Bayard & Holmes
~ Piper Bayard & Jay Holmes
The assassination of Saudi dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi is once more in the news now that the Biden administration is “recalibrating” the long-standing relationship between the United States and Saudi Arabia. Rather than silence Khashoggi’s voice the way Free Speech governments do it by getting big tech and media cronies to de-platform and cancel him, Saudi Arabia went old school. Mr. Khashoggi entered the Saudi Arabian Consulate in Istanbul, Turkey, on October 2, 2018, only to be sawed into pieces with a bone saw by a team of Saudis. This was what Bayard & Holmes had to say back when it happened. We thought it aged well, so we are posting it again.
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.
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! Instead 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.
KEY MOMENTS IN ESPIONAGE:
Spy Ships, Intelligence Fails, & the Cold War Era
With the voice of over forty-five years of experience in the Intelligence Community, Bayard & Holmes explore key moments in the history of espionage.
• The rise of spy ships.
• How torpedo boats faced the might of the Soviet Union.
• A blow-by-blow of the USS Liberty incident.
• The North Korean capture of the USS Pueblo and her crew.
• Hitler, Stalin, Mussolini, and the failed Operation Barbarossa.
• The South’s fatal miscalculation.
• The greatest US intelligence failure of all time.
• Andrei Tupolev and the explosion of the Konkordski.
• The U-2 incident and the capture of Gary Powers.
• The rise and fall of Sicily’s Cosa Nostra.
• How China spanked Vietnam.
• Vladimir Putin, the living legacy of the Cold War.
That which has gone before is happening now. That which is happening now has gone before.
Unless Mr. Kashoggi knew the killers and this was a show. Thirty years ago, the Saudis could’ve hired members of New York’s Westies gang to do it. They would’ve have done it here in the good Ol’ USA, no reason to bring him to Turkey.
Yes, back in those times, they could have easily afforded the Westies highest rate. For simplicity sake, they could have mentioned to Joey Gallo (the infamous violent nut job from the Profaci mob family) that a journalist was asking about him.
A 15 man crew to murder one jounalist? Were they afraid that he had Billy Waugh with him? Very strange. I would like to have the full file on this one but we might not ever get that.
Very well said – I’ve shared it on my FB page
Thank you, Dr. Gill. I enjoyed your article on rebranding. Interesting insights.
Covering the hideous murder of a journalist is important, because the assassins are trying to intimidate other reporters into going silent. So I’m glad the world media paid attention to this. Journalists are somewhat routinely murdered for doing their job around the planet, but this one got extra notice because of its outrageous nature, and because … really? Fifteen assassins in your OWN EMBASSY? It’s Pulp Fiction without the fine stylings of Samuel L. Jackson.
To be fair, the media cannot cover all the outrages on the planet. There are too many outrages and not nearly enough reporters and photographers. Journalists ARE going to cover the hideous murder of one of their own zealously, and should–every institution takes care of its own. I see no reason to chastise them for putting a lot of attention on a murdered colleague for a couple of days then moving on, while not being able to cover everything they would like. Every reporter I ever met, including me when I did that for a living, would love to spend a lot of time and energy on ALL the issues you mentioned, and more. But there are not enough of them, not enough money to pay for more, fewer and fewer jobs in the industry, and far too much global corruption and outrage for a media triple the size of what we have now to handle.
Me, I’d abolish all celebrity and gossip “news” and put those resources into covering what you propose. But that’s why nobody will make me a publisher or TV news director.
Thank you for giving us the journalist’s point of view on that. We appreciate you stopping by. ~ Jay Holmes
You’re quite welcome, Jay. I absolutely love your and Piper’s writings, and your warm and happy friendship. The spider web cover on the book is outstandingly eye-catching. Happy sales!
Looking forward to your thoughts on why the CIA recently decided to go public with its confirmation that the prince himself ordered the brutal assassination of that journalist. I didn’t think the CIA made its conclusions public in such a strong way.
Piper here. . . . Thank you, Shane! The cover is my design. I had fun making it. I’ll ask Holmes if he can comment about the Prince.
it’s a pity that all murders of journalists don’t get this much coverage. E.g. the dozens of journalists that have been murdered or gone missing in Russia in recent years.
Russia, China, Turkey, Iran, etc. . . . This one is getting special attention because Russia, Turkey, and Iran are working hard to drive a wedge between the US and Saudi Arabia.