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Saudi Arabia

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Edited: Oct 17, 7:56am Top

Sure, women can now drive, but

8 million Yemenis threatened with starvation
Saudi-led blockade of Qatar
Saudi journalist at WaPo apparently butchered in consulate

What have I forgotten?
ETA imprisoned business executives, kidnapped the prime minister of Lebanon

How Trump enabled the abuses of Saudi Arabia’s crown prince
WaPo Editorial Board | October 9, 2018

TWO YEARS ago it would have been inconceivable that the rulers of Saudi Arabia, a close U.S. ally, would be suspected of abducting or killing a critic who lived in Washington and regularly wrote for The Post — or that they would dare to stage such an operation in Turkey, another U.S. ally and a NATO member.

...The Obama administration distanced itself from the Saudi leadership because of its opposition to the nuclear deal with Iran, and because of the misbegotten Saudi intervention in Yemen, which has led to thousands of civilian deaths in indiscriminate bombing. But soon after taking office, Mr. Trump moved dramatically to restore relations. He made Riyadh — rather than Ottawa or Mexico City — the destination for his first foreign visit; there he quickly succumbed to the over-the-top displays of fealty and promises of huge arms purchases by his hosts.

...the crown prince has imprisoned hundreds of liberal activists, including women who advocated the right to drive...scores of businessmen and royal family members were detained in late 2017 in what amounted to a massive shakedown ...Saudi bombing in Yemen, reversing the Obama administration’s withdrawal of targeting and refueling support. After one airstrike killed dozens of children in August, Congress conditioned U.S. aid on a certification by the administration that the regime was taking steps to avoid civilian casualties. Despite evidence to the contrary, the certification was issued .

...Not until Monday, six days after Mr. Khashoggi’s disappearance, did Mr. Trump and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo speak out; even then they offered no criticism, only expressions of concern and an appeal for investigation.

Some in Congress have had more to say: Republican (and Democratic) senators...have warned of the consequences of an attack on a journalist....(Dem Senator) Murphy tweeted that if the Turkish allegation of murder is true, “it should represent a fundamental break in our relationship with Saudi Arabia.” That is the right response.



UPDATE: Will Jared Let His Saudi Buddy M.B.S. Get Away with (Alleged) Murder?
Bess Levin | October 8, 2018

The Trump administration has been mum on journalist Jamal Khashoggi’s disappearance, and the strong possibility that he was murdered by the White House’s best buddy...



Erdogan: Saudi officials must prove Khashoggi left consulate
8 Oct 2018

..."Turkish Airlines or (other) airport arrivals and departures are all being investigated. With these departures and arrivals there were certain people who came from Saudi Arabia.

"The chief prosecutor's office is working on it, investigating, doing everything. And we have said - especially to all our relevant agencies, our security forces, our intelligence agency, all of them, the foreign ministry - 'work together' and we'll see the reports our prosecution prepares."
Khashoggi flew to Istanbul and entered the Saudi consulate to obtain documents Reuters

Khashoggi disappeared after entering the Saudi consulate on October 2 to sort out paperwork and Turkish sources told Reuters news agency on Saturday they believed he was killed inside the building in what they described as a "premeditated murder".

...Turkey has formally requested access to the Saudi consulate for a full forensic search of the premises.

Earlier on Monday, officials in Istanbul told Al Jazeera they "expect Saudi Arabia's full cooperation during the investigation" into the fate of the missing journalist.

On Sunday, Turkish Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Sedat Onal summoned the Saudi ambassador to Turkey to the foreign ministry for a second time since Khashoggi's disappearance, sources at the ministry told Al Jazeera...



‘What are we? A banana republic?’: Saudi Arabia wants apology from Canada over diplomatic row
Staff Reuters | September 27, 2018 5:39 pm

...In August, Saudi Arabia froze new trade with Canada, blocked grain imports, expelled Canada’s ambassador and ordered all Saudi students home after Ottawa called for the release of activists detained for urging more rights for women...



End US complicity in Yemen's humanitarian disaster
Elizabeth Warren and Ro Khanna | October 8, 2018

...The Yemeni people are suffering. Instead of supporting more bombing, the United States can help bring peace to the region. Congress has an urgent responsibility to act.


Edited: Oct 10, 8:50am Top

I don't like our alliance with either Saudi Arabia or Israel. They both murder people with impunity and with frequency. The Trump administration then carries water for them---spins their message. To a degree though other American Presidential administrations particularly the Bush administrations were complicit in pretty much the same thing.

So anyway we know Putin murders journalists--here we have an example of the Saudis doing the same--that should be kept in mind. I also find interesting that we have no problem when the Saudis kill Yemeni civilians and children but take umbrage when Assad's Syrian regime does (or even sometimes doesn't do) the same. Our record in the middle east is to support the most powerful and grab resources---all our diplomacy in the region is pretty much power and money driven. There is nothing moral about it--hasn't been since forever and if nothing else Trump's middle eastern policy is only more bald-faced about it than previous administrations. At least he's not hiding it like others did.

Edited: Oct 11, 6:00pm Top

>2 lriley: Yes, atrocious as (alleged) killing of journalist is, bad-on-us that Yemen's plight--bombings, starvation--didn't prompt the same level of concern... Below Trump quote re his priorities:

Senators pressure Trump to investigate disappearance of Saudi journalist
Zachary Cohen, Elizabeth Landers and Jeremy Herb | October 11, 2018

...(Senate) The letter, which triggers an "investigation and Global Magnitsky sanctions determination" was penned by the top Republican and Democrat on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, chairman Sen. Bob Corker and ranking member Sen. Bob Menendez, along with the leaders of the appropriations subcommittee for the State Department, Sen. Lindsey Graham and Democrat Sen. Patrick Leahy.

Trump said Wednesday night in an interview on Fox News that "so far it's looking a little bit like" the Saudis are behind the disappearance of Khashoggi, but said "I do hate to commit to what recourse we would take. It's too early."

The President said blocking further arms sales to Saudi Arabia "would be hurting us."

Trump said the US is doing well economically in part due to "what we are doing with our defense systems," and said, "frankly I think that would be a very, very tough pill to swallow for our country." ...


Edited: Oct 11, 5:41pm Top

Well Khashoggi clearly walked into the Saudi embassy in Turkey and he didn't walk out. Whether he's still alive or not is anyone's guess but it was one of Jared Kushner's bestest buddies Mohammed Bin Salman who is figured to be behind his disappearance (?)/death(?). I wouldn't be surprised that if Khasoggi is indeed dead they find some patsy to take the blame for Bin Salman.....and if Khasoggi is dead it's kind of like a murder right out of the middle ages. I really don't understand why we are so allied with this asswipe regime. Yeah, it's the oil but these guys in the House of Saud in their own way are as fucked up as that nut in North Korea. They have set themselves up as Gods (and the only thing worse than a dead God is a living, breathing one) and anyone who displeases them can be exterminated. And meanwhile in this new Trumpian universe in which we live in though it's the Canadians that are bad. Go figure.

Oct 11, 6:55pm Top

Emoluments clause...

‘I like them very much:’ Trump has long-standing business ties with Saudis, who have boosted his hotels since he took offi
David A. Fahrenthold and Jonathan O'Connell | October 11, 2018

...Trump’s business relationships with the Saudi government — and rich Saudi business executives — go back to at least the 1990s. In Trump’s hard times, a Saudi prince bought a superyacht and hotel from him. The Saudi government paid him $4.5 million for an apartment near the United Nations.

Business from Saudi-connected customers continued to be important after Trump won the presidency. Saudi lobbyists spent $270,000 last year to reserve rooms at Trump’s hotel in Washington. Just this year, Trump’s hotels in New York and Chicago reported significant upticks in bookings from Saudi visitors...


Oct 11, 11:41pm Top

Yep, Saudis love the Donald. But that's nothing new. The Bush family had pretty close ties to the Saudis, too. Saudi Arabia has been an ally of the U.S. for decades, although sometimes you have to wonder why. Weren't most of the terrorists responsible for 9/11 from Saudi Arabia? And aren't the Saudi sponsoring radical Islamic schools and mosques around the world?

But that's the Middle East: alliances get twisted around. Neither the U.S. or Iranian government would ever admit it, but the U.S. and Iran have been de facto allies ever since the Americans removed Iran's two most dangerous enemies: the Taliban in Afghanistan and Saddam Hussein in Iraq. They had a common enemy in Syria and Iraq, too, when ISIS was powerful there. Of course they disagree about a lot of things, and publicly they hate each other. Kind of like Britain and France in the 19th Century.

Edited: Oct 12, 3:28pm Top

Boy, we have no soul, if this is allowed to pass without response... (I need to apologize to DH for teasing him about his reluctance to enter Turkish consulate here in US. Born in Turkey, he needs to file some paperwork for us to visit the country where he lived as a toddler. Turkish consulate may not have the dungeon I teased him about, but with murder in Saudi consulate, taped by Turks, consulates sure aren't the safe spaces I assumed them to be!)

Turks tell U.S. officials they have audio and video recordings that support conclusion Khashoggi was killed
Shane Harris, Souad Mekhennet, John Hudson and Anne Gearan | October 11, 2018

...The audio recording in particular provides some of the most persuasive and gruesome evidence that the Saudi team is responsible for Khashoggi’s death, the officials said.

“The voice recording from inside the embassy lays out what happened to Jamal after he entered,” said one person with knowledge of the recording who, like others, spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss highly sensitive intelligence.

“You can hear his voice and the voices of men speaking Arabic,” this person said. “You can hear how he was interrogated, tortured and then murdered.”

A second person briefed on the recording said men could be heard beating Khashoggi.

...The person who was briefed on the audio recording said it shows that after killing Khashoggi, the security team went to the home of the Saudi consul general, where staff were told to go home early. There is evidence of at least one phone call, as well, from inside the consulate, this person said.

...Sen. Cory Gardner (R-Colo.) said...that the Trump administration had left senators in the dark about intelligence pointing to Saudi Arabia and demanded that officials give lawmakers a fuller account of what they knew of possible threats to Khashoggi’s safety before he disappeared.

...U.S. officials, however, pushed back on calls to halt arms sales to Riyadh, calling such demands premature.

“I think they’re jumping to conclusions,” said Nauert, the State Department spokeswoman. “This is entirely a hypothetical situation at this point. We don’t know what happened. We don’t have the facts of the case.”

...“They’re spending $110 billion purchasing military equipment and other things,” (Trump) said of the Saudis. “If we don’t sell it to them, they’ll say, ‘Well, thank you very much. We’ll buy it from Russia.’ Or ‘Thank you very much. We’ll buy it from China.’ That doesn’t help us — not when it comes to jobs and not when it comes to our companies losing out on that work.”



Man interviewed on FOX says some info at least came via Khashoggi's own Apple watch(?)

Edited: Oct 14, 7:59am Top

Saudi crown prince bragged that Jared Kushner gave him CIA intelligence about other Saudis saying 'here are your enemies'
days before 'corruption crackdown' which led to torture and death

Ryan Parry and Josh Boswell | 05 Apr 2018

...MBS boasted in private that Kushner was the source of intelligence used in the round-up.

He also told members of his circle that the intelligence included information on who was disloyal to him.

'Jared took a list out of names from US eavesdrops of people who were supposedly MBS's enemies,' said one source, characterizing how MBS spoke about the information.

'He took a list out of these people who had been trashing MBS in phone calls, and said 'these are the ones who are your enemies'.



The guy Jared gave the intelligence to:

After journalist vanishes, focus shifts to young prince’s ‘dark’ and bullying side
Karen DeYoung and Kareem Fahim | October 13, 2018

...the war he declared in Yemen in 2015, apparently without informing other senior Saudi security officials or the White House...


Oct 12, 8:52am Top

'That doesn't help us'---you either stand for something or you don't and if the $110 billion is more important than having basic human standards of civilized conduct then don't go crowing about how much better you are than everyone else--because you're not and in most cases you'll be worse. Let MBS go to the fucking Russians or the Chinese. Cut his funding and cut his arms--stop defending his bullshit in Yemen. Dump Kushner--there is no reason that that fuck should have anything to do with our foreign policy or how are government functions. His sticking his nose into anything is outright nepotism.

Oct 12, 9:04am Top

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Oct 12, 7:06pm Top

>10 BillHitchens:
Вы потерялись, друг
Also, I've added you to my list of interesting libraries

Oct 13, 2:57pm Top

>8 margd: wow, first time I have heard that.

I read an article today that after the Khashoggi visit Saudi's checked in on various flights to the consulate with a coroner and another guy who ran a bone saw through customs at the same time.

Must be quite the party - bring a bone saw, someone with experience and a dozen diplomatic pouches!

Oct 15, 11:23am Top

Today Trump says that he's talked to Bin Salman and Bin Salman claims he had no knowledge of what happened to Khashoggi. Furthermore Trump said that Khashoggi may have been the victim of 'rogue killers'. Just how these killers got inside the Saudi embassy in Turkey without any of the embassy staff noticing or what they did with Khashoggi's body he (as in Trump) didn't say. Whether Trump and MBS with or without surrogates concocted this conspiracy theory--it's not even credible really---a child could tear it apart.

First problem is Khashoggi seen entering the embassy. Second problem is Khashoggi not seen leaving the embassy. There is plenty of other intel to suggest foul play inside the Saudi embassy--whether it's Turkish surveillance of suspicious Saudi's at airport or their surveillance of the Saudi embassy as well as any evidence of surveillance by the Saudi's of Khassogi's leaving which absolutely should have been monitored. There is MBS's crackdown on perceived enemies either home or abroad.

I suspect the arms deal between us and the Saudi's is paramount to protect. Maybe even a golf course/resort or two. The upcoming economic forum in Riyadh seems to be toast as more and more big names are dropping out. In any case the above is a really shitty attempt at damage control.

Oct 15, 5:49pm Top

>13 lriley: What happens when a murderer kills someone in an embassy? If they're caught on the spot, which is quite likely, they'll be tried publicly. If they escape, then the embassy demands the help of the host nation to find them, and turns over every piece of non-classified security footage to help the search. Turkey would not be the one making a big fuss about this if it were a rogue killer; the Saudis would be. Thinking about it, it's almost a little surprising the Saudis weren't; were they really caught flat-footed when Turkey noticed they murdered Khashoggi, left with no cover story? Or do they want to be known for their ability to kill critics with impunity at the cost of their international reputation?

Oct 15, 6:31pm Top

>14 prosfilaes: I'd say the second choice pretty much hits the nail on the head. What better way to keep all their critics in line? Considering their history, I doubt they're too worried about their international reputation. (Remember the public stoning of a woman who was supposedly unfaithful to her husband?)

As long as they have oil to sell, they don't care what other countries think of them.

Edited: Oct 15, 7:44pm Top

#14--this is my hunch--you have a 15 man assassination team and it's equipped with a bone saw amongst whatever else. They tortured and murdered Khashoggi and then cut him up and carried him out of the building and then out of the country in their luggage. They also went over the area used for the torture and murder event and scrubbed it of all DNA. No body--no evidence. Like he never walked into the building except for the video of him actually walking into the embassy that is but they disappeared any other video footage. Part of that team was for the torture and murder--part of it was for the cleanup. Embassy staff told to keep their mouths shut and if you have a head of state as ruthless as apparently MBS is and you have family back in Saudi Arabia keeping your mouth shut might be a really good idea.

There is the problem of Khashoggi walking in footage and then there is Khashoggi's girlfriend waiting for him right outside--they apparently weren't figuring on that. IMO it was very much a planned operation but their plan didn't factor for every contingency. It was a bit sloppy......and the Turks were watching them too. So the operation they ran looks kind of shit right now.

I also think Mohammed Bin Salman is expecting the Trump administration to run cover for this operation. And besides the $120 billion in arms sales one might consider as well that Jared Kushner could be implicated in this murder--so I don't think the Trump administration really wants to get the bottom of this at all. And if it really is true that Kushner provided intel to MBS then he is one really truly evil piece of shit.

There is another issue though as this seems to have outraged a number of Republican Senators as well as numbers of high profile financial superstars and major corporation execs who are cancelling their upcoming vacations to Saudi Arabia and looks like it's going to wreck MBS's upcoming economic forum in Riyadh. That puts pressure on the Trump administration's handling of this event too. At this point I think if MBS could have a do over he'd jump all over it.

Edited: Oct 17, 7:34am Top

Not for the squeamish--dreadful:

Jamal Khashoggi's killing took seven minutes, Turkish source tells MEE
David Hearst | 16 October 2018



Mike Pompeo in Turkey as newspaper claims damning evidence against Saudi Arabia in Khashoggi case
CBS/AP Oct 17, 2018

....report in the Yeni Safak newspaper (which is close to President Recep Tayyip Erdogan) cited what it described as an audio recording of Khashoggi's slaying, which it said showed the writer was tortured...

The paper said Saudi Consul General Mohammed al-Otaibi could be heard on the tape, telling those allegedly torturing Khashoggi: "Do this outside; you're going to get me in trouble."

The newspaper said one of the Saudis allegedly torturing Khashoggi replied: "Shut up if you want to live when you return to (Saudi) Arabia."

Al-Otaibi left Turkey on Tuesday afternoon, Turkish state media reported, as a search of his residence in Istanbul by Turkish investigators was reportedly delayed by Saudi officials neglecting to give official permission. Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu told the state-run Anadolu Agency on Wednesday that Saudi Arabia has "accepted" a request for a search of the official residence but had not yet given its final consent...


The Jamal Khashoggi Case: Suspects Had Ties to Saudi Crown Prince
David D. Kirkpatrick, Malachy Browne, Ben Hubbard and David Botti | Oct. 16, 2018


Saudi affair exposes Trumpism's moral apathy
Stephen Collinson | October 17, 2018



President Trump has taken a harder stance on Canadian milk than on Saudi murder.

--Frank Luntz @FrankLuntz | 10/16/2018


A Brooding Crown Prince Searches for a Scapegoat
David Ignatius | Oct 17, 2018

...immediately after Khashoggi's disappearance...official Saudi statements were all happy talk. Behind the scenes, says one knowledgeable source, "MBS went into a funk for several days after learning of Khashoggi's death before re-emerging on a rampage of anger around what happened and trying to figure out a response."

Adding to MBS' anxiety in the weeks before Khashoggi's disappearance was the erosion of his big plans to boost the Saudi economy. In August, the kingdom delayed indefinitely its plans for the Aramco privatization, which MBS had hoped would raise more than $100 billion. That same month, plans for a big investment in Tesla cratered. An investment deal with the Japanese company Softbank also hit a snag.

Surrounded by yes-men who saw suppressing dissent as part of a media war, and rattled by the reversal of his dreams for economic reform, MBS moved toward the fateful moment when Khashoggi entered the Saudi consulate in Istanbul. When the brave journalist opened the door, he began a catastrophic process that has now put MBS' own future in question. Putting a lid on a murder investigation won't be easy, even for a brashly confident prince.


Edited: Oct 17, 7:57am Top

#17--the same Turkish newspaper said they cut Khashoggi's fingers off and then decapitated him. Unhealthy minds torture and this kind of twisted depravity to cause almost maximum pain in the shortest amount of time speaks to the hatred and rage of the person behind it all.

Keeping in mind Khashoggi only went to the embassy to get papers so as to marry his girlfriend. He didn't go there to be interrogated. He (and his girlfriend waiting outside) expected to be in and out. Keeping in mind as well how the Trump administration has referenced him as a Saudi Arabian citizen--not as a legal resident of the United States nor mentioning that he has children who are United States citizens. Also I'm looking at how this is more often parsed as a killing which is a much nicer way than saying he was assassinated or murdered.

Edited: Oct 17, 10:17am Top

>17 margd: Love the quote "President Trump has taken a harder stance on Canadian milk than on Saudi murder.

--Frank Luntz @FrankLuntz | 10/16/2018 "

An example of the threatened retaliation by the Saudis:

"Saudi Arabia pulled its deal with Virgin Hyperloop One after the company’s chairman Richard Branson criticized the kingdom over the disappearance of journalist Jamal Khashoggi"


Oct 17, 1:14pm Top

So another question is where is Khashoggi's body? If the Saudi's have dismembered him they are not likely to come clean on that. So if they do admit culpability to some degree or another the pressure should be on them to produce Khashoggi's body.

Oct 18, 12:50am Top


Oct 18, 12:52am Top

Don't foget the murder of al-Awlaki, a US citizen, and then his son. That certainly helped reduce the strength of US ties regarding protection against assassination.

Edited: Oct 18, 7:13am Top

Trump to meet with Pompeo as Khashoggi crisis engulfs White House
Bard Wilkinson | October 18, 2018

...On Tuesday, the same day Pompeo landed in Riyadh, $100 million from the Saudi government arrived in Washington for US efforts to stabilize Syria, according to a State Department official.

This contribution follows the request from President Trump for partners to share the burden of promoting stability in Syria, but its timing raised questions about a potential sop as Riyadh seeks to limit damage over allegations over Khashoggi's disappearance.

The State Department denied any connection between the payment and the Khashoggi crisis.

"We always expected the contribution to be finalized in the fall time frame," Brett McGurk, a State Department officials, said in a statement. "The specific transfer of funds has been long in process and has nothing to do with other events or the secretary's visit."...



Audio Offers Gruesome Details of Jamal Khashoggi Killing, Turkish Official Says
David D. Kirkpatrick and Carlotta Gall | Oct. 17, 2018

...President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey, a friend of Mr. Khashoggi’s, has yet to publicly accuse the Saudis of abducting or killing him, or to make public any evidence to support such accusations.

...the Turks have also declined to share their evidence with United States intelligence agencies, which are usually close partners. That reluctance suggests the Turkish government may be seeking to reach some accommodation with Saudi Arabia while avoiding a full rupture in relations with another important regional power.

The Turkish leaks implicating Saudi officials in the Khashoggi case have followed a distinctive pattern.

They began on Oct. 6, the day Turkish officials have said President Erdogan was first briefed on the evidence. But the flow of leaks ceased in more recent days as diplomatic steps to address the matter escalated: King Salman of Saudi Arabia called Mr. Erdogan and sent a high-level delegation. President Trump suggested that he was taking the accusations seriously and sent Mr. Pompeo to Saudi Arabia for answers. And people knowledgeable about the Saudi plans said the royal court was preparing to acknowledge Mr. Khashoggi’s killing and punish what they would describe as a rogue operator in the Saudi intelligence service.

On Wednesday, however, the leaks resumed and escalated, a possible sign of Turkish frustration as the Saudis have delivered no such public explanation and the Trump administration has shown no rush to get one...


Edited: Oct 19, 3:30am Top

Surely Turkish government could find this 3-person cleaning crew? (Lots and lots of clean mop heads!!)

Cleaners appear to enter Saudi consulate ahead of joint "inspection" (00:57)
Global News | Oct 15, 2018

Cleaning staff workers appeared to enter the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul Monday morning, ahead of a joint "inspection" of the building by Turkey and Saudi Arabia, following the disappearance of Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi.



Khashoggi Picked the Wrong Prince (16:56)
TheRealNews | Oct 15, 2018

The murder of Jamal Khashoggi should be denounced.

Professor As`ad AbuKhalil says western media's uncritical praise of Khashoggi is unworthy, he was a loyal member of the Saudi propaganda apparatus and chose the wrong side of the House of Saud


Conservatives mount a whisper campaign smearing Khashoggi in defense of Trump
Robert Costa, Karoun Demirjian | October 18, 2018

...While Khashoggi was once sympathetic to Islamist movements, he moved toward a more liberal, secular point of view, according to experts on the Middle East who have tracked his career. Khashoggi knew bin Laden in the 1980s and 1990s during the civil war in Afghanistan, but his interactions with bin Laden were as a journalist with a point of view who was working with a prized source.

Khashoggi, a Saudi citizen, left his home country last year and was granted residency in the United States by federal authorities. He lived in Virginia and wrote for The Washington Post.

...The conservative push comes as Saudi government supporters on Twitter have sought in a propaganda campaign to denigrate Khashoggi as a supporter of the Muslim Brotherhood, an Islamist movement once tolerated but now outlawed in Saudi Arabia as a terrorist organization.

“Trump wants to take a soft line, so Trump supporters are finding excuses for him to take it,” said William Kristol, a conservative Trump critic. “One of those excuses is attacking the person who was murdered.”

Several Trump administration aides are aware of the Khashoggi attacks circulating on Capitol Hill and in conservative media, the GOP officials said, adding that aides are being careful to not encourage the disparagement but are also doing little to contest it.

The GOP officials declined to share the names of the lawmakers and others who are circulating information critical of Khashoggi because they said doing so would risk exposing them as sources.

Fred Hiatt, The Post’s editorial page editor who published Khashoggi’s work, sharply criticized the false and distorted claims about Khashoggi, who is feared to have been killed and dismembered by Saudi operatives.

“As anyone knows who knew Jamal — or read his columns — he was dedicated to the values of free speech and open debate. He went into exile to promote those values, and now he may even have lost his life for his dogged determination in their defense,” Hiatt said in a statement. “It may not be surprising that some Saudi-inspired trolls are now trying to distract us from the crime by smearing Jamal. It may not even be surprising to see a few Americans joining in. But in both cases it is reprehensible.”...


Edited: Oct 19, 10:02pm Top

So we get the news late on Friday (waiting to get that weekend respite) from the Saudi govt. that Khashoggi is for real really dead. No surprise there. So much for the Saudi's bullshit story that he left the consulate very much alive. Furthermore that Khashoggi died as a result of a fist fight with ?----I guess there are at least 15 choices of the team that showed up that day + whatever embassy staff. It's really incredible that a 50 something year old looking to pick up marriage papers would want to take on multiple people in a fist fight. If indeed he fought anyone it was almost certainly self defense. And where's his body? or the parts thereof.....and why the bone saw?--and their autopsy expert just happened to be there too. Boy that was convenient. What about the Turkish claims that he was tortured? had his fingers chopped off? Strangled first--decapitated and cut to pieces later. Are these things that normally result from a fistfight?

So now the Saudi's have also fired 5 people--an intelligence officer Gen. Ahmed al-Assiri prominent among them and arrested 18 others and the Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman (not amongst the arrested or fired) is going to reorganize their intelligence services. Smells of a cover up to me with a couple dozen scapegoats just to make it look good. That should show everyone they've learned some kind of lesson?

They've been lying from the beginning and these Royals of theirs are shitheads one and all but particularly this MBS asshole who besides being a shithead is a murderer too. The Trump team might want to cover for them but they should rethink that and if Jared Kushner (and I suspect pretty strongly that he has) played any part in this he should go to prison.

Oct 20, 3:43am Top

I agree, lriley. We're having the same problem here in Izola over a pigeon that died a mysterious death in a crosswalk, or zebra. Nothing adds up, not even the 'talons'.

Edited: Oct 20, 6:12am Top

Apparently Trump accepts fistfight story. Surely no one else will?

Interesting that Maj. Gen. Ahmed al-Assiri, a high-ranking adviser to the crown prince who may be blamed in part for the death of the journalist Jamal Khashoggi, appears to have African heritage. Not a nice guy himself, looks like, but story below about King Salman suggests that black people don't have an easy time in the Kingdom--easy scapegoat?

24 contd. Chat about MBS and other close family members sure balances out Khashoggi smears.

Investigation: Murder in the Palace: Saudi King Salman said to have murdered own son
Gulf Institute | Sep 3, 2015

Saudi princess leaves Paris after ‘ordering bodyguard to kill painter and decorator’
Loulla-Mae Eleftheriou-Smith | Monday 3 October 2016

Reports of Saudi Crown Prince’s Domestic Violence Emerge
gulfinstadmin | Mar 23, 2018

MBS-Linked Corruption Hits Washington
gulfinstadmin | Last updated Mar 24, 2018

Edited: Oct 20, 10:13am Top

17 contd. (President Trump has taken a harder stance on Canadian milk than on Saudi murder.) Here, he's harder on China, which buys more than 10X US goods than the "imaginary Saudi arms deal".

It's kind of a footnote to the horror of the Khashoggi affair, but Trump's claims about massive job creation from Saudi arms sales are another lie that reveals something about his true motives 1/

The number of jobs he says are created keeps rising -- from 40K, to 500K, to a million. All of that from a vague memorandum suggesting $110 billion over 10 years -- that is, $11 billion a year, a small number for America, even if true 2/

*Total* exports to Saudi Arabia -- arms sales are only a fraction -- are less than 0.1% of US GDP. 3/

US annual exports to China, which are endangered by Trump's trade war, are more than 10X the sums involved in the imaginary Saudi arms deal 4/

So the supposed economic payoff from dealing with a murderer is a mirage. Why does Trump keep talking about it? Unfortunately, the answer is obvious: he likes autocrats who murder journalists, and is looking for excuses to stay friendly with them 5/

Paul Krugman @paulkrugman | 4:55 AM - 20 Oct 2018


Democrats seek answers over Trump 'personal enrichment' from Saudi government
Cristina Alesci and Clare Foran | October 19, 2018

Edited: Oct 21, 7:15am Top


Anyway this appears to have the Turkish account of what really happened at the consulate. That Khashoggi on entering was taken to the consul general's office--then dragged screaming to the room next door where he was drugged--put on a table and where the Saudi autopsy expert began to dismember him while he was still alive and breathing. Before starting the autopsy expert put on headphones to play music and advised the others in the room to do the same---that that's was he always does when cutting up people.

So why does the above article seem so much more credible than anything the Saudi's have yet to say on this?

Oct 21, 3:08am Top

Jamal Khashoggi: Germany and EU condemn Saudi explanation of death

Republicans break ranks with Trump over Saudi dissident’s death

Florida senator Marco Rubio called the Saudi account of the journalist’s death “bizarre”...

Saudi Arabia pays UK firms millions to boost image

PR agency Freud’s, the Independent, Vice and Tony Blair Institute for Global Change among those with links

All from the Grauniad

Oct 21, 4:56am Top

Saudis’ Image Makers: A Troll Army and a Twitter Insider
Katie Benner, Mark Mazzetti, Ben Hubbard and Mike Isaac | Oct. 20, 2018

Each morning, Jamal Khashoggi would check his phone to discover what fresh hell had been unleashed while he was sleeping.

He would see the work of an army of Twitter trolls, ordered to attack him and other influential Saudis who had criticized the kingdom’s leaders...

Mr. Khashoggi’s online attackers were part of a broad effort dictated by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and his close advisers to silence critics both inside Saudi Arabia and abroad. Hundreds of people work at a so-called troll farm in Riyadh to smother the voices of dissidents like Mr. Khashoggi. The vigorous push also appears to include the grooming — not previously reported — of a Saudi employee at Twitter whom Western intelligence officials suspected of spying on user accounts to help the Saudi leadership.

...Before his death, Mr. Khashoggi was launching projects to combat online abuse and to try to reveal that Crown Prince Mohammed was mismanaging the country. In September, Mr. Khashoggi wired $5,000 to Omar Abdulaziz, a Saudi dissident living in Canada, who was creating a volunteer army to combat the government trolls on Twitter. The volunteers called themselves the “Electronic Bees.”

Eleven days before Mr. Khashoggi died in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, he wrote on Twitter that the Bees were coming...


EXCLUSIVE: Saudi crown prince bragged that Jared Kushner gave him CIA intelligence about other Saudis saying 'here are your enemies' days before 'corruption crackdown' which led to torture and death
Ryan Parry and Josh Boswell | 5 April 2018

Saudi crown prince Mohammed bin Salman met with Jared Kushner in October

Salman has since bragged about using classified intelligence from Kushner as part of a crackdown on 'corrupt' princes and businessmen in Saudi Arabia

He said the intelligence from Kushner included information on those who were disloyal to Salman and who were his 'enemies', insiders tell DailyMail

Kushner's attorney's spokesman said it was 'false' that the president's son-in-law passed on secrets and that he was 'well aware of the rules'

The crown prince launched his crackdown on corruption in November, days after he met Kushner for talks in Riyadh

Hundreds were rounded up, including princes from rival parts of the Saudi royal family and some of the country's wealthiest businessmen

But the crackdown saw accusations of torture and at least one reported death...



Interview published after Khashoggi's murder:

Jamal Khashoggi Secret Interview:
The Saudi Journalist’s Views of Islam, America and the ‘Reformist’ Prince Implicated in His Murder
Rula Jebreal | 10/19/18

Oct 21, 2:12pm Top

They took your bodily presence from my world. But your beautiful laugh will remain in my soul forever. My darling #jkhashoggi

(See 0:24 video at https://twitter.com/mercan_resifi)

Hatice Cengiz / خديجة @mercan_resifi | 10:00 AM - 20 Oct 2018

Edited: Oct 22, 8:58am Top

Surveillance footage shows Saudi operative in Khashoggi's clothes after he was killed, Turkish source says
Gul Tuysuz, Salma Abdelaziz, Ghazi Balkiz, Ingrid Formanek and Clarissa Ward | October 22, 2018

...Mustafa al-Madani, was allegedly part of what investigators have said was a hit squad, sent to kill the journalist at the Saudi consulate during a scheduled appointment to get papers for his upcoming wedding.

...Madani, 57, who is of similar height, age and build to Khashoggi, 59,

...Madani, a decade older than the other members of the 15-man team, exited the consulate building by the back door along with an alleged accomplice. Madani was wearing what the video appears to show to be Khashoggi's dark blazer, gray shirt opened at the collar and trousers.

Four hours earlier Madani had entered the consulate by the front door, alongside an alleged accomplice. Saudi's forensic medicine chief Salah al-Tubaiqi, another key suspect who was identified using facial recognition analysis together with CNN's timeline of events that day, was also present. The video appears to show Madani without a beard, wearing a blue and white checked shirt and dark blue trousers. When he exited the consulate dressed as Khashoggi, the video then appears to show him wearing the same dark pair of sneakers with white soles that he first arrived in prior to the journalist's death.

...The journalist's fiancee Hatice Cengiz, who was waiting outside the consulate's front entrance and raised the alarm when he didn't return, was told by a consulate guard that he may have exited the building through the back door...


Edited: Oct 22, 8:37am Top

That al-Madani is there to impersonate--that Tubaigy their forensics/autopsy guy is there with his bone saw kind of makes it clear I would think that abduction/interrogation wasn't really on the mind of Prince Salman. Going to fall on their swords on the idea that the Crown Prince had nothing to do with it--they can deny and deny and deny and they can execute the entire assassination team + those charged with organizing the entire affair but it's not going to make Bin Salman's defense an iota more credible.

And I suspect that given time Trump will bail on the Crown Prince. There are too many Republican Senators for one thing not buying the Saudi's concocted story and if the Turks do come out and show the world their evidence that's the rest of the ball game. The Crown Prince won't be vacationing in the United States anymore. Was Kushner involved and will Trump need to find some way of extricating Jared from this?

Oct 22, 9:05am Top

Saudi Arabia says crown prince called Jamal Khashoggi's son to express condolences
October 22, 2018

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman called the son of Jamal Khashoggi...to express condolences for the death of the journalist...

King Salman similarly made a condolence call...

...Khashoggi's son, Salah, has been under a travel ban and barred from leaving the kingdom since last year as a result of his father's criticism of the government.


There’s a fitting Arabic proverb:
“He kills the victim, and walks in his funeral”

Mohamad Bazzi @BazziNYU | 3:30 PM - 21 Oct 2018

Oct 22, 11:45am Top

I'm surprised they haven't tried to dismiss the bone saw as something else less damning, for instance a grout gun. (How many men working for the Crown Prince of Saudi does it take to seal a bathtub? One to apply the grout and 14 to make the job look suspicious.) Could it be that they realize that no one would buy that on top of everything else?

Oct 22, 1:07pm Top

I thought a bone saw would be electric like a Dremel, but those at amazon (via twitter) are manual (and not as wicked as orchard saw I have for tree limbs).

Edited: Oct 26, 4:45am Top

"Mr. Erdogan has steadily consolidated domestic control, jailing dissidents and crushing the independent media...brought (Turkey) to the point of economic distress and diplomatic isolation by...mismanagement, brutish authoritarian ways, corruption and disregard for the rule of law."
So what's Erdogan's game in the Khashoggi affair? The NYT Editorial Board:

What Is Turkey’s Game?
The Editorial Board | Oct. 23, 2018

...outraged that a foreign power committed such a brazen killing within Turkey’s borders (margd: this from the guy whose bodyguards beat up pro-Kurdish protesters in streets of Washington? Still. )

...an opportunity...to extort money from the Saudis to shore up Turkey’s failing economy...pointed the finger at Prince Mohammed only indirectly...leave room for Turkey and Saudi Arabia to engineer a deal...Saudi Arabia’s 33-year-old heir apparent...is fast becoming a pariah and subject of palace intrigue.

...a chance to kneecap a regional rival and advance his goal of making Turkey the dominant Sunni Muslim power...Muslim Brotherhood...Iran...Qatar

...created an opening for improving relations with Mr. Trump (other NATO allies in Europe) and beginning to reverse its economic decline.

...rally the Turkish people around a common enemy (Saudi Arabia as a murderous neighborhood bully), the time-tested tool of the autocrat...



36, contd.

Khashoggi's son forbidden to travel* because of his dad, was called in to palace to personally receive condolences of King Salman and Crown Prince--a photo op for Western eyes given that they'd already called the son, and that handshakes were exchanged, not a traditional Saudi greeting? The meeting was photographed, videotaped...

Twitter storm after Khashoggi's son meets Saudi crown prince
Social media criticizes Saudi condolence photo showing a pained look as Khashoggi's son shakes prince's hand.

Photo here of son with King Salman--much different facial and body language I think?

No chance Khashoggi's son will be travelling any time soon, I bet...*


Jamal Khashoggi’s son is finally allowed to leave Saudi Arabia with family
IANS | Oct 26th 2018

...heading to the United States...


Oct 24, 12:20pm Top

#40--FWIW and if I remember correctly Erdogan before coming to power was associated with the Grey Wolves--a right wing group that walked the line (sometimes crossing over) between a hate group, terrorism and organized crime. They were also the Turkish branch of Operation Gladio and bankrolled by the CIA (who bankrolled other right wing groups throughout Europe) during the cold war to fight communism. By the way Rick Harsch is writing a book that at least somewhat touches on Operation Gladio. If you really want to dig deep you can find lots of dirt on lots of people. But yeah Erdogan's a right winger and yeah he's almost certainly has a lot of blood on his hands to--so yeah, again pointing his finger at the Saudi crown prince is akin to the pot calling the kettle black--and no doubt he sees real advantage for himself in doing so.

That said the Saudi crown prince is a piece of shit and deserves every bit of what he's getting now and more--so I don't mind and I think I already mentioned that the Turks can't be entirely trusted. Truthfully neither can our govt.

Oct 25, 4:08am Top

As the news cycle grinds on, I'm getting that "mass-shooting" feeling, i.e., no repercussions, significant ones anyway, for Khashoggi murder.

...Khashoggi's horrifying death has not brought the best out of (most of) the international community. It has given way to cynical, transactional calculation...

Oct 28, 8:07am Top

Could this be true?
(I think at least one error in article: Khashoggi was US resident, not citizen.)

Khashoggi BOMBSHELL: Britain KNEW of kidnap plot and BEGGED Saudi Arabia to abort plans
Marco Giannangeli | Oct 28, 2018

MURDERED journalist Jamal Khashoggi was about to disclose details of Saudi Arabia’s use of chemical weapons in Yemen, sources close to him said last night. The revelations come as separate intelligence sources disclosed that Britain had first been made aware of a plot a full three weeks before he walked into the Saudi consulate in Istanbul.

...Speaking last night the intelligence source told the Sunday Express: “We were initially made aware that something was going in the first week of September, around three weeks before Mr Khashoggi walked into the consulate on October 2, though it took more time for other details to emerge.

“These details included primary orders to capture Mr Khashoggi and bring him back to Saudi Arabia for questioning. However, the door seemed to be left open for alternative remedies to what was seen as a big problem.

“We know the orders came from a member of the royal circle but have no direct information to link them to Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman. Whether this meant he was not the original issuer we cannot say.”

Crucially, the highly-placed source confirms that MI6 had warned his Saudi Arabian counterparts to cancel the mission - though this request as ignored.

“On October 1 we became aware of the movement of a group, which included members of Ri'āsat Al-Istikhbārāt Al-‘Āmah (GID) to Istanbul, and it was pretty clear what their aim was.

“Through channels we warned that this was not a good idea. Subsequent events show that our warning was ignored.”

Asked why MI6 had not alerted its Five Eye intelligence partner, the US (Khashoggi was a US citizen) the source said only: “A decision was taken that we’d done what we could.”...


Oct 28, 8:58am Top

#44--that's very interesting.

Edited: Oct 28, 10:02pm Top

>44 margd: How reliable is the Express? Why would Khashoggi be know about chemical weapon use in Yemen that no one else outside of Saudi Arabia is aware of?

Oct 28, 11:59am Top

>46 jjwilson61:

I think you might be referring to >44 margd:, not >43 johnthefireman:

Personally I think the Express is very unreliable, but on the other hand it is a right wing capitalist rag which one would expect to be quite sympathetic to Saudi Arabia's government, so if they do actually say something critical there might be some basis to it.

Oct 28, 10:02pm Top


Oct 30, 9:44am Top

The Khashoggi story is getting left behind with all of the other awful news.

Jamal Khashoggi: fiancee criticises Trump's response

Leading journalists demand justice for Jamal Khashoggi

Amnesty International has launched a campaign, calling on UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres to set up an independent investigation into Jamal’s Khashoggi’s death.

Oct 31, 10:32am Top

GOP senators press Trump to cut off nuclear talks with Saudi Arabia

The senators threatened to use an obscure provision in the Atomic Energy Act to block any U.S.-Saudi nuclear agreements if Trump does not heed their call. In addition to Rubio, the letter was signed by GOP Sens. Cory Gardner of Colorado, Rand Paul of Kentucky, Dean Heller of Nevada and Todd Young of Indiana.

Oct 31, 2:22pm Top

Khashoggi murder: Turkey gives official details of Saudi writer's death (BBC)

The Turkish statement said: "In accordance with plans made in advance, the victim, Jamal Khashoggi, was choked to death immediately after entering the Consulate General of Saudi Arabia." His body was then dismembered and destroyed - "again, in line with advance plans"...

Nov 8, 2:35am Top

And let's not forget that while international attention focuses on the murder of Khashoggi, the killing continues in Yemen.

Battle for vital port of Hudaydah intensifies (BBC)

Nov 11, 10:59pm Top

Jamal Khashoggi murder fails to stop Britain selling arms to the Saudis (Guardian)

As a Foreign Office minister spoke out on the killing, trade officials were in the kingdom promoting closer military links

Nov 12, 10:51pm Top

Crown Prince’s wings clipped as Khashoggi death rattles Riyadh (Guardian)

Fallout from killing has weakened Prince Mohammed and given second wind to old guard of elders

Edited: Nov 13, 2:11am Top

'Siri, I'm getting pulled over': A new shortcut for iPhones can automatically record the police
Kif Leswing | Oct. 2, 2018, 3:50 PM

A big new feature for iPhones this year is Shortcuts, an app that lets you write scripts for the iPhone.
One widely shared shortcut is called Police, which records police interactions and texts a predetermined contact that you've been pulled over.
It also sends a video of the encounter to your contact.
The creator says the shortcut can be adapted for other situations...


"Other situations": visiting a Saudi Consulate in Turkey? :(

>56 johnthefireman: Good to hear: "Pompeo on 31 October had demanded a 30-day ceasefire in Yemen...The US defence secretary, James Mattis, added his voice on Friday, and urged the start of peace talks...on Friday, the US said it would no longer refuel Saudi fighter jets conducting missions in Yemen." Images of starving children and smashed families are becoming regular fare on PBS News at least--sounds like US Gov is beginning to appreciate the horror? (Fingers crossed.)

Nov 15, 9:10am Top

...If Yemen was made up of 100 people:

80 would need humanitarian assistance to survive.
60 would have almost nothing to eat.
11 would be extremely malnourished.

But there aren't 100 people in Yemen. There are 29 million. And the number of people succumbing to hunger and disease is increasing every single day.

...Conflict has pushed Yemen to the brink of famine. Violence is intensifying, and soon, the number of severely hungry people...could rise from 8 to 14 million. That means that nearly half of Yemen's population will be one step from starvation.

...The World Food Programme (WFP) urges warring parties to end the conflict now, as peace is the most effective way to prevent looming famine.


Edited: Nov 16, 1:30am Top

It's strange that Syria is so much in the news, while Yemen has been almost totally ignored. And Yemen has the population of Syria and Jordan combined! I guess not having oil, and not bordering Israel, means nobody outside the Middle East cares.

Nov 16, 8:25pm Top

Apparently the CIA has come out with its assessment and it believes the Crown Prince ordered Khashoggi's murder. So there's the intelligence--what the Trump Administration might do with that intel would be another question though.

Nov 17, 9:20am Top

>60 lriley: Wonder if CIA's MBS announcement was prompted by this slimey bit of business:

To ease Turkish anger over journalist's killing, White House considers extraditing an enemy of Erdogan: NBC
Tucker Higgins | 15 Nov 2018

The Trump administration is seeking to extradite an enemy of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in order to convince the Turkish leader to decrease pressure on Saudi Arabia over the killing of a dissident journalist, NBC News reported Thursday, citing two senior U.S. officials and two other people briefed on the requests.

In President Donald Trump's first days in office, his administration asked the Department of Justice to look into the matter, NBC News has reported.

The renewed effort, however, comes as Trump administration officials are seeking to placate Erdogan over the killing of Jamal Khashoggi.

...Trump administration officials reportedly requested last month that the Justice Department and FBI reopen Turkey's extradition case for the cleric. The officials also asked the Department of Homeland Security for information about Gulen's legal status, including his green card, NBC News reported.

...The requests were met with fierce pushback from career officials....


Nov 17, 3:11pm Top

The Latest Khashoggi Leak Violates Important Norms
Paul Rosenzweig | November 17, 2018

...this disclosure of classified information to the Post reporters is almost certainly a crime by whoever leaked it. Even worse, it almost certainly does long-term, lasting damage to America's ability to collect intelligence and negotiate with the Saudis. Consider just two examples from the many one could cite from the article:

The Saudis now have confirmed that we can intercept calls from their U.S. embassy to the capital. They may have suspected that before—but they may have also thought their countermeasures were sufficient. Now they know they are not, and will adjust.

Likewise, the Saudis now also know that the United States's best assessment is that bin Salman has a firm grip on power and won't lose it over the Khashoggi incident. So much for the U.S. ability, should the administration want to exercise it, to try and threaten the prince. He knows the U.S. knows it won't work and can readily call the American bluff.

...we defend norms of behavior by defending them, not by violating them....


Nov 17, 5:25pm Top

#62--I think the Saudi's already had a pretty good idea. Honestly I think the Saudi's are and have been at work for a long time listening in on us in secret too. As other nations like the Russians, Israeli's etc. Look at any country in this world that is run by a dictator or a conflict happy megalomaniac and there are plenty of them and I think we can almost be sure that they're trying to steal secrets wherever and however.

Edited: Nov 21, 7:31am Top

How do you like them soybeans, farmers of America? Trump protects Saudi market for Boeing, Lockheed Martin, & Raytheon, but China is now buying soybeans--once the largest U.S. export to China--from Brazil...

Statement from President Donald J. Trump on Standing with Saudi Arabia
Foreign Policy
Issued on: November 20, 2018

In unusual statement disputing the CIA and filled with exclamation points, Trump backs Saudi ruler after Khashoggi killing
Adam Edelman and F. Brinley Bruton | Nov. 20, 2018
"Maybe he did and maybe he didn't!" the president said of whether Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman knew of the journalist's slaying.

Donald Trump Mocked by Iran: 'Perhaps We're Also Responsible for California Fires Because We Didn't Help Rake the Forests'
By Jason Lemon On 11/20/18

ETA re Trump alluding to Saudi terrorist-smears of Khashoggi:

On Jamal Khashoggi, the Muslim Brotherhood, and Saudi Arabia
Tamara Cofman Wittes | Friday, October 19, 2018

Saudi Arabia tortured female right-to-drive activists, says Amnesty
Associated Press | Tue 20 Nov 2018

...Saudi Arabia has detained at least 10 women and seven men on vague national security allegations related to their human rights work, the organisation said on Tuesday. Those detained include Loujain al-Hathloul, Eman al-Nafjan and Aziza al-Yousef, who had campaigned for the right to drive before the decades-long ban was lifted in June.

Amnesty said that according to three testimonies it obtained, some of the activists were repeatedly given electric shocks and flogged, leaving some unable to walk or stand properly. In one instance, an activist was hung from the ceiling. Another testimony said one of the detained women was subjected to sexual harassment by interrogators wearing face masks.

...Lynn Maalouf, Amnesty’s Middle East research director, said: “Only a few weeks after the ruthless killing of Jamal Khashoggi, these shocking reports of torture, sexual harassment and other forms of ill-treatment, if verified, expose further outrageous human rights violations by the Saudi authorities.”

Some of the imprisoned activists had uncontrolled shaking of the hands and marks on their bodies. One of the activists reportedly attempted repeatedly to take her own life inside the prison, Amnesty said.

...Al-Hathloul, an activist in her late 20s, was held in solitary confinement for about three months after her arrest in May, a person close to her told the Associated Press.

She was forcibly returned to Saudi Arabia this year from the United Arab Emirates, where she was pursuing a master’s in Abu Dhabi. Her husband was pressured into divorcing her after he too was forcibly returned to Saudi Arabia from Jordan, where he was working, according to the individual, who spoke on condition of anonymity for fear of repercussions.

Some of the men detained in that sweep include Mohammad al-Rabea, a writer and activist, and Ibrahim al-Modeimigh, a human rights lawyer who defended al-Hathloul in court when she was arrested in 2014 and held for more than 70 days for attempting to drive from the UAE to Saudi Arabia.

Also imprisoned is Samar Badawi, whose brother Raif Badawi is serving 10 years in prison and was publicly flogged in 2015 on charges related to blog posts criticising the kingdom’s clerics. Others detained include Nassima al-Sada, a rights activist from the Eastern Province, and Hatoon al-Fassi, a professor of Gulf history who was recently announced as the recipient of the Academic Freedom Award by the Arizona-based Middle East Studies Association.

A few of those initially detained were in their 70s and have since been released. Dana Ahmed, a researcher at Amnesty, said Saudi authorities had yet to charge any of those detained.


Nov 21, 8:10am Top

Basically we've learned that the Saudi's can get away with anything if Trump is POTUS. It was bad enough with George W. and his blaming Iraq for a Saudi terrorist attack. Here we find out the Saudi's can murder a US resident (under our protection) and because of financial transactions--$--get a free pass.

We also learned once again that Trump doesn't care about intelligence assessments. He overrides the CIA again. He doesn't even listen to them--he makes his decision before their report. He doesn't like to read and he doesn't like to listen. He's a maniac and a moron.

Nov 21, 2:50pm Top

Donald J. Trump @realDonaldTrump | 4:49 AM - 21 Nov 2018:
Oil prices getting lower. Great! Like a big Tax Cut for America and the World. Enjoy! $54, was just $82. Thank you to Saudi Arabia, but let’s go lower!

CBC News Alerts @CBCAlerts | 5:07 AM - 21 Nov 2018
Donald Trump has just tweeted a thank you to Saudi Arabia for current low oil prices, which he likens to 'a big Tax Cut for America and the World!' In fact, Canada is the US's biggest supplier of imported oil at 40%, compared to only 11% from Saudi Arabia.

David Frum @davidfrum | 6:33 AM - 21 Nov 2018 :
The declining oil price is another indicator that markets expect much slower growth in 2019. Economists know this, even if Fox Business does not https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-11-20/oil-holds-gains-as-opec-plans-assessed-amid-warnings-on-cuts

Nov 23, 6:25am Top

So, based on US arms sales relative to rest of world (61%), ~52,000 of the estimated 85,000 Yemeni children starved to death are our responsibility? :(

These are the countries still selling arms to Saudi Arabia
Angela Dewan | November 23, 2018

...Overall, no country comes close to the United States in major weapons supply. Over the past five years, for example, the US accounted for 61% of major arms sales to the Saudis. The UK was a distant second, with a 23% share, while France, in third place, was a mere 4%.

In a statement on Tuesday, Trump said that canceling major arms contracts with the Saudis would be foolish, and that "Russia and China would be the enormous beneficiaries" if the US halted its sales.

China supplies a negligible amount of major weaponry to Saudi Arabia, SIPRI data shows, but it is on the increase. Russia supplies so little it is not included in the organization's database.

...Pieter Wezeman, a senior researcher with SIPRI's (The Stockholm International Peace Research Institute) arms transfers and military expenditure program..."...the important point here is that Saudi Arabia has explored the possibility of diversifying its supplier base."


Edited: Nov 23, 7:59am Top

It's all part of our blood for oil program so we can maintain a friendship with a murderer and his murderous regime. Those all important arms sales besides that the Russians or the Chinese would take away from us otherwise. This idea that a businessman could run an economy and a government only prioritizes dollars over values.

Edited: Nov 27, 7:54am Top

Human Rights Watch is asking Argentina to investigate MBS for war crimes in Yemen and the murder of the Khasshogi. MBS has a scheduled visit coming to that country and Argentina has a clause in its constitution granting it the right to go after perpetrators of international war crimes.


Nov 29, 6:00am Top

Senate defies Trump and votes to punish Saudis for Khashoggi slaying
Associated Press | Nov 28, 2018

Defying President Trump, senators sent a strong signal Wednesday they want to punish Saudi Arabia for its role in the slaying of journalist Jamal Khashoggi. The Senate voted 63 to 37 to move forward with legislation calling for an end to U.S. involvement in the Saudi-led war in Yemen.

The vote was a rebuke not only to Saudi Arabia but to the Trump administration, which has been clear it does not want to torpedo the long-standing U.S. relationship with Saudi Arabia over the killing.

Secretary of State Michael R. Pompeo and Defense Secretary James N. Mattis both came to Capitol Hill to urgently lobby against the resolution, which would call for an end to U.S. military assistance for the conflict that human rights advocates say is wreaking havoc on Yemen and subjecting civilians to indiscriminate bombing.

...Pompeo said after Wednesday's briefing with senators that there was “no direct reporting” connecting the crown prince to the killing, and Mattis said there was “no smoking gun” making the connection.

Pompeo argued that the war in Yemen would be “a hell of a lot worse” if the United States were not involved.

Wednesday's procedural vote sets up a floor debate on the resolution next week. It would be largely a symbolic move, however, as House Republican leaders have given no indication they would take up the war powers measure before the end of the year — the end of the current Congress.

Several senators said they were angry about the absence of CIA Director Gina Haspel from the pre-vote briefing.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell voted against moving ahead with the resolution...


Nov 29, 8:35am Top

#71--Trump didn't want Haspel there because he'd once again already discounted CIA intel on the matter which was pretty clear that MBS had ordered Khashoggi's murder. When something is inconvenient to this POTUS he tries to circumvent it. It's like the Camp Fire was a forest maintenance problem and not climate change--or even that better maintenance would help but the driving factor is climate change and the Climate Change report is just b.s. to him--it doesn't fit into his narrative and neither did the Paris accords on climate and he won't go outside the very narrow parameters of what he decides is true. So he sends out Sarah Huckabee to tell us that the work of 300 well respected scientists is nothing but a bunch of lies while not being able to explain why and she has no problems lying her ass off. As well with the Kavanaugh nomination we find that he has no issues maneuvering around sexual assault--here we find out he has no issues maneuvering around the murder/assassination of an US resident and neither do Mike Pompeo or John Bolton. There really isn't a moral compass at work with this guy and he's most comfortable surrounded by others who have no moral compass either.

So at least Lindsey Graham and Rand Paul and a dozen or so more of their republican Senators stop short of condoning the butchering of Khashoggi and I guess that's something.

Dec 3, 8:48am Top

Qatar quitting OPEC means the oil cartel is now just a 'two-member organization,' (Saudi Arabia and Russia) oil analyst says

The future of OPEC is on shaky ground, an analyst has told CNBC, after Qatar abruptly announced it would sever ties with the oil cartel.
Qatar's Energy Minister Saad al-Kaabi said Monday that Doha would leave OPEC on January 1.
The decision comes just days before OPEC and its allies are scheduled to hold a meeting in Vienna.

Sam Meredith | @smeredith19
Published 2 Hours Ago Updated 19 Mins Ago CNBC.com

Qatar's Energy Minister Saad al-Kaabi said at a news conference Monday that Doha would leave OPEC on January 1, 2019. The decision comes just days before OPEC and its allies are scheduled to hold a much-anticipated meeting in Vienna, Austria.

... the country (will) focus on gas production.

...Since June 2017, OPEC kingpin Saudi Arabia — along with three other Arab states — has cut trade and transport ties with Qatar, accusing the country of supporting terrorism and its regional rival Iran. Qatar denies the claims, saying the boycott hampers its national sovereignty.

Qatar is not a major oil producer when compared to other OPEC members but...produce(s) more than 6 million barrels of oil equivalent per day by 2022.

...importan(t)...tactful approach to negotiating energy policy with regional rivals in recent years...


Dec 3, 10:29am Top

Is this why Jamal Khashoggi was killed? 'Hacked' WhatsApp messages reveal Saudi columnist called Crown Prince a 'beast' and 'Pac-Man' who devoured his enemies
George Martin | 3 December 2018

...(Montreal-based activist Omar Abdulaziz), who revealed the messages to CNN, said he believes they were hacked in August by Saudi authorities just two months before Khashoggi's brutal killing at the consulate in Istanbul.

Last month, researchers at the University of Toronto's Citizen Lab reported Abdulaziz's phone had been hacked by military-grade spyware.

...In over 400 messages sent between the pair over the course of a year, Khashoggi and Abdulaziz conceived plans to mobilize the Saudi youth against Bin Salman by creating an 'electronic army' to fight the state's propaganda...scheme they called the 'cyber bees', which involved sending foreign SIM cards to dissidents back home so they could tweet without being traced.

...Khashoggi also pledged $30,000 to implementing their plans.

...In one message, Khashoggi tells Abdulaziz, 'Tyranny has no logic, but he loves force, oppression and needs to show them off. He is like a beast "pac man" the more victims he eats, the more he wants.

'I will not be surprised that the oppression will reach even those who are cheering him, then others and others and so on. God knows.'

...Abdulaziz on Sunday launched a lawsuit against an Israeli company that invented the software he believes was used to hack his phone....NSO Group, who make hacking software, and have already been sued by Mexican and Qatari citizens on similar grounds.

After receiving word from Saudi Arabia that authorities had seen messages between the pair, Abdulaziz informed Khashoggi who simply wrote back: 'God help us.' ...


Dec 3, 12:32pm Top

Knowing what he knew I don't really understand why Khashoggi walked into that embassy. In any case if he wanted to do damage to the Saudi Crown Prince---he certainly did that by giving the Crown Prince the chance of murdering him. That murder and the brutality that went with it is going to follow MBS his entire life. He's got two years of his buddy in the White House. After that I think that there is going to be a widening rift between the United States and Saudi Arabia unless the King finds another Crown Prince.

Dec 3, 1:55pm Top

>75 lriley: Knowing what he knew I don't really understand why Khashoggi walked into that embassy.

Hindsight is 20/20. How ballsy would it be for a nation to murder someone in their consulate on foreign soil? Is there any precedent for that at all? There's much more precedent for people in foreign lands considered enemies of a state getting kidnapped or assassinated as they go about their daily lives. Short of abandoning any pretense of a normal life, I don't know what he could have done.

Again, hindsight is 20/20, but looking at it that way, I'm surprised the Saudis did it this way. One day Khashoggi is walking along the street, gets shot or stabbed, and done right, the assassin is out of the country by the time the police are there, and all the cameras would get would be "an Arab male, mid-40s". Everyone would know that Saudi Arabia did it, but no hard evidence.

Dec 3, 4:12pm Top

#76--people sometimes put blinders on. They do. A constant bit of paranoia is not a bad idea especially when you've ruffled enough feathers like Khashoggi had and he knew the regime and the Crown Prince a lot better than most. It should serve as a warning to other Saudi dissidents.

I'm pretty much in agreement with your second point---why go to all the lengths they did? Just knowing he was in Turkey--they could have just sent one/two assassins and done a clean job of it and they almost certainly wouldn't have had to deal with nearly the backlash. The brutal and nasty way they decided to do it in their own house makes them look (and I'm including the Crown Prince) like medieval and ghoulish clowns.

Dec 3, 5:09pm Top

It was a message for other Saudi "dissidents", I think. (Like Putin's strange poisonings.)
In their arrogance, the Saudis never thought Turkey would record a murder in their consulate?

But then Khashoggi and his Montreal friend never thought that Saudi authorities could listen in on their conversations while they were seeking to stop eavesdropping on others!

Dec 3, 5:58pm Top

I know he's not a very popular person but Edward Snowden worked as a contractor for the NSA and when VICE interviewed him in Moscow he made a point of how a government can use a person's cellphone to track them. All governments--good or bad have this capability. It's a daunting challenge to be a dissident these days if you're under the thumb of an autocratic regime. People do love their cellphones--sometimes the things you love can kill you.

Anyway the point of the above is people should be aware of how their electronic devices can be used against them.

Dec 9, 7:16am Top

U.N. climate negotiators sweat over detail and divides
Barbara Lewis, Anna Koper | Dec 8, 2018

...Environmental campaigners are concerned the Katowice talks will lack ambition, after the United States said this year it was withdrawing from the U.N. process. Saudi Arabia, the world’s biggest oil exporter, in the talks on Saturday added a further challenge by blocking consensus on a major scientific report.

The U.N. report published in October said it was possible to limit the earth’s temperature rise to 1.5 degrees Celsius and prevent damaging levels of global warming provided radical changes in energy consumption and other steps were implemented.

But Saudi Arabia refused to back a proposal from other nations to use wording to “welcome” the report.

Delegates said the task of driving the process forward would fall to ministers next week.

“It’s a question of who wins? The likes of the European Union and China with economies deeply invested in climate action and dependent on multilateralism for global trade, or the likes of Saudi dissenters of climate science, with vested interests that put us all in the firing line?” Camilla Born, senior policy advisor at E3G, a non-governmental organisation, said....


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