For Immediate Release: December 4, 2018
Press Contact: Carli Kientzle at [email protected]
“Smoking Saw” Must be Final Straw for Softbank and Sprint
Washington D.C. – Today, CIA Director Gina Haspel gave a closed briefing to leaders of several U.S. Senate committees on the murder of Jamal Khashoggi. As they emerged from the briefing, outraged senators told reporters the Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman’s (MBS) involvement in the murder was proven beyond a shadow of a doubt. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) said, “There’s not a smoking gun, there’s a smoking saw”. Graham continued, “You have to be willfully blind not to come to the conclusion and that this was orchestrated and organized by people under the command of MBS and that he was intricately involved in the demise of Mr. Khashoggi.”
In light of this news, it is imperative that Softbank, majority owner of Sprint, break off all ties with MBS, and publicly condemn the murder of Khashoggi. If Sprint CEO, Michel Combes, and SoftBank CEO Masayoshi Son do not condemn this murder and refuse to take Saudi investment then they are willfully blind to the human rights atrocities of the Kingdom and more interested in profits than national security.
With the impending merger of Sprint and T-Mobile, executives, the FCC, and the public must seriously consider the implications if Softbank does not break ties with MBS. According to the New York Times, “SoftBank would own just 27 percent of the combined company, which would be named T-Mobile, and have four of the 14 seats on the company’s board of directors.” Saudi Arabia has an atrocious human rights record, and the involvement of Saudi Arabian money in a fund, and by extension, a telecommunications company, with this much global power raises serious concerns. Saudi influence has no place in an American company, let alone one of this size.
Without verifiable proof that Softbank has kicked MBS to the curb, for the sake of the nation’s security, the merger must not be allowed to continue.