US lawmakers have pointed the finger at the Saudi leadership, while Western pressure has mounted on Riyadh to provide answers.
In an interview with Fox Business Network, Mr Trump said if Saudi Arabia knew what happened in the disappearance, “that would be bad.”
“I think we have to find out what happened first,” he said yesterday.
Speaking to reporters, he also drew comparisons with the Brett Kavanaugh Supreme Court scandal, adding: “Here we go again with, you know, you’re guilty until proven innocent. I don’t like that.”
The 15 suspects identified by Turkey are accused of dismembering the journalist’s body with a bone saw, the New York Times (NYT) reports.
At least nine of the suspects worked for the Saudi security services, military or other government ministries, according to the newspaper.
It is alleged they flew out the same day as the killing, and brought the saw with them for the purpose of chopping up Mr Khashoggi’s body.
According to the NYT, records show that two private jets chartered by a Saudi firm arrived and departed from Istanbul on October 2.
Mr Khashoggi, a US resident, wrote columns for the Washington Post and was critical of the Saudi government, calling for reforms.Mr Trump earlier tweeted that Saudi Arabian Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman denied knowing what happened in the Saudi consulate.
The latest claims follow US media reports that Saudi Arabia will admit the vanished journalist died following a botched interrogation.
“The most critical threat to our freedom is a failure to appreciate the power of truth;” Michael Novak
Trump doubles down on his defense of Saudi Arabia in an AP interview. John Kasich says that Trump should call out Saudi Arabia’s human rights abuses. |CRIMSON TAZVINZWA, AIWA! NO!|SPEAKING WITH CHRIS WALLACE ON MSNBC: “I think it’s terrible.
“Let’s just say the President is right. We don’t know.
Nobody really knows yet for sure; even though the Germans, French and the British have all called for thorough investigation.
The evidence has mounted – in terms of the US intelligence picking things up.
MICHAEL NOVAK: “There is an alternative to terror. It is called, in the political order, democracy. In the economic order, it is called the dynamic enterprise economy. . . It empowers poor people from the bottom up. . . . A dynamic economic sector is the poor’s best hope of escaping the prison of poverty. It is the only system so far known to human beings to take poor people and make them, quite soon, middle class, and some of them even (horrors!) rich.”
I have read a lot, I have studied a lot and have thought a lot about this. But let’s just say with benefit of the doubt. Ok! But you don’t go to a conference over there so they can expand their economic power. You don’t talk about having arms sales. Let’s freeze the arms sales. We are not gonna do that until when we get to the bottom of this.
Chris; I have heard people say – I have heard the President say; “This about money.” The arms trade.
I have had somebody coming to me and say:”America is an idea.” The things that we believe in and the things that we stand for, that we believe in the human rights, and for the past 70-years; so money should not trump our foreign policy, never trump our foreign policy actions.
And also,we gotta say – a lot of these CEOs who thought they needed to be in Saudi Arabia and for many many big companies in the United States, stood up and said ‘we are not going there’ – and they deserve credit for that. And they need to be held up, and we need to be able to say to them they have put some principle before profit which is critical for the economic system of our country.
Putting business before principle; that’s not how you do foreign policy. Foreign policy is not just about; of course we need jobs and we need a strong economy, we want economic context but that’s why we shouldn’t have these trade wars, we should keep our tariffs down so we can have more free trade and free enterprise. We believe in profit but also that there are principles that underlie profit.
To drum home his point Kasich referenced and paraphrased Michael Norvak the greatest Catholic Philosopher and Scholar. He said: “A free enterprise system that is not under-laid with values – and we should all think how we conduct our lives – yes free enterprise is great, profits are great. But there have to be some values that underlay it.
The Governor has a point. When the markets don;t achieve our philosophical goals; when they achieve results counter to our cultural values, we have to act outside the market. Our government has to step in and create guidelines that ensure that our economic system exists within our democratic and moral framework and that are consistent with our country’s values.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo met with Saudi Arabia’s King Salman Oct. 16 to discuss the disappearance of Washington Post contributor Jamal Khashoggi.(Reuters)
President Trump says Saudi’s crown prince “totally denied any knowledge” of what happened at the consulate in Turkey, and promises answers “shortly” on Jamal Khashoggi’s disappearance.
|AIWA! NO!|RIYADH, Saudi Arabia — Secretary of State Mike Pompeo pressed Saudi leaders Tuesday to move quickly with a “transparent” investigation of the disappearance of Jamal Khashoggi, even as Turkish officials sifted through possible evidence at the last place the journalist was seen alive.
Some areas have been repainted at the Saudi consulate where missing Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi was last seen alive, the Turkish president, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, has said, as investigators prepared to enter the nearby Saudi consul’s house after the diplomat left the country.
Erdoğan told reporters on Tuesday that police had found evidence of toxic materials and signs that some surfaces had been repainted at the consulate where investigators say the missing journalist was killed.
“My hope is that we can reach conclusions that will give us a reasonable opinion as soon as possible, because the investigation is looking into many things such as toxic materials and those materials being removed by painting them over,” he said.
Turkish officials have asserted that a Saudi hit team killed Khashoggi earlier this month after he entered the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul. On Monday, forensic experts had their first chance to comb the site, and they now plan to expand the searches to diplomatic vehicles and the main residence.
Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman ordered an operation to lure Washington Post contributing journalist Jamal Khashoggi back to Saudi Arabia where he was to be detained, U.S. intercepts show. The whole torture, dismemberment, and death inside the Saudi embassy thing that apparently happened was a rendition gone bad, according to this report.
The intelligence pointing to a plan to detain Khashoggi in Saudi Arabia has fueled speculation by officials and analysts in multiple countries that what transpired at the consulate was a backup plan to capture Khashoggi that may have gone wrong.
A former U.S. intelligence official — who, like others, spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss the sensitive matter — noted that the details of the operation, which involved sending two teams totaling 15 men, in two private aircraft arriving and departing Turkey at different times, bore the hallmarks of a “rendition,” in which someone is extralegally removed from one country and deposited for interrogation in another.
But Turkish officials have concluded that whatever the intent of the operation, Khashoggi was killed inside the consulate. Investigators have not found his body, but Turkish officials have released video surveillance footage of Khashoggi entering the consulate on the afternoon of Oct. 2. There is no footage that shows him leaving, they said.
The intelligence about Saudi Arabia’s earlier plans to detain Khashoggi have raised questions about whether the Trump administration should have warned the journalist that he might be in danger.
Intelligence agencies have a “duty to warn” people who might be kidnapped, seriously injured or killed, according to 2015 federal directive. “The obligation applies regardless of whether the person is a U.S. citizen. Khashoggi was a U.S. resident,” Harris writes.
|Madhav Nalapat, UPI|AIWA! NO!| — The kingdom of Saudi Arabia is not like the United States, where abuse of (and by) President Donald Trump is not just commonplace but unpunished. From its inception more than a century ago, any effort (actial or perceived) to kill the king or the crown prince would be replied to with death.
Jamal Khashoggi was on a barely concealed mission to dethrone Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman, the heir to the Saudi throne. He disseminated materials concerning Mohammed that were less than flattering and were instead lurid and gothic.
Some members of the Al Saud family, motivated by anger at the de-Wahabbization drive initiated by the crown prince in a country founded on the creed, ensured that the Washington Post columnist lived a comfortable li fe in exile. From Turkey and elsewhere, Khashoggi carried on a campaign to remove Crown Prince Mohammed from office (an outcome that would almost certainly cause his death or incarceration, as well).
Assuming that the lurid and gothic reports about the likely death of the Saudi dissident in the kingdom’s consulate in Istanbul are correct, this would be standard operating procedure for the Saudis in such situations. Given this, there seems to be more than a whiff of hypocrisy in the outrage that is erupting across the globe at what is almost certain to be the assassination of an individual who sought what in Washington is known as “man change,” or the removal of a particular leader through measures that cause death.
In Saudi Arabia, to question the apex of the House of Saud is to be judged guilty of the most toxic form of treason, and few would argue that Khashoggi was not working almost daily for the toppling of the crown prince, the first in his family to challenge and seek to roll back into insignificance the Wahabbi tide that has engulfed Saudi Arabia much before its inception as a modern state in 1932.
Had Khashoggi succeeded, the de-Wahabbization drive led by Mohammed would have collapsed. The same result would ensue were the present global outcry against the crown prince to succeed in its mission of driving him out of office, much to the glee of those members of the Al Sauds who seek the same outcome and who had used the Washington Post columnist as part of the group entrusted with bringing this about.
Certainly the killing of Khashoggi, assuming it took place, was horrible and deplorable. But that hundreds of thousands of innocents have died in wars launched by NATO during just the present century is equally a fact, as has been the rendition by the United States of several terror suspects to countries severely injurious to the health of those sent there through such processes.
|Paris Gourtsoyannis, The Southern Reporter|AIWA! NO!|Borders MP David Mundell has threatened to resign over a European Union exit deal set to be signed off by the UK Government as soon as next week. The Dumfriesshire, Clydesdale and Tweeddale MP and Scottish Conservative leader Ruth Davidson have both issued a threat to quit over compromises to that Brexit deal over the Irish border ibeing proposed in a bid to get it agreed.
UK prime minister Theresa May’s cabinet meets today, October 16, amid widespread disquiet among Conservatives and their allies in the Democratic Unionist Party about plans to keep Britain in the EU customs union and boost regulatory checks on goods crossing the Irish Sea between Britain and Northern Ireland. Downing Street has sought to calm speculation that the compromises will form the basis of a breakthrough on the UK’s Brexit withdrawal aMrs Maythe Prime Minister not to do a “dodgy deal” undermining Northern Ireland’s standing in the union.
A joint letter from Ms Davidson and Scottish Secretary Mr Mundell to Mrs May warns that the issue of special status in the EU single market for Northern Ireland would be a red line for both of them, it has emerged. Under existing treaties including the 1998 Good Friday Agreement, Northern Ireland already has separate regulatory regimes shared with the Republic of Ireland over matters including electricity and animal health.
However, the EU says that under a commitment set to agreed by Mrs May to prevent a hard border being created on the island of Ireland, the north would have to effectively remain within the single market. Checks on goods travelling between the north and Britain would need to be enhanced, affecting all livestock and agricultural products, many of which come from Scotland.
“Having fought just four years ago to keep our country together, the integrity of our United Kingdom remains the single most important issue for us in these negotiations,” the letter from Ms Davidson and Mr Mundell states.
“Any deal that delivers a differentiated settlement for Northern Ireland beyond the differences that already exist on an all-Ireland basis – for example, agriculture – or can be brought under the provisions of the Belfast Agreement, would undermine the integrity of our UK internal market and this United Kingdom. “We could not support any deal that creates a border of any kind in the Irish Sea and undermines the union or leads to Northern Ireland having a different relationship with the EU than the rest of the UK beyond what currently exists.”
As many as eight cabinet ministers are said to be considering their positions over plans to keep the UK in the customs union to ensure goods continue to be traded over the Irish land border whatever the future relationship between London and Brussels without a firm date for when that arrangement would end.
Trump’s remarks come as Turkish investigators finally get access to Saudi consulate.
Donald Trump has speculated that “rogue killers” may have been responsible for the presumed death of Jamal Khashoggi, as Turkish investigators finally gained access to the Saudi consulate, 13 days after the missing Washington Post columnist was last seen there.
Turkish officials were allowed into the consulate in Ankara only after Saudi staff, consular visitors and a team of cleaners equipped with mops, buckets and disinfectant had been allowed into the building.
The investigators arrived in unmarked black cars late on Monday, and made no comment to journalists outside the consulate. As night fell, a crime scene truck arrived, along with a police car with Ankara plates.
Every now and again, a bewildered Saudi citizen poked his or her head out of the wrought iron gate, before running the gauntlet of dozens of cameras.
A transcript of the conversation, which Global Affairs Canada sent to his parents, who then shared it with Global News along with other documents, offers a rare look at how Ottawa is handling such cases.
The political implications of repatriating Canadian ISIS fighters
Expert says Canada should bring back wives, children of ISIS fighters
They show that Canadian consular officials have been trying to find out where the Canadians are being detained in order to give them consular assistance.
The officials have communicated with the Kurdish authorities over concerns about torture allegations and medical attention for the detainees, the documents show.
But they also told the parents in an email that while they would try to get Letts to a third country, likely Turkey, they could not make any promises.
Hundreds of ISIS foreign fighters, as well as ISIS wives and their children, have been captured by the U.S.-backed Syrian Democratic Forces.
The Canadian government has said little about how it is assisting at least 13 Canadian detainees, who are being held in prisons and camps in northeast Syria.
But the transcript of a January 10 conversation between Letts and Global Affairs Canada shows that while officials have reached out to some of the detainees, they have also cautioned there’s not be much they can do.
“If it would be possible, would you like to come to Canada? Back to the U.K.?” the consular official asked.
“I want to live a normal life. I want to come to Canada,” Letts replied.
A Muslim convert, Letts traveled to Syria in 2014, leading the British press to dub him Jihadi Jack. But while he was in ISIS-controlled territory, he has denied being an ISIS member and his parents said there was no evidence he ever joined the terrorist group. Because the U.K. has shown no interest in assisting him and he is Canadian through his father, Ottawa has taken on the case.
“Can u help me,” Letts wrote to the consular official.
He said he was imprisoned near Qamlishi, the hub of the Kurdish-controlled region of Syria known as Rojava. He said he had been there 10 months.
“We have limited capacity to provide consular service in Syria but we will try to help you,” the official responded.
The consular official asked Letts whether he had been charged, how he spent his days, what he ate, when he last saw a doctor, whether he was taking medications and had access to the Internet.
“Are they going to kill us,” Letts wanted to know.
“As I said, we have no access in Syria at the moment, but are working on your case.”
Letts asked the official if he intended to get him to Canada.
“I promise not to blow anyone up with fertaliser [sic] or however they do it,” Letts wrote, adding “that was a joke.”
WATCH: What should Ottawa do with hundreds of captured Canadian ISIS fighters?
“We have the intention to help you,” the official wrote.
“Obviously I’m not going to blow anyone up.”
“Canada is an option,” said the official.
Letts then said he was “going insane” and had tried to hang himself. He said he was experiencing kidney problems but had not seen a doctor in seven months.
“I made a mistake coming here, I know that. If you want to put me in prison, I understand that I do not mind,” Letts told the official.
“I have made mistakes, probably prison is good for me. But just not here. The situation here is terrible.”
“Tell my mum I am sorry. Tell my dad I am sorry. Tell them if I ever get out of this place I am going to try and be a better person.”
Towards the end of the exchange, the official assured Letts the government was working on his case, but within limits.
“We don’t have people in Syria and it is a complex environment so I can’t give you definitive timelines, but we are working on your case.”
Global News revealed last week that high-profile Canadian ISIS member Muhammad Ali had been captured by Kurdish forces. His wife, former Vancouver resident Rida Jabbar, and their two kids were also detained, along with women from Toronto and Montreal who married ISIS foreign fighters, and their five children.
Letts and a Montreal man are also being held.
A Kurdish official told Global News there had been “dialogue” with Canada over the detainees, including a meeting in Iraq, but that “suddenly the Canadian government stopped this process and we don’t know why.”
Asked to comment on the transcript, Global Affairs Canada said it was aware that Canadians were detained in Syria but its “ability to provide consular assistance in any part of Syria is extremely limited.”
In a podcast, national security law expert Craig Forcese said that because the Canadians were detained abroad, the government could not facilitate their return to Canada.
The best they could do was negotiate the conditions of their detention, he said, adding the matter was complicated because the Canadians were held by insurgents rather than a state.
But even engaging with their captors diplomatically could cause problems for Canada, he said. Turkey views the Kurdish forces as part of the PKK terrorist group. “So it’s a very difficult consular dance.”
Conservative foreign affairs critic Erin O’Toole said the government’s primary focus should be public safety.
“I’m very, very reluctant to repatriate known ISIS fighters, unless they’re charged and imprisoned in conjunction with their return,” he said.
He also said he supported the revocation of citizenship for terrorism and treason.
“You know, unfortunately these people made very bad decisions and demonstrated that they were a risk to the public and that’s how they should be treated.”
WATCH: Mosul, Iraq is facing several challenges post-ISIS
But NDP public safety critic Matthew Dubé said that while public safety is paramount, Canada was obliged to take responsibility for its citizens.
“As much as we may loathe what these people stand for and what they’re doing in some cases, I think that putting them into prisons here and having them go through the Canadian justice system is obviously at the core of a society that’s rules-based and respects the rule of law,” he said.
“Again, it’s not to condone in any way these atrocities. Quite the contrary. I believe that if we truly believe that this is wrong then we should be making sure that they are seeing justice through the Canadian system.”
Dubé also said Ottawa should bring back Canadian wives of ISIS fighters and their children. “It doesn’t sound like that’s the case at the moment, but I would hope that they would make every effort to bring the women and children back.”