Axios’ morning email thingie gives us:
U.S. intelligence intercepts show that the crown prince of Saudi Arabia, Mohammed bin Salman, ordered an operation to lure Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi back to Saudi Arabia from his home in Virginia and then detain him,” reports The Post’s Shane Harris.
“The intelligence, described by U.S. officials familiar with it, is another piece of evidence implicating the Saudi regime in Khashoggi’s disappearance last week after he entered the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul.”
N.Y. Times: “A Turkish newspaper close to the government has published a list of 15 men it says formed a hit squad of Saudi government agents the Turks suspect of killing and dismembering [Khashoggi] inside the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul.”
“Turkish officials have cited confidential intelligence to support their contention that Mr. Khashoggi is dead, but have declined to disclose that evidence.”
…and last night on Twitter, a source linked us to in this State Department press briefing… where we learn that we have no ambassadors on the ground in either country. Oops!
AP DIPLOMATIC WRITER MATT LEE: “Who again — what’s the name of the ambassador in Turkey right now?”
PALLADINO: “I don’t have that in front of me right now and I — Matt –”
LEE: “What’s the name of the ambassador in Saudi Arabia right now?”
PALLADINO: “I see what you’re getting at. OK. We are confident in our diplomatic –”
LEE: “The answer is that you don’t have an ambassador in either place, right?”
PALLADINO: “We –”
LEE: “And in fact, the charge in Riyadh has now been nominated to be the ambassador to Yemen. So just is it correct that you do not have ambassadors in place in either Ankara or Riyadh?”
PALLADINO: “But we have diplomatic staff, senior diplomatic officials –”
LEE: “I’m sure you do.”
PALLADINO: “– very much — very much in charge. And yesterday Heather spoke at the top as well about the need for the State Department to get its full team on the field, and we definitely would reiterate our request for our colleagues in the Senate and their assistance in fielding our full camp.”
LEE: “Understood. Who has been nominated to be the new ambassador to Turkey, and who has been nominated to be the new ambassador to Saudi Arabia? Who are the nominees who are awaiting Senate movement?”
PALLADINO: “Matt, I don’t have that in front of me right now. And — but let me just say these are senior Foreign Service officers that have had full careers, and we’re confident in our team’s ability.”
LEE: “You’re sure someone’s been nominated for both positions?”
PALLADINO: “I would have to take the question, Matt.”
LEE: “Robert. Robert, really quickly, just –”
PALLADINO: “Alright, one more. Let’s go to Fox.”
…and you can see that Prznint Stupid has a real, international mess on his tiny, vulgar hands. Letting a foreign government lure a resident of the United States into a trap and then kill him is NOT something most leaders do, and it sends a LOUD message to other bad players, like polonium enthusiast Vlad Putin, and writer of love-letters Kim Jong Un, and Dawg only knows what other autocrats who have a list.
Of course, Comrade Stupid is on it!
Trump’s newest comment on the matter:
“It’s a very bad situation and we’re going to get to the bottom of it.”
Now, it’s not a stretch of the imagination to believe that Trump would be delighted by the death and dismemberment of a WaPo Journalist. And of course we know that Trump is indebted to the Saudis who “spent” a billion Ameros on US defense contractors early in the administration, and who have played some sort of role with Trump’s Fratsputin getting his real estate empire out of trouble.
You gotta dance with them whut brung you, Comrade. Maybe the Orb will help?