Once he was in the inner circle and then he became a critic, albeit not too harsh. He took a moderate line, hoping to influence the new Crown Prince, Mohammed bin Salman, who ad announced himself as more willing to ease some of the restrictions, especially on women, even permitting them to drive by themselves.
bin Salman has, however shown himself with his actions against Canada, Qatar, and especially in the genocidal war against Yemen to be anything but. He was volatile, erratic and showed poor judgement and had little or no tact.
His actions against Canad for a tweet fro Chrystia Freeland, the Global Affairs minister was overboard,. She had tweeted her support for women's rights blogger, Badawi , sent bin Salman into a rage. He expelled our ambassador, recalled his, froze trade and investment and ordered Saudi students studying in Canada to return home ( he acted similiarly against Qatar, because he felt that they were becoming too friendly with Iran).
His genocidal war against the Houthis in Yemen has seen women and children slaughtered by weapons sold to him by USA and Britain ( Canada has a deal to sell LAV's but he did not cancel that and neither has Canada so far. He needs them for civilian unrest at home.
The Khashoggi case has been pure savagery, no doubt orchestrated by him, as nothing gets done in that top-down, autocratic government, without approval from above.
The Turkish government and especially the president, Recep Erdogan, have been adamant about the Saudis' involvement in the " savage murder"., From the onset they kept the world informed about what they have found out, with details and pictures. These pictures showed Khashoggi entering the embassy. He had been called in to come andget the necessary papers in order to get married to a Turkish national. He has not been seen since that Oct.2 and the Saudis have come out with a variety of answers when they were questioned about his whereabouts.
First, they said he had left ( they had someone dressed in Khashoggi's clothes leave the embassy by the back door . This speaks volumes.). Then they claimed that there was a fight and he as killed then they changed that and said he was accidentally killed in a choke hold. When all this failed ( as the Turks gave more ad more details, after they were allowed to enter the embassy and do their own investigations...a clean up crew was seen entering the building and the Turks found evidence that they had tried to clean up but they were able to find blood splatters).they finally admitted that a " rogue" element had killed him.
That was another lie. 15 Saudis, including a forensic expert had flown in earlier that day. They had a bone saw with them. They left hours after. Who were they? At least one of them was a close confidant of bin Salman ( he was seen in various pictures accompanying him on various missions abroad).
What happened? It is obvious that they wanted to kidnap and return Khashoggi to Saudi Arabia. But here things get blurry. That he as killed is of no doubt ( the Saudis have admitted that now). How he was killed is not known.
Where is the body? None has been produced and the Turks are saying that he was dismembered and his remains scattered in some nearby forests. ( thus the bone saw and the forensic specialist).
All the efforts by the Saudis are made to shield the Crown Prince bin Salman. Trump has offered them some cover, by first bringing up the " rogue" element and so far has not been willing to hold the Saudis or bin Salman responsible. In this he is joined by one of his senior adviser, his son-in law Jared Kushner, who has established a close relationship with bin Salman. He, Kushner, has become Trump's whisperer. He is also close to Israel and its prime minister Netanyahu and Netanyahu wants to preserve the US/Saudi realstions and their opposition to Iran, which Israel sees as an enemy. He also supports Trump's scrapping the nuclear agreement and bringing back sanctions against Iran.
So America's position and their refusal to call out the Saudis on this brutal, savage killing, is being shaped by Kushner who has dealings with bin Salman and is a known financial and religious backer of Israel.
With the exception of Germany, no other country has ( there were some murmurings from GB and France) has taken a stand afraid of losing their businesses with the Saudis. This is cowardice and it is immoral. Trump has said that he has billions in arms deal that he will not end because of potential jobs' loss and so do the others.
Canada's Trudeau has been a vocal supporter o Human Rights and especially Women's rights and Canada has a LAV deal with the Saudis and has come under attack from them suspending trade and investments, withdrawing students and ambassador.
Canada can lead the way. When the Saudi foreign minister, Adel Al-Jubeir, asked "
are we a banana republic? and questioned our treatment of Quebecers and " Indians", he tried to equate us with a regime that chops off limbs, stone, behead publicly, imprison without trial , , tortures, wage a genocidal war and govern without restraint, doing what they please, we must reply firmly. Cancel the LAV deal, close their embassy, stop buying their oil ( we do not need it ), stop trading with them and show them that we stand for Law and Order, Human Rights and Decency. What can they do?