Monday, November 04, 2019

What Should be the Punishment for a Spy?

The US Government just increased the reward for any information regarding the former FBI and CIA agent, Robert Levinson who got disappeared in Kish Island, in Persian Gulf back in 2007. His case is probably one of the most complex disappearance cases in the history, at least to my knowledge. 
This guy first traveled to Kish Island  because the island, part of Iran, is considered a visa free zone. He went there as a private investigator. I'm not saying that he would not have been able to get into Iran just simply because he's American. It would have just taken longer, perhaps, to get there. So he goes there as a former FBI agent and, as I said, and a private investigator and later it's known that he met the convicted criminal Dawud Salahuddin! Salahuddin is an African American junkie like many others in the US who somehow got in touch with anti-Shah Iranians in late 70's. His birth name is Davis Theodore Belfield. He changed his name after either being brain-washed by the Islamic fanatics or just for the benefits! They got him under their wings and eventually asked him to do a few hits for them! He killed an embassy attache named Ali Akbar Tabatabai and ran away from the US the same night in 1980. He then flee to Iran and has been living there ever since! I guess there were words that he wanted to get out of the country several times but Iranian authorities did not let him. So why the hell Levinson should meet this disgusting killer in Kish Island? No one knows rather than themselves and probably Levinson's boss. Was Salahuddin supposed to get assistance from Americans to flee Iran in exchange for information?! Dis Americans promise him to turn their eyes to his conviction in exchange for some information?! 
Levinson with his daugther
Levinson's contact with his family got disconnected after that but it was revealed shortly after disappearance that he had been sent to Persian Gulf by CIA! The US Government also paid $2.5 million to his family to prevent them from suing them(!) but the person who was found responsible for his departure to Iran, a woman named Anna Jablonski, lost her job, or maybe in the eyes of the public and media(!) ans still works there(!) because who can tell? The issue was that Levinston's expertise, again according to the available information was in Russian organized crime and he was sent to Iran! Then his family, or to be specific, his wife and son, started their investigation and even traveled to Iran but the Iranian Government denied any involvement. Levinson then appeared in videos and begged for help and story has been going on now for its 12 freaking years now.
Rudof Abel, an originally British citizen, whose real name was William G. Fisher is seen in this photo with KGB staff. He told his lawyer to ask the judge to be easy on him! He said: You probably have somebody in the USSR who is doing the same thing that was doing here! The public wanted him dead! The story is well said in Bridge of Spies
Here's the question now: What should be the punishment for a spy? It's now clear that he was working for CIA and no matter what his mission was, I wonder why the Iranian Government never announced that and put him on trail?! There are words that he might be in the hands of Taliban or other similar groups in Afghanistan but I wonder why the US with all its intelligence hasn't been able to find him yet? I mean they found Saddam Hussein, Bin Laden and recently Abu-Bakr Al-Baghdadi! They should have been able to find Levinson by now!! That set aside, I believe the sentence for a spy should at least be a long-term jail such as 20 years. It reminds me of the scene of that great movie of Spielberg, Bridge of Spies. The movie is based on true evens and I already had known most of it but the short version which is that a Rudolf Abel is captured in the State of New York and is charged with espionage for the Soviets. The public wants him to be sent to electrical chair but he eventually is sentenced to 30 years in prison and that is with the help of his lawyer (played by T. Hanks).
Robert Levinson's disapperance poster. Note that it doesn't say Missing! The term Kidnapped is used. The US as well as Iranian Government have both used terms in their announcements which appeared not true later! Photo courtesy of Associated Press
The lawyer believes that he might be useful in future, in case an American is held by the Soviets and that's what exactly happens! Francis Gary Powers is shot down over USSR while navigating a U-2 plane and after negotiations is exchanged with Abel. Iran has done similar exchanges with the US and other Western countries such as France and the UK. Why this was not the case for Levinson, is again a question. That is why I think Iran does not have any hand in his disappearance or if they had, it was at the beginning and they exchanged it with something valuable which was held by Taliban or other rivals! This is the thing that his family must understand as well. The other thing that they must understand is he was a spy and this job has its advantages and disadvantages! They might have enjoyed years of prosperity and now it comes the hard part! You might leave home and you might never come back! Deal with it, Levinson's family! He got what he deserved. 
(Photo, top: A scene from the beautiful Kish Island in Persian Gulf where Levinson landed in 2007 and never seen after that)

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