Foreign Policy

Report: Trump Wants to Give Up Turkish Dissident to Cover Up Killing of Saudi Dissident

JM Ashby
Written by JM Ashby

If you're not familiar with Turkish cleric Fethullah Gulen, he's a legal permanent resident of Pennsylvania who Turkish President Recep Erdogan has blamed for virtually everything including the failed coup of 2016. He's Erdogan's favorite scapegoat or boogeyman.

You may recall that Trump's former national security adviser Michael Flynn was implicated in a scheme to kidnap Gulen and deliver him to Erdogan; a scheme that Flynn cooked up while he was acting as an unregistered foreign agent for the Turkish government.

According to NBC News, the Trump regime is now looking for a way to deliver Gulen to Erdogan for reasons that are even more treacherous than Michael Flynn's side job.

WASHINGTON — The White House is looking for ways to remove an enemy of Turkish President Recep Erdogan from the U.S. in order to placate Turkey over the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, according to two senior U.S. officials and two other people briefed on the requests.

Trump administration officials last month asked federal law enforcement agencies to examine legal ways of removing exiled Turkish cleric Fethullah Gulen in an attempt to persuade Erdogan to ease pressure on the Saudi government, the four sources said. [...]

One option that Turkish and Trump administration officials recently discussed is forcing Gulen to relocate to South Africa rather than sending him directly to Turkey if extradition is not possible, said the U.S. officials and people briefed on the discussions. But the U.S. does not have any legal justification to send Gulen to South Africa, they said, so that wouldn't be a viable option unless he went willingly.

Like Gulen, Washington Post contributor Jamal Khashoggi was also a legal permanent resident of the United States.

In other words, Trump is considering giving up one legal resident of the United States so Turkey will back off their effort to prove that Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman ordered the killing of another legal resident of the United States.

Fethullah Gulen would almost certainly be tortured and/or killed if captured by Turkish authorities, just like Jamal Khashoggi was.

We've been told many times including in this report from NBC News that Saudi cooperation is "key" to Trump's foreign policy, but I don't buy that.

To the extent that Trump even has foreign policy that could described in any coherent terms, a policy that depends on Saudi corruption and barbarism is a policy doomed to fail. Trump is delivering everything critics of the United States could ever hope for and he's too proud and thirsty to understand that he has become just another agent for the kingdom.

Trump may be acting on behalf of foreign governments for his own personal financial gain, but he's still their tool; they're not his tool.

Trump is a foreign asset whether he knows it or not.

  • muselet

    Kevin Drum:

    One of the problems with this whole affair is that there are no good guys. Trump, Erdoğan, and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman of Saudi Arabia are all despots or wannabes with hardly any redeeming features, while Gulen is something of a mystery. That makes it easy to shrug and write the whole thing off as a kind of gangland feud, but don’t.

    Donald Trump is trying to prevent Saudi Arabia from calling in his debts, by offering to sacrifice a legal permanent resident of the US to get Turkey to stop making such a fuss over the murder of a legal permanent resident of the US.

    Trump has done some truly horrid things in his life, but this marks a new low.


  • Username1016

    I’m speechless. And this is America.

  • katanahamon

    In case any of you were wondering..the answer is no, there are no limits to the depths of depravity Rump and his associates are capable of. Not that I think any of you were..