The Iran hostage swap & the disappearance of CIA agent Robert Levinson

The Iran hostage swap is all over the news: five Americans arrested in Iran in separate cases were just released in return for unspecified concessions from the US. Apparently media hasn’t thought to interrogate that except to point out that it’s a feather in Obama’s cap.

There are however bitter remonstrances that CIA agent Robert Levinson was not included in the deal. He disappeared in 2007 from Kish, the Iranian resort island in the Persian Gulf. There is some evidence coming from the US government (with ulterior motives for the claim) that he was picked up by Iranian intelligence agents. Maybe he was; maybe he wasn’t. There are a lot of people in Iran with a brief against the CIA for its operations in the country going back to the 1953 coup it engineered.

Certainly one of the most monstrous features of CIA operations in Iran was their relationship to SAVAK, the Shah of Iran’s secret police. SAVAK operated from 1957 to 1979 when it was dissolved by the Iranian Revolution that ran the Shah out of the country. It was considered the “most hated & feared institution” in Iran because of its torture & execution practices for dissidents–practices taught to SAVAK by the CIA.

No one who lived through that era can ever forget the descriptions of what SAVAK did to dissidents–including torturing children in front of their parents. One political journal stopped describing those practices since it traumatized & demoralized readers to know the details of such evil.

More’s the pity that Levinson has disappeared. He should never have been there in the first place. Whatever happened to him, it’s still a long shot away from justice.