Freed hikers recount 2 years of 'lies and false hope'

Heard screams of other inmates

CNN: Safely back on American soil, freed Americans Josh Fattal and Shane Bauer on Sunday recounted their two years in "a world of lies and false hope" behind the walls of an Iranian prison. Wearing green shirts and big smiles, Bauer and Fattal landed at John F. Kennedy International Airport four days after their release by Iranian authorities. In a news conference following their arrival, they described long days held in isolation, the hours punctuated by the screams of other inmates, and their "total sham" of a trial >>>


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Esfand Aashena

Holy crap his father was Israeli! leee leee lee lee!

by Esfand Aashena on

Everything is sacred

iraj khan

CBS: "Hiker's family hid Israeli link during captivity"

by iraj khan on

say what!

I thought Josh Fattal was an apple pie eating all American Boy.

But not so according to CBS news:

"Jacob Fattal is an Iraqi-born Jew who lived in Israel before moving to the United States and raising a family, according to reports in the Israeli newspaper Haaretz and the Philadelphia-based Jewish Exponent."


Oh My!

Anonymous Observer

I don't know Amir jaan a/k/a/ me :-)

by Anonymous Observer on

That's why I'm talking about the weather, although I should know what the weather is like where you are since you are, after all, me! :-)


 irajkhan is

by vildemose on

 irajkhan is midwesty???

Reform requires the consent of the corrupt



by AMIR1973 on

The weather is great!

BTW, why did our previous comments get deleted (LOL)?!?

Anonymous Observer

So Amir Jaan

by Anonymous Observer on

How is the weather where you are?

My Name Is Borat

These people

by My Name Is Borat on

are arguably the three DUMBEST, most retarded, most idiotic morons that have ever stood on two feet without their knuckles dragging on the ground as they walk.

Out of every single place on this entire planet, they decide to go "hiking" along the border of two countries that are extremely hostile to the U.S.

Next thing you know, they're going to appear from time to time on the news as "Iran experts", and they're financially set for life.

I could use some cash, so I'm going to go have a picnic in North Korea.


Iraj Khan: Maybes and Definitely Maybes

by AMIR1973 on

There once was a Mola named Nasreddin...Well, you know the rest of the story  .-)

iraj khan


by iraj khan on

Lets read what the user who goes with the name AMIR says about the ones who questions the official story line published in the media, he says:

"Maybe, just maybe, the Evin Prison guards are the same individuals posting on"

How could this comment be catagorized but as an abusive language against other readers/commentators here. He does it all the time. 

By accusing others to be a prison guard, he is planting the seeds of distrust among the users here. 

I'm just saying,


Tiger Lily


by Tiger Lily on



I smell a book deal.I can't wait for the sequal "Waterboarding in North Korea-What not to do




by AMIR1973 on

The same thing was apparently done to these hikers.  Everytime they talked about their conditions, they were filibustered by comparisons to Abu Ghraib and Guantanemo Bay.  

Maybe, just maybe, the Evin Prison guards are the same individuals posting on Have you considered that possibility, AO? You say is blocked in the IRI? Well, the same character who claimed "Of course after their first a few million, this all could have been planned and joke is on us", also claimed a few months ago that he was posting on from inside Iran, and that conditions are actually quite good in the IRI (that was after he had claimed earlier that he was leaving and not coming back ever again, etc, etc).  

Anonymous Observer

Amir Jaan - (or myself for that matter :-))

by Anonymous Observer on

What I also find quite striking is how IR's cyber supporters mimic its bahvior online.  Have you noticed that the minute one starts talking about IR's atrocities they start filibusterting by saying "well, how about Palestine and Guantanemo Bay and Abu Ghraib and America's crimes?"  The same thing was apparently done to these hikers.  Everytime they talked about their conditions, they were filibustered by comparisons to Abu Ghraib and Guantanemo Bay.  

Now tell me these guys don't all operate using the same instructions manual! 

Esfand Aashena

Speaking of dangerous jobs!

by Esfand Aashena on

Engineers rappel down the Washington Monument.  I guess he is a "new school" Engineer!

Everything is sacred


not merely funny, hilarious

by AMIR1973 on

If you decided to hike in unmarked border territories, would you make sure you choose an area close to a suspected Iranian nuclear site, namely Arak

Some people got an "F" in geography class. Check out the map of Iran below and see how far Arak is from Iraqi Kurdistan. Arak is actually closer to Kashan than to Iraqi Kurdistan. Hilarious!


hamsade ghadimi

funny indeed

by hamsade ghadimi on

another scientific poll by a niac member.


Dear AO: speaking of conspiracy theories for mentally challenged

by AMIR1973 on

AO stated: The end result of such an illness is believing in conspiracy theories which, in turn, result in the one's nation being ruled by the only theocracy in the 21st century.

Apropos of that, one of the brilliant folks on this blog made the following genius observation:

Of course after their first a few million, this all could have been planned and joke is on us.

Yes, these imprisoned Americans planned this all along as a get-rich-quick scheme:

Step 1) Go hiking in Iraqi Kurdistan and have IRI authorities seize you, send you to Evin Prison, try you for "espionage" and remain captive for 2 years, before the IRI's "Islamic mercy" kicks in and gets you freed.

Step 2) Make millions and millions of dollars by writing a tell-all book about Step 1.

Step 3) Laugh all the way to the bank.

Do we have a nominee here for the world's best conspiracy theory ever?


marco polo or nuts-o?

by MM on

I am glad that the US hikers are back here amongst friends and family.  However, may I suggest they choose another vacation spot in a more US-friendly country, the next time they feel adventurous....

While talking about these hikers, I took an informal poll of my co-workers at lunch-time:

* Would you choose Iraq as your next vacation destination?

* If you chose Iraq, would you adventure (hike) into unmarked border territories between Iran and Iran without proper GPS, maps, guides or visas?

* If you decided to hike in unmarked border territories, would you make sure you choose an area close to a suspected Iranian nuclear site, namely Arak?

All my coworkers thought that this was either a funny joke or I thought that they were freaking nuts to answer yes to any of the above questions.  Being nuts is also my opinion of these young-ins, or they are very immature 007 wanna-bees.



by yolanda on



VPK, Don't Leave Me This Way!

by Faramarz on



You got my attention by your threat of leaving!


"Don't leave me this way

I can't survive, can't stay alive

Without your blog, oh baby

Don't leave me this way, no

I can't exist, I'll surely miss your tender prints

Don't leave me this way!"




Veiled Prophet of Khorasan

Alright Faramarz

by Veiled Prophet of Khorasan on


You try going and doing a hike on DMZ between North an South Korea. Then write a blog about how it went. Do you really compare these guys with Marco Polo? That was a different man; a different time and relations.

Meanwhile you and other are repeating "It is a popular vacation spot" over and over. I want to see how many people really go there. And of them how many go without a tour. 

I ask one more time: why didn't they get an Iranian visa. If you want to go right next to Iranian border get a visa. That is what most Americans say as well. But no "we" have to condemn anything IRI does even if they are in the right. It is that some Iranian Americans need to prove their American "patriotism". No matter what. Go on siding with these guys when most American don't. By the way this is my last post to this blog. Now you get to pad each other on the back.

Anonymous Observer

Faramarz - it's called "living in your cocoon syndrome"

by Anonymous Observer on

which our nation suffers from.  The end result of such an illness is believing in conspiracy theories which, in turn, result in the one's nation being ruled by the only theocracy in the 21st century.


Marco Polo Should Have Been Arrested Too!

by Faramarz on

I think that many Iranians including a few on this thread fail to understand one of the key components of the western character which is the curiosity about the unknown and hence the urge to travel outside of one's comfort zone to discover new things and new cultures.

Instead, in their simple minds they see these curious world travelers who instead of going to a nice hotel in Hawaii and sip Corona by the beach, venture out to the less desirable parts of the world as spies, trouble makers or just plain lunatics. After all, there must be something fishy going on here or at a minimum these guys must be stupid and either way, they should pay a hefty price for it.

Come to think of it, in our glorious 2500 years of culture, aside from our conquerors, did we ever have world travelers and discoverers?

I can't think of one!

Veiled Prophet of Khorasan

Freedom of Press

by Veiled Prophet of Khorasan on


Disclaimer: Before people jump on me I will repeat "I do not think they were spies". If nothing I hope USA and Israel have better ones. These are too incompetent. Now to  the meat of the matter.

I am all for freedom of press. Anyone who has read my posts knows this. I have called for not banning people. I voted to return RG. I was chided by anonymouse for complaining too much about people getting banned :-)

Therefore I hope people realize my position. I am for totally unrestricted "nothing is sacred" approach. Unfortunately many spy organizations use the cover of "Journalist". It is not the only cover; they also use things like "diplomatic" immunity.   There were other instances for example Israel used fake British identities to kill a Hamas agent. 


I am not a fan of Hamas but that was irresponsible. And it opened innocent Britons to retaliation. Does that mean anyone with a passport is an agent? Well of course not but it does prove that spy agencies use anything they want. 


Esfand if you want to engage in civil dialog I am all for it. Let bygones be gone. Just let me know and I will put aside the old disagreements.


What's with the 'hiker hate'?

by Truthseeker9 on

The trio's decision to go past the waterfall represents not just a spirit of adventure but what seems like a particularly American form of hubris, one that, ironically enough, is common to those with an interest in defying the "ugly American" stereotype. They're the types who learn the native language and never take organized tours, the types who smile politely at photos from your Princess cruise and then whip out a snapshot they took of child soldiers in Sierra Leone. ... To some extent, sure, but I think deep down it's it's about justifying the American reluctance to travel outside our comfort zones. ... In the United States, recent data indicate that only about 30% of the population holds a passport. Those who travel off the beaten path often force the rest of us to make a case for our provinciality. The antipathy, conspiracy theories and blame tossed in the direction of the hikers make that case very nicely.

hamsade ghadimi

esfand, sadly, the list of

by hamsade ghadimi on

esfand, sadly, the list of journalist held as prisoners or hostages in iran is long. maziar bahari was held hostage ($300 k ransom; charge: espionage).  so was roxana saberi ($? ransom, charge: espionage).  hossein derakhshan (still in evin?). and countless of other journalists in iran...

the defenders of iri don't care whether these last three were spies or not.  they just want to render their testimony about what they heard and saw while imprisoned invalid.



by yolanda on

Thank you, Mouse, for your great post! Great argument!

Lara Logan was sexually assaulted in Egypt!

Esfand Aashena

Muzzling Freedom of Press = equating Journalists with Spies.

by Esfand Aashena on

Isn't it convenient that the vast majority of political prisoners in Iran are Journalists or for one time or another been involved in Journalism?  That we have dozens upon dozens of newspapers and online media closed in Iran?

There is a News Museum in Washington DC that keeps tracks of what Journalists have done to keep the Freedom of Press alive and the prices Journalist have paid for their trade.

Here is the link to the Newseum.  Most recently Daniel Pearl was decapitated by that Pakistani terrorist guy who was killed recently, forgot his name, when he went to write a story about Taliban.  Laura (forgot her last name) was sexually assaulted while covering the Egypt uprisings.

So the Journalism trade is not for everyone and they go to hot spots in the world to tell us what is going on in the world.  If it wasn't because of Journalists, how would we know about the atrocities that goes on?  About corruptions?  How many times here in US or Europe people were taken to jail because of the Journalists who did their job? President Nixon was brought down because of two young Journalists and the list goes on.

Between these 3 and the Islamic Republic, who won?  Who won in the battle of the public opinion?  The only thing proved here is the uncivilized and asinine regime and laws that rules Iran.  It doesn't get any clearer than this that the Iranian regime has a corrupt justice system and because of these 3 hikers and their ordel the world knows more about it.

Between all the arguments that you've heard pro and con, how many would you say agree with the Islamic Republic's actions on this?  If you think majority of the public opinion around the world approve Islamic Republic's actions on this issue, then I have a "bridge" to sell you in Alaska! 

Everything is sacred

Veiled Prophet of Khorasan

Re: Why would Israeli-Americans live in Syria and go to Iraq & I

by Veiled Prophet of Khorasan on


Well it is obvious now isn't it? If you want to stir up separatism you need to be there. It will not work if the "journalists" are in Israel. They need to be in Iraq; Iran or Syria. Sort of interesting how things happen around here.

"Journalist" spends time in just where problems are brewing. Then problems happen! Wow no kidding. If you dare call it out you are labeled an IRI supporter. God help you if you tell it as you see it. Let us say USA or Israel wants to stir up problems. Do they send a person with a Mossad membership card? Or do they send a "free lance journalist". I am not saying these guys were spies. I doubt it or America / Israel are dumber than is good for them. But if I were to send an agent I would give them a cover. And journalist is a good one. This is not about IRI it is about Iranian sovereignty. Is Iran to be open to anyone wondering in as they wish? Because we hate the IRI so no rules apply. 

The gullibility of some people is amazing to me. This assuming they have good intentions which I do. Blaming IRI is fine when it is at fault. But in this situation they did the right thing. The same goes for the British "Sailors". What the heck were they doing in Iran / Iraq waters? You violate Iranian border without permission: go to Evin. No "get out of jail free card". Lucky ***holes got a free pass. Now they are going to write a book or whatever. It makes me truly sick. While there are real Iranian political prisoners we waste time on these guys. Great way to divert attention from real problems.

Veiled Prophet of Khorasan


by Veiled Prophet of Khorasan on


I already wrote a whole post about the difference of embassy hostages and this. Did you read it? I should not have to rewrite my post over. You just go down the posts and read it. But you won't and will misquote me. So this time I will do your job for you and here we go. Re posting from my previous post on this blog

The Americans were diplomats and staff on legitimate mission to Iran. They were in Iran with valid permits on "American Soil". For those who don't know an embassy is legally the soil of the nation that the embassy belongs to. Therefore the Americans diplomats were on American soil. The hostage takers invaded it and took them by force. The "right" thing to do in those cases is to close the embassy. Give the staff sufficient time to pack and have them leave.

This is for those who are not willing to spend 2 minutes reading. Do I have to re-post all my previous ones for people too unwilling to bother to read? Well this time I will re post my previous one from this same blog.

What this proves is that ultra-right wing Iranians are not willing to read. It is a lot simpler to throw out accusations and put words in people's mouth. If you bothered to read the blog you would have already known my position on the hostages.



And the morale of the story?

by Roger_Rabbit on

Never hike on Iranian territory when your name is FATAL!!!