Ben Freeman explains why and how Saudi Arabia has so much influence in U.S. politics. Even though it’s illegal for foreigners to donate to American political campaigns, he explains that it is perfectly legal for them to hire a lobbying firm in Washington, which can then turn around and immediately donate on their behalf. This type of payoff—which also extends to members of the press and even to some professors—puts Saudi influence on par with Israel’s. Freeman and Scott also discuss the disappearance and probable murder of Jamal Khashoggi, and what that will mean for American relations with Saudi Arabia.
Discussed on the show:
“Tomgram: Ben Freeman, The Saudi Lobby Juggernaut” (
Jamal Khashoggi
“The Washington Post, as It Shames Others, Continues to Pay and Publish Undisclosed Saudi Lobbyists and Other Regime Propagandists” (The Intercept)
“Will you work for a murderer? That’s the question a host of ex-generals, diplomats and spies may soon face.” (Washington Post)
Ben Freeman is director of the Foreign Influence Transparency Initiative with the Center for International Policy. Read his work at and follow him on Twitter @BenFreemanDC.
This episode of the Scott Horton Show is sponsored by: Kesslyn Runs, by Charles Featherstone; NoDev NoOps NoIT, by Hussein Badakhchani; The War State, by Mike Swanson;; Roberts and Roberts Brokerage Inc.; Zen Cash; Tom Woods’ Liberty Classroom;; and

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  • Good morning, fellow lovers of liberty. I have a new article today the the Freeman: “Proud Little Englander” Here’s the part I’m guessing people might want to discuss or debate: There is a division within libertarianism over the question of vocabulary and the importance of semantic positioning. While some debate the definition of, for example, capitalism or patriotism, others argue that it is folly to get stuck in struggles over terminology. Explain what you mean, the latter contend, and don’t worry over the words. I understand why the semantic quibbling can seem both endless and pointless, but the lesson I take from the linguistic history of our movement, broadly defined, is that the words do matter. The slurs work, and their effects can still be felt over a century later, when the specific debates have long been forgotten. (But please do read the whole article for context.) Thanks, BK

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  • Tired of people telling you that your video games are useless? Hit them with this article from the Freeman (, and tell them to join the new virtual economics classroom.

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