Saudi Arabia, a place where one can still visit the 7th century and not be in a museum…
My many thanks to David Reaboi for the heads-up on this piece…
I’ve always said that Khashoggi was not a journalist, in fact, he was a ” longtime Saudi intelligence operative” (with good writing skills) whose main aim was to serve the (then) leading power faction heading Saudi Arabia at the time. Once that faction was on the way out did he suddenly find his inner “Jefferson” and his “Western sensed idealism”.
This is also an indictment of the big MSM media, who are wrapped up in their own “Game of Thrones” machinations, which overlaps with international region powerplays as well. Our media is corrupt, it’s bound to happen when ‘big’ corporate entities interact with foreign powers, especially those who are not really representative democracies. The media is as much to blame for skewing stories such as the “Khashoggi Affair” as the propaganda mills responsible for his murder.
Was the new Khashoggi a lonely, idealistic individual or the instrument of Saudi factions in opposition to the ascendant crown prince? Common sense would suggest there’s greater probability in the latter thesis.
Khashoggi, and whoever were his masters in the campaign opposing Prince Mohammed bin Salman, were in a transactional relationship with the Washington Post. They used the Post to undermine their rival and elevate their status. The Post in turn used Khashoggi for its ends of virtue-signaling and accumulating the sort of prestige and power it values. The Post and Team Khashoggi were cooperating, consciously and I daresay cynically, in influence operations for their mutual benefit.
Big Media’s Power Games and the Khashoggi Affair
Jamal Khashoggi was a thoroughly charming and charismatic person. In March 2012, I took the last available seat at a luncheon table at the 20th Public Relations World Congress in Dubai. By sheer accident I found myself sitting next to Khashoggi and conversing with him for an hour or so. It was the first and last time I had any contact with the man.
His gruesome murder last month distressed me deeply. Here was a human being, a prominent one in his own part of the world, who had accorded warmth and courtesy to me, a foreigner in his region. I love Saudi Arabia and the Middle East, which embraced my family and me as our adoptive home for a number of years. I would like to see the tens of millions of citizens of Saudi Arabia enjoy peace, prosperity, and greater freedom.
Big Media’s constant description of Khashoggi as having been a mere “journalist” is a huge and consequential deception. It’s not clear exactly for whom or for what powers and interests Khashoggi was working when he wrote his Washington Post columns, but anyone who understands how the world operates should have a high degree of confidence in saying that he was never a journalist in the sense that word is understood in the free nations of the West.
Of course, he had the writing, editing and broadcasting skills of a journalist, but so do a myriad of other foreign intelligence agents around the world who use journalism as a cover—and in the case of publishing or broadcasting enterprises owned by authoritarian governments, it’s a completely see-through cover. To mischaracterize Khashoggi as having been a journalist is a disservice to the few independent journalists who remain on the planet. It’s a dishonor to women and men who don’t have lavish lifestyles and who report with integrity without being agents of foreign governments.
The Washington Post, which has a direct pipeline to the CIA that bypasses the White House, knows this all too well.
What are the Post’s cunning and persistent disinformation campaigns if not cloaks of darkness that harm democracy? Cui bono?
Jamal Khashoggi was a lively, attractive, interesting human being. No one deserves his cruel fate. His murder was a horrific crime, not only against one man but also against stability and security in the Middle East. That said, justice is not served by Big Media’s misleading reporting. Justice requires reporting clearly and honestly who and what Khashoggi really was. Truth requires uncovering the motives and detailing the consequences of Big Media’s disinformation campaigns.