Friday, May 20, 2005

Update on Saudi Torture Victims

In my post, Saudi Arabia Rejects Torture, I talked about William Sampson and his ordeal.

The Telegraph has a report on Sandy Mitchell another victim of the ordeal.

Prince Naif, the Saudi Arabian government's intelligence chief, was determined to blame Westerners for the bomb: he simply refused to accept that Islamic militants were responsible. That Mr Mitchell and Dr Sampson were chosen as culprits may have been just bad luck.

"It was odd," says Mr Mitchell, "because I had assisted anaesthetists twice when Prince Naif was being operated on. I had had him prone on the operating table twice. He had even given me a gold watch as a present for my work. But I was tortured because of the orders of that man."

If you're not exactly familiar with Prince Naif, he would be the more stringently Wahhabist of the royal family (if one could say any such thing) and was basically given the security apparatus as a deal sometime back to balance the power between the Saud and the al Wahhab. Naif got the security, vice (ie, religious police) and charities and the Saud's kept the administrative, business and oil ministries.

In 2003, Senator Schumer charged Prince Naif of being at least an obstructionist if not an outright supporter of terrorism in Saudi Arabia.

The lack of cooperation we have received from Saudi Arabia on this issue is not surprising. As we have heard in other Congressional hearings, several prominent members of the Saudi Royal family, including Prince Naif, Saudi Arabia’s anti-terror czar, have supported and even administrated these supposed charitable donations.

Naif in particular seems to enjoy thumbing his nose at the United States at every turn. He single-handedly blocked the trial of 13 Saudis indicted in American courts for killing 19 Americans in the bombing of Khobar Towers in 1998.

He insisted that Zionists were responsible for 9-11 and claimed that Saudis citizens could not have been involved in the attack, even after the Saudi government admitted that 15 of the 19 hijackers were Saudi.

Let's not forget that. For all the things to be said about resources and their impact on world politics, there are definitely some serious problems in the land of Saud that are far from being resolved.

On an interesting note that nearly shocked me out of my chair, the Saudi Ministry of Education is taking some blame for their part in creating the current fanatical group of young men joining the "jihad":

The Deputy Saudi Minister of Education, Dr. Saad Al-Mulais, admitted his ministry has to bear partial responsibility for the terrorist incidents witnessed by the Kingdom over the past years. He was quoted as saying the education establishment should be considered a party to what has happened in the past, either for turning a blind eye or other reasons.

Ya' think?

However, the writer of the piece reminds us:

I remember the outgoing minister, Dr. Muhammad Al-Rasheed, making the same demand of teachers and educators. The problem is obvious for everyone to see. Some education supervisors — both teachers and administrators — seem to have forgotten their primary role and have over time turned into preachers. The students listen to sermons and take lessons in what is haram (unlawful) and what is halal (lawful) more than they learn from the prescribed curriculum.

In other words, lock your left foot in place and take tiny baby steps forward with only your right foot so that you go in circles and end up right back where you started from.

The problem, of course, is not just educational systems, though that's a start. It's religious laws, limited press, limited freedom, limited flow of information, you name it, it's a problem.

But, back to my main point, it's obvious to everyone that lives outside of the kingdom that this whole incident in 2000 was a massively inept cover up with attempts to re-enforce "bad western influence". These folks thought that the British would just cave in (they knew the Canadians had) and let them execute these prisoners or thought that the Brits would be embarrassed by the incident and play ball.

No one bought it then and no one is buying it now, particularly with the amount of terrorism internally and exported from Saudi Arabia. Since then, Naif has been very circumspect and only arrests non-western "foreigners" to use as cover for their stupdity. No one cares about some poor folks from Indonesia getting arrested for having a private religious meeting in their house and it happened to be Christian.

Long, long way to go in Saudi Arabia.


Cigarette Smoking Man from the X-Files said...

Glass parking lot.

Cynica said...

I guess the Saudis are going to continue to delude themselves into oblivion.

Tom said...

Thanks for helping to keep up the pressure, Kat.