Justice for Jamal Khashoggi

Khashoggi and his fiancée.

I wrote a blog back in 2019 hoping for justice for journalist Jamal Khashoggi. It did not happen. The Trump Administration put his relationship, and arms business, with the Saudi Royal family, ahead of truth and justice.

Jamal Khashoggi was brutally murdered and only the fall guys have been punished. The rich and powerful literary get away with murder.

The Crown Prince.

A recently released intelligence report prepared after Khashoggi’s murder indicated that Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman was complicit in the murder. The report is clear that the Crown Prince approved the murder and that his intelligence and security unit carried out the murder. This unit reports directly to the Crown Prince. The report indicated that unit has been involved in other suppression operations.

Members of the Crown Prince’s security unit suspected of  Khashoggi’s murder.
Khashoggi entering the Saudi consulate in Turkey. He would not emerge alive.

The Trump Administration was satisfied that the Saudis held some individuals responsible, but Trump himself did not seem to believe the Crown Prince was involved.  A few folks were punished by the U.S. in terms of assets being frozen and future entry to the U.S. denied.  Those actions were not not clearly enough by Joe Biden and others in Congress and around the world.  Biden called for Saudi Arabia, and those directly involved, to be held accountable.

That was then, this is now.  The report, prepared by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, released February 11, clearly implicates the Crown Prince.  The report was rebuked by the Saudi government, and criticized by former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who called release of the report “reckless” and “political.”  He said, “We held accountable lots of folks in Saudi Arabia who did this.”  He called the release of the report an effort to harm the relationship with Saudi Arabia, and aimed at building a relationship with Iran.

Now as president, Biden will apparently not direct action at the Crown Prince after all.  More frozen assets and visa restrictions, but none directly tied to the Crown Prince.  A Biden official said relations between the U.S. and Saudi Arabia are being “recalibrated,” because of the shared interests between the country.

Former CIA Director John Brennan, criticized the Biden Administration’s actions, calling for the Crown Prince to be banned from the U.S. and Biden’s team should not hold any high level meetings with him. Brennan said there is a distinction between a partnership between countries and the actions of one person.

The Biden Administration replied to questions about why specific actions were not taken against the Crown Prince by saying there were more effective ways to ensure something like this (Khashoggi’s murder) does not happen again.

Members of Congress, including members of Biden’s own party, have called for action against the Crown Prince.

So, still no justice for Jamal Khashoggi.

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