Multiple sources are being quoted by CNN as saying that the Saudi Arabian government is preparing a report that will admit that journalist Jamal Khashoggi was, as long suspected, killed inside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul earlier this month.
Exact details of what the Saudis are willing to admit aren’t finalized, but they will abandon the previous claim that Khashoggi’s visit was uneventful, and that he left safely. Instead, they will say he was captured and interrogated within the consulate, and that the interrogation “went wrong” and he died in the process.
Exactly what sort of enhanced interrogation techniques were involved in killing the journalist are uncertain, but officials say the report will conclude that the killing was done without prior clearance, as a way to shift responsibility for the death away from Saudi leadership and toward the interrogators.
Either way, this seems to still be a problem for the Saudi kingdom, as they still killed the journalist during what was supposed to be a routine visit to a consulate, and on top of that spent weeks lying about it.
This is likely to be a big focus for Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s newly announced visit to Saudi Arabia. President Trump has been downplaying the entire affair, and suggested earlier today that “rogue killers” were to blame.
Even if the Saudis admit to killing the journalist, Trump has rejected the notion of any action that would threaten massive US arms sales to the Saudis, saying the US would be “punishing itself” by losing the sales.