In recent weeks editors atÂ The Washington PostÂ were aghast at the murder of Jamal Khashoggi, a long-time Saudi Arabian activist who was most likely murdered, and in a gruesome way, by operatives of his own government.
Post editors were upset because Khashoggi wrote an occasional column for the paper, but that wasnâ€™t his primary function in life.
Rather, he was a long-time dissident who abhorred the Saudi monarchy and worked with the Muslim Brotherhood, which the monarchy reviles, and the late Osama bin Laden, a fellow Saudi, to undermine the regime. And agree or disagree, the Saudis do not value â€œfreedom of the pressâ€ in their country; sometimes, when public criticism gets too extreme, journalists pay the price with their freedom.
Or their lives.
But thereâ€™s more to this story than the Postâ€™s indignant outrage over Khashoggiâ€™s death: The paperâ€™s affinity for hiring and promoting people who oppose the U.S. and its allies.
Take Mohammed al-Houthi, for instance. Heâ€™s the founder of the Houthi rebel movement in Yemen, which is backed by U.S. and Israeli archenemy Iran. And the Saudis, with U.S. support,Â are currently engaged in an Afghanistan-like conflictÂ against the Houthis in Yemen.
Al-Houthi is also a contributor to the Post. And just recently he wasÂ caught on videoÂ launching a shoulder-fired rocket at a target, followed by chants of â€œDeath to America!â€ and â€œDeath to Israel!â€
Hudson Institute scholar and senior fellow Michael Doran tweeted the video, adding, â€œMeet Mohammed al-Houthi, a leader of the Houthi movement. The Washington Post recently gave him space to write an op-ed about â€˜peace.â€™â€
Conservative ReviewÂ confirmed that the shooter in the videoÂ is indeed al-Houthi:
Less than two months after he was given prominent op-ed space in the Washington Post, a video has surfaced of Houthi rebel leader Mohammad Ali al-Houthi launching a shoulder-fired missile and then reciting the Houthi slogan, which calls for â€œDeath to America.â€
Ali Shihabi, the founder of the Arabia Foundation, a Washington D.C.-based Middle East think tank, confirmed to Conservative Review that it is indeed al-Houthi in the video. Shihabi tells CR that it is â€œdocumentary evidence of the type of leaderâ€ that the Saudi-led coalition in Yemen is up against, whom â€œmany critics have ignored.â€
Additional video tweeted by Al Arabiya depicts al-Houthi behind a vehicle-mounted heavy machine gun surrounded by â€œyoung recruits.â€
VIDEO: A video has surfaced showing militia leader Mohammed Ali al-#Houthi taking a joyride with young recruits.
The #WashingtonPost has been criticized for recently running an op-ed piece by al-Houthi on its pages.
— Al Arabiya English (@AlArabiya_Eng) November 16, 2018
The Postâ€™s position regarding controversial figures it gives space to is that itâ€™s about â€˜freedom of the pressâ€™ and â€˜freedom of expression.â€™ But thereâ€™s a line, and itâ€™s not really that fine a line, between â€˜press freedomâ€™ and giving aid and comfort to an enemy of the United States. Itâ€™s absurd for the Post to pretend that al-Houthi, for instance, is a man of peace; heâ€™s nothing more than a revolutionary in his own country, opposed by the ruling faction and supported by Iran, the biggest state sponsor of terrorism in the world.
Providing him with a forum not only legitimizes him and his cause, but it also hurts our allies which, in turns, hurts the United States.
As for Khashoggi, Doran â€” a member of President George W. Bushâ€™sÂ national securityÂ council â€” noted that while he wasnâ€™t condoning the Saudiâ€™s murder, the dissident wasnâ€™t who the Post said he was.
â€œHeâ€™s depicted as a â€˜reformer,â€™ a â€˜democracy advocateâ€™ and a â€˜journalist.â€™ Yet these are half-truths that obscure the political role Khashoggi played,â€Â Doran and co-author Tony Badran, a Hudson research fellow and terrorism expert, wrote.
â€œBefore anything else, he was a regime insider. He was a close associate of senior members of the royal family who were eclipsed by the new crown prince, Mohammed bin Salman,â€ they noted.Â — J. D. Heyes
A version of this story first appeared at NewsTarget.
Never miss a story! Sign up for our daily email newsletter â€”Â Click here!