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Post Did the US Administration Know About Plans to Murder Khashoggi? "The Guardian"
Created by John Eipper on 11/01/18 4:52 AM

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Did the US Administration Know About Plans to Murder Khashoggi? "The Guardian" (Soraya Sepahpour-Ulrich, USA, 11/01/18 4:52 am)

Not long ago, Timothy Ashby (October 22nd) had a very interesting post about Bolton being aware of the Khashoggi killing. This Guardian article confirms Mr. Ashby's account.

"Sawers, who was head of the British secret intelligence service until 2014, also claimed that the crown prince would only have acted if he believed he had licence from the White House to behave as he wished."


JE comments:  The Guardian does not mention Bolton by name.  The Known Unknown:  did the crown prince believe he had US approval do anything, or did he specifically seek the green light for the Khashoggi hit?

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  • Still-Unanswered Questions on Khashoggi Killing (from Gary Moore) (John Eipper, USA 11/02/18 6:22 AM)

    Gary Moore writes:

    Two brief clarifications, in the Did-I-Read-What-I-Thought-I-Read category:

    1) Soraya Sepahpour-Ulrich (November 1st) pointed out a Guardian article on the Khashoggi killing
    and paired it with Timothy Ashby's important musing on John Bolton, the notorious Trump
    national security adviser, saying here was confirmation, But I agree with JE that one should
    look carefully at the Guardian article and see it didn't mention Bolton: not a confirmation.

    But at the same time, Tim's statement seems compelling and persuasive. The Guardian
    was focusing on a BBC interview with Sir John Sawers, British ex-head of Mi6, who said bluntly
    that Saudi Arabia wouldn't have undertaken such mayhem as the Khashoggi affair without
    some kind of feeling that the US would tolerate it. This could be paired with Tim's thought
    in another way, by wondering whether the sneering, loose-cannon presence of Bolton
    (informed or not) may have made the prince bolder, and perhaps could give some scrap
    of explanation for the unexplainable: How in the world did the Saudi prince think he could
    get away with this stuff?

    2) On my geography riddle (Google Street View looks at Istanbul), JE's comment points out an important
    disconnect on Khashoggi. John wondered how pieces of the murder victim could have gone down the
    consul's garden well if, at the same time, those pieces were smuggled out of Turkey in diplomatic pouches.
    This underscores how many different scenarios we've heard on what Turkish intelligence says it knows
    about the murder.

    Another important contradiction is this: Now, Turkish authorities are saying Khashoggi
    was strangled almost immediately upon setting foot inside the Saudi consulate. But if so, what happened
    to the torture, the cutting off of the fingers while still alive, and related images? Even when facts are made
    public about a shocking event, it's easy to read more into a printed implication than perhaps is really there.
    And all the more so when Turkey is withholding the specifics and dribbling out stray clues--or stray insinuations.

    The failure of Turkish President Erdogan to reveal, in his revealing-all-nakedness speech, what his government
    knows suggests that the public picture of a landmark event now hovers on a knife's edge--between the
    possibility of full disclosure and the possibility that the questions may fade, forever unanswered, into the
    rush of the news cycle.

    JE comments:  What are we to make of this piece in The Telegraph?  MbS reportedly told the White House (Bolton and Kushner) days after the murder that Khashoggi was a "dangerous Islamist."  Did he say "is" or "was" when Khashoggi was still "officially" alive?


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  • Khashoggi Case: What Did the Trump Administration Know? (Timothy Ashby, -Spain 11/02/18 5:18 PM)

    Regardless of John Bolton's malevolent character, I'm sure that he (or anyone else in the Trump Administration) did not affirmatively approve the Khashoggi Operation.

    However, I have little doubt that the Saudis knew that their secret communications are intercepted by the NSA, and because the US did not take action to prevent the assassination before it happened, the Prince allowed it to proceed.

    JE comments:  "It's easier to ask for forgiveness than it is to get permission."  These are the words of computer pioneer Grace Hopper.  Perhaps MbS took them to heart.

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