The wife and son of Robert "Bob" Levinson, an ex-FBI agent kidnapped in Iran in 2007, sent out a heart-breaking plea today begging for his captors to allow Levinson to return home. "We are not part of any government and we are not experts on the region," Bob's son David asks his father's captors. "No one can help us but you. Please help us." The three-minute video is a surreal, unnervingly calm plea in the face of a surreal and unnervingly desperate situation. The AP reports, "In the nearly five years that Levinson has been missing, the U.S. government has never had solid intelligence about what happened to him ... But as every lead fizzled and Iran repeatedly denied any involvement in his disappearance, many in the U.S. government believed Levinson was probably dead." If today's message is any indication, Levinsons do not believe that's the case. In today's message, the Levinsons spliced a video from Bob's captors into the plea which shows him alive, albeit from last November. "I am not in very good health," he said. "I am running very quickly out of diabetes medicine." The AP and New York Times both admit seeing Bob Levinson's proof of life video last year but didn't report it -- The Times says the Levinson family asked to hold the video while the AP claims the U.S. government said that reporting on it at the time would have complicated diplomatic efforts to bring Levinson home. The continued diplomatic efforts with the Iranian government and the continued failures to find Bob's whereabouts, make David's words ("not part of any government") all the more striking, signaling a stark departure from diplomatic negotiation into one that resembles a hostage situation. "All I want is for our family to be whole again," Christine tells her husband, closing out the video. "We love you. We miss you every day. We will not abandon you."
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.