Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Jimmy Carter

It was my responsibility as president to launch this mission. It was my responsibility to terminate the mission. On April 24, 1980, an ill-fated military operation to rescue the fifty-two American hostages held in Tehran ended with eight U.S. servicemen dead and no hostages rescued. With the Iran Hostage Crisis stretching into its sixth month, and all diplomatic appeals to the Iranian government ended in failure, President Jimmy Carter ordered the military mission as a last ditch attempt to save the hostages. During the operation, three of eight helicopters failed, crippling the crucial airborne plans. The mission was then canceled at the staging area in Iran, but during the withdrawal one of the retreating helicopters collided with one of six C-130 transport planes, killing eight soldiers and injuring five. The next day, a somber Jimmy Carter gave a press conference in which he took full responsibility for the tragedy. The hostages would not be released for another 270 days.


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