The Saudi Embassy cash scandal

More on the Saudi embassy money story.
I finger the Saudis’ Washington “mole.”

Mike Isikoff at Newsweek has more on the mystery of what Prince Bandar was doing with all those millions of dollars in cash he didn’t want Riggs Bank to fill out currency forms about. (Who does Bandar think he is: Rush Limbaugh?)

The funniest line in the Newsweek story — though Isikoff doesn’t seem to get the joke — is from a Saudi embassy spokesman, pointing out (in Isikoff’s words ) than “an earlier FBI probe into embassy funds that were moved to alleged associates of the 9/11 hijackers has not led to any charges.” Duhhhhhhhh…. can you say “diplomatic immunity?” I was sure you could. People at Riggs bank might face charges; all the Saudis risk is being declared “persona non grata“: i.e., booted out of the country.

Newsweek also runs a picture that may be the answer to a question Glenn Reynolds has been asking: Is there a Saudi “mole” in Washington with access to top-secret information and the capacity to deflect attention from the Saudi/terrorist link, and, if so, who could it be?

bush and bandar.jpg

Please, Your Highness, haven’t I always been faithful?

Author: Mark Kleiman

Professor of Public Policy at the NYU Marron Institute for Urban Management and editor of the Journal of Drug Policy Analysis. Teaches about the methods of policy analysis about drug abuse control and crime control policy, working out the implications of two principles: that swift and certain sanctions don't have to be severe to be effective, and that well-designed threats usually don't have to be carried out. Books: Drugs and Drug Policy: What Everyone Needs to Know (with Jonathan Caulkins and Angela Hawken) When Brute Force Fails: How to Have Less Crime and Less Punishment (Princeton, 2009; named one of the "books of the year" by The Economist Against Excess: Drug Policy for Results (Basic, 1993) Marijuana: Costs of Abuse, Costs of Control (Greenwood, 1989) UCLA Homepage Curriculum Vitae Contact: