WE MAY never know if Mr Kashoggi had a premonition about his visit to the Saudi embassy in Istanbul. He walked in to complete some routine paperwork to marry the anxious lady waiting outside for him, and has now become part of journalism history.
But for his incredible foresight to wear his Apple watch recording device, synched up to his iPhone with his finance’ outside, we would not have the amazing evidence of his murder that Turkish officials have been dangling about with leaks to keep world’s attention on the story.
Because she waited for him until the embassy closed, I suspect the poor woman had not been listening to what had happened to him in real time or she most certainly would have alerted authorities. I cannot imagine her horror when she finally did play the recording.
For those who did this, and all those involved in the planning, being executed in the same manner that Mr Kashoggi was sent into the hereafter is the only just punishment for them, with the exception that they will burn in the infernal regions.
But now I must transition from what I might wish for, into what we all must do to honour Mr Kashoggi, and those I am sad to say will be following him if we cannot create a revolution against immunity for state sponsored murders, whether it be one at a time or bombing a wedding or bus load of children. There should be zero immunity for such acts. This problem is way beyond the killing of journalists.
I don’t mean to overshadow the theme in his last Washington Post column where he warned us of the dark cloud of media repression that has descended upon the Arab world, and certainly not the only place. He made his case well, and I do not have to repeat it here, as you can read it in the link above.
It is hard not to be pessimistic about the chances of turning the situation around, as the Arab governments are only part of the problem; the other being who has gained ownership of most of the media in many of these countries, and the who their silent partners are.
In the US, when Rupert Murdoch wanted to penetrate the US media market, he used two main tools. First, he sought out a corruptible, powerful politician in Newt Gingrich, who once was teaching at a nondescript college in Georgia next to my Congressional district.
The US laws had to be changed for a foreign entity to purchase a major media platform, or platforms in Murdoch’s case; and Newt Gingrich, as speaker of the house, was just the political player he needed in the post-Reagan years, after he had enabled consolidation of US media which eventually killed off the independents.
Less known is what came with the Murdoch media empire, and that was the intelligence service of a small country in the Mideast who saw the long-term benefit of getting control of a big slice of US media for many reasons, one of them being the political power it gave to take care of friends and punish enemies, or even critics.
While Russia has taken the accusation heat for interfering in US elections, in comparison to what Israel has done here, Russia has not even gotten started. Before one can run for Congress in the US there is a virtual swearing in that takes place where candidates must pledge allegiance to always support anything Israel wants from the US. Ex-Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney once described this in detail to a group of Palestinians in Atlanta, one of whom briefed me after the meeting. None of it surprised me. The same.
Although McKinney considered herself a long time supporter of Israel, that was not enough for them. They wanted it in writing. She would not do this, and their support vanished overnight. All the Hollywood celebrities who had pledged to support her went silent.
I share that story not to pile all the blame on Israel, but because it has been so successful. But the big problem is that Israel paved the way for intelligence organizations viewing ‘independent media’ as a ludicrous concept, that such a powerful influencing medium needed to be in the right hands for national security reasons. That is the card always played when they do something they are not supposed to do.
It was five years ago when Veterans Today started writing about ‘fake news’ and ‘fake media’. Our context was not about what it is now, fabricated stories, but carefully rolling out the theme of how deeply the Intel orgs have penetrated media. It is an industrial-scale business where everyone who can do it, does.
Mr Kashoggi is dead only partly for what he had presented us on media repression. It was no surprise to us that when States or their security organisations lay a heavy hand on domestic media, it is one more small step toward punishing all critics who will not submit. Silencing and killing journalists has been in fashion for some time.
But the horror inflicted on poor Mr Kashoggi is the exception. Intelligence agencies have huge options available to them to speed up a pesky journalist’s demise in a way that leaves no tracks back to who ordered the wet work to be done. There are non-public ways, like the routine trip to the hospital where a mistake was made resulting in a dead patient, or even the disguise of natural passing.
I have saved the worst news for last, and the biggest challenge for us all. Yes, it would be nice to launch an international press jihad against intimidating, imprisoning and killing journalists. Catherine Shakdam did a wonderful article for New Eastern Outlook on the breadth and depth of the revulsion to Kashoggi’s gruesome murder. It is a must read. But I feel Mr Kashoggi would want us to raise our sights to go hunting bigger game.
There is a much more dangerous threat out there that hangs over far more than journalists, and this is the trend in what has been happening to those who disagree with State policy. It is open season on critics of any government policy that can be framed as a national security issue, where those revealing or opposing anti-democratic policies are murder targets themselves.
I am talking about the growth in extrajudicial killings by a growing list of state perpetrators, with the victims coming from all walks of life. Government actors on state payrolls are doing the work, but even more troubling, we see the growing army of private special operations people providing a hiring pool for Murder Incorporated, on a scale normal people would find hard to imagine.
This is why VT has rallied against the huge expansion of the Special Operations Command, as we saw it as using taxpayer money to train top-tier killers who were being quickly cycled back out to the private contractor market. The numbers were beyond what we had seen of bad apples among retired military wanting to live the good life doing one or two nasty jobs a year. It had become an expanding industrial scale market.
So far, we do not see a single international institution taking up the mantel against this scourge. It is what has supplied the regime-change hired killer manpower needed, from the illiterate unemployed jihadist in Russia, to highly trained Special Ops people.
VT discovered a large contingent, five figures, hidden in the budget of one of the big internet platforms. When we made quiet inquiries to our old sources as to what this number of people could possibly be used for, the answer came back quickly, ‘destabilization and regime change operations’.
Until we build a defensive mechanism to be able to punish state actors for extra-judicial killings, we will see the carnage continuing to grow. The deep state loves the idea of its opponents being murdered, as the cost is small and the risk of prosecution is zero.
I don’t have an action plan other than that to call for more public exposure on this threat, to get a big public discussion going on to build enough strength to start turning the tide back on immunity for privileged, well connected murderers, both in and out of uniform, and in and out of government.
Gordon Duff delved into this issue with his last NEO, pointing out that Kashoggi had not really become a target until he criticised Trump, who already had his own record for demonising the media and journalists, with Jeff Bezos, owner of the Washington Post being shown what could happen to those who criticise powerful people.
Bezos led the way in pumping some of his huge fortune into buying a media platform that could not be pressured economically. Was the Washington Post hiring of Mr Kashoggi another turning of the screw for speaking truth to power? As Gordon Duff posed in his article, Kashoggi was murdered not for his criticism of the Saudi Crown Prince, but of Donald Trump.
Will that even be looked into? We shall have to wait and see. But we have the biggest opening to push back against the mass murderers among us who have long viewed themselves as untouchable. The worldwide revulsion to Kashoggi’s killing could be our last and only chance to save ourselves from these demons, so let us lock arms and move forward.
Jim W Dean, managing editor for Veterans Today, producer/host of Heritage TV Atlanta, specially for the online magazine ‘New Eastern Outlook’.
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