February 9, 1980 – Day 98 And A Mandate From The Ayatollah – And Now BRILAB – Summer Olympics In Limbo
February 9, 1980 – CBS World News Roundup + Hourly News – Gordon Skene Sound Collection –
February 9, 1980 – Day 98 and the continuing odyssey of the American Embassy in Tehran and the 50 hostages locked up inside. Word that the New Zealand Embassy was picking up stakes and had already left the country. This on the heels of revelations that New Zealand was largely responsible for the American stragglers outside the Embassy when it was taken over. How the Diplomats; four men and two women were allowed to leave unnoticed was due largely by securing Canadian Passports and passing themselves off as Canadian tourists. They had hidden in the Canadian Embassy shortly after the takeover and it was largely the doing of the New Zealand Embassy to help make good on their escape.
There was a new word floating around Capitol Hill this day; BRILAB – not nearly as sexy as ABSCAM, but the premise was bribery of government officials by crime figures, and the sting operation, like ABSCAM, netted a number of key figures. Initially the probe started out as an investigation of organized crime links to Union Insurance plans, but then FBI Agents turned up a lot more than that. Seems the Governor of Louisiana, Lieutenant Governor and other government figures in Texas and Oklahoma and a reputed mob boss were all linked to reportedly making deals with undercover FBI agents posing as Insurance executives. Another day, another scandal.
And Secretary of State Vance was flying to Lake Placid to make the case for either postponing the Olympics, moving the Olympics or outright cancelling them this year due to Russia’s invasion of Afghanistan and Moscow being host to the 1980 Summer Olympics. Vance claimed there were some 48 countries on board with the U.S. in staging the protest, but only some 23 were willing to go public with the condemnation. Vance was scheduled to go before the International Olympic Committee and take up to 71/2 minutes to lay out his case. He would argue that it was “necessary, in light of the situation; the invasion of Afghanistan, to postpone the Olympics, or move them to another location of cancel them entirely. Whether the 23 willing supporters of the boycott were enough to persuade the IOC to change their position wasn’t clear at this point. The IOC was voicing reluctance to go along with Washington out of fear of making the Olympics a political forum that could ruin the games beyond repair. Vance was slated to meet with the officials before returning to Washington with the answers the following day.
And with Day 98 that’s just a small slice of what happened on this rather busy February 9, 1980 as reported by The CBS World News Roundup and hourly newscasts.
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