Trump exercised veto to sell Saudis $8 Billon in arms on the day of Ukraine call
Wednesday’s anniversary memorial service for Jamal Khashoggi reminds us that on the same day of the Ukraine call, Trump vetoed resolutions in Congress to block the sale of $8.1bn (£6.5bn) worth of weapons to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. The Senate failed to overturn the veto, allowing precision-guided munitions technology to be transferred to Saudi Arabia.
“The Administration failed to brief Congress on any of the details of this deal while it was in the works.”
The deal came as a surprise to lawmakers, who were outraged that the administration chose to bypass Congress. But most members of Congress only learned days after the deal was announced May 24 that it opens the door for Saudi Arabia to host the production of electronic guidance and control systems for Paveway precision-guided bombs, congressional aides said.
Jeff Bezos attended the service.
ISTANBUL — The memorial service for Jamal Khashoggi was held in the shadow of the Saudi Consulate on Wednesday, on the first anniversary of his death, at the minute he walked through the consulate door, the last time that anyone who cared about the journalist saw him alive.
A speaker, David Hearst, asked for silence to mark the occasion. Then participants began to shout: for justice, for remembrance, for this death to resonate, on behalf of others whose deaths, disappearances or imprisonments had passed without notice.The service started with Khashoggi’s own words, in a video broadcast on a screen behind the stage, voicing demands that were both routine and impossible.
“I am 60 years old,” the Saudi journalist and Washington Post contributing columnist said in the recording. “I want to enjoy life, and I want to be free to speak for my country.”
1. What happened to Khashoggi’s body?
We know Khashoggi was killed inside the consulate on Oct. 2. But there are still many specific facts we do not know about how that murder took place, including what happened to the body…
2. What happened to Saud al-Qahtani?
Saud al-Qahtani was known to be a close ally of the Saudi crown prince, serving as a media adviser to the royal court. In addition to that job, Qahtani played a more nebulous role in which he created a “blacklist” of online critics of Saudi Arabia…
3. Could the crown prince not have known?
In interviews with U.S. media outlets around the anniversary of Khashoggi’s death, Mohammed has denied any involvement or foreknowledge of the killing but said he takes responsibility for the death, as it ultimately took place under his watch…
4. Has Saudi Arabia ended its policy of targeting overseas dissidents?
Khashoggi was just one critic of Mohammed who had left Saudi Arabia who found himself facing the wrath of the Saudi state…
5. What is the fate of Khashoggi’s family?
Khashoggi’s children — two sons and two daughters — have generally kept a low profile in the year since the killing and have refrained from openly criticizing the kingdom…
6. Will there be a full international investigation into the killing?
Since January, 11 officials have been on trial in Saudi Arabia for their alleged role in the killing of Khashoggi…
7. Has the U.S. relationship with Saudi Arabia actually changed?
Khashoggi’s killing led to bipartisan calls for action from the U.S. Senate, with even longtime supporters of the kingdom such as Sen. Lindsey O. Graham (R-S.C.) suggesting sanctions be imposed against Saudi Arabia…
Darn that manufacturing (of) crises. Remember all the clamor for a Iran attack.
— The Washington Post (@washingtonpost) September 29, 2019
— Citizens for Ethics (@CREWcrew) October 2, 2019