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CNN / YouTube
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Megalobbyist Ed Rogers repeatedly used his position as a Washington Post opinion writer to push his clients’ interests.
Media Matters this year identified over a dozen instances in which the Post failed to inform readers that Rogers was pushing the interests of his lobbying clients. The conflict-of-interest areas range from Saudi Arabia to the economy and environmental issues.
Editorial page editor Fred Hiatt told Media Matters that the Post wasn’t “initially clear enough with Ed on our expectations” but defended the Post and Rogers, and disputed “some” of Media Matters’ examples. www.mediamatters.org/…

…Prior to co-founding BGR Group in 1991, Ed served in the White House as Deputy Assistant to the President and Executive Assistant to the Chief of Staff. Ed also served as Senior Deputy to Bush-Quayle Campaign Manager Lee Atwater from 1987 through the general election in 1988.
From 1985 through February of 1987, Ed worked in the Reagan White House in the Office of Political Affairs, where he served as Haley Barbour’s deputy as Special Assistant to the President and Deputy Director of the Office of Political Affairs. Since 2011, Ed has been an opinion writer for the Washington Post, where he writes about politics and the current state of affairs in Washington, D.C., from a Republican point of view.
www.bgrdc.com/…

How is it that any lobbyist is on the staff for any newspaper? Isn’t it already hard enough having writers who have complex past corporate and ideological affiliations, then again isn’t that what the business section is all about, touting co-mingled with journalism. Especially in a “company town” like DC, one person’s deep state is another’s FARA scofflaw.

Ed Rogers certainly has no music to face, not unlike the Trumps’ conflicts of interest still omnipresent. In the latter instance, it’s now combined state-sanctioned murder with oil embargoes and arms sales.

The Washington Post told a prominent Republican lobbyist he’d lose his gig as a contributing opinion writer unless he stopped lobbying for Saudi Arabia, a spokesperson for the newspaper confirmed Tuesday.

The ultimatum came after the disappearance of Jamal Khashoggi, a U.S. permanent resident who was a columnist for the Post and wrote critically of the Saudi government. Khashoggi was last seen entering the Saudi consulate in Istanbul earlier this month, and allegations that he was killed by Saudi authorities have strained the U.S. relationship with Saudi Arabia.

The lobbyist, Ed Rogers, the chairman of the BGR Group, writes for the newspaper’s PostPartisan blog.

It’s not clear what role the Post’s ultimatum played in BGR’s decision to stop lobbying for Saudi Arabia. Rogers declined to comment.

www.politico.com/…

And the Wall Street Journal seems to want a stake in the grisly details, but also to triangulate on any possible torture angle in the Khashoggi murder.

By reporting that he was killed immediately after entering the consulate, the “interrogation gone wrong” angle goes away. The timetable indicated by surveillance tapes leaves little time for questioning, but also opens up the problem of whether a rendition was even considered. Pro tip: listen to music if you have to witness evisceration or dismemberment.

Interesting slant from Egyptian TV is speculation that Khashoggi was investigating a Kushner/Trump/MBS deal to shake down Bin Talel for money to pay for the weapons deal:

Like Iran-Contra, there are rogue elements and there are rogue elements… that make plausible deniability even less so.

(CNN)

A Saudi mission to interrogate and possibly abduct journalist Jamal Khashoggi in Istanbul was organized by a high-ranking officer with the General Intelligence Presidency, Saudi Arabia’s main intelligence service, three sources familiar with the case told CNN.

One of those sources described the officer as close to the inner circle of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. It is unclear whether the crown prince authorized an interrogation or abduction. Several officials CNN spoke with said the apparent killing could not have happened without the direct knowledge of the 33-year-old crown prince, the kingdom’s de facto ruler, who is known by his initials “MBS.”

According to the usual WH incompetence and crony capitalism, the attempt to squeeze Iran gets screwed up by the kelptocratic lust of a brutal combination of characters involved in sectarian and tribal blood feuds.

White House officials are worried that the apparent killing of the dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi, and Saudi Arabia’s changing account of his fate, could derail a showdown with Iran and jeopardize plans to enlist Saudi help to avoid disrupting the oil market.

Officials said the dilemma comes at a fraught moment for the Trump administration, which is expected to reimpose harsh sanctions against Iran on Nov. 5, with the intent of cutting off all Iranian oil exports.

But to make the strategy work, the administration is counting on its relationship with the Saudis to keep global oil flowing without spiking prices, and to work together on a new policy to contain Iran in the Persian Gulf.

If that carefully coordinated plan moves forward, the Saudis would likely see a significant increase in oil revenue at exactly the moment Congress is talking about penalizing the kingdom over the Khashoggi case. It is one reason that Secretary of State Mike Pompeo was sent, with a few hours’ notice, to see King Salman of Saudi Arabia and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman on Tuesday.

www.nytimes.com/…

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This is a Creative Commons article. The original version of this article appeared here.

1 COMMENT

  1. Gotta keep that money flowing no matter what, death? destruction? war with Iran? doesn’t matter have to keep the secret money deals already made with the Saudis going, payback is a bitch when you’re dealing with merciless killers.

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