Iranian Hostage: “It’s Like Jimmy Carter All Over Again.”


I think he might be optimistic. Carter never got a second term.

A nuclear deal between the U.S., Iran and other world powers has been described as a trust-building step after decades of animosity that hopefully will lead to a more comprehensive deal down the road.

But for many of the 66 Americans who were held hostage for 444 days at the start of the Iranian revolution, trusting the regime in Tehran feels like a mistake.

“It’s kind of like Jimmy Carter all over again,” said Clair Cortland Barnes, now retired and living in Leland, N.C., after a career at the CIA and elsewhere. He sees the negotiations now as no more effective than they were in 1979 and 1980, when he and others languished, facing mock executions and other torments.

“And what do we get out of it?” asked Barnes. “A lie saying, ‘We’re not going to make plutonium.’ It’s a win-win for them and it’s a lose-lose for us.”

Retired Air Force Col. Thomas E. Schaefer, 83, called the deal “foolishness.”

“My personal view is, I never found an Iranian leader I can trust,” he said. “I don’t think today it’s any different from when I was there. None of them, I think, can be trusted. Why make an agreement with people you can’t trust?”

Schaefer was a military attache in Iran who was among those held hostage. He now lives in Scottsdale, Ariz., with his wife of more than 60 years, Anita, who also takes a dim view of the agreement: “We are probably not very Christian-like when it comes to all this,” she said.

Sgt. Rodney “Rocky” Sickmann, 56, of St. Louis, then a Marine sergeant, remembers clearly being told by his captors that their goal was to use the hostages to humiliate the American government, and he suspects this interim deal is in that vein.

“It just hurts. We negotiated for 444 days and not one time did they agree to anything … and here they beg for us to negotiate and we do,” he said. “It’s hard to swallow. We negotiate with our enemies and stab our allies in the back. That doesn’t seem good.”

It’s not good. But it certainly is Carteresque with no Reagan in sight.


  • PAthena

    President Jimmy Carter was personally responsible for the overthrow of the Shah of Iran and the installation of the mullahs into power. The Shah of Iran had refused to give Carter’s brother a business deal because it was against Iranian law. Carter vowed to get even, and he did so by organizing the ouster of the Shah. He, considering himself religious, got the mullahs installed into power.

    • Notalibfool

      And as far as I am concerned Carter is a least partially to blame for all of Iran’s atrocities since then. The so-called revolution could have been thwarted if we had a decisive and honest president.

      Yet some fool decided to name a US Navy submarine after jackass Jimmy.

      • Gee

        Not partially – he caused the first Gulf War. I know because I predicted it in 1980 when I was working for him and was fired for writing that analysis

        • Notalibfool

          I would like to know more about this. I was 5 years old when the Iranian “Revolution” occurred; the sight of Khomeini’s ugly face on the cover of Time magazine frightened me. I recall watching the news with my father during that time period, first through the hostage crisis and then through the eight years of war between Iran and Iraq.

  • Dutch Renitent

    No Reagan? What do you think about Ted Cruz?

    • Daniel Greenfield

      Hopefully he will be

    • Daniel Greenfield

      Hopefully he’ll be our Reagan. Hard to know what the future holds

  • Ed FDNYRetiree

    Not “like.”

    It is worse.

  • glpage

    I’m not much of a gambling man, but I think I would be willing to bet Iran detonates its first nuke within five years.

  • Gee

    I worked in the White House as a translator during that time. President Carter actually cared about the hostages, just could not engage his brain to do much about it.

    Odumba just doesn’t care that much

  • Softly Bob

    Bill Whittle for Prez. Allen West in charge of defense.