In an interview to CBS, Elaine Weinstein recalled “the harrowing negotiations with her husband’s kidnappers in Pakistan and her anger that the US government didn’t do enough”.
The interview, which would be broadcast on Sunday, was partially released to the media on Friday.
“Do something. You’re the strongest country in the entire world, do something,” Elaine Weinstein said she pleaded with the State Department.
“And they did nothing,” she said.
Ms Weinstein spent almost four years and hundreds of thousands of dollars in trying to set free her husband, Warren.
Even after paying $243,000 in ransom, the kidnappers did not free him, instead trading him to another group in North Waziristan, which wanted to trade him for prisoners held in Pakistani jails.
Elaine, 68 at the time, didn’t know her husband was alive for seven months until his kidnappers called early one morning in April 2012. She begged them to put him on the phone.
“The first thing he says to me was not ‘Get me the hell out of here!’ but ‘I’m sorry I did this to you’’….That I will never forget.”
Elaine Weinstein shared videos, tapes of phone calls from Warren, and chat messages of his kidnappers during the interview.
She did receive advice from the FBI, even though it was against US law to pay ransom to terrorists. She also hired a private firm to help in the negotiations.
But finally they told her that his fate was still in her hands, they could not intervene nor make decisions in the process without her sign off.
She was forced to make terribly difficult decisions.
“Can you imagine? My word is the last word? I have to decide… I never held life and death in my hands.”
On one night alone, she received 18 phone calls from the kidnappers, between 1am and 6am.
“On my mind all the time was, ‘You keep it together. Your husband’s life is in your hands’,” she recalled.
When her husband was not released as promised, Elaine turned to Secretary of State John Kerry and National Security Adviser Lisa Monaco, but said they did nothing to help. -Dawn