James Mattis

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.

Emptywheel Twitterverse
emptywheel Thought of marriage equality coming to SC gives me even more glee than marriage equality in UT, & used to live there. http://t.co/tdUSgTS2Zy
1mreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel @natnicol Really, entire bar comes down to whether you can keep necessaries away from proctor isn't it? Hell I could pass that! @sarahjeong
4mreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel @TyreJim I've only started with them. But them, I'm half-way to dead and still have only a radiation tattoo. @sarahjeong
10mreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel @TyreJim If her Tor sticker were the one the NSA uses, with the hairy "terrorist" dude, that'd be lethal too. @sarahjeong
14mreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel Bibi likely thinking to himself, "Ha! That windsurfer had to have a girl defend him."
15mreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz @carimachet @kevinjonheller But don't blow shit up my ass and tell me what and how to think on legal issues.
15mreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel @sarahjeong Sure you will! YOu're missing the "National Security Agency Monitored Device" one, which is the real sticker of death. @TyreJim
16mreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz @carimachet @kevinjonheller Would IHL if applied properly make a difference? Along with other modalities, of course. Is it currently, no.
16mreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz @carimachet @kevinjonheller No, I will not argue your point because you are egregiously mischaracterizing what Kevin has opined.
17mreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel @TyreJim Was thinking that myself. Going into the bar exam and not prepping to litigate the meaning of "excessive." @sarahjeong
20mreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz @carimachet @kevinjonheller I have known, seen and read Kevin for quite a while now and think you are terribly mistaken.
22mreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz @ryanjreilly Getting pretty close to every time now, albeit some a little more shaded than others.
23mreplyretweetfavorite
July 2014
S M T W T F S
« Jun    
 12345
6789101112
13141516171819
20212223242526
2728293031