WASHINGTON — Videotape from one of the commando helicopters that attacked an Iranian ship in the Persian Gulf turned up blank and failed to capture proof that the ship was laying mines, Pentagon officials said today.
Officials were miffed by repeated questions about the videotape at the White House and the Pentagon because of suggestions that the Reagan Administration's credibility is in doubt with lack of photographic or televised evidence of Iranians caught in the act.
"Is there any doubt that these guys (the Iranian sailors) were doing this?" one Pentagon official asked rhetorically. "It sure would be nice to have it (the videotape), but there's no deep, dark secret behind it.
"There's some suggestions that we're covering up or that the mine-laying didn't actually happen. How much more proof do you want than finding a ship with mines?"