Playing for keeps

To reiterate, this is an editorial written last year about the slaying of a Washington Post columnist by agents of the government of Saudi Arabia — a regime the Trump administration continues to cozy up to and has committed to sending 2,800 more of our troops to help with their war against Yemen:

My goodness, some Saudi Arabians play rough.

That’s the only conclusion one can reach after the Saudi government finally confirmed that Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi was killed in its consulate in Turkey.

The announcement also confirmed that 18 people have been arrested in connection with Khashoggi’s death and another five governmental officials have been fired. Among the folks that were fired were Saud al-Qahtani, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s adviser, and deputy intelligence chief Maj. Gen. Ahmed al-Assiri.

The Saudi statement says Khashoggi died after an argument in the consulate escalated into a fistfight. That Khashoggi must have been one tough dude — who ever heard of one guy picking a fight with 18 other guys?

Now, there is some question about the Saudi explanation because Turkey claims they have an audiotape of the killing and, not only did the Saudis kill the columnist, they dismembered his body. There apparently was also some talk of the possession of a bone saw by the Saudis. Just like an American Express card, the Saudis never leave home without one.

The Washington Post reported:

“Turkish investigators had concluded days ago that Khashoggi was killed and dismembered by a Saudi team dispatched to Istanbul. U.S. officials have said that Turkey has audio and video recordings providing evidence that the journalist was interrogated and killed inside the consulate and his body cut into several pieces.”

Even President Donald Trump admitted that the Saudis story doesn’t add up. The president has been urging patience with the Saudis while they investigate Khashoggi’s death. Apparently, even Trump’s patience wore a little thin when the Saudis asked for another month to conduct a thorough investigation.

A known critic of the Saudi government, Khashoggi reportedly went to the consulate to pick up papers needed for his wedding. After a camera caught him entering the consulate on Oct. 2, he was never seen alive again.

* Editorials reflect the opinion of the publisher.