‘Investigate Saudi crown prince for murdering journalist’

This 19 June 2019 video says about itself:

U.N. Special Rapporteur Agnes Callamard gives live interview as her final report on the killing of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi is released.

Read more here.

Translated from Dutch NOS TV today:

United Nations rapporteur wants investigation of role of Saudi Crown Prince in Khashoggi case

A UN Special Rapporteur wants a criminal investigation into the role of high-ranking Saudis in the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi. The UN must insist that the responsibility of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman should also be looked at, says the special UN rapporteur for extrajudicial executions Agnes Callamard in a report.

“The guilt has not yet been established. The only conclusion is that there is credible evidence and that further investigation is needed”, she writes. According to her, Crown Prince Mohammed played a key role in the campaign against dissidents. She considers it unthinkable that an operation like this could take place without his knowledge.

Saudi Arabia did not cooperate in the investigation. Callamard was not allowed to interrogate people in that country. She was also not allowed to enter the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, where Khashoggi was murdered on October 2 last year.

She did have access to sound recordings made by the Turkish secret service in the consulate. Khashoggi came to the consulate in Istanbul to arrange papers for his marriage. According to Callamard, two Saudi secret agents spoke shortly before his arrival how they would cut his body into pieces.

Once inside, Khashoggi was told that he would be taken to Saudi Arabia, the recordings show. His interrogator instructed him to send an email to his son. Then sounds of struggle can be heard. Khashoggi must have been killed afterwards. His remains have not been found.

Eleven suspects are on trial for the murder in Saudi Arabia. That happens behind closed doors. The names of most suspects were not disclosed.

So, there is a kangaroo court trial for a few low-level fall guys. Aiming at beheading them, so they won’t ever be able to tell who (His Royal Highness Mohammed bin Salman) ordered them to murder Khashoggi.

CALL FOR SAUDI PRINCE TO BE INVESTIGATED OVER KHASHOGGI DEATH An independent UN human rights expert investigating the killing of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi is calling for an investigation into the possible involvement of Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, citing “credible evidence”. [AP]

‘Saudi government sabotages Khashoggi murder inquest’

This 28 January 2019 video says about itself:

What can investigation into Khashoggi’s murder achieve? Inside Story

Jamal Khashoggi was a critic of the Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

The journalist was killed at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul almost four months ago. But his body or remains have never been recovered, and the murder case remains unresolved.

Turkey’s not satisfied by the Saudis own investigations and wants a full international inquiry.

What it’s got is an independent investigation led by the UN’s special rapporteur on extrajudicial executions. Agnes Callamard and her team are in Turkey for a week-long mission. She also wants to visit Saudi Arabia. But will this independent international inquiry make any difference anyway?

Can Saudi Arabia be held to account?

Presenter: Richelle Carey

Guests: Sultan Barakat, Director For Conflict and Humanitarian Studies at the Doha Institute
Carl Buckley, Barrister at Guernica 37 International Justice Chambers

Translated from Dutch NOS TV today:

Criticism by United Nations on Saudi sabotage of Khashoggi inquiry

The UN accuses Saudi Arabia of having seriously obstructed the investigation into the murder of the Saudi journalist Khashoggi. UN rapporteur Callamard expressed her criticism of the Saudi authorities after a visit to Turkey, the country where the murder last year was committed.

She described the death of the Saudi as a cruel, planned murder, conceived and executed by Saudi officials. Callamard will publish a report about the murder, which caused great indignation internationally, in June.

Jamal Khashoggi wrote columns for The Washington Post, in which he criticized the powerful Saudi crown prince Mohammed bin Salman. He disappeared after a visit on 2 October last year to the Saudi consulate in Istanbul. Soon it became clear that he was killed in that building, after which his body was smuggled away in parts.

Saudi Arabia has only admitted after a long time that the journalist was killed in the consulate. Khashoggi’s body is still missing.

‘Too little time’

According to Callamard, after the disappearance of Khashoggi, Turkish investigators were given “woefully little time and limited access” to the consulate where the crime was committed, not enough to do proper research. The UN rapporteur also wanted to visit the consulate herself, but was not admitted.

In the week that Callamard spent in Turkey she also listened to a “terrifying and horrific” sound recording of the execution of Khashoggi, which is in the hands of the Turkish secret service.

The UN rapporteur also said that she was concerned about the fate of the eleven people who are jailed in Saudi Arabia in connection with this case.

These are the eleven scapegoats to take attention away from Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. They are scapegoats now, not because of participation in murder, but because they did a poor job of covering up the murder.

The death penalty has been demanded against them. Callamard has asked Riyadh if she can visit the eleven people, but so far without result.

SAUDI PRINCE THREATENED TO SHOOT KHASHOGGI Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in 2017 told a top aide he would use “a bullet” on Jamal Khashoggi, the Saudi journalist killed in October, according to a report by The New York Times. [HuffPost]

SAUDI Arabia’s so-called human rights commission has rejected calls for an international investigation into the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, claiming his killers have already been punished: here.

SAUDI ARABIA CONDEMNS 5 IN KHASHOGGI MURDER  Saudi Arabia has sentenced five people to death for the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi in a plot the U.S. has linked to the Saudi crown prince. Ten defendants were released due to insufficient evidence. The trials were secret and the names of the condemned men were not released. [AP]

TRUMP ALLY APOLOGIZES FOR KHASHOGGI COMMENTS Tom Barrack, Trump’s longtime confidant, issued an apology following backlash over comments he made a day earlier that appeared to defend Saudi Arabia’s role in the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi. [HuffPost]

JARED SHRUGS OFF BUDDY’S BODY COUNT White House adviser and President Donald Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner refused to say outright whether he would hold Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman accountable for the gruesome death of Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi. [HuffPost]

British RAF veteran ‘admitted’ neocolonialist murder of Hammarskjöld

Dag Hammarskjöld

From weekly The Observer in Britain, 12 January 2018:

RAF veteran ‘admitted 1961 killing of UN secretary general’

Exclusive: Cold case documentary casts new light on mystery of Dag Hammarskjöld’s plane crash

‘Sometimes you have to do things you don’t want to…’

An earlier post on this blog said:

‘United Nations boss Hammarskjöld murdered’, for hindering neocolonialism in Congo?

From daily The Guardian in Britain:

Plane crash that killed UN boss ‘may have been caused by aircraft attack’

Exclusive: US and UK intercepts could hold answer to 1961 accident in Africa that killed Dag Hammarskjöld and 15 others

According to the new information in this article, the secret services and armed forces of Belgium, France, the United Kingdom and the USA may have participated in this bloody murder.

On 18 September 1961, Dag Hammarskjöld, Swedish Secretary-General of the United Nations, died in what was then the British colony Northern Rhodesia (now: Zambia). His plane crashed, killing all people on board either immediately, or a few hours, or a few days later.

An accident? Murder? Views on this differ sharply. Wikipedia notes that official investigations and search and rescue in Northern Rhodesia after the plane crashed were iffy.

Who might have had a motive for killing the United Nations Secretary-General; and, if so, what motive? Dag Hammarskjöld at the time of his death was trying to find a solution for the war in Congo. In 1960, Congo became officially independent from Belgium. However, Belgian big business, establishment politicians and “intelligence” services wanted to basically carry on ruling Congo, now from behind the scenes: from colonialism to neo-colonialism. The democratically elected prime minister of Congo, Patrice Lumumba, opposed that. This led to war in Congo. In 1961, Lumumba was murdered; with complicity of the Belgian secret service and the CIA, later research says.

After the news of Hammarskjöld’s death, a press release issued by the Prime Minister of the Republic of the Congo stated that, “… in order to pay a tribute to this great man, now vanished from the scene, and to his colleagues, all of whom have fallen victim to the shameless intrigues of the great financial Powers of the West… the Government has decided to proclaim Tuesday, 19 September 1961, a day of national mourning.”

So, the government of Congo suspected murder by Western spying … sorry, I am supposed to use euphemisms … intelligence services.

Wikipedia says:

His [Hammarskjöld’s] efforts towards the decolonisation of Africa were considered insufficient by the Soviet Union …

However, hardline pro-colonialists in Belgium, Britain and other NATO countries rather thought Hammarskjöld did too much for decolonisation.

Belgian pilot admits murder of Hammarskjöld: here.

Donald Trump, laughing stock at the United Nations

This 25 September 2018 video from the USA says about itself:

United Nations Laugh At Trump During Speech

The United Nations laughed at Trump while he tried to brag to them. Cenk Uygur, Travon Free, and Ana Kasparian, hosts of The Young Turks, break it down.

An audience of world leaders at the United Nations laughed on Tuesday when President Trump boasted of his achievements during his time in office. “In less than two years, my administration has accomplished more than almost any administration in the history of our country”, Trump said, opening his address to the U.N. General Assembly. Audience members then began chuckling and the laughs grew louder when Trump said “so true.”

Read more here.

By Bill Van Auken in the USA:

Trump delivers fascistic tirade at the United Nations

26 September 2018

In his second appearance before the United Nations General Assembly Tuesday, US President Donald Trump delivered a fascistic tirade, threatening military aggression and all-out trade war, while invoking retrograde nationalism, “sovereignty” and “patriotism” as the only way forward in confronting the immense problems confronting humanity.

A year ago, the American president shocked the world body by announcing from the podium that he was “ready, willing and able” to “totally destroy” North Korea and its 25 million people, while referring to the country’s leader Kim Jong-un by the imbecilic nickname of “Rocket Man.”

This time around, the reaction to his megalomaniac remarks was somewhat different and, in its own way, expressed the deep-going breakdown of the global capitalist order.

Trump’s address began with what amounted to a campaign stump speech to the world body, claiming to have made “extraordinary progress” in the year since he last appeared there. His boast that he had accomplished more in his period in office than “almost any administration in the history of our country” provoked open and derisive laughter from assembled diplomats and heads of state, forcing him to depart from his prepared text and acknowledge, “I didn’t expect that reaction.”

The “reaction” underscored the near universal recognition that the United States is no longer a guarantor of a global capitalist order, but rather a kind of rogue state spreading chaos and disruption, both militarily and economically, across the globe. Trump is not the cause of this transformation, but rather the personification of the protracted degeneration of American capitalism over a period of decades.

In his speech, Trump reveled in his administration’s repudiation of international institutions, from the UN’s Human Rights Council, from which the US is the first country to quit, to the International Criminal Court, which Washington has threatened with sanctions if it attempts to hold US officials responsible for war crimes, to the UN global compact on migration, which cuts across the Trump administration’s systematic persecution of immigrants and refugees.

Undeterred by the derisive response to the opening of his speech, Trump went on to spell out his measures of “progress”, pointing out that the US “stock market is at an all-time high,” citing “the biggest tax cuts” in US history, the beginning of construction on a border wall and the enacting of a $716 billion military spending bill—all manifestations of the vast social inequality, police state repression and unbridled militarism that characterize a crisis-ridden American capitalist society.

He claimed that his negotiations with North Korea’s Kim had replaced “the specter of conflict with a bold new push for peace”, while reiterating that US sanctions against the country will remain in place until Washington’s version of denuclearization is completed, a process that can quickly snap back to military confrontation on the Korean peninsula.

Trump reserved his most bellicose threats for Iran. He boasted of his decision to unilaterally abrogate the 2015 nuclear agreement between Iran and the P5+1, the US and the other permanent members of the UN Security Council plus Germany. This action, a direct violation of international law, resulted in the re-imposition of punishing unilateral sanctions that amount to a state of war between Washington and Tehran.

More punishing sanctions are set to go into effect on November 5, including the attempt to enforce a complete embargo on Iranian oil exports and the exclusion of Iran from the US-dominated international banking system, measures aimed at fully crippling the country’s economy, bringing down the existing regime and installing a client state that would assure unfettered control of the country’s oil wealth by US-based energy conglomerates.

Trump delivered a blistering denunciation of Iran’s leaders, declaring that they: “sow chaos, death, and destruction. They do not respect their neighbors or borders, or the sovereign rights of nations. Instead, Iran’s leaders plunder the nation’s resources to enrich themselves and to spread mayhem across the Middle East and far beyond.

“The Iranian people are rightly outraged that their leaders have embezzled billions of dollars from Iran’s treasury, seized valuable portions of the economy, and looted the people’s religious endowments, all to line their own pockets and send their proxies to wage war. Not good.”

Very little from these passages needs to be changed outside of substituting US for Iran to provide an accurate description of the rule of the United States by a government representing Wall Street and the military-intelligence apparatus, a government that has waged illegal wars of aggression in the Middle East that have killed and maimed millions, armed and funded Al Qaeda-linked militias to carry out regime change operations. At home, America’s financial oligarchy has “looted” the social wealth of the country to make good on their losses in the financial meltdown of 2008 to the tune of tens of trillions of dollars.

In his own address to the UN General Assembly, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani charged that Washington is waging “a form of economic terrorism” against Iran and is pursuing a foreign policy based upon the principle that “might makes right,” leading to a practice of “bullying and imposition.”

Rouhani rejected overtures from Washington for talks aimed at renegotiating the Iranian nuclear accord. “It is ironic that the US government does not even conceal its plan for overthrowing the same government it invites to talks!” he said.

Trump also singled out Syria for denunciation, reiterating US threats of military intervention in response to the use of chemical weapons—an invitation to Western-backed Islamist militias to stage such an incident—while reiterating Washington’s demand for regime change.

The US president reaffirmed the centuries’ old Monroe Doctrine used to affirm US hegemony over Latin America, declaring that “we reject the interference of foreign nations in this hemisphere and in our own affairs.” The reference was clearly to growing Chinese investment and trade in the region. He also reiterated Washington’s aim of regime change in Venezuela, which, his administration has repeatedly made clear, does not exclude direct US military intervention.

Trump’s speech included a bellicose denunciation of China and a celebration of $250 billion worth of tariffs imposed by his administration against Chinese goods, igniting a dangerous trade war.

He demagogically postured as a defender of American workers, claiming that the US had “lost over 3 million manufacturing jobs” since China joined the World Trade Organization and declaring that the US “will no longer tolerate it and we will not allow our workers to be victimized.” The prospect of the world’s number one and number two economies waging an all-out trade war creating more jobs for American workers is delusional at best.

There was a pervasive element within Trump’s speech of portraying the US as a country besieged, with its “workers to be victimized, our companies to be cheated and our wealth to be plundered.”

OPEC, he said was “ripping off” the United States with high oil prices “and I don’t like it.”

The US, he said, was the largest donor of foreign aid, but “few give anything to us.” From now on, he said, Washington would provide aid only to those countries that upheld US interests.

This portrayal of the US as the victim of the world was combined with the promotion of a kind of völkisch nationalism which was the thread that ran throughout Trump’s address, recalling nothing so much as the rhetoric of Hitler and Mussolini in the 1930s:

“Inside everyone in this great chamber today, and everyone listening all around the globe, there is the heart of a patriot that feels the same powerful love for your nation, the same intense loyalty to your homeland. The passion that burns in the hearts of patriots and the souls of nations has inspired reform and revolution, sacrifice and selflessness, scientific breakthroughs and magnificent works of art.

“Our task is not to erase it, but to embrace it, to build with it, to draw on its ancient wisdom and to find within it the will to make our nations greater…” The task, he said, was to “protect our sovereignty” and to “stand for our peoples and their nations.”

Nations, homeland, patriotism, “ancient wisdom”, sovereignty: all the ingredients that went into the rise of fascism and the eruption of world wars twice in the 20th century.

A significant part of Trump’s speech was devoted to the denunciation of socialism. Using Venezuela as a strawman …, Trump declared, “Socialism’s thirst for power leads to expansion, incursion and oppression. All nations of the world should resist socialism and the misery that it brings to everyone.”

That the US president finds the threat of socialism a principal preoccupation in his reactionary diatribe before the United Nations is an unmistakable indication of the advanced state of the political and social tensions within the United States itself. It expresses the fears within the financial and corporate oligarchy that it is facing a revolt from below by masses of workers and youth who are growing intensely hostile to the existing capitalist system.

See also here.

FORMER FOX NEWS HOST TO BECOME UN AMBASSADOR State Department spokeswoman and former Fox News host Heather Nauert is expected to be chosen by Trump as the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations. [HuffPost]

Washington amplifies war threats against Iran, bullies the world: here.

US-China trade war intensifies: here.

Ghanaian ex-United Nations secretary Kofi Annan, RIP

Today, former United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan has died.

He was born in Ghana. He studied economics and management in the USA. Nevertheless, he did not always agree with United States government policy.

In 2011, when he was no longer UN General Secretary, Annan criticized the NATO war on Libya; which would lead to horrible, still continuing bloodshed and human rights disasters like the reintroduction of slavery; which had been abolished in Libya when it was still legal in, eg, the USA and in the Dutch colonial empire.

In 2015, Annan said that the Iraq war of George W Bush and Tony Blair was the basic cause of ISIS terrorism. Though many others, including then United States President Obama, United States General Michael Flynn and George W Bush’s ex-neo-colonial viceroy in Iraq, Paul Bremer, agree with that, telling this truth still infuriates warmongers in the USA and elsewhere.

Trump’s USA quits United Nations Human Rights Council

Nikki Haley, Trump nominee. Cartoon by Kate Salley Palmer

Translated from Dutch NOS TV today:

The United States is quitting the United Nations Human Rights Council. That has been announced by UN ambassador Haley.

Donald Trump‘s mouthpiece Haley earlier made a laughing-stock of herself with a press conference similar to the 2003 infamous speech at the UN by General Colin Powell, then George W. Bush’s Secretary of State. Powell then promoted war on Iraq with forged evidence, while covering up the replica of Picasso’s famous anti-war painting Guernica hanging there. Ms Haley’s press conference promoted the Trump-Saudi royal family genocidal war on the people of Yemen with forged evidence; as part of promoting Trump’s plans for war on Iran. At least, Colin Powell has apologized for the lies he told then. Ms Haley so far has not done so; I doubt whether she ever will.

“Human rights abusers continue to serve on, and be elected to, the council”, said Haley.

On that, Ms Haley is correct. But she forgot to mention two prominent examples of that. The absolute monarchy Saudi Arabia, elected to the council thanks to support by the United States government and its NATO ally, British Conservative Prime Minister David Cameron. Saudi Arabia, where women activists campaigning for the right of women to drive cars, were recently arrested and may get the death penalty. Saudi Arabia, the land of flogging for blogging. Saudi Arabia, with more and more public beheadings. Saudi Arabia, where the regime kills its own people, immigrant workers, and the people of Bahrain and of Yemen.

The other prominent example is Donald Trump‘s and Ms Haley’s USA.

The NOS article continues:

The news about the withdrawal from the council comes at a time when the human rights policy of President Trump is under fire. It concerns the zero tolerance policy for migrants at the Mexican border.

Families who cross the border to the US are now systematically separated. The parents are detained and prosecuted and the children are incarcerated in large reception centers. The UN yesterday called that policy unscrupulous.

CNN writes on this, on 20 June 2018:

The move was immediately condemned by a dozen charitable groups, who wrote to [Trump’s Secretary of State] Pompeo to say they were “deeply disappointed with the Administration‘s decision to withdraw the United States from the United Nations Human Rights Council, the premier intergovernmental human rights body at the global level.”

“This decision is counterproductive to American national security and foreign policy interests and will make it more difficult to advance human rights priorities and aid victims of abuse around the world”, they added.

Salil Shetty, Amnesty International’s secretary-general, said: “Once again President Trump is showing his complete disregard for the fundamental rights and freedoms the US claims to uphold. While the Human Rights Council is by no means perfect and its membership is frequently under scrutiny, it remains an important force for accountability and justice.”

Trump causes international outrage after pulling out of UN Human Rights Council: here.

Why has the US withdrawn from the UN council for human rights – and what is its significance? Here.

USA: The Anti-Defamation League has issued a statement on behalf of a group of hidden children of the Holocaust, who felt compelled to respond to the Trump Administration’s policy of separating children from their parents. Read more here.

The Ugly Nazi History Of Trump’s ‘Infest’ Slur Against Immigrants: here.

Yes, You Should Be Comparing Trump to Hitler, by Adam Roy.