Skip to main content

Sign up for our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values. Direct to your inbox.

Biden MBS

U.S. President Joe Biden (L) being welcomed by Saudi Arabian Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (R) at Alsalam Royal Palace in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia on July 15, 2022. (Photo: Royal Court of Saudi Arabia/Handout/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)

'Remember Abu Ghraib,' MBS Tells Biden When Pressed on Khashoggi: Report

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman also reportedly asked Biden what he's "done about Shireen Abu Akleh," the Palestinian-American journalist killed by Israeli forces.

Brett Wilkins

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman reportedly told President Joe Biden during their meeting in Jeddah Friday that while the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi is "regrettable," U.S. hands are not clean and other journalists are killed with impunity.

"Bin Salman's smarmy reply underlines the way in which the U.S. government's lawlessness... and its weird commitment to Israeli apartheid... undermine its moral standing."

Bin Salman specifically mentioned the torture scandal at the U.S. military prison at Abu Ghraib, Iraq and the killing of Palestinian-American Al Jazeera reporter Shireen Abu Akleh by Israeli forces in May, according to Al Aribiya, which is owned by the Saudi government.

The de facto Saudi ruler also said that the CIA—which along with other American intelligence agencies concluded that Khashoggi's gruesome 2018 murder was likely ordered by bin Salman—makes mistakes, as it did when it falsely claimed Iraq had an active weapons of mass destruction program prior to the 2003 U.S.-led invasion and occupation. 

"Bin Salman's smarmy reply underlines the way in which the U.S. government's lawlessness in misadventures like invading Iraq and its weird commitment to Israeli apartheid practices against the Palestinians undermine its moral standing to argue for 'a rules-based global order,'" Informed Comment publisher Juan Cole observed. "Almost no one in the U.S. dares say this, but for the rest of the world it is a commonplace insight."

Cole wrote:

The U.S. government didn't care about the Israelis assassinating Shireen Abu Akleh, (and many other unlawful killings of Palestinian journalists and just ordinary Palestinian noncombatants) and it does not stop the U.S. from forking over to Israel $4 billion a year in foreign aid, a tax on all Americans in support of Greater Israel expansionism. So why should Biden, bin Salman wants to know, boycott Saudi Arabia over the killing of a single journalist?

Biden has come under fire from progressives for his willingness to sideline Saudi Arabia's abysmal human rights record and war crimes in Yemen in service of U.S. strategic and energy interests.

Appearing Sunday on ABC's "This Week," Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.)—who is co-sponsoring a new resolution to end U.S. involvement in the Saudi-led war in Yemen—said he did not think Biden should have visited Saudi Arabia.

"You have a leader of that country who was involved in the murder of a Washington Post journalist," Sanders said. "I don't think that that type of government should be rewarded with a visit by the president of the United States."

"I just don't believe we should be maintaining a warm relationship with a dictatorship like that," he added.

Our work is licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). Feel free to republish and share widely.

We've had enough. The 1% own and operate the corporate media. They are doing everything they can to defend the status quo, squash dissent and protect the wealthy and the powerful. The Common Dreams media model is different. We cover the news that matters to the 99%. Our mission? To inform. To inspire. To ignite change for the common good. How? Nonprofit. Independent. Reader-supported. Free to read. Free to republish. Free to share. With no advertising. No paywalls. No selling of your data. Thousands of small donations fund our newsroom and allow us to continue publishing. Can you chip in? We can't do it without you. Thank you.

Outrage as Israeli Forces Raid, Shutter Offices of Top Palestinian Rights Groups

"Israel continues to persecute Palestinian human rights and civil society groups with the clear aim of silencing any criticism against it."

Jake Johnson ·

Economists Fear Fed Minutes Show Central Bank Bent on 'Unleashing Mass Unemployment'

Continued interest rate hikes "risk a recession throwing millions out of work," a pair of experts warned.

Jake Johnson ·

Watchdog: Secret Service Didn't Notify Capitol Police of Threat to Pelosi Until After Jan. 6 Attack

"This is deeply disturbing and requires a full investigation," said one legal expert.

Jessica Corbett ·

Advocates Welcome Temporary Block on South Carolina's 6-Week Abortion Ban

"Today's decision is a huge relief for people who desperately need abortion care in South Carolina right now," said one reproductive rights lawyer.

Brett Wilkins ·

Federal Court Strikes Down Ruling That Blocked Biden's Drilling Moratorium

"Today's decision demonstrates how flawed the preliminary injunction issued in June 2021 was, and that Interior must quickly take action to reform the federal fossil fuel program," said one environmental lawyer.

Julia Conley ·

Common Dreams Logo