After Khashoggi’s death
Jamal Khashoggi never intended to be a dissident. For many years, he wrote for and edited newspapers in Saudi Arabia, and he served as an aide in Saudi embassies in Washington and London.
What prompted him to leave the kingdom, and to begin writing columns for The Post, was the sharp increase in domestic repression under Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman — the “fear, intimidation, arrests and public shaming of intellectuals and religious leaders who dare to speak their minds,” as Khashoggi put it in his first Post op-ed, in September 2017.
For the next year, the then-58year-old journalist jousted with the then-32-year-old Saudi ruler in the pages of The Post and on the Internet.
Khashoggi’s ability to wage this debate ended on Oct. 2, 2018. On that day, our columnist walked into the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul, where he was quickly suffocated and his body dismembered by a team of 15 dispatched from Riyadh. According to the CIA, Mohammed bin Salman almost certainly ordered the murder; a U.N. investigation also held him responsible. In one sense, he succeeded: Khashoggi’s trenchant columns no longer appear in The Post, while the crown prince and his closest aide, Saud al-Qahtani, who oversaw the operation, have escaped justice. (AP)