Senate leaders who emerged from a closed-door briefing by CIA Director Gina Haspel on Tuesday were unequivocal: Saudi Arabian Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman was directly involved in the murder of Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi on Oct. 2 at the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul. The debate between Congress and the Trump administration will now intensify over various potential forms of retaliation against Riyadh, such as targeted sanctions and limiting military assistance.
But one straightforward response to this appalling crime should be undertaken immediately: increasing U.S. support for the world’s remaining Jamal Khashoggis — namely, the courageous but increasingly embattled Arab journalists, academics, rights activists and public intellectuals who risk their lives in pursuit of a better Middle East.
There are hundreds such individuals in the Middle East today who seek to expose corruption and advocate fundamental liberties such as exercising freedom of expression. They persist despite intensified threats directed against not only them but also their loved ones. Some have been driven into exile, as Khashoggi was, but even abroad, many continue to be targeted.
The United States can do a great deal more to help and protect these people.
Read the full article in The Washington Post.
More from CNAS
PodcastStories from the Backchannel: Season Two Trailer
Now more than ever, Americans are interested in the people working behind the scenes on consequential national security decisions. In Season Two of Stories from the Backchanne...
By Ilan Goldenberg, Richard Fontaine, Susanna V. Blume, Kayla M. Williams, Price B. Floyd, Kurt Campbell & Kara Frederick
CommentarySending Troops Back to the Middle East Won’t Stop Iran
The Trump administration’s decision to kill Qassam Soleimani is the latest in an escalatory “maximum pressure” Iran strategy that is shifting American foreign policy attention...
By Chris Dougherty & Kaleigh Thomas
PodcastUS Targeted Killing of Qassem Soleimani: Strategic Implications
Brian Katulis and Kaleigh Thomas discuss the political and strategic fallout from the US targeted killing of Iranian General Qassem Soleimani. Listen to the full conversation...
By Kaleigh Thomas
CommentaryTrump Has Made Sanctions a Path to Strikes
U.S. President Donald Trump’s decision to kill the Iranian general Qassem Suleimani, the architect of Iran’s political and military influence in the Middle East, and the Irani...
By Elizabeth Rosenberg & Neil Bhatiya