The Jury Talks Back


Saudis Issue Laughable Story: Khashoggi Died in a Fistfight

Filed under: Uncategorized — Patterico @ 5:52 pm

Honestly, if you’re still spouting Saudi propaganda at this point, you’re beyond hope.

Saudi Arabia said Saturday that Jamal Khashoggi, the dissident Saudi journalist who disappeared more than two weeks ago, had died after an argument and fistfight with unidentified men inside the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul.

Eighteen men have been arrested and are being investigated in the case, Saudi state-run media reported without identifying any of them.

State media also reported that Maj. Gen. Ahmed al-Assiri, the deputy director of Saudi intelligence, and other high-ranking intelligence officials had been dismissed. They did not say whether the men’s firing had any connection to the Khashoggi case or whether they were being investigated for playing a role in it.

Gee, I thought the story was that the Saudis had no idea about this guy never leaving the embassy. Remember what MBS told Bloomberg?

Bloomberg: He went into the Saudi consulate.

MBS: My understanding is he entered and he got out after a few minutes or one hour. I’m not sure. We are investigating this through the foreign ministry to see exactly what happened at that time.

Oops! Guess not.

This new “fistfight” story is a Trumpist sort of story, in the sense that the Saudis clearly don’t care whether people believe it. It is a lie of the sort Trump tells on a regular basis, where he doesn’t even bother to try to make it plausible or reconcile it with his past statements. He just says whatever the hell he feels like saying, and expects his dupes to twist themselves into knots to claim he’s right.

And they do, every time. And the same dupes will claim this story makes sense.

The rest of the world — those of us with at least two brain cells to rub together — not only have no trouble seeing through this, we also have no trouble laughing out loud at how utterly implausible it is.

As Columbo would say, scratching his head and turning around just as it seemed like he was going to leave:

Um, guys?

Where’s the body?

The Saudi statement did not address many of the questions raised by the Turkish investigation, such as the identities of the 15 suspects in Mr. Khashoggi’s killing and whether they were among the 18 people the Saudis said they had arrested.

All 15 were identified by name and Turkish newspapers published their photographs. The New York Times established that most of them were employed by the Saudi military or security services and that at least four had traveled with the crown prince as part of his security detail.

Nor did the Saudi announcement say what had become of Mr. Khasoggi’s body. The Turks had said it had been disassembled with a bone saw by an autopsy specialist flown in specifically for the purpose and likely carried out of the consulate in large suitcases.

Where’s the body, MBS?

Where’s the body?


  1. As I said in the prior thread, I distrust the Saudis as much as I distrust the Turks.

    Therefor, I’m certainly not going to take anything the Saudis say as factual, and more than I would the Turks. The caveat is that for them to make this claim, I think they were involved somehow in whatever occurred.

    I think Patterico’s question of “Where’s the body” is a good one. I’d also add “In how many pieces is it?”

    I also think we should look at the possibility that this is a power play, perhaps to remove MBS. The internal scheming of the Saudi royal family make “Game of thrones” look civil in comparison.

    Comment by Arizona CJ — 10/19/2018 @ 9:05 pm

  2. Trump supporters may like the Saudi approach:

    “Some brothers blame me for what they view as harshness. But everything has its time, and talk these days requires such language.”

    This isn’t much different than Trump’s attitude toward tough talk, bullying, and unilateral tough action.

    Comment by DRJ — 10/20/2018 @ 10:38 am

  3. After 9/11, Bush used tough talk but he believed in working with as many allies as he could get.

    Comment by DRJ — 10/20/2018 @ 10:40 am

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