According to the Washington Post and other news outlets, the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency has concluded, on the basis of all the evidence available to it, that Mohammed bin Salman, the Crown Prince and de facto ruler of Saudi Arabia, ordered the assassination of Jamal Kashoggi at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on October 2, 2018.
Shane Harris, Greg Miller and Josh Dawsey, “CIA concludes Saudi crown prince ordered Jamal Khashoggi’s assassination,” The Washington Post, November 16,2018.
Amanda Mars and Ángeles Espinosa, “La CIA concluye que el príncipe heredero saudí ordenó la muerte del periodista Khashoggi; Los servicios de inteligencia afirman que 15 agentes procedentes de Riad volaron a Estambul en un avión del Gobierno y mataron al reportero, 18 de noviembre, 2018.
Julian E. Barnes, “C.I.A. Concludes That Saudi Crown Prince Ordered Khashoggi Killed,” November 16, 2018. (This article contains a detailed chronology video history of the evidence.)
President Donald Trump, for reasons that are not entirely clear, appears to be trying to manipulate and fudge the conclusion of the CIA, just as he resisted the conclusions of U.S. intelligence agencies that Russia had intervened in the November, 2016 elections.
President Trump is not known for his dedication to the truth, and constantly uses lies both big and small in an instrumental fashion in his own attempts to shape the narrative of events.
Trump is between a rock and a hard place, as we say.
He lists all of the interests the U.S. has in cooperating with Saudi Arabia, and appears to believe they outweigh the imperative of finding the truth and holding those accountable–even if it means MBS and his father–for a guesome and horrendous crime that shocks the conscience of mankind.
The ferocity of Trump’s defense of the highest Saudi authorities raises another and scandalous question: Did Jared Kushner or Donald Trump know about the Saudi’s plans to kidnap or assassinate Khashoggi before he entered the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on October 2?
America can choose to have good relations with Saudi Arabia, or to have good relations with crown prince Mohammed bin Salman.
It cannot have both.
This is a defining moment for America, and for Trump.