“They started throwing out the rules long ago. If the Saudis get away with Istanbul it won’t be long before they start going after journalists inside our borders.”
Former CIA officer Bob Baer — Email to Intel Today (October 13 2018)
“Our relationship with the United States is historic and strategic. Any attempts to undermine that will falter.”
Crown Prince Mohammed bin Nayef (February 2017)
Reporter: Did they say that Khashoggi was alive or dead?
Secretary Pompeo: I don’t want to talk about any of the facts. They didn’t want to either.
“Do this (torturing Khashoggi) outside; you’re going to get me in trouble.”
Saudi consul general Mohammed al-Otaibi
The US president said Saudi Arabia’s government deserves “severe punishment” if it killed Washington Post contributor Jamal Khashoggi. Former CIA Director Mike Morell says the CIA needs help and time — a few weeks — to understand what actually happened. Not so long ago, CIA Director Mike Pompeo explained how the CIA could solve a far greater puzzle — the 2017 Khan Shaykhoun chemical attack — in just 24 hours by assembling a team of experts. Flashback. Follow us on Twitter: @INTEL_TODAY
RELATED POST: Saudi Crown Prince Awarded the CIA ‘George Tenet’ Medal of Honor
RELATED POST: Saudis Will Build Nukes If Tehran Does [Flashback]
UPDATE (October 20 2018) — As Yogi Berra once famously remarked, “You can observe a lot by just watching.”
The president and his administration say that Congress is jumping to conclusions too quickly, and Trump has compared bin Salman’s treatment to that of Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh, who was accused of sexual assault.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo visited Saudi Arabia this week to discuss Khashoggi’s disappearance and briefed the president on it Thursday.
“They assured me they will conduct a complete, thorough investigation of all of the facts surrounding Mr. Khashoggi and will do so in a timely fashion.
And that his report itself will be transparent,” Pompeo said.
“I told President Trump this morning that we ought to give them a few more days to complete that.”
Senate Foreign Relations Chairman Bob Corker claims there is an on-going clampdown on any further intelligence updates to senators.
END of UPDATE
The Saudi-born journalist vanished after entering the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, Turkey two weeks ago. Former CIA acting director and CBS News senior national security contributor Michael Morell joined “CBS This Morning” to discuss the investigation.
Please, listen carefully to Mike Morell. The former (acting) CIA Director explains why it will take several weeks to figure out what actually happened once the information is made available to the CIA. Wait. Does that ring a bell?
Flashback — Pompeo, the CIA & the 2017 Khan Shaykhoun chemical attack
In July 2017, I told you that the then CIA Director was obviously lying when he said that he had assembled “a couple hundred folks at the Agency” in order to solve the Khan Shaykhoun chemical attack in less than 24 hours.
Here is what I wrote at the time.
The text of the speech has been posted on the CIA website on July 11 2017 and ‘updated’ on July 14 2017. The version currently posted does not correspond to what Pompeo actually said regarding the Khan Shaykhoun chemical attack. I believe that the differences are intentional and highly significant.
Here is what Pompeo actually (verbatim) said [@19:20 mark] :
I’ve now spent six months nearly working for president trump. He is a demanding customer, and frankly, we like it that way. It shows he depends on us and values what we do. Let me give you a brief example to illustrate that point.
Back in April one afternoon, I got a call from the president. He wants to talk about some disturbing images that he saw coming in from Syria. I’m sure you saw many of them yourselves, scenes of innocent civilians writhing in agony, the apparent victims of chemical weapon attacks. The president had a very direct message for me. He wanted to know exactly what had happened and he wants to know quickly. So, we assembled a crack team —a couple hundred folks at the Agency — to begin to diagnose and understand what had taken place. They began piecing together evidence, working closely with some outstanding partners from across the Intelligence Community.
The next day the president called the cabinet together. Then he turned to me and asked what we had learned. Several of us shared what we now knew. I told them that the intelligence community had concluded that chemical weapon had indeed been used in the attack and launched by the Syrian regime.
And here is the transcript currently posted on the CIA website:
The President is a demanding customer. And we like it that way, because it shows that he depends on us and values what we do. Let me give you an example to illustrate the point.
I got a call from the President one afternoon back in April. He wanted to talk about some disturbing images that were coming in from Syria. I’m sure you saw many of them yourselves—scenes of innocent civilians writhing in agony, the apparent victims of a chemical weapons attack.
The President had a very direct message for me: Find out what happened. So we immediately assembled a crack team of Agency experts. They began piecing together the evidence, working closely with some outstanding partners from across the Intelligence Community.
The next day the President called his cabinet together. As we sat down, he turned to me and asked what we had learned. I told him that the IC had concluded that a chemical weapon had indeed been used in the attack, and that it had been launched by the Syrian regime.
You notice that three key pieces of information have been deleted.
As soon as I heard that part of the speech, I felt something was wrong. ‘You can’t produce a baby in one month by getting nine women pregnant.’
And you sure cannot produce a complex intelligence report in less than 24 hours by assembling 200 analysts…
PS: In the past Mike Morell has argued that the 9/11 ’28 pages report’ did not implicate Saudi government officials. Today, we know that it does. I would like to suggest that Jamal Khashoggi may have known a few things about 9/11. Stay tuned…
Former CIA acting director on possible punishment in Saudi missing journalist case
Former CIA Director Mike Morell : “CIA Needs Help and Time to Understand Saudi Missing Journalist Case.” Where is Pompeo Crack Team?
Former CIA Director Mike Morell : “CIA Needs Help and Time to Understand Saudi Missing Journalist Case.” Where is Pompeo Crack Team? (UPDATE)