Pompeo Slams 'Faux Outrage' Over Khashoggi Murder

Ex-secretary of state says in new book that late 'WaPo' journo is no 'Saudi Arabian Bob Woodward'
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 24, 2023 8:38 AM CST
Pompeo Slams 'Faux Outrage' Over Khashoggi Murder
Former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo addresses an audience at Saint Anselm College, in Manchester, New Hampshire, on Sept. 20.   (AP Photo/Steven Senne, File)

In 2018, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo slammed the murder of Jamal Khashoggi, saying it violated "the norms of international law." That doesn't mean he was a fan of the Washington Post columnist, however, as clearly evidenced in his new book due out Tuesday, per the Guardian. Instead, in Never Give an Inch: Fighting for the America I Love, Pompeo blasts the murdered journalist as "an activist who had supported the losing team" and mocks the "faux outrage" that emerged following his disappearance after entering the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul on Oct. 2, 2018.

It was later determined that Khashoggi had been killed and dismembered, with US intelligence finding that Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman had OKed his assassination. "He didn't deserve to die," Pompeo writes in his book, which the Guardian nabbed a copy of. "But we need to be clear about who he was—and too many people in the media were not." Pompeo, widely expected to be a 2024 contender for the Oval Office, added that "Khashoggi was cozy with the terrorist-supporting Muslim Brotherhood" and blasted the late journalist for his past relationship with Osama bin Laden, as well as his seeming distress when the terrorist leader was killed in a 2011 raid.

In other words, Khashoggi was no "Saudi Arabian Bob Woodward," Pompeo writes, per NBC News, which also got its hands on a copy of the book. He adds that Khashoggi was a journalist only "to the extent that I, and many other public figures are journalists. We sometimes get our writing published, but we also do other things." Sarah Leah Whitson, executive director for the nonprofit Democracy for the Arab World Now, calls Pompeo's comments "crass and craven." "It is despicable that a senior American official is suggesting that it's OK to kill a journalist if his political views are ones he doesn't like," she says in a release.

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Khashoggi's widow, Hanan Elatr Khashoggi, is also speaking out, insisting to NBC that her late husband wasn't part of the Muslim Brotherhood, though he was more closely linked to it when he was younger. She also notes that her spouse "always condemned" the Sept. 11 attacks. "He doesn't know my husband," she says of Pompeo. "He should be silent and shut up the lies." (More Mike Pompeo stories.)

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