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Friday, November 04, 2005

From Yahoo! News

No one injured in attack on helicopter from 101st
Fri, 04 Nov 2005 3:12 AM PST
Three insurgents were captured in Tikrit, Iraq, Tuesday after an OH-58D helicopter from a 2-17th Cavalry Squadron air weapons team was attacked, according to information from the 101st Airborne Division's Public Affairs office in Iraq.

This Day in Terrorism - The Iran Hostage Crisis

The U.S.'s backing of the Shah of Iran (Mohammad Reza Pahlavi) has been the topic of much debate. Eight U.S. Presidents found doing so to be justified. Iran's strategic value, as well as the oil resources there, were cited as reasons.

By the late 1970's, mounting tensions caused by the Shah's failure to grant the reforms he promised had escalated to an all time high. Eventually, they led to the Iranian revolution, where the Shah was deposed. Pahlavi fled Iran in January, 1979. The U.S. attempted to develop relations with the new government, but after the Shah was admitted to the U.S. for medical treatment in October of 1979, the revolutionaries were enraged.

Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, Iran's new leader, promoted demonstrations against American and Israeli interests, denouncing the Americans as the "Great Satan." Protesters numbered in the thousands outside the American embassy in Tehran. While protests were not uncommon, and the embassy grounds had been briefly occupied during the revolution, Iranian police were beginning to take less interest in dealing with the issue, and the situation was becoming critical.

On November 4th, a mob of anywhere from 300 - 2000, depending on whose estimate you read (but likely around 500), seized the embassy's main building. The Marine guards were greatly outnumbered; staff rushed to destroy sensitive information. Some of that information, carefully pieced together after shredding, would be displayed by the captors on television. 66 of the building's 90 staffers were taken captive. Three of those were from the Iranian Foreign Ministry. Six staffers escaped and hid in the Canadian and Swedish embassies; the Canadian government helped them to leave the country by providing identification and blending them in with their own diplomats as they returned to Canada.

The group, calling itself the "Imam's Disciples," claimed that its actions were retaliation for American support of the Shah, and demanded that Pahlavi be returned to Iran for trial. However, foreign policy experts saw it as just a demonstration to show that the new government could - and would - oppose the U.S.

Footage of the blindfolded hostages was frequently shown on TV; many reported instances of solitary confinement, beatings, and psychological torture.

The Iranian government initially claimed the action to be one independent of their control, but as they continued to take no action to assist in the hostages release, the claim seemed less and less credible.

The U.S. response, through President Jimmy Carter, was to impose economic and diplomatic sanctions. Oil imports from Iran were suspended, millions of dollars in assets were frozen, and some Iranians in the U.S. were expelled (though some of those appeared to have no relation either to the hostage-takers or the new government).

By February of 1980, the Iranian government issued its official demands:

* Return the deposed Shah to Iran;

* Apologize for prior American actions in Iran (including a U.S.-aided coup in 1953)

* Promise never to interfere in Iran's affairs again

President Carter persued negotiations, but also authorized a rescue mission - Operation Eagle Claw. Secretary of State Cyrus Vance, opposed to the use of force, resigned. The mission failed when aircraft were damaged in a sandstorm, and one helicopter clipped a C-130 and crashed, killing 8 servicemen. Debris would be displayed, and the bodies of the fallen dragged through the streets of Tehran.

The Shah died in July of 1980, and Iran began to consider resolving the crisis.

A second rescue attempt was abandoned after the November elections, in which Carter lost by a landslide. His inability to solve the hostage crisis was seen as a significant factor in his loss. Meanwhile, the sensationlism continued - former Attorney General Ramsey Clkark, an anti-war activist, flew to Tehran and participated in a "Crimes of America" trial.

The hostages were finally released on January 20, 1981, moments after the inauguration of President Ronald Reagan - after 444 days in captivity. Negotiations had opened shortly after the November U.S. election, and the release came in exchange for the un-freezing of $8 billion in assets, and Iranian lawsuit immunity.

The former hostages attempted to sue Iran under the Antiterrorism Act in 2000. They originally won when Iran did not provide a defense, but the the U.S. State Department applied pressure, and a Federal judge eventually ruled that they did not have grounds to sue, due to the agreement that freed them. In 2000, the hostages and their families tried to sue Iran, unsuccessfully, under the Antiterrorism Act.

More recently, some of the former hostages have stated that they are sure that Iran's current president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, was one of their captors. Others are not certain.

Diplomats who evaded capture:

Robert Anders, 34 - Consular Officer
Mark J. Lijek, 29 - Consular Officer
Cora A. Lijek, 25 - Consular Assistant
Henry L. Schatz, 31 - Agriculture Attaché
Joseph D. Stafford, 29 - Consular Officer
Kathleen F. Stafford, 28 - Consular Assistant

Hostages released November 19-20, 1979
Kathy Gross, 22 - Secretary
Sgt. James Hughes, 30 - USAF Administrative Manager
Lillian Johnson, 32 - Secretary
Sgt. Ladell Maples, 23 - USMC Embassy Guard
Elizabeth Montagne, 42 - Secretary
Sgt. William Quarles, 23 - USMC Embassy Guard
Lloyd Rollins, 40 - Administrative Officer
Capt. Neal (Terry) Robinson, 30 - Administrative Officer
Terri Tedford, 24 - Secretary
Sgt. Joseph Vincent, 42 - USAF Administrative Manager
Sgt. David Walker, 25 - USMC Embassy guard
Joan Walsh, 33 - Secretary
Cpl. Wesley Williams, 24 - USMC Embassy Guard
1 hostage captured, held and released on 11 July 1980 because of Multiple Sclerosis diagnosis
Richard I. Queen, 28 - Vice Consul
52 Remaining Hostages, held captive until 20 January 1981
Thomas L. Ahern, Jr., -Narcotics Control Officer
Clair Cortland Barnes, 35 - Communications Specialist
William E. Belk, 44 - Communications and Records Officer
Robert O. Blucker, 54 - Economics Officer Specializing in Oil
Donald J. Cooke, 26 - Vice Consul
William J. Daugherty, 33 - 3rd Secretary of U.S. Mission
Lt. Cmdr. Robert Englemann, 34 - USN Attaché
Sgt. William Gallegos, 22 - USMC Guard
Bruce W. German, 44 - Budget Officer
Duane L. Gillette, 24 - USN Communications and Intelligence Specialist
Alan B. Golancinksi, 30 - Security Officer
John E. Graves, 53 - Public Affairs Officer
Joseph M. Hall, 32 - CWO Military Attaché
Sgt. Kevin J. Hermening, 21 - USMC Guard
Sgt. 1st Class Donald R. Hohman, 38 - USA Medic
Col. Leland J. Holland, 53 - Military Attaché
Michael Howland, 34 - Security Aide, held at Iranian Foreign Ministry Office
Charles A. Jones, Jr., 40 - Communications Specialist and Teletype Operator.

Other Hostages
Malcolm Kalp, 42 - Affiliation Unknown
Moorhead C. Kennedy Jr., 50 - Economic and Commercial Officer
William F. Keough, Jr., 50 - Superintendent of American School in Islamabad, Pakistan, visiting Tehran at time of embassy seizure Cpl. Steven W. Kirtley - USMC Guard Kathryn L. Koob, 42 - Embassy Cultural Officer; one of two female hostages
Frederick Lee Kupke, 34 - Communications Officer and Electronics Specialist
L. Bruce Laingen, 58 - Chargé d'Affaires, held at Iranian Foreign Ministry Office
Steven Lauterbach, 29 - Administrative Officer
Gary E. Lee, 37 - Administrative Officer
Sgt. Paul Edward Lewis, 23 - USMC Guard
John W. Limbert, Jr., 37 - Political Officer
Sgt. James M. Lopez, 22 - USMC Guard
Sgt. John D. McKeel, Jr., 27 - USMC Guard
Michael J. Metrinko, 34 - Political Officer
Jerry J. Miele, 42 - Communications Officer
Staff Sgt. Michael E. Moeller, 31 - Head of USMC Guard Unit at Embassy
Bert C. Moore, 45 - Counselor for Administration
Richard H. Morefield, 51 - U.S. Consul General in Tehran
Capt. Paul M. Needham, Jr., 30 - USAF Logistcs Staff Officer
Robert C. Ode, 65 - Retired Foreign Service Officer on Temporary Duty in Tehran
Sgt. Gregory A. Persinger, 23 - USMC Guard
Jerry Plotkin, 45 - Civilian Businessman visiting Tehran
MSgt. Regis Ragan, 38 - USA NCO assigned to Defense Attaché's Office
Lt. Col. David M. Roeder, 41 - Deputy USAF Attaché
Barry M. Rosen, 36 - Press Attaché
William B. Royer, Jr., 49 - Assistant Director of Iran-American Society
Col. Thomas E. Schaefer, 50 - USAF Attaché
Col. Charles W. Scott, 48 - USA Officer, Military Attaché
Cmdr. Donald A. Sharer, 40 - USN Air Attaché
Sgt. Rodney V. (Rocky) Sickmann, 22 - USMC Guard
Staff Sgt. Joseph Subic, Jr., 23 - Military Police, USA, Defense Attaché's Staff
Elizabeth Ann Swift, 40 - Chief of Embassy's Political Section; 1 of 2 female hostages
Victor L. Tomseth, 39 - Senior Political Officer, held at Iranian Foreign Ministry Office
Phillip R. Ward, 40 - Administrative Officer

My Two Cents:
For my money, no matter what the U.S. did or didn't do in Iran, the embassy personnel played no part in the Presidential or Congressional decisions. They no more deserved what happened than the victims of 9/11 did. Islamic radicals have hated us, and will hate us, no matter what we do, or don't do. The idea that the revolution was about "freedom" is ludicrous. The Ayatollah's regime brought freedom?! No. The Ayatollah's regime was as oppressive - more so - than any prior. An acquaintance of mine, who lived in Iran prior to the Revolution, has clearly told me of life in Iran before the revolution, and there are volumes of writings out there about what it is now. There is not now - and never has been - a new birth of freedom in Iran after the Shah.

I remember the hostage crisis clearly. It was one of the events that stands out in my mind as helping to define my belief systems. The idea that a President would opt for negotiations and sanctions while our personnel were held for over a year was appalling. The idea that the horrific displays of fallen U.S. military personnel would go without a response, was doubly so. It would result in the same horror I would later feel after watching the events in Modagishu. Carter proved that he was incapable of serving as a Commander-in-Chief, and incapable of standing firm in defense of the country. He defined all that was wrong with the Democratic party to me - and the memory of the inept leadership in the face of that crisis has never left.

For more information:
The Memory Hole (pictures from the crisis)
List of Hostages and Casualties
Remembering the Iran hostage crisis (BBC interviews both a hostage-taker and a former hostage)
Global Security

If you have a post about the hostage crisis, or have found one of interest, please trackback, or list it in the comments section!

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Dangling by a thread
Senior Airmen Christopher Freeman and Robert Gutierrez, 321st Special Tactics Squadron, pararescueman and combat controller respectively practice alternate extraction tactics dangling from the MH-53M Pave Low IV's hoist and cable during the 352nd Special Operation Group's Operational Readiness Inspection held at RAF Machrihanish in Scotland as Tech. Sgt. Jason Lydon, 321st STS, pararescue team leader ensures the two-man team operate safely. The device used to hoist two men quickly out of harms way was developed by airmen serving during the Vietnam conflict.

Today in History

1576 - The Spanish take Antwerp, Belgium.
1845 - The first nationally observed uniform election day in U.S.
1854 - The Alcatraz Island lighthouse is established.
1862 - The gatling gun is patented by Richard J. Gatling.
1866 - The Kingdom of Italy annexes Venetia.
1867 - 90 kegs of powder are used to remove a rock from Telegraph Hill for a seawall.
1873 - Dentist John Beers of San Francisco patents the gold crown.
1875 - The Pacific collides with the Orpheus off the coast of Cape Flattery, Washington, killing 236.
1879 - James and John Ritty patent the first cash register, in order to combat stealing by bartenders in their Ohio saloon.
1884 - Grover Cleveland is elected President.
1890 - Great Britain proclaims Zanzibar a protectorate.
1904 - Harvard builds the first stadium specifically for football.
1922 - Howard Carter discovers Tutankhamen's tomb in Egypt.
1924 - California legalizes pro boxing (illegal since 1914); Nellie Tayloe Ross is elected as the first female U.S. governor (Wyoming).
1939 - The first air conditioned automobile (a Packard) is exhibited in Chicago; the U.S. allows "cash & carry" arms sales during WWII.
1952 - Dwight D. Eisenhower is elected President.
1956 - 200,000 Russian troops are sent to deal with an anti-Stalinist revolt in Budapest; Israeli troops captures the Straits of Tiran, and reach the Suez Canal.
1957 - The second Soviet Earth satellite is launched.
1978 - Iranian troops fire on anti-Shah student protesters near Tehran University.
1979 - 500 Iranian "students" seize the U.S. embassy, taking 90 hostages, whom they will hold for 444 days.
1980 - Ronald Reagan is elected President in a landslide.
1981 - The Columbia shuttle launch is scrubbed with 31 seconds remaining.
1984 - Nicaragua holds its first free elections in 56 years (the Sandinistas win).
1986 - Democrats gain control over the U.S. Senate.
1990 - Iraq says it is preparing for a "dangerous war."
1990 - Secretary of State James Baker visits U.S. troops in Saudi Arabia.
- A Mid East peace conference ends in Madrid, Spain.

- English King William III of Orange (1689-1702)
1876 - James Fraser, designer of the buffalo nickel
1879 - Will Rogers, humorist
1916 - Walter Cronkite, news anchor (CBS Evening News 1962-81)
1918 - Art Carney, actor (Ed Norton-Honeymooners)
1931 - Darla Hood, singer/actress (Little Rascals)
1937 - Loretta Swit, actress (Hotlips Houlihan-M*A*S*H)

1984 - Merie Earle, actress (Maude-Waltons)
1995 - Yitzhak Rabin, IDF Chief of Staff, diplomat, fifth Prime Minister of the State of Israel

Reported Missing in Action
Brinckmann, Robert E., USAF (NJ); F105F shot down (pilot, w/Scungio) remains returned July, 1989

Connolly, Vincent J., USAF (TX); RF101 shot down, remains recovered July, 1984

Hunt, William B., US Army SF (ID); shot and reported KIA while helping evacuate wounded (Read his story here)

Scungio, Vincent A., USAF (PA); F105F shot down (co-pilot, w/Brinckmann)

The following U.S. Army Soldiers lost when their UH1H crashed (cause unknown):
Alford, Terry L. (TX); aircraft commander

Cavender, James R. (CA); pilot

Klimo, James R. (MI); door gunner

Ware, John A. (OR); crewchief

The following U.S. Army Soldiers lost when their UH1H crashed in a separate incident:
Anderson, John Steven (IA); remains recovered July, 1973

Bauer, Richard Gene, (AK); remains recovered July, 1973

Castro, Alfonso R. (CA); remains recovered July, 1973

Kennedy, Alan Gordon (CA); remains recovered July, 1973

Medaris, Rick Eggburtus (MI); remains recovered July, 1973

Payne, John Allen (NY); remains recovered July, 1973

Roach, Marion Lee (CA); remains recovered July, 1973

Hanley, Larry J., USAF (WA); F105D crashed, believed Killed

Humphrey, Larry D., US Army; AWOL, escaped custody to join VC

McKay, Clyde W., Civilian - merchant seaman (CA); hijacked vessel and sailed to Cambodia, escaped custody to join VC
Atlantic Ocean (Nov. 3, 2005) - The nuclear-powered aircraft carrier USS Enterprise (CVN 65) sails alongside the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69) during an early morning vertical replenishment (VERTREP). Enterprise and embarked Carrier Air Wing One (CVW-1) are currently underway in the Atlantic Ocean conducting Tailored Ship's Training Availability (TSTA). U.S. Navy photo by Photographer's Mate 3rd Class Josh Kinter

Project Valour-IT Blog Competition - Day 3

Project Valour-IT has high aspirations -- to get as many computers equipped with voice-activated software to our wounded heroes as possible. How? Here's the plan:

Phase 1: Initial Phase
The National Naval Medical Center (Bethesda Naval Hospital) will be the first medical center to participate, receiving 25 fully-equipped laptops for their patients with hand and arm injuries at an estimated cost of $17,000.

Phase 2: Open Participation
All participating medical centers will begin to receive 20-30 voice-controlled laptops per center, once the Bethesda phase is complete.

Phase 3: Full Implementation
The number of voice-controlled laptops per center will be increased as funds become available, to an average of 150 laptops per medical center. Copies of the voice-controlled software will also be made available for patients to install on their home computers when they leave the medical center.

That's why we need your help. Project Valour-IT relies solely on donations (and since Soldiers' Angels is a non-profit, your donation is tax-deductible).

Today is Day 3 of the blog competition. If you haven't yet, be sure to either join or donate to the team of your choice - a.k.a. the Army Team :) .

For those of you who must donate to or join one of the other teams:

Jarheads (Marines) are led by Holly Aho

Zoomies (Air Force) are by Mrs. Greyhawk

Squids (Navy) are led by Mrs. Smash.

Of course, Doggies (Army) are led by Blackfive

You can also go here for updated totals from all teams, and to see who's blogging for each team. If you're a blogger, and you've signed up for one of the teams, you can get the code for the totals display and the donation button here.

As it stands now, the Navy Team is edging us Army bloggers out! Come on, folks - donate to the Army Team!
A Soldier from the 814th Engineer Company, 3rd Battalion, 7th Cavalry Regiment, 3rd Infantry Division, watches for insurgents during a riverine patrol on the Tigris River near Baghdad. Photo by Spc. Gul Alisan.

In Today's News - Friday, November 4, 2005

Quote of the Day
"Among the natural rights of the colonists
are these: first, a right to life;
secondly, to liberty; thirdly to property;
together with the right to support
and defend them
in the best manner they can."
--Samuel Adams

News of Note
Operation Iraqi Freedom
al-Qaida in Iraq Threaten Diplomats

Homeland Security / War on Terror
Two charged with planning terrorist attack on UK
Detainee May Be Wanted al-Qaida Suspect
Government plans 'registered traveler' program

Supreme Court
Alito Hearings to Start Jan. 9

Report: DeLay's Staff Tried to Help Indicted GOP Lobbyist
New Judge Tapped for Case
Libby Pleads Not Guilty

Hurricane Season
E-Mails Show Ex-FEMA Chief Fretted About Image
Cuba Denies Politicizing U.S. Relief Visit

Pakistan Earthquake
Little Joy at Pakistan's Quake Zone

320 people arrested for sorcery
Catholic weekly stirs storm with nude ad
Shopper glued to toilet sues Home Depot

Other News of Note
Controversial property rights ruling targeted by House bill

Fox News
Merck Wins Heart Attack Suit
Senate OKs ANWAR Oil Drilling
School Bus Carrying 25 Football Players Overturns
Stocks to Watch: KeySpan
British Royals Tour D.C.
S.C. Fugitives Nabbed at Motel
Las Vegas Mayor: Vandals Should Have Thumbs Cut Off
Bill to slash spending by $36B
More Avian Flu Outbreaks in Asia
Paris Riots Spread to 20 Suburbs
Shots fired at cops trying to keep peace

Reuters: Top News
US defends foreign detentions
Anti-govt unrest erupts for fourth day in Ethiopia
Hundreds of vehicles torched in renewed French riots
Six Iraqi police killed in attack on checkpoint
Nortel has more records subpoenaed in U.S. probe
S.Africa to launch its big eye on the sky
Jury finds Merck not liable over Vioxx
Home HIV test could spur early treatment -panel
New Astra CEO stepping up hunt for drugs

AP World News
Chavez Against U.S. Free Trade Plan
Ferry Capsizes in Arabian Sea, Killing 60
China Reports Fourth Bird Flu Outbreak
Italians Deny Role in Iraq Uranium Dossier
North Korea Lets Japanese Defector Go Home
Tsunami Hero Girl Sees U.N., Meets Clinton
Five Kuwaitis Return Home From Guantanamo
China, Vietnam Report New Bird Flu Cases
Security Council Unites Against Syria
France Honors W.W. II Resistance Fighters
China: N. Korea Talks to Resume Next Week
Bush Aims to Calm Latin American Relations
Bird Flu in Asia Could Kill 3 Million

The Seattle Times
Crater yields clues to a prehistoric cataclysm

Chicago Sun-Times
Judge stalls home sales near O'Hare
Repeal of GI gift caps going to Congress
House narrowly fails to override veto of gun measure (state legistlature)
Archeologists in orbit: They may have Copernicus' skull
IRS targets rich, makes record haul

Boston Globe: World
A cardinal asks faithful not to discount science
Troop Levels to Remain High in Iraq
Family Loses Home to Katrina, Son to War
Reservist on Trial for Prisoner Abuse
Family of Captured Soldier Flying to D.C.
House Blocks Democrats' Iraq Resolution
Three Marines Injured, Six Insurgents Killed in Fight
Daschle: Withdraw Troops From Iraq by End of 2007
Future of Military Health Care Hinges on Collaboration
Abizaid: No Kazakh Base Unless Invited
Lawmakers Rebuke Pentagon Buyers for Rising Weapons Costs
BRAC Commission Plans no More Meetings, Chairman Says
Green Zone Security Switch Causes Anxiety

CENTCOM: News Release

Department of Defense
Elections, Security Determine Force Size — Story Video
Defense Department Works to Combat IED Menace
Leaders Highlight Troop Quality, Dedication — Story
Leaders Tie Re-enlistment Success to Camaraderie
Insurgents Will Keep Fighting to Elections — Story Video
2 Troops Die; Air Forces Fend Off Attack

10th Mountain Medic Training Pays Off in Iraq — Story
New Road Improves Life in Baghdad District — Story
Afghan Village Gets Seed, Equipment — Story
Nassau Loads Gear for Deploying Marines — Story

Soldiers Bring Medical Aid to Villages Photos I II
Troops' Repair Skills Critical to Mission, Lives

HC-130 Team Trains to Save Lives During Mission

Utah Native Continues Family Legacy — Story

Harlem Globetrotters to Visit Troops — Story

Hurricane Coverage
Iraq Transition of Power

Chopper Crash, Attacks Kill Troops
Soldiers Killed, Another Injured
Water, Sewers Benefit Homes
Station Supports Police, Residents
Iraq Reconstruction
Iraq Daily Update
Multinational Force Iraq
Eye on Iraq Update (pdf)
Iraq Progress Fact Sheet (pdf)
Weekly Progress Report (pdf)

Weapons Cache Found
Afghanistan Daily Update

U.S.-Canada Relationship Studied
Gitmo Detainee Transfer Announced
EUCOM Exercise Tests Coordination
Waging and Winning the War on Terror
Terrorism Timeline
Terrorism Knowledge Base

Summit Helps Families Cope
TRICARE Reserve Benefit Extended
National Guard, Reserve Update

Officials Identify Casualties — Story

Al Azamiyah Al Basrah Al Hillah Al Karkh Al Kazimiyah Al Kut An Nasiriyah Baghdad Baqubah Mosul Najaf Nineveh Tall Kayf

Bost/Laskar Ghurian Herat Kabul Qandahar


National Hurricane Center