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Who is lying about Jamal Khashoggi, Turkey or Saudi Arabia?

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Who is lying about Jamal Khashoggi Turkey or Saudi Arabia

In the case of journalist Jamal Khashoggi’s disappearance, either the Turks or the Saudis are lying. For all intents and purposes, it is completely infeasible to believe they are both telling the truth. Either way, Khashoggi, who wrote for the Washington Post and has resided in the United States, is either dead or a prisoner.

Here are the assertions and alleged pieces of evidence Turkey has laid out for the world:

  • Video footage shows Khashoggi entering the Saudi consulate in Istanbul but never leaving
  • Numerous cameras at the compound were allegedly not recording at the time of his visit
  • A 15-member Saudi “kill team” has been identified
  • The team was seen entering the compound when Khashoggi was there
  • Despite offering to allow an entry, the Saudis have not allowed any Turkish investigators into the compound
  • The Saudis claim he left unharmed, but no evidence has been provided to back this claim and no video footage of him outside the compound after he entered has been found
  • Khashoggi’s fiancee waited outside for him and has not seen him since he entered

All of this, if true, is pretty damaging to the Saudi’s claim that he left unharmed. However, before we jump to the obvious conclusion, let’s first consider a few things. First, the video evidence presented by Turkey has been heavily edited and contains inconsistencies, according to the Washington Post.

We have a likely case of murder or kidnap by the Saudis, but there’s still a chance that Turkey is attempting to frame them. There really aren’t any other viable possibilities.

That means one of them is lying. We’re not talking about little lies. Either Turkey or Saudi Arabia has captured or killed Khashoggi and is in the process of trying to cover it up. While all the evidence points to Saudi Arabia, the evidence is all provided by Turkey. If they were responsible, then it would be easy for them to compile this information and pin it on the Saudis.

If I were to put percentages to the likelihood of guilt, it would be 90/10 that Turkey is telling the truth and Saudi Arabia is covering up an abduction and/or murder. Unfortunately, it’s not quite certain enough to dismiss Turkey altogether.

What this means to us

Both countries are sort of allies. Turkey is our NATO ally and the Saudis have been our second best partners in the Middle East with Israel being our best. Whoever perpetrated this crime and coverup should no longer be our allies in any regard. Both nations are important to the United States, though Saudi Arabia is much more important as the both the catalyst for a future Middle East peace deal as well as one of the forces that props up the U.S. economy despite over $21 trillion worth of debt.

None of that matters if they murdered Khashoggi. We cannot allow our government to do business with a regime that perpetrates this type of crime against someone with deep U.S. ties. He was critical of the Saudi government, which may be enough of a motive to order a hit. Or, it could have been something else. Regardless of why he was abducted and/or killed, it would be unacceptable to continue our positive relationship with them.

Some would argue that it’s just one life that is outweighed by the importance of Saudi Arabia’s (or Turkey’s) friendship during these tumultuous times, but that’s not how we work. That’s not the American way. “Just one life” is too many for a government to take in cold blood.

The whole truth may never been known to the general public. One thing is certain: whoever abducted or killed Khashoggi should be immediately removed from any aid or weapons sales agreements we currently have in place.

Update: Senator Rand Paul has the same idea, though he’s apparently 100% certain it was the Saudis who perpetrated the act.

Foreign Affairs

Saudi foreign minister does damage control on American press

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Saudi foreign minister does damage control on American press

The foreign relations mess stemming from Jamal Khashoggi’s murder continues to grow more chaotic despite Saudi Arabia’s attempt to cover it up with regularly changing stories. The latest attempt at damage control comes from Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir.

Fox News’ Bret Baier him, pressing multiple times about Mohammad bin Salman’s role in or knowledge of the operation that led to Khashoggi’s murder. The blame is being placed on the individuals who carried out the operation; as much space is being created between the direct actors and Saudi leadership as possible.

One important note in the interview was when al-Jubier said they do not believe the entire 15-man “kill team” was at the consulate where when Khashoggi was killed there. He admitted he did not know whether Turkey really had a recording of what happened during the incident, nor whether the United States had intelligence that contradicted the Kingdom’s story.

The responses from the foreign minister were in stark contrast to the indignation exuding from the Kingdom for two weeks following the initial report of Khashoggi’s disappearance.

My Take

As I wrote last week, Saudi Arabia gravely underestimated the international response to this incident. They thought they could get rid of a dissident as they have done in the past and the response would be muted. They didn’t take into account his American ties and the desire of the Turks to expose them at every turn.

How is this going to end? It won’t, at least not for a while. Unlike other international news stories of similar magnitude, this one has multiple forces bent on keeping the story going until a satisfactory resolution is reached. It won’t be reached. The White House and the Kingdom will do whatever they can to sweep this under the rug and make people forget.

This stinks, but here’s the sad reality: “Justice” will not be delivered the way it should and the relationship between Saudi Arabia and the United States will return to the status quo in a few months.

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Foreign Affairs

Pulling out of the INF treaty isn’t just about Russia

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Pulling out of the INF treaty has very little to do with Russia

Russia has broken the treaty already, according to this administration as well as its predecessor. That’s enough to prompt President Trump to put out of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) treaty, famously signed by President Reagan and Soviet General Secretary Gorbachev in 1987.

President Trump to pull US from Russia missile treaty

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-45930206The US will withdraw from a landmark nuclear weapons treaty with Russia, President Donald Trump has confirmed.

Speaking to reporters, Mr Trump said Russia had “violated” the 1987 Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) treaty.

The deal banned ground-launched medium-range missiles, with a range of between 500 and 5,500km (310-3,400 miles).

My Take

This isn’t about Russia. Their actions are the excuse for pulling out, but the reason for doing so is because China has no such restrictions. They’re advancements in weaponry have prompted the United States and our allies to explore means of warfare that have been prohibited.

Until now.

This is a counter to China’s continued aggressive actions. Russia will keep doing what Presidents Obama and Trump already acknowledged. No we can step up our missile program as well.

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Conspiracy Theory

Russian meddling is about dividing us, not helping Trump

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Russian meddling is about dividing us not helping Trump

Russia is meddling with our elections. They’re meddling with our entire political system. They’re meddling in our culture, freedoms, and methods of communication. I once believed they were trying to help Donald Trump become President. Now I realize they are simply elements of chaos.

Today’s report of charges filed against a Russian agent working against American interests is striking for two reasons. First, the details they’ve been able to uncover about “Project Lakhta” are astounding. Second, their strategic goal was NOT to get one person or one party into office but to sow division among the American people regardless of their political ideology.

First charge filed against Russian for interfering with elections

http://noqreport.com/2018/10/19/first-charge-filed-russian-interfering-elections/“The strategic goal of this alleged conspiracy, which continues to this day, is to sow discord in the U.S. political system and to undermine faith in our democratic institutions,” said G. Zachary Terwilliger, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia. “This case demonstrates that federal law enforcement authorities will work aggressively to investigate and prosecute the perpetrators of unlawful foreign influence activities whenever feasible, and that we will not stand by idly while foreign actors obstruct the lawful functions of our government. I want to thank the agents and prosecutors for their determined work on this case.”

Russia didn’t want Trump or Clinton to be President. They didn’t really care who won. All they wanted and continue to want is that no matter who wins any given election, the opposition will be so hateful about the loss that they’re willing to act out more aggressively than they otherwise would have normally.

It’s finally becoming clear that Russia’s plan is much more subverted and, frankly, ingenious than anything mainstream media or the Democrats could have ever fathomed.

They are taking advantage of our freedom of speech and the technology that allows that speech to reach the masses. They’re theory is that if they can get people on both sides of the political spectrum to voice their opinions with hate rather than understanding, it will spread. Those who have practiced thoughtful debate are now becoming raving ranters. Those who once argued their points thoughtfully are now becoming trolls.

Russia is not the only negative actor in this and the trends were already pointing to this divisiveness taking hold and spreading like a virus well before Project Lakhta was conceived, but they have definitely added to the cacophony and harnessed our vilest emotional responses to be used against us.

Their goal is to push as many people towards the fringes as possible. They want the far-left and the far-right to grow. They want debates to turn into arguments, then arguments to turn into blind rage. From there, they speculated that we would be the initiators of our own destruction.

They may be right.

From the Brett Kavanaugh confirmation debacle to the illegal immigration debate to anything that has to do with gun rights, Americans on both sides of the aisle are becoming more passionate. That’s leading many to become unhinged. When enough people are unhinged, any hopes of civil discourse can be forgotten. We are getting to the point where we no longer discuss our differences. We simply try to shout our perspectives louder than those opposed to us.

The left is the easier target. I’m not just saying that as a conservative. I say that because their position on issues make it easier for them to be emotional when news breaks about an event important to them. This is why those who blame racism for everything are not only seeing racism in every aspect of American life but are feeling justified in practicing their own versions of racism.

We now see that Russia’s goal wasn’t to get Trump elected. It was to make one side or the other absolutely hate the outcome regardless of who won. They aren’t pushing a political agenda. They’re pushing a cultural apocalypse.

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