Injustice in journalism


Kyran Mitchell

Jamal Khashoggi was an journalist who lived in the United States and worked for the Washington Post. On October 2nd, 2018, Jamal Khashoggi went into Saudi Arabian Embassy in Turkey to retrieve documents in order to marry his wife. However, he never exited the embassy, and more than two weeks later it was confirmed that he was killed inside by 15 Saudi Arabian nationals. When the Turkish media first reported that Khasshogi was killed, the Saudi government vehemently denied any involvement in these actions. As time passed and more information was revealed, it became increasingly clear that high ranking officials in the Saudi government had knowledge of the plan to murder Khashoggi. The constant alteration of the story by Saudi Arabia news sources has left some to wonder how far up the involvement in this murder goes.


After the killing was first reported, the CIA began its own investigation into the matter. In its own investigations, it had found that the murder was premeditated, and most likely planned by the Saudi prince Mohammed Bin Salman. While the Saudi government continues to deny any evidence showing that the killings were premeditated, Turkey and the United States have come to the conclusion that murder was premeditated, and some reports claim the Saudi Prince was directly involved in the planning.


However, US president Donald Trump has been reluctant to support the CIA’s findings. He has stated that “we may never know all of the facts surrounding the murder of Mr. Jamal Khashoggi. In any case, our relationship is with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.” Trump has routinely downplayed the significance of the Saudi Arabian government being involved in the killing of a U.S. permanent resident. Trump’s indifference towards this horrific action has been called into question by many, including former under-secretary of state for political affairs, Nicholas Burns, stating, “This Trump statement on the Khashoggi murder is beyond embarrassing. It is shameful. He is silent on our most important interest – justice.”


Trump has made many claims about deals with Saudi Arabia, and he claims that actions against Saudi Arabia would hurt American jobs domestically. Donald Trump’s statement that “we have $450 billion, $110 billion of which is a military order, but this is equipment and various things ordered from Saudi Arabia, $450 billion” has been called into question by many. According to politifact, there is absolutely no truth to this statement. Arms sales to Saudi Arabia have remained between $15 billion and $20 billion dollars a year. Claims that economic sanctions on Saudi Arabia would injure the U.S. economy greatly are an exaggeration based on false numbers from the president.


Many fear that potential sanctions against Saudi Arabia could damage oil prices. However, the U.S. is not reliant on Saudi oil as they have been in the past. Only 9% of oil in the U.S. is imported from Saudi Arabia, and there are now many other countries that have access to oil reserves. The presidents notion that Saudi Arabia is a crucial ally is not entirely true. While they are the 22nd largest trade partner with the U.S., they only represent 35 billion of the 3.8 trillion total trade of the United States. Many Senators, even Republicans who stand firmly with Trump, have stated their desire for sanctions to be placed on Saudi Arabia for the murder of Jamal Khashoggi. The U.S. has a duty to protect justice, and the killing of Jamal Khashoggi should be condemned by the United States to show the world that unjust murder will not go unpunished.