Mike Pompeo dismisses murder of Jamal Khashoggi by saying such crimes are ‘routine’ in Middle East

By | January 24, 2023

In response to comments reportedly made by Mike Pompeo in his new memoir, Democracy for the Arab World Now (DAWN) issued the following statement:

“Pompeo’s crass and craven comments appearing to justify Jamal Khashoggi’s murder by disparaging his political views and falsely associating them with terrorism mirror the same justifications Mohammed bin Salman (MBS) and other tyrants use to excuse their crimes,” said Sarah Leah Whitson, Executive Director of DAWN. “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.”

Pompeo’s comments reportedly alleged that Khashoggi supported the Muslim Brotherhood, insinuating without evidence that the group supports terrorism, as well as dismissing Khashoggi’s journalism because he “did other things.” Pompeo described Khashoggi as an “activist,” claiming that he 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.”

Pompeo further appears to excuse the murder of Khashoggi by saying that such crimes are “routine” in the “ruthless” Middle East, embracing a narrative that is often utilized by regional autocrats to support their repressive policies.

“Suggesting that the murder of a journalist is acceptable because it is ‘routine’ in a ‘ruthless’ Middle East is a racist and insulting effort to diminish MBS’ shocking criminality,” said Whitson. “It is telling about the corruption of our own political system that Pompeo, in advance of running for president, feels he must so nakedly curry favor with a foreign despot.” [Continue reading…]

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