Mike Pompeo and The Washington Post newspaper exchanged verbal assaults on Tuesday, after remarks that the previous US Secretary of State made about slain Saudi columnist Jamal Khashoggi.
What occurred: Khashoggi was a Saudi author and dissident who wrote a column for The Washington Post. He was a famous critic of the Saudi authorities.
In 2018, Khashoggi was murdered contained in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul. His demise prompted widespread condemnation towards the Saudi authorities and particularly Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, aka MBS.
Former US President Donald Trump didn’t punish Saudi Arabia in relation to the homicide and stated he believed MBS’ innocence. A US intelligence report in 2021 concluded that Salman authorised the homicide. However, US President Joe Biden declined to sanction MBS as effectively.
Pompeo launched a e book about his time within the Trump administration Tuesday. In the e book, he referred to as Khashoggi “an activist who had supported the losing team.” He additionally described “faux outrage” surrounding the columnist’s demise, The Guardian reported Monday, citing the e book.
Pompeo additionally criticized Khashoggi within the e book for mourning the demise of 9/11 mastermind Osama bin Laden, NBC reported Monday, additionally citing the e book.
Khashoggi had a fancy relationship with bin Laden, whom he first met in Afghanistan within the 1980s in the course of the conflict towards the Soviet Union, in line with Yahoo! News. However, throughout a 1995 assembly in Sudan, Khashoggi pushed bin Laden to resign violence, in line with The Associated Press.
Khashoggi mourned bin Laden in a 2011 tweet after the al-Qaeda chief was killed in a US army raid, writing, “You were beautiful, brave in those beautiful days in Afghanistan before you succumbed to anger and passion.”
Pompeo further described Khashoggi as “cozy with the terrorist-supporting Muslim Brotherhood.”
The Muslim Brotherhood is an Islamist movement that has support across the Middle East. The governments of Saudi Arabia and Egypt in particular are adamantly opposed to the group.
Khashoggi was a member of the Muslim Brotherhood as a young man, according to The AP.
The Washington Post condemned Pompeo on Tuesday in a strongly worded statement, saying he “spread vile falsehoods” about Khashoggi.
Statement from Post Publisher and CEO Fred Ryan pic.twitter.com/bgM8zTkcEZ
— Washington Post PR (@WashPostPR) January 24, 2023
Pompeo responded to The Washington Post on Twitter, saying the choice to not punish Saudi Arabia in relation to Khashoggi’s homicide made Americans “safer.”
Americans are safer as a result of we didn’t label Saudi Arabia a pariah state. I by no means let the media bully me. Just b/c somebody is a part-time stringer for WaPo doesn’t make their life extra essential than our army serving in harmful locations defending us all. I by no means forgot that. https://t.co/jidmb6R6oU
— Mike Pompeo (@mikepompeo) January 24, 2023
Why it issues: The controversy is additional indication that Khashoggi’s homicide continues to reverberate in Washington 5 years later. The controversy is additional indication that Khashoggi’s homicide continues to reverberate in Washington 5 years later. Some members of Congress have referred to as on the Biden administration to come back down more durable on MBS and the Saudi authorities over the killing, however the administration has been reluctant to take action.
Last November, the Biden administration stated MBS has authorized immunity with regard to a lawsuit associated to the Khashoggi killing.
Know extra: Khashoggi’s widow, Hanan Elatr, criticized Pompeo to NBC Monday, saying the previous secretary of state “should be silent and shut up the lies.” She stated Khashoggi was not a member of the Muslim Brotherhood and that her husband condemned the September 11 assaults, amongst different issues.