I think this is a mistake:
President Biden has decided that the diplomatic cost of directly penalizing Saudi Arabia’s crown prince, Mohammed bin Salman, is too high, according to senior administration officials, despite a detailed American intelligence finding that he directly approved the killing of Jamal Khashoggi, the dissident and Washington Post columnist who was drugged and dismembered in October 2018.
The decision by Mr. Biden, who during the 2020 campaign called Saudi Arabia a “pariah” state with “no redeeming social value,” came after weeks of debate in which his newly formed national security team advised him that there was no way to formally bar the heir to the Saudi crown from entering the United States, or to weigh criminal charges against him, without breaching the relationship with one of America’s key Arab allies.
Officials said a consensus developed inside the White House that the cost of that breach, in Saudi cooperation on counterterrorism and in confronting Iran, was simply too high.
Obviously releasing the report fingering MBS is better than what his predecessor did, which ranged from aiding and abetting to actively helping the coverup, but this is still a mistake on Team Biden. It strikes me that not punishing MBS for this because you don’t want to damage relations is like not wanting to confront your spouse for cheating on you because you don’t want to damage your marriage. Bro- that ship done sailed.
I’m sure there are smarter people than me with opinions on it, but if a nation won’t assist you on counter-terrorism ops because you caught them committing terrorism on your own soil, maybe, just maybe, that nation might be part of the problem and, you know, terrorists.