Brian Stelter’s Reliable Sources email thingie:
The Saudi Foreign Ministry released this striking photo on Tuesday of Saudi King Salman shaking hands with Salah bin Jamal Khashoggi, the eldest son of Jamal Khashoggi — and the reaction was swift on social media. Saudi women’s rights activist Manal al-Sharif tweeted, “The look on his face. This photo makes me want to scream and throw up.” Yashar added on Twitter, “Today, #JamalKhashoggi’s son Salah was forced to give the Crown Prince a photo op at the Royal Court. Look at his face. It’s important to note that Salah has been banned for over a year from leaving the Kingdom, he has not been able to mourn with his siblings who are US citizens.”
Secretary of State Michael R. Pompeo says that the U.S. will
slap the wrists revoke the visas of the men implicated in the killing of the dissident Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi (“Bring me the head of Willie, the mail room clerk!”), but he says NOTHING about Crown Prince Bone Saw, and Prznint Stupid called it “the worst cover-up ever” by the Saudis:
“They had a very bad original concept. It was carried out poorly and the cover-up was one of the worst cover-ups in the history of cover-ups. Very simple. Bad deal, should have never been thought of. Somebody really messed up.”
But, you know, Crown Prince Bone Saw is a very fine person! Referring to the planned torture and execution of a WaPo journalist by 15 guys with a bone saw and removal of the remains in several waterproof diplomatic pouches, and a decoy body-double as a bad original concept is the kind of Trumpian missing-the-point statement on Steroids. And I’m still sure that Comrade Trump has a list of journalists that he would love to give Crown Prince Bone Saw, you know, if the mood should happen to strike again.
Reliable Sources, again:
Retired Gen. Stanley McChrystal spoke to Anderson Cooper on Tuesday about the situation with Saudi Arabia. McChrystal’s primary message: “We have got to keep our moral credibility in the world.” McChrystal noted that the United States will have to work with Saudi Arabia on various geopolitical issues, but said the murder of Khashoggi is “entirely unacceptable” and that the United States must “have a moral compass that’s legitimate in the world or we’re going to pay a big price elsewhere.”
The U.S., Saudi and Turkish officials are still looking for a way out. And just as a reminder:
- There is no $110-billion arms deal with Saudi Arabia.
- Our arms trade with Saudi Arabia does not, and will not, generate anywhere close to one million jobs.
And oddly, this brings us to Davos in the Desert (True incidental story: yesterday I saw a PR alert from the World Economic Forum reminding people that Davos is not the name of the conference and that calling it that dilutes their brand. So out-of-touch plutocrats are out of touch.)
“Bankers kept their name tags obscured behind ties. Many tried to keep a low profile and avoided talking to the news media. But those hoping to escape any tarnish from attending Saudi Arabia’s global investment conference in the wake of a dissident journalist’s killing were foiled when the crown prince himself, Mohammed bin Salman, appeared at the summit meeting and received a standing ovation. …
“‘I’m not doing any media,’ said Ken Moelis, the founder and chief executive of Moelis & Company, an investment bank. ‘It’ll have to be ‘no comment.’”
And I will note, dryly, that Eric Cantor is the vice chairman and managing director of Moelis & Co, and the former Republican Majority Leader. Funny old world.
* See what I did there?