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Thread: Journalist from SA mysteriously disappeared under suspicious circumstances in Istanbul

  1. #1
    Abdülmecid I's Avatar ¡Ay Carmela!
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    Default Journalist from SA mysteriously disappeared under suspicious circumstances in Istanbul

    The individual in question is Jamal Khashoggi, one of Saudi Arabia's most prominent journalists. Mr. Khashoggi entered the Saudi Arabian consulate in Istanbul, in order to obtain a specific document necessary for his upcoming marriage with his fiancé. Surprisingly, he never emerged from there again and his whereabouts remain unknown. Turkish officials had originally blamed the diplomats of the kingdom for murdering the journalist. However, despite early promises of providing the required evidence, they (including Erdoğan himself, as the President of the Turkish Republic) adopted a more moderate stance, refusing to repeat their accusations and expressing their uncertainty over the journalist's fate. Maybe Ankara became more prudent or are afraid of undermining the friendly ties with Riyadh. According to Saudi Arabian authorities, Jamal Khashoggi exited the consulate safe and sound, but for obvious reasons, this version is not taken very seriously.



    The relationship between the missing journalist and the Saudi Arabian regime is complicated. Khashoggi has often clashed with the religious establishment and didn't even hesitate to criticize the policies of Mohammad bin Salman. Mohammad bin Salman, as the heir apparent, effectively rules the kingdom, due to the medical problems of his aged father, king Salman. He's a famous opponent of the religious police's arbitrary and ruthless tactics, but he can hardly be described as a liberal dissident against the bigoted tyranny of the country. Despite his conflict with Mohammad bin Salman, he holds strong ties with the royal family and is a member and friend of the political establishment. He has served as the editor-in-chief of al-Watan, one of Saudi Arabia's largest newspapers which is directed by Prince Bandar bin Khalid, a powerful grand-children of king Faisal. For example, Jamal Khashoggi has worked as the unofficial spokesperson of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, he traditionally endorses aggressive interventions in foreign countries, such as the Syrian Civil War and the Mujaheddin insurrection in Afghanistan against the Soviets and even his harsh position against Islamism is dubious, as he has praised the Muslim Brotherhood, a group linked to terrorism and marked by intolerance against atheists and religious minorities.

    On the other hand, he has been more negative towards the Saudi Arabian participation in the Yemeni Civil War and his contributions in al-Watan have been twice interrupted after his resignations, following a couple of controversial articles. Moreover, he has been allegedly punished for reprimanding Donald Trump, presumably due to the extremely cordial relations between the US and SA, while the Muslim Brotherhood is banned by the Salafist monarchy, which perceives its political message as a threat to internal stability. In my opinion, this nuanced image of Jamal Khashogi, who is neither a democratic revolutionary nor a flexible underling of the ruler gives the answer to his disappearance. Contrary to the misleading impression an external observer can get from an absolute monarchy, even the most authoritarian autocracy is based on the cooperation between of various elites, whose interests may frequently collide. The journalist was clearly in favour of modernization (mainly in financial terms) and liberalisation, so that the kingdom can evolve from oil-dependence to a diverse economy, perfectly capable of sustaining itself and dominating the international markets, without however undermining the principal cores of the regime, tribal alliances, the eminence of the royal dynasty and Islam as the basis for morality and legislation. However, bold strategies like these, in spite of their undeniable advantages, endanger several entrenched interests and well-kept privileges.

    For example, the power inside the kingdom is shared, at a considerable extent, between the royal dynasty and the obscure Council of Senior Scholars, composed of ambitious clerics with unprecedentedly extended jurisdiction. Additionally, the royal family is hardly a united body, led by selfless altruism. Different clans fight against each other, while the procedure of heritage is notoriously fragile. King Salman appointing his own son as the heir was dangerously innovative, because it disrupted the old system of power-trading between the different branches. Muhammad bin Salman has faced serious opposition and his ascendance to the throne will not be completely serene. I suspect that Jamal Khashoggi was involved in all these disputes, which may cost him dearly. I'm not sure whether he is dead or not, but he's doubtlessly not free right now. Perhaps he's still in custody inside the consulate or has already been secretly transferred to Saudi Arabia for further interrogation. His misfortunes are probably a typical case not of popular disapproval of Saudi despotism, but of the conflicts between the country's elites and future challenges.
    Last edited by Abdülmecid I; October 10, 2018 at 02:42 PM.

  2. #2
    Vanoi's Avatar Dux Limitis
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    Default Re: Journalist from SA mysteriously disappeared under suspicious circumstances in Istanbul

    Saw this story. The Saudis are definitely hiding something.

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    Daruwind's Avatar Citizen
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    Default Re: Journalist from SA mysteriously disappeared under suspicious circumstances in Istanbul

    It should be easy, there must be cameras guarding entrencies. And due to event being very recent....it should be still on memory,HDD,tape or whatever they are using. Right? So if he entered and left, it should be recorded...

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    conon394's Avatar hoi polloi
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    Default Re: Journalist from SA mysteriously disappeared under suspicious circumstances in Istanbul

    The WP is saying that have leaks from US intel say that they intercepted traffic indicating the Saudis were talking about rying to either capture him or lure him back to Saudi Arabia for detention. I wonder if things turned south or somebody figured dead was easier.

    But they are the only source I've seen for that so far.

    As an American, just one more reason to ditch the house of Saud. If we going to run a huge deficit I figure the money we spend on protecting the gulf could be better spent subsiding fracking, renewables, electric cars etc.
    Last edited by conon394; October 10, 2018 at 06:44 PM.
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    Default Re: Journalist from SA mysteriously disappeared under suspicious circumstances in Istanbul

    The journalist in question is hardly fitting the "ruthless defender of freedom and human rights" archetype, as he was quite happy with being regime pawn and supported some vile policies of the Saudis. He took a side in a ongoing rift and clearly lost.
    Having said that from a more Western perspective, much like Israel, Saudi Arabia is a huge liability fro the West and especially US. I hope this situation will lead towards suspension of friendly relations with Saudi Arabia or even more pro-active stance in dealing with the Saudi problem.

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    conon394's Avatar hoi polloi
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    Default Re: Journalist from SA mysteriously disappeared under suspicious circumstances in Istanbul

    The journalist in question is hardly fitting the "ruthless defender of freedom and human rights" archetype, as he was quite happy with being regime pawn and supported some vile policies of the Saudis. He took a side in a ongoing rift and clearly lost.
    Nobody is perfect. The point is as soon as diverged from the acceptable the hammer came down.
    IN PATROCINIVM SVB Dromikaites

    'One day when I fly with my hands - up down the sky, like a bird'

    But if the cause be not good, the king himself hath a heavy reckoning to make, when all those legs and arms and heads, chopped off in battle, shall join together at the latter day and cry all 'We died at such a place; some swearing, some crying for surgeon, some upon their wives left poor behind them, some upon the debts they owe, some upon their children rawly left.

    Hyperides of Athens: We know, replied he, that Antipater is good, but we (the Demos of Athens) have no need of a master at present, even a good one.

  7. #7

    Default Re: Journalist from SA mysteriously disappeared under suspicious circumstances in Istanbul

    The embassy is saudi turf and the vic was a saudi national, not allot Turkey can really do tbh

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    Default Re: Journalist from SA mysteriously disappeared under suspicious circumstances in Istanbul

    The point is that a government killed a political dissident inside a consulate without fear of reprisal. The consulates all over the world are supposed to be safe places. If that government was Iran, Turkey or even Russia, West would be very furious and would accuse these governments, embargoing them or even preparing to invade. Funnily, nothing is being done against Saudis.

    Oh, and you know, when Saudis belittled and mocked Canadian government last month, not one of "democratic and civilised" Western countries supported Canada. Today, Saudi government is killing their enemies in consulates. Tomorrow, they will probably start using car bombs. After all, they know that West cares only about lucrative oil contracts.

  9. #9

    Default Re: Journalist from SA mysteriously disappeared under suspicious circumstances in Istanbul

    Blank cheques are inherently dangerous...and though the one given by the US to the Saudi's might not result in the same kind of disaster as the one written for the Austrians by the Germans in 1914, it is a barrel of gunpowder waiting to blow. Best for the US to call the bank and cancel it, or who knows what bloodshed lies ahead.

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    Squiggle's Avatar Primicerius
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    Default Re: Journalist from SA mysteriously disappeared under suspicious circumstances in Istanbul

    if ever a country deserved the boot-heel of a foreign oppressor on their throat, it is Arabia. When are we going to ****ing handle them already? Savages.
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  11. #11

    Default Re: Journalist from SA mysteriously disappeared under suspicious circumstances in Istanbul

    Turks tell U.S. officials they have audio and video recordings that support conclusion Khashoggi was killed
    The Turkish government has told U.S. officials that it has audio and video recordings that prove Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi was killed inside the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul this month, according to U.S. and Turkish officials.
    It's a bizarre case from any angle you look at it. It will certainly test how countries react to Saudi Arabia. Meanwhile, Saudi's saw it in themselves to call Turkey not safe...
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    Default Re: Journalist from SA mysteriously disappeared under suspicious circumstances in Istanbul

    Quote Originally Posted by Odenat View Post
    nothing is being done against Saudis.
    The international community is probably just too busy working on the 200th resolution condemning Israel. Limited resources, man. Gotta prioritize. Who cares about assassination when we have West Bank checkpoints to put a stop to.

  13. #13

    Default Re: Journalist from SA mysteriously disappeared under suspicious circumstances in Istanbul

    Quote Originally Posted by Dr. Legend View Post
    The international community is probably just too busy working on the 200th resolution condemning Israel. Limited resources, man. Gotta prioritize. Who cares about assassination when we have West Bank checkpoints to put a stop to.
    Does that include the Security Council?
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  14. #14

    Default Re: Journalist from SA mysteriously disappeared under suspicious circumstances in Istanbul

    Trump says it's OK. As long as the Saudis continue to do business with the US, everything is allowed.

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    conon394's Avatar hoi polloi
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    Default Re: Journalist from SA mysteriously disappeared under suspicious circumstances in Istanbul

    Quote Originally Posted by Bethrezen View Post
    Trump says it's OK. As long as the Saudis continue to do business with the US, everything is allowed.
    Funny thing is they are really not doing all that much business with us. Spare parts and Ammo is about it. All those big letters of intent Trump totted after his visit were just vaporware. His comments that we loose business to Russia or China is bizarre seeing as pretty sure Russia does not make generic parts and bobs for US or UK planes. I am also sure the hose of Saud is not paying for in air refueling, or intel support.
    IN PATROCINIVM SVB Dromikaites

    'One day when I fly with my hands - up down the sky, like a bird'

    But if the cause be not good, the king himself hath a heavy reckoning to make, when all those legs and arms and heads, chopped off in battle, shall join together at the latter day and cry all 'We died at such a place; some swearing, some crying for surgeon, some upon their wives left poor behind them, some upon the debts they owe, some upon their children rawly left.

    Hyperides of Athens: We know, replied he, that Antipater is good, but we (the Demos of Athens) have no need of a master at present, even a good one.

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    Ludicus's Avatar Vicarius Provinciae
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    Default Re: Journalist from SA mysteriously disappeared under suspicious circumstances in Istanbul

    Quote Originally Posted by Bethrezen View Post
    Trump says it's OK. As long as the Saudis continue to do business with the US, everything is allowed.
    President Donald Trump said Thursday that Saudi Arabia would redirect its spending to U.S. rivals if he cut off arms sales over the disappearance of Jamal Khashoggi.. and to the best of our knowledge, Khashoggi is not a United States citizen.
    This says a lot about Trump's moral and ethical qualities.
    On a side note, Saudi summit in crisis as Khashoggi case prompts mass withdrawals ...


    The world’s business elite were due to attend the Future Investment Initiative (FII), which begins in the Saudi capital on 23 October. However, some of the companies involved say they are withdrawing pending the outcome of investigations into Khashoggi’s disappearance, while others have pulled out unconditionally.
    Jamal Khashoggi: Turkey has 'shocking' evidence of journalist's killing ...



    Washington's "working assumption" is that Khashoggi was killed inside the consulate in Istanbul, according to a US official familiar with the latest intelligence. "We are pretty clear eyed it is likely to have happened and it didn't end well,"
    And yet,
    US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin told broadcaster CNBC he still planned to attend the Riyadh summit despite concerns about Khashoggi's status.
    Jamal Khashoggi case: All the latest updates | Saudi Arabia News | Al ...



    US and Turkish officials told The Washington Post there are audio and video recordings proving Khashoggi was tortured and murdered inside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul.
    Video recordings show a Saudi assassination team seizing the journalist after he walked in on October 2. He was then killed and his body dismembered, the officials told the Post - the newspaper that Khashoggi wrote for as a columnist.
    The audio was particularly gruesome.
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  17. #17

    Default Re: Journalist from SA mysteriously disappeared under suspicious circumstances in Istanbul

    Quote Originally Posted by 95thrifleman View Post
    The embassy is saudi turf and the vic was a saudi national, not allot Turkey can really do tbh
    Even so, it is incredibly callous to kill (or even just torture) anyone on what is, in every way except the virtual construct of international law, part of a foreign country. The irony of course is that this is a case of one transgressive regime offending another. Still, it would be nice if the international community seized this occasion as a reason for punitive measures against KSA that are long overdue. I'm thinking of, say, expelling any Saudi-funded clerics, and shutting down their operations. After all, their mission to spread Wahhabism everywhere has resulted in the majority of (competent) terrorists today being Wahhabi.


    Quote Originally Posted by Ludicus View Post
    This says a lot about Trump's moral and ethical qualities.
    Has there ever been a US president in living memory who didn't suck up to the Saudis? They've all been a massive disappointment in that regard.

  18. #18
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    Default Re: Journalist from SA mysteriously disappeared under suspicious circumstances in Istanbul

    As a designated "Country of Particular Concern", Saudi is already subject to automatic sanctions for their severe religious freedom violations. However, every president has waived the sanctions, for national security reasons presumably.

    Apparently, a bipartisan group of Senators is now looking to sanction them under the Magnitsky Act:

    A bipartisan group of senators wrote to the White House on Wednesday invoking the Global Magnitsky Human Rights Accountability Act to demand an investigation into the disappearance of journalist Jamal Khashoggi and possible sanctions against Saudi Arabia.

    One of the co-authors of the letter, Senator Bob Corker (R-TN), said he has seen intelligence reports indicating Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman ordered an operation to lure Khashoggi to Saudi Arabia so he could be arrested.

    The letter was written by Corker and Senator Bob Menendez (D-NJ) of the Foreign Relations Committee and Senators Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and Patrick Leahy (D-VT) of the Appropriations Subcommittee on State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs. The 22 signatories included Senators Marco Rubio (R-FL), Chris Murphy (D-CT), Tim Kaine (D-VA), and Ron Johnson.

    The letter noted the Magnitsky Act – named for Russian lawyer Sergei Magnitsky, who the Russian government arrested and killed in 2009 after uncovering widespread corruption – requires the president to investigate “extrajudicial killing, torture, or other gross violation of internationally recognized human rights” by foreign authorities upon request by the Senate. The senators indicated there are reasons to believe Khashoggi has suffered such abuse.

    “Therefore, we request that you make a determination on the imposition of sanctions pursuant to the Global Magnitsky Human Rights Accountability Act with respect to any foreign person responsible for such a violation related to Mr. Khashoggi. Our expectation is that in making your determination you will consider any relevant information, including with respect to the highest ranking officials in the Government of Saudi Arabia,” the letter stated.

    Corker told reporters on Wednesday he appreciates the reform agenda pursued by Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, who is commonly referred to by his initials “MBS,” but made it clear the abduction or murder of Khashoggi was completely unacceptable if the Saudi government was involved.

    “MBS is a person of the future. He’s got a vision for the country that I think is extraordinary for a young leader,” Corker said, while making it clear the Crown Prince could nonetheless be targeted personally by U.S. sanctions if he was complicit in Khashoggi’s disappearance.

    “We need to push back on activities like this if they have occurred,” Corker said. “We need to nip it in the bud. This is what this is intended to do, to send a strong message from us. It’s my hope that it doesn’t lead to the top. Indications are that if in fact he was murdered, it could well do so.”

    The Washington Post on Wednesday reported U.S. intelligence intercepted communications from Saudi officials over the past four months indicating Crown Prince bin Salman ordered an operation to lure Khashoggi to Saudi Arabia so he could be arrested.

    “Several of Khashoggi’s friends said that over the past four months, senior Saudi officials close to the crown prince had called Khashoggi to offer him protection, and even a high-level job working for the government if he returned to his home country,” the Post reported.

    Khashoggi’s response to these offers, according to one of his friends, was: “Are you kidding? I don’t trust them one bit.”

    U.S. officials quoted by the Post described the intelligence concerning a Saudi plot to abduct Khashoggi as too vague to trigger a warning to the journalist under longstanding American policy. The office of the Director of National Intelligence would neither confirm or deny that Khashoggi received a warning. A spokesman for the State Department insisted the U.S. government had “no advance warning” of Khashoggi’s disappearance.

  19. #19
    Abdülmecid I's Avatar ¡Ay Carmela!
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    Default Re: Journalist from SA mysteriously disappeared under suspicious circumstances in Istanbul

    Let's be realistic, incidents like these can serve as useful pretext to justify a geopolitical move to the eyes of the public, but for the disappearance of Jamal Khashaggi to lead to the collapse of the alliance between the "West" and Saudi Arabia, we miss the most important requirement: a serious reason. Saudi Arabia is by far the most precious ally of the United States in the region, perhaps even if we Israel into account. America is the biggest foreign investor in the kingdom, despite the competition of the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia has already invested a lot in the West and has the prospects of multiplying the amount, in times when liquidity has become rare. Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia remains remarkably loyal in diplomatic terms, where intelligence serves closely cooperate with each other, while Washington and Riyadh have formed a strong coalition against Iran, which opposes American interests in the Middle East and, instead of selling Aramco to international corporations, actually expelled the oil industry monopolies from Khuzestan.

    The financing of sectarian clerics abroad poses certain difficulties, but they are simply not comparable to all the aforementioned contributions. After all, from a rather cynical perspective, the brainwashed Belgians, French, British and etc. who joined al-Qaeda and ISIL did a great job sacrificing themselves, by obstructing the efforts of the Tehran-Damascus-Moscow "Axis". Let's not mix up morality and relatively minor problems, such as domestic terrorism, with gigantic economical interests. The far-right naively swallowed the bait of Donald Trump ditching the Saudis to form a Christian crescent with Vladimir Putin, but politics rarely match our wishful thinking, as his reactions to the possible murder of the journalist proved. After all, let's not forget some suggest that the straw that broke the camel's back was Khashaggi's negativity towards the American President. Personally I doubt that this was the main cause for his dispute with the royal authorities, but it demonstrates that short-lived outrages over extra-judicial murders can hardly affect diplomacy.

  20. #20

    Default Re: Journalist from SA mysteriously disappeared under suspicious circumstances in Istanbul

    Objectively speaking, Saudi Arabia is a terrible ally and a liability, even worse one then Israel or Qatar. True, Saudis invest a lot in Western countries and visa versa. It is a great thing - if you are a billionaire. If not, then you are probably a North American or European taxpayer, who has to finance these profitable relations by military-industrial complex expenses on yet another war against some country that messed with petrodollar and occasionally be a victim of some immigrant from Middle East who got brainwashed at one of those Saudi-funded mosques.
    Saudi Arabian investments do not outweigh the amount of cash that Saudis give to various Islamist groups around the world, which targeted Western countries as well. Saudi-funded mosques and imams preach religious fundamentalism to immigrants from Muslim countries who end up radicalizing and committing acts of violence. Hell, the biggest terrorist attack on US soil was committed by Saudis.
    Saudi Arabia does not only contribute to Muslim terrorism, but also to overall corruption in Western countries, they spent large sums of money on US elections alone. Saudis clearly enjoy those pocket liberal politicians who preach "tolerance to Islam" while really serving as conduit for Saudi's plans to export radikal Islam.
    Then we have Saudi foreign policy itself, with big elephant in the room being its rather genocidal invasion of Yemen.
    Truth is, West would benefit greatly is Saudi regime was destroyed, either replaced with a secular government or isolated via sanctions and other economic means.

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