The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has been accused of assassinating a dissident Saudi reporter after he went missing during a visit to the country’s consulate in Istanbul, Turkey.
Jamal Khashoggi, a Washington Post journalist best known for his gushing interviews of Al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden, allegedly disappeared during a visit to the consulate in Turkey, where he was living in exile. Although the Saudi government has confirmed that Khashoggi left the consulate after two days of detention, others continue to suggest that Khashoggi was instead kidnapped or killed.
Khashoggi was known as a vehement critic of U.S. President Donald Trump, having been previously banned from contributing to Saudi newspapers, appearing on state TV, and attending political conferences in the Kingdom for his promotion of subversive narratives, including a call for Sunni Arab countries to unite against Trump.
Not all are happy about the move, however. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has called on Saudi Arabia to provide proof that Khashoggi is still alive and has requested permission for Turkish authorities to search the consulate.
“The consulate officials cannot save themselves by simply saying ‘he has left’,” Erdogan stated. “If he walked out of the premises they have to prove it with footage.”
Given Erdogan’s regime currently has 245 journalists behind bars, it seems rather hypocritical that he is now branding himself as a champion of the rights of journalists. The rationale for his behavior is likely motivated by Khashoggi’s sympathies for the Gulf state of Qatar and the international Muslim Brotherhood network, both key allies of Erdogan’s Turkey.
Leading establishment figures within the U.S. Senate were similarly dismayed.
“I have raised Jamal’s disappearance personally with the Saudi ambassador, and while we await more information, know we will respond accordingly to any state that targets journalists abroad,” said Sen. Bob Corker (R-TN), the Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and a prominent Never Trumper.
“If true, the international community must stand together and enforce consequences,” said Sen. Bob Menendez (D-NJ), the Ranking Member on the same committee. “[Secretary Pompeo] must speak out forcefully against the silencing of Arab activists, dissidents and journalists.”
The Washington Post has claimed it was told by Turkish investigators that they have internally concluded Saudi Arabia sent a 15-member team as part of “a preplanned murder” of Khashoggi, although this has yet to be confirmed by impartial media outlets. Given the source and lack of official corroboration, this report should be taken very lightly. The Washington Post is owned by Amazon chairman Jeff Bezos, a major donor to a plethora of left-wing causes, including the campaign committees of leading Democratic senators and illegal alien funds.
While absolutely no proof at all has been produced suggesting Khashoggi is indeed deceased, and it much more likely he has merely seen the error of his ways and removed himself from the public eye out of shame, having one less fake news operative to contend with is surely a positive development for both the United States and Saudi Arabia.