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51 minutes | Jul 10, 2021
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.
32 minutes | Jul 8, 2021
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.
52 minutes | Jul 8, 2021
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.
41 minutes | Jul 5, 2021
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.
41 minutes | Jul 1, 2021
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.
38 minutes | Jun 28, 2021
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.
36 minutes | Jun 24, 2021
Episode 4: "A Revolution Crushed"
This episode recounts the story of the Arab Spring — a wave of pro-democracy protests that swept through the Middle East and a cause that Khashoggi enthusiastically embraced. But Saudi leaders feared the protests and backed a military coup that overthrew a democratically elected (but Muslim Brotherhood dominated) government in Egypt, creating the first rift between Khashoggi and the leaders of his own country. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
31 minutes | Jun 21, 2021
Episode 3: "Jamal and Osama"
This episode recounts the story of Jamal Khashoggi’s years-long relationship with Osama bin Laden. As a young journalist, Khashoggi was invited by bin Laden — a friend through their mutual involvement with the Muslim Brotherhood — to cover the war by Arab fighters against the Soviet Army occupying Afghanistan. Khashoggi’s stories championed the role of bin Laden in the first, giving him his first burst of publicity. Khashoggi never condoned bin Laden’s later terrorist career, but he retained some sympathy for him right up until the Al Qaeda leader’s death. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
29 minutes | Jun 17, 2021
Episode 2: "The Arms Dealer's Harem"
The episode recounts the story of Adnan Khashoggi, a billionaire arms dealer and Jamal Khashoggi’s cousin, whose flamboyant lifestyle and sybaritic tastes made him the most conspicuous public face of Saudi Arabia. Yet he played a crucial role in nurturing the U.S.-Saudi alliance, serving as middleman for billions of dollars in weapons deals between U.S. defense contractors and the kingdom. As a special bonus, the episode includes insights from one of his “pleasure wives” — recruited while she was a 20-year-old model — as well as an account of how Khashoggi’s later financial troubles lead to Donald Trump getting his first introduction to Saudi luxury and largesse. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
53 minutes | Jun 14, 2021
Episode 1: "The Henchman"
The episode focuses on the role of Saud al-Qahtani, the right hand man and enforcer of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, in the intimidation of Saudi dissidents, including journalist Jamal Khashoggi. Qahtani was known for his ruthlessness: He supervised the torture of a prominent women’s rights activist. He also met and supervised the Tiger Team of assassins who flew to Istanbul in Oct. 2018 to assassinate Khashoggi — a shocking crime that is reconstructed in this episode based on notes of secret Saudi interrogations and an interview with Agnes Callamard, the former United Nations special rapporteur for extrajudicial killings, who investigated the murder. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
2 minutes | Jun 11, 2021
Season 3: The Secret Lives and Brutal Death of Jamal Khashoggi
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.Coming Monday, June 14th. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
44 minutes | Oct 21, 2020
Season 2 Bonus Episode #2: The Strange Roots of Q
Zach Dorfman, Senior Staff Writer at the Aspen Institute, joins Michael Isikoff and Daniel Klaidman on this special bonus episode of Conspiracyland presented by "Skullduggery." The group discuss Larry McDonald, a former member of the United States House of Representatives that represented Georgia's 7th congressional district. McDonald, who was killed on board Korean Air Lines Flight 007 when it was shot down by Soviet interceptors, eerily anticipated conspiracies now held by the QAnon movement which is currently plaguing the American political dialogue. A conspiracy theorist himself, his life story is at times unbelievable - but true. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
48 minutes | Sep 25, 2020
Season 2 Bonus Episode #1 - "QAnon Enters the Mainstream"
NJ Congressman Tom Malinowski and National Correspondent for TIME Charlotte Alter join Michael Isikoff and Daniel Klaidman for a special bonus episode of Skullduggery's "Conspiracyland." Malinowski reacts to the recent unfounded ad attack against him straight from the QAnon playbook. Then, Alter weighs in having just written an in-depth piece about the fringe supporter group and how it's slowly working its way into the mainstream. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
36 minutes | Sep 10, 2020
Season 2 Episode 3: "The Twitter Dodge"
This episode explores how, once President Trump started tweeting about Scarborough and Lori Klausutis, devotees of the QAnon conspiracy theory took up the cause and started spreading even more bizarre and nonsensical conspiracy theories claiming that Klausutis had been “suffocated” after she read secret documents about the 9/11 terror attacks and the Oklahoma City bombing. The episode also examines how Twitter has come under pressure over its handling of Trump’s tweets — an issue that the company was finally forced to address after T.J. Klausutis wrote a poignant letter to Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey, pleading with him to remove the president’s tweets about his wife from the company’s platform. And it includes an exclusive interview with Lt. Mark Hayse, the chief of investigations at the Fort Walton, Fla., Police Department, rejecting Trump’s call to reopen the case. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
41 minutes | Sep 9, 2020
Season 2 Episode 2: "The Blood Feud"
This episode traces the conspiracy theories about Lori Klausutis as they evolved over the years, starting with liberal activists such as Markos Moulitsas, founder of the blog Daily Kos, who was once banned from MSNBC for pushing the media to investigate Joe Scarborough’s alleged role in Lori Klausutis’s death. The episode also explores the feud between President Trump and Scarborough. The two were once on friendly terms, with Trump appearing as a frequent guest on “Morning Joe.” “Conspiracyland” includes rare clips of their off-camera coziness during the 2016 campaign: “You know you have me as almost a legendary figure,” Trump tells Scarborough and his MSNBC co-host, Mika Brezezinski. But after he became president, Scarborough and Trump had a falling-out during a lunch at the White House, resulting in Scarborough becoming a relentless critic and Trump reaching deep into the TV host’s past to get his revenge. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
44 minutes | Sep 8, 2020
Season 2 Episode 1: "A Death in Florida"
This episode explores the life of Lori Klausutis, a vivacious 28-year-old who worked in a tiny office in Fort Walton Beach, Fla., as the constituent service coordinator for then-congressman Joe Scarborough. A devout Catholic who wore a “Precious Little Feet” lapel pin, a symbol for the anti-abortion movement. Klausutis was a well-liked woman who served as president of the local Young Republicans club and sang in the church choir. The podcast, relying on detailed police reports and interviews with people directly involved in the case, describes how on the afternoon of July 19, 2001, Klausutis was feeling fidgety and ill moments before she collapsed from an undiagnosed heart condition. While the police found no sign of a struggle or foul play, her death soon spurred speculation and conspiracy theories — many of them pushed by left-wing bloggers who demanded that Scarborough be subjected to the same scrutiny as then-Democratic congressman Gary Condit, who had been having an affair with missing intern Chandra Levy. The rumors that his wife had also been having an affair with her boss infuriated T.J. Klausutis, who reveals Scarborough didn’t even recognize his wife when they encountered each other. “It’s complete nonsense,” he says. “It’s just disgusting.” See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
18 minutes | Aug 6, 2019
Bonus Episode 6
In this final bonus episode, Yahoo News Editor-in-Chief Dan Klaidman, alongside CNN Contributor Bianna Golodryga, discuss with Michael Isikoff the final installment of Conspiracyland's look into the unsolved murder of Seth Rich. They explore the political purpose of conspiracy theories, the devastating human consequences, as well as their final thoughts on the case. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
42 minutes | Aug 6, 2019
Episode 6: “Collateral damage”
Even after the discredited story is retracted, the internet, unwilling to let the story go, takes the case in an entirely new direction, targeting Rich’s brother Aaron as a co-conspirator. The D.C. police explain how the conspiracies are hampering the official investigation into the murder, and author Anna Merlan explains why we are living in a modern golden age for conspiracy theories. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
33 minutes | Jul 30, 2019
Episode 5: “Fox News fallout”
Sean Hannity heads an extensive campaign on Fox News with an explosive story that quickly crumbles in the face of facts. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
13 minutes | Jul 30, 2019
Bonus Episode 5
In this bonus episode, Editor-in-Chief of Yahoo News Dan Klaidman and CNN Contributor Bianna Golodryga talk with Conspiracyland host Michael Isikoff about Sean Hannity and his role in peddling the Seth Rich conspiracy and what the consequences have been for Fox News once the story had been debunked. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
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