Seventy-two year old Warren Weinstein has been held by the al-Qaeda terrorists since mid-August 2011. On Wednesday Al Qaeda released a video where Dr. Weinstein asks President Obama to negotiate his release. We know that he was still alive when the video was made, but we don't know when it was made and whether or not he is still alive. While it has been reported in the mainstream media they stories lack any sort of heart. Warren Weinstein is a human being, a good one at that. He is one of the people most responsible for tuning me into a political geek.
Warren Weinstein looked ashen and sounded lethargic as he pleaded for renewed interest in his case and asked the U.S. government to consider releasing al-Qaeda militants in its custody. The 72-year-old development expert from Rockville, Md., began his address by urging President Obama to step up efforts to get him released.
“You are now in your second term as president of the United States and that means that you can take hard decisions without worrying about reelection,” said Weinstein, who was recorded sitting against a white wall wearing a gray tracksuit top and a black woolen hat. No one else appeared in the video.
The video, which included the yellow logo of As-Sahab, al-Qaeda’s media production outlet, was sent in an anonymous e-mail to several journalists who have reported from Afghanistan. Included were links to a handwritten note that purports to be from Weinstein, saying “Letter to Media” at the top. The note is dated Oct. 3. It is not clear when the video was made.
A State Department spokeswoman and a member of Weinstein’s family said Wednesday night that they had not independently received the note or video. The Washington Post provided a copy to both of them.
Weinstein did not say what specific steps the Obama administration could take to secure his release. He did say, however, that his captors have agreed to arrange for relatives to visit him in custody if the United States releases unspecified prisoners as part of a “quid pro quo.”The news reports that Warren Weinstein was a government contractor when he was kidnapped which is true, his work in Pakistan was to boost the country's dairy development, which according to his company resulted in $63 million in new investment to Pakistan, at least 2,150 new jobs, and a 25 percent boost in producer productivity.
Weinstein also addressed Secretary of State John F. Kerry, telling him his captors have kept him abreast of peace deals that the top U.S. diplomat has sought to broker. Weinstein said a “first step” to getting him released would require taking “action with respect to their people who are being held as prisoners.”
“If anyone in the Obama government can understand my predicament it is yourself,” Weinstein said. “I hope that one day soon I will be able to meet you as a free man and thank you for your efforts.”
My first year and a half in college was spent at the State University of NY at Oswego. I was a political science major and Dr. Weinstein was a favorite professor, my department adviser, and as president of the Hillel (officially called the Jewish Student Union) I worked closely with Dr. Weinstein who was our faculty adviser. He always impressed me man big heart. It is not a surprise that when he was kidnapped he was teaching people how to get more food out of their land. That's the type of person he is. Warren Weinstein was the guy who would invite students over to his house when they were stuck in Oswego for the Jewish holidays.
It was Dr, Weinstein who first taught me what liberalism did to City University. He talked of studying with Hans J. Morgenthau at Brooklyn College when it was known as the "Poor Man's Harvard." Once NY City decided College was a God-given right, and everyone was allowed into the school no matter what their grades were, Dr. Weinstein said the school quickly became a sub-standard school.
Dr. Weinstein also taught me that one person could make a difference, which is exactly how he lived his life. He encouraged me to stand up for what I believed which is why he gave me advice when a Palestinian professor, Dr. Faiz Abu-Jabbar verbally attacked me in class because I didn't accept his anti-Israel rhetoric as truth.
To most who read the reports of Warren Weinstein's capture, he is faceless government contractor kidnapped by the bad guys. The media will talk about him today and forget about him tomorrow. To those who know him such as his family, or his students who he treated like family, Warren Weinstein is a good man who helped to spark an interest in politics which continues through today. He didn't really teach about political science, he taught how think about it and ask the right questions. Warren Weinstein was a lifeline who helped me helped me to get through a year and a half of college life in a student body that was not very friendly to Jews.
This is the scum the United States is fighting, a group that would kidnap a 72-year-old man with a heart condition, a man who was only in Pakistan to help people become more successful. He wasn't a soldier (I don't think he was ever in the military) Warren Weinstein is just someone who would go anywhere in the world to help people. His captors would go anywhere in the world to hurt people.
As for the United States refusal to negotiate for Weinstein's release, it seems strange that the same government which is releasing terrorists from Gitmo, and is pushing Israel to release people who have killed innocents through terrorist acts, will not negotiate the release of a 72-year-old scholar who's greatest crime is teaching people to get more milk from their cows.
Please join me in praying for Warren Weinstein's good health and for his quick release back into the loving arms of his wife Elaine and the rest of his family.