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The NSA's New Partner In Spying: Saudi Arabia's Brutal State Police 125

Posted by Soulskill
from the with-friends-like-these dept.
Advocatus Diaboli sends this news from The Intercept: The National Security Agency last year significantly expanded its cooperative relationship with the Saudi Ministry of Interior, one of the world's most repressive and abusive government agencies. An April 2013 top secret memo provided by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden details the agency's plans "to provide direct analytic and technical support" to the Saudis on "internal security" matters. 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.
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The NSA's New Partner In Spying: Saudi Arabia's Brutal State Police

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  • Re:Foreshadowing? (Score:5, Informative)

    by digsbo (1292334) on Friday July 25, 2014 @06:12PM (#47535059)
    Seriously. Bradley/Chelsea Manning was tortured to the point of having severe psychological problems (I am not saying being transgendered is a psychological problem, but I strongly question any psychiatrist who would not wait several years until after Manning had access to therapy to get over the trauma of isolation and torture to determine that Manning is indeed transgendered and not just showing signs of having been tortured). America is 100% on the hook for that. One of our own.
  • by Mashiki (184564) <mashiki&gmail,com> on Friday July 25, 2014 @08:03PM (#47535713) Homepage

    Hospital [theguardian.com]
    Hamas using UN ambulances [youtu.be]
    Bombing at gaza school, probably from hamas rocket falling short [algemeiner.com]
    Hamas rockets in two different UN schools [ctvnews.ca]

    This isn't rocket surgery, not by a long shot. Hamas really is "the bad guys." Haven't even started on the tunnel stuff yet, and them using them as weapons storage. And commandeering all those materials meant for housing, and instead built it up for the sole purpose of terror, war, and screwing over the civilians.

  • by jenningsthecat (1525947) on Friday July 25, 2014 @09:02PM (#47536013)

    ...Hamas really is "the bad guys"...

    Did you ever stop to wonder if perhaps Hamas are "bad guys" because the Israelis have really left them no choice? [youtube.com]

    If you watch the entire video while maintaining a little intellectual honesty, you won't be so quick to condemn Hamas as being so much worse than the Israelis. There's plenty of evil in that region, and Israel is both directly and indirectly responsible for a very large part of it.

  • by Paul Fernhout (109597) on Saturday July 26, 2014 @11:10AM (#47538393) Homepage

    It's called "Blowback". In order to prevent another 9/11/2001 or worse, it seems important to understand the motivations behind the first one (I'm using the year to distinguish from the US-supported 9/11/1973 coup in Chile). Like you, I also doubt the Saudi government had anything to do directly with funding that 9/11. In fact, that 9/11 seems more a protest against the Saudi government by Saudi citizens, but with the protest directed at the perceived source of funding for the Saudi government by the USA. Let's turn the political situation around hypothetically to try to understand the emotional aspect of it better, imagining what it might be like if the Saudi government was meddling directly in US affairs.

    Here is a first cut at trying to understand the social/psychological dynamics of the situation from a different perspective. Imagine Saudi Arabia somehow was sending billions of dollars of campaign donations annually to the USA to keep in power an oppressive administration in the USA (passing laws forcing all US women to wear burkas, only allowing males with brown eyes to hold public office or get university degrees, and with capital punishment on suspicion of premarital sex or homosexuality). Also, imagine that there were millions of Saudi soldiers stationed in US states to ensure a flow of manufactured goods to Saudi Arabia despite strikes and other unrest in the USA and nearby countries. Also imagine that the Saudis were also funding Japanese people who, from fear of earthquakes and tsunamis in Japan, had moved to Canada, bought a lot of the land, claimed a right to govern all of Canada because some Japanese people had moved to Canada 10,000 years ago across the land bridge from Siberia, and then forced most non-Japanese Canadian citizens in all of Canada to flee to the USA and were killing non-Japanese Canadians who remained and resisted the Japanese occupation. If you are a US citizen in such a hypothetical world, would you be at all upset by such a situation whatever your eye color? Imagine that some very upset and frustrated young US citizens decide to protest this situation by attacking some big buildings in Saudi Arabia by hijacking airliners to show how unhappy they are with Saudi government foreign policy and to show how they felt their hopes and dreams for a good life in the USA had been thwarted by Saudi meddling in US government. Imagine this attack is then used by Saudi Arabia to justify invading Mexico (where some of the hypothetical American hijackers trained) and Brazil (because it is claimed by the Saudis to have WMDs that hypothetical young Americans might use against Saudis). Imagine the Saudis then start supplying "intelligence" to the US government from listening to all US telephone calls about specific US citizens who might be unhappy about the situation and perhaps plotting unrest in the USA or planning more blowback against the Saudis.

    Now flip this scenario around and back to reality (US funding Saudis and Israel and US troops in the Middle East) and does the fact the almost all of the 9/11 hijackers were frustrated young Saudi men make more sense?

    Soon after 9/11 I saw an analysis in a magazine (maybe the Atlantic or New Yorker) of why the hijackers did what they did. I have not seen many such articles since. The point made there was that these were mostly young men whose hopes for significant advancement in Saudi society had seemed thwarted and they were led to blame the USA for that, because the USA was propping up the Saudi regime and otherwise meddling in the Middle East. Of course, being promised eternal bliss in "paradise" for becoming murderers can not be ignored as a related aspect of religious fundamentalism (including outrage about the occupation of Palestine), so there are layers of complexity here for that and other reasons. The motivations of the hijackers themselves may also be somewhat different than the motivations of the organizers at higher levels.

    See also:
    http://en [wikipedia.org]

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