"Produce the Body"
The Saudi government's lies about how they murdered Jamal Khashoggi put Trump to shame. One explanatory scenario has given way to another in blurring succession. They just cannot get their story straight.
Supposedly it was the unfortunate outcome when Khashoggi and some loyal son of Saud resorted to fisticuffs inside the Saudi consulate in Turkey. A spontaneous thing. Couldn't be helped. Most unfortunate.
Who you gonna trust? My money is on David Hirst who cut his teeth on all things Middle Eastern when he was sent to Egypt and Cyprus as a conscript (national service) in the 50s. In the 60s he became the Guardian correspondent for the Middle East until 1997, staying on as a contributor until 2013. The Arabs don't like him. The Israelis don't like him. He's been banned from various Arab states six times and kidnapped twice. If you want the real skinny on the underpinnings of the endless Arab-Israeli conflict and you're ready to work for it, his book, "The Gun and the Olive Branch," is a must-read. When it comes to Western journalists and the Middle East, Hirst is the "pro from Dover."
Hirst maintains Turkish tape recordings suggest that Khashoggi died of repeated stab wounds as he was thrown across a large table inside the consulate. He says one of the team of 15-Saudis flown in for the murder was a doctor known for his dissection skills. This doctor, apparently, sliced and diced Khashoggi into manageable chunks that were then hauled away and buried.
Another interesting point raised by Hirst is that the consulate's Turkish staff were sent home for the day 45 minutes before Khashoggi was to arrive. That one doesn't square very well with the 'spontaneous fist fight' narrative.
The Saudi government's blundering excuses are incredible, unbelievable. Any cop knows that, when a murder suspect begins shifting his story, you can assume he dunnit, especially when none of the stories comports with the facts.
If Mohammad bin Salman wants off the hook, he has to produce Khashoggi's body. Whether intact or in pieces, the corpse has to be autopsied. Until then, the crown prince cannot claim the presumption of innocence.