passes near the ship while it was on patrol in the Black Sea.
A reference is made to the Pentagon representative Col. Steve Warren who allegedly reported the incident to Reuters.
The authors of the message claim that: “Warren called these flight maneuvers frightening and unacceptable. They demoralize the crew complement and undermine the group atmosphere.”
They also add that: “The crew members are undergoing the necessary psychological treatment after the endured stress.”
In truth the Russian fighter did fly 12 times provocatively close to the US destroyer, and Col. Warren did report the incident to Reuters. However, this is where the truth ends.
In reality Warren told the following to the agency: “This provocative and unprofessional Russian action is inconsistent with international protocols and previous agreements on the professional interaction between our militaries.”
The plane appeared to be unarmed, according to Warren. The pilot did not respond to multiple queries from the Cook. Warren also added that another Russian fighter was also flying in the area, but not as close to the ship as the other one.
Warren said the vessel was not in any serious danger.
The Pentagon website cited the Colonel’s words: “The Donald Cook is more than capable of defending herself against two SU-24s.
Col. Warren also expressed his doubts that the pilot would choose to take such an action on his own, without any instructions from the command control.
It goes without saying that neither Warren nor any other Pentagon representative mentioned anything about the 27 reports or any psychotherapy sessions.