US/Saudi Relations Remain Unchanged
by Stephen Lendman (stephenlendman.org – Home – Stephen Lendman)
Both countries are longstanding allies, partnered in Washington’s imperial agenda, waging war OF terror in the Middle East against nations Republicans and undemocratic Dems target for regime change.
As long as Saudi oil keeps flowing and the kingdom continues spending tens of billions of dollars for US assets and weapons, bilateral relations won’t change.
Jamal Khashoggi’s abduction and likely murder by the Saudis is a temporary disruption of the longstanding relationship that will pass.
Trump initially was silent about the incident for days. On Thursday, he said stopping US arms sales to Riyadh “would not be acceptable to me,” adding:
“I don’t like stopping massive amounts of money that’s being poured into our country. They are spending $110 billion on military equipment and on things that create jobs for this country.”
Saudi wealth pouring into America, along with partnering with Washington’s imperial agenda, alone matter, not jobs creation, a minor factor.
According to unnamed Turkish officials, audio and video recordings prove Saudi responsibility for abducting and murdering Khashoggi, his body believed dismembered and flown back to the kingdom to be disposed of.
An unnamed Turkish official said “(t)he voice recording from inside the embassy lays out what happened to Jamal after he entered,” adding:
“You can hear his voice and the voices of men speaking Arabic. You can hear how he was interrogated, tortured, and then murdered.”
According to another unnamed Turkish official, Saudi men could be heard beating Khashoggi on the recording.
Reportedly Ankara and Washington have damning evidence of what happened.
An unnamed Turkish source with direct knowledge of Ankara’s information said: “We know when Jamal was killed, in which room he was killed, and where the body was taken to be dismembered. If the forensic team (is) allowed in, (its members) know exactly where to go.”
Exiled Saudi prince Khaled bin Farhan al-Saud said luring kingdom dissidents to meetings with intent to disappear them is longstanding regime strategy, Khashoggi the latest victim.
Saud said Riyadh authorities tried over 30 times to lure him to a meeting. “I refused every time, he said,” adding:
“I know what can happen if I go into the embassy. Around 10 days before Jamal went missing, they asked my family to bring me to Cairo to give me a check. I refused.”
Five Saudi royal family members asking the leadership for information about Khashoggi were detained to silence them.
Senate Foreign Relations Committee chairman Bob Corker said intelligence information he’s seen indicates Saudi responsibility for abducting and killing Khashoggi.
“It does appear that he’s been murdered, and I think over the next several days things are going to become much clearer,” he said, adding:
It appears “they killed him and probably very high level people were aware of it.”
Senator Lindsey Graham saw the intelligence report, calling it “very unnerving,” adding “(y)ou don’t have to be Sherlock Holmes to figure this out.”
Turkish President Erdogan challenged Riyadh to provide video images, backing its claim that Khashoggi left the Istanbul consulate unharmed, adding the kingdom’s explanation is unacceptable.
On Thursday, Erdogan’s aide Ibrahim Kahn said a joint Turkish/Saudi investigation of the incident will be conducted. Istanbul’s public prosecutor said he’ll continue the investigation separately.
According to Global Security Group CEO David Katz, audio and video evidence is sufficient forensic information to conclude what happened, no further investigation needed.
Clearly Saudi officials will do nothing to conflict with their fabricated explanation about Khashoggi’s disappearance.
Turkey, the US, and other countries have “robust electronic devices” to listen to conversations inside buildings from outside.
Turkey knows the identity of at least eight of the 15-man Saudi security team sent to Istanbul to abduct and eliminate Khashoggi, arriving on the day he disappeared.
They include a Saudi defense force forensic unit head, a former London embassy intelligence head, and several special forces officers. They left Istanbul less than a day after arriving.
Khashoggi was a Washington Post columnist. The broadsheet accused crown prince Mohammad bin Salman of personally ordering his elimination.
On October 11, WaPo headlined “Turks tell US officials they have audio and video recordings that support conclusion Khashoggi was killed.”
The storm over the incident rages. It’ll pass, US/Saudi relations to remain unchanged once the furor cools.
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