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

Emptywheel Twitterverse
bmaz RT @adamjohnsonNYC: My latest By Treating Clinton SuperPAC as Separate Media Embraces Core Myth of CitizenUnited https://t.co/I0wOQLFbOt ht…
3mreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel @DanielLarison We're engaging publicly and it keeps making things worse so let's pretend we aren't to avoid accepting any responsibility!
16mreplyretweetfavorite
JimWhiteGNV RT @SenSanders: Residents of Baltimore’s poorest boroughs have lifespans shorter than people living under dictatorship in North Korea. That…
22mreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz @carriecordero @johnson_carrie @benjaminwittes Well, sure. Bumbling moron Ronald Reagan got briefed+did job, why not racist idiot Trump?
27mreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel @JayQPublic Nope! But to suggest US engagement -- of both military and diplomatic type -- is not visible is laughable nonsense.
28mreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel @SeucT OK. You endorse a paragraph built on premise that our engagement IS NOT VISIBLE. That's your choice.
29mreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel @SeucT What does "a more visible engagement" imply. Let's start w/very very basic stuff.
32mreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel @SeucT I mean are you REALLY suggesting American engagement is not visible anywhere in the whole wide world? Really?
34mreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel @SeucT In other words, "Yes, I'm part of that projection and disavowal and I'm not afraid to abuse logic to participate."
34mreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel @SeucT It is projection, disavowal of mainstream US FP (for both Dems & GOP) of their consequences. Not getting that is failure that > Trump
35mreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel @SeucT Better alt might be to say, "US intervention (of which Hillary proponent" caused shit I'm about to list, let's call for engagement.
38mreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel @SeucT It suggests "American engagement" is not visible. That's batshit nuts.
39mreplyretweetfavorite
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