Just months after torturing and killing U.S. green card holder Jamal Khashoggi in a gruesome act of barbarism, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has been accused of torturing a U.S. citizen.
The New York Times is reporting that Walid Fitaihi, a dual Saudi-American citizen, was brutally tortured during Crown Prince Mohamed bin Salman’s November 2017 crackdown against perceived threats within the government and ruling elites.
“Dr. Fitaihi told the friend he was slapped, blindfolded, stripped to his underwear and bound to a chair. He was shocked with electricity in what appears to have been a single session of torture that lasted about an hour.
His tormentors whipped his back so severely that he could not sleep on it for days, his friend said, speaking on condition of anonymity to avoid reprisals. The doctor had described the physical abuse, in general terms, to his relatives as well, a person close to them said.”
Dr. Fitaihi is still imprisoned without charge and with little hope of seeing release any time soon, along with 200 other prominent Saudis.
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There is likely to be little to no reaction to this news from the White House, which casually ignored the murder of Washington Post reporter Jamal Khashoggi and even dispatched its surrogates, including the president’s son, to participate in a smear campaign against Khashoggi.
To make matters worse, the President’s son-in-law Jared Kushner might even be directly responsible for Dr. Fitaihi’s imprisonment and torture. In late October 2017, Kushner made an unannounced trip to Riyadh, where he remained ensconced with the Crown Prince for several days.
The Intercept later reported that Crown Prince bin Salman “told confidants that Kushner had discussed the names of Saudis disloyal to the crown prince, according to three sources who have been in contact with members of the Saudi and Emirati royal families since the crackdown.”
Just a week after Kushner returned to the U.S., bin Salman started the purge.
It follows then that the President’s son-in-law could be partially responsible for the torture of an American citizen if Fitaihi’s name was on the list of names that Kushner had received from U.S. intelligence and gave to Salman.
It is incredible to consider that the President of the United States might be willing to overlook crimes against humanity being committed by an ally against one of our citizens, but Trump and his team have made it clear there is no excess too far and no violence too repulsive that would make them issue anything than the tamest of rebukes towards Mohamed bin Salman, who bragged that he had Jared Kushner “in his pocket” and gave Trump the red-carpet treatment he feels deprived of here in the United States.
We can only hope that Congress will have the backbone to take a stand against the President and the sadistic dictators he coddles.