When an American is essentially taken political prisoner by a foreign power, their family is put in a difficult situation.
First, consider why a foreign power would abrogate justice and do this to someone. The logical answer is to gain international political leverage. So, if the family manages to make hay about the situation in the press, the plight of their son or daughter (or whoever) is brought into everyone’s home on the national news (and via internet memes).
This is exactly why the foreign government took this particular person captive. A catch 22 of horrible proportions.
So the best thing a family can do is dampen public outrage, control the flow of the news, and allow the government and consultants (if they can afford them) to exercise quiet diplomacy. I cannot imagine a more powerless situation as a parent.
Every day I think about such a prisoner. Amir Hekmati, former US Marine Sergeant who was visiting his grandmother, arrested, tried on espionage charges in a secret court, forced to “confess” on Iranian TV, and then, thankfully, ordered for a retrial.
If you’ve been reading this blog, you’ve read about Amir before. I appreciate that, I also appreciate those of you who sent his family a letter via their website.
That brings me to my point. The last time we talked about this was around the superbowl, give or take. Well, the NFL season is over, and yet we are all still thinking about football every once in a while. No? Well, that’s just one example, I’m sure you have a personal reference you can use to illustrate my point. Which is, that there are things we think about from time to time, even though it isn’t in the front of our mind.
So I’m asking you to think about Amir again. His mother is still missing her son. He is still sitting in a cell in Tehran. He is, no doubt, keeping the faith with us. Please keep the faith with him.
Please DON’T write the news, or forward a petition for more TV stories. That is not what is needed. Instead, please go to www.FreeAmir.org and write Amir a letter. His family gets every one of them, and reads them.
Consider if it was your son, and this kind of support was your only avenue of emotional succor.
Mine took less than a minute to send. What else can you do in less than a minute that doesn’t cost anything that you KNOW will make a difference.