Sending Office: Honorable James P. McGovern
One Year Since the Brutal Murder of Jamal Khashoggi
Cosponsor H.R. 643: Prohibit U.S. Arms Sales to Saudi Arabia
One year has passed since the heinous murder of journalist and U.S. resident Jamal Khashoggi by agents of the Saudi Arabia government. And still the U.S. has imposed no consequences on that government for this outrageous act. Below please find
the October 2nd editorial from the New York Times on why it is important for Congress and the public to continue to demand justice for his brutal assassination.
I invite you to cosponsor H.R. 643, a bipartisan bill that would cut off all U.S. arms sales and security assistance to the Saudi government. It would allow the president to request waivers from Congress for specific
arms sales in the national security interest of the United States that would require affirmative action by the Congress. Each time such a waiver is requested, the Administration would also submit a report to Congress on the status of the Khashoggi investigation
and prosecutions and the status of human rights in Saudi Arabia.
For more information and to cosponsor, please contact Cindy Buhl at
James P. McGovern
Member of Congress
THE NEW YORK TIMES – EDITORIAL – OCTOBER 2, 2019
Jamal Khashoggi Is Still Owed Justice
The journalist’s savage murder exposed Saudi Arabia’s ruler as an enemy of a free press. His legacy should not stop there.
The editorial board represents the opinions of the board, its editor and the publisher. It is separate from the newsroom and the Op-Ed section.
A year has passed since Jamal Khashoggi, the Saudi journalist and contributor to The Washington Post and Virginia resident, entered the
Saudi Arabian Consulate in Istanbul to secure a document for his approaching marriage, only to be slain and cut to pieces, all recorded in sickening detail by Turkish secret services. Though the evidence is strong that he was killed with at least the knowledge
of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, the de facto ruler of the kingdom, in order to silence a sharp critic, the prince remains in the good graces
of President Trump.
Mr. Khashoggi’s dismembered body, taken from the consulate in suitcases, has never been found. The trial
of 11 men charged in Saudi Arabia with the killing has been slow, secretive and utterly lacking in credibility. Saud al-Qahtani, the
prince’s former top aide and the alleged architect of the murder, has not been charged and has vanished. Prince Mohammed finally took “full responsibility as a leader in Saudi Arabia” for the killing, in
a recent interview on CBS News’s “60 Minutes” — but only as a “buck stops here” gesture, still denying any advance knowledge or involvement.
Even after the C.I.A., a United
Nations investigation, Turkish prosecutors and the United States Congress pointed
fingers at Prince Mohammed, Mr. Trump ignored them all to sustain the illusion that safeguarding his “friendship” with the prince was critical to arms sales, confronting Iran, securing oil supplies and producing a Middle East peace plan that the president’s
son-in-law, Jared Kushner, keeps promising to unveil. On meeting the prince at the Group
of 20 meeting in Osaka, Japan, Mr. Trump was effusive in his praise. “It’s
an honor to be with the crown prince of Saudi Arabia, a friend of mine, a man who has really done things in the last five years in terms of opening up Saudi Arabia,” the president said. “You’ve done, really, a spectacular job.”
Prince Mohammed has made some progress on his social reforms. Women can now drive, receive equal treatment in the workplace and travel without
the express permission of a male relative. That these are significant changes testifies to how repressive the kingdom has been and remains. Some women who had worked to earn these rights remain in jail or await trial for their activism.
Still, the shameless denials of complicity in Mr. Khashoggi’s death and Mr. Trump’s callous exoneration of the prince would appear to make for a sad anniversary. But those same lies have made of Mr. Khashoggi a powerful and abiding indictment of the abuse
of autocratic power and have inspired a rallying cry in defense of press freedom.
The anniversary of Mr. Khashoggi’s death was marked by an outpouring of commemorative posts on social media, gatherings outside Saudi missions around the world and a rash of articles and public notice by political leaders.
If the crown prince, who recently turned 34, thought death would silence a critic, he grossly miscalculated. The global outrage undermined Prince Mohammed’s carefully fostered image as a reformer, further eroding bipartisan support for him and the kingdom
in Congress, where his brutal bombing campaign in Yemen had already generated serious questions. As the House speaker, Nancy Pelosi, put it in an NPR interview
last month, “I don’t see any responsibility for us to protect and defend Saudi Arabia.”
It is unlikely that Mr. Trump, now on the defensive against impeachment proceedings, will change his mind. The time has passed for this administration
to do what it should have done when an American resident was sadistically choked to death and cut apart by a purported ally. There should have been immediate demands for a credible accounting, a suspension of arms sales and a report
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