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Thursday, July 09, 2009


The Iranian hostage crisis

The one in which 53 American diplomats were held hostage by Iranian students for 444 days? No, the one in which five Iranian diplomats were held hostage by the American government in Iraq for 900 days. They've just been released, having been accused but never actually charged (and certainly never tried or convicted) of "arming and funding Shia groups," for all intents and purposes simply held as hostages for two and a half years (during the better part of which, by the way, the U.S. hasn't even been fighting "armed Shia groups" at all as far as one can tell).

I did a search at the State Department press site to see what they had to say about the "Irbil Five." There have been two questions about possible "prisoner swaps" involving them (a misnomer since they were hostages, not prisoners), at one of which the State Dept. spokesperson admitted that "I have no idea where the Irbil Five are at this point." Well, really, considering that the U.S. holds thousands of people in similar circumstances (without charges, trial, or conviction), how could he be expected to know the status of every one, even the more "significant" ones like Iranian diplomats?

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