Background Briefing: August 10, 2020


U.S. Court Summons MBS and His Hit Team to Answer Charges From Targeted Former Saudi Intelligence Official

We begin with a summons being issued today by a U.S. District Court in Washington against the de facto Saudi leader Mohammed Bin Salman and members of his hit team in a case brought by a former top Saudi intelligence official Saad al-Jabri which no doubt has MBS on the phone to Jared Kushner, Trump and Pompeo begging them to make it go away. The lawsuit exposes the ruthless impunity of the Saudi boy king who, less than two weeks after having ordered the killing and dismemberment of a dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi, sent a fifty-member assassination team to Canada to kill this high ranking intelligence official who knows all of MBS’s secrets and is close to Western Intelligence. David Hearst, the Editor of Middle East Eye joins us from London to discuss the lawsuit Saad Al-Jabri has brought against MBS under the Torture Victim Protection Act since MBS is holding al-Jabri’s children hostage and torturing them.


Europe’s Last Dictator Flagrantly Steals Sunday’s Election

Then with protests underway in Belarus following the flagrant stealing of an election by Europe’s last dictator Lukashenko who is claiming an 80% victory over the wife of a jailed opposition leader, we speak with David Marples, Distinguished Professor of History and Classics at the University of Alberta. He is the President of the North American Association of Belarusian Studies and the author of Understanding Ukraine and Belarus, and he joins us to discuss what could be a turning point in this dictatorship which has lasted since 1994 that has the European Union conflicted in wanting democracy in Belarus but not wanting a weakened Lukashenko to turn to Russia for help and have Putin dominate a country on Poland and Lithuania’s border.


Will the Next Stimulus Package Have Money for the Post Office?

Then finally we get an update on the likely resumption of negotiations between Schumer and Pelosi and Meadows and Mnuchin following Trump’s political stunt of offering up dubious executive orders to solve the critical impasse on getting a new stimulus package to states overwhelmed by the pandemic and Americans in desperate need of unemployment benefits and protection from evictions. James Thurber, the University Distinguished Professor of Government and Founder and former Director of the Center for Congressional and Presidential Studies at American University, joins us to discuss the key issue to watch once negotiations resume and that is whether there will be a compromise on getting money to the Post Office which Trump is determined to cripple before the election.