US intel report on Khashoggi death is just speculative guesswork apparently aimed at sabotaging US-Saudi relations
Pinning the death of Jamal Khashoggi on Saudi crown prince Mohammed bin Salman is important to those who want to return to the Obama-era alignment of the U.S. with Iran, not Saudi Arabia, as our principal relationship with the Middle East Muslim world. MbS, as he is known, is a committed modernizer, favorable to warming relations with Israel. Damaging his global standing with the tar of culpability for the killing and dismemberment of Khashoggi could even lead to his fall from the pinnacle of power in Riyadh.
Caroline Glick explains who Khashoggi really was — not an actual "journalist" or "columnist" for the Washington Post (he was a non-salaried contributor of op-eds that were published from time to time):
As Lee Smith reported after he was found dead in the Saudi consulate in Turkey, there were a lot of things about Khashoggi that made him a strange hero for Americans of any stripes. He was a Qatari agent of influence. He was a former Saudi intelligence officer who sided with the Wahabist jihadists in the royal family who supported al Qaeda. He was friends with Osama bin Laden and mourned his death. The al Qaeda, ISIS, Iran and Hamas supporting Qatari regime was essentially writing his columns in the Washington Post.
On its face, Khashoggi's receipt of a green card made no sense given his open support for al Qaeda. On its face, his gig as a columnist at Jeff Bezos's paper made no sense given his relationship with Saudi intelligence and with the Qatari ruling family. But they made perfect sense in the context of the efforts made by Obama's deep state friends, particularly former CIA director John Brennan, who opposed MBS from the outset to empower the Muslim Brotherhood and the Iranian regime.
When seen in this light, it is clear that Khashoggi, a terror supporting Qatari agent who opposed the modernizing, pro-American, anti-jihadist and pro-Israel Saudi Crown Prince was an important political warfare asset for Obama's clique. His job was to discredit MBS and legitimize the terror-supporting Qataris while making pro-jihadist progressives feel good about themselves.
But for the Obama Middle East diplomatic team that seems to have returned under Biden, it is important to downplay Iran's role of the pre-eminent state sponsor of terror in the world and hype the notion that Saudi Arabia is an unrealizable partner, especially its leader MbS. Damaging MbS seems to be the transparent aim of the Office of the Director of National Intelligence in releasing a shockingly vague and shoddy report pinning blame for the assassination of Khashoggi on MbS.
Stephen and Shoshana Bryen write for the Epoch Times:
What is surprising is that the report on the murder of Jamal Khashoggi is just three-quarters of a page of amateurish innuendo.
OK, there were four pages released: a cover page; a page with the executive summary (below); a page that repeats the executive summary, then adds four bullet points of innuendo; and a list of individuals trailing down the third page to get to a fourth page.
The entire executive summary is worth reading:
"We assess that Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman approved an operation in Istanbul, Turkey, to capture or kill Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi.
- "We base this assessment on the Crown Prince's control of decision-making in the Kingdom, the direct involvement of a key adviser and members of Muhammad bin Salman's protective detail in the operation, and the Crown Prince's support for using violent measures to silence dissidents abroad, including Khashoggi.
- "Since 2017, the Crown Prince has had absolute control of the Kingdom's security and intelligence organizations, making it highly unlikely that Saudi officials would have carried out an operation of this nature without the Crown Prince's authorization."
"We assess" — not with confidence, not with human sources (even anonymous or redacted sources), not with physical evidence, not with evidence at all. Just "we assess" because the crown prince had "control of decision-making" and "absolute control" of the intelligence operations. We needed a report for that?
Elsewhere, the report uses the word "probably," meaning a degree of uncertainty.
The Bryens ask the key question:
While the crown prince could perfectly well have dirty hands in this sordid affair, why is the CIA saying it when it clearly doesn't know? And even if we did know for sure, why would we seek to create a political crisis in Saudi Arabia, an important ally, and a major oil producer?
[T]he report was released by the administration to topple the crown prince from power. It doesn't matter whether the report is credible — it matters that President Joe Biden says it is. And it matters that it works in favor of Iran.
Biden is on a "charm offensive" to woo the Iranians back into negotiations over a new pact on the Iranian nuclear program. The Iranians expect to be paid in advance, and undermining Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman is a hot ticket.
Caroline Glick suspects where this is leading:
I don't know if MBS will survive this blow or not. There is reason to fear that at the end of the day, the leaders of the UAE and of Saudi Arabia will decide they are better off making an arrangement with Iran supported by the U.S. than standing up for their sovereignty and their interests with Israel. And if they do, it will be a disaster of epic proportions. The danger of war will rise exponentially. Jihadists of the Sunni and Shiite varieties will be empowered as never before. And Israel will be in a pretty horrible position.
But in the midst of all of this, leave it to the fake human rights activists and real terror supporters and jihad sympathizers like Malley and his comrades in Obama's new administration to pat themselves on the back for ushering in an "authentic" era in the Middle East. (snip)
[B]y branding MBS a murderer, the administration is making it politically unfeasible for Israel to make peace with Saudi Arabia. (snip)
So the move against MBS is a move to block further progress towards ending the Arab conflict with Israel.
Imagine if the Biden team were upfront about this goal.
Hat tip: Clarice Feldman.