One Year of Detention for U.S. Hikers

Posted by DipNote Bloggers
July 31, 2010
Hikers Shane Bauer, Sarah Shourd and Josh Fattal in Iran

July 31, 2010 marks the year-long detention of three U.S. citizens, Shane Bauer, Sarah Shourd, and Joshua Fattal, for allegedly crossing into Iran during a hiking vacation in Iraqi Kurdistan. Secretary Clinton said:

"Their release by Iran is long overdue and their continued detention is unjustifiable. Iran has long espoused to the world its commitment to justice, security and peace for all. We urge Iran to take action in the case of the three hikers -- detained for a year in Evin Prison without charge -- to match its stated commitments. We call on Iran to do the right thing and allow these three Americans to return home to their families."

Comments

Comments

Eric
|
New Mexico, USA
August 1, 2010

Eric in New Mexico writes:

CNN News Item -- Brazil's president has offered asylum to an Iranian woman sentenced to death by stoning, state-run media reported Saturday.

President Luiz Ignacio Lula da Silva was quoted by Brazil's official state news agency EBC as saying "I want to make an appeal to my friend Ahmadinejad ... and to the government of Iran to allow Brazil to take in the woman."

---

Well, I suppose we'll see if Lula's friend has empathy, or if he's lookin' for a little blood sport at the expense of one of Iran's citizens....which probably gives perspective on well Americans fare in Evin prison.

Well then even if guilty of simple unlawful trespassing they should be released for their time served under any rule of law.

But then all three are now witness to the conditions on the inside among hundreds of political prisoners and the regime can't exactly afford for them to write a book about their experience, without the world knowing more than it ever wanted to know about torture.

OysterCracker
|
United States
August 1, 2010

O.C. in the U.S.A. writes:

Please rescue these kids before we bomb Iran.

Zharkov
|
United States
August 1, 2010

Zharkov in the U.S.A. writes:

Iran used to be our friend and partner.

Now they hold Americans hostage, the same as in 1979, only this time not as many.

One might expect on a State Dept. blog some sort of vague explanation about what, if anything, the State Dept. has done so far to gain their release.

Considering the US current position of advertising Iran's government as enemies of humanity and imposing useless sanctions, our bargaining leverage is almost nonexistent.

The sad tale is that the US government supported Iran's Ayatollah regime before it took our embassy hostage.

Why ANY tourist from Western countries would want to visit Iran now is a mystery, and the ones who travel to Iran must assume the risk that they will also become hostages.

Someone might print that kind of warning inside the cover of every passport - "Visit Iran at your own risk".

monaliza
|
Egypt
August 1, 2010

Monaliza in Egypt writes:

i dont believe that iran do the right thing they do what they want to do only.

donald m.
|
Virginia, USA
August 1, 2010

Donald M. in Virginia writes:

1 August 2010

The simple solution, send in special forces and rescue these guys. Its gone on long enough, time for tough action. The opportunity to be a diplomatic has failed. We have Army Rangers, Green Barahs, Navy Seals, and Air Force Delta Force, get these Americans home safe and sound. Playing by Irans rules, still has our people in prison. While your getting these guys back, keep an eye open for Mr. Bob Levinson who also vanished in Iran. He too might be locked away in an Iran prison. Being soft, means more time for Iran to make threats and use them as bargaining chips. Tough stand and get the job done!

OysterCracker
|
United States
August 2, 2010

O.C. in the U.S.A. writes:

@Zharkov,
No one in their right mind would be hiking in that region of the world. Would they? I'm sure they must wish they were home in the USA. Its an awful thought to go to a country and be detained for so long. I hope its not as long as the time the embassy workers were forced to stay.

Eric
|
New Mexico, USA
August 2, 2010

Eric in New Mexico writes:

I suppose if there's a bright side, at least they didn't go hiking the Hindu Kush.

That said, I suppose how far State goes to take this issue on depends on how far the President wants to ride the horse.

Let's do Lula one better,...(one good offer deserves another as it were...)

Let's offer every political prisoner in Iran asylum, incuding those up for execution for domestic relations issues.

This could be really interesting..., let's see what "the organ grinder's monkey" is made of.

And if he doesn't see the value added in relieving Iran's over-crowded prisons, then there's always Regime Replacement Therapy.

You folks want to really know what is unacceptable? To hear folks say things are "unacceptable" over and over and over.

We got it, OK? That some folks haven't is well...do you'all think maybe "brain salad surgery" is in order?

Now if DOD could target all Iran's frequencies and over-ride radio, TV, and pump Jimi Hendrix live at Woodstock doin' the "Star Spangled Banner" repeatedly over and over and over @ a billion total watts from every source DOD could find international multi-sourcing of private sector assets through varios agencies and programs 24/7/365 so the regime was facing an endless loop of democratic feedback (chuckle)with no way to turn it off and not enough power to jam the broadcast into every Iranian home...

The USA is being accused of "waging psycological warfare" upon the government of Iran, by its leadership constantly.

Well we haven't even got started yet...in my humble public opinion.

This would just be to set the mood for something not unlike an "awakening".

The problem with "shock and awe" as I see it isn't in the execution, planning or the capacity, we can do that whenever we want to.

It's having a little style and a proper attitude going about it.

Eric
|
New Mexico, USA
August 3, 2010

Eric in New Mexico writes:

Awe jeepers, here we go again..."the organ grinder's monkey", Amanut-whatcha-may-call-it, is lookin' to have a chat with President Obama on live TV.

This the third or fouth time he's thinking this is what's called "negotiation"?

Well, there's a precedent here to consider and I'm not making a recomendation what the President ought to say in response...yeah or nay, but "the devil and Danial Webster" comes to mind where it whould concern such a debate.

Aminidijad has this "thing" about holding a captive audience...well there are certainly green eminations, or emmissions causing a foul political stench when he gets up in front of the UNGA and speaks.

And no I don't atribute the phenomena to a manifest destiny on a hostile basis. Just his lack of empathy and his desire to manipulate.

Well, I think some good could come of it actually.

See, if the President were of a mind to, and the situation was such that next steps were well beyond further sanction, he could give the organ grinder and his monkey notice in front of the whole world that unless Iran fully complies with the following non-negotiable demands, immediately, that he'll call a joint session of Congress and ask for a declaration of war.

-End any and all support for terrorism.

-End and dismantle any and all WMD programs, biological, nuclear, or chemical.

-End Nuclear enrichment and dismantle facilities.

- Release all political prisoners, any jailed Americans, and provide complete accounting of those "missing".

- Halt all missile development and dismantle existing missiles and the infrastructure to build them.

One can do a comparitive study of Saddam's attitude prior to invasion and this idiot's, and there's not much daylight to be seen.

Well, I've always felt that it's much better to give a leader 48 hours to pack his bags face to face rather than in a televized monologue any day of the week.

And when he asks "why?" I just can't wait to see the look on his face when it is suggested to him that if we don't bring the hammer down with that exit option attached, someone else is likely to nuke him as their only option.

The only nuclear arms race that will happen if Iran builds them, is the race to see who nukes Iran first before they give one to a terrorist org.

This may be an odd way to wish the President Happy Birthday, but if the gift of an idea will help him achieve America's finest hour in dismantling terrorist networks, then I guess a plain wrapping will suffice for elegant gift wrapping...sans strings and such.

See, I'd think "debate" useless, but giving an evicion notice is certainly appropriate to sponsors of terror.

Eric
|
New Mexico, USA
August 3, 2010

Eric in New Mexico writes:

BBC News Item;

Speaking at a news conference in Tehran on Tuesday, Iran's foreign ministry spokesman said Ashtiani had been sentenced in accordance with Iranian law.

"As far as we know, [President Lula] is a very humane and emotional person who probably has not received enough information about the case," Ramin Mehmanparast said.

"What can be done is to let him know about the details of the case of this person who has committed a crime and has been convicted accordingly," he added.

---

Dipnote Bloggers;

I'm not sure what's worse, insulting Lula's intelligence, or the bald-faced admission that they know what empathy is, and refuse to practice it.

In favor of "blood sport", no less.

I personally don't know what else to call stoning a woman to death. "Brutal" covers a lot of ground, but doesn't really give it context. Hanging is "brutal" punishment for the crime commited as it has been noted as the alternative sentancing under international pressure.

I'm wondering if the honorable PJ Crowley@ State would consider this phrase "blood sport" a fair characterization of the act of stoning.

I don't know if this would be a suitible "write-in" question for inclusion in a briefing, but I figure I'd pose the notion that it might be, and see if he'll "take" the question. That is if Dipnote staff would be so kind as to pass it on to him.

Thanks,

EJ

T.J
|
United Kingdom
August 4, 2010

T.J. in the United Kingdom writes:

Zharkov said;
Iran used to be our friend and partner.

Yes, let us give ONE more Peace prize to Jimmy Carter and his Colonial wise guys - europeans - for opening the Pandora's Box.

Eric
|
New Mexico, USA
August 4, 2010

Eric in New Mexico writes:

Hi TJ, welcome back. I can't say for sure folks got the "message", but no one's dancing with mullahs lately (a la Jack Straw).

It has been a long hard slog hasn't it?

Well, did you ever expect to see the EU place this kind of pressure on Iran along side the US?

It's probably too little too late to make much difference, but better late than never.

People are people TJ and some are real slow on the downloading of realization what the right thing to do is.

Thing is, had the current level of sanctions and political unity among P5 + 1 come to exist in 2005 , there might have been time for sanctions to work to stop Iran from getting nuclear weapons.

Now there's about a one in ten chance of stopping the car in time.

Maybe less than that, and it could be way too late if my best guess is correct, in that they already have a nuclear weapon or two.

It would explain a lot of the recent rhetoric.

We'll see what the future brings, I don't think we've got long to wait for it.

donald m.
|
Virginia, USA
August 4, 2010

Donald M. in Virginia writes:

The right response should be to send in Special Forces and get our Americans out of Iran. What would be nice is if they can find Mr. Bob Levinson and get him home too. What I find as being the worst case against humanity, the woman who will be stoned to death. This is ridicious. The United Nations should sign some kind of document that ends this kind of cruity to women. May God help that woman. Our thoughts and prayers are with her, this is misuse of Authority and Religion combined stuck in the Stone Age! Nobody on earth in the 21th Century should be stoned to death. Do they treat animals better in Iran? or worst? "People should be treated like human beings, not Animals."

Eric
|
New Mexico, USA
August 4, 2010

Eric in New Mexico writes:

Let's see, storm Evin Prisom , free 3 Americans...might as well let the rest of the prisoners go since there's no guards left., and heck if you're going to start a war by doing this, might as well remove the regime from power and free the entire nation...

See how this works Donald?

It ain't an in and out opp.

Now if the Ayatollah was convinced we'd drop a big rock on his pointy little head from way high up, he might just hand them over.

That's a better way to go to war if you must, up front and personal.

donald m.
|
Virginia, USA
August 4, 2010

Donald M. in Virginia writes:

@Eric in New Mexico

I noticed the Diplomatic approached really worked eh?...a year has passed and Iran still has them in custody. However, having new Leadership in Iran might be a good thing. I know there not going to send in Special Forces, it was just a suggestion Eric. After our country helped place Sanctions on Iran, these guys have become a pawn in the bigger chess game. It was the thought that counted. Somebody has to give the Americans some hope, since our Government is slow to react once again...

T.J
|
United Kingdom
August 4, 2010

T.J. in the United Kingdom writes:

A Kurdish - Iraqi - friend of mine tells me that, every time the Badr Brigade which is the Iraqi varsion and ally of the Iranian Rev Guard wants to move around at night, the whole City goes into darkness.
It looks like not only they managed to spill American blood they have also subdued an old Arab foe. I should mention Afghanistan too, as they have been supporting and supplying the Taliban and A.Q for a good while as well. I can not help noticing that, the Colonials are packing up their bags once again as the sight of a simple Band Aid gives them sleepless nights. Once again it is the US who has to carry the Can. But this is wrong.

You need to confront the Evil head on and destroy it's roots and not just clip the branches.

I have said it before; Invasion of Iraq was wrong. You Americans do not understand Arab mentality. You can NOT expect an Arab to understand Democratic values. It is against their deep rooted culture and religion.

The Mullahs regime can be toppled easily. There will NOT be many brain washed volunteers to stand up against the US Boots. Iranians LOVE everything American.

Let's remove this Cancerous Tumour from M.E before it is too late.

Eric
|
New Mexico, USA
August 4, 2010

Eric in New Mexico writes:

(chuckle) Touche. Well if we agree on something that isn't working, we may get to a point we can agree on what does eventually, and all these things being a blogged hypothetical...

I thought you'd appreciete my taking your plans to the extrapolated outer-limits...just 'cause we can.

It isn't the nukes, it isn't the sponsors of terrorism that recruits in Iranian state run publications, it isn't the destabilization of nations like Iraq and Afghanistan, Somalia, Yemen and elsewhere, nor inflaming the Israeli/Palestinian troubles.

It's their lack of empathy that will convince nations to engage in replacement therapy for this abysmal excuse for a government.

All those things I mentioned will obly be the legal tender for the action, not the spark of empathy that causes folks to take it together..

We've seen this movie before and folks said "never again", formed the UN to ensure that it never happened again and it keeps happening again, and again, and this simple Buddhist is sick of being witness to the Four Noble Truths.

You have suffering, the causes of suffering, the process of suffering, and the end of suffering as those indescriminate parameters of the human condition to contend with no matter who you are, where you live, what goes around comes around to everyone in the global village...

I think it's about time folks found a bright pearl of wisdom in all the mucky muck.

Eric
|
New Mexico, USA
August 5, 2010

Eric in New Mexico writes:

@TJ ,

I agree with your assesment in regards to Iranian activities and pruning branches, but folks got to have the chance to figure out what having the opportunity to explore the "great experiment" means to them.

Who would we be if we denied Arab populations that opportunity after removing evil, a one-man weapon of mass destruction along with his two abominable sons?

We can provide the blueprints for democracy, but we can't choose the on site building materials they must construct institutions with to preserve their hand crafted home grown democratic experiment when we hand them the keys to their own success or failure.

Folks often say that there's no military solution as if they can sepatate the battle of wills, minds and ideas from that on the ground level.

So many Iranians have asked me in my time blogging among opposition sites, "Why Iraq and not us first?"

Like we didn't invite them to the party or something.

Well, TJ you must prep the battlespace in order to take evil organ grinders head-on. Show folks it can be done for one, and for them to prove it to themselves secondly.

As in WW2 this global war on terror has multiple theaters of war, Iraq only being but one of them.

I have always maintained (and history will bear this out) that we didn't defeat the taliban in 2001, the Afghan people did with a handful of US spec. opps folks providing fire support.

Dec, 6 2006 , these comments were contained in a "Citizen's National Intelligence Estimate" sent to the Whitehouse and USUN and they hold true today even though the "central front" has shifted.

"Having read Sun Tzu, and understanding one of his basic military precepts was that one never allows the enemy to dictate the place or timing of battle.
The Admin and Al Quaida are in public agreement on one thing, "Iraq is the central front in the war on terror"...and unless we change that parameter, we have allowed the enemy to dictate the terms.

So then, in the interests of global peace and security, we must not remain in static defense of freedom, but place the war on terrorism in its proper place, not in the streets of those we have liberated, but on the home turf of our enemy.

No offense do I mean to anyone in saying this....wish I knew a better way to articulate what I see as "the bottom line" as it were.

We have failed to tap the greatest ally in the war on terrorism, which is the Iranian people and their thirst for freedom. Half measures and underfunded, lack of global moral support, and continued hand-wringing as to proper international measures , when it is self-evident that it would be criminally negligent to support the Islamic Republic of Iran one day longer via trade or diplomatic ties, our allies also face a clear choice, and the Iranian people will remember who supported their freedom after the inevitable fall of the regime in Tehran.

As long as the leading sponsor of terrorism exists as safe haven next door to the fledgling democracies we've helped establish over the last 5 years, no amount of troops, no amount of diplomacy, and no amount of money spent in nation building will change the dynamics of the instability created by those who want, and have been engaged in war with the US over several decades.

That said, I am in full agreement with the President when he said,

"And the Shia extremists have achieved something that al Qaeda has so far failed to do: In 1979, they took control of a major power, the nation of Iran, subjugating its proud people to a regime of tyranny, and using that nation's resources to fund the spread of terror and pursue their radical agenda."
(Excerpt from speech-President Discusses Global War on Terror
Capital Hilton Hotel ,Washington, D.C.)

We don't want to give them the war they want nor expect....on their terms. We give them the war they are neither prepared for nor able to fight...on our terms."

That "our" involves having the backing of the international community and on that level, the speed of progress and realization has happened as if on the back of a snail.

But we may finally be seeing movement towards common sense.

China has yet to divest itself of any investment in the regime, as have a few others.

They have a very fundemental choice to make here about their long-term investment in Iran's energy sector, because they won't be dealing with the same government in the not too distant future at the rate the Iranian regime is pushing folks to go to war.

OysterCracker
|
United States
August 5, 2010

O.C. in the U.S.A. writes:

Keep your friends close and your enemies even closer. If President Obama were to debate with Ahmadinejad then he could stipulate the release of the 3 Americans as payment for his presence at the debate, thus killing two birds with one stone, so to speak.

OysterCracker
|
United States
August 5, 2010

O.C. in the U.S.A. writes:

I agree with T.J. from the UK. Iranians love all things American. We should be flooding the country with cowboy hats and re-runs of the I Love Lucy Show. There's gotta be something American made that'll sell like hot cakes. We need to figure it out and flood the country with all things American.
Also when Ahmedinejad comes they need to roll out the red carpet. Take him to Knott's Berry Farm and let him get robbed on the train. Take him to Vegas and show him some fun. The man needs a little happy, fun in his life.

Eric
|
New Mexico, USA
August 5, 2010

Eric in New Mexico writes:

Right OC, I suppose a visit to Disney World and a photo-op with Goofy will straiten his attitude right out.

Do we give him a room at Gitmo for the duration...it's got to be a package deal...room with a view, board, an attentive staff to see to every need...

That red carpet you want to lay out for Aminidijad be dyed with the blood of US sevicemen and women Iranian made IED's have killed and maimed.

Don't forget that.

donald m.
|
Virginia, USA
August 5, 2010

Donald M. in Virginia writes:

Maybe its time to get Mr. Bill Clinton and Al Gore into this situation. Didn't they get the Americans out of NOrth Korea safe? This might be the very Diplomatic Team that can get the job done! Okay so they lose a few games of golf, but wouldn't it be worth it for United States? State Department can alert them to get involved. I believe they could do it!

Eric
|
New Mexico, USA
August 5, 2010

Eric in New Mexico writes:

I'd think ret. US Amb. Ryan Crocker would be a better choice if such diplomacy were to be attempted to free the hikers. At least he's had one-on-one diplomatic dealings with Iranians in the past during his time in Iraq.

Al Gore? Oh I get it, we're trying to change the climate of our bilateral relations right?....right.

That's assuming there's reasonable folks to have that conversation with Donald.

Folks been lookin' for something like "reasonable" from Iran for quite some time now...and folks can't find "reasonable" because it just doesn't exist in their politicaly monochromatic spectrum no matter what "face" The Iranian regime may attempt to mask its hatred and enmity with.

donald m.
|
Virginia, USA
August 5, 2010

Donald M. in Virginia writes:

Offer the country of Iran a GOING GREEN DEAL they can't refuse and see if that would release our Americans including Mr. Bob Levinson. After all wouldn't it be "Smart Power" to get Iran onboard with Green Products instead of Nuclear Weapons? It would make the ideal carrot for bringing our people home safe. Host a GOING GREEN Summit for IRAN and invite the Leader over. If Iran goes green, they wouldn't need to buy Nuclear Arms?

Eric
|
New Mexico, USA
August 5, 2010

Eric in New Mexico writes:

I don't know Donald, The regime utterly crushed their people's home-grown "green movement", why would they want to talk to us about one?

donald m.
|
Virginia, USA
August 5, 2010

Donald M. in Virginia writes:

@ Eric in New Mexico

The United States and United Nations has the Leader of Iran boxed in a corner. He has atleast the three known American hikers in custody and most likely has the wherabouts of Mr. Bob Levinson, it would take more than a Pizza to sort this out.

Has anyone asked the leader of Iran? Has all Diplomatic and Communications have been exhausted? Before a war happens, shouldn't everything be put on the table, especially if it means saving life?

Preventing a Nuclear War, all options should still be open.

Eric
|
New Mexico, USA
August 6, 2010

Eric in New Mexico writes:

I'm trying to prevent a nuclear war Donald, and nobody seems to see it coming.

Look, if this was the "way back machine" and I just set the dial to the late 1930's , what would you have done to stop Hitler and Tojo from starting a war that cost 50 million lives?

Back to reality; "History never repeats itself, but sometimes it rhymes."
-Mark Twain

Eric
|
New Mexico, USA
August 6, 2010

Eric in New Mexico writes:

@Donald,

I want to add that you do have a good idea to deal with the Grand Ayatollah directly, it makes no sense at all to megotiate with the organ grinder's monkety in a televised debate as Aminidijad suggested he could have with Obama.

We could as Host Nation to the UN I think could lessen flatulance on parade before the UNGA by denying Aminidijad visa application and telling the Iranian state that if they want to be represented at this year's UNGA, we'll issue visa only to the old geezer himself.

Then we'll see who is really running Iran, him or the Rev. Guard and Aminidijad.

It would be a good way to test your theory.

.

Latest Stories

Pages