March 19th, 2012
03:08 PM ET

U.S. was told American businessman was missing in Iraq

The U.S. embassy in Baghdad was informed an American businessman had gone missing in the same month the businessman said he was kidnapped by Iraqi militia, the State Department spokeswoman said.  The revelation is the latest twist in the case of Randy Hultz who was freed by militia loyal to Muqtada al-Sadr this weekend but nobody seemed to know he had been abducted.

On Monday, the State Department's Victoria Nuland  said there was an attempt to find Hultz when he went missing last June, but after a search the U.S. embassy assumed he had left the country and stopped the inquiry.

Here is what Victoria Nuland said at Monday's State Department briefing:

NULAND:  Well, I agree.  We were all a little bit confused over

the weekend, in part because in coming back to Iraq, he had not chosen

as a private American in country to register with the embassy.  So,

frankly, we didn't have any information about his whereabouts, et


I will tell you that we did receive an e-mail around June of 2011

from an Iraqi acquaintance of Mr. Hultz, saying that he had not heard

from this guy for several days, and the Iraqi indicated in that e-mail

that he was of the impression that Mr. Hultz was planning to leave

Iraq in the near future.  So this was in June, and that was the first

that we had ever heard about him.

And at that point, we looked into it, we were able to figure out

the hotel where the Iraqi had thought he had been staying and living.

We consulted with the hotel, with Iraqi authorities in the weeks that

followed, and we weren't able to find any trace of him.

So at that point, we assumed, I think, that he had left the

country, he had not chosen to contact us.  So that was our only

information about him one way or the other until he showed up at the


QUESTION:  And that Iraqi friend never got back to you and said,

by the way, he's kidnapped?

NULAND:  No.  No.  And we were never contacted by any family

members in the United States, either.  Yeah.  I agree with you,

unusual story.

Filed under: Iraq • Middle East • State Department
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  6. Andreas

    Ummm Actually, we already won the war. The war was about onhetrowivg the then current Iraqi government. We defeated their armies (without even facing the majority of it.) We captured or killed all of its leaders. Killed some of them after we captured them. And took over the country from them.We won the war. What we haven't won is the peace. After taking over the country, we faced sporadic insurgents. That insurgency has grown to a full blown civil war. However, since we installed a puppet government, that insurgency isn't against us, its against the installed puppet government. Our involvement in it has to do with protecting the puppet government.Since our stated goal, post war, was to have the Iraqi's decide their government, defending the now current government is outside of those stated goals. We have allowed a muddling of what it is to win a war. If our end goal was to absorb Iraq into the territorial boundaries of the United States, our mission of suppressing the will of the people would be correct. Since that was not (atleast not publicly by the Bush Admin) the government's goal and not the U.S. population's goal our troops are fighting a policing action to prop up a puppet government that lacks the support of its people (kinda sounds familiar.)

    April 4, 2012 at 5:51 am | Reply
  7. J

    I worked with him a short time in Iraqi and he was a liar and dishonest..... Contractor got away from him as well as the honest Iraqi business men. He was married to a wife in the states, choose to marry in Iraqi gal and was playing all the systems he could to scam. I am sure he is trying to get a book deal out of this and in the end the joke will be on anyone that thinks this is a true story. I am not alone in my thinking.... I am sure when the truth be know it will show a big scam on Micheals part.

    March 19, 2012 at 6:16 pm | Reply

      well if that is the case and if one penny or american assests were used in this matter than this guy will be charged. i am sure that this is being looked into , and if not that would be a huge black mark against the state department .

      March 19, 2012 at 7:36 pm | Reply
  8. Ranger830

    Thats just so frickin typical!!!!!! Sad very very frickin sad!!!!!! lmfao whats next?

    March 19, 2012 at 4:39 pm | Reply
  9. Capt. Obvious

    Contractor used disappear!

    The State Dept. is Confused!

    March 19, 2012 at 4:20 pm | Reply


    March 19, 2012 at 3:57 pm | Reply

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