2007-06-01 / Community

Weiner Works To Halt Saudi Missile Deal

In an effort to stop the sale of high tech missile technology to the Saudi Arabian government, Representatives Anthony Weiner and Robert Wexler of Florida, announced they will introduce legislation to block the deal "the minute the deal is announced."

A number of other members of Congress joined Weiner and Wexler in support of a Joint Resolution of Disapproval, writing "we have grave reservations that this arms sale to Saudi Arabia could allow weapons to slip into terrorist hands."

According to published reports, President Bush is planning to sell the Saudi Arabian government Joint Direct Attack Munitions (JDAM's), satellite guided bombs accurate enough to shoot through the window of a building from jets in any weather. The United States has never sold such advanced munitions to Saudi Arabia before, and the sale would upgrade the capability of the Saudi Air Force.

Congress may reject any large arms sale according to the Arms Control Export Act of 1976. The President is required to officially notify Congress of an impending arms deal, who then has 30 days to trigger a review and pass a Joint Resolution of Disapproval.

The Joint Resolution of Disapproval has been used in the past by Congress to affect weapons sales, including in 1986 when Congress successfully convinced then President Reagan to cut back an arms sale to Saudi Arabia. Past administrations have renegotiated sales based on the prospect of a Congressional Review.

Despite assurances to the contrary, Saudi Arabia continues to bankroll terrorist organizations that have attacked both the United States and Israel. In sworn testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee in November 2005, Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Treasury Daniel L. Glaser indicated that the Saudi Arabian government refuses to crack down on the World Association of Muslim Youth (WAMY), which spreads radical Wahhabism and finances Hamas and Al Qaeda.

Saudi Arabia has worked against U.S. interests:

In February the Saudi Arabian government torpedoed U.S. plans to conduct a high-profile peace summit meeting between Israel and the Palestinian Authority by brokering their own power-sharing agreement, catching the U.S. off guard and ensuring the agreement would not require Hamas to recognize Israel or forswear violence.

On March 29th, many agree Saudi Arabia King Abdullah referred to the U.S. troops in Iraq as an "illegitimate foreign occupation" at a twoday Arab summit in Riyadh.

Saudi Arabia exports terrorism:

In the past two years, an estimated 2,500 Saudi Arabian youths eager to wage jihad have slipped into Iraq and 70% of the most-wanted international terrorists are Saudi Arabians.

"We need to send a crystal clear message to the Saudi Arabian government that their tacit approval of terrorism can't go unpunished," said Weiner. "Saudi Arabia should not get an ounce of military support from the U.S until they unequivocally denounce terrorism and take tangible steps to prevent it."

"It is critical that Congress block the sale of these high tech weapons to Saudi Arabia given its abysmal record in combating terrorism and unwillingness to crack down on extremists," said Wexler. "America's national security interest must come first, and I urge President Bush to immediately cancel this controversial sale of weapons to Saudi Arabia."

For each of the last three years, Weiner has passed amendments in the House of Representatives banning U.S aid to Saudi Arabia.

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