Well, what do you know about that?
U.S. senators have heard from the CIA director herself about what the spy agency has concluded about the conduct of our key Middle East “ally” involving the gruesome murder of a U.S. resident and journalist.
The senators, Republicans and Democrats alike, are siding with CIA Director Gina Haspel’s view that Saudi Arabia’s crown prince, Mohammad bin Salman, ordered the murder of Jamal Khashoggi.
Haspel actually has heard the recording that purports to depict Khashoggi’s death screams while he was being murdered and allegedly dismembered by his Saudi captors.
GOP senators who heretofore had become Donald Trump’s strongest allies now are siding with Haspel and her agency and against Trump, who is trying to give the crown prince the benefit of the doubt. The president says bin Salman “might or might not” be culpable. The president, who has said he relies on his “gut” more than he relies on “other people’s brains,” is taking the prince’s side because the Saudis do so much business with the United States, buying jets and other weapons they use against terrorists and their terror-nation sponsors.
Khashoggi’s life? It’s not nearly as important as those deals, according to Trump.
I’m done going soft on Trump. The president is in growing trouble politically. The special counsel might be closing in on Trump in his meticulous probe into the “Russia thing.” Meanwhile, the president continues to demonstrate his hideous blind spot as it regards despots and authoritarian regimes.
He does so even at the expense — to his great discredit — of the intelligence agencies and their leaders who take essentially the same oath that the president does: to defend the United States of America.
Those agencies are doing their job. The president, it pains me to say it, is not.