According to a federal board, President Biden declined to declassify a full U.S. intelligence report on the death of Jamal Khashoggi, explicitly going against the board’s advice.
Per the Wall Street Journal, a bipartisan committee that reviews national classification and disclosure laws recommended Biden publish a complete evaluation of the assassination of the Saudi reporter in 2018.
Other Hidden Information?
The Public Interest Declassification Board stated in a letter that the Wall Street Journal reviewed two investigations concerning foreign intervention in the 2020 presidential race, which might also be revealed in portions.
These investigations also concerned Russian interference. The recommendations were offered up to President Biden during the entirety of the month of June.
New: A government board advised Biden this summer to declassify the full intel report on Jamal Khashoggi’s murder. It also advised declassification of reports on foreign interference in 2020 election. Biden hasn’t acted on either recommendation. https://t.co/593Lr2PknB
— Dustin Volz (@dnvolz) September 29, 2022
An official from the National Security Council did not respond to a request for an explanation regarding the president’s decision to conceal from the public complete conclusions uncovered by the intelligence community.
The board did not respond when asked for a comment that confirmed the assertion.
However, the Wall Street Journal stated it had not reviewed the relevance of the information that was suppressed. Many who advocate for accountability say Biden’s choice hints at a larger problem of overclassification and shows there is a need for reform.
Spineless Approach to the Brutal Killing
The Biden administration produced an intelligence assessment on the murder in 2021.
It stated Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman was responsible for the death of Jamal Khashoggi, urging penalties and visa bans on Saudi officials.
Mohammed bin Salman is the country’s de facto ruler. He is commonly referred to by his acronym, MBS. However, none of the aforementioned actions were intended to harm MBS directly.
The audio of Khashoggi’s death inside the building was recorded. It is believed his remains were sawed up and smuggled out of Turkey.
The fact sheet from the Office of the Director of National Intelligence concluded the then-Crown Prince “okayed an operation” to “capture or kill” the journalist.
A 15-man hit squad was dispatched to the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul in October 2018 to murder and dismember Khashoggi, a dissident and journalist for the Washington Post.
He had gone to the consulate in order to acquire appropriate documentation to marry Hatice Cengiz, the woman he was engaged to.
The naming of the Saudi crown prince as prime minister may shield him from a lawsuit in the United States over his alleged role in the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi. Such impunity, combined with Biden's freebie fist bump, only encourages more abuse. https://t.co/RpHKP9WUvi
— Kenneth Roth (@KenRoth) September 28, 2022
After the report was published, the Office of the Director of National Intelligence retracted the initial document. It then eliminated three names it considered to be connected with the assassination of Khashoggi.
After vowing to take a hard line against the “pariah” monarchy in response to Khashoggi’s death, while on the campaign trail, Joe Biden has attracted attention for his management of the U.S.-Saudi alliance.
After their meeting in July, the US president said that he discussed the murder with the Crown Prince.
This article appeared in NewsHouse and has been published here with permission.