Saudi prince MBS ordered operation to lure and detain Jamal Khashoggi, U.S. intelligence intercepts reveal


#82

Well, that’s very unsettling. I’ve heard very hopeful things about Abiy Ahmed from Ethiopian friends.

Haile Selassie’s mistake was in over-trusting the loyalty of the military officers, despite advice to the contrary.


#83

Non-constitutional monarchies? That’s what he’s looking for.


#84

The whole “rendition gone wrong” narrative seems to be getting pushed to get the Saudis off the hook for what’s more likely - that they actually sent the team there to kill him. I mean, one of the guys was an autopsy expert. What was his role supposed to be in capturing and bringing back a journalist? They must have come equipped with bone saws. Did they mistake them for handcuffs?

His fiance was standing outside the embassy, waiting for him. He never came out. That’s when they knew, right off the bat, that something bad happened. Apparently there’s intelligence that provides details as to his fate, but they’re not releasing them.

I think they were counting on more plausible deniability, for one - they weren’t expecting someone waiting outside the building for him, instantly raising the alarm and definitively able to disprove the “he left the building after a short visit and was fine” narrative.

Also, they’ve thoroughly compromised him and his son-in-law (you know, the one who passed classified documents to the Saudis), both before the election (long-standing business ties), during the election (providing some illegal help) and afterwards. They could release information that could at least put Jared behind bars.


#85

This cannot be stressed enough!


#86

Not the thing that led to the cholera outbreak, the 15+ reign of terror that have been visited upon the people Yemen?


#87

Unfortunately, too many people just want to blame black and brown people, because it makes them feel better… And this is why we need the humanities, especially history.


#88

I suspect, and my wife (who’s Ethiopian) is convinced, that any instability since Abiy took office is due to Woyane* hardliners taking out their resentment

*Colloquial name for the ruling coalition, which Abiy is actually part of, but I think it specifically means the TPLF which has dominated politics since '91

This event notwithstanding, Abiy might have more loyalty from the military, having served in it himself (he was a captain IIRC)


#89

Only one lobbying firm has cut ties with SA. (so far) It seems the sweet milk from the teat of the kingdom will be hard to ween from.

Qorvis MSLGroup $279,500 per month
Glover Park Group $150,000 per month
Hogan Lovells $125,000 per month
Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck $125,000 per month

Out: The Harbour Group $80,000 per month

We all know it will be business as usual for the US defense industry. It’s always interesting to me that companies like Boeing and the like all have corporate ethics and behavioral standards they as corporate citizens strive to live by yet will remain clamped at that same desert kingdom teat even though now it seems bloody murder stains the very hand they close deals with.

Carry on.


#90

If I got “infuriated” over every Middle East prolonged, shocking atrocity, I’d still be recovering from Algerian Revolution that ended when I was four. You’ve got to meter out your attention to it all, or be drowned.

But I break out a special hoarded reserve of anger over cholera and typhus. I worked in the water industry for 25 years and we got shown a lot of material on it, what we were protecting the population from. Modern water treatment saves more lives than doctors, and it started when cholera epidemics used to strike the heart of London. Since we figured out how to kill it, we’ve been chasing it across the globe, have it cornered into a few refuges. Always, the poorest places. Often so because of conflict, and one expects even adversaries to allow in all forces that fight it when it appears. If not out of humanity, then out of self-interest, as it can cross the lines and kill both combatants.

Ummm…it’s like in Game of Thrones, how much you hate the guys from the next kingdom over that perform horrible atrocities on your kingdom periodically…but then there are the guys that let the White Walkers across the Wall. Traitors to the whole species.

So there’s just this extra load of outrage here, above and beyond the amount I feel for Syria and Libya and Sisi’s prisons and Palestine…


#91

I get that, but bombs that our tax dollars bought are killing children (assuming you’re an American, which you may well not be, so sorry if I’m assuming wrong).

We’re part of those atrocities is my entire point.


#92

Actually, I am Canadian, and while I normally don’t hide behind that - because we generally back or at least say nothing critical about all of America’s worst mistakes - I will shrug off about half of that this time because we recently took some serious trade hits from MBS over a very mild remark about women’s freedoms.

That aside, I concede all your points. My ire about bioterrorism is just for idle-time in comment forums, just for venting. In terms of action the same action is merited for any killing, whether with WMD’s or hatpins. And indeed, anybody who has seen a 500 lb bomb go off often has a whole new appreciation of “WMD”.

John Cusack has a great line about how it’s hideous terror to cut somebody’s head off with a knife, but a minor military action to blow their head off with a drone.

I haven’t the slightest doubt that Canada has sold some arms to Saudi regime as well (yes, we make a few) and has continued supplying spare parts throughout the hostilities. Indeed, I really should go look that up before I say any unkind words about America on that score.


#93

Do you recall Friedman units?

someone at the Washington Post (paywalled, as per usual, except for private browsers) has called him out for cozying up to MBS

For every modernizing Peter the Great, there are 10 tinpot dictators who will exploit a genuine public desire to root out corruption to take out enemies. It is extremely rare for anti-corruption campaigns to ever do what is intended. This was the part of the MBS pitch that enthralled Friedman the most last year. He should have been warier.


#94


If true, either Turkey had intelligence resources inside the embassy that they’ve just burned, or the Saudis left Khashoggi’s phone and watch running the whole time, and Turkey had access.

Strange either way.

Plus Turkey played this:


#95
  1. Tom Friedman is an incompetent, willfully ill-informed moron who has been an incompetent moron for many decades and is not going to change now.
  2. The continued access of Tom Friedman to a media pulpit, despite a proven career of moronic incompetence and being an apologist for fascists on every conceivable occasion, is a tribute to the power of married money.

#96

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