Footage of Khashoggi "body double" in his clothes after murder


#1

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2018/10/22/footage-of-khashoggi-body-do.html


#2

Given the levels of ineptitude displayed by the House of Saud in connection with this incident I’m expecting to hear that the entire 15-person hit squad arrived at the consulate packed into a single brightly painted Cooper Mini, circus style.


#3

Say what you like, the Saudi Embassy’s laundry service is impeccable.


#4

Khashoggi’s fiance waiting outside the embassy for him kind of ruined that from the get-go as well; it wouldn’t have mattered how convincing the body double was on video. The ineptitude of cover-up shows how little they thought people would care. Or, at least, certain people. Trump certainly was willing to play along with whatever egregious bullshit the Saudis came up with.


#5

Also they couldn’t get a body double with less hair? That’s way more noticeable than the shoes. Shoes can be easily changed.


#6

Hey cool. It’s like cosplay! :grin:


#7

I’m surprised that they weren’t covered in blood.


#8

Doesn’t seem likely to me that powerful people who are well experienced with surveillance and espionage would accidentally make these mistakes.

This feels more like something in between mocking and arrogance.


#9

So what’s is The Turks beef with Saud that they would reveal how completely they have bugged that embassy?


#10

^^^ Came here to ask the same thing. I’m going to guess it’s something to do with Syria, but it seems a big thing for Turkey to so quickly burn their surveillance operation in such a public manner.


#11

If the Turks are acting logically, then the advantages of whatever their end goal is must outweigh the costs of revealing that they have a window into the Saudi Embassy.

It could be misdirection – they might have mixed external surveillance of the movements of the Saudi agents with information from some other source to arrive at a pretty good guess of what happened in the consulate, then claimed to have recordings in order to make the Saudis sweat and force them to 'fess up. But even if they aren’t compromising any actual clandestine intel sources, they’re still doing something that will get the Saudis monumentally pissed off at them. Even if Saudi Arabia isn’t a major trading partner for Turkey, it’s quite a step to deliberately destroy your relationship with a nation that has quite so much money (and quite so few scruples about liquidating their enemies).

So if they’re doing it, they presumably hope to gain something by doing it. What could that be? Turkey and Iran are now on reasonably good terms, but I doubt that Turkey would go out of their way to piss off the Saudis just because they now feel OK about the Iranians (who the Saudis detest). If Turkey and Iran were strong allies, then anything that hurts the Saudis internationally might look like a good thing to do … but my impression is that they’re not that close.

One possibility that does occur to me is that this is aimed not at Saudi Arabia in general, but at Mohammed bin Salman, who has a lot of enemies (and is making more every day).

The most likely outcome at this point is that some of those involved are going to take the fall for it. The footsoldiers may get executed, some high-ranking officers with good connections will be sent home to spend more time with their families (and quietly compensated behind the scenes). MBS will be officially exonerated, but the stink will still cling to him. So he’ll be privately reprimanded, and he’ll get his wings clipped. He won’t be able to act quite as freely as he did before. (This has already begun to happen; King Salman has taken back some of the powers he delegated to MBS).

And that will please a lot of people in Saudi Arabia, including some of the very wealthy and powerful people that MBS had arrested and confined to a hotel of his choosing – billionaire Al-Waleed bin Talal, former interior minister Prince Mohammed bin Nayef to name only two – or people who feel threatened by MBS – a still longer list. It’s also possible that the initiative was even closer to home: people within King Salman’s own family who didn’t like where MBS was going.

Is it plausible that this isn’t Turkey vs. Saudi Arabia, but a Saudi internal struggle – MBS’s faction vs. everyone else? Maybe someone told the Turks, “If you help us bring down MBS, relations with Saudi Arabia will be bad for a while, but we’ll make it worth your while as soon as we’ve got power again.” And maybe the Turks really do have audio and video of the killing – not because the Turks have the consulate wired up, but because someone on the inside gave it to them.

(In parentheses, that also raises the possibility that the whole thing was a setup from start to finish: did someone tell MBS “Hey, wouldn’t it be great if we had that asshole Khashoggi killed? And I know just how we could do it …” The pitch would probably have been a little subtle and more gradual than that, but that’s the gist of it).

This is all pure speculation. But it would fit a cui bono analysis: who benefits from Turkey blowing this whole thing wide open? If we assume that Turkey (or Erdogan personally) will be somehow compensated for it, then they do. So do MBS’s numerous enemies, who get to see him cut down to size. The Saudi state could even benefit – the Putin doctrine says it’s no bad thing if your detractors abroad believe that they might be suddenly murdered. The real loser (aside from poor Khashoggi and his family) is Mohammed bin Salman. And that’s enough to make me wonder if that’s not the whole point.


#12

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