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Topic: Scary Stuff (nsc) Return to archive
June 30th, 2005 11:32 AM
Jumping Jack,2933,161163,00.html

Ex-Hostages: Iran's President Was Captor
Thursday, June 30, 2005

SAVANNAH, Ga. — An American held hostage in Iran for 444 days says "there's no question about it" — the country's new president was one of his captors a quarter-century ago. But others are not so sure.
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 (search) had been one of their Iranian captors. Associates of Ahmadinejad deny any such link.
"This is the guy. There's no question about it," said former hostage Chuck Scott (search), 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 (search), William J. Daugherty (search) and Don A. Sharer (search) told The Associated Press on Wednesday they have no doubt Ahmadinejad, 49, was one of the hostage-takers. A fifth ex-hostage, Kevin Hermening (search), said he reached the same conclusion after looking at photos.
Not everyone agrees. Former hostage and retired Air Force Col. Thomas E. Schaefer (search), of Peoria, Ariz., 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 (search) for trial. The shah fled Iran earlier that year after he was overthrown by the Islamic Revolution.
Ahmadinejad was a member of the Office of Strengthening Unity, the student organization that planned the embassy takeover, but he was opposed to taking the U.S. Embassy, several of his associates said.
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."
Mohammad Ali Sayed Nejad, a longtime friend of the president-elect, said that in 1979, "Ahmadinejad had focused his fight against communism and Marxism and he was one of the opponents of seizing the U.S. Embassy. He was a constant opponent."
Some former hostages couldn't be sure about their captors. Former Marine embassy guard Paul Lewis (search) of Sidney, Ill., said he thought Ahmadinejad looked vaguely familiar when he saw a picture of him on the news last week, but "my memories were more of the gun barrel, not the people behind it."
Ex-hostage Alan Golacinski (search) also said he couldn't be certain.
"I can't identify this individual as one of my interrogators because I was blindfolded during all of my interrogations," said Golacinski, who was an embassy security officer. However, Golacinski said, "He did look somewhat familiar."
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 (search). The stunning upset put conservatives firmly in control of all branches of power in the Islamic Republic of Iran.
In a first-person account on the British Broadcasting Corp. Web site, world affairs editor John Simpson said he, too, recognized Ahmadinejad, saying there was something "faintly familiar" about him.
"I realised where I must have seen him: in the former American embassy in Tehran," Simpson wrote.
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."
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 United States and "start sending pieces — toes and fingers of my son — to my wife."
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 (search), 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 Adibi, said Ahmadinejad "was not involved. There was no one by that name among the students who took part in the U.S. Embassy seizure."
June 30th, 2005 11:34 AM
glencar Ugh. This guy sounds like a real ass. Bet Ho Dean just loves him!
June 30th, 2005 01:45 PM
glencar wrote:
Ugh. This guy sounds like a real ass. Bet Ho Dean just loves him!


Can't you let ONE thread go by without spouting your anti-Howard Dean nonsense? You're positively unhinged!

For cryin' out loud, the Stones are on tour! You MUST stop flooding the board with your political crap!
June 30th, 2005 01:47 PM
FPM C10 wrote:

For cryin' out loud, the Stones are on tour! You MUST stop flooding the board with your political crap!

June 30th, 2005 01:49 PM
Joey wrote:

Hee heee! I forgot about that picture of Fiji's brother-in-law!

I never noticed that he had a nice bowl of watermelon there under the hood with him. Many mechanics skimp on their fruit intake.
[Edited by Li'l Fiji]
[Edited by FPM C10]
June 30th, 2005 01:49 PM
jb I like the fact that we are able to civily disagree.
June 30th, 2005 01:50 PM
FPM C10 wrote:

Hee heee! I forgot about that picture of Fiji's brother-in-law!

Well , I NEVER forget !!!!!!!!

Once Proud Fiji acts so Humble

Spritzee !
June 30th, 2005 01:51 PM
jb wrote:
I like the fact that we are able to civily disagree.

I like the fact that you are Jewish

June 30th, 2005 03:09 PM
June 30th, 2005 03:10 PM
kath wrote:

June 30th, 2005 03:21 PM
kath wrote:

" I can't be held responsible for blown behaviour
I lost all contact with my only saviour
No-one locked me out because I failed to phone up
I can't bear to live forever like a loner

Don't let go the coat

It's easy to be sad: when you lack a partner
But how would I react to a broken heart now
It ain't really true rock and roll unless I'm
Hanging onto you and when I hold it next time

I won't let go the coat

I try to explain but you never understand it
I need your body but I can't just demand it
I won't let go like a stray at heel
(Never let it out of your sight)
Every lonely wife knows the way I feel
(Don't let go tonight)
Don't let go the coat
Never let go the coat

Your friends all pass for life is just a market
But you have to finish everything you started
So I live my life tearing down the runway
Sure to get the hang of hanging in there someday

Don't let go the coat
Won't get no more chances - forget the war dances
Go blind and hang on - don't try the slang son
Never let go the coat..... ( fade to Steelie ) "

June 30th, 2005 06:02 PM
kath wrote:

many emotional ups and downs for you on RO today kath, you must regroup and come out strong tomorrow as we will have a long weekend to rest up.
June 30th, 2005 06:42 PM
kath oh, c'mon you know i'm the sybil of the stones boards.......
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