Video: The sailor who didn't smile; Update: One sailor was held in solitary confinement

Derb’s taking heat from the usual suspects for suggesting that the stiff upper lip shown by some of the sailors while in Iran might have been a jot stiffer. I suspect he won’t be the last Englishman to make that point now that they’re home safe and out of harm’s way; in fact, the Telegraph’s already taken a gentle swipe in passing in today’s lead editorial.

Rather than criticize, though, Sky News chose to accentuate the positive by paying tribute to the sailor in the black three-piece suit who seemed, rather pointedly, never to crack a smile. He’s on the far right in the image. Click it to watch.


Through the magic of cropping, he’s already being nudged out of the record. A check of the wires reveals multiple copies of this photo from AFP:


But as Getty reveals, the enthusiasm at the time was not unanimous.

They’re back in the UK now, thank god, and on their way to a base in Devon. Oh, to be a fly on the wall during the debriefing.

Update: Captain Ed wonders what the deal is too and links to QandO, where vet McQ has this to say:

Yes, anyone can be broken. And no, we’d prefer our soldiers weren’t tortured. But for heaven sake, was any attempt at all made here to resist? Any? As far as I can tell, and I’m sure we’ll find out eventually, there was little if any such attempts. When you see two officers on video “admitting” to wrong doing you would think they were doing so only under severe duress and after weighing threats against themselves and those in their command against doing propaganda work such as that. I’d actually be heartened (and much more accepting) if that turns out to be the case. But I have a sneaking suspicion it’s not.

Update: Well, no surprise here.

Update: Solitary, eh? They don’t say who it was, but I’m thinking it probably wasn’t the guy in the gray suit with the thousand-watt smile seen waving like he was marching in the Thanksgiving Day parade.