March 18th, 2012
06:20 AM ET

More questions than answers in account of American's abduction in Iraq

The murky abduction account of an American, who nobody appeared to know was missing in Iraq until he resurfaced, is raising questions about everything from his name to the circumstances surrounding his reported kidnapping.

A Shiite militia loyal to radical cleric Muqtada al-Sadr announced Saturday in a bizarre, pre-taped news conference that it was releasing U.S. soldier Randy Michaels, who one Sadrist lawmaker said was captured in battle nine months earlier.

The man did not identify himself, though he said he was a former soldier who was working as a civilian when he was abducted.

But U.S. officials say all missing soldiers have been accounted for and no civilian was recently reported missing, and even the man's ex-wife said she didn't know he had been kidnapped.

On Sunday, adding to the mystery, the U.S. Embassy declined to identify the American or discuss details surrounding the reported abduction.

"We cannot disclose any further information at this moment regarding this case because of privacy practices," embassy spokesman Michael McClellan said.

But a U.S. official who had knowledge of the man and had seen the video told CNN he was Rand Michael Hultz, a former Army soldier who served in Iraq shortly after the 2003 invasion and later returned as an "entrepreneur."

The account by the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because of the nature of the case, is supported by interviews the man gave to an Iraqi television stations in 2010 where he identified himself as Hultz and detailed his business ventures.

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Filed under: Iraq • U.S. • World
soundoff (88 Responses)
  1. citizen

    @ CenTexas, An immediate withdrawal of troops would destabilize Afghanistan and possibly the region at large. So the story goes.
    Folks aren't so apt to fear " Islamic terrorists" any longer. The mortgage payment and high gas prices are bogey man enough.
    However, the threat of a nuclear armed Iran will be very real in a few years. Picking a fight now would certainly be an all-in move to retain the presidency as Americans never deserted a president in a time of war.
    But the stakes are to high to claim war as a political chip unless you are a neocon and believe in American preeminence.
    A limited engagement with Syria would be a subtler proxy fight with Iran. And is already supported by the likes of John McCain.
    The smart players in this game are Israelis.
    If they want Obama to win then a nuc facility strike will happen right before presidential election. If a Republican wins the election a strike will happen soon after.
    Either way the news is not good for a war weary world.
    The point is, what ever scenario plays out we already have troops in theater.

    March 18, 2012 at 3:50 pm | Report abuse |
  2. chrissy

    Holy chamolie, 800 people? Lmao! @ banasy, i guess not! Sounds more like a recipe for disaster than a good time!

    March 18, 2012 at 3:58 pm | Report abuse |
    • banasy©

      It was insane.
      We used to go a few years back, got bored, thought we'd try it again, got annoyed and bored.
      Won't be repeating it again!

      March 18, 2012 at 4:32 pm | Report abuse |

    Under racial profiling many blacks were arrested and were either martyred within the prison system or were deported to AFRICA where many of them were martyred there and were buried in mass graves in both SUDAN and in the congo IT was this act as well as the rise of the hiphop nation which had been summon against black by the white femnists is what contribute to the black holoacust

    March 18, 2012 at 4:24 pm | Report abuse |

    Bush Cheny > your new Island country has arrived.

    He was portrayed as a CHIMP all over Europe- BUT is there any ISLAND better than America?
    OF COURSE NOT > FREE the Island > ALLOW THEM to "evolve"... do not disturb them.......
    Allow all their claims and Island flag waving and pretend elections and see > a GREATER ISLAND !!!

    March 18, 2012 at 4:34 pm | Report abuse |
  5. chrissy

    lmao @ bobcat, ask banasy what she means when she calls me that! And dont make me meet you in alabama to kick ur butt! Roflmao! And @ rev, no prob.

    March 18, 2012 at 5:02 pm | Report abuse |
  6. dazzle ©

    This is getting all too common. Just got subjected to the full body scan. On my way to a week in the midwest.

    March 18, 2012 at 5:08 pm | Report abuse |
  7. chrissy

    lmao @ dazzle, was it as good for you as it was for them?

    March 18, 2012 at 5:12 pm | Report abuse |
    • dazzle ©

      @chrissy, I hope they liked the show. I travel a lot but this is a first.

      March 18, 2012 at 5:15 pm | Report abuse |
  8. chrissy

    I hear ya sista! I prefer to drive now, after all the new sanctions put on travelors flying its almost quicker and definitely cheaper! Although not nearly as much fun. Lmao!

    March 18, 2012 at 5:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • dazzle ©

      Now we are sitting on the runway, strangely they didn't tell us to turn off electronics.I've got an old chatter box next to me. I pretended that I couldn't speak English just so he would leave me be!! Now I will have to keep up this ruse with the flight attendant.

      March 18, 2012 at 5:32 pm | Report abuse |
  9. bobcat2u

    @ dazzle

    When I left out of New Orleans coming here to Texas, I also got the full scan. So I just gave them a spread eagle shot.
    When I stepped out of the booth , they gave me some really dirty looks. I don't know, maybe they were jealous.
    One of these days I'm probably going to get in trouble. But bobcat is what he is.

    March 18, 2012 at 5:31 pm | Report abuse |
    • dazzle ©

      @bobcat2U, LOL, I don't this us girls can get away with it. I find I have to bite my tongue because one could get in trouble. I am still in Texas waiting to take off.

      March 18, 2012 at 5:38 pm | Report abuse |
    • bobcat2u

      @ dazzle

      I know, I have to bite my tongue quite often. My jokester self has gotten me in trouble more than once. But hey, that's just me. And at my age I'm not about to change me now.

      March 18, 2012 at 5:51 pm | Report abuse |
  10. bobcat2u

    AHA ! I see the fake dazzle is trying to promote it's own agenda again.

    March 18, 2012 at 5:33 pm | Report abuse |
    • dazzle ©

      Thanks for noticing @bobct2U.I hope you can see this difference between her posts and mine. I don't want to clue her in

      March 18, 2012 at 5:42 pm | Report abuse |
    • bobcat2u

      @ dazzle

      I can spot your style a mile away sweet lady. Where at in Texas are you ?

      March 18, 2012 at 5:48 pm | Report abuse |
    • dazzle ©

      @bobcat, you are a sweetie. Dallas headed for the MidWest.

      March 18, 2012 at 5:54 pm | Report abuse |
    • bobcat2u

      @ dazzle

      I leave out of Love Field tomorrow on my way back home. You have a safe flight. I'll try to think of some way to irritate those people tomorrow. But not too much. I sure don't want to be hauled into the back room. If you know what I mean.

      March 18, 2012 at 6:01 pm | Report abuse |
  11. revnowwhilewecan

    Why does the moderator hate me? I can't type for crap and it stinks that it takes me a long time to type out a respectful rebuttle to dicussions and it doesn't post. Oh well, I try. 🙂

    March 18, 2012 at 5:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • bobcat2u

      @ rev

      This site hates all of us from time to time. Don't take it personal.

      March 18, 2012 at 5:53 pm | Report abuse |
  12. revnowwhilewecan

    @bobcat2u Despite all of the tin foil hat comments I get, I believe you! 🙂 Maybe if I just end evey comment with a smiley face it will work. 🙂

    March 18, 2012 at 5:56 pm | Report abuse |
    • bobcat2u

      @ rev

      Despite what else you may have heard, the tin foil hats only work against mind control efforts and cosmic rays.

      March 18, 2012 at 6:03 pm | Report abuse |
  13. chrissy

    lmao @ bobcat, you know you love trouble! @ dazzle, let me know when you will be flying in here, im only l0 mins from the airport. And @ fake dazzle, your book? Would that be like a self portrait done by a painter? Lmao!

    March 18, 2012 at 6:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • bobcat2u


      Yeah, I guess you're right on that. You can't grow up on the streets of Detroit without loving a little trouble. I remember back in the day in the 60's, we had to societal groups. The greasers and the sociables. Guess which group I was in.
      Here's a hint. I dressed in all black,with the needle point shoes, and my hair style was the waterfall.

      March 18, 2012 at 6:22 pm | Report abuse |
  14. chrissy

    @ rev, and of course you MUST believe in tinfoil hats or they wont work lmfao! Just like ya gotta believe someone here has the power of mind control. But if you do you may wanta call dr. daz, she can set you straight!

    March 18, 2012 at 6:10 pm | Report abuse |
  15. chrissy

    @ bobcat, have you EVER heard of it being 8l degrees @ 6pm in march, in NORTHERN michigan?? Thats what it is this very minute in traverse city!! Unfreakinbelievable!

    March 18, 2012 at 6:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • bobcat2u

      @ chrissy

      Wow, that 'is' totally unbelievable. I don't know what the deal is with this weather.

      March 18, 2012 at 6:24 pm | Report abuse |
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