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 Apparently you can be smart AND make great beer. http://t.co/9w220yz7gf
34mreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel Suggestion for journos on the GOP Trial Lawyer beat: Ask whether they have problem w/Executive not prosecuting any banks.
36mreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel @johnson_carrie Agree. Someone should do a lovely send off profile! ;p Also think they defy claim you gotta be bankster to investigate them
39mreplyretweetfavorite
JimWhiteGNV @Pedinska I have some road time this afternoon, but will check in later.
42mreplyretweetfavorite
JimWhiteGNV RT @davidcnswanson: Democrats ran a torturer for Congress in Michigan if anyone cares http://t.co/egS8LDH5fz
43mreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel What is the background of Levin's PSI staffers who do such a good at digging out this crime?
45mreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel @alexisgoldstein "And boyohboy I'm not going to commit to do that again any time soon because look at the nightmare it has caused me."
56mreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz @brianbeutler A lot of us said this about Gruber from the outset. He is duplicitous and ethically dubious. Ocare sold on the wings of lies.
58mreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz .@michaelbkiefer @azcentral Thank you for including the source document, the legal motion, in your article. I wish more journalists did that
1hreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel USA Freedom Act didn't have a data mandate. But it apparently had a data handshake. http://t.co/DPQ0tnZd1p
1hreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel Dudley returns to his "finding firms guilty" is the same as "jail."
1hreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel Is anyone saving this hearing for posterity bc I just had the thought Sherrod did: Geithner would have said the same thing Dudley is.
1hreplyretweetfavorite
November 2014
S M T W T F S
« Oct    
 1
2345678
9101112131415
16171819202122
23242526272829
30