Democrats apologized Wednesday for using a fleet of Russian warships as the backdrop for a Democratic National Convention tribute to U.S. military veterans, blaming a vendor for the mistake.
The event occurred on the final night of last week’s convention when retired Adm. John Nathman paid tribute to veterans, in front of a gigantic screen that showed four ships from the Russian Federation Navy.
“Due to vendor error, incorrect images appeared briefly on screen behind 51 veterans during the convention, and the (Democratic National Convention Committee) apologizes for this mistake,” the group said in a statement.
The DCCC also asked that the error not diminish the words of Nathman and others who touted President Obama's record on “issues that impact those who have served our nation.”
However, the group used the apology to criticize Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney, whom they said “failed to even mention” veterans in his convention speech.”
The mistake was exposed earlier this week by at least two experts who told The Navy Times they were certain the ships were Russian and that the backdrop image appears to be a composite photo that includes U.S. trainer jets flying overhead.
The image shows ships with radar designs not used in the U.S. fleet.
Navy veteran Rob Barker reportedly detected the mistake and notified the publication. He said his assignment as an electronics warfare technician included the identification of foreign ships by their radars.
“The ships are definitely Russian,” said author Norman Polmar, a naval and aviation expert. “There’s no question of that in my mind.”