Foggy Bottom’s Friends
Major EFL and via Brothers Judd:
(Editor’s note: This is adapted from , "Dangerous Diplomacy: How the State Department Threatens American Security," which you can buy from the OpinionJournal bookstore.)

The date was April 24, 2002. Standing on the runway at Ellington Air Force Base in Houston, the cadre of FBI, Secret Service and Customs agents had just been informed by law-enforcement officials that there was a "snag" with Crown Prince Abdullah’s oversized entourage, which was arriving with the prince for a visit to George W. Bush’s Western White House in Crawford, Texas. The flight manifest of the eight-plane delegation accompanying the Saudi would-be king had a problem. Three problems, to be exact: One person on the list was wanted by U.S. law enforcement authorities, and two others were on a terrorist watch list.

This had the potential to be what folks in Washington like to refer to as an "international incident." But the State Department was not about to let an "international incident" happen. Which is why this story has never been written--until now....

The Middle East Institute, officially on the Saudi payroll, receives some $200,000 of its annual $1.5 million budget from the Saudi government, and an unknown amount from Saudi individuals--often a meaningless distinction since most of the "individuals" with money to donate are members of the royal family, which constitutes the government. MEI’s chairman is Wyche Fowler, who was ambassador to Saudi Arabia from 1996-2001, and its president is Ned Walker, who has served as the deputy chief of Mission in Riyadh and ambassador to Egypt.

Also at MEI: David Mack, former ambassador to the United Arab Emirates and deputy assistant secretary for Near Eastern affairs; Richard Parker, former ambassador to Algeria, Lebanon, and Morocco; William Eagleton, former ambassador to Syria; Joseph C. Wilson, career foreign-service office and former deputy chief of mission in Baghdad;

So, Joe, who do you know???? This is getting curiouser and curiouser.
Posted by: Anonymous 2003-10-14