Needless to say, this story has Byzantine elements considering that the missing journalist entered the Saudi embassy, was not observed leaving, and the embassy allowed reporters in to tour the premises for him. The background of the story is more interesting considering that Jamal Khashoggi was declared an “enemy of the state” because of anti-Trump writing.
In December 2016, The Independent, citing a report from Middle East Eye, said Khashoggi had been banned by Saudi Arabian authorities from publishing or appearing on television “for criticising US President-elect Donald Trump”.
The Turkish police maintains that he had been brutally tortured, murdered and hacked to pieces by a 15-member Saudi death squad sent to Istanbul from Saudi Arabia.
Turkish investigators believe a 15-member team “came from Saudi Arabia. It was a preplanned murder,” said one of the people. Both spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss the ongoing investigation.
They offered no specific evidence to back up the account. Earlier Saturday, however, Turkey’s Anadolu news agency said the Istanbul public prosecutor’s office had opened a probe into Khashoggi’s disappearance. Turkish authorities have said that Khashoggi never left the consulate.
Khashoggi may have been considered especially dangerous by the Saudi leadership, analysts said. His criticisms of the royal family and its vast powers were delivered from his self-imposed exile in the United States and could not be dismissed as the complaints of a longtime dissident.
Rather, he has long been a pillar of the Saudi establishment who was close to its ruling circles for decades, had worked as an editor at Saudi news outlets and had been an adviser to a former Saudi intelligence chief.
The killing, if confirmed, would mark a startling escalation of Saudi Arabia’s effort to silence dissent. Under direction from the crown prince, Saudi authorities have carried out hundreds of arrests under the banner of national security, rounding up clerics, business executives and even women’s rights advocates.
Mr. Trump is the first president in 40 years to retain his personal business interests after entering the White House. Other senior officials in the executive branch are required to divest their assets. Critics say his singular decision to hold on to his global business empire inevitably casts a doubt on his motives, especially when his public actions dovetail with his business interests.
If this is true, I mourn the brilliant Jamal Khashoggi. This must be decried by all defenders of global free press & democracy no differently than if (God forbid) @BillKristol or @JRubinBlogger went into an American consulate & vanished. RT TO PROTEST & stay tuned for more steps https://t.co/y78lU7UJWY
— Norm Eisen (@NormEisen) October 7, 2018
You don’t hand matches to an arsonist, and you don’t give power to an angry left-wing mob. Democrats have become too EXTREME and TOO DANGEROUS to govern. Republicans believe in the rule of law – not the rule of the mob. VOTE REPUBLICAN!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 7, 2018