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Saturday, November 04, 2006

Project Valour-IT - Your Help is Still Needed

Larger version at the Cox and Forkum webpage

We're still a long way from our goal --
Have you donated to Project Valour-IT yet? (to the Marine Team, of course!)

Information about Project Valour-IT:
Soldiers' Angels Project Valour-IT
Valour-IT Blog

Team Standings:

Team Leaders:
Army - Blackfive
Navy - Chaotic Synaptic Activity
Air Force - Op-For
Marines - Villainous Company

Join a Team!

Security in Zafaraniyah

From DefendAmerica:

U.S. Army Capt. John Madia, left foreground, assigned to Alpha Battery, 4th Battalion, 320th Field Artillery Regiment, 506th Regimental Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division, briefs his platoon before a patrol in Zafaraniyah, Iraq, Oct. 21, 2006. U.S. Army photo by Staff Sgt. Bronco Suzuki

U.S. Army Sgt. Freddy Farnsworth, left, and Staff Sgt. Jesus Robles, both assigned to Alpha Battery, 4th Battalion, 320th Field Artillery Regiment, 506th Regimental Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division, conduct a patrol in Zafaraniyah, Iraq, Oct. 21, 2006. U.S. Army photo by Staff Sgt. Bronco Suzuki

U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Christopher Clay, right, assigned to Alpha Battery, 4th Battalion, 320th Field Artillery Regiment, 506th Regimental Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division, provides security for a school renovation project inspection in Zafaraniyah, Iraq, Oct. 21, 2006. U.S. Army photo by Staff Sgt. Bronco Suzuki

U.S. Army Spc. Samuel Williams, left, and Capt. John Madia, right, both assigned to Alpha Battery, 4th Battalion, 320th Field Artillery Regiment, 506th Regimental Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division, talk to a local Iraqi storeowner during a patrol in Zafaraniyah, Iraq, Oct. 21, 2006. U.S. Army photo by Staff Sgt. Bronco Suzuki

More Photo Essays

Gotta Love Cox and Forkum

(click for larger version at the C&F webpage)

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 (Updated for 2006):
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.

And the accusations of Ahmedinejad's involvement have never been thoroughly investigated. One thing is clear from his behavior and rantings - he's certainly capable of it. Either way you cut it, Iran was an enemy then, and is an enemy now. Their support of terrorism, their hatred of the west, and Ahmedinejad's twisted religious fervor and desire to spur on Armageddon are common knowledge. These days, when Iranian religious extremism explodes, it is highly unlikely to be confined within a U.S. embassy on Iranian soil. Now, Iran is a threat to anyone who does not bow before their violent, hell-bent view of Islam.

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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SUPPLY DELIVERY — Using slings around pallets of food supplies, a Chinook helicopter's crew prepares to drop off one of two loads totaling 4 tons to help the Panjshir district’s 38,000 residents prepare for winter. U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. John Cumper - Story

In Today's News - Saturday, November 4, 2006

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
Soldiers Deliver Supplies to Iraqi Children
Iraqi Govt. Cancels Army Leave
U.N.: Nearly 100,000 flee Iraq monthly
Violence Spikes in Iraq

Operation Enduring Freedom
Team Visits Remote Afghans Before Winter
Italian reporter freed in Afghanistan tired, happy

Homeland Security / War on Terror
U.S. Embassy: Nigeria Militants Planing Attacks
Militias kill 63, many of them children, in Darfur
U.S. envoy says Sudan president refused to see him
Egypt police find 2 tons explosives in Sinai

Troops on Trial
Deployment of convicted soldier stopped Blog: Inside the Pendleton 8

Other Military News
WWII Vet Receives Bronze Star

Mid-East Ceasefire / Hamas Rising / Israel at War
Ariel Sharon Stable After Rushed to ICU
Palestinian women shot dead in Gaza mosque siege - Video

Worldwide Wackos
Rice says U.S. wants concrete action from Pyongyang
Russia wants extensive changes to U.N. Iran measure
Iran test-fires 3 new missiles in Gulf

Politics / Government
Bush Jabs at Dems on Economy - VIDEO
Video: Rangel on Future of Tax Plan
YOU DECIDE 2006: Complete coverage from
Ohio Rep. Bob Ney Resigns Over Scandal Conviction
Elections head to tense finish - Video
Democrats unleash TV attack, radio ads

U.N. News
Greenhouse gases hit record levels in 2005: U.N.

Media in the Media / Bloggers in the News Podcast: Blackfive on Milblogs
Web Site Shut Over Nuke 'How-To' Content
Radio host fired over candidate insult

Mother Nature
Funerals begin for 5 Calif. firefighters

2nd Man Charged With Hiding Bodies in Drain Pipe
Jonesing for a world record
Man finds letters to God at sea
Love is strange: Wait till you see my feet
Urban cowboy corrals bull in New Jersey
Canadian nabbed in live Web sex assault
Professor's Bigfoot research criticized
Police: Nude man hides awl in buttocks (This is just...wrong)

Other News of Note
Haggard: Charges Untrue
Top Evangelist admits meth buy, denies gay sex
NTSB: Stiff Wind Caused Lidle’s Plane Crash

Fox News
Wal-Mart Gives Shoppers Early Christmas
Starbucks Loses Laptops With Workers' Info
Ford, Mazda Vehicles Probed for Engine Fires
Nephew of Fighter Berbick Charged in His Death

Reuters: Top News
Blair, Merkel back alliance against climate change
Mistrial in L.A. case of Swede who wrecked Ferrari
Scientists get snapshot of AIDS defense mechanism
Holiday season may not be joyous for PC makers
Apple adds to iPod line with second red nano
Luxury vehicle demand seen slowing
Restaurant tomatoes source of Salmonella: FDA
More than a million suffer chronic fatigue
"Borat" headed for glorious U.S. box office
Kate Moss fashion award stirs controversy in Britain
Whole Foods shares dive, rivals pressure sales
Oil climbs above $59 on supply threats
Kenneth Cole shares fall on outlook
Red Robin shares crash on lowered outlook
CA falls on drop in new orders, lower outlook
Gold a weak inflation gauge
Boomer housing options
Paul DeMartino tracks widespread enthusiasm on the screens
Berkshire Hathaway profit nearly quintuples
Housing market woes to play role in U.S. elections
Progress has slowed on AT&T/BellSouth: FCC chief
Jobs flourish but won't shoo away dollar bears

AP World News
Neil Patrick Harris says he is gay
Dodgers' Maddux wins 16th Gold Glove
Smith remains hospitalized in Bahamas
'Titanic' success bittersweet to Winslet
Dow ends down 33 amid jump in oil prices
Dutch rescue succeeds in saving horses
Headstone found at Dickinson home
Kanye West upset at MTV video award loss
Opinion: Webb as Every-vet
Get the Official Tomcat Sunset Calendar
Opinion: The Metrics of War
Sign the Veterans' Bill of Rights!

CENTCOM: News Releases







Planning discussions continue for next multinational experiment
More about Multinational Experiment 5
USJFCOM to participate in Orlando military conference - podcast
U.S., international partners gain knowledge from conference - podcast
Cooperation key for partnerships
International conference discusses current operations
USJFCOM, ACT host 6th CD&E Conference in Greece
USJFCOM takes over Individual Augmentee Program - podcast

Department of Defense
Iraqi Police Detain Suspects; Coalition Kills Assassination Team - Story
For Top News Visit DefenseLink

Army Corps of Engineers Teach Safety Rules - Story
UAVs Deliver Lifesaving Information to Troops - Story

Marines Ensure Iraqi Police Get Supplies
Action Film Stars Kick Up Morale in Iraq
Army Scorpion Expert Stung by Insect, Irony
Suspected Insurgents Captured in Operation
U.S. Army Husband, Wife Re-enlist at Camp Taji

Afghan Interpreters Save Lives, Impart Knowledge
Afghan Leader Visits Kabul Military Training Center
Command and General Staff College Opens
Specialist Delivers Supplies, Hope to Students

Renewal In Iraq
Iraq: Security, Stability
Fact Sheet: Progress and Work Ahead
Report: Strategy for Victory in Iraq
Iraq Daily Update
This Week in Iraq
Multinational Force Iraq
State Dept. Weekly Iraq Report (PDF)
'Boots on the Ground' Audio Archive
Weekly Reconstruction Report (PDF)
Iraq Reconstruction

Afghanistan Update

Fact Sheet: Budget Request
Fact Sheet: War on Terror
Fact Sheet: Terror Plots Disrupted
Waging and Winning the War on Terror
Terrorism Timeline
Terrorism Knowledge Base

Soldiers, Marines Killed in Iraq - 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

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