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Religion, Politics and World Events They make great dinner conversation, don't you think? plus Political Film

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Old 06-30-05, 09:47 AM   #1
VinVega
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Iran Leader-Elect a terrorist?

Yahoo - Ex-Hostages Say Iran Leader-Elect a Captor

Quote:
By NEDRA PICKLER, Associated Press Writer
WASHINGTON - The White House said Thursday it is taking seriously the allegations of some former American hostages who say the believe that Iran's president-elect was one of their captors in the late 1970s.

"I think the news reports and statements from several former American hostages raise many questions about his past," White House press secretary Scott McClellan said of the Iranian president-elect Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. "We take them very seriously and we are looking into them to better understand the facts."

Former hostages Chuck Scott, David Roeder, William J. Daugherty and Don A. Sharer told The Associated Press that after seeing Ahmadinejad on television, they have no doubt he was one of the hostage-takers. A fifth ex-hostage, Kevin Hermening, said he reached the same conclusion after looking at photos. A close aide to Ahmadinejad denied the president-elect took part in the seizure of the embassy or in holding Americans hostage.

The hostage-taking, which came in reprisal for Washington's refusal to surrender ousted Shah Mohammed Reza Pahlavi for trial there, contributed substantially to then-President Jimmy Carter's defeat by Ronald Reagan in the 1980 election.

Militant students seized the U.S. Embassy in Tehran on Nov. 4, 1979, and held 52 Americans hostage for 444 days. The shah had fled Iran earlier that year after he was overthrown by the Islamic Revolution.

Another former hostage, retired Air Force Col. Thomas E. Schaefer, said he doesn't recognize Ahmadinejad as one of his captors. Several former students among the hostage-takers also said they did not believe that Ahmadinejad had taken part in it.

President Bush was asked about the allegation in an interview with The Times of London conducted Wednesday and published Thursday. A transcript on the newspaper's Web site shows Bush did not comment directly on any role that Ahmadinejad may have played in the hostage-taking, but said "time will tell" whether the United States and its allies will be able to work with him.

The president said that Ahmadinejad's first test will be whether he is prepared to negotiate in good faith with Britain, France and Germany about Iran's nuclear ambitions.

"They should not be able to develop the technologies that will enable the enrichment of uranium which will ultimately yield a nuclear weapon," Bush said. "I say that because they tried to do that clandestinely before, which obviously shows that there's a conspiratorial nature in their thinking."


Several of the former hostages insisted they were certain that the president-elect was among their captors. Daugherty said it's further evidence that the State Department should stop defending Iran's immunity from lawsuits filed by the former hostages seeking reparations.

In April 2002, a federal judge threw out a lawsuit by the hostages seeking $33 billion in damages. The State Department intervened, arguing the lawsuit would violate the U.S.-Iranian agreements that freed the hostages and would damage U.S. credibility.

"This puts the Bush administration in an interesting position," Daugherty said. "You know how he said, `You're either for us or you're for the terrorists.' Well, now the leader of Iran is a terrorist."
Ok, I embellished the thread title a bit, but I needed an attention grabber. At least Bush made a well thought out response to the question on the nuclear programs.
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Old 06-30-05, 10:06 AM   #2
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I say nuke 'em!!

Menachem Begin was a former terrorist. Anwar Sadat was a former terrorist. We did business with them, didn't we?
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Old 06-30-05, 10:11 AM   #3
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Bah. They're all terrorists.
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Old 06-30-05, 10:11 AM   #4
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Sounds somewhat like the issue at hand is the former hostages' families getting money for the whole ordeal. $33 billion in damages?
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Old 06-30-05, 12:05 PM   #5
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No, he's just angling for a Nobel Peace Prize(tm).
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Old 06-30-05, 12:23 PM   #6
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For those who are interested, The Guardian goes into more detail than Yahoo does:
Quote:
Ex-Hostages Say Iran Leader-Elect a Captor

Thursday June 30, 2005 4:46 AM


AP Photo GASM103

By RUSS BYNUM

Associated Press Writer

SAVANNAH, Ga. (AP) - A quarter-century after they were taken captive in Iran, five former American hostages say they got an unexpected reminder of their 444-day ordeal in the bearded face of Iran's new president-elect.

Watching coverage of Iran's presidential election on television dredged up 25-year-old memories that prompted four of the former hostages to exchange e-mails. And those four realized they shared the same conclusion - the firm belief that President-elect Mahmoud Ahmadinejad had been one of their Iranian captors.

``This is the guy. There's no question about it,'' said former hostage Chuck Scott, a retired Army colonel who lives in Jonesboro, Ga. ``You could make him a blond and shave his whiskers, put him in a zoot suit and I'd still spot him.''

Scott and former hostages David Roeder, William J. Daugherty and Don A. Sharer told The Associated Press on Wednesday they have no doubt Ahmadinejad, 49, was one of the hostage-takers. A fifth ex-hostage, Kevin Hermening, said he reached the same conclusion after looking at photos.

Not everyone agrees. Former hostage and retired Air Force Col. Thomas E. Schaefer said he doesn't recognize Ahmadinejad, by face or name, as one of his captors.

Several former students among the hostage-takers also said Ahmadinejad did not participate. And a close aide to Ahmadinejad denied the president-elect took part in the seizure of the embassy or in holding Americans hostage.

Militant students seized the U.S. Embassy in Tehran on Nov. 4, 1979, and held 52 Americans hostage for 444 days to protest Washington's refusal to hand over the U.S.-backed Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi for trial. The shah fled Iran earlier that year after he was overthrown by the Islamic Revolution.

The aide, Meisan Rowhani, told the AP from Tehran that Ahmadinejad was asked during recent private meetings if he had a role in the hostage taking. Rowhani said he replied, ``No. I believed that if we do that the world will swallow us.''

Another former hostage, Paul Lewis, said he thought Ahmadinejad looked vaguely familiar when he saw a picture of him on the news last week, but the former Marine embassy guard said he could not be certain.

``My memories were more of the gun barrel, not the people behind it,'' said Lewis, who lives in the central Illinois town of Sidney.

Scott and Roeder both said they were sure Ahmadinejad was present while they were interrogated.

``I can absolutely guarantee you he was not only one of the hostage-takers, he was present at my personal interrogation,'' Roeder said in an interview from his home in Pinehurst, N.C.

Daugherty, who worked for the CIA in Iran and now lives in Savannah, said a man he's convinced was Ahmadinejad was among a group of ringleaders escorting a Vatican representative during a visit in the early days of the hostage crisis.

``It's impossible to forget a guy like that,'' Daugherty said. ``Clearly the way he acted, the fact he gave orders, that he was older, most certainly he was one of the ringleaders.''

Ahmadinejad, the hard-line mayor of Tehran, was declared winner Wednesday of Iran's presidential runoff election, defeating one of Iran's best-known statesmen, Ayatollah Hashemi Rafsanjani. The stunning upset put conservatives firmly in control of all branches of power in the Islamic Republic of Iran.

Scott, Roeder, Daugherty and Sharer said they have been exchanging e-mails since seeing Ahmadinejad emerge as a serious contender in Iran's elections.

``He was extremely cruel,'' said Sharer, of Bedford, Ind. ``He's one of the hard-liners. So that tells you where their government's going to stand for the next four to five years.''

After seeing recent newspaper photos, Sharer said, ``I don't have any doubts'' that Ahmadinejad was a hostage-taker.

A memory expert cautioned that people who discuss their recollections can influence one another in reinforcing false memories. Also, it's harder to identify from memory someone of a different race or ethnicity, said psychologist Elizabeth Loftus of the University of California, Irvine.

``Twenty-five years is an awfully long time,'' Loftus said. ``Of course we can't say this is false, but these things can lead people down the path of having a false memory.''

Schaefer, of Peoria, Ariz., didn't recognize Ahmadinejad and said allegations that he had been a hostage-taker don't concern him as much as knowing hard-liners are back in power in Iran.

Scott gave a detailed account of the man he recalled as Ahmadinejad, saying he appeared to be a security chief among the hostage-takers.

``He kind of stayed in the background most of the time,'' Scott said. ``But he was in on some of the interrogations. And he was in on my interrogation at the time they were working me over.''

Scott also recalled an incident while he was held in the Evin prison in north Tehran in the summer of 1980.

One of the guards, whom Scott called Akbar, would sometimes let Scott and Sharer out to walk the narrow, 20-foot hallway outside their cells, he said. One day, Scott said, the man he believes was Ahmadinejad saw them walking and chastised the guard.

``He was the security chief, supposedly,'' Scott said. ``When he found out Akbar had let us out of our cells at all, he chewed out Akbar. I speak Farsi. He said, `These guys are dogs they're pigs, they're animals. They don't deserve to be let out of their cells.'''

Scott recalled responding to the man's stare by openly cursing his captor in Farsi. ``He looked a little flustered like he didn't know what to do. He just walked out.''

Roeder said he's sure Ahmadinejad was present during one of his interrogations when the hostage-takers threatened to kidnap his son in the U.S. and ``start sending pieces - toes and fingers of my son - to my wife.''

``It was almost like he was checking on the interrogation techniques they were using in a sort of adviser capacity,'' Roeder said.

Hermening, of Mosinee, Wis., the youngest of the hostages, said that after he looked at photos and did research on the Internet, he came to the conclusion that Ahmadinejad was one of his questioners.

Hermening had been Marine guard at the embassy, and he recalled the man he believes was Ahmadinejad asking him for the combination to a safe.

``His English would have been fairly strong. I couldn't say that about all the guards,'' Hermening said. ``I remember that he was certainly direct, threatening, very unfriendly.''

Rowhani, the aide to Ahmadinejad, said Ahmadinejad said during the recent meeting that he stopped opposing the embassy seizure after the revolution's leader, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, expressed support for it. But the president-elect said he never took part.

``Definitely he was not among the students who took part in the seizure,'' said Abbas Abdi, the leader of the hostage-takers. Abdi has since become a leading supporter of reform and sharply opposed Ahmadinejad. ``He was not part of us. He played no role in the seizure, let alone being responsible for security'' for the students.

Another of the hostage-takers, Bijan Abidi, said Ahmadinejad ``was not involved. There was no one by that name among the students who took part in the U.S. Embassy seizure.''
http://www.guardian.co.uk/worldlates...108298,00.html
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Old 06-30-05, 12:25 PM   #7
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Even if he weren't one before, I think any current leader of Iran could be considered a terrorist.
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Old 06-30-05, 01:28 PM   #8
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As long as they support Hezbollah, they're terrorist.
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Old 06-30-05, 05:15 PM   #9
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www.activistchat.com has some interesting links and photos for this report.
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Old 06-30-05, 05:29 PM   #10
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Sweet! Now we have an excuse to invade Iran too!!!!!!!!!
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Old 06-30-05, 06:37 PM   #11
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Sorry, but there's no friggin' way those are the same two guys. Anyone who thinks so probably thinks all people of another race (not his or her own) pretty much "look the same" - and we all know there are a ton of people out there like this.
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Old 06-30-05, 07:04 PM   #12
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At least 5 of the hostages - how long were they in captivity - seem to disagree with you. They're quite certain that it's him. It's my understanding that these hostages had considerable contact with the man.

Therefore, I ask the question - why are you so certain it's not him - 'no friggin way' that those are the same two guys' is the expression you used?
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Old 06-30-05, 07:20 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shannon Nutt
Sorry, but there's no friggin' way those are the same two guys. Anyone who thinks so probably thinks all people of another race (not his or her own) pretty much "look the same" - and we all know there are a ton of people out there like this.
I'm not saying it's him cause how the hell would I know, but I'd believe the judgment of 5 eyewitnesses to yours.
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Old 06-30-05, 09:04 PM   #14
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Nothing clouds the truth so much as memory...

It's been 25 years for god's sake...they could see Robert Davi and think he was the guy who interrogated them.

And just for the record, there are still 47 former hostages who aren't ready to make the claim that he's "the same guy".

Sheesh, just LOOK at the photos people - the nose is different, the eyebrows are different, the shape of the eyes are different, even the head isn't the same shape between the men. I can go down to the mall and find a few guys who look just as similar. If that's the same guy, I'm the Jolly Green Giant.



And just to prove a point...


It's him! It's the same guy!!!

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Old 06-30-05, 09:44 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by X
Even if he weren't one before, I think any current leader of Iran could be considered a terrorist.
Yeppers. I'm not sure why this is a story either.
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Old 06-30-05, 09:52 PM   #16
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The nose is the same as well as everything else.

They just interviewed the guy who wrote Black Hawk Down and he had been investigating the Iran hostage situation for the last four years and said this is the same guy.
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Old 07-01-05, 06:18 AM   #17
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ABCNews had an "expert" in these sort of things last night. With only working on it for a little while, he's not yet convinced it is the guy. But, he also said: "there's nothing to disprove" it either.
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Old 07-01-05, 07:01 AM   #18
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Ok, so this guy is allegedly a hostage-taker. We already know that he's going to revive the country's nuclear ambitions. Were were really expecting better relations?
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Old 07-01-05, 07:37 AM   #19
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I think it gives us more reason/ability to put put pressure on Iran. If it turns out that they have a known criminal as their leader, then I think that gives the world reason to want to make sure this guy stays in line. This just helds us with support (at least it should) when we talk tough/take action against Iran and their nuclear program.
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Old 07-03-05, 03:24 AM   #20
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http://news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=stor...an_ahmadinejad

Ex-Iranian Agent: Photo Not Ahmadinejad

On a side note, the world gave an infamous terrorist the Nobel Peace Prize.
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Old 07-03-05, 07:11 AM   #21
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Not the world - the Nobel Prize Committee.
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Old 07-03-05, 07:43 AM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by X
Even if he weren't one before, I think any current leader of Iran could be considered a terrorist.
And it is clear that there are plenty in the Middle East - and beyond - that think much the same about USA [and other Western] leaders and the actions of their government's agencies.

I doubt that there is much to be achieved either by the observation - concerning "terrorist leaders" - or by the state of mind of those making it.

Just my two pennies.
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Old 07-03-05, 03:24 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by classicman2
Not the world - the Nobel Prize Committee.
Well, how many world members spoke against it and publicly said he shouldn't get it. I think only one country did. Israel.
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