"“Why do you work for a murderer?”
Increasingly, it seems that is a question many Americans should be preparing themselves to answer.
Each year, Saudi Arabia employs, through consultants or otherwise, a host of retired American generals, diplomats, intelligence experts and others. Until now, they could assure themselves this was a win-win: lucrative for them, to be sure, but also enhancing mutual understanding with an important U.S. ally.
Now, as more and more evidence implicates Saudi Arabia’s de facto ruler, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, in the reported murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi on Saudi diplomatic property in Istanbul, the equation has changed.
So how might, say, a retired Air Force colonel explain his work when his daughter asks, “Daddy, why do you work for a murderer?”
“Well, it helps to pay your future college tuition,” he might answer. “And besides, I finally get to fly business class. Riyadh is no picnic, but they always spring for a couple of nights in a five-star hotel in London or Abu Dhabi on the way over and the way back. . . . And if I don’t do it, someone else will.”" Hiatt
As H. Rap Brown would have said, "the chickens are coming home to roost."
Fred Hiatt is the neocon editorial page editor of Jeff Bezos' blog AKA the Washington Post. I seldom agree with anything that he and his henchpersons write but this time he has it right.
I never had anything to do with "The Kingdom" except in so far as it was an intelligence collection or analytic target of the US. I never worked in retirement for any company that did contract work for Saudi Arabia. That was a deliberate choice for me. I know the place well and it has ALWAYS been a sinkhole of medieval theocratic barbarism adorned with modern infrastructure that was constructed by foreign contract "slaves."
When I arrived in SA many years ago to be the military attaché in the US Embassy, I discovered that my five immediate predecessors were all retired from the US Army and working in SA for "big bucks." How could it be I thought that the chief US military intelligence officers in the embassy who had been Counselors of Embassy could be doing that? Simple, they had all been bought and paid for.
I did not follow that path. Throughout my tour of duty there I relentlessly told the story in my office's reporting of the military ineptitude of the Saudis and the corrupt practices common in the awarding of all foreign military sales contracts to The Kingdom. The goal of these hard money purchases from the US, the British, the French, etc. was always the same. It was the enrichment through "commissions" of all Saudi and foreign agents in the transactions. In the case of the foreigners the "pay off"was often made after retirement from government service.
I made this clear in my office's reporting, and the DIA of that time stood bravely behind me even as they were threatened by the "friends" of Saudi Arabia in the Office of the Secretary of Defense. I, personally, was threatened with career destruction by several seniors including the USAF major general who headed the US Military Training Mission (USMTM) established in country if I did not desist from exposing the situation. I did not desist.
It is nevertheless true that many, many retired senior military officers and diplomats have sold themselves either directly to Saudi enterprises in that country or to foreign companies which represent the House of Saud. Their contribution to the enabling of the spread of Wahhabi fanaticism throughout the world is immeasurable.
It should be noted that this enabling persisted under both Democratic and Republican Administrations.
I am sorry for the self-referential nature of this post but I felt I must speak out.
For shame! pl