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RSN: Trump Admin Announced $1 Million Weapons Order to Saudi Arabia Just Days After Murder of Jamal Khashoggi
Written by <a href="index.php?option=com_comprofiler&task=userProfile&user=35143"><span class="small">Paul Gottinger, Reader Supported News</span></a>   
Saturday, 20 October 2018 11:08

Gottinger writes: "The Department of Defense approved a new million-dollar weapons sale to Saudi Arabia on October 6, just three days after the Saudi government allegedly dispatched a hit squad to torture, murder, and mutilate the US-based Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi in the country's Istanbul consulate."

Yemeni activist and 2011 winner of the Nobel Peace Prize, Tawakkol Karman, holding a picture of Jamal Khashoggi. (photo: AP)
Yemeni activist and 2011 winner of the Nobel Peace Prize, Tawakkol Karman, holding a picture of Jamal Khashoggi. (photo: AP)


Trump Admin Announced $1 Million Weapons Order to Saudi Arabia Just Days After Murder of Jamal Khashoggi

By Paul Gottinger, Reader Supported News

20 October 18

 

he Department of Defense approved a new million-dollar weapons sale to Saudi Arabia on October 6, just three days after the Saudi government allegedly dispatched a hit squad to torture, murder, and mutilate the US-based Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi in the country’s Istanbul consulate. Under an 8 million dollar contract, Lockheed Martin will provide services, maintenance, and management of a guided missile system to a number of countries, including Saudi Arabia.


Turkish police say the murder of Khashoggi was carried out by a 15-person hit squad – including a forensic expert known for pioneering rapid and mobile autopsies – dispatched from Saudi Arabia. An American intelligence official described the operation as bearing the hallmarks of a “rendition.” Both Turkish and US officials have described video and audio recordings they say prove Khashoggi was brutally murdered in the Saudi consulate. The team is alleged to have cut the body into pieces using a bone saw before smuggling it out of the consulate.

In an attempt to diminish the political crisis, the Trump administration, in coordination with the Saudis, has been pushing the idea that the murder was a rogue operation to kidnap and interrogate Mr. Khashoggi. But US intelligence officials believe the Saudi crown prince, Mohammed bin Salman (MBS), must have ordered any operation involving an interrogation or murder inside the country’s consulate.

President Trump, who has received millions of dollars from Saudi sources for real estate sales and hotel rentals, has made some vague threats of punishment for the gruesome murder but has said he’s not interested in cutting off US arms transfers to Saudi Arabia. For years, the Kingdom has been the largest buyer of US weapons.

The day before Khashoggi’s alleged murder, the Pentagon announced a modification to a weapons contract worth over $69 million, which included Saudi Arabia as one of the clients. In the week prior to the alleged murder, the Pentagon announced over a hundred million dollars worth of weapons contracts with Saudi Arabia.

On September 27, the Pentagon announced $43 million worth of Saudi contracts to Raytheon; on September 26, it announced Saudi was part of a modification to a Honeywell contract worth $80 million; on September 25, a $58 million order was announced for the Royal Saudi Air Force F-15s; and on September 24, it announced Saudi was part of a $10 million contract for Universal Propulsion Co.

Despite the long-running weapons sales and US-Saudi partnership, the suspected murder of Mr. Khashoggi, a legal US resident and well connected, DC-based journalist, has caused a major uproar in Washington DC.

Senators Rand Paul and Chris Murphy have both renewed their calls for cutting of US arms transfers to Saudi Arabia. Senator Bernie Sanders has called for ending US support for Saudi Arabia’s war in Yemen, which has killed tens of thousands and pushed millions to the brink of starvation.

The Senate Foreign Relations Committee has demanded that Trump investigate the Saudi regime’s role in the incident through the Global Magnitsky Act, which could result in sanctions.

Senator Lindsay Graham has said “this MBS figure to me is toxic” and “He can never be a world leader on the world stage…. This guy has got to go.”

Khashoggi was a longtime insider in Saudi politics but had recently become critical of the Saudi crown prince.

According to the Washington Post, the US intelligence community was aware of a plot by the crown prince to lure Khashoggi back to Saudi Arabia where he would be arrested.

The Trump administration has claimed to have no prior knowledge of Saudi plot against Mr. Khashoggi. However, White House advisor Jared Kushner is known to be close to the Saudi crown prince.

Earlier this year it was reported that Kushner had handed over classified evidence that was used by the crown prince to imprison his political enemies. The crown prince has also reportedly bragged that Jared Kushner is “in his pocket.”

Despite the shocking nature of Mr. Khashoggi’s alleged murder, it would not have been the first time the Saudi regime has used a consulate or embassy to conduct an operation against a political enemy abroad.

According to recent reports, Saudi Arabia has used its embassies to intimidate critics. Some Saudis living abroad report receiving calls attempting to lure them into the Saudi embassy. Others report they are afraid to leave their homes for fear of being kidnapped. Some Saudis even refuse to visit Saudi embassies to renew their passports, which essentially leaves them stranded abroad.

Aides of outspoken Saudi Prince Sultan bin Turki said in 2016 that the prince was lured onto a royal private jet where he was drugged and flown to Saudi Arabia. The prince has not been seen in public since his kidnapping

Khaled bin Farhan al-Saud, a Saudi prince living in Germany claims that a little over a week before Mr. Khashoggi went missing, they asked his family to try to lure him to Cairo.

In previous years, there have been allegations of Saudi princes being abducted and flown back to Saudi Arabia where they have been imprisoned. According to Human Rights Watch, thousands of Saudis have been detained without trial in the country, with some imprisoned for over a decade.

In Saudi Arabia, the regime is using torture to “suppress all dissent and imprison human rights defenders,” according to the UN, which reports that “between 2009 and 2015 more than 3,000 allegations of torture were formally recorded.” The torture methods documented include “electric shocks, sleep deprivation, prolonged periods of solitary confinement, and beatings to the head, face, jaw, and feet.”

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Paul Gottinger is a staff reporter at RSN whose work focuses on the Middle East and the arms industry. He can be reached on Twitter @paulgottinger or via This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Reader Supported News is the Publication of Origin for this work. Permission to republish is freely granted with credit and a link back to Reader Supported News.

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Last Updated on Sunday, 21 October 2018 10:12
 

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+20 # suzyskier 2018-10-20 18:47
Mr Trump will never do anything noble, not as long as the money is flowing and probably not even then. Is there any actual history of him doing something because it was the honorable thing to do and no strings attached? Now once again he’s sided with murderers. This is not an honorable man, not a president to be proud of. What is wrong with the American people that go along with this, cheer him on, ignore his hateful rhetoric? Have you lost your souls? Can you not see how toxic this man is?
 
 
+3 # mavrant 2018-10-20 20:20
The majority of us can see how toxic he is. I just cannot believe he can go any lower, then he surprises me and does And brags about it.

Just vote, like your life, and that of the planet depends on it. Cause it really does.
 
 
0 # futhark 2018-10-21 09:37
Donald Trump appeared on video last March beside Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman boasting of the billions of dollars American arms manufacturers were taking in from sales to Saudi Arabia, without any consideration of the use of those weapons.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PTM6yEDc1DE

He justifies the potential loss of human life by citing the amount of money flowing into the United States. The Old Testament prophets would surely have condemned this as worship of Mammon. The New Testament comments even more explicitly in 1 Timothy 6:10 - "For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows."

My question for Evangelical Christian supporting Trump is - Why can't you recognize Antichrist when he so flagrantly,bold ly and persistently boasts his evil deeds, violates God commandments, and insults Christ in deed if not in word?
 
 
+6 # wrknight 2018-10-20 19:25
"An American intelligence official described the operation as bearing the hallmarks of a 'rendition.'”

We know lots about "rendition", don't we.
 
 
+4 # wrknight 2018-10-20 19:36
"On September 27, the Pentagon announced $43 million worth of Saudi contracts to Raytheon; on September 26, it announced Saudi was part of a modification to a Honeywell contract worth $80 million; on September 25, a $58 million order was announced for the Royal Saudi Air Force F-15s; and on September 24, it announced Saudi was part of a $10 million contract for Universal Propulsion Co."

God, it must be nice to be part of the Defense/Industr ial complex. We can't afford decent education for our kids, decent roads to travel on, or health care for our own people, but we can afford to build and sell death machines to our "friendly allies", deploy out military all over the world (except for Russia) and bomb the shit out of anyone who dares to oppose us.
 
 
+3 # Kootenay Coyote 2018-10-20 20:27
Back to the bad old mediaeval ‘top prince kills off the competition’ policies? & of course Pestilent Trump doesn’t object.
 
 
+4 # elkingo 2018-10-20 20:41
i" Have you lost your souls?" That's it Suzy. You got it right there. All but a few of we Americans are zombies, moronized and desensitized by capitalism. We walk right past each other in the street, like 2 submarines passing in the deep.
 
 
0 # draypoker 2018-10-21 13:09
What the Saudis are using these weapons for is the genocidal attacks on Yemen, which potentially can result in huge amounts of death on a scale we have previously seen in the activities of Germany in world war 2. Apparently MSB has no concept of how disgusting his policies are.
 
 
+1 # elkingo 2018-10-21 19:21
"Now once again he’s sided with murderers". Right Suzy, and he himself is a murderer. Those people, many of them children, in Yemen.