Conspiracyland Season 3 — "The Secret Lives and Brutal Death of Jamal Khashoggi" — is an eight episode series, hosted by Yahoo News' Chief Investigative Correspondent Michael Isikoff, that investigates the grisly state-sponsored assassination of Saudi Arabia's most prominent journalist after he dared to criticize the country's powerful Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, or MBS. Isikoff has uncovered new details about the murder, including notes based on confessions by the assassins during secret Saudi interrogations. The series also presents new evidence of MBS' role in directing a global campaign of surveillance targeting Saudi dissidents, including a plot to plant spies inside Twitter to steal personal details about his critics.
At the center of the saga is Khashoggi — a man of many secrets who once was close friends with Osama bin Laden and later was assigned special intelligence-collecting missions by the Saudi government only to become in his later years a fearless voice for democracy and freedom of speech. The series is based on more than 50 interviews with friends, colleagues, and lovers of Khashoggi, as well as senior U.S. and Saudi officials, including former Secretary of State John Kerry, former national security advisor John Bolton, former deputy national security advisor Ben Rhodes and former U.S. Ambassador to Saudi Arabia Joseph Westphal.
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Bonus Episode 2: "Khashoggi and the 9/11 lawsuit"
In the fall of 2017, Jamal Khashoggi secretly met with a former FBI agent working for the legal team suing the Saudi government for alleged complicity in the terror attacks of 9/11. Although he had for years been a loyal defender of his government, Khashoggi now suggested he might be willing to help the families of 9/11 victims demanding accountability from the Saudi regime. Did the Saudis know about his surprise offer? And what are the questions still unanswered about the role of some Saudi officials in allegedly helping to facilitate the attacks. In this special bonus episode of Conspiracyland-- Khashoggi and the 9/11 lawsuit-- we dive into those issues with interviews with former FBI agent Catherine Hunt, Jim Kreindler, the chief lawyers for the families of 9/11 victims and legendary former agent Ali Soufan, who spent years investigating Al Qaeda. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
Bonus Episode 1: "Training the Assassins"
This special bonus episode of Conspiracyland explores how the Trump White House covered up evidence that a U.S. security firm helped train members of the Saudi Tiger Team that flew to Istanbul to kill Khashoggi. When Louis Bremer, a managing director of Cerberus Capital Management, appeared before the Senate Armed Services Committee in Aug. 2020 at a confirmation hearing to be assistant secretary of defense for special operations, he was questioned by Sen. Tim Kaine about reports that a Cerberus -owned firm on whose board of directors he sat, Tier 1, had provided paramilitary training for any of the Saudi Tiger Team. Bremer said he had "no recollection" of that, but promised to check his records and get back to the committee. When he did, and submitted his responses to the White House for review, officials were flabbergasted. There were "invoices for members of the Saudi hit team," said one former senior Trump official. Rather than forward Bremer's responses to Capitol Hill, the Trump White House chose to allow Bremer's nomination to die, less the American fingerprints on Khashoggi's assassination be exposed. Joining the discussion about this-- and the broader "arms for oil" relationship between the United States and Saudi Arabia is Elias Yousif at the Center for International Policy. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
Episode 8: "Anatomy of a Cover-up"
In the aftermath of Khashoggi’s brutal murder, the Saudis launch a bungled cover-up, denying any knowledge of what happened to him inside their consulate while destroying key evidence. The hard drives on the consulate security cameras are removed, smashed and deposited in dumpsters throughout Istanbul. Khashoggi’s body parts are burned in a tandoor oven in the yard of the consul general’s residence. But despite the CIA’s conclusions that MBS ordered the operation that killed the journalist, President Donald Trump stands by the Saudis, citing as his principal reason billions of dollars in weapons purchases the Saudis are making from U.S. defense contractors. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
Episode 7: "A Tale of Two Women"
As Khashoggi moves to the United States to live in exile, he becomes more outspoken in his criticisms of the new Crown Prince’s harsh crackdowns on dissent, writing columns for the Washington Post one of which compares MBS to Putin. But as he does so, his personal life becomes more complicated. He proposes to one woman in the United States — an Egyptian flight attendant who he marries in an Islamic ceremony in northern Virginia. Then, just months later, he proposes to another woman in Turkey, leading to his efforts to retrieve his divorce records from Saudi Arabia that results in his visit to the Saudi consulate in Istanbul. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
Episode 6: "Influence Operations"
The Saudis launch covert influence operations on U.S. soil. Just weeks after the 2016 election, Saudi lobbyists arrange to fly hundreds of American veterans to Washington — and put them up at Trump hotel — ostensibly to lobby against already enacted legislation to allow the families of the victims of 9/11 to sue the Saudi government. In fact, it was also a backdoor scheme to funnel Saudi cash to the new president’s business. The Saudis also launch an espionage plot to recruit Saudi spies at Twitter to steal personal data on regime critics, including a collaborator of Khashoggi. As he maneuvers to become Crown Prince, MBS boasts of his role in overseeing the Twitter spy plot, allegedly telling an associate: “That was us. We did that. We have our guy at Twitter.” See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
Episode 5: "The Rise of the Bullet Guy"
This episode tells the story of the rise of Mohammed bin Salman, the brash impulsive son of King Salman who is initially embraced by U.S. officials as a change agent and reformer despite troubling episodes in his past. The episode recounts how the young prince wowed the highest leaders in the U.S. government — playing the “Moonlight Sonata” on the piano in John Kerry’s living room. But when the young prince, as the country’s new defense minister, launches a savage war in Yemen, slaughtering thousands of civilians, U.S. officials start having doubts about the dark impulses of this new Saudi leader. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
Thanks for the great work & investigative journalism. Let us hope that we bring justice to the brutal murderer & butchers behind Khashoggi killing.
Irritating bias is distracting
A lot of interesting facts are disclosed about the assassination, but the production staff were unable to resist interjecting their irrational and distracting Trump Derangement Syndrome bias into this documentary. Sad that these folks are so pathetically obsessed with their hatred of Donald Trump that they’re hopelessly incapable of completing a task that isn’t tainted by TDS bias and propaganda.
The left wing bias really shows when the host is grilling a left-winger for their role in creating a harmful conspiracy theory. Otherwise the audio quality is great, and a the narration is excellent. Keep up the good work!