tv Arab Center Discussion of Political Implications of Jamal Khashoggis Death CSPAN October 23, 2018 10:03am-11:43am EDT
we take you live to the arab center, holding a discussion on the implications of jamal khashoggi. onwell as the implications press freedom and the impact on u.s.-saudi relations. that is underway. [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2017] [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit ncicap.org] on manylt with him occasions here and in washington when he visited the states. and in the kingdom of saudi arabia during my frequent visits into riyadh and other places in the kingdom. gentleman, aays a keen analyst on middle east and islamic affairs, articulate early interested in u.s.-saudi bilateral relations, which we discussed almost every time we met. and, equally important, if not more important, a consistent
advocate are basic freedoms and human rights, not only in saudi arabia, but throughout the arab world. podiume from this very on the 17th of november, 2017 when we hosted him after arrival to disk country, seeking refuge from threats back home -- arrival to this country, seeking refuge from threats back home. ironically, that briefing was held right next door in the room called first amendment room. on october 2, as all of you know, jamaal entered the saudi consulate building to create -- to collect personal legal documents in preparation for his
upcoming wedding in turkey. as we all know, he went missing and never came out from the consulate alive. the words tweeted last friday by the former u.s. attorney for the southern district of new york resonated with readers worldwide, particularly with those who knew jamaal. he treated "the murder of jamal khashoggi is deeply important for what it says about power, arrogance, morality, --, and aboutout freedom, especially freedom of speech." after a couple of weeks of denial, the kingdom of saudi arabia, the public prosecutor
issued the following statement on october 19, 2018. i am quoting from that statement. "preliminary investigations carried out by the public prosecution into the disappearance case of the citizen jamaal -- jamal khashoggi reveal that the discussions that took place between him and persons who met him during his attendance in the consulate led to a quarrel and a brawl. some versions say fistfight with the citizen, resulting in his death. itsprosecutor confirms that investigations into the case are continuing with the 18 individuals who are all saudi
nationals in preparation for reaching all of the facts and declaring them and holding all of those involved in this case accountable and bringing them to justice." on october 20, this was followed by another statement by the foreign minister of saudi arabia, who had been silent about this is you. -- this issue. he said that the killing of journalists jamal khashoggi wasa a -- was a "tremendous mistake and part of a road -- a rogue operation." the individuals who did this according to the foreign minister, did this outside of the scope of their authority. he told foxnews last sunday.
"there was a tremendous mistake made. and what was compounded was the attempt to cover up." that is unacceptable in any government. the foreign said that saudi arabia was taking action to figure -- the foreign minister said that saudi arabia was taking action to figure out how jamal khashoggi died. he said that they are determined andover every stone determined to punish those who are responsible for this murder. sacked a government well-known name, particularly for people who are familiar with twitter. he was munication's advisor to mohammad bin salman, in addition i think he was closer to
mohammad bin salman's alter ego. he apparently is at the center of this investigation. the royal palace ordered his dismissal, as well as the dismissal of a general, and spokesman of the saudi led .oalition in yemen he is now deputy director of intelligence in saudi arabia. -- the dismissal included two or three others, high-level executives of the security apparatus and saudi arabia. 18 other -- additional saudis were arrested for interrogation regarding the affair. , where did the 18
come from? we thought there were 15? erdogan made that distinction. the 18 include the three that turkish -- that the turkish could not account for. they were the ones who came for scouting before jamal came to the consulate. the total amount involved according to both the saudis and the investigation by turkey, the number is actually 18. however, despite these steps, many questions remain unanswered. we meet to try and tackle a different aspect of this crisis known as the khashoggi affair. theugh -- adam taylor of " washington post" listed 90
questions that still need to be answered. a couple of them might have been answered this morning. frankly, most of them remain valid and unanswered and we probably need to address some of them today. let me repeat those questions. was co-show gi really considering a return to saudi arabia? if this was a discussion, why did 18 men traveled to istanbul? the saudi group include a forensic expert and member of security forces? what happened inside the consulate? what happened to khashoggi's body? why did saudi arabia say that he had left the consulate when he did not? notcould the crown prince have known about this operation? are the men detained by saudi arabia actually the same men
that were identified by turkish authorities? why did it take 17 days to come up with this account by saudi arabia? hyped in expected and the media, supposedly to be an important day in the investigations pertaining to the affair, promising a few more answers to some of these questions. president revealed what he termed as "the naked truth" al's jahmal's -- jaml killing. beach, from my perspective, if you did -- the speech, from my perspective, he did describe
the crime as premeditated and planned for several weeks. murder did notis happen at the drop of a dime, but was a planned affair. he also said that this crime iank place on saudi arab land, in terms of the planning. the actual crime was committed within the borders of turkey. the only new elements in the erdogan remarks was the fact that he demanded, if saudi arabia agrees that these people should be extradited to turkey to stand trial in turkey. speech, itm of the did not bring anything new that
we did not know through the leaks thus far. other than the request for the adjudicated in istanbul. my preference would have been, and some of my colleagues with legal background and human rights background would probably agree with me, it would have been more preferable not to politicize this investigation and leave the issue to the to make thiscutor speech rather than for the president to deliver the speech before a party gathering. drawn -- water erdogan -- what are erdogan's statements
and the saudi reaction? there meet -- there may be official speeches to respond to the turkish speech. whether that sheds more light on this crime or not, it is our at the arab center in washington, even though we are a research center and we do not take positions on political issues, it is our firm belief international investigation into the disappearance and murder of jamal khashoggi is warranted. endorse the investigation by major american and international human rights associations, some of whom are represented in this room. we all our friends a credible and full explanation of what happened to him and demand that the suspects be held accountable for their crime.
with us today participating in this panel are four people who have been following the details of this case from their different perspectives and based on their jobs. i am not going to spend more time introducing them. you have their bios on the sheet of paper given to you when you checked in. i will mention their names in terms of -- and their affiliation. we will start with dohki for silly on -- fassihian. she will be followed by tom porteous, deputy director of human rights watch. our colleagues from the rector of research and analysis imad harb, and she will thought -- he will follow more on the implication of this crisis. we will conclude with andrew miller, our friend from the
decorate -- deputy director of policy on the project on middle east democracy. each speaker will speak for 12 minutes, and we will spend the balance of our time, about 30 minutes on q and a's. seats,re cards on your or on the seats in front of you if you are sitting on your card. if you could write questions or comments on that and pass it or raise your hand, staff will bring them to me a pure to read -- bring them to me to read later. please write legibly. at this point, i would like to invite dohki to the port -- to the podium. unless you want to speak seated. tv guys? is it ok to say -- to speak seated? ok. much: thank you very
khalil and the arab center. i am pleased to be here with everybody. start out by saying that freedom house has called for an international investigation into the crime that has taken place. we are also calling for swift sanctions against all of those that have any role in his killing. the murder of jamal khashoggi has shocked the world, but for those of us who have been folly doing saudi arabia -- who have been following saudi arabia's trajectory, it should not, as a huge surprise. under the crown prince, we have crackdown at home, and we
have seen him launch a brutal war in yemen. he has been bullying countries around the world. and extraterritorial hit against a perceived opponent is not something that one of seeing -- seems completely unlikely. mbs rosear, before and saudie ranks arabia, the country was no begin of freedom. ofedom house -- no becan freedom. freedom house has been researching saudi arabia's record and it has been categorized as among the worst of the worst countries in terms of political right and civil liberties. for nearly 30 years, it has received a seven, the lowest score kosovo. the only countries -- the lowest scores possible. the only countries during worth
our north korea, syria and others. it is hard to see how the country could get worse. the absolute monarchy restricts almost all political rights and civil liberties. no officials at the national level are elected. public to sectarianism, spending is supported by oil revenues. women and religious minorities face discrimination and law and practice. working conditions for the large expatriate labor force are exploitative. thespot -- despite rhetorical shift that saudi arabia have been having -- arabia has one of the most restrictive media environments in the entire world. they continue to shape the media coverage in the war in yemen by
restricting media access. active electronic army online has been -- has been , and hackingtics various accounts of opponents and dissidents. in his final article published jamal washington post," khashoggi stressed the lack of expression through the arab world and the need for people to be better informed. that in order to gain an accurate understanding of the state's political and cultural climate, citizens need access to publications and media that are not completely owned by state run media. he rightly called on freedom of expression as the key to the advancement of arab societies.
i think that is what made him such a target for a leader who is trying so hard to control the narrative of his country. as i said, it is hard to imagine which is an absolute monarchy getting worse in terms of the situation for citizens right. on many indicators, the situation was getting worse under mbs for many who were in business circles and in the power circles that have some role in governance. who wanted to believe that saudi arabia was entering a period of limited reform, the crown prince made it clear early on that he was the author of that reform and that orody could critique him challenges policies. let us look at the record.
in 2018, the world press freedom index ranked saudi arabia 369 for freedom. no other country ranks lower except for syria. 200 businessman and royals were .eld at the riyadh ritz-carlton one person died in custody. there were reports of torture -- duration -- coerician there was torture and signing over of assets. it was framed as an anticorruption drive, but it was clear the rule of yar -- rule of law was not used. a wave of arrests of 30 clerics and activist, but no reason was given. it was clear that it was a signal to other activists that
opposition or critique would not be tolerated. before the ban on driving for women was lifted, the government of saudi arabia arrested women's rights activists in may 2018. these are women and men who had advocated for the right to drive, vote and the end of the garnish of counsel. activists continue to remain in prison. ia minority- the shi are unfairly punished, and that has gotten worse. 16, aw in january 2000 prominent leader was -- in january 2016, a prominent leader was executed. activistsman rights on death row, and many are
seeking the death penalty. activist,emale shia who has been arrested and prosecutors are seeking the -- seeking the death penalty. her court case is coming up next week. will bes convicted, she the first female that would be sentenced to death. updated saudi arabia's counterterrorism law is extremely broad and can be used broadly to crack down and convict writers, bloggers, journalists, and human rights defenders. what reform are we talking about? the crown prince was attempting to sell a new social contract to his citizens, particularly the youth and the world that i will provide some limited social nonings, but there will be
expansion of political freedoms. that contrasts with many of his predecessors and many of saudi arabia's past kings who have promised some political freedom. the signs were never good to begin with. in saudi arabia, they have been demanding more fundamental freedoms in the country. is important to note that history provides ample evidence that this kind of mandated reform does not work well. you need better governance to have successful reforms. you need civil society to be a barometer of citizen need, helps, and civil society guide the government. it plays a critical role in for change,country
so cracking down on civil society and fundamental freedoms, but trying to usher in very good way a or sustainable way of going about it. the crown prince could have taken those rights back whenever he wanted. , theirsaudi citizens potential is unleashed and they are set free, reform is just a barrage. athink -- just a murder -- mirage. i think the united states has a lot of soul-searching to do. impunityet a lot of for saudi arabia that we have not allowed for any other country. it is critical that the united states look inside and realize that advocacy for improved freedoms for his saudi citizens should be part of our relationship with saudi arabia
moving forward. now i want to turn my attention to the horrific crime against jamal khashoggi. test ofy, this is a u.s. leadership and global leadership on human rights. it is a test of saudi power. every authoritarian government today is paying attention. i was at another embassy this week and i asked about the khashoggi affair. and a diplomat said, we are waiting to see what secretary pompeo says. i said we are waiting to see what secretary pompeo says too. see whatl waiting to president trump and secretary pompeo say. they are paying attention. threats in egyptian state run media against human rights defenders, calling for defenders to be forcibly exiled
to come back and body bags. we do not want to see this repeated by any other government. the time to set a precedent is now. interest ino has an human rights and freedoms has an interest that the united states take a stand. the pressure seems to be working. the saudi government has admitted that khashoggi is dead. the turkish president has come out and said that it was a premeditated murder. these are all the right steps. as i mentioned, we are calling for an international investigation into this murder. we all called -- we are calling for sanctions on all those responsible and for the united states to include democracy and human rights in its relationship with saudi arabia moving forward. khalil: thank you, i appreciate that. is a briefing, we are
getting news briefs from colleagues in the audience and outside. turkish tv would like to report that the item that you see probably on twitter saying that foundggi's body has been is not true. investigators say that they are still work -- looking for the body. joyce said that the king and proud -- and crown prince of saudi arabia received the show he's -- khashoggi's family for the first time. they met with his son and brother. now we move toward next speaker. tom: thank you very much for inviting me this morning, and i am sorry for your loss. , did not know jamal khashoggi
but i know many people who did know him. all accounts, a brave and remarkable journalist. it is at times like this that i and myes turn to hannah much thumbed copy on what is going on in the world. on the train from baltimore and came across this line, which i thought was per -- pertinent and hopeful. truth, although powerless and always defeated in a head-on clash with the powers that be, possesses a strength of its own. whatever those in power may contrive, they are unable to invent a viable substitute for it. persuasion and violence can destroy truth, but they cannot replace it." the killing of jamal khashoggi is a very important moments in
the political evolution of the middle east in general, and in the deterioration of respect for human rights, political liberty, and freedom of expression since the arab uprisings of 2011. it is worth reflecting on how we got to this point. since 2011, repression and authoritarianism has been on the , withhroughout the region a few exceptions. saudi arabia has been in the lead in the efforts to snuff out liberty and freedom of expression, not only at home, but also in the region. arabiacally, saudi reacted to the arab uprisings with fierce repression of all dissenting voices. this is only -- this has only intensified since the political maneuvering of the proud -- of the crown prince has taken control of almost all levers of
power. parallel with his popular or populist social and economic reforms, mbs has cracked down on all opposition and dissent as dohki has explained. women's rights activists, bloggers, political opponents, have beences targeted, imprisoned or placed under house arrest. a few sentenced to death. the saudi authorities have used system,rary justice which humans white -- humans rights watch has been criticizing for years. as -- used toed -- some have been arbitrarily ,etained, smeared in media
threatened on social media by government-sponsored toll armies. -- troll armies. you don't have to look too closely to see that the driving a determination to silence criticism and neutralize political opponents. even before jamal khashoggi's brutal murder, saudi arabia has not been content with seeking to silence them and stick and opponents within the boundaries of the kingdom. it has also sought to silence exiled dissidents by various familythreats against members, kidnapping, blackmail, physical violence and khashoggi's murder seems to be an accent -- an extension of this. todi arabia has also sought snuff out the yearning for freedom and liberty, freedom of expression and liberty in the
region that triggered the arab uprisings of 2011. it intervened in bahrain to help the government deal with its own uprising and protest. it failed out the repressive and murderous military dictatorship ,n egypt after the 2013 coup which ousted the first democratic government. enabled bya has been the u.s. government and other west -- and other western governance in full -- governments in full knowledge of its regime and its role as a champion of repression. i do not need to go into the rationale behind this partnership. it is enough to say that the u.s., u.k., france, and others have turned a blind eye to saudi abuses in the name of attaining
that strategic relationship, which includes -- consists of arms sales and the counterweight to i romney and -- iranian influence. in yemen, they have actively supported saudi arabia, the uae and others as they continued a war that consists of indiscriminate bombing raids and a blockade that has led to a umana terry and pat -- catastrophe. -- humanitarian catastrophe. in the past few months, the complicity of the u.s. and saudi arabia's abuses have become starker. this signals washington in the face of mounting saudi you can dohave been whatever you please as long as you align with our interests in business, iran and israel.
it is no idle speculation to suggest that the saudis may have thought they could get away with the killing of jamal khashoggi was because of the signals of unconditional support coming from the trump white house and the rest of the u.s. elite. if the u.s. government turned a henchmen ofen mbs' women's prominent rights activist and threw her in prison, if washington, paris and london continued to sell arms, and if the pentagon continues to midair,audi jets and enabling the war in yemen, in which the saudi coalition has killed thousands of civilians, why on earth would they worry about the disappearance of a single journalist?
it brings me to the fate of khashoggi himself. do not know, we precisely what happened on that day in istanbul. that is why humans rights watch and others have called for a u.n. investigation. it should determine the circumstances surrounding saudi in the forest disappeared -- disappearance and the extrajudicial killing. it should aim to identify everyone responsible connected with the case. , we know enough about what happened from various sources, including from the bazaar statements from the saudi statements-- bizarre from the saudi government itself to know that the saudi government has been lying about khashoggi's death since the start of the affair.
first they said he let the consulate after doing his business. then they threatened mighty retaliation against all of those who contradicted this assertion. then in the face of credible reports from turkish sources over many days that he had been murdered and his hottie dismembered and disposed up -- dismembered, the saudis said that he had been killed in a fist fight. we were told that the officials had been arrested. two officials had been relieved of their post. the whole thing was the work of agentsent -- rogue according to the prime minister. it appears that the saudi government was trying to construct a narrative to obscure the fact that mounting evidence did not point to rogue agents, but to a rogue crown prince.
to add insult allies, it was announced that the crown prince had undertaken a restructuring of the intelligence apparatus. really? efforts toonarchy's pull -- to eliminate the damage through lies and distortions are exhibit a in the case to why freedom of expression is so , and why a commodity autocratic leaders seek to stifle it. freedom of expression is an essential check on power. without it, power is absolute, arbitrary and corrupting. there can be no political liberty, no rule of law, no human rights. -- powerful can literally literally get away with murder in the absence of freedom of expression.
i started by saying that jamal khashoggi's killing was an important moment in the political evolution of the middle east. here is why. his killing has captured world headlines for weeks. the brazen disregard for basic norms and standards has been on full display for the world to see. there is an opportunity, if ever there was one, now for saudi arabia's international partners to demand a proper investigation and accountability. such a move could stem the rising tide of authoritarianism and sectarianism in the region. on the other hand, saudi arabia's international partners may decide to tough it out and wait in till it subsides and then -- wait until it subsides and then sleeping under the part -- the carpet. they may wait -- they may decide
that their alliance is too important. trump and his allies have said what they want to do. toy have even gone so far say that khashoggi was a terrorist. investigation is forthcoming and the authors of the murder are not held to account, and do not suffer some consequence or their actions, this will send a clear message, not only to saudi arabia, but to the region and the rest of the world that freedom and expression, press freedom and the bed what --, the bedrock liberty have been discounted. the consequences will be more repression and more violence. the aspirations of the people for the middle east for a fairer society will take another step backwards.
and autocrats around the world will sleep at her. thank you. -- sleep better. thank you. ouril: our next speaker is colleague, who will talk about the khashoggi a fair with regards to its political -- affair, with regards to its political effects in the region. know that everything so far that has been leaked, whether it is true or not, increases to the fluidity of this situation. we do not know exactly what happened, although we know the severity and the tremendous impact that it is going to have on the future on saudi arabia and the region. nobody ever thought the killing of one person would result in thisf this condemnation of
atmosphere of rejection of what has really transpired. there has been a lot of talk about a lot of things that are happening in the middle east, and apparently this is almost like the fort sumter on the middle east side of things to calm. -- to come. i hope his killing has not come in vain and will not be forgotten before this affair is really investigated, and i do believe that the international investigation is probably the best thing that will happen. condoms -- comes
when saudi arabia is undergoing a lot of change, especially a lot of changed a mistake lay. society where the ruling bargain between the ising and the ruled depending on the services and largesse in exchange for loyalty. sometimes we wonder if this loyalty is going to be always forthcoming. the social contract of saudi arabia, we do know it is under tremendous pressure, but will the social contract survive andher the more repression intimidation of any opposition, however mild it is? as far as i'm concerned, yes it incident, and a sad
affair. at the same time, the political scientist in me tells me that the can be looked at in form of what is the future of the social contract for saudi arabia. our saudi arabians going to remain the subject -- are saudi arabians going to remain the subject of a state that supposedly provides everything to them for their loyalty to the royal family. an importantis is question that the region will be dealing with for a period of time. the big elephant in the room is how does the khashoggi killing, as an example of the perp -- the repression going on, how does it reflect on the issue of economic and social reforms that saudi
arabia is undergoing? is vision 2030 any better than it was on october 1? i do not think it is. depended of 2030 had on diversification and diversifying the economy away from the dependence on hydrocarbons and to attract foreign investment. his foreign investment going to come after an event of this nature? i doubt it. indications have shown, even before the killing, foreign direct investment has receded in saudi arabia, and what ever funds there are for work in the new economic vision plan is
actually escaping the country. this is a very serious matter from a saudi economic point of view. besides it being a matter of sidelining of critics and the killing of people who really have not supported the way that saudi 2030 is going to be executed, including jamal khashoggi. , as far as i'm concerned, we are talking about probably a new era of how the saudi rulers look at the ruled, and how the ruled believe they want the loyalty to be used in the social system. it is very hard and today's world, no matter how much track
down and limitation ondown and , or access to information, no matter how successful they are, people will get the information. people will have a different way of looking at this event. today we are all doubting that mohammad bin salman on and all of the saudi -- mojave -- mohammad bin salman would -- the truth will come out and there will be a reckoning. as i'm concerned, the reckoning should come now rather than later. this is a serious matter. issue, saudial arabia is very involved in the appointment of regional issues that jamal khashoggi was really -- really believe that saudi
arabia was regionally conducting its affairs in the proper way. unfortunately, saudi arabia is surrounded by a whole bunch of countries that did not see the elimination of jamal khashoggi for thehing responsibility to be laid on the steps of the saudi regime. a lot of people and countries supporting statements of saudi arabia at this time. unfortunately, unfortunately for them, this will not hold up much as people are going to know what really happened to jamal khashoggi and who is responsible for it. only time will tell on this.
the other issue is the issue of the ongoing crisis within saudi arabia, uae, bahrain and others. it is doubtful that mohammad bin salman will be able, or the saudi regime will be able to convince its people and the region that this is a crisis that should continue, thatfically, we did hear it was the muslim brotherhood who killed jamal khashoggi. apparently, this is going to he wasan issue that will saudi arabia for a long time. the problem is, how does saudi arabia conduct this business
crisis andhe jcc commence the world that it is right in the way that it is crisis, on the jcc considering the truth coming out that accuse the saudi government of being responsible for the killing of jamal khashoggi. another one, another issue is the issue of you men -- yemen. it is difficult to see how the yemen affair will be dealt with. is mohammad bin salman on able -- the crown prince able to continue the war considering the pressures that saudi arabia is coming under, considering what happens in the homes of international power?
one is washington, another is berlin, and there are other places in europe. if saudi arabia is not exonerated from this crime, will change itsn congress mind on supplying weapons to saudi arabia in the yemen war? crucialgoing to be very for what happens to the war in yemen. what cards doand, can -- what set of cards can saudi arabia bring to the negotiating table for the resolution of the yemen crisis. -- will it be
effective in trying to convince their allies in yemen society that the political solution uncertain terms would be good for saudi arabia is possible? yemenk the saudi hand in has gotten a little too weak. i think if mbs started the war in yemen to protect saudi arabia from the repercussions of the war, then he probably has miscalculated killing jamal khashoggi, because his hand got weak. ofther issue is the issue palestine. not is something that has been talked about too much. -- there have
been some people who talked about, will the trump administration look at mbs as the deal of to pass the century, about which we still do not know anything. on the other hand, if the american administration thought of mbs as being able to upset -- assist will he truly be able to assist. was he truly able to really pressure the palestinians to accept something that was really an, or will he continue to try to pressure them in a certain direction? i think the trump administration may have lost another set of cards regarding pressure on the palestinians through saudi arabia. another one is iran. as far as i'm concerned, iran
has won this battle. i do not think that saudi arabia , the media war, the reputation more, or any of these things that have been fought with iran for a long time was actually served in this incident. people that i run supports are actually rather happy to debt -- iran supports, are happy that saudi arabia is suffering today. finally we come to the turkish issue. turkey and saudi arabia are, arguably, almost together on certain issues, and certain -- and in competition in others. we have speculation that the turks will try to milk this
affair to try and get a nice deal from saudi arabia. then again there is also domestic issues. thaty cannot really let pass without doing something about what happened to jamal khashoggi. these two countries are in a precarious situation. wasrently the speech that delivered today by president erdogan did not necessarily resolve any issue, or add any new facts that would influence how these things develop in the future. , as far as i'm concerned, and i heard that from other people and read it on twitter. the turks may be a little too apprehensive about letting this salmanause once
passes on the scene, and he is , saudi arabia and turkey will be at loggerheads for a long time to come. thank you. khalil: thank you. let us conclude this panel with andrew miller. khalil andnk you arab center for hosting this panel and having me participate. i do join with a heavy hot -- heart. -- onted jamal on a mark an event with saudi arabia. there were other folks in my organization that new jamal much longer. the personal toll is very much felt within my organization. try to put this issue in a broader context for the u.s. and saudi arabia, and
u.s. policy toward saudi arabia in particular. briefly describe the reaction to date in the united states, discuss some of the ramifications and layout recommendations for what the united states could do moving forward. the u.s. reaction has been extraordinary. unimity, that a stronger stop -- response is warranted to jamal khashoggi's killing. the most significant response was a letter signed by 22 senators to the president asking for an investigation under the global act, which could entail sanctions onn of saudi's that were responsible for khashoggi's death. this was signed by the chairman of the senate foreign relations
committee, bob corker, who had previously been a booster for saudi arabia, and the leader -- the leading democrat on the midi. -- on the committee. and the chairman and the ranking member of the house of foreign affairs committee sent a letter to president trump, essentially expressing their support for opening an investigation. you probably have seen that quiter graham has been valuable in reacting to this, threatening severe consequences. senator leahy from vermont has issued the most bluntly critical statements on a u.s. ally that i can remember, essentially likening saudi arabia and the royal family to a criminal enterprise. that begins to describe the level of anger shared across the aisle within congress and a
desire for a very strong reaction to hold saudi arabia accountable. on the other hand, the administration has been far less clear. their responses has been wildly inconsistent. when saudi arabia finally acknowledged that jamal had died, president trump originally called the story credible. in the last couple of days, he has referred to deception and lies to characterize the saudi position. it seems the only two recurring themes in the administration possibly action is president trump does not want to suspend , andsales to saudi arabia two, there doesn't appear to be any real desire to hold mohammad bin salman accountable for the actions, even if evidence emerges that he directed this operation. you saw last week that secretary pompeo visited riyadh and met
with mohammad bin salman, and even yesterday, secretary of the treasury mnuchin was in riyadh. while his body language was more restrained, he also met with mohammad bin salman. that the signal that the trump administration continues to view him as an important partner in there looking to insulate him from any repercussions from what has taken place. moveshis means is, what forward, what we are going to see, is really a question on whether congress remains respondent. administratione is given room, they will find a decisive response to what has happened. what we really need to watch for is what congress is going to do, and whether this unique moment of bipartisanship is fleeting, or in during that leads to
important changes. moving on to the implications, and this is where i think you see the difference between the trump administration and between congress. congress is not convinced that stronglications of a response to saudi arabia would be unmanageable for the u.s. however, the trump administration seems to have concerned in response to u.s. sanctions or to other measures the u.s. could take, the saudis may scale back with cooperation with the u.s. let's try to get a sense of they would be endangered should the united states respond aggressively to what has happened. the first area the trump administration values is regional cooperation, in particular, on middle east peac e, the u.s.-iran policy and syria. on middle east peac i think to seekshnere is going
from the palestinians is a full -- is that they seem to be flirting with the possibility of endorsing a u.s. position, but in august, king salmon came a two state that solution should result in a fair and just equitable resolution to the refugee issue, so it doesn't seem like saudi arabia will be deep -- will endorse their peace plan. even if they did, i have doubts as to whether the palestinians would buckle under saudi pressure, given this is an existential issue for the palestinians. on syria, the administration seems to want the saudis to deploy military forces to syria to relieve the pressure on the u.s. and to contribute financially. saudi arabia has only committed $300 million.
$100 million of which has gone into u.s. accounts. that is a pittance compared was saudi arabia could offer to stabilize syria. moreover, there are real questions that even if saudi arabia did agree to deploy to syria, its forces have the capabilities to serve and a stabilizing role. it seems the trump administration is asking from saudi arabia seems that they are incapable of delivering. on iran, there was this and andinary response, editor suggested, if the u.s. did impose sanctions, saudi arabia would reconcile with iran. that is frankly preposterous. iran is the chief external enemy to the saudis. that is been the case for decades now. it is due to no small part of saudi lobbying of the trump administration. the trump administration has taken such an aggressive
posture, vis-a-vis iran. to seem they would reverser position seems ludicrous. the second is arms sales and other types of economic trends -- of economic transactions. the $110 billion deal is less than meets the eye. most of that is a wish list that is unlikely to come to past. saudi arabia has finalize only 16% other contracts that they originally signed with the u.s. the impact on jobs is likely to be fairly scanned. it is not going to be a game changer for the u.s. economy. it is not tied to hundreds of thousands of jobs as president trump suggested, and it would not be easy for saudi arabia to seek chinese or russian equipment, partly because for those of you who remember there these systems need to
communicate with each other, and russia and chinese equipment doesn't communicate with each other. iny would have to invest idiosyncratic fixes to these problems, which would be incredibly expensive. the threat that the saudis would seek comfort in the russians or chinese is more apparent than real. in terms of the economic investment income and it is significant, what is important to remember is the saudis are investing into the u.s. because they need to make money and they need to pop up their economy --prop up there economy and think they can get the best returns. this is an economic decision. saudi future investment decisions are likely to be driven by their analysis of what u.s. stocks are going to do, not by the state of the relationship between the u.s. and saudi arabia. another issue isct cooperation
-- another issue is ct corporation. saudi arabia has not been enough to address its own role in promoting extremism. even if the saudis are cooperating with the cia and other intelligence agencies, that may be drowned out by the effect they are having internationally in promoting radicalization. it is difficult to assess that corporation because it is clandestine, but at the very latest, it is -- at the very least, it is undercut regarding funding for mosques around the world. and finally, there is oil. there is a concern that the saudis with spike the price of oil in response to some type of u.s. retaliation for the episode the affair -- for the khashoggi affair. fish club has become president, the price has -- since trump has
become president, the price of oil has increased. more to the point, saudi arabia's control over the oil market is not what it was in 1973. in the short-term, they are the one country potentially with access -- with excess capacity that can cause a spike in prices, but other producers, including in canada and the u.s., are likely to blunt the impact of any saudi moves. is a short-term discomfort, not a long-term discomfort, and of saudi arabia was going to do this, that end result would be worse for them because they would lose market share. it would be encouraging other producers to come online, and when the price reverts to its precrisis level, the percentage of oil that the saudi's are selling would have declined, so saudis would lose revenue.
where does this leave us? i think our recommendations will be informed by two back considerations -- two considerations. justice for jamal is important. if we do not hold the saudi's for this, it could have a chilling effect on the ability of civil society to operate within their own countries and in exiles throughout the world. consideration is that the u.s.-saudi relationship is badly in need of updating. this has been the case for a while, but there is been some hesitance because the short-term plan could be somewhat significant, but not by any means unmanageable. the problem is that the central bargain underlines the relationship that has been security for oil and is no longer as compelling for either side and no longer adequate for u.s. interests as we become more interested in saudi regional behavior, saudi human rights,
and saudi role in human extremism. in order to recalibrate the u.s.-saudi relationship and ensuring saudi arabia is held responsible for khashoggi's murder would be four things. first, our bilateral relationship-based expand the conversation. they cannot be about just security and economics. human rights needs to be a core part of the discussion we are having some otherwise, that conversation does not coincide with the full gamut of youth interest involved. second, we need to disentangle from the war in yemen. there was growing concern about funding and in supporting the war, now is the opportunity we can step back, either through restricting arms sales or other support, including aerial refueling and intelligence. third, we need to avoid the temptation to expand what has been an external security
guarantee, we would protect saudi arabia from external threats to an external guarantee -- external security guarantee. the saudis want that for reasons of regime security should avoid that at all cost. finally, we need to reassert control over the bilateral relationship. what that means is even after we get past the khashoggi affair for they having justice perpetrators, we need to have clear expectations for what we are going to do with the saudis. how we are going to support them? that should inform our diplomatic support for saudi arabia and our material support for saudi arabia. there should be clear guidelines for what types of activities the saudis can do with u.s. weapons. there should be clear guidelines for when the u.s. is going to support the saudis diplomatically. not the crisis, not for the war in yemen, but for things that
coincide and support u.s. interests. unfortunately, under the trunk administration, -- under the trump administration, there has been -- if anything comes out of this that is positive, we need to seize that opportunity to put things on a stable footing that represents the real u.s. interest at play -- interests at play. thank you. >> thank you, andrew, and thank you all four panelists for your great contributions. one question that has not been covered a lot since the beginning of this crisis, and he probably did not give the justice today either, is the question that people are sometimes asking for but never really answering. what killed jamal? did he have any specific views? what made him a target, if you well? i don't have the answer personally, but what i would like to do is invite you to go
to our website airbnbcenterwashington.org, and take a look at the interview a arabcenterwashington.org. let's go ahead and respond to your questions that you have submitted. de first one is addressed to okhi and tom, asking, what you think will be the future of women's entrepreneurial ship and government careers and saudi arabia in light of reforms that
might be continuing? um, i hope that the reforms that have been introduced that support more inen's entrepreneurship saudi arabia, but i am not following that issue very carefully, but i think that historically, women in saudi arabia who have had the freedom to start their own businesses, have been connected primarily to linked families and out of the offices of their fathers and their brothers and other family members. so, i hope there is more independence for women to enter the business sector, and more women will be able to do it.
i admit, i am the following it as closely. tom: um, i would just say, i have no reason to doubt mohammad bin salman is sincere about his economic and social reforms. it is a populist edge to them, but they are popular. know, hown is, you profound can those reforms really go as long as saudi arabia remains politically repressive? because as it is full know from other countries, as long as there is no freedom of expression, no press freedom, other kinds of reforms can only go so far. might add a little footnote to that, i would
probably guess economic reforms would be easier for him to continue. where women are going to run into some issues are the legal and political. and i would like to resist naming names, but we have a few colleagues, females right now in jail in saudi arabia for asking for those types of rights, and they have not been tolerated thus far and i assume they will not be in the future. yeah? dokhi: i alluded to this, but for women to become economically-independent, i think the male guardianship system needs to end. and many women have been calling for that. those women, as i mentioned who do have opportunities in saudi arabia, are among families who are generally more open and wish
their daughters and sisters have opportunities, but even with the driving ban, as a way i understand it, those women who don't have the support of minute families, still can't drive. end theey is to guardianship system. coverage, iof the mean the coverage with regards to this practice we are discussing today, but other coverage of saudi arabia, i have not seen any reports since mohammad bin salman gave women the right to drive, how many women that their licenses? i hear it is minimal, very, very minimal from saudi sources. it would be worthwhile for our media to focus on this issue. our next question is from stanley. i would like to direct it,
because both of you kind of answered this partially, in case you wanted to add more to it, in and andrew, how would the death of khashoggi and the cover-up of the crime, would untie iran correlation in the region? imad alluded to it a while ago. imad: well, i do not think that saudi arabia was ever ready to be in a confrontation with iran and the united states, before or after the khashoggi murder. administrationmp maybe just wishing that saudi the stallld really be worth fortress of facing iran, , beforeink saudi arabia
khashoggi's murder, was way too occupied, even militarily-occupied to be able to, you know, be a partner in facing iran. i do not think that that necessarily was, i do not think they could believed be a good front against iran, but yet at the same time, they had a fear of iran, so they were trying to maggie -- they were trying to -- [indiscernible] see the current situation of khashoggi's affair is something boosting saudi-american cooperation facing iran. andrew: i would just add that
even prior to khashoggi's murder, the saudi's were arguably any liability in the and, anti-iran campaign, were obviously involved in instigating this dispute, which divided the arab world. a united arab front would be essential for a regional counterbalancing against iran. it invited the turks to play a bigger role and they had a more complicated relationship and ambivalent relationship with iranians. and the continued saudi role in yemen is a real loser. the saudis are spending $15 billion a year to wage this campaign and the iranians are investing a small fraction of that to keep the saudis tied down. that is a strategic weakness and a strategic trap for the saudis,
and their inability to recognize a liability that it is, and the unwillingness of the u.s. to try to reach some type of diplomatic settlement that would extricate the saudis, and allow them to focus around elsewhere -- focus iran elsewhere in the region has -- affair, there was already a distraction from it. this is not a game changer. it confirms the trend that saudi arabia was not going to be this alliance the anti-iran with the trump administration would like. >> apparently, i made a boo-boo a while ago by giving the email address. i should know better than that, so my staff sent me a tweet. c.org, not arab
center washington.org. this question is addressed to dokhi. can you shed some light on your assessment of the turkish government handling of this affair? dokhi: um, it has been an extremely interesting -- it has been extremely interesting. i was really happy to see this erdogan came out and took a strong stand that this was a premeditated murder. and it made me believe that they are in this really for the truth to come out and for there to be accountability. before then, i really was not sure, but turkey has been very careful. own relationship with
the saudis in the u.s.. we would like to have an actual investigation and we would like to have the turks bring an international investigators to work with them so there is a full accounting. we know everything that has happened, but it has been really interesting the way it initially started, the leaks in the media, think at this stage, i think we are in a better place. the turkish government is in fact in it from the long haul, i hope. >> i think it is worth bearing in mind that turkey is the journalistsiling around the world, and they have been viciously purged of president erdogan in the aftermath of the coup attempt.
of independent investigations is not great. bets -- its records of freedom of press is dreadful. i think it speaks to the heinousness of this crime. turkey is really looking good at the moment compared to saudi arabia. rights reason why human groups have called for international u.n.-led them independent investigation is precisely because, as we have has, turkey, although it been leaking a lot of interesting information, cannot conduct aupon to non-politicized investigation. and that is why it is essential that there is an international independent investigation at this point. >> the next question is addressed to the whole panel, so
if you want to take a job at it -- jab at it. this one is regarding the muslim brotherhood. he indicated the muslim brotherhood is visible and quite active in different countries in the arab world. been some reaction recently, regionally, and internationally, and even here domestically in the united in congress to outlaw, if you will, the brotherhood in this country, or calls to put it on a terrorist list, and so on. are there external or international players that are pushing this policy? sure. khashoggi's death is
withininto this cold war the arab world regarding the role of the muslim brotherhood. countriese, you have that have a muslim brotherhood presence and their parliaments in kuwait, jordan, and morocco, and on the other side, you have the saudis and egyptians who are anti-muslim brotherhood. and i think we have seen news reports suggesting that this was a muslim brotherhood plot, and you see this intersection of ofctors -- intersection actors, to discredit the information and suggested is a muslim brotherhood plot. it does have some traction within certain circles and the united states. survey from the democratic party, but within a certain part of the republican party that is
suspicious. including the trump administration. but having served in the u.s. challenge fore the obstacle to designate a muslim brotherhood was a lawyers cannot make the case. there wasn't sufficient evidence. the rule of law applies in order to take an action, there needs to be sufficient evidence in order to support it in the courts. that is not to say the trump administration could not go ahead. the trump administration could impose sanctions on muslim brotherhood. but that would open the possibility that an actions of evidence, it could be overturned in a court subsequently, so you see the intersection of international players advocating on one side of the debate for their own selfish reasons, but ,ou also have it reverberating a rule of law that jealously guards the truth and evidence.
and it exists as the case, but i think the right position is for an american audience is to simply follow the law, and honor precepts because of this process becomes politicized where you have groups being designated because you don't like them, not because there is clear evidence of terrorism or violence, that opens up the way way ofly -- opens up the abuses in society. >> sorry, go ahead. >> just a little addition here. i agree with everything andrew said. there is pressure from some regimes in the middle east on the united states to consider the muslim brotherhood to be a terrorist organization. if it did, then that is one less venue for- one less
whoever is associated with the brotherhood. >> ok, we are approaching the end of our time unfortunately. i do have a lot of questions left. but let me ask for baby one-liners -- let me ask for maybe one liners or short answers. what are the prospects for a status coup in riyadh? which one of you doesn't have any business interests traveling to the region soon? [laughter] any takers? dokhi: i thought there was an attempt several months ago, but some gunfire and shootings that we heard in riyadh. but i think there could be an effort. >> there are rumors on the internet mostly from saudi
opposition forces about some movement, both within the opposition and some within even the royal family complaining about the situation, including are senior officials that "on vacation in europe," and they had been raising this issue. nickext question is from about the effectiveness of the , especially since it has been dismissed from his position. important is that factor, or is it significant at all? anybody? we have seen the role of disinformation on social media play a mother context. was a unique leader of
this movement. there could be something lost if he indeed is -- there is a question to a degree if he is sidelined. he is not being investigated on criminal charges and i think his social media accounts suggest he is affiliated with the royal court in some way. we have seen many other people who were able to do this, and these actions will continue to take place, and it is very difficult for social media platforms to counter it. it will continue to be a challenge for any type of discourse in a democracy are -- democracy or other contact because it is so easy to fabricate information, and cast doubt on truth and hard facts when information is opened up, and what people would hope to have -- to be a democratic fashion has been thwarted. thist me conclude with
question from my former employer, and i don't want to be accused of discriminating in dealing with this question. what makes the khashoggi murder different from the persecution of other journalists by the saudi regime? it is not different at all. the only distinction is the fact that jamal is a well-known person, worldwide, and has established extensive network with people over the years and , youfferent capacities know, where he worked, and people appreciated it and liked his personality, and the fact that he was writing for "the washington post." and i think his colleagues at "the washington post," and his colleagues in general, journalists are not going to let this go. i think that is reflected in the nature of the volume of their reaction. >> can i just add, people are
transfixed by the former of the story -- by the horror of the story. that is a very important part of it with keeping the story alive. it is an absolutely horrific story. >> please join me in thanking the panel for the great presentation. [applause] and thank you all very much for your attendance today, and we hope to see you at future events. thank you. good day. [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2018] [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit ncicap.org]
>> our life continues as a national space council is meeting in washington to discuss efforts to establish a u.s. space force. vice president mike pence, jim bridenstine nine, and transportation secretary elaine chao taking part in this. live coverage is here on c-span and we expected to get underway in just a moment.
>> once again, we are live this morning at the white house national space council is gathering today in washington to talk about their work to create a u.s. space force. among those we expect to hear from, vice president mike pence, james brian stein, kierstin nielsen and elaine chao. we do expect them to arrive here shortly and for this to get underway here on c-span.