Bound and blindfolded by Islamists, American hostage paraded before crowds in Iran, Nov. 9, 1979. 10 of the surviving victims are meeting this weekend for a reunion.
Jimmy Carter, Council on Foreign Relations types, and western media thought there could be nothing worse than a brutal dictator. Eventually, 52 Americans were held hostage for 444 days by Islamists in Iran. Their release was announced the day Ronald Reagan was inaugurated.
Finally, with the Iranians showing no signs of releasing the hostages, Carter decided to take a risk. On April 11, 1980 he approved a high-risk rescue operation, called "Desert One," that had been in the works for months. Though the odds were against its success, the president was devastated when he had to abort the mission due to three malfunctioning helicopters. When another helicopter crashed into a C-130 transport plane while taking off, eight servicemen were killed and three more were injured. The next morning, gleeful Iranians broadcast footage of
- the smoking remains of the rescue attempt, a stark symbol of American impotence."...
BBC: "Stories of the "abominable treatment" the men and women suffered at the hands of their Iranian captors are beginning to emerge.
- Letters from home were burned in front of the hostages,
there were regular beatings and some talked of games of Russian roulette."...
Reference: "BBC On this day, January 21, 1981, Tehran frees US hostages after 444 days "
Reference: "Free For 30 Years, Iran Hostages Now Plan Reunion," AP via NPR
Reference: "Iran and the Shah: What really happened," New American, James Perloff
- top photo AP, 2 others Corbis
via Steve Malzberg show