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. chrissy

    Lmao @ bobcat, i thought it was the greasers and the frats? And did you ever have a teacher by the name of Mrs. Pagle? or Mrs. Ripley?

    March 18, 2012 at 6:39 pm | Report abuse |
    • bobcat2u

      @chrissy

      The frat label came about 2 years before I graduated. I did have teacher named Mrs. Stengal. Man, you talk about an SS Trooper. I think she may have been at Auswich. (spelling) She taught social arts. Pulleeeez.

      March 18, 2012 at 6:43 pm | Report abuse |
    • bobcat2u

      @ chrissy

      Let me correct myself. It was Mrs. Steinke who taught the social arts class and was the SS Trooper. Mr. Stengal was our english teacher. He was pretty cool.

      March 18, 2012 at 6:53 pm | Report abuse |
  2. chrissy

    And @ bobcat, the greaser i remember was Billy Wolfe! I even married the jerk! Lmfao!

    March 18, 2012 at 6:43 pm | Report abuse |
    • bobcat2u

      @ chrissy

      That's both funny and sad at the same time. Some of us former greasers did acheive some sort of life. I think the rest of them became the original hippies. LMAO

      March 18, 2012 at 6:47 pm | Report abuse |
  3. chrissy

    Lmao that would not have been her. I just cant remember when her name changed but she was a grade school teacher. And she was my grandma. Lmao! Also she had 5 kids of her own, and 9 stepchildren.

    March 18, 2012 at 6:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • bobcat2u

      @ chrissy

      Wow, I would say this was a woman who loved children. Did she leave any post its for you ?

      March 18, 2012 at 6:55 pm | Report abuse |
  4. chrissy

    Lmao @ bobcat, wasnt her that passed that luvliness on to my mom! My gram was the coolest of the cool for sure!

    March 18, 2012 at 7:03 pm | Report abuse |
  5. .Citizen

    Not Me at 10:54am and 3:50pm!! Get your Own Name Buddy!!

    March 18, 2012 at 7:04 pm | Report abuse |
  6. chrissy

    psst @ bobcat, I was one of those hippys btw! lmfao!

    March 18, 2012 at 7:10 pm | Report abuse |
    • bobcat2u

      @ chrissy

      Pssst. I was an undercover hippy. In my chosen profession, i had to keep it rather quiet. At least they didn't test back then. Good times indeed.

      March 18, 2012 at 7:39 pm | Report abuse |
  7. chrissy

    lmao @ bobcat, didnt last long for me.

    March 18, 2012 at 8:14 pm | Report abuse |
    • bobcat2u

      Yeah me too. I hate that I missed woodstock though. I was on the battlefield at that time.

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

    Lmao @ bobcat, my mom wouldnt let me go. And upon reflection i wouldnt have let me either. I was way too young. In fact to this very day, i have never been to a concert. Odd huh? Bought many tickets for my daughters though. Lol but i aint dead yet.

    March 18, 2012 at 8:58 pm | Report abuse |
  9. banasy©

    @chrissy:
    Back in my black concert t-shirt days, I saw enough concerts for both of us, lok.
    Some people have scrapbooks; mine are made of cloth!

    March 18, 2012 at 9:07 pm | Report abuse |
  10. chrissy

    Lmfao @ banasy, was that intended to make me feel better? Cuz if so ya fell a bit short of your mark. Lol!

    March 18, 2012 at 9:14 pm | Report abuse |
  11. bobcat2u

    One of my first concerts was ZZ TOP. Shortly after that, I saw Ozzie for the first time. Head-Bangin good times.

    March 18, 2012 at 9:20 pm | Report abuse |
  12. banasy©

    Sorry chrissy!
    My husband has never seen a concert, either.
    At least you'll always have Kid Rock!

    March 18, 2012 at 9:22 pm | Report abuse |
  13. banasy©

    Rawr:
    Seen them both; Ozzy with Black Sabbath and with his own band.

    March 18, 2012 at 9:26 pm | Report abuse |
    • bobcat2u

      Yeah, Black Sabbath is who I saw too. It was just too cool.

      March 18, 2012 at 9:28 pm | Report abuse |
    • banasy©

      Great, Rawr.
      Now I've got "Crazy Train" stuck in my head!

      March 18, 2012 at 9:44 pm | Report abuse |
  14. chrissy

    Lol @ banasy, YUP! And hes as hillarious as always!

    March 18, 2012 at 9:33 pm | Report abuse |
  15. banasy©

    See chrissy?
    He's one I haven't seen! 😉

    +1 for chrissy!

    March 18, 2012 at 9:40 pm | Report abuse |
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