Mike Pompeo Belittles Khashoggi Murder. Will Never Be President. Will Always Be Garbage.
By: Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed (Wonkette)
Mike Pompeo cannot possibly believe that he's going to be president. That guy couldn't even be bothered to run for the Senate when a seat in his "home" state of Kansas was up. He's polling at a whopping one percent in the Morning Consult Republican primary tracker. Plus there's the fact that he's utterly devoid of charm and charisma.
And yet he continues to build his brand with speaking engagements and a new memoir. Unfortunately, his brand is ASSHOLE, which we already knew from watching Pompeo as Trump's secretary of state — his gross treatment of NPR reporter Mary Louise Kelly stands out. So we're only a little bit shocked to read that Pompeo is pissing on slain Saudi dissident reporter Jamal Khashoggi's grave for book sales.
His publicist appears to have deliberately released an excerpt to NBC and The Guardian in which Pompeo scoffs that Khashoggi's brutal 2018 murder inside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul by a team of assassins dispatched by Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman "made the media madder than a vegan in a slaughterhouse."
Always be trolling!
Khashoggi was suffocated and then dismembered with a bone saw because he criticized the Saudi royal family, so Pompeo's slaughterhouse joke is especially vile. And although he tut-tuts that the killing was "outrageous, unacceptable, horrific and despicable, evil, brutish and, of course, unlawful," Pompeo shrugs it off, noting that he's "seen enough of the Middle East to know that this kind of ruthlessness was all too routine in that part of the world."
To be clear, the murder of dissidents in foreign embassies, particularly legal residents of the United States, is not "routine." Certainly Turkey didn't accept it as business as usual.
But Pompeo isn't really interested in geopolitical reality. He just wants to foment culture war in America, which requires him to minimize this gross assault on international norms by claiming that "Khashoggi was an activist who had supported the losing team in a recent fight for the throne … unhappy with being exiled."
He's also perfectly happy to outright lie.
"To be clear, Khashoggi was a journalist to the extent that I and many other public figures are journalists," he wrote. "We sometimes get our writing published, but we also do other things. The media made Khashoggi out to be a Saudi Arabian Bob Woodward who was martyred for bravely criticizing the Saudi royal family through his opinion articles in the Washington Post."
That's just false. Khashoggi had a long career in journalism, with stints at media outlets such as Middle East Eye, the Saudi Gazette, Saudi newspaper Al Watan, and the Washington Post.
Pompeo's rolls his eyes at the "faux outrage … fueled by the media," saying that Khashoggi was "cozy with the terrorist-supporting Muslim Brotherhood." And indeed, as a younger man, Khashoggi was allied with the Muslim Brotherhood, although he wasn't a member of the movement at the time of his murder.
"Jamal Kashoggi is not part of the Muslim Brotherhood. I confirm it to you," Khashoggi's widow, Hanan Elatr Khashoggi, told NBC News.
Pompeo performs an unsubtle manipulation of his readers, whom he clearly assumes will be pig ignorant about foreign policy. Because the Muslim Brotherhood is a 94-year-old political movement that has gone through many different iterations, and is currently supported by Turkey and Qatar, both of whom are US allies. After using the association to tar Khashoggi and make it seem like he was willing player in a dangerous game, Pompeo congratulates himself on his sophisticated realpolitik for recognizing the strategic value of the US relationship with Saudi Arabia and bin Salman, who leads a wildly repressive regime at home and routinely carries out kidnappings abroad and tortures his critics at home. Plus there's that whole decimation of the civilian population in Yemen.
Nuance for me, but not for thee.
"He didn't deserve to die," Pompeo writes of Khashoggi, "but we need to be clear about who he was - and too many people in the media were not."
Indeed, it is important to be clear about who people are. So when Pompeo's presidential ambitions fizzle and he becomes a highly paid lobbyist for Raytheon and/or the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, don't say we didn't see it coming.
[NBC / The Guardian]