In August 2011 a 70 year old development specialist working for US AID was kidnapped by Al Queda, just four days before his seven year job was supposed to end. In 2012 in a video he pleaded to President Obama for his life.
Mr. Warren Weinstein was killed, along with an Italian citizen aid worker, by a CIA drone strike, revealed by a White House briefing on April 23, 2015. It is unknown when the strike took place, but the deaths of the innocent hostages has been confirmed.
NBC reports seven Americans have been killed by drone strikes. This is the first case of a U.S. hostage being killed by a drone strike. Only one of those Americans killed, jihadist cleric Anwar al-Awlaki, was targeted. In a companion drone strike that killed Mr. Weinstein, another American which had become a leader in al-Queda was killed. Adam Gadahn, had become a prominent propagandist for al Qaeda and had a $1 million bounty on his head for treason.
Mr. Weinstein was a 70-year-old development consultant and grandfather from Maryland. He had been promoted from his long standing work with US AID to the country director for a large consulting firm based in Arlington, Va.
In one of the videos issued by al-Quedahe states, “My life is in your hands, Mr. President. If you accept the demands, I live. If you don’t accept the demands, then I die.”
Demands were made for his release. They were not negotiated.
In a statement by Mr Weinstein’s widow, Elaine, said “Warren spent his entire life working to benefit people across the globe and loved the work that he did to make people’s lives better. In Pakistan, where he was working before he was abducted, he loved and respected the Pakistani people and their culture. He learned to speak Urdu and did everything he could to show his utmost and profound respect for the region.”
She also added the family is “devastated” and wished the U.S. and Pakistani governments “with the power to take action and secure his release would have done everything possible to do so.”
Mrs. Weinstein thanked several Congressmen and women for their assistance in trying to get her husband home and added “Unfortunately, the assistance we received from other elements of the U.S. Government was inconsistent and disappointing over the course of three and a half years. We hope that my husband’s death and the others who have faced similar tragedies in recent months will finally prompt the U.S. Government to take its responsibilities seriously and establish a coordinated and consistent approach to supporting hostages and their families.”
“I am disappointed in the government and military in Pakistan. Warren’s safe return should have been a priority for them based on his contributions to their country, but they failed to take action earlier in his captivity when opportunity presented itself, instead treating Warren’s captivity as more of an annoyance than a priority. I hope the nature of our future relationship with Pakistan is reflective of how they prioritize situations such as these.”
President Obama in his press conference took full responsibility for the loss, apologized, and declared that there would be full transparency to the details of the air strike. The President said he would immediately declassify the operation.
With the withdrawal of troops in Afghanistan there is less intelligence on the ground. If they had been seeking to find Mr. Weinstien how is it that they had no idea he was being held at this al-Queda outpost? Why does his widow insist not enough was done over the years? Where was the US State Department? He was kidnapped and held under Hilary Clinton’s leadership. Was enough done? He was a former employee of US AID now an expert in development and a country leader for a US AID contractor. US AID is under the State Department.
Another example of Americans left behind. Politics over lives, our governments upside down priorities.
The President says the security of American citizens is our top priority. Really?
Andrew Tahmooressi, a US Marine with PTSD took a wrong turn coming out of southern California and crossed in to Mexico by mistake. He was locked in a Mexican prison and tortured for over 7 months to the point of considering suicide. Only an aggressive media and a few Congressmen finally got him released. The US State Department spent more time protecting illegal immigrants crossing the border than they did rescuing a US Marine.
And do we really need to bring up Ambassador Chris Stevens and the other great patriots that lost their lives? The Clinton State Department was more interested in a “normalization” proof of success in Libya than providing security to its employees in Benghazi.
Weinstien was the responsibility of the US State Department. He was “one of their own.”
Today we pray for the Weinstien family, and for the families of other Americans that are still held captive in other nations.
Four Americans, including a Pastor and a Washington Post journalist, are still being held unjustly in a notorious prison in Iran. We pray for them as well.
We need to remind the US State Department and the President that American lives matter, they are more important than politics. And we want to see the President and John Kerry show that they are doing something to get the Americans released from Iran.
American citizen’s lives are more important than their political legacies.
Robin Rowan is a recipient of the 'Secretary of Defense Medal for the Global War on Terrorism'. Formerly with the Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction, she also previously served with the Department of Homeland Security Office of the Inspector General. Ms. Rowan has been a political activist and studying the Middle East for over 15 years. After returning from Iraq in 2009, Ms. Rowan became an independent analyst, writer and public speaker. Founder of Church for Israel, Ms. Rowan can be contacted directly at Church4Israel@gmail.com.
Former Editor in Chief of Conservative Truth, Robin Rowan is a recipient of the 'Secretary of Defense Medal for the Global War on Terrorism;" served in Iraq and Washington, DC as an inspector and auditor with the Special Inspector General for Iraq, also formerly with the Department of Homeland Security Office of the Inspector General. She is founder of Church4Israel, an online educational ministry fighting anti-semitism. An ordained Minister under MorningStar Fellowship of Ministries, Ms. Rowan is also a political and Middle East analyst, public speaker and a political activist for the US-Israel relationship. She has several presentations on the Middle East and Israel, and Political Activism, available for churches and secular groups. She can be contacted at Church4Israel@gmail.com.
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