Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
October 08, 2018

Mainstream Journos Pissed As Saudi Clown Prince Nabs One Of Their Own

The Moustache of Understanding, New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman, is pissed that the Saudi clown prince Mohammad bin Salman ordered the kidnapping of the Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

Khashoggi, who comes from a very rich family, has long served the Saudi regime in editorial positions and was the media adviser to Prince Turki al-Faisal during his tenure as ambassador in London and Washington. He left Saudi Arabia last year out of fear of being targeted in the ongoing crackdown by clown prince Mohammad bin Salman. He ended up writing mildly critical columns for the Washington Post. Khashoggi is no liberal but a staunch supporter of Saudi system and its brutality. He had praised the beheading of Syrian soldiers by ISIS as an "effective psychological military tactic" and supported the abhorrent Saudi war on Yemen.

According to the Turkish police, Khashoggi entered the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on October 2 at 13:12 to receive his divorce documents and never came out. On the same day 15 Saudi citizens had come to Istanbul on two planes and were in the consulate building when Khashoggi was there. They later left Turkey. Anonymous Turkish police sources claimed that the team of Saudi agents killed Khashoggi after he entered the consulate, hacked up his body and took the remains with them. That horror story is unlikely to be true. Turkey, itself the biggest jailer of journalists, has bad relations with Saudi Arabia and supports its arch-rival Qatar. The Saudi government has a long record of kidnapping and bringing back prominent Saudis who fled the country. It does not off these people in foreign places.

The bootlicking 'premier' western publications, especially the Washington Post, lauded Mohammad bin Salman as a reformer. He never was one. He said so himself in a recent Bloomberg interview. Nor did any of his predecessor, who were all lauded as reformers by the mainstream media, ever really change the archaic Saudi system. But when MbS visited the United States this spring every Silicon Valley billionaire, including Washington Post owner Jeff Bezos, was happy to have his picture taken with him.

But no one kissed bin Salman's ass as affectionate as Tom Friedman. Take this from last years most embarrassing fanfiction:

We met at night at his family’s ornate adobe-walled palace in Ouja, north of Riyadh. M.B.S. spoke in English, while his brother, Prince Khalid, the new Saudi ambassador to the U.S., and several senior ministers shared different lamb dishes and spiced the conversation. After nearly four hours together, I surrendered at 1:15 a.m. to M.B.S.’s youth, pointing out that I was exactly twice his age. It’s been a long, long time, though, since any Arab leader wore me out with a fire hose of new ideas about transforming his country.

Tom Friedman (left) in conversation with Mohammad bin Salman (artist conception)

The main stream journos who are now up in arms over Khashoggi are mostly embarrassed about their earlier adoration of Mohammad bin Salman. But even more important to them is that Khashoggi is one of their class. They think of themselves as entitled aristocrats who do not deserve such a fate. That is reserved for the deplorable plebs below them.

Just consider this amoral passage in Friedman's whining column about the Khashoggi case:

If Jamal has been abducted or murdered by agents of the Saudi government, it will be a disaster for M.B.S. and a tragedy for Saudi Arabia and all the Arab Gulf countries. It would be an unfathomable violation of norms of human decency, worse not in numbers but in principle than even the Yemen war.

Every ten minutes a child in Yemen starves because of the famine caused by the Saudi, UAE, U.S. and UK war on the country. The renewed attack on the harbor of Hodeidah and hyperinflation over the recent months have doubled the prices of food and gas  Most people in Yemen no longer have the income to pay for the needed food. Tens of thousands were already silently starved, millions will likely follow. By what humanitarian 'principle' would the potential death of one bootlicking columnist be worse than that?

Saudi Arabia under Mohammad bin Salman is weak and vulnerable. The kidnapping of Khashoggi is a sign of its insecurity. It can not even afford to have one mild critic outside of its control. The U.S. is quite happy with this situation. It makes it easier for the Trump administration to squeeze more money out of the lunatic kingdom. The administration will not blame the Salman regime over Khashoggi. Neither will Congress. Last year the Saudis spent $27.3 million to lobby Washington. They bribe every senator who will take their money.

The only thing the Trump administration might do about the Khashoggi case is to accuse Qasem Soleimani and the GRU of interference in it. MI6 may soon find that an Iranian agent novichoked Khashoggi. 

When the State Department will - in the harshest terms - condemn Iran for abducting Khashoggi, when the Treasury again sanctions Russia and when the Pentagon increases its support for the bombing of Yemen, Friedman and the other sycophants will again rise up and applause.

Posted by b on October 8, 2018 at 21:31 UTC | Permalink


"When the State Department will - in the harshest terms - condemn Iran for abducting Khashoggi, when the Treasury again sanctions Russia and when the Pentagon increases its support for the bombing of Yemen, Friedman and the other sycophants will again rise up and applause."

Yep, that what Amerika does best;-)

Thanks b

Posted by: jo6pac | Oct 8 2018 21:56 utc | 1

Brilliant mockery, b! The MoU moniker is priceless. So is this headline on Breitbart:

"Culture Shift: 👠 Melania 👠 Iconic in 3W Africa - Flotus Flouts $15K Fashion Ensemble!"

Your last life savings, that are never coming back, paid for that ensemble, you USAryans.
Gosh, wonder what your Czar and Czarina are flouting in their private 24k gold chambers?

Thom Hartmann stole my riff about SCOTUS, lynching Negros and women's suffrage, lol.
Just imagine the November 2020 cultural neutron bmob this UniParty is going to spawn.

Posted by: Anton Worter | Oct 8 2018 22:05 utc | 2

If the Saudis had been smart they would have got an Iranian agent to novichok Khashoggi.

Posted by: dh | Oct 8 2018 22:12 utc | 3

On a similar note Beijing takes down the President of Interpol on unmamed criminal charges, although presumably still alive for now

As for the Saudis, Trump is MBS Daddy and daddy is pleased. How long before he starts doing the same. Its time journalists got a reminder of where there loyalties must lie perhaps, like the Anthrax attacks that warned off skeptics of 9/11 official story and opponents of the Patriot Act.

Its a Dystopian World

Posted by: Pft | Oct 8 2018 22:30 utc | 4

Excellent comment dh 3.

Posted by: spudski | Oct 8 2018 22:32 utc | 5

As I noted on previous thread, Melkulangara Bhadrakumar at Strategic Culture and on his Twitter is excited by this development. But I see no reason to mourn for a rich supporter of Daesh and Saudi non-Islam. If his undoing leads to a rupture in Saudi-US relations, then I'll applaud. But as far as I know, Erdogan has yet to do what the former Indian Ambassador predicted.

Posted by: karlof1 | Oct 8 2018 23:21 utc | 6

bang on and brilliant b! it will be interesting to watch how this unfolds... ditto @3 dh comment, lol..

Posted by: james | Oct 8 2018 23:31 utc | 7

Who benefit from the drama?

- Turkey and Qatar: They hate Saudi Arabia and are not unhappy to destroy its relation with the West
- The USA: having Turkey and Saudi Arabia at each other throats will make them more obedient just as Trump will announce the imminent Kushner's Palestine Grand Plan

I believe the action is a CIA operation designed to weaken both Turkey and Saudi Arabia, just as Iran is weakened by the november sanctions.

Posted by: Virgile | Oct 8 2018 23:34 utc | 8

interesting theory virgile.. thanks..

Posted by: james | Oct 8 2018 23:37 utc | 9

Should we believe anonymous police sources in Turkey?

This seems like another distancing operation. (like the USA-Turkish 'tiff' over Afrin and Brunson - "Ottoman slap!" LOL).

Erdogan now says that Turkey will stay in Syria until elections are held. I don't think that is what Russia/Putin expected when then reached an agreement at Sochi.

To maintain the pretense that they are NOT helping the 'Assad must go!' Coalition, Turkey must suffer for their 'principled'/sarc stand by drawing attacks from ISIS and other Jihadis.

Kashoggi's death means that we can expect ISIS/Jihadi attack in Turkey, doesn't it?

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Oct 8 2018 23:42 utc | 10

Thomas Friedman is truly reprehensible, a "Gee Whiz" huckster for every new iteration of techno-capitalism and U.S. military might. But, believe it or not, the opinion piece he did before the one on Khashoggi, "The American Civil War, Part II," is not all bad. He sort of backs into acknowledging why a New Cold War is being manufactured now:

For much of the period after World War II, most Americans were sure that they’d be in the middle class and that their kids would follow. Strong unions, a slower pace of technological change and only limited globalization meant an average worker, with middle skills, could be middle class. There was something called a “high-wage, middle-skilled job.”

Also, the fact that the Soviets held a nuclear gun to our heads meant we had to stick together to some degree. It made compromise in Washington a necessity, not a luxury, on many issues.

But in the early 2000s, most high-wage, middle-skilled jobs disappeared. Now there is only a high-wage, high-skilled job and a low-wage, low-skilled job. And that has fractured the middle class and left a lot of people behind. The end of the Cold War has meant that no foreign enemy cements us together anymore, save for a brief period after 9/11. And the G.O.P. has lost its way.

That’s why our generation’s civil war is so hard to bring to a truce.

Posted by: Mike Maloney | Oct 8 2018 23:51 utc | 11


Keith Olbermann parroted one of my gems several years ago. Script writers apparently troll the blogs for entertaining material.

That was a great line about Frat Boy Beer Bong.

Posted by: fast freddy | Oct 8 2018 23:51 utc | 12

Mike Maloney @10--

Thanks for providing that Friedman lie within the text you cited. The exact opposite was true regarding "the Soviets held a nuclear gun to our heads..." That Fuck is such a liar. I hope he dies before me so I can celebrate that joyful day!

Posted by: karlof1 | Oct 9 2018 0:02 utc | 13

I don't mean to sound too harsh or cynical, as I find this disappearance completely onerous (but not unexpected) on the part of the head chopping Saudis, but one dead saudi journalist is worth more than 20,000+ dead Yemeni children and a million hungry/mal-nourished/diseased yemeni adults.....

& lindsay "gag me" graham is getting all huffy and outraged

"....Republican Senator Lindsey Graham said Riyadh must provide "honest answers."
"We agree that if there was any truth to the allegations of wrongdoing by the Saudi government it would be devastating to the US-Saudi relationship and there will be a heavy price to be paid -- economically and otherwise," Graham tweeted.

"Our country’s values should be and must be a cornerstone of our foreign policy with foes and allies alike," he said....."

gag me, Lindsay, just gag me.

when a foreign nation buys $100 billion or more (under Obama alone) in military hardware, what's one disappeared journalist now and then going to do to that relationship?

Posted by: michaelj72 | Oct 9 2018 0:20 utc | 14

Worse than the Yemeni "war"? I'm almost surprised that even a complete toolbag like Friedman has the nerve to write something like that.

Posted by: Ash | Oct 9 2018 0:30 utc | 15

A lot of politicians are going to get rich over the death of Jamal Khashoggi. Not so much over the death of Yemen. If many Americans believe that Iraq was behind 911, blaming the death of Khashoggi on Iran should be a piece of cake. It will form part of the toolkit used to wage war on Iran. Erdogan could come out of this with a nice contribution to his pension plan, courtesy of MBS. Agree that KSA will come out of this much weaker. How much did MOSSAD contribute to this? It benefits them as well.

Posted by: Tom | Oct 9 2018 0:49 utc | 16

Why did Khasshoggi go to the Saudi embassy in Turkey? Why didn't he go to the Saudi embassy in USA? Less likely that KSA would execute 'dirty tricks' in USA, isn't it?

Why does Turkey claim that he was tortured for days and that it was videotaped? How could they know that level of detail?

And, what was KSA beef with Khashoggi that required a death sentence. As b has suggested, Khashoggi doesn't seem to be a threat to KSA, or to have done anything that required chopping up (especially when such chopping would supposedly come at a high diplomatic price).

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Oct 9 2018 1:22 utc | 17

Not sure if it means anything but Jamal Khashoggi, was a cousin of the late billionaire arms dealer Adnan Khashoggi.

Adnan Khashoggi
Adnan Khashoggi imported Kenworth heavy trucks into Saudi Arabia: one of his first customers was the Bin Laden family’s construction group.

He was involved with BCCI, the failed bank used by the CIA.

[He facilitated] ... the 1986 Iran-Contra scandal, which saw 1,500 US missiles sold to Iran through Israel in a failed bid to free US hostages in Lebanon and millions illegally diverted to finance the Contra rebels in Nicaragua.

In 1989, he was extradited from Switzerland to New York on charges of helping to hide more than $300m in Manhattan properties and valuable paintings – part of the pillaging of the Philippines by Ferdinand Marcos. Khashoggi and Imelda Marcos were acquitted in 1990.

Adnen Khashoggi was born in Mecca, Jamal Khashoggi was born in Medina.

Also interesting: Adnan Khashoggi's sold his yacht to the Sultan of Brunei after Adnan fell on hard times, and it was later bought by Donald Trump.

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Oct 9 2018 1:43 utc | 18

But for the inconvenient fact that Khashoggi was disappeared inside the Saudi Embassy, this time they can't turn this into a false flag against Iran. GOOD. The Saudi war criminals and especially the tyrant clown Prince are exposed and so is Trump the other buffoon whose staggering hypocrisy and double standard vis a
vis Iran vs Saudi Arabia again proves he's a Zionist puppet.

I'm wondering if the Turks could have an inside track, a bug or some way of knowing the Saudis killed Khashoggi and cut him up in pieces to sneak him out. At the very least the Turks must have cameras on the outside monitoring exits especially if there's deep mistrust between SA & Turkey.

I think he's dead. The only difference between Trump and MbS is that the latter doesn't have a problem killing his critics. Trump can only dream; that's why he's silent on this; that and the fact that his Zionist masters told him to go easy on MbS, who is Zionist-protected.

Posted by: Circe | Oct 9 2018 3:29 utc | 19

jackrabbit @16

Why did Khasshoggi go to the Saudi embassy in Turkey? Why didn't he go to the Saudi embassy in USA? Less likely that KSA would execute 'dirty tricks' in USA, isn't it?

thank you! been asking this from the get-go. how can fellow journalists not be asking this?

Posted by: semiconscious | Oct 9 2018 5:10 utc | 20

Jackrabbit @ 16:

Jamal Kashoggi needed to go to the Saudi consulate in Istanbul to put in his application to finalise his divorce from his Saudi wife so he could marry a Turkish citizen. His fiancee Hatice was waiting for him outside the consulate. When he failed to come out after several hours, she raised the alarm.

The Saudis have a beef with Kashoggi for being critical of Donald Trump and for being close to Prince Al-Waleed bin Talal, one of the several princes imprisoned in the Ritz Carlton Hotel in Riyadh last year and forced to cough up hundreds of millions of dollars' worth of assets to the KSA, among other things.

Posted by: Jen | Oct 9 2018 5:24 utc | 21

@dh an Iranian agent to novichok Khashoggi.

Good one. Thanks. I had to add that line above.

Posted by: b | Oct 9 2018 6:01 utc | 22

Jack Rabbit
"Why did Khasshoggi go to the Saudi embassy in Turkey? Why didn't he go to the Saudi embassy in USA? Less likely that KSA would execute 'dirty tricks' in USA, isn't it?"

His fiance is a Turkish citizen. That is why he was there.

Posted by: Blue | Oct 9 2018 6:30 utc | 23

novi-choked :) good one dh and b. hope I don't get novi choked for reading this subversive blog.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Oct 9 2018 6:42 utc | 24

Khashoggi is far from being a noble journalist. He is a diplomat/spy/bagman that has continually fallen in and out of favour with whomever holds the reins of power in Riyadh. He was clearly identified as such in wikileaked US diplomatic cables. He is a trusted source for Western intelligence. He is now being used as a pawn in a tense geopolitical game between KSA, Turkey, Syria, Russia, Iran and the US. Bottom line though is that MbS has nothing to gain and everything to lose should something befall Khashoggi. It seems MbS has another internal struggle on his hands.

Posted by: Fgh | Oct 9 2018 7:47 utc | 25

Re: Posted by: Jen | Oct 9, 2018 1:24:34 AM | 21

What does he need a divorce for? Saudis can have multiple wives can't they? Also isn't divorce in Saudi Arabia as simple as declaring (if you're the man that is) the times that your divorce your wife?

Why bother going to a Saudi embassy for useless documents?

Posted by: Julian | Oct 9 2018 7:57 utc | 26

Saying talaq three times to divorce your wife even works in India - hardly a 'Muslim' country.

Jaipur, India (CNN) With just three words, Farha, a 30-year old woman from the northern Indian city of Jaipur, became a single mother of three young children.

Farha's husband instantly divorced her last year by saying "talaq, talaq, talaq" in a fit of anger after their 10-year-old daughter had asked him for five rupees (seven cents) to buy some firecrackers for a holiday celebration.

Triple talaq, as it is commonly called, is an ancient and controversial Islamic practice where a man divorces a woman by saying the word talaq, the Arabic word for divorce, three times. Sometimes, it's even delivered by phone or text message.

Posted by: Julian | Oct 9 2018 8:00 utc | 27

Julian 26
I would assume that, even if polygamy is hallal in Saudi Arabia, it might not be in Turkey, and his future Turkish wife would have nothing to do with it - for similar reasons, she would like a proper divorce for his future husband, not one based on shaky legal grounds in most countries.
That said, I've no idea what really happened and can't be sure of why all that would've happened.

Posted by: Clueless Joe | Oct 9 2018 8:25 utc | 28


Maybe he wanted to marry a woman who has western citizenship. Might be some legal/financial/tax reasons as well. No religion is free from the global corporate state. Marriages, Divirces, Births, Deaths must be licensed and certified by the state

Posted by: Pft | Oct 9 2018 8:44 utc | 29
Men have a unilateral right to divorce their wives (talaq) without needing any legal justification.[101] The divorce is effective immediately.[101] The husband's obligation is then to provide financial support for the divorced wife for a period of four months and ten days.[101] A woman can only obtain a divorce with the consent of her husband or judicially if her husband has harmed her.[98] In practice, it is very difficult for a Saudi woman to obtain a judicial divorce.[98] The divorce rate is high, with 50% of marriages being dissolved.[101] In the event of divorce, fathers have automatic custody of sons from the age of 7 and daughters from the age of 9.[102] The right for men to marry up to four wives, combined with their ability to divorce a wife at any time without cause, can translate to unlimited polygamy.[103] King Abdul Aziz, the founder of the country, reportedly admitted to marrying over two hundred women.[104] However, his polygamy was considered extraordinary even by Saudi Arabian standards.[104]
According to Al-Amri, the number of divorce cases handled by courts across the country reached 53,675 in 2017 or 149 cases each day.

The office of the Grand Mufti approved 6,163 divorces during the same year, which is an increase of 846 cases compared to 2016.

"We should know that there are hundreds of divorces not recorded by the courts, so the actual figure could be much higher than what is officially reported," Al-Amri said indicating the actual figure.

The total number of divorces in 2017 could be 40 to 45 percent of the total number of marriages, which was put at 159,386, in the same year. "This shows that we have to take drastic measures to bring down this huge number of divorce cases in the country," Al-Amri told Okaz/Saudi Gazette.

Obviously no need to go to a Saudi embassy for a divorce.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Oct 9 2018 9:01 utc | 30

Have just posted an important video on the US bio weapons program post ! Recommend!!!

Posted by: Mark2 | Oct 9 2018 10:08 utc | 31


Khashoggi may just be incarcerated in the KSA embassy. This is Turkey. Midnight Express. The border guard at US-Canadian border got to know me well when I commuted there, and said (on the US side, anyway) there was a underground level(s) at the border station with indefinite detention cells. Since she is not yet family, Turkey then has no responsibility to investigate Khashoggi's whereabouts, and no jurisdiction to go find out either.

Freidman's 'more horrible than Yemen' meme may be to take the heat off the Yemen crimes against humanity by MbS, and the 7 Nations in 5 Years Cabal, Trump's BFFs KSA-IL, and I'm sure Tony Blair's and Dick Cheney's, as well.

Cheney's Halliburton will be eager to drill through a mountain of skulls in Yemen, after a US geophysical study report that I read says Yemen is a huge fracking play.

Posted by: Anton Worter | Oct 9 2018 10:15 utc | 32

On the same day 15 Saudi citizens had come to Istanbul on two planes and were in the consulate building when Khashoggi was there. They later left Turkey

'the wolf'?

a million laughs!

Posted by: john | Oct 9 2018 10:17 utc | 33

I enjoy reading the former indian diplomat M. K. Bhadrakumar quite a bit lately, both in his tweets and his longer pieces on his new platform

I would like to note this one of his from Oct 7....there's a coalescing of many political and military forces in the Middle East right now, none of which is really advantageous to the US in the long run, and it's fascinating to watch which way it goes and how fast

"Khashoggi wrecks up Trump's Middle East strategies in following order: a) Saudi-US ties entering unchartered waters; b) Pompeo and Bolton go whistling on Iran, c) GCC disintegrates; d) Iran rising; e) Turkey-Iran axis strengthens; e) Yemen war ending; f) Israel in big trouble."

Posted by: michaelj72 | Oct 9 2018 10:20 utc | 34

Julian @ 26:

Even if Khashoggi pronounced talaq three times to his Saudi spouse over the phone or Skype, he still needs to document proof of his decision with the Saudi authorities. He needs to send a copy of his decision to the ex-wife so that she has proof of the divorce in case she wants to marry another man.

Saudi men are only allowed to have up to a maximum of four wives at any one time, on the condition that he can support them all equally. This usually means that most men in the KSA can only afford one wife. In addition, a woman may insist in the marriage contract that while the marriage lasts, her husband may not take another wife.

Posted by: Jen | Oct 9 2018 11:14 utc | 35

Adnan Khashoggi
He was involved with BCCI, the failed bank used by the CIA.
Posted by: Jackrabbit | Oct 8, 2018 9:43:17 PM | 18

Like his cousin, Jamal Khashoggi was obviously on the payroll of the CIA. The CIA's man in the Saudi palace was MbS's cousin and former crown prince (forgotten his name for the time being), who was ousted by MbS. The US Deep State desperately wanted to get back control of the palace. So it does not take much imagination to see that Jamal Khashoggi was most likely involved with regime-change mischief-making with the regime in Washington. Going into the embassy seems like a pretty stupid move under the circumstances.

Posted by: BM | Oct 9 2018 11:41 utc | 36

The critique of SbM rule by Khashoggi was perhaps more than "mild", he even wrote decisively that the war on Yemen should be ended, and criticized the arbitrary and capricious rule of the prince. He was "mild" in the sense of having a point of view of the narrow elite of KSA, absolutism is an accepted fact of life but it should not be THAT arbitrary and defying common sense etc.

I quickly looked at the list of his recent columns in WP. This entry causes my dark amusement:

"Wrong byline?
Saudi Arabia's crown prince is acting like Putin | Opinion
By Jamal Khashoggi — Saturday night's high-profile arrests in Saudi Arabia have sent shock waves through the global political Richter scale. The arrests, including that of such well-known figures as my former boss Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, came within hours of changes in the leadership of a number of important ministries, as well as to the leadership and structure of the much-respected Saudi national guard."

The comparison to Putin illuminates nothing about Muhammad bin Salman, it only gives Jamal Khashoggi the badge of membership of Western elite. The scale of purges, extortions, whimsical ideas (to spend 0.5 trillion dollars on a desert area in north-west corner of the country?) resembles nothing of Putin's rule. JK's own case resembles the establishment's tale of Magnitsky, and innocent critique and fighter against corruption who was somehow murdered, and avenged with the law bearing his name. Do not expect Khashoggi law anytime soon.

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Oct 9 2018 11:47 utc | 37

What? No craigsummers yet? I eagerly scan the MoA boards as soon as a new article is posted by B to get his invaluable take on today's current events. I guess he's awaiting his position on this (and losing arguments about Bellendcat on Off-G). It's a confusing realpolitik event, for sure...I'm minded to agree with Virgile in post 8, but I also think Mossad wouldn't allow this to pass without input of some kind

Posted by: Yarkob | Oct 9 2018 11:48 utc | 38

... Also, since the CIA and Trump are at mutual dagger point, Khashoggi and Trump were unlikely to see eye to eye, so Khashoggi was probably sabotaging Trump's love affair with MbS.

Khashoggi's fiancée got in the way between Trump and MbS, so to speak.

Posted by: BM | Oct 9 2018 11:51 utc | 39

Why is the murder of Khashoggi wrong, where the West should draw the line? On "A" side we should put acceptable murders and kidnappings, and on "N" the unacceptable ones.

All murders and kidnappings that are either attributed to Israel, or can be "reasonably attributed", like a recent assassination of a Palestinian professor in the capital of Malaysia are definitely on side "A". Everything attributed to Russia on "N". KSA is a stalwart member of the Western alliance, but many princes that were "arrested", extorted and kidnapped are themselves at the pinnacle of the Western society -- I would not be surprised that they own a nice chunk of WP, so we have indeed a "hard case".

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Oct 9 2018 11:58 utc | 40

"........The only thing the Trump administration might do about the Khashoggi case is to accuse Qasem Soleimani and the GRU of interference in it. MI6 may soon find that an Iranian agent novichoked Khashoggi........"

This is certainly not true. It downplays the role of the GRU in several recent incidents including the attempted murder of Sergei Skripal using chemical weapons. The US should pressure the ruthless Saudi government for information on the Saudi journalist. It's no small secret that journalists face very dangerous world today - and as you pointed out - no less in Turkey. Let's also not forget about the three Russian journalists recently murdered in the Central African Republic. They were investigating the role of the Wagner mercenaries when they were ambushed. Was the GRU behind the murder? According to the Daily Beast ( via @thedailybeast):

".......The journalists had been assigned to travel to Africa by the Investigations Management Center (IMC), a project funded by former Russian oil magnate Mikhail Khodorkovsky, one of the most influential critics of Russian President Vladimir Putin......."
This is not the first time that Russian journalists have been killed while investigating Wagner. According to the Telegraph ( via @telegraphnews):
".......Friends of a journalist who reported on Russia's “shadow army” in Syria have raised suspicions about his death falling from a balcony as local authorities insisted there were no indications of foul play......."

Pussy Riot activist, Pyotr Verzilov, was poisoned apparently while he was investigating the murder of the three journalists in Central Africa ( via @meduzaproject). He nearly died. Boris Nemtsov was also murdered reporting on the role of the Russian military (including Wagner) in Eastern Ukraine ("Putin. War"). According to Reporters Without Borders, 34 journalists have been killed during the rule of Putin. That's before the three investigative journalists were murdered in the Central African Republic.

Posted by: craigsummers | Oct 9 2018 12:09 utc | 41

It was reported that on Sept. 6, American helicopters evacuated ISIS militants from Syria's eastern Deir ez-Zor province (from the town of al-Shaafah, which is located near the Iraqi border). Let them fight in other places. This is the right time to add more fuel to the fire.

US Sends More Diplomats to Coalition-Controlled Areas of Syria: What’s Behind the Move?

Since Syria now has their S-300, wouldn't they be tempted to use it against any helicopters evacuating ISIS leaders?

Posted by: BM | Oct 9 2018 12:23 utc | 42

Since Syria now has their S-300, wouldn't they be tempted to use it against any helicopters evacuating ISIS leaders?

I meant to omment on that on the implications of finding the wreckage of a US military helicopter with the bodies of ISIS leaders in it. It would be rather embarassing, wouldn't it?

Posted by: BM | Oct 9 2018 12:27 utc | 43

Like a bowel well-regulated with fiber, craigsummers never fails to push out a big turd.

Posted by: SlapHappy | Oct 9 2018 12:43 utc | 44

Oh, man. The image of Friedman being "worn out" by MbS's firehose is just too funny. Or it would be if they weren't both psychopaths.

Posted by: JC | Oct 9 2018 13:04 utc | 45

Kashoggi was caught in a squeeze play c**tstruck by some turkish female who was prolly working for the saudis all along, she pushed him, he went into the Istanbul embarrass because amerika weren't giving her a visa until kashoggi married her, amerikans are so primitive about stuff like this. The plan worked to a T since his kashoggi's only functioning body part was well south of his cranium, he stupidly decided to acquiesce to the pressure and even made an appointment at the embassy. His missus to be walked him up to the front door to make sure he didn't sidle off stage left.

I have no doubt he is dead and that the Turks know this through informants in the saudi embassy (remember Turkey's relationship with its former colonies is at least as complex as england's - the number of times I've seen senior public servants in Oz & Aotearoa putting england's interests ahead of the nation they are meant to be serving are uncountable) The Ottomans owned Hejaz which included both Mecca & Medina for more than 400 years ,only relinquishing the region in 1918. It is true that they didn't run the part of Saudi they called Najd but neither did anyone else, the Ottomans had a great deal of influence in those parts of the peninsular chocka with sand, flies and Bedouin.

Same as every other yarn dependent on 'intelligence sources', the Turks won't tell the truth about how they know Kashoggi was offed, but they wouldn't be saying it if they weren't certain, since mbs mob can counter it easy with a pic of Kashoggi holding up today's fishwrap.

Kashoggi is brown bread, he has karked it, he is now an ex-arab, I have no doubt that is the case. There is no complicated plot just mbs demonstrating to his domestic audience that there can be no escape from his petulance.

The Turkish game is pure stand-over shakedown and time will eventually reveal to us all what it is that Erdy is after. Money is a safe bet, but there is also the possibility that Erdy is showing mbs how much sh1t he can cause anyone in the syrian insurrection who doesn't get behind what erdy wants. Russia has put the turks between a rock and that other place over Idlib and Erdy may be about convincing mbs not to screw with him.
The al-Sauds can only keep the lid on their mobster rort by outsourcing much of their 'security'. amerika can supply guns n stuff but cannot do good little muslims who speak arabic since saudi is offside with anyone and everyone - remember how al Sisi stuck up the al Sauds as soon as he took over egypt? Jordan and the UAE have strained relationships as well so the saudis are in power because Turkey has helped them and this is Erdy demonstrating exactly how the relationship can be 'gamed'.

Just because you don't agree with Kashoggi's stand on Syria, should never be an excuse for getting a laugh outta Saudi snaring then killing kashoggi.

Mordecai Vanunu was hooked exactly the same way by the israeli arseholes - there is no doubt that people from reactionary oppressive cultures have no commonsense when the blood drains from the brain and engorges the wedding tackle. I feel sorry for Kashoggi and so laugh at the FU'd up mess mbs has made of this, but there is nothing funny in a bloke getting offed brutally, in cold blood just because the bloke's libido did him down.

Posted by: Debsisdead | Oct 9 2018 13:52 utc | 46

Poor guys still unable to provide the CCTV of one of their dozen embassy compound cameras. And MbS on the record for saying that the guy left. It's all good. And now Nikki quits. Nice days indeed
(enjoy the dump while it's here; it won't last)

Posted by: Mina | Oct 9 2018 14:22 utc | 47

I wonder why Haley quit. For her own presidential run?

Posted by: Mischi | Oct 9 2018 14:35 utc | 48

Re: Posted by: Mischi | Oct 9, 2018 10:35:38 AM | 48

If that's the case - and it might be - it's completely deluded. No Republican is beating Trump in 2020.

What is she going to do - start a ticket with Jeff Flake?!?!? LOL!!

Now's the time for Trump to do something truly shocking.

Appoint Michael Flynn as the new UN Ambassador.

Posted by: Julian | Oct 9 2018 14:38 utc | 49

It would be so very much easier and much more productive to do our military "regime change" operation on Saudi Arabia than on Iran. Except in their case we could establish a "Raj" of sorts to run the place as a permanent protectorate of the United States. This should have happened decades ago. Why is it that none of our leaders don't seem to get it that they are the enemy and the wellspring of anti-western terror activities?

Posted by: erik | Oct 9 2018 15:31 utc | 50

@36 BM... good comments... it was Muhammad bin Nayef who i believe the cia had in mind for succession to the ksa throne... he got bumped.. not sure how khashoggi fits into this, but as you note - working for cia for all intensive purposes is what it looks like to me as well..

@38 yarkob... you spoke too soon, lol...

@42 BM.. i doubt they would use them for that... russia is trying to resolve thru diplomacy while the usa is trying to divide and conquer thru there same tried and true bullshit..

@46 debs.. sounds about right...

@50 erik... that would make too much sense.. i think usa leaders get that they need to keep wall st, locheed martin and israel and etc on the payroll and the best way to play that is how they are playing it.. ksa - good.. iran - bad... i know.. it doesn't make sense, but it is just business and one has to get over the fact the msm serves up the lies 24/7 in spite of what we see on the ground..

Posted by: james | Oct 9 2018 16:24 utc | 51

@Dedisdead 46
"Kashoggi is brown bread, he has karked it, he is now an ex-arab" Ehh is that like the "Ex parrot" or is he taking a rest. I love you writing style.

Piotr Berman and Karloff certainly made some sensible comments.

This Friedman bloke is a scumbag. Declaring this odious Jamal Khashoggi is more important than the Yemeni war dead, is a travesty in it self. How can a sane adult write such nonsense.
I hope the Saudis and their vile coalition bankrupt themselves on this Neo-colonialistic war. But the war in Yemen does not hit the our newssites, it is silenced.
Many of my colleagues at work know very little about this war. And they are people with University degrees, in supposedly enlightened Denmark.
As Trump twatters : Sad!

Posted by: Den Lille Abe | Oct 9 2018 16:38 utc | 52

So Nikki Hayley has resigned. Good , out goes the Hindu Fascist and warmonger.
Which War monge will we now see, dragging th US trough the filth?
Linsey Graham? I think personally Ann Coulter would be a good choice. This rabid bitch has it all, per GOP standards, Rascist, warmonger, Zealot ultra conservative, rich and thoroughly unpleasant.
She would make many friends at the idiotic organization of the UN.

Posted by: Den Lille Abe | Oct 9 2018 16:46 utc | 53

problem is they will probably replace nikki haley with someone even more shrill... that is the pattern.. some shrill stooge for israel need apply...

Posted by: james | Oct 9 2018 17:00 utc | 54

James, I'm going to go with Jeanine Pirro as the Hailey replacement.

Posted by: Bart Hansen | Oct 9 2018 17:39 utc | 55

Thomas Friedman is the zenith of msm journalistic circle-jerking. Seeing as his response to the Iraq war crime debacle was literally to say "Suck on this", I'm not surprised he thinks losing a "friend" to a different murderous "friend" is qualitatively worse than starving and killing an entire nation. That's the kind of rank tribalism only a true Zionist could espouse.

The question is, what will the Western response be. I'm not a betting man, but I'd put a healthy wager on that response being exactly squat. A couple editorials, maybe some crocodile tears about respecting human rights from the state department, but that will be all. Turkey had already fallen out with the Saudis, so again beyond cheap words, I doubt the Turks will do much of anything.

Posted by: Don Wiscacho | Oct 9 2018 18:26 utc | 56

I am betting on Trump's son-in-law Kushner for a replacement to the Sikh Nikki Haley.

Posted by: Mischi | Oct 9 2018 18:32 utc | 57

That bootlicking friedman is a hypocritical!

Posted by: Guy Moyssen | Oct 9 2018 20:57 utc | 58

Mischi @ 48:

Looks like Nutty Nikki accepted too many free plane rides from South Carolina to Washington DC and back and she is now being pursued by an ethics watchdog organisation pushing the US State Department to investigate her relationships with the businessmen who run private companies in South Carolina.

"Nikki Haley's resignation comes one day after an ethics watchdog requested an investigation into her acceptance of free flights on private jets"

For a brief while the speculation was that Ivanka Trump would replace Haley but the President has nixed that idea.

Posted by: Jen | Oct 9 2018 21:26 utc | 59

Piotr Berman @ 40:

"... [Khashoggi's] own case resembles the establishment's tale of Magnitsky, and innocent critique and fighter against corruption who was somehow murdered, and avenged with the law bearing his name ..."

The parallels between Khashoggi and Sergei Magnitsky become a bit less obvious if we were to accept the alternative (and more real) narrative of Sergei Magnitsky as a book-keeper or accountant having been hired by Bill Browder to help cover the movements of large amounts of money from Russia to the West through the Heritage Capital Management Fund, Magnitsky himself being arrested for his role in the cover-up of tax fraud and being hung out to dry by Browder to die in a prison from medical neglect.

Probably all Khashoggi and Magnitsky have in common is they were eager and willing bit players in dangerous schemes masterminded by dangerous people who disposed of them when their usefulness came to an end.

Posted by: Jen | Oct 9 2018 21:49 utc | 60

Marwa Osman provides updates on the case: An indictment is being prepared.

Garrie compares Skripal with Khashoggi, noting that--surprise--it's the Turks who are civilized by comparison.

Posted by: karlof1 | Oct 9 2018 22:22 utc | 61

According to the Telegraph, the grandmother of the GRU doctor outed by Bellingcat and The Insider in the attempted murder of the double agent, Skripal, has disappeared ( via @telegraphnews):

The grandmother of the military doctor outed as a Salisbury assassin has disappeared after disclosing her grandson had been awarded Russia’s highest honour by Vladimir Putin.

The grandmother of Alexander Mishkin, whose identity was first disclosed by the Telegraph, vanished three days ago following reports that his real name was about to be revealed.

Mishkin, 39, a senior member of the GRU, Russian military intelligence, was given the Hero of the Russian Federation by Mr Putin at a ceremony in autumn 2014.

Nina Mishkina, now in her 90s, proudly showed to friends a photograph of her grandson shaking hands with the Russian president at the event.

Obviously, Vladidmir Putin personally gave the "hero" award to Doctor Mishkina. Is there any doubt that lying Putin ordered the mission to kill Skripal?

Posted by: craigsummers | Oct 9 2018 22:26 utc | 62

Replacement for Nikki Haley?

If Stormy Daniels had played her cards right ...

Chelsea Clinton?
Qualified? Harrumph! She's on the Board of the Clinton Global Initiative and participated in Model UN in high school! Plus she wrote a letter to President Reagan when she was 5!

She's got MPhil and DPhil degrees in International Relations from Oxford.

Still unconvinced? she appeared in a Sesame Street skit with Elmo, fer Christs sake! Plus she married into a nice Jewish family.

@karlof1: she also majored in history at Stanford.

OK, ok. If Chelsea is out, my guess is a Taiwanese American. Take THAT Xi!

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Oct 9 2018 23:38 utc | 63

Jamal Kashooggi is a moslem sunni, he does not need a 'divorce' authorization to marry another woman, this time a Turkish woman.
He went inside the embassy for a different reason, maybe he was called to negotiate his silence ? a negotiation that turned violent?
No much is witten about the turkish 'fiancee' or his current wife.
There must be some story behind that planned wedding...

Posted by: Virgile | Oct 10 2018 2:11 utc | 64

Security footage from inside the Saudi consulate was taken back to Saudi Arabia. The Turks have other security footage from outside the Consulate and probably the airport. Apparently there was a black van outside and Turkish officials believe it was used by the hit squad to transport Khashoggi's remains in heavy black bags. Did Turkish investigators use luminol inside the Consulate???

They definitely know more than was leaked? Why don't they show airport footage of suspects with baggage?

The hit squad flew out in two directions: Dubai and Cairo both groups ending up in Riyadh. What is this reminiscent of? The Mossad operation in Dubai. What is Saudis up to no good on separate planes a reminder of? 9/11.

What I am getting at is that Kashoggi was not only becoming inconvenient for the Saudis but for Zionists as well. Maybe he was not only inconvenient because he was criticizing the Saudi goverment, maybe he was inconvenient because he knew too much and couldn't be trusted any longer.

The Saudi Zionist connection is important because Zionists have been working with the Saudis on Syria, Yemen and Iran strategy. Khashoggi threatened that strategy because his criticism of the Clown prince was growing and had the potential to alienate the American public whose tax money funds the assault on Yemen. Trump is playing too coy. It's not true he knows nothing. Trump is providing massive weaponry to SA. Saudi planes are being fueled by American military and the CIA is providing intelligence support, probably Israel as well. There's a lot riding on these relationships causing pain to so many via U.S.funding. It's a dirty game and Trump's hands are all over it.

Posted by: Circe | Oct 10 2018 4:42 utc | 65

The horror story of the journalist being chopped up is unlikely to be true??? It is very likely to be true. This is one of the typical ways for the Mafia and other criminal organizations to get rid of people. They chop up the body in a bathtub. Its just like carving a deer or elk after a kill. Trump was asked about this and he said, "this looks very bad".

The difference here is that it is said that they chopped him up alive and filmed the event for their in home theaters. Probably to be viewed by order of the King to prevent even the thought of dissent.

I digress, we were recently talking about the breakdown of ordinary and commonly respected rules between nations?

No October surprise. Trump is not going to Korea to sign a peace treaty before the election. He is going to campaign full tilt thru the election with the wall being the centerpiece in Congress.

Posted by: dltravers | Oct 10 2018 6:14 utc | 66

The Saudi Zionist connection is important because Zionists have been working with the Saudis on Syria, Yemen and Iran strategy. Khashoggi threatened that strategy because his criticism of the Clown prince was growing and had the potential to alienate the American public whose tax money funds the assault on Yemen. Trump is playing too coy. It's not true he knows nothing. Trump is providing massive weaponry to SA. Saudi planes are being fueled by American military and the CIA is providing intelligence support, probably Israel as well. There's a lot riding on these relationships causing pain to so many via U.S.funding. It's a dirty game and Trump's hands are all over it.
Posted by: Circe | Oct 10, 2018 12:42:26 AM | 65

I think you are on to something there Circe, although I think the so-called criticism is irrelevant and a convenient distraction - more important is Khashoggi's work with the CIA. Since the CIA is anti-Trump, Clinton is close to the bin Nayef cabal, and Israel might prefer bin Nayef (less extreme than MbS = bad for Israel, but less incompetent than MbS who is an out-and-out failure), maybe Khashoggi might have been helping the CIA-Clinton-Israel triad with the ouster of MbS and the re-installation of the CIA's man.

I agree Trump seems coy. His insulting criticisms of Saudi as dependent on the US might be a cover for his support for the operation.

Posted by: BM | Oct 10 2018 6:51 utc | 67

He is going to campaign full tilt thru the election with the wall being the centerpiece in Congress.
Posted by: dltravers | Oct 10, 2018 2:14:26 AM | 66

Oh, is he going to build a wall through the middle of Congress? To separate the Reds from the Blues, or to hide the Uni-Party Cabal from public view?

Posted by: BM | Oct 10 2018 6:55 utc | 68

Unless the new fiancee wants him to actually divorce so that she does not end up cheated

Posted by: Mina | Oct 10 2018 11:43 utc | 69


I think you are on to something there Circe, although I think the so-called criticism is irrelevant and a convenient distraction

You say Khashoggi's criticism was a mere distraction? So that's why they merely cut him up in pieces and went through all that trouble to do it!

I'm not buying Zionists preferring the more moderate-acting bin Nayef. I think they like the butcher MbS who now sealed his reputation literally with this barbaric act. I think Zionists like him tearing over Yemen scorching everything in sight. This operation was Mossad trained. The large hit squad, the separate planes and routes, removing the cctv tape which Mossad were unable to do but learned from with the Dubai operation when cctv captured disguised operatives walking in and out of hotel elevators and going through airport security.

Why isn't Turkey showing post operation exterior footage and airport footage? Turkey needs to release its findings and same goes for interior luminol testing.

Posted by: Circe | Oct 10 2018 14:28 utc | 70

thats not how it works, you still need permission from the first wife to marry the second.
but if it was stipulated by your spouse in the obligatory wedding contract that there be no second wife than he cant marry a second woman

Posted by: bored | Oct 10 2018 14:58 utc | 71

Sad to see MoA has degenerated into a spot where if someone decides reality doesn't jibe with that instant's pet conspiracy they just make uo sh1t - job done.
eg the derp who, unable to let his amerikan white supremacist racism go claims "Jamal Kashooggi is a moslem sunni, he does not need a 'divorce' authorization to marry another woman, this time a Turkish woman." - been reading those nazi lies about 'sharia law' no doubt.

Just setting aside the fact that Kashoggi was living in the US and since the trumpet's failed attempt to block entry to amerika of people from known islamic practicing populations, it is now very hard for muslims to get a visa for amerika.
All the legal finagling would have been for Kashoggi to be able to wave some paper under the noses of the redneck arseholes who amerika sticks on airport immigration desks, many Islamic countries run a side by side administration of government legal administration and a religious court system. Depending on how much weight each nation puts on the religious courts this system can get unwieldy and be rife with contradictions.

Still one thing we do know and that is no amount of "the clerics at my mosque annulled the last marriage and hitched me to this Turkish woman" is gonna help Kashoggi get and amerikan visa for his new wife.
The only way Kashoggi could possibly have a chance of getting his woman a visa would be if both sets of marriage rules had all the iis dotted and tts crossed. Hence the need to go to the saudi embassy in Turkey get a divorce and get hitched - a truly despairing sequence getting about 3 days singleness before getting hitched again.
Any way rather than comic book plots of kashoggi slipping into the embassy with instruction from tel aviv or wherever, the simplest explanation is the most likely.

The only real issue, one which amerikans should be asking instead of indulging imaginations is, Was Kashoggi getting literally butchered in the embassy just another one of the many thousands of personal tragedies that have occurred as an unintended consequence of trumpets racist ban, or was it more than that; i.e. was amerika in on the murder and did amerikan officials advance the plot deliberately by denying a visa to the woman in Kashoggi's life? Did someone in the amerikan government set this up so that the trumpet wouldn't have to listen to mbs whining about habouring an apostate any longer?

Posted by: Debsisdead | Oct 10 2018 15:06 utc | 72


Knowing he is in danger and having lived in exile in the USA, I find it very stange that he decided to get inside a Saudi territory in Turkey whose relation with Saudi Arabia is not particularly friendly.
Why did'nt he get that in the USA where he would have been more protected?
No media seems interested in the fiancee and the story behind his risky move. Why?

Posted by: Virgile | Oct 10 2018 15:11 utc | 73

Apparently, a forensics expert was part of the hit squad. Now why would they need a forensics expert??? Is there a way to foil luminol testing? You can't get body parts through airport security, so how did they disappear the parts? Only two practical gruesome ways come to mind, three actually, but the third isn't as practical. If they did what I suspect, it's even more horrific a crime which leads me to conclude that such an intensive operation required a critical motive beyond the obvious one. This act would be a page out of a psychopath's journal and IMO there are two psychotic countries involved.

Posted by: Circe | Oct 10 2018 15:17 utc | 74

So 28 local Consulate employees were abruptly told to take the day off with the excuse that an important diplomatic meeting was taking place the day Khashoggi was scheduled to appear. So if no consular business as usual, why then was Khashoggi's appointment for routine consular business not cancelled? The CCTV video was also removed. So no witnesses or video.

Then two hours later you have the black van with opaque windows leave two hours after it was parked at the back that also makes a second stop at the Consul's home. So were the body parts taken in that van or was the body taken in the van to be dismembered and disappeared at the second location? Why did they need a FORENSICS expert on the team at the scene? Did he play a role in suggesting how to disappear all trace of the Was the Consul's home searched as a second crime scene? Why were the Turks initially up in arms about this and then quieted down?

Lemme tell you; you don't go through all this, flying in a 15-member hit team; comprised of elite Saudi intelligence, with a forensics expert on two jets, give staff the day off, go through all the gruesome business, and then fly them out via two different cities to reach Riyadh just to silence some mild criticism!

No, there's much more going on here, and more parties involved. As I said this smells like Mossad led. To add to it, Trump is just too blasé on this: Oh, I don't know ass! and yet Khashoggi being a U.S. resident and journalist, U.S. intelligence would ALREADY be way ahead of everyone on the details.

This was a coordinated operation. Not sure if the U.S. was involved but maybe they got a head's up. This feels bigger than just offing a guy who's mildly criticizing the Saudi regime and MbS.

Posted by: Circe | Oct 10 2018 17:03 utc | 75

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