Khashoggi Was No Critic of Saudi Regime

Jamal Khashoggi, the Saudi journalist, who disappeared in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul last week is not quite the critic of the Saudi regime that the Western media says he is, writes As’ad AbuKhalil.

By As`ad AbuKhalil
Special to Consortium News

The disappearance of Jamal Khashoggi, the Saudi journalist, in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul last week has generated huge international publicity, but unsurprisingly, little in Saudi-controlled, Arab media. The Washington Post, for whom Khashoggi wrote, and other Western media, have kept the story alive, increasing the pressure on Riyadh to explain its role in the affair.

It’s been odd to read about Khashoggi in Western media. David Hirst in The Guardian claimed Khashoggi merely cared about absolutes such as “truth, democracy, and freedom”. Human Rights Watch’s director described him as representing “outspoken and critical journalism.”

But did he pursue those absolutes while working for Saudi princes?

Khashoggi was a loyal member of the Saudi propaganda apparatus. There is no journalism allowed in the kingdom: there have been courageous Saudi women and men who attempted to crack the wall of rigid political conformity and were persecuted and punished for their views. Khashoggi was not among them.

Some writers suffered while Khashoggi was their boss at Al-Watan newspaper. Khashoggi—contrary to what is being written—was never punished by the regime, except lightly two years ago, when Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MbS) banned him from tweeting and writing for Al-Hayat, the London-based, pan-Arab newspaper owned by Saudi Prince Khalid bin Sultan.

By historical contrast, Nasir As-Sa`id was a courageous secular Arab Nationalist writer who fled the kingdom in 1956 and settled in Cairo, and then Beirut. He authored a massive (though tabloid-like) volume about the history of the House of Saud. He was unrelenting in his attacks against the Saudi royal family.

For this, the Saudi regime paid a corrupt PLO leader in Beirut (Abu Az-Za`im, tied to Jordanian intelligence) to get rid of As-Sa`id. He kidnapped As-Sa`id from a crowded Beirut street in 1979 and delivered him to the Saudi embassy there. He was presumably tortured and killed (some say his body was tossed from a plane over the “empty quarter” desert in Saudi Arabia). Such is the track record of the regime.

Finding the Right Prince

Khashoggi: Eager to please (April Brady/Project on Middle East Democracy)

Khashoggi was an ambitious young reporter who knew that to rise in Saudi journalism you don’t need professionalism, courage, or ethics. In Saudi Arabia, you need to attach yourself to the right prince. Early on, Khashoggi became close to two of them: Prince Turki Al-Faysal (who headed Saudi intelligence) and his brother, Prince Khalid Al-Faysal, who owned Al-Watan (The Motherland) where Khashoggi had his first (Arabic) editing job.

Khashoggi distinguished himself with an eagerness to please and an uncanny ability to adjust his views to those of the prevailing government. In the era of anti-Communism and the promotion of fanatical jihad in Afghanistan and elsewhere, Khashoggi was a true believer. He fought with Osama bin Laden and promoted the cause of the Mujahideen.

The Washington Post‘s David Ignatius and others want to embellish this by implying that he was an “embedded” reporter—as if bin Laden’s army would invite independent journalists to report on their war efforts. The entire project of covering the Afghan Mujahideen and promoting them in the Saudi press was the work of the chief of Saudi intelligence, Prince Turki, Khashoggi’s principal patron-prince.

Western media coverage of Khashoggi’s career (by people who don’t know Arabic) presents a picture far from reality. They portray a courageous investigative journalist upsetting the Saudi regime. Nothing is further from the truth: there is no journalism in Saudi Arabia; there is only crude and naked propaganda.

Editors are trusted individuals who have demonstrated long-time loyalty. Khashoggi admitted to an Arab reporter last year in an interview from Istanbul that in Saudi Arabia he had been both editor and censor. Editors of Saudi regime papers (mouthpieces of princes and kings) enforce government rules and eliminate objectionable material.

Khashoggi never spoke out for Saudis in distress. He ran into trouble in two stints as Al-Watan editor because of articles he published by other writers, not by himself, that were mildly critical of the conservative religious establishment—which he at times supported. He was relocated to another government media job— to shield him from the religious authorities.

Khashoggi was the go-to man for Western journalists covering the kingdom, appointed to do so by the regime. He may have been pleasant in conversation with reporters but he never questioned the royal legitimacy. And that goes for his brief one-year stint in Washington writing for the Post.

A Reactionary

Turki: Khashoggi’s prince. (Wikipedia)

Khashoggi was a reactionary: he supported all monarchies and sultanates in the region and contended they were “reformable.” To him, only the secular republics, in tense relations with the Saudis, such as Iraq, Syria and Libya, defied reform and needed to be overthrown. He favored Islamization of Arab politics along Muslim Brotherhood lines.

Khashoggi’s vision was an “Arab uprising” led by the Saudi regime. In his Arabic writings he backed MbS’s “reforms” and even his “war on corruption,” derided in the region and beyond. He thought that MbS’s arrests of the princes in the Ritz were legitimate (though he mildly criticized them in a Post column) even as his last sponsoring prince, Al-Walid bin Talal, was locked up in the luxury hotel. Khashoggi even wanted to be an advisor to MbS, who did not trust him and turned him down.

Writing in the Post (with an Arabic version) Khashoggi came across as a liberal Democrat favoring democracy and reform. But he didn’t challenge Saudi regime legitimacy or Western Mideast policy. Mainstream journalists were enamored with him. They saw him as an agreeable Arab who didn’t criticize their coverage of the region, but praised it, considering the mainstream U.S. press the epitome of professional journalism. Khashoggi was essentially a token Arab writing for a paper with a regrettable record of misrepresenting Arabs.

In Arabic, his Islamist sympathies with Turkey and the Muslim Brotherhood (Ikhwan) were unmistakable. Forgotten or little known in the West is that during the Cold War the Saudis sponsored, funded, and nurtured the Muslim Brotherhood as a weapon against the progressive, secular camp led by Egypt’s Gamal Abdel Nasser. Ikhwan controlled the Saudi educational system raising Saudi students to admire the Brotherhood. But Sep. 11 changed the Saudi calculus: the rulers wanted a scapegoat for their role in sponsoring Islamist fanaticism and the Ikhwan was the perfect target. That made Khashoggi suspect too.

Hints Against Him

Recent articles in the Saudi press hinted that the regime might move against him.He had lost his patrons but the notion that Khashoggi was about to launch an Arab opposition party was not credible. The real crime was that Khashoggi was backed alone by Ikhwan supporters, namely the Qatari regime and the Turkish government.

A writer in Okaz, a daily in Jeddah, accused him of meeting with the Emir of Qatar at the Four Seasons Hotel in New York and of having ties to “regional and international intelligence services.” If true it may have sealed his fate. Qatar is now the number one enemy of the Saudi regime—arguably worse than Iran.

Khashoggi was treated as a defector and one isn’t allowed to defect from the Saudi Establishment. The last senior defections were back in 1962, when Prince Talal and Prince Badr joined Nasser’s Arab nationalist movement in Egypt.

Khashoggi had to be punished in a way that would send shivers down the spine of other would-be defectors.

As’ad AbuKhalil is a Lebanese-American professor of political science at California State University, Stanislaus. He is the author of the Historical Dictionary of Lebanon (1998), Bin Laden, Islam and America’s New “War on Terrorism” (2002), and The Battle for Saudi Arabia (2004). He also runs the popular blog The Angry Arab News Service.

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134 comments for “Khashoggi Was No Critic of Saudi Regime

  1. lucian
    October 24, 2018 at 13:01

    In my opinion, the killing of a journalist in an area where there is a huge loss in the profession every year, and the magnification indicates a goal beyond the death of a journalist. After the announcement, the German government announced it would stop the sale of arms to Saudi Arabia, and some of the other European countries, too.
    How was the chip on the media? In my opinion, Khashaghchi was the one who, in the coverage of the reporter, was engaged in the Sharif-based arms deal for Middle Eastern countries, and the loss of such a person through extensive contacts with Gulf states and northern African countries and militant groups for weapons manufacturers, such as Germany and the United States Heavy has been.

  2. October 23, 2018 at 01:38

    Here’s your answer to the Khashoggi riddle:

    Opinion | To Stop Iran’s Bomb, Bomb Iran – The New York Times…/opinion/to-stop-irans-bomb-bomb-iran.html vs
    Islamization of Arab politics along Muslim Brotherhood lines. It don’t mix at all
    with Brexit and MI7. “W” said it well “United we stand against Islam” It’s costly
    but the oil will pay for it.

  3. October 20, 2018 at 11:34

    It will be of continuing interest to see whether the phony story Saudi Arabia has put out – and Trump has warmly embraced – will be able to stand.

    Anyone who thinks about just the facts we know, understands that it simply cannot be true.

    But we do now live in a nightmarish world where fairly obvious lies are regularly solemnly recited and supported when they have a bearing on American imperial power. We see Theresa May’s contrived Skripal Affair, America’s “Israel’s Army is showing restraint,” American forces openly encamped in Eastern Syria where they have no business, America’s insane mantra about Russia and influencing the election, etc, etc, etc.

    Interestingly, here is a new bit of information. I think Khashoggi, in his last interview, makes it clear what his killer’s motives were, blindingly clear:

    For those interested, here is my summary, written just before the phony announcement from Saudi Arabia, of the situation.

    • Hank
      October 25, 2018 at 10:12

      You left out the biggest lie of all- 911.

  4. hjs
    October 19, 2018 at 19:50

    Meanwhile in the north-eastern parts of Syria that are illegally occupied by US forces…

    The Associated Press,
    Moscow Friday, 19 October 2018

    Russian President Vladimir Putin says ISIS in Syria have recently seized some 700 people as hostages and are carrying out executions.
    At an international policy forum in Sochi on Thursday, Putin said “they have been recently expanding their area and took about 130 families hostage, which accounts for about 700 people.”
    Putin said the militants have put forth demands, which he did not specify, and have warned that they would kill 10 people a day if the demands are not met.
    “They killed 10 people the day before yesterday,” he said. “They are now carrying out their threats.”
    State news agency Tass Wednesday cited an unnamed “diplomatic-military source” as saying the hostages were seized in a raid on a refugee camp and were demanding Syria free ISIS members.

  5. Brian James
    October 19, 2018 at 15:32

    Oct 18, 2018 What the Media Is Not Telling You About Khashoggi The Missing Journalist

    In this video, we give you the latest breaking news on what the media is not telling you about Jamal Khashoggi

    • christina r garcia
      October 19, 2018 at 22:28

      October 19 2018
      The Saudies or the official Saudi Arabia let the news out that indeed Khashoggi was killed. In Turkey. At the Saudi consulate. Who you gonna believe, me or your lyin’ eyes? Thank you Richard Pryor. Apparently an older, over weight man got in a fisticufff and wound up dead. sound about right to me

  6. Irena Varjabedian
    October 19, 2018 at 13:24

    Great article. Thanks for the info

    • October 19, 2018 at 14:09

      “The history of warfare is similarly subdivided, although here the phases are Retribution, Anticipation, and Diplomacy.
      Retribution: I’m going to kill you because you killed my brother.
      Anticipation: I’m going to kill you because I killed your brother.
      Diplomacy: I’m going to kill my brother and then kill you on the pretext that your brother did it.”.

      – Douglas Adams, “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy”

  7. Alex Mcmahon
    October 19, 2018 at 10:28

    “Khashoggi even wanted to be an advisor to MbS, who did not trust him and turned him down.” the artikle that you cited for this claim says exactly the opposite. It is Khashoggi who declined the offer from the Saudis “Khashoggi, however, was skeptical of the offers. He told one friend that the Saudi government would never make good on its promises not to harm him.”

  8. October 18, 2018 at 21:35

    All any of are, is our integrity. Village wisdom has it that when we give up our word, we have basically given up a life. Commoditizing integrity to the extent that is now the norm, to where we can readily turn a blind eye to kidnapping murder and even dismemberment of a US journalist, justifying further arms profits in this volatile region.
    The varying and contrasting value sets, (or lack thereof) of all our world leaders is on full display for us all to view. The magnetic flux lines in political polarization are stressed like never before. In a world with its operating system integrity so compromised, the crash is pretty much inevitable. The American concept of “bringers of democracy” is shown as only shoddy cover to dominate, control the theft of resources and is seen for what it is.
    Unappreciated in the west, the Russians adopted a much upgraded social operating system transferred to Russia by Barbara Marx Hubbard and Dr. Vernon Wolf, in the advanced quantum integrated Holodynamics technology. Seeing the leveraged advantages of Holodaynamics social operating system Russia implemented it country wide and are kicking ass taking names for doing so. Come on folks, quantum mechanics has been on the blackboard since the 20’s, isn’t it time to get it on the kitchen table. Hello!
    It is not the horrifying capabilities of the Russian S -700 the west should be concerned about, it’s the superior Russian integrity value set that will inevitably prevail.

  9. Will
    October 18, 2018 at 20:24

    Since he was “no critic of the Saudi Regime ” I guess he deserved to have his fingers cut off and his body reduced to small enough parts to fit in a suitcase…but the more interesting part is the part where it would appear that the trumpers saw intelligence that suggested that this was likely to happen but they did nothing to warn this guy and are currently telegraphing their desire to keep business between the US, the prince, Trump’s hotel business, Kushner, and Lockheed Martin,Boeing rolling along like always.

  10. doray
    October 17, 2018 at 18:54

    Thanks for the informative article. It looks like this issue too, is a weapon of mass distraction.
    America didn’t give a rat’s ass about us helping the Saudis bomb a busload of innocent children to bits, and it won’t give a rat’s ass about them allegedly murdering a journalist, just like it doesn’t give a rat’s ass about Julian Assange being imprisoned for telling the truth about the US and its atrocities. (Remember the Collateral Murder video?)
    The patriarchal religions have us on the brink of planetary destruction in the name of righteousness. The US, Saudi Arabia, and Israel slaughter whomever they want, wherever they want, for whatever reason they want with impunity, on a regular basis, and this guy is no exception.

    • Irena Varjabedian
      October 19, 2018 at 13:26

      So true

  11. Den Lille Abe
    October 17, 2018 at 12:15

    This case is murky. The Turkish explanation clearly contradicts the Saudi Arabian, but that is to expect considering their relations.
    Qui bono ? Well Russia gains, but I suppose it is to farfetched to concoct a story with a Russian hit Squad…
    Even the Guardian could not make this up.
    If the Saud’s did it, bad plan, very baaaad plan, as idiotic as the Skripal thingie, nobody and no one can be that incompetent!

    “Ok , once he gets inside we beat him, drug him and put him on a table and dismember him!
    Aint that gonna make a mess ?
    We will just repaint the consulate and spray toxin on the walls!
    Is that a good idea ? And what about the body parts ?
    We carry him out in diplomatic bags!
    So we will fly out with parts of a dead man in our luggage ?
    Yes basically!”
    This sounds like a horror movie script and not the playbook from a feared and effective intelligence agency. It does simply not add up.
    Trumps tweets about something gone wrong are below imbecile, they are not even a stupid level.
    But the turks seem confident, and if true they have Saudi Arabia in a vice.
    Of course unless two Russians were in Istanbul at the same time :)

  12. October 17, 2018 at 10:36

    Here is a summary of the known facts. They come from several major newspaper reports which I have consolidated.

    The Turks have recordings – audio ones from inside the Saudi Consulate and video from security cameras outside – and they know exactly what happened, and they know the identities of the perpetrators.

    A 15-man squad, all from the Crown Prince’s personal security detail, arrived to do the job.

    Khashoggi was attacked almost immediately as he showed up for some documents he needed.

    The Consul himself was in the room.

    The body was dragged, not yet dead, from the Consul’s office to his study next door.

    A Saudi military forensics expert, after putting on some headphones with music, began to cut the body up right on top of a table in the study. He advised others, including the Consul, to leave the room.

    The man with headphones and the cutting tool holds a senior position in Saudi Interior Ministry.

    Obviously, with that kind of person assigned in the first place and with him having brought the necessary tools to cut the body up, this was a meticulously planned murder, not an interrogation that somehow went wrong.

    Is there anyone on the planet, outside of Trump’s office, who can believe that the order for this came from the top? I sincerely hope not.

    Oh, Theresa May, where is your brave voice when it comes to an authentic, proven state murder?

    I guess it makes a difference when the killer is someone who buys billions of pounds of armaments?

      October 17, 2018 at 12:38

      Third last sentence: That of course should be, “who can believe that the order for this did not come from the top?”

      (Gee, Consortium News, it would be nice to have either an “edit” button or a “delete” button, so one can delete and re-post something corrected.)

      So much for “Rogue elements,” Trump, and, “Something went wrong in an interrogation”? Clearly lies.

      • robjira
        October 17, 2018 at 16:32

        John, after posting just refresh the page; an “edit” button will appear on your post. From that point, you will have 5 minutes to make any needed corrections.

          October 17, 2018 at 17:10


    • roberto di camerino (@elfribo)
      October 18, 2018 at 18:40

      Hilarious! you need a 15 man squad to kill a what 60 / 70 yer old man? But by giving such outrageous details give the author a semblance of knowledge.

  13. CitizenOne
    October 16, 2018 at 22:32

    What we should be asking is not why or where or by whom was Khashoggi dissapeared but why has this story reached such national prominence in every corner of the regurgitative “free press”. Obviously the CIA wants to utilize this story for some narrative which is most likely a call to arms for national security and to lay blame on Saudi Arabia for being a bad actor. The story of who Khashoggi was or what he stood for is irrelevant. The story of how he was lured or how he was killed is irrelevant. The story of how and why this story has become a national obsession with our media is relevant.

    All news in America is designed like some 3D chess player figuring out how to manage international affairs by promoting or in fact creating the news of the day in an effort to gain some influence with consumers of news right here at home. So the question is why is this story important to the intelligence agencies and why have they inserted their influence and control over the “free press” to create a nonstop saturation coverage of this tiny event?

    One needs to extricate oneself from the immediacy of the sensational story about hacksaws and flying hit squads and see the forest through the trees. There is a deeper geopolitical strategy by the United States to exert pressure on the Saudi government going on here.

    It could be Venezuela is within our reach to control and to break the OPEC alliance freeing up the largest cache of oil on the planet. We may be on the verge of gaining all control over Venezuelan oil. We may be pressuring Saudi Arabia to consent to increased production or else we have some dead journalist to create another Spanish American War. I don’t know. I doubt anyone knows why this story has reached such proportions.

    The one thing I do know is that this media blitz has nothing to do with justice for some slain reporter any more than the sinking of the US Maine had to do with the Spanish American War. Back then we used the sinking of the USS Maine to justify a massive land grab which netted the United States control over Cuba, Panama and the Philippines. Back then we were seeking to dominate South America and the Pacific rim of island nations just because we could.

    Khashoggi and the shot or hacksaw heard around the World is some power play to distance ourselves from Saudi Arabia or to apply pressure on them with some assurance that raising the hackles of the Saudi government and Kingdom will bear little threat in the grand scheme of things. After all the proven reserves of Venezuela far exceed the proven reserves of the Saudi oil fields. These estimated reserves in Venezuela are also conservative and will likely be multiplied several fold when new extraction methods such as fracking are factored in.

    The anti Maduro formerly the anti Chavez wing of the US government supported by the oil companies of the USA have long sought a way to overthrow the Venezuelan government in order to overthrow not only the government but also the “private” state controlled oil business vested with controlling Venezuelan oil controlling the OPEC Oil Cartel.

    Even a credible threat to disrupt the flow of oil or to control the majority of it by invading a tiny nation coupled with the ability to turn any event blamed on the Saudis via our national “news” to instigate a new Spanish American war against the Saudis is sure to send the message that the US is not to be trifled with. Al whole lot hangs in the balance for the Saudis to ruminate on,

    What we see on the “news” is nonsense aimed at turning public opinion this time aimed at the Saudis. It could be aimed at anything that the power structure sees fit to twist and turn in the wind for huge economic gains. Some dead reporter is the last thing on their minds.

    • Maxwell Quest
      October 17, 2018 at 00:16

      My thoughts exactly! This story is being used to bludgeon the Saudis until they cough up something we want. Watch for some concession in the near future which will magically drop out of the sky. Possibly lower oil prices or a cancelled Russian arms deal.

    • October 17, 2018 at 09:03

      Not to speak ill of the dead, but rather to speak frankly, I never heard of this Khashoggi person until he died. It certainly isn’t as if the American public is angry for losing one of its journalistic heroes. The media is telling all of us we need to be angry and shocked. And so, the brave new world of bobblehead dolls washes the story down with a Soma tablet and off we go… but why?

      The self-fellating media are aghast one of their own can be tossed down the disposal.

      The gangster feud between DJT and Mbs needs to use this story as leverage to get what they want out of each other.

      There are arm sales, 9/11 information, oil sales, stock market crashes, and even nuclear weapons for the two clown princes to argue over.

      Maybe this is all an epic dance off gangster rap video, just as the Korean Rocket Man vs. Donnie the Dotard on Twitter turned out to be. Half-wit psychopaths playing “my dick is bigger than yours” for all to see.

      Maybe we’re over thinking this. It’s DJT and MbS. It’s about threats and disrespect.

      I believe Donald Trump and Saudi clown prince Mohammed bin Salman (also known by his rap gangster name MbS) are incapable of empathy. They grew up too rich and too damaged to care about human beings.

      Their “relationship” is purely transactional, pure sociopath: what can you do for me?

      The clown princes. Making people disappear like Tony Montana.

      This too shall pass…

      • LarcoMarco
        October 17, 2018 at 11:42

        This “unknown” mugg, Jamal Khashoggi, is the nephew of Adnan Khashoggi, a Saudi arms dealer known for his part in the Iran-Contra scandal. Adnan Khashoggi was the middleman in the arms-for-hostages deal. In the 1980s, Adnan Khashoggi was estimated to have a net worth of $4 billion. “Adnan brought billions and billions of dollars’ worth of business to Lockheed and Boeing.”

        Even more weird, After Adnan fell on hard times, “a story that {Donald} Trump frequently tells is about his purchase of Khashoggi’s yacht, the 282-foot, $70 million Nabila, thought to be the most opulent private vessel afloat. In addition to the inevitable discotheque, with laser beams that projected Khashoggi’s face, the floating palace also had an operating room and a morgue, with coffins. Forced to sell it for a mere $30 million…” — Vanity Fair

        • Skip Scott
          October 20, 2018 at 07:52

          I think the fact that Khasoggi wrote for the Washington Post is the key part of why we have such a big kerfuffle over his murder. The WaPo is a CIA asset, and Khasshoggi (like his Daddy), was most likely doing their bidding. Even MbS dare not f**k with the CIA. MbS has an ego comparable to his Orange Majesty and thought he could go rogue; and he may get away with it, but there will be a price to pay. There is a chess game going on, and we are just spectators.

    • O Society
      October 17, 2018 at 09:05

      My previous comment was disappeared into the void. Look for it to reappear sometime around Friday.

      To sum up what it said: You have hit the nail on the head. There is no virtue here. It is all transactional.

    • October 17, 2018 at 11:33

      “The story of how and why this story has become a national obsession with our media is relevant.”

      Relevant because the media has many journalists and many journalists are being maligned, assaulted, murdered and disappeared. That’s the big drive behind this story. It’s about speech and exposing stuff that doesn’t want to be exposed. The story is big for people who have something to say and who stick their neck out to say it.

      Clearly there is agenda-based journalism and tons of opinions as opposed to facts but the offing of these people makes big headlines.

      As for the Saudis and the US. They will embrace one another until Saudi dumps the petrodollar.

  14. October 16, 2018 at 20:12

    US media can’t get enough of this story. But very little is being said about US complicity with MbS and the Saudis in the Rape of Yemen. Millions in danger of starvation, and death by water cholera. Where are our Senators and Reps on this. It is clear that Trump views $110 billion in arms sales is the highest good. The Nazis could have done as well.

  15. Pft
    October 16, 2018 at 19:07

    Couple of thoughts here

    With the 9/11 trial against the Sauds by victims of 9/11 set to go forward, Kashoggi would make an uncomfortable witness for those involved, even if as a hostile witness. Knowing UBL and his mentor being the former head of intelligence of Saudi Arabia until shortly before 9/11 , and ambassador during the Bush years with Kashoggi his media advisor.

    Also Kashoggi has been a key advocate for the Palestinians in recent years and no doubt a thorn in Israels side

    He was in opposition to MBS reforms and MBS pro-Israel stance and sided with a faction of royals also opposed to MBS. Could it be possible he faked his death to help bring down MBS (still no evidence in the public domain he is dead) or simply was sacrificed by those royals for the same purpose?

    Or could MBS have arranged this knowing he could blame the opposition for going rogue that the US would apply Magnitzsky sanctions against them and seize there significant assets for the US treasury. Remember Kushner, Israel and Trump helped MBS jump over MBN and become next in line to be King

    Another angle is MBS economic reforms have raised concern in the US. MBS is now competing with US for investment instead of recycling its oil dollars into the US. MBS has agreed to partner with CPEC which is the Pakistan leg of Chinas BRICs. He has yet to fully sign off on the Arms deal Trump keeps bragging about and is contemplating buying Russian S-400’s. Maybe the feeling is that he has gone rogue and needs to be replaced or brought back to reality.

    Then we have Pastor Thurnson being returned by Turkey who is really the only source of evidence agsinst Saudi Arabia (real or manufactured). What promises have been made to Turkey and who made them in return for their role. Stay tuned.

    So many possibilities and questions

    • October 16, 2018 at 21:12

      I would differ on details with Pft. Khashoggi is a man from the inner circle of Saudi elite, where the top level consists of princes in the line to the throne (at least before MbS), and the next level consists on their direct retainers to put it in feudal terms. The largest “crime” of MbS is violating the succession rule and dispossessing and terrorizing members of those top circles. The other “crime” is that he is much more of a flamboyant idiot than the Saudi experienced so far, and that says quite a lot.

      Whatever connections there were may be of KSA as the kingdom with 9/11, the inner circle is in the same boat, so I would not expect Khashoggi to be “inconvenient”. All points of his “constructive loyal criticism” are consistent with the interests of the maltreated princes, that includes cautious championing of the Palestinian cause, in line with Arab Peace Initiative that was the largest Saudi diplomatic achievement so far (a toothless dog, but I would be hard pressed to find something better), criticism of the war in Yemen that retains their perspective (as Yemenis suffer, Iran looks more and more attractive, Iran as the symbol of Shia and Islamic republicanism is the worst enemy of the entire Saudi elite).

      All billionaires with large prestigious investments in the West belong to the Western “ruling class”, and when they quarrel, the “ruling class” is split, with large portion being genuinely confused (like Trump and family).

    • will
      October 18, 2018 at 20:34

      this is what I was thinking…something to do with the 9/11 law suit.

  16. Robert
    October 16, 2018 at 14:38

    Sam, you may be correct about this, but from the general public viewpoint, blame is on Al Qaeda and the actors are Saudi. Israel certainly could have manipulated them into performing the attacks, but I don’t think Israel could also have influenced the assistance provided by the Saudi Consulate in San Francisco or by some of the mosques in the US. The response of the US to 9/11 certainly benefitted both Al Qaeda and Israel. The failure of Bush to investigate the attack thoroughly was most likely to save his Saudi oil friends/money, and not because he thought Israel might be responsible. The purpose of my comment was to point out that the US and EU sanctions on Russia, based on unsubstantiated claims, were unduly harsh compared with the white-glove treatment of Saudi Arabia and were imposed purely to hurt Russia economically and, ultimately, to push for regime change in Russia – to create, similar to Ukraine now, an impoverished state where the resources and industry are being sold to the capitalist mafia, where pensions are cut, where manufacturing considered a threat to EU companies is shut down, and where the only activity promoted is multi-national controlled agriculture. We are in essence watching the incorporation of Hitler’s plan for eastern Europe – a supplier of raw materials and agricultural products.

    • October 16, 2018 at 21:30

      Actually, it is a bit more ironic concerning “Hitler’s plan”. It is unnecessarily inflammatory to invoke Hitler, and effectively, we have the enactment of the Peace of Brest Litovsk that for the fleeting few months realized the dreams of imperial Germany. However, the economic value of Ukraine to Western Europe is meager, Ukraine being most competitive in agricultural products, steel and related metal products, and EU has a glut of them, and so does USA. Not surprisingly, the value of Ukraine to Russia was much larger, and Putin assembled a fairly expensive package that was accepted by the overthrown Ukrainian government. The only thing that the West gained is so-called “strategic depth”.

      As a result, Ukraine lost quite a bit more on trade and cooperation with Russia than it gained from Western subsidies and market access. To make it worse, Western craving for “strategic depth” translates into support to anti-Russian extremist. In Latvia and Estonia this is relatively harmless, but in Ukraine these folks are seriously lawless, and that nixes Ukraine as an attractive region for investments, however cheap the labor is etc.

  17. Ol' Hippy
    October 16, 2018 at 13:36

    I believe Khashoggi was assassinated to silence him. He was part of the inner circle of Saudi power. He knew about the Mujahideen. He knew the workings of Saudi intelligence. I think he knew things about the attacks of September 11,’01. He had to be silenced once he left the country. These are speculations of course, but a lot of effort has gone into these speculations.

    • Realist
      October 16, 2018 at 14:55

      Read Finian Cunningham’s account of this vile affair

      ( )

      and you’ll see he basically agrees with your surmise.

      If I received a nickel from every analyst who has speculated that the entire PNAC manifesto–the grand plan in which Washington crushes the entire Middle East and steals all its oil–has been aided and abetted before it was even implemented by Israel and Saudi Arabia, I’d be a millionaire.

      So, if we ultimately learn the truth that our “leaders” planned and implemented this whole bloody charade, starting with the staged war against Saddam ostensibly over Kuwait and then on to a 9-11 false flag and the whole ball of wax, will ANY of them be convicted of at least a misdemeanor and suffer even a small monetary fine, let alone the hard prison time and probably capital punishment they deserve? Nah, they’ll probably get the Presidential Medal of Freedom pinned on their lapel by a stupified nation.

  18. Jared
    October 16, 2018 at 12:29

    The picture is of an opportunist, willing to play either side.
    He must have received attention from the intelligence agencies.
    Why would he return to meet the Saudis, really?
    Why is this case receiving so much attention relative to other Saudi behaviors?
    Is this a set-up to shame MbS or did he do this to himself?

  19. Realist
    October 16, 2018 at 10:04

    Bolton and Pompeo will soon enough convince Trump that Putin was somehow behind this whole sordid business and get him and Congress to impose a bunch of new sanctions on Russia… and Iran just for good measure. Presto chango, MBS is off the hook and the Neocons are one step closer to the world war they so covet. Everybody’s a winner!

  20. John Hawk
    October 16, 2018 at 08:34

    Actually, what really happened is that Mr. Khashoggi smuggled a surgical saw in his suit jacket into the consulate, and at the right moment took off his head…you know, kind of like a fellow journalist, Gary Webb, who put 2 bullets in his head…simple suicides, stop looking for anything else, case closed, go home or go shopping… (nudge, nudge, wink, wink)….

  21. didi
    October 16, 2018 at 08:18

    Here is my list of questions that Secretary Pompeo has taken with him to Riyadh. Where is the body of Mr. Khashoggi? Has a forensic examination been done? If not, why not? Has a death certificate been issued? If not, why not? Was the consul obliged to inform Turkish authorities that Mr. Khashoggi was man-slaughtered in his consulate? If the answer is yes, why did he fail to inform? When the killer gang left Riyadh by plane who gave them a permit to leave? How did the killer gang know that Mr. Khashoggi was going to be in that embassy on 2 October 2018? Who told them? Who other than the killer gang and Mr. Kashoggi were in the consulate at the time of the murder? Were some of them aware of what was going on? Did the Consul immediately inform the Ambassador of what had happened? If not, why not? What did the Crown Prince know and when did he know it?

    • Jill
      October 16, 2018 at 17:33

      I have a question for Pompey! Since they intercepted the plan in advance: 1. why didn’t they warn him of it? and 2. what do they mean that they don’t know what happened?

      The NSA incepted the plan in advance. They know full well who is involved and that it was not a rogue group.

      • October 16, 2018 at 21:48

        “NSA incepted the plan”, that is probably unintentionally harsh, it would mean that NSA initiated or incorporated the plan as its own. But that could intercept.

        However, it seems a mere speculation. First, the plan, if any, could be quite impromptu and communicated verbally away from electronic bugs. Second, the notion that they merely wanted to interrogate the victim is quite probable, a medical specialist should prevent premature death of torture, you do not need a medic to simply kill a person, assassin teams tend to be smaller and if you want to dismember a person, one butcher is sufficient. However, a “good harsh interrogation” requires to work in shifts, watch the target for medical symptoms etc.

        Third, whatever the plan, Khashoggi could be warned and decide to be a martyr. A feudal retainer may enjoy considerable privileges, but he may also be requires to sacrifice for the benefit of his liege.

        • Jill
          October 17, 2018 at 00:05


          Actually, it was admitted by USGinc. They said they didn’t have a duty to warn because they were only taking him in a rendition to Saudi Arabia. That’s what USG would admit to.

          There is likely a third govt. who knew also, as they get all our intercepts. That nation is Israel.

  22. Deter Heymanni
    October 16, 2018 at 08:06

    This is like an episode of a mystery series. The fiancee of a Saudi journalist who lives and works in the USA reports that her fiancee entered the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul on 2 October 2018 and never came back out. Then it becomes known that a group of Saudi’s had arrived by plane(s) in Istanbul, had gone to the Consulate on that day and had left the next day. The flight path back to Riyadh was known. Some speculated that they had abducted Mr. Khashoggi but that was never confirmed. If he was abducted where was he? Then Turkish sources claimed to have audio-visual evidence that Mr. Khashoggi was murdered in the Consulate, sawed into pieces, and smuggled out of the consulate. The Saudi government claims that Mr. Khashoggi walked out of the Consulate alive. Under strong international pressure that government began to change its story. Today it is that a gang of killers went into the Consulate and killed Mr. Khashoggi without the knowledge of the King of Saudi Arabia. Now our President got involved. He called the King who told him that he knew nothing about this murder. Our president sends the Secretary of State to Riyadh “to get to the bottom of this”.
    I, viewer of that episode will guess what happened before the next episode will tell me all. For openers the King of Saudi Arabia may indeed not have known anything in advance. He is somewhat demented and the real ruler of the state is the Crown Prince who is the person our president should have called but did not call. Then here is the list of questions that Secretary Pompeo carried with him to Riyadh. Her mine is. Where is the body of Mr. Khashoggi? Was a forensic examination of him done? If not, why not? Was a death certificate issued? If not, why not? In addition to the gang of killers, who else was in the consulate at that time? Did the consul know that the killers would come on that day? How did the killers know that Mr. Khashoggi would go to that consulate on 2 October 2018? Who informed them? Who cleared their flight out of Riyadh to Istanbul?
    Stay tuned.

  23. Mark Thomason
    October 16, 2018 at 03:23

    He was part of the bad old regime.

    He was a critic of MBS and his takeover.

    Is MBS better than the bad old regime, or just more of the same in new hands? More of the same, and those pushed out complained, and now are being eliminated mafia style by the new mafia boss.

  24. John
    October 15, 2018 at 23:36

    I am not trying to link this to 9/11, but Finian Cunningham wrote an interesting piece on this, with some great revelations about Khashoggi’s past, including working for Prince Turki during his time as director of the Mukhabarat, the Saudi state intelligence apparatus. Here is an excerpt:

    “He was formerly a media aide to Prince Turki al Faisal, who is an eminence gris figure in Saudi intelligence, with its systematic relations to American and British counterparts. Prince Turki’s father, Faisal, was formerly the king of Saudi Arabia until his assassination in 1975 by a family rival. Faisal was a half-brother of the present king, Salman, and therefore Prince Turki is a cousin of the Crown Prince – albeit at 73 more than twice his age.

    For nearly 23 years, from 1977 to 2001, Prince Turki was the director of the Mukhabarat, the Saudi state intelligence apparatus. He was instrumental in Saudi, American and British organization of the mujahideen fighters in Afghanistan to combat Soviet forces. Those militants in Afghanistan later evolved into the al Qaeda terror network, which has served as a cat’s paw in various US proxy wars across the Middle East, North Africa and Central Asia, including Russia’s backyard in the Caucasus.

    Ten days before the 9/11 terror attacks on New York City, in which some 3,000 Americans died, Prince Turki retired from his post as head of Saudi intelligence. It was an abrupt departure, well before his tenure was due to expire.”

    • Realist
      October 16, 2018 at 22:58

      I posted the same information, using the same link to ICH of the article by Finian Cunningham about 10 hours ago and I see now, on a later visit, that it has disappeared. The moderation machine is not only imperious and capricious, it is stealthy and uses a time delay. CN is NOT being served well by its use. It just frustrates and pisses people off.

      • Skip Scott
        October 19, 2018 at 13:59


        I don’t think it’s a moderation “machine” when the comment is posted and then later deleted. I have also noticed a sizable increase in the delayed deletion of comments, and comments that seem to have no obvious violation of the comment policy. I think Joe Lauria needs to take a another look at his moderator. He may be suffering from “tin badge” syndrome. I hope Joe gets to read this before his moderator deletes it. I have also noticed that Backwardsevolution, Sam F, Joe Tedesky, and some other “regulars” haven’t been posting lately. I highly value their input (as I do yours) and I hope they haven’t been run off.

        • Sam F
          October 19, 2018 at 22:28

          I am back for a while, Skip and Realist, having been insulted and irritated by the comment process deleting hours of comments over a few weeks and getting worse.

          I certainly don’t wish to criticize the site and can only guess at any increase of problems or decrease of resources in moderation this year, but am not sure I have the patience to suffer deletion of carefully stated and completely reasonable comments.

          Perhaps the Akismet moderation utility has a qualification process allowing reliable commenters to circumvent moderation.

          • Skip Scott
            October 20, 2018 at 08:02

            Sam F-

            Glad to see you back. I have thought the same myself about the usefulness of some kind of “qualification process” for regular commenters. I think however that when there is an elimination of a comment after it has been posted for a while that it is the human moderator who is responsible. I could be wrong; however if that is the case, that individual needs to be reassessed IMHO.

            I too think this is a great site, both for the articles and the comments. And I think Joe Lauria is doing a great job of honoring Robert Parry’s memory.

  25. Den Lille Abe
    October 15, 2018 at 23:02

    Cool that Consortium sees this too. Kashoggi was scum. a headchop love and a tool of Saudi Arabia, and yhey discarded it. He is no loss, and I cry crocodille tears.
    Nuff said of this vile person.
    Good if the Evil empire takes a hit.

  26. Juan P. Zenter
    October 15, 2018 at 21:38

    The US won’t distance itself from Saudi Arabia because that would require a moral decision to be made regarding Khashoggi’s murder rather than a cost-benefit analysis. However, the price to be paid today will eventually be dwarfed by the price of turning a blind eye to this outrage.

  27. Suzanne Persing
    October 15, 2018 at 21:03

    Thank you so much for this article. Consortium News is the most honest, and fearless source of news.

  28. elmerfudzie
    October 15, 2018 at 20:20

    None of this is any of our business. Khashoggi, Wahhabism, the breaker of long held Saudi customs and traditions, Mohammed bin Salman, Saudi Arabia’s deputy crown prince, adds up to, THEIR civil war, and we, the USA, didn’t appreciate England’s interference during ours.

    Our country no longer desires or needs an old Rockefeller dream, the Seven Sisters story and frankly, not even the Rockefeller’s are financially vested into it anymore. So what’s left? what are the alternatives here? In a word, Venezuela. But that taste of (productive) socialism on behalf of common people, briefly experienced by the throng, with the assistance of a government (Hugo Chávez) pursuing, equitable distribution of oil revenues was too much shoulder, too much to bear, by western Oligarchs. Our “enlightened” capitalist predators would rather suffer all the consequences of standing shoulder-to-shoulder with monarchy, aristocracy and nepotism. International corporate, western Occident CEO’s, willingly and gladly, embraced the new GCC’s version of Al Capone(s)…but this time around in recent history, an image not so clean cut, they, detesting all Christian principles and bottomless in love with wealth, like big boats purchased from filthy rich Russians! Yes, by the by, the new Russian, the new Eastern Slavic, clan or should I say, brand of gangsters. Sooo willing to sell, anything and everything off!…many, many of this sort of bankster, suddenly surfaced. Oddly immediately following the he USSR’s fall, just imagine that! what a coincidence! ?

    Yes Venezuela, just bursting with that thick crude, a density and texture of Vaseline, in contrast to Saudi Arabian oils, bringing up 99 percent water along with their oil…not much longer Mr Saudi Prince! The hidden treasures of crude oil, locked up in the Golan Heights, as well as those reserves beneath the floor of the Mediterranean Sea, can realistically compete with you now. So Don’t push any buttons!

    If the Saudi’s can shake hands, kiss and hug Iranian mullahs, (or former KGB agents for that matter) our government can arrange for a political and economic rapprochement with a geographically much closer, and Christian, Venezuela.

    Two can play this game and the USA is about to win BIG, really BIG.

    Mr Maduro, we’ll be stopping by in Caracas, with a bona fide, detailed, treaty in hand… it will secure a firm place for our two nations, a position as the new representatives of that City(s) On The Hill. Yes, indeed we’ll barter in Gold, Silver and High Technology… Yes, we’ll build and open another canal in central America, Embracing our southern brothers with integrated markets by road, rail, maritime, pipeline and communications exchange. Should the prejudices and control freaks be thoroughly defeated, and the North and South American’s really integrate, you all will witness some real, global economic “cookin!”

    Europe, China, Russia, get back in your corner(s), we really mean it!

    • October 15, 2018 at 22:03

      More oil from a closer source is not an answer. The fire doesn’t care where the gas comes from, it just gets bigger.

      Time to leave the stuff in the ground.

      Trump doesn’t worry because about the destruction he causes because he’ll be dead sooner rather than later, and all he cares about is Trump. Nihilism City, baby. Full speed ahead!

      The rest of us, however, are FUBARed.

      • elmerfudzie
        October 16, 2018 at 09:46

        Reply to O Society. I really meant to suggest that, oil can be used as a catalyst, to finance south-north American integration (financial, political and social). Rapid advances in 3-D printing that use preexisting CAD CAM technology will slowly replace the current, highly centralized, product fabrications now done in factories. Their finished products then distributed, mostly by truck, rail and waterway. An energy intensive and wasteful system and strategy, literally a nineteenth century model, akin to a command and control economy but thankfully that’s all fading now.

        The energy within oil is being replaced with Thorium based commercial electrical generation, also by wind, solar and Fusion. Very recently, fusion has taken a great leap forward, visit for details. Our scientists have just begun to R & D wave power, a very consistent source of electrical generation that can be hooked up to preexisting power grid systems.There are breakthroughs on the horizon such as super conductive materials, they will save as much as fifteen percent dissipation loss that typically occurs when electrical power has a distant end user. These technologies are about to combine and hopefully will not isolate communities but integrate them.

        Barack Obama was completely wrong when he stated that; I’m paraphrasing here; If every African (the continent of) household had an air conditioner, the the planet would burn up…

        • October 16, 2018 at 15:51

          Understood. You obviously have thought about alternative paradigms of energy.

          My concern is the agnotology sewn by the global warming denialist industry is the same story plot as the tobacco companies successfully implemented with cigarettes and cancer.

          If Uncle Ted dies of lung cancer because he doesn’t believe tobacco is full of carcinogens, well… Ted’s dead.

          However, this fossil fuel fundamentalism is not going to just kill Uncle Joe; he’s going to take many of us with him.

          We have to change our paradigm now, which is inextricably linked to neoliberalsm and neoconservatism.

          Do you think American politicians and their oligarch patrons have a plan B to those ideologies to switch to? I don’t think they’re smart enough or care about the common good enough to do jack shit.

          So at heart, this is a belief issue rather than a tech issue. It’s neofascism. It’s social Darwinism. Hence, afraid technological optimism isn’t working for me….

          Tech isn’t going to fix this without a new economic paradigm which accounts for the tragedy of the commons.

          • elmerfudzie
            October 17, 2018 at 19:11

            Reply to O Society. Not to wander too far off the initial substance of this article, that of political intrigue and possible murder. In any case, please bear with me as I am forced to restate the commentary in a completely different way.

            My personal musings here are less about the method of governing, less about the power architecture and more about the speed at which historical events are occurring. For example; technocracy is leading humanity and thus our decision making processes within society, by the nose, ditto for unenforceable impacts by Artificial Intelligence (AI). New scientific discoveries are appearing exponentially, log rhythmically, as opposed to the historically, far more familiar rate, of linear progression of major events. Urgency seems to be the word of choice here. The United Nations (UN) needs to form a single human voice, an outcry against AI, scientific research (everywhere) beholden to special interest politics or monies. Once again ditto, for the so called, democratically elected officialdom funded by “dark money”. These endeavors may seem overwhelming at first, however every idea here (albeit drawn in a rough sketch) are essential to the understanding of why there are certain, “expediencies” such as assassinations, disappearances, inexplicable resignations, high society scandals and even mass shootings and all in plain view. Human beings cannot process all the change that is now suddenly appearing, and on every level of our lives. In all the confusion, politicians and Prole alike turn to amorality, domination, wealth concentration, by any means (legal or otherwise). This theorizing, if you will, goes a long way to help us understand those reasons for current internal political insurrections and strife. I make no value judgments and cannot offer quick solutions, frankly there aren’t any.
            We have only each other to turn to and if everyone’s (UN) on the same page about what must be emphasized as wrong and what is right, tomorrows world has a chance to return to the garden of Eden. I close with this; one bad slip, and it’s all over…No angry, vengeful God required! just human stupidity.

    • Den Lille Abe
      October 15, 2018 at 23:14

      Well you got the situation right , but the outcome wrong. The US will fail and go bankrupt, it cant keep on printing worthless money.
      We will all take a huge hit, but the US will crack. No more abroad bases for subjugating other peoples, no more aircraft carriers threatening other people, who largely has never harmed the US.
      You will be isolated, shunned and alone. And the rest of the world will move on, a more fair society, more equality, more worth in life.
      The US has moved wrongly since 1945 and “Bigly”. It has become the strong arm of insignificant and useless Israel. A serf.
      That is the mighty US. A serf.
      Live with it or di by it.

      • October 16, 2018 at 18:35

        For certain the US has been moving “wrong” for quite some time and there will be payback but that payback is in the plan to undermine nationalism (everywhere) through bankruptcy/war and to feed everyone the perfection of global centralization after. Of course this will take time. See the US is a microscopic view of globalization… a nation of immigrants. Globalists want this for all sovereign nations… hence product placement, the placement of central banks across the globe, the placement of a single economic system that correlates with others across the globe… it’s a slow buildup to the breakdown of sovereignty everywhere. To say the US is just a bad guy and it will get punished isn’t correct… it is simply following orders from the highest levels and Trump fits the loud mouthed American perfectly. A man for globalists to go after. He was picked well… wasn’t he?

  29. mrtmbrnmn
    October 15, 2018 at 19:15

    Khashoggi definitely was no Saudi Sy Hersh or Glen Greenwald (or even Matt Taibbi). Certainly no Saudi Robert Parry. He was a Saudi stooge until he wasn’t. Or at least could no longer be trusted to be one. The chutzpah of MSOB, has no boundaries. He could have contracted the “disappearance” to pros like Mossad (his new friends). Instead, to those who needed reminding who the boss is in that repressive make believe “monarchy”, MSOB’s fingerprints are all over the deed. However, no one anticipated Khashoggi would park his fiancé at the gate. A living witness that Khashoggi checked into the roach motel, but never checked out. However this sordid business turns out, the clock is ticking down on the repulsive Saudis, who gave the world 9/11, the deadly gift that keeps on giving, and got away with it. So far…

    • Anne Jaclard
      October 15, 2018 at 19:47

      As I said below, it’s as if Donald Trump hired hitmen to kill Jim Acosta or Rachel Maddow. A new leader is in power (after Obama) of a malign empire, and loyalists to the old boss are purged for their out-of-step ways. It’s horrible but also hypocritical given the situation of Assange and Snowden.

  30. F. G. Sanford
    October 15, 2018 at 18:57

    Pompeo will go meet the King. It’s a State Secretarial thing.
    They’ll drink Johnny Walker, the King’s a big talker,
    And they’ll smooth out this Khashoggi thing.

    Trump got the King on the phone. He happened to be on the throne.
    Trump said he was strong, and denied doing wrong,
    That big arms deal is hard to postpone!

    Any sanctions could cause a disaster. It’s a grave economic forecaster.
    If the price of that crude gets jacked up then we’re screwed,
    The King could pump slower, not faster!

    Fifteen Saudis arrived on two planes. That’s what Erdogan’s mouthpiece explains.
    They must have had clearance, and no interference,
    When they left there was no trace of stains!

    A cleaning crew came in the next day. They used Clorox in each room and hallway.
    It was hospital clean, not some grizzly crime scene,
    From a novel by John le Carré!

    Some claim that Khashoggi knew more: that a false flag was staged for a war.
    Cunningham thinks the official tale stinks,
    And in Yemen the casualties soar!

    Cousin Adnan did lots of arms deals. He was one of those royal big wheels.
    Jamal was connected, but might have defected,
    It’s bad for business if somebody squeals!

    Trump opined they were rogue evildoers. This has baffled the news interviewers.
    The embassy staff went to lunch with a laugh,
    They had welcomed Khashoggi’s pursuers!

    Those fifteen got back on their planes. Did their baggage hide human remains?
    Fifteen Saudis on planes conjures ominous strains,
    But when history rhymes, who complains?

    Pompeo likes OJ’s defense. The benefits could be immense.
    They’ll find the “real killer”, some Russian blood spiller,
    And the stock market won’t be so tense.

    Johnny Cochran would know what to do. Shapiro and Dersh would know too.
    If the body don’t fit, then the press must acquit,
    So that big arms deal doesn’t fall through!

    Kilgallen was dead on arrival. The mystery waxes archival.
    Reporting state crimes is taboo in these times,
    Just a matter of simple survival.

    Our side kills with finesse. We never leave such a mess.
    No bone saws or chopping, no blood spatter slopping,
    And no patsies alive to confess.

  31. October 15, 2018 at 18:36

    The terrifying part in all this… at least on face value above what lies beneath is the rampant disappearing of journalists (used to be reporting) across the globe as well as legit whistle-blowers. Getting information out or even holding information is a deadly activity. Whether you’re bashed as “fake news” (which there is plenty from all sides) or a speaker at a university and assaulted by ANTIFA… the powers-that-be and their minions are having issues with voices, ideas and a balanced playing field. The field of information, the overall narrative and sources are all being pushed over by social media giants/censorship, the threat of death and real murder to keep global citizenry ignorant of truth.

  32. Sam Bolivar
    October 15, 2018 at 18:17

    This article answers some questions I had about Khashoggi (e.g., “…essentially a token Arab writing for a paper with a regrettable record of misrepresenting Arabs.) working for the Washington Post – which often serves basically as a Washington Beltway propaganda outlet, and is most definitely *not* striving for democracy in the Middle East, or anywhere else. We mustn’t forget that WaPo is owned by Jeff Bezos, currently the world’s richest man, who operates and has secret, lucrative contracts with the CIA – essentially a terrorist organization perhaps worse than even the Mafia. (Remember that next time you’re tempted to buy something on Amazon – is your personal information being passed on to the CIA?)

    Here’s just one example of how WaPo’s publicized version of history differs from that of outside researchers/observers:
    U.S. weakens al-Qaeda groups around the world but hasn’t wiped any out
    by Greg Miller
    A quote: “Through two wars, thousands of drone strikes and hundreds of covert operations around the world, the United States has substantially weakened al-Qaeda and its affiliates, eroding their capabilities in ways that have reduced the threat they pose to the United States.”

    Then contrast that to these:
    America Created Al-Qaeda and the ISIS Terror Group
    By Garikai Chengu
    Global Research, June 25, 2018
    Global Research 19 September 2014

    A quote: “The CIA first aligned itself with extremist Islam during the Cold War era. Back then, America saw the world in rather simple terms: on one side, the Soviet Union and Third World nationalism, which America regarded as a Soviet tool; on the other side, Western nations and militant political Islam, which America considered an ally in the struggle against the Soviet Union.

    The director of the National Security Agency under Ronald Reagan, General William Odom recently remarked, “by any measure the U.S. has long used terrorism. In 1978-79 the Senate was trying to pass a law against international terrorism – in every version they produced, the lawyers said the U.S. would be in violation.” ”

    Or this:
    How America Armed Terrorists in Syria
    Another Middle East debacle
    By Gareth Porter • June 22, 2017

    Quoting: “… The significance of all this is clear: by helping its Sunni allies provide weapons to al Nusra Front and its allies and by funneling into the war zone sophisticated weapons that were bound to fall into al Nusra hands or strengthen their overall military position, U.S. policy has been largely responsible for having extended al Qaeda’s power across a significant part of Syrian territory. The CIA and the Pentagon appear to be ready to tolerate such a betrayal of America’s stated counter-terrorism mission. Unless either Congress or the White House confronts that betrayal explicitly, as Tulsi Gabbard’s legislation would force them to do, U.S. policy will continue to be complicit in the consolidation of power by al Qaeda in Syria, even if the Islamic State is defeated there.”


    So who’s right? I for one am boycotting Amazon to the degree possible, and never buy anything written by WaPo.

    Best wishes to all peace-loving people out there. (As for any warmongers who happen to read this article, unless you sincerely change, then may you get the karma you deserve.)

    • October 15, 2018 at 19:36

      Whenever newspapers use the words “freedom” and “democracy” in a story, my brain has learned to translate these words into “neoconservatism” and “neoliberalism.”

      I estimate doing this fixes 95% of misunderstandings.

      • October 15, 2018 at 19:45

        Good call…..!

      • Gerry L Forbes
        October 16, 2018 at 17:05

        At least you put the terms neoconservatism and neoliberalism in quotes, suggesting that a further translation might be helpful.

        Neoconservatism= neocolonialism and there isn’t anything “neo” about it since at least as far back as Machiavelli princes were advised to divest themselves of their colonies. Colonized people are a resentful, troublesome lot so it is much less bothersome (and much more profitable) to grant them “independence”. Then you can sell them some arms to maintain “order” (a friendly investment climate) so your corporations can provide employment (“Jobs! Jobs! Jobs!”) to harvest their resources. Throw in a little debt bondage so they can pay(forever) to build the infrastructure to get those resources to market. If they are having trouble with the interest payments introduce them to the concept of “comparative advantage” so they can monocrop their arable lands and use the revenue to buy food from overseas instead of feeding their own people, something most societies have done reasonably well since the beginning of time.

        Neoliberalism= neofeudalism. Most people probably believe that “liberal” is used here in its political context as the opposite of conservative. Actually, it is being used in its economic context where liberalism is synonymous with laissez-faire capitalism. Most people also believe that kings were absolute monarchs but this was not true in feudal societies where the king ruled the people at the pleasure of the barons (who owned the people). Step out of line and find yourself at Runnymede faced with the Magna Carta. Our modern barons are corporations (not their shareholders or even CEOs but a case could be made for their boards of directors, those who choose the executive) but don’t think that getting corporate donations out of politics will eliminate their control of governments since they have other means (generally of the “make their economy scream” variety). Anyways, they really only need to control one country (currently the USA, Britain before that).

        But your main point, that words like “freedom” and “democracy” mean different things to the Deep State Media and its audience is certainly valid.

    • robin
      October 16, 2018 at 08:08

      Sam Bolivar ! Agree 100% .

    • Anonymot
      October 16, 2018 at 18:19

      0ho! You mention a blotted out name of one of the few people I’d vote for as President in 2020: Tulsi Gabbard. She disappeared after leaving the DNC to back Bernie. Hillary, even nastier than Donald Duck, used her witch’s nails to bar her forever from the party. She’s in the same category as Assange and Snowden, thanks to the small-minded spitefulness that shouldn’t be in national politics.

    • Bob Van Noy
      October 17, 2018 at 08:39

      A really thoughtful “thread” here, thanks to all of you…

    • Den Lille Abe
      October 17, 2018 at 11:47

      First class ! :)

  33. October 15, 2018 at 16:26

    Wouldn’t a real test be Yemen? Was he standing against the Saudi genocide in Yemen?
    I’ve read Chris Hedges support for him.
    I frankly feel confused.

    • mike k
      October 15, 2018 at 16:52

      You are not alone in being confused Diana. Just keep this simple fact in mind: THE RICH ARE DESTROYING THE WORLD. This is the key to understanding what is happening in our world today.

      But oh what a tangled web is woven
      When the rich follow One
      Whose foot is cloven.

      (Or words to that effect.)

      • Sam Bolivar
        October 15, 2018 at 18:21

        @ mike k – Though I don’t agree that all rich people are evil, the lust for political and monetary power is indeed often at the root of the greatest crimes carried out in our world. When the U.S. starts to break apart, maybe former leaders will finally get the karma they deserve?

        • Geo
          October 15, 2018 at 19:16

          I agree that not all rich people are evil, but to hold extravagant wealth while so many struggle to survive mean if they are not evil, they are either ignorant to the world around them, or merely callous and selfish. Not traits confined to the rich of course, all classes and groups are littered with the callous, selfish, and ignorant, but it astounds me that one can see this world we live in and not want to be engaged in bettering it. The rich have the material and social power to make significant impact. That so few do much with that speaks volumes to their character.

          • Sam Bolivar
            October 16, 2018 at 04:50

            @ Geo – Sadly, I have to agree with you… StrivingForJustice @

      • October 15, 2018 at 23:08

        Rich folks don’t have to be evil to destroy the world. Being stupid is enough.

    • October 15, 2018 at 18:36

      With Ali Abdullah Saleh’s death, Saudi Arabia is paying the price for betraying the Arab Spring – Dec. 5, 2017, WP
      The choice of waging even more war is tempting for those in Riyadh who want an overwhelming defeat for the Houthis and to get them out of the political game, but it will be very costly — not only for the kingdom but for the Yemeni people who are already suffering immensely. This conflict is the horrific result of preventing the people of Yemen from achieving their desire for freedom. Now the Houthi has become a significant force, and they do not hold the values ??of the Arab Spring based on power sharing. The world is watching Yemen; not only should the Saudis stop the war, but there should be pressure for the Iranians to stop their support for the Houthis; both sides must accept a Yemeni formula to share power. Perhaps the fall of Saleh the tyrant is a chance for peace in Yemen. [Read more]

      So he did criticize the war in Yemen in somewhat specific terms. One can even interpret his critique as a constructive proposal to end the nonsensical war, and in that sense he went further than established American columnists, which is still short of a fulsome praise.

      Surely, he was not an enemy of monarchy and the system that transferred untold billions to the members of Saud clan, but once forced to “suffer the bitterness and humiliations of exile”, and with his patrons arrested, he did criticize Mohammad bin Salman, enumerating idiocies and outrages. I can understand that this critique was hilariously inadequate from the perspective of AbuKhalil, in a way he changed spots from a hireling of a princely family to a lipstick on WP (and Establishment in general) contorted attitude toward absolute monarchies that further the domination of liberal democracies that “we all wish”.

  34. Robert
    October 15, 2018 at 14:41

    I guess Saudi money still buys influence. When Russia tried to poison ex-spy Skripal in the UK, immediate sanctions were put in place by most countries in the world, even without evidence. When Saudi Arabia “disappears” an ex-Saudi US green-card holder, there is only empty international outrage, but no sanctions. There is still one law for the rich and one for the poor. The reaction to this is not much different from when Saudi Arabia supported the 9/11 attackers, resulting in 3000 civilian deaths. No sanctions from either Bush or Obama – just a massive cover-up.

    The information in the article is very interesting. It raises speculation whether Khashoggi was killed because he was being too critical of the Saudi monarchy, or because his friends within the monarchy were no longer in power, or because, as I believe, from his previous work as an insider and supporter of the glorious and benevolent Saudi monarchy, he knew where all the skeletons were buried and couldn’t be trusted.

    • karlof1
      October 15, 2018 at 14:54

      There’s ZERO evidence that Russia did anything to Skripal. lending your comment zero credibility.

      • Realist
        October 15, 2018 at 15:11

        Yup, just a knee-jerk double standard that defaults to the corporate media propaganda even if the consumer of the so-called “news” wants to be objective and open-minded. They hear the lies so often they just reflexively parrot them. I think this commentor actually wanted to be objective and point out the contradictions displayed by Washington, but he reflexively accepted their biased rhetoric. Or, maybe not. Maybe he can think of some strange reason Russia would have for trying to murder Skripal and his daughter thereby creating yet another sensational scandal stoked by the Western media.

        • Christopher
          October 19, 2018 at 06:12

          Robert makes a good point on the double standards of Western diplomacy; both ‘karlof1’ and ‘Realist’ are ignoring his point, which is that sanctions were imposed on Russia without an investigation taking place after the attempted murder of Skripal and yet following the Khashoggi murder, SA has nothing imposed on it, other than elites reluctantly withdrawing from an investment summit in Riyadh. The explanation is simple; Russia is an enemy of the US, whereas SA is an ally. Those are the facts, regardless of whether ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ from a idealistic standpoint.

          The evidence against SA in this case is also far more conclusive than that which implicates Russia in the Skripal incident, which points to a wider dispute between Russian, British and US intelligence agencies – all of which were probably complicit in enabling the incident to happen and noting the currently tentative links to the Steele Dossier. I don’t understand this knee-jerk defence of Russia (or any superpower or nation-state) and the disparagement of an articulate point made by Robert about why Khashoggi may have been targeted.

    • Sam Bolivar
      October 15, 2018 at 18:29

      Robert, though I agree with several points you made, based on what I’ve read, you should have written, “When Russia [allegedly] tried to poison ex-spy Skripal in the UK”. karlof1 is correct on this.

      • Robert
        October 16, 2018 at 13:04

        My apologies, the I accept the inclusion of “allegedly”; however, I do think there was a valid reason for Russia to have at least considered this. Ex-spies, and especially their families, are never targeted by Russia for assassination – unless, after their defection, they continue using their contacts for working for the other side against Russia. Skripal was not only active in this respect, but his daughter was employed by the US Embassy in Russia. This combination of factors could have been the tipping point.

    • October 15, 2018 at 19:49

      There is no evidence linking Russia to Skripal…..

      Porton Down, ‘the elephant in the room’, Craig Murray dismantles Amesbury novichok poisoning story

    • Fredd
      October 15, 2018 at 20:24

      “When Russia tried to poison ex-spy Skripal in the UK, immediate sanctions were put in place by most countries in the world, even without evidence.”
      You have evidence nobody else has. Please share!

    • robin
      October 16, 2018 at 08:13

      What ? “When Russia tried to poison ex-spy Skripal …” ? What are you smoking ,Sir ? 0:41 !!!!! ( Words Porton Down are for somewhat reason are deleted .

  35. Howard Bleicher
    October 15, 2018 at 14:39

    Another point of view to add to the other theories: Also my first rather benign comment earlier this morning seemingly violated some rule here and was not posted. This one being quite a bit more arguable in my mind would have to be trashed and not posted also. But now adays with civilization being turned upside down, who knows.

    Alex Jones has been having a “high-level intel source” named “Zach” on his show off-camera for the past several years and recently, it’s come to light that this person is one Zachari Klawonn, 29-year-old ex-Army Moroccan-American who apparently was at the White House last week with his friend, Kanye West. More about this in a moment.

    Zach suggests that Turkish President Erdogan is behind the murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi. The latter, who’d been living in the US in self-exile since last year was last seen entering the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul nearly 2 weeks ago. We may remind ourselves that Erdogan, who walked out on Trump’s United Nations Speech last month is a Globalist – and like all Globalists, he is unhappy about the dismantling of the EU by populism, about the reforms in Saudi Arabia and in America and especially about the $110 billion arms deal.

    We see minion politicians, like Marco Rubio and others who are jumping all over Khashoggi’s disappearance and demanding a freeze on the weapons deal and Zach asserts that, indeed the goal of this murder was to disrupt the new relationship between Saudi and The US and to stop this sale. Further, Zach makes the bombshell allegation that the hit was done by a Clinton/Obama/Soros hit squad, similar to the one that killed Seth Rich.

    Zach also reveals that Jeff Sessions would soon be out and that Nikki Haley as the White House mole behind the infamous New York Times OpEd and that she’s being let go in a face-saving way.

    Zach alludes to an event that he is producing, which will include as speakers Alex Jones, Kanye West, Roseanne Barr and Louis Farrakhan, among others.

    Running Time: 19 min

    • October 15, 2018 at 18:03

      Was Bill Cosby not available?

    • October 15, 2018 at 19:33

      This is conspiracy theory at its worse. “Globalists” are not some world-wide conspiracy that includes Clinton, Obama, Soros and Erdogan, Erdogan is very much his own player. To give one example, the first three have no reason to prefer Morsi over al-Sisi or vice versa, while to Erdogan the choice is clear. For example, on ideological grounds al-Sisi resembles Kemalists who have mutual loathing with AKP, and Muslim Brothers have some resemblance of AKP, except that Turkish version of Sunni Islam is obviously better than the Egyptian, but nobody (except pro-Erdogan Turks) can be expected to be perfect.

      Similarly, bad blood between the clan al-Thani (ruling in Qatar) and the clan of Saud dates waaaay back to a civil war in Najd that nobody else cares about. As a result, Emiratis and Bahraini monarchs do not chafe under Saudi domination but Qataris do.

      Now, back to Globalists. On what basis should we believe that a group that includes Clinton, Obama and Soros has any second thoughts about giga-sales of arms to Gulfie despots? At least, when Obama with Clinton were in charge, they were approving such sales and the active mercenary role of USA in Yemen war. For that matter, why would Erdogan care about it?

    • O Society
      October 15, 2018 at 20:19

      It’s simple. Alex Jones is a performance artist. He and his attorney testified to this under oath in court so he would be allowed to be around his own children. Or the crisis actors who play his kids.

      In other words, Alex Jones is an actor playing a tinfoil hat salesman on YouTube.

      Something something gay frogs!!!

  36. Halima
    October 15, 2018 at 14:19

    Assad thank you for clarifying ,you are always Ahed ?

  37. Realist
    October 15, 2018 at 13:46

    Fascinating to watch the Saudi and US governments mutually self-destruct over this crime. Trump says sanctions must be imposed if the assassination actually occurred (the slightest chance that it did not?). Saudis say that sanctions mean they suddenly become allies of Iran (as if), start trading their oil in Yuan and invite Russian and Chinese military onto their sacred soil (and obviously booting the Americans out).

    All that might be for the “best” but it will never happen. Even now Trump has suddenly decided that actual “evidence” is required before he can do anything substantive to enforce our expectations of law and morality. Evidence has not been required for a single accusation against Russia heretofore, so, by that twisted reasoning, the Saudi’s may have a point and Washington can be expected to cave on any notion of expecting civilised behavior from that country. Money talks, morality walks. Just watch.

  38. Cratylus
    October 15, 2018 at 13:14

    Strange that this case gets so much coverage in the Western press and so deeply engages those in high imperial circles from Donald Trump to David Ignatius.
    It is by now a cliche to say that this gets much more coverage than the massive slaughter in Yemen.
    But even without that comparison, what is going on here? Why such attention? Cui bono?

    • Geo
      October 15, 2018 at 19:27

      Two reasons:

      1. He was from the 0.1% and therefore was supposed to be immune to the threats real journalists face (not to mention the people of Yemen) every day.

      2. The death of one “important” person is always more notable in the media then the daily deaths of untold thousands of nobodies. Add to that the media’s self-obsession and that the death was of one of their own and it’s no wonder they are obsessed. They get to tout their own importance and associate themselves with faux anti-establishment credentials through this state murder narrative.

      None of this is to say this isn’t an important story just as any assault on a free press is important. Any reader of Consortium News is as aware of that as anyone. But, the sustained interest in this over all the other killed and disappeared journalists by state powers (including ours) boils down to narcissism of the elite who define the media narratives.

      • Sam Bolivar
        October 16, 2018 at 04:58

        Geo, excellent points.

    • October 15, 2018 at 22:12

      Settling The Khashoggi Case Is A Difficult Matter

      “Recently Khashoggi started a number of projects that reek of preparations for a CIA controlled color-revolution in Saudi Arabia:

      Jamal Khashoggi, a prolific writer and commentator, was working quietly with intellectuals, reformists and Islamists to launch a group called Democracy for the Arab World Now. He wanted to set up a media watch organization to keep track of press freedom.
      He also planned to launch an economic-focused website to translate international reports into Arabic to bring sobering realities to a population often hungry for real news, not propaganda.

      Part of Khashoggi’s approach was to include political Islamists in what he saw as democracy building. “

      • HJS
        October 19, 2018 at 14:31

        What you say relates very nicely to the quote from Khashoggi’s own writing in Piotr Berman’s comment in which he (Khashoggi) laments Saudi Arabia’s “betrayal” of the Arab spring and positively highlights the idea of “power sharing” that he connects with this short lived movement.
        It definitely would make an excellent motive for the ruthless MBS to have this man executed, and that in a most gruesome manner. One could even speculate that it is in the killers interest to have the man’s fate and untimely death being covered in all its grisly details all over the media as a stern warning to any of the rivalling factions within the Saudi state and its royal family and as a strong reminder on who’s in charge now and what those who fall out of line have to expect as a consequence for their betrayal.

  39. Jill
    October 15, 2018 at 12:55

    Up until very recently it was not clear to the courtier class in the US that they are as expendable as the canaile. Two events have brought this into focus: 1. the failure to seriously examine claims of sexual assault via willful ignoring contemporaneous evidence and 2. this murder.

    Certainly, Khashoggi would not be working for the Washington Post if he objected to a ruling order. No one who works at the Post believes differently. Their owner is a member of the ruling order. Three of the world’s greatest war criminal nations, Israel, SA, and USGinc. have all killed journalists. Certainly the US even now shows every intention of imprisoning Assange. They have worked hard, along with another noted war criminal nation, the UK, to keep him in isolation (only recently somewhat less restricted). The US has claimed the right to kill their own citizens anywhere in the world on the president’s say so. This was done before Obama, but Obama made this right of kings explicit during his reign and this power, which he used against our own citizens was expanded and passed onto Trump.

    The level of murder, torture and injustice committed by these four nations is staggering. Any person and Yemen could tell you that. But to get out of this lawlessness the argument cannot be, well so and so is of the upper classes and agreed with the rightness of the divine order of which they formerly believed they were a part. The way out is through unwavering commitment to human rights.

    This means the actions of the victim are not relevant to their possession of human rights. In truth, Khashoggi does not seem like a very admirable person. He does not have to be admirable to have the human right to walk in a consulate and not be murdered by his government.

    I am hoping people will wake up to the violence committed by the “respectable” or at least most powerful nations against their own citizens and the people of the rest of the world. It is time to stop this tyranny using peaceful means, the one thing no one in the ruling order understands. I hope that the courtiers of tyranny now understand what they have been doing, how they have furthered injustice and cruelty. I hope they will join with every other person who well understands what great harm such utter lawlessness brings upon the world.

    • Sam Bolivar
      October 16, 2018 at 05:02

      Jill, you sound like a good-hearted, intelligent, honorable person. Excellent post!

      StrivingForJustice @

      • Jill
        October 16, 2018 at 11:51


        Thank you for your kind words. They mean a lot to me.

        My best to you. Jill

  40. October 15, 2018 at 12:48

    “If you think I am being redundant I guess I ‘m having trouble getting on another horse till I break this one.” I have posted this excellent article on 3 Facebook sites.

  41. October 15, 2018 at 12:23

    Thank to Consortium and professor AbuKhalil, we have another point of view about Khashoggi and the comments made by westerm media presentinh him through its propaganda tools, as a “dissent voice” and a “free lance journalist” fighting for “free speech” and “democracy” in this still middle age monarchy, Saudi Arabia.
    As it is reminded by professor Abukhalil, this middle age country played key role in the fight against not only communism in the Arab World but even against any regime trying to satisfy the elementary needs of its people, from Mossadegh in Iran toppled by the CIA in August 1953 to Assad.

    We can remember the violent repression acted by the Saudi regime against shiite population following the so called reactionary movement fomented by the West, the so called “Arab Spring”

    I’m asking myself in which world we are living when we heard that Saudi Arabia, the middle age dictatoship, where there is no election and no free speech for its citizens, tried since 2011 ton install democracy in Syria

  42. Howard Bleicher
    October 15, 2018 at 12:18

    Like in all domestic and international issues, there now appear at least, and sometimes more, two completely opposing set of “facts” proposed for the consumption of the population. Which set are true and which set are false? Each individual, really not knowing, is drawn to their personal biases as to which set of “facts” they support. It is my opinion that much more than the majority of people never know the truth about just about anything that is put in front of them.

  43. Andrew Dabrowski
    October 15, 2018 at 11:55

    So my take-away from this article is that the Saudis are now so insanely, arrogantly despotic that they even torture, murder, and dismember journalists who deviate in the slightest from the royal family’s agenda. That doesn’t touch the main points of the current controversy in the US.

  44. Jeff Harrison
    October 15, 2018 at 11:47

    This strikes me as interesting from two points of view. One is the basic failure of journalism world wide. In the US the MSM is largely just a cheerleader of government propaganda. As this article makes clear, journalistic organizations can play the game without the oversight of governments. And governments have shown that they, as a general rule, have little interest in the truth unless it happens to coincide with what they want. Two is that this is being touted as a Magnitsky Act item akin to that courageous Russian Attorney er… CPA who was fighting his way through government corruption er… working to get Bill Browder, Michael McFaul, and his Russian oligarch buddies out from paying taxes on their ill gotten gains from looting Russian state enterprises. Really, the Magnitsky Act was to “punish” the Russians, not somebody else.

    It also causes me wonder … Why is the Cheeto-in-Chief proclaiming that the US will “get to the bottom of this” – investigating the disappearance of a Saudi (i.e. not a US citizen) from the Saudi embassy (i.e. a small piece of Saudi Arabia in another country) in Turkey (i.e. not the US)? Does this strike anybody else besides me as really strange?

    • Occupy on!
      October 15, 2018 at 22:17

      You perfectly bring out the truth about the Magnitsly Act, Bill Browder (who has to be the consummate American), his red/white/&blue buddies and their Russian oligarchal friends (who Putin and Russian Courts are after for not paying their fair share of taxes). Thank you.

  45. karlof1
    October 15, 2018 at 11:39

    Thanks As’ad! I was waiting for you to weigh-in on this matter. Hopefully, you’ll comment about Saudi’s floating of potential retaliatory measures should it be sanctioned by the Outlaw US Empire.

  46. October 15, 2018 at 11:10

    Sorry, but I think this article a bit of what they call a “straw man” argument in logic.

    You might even call it a red herring.

    Refuting the hyped and exaggerated claims of the “western press” about an event like this has almost nothing to do with the actual event or its importance.

    It’s rather like entering the ridiculous set of false and uninformed arguments, on both sides of the American political establishment, about Russian influence, which, in fact, any critical observer can see is virtually zero, all while Washington and those allies under its thumb, scream and whoop, “the sky is falling.”

    The Crown Prince is a usurper, kidnapper, extortionist, murderer, and a war criminal, full stop.

    He is also a supreme narcissist and is well known for having a very thin skin.

    Look at the way he furiously retaliates at anything he regards to be a slight. At Trump and his “pay for your security.” At Canada and certain human rights.

    The Washington power establishment likes him, exceedingly. Remember how he was taken around on a goodwill tour, meeting American officials, almost as though he were the new President of France rather than a murderous, usurper absolute monarch. He’s proven his worth at waging aggressive war in Syria, covertly, and, openly, in Yemen.

    He has ended Saudi Arabia’s old antagonisms towards Israel and, indeed, become virtually a secret ally of that state. Just the kind of thing the Neocon empire-builders in Washington want. So, he is a key player in Neocon plans for the Middle East domination. He has embraced Israel’s antagonism towards Iran which has nothing to do with threats and security and everything to do with who is to be the most influential country in the region.

    The Crown Prince, also, something rarely noticed, has a great deal in common with Israel, representing monied privilege in the region, relative newcomers (the Royal Family does not go back much longer than Israel itself), antagonists against both democracy in the region and independent-minded other leaders, and shills for American influence.

    This is an extremely dangerous man, even though our mainline press has dedicated itself, at least until now, to building him up in an almost laughable manner, as the lines came straight out of a crib sheet from Langley Virginia. Our press made a huge big deal out of a few privileged women in Saudi Arabia now getting driver’s licences while this Crown Prince busies himself with slaughtering thousands of women in Yemen and Syria and in his suppression of Shia minorities in parts of Saudi Arabia itself.

    It would not have taken much for Khashoggi to earn his enmity. Stuff about being a resistance figure for enlightened values is as silly as the garbage about Putin determining American national elections. It represents noise covering other matters. He only had to look vaguely like a threat or roadblock, for whatever reasons, to the path of a murderous prince. The prince is also quite nervous about opposition to himself in other clans of the Royal Family, some of it open and some covert.

    My guess is that the prince arrogantly over-played his hand in getting rid of someone he resented, for whatever reasons, overplayed his hand because now at least part of western interests cannot just ignore such obvious butchery.

    God, we even have security-camera views of the gang of Saudi security forces-related killers (some identified) coming and going, and the Turks have secret recordings of him being killed (our good old press made an effort with a planted story about maybe Khashoggi’s smart-watch having recorded his torture and execution), likely from planted Turkish security spyware in the consulate. We have Khashoggi photographed going into the Saudi consulate and never coming out, and we have his fiancé waiting for him. We have pictures of a van parked by the consulate, a van whose licence was not immediately traced.

    They are now going through the dumb-show of allowing the Turks to search the Saudi consulate, after a considerable delay. Unless they bring a gallon jug of luminal to check for invisible blood traces, they won’t find a thing. And unless they were simultaneously searching the Saudi consul’s house and digging up the garden where Khashoggi’s butchered body parts were likely buried, they still won’t find a thing. Everything will be disposed of.

    Current delays in the West are just cover for behind-the-scenes scrambles for a covering story, for a way to exonerate this very useful murderer-prince, and perhaps to create a fall-guy. After all, Putin only has to hiccough to be instantly subjected to new sanctions and condemnations.

    But here we have something close to an open-and-shut case of high-level political murder, and we see no sanctions, we see no slowing-up in hundreds of billions in arms sales, we hear no false clamoring over human rights or even journalistic freedom. We see no diplomatic personal being expelled, as we saw Theresa May doing without a shred of evidence anyone could credit.

    It all makes Theresa May’s unsupported claims in the Skripal Affair really look silly. Here’s the real thing, right out a John le Carré novel.

    You see, it really isn’t that anyone cares about the fate of a man like this, whether he was a decent man or not, it’s about the very public tipping of the imperial apple cart which cannot be just ignored. The prince’s blundering act threatens a vast, partly-secret engineering project in the Middle East. Now, in Washington, that has to be taken seriously.

    This, once again, is the kind of ugly business we get with the new Washington aggressive efforts at world empire. Just like the regular line-up of Israel snipers shooting unarmed demonstrators in Gaza from behind a fence. Do we see one serious effort to question that butchery? Do we see one serious call for a mass-murderer Prime Minister to receive justice? No, because if it serves the American empire, it serves God.

    • Skip scott
      October 15, 2018 at 13:19

      Great analysis John, and spot-on.

    • kim louth
      October 15, 2018 at 13:26

      THANK YOU.

    • Jill
      October 15, 2018 at 13:47

      Agreed John, this is an excellent analysis.

    • Realist
      October 15, 2018 at 14:06

      Yeah… if the hypocrites in Washington really practiced what they preach, rather than leasing their earth-shaking powers to the highest bidder for the further aggrandisement of the top fraction of the “One Percent,” the regime in Riyadh is the one they’d have changed decades ago. You really don’t need a scorecard, or the endorsement of the corrupt corporate media, to tell the dirty players from the (sort of) clean in this latter day “Great Game.”

    • October 15, 2018 at 17:28

      Really excellent post John. Thanks.

    • Al
      October 15, 2018 at 18:16

      So what’s the straw man argument? You don’t really explain how this article fits that description. In fact, John, it seems as though you’ve set up a such an argument yourself.

      • dave
        October 15, 2018 at 21:41

        Hmm, so what do you call an argument you “set up yourself” so that you can refute it instead of what the author actually wrote?

    • Sam Bolivar
      October 15, 2018 at 18:48

      John, though your analysis seems valuable, I agree with Al – your argument doesn’t support your initial contention that “this article a bit of what they call a “straw man” argument in logic.” AbuKhalil was (competently, IMHO) pointing out that Khashoggi was not the reformist he’s been portrayed as in the corporate-owned U.S. MSM.

    • Anonymot
      October 15, 2018 at 20:36

      Your comment is more impressive than the article.

      However, I’d like to point out that this has been building ever since Truman reluctantly created the CIA. Initially they were advisors to each administration on what was happening in international affairs. By the time of Allen Dulles they had a policy position, an increasingly right wing, warmongering mindset that affected what they told the administrations. They actively proposed regime changes – including in America – and acted on them. By the time GHW Bush became the Director of the CIA they had sold that mindset to most of the executive class in Washington, elected, appointed, or employed. They received massive amounts of secret money, not only from drugs, but from off the record funneling within the administration.

      The big change was when Bush senior took them from a consulting role to a policy-making role and placed them directly in the White House. Since then, the officials we elect are simply figureheads in terms of foreign policy. They own the media and both parties. They bought the Clintons and part of the reason Hillary fell apart after her loss was that the Gods had promised her that she would succeed Obama, a deal struck after the fiasco of the Bush child’s 8 years.

      Money is the name of their game and ever since Nixon’s forgotten “Sword of Damocles” speech to Congress, no foreign country had more of it than the Saudis. The CIA cannot turn away from them which implies that Iran must be an enemy, like Russia. Trump was a renegade, prepared to spoil the show, but he’s also a Money person and has deep weaknesses that the Gods know how to deal with. It’s not just his profound ignorance as a national leader, but his glutinous addiction to more and more money. In two years he’s been played like the Clintons and Obama. That already puts the CIA in complete control since 1988.

      Figure out what that Mindset wants and/or needs most and you have the answer to almost all, if not all, questions of foreign affairs, Khashoggi’s included. Everything else is just noise.

      • Sam Bolivar
        October 16, 2018 at 05:06

        Anonymot, excellent post.

    • Tom Kath
      October 16, 2018 at 00:05

      Great article John, and great commentary by As’ad. I think that’s what I like best – alternative opinions, different perspectives, conflicting conclusions. It would be truly terrible if everyone simply accepted the same narrative! — Hell ! Does everyone agree with that?

    • simple
      October 16, 2018 at 20:03

      This is the same thing i read earlier in Wapo.

      MBS didnt have the motivation to do this. What does MBS gain? Isn’t he a reformer?

      The truth is this serves the interests of Erdogan, John Brennan, Bin Nayef, Zayed and Tamim as well as the neo bolshevicks in the US MSM.

      Khashoggi could be in a palace with 12 harems or could have been killed. it doesn’t matter. his fiance’s account is also extremely questionable.

      we just don’t know but when the above align in interest we should recognize the improbability what we are being shown or told as accurate.

  47. October 15, 2018 at 11:07

    Hate to be the cynical one in the bunch, but this is gangster stuff. It is about leverage. There is oil, nuclear reactors, weapons, global warming, money… and who knows what else on the table. If anyone feels confident about Trump or MbS having anyone’s best interests at heart but their own, there’s a sucker born every minute. Meanwhile, let’s make a deal!

    This Too Shall Pass: Nothing is Going to Change With US – Saudi Relations No Matter Whom They Murder

    • Sam Bolivar
      October 15, 2018 at 18:52

      O Society – Actually, I’m confident that neither nation will exist in their current forms in 25 years. Both governments are too corrupt, too warmongering, too arrogant to maintain any last legitimacy they may once have had. (Oh, and you can add ISrael – supporter of IS – to that group, as well.)

    • O Society
      October 15, 2018 at 20:03

      You may be right. I’m not smart enough to predict exactly when and what will happen. I am smart enough to recognize late-stage capitalism and murder though.

      My guess is either global warming or nuclear war will end us at some point. The two biggest players in fossil fuels and weapons are the US and SA.

      So there’s a helluva lot of blame on both these two countries for causing it.

  48. Anomymous
    October 15, 2018 at 08:13

    And don’t forget some great analysis by Moon of Alabama on the issue

    • October 15, 2018 at 20:05

      Indeed! MoA is a wonderful group just as Consortium News is.

  49. mike k
    October 15, 2018 at 08:13

    The hidden layers of truth are never revealed by our MSM. What the article portrays as Saudi “journalism” is no different from the crude propaganda on CNN or Fox News. Because of the infinitely tangled web of lies and plots at high levels of government, the real complete truth about this affair will never be known, and in a way has become unknowable, lacking any credible witnesses. In a world awash in lies, the truth becomes impossible to salvage.

  50. Anne Jaclard
    October 15, 2018 at 08:07

    Even the most sycophantic and establishment journalists have been under increasing threat in the new age of strongmen. Trump considers even pro-war, pro-CIA journalists like CNN’s Jim Acosta and the New York Times’s Maggie Haberman to be “fake news” that should be sued and/or removed from the airwaves. Meanwhile Saudi reactionary monarch Bin Salman is apparently terrified of criticism. I guess his gristly murder backfired – if his goal was to maintain the flow of fawning PR by “journalists” like Thomas Friedman and others (we all know who they are), this is just going to make things worse for him.

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