WWE’s Ties With Saudi Arabia Likely To Receive Even More Backlash

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The prince, who is de facto ruler of Saudi Arabia and due to take over from the ailing King Salman, "approved an operation in Istanbul, Turkey to capture or kill Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi", the report said.

Khashoggi, a 59-year-old Saudi journalist and American resident who wrote columns for the Washington Post critical of the crown prince's policies, was lured to the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on October 2, 2018, and killed by a team of operatives linked to the crown prince.

The basic facts are clear.

But while the United States media remains largely blase about Washington's distant wars that Trump sought to end, the free pass to the Saudi monarchy on the murder of Khashoggi, who was a columnist for the Washington Post, has angered prominent scribed.

He was lured on October 2, 2018, to the Saudi consulate in Istanbul with a promise of a document that he needed to marry his Turkish fiancee.

A Turkish bug planted at the consulate reportedly captured the sound of a forensic saw, operated by a Saudi colonel who was also a forensics expert, dismembering Mr Khashoggi's body within an hour of his entering the building.

Brookings Institute senior fellow Michael O'Hanlon discusses how a bipartisan group of senators introduced a measure that would blame Saudi Arabia for the death of journalist Jamal Khashoggi. But in the face of intense worldwide pressure, the kingdom blamed his death on "rogue" security officials.

"The nation is fortified", wrote the conservative and semi-official Okaz newspaper on the front page of its weekend edition, with a large picture of the crown prince smiling.

The Washington Post also excoriated the White House in an editorial headlined "Mohammed bin Salman is guilty of murder".

Specifically, it asked the intelligence chief to list anyone they believe with "high confidence" was responsible or complicit in Khashoggi's murder, knew of or assisted in the killing, or impeded the investigation. Lindsey Graham, a South Carolina Republican.

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No formal charges have been filed in the case. "Even then, I'm sure there will be tons of litigation about that", Citron said. Those would include communications showing how the raw data was analysed and treated in the preparation of the records.

"We look forward to maintaining the enduring foundations that have shaped the framework of the resilient strategic partnership between the Kingdom and the United States", it said. "Operations like this don't happen without approval from the top".

The Trump administration had blocked the report's release, as well as opposing any attempts to sanction or sideline the Saudi monarchy, one of world's biggest customers for USA weapons contractors. Three other men received lesser sentences.

"At a time that the U.S. seems to be evaluating its relationship with Saudi Arabia, we would urge the United Kingdom government to do the same and stop its arms sales to Saudi Arabia which are fuelling the conflict in Yemen", Mushin Siddiquey, Oxfam's Yemen director told Middle East Eye.

More context: In November 2019, Biden promised to punish senior Saudi leaders in a way former President Trump wouldn't.

A few minutes after the report was released, many Saudis flooded Twitter with the hashtag saying, "We are all Mohammed bin Salman".

As part of Biden's rebalancing of ties with Saudi Arabia, he will only communicate with King Salman, the White House has said, a move that may allow Washington to put some distance between itself and the crown prince, aged 35.

The US intelligence community was set to release a long-awaited report with new public details about those behind the death of Khashoggi on Thursday.

Biden administration officials say the decisions on sanctions and visa bans will send a clear message about how the United States wants to see the future U.S. -Saudi relationship. They fear Biden will go with condemnation instead, eschewing a lasting standoff with the likely future ruler of an important, but often hard, US strategic ally, valued both for its oil reserves and its status as a counterbalance to Iran in the Middle East. The two countries have also cooperated in counterterrorism efforts against radical Islamist groups such as al-Qaida.

"These persons are designated pursuant to Executive Order (E.O.) 13818, which builds upon and implements the Global Magnitsky Human Rights Accountability Act and targets perpetrators of serious human rights abuse and corruption around the world", the Treasury statement said.

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