Foreign Policy

Saudis on Khashoggi’s Death: Oops Our Bad

JM Ashby
Written by JM Ashby

It's understandable if you were skeptical of recent reports that said Turkish investigators have a recording of Washington Post contributor Jamal Khashoggi's torture and death, but those reports have been confirmed multiple times over now.

Reports emerged last night that Saudi authorities are preparing to admit that Khashoggi was killed inside the Saudi consulate in Instanbul, Turkey during an interrogation gone wrong, meaning Khashoggi was tortured to death.

The Saudi government is preparing to say that the death of prominent journalist Jamal Khashoggi was the result of an interrogation by Saudi operatives that went wrong, two sources close to the Saudi kingdom tell CBS News. [...]

Saudi officials are expected to claim that the mission was initiated to interrogate Khashoggi, a frequent critic of the government, not to kill him. A third source, also close to the Saudi government, said the Saudis will assert that the operation was planned and executed by a general who is close to Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, known as MBS. They will also say that MBS approved the plan to interrogate Khashoggi.

But the crown prince did not authorize Khashoggi's murder, according to the source, and the Saudi statement will make it clear that the general exceeded his authority and that he will be held accountable.

I believe the existence of a recording of Khashoggi's torture and death are the only reason this is happening.

For the Saudis to admit that they killed him is to admit that they've been lying for weeks.

They claimed he left the consulate alive. They claimed they didn't know where he is. They claimed many things that are entirely contradicted by acknowledging that he was murdered inside their consulate by government agents.

If the recording of his death didn't exist, they would still be denying any involvement.

  • muselet

    Kevin Drum last night on the “interrogation gone wrong” explanation:

    I guess we should at least be grateful that the Saudis are now demonstrating enough respect for world opinion to make up a lie. It’s slightly better than telling us all to go fuck ourselves, which has been the basic Saudi story up until now.

    If this one doesn’t convince anyone—and there’s no reason to believe it will—the Saudis will come up with another shiny new lie, and another after that. And Donald Trump will believe every one of them, because the House of Saud funnels cash to him.


  • Victor the Crab

    If they didn’t mean to kill Khashoggi, why bring a bone saw with them?

    • Georgie

      He fell on it.

  • Nefercat

    The traitor in the WH is just envious of the Saudis. Why can’t he do the same as what they do to annoying journalists? Anyway! There is money to be made! Why does the liberal media (fake news!) keep making up lies about the Prince instead of investigating the rogue killers that “many” fine people say killed Khashoggi?

  • katanahamon

    Rump won’t cancel arms sales, tries to invent “rogue killers,” so..the Saudis and apparently our own society shrugs its collective shoulders and says “well..the guy looks like a towel-head, so it’s ok.”