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CIA to Brief Senate Leaders on Khashoggi's Murder

Written by Subject: Saudi Arabia

CIA Chief to Brief Senate Leaders on Khashoggi's Murder

by Stephen Lendman (stephenlendman.org - Home - Stephen Lendman)

On Tuesday, CIA director Gina Haspel is scheduled to brief GOP and undemocratic Dem leaders of the Senate Foreign Relations, Armed Services and Appropriations Committees in closed-door session, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Reuters said Senate Intelligence Committee leaders were already briefed. Last month, US major media reported that Langley concluded with high confidence, after examining relevant evidence, that Saudi crown prince Mohammad bin Salman (MBS) bears full responsibility for ordering Khashoggi's elimination.

According to the Journal, the agency concluded that "(i)t is highly unlikely (that the 15-member Saudi hit team sent to Istanbul) carried out the operation without Mohammed bin Salman's authorization." Claiming otherwise defies reality.

It's significant that the CIA refuted the White House and Riyadh in its conclusion about his murder, a major development - the most damning one, linking MBS directly to Khashoggi's murder.

Langley likely believes he's too reckless, incompetent and untrustworthy to succeed his father as king, given repeated policy blunders, Khashoggi's murder the latest example, his fingerprints all over it.

He consolidated power by eliminating potential rivals, solidifying control over kingdom domestic and geopolitical affairs – including its economy, foreign relations, military, interior ministry, and intelligence/security apparatus.

His elevation to power displaced Mohammad bin Nayef as heir to the Saudi throne, a Western intelligence favorite.

The CIA and Britain's MI6 may want him replaced. On an audio recording, he's heard saying "silence Jamal Khashoggi as soon as possible."

Reportedly, he sent at least 11 messages to close aide Saoud al-Qahtani, overseeing his murder in the kingdom's Istanbul consulate, according to a CIA assessment.

Bipartisan senators were angered over reports that Trump regime hardliners blocked Haspel from briefing lawmakers earlier. Pompeo and Mattis alone were involved, both officials sticking by MBS despite his clear responsibility for Khashoggi's murder.

Eliminating dissidents is longstanding Saudi policy domestically and abroad. MBS escalated efforts begun decades earlier.

Today it's achieved with greater technological ease, aided by sophisticated spying software - able to monitor communications of targeted individuals.

The Middle East Eye (MEE) accused MBS of conducting "a killing spree" since becoming crown prince, eliminating dissidents and others considered a threat to his grip on power.

"(B)rute force and hard power" define his agenda, said MEE - internally, in Syria, Yemen, Istanbul to murder Khashoggi, and virtually everywhere else to eliminate targeted individuals.

At home, he rules by intimidation, instilling fear, and threatening anyone daring to challenge his grip on power. He's a menace to the kingdom, region and beyond.

It's why the CIA and MI6 likely want him replaced. Saudi denials of his involvement in killing Khashoggi are all about coverup and shifting of blame to dispensable convenient patsies - with full support and encouragement from Trump regime hardliners.

MBS is king Salman's favorite son. He's a Trump regime favorite. Whether that's enough to keep him in power in the face of US and UK intelligence apparently against him remains to be seen.

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My newest book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: How the US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."

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