Foreign Policy

WaPo Confirms Turkish Investigators Have Recordings of Contributor’s Murder

JM Ashby
Written by JM Ashby

The London-based Middle East Eye (MEE) reported earlier this week that Turkish investigators have an audio and possibly even a video recording of the torture and murder of Washington Post contributor and Saudi critic Jamal Khashoggi.

I didn't necessarily feel comfortable vouching for the veracity of a report from an outlet that I'm not very familiar with, but the Washington Post has now confirmed that report.

The Washington Post reports that Turkish officials told American officials that they have recordings.

The audio recording in particular provides some of the most persuasive and gruesome evidence that the Saudi team is responsible for Khashoggi’s death, the officials said.

“The voice recording from inside the embassy lays out what happened to Jamal after he entered,” said one person with knowledge of the recording who, like others, spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss highly sensitive intelligence.

“You can hear his voice and the voices of men speaking Arabic,” this person said. “You can hear how he was interrogated, tortured and then murdered.”

A second person briefed on the recording said men could be heard beating Khashoggi.

Middle East Eye reported that Turkish investigators recovered the recordings from the Apple Watch that Khashoggi was wearing at the time of his murder. The watch was reportedly synched to the iPhone that he left with his fiancee outside the consulate.

The Washington Post has not confirmed that particular detail, but it's as good of an explanation as any. It's also possible the Saudi consulate was bugged in some way and the Apple Watch story is deliberate misinformation.

In either case, it seems there's no denying that Khashoggi was killed in the consulate. He is definitely dead.

Even if these recordings are released to the public at some point, I don't know if that will be enough to separate Trump and his son-in-law Jared Kushner from their best buddy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

The Washington Post also reported last night that one of the 15 Saudi agents dispatched to Turkey to deal with Khashoggi was an expert at quickly chopping up bodies.

  • muselet

    Whether or not Turkish officials have audio and video evidence is almost beside the point. Donald Trump isn’t going to do anything to punish the Saudi government, in part because he doesn’t care about the death of Jamal Khashoggi (“[T]his took place in Turkey and to the best of our knowledge, Khashoggi is not a United States citizen.”), and in part because he’s concerned about protecting a big arms deal with Saudi that doesn’t actually exist.

    This was always a revolting story, involving a despot-in-waiting who’s chummy with the son-in-law of a crass meat sack playing at being President of the United States, and a dead dissident journalist. I fear it’s only going to get worse going forward.

    –alopecia

  • Aynwrong

    This is horrifying. A journalist was murdered inside a government facility while his fiancée was simply waiting outside. The only known motivation was that he was a critic of the Saudi government and our government is led by man who doesn’t care and listens to his God damned son in law and they’re both cozy as fuck with the family that runs this country.

    The kind of order that America once enforced is loosening and the worst actors in the world know it.

  • katanahamon

    When America doesn’t stand up to illegal rendition, torture and murder, we have to seriously rethink our commonly held views that America stands for truth, justice and democracy.

  • Username1016

    And all Drumpf has to say is “He wasn’t a citizen.” Disgusting.

  • Badgerite

    To me, this seems pretty,…what’s the word I’m looking for? Oh yeah. “Delorable.”
    China is canceling their participation in an upcoming Saudi sponsored economic conference. Munchin is not.