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Wed Oct 9, 2019, 10:48 PM

MBS & SHITLER's henchmen, the 7 who covered the KHASHOGGI assassination


Khashoggi’s Murder Should Have Made Saudi Arabia A Pariah. 7 Men Made Sure That Didn’t Happen.
Meet the key figures behind the scenes, from a journalist-turned-lobbyist to an evangelical writer, in the effort to preserve the kingdom’s image after the killing.

The Lobbyist: Brad Klapper, At Qorvis
On April 18, 2018, Brad Klapper ended a career of more than a decade in journalism and became a paid agent for the government of Saudi Arabia.
Klapper left his job as a national security editor at The Associated Press to become a senior vice president for media relations at the lobbying firm Qorvis, which the Saudis hired after 15 of their citizens helped to kill more than 3,000 people on Sept. 11, 2001. Within months, Klapper was helping the Saudis respond to their biggest public relations problem since the 9/11 attacks: the murder of a fellow journalist, Khashoggi. ....

The Banker: John Flint, Formerly At HSBC
.... The story about Saudi Arabia that the crown prince wants the world to focus on has little to do with human rights or journalists. It’s that the kingdom is trying, he would say successfully, to make its economy less reliant on selling oil and therefore better prepared for the future. This narrative is aimed at winning investment from the world’s wealthiest people ― and it relies heavily on institutions they trust. Chief among the Saudis’ allies in the world of global finance is HSBC, the British bank, and at the center of its support to the kingdom over the past year is a man named John Flint.

“HSBC has arguably become Saudi Arabia’s most important bank as the kingdom tries to turn the page on the killing of Mr. Khashoggi,” The Wall Street Journal reported in April. The story noted that the bank is Saudi Arabia’s biggest foreign investor in financial services and some of its form ....

The Evangelical: Joel Rosenberg, Author
On Sept. 10, MBS sat down with a nine-member Christian delegation that included Johnnie Moore of Trump’s evangelical advisory board and the U.S. government commission on religious freedom; Christian media executive Wayne Pederson; and former GOP gubernatorial candidate John Kenneth Blackwell. He had met with a similar group within the year. A large portion of the credit, it appeared, went to the headliner: Joel Rosenberg, a prolific author writing primarily for a Christian readership who runs an Israel-focused nonprofit called the Joshua Fund. ....

The Spin Doctor: Mohammed Khalid Alyahya, Editor-In-Chief Of Al Arabiya English
Media coverage of Saudi Arabia is a longtime fixation for MBS. It’s part of what he sought to gain control over in his infamous shakedown of Saudi elites at his capital’s Ritz Carlton hotel and it’s the issue his former aide Saud al-Qahtani, who the kingdom’s own prosecutors say was involved in plotting the Khashoggi killing, spent much of his time trying to influence. So as the Saudi leadership has sought to defuse international criticism, it’s invested in getting out its version of events and its arguments for why the world should forget Khashoggi or the question of punishment for Riyadh. ....

The Consultant: Horacio Rozanski, President And CEO Of Booz Allen Hamilton
MBS’s talk of redrawing the Saudi economy is a siren song for the bevy of large companies that claim expertise in just that kind of ambitious overhaul. Consulting firms have gained unprecedented power in Saudi Arabia since his rise to power. The most overlooked of them is the one with the most pull in Washington: Booz Allen Hamilton, the giant firm that’s known as one of the biggest contractors for the U.S. government and a key force in national security. ....

The Ally: Xi Jinping, President Of China
Less than six months after the Khashoggi killing, MBS played at being a global statesman with a trip through Pakistan, India and ultimately China. It was a signal that he still had friends ― and none of those pals matter quite as much as President Xi Jinping. By securing a warm and very public Chinese reception, the Saudi prince triggered the anxieties of officials in America and its allies who have historically been worried about losing partners like Saudi Arabia to U.S. competitors like China and Russia. At the same time, he underscored to important friends in the business world that he could withstand Western pressure should it come, reminding them that it’s Beijing, not Washington, that is the biggest source of Saudi income. ....

The Politician: Mitch McConnell, Senator From Kentucky
.... The hurdle was, and remains, the GOP-controlled Senate. There, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (Ky.) has historically been friendly to the kingdom and hawkish toward its nemesis Iran. He has the added consideration of Trump, who’s been clear that he is interested in neither downgrading American ties with MBS nor considering legislation that could (as has already been the case four times) force him into embarrassing vetoes on behalf of an unpopular foreign country. ....


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