The NY Times today published a blockbuster story about collusion between Jared Kushner and the Saudi crown prince, Mohammed bin Salman, to silence the scandal surrounding the savage murder of Saudi dissident journalist, Jamal Khashoggi.
Times reporters received previously unknown secret documents from inside the Saudi regime, which revealed its engagement with the Trump administration. This material, mainly in the form of a slideshow, revealed the Saudi assessment of Kushner as an inexperienced, shallow, ill-informed individual who, if cultivated properly, could be molded into a major asset of the Sunni regime.
He stupidly admitted to Saudis themselves during private talks that he knew nothing about Saudi Arabia and its historical relationship with the U.S. Though this subject doesn’t appear in the Time article, Kushner also knows next to nothing about the Palestinians, as many have pointed out. Yet in his hubris, he purports to advance a peace plan he somehow believes that both side will embrace.
But there is one party which Kushner knows, and knows well: Israel. In fact, during his visits to the U.S. several decades ago, Bibi Netanyahu used to sleep in young Jared’s bed in the Kushner home. So Jared knows precisely what Bibi wants him to know. He is Israel’s made-man. And now Saudi Arabia’s.
MBS proceeded with a carefully constructed plan to cultivate Kushner. After Trump was elected, the former sent senior officials to open a channel to the president via the son-in-law, who was viewed as a
trusted confidant, and thus a key to access. Nor did Kushner disappoint. He lobbied hard inside the administration to support MBS’ hopeless war in Yemen. He succeeded in cancelling the Iran nuclear agreement against the advice of senior officials like Secretary of State Tillerson and Defense Secretary Mattis.
In return, Kushner brought home the bacon: the Saudis pledged to buy hundreds of billions in U.S. military hardware. They pledged to bring the Palestinians to heel so that the president’s Golden Boy could realize his dream of sealing a peace deal between them and the Israelis.
Kushner and White House Lied About Extent of Secret Saudi Contacts
Despite assurances from the White House that Kushner’s direct contacts with MBS were both limited, and vetted through proper channels, including the National Security Council, Kushner maintained regular, informal communications with the Saudi de facto ruler.
When the Saudi hit team murdered Khashoggi, Kushner was on the phone within days outlining a plan which would satisfy the White House and the rest of the world that the regime had nothing to worry about. This is an extremely important matter since, in effect, one of the president’s closest advisors was not just suggesting ideas, but helping direct a Saudi cover up of a major crime.
In effect, MBS and his entourage are a Middle Eastern crime family. They eliminate dissenters at will. They extort hundreds of billions from the richest and most powerful figures in the country. They flaunt their own wealthy hypocritically by spending more hundreds of billions in Old Master paintings whose authenticity isn’t even guaranteed.
A Tale of Two Crime Families
Kushner too represents another sort of crime family. An American real estate family whose wealth was earned by doing business with world-class thieves needing to launder their billions by investing in U.S. real estate. Both he and his father in law knew their buyers were dirty. They not only didn’t care, they welcomed funds that were looted from the treasuries of multiple foreign states.
Then the American people promoted Trump and Kushner to the highest office in the land. From there they could take their con to a whole new level. Instead of remaining satisfied with plying their trade in New York real estate, they could now expand their ambitions to the entire world: negotiate deals not just with rich individuals, but with entire governments. They took the art of hondeling on real estate deals to a whole new level.
Right now, no one knows precisely where this will lead. OF course, many of us where we would like it to lead. But impeachment or resignation is many steps down the line and many ducks will have to be lined up in a row for it to happen.
Who Hacked the Saudi Documents?
The Times noted twice in its article that the slideshow prepared by Saudi officials detailing their involvement with Kushner came from the Lebanese newspaper, Al Ahkbar. It is affiliated with Hezbollah. The Lebanese Islamist group is closely allied with Iran. Which immediately raises the prospect that much of the material in the Times’ report was not only hacked from Saudi government computers, but that the party which hacked them was Iranian intelligence.
There is a bitter irony here: MBS and his henchmen, according to recent Times reporting, bought the malware of the world’s leading cyber-hacking companies. They spent tens of millions buying Pegasus, a product of Israel’s NSO Group, which “broke” the phones of the prince’s leading opponents. This permitted him to know everything they did; what they wrote; who they ‘conspired’ with; what they said. The spyware successfully targeted the phone of one of Khashoggi’s closest collaborators, and no doubt was used to track the former’s whereabouts and trap him in the net that led to his death.
But apparently, the Saudis were far less careful protecting their own secrets. The Iranians or some other rival broke into their most secret government computer systems and stole critical documents which implicated both the Saudis and the Americans in a blatant, cold-blooded cover-up of murder.
Oh the irony of the criminals being hoisted on their own petard!
There is also the possibility that agents of Qatar might have been involved. But the latest indications are that MBS, in his current distress, is seeking to mend fences with the Qataris. Therefore, it’s less likely they would drop this bombshell in American media.
Iran knows it is in the crosshairs both of the Saudis and high level officials in the Trump administration like John Bolton and Mike Pompeo, who’s aggressively lobbied for a regime change approach. It is in the Iranian interest to weaken both MBS and the Trump administration. It knows that if Trump falls, it will be more likely a Democrat will win the White House in 2020. That offers a far more pragmatic approach to U.S.-Iran policy than the current one.