Saudi journalist murdered, official cover-up?


This video from the USA says about itself:

Can Trump’s Saudi Alliance Survive #Khashoggi?

TYT Contributor Ryan Grim reports from a protest outside the Saudi embassy in Washington DC. U.S. and Turkish officials say that Jamal Khashoggi, a Washington Post columnist and U.S. resident, was reportedly killed inside the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul this month. Read Ryan’s report for The Intercept here.

From daily The Morning Star in Britain:

Monday, October 15, 2018

The demand for sanctions on Riyadh is unanswerable

WESTERN allies of the despotic Saudi monarchy talk loudly of possible consequences if Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi was indeed murdered in Riyadh’s Istanbul consulate.

Turkish officials were due to carry out a joint inspection of the consulate last night alongside Saudi officials, but is any evidence likely to survive a fortnight after Khashoggi’s disappearance?

Ankara claimed earlier to have evidence that the journalist, who has angered the House of Saud for reporting honestly on many issues, not least the barbaric war in Yemen, was murdered in the consulate by a specially dispatched hit squad before being dismembered and removed from the building.

If it has such evidence, what point is there in agreeing to a joint “inspection?”

Have the economic threats delivered by the Saudi monarchy hit home and persuaded Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan — no slouch in the state terrorism stakes himself — to engage in a charade before concluding it’s all a mystery, so let’s move on.

It doesn’t require an internal consulate inspection to conclude that something very unpleasant happened there on October 2.

No-one disputes that Khashoggi went into the consulate to obtain documents needed for his marriage. The Saudi regime insists he left later, but his Turkish fiancée, waiting for him outside, denies this.

Saudi Arabia, like a number of oil-rich states, has amassed huge foreign investment funds over decades, investing substantial sums in Turkey and it clearly has the potential to cause problems for the Erdogan regime.

It is quite possible that, in their telephone conversation on Sunday, Saudi King Salman left the Turkish leader in no doubt that agreeing to a “joint working group” to probe the mystery of Khashoggi’s disappearance would be much less troublesome for Ankara than making a fuss about a hit squad and dismemberment of a body.

That Turkey can be intimidated by economic blackmail from Saudi Arabia and possibly its Gulf Co-operation Council (GCC) allies is unsurprising, but what is the excuse for the US, Britain and the European Union?

US President Donald Trump has given one of the Grand Old Duke of York performances, declaring at the weekend that the Khashoggi case was “being looked at very, very strongly.”

He threatened “severe punishment” if Khashoggi was found to have been killed in the consulate, but, when asked about economic/military sanctions against Riyadh, the US president stressed that a potential $110 billion arms deal with Saudi Arabia takes precedence over retribution against a close US ally murdering one its own citizens, chopping up his body and disposing of it.

Who could be surprised when both Washington and London have prioritised trade deals over strong action to persuade Saudi Arabia and its regional allies to end their murderous bombing of Yemen, the poorest country in the Arab world?

Their avowed intent is to starve Houthi forces and the civilian population from which their fighters come in order to restore Riyadh’s ally

rather: puppet. Confined to house arrest in Riyadh.

Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi to the presidency. And the result is impending mass famine.

Theresa May’s government is up to its neck in Yemeni blood, sending the planes, missiles and expert RAF personnel to better prosecute the Saudi monarchy’s war.

Had the US and Britain not encouraged Riyadh in previous illegal adventures such as arming, training and financing jihadist extremists in Syria, this medieval gang of head-choppers would not feel able to threaten critics now.

The demand for sanctions on Riyadh is unanswerable, underlining the pressing need for election of a Jeremy Corbyn-led Labour government to operate a less venal foreign policy.

Translated from Dutch NOS TV today:

Such a statement could be acceptable to all parties, says correspondent Lucas Waagmeester in Turkey. For Turkey, it is important to recognize that Khashoggi was killed, for the US it would be acceptable if his death was a mistake, and the Saudis would like to have mentioned that Khashoggi was not killed by order of the Saudi king.

If not by order of the king, then by order of the crown prince. It is hardly credible that in the Saudi absolute monarchy fifteen subjects just suddenly decide to take a trip to Turkey just for fun because they feel like it as individuals, bringing a bone saw with them.

Maybe this cover-up compromise statement is acceptable to the Saudi absolute monarchy, the Erdogan regime in Turkey and the Trump regime in the USA. But: acceptable to the millions of people all over the world who oppose torture and murder?

This Lucas Waagmeester tweet asks itself (translated):

Will this really be the end of the storm? Is “sorry, we tortured a bit too roughly, shit happens you know, just a little industrial accident” just okay? And: where’s the body?

If the intention of the Saudi death squad flown into Turkey was to torture Khashoggi, but not torture him to death, then it is hardly credible that killing him was an ‘accident’. Oh yeah, and why did the death squad bring a bone saw with them to cut up Khashoggi (still alive, or dead)?

The NOS article continues:

The Saudi king has told President Trump that he knows nothing about this issue and that the crown prince has nothing to do with it either.

“The denial could not have been stronger”, Trump said after the interview. That comment got him a lot of criticism from, among others, the Democratic Senator Chris Murphy. He said that Trump did public relations work for the Saudis with his statements.

TRUMP GIVES COVER TO SAUDIS OVER ALLEGED ASSASSINATION President Donald Trump is lining up with conservatives who have urged the U.S. not to risk a serious rupture with the Saudis over the murder of a journalist. He even offered the Kingdom cover Monday, floating the theory that “rogue killers” were responsible for the journalist’s disappearance. [HuffPost]

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