Tag: crown prince

US Senators: ‘No Doubt’ Crown Prince Involved in Khashoggi Killing

Eric Villarreal | United States

On Tuesday, in a closed-door meeting between the Central Intelligence Agency and top United States Senators, CIA Director Gina Haspel revealed new information that confirms the view of many US politicians who have long held that the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia Mohammed bin Salman was involved in the murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul.

Senator Lindsey Graham, who has been a close ally of President Trump, stated: “I went into the briefing believing it was virtually impossible for an operation like this to be carried out without the crown prince’s knowledge, I left the briefing with high confidence that my initial assessment of the situation was correct.” Graham further went on to say “Saudi Arabia is a strategic ally and the relationship is worth saving, but not at all costs”.

Graham then went on to say that the US would do more damage to its standing in the world and national security by ignoring the crown prince than by dealing with him. Graham added that he believes that the relationship between the US and Saudi Arabia is at risk if Mohammed bin Salman remains as the heir apparent, implying that if there is not a shake-up in the Saudi government the alliance between the House of Saud and the United States could be coming to an end. Graham would not specify what evidence was presented but he did state that  “You can be assured it was thorough and the evidence is overwhelming.”

Senator Bob Corker who has been an outspoken Republican critic of the President echoed the statements from Graham stating there is no doubt that the Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman ordered, monitored, and planned the killing later adding “If he was in front of a jury he would be convicted in 30 minutes. “

All of these statements stand in stark contrast to the briefing last week from Secretary of Defense James Mattis and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in which they stated that none of the intelligence suggested a direct connection between the Saudi Crown Prince and the order to kill Jamal Khashoggi. Members of Congress from both sides of the aisle have long criticized President Trump for his ambivalence towards information from the CIA. Trump has stated that he believes the strategic relationship and weapons sales between the two countries are too valuable to put into jeopardy.

Senators Lindsey Graham(R-SC) and Bob Menendez(D-NJ) are the co-authors of a bill which would halt all weapons sales to Saudi Arabia as well as impose economic sanctions. It remains a possibility that this bill could be attached to the so-called the Yemen Resolution put forward by Bernie Sanders(I-VT) and Mike Lee(R-UT) which would end US support for the Saudi led fight against Houthi Rebels in Yemen. Members of Congress seem to have high hopes but with such a short time left in this session, it’s uncertain if they will be able to gain the support necessary to pass the resolution.

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Trump’s Response to Khashoggi Killing Undermines American Values

William Ramage | United States

The killing of the Saudi journalist Khashoggi ordered by the Saudi Arabian prince is a direct attack on the very values our country was founded upon. It poses a distinct threat to our basic freedoms by the Saudi crown, especially as Khashoggi was working in America and the natural rights of our society should be applied to him. It is a direct act of social terrorism, and given the Iraq war and various American reactions to threats, America doesn’t take terrorism lightly. So why is the Trump administration’s response minimally invasive?

Trump has had many personal financial ties to the Saudi crown, as the Trump organization has received tens of millions of dollars from investors and Saudi business deals. This has been going on for a while as Alwaleed bin-Talal, a member of the Saudi royal family, purchased a $20 million yacht from Trump; it occurred in  1991 and was part of Trump’s effort to avoid Bankruptcy. Similar patterns have continued, in 2001 the Saudi Arabian government purchased the entire 45th floor of Trump Tower in New York and up until 2016 paid a total of $5.7 million. Personal endeavors by our president are what is driving the American response to the murder.

The Trump administration is voicing the entire country’s view on behalf of the president’s personal financial values. A conflict of interest of this significance stretches beyond conservative and liberal views; this was quickly made evident in Congress. The Senate voted in an overwhelming majority to end American involvement in the Yemen war, thus punishing the Saudi Arabian government. In a nation as divided as present-day America, it is seemingly impossible to find issues the left and right can find common ground upon. This conflict is one of the few things the majority of America can agree upon, yet it is still in favor of the minority.

The conflict of interest is a violation of the emoluments clause and an abuse of federal power for direct personal financial gain. It is not in Trump’s best financial interest to punish the Saudi Crown.  The response is sacrificing the ideals and liberties engraved by our founding fathers for the economic prosperity of an elite organization. While a more aggressive reaction may stimulate a counter-reaction against America through the form of restricted oil trade, it is a price America should be willing to pay to defend its values.

The CIA has concluded that the Saudi crown prince was directly involved in the killing, as he exchanged messages with the aide who oversaw the execution just days before it happened. Trump has repeatedly bashed the CIA over this matter, claiming them as incorrect. Trump is undermining the CIA and disrespecting their findings and placing more trust within the Saudi Government, essentially defending a foreign government with a history of corruption over his own nation’s intelligence agency.

The United States has involved itself in spreading democracy and its values and liberating those who are suppressed by tyrannical governments. The Vietnam war, though highly controversial, was an American effort to liberate foreign peoples who have had their basic rights suppressed. If the federal government went to such a great extent to aid the Vietnamese and implant our democratic values, why is the modern government refusing to take a stand against a much more direct threat to our democracy?  America needs to take this opportunity to rise up and defend our liberties, as the biggest threat to American culture appears to be our own leader.

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