Amir Mirzaei Hekmati: Death by False Confessions

The life of U.S. military combat veteran Amir Mirzaei Hekmati is in austere jeopardy.  International news has revealed that Hekmati has been convicted of working with a hostile country, belonging to the Central Intelligence Agency, and trying to accuse Iran of involvement in terrorist activities -- all allegations likely harvested from false confessions.

While news about Hekmati is more than disheartening, no one save the principals truly knows whether or not he actually was on any U.S. intelligence agency's payroll.  The only thing known about Hekmati's government service is that he once served honorably for the United States Marine Corps.  The confession which led to his conviction could easily have come from Iran's unique torture methodologies, which would make anything he stated a "false" confession.  

Iran's elicitation techniques have been known to include torture.

In 2009, three U.S. hikers were apprehended by Iranian officials on the Iran-Iraq border.  Sarah Shourd, Shane Bauer, and Josh Fattal all revealed the physical and psychological torture sustained while confined in Tehran's Evin Prison.  Heads beaten into walls, bodies thrown down flights of stairs, and the fear of a pistol's hammer engaging the firing pin only to release a bullet were common occurrences for the three hikers.  They are lucky to be alive today.

William Buckley was not nearly as fortunate as the three hikers.  The 1984 Lebanon CIA Chief was brutally tortured to the point that even his closest of colleagues had difficulty identifying the man when his Hezb'allah captors presented videos of a barely living U.S. patriot.  According to Gordon Thomas, "Buckley was close to a gibbering wretch. His words were often incoherent; he slobbered and drooled and, most unnerving of all, he would suddenly scream in terror, his eyes rolling helplessly and his body shaking."

At some point during his captivity, Buckley either was killed by his Hezb'allah captors or his body simply shut down from months of horrific pain and suffering.  Hezb'allah was created by Iran, and their modus operandi has been groomed by IRGC and Al Quds forces.  Buckley's life will not be forgotten, nor will the torture he endured.

Iran can claim anything they want about Amir Mirzaei Hekmati.  Fortunately, the world knows how brutal and inhumane Iran can be towards those they capture.  Today, Hekmati's death sentence likely comes from false confessions made through painful Iranian torture.  His life rests in the hands of God.

Kerry Patton, a combat service disabled veteran, is a senior analyst for WIKISTRAT and owner of  He has worked in South America, Africa, the Middle East, Asia, and Europe, focusing on intelligence and security and interviewing current and former terrorists, including members of the Taliban.  He is the author of Sociocultural Intelligence: The New Discipline of Intelligence Studies and the children's book American Patriotism.  You can follow him on Facebook.