Congress May Scrap Saudi Arms Deals If Trump Remains Reluctant: US Scholar
TEHRAN (Tasnim) – An American scholar said the US Congress might act to scrap Washington’s arms agreements with Riyadh if President Donald Trump fails to do so.
“There are multiple reports of a Saudi team of 15 interrogators/assassins having been dispatched to Turkey to terminate the outspoken critic, where Congress may act to cut off these arms agreements, even if Trump remains reluctant to act, given his motivation to strengthen the military/industrial complex,” James Henry Fetzer from Madison told Tasnim in an interview.
James Henry Fetzer is an American philosopher of science. He is an editor at Veterans Today and co-founder of Scholars for 9/11 Truth.
The following is the full text of the interview:
Tasnim: As you know, Jamal Khashoggi entered the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on Oct. 2 to get documents for his forthcoming marriage. Saudi officials say he left shortly afterwards but Turkish officials and his fiancee, who was waiting outside, said he never came out. What do you think?
Fetzer: Reports indicate that his interrogation, torture and death in the Saudi Consulate may even have been recorded on his Apple Watch, which the Saudis were unable to delete. He entered the building but he never came out. The inference that he was murdered and possibly dismembered, alas, appears to be highly probable and, absent production of the live body, supported by the available evidence. That he had come to obtain documents to marry his fiancée, who was outside the consulate waiting for him, makes this case far more poignant than many more typical political assassination.
Tasnim: Turkish sources have said the initial assessment of the police was that Khashoggi, an outspoken critic of the Saudi government, had been deliberately killed inside the consulate. Riyadh has dismissed the claims. Could you possibly say what motive Riyadh had for this?
Fetzer: Jamal Khashoggi was not your ordinary "man on the street", even in Saudi Arabia. He was born in Medina in 1958 to a rich and powerful family, where his grandfather, Muhammad Khashoggi, was the personal physician to King Abdulaziz Al Saud, founder of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. He was also the nephew of the infamous arms dealer, Adrian Khashoggi, the cousin of Dodi Fayed, who was engaged to Princess Diana and killed in a car crash in Paris. Because he had become critical of the current regime, there may have been personal as well as political reasons to silence him.
Tasnim: US President Donald Trump threatened “severe punishment” for Riyadh if it turned out Khashoggi was killed in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul. Do you believe Trump will take any action against Riyadh taking into account Washington’s arms deals with Riyadh?
Fetzer: The situation is complicated for President Trump, because he has enjoyed strong, positive relations with Saudi King Salman and other members of the family, where the United States has major arms deals with the kingdom that are jeopardized by this extraordinary series of events. There are multiple reports of a Saudi team of 15 interrogators/assassins having been dispatched to Turkey to terminate the outspoken critic, where Congress may act to cut off these arms agreements, even if Trump remains reluctant to act, given his motivation to strengthen the military/industrial complex.
Tasnim: When do you think the world would smell the coffee and stand up to Saudi human rights violations?
Fetzer: The kingdom has a very bad reputation with regards to women's rights and human rights generally, but the particulars of this case make it almost exquisite within the framework of world politics. The Turks are undoubtedly in the possession of both audio and video evidence of his death, because--although it cannot be admitted publicly--the consulate is bugged. His fiancée, Hatice Cengiz, has become a figure of sympathy and influence, where it would be appropriate for Congress to abort the sale of arms, especially when they are being used to slaughter the Houthis in Yemen who are seeking to restore democracy there.