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Escape from Iran

In the first half, writer, teacher, and author Bill Friedman discussed the inside story of the criminal careers of the leaders of the three biggest liquor gangs and how they built 80% of the Las Vegas Strip gambling resorts from the Flamingo in 1946 to Caesars Palace in 1966.

In the latter half, founder of Black Box Voting, an investigative reporting and public education organization for elections, Bev Harris, talked about voting issues related to the presidential primaries, and past elections.

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Escape from Iran

Show Archive
Date: Monday - December 20, 2004
Host: George Noory
Guests: Bob Sidell

Hollywood make-up artist Bob Sidell shared the story of his recruitment by the CIA in order to help rescue six Americans during the Iran hostage crisis in 1979. The six had managed to escape from the main group of hostages at the embassy but were hiding out in Tehran, unable to leave the country.

It was at this point that Sidell said he was contacted by the CIA's "chief of disguise" Tony Mendez about creating a cover story for the six escapees in order to get them of Iran. They came up with a phony movie company that was supposedly shooting a sci-fi movie called "Argo" in Tehran, and the six escapees were to pose as members of the film crew. Sidell explained how they created a fake production company in L.A. and took out ads in Variety and the Hollywood Reporter announcing the project.

CIA operatives posing as part of the film production got into Iran and explained the cover story to the escapees, who became adept at playing the roles of the movie crew, Sidell detailed. Subsequently, they were all able to depart the country without incident. This successful operation, now nearly 25 years old, had just recently become declassified, he noted.

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Bumper music from Monday December 20, 2004

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