Let It Cut Both Ways: US Foreign Aid and State-Sponsored Terrorism
by Sibel Edmonds
Material Support to Dictators Who Inflict Terror
In June 2010 our rights and liberties suffered a major setback. The United States Supreme Court upheld the broad application of a federal law making it a crime to provide “material support” to designated “foreign terrorist organizations” (FTOs). Under this law individuals face up to 15 years in prison for providing “material support” to FTOs, even if their work is intended to promote peaceful, lawful objectives. “Material support” is defined to include any “service,” “training,” “expert advice or assistance” or “personnel.” This setback should cut both ways, that is, if we had a bit more application of justice and a tad less of hypocrisy, and of course, far more straightforward information delivery. What do I mean by having this setback cut both ways? Terrorism is not limited to individual(s), groups, organizations; it includes nation states. A bunch of ego-driven scholars or a few anal-retentive political analysts may want to split hairs as to whether or not “state sponsored terrorism” constitutes terrorism, but hey, since 2002 their elected presidents have been accusing nations of being terrorists or axis of evil, and for this, for now, I am going to go with that.
State terrorism refers to acts of terrorism conducted by a state against a foreign state or people. It can also refer to widespread acts of violence by a state against its own people. Based on this definition and based on what the puppet court recently ruled on what constitutes “material support” to terrorism, our government, those who have sanctioned US Foreign Aid to dictators inflicting violence against their own people, should be brought to trial. I am talking about Egypt. I am talking about Uzbekistan. I am talking about Jordan, Turkmenistan, Kazakhstan, Pakistan, Israel …To be more accurate, I am talking about Billions of dollars being continuously provided to dictators for half a century who in turn are terrorizing their own people. Egypt and where our tax dollars, US Foreign Aid, went is only one example. All you have to do is line check dozens of our foreign aid recipients against their established human rights (terrorism) record. Here are examples:
In September 2008, the U.S. and Jordanian governments reached an agreement whereby the United States will provide a total of $660 million in annual foreign assistance to Jordan over a 5-year period.
Then, check the dictator’s record in Jordan:
Domestic and international NGOs reported cases of arbitrary deprivation of life, torture, poor prison conditions, impunity, arbitrary arrest and denial of due process through administrative detention, prolonged detention, and external interference in judicial decisions. Citizens continued to describe infringements on their privacy rights. Restrictive legislation and regulations limited freedom of speech and press, and government interference in the media and threats of fines and detention led to self-censorship, according to journalists and human rights organizations. The government also continued to restrict freedoms of assembly and association.