Probe into man’s death doubtful

Christopher Cramer, 50, of Milford, recently died under suspicious circumstances in Saudi Arabia where he was representing the Kollsman Co. of Merrimack. His friends and family believe he was murdered. We don’t know if he was or not but this we do know:

His friends and family should not expect either the government of Saudi Arabia or the government of the United States to do much, if anything, to find out the truth.

When it comes to any form of human rights, except perhaps the rights of the Saudi royal family, it’s obvious that the government of Saudi Arabia – which, by the way, is the Saudi royal family – doesn’t care all that much. And when it comes to supporting human rights around the globe, it’s also obvious that the current government of the United States cares when all that caring takes is talk.

So we don’t expect much of a government investigation into Mr. Cramer’s death. After all, right now the Saudis are busy counting to 1,000. That’s the number of lashes to which a “court” there sentenced liberal Muslim writer Raif Badawi for “insulting Islam” on his former website, the Saudi Free Liberal Forum. As of last week, according to Boston Globe columnist Jeff Jacoby, they’d given him only 50 but more will come, you can bet on that.

Jacoby, in his Jan. 28 column about this issue, pointed out Saudi hypocrisy: Their “court” sentences Badawi to whipping for daring to express an opinion in opposition to that of the Saudi royal family and then, Jacoby wrote:

“Two days later, following the Charlie Hebdo massacre, the Saudi ambassador to France joined in the great Paris solidarity march in defense of freedom of expression.”

Maybe the Saudi royal family, or a Saudi “court,” will sentence the ambassador to some lashes.

As Jacoby said, “realipolitik may require an ongoing U.S. relationship with the Saudis,” but there is no need for Americans to pretend that Saudi Arabia “isn’t one of the world’s leading producers of intolerance and fanaticism.”

Nor need we pretend that the Saudis are going to seriously investigate the death of Mr. Cramer.