CIF, Saudis and HRW.
Many, many people are following the Garlasco debacle, but to be honest I can’t keep up with it, still CiFWatch has a rather well written piece with a discussion of these events, as they are unfolding on CiF.
People are duking it out in the Seth Freedman thread, but what I found interesting was the type of guests who were invited to the HRW meeting/presentation in Saudi Arabia.
I remember it going on, and the fuss about it, but I hadn’t fully appreciated how many Saudi bigwigs were there, as HRW says it self:
“The roughly 50 guests at the reception in Riyadh included three with governmental affiliations: the spokesperson for the Ministry of Interior; the deputy head of the Human Rights Commission, a governmental organization; and a member of the Shura Council, a government-appointed consultative body.”
They make a point of saying:
“None was solicited for funds, nor would Human Rights Watch ever accept funds from such officials, in any country.”
And I’m sure that HRW wouldn’t have solicited funds, they wouldn’t need to, that’s not how it works.
Money in this case is such a vulgar topic, rather they would make a generalized presentation and there would be an implicit, an inferred, unwritten, understanding between the guests and the hosts that should they agree then at some point, in the future, some money may come from a Saudi source. It would be all very nebulous, if it came to that, nothing crude, nothing vulgar, unspoken. I daresay Sir Humphrey Appleby would admire their manoeuvering, but it does leave a bit of a sour taste in the mouth for the rest of us.
I have admired HRW’s work in the past, pity that they’ve had to compromise themselves in this way.