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MIDDLE EAST OPINION

The Khashoggi Cover-Up, Saudi Arabia Moves to Exonerate Crown Prince

Saudi journalist, Global Opinions columnist for the Washington Post, and former editor-in-chief of Al-Arab News Channel Jamal Khashoggi offers remarks during POMED's "Mohammed bin Salman's Saudi Arabia: A Deeper Look." March, 2018.
Saudi journalist, Global Opinions columnist for the Washington Post, and former editor-in-chief of Al-Arab News Channel Jamal Khashoggi offers remarks during POMED's "Mohammed bin Salman's Saudi Arabia: A Deeper Look." March, 2018. (Image via Flick POMED)

Saudi Arabia has officially claimed that Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi’s death was a result of a fist fight during a discussion that “did not go as required.”

Hours before Riyadh came up with what it would like the world to believe is a rational explanation for Jamal Khashoggi’s disappearance, and now admitted death, U.S. President Donald Trump showed signs he would, in fact, give in to both public and political pressure. “We are going to find out who knew what, when and where and we’ll figure it out.” And: “I will very much listen to what Congress has to say. They feel very strongly about it also. So I’ll be doing this with Congress.”

With the world demanding answers as to the whereabouts of prominent journalist Khashoggi, the Wahhabist Kingdom of Saudi Arabia found itself with its back against the wall – confronted, many sources have revealed, by the determination of world powers, who, up until then, had been keen to brush over any and all human rights violations.

An entitled and brutal regime built and sustained around two pillars: the Al Saud clan and Wahhabism. The Kingdom has long been granted immunity by virtue of its wealth and geography.

A favorite partner of western capitals because it offers a willing buffer to Iran’s gravitational pull in the region, Saudi Arabia’s status was elevated to ‘untouchable’ by the Trump administration. Not even Riyadh’s terror threats against Canada earlier this year could prompt the U.S. President to react.

Khashoggi’s disappearance at the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul, Turkey on October 2sd, shattered Riyadh’s belief that it stood exceptional among nations.

But if Saudi Arabia was made to feel the heat over its alleged involvement in Khashoggi’s death, which death officials only admitted to this Friday, the Kingdom was not about to incriminate its own Crown Prince, however evident his guilt.

And so a tale had to be weaved … in truth the aforementioned ‘weaving’ could have benefited from a little more finessing.

Saudi Arabian Spin

But here it is, Saudi Arabia’s official version of events:

Jamal Khashoggi lost his life in a fight at the consulate after he came face to face with several of his detractors.

Saudi Arabia has now sacked five top officials and arrested 18 more after they confessed to knowledge of the dissident journalist’s murder.

In a Friday announcement, Saudi Arabia said that the preliminary results of its investigation indicated that Khashoggi had been killed in a “fist-fight with people who met him in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul.”

A follow-up statement released by the Saudi ministry of foreign affairs claimed that discussions between Khashoggi and Saudi officials at the consulate “did not go as required and escalated negatively which led to a fight between them … and led to his death”. It claimed that officials, referred to as “suspects”, were involved in a “cover-up”.

Saudi state TV confirmed that as a result Gen. Ahmad Al Assiri, a top general and close aide to Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, and Saud Al Qahtani, a top adviser to the royal court, had been relieved from their duties in the General Intelligence service.

Riyadh’s argument is as follow: while it is state policy to return every and all critics of the Crown so they could be held accountable for their crimes, no express orders relating to the killing of Khashoggi were ever issued by the Crown Prince – contrary to what Turkey’s intelligence services alluded to in their investigation.

“To Say That I am Skeptical… is an Understatement”

While the White House may have gladly bought into Riyadh’s findings so that ‘business’ could resume, the public may not be so easily swayed by such a botched attempt to redact the truth.

If we consider that Saudi Arabia is quite literally owned by its ruling monarchy and that Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman sits atop that pyramid, it stands to reason that he was aware of his closest aides’ plans vis a vis Khashoggi.

“To say that I am skeptical of the new Saudi narrative about Mr. Khashoggi is an understatement,” the Republican senator Lindsey Graham said in a series of tweets. “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.”

Previous leaks from the Turkish authorities have shown that the kingdom’s most senior forensics expert was among a 15-man team sent from Riyadh on October 2sd, before Khashoggi’s scheduled visit to the consulate.

They are reported to have brought a bone saw with them and the forensics expert, Salah Mohammed Al Tubaigy, is said to have been recorded telling others to listen to music on headphones while he dismembered the body.

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Catherine Shakdam

Catherine is a geopolitical analyst and commentator for the Middle East with a special focus on Yemen and the Gulf countries. She has been published across several prominent media outlets including: The Huffington Post, Sputnik, Citizen Truth, Press TV, The New Eastern Outlook, RT, MintPress, Ayatollah Khameini’s website, Open Democracy, the Foreign Policy Journal, The Duran, The American Herald Tribune, Katehon, and many more. Educated in both the UK and France, Catherine’s expertise and research on Yemen have been quoted by the UN Security Council on several occasions since 2011.

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14 Comments

  1. of course, They created this arrogant monster MBS

    Reply
  2. Larry L. Cunningham October 20, 2018

    Beyond deplorable! Trump never pro-living!

    Reply
    1. Shirley Phillips Booth October 20, 2018

      Why should we care if all the Muslims kill each other. Worry about all the innocent babies being tortured and murdered. You sicken me.

  3. Michael Eastwood October 20, 2018

    Coverup ……….

    Reply
  4. Ralph Delgado October 20, 2018

    Took on all those tough guys,they had to stab him in back, those brave bastard,

    Reply
  5. Chandra Ramphal October 20, 2018

    Trumphy and Kusher knows about it all.

    Reply
  6. Shirley Phillips Booth October 20, 2018

    Don’t care; it happened in Istanbul; just another Muslim killing other Muslims.

    Reply
  7. Shayna Alterman October 20, 2018

    Mr. Bone Saws should not be let off the hook.

    Reply
  8. Shirley Hawkins October 21, 2018

    Cover up and lying trump and his kids knowing what was gone on too.

    Reply
  9. Steve Shaver October 21, 2018

    Saudi Arabia knows Trump will do nothing.

    Reply
  10. Laeequddin Kazi October 21, 2018

    A 60 years old Jamal Khashoggi put up fist fight with fifteen well trained security officers with bone saw ? Crown Prince is a suspected killer behind the murder. But The suspected murderer will supervise the investigation ? It sounds like a children book story. Saudis May fool Saudis. It is a cover up and president of United States is a part of cover up.

    Reply
  11. nodz punk October 26, 2018

    The falsities that abound relating to this story are amazing, the Saudi’s have changed their account… https://t.co/1QYxeLsqdC

    Reply
  12. ⚡️ÐogecoinLeader⚡️ October 26, 2018

    This is old news. They have already acknowledged that it was premeditated murder.

    https://t.co/0HbPPHLyzV

    Reply
  13. Larry L. Cunningham October 26, 2018

    Terrorist state! Why do we continue to support it?

    Reply

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