Whitewashing Jamal Khashoggi’s Elimination Likely
The West values Saudi oil, super-wealth, and investments too much to let the kingdom’s elimination of Jamal Khoshoggi disrupt longstanding relations more than short-term.
Trump tried deflecting attention from its responsibility for what happened, saying king Salman claims to know nothing about it, adding maybe “rogue killers” were behind it.
Suggesting elements other than Saudi’s ruling family ordered Khashoggi’s elimination defies logic. He disappeared after entering its consulate, never emerging, the kingdom clearly responsible for what happened.
Either king Salman is fully aware of Khashoggi’s fate, or he’s too old and in poor health to be anything more than a figurehead.
In his 80s, he suffered at least one stroke, affecting his mobility and stamina. Reportedly he suffers from shortness of breath, weakness and fatigue.
In August, he suspended formal activities. Doctors advised him to cancel meetings with ruling family members.
Crown prince Mohammad bin Salman (MBS) effectively runs the kingdom, a ruthless despot like his father and earlier Saudi rulers, masquerading as a reformer – hellbent on eliminating all threats to his power.
On Tuesday, Trump also said MBS denies knowledge of what happened to Khashoggi. Orders to eliminate him almost surely came from the highest authority – kingdom damage control trying to whitewash ruling family responsibility.
Nearly two weeks after Khashoggi’s disappearance, Turkish police were granted entry to begin searching the Saudi consulate.
A joint inspection with Saudi officials began late afternoon Monday, clearly enough time for kingdom officials to dispose of any incriminating evidence.
It’s highly unlikely there’s any to find. If otherwise, permission for Turkey to search the premises wouldn’t have been granted.
An internal Saudi probe ordered is all about whitewashing the incident. On Monday, Mike Pompeo left for Riyadh to assure its ruling authorities of no change in bilateral relations.
According to an unnamed Turkish official on Monday, Ankara obtained an audio recording, proving Saudi responsibility for abducting, disappearing, and killing Khashoggi inside the consulate, no further details provided.
Saudi denials are hollow. Horrendous longstanding kingdom civil and human rights abuses need no elaboration.
According to the unnamed Turkish official, “(e)vidence has been conveyed to all sides very clearly. Now we are at the stage of collecting concrete evidence at the consulate.”
The 11-minute audio identified three male voices believed to be Saudis, along with Khashoggi’s. Riyadh hasn’t so far responded to the news.
My newest book as editor and contributor is titled “Flashpoint in Ukraine: How the US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III.”