Former CIA officer: White House helping cover up Jamal Khashoggi death


Jamal Khashoggi crown prince protest
A
demonstrator dressed as Saudi Arabian Crown Prince Mohammed bin
Salman (C) with blood on his hands protests with others outside
the Saudi Embassy in Washington, DC, on October 8,
2018,

Jim WATSON /
AFP


  • A former CIA case officer and intelligence analyst said
    the Trump administration is helping the Saudi Crown Prince
    cover up journalist Jamal Khashoggi’s murder. 
  • Bob Baer, who worked as a CIA case officer primarily in
    the Middle East, told CNN’s Jake Tapper that the US has
    purposely muted its response to Khashoggi’s murder, despite
    mounting evidence including audio
    recordings

      that some
    suggest implicates the Saudi Crown Prince. 
  • Turkish and US officials, including US National
    Security Adviser John Bolton, have said that the audio
    does not conclusively link the killing to
    Prince Mohammed. But Baer suggested it is unlikely that anyone
    else in the Kingdom would have the authority to order such an
    operation.
  • “The chances that Mohammed bin Salman ordered this,
    we’re hitting 100%,” Baer said.
  • The Trump administration, by all appearances, is unsure
    of how to proceed in its response to Khashoggi’s murder; while
    officials have been
    promising to clamp down hard with possible sanctions
    ,
    little meaningful action has been taken.

A former CIA case officer and intelligence analyst for CNN
claimed the Trump administration is helping the Saudis cover up
Jamal Khashoggi’s murder. 

Speaking to CNN’s Jake Tapper on Tuesday, Bob Baer, who worked at
a CIA case officer primarily in the Middle East, said the US has
purposely muted its response to journalist Jamal Khashoggi’s
murder. 

“We’ve always turned a blind eye to what’s going on in Saudi
Arabia,” he told
CNN Tuesday

Khashoggi, a Washington Post contributor and US resident, was
murdered after entering the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on
October 2. Saudi Arabia has
repeatedly shifted its version of the events that transpired that
day
, and it has fired five top officials and
arrested 18 Saudis it says are connected to the killing.

Still, Khashoggi’s body has not been returned, and
audio recordings 
circulating
around government agencies
appear to indicate that that
someone senior, possibly Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, had
ordered the killing. 

According to The New York Times, the tape allegedly
records Khashoggi’s last moments, and catches one of his
killers call his superior on the phone and tell the person to
tell
your boss” that “the deed was done.

“The way Saudi Arabia is run today, Mohammed bin Salman is an
autocrat,” Baer said. “Security services, the rest of the
country, he’s in control.”

While Turkish and US officials,
including US National Security Adviser John Bolton
,
have said that the audio does not conclusively
implicate Prince Mohammed, Baer suggested it is unlikely that
anyone else in the Kingdom would have the authority to order such
an operation. Bolton has said he has not heard the tape
himself. 

“The Saudis do not have rogue operations ever,” Baer
said. “It’s never occured. The chances that
Mohammed bin Salman ordered this, we’re hitting 100%.”

Deep ties between Washington and Riyadh 


Donald Trump Mohammed bin Salman
President
Donald Trump (R) holds up a chart of military hardware sales as
he meets with Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman of the Kingdom of
Saudi Arabia in the Oval Office at the White House on March 20,
2018 in Washington, D.C.

Kevin
Dietsch-Pool/Getty Images


The Trump administration, by all appearances, is unsure of how to
proceed in its response to Khashoggi’s murder; while officials
have been
promising to clamp down hard with possible sanctions against
senior Saudi leaders
, little action has been taken, likely
due to the
deep

economic ties between Washington and Riyadh
.

“At this point, the White House doesn’t see a way out.
Saudi Arabia is a volcano and to try and push the Crown Prince
out, we don’t have any players [in Saudi Arabia] on our side, so
we don’t know what to do,” Baer said. “So we have a psychopath
sitting in Riyadh controlling the country.” 

Prince Mohammed has tightened his grip in the last year since
being appointed Crown Prince last June at the age of 31. His

massive purge of more than 200 influential Saudi figures
,
many of whom were members of the Saudi royal family, silenced
dissenting voices and cemented his status as Saudi Arabia’s most
powerful figure.

“No Saudi prince has ever done this ever in its history,”
Baer said. “I think what worries the White House is this country
could pop, and what would we do then?”

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