Pompeo Slammed for Criticizing Khashoggi in New Book

Mike Pompeo, who served as US Secretary of State and CIA director under Trump, was criticized Tuesday after it was revealed his new book questions the journalistic credentials of murdered Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi.

Pompeo Slammed for Criticizing Khashoggi in New Book
Image credit: AP

Facts

  • Mike Pompeo, who served as US Secretary of State and CIA director under Trump, was criticized Tuesday after it was revealed his new book questions the journalistic credentials of murdered Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi and lambasts what he described as overly sympathetic media coverage of the killing.
  • Khashoggi, a Saudi citizen who lived in the US, had once been close to the Saudi royal family before becoming increasingly critical of its de facto leader, crown prince Mohammed Bin Salman (MBS). He disappeared Oct. 2, 2018, after entering the Saudi consulate in Istanbul; it was later revealed that 15 Saudi officials took part in his assassination, and a CIA investigation concluded MBS ordered the killing.
  • In his book, titled "Never Give an Inch,” Pompeo writes, "He didn’t deserve to die, but we need to be clear about who he was – and too many in the media were not."
  • Pompeo characterized Khashoggi as an "activist rather than a journalist, 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."
  • Fred Ryan, publisher and CEO of The Washington Post, responded to Pompeo’s claims by explaining that Khashoggi upheld the values of free speech and freedom of the press.
  • Ryan also called Pompeo “shameful” for spreading “vile" characterizations and suggested they were a ploy to increase book sales.

Sources: NBC, Guardian, Yahoo, Washington Post, and Axios.

Narratives

  • Narrative A, as provided by MSNBC. In one fell swoop, Pompeo managed to dabble in some light racism – claiming the killing of journalists is the norm in Middle Eastern society – and in normalizing the murder of journalists, which is a worldwide tragedy. He also misrepresents the career of Khashoggi, who worked as an editor and reporter for more than 30 years. Fortunately, Pompeo’s career and time spent around Trump have guaranteed no one will take him seriously.
  • Narrative B, as provided by FOX News. The Washington Post’s attack on Pompeo is no surprise since the paper has been steadfast to undermine anything done by the Trump administration — including relationships forged with the Saudis to keep the US safe. The Post might be the ones taking an outrageous stance to make money.