Friday, December 1, 2017

Why Saudi Prince bin Talal's 'Friends' Have Abandoned Him---While He is Being Physically Tortured

By Jake Novak

One of the world's richest men and most sought-after investors has been under arrest and even reportedly tortured for more than three weeks.

That man is billionaire Saudi Prince Alwaleed bin Talal. He owns major stakes in Twitter and Citigroup. He was a key shareholder in 21st Century FOX. His television interviews, including on CNBC, are promoted with "must-watch" status. He's routinely called the "Warren Buffett of Saudi Arabia."

But since November 5, bin Talal has been detained in a room at the Ritz Carlton in Riyadh. The hotel has become a de facto prison for more than 200 of his fellow princes and Saudi officials as new Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman conducts a sweeping and stunning purge of his real and potential political opponents.

To make matters worse, several credible reports have surfaced that bin Talal and the others are being tortured. One report says he's been hung upside down and beaten. Those stories gained a level of credence earlier this week when another prince, Miteb bin Abdullah, paid a reported $1 billion for his freedom.

As bin Salman pushes to beef up Saudi Arabia's military power and alliances against Iran, the official reason for these arrests is that they are part of an "anti-corruption probe." But of course, the kingdom is not presenting anything in the way of documented evidence. That's not how they roll in a regime that Human Rights Watch points out has no written penal code or criminal rights.

"Since November 5, bin Talal has been detained in a room at the Ritz Carlton in Riyadh. The hotel has become a de facto prison for more than 200 of his fellow princes."
That brings us to an uncomfortable question: Where are Prince bin Talal's powerful business partners and political contacts who have been seen with him at DAVOS or dozens of other major world events?

This was the man who stuck his neck out for years in support of the Murdoch family. And that includes the period in 2001 when calls to oust Rupert Murdoch and his sons were running high after the British News of the World phone tapping scandal. There has been no real protest on his behalf from the Murdochs or in their newspapers and TV networks.

Others, like Bill Gates who called him an "important partner," have made lukewarm statements this past week. But none have met the level of urgency appropriate for a man detained with no documented charges and possibly under physical harm.

Read the rest here.

1 comment:

  1. The wealthiest Arab of all, Prince Al-Walid bin al-Talal, a billionaire 18 times over, an “important partner” to Bill Gates, co-owner of 21st Century Fox and Twitter, of Paris’ Hotel George V and London’s Savoy Hotel, inter alia, had been hung upside down, Mussolini-style.

    Hundreds of other princes and gentlemen were tortured, too, until they agreed to surrender their ill-gotten assets, 70% of all they have. As I write, and as you read these lines, the torture goes on, and so far MBS has already milked his victims of hundreds of billions $$ worth of cash and assets.

    “An Extortion racket”, you’ll exclaim. Perhaps MBS watched The Godfather in his impressionable youth and was impressed by efficiency of their methods. However, he has solved, or rather is in the process of solving, the problem of solvency.

    Perhaps this is the method to be advised to Trump and Putin, as well as to other leaders? If the neoliberal dogma forbids taxing, if the offshore are sacred, what remains for a diligent leader but a plush five-star hotel and a band of experienced torturers?

    But surely, the torturer will be condemned and ostracised by human rights’ defenders! Not at all. Not a single voice, neither from liberal left nor from authoritarian right objected to this amazing deed of mass torture and extortion. While the co-owner of Twitter has been subjected to daily beatings, the prime voice of liberal conscience, Tom Friedman of the New York Times, eulogised MBS as the bearer of progress. In an article as panegyric as they come, titled Saudi Arabia’s Arab Spring, at Last and subtitled “The crown prince has big plans for his society”.


    The only satisfaction is that now you know who owns the dog that did not bark.