Levinson family released photos to "stir the pot," Miller says

(CBS News) On Tuesday, the family of the missing retired FBI agent Robert Levinson, released pictures of him in captivity in an effort to push U.S. officials to bring him home. The photos show Levinson with gray hair and a thick beard, in an orange jumpsuit similar to inmates at the U.S. military's Guantanamo Bay prison in Cuba, holding a series of signs.

The photos, which were sent anonymously to the family's "Help Bob Levinson" website in April, 2011, were publicly released this week, likely because, "he's been held for a long time now. When they feel that the case is becoming on the backburner of discussions ... the family will stir the pot," CBS News' John Miller, who was FBI Deputy Director when Levinson went missing, said.

Miller explained that the photos indicate "a lot of staging" and "references to Guantanamo." He added that, "depending on how you arrange them ... the narrative could read something like:

Help me. I here in Guantanamo. Do you know where it is? Fourth year. You can't or you don't want? This is the result of serving 30 years for USA. Why can you not help me?

Levinson's wife, Christine Levinson, told CBS News, "My husband is being held captive and I believe that these pictures show that and I want to remind the public that Bob is not home with his family ... [for] almost six years."

She added that they still have no knowledge of his location when the photos were taken.

"We have never heard any information from the people who sent these pictures, other than the pictures. We believe that the Iranian government is controlling this and they can resolve this," Christine Levinson said.

Miller added that the photos are "taunting at the U.S." and serve as "a piece of propaganda that's really saying to the U.S., 'Negotiate, put something on the table, take a step forward I'm stuck here.'"

Speaking to the likelihood of reaching a deal with Iran to secure Levinson's release, Miller said, "There have been talks going on behind the scenes but the typical deal here is, 'You give us somebody, we give you somebody.'"

In a Septemberinterview on "CBS This Morning," Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad did not deny Iran's custody of Levinson and allowed that there might have been talks about a prisoner exchange.

The next step in the deal-making process then, would be for the White House or the State Department to assess Iranian prisoners held by the U.S. and determine if and how a deal could come together, according to Miller.

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