Wednesday, November 26, 2014
Joe E. Griffin


On Sunday 16 November 2014 I did file a Florida Statute 119 Request with the town. I was requesting the documents that supported three municipal policies that are in effect, I believe.
The Policies are:
1. That it is “inappropriate” for a citizen to question the council or for the council as a whole or as individuals to answer those questions when asked.
2. That the town can conduct civil legal defenses and other public business in the “darkness” and out of the Sunshine.
3. That the town can defend the Federal Civil Rights suit without ever discussing the defenses or the suit in the Sunshine or to tell the non-charged members of the council AND THE PUBLIC what the suit is about.
On Tuesday 25 November 2014 I did receive, from the town, the response that I am wrong in my assumption that the three policies exist. Bill Lawrence is wrong. The policies do exist and future 119 requests and citizen complaints will prove it. When was the last time you had a question of a Council member and they refused to answer? The “silence” goes on all of the time. I believe that there is not Redress of Grievances, which is a U.S. Constitutionally affirmed right, available in White Springs.
Joe E. Griffin


For those of you who do not attend Council Meetings, the Community Center and Amphitheater ARE available for rental for weddings, events and parties for a deposit of $150 and $100 per day.


It really is a reasonable situation since there was no discussion at the meeting for Mr. Koberlein to complete a rental agreement which would require the lessee to provide liability insurance and to hold the Town of White Springs harmless for any negligence on the part of the lessee.   Normally if one rents a party room in an apartment or a condominium, a rental agreement is required and surprisingly, if one is not a business which usually carries liability insurance, your homeowners insurance carrier will issue a certificate of insurance to the Town to comply with a contract.

And since security is not required, I would assume the White Springs Police Department would be in charge if they are available.

What I have found out in White Springs is that many do not insure their homes because the insurance is too expensive especially the Windstorm/Hurricane coverage in Florida, so event coverage would have to be secured to provide liability coverage, for such things as slips and falls, damage or injury when serving alcohol, etc.

What is sad is that neither the Town nor many of its citizens support the Fire Department and that has to change.  By not insuring your home you stand the chance of losing everything by natural disaster or by Fire.  That is something that must be changed.  The Fire Department needs donations and the Town could easily allow the Fire Department to have events such as A Fireman’s ball, a pancake breakfast or a spaghetti dinner, but the Citizens would have to get on board….and as soon as some of these items in our personal life with the town are over, you will find Joe and I trying to assist our heroes in getting additional funds through events considered “donations” which the Town cannot touch.



4 Cups Flour

1   2/3 Cup Butter (unsalted)  or Lard

1   Tablespoon Sugar

1    Teaspoon Salt

1    Teaspoon Baking Powder

1/2 Cup water

1    Tablespoon Vinegar

1    Egg Beaten


Mix dry ingredients and cut into shortening.  Mix together water, vinegar and egg.  Add to the first mixture and stir until mixed.  Enough crust for 3 double crust pies.

White Springs Council had Deaf Ears when warned about”Wally Windbag’s Golden Boy-( Staff Sgt.) Joseph Subic, Jr.” (Wally’s Boss Valinda Subic’s Husband



White Springs Council had Deaf Ears when warned about”Wally Windbag’s Golden Boy-( Staff Sgt.) Joseph Subic, Jr.” (Wally’s Boss Valinda Subic’s Husband

Iran hostage crisis

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Not to be confused with the Iranian Embassy siege in London.

This article may require cleanup to meet Wikipedia’s quality standards. The specific problem is: For an article of relative importance this needs much work. It has improper footnotes, bad grammar, unsupported conclusions and typos. Please help improve this article if you can. (March 2013)
Iran–United States hostage crisis
Part of Consolidation of the Iranian Revolution
A defaced Great Seal of the United States at the former U.S. embassy, Tehran, Iran, as it appeared in 2004
Date November 4, 1979 – January 20, 1981
(444 days or 1 year, 2 months, 2 weeks and 2 days)
Location Tehran, Iran
Result Hostages released

  • Rupture of Iran–United States relations

  • Muslim Student Followers of the Imam’s Line
 United States
Commanders and leaders
Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini Jimmy CarterWalter Mondale
Ronald Reagan

George H. W. Bush

Casualties and losses
1 Iranian civilian killed 8 American servicemen killed in accidental destruction of two aircraft

  • v
  • t
  • e

Iran Hostage Crisis


  • v
  • t
  • e

Consolidation of the
Iranian Revolution

The Iran hostage crisis, referred to within Iran in Persian as تسخیر لانه جاسوسی امریکا (literally “Conquest of the American Spy Den,”), was a diplomatic crisis between Iran and the United States. Fifty-two American diplomats and citizens were held hostage for 444 days (November 4, 1979, to January 20, 1981), after a group of Iranian students, belonging to the Muslim Student Followers of the Imam’s Line, who were supporting the Iranian Revolution, took over the U.S. Embassy in Tehran.[1] President Jimmy Carter called the hostages “victims of terrorism and anarchy,” adding that “the United States will not yield to blackmail.”[2]

The crisis was described by the western media as an entanglement of “vengeance and mutual incomprehension.”[3] In Iran, the hostage taking was widely seen as a blow against the United States and its influence in Iran, its perceived attempts to undermine the Iranian Revolution, and its longstanding support of the recently overthrown Shah of Iran, Mohammad Reza Pahlavi.

Following his overthrow in 1979, the Shah was admitted into the U.S. for medical treatment for cancer. The Iranians demanded that the Shah be returned to Iran for trial and execution for crimes he was accused of committing during his reign. Specifically, they accused the Shah of crimes against Iranian citizens with the help of his secret police, the SAVAK. Iranians saw the asylum granted by the U.S. as American complicity in the atrocities the Shah had committed. In the United States, the hostage-taking was seen as an egregious violation of the principles of international law which granted diplomats immunity from arrest and diplomatic compounds’ inviolability.[4][5]

The hostage crisis reached a climax when, after failed attempts to negotiate a release of the hostages, the United States military attempted a rescue operation using ships such as the USS Nimitz and USS Coral Sea that were patrolling the waters near Iran. On April 24, 1980, Operation Eagle Claw resulted in a failed mission, the deaths of eight American servicemen, one Iranian civilian, and the destruction of two aircraft.

The Shah left the United States in December 1979 and was ultimately granted asylum in Egypt, where he died from complications of cancer on July 27, 1980. In September of 1980, the military of Iraq invaded Iran, marking the beginning of the Iran-Iraq War. These events led the Iranian government to enter negotiations with the U.S., with Algeria acting as a mediator. The hostages were formally released into United States custody the day after the signing of the Algiers Accords, just minutes after the new American president, Ronald Reagan, was sworn into office.

Considered a pivotal episode in the history of Iran–United States relations,[6] political analysts cite the crisis as having weighed heavily on Jimmy Carter’s presidency and run for reelection in the 1980 presidential election.[7] In Iran, the crisis strengthened the prestige of the Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini and the political power of those who supported theocracy and opposed any normalization of relations with the West.[8] The crisis also marked the beginning of U.S. legal action resulting in economic sanctions against Iran, to further weaken ties between Iran and the United States.[9]


  • 1Background
    • 1.1 1953 coup
    • 1.2 Carter administration
  • 2Prelude
    • 2.1 Takeover
    • 2.2 Hostage-holding motivations
  • 3444 Days Held Hostage
    • 3.1 Hostage conditions
    • 3.2 Impact in the United States
    • 3.3 Canadian rescue of hostages
    • 3.4 Negotiations for release
    • 3.5Rescue attempts
      • 3.5.1 First rescue attempt
      • 3.5.2 Planned second rescue attempt
    • 3.6 Release
  • 4Aftermath
    • 4.1 Iran–Iraq War
    • 4.2 Iran
    • 4.3 United States
  • 5Hostages
    • 5.1 Six diplomats who evaded capture
    • 5.2 Thirteen hostages released
    • 5.3 Richard I. Queen released
    • 5.4 Remaining hostages released
    • 5.5 Hostages awarded
  • 6 Civilian hostages
  • 7 Notable hostage takers, guards, and interrogators
  • 8 October surprise conspiracy theory
  • 9 See also
  • 10 Notes
  • 11 References
  • 12 Further reading
  • 13External links
    • 13.1Declassified Documents
      • 13.1.1 United States
      • 13.1.2 Great Britain


1953 coup

Further information: Operation Ajax and Iranian Revolution

In February 1979, less than a year before the hostage crisis, Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, the Shah of Iran, had been overthrown during the Iranian Islamic Revolution. For several decades prior to his deposition, the United States had allied with and supported the Shah. During World War II, Allied powers Britain and the Soviet Union occupied Iran to force the abdication of Reza Shah, the existing Shah of Iran, in favor of his son, Mohammad Reza Pahlavi.[10] The Allies feared that Reza Shah intended to align his petroleum-rich country with Nazi Germany during the war; however, Reza Shah’s earlier Declaration of Neutrality and refusal to allow Iranian territory to be used to train, supply, and act as a transport corridor to ship arms to the Soviet Union for its war effort against Germany, was the strongest motive for the allied invasion of Iran. Because of its importance in the allied victory, Iran was subsequently called “The Bridge of Victory” by Winston Churchill.[11]

By the 1950s, the Shah was engaged in a power struggle with the Prime Minister, Mohammad Mosaddegh, an immediate descendant of the previous monarchy, the Qajar dynasty. Mosaddegh led a general strike on behalf of the desperately poor in Iran, to gain a share of the nation’s petroleum revenues from the British through their Anglo-Iranian Oil Company, but over-stepped attempting to get $50 million in damages and lost revenues from the war impoverished British.[12][better source needed] In 1953 the British and U.S. spy agencies helped Iranian royalists depose of the government of Mosaddegh in a military coup d’état codenamed Operation Ajax, and helped the Shah to extend his power. “Richard Cottman, who is generally sympathetic to Iranian nationalists summed up the prevailing view that, ‘Regardless of foreign participation, Mosaddegh could not have been overthrown if significant elements of the population had not lost faith in his leadership.’”[13][better source needed] The Shah appointed himself an absolute monarch rather than as a constitutional monarch, his position before the 1953 crisis, with the aim of assuming complete control of the government and purging the disloyal.[14][15][16] U.S. support and funding of the Shah continued after the coup, with the CIA training the government’s secret police, SAVAK. In the subsequent decades of the brutally callous Cold War period, various economic, cultural, and political issues united opposition against the Shah and led to his overthrow.[17][18][19]

Carter administration

Months before the revolution, on New Year’s Eve, December 31, 1977, American president Jimmy Carter further angered anti-Shah Iranians with a televised toast to the Shah, declaring how beloved the Shah was by his people. After the revolution culminated with the return of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini from France in February 1979, the embassy had been occupied and staff held hostage briefly. Rocks and bullets had broken enough of the embassy’s front-facing windows for them to be replaced with bulletproof glass. Its staff was reduced to just over 60 from a high of nearly 1,000 earlier in the decade.[20]

The Carter administration attempted to mitigate anti-American feeling by finding a new relationship with the de facto Iranian government and continuing military cooperation in hopes that the situation would stabilize. However, on October 22, 1979, the United States permitted the Shah—who was ill with lymphoma—to enter New York Hospital-Cornell Medical Center for medical treatment.[21] The State Department had discouraged the request, understanding the political delicacy,[22] but after pressure from influential figures including former United States Secretary of State Henry Kissinger and Council on Foreign Relations chairman David Rockefeller, the Carter administration decided to grant the Shah’s request.[23][24][25]

The Shah’s admission to the United States intensified Iranian revolutionaries’ anti-Americanism and spawned rumors of another U.S.-backed coup and re-installation of the Shah.[26] Revolutionary leader Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini—who had been exiled by the Shah for 15 years—heightened rhetoric against the “Great Satan”, the United States, talking of what he called “evidence of American plotting”.[27] In addition to putting an end to what they believed was American plotting and sabotage against the revolution, the hostage takers hoped to depose the provisional revolutionary government of Prime Minister Mehdi Bazargan, which they believed was plotting to normalize relations with the United States and extinguish Islamic revolutionary ardor in Iran.[28]

A later study claimed that there had been no plots for the overthrow of the revolutionaries by the United States, and that a CIA intelligence gathering mission at the embassy was “notably ineffectual, gathering little information and hampered by the fact that none of the three officers spoke the local language, Farsi”. Its work was “routine, prudent espionage conducted at diplomatic missions everywhere”.[29]


On the morning of February 14, 1979, Fedayeen militants stormed the U.S. embassy in Tehran and took a U.S. Marine, Kenneth Kraus, hostage. Ambassador William Sullivan surrendered the Embassy to save lives, and with the assistance of Iranian Foreign Minister Ebrahim Yazdi, secured the embassy back in U.S. hands within three hours.[30] Kraus was injured in the attack, kidnapped by the militants, tortured, and was tried and convicted of murder. He was to be put to death by his accusers, but President Carter and Sullivan secured his release within six days.[31] This incident became known as The Valentine’s Day Open House.[32]

Anticipating the takeover of the embassy, the Americans attempted to destroy classified documents with a burn furnace. The furnace malfunctioned and the staff was forced to use cheap paper shredders.[33][34] Skilled carpet weaver women were later employed to reconstruct the documents.[35]

The next opportunity to seize the American embassy was initially planned in September 1979 by Ebrahim Asgharzadeh, a student at that time. He consulted with the heads of the Islamic associations of Tehran’s main universities, including the University of Tehran, Sharif University of Technology, Amirkabir University of Technology (Polytechnic of Tehran) and Iran University of Science and Technology. Their group was named Muslim Student Followers of the Imam’s Line.

Asgharzadeh later said there were five students at the first meeting, two of whom wanted to target the Soviet embassy because the USSR was “a Marxist and anti-God regime.” Two others, Mirdamadi and Habibolah Bitaraf, supported Asgharzadeh’s chosen target—the United States. “Our aim was to object against the American government by going to their embassy and occupying it for several hours”, Asgharzadeh said. “Announcing our objections from within the occupied compound would carry our message to the world in a much more firm and effective way.”[36] Mirdamadi told an interviewer, “we intended to detain the diplomats for a few days, maybe one week, but no more”.[37] Masoumeh Ebtekar, spokeswoman for the Iranian students during the crisis, said that those who rejected Asgharzadeh’s plan did not participate in the subsequent events.[38]

The Islamist students observed the security procedures of the Marine Security Guards from nearby rooftops overlooking the embassy. They also used experiences from the recent revolution, during which the U.S. embassy grounds were briefly occupied. They enlisted the support of police in charge of guarding the embassy and of Islamic Revolutionary Guards.[39]

According to the group and other sources Khomeini did not know of the plan beforehand.[40] The Islamist students had wanted to inform him but according to author Mark Bowden, Ayatollah Mohammad Mousavi Khoeiniha persuaded them not to. Khoeiniha feared the government would use police to expel the Islamist students as they had the last occupiers in February. The provisional government had been appointed by Khomeini and so Khomeini was likely to go along with their request to restore order. On the other hand, Khoeiniha knew that if Khomeini first saw that the occupiers were his faithful supporters (unlike the leftists in the first occupation) and that large numbers of pious Muslims had gathered outside the embassy to show their support for the takeover, it would be “very hard, perhaps even impossible”, for the Imam Khomeini to oppose the takeover, and this would paralyze the Bazargan administration Khoeiniha and the students wanted to eliminate.[41]

Iranians stated that their motivation was fear of another American backed coup against their popular revolution, as was done in 1953. They claimed that in 1953, the American embassy acted as a “den of spies” from which the American coup was organized. Documents were later found in the embassy suggesting that some workers in the embassy were working with American intelligence agencies. After the Shah’s entry into the United States, the Ayatollah Khomeini called for street demonstrations. On November 4, 1979, one such demonstration, organized by Iranian student unions loyal to Khomeini, took place outside the walled compound housing the U.S. Embassy. The occupation of the embassy then took a second purpose, which was leverage to demand the return of the Shah to Iran for trial in exchange for the hostages.


Around 6:30 a.m. on November 4, 1979, the ringleaders gathered between 300 and 500 selected students, thereafter known as Muslim Student Followers of the Imam’s Line, and briefed them on the battle plan. A female student was given a pair of metal cutters to break the chains locking the embassy’s gates, and she hid them beneath her chador.[42]

At first, the students’ plan to only make a symbolic occupation, release statements to the press, and leave when government security forces came to restore order was reflected in placards saying “Don’t be afraid. We just want to set-in”. When the embassy guards brandished firearms, the protesters retreated, one telling the Americans, “We don’t mean any harm”.[43] But as it became clear the guards would not use deadly force and that a large angry crowd had gathered outside the compound to cheer the occupiers and jeer the hostages, the occupation changed.[44] According to one embassy staff member, buses full of demonstrators began to appear outside the embassy shortly after the Muslim Student Followers of the Imam’s Line broke through the gates.[45]

As Khoeiniha had hoped, Khomeini supported the takeover. According to Foreign Minister Ebrahim Yazdi, when he, Yazdi came to Qom to tell the Imam about the incident, Khomeini told the minister to “go and kick them out”. But later that evening, back in Tehran, the minister heard on the radio that Imam Khomeini had issued a statement supporting the seizure and calling it “the second revolution”, and the embassy an “American spy den in Tehran”.[46]

The occupiers bound and blindfolded the embassy Marines and staff and paraded them in front of photographers. In the first couple of days, many of the embassy staff who had sneaked out of the compound or not been there at the time of the takeover were rounded up by Islamists and returned as hostages.[47] Six American diplomats did however avoid capture and took refuge in the British embassy before being transferred to the Canadian Embassy, and others went to the Swedish embassy in Tehran for three months. A joint Canadian government–Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) covert operation, known as the Canadian caper, managed to smuggle them out of Iran using Canadian passports and a cover story disguising them as a Canadian film crew on January 28, 1980.[48]

Hostage-holding motivations

The Muslim Student Followers of the Imam’s Line demanded that the Shah return to Iran for trial and execution. The U.S. maintained that the Shah, who died less than a year later in July 1980, had come to America only for medical attention. The group’s other demands included that the U.S. government apologize for its interference in the internal affairs of Iran, for the overthrow of Prime Minister Mosaddegh in 1953, and that Iran’s frozen assets in the United States be released.

Hostage Barry Rosen, the press attaché, age 34. The man on the right holding the briefcase is alleged by some former hostages to be future Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, although he, Iran’s government and even the CIA denies this.

The initial takeover plan was to hold the embassy for only a short time, but this changed after it became apparent how popular the takeover was and that Khomeini had given it his full support.[45] Some attribute the Iranian decision not to release the hostages quickly to U.S President Jimmy Carter’s “blinking” or failure to immediately deliver an ultimatum to Iran.[49] His immediate response was to appeal for the release of the hostages on humanitarian grounds and to share his hopes of a strategic anti-communist alliance with the Islamic Republic.[50] As some of the student leaders had hoped, Iran’s moderate prime minister Mehdi Bazargan and his cabinet resigned under pressure just days after the event.

The duration of the hostages’ captivity has been blamed on internal Iranian revolutionary politics. As Ayatollah Khomeini told Iran’s president:

This action has many benefits. “… This has united our people. Our opponents do not dare act against us. We can put the constitution to the people’s vote without difficulty, and carry out presidential and parliamentary elections.”[51]

Theocratic Islamists, as well as leftist political groups and figures like the socialist People’s Mujahedin of Iran,[52] supported the taking of American hostages as an attack on “American imperialism” and its alleged Iranian “tools of the West”. Revolutionary teams displayed secret documents purportedly taken from the embassy, sometimes painstakingly reconstructed after shredding,[53] to buttress their claim that “the Great Satan” (the U.S.) was trying to destabilize the new regime, and that Iranian moderates were in league with the U.S. The documents were published in a series of books called Documents from the U.S. Espionage Den (Persian: اسناد لانه جاسوسی امریكا‎). These books included telegrams, correspondence, and reports from the U.S. State Department and CIA. According to a Federation of American Scientists Bulletin from 1997, “By 1995, an amazing 77 volumes of ‘Documents from the U.S. Espionage Den’ (Asnad-i lanih-‘i Jasusi) had been collected and published by the ‘Muslim Students Following the Line of the Imam’.”[54] Many of these volumes of unredacted documents are now available online.[55]

A group photograph of the former hostages in the hospital. The 52 hostages are spending a few days in the hospital after their release from Iran prior to their departure for the United States

By embracing the hostage-taking under the slogan “America can’t do a thing”, Khomeini rallied support and deflected criticism from his controversial Islamic theocratic constitution,[56] which was due for a referendum vote in less than one month.[57] Following the successful referendum, both leftists and theocrats continued to use the issue of alleged pro-Americanism to suppress their opponents, the relatively moderate political forces, which included the Iranian Freedom Movement, National Front, Grand Ayatollah Shari’atmadari,[58] and later President Abolhassan Banisadr. In particular, carefully selected diplomatic dispatches and reports discovered at the embassy and released by the hostage-takers led to the disempowerment and resignations of moderate figures[59] such as Premier Mehdi Bazargan. The political danger in Iran of any move seen as accommodating America, along with the failed rescue attempt, delayed a negotiated release. After the hostages were released, leftists and theocrats turned on each other, with the stronger theocratic group annihilating the left.

Wikisource has original text related to this article:Documents Seized from the US Embassy in Tehran

A man holding a sign during a protest of the crisis in Washington, D.C., in 1979. The sign reads “Deport all Iranians” and “Get the hell out of my country” on its forefront, and “Release all Americans now” on its back

444 Days Held Hostage

Hostage conditions

The hostage-takers, declaring their solidarity with other “oppressed minorities” and “the special place of women in Islam,” released 13 women and African Americans in the middle of November 1979. One more hostage, a white man named Richard Queen, was released in July 1980 after he became seriously ill with what was later diagnosed as multiple sclerosis. The remaining 52 hostages were held captive until January 1981, a total of 444 days of captivity.

The hostages initially were held in buildings at the embassy, but after the failed rescue mission they were scattered to different locations around Iran to make rescue impossible. Three high level officials—Bruce Laingen, Victor Tomseth, and Mike Howland—were at the Foreign ministry at the time of the takeover. They stayed there for some months, sleeping in the ministry’s formal dining room and washing their socks and underwear in the bathroom. They were first treated as diplomats but after the provisional government fell relations deteriorated and by March the doors to their living space were kept “chained and padlocked”.[60]

By midsummer 1980, the Iranians moved the hostages to prisons in Tehran[61] to prevent either escape or rescue attempts and to improve the logistics of guard shifts and food delivery.[62] The final holding area, from November 1980 until their release, was the Teymour Bakhtiari mansion in Tehran, where the hostages were finally provided tubs, showers and hot and cold running water.[63] Several foreign diplomats and ambassadors—including Canadian ambassador Ken Taylor before the Canadian Caper—came to visit the hostages over the course of the crisis, relaying information back to the U.S. government—including the “Laingen dispatches”, made by hostage Bruce Laingen—to help the home country stay in contact.

Iranian propaganda stated that the hostages were “guests” treated with respect. Ibrahim Asgharzadeh described the original hostage taking plan as a “nonviolent” and symbolic action where the “gentle and respectful treatment” of the hostages would dramatize to the whole world the offended sovereignty and dignity of Iran.[64] In America, an Iranian chargé d’affaires, Ali Agha, stormed out of a meeting with an American official, exclaiming “We are not mistreating the hostages. They are being very well taken care of in Tehran. They are our guests.”[65]

The actual treatment of the hostages was far different from that purported in Iranian propaganda: the hostages described beatings,[66] theft,[67] the fear of bodily harm while being paraded blindfold before a large, angry chanting crowd outside the embassy (Bill Belk and Kathryn Koob),[68] having their hands bound “day and night” for days[69] or even weeks,[70] long periods of solitary confinement[71] and months of being forbidden to speak to one another[72] or stand, walk, and leave their space unless they were going to the bathroom.[73] In particular they felt the threat of trial and execution,[74] as all of the hostages “were threatened repeatedly with execution, and took it seriously”.[75] The hostage takers played Russian roulette with their victims.[76]

The most terrifying night for the hostages came on February 5, 1980, when guards in black ski masks roused the 52 hostages from their sleep and led them blindfolded to other rooms. They were searched after being ordered to strip themselves until they were bare, and to keep their hands up. They were then told to kneel down. “This was the greatest moment” as one hostage said. They were still wearing the blindfolds, so naturally, they were terrified even further. One of the hostages later recalled ‘It was an embarrassing moment. However, we were too scared to realize it.’ The mock execution ended after the guards cocked their weapons and readied them to fire but finally ejected their rounds and told the prisoners to wear their clothes again. The hostages were later told the exercise was “just a joke” and something the guards “had wanted to do”. However, this affected a lot of the hostages long after.[77]

Michael Metrinko was kept in solitary confinement for months. On two occasions when he expressed his opinion of Ayatollah Khomeini and he was punished especially severely in relation to the ordinary mistreatment of the hostages—the first time being kept in handcuffs for 24 hours a day for two weeks,[78] and being beaten and kept alone in a freezing cell for two weeks with a diet of bread and water the second time.[79]

One hostage, U.S. Army medic Donald Hohman, went on a hunger strike for several weeks[80] and two hostages are thought to have attempted suicide. Steve Lauterbach became despondent, broke a water glass and slashed his wrists after being locked in a dark basement room of the chancery with his hand tightly bound and aching badly. He was found by guards, rushed to the hospital and patched up.[81] Jerry Miele, an introverted CIA communicator technician, smashed his head into the corner of a door, knocking himself unconscious and cutting a deep gash from which blood poured. “Naturally withdrawn” and looking “ill, old, tired, and vulnerable”, Miele had become the butt of his guards’ jokes who rigged up a mock electric chair with wires to emphasize the fate that awaited him. After his fellow hostages applied first aid and raised the alarm, he was taken to a hospital after a long delay created by the guards.[82]

Different hostages described further Iranian threats to boil their feet in oil (Alan B. Golacinski),[83] cut their eyes out (Rick Kupke),[84] or kidnap and kill a disabled son in America and “start sending pieces of him to your wife”. (David Roeder)[85]

Four different hostages attempted to escape,[86] all being punished with stretches of solitary confinement when their attempt was discovered.

The hostage released as a result of his multiple sclerosis, Richard Queen, first developed symptoms of dizziness and numbness in his arm six months before his release.[87] It was misdiagnosed by Iranians first as a reaction to draft of cold air; and after warmer confinement didn’t help, as “it’s nothing, it’s nothing”, the symptoms of which would soon disappear.[88] Over the months the symptoms spread to his right side and worsened until Queen “was literally flat on his back unable to move without growing dizzy and throwing up”.[89]

The cruelty of the Iranian prison guards became “a form of slow torture”.[90] Guards would often withhold mail from home, telling one hostage, Charles W. Scott, “I don’t see anything for you, Mr. Scott. Are you sure your wife has not found another man?”[91] and hostages’ possessions went missing.[92]

As the hostages were taken to the aircraft that would fly them out of Tehran, they were led through a gauntlet of students forming parallel lines and shouting “Marg bar Amrika”, (death to America).[93] When the pilot announced they were out of Iran the “freed hostages went wild with happiness. Shouting, cheering, crying, clapping, falling into one another’s arms”.[94]

Impact in the United States

A heckler in Washington, D.C., leans across a police line toward a demonstration of Iranians during the Iran hostage crisis, August 1980

In the United States, the hostage-taking is said to have created “a surge of patriotism” and left “the American people more united than they have been on any issue in two decades”.[95] The action was seen “not just as a diplomatic affront”, but as a “declaration of war on diplomacy itself”.[4] Television news gave daily updates.[96] The respected CBS Evening News anchor, Walter Cronkite, began ending each show in January 1980 by saying how many days the hostages had been captive.[97] President Carter applied economic and diplomatic pressure on Iran: oil imports from Iran were ended on November 12, 1979, and through the issuance of Executive Order 12170, around US$8 billion of Iranian assets in the U.S. were frozen by the Office of Foreign Assets Control on November 14.

During the weeks leading up to Christmas in 1979, high school students created Christmas cards that were delivered to the hostages in Iran.[3] This was then replicated by community groups across the country, resulting in bales of Christmas cards delivered to the hostages. The National Christmas Tree that year was left dark except for the top star.

A severe backlash against Iranians in the United States developed. One Iranian later complained, “I had to hide my Iranian identity not to get beaten up, even at university.”[98]

According to author/journalist Mark Bowden, a pattern developed in President Carter’s attempts to negotiate a release of the hostages:

Carter would latch on to a deal proffered by a top Iranian official and grant minor but humiliating concessions, only to have it scotched at the last minute by Khomeini.[99]

Canadian rescue of hostages

Main article: Canadian Caper

Americans were grateful for Canadian efforts to rescue American diplomats during the Iran hostage crisis

On the day the hostages were seized, six American diplomats evaded capture and remained in hiding at the home of Canadian diplomat John Sheardown, under the protection of Canadian ambassador Ken Taylor. In late 1979 the Canadian Government secretly issued an Order In Council[100] allowing Canadian passports to be issued to some American citizens so that they could escape. In cooperation with the CIA, which used the cover story of a film project, two CIA agents and the six American diplomats boarded a Swissair flight to Zurich, Switzerland, on January 28, 1980. Their escape and rescue from Iran has become known as the “Canadian Caper”.[101][102][103] The rescue was fictionalized in the 2012 film “Argo,” with the movie showing a number of non-historical elements.[104]

Negotiations for release

Main article: Iran hostage crisis negotiations

Rescue attempts

Further information: Operation Eagle Claw

This section needs additional citations for verification. Please help improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. (March 2009)

First rescue attempt

After rejecting Iranian demands, Carter approved an ill-fated secret rescue mission, Operation Eagle Claw. Late in the afternoon of April 24, 1980, eight RH‑53D helicopters flew from the aircraft carrier USS Nimitz to a remote road serving as an airstrip in the Great Salt Desert of Eastern Iran, near Tabas. They encountered severe dust storms which disabled two of the helicopters, which were travelling with complete radio silence. Early the next morning six of the eight RH‑53D helicopters met up with several waiting Lockheed C-130 Hercules transport and refueling airplanes at the landing site and refueling area, designated “Desert One” by the mission.

At this point a third helicopter was found to be unserviceable bringing the total below the six deemed vital for the mission. The commander of the operation, Col. Beckwith recommended the mission be aborted and his recommendation was approved by President Carter. As the helicopters repositioned themselves for refueling, one helicopter ran into a C‑130 tanker aircraft and crashed, killing eight U.S. servicemen and injuring several more.[105]

In May 1980, the Joint Chiefs of Staff commissioned a Special Operations Review Group of six senior military officers led by Admiral James L. Holloway III to thoroughly review all aspects of the Iran hostage rescue attempt, so as to better prepare for any similar event in the future. Holloway’s group listed 23 issues that were significant in the failure of the mission, narrowing this list to 11 major issues. The overriding issue was operational security (OPSEC), that is, keeping the mission secret so that the arrival of the rescue team at the embassy would be a complete surprise. OPSEC severed the usual relationship during a military operation between the weather forecasters and pilots; the pilots were not informed about the local dust storms. Another OPSEC requirement was that the helicopter pilots come from the same unit. The helicopter unit picked for the mission was a U.S. Navy mine-laying unit flying CH-53D Sea Stallions; these helicopters were considered the best suited for the mission because of their long range, their large capacity, and their compatibility with shipboard operations. Radio silence was ordered during the helicopter flight. Two hours into the flight, the crew of No. 6 helicopter saw a warning light indicating a main rotor may be cracked. They landed in the desert and confirmed visually that a crack had started, so they stopped flying their aircraft because this was normal operating procedure. Helicopter No. 8 landed to load the crew of No. 6 into No. 8, abandoning No. 6 in the desert without destroying it. Holloway’s report pointed out that a cracked helicopter blade could be used to continue the mission, that its likelihood of catastrophic failure would be low for many hours, especially at lower flying speeds, for instance 27 hours of flying time might be available at an airspeed of 120 knots.[106] Holloway found that pilot No. 6 would have continued his mission if the helicopter group had been instructed to continue to fly with a cracked blade. When the helicopters encountered two dust storms along the way to the refueling point, the second more severe than the first, the pilot of No. 5 turned back because the mine-laying helicopters were not equipped with terrain-following radar. They had night vision goggles that suited their duty as mine layers, but were useless in this kind of very thick dust storm. Holloway’s report found that pilot No. 5 could have continued to the refueling point if he had been told that better weather awaited him there, but with the command for radio silence in mind, this pilot did not ask nor was he told about conditions ahead. Holloway’s report stated that “there were ways to pass the information” between the refueling station and the helicopter force “that would have small likelihood of compromising the mission,” in other words, that a ban on inter-force communications was not completely necessary at this stage.[107] Helicopter No. 2 experienced a partial hydraulic system failure, but was able to fly on for four hours to the refueling location at Desert One. On the ground, inspection showed that a hydraulic fluid leak had damaged a hydraulic pump, and that the helicopter could not be flown safely, nor could it be repaired in time to continue the mission. Six helicopters was thought to be the absolute minimum required for the rescue mission, so with the force reduced to five, the local commander radioed his intention to abort the mission. This request was passed through military channels to President Carter who agreed to abort the mission.[108]

After the mission and its failure were made known publicly, Khomeini’s prestige skyrocketed in Iran as he credited divine intervention on behalf of Islam for the result.[109] Iranian officials who favored release of the hostages, such as President Bani Sadr, were weakened. In America, President Carter’s political popularity and prospects for being reelected in 1980 were further damaged after a television address on April 25, in which he explained the rescue operation and accepted responsibility for its failure.

Planned second rescue attempt

A second rescue attempt that was planned but never attempted used highly modified YMC-130H Hercules aircraft. Outfitted with rocket thrusters fore and aft to allow an extremely short landing and takeoff in the Shahid Shiroudi football stadium located close to the embassy, three aircraft were modified under a rushed super-secret program known as Operation Credible Sport. One aircraft crashed during a demonstration at Duke Field at Eglin Air Force Base Auxiliary Field 3 on October 29, 1980, when its landing braking rockets were fired too soon. The misfire caused a hard touchdown that tore off the starboard wing and started a fire; all on board survived. The impending change in the White House following the November election led to an abandonment of this project.

The failed rescue attempt led to the creation of the 160th S.O.A.R., a helicopter aviation special forces group in the United States Army and the United States Special Operations Command.


At the end of the Iran hostage crisis, Vice President George H. W. Bush and other VIPs wait to welcome hostages home

The hostages disembark Freedom One, an Air Force Boeing C-137 Stratoliner aircraft, upon their arrival at the base

This section needs additional citations for verification. Please help improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. (January 2008)

With the final completion of the Iran hostage crisis negotiations, the hostages were released on 20 January 1981.

On January 20, 1981, at the moment Reagan completed his 20‑minute inaugural address after being sworn in as President, the 52 American hostages were released by Iran into U.S. custody, having spent 444 days in captivity.[110][111]

The hostages were flown to Algeria as a symbolic gesture for the help of that government in resolving the crisis. The flight continued to Rhein-Main Air Base in West Germany and on to Wiesbaden USAF Hospital, where former President Carter, acting as emissary, received them. After medical check-ups and debriefings, they took a second flight to Stewart Air National Guard Base in Newburgh, New York, with a refueling stop in Shannon, Ireland, where they were greeted by a large crowd. From Newburgh they traveled by bus to the United States Military Academy, and stayed at the Thayer Hotel at West Point for three days receiving a heroes’ welcome all along the route. Ten days after their release, the former hostages were given a ticker tape parade through the Canyon of Heroes in New York City.


Iran–Iraq War

The Iraq invasion of Iran occurred less than a year after the embassy employees were taken hostage. American journalist Stephen Kinzer believes the dramatic change of U.S.–Iranian relations from ally to enemy played a part in emboldening Saddam Hussein to invade, and U.S. anger with Iran led the United States to aid Iraq after the war turned against Iraq. The United States supplied Iraq with, among other things, “helicopters and satellite intelligence that was used in selecting bombing targets”. U.S. assistance to Iraq “deepened and widened anti-American feeling in Iran”.[112]


After the Iranian hostage crisis (1979–1981), the walls of the former U.S. embassy in Tehran were covered in mostly anti-American murals

The hostage taking was unsuccessful for the Islamic Republic in some respects. Iran lost international support for its war against Iraq, and the settlement was considered almost wholly favorable to the United States since it did not meet any of Iran’s original demands.[113] But the crisis strengthened Iranians who supported the hostage taking. Anti-Americanism became even more intense, and anti-American rhetoric continued unabated.[114] Politicians such as Mohammad Mousavi Khoeiniha and Behzad Nabavi[115] were left in a stronger position, while those associated or accused of association with America were removed from the political picture. Khomeini biographer Baqer Moin describes the incident as “a watershed in Khomeini’s life” transforming him from a “cautious, pragmatic politician” into “a modern revolutionary, single-mindedly pursing [sic?] a dogma”. In his statements, “imperialism, liberalism, democracy” were “negative words”, while “revolution…became a sacred word, sometimes more important than Islam.”[116]

Some have suggested that the greatest benefit of the takeover of the American embassy was the acquisition of intelligence information contained within the embassy, including the identity of informants to the U.S. government, which the new Islamic republic could use to remove potential dissenters and consolidate its gains and stabilize its place.[citation needed]

The Iranian government commemorates the event every year by demonstration at the embassy and burning a U.S. flag but on November 4, 2009, when pro-democracy protesters and reformists demonstrated in the streets of Tehran, despite Iranian government authorities encouraging people to chant “Death to America”, protesters instead chanted “Death to the Dictator” (referring to Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei) and other anti-government slogans.[117]

United States

In the United States, gifts were showered upon the hostages upon their return, including lifetime passes to any minor league or Major League Baseball game.[118]

In 2000, the hostages and their families tried to sue Iran, unsuccessfully, under the Antiterrorism Act. They originally won the case when Iran failed to provide a defense, but the U.S. State Department tried to put an end to the suit, fearing that it would make international relations difficult. As a result, a federal judge ruled that nothing could be done to repay the damages the hostages faced because of the agreement the United States made when the hostages were freed.[citation needed]

The U.S. embassy building is used by Iran’s government and its affiliated groups. Since 2001, the building has served as a museum to the revolution. Outside the door stands a bronze model based on New York’s Statue of Liberty on one side and a statue portraying one of the hostages on the other.[119]

The Guardian reported in 2006 that a group called The Committee for the Commemoration of Martyrs of the Global Islamic Campaign used the U.S. embassy to recruit “martyrdom seekers”, volunteers to carry out operations against Western and Jewish targets. Mohammad Samadi, a spokesman for the group, signed up several hundred volunteers in a few days.[120]


November 4, 1979 – January 20, 1981: 66 original captives, 63 taken at the embassy, three captured and held at Foreign Ministry Office.

Three of the hostages were operatives of the CIA.[29]

Thirteen hostages were released November 19–20, 1979, and one was released on July 11, 1980. Fifty-two remaining hostages endured 444 days of captivity until their release January 20, 1981.

Six diplomats who evaded capture

Further information: Canadian Caper

  • Robert Anders, 54—Consular Officer
  • Mark J. Lijek, 29—Consular Officer
  • Cora A. Lijek, 25—Consular Assistant
  • Henry L. Schatz, 31—Agriculture Attaché
  • Joseph D. Stafford, 29—Consular Officer
  • Kathleen F. Stafford, 28—Consular Assistant

Thirteen hostages released

On November 19–20, 1979, thirteen women and men who had been captured and held hostage were released on Khomeini’s orders.

  • Kathy Gross, 22 —Secretary
  • Sgt. James Hughes, 30 —U.S. Air Force Administrative Manager
  • Lillian Johnson, 32 —Secretary
  • Sgt. Ladell Maples, 23 —U.S. Marine Corps Embassy Guard
  • Elizabeth Montagne, 42 —Secretary
  • Sgt. William Quarles, 23 —U.S. Marine Corps Embassy Guard
  • Lloyd Rollins, 40 —Administrative Officer
  • Capt. Neal (Terry) Robinson —U.S. Air Force Military Intelligence Officer
  • Sgt. David Walker, 25 —U.S. Marine Corps Embassy guard
  • Joan Walsh, 33 —Secretary
  • Cpl. Wesley Williams, 24 —U.S. Marine Corps Embassy Guard

Richard I. Queen released

On July 11, 1980, 28-year-old Vice Consul Richard I. Queen, who had been captured and held hostage, was released after becoming seriously ill. He was later diagnosed with multiple sclerosis.

Remaining hostages released

The following fifty-two remaining hostages were held captive until January 20, 1981.

  • Thomas L. Ahern, Jr.,—Narcotics Control Officer (later identified as CIA station chief)[121][122]
  • Clair Cortland Barnes, 35 —Communications Specialist
  • William E. Belk, 44 —Communications and Records Officer
  • Robert O. Blucker, 54 —Economics Officer Specializing in Oil
  • Donald J. Cooke, 25 —Vice Consul
  • William J. Daugherty, 33 —3rd Secretary of U.S. Mission (CIA officer[123])
  • Lt. Cmdr. Robert Englemann, 34 —U.S. Navy Attaché
  • Sgt. William Gallegos, 22 —U.S. Marine Corps Guard
  • Bruce W. German, 44 —Budget Officer
  • Duane L. Gillette, 24 —U.S. Navy Communications and Intelligence Specialist
  • Alan B. Golacinski, 30 —Chief of Embassy Security, Regional Security Officer
  • John E. Graves, 53 —Public Affairs Officer
  • CWO Joseph M. Hall, 32 —U.S. Army Military Attaché
  • Sgt. Kevin J. Hermening, 21 —U.S. Marine Corps Guard
  • Sgt. 1st Class Donald R. Hohman, 38 —U.S. Army Medic
  • Col. Leland J. Holland, 53 —Military Attaché
  • Michael Howland, 34 —Assistant Regional Security Officer, held at Iranian Foreign Ministry Office
  • Charles A. Jones, Jr., 40 —Communications Specialist, Teletype Operator. (The only African American hostage not released in November 1979)
  • Malcolm K. Kalp, 42 —Commercial Officer
  • Moorhead C. Kennedy, Jr., 50 —Economic and Commercial Officer [124]
  • William F. Keough, Jr., 50 —Superintendent of American School in Islamabad, Pakistan, visiting Tehran at time of embassy seizure
  • Cpl. Steven W. Kirtley —U.S. Marine Corps Guard
  • Kathryn L. Koob, 42 —Embassy Cultural Officer; one of two female hostages
  • Frederick Lee Kupke, 34— Communications Officer and Electronics Specialist
  • L. Bruce Laingen, 58 —Chargé d’Affaires, held at Iranian Foreign Ministry Office. (Ambassador William H. Sullivan was ordered home for insubordination to President Carter in Spring of 1979, leaving Laingen in charge as senior US diplomat.)
  • Steven Lauterbach, 29 —Administrative Officer
  • Gary E. Lee, 37 —Administrative Officer
  • Sgt. Paul Edward Lewis, 23 —U.S. Marine Corps Guard
  • John W. Limbert, Jr., 37 —Political Officer
  • Sgt. James M. Lopez, 22 —U.S. Marine Corps Guard
  • Sgt. John D. McKeel, Jr., 27 —U.S. Marine Corps Guard
  • Michael J. Metrinko, 34 —Political Officer
  • Jerry J. Miele, 42 —Communications Officer
  • Staff Sgt. Michael E. Moeller, 31 —Head of U.S. Marine Corps Guard Unit at Embassy
  • Bert C. Moore, 45 —Counselor for Administration
  • Richard Morefield, 51 —U.S. Consul General in Tehran
  • Capt. Paul M. Needham, Jr., 30 —U.S. Air Force Logistics Staff Officer
  • Robert C. Ode, 65 —Retired Foreign Service Officer on Temporary Duty in Tehran
  • Sgt. Gregory A. Persinger, 23 —U.S. Marine Corps Guard
  • Jerry Plotkin, 45 —civilian businessman visiting Tehran
  • MSgt. Regis Ragan, 38 —U.S. Army soldier, Defense Attaché’s Office
  • Lt. Col. David M. Roeder, 41 —Deputy U.S. Air Force Attaché
  • Barry M. Rosen, 36 —Press Attaché
  • William B. Royer, Jr., 49 —Assistant Director of Iran–American Society
  • Col. Thomas E. Schaefer, 50 —U.S. Air Force Attaché
  • Col. Charles W. Scott, 48 —U.S. Army Attaché
  • Cmdr. Donald A. Sharer, 40 —U.S. Navy Attaché
  • Sgt. Rodney V. (Rocky) Sickmann, 22 —U.S. Marine Corps Guard
  • Staff Sgt. Joseph Subic, Jr., 23 —Military Police, U.S. Army, Defense Attaché’s Staff
  • Elizabeth Ann Swift, 40 —Deputy Head of the Political Section; one of two female hostages
  • Victor L. Tomseth, 39 —Counselor for Political Affairs, held at Iranian Foreign Ministry Office
  • Phillip R. Ward, 40 —Communications officer CIA

Hostages awarded

All State Department and CIA employees taken hostage were awarded the State Department Award for Valor. Political Officer Michael J. Metrinko received two: one for his time as a hostage and another for his daring rescue of Americans who had been jailed in Tabriz months before the embassy takeover.[125]

For their service during the hostage crisis, the U.S. military later awarded the 20 servicemen who were among the hostages the Defense Meritorious Service Medal. The only hostage serviceman not to be issued the medal was Staff Sgt. Joseph Subic, Jr. The reason given was that Staff Sgt. Subic “did not behave under stress the way noncommissioned officers are expected to act”,[126] i.e., he cooperated with the hostage-takers, according to other hostages.[127]

For their part in the mission, the Humanitarian Service Medal was awarded to the servicemen of Joint Task Force (JTF) 1–79 (the planning authority for Operation Rice Bowl/Eagle Claw) who participated in the rescue attempt.

Also, the Air Force special operations component of the mission was awarded the Air Force Outstanding Unit award for that year for performing their part of the mission flawlessly, to include accomplishing the evacuation of the entire Desert One site after the accident and under extreme conditions.

Civilian hostages

A small number of hostages were not connected to diplomatic staff. All had been released by late 1981.

  • Mohi Sobhani, an Iranian-American engineer and a member of the Bahá’í Faith. Released 2/4/1981.[128]
  • Zia Nassery/Nassri, an Afghan-American. Released 2/4/1981.
  • Cynthia Dwyer, an American reporter, was eventually charged with espionage and expelled 2/10/1981.[129]
  • Electronic Data Systems employees Paul Chiapparone and Bill Gaylord rescued by Ross Perot-funded operation (see Arthur D. Simons and Ross Perot Business Section) in 1979.
  • Four British missionaries including doctor Canon John Coleman, his wife Audrey Coleman and Jean Waddell.[130]

Notable hostage takers, guards, and interrogators

  • Abbas Abdi, now one of Iran’s most influential reformists, journalist, self-taught sociologist, and social activist.
  • Hamid Aboutalebi, Iranian Ambassador to the United Nations (2014–present).
  • Ebrahim Asgharzadeh, then a student, now an Iranian political activist and politician, Member of the Parliament (1989–1993) and Chairman of the City Council of Tehran (1999–2003).
  • Mohsen Mirdamadi, an organizer of the hostage, Member of the Parliament (2000–2004), head of the largest pro-reform party in Iran, Islamic Iran Participation Front.
  • Masoumeh Ebtekar, interpreter and spokesperson of the student group that occupied the U.S Embassy in 1979, an Iranian scientist, journalist and politician, later became the first female Vice President of Iran, head of Environment Protection Organization of Iran during the administration of President Mohammad Khatami, and is currently serving for a second time under President Hassan Rouhani.
  • Mohammad Mousavi Khoeiniha, spiritual leader of the hostage takers.
  • Hussein Sheikholeslam, a student, later a member of the Parliament and Iranian ambassador to Syria.

October surprise conspiracy theory

See also: October surprise conspiracy theory

Allegations that the Reagan administration negotiated a delay in the release of the hostages until after the 1980 Presidential election have been numerous. Gary Sick, principal White House aide for Iran and the Persian Gulf on the Carter administration’s National Security Council, in his book “October Surprise: America’s Hostages in Iran and the Election of Ronald Reagan”,[131] alleged that William Casey and possibly George H. W. Bush, went to Paris to negotiate delaying the release of the hostages until after the election. Such allegations, however, remain unproven.

See also

  • Baghdad kidnapping of Iranian diplomat (February 2007)
  • Case Concerning United States Diplomatic and Consular Staff in Tehran
  • Guests of the Ayatollah: The First Battle in America’s War with Militant Islam (2006)
  • Iran–Contra affair
  • Iranian diplomats kidnapping (1982)
  • List of hostage crises
  • Student Day in Iran
  • United Nations Security Council Resolution 457 and 461 (1979) on the hostage situation


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  115. Brumberg, Daniel Reinventing Khomeini, University of Chicago Press (2001), p. 118
  116. Moin, Khomeini, (2000) p. 229
  117. “Iran’s pro-democracy protesters to Obama: With us or against us? What a difference 30 years makes”. Los Angeles Times. November 4, 2009. Retrieved November 4, 2009.
  118. Carpenter, Les (January 20, 2006). “Safe at Home”. The Washington Post. Retrieved 2007-07-28.
  119. BBC News: In pictures: Iran hostage crisis
  120. Tait, Robert (2006-04-19). “Iranian group seeks British suicide bombers”. The Guardian (London). Retrieved 2008-05-10.
  121. “The Hostages in Danger”. Time. December 17, 1979. Retrieved 2007-04-25.
  122. Michael B. Farrell (June 27, 2006). “444 days in captivity as the world watched”. The Christian Science Monitor. Retrieved 2007-04-25.
  123. Daugherty, Wiliam. A First Tour Like No Other. Studies in Intelligence, Spring 1998.
  124. Totter, Bill, “Mainer recalls time as hostage in Iran 30 years ago”, Bangor Daily News, Bangor, Maine, Nov. 05, 2009.
  125. Mark Bowden Guests of the Ayatollah (2006)
  126. “Around the World; Former Iranian Hostage To Get Early Discharge”. The New York Times. July 1, 1981.
  127. Bowden, Mark Guests of the Ayatollah, Grove Press, 2006, p. 374
  128. “Mohi Sobhani, 70; Held Hostage at U.S. Embassy in Iran in 1980”, Los Angeles Times
  130. 12:02AM BST 29 Aug 2003 (2003-08-29). “Canon John Coleman”. Telegraph. Retrieved 2013-08-01.
  131. Sick, Gary (1991). October Surprise: America’s Hostages in Iran and the Election of Ronald Reagan. New York: Random House.


  • Bakhash, Shaul, The Reign of the Ayatollahs: Iran and the Islamic Revolution, Basic Books, 1984
  • Moin, Baqer, Khomeini: Life of the Ayatollah, Thomas Dunne Books, c2000
  • Ebtekar, Massoumeh; Reed, Fred (2000). Takeover in Tehran: the inside story of the 1979 U.S. Embassy capture. Burnaby, BC: Talonbooks. ISBN 0-88922-443-9.
  • 444 Days to Freedom: What Really Happened in Iran (1997). DVD UPC 033909253390
  • Gary Sick. 1991. October Surprise: America’s Hostages in Iran and the Election of Ronald Reagan. New York: Random House.

Further reading

  • Ammann, Daniel (2009). The King of Oil: The Secret Lives of Marc Rich. New York: St. Martin‘s Press. ISBN 0-312-57074-0.
  • Stewart, James (1983). The Partners: Inside America’s Most Powerful Law Firms. New York: Simon & Schuster. ISBN 0-671-42023-2.
  • Engelmayer, Sheldon D. (1981). Hostage: a Chronicle of the 444 Days in Iran. New York: Caroline House Publishing. ISBN 0-89803-084-6.
  • Bowden, Mark (2006). Guests of the Ayatollah, The Iran Hostage Crisis: The First Battle in America’s War with Militant Islam. New York: Grove Press.

External links

  • Complete set of seized documents from the U.S. Embassy in Tehran (Use Download links to get PDFs)
  • From Hostages to Arms Scandal from the Dean Peter Krogh Foreign Affairs Digital Archives
  • Video Archive of Hostage Crisis
  • The Memory Hole hosts a gallery of photographs taken from inside the U.S. Embassy during the crisis.
  • List of hostages and casualties
  • The Iran Hostages: Efforts to Obtain Compensation Congressional Research Service
  • Remembering the Iran hostage crisis, BBC’s interview with Ebrahim Asgeh, a hostage-taker, and Bruce Laingen, a captive
  • Hostage list source
  • “Learning to Keep a Secret”
  • The Hostage Rescue Attempt as remembered by a Marine who was off Iran for that mission, with history leading up to the crisis, the events of that time of Crisis including the Soviet takeover of Afghanistan, and the Rescue Mission
  • Avenue of Flags Memorial in Hermitage, PA
  • Final number of This Week In Tehran, the Embassy newsletter for its employees, dated October 30, 1979
  • Former hostages allege Iran’s new president was captor, CNN
  • The short film Hostage Report (1981) is available for free download at the Internet Archive [more]
  • “Banged Up Abroad the Real Argo” on YouTube

Declassified Documents

United States

  • OSD & Joint Staff FOIA Center, Iran Hostage Crisis

Great Britain

Records of the Prime Minister’s Office, Correspondence & Papers; 1979-1997 IRAN: Internal situation in Iran; Attack on British Embassy; Hostage-taking at US Embassy;Freezing of Iranian Assets; US Mission to release hoatages; Relations with US & UK following hostage taking at US Embassy.


Walter McKenzie sure knows how to pick them.  But of course if you listen to McKenzie, he always knows best and he will tell you so, for hours and hours and hours.

  • Part 1
  • Part 2
  • Part 3
  • Part 4
  • Part 5
  • Part 6
  • Part 7

Personal Injury What is it?



You will recall the letter Attorney Koberlein sent me after I mistakenly believed he was a public figure working in conjunction with the Mayor on a specific issue  In libel claims. he would only have to prove the statement falls into the category of libel, it was published about him as a defamatory statement and that other people were exposed to the statement.  However, it is also presumed that once a publication of a defamatory statement has been made in writing, the statement will remain in the public sphere for a long time and continue to do damage.


Yet, there have been continual comments in meeting minutes which have been picked up in the newspapers, mainly about Joe but certainly affecting me as well, have gone on for years.  In my prior articles I included Joe’s complaints as well as comments made and the attorneys continually state one cannot question the council and no one has the right to have their complaints heard and discussed by officials.  These complaints, like in the current meeting are only dismissed without hearing or mediation.  In fact Mr. Koberlein by minutes of the White Springs council stated he would not speak to Joe Griffin because of something said (also noted in Judge Parker’s hearing with Joe and Koberlein which I attended) so obviously all communication to the Griffins is prohibited much less their requests for the law to be followed.


The Sunshine Law clearly states “every thought, as well as every affirmative act, of a public official as it relates to and is within the scope of his official duties, is a matter of public concern, and it is the entire decision-making process that the legislature intended to affect by the enactment of the statute before us”.


Our Civil Suit includes a claim for Defamation.  The essential harm in a defamation claim is “damage to our reputation in the community” .  Because reputation is intangible and because of the tendency of people to react strongly to perceived insults, defamation has evolved into a complex concept filled with safeguards and requirements which weed out so called weak claims.


The right to free speech only adds to the complexity. It may be a common misconception that anyone can say whatever they want (that is why our blog checks out its sources of information), but the right to free speech is not an absolute right in all situations. Serious damage to a reputation can cause real harm to a person’s livelihood and well-being therefore the rules of defamation try to balance protection of reputation with the constitutional rules of freedom of speech.  In our case defamation was caused for the reason of the Town’s attempt to cease Joe and my free speech and to take away his PTI (which you know he took the responsibility for me) and as a result of various publications and minutes has caused severe damage to our well-being.  Had we been younger, it would have created a further harm to our livelihood, because our careers were both in the financial areas, before Joe became a trucker.  But with more publicity submitted to the newspapers, and a television station, it has placed a strain on my publications (books) and has tarnished both our reputations.  It is really sad when people we do not know in a store tell us they saw us in the newspaper…or when a Jasper police officer said “Oh Joe Griffin, he’s always in trouble”, or when people smirk when going by us at an event.


There are two kinds of defamation, slander and libel, which are discussed below. The essential elements of either kind are 1) a defamatory statement 2) that is “published” to someone other than the plaintiff and the defendant.

A “defamatory statement” is any statement that an ordinary person would find damaging to their reputation and character.


Slander pertained to spoken defamation and libel to written.. For now, it is easiest to think of slander as spoken defamation to a small audience (or just one other person) and libel as any written defamation or spoken or video defamation to a large audience. Generally, it is up to the judge, and not the jury, in a defamation case to determine which category the defamation fits into


The Elements of Slander

There are two types of slander: slander and slander per se. In the first kind of slander, the plaintiff must prove the defendant made a defamatory statement to at least one other person (i.e. the essential defamation elements) and that the plaintiff suffered what are referred to as “special damages” as a result of the defamation. Special damages are actual harm like loss of customers, being fired, or some other financial harm.


A slander per se claim does not require that the plaintiff prove special damages. This is because slander per se claims involve categories of defamatory statements that are presumed to be damaging to the plaintiff. While the categories may change a little for state to state, and evolve over the years, some of the most common slander per se categories are:

  • imputing criminal conduct to the plaintiff
  • saying that the plaintiff has certain types of communicable diseases, and
  • any harmful statement about the plaintiff’s profession or business.



Once defamation is proven, “general damages” are presumed. The person damaged is not simply limited to damages reflecting his or her economic losses, but the mental anguish and other emotional harm that the law presumes to result from having one’s reputation harmed. Depending on what the plaintiff proves about the defendant’s intentions, and the type of defendant, punitive damages may also be awarded to the plaintiff.


In our case there has been a clear conduct of both discrimination, harassment by police and defamation against Joe Griffin and then against me for standing also before the council with complaints.  Nothing was ever done and the officials Camel Club friends took over in calling us idiots among other names for our actions in trying to have the Town follow the law. 


There is one thing that the Town has not understood when it came to the articles we published.  Yes, we had opinions about the way things were handled, but the information was also researched and found to be true even if others provided us with the information.  In case law if one can prove that what she or he said or published about a person was true, like comments about our officials, the official will lose their case.  The officials would have to prove that the statements were untrue.


Yet in the case of public officials, there is another defense to defamation which is privilege. When the person is a public official or the statement was during certain official proceedings, the statement was “privileged”, but in our case this is not the case. The Town used our rights to seek documents and to redress our grievances on the blog to a new level of trying to arrest us for cyberstalking/harassment.


No Admission from the Town on Criminal Complaints against both Griffins so we secured information from the State

Suwannee Democrat

jasper news logo.jpg

Posted: Thursday, July 24, 2014 10:00 am

Joyce Marie Taylor
Suwannee Democrat


On June 19, White Springs town officials filed numerous complaints with the Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office (HCSO) against Griffin and his wife Karin of harassment and cyber-stalking, as well as attempting to disrupt town business.

The additional complaints against the Griffins were turned over to the State Attorney’s Office. On June 23, Joe Griffin’s pre-trial diversion program was revoked by Third Judicial Circuit Assistant State Attorney Karen Hatton. Griffin and the town were notified that a pre-trial hearing would be held on Wednesday, July 16, at 9 a.m. The case was continued to Aug. 20 and will continue to have a monthly docketed period on its way toward a trial until a plea agreement or other type of resolution is reached, according to the town’s counsel.(Mr. Koberlein)

Hatton advised that more misdemeanor charges could be added in the case against the Griffins.

 I am certain many of you have read the aforementioned article in the (Mayor’s blog), the Jasper News and Suwannee Democrat about both Joe and I having more misdemeanor charges made against us.   This was promulgated by a July Meeting where Walter McKenzie made a motion to for a further impact statement against Joe and I and the motion was not seconded.  This of course, upset Mr. McKenzie who was upset with the council for not following the rules.

Since that time, Joe had attempted securing paperwork from the Town of White Springs relative to paperwork which may have been sent to the State’s Attorneys’ Office.  Initially it was stated the Town had no such documents so we went to the Sheriff’s office and procured copies of paperwork which showed various 119 requests as well as copies of articles from our blog, including the famous Ed Miller letters which had been sent to every sewer and water recipient with the Mayor’s assistance besmirching Joe, calling him names, asking people to force Joe and his cohorts out of town and offering up to a $10,000 reward for Joe’s arrest and conviction.


Then Joe asked for other correspondence and we were told that there was an ongoing investigation; meaning an exception was given to the documents request. We elected to go to the State’s Attorneys’ Office in an attempt to seek our answer since we were put at bay after sixteen some requests to the Town.  Today we received two copies of letters one for Joe’s case and one for mine, which were sent to the Town of White Springs on September 16th,  as follows:    


“September 16, 2014


Town of White Springs

10363 Bridge Street

White Springs, FL  32096


Re:  State v Joe Edward Griffin”

      “  State v Karin Ann Griffin”



“Dear Sir or Madam:


This is to inform you that prosecution in the case against the above named defendant has been declined by this office for the following reason:


There is insufficient information to pursue criminal charges of stalking/harassment in this case.  The blog posts referenced do not rise to the level of cyberstalking as defined in the Florida Statutes.  As the State cannot meet its burden, our ethical duty requires that no charges be filed in this case.


It is understandable that the disposition of this case may seem confusing or disappointing to you.  If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me.”


“Copy:   Pearsall Fouraker”








The Government Employee constantly works to retain his or her job whereas a Business Person wishes a better position than the one he or she has and strives to leave his or her job for a better job.

The Government Employee will do anything to prove they are right because they strive to have the Citizens honor them in some way whereas the Business Person commands respect by the way they handle their business.

The Government Employee is paranoid that every question raised by a citizen is some plot to undermine their secure job whereas the Businessperson welcomes questions and will secure answers if he or she does not know to retain a client’s respect and to show how valuable he or she is.

The Government Employee is threatened by outside sources which are logical and present another way whereas the Business Person is pleased with information he or she receives from outside sources because it provides for an opportunity of more knowledge equaling power and money of course.

The Government Employee needs the security of retaining a position especially where a title is concerned because perhaps he or she did not excel in the private sector or did not have the ambition to do so; whereas the Business Person tries to excel each day, bypassing previous records to move up the ladder into higher positions because they have the education, the knowhow and the record to prove just how good they are.

The Government Employee is happy with what may be considered a dead-end job that offers no mental stimulation whereas the Business Person requires mental stimulation and challenges to fulfill their needs.

The Government Employee has to pontificate every success he or she may have no matter how trivial (Like how many meetings they attended even though nothing was accomplished) while never really listening whereas the Business Employee listens to the needs of clients instead of pontificating so that he or she is complimented by clients and their superiors for their success.

Those in local government have reached the pentacle of their business success and they are happy with that. Others are driven to be better each day and to achieve as much success as will make their lifestyle better.

Those in local government are not as concerned with other people’s money whereas a Business person  is concerned because other people’s money will earn them monetary rewards if they are helpful in earning a profit for their employers.

Things never change!

I pulled up this special workshop meeting minutes to see what changes have been made since January 30, 2013…specifically as respects the Carver School.  You may find this interesting.


White Springs Town Council and staff met Thursday, January 30, 2013 for a planning workshop.

Present was Mayor Miller, Vice Mayor Mackenzie, Councilwoman Brown, Councilman Marshall and

Price, Town Manager Robert Farley, Town Clerk Shirley Heath, Finance Director Pam Tomlinson, Chief

Brookins, Public Works Supervisor Kenneth Hutcherson, and concerned citizens.


Mr. Farley presented the Council with a Power Point presentation entitled Planning for the Future. Mr.

Farley stated the purpose of a workshop was an informal meeting of the Town Council for discussion

and brainstorming ideas. Mr. Farley informed the Council that they had a hard-working staff and they

are willing to do whatever it takes for the Town of White Springs.


  • With the proper planning, the town will be in a position to be ready when the economy


  • Also, we have to physically be responsible to our citizens. The Town has to be run like a business.

That responsibility has ceased and although I provided an article on how to run a town like a business, anything I would suggest would be thrown out.

  • We need to work smarter and think outside of the box
  • We have too many unfunded mandates that are costing the town money. These costs have to

be passed on to the taxpayers.

I also wrote an article stipulating the Town is run on the Crisis Management theory.  Don’t look to the future; don’t remember what was discussed in the past; and when an emergency strikes, one must find the money from wherever because there is none to be had that has been retained in sinking funds.

  • We need to asked ourselves “if not, why not”.
  • The town currently receives approximately $66,000 annually in ad valorem taxes.
  • The Council and staff need to set goals and priorities for future planning.

Mr. Farley asked the Town Council opinions on the following questions:

What are some of the problems the town is currently facing?

Vice Mayor McKenzie pointed out the overall economy situation in White Springs adding that we had at

one time three restaurants two bed and breakfast, antique store, shops, and the Telford Hotel. Vice

Mayor McKenzie asked Mr. Farley what we can do to market our town and bring business back to White Springs.


Mr. Farley pointed out that everyone is a marketing agent for the town. Mr. Farley made contact with

Cheek & Scott Pharmacy informing them that we will have a building coming available very soon that

could house a pharmacy with a drive-through window and possibly enough room for a doctor. Cheek

and Scott informed Mr. Farley there was not enough traffic in White Springs for a pharmacy.

Councilman Price stated the town’s infrastructure will need more improvements to attract additional business.


Councilman Marshall acknowledged that we have the support of the staff, we have great plans for

running day-to-day business, but we have not made plans for the future and we depend too much on

the Chamber of Commerce to bring business to White Springs.


The Chamber of Commerce Nationally has always helped its businesses but the question in my opinion in White Springs is will the officials actually listen to anyone?  I have found that not only will the council not answer questions but if a citizen makes a suggestion, they apparently will ignore that suggestion, because it was not theirs. 

The Council has not and appears will never listen to outside citizens on what may be done.  I have been involved with businesses all of my life including loss control and working through financial bottlenecks; I have worked with festivals for over ten years and including starting up a festival for a small town.  Volunteers could not wait to get involved or to bring groups into town. I also was a member of the Chamber in MN as well as the Ocala Marion County Chamber of Commerce and Economic Development Authority.  We had no liability insofar as food items because outside restaurants had kiosks and provided either a percentage or fee to the town and they had their own products liability insurance; I have worked through art festivals and for charities and if I dare make a decision, I obviously am “Griffin II” and no one would even consider my suggestions as they have not considered Joe’s suggestions.


Mr. Farley reported to the Council and staff about a new industry coming into Live Oak that will offer 350 jobs and he emphasized the importance of impact fees. Impact fees levied on new businesses will cover the cost of the additional expense to the water and wastewater facilities. Without impact fees Planning Workshop everyone in the town will be affected by the new business and they will have to cover the cost not the developer.

Thankfully the impact fees were fought by the People of White Springs.  White Springs seems to feel that the Citizens have a non-ending source of funds so that anytime the officials feel they need money they will put together some fee.    Yet something which does or could possibly impact the citizens is a fire where they may lose their homes or a medical emergency, but the Town does not think enough of their Fire Department to provide a small fee to help maintenance of equipment,  retain volunteers and possibly purchase additional equipment or an ambulance.



Discussion followed about promoting property for sale on the website and the possibility of adding

audio minutes to the website, and printing professional looking handouts of what is available in White


What do we have to offer those who may consider purchasing property in our town?  High Sewer Rates associated with increased water rates because we have to use the Enterprise Account to pay for the General Fund?  No elementary school for young children who now have to be bussed 20 miles a day…and two tries at a Charter School which ended up in failure because certain people did not go to the right resources?  No public swimming pool or activities to young people except baseball and tennis?  A Council which will not answer questions? High Theft rates especially to businesses?  Unfriendly White people whereby if you do not fit within a click, you are treated like dung or they will send the Camel Club after you.  If one wanted to be a volunteer, they would have to go through scrutiny at Town Hall because the Mayor has the only right to choose those who may work with the Town? And now the Town has set a precedent which is against State Law, if a new person applied for a position at Town Hall, they could be arrested if the Town felt there was something wrong without a thorough background check or arrested if they just didn’t like you and smear that information through the local newspapers.


White Springs is beautiful but until all people are treated fair and equally under the law and are allowed a voice, nothing will change and has not changed in years.  A comment was made by McKenzie that the people complain but do not come to the meetings.  Well Mr. McKenzie it is because everyone knows that your special friends are treated better than others.  They also know, and the Griffins have experience, that they will never be listened to.  Well maybe, the town will hear one’s five minute speech, but rarely does the town react and try to assist it’s citizens and this is Truly Sad.  Listening and hearing are two different topics.

Vice Mayor McKenzie stated over 350 bicyclist were in town last weekend and restroom facilities and

restaurants were not available to accommodate this large group of people. Mr. Farley injected that the

staff came out Saturday morning and cleaned restrooms at the ballpark to help accommodate the

bikers. The subject of the new pavilions and possible rental and liability issues were also discussed. Mr.


Farley informed everyone about tulip insurance policies for special events that are not town events.

These special event policies should be secured even for others using Town property for Town Events.  I previously brought up the fact that if people did not have their own products liability and food contamination prevails, the Town could be sued by the individuals who may be ill or die.  This includes fees for other vendors.  However, what I cannot understand is how the Town virtually stopped the Swap Meet by charging $30 per vendor without advance warning.    The people at swap meets are like flea markets who do not get a lot of money for what they are doing, unlike major art vendors or wood working vendors who stand to make over the $30 charged.  Anyway the Hardware Store sponsored the Swap Meet and the Town apparently did not do due diligence about the differences in vendors when making such an insurmountable charge without warning.

Council discussed possible available grants for the town and for business owners. The vision of White

Springs is healthy environmental place to live.

Except for the fact that a large percentage of our Black community are getting cancer, as are some of our white people, possibly from the drinking water (And this is no complaint against Mr. Greene, who does what he possibly can do with water quality).  Part of the problem I believe are old sewer pipes some of which would never meet today’s standards, possibly containing asbestos.  And there has never been a sinking fund to remedy the situation.  All citizens are charged exorbitant rates but cannot trust the water or the pipes.  Instead, the citizens have to purchase drinking water or other beverages because of the fear of contracting diseases.  Lift Stations are placed in front of some residential homes whereby it lowers completely the property value of homes.  It is so neat to smell sewage outside of one’s front door. The people can barely handle the necessities of life because of the economic situation and have additional burdens of paying high fees if their water is shut off. 

And if the Town officials would have smartly used their money for real economic development or business incubation rather than building a concrete small park and an amphitheater, we may be making some progress today. In other words, when the Town gets grant money it doesn’t seem as though it goes to its intended purpose and there has been some proof of that which Richard Marshall had in his possession.



Mr. Farley stated that developers expect to pay impact fees. Vice Mayor McKenzie commented that the

impact fees issue was to protect the current citizens from having to pay the cost for new construction.

Vice Mayor McKenzie added that we paid an engineer to come up with the impact fee schedule whichthe town passed an ordinance and then local citizens presented a referendum vote and the ordinance was overruled by the citizens. Mr. Farley said he would check with the attorney to see if we can reinstate the impact fees by ordinance or if it has to be by referendum vote.


Unbelievable this is proof that the Council will not abide by the Citizen’s wishes.  They feel they know best when it comes to what the Citizens are to pay and it doesn’t matter whether there is a benefit to the citizen.


Mr. Farley asked the Council if they felt the town had sufficient funds for a rainy day. Finances Director

Pam Tomlinson stated the town currently has approximately $110,000. Councilman Price conveyed his

confusion with the financial reports. Mr. Farley also stated the reports were confusing and he will get

with Mrs. Tomlinson to work on the financial reports.

Mr. Farley did an excellent job in changing the financials and further improvements have been made by current Manager Bill Lawrence.  Whether the council sticks to any budget or not however is something to see.  They should be like a business and check the amount expended versus the money coming in monthly.  Yet, it may be as always, if a crisis comes up they will take the money from the Enterprise (Sewer and Water Account) and show a deficit.


Mr. Farley noted the importance of lobbyist trips to Tallahassee to meet with our legislators and to tell

them and informed them of the needs of the Town of White Springs.


Councilman Marshall stated that we have a tremendous staff that needs additional help. If we should

lose Mr. Hutcherson it would take three people to replace him. Mrs. Heath proved her abilities over the

last few months as Interim Town Manager and Town Clerk. Mr. Farley stated we are understaffed and

we are paying our highest earning employees to do the minimal jobs. Mrs. Tomlinson and Mrs. Heath

have to get up from their work they are involved in and wait on customers and answer the telephone.

This should be a job for a full-time receptionist.


Most people in the community have felt we are overstaffed.  If it is too hard to get up from their work to answer the phone or to take payments for sewer and water, that is a real problem.  Even executives in business are taken away from their work when a client drops by or when there is a problem which needs to be solved.  There has never been a problem for an Exec to assist with the Phone.  All of this is customer service.  I guess I am understanding more and more that government never runs efficiently…only businesses because each business watches it’s profit margin and needs retained earnings for the future.  Whereas government, when something is unaffordable and the officials run out of money because they never look at their bottom line, just charge the Citizens more money.  At what point do the citizens run out of money to support the whims of the Town. Thankfully the impact fees were fought by the People of White Springs.  White Springs seems to feel that the Citizens have a non-ending source of funds so that anytime the officials feel they need money they will put together some fee.    Yet something which does impact the citizens is a possible fire where they may lose their homes, but the Town does not think enough of their Fire Department to provide a small fee to help maintenance of equipment, retain volunteers and possibly purchase additional equipment or an ambulance.




Vice Mayor McKenzie remarked that we are not able to hire enough staff to make it easier for our

citizens. We have many volunteers who work on our festivals and they are overworked.

Mr. Farley and Mrs. Heath reported on the new software that has the freed up a lot of her time in typing the minutes. Mr. Farley also stated that he, Mrs. Tomlinson and Mrs. Heath met with First Federal and we will be setting up direct deposit for the payroll which will save time for Pam and the expense of buying and printing checks. We are also going to start electronic payments that will also save money and Planning Workshop time. First Federal will waive the fees and this new technology will be a benefit to the town. Mr. Farley also, spoke with First Federal about the possibility of reopening the bank in White Springs. Representative from First Federal stated they had been discussing the possibility of a training center in White Springs for new tellers. Mr. Farley continued and asked First Federal if they can’t reopen the bank to put in a full-service ATM machine. Discussion then proceeded to electronic meter reading which would free up more staff hours. We will discuss the cost and how to find the money during the budget workshops.

From a business standpoint, who would wish to drive from Lake City or Live Oak to be trained in White Springs?



At this time the Council took a five-minute break.

The manager pointed out the importance of a full-time receptionist. We currently have a part-time

young lady that does an outstanding job, in fact we do not have to tell her what needs to be done, adding she does things on her own and is always willing to take on a new responsibility.   (This has to be Monica…she was fabulous and so smart)

The workforce people take too much time to train, they are here one day and gone tomorrow. Pam and Shirley have to jump up stop what they’re doing.

It must be this area or the town because most people who are workforce, wish to take long assignments, especially in this economy which as not improved.  So if they were here one day and gone the next….why?

Mr. Farley spoke with the town’s auditor Mr. Richard Powell about internal controls stating that the Finance Director should never have her hands in the cash drawer since she balances the bank statements. Mr. Powell said if at all possible the town should hire a full-time receptionist to handle the money and the deposits. Mrs. Heath has to stop what she is doing to answer 119 requests, make copies, collect money and we do not see any relief in sight. They lose their chain of concentration with the constant changing of duties.   Most Women can multitask???  It’s obvious none of these people had been exposed to the real business world where you can’t sit on one project until it is done but may have many projects one is accountable to as well as projects of clients.  What a sore excuse…but I am beginning to understand the difference between Government and Business People.  It shows up nationally but definitely shows up in White Springs.


The subject then turned to the police department and their needs. Police vests need to be replaced

every five years. They can be purchased and 50% of the cost can be refunded through the Florida League of Cities Safety Grant Program. Council and citizens would like to have 24-hour coverage through our police department but unfortunately we do not have the funds. The Sheriff’s Department supplies a deputy when we do not have anyone on duty.

The Police Chief reported the flex schedule of his officers to have more coverage. Councilman Marshall

stated that the police department does a tremendous job but he has seen an increase in drug activity

and vagrants in the town.

The department also needs new tasers but they are not covered under a grant. Mr. Farley expressed the need for a public safety building to house the equipment for the fire department, adding that he will be working to find money.

The policy in Live Oak was if you do not have a 911 address on your structure utilities will not be turned on. If the property is unsafe the utilities will not be turned on.

Also discussed were a storm shelter/multipurpose center located on the old Carver School property.


The Carver School was again discussed at the 11/11 Meeting.  It was stated that the property is dangerous from the meeting notes and Rhett was to see whether there would be any grants.  It shocks me that when the Mayor spent some money in excess of $25,000 without council approval for a study by UF architectural students that it wasn’t noted then the asbestos problem.  Earlier this year the council stated they had to secure an asbestos abatement engineer and certification to determine what could be done after Willy Jefferson complained on behalf of the Citizens.  I understand from that former meeting I attended that something had to be done before 2016 which I believe the Town may be under contract with the Hamilton County School Board to get it done.  We never seem to worry about those things which are important to the Citizens.  Had there been work on the school some time back, perhaps it could have been used as an elementary school today, since SHE fell apart and was never repaired.



Discussion proceeded to the public works department and Mr. Farley informed the Council and staff

that Department of Environmental Protection has money to fix our sewer mains and our water mains.

He will pursue this avenue to acquire money for the town. He is currently working on the GIS mapping of water main and sewer mains etc, Planning Workshop

This would have been great, but I don’t recall if anything happened.!


Interstate I-75 intersection for economic development, interlocal agreement between Suwannee

Hamilton and Columbia counties will be needed and property owners will pledge to pay the town of

White Springs a millage rate. Suwannee River Water Management has grant funding for storm water

improvements. Each citizen could be charged a minimum fee on their utility bill for storm water



Next up for discussion were a recreation department and the lack of County involvement in White

Springs’ recreation.


The charter school application was denied by the school board, only because many of the questions were unanswered and the right resources were not used.  Joe Griffin outlined the information received from that meeting which Mrs. Butler provided him as well as reviewing his outline and it still was not completed correctly.  How can that be?  People were dependent upon a school in White Springs.


We do not know if the school board will

continue to keep South Hamilton opened. Problems with keeping an adult Ed teacher.

Should the Town be in the real estate business? The old jail, the old sewer plant, could be sold and put

back on the tax rolls. Mr. Farley informed Council and staff that the elevated water tanks need to be

inspected and cleaned every five years and he suggested that this time the town take the old elevated

tank off-line and not maintain it. Councilman Price agreed with Mr. Farley that we should not be in the

business of owning property.


It was the consensus of the Council that code enforcement is needed in White Springs. The problem is

finding the money to cover the expenses and salary of a code enforcement officer. Possibility of

contacting Live Oak’s code enforcement officer to see if she would be willing to work part-time for the

Town of White Springs.

Request for public records and reasonable amount of time to produce the public records was also

discussed. Mr. Farley stated he had spoke with Pat Gleason at the state attorney’s office and she informed him all requests for public records must be answered in a reasonable amount of time. The definition of reasonable amount of time was also discussed.

Patricia Gleason is in the Attorney General’s office in Tallahassee overseeing the state’s attorney’s office.  I commend Bob Farley for being the first Manager that explained this to the council and Walter McKenzie’s reply was “Can’t we just send them once every four weeks?)  Wow!  In the Insurance industry, we secured information and sent certificates and auto ID’s etc, daily and timely.  But this is the government and you cannot force them to do what you want them to do EVEN TOUGH YOU PAY THE TAXES AND KEEP THEM IN OFFICE…AND THEY STILL THINK YOU DO NOT HAVE A VOICE.

Council stated the workshop provided an outstanding mechanism of communication between elected

officials and staff and was a great format for problem solving. Council stated they wish to continue

workshops through this format.

The Council persons should be far more in tune with their public.  They should walk in the neighborhoods and ask what problems the citizens may have and what their needs are.  The only time these people see the people is to threaten them not to make complaints or providing cookies and refreshments if they are running for office.  That does not exactly help those Citizens of the Town.


Respectfully submitted,


Shirley Heath Town ClerkCarver High School10564 FISHER ST, WHITE SPRINGS, FL 32096, Hamilton County

With Comments by Karin Griffin



January 25, 2009 resubmitted 11/13/2014

Citizen complains that the Town Council will not answer the following TEN questions. Citizen EXPECTS a “fact finding” on each of these questions and answers at the next Council meeting if not before. REPEAT, Citizen does not want an investigation but a FACT-FINDING for each of the questions.

1. Is Petitioner allowed to question my elected representatives and their minions?

2. Is Petitioner allowed to be present and heard at all steps of the decision making process?

3. What are the steps of a decision making process that are open to public scrutiny?

4. What are the limits of a citizen’s right to inspect and hold accountable the local government?

5. What input is a citizen allowed to have for a Town Manager’s or Town Attorney’s projects that ARE going before the board or are for the board’s express Benefit?

6. Is holding Public office a public trust?

7 Are Townsend and Kennon (now Lawrence and Koberlein) “agencies” of the Town when making policy-based decision making functions or decisions for the Town?

8. Are Townsend and Kennon (now Lawrence and Koberlein) Political Subdivisions of the Town?

9. Is the Town Council subordinate to and accountable to the public that they serve?

10. Why is Respondent expending governmental, taxpayer, funds prior to acquittal?

End of Ten Questions

I want to know the answer to these 10 questions soonest please.

Joe E. Griffin