Those Lying Eyes

First the big guns came to town….SecDef and SecState and waltzed in front of the US Senate and lied their asses off…..that may not be fair….they were told what to say to Senators (The Trump Line)……and apparently it was all bullsh*t.

To their benefit I will say that some Senators were put off because the CIA head was not in line to brief and they, Senators, wanted to know why…..

Their threats and bitching got the CIA director a trip to brief a few Senators……

Last week’s Senate briefings surrounding a challenge to the Yemen War were less about the limited testimonies of Mike Pompeo and James Mattis than about the conspicuous absence of CIA Director Gina Haspel. That, and reported admissions from the secretaries that she was forbidden from attending the closed door briefing, fueled a lot of anger in the Senate, and by extension growing resistance to the Yemen War.

In a sign that the White House fears losing the war vote outright, they’re now letting Haspel hold her own briefing Tuesday, for a very limited audience of what the administration believes are “key” senators, mostly committee leaders.

The focus of this briefing will be Saudi Arabia’s murder of Jamal Khashoggi, and the CIA’s assessment that the Saudi Crown Prince was involved. The murder is adding to pressure in Congress to stop supporting Saudi wars, and Yemen would be the obvious choice in that regard.

Letting Haspel testify is a concession to the Senate, but the big question will be what she says. Clearly the whole reason she wasn’t allowed in the first place was fear she’d back the CIA’s assessment and hurt the Saudis. If she still does that, it would be strange to think it would placate any senators.

(antiwar.com)

After the briefing the Senators came before the cameras and made the case of MbS being a killer……

Senators came out of a closed-door briefing with CIA Director Gina Haspel on Tuesday with some pretty unequivocal opinions about Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s involvement in Jamal Khashoggi’s October death. What you need to know:

  • Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Bob Corker put it like so: “If the Crown Prince went in front of a jury, he would be convicted in 30 minutes.”
  • NPR points out that when senators were briefed by Defense Secretary Jim Mattis and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo last week, Mattis said there was no “smoking gun” that showed the crown prince’s hand in the murder. Sen. Lindsey Graham picked up that thread Tuesday, saying there may not be a smoking gun, but there is a “smoking saw,” a reference to the bone saw allegedly used to dismember the journalist in Saudi Arabia’s consulate in Istanbul. He added there is “zero chance” the crown prince, whom he described as a “wrecking ball,” didn’t play a part, reports the AP.
  • And the New York Times has this from Sen. Richard Shelby: “All evidence points to that, that all this leads back to the crown prince. This is conduct that none of us in America would approve of in any way.”
  • The Washington Post’s take: “Senators put themselves in direct opposition to the White House, making clear that the evidence they heard had convinced them beyond the shadow of a doubt.”
  • And while they were fairly united as it relates to Prince Mohammed, the Times sees senators as being much less unified when it comes to where to go from here, on the heels of last week’s vote to consider ending the US’ involvement in the Saudi-led war in Yemen. The Hill has much more on the efforts and sticking points around the legislation here.
  • The AP reports that vote set up debate on the resolution, but when, or even whether, that will happen is unclear, as senators are considering whether to amend the measure, and, if so, how.
  • As for who was allowed to participate in the briefing, the Post reports only Senate leaders and the ranking senators on select committees involved in national security and Saudi policy as it relates to Yemen were included.

Politico reports Rand Paul didn’t number among them, and he wasn’t pleased with that, saying all senators should have heard Haspel’s testimony. “There are eight people in Congress who get briefings on intelligence. That is not democracy. That is not democratic representation nor is it democratic oversight. I think the very definition of the deep state is when the intelligence communities withhold information from Congress.”

My apologies to Haspel for I thought that her time away from first briefing was that the admin was trying to get all lies to confirm their, the admin, position.

And now that the “rest of the story” has been told there seems to be a “showdown” in the Senate brewing….

The Senate is barreling toward a floor brawl over how to respond to Saudi Arabia’s role in the slaying of Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

Senators took a significant step this week advancing a bipartisan resolution to end U.S. support for the Saudi-led military campaign in Yemen, marking a sharp break from President Trump, who has stood by Riyadh and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, even in the face of reports that the prince personally ordered Khashoggi’s death.

But now, lawmakers need to figure out what a final bill will look like as they prepare to take a next step of bringing the resolution up for debate — and a potentially raucous floor drama. The war powers fight is uncharted waters for a Senate that has repeatedly rejected attempts to challenge the White House’s war authority.

https://thehill.com/homenews/senate/419214-senate-headed-clash-over-saudi-arabia

It will be telling by the conclusion of this Senatorial fight……admin and Senate at odds…cannot end well for either side….but will win this battle?

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Why The Saudis Are The Threat

We all know that the Saudis are implicated in the death of Khashoggi…..most of the civilized world is condemning them for their action…..that is civilized that do not depend on Saudi cash for whatever reason…..

The president is waffling on the Saudis role…..this I expect since his first overseas trip was to suck up to the Saudis…..and then there is the secretary of state, Pompeo refusing to condemn but that should be expected from a person totally controlled by the M-IC…..then there is Mattis who at one point I did have some respect for but those ships have sailed off down the Potomac…..I am guessing that Mattis is securing his place with the M-IC once he abandons the ship of Trump…..

The Trump administration’s determination to maintain warm ties with the Saudi royal family came into clear focus this week when Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Defense Secretary Jim Mattis showed up at the Senate.

Senators wanted to know more about the murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi and U.S. support for Saudi airstrikes in Yemen.

Instead, Pompeo and Mattis kept pivoting to the threat posed by Iran.

A smile frozen on his face, Pompeo deflected a reporter’s question on why the CIA director had not appeared to brief senators on intelligence implicating Saudi Arabia’s crown prince in Khashoggi’s killing.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/pompeo-and-mattis-criticized-for-defending-us-alliance-with-saudi-arabia/2018/11/30/2bc22a84-f416-11e8-aeea-b85fd44449f5_story.html

But the big thing is that the Saudis like the Iranians will acquire nuclear weapons…….seriously!

The Trump administration’s handling of nuclear negotiations with Saudi Arabia promises to lay bare some realities about security issues and nuclear programs in that part of the world that the administration has refused to acknowledge. A front-page article by David Sanger and William Broad in the New York Times reviews some of the still-unresolved questions. The Saudi regime insists on producing its own nuclear fuel, which would be different from terms the United States has negotiated with some other states, including the United Arab Emirates, that have sought U.S. assistance in developing their nuclear programs. The Saudis have balked at comprehensive international inspections to detect any work on nuclear weapons. And Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MbS) has explicitly threatened to develop nuclear weapons, ostensibly in response to any similar development by Iran.

https://nationalinterest.org/blog/paul-pillar/why-saudi-arabia-will-acquire-nuclear-weapons-37197

Think about it!

A country with extreme religious beliefs that acquires nukes…..and I do not writing about Iran.  Keep in mind the majority of the terrorists on 9/11 were Saudis….they are NO friends of the US….we are useful fools for their policies.

The Senate And The Saudis

Many of us on the “Left” have been bitching about the way the Congress has turned its back on one of its duties….the declaration of war.

It seems the Senate has located a spine and taken up the war that the Saudis have brought to the Arabian Peninsula with the help of the US……..

But as usual the Neocons trot out their big guns to combat any change in the status quo…..

A congressional push to limit U.S. support for the Saudi-led war in Yemen would do “immense damage” to U.S. interests in the region, leave Iran in a stronger position, and do nothing to alleviate the humanitarian crisis generated by the war, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is warning lawmakers Wednesday.

Mr. Pompeo and Defense Secretary James N. Mattis were up on Capitol Hill ahead of an expected Senate vote on a resolution to curtail U.S. support for the Saudi-led coalition, a resolution that has picked up support in the wake of the Oct. 2 killing of U.S.-based Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi by a Saudi government hit team.

https://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2018/nov/28/mike-pompeo-warns-senate-yemen-vote-could-harm-us-/

Sorry to say (not really) this tactic did not work on the weak willed….and the vote went ahead…..

In a 63-37 vote on Wednesday, the Senate agreed to a full floor debate of a bill challenging the legality of the US involvement in the Yemen War. The legal challenge is built around Congress never having authorized the US to join such a war.

Wednesday’s pre-vote efforts saw Secretaries of State and Defense Mike Pompeo and James Mattis taking senators into a closed-door, classified briefing that was aimed to cover both the Yemen War, and mounting concerns about the US relationship with Saudi Arabia.

All indications are that the briefing failed, with Sen. Chris Coons (D-DE) coming out of the briefing saying he was now opposed to the war. Sen. Bob Menendez (D-NJ), a former supporter of the war, has also changed sides, as have several others. Sen. Jack Reed (D-RI) has also said he supports the bill to end the war.

This mounting Senate support suggests the bill itself is very likely to pass, although it may ultimately stall in the House of Representatives, where a recent effort at a War Powers Act challenge to the war was derailed in favor of a wolf-hunting measure.

(antiwar.com)

I had accused Senators of being on the Saudi payroll……and then we find they were…….

At least five of the 37 Republican Senators who voted against advancing a resolution limiting the United States’ involvement in the war in Yemen have received campaign contributions from pro-Saudi lobbying groups.

Roy Blunt, John Boozman, Richard Burr, Mike Crapo and Tim Scott all received financial contributions from firms representing Saudi interests between 2016 and 2017, according to a recent investigation by the Centre for International Policy (CIP).

All five Republicans voted on Wednesday against advancing the resolution, which, if passed, would force the US to limit its support for the Saudi-UAE war in Yemen.

https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2018/11/pro-saudi-lobbyists-paid-5-senators-voted-yemen-bill-181129075933213.html

The best government money can buy….how true is that?

An after word:  Most Americans know that the biggest enemies we have these days is Al-Qaeda and ISIS, right?

A new study shows that our “greatest” ally in the region is arming these enemies of state…..

An investigation into weapons being used in the war in Yemen has shown numerous examples of arms supplied by the UK and the US, among others, ending up in the hands of militias including those linked to al-Qaida and Isis.

In an apparent abuse of trade agreements by the Saudi- and UAE-led coalition, sophisticated armoured vehicles, rocket launchers, grenades and rifles are among the weapons being purchased from European and US companies and reaching local factions and groups.

As international concerns continue to rise over the humanitarian crisis in Yemen, the report by journalist Mohamed Abo-Elgheit and the Arab Reporters for Investigative Journalists (Arij) alleges that not only are weapons being openly passed to militias aligned to the Saudi coalition but also to marginalised and feuding groups fighting their own territorial battles.

https://www.theguardian.com/global-development/2018/nov/28/arms-yemen-militia-were-supplied-by-west-find-analysts

Now ain’t that special?

Always Go With The Good Customer

I see that nothing matters to this president…he will always go with the customer….and I am not necessarily talking about our booming weapons industry……

Trump refuses to state the facts that the intel agencies have handed him about the death of journalist Jamal Khashoggi……..

President Trump made clear in a statement Tuesday that he has no intention of cutting ties with Saudi Arabia over the death of journalist Jamal Khashoggi. “Our intelligence agencies continue to assess all information, but it could very well be that the Crown Prince had knowledge of this tragic event—maybe he did and maybe he didn’t!” Trump said, referring to Mohammed bin Salman. Trump, however, pointed out that King Salman and the prince “vigorously deny any knowledge” of the murder, per the Washington Post. “We may never know all the facts,” he added, but “in any case, our relationship is with the kingdom of Saudi Arabia.”

Trump rejected the idea of “foolishly” canceling military contracts, saying that would only benefit Russia and China, reports Reuters. The US, he said, “intends to remain a steadfast partner of Saudi Arabia.” As for critics in Congress who want to punish the Saudis: “I will consider whatever ideas are presented to me, but only if they are consistent with the absolute security and safety of America.” (The CIA is reportedly pretty sure that the crown prince is behind the murder.)

Our Dear Supreme Leader has stated that he has talked with MbS on at least 5 occasions and he has said he was not involved…..and Trump even dispatched SecState Pompeo to Saudi to “get some answers”…..

Really?  Or did he go to Saudi to help the prince with his lies?

During his trip to the kingdom last month, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo reportedly provided Saudi Arabia with a detailed plan on how to make sure Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman was protected from the fallout over writer Jamal Khashoggi’s murder—and possibly pin the killing on an innocent person. Middle East Eye reports Pompeo delivered the plan during a meeting with Saudi King Salman and and the crown prince last month in Riyadh. The U.S. State Department strongly denied the existence of the plan. The “roadmap” allegedly includes an option to pin the murder on an innocent member of the ruling family to avoid blame falling on those at the top. That fall guy has not been chosen, according to the report, and Saudi leaders are said to be reserving that plan in case the criticism of the crown prince intensifies. “We would not be surprised if that happens,” a source told the Middle East Eye. The U.S. State Department called the allegations “a complete misrepresentation of the secretary’s diplomatic mission to Saudi Arabia.”

(thedailybeast.com)

I wish I could say something nice but all I can do is think of what did MbS promise Trump to get him lying in support of the prince?  What is the price of a human life?

Besides….just what do we get from Saudi Arabia?  They have been a supporter of terrorism, they have done nothing to help with the Palestinians, they work on total self-interests not caring one way or the other about the US……again just what does the US get from the Saudis?  I think the Trump family gets more than the country does.

The Saudis owe us not we owe them!  And yet this president spends time on his knees before these barbaric murderers…….why?

Who Owns The GOP?

Well to answer that question I would say pick a large corporation and the GOP has fingers in their wallets….but the one that owns the most spineless representatives of both parties is the Military-Industrial Complex (M-IC)……

These vultures are making record profits……feeding the Saudis weapon systems so the Saudis can destroy the poorest country in the Middle East, Yemen…..

There have been a few in the House that are trying to curtail the US involvement in this conflict….but now the GOP has stepped up and done what the M-IC wants….kill as much attempts to end the US involvement as possible…..

…a measure is being advanced at the behest of House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) aiming to derail House Continuing Resolution 138, a War Powers Act challenge which would force an end to the US military involvement in the Saudi-led War in Yemen.

Under the War Powers Act, any individual lawmaker is intended to be able to raise the matter of an unauthorized war for debate and a vote on the floor. Efforts to do so have failed, however, as the House leadership has used the Rules Committee to sidestep the issue.

This move to derail the debate is part of the first day of lame-duck House business, and Rep. Ryan and the other leaders seem to be hoping to turn the legal challenge of the war into a partisan issue. Minority Whip Rep. Steny Hoyer (D-MD) accused the Republican leadership of shirking Congressional responsibility.

Rep. Thomas Massie (R-KY), however, is hoping to drum up enough Republican support for the legal challenge to prevent this, arguing that the legality of the Yemen War deserves a full debate and vote in the House.

(antiwar.com)

Those wishing to contact their lawmakers to tell them to vote against the attempt to strip privilege from H. Con. Res. 138 should do so quickly, as the vote is expected on Wednesday. You can do so by calling the Capitol Switchboard at 202-225-3121, or find the phone number for their specific representative here.

Speak up!  The US does not need to be part of the Saudi genocide of Yemen.

Yemen’s David To Saudi Goliath

Saudi Arabia has been in the news for about a month….their war with Yemen…well the Houthi tribesmen….has made news on many occasions….like the attack on the school bus killing children, their creation of a humanitarian crisis….let us not forget that the US is ass deep in the conflict as well….

But news comes out that calls into question just what our time and money has proved in Saudi.

We train their military….we provide some air cover….we are also fight AQAP at the same time the Saudis are destroying the poorest country in the Middle East….all the while the Houthis are the “bad guys”…..why?

I bring our involvement out because of something I read while most Americans are laser focused on who did what to whom in the midterms…..

Yemen’s Shi’ite Houthi movement has managed to stave off an intense offensive against the vital aid port of Hodeidah on Tuesday. After several days of losses, they have stopped the Saudi-led forces’ advance just on the outskirts of the city itself.

Three coordinated offensives were being launched against the city, and it has trapped thousands of civilians within. The front-line of the fighting has gotten dangerously close to the main hospital in Hodeidah, threatening to further worsen the humanitarian crisis.

The Houthis also reported they’d halted an incursion by Saudi-backed forces into Yemen. The Saudis have not commented on any attempt to send fighters across the border so far, and all indications are that they continue to be focused on attacking the aid port.

Hodeidah is the port that imports 70% to 80% of all aid into Yemen, and the last such port under the Houthis’ control. Saudi forces have been attacking the area for weeks, and have cut off supply lines for the city, but so far have not taken the port over itself.

(antiwar.com)

After billions upon billions have been spent by the US as well as the Saudis and these people cannot dislodge a few Houthi tribesmen?

I question the sanity of our involvement….as should every thinking American.

Time for the question to be asked and an adequate answer be provided….

Lara Seligman interviews Sen. Chris Murphy on the need to end U.S. involvement in the war on Yemen:

FP: How much responsibility does the United States bear for the humanitarian disaster in Yemen?

CM: I think there is an American imprint on every single civilian death inside Yemen. We sell them the bombs, we help them with the targeting, we fuel their planes in mid-air, and we give them moral cover. So I don’t think there is any way around complete American culpability for the humanitarian nightmare that is happening there.

We also have made no meaningful effort at all to try to find a path to peace. The Trump administration has been totally AWOL on the political process. They have outsourced it to the U.N., and there is no sign that the U.N. is making any progress. It stands to reason the Saudis will never move until the United States commands them to move.

https://www.theamericanconservative.com/larison/our-responsibility-for-the-destruction-of-yemen/

As I have said many times…the US is ass deep in the blood of Yemen……

US-backed forces loyal to the Saudi and UAE governments continue to attack the main Yemeni aid port of Hodeidah Wednesday. While the city itself remains unbreached, ground troops have seized the main road leading into the city, even more tightly restricting flow to and from it.

****

Amid growing international calls to stop threatening the vital port, the Houthis’ leader issued a statement calling US calls for a ceasefire “hypocritical,” given US-backed forces have dramatically escalated their attacks since the call, and US support for those forces has not slowed.

(antiwar.com)

The time has come….do not let it slip away.

Invasion: Saudi Style!

Sometimes the US sets examples for the world to emulate and the world prospers…and sometimes that emulation turns sour and the ugliness of the US foreign policy peeks through.

The Yemen conflict is one of those examples….after years to total devastation of the country of Yemen the Saudis have invaded…..

The Saudi-led invasion of the vital Yemen aid port of Hodeidah has been slow going, and that’s fueled a lot of complaints from aid groups about the disastrous consequences of them taking the city. This has the coalition planning a major escalation.

Official are now saying that more than 10,000 additional troops will be sent against Hodeidah, both trying to shore up parts of the province already captured, and starting a new offensive against the city itself “within days.”

This new force is going to be heavily built around the Sudanese military, which has just recently dispatched thousands of troops to join the war. Sudan was part of the Saudi-led coalition from the start, but this is their first major involvement in the ground war in Yemen.

Hodeidah is the only aid port under the control of the Houthi movement, which controls about half of the country. The port is the lone source of food imports for about 70% of the country, and the fall of the city is expected by many to turn the country’s chronic malnutrition into a famine impacting millions.

(antiwar.com)

The US has stood by and allowed the Saudis to create a humanitarian crisis on the Peninsula…Hell we even supplied the Saudis with their weapons of destruction without saying a word about their barbarity.

Finally with the invasion on-going the Pentagon has finally spoke up……

Tuesday marked a significant shift away from the US government’s several years supporting the Saudi invasion of Yemen. Secretary of Defense James Mattis is now demanding an immediate ceasefire in Yemen, and peace talks within the next 30 days.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo also demanded that the Saudis and UAE completely cease airstrikes against populated areas. This is a long time coming, as those airstrikes have killed thousands of civilians.

The goal, it seems, is to set up a “solution” to the conflict at some point in November, when all factions would meet in Sweden. The US is not saying what this “solution” would look like, but previously the peace talks have collapsed more or less immediately, based on demands that any resolution involve the total disarmament of the Houthi movement, and the Saudi-backed factions returning as unquestioned rulers of the entire country.

(antiwar.com)

Demands are good but we will see just how much influence the US and Trump has with the Saudis…

On a side note…..remember when that journalist was murdered by the Saudis and the President said that we owe the Saudis so much because of the massive arms deals?

In justifying his decision not to suspend arms sales to Saudi Arabia, President Trump has repeatedly claimed vast numbers of high-paying jobs would be created from the deals. Most recently, he has claimed 500,000 jobs would be created.

In reality, arms companies have been freely admitting this is false. The official line is that some jobs will “probably” be created by the deal. When they’re asked for estimates, the major arms-makers put the figure around 500, not 500,000.

It is the act of a hollow little person that puts a price tag on human life.

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