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crime government

The Director Of National Intelligence Missed The Deadline To Provide Congress With A Report On Jamal Khashoggi’s Killing

Legality ≠ Morality

Emma Loop, Buzzfeed reports:

The country’s top intelligence official has failed to turn over to Congress a report on the killing of Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi, sources said, flouting a law passed last month.

In December, lawmakers passed a sweeping defense bill that included a provision ordering the director of national intelligence to send Congress an unclassified report identifying those responsible for Khashoggi’s death at a Saudi Arabian consulate in 2018. The legislation set the deadline for the report at 30 days, which passed earlier this week.

Though the CIA has reportedly concluded that Saudi crown prince Mohammed bin Salman ordered Khashoggi’s killing at the consulate in Istanbul, Turkey, Saudi officials have denied his involvement — something President Donald Trump seemed willing to believe. The unclassified report, if Congress receives and releases it, could provide the administration’s first public acknowledgment of the crown prince’s role, or that of other Saudi officials, in Khashoggi’s brutal death.

The provision requiring the report was contained in the larger National Defence Authorization Act that Trump signed into law on Dec. 20, 2019. The bill required Joseph Maguire, the acting director of national intelligence, to provide the report to four congressional committees: the House Foreign Affairs and Intelligence committees, and the Senate Foreign Relations and Intelligence committees.

The delay has already resulted in an inquiry from the office of Oregon Sen. Ron Wyden, an Intelligence Committee member who pushed for the provision to be included in the legislation. “Our office has asked ODNI about the status of that information and has not received a response,” Keith Chu, a spokesperson for Wyden, told BuzzFeed News.

(click here to continue reading The Director Of National Intelligence Missed The Deadline To Provide Congress With A Report On Jamal Khashoggi’s Killing.)

It’s so unlike the Trump* administration to ignore laws, and support extra-judicial killing, and kowtow to dictators! Shocked, shocked I tells ya…

Darwin Fish Prototype

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News-esque

Will Yemen be the Graveyard of the new Saudi Empire?

I've got a mighty thirst
We’ve got a mighty thirst…

Meanwhile, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is in a bit of turmoil, what with the price of oil being extremely low, and…

In 1934 the newly established Kingdom of Saudi Arabia went to war against Imamate Yemen, resulting in the Saudis taking control of the provinces of Aseer, Jizan and Najran.  King Abdul Aziz withdrew his forces as soon as he had achieved his basic goal.  When challenged about his prompt withdrawal at a time when his forces were clearly in the ascendant, his reply was “You know nothing about Yemen; it is mountainous and tribal. No one can control it. Throughout history all those who tried to control it, failed. The Ottoman state was the last of the failed invaders. I don’t want to embroil myself or my people in Yemen.”

Ten months into the current Saudi-led war in Yemen, it is clear that this advice has not penetrated the consciousness of Mohammed bin Salman, current Defence Minister, Deputy Crown Prince and grandson of Abdul Aziz or of his father, the current King. 

The easy and decisive military victory anticipated last March is further away than ever, thus affecting both the new Saudi leaders and their plans for domestic dominance as well as increasing the likelihood of challenges not only within the Saud family but beyond, among the many Saudis whose living conditions are affected by the reduced subsidies and new taxation.

Whoever has read recent history will notice what happened to the thousands of Egyptians sent to support the republican regime in the 1960s, a major reason why Egypt has been reluctant to send its own troops.

Mohammed bin Salman and his colleagues would be well advised to recall the advice of his grandfather and seek a way out, ideally one which would establish a just and equitable regime in Sana’a. Meanwhile they should show some respect for international humanitarian law and put an end to the airstrikes which are killing and maiming civilian men, women and children, as well as destroying medical and other civilian facilities throughout the country. Their allies and supporters in the UK and the US should demonstrate that they are not simple tools and agents of the Saudi regime.

(click here to continue reading Will Yemen be the Graveyard of the new Saudi Empire? | Informed Comment.)

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Business

Fair And Balanced with some caveats

Fox News takes great pains not to embarrass the Saudi family, especially since they are one of the largest shareholders in News Corp.

Selling Access to Power Brokers

It was not until a few days later that I learned what may have been behind the absence of a video clip on the Web site. I had said to Doocy that Saudi Arabian money was still financing Al Qaeda. Doocy did not react to my comment. But ten days later I learned that Fox’s parent company, News Corporation, was, at the time of my interview, negotiating with a Saudi prince to vastly increase his stake in the company.

The notorious Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, nephew to the Saudi king, met with Rupert Murdoch in Hong Kong on Jan. 14. The prince issued a press release after the meeting stating that the prince’s Kingdom Holding Company had discussions that “touched upon future potential alliances with News Corp.”

By the time I appeared on Fox News, Prince Alwaleed was about to become News Corp’s fourth largest voting shareholder (behind the Murdoch family, Liberty Media, and Fidelity Management & Research Co, a mutual fund). The prince has repeatedly defended his homeland as a problem-free place. What he has failed to mention is that he has personally donated huge amounts of money to the families of Palestinian suicide bombers.

Alwaleed is the same Saudi prince who made headlines right after 9/11 when he personally went to Ground Zero and offered then-New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani a $10 million check for the relief efforts. But Alwaleed could not keep his mouth shut. He released a bizarre statement that blamed the attacks – not on the 15 airline hijackers from Saudi Arabia – but on the United States’ support of Israel.

[Click to continue reading Trento’s Take: Fox News Can’t Upset Murdoch’s Saudi Prince]

Amusing thought experiment: imagine that Fox News discovered that MSNBC was mostly owned by Kim Jong-il. Would Fox commentators mention this more than once an hour? or more frequently?