November 17, 2018
With Turkey’s graphic recording of Khashoggi’s final moments finally in the hands of US intelligence agencies, the Washington Post just confirmed what the New York Times first hinted at more than one month ago: That US intelligence agencies believe that Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman ordered the murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi in what is just the latest example of the Trump administration and its intelligence agencies working at cross purposes (the first being, of course, the investigations that eventually coalesced into the Mueller probe).
But instead of focusing on the recording of Khashoggi’s murder, the CIA is reportedly in possession of another piece of evidence that it believes incriminates the Crown Prince: A phone call made by Khalid bin Salman, MbS’s brother and the kingdom’s ambassador to the US, to Khashoggi, during which he promised the journalist that he wouldn’t be harmed if he visited the Saudi embassy in Istanbul to pick up the paper needed to marry his Turkish fiance.
Even if MbS didn’t plan Khashoggi’s murder, Khalid’s call to Khashoggi, which the CIA believes was made at the behest of his powerful brother, suggests that the prince was aware of the plot.
In reaching its conclusions, the CIA examined multiple sources of intelligence, including a phone call that the prince’s brother Khalid bin Salman, the Saudi ambassador to the United States, had with Khashoggi, according to the people familiar with the matter who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss the intelligence. Khalid told Khashoggi, a contributing columnist to The Washington Post, that he should go to the Saudi consulate in Istanbul to retrieve the documents and gave him assurances that it would be safe to do so.
It is not clear if Khalid knew that Khashoggi would be killed, but he made the call at his brother’s direction, according…