Joel Mowbray
The U.S. State Department surreptitiously undermined Congressional efforts this past weekend to rescue two abducted children from Saudi Arabia--and two American citizens remain trapped in the desert prison as a result. House Government Reform Chairman Dan Burton (R-IN) arrived in Saudi Arabia late last week to persuade the Saudi government to release 15 American citizens--most of them children (some of whom are now young adults) abducted by Saudi parents--held against their will by our “ally”. (Instead of the racehorse the Saudi royal family offered the victims of 9/11, the Saudi government ought to free the 15 American citizens held hostage—-one for each of the 15 terrorists they sent us.) The abduction cases date back to 1986, when the daughters of Patricia Roush, Alia and Aisha, were stolen from their suburban Chicago home by their Saudi national father. In the intervening 16 years, State has done precious little to help ensure the safe return of Roush’s now-adult daughters. Roush's ordeal has become extremely high-profile, which threatens to upset the "stability" of the U.S.-Saudi relationship--something that does not sit well with top officials at State or their friends the Saudis. In a move that can only been seen as a direct swipe to take a pound of Roush’s flesh, the Saudis shuttled Alia and Aisha to London--just as the Congressional delegation was arriving in Saudi Arabia--in order to have them sign a “statement” denouncing their own mother and the country of freedom and liberty where they were born. The most disturbing aspect of this horror show is not that the young women (who are now 20 and 23) were surrounded by Saudis while cooped up in a London hotel that accordingly resembled a mini-Saudi Arabia. No, the truly shocking part is that State played the key role in helping the Saudis achieve their reprehensible goal. Despite asking for--and being denied--Roush’s permission to take a statement from her daughters, a consular officer with State willingly took the “statement” made by Alia and Aisha on Saturday anyway. Any benefit of the doubt State might have been able to receive in the whole incident evaporated in its official take on the travesty. With a straight face, State claims that Alia and Aisha were--no joke--“on vacation.” A quick look at the facts--with which State is already familiar--lays bare this malicious myth. For nearly 17 years, Alia and Aisha had been denied exit visas because of “Saudi law.” State actually expects people to believe the girls magically decide to go “on vacation” on the very same weekend that a Congressional delegation travels to Saudi Arabia to rescue them? But State wasn’t content with merely spouting the official Saudi line about the girls “requesting” the meeting while “on vacation.” No, State had to do the Saudis’ bidding to try and squash hopes of Roush’s daughters ever escaping the Wahhabist wonderland. State told the press not that Alia and Aisha did not want to move to the United States, but that they didn’t even want to “travel” here. Alia and Aisha’s “statement” was made less than a day before Burton was to ask the Saudi Foreign Minister for acceptable conditions under which Roush could meet with her daughters--a move that State had full knowledge of. But the Saudis’ stunt would have been for naught without the stamp of legitimacy placed on it by State. The whole affair raises a serious question: If the Saudis refuse to be honest partners on something as simple as helping us retrieve kidnapped American citizens, how in the world can we trust them as a partner in the War on Terror? But the fact that the Saudis' duplicity only succeeded because of State's complicity begs the more important question: how can we trust our own State Dept to protect us when it willingly sacrifices the lives of two American citizens at the altar of its unholy alliance with the Saudis?

Joel Mowbray

Joel Mowbray, who got his start with Townhall.com, is an award-winning investigative journalist, nationally-syndicated columnist and author of Dangerous Diplomacy: How the State Department Threatens America's Security.

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