By Tyler Bauer
Jamal Ahmad Khashoggi, a Saudi journalist and U.S. resident, has been missing for about ten days and is presumed dead by many.
Much of Khashoggi’s work has been critical of the Saudi government and its actions, and as a result of his open opposition, Khashoggi fled Saudi Arabia in 2017. In the time since, he has become even more critical of the Saudi government. On October 2, Khashoggi entered the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, Turkey, and he hasn’t been seen or heard from since.
Who Killed Khashoggi?
Technically, this is still unclear. There hasn’t been any evidence presented that can point to who killed Khashoggi. However, it’s pretty easy to make a reasonable assumption. As with any event, it’s best to look at means, motive and opportunity. The Saudi government certainly has the means to kill people – after all, this isn’t the first time the Saudis have killed a civilian. As for motive, the case is pretty clear – the Saudis aren’t exactly open to opposing viewpoints. Killing the opposition is a way of doing business for the Saudi government. Lastly, the Saudis had the opportunity to kill Khashoggi. After all, Khashoggi was (allegedly) killed inside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul.
To make matters worse for the Saudis, Turkey claims to have evidence of Khashoggi being murdered by the Saudis. This has yet to be released, and I seriously doubt if it ever will be released. Nonetheless, I think it’s safe to say that Saudi Arabia is behind Khashoggi’s disappearance and likely murder.
How did Khashoggi Die?
At this point, it’s safe to assume Khashoggi is dead. How he died, though, is gruesome, and is further evidence that he was killed by the Saudis.
Most dissidents are killed in fairly calculated, clean ways. For example, Russian dissidents are shot on the streets of Moscow, shot while visiting foreign countries, or strangled in their own homes. For most countries, there’s an element of precision and cleanliness that goes into killing dissidents.
The Saudis, on the other hand, are messy with their punishments and executions. Saudi Arabia prefers public floggings, public beheadings, and crucifixions. According to reports, Khashoggi was interrogated, tortured, and murdered. Then, his body was dismembered with a bone saw. These reports have likened the nature of Khashoggi’s death to a scene from Pulp Fiction.
So, why did the Saudis so openly and gruesomely murder a journalist? Because they want to send a message, and they know the U.S. won’t try to stop them.