News Reports: CIA concludes Saudi Crown Prince ordered Kashoggi assassination

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.

About the Author

James Rowles
"The Trenchant Observer" is edited and published by James Rowles (aka "The Observer"), an author and international lawyer who has taught International Law, Human Rights, and Comparative Law at major U.S. universities, including Harvard, Brandeis, the University of Pittsburgh, and the University of Kansas. Dr. Rowles is a former staff attorney at the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) of the Organization of American States OAS), in Wasington, D.C., , where he was in charge of Brazil, Haiti, Mexico and the United States, and also worked on complaints from and reports on other countries including Argentina, Chile, Uruguay, El Salvador, Nicaragua, and Guatemala. As an international development expert, he has worked on Rule of Law, Human Rights, and Judicial Reform in a number of countries in Latin America, the Caribbean, Africa, the Middle East, South Asia, and the Russian Federation. In the private sector, Dr. Rowles has worked as an international attorney for a leading national law firm and major global companies, on joint ventures and other matters in a number of countries in Europe (including Russia and the Ukraine), throughout Latin America and the Caribbean, and in Australia, Indonesia, Vietnam, China and Japan. The Trenchant Observer blog provides an unfiltered international perspective for news and opinion on current events, in their historical context, drawing on a daily review of leading German, French, Spanish and English newspapers as well as the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, the Washington Post, and other American newspapers, and on sources in other countries relevant to issues being analyzed. Dr. Rowles speaks fluent English, French, German, Portuguese and Spanish, and also knows other languages. He holds an S.J.D. or Doctor of Juridical Science in International Law from Harvard University, and a Doctor of Law (J.D.) and a Master of the Science of Law (J.S.M.=LL.M.), from Stanford University. As an undergraduate, he received a Bachelor of Arts degree, also from Stanford, where he graduated “With Great Distinction” (summa cum laude) and received the James Birdsall Weter Prize for the best Senior Honors Thesis in History. In addition to having taught as a Lecturer on Law at Harvard Law School, Dr. Rowles has been a Visiting Scholar at Harvard University's Center for International Affairs (CFIA). His fellowships include a Stanford Postdoctoral Fellowship in Law and Development, the Rómulo Gallegos Fellowship in International Human Rights awarded by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, and a Harvard MacArthur Fellowship in International Peace and Security. Beyond his articles in The Trenchant Observer, he is the author of two books and numerous scholarly articles on subjects of international and comparative law. Currently he is working on a manuscript drawing on some the best articles that have appeared in the blog.