Foreign Policy

Report: MBS Smeared Slain WaPo Contributor in Call to White House

JM Ashby
Written by JM Ashby

According to the Washington Post, Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MBS) smeared Washington Post contributor Jamal Khashoggi during a call with multiple Trump regime officials.

I wouldn't necessarily call that surprising, but the key detail here is that MBS started smearing Khashoggi immediately after he was killed and before admitting that Saudi agents killed him.

During the call, MBS reportedly told Trump's son-in-law Jared Kushner that Khashoggi was a "dangerous Islamist."

In the call, which occurred before the kingdom publicly acknowledged killing Khashoggi, the crown prince urged Kushner and Bolton to preserve the U.S.-Saudi alliance and said the journalist was a member of the Muslim Brotherhood, a group long opposed by Bolton and other senior Trump officials.

The attempt to criticize Khashoggi in private stands in contrast to the Saudi government’s later public statements decrying the journalist’s death as a “terrible mistake” and a “terrible tragedy.”

The Saudi ambassador to the United States, Khalid bin Salman, described Khashoggi last month as a “friend” who dedicated “a great portion of his life to serve his country.”

They praised Khashoggi in public to appear sympathetic while they smeared him in private using the Trump regime's favorite boogeymen.

The idea that Khashoggi was some kind of radical Islamist would only seem plausible to someone who has no idea what he wrote about or why the Saudis killed him in the first place. Khashoggi was critical of the Saudi's regime authoritarianism and of Wahhabism; the ultra conservative form of Islam that Saudi Arabia was built on.

Khashoggi was literally assassinated because he was an outspoken moderate, not a radical. He was killed by over a dozen actual 'dangerous Islamists' employed by the state of Saudi Arabia because he was critical of the state.

In related news, Turkish prosecutors have now formally accused the Saudi agents of strangling and dismembering his body. Turkish authorities are demanding that Saudi Arabia hand over all 18 agents who killed him, but I seriously doubt that's going to happen.

  • muselet

    … MBS started smearing Khashoggi immediately after he was killed and before admitting that Saudi agents killed him.

    Curious, that. Yes, it’s consistent with mens rea (and that remains the most likely explanation for everything that’s followed Jamal Khashoggi’s slaughter), but it’s also consistent with Mohammed bin Salman realizing he’d had a Henry II moment: “Will no one rid me of this turbulent priest?”

    The US would be wise to take a step back in its relationship with Saudi Arabia. While the Crown Prince is the kind of strongman who makes Donald Trump’s heart go pit-a-pat, we’ve officially backed too many bloodthirsty maniacs in the fairly recent past. SEE: Argentina (junta). SEE ALSO: Spain (Franco, Francisco), Brazil (junta), Chile (Pinochet, Augusto), Iran (Mohammed Reza Shah).


  • Badgerite

    Exactly right. The man had the light of reason and tolerance in him. And he was newly freed in America to speak his mind. By his own description, having experienced that freedom, he was loath to live any other way. He had become more American than a lot of Americans I know. He advocated for a free press in the Islamic world similar to the freedom of press we have in America and other western democracies.

  • And Kushner and Trump just nodded along with the criticism because 1) they’re too ignorant to know any better and 2) it fits into their narrative. What horrid people they are.