Rep. Ted Lieu Puts Spotlight on U.S. Complicity in Saudi Killings of Yemeni Civilians
Nov. 18, 2016 (EIRNS)—A special body of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, the bipartisan Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission, chaired by Rep. Jim McGovern (D-MASS) and Rep. Joe Pitts (R-PA), held a hearing yesterday on the humanitarian crisis in Yemen, which focussed on the US/Saudi bombings that have butchered civilians, including children at medical facilities, and most recently at a funeral gathering where 140 people were killed and 550 injured. The record of the Saudi attacks on civilians was featured in the Commission’s press release announcing the event.
Rep. Ted Lieu (D-Calif), a member of Commission took a leading role in yesterday’s hearings, posting the press release and witness list on his Congressional website. Lieu, a former military prosecutor in the U.S. Air Force, has been campaigning for over a year, with letters to the White House and to members of Congress, to stop the US support for the Saudi air war that has killed thousands of civilians and devastated the economy. Photos of emaciated children, dying of malnutrition in hospitals, have been made public, but have been ignored by the Obama administration.
Lieu was quoted on Nov. 13th in a feature article in the Sante Fe New Mexican newspaper that described how the Saudi war against the Houthi rebels and former President Saleh has been a war on the economy of the country.
“It is a significant moral outrage that we continue to provide arms to Saudi Arabia and to participate in military operations in Yemen,” Rep. Lieu said. “The United States is at risk of aiding and abetting war crimes in Yemen.”
On November 2, Lieu sent a letter addressed to both Secretaries John Kerry and Ashton Carter demanding to know if the United States refueled or knew about the October targeting of the Yemeni funeral before it was bombed. He demanded to know if the US refueled and knew in advance about the Saudi targeting of the MSF hospital in August.
While the hearing yesterday typically included testimony from the pro-Saudi lobby that accused the Houthis of also attacking civilians, important evidence was put on the record about the Saudi’s murderous policy.