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Posts Tagged ‘Saudi Arabia’

US Should Stop Playing the Supplicant to Saudi Arabia

Posted by M. C. on May 4, 2022

America, Not the Corrupt Medieval Dictatorship, Is the Superpowerby Doug Bandow

antiwar.com

Pity President Joe Biden. His spendthrift fiscal policies spurred an inflationary wave. His sanctions against Russia roiled energy markets, already suffering from long-standing restrictions on the sale of Iranian and Venezuelan oil. When he went, hat-in-hand, to the oppressive Saudi monarchy the king refused to take his call.

The Emiratis treated him no better. Even though the US rushed to Abu Dhabi’s aid when Yemen’s Houthi rebels finally began shooting back after years of attacks on civilian targets, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayad al-Nahyan complained that Washington did not act sooner. Obsequious Secretary of State Antony Blinken visited Abu Dhabi, prostrating himself while promising to do better in the future.

So far neither “friend” of America has produced any extra oil. Indeed, it appears that the Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, known as MbS, is gambling on the return to power of Donald Trump, who acted as consigliere to the bin Salman crime family. The Saudi list of grievances is long, but all reflect anger that Washington sometimes puts America’s interests before those of the Kingdom: “the administration’s restrictions on arms sales; what [MbS] saw as its insufficient response to attacks on Saudi Arabia by Houthi forces in Yemen; its publication of a report into the Saudi regime’s 2018 murder of the dissident and Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi; and Biden’s prior refusal to deal in person with the crown prince.” For Crown Prince “Slice ‘n Dice,” used to kidnapping, jailing, killing, and even dismembering his critics, such behavior by Washington is unforgivable.

The Biden administration’s current fixation is finding increased oil supplies as it pushes to ban Russian sales. Going to America’s Persian Gulf “allies,” particularly the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, was Washington’s most natural move. However, both benefit from higher oil prices, collecting more revenue and stretching out production. Without being offered something in return, they had no reason to agree.

The administration also could satisfy its objectives by relaxing sanctions on Venezuela – Trump’s attempt to achieve regime change by starving an already impoverished people failed spectacularly. The Maduro regime is malign, but Washington has punished the Venezuelan people more than the government. Biden officials recently ventured to Caracas to discuss oil exports but so far have failed to act, presumably fearing the domestic political consequences.

Similarly, restoring the JCPOA, the nuclear deal with Iran, would bring substantially more oil onto the international market. The Trump administration’s decision to wreck the agreement, a political gift to Riyadh and Jerusalem, proved disastrous. Although candidate Biden said he favored America’s return to the pact, which limited Tehran’s nuclear ambitions, President Biden retreated, fearing congressional criticism. So far he has refused to lift poison pill sanctions imposed by Trump to forestall revival of the deal, and the agreement is in limbo.

So oil prices remain painfully high with mid-term elections just six months away.

Now members of the infamous Blob, America’s foreign policy establishment, are urging Biden to do a full kowtow to Riyadh (and presumably Abu Dhabi as well), doing the royals’ bidding as before. 

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Has Elon Musk stumbled into some scandalous truths about Twitter?

Posted by M. C. on April 16, 2022

Twitter shut down the president of the United States, which, if it’s controlled by the government, while the elites take the profits, it means the government itself shut Trump down.  What would be the implications of that, and how the heck could this scandal be corrected?  It would show the extent of the rot of the Deep State that an entity so closely connected to the federal government could carry out that kind of coup.  And that presents a constitutional crisis.  This kind of third-world behavior would have to be exposed by Musk — and Congress would need to stop it.

https://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2022/04/has_elon_musk_stumbled_into_a_scandalous_truth_about_twitter_with_the_strange_reaction_to_his_twitter_buyout_offer.html

By Monica Showalter

Sure enough, Elon Musk pulled the trigger, handed Twitter a fat offer of a buyout, and it’s been nothing but bonkersville ever since.

According to CBS News:

Elon Musk is offering to buy Twitter for $43 billion, saying the social media company “needs to be transformed as a private company.”

The billionaire and founder of electric car maker Tesla, who earlier this month disclosed he owns a 9.2% stake in Twitter, proposed in a regulatory filing on Thursday to buy all of the company’s outstanding common stock for $54.20 per share. 

“I invested in Twitter as I believe in its potential to be the platform for free speech around the globe, and I believe free speech is a societal imperative for a functioning democracy,” he said in the filing. “However, since making my investment I now realize the company will neither thrive nor serve this societal imperative in its current form.”

The market acted as one might expect of a company that has seen stagnant growth over recent months:

Twitter shares rose 3.6% to $47.49 in early trading. Shares in the social media platform, which was valued at $37 billion prior to Musk’s offer, had declined by roughly a third over the prior year.

It prompted huffing and puffing from the likes of the Washington Post, owned by mega-billionaire Jeff Bezos, about Musk being a threat to democracy or something.

The blue checks, meanwhile, completely beclowned themselves:

David Leavitt, the third blue check on that list, recall, is the one who tried to shake down a Target employee for an $89.99 toothbrush for a penny, called the police, and then used Twitter to doxx her when he didn’t get what he wanted.

Here’s the obvious problem on the surface:

Glenn Greenwald

@ggreenwald

Yesterday was a flagship day in corporate media. It was the day they were forced to explicitly state what has long been clear: they not only favor censorship but desperately crave and depend on it. Even if Musk doesn’t buy Twitter, never forget what yesterday revealed.

Here’s the weird stuff:

Saudi Arabia’s Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, who owns roughly 5% of Twitter, tweeted that the bid significantly undervalues the company and that he will reject it.

Musk shot back in a tweet: “How much of Twitter does the Kingdom own, directly & indirectly? What are the Kingdom’s views on journalistic freedom of speech?”

Saudi Arabia’s richest man has a stake in Twitter? 

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Numbers don’t lie: more Saudi attacks on Yemen came after new US support

Posted by M. C. on March 22, 2022

It’s been seven years, but the Biden administration seems less likely than ever to follow through with its pledge to help end the war.

Written by
Annelle Sheline

Friday marks the seventh anniversary of the Saudi-led military intervention against Yemen, and thanks to Saudi Arabia’s escalation with U.S. assistance, the violence seemingly gets worse everyday.

On the sixth anniversary, Biden’s recent inauguration inspired hope that the U.S. might successfully encourage the warring parties towards a ceasefire. Yet over the course of the past year, it became clear that the Biden administration supported Saudi and Emirati objectives in Yemen almost as actively as the Trump administration, although they veiled their preference for the Saudi-led coalition in a veneer of diplomacy. 

A new brief from the Quincy Institute highlights ongoing U.S. assistance for the Saudi-led military intervention, despite Biden’s declaration that he would “end all American support for offensive operations in the war in Yemen, including relevant arms sales.” The administration paused two arms deals, but later proceeded with over a billion dollars in new sales to the kingdom. It characterized these weapons as defensive, yet as the brief argues, defensive capability converts directly to offensive advantage. By assisting Saudi Arabia and the UAE with defense, the U.S. allows these countries to attack Yemen with greater impunity. Further, both Saudi Arabia and the UAE already possess hundreds of billions of dollars in offensive weapons, mostly purchased from the United States, which they continue to use against Yemen.

Biden administration officials frequently condemn Houthi transborder attacks, yet fail to condemn Saudi air strikes. On February 10, 2021, State Department spokesperson Ned Price described the Houthis as “continually demonstrat[ing] a desire to prolong the war by attacking Saudi Arabia, including endangering civilians.” In August 2021, Secretary of State Antony Blinken stated that since the beginning of the year, Saudi Arabia “has endured more than 240 attacks by the Houthis.” On January 24, 2022, Tim Lenderking, the special envoy, emphasized “the U.S. government’s condemnation of the recent Houthi attacks against the UAE and Saudi Arabia that killed civilians.” 

The problem with these statements is one of proportion. The administration’s narrative consistently blames the Houthis and stresses their transborder attacks as particularly dangerous, yet transborder attacks on Yemen carried out by the Saudi-led coalition far outnumber them and have been magnitudes more destructive.

Houthi transborder attacks never surpass and rarely even approach the number of coalition air raids conducted on Yemen each month. Crucially, with the help of U.S.–made defense systems, Saudi Arabia successfully deflects 90 percent of the Houthis’ transborder attacks.

The Saudi-led coalition has carried out more than 24,800 air raids since 2015, an average of almost 10 each day. Coalition air raids have killed almost 9,000 civilians and wounded more than 10,000.

In contrast, the Saudi coalition spokesperson reported in December 2021 that the Houthis have launched over 400 missiles and over 800 drones at Saudi Arabia since the start of the war in March 2015, killing 59 civilians. Added together, Houthi missile and drone attacks average approximately one attack every other day. 

Over the weekend, the Houthis launched a series of coordinated attacks on Saudi energy facilities: there were no casualties. In contrast, a Saudi air raid on a detention facility in Yemen in January killed 91 people and injured hundreds.

The Saudi air force relies heavily on U.S. military contractors to provide maintenance, spare parts, and repairs for their planes: without U.S. help, the Saudis could not bomb Yemen. Based on Biden’s post-inauguration declaration that the U.S. was ending support for offensive military action, it is surprising that coalition air raid levels remained relatively consistent from 2020 to 2021.  If the U.S. had genuinely withdrawn support for Saudi offensives, the rate of coalition air raids should have declined from the Trump era to the Biden era, but it has not.

Instead, coalition attacks began to increase dramatically in late 2021. Contrary to the characterizations of the Biden administration, this was not in response to Houthi transborder escalation, as Houthi attacks remained relatively stable. The Houthis may have escalated within Yemen, but they did not increase their attacks on Saudi territory. 

The war is often framed as a proxy conflict between Saudi Arabia, supporting the ousted government of President Abd Rabo Mansur Hadi, and Iran, backing the Houthi rebels. Yet in practice, the Saudi-led intervention constitutes a campaign of collective punishment against the Yemeni population, 80 percent of whom live in areas controlled by the Houthis. The Saudis justify their aerial bombardment and fuel blockade as necessary to counteract the Houthis and their Iranian allies, but the Houthis’ strength has only grown over the past seven years, while the lives of ordinary Yemenis have been shattered. Saudi actions have only contributed to Houthi strength: the longer the war continues, the more likely the Houthis will consolidate control, an outcome many Yemenis dread.  

There are no “good guys” in this war: All parties to the conflict have been credibly accused of war crimes by U.N. experts. In contrast to the Biden administration’s narrative that it is committed to supporting the resolution of the conflict, the U.S. nonetheless signals its ongoing support to the Saudis and Emiratis for their war on Yemen. By consistently reiterating U.S. support, the Biden administration risks escalating U.S. involvement in the war.

Competition with Russia and China has prompted Biden to prioritize close military ties with Saudi Arabia and the UAE. It is this calculation that has caused him to renege on his pledge to end the war. This not only risks dragging Washington deeper into the conflict; it also prolongs the war, compounding the destruction of Yemen. The Saudi and Emirati military aggression that the U.S. supports is little different from Russian actions in Ukraine.

The Biden administration should instead adopt a strategy that takes American national interests as its starting point. This would mean not deferring to Gulf partners on matters that undermine U.S. interests and could plunge it into yet another military confrontation in the Middle East. Deferring to Gulf partners as a means of countering China and Russia is also a questionable strategy, as the Saudis and Emiratis have already demonstrated that they will hedge their bets on U.S. competition with other great powers, as demonstrated by their unwillingness to condemn Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Written by
Annelle Sheline

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Exclusive: New FBI documents link Saudi spy in California to 9/11 attacks – Mike Kelly

Posted by M. C. on March 21, 2022

“It’s exactly what we’ve been saying,” said James Kreindler, one of the lead attorneys in a lawsuit by more than 10,000 9/11 victims and relatives against the Saudi government. “Saudi government officials at a high level were integral to the 9/11 attacks.”

https://www.northjersey.com/story/news/columnists/mike-kelly/2022/03/13/sept-11-fbi-links-saudi-arabia-spy-attacks/9442454002/?utm_campaign=snd-autopi

Mike Kelly

NorthJersey.com

Soon after the 9/11 attacks two decades ago, the FBI quietly launched an investigation into a seemingly obscure Saudi Arabian government bureaucrat in Southern California.

The man claimed to be nothing more than a Saudi aviation official who innocently happened to befriend two Islamic jihadists in the months before they carried out the 9/11 attacks. 

That story now appears to be false. The alleged aviation official was really a Saudi spy who reported directly to a Saudi prince who happened to be the kingdom’s influential ambassador in Washington and a close friend of President George W. Bush and other top U.S. government officials.  

The FBI concluded five years ago that there was a “50/50 chance” that this Saudi spy knew ahead of time that the two Islamists he befriended were about to join the plot to hijack commercial jetliners and crash them into buildings in what turned out to be America’s deadliest terrorist attack. But the FBI refused to go public with its findings — until now. 

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With Democrat Back in White House, MSNBC Returns to Ignoring U.S.-Backed War in Yemen – by Adam Johnson – The Column

Posted by M. C. on November 27, 2021

https://thecolumn.substack.com/p/with-democrat-back-in-white-house

Adam Johnson

A review of MSNBC’s coverage from Nov. 3, 2020 to Nov. 22, 2021 shows MSNBC hasn’t run a single segment on the U.S.-backed war still raging in Yemen. 

To the extent MSNBC did cover Yemen’s “civil war” during this time frame it was exclusively to pass along, without skepticism, claims last spring from Democrats that President Biden had “ended U.S. support for the war”—which turned out to not be true in any meaningful sense, a fact evident at the time but not met with any questioning from MSNBC reporters or pundits.  

Since then, it’s become increasingly clear little has changed in the status quo. While the U.S. has halted some forms of assistance, like mid-air refueling of aircraft, other forms of vital participation remain, including: green-lighting of weapons transfers, maintaining spare parts for Saudi war planes, sharing some forms of intelligence, and training the Royal Saudi Navy, which is enforcing a catastrophic blockade on Yemen. 

And then there is the political cover that the Biden administration is giving the Saudi-led coalition, a vital form of support that noted in September by Annelle R. Sheline and Bruce Riedel at The Brookings Institute—hardly a far-left bastion of anti-imperial polemic: 

Biden’s broken promise on Yemen

…Unfortunately, Biden’s approach is fatally flawed. The president stated that he would “end U.S. support for offensive operations in Yemen.” Yet the Saudi-led war on Yemen by definition, is an offensive operation. Saudi Arabia is bombing and blockading another country: Between March 2015 and July 2021, the Saudis conducted a minimum of 23,251 air raids, which killed or injured 18,616 civilians. The Houthis, known formally as Ansarallah, launch missiles in retaliation but if Saudi airstrikes ceased, the Houthis would have little reason to provoke their powerful neighbor. As long as the U.S. materially and rhetorically backs the Saudis’ war of choice, Biden’s assertion that the U.S. would end support for offensive operations is a lie. 

The second crucial flaw in Biden’s approach is that he did not call for an immediate end to the Saudi blockade of Yemen. The blockade primarily blocks fuel from entering the Houthi-controlled Hodeida port; the Saudis also prevent the use of Sanaa International Airport. Blockades cannot be defensive: they are offensive operations, and therefore U.S. involvement should have ended following Biden’s declaration in February. The U.S. tacitly cooperated with the blockade by not challenging it, and the U.S. Navy occasionally announces it has intercepted smuggled weapons from Iran, suggesting a more active role than the administration admits. Congress should investigate.

Just this week, the Biden White House and State Department announced the US will be selling another $650 million in weapons to Saudi Arabia, hiding behind the nonsensical talking point that the weapons are “purely defensive.”

There was a time when MSNBC media personalities did act like they cared about what the UN calls the “world’s worst humanitarian disaster,” which has killed almost a quarter of a million people.  

MSNBC ignored the war almost completely during the Obama years and early Trump years. But after the Saudi coalition bombed a school bus in August 2018, and Saudi dictator Mohammad bin Salman ordered the killing of Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi in October 2018, they—like much of the U.S. media—finally began reporting on the regime’s human rights abuses. For a while. 

MSNBC ran multiple segments on the war in the second half of 2018 when it was considered very much Trump’s war. 

After this spasm of concern in late 2018, the coverage largely died out. As I noted in FAIR at the time, when activist pressure to pass a resolution compelling an end to U.S. support for the war was at its most urgent in March 2019, MSNBC ignored the effort altogether. There was a brief aside about Trump’s veto of said Yemen war powers act by Rachel Maddow on April 16, 2019, but it amounted to little more than a passing mention. 

The next—and it turns out last—time an actual segment aired on the Yemen war was on Morning Joe in July 2020. This report, by NBC News’ Keir Simmons, did mention the war and the U.S.’s role in it, with a focus on how Covid was killing Yemenis. But since the July 2020 Morning Joe report, there have been no segments aired on MSNBC about the U.S.-backed Saudi bombing of Yemen.

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Biden Administration Approves $650 Million Missile Sale to Saudi Arabia – News From Antiwar.com

Posted by M. C. on November 5, 2021

The missiles are made by Raytheon, the former employer of Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin

You remember Saudi Arabia, they financed 9/11. That apparently paid off.

https://news.antiwar.com/2021/11/04/biden-administration-approves-650-million-missile-sale-to-saudi-arabia/

by Dave DeCamp

The Pentagon announced Thursday that the State Department approved a potential sale of missiles to Saudi Arabia worth about $650 million.

The Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) said Saudi Arabia requested a purchase of 280 AIM-120C air-to-air missiles, 596 LAU-128 Missile Rail Launchers, and other related equipment. The primary contractor is Raytheon Technologies, the former employer of Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin.

The DSCA said the sale is in support of Saudi Arabia’s air force that is waging a major air campaign in Yemen. In February, President Biden vowed to end support for Riyadh’s “offensive” operations in Yemen. But it was revealed in April that the Pentagon is still servicing Saudi warplanes that are bombing the country.

The missile sale is another example of the US continuing to support the brutal war in Yemen and is the second arms deal for the Saudis approved by the Biden administration. In September, the State Department approved a deal worth $500 million to maintain Saudia Arabia’s military helicopters, including Apache and Black Hawk attack helicopters.

Without US support, Saudi Arabia’s air force would quickly be grounded, and they would be forced to negotiate with the Houthis. Saudi warplanes have been pounding Yemen in recent months around the city of Maarib, where the Houthis continue to make gains despite the airpower they face.

The US-backed war and blockade on Yemen has caused widespread disease and mass starvation in the country. Early this year, the UN warned that if conditions don’t change in Yemen, 400,000 children under the age of five will starve to death in 2021 alone. This means hundreds of thousands of children may have already died since the warning was made.

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Abandoning Yemen? – Antiwar.com Original

Posted by M. C. on October 15, 2021

https://original.antiwar.com/?p=2012344217

United Nations Human Rights Council action silences Yemeni human rights victims.

by Kathy Kelly

Monday, October 11, marked the official closure of the U.N. Group of Eminent Experts on Yemen (also known as the Group of Experts or GEE). For nearly four years, this investigative group examined alleged abuses suffered by Yemenis whose basic rights to food, shelter, safety, health care and education were horribly violated, all while they were bludgeoned by Saudi and U.S. air strikes, drone attacks, and constant warfare since 2014.

“This is a major setback for all victims who have suffered serious violations during the armed conflict,” the GEE wrote in a statement the day after the UN Human Rights Council refused to extend a mandate for continuation of the group’s work “The Council appears to be abandoning the people of Yemen,” the statement says, adding that “Victims of this tragic armed conflict should not be silenced by the decision of a few States.”

Prior to the vote, there were indications that Saudi Arabia and its allies, such as Bahrain (which sits on the UN Human Rights Council), had increased lobbying efforts worldwide in a bid to do away with the Group of Experts. Actions of the Saudi-led coalition waging war against Yemen had been examined and reported on by the Group of Experts. Last year, the Saudi bid for a seat on the Human Rights Council was rejected, but Bahrain serves as its proxy.

Bahrain is a notorious human rights violator and a staunch member of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia-led coalition which buys billions of dollars worth of weaponry from the United States and other countries to bomb Yemen’s infrastructure, kill civilians, and displace millions of people.

The Group of Experts was mandated to investigate violations committed by all warring parties. So it’s possible that the Ansar Allah leadership, often known as the Houthis, also wished to avoid the group’s scrutiny. The Group of Experts’ mission has come to an end, but the fear and intimidation faced by Yemeni victims and witnesses continues.

Mwatana for Human Rights, an independent Yemeni organization established in 2007, advocates for human rights by reporting on issues such as the torture of detainees, grossly unfair trials, patterns of injustice, and starvation by warfare through the destruction of farms and water sources. Mwatana had hoped the UN Human Rights Council would grant the Group of Experts a multi-year extension. Members of Mwatana fear their voice will be silenced within the United Nations if the Human Rights Council’s decision is an indicator of how much the council cares about Yemenis.

“The GEE is the only independent and impartial mechanism working to deter war crimes and other violations by all parties to the conflict,” said Radhya Almutawakel, Chairperson of Mwatana for Human Rights. She believes that doing away with this body will give a green light to continue violations that condemn millions in Yemen to “‘unremitting violence, death and constant fear.’”

The Yemen Data Project, founded in 2016, is an independent entity aiming to collect data on the conduct of the war in Yemen. Their most recent monthly report tallied the number of air raids in September, which had risen to the highest monthly rate since March.

Sirwah, a district in the Marib province, was – for the ninth consecutive month – the most heavily targeted district in Yemen, with twenty-nine air raids recorded throughout September. To get a sense of scale, imagine a district the size of three city neighborhoods being bombed twenty-nine times in one month.

Intensified fighting has led to large waves of displacement within the governorate, and sites populated by soaring numbers of refugees are routinely impacted by shelling and airstrikes. Pressing humanitarian needs include shelter, food, water, sanitation, hygiene, and medical care. Without reports from the Yemen Data Project, the causes of the dire conditions in Sirwah could be shrouded in secrecy. This is a time to increase, not abandon, attention to Yemenis trapped in war zones.

In early 1995, I was among a group of activists who formed a campaign called Voices in the Wilderness to publicly defy economic sanctions against Iraq. Some of us had been in Iraq during the 1991 U.S.-led Operation Desert Storm invasion. The United Nations reported that hundreds of thousands of children under age five had already died and that the economic sanctions contributed to these deaths. We felt compelled to at least try to break the economic sanctions against Iraq by declaring our intent to bring medicines and medical relief supplies to Iraqi hospitals and families.

But to whom would we deliver these supplies?

Voices in the Wilderness founders agreed that we would start by contacting Iraqis in our neighborhoods and also try to connect with groups concerned with peace and justice in the Middle East. So I began asking Iraqi shopkeepers in my Chicago neighborhood for advice; they were understandably quite wary.

One day, as I walked away from a shopkeeper who had actually given me an extremely helpful phone number for a parish priest in Baghdad, I overheard another customer ask what that was all about. The shopkeeper replied: “Oh, they’re just a group of people trying to make a name for themselves.”

I felt crestfallen. Now, twenty-six years later, it’s easy for me to understand his reaction. Why should anyone trust people as strange as we must have seemed?

No wonder I’ve felt high regard for the UN Group of Experts who went to bat for human rights groups struggling for “street cred” regarding Yemen.

When Yemeni human rights advocates try to sound the alarm about terrible abuses, they don’t just face hurt feelings when met with antagonism. Yemeni human rights activists have been jailed, tortured, and disappeared. Yemen’s civil society activists do need to make a name for themselves.

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FBI Declassifies 9/11 Memo After Biden Executive Order: “Puts To Bed Any Doubts About Saudi Complicity”

Posted by M. C. on September 15, 2021

Oxymoron def: “Middle East” and “friends”.

https://www.zerohedge.com/geopolitical/fbi-declassifies-911-memo-after-biden-executive-order-puts-bed-any-doubts-about-saudi

Tyler Durden's Photoby Tyler Durden

Following President Biden’s recently signed executive order for the declassification of many of the remaining documents relating to the Saudi role in the 9/11 attacks, the Justice Dept. on Saturday night released its first one – a heavily redacted 16-page report from April 2016.While not yet considered a smoking gun in terms of proving high level Saudi foreknowledge and complicity, it does contain new information on a Saudi student in California at the time, Omar al-Bayoumi, who is shown to have aided two of the 9/11 hijackers while enjoying close ties with Saudi diplomats. The memo ultimately shines more light on what appears Saudi intelligence continuing contact with some of the hijackers leading up to the 9/11 attacks.

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Twenty years on, families of 9/11 victims demand Washington finally declassifies documents – could they shed light on CIA’s role? — RT Op-ed

Posted by M. C. on August 12, 2021

https://www.rt.com/op-ed/531765-families-9-11-declassified-documents/

By Kit Klarenberg, an investigative journalist exploring the role of intelligence services in shaping politics and perceptions. Follow him on Twitter @KitKlarenberg Relatives believe the information will prove the Saudi government was complicit in the attacks – while newly available files have already raised questions about Langley’s involvement.

Family members of 9/11 victims have warned Joe Biden to stay away from the upcoming 20th anniversary memorial events, unless officials are willing to declassify documents that the relatives believe will prove the Saudi Arabian government was involved in the attacks.

There is simply no reason – unmerited claims of ‘national security’ or otherwise – to keep this information secret,” an open letter, signed by 1,700 people directly affected by the incident, stated. 

Allegations of Riyadh’s involvement in the tragedy have long abounded, not least because 15 of the 19 hijackers were Saudi citizens. The highly controversial 9/11 Commission Report of 2004 found no evidence “the Saudi government as an institution or senior Saudi officials individually” funded Al-Qaeda, but did identify Saudi individuals and organizations as Al-Qaeda’s primary funding source. Two commission co-chairs, Thomas Kean and Lee Hamilton, have since asserted that the investigation was “set up to fail.”

In March 2018, after many years of fruitless struggle, a US court finally allowed a lawsuit against the government of Saudi Arabia brought by the families of the attack’s victims, businesses, insurers, and over 20,000 people injured that fateful day, to proceed. 

One of the key questions under consideration is the level of contact between the hijackers and potential or confirmed Saudi government operatives – be they diplomatic or intelligence staff, or otherwise. Nonetheless, the presiding judge has to date restricted plaintiffs’ discovery to just two individuals, Omar al-Bayoumi and Fahad al-Thumairy.

According to previously classified memoranda, the FBI “believes it possible” Bayoumi “was an agent of the Saudi Government and that he may have been reporting on the local community to the Saudi Government officials.” The Bureau also discovered that he had “ties to terrorist elements.” Thumairy was a Saudi Islamic Affairs official and imam at King Fahd Mosque in Los Angeles.

Both had intimate contact with American Airlines Flight 77 hijackers Nawaf al-Hazmi and Khalid al-Mihdhar after their January 2000 arrival in the US, and were named in a 2012 FBI report on the progress of Operation Encore, its investigation into Saudi government involvement in 9/11. The document was only released due to Freedom of Information litigation, and so comprehensively censored that even the probe’s title was redacted. 

What remains extant indicates that Bayoumi and Thumairy “provided (or directed others to provide) the hijackers with assistance in daily activities, including procuring living quarters, financial assistance, and assistance in obtaining flight lessons and driver’s licenses,” with the latter “immediately [assigning] an individual to take care” of Hazmi and Mihdhar after meeting them. 

Washington has gone to enormous efforts to suppress the unexpurgated FBI report, and any and all records related to Operation Encore, which collapsed in 2016 due to a purported byzantine bust-up within the Bureau over investigative methods. Throughout his tenure as Attorney General, William Barr has consistently blocked release of this additional information by asserting the government’s “state secrets privilege”.

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Iraq never had a suicide bomb, until…

Posted by M. C. on February 15, 2021

https://mailchi.mp/6405c675d931/the-us-celebrates-30-years-of-bombing-iraq-4200293?e=de2d0eded6

Iraq had never had a suicide bombing until after George W. Bush invaded and occupied their country.Iraq was a mix of Sunnis, allied with Saudi Arabia, and Shiites, allied with Iran. Shiites were the majority of the population, but Sunnis held political power.George W. Bush changed that. The “purple-fingered elections,” hailed as a victory for democracy, gave the Shiite majority absolute control over the lives and fortunes of the Sunni minority.Civil War resulted. Bush had put Iran’s Shiite allies in power. They forced him to surrender and leave the country, and refused his request to station any military bases in their country.A million Iraqis were killed, along with thousands of Americans. And for what? To empower Iran in the capital and in the east, and to turn western Iraq over to bin Ladenites.In Chapter 7 of Gus Cantavero’s video adaptation of Scott’s new book Enough Already: Time to End the War on Terrorism, Scott explains how the “the Surge worked” was basically PR for David Petraeus, and how the U.S. turned around and fought the Shiites they had been allied with for years.
https://youtu.be/Mm1UYnDJoMA
Arm yourself with knowledge so you can fight for peace. Buy Scott’s new book, Enough Already: Time to End the War on Terrorism

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