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Jamal Khashoggi - Journalist Killed in Saudi Consulate (1 Viewer)

Don Quixote

Footballguy
I've been following this story since it happened (he contributed to the Washington Post, and I'm a subscriber to that).  I thought it might make sense to get a thread going as the story is evolving and getting more attention.

Quick summary is that Jamal Khashoggi (a journalist who has become a critic of the Saudi government) walked into the Saudi consulate in Turkey about a week ago, but never came out.  His fiancee was waiting outside for him.  He went in to get documentation so that he could get married.  He had gone in the week prior, and been told to return to the consulate at that time/date to pick up his paperwork.

Reports are saying that a 15-person team flew in from Saudi Arabia, involving some intelligence personnel, and killed him in an operation ordered by top Saudi leadership.  An excerpt from a NY Times story with grisly details is below.  Interested to see what the response will be if the report is proven true. 

Turkish Officials Say Khashoggi Was Killed on Order of Saudi Leadership

ANKARA, Turkey — Top Turkish security officials have concluded that the Saudi dissident Jamal Khashoggi was assassinated in the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul on orders from the highest levels of the royal court, a senior official said Tuesday.

The official described a quick and complex operation in which Mr. Khashoggi was killed within two hours of his arrival at the consulate by a team of Saudi agents, who dismembered his body with a bone saw they brought for the purpose.

“It is like ‘Pulp Fiction,’” the official said.

Saudi officials, including Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, have denied the allegations, insisting that Mr. Khashoggi left the consulate freely shortly after he arrived. President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey has demanded that the Saudis provide evidence proving their claim.

It remains unclear how the Turkish government determined that Mr. Khashoggi had been killed, but the conclusion that the Saudi royal court ordered it could increase the pressure on both sides of the dispute. It would make it more difficult for the two governments to come up with a face-saving story blaming Mr. Khashoggi’s disappearance on some third party, on rogue elements of the Saudi security forces, or on an accident during an interrogation that went wrong.

Turkish officials have left things murky enough — speaking on condition of anonymity and refusing to publicly disclose their evidence — that such possibilities cannot be ruled out. Some pro-government news outlets have reported that the police were still investigating the possibility that Mr. Khashoggi was abducted, not killed.

But as more than a week has passed since he was last seen, the possibility that he is alive has dwindled.

The security establishment concluded that Mr. Khashoggi’s killing was directed from the top because only the most senior Saudi leaders could order an operation of such scale and complexity, the official said, speaking on condition of anonymity to disclose confidential briefings.

Fifteen Saudi agents had arrived on two charter flights last Tuesday, the day Mr. Khashoggi disappeared, the official said.

All 15 left just a few hours later, and Turkey has now identified the roles that most or all of them held in the Saudi government or security services, the official said. One was an autopsy expert, presumably there to help dismember the body, the official said.

Mr. Erdogan was informed of the conclusions on Saturday, according to several people with knowledge of the briefings, and he has since dispatched officials to anonymously tell myriad news outlets, including The New York Times, that Mr. Khashoggi was killed inside the Saudi Consulate.

But Mr. Erdogan himself has not publicly accused Saudi Arabia of killing Mr. Khashoggi. Nor has the Turkish president disclosed specific evidence to back up that allegation.

His reticence has raised questions about whether Turkey might ultimately back away from an explicit accusation in the interest of preserving relations with Saudi Arabia, a wealthy regional heavyweight. Mr. Erdogan may prefer not to alienate the kingdom as he struggles to manage a troubled economy and a many-sided power struggle over the outcome of the civil war in neighboring Syria.

A publication with close ties to Mr. Erdogan’s government, the newspaper Sabah, reported Tuesday that unnamed officials had said the police were examining the possibility that Mr. Khashoggi had been abducted and not killed, possibly with the help of another country’s intelligence officers.

The official who spoke about Mr. Khashoggi’s killing said that report and other similar ones were incorrect and were probably the result of the limited information shared among different agencies within the Turkish government.

The need to protect intelligence sources — which might include intercepted communications or human informers — also contributed to the government’s reluctance to reveal its evidence, the official said. That need for secrecy could also hamper any efforts to prosecute any Saudi agents involved....

 
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whoknew

Footballguy
This is not funny. Its quite ####ed up. But THIS is funny.

"Have you spoken to the Saudis?"

Pres. Trump: "I'd rather not say. But the answer is yes."

:lmao:

 
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whoknew

Footballguy
I'm not sure if we are allowed to post entire NY Times articles but - 

Turkey Names Saudi Operatives It Says Killed Dissident Journalist

From the article - 

After days of noncommunication, Saudi officials on Tuesday began for the first time to contact Turkish counterparts for secret talks about resolving the matter, and the Saudis have told Washington that they believe they can smooth over the issue, according to both Turkish and American officials briefed on the discussions.

--

That does not sound good. Khashoggi is a US resident. I hope the Trump administration will get to the bottom of this and not just smooth it over.

 

The General

Footballguy
Saw a bit about this this morning. Very sad and super scary. Unfortunately we are the Saudi's #####es and we will do nothing and barely say anything.

 

Don Quixote

Footballguy
I'm not sure if we are allowed to post entire NY Times articles but - 

Turkey Names Saudi Operatives It Says Killed Dissident Journalist

From the article - 

After days of noncommunication, Saudi officials on Tuesday began for the first time to contact Turkish counterparts for secret talks about resolving the matter, and the Saudis have told Washington that they believe they can smooth over the issue, according to both Turkish and American officials briefed on the discussions.

--

That does not sound good. Khashoggi is a US resident. I hope the Trump administration will get to the bottom of this and not just smooth it over.
I hope that is the case as well.  There are things that we can do -- such as stopping arms sales -- that the US could do.  I've seen some senators on both sides of the aisle call for that.

 

timschochet

Footballguy
This is obviously a very disturbing story with far reaching obligations.

It will be easy to blame Trump, but in truth our "alliance" with Saudi Arabia has been going on for decades, and all during that time they have been pulling this sort of crap. It's a dictatorship that treats its people very badly (particularly women and homosexuals) and will clamp down on any one who challenges the regime.  It's worth remembering, too, that all of the 9/11 terrorists originated from Saudi Arabia, and not from Iraq or Iran, as we always try to pretend.

The problem is, we need them. They're a big supplier of our oil, and they use the money they get from it not to improve the conditions of their own people but to buy weapons and aircraft from us, which we need to keep our aerospace industry going. Plus the awful fact that if we ever attempted to undermine the Saudi Princes, they would no doubt be replaced by an Islamist fundamentalist regime.

So knowing all this we will probably try to pretend that this little incident never happened.  And that sucks; it's infuriating.  Yet what would be a better alternative?

 

Don Quixote

Footballguy
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2017_United_States–Saudi_Arabia_arms_deal

The most recent deal is 110 billion dollars.

You stop that deal, and our aerospace industry goes right into the tank.
Obama cancelled an arms sale to Saudi Arabia due to Yemen; so, it's happened in the fairly recent past.  But aren't some things bigger than economics anyway?  I don't let "but what would happen to Smith & Wesson's shareholders/employees" impact my thoughts on gun control, for example.

 

timschochet

Footballguy
Obama cancelled an arms sale to Saudi Arabia due to Yemen; so, it's happened in the fairly recent past.  But aren't some things bigger than economics anyway?  I don't let "but what would happen to Smith & Wesson's shareholders/employees" impact my thoughts on gun control, for example.
I understand. But this isn’t Smith and Wesson we’re talking about. It’s a lot bigger than that, and it will affect whole communities. 

And perhaps it’s worth it anyhow. Perhaps we have to take a stand here. But we need to be aware of the consequences- all of them. 

 

Henry Ford

Footballguy
From the article:

The intelligence about Saudi Arabia’s earlier plans to detain Khashoggi have raised questions about whether the Trump administration should have warned the journalist that he might be in danger.

Intelligence agencies have a “duty to warn” people who might be kidnapped, seriously injured or killed, according to a directive signed in 2015. The obligation applies regardless of whether the person is a U.S. citizen. Khashoggi was a U.S. resident.




A WaPo journalist.  That’s... doubleplus ungood. 

 
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Snorkelson

Footballguy
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Sinn Fein

Footballguy
Linked his Apple Watch to his phone and gave his phone to his girlfriend. Turkey claims to have video and audio of Saudis assassinating an American. Wonder how this plays out.
Exactly how you think it will.

If there is video/audio, the US will have to do something.  But, it will seem much harsher on paper than it will in reality.  We can't be upsetting Kushner's BFF.

 

Sinn Fein

Footballguy
Mr. Kushner declined to discuss the state of his relationship with Prince Mohammed. Behind the scenes, a person familiar with the matter said, he conveyed a letter from the publisher of The Post, Fred Ryan, to Prince Mohammed, expressing concern for Mr. Khashoggi and asking for his help. Mr. Kushner has also taken other unspecified steps, this person said.

Trump administration officials said there were still too many unanswered questions to draw any conclusions about what happened in Istanbul.

Mr. Trump signaled late Wednesday that he thought it was likely that the Saudis did kill Mr. Khashoggi and said that he would be upset if it was confirmed. “I would not be happy at all,” he said in an interview with Fox News. “I guess you would have to say so far it’s looking a little like that.”

But the president expressed reluctance to punish Saudi Arabia by cutting off arms sales, as some in Washington were proposing. “I think that would be hurting us,” he said. “We have jobs we have a lot of things happening in this country.”

This reads like Trump won't do much, and would not have done anything except that he (and everyone else) now knows that the Saudis did this - stupid video.  Kushner and Trump are in so far over their heads...

 
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Snorkelson

Footballguy
Mr. Kushner declined to discuss the state of his relationship with Prince Mohammed. Behind the scenes, a person familiar with the matter said, he conveyed a letter from the publisher of The Post, Fred Ryan, to Prince Mohammed, expressing concern for Mr. Khashoggi and asking for his help. Mr. Kushner has also taken other unspecified steps, this person said.

Trump administration officials said there were still too many unanswered questions to draw any conclusions about what happened in Istanbul.

Mr. Trump signaled late Wednesday that he thought it was likely that the Saudis did kill Mr. Khashoggi and said that he would be upset if it was confirmed. “I would not be happy at all,” he said in an interview with Fox News. “I guess you would have to say so far it’s looking a little like that.”

But the president expressed reluctance to punish Saudi Arabia by cutting off arms sales, as some in Washington were proposing. “I think that would be hurting us,” he said. “We have jobs we have a lot of things happening in this country.”

This reads like Trump won't do much, and would not have done anything except that he (and everyone else) now knows that the Saudis did this - stupid video.  Kushner and Trump are in so far over their heads...
I’ll pay more at the pump to do the right thing here. If there is video of them butchering an American resident and we keep selling them missles and aircraft then we have really lost our way. 

We were just told how much more the world respects us so much when Haley stepped down. Something like “they may not like the way we do things but they respect us now.” They do not. They see an opening on the chessboard and are moving, so is Russia, so is China, so is NK. We’re watching and being told how awesome they all are while pissing on our allies. Hope everyone’s 401k is doing well.

 
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timschochet

Footballguy
I’ll pay more at the pump to do the right thing here. 
Again, you need to recognize that it’s not just paying more at the pump. It’s also a question of American jobs and industry. Plus the concern that if we destabilize the Saudi regime it benefits Iran, plus it threatens eventual replacement of that regime by Islamic fundamentalists. 

This is not necessarily an argument against “doing the right thing”. But we need to be aware of ALL of the consequences. Far too often we rush into this stuff. 

 

Snorkelson

Footballguy
Again, you need to recognize that it’s not just paying more at the pump. It’s also a question of American jobs and industry. Plus the concern that if we destabilize the Saudi regime it benefits Iran, plus it threatens eventual replacement of that regime by Islamic fundamentalists. 

This is not necessarily an argument against “doing the right thing”. But we need to be aware of ALL of the consequences. Far too often we rush into this stuff. 
I’m not saying launch the missles, but we can put pressure on them to act appropriately. I’m sorry but I’m not quite as interested in saving the jobs of arms makers as much as in intrested I’m saving other industries. I’ll admit I’m being a little short sighted here. But video of dismemberment of anyone inside a consulate can’t be ignored. 

Id like to know what the motive is here assuming this is all true. If this was a spy, terrorist, or even some bob Levinson type grab I might understand, or chalk it up to the dirty business of running a government. I mean in levinsons case, we have an ex cia going into Iran and poking around, and he gets captured and imprisoned. It’s shady but I can see why it would happen. Was this retribution for some story he did or for digging he was currently doing? 

 

Don Quixote

Footballguy
I’m not saying launch the missles, but we can put pressure on them to act appropriately. I’m sorry but I’m not quite as interested in saving the jobs of arms makers as much as in intrested I’m saving other industries. I’ll admit I’m being a little short sighted here. But video of dismemberment of anyone inside a consulate can’t be ignored. 

Id like to know what the motive is here assuming this is all true. If this was a spy, terrorist, or even some bob Levinson type grab I might understand, or chalk it up to the dirty business of running a government. I mean in levinsons case, we have an ex cia going into Iran and poking around, and he gets captured and imprisoned. It’s shady but I can see why it would happen. Was this retribution for some story he did or for digging he was currently doing? 
He was becoming a critic, particularly of the crown prince.  Mostly complaining about the repressive actions of the crown prince against his critics, that are, obviously, pretty accurate.  Washington Post put together a small collection of some of his columns.

In case behind a paywall, here's the first one from the collection:

When I speak of the fear, intimidation, arrests and public shaming of intellectuals and religious leaders who dare to speak their minds, and then I tell you that I’m from Saudi Arabia, are you surprised?

With young Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s rise to power, he promised an embrace of social and economic reform. He spoke of making our country more open and tolerant and promised that he would address the things that hold back our progress, such as the ban on women driving.

But all I see now is the recent wave of arrests. Last week, about 30 people were reportedly rounded up by authorities, ahead of the crown prince’s ascension to the throne. Some of the arrested are good friends of mine, and the effort represents the public shaming of intellectuals and religious leaders who dare to express opinions contrary to those of my country’s leadership. …

It was painful for me several years ago when several friends were arrested. I said nothing. I didn’t want to lose my job or my freedom. I worried about my family.

I have made a different choice now. I have left my home, my family and my job, and I am raising my voice. To do otherwise would betray those who languish in prison. I can speak when so many cannot. I want you to know that Saudi Arabia has not always been as it is now. We Saudis deserve better.

 

Ruffrodys05

IBL Representative
Im hoping for the best, correct response from the U.S. here but, I highly doubt it will be anything other than what paints DJT/Kush in the best possible light.

 

Insomniac

Footballguy
If U.S. intelligence knew he was being plotted against and didn't warn him, I want to see some people up on charges.  As high as the knowledge went.
Am I being too cynical to wonder if somebody in the Trump administration approved this action?

 

Don Quixote

Footballguy
Am I being too cynical to wonder if somebody in the Trump administration approved this action?
I doubt there was approval, but MBS may have considered his relationship with Trump/Kushner close enough as a signal that there would be no or little repercussion for it.  Given some of Trump's comments about it that he doesn't want do anything that would hurt the US economy, MBS be right on that.

 
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Shula-holic

Footballguy
This is obviously a very disturbing story with far reaching obligations.

It will be easy to blame Trump, but in truth our "alliance" with Saudi Arabia has been going on for decades, and all during that time they have been pulling this sort of crap. It's a dictatorship that treats its people very badly (particularly women and homosexuals) and will clamp down on any one who challenges the regime.  It's worth remembering, too, that all of the 9/11 terrorists originated from Saudi Arabia, and not from Iraq or Iran, as we always try to pretend.

The problem is, we need them. They're a big supplier of our oil, and they use the money they get from it not to improve the conditions of their own people but to buy weapons and aircraft from us, which we need to keep our aerospace industry going. Plus the awful fact that if we ever attempted to undermine the Saudi Princes, they would no doubt be replaced by an Islamist fundamentalist regime.

So knowing all this we will probably try to pretend that this little incident never happened.  And that sucks; it's infuriating.  Yet what would be a better alternative?
This is all pretty much exactly my sentiments, especially the bolded.  There's no good option for dealing with the Saudis.

 

Don Quixote

Footballguy
Well, we see where Trump's priorities are....

Abby D. Phillip
@abbydphillip

Trump indicates to reporters in the Oval moments ago that he opposes stopping arms sales to Saudi Arabia: "I don’t like stopping massive amounts of money coming into our country ... I don’t like stopping an investment of $110 billion in the United States."

11:52 AM - 11 Oct 2018

 

Ruffrodys05

IBL Representative
Ruffrodys05 said:
Im hoping for the best, correct response from the U.S. here but, I highly doubt it will be anything other than what paints DJT/Kush in the best possible light.


Well, we see where Trump's priorities are....

Abby D. Phillip
@abbydphillip

Trump indicates to reporters in the Oval moments ago that he opposes stopping arms sales to Saudi Arabia: "I don’t like stopping massive amounts of money coming into our country ... I don’t like stopping an investment of $110 billion in the United States."

11:52 AM - 11 Oct 2018
Bingo!

 

toshiba

Footballguy
Ruffrodys05 said:
Im hoping for the best, correct response from the U.S. here but, I highly doubt it will be anything other than what paints DJT/Kush in the best possible light.


Well, we see where Trump's priorities are....

Abby D. Phillip
@abbydphillip

Trump indicates to reporters in the Oval moments ago that he opposes stopping arms sales to Saudi Arabia: "I don’t like stopping massive amounts of money coming into our country ... I don’t like stopping an investment of $110 billion in the United States."

11:52 AM - 11 Oct 2018
Bingo!
Let's continue to allow the Saudis to kill civilians in Yemen 

 

TobiasFunke

Footballguy
timschochet said:
This is obviously a very disturbing story with far reaching obligations.

It will be easy to blame Trump, but in truth our "alliance" with Saudi Arabia has been going on for decades, and all during that time they have been pulling this sort of crap. It's a dictatorship that treats its people very badly (particularly women and homosexuals) and will clamp down on any one who challenges the regime.  It's worth remembering, too, that all of the 9/11 terrorists originated from Saudi Arabia, and not from Iraq or Iran, as we always try to pretend.

The problem is, we need them. They're a big supplier of our oil, and they use the money they get from it not to improve the conditions of their own people but to buy weapons and aircraft from us, which we need to keep our aerospace industry going. Plus the awful fact that if we ever attempted to undermine the Saudi Princes, they would no doubt be replaced by an Islamist fundamentalist regime.

So knowing all this we will probably try to pretend that this little incident never happened.  And that sucks; it's infuriating.  Yet what would be a better alternative?
I'm not an expert, so I'm wondering if you or anyone else can help me with two questions I have here:

1.  Surely there are measures we can take that would make clear that this behavior won't be tolerated that fall short of undermining the current Saudi leadership to the point where a replacement would have an opening? If so, what would they be?

2.  I'm troubled by the description of this as a "little incident." All murders are tragic, but from a policy standpoint they are not at all equal. For example, murders where the perpetrator or the victim was on-duty law enforcement have a broader significance. We focus a spotlight on both of these, because failure to do so would have impacts far beyond a single loss of life. This seems to be to be one of those cases, yes? If Americans allow foreign powers to get away with murdering dissident journalists- including US residents working for US media- it silences dissent and the free press and empowers murderous regimes. Am I missing something?

 
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Sinn Fein

Footballguy
Insomniac said:
Am I being too cynical to wonder if somebody in the Trump administration approved this action?
My rudimentary understanding is that this was an rendition plot gone bad - with the drugs supposed to sedate Khashoggi, instead killing him.

If that were the case, I could see someone in the Trump administration either signing off on that plan, or at least promising to look the other way.  

It does appear that this has been nothing but keystone kops since it went down though.  Saudi's look bad - not just for the killing, but also for the cover-up.  We look bad, by allowing the Saudi's to cover it up - we are almost complicit in this by "demanding" that the Saudi's cooperate with the investigation, when it seems that everyone who needs to know what happened already knows what happened.

But, if we do nothing here - then what do we stand for as a nation?  Money is more important than human rights?  Sad.

 

timschochet

Footballguy
I'm not an expert, so I'm wondering if you or anyone else can help me with two questions I have here:

1.  Surely there are measures we can take that would make clear that this behavior won't be tolerated that fall short of undermining the current Saudi leadership to the point where a replacement would have an opening? If so, what would they be?

2.  I'm troubled by the description of this as a "little incident." All murders are tragic, but from a policy standpoint they are not at all equal. For example, murders where the perpetrator or the victim was on-duty law enforcement have a broader significance. We focus a spotlight on both of these, because failure to do so would have impacts far beyond a single loss of life. This seems to be to be one of those cases, yes? If Americans allow foreign powers to get away with murdering dissident journalists- including US residents working for US media- it silences dissent and the free press and empowers murderous regimes. Am I missing something?
1. I have no idea, which is why I posted what I did. I’m open to suggestions. But i predict we do nothing significant. 

2. You are not. My use of the phrase “little incident” was meant to be ironic, and a critique of how it will be treated. I agree with your perspective of its importance. 

 

timschochet

Footballguy
But, if we do nothing here - then what do we stand for as a nation?  Money is more important than human rights?  Sad.
At no time during our history have we ever been anything but extremely selective regarding our reaction to human rights violations both in this country and outside of it. 

 

SoBeDad

Footballguy
At no time during our history have we ever been anything but extremely selective regarding our reaction to human rights violations both in this country and outside of it. 
There are multiple examples of this in Latin America. FDR, regarding the first Somoza in power in Nicaragua, supposed said that he was an SOB, but he's our SOB. 

 

Insomniac

Footballguy
My rudimentary understanding is that this was an rendition plot gone bad - with the drugs supposed to sedate Khashoggi, instead killing him.

If that were the case, I could see someone in the Trump administration either signing off on that plan, or at least promising to look the other way.  

It does appear that this has been nothing but keystone kops since it went down though.  Saudi's look bad - not just for the killing, but also for the cover-up.  We look bad, by allowing the Saudi's to cover it up - we are almost complicit in this by "demanding" that the Saudi's cooperate with the investigation, when it seems that everyone who needs to know what happened already knows what happened.

But, if we do nothing here - then what do we stand for as a nation?  Money is more important than human rights?  Sad.
If US Intelligence knew this guy was going to be kidnapped (or murdered) and did nothing to warn him then everyone involved in that decison needs to be sent to prison. Nothing of the sort will happen.  It really wouldn't surprise me if Trump himself gave the OK  just because the guy worked for the Washington Post. That'll show Jeff Bezos.

 

Henry Ford

Footballguy
If US Intelligence knew this guy was going to be kidnapped (or murdered) and did nothing to warn him then everyone involved in that decison needs to be sent to prison. Nothing of the sort will happen.  It really wouldn't surprise me if Trump himself gave the OK  just because the guy worked for the Washington Post. That'll show Jeff Bezos.
I really, really don't want to believe that's even possible.  

 

squistion

Footballguy
Brian Klaas‏Verified account @brianklaas 10m10 minutes ago

Trump’s deep conflicts of interest & financial dealings with the Saudis “raises the disturbing possibility that Saudi Arabia will get away with the abduction or murder of a journalist because the president is beholden to Saudi money.”

My column:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/democracy-post/wp/2018/10/10/jamal-khashoggis-fate-casts-a-harsh-light-on-trumps-friendship-with-saudi-arabia/?utm_term=.c22d18cbd60f&noredirect=on

 

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