A UN human rights investigator said that “US President Joe Biden’s neglect to punish anyone responsible for the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi in any way is considered extremely dangerous.”
Investigator John Kirby stressed the need for the US administration to punish Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman directly. He indicated that the United States has punished 76 Saudis who participated in the Khashoggi murder, after it imposed financial penalties and a travel ban.
The real problem, Kirby said, was the fact that the main perpetrator had barely escaped a slap on his wrist.
Moreover, according to Kirby, the kingdom buys billions of dollars annually in US military equipment and maintains several important US military and intelligence bases.
He noted that the message the United States is sending is full of contradictions. In the early days of his presidency, Joe Biden pledged to take a tougher stance on the kingdom. He introduced policies aimed at curbing arms sales and limiting the military presence of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in Yemen. Then, Secretary of State Anthony Blinken said in the records: “While the United States is still invested in its relationship with the Kingdom, President Biden made it clear that the partnership should reflect the values of the United States to this end ”.
In the end, according to the UN investigator, the problem with the United States refusal to punish Prince bin Salman is the message it sends to him and those who seek to act like him. So are those who fall victim to similar violent crimes. While it might be an exaggeration to say that US actions empower Prince, they do not act as a strong enough deterrent.
Kirby saw that ignoring bin Salman’s punishment sends a message to the Saudi people and the grieving family of Jamal Khashoggi, that there is little accountability and justice with regard to prominent figures. He wondered: How can any American citizen feel safe while traveling abroad, knowing that the United States will not protect his right to life and justice?
Once again, the United States, which had long defended the title as a human rights defender and protector, a title the Biden administration so impatiently adopted when he took office, has failed.