Mohammed bin Nayef’s Remarkable Prescience about Obama’s Second Term Cabinet

Department of Energy Secretary Steven Chu just resigned.

Which got me thinking about my latest obsession: the Technical Cooperation Agreement beween Saudi Arabia and the US, under which (as far as the agreement admits publicly) the US helps the Saudis protect their critical infrastructure (read, oil fields) and borders. While the TCA is managed by State, it includes significant involvement on the part of DOD — particularly CentCom, DOE (because in Saudi Arabia infrastructure is energy), and Treasury (which handles the magic bank account at its core). In addition, a new focus on cybersecurity (presumably a response to the recent Aramco hack) gives DHS and NSA an increasing role.

So check out the list of people MbN met with while he was in DC from January 14 to 16, in significant part to “renew” the TCA (four months before the old one expired).

Prince Mohammad also met with a number of senior U.S. officials throughout his visit, including Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Attorney General Eric Holder, Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano, Director of National Intelligence James Robert Clapper, Deputy Secretary of State Bill Burns, Treasury Deputy Secretary Neal Wolin, National Security Advisor Tom Donilon, John Brennan, assistant to the president for homeland security and counterterrorism, Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Robert Mueller, and Director of the National Security Agency General Keith B. Alexander.

Remarkably, MbN didn’t waste his time with any outgoing cabinet member — not TurboTax Timmeh, not Chu, not Panetta — except for Hillary, with whom he was signing this agreement. While TurboTax Timmeh and Panetta’s departure was known, Chu’s was only rumored.

John Brennan is moving, sure, but I suspect his move won’t change his interactions with MbN — who has been a key stovepipe for Brennan — one whit.
The most interesting person MbN managed to not waste his time with on the visit, apparently, was General James Mattis, who was about to be, but had not yet been, ousted several months early the week MbN was in town.

I’m not suggesting this is all that meaningful, mind you. I just find it notable that MbN seemed to have a better sense of what was going on with Obama’s top national security leadership than most of the journalists in DC.

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5 Responses to Mohammed bin Nayef’s Remarkable Prescience about Obama’s Second Term Cabinet

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bmaz @barryeisler @jayrosen_nyu Here is the full glory of Fineman's timeline before the deletion: http://t.co/jfDhYHbwaE
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bmaz @ClaraJeffery nearly 30 years in and around criminal law seems to point clearly to the former.
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bmaz .@JesselynRadack I don't see why. Evidence is that @paulabroadwell's own neurotic obsession with+invasion of Jill Kelley caused own downfall
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bmaz Paper, plastic or Ducey bag? http://t.co/tEWs7SPl2v Uh so theres an IndieGoGo to help make reusable Doug Douchebags https://t.co/2SnrMC0HAI
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bmaz @yeselson @sbagen @LemieuxLGM Either way, what an ugly deal. Frankly, Smith is unwatchable even were it not for his roaring misogyny.
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bmaz @michaelbkiefer @dbaich @azcentral Excellent. I knew Dale was deeply involved, but didn't know if going. Have fun and good luck.
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bmaz @dbaich @michaelbkiefer @azcentral Either of you guys going to O/A's?
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bmaz @banditelli @JoshuaHol The Smoke Vault "looks" awesome though!
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bmaz RT @radleybalko: Police union buys billboard to support cop with 200 pages of citizen complaints, and who shot 2 people in 10 days. http://…
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bmaz RT @normative: Ironically, untrue: Buzzfeed skipped WHDC & was covering actual news from Baltimore. https://t.co/UOqcWhZGBw
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bmaz RT @KenRoth: If Obama apologized each day for a civilian killed by a drone, it would take him three years. http://t.co/vToVP9ooTD http://t.…
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