Robert Levinson, the former CIA agent, has been missing seven years today. Levinson was kidnapped on March 9 2007. The anniversary comes the day prior to one of Levinson’s own-his 66th birthday on Monday. The Coral Springs resident, who was on a mission for the CIA, went missing from the Iranian resort island of Kish. He is now the longest missing American hostage in history.
The anniversary opens old but still very fresh wounds for Levinson’s family. It was Levinson’s wife who spoke up when the White House continued to insist Levinson had gone to Kish Island on a personal business trip. Levinson’s wife said that while it was business, it was not personal. It was, instead, she said, the business of the CIA. Levinson, the family claimed, was working as a freelance spy in a rogue operation which included spying on Iran’s nuclear program and also on the Lebanese terrorist group Hezbollah. The Levinson family believe that the CIA’s acknowledgment of Levinson, a former FBI employee for close to two decades, working for them would help his safe return. The CIA, though, continued to deny that Levinson was involved in any such operations, and focused the attention on the U.S Government doing everything in its power to bring Levinson home.
The family released a statement today saying Bob was not at home with the people who loved him, his family and friends. The statement went on to say that Bob’s imprisonment “defied humanity in everyone”. The statement went on to say the family missed everything about Bob- “his face, his voice, his laughter, his wisdom, and his embrace”- and that his absence was ever-present in their lives.
The impending birthday also featured in the statement, namely concerning its health implications. With Levinson turning 66 on Monday, the family expressed their concerns about his age and his harsh living conditions. The family said they hoped he was receiving the right medical welfare and then went on to address his kidnappers. The statement asked for Bob to be released to live out his life in his home country in peace. The statement went on to ask the Iranian Government to release Levinson on humanitarian grounds and reminded the US Government of its duty to bring him home.
Levinson’s status as missing for seven years makes him the longest American missing in history. The U.S Government say that in that time they have not been able to get any intelligence on him. All that has been seen was a video sent to the Levinson family in November 2010. In the recording, Levinson pleaded with the U.S Government to agree to the requests of his unidentified kidnappers. Levinson looked disheveled and worn-out in the clip but was, as far as was shown in the video, unharmed. But while his looks may have changed, one thing still remained the same: Levinson was still missing.
With seven years having passed since Robert Levinson went missing on Kish Island, the International community will be hoping that next year it does not become eight. FBI Director James Coney said in a statement that the missing status of Levinson had been a huge burden on his family and asked for the international community and the Republic of Iran to assist the FBI with any information about Levinson’s disappearance.
Commentary by Christian Deverille