In response to the disappearance and suspected murder of U.S.-based journalist and democracy advocate Jamal Khashoggi, Congressman Walter B. Jones (R-NC) is calling on President Donald Trump to investigate Saudi Arabia’s involvement in the disappearance, and to reconsider the United States’ involvement with the kingdom. In a letter sent today, Jones reminded President Trump of Saudi Arabia’s long history of disregarding American values and principles of freedom.
“It is not surprising that intelligence agencies around the world strongly believe the Saudi Arabian government is complicit in Mr. Khashoggi’s disappearance and suspected murder,” wrote Congressman Jones. “The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has a long history of disregarding America’s values and acting against the best interests of our country. We were reminded of that in 2016 when the House Intelligence Committee released the 28 pages of the Congressional Joint Inquiry into the 9/11 attacks upon the United States, which were classified by the Bush Administration. As you recall, the 28 pages implicated the Saudi royal family in financially supporting the 9/11 hijackers.”
“Despite this, the United States continues to treat Saudi Arabia as if it were one of our greatest allies,” Jones continued. “That is as stupid as it is sickening. Nearly 3,000 Americans were killed in the 9/11 attacks and many are still suffering and dying from mental and physical wounds. I urge you to demand answers from the Saudi Arabian government regarding the disappearance of Jamal Khashoggi, to end American support of Saudi Arabian involvement in the Yemeni Civil War, and to reevaluate our unholy alliance with the kingdom immediately.”
Turkish authorities claim to have audio and video recordings that prove Saudi agents tortured and then murdered Jamal Khashoggi:
The recordings show that a Saudi security team detained Khashoggi in the consulate after he walked in on Oct. 2 to obtain an official document before his upcoming wedding, then killed him and dismembered his body, the officials said.
The audio recording in particular provides some of the most persuasive and gruesome evidence that the Saudi team is responsible for Khashoggi’s death, the officials said.
“The voice recording from inside the embassy lays out what happened to Jamal after he entered,” said one person with knowledge of the recording who, like others, spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss highly sensitive intelligence.
“You can hear his voice and the voices of men speaking Arabic,” this person said. “You can hear how he was interrogated, tortured and then murdered.”
The existence of these recordings would explain how Turkish authorities knew what the Saudi agents had done to Khashoggi and how they had done it. Such recordings would provide definitive proof to support the charges made against the Saudi government. Our government should press Turkish officials to share this proof with the U.S. and their other allies. The fact that Turkey is willing to disclose that it has this evidence suggests that they are prepared to go to great lengths to keep the Saudi government from getting away with this. No one honestly doubts at this point that the Saudi government had the prominent critic murdered in their consulate, but evidence of the crime will lend support to efforts to hold the Saudis accountable.
Sudden concern in Washington over Saudi behavior is puzzling. But the disappearance of a Washington Post writer and the suspicion that the Saudi government is involved has led Washington and particularly the Senate and House to demand some answers. They didn’t care much about Saudi involvement with terrorists in Syria or the evil Saudi war on Yemen. Should we break with the Saudis? Yes. Why? Tune in to today’s Ron Paul Liberty Report:
“Clear Sky 2018” was launched yesterday in Ukraine, bringing in hundreds of NATO troops along with US fighter and transport planes. The large show of NATO military force on Russia’s border is meant to send a message to “aggressive” Russia. But the ongoing conflict over eastern Ukraine is a leftover from Obama’s disastrous 2014 coup that overthrew the elected government. President Trump appears to be continuing Obama’s foolish policy. More in today’s Ron Paul Liberty Report:
Hal Brands makes an extremely shaky assertion about recent Saudi recklessness and U.S. involvement in the Middle East:
Much of Saudi Arabia’s recent behavior has been linked to the rise of MBS, who seems driven by a combination of ambition, arrogance and recklessness. Yet it is not a coincidence that Saudi misdeeds have accumulated at a time when the US is widely seen to be drawing down in the Middle East.
The US has backed the Saudis and Emiratis in the war on Yemen from the start. The US has not been “drawing down” in the region, unless one wants to arbitrarily use the height of the Iraq war as the standard by which to measure our level of involvement. It is preposterous to suggest that Saudi misdeeds are the result of a US withdrawal from the region when no such withdrawal has happened, and it is even worse to make this claim when the US is actively aiding the Saudis in the commission of those misdeeds. Brands correctly says that “Saudi conduct since 2015 has been destabilizing in the extreme,” but omits that the US has been an accomplice in the worst of that destabilizing conduct.
The strange disappearance of Saudi “critic” and Washington Post writer Jamal Khashoggi has led even Washington’s neocons to come down hard on the Saudi government and particularly crown prince MBS. Is a shift in US/Saudi relations in the works? On today’s Ron Paul Liberty Report: