Nearing the end of her distinguished tenure as U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, Nikki Haley faces a dilemma that could define her legacy.
How lives (or jobs) end, as the ancient Greek philosopher Aristotle said, define how they are seen. A man could live his life as a greedy fool, but in his last year be generous and kind – and be remembered as a warmhearted humanitarian. By contrast, Aristotle wrote, a man can live an admirable and successful life, but be incautious and unwise at the end – and be known to history as a fool. Reputations are made or lost as the curtain comes down.
Haley’s dilemma involves a seemingly small matter of whether to accept the diplomatic credentials of a disgraced former U.N. diplomat.
Jamal Benomar was U.N. envoy to Yemen, a nation torn apart by a civil war that pits the elected government, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates against Houthi tribesmen backed by Iran and Qatar and al-Qaida terrorists. Benomar’s tenure in Yemen was dogged by accusations of bias toward Qatar, and he was eventually removed without ever finding a path to peace.
After his dismissal, it is alleged that he went to work as a paid Qatari agent in New York. In that role, he was accused by former Republican National Committee Finance Chairman Elliott Broidy of serving as the ringleader of a massive computer hack against Broidy and others connected to President Trump, along with more than 1,000 others around the world.
Broidy filed a lawsuit against Benmar, who has sought to get the case dismissed on the grounds that he has diplomatic immunity.
Broidy began examining Benomar’s claims of immunity. He lives in the United States, and his wife and children are U.S. citizens. CHECK!
What’s more, he is no longer a U.N. employee. Benomar claimed, in court filings, that he was working as a diplomat for Morocco. When no paperwork supported this claim, he persuaded the Moroccan government to hastily file an application for recognition of a diplomatic passport with the U.S. State Department. The August 2018 application said it was retroactive to January 2017. CHECK!
Now the problem landed on Ambassador Haley’s desk. If she approves the application – or ignores the issue and allows State Department bureaucrats and/or her likely successor, Heather Nauert, to decide it for her – she will be in effect sheltering a man who allegedly hacked the private emails of President Trump’s supporters and an array of U.S. citizens, including former CIA officials.
She will be rewarding wrongdoing against Americans.
And she will be rewarding Qatar, which documents received in legal discovery show financed and guided the hack of American citizens. Qatar has publicly announced its donations of tens of millions of dollars to Hamas, which the State Department officially lists as a “terrorist entity.” Israel, the European Union and the United Arab Emirates also blacklist Hamas as a terrorist outfit. Hamas has killed scores of American and Israeli civilians.
Qatar uses its state-run broadcaster, Al Jazeera, to normalize Islamic extremists by putting them on television alongside legitimate scholars.
The Gulf Arab state also offers safe haven to Taliban and Muslim Brotherhood leaders, who hold press conferences in its luxury hotels and move freely throughout its gas-rich peninsula.
Finally, consider Qatar’s relationship with Iran, with which its shares the vast and lucrative offshore Pars gas field. Through its revenue-sharing arrangement with the Tehran, Qatar provides billions of dollars to the very nation President Trump is sanctioning for building nuclear warheads and the long-range Shihab-4 missiles to carry them.
It’s bad enough that they act that way in the Middle East. In recent years, Qatar has employed teams of computer hackers – allegedly under Benomar’s direction – to attack prominent Americans. Once their emails were stolen, Benomar reportedly sorted and had them distributed to American media outlets with the hope of shaming and silencing Qatar’s critics in U.S. Whatever this is, it isn’t diplomacy.
New hacking victims continue to emerge. The latest is Rabbi Shmuley Boteach. It has been reported that he was targeted as an adviser to GOP mega-donor and casino mogul Sheldon Adelson. He has taken a hard line against Qatar, and hackers wanted to punish him for his views.
Ambassador Haley is distinguished by her moral clarity and willingness to speak the truth about rogue nations. She should end her tenure like she started it, which is refusing to play into the games the rogue actors play. She should deny Benomar’s phony claims and let him face justice in U.S. courts.
Joseph Farah’s latest book, “The Gospel in Every Book of the Old Testament,” which shows God’s mercy, grace and redemption throughout the Hebrew Scriptures, is available now in e-book and hardcover in the WND Superstore.