Senators Convinced MBS Ordered Khashoggi's Murder
by Stephen Lendman (stephenlendman.org - Home - Stephen Lendman)
Only Trump, regime hardliners, and Saudi crown prince loyalists persist in denying his guilt.
The world community knows otherwise. Straightaway after the October 2 assassination, there was no doubt that Mohammad bin Salman (MBS) ordered it.
No one in the kingdom would dare circumvent his authority. The Saudis have been eliminating dissidents for decades - at home and abroad, Khashoggi one of countless others.
International furor over his murder is likely over internal opposition to MBS rule, along with US and UK intelligence uneasy about a figure they consider reckless and untrustworthy succeeding his father as king.
On Tuesday, CIA Gina Haspel briefed GOP and undemocratic Dem Senate leaders in closed-door session on Khashoggi's murder.
Foreign Relations Committee chairman Bob Corker said her revelations left "zero doubt" in his mind about MBS' responsibility for the killing," adding:
"If he was in front of a jury, he would be convicted in 30 minutes. Guilty!" He called on Trump to stop equivocating on it, condemning Riyadh and MBS for what happened.
Lindsey Graham is set to succeed Corker as Foreign Relations Committee chairman when the new Congress convenes in January.
He's been outspoken all along about MBS' involvement in the murder. After meeting with Haspel, he accused the crown prince of "complicit(y)" in what happened, adding:
"You have to be willfully blind not to come to the conclusion that this was orchestrated and organized by people under the command of MBS."
He's "a wrecking ball. I think he is complicit in the murder of Khashoggi in the highest level possible…I cannot see him being a reliable partner to the US."
Until he's held accountable along with other Saudi officials involved in the murder, Graham said he'll no longer support US weapons sales to the kingdom nor the Yemen war.
Remarks by other GOP and Dem senators attending the closed session this morning were unanimous in holding MBS responsible for Khashoggi's murder.
According to Reuters, Pompeo and Mattis will brief House members on the incident on December 13. So will Haspel before the Christmas break begins on December 14.
Interviewed on Fox News Tuesday morning, Senator Rand Paul expressed outrage about "most rank-and-file senators and congressmen" uninvited to be briefed by Haspel, adding:
"It's wrong for the CIA to have expressed a conclusion that the crown prince was involved in the killing of Khashoggi and then withhold that information."
"Were there text messages sent back from the killers to the crown prince's office? Was there a phone conversation between the crown prince and the killers?"
He'd have asked these and other questions if involved in Haspel's Tuesday briefing.
Based on comments by Corker, Graham, and other senators attending the session, she presented enough damning information to convince them about MBS' responsibility for Khashoggi's murder.
There never was a reasonable doubt about it. Nor is there any chance of disrupting longstanding US/Saudi dirty business as usual.
It'll take veto-proof congressional legislation to alter Trump regime policy toward the kingdom - at most short-term if something becomes law.
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