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Tag: john kerry

Not Forgotten: 9th Anniversary of the Disappearance of Ex-FBI Agent Robert Levinson in Iran

Robert Levinson

Robert Levinson

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

This past Wednesday marked the ninth anniversary of the disappearance of  ex-FBI agent Robert Levinson, who vanished after going to Iran. In hopes of keeping the issue at the forefront, the White House, State Department, FBI and family issued statements this week.

“Bob’s wife, children, and grandchildren have waited nine long years for the release of their loved one. Nine years is an incomprehensible amount of time for him to be missing without any word of his whereabouts,” FBI Director James B. Comey said in a statement. “The FBI family feels personally connected to ensuring Bob’s safe return and we are doing everything in our power to investigate all leads.”

In 2013,  the Levinson family acknowledged he was actually working as a freelance “spy” for a rogue CIA operation. The Iranian press initially reported after his disappearance that he was being held by Iranian authorities, but since then, the Iranian government has denied even knowing his whereabouts.  Some are skeptical of that, and some have wondered whether he’s still alive.

Still, the FBI has been operating under the assumption that he is still alive.

Levinson’s wife, Christine, issued a statement:

A few days ago, hundreds of people from around the country came together with our family in Florida to demand “Where is Bob Levinson?”  and ask how it is possible that, 9 years after being taken hostage in Iran, this wonderful man is still not home.  My children and I ask those same questions every day.

These past 9 years – 3, 288 days – have been harder for our family than anyone could ever imagine.  But, as difficult as it has been for us, we know that Bob is living a nightmare that is 100 times worse.  We need the United States government and the country of Iran to work together to resolve what happened to Bob and return him safely to his family.

The White House said:

“Today marks the ninth year since retired FBI agent Robert Levinson disappeared during a trip to Kish Island, Iran. We continue to call upon the Islamic Republic of Iran to provide assistance in his case, as agreed to as part of the prisoner exchange finalized earlier this year, so that we can bring Mr. Levinson home.

“Finding Mr. Levinson remains a top priority for the United States, and we continue to spare no effort to bring him home. Today the United States renews its unrelenting commitment to securing Mr. Levinson’s return. Our hearts remain with the Levinson family. They have endured the pain and suffering of his disappearance for far too long.”

And Secretary of State John Kerry said:

On the anniversary today of Robert Levinson’s disappearance from Kish Island, Iran, nine years ago, I want to underscore our commitment to locate Bob and bring him home.

For almost a decade, a beloved husband, brother, father, and grandfather has been kept from celebrating family milestones most take for granted. No one should have to endure what Mr. Levinson and his family have endured for so long.

As the President has said, and as I have told the Levinson family when I have met with them, we will never forget Bob, and we will not rest until the Levinson family is whole again.

The U.S. government in its entirety will continue all efforts to locate Bob and bring him home. The Government of the Islamic Republic of Iran has committed to cooperating with the United States to determine the whereabouts of Mr. Levinson, and we are holding Iran to its promise.

In March 2015, the FBI also announced a $5 million reward for any information that could lead to his safe return. We call on anyone with information about this case to contact the FBI at http://tips.fbi.gov or email the FBI at levinsonfbireward@ic.fbi.gov.

Information will be kept confidential and can be provided anonymously.

 

Russian President Putin Says He Had No Grounds to Arrest Snowden

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

Russian President Vladimir Putin maintained Tuesday that he had no authority to take custody of the NSA leaker-turned-international fugitive, The Washington Post reports.

Both countries exchanged blows over the handling of Edward Snowden, who arrived in Russia from Hong Kong on Saturday.

Putin told the U.S. that he had no grounds to take Snowden into custody.

Secretary of State John F. Kerry responded that Russia was defying international convention by permitting a fugitive to be loose in an airport’s transit zone, the Post wrote.

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Kerry Urges $8.5M Payment to Families of Bulger Murders

By Danny Fenster
ticklethewire.com

John Kerry has joined others in urging the federal government to pay the families of two men allegedly killed by James “Whitey” Bulger, the notorious gangster and FBI informant, reports Boston.com.

As reported in ticklethewire.com previously, Rep. William R. Keating, a Democrat of Massachusetts, has already urged the government to pay the families $8.5 million in compensation they were initially awarded by a federal judge in Boston.  He introduced legislation last month to compensate the families after a federal court of  appeals tossed out the award on a technicality, saying the families had waited too long to seek restitution.

Now, the Massachusetts senator and one-time presidential Democratic candidate Kerry  has filed similar legislation in the senate urging that the original decision be upheld, rewarding the $8.5 million to the families, reports Boston.com.

“We can’t place a time limit on these families’ grief or allow arbitrary restrictions to deny them the court-ordered damages they’re due,” Kerry said in a news release. “It’s our job to make this right.”

Bulger was working as an FBI informant and running wild, and a Boston federal judge back in 2009 awarded the families nearly $8.5 million, saying the government was negligent when it essentially let informant Bulger — under its watch — get away with murder.

Bulger allegedly killed the two men after learning from the FBI that one of them was cooperating with agents against Bulger. Micheal Donahue, a 32-year-old truck driver, was giving Edward “Brian” Halloran, a 41-year-old associate of Bulger’s, a lift home from a waterfront bar in Boston on May 11, 1982 when Bulger and an unidentified associate allegedly opened fire on the car. Halloran was targeted because he was suspected of working with the FBI.

To read more click here and here.

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