Murder overseas warrants action

There is something pathetic about the inability of the United States govern­ment, particularly its State Department, to get the government of Saudi Arabia to honestly investigate the apparent murder of an American citizen.

It almost makes one wish for the return of gunboat diplomacy.

Christopher Cramer, of Milford, was in that misogynistic country representing Kollsman, Inc., of Merrimack, when he was found lying dead beneath the third floor balcony of his hotel room. First re­ports, specifically from Kollsman repre­sentatives, said he’d committed suicide, something instantly rejected by his fam­ily.

Clearly they were right because an au­topsy performed by Dr. Michael Baden, one of this nation’s foremost medical ex­aminers, determined it was a homicide and that Cramer had been severely beat­en before he either fell or was pushed from his balcony.

New Hampshire’s congressional del­egation has jumped in, thanks mostly to questions directed to them by The Cabi­net, but even they haven’t been able to get any action.

The State Department, according to WCVB television in Boston, gave this lipservice response to questions about the Saudis alleged investigation: State De­partment spokeswoman Katherine Pfaff said it has offered to assist Saudi authori­ties with any investigation into Cramer’s death but can’t investigate an incident overseas without the permission of the host government. (But) the U.S. had not received a request for assistance, she said.

"We continue to engage with the Saudis on this case, and our offer of assistance stands," Pfaff said in an emailed state­ment to the station.

The United States government should not be "offering" to assist the Saudis. It should be insisting that the Saudis get off their duffs and really investigate and, we certainly hope, arrest someone for the murder.

This nation has a relationship, of sorts, with the Saudi government, being still de­pendent upon it for oil for which we pay them a great deal of money that keeps their sheiks in Cadillacs and palaces, so we think a bit more than engaging with the Saudis is in order.

Once upon a time in this world the murder of an American citizen brought repercussions. Now? It brings offers of assistance in an investigation that might not even exist.