Bayard & Holmes

~ Piper Bayard & Jay Holmes


According to a variety of public news sources, Saudi dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi entered the Saudi Arabian Consulate in Istanbul, Turkey, only to be sawed into pieces with a bone saw by a team of Saudis.

First and foremost, our deepest sympathies to Mr. Khashoggi’s loved ones. It takes a great deal of courage to be a dissident in a country that still stones people to death at law. We have the greatest respect for Mr. Kashoggi and other journalists who actually risk their lives in their dedication to uncovering truth and shedding light into the world’s darkest corners.

Jamal Khashoggi
Image by Alfagih, Wikimedia Commons
GNU Free Documentation License

That being said, . . .

Really, Saudi Arabia? You chartered two jets and sent fifteen guys–including a colonel in state security, a senior special operations professional, and a forensic specialist–to whack a journalist in Turkey, and this is the best you could do? What? You never thought of giving a Turkish hooker $300 and an axe? Mr. Khashoggi would have never been heard from again. No one would even be looking at you for this. You also could have gained some nice political mileage by pinning it on Iran, but did you think that one through? No! You indulged in some kind of overkill “Pulp Fiction” drama that couldn’t have passed for a real plan with a street gang in Iowa. Inspector Clouseau wouldn’t have been this bumbling–or expensive! We thought the Russians were bad with their indiscriminate poisonings, but you, Saudi Arabia, take the goat with this one.

Remember those legendary homeboys of yours known as the Hashashins? You know. The ones that put the “assassin” in “assassinations”? Yeah. They are rolling in their graves, and we don’t mean hash joints. They have disowned you completely for this shoddy, amateurish display. We here at Bayard & Holmes recommend that from now on, you take a clue from the electronics industry and outsource your business to China, because you are clearly out of your league.

Saudi Arabia, have you not noticed that Erdogan’s regime in Turkey has become infamous for arresting and disappearing journalists? No modern government knows more about vanishing journalists than the Erdogan dictatorship. They are not only the world’s leading experts at silencing journalists, they also have vast experience in disappearing expatriate dissidents overseas. Although they may not have surpassed the Iranians in that particular art form, you missed another obvious opportunity by not asking your host country’s advice in this matter.

And on another note, while we do have the deepest sympathies for Mr. Kashoggi’s loved ones and the greatest respect for journalists who risk their lives uncovering the depth of corruption and depravity in states where death is the common result for doing so, there is a great irony in the fact that the death of one journalist should receive more attention and outrage from the media and the public than the fact that children are starving to death daily in Venezuela, children are being raped daily by pedophile government officials in Afghanistan, and gay teens are being hung on a regular basis in Iran. Those are the stories that journalists risk their lives to bring to the world. We do not disagree that the assassination of one dissident journalist is a moral crisis. It is. We only hope that some day the media will care as much for the suffering children as they do for one of their own.

Rest in peace, Mr. Khashoggi. Thank you for having the courage to share your voice.