History Uncut: Terry Anderson Released 1991

History Uncut: Terry Anderson Released 1991

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Watch Terry Anderson's first press conference after being released from captivity in this "History Uncut" video. Anderson was captured by Shiite Hezbollah militants in an attempt to drive U.S. Forces from Lebanon during the Lebanese Civil War. Anderson was held hostage for 2,454 days.

How To Survive, And Thrive, After 5 Years As A Hostage

Joe Cicippio is welcomed back in his hometown of Norristown, Pa., on Dec. 6. 1991, just days after he was released as a hostage in Beirut. Cicippio, now 83 and living in Washington, has successfully rebuilt his life following the ordeal. Sal Dimarco Jr./Time hide caption

Joe Cicippio is welcomed back in his hometown of Norristown, Pa., on Dec. 6. 1991, just days after he was released as a hostage in Beirut. Cicippio, now 83 and living in Washington, has successfully rebuilt his life following the ordeal.

Joe Cicippio was held hostage by the Islamic group Hezbollah in Lebanon for five years, often chained to a radiator in a room with blacked-out windows, cut off entirely from the outside world. Within weeks of his release in 1991, he asked if he could go back to his old job as the comptroller at the American University of Beirut.

He didn't get rehired. But the workaholic Cicippio is still a full-time businessman at age 83, running a technology company in suburban Washington. He's the drum major in a marching band. He travels with his elegant Lebanese wife, Elham, two or three times a year to Beirut, where they have a home, many good friends and a large boat docked on the city's seafront.

What was the secret to rebuilding his life?

"I don't get mad. I don't believe in holding grudges. I don't have any animosity toward anyone," said Cicippio.

The release of Bowe Bergdahl, the U.S. soldier held by Afghanistan's Taliban for five years, has unleashed a political firestorm that's still playing out. As Bergdahl continues receiving treatment at a U.S. military hospital in Germany 11 days after his release, one of the many unanswered questions is what his mental and emotional state is. He has reportedly not called his parents.

A generation ago, some two dozen American men were seized in Lebanon at various times in the 1980s and held for years. The outcomes were mixed. All suffered mental and emotional anguish during captivity. Several were killed by their captors. Some survivors emerged with deep psychic scars and never fully recovered.

Cicippio spent most of those five years with just one other hostage, a man who spent his days and nights talking incessantly, as if addressing a roomful of nonexistent people. Another former hostage was consumed with bitterness, saying for years afterward that the hostage ordeal had ruined his life.

A number of ex-hostages, including Cicippio, sued Iran, the backer of Hezbollah, and collectively received tens of millions of dollars in compensation. Yet Terry Anderson, an Associated Press journalist held for seven years, received a 2002 legal settlement estimated at $26 million — and filed for bankruptcy seven years later.

Reliving Positive Experiences

Cicippio said he drew on all the positive things in his life before he was seized, and this helped him endure the endless days and return to the world largely unscathed.

"When I got out, the doctors couldn't find anything wrong with me. My wife said I was the same as before. And I just wanted to get back to my life. So I did," Cicippio said in an interview at his Washington home, just down the street from Vice President Biden's official residence.

Joe Cicippio was held in chains at 20 different locations in Lebanon. Some hostages have had trouble readjusting following their release. He says he focused on the good things in his life, including music, to get him through his captivity. Greg Myre/NPR hide caption

Joe Cicippio was held in chains at 20 different locations in Lebanon. Some hostages have had trouble readjusting following their release. He says he focused on the good things in his life, including music, to get him through his captivity.

But there were, he acknowledged, rough spots along the way.

A native of Norristown, Pa., Cicippio had spent several years in the Middle East when he accepted the job at American University of Beirut in 1984, at the height of Lebanon's ruinous civil war. He was told the war didn't impinge much on campus life.

"I got there and we were in the bomb shelter every night for the first week," he recalled. Somehow, that didn't discourage him.

Because of security concerns, he didn't leave the campus for his first nine months there, but he did meet and subsequently marry Elham, who was taking classes.

On Sept. 12, 1986, a group of men approached Cicippio on campus. He thought they were students upset with him because he had just raised fees. He was bracing for a verbal confrontation, but instead was hit on the head with a gun and dragged semiconscious off campus and placed in the trunk of a car.

When his blindfold was eventually taken off, he was in a kitchen, the first of 20 places he would be held over the next five years. He never knew exactly where he was, though he had hints.

Once he could hear the planes coming and going from Beirut's airport. Another time he was in the mountains, which he gleaned from his blindfolded journey in a car that traveled up steep hills. Other times he knew he was in the countryside based on the quiet broken only by farm animals.

Always In Chains

Regardless of the location, his conditions were little changed. He was almost always chained, often to a radiator. He had only one or two fellow hostages.

He was told to never look at his captors so he couldn't identify them, even though they almost always wore masks. Communication was minimal. Mostly, the guards simply shoved food onto the floor and periodically escorted Cicippio to the bathroom.

Once, his fellow hostage told the Hezbollah guards he thought they were Jewish. They then spent hours pummeling him, with Cicippio nearby, chained and helpless.

"It was always a relief to go to sleep at night because it meant you had made it through the day," he said. "You never knew how long this would last."

His salvation was music. Cicippio had joined the Reilly Raiders Drum and Bugle Corps as a young man in Pennsylvania in the 1940s and is the band's drum major today.

His Beirut captors would sometimes play classical music in another room, and Cicippio would stand and gesture as if conducting an imaginary orchestra playing Beethoven or Bach. When the music stopped, he would relive it, using his index fingers as drumsticks.

"That was a great relief for me," he said. "I would play that music over and over in my head."

After two years, guards began bringing him books. He read Stephen Hawking's A Brief History of Time on five occasions.

"I still don't understand it," Cicippio said. His library was limited, and he estimates he read the Quran more than 100 times, memorizing many parts.

He was allowed to write to Elham once. But later that day, he went to the bathroom and saw his note — it had been torn to pieces and dropped in the pit toilet he was using.

Freed At Last

Cicippio was freed on Dec. 2, 1991, two days before Anderson, who was the final American hostage released. After all those years of isolation, he was suddenly mobbed by the media that wanted his story.

He found that a slight, previous stammer had become more severe, a consequence, he believes, of speaking so infrequently for those five years. During his captivity, his weight plummeted from about 200 pounds to 130. He initially had trouble sleeping at night.

The toughest blow of all came on his plane flight out of the Middle East. Elham told him that his eldest son, from a previous marriage, had died of a heart attack at age 30 while Cicippio was in captivity. One of his sisters had died of cancer and another would die, also from cancer, just two months after he was freed.

It wasn't just his own world that had changed.

"The pace of everything seemed quicker. All of a sudden there were fax machines. There were so many women in the workplace. The stock market had gone crazy. I felt just like Rip Van Winkle," he said.

On a trip to a shopping mall, it started pouring rain. "I just stood there with my arms out and got soaking wet," he said. "It was such a great feeling after so many years of being locked up inside."

Cicippio and the other Lebanese hostages were treated as heroes, and he went on speaking engagements around the country for more than a year. He led parades and tossed the coin before the opening kickoff at the Rose Bowl.

Then he wanted to get back to work. He joined USAID in Washington as a senior financial officer. He is now the CEO of Technical Specialties, an information technology company.

"I always liked keeping busy," said Cicippio. "That's who I am, and that's what keeps me happy."

Asked what he thought of the Bowe Bergdahl case, Cicippio just wished him well and quoted the Bible: "Do not judge so that you will not be judged."

1991: Hostage freed from Lebanon

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Welcome back, Terry Anderson!

When you were finally released Wednesday, almost seven years after you were captured, the nation's hostage heart was also set free. We all rejoice for you and your family.

You were just doing your job when you were taken. You never meant to become a symbol, a haunting figure peering out of the flash-bleached Polaroid photographs periodically sent to news agencies by your captors, a constant reminder of the helplessness of this most powerful of nations when confronted with the surrealistic pathology of Mideast terrorism.

Yet you became the longest-held American hostage largely because of a perversely ironic twist: You, a part of the news media, became the ultimate media hostage. The more attention your own colleagues focused on your plight, and the more successful your family was in bringing your story to the nation's attention, the more valuable you became to your captors. Eventually, it became evident that the more that was written or broadcast about you, the more likely you were to be the very last hostage to be let go. As you indeed were. This realization may have eventually motivated the appropriate and gradual attenuation of the intense press coverage of your story.

Ever since international terrorism and hostage-taking became integral parts of the political stage, members of the news media have been made uncomfortable by the role they played in this drama. Political terrorists and the news media are tied in a symbiotic relationship. They feed on each other. Terrorists need the media to be effective. And a free press cannot ignore the compelling public interest created by hostage captures or acts of terror. As a matter of national policy, ignoring hostage-takers' demands is the only workable course of action. Governments can hold to that course. The press and other news media must do some serious soul-searching of their own about their role and their responsibilities in future hostage dramas.

But for now, Terry, just be happy to get home. Have the merriest holiday season of your life. Your release has brightened ours.

Terry Anderson's Poems From Captivity

Terry Anderson, the longest-held U.S. hostage, kept an extraordinary account of his seven-year captivity in Lebanon. He composed, in all, 32 pieces he calls his "prison poems." ------------------------------

Poetry, said the poet William Wordsworth,"is the spontaneous overflow of powerful feelings."

Terry Anderson never professed to be a poet. But chained to a wall in a darkened room, alone with his thoughts and fears and dreams and fellow captives for seven long years, he most surely acquired some powerful feelings. Shortly before his release they spontaneously overflowed.

"I had had a night without sleep, which was not unusual," Anderson recalled. "Just after dawn I woke up Tom. I said, `Tom, I wrote a poem.'

"I recited it to him - we weren't allowed paper or pencils and had to commit everything to memory - and we talked about it and I decided, by God, I kind of like that. The next night I wrote a couple more."

Anderson, who was chief Middle East correspondent for The Associated Press, was abducted in Beirut on March 16, 1985. Thomas Sutherland, who was dean of agriculture at American University in Beirut, was abducted nearly three months later on June 9. Together and separately they were shunted to various prisons in Lebanon until both were released late last year.

Anderson said that when John McCarthy, a British television producer who was taken hostage in 1986, was released Aug. 8, 1991, he and Sutherland were pretty sure their freedom was not far off. During those next four months he wrote what the "prison poems."

"They were like a catharsis," he said.

"It was as if knowing we were going home sometime soon, all those seven years of thinking about my life, my career, my religion, my experiences, what had happened to me, all came together and just all came out."

When Sutherland was freed, along with Terry Waite, a Church of England envoy who had been taken while trying to negotiate the hostages' release, Anderson talked his captors into allowing him to send a letter with them and pen and paper to write it.

"Frankly I was getting worried. By then I had 17 poems in my head and was afraid of losing them. I wrote a letter, then had time to write down 11 of the poems. By the time I was released, I had written 32, all in my head. I wrote them all down later."

The first one he wrote, the Tom-look-what-I've-done poem, is titled "Not Here." In it Anderson calls up experiences in his life, as a Marine in Vietnam and a reporter in Thailand and Japan, vivid reconstructions that allow his mind, at least, to flee captivity.

I lie on Levantine sand, pale next to

the near-chocolate of my other self

no Asian almond eyes, but huge Semitic ones,

dark with love, not kohl proud Saracen nose

shouting of towers, and Damascus,

red lips, white teeth whispering of

I'm not chained there's no steel door,

no bitterness, no anger those are

much less real than these.

There's pain in the past and present both,

but There is also joy, and love.

And this poem, untitled as are most of the others, "is one of my favorites," the author said:

I dream of growing things,

not in meticulously ordered gardens,

but in abandoned wild profusion.

I think of cutting fallen trees

clearing a small, leaf-choked

stream, and watching water

running clear and free again.

I think of all the small, wild creatures

I hunted as a boy and shake my head.

Too many wars, mine and others,

have left me unable to see

any gun without recalling

men's, women's, children's faces,

and the sweetly horrifying

smell of bodies in the sun.

I long for life so fiercely,

Anderson, too, discovered how much his religion meant to him in captivity. The four others attending this prison Mass are a Roman Catholic priest, the Rev. Lawrence Jenco, and a Presbyterian minister, the Rev. Benjamin Weir, both hostages when Anderson was taken hostage David Jacobsen and Tom Sutherland.

Five men huddled close against

the night and our oppressors,

around a bit of stale bread

hoarded from a scanty meal,

and a candle, lit not only

as a symbol but to read the text by.

The priest's as poorly clad,

as drawn with strain as any,

but his voice is calm, his face serene.

This is the core of his existence,

Behind him I can see his predecessors

in their generations, back to the Catacombs,

heads nodding in approval, hands with his

tracing out with his the stately ritual,

adding the power of their suffering

and faith to his, and ours.

The ancient words shake off

their dust, and come alive.

The voices of their authors

echo clearly from the damp, bare walls.

The familiar prayers come

straight out of our hearts.

Once again Christ's promise

is fulfilled his presence fills us.

Anderson wrote all except one of his 32 poems in free verse. The exception, a poem offering his definition of faith, follows a pattern of four syllables a line. "I did an awful lot of thinking about my faith, trying to figure out just what exactly it was I believed." The 38-line poem concludes:

Faith, then, to endure captivity, and something more:

it's a necessity, a survival trait,

an ever-filling well from which

by the desert of this non-life.

My faith surges and recedes

hope sometimes abandons me,

I kick and scream and flail

offers only soft resistance,

washing gently at my rage.

I will find patience, hope and faith

emerging from a single source,

"One of our big problems," Anderson said, "was figuring out how to deal with our guards." Just so. He titled this poem "Satan."

for darkness in the world,

But all the evil I have seen

who rigs a car into a bomb,

or steals money meant for others' food.

And it wasn't any alien spirit

that chained me to this wall.

One of those who kidnapped me

said once: "No man believes he's evil."

A penetrating and subtle thought

in these circumstances, and from him.

He's not stupid, and doesn't seem insane.

He knows I've done no harm to him or his.

heard me crying in the night.

Still he daily checks my chain,

makes sure my blindfold is secure,

then kneels outside my cell

and prays to Allah, merciful, compassionate.

I know too well the darker urges in myself,

the violence and selfishness.

I've seen little in him I can't recognize.

I also know my mind would shatter,

my soul would die if I did the things he does.

I'm tempted to believe there really is

a devil in him, some malefic,

independent force that makes him

That's too easy and too dangerous an answer

It's how so many evils come to be.

I must reject, abhor and fight against

these acts, and acknowledge that

they're not inhuman - just the opposite.

We can't separate the things

Hate the sin and love the sinner is not

a concept I'll ever really understand.

I'll never love him - I'm not Christ.

But I'll try to achieve forgiveness

because I know that in the end,

as always, Christ was right.

Neither could Anderson bring himself to hate the country of his captivity nor its people. The poem, a lament, begins "For 3,000 years this land was known as paradise. . ." and describes the grandeur and gifts that have hallowed it and the blood hatreds that have cursed it. The poem concludes:

History Uncut: Terry Anderson Released 1991 - HISTORY

1991 Following the Iraq invasion Kuwait A United Nations Coalition Force including USA, Arab and European countries Bombs Iraq Forces in Kuwait and force Iraq Forces out of Kuwait and back to Iraq. After many years of Apartheid in South Africa a new constitution for multicultural society is formed. This is also the beginning of the Balkan Wars and Lech Walesa is elected as President of Poland. This is also the year that Freddie Mercury the lead singer of the band Queen dies from the AIDS Virus. Some of the notable technology advances include Airbag, A Blue Rose (through the use of Genetic Engineering) and Tim Berners-Lee introduces the web browser.

How Much things cost in 1991
Yearly Inflation Rate USA 4.25%
Year End Close Dow Jones Industrial Average 3168
Interest Rates Year End Federal Reserve 6.50%
Average Cost of new house $120,000.00
Average Income per year $29,430.00
Average Monthly Rent $495.00
Cost of a gallon of Gas $1.12
1 LB of Bacon $1.95
Dozen Eggs 85 cents

What Events Happened in 1991

  • Operation Desert Storm United Nations Coalition Force led by the United States and including many Arab and European countries Bombs Iraq Forces in Kuwait and after 1 month of bombing Land invasion forces Iraq Forces out of Kuwait and back to Iraq
  • The U.N. Security Council passes the Cease Fire Agreement, Resolution 687. The resolution called for the destruction or removal of all of Iraq's chemical and biological weapons, and for an end to its support for international terrorism. Iraq accepts the terms of the resolution on April 6 and UN authorizes weapons inspections in Iraq
  • Cyclone in Bangladesh kills 200,000
  • Fires in the hills of Oakland, California burns thousands of homes and kills 25
  • 50% of India population is living at or below the poverty line
  • Indian Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi is assassinated
  • Dead Sea Scroll is Unveiled
  • UN Sanctions imposed against Libya in response to alleged involvement in Lockerbie bombing
  • Referendum in South Africa supports creation of new constitution for multicultural society and Apartheid is dismantled
  • Winnie Mandela, the wife of Nelson Mandela, is given a six-year prison sentence for her part in the kidnap of four youths
  • Slovenia and Croatia declare independence from Yugoslavia and the start of the Balkan War
  • Attempted communist coup in Soviet Union suppressed but sparks declarations of independence from all non Russian republics within the USSR , by the end of the year the USSR is dissolved and independence of republics recognized
  • Single European Market lifts trade restrictions within the EEC and the Maastricht treaty opens the way for closer political Union
  • The Bank of Credit and Commerce International ( BCCI ) closed by regulators from US and UK
  • Seventy tornadoes break out in the central United States, killing 17.
  • The Dow Jones average topped 3,000 for the first time
  • Boris Yeltsin wins first free elections for Russia's first popularly-elected president
  • The Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Democratic Front end 17 years of Marxist rule in Ethiopia.
  • Mike Tyson is arrested and charged with raping Desiree Washington
  • Jeffrey Dahmer is arrested after the remains of 11 men and boys are found in his Milwaukee, Wisconsin apartment
  • 7.0 Richter Scale earthquake in Northern Italy - 2000 dead
  • 6.8 Richter Scale earthquake near border between Pakistan and Afghanistan
  • The Soviet Union cracks down on Lithuania who were attempting to gain independence from the Soviet Union
  • UK Poll Tax introduced in 1990 is eliminated and replaced with alternative
  • Former U.S. postal worker Joseph Harris kills his former girlfriend and her fiancee and two former co workers at the post office in Ridgewood, New Jersey which resulted in the phrase "going postal" .
  • Lech Walesa the Polish Workers President is elected President of Poland
  • Body of publishing tycoon Robert Maxwell is found floating in the sea - he had fallen off his yacht shortly after his death the Maxwell Empire Faces Bankruptcy
  • Freddie Mercury, lead singer of the band Queen, issues a public statement confirming that he is stricken with AIDS, and the next day he dies of complications
  • Journalist Terry Anderson is released after seven years' captivity as a hostage in Beirut
  • Terry Waite the special envoy of the archbishop of Canterbury, is released after more than four years of captivity
  • Police Brutality Captured On Film in California in the case of Rodney King arrest
  • Mikhail Gorbachev resigns as president of the Soviet Union and the Soviet Union officially ceases to exist
  • The Warsaw Pact the military alliance between the Soviet Union and its eastern European neighbors ends
  • The US and Soviet Union Sign The START Treaty
  • Macedonia Gains Independence From Former Yugoslavia
  • Croatia Gains Independence From Former Yugoslavia
  • Slovenia Gains Independence From Former Yugoslavia
  • Birmingham Six Released in the UK
  • The Following Countries all gain independence when the Soviet Union breaks Up Uzbekistan, Tajikstan, Kyrgyzstan, Axerbaijan, Ukraine, Moldova, Lithuania, Latvia, Belarus, and Estonia.
  • The release of Nirvana's Nevermind signified the start of the Grunge era that would dominate the music scene up to the mid-90's.
  • Terminator 2: Judgment Day
  • Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves
  • The Silence of the Lambs
  • Hook
  • The Addams Family
  • Sleeping with the Enemy
  • Father of the Bride
  • The Naked Gun 2½: The Smell of Fear
  • Beauty and the Beast
  • Backdraft
  • Beethoven
  • Thelma & Louise
  • Pearl Jam
  • Whitney Houston with "All The Man That I need"
  • Michael Jackson with "Black and White"
  • Queen
  • Bryan Adams with "Everything That I do I do it for You"
  • Erasure
  • Marillion
  • Phil Collins
  • Guns N' Roses
  • Mariah Carey with "Someday"
  • Metallica
  • Amy Grant
  • Beverly Craven
  • Cher
  • Gloria Estefan
  • R.E.M.
  • Janet Jackson
  • Extreme
  • Boyz II Men
  • U2
  • Van Halen
  • The Clash
  • Paula Abdul with "The Promise of The New"
  • Day
  • Billy Bragg
  • Garth Brooks
  • Nirvana
  • Internet is made available to unrestricted commercial use and number of computers on the net reaches 1 million
  • The American Galileo spacecraft makes its closest approach to 951 Gaspra, becoming the first probe to visit an asteroid
  • Microsoft Releases MS Dos 5.0
  • Blue Roses produced by Genetic Engineering
  • The Ice covering the Arctic has decreased by 2% in the last 10 year
  • Tropical Rainforest shrinks by 1% annually as a result of Human activities
  • Tim Berners-Lee introduces the web browser.
  • Spread of Cholera reaches near epidemic proportions in Countries in Latin America

Invention Invented by Inventors and Country ( or attributed to First Use )

History Uncut: Terry Anderson Released 1991 - HISTORY

1991 (MCMXCI) was a common year starting on Tuesday of the Gregorian calendar, the 1991st year of the Common Era (CE) and Anno Domini (AD) designations, the 991st year of the 2nd millennium, the 91st year of the 20th century, and the 2nd year of the 1990s decade.

It was the final year of the Cold War that had begun in 1947. During the year, the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics fell, leaving fifteen sovereign republics and the CIS in its place. In July 1991, India abandoned its policies of socialism and autarky and began extensive neoliberal changes to its economy. This increased GDP, but also increased economic inequality over the next two decades. [1] A UN-authorized coalition force from 34 nations fought against Iraq, which had invaded and annexed Kuwait in the previous year, 1990. The conflict would be called the Gulf War and would mark the beginning of a since-constant American military presence in the Middle East. The clash between Serbia and the other Yugoslav republics would lead into the beginning of the Yugoslav Wars, which ran through the rest of the decade.

Peggy Say, who urged release of hostage Terry Anderson, dies at 74

Former U.S. hostage Terry Anderson, left, and his sister Peggy Say at a Dec. 6, 1991, news conference in Wiesbaden, Germany, just two days after he was released.

Peggy Say, who spent nearly seven years on a tireless quest for the release of her brother, journalist Terry Anderson, and fellow hostages from kidnappers in Lebanon, died Wednesday. She was 74.

Anderson, the chief Middle East correspondent for The Associated Press when he was abducted from the streets of Beirut in 1985 in the midst of the country’s civil war, said his sister died Wednesday after a lung illness. She had been living in Cookeville, about 70 miles east of Nashville.

A self-described housewife, Say quickly became her brother’s most prominent public champion, keeping his fate and that of the other hostages in Lebanon in the public eye as the years went by.

“We were allowed a radio from time to time, and we did hear about her efforts and the efforts of other hostages’ families on the radio, and of course it was always a great comfort,” said Anderson, who was held by the pro-Iranian Shiite Muslim militant faction Islamic Jihad for 2,454 days.

Anderson was released on Dec. 4, 1991. He was the longest held of 92 foreigners abducted during the civil war. Most were ultimately freed. Eleven died or were killed in captivity.

Former AP President Lou Boccardi remembered Say as a “remarkable woman” and a relentless advocate.

“In a very short time, she made herself into a national figure as the family face of long and frustrating efforts to win freedom for her brother,” Boccardi said in an email. “She never took `no’ for an answer.”

Say was living in upstate New York when her brother was taken hostage. She moved to the western Kentucky town of Cadiz to find more privacy for herself and her husband, David, in 1988. He died in 2012.

Say’s activism wasn’t without critics. Some Washington officials at the time contended her vocal approach prolonged the hostages’ captivity by compromising behind-the-scenes efforts to free them.

She was dismissive of those arguments.

I did what I had to do as his sister.

Peggy Say, on the eve of her brother’s release in 1991

“I did what I had to do as his sister,” she said on the eve of her brother’s release in 1991. “I don’t think the United Nations would ever have intervened if we had not kept the plight of Terry and other people alive.”

She believed it was the U.N.’s intervention that eventually won freedom for the final American hostages.

Anderson said Wednesday that one of the first things his sister asked him about upon his release was whether her activism had caused him to be held longer. He said he didn’t believe that to be the case.

“I told her that I was pleased with what she had done for a number of reasons,” he said. “One, was to give us hope when we heard about it. And two, that it gave the families a sense that they were actively engaged in trying to do something.”

Say met periodically with then-U.N. Secretary-General Javier Perez de Cuellar. Her travels put her face to face with Pope John Paul II, Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat, the president of Greece, Syria’s foreign minister and an associate of notorious terrorist Abu Nidal.

Her efforts, which were supported by the AP, were marked with disappointments along the way.

In 1985, President Reagan ruled out negotiating with terrorists. But then she saw the United States cut a deal with hijackers of a TWA jet in Beirut to free their prisoners.


DAMASCUS, SYRIA, DEC. 4 -- A nearly seven-year-long journey through Beirut's heart of darkness ended today for Terry Anderson, the longest-held of the Western hostages in Lebanon, bringing almost to a close a chapter of Middle East history that had brought successive U.S. administrations to frustrated impotence before a shadowy group of radical Muslims.

After a day-long delay that U.N. officials attributed to snow-blocked roads, Anderson, chief Middle East correspondent of the Associated Press, appeared before his colleagues at a press conference and said, "You can't imagine how glad I am to see you."

The 44-year-old journalist, who was abducted on March 16, 1985, by the Islamic Jihad faction of Iranian-backed Lebanese Shiite Muslims, appeared to be in good health and said that he was sustained in his long ordeal by his companions in captivity, his religious faith and "stubbornness."

"You wake up every day. You summon up energy from somewhere. I don't know how," Anderson said, as he continuously searched the packed room in the Syrian Foreign Ministry for Beirut-based friends and colleagues to wave to and give a thumbs-up sign.

When asked what his last words were to his captors, Anderson said simply, "Goodbye," and laughed.

In Washington, President Bush, who called Anderson in Damascus "to express the love and admiration that all Americans have for Terry," said he joined Anderson's family and friends "in their happiness for his return to freedom."

But he added: "While the American hostages have now been released, we cannot say the ordeal is over. We call for the immediate, safe and unconditional release of all those held outside the legal system in the region, including the two German hostages."

Bush said the United States still wanted a "full accounting" of all hostages who reportedly have died or been killed in captivity.

White House spokesman Marlin Fitzwater criticized Iran, with whom most of the hostage-taking groups had allied themselves, as "still a terrorist state." He and State Department spokesman Margaret Tutwiler both insisted that the United States had made no deals to gain the release of the American hostages, the Associated Press reported.

Fitzwater also refused to speculate on the possibility that the release would lead to resumption of relations between the United States and Iran.

In New York, U.N. Secretary General Javier Perez de Cuellar, who has led the negotiations for release of all hostages and prisoners in the Middle East, said: "I am very pleased. I have closed the American chapter, I have closed the British chapter, now I have to close the German chapter, the Israeli chapter and the Lebanese chapter," Reuter reported.

Anderson appeared to be in an ebullient but, considering the bedlam atmosphere of the news conference, fully relaxed mood, as he joked with his questioners. Asked how he felt about being labeled the longest-held Western hostage, Anderson replied, "It's an honor I'd have gladly given up long ago."

At another point, he spotted AP photographer William Foley in the crowd and said, "My God, you look grayer than I do."

Anderson was wearing dark slacks, a white shirt and a dark sweater. He was wearing a pair of glasses precariously perched on his nose with part of the frame, a temple sidepiece, missing.

He said his spirits were kept up by listening to British Broadcasting Corp. newscasts on a radio provided by his kidnappers in the later period of his captivity, and that he was particularly grateful for messages from his family that reached him through Lebanese television and newspaper reports.

But Anderson, a stickler in the AP mold for accuracy, said he wanted to indulge himself in a "little niggling" of press reports by saying, "I was never a Marine captain, I was a Marine staff sergeant -- and I'm very proud to have been that, by the way."

He said that because the Shiite radicals who held him never admitted having any control over other hostages, or even having information about them, he could shed no light on when two German aid workers, Thomas Kemptner, 30, and Heinrich Streubig, 50, would be released.

However, Muslim sources in Beirut and Iranian officials have said that the two Germans, who were kidnapped May 16, 1989, are expected to be released soon. They are being held with demands that Germany free two brothers of Abdul Hadi Hamadi, a senior official of the Hezbollah Shiite umbrella group, who are in German prisons for murder, kidnapping and air piracy.

Anderson said his captors came to his cell Tuesday afternoon with new clothes -- the first new apparel he had worn in almost seven years, he said -- and a pair of new shoes that he said did not fit and were hurting his feet.

He said he was asked to read an Islamic Jihad statement on videotape that was delivered to the AP office here this morning. But in the news conference and in the videotape, Anderson emphasized that the statement was not his own.

In the videotape Anderson said: "Before my release today, my captives had asked me to read a statement from them to the world. This is their statement about this episode of hostage-taking. It is not mine. There are things in it I do not agree with. But I think it is important for people to understand what they think and believe. The language and expressions aren't familiar to many in the West. It's based on a different culture. We should try to understand it."

The Islamic Jihad statement, long, political and occasionally rambling, said Anderson was being freed because the group had decided to stop linking the release of hostages with freedom for Arabs held in Israeli and European prisons.

It said: "We have seriously made efforts to close this file in the past year. . . . After finishing several stages, we decided to separate the issue of our captives from the hostages in the prisons of the enemy and we're going to free our last captive, Terry Anderson, thus folding this page in the hostage file before glorious Christmas."

Anderson said that after videotaping the statement, he spent a sleepless night pacing his cell and played solitaire before his captors drove him "to a nearby place" where he was handed over to Syrian army officers.

He made light of his drive from Lebanon to Damascus, which took much longer than normal because of a snow storm in the Lebanese mountains.

In New York, Perez de Cuellar told the AP that Anderson was being driven to the Syrian capital on the relatively direct Damascus Highway, but that mountain snows on the border had slowed them down.

During the news conference, Anderson was flanked by Syrian Foreign Minister Farouk Charaa the U.S. ambassador to Syria, Christopher Ross and U.N. special envoy Giandomenico Picco, who for four months has spearheaded negotiations among the pro-Iranian kidnappers, Iran and Syria for the release of six American and British captives.

Anderson singled out Picco for praise, saying, "I don't know how to express it."

He also said to the reporters and photographers at the news conference, who had cheered him as he entered the cramped Foreign Ministry reception room, "Your support -- all of my colleagues -- has been very important to me."

"I've thought about this moment for a long time, and now it's here," he said, adding, "I'm scared to death."

Anderson was kidnapped March 16, 1985, after a spirited game of tennis in west Beirut with Don Mell, an AP photographer. He was dragged out of his car in a bear hug by three gunmen who leaped out of a Mercedes, while Mell watched helplessly, a gun to his head, as his boss disappeared into the wilderness of gunmen and noisy traffic and eventually into the bowels of Beirut's Shiite southern suburbs.

The hostage drama began to draw to a close in August, when Shiite kidnappers freed British journalist John McCarthy, 34, and American writer, Edward Tracy, 60, and asked Perez de Cuellar to mediate an exchange of prisoners that would end in the release of all Middle East captives -- Arab and Western.

In succession, six more Western hostages, including Anglican Church envoy Terry Waite, were freed.

Israel has released 91 Arabs held in southern Lebanon by its surrogate militia, the South Lebanon Army, and has received the body of an Israeli soldier killed in Lebanon and information on the fate of some of its other missing servicemen.

Israel is still awaiting word about the fate of four servicemen unaccounted for, and the release of Israeli air force navigator Ron Arad, whose plane was shot down over Lebanon in 1986.

1991 in History (Part 5)

    New Zealand's Resource Management Act 1991 commences. Soviet Union suspends petroleum product exports as its fuel shortages grow Delta Center in Salt Lake City Utah Whiteland Janice, driven by Mike Lachance, wins Kentucky Futurity The Protocol on Environmental Protection to the Antarctic Treaty is opened for signature. Military transport plane crashes at Jakarta, 133 dies USSR reduces nuclear weapons arsenal The first official version of the Linux kernel, version 0.02, is released. Child star Adam Rich arrested for stealing hypodermics

Event of Interest

Oct 7 Law Professor Anita Hill accuses Supreme Court nominee Clarence Thomas of making sexually inappropriate comments to her

Event of Interest

Oct 8 The Croatian Parliament cuts all remaining ties with Yugoslavia

    Bush declares "total confidence" in nominee Clarence Thomas Ecuador becomes a member of the Berne Convention copyright treaty Ex-postal worker Joseph Harris kills 4 postal workers

Nobel Prize

Oct 14 Burmese opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi wins Nobel Peace Prize

    Clarence Thomas is confirmed as Supreme Court Justice (52-48) George Jo Hennard, 35, kills 23 & himself & wounds 20 in Texas US Supreme Court begins to hear Joseph Doherty case Jharkhand Chhatra Yuva Morcha is founded at a conference in Ranchi, India. News anchor Bree Walker Lampley files an FCC complaint that LA radio KFI-AM personally attacked her by discussing her having a disformed baby US performs nuclear test at Nevada Test Site 6.1-7.1 earthquake in Uttar Kashi, India, about 670 die Formal opening ceremony of Intl One Mind Zen center in Crestone, Colo 24 die in a fire in Oakland Calif

Event of Interest

Oct 21 Former California Governor Jerry Brown announces his run for the US Presidency

    US hostage Jesse Turner released from 5 years in captivity in Beirut General Motors announces 9 month loss of $US2.2 billion Clarence Thomas sworn in as US Supreme Court Justice

Event of Interest

Oct 23 Dr Jack Kevorkian's suicide machine assists 2 women to commit suicide

    Colombian government negotiate with M-19-guerrilla Mid East peace conference begins in Madrid Spain Palestinians attend US mideast peace talks in Madrid New Dutch Regulations Traffic rules & Traffic signs enforced Three faculty, and one staff member of the department of physics and astronomy, were killed, along with one administrator, when physics graduate student Gang Lu went on a shooting rampage at the University of Iowa. Last of Kuwait oil well fires extinguished by Canadian well control team "SafetyBOSS" Bartholomew I becomes the Patriarch of Constantinople, head of 300 million followers of the Eastern Orthodox Church Mid East peace conference ends in Madrid Spain

Event of Interest

Nov 4 Imelda Marcos returns from exile to the Philippines and was arrested the next day for tax fraud and corruption. She was then released on $6,400 bail.

    Kiichi Miyazawa elected premier of Japan Richard J Kerr ends term as acting director of CIA Grand Duke Vladimir Kirillovitsj returns to St Petersburg Keck II, biggest telescope in use at Mauna Kea Hawaii Maximus 2.0 BBS released Robert M Gates, becomes 15th director of CIA

Event of Interest

Nov 6 Russian President Boris Yeltsin outlaws the Communist Party

Kuwaiti Oil Fires

Nov 6 The last oil fire in Kuwait set by retreating Iraqi troops is extinguished

    Joint European Torus (JET) scientists in Culham England successfully harness nuclear fusion to produce the first large amount of controlled fusion power Browns set club record for largest lead blown (led 23-0), Philadelphia 32-30

Event of Interest

Nov 14 Cambodian Prince Norodom Sihanouk returns to Phnom Penh after thirteen years of exile


Even as he watched the family of Alann Steen celebrate on the national news Tuesday night, John Anderson was holding back hope that his brother Terry would be released soon.

"I've got to remain a skeptic because it's the only thing that keeps me going," the 36-year-old kitchen worker said.

It has been six years since another brother, Glenn, awoke John at 4 one morning with news that Terry Anderson had been taken hostage. Since then, both Glenn and their father have died of cancer.

And since that morning, John has been through many days like Tuesday.

He sat in front of the television in his mobile home in rural Marion County, trying to catch every morsel of news from the Middle East.

With one ear toward the news, he tried to talk and remain polite with reporters pelting him with questions.

"There was one other time when the news got our hopes up this high," he said. "And then he didn't get released."

"We can't afford to get our hopes up again and then have them dashed. I don't know how many more times we can take this."

But this time it appeared different. Every American hostage had been released except Terry Anderson, and new agencies reported Tuesday that his release was imminent.

As John Anderson watched television, his wife Michelle, 23, helped reporters find the telephone or a place to write. Outside, Anderson's 12-year-old son, John, directed traffic, helped drag television cable and offered to help reporters carry their equipment.

Watch the video: Visions Of Faith (February 2023).

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