To: Senator Cornyn
From: Gary and Deborah Swenchonis
Re: President Saleh's Attempts to Gain Asylum/Medical Treatment Here in America
Dear Senator Cornyn,
As you know last spring I wrote you about my fears that President Saleh of Yemen would attempt to gain sanctuary here in America when he lost his position as President of his corrupt regime. That day is now here. Despite our governments best efforts to keep Saleh in power as the Dictator of Yemen he has had to step down. Saleh has applied for entry into America under the false intention of obtaining medical treatment for injuries in the attack against him last spring in a failed attempt to remove him from power. We believe as many others do that Saleh is only trying to save his own life and the millions of dollar that he stole from his own people. There is the very real possibility that Saleh will have to stand trial in a Yemeni court for all of his crimes against his people and his own nation that he committed during his 30 year reign of terror and corruption as President of Yemen. We as citizens of this country do not believe that we as a nation should provide a safe haven for a man who has ordered the murder and torture of his own citizens, who had journalists arrested, tortured and imprisoned because they reported on the crimes and corruptions of his regime.
And of course we have our own very personal reasons as well. After the attack on the USS Cole on 10-12-00 in the Port of Aden in Yemen, President Saleh demonstrated repeatedly that he was not serious in his attempts to help our own government in bringing the members of Al-Qaeda to justice. Below I have listed a few of those actions that Saleh has taken over the following years in regards to that attack in which our son and 16 of his mates were murdered, and 39 other crew members wounded, some seriously.
+after the attack Saleh blamed America for the attack itself.
+he refused the requests of the FBI to question members of his own family, government, and military that the FBI suspected of having/knowing information about the plotters/bombers. Ambassador Bodine and President Clinton and Bush would agree with him for political reasons.
+his police and military did not provide full access to the FBI during the investigation, and would not till after 9/11. But his family, members of his government and military would never be questioned. Yet Saleh would and did continue to receive millions of dollars in American aid, in money, equipment, arms, etc...
+ Saleh pardoned, and or reduced the sentences of the Cole bombers. In the end all the Cole bombers/plotters were freed, and or not even charged with the attack on the on the Cole. Yet he continued to reap the rewards from our own government for his terrorist friendly behaviors which have been documented and know for years.
+he gave released terrorists and other terrorists government jobs, money, etc...
+he has refused to arrest a well know terrorist who operates a so called university where he teaches hate and violence against westerners, especially Americans and Jews. At least one of the Cole bombers attended this university. This terrorist is currently wanted and has been by our own government, and the UN. But our government continues to look the other way in its dealings with Saleh in this matter as it does in anything pertaining to Saleh and his government/family members involvement with terrorism. That terrorist is al-Zindani who was even an advisor to Saleh at one time, and still runs his university of hate.
+Saleh's own courts released know terrorists to go and fight our troops in Iraq.
+Saleh has been caught using Al-Qaeda terrorists on numerous occasions, and providing support and protection for them when such use helped him to achieve his own agenda. All the while three different American presidents continued to provide him with money and other forms of aid.
These are only a few of the wrongs that Saleh and his evil regime has committed against our murdered son, his mates, and those wounded and who served on the ship at that time.
We have watched over the years as three American presidents have refused to hold Saleh responsible for any of his evil and dangerous actions which have cost the lives of many people, and brought suffering to many, many more. We know that Clinton, Bush, and now Obama all had to make political decisions regardless of Saleh's ruthless behaviors towards his own people and the sailors of the USS Cole attack.
But its our hope that now when our government has no further need of Saleh since he no longer has any real power that they will no longer afford him protection for all his crimes committed against innocent people. Our government turned its back on Mubarak of Egypt just this past spring, and he now has to answer to the Egyptian people for his crimes. And we feel that Saleh has committed much more grievous crimes than Mubarak ever did. Also, our government decided to quit supporting the know terrorist Gaddafi of Libya even after he had supposedly recanted his evil behaviors. A good decision to us and others we know.
And now we are hoping that our government will actually remember the sailors of the USS Cole this time, all of them who were doing their duty at that time, but have been forgotten over the years. That our government will refuse entry into America for any reasons to Saleh, his family, and members of his government. If Saleh was allowed to come here to America it would be just another insult in a long line of insults to the murdered sailors, those wounded, and those sailors who fought so hard and so long to keep the Cole afloat, and to bring her back home. And not to mention all the other Americans who could never understand why our own government continued to befriend Saleh in light of how he helped the plotters of the Cole Attack in which 17 American sailors were murdered, and 39 more wounded.
And one last point there are many people in Yemen who have these same questions, and not the bad guys either. But people who really want a real democracy, and cannot understand our governments continued infatuation with Saleh of Yemen. The more our government continues to protect this murder, his family, and his government the more difficult it will be to gain these peoples trust. The Yemeni people have a right to make Saleh stand trial for all of his crimes. And we hope that Saleh will actually have to face the consequences of his actions towards them and his country.
And if our government continues with its support of the ex-Dictator Saleh of Yemen and he is allowed to live here we and others will use every legal option at our disposal to make him stand trial in a civil court. But we think that it would be much easier and the right thing to do if our government just tells him to go somewhere else to live with his stolen fortune. Like I said, its way past time that Saleh starts paying for all of his crimes. And to recognize the sacrifice of the sailors of the USS Cole, and their families.
Thank-You Again Sir for all of your help!
Gary G. and Deborah Swenchonis
Remember the USS Cole
And to all the Yemenis who helped to bring Saleh down. Job well done! You have had numerous enemies who tried to stop you from removing Saleh from power, and bringing postive change to Yemen. One of those entities was my own government unfortunately, who downplayed your cause every chance they got till they were forced to recognize your efforts, and your cause. And even now they are still trying to help their old friend Saleh to escape justice. The press here in America only reported our governments official party line, "That Saleh was our close friend in the war on terror.", for the past 12 years and very little on the real truth behind the real Saleh of Yemen. That he was and is a selfish, egotistical power hungry and ruthless dictator who stopped at nothing to enrich himself, his family, and his cronies at the expense of the Yemeni people, and your nation. My wife and I wish you all success in your efforts to obtain a real democracy. We also recognize that y'all have a long way to go in achieving that goal, and still many more obstacles to overcome in the future. But if the Yemeni people apply themselves with the same determination that they have with the removal of Saleh we are sure that Yemen will be a bona fide democracy in the near future.