The Khashoggi operation was a complete disaster carried out by senior elements in the Saudi government and when it went wrong there was an internal cover-up. That led the government to make statements that it quickly regretted. Now, the government has admitted what has happened. It has taken action against the individuals responsible by firing five generals and a man of cabinet rank, arresting and investigating others, and publicly stating that this was a horrible tragedy that should never have happened. The investigation has also made it clear that Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman did not order this operation. Now, in Washington there are many who do not believe this version of events but, unfortunately, Jamal’s murder has become a political football in the US. Jamal Khashoggi was not a threat to the Saudi government and the individuals responsible took on a mission outside of institutional channels. The CIA leak has said that there was no definitive evidence regarding the crown prince’s involvement. And the Trump Administration, the State Department, and the Defense Department have all said that there is no direct evidence to implicate the crown prince. The Saudi government is at fault because it should have come out and put everything on the table—more than it has. What people do not understand is that the king and the crown prince have undertaken the most wrenching reform process in fifty years. They must be cautious because their reforms have alienated the right wing of Saudi Arabia’s clerical class and members of the royal family. That being said, key advisors to the crown prince were far too aggressive. They have been removed. Ultimately, this tragedy is the horrible death and murder of one person. People will be punished for that. But, Jamals’s murder cannot stand in the way of the stability of a country as important as Saudi Arabia and a region as important as the Middle East and world leaders understand that. The Yemen War has been misunderstood. No one wants to give credence to Saudi Arabia’s legitimate security concerns about an Iran-allied militia taking over Yemen or that Saudi Arabia and the Coalition will be responsible for Yemen’s reconstruction long after the world has turned its attention elsewhere.

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