Rick Kupke, one of the 52 hostages who remained in the captivity of Iranian militants for 444 days back in 1979-81, wrote the following in his favorable review of Mark Bowden’s new book Guests of the Ayatollah, in the August 2006 issue of American Legion:
What Iran has gotten away with is criminal. Today, the nation is possibly our greatest threat in the world. We all understand what Iran could do with a nuclear bomb. You cannot let more than 25 years pass, then wonder why we cannot control Iran’s nuclear program. Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad preaches a steady stream of hatred. He often appears somewhat idiotic in his rants, which all confirm the suspicion that Iran is capableof an unprovoked attack against Israel, other Middle Eastern countries, Europe, and even the United States. It’s deja vu as Ahmadinejad takes the hard line against the United States and appears to be consolidating the ruling mullahs’ power over elected officials. That’s similar to what happened 27 years ago. Perhaps history does repeat itself. I don’t know.
Today, most of us former hostages are trying to sue the Iranian government for damages, but we have been blocked by the executive agreement President Carter signed to secure our release. This agreement, never passed by Congress but signed under duress by Carter, is still the law of the land. President George W. Bush consistently has opposed our case. More recent action to seek a remedy directly from Congress is at present under consideration. Twenty-five years after our release, many of us remain hopeful that some positive action will be taken on our behalf.