Damage control in Saudi Arabia. The government in Riyadh admitted that journalist Jamal Khashoggi did, in fact, die in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul – his death a result of a fist-fight gone awry. The admission came not from Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, who is the de facto ruler of the country, but from his father, King Salman, who is apparently taking over the handling of the incident. The king has since ordered the kingdom’s general intelligence unit to be restructured and has dispatched his personal aides to Turkey to smooth things over. The governments of Egypt and the United Arab Emirates have thrown their support behind the king and his version of the Khashoggi affair. Meanwhile, Western intelligence agencies are rumored to have participated in informal discussions over a new line of succession in Saudi Arabia. The country is in the middle of an economic and political transition, and it’s an important cog in Washington’s apparatus to counter Iran. So while an all-o
Daily Memo: Damage Control in Saudi Arabia
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