Dr. Afridi, the man who pinpointed the location of Osama bin Laden, has been left behind by the United States. Can Hollywood save him? Will they?
Bob and Kira Lorsch and their RHL group, a business management and investment-holding corporation, have taken action to ask Hollywood to speak up for Dr. Shakil Afridi, the Pakistani physician who now faces torture and imminent death at the hands of his captors in Pakistan.
They have launched a campaign to free Dr. Afridi. Last Thursday, they took out a full-page ad in the Hollywood trade publication, Hollywood Reporter, and entitled the ad, “Oscar, Help Free Afridi. America’s Abandoned Hero.”
via Fox News
The ad reads in part:
“Dr. Shakil Afridi is the man who verified Usama bin Laden’s location in Pakistan for the United States. Without Dr. Afridi’s sacrifice, we may not have pinpointed the location of the world’s most dangerous terrorist. His Reward… he was abandoned, captured and is still being tortured by Pakistan ever since Bin Laden was killed in May 2011. After all, who will stand up to help America next time if this is how we treat our friends?”
I was horrified and personally offended that this doctor has been left behind and is rotting in a prison.
The ad asks:
“As you celebrate the Oscars, please consider spending a few moments of your limelight to draw attention to Freeing Dr. Afridi. Since the real star of ‘Zero Dark Thirty’ is not here to accept his award for best True American Hero, perhaps you can accept yours partially on his behalf,” continues the ad, before encouraging those to seek more information by emailing FreeAfridi@rhlgroup.com.
Mr. Lorsch said:
“The phone has been ringing off the hook, people are just flabbergasted, they never really knew about this,” he told us in the hours after the magazine hit stands. “We know the power of the Academy Awards, and we hope celebrities will draw attention to this travesty. Without the help of this man, we wouldn’t have ever even had a film like ‘Zero Dark Thirty.’”
‘Zero Dark Thirty’ from what I’ve read ignored Dr. Afridi’s plight and I have my doubts that Hollywood will care about Dr. Afridi but they could make all the difference.
Last week, Dr. Afridi sent a letter to his family pleading for help. He is facing imminent danger of death.
The Obama administration supported the film about the Osama bin Laden raid, giving the producers unprecedented access to top secret information, but has made no progress in releasing Dr. Shakil Afridi from a Pakistani dungeon.
We paid Dr. Afridi back by doing essentially nothing for him. He tried to escape after the raid and within three weeks of the May 2nd raid, without having received any help from us for himself or his family, he was arrested.
Lt. Col. Tony Shaffer told Fox News: ‘From what I’m hearing, we did pretty much nothing…We did nothing diplomatically at all, didn’t raise a finger. … From what my sources tell me, we did nothing to try and help this guy.’
His role in the capture was later confirmed by Leon Panetta who acknowledged publicly on January 27th that a Pakistani doctor provided key information to the U.S. in advance of the successful Navy SEAL assault on Osama bin Laden’s compound.
Specifically, Panetta told CBS’s “60 Minutes” that Shakil Afridi helped provide intelligence for the raid on bin Laden’s compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan. Panetta said he is “very concerned” for the doctor.
Panetta confirmed Dr. Afridi’s role without helping him, becoming a catalyst for Dr. Afridi’s 30-year prison term. He handed them the evidence to convict him on all but a silver platter. Biden later reaffirmed Dr. Afridi’s role without providing any help. Now Dr. Afridi is all but forgotten.
Will Hollywood care? I hope so. It would certainly boost their image in my eyes if they did.