Before we went into pandemic lockdown, I received draft State Department documentation that it is now pursuing this previously undisclosed sale — details of which have not yet been made public — even though the Saudis seemingly want out of their failed and brutal war in Yemen, and despite the fact that a bipartisan majority in Congress rejected previous sales of these weapons. The administration has refused to answer our fundamental questions to justify this new sale and articulate how it would be consistent with US values and national security objectives.
This is not an isolated problem. The administration’s attempt to carry out this arms deal comes on the heels of Trump’s firing of State Department Inspector General Steve Linick, who was reportedly investigating the administration’s special treatment of Saudi Arabia over the $8 billion deal, among other issues. The IG’s probe allegedly focused on Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s decision last year to declare what a bipartisan majority of Congress rightly condemned as a false emergency to avoid Congressional oversight of an $8 billion arms sale to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.
Linick’s firing casts the first anniversary of that multi-billion dollar mistake into stark contrast. Not only has the President admitted to removing the IG at Pompeo’s behest, but the administration is also trying to get Congress to rubber stamp another massive sale of munitions to the Saudis. Congress has the ability to disapprove of the sale unless an emergency is declared — as it was last year.
Last year’s “emergency” arms sales debacle should serve as a warning to prevent history from repeating itself.
Jesus: Hey, Dad? God: Yes, Son? Jesus: Western civilization followed me home. Can I keep it? God: Certainly not! And put it down this minute--you don't know where it's been! Tom Robbins in Another Roadside Attraction