Killers From The Kingdom
Some folks in the US intelligence community must be extremely angry with the Saudis. Look what they’ve leaked to the Washington Post:
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.
Sen. Rand Paul is also (rightly) outraged, writing in The Atlantic:
For years, I have decried our country’s involvement in Saudi Arabia. The Saudis are a state sponsor of radical Islam, and their war on Yemen, a poor Arab country, has led to many thousands of civilian deaths.The Saudis have provided at least 2,500 fighters to the Islamic State in Syria, making them the second-largest source of foreign fighters for the group on a per capita basis, after Tunisia.
News reports from 2013 stated that the Saudis offered more than 1,200 death-row inmates a pardon and a monthly stipend for their families to go fight the Syrian government.In 2009, U.S. officials said Saudi Arabia was the “most significant source of funding to Sunni terrorist groups worldwide.” And in 2014, those same officials wrote that Qatar and Saudi Arabia were “providing clandestine financial and logistic support to [the Islamic State] and other radical Sunni groups.”
So why is America selling arms to a country that has supported terror, has a poor human-rights record, and has waged a reckless war in Yemen?
Paul goes on to say:
This week, I intend to introduce another measure to cut all funding, training, advising, and any other coordination to and with the military of Saudi Arabia until the journalist Jamal Khashoggi is returned alive.
I doubt that will happen, but I hope Congress bloodies Saudi Arabia’s nose. Hard to think of a more deserving government. President Trump has made a big deal of his friendship with Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. MBS is making a fool of Trump now.