Home Page Election 2019 News Opinion Foreign Policy Politics Policy Legislation Lobbying Hill Life & People Hill Climbers Heard On The Hill Calendar Archives Classifieds
Hill Times Events Inside Ottawa Directory Hill Times Store Hill Times Careers The Wire Report The Lobby Monitor Parliament Now
Subscribe Free Trial Reuse & Permissions Advertising
Log In
Global

The Khashoggi tapes

By Gwynne Dyer      

Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman may go on for a while, despite the disaster of his military intervention in Yemen, his fruitless blockade of Qatar, and even this ugly murder. He wouldn’t be the only killer in power. But the bloom is definitely off this particular rose.

Former Saudi dissident and Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi was killed on Oct. 2 after he went to the Saudi consulate in Istanbul. Saudi Arabia has changed its story a few times, but it fired five top officials and arrested 18 Saudis it says were connected to the killing. Photograph courtesy of April Brady/Project on Middle East Democracy
LONDON, U.K.—How odd. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan sends an audio recording of the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi in the Saudi Arabian consulate in Istanbul to the governments of all Turkey’s major NATO allies, and the only one that gets it is Canada.
What happened to the copies that Erdogan sent to the United States, France, the United Kingdom and Germany? Lost in the mailroom, no doubt, or maybe just lying unopened on somebody’s desk. Or perhaps the Turks just didn’t put enough stamps on the packages.
“We gave them the tapes,” said Erdogan on Nov. 10. “They’ve also listened to the conversation, they know it.” But still not a word out of Washington or London acknowledging that they have heard the recordings, and French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian denied that France has received a copy.
When asked if that meant Erdogan was lying, Le Drian replied: “It means that he has a political game to play in these circumstances.” Like most Western politicians and diplomats, he is desperate to avoid calling out Saudi Arabia’s de facto ruler, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, as a murderer.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said last week that Canadian intelligence has the recording and he is well aware of what is on it. In fact, Canadian intelligence agencies have been working very closely with Turkey on the murder investigation, and Canada is ‘in discussions with our like-minded allies as to the next steps with regard Saudi Arabia.’ The Hill Times photograph by Andrew Meade

The French have a highly profitable commercial relationship with the oil-rich kingdom, mostly selling it arms, and they don’t want to acknowledge the evidence on the recording (which may directly implicate the Crown prince) because it could jeopardize that trade.

Explore, analyze, understand
Democracy, Terrorism and Killer Robots: Embassy News covers the 2015 Halifax International Security Forum
The Halifax International Security Forum is one of the world’s biggest gatherings of defence and security leaders.

Get the book
Election cybersecurity: a comprehensive look at the threats and solutions ahead of 2019
Election cybersecurity concerns in Canada.

Get the book
Related Policy Briefings
Defence Policy Briefing
Short and informative analyses on policy challenges that bring background and recommendations to policymakers, journalists and the general public.

Read policy briefing
Environment
Short and informative analyses on policy challenges that bring background and recommendations to policymakers, journalists and the general public.

Read policy briefing

Politics This Morning

Get the latest news from The Hill Times

Politics This Morning


Your email has been added. An email has been sent to your address, please click the link inside of it to confirm your subscription.

Trudeau’s handling of Wet’suwet’en blockades critical to his political credibility, say pollsters and former Liberal cabinet minister Nault

News|By Abbas Rana
'It clearly is becoming a moment in Canada where everyone's paying attention,’ says Innovative Research president Greg Lyle.

Immigration Minister Mendicino’s team includes three new directors

Feature|By Laura Ryckewaert
Plus, Hill Climbers dives into the team working in Families, Children, and Social Development Minister Ahmed Hussen’s office.

Senators put spotlight back on harassment, ‘loophole’ blocked bullying complaint, says one

‘It’s gotten worse as the Senate has diversified,’ says Lillian Dyck.

Public service hiring up, but report finds manager, employee concerns around feds’ new staffing process

News|By Mike Lapointe
A recent government survey found that although just under 92 per cent of public service managers believe that appointees can do the job they were hired for, just under 54 per cent of employees agreed.

UNDRIP provides ‘guide’ to resolving tensions among Indigenous communities over questions of authority, say experts

News|By Beatrice Paez
'We have to move beyond public platitudes and eloquent statements; we need a reality whereby Indigenous law and institutions are placed on the same level as common law,' says Grand Chief Stewart Phillip.

UN nuclear disarmament rep ‘counting on Canada’ to help bridge tricky international divides

News|By Mike Lapointe
'Disarmament is not something idealistic or a utopian ideology,' says UN high rep for disarmament affairs Izumi Nakamitsu, and that it's 'part of security.'

Black Canadian groups call on feds to address economic inequities facing community

News|By Beatrice Paez
'The work they’re doing is going to need to speak for itself,' says Liberal strategist Tiffany Gooch, about the party's recovery from the prime minister's blackface scandal.

‘Just live your life,’ women’s rights advocate tells survivors of violence

News|By Palak Mangat
'Focusing on resilience ignores the systemic problem that forces people to fight so hard in the first place,' says Julie Lalonde.

‘A real lack of leadership’: critics call for better response from feds as Wet’suwet’en blockades continue

‘Negotiations should take as long as they need to,’ says Ellen Gabriel, a former Mohawk spokesperson during the Oka Crisis.
Your group subscription includes premium access to Politics This Morning briefing.