About that ‘Back-room’ Saudi Nuclear Transfer …

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PBS NewsHour / YouTube WATCH President Trump holds meeting with 1542565136.jpg...
PBS NewsHour / YouTube

National Security, preventing the proliferation of Nuclear Arms, used to be among America’s top priorities. Under the perpetual ‘garage sales’ of Donald Trump — not so much anymore.

If there’s a buck to be made (buck = a million) — Donald will twist enough arms to make it.  Just marvel at the Trump ‘fire sale’ scheme, that ProPublica discovered and warned us about … back in the early days when such “National Security implications still matter” …

White House May Share Nuclear Power Technology With Saudi Arabia

The overture follows an intense and secretive lobbying push involving Michael Flynn, Tom Barrack, Rick Gates and even Iran-Contra figure Robert McFarlane.

by Isaac Arnsdorf, ProPublica.org — Nov. 29, 2017

The Trump administration is holding talks on providing nuclear technology to Saudi Arabia — a move that critics say could upend decades of U.S. policy and lead to an arms race in the Middle East.

[…]

The talks stalled a few years later because the Saudi government backed away from its pledge not to pursue enrichment and reprocessing, according to current and former officials. “They wouldn’t commit, and it was a sticking point,” said Max Bergmann, a former special assistant to the undersecretary of state for arms control and international security at the time those negotiations occurred.

U.S. officials feared a domino effect. Accords with the United Arab Emirates and Egypt restrict those countries from receiving the most sensitive technologies unless the U.S. allows them in another Middle Eastern country. “If we accepted that from the Saudis, nobody else will give us legally binding commitment,” a former State Department official said.

[…]

Well, fast-forward about 2 years, and about 20 Teflon ‘no-stick’ scandals later — the Saudi greed-trust is about get their golden armaments, they’ve always wanted:

U.S. approved secret nuclear power work for Saudi Arabia

by Timothy Gardner, Reuters — March 27, 2019

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. Energy Secretary Rick Perry has approved six secret authorizations by companies to sell nuclear power technology and assistance to Saudi Arabia, according to a copy of a document seen by Reuters on Wednesday.

[…]

Many U.S. lawmakers are concerned that sharing nuclear technology with Saudi Arabia could eventually lead to a nuclear arms race in the Middle East.

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman told CBS last year that the kingdom would develop nuclear weapons if its rival Iran did. In addition, the kingdom has occasionally pushed back against agreeing to U.S. standards that would block two paths to potentially making fissile material for nuclear weapons clandestinely: enriching uranium and reprocessing spent fuel.

[…]

Representative Brad Sherman, a Democrat, called on Secretary of State Mike Pompeo during a congressional hearing on Wednesday to release the names of the companies that got the approvals by the middle of April, and Pompeo said he would look into it. Sherman also said the Trump administration had attempted to evade Congress on sharing nuclear power with the kingdom.

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Do you have a few Love Letters in your pocket, you’re willing to trade for Sanctions relief?

Fortunately, Elections do have consequences.  Not so fortunately, those follow-ups are turning out to be ‘a day late, and a dollar short’ … Is there no one in this land willing to stand up to America’s bizzaro “international Monty Hall”?

House launches probe of US nuclear plan in Saudi Arabia

BBC News — 20 February 2019
[…]

Whistleblowers told the panel it could destabilise the Middle East by boosting nuclear weapons proliferation.

Firms linked to the president have reportedly pushed for these transfers.

[…]

What does the [ProPublica] report say?

[…]

It states that “within the US, strong private commercial interests have been pressing aggressively for the transfer of highly sensitive nuclear technology to Saudi Arabia”.

These commercial entities could “reap billions of dollars through contracts associated with constructing and operating nuclear facilities in Saudi Arabia”.

Mr Trump is reportedly “directly engaged in the effort”.

[…]

The commercial entities mentioned in the report are:

  • IP3 International, a private company led by ex-military officers and security officials that organised a group of US companies to build “dozens of nuclear power plants” in Saudi Arabia
  • ACU Strategic Partners, a nuclear power consultancy led by British-American Alex Copson
  • Colony NorthStar, Mr Barrack’s real estate investment firm
  • Flynn Intel Group, a consultancy and lobby set up by Michael Flynn

The report states that Flynn had decided to develop IP3’s nuclear initiative, the Middle East Marshall Plan, during his transition, and while he was still serving as an adviser for the company.

How do you like Team Trump’s new mercenary motto “Have Nukes — will travel” …

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Got Nukes?   No Problem.  Obstacles be gone.

That ProPublica Report also describes these connections between IP3, Tom Barrack, Mike Flynn, Saudi Arabia and Donald Trump — the newly installed president:

At the start of the Trump administration, IP3 found an ally in Tom Barrack, the new president’s close friend and informal adviser and an ultra-wealthy investor in his own right.

[…]

Many U.S. officials didn’t think the idea was serious, reputable or in the national interest. “It smelled so bad I said I never wanted to be anywhere close to that,” one former White House official said. But the proponents persisted, and finally found an opening in the chaotic early days of the Trump administration, when advisers Michael Flynn and Tom Barrack championed the idea.

[…]

Flynn, now on the receiving end of IP3’s lobbying, told his staff to put together a formal proposal to present to Trump for his signature, according to current and former officials.

www.propublica.org

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Tom Barrack:  one of Trump’s closest allies.

It seems a bit more than “coincidental” that Trump would put “IP3-front-guy” Tom Barrack in charge of his $100 Million dollar slush Inauguration fund.  Then again, who better than someone with a ‘stake in the game’ ?   (Colony NorthStar)

[Rick] Gates maintained close contact with Trump’s world this year even though he didn’t ultimately go to work in the White House. After a brief stint at a pro-Trump super PAC, he served as a Washington consultant for one of Trump’s closest allies, inauguration chairman Tom Barrack, for much of the last six months, according to Barrack spokesman Owen Blicksilver. He said that Gates’ contract was terminated on Monday, the same day of his indictment.

ABC News — Nov 2, 2017;   dailykos.com , jamess — Feb 12, 2019

A $100 million still under investigation. A $100 million, much of which was paid by Foreign interests, very much wanting to stake their claims, in the new shake-it-up, burn-it-down Administration.

Five things to know about Trump confidant Tom Barrack

by Rebecca Kheel , TheHill — Feb 20, 2019

He and Trump go back decades

[Tom] Barrack, a billionaire real estate investor, is one of Trump’s oldest friends. In 1985, he sold Trump a one-fifth stake in the New York department store chain Alexander’s and three years later sold him the entire Plaza Hotel for about $410 million. […]

He chaired Trump’s inaugural committee

[…]

Barrack was the chairman of the committee overseeing Trump’s inauguration in January 2017, a committee under investigation by federal prosecutors in New York. The committee’s deputy chairman was Richard Gates, who previously served in a top role on the campaign.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York is investigating how the committee raised and spent $100 million. Earlier this month, the prosecutors subpoenaed the committee for a trove of documents.

The investigation is reportedly examining whether sizable checks were written in exchange for access to the Trump administration and whether any foreigners illegally donated to the committee.

[…]

He’s close to others in Trump’s orbit

Barrack is the one who connected Trump with a now-familiar name: Paul Manafort.

No wonder MBS and Vlad were doing ‘high fives’ right under Donald Trump’s orange nose — they know WHAT they have gotten away with.  How they have played America for the fool, in the furtherance of their own re-empowerment sagas.

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Quick there he is.  Back to somber faces.

Nuclear war in the Middle East seems all but inevitable now (someday).  The genie is out of the bottle. MBS has pledged no fidelity to American interests.  But who cares?  As long as we have yet another Trump-tantrum news-cycle to cover … long as the Putin chess pieces have all fallen into place.

Including the biggest ‘rook’ of all:  Donald J Trump, and his legions of sell-out America followers:

MURPHYSBORO, IL - OCTOBER 27:  President Donald Trump arrives for a rally at the Southern Illinois Airport on October 27, in Murphysboro, Illinois. Trump is visiting the state to show support for U.S. Representative Mike Bost who is in a tight race with Brenden Kelly for Illinois 12th Congressional District.  (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
Heh folks, boy have got a tall tale to tell you.  It’s a doozy! It involves so many witches, and these angry Democrat-sore-losers — and ultimately ‘my Total and Complete Exoneration’ …

— — —

trump-putin-soccerball-gty-ps-180716_hpMain_12x5_992.jpg
Take this Donald as a memento of my keen interest in your “strongman” journey.  Just always remember:  I’ll be watching you.  Like no one else.  Don’t let me down, Donald.

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Sick of the Con
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Sick of the Con

I hope the judge for Flynn’s case takes this into consideration. Why would North Korea give up its nukes? So Trump can sell it back to them?