The Jury Talks Back


Saudi Prosecutor: OK, Fine, Khashoggi Was Murdered — but MBS Wasn’t Involved! Really!

Filed under: Uncategorized — Patterico @ 8:05 am

Incredibly, it turns out that Jamal Khashoggi was murdered and dismembered in the consulate, just like all rational people already believed.

Saudi Arabia’s public prosecutor released the findings of a long-awaited investigation of the death of journalist Jamal Khashoggi on Thursday, saying that a team of Saudi agents who had been dispatched to Istanbul with orders to bring him home alive had instead killed the journalist and dismembered his body.

Saudi Arabia’s crown prince had no knowledge of the operation, Shaalan al-Shaalan, a spokesman for the prosecutor, said at a news conference in Riyadh, the Saudi capital.

He said that 11 suspects had been indicted and that authorities were seeking the death penalty for five of them. The order to kill Khashoggi, who had criticized the Saudi monarchy over the past year, had come from the leader of the Saudi team in Istanbul, Shaalan said without naming any of the suspects.

I was repeatedly told that this couldn’t be true because the evidence came from Turkey and Turkey can’t be trusted. But while it’s true that Turkey can’t be trusted, the evidence was still clear. People need to develop the habit of looking at evidence for what it is, and not discounting clear conclusions with corroborating evidence just because they don’t like the source.

By the way, if you believe the Saudi prosecutor’s version of events, or think that Mohammed bin Salman did not give the order, you a chump sucka.


  1. You are right, but there are far too many people who will say you are wrong.

    Comment by DRJ — 11/15/2018 @ 8:32 am

  2. Next you’ll tell us that Hirohito was improperly cleared of complicity in crimes committed by the armed forces of Imperial Japan because the prosecutors allowed witnesses to collude in their testimony.

    A previous thread included mention of historic temptations to choose between isolationism and ‘our values’. Isolation is a grand strategic option, chosen from lists that include things like ’empire’ partly for pragmatic reasons, partly for reasons of the values of the people involved.

    Pertinent question is ‘our values according to whom?’ If we believed Zinn, then our values would definitely include being happy to torture and murder prisoners. Meade is saner and more honest than Zinn, and identifies Wilsonian, Hamiltonian, Jeffersonian and Jacksonian schools of thought in American foreign policy.

    I have two core assertions here. 1) That what we can say are ‘our values’ is a much smaller category than many assume. That Americans have huge differences from each other, that we largely have not truly studied the processes that made us, and that the conventional ‘uniform whiteness’ model narratives hide more than they illuminate. 2) That ‘our allies have to have laws and customs similar to ours’ is a grand strategic choice with implications that don’t appear to be articulated here. I think these options amount to being by far the worse choice.

    Editing things shorter: I am largely opposed to international law. World cultures are not uniform. Culture underpins the implementations of governments. International law is least destructive and absurd when used as a mask for naked force, with the actual decisions being made for expedience.

    *I am convinced there is a fundamental difference between the two. But that is off topic, even for me.

    Comment by BobtheRegisterredFool — 11/16/2018 @ 6:05 pm

  3. Note: the footnote was an orphan of a previous version of the comment. It was referenced in a parenthetical aside, and I had very much lost track of things.

    Comment by BobtheRegisterredFool — 11/16/2018 @ 6:08 pm

  4. Patterico, if I’m one of the people you’re referring to, my comments were that we can’t trust the Turks OR the Saudis.

    You say the evidence provided by the Turks was clear. That’s a rather interesting claim, because unless I’m mistaken (I may well be), the only actual evidence they actually provided (as opposed to claimed to have) was some CCTV stills of a man who looked similar to Kashoggi entering what appeared to be the Saudi consulate.

    That’s what we knew, then, and it was far from convincing. My issue was with the hysterical rush to judgment from so many quarters. What was the hurry? What difference would a few days make?

    Now, the CIA is saying the crown prince ordered it. Not based on direct evidence, but on how the Saudis usually operate. I’d say they are probably right. Now, the evidence is pretty clear. In the early days of this, it was far from it.

    Comment by Arizona CJ — 11/16/2018 @ 8:41 pm

  5. You say the evidence provided by the Turks was clear.

    No I didn’t. I said the evidence was clear.

    All along I noted that there was evidence beyond that provided by Turkey.

    Comment by Patterico — 11/16/2018 @ 8:59 pm

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