Saudi Dissident Khashoggi: Medienschau 4

Khashoggi Press review 4: Saudis gestehen endlich den Tod von Kashoggi ein, tischen Lügengeschichte auf: Er sei durch Unfall bei einem Faustkampf gestorben. Der Kronprinz habe nichts gewusst...
Bei diesem Beitrag handelt es sich um ein Blog aus der Freitag-Community

Eingebetteter Medieninhalt

Eingebetteter Medieninhalt

Eingebetteter Medieninhalt

... zwei hochrangige Sündenböcke wurden präsentiert. Trump äußert sich positiv, ansonsten viel Zweifel und Spott.

The Saudis finally admit that Khashoggi is dead, and they present a tall story: Khashoggi did by accident during a fist fight. The Crown prince did not know anything. Two high-ranked fall guys were presented. Trump reacts positive, otherwise a lot of doubts and mockery.

Schwerpunkte / Key aspects

Klassifizierung / Classification

cp01 Alle Berichte auf Deutsch

cp02 The Khashoggi criminal case: Reports in English

cp03 Reaktionen in den USA; Beziehungen USA-Saudi Arabien / Reactions in the US; US-Saudi relations

cp04 Internationale Reaktionen / International reactions

cp05 Lange Geschichte von saudischen Entführungen / Long history of Saudi abducations

cp06 Propaganda

cp07 Weitere Folgen / Further implications

cp08 Erinnerung an Khashoggi / Remembering Khashoggi

cp09 Satire

Klassifizierung / Classification

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(Kein Stern / No star)

? = Keine Einschatzung / No rating

A = Aktuell / Current news

B = Hintergrund / Background

P = Politik / Politics

Frühere Berichte / Earlier reporting:

Jemenkrieg-Mosaik / Yemen War Mosaic 465, cp8

https://www.freitag.de/autoren/dklose/jemenkrieg-mosaik-465-yemen-war-mosaic-465(Oct. 4)

Jemenkrieg-Mosaik / Yemen War Mosaic 466, cp8

https://www.freitag.de/autoren/dklose/jemenkrieg-mosaik-466-yemen-war-mosaic-466(Oct.7)

Saudi Dissident Khashoggi: Medienschau Teil 1 / Press review 1

https://www.freitag.de/autoren/dklose/saudi-dissident-khashoggi-entfuehrt-ermordet(Oct. 11)

Saudi Dissident Khashoggi: Medienschau Teil 2 / Press review 2

https://www.freitag.de/autoren/dklose/saudi-dissident-khashoggi-medienschau-teil-2(Oct. 15)

Saudi Dissident Khashoggi: Medienschau Teil 2 / Press review 3a, b

https://www.freitag.de/autoren/dklose/saudi-dissident-khashoggi-medienschau-3a

https://www.freitag.de/autoren/dklose/saudi-dissident-khashoggi-medienschau-3b (Oct. 18)

cp01 Alle Berichte auf Deutsch

Eingebetteter Medieninhalt

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Das Unvorstellbare ist eingetreten

Ist Saudi-Arabien so weit gesunken wie Hussein und Gaddafi, Oppositionelle einfach ermorden zu lassen? Offensichtlich ja, meint Reinhard Baumgarten: Die Ermordung Khashoggis sei eine unmissverständliche Botschaft an alle Kritiker.

Jamal Khashoggi war kein Mann, der sich mit durchtrainierten Bodygards auf einen Faustkampf eingelassen hätte. Diese Leute sind losgeschickt worden, um ihn mundtot zu machen. Jetzt soll es wie ein Unfall aussehen. Jetzt werden die mutmaßlichen Mörder in Haft genommen, werden Bauern in diesem schmutzigen Spiel geopfert. Die wahren Täter, die Auftraggeber für dieses infame Verbrechen, versuchen, ihren Kopf aus der Schlinge zu ziehen.

Khashoggi stellte Handeln des Prinzen infrage.

Vieles spricht dafür, dass die Mörder im Auftrag oder zumindest mit Billigung des saudischen Kronprinzen Mohammed bin Salman alias MBS gehandelt haben.

Die westlichen Freunde Saudi-Arabiens tun sich schwer damit, auf Khashoggis Schicksal zu reagieren. Berlin, Paris, London, Brüssel - sie wollen Riad nicht verprellen, hoffen auf gute wirtschaftliche Beziehungen. Präsident Trump glaubt die hanebüchene Räuberpistole aus Riad. Für 450 Milliarden Dollar habe Saudi-Arabien Waffen und Dinge in den USA bestellt, sagt er selbstzufrieden.

Wer wie er dieses infame Verbrechen herunterspielt, billigt das Vorgehen der Mörder und seiner Auftraggeber. Saudi-Arabien wird zunehmend zu einem unberechenbaren Partner und gefährlichen Akteur im Pulverfass Nahost Ein Kommentar von Reinhard Baumgarten, SWR

https://www.tagesschau.de/kommentar/kommentar-khashoggi-101.html

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Film: Prinzenfreundlicher Patriot: Wer war der Journalist Jamal Khashoggi?

Jamal Khashoggi war dem Regime in Saudi-Arabien ein Dorn im Auge. Warum, darüber rätseln nicht nur seine Kollegen und Freunde. Der Journalist war bekennender Unterstützer des Prinzen - und musste doch ins Exil. Eine andere Affinität könnte ihn das Leben gekostet haben.

https://www.n-tv.de/mediathek/videos/politik/Wer-war-der-Journalist-Jamal-Khashoggi-article20679990.html

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Film: Der Fall Khashoggi: Was steckt dahinter?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=thvl6naSRTU

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Film: "Kein Versehen, sondern ein brutaler Mord"

Saudi-Arabien räumt die Tötung von Jamal Khashoggi ein - die Erklärung ist wohl eine Lüge. Wie es in Riad weitergeht und wie der Westen reagieren sollte, analysiert Türkei-Korrespondent Maximilian Popp im Video.

http://www.spiegel.de/video/fall-khashoggi-kein-versehen-sondern-ein-brutaler-mord-video-99021774.html

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Wie starb Khashoggi wirklich?: Die saudischen Killer und der Prinz

Erst nach 18 Tagen räumt Saudi-Arabien ein, was kaum mehr zu leugnen war: Der saudi-arabische Journalist Jamal Khashoggi starb im Konsulat in Istanbul. Und doch bleiben viele Fragen offen: Wie kam Khashoggi tatsächlich zu Tode, wer steckt dahinter und muss der Kronprinz nun um seine Macht fürchten? Hier einige Antworten auf die drängendsten Fragen

Welche Rolle spielt der Kronprinz?

Dennoch ist es zweifelhaft, dass in dem autokratisch regierten Land ein Killerkommando ohne Wissen des Kronprinzen eigenmächtig den bekanntesten Journalisten des Landes einfach beseitigt. Schließlich hält der Lieblingssohn von König Salman auch sonst fest die Fäden in der Hand und gibt den Kurs des Landes vor. Außenpolitisch ist er für den blutigen Krieg im Jemen verantwortlich. Innenpolitisch setzte er dabei nicht nur auf Reformen - wie es so lange gerne kolportiert wurde - sondern verfolgt auch rigoros echte oder vermeintliche Gegner. Dabei soll er sich auch Russlands Präsidenten Wladimir Putin zum Vorbild genommen, wie das Internetportal "Middle East Eye" schreibt. Angeblich fragte MBS einmal bei einem Treffen: "Wie macht es Putin, dass er Oppositionelle entführt und in London tötet, und es hat keine Konsequenzen?"

Dabei muss dem Kronprinzen besonders Khashoggi ein Dorn im Auge gewesen sein: Prangerte dieser doch den Krieg im Jemen, die saudischen Maßnahmen gegen Katar und die Unterdrückung Oppositioneller an. Was ihn am meisten beunruhige, sei die "Herrschaft eines einzelnen Mannes", sagt er 2017, als er schon im Exil in den USA lebte. Stimmen die US-Geheimdienstinformationen, soll genau dieser einzelne Mann, der Kronprinz, befohlen haben, Khashoggi zurück nach Saudi-Arabien zu bringen.

Dennoch könnte es gut sein, dass MBS wie so oft noch einmal davonkommt – auch wenn der internationale Druck auf sein Land steigt. Immerhin hat er im Ausland einen mächtigen Unterstützer: US-Präsident Donald Trump.

https://www.n-tv.de/politik/Die-saudischen-Killer-und-der-Prinz-article20680443.html

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Was geschah mit Jamal Khashoggi?

Saudi-Arabien hat bestätigt, dass der Journalist im Konsulat in Istanbul getötet wurde. Wieso der Fall so wichtig ist und wie es jetzt weitergeht, erklären wir im FAQ.

https://www.zeit.de/politik/ausland/2018-10/jamal-khashoggi-saudi-arabien-journalist-konsulat-istanbul-faq

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Reaktionen im Fall Khashoggi: Zweifel an den Todesumständen

Während US-Präsident Trump die saudische Version zu den Umständen von Khashoggis Tod für glaubwürdig hält, gibt es international erhebliche Zweifel. Mit Nachdruck wird eine gründliche und transparente Aufklärung gefordert.

"Einfach nicht glaubwürdig"

Andere Politiker reagierten weitaus skeptischer. So meldete US-Senator Lindsey Graham erhebliche Zweifel an der Saudi-Version der Todesumstände an.

Der Abgeordnete Eliot Engel, der ranghöchste Vertreter der Demokraten im Auswärtigen Ausschuss des Repräsentantenhauses, teilte mit: "Die Erklärung der saudischen Behörden von heute Nacht ist einfach nicht glaubwürdig, besonders, weil sich die Geschichte in den vergangenen Tagen so stark geändert hat." Er forderte die US-Regierung auf, Druck für eine "gründliche und transparente Untersuchung" auszuüben.

Der US-Kongressabgeordnete Eric Swalwell forderte Saudi-Arabien auf, den Verbleib der Leiche aufzuklären. "Wo ist die Leiche?", twitterte der demokratische Abgeordnete, der im Geheimdienstausschuss des Repräsentantenhauses sitzt.

AKP: Saudisches Eingeständnis eine "Schande"

In der Türkei bezeichnete die Regierungspartei AKP das späte Eingeständnis der saudischen Führung als "Schande". Erst durch die "ernsthaften und erfolgreichen" türkischen Ermittlungen in dem Fall sei das Königreich gezwungen gewesen, Khashoggis Tod schließlich zu bestätigen, sagte AKP-Sprecherin Leyla Sahin Usta. Alle Beweise würden bald veröffentlicht werden, fügte sie hinzu.

https://www.tagesschau.de/ausland/reaktionen-khashoggi-trump-101.html

und

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„15 Männer und Knochensäge zu einem Faustkampf mit einem 60-Jährigen?“

International wird die Erklärung Saudi-Arabiens zum Tod des Journalisten Jamal Khashoggi angezweifelt. Aus der Türkei hieß es, die saudische Erklärung sei eine „Schande“. Merkel und Maas verurteilen die gewaltsame Tötung Khashoggis „in aller Schärfe“.

Senator Jack Reed, Mitglied des Verteidigungsausschusses, wurde noch deutlicher: „Sie bringen nicht 15 Männer und eine Knochensäge zu einem Faustkampf mit einem 60-Jährigen“, sagte er. „Und wenn er versehentlich in einem Faustkampf getötet wurde, wo ist dann der Körper?“, fragte er.

Der niederländische Premierminister Mark Rutte forderte weitere Untersuchungen.

Eine Sprecherin der türkischen Regierungspartei AKP von Staatspräsident Recep Tayyip Erdogan bezeichnete nun das späte Eingeständnis der saudischen Führung als „Schande“. Leyla Sahin Usta sagte, es wäre wichtig gewesen, dass Saudi-Arabien früher mit den Details an die Öffentlichkeit gegangen wäre.

„Das ist eine große Schande für Saudi-Arabien und die ganze Welt.“ Erst durch die „ernsthaften und erfolgreichen“ türkischen Ermittlungen in dem Fall sei das Land „gezwungen“ gewesen, Khashoggis Tod schließlich zu bestätigen. „Alle Beweise werden bald veröffentlicht werden“, fügte sie hinzu.

https://www.welt.de/politik/ausland/article182409620/Reaktionen-auf-Khashoggi-Fall-15-Maenner-und-Knochensaege-zu-einem-Faustkampf-mit-einem-60-Jaehrigen.html

Mein Kommentar: Hoffen wir auf die Türken!

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Fall Khashoggi: Kronprinz MbS ist für viele Saudis die letzte Hoffnung

Viele Anhänger des saudischen Kronprinzen hoffen, dass er den Fall Khashoggi übersteht. Denn außer ihm sei weit und breit kein Reformer in Sicht

Dass Prinzen "verschwinden", die Ärger machen, kommt nicht oft, aber doch vor. Das heißt: Nicht einmal Jamal Khashoggi hatte die Komplexität, den Mechanismus der Veränderungen begriffen, die in Saudi-Arabien vor sich gehen, seit der heute 33-jährige Lieblingssohn von König Salman im Juni 2017 Kronprinz wurde. Es ist eine Kombination zweier völlig unterschiedlicher Ansätze: wirtschaftliche und soziale Reformen und Projekte, die unter dem Einsatz von Milliarden Dollar für Lobbying und PR – Public Diplomacy nennt sich das – weltweit in die Öffentlichkeit geblasen werden. Auf der anderen Seite: Repression, harsche Bestrafung jeglicher Kritik, egal ob sie von Liberalen oder von Konservativen kommt. Und alleine das zeigt, dass Saudi-Arabien eben nicht so ist, wie es immer war: MbS legte sich auch mit dem "normalen" konservativen religiösen Establishment an, der zweiten Säule des Staates neben dem Hause Saud.

Das gefiel vielen, innen und außen. Der Wunderwuzzi packte an. Als MbS im November 2017 – ein paar Stunden, nachdem er sich zum Chef der neuen Antikorruptionsbehörde ernannt hatte – mit den Verhaftungen von Geschäftsleuten und reichen Prinzen begann, erntete er viel Zustimmung, allerdings fast nur mehr in Saudi-Arabien selbst. Der Hinweis, dass es keinen Rechtsstaat ausmache, Leute – auch wenn es vielleicht Gauner sind – nach Gutdünken einzusperren, bis sie sich freikaufen, wurde von vielen Saudis zurückgewiesen. Auch dass der selbst immens reiche junge Mann alleine bestimmt, für wen welche Regeln gelten, wurde (und wird!) von seinen Unterstützern mit einem Schulterzucken hingenommen. Denn ob es uns gefällt oder nicht, MbS ist für viele die letzte Hoffnung. Und sie wollen sie auch jetzt noch nicht aufgeben, obwohl sie nach dem Verschwinden – und Tod, das bezweifelt wohl keiner mehr – Khashoggis in ein immer fürchterlicheres Dilemma geraten – von Gudrun Harrer

https://derstandard.at/2000089721386/MbS-ist-fuer-viele-Saudis-die-letzte-Hoffnung

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Empörung ist keine Politik

Rufe nach Bestrafungen des autoritären Königreichs werden laut. Gleichzeitig ist es ein wichtiger politischer und geschäftlicher Partner. Was für Optionen hat der Westen?

Die Türkei steckt in einem Dilemma: Konfrontiert sie Saudi-Arabien zu hart, könnte sie die eigene Notlage verschärfen.

Die Verstrickungen von Donald Trump

Ähnliches gilt für die USA, denn schließlich arbeitete Jamal Khashoggi für eine der angesehensten Zeitungen des Landes. Der Mord hat Empörung in Washington ausgelöst. Trump selbst hat Strafen angedroht, wenige Tage später aber die Unschuldsvermutung für das saudische Königshaus gefordert. Der Bericht von Außenminister Mike Pompeo, der vor wenigen Tagen in Riad war, steht noch aus. Trumps private Geschäftsbeziehungen zu Saudi-Arabien geraten in den Fokus. Zum ersten Mal treibt diese Affäre einen Keil zwischen ihn und die republikanische Partei.

Was war das Motiv?

Was bis heute vor allem Rätsel aufgibt, ist das Motiv der mutmaßlichen Täter. Khashoggi mag den Autoritäten in Riad lästig gewesen sein. Er vermochte aber nicht die offizielle Politik in Washington zu beeinflussen. Seine Beiträge in der Washington Post fanden bei arabischen Lesern kaum Widerhall, sie konnten die politische Stabilität Saudi-Arabiens nicht bedrohen.

Bisherige Erkenntnisse lassen nur drei Hypothesen zu: Entweder Saudi-Arabiens Kronprinz bin Salman hat diesen Mord in dieser Form befohlen. Oder er hat Worte gesagt wie „Schafft mir diesen Kerl vom Halse!“ und übereifrige Mitarbeiter haben dies als Befehl aufgefasst. Oder hochrangige Kleriker haben Mitarbeiter des Kronprinzen für sich gewonnen und diese Tat vollbringen lassen, um den als reformfreudig und religionsfern geltenden Kronprinzen irreparabel zu beschädigen. Alle drei Hypothesen werfen ein beängstigendes Licht auf das Regierungssystem des Landes.

Sind dem Westen die Hände gebunden?

Kein Wunder, dass die politischen Wellen hochschlagen.

Saudi-Arabien war immer schon ein unpassender Partner für einen Westen, der auf liberale Werte und demokratische Strukturen setzt. Politik, vor allem Außenpolitik, muss einen Balanceakt vollbringen zwischen dem Wünschbaren und dem Möglichen. Es geht in der Politik, vor allem in der Sicherheitspolitik, weniger darum, das Bessere zu fördern, als das Schlimmere zu verhindern. Das strategische Ziel muss sein, Saudi-Arabien auf einen Reformkurs zu bringen ohne die innere Stabilität zu gefährden. Nach den Erfahrungen in Afghanistan, im Irak und in Libyen sollte jeder wissen, dass die Alternative zu einer Despotie nicht zwingend Demokratie ist. Ein Staatszerfall und Chaos in Riad und Jedda wäre noch fürchterlicher als das gegenwärtige Regime.

https://www.cicero.de/aussenpolitik/jamal-khashoggi-saudi-arabien-mohammed-bin-salman-tuerkei-donald-trump-usa

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20 Millionen für eine Luxusyacht

Nach dem Verschwinden des saudischen Journalisten Dschamal Khashoggi schreiben demokratische Senatoren einen offenen Brief an US-Präsident Donald Trump.

„Wir kommen sehr gut miteinander aus. Sie kaufen Apartments von mir, für 40, manchmal 50 Millionen Euro. Soll ich sie dafür nicht mögen? Ich mag sie sehr gerne“, sagte Donald Trump im Jahr 2015 auf einer Wahlkampfveranstaltung in Alabama.

Doch welche Bedeutung haben die Dollars aus Saudi-Arabien für Donald Trumps Firmen? Elf demokratische Senatoren verlangen nun in einem offenen Brief, dass Trump die zahlreichen Verbindungen zwischen seinem Firmengeflecht und der Königsfamilie offen legt. In dem Brief werden mehrere entsprechende Geschäfte der Trump Organization aufgezählt, zu der laut dem US-Nachrichtensender CNN mehr als 100 Firmen gehören. Unter anderem habe ein saudischer Prinz 1995 dem damals finanziell gebeutelten Trump gemeinsam mit asiatischen Investoren das New Yorker Plaza Hotel für 325 Millionen Dollar abgekauft. Mitglieder der saudischen Königsfamilie seien gut zahlende Stammgäste in den Trump-Hotels in New York und Washington. 1991 verkaufte Trump eine Luxusyacht für ungewöhnlich hohe 20 Millionen Dollar an einen weiteren saudischen Prinzen. Saudische Investoren hätten außerdem laut des Briefs immer wieder Wohnungen und ganze Stockwerke in Immobilien der Trump-Organisation erworben.

http://www.fr.de/politik/dschamal-khashoggi-20-millionen-fuer-eine-luxusyacht-a-1603874

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Der Fall Khashoggi: Wie der Westen die islamische Welt verrät

Es heißt immer, Europa und die USA müssen Saudi-Arabien Paroli bieten. Doch wir haben uns mit dem Unrechtsregime zu unserem Vorteil arrangiert. Die wahre Hoffnung liegt nun auf jenen Ländern, die am meisten unter dessen Machenschaften leiden.

Wäre Jamal Khashoggi Menschenrechtsaktivist oder ein "einfacher" Blogger, sein Verschwinden würde möglicherweise weniger Aufregung verursachen – eine von zwei bitteren Erkenntnissen, die im Zuge der Ermittlungen rund um den Tod des Journalisten zu gewinnen sind.

Der Verrat des Westens an der islamischen Welt

Die zweite Erkenntnis ist, dass der Fall Khashoggi wahrscheinlich keine Folgen haben wird. Zwar sagten zahlreiche CEOs ihre Teilnahme an einer arabischen Investmentkonferenz ab, zwar sah sich die saudische Führung unter dem internationalen Mediendruck gezwungen, die Tötung Khashoggis einzuräumen. Doch das Schmierentheater, das allein der amerikanische Präsident zur offiziellen Erklärung, Khashoggis Tod sei ein bedauerlicher Zufall gewesen, aufführt, lässt befürchten, dass es sein wird wie immer: Fürs Protokoll wird Beschwerde eingelegt. Dann werden weiter Geschäfte gemacht.

Es heißt immer, der Westen müsse endlich gegen Saudi-Arabien aufstehen. Doch dieser Teil der Welt scheint für den Kampf verloren. Wir haben uns arrangiert mit den Investoren, den Waffenkäufern, den Immobiliensammlern. Saudi-Arabien ist der zweitgrößte Kunde deutscher Rüstungskonzerne.

Wir haben uns kaufen lassen.

Mit diesem Deal haben wir ein Haus gebaut, in dem wir es uns gut eingerichtet haben. Nur ab und zu schauen wir verstört auf. Dann nämlich, wenn wir wieder einmal daran erinnert werden, worauf dieses Haus steht – auf den Rücken der Unterdrückten, der Gefolterten, Eingesperrten und Vertriebenen, wenn ein Zittern durch die Wände geht, weil einer dieser Rücken bricht, diesmal der von Jamal Khashoggi.

Wir zeigen mit den Fingern auf den Zustand der Menschenrechte im Allgemeinen und der Frauenrechte im Speziellen und verdrängen in unserer seligen Selbstgerechtigkeit, dass wir diesen Zuständen mit unseren Wirtschaftsabkommen unsere schweigende Zustimmung erteilen.

Die Hoffnungen auf eine Bewegung, die den Al-Sauds Beine macht, müssen auf der islamischen Welt selbst liegen. Auf jenen Menschen, die bisher am meisten unter den saudischen Exzessen gelitten haben. Die Welle des von Saudi-Arabien aus mutmaßlich finanzierten Extremismus hat unvorstellbares Leid verursacht, die Zahl der durch zahllose Anschläge und alltäglichen Terror Getöteten von Kabul bis Mogadischu übertrifft jene der im Westen durch Terror Umgekommenen um ein Vielfaches.

Die islamische Welt darf nicht länger darauf warten, dass der Westen ihnen das Joch Al-Saud abnimmt – von Sylvia Margret Steinitz

https://www.stern.de/panorama/sylvia-margret-steinitz/der-fall-jamal-khashoggi--der-westen-hat-die-islamische-welt-verraten-8410296.html

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Verdächtige im Fall Khashoggi: Der General und der Troll

Die Erklärung Saudi-Arabiens zum Tod Jamal Khashoggis klingt hanebüchen. Das Regime macht zwei Vertraute des Kronprinzen verantwortlich: den Vize-Chef des Geheimdiensts und den "Steve Bannon von Saudi-Arabien".

18 Tage lang hatte das Regime in Riad behauptet, keine Kenntnis über das Verschwinden des saudi-arabischen Journalisten Jamal Khashoggi zu haben. Der Mann habe das Konsulat des Königreichs in Istanbul am 2. Oktober lebend verlassen, hieß es. Nun plötzlich teilt die Justiz mit: Khashoggi wurde in der diplomatischen Vertretung getötet.

Die Saudis stellen das Ganze als Unfall und Verkettung unglücklicher Umstände dar: Das Königshaus habe eine allgemeine Direktive erlassen, im Ausland lebende Dissidenten in die Heimat zurückzuholen. Als diese Anweisung dann in der Befehlskette nach unten weitergegeben wurde, sei es zu Missverständnissen gekommen. Diese hätten dann dazu geführt, dass sich im Istanbuler Konsulat zwischen Khashoggi und den saudischen Agenten eine Schlägerei entwickelte, in deren Verlauf der 59-jährige Journalist getötet wurde.

Ein saudischer Offizieller behauptet in der "New York Times", ein lokaler Mitarbeiter habe sich um die Beseitigung der Leiche gekümmert, daher wüssten die Saudis auch gar nicht, wo sich die sterblichen Überreste Khashoggis befinden.

Die Geschichte klingt hanebüchen, US-Präsident Donald Trump scheint aber gewillt, sie zu glauben - zumindest vermittelt er öffentlich diesen Eindruck. Er bezeichnete die Ermittlungen der Saudis als "gute erste Schritte". Er denke über "eine Form von Sanktionen" nach, stellte aber zugleich klar, dass er die Rüstungsdeals mit dem Königreich nicht in Frage stellen wolle.

Ermittlungen gegen 18 Saudis

Nach eigenen Angaben ermittelt Riad gegen 18 Saudis. Namentlich bekannt sind zwei von ihnen: General Ahmad Asiri, Vize-Chef des Geheimdienstes, und Saud Al-Qahtani, einer der engsten Berater von Kronprinz Mohammed bin Salman.

Nach offizieller Darstellung soll Asiri das 15-köpfige Agententeam zusammengestellt haben, das zum Treffen mit Khashoggi nach Istanbul geschickt wurde.

Der General gehörte in den vergangenen Jahren zu den wenigen bekannten Gesichtern des saudi-arabischen Sicherheitsapparates. Massiv geschult von westlichen PR-Agenturen sollte der smarte Asiri vor allem westlichen Journalisten glaubhaft erklären, dass die Saudis rechtmäßig in den Krieg im Jemen eingegriffen hätten und sich an die internationalen Kriegskonventionen hielten.

Nun hat König Salman Qahtani vom Posten am Königshof entbunden. Ihm wird laut "New York Times" vorgeworfen, von der Operation in Istanbul gewusst und mit seinen Tweets "zu einer aggressiven Umgebung" beigetragen zu haben, die zu Khashoggis Tod führte. Seinen Posten als Chef der saudischen Union für Cybersicherheit darf Qahtani offenbar behalten. Auch festgenommen wurde er wohl nicht. Am Samstagmorgen dankte er via Twitter dem König und seinem Sohn: "Ich werde weiterhin ein treuer Diener meines Landes für alle Ewigkeit sein."

Der Kronprinz selbst muss sich keine Sorgen um den Machterhalt machen. König Salman beauftragte ausgerechnet ihn damit, ein Komitee zu leiten, das den Geheimdienst neu strukturieren soll – von Matthias Gebauer und Christoph Sydow

http://www.spiegel.de/politik/ausland/jamal-khashoggi-saudi-arabien-macht-zwei-verdaechtige-verantwortlich-a-1234255.html

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Fall Khashoggi: Der perfekte Sündenbock für den Prinzen

Ziel des Königshauses ist es, Prinz Mohammed bin Salman von jeder direkten Verantwortung freizusprechen.

Asiri ist als Sündenbock und Bauernopfer für die saudische Führung zumindest auf den ersten Blick attraktiv: Er hätte genug Macht im straff hierarchisch organisierten Sicherheitsapparat, um die Entführung eines Dissidenten anzuordnen oder ein Killerkommando loszuschicken - womöglich auch ohne Wissen seines Herrn.

Eine eigenmächtige Mission, um sich zu beweisen - genau diese Theorie hatte Trump nach einem ersten Telefonat mit König Salman am Montag in Umlauf gebracht. Das neue Leak könnte ein Testballon sein, ob diese Version durchzuhalten ist. Ziel muss aus Sicht des saudischen Hofes ja sein, den Thronfolger von jeder direkten Verantwortung freizusprechen.

Asiri habe dem Kronprinzen mehrmals vorgeschlagen, gegen Khashoggi und andere Dissidenten vorzugehen, berichtet die Washington Post unter Berufung auf US-Geheimdienstquellen.

Saud al-Qahtani, Medienberater und ein enger Vertrauter des Kronprinzen, habe Khashoggi einen hohen Posten angeboten, wenn er heimkehre, berichten Freunde. Khashoggis Reaktion: "Willst du mich verarschen? Ich traue denen kein bisschen!"

Das alles spricht eher für ein geplantes, systematisches Vorgehen, bei dem Gewaltanwendung zur Option wurde, nachdem andere Methoden keinen Erfolg erbrachten. Es spricht aber zugleich dafür, dass der Kronprinz sehr wohl wusste und gebilligt hat, dass seine Leute gegen Khashoggi vorgehen.

https://www.sueddeutsche.de/politik/khashoggi-tuerkei-journalist-1.4177377

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Saudi-Arabien bestätigt Tötung Khashoggis in Istanbuler Konsulat

Fast drei Wochen nach Verschwinden des Journalisten Jamal Khashoggi hat Saudi-Arabien dessen Tod eingeräumt. 18 Personen wurden festgenommen, der Vizepräsident des Geheimdienstes offenbar entlassen.

Saudi-Arabien hat den Tod des regimekritischen Journalisten Jamal Khashoggi bestätigt. Zwischen Khashoggi und mehreren Personen im Istanbuler Konsulat sei es zum tödlichen Streit gekommen, berichtete die staatliche saudi-arabische Nachrichtenagentur Spa. Die "Diskussionen" zwischen Khashoggi und "denjenigen, die er im Konsulat des Königreichs in Istanbul getroffen" habe, "entwickelten sich zu einem Faustkampf, der zu seinem Tod führte", hieß es weiter. Es seien bereits 18 Personen festgenommen worden.

Zudem wurde nach Angaben von Spa der Vizepräsident des Geheimdienstes, General Ahmad Asiri, auf Befehl des Königs von seinem Posten entbunden. Asiri gilt als enger Vertrauter von Kronprinz Mohammed bin Salman

Auch ein weiterer enger Berater von Kronprinz Mohammed, der für Medien zuständige Saud Al-Qahtani, wurde vom König entlassen. Kronprinz Mohammed bin Salman steht unter Druck. Eine Verbindung zu der Tat könnte dem 33-Jährigen schwer schaden.

Kurz vor dem Eingeständnis des Todes des Regimekritikers haben der türkische Staatspräsident Recep Tayyip Erdogan und der saudische König Salman miteinander telefoniert.

Das vage Eingeständnis aus Riad dürfte auch auf wachsenden Druck von US-Präsident Trump zurückgehen, einem der wichtigsten Verbündeten des Königshauses. Trump hatte zuletzt eine "schwere Bestrafung" für den Fall angekündigt, dass Saudi-Arabien für den Tod Khashoggis verantwortlich sein sollte.

Das Weiße Haus äußerte sich in einer ersten Stellungnahme nicht zu möglichen Konsequenzen für Saudi-Arabien. In einer Mitteilung hieß es am Freitagabend: "Die Vereinigten Staaten nehmen die Mitteilung des Königreichs Saudi-Arabien zur Kenntnis, dass seine Ermittlungen zum Schicksal von Jamal Kashoggi voranschreiten und dass es gegen die bislang identifizierten Verdächtigen vorgeht."

Der republikanische US-Senator Lindsay Graham meldete unterdessen Zweifel an der Darstellung an.

http://www.spiegel.de/politik/ausland/jamal-khashoggi-saudi-arabien-bestaetigt-toetung-in-istanbuler-konsulat-a-1234251.html

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Saudi-Arabien bestätigt Tötung von Jamal Khashoggi

Mit der Stellungnahme versucht die saudische Regierung offenbar, Kronprinz Mohammed bin Salman aus der Schusslinie zu nehmen. Eine Verbindung zu der Tat könnte dem 33-jährigen starken Mann des Wüstenstaates, der unter heftigem Druck steht, sehr schaden. Saudische oder den Saudis nahe stehende Medien berichteten unter Verweis auf Sicherheitskreise dann auch, der Thronfolger habe von einer Operation im Konsulat nichts gewusst.

Spa zufolge war „der Verdächtige“ - dessen Identität nicht aufgeklärt wird - nach Istanbul gereist, um Khashoggi zu treffen. Es habe Anzeichen gegeben, dass dieser möglicherweise zurück nach Saudi-Arabien zurückgehen werde. Das Treffen im Konsulat allerdings sei nicht „wie erwartet“ verlaufen und endete in Khashoggis Tod. Die Täter hätten danach versucht, die Tötung zu vertuschen. Türkische Ermittler gehen von einem 15-köpfigen saudischen Spezialkommando aus, das für den Mord an dem dem Journalisten in die Türkei reise.

www.faz.net/aktuell/politik/ausland/saudi-arabien-bestaetigt-toetung-jamal-khashoggi-15847571.html

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Trump hält saudische Darstellung zum Tod Khashoggis für glaubhaft

Donald Trump zweifelt nicht an der offiziellen saudischen Erklärung zum Tod von Jamal Khashoggi. Die Festnahmen nannte der US-Präsident einen "guten ersten Schritt".

Donald Trump hat die Tötung des Journalisten Jamal Khashoggiverurteilt. Die Tötung sei "inakzeptabel" und ein "furchtbares Ereignis", das nicht "unbemerkt" geblieben sei, sagte er in der Nacht zu Samstag. Er halte den Fall noch nicht für restlos aufgeklärt.

Über mögliche Konsequenzen äußerte Trump sich zurückhaltend. Er wolle zunächst mit dem saudi-arabischen Kronprinzen Mohammed bin Salman sprechen, ehe er nächste Schritte ergreife, sagte Trump. Es sei aber "guter erster Schritt" und wichtig gewesen, dass das Königreich Festnahmen in dem Fall verkündet habe.

Über den Umfang einer Reaktion der Vereinigten Staaten will Trump sich mit dem Kongress abstimmen, sagte er. Ihm schwebe "eine Form von Sanktion" vor. Doch würde er es vorziehen, wenn amerikanische Unternehmen und Jobs nicht unter einer milliardenschweren Kürzung von Waffendeals mit dem Königreich leiden müssten, sagte Trump.

https://www.zeit.de/politik/ausland/2018-10/jamal-khashoggi-donald-trump-saudi-arabien-reaktion-ermordung

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Saudi-Arabien bestätigt Tod Khashoggis

Nun hat Saudi-Arabien den Tod des Mannes eingeräumt. Es seien 18 Menschen festgenommen worden.

Verhaltene Reaktion Washingtons

Das Eingeständnis Saudi-Arabiens kommt kurz nachdem die US-Regierung den Druck erhöht und Konsequenzen angedroht hatte, sollte das Königshaus hinter dem Tod des Journalisten stehen. Die US-Regierung zeigte sich in einer ersten Reaktion "betrübt" über die Nachricht von Khashoggis Tod. Regierungssprecherin Sarah Sanders sagte, Washington nehme die Nachricht zur Kenntnis und werde weiterhin die "internationalen Untersuchungen dieses tragischen Vorfalls genau verfolgen". Sie sprach den Angehörigen des Journalisten, der unter anderem für die "Washington Post" geschrieben hatte, das Beileid der Regierung aus.

Inzwischen äußerte sich US-Präsident Donald Trump persönlich. Er halte die Version Saudi-Arabiens vom Tod Khashoggis für glaubwürdig, sagte er am Rande eines Termins in Arizona.

https://www.tagesschau.de/ausland/khashoggi-tot-101.html

(** A P)

Saudi-Arabien bestätigt den Tod Khashoggis

Mehr als zwei Wochen nach dem mysteriösen Verschwinden des saudischen Journalisten Jamal Khashoggi hat Saudi-Arabien den Tod des Regimekritikers eingeräumt. Vorläufige Ergebnisse hätten gezeigt, dass es zwischen Khashoggi und mehreren Personen im Istanbuler Konsulat zu einem tödlichen Streit gekommen sei, berichtete die staatliche saudische Nachrichtenagentur Spa am späten Freitagabend. 18 saudische Staatsangehörige seien festgenommen worden, darunter auch der Vizechef des Geheimdienstes. Die Ermittlungen zu der "bedauerlichen und schmerzhaften" Entwicklung liefen.

Mit der Stellungnahme versucht die saudische Regierung offenbar, Kronprinz Mohammed bin Salman aus der Schusslinie zu nehmen. Eine Verbindung zu der Tat könnte dem 33-jährigen starken Mann des Wüstenstaates, der unter heftigem Druck steht, sehr schaden. Saudische oder den Saudis nahe stehende Medien berichteten unter Verweis auf Sicherheitskreise dann auch, der Thronfolger habe von einer Operation im Konsulat nichts gewusst.

War Trumps Druck entscheidend?

Das Eingeständnis aus Riad dürfte auch auf wachsenden Druck von US-Präsident Donald Trump zurückgehen

Trump begrüßte die Festnahmen in Saudi-Arabien, hält den Fall aber noch nicht für restlos aufgeklärt. "Es ist nur ein erster Schritt, aber es ist ein großer erster Schritt", sagte Trump am Freitagabend.

https://www.t-online.de/nachrichten/ausland/internationale-politik/id_84644488/jamal-khashoggi-ist-tot-saudi-arabien-bestaetigt-tod-des-journalisten.html

Weitere Berichte auf Deutsch:

https://www.handelsblatt.com/politik/international/tod-des-journalisten-jamal-khashoggi-massive-zweifel-an-todesumstaenden-trump-fordert-weitere-aufklaerung/23210412.html

(* A P)

Film: Missglückte Entführung mit Knochensäge? Khashoggi-Vertraute zweifeln an saudischer Darstellung

Dass der Journalist Jamal Khashoggi tot ist, bezweifelt inzwischen kaum noch jemand. Wie es dazu kam, sorgt für Spekulationen. Die offizielle Darstellung der Saudis wirft jedoch Fragen auf. Auch Donald Trump gerät zunehmend unter Druck

https://www.n-tv.de/mediathek/videos/politik/Khashoggi-Vertraute-zweifeln-an-saudischer-Darstellung-article20678666.html

(**A P)

Eine Spur führt in den Wald

Im Fall des vermissten Journalisten Khashoggi gibt es neue Details. Die türkische Polizei weitete ihre Suche auf ein Waldgebiet bei Istanbul aus. Ermittler vernahmen Mitarbeiter des Konsulats.

Türkische Ermittler vermuten, dass die Leiche des vermissten Journalisten Jamal Khashoggi aus dem saudi-arabischen Konsulat geschafft wurde. Aus ihren Kreisen verlautete, die sterblichen Überreste Khashoggis seien entweder in den Belgrader Wald nördlich von Istanbul oder in die Stadt Yalova am Marmarameer südlich von Istanbul gebracht worden. Wie türkische Medien berichteten, begannen Ermittler mit der Durchsuchung des Waldes, der sich in einem Naherholungsgebiet unweit der Bosporus-Metropole befindet.

Saudi-Arabien wies die Vorwürfe zurück, Khashoggi sei ermordet worden. Die Regierung legte aber bisher keine Erklärung für das Verschwinden des Journalisten vor.

Ein Gewährsmann sagte der Nachrichtenagentur AP, die Polizei habe festgestellt, dass am 2. Oktober - dem Tag des Verschwindens Khashoggis - zwei Fahrzeuge das saudische Konsulat verlassen hätten. Das eine sei zu dem Wald gefahren, das andere nach Yalova.

Die türkische Staatsanwaltschaft lud Angestellte des saudischen Konsulats als Zeugen vor. Die staatliche Nachrichtenagentur Anadolu meldete, es handele es sich um 15 türkische Mitarbeiter, unter ihnen ein Fahrer, ein Buchhalter und ein Techniker. Die Mitarbeiter seien im Büro des Generalstaatsanwalts vernommen worden.

https://www.tagesschau.de/ausland/khashoggi-wald-103.html

(** B P)

Saudi-Arabien – der Schurkenstaat in unserem Bett

Der wahrscheinliche Mord am saudischen Journalisten und Oppositionellen Jamal Khashoggi lässt nun sogar die deutschen Medien an unseren „netten“ Freunden aus Saudi-Arabien zweifeln. Das ist erstaunlich, da die Affäre Khashoggi bestenfalls die Spitze des Eisbergs einer langen Kette von Verbrechen und Ungeheuerlichkeiten darstellt, die auf das Konto der Golfmonarchie gehen. Saudi-Arabien – eine lupenreine Despotie, die geistig im Mittelalter steckengeblieben ist und um die sich kein Mensch scheren würde, wäre das Land nicht zugleich größter Erdölförderer und damit steinreich. Der Umgang der deutschen Politik mit dem Schurkenstaat stellt dabei eine bis ins Perverse überzogene Praxis der doppelten Standards dar. Kein anderer Staat könnte sich auch nur im Ansatz das erlauben, was Saudi-Arabien sich mittlerweile fast monatlich leistet. Doch die Saudis haben Geld. Viel Geld. Und sie bieten dem Westen auch an, an ihrem Reichtum zu partizipieren. Wer so „nett“ ist, darf offenbar auch das Völkerrecht und die Menschenrechte mit den Füßen treten.

Die Entführung eines Staatschefs

Stellen Sie sich doch einmal folgendes Szenario vor: Das südkoreanische Staatsoberhaupt Moon Jae-in bricht unter ungeklärten Umständen zu einem Blitzbesuch nach Peking auf. Von dort aus wird tags drauf seine schriftliche Abdankung verkündet. In den folgenden vier Wochen hört und sieht man nichts mehr von Moon. Es gelangen jedoch Geheimdienstinformationen an die Öffentlichkeit, dass Moon von der chinesischen Regierung inhaftiert und unter Folter zur Abdankung gezwungen wurde, da den Chinesen Moons freundlicher Umgang mit den USA ein Dorn im Auge ist.

Die Verhaftungen von Menschenrechtlern

Oder wie wäre es mit folgendem Szenario: Russlands Präsident Putin erklärt in einer Pressekonferenz, dass Russland künftig die Ehe für Alle in der russischen Verfassung verankern will. Doch dann lässt er kurz vor der Verfassungsänderung namhafte Menschenrechtler und LGBT-Aktivisten verhaften und zum Teil zu hohen Zuchthausstrafen verurteilen – einigen droht sogar die Todesstrafe. Der Westen wäre wohl außer sich.

Ein Staatsstreich mit Folgen

Was wäre die Reaktion des Westens, wenn der venezolanische Verteidigungsminister das komplette who is who des Sicherheitsapparats, der Politik, der Medien und der Wirtschaft des Landes in ein Luxushotel in Caracas locken und dort von seinen Soldaten inhaftieren lassen würde? Wer die „Nacht der langen Messer“ überleben will, muss sich auf den Verteidigungsminister einschwören, seine Ämter niederlegen und einen Großteil seines Vermögens an die „Staatskasse“ überweisen. Wahrscheinlich käme der Verteidigungsminister gar nicht mehr dazu, diesen Putsch fadenscheinig als „Anti-Korruptionsmaßnahme“ zu verklären, sondern würde noch in der selben Nacht von amerikanischen Drohnen oder Spezialkräften „neutralisiert“.

Ein Nachbarstaat wird abgeriegelt

Spielen wir doch wieder „was wäre wenn“. Was wäre, wenn die Türkei ohne eine völkerrechtliche Erklärung von heute auf morgen eine See- und Luftblockade gegen ihren Nachbarn Zypern verhängen würde? Was wäre, wenn Erdogan der zypriotischen Regierung dann einen Dreizehnpunkte-Forderungskatalog übergeben würde, der unter anderem einen Austritt aus der EU und das Verbot aller namhaften zypriotischen Fernseh- und Radiostationen beinhalten würde. Zypern sollte auch künftig keine Beziehungen mehr zu Deutschland und Großbritannien unterhalten. Nicht nur die EU wäre sicher außer sich und würde Ankara einen ganzen Sanktionskatalog entgegenschleudern und die Medien würden Erdogan geradezu steinigen.

Ein Krieg ohne Mandat

Nun stellen wir uns – last but not least – doch einmal vor, Russland würde eine Seite des Bürgerkriegs in der Ukraine offen unterstützen und tagein tagaus massive Luftangriffe auf seine Gegner in der Ukraine fliegen. Dabei würde Russland mit seinen „Präzisionsbomben“ Schulbusse in die Luft sprengen und an jedem zweiten Tag im Jahr zivile Fahrzeuge treffen. Der Hohe Kommissar der Vereinten Nationen für Menschenrechte würde sich vor der UN bitterlich darüber beschweren, dass Russlands Bomben vor allem auf Wohngebiete, Märkte, Beerdigungen, Hochzeiten, Gefängnisse, zivile Schiffe und sogar Krankenhäuser niedergingen, Russlands Vorgehen als Kriegsverbrechen bezeichnen und dabei die Regierung ausdrücklich mit einbeziehen. Kaum vorstellbar, nicht wahr? Die NATO würde in einem solchen Fall sicher ein Großaufgebot ihrer Truppen an der ukrainischen Grenze zusammenziehen und Russland jede nur denkbare Protestnote schicken.

Die Kriegsverbrechen der Saudis werden vom Westen nicht etwa sanktioniert, sondern subventioniert.

Waffen für 110 Milliarden Dollar und der Jackpot

Dies hat natürlich auch Gründe. Schon seit langer Zeit haben die USA und Saudi-Arabien eine eigenwillig symbiotische Beziehung.

Der Wertewesten – nur Maulhelden und Arschkriecher

Wenn schon Kriegsverbrechen, Angriffskriege, Entführungen, Mord, Erpressung und Folter nicht ausreichen, um dem Wertewesten einen leisen(!) Protest zu entlocken, warum sollte sich dies dann durch den Mord an dem Oppositionellen Jamal Khashoggi ändern? So grausam der Fall Khashoggi zu sein scheint – er ist nur die Spitze des Eisbergs und stellt qualitativ sicher keinen neuen Tiefpunkt der an Tiefpunkten reichen jüngeren Geschichte saudischer Verbrechen dar. US-Präsident Trump nahm die Saudis gestern schon mal vorsorglich in Schutz. Das ist insofern schon fast wieder verständlich, da die US-Dienste offenbar bereits im Vorfeld erfahren haben, was die Saudis mit Khashoggi planen und Trump ansonsten erklären müsste, warum die US-Regierung den US-Staatsbürger Khashoggi wider besseren Wissens nicht vor den Mördern aus Riad geschützt hat. Die Antwort darauf dürfte selbst Trumps Wählern nicht gefallen – von Jens Berger

https://www.nachdenkseiten.de/?p=46589

(* B P)

Fall Khashoggi: Die USA geben sich mit Legenden zufrieden

Trump hat sich von Beginn seiner Amtszeit an zum Sachwalter saudischer Interessen gemacht und will mit dem Kronprinzen den Jahrhundert-Deal eines Nahost-Friedens durchsetzen - de facto zu Israels Bedingungen. Mohammed bin Salman ist als erster saudischer Herrscher bereit, mit der hergebrachten arabischen Haltung in der Palästinenserfrage zu brechen, solange Trump nur dem regionalen Rivalen Iran entgegentritt. Es ist eine Symbiose mit dem einenden Ziel, die Öffnung der US-Außenpolitik im Nahen Osten unter Präsident Barack Obama rückabzuwickeln.

Auch Europas und Deutschlands Verhältnis zur führenden Ölmonarchie fußt nicht auf geteilten Werten, sondern auf handfesten, oft wirtschaftlichen Interessen. Über die langjährige Unterstützung islamistischer Extremisten durch Saudi-Arabien, die der Kronprinz nun gestoppt haben will, sah man hinweg. Die Verletzung der Menschenrechte wurde allenfalls verschämt kritisiert. Zu lukrativ ist der saudische Markt, auch für Waffen – von Paul-Anton Krüger

https://www.sueddeutsche.de/politik/fall-khashoggi-die-usa-geben-sich-mit-legenden-zufrieden-1.4173628

(* A P)

Diese Männer sollen ihn lebendig zerstückelt haben

Das Regime in Riad bestreitet eine Verwicklung in den mutmaßlichen Mord. Allerdings können die türkischen Behörden die Ein- und Ausreise eines 15-köpfigen Kommandos mit zwei Privatjets dokumentieren. Auf Fotos von Überwachungskameras sind die Männer beim Betreten des Konsulats und in Hotels zu sehen sowie nicht viel später bei der Abreise. Die Polizei stellte Kopien der Pässe sowie eine Fülle an Aufnahmen bereit.

Alle Mitglieder der Truppe wurden identifiziert. Zwölf der 15 Männer dürften Mitglieder des Sicherheitsapparates des Königshauses sein, darunter die Königliche Garde. Das Gros arbeitete für Kornprinz Mohammed Bin Salman (33, „MBS“). Die „Washington Post“ belegte die Verbindungen über Beiträge in den sozialen Medien, durch E-Mails, Medienreports und Dokumente.

Einer der mutmaßlichen Killer diente sogar als Bin Salmans Leibwächter bei Reisen in die USA, nach Spanien und Frankreich. Mit Reisepässen weiterer Verdächtiger wurden Trips in die USA durchgeführt – genau in jener Zeit, als Mitglieder des saudischen Königshauses Amerika besuchten.

Die 15 Verdächtigen

https://www.bild.de/politik/ausland/politik-ausland/khashoggi-diese-maenner-sollen-ihn-lebendig-zerstueckelt-haben-57914626.bild.html

(* A P)

Video, 18.10.: Der Fall Khashoggi

https://www.tagesschau.de/multimedia/video/video-461337.html

(* A P)

Khashoggi: Zeitung zeigt „Kopf der Vollstrecker“

Mehr als zwei Wochen nach der Ermordung des saudi-arabischen Regimekritikers Jamal Khashoggi in Istanbul hat eine türkische Regierungszeitung den angeblichen „Kopf des Vollstreckungsteams“ präsentiert. In einem am Donnerstag veröffentlichten Beitrag zeichnet „Sabah“ die Bewegung eines namentlich genannten Saudis - der aus dem direkten Umfeld des saudischen Kronprinzen stammen soll - nach.

„Sabah“ sorgte seit dem Verschwinden Khashoggis mehrmals mit Veröffentlichungen angeblicher Erkenntnisse der türkischen Sicherheitskräfte für Aufsehen. Jetzt zeigte die türkische Zeitung Fotos, die offenbar aus Sicherheitskameras stammen und die den „Kopf des Vollstreckungsteams“ in Istanbul zeigen sollen - unter anderem beim Betreten des Konsulats, wie auch vor der Residenz des Konsuls, in einem Hotel und am Flughafen.

„Sabah“ bezeichnet den angeblichen Verdächtigen als „Geheimdienstagenten“. Er habe den saudi-arabischen Kronprinzen Mohammed bin Salman auf seinen Reisen oft begleitet. Die „New York Times“ hatte den Mann in der Nacht zuvor ebenfalls als häufigen Begleiter des Prinzen identifiziert. Er sei zum Beispiel in Madrid und Paris mit ihm aus dem Flugzeug gestiegen (Fotos)

https://www.krone.at/1791689

(* B P)

Jamal Khashoggi"Die arabische Welt hat ihren eigenen Eisernen Vorhang"

"Was die arabische Welt am meisten braucht, ist freie Meinungsäußerung" – dies ist die letzte Kolumne von Jamal Khashoggi aus der "Washington Post"

Vor kurzem habe ich mir den Freedom-House-Jahresbericht 2018 über den Stand der Freiheit in der Welt angeschaut, und da ist mir etwas bewusst geworden: In der arabischen Welt gibt es nur ein Land, das als "frei" eingestuft wird. Dieses Land ist Tunesien. Jordanien, Marokko und Kuwait kommen an zweiter Stelle, sie sind als "teils frei" bezeichnet. Alle anderen Länder der arabischen Welt sind demnach "unfrei".

Daher sind Araber in diesen Ländern entweder uninformiert oder schlecht informiert. Sie sind unfähig, Probleme, die ihre Region oder ihr Alltagsleben betreffen, anzugehen oder gar öffentlich zu diskutieren. Die öffentliche Meinung wird von der staatlichen Lesart bestimmt. Und auch wenn das viele bezweifeln: Eine große Mehrheit der Bevölkerung verfällt dieser falschen Sichtweise. Das wird sich wohl leider nicht ändern.

Mein Freund, der bekannte saudische Schriftsteller Saleh al Shehi, schrieb eine der berühmtesten Kolumnen, die je in der saudischen Presse veröffentlicht wurden. Leider verbüßt er jetzt ungerechtfertigterweise eine fünfjährige Haftstrafe wegen Aussagen, die denen der saudischen Oberschicht widersprechen.

So haben Regierungen in der arabischen Welt freie Hand, die Medien immer stärker zum Schweigen zu bringen. Einst glaubten Journalisten, das Internet werde Informationen von Zensur und Kontrolle befreien, wie man sie mit Print-Medien verbunden hat. Aber diese Regierungen, die nur existieren, weil sie Informationen kontrollieren, haben das Internet gesperrt. Sie haben Lokalreporter festgenommen und Werbekunden unter Druck gesetzt, um bestimmten Publikationen zu schaden.

Die arabische Welt braucht eine moderne Version der alten transnationalen Medien, um Bürger über globale Ereignisse zu informieren. Noch wichtiger ist es, arabischen Stimmen eine Plattform zu geben. Wir leiden unter Armut, Misswirtschaft und mangelnder Bildung. Ein internationales Forum, das unabhängig ist von nationalistischen Regierungen, die über Propaganda Hass verbreiten, würde die normalen Menschen in der arabischen Welt befähigen, sich mit den strukturellen Problemen ihrer Gesellschaften auseinanderzusetzen – von Jamal Khashoggi

https://www.tagesspiegel.de/politik/jamal-khashoggi-die-arabische-welt-hat-ihren-eigenen-eisernen-vorhang/23205888.html

(B P)

Ein Propagandist der Muslimbrüder bei der Washington Post: Blogger werfen Fragen zum Fall Khashoggi auf

Unterdessen werfen mehrere Medien und Blogs Fragen über den politischen Hintergrund des Journalisten auf. Dessen Vita und die tiefe Verflechtung mit weltweit operierenden radikal-islamischen Bestrebungen entsprechen nämlich nicht unbedingt dem üblichen Profil eines einflussreichen Kommentators in der Washington Post.

Bereits in seiner Jugend hatte er Freundschaft mit dem späteren Topterroristen Osama Bin Laden geschlossen

https://www.epochtimes.de/politik/welt/ein-propagandist-der-muslimbrueder-bei-der-washington-post-blogger-werfen-fragen-zum-fall-khashoggi-auf-a2677324.html

Mein Kommentar: Von konservativen Kreisen in den USA ausgehende Propaganda-Schmutzkampagne, die Khashoggi in die Nähe von Al Kaida und der Muslimbruderschaft rücken soll; dadurch soll Trumps weiche Haltung gegenüber den Saudis in besserem Licht erscheinen. Siehe unten die beiden ersten Artikel in cp6.

(B P)

Film: Antonia Rados zu Saudi-Prinz bin Salman"In der Zwischenzeit sind viele realistischer geworden"

Als Mohammed bin Salman zum Kronprinzen Saudi-Arabiens ernannt wird, feiern ihn Landsleute und internationale Experten als Reformer für eine Liberalisierung des Wüstenstaats. n-tv Chefkorrespondentin Antonia Rados berichtet jedoch von Rissen im Image des Prinzen.

https://www.n-tv.de/mediathek/videos/politik/In-der-Zwischenzeit-sind-viele-realistischer-geworden-article20679986.html

cp02 The Khashoggi criminal case: Reports in English

Eingebetteter Medieninhalt

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Ali AlAhmed: I urge the #Turkish government to request the interrogation in Turkey of all members of the kill team & all those arrested by the Saudi government. If the Saudis are telling the truth, they should not refused.

https://twitter.com/AliAlAhmed_en/status/1053434691267817473

(A P)

#Saudi Arabia: We do not know. He's alive. We did not kill him. False allegations claim he's dead. Baseless lies claim he's dead. He's dead. Our agents killed him. Our agents are rogue agents. He punched our rogue agents. We've sacked our rogue agents. He died. Iran did it (image)

https://twitter.com/BaFana3/status/1053621303549349888

My comment: The last sentence we are still waiting for.

(* A P)

Amnesty urges U.N. investigation, independent autopsy in Khashoggi death

Amnesty International said on Saturday that Saudi Arabia’s explanation of journalist Jamal Khashoggi’s death in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul appeared to be a whitewash of “an appalling assassination”.

“The investigation findings by the Saudi authorities claiming that Khashoggi died as a result of a ‘fist-fight’ inside the consulate are not trustworthy and marks an abysmal new low to Saudi Arabia’s human rights record,” Samah Hadid, the human rights group’s Middle East director, said in a statement.

It called on Saudi authorities to produce Khashoggi’s body so that independent forensic experts could perform an autopsy. It also said the United Nations should investigate his death.

“An independent investigation will be the only guarantee against what increasingly appears as a Saudi whitewash surrounding the circumstances of Khashoggi’s murder or any attempts by other governments to sweep the issue under the carpet to preserve lucrative arms deals and other business ties with Riyadh,” Hadid said.

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-saudi-khashoggi-amnesty/amnesty-urges-u-n-investigation-independent-autopsy-in-khashoggi-death-idUSKCN1MU0J2

My comment: Oh yes!!

(A P)

Saudi senior scholars praise king's decisions on Khashoggi death

Saudi Arabia’s highest religious body, the Council of Senior Scholars, on Saturday said the king’s decisions on the death of Jamal Khashoggi “achieve justice and equality in accordance with Islamic law”, according to a statement on state news agency SPA.

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-saudi-khashoggi-clerics/saudi-senior-scholars-praise-kings-decisions-on-khashoggi-death-idUSKCN1MU0BO

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Who is Ahmed al-Asiri, the sacked Saudi intelligence official?

General al-Asiri was fired as the deputy head of the Saudi intelligence services on Friday over killing of Khashoggi.

Major General Ahmed al-Asiri was sacked as Saudi Arabia's deputy intelligence chief on Friday, Saudi state media reported.

Al-Asiri served as an adviser to MBS, who promoted him to his intelligence position last year, and is considered to be one of MBS' closest aides.

He is "a key figure within the royal household, a very senior figure," Al Jazeera's Andrew Simmons reported from Istanbul, following the announcement. "He has been fingered by the royal household as being partly to blame for this."

Al-Asiri was not part of the 15-man "hit squad" named by Turkish media, who Turkish officials suspect were involved in the killing of Khashoggi.

Al-Asiri is well known to journalists who cover the Middle East, from his previous role as spokesman for the Saudi-led coalition military campaign in Yemen.

https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2018/10/ahmed-al-asiri-sacked-saudi-intelligence-chief-181019235211120.html

And Qatani stays nearly unharmed:

(* AP)

Saudi Minister Saud AlQahtani who MBS is blaming for the killing #JamalKhashoogi just tweeted to thank MBS for allowing him to serve

https://twitter.com/AliAlAhmed_en/status/1053439833937469440

referring to

AlQahtani: I extend my sincere thanks and gratitude to His Holiness the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques and His Highness the Crown Prince, for the great confidence they have placed in me and for this great opportunity to honor my national service over the past years ...

I will remain a faithful servant of my country for a long time, and our dear homeland will remain lofty, God willing.

My colleagues and my children at the Center for Studies and Media Affairs, to whom I have the privilege of working with them ... To you from the greatest appreciation, and thanks to him, for these beautiful years that we spent together in the service of our great nation.

And thanks to all colleagues in all departments of the Royal Court.

I always wish you success and repayment.

https://twitter.com/saudq1978/status/1053438590095708160

(* A P)

The conflicting statements given by Saudi Arabia about journalist Jamal Khashoggi

The admission by Saudi Arabia Friday evening that Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi was killed in its consulate in Turkey was stunning but left many with questions.

For weeks, the regime has issued a variety of statements denying any knowledge of Khashoggi's disappearance. Meanwhile, reports continued to mount detailing the role Saudi officials played in Khashoggi's brutal death and dismemberment.

In the end, Saudi Arabia admitted the columnist, who was critical of the regime and lived in Virginia, died in its consulate. Eighteen people were arrested in the incident.

Here are the back and forth statements given by the Saudis since Khashoggi's disappearance on Oct. 2:

He visited and 'exited shortly thereafter'

Looking into Khashoggi's disappearance

'Baseless allegations' that Khashoggi was killed

'Absolutely false' that Saudi officials killed Khashoggi

Allegations aim to 'undermine' Saudi Arabia

Saudi to Trump: We know 'nothing about it'

Saudi Arabia admits Khashoggi died after 'brawl'

https://eu.usatoday.com/story/news/world/2018/10/19/jamal-khashoggi-here-conflicting-statements-saudi-arabia/1701084002/

My comment: This is absolutely typical. In the Yemen war, Saudi “information” policy is all the same.

(** A P)

Saudi claims that Khashoggi died in a ‘brawl’ draw immediate skepticism

Claims by the government of Saudi Arabia that Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi died in a physical altercation inside the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul drew immediate skepticism and contradicted earlier dueling accounts from Saudi and Turkish officials.

The Saudi findings, which all but absolved the heir to the throne, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, increased pressure on the Trump administration to mount an independent investigation into Khashoggi’s death.

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. A CIA spokeswoman declined to comment.

“They’re buying time. And they’re buying cover,” said Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) “They are seeking to, in effect, shift blame to a group of fall guys and confine the investigation to the Saudi government.”

Trump is also wary of overreacting to Khashoggi’s death, his aim being to avoid aggravating an international crisis and rupturing U.S.-Saudi relations.

U.S. officials knew what the Saudis planned to say hours before they released their statement, a Trump adviser said.

“Trump’s inclination is not to ruin the relationship,” the adviser said.

But the adviser said that officials such Sen. Lindsey O. Graham (R-S.C.) have warned Trump and his advisers that if they don’t react, the Saudis will see it as weakness.

“If they respected you, they wouldn’t do this and think they could get away with it,” the adviser said, reflecting a conversation with the president.

The Saudi government said it would take another month to complete a full investigation, which would be overseen by Mohammed. That decision also drew intense skepticism, since the crown prince has been tied to the operation that led to Khashoggi’s death, including through U.S. intelligence reports.

Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) said the Saudi version of events changes “with each passing day, so we should not assume their latest story holds water.”

The official Saudi account did not explain what happened to Khashoggi’s body and was not supported by any evidence.

“This is the worst coverup I’ve ever seen,” said Bruce Riedel, a Saudi Arabia expert who served more than 30 years in the CIA. “Where is the body? Why did it take seventeen days to come up with this account?” [with further information on the 15 men Saudi hit squad]

https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/saudi-claims-that-khashoggi-died-in-a-brawl-draw-immediate-skepticism/2018/10/19/e10d4186-d3ef-11e8-83d6-291fcead2ab1_story.html

and also https://www.npr.org/2018/10/20/659132171/world-reacts-with-skepticism-to-saudi-confirmation-of-jamal-khashoggis-death?t=1540055237910

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Saudi explanation for Khashoggi murder dismissed as 'absurd'

Saudi Arabia says Khashoggi was killed after 'fight' in consulate, but lawmakers, journalists and advocates find account unconvincing

For 17 days, Saudi government officials and loyalists - from the crown prince and de facto ruler to anonymous twitter users - insisted that journalist Jamal Khashoggi left the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on 2 October.

Now, by their own admission they were wrong. Saudi Arabia confirmed on Friday that Khashoggi, a Washington Post Columnist who called for freedom of expression in the Arab World, never came out of the building alive.

Despite reports citing audio recordings of the incident, of brutal torture followed by the murder and dismembering the journalists’ body, Riyadh's stunning admission came with a version of the events that raised eyebrows around the world: Khashoggi died after a “fight and a quarrel” broke out in the consulate.

US lawmakers, rights groups and Khashoggi’s fellow journalists expressed scepticism at the Saudi account.

Agnes Callamard, a UN special rapporteur on extra-judicial killings, said the Saudi explanation is "not plausible".

Khashoggi's editor at the Washington Post, Karen Attiah, called the Saudi explanation "almost insulting".

In a Twitter post, she raised three questions: "1) Then what happened to the body? 2) Why did officials lie say and he left the consulate? 3) What evidence do they have to support that there was a fistfight?"

Democratic Senator Chris Van Hollen predicted that Trump would try to "sell" the "cover up" before the president's statement.

"Really, after nearly two weeks, this is the best they could come up with? The sad part is President Trump will likely try to sell this. The United States must not be complicit in this cover-up. Looking forward to what our intelligence agencies have to say," Van Hollen said on Twitter.

Senator Chris Murphy said the crisis may spark a partisan fight in the US.

Bob Menendez, the ranking Democrat on the Senate’s Foreign Relations Committee, called the Saudi story a “calculated admission”.

Bob Menendez, the ranking Democrat on the Senate’s Foreign Relations Committee, called the Saudi story a “calculated admission”.

Congressman Adam Schiff, a California Democrat, called on Congress to hold Saudi Arabia accountable if Trump does not.

“The announcement that Jamal Khashoggi was killed while brawling with a team of more than a dozen dispatched from Saudi Arabia is not credible,” Schiff said in a statement. “If Khashoggi was fighting inside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, he was fighting for his life with people sent to capture or kill him.”

Senator Patrick Leahy, a Democrat, said the Saudi story reeks of a "coverup".

"It’s taken nearly three weeks for the Saudis to even admit that an American resident and journalist died in the Saudis’ own consulate," Leahy said in a statement. "And throughout this ordeal, the only urgency apparent in our President’s handling of this crisis has been a compulsion to buy time for the Saudis to construct a story to protect the royal family."

'Absurd'

Imad Harb, director of research and analysis at Arab Center Washington DC, predicted a struggle between Congress and Trump over the Khashoggi murder.

https://www.middleeasteye.net/news/saudi-explanation-khashoggi-murder-dismissed-absurd-872402616

(* A P)

My extremely speculative guess, based on no special evidence or insight, is that Saudi Arabia would not release this statement if they still believed Turkey may leak recordings of the killings. Deal is maybe/probably done.

https://twitter.com/tomgara/status/1053415806594355200

Comments: Only way this works is if Turkey confirms the story. Otherwise they own them forever.

https://twitter.com/fly_dervish/status/1053420623291207685

Could be that Erdogan was paid off. Alternatively it may be to neutralize any audio release by already having the fall guys set up so any contradictory info could be palmed off on them. Key here from Saudi pov is to try and insulate MBS. Whether they succeed or not to be seen

https://twitter.com/LudWitt/status/1053419119222104070

(A P)

Trump says he wants to talk to Saudi crown prince before next steps, calls it "very important" that kingdom made arrests.

https://twitter.com/AP/status/1053448190081597441

Comment by Tamer El-Ghobashy, WaPo: It seems the White House is not reacting to Saudi Arabia’s moves. It is coordinating with the kingdom to contain the crisis.

https://twitter.com/TamerELG/status/1053451404885381120

more comments:

Yes, he’s going to get the crown prince to arrest some underling & call it “resolved”. This is total bullshit. There is no way this happened, in the embassy without the crown prince’s blessing. “I only have to arrest a few people and put them in jail? Oh shit, done!!” –prince

https://twitter.com/BobbyBoon3/status/1053450611654606848

Give me a break!!! They are coordinating this farce of a cover story. Of course Crown Prince Butcher has scapegoated & probably assassinate the ones he sent to kill him. Trump playbook.

https://twitter.com/brannonj17/status/1053450229964570630

@realDonaldTrump alternative facts that’s what you’re going to get from the Saudis and you will believe them because you value money more than human rights! Just look how you treat and speak of your own journalists! You are pathetic Trump!!!

https://twitter.com/GeorgianaBalan9/status/1053449692237848576

In other words, this coverup is being controlled and coordinated out of the WH. Yet, no response or condemnation by members of Congress.

https://twitter.com/RickiAdoroIV/status/1053452879355305989

(* A P)

Sarah Sanders, US State Department Press secretary: Statement on Saudi Arabia Investigation: (text in image)

https://twitter.com/PressSec/status/1053427595885326336

Comment by Nicholas Kristof, NYT: This is pathetic. We are collaborating in the cover-up.

https://twitter.com/NickKristof/status/1053441504084193280

My comment: LOL.

(** A P)

Saudi Arabia admits Khashoggi died in consulate, Trump says Saudi account credible

Saudi Arabia said on Saturday that journalist Jamal Khashoggi died in a fight inside its Istanbul consulate and that it fired two senior officials over his death, an account President Donald Trump said was credible but which drew deep skepticism from U.S. lawmakers.

Saudi Arabia’s acknowledgement that Khashoggi died in the consulate came after two weeks of denials that it had anything to do with his disappearance.

Saudi state media said King Salman had ordered the dismissal of two senior officials: Saud al-Qahtani, a royal court advisor seen as the right-hand man to Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, and deputy intelligence chief Ahmed Asiri, a statement on state media said.

Saudi Arabia provided no evidence to support its account of the circumstances that led to Khashoggi’s death and it was unclear whether Western allies would be satisfied with the Saudi version of events.

“I think it’s a good first step, it’s a big step. It’s a lot of people, a lot of people involved, and I think it’s a great first step,” Trump, who has made close ties with Saudi Arabia a centerpiece of his foreign policy, told reporters in Arizona.

“Saudi Arabia has been a great ally. What happened is unacceptable,” he said, adding that he would speak with the crown prince.

Trump also emphasized Riyadh’s importance in countering regional rival Iran and the importance for American jobs of massive U.S. arms sales to Saudi Arabia.

Some U.S. lawmakers however were unpersuaded by Riyadh’s account.

“To say that I am skeptical of the new Saudi narrative about Mr. Khashoggi is an understatement,” said Republican U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham, a Trump ally who has been sharply critical of Saudi Arabia over the incident.

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-saudi-politics-dissident/saudi-arabia-admits-khashoggi-died-in-consulate-trump-says-saudi-account-credible-idUSKCN1MT1MH

and

(* A P)

Saudi Arabia says journalist Khashoggi died after fight in consulate

Saudi Arabia said on Saturday preliminary results of investigations showed U.S.-based journalist Jamal Khashoggi died in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul after a fight with people he met there, state media reported.

“The investigations are still underway and 18 Saudi nationals have been arrested,” a statement from the Saudi public prosecutor said, adding Royal court adviser Saud al-Qahtani and deputy intelligence chief Ahmed Asiri have been sacked from their positions.

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-saudi-khashoggi-death/saudi-arabia-says-journalist-khashoggi-died-after-fight-in-consulate-idUSKCN1MT2YI

and by CNN: https://edition.cnn.com/2018/10/19/world/saudi-arabia-khashoggi-intl/index.html

Comments:

Rep. Tewd Lieu: The Saudi Arabia story that Khashoggi would get into a fist fight with up to 18 Saudis, many of whom are trained killers, is ridiculous on its face. Oh, and there's that whole bone saw thing.

https://twitter.com/tedlieu/status/1053421738829074433

Rep. Adam Schiff: The claim that Khashoggi was killed while brawling with 15 men dispatched from Saudi Arabia is not at all credible. If he was fighting with those sent to capture or kill him, it was for his life. The Kingdom must be held to account. If Administration doesn’t lead, Congress must.

https://twitter.com/RepAdamSchiff/status/1053425202124730370

Trita Parsi: After weeks of lies, Saudi admits it killed #JamalKhashoggi. Riyadh now claims it's doing an investigation to find the perpetrators. That's a complete sham. It's an exercise to exonerate MBS, find scapegoats and protect the House of Saud.

https://twitter.com/tparsi/status/1053420273062400000

Sen. Chris Murphy:

For two weeks, Saudi Arabia has been lying to the world, telling us that Jamal was alive when they knew, the whole time, he was dead. The new explanation is preposterous, and America’s moral compass has come completely unmoored if we don’t take action.

https://twitter.com/ChrisMurphyCT/status/1053464465776238592

Let me preview two things for you: 1. The Republican Congress will do nothing to respond to Saudi Arabia’s murder of Jamal Khashoggi and this audacious cover up. 2. The election, in 18 days, is a referendum on whether America really stands for anything anymore.

https://twitter.com/ChrisMurphyCT/status/1053466269989642240

Agnes Callamand, UN Special Rapporteur on Extra-Judicial Executions: #SaudiArabia explanation for the arbitrary execution of #JamalKhashoggi is just not plausible. No government should accept it or the pretense at investigation. We need a trustworthy, impartial and transparent investigation. To identify the killers and the mastermind.

https://twitter.com/AgnesCallamard/status/1053456546447925248

Chris Hayes, MSNBC: So the story is that Khashoggi got into a "physical altercation" with 18 goons dispatched on two chartered planes to kidnap him and then they were forced to kill him?

https://twitter.com/chrislhayes/status/1053409311311970304

Sarah Leah Whitson, HRW: Stunning, laughable effort to cover up government orchestrated murder of #JamalKhashoggi as a now downgraded “fistfight” with 15 people. 18 fall guys no less.

https://twitter.com/sarahleah1/status/1053411748643045377

Karen Attiah, WaPo: Utter bullshit.

https://twitter.com/KarenAttiah/status/1053441604596445184

What I hate about the statement is the use of the passive construction to imply this was an accident. Jamal didn’t just “die during a struggle.” #Khashoggi was killed. By Saudi men. In a consulate. His life was taken from him.

https://twitter.com/KarenAttiah/status/1053453319258193920

Samuel Oakford: Question: which lobbyists and PR firms worked on the cover-up that the Saudis are releasing right now? Which ones advised them in any way?

https://twitter.com/samueloakford/status/1053410449662701568

Shadi Hamid, Brookings:

What we've seen by the Saudis over the past 16 days is one of the more sustained campaigns of dissembling and dishonesty by a supposedly close ally that I can remember: Flagrant, brazen, reckless, and without a shred of moral sensibility or human decency

The question is whether Saudi Arabia takes Americans—including members of Congress—as fools. How we respond is obviously critical. If we accept the Saudi cover-up, then it will build on the precedent that MBS can get away with anything, setting the stage for more recklessness

https://twitter.com/shadihamid/status/1053443001291292674

Margherita Stancati, WSJ:

Saudi Ambassador to Washingon Prince Khalid bin Salman Oct. 9: "I assure you that the reports that suggest that Jamal Khashoggi went missing in the Consulate in Istanbul or that the Kingdom’s authorities have detained him or killed him are absolutely false, and baseless."

Saudi Arabia has lost so much credibility over its handling of Khashoggi's disappearance - it will take a long long time to make up for it. The new revelations aren't necessarily helping.

Several people close to the royal court say Prince Mohammed was ultimately behind the operation targeting Khashoggi. The prince had wanted him silenced long before he went missing, and asked some of his closest aides to bring him back to the kingdom - but not killed, they say.

The Saudi government’s acknowledgement that Khashoggi was killed in the consulate - and the dismissal of two of MBS’s closest aides - is a reminder that sustained international scrutiny can and does make a difference — even in countries where there’s little transparency.

https://twitter.com/margheritamvs/status/1053535344384229376

and others:

Would be nice if the journalists skeptical of the Saudi excuse on Khashoggi would apply that same skepticism toward Saudi excuse for starving and bombing Yemen.

https://twitter.com/thekarami/status/1053631889687273472

Assuming for a moment that he only 'asked some of his closest aides to bring him back', how were they hoping to take #Jamal #Khashoggi in one whole piece out of the embassy/consulate...past the airport security? The answer is they weren't.

https://twitter.com/Bodhhisattv/status/1053543168602443776

It's a fortunate thing that a forensic doctor happened to be there, just in case someone accidentally died during a brawl.

https://twitter.com/CShalex/status/1053410070493454337

The completely implausible story that Khashoggi died following an impromptu fight inside the consulate does not answer why the Saudis lied about his death for days or why they, according to the Turks, were apparently prepared to drug and dismember him.

https://twitter.com/evanchill/status/1053408787300790274

Note that the Saudi prosecutor (as detailed in the announcements going out right now) is directly contradicting a number of claims that Riyadh insisted on making previously. The narrative has changed a lot. The aim seems to be to relieve pressure, and defuse this asap.

https://twitter.com/hahellyer/status/1053409399161655296

A fist fight with 15 people one of whom just so happened to be carrying a bone saw? And fast acting acid also just happened to be available to dissolve the body? Sounds very plausible.....

https://twitter.com/TheDarkPrince22/status/1053413247783702530

Did this story break in The Onion, Saudi edition?

https://twitter.com/kfarouque/status/1053416984229044225

A lone individual will, in fact, usually lose in a fight with 18 people who happened to be tasked with killing said individual. It’s just about the math, really.

https://twitter.com/bluejeankim/status/1053512840932442112

Plus he got hurt when he fell right on to that bone saw that they just had lying there, as you do.

https://twitter.com/MyMagicBus/status/1053525967317147648

Yes ... your usual “fight over divorce papers at an embassy ends in dismemberment” situation

https://twitter.com/JasonRBNY/status/1053408530986885125

How did he accidentally dismember himself with the bone saw?

https://twitter.com/DujelindaMz/status/1053408267920072704

So glad they brought a bone saw and a surgeon to the "fist fight". Perhaps they should go on Fox news and call him a terrorist for additional propaganda...oh wait, they already did!

https://twitter.com/BPatti15/status/1053411102766202880

Seriously? thats the best they can come up with? sheeeesh.. my little niece finds better excuses

https://twitter.com/Iron1292/status/1053427629066465281

Middle aged journalist takes on 15 military/intelligence thugs and fearing for their lives they defend themselves with a. Bone saw and music

https://twitter.com/Loudnsmom11/status/1053409750321373184

You know that old Saudi saying - always bring a bone saw to a quarrel.

https://twitter.com/QUINCY_AUSTIN/status/1053418686151675904

15 people on two private jets, bonesaw and a missing body! Do you really think world would believe an ounce of this? What a crap...

https://twitter.com/Ahmedsharawe/status/1053438225702965249

The bone cutting machine definitely lost control of the situation. People weren't at fault. That machine had some serious issues.

https://twitter.com/buddywriterdude/status/1053436189917765633

15 men, some with military and officer training, against one 60 year old journalist is not a 'fight'

https://twitter.com/zacktually/status/1053422417945587712

LMAO. 'Fight'? Sure. Where is the body? Why wasn't ambulance or security called? 15 guys just happened to be there and one even had a bone saw by coincidence, eh? No one's buying this BS. Khashoggi was murdered, plain and simple.

https://twitter.com/AConcernedCit16/status/1053419004042207232

15 men and they bring a bonesaw with them to talk

https://twitter.com/aksacli1231/status/1053414922829398017

is that what its called when you are attacked and possibly are fighting for your life? a fight broke out? seriously deranged thinking - who on earth said this that they thought people would believe it?

https://twitter.com/13thstorm/status/1053409874598653952

The same Saudi said Jamal left the consulate immediately after he collected his paper 2. The Saudi Consular in Istanbul said their camera snaps only but not records. 3. if Jamal died due to fighting broke out "accidentally" so what took them all this while to explain it????

https://twitter.com/zamzamisalga/status/1053414633468579840

(* A P)

Saudis now say Khashoggi killed in consulate, after claiming he left alive

Saudi Arabia confirmed late Friday that Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi was killed inside its consulate in Istanbul.

In a statement on Saudi state television, the country's chief prosecutor said a fight broke out between Khashoggi and "people who met him" in the consulate. The brawl resulted in Khashoggi's death, the prosecutor said.

The confirmation marked an astounding reversal from earlier statements by Saudi officials who insisted that Khashoggi had left the consulate alive shortly after entering it on 2 October, when he was last seen publicly.

Saudi Arabia's powerful Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman insisted earlier this month that Khashoggi had left the consulate.

Saudi media also reported that Riyadh fired top general Ahmed al-Assiri and a senior adviser to the royal court, Saoud al-Qahtani. Mohammed Bin Saleh Al Rumeih, a pilot and assistant to the intelligence chief, was also dismissed.

The New York Times reported on Thursday that Riyadh was looking to blame Assiri for the murder in an effort to shield the crown prince from blame.

Republican Senator Lindsey Graham, who earlier pledged to “sanction the hell out Saudi Arabia” if it was involved in Khashoggi’s murder, was quick to express his scepticism about the latest Saudi account.

"First, we were told Mr Khashoggi supposedly left the consulate and there was blanket denial of any Saudi involvement," he wrote on twitter. "Now, a fight breaks out and he’s killed in the consulate, all without knowledge of Crown Prince."

Democratic representative Adam Schiff tweeted: "The claim that Khashoggi was killed while brawling with 15 men dispatched from Saudi Arabia is not at all credible. If he was fighting with those sent to capture or kill him, it was for his life."

https://www.middleeasteye.net/news/jamal-khashoggi-killed-consulate-saudi-arabia-confirms-1213104619

(* A B P)

How the Saudi narrative on Khashoggi evolved

Saudi officials first said journalist left consulate after his appointment. Now they say he was killed in fight. How we got here.

Seventeen days after he vanished entering the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, Saudi officials confirmed late Friday that veteran journalist Jamal Khashoggi was killed there.

Early on, Saudi authorities were insistent that Khashoggi left the consulate through a backdoor soon after an appointment to pick up paperwork so he could remarry.

But in a statement on Saudi state television on Friday, the country's chief prosecutor said a fight broke out between the 59-year-old and "people who met him" in the consulate.

Here’s how the Saudi narrative has shifted:

https://www.middleeasteye.net/news/how-saudis-narrative-about-khashoggi-has-evolved-1538352082

(* A P)

Turkey, Saudi Arabia leaders emphasize cooperation in Saudi journalist probe: Anadolu

Turkey’s President Tayyip Erdogan and Saudi Arabia’s King Salman emphasized the importance of maintaining full cooperation between Ankara and Riyadh for investigating the disappearance of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, the state-run Anadolu news agency reported.

In a telephone call, the leaders shared information on the independent investigations being conducted by Saudi Arabia and Turkey, Anadolu reported quoting presidential sources.

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-saudi-khassoggi/turkey-saudi-arabia-leaders-emphasize-cooperation-in-saudi-journalist-probe-anadolu-idUSKCN1MT2WL

My comment: This would mean that Turkey cooperates by consenting to the Saudi tall story and is no more interested in revealing the truth.

And

(* A P)

A hot night in the #Saudi royal court .. It is clear that the people who will be presented as scapegoats in #Khashoggi's death have been chosen and all of them are close to the Crown Prince #MbS (Saudi Press Agency texts in images)

https://www.facebook.com/LivingInYemenOnTheEdge/posts/1968653856520968

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White House calls for justice in Khashoggi case, lawmakers criticize Saudi statement

The White House said on Friday it would press for justice after Saudi Arabia announced that journalist Jamal Khashoggi had died in the kingdom’s consulate in Istanbul and that 18 Saudis had been arrested in connection with his death.

“We will continue to closely follow the international investigations into this tragic incident and advocate for justice that is timely, transparent, and in accordance with all due process,” White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders said in a statement.

“We are saddened to hear confirmation of Mr. Khashoggi’s death, and we offer our deepest condolences to his family, fiancée, and friends,” she added.

But members of Congress voiced skepticism about the Saudi public prosecutor’s explanation

“To say that I am skeptical of the new Saudi narrative about Mr. Khashoggi is an understatement,” Republican U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham, said on Twitter. Graham, who has been sharply critical of Saudi Arabia after Khashoggi’s disappearance, is a close ally of President Donald Trump.

“First we were told Mr. Khashoggi supposedly left the consulate and there was blanket denial of any Saudi involvement. Now, a fight breaks out and he’s killed in the consulate, all without knowledge of Crown Prince,” Graham said.

“It’s hard to find this latest ‘explanation’ as credible,” he added.

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-saudi-khashoggi-usa/white-house-calls-for-justice-in-khashoggi-case-lawmakers-criticize-saudi-statement-idUSKCN1MT30P

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Saudi crown prince had no knowledge of 'specific' Khashoggi operation: source

Saudi Arabia’s crown prince had no knowledge of the specific operation that resulted in the death of journalist Jamal Khashoggi in the kingdom’s consulate in Istanbul this month, a Saudi official familiar with the investigation said on Friday.

“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.

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-saudi-politics-king-insight/as-khashoggi-crisis-grows-saudi-king-asserts-authority-checks-sons-power-sources-idUSKCN1MT1LF

My comment: LOL.

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As Khashoggi crisis grows, Saudi king asserts authority, checks son's power: sources

So grave is the fallout from the disappearance of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi that King Salman has felt compelled to intervene, five sources with links to the Saudi royal family said.

Last Thursday, Oct. 11, the king dispatched his most trusted aide, Prince Khaled al-Faisal, governor of Mecca, to Istanbul to try to defuse the crisis.

During Prince Khaled’s visit, Turkey and Saudi Arabia agreed to form a joint working group to investigate Khashoggi’s disappearance. The king subsequently ordered the Saudi public prosecutor to open an inquiry based on its findings.

“The selection of Khaled, a senior royal with high status, is telling as he is the king’s personal adviser, his right hand man and has had very strong ties and a friendship with (Turkish President) Erdogan,” said a Saudi source with links to government circles.

Since the meeting between Prince Khaled and Erdogan, King Salman has been “asserting himself” in managing the affair, according to a different source, a Saudi businessman who lives abroad but is close to royal circles.

“Even if MbS wanted to keep this away from the king he couldn’t because the story about Khashoggi’s disappearance was on all the Arab and Saudi TV channels watched by the king,” one of the five sources said.

“The king started asking aides and MbS about it. MbS had to tell him and asked him to intervene when Khashoggi’s case became a global crisis,” this source said.

“Even if he is his favorite son, the king needs to have a comprehensive view for his survival and the survival of the royal family,” said a fourth Saudi source with links to the royal court.

“In the end it will snowball on all of them.”

Saudi Arabia has repeatedly denied any role in Khashoggi’s disappearance. But the sources familiar with the royal court said the reaction from the United States, an ally for decades, had contributed to the king’s intervention.

“When the situation got out of control and there was an uproar in the United States, MbS informed his father that there was a problem and that they have to face it,” another source with knowledge of the royal court said.

The crown prince and his aides had initially thought the crisis would pass but they “miscalculated its repercussions”, this source said.

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-saudi-politics-king-insight/as-khashoggi-crisis-grows-saudi-king-asserts-authority-checks-sons-power-sources-idUSKCN1MT1LF

and shorter version https://www.businessinsider.de/king-salman-crown-prince-mohammed-bin-khashoggi-2018-10?r=US&IR=T

and

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Saudi King Salman orders formation of committee headed by crown prince: SPA

Saudi Arabia’s King Salman has ordered the restructuring of the command of the general intelligence agency under the supervision of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, the official Saudi press agency said on Saturday.

The agency added the order also included updating regulations, determining the agency’s powers, and evaluating its methods and procedures.

It said the king ordered the formation of a ministerial committee, headed by the crown prince, to oversee the restructure

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-saudi-khashoggi-committee/saudi-king-salman-orders-formation-of-committee-headed-by-crown-prince-spa-idUSKCN1MT2Z4

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Jamal Khashoggi: Saudi prince under pressure to blame general

Trump administration believes blaming Ahmed al-Assiri for presumed death of journalist could offer way out of the crisis

US officials are putting sustained pressure on Mohammed bin Salman to blame one of his favoured generals – the deputy head of Saudi intelligence – for the presumed death of Jamal Khashoggi, a move the Trump administration believes could allow both Washington and Riyadh a way out of the escalating crisis.

General Ahmed al-Assiri is one of the embattled crown prince’s most trusted security officials, a senior air force officer who was the Saudi face of the Yemen war for more than a year before being thrust into the intelligence role. He is entrusted with the most sensitive state secrets and if, as is widely alleged, the kingdom was responsible for Khashoggi’s disappearance, would have have almost certainly been a party to plans.

Officials in Washington have suggested for the past three days that a senior figure in Riyadh was central to the apparent plot to lure Khashoggi into the Saudi consulate in Istanbul.

As Prince Mohammed has strengthened his denials, Washington has ramped up pressure on the young heir to the throne. Enmeshed with the impetuous crown prince on many levels, it has been in nearly as much need of a face-saving solution to the crisis as Riyadh. While the US administration has said it will not cut loose a leader in whom much of Trump’s foreign policy is invested, mounting pressure at home and relentless international outrage surrounding Khashoggi’s apparent murder, are forcing Washington to take an unusually robust stance.

Officials have been increasingly irritated at Prince Mohammed’s intransigence – a view that has led them to name General Assiri as a man who could take the blame. Assiri has no family connections to the Saudi royal establishment, but had been an enthusiastic and polished advocate of the kingdom’s involvement in Yemen, a role that caught the 33-year-old crown prince’s eye.

That Washington, rather than Riyadh, is constructing what many claim is a fall guy, speaks to the wide divergence in positions in both capitals. Trump officials have said privately that the kingdom’s stance is indefensible. The US president himself again warned on Thursday of “severe consequences” if the brutal crime is traced to Prince Mohammed. However, he appears reluctant to make that link.

The crown prince, meanwhile, has shown no sign of bowing to demands

The besieged Saudi leader views himself as a strongman who cannot show weakness, especially while under pressure. His denials, amplified by Saudi state media’s claims of a conspiracy against the kingdom by regional foe Qatar, and its ally Turkey, have been widely supported domestically.

In conversations with the Guardian over the past week, two senior Saudi establishment figures have said that Prince Mohammed could make concessions only if they were on his terms, and not the result of force.

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/oct/19/jamal-khashoggi-saudi-prince-under-pressure-to-blame-general-for-presumed-death

My comment: Whow… This tall story is the idea of the Trump administration… Whow. Two rogue states in action.

(** A B P)

"Mohammad bin Salman Must Go," But US-Saudi Ties Are Here To Stay

Mohammad bin Salman is fully aware of the Western elite’s understanding of its own values. While he may be given a pass to bomb Yemen and kill thousands of innocent civilians, he should know better than to dare touch a Washington Post columnist – “one of ours”, as one MSNBC host said. Did he not realize there would be consequences?

As more information came out, many analysts began to confront the most obvious question. Was it possible that Mohammed bin Salman (MBS) was so arrogant that he could not imagine the consequences of such a heinous crime? How could MBS betray Trump this way, not anticipating that the Democrats and the mainstream media would jump all over Trump’s friendship with him? Could he be so foolish as to place in jeopardy foreign investments planned at the Davos in the Desert conference on October 23? The answer to that question is apparently: yes, he could.

The only rational explanation for this behavior is that MBS thought he could get away with it. Remember that we are talking about someone who had Saad Hariri, the prime minister of Lebanon, kidnapped and carried off to the Kingdom, with his whereabouts unknown for days but with very little reaction from the mainstream media or Western politicians. It is possible that in this instance, MBS simply misjudged the level of Khashoggi's popularity amongst neoliberals of the Washington establishment, provoking an unexpected response. Furthermore, the thesis that the Saudis understood that they had some kind of green light from Trump is not to be totally dismissed. Such a backlash is what you get from having a big mouth, praise your friends too much, and tweet all the time.

The rapidity with which the US media, and especially dozens of Republican and Democratic senators, attacked Saudi Arabia, blaming it for the atrocious crime, is rather unusual. After all, the Saudi elites have been inclined to behave in such a manner over the last 40 years. But it also highlights the ongoing inconsistency and double standards: nothing is said about Yemen, but the Kingdom is currently under the strongest censure for allegedly offing a journalist.

Nowadays,the relationship between Riyadh, Tel Aviv and Washington is based on the strong friendship between Trump and MBS and Trump and Netanyahu. Furthermore, the strengthened link between Trump and MBS, facilitated by son-in-law Jared Kushner, who is close to Israel, served to create a new alliance, perhaps even hinting at the possibility of an Arab NATO.

These agreements have led to a series of disasters in the Middle East that go against the interests of Israel, Saudi Arabia and the US.

The Khashoggi affair plays into this situation, exacerbating the war between elites in the US as their strategies in the Middle East continue to fail. The neoliberal mainstream media immediately used the Khashoggi story to pressure Trump into taking a firm stance against one of his last friends and financiers, trying to further isolate him as the midterms approach.

Turkey seems to be using the situation to further widen the fracture between Saudi Arabia and the rest of the world. Since Doha is paying the bills for Erdogan these days, with the Turkish lira at a low, it is essentially the Al Thani family running the PR show in the Turkish media. It looks like the Qatari media are paying back with interests all the negative media they received from the Saudis over the past year. Despite this, neither Ankara nor Riyadh is intent on any kind escalation, both knowing that any suffering on their part is a boon for their enemies.

An interesting aspect related to the Khashoggi affair concerns the sources of the news about the investigation, all anonymous and coming from Turkish police or from people linked to the top echelons of the Turkish state. Knowing the odd state of relations between Ankara and Riyadh, and especially between Turkish ally Qatar and Saudi Arabia, all this news coming from one source should at least be taken with a grain of salt. What is certain is that the Turks had immediate knowledge of the matter regarding who, what, where, when and why. This means that they must have bugged the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, allowing the MIT, Turkey’s intelligence service, to know in real time what was happening to Khashoggi.

For Turkey, the Khashoggi affair could be the occasion for a rapprochement with the US, following a deterioration in relations in the last two years – by Federico Pieraccini

https://www.strategic-culture.org/news/2018/10/19/mohammad-bin-salman-must-go-but-us-saudi-ties-here-stay.html = https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2018-10-19/mohammad-bin-salman-must-go-us-saudi-ties-are-here-stay = https://www.lewrockwell.com/2018/10/no_author/mohammad-bin-salman-must-go-but-us-saudi-ties-are-here-to-stay/

(A P)

Saudi consulate employees in Istanbul give testimony at prosecutor's office: Anadolu

Employees of the Saudi Arabian consulate in Istanbul are giving testimony to at the Turkish prosecutor’s office, the state-run Anadolu news agency said on Friday, as part of the investigation into the disappearance of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-saudi-politics-dissident-testimony/saudi-consulate-employees-in-istanbul-give-testimony-at-prosecutors-office-anadolu-idUSKCN1MT204

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Jamal Khashoggi: Saudi murder suspect had spy training

The BBC has uncovered new details about one of the men accused of murdering Jamal Khashoggi, a prominent Saudi journalist who was critical of his country's government.

Turkish media identified Maher Abdulaziz Mutreb as being part of a 15-member team of suspected Saudi agents who flew into and out of Istanbul on the day of Mr Khashoggi's disappearance from the city's Saudi consulate on 2 October.

And now BBC Arabic can reveal he was trained how to use offensive spyware technology on behalf of the Saudi state.

The source, who spoke to the BBC on condition of anonymity, has visually confirmed his identity from pictures circulated in the media in the days since Mr Khashoggi's disappearance.

According to him, Mr Mutreb was introduced as "an intelligence security operative".

"This information might have been basically everything from [their] GPS position, conversation, microphone audio around the device itself, camera pictures, files on disk, emails, contacts, everything that was on the device itself."

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-45918610

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Turkey says it has not shared Khashoggi audio with anyone

Turkey has not shared audio recordings said to document the killing of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi inside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, its foreign minister said on Friday, dismissing reports it had passed them on to the United States.

ABC News, citing a senior Turkish official, reported on Thursday that the recording had been played for U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo during his visit to Ankara a day earlier and that he was given a transcript.

Pompeo denied the report, telling reporters, “I’ve heard no tape, I’ve seen no transcript.”

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu told reporters during a trip to Albania: “Turkey has not given a voice recording to Pompeo or any other American official.”

“We will share the results that emerge transparently with the whole world. We have not shared any information at all with any country,” he added.

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-saudi-politics-dissident/turkey-says-it-has-not-shared-khashoggi-audio-with-anyone-idUSKCN1MT1MH

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Why the Saudis despised Jamal Khashoggi

It is, however, meant to observe that characterizations of him in the media are not fully accurate. He’s depicted as a “reformer,” a “democracy advocate” and a “journalist.” Yet these are half-truths that obscure the political role Khashoggi played.

Before anything else, he was a regime insider. He was a close associate of senior members of the royal family who were eclipsed by the new crown prince, Mohammed bin Salman.

Khashoggi was not merely a pen for hire. He represented a particular political perspective. An Islamist, his views on major issues consistently tracked with those of the Muslim Brotherhood.

Last September, for example, he lamented the crown prince’s new policy.

A Turkophile, Khashoggi hoped instead that the new crown prince would follow in the footsteps of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who supports the Muslim Brotherhood across the Arab world. Khashoggi envisioned a grand alliance between Riyadh and Ankara.

This perspective also translated into a sympathetic attitude toward Qatar,

In the eyes of the young crown prince, Khashoggi symbolized the three-prong threat to his rule: the Muslim Brothers, the Turkish-Qatari axis and disaffected princes. When Khashoggi moved to America, Salman added a fourth prong: the element of the American elite that sought to downgrade Saudi Arabia’s friendship in US foreign policy.

These arguments hit the crown prince where it hurts most: They implicitly attack his Islamic legitimacy – by Tony Badran, research fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, and Michael Doran, senior fellow at the Hudson Institute.

(** B P)

Murder at the consulate: The questions that occupy us

Many have raised questions about the logic behind murdering Jamal Khashoggi in the consulate, but what kind of leader makes such a criminal yet foolish decision

The Khashoggi affair is now a matter of public opinion and conscience in the East as in the West. His slaying has revealed a volcanic crater beneath it, through which lava-like eruptions of frustration and anger have surfaced: Anger over the war in Yemen and the disregard for Yemeni civilians; anger over the detention of women rights activists for demanding the right to drive long before the Saudi crown prince came to appropriate the issue because his vanity did not allow anyone else to beat him to this great 'achievement'; anger over the arrest of Saudi reformists whose cause does not begin and end at allowing singing and dancing in the kingdom.

Today, Saudi Arabia and its allies label any political opponent a 'terrorist' and seek to portray them as such in the West. Its rulers believe 'terrorism' is a magical word that works well to impress the 'sponsors' in the West, along other stunts such as expressing admiration for Israel, blaming Palestinians for their own tragedy, adopting with fanfare the latest in digital technology, and pretending to be CEO-like personalities who only want the job done and have no time for sentiments (complete with an American accent as they deliver their cliché-ridden sentences).

Everyone knows that waiting for evidence of the Saudi leadership's involvement and links to the official suspects who arrived by private planes – many of whom personal bodyguards of the Saudi de-facto ruler – and other questions related to the recordings, is unnecessary, or a formality required for official spokespeople for the sake of correctness, even as they know the crime at the consulate could not be conceived let alone executed without the express orders of the de-facto ruler.

What should occupy us is not the responsibility of Mohammed bin Salman for the barbaric act, because this is a given,and the waters of the whole of the Arabian Sea shall not wash his hands clean of Khashoggi's blood, nor any deal or narrative proposed to him by Trump and his henchmen. No, what we should ask is this: What kind of leader makes such a criminal yet foolish decision?

Many have raised questions about the logic behind murdering Khashoggi in the consulate, when it would have been simpler to achieve the same result in an obscure alleyway, and have the official suspicion directed at persons unknown.
So why was it done at the consulate? Perhaps they really wanted to abduct him, or perhaps it is a combination of hubris and stupidity, and a blinding rage against the victim for his 'insolence' despite his 'low status'. Who did Khashoggi think he was, they have must have thought, for he was no big businessman, official, or son of an official to be merely jailed at the Ritz.

There is a kind of vanity unjustified by any intellectual, academic, economic, or military achievements that afflicts some of the ignorant offspring of wealthy or powerful families, like an episode of insanity. And there is a kind of self-assigned licence exhibited by men spoiled by undeserved blessings that they think gives the right to hold in contempt anyone who is not powerful, wealthy, or significant based on a gilded logic of pure blood and tribal lineage that any enlightened person in the East or the West considers a sign of backwardness – save for those who defend it in all seriousness in the virtual world of Twitter, the only real space for their victories.

So for a 'commoner' to dare criticise them is an act that crosses all their red lines, an act of profound 'ingratitude', as though it is them who bestow grace upon the fruits of one's labour, and as though they had themselves earned their wealth through their toil. The most a 'commoner' can attain according to this twisted logic, is to be a servant or an adviser of them. Otherwise, if they decide to kill him, then for them this is the equivalent of lynching a slave at the hands of his owners – for who would care for the death of a mere slave? – by Azmi Bishara

https://www.alaraby.co.uk/english/comment/2018/10/18/murder-at-the-consulate-the-questions-that-occupy-us

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Saudis May Blame Intelligence Official for Killing Jamal Khashoggi

The rulers of Saudi Arabia are considering blaming a top intelligence official close to Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman for the killing of Jamal Khashoggi, three people with knowledge of the Saudi plans said Thursday.

The plan to assign blame to Maj. Gen. Ahmed al-Assiri, a high-ranking adviser to the crown prince, would be an extraordinary recognition of the magnitude of international backlash to hit the kingdom since the disappearance of Mr. Khashoggi

Blaming General Assiri could also provide a plausible explanation for the apparent killing and help deflect blame from the crown prince, who American intelligence agencies are increasingly convinced was behind Mr. Khashoggi’s disappearance.

But even with the investigation still ostensibly underway, the Saudis are already pointing to General Assiri as the culprit, according to the three people familiar with the Saudi plans. People close to the White House have already been briefed and given General Assiri’s name.

Whether that move will be enough to calm the international crisis and what it may mean for Prince Mohammed, the kingdom’s day-to-day ruler, remain to be seen.

General Assiri, who previously served as the spokesman for the Saudi-led military intervention in Yemen, is close enough to the crown prince to have easy access to his ear and has considerable authority to enlist lower-ranking personnel in a mission.

The Saudi rulers are expected to say that General Assiri received oral authorization from Prince Mohammed to capture Mr. Khashoggi for an interrogation in Saudi Arabia, but either misunderstood his instructions or overstepped that authorization and took the dissident’s life, according to two of the people familiar with the Saudi plans. They spoke on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to brief journalists.

Even in this scenario, however, Prince Mohammed would still have ordered an operation to abduct a resident of the United States, apparently only on the basis of his public criticism of Saudi leaders.

Given General Assiri’s lofty rank, declaring his culpability would also reflect on the crown prince. Prince Mohammed elevated General Assiri to his current post, and General Assiri is close enough to him that he has often sat in when the crown prince meets with visiting American officials.

Some critics of the kingdom are already arguing that scapegoating an underling would be little more than a diversion.

“The responsibility is with the de facto ruler, who is the crown prince,” argued Madawi al-Rasheed, a professor at the London School of Economics and a frequent critic of Prince Mohammed.

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/10/18/world/middleeast/jamal-khashoggi-killing-saudi-arabia.html = https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/world/saudi-arabia-weighs-blaming-intelligence-official-for-khashoggi-killing/ar-BBOzrXd

and Asiri already had been named earlier here: https://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2018/10/17/a_brooding_crown_prince_searches_for_a_scapegoat_138371.html

(* A P)

Turkish source says Pompeo heard recording of Khashoggi murder, State Department denies

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has heard an alleged audio recording of Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi's murder inside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, according to a senior Turkish official.

Speaking exclusively and on condition of anonymity to ABC News, the official claimed the recording was played in meetings in Turkey on Wednesday, and that Pompeo was given a transcript of the recordings.

Separately, ABC News has also learned that Turkish officials believe that Khashoggi was killed inside the Saudi consulate following a struggle that lasted eight minutes and that they believe he died of strangulation.

The White House referred questions to the State Department which denied Pompeo had heard the recording or seen a transcript.

https://abcnews.go.com/International/pompeo-listened-alleged-recording-murder-jamal-khashoggi-source/story?id=58595725

(** A P)

In Khashoggi Disappearance, Turkey’s Slow Drip of Leaks Puts Pressure on Saudis

Since the Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi disappeared over two weeks ago, details from the police investigation, including descriptions of audio recordings that reveal he was dismembered, have been leaked, drip by drip, to keep the world suspended as the mystery unfolds.

The calculated media strategy has proved remarkably effective for the government of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, ensuring that the case remains front-page news around the world.

But it has also served a deeper agenda — to push the United States to pressure Saudi Arabia — while shielding the government behind the news media to avoid an open and potentially damaging diplomatic rupture with the Saudis.

From the start, reports of the existence of the audio recordings were brandished almost as a threat by Turkish officials and pro-government news outlets, evidently to maintain pressure on Saudi Arabia, but also on the Trump administration, to resolve the issue to Turkey’s taste.

Political analysts noted that Mr. Erdogan seemed to increase the pressure by releasing descriptions of audio recordings after it appeared that President Trump would offer cover to Saudi Arabia’s crown prince, Mohammed bin Salman, known as M.B.S., by promoting the Saudi line that the death had been the work of “rogue killers.”

“Erdogan had hoped that Trump and the Saudis would take the exit path of throwing someone senior under the bus,” said Soner Cagaptay, the director of the Turkish Research Program at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy. “But when Trump starting trending toward defending M.B.S., Erdogan released more details to build pressure on them.”

The success of the campaign of leaks, and the gripping controversy around the case, may now be expanding the government’s ambitions, emboldening it to undermine Saudi Arabia’s crown prince, who is seen as unfriendly to Turkey’s interests.

“Initially, it seemed Turkey was seeking a bargain with or financial support from Saudi Arabia,” said Amanda Sloat, a former State Department official now at the Brookings Institution. “But it increasingly appears that Turkey is seeking to inflict maximum damage on M.B.S.”

It is not clear what Mr. Erdogan is demanding, but the policy of official leaks has been clearly to prevent a complete whitewash of the disappearance. Pro-government columnists have called for the Saudi crown prince to go.

In the early days, the leaks were pushed especially toward American news media — including The New York Times and The Washington Post — in order to engage American interest and support for Turkey’s position, a Turkish official involved in the campaign said.

Turkey’s handling of the affair has been the exact opposite of Mr. Erdogan’s usual tactics on the international scene.

But from the start of the Khashoggi affair, Turkish officials said, they were cautious to avoid any direct confrontation with Saudi Arabia because of Turkey’s fragile economic and political situation – by Carlotta Gall

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/10/19/world/europe/turkey-khashoggi-saudi-arabia.html

(** A P)

Turkey searches for remains

Turkish police are searching a forest on the outskirts of Istanbul and a city near the Sea of Marmara for the remains of Khashoggi more than two weeks after he vanished after entering the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, two senior Turkish officials told Reuters.

After investigations at the Saudi consulate and the consul’s residence, Turkish authorities have widened the geographic focus of the search, the senior Turkish officials said. Investigators tracked the routes and stops of cars that left those two places on Oct. 2, the officials said.

Khashoggi’s killers may have dumped his remains in Belgrad Forest adjacent to Istanbul, and at a rural location near the city of Yalova, a 90-kilometre (55 mile) drive south of Istanbul, the officials said.

“The investigations led to some suspicion that his remains may be in the city of Yalova and the Belgrad forest, police have been searching these areas,” one of the officials said, speaking on condition of anonymity. A “farm house or villa” may have been used for the disposal of remains, the official said.

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-saudi-politics-dissident-search/trump-says-saudi-journalist-likely-dead-turkey-searches-for-remains-idUSKCN1MS08Q

and

(** A P)

Turks Search Far-Flung Sites and Question Workers in Case of Missing Journalist

Turkish investigators have extended their inquiry into the suspected assassination of a dissident journalist by Saudi Arabian officials to three areas in or near Istanbul, a Turkish official said on Friday, while police officers and prosecutors questioned Turkish employees of the Saudi Consulate in the city.

Looking for evidence of the fate of the journalist, Jamal Khashoggi, who was last seen more than two weeks ago entering the consulate, investigators were searching the Belgrad forest, a wooded area just north of Istanbul; Pendik, a district on the Asian side of the city; and a rural residence in Yalova, a town 60 miles south of the city, the official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, told The New York Times. Turkish officials have alleged that Mr. Kashoggi was tortured, killed and dismembered inside the consulate, accusations the Saudi government has denied.

Fifteen Turkish employees of the consulate, including the consul’s driver, testified in a court in downtown Istanbul on Friday, the state-run news agency Anadolu reported.

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/10/19/world/europe/turkey-jamal-khashoggi-investigation.html

(* A P)

Jamal Khashoggi news: First his fingers were cut off, then his head

HIS killers were waiting when Jamal Khashoggi walked into the Saudi Arabian consulate in Istanbul two weeks ago.

https://www.express.co.uk/news/world/1033986/jamal-khashoggi-news-first-his-fingers-were-cut-off-then-his-head

remark: Once more describing Khashoggis probable killing.

from Oct. 16:

(* B P)

Saudia Arabia’s crown prince went a ghastly step too far

Whatever happens next, it is already clear that Saudi Arabia’s crown prince and de facto ruler, Mohammed bin Salman, has gone a ghastly step too far in his ruthless pursuit of absolute power.

Khashoggi’s unpardonable sin was to call for debate not about the crown prince’s social reforms, which he wholeheartedly supported, but about the crown prince’s stifling intolerance for anyone who cast even a speck of dirt on his highly polished image as the kingdom’s long-awaited savior.

He had a book project in mind to write at the Wilson Center in Washington.

Surprisingly, the book’s focus was not to be on the increasingly controversial crown prince at all. Rather, he wanted to write a primer for the tens of thousands of Saudi students coming to America, explaining what to expect and how to navigate a society so totally different from their own.

I have been racking my mind as to why Mohammed might have become so desperate as to silence Khashoggi, whether by forcible rendition or assassination. Khashoggi was not an enemy of monarchical rule and had cheered Mohammed’s reforms. But the crown prince was determined to snuff out even the slightest criticism of himself or his policies.

Though I have no proof, I do have a theory. I believe the main reason the crown prince feared Khashoggi so much was that he was launching a project to establish a foundation dedicated to promoting democracy in the Arab world, particularly in Saudi Arabia.

But I trace Khashoggi’s fall from royal grace back to a moment before he even started writing for The Post. Shortly after Trump’s 2016 election victory, Khashoggi had warned Mohammed not to get too close to the new president because he was so unpredictable. That was enough for the government to ban him from speaking or publishing inside the kingdom.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/saudia-arabias-crown-prince-went-a-ghastly-step-too-far/2018/10/16/50d60f76-d16a-11e8-83d6-291fcead2ab1_story.html

cp03 Reaktionen in den USA; Beziehungen USA-Saudi Arabien / Reactions in the US; US-Saudi relations

Eingebetteter Medieninhalt

(* B P)

Film: It's not just Trump, it goes back decades: @Smerconish asks, "What the hell does the Saudi royal family hold over American presidents?"

https://twitter.com/brianstelter/status/1053633554440015872

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Why a US Divorce from Saudi Arabia would be Good for Us and Them

Voices from the Right wing, prominently featured in Rupert Murdoch’s Wall Street Journal, are warning that the grisly murder of Jamal Khashoggi by a hit squad made up of persons close to crown prince Mohammed Bin Salman should not mean the end of the close US relationship with Saudi Arabia.

I would concur with one part of this argument, which is that we should wish the country of Saudi Arabia well. But the current relationship of Washington and Riyadh is pathological in a lot of ways, and a policy rethink on both sides would benefit both countries.

But both of these bases for the Saudi relationship with the US are very bad for everyone on earth. Burning petroleum to fuel cars puts billions of tons of the heat-trapping gas carbon dioxide into the atmosphere annually, which is threatening human welfare and civilization.

Massive arms sales are also bad for both countries. The US is spreading around highly sophisticated death and destruction machines.

So both petroleum and arms sales as the basis for the US-Saudi tie are bad for both countries and catastrophic for the globe and for human welfare.

For the US to throw the Middle East into more tumult, impelling mass migration to Europe and pushing that continent politically toward xenophobia and ultra-nationalism, is madness. Trying to contain Iran by keeping it from selling petroleum will fail, though not completely.

The US needs to pressure King Salman to find a different heir, who is a normal human being, for his throne, perhaps going back to the old more oligarchic power sharing of the past.

These steps would be good for Saudi Arabia, good for America, and good for the world.

https://www.juancole.com/2018/10/divorce-saudi-arabia.html

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The Overdue Backlash Against Saudi Arabia Is Growing

Jared Kushner played a significant role in the Trump administration’s embrace of the Saudi crown prince, and his reaction to the Khashoggi murder proves that his judgment is just as appalling as ever:

Jared Kushner, Mr. Trump’s son-in-law and Middle East adviser, has been urging the president to stand by Prince Mohammed, according to a person close to the White House and a former official with knowledge of the discussions.

Mr. Kushner has argued that the outrage over Mr. Khashoggi’s disappearance and possible killing will pass, just as it did after other Saudi errors like the kidnapping of the prime minister of Lebanon and the killing of a busload of children in Yemen by a Saudi airstrike.

Many Americans have resigned themselves to the same conclusion that the latest Saudi crime will change nothing, but it takes someone truly awful to welcome that result.

There was already growing support for cutting off all support to the war on Yemen before the murder, and now there is even more.

The Saudi government has committed so many outrages in just the last few years that all of them have begun to have a cumulative effect on how policymakers and the media view the crown prince and his policies. The Khashoggi murder has broken through to the wider public in a way that none of the other Saudi crimes has, and that has had a lot to do with the extensive daily coverage that it has received. One can only imagine how much more opposition there would be to U.S. involvement in the war on Yemen if that policy were covered with the same intensity.

The longer that Trump sticks with and covers for Mohammed bin Salman, the more likely it is that both opposition to Trump and opposition to the Saudi relationship will continue to grow in Congress. The backlash against Saudi Arabia has been many years and even decades in the making, and it is going to keep getting stronger.

https://www.theamericanconservative.com/larison/the-overdue-backlash-against-saudi-arabia-is-growing/

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Film: Eric Trump [son of president Trump] on Fox: Are we just supposed to throw away our relationship with Saudi Arabia because they murdered a journalist? "You can't be executing journalists ... at the same time who are our friends in the ME, what are you going to do, take that and throw all of that away?"

https://twitter.com/LisPower1/status/1053321750543564801

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Here are 110 billion reasons why Saudi Arabia will not be punished for murdering Jamal Khashoggi or for any of the other crimes it’s leadership commits (Wall Street journal; image9

https://twitter.com/RaniaKhalek/status/1053279140978270213

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US Treasury secretary to attend Saudi 'anti-terror finance' conference: Report

Steven Mnuchin will attend meeting alongside Saudi security services next week, Washington Post reports

US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin will attend an “anti-terror finance” meeting in Saudi Arabia next week, the Washington Post reported on Friday, citing three sources familiar with the matter.

On Thursday, Mnuchin had announced that he would not be attending a global investment conference in Riyadh after consulting with President Donald Trump and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo amid outrage over the purported murder of Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi.

The “anti-terror finance” meeting, which is not related to the investment conference, will involve Saudi security services and their regional counterparts, according to the Post.

https://www.middleeasteye.net/news/khashoggi-treasury-secretary-attend-saudi-anti-terror-finance-conference-467266902

My comment: Saudi and “anti-terror” is like a cow singing in the opera.

(A P)

Fox Business Pulls Out As Sponsor of Saudi Conference

Fox Business Network announced Thursday that it is withdrawing as a sponsor of the Future Investment Initiative Summit to be held in Saudi Arabia next week, joining a host of media companies to drop out after the disappearance of a Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

https://english.almasirah.net/details.php?es_id=3322&cat_id=2

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Opportunities Abound After Khashoggi-Gate

Every crisis is also an opportunity. Don’t worry I’m not about to go all Rahm Emmanuel, Mr. Realpolitik, on you today. The disappearance/death/dismemberment of Jamal Khashoggi is both a crisis and an opportunity for the worst people in the world.

And all of them are seizing the day, as it were.

Frankly, most of it makes me sick to my stomach. Because where were these virtue-signaling champions of human rights like Jamie Dimon of J.P. Morgan or Lindsay Graham (R – AIPAC) for the past three years as Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MbS) prosecuted a starvation campaign in Yemen with U.S. complicity?

Does Lindsay not know that MbS is funding the U.S. occupation in eastern Syria he’s so in love with?

Now all of a sudden, every war-monger in Washington and Wall St. wants to cut ties with him because killing a political opponent is “beyond the pale?” Even Christine LaGarde of the IMF will be a no-show at MbS’s big “Davos in the Desert” conference.

This is a political hit job.

If this faux outrage wasn’t so transparent it would be pathetic. On second thought, it is pathetic.

The truth is MbS is a monster. But, he’s our monster, unfortunately. We’ve known this since the moment he entered the scene.

Since getting Trump’s stamp of approval in early 2017 MbS has used that to go too far a number of times which the U.S. has had to clean up behind him. His blockade of Qatar didn’t have Washington’s approval.

I’m sure killing Khashoggi in the Saudi Turkish consulate didn’t either.

His consolidation of power was swift and brutal.

It’s only just now dawning on American media companies that the Saudis are a bunch of brutal thugs that make the Lannisters look like Quakers?

MbS has upset the apple carts of long-standing relationships within the U.S. and European elites and bureaucracies while Trump and Jared Kushner attempt to rebuild the U.S./Saudi/Israeli alliance which languished under Obama.

And that’s the key to understanding this situation. They want their satraps back.

The over-the-top moralistic chest-beating by the U.S. media is a clear sign that the The Davos Crowd ­– the unelected elites and their government quislings who think they run the world -- wants things returned to the way they were before Trump.

https://www.strategic-culture.org/news/2018/10/19/opportunities-abound-after-khashoggi-gate.html

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If You Knew Khashoggi, You’d Be Outraged Too

Americans who work in foreign policy have moral reasons for wanting to make Saudi Arabia pay.

I’m not proud of it. But I am one of those people who are more viscerally upset by the allegations that journalist Jamal Khashoggi died a brutal death at the hands of Saudi secret police than by the deaths of thousands of people under Saudi bombardment in Yemen. The reason isn’t that Khashoggi was a journalist or that he was a legal U.S. resident or that he may have been dismembered, possibly while still alive. It’s much simpler and much less principled than that: It’s because I knew him.

Who Khashoggi knew is having a direct impact on the debate about how the U.S. should respond to his disappearance. There is a very large overlap between the people whose job it is to debate this policy issue and the people whom Khashoggi had met over the years.

Yet for the moment, at least, the collective outrage over his disappearance and likely gruesome death, as described by Turkish authorities, is threatening the U.S. policy of building extremely close ties with Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, or MBS, as people in the know like to refer to him.

Is this right? Should personal and professional knowledge of the missing man affect our collective discussion about relations with an important ally?

There are two strong arguments against allowing personal feelings to shape policy in a situation like this. Intriguingly, they come from almost diametrically opposed worldviews.

The first argument is a moral one, grounded in the essential truth that every human life is equally valuable. This instinct drives the perfectly legitimate criticism that those who are now criticizing Saudi Arabia over Khashoggi’s death have not spoken out anywhere near as forcefully about the Saudi war in Yemen or other commonplace Saudi human rights violations, including the imprisonment, torture and even killing of dissidents.

The other, radically different argument against letting emotions into the policy debate belongs to the hard-core foreign policy realists.

https://www.bloomberg.com/view/articles/2018-10-18/jamal-khashoggi-s-friends-hold-sway-over-u-s-response-to-saudis

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Freedom Rider: Jamal Khashoggi and U.S. Hypocrisy

The corporate media cry crocodile tears over the apparent murder of an elite, CIA-connected “dissident,” while papering over US complicity in Saudi war crimes in Yemen.

“The Saudis may kill 50 Yemeni children on a school bus and get only a few mild rebukes, but killing a prominent man is another story entirely.”

The disappearance and presumed murder of Jamal Khashoggi puts the corrupt relationship between Saudi Arabia and the United States in high relief. The two countries have been partners in crime over many years. Together they used jihadist proxies to make wars in Afghanistan, Libya and Syria that furthered U.S. interests. The brutal Saudi attack on neighboring Yemen could not happen without U.S. diplomatic and logistical support. The Donald Trump presidency has brought the two even closer. The relationship is now a true love affair complete with personal dealings between Saudi royals and the Trumps.

Ordinarily compliant American senators are now going through the motions of asking questions and proposing sanctions or other punishments against the kingdom. Corporate media like the New York Times, Financial Times, CNN and CNBC have dropped out of the Future Investment Initiative meeting which is known as Davos in the desert. The plight of starving Yemenis gets little attention, but a hit job committed openly and without fear of recourse is too much. Liberal sensibilities were offended by the crassness of the act and by the position of the victim.

The outrage is coming long after the Saudis began their war crime against Yemen.

Trump differs from Obama and other presidents only in his inability to be diplomatic. When first asked about a possible response to Khashoggi’s disappearance he made it clear that he would do nothing to threaten war contractor profits. In defending the crown prince he mentioned Boeing, Raytheon and Lockheed by name as he dismissed any talk of sanctions.

It is easy to find yet another reason to look askance at Trump and his vulgar and incompetent family but Saudi Arabia will be a U.S. partner in wrong doing no matter who is in the White House.

“The Saudis would not have acted so recklessly unless they were certain of U.S. compliance.”

The hypocrisy doesn’t end with Trump and Kushner. It can be seen in the corporate media who cover for a war crime against Yemen. They are easily bought off by a prince who opens movie theaters and allows women to drive. But they also know who funds the think tanks and who has the connections with their bosses. They may despise Trump but it isn’t for the reasons they ought to dislike him. They are a party to the hypocrisy, as much as the foreign despots or their presidential partners. There are no heroes in this story. There is only a missing man and corruption in high places in two nations – by Margaret Kimberley

https://www.greanvillepost.com/2018/10/18/freedom-rider-jamal-khashoggi-and-u-s-hypocrisy/

(* B P)

Of course Saudi Arabia’s leader doesn’t fear U.S. fury. We give him everything he wants.

We’ve shown the crown prince, again and again, that he can act with impunity.

If the crown prince or anybody else in his government is responsible, they clearly believed Saudi Arabia could get away with Khashoggi’s abduction and killing without U.S. disapproval. (Or, worse, they thought they had Washington’s implied approval in advance.) There is a reason for that: MBS has developed such a close relationship with the Trump administration that he has gotten almost everything from it that he wants. In his mind, he may have concluded that, as far as U.S. policy goes, he can act with impunity.

His tightest relationship is with Jared Kushner, the president’s senior adviser and son-in-law, and their bondhas been well-documented.

Policymakers here tolerated his clampdown on dissent — he has purged and imprisoned royals who represent rival power centers, such as the investor Alwaleed bin Talal, and expelled Canadian diplomats because one official lamented the lack of human rights there. The crown prince’s greatest gift to Western allies was the “moderate Islam” he promised, which would reject Saudi Arabia’s previous backing for dubious religious schools and charitable donations.

MBS scored a major victory when Trump decided to withdraw from the Iran nuclear deal.

The war in Yemen, begun in 2015, is another MBS policy that won Washington’s tacit approval.

Elected officials in the United States and Europe have often been challenged — by journalists, human-rights watchdogs, Khashoggi himself — about their support for MBS. The response generally holds that his impulsiveness and authoritarianism at home has to be matched with his success in changing the kingdom from an incubator of extremist Islam to the “real” Saudi Islam MBS describes, a moderate variant derailed by the 1979 Iranian revolution. But the Islamic State-type horror of Khashoggi’s demise — which appears to have involved a bone saw, a basement and more than a dozen agents flown in from Riyadh — imperils this image.

Still, Trump left another window open for MBS by saying this week Khashoggi’s death may have been perpetrated by “rogue killers.” – by Simon Henderson

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Saudi Arabia Has No Leverage

Ignore the bluster from Riyadh. The Saudi economy is dependent on the U.S., which has plenty of power to force concessions.

As the fallout continues over the disappearance of the Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, the government in Riyadh is putting on a tough face. If there are sanctions over the alleged murder of Mr. Khashoggi, the Saudis want the world to know, they will fight back.

On Sunday, the Saudi government released a recalcitrant statement

These are empty threats. Saudi Arabia is not in a position to harm the United States. In fact, when it comes to relations between the United States and Saudi Arabia, Washington has all of the leverage. American policymakers shouldn’t forget that.

The Saudis are dependent on the United States, and public opinion is increasingly against them.

Saudi Arabia is not in a position to threaten the American economy. In fact, the kingdom may be overestimating its own economic clout. It would be a mistake for Riyadh to try to act on its threats against the United States.

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/10/18/opinion/saudi-arabia-economy-united-states.html

(* B P)

Jamal Khashoggi Deserves Justice

President Trump, now is not the time to back down.

President Trump finally acknowledged on Thursday what had been evident for some time: that Jamal Khashoggi had been killed, that senior Saudi officials had played a central role in his death and that the White House faced one of its most serious foreign policy crises yet. “This is bad, bad stuff, and the consequences should be severe,” Mr. Trump said.

That much is right, and the president should be commended for abandoning his credulous repetitions of the denials of Saudi Arabia and its leaders. His next job must be to ensure that the consequences are, indeed, appropriate to the brutal murder of a self-exiled Saudi journalist living in Virginia whose only fault was to criticize the crown prince, Mohammed bin Salman.

It’s hard to imagine that so fraught a mission would be approved by anyone less than Prince Mohammed.

Yet Mr. Trump still seemed unprepared to point a finger at the de facto Saudi ruler who had become a close ally of the president and his son-in-law, Jared Kushner.

The president, described by the reporters as “uncharacteristically guarded and disciplined” during the brief interview, also seemed surprised that Mr. Khashoggi’s killing had drawn so much fury — that “this one has caught the imagination of the world, unfortunately,” as he put it. Since Mr. Khashoggi disappeared, Mr. Trump has publicly questioned why the United States would risk a lucrative arms deal and an important alliance over the killing of a man he has pointedly referred to as a “Saudi Arabian citizen.”

Practitioners of cold realpolitik might agree.

It is in the DNA of America to speak out against atrocities, even if doing so carries a cost. Mr. Khashoggi was a gadfly, a nuisance, but hardly a threat to the House of Saud. And the very possibility that Prince Mohammed would order such an atrocity should raise serious questions about his stability and his value as an ally.

That’s what Mr. Trump will have to answer as he weighs an appropriate response. Not only are the relations with Saudi Arabia at stake, but so is the credibility of the American president in his dealings with the growing band of autocrats around the world who have been encouraged by his tolerance for their misdeeds and acceptance of their excuses.

Contrary to Mr. Trump’s suggestions, this was a crime against America – by Editorial Board, NYT

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/10/18/opinion/trump-saudi-khashoggi.html

My comment: Oh yes. But, Yemen did not “deserve justice” since 1300 days now? The NYT never asked this. Greetings to Thomas L. Friedman.

(* A P)

Trump says Saudi journalist likely dead

President Donald Trump said on Thursday he presumes missing Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi is dead and that the U.S. response to Saudi Arabia will likely be “very severe” but that he still wanted to get to the bottom of what exactly happened.

“It certainly looks that way to me. It’s very sad,” Trump told reporters before boarding Air Force One on a political trip. In an interview with the New York Times on Thursday, Trump based his acknowledgment that Khashoggi was dead on intelligence reports.

Trump spoke hours after receiving an update from Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on the results of Pompeo’s emergency talks in Saudi Arabia and Turkey this week.

In the New York Times interview, Trump also expressed confidence in intelligence reports that suggest a high-level Saudi role in the suspected killing of Khashoggi. Trump said, however, it was still “a little bit early” to draw definitive conclusions about who may have been behind it.

Pompeo told reporters that he advised Trump that Saudi Arabia should be given a few more days to complete its investigation into the disappearance of Khashoggi

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-saudi-politics-dissident-search/trump-says-saudi-journalist-likely-dead-turkey-searches-for-remains-idUSKCN1MS08Q

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Is the Khashoggi disappearance a catalyst?

As pressure mounts on Saudi Arabia amid reports that Journalist Jamal Khashoggi was killed within his country's consulate, US-Saudi relations have been spotlighted. The Washington Post columnist's disappearance has highlighted the US involvement within the Saudi-led Yemen war, and the $110 billion arms deal between the two countries. Euronews talked to Professor Scott Lucas of Birmingham University, an expert on current international affairs, about the relationship between the US, Saudi Arabia, and Turkey as the story of Khashoggi's disappearance unfolds.

"Even before the Khashoggi affair, there was some discontent among ... a few significant legislators both in the House and in the Senate who were raising questions about that deadly Saudi-led intervention," Prof. Lucas said. The Khashoggi investigation has brought new-found scrutiny to the Yemen war and has been "a catalyst for those legislators who have had concerns to be more vocal".

“That is reinforced by the fact that Khashoggi was a columnist for the Washington Post. He was a permanent resident with a home in Washington, so he was very well connected," Prof. Lucas said. Having spoken to officials in the US State Department, Prof. Lucas said that they are "concerned about what has occurred," although they "don't want to see it as a breaking point for the US-Saudi relationship" and are "looking at what should be done next".

This is countered by the White House reaction, "as evidenced by Donald Trump's statements, he's just hoping the whole affair goes away very quickly and its quote, business as usual", with Prof. Lucas referring to the $110 billion arms deal between the two nations. US President

"I think all you have to say is, whatever the position it is on the business side, that all it took was a 20-minute phone call from King Salman" to "convince Trump of the Saudi side of the story" which would assert that "the King and his son, the Crown Prince, didn't know anything about this".

"Unless this can be connected through clear intelligence to the Crown Prince or his father directly ordering the killing of Jamal Khashoggi, I don't really see any significant effects on the US-Saudi relations," Prof. Lucas said.

Based on Prof. Lucas' assessment, very little will change within this US administration in relation to US-Saudi relations. "I think there will be no regrets from Saudi Arabia on what it is doing in Yemen" or its ally, the "UAE who is equally as involved in the Yemen". "Even before Donald Trump, Saudi Arabia was a big customer of the United States. It has been seen as a strategic partner of the United States in that region."

https://www.euronews.com/2018/10/18/is-the-khashoggi-disappearance-a-catalyst-euronews-answers

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JARED KUSHNER REPORTEDLY STILL CONVINCED GRISLY BONE-SAW MURDER WILL BLOW OVER

The media ignored Saudi atrocities in Yemen, so why not a missing journalist?

At the time, we were vaguely told that Kushner “asked for more details,” and requested that his buddy M.B.S. “be transparent in the investigation process,” but didn’t really get any specifics about the conversation. Now, though, we’ve got a better idea of what might have been said! We’re just guessing here, but it seems likely Kushner opened the conversation by telling the prince, “A month from now, no one will even remember you were accused of murdering and dismembering a man; this is no worse than that time your army accidentally slaughtered a bunch of kids, and no one ever mentions that anymore,” and closed it by saying, “Everyone here has got your back,” and maybe, “I know what you’re going through,” and possibly, “I love you, man. We’ll get through this together.”

Kushner, of course, doesn’t offer this kind of support for just any despot—it is reserved for the ones with whom he’s forged close, personal friendships

https://www.vanityfair.com/news/2018/10/jared-kushner-still-convinced-grisly-bone-saw-murder-will-blow-over

(* B P)

Trump and Kushner Put Saudi's Money First

Jamal Khashoggi’s death has exposed the White House and two of its most powerful figures as naive, ill-informed and craven. What comes next?

Complexity has never deterred the president, however. In an interview with the Associated Press on Tuesday, he blamed critics of Saudi Arabia for holding it “guilty until proven innocent.” Lest anyone doubt his motives, Trump took to Twitter to talk about his finances.

That statement would be easier to digest if Trump hadn't bragged publicly in the past about how much Saudis have spent buying his condominiums – and if he wasn't the steward of the most financially conflicted presidency of the post World War II era.

Trump is playing word games, of course.

For his part, Kushner just plowed ahead, continuing to rest the White House's plans for the Middle East on the shoulders of an equally young and untested man, Saudi Arabia's crown prince. The disappearance of a single journalist, a one-time ally of the royal family turned critic, may ultimately cause Kushner's plans to unravel – and expose his machinations in Saudi Arabia to more revealing and unwanted scrutiny.

If it doesn't, it may well be because the president – putting the lie to his dissembling about his family's financial ties to Saudi Arabia – will openly and stubbornly put money ahead of the moral and diplomatic issues at play in Khashoggi's disappearance.

As he told Fox News in an interview on Tuesday night: “I don’t want to give up a $100 billion order or whatever it is.”

https://www.bloomberg.com/view/articles/2018-10-17/trump-and-kushner-put-saudi-arabia-s-money-ahead-of-khashoggi

(* A P)

Bernie Sanders Has Heard Enough: 'We Cannot Have an Ally Who Murders a Dissident in Cold Blood'

Credible allegations of Jamal Khashoggi's brutal murder by the Saudi government and ongoing war crimes in Yemen should be the final straws in allowing the powerful Gulf monarchy to claim the U.S. as a friend and partner, says senator

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) says the alleged murder and brutal dismemberment of journalist Jamal Khashoggi by his own Saudi government and ongoing war crimes in Yemen should be the final straws in allowing the powerful Gulf monarchy to claim the U.S. as a friend and partner.

"We cannot have an ally who murders a dissident in cold blood, in their own consulate," Sanders declared on Thursday. "That is unacceptable by any government, but especially by one so closely aligned with the United States."

The critique by Sanders is not an isolated occurrence as other lawmakers and outside critics have also said the Khashoggi murder should force a break in the decades-long relationship.

Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI) has been leading the charge among House Democrats by saying the U.S. should end its political alliance with Saudi Arabia, cease multi-billion dollar arms deals to the country; and also shut off military support for the country's ongoing assault on Yemen

https://www.commondreams.org/news/2018/10/19/bernie-sanders-has-heard-enough-we-cannot-have-ally-who-murders-dissident-cold-blood

and films:

Sanders: https://twitter.com/SenSanders/status/1052940360421400576

Gabbard: https://twitter.com/TulsiGabbard/status/1053318590147883009

(* A B P)

Deep Saudi relationship complicates U.S. response on Khashoggi

Analysis: The disappearance and possible murder of a Washington Post journalist may not be enough to upend decades of economic and political ties.

This is not a match built on shared democratic values. Saudi Arabia is an absolute monarchy and religiously conservative. But even if it and the U.S. are far apart culturally, the countries' interests are intertwined when it comes to trade and oil, and the fight against an expanding Iran.

Regarding the disappearance of Khashoggi, a longtime regime insider who left Saudi Arabia last year amid the crown prince's crackdown on dissent, the two countries may be trying to reach common ground in order to not disrupt relations, analysts say.

"I can see a lot of people shifting around and trying to get through this without a major breach," said David Butter, an associate fellow at the London-based think tank Chatham House. "It's not clear how that will be achieved unless things are allowed to slide and it's accepted that there will be some fall guys that the Saudis will blame."

For all the hostility directed at the Saudis, however, lawmakers are reluctant to back drastic steps that could jettison the longstanding partnership with the kingdom, according two Senate staffers, one Republican and one Democratic.

Asked about the possibility of sanctions on specific sectors of the Saudi economy, or those that target major Saudi state companies, the Democratic staffer told NBC News: “It’s too early for that.”

The two economies have an array of connections and “we have to make sure we don’t shoot ourselves in the foot.”

There is also talk of potentially rejecting future arms sales — the country is the largest recipient of U.S. arms — although there is still a reluctance to take more drastic measures that could upend the U.S.-Saudi relationship.

https://www.nbcnews.com/news/world/deep-saudi-relationship-complicates-u-s-response-khashoggi-n920551

My comment: This piece is from Dec., 17, still before the Saudis had really found their fallout guys, approved by Trump. All this shows the unbearable hypocrisy of US (and Western in general) politics. – “It’s to early” for sanctions against Saudi Arabia? Other countries – which are classified as enemies of the US, for which reason ever, or which to not dance to the US tune – are sanctioned faster than they can have a look.

cp04 Internationale Reaktionen / International reactions

(A P)

Dutch PM Rutte calls for further investigation into Khashoggi's death

Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte said on Saturday that further investigations are needed after Saudi Arabia’s acknowledgment that journalist Jamal Khashoggi had died inside its Istanbul consulate.

“A lot still remains uncertain. What happened? How did he die? Who is responsible? I expect and I hope that all relevant facts will be clear as soon as possible,” Rutte told reporters in Copenhagen. “Thorough investigation is necessary”.

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-saudi-khashoggi-turkey-investigation/investigators-likely-to-discover-what-happened-to-khashoggi-body-before-long-turkish-official-idUSKCN1MU0GY

(A E P)

Australia withdraws from Saudi investment summit over Khashoggi death

Australia has pulled out of an investment summit in Saudi Arabia in protest at the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, Australian government minister said on Saturday.

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-saudi-khashoggi-australia/australia-withdraws-from-saudi-investment-summit-over-khashoggi-death-idUSKCN1MU0AD

and before:

(A E P)

Australian government resists retribution for Saudi Arabia until Khashoggi investigation concludes

The Australian government is resisting joining global retribution against Saudi Arabia for the suspected torture, murder and dismemberment of dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi pending a global investigation into the incident.

Australian military equipment sales, intelligence sharing and official participation in a high-profile summit in Riyadh will not be curtailed at this stage but multiple sources said the Morrison government was leaving the door open to punishing the Saudi regime as further information, including from a joint Turkish-Saudi investigation, becomes available.

https://www.smh.com.au/politics/federal/australian-government-resists-retribution-for-saudi-arabia-until-khashoggi-investigation-concludes-20181019-p50asj.html

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Why are Arab leaders silent over Khashoggi's disappearance?

Arab leaders remain deafeningly silent on the case of Khashoggi's disappearance.

A handful of Arab governments including Egypt, Lebanon, Jordan, Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) did issue statements, but those were in solidarity with Saudi Arabia, which has faced an international backlash over the disappearance of Khashoggi.

The UAE, arguably the kingdom's foremost ally in the region, was the first to come out in support of Riyadh.

Analysts say the seeming indifference to the fate that had befallen Khashoggi and the timid support that some governments such as Yemen's government-in-exile and Lebanon's Saad Hariri have expressed for Saudi Arabia is a testament to the influence Riyadh holds in the region.

It is also a reflection of the dire state of press freedom and human rights more generally in the region, they say.

"We rarely hear Arab governments condemning other Arab governments for human rights abuses except of course within the political divide, especially since the Gulf crisis has emerged," Fadi al-Qadi, a human rights and media advocate, said.

"There is no political discourse within Arab governments," said al-Qadi, who is based in Jordan.

Al-Qadi added that while Saudis do hold certain sway over Arab governments, there are also similarities with how the latter also chooses to deal with their own critical citizens.

Ali Abootalebi, a professor of political science at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, told Al Jazeera that speaking out against Saudi Arabia's abduction of a journalist would amount to criticising oneself and one's own human rights shortcomings.

'Bully tactics'

Saudi Arabia has used its vast oil wealth to buy support while fear of reprisal has forced others to fall in line.

Amani al-Ahmadi, a Saudi activist living in the US, told Al Jazeera that the oil kingdom uses its Islamic influence and financial handouts to strategically form allies "who help support the regime when necessary".

"Saudi remains the largest Arab country in the region as well as the birthplace of Islam," she said. "Add to that the size of charitable donations or money it gives to other Arab governments and you have yourself an Arab superpower."
For Justin D Martin, an associate professor at Northwestern University in Qatar, this is in line with Saudi Arabia's approach to dealing with fellow Arab states.
"Saudi Arabia not only punishes its citizens for speaking candidly, but it also bullies other countries that challenge its supremacy," Martin said.
"For Egypt and Lebanon, calling the likely murder of a journalist what it is - atrocious - is to invite punishment from a bully state."

https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2018/10/arab-leaders-silent-khashoggi-disappearance-181019102251305.html

My comment: Such bully tactics had been experienced by Qatar, Germany, Canada, the UN and others.

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Middle East leaders back Saudi Arabia after Jamal Khashoggi's disappearance

Largely silent until Sunday, Arab leaders come out publicly in support of kingdom after US President Donald Trump threatens 'severe punishment'.

A week after Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi vanished on 2 October after entering the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, the reaction among Arab leaders was consistent: silence.

However, reaction among Arab leaders - with most responding for the first time on Sunday as Saudi officials responded to Trump's comments - has been largely supportive of Saudi Arabia and critical of media outlets reporting the Turkish leaks, with some characterising the reports as a coordinated campaign against the kingdom.

Here's what they've said:

Last Thursday, in one of the earliest statements of support, the UAE's Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Anwar Gargash tweeted:

The fierce campaign against Riyadh is expected as is the coordination between its inciting parties, and as there is a need to show the reality of the humanitarian dimension of things, the repercussions of the political targeting of Saudi Arabia will be dire for those who fuel it. It remains that the success of Saudi Arabia is what the region and its people want.

His comments were followed a day later by Emirati Foreign Minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed al-Nahyan, who tweeted that his country always stands by Saudi Arabia "because it is a stand with honour, glory, stability and hope".

Palestine

On Sunday, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said he offered his "full confidence" to the kingdom and thanked its leaders for their support of the Palestinians.

"Palestine was - and shall remain - on the side of Saudi Arabia," Abbas said in a statement.

Palestinian sources told the Jerusalem Post they believed that the statement was issued at the request of the Saudi leadership.

Lebanon

Lebanese Minister Saad Hariri said in a statement also on Sunday that he stood in solidarity with Saudi Arabia "in the face of the campaigns targeting it".

"The status of Saudi Arabia in the Arab and international communities places it among the central countries entrusted with the stability of the region and the support of the Arab causes," he said.

“The campaigns against it constitute a violation of this stability and an unacceptable call to drag the region towards further negative developments."

Egypt

Bahrain

Yemen

Yemen's president Abd Rabbuh Mansour Hadi - who has been living in exile in Riyadh since 2015, after the Houthi movement captured significant territory in the country - affirmed its "full solidarity" with the kingdom.

"The cheap political and media targeting of Saudi Arabia will not deter it from continuing its leading role in the Arab and Islamic worlds," the president said in a statement reported in Saudi media.

Arab League

Iran

https://www.middleeasteye.net/news/jamal-khashoggi-what-arab-leaders-have-said-about-journalists-disappearance-736661559

My comment: Disgusting. As in the case of Yemen, Saudi vassals, mouthpieces, those who take Saudi money: Supporting the tallest stories.

(A P)

Yemen praises Saudi decisions on journalist's death: Yemeni news agency

Yemen on Saturday praised decisions made by the Saudi king in relation to the death of dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi, according to the Saudi-backed government’s state news agency.

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-saudi-khashoggi-yemen/yemen-praises-saudi-decisions-on-journalists-death-yemeni-news-agency-idUSKCN1MU0KV

(A P)
UAE voices support for Saudi king statement on journalist's death: WAM

The United Arab Emirates on Saturday backed Saudi Arabia’s statement about the death of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, the official news agency WAM said.

The Gulf Arab state “commends directives and decisions of Saudi King Salman on the issue of Kashoggi,” WAM said on Twitter.

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-saudi-khashoggi-emirates/uae-voices-support-for-saudi-king-statement-on-journalists-death-wam-idUSKCN1MU0CO

(A P)

Bahrain FM: Saudi Arabia is on the right path

Sheikh Khalid bin Ahmed bin Mohamed Al Khalifa, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Kingdom of Bahrain, renewed his support for Saudi Arabia in solving the Jamal Khashoggi case.

Shaikh Khalid bin Ahmed said that the truth will come out, and that Saudi Arabia is on the right path in its policies, adding that it will all be over soon.

His words came in an interview on the “In Short” program, aired on MBC TV.

The Bahraini foreign minister also added that what the Saudi kingdom faced from organized media campaigns is the result of a hater who enjoys these conflicts and had preplanned it all, calling for the need for unity and preparation for any future attacks.

https://english.alarabiya.net/en/News/gulf/2018/10/19/Bahrain-FM-Saudi-Arabia-is-on-the-right-path.html

(A P)

IRAN SAYS SAUDI ARABIA IS 'ALWAYS POPULAR WITH THE U.S.' DESPITE ACCUSATIONS IT KILLED KHASHOGGI AND BOMBED CIVILIANS

Iran has criticized the U.S.'s continued staunch support for its ally Saudi Arabia, despite allegations it was involved in the disappearance of a prominent journalist abroad, supported militant groups and killed civilians amid the ongoing war in Yemen.

Morteza Rahmani, the Iranian ambassador to Japan, made the remarks Thursday during a meeting in Tokyo with Japanese newspaper Asahi Shimbun's President and CEO Masataka Watanabe. Commenting on growing evidence that Saudi Arabia was responsible for the alleged death of Jamal Khashoggi, who was last seen entering the kingdom's consulate in Istanbul, the envoy said Washington would likely brush off the perceived malign activities of one of its closest allies in the region.

"Saudi Arabia is accused of killing Khashoggi in its consulate in Turkey, the country that equips and supports terrorist groups and bombs civilian and innocent women and children in Yemen but is always popular with the U.S. government," Rahmani said, according to Iran's semi-official Mehr News Agency.

https://www.newsweek.com/iran-saudi-arabia-popular-us-accusations-kill-journalist-1179474

(A P)

Swiss group ABB's CEO becomes latest boss to skip Saudi conference

ABB Chief Executive Ulrich Spiesshofer will not attend an investment conference in Saudi Arabia next week, the Swiss engineering group said on Friday.

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-saudi-politics-abb/swiss-group-abbs-ceo-becomes-latest-boss-to-skip-saudi-conference-idUSKCN1MT252

(A P)

Airbus, Deutsche executives to skip Saudi investment summit

Airbus said its defense chief Dirk Hoke will no longer attend the Future Investment Initiative conference in Saudi Arabia, the latest senior industry executive to skip next week’s event amid concern about the fate of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-saudi-politics-airbus/airbus-deutsche-executives-to-skip-saudi-investment-summit-idUSKCN1MT1KF

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Putin says can't justify spoiling Saudi ties over Khashoggi affair

President Vladimir Putin said on Thursday that Russia did not have enough information about the unexplained disappearance of a Saudi journalist to justify spoiling ties with Riyadh.

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-saudi-politics-dissident-putin/putin-says-cant-justify-spoiling-saudi-ties-over-khashoggi-affair-idUSKCN1MS28S

(A P)

Russian delegation led by RDIF head to attend Saudi investment forum next week

A delegation led by Russian Direct Investment Fund head Kirill Dmitriev will take part in the Future Investment Initiative investment forum next week in Saudi Arabia, the fund said in a statement on Friday.

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-saudi-politics-russia/russian-delegation-led-by-rdif-head-to-attend-saudi-investment-forum-next-week-idUSKCN1MT1V9

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Saudi conference boycott over Khashoggi shows political threat to economy

A Western boycott of a major business conference in Riyadh next week suggests rising political risks in Saudi Arabia could harm its ambitions to attract foreign capital and diversify its economy away from oil.

Rather than whipping up interest in Saudi investment opportunities, the event risks becoming a public relations debacle because of the disappearance of Saudi dissident Jamal Khashoggi, company executives and analysts say.

More than two dozen top officials and executives from the United States and Europe, including U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and the chief executives of JP Morgan Chase and HSBC, have canceled plans to attend the Future Investment Initiative due to unease over the Khashoggi affair.

That may not prevent the event from proceeding - over 150 speakers from more than 140 organizations originally signed up, organizers said. But it deprives the conference of much of its star power.

As Western companies fret over the risk to their reputations of doing deals and possible exposure to any sanctions imposed over the Khashoggi case, they are likely to put much new business in Saudi Arabia on hold for now.

The freeze may apply to both new Western contracts or investments in Saudi Arabia, and the Saudi government’s own program of buying corporate assets abroad through its $250 billion Public Investment Fund (PIF).

“Most Western businesses will come under pressure to reconsider their exposure to Saudi Arabia in light of the Khashoggi affair,” said Ayham Kamel, head of the Middle East practice of political risk consultancy Eurasia Group.

But the freeze on new deals may start to ease within a few months. Many Western firms have too much at stake to abandon the Middle East’s biggest economy; privately, some told Reuters they would send lower-level executives to the conference.

But even after normal business ties with the West resume, Khashoggi may cast a shadow over foreign capital flows into Saudi Arabia. Western companies may be keen to earn fees and win contracts, but perceptions of rising political risk could limit foreign direct investment.

A Gulf banker said she was receiving many queries about the Khashoggi affair from foreign clients as it was the latest in a series of crises under Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, including the arrest of scores of officials and businessmen in a corruption purge last year.

“It’s cumulative – the Yemen war, the dispute with Qatar, the tensions with Canada and Germany, the arrests of women activists. They add up to an impression of impulsive policy-making, and that worries investors.”

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-saudi-politics-dissident-investment/saudi-conference-boycott-over-khashoggi-shows-political-threat-to-economy-idUSKCN1MT1S4

cp05 Lange Geschichte von saudischen Entführungen / Long history of Saudi abducations

(B P)

Manal one of Saudi’s most renowned activists said Saud al-Qahtani (MBS advisor now blamed for Khashoggi) tried to lure her to a Saudi embassy in Australia. So many activists and even princes have told me similar stories all linked to Saud Al-Qahtani. He did not just go rogue.

https://twitter.com/Beltrew/status/1053499047875633152

referring to

In September 2017, my friend Saud Al-Qahtani offered his services. I asked for a visa to Hamzah. After our call he placed me in contact with Abdullah Al-Fahad from the State Security and asked for my papers to be stamped from our embassy in Australia

Abdullah al-Fahad is the same person who spoke to me a week ago who told me that I was prevented from Twitter (the activists were connected by the same calls), of course I refused. Abdullah al-Fahd was keen and continued to know the new in the papers and my father Hamzah and if not for the kindness of God I was a victim of them

Now we want the Saudi authorities to publish evidence proving that the activists Aziza al-Yousef, Iman al-Nafjan, Lajin al-Hathul, Samar Badawi, Naseema al-Sadi, and Haton al-Fassi are spies for the enemy.

According to Mohammed bin Salman's interview with Bloomberg, they have audio conversations and videos showing the involvement of women activists with hostile parties. We want evidence

https://twitter.com/manal_alsharif/status/1053496346877943808

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Secret recordings give insight into Saudi attempt to silence critics

Omar Abdulaziz hit record on his phone and slipped it into the breast pocket of his jacket, he recalled, taking a seat in a Montreal cafe to wait for two men who said they were carrying a personal message from Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

When they arrived, Abdulaziz, a 27-year-old Saudi opposition activist, asked why they had come all the way to Canada to see him.

“There are two scenarios,” one of the emissaries said, speaking of Abdulaziz in the third person. In the first, he can go back home to Saudi Arabia, to his friends and family. In the second: “Omar goes to prison.”

Which will Omar choose? they asked.

To drive home what was at stake, the visitors brought one of Abdulaziz’s younger brothers from Saudi Arabia to the meeting. Abdulaziz appealed to his brother to keep calm.

The clandestine recordings — more than 10 hours of conversation — were provided to The Washington Post by Abdulaziz, a close associate of the missing Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi. They offer a chilling depiction of how Saudi Arabia tries to lure opposition figures back to the kingdom with promises of money and safety. These efforts have sharply escalated since Mohammed became crown prince last year, rights groups say.

Abdulaziz, who has asylum in Canada, said he had been working on several projects with Khashoggi that may have given the Saudi leadership more reason to want him out of the way. Khashoggi had sent him $5,000 for a project they called “the bees” — an initiative to build an online “army” inside Saudi Arabia to challenge pro-government trolls on the Internet. The pair were also working on a short film, a website tracking human rights and a pro-democracy project, Abdulaziz said.

This work was supposed to be secret. But Abdulaziz said he was targeted by Saudi spyware this summer. “They had everything,” he said. “They saw the messages between us. They listened to the calls.”

In the recording made by Abdulaziz, the two visitors say repeatedly that they come personally from the crown prince. They also mention that they were working on orders from Saud al-Qahtani, a top strategist and enforcer for Mohammed.

“Jamal was insulted so much by the Saudi bots,” Abdulaziz said. “They were focusing on Jamal as he was the voice in the Western media.”

Abdulaziz said he suggested an online countermovement. He just needed some cash to get it off the ground. “We call them ‘the fly army,’ ” he said. “We call ourselves ‘the bee army.’ ”

“Saudi is sending a very deliberate and clear signal, saying you are never going to be free,” said Human Rights Watch executive director Sarah Leah Whitson. “Wherever you are, you are never going to be free to say what you want.”

Khashoggi had counseled Abdulaziz to be sure to meet the men in public places and by no means return to the kingdom with them. “He said, ‘If you want to take money, it’s your decision,’ ” Abdulaziz recalled. “ ‘But do not go back; do not trust them.’ ”

https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/secret-recordings-give-insight-into-saudi-attempt-to-silence-critics/2018/10/17/fb333378-ce49-11e8-ad0a-0e01efba3cc1_story.html

cp06 Propaganda

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Conservatives mount a whisper campaign smearing Khashoggi in defense of Trump

Hard-line Republicans and conservative commentators are mounting a whispering campaign against Jamal Khashoggi that is designed to protect President Trump from criticism of his handling of the dissident journalist’s alleged murder by operatives of Saudi Arabia — and support Trump’s continued aversion to a forceful response to the oil-rich desert kingdom.

In recent days, a cadre of conservative House Republicans allied with Trump has been privately exchanging articles from right-wing outlets that fuel suspicion of Khashoggi, highlighting his association with the Muslim Brotherhood in his youth and raising conspiratorial questions about his work decades ago as an embedded reporter covering Osama bin Laden, according to four GOP officials involved in the discussions who were not authorized to speak publicly.

Those aspersions — which many lawmakers have been wary of stating publicly because of the political risks of doing so — have begun to flare into public view as conservative media outlets have amplified the claims, which are aimed in part at protecting Trump as he works to preserve the U.S.-Saudi relationship and avoid confronting the Saudis on human rights.

Trump’s remarks about reporters amid the Khashoggi fallout have inflamed existing tensions between his allies and the media. At a Thursday rally in Montana, Trump openly praised Rep. Greg Gianforte (R-Mont.) for assaulting a reporter in his bid for Congress last year.

Hours earlier, prominent conservative television personalities were making insinuations about Khashoggi’s background.

While Khashoggi was once sympathetic to Islamist movements, he moved toward a more liberal, secular point of view, according to experts on the Middle East who have tracked his career.

Nevertheless, the smears have escalated.

The conservative push comes as Saudi government supporters on Twitter have sought in a propaganda campaign to denigrate Khashoggi as a supporter of the Muslim Brotherhood, an Islamist movement once tolerated but now outlawed in Saudi Arabia as a terrorist organization.

“Trump wants to take a soft line, so Trump supporters are finding excuses for him to take it,” said William Kristol, a conservative Trump critic. “One of those excuses is attacking the person who was murdered.”

Several Trump administration aides are aware of the Khashoggi attacks circulating on Capitol Hill and in conservative media, the GOP officials said, adding that aides are being careful to not encourage the disparagement but are also doing little to contest it.

Trump, whose grip on his party remains strong less than three weeks before the midterm elections, has seen his cautious approach to Saudi Arabia bolstered not only by the maligning of Khashoggi, but also by a conservative media infrastructure that is generally wary of traditional news organizations and establishment Republicans. As criticism of Trump grows, powerful players in that orbit have stood by the president – by Robert Costa and Karoun Demirjian

https://www.washingtonpost.com/powerpost/conservatives-mount-a-whisper-campaign-smearing-khashoggi-in-defense-of-trump/2018/10/18/feb92bd0-d306-11e8-b2d2-f397227b43f0_story.html

and

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On Jamal Khashoggi, the Muslim Brotherhood, and Saudi Arabia

In recent days, stories have appeared highlighting Jamal Khashoggi’s ties to the Muslim Brotherhood and arguing, as one put it, that “in truth, Khashoggi never had much time for western-style pluralistic democracy…for Khashoggi, secularism was the enemy.” Amplified by pro-Saudi social media and echoed by right-wing commentators in the United States, the subtext of these stories seems to be that the United States should be cautious in championing Khashoggi’s cause, because he was less of a liberal voice than he seemed. At the more extreme edge of this media campaign, there’s the implication that Khashoggi was an extremist and that those who condemn his apparent murder are serving an Iranian agenda to break up the U.S.-Saudi alliance.

I won’t address such conspiracy theories, but a few points can shed some light and context on this rumor mill:

Yes, Jamal Khashoggi had many friends among the Muslim Brotherhood and, as his colleague David Ignatius reporteddays after his disappearance, had joined the movement himself as a young man before apparently shifting away from it later in his career. No one who knew Jamal at all is surprised by these facts, no matter with what lurid framing they are now “revealed.” Whatever sympathies and associations he may have had, they do not change the apparent fact that Jamal Khashoggi was kidnapped, murdered, and dismembered to silence his freedom of expression.

This “whisper campaign,” as the Washington Post deemed it, has noted Khashoggi’s embedded reporting about the Arab mujahideenfighting the Soviets in Afghanistan in the 1980s, including Osama bin Laden, as evidence that Khashoggi should be understood as hostile to the West. This is an anachronistic view. Khashoggi was reporting on these fighters for an official Saudi newspaper, apparently with some degree of admiration at their faith, commitment, and moxie, at a time when their efforts were supported by the Saudi government. Other Western journalists and commentators—not to mention politicians—were likewise enamored with the mujahideen, during a period when the Reagan administration and Congress worked hand-in-glove with Saudi Arabia to support these insurgents against Soviet occupation.

Saudi Arabia’s official attitude toward the Muslim Brotherhood today is that the group is a terrorist organization—but this is a relatively recent policy innovation. For decades, while the kingdom was competing for influence in the Arab world with the secular nationalist regimes of Egypt, Iraq, and Syria, Saudi Arabia welcomed to its soil Brotherhood members who were persecuted or unsafe in their home countries. Within the context of the kingdom’s severe state Islamism—forged through the alliance of Ibn Saud and the cleric Muhammed ibn Abdul Wahab—the Brotherhood was acceptable.

With the emergence of reformist Islamist clerics within Saudi Arabia, the rise of Turkey’s Recip Tayyip Erdoğan, and especially after the Arab uprisings of 2011, the kingdom and other traditionalist Arab governments came to view the Brotherhood rather differently.

There’s also a degree of willful blindness and hypocrisy in the kingdom’s current insistence that the Brotherhood presents an intolerable and existential threat: Brotherhood-linked politicians and parties sit in parliaments in Saudi Arabia’s close partners Bahrain and Kuwait, the Brotherhood party in Jordan has long been part of the political scene as a cranky but loyal opposition.

https://www.brookings.edu/blog/order-from-chaos/2018/10/19/on-jamal-khashoggi-the-muslim-brotherhood-and-saudi-arabia/

and one example from Twitter:

(A P)

Josh Block, CEO & Pres. @ The Israel Project, a pro-Israel US org.

Interesting that state owned Turk, Qatari, Muslim Brotherhood & pro-Al Qaeda "media" organizations controlled by those supporting radical islamic terrorists like Al Nusrah, ISIS & the rest seeking the overthrow of western oriented Arab regimes r the ones "breaking" Saudi stories

That’s mostly because Khashoggi was a radical Islamist terrorist ally who was close to Osama Bin Ladin, ISIS, Hamas & wanted to overthrow the Saudi ruling royals, who oppose both the Sunni terrorists, sponsored by Turkey & Qatar, as well as Irans’s Shia terrorist armies & allies

https://twitter.com/JoshBlockDC/status/1052382925843517441

(A P)

Twitter Suspends Pro-Saudi Bots Spreading Propaganda About the Murder of Jamal Khashoggi

Anyone who tweeted about the murder of Jamal Khashoggi in the past two weeks saw major pushback on Twitter from accounts in Saudi Arabia. But that could slow down in the coming days. Twitter has now reportedly banned an unspecified number of alleged bots that were pushing pro-Saudi propaganda.

The revelation comes from an NBC News report about the “hundreds of accounts that tweeted and retweeted the same pro-Saudi government tweets at the same time.” But Twitter doesn’t get all the credit for spotting the bot network. The accounts were first spotted by IT specialist Josh Russell, whose work was shared with the social media giant via spreadsheet.

One giveaway that many of those pro-Saudi accounts were probably bots? Hundreds were posting identical content using the hashtag #We_all_trust_Mohammad_Bin_Salman, a reference to the Saudi crown prince.

https://gizmodo.com/twitter-suspends-pro-saudi-bots-spreading-propaganda-ab-1829859773

and also https://www.msnbc.com/stephanie-ruhle/watch/exclusive-twitter-removes-pro-saudi-bots-after-khashoggi-disappearance-1348152387925?v=railb&

and

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Saudi Arabia’s information war to bury news of Jamal Khashoggi

For the past several days, the Saudi Twittersphere has been awash with patriotism. Saudi accounts have tweeted, in Arabic, a “#message of love for Mohammed bin Salman” and encouraged one another to “#unfollow enemies of the nation.” The latter hashtag started trending at 9 a.m. on Tuesday, peaked at about 5 p.m., and by Wednesday had been mentioned 103,000 times.

This might have been because Saudi citizens, consumed by national indignation, took to their smartphones to show their support for the crown prince in his moment of difficulty: The disappearance and presumed murder of Jamal Khashoggi, a Post columnist, under exceptionally grisly circumstances, has not been good for the international reputation of the royal family. But it’s equally possible that those hashtags were pushed by bots — fake, computerized accounts — as well as by paid, professional Internet trolls.

Despite its medieval aspects, Saudi Arabia is in this sense a thoroughly modern authoritarian state: Over the past several years, the Saudi government has fine-tuned a sophisticated information policy, one that bears a distinct resemblance to the sort used in other states that have also learned to use social media for social control.

As in Turkey, pro-regime trolls also gang up and organize online attacks against anyone who disagrees. Saud al-Qahtani, a media adviser to the crown prince with more than a million followers, encourages fellow citizens to add the names of dissidents to an online blacklist. Individual snooping also takes place on Facebook, where requests from “friends” may really be from the state’s online spies, eager to get access to your information and your posts.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/global-opinions/saudi-arabias-information-war-to-bury-news-of-jamal-khashoggi/2018/10/17/e4825a5a-d227-11e8-b2d2-f397227b43f0_story.html

(A P)

Justice, Reform, and the Future of Saudi Arabia

The tragedy of Jamal Khashoggi’s disappearance, and presumed death, demands accountability, but it should not distract from pursuing the broader agenda of the far-reaching reform program on which the future of Saudi Arabia rests

Saudi Arabia is undergoing a massive transformation that I have supported for the last two years, and that I continue to support. The Jamal Khashoggi saga has proven that a social and economic reformation on overdrive is at too high a risk of failure without the parallel legal and procedural transformation occurring at the same pace and intensity.

Saudi Arabia’s reform process is a transformation that outside observers have the luxury of blessing or cursing. Saudis do not have that luxury. This process is the country’s only option going forward. Outside observers would do well to always consider this reality. No good would come from derailing Saudi Arabia’s reforms, flawed as some may consider them to be. There is no other way than to continue easing social restrictions, diversifying the economy, and most importantly, promoting transparency on all levels: primarily the legal sector. Public trials could be a first step to achieve that last goal.

The outrage that followed Khashoggi’s disappearance is justified. It is expected. The notion that Saudi Arabia would kill one of its own citizens in its own consulate is outrageous and fundamentally uncharacteristic of Saudi policy – by Mohammed Alyahya, a Senior Fellow at the Gulf Research Centre

https://the-brief.co/justice-reform-and-the-future-of-saudi-arabia/

My comment: Keeping the “reform” tall story.

Remark: Gulf Research Centre: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gulf_Research_Center . “privately funded, non-partisan think tank“: LOL.

(A P)

Film: I asked the NYT's @TomFriedman if he was too quick to call Mohammed bin Salman a reformer. Here's what he said:

https://twitter.com/camanpour/status/1052980898604273669

cp07 Weitere Folgen / Further implications

(* B P)

What’s Missing From the Saudis’ Khashoggi Story

The official narrative will resonate differently inside and outside of the kingdom.

The gaps in this story are as significant as the announcement itself.

Saudi authorities did not reveal the location of Khashoggi’s body, which lends credence to the narrative attributed to Turkish officials over the past two weeks.

The spontaneous scuffle theory also does not explain the dismissal of the adviser, Saud al-Qahtani, who was perceived as MbS’s right-hand man and thought by some to encourage his worst instincts. Dubbed “the father of electronic flies” by his critics, he’s been accused of using social media bots and trolls to lead smear campaigns against government opponents, especially in the wake of the Qatar crisis. Al-Qahtani oversaw public relations efforts abroad, and was known for combative language online. At the time of this writing, his pinned tweet read: “Some brothers blame me for what they view as harshness. But everything has its time, and talk these days requires such language.”

It’s difficult to understand al-Qahtani’s removal as anything other than a soft rebuke to MbS and his heavy-handedness by King Salman, who stepped in some days ago to manage the fallout from Khashoggi’s murder. A Saudi official told me that the king’s orders could perhaps alter the aggressive way that authorities deal with dissidents.

Although the official Saudi story is incomplete, it will likely resonate with many inside of the kingdom. The king has put an end to attempts to deny Khashoggi’s murder or to deflect blame on Turkey and Qatar. On social media, Saudis celebrated the announcement as a responsible move, and offered condolences to Khashoggi’s family.

Outside of the kingdom, the damage from this episode may last longer. Many are convinced that MbS ordered Khashoggi’s murder, or at the very least knew it was to take place. The barbarity of the crime has already hurt MbS’s reputation abroad, probably beyond repair, turning former allies of the crown prince into stern critics of his policies. Millions of dollars’ worth of PR efforts to promote the crown prince as a reformer appear to have gone to waste.

That doesn’t mean anything of substance will change. Ultimately, it’s highly unlikely that Khashoggi’s death will radically alter the kingdom’s foreign relations and regional role. Washington won’t reorganize its alliances in the Middle East just because it’s lost a fig leaf – by Hassan Hassan

https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2018/10/whats-missing-from-the-saudis-khashoggi-story/573532/

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The West and Saudi Arabia - a match made in murder

For as the days pass it becomes evermore apparent that this is a crisis with significant road to run, ending who knows where but quite possibly — as the net closes in on the kingdom’s current potentate-in-chief, Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman (MBS to his friends) — in a changing of the guard in Riyadh on the back of a palace coup.

With the brute clear-eyed logic of which only dictators are capable, Stalin reminds us that while ‘the death of one man is a tragedy, the death of millions is a statistic’. Khashoggi’s death, the brutal and barbaric manner of it, along with the brazenness of his killers in carrying it out in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, has produced more revulsion in the West towards the Saudi kleptocracy than three years of brutal war in Yemen across its southern border.

While, indeed, ineffably and stunningly egregious that the French, US and British governments have been lending this barbarism political and diplomatic support; egregious morphs into monstrous when we factor in the material and military support that said Western governments have also been providing.

The banner of human rights which the West waves relentlessly in the face of a world it believes it is divinely ordained to rule now lies in tatters. The perverse boast of standing on the side of democracy and human rights while counting a ghastly medieval tyranny as a close ally can no longer be allowed to obtain. Saudi Arabia is to all intents the Nazi Germany of the Middle East, underpinned by a cancerous ideology, Wahhabism, which is every bit as cancerous the fascist ideology that pitched Europe into the abyss in the mid-twentieth century.

Wahhabism is murder and murder is Wahhabism, twas ever thus and ever thus shall be, and it is the apotheosis of murder which this Saudi gang of kleptocrats has used to inject the poison of sectarianism into the Muslim world, feeding the beast of terrorism that has scarred the region and beyond in recent years, all while buying the silence and acquiescence of Western governments with its oil money.

Such a toxic cocktail would be impossible to concoct in the laboratory of Dr Frankenstein himself.

There has indeed been no more an unedifying sight in our world than the sight of regular Western political and business delegations flocking to the kingdom to genuflect at the feet of this monster, soliciting gargantuan arms deals in lavish gilded palaces which sit just a stone’s throw from the location of the unending and regular public beheadings, not to mention various other other sordid deeds which are conducted and carried out in this forsaken land, as if nothing more than sport.

One thing that will remain as certain as night follows day is that those arms sales and oil deals will carry on regardless of who occupies the kingdom’s blood splattered throne. It’s about money and money neither sleeps nor has a conscience – by John Wight

https://medium.com/@JohnWight1/the-west-and-saudi-arabia-a-match-made-in-murder-993de9117b79

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Dr. Madawi Al-Rasheed: In Khashoggi Murder, Saudi Arabia Must Not Be Allowed to Investigate Itself

MADAWI AL-RASHEED: Yes. It’s the mixing of business and politics that has gone too far, I think. It is extremely difficult to actually run political affairs if it is entangled with business, especially in a foreign country. And I think this is probably going to continue, unless the American people do something about it. And it is the first condition that leads to undermining certain common, universal values that the whole world is looking forward to implementing. It’s about humans. It’s about whether freedom of speech is respected in countries like Saudi Arabia and many, many other countries, not only in the Arab world, but elsewhere.

And if this kind of pattern of behavior continues in the place that boasts about upholding democratic values, the rule of law, separation of powers—if that is not happening in the place where it should happen, then I think we have no hope for other countries, especially in a country like Saudi Arabia. That position of Mr. Trump actually undermines the argument of people like myself who see themselves as looking for a country with serious respect of human rights, with political representation, where there is no corruption and no dubious relations that undermine the security of people. But now, if we have examples from the United States, and even from Britain, where certain rights that we take for granted are being eroded, then people like myself can’t actually argue with force, because the Saudis would say to me that, “Well, you live in—if we did it, it’s OK, because so many other so-called democratic countries do it.” And therefore, it has a setback on the development of respectable world order and also the accountability of regimes like the Saudi one.

So, my guess is Jamal Khashoggi should not be regarded as an opposition figure, as a dissident. He is a defector from within the corridors of power of the Saudi regime, and he moved to Washington, which really worried the Saudis, I think, simply because he’s close to the patrons, the protectors of the Saudi regime. Let’s not forget that Saudi Arabia depends for its security on the U.S. And therefore, he began to write critically of the time of Mohammed bin Salman and his reforms—not all of them. He appreciated some of them—for example, giving women the right to drive, introducing cinemas and theater in Saudi Arabia. But he was desperate to have freedom of speech in Saudi Arabia as a journalist, and he started writing for a different audience, an English-speaking audience, which probably worried the Saudi regime, as Jamal Khashoggi knows too much, perhaps, and they did not want this to go further.

Well, I mean, I think here we should leave the investigation of the possible murder of Jamal to the right people who are actually—who know what they’re doing. What is going to happen in Saudi Arabia and what should happen is that, first, we need to know who the murderers are and who gave them orders.

And if it is proven that Mohammed bin Salman is responsible, there are two things that could save Saudi Arabia at this moment. One, King Salman must sack his son and find an alternative crown prince. He should go into—sink into oblivion, because his name is associated with this murder, if there is evidence to prove that.

The second thing, I believe that just replacing Mohammed bin Salman with another prince is not enough. There has to be a political change in Saudi Arabia to mitigate against the emergence of a new MBS.

https://www.democracynow.org/2018/10/19/dr_madawi_al_rasheed_in_khashoggi

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Uproar Over Dissident Rattles Saudi Royal Family

As international outrage grew at Saudi Arabia over the apparent killing of the Saudi dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi in Istanbul, an alarmed King Salman dispatched a senior royal to address the matter with Turkey’s president.

Prince Khalid al-Faisal returned home from Ankara with a bleak message for the royal family: “It is really difficult to get out of this one,” Prince Khalid told relatives after his return, one of those family members recalled this week. “He was really disturbed by it.”

Saudi Arabia is facing perhaps its greatest international crisis since the revelation that its citizens planned and carried out the attacks on September 11, 2001.

Members of the ruling family are increasingly worried about the direction of the country under the leadership of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, the 33-year-old favorite son of King Salman and the kingdom’s day-to-day ruler.

But unlike 2001, when the royal family came together to protect its collective interests, this time that may not be possible. Instead, there is deep concern, as royals search, so far in vain, for a way to contain the crown prince, who has consolidated power so completely that nearly everyone else is marginalized.

The one person who could intervene is the king himself, but senior princes have found it nearly impossible to bring their concerns to the 82-year-old monarch, and some doubt he is fully aware of what is happening or willing to change course.

“The king has no capacity to handle it,” said an employee of a senior prince, speaking on condition of anonymity like others in this article because of fear of repercussions.

Speaking of Crown Prince Mohammed, he said, “He is No. 1 and No. 2.”

Associates of the royal family say that senior princes don’t have the access to King Salman that they had to previous kings, making it hard to voice concerns. Some princes cannot enter the royal court or the king’s palace unless their names have been placed at the door ahead of time, one member of the royal family complained.

That leaves only the crown prince’s father, King Salman, to check his power.

“There is one person inside Saudi Arabia who can challenge Mohammed bin Salman and it is the king,” said Joseph A. Kechichian, a scholar at the King Faisal Center for Research and Islamic Studies in Riyadh.

But the king must consider not only the stain of the Khashoggi issue on his son’s reputation, but also how to continue the reform program known as Vision 2030 that the crown prince has begun, Mr. Kechichian said.

Others question whether the king’s health allows him to grasp all that is happening.

Removing such a powerful crown prince could prove hugely disruptive, and few princes would want the job with a resentful Mohammed bin Salman scheming against his replacement. But one Western diplomat with long experience in the kingdom suggested that the king might check the young prince by reducing his power, perhaps redistributing control of the security services to other respected princes.

“The brand has been irreparably tarnished — domestically they really do need to do something to rein M.B.S. in,” the diplomat said, referring to the crown prince by his initials. “They need to do something to corral him.” – By Ben Hubbard and David D. Kirkpatrick

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/10/19/world/middleeast/saudi-arabia-jamal-khashoggi.html

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Saudi royal family 'discussing succession' over Khashoggi crisis

Intelligence source tells MEE that US wants 'direct involvement' in discussions, with court in disarray over journalist's suspected murder

Saudi Arabia’s royal court is discussing the potential for a change in the line of succession, with the US government wanting “direct involvement” in the process, a Western intelligence source has told Middle East Eye.

Speaking on condition of anonymity, the source described the “Saudis being in disarray” as pressure continues to mount on Riyadh over the suspected murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi inside the kingdom’s consulate in Istanbul.

The source said US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo was sent to Riyadh this week as part of a plan for the Trump administration to involve itself in discussions over any potential change in the line of succession.

The source said that US President Donald Trump wanted bin Salman to remain in power, but Pompeo considered him as “volatile” and wanted him to be replaced.

MEE understands that the British foreign office is having internal discussions to prepare for possible scenarios including a change to the line of succession in Saudi Arabia.

A source inside the foreign office, also speaking on condition of anonymity, said that Simon Collis, the British ambassador in Riyadh, had not met with bin Salman since Khashoggi’s disappearance on 2 October because Saudi officials remained confused about how to address the ongoing situation.

Coup unlikely

Analysts and Saudi dissidents, however, have cast doubt on the likelihood of bin Salman being removed from the succession completely.

One Saudi dissident who has close ties with the royal family told MEE that the family would stick together to avoid an "internal conflict" inside the kingdom.

He added that members of the family believe that the crown prince will eventually become king, and would want to "stay on his good side" as a consequence.

"The royal family will not side with anyone else. They will stick together for two reasons. Firstly, the family believe that MBS will be king so that they will have to stay on his good side. Secondly, if they start an internal conflict, the whole country will collapse and none of the members of the royal family will want this," the dissident said.

Andreas Krieg, an assistant professor at King’s College London specialising in Gulf security issues, said many in Washington were predicting that bin Salman’s brother, Khalid bin Salman, who was Saudi’s ambassador to the US, would be appointed as the deputy crown prince.

But he said it would take an “actual coup” within the palace for Mohammed bin Salman to be removed from the line of succession. Krieg is a former military advisor to Qatar, which is currently being blockaded by Saudi Arabia.

"In DC the talk is about Khalid becoming a deputy crown prince to show the world that MBS is basically opening up his autocratic and self-centred leadership to include others and create more accountability,” Krieg told MEE, referring to the crown prince by an acronym.

“There will be a lot of talk in the family of how to deal with the MBS issue as he has somewhat become a liability. But there is a realisation that there is really no one left in the old guard that could really challenge him. He has created a regime that is somewhat bulletproof from opposition outside the Bani Salman [the children of King Salman].

“It would have to be an actual coup within the palace to get rid of him.”

https://www.middleeasteye.net/news/Saudi-royal-family-discussing-succession-over-Khashoggi-case%3A-Source-1555751078

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Saudis Shocked by Official Flip-Flop on Khashoggi

Saudi Arabia’s about-face admission that journalist and government critic Jamal Khashoggi was killed inside its consulate in Istanbul earlier this month sent shockwaves through a country where many had believed -- and defended -- initial official claims that the authorities had nothing to do with it.

“A very sad day for this nation, to see what the country had descended into,” said one Saudi man, who spoke on condition of anonymity to criticize a government that tolerates virtually no dissent. “No country is perfect, but used to be proud that the country had a certain morality that aligned with Arabian values. We lost that forever unfortunately.”

The Saudi government admitted early Saturday that Khashoggi was killed on Oct. 2 after “discussions” turned violent in the diplomatic mission where he’d come for documents for his wedding. Khashoggi died after he was placed in a choke hold, according to a person with knowledge of the Saudi probe. King Salman removed a top royal adviser, and prosecutors said 18 others had been detained in the case.

The moves were an abrupt reversal from previous professions of innocence. In an interview with Bloomberg News the day after Khashoggi vanished, Crown prince Mohammed bin Salman said the Washington Post contributor left the premises unscathed. Under mounting international pressure, King Salman ordered an internal investigation last week.

Controversy Continues

“I’m furious about what happened,” said a Saudi in his late 30s. “I hate when Saudi officials get carried away and torture people. We heard many stories during the 1980s and thought it was behind us. And now this.”

“I’m so broken right now,” said another Saudi. “I thought the Turks did it,” he added, referring to claims spread by government supporters on social media that Saudi rivals such as Qatar, Turkey or the Muslim Brotherhood were behind his disappearance.

While some accepted the latest news, several admitted that they did not believe the new narrative.

“Why couldn’t they say where they dumped the body?” said a 24-year-old Saudi woman in Jeddah. “If he did die during a fist fight, finding that out shouldn’t have taken this long.”

One Saudi man said he found it hard to believe that Prince Mohammed had known nothing about the case if al-Qahtani was involved -- although the authorities didn’t publicly link his sudden dismissal to the Khashoggi case.

Saudi Arabia has very limited opinion polling and tight controls on expression, so it’s difficult to say whether the Saudis who spoke to Bloomberg reporters were representative of the wider population.

In public, Saudi Twitter users praised the kingdom for its honest and fair investigation into Khashoggi’s disappearance, and the hashtag “Kingdom of Justice” was trending in Saudi Arabia Saturday morning.

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-10-20/official-flip-flop-on-khashoggi-murder-shocks-loyal-saudis

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Khashoggi case sends fresh chill through Saudi elite

Months of repression had already convinced many they should think twice before speaking out

Months of repression of critical voices, including the arrests of clerics, women who had opposed the driving ban, human rights activists and journalists, had convinced many that they should think twice before speaking out, even in private. But details of Khashoggi’s disappearance and alleged dismemberment inside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul have sent a fresh chill through the intellectual and elite Saudi circles that Khashoggi once mixed in.

A paranoid quiet offline was matched only by fierce online battles, notably on Twitter, where many Saudis decried developments in the case drip-fed by Ankara as “fake news” created by western media outlets and enemy powers.

As a political crisis raged abroad, the Saudi Arabian press repeatedly claimed foreign powers were threatening their country and cooking up rumours intended to tarnish the its carefully crafted image, often with fleeting mention of the basis for these alleged attacks save for a line concerning Khashoggi’s “disappearance”.

Several outlets published a reminder from Saudi Arabia’s public prosecution that “sharing or spreading rumours or fake news that might affect public order and security is considered cybercrime punishable by five-year imprisonment and a 3m riyal [£610,500] fine”.

The Saudi Gazette’s front-page headline on 14 October read “Lies and conspiracies”, followed underneath by the words “Enemies of kingdom behind Khashoggi’s abduction”. The next day its front page proclaimed “Enough is enough”, a headline that also topped an opinion piece on the Saudi-owned al-Arabiya website. The Gazette later denied that the Khashoggi family had called for an international investigation, adding: “Their confidence in the Saudi government is limitless.”

The arrival of the US secretary of state, Mike Pompeo, in Riyadh on Tuesday morning initially provoked a ripple of concern among Saudis who had been closely watching developments in the case. The visit appeared to be a sign that the world’s attention remained fixed on the kingdom and its lack of answers about Khashoggi’s whereabouts.

Khashoggi’s former newspaper al-Watan praised the “calm diplomacy” of the Saudi authorities and their handling of the case.

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/oct/20/khashoggi-case-sends-fresh-chill-through-saudi-elite

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How Turkey gains from the grisly drama over the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi

Jamal Khashoggi's killing is a tale of geopolitical drama and intrigue with historic stakes that could shake an Arab monarchy, shape regional security and influence global Islam.

One of the least appreciated aspects of this drama is the influence of Turkish President Erdogan, who has shown the ability, through the well-timed release of crucial details, to fuel the global outrage against Saudi Arabia or tamp it down.

Though President Erdogan would never have wished for such a tragedy, Western diplomats say he has thus far he has managed the situation skillfully.

Even more significant, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan was deciding personally, through close advisers, what details to release to the world and at what moment.

The most dramatic fruit of President Erdogan's efforts came late Friday, when the Saudi government said it had fired five senior officials and arrested 18 other Saudis as a result of the investigationthat the Turkish leader forced to happen.

It is equal parts murder mystery and geopolitical thriller, with historic stakes that could shake an Arab monarchy, shape regional security, influence global Islam and even impact crucial midterm elections in the United States, the world's most powerful democracy. A senior Trump administration official calls the situation "the biggest foreign policy challenge we've faced." A Mideast ally sums it up in more graphic terms as "a freaking mess."

The most worrisome aspect of the Khashoggi affair and its aftermath, says one well-informed Western diplomat in Turkey, is the glimpse it provides into an unraveling world order constructed by the U.S. and its allies, and the jungle that appears to be growing in its place.

By this diplomat's account, the story begins with a monarchy's violation of the Vienna convention through the use of a protected diplomatic mission for a murder. This all-too-true story is then "weaponized" against that kingdom's crown prince by a Turkish rival whose own record for muzzling free speech is a matter of public record. Both the Turks and Saudis then turn to the individual most able to influence outcomes, a U.S. president who is more transactional than traditional in his vision of values-driven U.S. global leadership.

Erdogan's exquisite timing

One of the least appreciated aspects of this drama is the influence of Turkish President Erdogan, who has shown the ability, through the well-timed release of crucial details, to fuel the global outrage against Saudi Arabia or tamp it down, driven by his unique mix of outrage and calculus.

Western diplomats believe the Turkish leader's rapid response was driven by a mixture of regional rivalry, religiously motivated disgust and diplomatic cunning. By these accounts, he was outraged that his Saudi neighbors would so brazenly act on Turkish soil and was further inflamed that the victim, Jamal Khashoggi was "a brother" – a long-time friend of the Muslim Brotherhood, the sworn enemies of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

Beyond that, Erdogan used the opportunity to weaken Saudi Arabia's rising Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman – by Frederick Kempe

https://www.cnbc.com/2018/10/19/turkey-gains-from-grisly-drama-over-missing-journalist-jamal-khashoggi.html

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Firms defy pressure over Saudi summit

Major companies, including Pepsi and EDF, still plan to attend a conference in Saudi Arabia next week despite pressure for a boycott.

But more than 30 delegates have dropped out since Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi disappeared.

Human rights charity Amnesty International has also said businesses should "think twice" about attending.

Businesses should consider that it might damage their brands to be associated with a country that "bombs civilian targets in Yemen, imprisons human rights defenders and apparently disappears a journalist overseas", said Amnesty's Economic Affairs Programme Director Peter Frankental.

However a spokesperson for the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) said it was up to individual companies to "look at the situation carefully and make their own judgments".

https://www.bbc.com/news/business-45893078

cp08 Erinnerung an Khashoggi / Remembering Khashoggi

Eingebetteter Medieninhalt

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We are Jamal Khashoggi

Any journalist who has ever had the courage to speak truth to power should be saying today: “We are Jamal Khashoggi.” As journalists we can never let a fear of retribution silence us.

If what we have heard about Khashoggi's murder is true, not even in the darkest days of apartheid did we ever hear of the regime’s hit squads having tortured and dismembered the body of a leading journalist who dared to take issue with government policies. Just as the murder of Ahmed Timol in 1971 was not an “interrogation gone wrong,” but a deliberate and brutal murder which ended in throwing him out of the window of John Vorster Square, so the brutal killing of Khashoggi was quite clearly the intention.

https://www.iol.co.za/the-star/we-are-jamal-khashoggi-17550683

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Jamal Khashoggi: The Saudi insider who spoke up for free speech

#Obituary

From interviewing Osama bin Laden to criticising Mohammed bin Salman, Khashoggi was a passionate advocate for principled journalism

Khashoggi, by then 59 years old, knew the American capital well enough. In the days when he was still close to members of the Saudi royal court he had worked as a media advisor to Prince Turki bin Faisal, the former intelligence chief who served as ambassador to the US between 2005 and 2007.

During a visit there two days after Donald Trump had been elected US President in November 2016, Khashoggi told an audience at the Washington Institute for Near Eastern Policy that Saudi Arabia was right to be nervous about the man about to step through the front door of the White House.

Soon afterwards, he told friends that Saud al-Qahtani, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman's advisor, told him that he had been banned from writing and tweeting. For a year still in Saudi, he wavered uncomfortably. "I am a journalist," he said.

Last September, alarmed by a wave of arrests, he went into exile in suburban northern Virginia, breaking his media silence defiantly that month in the first of his soon-to-be regular columns for the Washington Post newspaper.

“It was painful for me several years ago when several friends were arrested,” he wrote. “I said nothing. I didn’t want to lose my job or my freedom. I worried about my family.”

“I have made a different choice now. I have left my home, my family and my job, and I am raising my voice. To do otherwise would betray those who languish in prison.”

In and out of favour

This was only the latest turn for Khashoggi who had been in and out of Saudi royal favour for decades after his start as a reporter in the complex and shifting world of Saudi media in the 1980s.

He had been fired over editorial choices, sometimes more than once from the same place. Let go by one member of the royal family, he went on to serve as an advisor to another.

But from newsrooms to embassies to royal entourages, the one constant, say friends and colleagues, was that Khashoggi operated from inside the system that he sought to change - and not into a Western-style democracy, but a kingdom which stood against tyranny, sought to bring more, rather than less, voices to the table of governance and was, above all, a place for free speech.

"I want my country to be on the side of history," he told a journalist in 2015. "Saudi Arabia should have a relationship with all sides in the region, particularly powers, groups, that share the same values with us... I would love to have a democracy in Saudi Arabia, but it is not an issue today. The system is working today in Saudi Arabia."

And it was this instinct to work from within, say friends and colleagues, that would prove to be his downfall.

Gregarious and warm, friends and colleagues frequently recall a calmness in the tall Saudi, and a sharp, zen-like way thinking and speaking, even in the most harried moments and on topics of intense conflict – by Dania Akkad

https://www.middleeasteye.net/news/jamal-khashoggi-obituary-saudi-arabia-journalist

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Jamal Khashoggi’s Final Words—for Other Journalists Like Him

In his death, Khashoggi, a Saudi journalist and former government supporter who became a vocal and fearless critic of the current Saudi crown prince, has galvanized global attention far more than he was able to do during his life. The horrific details of his murder and dismemberment have had an effect he would never have imagined—putting into serious question the fate of a Saudi leader, the state of U.S.-Saudi relations, American foreign-policy goals in the world’s most volatile region, and even policies that have kept dictators in power. The repercussions are only beginning.

But Khashoggi was hardly a lone voice decrying political repression in the Middle East, as he acknowledged in his final Post column. Saudi Arabia may be the most cruel and ruthless government in the region, but it uses tactics embraced by dictators, sheikhs, and Presidents across twenty-two countries.

Michael Abramowitz, the president of Freedom House and a former national editor at the Washington Post, told me that Khashoggi rightly identified the broader stakes. “Khashoggi’s final column accurately pinpointed the appalling lack of political rights and civil liberties in much of the Arab world, especially the right to freely express oneself,” he said.

The wider world bought into the Saudi narrative that Mohammed bin Salman, the crown prince and de-facto ruler, was intent on opening up the kingdom. Perhaps tellingly, it is the free press elsewhere in the world that first asked questions about Khashoggi’s October 2nd disappearance, in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, where he had gone to get papers so he could marry. “The world should take note that it is the free press, not the Saudi government or the White House, that has doggedly searched for the truth about what happened to Mr. Khashoggi,” the Democratic senator Patrick Leahy, of Vermont, said in a statement. “It reminds us, once again, that a free press is an essential check against tyranny, dishonesty, and impunity.”

https://www.newyorker.com/news/news-desk/khashoggis-final-wordsfor-other-journalists-like-him

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JAMAL KHASHOGGI SECRET INTERVIEW: THE SAUDI JOURNALIST’S VIEWS OF ISLAM, AMERICA AND THE ‘REFORMIST’ PRINCE IMPLICATED IN HIS MURDER

Jamal Khashoggi told me he feared for his life. I was reporting a cover story on Saudi Arabia for Newsweek and we were speaking confidentially: That’s one reason I haven’t allowed this transcript to be published until now. The other reason is I hoped against hope that he was still alive. Despite ample signs of the extreme brutality of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and his regime, I could never have imagined we would so soon be reflecting on Jamal’s death.

Jamal was calm and deliberate as we spoke in great detail about Saudi Arabia’s future and its recent past. “I don’t see myself as an opposition,” he said. He wanted only reform; he wanted “a better Saudi Arabia.” He was almost mournful as he confessed how he had tried, in vain, to advise the young crown prince, known as MBS, to choose a different path and open up Saudi civil society. He maintained a sliver of hope that MBS, despite being “an old-fashioned tribal leader,” could yet be steered toward reason. But he spoke frankly to me about the “thuggish” men around the crown prince. “You challenge them, you might end up in prison,” he said.

As someone who had been close to the Saudi royal court for decades, Jamal instinctively understood the limits of reform

In his final Al-Hayat column, Jamal was calling for political pluralism, at a time when MBS was preparing to tour the West, boasting about his “reforms” and posing as a young liberator. Jamal wrote that the word “extremism” had been weaponized by the Saudi regime to criminalize dissent. He arguably embraced the promise of the Arab Spring six years too late—by then, Saudi Arabia and its allies had succeeded in restoring a brutal authoritarian order in Egypt, Bahrain and elsewhere. Still, when Jamal added his voice to those calling for greater freedom and democracy, his words shook the Saudi regime.

It’s beyond irony that Saudi Arabia, whose chief exports are oil and extremism, is afforded the right in Washington to inform our government which democratic movements across the Arab world should be regarded as worthy allies or official enemies. Our addiction to oil, as well as to the tens of billions in annual orders by the largest customer of the U.S. arms industry, has led us to denial of the obvious.

For decades, we’ve refused to listen to those inside the kingdom who have been the regime’s victims

When asked if the international community could exert pressure on the crown prince, and protect the Saudi people from their ruthless leader, Jamal replied, “That is our only hope.” I hope that everyone hears him now.

A Conversation with Jamal Khashoggi

This is the same language of the past…. You have to choose. I'll open a cinema, or I allow Muslims to visit shrines. Most probably, the mufti would say, “OK, the cinema.” Visiting of shrines and other Sufi practices—they come top of the list of the Wahhabi do and don’t.

[With] Mohammed bin Salman, it is Wahhabi reformation, not Islam reformation. This is important. You have to distinguish between both, OK?

To put aside the concept of the religious police, that is reformation. That is important. I'm sure the hardcore Wahhabis are not happy with that. The cinema, the entertainment, the music, the veil of the woman... So he is addressing the issues that relate to the people, the social level of the people.

The judiciary is a significant reformation, and he could benefit from that. The society, trade would benefit from that. So those two things are important—the diversity of school of thought of Islam and the judiciary. If he does those two, I will hold him a reformer.

The core principle of Wahhabism is anti-diverse. The thing with the Wahhabi is that they claim to be the owner, the sole owner of the truth. That’s what makes the Wahhabi at odds with everybody else.

When MBS arrested all of those princes and others and put them at the Ritz-Carlton—I understand when somebody’s this corrupt, he needs to be arrested. However, there was no due process, no evidence, no transparency. So if he really wants to be a reformist, why not bring evidence to the public? Why not bring transparency where you have really introduced the rule of law and due process? The people will be on his side if he would do that.

I don't think that is in his—he doesn't see that. He doesn't see the need for that. He is still very much… Deep inside him, he is an old-fashioned tribal leader. Look at the Kuwaiti judiciary, which is like a Gulf state; the society is very much close to the Saudi society. But the Kuwaiti judiciary is way more advanced than the Saudi judiciary, way more transparent than the Saudi judiciary.

Why does MBS not see that part of reform? Because it will limit his authoritarian rule, and he doesn’t want that. He doesn't see the need for that. So sometimes I feel that...he wants to enjoy the fruits of First World modernity and Silicon Valley and cinemas and everything, but at the same time he wants also to rule like how his grandfather ruled Saudi Arabia – by Rula Jebreal

https://www.newsweek.com/jamal-khashoggi-secret-interview-saudi-murder-prince-mbs-islam-america-1178489

cp09 Satire

(* A P)

Satire: “Folter und Enthauptung waren doch bis jetzt auch kein Problem”: Saudis ratlos, was sie beim Khashoggi-Mord falsch gemacht haben
Riad (dpo) – Saudi-Arabien versteht die Welt nicht mehr: Nach den empörten internationalen Reaktionen auf die bestialische Ermordung des Journalisten Jamal Khashoggi zeigte sich das saudische Königreich verwundert, dass Folter und Enthauptungen plötzlich ein Problem für seine westlichen Partner darstellen.
“Seit Jahrzehnten wenden wir bei Dissidenten Folter an und enthaupten unliebsame Kritiker, ohne dass sich jemand groß beschwert hat”, erklärte Kronprinz Mohammed bin Salman in Riad. “Stockhiebe, öffentliche Hinrichtungen, gewaltsame Niederschlagung von Aufständen – das alles war nie ein Problem.”
Nicht einmal die Tatsache, dass die saudische Luftwaffe im Jemen tausende Zivilisten tötet und mit ihrer rücksichtslosen Kriegsführung den Hungertod von Millionen Menschen riskiert, hat die Weltgemeinschaft bislang groß gestört.

https://www.der-postillon.com/2018/10/khashoggi-bin-salman.html

20:00 20.10.2018
Dieser Beitrag gibt die Meinung des Autors wieder, nicht notwendigerweise die der Redaktion des Freitag.
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Dietrich Klose

Vielfältig interessiert am aktuellen Geschehen, zur Zeit besonders: Ukraine, Russland, Jemen, Rolle der USA, Neoliberalismus, Ausbeutung der 3. Welt
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Dietrich Klose

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