Jamal Khashoggi: The Rest of the Story

by Christopher Harper | October 23rd, 2018

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Jamal Khashoggi: The Rest of the Story

Dozens of jour­nal­ists die every year through­out the world, includ­ing some specif­i­cally tar­geted by governments.

Why has the case of Jamal Khashoggi got­ten so much attention?

It’s mainly because he has many friends among Amer­i­can jour­nal­ists, and his death pro­vides yet another oppor­tu­nity to bash Pres­i­dent Trump.

Here’s what you won’t read in most of the stories.

Khashoggi was no choir boy. He sup­ported the Mus­lim Broth­er­hood, an orga­ni­za­tion that wanted the impo­si­tion of sharia, or reli­gious, law. He played a promi­nent role in sev­eral news­pa­pers in Saudi Ara­bia, which means he had close ties with the royal fam­ily. He even served as a media adviser to Prince Turki Al Faisal, who was the Saudi ambas­sador to the United States. Var­i­ous sources said he worked with Saudi intel­li­gence ser­vices through­out the world.

He took up res­i­dence in the United States in June 2017 and started writ­ing occa­sional columns for The Wash­ing­ton Post. Most of them attacked Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. You can read most of the columns here: https://​www​.wash​ing​ton​post​.com/​n​e​w​s​/​g​l​o​b​a​l​-​o​p​i​n​i​o​n​s​/​w​p​/​2018​/​10​/​06​/​r​e​a​d​-​j​a​m​a​l​-​k​h​a​s​h​o​g​g​i​s​-​c​o​l​u​m​n​s​-​f​o​r​-​t​h​e​-​w​a​s​h​i​n​g​t​o​n​-​post/

What really gave the story legs are Khashoggi’s friends in the media. Thomas Fried­man and Nick Kristof wrote of their rela­tion­ships with the mur­dered Khashoggi.

Pray­ing for Jamal Khashoggi,” a col­umn writ­ten by Fried­man, details his long-​standing rela­tion­ship with an impor­tant source about Saudi Arabia.

Kristof amps it up in his col­umn. “I had known Jamal for more than 15 years, and I’m appalled by every ele­ment of what hap­pened: By what appears to have been his bru­tal torture-​murder, by the cover-​up after­ward, by Pres­i­dent Trump’s down­play­ing of Jamal’s killing,” he writes.

Kristof closes the loop in his attack on Trump.

That’s the under­ly­ing meme of the exten­sive cov­er­age of the mur­der. Trump is a bad guy because his son-​in-​law, Jared Kush­ner, is friends with the crown prince of Saudi Arabia.

I haven’t ever seen this much cov­er­age of the death of a jour­nal­ist, with the pos­si­ble excep­tions of pho­tog­ra­pher James Foley at the hands of ISIS or the death of Wall Street Jour­nal reporter Daniel Pearl at the hands of al-​Qaeda.

But the inten­sity of the cov­er­age of Khashoggi fits the media’s plan of attack on Trump just before the midterm elections.

There’s one other part of the story that doesn’t get much cov­er­age. Only a hand­ful of out­lets like Forbes have raised the issue. What is Turkey up to?

As Forbes notes: “It’s end­lessly aston­ish­ing how the global news media can gen­er­ate such a moun­tain of noise over a par­tic­u­lar topic with­out once ask­ing the most obvi­ous, the most ger­mane ques­tions. What are the Turks up to? What’s the game here? They’ve man­aged to endure years of for­eign nation­als being exe­cuted on Turk­ish soil.… Of course they should be out­raged. But for them to develop a sen­si­tive heart sud­denly over this one out­rage sug­gests other cal­cu­la­tions afoot.”

The Turks want to oust Saudi Ara­bia as the lead­ers of Sunni Islam and get the United States to end eco­nomic sanc­tions for a vari­ety of bad deeds. Cui podest?

I’m not sug­gest­ing his mur­der was jus­ti­fied in any way, but now you know the rest of the story.

Dozens of journalists die every year throughout the world, including some specifically targeted by governments.

Why has the case of Jamal Khashoggi gotten so much attention?

It’s mainly because he has many friends among American journalists, and his death provides yet another opportunity to bash President Trump.

Here’s what you won’t read in most of the stories.

Khashoggi was no choir boy. He supported the Muslim Brotherhood, an organization that wanted the imposition of sharia, or religious, law. He played a prominent role in several newspapers in Saudi Arabia, which means he had close ties with the royal family. He even served as a media adviser to Prince Turki Al Faisal, who was the Saudi ambassador to the United States. Various sources said he worked with Saudi intelligence services throughout the world.

He took up residence in the United States in June 2017 and started writing occasional columns for The Washington Post. Most of them attacked Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. You can read most of the columns here: https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/global-opinions/wp/2018/10/06/read-jamal-khashoggis-columns-for-the-washington-post/

What really gave the story legs are Khashoggi’s friends in the media. Thomas Friedman and Nick Kristof wrote of their relationships with the murdered Khashoggi.

“Praying for Jamal Khashoggi,” a column written by Friedman, details his long-standing relationship with an important source about Saudi Arabia.

Kristof amps it up in his column. “I had known Jamal for more than 15 years, and I’m appalled by every element of what happened: By what appears to have been his brutal torture-murder, by the cover-up afterward, by President Trump’s downplaying of Jamal’s killing,” he writes.

Kristof closes the loop in his attack on Trump.

That’s the underlying meme of the extensive coverage of the murder. Trump is a bad guy because his son-in-law, Jared Kushner, is friends with the crown prince of Saudi Arabia.

I haven’t ever seen this much coverage of the death of a journalist, with the possible exceptions of photographer James Foley at the hands of ISIS or the death of Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl at the hands of al-Qaeda.

But the intensity of the coverage of Khashoggi fits the media’s plan of attack on Trump just before the midterm elections.

There’s one other part of the story that doesn’t get much coverage. Only a handful of outlets like Forbes have raised the issue. What is Turkey up to?

As Forbes notes: “It’s endlessly astonishing how the global news media can generate such a mountain of noise over a particular topic without once asking the most obvious, the most germane questions. What are the Turks up to? What’s the game here? They’ve managed to endure years of foreign nationals being executed on Turkish soil…. Of course they should be outraged. But for them to develop a sensitive heart suddenly over this one outrage suggests other calculations afoot.”

The Turks want to oust Saudi Arabia as the leaders of Sunni Islam and get the United States to end economic sanctions for a variety of bad deeds. Cui podest?

I’m not suggesting his murder was justified in any way, but now you know the rest of the story.

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