Our Friends, The House of Saud

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thoreau
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Re: Our Friends, The House of Saud

Post by thoreau » 10 Oct 2018, 19:08

Yeah, but who cares?

Trump could shoot a journalist in the middle of 5th Avenue, drag the corpse to a consulate, dismember it, and the response from the people whose votes matter would be "Whatevz."
"ike Wile E. Coyote salivating over a "4000 Ways To Prepare Roadrunner" cookbook without watching his surroundings, the Road Runner of Societal Inertia snuck up on them both and beepbeeped them off the mesa."
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Aresen
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Re: Our Friends, The House of Saud

Post by Aresen » 10 Oct 2018, 19:39

Mo wrote:
10 Oct 2018, 18:51
Looks like the White House knee shit was going down.

https://observer.com/2018/10/nsa-source ... gi-danger/
I am somewhat skeptical. The article speaks of the NSA decoding Saudi communications. Either the NSA has decription algorithms that can break anything or they have stolen the Saudi keys, neither of which I consider high probabilities. OTOH, there may have been some human intelligence at work.

The most likely explanation for the article is that the author is being used by the NSA for some reason and the NSA wants to give the impression that it REALLY DOES KNOW.
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Re: Our Friends, The House of Saud

Post by thoreau » 10 Oct 2018, 19:45

There could also be a human source but they want to protect him by saying they got this from intercepted messages.
"ike Wile E. Coyote salivating over a "4000 Ways To Prepare Roadrunner" cookbook without watching his surroundings, the Road Runner of Societal Inertia snuck up on them both and beepbeeped them off the mesa."
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Kolohe
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Re: Our Friends, The House of Saud

Post by Kolohe » 10 Oct 2018, 19:49

I'm trying to figure out how the NSA would have the bureaucratic wherewithal to be paying attention to the conversations by mid level officials of a nominally allied country about a fairly random dude who is a US resident but not citizen.

Eta - the covering for a human source makes some sense.
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Re: Our Friends, The House of Saud

Post by Aresen » 10 Oct 2018, 19:55

thoreau wrote:
10 Oct 2018, 19:45
There could also be a human source but they want to protect him by saying they got this from intercepted messages.
That would be my guess. I haven't read up on encryption lately, but the last articles I read indicated that it was very easy to create codes that were essentially unbreakable. There was a female Chinese mathematician who showed a method of factoring extremely large numbers that cut the time for finding the prime factors of a large number from something like 10100 years down to a mere 1030 years. Unless someone has improved her method, I am skeptical of any codebreaking claims that do not involve stealing the key - IOW, human intelligence operations.
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Re: Our Friends, The House of Saud

Post by Jadagul » 10 Oct 2018, 20:44

There's key theft and there are side-channel attacks. The math is pretty secure, but the implementation often isn't.

(There have been some really cool attacks in the past couple of years. ID cards in some Eastern European country came RSA-signed, but they were using a library to generate them that had some flaws in the random number generator, and made the encryption eminently breakable. The country had to recall and replace millions of national ID cards).

Edit to add: But when people talk about intercepting communications these days, they're generally not talking about intercepting ciphertext and decrypting it. That hasn't been realistic for decades. They're talking about intercepting the decrypted plaintext from someone's computer. Or tapping a wire that wasn't properly encrypted, or launching a man-in-the-middle attack to prevent the encryption from occurring. There are lots of methods.

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thoreau
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Re: Our Friends, The House of Saud

Post by thoreau » 10 Oct 2018, 21:07

Kolohe wrote:
10 Oct 2018, 19:49
I'm trying to figure out how the NSA would have the bureaucratic wherewithal to be paying attention to the conversations by mid level officials of a nominally allied country about a fairly random dude who is a US resident but not citizen.
I doubt they routinely check to see if anyone in Saudi Arabia is talking about any US journalist, but if somebody had some prior reason to be especially interested in the particular official discussing the planned hit, it's not crazy to think that they'd be listening to his conversations and be all "Wait, they're planning to do what now? Yeah, we gotta report this."

Their reason for caring might be a tip from a human source. So the human source tells them what's up, then they listen in on relevant people to (1) check on the tip and (2) have a ready-made explanation if somebody plans to intervene and the Saudis are all "Wait, how did they know?"
"ike Wile E. Coyote salivating over a "4000 Ways To Prepare Roadrunner" cookbook without watching his surroundings, the Road Runner of Societal Inertia snuck up on them both and beepbeeped them off the mesa."
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Re: Our Friends, The House of Saud

Post by thoreau » 10 Oct 2018, 21:13

Anyway, if somebody in the intelligence community did tell the White House about the planned hit, I can only imagine Trump's response.

"Kashgooey works for which paper now?"
"The Washington Post, sir."
"You know, the Post, they're terrible. Just terrible. Worse than the failing New York times. The worst. It's true."
"Sir, this man is a US resident and a journalist engaging in legitimate activit--"
"Jeff Bezos ripped off the Post Office. He did. It's terrible. The worst."
"Sir, don't you think we should--"
"The media is very bad. They spread so much fake news, so much. It's terrible. And Kashi, Kash, what, Kardashian?"
"Khashoggi, sir."
"Like the Okie from Tuskogee? Hah, I bet you've never heard of that song."
"Muskogee, sir."
"What?"
"Okie from Muskogee, sir."
"ike Wile E. Coyote salivating over a "4000 Ways To Prepare Roadrunner" cookbook without watching his surroundings, the Road Runner of Societal Inertia snuck up on them both and beepbeeped them off the mesa."
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Re: Our Friends, The House of Saud

Post by Aresen » 10 Oct 2018, 21:15

thoreau wrote:
10 Oct 2018, 21:13
Anyway, if somebody in the intelligence community did tell the White House about the planned hit, I can only imagine Trump's response.

"Kashgooey works for which paper now?"
"The Washington Post, sir."
"You know, the Post, they're terrible. Just terrible. Worse than the failing New York times. The worst. It's true."
"Sir, this man is a US resident and a journalist engaging in legitimate activit--"
"Jeff Bezos ripped off the Post Office. He did. It's terrible. The worst."
"Sir, don't you think we should--"
"The media is very bad. They spread so much fake news, so much. It's terrible. And Kashi, Kash, what, Kardashian?"
"Khashoggi, sir."
"Like the Okie from Tuskogee? Hah, I bet you've never heard of that song."
"Muskogee, sir."
"What?"
"Okie from Muskogee, sir."
*nods*
If Trump supporters wanted a tough guy, why did they elect such a whiny bitch? - Mo

Those who know history are doomed to deja vu. - the innominate one

Never bring a knife to a joke fight" - dhex

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Our Friends, The House of Saud

Post by Mo » 12 Oct 2018, 16:24

Yglesias had a good take re: the reaction to one journalist vs. Thousands of Yemenis. Stalin was right.

Also, the federalist twerps are trying to smear him because he said nice thing about the Muhajadeen and al Queda predecessors in 1988. You know, when the CIA was funding them. I guess the KSA is among those that find the Federalist.
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Re: Our Friends, The House of Saud

Post by lunchstealer » 12 Oct 2018, 16:47

I think it's also important to remember that the leaders of the Mujahideen weren't the Taliban. A couple basically signed non-aggression pacts with the Taliban, and the rest were either assassinated by them or ended up as the Northern Alliance - the guys who were our first allies against the Taliban in late 2001 and early 2002.
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Re: Our Friends, The House of Saud

Post by Mo » 12 Oct 2018, 18:03

Clearly people need to watch Rambo III.

https://fabiusmaximus.files.wordpress.c ... -end-1.png
his voice is so soothing, but why do conspiracy nuts always sound like Batman and Robin solving one of Riddler's puzzles out loud? - fod

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Eric the .5b
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Re: Our Friends, The House of Saud

Post by Eric the .5b » 12 Oct 2018, 18:31

Mo wrote:
12 Oct 2018, 16:24
Yglesias had a good take re: the reaction to one journalist vs. Thousands of Yemenis. Stalin was right.
That and, what would the US do that would have any impact on Saudi Arabia that we'd want it to do?

Evil, shitty governments do evil, shitty things. Unless we're gonna bomb them or start an oil trade war that makes any tiff Trump starts with Canada or China look meaningless, we're not changing anything. (And of course, going to war likely won't cause successful change.) Any US diplomatic action short of that is just a display to satisfy the indignance of concerned Americans.
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Re: Our Friends, The House of Saud

Post by Mo » 12 Oct 2018, 18:40

Normalizing trade relations with Iran would piss them right off
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Re: Our Friends, The House of Saud

Post by Eric the .5b » 12 Oct 2018, 18:45

Mo wrote:
12 Oct 2018, 18:40
Normalizing trade relations with Iran would piss them right off
I'm wary of the message that the key to normal relations is someone else pissing us off (or that normalizing relations is meant as a diplomatic aggression against a third party). And when the Iranian government does something as awful as this, what do we do?

Normalize with Iran or don't normalize with Iran; making it contingent on us caring about one instance of Saudi Arabia's bad behavior strikes me as a bad idea.
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Re: Our Friends, The House of Saud

Post by Aresen » 12 Oct 2018, 20:58

Eric the .5b wrote:
12 Oct 2018, 18:31
Mo wrote:
12 Oct 2018, 16:24
Yglesias had a good take re: the reaction to one journalist vs. Thousands of Yemenis. Stalin was right.
That and, what would the US do that would have any impact on Saudi Arabia that we'd want it to do?

Evil, shitty governments do evil, shitty things. Unless we're gonna bomb them or start an oil trade war that makes any tiff Trump starts with Canada or China look meaningless, we're not changing anything. (And of course, going to war likely won't cause successful change.) Any US diplomatic action short of that is just a display to satisfy the indignance of concerned Americans.
This is the scary part. Any coup that puts the Saudi royals up against the wall could put a nasty Wahabi regime in place.
If Trump supporters wanted a tough guy, why did they elect such a whiny bitch? - Mo

Those who know history are doomed to deja vu. - the innominate one

Never bring a knife to a joke fight" - dhex

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Re: Our Friends, The House of Saud

Post by Eric the .5b » 12 Oct 2018, 21:22

Aresen wrote:
12 Oct 2018, 20:58
Eric the .5b wrote:
12 Oct 2018, 18:31
Mo wrote:
12 Oct 2018, 16:24
Yglesias had a good take re: the reaction to one journalist vs. Thousands of Yemenis. Stalin was right.
That and, what would the US do that would have any impact on Saudi Arabia that we'd want it to do?

Evil, shitty governments do evil, shitty things. Unless we're gonna bomb them or start an oil trade war that makes any tiff Trump starts with Canada or China look meaningless, we're not changing anything. (And of course, going to war likely won't cause successful change.) Any US diplomatic action short of that is just a display to satisfy the indignance of concerned Americans.
This is the scary part. Any coup that puts the Saudi royals up against the wall could put a nasty Wahabi regime in place.
Eh, nobody's going to war over this murdered guy, disgusting and horrible as the crime is.
"Better that ten guilty persons escape than that one innocent suffer."
"Cyberpunk never really gave the government enough credit for their ability to secure a favorable prenup during the Corporate-State wedding." - Shem

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Re: Our Friends, The House of Saud

Post by Aresen » 12 Oct 2018, 21:47

Eric the .5b wrote:
12 Oct 2018, 21:22
Eh, nobody's going to war over this murdered guy, disgusting and horrible as the crime is.
Agreed. I was commenting on what happens after the current regime.
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Re: Our Friends, The House of Saud

Post by Jadagul » 12 Oct 2018, 22:14

Eric the .5b wrote:
12 Oct 2018, 18:31
Mo wrote:
12 Oct 2018, 16:24
Yglesias had a good take re: the reaction to one journalist vs. Thousands of Yemenis. Stalin was right.
That and, what would the US do that would have any impact on Saudi Arabia that we'd want it to do?

Evil, shitty governments do evil, shitty things. Unless we're gonna bomb them or start an oil trade war that makes any tiff Trump starts with Canada or China look meaningless, we're not changing anything. (And of course, going to war likely won't cause successful change.) Any US diplomatic action short of that is just a display to satisfy the indignance of concerned Americans.
We could cancel the weapons deal.

We could do less in the future to help them.

We could not send our treasury secretary to their big conference.

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Re: Our Friends, The House of Saud

Post by Eric the .5b » 13 Oct 2018, 01:20

Jadagul wrote:
12 Oct 2018, 22:14
Eric the .5b wrote:
12 Oct 2018, 18:31
Mo wrote:
12 Oct 2018, 16:24
Yglesias had a good take re: the reaction to one journalist vs. Thousands of Yemenis. Stalin was right.
That and, what would the US do that would have any impact on Saudi Arabia that we'd want it to do?

Evil, shitty governments do evil, shitty things. Unless we're gonna bomb them or start an oil trade war that makes any tiff Trump starts with Canada or China look meaningless, we're not changing anything. (And of course, going to war likely won't cause successful change.) Any US diplomatic action short of that is just a display to satisfy the indignance of concerned Americans.
We could cancel the weapons deal.

We could do less in the future to help them.

We could not send our treasury secretary to their big conference.
All those sound fine to me.

Are they anything that Obama or Clinton would have actually done?

In the MidEast, the US government tends to either want to go to warlike resorts that we damn well don't want, or it won't do anything at all.
"Better that ten guilty persons escape than that one innocent suffer."
"Cyberpunk never really gave the government enough credit for their ability to secure a favorable prenup during the Corporate-State wedding." - Shem

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Re: Our Friends, The House of Saud

Post by Mo » 13 Oct 2018, 05:08

Obama would have likely withdrawn the Treasury Secretary. I could also see pull back in support/cover in Yemen over it. Obama and Clinton would definitely have not bent over backwards for KSA I’m the Qatar thing.
his voice is so soothing, but why do conspiracy nuts always sound like Batman and Robin solving one of Riddler's puzzles out loud? - fod

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Kolohe
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Re: Our Friends, The House of Saud

Post by Kolohe » 14 Oct 2018, 22:48

Mo wrote:
12 Oct 2018, 16:24
Yglesias had a good take re: the reaction to one journalist vs. Thousands of Yemenis. Stalin was right.

Also, the federalist twerps are trying to smear him because he said nice thing about the Muhajadeen and al Queda predecessors in 1988. You know, when the CIA was funding them. I guess the KSA is among those that find the Federalist.
Plus, the only fucking governments in the world that recognized the Taliban government were the Saudis, the Pakistanis, and the Emiratis.
when you wake up as the queen of the n=1 kingdom and mount your steed non sequiturius, do you look out upon all you survey and think “damn, it feels good to be a green idea sleeping furiously?" - dhex

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Kolohe
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Re: Our Friends, The House of Saud

Post by Kolohe » 14 Oct 2018, 22:50

Aresen wrote:
12 Oct 2018, 20:58
Eric the .5b wrote:
12 Oct 2018, 18:31
Mo wrote:
12 Oct 2018, 16:24
Yglesias had a good take re: the reaction to one journalist vs. Thousands of Yemenis. Stalin was right.
That and, what would the US do that would have any impact on Saudi Arabia that we'd want it to do?

Evil, shitty governments do evil, shitty things. Unless we're gonna bomb them or start an oil trade war that makes any tiff Trump starts with Canada or China look meaningless, we're not changing anything. (And of course, going to war likely won't cause successful change.) Any US diplomatic action short of that is just a display to satisfy the indignance of concerned Americans.
This is the scary part. Any coup that puts the Saudi royals up against the wall could put a nasty Wahabi regime in place.
Those we actually know how to deal with, though.

And I'm not kidding.
when you wake up as the queen of the n=1 kingdom and mount your steed non sequiturius, do you look out upon all you survey and think “damn, it feels good to be a green idea sleeping furiously?" - dhex

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Aresen
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Re: Our Friends, The House of Saud

Post by Aresen » 14 Oct 2018, 23:16

Kolohe wrote:
14 Oct 2018, 22:50
Aresen wrote:
12 Oct 2018, 20:58
Eric the .5b wrote:
12 Oct 2018, 18:31
Mo wrote:
12 Oct 2018, 16:24
Yglesias had a good take re: the reaction to one journalist vs. Thousands of Yemenis. Stalin was right.
That and, what would the US do that would have any impact on Saudi Arabia that we'd want it to do?

Evil, shitty governments do evil, shitty things. Unless we're gonna bomb them or start an oil trade war that makes any tiff Trump starts with Canada or China look meaningless, we're not changing anything. (And of course, going to war likely won't cause successful change.) Any US diplomatic action short of that is just a display to satisfy the indignance of concerned Americans.
This is the scary part. Any coup that puts the Saudi royals up against the wall could put a nasty Wahabi regime in place.
Those we actually know how to deal with, though.

And I'm not kidding.
Not sure in what sense you mean 'deal with'. Do you mean 'trade with' or 'bomb the shit out of?'

(I don't have any objections to seeing the Saudi Royals swinging from lamp posts, I just think the result would likely be an even bigger mess than Iraq.)
If Trump supporters wanted a tough guy, why did they elect such a whiny bitch? - Mo

Those who know history are doomed to deja vu. - the innominate one

Never bring a knife to a joke fight" - dhex

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Re: Our Friends, The House of Saud

Post by Hugh Akston » 14 Oct 2018, 23:33

Aresen wrote:
14 Oct 2018, 23:16
Kolohe wrote:
14 Oct 2018, 22:50
Aresen wrote:
12 Oct 2018, 20:58
Eric the .5b wrote:
12 Oct 2018, 18:31
Mo wrote:
12 Oct 2018, 16:24
Yglesias had a good take re: the reaction to one journalist vs. Thousands of Yemenis. Stalin was right.
That and, what would the US do that would have any impact on Saudi Arabia that we'd want it to do?

Evil, shitty governments do evil, shitty things. Unless we're gonna bomb them or start an oil trade war that makes any tiff Trump starts with Canada or China look meaningless, we're not changing anything. (And of course, going to war likely won't cause successful change.) Any US diplomatic action short of that is just a display to satisfy the indignance of concerned Americans.
This is the scary part. Any coup that puts the Saudi royals up against the wall could put a nasty Wahabi regime in place.
Those we actually know how to deal with, though.

And I'm not kidding.
Not sure in what sense you mean 'deal with'. Do you mean 'trade with' or 'bomb the shit out of?'
First one, then the other. That's how American foreign policy works.
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