51 thoughts on “Just a mirage

  1. Predictable says:

    “The US-Saudi relationship must be preserved – our national interest demands it” (FOX News) https://www.foxnews.com/opinion/the-us-saudi-relationship-must-be-preserved-our-national-interest-demands-it “I don’t want to talk about any of the facts,” U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told journalists before leaving Riyadh on Wednesday.
    President Donald Trump, who earlier warned of “severe punishment” if the kingdom was found culpable for Khashoggi’s disappearance, criticized the allegations against the kingdom and compared it to the accusations of sexual assault leveled against now-Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh during his confirmation hearing.
    “Here we go again with you’re guilty until proven innocent,” Mr. Trump told the AP in an interview.

    • Mike says:

      “Evangelical Leader Pat Robertson On Saudi Arabia: ‘We’ve Got To Cool The Rhetoric’ : “You don’t blow up an international alliance over one person,” Robertson said, putting journalist Jamal Khashoggi’s fate on a scale with U.S.-Saudi arms sales.” https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/saudi-arabia-jamal-khashoggi-pat-robertson_us_5bc7a818e4b0d38b5874aaec

      “In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military–industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists, and will persist. We must never let the weight of this combination endanger our liberties or democratic processes. We should take nothing for granted. Only an alert and knowledgeable citizenry can compel the proper meshing of the huge industrial and military machinery of defense with our peaceful methods and goals so that security and liberty may prosper together.” President of the United States Dwight D. Eisenhower in his Farewell Address to the Nation on January 17, 1961. http://avalon.law.yale.edu/20th_century/eisenhower001.asp

      • Update says:

        “Saudi Arabia’s crown prince has told US President Donald Trump the kingdom was “willing and able” to respond to the latest attacks claimed by Yemen’s Houthi rebels on its oil facilities, state media reported. According to a statement by the Saudi embassy in Washington, DC, Trump told MBS that the US was ready to cooperate with the kingdom to protect its security in the wake of the drone attacks.
        In the phone call, Trump also told the crown prince the attacks hurt the US and global economies, the SPA said in an Arabic-language statement
        The Houthis, who have been fighting a Saudi-UAE-led coalition in an ongoing civil war in Yemen since 2015, took responsibility for the early morning attacks, which involved 10 drones and caused fires at the facilities at Abqaiq, the world’s largest oil processing complex, and Khurais, a major oilfield.
        The attacks on the two facilities cut Saudi Arabia’s crude oil supply by around 5.7 million barrels per day or about 50 percent of its output.” https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2019/09/mbs-tells-trump-saudi-respond-attacks-190914192436368.html

        • Doublethink says:

          On Sunday night, President Donald Trump tweeted this: “Saudi Arabia oil supply was attacked. There is reason to believe that we know the culprit, are locked and loaded depending on verification, but are waiting to hear from the Kingdom as to who they believe was the cause of this attack, and under what terms we would proceed!”
          [Remember when only the US congress could declare war..?]
          While “locked and loaded” usually implies that weapons are ready to be immediately used, Trump’s use of the phrase wasn’t a military threat according to Vice President Mike Pence’s chief of staff Marc Short, who on Monday morning insisted that “locked and loaded is a broad term and talks about the realities that we’re all far safer and more secure domestically from energy independence”.
          Shortly afterwards Trump tweeted: “Remember when Iran shot down a drone, saying knowingly that it was in their “airspace” when, in fact, it was nowhere close. They stuck strongly to that story knowing that it was a very big lie. Now they say that they had nothing to do with the attack on Saudi Arabia. We’ll see?”

          We’ll see… meanwhile let’s bask in the reality that ‘we’re all far safer and more secure domestically from energy independence’.

    • Mighty Wurlitzer says:

      Conservatives mount a whisper campaign smearing Khashoggi in defense of Trump :
      A cadre of conservative House lawmakers is fueling false reports depicting the missing Saudi journalist as allied with Middle Eastern terrorists. (Washington Post 10/19/18) https://www.washingtonpost.com/powerpost/conservatives-mount-a-whisper-campaign-smearing-khashoggi-in-defense-of-trump/2018/10/18/feb92bd0-d306-11e8-b2d2-f397227b43f0_story.html?utm_term=.034357f9598e&wpisrc=nl_most&wpmm=1 Trump’s remarks about reporters amid the Khashoggi fallout have inflamed existing tensions between his allies and the media. At a Thursday rally in Montana, Trump openly praised Rep. Greg Gianforte (R-Mont.) for assaulting a reporter in his bid for Congress last year.
      “Any guy that can do a body slam, he’s my kind of — he’s my guy,” Trump said.
      Hours earlier, prominent conservative television personalities were making insinuations about Khashoggi’s background.

  2. Body of evidence says:

    U.S. Senator refutes suggestions space aliens abducted journalist Jamal Khashoggi or that he fell “through a hole in the space-time continuum”. https://www.voanews.com/a/on-capitol-hill-more-scorn-on-saudi-arabia-over-khashoggi/4617697.html In fact, as the Saudi Govenment officials have stated, the 50 year old Washington Post columnist and dissident journalist entered the Saudi consulate in Istanbul and died after he got into a fight with members of a 15-person delegation who were there to meet him. https://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-45906396

    • Update says:

      “Turkey’s public prosecutor said Wednesday that Jamal Khashoggi was strangled and dismembered upon arrival at the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul earlier this month as part of a premeditated plan to kill the prominent Saudi journalist and dispose of his body.
      The statement, delivered as Saudi Arabia’s own prosecutor left Istanbul for Riyadh, marked the most conclusive official description to date of what happened to the prominent journalist and Washington Post contributing columnist when he entered the diplomatic mission on Oct. 2.” https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/saudi-arabia-not-fully-cooperating-with-khashoggi-investigation-turkish-official-says/2018/10/31/804bfc2a-dc78-11e8-8bac-bfe01fcdc3a6_story.html?utm_term=.905b8174035f&wpisrc=nl_most&wpmm=1
      Meanwhile in the sidebar: “Indonesia has responded with outrage after Saudi Arabia executed an Indonesian domestic worker who was convicted of killing her Saudi employer — even though an activist group says the maid had been defending herself from being raped.
      Indonesian President Joko Widodo said Wednesday that he had called Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir to file a complaint and demand to know why Indonesia had not been notified that Tuti Tursilawati was to be executed Monday.
      The case highlights the tough position of many of the estimated 11 million foreign workers, from more than 100 nations, who reside in Saudi Arabia. An estimated 2.3 million of them work in households, often as maids.”

  3. Şerefsiz says:

    Al Jazeera News (11/11/18): The head of investigations at the Turkish Daily Sabah newspaper has told Al Jazeera that Jamal Khashoggi’s last words were “I’m suffocating … Take this bag off my head, I’m claustrophobic”, according to an audio recording from inside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul.
    Khashoggi, a Saudi journalist, suffocated to death while a plastic bag covered his head, Nazif Karaman told Al Jazeera.
    Karaman said the murder lasted for about seven minutes, according to the recordings.
    Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Saturday that audio related to Khashoggi’s murder was shared with Saudi Arabia, the United States, Germany, France and Britain. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gfhEEHqW0I0

  4. Forgettaboutit says:

    “U.S. National Security Advisor John Bolton on Tuesday suggested that an audio tape of Jamal Khashoggi’s murder may not implicate Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.
    “In the assessment of those who have listened to it,” the recording does not directly implicate bin Salman, Bolton said, adding that he had not listened to the tape himself.
    The United States is not the only country holding a copy of the tape, and other nations’ intelligence services are scrutinizing the recording on their own.” https://www.cnbc.com/2018/11/13/john-bolton-on-khashoggi-killing-north-korea-and-south-china-sea.html

  5. Update says:

    (CBS News) “The CIA has reportedly concluded that journalist Jamal Khashoggi’s death was ordered by Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, who has so far denied any involvement in the killing, according to sources cited by multiple news outlets.
    Khashoggi, a prominent critic of the crown prince who was based in the U.S. and wrote for the Washington Post, was killed at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on Oct. 2.” https://www.cbsnews.com/news/jamal-khashoggi-killing-connected-to-mohammed-bin-salman-crown-prince-saudi-arabia-cia-says-today-2018-11-16/
    “Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn’t go away.” Phillip K. Dick, “I Hope I Shall Arrive Soon” (1980)

    • Lovecraftian Horror says:

      “The President’s son-in-law and senior adviser, Jared Kushner, continued to have private conversations with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman following the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, according to The New York Times.
      Kushner offered the de facto Saudi ruler advice “about how to weather the storm” following the death of Khashoggi, the Times reported on Saturday, citing a Saudi source familiar with the conversations.
      Although White House protocol stipulated that National Security Council staff be present on all phone calls with foreign leaders, Kushner and bin Salman continued to chat informally after Khashoggi’s death, the Times reported, citing two former senior American officials and two people briefed by the Saudis.
      The White House did not immediately respond to CNN’s request for comment on the story.”
      “The Wooing of Jared Kushner: How the Saudis Got a Friend in the White House” (NYT) https://www.nytimes.com/2018/12/08/world/middleeast/saudi-mbs-jared-kushner.html

  6. Dhimmitude says:

    “The NY Knicks will be travelling to London in a few weeks for a game against the Washington Wizards. But center Enes Kanter has announced he won’t be joining them. Kanter, who is Turkish and a frequent critic of Turkey’s authoritarian President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, said he is worried about his safety if he leaves the United States.” http://duckofminerva.com/2019/01/enes-kanter-was-right-to-be-cautious.html#more-34224
    See also “An N.B.A. Star Takes On Erdogan” (NYT 1/9/19) https://www.nytimes.com/2019/01/09/sports/kanter-knicks-erdogan-turkey.html

  7. Murder will out says:

    Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos writes that the Washington Post’s investigation into David Pecker’s ties to Saudi Arabia ‘seems to hit a particularly sensitive nerve.’ And the NYT reports on evidence the Saudi crown prince considered killing Jamal Khashoggi long before his death in Istanbul. (MSNBC Morning Joe 2/8/19) https://www.msnbc.com/morning-joe/watch/the-saudi-arabia-connection-to-the-ami-story-1439388739704
    A year before Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi was killed, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman told an aide he would use “a bullet” on the journalist if he did not return home and end his criticism of the government, the New York Times reported on Thursday. https://www.reuters.com/article/us-saudi-khashoggi-threat/saudi-crown-prince-had-threatened-to-use-bullet-on-khashoggi-nytimes-idUSKCN1PX03B
    Also: The Committee to Protect Journalists has joined the Knight First Amendment Institute at Columbia University’s FOIA lawsuit to force five federal agencies to disclose documents showing whether they fulfilled their “duty to warn” reporter Jamal Khashoggi that he was in danger before he was lured to his death in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul last October. https://knightcolumbia.org/sites/default/files/content/Cases/Khashoggi/2018.01.17_ExhA_Amended_Complaint.pdf The day after filing, CNN.com published an op-ed co-written by Jameel Jaffer, the Knight Institute’s Executive Director, and Joel Simon, CPJ’s Executive Director, “Why US intelligence should release any Khashoggi files.” https://www.cnn.com/2019/01/18/opinions/compel-govt-to-release-files-on-khashoggi-opinion-jaffer-simon/index.html

  8. UPDATE says:

    “US President Donald Trump declined to meet a Friday deadline to report to the Senate on whether the White House believes Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman, also known as MBS, ordered the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.
    A senior administration official told US media that the president maintains his discretion to decline to act on congressional committee requests.
    Khashoggi, who was a Washington Post columnist known for his critical writing on the Saudi government, was killed on October 2, 2018, after entering the Saudi consulate in Istanbul. His body was dismembered and has not yet been found.” (Al Jazeera 2/8/19) https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2019/02/trump-misses-senate-deadline-report-khashoggi-killing-190208211123717.html Initially, Saudi Arabia, a US ally, denied any involvement in the killing. But following a series of contradictory statements, the kingdom admitted that a team of Saudi agents killed the writer inside the consulate.
    The CIA report concluded that MBS ordered the murder, a finding the crown prince denies.
    On Thursday, the UN human rights investigator leading the international inquiry into Khashoggi’s murder said evidence showed he was a victim of “a brutal and premeditated killing, planned and perpetrated by officials of the state of Saudi Arabia”.

  9. Family man says:

    “Praise be to God; whose compassion is all-embracing and Whose mercy is universal; Who rewards His servants for their remembrance [dhikr] [of Him] with His remembrance [of them] – verily God (Exalted is He!) has said, ‘Remember Me, and I will remember you'”
    Opening lines from Kitab al-Adhkar wa’l Da’awat of the Ihya ulum ad-Din” by Al-Ghazali (1058~1111)

  10. Update says:

    “US senators frustrated over White House silence on Khashoggi : Sanctions threatened after ‘zero’ information at briefing on Trump administration’s handling of Saudi writer’s killing.” (Al Jazeera March 4, 2019) https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2019/03/senators-frustrated-white-house-silence-khashoggi-190305015411701.html See aso “Jamal Khashoggi’s body likely burned in large oven at Saudi home : New documentary says Turkish investigators also found traces of Khashoggi’s blood on walls of the Saudi consul’s office.” https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2019/03/jamal-khashoggi-body-burned-large-oven-saudi-home-190304011823218.html

  11. Update says:

    “US senators blast Saudi rights record, call MBS ‘full gangster’ : Senators challenge Trump’s nominee for US ambassador to Saudi Arabia to take tough line with kingdom on human rights.” (Al Jazeera 3/6/19) https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2019/03/senators-blast-saudi-rights-record-calls-mbs-full-gangster-190306212408443.html “…Senator Bob Menendez, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee’s ranking Democrat, said senators were discussing whether to impose new sanctions on Saudi Arabia because of the murder of Khashoggi and the Trump administration’s failure to produce a report under the Global Magnitsky Act, a US law providing for action on human rights violations. “The bottom line is the administration is in violation of the law,” Menendez told Al Jazeera outside the hearing.
    A bipartisan group of senators sent a letter to Trump on October 10, 2018, triggering a Magnitsky investigation and asking for a determination on MBS’s role in Khashoggi’s killing.
    US intelligence agencies have determined MBS ordered the killing, according to senators.
    “The law is very clear. The administration had to give us, within 120 days of the letter that I and former chairman Corker sent to the president, to have a specific determination on the crown prince. And so now the question is, whether the Senate must act in having its own set of sanctions,” Menendez said.
    Senators were frustrated when US Treasury Department officials offered no new information on Khashoggi during a closed-door briefing on Monday.”

  12. Murder will out says:

    Khashoggi probe to push for accountability: UN investigator / United Nations special rapporteur on extrajudicial executions blasts Saudi trials in Khashoggi case as substandard. https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2019/04/khashoggi-probe-push-accountability-investigator-190418171506140.html The US Senate, after a closed-door briefing by the CIA, adopted a resolution in December naming Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman as “responsible” for the murder – a conclusion the kingdom denies. The global community must make it “clear to the Saudi government that there will be no business as usual with a government that lures a journalist and regime critic to a diplomatic outpost and dismembers him,” Louis Charbonneau, the UN director at Human Rights Watch, told Al Jazeera.
    Turkey has arrested two men suspected of spying for the United Arab Emirates and is investigating whether the suspects were linked to the murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, according to media reports. https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2019/04/turkey-arrests-suspected-uae-spies-probes-khashoggi-link-190419144820497.html Turkey has been at the forefront of efforts to clear up the Khashoggi case, but has expressed frustration at an alleged lack of cooperation by Saudi officials.

  13. Tweety pie says:

    “Saudis’ Image Makers: A Troll Army and a Twitter Insider” (NYT Oct 20, 2018) “…Twitter executives first became aware of a possible plot to infiltrate user accounts at the end of 2015, when Western intelligence officials told them that the Saudis were grooming an employee, Ali Alzabarah, to spy on the accounts of dissidents and others, according to five people briefed on the matter. They requested anonymity because they were not authorized to speak publicly.”
    …or perhaps afraid of being hacked to death by their authoritarian government’s thugs?

  14. For Whom the Bell Tolls says:

    ‘World has done nothing’: Khashoggi fiancee gives US testimony : At US committee hearing, Hatice Cengiz laments lack of ‘truth, justice or accountability’ over Saudi writer’s killing. https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2019/05/khashoggi-fiancee-testimony-190516200458560.html
    See also “CIA warns Khashoggi associates about threats from Saudi Arabia : Foreign security services warn pro-democracy advocates of potential retaliation by Saudi agents.” https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2019/05/cia-warns-khashoggi-associates-threats-saudi-arabia-190509172652996.html

  15. Nomad is an island says:

    ‘Saudi Arabia Wants to Stop My Work.’ Activists Are Facing New Threats For Continuing Jamal Khashoggi’s Efforts (TIME magazine May 16, 2019) http://time.com/5590171/new-threats-saudi-arabia-jamal-khashoggi/ “…A troubling picture has emerged: eight months after Khashoggi’s death, the fight for political free speech he championed against the autocratic Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman rages on.
    The fight is about more than just a group of exiled dissidents standing up against one Middle Eastern tyrant. Some experts in national security view the unfolding battle as part of a larger, defining war of our time: the contest for control of information. “What’s happening in Saudi Arabia today is seen by an increasing number of governments around the world as a road map for how the future will look,” says Bill Marczak of Citizen Lab, a cybersecurity and human-rights investigative project at the University of Toronto.”

  16. Update says:

    Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MBS) has warned against “exploiting” the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi for political gains, in what appeared to be a veiled attack on Turkey. https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2019/06/saudi-mbs-warns-exploiting-khashoggi-murder-190616074345140.html The CIA has concluded Khashoggi’s murder was likely ordered by MBS, the de facto ruler and heir to the Arab world’s most powerful throne.
    Saudi authorities strongly deny the allegation.
    Saudi prosecutors have absolved Prince Mohammed and said around two dozen people implicated in the murder are in custody, with death penalties sought against five men.
    US President Donald Trump and members of his administration have declined to assign blame to MBS and instead emphasised the importance of the United States’ strategic relationship with Saudi Arabia in the Middle East.

  17. Isaiah 53:7 says:

    Has ‘the sacrificial lamb’ arrived?: U.N. cites new recordings in Khashoggi murder (Reuters 6/19/19) “The report, which calls for Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and other senior Saudi officials to be investigated over their liability, relies on recordings and forensic work conducted by Turkish investigators and information from the trials in Saudi Arabia.
    Pointing to the absence of surprise at his death among those present in the recordings or any apparent attempts to resuscitate him, the report said evidence of premeditation outweighed Saudi claims of accidental death.”
    “Khashoggi killing: ‘Credible evidence’ Saudi crown prince responsible, UN expert says” (CNN 6/19/19) https://www.cnn.com/2019/06/19/middleeast/khashoggi-saudi-arabia-report-intl/index.html “In a much-anticipated report, released Wednesday, UN investigator Agnes Callamard said that Saudi Arabia was responsible under international law for the “deliberate, premeditated execution” of Khashoggi and current sanctions on some senior officials do not go far enough.
    Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and his personal assets abroad should be hit by “targeted sanctions,” the report recommends, “until and unless evidence is provided and corroborated that he carries no responsibilities for this execution.”

  18. Muckraker says:

    A United Nations rights expert has criticized UN “paralysis” for preventing accountability for the murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, accusing Secretary-General Antonio Guterres of failing to act. https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2019/06/act-expert-urges-international-khashoggi-probe-190626161809811.html In a harsh statement on Wednesday, Agnes Callamard, UN special rapporteur on extrajudicial executions, said ignoring the targeted killing will put the protection of free speech at risk.
    In her 100-page report, which was made public on June 19, Callamard says that Khashoggi’s killing at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul in October last year constituted a premeditated extrajudicial killing for which Saudi Arabia’s leadership was responsible.
    See Executive summary of Callamard’s UN report https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2019/06/khashoggi-executive-summary-callamard-report-190619105102019.html
    “Annex to the Report of the Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions: Investigation into the unlawful death of Mr. Jamal Khashoggi” available at https://t.co/QHiGhUX0yu?amp=1

    • All for Money says:

      “After the killing in October of journalist Jamal Khashoggi in the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul, a handful of lobbying firms and think tanks made a move rare in Washington: They publicly severed ties with Saudi Arabia, swearing off the kingdom’s money.
      But nine months later, Saudi Arabia’s efforts to influence U.S. policy continue unabated — bolstered by President Trump’s embrace of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, despite a recent United Nations report that the prince was complicit in the grisly killing and dismemberment of the Washington Post contributing columnist and political dissident.
      Since fall 2018, high-powered lobbyists and lawyers have reaped millions of dollars for assisting the kingdom as it works to develop nuclear power, buy American-made weapons and prolong U.S. assistance to the Saudi-led coalition waging war in Yemen, foreign lobbying records show.”
      …When asked about Khashoggi’s murder, Trump has repeatedly emphasized the economic benefits of the U.S.-Saudi relationship.
      “Take their money,” he said on NBC’s “Meet the Press” last month, describing his posture toward the kingdom. “Take their money.”

  19. Aramco fandango says:

    Slain journalist Jamal Khashoggi was barred from media appearances after criticizing U.S. President Donald Trump in late 2016, according to the State Department.
    In its most recent report on Saudi Arabia’s human rights record, the department said Khashoggi moved to the U.S. in “self-exile” in September 2017 and “could face arrest upon returning home” due to his writings.
    The report said Khashoggi’s column in Saudi newspaper al-Hayat had been cancelled under political pressure.
    “In 2016, authorities purportedly banned him from writing, appearing on television and attending conferences as the result of remarks he made that were interpreted as criticizing the president of the United States, according to multiple media sources. (Hürriyet Daily News, Turkey 11/22/18) http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/saudis-banned-khashoggi-for-criticizing-trump-report-139077
    “Trump and money are shielding Saudi Arabia from accountability for Khashoggi’s killing” (L.A. Times opinion 10/2/19) https://www.latimes.com/opinion/story/2019-10-02/jamal-khashoggi-saudi-arabia-killing-mohammad-bin-salman
    “What Did Trump Discuss in Calls With Mohammed bin Salman and Vladimir Putin That Got the Extra-Secrecy Treatment?” (Slate 10/1/19) https://slate.com/news-and-politics/2019/10/trump-mbs-putin-calls-also-hidden-incriminating.html
    “FRONTLINE Raises Serious Questions About Jamal Khashoggi’s Murder in Contentious Interviews” (PBS 9/27/19) https://www.pbs.org/wgbh/frontline/article/frontline-raises-serious-questions-about-jamal-khashoggis-murder-in-contentious-interviews/

  20. Just business says:

    “Khasho who? One year after gruesome murder, investors embrace Saudi Arabia again” (Fast Company 10/2/19) https://www.fastcompany.com/90412231/year-after-khashoggi-murder-investors-embrace-saudi-arabia “…Secretary of State Mike Pompeo visited MBS, which shows no signs of leaving or resigning, for a friendly chat back in June, and President Trump dismissed a UN request for the FBI to investigate the murder, despite the fact that Khashoggi was a U.S. resident.
    And foreign direct investment into Saudi Arabia increased in 2018 (from $1.4 billion in 2017 to $3.2 billion), though it has dipped in the past year due to lower oil prices and investors turned off by its continuing military campaign in Yemen.”

  21. مش مشكلة says:

    Public protests, political parties and labor unions are banned in Saudi Arabia, where the media are controlled and criticism of the royal family can lead to prison.
    The 2020 G20 Riyadh summit will be the fifteenth meeting of Group of Twenty (G20). It will be held on 21–22 November 2020 in the capital city of Riyadh.

  22. Fata Morgana says:

    The State Department recently rejected a U.S. contractor’s proposal to help train the Saudi intelligence service because the same people who oversaw the murder of Jamal Khashoggi last year remain in place — and are continuing their abusive practices, including covert surveillance of Khashoggi’s relatives in London. https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/global-opinions/why-the-state-department-rejected-a-plan-to-train-saudi-intelligence/2019/12/05/4c44081c-17ac-11ea-8406-df3c54b3253e_story.html
    “Saudi Arabia: Background and US Relations” (Congressional Research Service 11/29/19) https://fas.org/sgp/crs/mideast/RL33533.pdf

  23. Summary says:

    Saudi Arabia’s death sentence Monday for five people connected to journalist Jamal Khashoggi’s killing after a trial shrouded in secrecy has prompted widespread criticism — except from the White House. https://thehill.com/policy/defense/475778-saudi-sentencing-in-khashoggi-killing-draws-criticism-except-from-white-house
    The White House has not issued an official statement as of Monday afternoon, but a senior administration called the sentencing an “important step.”
    “This is an important step in holding those responsible for this terrible crime accountable, and we encourage Saudi Arabia to continue with a fair and transparent judicial process,” the official said.
    The response was an outlier among the international community, which blasted Riyadh for its opaque justice system and failing to hold senior officials accountable for Khashoggi’s 2018 murder.
    “Bottom line: the hit-men are guilty, sentenced to death. The masterminds not only walk free. They have barely been touched by the investigation and the trial,” Agnes Callamard, the United Nations special rapporteur who investigated Khashoggi’s death, tweeted Monday. “That is the antithesis of Justice. It is a mockery.”
    (12/23/19): “The Khashoggi verdict is exactly what impunity looks like. It must be denounced.” Washington Post Op-Ed by Agnes Callamard, U.N. special rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions and director of Global Freedom of Expression at Columbia University. https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/the-khashoggi-verdict-is-exactly-what-impunity-looks-like-it-must-be-denounced/2019/12/23/60b5226c-25cc-11ea-ad73-2fd294520e97_story.html

  24. Game of Thrones says:

    Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman is using the children of a former top Saudi intelligence officer who helped build the kingdom’s counterterrorism capability — and in the process provided what intelligence officials describe as invaluable help to the West – as leverage to force their father to return to the kingdom from exile in Canada. https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2020/05/28/this-former-intelligence-official-was-hero-hes-now-target-brutal-campaign-by-mbs/
    See also “War Within War: As Saudi Prince Edges Away from Yemen, His Allies Feud” (NYT 4/28/20) https://www.nytimes.com/2020/04/28/world/middleeast/yemen-separatists-saudi-arabia.html

  25. Post mortem says:

    “President Trump has shown a mastery of distraction and deflection. One anecdote in the new tell-all by former national security adviser John Bolton confirms that his modus operandi is quite deliberate.
    On the evening of Nov. 19, 2018, The Washington Post reported that senior presidential adviser Ivanka Trump had sent hundreds of emails to White House aides, Cabinet officials and her assistants using a personal account, many of them in violation of federal records rules.
    The next morning, the White House issued a startling defense of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman over the killing and dismemberment, by bone saw, of Post contributing columnist Jamal Khashoggi. The statement, which included eight exclamation marks, began: “America First! The world is a very dangerous place!” It attacked Khashoggi by repeating the baseless allegations from the regime in Riyadh that the journalist was an “enemy of the state” and a member of the Muslim Brotherhood.
    The Post reported earlier that week that the CIA had concluded, with a high confidence, that the prince personally ordered the assassination of Khashoggi. In his statement, Trump said, “[W]e may never know” if Mohammed was involved. But, “in any case, our relationship is with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. They have been a great ally … The United States intends to remain a steadfast partner of Saudi Arabia.”
    Bolton reveals in his new book, whose publication Trump is trying to block, that the main goal of the president’s missive was to take away attention from the story about his daughter’s emails.
    “This will divert from Ivanka,” Trump said, according to Bolton’s book, as he drafted his defense of the Saudis. “If I read the statement in person, that will take over the Ivanka thing.”
    The president was correct. His gambit worked. The over-the-top defense of the Saudis diverted attention from Ivanka’s email use. It generated front-page stories and outraged editorials. Then the news cycle quickly moved on.” (Washington Post 6/18/20) https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/powerpost/paloma/daily-202/2020/06/18/daily-202-this-will-divert-from-ivanka-john-bolton-s-book-reveals-trump-s-impulse-to-distract/5eeb08e688e0fa32f823d66c/
    Khashoggi was a Washington Post op-ed writer and a resident of the U.S. https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-8433661/Bolton-says-Trump-defended-Saudi-Crown-Prince-Khashoggi-murder-distract-Ivanka-scandal.html

  26. Update says:

    Khashoggi trial: Consulate worker was told to ‘light up the oven’. Technician tells Turkish court he was given the orders after Khashoggi entered the building where he was killed. https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2020/07/khashoggi-trial-consulate-worker-told-light-oven-200703180203828.html “The indictment accuses two top Saudi officials, former deputy head of Saudi Arabia’s general intelligence Ahmed al-Asiri and former royal court adviser Saud al-Qahtani, of instigating “premeditated murder with monstrous intent”.
    It says 18 other defendants were flown to Turkey to kill Khashoggi, a prominent and well-connected journalist who had grown increasingly critical of the crown prince.
    The defendants are being tried in absentia and are unlikely to ever be handed over by Saudi Arabia, which has accused Turkey of failing to cooperate with a separate, largely secretive, trial in Riyadh last year.
    In December, a Saudi court sentenced five people to death and three to jail for the killing, but Khashoggi’s family later said they forgave his murderers, effectively granting them a formal reprieve under Saudi law.
    At the time, a Saudi prosecutor said there was no evidence connecting al-Qahtani to the killing and dismissed charges against al-Asiri.”

    “Murder will out” https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/murder_will_out

  27. Update says:

    “A former top Saudi intelligence officer claims that Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MBS) sent a hit squad to kill him in Canada 13 days after the murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, according to documents filed in the United States federal court.” https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2020/08/saudi-spy-accuses-mbs-hit-squad-attempting-kill-200806184401589.html
    “In a 106-page lawsuit filed with the US District Court in Washington, DC on Thursday, Saad al-Jabri, a permanent resident of Canada, alleged that Prince Mohammed dispatched a group of hitmen, known as the Tiger Squad, to assassinate him.” (see https://www.courtlistener.com/recap/gov.uscourts.dcd.220747/gov.uscourts.dcd.220747.1.0.pdf )
    Meanwhile: “The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, with help from China, has built a facility for the extraction of uranium yellowcake, a potential precursor to fuel for a nuclear reactor, in a remote desert location near the small city of Al Ula, the Wall Street Journal newspaper reported citing Western officials with knowledge of the site.
    The facility, which has not been publicly acknowledged, has raised concern among United States and allied officials that the kingdom’s nascent nuclear program is moving ahead, and Riyadh is keeping open an option to develop nuclear weapons, according to the report.” https://www.aljazeera.com/ajimpact/saudi-arabia-built-yellowcake-uranium-processing-plant-wsj-200804233729233.html

    • Mike says:

      “US court issues summons for Saudi Arabia’s Mohammed bin Salman : Former Saudi intelligence officer filed lawsuit accusing the crown prince of sending a hit squad to try and kill him.” https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2020/08/court-issues-summons-saudi-arabia-mohammed-bin-salman-200810081311989.html (article includes the summons)
      “The summons, which named 12 people in addition to Prince Mohammed, added: “If you fail to respond, judgment by default will be entered against you for the relief demanded in the complaint”.
      The suit asserts that MBS had ordered the detention of two of al-Jabri’s children, who have gone missing from their home in the capital Riyadh in mid-March, and that other relatives have also been arrested and tortured “all in an effort to bait Dr. Saad back to Saudi Arabia to be killed”.
      The claims in the lawsuit are allegations which have not been proven.
      “MBS will now vigorously lobby President Donald Trump and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to issue what is called a letter of suggestion immunity,” Bruce Fein, a former US associate deputy attorney general, told Al Jazeera.
      “It is rather an odd realm of law, but it asks the court to dismiss the case because it will interfere with the foreign relations of the US and relations with a head of state or high-level officials.
      “But that means November [US elections] will be critical for Saudi Arabia. I can guarantee you right now that Saudi Arabia and the crown prince are talking with Pompeo and Trump asking them get him out of this.”

  28. Update says:

    “‘Complete mockery’: Saudi Arabia condemned over Khashoggi ruling : Court overturns life sentences against unnamed defendants for journalist’s murder to between seven and 20 years in jail.” (Al Jazeera) https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2020/09/saudi-arabia-convicts-8-people-charged-jamal-khashoggi-killing-200907133048850.html
    “How Saudi Prince MBS Played Trump and Got the Keys to the Kingdom” : an adapted excerpt from “Blood and Oil: Mohammed bin Salman’s Ruthless Quest for Global Power”, by Wall Street Journal reporters Bradley Hope and Justin Scheck, published September 1. (Daily Beast) https://www.thedailybeast.com/how-saudi-prince-mbs-played-trump-and-got-the-keys-to-the-kingdom
    ‘Blood And Oil’ Traces Mohammed Bin Salman’s Rise As A Ruthless Saudi Leader (NPR) https://www.npr.org/2020/09/01/906645954/blood-and-oil-traces-mohammed-bin-salmans-rise-as-a-ruthless-saudi-leader
    “Saudi purge: Why Mohammed bin Salman can never rest” (MiddleEastEye) https://www.middleeasteye.net/opinion/saudi-purges-why-mohammed-bin-salman-can-never-rest

  29. 4therecord says:

    President Donald Trump bragged that he protected Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman after the assassination and dismembering of the Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi in October 2018.
    “I saved his ass,” Trump had said amid the US outcry over Khashoggi’s killing, according to Bob Woodward’s new book. “I was able to get Congress to leave him alone. I was able to get them to stop.”
    The president told Woodward he didn’t believe that MBS ordered Khashoggi’s murder, though the US and other foreign intelligence services concluded that he did order the attack. https://www.businessinsider.com/trump-woodward-i-saved-his-ass-mbs-khashoggi-rage-2020-9
    “Trump let Saudi Arabia get away with murder. Could Biden hold MBS accountable?” https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2020/09/08/trump-let-saudi-arabia-get-away-with-murder-could-biden-hold-mbs-accountable/

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