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Worst Joke Ever? U.S. Spy Chief Gives Saudi Prince Highest Award for “Fighting Terrorism”
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On Friday, the Director of the CIA, Mike Pompeo, used his first trip abroad to present Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Nayef with the CIA’s highest award for fighting terrorism, the George Tenet Medal. Although the ceremony wasn’t covered by any of the major media, it was picked up on various blogsites where the news was greeted with predictable howls of outrage. Not surprisingly, most American’s still see Saudi Arabia as the epicenter of global terrorism, a point which was underlined in a recent article at The Atlantic titled “Where America’s Terrorists Actually Come From”. Here’s an excerpt:

“….after sifting through databases, media reports, court documents, and other sources, Alex Nowrasteh, an immigration expert at the libertarian Cato Institute, has arrived at a striking finding: Nationals of the seven countries singled out by Trump have killed zero people in terrorist attacks on U.S. soil between 1975 and 2015.

Zero….

Nowrasteh has listed foreign-born individuals who committed or were convicted of attempting to commit a terrorist attack on U.S. soil by their country of origin and the number of people they killed. … the countries at the top of the list, including Saudi Arabia and Egypt, are not included in Trump’s ban…

The 9/11 attacks were carried out by 19 men—from Saudi Arabia (15), the United Arab Emirates (2), Egypt (1), and Lebanon (1). The incident remains influential in how Americans think about the nature of terrorism.” (“Where America’s Terrorists Actually Come From“, The Atlantic)

While it’s true that 9-11 has shaped the way that Americans think about terrorism, it’s also true that most people are unaware of the deeper operational relationship between the CIA and the Saudis that dates back to the funding of the Mujahidin in Afghanistan in the 1970’s. This is where bin Laden and al Qaida first burst onto the scene, which is to say, that the sketchy CIA-Saudi connection created the seedbed for the War on Terror. Unfortunately, even now– 16 years after the attacks of 9-11– the relationship between the notorious intel agency and its Middle East allies remains as foggy as ever. As a result, the Saudis are typically fingered as the main source of the problem while the CIA’s role is conveniently swept under the rug. For example, take a look at this clip from an article in the Independent:

“Saudi Arabia is the single biggest contributor to the funding of Islamic extremism and is unwilling to cut off the money supply, according to a leaked note from Hillary Clinton.

The US Secretary of State says in a secret memorandum that donors in the kingdom still “constitute the most significant source of funding to Sunni terrorist groups worldwide” and that “it has been an ongoing challenge to persuade Saudi officials to treat terrorist financing emanating from Saudi Arabia as a strategic priority”…..

Saudi Arabia is accused, along with Qatar, Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates, of failing to prevent some of its richest citizens financing the insurgency against Nato troops in Afghanistan. Fund-raisers from the Taliban regularly travel to UAE to take advantage of its weak borders and financial regulation to launder money.

However, it is Saudi Arabia that receives the harshest assessment. The country from which Osama bin Laden and most of the 9/11 terrorists originated, according to Mrs Clinton, “a critical financial support base for al-Qa’ida, the Taliban, Lashkar-e-Toiba and other terrorist groups, including Hamas, which probably raise millions of dollars annually from Saudi sources, often during the Haj and Ramadan”.

(“Saudi Arabia is ‘biggest funder of terrorists“, Independent)

Then there’s this gem from ex-Vice President Joe Biden:

“Biden said that “our biggest problem is our allies” who are engaged in a proxy Sunni-Shiite war against Syrian President Bashar Assad. He specifically named Turkey, Saudi Arabia and the UAE.

“What did they do? They poured hundreds of millions of dollars and thousands of tons of weapons into anyone who would fight against Assad – except that the people who were being supplied were (Jabhat) Al-Nusra and al-Qaeda and the extremist elements of jihadis coming from other parts of the world,” Mr Biden said.” (“Joe Biden forced to apologize to UAE and Turkey over Syria remarks“, Telegraph)

The evidence against Saudi Arabia is overwhelming and damning, and that’s what makes Pompeo’s performance in Riyadh so confusing. Why is the head of the CIA bestowing an award on a man who could undoubtedly identify some of the world’s biggest terrorist donors, unless, of course, the CIA derives some benefit from the arrangement?

Is that it? Is there is a quid pro quo between Washington and the Saudis that no one knows about but from which Washington reaps tangible geopolitical benefits?

It’s certainly within the realm of possibility.

Is it too far-fetched to think that the Saudis are actually a franchise that acts as Langley’s primary subcontractor carrying out operations deemed too sensitive for its own agents while obscuring the Company’s role behind a cloak of plausible deniability? Isn’t that what Friday’s freakishly Orwellian awards ceremony really suggests, that the skullduggery is much darker, deeper and more complicated than anyone would care to imagine?

Washington’s support for the Mujahidin helped to push the Soviets out of Afghanistan which is why the Brzezinski crowd thought it was a success story. If that’s the case, then isn’t it logical to assume that subsequent administrations might have used the same model elsewhere, like Kosovo, Somalia, Sudan, Libya, Iraq, Syria, and Afghanistan?

Isn’t it at least worth investigating?

And, another thing: Is it possible to uncover the root of terror by capturing and interrogating individual terrorists to find out what they know?

ORDER IT NOW

No, it’s not possible, because the individual cogs have never revealed the source of the funding-streams which originate from within the deep state. Every effort has been made to distance the authors from their illicit handiwork, to remove the tracks and erase the fingerprints. Once again, it’s all about plausible deniability and preventing the public from identifying the real perpetrators. Which means the only way to end this madness is by shedding light on the shadowy goings on between the Intel agencies and their Middle East proxies. There’s no other way.

One thing is certain, you’re not going to win the war on terror by handing out medals to the prime suspects.

MIKE WHITNEY lives in Washington state. He is a contributor to Hopeless: Barack Obama and the Politics of Illusion (AK Press). Hopeless is also available in a Kindle edition. He can be reached at fergiewhitney@msn.com.

(Republished from Counterpunch by permission of author or representative)
 
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  1. Whoa. Great angle to the story, I love it.

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  2. Svigor says:

    “….after sifting through databases, media reports, court documents, and other sources, Alex Nowrasteh, an immigration expert at the libertarian Cato Institute, has arrived at a striking finding: Nationals of the seven countries singled out by Trump have killed zero people in terrorist attacks on U.S. soil between 1975 and 2015.

    And in other news:

    Report: 72 convicted of terrorism from ‘Trump 7′ mostly Muslim countries

    By Paul Bedard (@SecretsBedard) • 2/11/17 10:13 AM
    The Washington Examiner

    Since 9/11, 72 individuals from the seven mostly Muslim countries covered by President Trump’s “extreme vetting” executive order have been convicted of terrorism, a finding that clashes sharply with claims from an appeals court that there is “no evidence” those countries have produced a terrorist.

    I for one don’t make much distinction between MENA Muslims; they all seem pretty terror-prone to me. The more we can ban, the better.

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    • Replies: @MEexpert
    Washington Examiner was a tabloid and still is. I would not trust its reports. It is very pro-Israel which explains its data. There have not been any reports of terror attacks from these seven countries in any major newspaper.
  3. Max Payne says:

    Israel covers for Saudi Arabia. Saudi Arabia plays a strong role by staying (relatively) mute about Palestine, in exchange Israel handles the West for Saudi Arabia. Most Saudis believe because their government is giving out money to Hamas that they still care about the Palestinians (though the money is always chump change really).

    Saudi Arabia is a ridiculously rich country that can buy foreign experts and foreign luxury goods (and foreign women). Other Arab states have nothing to offer it. Israel on the other hand has a few things which the KSA can’t access.

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  4. MEexpert says:
    @Svigor

    “….after sifting through databases, media reports, court documents, and other sources, Alex Nowrasteh, an immigration expert at the libertarian Cato Institute, has arrived at a striking finding: Nationals of the seven countries singled out by Trump have killed zero people in terrorist attacks on U.S. soil between 1975 and 2015.
     
    And in other news:

    Report: 72 convicted of terrorism from 'Trump 7' mostly Muslim countries

    By Paul Bedard (@SecretsBedard) • 2/11/17 10:13 AM
    The Washington Examiner

    Since 9/11, 72 individuals from the seven mostly Muslim countries covered by President Trump's "extreme vetting" executive order have been convicted of terrorism, a finding that clashes sharply with claims from an appeals court that there is "no evidence" those countries have produced a terrorist.
     
    I for one don't make much distinction between MENA Muslims; they all seem pretty terror-prone to me. The more we can ban, the better.

    Washington Examiner was a tabloid and still is. I would not trust its reports. It is very pro-Israel which explains its data. There have not been any reports of terror attacks from these seven countries in any major newspaper.

    Read More
  5. MEexpert says:

    Actually, the medal is a slap on the face of every intelligent American. It is very similar to when the US backed Saudi Arabia for the chairmanship of the UN Human Rights Commission. The timing of this ceremony boggles the mind, unless there is some Quid Pro Quo. It is not even a month into the Trump Presidency and this medal is awarded to the head choppers and terror sponsors of all people.

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  6. Njguy73 says:

    Somewhere, the Nobel Committee is thinking, “Maybe giving the Peace Prize to Kissinger and Arafat weren’t the most undeserved things ever.”

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  7. attonn says:

    “UN elects Saudi Arabia to Human Rights Council, oversight on women’s rights”
    (lol, that’s not a joke, but a headline from 4 months ago…anyone can google it)

    We live in a crazy world, where nothing is as it seems. Always assume the opposite to be true – and you’ll be right most of the time.

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  8. @Njguy73,

    Your comment is either based on the American educational system confusing dates and conflicts or it is some eclectic device used to stimulate thought and discussion.

    I suspect the former. You should have played it safe and just said Obama.

    Cheers-

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    • Replies: @MEexpert

    You should have played it safe and just said Obama.
     
    I think that is what he means. I may be wrong but his point was that compared to the Nobel Peace prize given to obama the other two weren't bad. In other words, the prize given to Obama was the worst ever.
  9. Anonymous says: • Disclaimer

    Talking of jokes, wasn’t there a Muammar Qaddafi Human Rights Award?

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    • Replies: @jacques sheete

    Talking of jokes, wasn’t there a Muammar Qaddafi Human Rights Award?
     
    Who knows, but there was a Peace Prize to the dronemeister slug.
  10. MEexpert says:
    @Timur The Lame
    @Njguy73,

    Your comment is either based on the American educational system confusing dates and conflicts or it is some eclectic device used to stimulate thought and discussion.

    I suspect the former. You should have played it safe and just said Obama.

    Cheers-

    You should have played it safe and just said Obama.

    I think that is what he means. I may be wrong but his point was that compared to the Nobel Peace prize given to obama the other two weren’t bad. In other words, the prize given to Obama was the worst ever.

    Read More
  11. @Anonymous
    Talking of jokes, wasn't there a Muammar Qaddafi Human Rights Award?

    Talking of jokes, wasn’t there a Muammar Qaddafi Human Rights Award?

    Who knows, but there was a Peace Prize to the dronemeister slug.

    Read More
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