Sunday, October 20, 2019

19-Oct-19: House Speaker Pelosi led an official visit today to the chief protector of our child's killer

Ms Pelosi in conference today with Jordan's king
and his son the Crown Prince [Image Source]
The official media mouthpiece of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan reports this evening (Saturday) on US politicians visiting, and paying generous homage to, King Abdullah II. At this hour, there is no other media source for this.

But there's much, all of it relevant, that the Jordanian media don't say.

Jordan harbors Ahlam Tamimi, the confessed Jordanian bomber of the Sbarro pizzeria in Jerusalem whose 2013 indictment by the US Department of Justice was unveiled (after a long period of secrecy) more than two and a half years ago ["14-Mar-19: Two years after Federal charges are unsealed, Ahlam Tamimi remains free. How is this happening?"] But she remains free, living in Jordan's capital.

Without the smallest reference to Ahlam Tamimi, or to Jordan's flat-out refusal to comply with an extradition request from its US ally, and of course with no hint of how phenomenally popular Tamimi is in Jordan's public opinion (enough to persuade the king to block the US request), here's the mouthpiece's Saturday night report in full:
Amman, Oct.19 (Petra)-- His Majesty King Abdullah, accompanied by His Royal Highness Crown Prince Al Hussein bin Abdullah II, met on Saturday with a delegation from the US Congress, headed by US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
The meeting, held as part of ongoing outreach with the US Congress’ Senate and House of Representatives, covered the cooperation and strategic partnership between Jordan and the United States, as well as regional developments.
Speaking at the meeting, attended by His Royal Highness Prince Feisal bin Al Hussein, King Abdullah expressed appreciation for the United States’ continuing support for Jordan in a number of fields, commending the US Congress’ position towards the Kingdom.
Discussing regional issues, foremost of which is the Palestinian cause, His Majesty stressed the need to reach just, lasting and comprehensive peace on the basis of the two-state solution, which guarantees the establishment of an independent Palestinian state on the 4 June 1967 lines with East Jerusalem as its capital.
Turning to the Syrian crisis, the King urged a political solution that safeguards Syria’s territorial integrity and the unity of its people, while guaranteeing the safe and voluntary return of refugees.
The meeting also covered regional and international efforts to counter terrorism within a comprehensive approach.
For their part, the US lawmakers commended Jordan’s efforts, led by His Majesty, in pursuit of peace and stability in the region, praising the King’s wisdom.
They expressed keenness to hear the King’s perspective on regional and global developments, adding that they are pleased to be present in Jordan as the Kingdom marks 20 years since His Majesty assumed his constitutional powers.
Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi, Adviser to His Majesty for Communication and Coordination Bisher Khasawneh, and Adviser to His Majesty for Policies and Media Kemal Al Nasser attended the meeting.
[Source: "King meets with US Congress delegation", PETRA (Jordan Government Media Office), October 19, 2019]

Side by side, Arabic and English versions of
Ahlam Tamimi's FBI Most Wanted poster [Image Source]
This latest high-level US visit comes on the heels of another Congressional delegation visit a mere eleven days earlier ["08-Oct-19: Again: Jordan's inscrutable US relationship"]. Our efforts to get the leader of that earlier delegation, Representative Jason Crow, to speak with us have been ignored by him and his staff.

Speaker Pelosi has had multiple meetings with the Jordanian king in the past year and a half including (at least) in April 2018 [here], March 2019 [here] and April 2019 [here]. Clearly, if she were so inclined, she's had plenty of opportunity to express concern about US justice thwarted.

Her silence is troubling.

We're going to make efforts to see what Ms Pelosi says she said to Jordan's absolute ruler today about why he demeans the extradition treaty his father King Hussein signed with the Clinton administration in 1995. Our track record in getting members of Congress to respond to questions like this is not very good but we're not giving up.

Meanwhile we're wondering:
  • Do Congressional delegations to Jordan get briefed by the State Department before they take off? 
  • Do the State Department or the Justice Department inform Amman-bound Cogressional visitors about the years-long pursuit of Tamimi, a jihadist in the service of Hamas who is astoundingly a free-as-a-bird celebrity living openly, not in hiding, in Jordan's capital, and the presenter for five years (starting February 2012) of a pro-terrorism TV show broadcast from Amman throughout the world?
  • Does Ms Pelosi know who Malki Roth was, and what was done to her  by the Jordanian terrorist when she was 15 years old? 
  • Does she know who Ahlam Tamimi is, what she stands for and where she lives? 
  • Does she, and do the other members of her delegation, know why the FBI has her on its Most Wanted Terrorists list?
  • Assuming the answer is no, will Attorney-General Barr and Ambassador Nathan Sales (the State Department's Counterterrorism Coordinator) please brief them now? And ensure future Congressional visitors to Jordan get the same briefing before they leave Washington?
And this.
Why are you learning about the Congressional visit from the blog of a pair of bereaved parents seeking justice for the on-the-run killer of their child, and not from the mainstream news?
UPDATE October 20, 2019 at 7:00 am

Along with broader news coverage (but not a single mention of Tamimi or how Jordan undermines Justice Department efforts to extradite her), Speaker Pelosi's website now names the Congress members in her delegation:
  • Ranking Member Mac Thornberry, House Armed Services Committee
  • Chairman Eliot Engel, House Foreign Affairs Committee
  • Chairman Bennie Thompson, Homeland Security Committee
  • Chairman Adam Schiff, House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence
  • Congressman Ron Kind, House Ways and Means Committee
  • Congresswoman Susan Davis, House Armed Services Committee
  • Congressman Stephen Lynch, Chairman, House Oversight and Reform Subcommittee on National Security
  • Congresswoman Elaine Luria, House Armed Services Committee
  • Speaker Nancy Pelosi
(Source: "Pelosi Leads High-Level Bipartisan Delegation to Jordan", October 19, 2019)

But no one from the House Judiciary Committee. That's relevant because of what's in this recent news report: "Parents of US Girl Killed in 2001 Jerusalem Bombing Call for Congressional Investigation Into Fugitive Hamas Terrorist Living Freely in Jordan" [Ben Cohen in Algemeiner, July 17, 2019]

UPDATE October 21, 2019 at 10:30 pm

We have just tweeted every one of the Congressional members of the Pelosi delegation to Jordan's king. We asked them these questions:
  1. Did the subject of Jordan illicitly harboring one of America's most wanted fugitive jihadists, #AhlamTamimi, get mentioned by any @TeamPelosi delegation members on Saturday in Jordan?
  2. Did the king raise it? 
  3. Did he respond to questions about it?
We sent the same tweet to the US Embassy in Jordan's capital.

We're conditioned to expect that not one of them will see fit to reply to us. Perhaps if we were political figures... but we're not.

Here is what we are: simply the parents of a US citizen, a child of 15, murdered by a fugitive terrorist who is kept safe by the man who hosted them so royally on Saturday. A man who claims to be at the forefront of the war against terror but who tramples the extradition treaty his father signed with the US government 24 years ago.

Tamimi and Jordan's calculated and illicit thwarting of her extradition to Washington, overseen by King Abdullah II who appoints all of his country's judges, go entirely unmentioned in the Pelosi media release.

Why are we not surprised?

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