A special threat

Prince Jared’s buddies the Saudi dictators:

A dual citizen of Saudi Arabia and the United States had been imprisoned in the Ritz Carlton in Riyadh for about a week when he heard a knock on his door.

Guards dragged Walid Fitaihi, a Harvard-trained physician, to another room, according to a friend who took down the prisoner’s detailed account of his treatment. 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.

The Saudis grabbed him in November 2017, in what they claim is a crackdown on corruption (yeah right). He’s still locked up. He’s a US citizen.

Lots of people were tortured in that “crackdown” and are still locked up.

But Dr. Fitaihi’s American citizenship means that his mistreatment, which has not been previously reported, may now pose a special threat to Saudi relations with Washington. The Trump administration is already struggling to quell a bipartisan backlash against the kingdom over the killing last fall of the Saudi dissident Jamal Khashoggi, a Virginia resident and Washington Post columnist who was executed and dismembered by a team of Saudi agents in the kingdom’s consulate in Istanbul.

Prince Jared met with Prince Mohammed bin Salman last week, their first meeting since Khashoggi was tortured to death. They met so that Jared could play diplomat settling the Israeli-Palestinian conflict some more.

The Trump administration, meanwhile, has defied a congressional deadline to report about who was responsible for the killing. Instead, President Trump has equivocated about whether Prince Mohammed might have authorized it, even as he has extolled the value of Saudi Arabian oil sales and defense contracts.

The guy has his priorities.

Saudi officials have denied any mistreatment of detainees. A spokesman for the Saudi Embassy in Washington said the kingdom has signed the convention against torture and prohibits its use.

“The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia takes any and all allegations of ill treatment of defendants awaiting trial or prisoners serving their sentences very seriously,” the spokesman said.


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