Trump Accused Of “Sports Washing” Saudi Arabia’s Complicity In 9/11 Attacks

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Terry Strada, the National Chair of 9/11 Families United On MSNBC’s Alex Witt Reports(07/30/22)

MSNBC’s Liz McLaughlin reported on Alex Witt Reports show(07/30/22) that outraged families of the victims of the September 11th attacks(2001) are protesting the Saudi-backed LIV Golf Tournament currently being held at former President Trump’s Bedminster Golf Club in New Jersey. The protesters are essentially accusing former President Trump and the participating golfers, of “sports washing” Saudi Arabia’s role in the horrific 9/11 attacks, and their atrocious human rights record generally.

Asked by host Alex Witt, how the families were responding to the tournament, Liz McLaughlin responded (video at 0:31):“The families say they are disgusted, disappointed, that it feels like a gut punch after losing a loved one in that horrible act, to see a former President of the United States, who by the way, has the presidential seal emblazoned on golf carts, embroidered in golf towels at this tournament, which is less than 50 miles from ground zero, to have him take what they call blood money. LIV is bankrolled by Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund, investing an estimated 2 billion in LIV Golf so far, and this new pro golf circuit is set to try to dethrone the PGA, but it has come with a lot of controversy, and Trump is set to host another one of these, later in the year.”

Trump has defended his actions saying, “nobody has gotten to the bottom of 9/11 unfortunately, and they should have”–essentially arguing that it’s unfair/inaccurate to place the 9/11 blame on Saudi Arabia. He also added that all the proceeds from the golf tournament will be going to charity, so he was not profiting from it.

As Liz McLaughlin correctly pointed out however, even though the U.S. government has never singled out Saudi Arabia as the masterminds of the 9/11 attacks, it is a fact that 15 of the 19 hijackers were from the Kingdom, and the mastermind of the attacks, Osama bin Laden, was also born there. It has also been established that a lot of the funding for bin Laden’s Al Qaeda terrorist network, came from Saudi nationals. So any reasonable person would suspect that the Saudis were behind the 9/11 attacks. And even if one gives Saudi Arabia a pass over 9/11, it is impossible to ignore the Kingdom’s atrocious human rights record, which includes the brutal murder of American journalist Jamal Khashoggi. 

Terry Strada, the National Chair of 9/11 Families United, slammed Trump’s assertion that nobody has gotten to the bottom of the 9/11 attacks, telling host Alex Witt(3:02): “He sounds foolish saying anything like that. He met with the families. He met with me in the White House and we went there for the sole purpose of asking him to declassify FBI documents that were the investigative reports into this…so he sounds completely foolish when he says that nobody has looked into it. We asked him to look into it. It was his job as President to look into it. He failed us miserably back then.”

Bottom line folks, the pundits on Fox News recently made a big deal out of President Biden’s fist bump with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman(MBS) on his official visit to Saudi Arabia. It will be interesting to see if the same pundits also make a big deal out of former President Trump’s “sports washing” of Saudi’s atrocious human rights record and involvement in the 9/11 attacks. 

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Senator Bernie Sanders Slams Manchin, Sinema For Intentionally Sabotaging Biden’s Agenda

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Senator Bernie Sanders(I-VT) appeared on ABC’s This Week show(07/17/22) to discuss President Biden’s controversial trip to Saudi Arabia. Unsurprisingly, Senator Sanders, who has been very consistent about his displeasure with Saudi Arabia’s human rights abuses, was opposed to President Biden’s trip to the Kingdom, which he said, was tantamount to rewarding the Saudis.

The interesting part of the interview however came when host Martha Raddatz asked Sen Sanders about Senator Joe Manchin(D-WV) “abruptly” pulling out of negotiations on a climate change proposal that was key to President Biden’s agenda. Sen Sanders swiftly interjected saying, Manchin “didn’t abruptly pull out of anything”, and then proceeded to slam the Senator from West Virginia for intentionally sabotaging President Biden’s agenda. Whoa!!

Host Martha Raddatz(video at 3:20):“Senator Joe Manchin…abruptly pulled the plug on the Democrats’ plan to pass…”

Sen Sanders:“No Martha…he didn’t abruptly do anything…If you check the record, six months ago I made it clear, that you have people like Manchin, Sinema to a lesser degree, who are intentionally sabotaging the President’s agenda, what the American people want, what a majority of us in the Democratic caucus want. Nothing is new about this, and the problem was that we continued to talk to Manchin like he was serious. He was not. This is a guy who is a major recipient of fossil fuel money, a guy who received campaign contributions from 25 Republican billionaires.”

When host Raddatz tried to play devil’s advocate, saying Senator Manchin is concerned about record inflation, and is simply doing what’s best for West Virginians, Sen Manchin retorted:“Same nonsense that Manchin has been talking about for a year. West Virginia is a beautiful state…great people. It is one of the poorest states in this country. You ask the people of West Virginia whether they want to expand Medicare to cover dental, hearing and eye glasses…whether we should demand that the wealthiest people and large corporations start paying their fair share of taxes…whether or not all people should have healthcare as a human right like every other country on earth, that’s what they will say. In my humble opinion, Manchin represents the wealthiest people in this country, not the working families of West Virginia, or America.”

Bottom line folks, what Sen Sanders said on ABC’s This Week show, cannot be restated enough. There was a lot of hope and enthusiasm among Democrats, and a sizable chunk of Independents who voted for the Biden-Harris ticket in 2020, that the Biden-Harris administration would embark on big projects re infrastructure, climate, immigration, etc to set the country up nicely for the future. You even heard famous historians likening Biden to FDR and LBJ–both of whom are remembered for the big projects their administrations embarked, on and delivered.

However, somewhere in some Republican smoke-filled rooms, panic set in over the prospect of a transformational FDR-type Biden-Harris administration, and an elaborate plan was laid out to sabotage Biden’s presidency. Sen Sanders is absolutely right that Senators Manchin and Sinema have been willing participants in the grand GOP scheme to sabotage the Biden presidency, and they must be called out for it!!

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Senator Chris Murphy Wants U.S. Led Probe Into Shireen Abu Akleh’s Death

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Senator Chris Murphy(D-CT) appeared on MSNBC Prime(07/13/22) to discuss President Biden’s trip to the Middle East, and especially his trip to Saudi Arabia which has drawn condemnation, given Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s implication in Washington Post Columnist Jamal Khashoggi’s brutal murder. During his interview , Senator Murphy also delved into another controversial topic, and that is, the killing of Palestinian-American journalist Shireen Abu Akleh by Israeli troops.

An investigation conducted by the Israel government into Akleh’s killing concluded that IDF troops shot her by accident. Naturally, this conclusion has generated a lot of criticism from around the globe, and especially from press freedom advocates. Senator Murphy is calling for an independent U.S. led investigation into Shireen Abu Akleh’s death.

Asked by host Ali Velshi why it was important for the U.S. to conduct an independent investigation, Senator Murphy responded(video at 4:57):“Senator Murphy told host Ali Velshi(video at ):”First and foremost, any time an American dies overseas, we should apply the highest degree of scrutiny to make sure we get to the bottom of the story as to how an American citizen was killed, and in this case, given that it might have come at the hands of foreign security forces, that inquiry is even more important. We are simply asking that we do a thorough review that we are not confident the Israeli authorities have done themselves. So I think it’s important to get to the bottom of this even if the bottom involves some unsavory truths about what an important ally of the United States may have done, or elements of their security forces may have done to contribute to this American’s death.”

Bottom line folks, Israel has been, and remains America’s closest and dearest foreign ally. Ordinarily, Yours Truly would be inclined to accept Israel’s explanation of Shireen Abu Akleh’s death at face value but where, as here, the death in question is of a U.S. citizen, Yours Truly has no choice but to agree with Senator Murphy, that the United States needs to conduct its independent investigation. however unpleasant the results may be. Israel and the United States will forever remain close friends, so there’s no harm in finding out the truth behind Shireen Abu Akleh’s death. The Biden administration owes her family the truth regarding the circumstances of her death overseas.

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Meeting Between Biden Admin Officials And Saudi Prince At Center Of Khashoggi Murder Raises Eyebrows

Saudi Arabia’s Prince Khalid bin Salman with Biden’s National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan

Senior Biden administration officials, including Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, and National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan, reportedly met with Saudi’s Prince Khalid bin Salman, who is the brother of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman(MBS), and former Ambassador to the United States. Prince Khalid’s high level welcome to the United States has naturally shocked and angered human rights activists because our very own CIA pinpointed him as one of the masterminds behind the killing of former Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi. Specifically, the CIA said that it was Prince Khalid who lured Khashoggi into the Istanbul consulate where he was later killed.

Washington Post Columnist and CNN Political Analyst Josh Rogin told New Day host John Berman:“The Biden administration is trying to have it’s cake and eat it too. They want to say that they are being tough on Saudi Arabia for it’s atrocious and worsening human rights record, at the same time they want to do business with Saudi Arabia on areas of mutual interest, and I get that. But the way that they decided to do that was by welcoming back the former Ambassador, Khalid bin Salman, the brother of Mohammed bin Salman[MBS], the guy who the CIA asserts was responsible for the murder and dismemberment of Washington Post contributing columnist Jamal Khashoggi. And the allegation by the U.S. intelligence services, is that his brother Khalid lured him into the Istanbul consulate where he was later murdered…..So it seems like a weird thing to invite the guy who was connected to the murder back to have a bunch of pictures and give him the red carpet treatment, and let him meet with Defense Secretary and the National Security Adviser. It sends the signal to the Saudis, and to the region, and to the human rights community frankly, that the Biden administration’s protestations against Saudi atrocities are just that, just words, and not actions. It signals a return to business as usual….It also insults the legacy of Jamal Khashoggi, and reneges on Biden’s promise to deliver justice to Jamal and his family.”

Bottom line folks, for a Biden administration that is usually very fine-tuned and on-message, one has to admit that granting Prince Khalid a high profile welcome despite the CIA’s findings on Khashoggi’s murder, was quite an uncharacteristic blunder by the administration. More importantly, this blunder unnecessarily dings the Biden administration’s stance and messaging on human rights. Surely somebody at Biden’s White House should have foreseen and prevented this “unforced error” of immense magnitude.

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