Yesterday, Rep. Paul Gosar (R-Ariz.) introduced H.R. 1922, known as the Foreign Assistance Under Limitation and Transparency Act (FAULT) Act, which would limit foreign assistance to five countries that “undermine U.S. foreign policy objectives.” The five countries mentioned in the bill are Iran, North Korea, Syria, Egypt, and Pakistan.
From the press release from Gosar’s office:
“Sending billions of taxpayer dollars overseas to hostile countries is unconscionable. Yet, only in Washington, D.C. does it make sense to pay other governments to undermine our foreign policy objectives.”
Rep. Gosar continued, “When countries like Iran, North Korea, Syria, Egypt, and Pakistan act like enemies rather than friends toward the United States and our allies, the time to cut them off from U.S. taxpayer dollars is now.”
What is interesting is that all of the countries referenced by the FAULT Act, except North Korea, were all mentioned in a study outlining which countries have been complicit in the CIA’s extraordinary rendition program, which presumably benefited what some officials thought were the “U.S. foreign policy objectives.” Given that Obama has not ended extraordinary rendition (but has made some changes), perhaps some officials in the Obama administration still think a similar program serves some purpose.
Iran was involved in the capture and transfer of people that were held in secret detention, and Egypt, Syria, and Pakistan were all involved in the torture and detention of people that were subject to the CIA’s extraordinary rendition program while also allowing the U.S. to use their airspace for that purpose.
While most of the countries outlined in Gosar’s FAULT Act countries do have unpleasant or fragile governments, history suggests American officials can find them useful in achieving particularly unpleasant foreign policy objectives.