The Jury Talks Back

10/10/2018

Turkish Government: Saudi Government Killed and Dismembered Dissident in Their Consulate

Filed under: Uncategorized — Patterico @ 7:59 am

A Saudi dissent who had harshly criticized the current Saudi regime on the pages of the Washington Post was murdered in a Saudi Consulate in Turkey and dismembered with a bone saw, according to anonymous sources in the Turkish government. They are blaming the Saudi government. New York Times:

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.

The officials aren’t releasing their evidence; to do so would likely put sources and methods at risk. But we do know that 15 Saudi agents arrived by airplane and left again by airplane after a few hours. They were all Saudi government or security personnel, and one was an autopsy expert who would presumably know how to wield a bone saw. Many are claiming that there is video of the killing, which would not be surprising, given where it occurred:

Another person briefed on the matter, speaking on condition of anonymity to disclose confidential details, told The Times on Saturday that Turkish intelligence had obtained a video of the killing, made by the Saudis to prove that it had occurred.

A commentator close to Mr. Erdogan’s government said so publicly on Tuesday.

“There is a video of the moment of him being killed,” Kemal Ozturk, a columnist in a pro-government newspaper and the former head of a semiofficial news agency, said in an interview on a pro-government television network, citing unnamed security officials.

Khashoggi wrote columns for the Washington Post for about a year. Here’s an example of his writing:

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.

Why would Khashoggi enter the Saudi Consulate after writing things like that? He had to get a document so that he could be married.

I am a little more than halfway through Infidel, the autobiography of Ayaan Hirsi Ali, a true heroine (can I say heroine?) for feminism — and someone who has been pilloried by “feminists” in America. The book describes Hirsi Ali’s upbringing in Somalia, Ethiopia, Kenya, and Saudi Arabia. The oppression of women she describes in Saudi Arabia is vivid and maddening. It’s a barbaric society.

Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman was thought to be a reformer who would change all of that. After all, he will let women drive! And Foreign Policy Expert Jared Kushner is reportedly quite taken with him. (And Crown Prince Mohammed is reported taken with the notion that Kushner is “in his pocket.“) But Crown Prince Mohammed has also notably arrested journalists, activists, and dissidents in typical authoritarian style. (Hey, you have to be tough!) And let’s not get carried away with the notion of what a “reformer” he is. He has done nothing to eliminate that aspect of society described in “Infidel” wherein women are under the guardianship of men and cannot do anything meaningful without their permission. Honor killings and stonings continue unabated. Saudi society is still medieval Islamism through and through.

The reported murder and dismemberment of Khashoggi is a reminder of the barbarism of our good friends the Saudis. Let’s try not to forget it.

5 Comments »

  1. Erdogan is an islamist dictator and an outright thug, so his regime is far from a credible source.

    The Saudis, likewise, are islamist thugs, so not credible either.

    Killing someone while they are making a known visit to your consulate is pretty much unheard of, ever, for a reason; it makes no sense. If a country wants someone dead, there are much easier ways, and more importantly, ways less prone to backfire.

    So, my take; there’s something big we aren’t seeing. My hunch would be to look at who stands to gain. Turkey stands to gain a lot in this, if it causes a rift between Saudi and the US. Turkey is, after all, in a quasi standoff with Saudi in Qatar.

    Or, maybe China; they did abduct (and likely kill) the head of Interpol a week or so ago, and this makes for a useful distraction.

    Comment by Arizona CJ — 10/10/2018 @ 11:05 pm

  2. I believe it but ultimately it doesn’t matter, because we need the Saudis (just like we needed the Soviets in WWII). But needing someone should not stop us from speaking out about humanitarian concerns. Nations don’t typically ignore their national interests because other nations criticize them, but there is a chance they will think twice about how it looks and change their behavior.

    Comment by DRJ — 10/12/2018 @ 3:13 pm

  3. Of course it matters specially if it’s false, al queda, Islamic State is just waiting to pounce, so where did this story originate and how did it get to the us media, without little scrutiny.

    Comment by Narciso — 10/12/2018 @ 9:14 pm

  4. Do you doubt he went to the Embassy and then disappeared? Whether he is dead or being held against his will matters to his family but the difference doesn’t matter to the US. Both are humanitarian concerns.

    Comment by DRJ — 10/13/2018 @ 6:53 am

  5. Well in point of fact, there are indications he did leave, about 20 minutes later, the watch story is improbable. The sourcing is very dubious.

    Comment by narciso — 10/13/2018 @ 9:10 pm

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