Changing Saudi Narratives on Jamal Khashoggi’s Murder
Ruling Saudi officials can never be trusted, shifting blame to others for regime high crimes – the most horrendous among Arab world states, the region infested with despots, Riyadh leadership most ruthless of all.
Saudis changed the official narrative about Khashoggi’s disappearance several times – from leaving the kingdom’s Istanbul consulate unharmed, to a fist fight/brawl causing his accidental death, to an interrogation gone wrong killing him, to premeditated murder.
Changing explanations for the past month shielded crown prince Mohammad bin Salman (MBS) from responsibility for what he clearly ordered.
Claiming his noninvolvement in what happened defies growing evidence and cold hard logic otherwise.
He’s de facto Saudi ruler, authority passed to him by his father king Salman. Nothing of importance happens in the kingdom without his authorization or approval.
No one dares circumventing his power, going their own way, risking the same fate as Khashoggi.
On Wednesday, Istanbul’s chief prosecutor Irfan Fidan said he was strangled to death straightaway after entering the Istanbul consulate, his body dismembered for disposal – calling his murder “premeditated” by the Saudi regime.
Despite promising transparency and cooperation with Turkey, Riyadh coverup continues. Calling Khashoggi’s death a “terrible mistake,” a “terrible tragedy” belies well-planned premeditated murder.
An unnamed Turkish official said biological evidence discovered in the Istanbul consulate garden indicates Khashoggi’s body was disposed of close to where he was killed and dismembered. No burial occurred.
Ankara believes his body may have been dissolved in acid on the Istanbul consulate’s grounds or at the Saudi consul general’s residence – destroying evidence of how he was murdered.
Three days of talks between Riyadh’s chief prosecutor and his Istanbul counterpart produced no concrete results. Saudi stonewalling continues, eager only to learn what Ankara knows about the incident.
Turkish journalist Abdulkadir Selvi said “(t)he Saudi prosecutor who visited Istanbul has locked the case instead of shining a light on the murder.”
On Thursday, Turkish Justice Minister Abdulhamit Gul demanded Saudi cooperation in providing answers about Khashoggi’s murder so far not forthcoming – accusing the kingdom of coverup.
The US and UK saying they intend pushing Saudi Arabia to improve its human rights record belies ignoring its horrendous abuses internally and abroad for decades.
Dirty business as usual with the kingdom continues unchanged – by America, Britain, and virtually all other countries.
Khashoggi’s brutal murder didn’t change a thing. It’s a drop in the ocean compared to the highest of kingdom high crimes.
A Final Comment
According to the neocon/CIA-connected Washington Post, where Khashoggi was a contributing columnist, MBS lied, calling him a dangerous Islamist in a phone conversation with John Bolton and Jared Kushner – days after his disappearance, before Riyadh admitted he was murdered in its Istanbul consulate.
In September, Saudi ambassador to the United States Khalid bin Salman called Khashoggi a “friend,” dedicating “a great portion of his life to serv(ing) his country.”
A statement by his family to WaPo debunked MBS’ vilification, saying “ Khashoggi was not a dangerous person in any way possible. To claim otherwise would be ridiculous.”
Former CIA official Bruce Riedel said MBS’ attempted “character assassination added to premeditated murder.”
My newest book as editor and contributor is titled “Flashpoint in Ukraine: How the US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III.”