Hanan Elatr Khashoggi’s husband, Jamal, was a Washington Post reporter who got assassinated at the Saudi Arabian consulate in Istanbul, Turkey in 2018. He was singled out as he ran a Saudi Arabian newspaper that had a uniquely progressive, anti-government tinge. Reports reveal that the murder was almost certainly ordered by the nation’s ruling Crown Prince.
Now, his widow is speaking out, but surprisingly, it’s not against the Saudis but in favor of them. But, knowing her husband’s history, she might just be trying to cover all her bases.
It all stems from Saudi Arabia essentially buying the Professional Golf Association (PGA). PGA merged with LIV, Saudi Arabia’s golf league, making the nation the sole investor of America’s premier golf league.
On Thursday, the US Department of Justice announced an investigation into the new PGA-LIV for potential anti-trust law violations. And on that same day, Oregon Senator Ron Wyden said he’d be investigating the merger himself. He’s the chair of the Senate Finance Committee, so he’d have the ability to potentially subpoena many key Saudi players involved in the merger.
“The merger raises significant questions about whether organizations that tie themselves to an authoritarian regime that has continually undermined the rule of law should continue to enjoy tax-exempt status in the US,” Wyden said.
Long story short? In addition to the classically American brand being cheapened, there might be some serious illegality going on.
But Khashoggi says not so fast! “I would like Saudi Arabia not to be abandoned, not to be a pariah country because Jamal Khashoggi never asked this to be done to his country,” Khashoggi said. Strange, considering that Saudi Arabia killed her beloved husband.
“Generally speaking, the golf thing is sport deal, economic deal, political deal, with any country in the world. I don’t want Saudi Arabia to suffer, and the public, we will suffer, because of the act of 20 individuals — I say mentally sick, they are criminal.”
Translation? She would probably suffer if she didn’t buckle to Saudi pressure and speak out in favor the deal. They realize she has a ton of cache and good will.
She is living safe and sound in Virginia, but she recently sued an Israeli surveillance company for hacking into her phone post assassination. Entirely possible that Saudi Arabia could be doing the same thing, so it’s likely she wants not to ruffle any feathers.
But because of that, the Saudis have a key ally as they aim to gobble up a classic American sport. Rest in Peace PGA, you served us well.