Trump’s statement on the torture and murder of Jamal Khashoggi can’t pass without comment as it represents a abandonment on any moral high ground the US once had on human rights. Here’s my translation:
The crime against Jamal Khashoggi was a terrible one, and one that our country does not condone.
Does not condone is about as weak as you can get. Could you imagine someone saying we don’t condone a serial killer.
Indeed, we have taken strong action against those already known to have participated in the murder. After great independent research, we now know many details of this horrible crime. We have already sanctioned 17 Saudis known to have been involved in the murder of Mr. Khashoggi, and the disposal of his body.
The 17 henchmen who were following orders. And they are probably all going to be given fake executions and issued new identities so the sanctions are meaningless.
Representatives of Saudi Arabia say that Jamal Khashoggi was an “enemy of the state” and a member of the Muslim Brotherhood, but my decision is in no way based on that – this is an unacceptable and horrible crime.
He repeats a libel against Khashoggi. Incidentally he wrote quite a good column on the Muslim Brotherhood in August.
He was only an enemy of the state because he wrote newspaper columns critical of the Royal Family.
King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman vigorously deny any knowledge of the planning or execution of the murder of Mr. Khashoggi. Our intelligence agencies continue to assess all information, but it could very well be that the Crown Prince had knowledge of this tragic event – maybe he did and maybe he didn’t!
Translation: I have been told the Crown Prince authorised the execution but am going to pretend it is possible he didn’t.
That being said, we may never know all of the facts surrounding the murder of Mr. Jamal Khashoggi.
We don’t need to know all the facts. What we know is more than enough to know the Saudi Government tortured and brutally killed Khashoggi.
In any case, our relationship is with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. They have been a great ally in our very important fight against Iran. The United States intends to remain a steadfast partner of Saudi Arabia to ensure the interests of our country, Israel and all other partners in the region. It is our paramount goal to fully eliminate the threat of terrorism throughout the world!
Being an ally shouldn’t be a get out of jail card for whatever evil you do.
I don’t expect Trump to break all relations with Saudia Arabia. But for such a brutal and sadistic murder I expect there to be at least some consequences – otherwise you give the green light for more operations like this.