The Khashoggi Death

Sorry for the break in tradition for IST on weekends but some stories are too important to wait.

Back in 2018 the Saudi government murdered a journalist because he was a staunch critic of the Saudi royals…….

Pres. Biden has done something that Trump refused to do and released the intel report that points the finger at the crown prince of KSA as the instigator of the murder.

The US released an intelligence report on Friday that directly implicates Saudi Arabia’s crown prince in the 2018 murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi. The central conclusion of the report was widely expected given that intelligence officials were said to have reached it soon after the brutal killing of Khashoggi, a critic of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s authoritarian consolidation of power, per the AP. Still, since the finding had not been officially released until now, the public assignment of responsibility amounted to an extraordinary rebuke of the 35-year-old crown prince. US intelligence officials concluded that bin Salman approved the operation that led to Khashoggi’s killing, per the Washington Post. (The US-based Khashoggi was a columnist for the Post.) The move could escalate pressure on the Biden administration to hold the kingdom accountable. 

The report was released one day after a later-than-usual courtesy call from President Biden to Saudi King Salman, though it wasn’t clear whether they discussed the killing. On the day of his death, Khashoggi visited the Saudi consulate in Turkey to pick up documents for his wedding. Once inside, he died at the hands of more than a dozen Saudi security and intelligence officials who had assembled ahead of his arrival. Surveillance cameras had tracked his route and those of his alleged killers in Istanbul in the hours leading up to his killing. A Turkish bug planted at the consulate reportedly captured the sound of a saw dismembering Khashoggi’s body within an hour of his entering the building. His remains have not been found. The prince said in 2019 he took “full responsibility” for the killing since it happened on his watch, but denied ordering it.

Read a summary of the report for yourself….

Click to access Assessment-Saudi-Gov-Role-in-JK-Death-20210226v2.pdf

Now we have the culprit responsible brutal murder of Khashoggi……;what did Biden do?

US sanctioned Saudi officials over the 2018 murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi after the release of a US intelligence report that said Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, known as MBS, ordered the killing. Although MBS, the de facto leader of Saudi Arabia, was absent from the list of blacklisted Saudis.

In response to the report, the State Department announced a new visa restriction called the “Khashoggi Ban.” The ban allows the US to impose visa restrictions on individuals who engage in “extraterritorial counter-dissident activities” against journalists or activists. Khashoggi was killed inside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul.

The first Khashoggi Ban restrictions were implemented on 76 Saudis. The State Department described them as “individuals believed to have been engaged in threatening dissidents overseas, including but not limited to the Khashoggi killing.”

The Treasury Department also announced sanctions on Saudi operatives believed to be responsible for Khashoggi’s death. The measures targeted members of Saudi Arabia’s Rapid Intervention Force that were sent to kill Khashoggi.

The Treasury Department also targeted Ahmad Hassan Mohammed al Asiri, the former deputy head of Saudi Arabia’s General Intelligence Presidency, who the US says was assigned to carry out the Khashoggi hit.

The Biden administration is facing calls from Congress to take action against MBS for the killing. A Biden administration official told Politico that the White House decided against sanctioning MBS, fearing that it would put the US in an extremely “hostile” position with Saudi Arabia.

For their part, Saudi Arabia said it “completely rejects” the US intelligence assessment. Riyadh’s story has been that Khashoggi was killed by rogue operatives and that MBS had no knowledge of the plan.

The Biden administration has said it will reevaluate the US-Saudi relationship. Besides the sanctions, President Biden has also announced an end to US support for Saudi Arabia’s “offensive” operations in Yemen. The US suspended some Saudi arms sales, and a report from Reuters on Friday said the administration is considering stopping sales for “defensive” weapons as well.

NOTHING for the culprit, MbS……why?

Just another incident that we are kowtowing to the Saudis for some damn reason….and I thought it was pathetic the way we do that with Israel but now we have another nation that we feel we must massage their egos to keep them buying stuff from our defense industries.

Once again we care nothing for human rights as long as we keep our hand in their pockets.

It is a pathetic response….and I expect more of the same from the Biden administration.

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

“We Have Your Back”

That is basically what Biden admin has assured the crown prince of Saudi Arabia…..

Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin spoke with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman on Thursday and reaffirmed the US military’s commitment to the “defense” of Saudi Arabia.

Despite Washington’s efforts to end the war in Yemen, the US military presence in Saudi Arabia seems set to continue. The Trump administration sent troops to Saudi Arabia in 2019, the first time US forces were deployed to the country since 2003. Now, the US is looking to establish new bases in western Saudi Arabia. The idea is that western areas are not in the range of Iran’s ballistic missiles.

Gen. Frank McKenzie, the head of US Central Command, discussed these western locations on Thursday, although he downplayed the idea that they would be permanent bases. “We are not looking for new bases. I want to be clear on that,” he said. “What we would like to do, without shutting down these [current] bases … is to have the ability to go to other bases to operate in a period of heightened risk.”

(antiwar.com)

Seriously……we have their back?

I mean WTF?

How much technology have we given/sold to KSA?  How much training have we given them?

Billions of dollars and we still have to protect them?

Let me see now…..the defense industry makes billions and our forces still have to protect them from ‘meanies’ in the neighborhood….ain’t capitalism great?

All the countries like KSA and Israel…get away with murder (both literally and physically) and yet we have to “protect” their adventurism…..

Why?

Apparently the weapons industry has all the power over our foreign policy.

Again….why?

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Closing Thought–18Feb21

Looks like Twitter is trying to head off any crackdown by the Biden admin by permanently shutting down some of the hate users….like Trump.

But they also have suspended the accounts of some of the Saudi dissidents….

Twitter has removed the blue verified badge from the accounts of several Saudi political prisoners, including two prominent clerics who were detained in a crackdown against reformists, activists and government critics. 

Among those whose verification label has been removed are Ali al-Omary and Awad al-Qarni, two senior religious figures who have been jailed since 2017. They were seized during a purge that followed Mohammed bin Salman‘s rise to the position of crown prince.

Similarly, the accounts of the Saudi philanthropist Khaled al-Mohawesh and journalist Khaled al-Alkami, also jailed in the 2017 purge, had their blue tick removed, according to the advocacy Twitter account Prisoners of Conscience. It added that the account of economist Essam el-Zamil, another political prisoner, has been suspended. He tweeted under the handle @Essamz.

Middle East Eye has contacted Twitter for comment but has not received a response by the time of publication.

https://www.middleeasteye.net/news/saudi-arabia-twitter-jailed-scholars-verification-removed

I wonder how much that cost the Saudi royals?

And it makes me think of what is Twitter doing.

Seems the reforms in KSA does not mean the right to dissent…..

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

US MUST Ask Permission?

We have a new president and he has said that he would return to the deal made with Iran and their pursuit of nukes…..Joe Biden still says he will work with Iran to return to the JCPOA. In an interview last week, Biden said he would return to the deal and work on follow-on negotiations for a stricter agreement that covers Iran’s ballistic missile program.

This is a good thing IMO…..but Saudi Arabia has said that the US must ask the Saudis before they return to the table…..

Saudi FM Prince Faisal bin Farhan is warning that any move to rejoin the Iran deal could only be sustainable if Biden consults with the Gulf Arab states first. He added he is “ready to engage” when Biden takes office.

The incoming administration hasn’t commented, but there are reasons to doubt this happening. The talks would be high risk for little reward, as the Saudis are almost certain to remain opposed to the deal, and the US oughtn’t give the impression they need a Saudi imprimatur to make the move.

The new administration may feel it is only courteous to keep the Saudis in the loop, but would want to make clear they aren’t asking permission. This is particularly true in the case of an early deal, as Biden will want to stake out a more independent foreign policy than his predecessor.

(antiwar.com)

Seriously?

Ask permission?

Who do this pack of barbarians think they are?

I sat f*ck the Saudis ans well as I say f*ck Israel…..none of these d/bags should have any say on what our policies will be.

The arrogance of these two POS countries need to get a grip…..

Will US bow and scrap to these murdering bastards….or will we show them the door?

And now I can add Morocco to the list of barbaric nations we should avoid.

Israel and Morocco have agreed to normalize relations, President Trump said Thursday, marking the fourth Arab-Israeli agreement in four months. As part of the deal announced near the end of Trump’s term, the United States will recognize Morocco’s claim over the disputed Western Sahara region, per the AP. Trump said Israel and Morocco would restore diplomatic and other relations, including the immediate reopening of liaison offices in Tel Aviv and Rabat and the eventual opening of embassies. US officials said there would be joint overflight rights for airlines. The White House said Trump and Morocco’s King Mohammed VI had agreed that Morocco would “resume diplomatic relations between Morocco and Israel and expand economic and cultural cooperation to advance regional stability.”

 
 

 

 

 

“Another HISTORIC breakthrough today! Our two GREAT friends Israel and the Kingdom of Morocco have agreed to full diplomatic relations—a massive breakthrough for peace in the Middle East!” Trump tweeted. The US will recognize Morocco’s claim over Western Sahara, the former Spanish territory in North Africa where a long-running dispute has confounded international negotiators for decades. Morocco is the fourth Arab nation to recognize Israel as the Trump administration seeks to expand a diplomatic framework that began over the summer with an agreement between the Jewish state and the United Arab Emirates. Bahrain and Sudan followed suit, and administration officials have also been trying to bring Saudi Arabia into the grouping. (New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman is no fan of Trump, but he likes this Mideast progress.)

Friedman?  He is a staunch advocate or Israel and a war hawk….so I take everything he say s as pure bullshit.

More on this situation later….

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Will Saudis Get Nukes?

Over a year ago I wrote bout the news that Jared was working to help MbS get nuke power for KSA…..https://lobotero.com/2019/05/14/saudis-and-nukes/

I said then that it was a bad idea to give the Saudis nuke technology and after months of bitching I see that Pompeo has reassured Israel that Saudis will got get access to nukes….

Following reports that this is a specific concern of Israel, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo says he believes it is a “real risk” that Saudi Arabia will get nukes, and that the US views it as a “top priority” to try to prevent the Saudis from getting such arms.

Recent reports, all centering on the Israeli narrative, claim the Saudis are processing yellowcake uranium, and that they are getting secret help from China that could lead to the acquisition of nuclear arms in the future.

This is an unusual place for the administration to be in, as they general support arming the Saudis to the teeth, and Pompeo has repeatedly gone to bat for the idea that the Saudis need more arms for their “emergency” state. Those are US-made arms, of course.

The concern may be that getting arms from China will change the power structure of the Middle East, with Pompeo saying China’s offer is “too good to be true.” It’s not clear what China offered, or if they offered anything at all, and Saudi interest in nuclear energy could easily explain away the uranium processing.

(antiwar.com)

So according to the toad in the State Department….it is okay for the US to give nukes away but not China.  A moronic thought!

But not to worry.

KSA’s close friend the UAE has just fired up its nuclear plant…..

A nuclear power plant in the oil-rich United Arab Emirates has been connected to the country’s power grid, authorities said Wednesday. The Barakah nuclear power plant in the Emirates’ far western desert near the border with Saudi Arabia began sending out electricity, according to the state-run WAM news agency. WAM published a photograph of employees working inside the plant’s control room, though no independent media was there to witness the event. On July 31, the plant’s first reactor reached what scientists called its “first criticality.” That’s when the nuclear chain reaction within the reactor is self-sustaining. Officials from the International Atomic Energy Agency and other regulatory bodies have seen and assessed the site.

The plant has been considered a target by Yemen’s rival Houthi rebels since Dec. 2017. They claimed then, without offering evidence, to have fired a cruise missile at it, something immediately denied by the UAE. Plans call for four reactors to be operating at Barakah, which authorities say will provide some 25% of all energy needs in this OPEC-member nation. The $20 billion plant was built by the Emirates with the help of South Korea. It’s the first nuclear power plant on the Arabian Peninsula. The US has praised the UAE’s nuclear program for agreeing never to acquire enrichment or reprocessing capabilities, which prevents it from being able to make weapons-grade uranium, the AP reports.

A plant next door would be easy to get the technology needed….basically for nothing.

Does anyone else see how moronic this foreign policy is?

If not maybe you should pay attention.

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Saudi Nuke Program

Recently the Trump admin has decided to give nuke technology to the Saudis…..not to worry you can read all about it here….https://lobotero.com/2019/05/14/saudis-and-nukes/ (3 different post on the subject…check them out)…..

Then I read that the Saudis and the Chinese are working together on their nuke programs……WTF?

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has reportedly built a uranium-enrichment facility with help from China that could put the kingdom one step closer to creating a nuclear weapon.

The facility is being built in a remote desert in the country’s northwest region and has raised concerns from the United States and other allied nations about Riyadh’s nuclear development plan, according to a Wall Street Journal report.

The facility will reportedly extract yellowcake uranium from uranium ore.

https://justthenews.com/world/middle-east/saudi-arabia-working-china-expand-nuclear-program-construct-yellowcake-facility

Yellowcake uranium….you remember that right?

It was used to justify the invasion of Iraq in 2003….and now we will trust one of the most untrustworthy international p;layers with the development of yellowcake…..

At what point does the Trump oligarchy draw the line in the sand?

To expand on this…China seems to be developing a Middle East Kingdom with their policies…..

American policymakers have long assumed that Chinese and American goals in the Middle East are largely complementary. Beijing, so the prevailing wisdom holds, is fixated on commerce, with a special emphasis on oil and gas. “China’s strategy in the Middle East is driven by its economic interests,” a former senior official in the Obama administration testified last year before Congress. “China … does not appear interested in substantially deepening its diplomatic or security activities there.” According to this reigning view, China adopts a position of neutrality toward political and military conflicts, because taking sides would make enemies who might then restrict China’s access to markets.

This oft-repeated shibboleth ignores clear signs that China is very actively engaged in a hard-power contest with the United States—a contest that the Chinese occasionally acknowledge and are capable of winning. In 2016, Xi Jinping toured the Middle East for the first time in his capacity as president of the People’s Republic of China, visiting Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and Iran. Chinese propaganda hailed the trip as a milestone. The Chinese Foreign Ministry issued a white paper on its Arab policy, the first of its kind. “We will deepen China-Arab military cooperation and exchange,” the paper read. “We will … deepen cooperation on weapons, equipment and various specialized technologies, and carry out joint military exercises.”

https://www.tabletmag.com/sections/israel-middle-east/articles/china-middle-eastern-kingdom

The Middle East may well be out of the news spotlight because of the pandemic….but there is still more going on than the media is willing to report.

For FYI….this is the unredacted IG report that Pompeo wanted NO one to read….but now you can…..a fascinating 20+ pages…..

https://www.politico.com/f/?id=00000173-df44-d479-af73-ff5e7dd00000

Learn Stuff!

I Read, I know, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Closing Thought–16Jun20

The big news out of the Middle East was that Khasoggi’s sons pardoned his alleged murderers (wonder what that cost the Kingdom’s MbS?)…then his, Khasoggi, fiancee did not do the same…she is still pissed.

That was the BIG news from the region for the MSM….but I think this should have been the focus of reports…..

Saudi Arabia is pushing ahead to complete its first nuclear reactor, according to satellite images that have raised concern among arms-control experts because the kingdom has yet to implement international monitoring rules.

Satellite photos show the kingdom has built a roof over the facility before putting in place International Atomic Energy Agency regulations that allow inspectors early verification of the reactor’s design. Foregoing on-the-ground monitoring until after the research reactor is completed would be an unusual move normally discouraged under regulations to ensure civilian atomic programs aren’t used to make weapons.

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2020-05-21/saudi-atomic-reactor-progresses-with-inspectors-still-frozen-out

This is not a good idea people.

We are talking about the homeland of the ideology and theology of terror groups like AQ and ISIS and Boko Haram……how long before these groups get their hands on material for a dirty bomb?

It is silly to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear power but allow a barbarous nation like KSA to acquire.

Plus they are not allowing the IAEA in to inspect….at least Iran was allowing them in (most times)…..

This is not going to end well for someone.

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Why Are Saudis Our Friend?

I keep asking this question with little information that would state firmly that they are our friends…..it is a question I have asked many times and as of yet have NO good answer why it is assumed that they are our friends.

That is the question….I mean there is still a chance that they knew about the attack on 9/11….but that aside look no further back than the attack in Pensacola last year…..

In December of last year, the United States suffered the first deadly, internationally orchestrated terrorist attack on its soil since 9/11 — when a Saudi Air Force trainee killed three US sailors and wounded eight others at a Navy air base in Pensacola, FL.

Last week, the FBI and Attorney General William Barr announced that data recovered from the cellphone of the perpetrator further confirms that the mass shooting was an act of terrorism, and that the gunman had ties to al-Qaeda. Was this a discrete act committed in the name of a rogue terrorist organization — or an extension of long-standing Saudi state policy?

The Terrorist Threat Concealed by Saudi ‘Soft Power’

The US NEVER needed the Saudis even at the height of the oil boom……and now we are beholden to them for so much…..

he U.S.-Saudi relationship has been badly weakened over the last few years, and it seems as if there are new reasons for ending that relationship every week. Saudi war crimes in Yemen and the murder of Jamal Khashoggi served to turn much of Washington against the kingdom, and their reckless foreign policy has given even some of their regular supporters cause for alarm. The Saudi crown prince Mohammed bin Salman has done a remarkable job of burning his bridges with even the most reliable pro-Saudi hawks in Washington.

The Saudis’ ill-advised oil price war this spring alienated many of their few remaining allies on Capitol Hill, and it prompted a rare threat from the Trump administration that the U.S. would cut off military support to the kingdom unless Saudi oil production was reduced. Three years of impunity and constant indulgence of his many other crimes probably made the crown prince believe that he could do whatever he wanted without suffering consequences, but once again he misjudged and overreached.

America’s Saudi Partnership Is Now Killing Americans

Now I need to answer my question….why are the Saudis our friend?

MONEY!  There is your answer.

This article can explain the relationship expertly……

The Trump Administration has sent a notification to Congress confirming plans to sell $500 million in weapons to Saudi Arabia in an upcoming round of sales. The plan would include sales of Paveway bombs to the Saudis, and licenses to Raytheon to let them manufacture the bombs directly in Saudi Arabia.

These bombs are part of a 2019 deal in which the Saudis intend to buy 60,000 precision munitions. The deal has continued to face heavy resistance in Congress, in no small part because the Saudis have been committing war crimes with these US-made arms.

Concerns about US culpability in having provided these arms were compounded with the Saudi assassination of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, which fueled a substantial political backlash. So far, the Trump Administration has resisted letting Congress block any sales, but each announcement starts the battle anew.

Large sales of arms to the Middle East have been a high priority for years for US presidents, and that push looks likely to continue until Congress finally gets enough resistance in the way to force a rethink of the wisdom of heavily arming nations in war-torn parts of the world.

(antiwar.com)

The religious ideology of KSA is the same ideology that emboldens al-Qaeda and ISIS….what part of that is friendly toward the US?

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

 

OOPS! Saudi Cat’s Out Of The Bag

It appears as if the FBI accidentally (wink wink) let the name of a top Saudi governmental official associated with the 9/11 conspirators…..I have always felt the Saudis knew more than they would admit…..

Ever hear of a Mussaed Ahmed al-Jarrah?

Probably not….he was a Saudi assigned to the embassy in DC in charge of mosques and such in the US….

The reference is to Mussaed Ahmed al-Jarrah, a mid-level Saudi Foreign Ministry official who was assigned to the Saudi Embassy in Washington, D.C., in 1999 and 2000. His duties apparently included overseeing the activities of Ministry of Islamic Affairs employees at Saudi-funded mosques and Islamic centers within the United States.

Relatively little is known about Jarrah, but according to former embassy employees, he reported to the Saudi ambassador in the United States (at the time Prince Bandar), and that he was later reassigned to the Saudi missions in Malaysia and Morocco, where he is believed to have served as recently as last year.

Jarrah has been on the radar screen of the lawyers for the 9/11 families for some time and is among nine current or former Saudi officials who they suspect have important information about the case and have sought to either question them or get access to FBI documents that mention them.

https://news.yahoo.com/in-court-filing-fbi-accidentally-reveals-name-of-saudi-official-suspected-of-directing-support-for-911-hijackers-224555851.html

This is the declaration to the SDNY on this subject…..

I do not subscribe to many conspiracies but I do think there is some validity in those ideas that the Saudis knew full well what these hijackers were doing and what their targets were…..

Please check out the full story……then tell me what you think…..

Learn Stuff!

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

When The Oil Stops

Let’s look at the oil industry and Saudi Arabia…..the Saudis amass a fortune by the only resource….oil…..but what will KSA do if and when the oil stops?

Recently the oil futures dropped into negative territory….a place it has NEVER been in…..the Saudis were crying…..not to worry the US will do stuff to prop up a worthless regime on macho slugs.

Global Research took a look at the possibilities…..

Mohammed bin Salman can see for himself just how big a mistake that call was. The price of oil has collapsed, storage will rapidly run out, and oil companies face the real prospect of having to cap wells. The oil and gas sector accounts for up to 50 percent of the kingdom’s gross domestic product and 70 percent of its export earnings. This has just disappeared.

As anyone who has met Putin will tell you, you can bargain as hard as you like with the Russian president. You can even be on opposing sides of two regional wars, in Syria and Libya, and still maintain a working relationship, as the Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan continues to do.

But what you must not do is back Putin into a corner. This is what the Saudi crown prince did by giving Putin ultimatums and shouting at him. Putin just shouts back, knowing that the Russian balance of payments is in better shape to play that game of poker than the Saudi one is.

MBS is finding out now how weak his cards are. To be fair, before he made that call, he took advice from someone as arrogant and unthinking as he is. US President Donald Trump’s son-in-law and Middle East advisor Jared Kushner listened to what the Saudi crown prince was about to do and did not object.

This explains why Trump’s first reaction was to welcome the oil crash. Trump thought for every cent cut from the price of oil, a billion dollars of consumer spending power would be released at home. That was until his attention turned to what the oil price collapse was doing to his own oil industry.

Saudi Arabia: What Happens When the Oil Stops

Best thing that could happen to the Middle East…..a KSA that cannot afford to flex its muscle in the region (but that is just my opinion)….

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”