The Saudi Kingdom Officially Admit the Khashoggi Murder

The Saudi King Salman was told to keep his son, Mohammad bin Salman, in the position of clown prince. It is widely assumed that MbS, the clown prince, ordered to kill Jamal Khashoggi in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul. The Saudis now admit that Khashoggi was murdered. Two of the clown prince’s bootlickers are offered as sacrificial pawns.


Flag of Saudi Arabia – Old Style

After seventeen days of claiming that Khashoggi left the consulate alive, the Saudis acknowledge that he was killed there. But they keep lying about what actually happened:

In a statement issued early Saturday morning in Riyadh, the Saudi capital, the Saudis claimed that some number of unnamed “suspects” had traveled to the consulate to meet with Khashoggi, “as there were indications of the possibility of his returning” to Saudi Arabia. …

“The discussions that took place . . . did not go as required and developed in a negative way,” the statement continued, leading to a “fight and a quarrel” and a “brawl” that led to Khashoggi’s death. The unnamed suspects then attempted “to conceal and cover what happened,” the Saudi government claimed, without elaborating.

“Khashoggi started a tussle with the fifteen men we sent to kindly ask him to come home. Unfortunately he stumbled, fell onto the chainsaw and severed his head.”

The clown prince himself knew of course nothing about this, claim Saudi sources:

“There were no orders for them to kill him or even specifically kidnap him,” said the source, speaking on condition of anonymity and adding that there was a standing order to bring critics of the kingdom back to the country.“

MbS had no knowledge of this specific operation and certainly did not order a kidnapping or murder of anybody. He will have been aware of the general instruction to tell people to come back,” the source said, using the initials of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

The source said the whereabouts of Khashoggi’s body were unclear after it was handed over to a “local cooperator” but there was no sign of it at the consulate.

Well – nobody said that the body is at the consulate. It was suspected to be at the residency of the consul which is a different building the Turkish police was not allowed to search. Where was it buried?

Two advisors to the Saudi clown prince have been named as fall guys. They will be generously compensated. One is his media advisor Saud al Qahtani, the Steve Bannon at the crown prince’s court;

SaadAbedine @SaadAbedine – 21:30 utc – 19 Oct 2018
#MBS’ very influential adviser in Royal Court, Saud Al Qahtani reacts to his ousting over @JKhashoggi’s murder with 2 tweets that look like an Academy Award acceptance speech …. “I extend my heartfelt thanks & gratitude to the #Saudi King & Crown Prince”

The other dude to find himself in a new villa is the deputy chief of intelligence, Major General Ahmad al-Assiri. A report on Friday in the New York Times had already named him as a likely fall guy.

There are also some peripheral casualties:

The Saudi government announced that it had detained 18 unnamed individuals and fired two top officials suspected of being involved in the operation.

The Saudi government said it would take another month to complete a full investigation, which would be overseen by Mohammed.

Mohammad will find that Mohammad had nothing to do with the issue. Does he really expect to get away with this? A lot depends on the Turkish president Erdogan. Professor Abukhalil suspects that a deal has been made:

asad abukhalil أسعد أبو خليل @asadabukhalil 4:21 utc – 20 Oct 2018
Suddenly, lo and behold, there is an unmistakable positive tone toward Turkey in Saudi regime media. A deal has been struck.

That is not for sure though and would be uncharacteristic for Erdogan. He likes to haggle and tries to draw out any deal as long as possible. We will know for sure in a few days. If the offered deal was insufficient the leaks from the Turkish side will restart. What are the Saudis and the U.S. willing to give to him?

It was the U.S. position that led the Saudis to change their story. On Thursday Trump’s tone about the case had changed. He earlier had publicly doubted that anything had happened at all.

After his meeting with Secretary of State Pompeo, who had just came back from Turkey and Saudi Arabia, Trump said he believed that Khashoggi was indeed dead. The Turks must have played the audio tape of the killing to Pompeo or to someone in his entourage.

The Post reports:

CIA officials have listened to an audio recording that Turkish officials say proves the journalist was killed and dismembered by a team of Saudi agents inside the consulate, according to people familiar with the matter. If verified, the recording would make it difficult for the White House to accept the Saudi version that Khashoggi’s death was effectively an accident.

The ‘deep state’ in the U.S. and the Washington Post, where Khashoggi wrote his columns, will not be satisfied with the now offered cover up. They want to see MbS (and his friend Jared Kushner) go. The Zionist lobby and President Trump will want both to stay. But the public and Congress may not let go of the issue:

Republican Senator Lindsey Graham, an influential Trump ally, said he doubted the latest admission from Saudi authorities.

“To say that I am sceptical of the new Saudi narrative about Mr Khashoggi is an understatement,” he tweeted.

Bob Menendez, the top US Democrat on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, called for sanctions, saying “we need to keep up international pressure” on the kingdom.

The Saudis still need to come up with a better narrative. The current one is not sufficient. The most important question that should have been answered by now is: Where is the dismembered body?

Complicating the official narrative, Ali Shihabi, head of pro-Saudi think tank Arabia Foundation which is said to be close to the government, tweeted that “Khashoggi died from a chokehold during a physical altercation, not a fist fight”, citing a senior Saudi source.

But pro-government Turkish media have repeatedly claimed that Khashoggi was tortured and decapitated by a Saudi hit squad inside the diplomatic mission, although Turkey has yet to divulge details of its investigation.

“Each successive narrative put out by the Saudis to explain what happened to Khashoggi has strained credulity,” Kristian Ulrichsen, a fellow at Rice University’s Baker Institute in the United States, told AFP.

“Especially because the Saudis are still unable or unwilling to produce the one piece of evidence — a body — that could provide a definitive answer one way or the other.”

It is doubtful that today’s developments are the end of this saga.

MbS is damaged goods. He will never again be seen as the ‘reformer’. Western politicians and companies will try to avoid any association with him. Mohammad bin Salman may have been modernized the Saudi flag. But the evil of the Saudi rulers is still in full view.

 

This article was originally published by Moon Of Alabama

 

The 21st Century

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