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Naming Names, Turks Turn Up Heat on Saudis in Consulate Case (nytimes.com)
40 points by jbegley 65 days ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 13 comments



Feels like they may be taking a leaf out of the Russo-Skripal handbook here, and making barely any effort to cover their tracks as a show of brazeness to other potential defectors/dissidents. Guessing some fallen-from-favour minor Saud is going to take the fall to keep things smooth between the two countries.


It was incredibly stupid of them to commit the murder at the embassy. It totally removes plausible deniability and draws unnecessary attention to their embassy. They knew his schedule and could have performed the assassination shortly before or after the embassy visit and still be able to intimidate their enemies.

Another thing Khashoggi's murder highlights: it's becoming increasingly difficult for intelligence services to hide the identifies and activities of their operatives. Competent researchers can much more easily map them out by accessing social media, CCTV data, public government databases and the occasional leak.


There are obvious examples of this and you may be entirely correct, but does this apply to countries that aren’t dictatorships or similar? Israel, China, USA, Britain, France, Germany, Italy et al seem to be doing ok at keeping their dirty work quiet, or am I just missing the news? It seems unlikely that they all have clean hands.


I think killing a political dissident in another country that’s not actively at war is considered a bit beyond the pale by most democracies, doubly so if you’re putatively on good terms with them.

Mossad, alternatively: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Assassination_of_Mahmoud_Al-... — although the victim was far from either a dissident or turncoat.


Extraordinary renditions come to mind. While murder wasn’t the primary aim, it happened. That involved numerous democracies.


While I’m sure there are occasional counter examples, weren’t these largely from either war zones or with the cooperation of the host country?


Yes - I’m not sure if that makes it better or worse.


I guess my point is that maybe they wanted the “unnecessary attention”


> "Western intelligence agencies have generally regarded their Turkish counterparts as reliable on domestic matters."

I struggle to believe the author wrote this with a straight face. Are these the same reliable intelligence services that just help purged half the Army officer corps, Judiciary and Turkey's teachers because they are conspiring with a religious leader in the USA? [0] I am quite sure they would point fingers at whoever Erdogan wanted a finger pointed at.

I don't know the politics going on behind the scenes here, but I do not believe anything either side are saying.

[0] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2016%E2%80%93present_purges_in...


Keep in mind that the U.S. has communication intercepts [0] that show the Saudis were discussing luring him from Virginia and that the Crown Prince directly ordered it.

[0] https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/crown...


The FETO thing is a very, very, large ball of wax. It is a mistake to dismiss it out of hand. That said, the US and Turkey don't see eye to eye on a host of things, but my understanding is that the military and intelligence cooperation/trust between our two countries is significantly stronger than Tweets from our respective leaders would indicate. Whether or not you believe it, I believe they believe it when they say it.


It's been wild living in the Middle East and watching this turn into a first rate shitstorm across the region, with the Saudis lining up allies to farcically yell "Fake news!" in the face of the evidence being dribbled out by the Turks.

I wish the USA could convincingly say something to the Saudis, but with our recent surrender of the moral high ground (and indeed increasingly convincing speculation that we armed the Saudis with intelligence that informed this purge), that is probably not going to happen.


Why would this would prompt the US to try and change things if events of 2001 didnt?




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