Saudi Prince Ordered Detention of Khashoggi

Saudi Prince Ordered Detention of Khashoggi October 11, 2018

By now you know that a Saudi dissident who lives in the United States disappeared after going into the Saudi embassy in Turkey. Video shows him going in and not coming out, but the Saudis say they didn’t do anything to him. But the Washington Post reports that Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman personally ordered that he be lured to Saudi territory and detained.

The crown prince of Saudi Arabia, Mohammed bin Salman, ordered an operation to lure Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi back to Saudi Arabia from his home in Virginia and then detain him, according to U.S. intelligence intercepts of Saudi officials discussing the plan.

The intelligence, described by U.S. officials familiar with it, is another piece of evidence implicating the Saudi regime in Khashoggi’s disappearance last week after he entered the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul. Turkish officials say that a Saudi security team lay in wait for the journalist and killed him.

Khashoggi was a prominent critic of the Saudi government and Mohammed in particular. Several of Khashoggi’s friends said that over the past four months, senior Saudi officials close to the crown prince had called Khashoggi to offer him protection, and even a high-level job working for the government, if he returned to his home country.

Khashoggi, however, was skeptical of the offers. He told one friend that the Saudi government would never make good on its promises not to harm him.

But this doesn’t just implicate the Saudi regime, it implicates the Trump administration as well. There’s no way Saudi Arabia does something so vile and provocative without being very confident that they could get away with it. And that means being very confident that the United States would take no real action in response to it. And why shouldn’t they be confident? Trump has tilted American foreign policy clearly in favor of Saudi Arabia and did absolutely nothing when bin Salman rounded up political activists and imprisoned them, while also arrested many other crown princes and extorting them out of billions of dollars.

And remember, this is also Jared Kushner’s personal buddy. While bin Salman was imprisoning and extorting his cousins to consolidate his power, Kushner was there partying with him. That’s why bin Salman told people that he had Kushner “in my pocket.” Trump told reporters that it was outrageous and that they’re demanding answers, but no action will be taken. Trump adores dictators who destroy their political enemies because that is what he aspired to be.

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