Foreign Policy

“I can’t breathe”

JM Ashby
Written by JM Ashby

Without any official confirmation and only the word of anonymous Turkish investigators to go on, the idea that Washington Post contributor Jamal Khashoggi's body was dismembered using a bonesaw after he was killed by Saudi Agents was turning into something of an urban myth, but we're getting closer to confirming the truth of what happened to him.

A source who's read the transcripts of the recording of Khashoggi's killing -- the same recording that was handed over to American intelligence -- told CNN that a saw can be heard in the background of the recording.

Moreover, an unnamed United States Senator has confirmed the details.

During the course of the gruesome scene, the source describes Khashoggi struggling against a group of people determined to kill him.

"I can't breathe," Khashoggi says.

"I can't breathe."

"I can't breathe."

The transcript notes the sounds of Khashoggi's body being dismembered by a saw, as the alleged perpetrators are advised to listen to music to block out the sound. [...]

The office of one US senator, who has received a briefing on the investigation by CIA Director Gina Haspel, told CNN that the source's recollections of the transcript are "consistent" with that briefing.

Pouring over the details feels voyeuristic but, at the same time, I think this is further evidence that the killing was premeditated. The Saudi government has continued to insist that it was an accident, but it's not exactly normal to carry a bonesaw with you in the event that you'll need to dismember someone.

That is unless you're a forensics expert whose job is to chop up bodies as quickly as possible.

Further details of the transcript shared with CNN leave open the possibility that Khashoggi was not dead yet when they used the saw. Those macabre details were also previously shared by anonymous Turkish investigators, but this is the first time a western outlet has suggested as much that I'm aware of.

Khashoggi's remains still haven't been recovered and the Trump regime is still protecting Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman.

  • muselet

    I say again, the US really, really needs to distance itself from the House of Saud.

    The stench of Jamal Khashoggi’s murder will cling the the US far longer than it will to Saudi Arabia.

    –alopecia

  • Badgerite

    I don’t suppose the Kushner contingent has noticed the similarities between the killing of Jamal Khashoggi and Daniel Pearl. Both were journalists committed to reporting the truth. Both killed in a way to instill terror and fear. Both were beheaded and dismembered. Daniel Pearl was cut into ten pieces after his throat was slit. KSM is now identified as his killer but at least Daniel Pearl was dead before they dismembered him.
    Both were killed by powers that advocated Sharia law. Saudi Arabia is the home to Wahabism, the most radical and repressive form of Islam. How do these actions bespeak a reliable, trustworthy ally in the region or anywhere else?

  • katanahamon

    Another disgusting episode for the Rump administration. The sheer audacity, brutality, it’s..unthinkable for a modern society. I’m not a big believer in the death penalty, at least how we do it, I think Dexter had it down pretty well, but, I think the perpetrators and the liars covering for this act should all be put to death. This cannot be allowed as a precedent. Just..appalling.

    • Draxiar

      Not sure I can walk with you on the death penalty in this case (I tend to reserve that for environmental defilers) but something certainly has to be done. If people in the *sigh* trump administration knew what was going on and let it happen….a life of breaking rocks at the very least is appropriate.

      • katanahamon

        Yes..I would accept a lifetime sentence of hard labor as a substitute for the death penalty. It’s a difficult thing..some offenders just don’t seem to deserve the thought of being able to enjoy being alive after the heinous things they’ve done. Being human though, errors are possible, and it’s rather difficult to correct a death penalty mistake after the fact..