Seldom has a series name been more appropriate than today, because there are loose ends all over the leading “news” stories of the moment.
• About the Jamal Khashoggi story, there are enough loose ends to knit a thick wool sweater. There’s a lot to this episode that still doesn’t add up, and I doubt we’re anywhere close to knowing the full story. And once again, journalists seem to have little interest in asking after some curious details.
It is reported that Khashoggi was “lured” to Istanbul by the Saudis, but that the proximate reason for going to the Saudi consulate there was to “clear up” some legal requirements to getting remarried. Why did this need to be done at a Saudi consulate in Istanbul? Couldn’t any legal steps necessary for something so mundane as marital status been handled at a Saudi consulate in New York, or London, or Frankfurt?
Second, if he suspected he was walking into a trap at the consulate (as he apparently warned his girlfriend), why did he go into the consulate alone? One explanation is that, as a former Saudi intelligence agent, he couldn’t have a second person accompany him because of the nature of what was supposed to pass between him and the Saudis there.
Third, do we really trust the Turks to be honest brokers over this situation? Just how did they get a recording of what took place? It seems rather sloppy of the Saudis not to have swept their consulate for bugs or checked Khashoggi for a wire, but there are lots of other accounts of how a recording (which has apparently been played for U.S. officials) came to be.
I don’t think we’re anywhere close to the real story here.
• Regarding the “caravan” of “migrants” heading from central America to the southern U.S. border—do Democrats think we were all born yesterday? It is widely known that polls find a lot of apathy and indifference among Hispanic voters in the mid-term election now two weeks out, so what better way to whip up Hispanic voters than to see images in the news of downtrodden migrants being denied entry to the U.S. by the Trump Administration. No one in the media seems to be asking who has organized this large effort just now, how it is being paid for, what logistics are involved (the “caravan” won’t reach the border by election day on foot, so expect them to take some buses along the way—provided and paid for by whom?).
I wrote about this phenomena back in 2015, in “Nothing Happens for No Good Reason.” My exit question was: “If we had real journalists any more, some of them might be reporting on these questions.” Instead, we get this tweet today from AP, apologizing for departing from the party line: