Win Without War & Lee Fang and Alex Emmons / The Intercept – 2018-09-22 23:22:08
ACTION ALERT: Pompeo. Raytheon. Yemen.
Win Without War
(September 22, 2018) — You’ve probably never heard of Charles Faulkner. Turns out he’s Donald Trump’s Acting Assistant Secretary of State. It also turns out, he’s the reason Secretary of State Mike Pompeo lied to Congress last week to keep US weapons flowing into Yemen.
Why? Well, Charles Faulkner just so happened to previously make a living by lobbying for Raytheon, the massive arms maker. And Raytheon happens to have a $2 billion arms sale to the Saudis and UAE sitting in legislative limbo right now.
Using your power to make sure the US keeps fueling a brutal war because it would benefit your former — and likely future — employer? Corruption doesn’t get much more black and white than that.
The good news here is that this isn’t the end of the story. Now it’s our turn to have our say, and our turn to force Congress to do what Mike Pompeo and Donald Trump won’t: End these arms sales and cut off US military support once and for all for war crimes in Yemen.
Earlier this year, Congress passed a law to force some action by the Trump Administration in Yemen. They gave the Secretary of State a choice: Certify that Saudi Arabia and the UAE were doing everything they could to stop the suffering in Yemen, or stop US military support for this deadly war.
Days ago, Pompeo chose to keep the US fueling the war in Yemen, ignoring the advice of our career diplomats and listening instead to former Raytheon lobbyist Charles Faulkner.
It’s now clear that Secretary Pompeo outright lied about the horrors we’re fueling in Yemen to protect Raytheon’s profits. This takes putting profits over people to a whole new, disgusting level.
It’s sickening to see how deep this corruption goes. The US war machine has long listened to profits over people. But this is a new low, even for Trump. We cannot let this slide.
Tell Congress: Don’t Put Raytheon’s Profits Over Human Suffering
State Department employee who used to work as a lobbyist for defense giant Raytheon was the key figure in pressuring Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to maintain US involvement in the brutal war in Yemen — where Raytheon has reaped mega-profits from arms sales.
To summarize: The Trump administration is helping kill children in Yemen. Raytheon is profiting. So Mike Pompeo sided with Raytheon.
Enough is enough. Add your name to demand Congress step in.
Congress has the power to stop all this. Stop the arms sales. Stop the military support. Stop the suffering in Yemen. But they won’t act unless we make them.
Right now, arms makers like Raytheon and foreign powers like Saudi Arabia and UAE are trying every trick in the book to keep the bombs dropping. It’s up to us to build a chorus for change so loud that Congress can’t ignore it.
To: The United States Congress
The news of State Department corruption to cover up war crimes proves that Trump administration is utterly incapable of responding to the disaster of US involvement in Yemen. You must step in.
Please, act to end US support for the brutal war in Yemen immediately.
State Department Team Led by
Former Raytheon Lobbyist Pushed Mike Pompeo
To Support Yemen War Because of Arms Sales
Lee Fang and Alex Emmons / The Intercept
The main pending sale is a $2 billion deal
to give Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates
air-to-ground munitions produced by Raytheon.
(September 21 2018) — Secretary of State Mike Pompeo faced internal opposition to US support for the war in Yemen from State Department staff, according to a recent report. The staffers had become concerned by the rising civilian death toll in the war being carried out by Persian Gulf monarchies, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates — not only owing to bombings of densely populated areas, but also a humanitarian crisis exacerbated by the fighting, with up to 8.4 million people at risk of starvation.
Those concerns, however, were overruled after Pompeo discussed the matter with the State Department’s legislative affairs team. The legislative affairs staff, according to the Wall Street Journal, argued that restricting US support would endanger billions of dollars in future weapons sales, including a massive sale of precision-guided munitions between Raytheon, a US weapons manufacturer, and Saudi Arabia and the UAE.
That staff — the legislative affairs team at the State Department — is led by a former Raytheon lobbyist.
Before his presidential appointment last June, Acting Assistant Secretary of State Charles Faulkner was paid handsomely by Raytheon to lobby lawmakers on defense procurement issues, ethics records show.
Debate broke out in the State Department around a congressionally mandated deadline for Pompeo to certify that Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates were taking steps to reduce civilian casualties in the Yemen war.
The failure to certify would have immediately banned US refueling efforts to bolster the Gulf monarchies’ war, but, according to the Wall Street Journal, the legislative affairs desk argued that “lack of certification will negatively impact pending arms transfers.” The office also warned that future weapons sales could be jeopardized — and Pompeo ended up issuing the certification.
The main pending sale is a $2 billion deal to give Saudi Arabia and the UAE air-to-ground munitions produced by Raytheon. The Trump administration began moving forward with the sale in the spring, briefing the chair and ranking member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.
Under US law, the Senate can block arms sales and the sale is currently being held up by Sen. Bob Menendez, D.-N.J., the top Democrat on the committee, over human rights concerns.
FAULKNER’S WORK LOBBYING on behalf of Raytheon was carried out from his perch at BGR Group, a firm that has extensive contracts with foreign governments and defense contractors.
Faulkner was individually registered to lobby on behalf of several defense contractors, including Airbus, Huntington Ingalls, and Raytheon. His former employer has also been a registered agent for the Saudi Arabian government since 2016, according to Justice Department records.
Now, leading the State Department’s Bureau of Legislative Affairs, Faulkner oversees a team of 30 foreign affairs officers “responsible for the Department’s day-to-day relationship with Congress on legislation, budget and appropriations, and foreign policy,” according to the agency website. A State Department spokesperson did not return request for comment.
Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates have long used military contracts with US and other Western corporations as a financial inducement for influencing American policy in the region. The war in Yemen has required a constant supply of American-made munitions and other military contracts, fueling a lobbying bonanza that ensures support for the war from the defense industry.
The US has provided logistical support to the Saudi- and UAE-led coalition since March 2015, when the Gulf countries began their intervention in Yemen. In addition to the weapons and refueling support, the US provides the coalition with targeting intelligence.
The continued support has come despite the coalition’s repeated bombings of civilians, including a wedding in April and a school bus carrying children last month.
Last year, Faulkner was part of the Trump administration push to broadly define the 2001 Authorization for Use of Military Force as a legal authority to pursue military engagements across the Middle East, including in Syria.
A letter authored by Faulkner and sent to Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn., the chair of the Foreign Relations Committee, argued that military action in Syria is “consistent with the inherent right of individual and collective self-defense.”
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