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tv   Counting the Cost 2018 Ep 46  Al Jazeera  November 18, 2018 6:32am-7:00am +03

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jessica baldwin al jazeera london. this is al jazeera let's get a roundup of the top stories the u.s. president has spoken to the cia chief after reports the spy agency believes saudi arabia's crown prince ordered the murder of jamal has shoji the conclusion contradicts the saudi government's claim sound man was not involved more than found people are missing in northern california after the worst wildfires to hit the region since records began donald trump has made his first visit to the area he's been to the town of paradise where at least seventy one people died krista salumi has more from chico california just whole neighborhoods burned to the ground we saw recovery crews going through cellars looking for remains of people to try to identify bodies that den of five people that may be on that missing persons list
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just even the downtown area of paradise industrial buildings in some cases were burned to the ground so really a scene of utter devastation and all the people that lived there had to flee and go somewhere many are in shelters some are staying with family some are in hotels. the saudi led military coalition has resumed airstrikes against yemen's hooty rebels in the port city of data the united nations says the war has pushed some eight point four million people to the brink of starvation who does not control most of the country while the exiled government rules a section in the south almost three thousand migrants who are mexico's border with california say they don't feel welcome in the city of tijuana most of them are staying at a local sports complex sleeping outdoors on a baseball field the city's mayor warned the influx of central american migrants will continue for six months thousands of them are escaping violence and poverty with the hope they will gain asylum in the u.s.
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in france the protesters been killed and more than two hundred injured in demonstrations against the rising cost of fuel prices have risen twenty percent since the start of the year the government's added the taxes to try to lower air pollution as part of its environmental policy. those are the headlines we're back with more in half an hour right now it's inside story. the cia is reported to have concluded the saudi crown prince ordered the killing of . the finding leaves the u.s.
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relations where does it leave the fate of mohammed. this is a story. hello welcome to the show i am sam is a that it's what many have suspected ever since jamal khashoggi disappeared in istanbul six weeks ago the washington post says the cia has concluded the saudi crown prince did give the order to kill the saudi journalist who had criticized mohamed bin sandman the american spy agency isn't commenting on the reports and the saudi embassy in washington says the cia assessment is false mike hanna has more from washington d.c. . in recent days a number of members of congress have demanded that muhammad have been silent be held accountable either by way of tweets or in the case of senator bob corker
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during a debate about yemen in the senate i asked for our level briefing with maddest pompei o n g i asked for the comment assumes we get back to share with us what is happening with saudi arabia on both fronts both yemen and what is happening as it relates to the journalist who was assassinated in my opinion at the direction of the crown prince of saudi arabia us now the washington post reports the cia has concluded that the saudi crown prince ordered the assassination of journalist jamal khashoggi the sit says according to people familiar with the matter who spoke on the condition of anonymity the report says in reaching his conclusions the cia examined multiple sources of intelligence including a phone call that the crown prince's brother and ambassador to the u.s. had with the journalist before his murder khaled bin solomon was quick to deny the
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allegation saying on twitter i never talk to him by phone and certainly never suggested he go to turkey for any reason i asked the u.s. government to release any information regarding this claim. within hours several of the news organizations including the new york times and the wall street journal well also quoting anonymous officials confirming the report of the cia's finding although it is very important it's very significant that what the washington post new york times. c m b c n n other outlets over the last hours. reported that the cia internal assessment now is pointing straight years. in some as having ordered this operation this has never happened before at the cia we probably will not comment on this kind of report however the washington post
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wouldn't report this unless they were accurately reporting where they believe the cia said so which is a slight nuance now one can anticipate that the congressional oversight committees will have been briefed or demand to be briefed on this the reports alleging muhammad have been solomon's involvement unlikely to field even though the congressional demands that punitive measures be taken against the crown prince and his government the question is whether the president has been briefed by the cia on its reported conclusions and if so whether he would be prepared to back away from his stated reluctance to take action against the saudi government and its leader as . mike hanna al-jazeera washington thank you. now to our panel we have joining our sin boston by skype glenn carr former career
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cia officer and the former deputy national intelligence officer of the trans national threats and scott lucas a professor of american studies at the university of birmingham in thank you for joining us gentlemen let me start with glen so how does the cia typically investigate and reach a conclusion like this without getting you to you know obviously speculate on what the cia actually has. right well i don't need to speculate at all on how the process functions inside there from the lowest level up to the very top from my career a to what we call as a tasking it will be a request for information will come or we may develop it ourselves who ordered the killing of his show for example and then it's sent out to all of the conceivable. parts of the intelligence community not just cia to human sources which is where i spent my career working on or to tactical sources be they from satellites or
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telephone taps or interviews open source media and so on each report is then sent back and each report is evaluated multiple times by the person who collects it i think that this is reliable and here is why and by the people who receive it who say i don't think this is reliable and here is why all of that then is cool aided and evaluated and once again the evidence or the reports are are assessed for a liability substantiation corroboration and then a grade is given to the assessed intelligence only then is it considered finished intelligence event and in a way that i'm jumping the gun won't souls of grade has the cia given to this sort of conclusion that muhammad been sound man or did the killing from what we know at least from the leaks. well it's as confident as it's possible to be i don't think you'll ever even if you were standing in front of me and i were touching you i'd
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probably say my assessment is that i'm touching you i mean it's never nothing is ever certain or stated as such but this is quite categorical there's no doubt in the collective mind of the intelligence community in the united states that m.b.a.'s. ordered the murder of shogi there the way it is presented publicly is as firm and confident as the intelligence community in the united states can be you mention that the way it's presented let me take this point to scott how credible will this report be seen in credibility and perception of credibility of course is everything isn't it. of course the saudis will say it's not credible and indeed the brother of m.b.'s prince khalid has already gone on social media to say vociferously that this is untrue the question is how it plays around the world and here i think there's two things that are significant one
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is that up to now a lot of the reports about how high this might go within saudi arabia had relied on turkish intelligence intercepts especially surveillance of the saudi consulate where mr hasse o.-g. was murdered the leaks today indicate that the cia is making this assessment based on his own intelligence intercepts especially electronic intelligence so there is more than one source that they are using for this and the second thing is that the cia is being very careful here to say they're not saying that n.b.s. they have anything that has him saying go coco so there's nothing that directly says that instead what they're basing this on on is the fact that this type of operation in their estimation could not have been can carried out without his approval and secondly that they have intercepts in which those who carried out the murder were calling back to riyadh and saying tell the boss m.p.'s that this is been done do you think scott that we might get some kind of official confirmation
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at some point. about what's been reported in the cia conclusion in the paps in the form of gene housefull speaking in front of congress or another way. not at this point i mean right now first of all the internal dynamics gina housefull doesn't go public i mean gina housefull although she was in turkey conferring with the turks she reported back. to the white house but she said nothing publicly yourself now the second reason why i think we don't get anything at this point is because of the the split within washington the cia the state department the military are lined up against donald trump and his enter circle notably his son in law jared kirshner trump and kirshner do not want any blame placed on m.b.'s. even a well an hour ago donald trump said we rely on the saudis for business we rely on
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the saudis for jobs which indicates that he's not going to take any notice of this so no the reason why this has been leaked to the media is precisely because the cia knows it cannot get official backing at this point from the trumpet ministration for its conclusion that was going to be precisely my next question is take it to glenda and say. why have we seen this leaked out and apparently within an hour to many media sources to your mind glenn is someone who knows how the cia woods what does that tell you of the cia's thinking. well i mean to observe asians and i don't know the answer of course i'm basing this on my my past experience but normally leaks on intelligence matters come from capitol hill from congress and in particular from staffers to elected officials far more frequently than from the cia itself it is true i think although i can't prove this
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that the very top level of the cia will leak sometimes. so i would still suspect that people on the hill who have been briefed are the more likely arjun's of the information however the second point i think is the most relevant one to the issue we're discussing and that is that the intelligence community has been placed in a nearly impossible and existential challenge in crisis with the. assuming of power of a doll trump and his entourage because. we were sworn to try to present the truth as we understand it and the facts and to preserve protect and defend the constitution and when you have your your leader your chief executive denying the validity or the honesty the integrity of the king the competence of the institutions that makes the job hard and in particular when there is overwhelming
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evidence of collusion between members of the entourage now governing the country with a foreign hostile foreign power which then can those conclusions then are denied it makes the intelligence officers present in an impossible situation how can you serve an executive who is undermining the oath that you are sworn to preserve protect so the solution seems to have been for many and it's not much of a solution but it's the least bad case way forward perhaps is to leak information about the facts as we understand them and hoping that the true. can set you free is written on the walls of the scott we know that according to the reporting at least the cia has shed its findings with congress you think that's going to prompt congress to take to push for a tougher line against saudi arabia i think that's what we look at next in terms of the arenal reign of the political arena some congressman even before mr haas so
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g.'s murder wanted to put pressure on the saudis we've had individual cases of ammunition and munitions being held up being suspended by committee action in congress those congressmen i think will be reinforced in the notion that saudi arabia needs to be pressured not only over mr haas sochi but also over the yemen civil war and the saudi and you a role in it and also the saudi and you a should also be pressured over the split the blockade against qatar now the question we have is how many congressmen and are they in and flew into positions this process would start probably with committee hearings you mention the hypothetical right now that gina housefull might be called i don't think a beach in a hospital let's say secretary of state might pump a zero defense secretary jim out us and if those hearings got enough publicity the idea would be this would generate more drive to try to contain the saudis but i'm
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not certain we're going to get that far partly because we're in a period before the next congress is seated and i think partly because even amongst the cia and the agencies the sentiment is not to remove m.b.'s but more to contain him look to try to use this as leverage to get some type of negotiations over the yemeni civil war and also some type of pressure on saudi arabia to ease the blockade and maybe even lifted on qatar what about the white house though scott do you expect the white house to try and resist any pressure from congress. absolutely i mean the white house for example for months resisted sanctions against russia given donald.


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