Saturday, June 20, 2009

Satellite Phone Delay

Some recent travel got me to wondering about satellite phone delay. At one point, I had to wait almost half a minute for my cell phone to find a signal. Tic toc. Tic toc. That delay got me to  wondering about the call placed from Ryan Manelick's satellite phone to Charles Philips' satellite phone.

Two cars. Both leave Camp Anaconda.
Car #1 heads south for Baghdad - carrying Ryan Manelick and two Iraqi employees.
Car #2 heads north - carrying Charles Philips, Bora Tuncay and their driver.

A passing Landcruiser opened fire on Car #1 - killing Ryan Manelick and one of the Iraqi employees. The third is uninjured. Someone in the car used Ryan Manelick's satellite phone to call Charles Philips satellite phone. By the time the call connects, Charles only hears someone shouting in Arabic on the other end.

Questions: how much of a delay was there between dialing the call and receiving the call? And second, who actually placed the call? If it was one of the Iraqis, how did that person know just who to call? Both of the Iraqis were hired at the very last minute because Ryan's regular 'fixer' was at the hospital due to a family emergency. Or was Ryan supposed to call Charles to discuss business while both men were on the road and had already initiated the call when suddenly the assassins in the Landcruiser struck him down?

Always more questions than answers.

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