Links to today’s show transcripts:
Trump Chooses “Relationship with Saudi Arabia” over Accountability for Jamal Khashoggi’s Murder
Despite overwhelming evidence that Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi was assassinated at the order of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, President Trump stood by Saudi Arabia Tuesday in an extraordinary written statement riddled with exclamation points and subtitled “America First,” writing, “It could very well be that the crown prince had knowledge of this tragic event — maybe he did and maybe he didn’t! That being said, we may never know all of the facts surrounding the murder of Mr. Jamal Khashoggi. In any case, our relationship is with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.” Trump’s statement came even after The Washington Post reported last Friday that the CIA has “high confidence” that Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman ordered Jamal Khashoggi’s murder. Saudi officials have tried to dismiss Khashoggi’s death as a rare, unauthorized killing, but a recent New York Times report suggests the kingdom has sought out private companies to assassinate perceived enemies since the beginning of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s rule. Israeli investigative reporter who helped break the story, Ronen Bergman, is the author of “Rise and Kill First: The Secret History of Israel’s Targeted Assassinations.” Ronen Bergman is a staff writer for The New York Times Magazine and the senior national security correspondent for Yedioth Ahronoth. His piece in The New York Times is titled “Saudis Close to Crown Prince Discussed Killing Other Enemies a Year Before Khashoggi’s Death.”
Did Israel Kill Yasser Arafat? Stunning Investigation Exposes Israel’s Secretive Assassination Program
Israeli intelligence officials desperately tried to prevent Ronen Bergman from writing “Rise and Kill First: The Secret History of Israel’s Targeted Assassinations,” a stunning book exposing the details of Israel’s extrajudicial killing program. Israel even changed and extended secrecy laws to prevent Bergman from gaining access to historical documents. Despite this, Bergman gained unprecedented access while writing the book, scouring thousands of documents and meeting with some 1,000 sources. The result is a stunning investigation that dives deep into the targeted killing programs of Israel, which has assassinated more people than any other country in the Western world since World War II. Ronen Bergman speaks about Israel’s many attempts to kill the former chair of the Palestine Liberation Organization, Yasser Arafat, and the possibility that they succeeded.
Costs of War: 17 Years After 9/11, Nearly Half a Million People Have Died in Global “War on Terror”
Nearly half a million people have died from violence in Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan since George W. Bush declared a “war on terror” in the wake of 9/11, according to a major new report from Brown University’s Costs of War Project. More than 17 years later, the war in Afghanistan is the longest war in U.S. history. Costs of War reports that more than 480,000 people have died from violence in Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan—including soldiers, militants, police, contractors, journalists, humanitarian workers and civilians. Several times as many people have died indirectly because of water loss, sewage and other infrastructural problems, and war-related disease. The wars have uprooted 21 million Afghan, Iraqi, Pakistani and Syrian people who are now refugees of war or internally displaced. The cost of the global so-called war on terror will soon surpass $6 trillion. Neta Crawford is the director of the Costs of War Project. She is a professor and department chair of political science at Boston University.