The Michigan Daily-Friday, January 18, 1980-Page 9
Hostages' mail shows
From AP and UPI
American hostages in Tehran, ap-
parently as a Christmas gesture by
their captors, have been allowed to
write home expressing thanks for
messages of support and appealing
- in the words of one - for "prompt
action to free us from this terrible
Wrote hgstage Robert Ode: "We
feel that we have been abandoned by
our government and the American
people. .. "
ONE OF ODE'S letters was
received and read by President Car-
ter on Wednesday. White House
spokesman Jody Powell speculated
the Ode letter might have been in-
tended by his Iranian captors to fuel
American impatience and "pressure
the United States into taking some
action that would amount to yielding
to blackmail or rewarding inter-
Among the letters received this
week, by 'government officials and
families, well-wishers and
newspapers from Milwaukee to
Landisville,? N.J., was one from
Marine Sgt. Kevin Mermening of
Oak Creek, Wis., to his father. In all,
16 persons across the country have
received letters from nine hostages.
Hermening, writing Dec. 15, ex-
pressed hope he would be home by
Christmas 1980, but said, "I even
IN HIS letter, dated Dec. 26 and
received Wednesday by The
Washington Post, Ode, who is the
oldest of the hostages, wrote:
"We are being kept in semi-
darkened rooms; our hands are tied
day and night; bright lights are kept
burning all night and because of the
constant noise it is almost im-
possible to sleep."
Ode said the hostages are given
little exercise, limited amounts of
food and are not permitted to com-
municate with each other.
THE LETTER, published in the
Post yesterday, was confirmed as
authentic by Ode's sister, Marjorie
Keon of St. Louis, Mich,
Moslem militants at the U.S. em-
bassy denied yesterday that they are
mistreating the hostages and said
the captives are allowed to com-
municate with each other.
A SPOKESMAN reached at the
embassy by telephone said he was
unaware of Ode's letter. But he said
the hostages, "can talk with each
other, but not about everything.
They can talk about ordinary
State Department spokesman
Hodding Carter said it was obvious
from Ode's letter that the hostages
were so isolated they are unaware of
"the rather extraordinary efforts
that have been under way by this
country and by others to secure their
In other letters, Marine Sgt. Paul
Lewis, 22, of Homer, Ill., wrote on
Christmas Eve to Gail Cooper, a 21-
year-old Chicago secretary,
thanking her and "so many other
Americans for keeping us in your
thoughts and prayers. It is wonder-
ful to know we have not been forgot-
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WINTER MASS MEETNG
Monday, January 21-7:00 p.m.
Rm. 2003 Angel! Hall
Old Members and New Prospects Welcome!
are now available through the
The Pilot Program is on innovative, residential
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* the KAffsT'
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plus th is coupon.
* EXPRES 1/31
ROBERT ODE, one of the American hostages being held in Tehran, sent
this letter to thank the fourth-grade class of Our Lady of Victories School
for their Christmas wishes.
Baker calls U.S. foreign
policy a failure'
BLOOMFIELD HILLS (UPI)-
*epublican presidential hopeful
Howard Baker said yesterday the
crises in Iran and Afghanistan mean a
much broader problem for the United
State-that the Administration's
fpreign policy has "failed."
Baker, the Senate's GOP leader, told
a news conference the Soviet Union and
other nations have taken advantage of a
perception of U.S. "weakness" and the
Sov ie ts
(Continued from Page 1)
Staff, spoke of the TMS-65 last winter in
telling Congress of specially equipped
Soviet trucks "built to decontaminate
personnel, terrain and equipment"
Technicians said the TMS-65 uses a
jet engine mounted on the back of a
truck to propel liquids that neutralize
In discussing Soviet military doc-
x*rine, Jones has said, "The basic prin-
ciple is to achieve surprise by using
massive quantities of chemical agents
against unprotected troops or against
equipment or on terrain to deny its
JONES SAID all Warsaw Pact com-
bat and support forces are well equip-
ped and realistically trained "to ensure
their survivability and to increase their
operational effectiveness in toxic en-
/ U.S. Army officials have described
the Soviet Union as having "the largest
lethal chemical war-fighting capability
in the world."
belief the country can be pushed
without striking back.
"I THINK THE Carter Ad-
ministration now has on its hands a
failed foreign policy, a failed economic
policy," said Baker,, who arrived three
hours late for a $500-a-plate fundraising
"I think the country will perceive it is
a failed administration, and change
that situation next November," the
Tennessee Republican added.
Baker, who after his suburban
Detroit appearance was to return to
Iowa to continue campaigning for Mon-
day's Republican caucuses, said he
would not attempt to "second-guess"
President Carter on the handling of the
Iranian hostage crisis.
"BUT I DOintend to talk about how
to avoid an Iran in the future," Baker
said, "how you make sure that never
happens to us again in our lifetime."
Baker said he expected the upturn in
Carter's popularity-since the hostage
drama began-would wane in coming
months, and that "before this year is
out, Iran will be thought of as mnother
symptom of a failed foreign policy."
He said the Soviet military push into
Afghanistan should not have surprised
Carter because "the Soviet Union is
doing what she always had done recen-
tly"-testing U.S. resolve in conflicts
"I expect we ought to acknowledge
both Afghanistan and Iran in different
ways are syptoms of a larger concern, a
larger problem for the United States,"
he said. "In my judgment, that larger
problem is the perception of the
weakness of the United States."
Baker voiced optimism about his
chances for doing well in the Iowa
(Continued from Page 1)
cession of three Marxist governm
who have ruled the cou
for the past two mon
Western diplomats in the capital sa
lull in the fighting was contin
yesterday, but told of fighting lastv
in which the rebels first captured,
lost a town near the Soviet border.
USUALLY reliable sources in K
reported that 'the rebels a week
seized the town of Taloqan, capit
Takhar Province, bordering the S(
Union and Bakakhshan Provinc
The rebels burned down a mili
garrison, killed the chief of police
ov't ousts U.S. press
ents town governor and the province's chief tranquility prevails."
ntry accountant, but there were unconfir- In London, British Prin
iths. med reports Afghan government troops Margaret Thatcher de(
aid a subsequently recaptured the town, the government's support for1
uing sources said. They gave no details of Olympic Games from A
week the fighting there. retaliation for the Soviet int
then In other developments yesterday: Afghanistan. Carter admin
In Moscow, the Communist Party ficials say they are-conside
abul newspaper Pravda reported Afghan to shift the Olympic site
ago rebel "ringleaders" met recently in boycotting the Games.
al of Pakistan to organize a united front at
oviet the instigation of American and British
e in "secret services." But, the newspaper
said, "we are receiving reports from all
itary provinces that normalcy is returning
, the there in Afghanistan and that
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