George H.W. Bush: The Leadership Lessons

Episode 213 JIMMY CARTER (Part 23) The Iranian Hostage Crisis Show 2: Operation Eagle Claw

July 24, 2023 Randal Wallace Season 10 Episode 213
George H.W. Bush: The Leadership Lessons
Episode 213 JIMMY CARTER (Part 23) The Iranian Hostage Crisis Show 2: Operation Eagle Claw
Show Notes Chapter Markers

In the second episode of the long saga that would be the Iranian hostage crisis, we watch as Jimmy Carter attempts to take action into his own hands.  Carter orders a rescue attempt of the hostages in Iran, Operation Eagle Claw.  An operation run by an Horry County Native named General James Vaught.

Operation Eagle Claw would be an operation in which it can be described best as "if it can go wrong it will" type of a military operation.  It was described on Wikipedia here:

"The operation, one of Delta Force's first,[2] encountered many obstacles and failures and was subsequently aborted. Eight helicopters were sent to the first staging area called Desert One, but only five arrived in operational condition.[3] One had encountered hydraulic problems, another was caught in a sand storm, and the third showed signs of a cracked rotor blade. During the operational planning, it was decided that the mission would be aborted if fewer than six helicopters remained operational upon arrival at the Desert One site, despite only four being absolutely necessary.[3] In a move that is still discussed in military circles, the field commanders advised President Carter to abort the mission, which he did.[4]

As the U.S. forces prepared to withdraw from Desert One, one of the remaining helicopters crashed into a transport aircraft that contained both servicemen and jet fuel. The resulting fire destroyed both aircraft and killed eight servicemen.[3]

In the context of the Iranian Revolution, Iran's new leader, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, stated that the mission had been stopped by an act of God ("angels of God") who had foiled the U.S. mission in order to protect Iran and his new Islamist government. "

It helped seal Jimmy Carter's electoral fate, and the hostage crisis continued for 9 more grueling months...... 


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Ken Taylor interview with Charlie Rose for PBS
Music Intro
Mike Wallace discusses his interview with Ayatollah Khomeini - Emmy TV Legends interview
60 Minutes Rewind - Iran's Ayatollah Khomeini interview with Mike Wallace in 1979
Host Randal Wallace talks about the interview and introduces the ABC News Special Report about how the situation in Iran happened.
ABC News Special Report "The Iran Hostage Crisis" from 1979
Host Randal Wallace moves us to Operation Eagle Claw, the rescue attempt
Ted Koppel interviews Delaware Senator Joe Biden on the Iranain situation on "America Held Hostage"
Desert One Inside the failed 1980 Hostage Rescue in Iran - CBS Sunday Morning with Jane Pawley
Operation Eagle Claws Anniversary - Al Jazeera
President Jimmy Carter addresses the nation on the Desert One rescue attempt
Closing music