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  • Joseph Subic and the Iran Hostage Crisis

    I was watching the last episode of this mini-series on cable on Tuesday. It was about the hostages taken in 1978 or 1979 by Iran.

    I was wondering about Joseph Subic. I've tried to find information about him via the 'net, but Google doesn't offer up much help. A couple of blogs spend whole servers dedicated to people dissing, dismissing, or defending him, but no one really mentions why he's a topic of discussion.

    The most compelling piece of information I could find was a quote concerning his not receiving a medal, stating the Army did not believe he behaved in a manner befitting his status as a non-commissioned officer. As a former military member myself, I can guess what that means, but i don't want guesses any more than I want disses.

    If anyone comes across this blog while researching Mr. Subic and has information that would enlighten me regarding his role during the hostage crisis, I would be grateful if you would help me out. Feel free to post your information to my blog, or send me a private email. Please note, if you do contact me via private email, please indicate if your information is privately acquired and therefore not for sharing with the public.


    Beav said...

    This is (part of) what it says at Captivity Pageant:

    "Chubby and blond, Subic had been working as a clerk at the embassy and began making himself useful to the Iranians on the day of the takeover, leading them around the compound and identifying his bound, blindfolded colleagues by name and job description."

    Soo Mi said...

    Based on this, I wish we had been physically at war instead of simply engaging in "cold war." That way, he could have been shot at dawn. Oooh, I'm fired up now!

    Anonymous said...

    This page has the information you are looking in regards to Subic.


    I knew Subic for a number of years.

    Here is audio of Subic in Iran.


    For more information you may wish to read the book 444 days.

    Anonymous said...

    I understand he, Subic, was accepted BACK in to the Army (reserves). He was also involved in Law Enforcement in Fla. And is, or has been, under invetigation for insurance fraud. The general opinion of MANY people involved in the 79' hostage crisis was that Subic did not adhere to the standards of a good NCO while in captivity. In a nutshell, NOT a likeable character.

    Anonymous said...

    I knew Joseph when he was with the 82d Airborne Division (G2). He was a very arrogant person. He was very pleased with himself when he got embassy duty. Unfornuately for him it was the wrong embassy. Of my understanding he did not adhere to the Military Code of Conduct while a hostage and that is the reason for his dismissal from the Army. If I am not mistaken, was he not filmed denouning the USA in some of the Iranian films during that time. Thats a big no no.........

    Anonymous said...

    I worked with Subic in Law Enforcement >20 yrs ago, a decade after the hostage crisis. Yah, he was arrogant, but I got along well with him and I knew always had my back, which is all that mattered. One of our higher ups had been military intelligence & when I first met Subic, I expressed concerns about trusting him for back up. The Major told me Subic came from Army Intelligence and that the actions of persons in those positions couldn't be explained. I know he was the only hostage who wasn't awarded the Medal of Honor, but when anybody who was fired up went gunning after Subic for more stringent disciplinary action arising out of whatever happened during the 444 days, the order came from Reagan himself to step off.

    This probably brings more questions than answers.

    As a partner, he bent over backwards & bent himself into a pretzel going out of his way to help me out when I was going thru tough personal times. He was a Boy Scout troop leader & sometimes when were were running long, we'd stop by the camp to check in. I was always impressed at how great he was with kids.

    In Law Enforcement, Subic is a DFG -- Destined For Greatness. I didn't see him work his way up the ranks. He went from Investigator to Police Chief. Quite a leap. Very DFG.

    Be fired up all you want. My mom grew up in German occupied France with adult relatives who were part of the Resistance. I was outraged when I learned that we had often visited and broken bread with an uncle who saved his own life by offering up his wife and several Jewish kids she was spiriting into Switzerland to the Nazis. I couldn't believe my mom never told us this and I had to learn it from his eldest daughter. I was beside myself. My mom was very calm and almost Buddhist-like in her response that unless one had lived in those circumstances and been thru what they'd lived thru, there was no way to understand and certainly no one could judge what another did. They were all living in survival mode.

    I don't know what really went on in Iran. I don't know about being Army Intelligence. I don't know what Subic was supposed to do or not do. For the President himself to tell people to leave him alone is significant.

    It doesn't matter. You're going to have the opinion you probably already have.

    Anonymous said...

    So he "had your back" and he was good with kids. He wasn't a good soldier or a good Amercian when it counted. He's an arrogant cock and his unsavory characteristics have kept him in trouble since. He should be tried for treason, and his apologists and sympathizers should be scorned.

    Robert .Stuart said...

    Also read the book- “Guests of the Ayatollah” by Mark Bowden

    Pay back said...

    Know him from basic training ft Leonardwood Missouri U.S.A! Back in the 70s he was the most obnoxious person I have ever met a real self promoter!

    Anonymous said...

    I supervised Subic when he worked in Florida I was repeatedly asked by other Law Enforcement if I was aware of his unsavory back ground. I was not the one responsible for hiring him but I have to agree with the majority that Subic was VERY arrogant. However I think the definitive work on this is Timothy Wells book, 444 Days the Hostages Remember, The other hostages make comments that leave NOTHING to the imagination - in fact one of them said if he ever met Joe again he would "punch him OUT!" I think that fact that Mr. Subic moves so frequently - in the past 30 years I personally know of 8 different locations where he resided - not a good sign that he gets along with people well.

    Anonymous said...

    Another more recent book- Guests of the Ayatollah.

    He finally got arrested while working in White Springs, Fla as Police Chief for Insurance fraud for trying to get his pregnant girlfriend/baby sitter (By him) added to his Health Coverage while still married at the time.

    Anonymous said...

    Posted Mar 3, 2007 at 12:01 AM

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    By KAREN VOYLES / Sun staff writer The former White Springs police chief, who was among the Americans held hostage in Iran in 1979, was arrested in Hamilton County this week and charged with insurance fraud.
    An investigation that led to the criminal charges against Joe Subic was the reason White Springs Town Council members voted to suspend him from office without pay on Feb. 6.

    On Feb. 13, the 50-year-old Subic filed his retirement papers, telling some in the area that he was tired of the politics involved with being a police chief in a small town.

    Hamilton County Sheriff Harrell Reid confirmed that Subic turned himself in at the county jail in Jasper on Monday on two counts of insurance fraud. Subic was released after posting a $7,500 bond. Subic has an unlisted telephone number and could not be reached for comment.

    Florida Department of Law Enforcement spokesman Phillip Kiracofe said his agency opened an investigation into Subic’s use of the town’s health insurance about three months ago. “The city paid his (health) insurance premiums and when someone noticed that his rate went up the town became aware that he had added someone to the policy,” Kiracofe said. “Apparently, he has not been too discrete about who he discussed this with.”

    The person added to the policy was reportedly a girlfriend who would not have legally qualified as a dependent and was not a city employee and therefore not eligible for coverage under the policy, Kiracofe said.

    Jim McElwain
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    Kiracofe said one fraud charge against Subic is for allegedly making a false application — adding the girlfriend’s name to the policy. The other fraud charge is for allegedly presenting a false claim — filing a claim for insurance for the girlfriend who was not eligible for coverage.

    The fraud investigation marked the second time that Subic’s behavior came under scrutiny while he was working as a police chief. In 1998 he was fired from his job as Williston police chief for incompetency and inefficiency.

    Williston City Council members took exception to several aspects of Subic’s administration, claiming that he exceeded his budget, bought machine guns and tried to buy rocket launchers, and then urged police officers to lie about the weapons. The city did not pursue the allegations after firing Subic.

    In 1979, Subic was one of 66 Americans held hostage by militant Iranians. Subic was serving in the U.S. Army when he was taken hostage and was among those who were held for 444 days.

    Karen Voyles can be reached at 486-5058 or voylesk@gvillesun.com.