The Washington Post's Editorial Page Editor, Fred Hiatt, on Sunday slammed the Biden administration for failing to do more to hold Saudi Arabia accountable for the death of reporter Jamal Khashoggi. The Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman ordered Khashoggi's assassination back in 2018, a newly-released report stated.
Despite that, the Biden administration failed to hold bin Salman personally accountable for the reporter's death. It's something Hiatt takes issue with.
"First, I think this was a missed opportunity to rethink the alliance, and how important is Saudi Arabia now to the United States and why," Hiatt explained to ABC News' George Stephanopoulos. "Why are we making an alliance with a dictator who is making trouble in the region?"
"But even more, there's a bigger issue here going on all around the world, which is dictators, like [Mohammed bin Salman], and [Vladimir] Putin, and Xi Jinping are not only repressing their own people, but they're reaching beyond their borders to harass, intimidate, kidnap and assassinate," he explained. "And it's a way of striking fear at home and abroad. And if the United States and its fellow democracies don't stand up against that, then we're going to live in a world where nobody feels safe anywhere, not even inside the borders of the United States. I would say that's an even more important principle than the alliance with Saudi Arabia."
According to The Hill, the Biden administration is reluctant to place visa restrictions or pursue criminal charges against bin Salman out of fear of Saudi Arabia's retaliatory threats to counterterrorism and confronting Iran.
.@gstephanopoulos: "As you know, the administration's trying to strike a balance... can we afford to rupture the relationship over this?"— This Week (@ThisWeekABC) February 28, 2021
WaPo columnist Fred Hiatt: "This was a missed opportunity to rethink the alliance." https://t.co/kFRP1fsmGU pic.twitter.com/X7QLfJn5WA