President Trump issued a statement on the murder of Jamal Khashoggi as provided at the end of this blog. CNN had reported on the findings of the CIA as follows:
“The CIA has concluded that Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman personally ordered the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, despite the Saudi government’s denials that the de facto ruler was involved, according to a senior US official and a source familiar with the matter.”
It was also stated that the CIA came to this conclusion after a review of tape recordings of conversations and phone calls within the Saudi Arabia’s consulate in Turkey. It was also evident that the team Saudi Arabia sent after the crime, including a chemist, were there to remove evidence of the crime, rather than investigate it.
Truump’s statement is provided below. The murder of Jamal Khashoggi is not addressed until the fourth paragraph. I would suggest the first three paragraphs be skipped on first reading. The fact that Khashoggi is a permanent resident of the US and a well respected journalist living in the US is never noted. Nor does it seem important to Donald Trump, the reason why Khashoggi went to the Saudi Arabian consulate in the first place. He was about to be married for a second time, and needed documents showing he was divorced from his first wife. The planned assassination included a Saudi dressed as Khashoggi leave the consulate, but this failed as his shoes did not match.
Gina Haspel is the Director of the CIA since May 21, 2018. She should be congratulated for providing an assessment based on the evidence without a political bias. I have included her biography in the links. She rose through the ranks of the CIA from 1985, and it really feels like she was very qualified for the position of CIA Director.
Now, let’s go back to the first 3 paragraphs, all of which are totally off the subject of the planned assassination of Jamal Khashoggi and mostly false as well. Iranian Foreign Minister mocked the statement in a tweet:
Mr. Trump bizarrely devotes the FIRST paragraph of his shameful statement on Saudi atrocities to accuse IRAN of every sort of malfeasance he can think of,He also wrote:
Perhaps we’re also responsible for the California fires, because we didn’t help rake the forests,”
Iran has openly opposed terrorist groups such as Al Qaeda and the Taliban, as radical Sunni organizations. Remember that Iran is a Shite country and considers Hezbollah as a resistance group against aggressive Israel military actions. The US considers the entire Hezbollah organization as a terrorist organizations. The European Union disagrees, and considers only the military wing of the organization to be involved in terrorist activities. Hezbollah fought to defend the Hassad regime in Syria.
The civil war in Yemen is made worse by the involvement of all other countries, including Saudi Arabia and the US. It is a huge humanitarian tragedy. Iran denies involvement. Certainly it is difficult to withdraw from Yemen, when they don’t have troops there.
Finally, the 450 billion and 110 billion dollars of investment are a joke. The 100 billion dollars are from memorandums of understanding or Intent, not actual orders. Saudi Arabia has spent 4 billion dollars on US military equipment since 2017, and likely will continue to be a buyer, as their military needs to maintain their arsenal with US made parts. These are not off the shelf items they can quickly change vendors. Their investment in US arms is very extensive.
This statement is rotten to the core. Khashoggi was a journalist, reporting on the decline of basic freedoms throughout the Arab world. He could only do this outside of Saudi Arabia. This is why he was an enemy of the Prince, but I think a hero to many within Saudi Arabia. It also says that when critics of autocratic governments are murdered, we will look the other way, thinking more about financial benefits.
Bottom line: It is not America First, but Trump’s political agenda. It is Trump’s political agenda first and foremost, and American values are out the window.
Donald Trump’s statement:
The world is a very dangerous place!
The country of Iran, as an example, is responsible for a bloody proxy war against Saudi Arabia in Yemen, trying to destabilize Iraq’s fragile attempt at democracy, supporting the terror group Hezbollah in Lebanon, propping up dictator Bashar Assad in Syria (who has killed millions of his own citizens), and much more. Likewise, the Iranians have killed many Americans and other innocent people throughout the Middle East. Iran states openly, and with great force, “Death to America!” and “Death to Israel!” Iran is considered “the world’s leading sponsor of terror.”
On the other hand, Saudi Arabia would gladly withdraw from Yemen if the Iranians would agree to leave. They would immediately provide desperately needed humanitarian assistance. Additionally, Saudi Arabia has agreed to spend billions of dollars in leading the fight against Radical Islamic Terrorism.
After my heavily negotiated trip to Saudi Arabia last year, the Kingdom agreed to spend and invest $450 billion in the United States. This is a record amount of money. It will create hundreds of thousands of jobs, tremendous economic development, and much additional wealth for the United States. Of the $450 billion, $110 billion will be spent on the purchase of military equipment from Boeing, Lockheed Martin, Raytheon and many other great U.S. defense contractors. If we foolishly cancel these contracts, Russia and China would be the enormous beneficiaries – and very happy to acquire all of this newfound business. It would be a wonderful gift to them directly from the United States!
Thee crime against Jamal Khashoggi was a terrible one, and one that our country does not condone. Indeed, we have taken strong action against those already known to have participated in the murder. After great independent research, we now know many details of this horrible crime. We have already sanctioned 17 Saudis known to have been involved in the murder of Mr. Khashoggi, and the disposal of his body.
Representatives of Saudi Arabia say that Jamal Khashoggi was an “enemy of the state” and a member of the Muslim Brotherhood, but my decision is in no way based on that — this is an unacceptable and horrible crime. King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman vigorously deny any knowledge of the planning or execution of the murder of Mr. Khashoggi. Our intelligence agencies continue to assess all information, but it could very well be that the Crown Prince had knowledge of this tragic event — maybe he did and maybe he didn’t!
That being said, we may never know all of the facts surrounding the murder of Mr. Jamal Khashoggi. In any case, our relationship is with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. They have been a great ally in our very important fight against Iran. The United States intends to remain a steadfast partner of Saudi Arabia to ensure the interests of our country, Israel and all other partners in the region. It is our paramount goal to fully eliminate the threat of terrorism throughout the world!
I understand there are members of Congress who, for political or other reasons, would like to go in a different direction – and they are free to do so. I will consider whatever ideas are presented to me, but only if they are consistent with the absolute security and safety of America. After the United States, Saudi Arabia is the largest oil producing nation in the world. They have worked closely with us and have been very responsive to my requests to keeping oil prices at reasonable levels — so important for the world. As President of the United States I intend to ensure that, in a very dangerous world, America is pursuing its national interests and vigorously contesting countries that wish to do us harm. Very simply it is called America First!
Wikipedia Gina Haspel, CIA Director