Hero Worship?

By the time this is published the Saudi’s may have already floated a new excuse/theory on the fate of Jamal Khashoggi; President Trump telegraphed/floated it Monday. If this were an isolated incident it would be concerning. Since it is part of a pattern of behavior it borders on terrifying. Let’s explore.

Trump has repeatedly taken the word of autocrats while simultaneously labeling the American press as, “Enemies of the people.” In many cases there is reason to believe that he and/or his family and closest associates are financially beholden to those same autocrats.

Evidence of Russian interference in our 2016 election grows almost daily. Trump continues to maintain that he asked Russian President Vladimir Putin about it and Putin denied it. According to Trump that is case closed. He believes Putin over his own and several other allies’ intelligence organizations. The importance of Russian business interests – and all Russian big businesses link back to Putin – cannot be understated in the Trump family’s personal business.

The Saudi’s are world famous for two things: oil and money; they have plenty of both. Trump and especially his son-in-law/Senior Advisor Jared Kushner (a/k/a Prince Jared) are in constant need of money to fuel their (often failing) real estate ventures. As to oil, (and in fairness this predates Trump), without America’s very expensive to the American taxpayers Navy the Saudi’s probably couldn’t export the oil from which they derive their money. The Middle East is extremely complex, but a quick analysis of that situation leads to the conclusion that Saudi Arabia need America much more than America needs Saudi Arabia. However Trump needs Saudi Arabia more than America does and Trump is currently in charge.

Monday, after a phone conversation with Saudi King Salman, Trump, (conveniently for the King), floated the theory that, “Rogue agents” may have been responsible for Khashoggi’s fate. By the time you read this it is expected that some version of that will be the official line coming out of Riyadh. I guess the upside is at least this time Trump didn’t say the perp was, “Someone sitting on their bed who weighs 400 pounds.”  In case you have forgotten that was one of his excuses for Putin. By the way Putin offered the explanation that it may have been rouge hackers in Russia but that he had nothing to do with it. I guess that’s like all the Russian military who invaded Crimea with surplus uniforms and again without his knowledge.

While Trump was floating a trial balloon for the Saudis he also announced that he had dispatched his Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to Saudi Arabia. Pompeo ended up meeting with King Salman for 15 minutes and also had a 30 minute meeting with Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman who is the real power person in Saudi Arabia. I don’t know exactly how much it costs to fly the Secretary of State and staff from Washington DC to Riyadh, Saudi Arabia and back but I think 45 minutes of spin and cover-up is hardly worth the cost to the American taxpayers. If this is an investigation it makes the supplemental Kavanaugh investigation look legitimate. I feel it is abundantly clear that this will give Trump cover for being complicit in the Saudi cover-up.

I am neither a lawyer nor did I attend law school but I have an idea to advance in reaction to Trump’s actions. If, as it appears, Khashoggi was kidnapped, tortured and killed do Trump’s actions make him an accessory after the fact to kidnapping, torture and murder?

Richard Nixon brought the term “plausible deniability” into the American political lexicon; this is implausible misrepresentation; in plain English – lies. Why does Trump continually cover for autocrats? I think the answer is obvious and a threat to America; the autocrats are his heroes and his goal is to be just like them.

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