KEVIN LAMARQUE/REUTERS/NewscomRep. Justin Amash (R–Mich.) wants to authority Saudi Arabia amenable for the dematerialization and accessible afterlife of Jamal Khashoggi, a Saudi announcer analytical of his country’s government. On Twitter today, Amash said he’s cosponsoring legislation that would block U.S. aggressive abetment and accoutrements sales to Saudi Arabia unless the commonwealth is begin to accept had no captivation in Khashoggi’s disappearance.
Khashoggi hadn’t lived in Saudi Arabia back he confused to the U.S. beforehand this year. He visited the Saudi admiral in Istanbul beforehand this ages to get a certificate for his accessible wedding, but never came out and has been missing anytime since. As Reason’s Elizabeth Nolan Brown explained this morning, “a ascent anatomy of evidence” links the Saudi government to his disappearance.
The legislation cosponsored by Amash would prohibit the Aegis Department from accouterment the Saudi government with “any United States assistance, including aegis assistance, intelligence, training, equipment, or casework apropos to maintenance, testing, or abstruse data.” It would additionally stop U.S. companies from affairs any “defense article, aegis service, or architecture and architecture service” to the Saudi government. Aegis abetment and accoutrements sales can alone resume, the bill says, if the secretary of accompaniment “determines and certifies” that the Saudi government did not backpack out or adjustment the kidnapping and/or afterlife of Khashoggi.
The bill was alien bygone by Rep. Jim McGovern, the baronial Democrat on the House Rules Committee. It’s cosponsored by six added Democrats and two Republicans: Amash and Rep. Thomas Massie (R–Ky.).
Secretary of Accompaniment Mike Pompeo said bygone he met with Saudi King Salman and his son, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. Both men, according to Pompeo, accept denied captivation in Khashoggi’s disappearance. Pompeo said he can faculty a “serious commitment” from top Saudi leaders “to actuate all the facts and ensure accountability.”
President Donald Trump has bidding agnate sentiments, suggesting to the Associated Columnist that criticism of the Saudi government is addition archetype of “guilty until accurate innocent.”
But criticism of Saudi Arabia is annihilation new for Amash. As the Michigan adumbrative acicular out beforehand today, he’s afresh alleged for the U.S. to arrest accoutrements sales to the Saudis, in allotment due to the Saudi government’s captivation in the Yemeni Civil War. In budgetary year 2017, the U.S. awash $5.5 billion account of accoutrements to Saudi Arabia, according to the Aegis Aegis Cooperation Agency.
Amash is not the alone libertarian-leaning Republican to alarm for Saudi Arabia to be captivated accountable. Reason’s Brian Doherty appear aftermost anniversary that Sen. Rand Paul (R–Ky.) said he would try afresh to block U.S. accoutrements sales to Saudi Arabia. Paul, like Amash, has been calling for U.S. government activity apropos this the affair for some time.
In a Fox News op-ed appear yesterday, Paul said “it’s time to amend America’s accord with the Saudi Kingdom.” The Kentucky Republican cited the “killing” of Khashoggi, as able-bodied as Saudi Arabia’s captivation in Yemen, its agitator ties, and its afflictive almanac of animal rights abuses.
Indeed, Saudi Arabia’s history of repression apparently doesn’t get abundant attention. While bin Salman has approved to highlight some of his country’s contempo reforms—like acceptance women to drive and assignment alfresco the home—the government has additionally overseen a renewed crackdown on chargeless accent and dissent. The Saudi government put at atomic 100 bodies to afterlife aftermost year, according to Amnesty International.
I acclaimed aftermost anniversary that the bearings is decidedly bad for reporters like Khashoggi, as Saudi Arabia is ranked 169th out of 180 in the columnist abandon accumulation Reporters Without Borders’ latest World Columnist Abandon Index.
So what should the U.S. do? Aegis Priorities adolescent Daniel DePetris was actually actual back he argued yesterday, in a allotment for Reason, that the U.S. shouldn’t let Saudi threats behest our adopted policy.
But does that beggarly Amash and Paul are appropriate in calling for the U.S. to cut off all accoutrements sales to Saudi Arabia? Not necessarily. On the one hand, affairs weapons to adopted governments with checky pasts presents an ethical dilemma. At the aforementioned time, clandestine companies are clandestine companies. The Reason editors discussed this affair in detail on Monday’s podcast.
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