This is your regular reminder that Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman had Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi captured, beaten, tortured, dismembered, and killed. In that order. All under the pretext of presenting him with a marriage license. While his excited fiancée was waiting outside the Saudi consulate.
As CNN reports, this conclusion is now supported by an independent investigation carried out by UN investigator Agnes Callamard. In the report, Callamard states not just that Saudi Arabia was criminally responsible for the kidnapping, torture, and "deliberate, premeditated execution" of Khashoggi, but that just going after the hit squad and a few officials doesn’t go far enough. That’s because just hitting those who beat Khashoggi, stripped off his clothes for a body double, clipped off his fingers one by one, and finally brought out the bone saw they brought along from Saudi Arabia fails to recognize the man who ordered them to conduct these horrific acts.
The responsibility for the journalist’s death falls squarely on Jared Kushner’s fast friend, bin Salman. Callamard concludes that there is "sufficient credible evidence" that Saudi Arabia's crown prince is directly responsible for the murder. The report from the investigator calls for “targeted sanctions” against Saudi Arabia, and specifically against bin Salman.
However, Trump continues to support the Saudi prince. He has bragged about the size of the U.S. arms deal with Saudi Arabia and threatened to veto a bill currently in the Senate which would block further. Earlier, Trump vetoed legislation that called for an end to U.S. involvement in the Saudi-led war in Yemen. On Wednesday, White House officials conducted a briefing in which they claimed Iran was behind al-Qaida, even though 15 of the 19 hijackers behind 9/11 were from Saudi Arabia.
The Callamard report contains disturbing evidence from recordings taken inside the Saudi consulate during Khashoggi’s final hours. In those recordings, the Saudi squad tells him that they are there to take him back to Saudi Arabia. Instead, he would never leave the building alive … or whole.
A report from April suggested that Khashoggi’s body was dismembered within the consulate, then taken to the home of the Saudi consul where it was burned in a specially constructed oven.
In the recordings, a Saudi agent tells Khashoggi, “We will have to take you back. There is an order from Interpol.” The journalist protests, saying,"There isn't a case against me." He also tells the people who have taken him prisoner that there is someone waiting for him outside the consulate. That someone was his fiancée, Hatice Cengiz.
Jared Kushner has made at least three trips to visit with bin Salman. During the first of these trips, it is suggested that Kushner provided the Saudi despot with a list of dissidents that led to a series of imprisonments and executions. Trump and Kushner also supported bin Salman’s upending the order of succession in Saudi Arabia to make himself crown prince, and the Saudi blockade of Qatar, site of the largest U.S. military base in the Middle East.