With unconfirmed reports swirling that the Saudis are going to finally admit what the world has a surmised for over a week and what Turkish authorities have alleged from the outset—that journalist Jamal Khashoggi was murdered by a 'hit team' inside the Saudi consulate building in Istanbul two weeks ago—many people are asking this question on Tuesday morning: What is US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo so happy about in images and video footage that showed him meeting with high-level members of the Royal Family, including King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MbS).
As the disappearance and likely murder of Khashoggi has forced the U.S. government into the uncomfortable position of having to face critics about its cozy relationship with the Saudis, President Donald Trump has been working the refs on behalf of the King Salman while dispatching Pompeo to Riyadh for face to face meetings and to perform his duties as a public relations specialist for the U.S. empire.
As journalist Aaron Rupar for ThinkProgress noted Tuesday morning, "Pompeo is there to 'investigate' a brutal murder, but you wouldn't know it by looking at him."
The bizarre optics of the Pompeo /MBS meeting were immediately noted by CNN’s John Berman, who asked viewers to “look at the smiles here. Look at the body language. Look at the demeanor. They are talking about the apparent murder and dismemberment of a Washington Post journalist!”
And so as photos emerged of Pompeo meeting with King Salman, Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir in Riyadh, and later MbS emerged—they left a lot of people online asking, if the situation is so serious and grave, why is Pompeo smiling so much?
Look at Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo smiling and having fun when they both know journalist #Khashoggi was killed and chopped up in Saudi consulate. #MohammedbinSalman #SaudiArabia #Turkey pic.twitter.com/qJqC7O50Tl
— Instant Reporter (@InstantReporter) October 16, 2018
It's real funny. Accidental bone saw killing of American-resident journalist. What's #Pompeo smiling about?
— FactsMatter (@gratefulfornow) October 16, 2018
Mike Pompeo is in Riyadh to investigate a brutal murder, but you certainly wouldn't know it by looking at him https://t.co/hT63fq0sDM
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— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) October 16, 2018
I can only imagine that Jamal Khashoggi was not smiling, like these guys, when he, allegedly, met 15 Saudi murderers as he sought wedding papers.
Mike Pompeo meets with King Salman in Riyadh over Jamal Khashoggi's case https://t.co/RJwcJSx9Nm
— John Hendren (@johnhendren) October 16, 2018
What the hell are these two assholes smiling about???
This is the photo from Pompeo’s meeting to “investigate” Khashoggi’s murder.
There is nothing funny about any of it. This is disgusting.
— ProfHelen (@Helenhs) October 16, 2018