Briefing Tomorrow Could Give Gardner Chance To Confirm Doubts About Khashoggi Murder

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Jamal Khashoggi.

CIA Director Gina Haspel will brief U.S. Senate “committee leaders” Tuesday, likely giving U.S. Sen. Cory Gardner (R-CO) the chance to confirm his doubts about the CIA’s reported conclusion that Saudi Prince Mohammed bin Salman knew about the plot to kill journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

Last week, appearing on conservative talk radio, Gardner questioned the CIA’s position:

“Well, I would be careful of what the CIA is being accused of saying,” Gardner told KDMT radio host Jimmy Sengenberger Nov. 29. “And I think that was clear in a briefing yesterday. I can’t get into the details of it, but I would just be very careful about what the CIA does and doesn’t believe.”

Gardner’s comment turned heads because it reflected Trump’s stance on the Khashoggi murder, apparently making Gardner and Trump the only prominent Washington politicians who are skeptical of the reported conclusion of the CIA.

Even Secretary of State James Mattis, who said there was “no smoking gun” connecting the prince to the murder, refused to cast doubt directly on the CIA’s reported conclusion.

CNN reported Nov. 29

But when he was asked if it was true the CIA expressed high confidence, Mattis would only say, “there you need to go to the CIA.”

Politico’s Burgess Everett reported today:

The spy chief will meet with top leaders of the Senate Armed Services Committee, Senate Foreign Relations Committee and the Senate Intelligence Committee, according to a source familiar with the matter. The meeting comes ahead of a scheduled vote on whether the Senate will vote to pull support for the civil war in Yemen.

The number of attendees at the briefing could grow given the concern among both parties about Khashoggi’s killing at the Saudi Arabian consulate in Turkey earlier this year. [emphasis added]

Defense Secretary Jim Mattis and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo last week failed to address concerns by senators, who demanded Haspel appear on Capitol Hill. The Senate then voted to advance the measure curtailing U.S. support for Saudi forces in Yemen, setting up critical procedural votes that could occur later this week or early next.

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  1. mamajama55mamajama55 says:

    This is so sinister. Trump is literally trying to see if his ally can get away with murder. It's how Putin handles dissidents, opponents, and journalists. Prince Mohamed Bin Salman follows the same evil path. 

    Inconvenient people? Critics? Don’t argue, don’t defend. don’t bother with nasty tweets or mean nicknames or riling up your base against them. Just…. kill them. Have them quietly murdered.

    The cynical side of this is that Trump is also trying to buy the American public's consent to this assassination by hawking the lower gas prices as an implicit part of “the deal” with the Saudis.

    The Saudis have increased production and prices have plunged. I filled my little Chevy for $16 today.

    Jamal Khashoggi was an advocate of freedom and democracy, the principles of the Arab Spring (Guardian 10/8/18)

    Khashoggi criticized the Saudi regime for human rights abuses and for making a deal with Donald Trump on  Abu Dis as the new capitol, (Kushner’s plan for Middle East peace, which throws out the idea of a two state solution and sets in stone the genocide of the Palestinians)

    So in bin Salman’s mind, Khashoggi had to go. His dissenting voice could not be tolerated.

    The price of oil is falling, and Saudi can’t raise it now because of the murder.  So the question really is now if the American people will accept the murder of one Arab journalist – did Khashoggi die so we could have cheap gas?

    How much more might oil prices fall if the American public could be brought to accept, say, the execution of some female dissidents? How many cents per gallon are their lives worth?

    Cory Gardner's statement, quoted above, has more lofty sounding goals than Trump's crass appeal to American greed. He is invoking Middle East peace and stability. But there's no daylight between Trump and Gardner on this issue. Both accept state terrorism: blatant, bloody murders as a price for achieving political goals.  I wonder how Cory Gardner talks to his children about morality these days.

    • VoyageurVoyageur says:

      No one should think Saudi Arabia is paradise.  But America once joined hands with Joseph Stalin because survival required it.  The survival of Israel, the war against Iranian – backed terrorism and the possibility of an Israeli-Palestinian peace agreement are among the issues at stake here.

      We need to be very clear-headed in the coming months.  NO, we don't condone the murder of a Saudi citizen.  But we can't let this crime become another Sarajevo that triggers a war and thousands or even millions of casualties.  

      As for MJ’s bargain tank of gasoline, give credit where it’s due– to the hard working and creative workers of the American oil and gas industry. Keep on frackin’ baby, it’s given America our energy independence back.

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