Seeing Khashoggi's Fate as a Death Foretold

Oct 24, 2018 | 05:30 GMT

The entrance to the Saudi Arabian Consulate in Istanbul, pictured on Oct. 17, two weeks after Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi was killed -- accidentally, Saudi Arabia says -- inside the consulate on Oct. 2.

The entrance to the Saudi Arabian Consulate in Istanbul. The Saudi government says journalist Jamal Khashoggi died accidentally during a fight inside the consulate on Oct. 2, a claim that has been met with widespread skepticism.

(OZAN KOSE/AFP/Getty Images)

The killing of Jamal Khashoggi was a death foretold from the time his comments on Saudi Arabia's crown prince and effective ruler, Mohammed bin Salman, reached the royal court. Princes do not tolerate what they perceive to be insults, especially from commoners. In an absolute monarchy, the difference between criticism and treason does not pertain. Khashoggi, for years a loyal subject of the monarchy, dared to suggest that his country refrain from devastating its smaller neighbor, Yemen, and permit the kingdom's inhabitants a measure of freedom. That was enough for his liege lord to perceive him as an enemy of his person and of the state. The official Saudi line denies the crown prince's complicity in Khashoggi's death, but it would have been understood by members of the Saudi government that if Khashoggi continued, others would follow....

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