The sudden disappearance of Jamal Khashoggi has cast a shadow over what's been billed as the “blueprint for the 20th century.”
The three-day Future Investment Initiative (FII) in Saudi Arabia called "Davos in the Desert" is set for October 23-25 in Riyadh. This is the annual event is "intended to showcase Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s (MbS) modernization plan for the desert kingdom" and it attracts Big Business and highly placed government officials from around the world.
The "gathering is co-hosted by the kingdom’s massive sovereign wealth fund, the Public Investment Fund, and the crown prince"
It is also "cosponsored by corporate giants like HSBC, Mastercard, and Uber"
To put it's importance to Big Business in perspective, "Uber got a $3.5 billion investment from the PIF two years ago"
That is a massive investment in one company which turned Uber around and made it into a major player on the world stage. And that would explain why "(o)ver 3,800 people have registered to come and nearly 200 speakers are expected"
Much has been written as of late about businesses and government officials pulling out of the conference but that's not exactly accurate. The list of those who have confirmed their cancellation is small as one might expect when so much money is there for the taking.
As of Oct. 13th, here is a list of the only ones who have officially stated they will not attend:
- Viacom Inc. Chief Executive Officer
- Uber Technologies Inc. CEO
- Venture capitalist Steve Case
- Los Angeles Times owner
- HP Inc. executive
- Andy Rubin
- Rodger Novak
" Siemens’ head of financial media relations, Philipp Encz, said that for now there are no changes to Kaeser’s plans, but the company is “following the situation closely.”..
Speakers booked include JPMorgan Chase & Co. CEO Jamie Dimon. The U.S. bank declined to comment on whether Dimon still plans to attend...
... U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and International Monetary Fund Director Christine Lagarde told reporters in Bali, Indonesia, on Saturday they still plan to attend. So too does Moelis & Co.’s Ken Moelis, a representative for the boutique investment bank said.Others who are still attending as of today's date:
“Horrifying things have been reported, and I am horrified. But I have to conduct the business of the IMF in all corners of the world,” Lagarde said in Bali, where the annual IMF meetings are taking place." Oct. 13, 2018 Bloomberg
- General David Petraeus, former CIA director, is now chairman of investment firm KKR, and is a scheduled speaker.
- Steve Schwarzman, Blackstone CEO, is also scheduled to speak.
- Larry Fink, Blackrock CEO, was a scheduled speaker, no changes have been announced.
Everyone profits on a good business deal... unless:
"A bipartisan group of more than 20 senators is asking the Trump administration to investigate the disappearance and possible killing of a prominent Saudi Arabian journalist, a move that could lead to sanctions against top Saudi officials.Warmonger neocon Sen. Lindsey Graham has had a lot too say about this.
Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Bob Corker and ranking Democrat Bob Menendez triggered the probe Wednesday evening under the Global Magnitsky Human Rights Accountability Act.
The law requires the president “to determine whether a foreign person is responsible for an extrajudicial killing, torture, or other gross violation of internationally recognized human rights,” the senators wrote in a letter to President Donald Trump." Oct. 11, 2018 Daily Caller
Were the U.S. to issue sanctions against Saudi Arabia, MbS and various Saudi investment vehicles, guess what happens to all those deals cut next week between global western businesses and The Kingdom?
They aren't worth the paper they are printed on.
Which basically threatens makes this investment orgy in the desert about as useful as tits on a bull.
As I covered yesterday, Saudi Arabia was supposed to buy 15 billion dollars worth of useless THAAD missile defense systems from Lockheed Martin by Sept. 30, 2018.
Not only did they not make that purchase, but in fact, they seem to be talking to the Russians about buying their superior S-400 system instead. It is cheaper and it actually works.
Sen. Lindsey Graham's biggest campaign contributor from 2013 to 2018 just happens to be... Lockheed Martin.
Why has this one journalist's disappearance received so much attention when the other 15 Saudi journalists who went missing in the past year received none?
"At least 15 Saudi journalists and bloggers have been arrested over the past year, Reporters Without Borders (RSF) said on Wednesday, following the disappearance of Saudi columnist Jamal Khashoggi.The 15 number is probably very low as it doesn't include Saudi journalists who were critical of real issues surround the Royal Family and their foreign/domestic policies who were disappeared outside the kingdom.
"In most cases, their arrests have never been officially confirmed and no official has ever said where they are being held or what they are charged with," RSF, which defends press freedom around the world, said in a statement.
Cases included that of Saleh al-Shihi, a journalist whose arrest was only confirmed in February when his family learned he had been sentenced to five years in prison, RSF said." Oct. 10, 2018 NDTV
Like Jamal Khashoggi.
Why all this interest in this man? Why the sudden rush to convict the Saudis in the court of public opinion and put all this pressure on them when in fact the ONLY evidence we have been presented with is a blurry, short video from a CCTV camera of a man walking into the Saudi embassy?
Does that look like proof of life to you? Would you pay a ransom based on that image alone? I wouldn't.
Donald Trump when asked about this situation the other day immediately started talking about our business deals with the Saudis. It was as if these two things (missing journalist and U.S. Saudi business deals) were related somehow.
"I don't like it. I don't like it with respect to reporters its a terrible terrible precedent... I would say our relationship is excellent. I told them they have to pay for the military. Saudi Arabia is a very rich country and for years and years there would be no Saudi Arabia if it weren't for the United States because we protected them and we don't get paid for this protection. We should be paid. We spend billions and billions of dollars protecting them... and I told the king I said "King... you gotta pay" Real NewsWhen asked how the relationship is right now with the Saudi ruling dictators, the president, oddly enough, started ranting about how he told the Saudi king he would have to "pay"
Pay whom I wonder.
Lockheed Martin? 15 billion bucks?
Seems understandable to me.
This sounds more and more like a shake-down every time I look more into it.
Remember yesterday when they came out and said they have an audio recording of Jamal Khashoggi's abduction, torture and murder?
I did a video in which I pointed out how very unlikely that is because of a number of reasons not the least of which being the logistics of getting such a recording.
Well, the cobblists of propaganda apparently picked up on the internet's skeptics' questioning of that aspect of the official story and the hammered out an even more stupid version of the story than the first.
It was his Apple watch.
"Missing Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi may have recorded his own death, a Turkish newspaper reported Saturday morning.According to the new official report, Jamal sensed something wrong with this meeting to sign paperwork (which apparently they can't fax to each other) at the embassy so he left his cell phone with his wife (rather than taking a lawyer with him or arranging to meet somewhere else) and then turned on the recording app on his Apple watch JUST IN CASE he got abducted, tortured and murdered. ? ?
Khashoggi turned on the recording function of his Apple Watch before walking into the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on October 2, according to Sabah newspaper.The moments of his "interrogation, torture and killing were audio recorded and sent to both his phone and to iCloud," the pro-government, privately owned newspaper paper reported. The Turkish newspaper said conversations of the men involved in the reported assassination were recorded.Security forces leading the investigation found the audio file inside the phone Khashoggi left with his fiancé, according to Sabah." Oct. 13, 2018 CNN
As dumb as I am I think I could have come up with a better failsafe than that.
But the story gets even dumber:
"Upon noticing the watch, Sabah reports, Khashoggi's assailants tried to unlock the Apple Watch with multiple password attempts, ultimately using Khashoggi's fingerprint to unlock the smart watch. They were successful in deleting only some of the files, Sabah reported.
However, on its website, Apple does not list fingerprint verification as one of the Apple Watch's capabilities. A representative from the company confirmed to CNN the watches do not have the feature.
It was not immediately clear whether it would have been technically feasible for Khashoggi's Apple Watch to transfer audio to his phone, which he had given to his fiancée before entering the consulate.
CNN has every reason to know that the story about the Apple watch is total bullshit and yet... in the title of the piece I am quoting, they say it "may" have actually happened. And you have to go six paragraphs deep into the article to find the truth about what they actually know. That it simply isn't possible or likely Jamal walked into a set-up, knowing it was a set-up, armed only with his Apple watch.CNN cannot independently verify the Sabah report and is seeking comment from both Saudi and Turkish officials.CNN intelligence and security analyst Robert Baer cast doubt on the claim, saying it was too far for a Bluetooth connection and that Khashoggi was unlikely to have anticipated transmitting a recording in advance. "I think what's happened, clearly, is the Turks have the Saudi consulate wired, they have transmitters," he told CNN's Anderson Cooper." Oct. 13, 2018 CNN
Robert Baer knows as well as I do that even IF the Turks had the Saudi embassy wired for sound, that wouldn't explain the continuity of the recording OR the fact that they decided for no real reason to expose the fact that they bugged embassies in their country. Imagine the damage that knowledge would do to allies and friends across the globe who also have embassies in Istanbul.
Any responsible evaluation of the missing Jamal Khashoggi and the Lockheed Martin Sept. 30th deadline deal would be significantly incomplete without mentioning Jamal's billionaire arms dealer uncle, Adnan Khashoggi.
Adnan was at one time good friends with George H. W. Bush and was heavily involved in the Iran-Contra affair.
He was considered the world's wealthiest man at one time and he got that way dealing arms across the globe but mainly for his home nation, Saudi Arabia.
This is how Jamal was close to the Saudi Royal family before leaving the country. His connections to his wealthy weapons-dealing uncle.
Who else was close to Adnan Khashoggi? Lockheed Martin, the Bush crime family and ... Donald Trump.
"Between 1970 and 1975, Lockheed paid Saudi Arms dealer Adnan Khashoggi $106 million in commissions. His commissions started at 2.5% + and eventually rose to as much as 15%. Khashoggi "became for all practical purposes a marketing arm of Lockheed. Adnan would provide not only an entree but strategy, constant advice, and analysis," according to Max Helzel, then vice president of Lockheed's international marketing.
... Among his overseas clients were defense contractors Lockheed Corporation (now Lockheed Martin Corporation), Raytheon, Grumman Aircraft Engineering Corporation and Northrop Corporation (the last two of which have now merged into Northrop Grumman).
... Khashoggi was implicated in the Iran–Contra affair as a key middleman in the arms-for-hostages exchange along with Iranian arms dealer Manucher Ghorbanifar and, in a complex series of events, was found to have borrowed money for these arms purchases from the Bank of Credit and Commerce International (BCCI) with Saudi and United States backing
... The rumors started during the Iran-contra scandal, and the Saudi arms dealer once touted as the richest man in the world had to resort to such inconvenient economies as selling his famous yacht to Donald Trump.
Jamal had two other famous connections to power. His grandfather was Mohammed Khaled Khashoggi, King Abdulaziz Al Saud's personal doctor and his cousin is Dodi Fayed, who became famous for his relationship with the U.K.'s Princess Diana.
Small world ain't it?
Remarkable that the Saudis thought they could get away with whacking out such a well connected "journalist" right?
Perhaps the faked audio recording and the blurry images are enough to make you think there's nothing wrong with this story.
Perhaps you can ignore the president demanding the king "pay up" and the missed deadline and the history of the Khashoggi family serving the interests of Lockheed Martin and our out of control MIC.
Perhaps you can ignore the timing of it all and the overt threats to undermine the deals being struck next week at the Davos in the Desert event if the Saudis don't "pay up"
Perhaps you can ignore all the other missing journalists that CNN, Washington Post, New York Times and Linsey Graham don't seem to give to rats' asses about.
Perhaps you can ignore the shear stupidity of a guy walking into an embassy knowing, feeling he may be walking into a trap just to sign some papers that could easily be faxed to him.
Perhaps you can.
And if you can, you're just the kind of citizen folks like Trump, CNN and Lockheed Martin appreciate.
Me? Not so much.
Whether or not Jamal is gone or whether he will pop back up after the Saudis buy themselves 15 billion dollars worth of junk from Lockheed Martin with a book/movie deal ready and waiting... it really doesn't matter.
This is obviously a shakedown and if more independent journalists weren't already terrified of doing real reporting, it would be all over the internet like the exposing of the fake WMDs in Iraq stories were.
Just kinda makes you wonder just how stupid and thoughtless the propaganda will be that's spoon-fed to our children and then theirs'.
Because when you take just a little time to feel it out, this shake-down is beyond obvious.