Revisiting the Disastrous Mission to Rescue American Hostages from Iran

Desert One (Greenwich Entertainment)
In a scintillating new documentary, Barbara Kopple tells the story of Operation Eagle Claw, which helped doom Jimmy Carter’s presidency.

NRPLUS MEMBER ARTICLE ‘T here’s no greater privilege than rescuing somebody,” recalls Major William G Boykin, a Delta Force operations officer who helped lead the audacious, but doomed, April 1980 mission to rescue the 52 American hostages seized in Iran just under six months earlier.

Operation Eagle Claw, launched on April 24, 1980, would prove the quintessential fiasco of Jimmy Carter’s presidency and cement the impression that Carter was weak and inept, paving the way for the Reagan era. Yet few remember this historical hinge point today, so we should be grateful that an Oscar-winning documentarian, Barbara Kopple, has taken on the vertiginous, horrible story