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17 April 2016

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Martin Oline

A blatant attempt to blackmail our cowardly and supine congress. I wonder if the approval rating would sore with the passage of this bill?

Cvillereader

Yes, what could happen? Is our economy so fragile that It can't withstand Saudi threats?

doug

Any doubts about how different things would have been if the 9/11 attackers had been out of Russia rather than our good allies, the KSA?

As it was it was sold to the American public as an Iraq linked conspiracy.

And what two large countries were the most "Western" at the time. Iraq and Syria. Look at them now. What a spectacular mess.

Dancing with the Devil in the pale moonlight.

Amir

When the have lost "respect" (in gangster sense of the language), what will the Saudis do next? No country would allow such blatant interference in it's judicial system. Al Saud's relationship to US is a mirror image of Sultan Erdowie/Erdowo/Erdogan to Germany. The former wants to prevent a law suit and the latter wants to sue a journalist. Where is Obama going to draw the line?

mbrenner

This is but the latest evidence of how Washington has allowed itself to be denatured by the Saudis (and their Gulf allies). The implications of kow-towing to the Saudis over the past years on their promotion of hostile salafist Islam, and tangible backing for Islamist groups in Syria most recently, should have been obvious to anyone with any sense of the parties involved and of human nature. Instead, we encouraged them even further by holding their hands as they went over the cliff in Yemen - a dcision that surely will be recorded as one of the most inexcusable acts of pure stupidity in diplomatic history. It should be noted that Obama et al have been behaving in the same manner with Erdogan - with even less reason since Turkey has no oil, no tacit Israeli alliance, and no special friends in Washington.

The infection seems to be spreading, as witness the EU (led by Germany) in allowing themselves to be blackmailed by Turkey to the tune of $6 billion and Erdogan now coercing Merkel to prosecute that comedian who satirized The Caliphe. This despite the tremendous economic leverage that the EU has over Turkey. Just as we refrain from using the tremendous security leverage we have over the KSA and its escort of minnows.

oofda

Both Clinton and Sanders are opposing Obama on the legislation. Stay tuned. Even Mike Lupica, normally a sports writer, is writing editorials imploring Obama to not veto the legislation.


http://www.nydailynews.com/news/world/ex-sen-graham-calls-saudi-arabia-threat-u-s-revealing-article-1.2604613

Ghost ship

It's not blackmail but prudential financial activity. If you knew that the US government was about to nationalize the banks and all the deposits held by them, would you leave your money on deposit? Nah, you'd withdraw it and buy some mattresses. So, why should the Saudis leave their money where it is subject to the whim of American courts.

The Twisted Genius

Ghost ship,

You're part right about it being a prudent financial move, but I doubt the losses associated with potential lawsuits would exceed the losses from selling off all their U.S. based assets prematurely. The real fear is that the truth may come out. That would throw our present chummy relationship into a tizzy.

FB Ali

As I have often said on this website (and elsewhere), I despise the Saudis, and especially their present rulers. But on this issue, I believe (with b at Moon of Alabama) that they are right, and the US Congress wrong.

See http://tinyurl.com/ztmylcm

Ghost ship

It's not that European leaders are being blackmailed by Turkey, it's more that as vassals of the United States, they're terrified that they will be the target of a "colour revolution" if they stand up to the borg.
Just look at what happened in Ukraine and what is currently happening in Macedonia (FYROM) with the US ambassador threatening Macedonian membership of the EU. Since when has the United States been part of the EU?.

MRW

Bogus threat. What are they going to do? Sell off their treasury securities?

Big whoop. So the Saudi Arabian government moves their oil profits from their savings account (treasury securities) to their checking account at the Fed. This is a threat?

[Think of a treasury security like a federal government CD, a Federal Reserve CD. Because that’s all it is. People with more than $250,000 in a commercial bank account--the FDIC limit for protection on one account--buy US treasury securities to protect their money against bank failures, no risk. Why treasury securities are the safest financial instruments in the world. Guaranteed by "the full faith and credit" of the USG.]

Unless the young guy running Saudi Arabia right now is a complete economic/financial putz, something else is going on. The young Pretender to the Throne bragged a few weeks ago that he can drum up $1-2T’s worth of dough starting with a sale (IPO?) of SA’s Texas-based Aramco shares. This ain’t gonna’ produce any confidence in investors’ hearts. Something else is going on. Did Saudi Arabia collude with Israel on 9/11? On the Fox News series that Abe Foxman got wiped from the Fox website one week after it aired in December, 2001, Carl Cameron reported, “A highly placed investigator ... flatly refused to describe them [details], saying, "evidence linking these Israelis to 9-11 is classified. I cannot tell you about evidence that has been gathered. It's classified information."
Video: http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article7545.htm

Somebody somewhere is gulping. Something else is going on.

MRW

If the US is once again violating the legal international agreements it made when it established itself as the reserve currency, then who can blame Saudi Arabia for removing its dough?

All this activity is doing is hastening the end of reserve currency status for the US.

MRW

I also agree that the US Congress is wrong is the situation is as b reports.

Ulenspiegel

"The infection seems to be spreading, as witness the EU (led by Germany) in allowing themselves to be blackmailed by Turkey to the tune of $6 billion"

To a certain extend correct. OTOH you miss some nuances of the affair, e.g. where the money comes from and who expected to get it before.

"... and Erdogan now coercing Merkel to prosecute that comedian who satirized The Caliphe."

That is not correct. Erdokan uses an opportunity that the German law offers. It is NOT Merkel's job to prevent this. That is exactly the difference between a functioning state and a Bananenrepublik.

BTW: Böhmermann is usually quite clever, he should have handled Erdokan in a more intelligent way as he actually did, e.g. by creating an character that looks like Erdokan, behaves like Erdokan but works as janitor in a German governmental office building, with all nice opportunities to attack and insult Erdocan.

Felipe

This is yet another chapter in the obfuscation game which is run by the real perpetrators to hide their hand. (Christopher Bollyn has done the best work on this.) I'm not sure the long term benefit of tossing the Saudis under the bus; such accessories tend to squeal. And why now? Something else is going on.

LeaNder

"sue a journalist"

Amir, the funny part is that Jan Böhmermann is no journalist, but a satirists.

The story has a background. Tayyip already complained against an earlier mock attack, leading to the German ambassador to Turkey being summoned.

Now let him sue under both paragraphs his Munich based lawyer intends to*. The problem is, that Jan Böhmermann followed up on the above event that had no real consequences with a "satiric lecture" on what according to German law would be an insult, and thus could be punished. In other words he framed the insults, showing: look people, this I couldn't do.

* one of those insults of foreign leaders may be abolished as a result. But let's see. I have no idea about its legal history, but I can check.

This might cause his lawyer some problems.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/B%C3%B6hmermann_affair#Background

*******

personally I do not think that was Böhmermann at his best. But the framing was at least a well articulated distancing. My suspicion though is that he took events in Turkey too much to heart. Somewhat expressing his anger??? By the way, just as Tayyip's lawyer over here intends to take the case up through the different courts, not sure if up to the European, the TV channel Böhmermann works for will support him all the way up there.

*******
I have to admit that I somewhat liked V for Varoufakis and the follow up but apparently humor isn't received well enough.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Afl9WFGJE0M

followed up by, unfortunately only German subtitles like this one:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vx-1LQu6mAE&nohtml5=False

English Wikipedia:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jan_B%C3%B6hmermann#Controversies

Careful, Germans on the rise, once again. Another Böhmermann production:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jan_B%C3%B6hmermann#Controversies

LondonBob

The habit of US courts claiming jurisdiction over the entire rest of the world, the fines imposed on BNP and Standard Chartered over dealings with Iran, is a dangerous one. There is, and will continue to be push back against this. Mixing up the flawed investigation and reaction to 9/11 to this proposed (bad) law is a mistake.

There will always be buyers of an asset at the right price but the issue is that US assets will increasingly incur a risk premium and the end of the era of the USD as the world's reserve currency will be accelerated.

Dubhaltach

Not the first time they've shoved their oar in either, do you remember the campaign mounted by Bush and Powell to pressure the EU into favouring Turkish accession?

Dubhaltach

Like Brigadier Ali I hate to say it but for once Saudi Barbaria are right.

TTG as a matter of interest would you support the citizens of a country that was illegally invaded on the basis of a pack of lies* and comprehensively dismantled and left prey to the Iranians on one side and fundamentalist Sunni terrorists on the other having recourse to similar legislation and litigation remedies in the US courts? How much, for example, of DynCorp's or KBR's assets should be held in escrow pending settlement?

*Lies such as oh ... for example the American Secretary of State waving a test tube at the UN assembly and pretending it was evidence of weapons of mass destruction. Or the "sexed up" dossier produced by the British government. Or the equally half-assed pack of lies produced for local consumption by the government of my own country, Denmark.

Patrick Bahzad

Ghost Ship,

European leaders are "vassals of the US", is that right ? And they're terrified of being the target of "colour revolutions", presumably inspired by the same US ?
I think it is time you stop reading poor fiction, or worse, watching bad TV series and movies ...

Patrick Bahzad

I truly hope members of Congress still have enough decency, pride and dignity to vote this bill and send the Saudi petro-oligarchs packing !

inf

You got it wrong. Actually it was the threat in the other direction that made Saudis say that - if the US declare them as terrorists supporters, their assets would be frozen instantly. So of course they will move them in such a case.

cynic

After failing to bully the Yemenis, now they are seeking an easier target!

cynic

Will Israel ever be sued? Not only for 9/11 but for all the other crimes whose perpetrators fled to Israel, or Israeli dual citizens pardoned by US Presidents.

Seamus Padraig

I am no fan of KSA's rancid little monarchy, but I'm afraid I'm going to have to strike a contrarian tone here. I think this whole situation reflects even more poorly on congress than on the Saudis, owing to congress' seeming inconsistency in this matter. After all, just a mere 6 months ago, while Obama was still putting the finishing touches on his Iran deal, how many of these congress critters were whining about how he was getting ready to 'throw Saudi Arabia under the buss'? And now, supposedly on account of an old report they've been sitting on for TWELVE LONG YEARS, they themsleves suddenly want to throw Riyadh under the bus? Why? What is really going on here? Why now? Call me a conspiracy theorist if you will, but personally I smell a rat.

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