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The Desert One Debacle
The Atlantic Monthly ^ | May 2006 | Mark Bowden

Posted on 04/20/2006 4:08:59 PM PDT by shoptalk

WASHINGTON, D.C., APRIL 11, 1980, NOON

The meeting began with Jimmy Carter's announcement: “Gentlemen, I want you to know that I am seriously considering an attempt to rescue the hostages.”

Hamilton Jordan, the White House chief of staff, knew immediately that the president had made a decision. Planning and practice for a rescue mission had been going on in secret for five months, but it had always been regarded as the last resort, and ever since the November 4 embassy takeover, the White House had made every effort to avoid it. As the president launched into a list of detailed questions about how it was to be done, his aides knew he had mentally crossed a line.

Carter had met the takeover in Iran with tremendous restraint, equating the national interest with the well-being of the fifty-three hostages, and his measured response had elicited a great deal of admiration, both at home and abroad. His approval ratings had doubled in the first month of the crisis. But in the following months, restraint had begun to smell like weakness and indecision. Three times in the past five months, carefully negotiated secret settlements had been ditched by the inscrutable Iranian mullahs, and the administration had been made to look more foolish each time. Approval ratings had nose-dived, and even stalwart friends of the administration were demanding action. Jimmy Carter’s formidable patience was badly strained.

And the mission that had originally seemed so preposterous had gradually come to seem feasible. It was a two-day affair with a great many moving parts and very little room for error--one of the most daring thrusts in U.S. military history. It called for a nighttime rendezvous of helicopters and planes at a landing strip in the desert south of Tehran, where the choppers would refuel...

(Excerpt) Read more at iran.theatlantic.com ...


TOPICS: Foreign Affairs
KEYWORDS: colcharliebeckwith; deltaforce; desertone; hostages; iran; iranhostages; jimmycarter; rescue
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1 posted on 04/20/2006 4:09:01 PM PDT by shoptalk
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To: shoptalk

I can't read more. I known how it ends.


2 posted on 04/20/2006 4:13:23 PM PDT by Flash Bazbeaux
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To: shoptalk
"Three times in the past five months, carefully negotiated secret settlements had been ditched by the inscrutable Iranian mullahs, and the administration had been made to look more foolish each time."

Anyone even vaguely familiar with the histories of psychotic totalitarians such as Nazis and Islamists (not to mention commies) should have known that the US government led by Jimmy Carter was being played like a fiddle. The Mullahs were probably loving every minute of it, and gladly prolonging the crisis indefinitely...... DUH.......
3 posted on 04/20/2006 4:14:37 PM PDT by Enchante (Democrats: "We are ALL broken and worn out, our party & ideas, what else is new?")
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To: shoptalk

To get the range nedded, the sand screens had to be removed from the H-53s. Jimmuh fiddled around until the sand storm season started to send the mission. The helos were on site for about two months.


4 posted on 04/20/2006 4:17:18 PM PDT by CPOSharky (Go home and fix your own country before you complain about ours.)
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To: CPOSharky

nedded = needed


5 posted on 04/20/2006 4:18:17 PM PDT by CPOSharky (Go home and fix your own country before you complain about ours.)
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To: shoptalk

Thank you. I don't forget.

Here's an old article:

The Disasterous "Desert One" Rescue Operation of 1980
Air Force Magazine ^ | Otto Kreisher
Posted on 10/13/2001
http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/fr/547308/posts


6 posted on 04/20/2006 4:30:07 PM PDT by backhoe (-30-)
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To: backhoe

Thank you!


7 posted on 04/20/2006 4:37:09 PM PDT by shoptalk
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To: shoptalk

8 posted on 04/20/2006 4:41:28 PM PDT by backhoe (-30-)
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To: shoptalk

Restraint means weakness to the sandfleas. How did that "rescue" go again? How many brave American soldiers died for Jimmy's "restraint"?


9 posted on 04/20/2006 4:53:55 PM PDT by Thebaddog (Dogs are from Mars.)
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To: shoptalk

This day after this disaster, Carter should have resigned.


10 posted on 04/20/2006 4:56:22 PM PDT by Publius
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To: shoptalk

Beckwith always blamed Carter for his interference in the details of the operation, such as not allowing him to use Army helicopter pilots.


11 posted on 04/20/2006 5:01:51 PM PDT by ansel12
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To: Publius

He should have fallen on his sword, walked the plank, or been shot out of a torpedo tube; whatever the sub service does with disgraced officers.


12 posted on 04/20/2006 5:07:12 PM PDT by ARCADIA (Abuse of power comes as no surprise)
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To: shoptalk
Fascinating and detailed article on that aborted rescue mission. Amazing to read Carter didn't even want deadly force employed during the rescue!

The moment Reagan was sworn in, the hostages were released. Reagan would have nuked those Mullah @#^# !@&#'s back to the stone age, and they knew it.

13 posted on 04/20/2006 5:17:54 PM PDT by 6SJ7
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To: 6SJ7
Amazing to read Carter didn't even want deadly force employed during the rescue!

I ran across someting similar the day after the disaster.

I was having lunch with a lady friend who was working in an area peripheral to the film industry. Her father had been a successful New York publisher and Hollywood producer. At this early point in her "career", before reality set in, it looked as though she might become a successful writer. After sitting down at our favorite Jewish deli in West L.A., she opened the conversation by saying, "Today I'm ashamed to be an American."

"Because the rescue mission failed?" I asked.

"No, because we even tried it."

I was too surprised to respond to that. I couldn't quite put myself into that mindset.

Apparently neither could Carter.

14 posted on 04/20/2006 5:31:21 PM PDT by Publius
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To: Publius
I remember being so disappointed that the rescue had failed and disgusted when I found out why.
I also remember freezing parts of my body off while perched for hours on a standpipe that bitterly cold Jan. day to see the hostages driven up B'way in lower Manhattan. (I had to enlist the help of strangers to get down, I couldn't bend my knees.)
15 posted on 04/20/2006 5:53:53 PM PDT by Roccus
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To: Publius
...she opened the conversation by saying, "Today I'm ashamed to be an American."

"Because the rescue mission failed?" I asked.

"No, because we even tried it."

Wow! It is scary to think how many Americans, rather than being proud of this country's greatness are, by some peculiar logic, ashamed or embarrassed. But if they really stopped and thought about it, in what other country would they prefer to have been born?

16 posted on 04/20/2006 6:05:03 PM PDT by 6SJ7
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To: Flash Bazbeaux
I can't read more. I known how it ends.

I'm with you, and I don't even like to be reminded that Jimmy Carter was ever President, let alone still alive and comitting acts of sedition on a regular basis.

May he rot in Hell.

17 posted on 04/20/2006 6:08:38 PM PDT by ErnBatavia (Meep Meep)
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To: 6SJ7
The moment Reagan was sworn in, the hostages were released.

I remember the announcement, and from that point on I knew we had someone special at the helm.

18 posted on 04/20/2006 6:11:02 PM PDT by ErnBatavia (Meep Meep)
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To: Roccus

I love your profile page....short, sweet, succinct!! Bravo


19 posted on 04/20/2006 6:13:20 PM PDT by ErnBatavia (Meep Meep)
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To: ARCADIA
... whatever the sub service does with disgraced officers ...

Promotes them.

Sorry, a little personal history there...

20 posted on 04/20/2006 6:28:17 PM PDT by Fatuncle (Of course I'm ignorant. I'm here to learn.)
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To: shoptalk

I recently confirmed my suspicions about a friend of mine. I knew he was Delta back about then. He just told me that he was there and buried a few members of his team. I knew better than to ask him for more details, just thanked him again.


21 posted on 04/20/2006 6:34:08 PM PDT by cyclotic (Cub Scouts-Teaching them to be men and politically incorrect in the process)
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To: ErnBatavia

Well, thank you much.


22 posted on 04/20/2006 6:51:11 PM PDT by Roccus
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To: AdamSelene235
ping

[z]

By faith we understand that the worlds were prepared by the word of God, so that what is seen was not made out of things which are visible.
23 posted on 04/20/2006 6:53:30 PM PDT by zechariah
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To: Thebaddog; Publius; ErnBatavia
Here's something I'd forgotten about. Your post brought it back to mind. The sand fleas DID think us weak. Not long after the hostages were taken in Iran, our embassy in Afghanistan was attacked, sacked and our ambassador murdered. For the life of me, I can't remember as we did anything about that either. I'm working from memory here and it was 27 yrs. ago, but I think my facts are straight.
24 posted on 04/20/2006 7:03:16 PM PDT by Roccus
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I'm glad to see this article, and I hope to see more connect the dots. Jimmy Carter's legacy should not be forgotten - now especially.


25 posted on 04/20/2006 7:21:56 PM PDT by D-fendr
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To: shoptalk
Funny how he puts so much stock in negotiations, having seen first hand so much failure (maybe he wants miserable company).

If you're thinking he "negotiated" the Sadat-Begin deal, the fact is, it was Sadat's initiative, and the Israelis leapt at the chance. Jimmuh provided a few cabins in the woods, a nice gesture from a President who's only achievements consisted of a series of.....nice gestures.

26 posted on 04/20/2006 7:41:37 PM PDT by cookcounty (Army Vet, Army Dad.)
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To: All

May God continue to watch over the families of those that perished during that mission.


27 posted on 04/20/2006 7:50:27 PM PDT by Backstop73 (Always reading, seldom posting.)
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To: potlatch; devolve; PhilDragoo; Smartass

FUBAR ping


28 posted on 04/20/2006 10:08:56 PM PDT by ntnychik
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To: RaceBannon

ping


29 posted on 04/20/2006 10:17:41 PM PDT by dancusa (For liberals there is no end to their rights and no beginning to their responsibilities.)
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To: shoptalk; potlatch; ntnychik; PhilDragoo; devolve; OXENinFLA; bitt; La Enchiladita; JustPiper; ...

THE ADVENTURES OF JIMMUH CAWTUH



Jimmy Carter Attacked by Killer Rabbit (April 20, 1979)

Today in Odd History, President Jimmy Carter was attacked by a rabbit during a fishing trip in Plains, Georgia. The rabbit, which may have been fleeing a predator, swam toward his boat, "hissing menacingly, its teeth flashing and nostrils flared." President Carter was forced to swat at the vicious beast with a canoe paddle, which apparently scared it off.

Upon his return to the White House, Carter told his staff about the furry amphibian's assault. Most of them refused to believe him, insisting that rabbits can't swim (although since most mammals can swim, there's no reason to believe that rabbits cannot), and that even if they could, they certainly wouldn't attack humans, and certainly not presidents. Fortunately, a White House photographer had been on the scene, and had recorded the bizarre attack. The photograph showed Carter with his paddle raised, warding off a small creature which might, or might not, have been a rabbit. One staffer was quoted as saying, "You couldn't tell what it was." Undaunted by their skepticism, Carter had the image enlarged, and there it was--a killer bunny rabbit, apparently bent on assassinating the president.

The story might have ended there, except that White House Press Secretary Jody Powell mentioned the incident to Associated Press reporter Brooks Jackson in August. JawsThe Washington Post ran it as front page news. The original photograph was not available (until the Reagan administration leaked it in 1981), but the paper filled the gap with a cartoon modeled on the poster for the movie Jaws, starring the rabbit and entitled Paws. Powell made a belated attempt to impress the public with the seriousness of the attack, calling the creature a "swamp rabbit," but since Carter had to appease his rabbit-loving constituents by insisting that he had not actually smacked his buck-toothed opponent with his paddle, but only splashed water at it to drive it away, it seemed unlikely that he had been in danger. The entire episode became a I'm a Bunny for Cartersymbol of Carter's floundering presidency. According to Powell, "[I]t shows the extent to which an insignificant incident can snowball and end up in newspapers and news shows across the country.” Carter biographer Douglas Brinkley says, “It just played up the Carter flake factor.... I mean, he had to deal with Russia and the Ayatollah and here he was supposedly fighting off a rabbit.”

Note: While some presidential apologists have suggested that Carter might actually have been attacked by a nutria, a large, aggressive aquatic rodent, others have insisted that the President's assailant was a simple, if unusually vicious, bunny rabbit. Fulk, the 12th century king of Jerusalem, was killed by a rabbit. (Well, really he was killed by a fall from his horse, but the horse had been startled by a rabbit.) And many years ago, I was the owner of a Blue Dutch rabbit named Sequin. One of my friends still bears the scars of an encounter with Sequin--a perfectly matched set of parallel teeth marks, where Sequin's fangs closed on her hand and ripped through the flesh when she pulled her hand away. Bunnies are, indeed, fiercer than anyone but Monty Python has generally given them credit for.


30 posted on 04/20/2006 10:22:03 PM PDT by Smartass (Si vis pacem, para bellum)
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To: Smartass

Oh too funny but I like your McCain undercover stuff better!


31 posted on 04/20/2006 11:07:55 PM PDT by JustPiper (In our time, no foreign army has ever occupied American soil. Until now.)
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To: Smartass; devolve; potlatch; ntnychik; Grampa Dave
History Channel now doing an hour on the 2500-year history of Iran.

Carter did more to damage America in four years than any president before or since--Clinton & Clinton had eight.

Betraying Taiwan and the Shah, giving away the Canal, embracing every enemy, shunning every friend.

The release of the hostages synchronous with Reagan's innauguration says it all.

May that be the last thought in Carter's brain when he dies.

32 posted on 04/21/2006 12:55:48 AM PDT by PhilDragoo (Hitlery: das Butch von Buchenvald)
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To: CPOSharky

your timeline is a little off

the EAPS filters were removed for 5% more horsepower, not range

http://rescueattempt.tripod.com


33 posted on 04/21/2006 2:49:02 AM PDT by RaceBannon (ma(Prov 28:1 KJV) The wicked flee when no man pursueth: but the righteous are bold as a lion.)
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To: dancusa

Thanks for the ping.

I helped out on this new book, and also the Discovery Channel special that is coming out any day here.

We were all supposed to get free copies of the film! ...And book!


34 posted on 04/21/2006 2:51:36 AM PDT by RaceBannon (ma(Prov 28:1 KJV) The wicked flee when no man pursueth: but the righteous are bold as a lion.)
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To: Flash Bazbeaux
I can't read more. I known how it ends.

I do too. I remember it. I was quite young, but I remember feeling ashamed for my country. It's the only time in my life I ever felt that way.

35 posted on 04/21/2006 2:55:09 AM PDT by Allegra (FREERIDERS DO IT ON THE ECONOMY.)
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To: shoptalk

The disaster in the desert was when I started to question my support for Carter and liberalism in general, leading to my vote for Reagan that November - my first ever vote for a Republican.


36 posted on 04/21/2006 2:56:15 AM PDT by GodBlessRonaldReagan (Count Petofi will not be denied!)
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To: GodBlessRonaldReagan
leading to my vote for Reagan that November - my first ever vote for a Republican.

It was my first election. I voted for Reagan and have voted Republican ever since.

37 posted on 04/21/2006 2:58:34 AM PDT by Allegra (FREERIDERS DO IT ON THE ECONOMY.)
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To: RaceBannon
your timeline is a little off

You are correct. The helos were put on the Nimitz in Naples over the Christmas hoilidays. Rescue attempt went in late April. I was writing from 25 year old memory, I should have checked. (Time moves at a different rate when you are just driving around in circles in the middle of the ocean for that long a time.)

The helo guys I talked to on the hangar bay said the screens were removed for the range.

38 posted on 04/21/2006 6:32:10 AM PDT by CPOSharky (Go home and fix your own country before you complain about ours.)
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To: shoptalk
The real history/legacy of Jimmy Carter, the man who hated America and still does.


39 posted on 04/21/2006 7:38:22 AM PDT by Grampa Dave (There's a dwindling market for Marxist homosexual lunatic wet dreams posing as journalism)
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To: shoptalk; george76
Lillian Carter' comments, when she looked at Jimmy/Billy:

Sometimes when I look at my children I say to myself, "Lillian, you should have stayed a virgin."

 
http://www.quotationspage.com/quote/20935.html

Thanks to George 76 for this great post.

40 posted on 04/21/2006 7:40:53 AM PDT by Grampa Dave (There's a dwindling market for Marxist homosexual lunatic wet dreams posing as journalism)
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To: Grampa Dave
 

41 posted on 04/21/2006 7:46:17 AM PDT by george76 (Ward Churchill : Fake Indian, Fake Scholarship, and Fake Art)
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To: Enchante
The Russians did a much better job. Turn our people over in 48 hours or Tehran will be nuked. Worked very well.

The good side of Desert One was that it gave Charging Charlie a platform to build the current SpecOps community. Without D1 I am not sure we would be as good as we are at SpecOps.

de opresso liber

42 posted on 04/21/2006 7:50:52 AM PDT by mad_as_he$$ (Never corner anything meaner than you. NSDQ)
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To: george76; shoptalk; ASA Vet; BIGLOOK; Ernest_at_the_Beach

Absolutely great and so appropriate for this thread!


43 posted on 04/21/2006 7:51:02 AM PDT by Grampa Dave (There's a dwindling market for Marxist homosexual lunatic wet dreams posing as journalism)
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To: Grampa Dave
I'll come back to this later.....thanks, Dave,

When Carter was in, the day count for the captives was above 400. When Reagan was elected, the day count ended. PDQ
44 posted on 04/21/2006 9:17:57 AM PDT by BIGLOOK (Order of Battle: Sink or capture as Prize, MS Media)
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To: BIGLOOK

"When Carter was in, the day count for the captives was above 400. When Reagan was elected, the day count ended. PDQ."

Amazing wasn't it.


45 posted on 04/21/2006 9:20:52 AM PDT by Grampa Dave (There's a dwindling market for Marxist homosexual lunatic wet dreams posing as journalism)
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To: Grampa Dave; PhilDragoo

Don't forget what a friend of the Sandinistas he was (and probably still is), and every other Latin American commie.

Love the Lillian Carter quote.


46 posted on 04/21/2006 10:04:13 AM PDT by La Enchiladita (God Bless Our Troops...including U.S. Border Patrol, America's First Line of Defense)
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To: La Enchiladita

Carter never meet a communist mass killer dictator, he didn't love and respect from Castro to the Chia Head in N Korea and of course the Sandinistas.


47 posted on 04/21/2006 10:06:38 AM PDT by Grampa Dave (There's a dwindling market for Marxist homosexual lunatic wet dreams posing as journalism)
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To: shoptalk

Carter's greatest mistake was taking the oath of office... all else followed.


48 posted on 04/21/2006 10:09:11 AM PDT by Tijeras_Slim
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To: PhilDragoo
I wonder if Carter's brain has evolved from a peanut yet?
Roll
49 posted on 04/21/2006 10:57:10 AM PDT by Smartass (Si vis pacem, para bellum)
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To: Grampa Dave; La Enchiladita; Smartass; devolve; ntnychik; potlatch

On the left, the mullah-flackers on the right, the daughter-raper (actually).

50 posted on 04/21/2006 11:31:57 AM PDT by PhilDragoo (Hitlery: das Butch von Buchenvald)
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