وجه الناشط السياسي الاردني عبد الاله المعلى المقيم في واشنطن واحد مؤسسي الحركة الاردنية للتغيير وجه رسالة الى رئيس جامعة جورج تاون  بعنوان " عار على جامعة جورج تاون "  انتقد فيها منح الملك عبدالله شهادة دكتوراه فخرية خلال زيارته الاخيرة لواشنطن ... وضمن الناشط رسالته صورة للملك وهو يجلس الى صديقه عدي صدام حسين ... وتطرق الناشط الى الوضع الاقتصادي المتهالك في الاردن والى الوزارة الجديدة والى فضيحة اعادة تعيين باسم عوض الله وزيرا للمالية ... فيما يلي النص الحرفي للرسالة ... لقراءة تلخيص للرسالة باللغة العربية انقر هنا

Shame at Georgetown University: An Open Letter to President John DeGioia
King Abdullah at Georgetown University, King Abdullah with his close friend Oday
receiving an honorary doctorate Saddam Hussein
in literature and humanities!!!




President John J. DeGioia
Office of the President
204 Healy Hall
37th & O Streets, NW
Washington, DC 20057

Dear President DeGioia,
I am writing in response to Georgetown University’s absurd decision to confer upon King Abdullah of Jordan an honorary doctorate in literature and humanities on Tuesday, March 22, 2005! The free world and academic community should consider this decision as a Black Day in the history of Georgetown University. Below are some of the facts that have not been published in the local and western media and should convince you and the university’s Board of Trustees to consider withdrawing this honorary doctorate from King Abdullah of Jordan.


Known widely in Jordan by the nickname “Luai” or, in Arabic, “playboy,” King Abdullah has assumed power through inheritance and is now practicing absolute monarchy in Jordan. The king appoints and terminates prime ministers and ministers as he pleases. Senior government officials are appointed based on cronyism and favoritism with clear disrespect to intellectuals and leaders of the civil society in the country.

A few days ago, the king appointed Adnan Badran as the 89th unelected Prime Minister. Adnan is the brother of the former Prime Minister and Director of the Intelligence Directorate Mudar Badran. King Abdullah is the only decision maker in the country. No one in Jordan can criticize the king, including his uncounted advisors and members of the current forged parliament and appointed senate.

The recent facts about the state of Jordan in the political and economic arenas are staggering. These numbers came from a scientific questionnaire conducted by the Centre for Strategic Studies (CSS) at the University of Jordan in July of 2003. 73.5% of those people surveyed have witnessed “vote buying” during the last parliamentarian elections. On a scale of 1 to 10, interviewees rated democracy in Jordan at 5.45. Furthermore, 83.2% of the surveyed people believed that they will be put in jail if they criticize the government. 88.8% of people polled stressed that they want to live in freedom, governed by a democratic system that guarantees justice, equality, civil liberties, and economic prosperity among all Jordanians. More than 42% of respondents think that the current Parliament is nothing but a rubber stamp, and, therefore, irrelevant.


In February, 2003, the Brussels-based International Crisis Group (ICG) published a report named “Red Alert in Jordan: Recurrent Unrest in Maan” on the eight days of clashes between security forces and the Maan population in 2002. Maan is a province in the southern part of Jordan. During these clashes, King Abdullah’s Special Forces killed six peaceful demonstrators. The ICG reported that political frustration was one of the primary reasons that contributed to the unrest.


When Prince Ali of Jordan was asked by his high school English teacher, at Salisbury School in Salisbury, Connecticut, how he spent his summer vacation in 1993, Prince Ali replied “exchanging secret letters between my father (the late King Hussein) and President Saddam Hussein of Iraq.” King Abdullah has been doing the same. He grew up with Oday Saddam Hussein (please see picture on the first page) and has been in training and close contact with Oday for an extended period of time. This very warm relationship established and supported by the late King Hussein paid off. Saddam Hussein's ousted regime gave crude oil "coupons" to the Hashemite royal family, through Shaker bin Zaid, one of King Abdullah’s close relatives, worth 6.5 million barrels of oil. Saddam’s gift aimed to thank King Abdullah’s cronies and relatives for their political and logistical support and endless help in circumventing the then UN-imposed sanctions on Iraq.


The last parliamentary elections in our homeland have demonstrated the shameful intent of King Abdullah’s absolute monarchical regime. Many educated and political observers in Jordan have expressed their dismay at the appalling poll rigging and widespread fraud in these elections. In exchange for tacit governmental support, a few days before the elections, many members of the current parliament gave verbal promissory notes to the General Intelligence Department (GID) pledging that they will not oppose the king under any circumstances. These are the same members who have paid large sums of slush money in exchange for votes from large poor neighborhoods under the watching eyes of the king’s omnipresent security and intelligence forces. Further, those members forged voting identification cards with the knowledge of police and governmental and elections officials.

Voters used the identification election card several times by ironing out the star-shaped water mark placed on the same card. Opposition groups and human rights activists reported that “in one province the turnout reached 106% and one candidate in a small district received 882 votes in a district with 862 registered voters”. The same official reported that “election administrators counted 1100 cast votes coming out of a small village of 200 people.” These felonies passed without any investigation. Fifty-four formal complaints, the highest in Jordan’s history, were filed against the election process and its doctored results. According to the law, new parliament votes on the legality of these contests. Not surprisingly, all contests were dismissed. Later, King Abdullah acknowledged the occurrence of these criminal activities in his meetings with members of the current illegitimate parliament, but nothing has been done to that effect. The widespread protests in Jordan over the results of the elections are clear evidence that there were indeed numerous violations and irregularities which call into question the integrity of the current parliament.


If you analyze Jordan’s daily state-controlled press, government announcements and press releases, you will notice the outright lies spread by those bribed pro government columnists and officials from the public and private sectors. Most of the newspapers are owned by the government, former senior officials, state-supported businessmen and the intelligence community. As the picture on page one reads, Al-Hilal newspaper published, during the last month of Ramadan, a front-page headline calling for Jordanians to wage holy war (Jihad) against the U.S. forces in Iraq. The Al-Hilal newspaper is owned and sponsored fully by the General Intelligence Directorate (GID), known in Jordan as Samih Battikhi’s Department of Continuous Corruption (SBDCC). According to confidential sources close to Al-Hilal, the GID pays approximately $30,000 a month to support this weekly newspaper. This is just one piece of unconcealed evidence to show US officials and foreign observers how American foreign aid is spent under the current absolute monarchical system in Jordan.

General Samih Battikhi, who headed the General Intelligence Directorate (GID) from 1996 to October 2000, was convicted in June, 2003, of embezzling JD17 million ($24 million US) from the government though fraud and abuse of power. Battikhi was sentenced to eight years in prison by a special court in June, 2003. However, in stead of spending eight years in state prison, Battikhi is now under a flexible house arrest in a resort overseeing the Red Sea! Lately, he was seen shopping and vacationing in the United Kingdom. Also, Battikhi failed to repay the money he embezzled. King Abdullah must be held accountable for his ongoing failure to bring to justice the corrupt individuals and groups in government and the private sector. Jordan's growing corruption is transfixing the public and private sectors. In recent years, the problem has become epidemic and no legislations have been passed by parliament and ratified by the king that could curb this widespread corruption, injustice practices and lax management.

Jordanians are queasy, and for good reason. They live in abject poverty. Poverty is one of the nests that breed violence, terrorism and hate. Unofficial data puts the poverty level at approximately 66%. Jordan's troubles are mostly homegrown. One visit to the Palestinian camps in the eastern part of Amman, Zarqa, Ma'an, Jarash, Irbid and other cities and villages all over Jordan will convince the unbiased observer that the vast majority of Jordanians are suffocated politically, financially and have low morale. Government pork barrel spending is focused on the capital, Amman. Monetary foreign aid from the US, Europe, Japan and other countries is siphoned off by corrupt governmental and royal cohorts and cliques as soon as it arrives. In the annual state budget, the expenditures of the royal family are labeled and designated as public expenses so no one knows how much they spend. Even the salaries of the king and members of the royal family are unknown.

A few weeks ago, and due to the lack of his popularity among Jordanians, King Abdullah ordered the appointed Minister of Education, who happens to be the brother of his stepmother, to display his portrait and those of his father, grandfather and great grandfather, including the royal family tree, in every classroom in all K-12 schools in the country. Jordanians are comparing now the attitude and actions of King Abdullah with those of ousted and current Arab dictators such as Saddam Hussein.

Against the wishes of the great majority of people, HM King Abdullah II has recently renewed the appointment of disqualified cronies and friends of the king, royal family and wealthy individuals. For instance, Bassem Awadallah, the new Minister of Finance, is a very close friend of the king and his family, and three appointed female ministers are former classmates and close friends of Queen Rania. Observers in Jordan believe Awadallah’s appointment was aimed to cover the illegal practices and money laundry, conducted by the king and the royal family, that could increase dramatically in case of mounting internal and external pressures to force the king into exile or designate him as a symbolic figurehead in the country.

In a recent spying visit on the Jordanian-American community in the Washington metropolitan area, Mansour Tubaishat, a senior officer in the GID, stated “…let’s look at Karim Kawar and how he became our ambassador to the US,…he donated dozens of computers from his own computer company to the [Jordanian] Army and…we should not forget that he is also a close friend of Queen Rania…this is how you get to the top and be appointed in a senior position in the government…”

Due to my human rights activities in the US, members of my family in Jordan have been summoned to the GID for interrogation. My brother, Abdul Mutalib Almaala, was jailed in and out in the GID’s horrible prison, abused verbally and beaten severely during an inhuman interrogation process conducted by the GID officers. Also, written threats were issued to demolish my house in Zarqa, Jordan. Another brother, Abdul Majeed Almaala has also been summoned to the GID Headquarters in Amman for lengthy and abusive interrogation over the past few days.

To avoid abolishing absolute monarchy, the king is pushing for other political and national agendas. He formed appointed committee, comprised of corrupt members of parliament, close friends and minorities, to divide Jordan into three regional sectors. Jordan is a small 5 million people country, and applying the system of federal governance to it is a ploy aimed to avoid giving the people of this country their legitimate right to elect a Prime Minister. King Abdullah is working very hard now to use the strategy of revolving doors in order to deceive the world of his dishonest, hidden and personal agenda and avoid direct confrontation with the US and Europe.

Constitutional amendments are vital to introduce viable political changes to our homeland. The current absolute monarchical regime must be replaced by a constitutional monarchical system of governance. The current models of government in Western Europe would be an appropriate one to emulate in Jordan. The outcome of making these necessary changes could be a beacon of hope in creating lasting peace, economic prosperity, local and regional security, not only in Jordan, but also in the entire Arab world. However, this political change requires effective and proactive leadership that has the capacity to inspire others into action. A persistent question on the minds of many Jordanians is this: when will King Abdullah take a bold, courageous and speedy decision to make constitutional changes that give the people of Jordan the opportunity to elect their own Prime Minister?


Sincerely,

Abedalelah Almaala
Human Rights/Political Activist
abedalelah@aol.com
Phone: 301-736-1799 (H)
Fax: 301-736-7899

Cc:

President George W. Bush
Dr. Condoleeza Rice, U.S. Secretary of State
Members of US Congress
European Union
Georgetown Board of Trustees
Georgetown Faculty Senate
U.S. and Worldwide Human Rights Organizations and Political Institutions
U.S. and Jordanian Press and Medi
 

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