Pompeo says ready to help Turkey with case of missing journalist

Saturday, 20 Oct, 2018

Journalist Jamal Khashoggi was allegedly killed at the Saudi Arabian consulate in Turkey, and many US lawmakers are pointing to the Saudi government as being responsible.

When asked Wednesday whether Saudi officials had told him whether Khashoggi was dead or alive, he responded: "I don't want to talk about any of the facts, and they didn't want to either". To uncritically believe that this audio recording even exists and that it contains what the Turkish government says it contains would be to give in to the anti-Saudi hysteria in the media, which, you may have noticed, has now morphed into anti-Trump hysteria.

The US secretary of state said he discussed with Saudi leaders "the importance of the investigation, completing it in a timely fashion, and making sure that it was sufficiently transparent that we could evaluate the work that had been done to get to the bottom of it".

In an editorial, the paper called for an independent global investigation into the disappearance of the journalist, saying that the travel to Saudi Arabia by State Secretary Mike Pompeo has seemed to fail to find the truth.

Trump's top diplomat Mike Pompeo meanwhile said Riyadh should be given a few more days to complete a probe into the disappearance of the veteran journalist, a prominent critic of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

Missing Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi recorded audio on his Apple watch of the moments he was allegedly interrogated, tortured and then killed, according to reports.

The day before the authorities reportedly failed to search the Saudi Consul-General's residence amid the ongoing investigation into the disappearance of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

"We always expected the contribution to be finalized in the fall time frame", Brett McGurk, the State Department's envoy to the anti-Islamic State coalition, said in a statement. The publication did not explain how it had obtained the recordings of Khashoggi's death, which occurred at the consulate offices of Saudi Arabia in Istanbul.

The New York Times reported that a suspect identified by Turkey was a frequent companion of the prince's.

"Why is the Trump administration cleaning up Saudi Arabia's mess?" wondered the editorial board of The Washington Post, a daily that Khashoggi had published in.

"Shut up if you want to live when you return to [Saudi] Arabia", came the response from an unknown Saudi official.

Pompeo went on to tell the prince "bluntly that if they don't, the United States will have to deal with this", the source said, and "will take action because the world will demand it and that President Trump's hand will be forced by the global pressure". In dealing with Russian Federation, across Asia and, this week, in the Mideast, Trump has often appeared comfortable downplaying concerns about rights abuses and dismissing the importance of US moral leadership.

Graham said that it was especially upsetting because of Saudi Arabia's status as allies.

Pompeo said the Saudi side had "promised accountability for each of those persons whom they determine as a result of their investigation has - deserves accountability".

There was also new political pressure on Trump with nine senators from the opposition Democrats writing to express "significant concerns about conflicts of interest" between Trump and Saudi Arabia concerning deals done through his real estate empire.

It urged an investigation by the UN's Security Council or Human Rights Council, noting that "until the full truth about Mr. Khashoggi is disclosed, US businesses should shun the Saudi regime and Congress should block all military sales".