Montel Williams makes heartfelt plea to free veteran imprisoned in Iran

Amir Hekmati, a former Marine, has been imprisoned in Iran for over three and a half years, longer than any American citizen held captive by the country. In 2011, he was taken prisoner while visiting his sick grandmother. The Iranian government charged him with "espionage, waging war against God, and corrupting the earth" and sentenced him to die. While the verdict was overturned, he was sentenced during a new secret trial to ten years in prison. Amir and his lawyers didn't know until after the trial took place. Now, veterans like Montel Williams are trying to raise awareness for Amir's plight and see an opportunity for U.S. leaders to take action as the Obama administration looks to improve relations with Iran. Montel joined Glenn on TV to discuss this story.

Glenn: I want to talk to you now about really making a difference and reaching out to one another and helping each other and recognizing who’s making a difference. I’m going to introduce you to a man in a second that you know but is truly making a difference, but I want to tell you a story about a US Marine that was arrested in August 2011. He was arrested on allegations of spying for the CIA while he was visiting relatives in Iran. Over the past four years, he has been in an Iranian prison. He has been drugged. He has been whipped. He was told that his mother had died in a car accident, which is not true, and there’s one guy who has been fighting for him and fighting to bring him home. He joins me now. It’s Montel Williams. Hello, Montel.

Montel: Glenn, thank you so much for doing this yet again because one of the things you didn’t just say to your audience is remember, you and I about three weeks before we were able to get Sgt. Tahmooressi out of Mexico, did this same thing, had a conversation with your viewers to say please, we’ve got to make a difference. So, thank you again for having me on tonight.

Glenn: I have an awful lot of respect for you, Montel. The world is really going to hell, and it’s melting down, and history is beginning to repeat itself. You’re one of the few guys that has put differences aside, and you’re looking at bigger principles, and you’re trying to do what Americans have always done, and that is roll up your sleeves and just do the right thing. So, tell me the story about Hekmati.

Montel: You know, this is really crazy. You summarized it well, but let me just see if I can make sure your viewers understand. This is a young man who grew up in Arizona, went to high school in this country, enlisted in the Marine Corps, went and fought with our troops in Iraq and fought with honor, was honorably discharged. Every soldier near him will tell you the bravery he exemplified and who he is as a person.

Now, he went to Iran to visit his grandmother who at the time was extremely ill. He went through the entire process here in the United States. Now, let’s just say this, his parents are of Iranian descent. He was born in the United States. He is an American citizen. He has done everything he can do for our country and decided to serve in the military for the United States to show his support for this country.

So, he had to go to another embassy to get a visa to go to Iran. While he did so, he told them everything about his service, good, trusting, honest Marine that he is. He told them, I was in the Marine Corps. He told them I served in Iraq. They said yeah, come on over, yes, come see your grandmother. Yeah, come on over, it’s fine. Gets there, less than three days later, they arrest him, and they arrest him for spying for the United States.

Now, first off, he’s not an Iranian citizen. They arrest him for being a Marine. They sentenced him to death, Glenn. They held him in a deathwatch for about three or four months, and then in absentia go back into court, overturn a death sentence, and sentence him to ten years in prison for cooperating with a foreign government.

Now, let’s explain this completely. He has been in prison now almost four years. This is close to 1241, 1242 days now that he has been in prison. He has been tortured. Not just drugged, they kept him for about nine months in a three-by-three cell where he couldn’t even move. They have beaten him—three and a half years.

They addicted him to drugs, lithium, and then they take him on and off the addiction to torture him more. About three weeks ago, when the president held the press dinner in DC, he named and mentioned by name one of the other hostages, one that’s being held over, their prisoner being held, and he’s the Washington Post reporter. He mentioned his name. The president has also gone to see another prisoner there, his family, not the prisoner, the family of the minister that’s there. He’s seen him.

No one at this point had reached out to the Marine’s family, Amir Hekmati’s family, from our administration, though we had some underlying people but nobody up above. So, two weeks ago when the president said the other name, they went in and tried to emotionally torture Amir a little bit more, saying look, your country doesn’t care about you. They’re telling everybody else’s name and not yours.

Now, fortunately, last week, I, Amir’s sister, Sarah, and her brother-in-law, went down to DC, and we were able to meet—let me tell you, Glenn, this was unbelievable, because when you hear about what’s going on in Washington, we can’t get politicians to even talk to each other, we met from everybody with everybody from Trey Gowdy to Nancy Pelosi, Kevin McCarthy to Raul Labrador. We went in and literally stood in the Rayburn Room and spoke to every one of them coming in and out.

The Speaker, Speaker Boehner, even retweeted Congressman Kildee, who is the Congressman who is Amir’s Congressman, retweeted his message. So, what’s been going on? Since then, this past weekend, Vice President Biden was in it was Detroit or near where the Hekmatis are from. He was there in town. He went and spent a couple hours with the family and is finally now starting to talk to them. So, our efforts to raise the bar and raise the noise is starting to do something. Now, we need to raise the bar even more, and that’s get Iran to number one, stop even the question of including this Marine and the other hostages in any conversation about any deal.

And because of that, what’s happened is Congressman Kildee and a group of congressmen bipartisan now have put forth House Resolution 233. I’ve got to beg your viewers today to call their congressmen, call their senator, tell them we need to come behind this House bill. We need to let Iran know today that one, this man wore our uniform. There’s no law that he broke by doing so, by being an American citizen. Two, all of us listening right, now believe me, our freedom rides on the back of Marines like Amir to hold back Iran if they attempt to send any weapons anywhere within that region that could be used against us.

We have soldiers, sailors, airmen, Air Force men, Coast Guard men, Marines, that are out there waiting right now to put their lives on the line for us, and their payback will be you wear our uniform, if somebody else arrests you and throws you in jail, we’re not going to do anything to come and get you. We’re going to leave you there to rot. Remember, less than 0.6% of this nation’s population has skin in this game when it comes to a uniform on their back dodging bullets to protect this democracy.

We keep turning our backs on those who have done so, wait and see what happens when the next volley of fire starts to come. So, I’ve got to demand, I’m asking, begging, please, Glenn, thank you so much for giving me an opportunity to say this. If all of your viewers will go up right now #FreeAmirNow, and then you can also #HouseResolution233, and we could raise the ire here and make people understand that the democracy that we are trying to shove down everybody else’s throat needs to have people in uniforms to defend.

Glenn: Okay, I want to see if we can get this trending tonight, and then I’d like to see if I can get you on the radio tomorrow, and we’ll unleash the radio audience as well.

Montel: I’m on. You got me.

Glenn: What this resolution says is basically that Iran is holding three United States citizens. They’ve been held captive for multiple years. They’ve been disappeared, and Rouhani says that the government wishes to engage in construction interaction in the world. Therefore, be it resolved that it is the sense of House representatives that Iran should release all detained United States citizens immediately and provide any information it possesses against United States citizens that have been disappeared within its borders. This is really easy for everybody to get on board with, really easy.

Montel: How can we make it any harder?

Glenn: I know. I want to correct one thing that you said, and it’s possibly the saddest part of your rant. That is you said if we keep deserting them, watch what happens when the next volley comes. I’d like to tell you, and I know you know this to be true, that’s what should happen, but what the people who serve our nation will do is go out anyway and protect us anyway. We are not worthy of their protection.

Montel: You’re right, but I’m talking about the ones that are going to sign up. I should say this, Glenn, you know, recently a study just came back that stated unequivocally our service members are right now at the lowest level of motivation, and they have the lowest opinion of their future in the military. And we let them know every day that I’m going to turn my back on you? Come on.

Glenn: Montel, I have to tell you, I really, truly believe that when history is written about this time period, you will at least be a footnote on what you have done for the military. You are passionate about it, and you are a guy who’s making a difference. This is not your job. And I enjoy having you on because you’re a great example to all of us on what we should be doing.

Montel: Thank you so much, sir.

Glenn: Thank you. We’ll talk to you tomorrow on the radio. Go ahead.

Montel: I’ll catch you on the radio tomorrow, and thank you again, Glenn. Well, last thing, the family needs you to know this is that Amir’s father, two years ago, two and a half years ago, got diagnosed with a brain tumor. The man doesn’t have a lot of time left. This family is paying hospital bills, legal bills. They need some help also, and if I could just please ask and say this, if you want to help the family financially, you can go to giveforward.com/freeAmir. Please, the family needs your help. A couple months ago, you guys were able to raise a lot of money for some other issues. If you could just help them out right now.

You know, we hope we get Amir home in time to see his father before he passes. You know, the thank you to me, let me say this, it’s my honor and my responsibility to the soldiers who follow me and those before me to do this every day, period.

Glenn: I respect the man who believes something so deeply that he weeps when he talks about it. Montel, God bless you. We’ll talk to you tomorrow on the radio.

Hypocrisy EXPOSED: The 'Amazon Files' and what WE are doing about it

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Who is really banning books?

For years now, Conservatives have been taking flak from the left for supposed "book bans." The left likes to compare these "bans" to Nazi book burnings, accusing the right of sweeping authoritarian decrees designed to suppress information. In reality, this is a movement largely motivated by parents, who want to remove inappropriate books from children's libraries.

But if you want to discuss authoritarian book bans, look no further than the White House. As Glenn recently covered, the Biden administration has been pressuring the world's largest bookseller, Amazon, into suppressing books they disagree with.

On February 5th, 2024, Ohio Representative Jim Jordan released a slew of subpoenaed documents that exposed pressure placed on Amazon by the Biden Administration. The documents, which Jordan dubbed "The Amazon Files" after Elon Musk's "The Twitter Files," revealed an email conversation between Andrew Slavitt, a former White House senior adviser, and Amazon employees. In these emails, Slavitt complained that the top search results for books on "vaccines" were "concerning" and then requested that Amazon intervene. Amazon initially refused, not out of some altruistic concern for the free exchange of information. They thought any action taken would be "too visible" and would further exasperate the “Harry/Sally narrative,” referring to the outrage that followed Amazon's removal of Ryan T. Anderson’s book When Harry Became Sally.

Despite this initial refusal, Amazon agreed to meet with the White House a few days later. The number one item on their agenda was removing books from the website. An Amazon employee even admitted that the reason they even took this meeting was due to the pressure being placed on them by the Biden Administration.

What was the result of this meeting? Amazon caved. They began to implement ways of limiting the outreach of books that challenged the mainstream vaccine narrative and other books the White House might not like.

The White House was caught red-handed pressuring the world's largest bookseller to restrict the sale of books they consider in opposition to their narrative, and they have the gall to accuse conservatives of information suppression. This is just ONE of many actions committed by the Biden Administration that are more characteristic of a dictator than a president.

What can you do about it? Fortunately, you are not dependent on Amazon and its corrupted algorithm to help you find books. Every week right here on GlennBeck.com, we highlight books that Glenn is reading or talking about in our "Glenn's Bookshelf" series. Here you can find a wide selection of books free from Amazon's filters. Be sure to sign up for Glenn's newsletter to find out about new additions to "Glenn's Bookshelf" every week.

10 times Biden has acted like a DICTATOR

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The left-wing media's most recent tirade is accusing Trump of being a dictator. But, as Glenn said, "Everything they're accusing us of, they're doing."

Since day one, the Biden administration has overstepped the bounds placed on the executive branch set by the Constitution. In Glenn's most recent TV Special, he examined ten times Biden acted like a dictator, NOT a president. Here are 10 of Biden's Dictator Moves, and click HERE to get ALL of the research that went into this week's Glenn TV special:

5 ways to protect your First Amendment rights. Number 4 will surprise you.

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Every day it seems Glenn covers another story revealing how people across the world at all levels of power DESPISE the fact that YOU have rights, and they are actively trying to curtail them. Recently, there has been a string of attacks against the rights outlined in the First Amendment: the freedom of religion, the freedom of speech, the freedom of press, the freedom of assembly, and the freedom to petition.

As a refresher, the First Amendment reads as follows:

"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances."

This is powerful stuff, there is a good reason the Founding Fathers made it the FIRST Amendment. It's also the reason why power-hungry elites are attacking it. These attacks are designed to control the way you think, speak, and believe, vote, what you read, and who holds your representatives responsible. The First Amendment is our strongest weapon against tyrants, and they know it.

So what can you do about it? Hope that some wig in Washinton will eventually do something? We know how well that works. The best thing to do is to stay active, engage in the issues you care about, and exercise your rights.

So where to start? Here are a few things YOU can do to protect your First Amendment rights:

Religion

The best way to flex your Freedom of Religion is to—you guessed it—practice your faith. Become an active member in your place of worship, go to scripture studies, invite your friends to that late afternoon event, and walk the life. This can impact the way you spend money as well. Shop the businesses and brands that share your values, and don't shop at the ones that scorn them. Keeping the community alive and healthy is the best way to ensure that generations to come will be able to experience the freedom you enjoy.

Speech

Much like religion, the best way to protect your freedom of speech is... to speak. Engage your friends and family in polite, civil conversation. Stand up for what you believe in, and make your case to your peers. Just remember to keep it friendly. No one ever won an argument by shouting down their opponent. The civil exchange of ideas is the cornerstone of our republic, and a dialogue where the participants are well-informed, considerate, compassionate, and open-minded can have permanent impacts on all involved.

Press

Freedom of the Press seems a little tricky at first. Unless you work for the media, what are you supposed to do? Quit your job and go work for the local newspaper? The good news is that exercising this right is not nearly that difficult. In fact, you are currently doing it. The best thing you can do is to read from outlets that produce informative content. Want to know what Glenn consumes to stay informed every day? Sign up for Glenn's Morning Brief newsletter to get all the stories Glenn gets sent to his desk every day sent straight to your inbox.

Assembly

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Freedom of assembly is one of the more impactful yet underutilized freedoms in the First Amendment. Peaceably assembling and protesting with like-minded individuals can hugely influence politicians and policies while simultaneously creating community and fellowship between attendees. It's understandable why more people don't turn out. We're all busy people with busy schedules, and flying out to D.C. for the weekend seems like a daunting task to many. Thankfully, you don't have to go out all the way to D.C. to make a difference. Gather some like-minded people in your town and bring awareness to issues that impact your community. Big change starts locally, and exercising your freedom to assemble can be the catalyst to lasting impact.

Petition

If you've been a long-time listener of Glenn, then you will have heard a few of his calls to action where he asks his audience to contact their representatives about a particular piece of policy. There is a good reason Glenn keeps on doing those: they work. Whether it's your local mayor or your senator, a call and an email go a long way. If you really want to make a change, convince your friends and family to reach out as well.

5 SHOCKING crimes the border crisis is bringing to YOUR backyard

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The crisis on the southern border has reached a boiling point following the controversial Supreme Court ruling that allowed the federal government to remove large portions of border security, triggering a movement of conservative governors defending Texas' right to protect its border.

We commonly hear about the border crisis through mainstream media as if it's an abstract issue that has little to no effect on our daily lives. However, for millions of Americans, the border crisis is in their backyard... literally... bringing crime up to their front doorstep—and it's coming to your doorstep soon.

These five stories paint a glimpse of the type of crime and cartel activity that is being enabled by the Biden administration's border policies.

Assault and robbery in Massachusetts

On January 15th, Lucas Vilaca Moreira Fontenelle was arrested in Milford, Massachusetts for armed robbery of a bodega along with two other illegals a few days earlier. This comes just one month after ICE detained Fontenelle for assault, but the city of Milford cut him free as part of their status as a sanctuary city.

Murder in New Your City

On January 6th, Moises Coronado chased down, beat, and fatally stabbed Dafren Canizalez while in a NYC shelter. Coronado illegally crossed the Texas border in November where he was detained before being released and making his way to New York.

Cartel trafficking in El Paso

Late last month U.S. Border Patrol agents operating in the El Paso region arrested a cartel "foot guide" that was responsible for trafficking dozens of illegal immigrants across the border. The foot guide is a member of the La Linea Cartel, an operation based out of Juarez, Mexico whose gang warfare contributed to the city's 1,000+ homicides in 2023 alone.

Human smuggling in Arizona

Last November, two teenagers were pulled over with five illegal immigrants in their car. The teens are being charged with human trafficking, and there is evidence that this was not their first trip. Authorities believe that these teens are the latest in a dangerous new trend of cartels using social media to pay teens to smuggle migrants across the border.

Cartel trespassing in Arizona

Late last December, an Arizona rancher reported that he has seen a disturbing rise of cartel activity on his land. According to the rancher, he has seen evidence of cartels fighting for control of routes that pass through his property. He has even seen cartel scouts and human smugglers several times.