Conclusion. “Release” explores the resolution of the 1984-91 Beirut hostage crisis. The focus is on the role played by UN official Giandomenico Picco, who had contacts with a top Iranian official, and was inadvertently given a window of opportunity by the Iraqi capture of Kuwait in 1990, which led to the release of the 17 Shiites imprisoned in Kuwait for the 1983 bombings of U.S. and French embassies.
“A Deadly Trade” (Part 2) examines the arms-for-hostages deals that the U.S. attempted to make with radical Shiite Muslims. The hour also recalls Terry Waite's role as a negotiator. He was taken hostage himself after the Hezbollah failed to secure the release of 17 radical Shiites imprisoned in Kuwait for bombing U.S. and French embassies in 1983.
“Missing” (Part 1 of three) explores the origins of the 1984-91 Beirut hostage crisis. Included: the civil war that wracked Lebanon in the 1970s and '80s, and the 1982 invasion of Lebanon, which led to the founding of the Shiite Muslim group Hezbollah (“Party of God”).
Cast & Details
Premiered: October 5, 1999
Premise: A three-part series examining the 1984-91 Beirut hostage crisis. Included are interviews with Western hostages. (more)