The invitation to visit the United States and meet personally with President Trump extended to mega crook Najib Razak is, on the face of it, inexplicable. Not only has Najib stolen billions of dollars but he has also laundered them through the US financial system in a series of major breaches of US criminal law. Furthermore none of this is secret. The US Department of Justice has published all the details of Najib’s crimes in open documents. So there can be no doubt about what the invitee has done; contrary both to his own laws and those of the USA. In normal circumstances the welcome extended should not go beyond a pair of handcuffs.
Why then should President Trump,because it must have been he, authorise the issue of this extraordinary invitation and, presumably, have ordered that the arrest of Najib on US soil not take place?
Probably not just a presidential whim. What does a mega crook look like? Maybe he will apologise if I ask him nicely? Marginally more probably because he was advised to. By whom? The DOJ hoping to slap the cuffs on the visitor? Not really. A much more probable source of advice is the State Department. Headed by a business tycoon with little,if any, diplomatic experience its view will have been formulated by officials in the State Department. They are aware that Najib has been bought by Beijing. That the latter have offered double the real cost of a projected railway in Malaysia as a means for Najib, at least partially, to hide his thefts from the wealth fund 1MDB and to pay off the Abu Dhabi company IPIC to whom 1MDB owes 1.2 billion dollars.
So what would they suggest? Out bid Beijing? Why? To try to keep onside a mega thief who they know, or ought to, is very likely to lose an upcoming general election. With the result that if he wins it with US support and prestige Malaysia will fall into the Beijing orbit. With CPG naval bases on the Malacca Strait. A veritable diplomatic triumph.
Who else on the advice trail. Obviously the Agency. Represented in Malaysia as they are they cannot be unaware of the real facts. So if their judgment is that the criminal Najib must be supported it is on all fours with past policies that supported a series of criminal dictators in South and Central America. And look where that got them and the USA.
Quite apart from any question of good sense this invitation sends an unmistakable message. If you are a dictatorial crook the US loves you and will help you to stifle democracy at will. Not quite the message from the Founding Fathers but, hey, things change.
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