As President Obama delivered his final State of the Union address before a joint session of Congress and the American people, ten U.S. naval personnel, including one woman, were in the hands of Iranian forces, yet he didn’t even mention it in his 58-minute address, spending time instead attacking Republican candidates for the presidential nomination with special focus on frontrunner Donald Trump, on his personal quest to close the military detention center at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, the “success” of his push for green energy and his rosy picture of the economy.

Although the exact circumstances surrounding the seizure of the two naval crafts and the detention of their crew are still being investigated, photographs showing the sailors kneeling, with their hands behind their heads before their Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) captors had already been flashed around the world along with other photos showing a female sailor being forced to wear a headscarf.

Presidential hopeful, Donald Trump, however, was not willing to let the detention of Americans at the hands of Iranians go without comment and he took to Facebook in a post that clearly resonated with the American people.

“Iran humiliated the United States with the capture of our 10 sailors. Horrible pictures & images. We are weak. I will NOT forget!” Trump posted in a promise that went viral with over 62,000 likes, 7,000 comments and was shared over 10,000 times.

The Iranians were quick to use the photographs of the ten Americans in positions that clearly revealed them to be at the mercy of their captors and broadcast a video of one of the sailors actually apologizing to Iran for “mistakenly” entering that country’s territorial waters. The apology may have been a violation of the U.S. Military Code of Conduct, as well as the Geneva Code.

Initial news reports blamed the incident on a mechanical failure in the two vessels, and Secretary of State John Kerry hailed the relatively quick release of the sailors as a victory for the diplomatic relations he had fostered during the years-long negotiations with Iran on the recent nuclear pact. Key provisions of the deal, including the release of $150 billion in lifted sanctions, scheduled to take effect within days.

Military and naval experts, however, were quick to question the official version of the event deeming it non-credible. The video of the commander of one of the vessels thanking the Iranians for their “fantastic” behavior, “hospitality and assistance,” was also questioned as Reuters news agency revealed that the sailors were detained at gunpoint.

Trump has continued to slam the Obama administration for creating a world view of the United States as weak, making it vulnerable to just this kind of attack.

“Those young people were on their hands and knees in a begging position with their hands up and thugs behind them with guns, and then we talk like it's OK. It's not OK. It's lack of respect.”


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