Saudi Arabia is an absolute monarchy which punishes criminals by means of public be-headings, crucifixions, amputations and whippings.
Crimes include being a victim of rape, criticism of the Saudi ruling family and criticism of the Wahabi / Salafi sect of Islam, an extremist and radical form of Islam which is associated with terrorism and which the Saudi government is spreading throughout the world.
Saudi diplomats are in line to head the United Nations human rights commission.
All the American Presidents from Franklin D. Roosevelt through Barack Obama have pledged themselves to the defense of the Saudi royal family.
The reason: Access to Saudi oil is considered vital to American national security.
The need for Saudi oil was shown during the 1973 oil embargo, when Saudi Arabia and six other Arab nations cut off oil shipments to the United States in protest of U.S. support of Israel during the Six Day War.
President Richard Nixon and Secretary of State Henry Kissinger soon persuaded the Saudi royal family that Communism was a greater threat than Israel. Today Saudi and Israeli policy are aligned against Iran and Syria.
There is a resistance movement against the Saudi monarchy. What will Washington do when and if it succeeds?
The documentary by Abby Martin of teleSUR is an excellent summary of the Saudi situation and the U.S.-Saudi relationship.