Wednesday, 12 December, 2018

Senators introduce bipartisan resolution to blame Saudi Arabia for Jamal Khashoggi's death

Khashoggi murder: CIA chief Haspel 'to brief Congress' RAND'S STAND: Sen. Paul Warns of 'Growing Deep State' After Being Blocked from CIA Briefing
Deanna Wagner | 06 December, 2018, 18:37

After offering numerous contradictory explanations, Riyadh later admitted that Khashoggi had been killed inside the consulate and his body dismembered when negotiations to persuade him to return to Saudi Arabia failed.

In a column for The Wall Street Journal on Tuesday, Graham wrote that the killing and other moves by the Saudi regime showed "astounding arrogance entitlement" and disregard for worldwide norms. The Saudis have charged 11 people in the case.

The US has found itself in a freaky situation: as the Trump administration tries to stand by its ally, Saudi Arabia, the US Senate, convinced by Central Intelligence Agency evidence, is poised to strike a major blow at that relationship by taking up debate on a resolution to end support for the Saudi war in Yemen and even sanction the Saudi crown prince.

As The Daily Beast points out, Stewart's comments are similar to ones Trump made last month when speaking to reporters.

Graham (R-S.C.) said that the October killing of Khashoggi could not have taken place without MBS knowing about it.

"It is zero chance, zero, that this happened in such an organized fashion without the [Saudi] crown prince", Graham added.

The CIA had already concluded with high confidence that the prince was behind the murder, but senators said Haspel provided a much more fulsome briefing than the one they had gotten from Cabinet officials, including new evidence. If he was in front of jury he would be convicted in 30 minutes, guilty.

President Trump has equivocated about assigning blame for Khashoggi's killing, frustrating lawmakers from both parties.

He went on to suggest that Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Defense Secretary James Mattis were being "technical" "good soldiers" for the goals of the Trump administration.

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The prime minister explained at the time that he had a "frank" conversation with the prince on the killing, Saudi Arabia's involvement in Yemen and jailed activists. The senator agreed with preserving the U.S. -Saudi alliance, but said Salman is testing the limits of what America is willing to accept.

"It is wrong to suggest that maintaining USA alliances consists of mutually exclusive choices between power and principles", he said.

Fellow GOP Senator Bob Corker from Tennessee shared Graham's view.

Citing unidentified sources familiar with the matter, NBC said Khalid arrived at Dulles International Airport in Washington, DC, on Wednesday morning, just hours before the funeral of former US President George HW Bush.

Senator Chris Murphy, who was not privy to Tuesday's briefing, criticised the Trump administration.

"Not everything needs to be secret", the Connecticut Democrat tweeted.

Graham also authored an op-ed published in the Wall Street Journal earlier in the day, which argued that bin Salman is a "wrecking ball to US-Saudi relations" whose behavior helps only Iran.

Saudi officials say the men acted on their own authority and did not receive instructions from bin Salman to murder Khashoggi, a Saudi dissident with legal residency in the United States.