How The NSA Is Actively Helping Saudi Arabia To Crackdown On Dissent

Tyler Durden's picture

Submitted by Michael Krieger of Liberty Blitzkrieg blog,

It is not an exaggeration to say Saudi Arabia is one of the most oppressive, authoritarian regimes on the planet. Despite having been the main foreign instigator pushing for conflict in Syria, as well as its increasingly disturbing ties to the attacks on 9/11, it remains one of the U.S. government’s closest allies.

I’ve covered some of the human rights abuses of the Saudi regime on several occasions due to the fact that it so clearly exposes the total hypocrisy of U.S. foreign policy. The most recent example was the recent sentencing of human rights lawyer and activist Waleed Abu Alkhair to 15 years in prison for “inciting public opinion,” i.e., effectively utilizing free speech. I covered this in detail in the post: Saudi Human Rights Lawyer and Activist Jailed for 15 Years for Free Speech Under New “Anti-Terror” Law.

Thanks to revelations from Edward Snowden, we now know that our taxpayer money is directly funding the ability of this autocratic regime to brutalize its citizenry. The Intercept reports that:

The Saudi Ministry of Interior—referred to in the document as MOI— has been condemned for years as one of the most brutal human rights violators in the world. In 2013, the U.S. State Department reported that “Ministry of Interior officials sometimes subjected prisoners and detainees to torture and other physical abuse,” specifically mentioning a 2011 episode in which MOI agents allegedly “poured an antiseptic cleaning liquid down [the] throat” of one human rights activist. The report also notes the MOI’s use of invasive surveillance targeted at political and religious dissidents.


But as the State Department publicly catalogued those very abuses, the NSA worked to provide increased surveillance assistance to the ministry that perpetrated them. The move is part of the Obama Administration’s increasingly close ties with the Saudi regime; beyond the new cooperation with the MOI, the memo describes “a period of rejuvenation” for the NSA’s relationship with the Saudi Ministry of Defense.


In general, U.S. support for the Saudi regime is long-standing. One secret 2007 NSA memo lists Saudi Arabia as one of four countries where the U.S. “has [an] interest in regime continuity.”


But from the end of the 1991 Gulf War until recently, the memo says, the NSA had a “very limited” relationship with the Saudi kingdom. In December 2012, the U.S. director of national intelligence,James Clapper, authorized the agency to expand its “third party” relationship with Saudi Arabia to include the sharing of signals intelligence, or “SIGINT,” capability with the MOD’s Technical Affairs Directorate (TAD).


Over the past year, the Saudi government has escalated its crackdown on activists, dissidents, and critics of the government. Earlier this month, Saudi human rights lawyer and activist Waleed Abu al-Khair was sentenced to 15 years in prison by a so-called “terrorist court” on charges of undermining the state and insulting the judiciary. In May, a liberal blogger, Raif Badawi, was sentenced to 10 years in prison and 1,000 lashes; in June, human rights activist Mukhlif Shammari was sentenced to five years in prison for writing about the mistreatment of Saudi women.

I’m still waiting for Hollywood celebrities to hashtag outrage about Saudi abuses.

Asked if the U.S. takes human rights records into account before collaborating with foreign security agencies, a spokesman for the office of the director of national intelligence told The Intercept: “Yes. We cannot comment on specific intelligence matters but, as a general principle, human rights considerations inform our decisions on intelligence sharing with foreign governments.”

Remember, your government loves you. Full article here.


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reinhardt's picture

snowden is much more than just a patriot

something to think about:

The Indisputable Connection Between Outsourcing Projects And Stock Markets (Part 1)


strannick's picture

"Despite being directly involved in Syria and ties to 9.11"?

"Despite"? Theses are American/Saudi parallel policies, with Saudis playing the junior partner. Not "despite".

booboo's picture

The Saudi's are off limits, hands off, moar protected then "Jews". They are allowed great latitude, I know a cop that was working off duty at a orlando Hotel near the house of mouse that intervened in a severe beat down of one of the familiy's servants by a saudi low life money bag in rags and he damn near lost his job and recanted his statements in his report under pressure. I also know a president that allowed the royal shit stains to flee america on 9/11

Jack Burton's picture

I met a man who worked in the Saudi Oil Fields back in the early 90's. As Americans they were segregated in a company compound. I asked him about live working for an American company doing business in Saudi Arabia. He said little, almost as if this was a sate secret. But he did say as non muslims they were encouraged to work and stay in the compound, sort of like hihgly paid prisoners. They had a clause in their contract that forbid and discussion of Saudi Arabia or conditions there. I assume this was to prevent him revealing how the third world slaves he often worked around were treated. Saudi is a slave state, guest workers are really salves by a different name.

DaveyJones's picture

they have them over a barrel

logicalman's picture

By 'them' you obviously mean US government.

That goes for Saudi and NSA


wee-weed up's picture

The NSA has their slimy tentacles into EVERY country!

tonyw's picture

these must be the (lack of ) freedoms we are hated for

Monty Burns's picture

"sentencing of human rights lawyer and activist Waleed Abu Alkhair to 15 years in prison for “inciting public opinion,” i.e., effectively utilizing free speech"

Could some kind soul explain to me how this is any different to the West's 'incitement to racial hatred' laws?

Eirik Magnus Larssen's picture

This is part of the so-called "petrodollar" arrangement that dates back to the early 1950s. The United States has essentially guaranteed the continued supremacy of the House of Saud in the region. In return, the Kingdom agreed to only accept dollars for the oil it sells.

Greenskeeper_Carl's picture

every rich country in the middle east is like that. I personally saw how they are treated, its pretty fucked up. The shipyard in bahrain was pretty bad. These people worked in the burning 120 degree sun for 10 hours, 6 days a week, and eaned the equivilent of about 8 dollars a day. The living and working conditions were appaling as well. It truly is modern day slavery. The employer pays for their plane ticket to bahrain, and at the end of the contract, pays for their ticket home. The contract is usually 2-4 years. technically, they can quit anytime they want, but they earn so little that they could never afford a tiket back o india/bangladesh/pakistan, wherever, so essentially they are stuck. Also, the minute they quit their job, the visa is no longer valid, so they are in the country illegally. The bahrainis, and kuwaitis, would throw them in prison for a while then deport them. So while technically these people can quit their jobs, they cant afford to get out of the country, so the real choice is to either work in these slave labor conditions until the contract is up, or go to prison

Monty Burns's picture

I'm very familiar with SA and can confidently state that it's among the most evil countries on the planet. I can't think of one good thing to say about it.

One of my most enjoyable moments was, on retiring and knowing I'd never go there again, writing to all my contacts there and letting them know exactly what I thought of them and their despicable country.

philipat's picture

Until they agree with the Chinese to accept RMB as payment for oil........

Sushi von Gestern's picture

The house of Saud are Iraqi Jews installed by the Red Shield Banksters.

They act as a hub for terrorism funding for the Zionist controlled opposition.

Wahhabism, known in the West as 'extremist Islam', was created here with patronage of the House of Saud.

Ever heard politicians calling for regime changein Saudi Arabia?


Memoirs Of Mr. Hempher, The British Spy To The Middle East

zerocash's picture

Saudi Arabia is a democratic state. They just suffer from a lot of terrorism. That is why they need the NSA's aid so much. 



One And Only's picture

Guess they aren't teaching them how to steal cows.

sylviasays's picture

"It is not an exaggeration to say Saudi Arabia is one of the most oppressive, authoritarian regimes on the planet."

The United Socialist States of Amerika is catching up fast. 

hooligan2009's picture

Is that joker searching that other joker for weapons or surveillance devices?

hobopants's picture

Yet another tangled web,

Support Iran, attack Syria, fund IS, set up phony regime in Iraq then abandon phony regime in Iraq? support Israel and then support Hamas? Piss off Saudi and then help Saudi?

We have no idea what the fuck we are doing.

TNTARG's picture

Hamas is very useful for Israel's purposes.

hot sauce technician's picture

No kidding. Nobody denies it either. Since it s creation though 10 different wars were fought within a 100 square mile radius. And it's and age old tactic - the enemy of my enemy is my friend. PLO was viewed as the Zionists' greatest threat throughout the late 70s and 80s. Hamas was the perfect counter - religious, homegrown, small - and weak enough to be contained. Of course that's just the product of skewed reasoning of israeli politicians meant as a substitute for dealing with the actual root of the Palestinian problem. But such is the nature of politics and politicians. When Pompey came to Jerusalem in 66 BCE with the intention of asserting Roman authority he used the hasmonean claimant to the throne, aristoblus, against his brother hyrcanus. According to Josephus many thousands were slain in this "bankster war". Not that it helped Rome in the years afterwards - the Hasmonean dynasty eventually degenerated into a rotten and weak regime and was easily usurped by the idumean slave Herod, paving the way for the proletariat religious zealot rabble to eventually seize power and fight the Romans in a costly and miserable war. But I digress. Hamas for the past 20 years has very much been its own man and has turned completely on its original benefactor. The fact that Israel had some part in its creation is at this point irrelevant. 

Number 156's picture

Dont they have enough money over there to create their own spy agency?

Otrader's picture

Spy agencies are borderless.  They'll help each other as long as the powerful stay in power.   Human rights?  Pffffffft. 

TNTARG's picture

They have one thas serves them all.

It's call NSA.


Dr. Engali's picture

The fact that we get photos of Bush walking hand in hand with the Saudi king and Obama bowing to him should tell you everything you need to know about whole host of issues, including the illusion of two separate parties in United States of America. The sooner the Saudis run out of oil the better off we are.

hobopants's picture

I honestly doubt they have as much left as they say they do. It would certainly explain the change in our attitude toward Iran.

Dr. Engali's picture

I'd like to believe that, but knowing how the U.S works I'm skeptical. Believe me, if they were of no value to the empire the Sauds would be dropped like a hot potato to fall into chaos and be consumed by their enemies.

hobopants's picture

Ya I know what you mean, but then what in the world was that meeting between the royals and Obama about that lasted all of twenty minutes and left everybody with a sour look on their face? and why the sudden shift on Iran? Seems like if there was still much value there we wouldn't dare risk the relationship by warming up to Iran.

But then again our foreign policy has seemed completely sensless for awhile now, so who knows...


logicalman's picture

They could likely bring down the US government with what they know about 9/11

Quite the card to have in your hand.


Monty Burns's picture

Could bring down Israel as well with the same card.

NotApplicable's picture

Any guesses as to the identity of the other three protected regimes back in 2007?

Qatar comes to mind.

Loophole's picture

Then again, what is the population there like?

If they could have voted, they would have elected OBL.

The Egyptians elected the Muslim Brotherhood.

The Iranians, the mad mullahs.

Who should we support?

Otrader's picture

Who should we support?

Ron Paul!  Leave them alone.  We are more than capable of supporting and protecing the USA.  We are approaching 18T in debt and slaves to the central banks with no end in sight.  I can't beleive why people can't get that thru their heads.

TNTARG's picture

Plus, You'll have many less truculent allies.

goldhedge's picture

EVIL Govs must stick together.

Otrader's picture

At the top, they're borderless.  There's some sort of agreement, that whatever happens to the small shmucks (non billionaires), the money/power must remain at the top in a controlled fashion.

Space Animatoltipap's picture

The fiat money mobsters and their SA friends don't care for anyone or anything but money, coke, castles, expensive vehicles, all kinds of degraded sex, gambling, arrogance, harshness and megalomania. Actually they're just like the lusty and degraded joe average. Indeed, it's Kali Yuga.

shouldvekilledthem's picture

 Stop using government issued fiat.

Skateboarder's picture

Yeah, let me go tell my boss to pay me in silver maples lol.

CH1's picture

You can change FRNs for Maples on the way home from work.

Skateboarder's picture

And I do. Unfortunately, I have to cross a lake by boat to get to my suburban home.

Yen Cross's picture

  I love you're ability to turn "insipid" text into worthwhile, readable- reality Skateboarder.

Skateboarder's picture

Words are our friends. They use it against us in the form of legalese: it binds you to its will. We as scholars and musicians and poets have to always pave the way for creating voices and sounds that tell our tale. Every civilization has its storytellers. My prose is terse and I like to bridge the sane and the insane. Am a fan of your tone as well.

ShrNfr's picture

Go to Saudi Arabia and get a head.

socalbeach's picture

How The Pentagon Will Be Actively Helping Kiev.

I don't see how this conflict will not escalate.

U.S. intelligence will give the junta coordinates militias (26.07.2014)

The Pentagon is ready to send confidential data, received from us intelligence, the Kyiv authorities.

RT with reference to the New York Times reports that we are talking about information about the location of the militias, and at their disposal, air defense systems and other equipment.

This information is needed for Kiev to deliver a crushing blow to the forces of resistance. In addition, according to the publication, in the Pentagon, the discussion is whether or not simply transfer the data to Kyiv or to help him to attack the forces of militia.