After President Joe Biden quietly OK’d Donald Trump’s largest arms deal earlier this year, the Biden administration is now defending it in court using ludicrous logic: that it’s unfair to suggest the United Arab Emirates will misuse American weapons just because it has repeatedly done so for years.
Several groups are suing the State Department in federal court — a coalition that includes relatives of more than 50 people killed by UAE military actions in Libya, including an attack that U.S. intelligence blamed on the Emiratis not long before Trump offered them the package of fighter jets, drones and bombs.
Critics of the UAE deal argue the process of approving the sale violated the United States’ standards for arms exports. If a judge agrees, that could derail the entire sale.
Many of Biden’s most important political allies share their skepticism of the plan. In December, nearly the entire Democratic Senate caucus voted to halt the effort, and soon after taking office, Biden launched a review of the deal over its risk to human rights and national security.