Wednesday, December 16, 2009

The LuLac Edition #1039, Dec. 16th, 2009



Wilkes-Barre Area School Director Brian Dunn entered a guilty plea this morning to accepting $5,000 in exchange for helping a teacher obtain a job within the district. Dunn entered the plea today before U.S. District Judge Richard Conaboy. Sentencing is scheduled for March 16, 2010. On the same day Luzerne County jury commissioner Gerald Bonner pleaded guilty this morning to corrupt receipt of a reward for official action for passing a bribe on to fellow member of the Luzerne County Housing Authority. Bonner entered the plea today before U.S. District Judge Thomas I. Vanaskie. A plea agreement he signed with federal prosecutors calls for him to receive a sentence of probation. Bonner, who will be sentenced at a later date, has the right to withdraw the plea if the judge does not accept the sentence recommendation. This is still another chapter in the corruption saga. Dunn who has not shown up for a school board meeting since charged and Bonner who was going to fight the charges were once political stars now dimmed by the scandals.


During the course of the year we tried to highlight some anniversaries. One of the events we did not commemorate but want to before the end of the year was the Iranian Hostage Crisis. The Iran hostage crisis was a diplomatic crisis between Iran and the United States where 53 Americans were held hostage for 444 days from November 4, 1979 to January 20, 1981, after a group of Islamist students and militants took over the American embassy in support of the Iranian Revolution.
The episode reached a climax when, after failed attempts to negotiate a release, the United States military attempted a rescue operation, Operation Eagle Claw, on April 24, 1980, which resulted in a failed mission, the crash of two aircraft and the deaths of eight American servicemen and one Iranian civilian. It ended with the signing of the Algiers Accords in Algeria on January 19, 1981. The hostages were formally released into United States custody the following day, just minutes after the new American president Ronald Reagan was sworn in.
The crisis has been described as an entanglement of "vengeance and mutual incomprehension". In Iran, despite freezing of all Iranian assets held in U.S., the hostage holding was widely seen as a blow against the U.S., and its influence in Iran, its perceived attempts to undermine the Iranian Revolution, and its long-standing support of the recently overthrown government of the Shah of Iran, Mohammad Reza Pahlavi. The Shah had been restored to power in a 1953 coup against a democratically-elected nationalist Iranian government organized by the CIA at the American embassy and had recently been allowed into the United States for medical treatment. In the United States, the hostage-taking was seen as an outrage violating a centuries-old principle of international law granting diplomats immunity from arrest and diplomatic compounds sovereignty in their embassies.
The crisis has also been described as the "pivotal episode" in the history of U.S.-Iranian relations. In the U.S., some political analysts believe the crisis was a major reason for Jimmy Carters defeat in the November 1980 presidential election. In Iran, the crisis strengthened the prestige of the Ayatollah Khomeini and the political power of those who supported theocracy and opposed any normalization of relations with the West. The crisis also marked the beginning of U.S. legal action, or economic sanctions against Iran, that further weakened economic ties between Iran and the United States.
By products of the hostage taking were the following:
The Iran-Iraq War which essentially established the Sadamn Hussain’s credibility as a leader on the international stage and as a future U.S. foe.
The establishment of the popular Nightline program with Ted Koppel.
The launching of several local TV careers. Radio broadcasters Karan Harch, Kathy Bozinski, Kevin Jordan and David DeCosmo all provided insight to national reporters covering the local angle. The Mid Valley's Michael Metrinko and Wilkes Barre native Bruce German's travails were reported widely locally. All four made the transition from radio to TV after their coverage of the Iranian crisis.
The unsettling of the Middle East in geopolitical terms.
The undoing of the Jimmy Carter Presidential legacy.
Perhaps this song by Styx summed up the emotions of 1979 as the hostages remained behind bars for still another 12 months.


At 10:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

One of the few jobs posted in the Scranton Times is PLASMA DONOR!
Since when is plasma donor a job?

At 11:11 AM, Anonymous David DeCosmo said...

Hi David. I tried to send these comments last night but had some problems with my computer.
I remember spending an entire night waiting with my long time camerman, the late Bob Dennis, in a bar in Edwardsville (I believe it was Lodeski's) run by Bruce German's mother as she waited to get official confirmation that her son and the other hostages had been freed. That video probably sits in the basement of WBRE/WYOU (probably film). It would be great to have pieces like that saved for the future!
David DeCosmo
WYOU TV (ret)

At 12:56 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

How does this work now... is Bob Kadlaboski the one to take over for Bonner? Just wondering.

At 2:21 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You have sparked some memories! I remember being called out at midnight on January 19th,1981 to a tavern in Edwardsville (I believe it was Lodeski's) which was run by Bruce German's mother. My long time camerman, the late Bob Dennis, and I spent hours there while she waited for a confirmation call that her son and the other hostages had been freed. We recorded her when the call came through! That video, probably film, now sits somewhere in the WBRE/WYOU basement in Wilkes-Barre.
It would be great if someone could pull it and run it sometime.
It's history as it was being made! David DeCosmo
WYOU TV (ret)

At 3:27 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great story you got here. It would be great to read a bit more concerning this topic. Thanks for sharing this information.
Sexy Lady


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