How The NSA Is Actively Helping Saudi Arabia To Crackdown On Dissent


How the NSA is Actively Helping Saudi Arabia to Crackdown on Dissent (Liberty Blitzkrieg, July 25, 2014):

It is not an exaggeration to say Saudi Arabia is one of the most oppressive, authoritarian regimes on the planet. Despite having been the main foreign instigator pushing for conflict in Syria, as well as its increasingly disturbing ties to the attacks on 9/11, it remains one of the U.S. government’s closest allies.

I’ve covered some of the human rights abuses of the Saudi regime on several occasions due to the fact that it so clearly exposes the total hypocrisy of U.S. foreign policy. The most recent example was the recent sentencing of human rights lawyer and activist Waleed Abu Alkhair to 15 years in prison for “inciting public opinion,” i.e., effectively utilizing free speech. I covered this in detail in the post: Saudi Human Rights Lawyer and Activist Jailed for 15 Years for Free Speech Under New “Anti-Terror” Law.

Thanks to revelations from Edward Snowden, we now know that our taxpayer money is directly funding the ability of this autocratic regime to brutalize its citizenry.

The Intercept reports that:

The Saudi Ministry of Interior—referred to in the document as MOI— has been condemned for years as one of the most brutal human rights violators in the world. In 2013, the U.S. State Department reported that “Ministry of Interior officials sometimes subjected prisoners and detainees to torture and other physical abuse,” specifically mentioning a 2011 episode in which MOI agents allegedly “poured an antiseptic cleaning liquid down [the] throat” of one human rights activist. The report also notes the MOI’s use of invasive surveillance targeted at political and religious dissidents.

But as the State Department publicly catalogued those very abuses, the NSA worked to provide increased surveillance assistance to the ministry that perpetrated them. The move is part of the Obama Administration’s increasingly close ties with the Saudi regime; beyond the new cooperation with the MOI, the memo describes “a period of rejuvenation” for the NSA’s relationship with the Saudi Ministry of Defense.

In general, U.S. support for the Saudi regime is long-standing. One secret 2007 NSA memo lists Saudi Arabia as one of four countries where the U.S. “has [an] interest in regime continuity.”

But from the end of the 1991 Gulf War until recently, the memo says, the NSA had a “very limited” relationship with the Saudi kingdom. In December 2012, the U.S. director of national intelligence,James Clapper, authorized the agency to expand its “third party” relationship with Saudi Arabia to include the sharing of signals intelligence, or “SIGINT,” capability with the MOD’s Technical Affairs Directorate (TAD).

Over the past year, the Saudi government has escalated its crackdown on activists, dissidents, and critics of the government. Earlier this month, Saudi human rights lawyer and activist Waleed Abu al-Khair was sentenced to 15 years in prison by a so-called “terrorist court” on charges of undermining the state and insulting the judiciary. In May, a liberal blogger, Raif Badawi, was sentenced to 10 years in prison and 1,000 lashes; in June, human rights activist Mukhlif Shammari was sentenced to five years in prison for writing about the mistreatment of Saudi women.

I’m still waiting for Hollywood celebrities to hashtag outrage about Saudi abuses.

Asked if the U.S. takes human rights records into account before collaborating with foreign security agencies, a spokesman for the office of the director of national intelligence told The Intercept: “Yes. We cannot comment on specific intelligence matters but, as a general principle, human rights considerations inform our decisions on intelligence sharing with foreign governments.”

Remember, your government loves you. Full article here.

Obama receives a gift from Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah during a meeting at the king's farm outside Riyadh

2 thoughts on “How The NSA Is Actively Helping Saudi Arabia To Crackdown On Dissent”

  1. The Saudis are the last friends the US have in the oil rich middle east. Many of the nations there have already dumped the dollar in favor of Putin’s basket of currencies which allows all nations the freedom to use their own currencies when dealing with other nations. It is an amazing freedom, and they love it. Technology has made the world reserve currency necessity obsolete as the horse and buggy.
    The Saudis are the only ones left with any need for the US. Once they lose interest and need, the dollar is finished. There is nothing behind it but ink. Not repaying the Germans their gold was a very bad move. On top of NSA spying, Germany is seriously considering moving east with Putin’s basket of currencies. The rest of the EU will have to follow Germany, most of them owe them money. This just broke on this site last night, and if the EU dumps the dollar, it will collapse. It is the worst news in months for the US.
    Using threats, bullying and stupid sanctions instead of old fashioned diplomacy has ruined the status of the US around the world.
    It also makes me wonder how much longer the FED will carry the interest on the national debt. The FED is a private bank, it isn’t American.
    This is the worst collection of bad news for the US I have seen in many months. Spying, printing money nonstop regardless there is nothing behind it, bullying, stupid sanctions and threats without teeth have made the US look to the entire world alternatively as aggressive and foolish.
    Putting sanctions on nations like China and Russia, who have not used the dollar since November of 2010 makes the US look like fools. If I know this, a historian with an interest in economics, why don’t they?

  2. What I find even more disgusting and appalling……why I urge my friends to stay out of the US stock market regardless of it’s “absurdly healthy” front, is the fact none of this is addressed on US media. The market will probably go up, they will pitch Apples new…..whatever, or HP or anything but the truth. No true market goes up like this, it is rigged beyond belief. US media does not cover any real news, for that one has to dig hard overseas. This is why they are working overtime to kill the free Internet.
    Reading last night that Putin, the EU and others are developing an alternative Internet warmed my heart. I knew it was just a matter of time. God Bless our engineers, I have more faith in them than anyone……they will develop alternative systems, and the truth will be there for those who seek it. What a relief that is to me when I see books vanishing into the confines of electronic media….Kindle, ETC……..and it is easy to erase portions they don’t want.
    Schools now teach from 1650-present, none of the ancients will be taught. It is a crime, but teachers, too desperate for jobs, are mute on the subject. It is an outrage.
    This world is moving too fast and is in the control of ignorant, greedy men and women who cannot see past the balance on their own checkbooks. It will implode, and there will be giant steps backwards into darkness and ignorance……..another Dark Age.
    This time, the oceans will be dead, the water poisoned……and survival of the human species is very questionable.


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