Foreign Policy

Report: The Saudis Have Chosen a Patsy

JM Ashby
Written by JM Ashby

We've seen reports over the past week that the Saudis were preparing to blame an unnamed official for the killing of Washington Post contributor Jamal Khashoggi, but now we may know which official they're going to blame.

The New York Times reports that they're going to assign blame to General Ahmed al-Assiri, a close adviser to Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

Turkish officials have said they possess evidence showing that 15 Saudi agents dismembered and assassinated Mr. Khashoggi in the consulate. After two weeks of blanket denials and mounting pressure from Turkey and Washington, Saudi Arabia said it would conduct its own investigation to determine who was responsible.

But even with the investigation still ostensibly underway, the Saudis are already pointing to General Assiri as the culprit, according to the three people familiar with the Saudi plans. People close to the White House have already been briefed and given General Assiri’s name.

The Washington Post reported yesterday that the Trump and Saudi regimes have been trying to develop a response that both of them can agree to and blaming General Assiri may be it.

It may go without saying that I don't believe that's the truth nor does it appear that anyone believes it's the truth. It seems to be what's convenient.

Considering recent reports that American intelligence intercepted communications between Saudi officials discussing the plan to capture Khashoggi, Congress must be investigate this regardless of who Trump and MBS blame for it. I want to know what the White House knew and when they knew it.

Speaking of those 15 Saudi agents identified as the death squad that killed and dismembered Khashoggi, one of those agents was killed in a car crash.

  • muselet

    I expected some random mid-level officer in the military to be the fall guy, not a general and certainly not an adviser to Mohammed bin Salman.

    Of course, the *ahem* investigation is still ongoing, so this may be yet another trial balloon. Stay tuned.

    (Also, a car crash? That shows a lamentable lack of imagination.)

    –alopecia

  • Badgerite

    “Someone is doing the” murdering. “Some people are saying” it was Mohammad Bin Salman.