What happened in the Saudi Embassy in Turkey, and why is it important to the whole world? The diplomatic corps of every country is that entity responsible for representing and speaking for that country to its homeland and vice versa. There is an accepted peace, safety and immunity given to members of embassy and consulate delegations. There is also an unwritten but rigorously followed, tradition of embassies and consulates being safe havens for anyone visiting those locations. The country of Iran has still not recovered ethically or morally for what it did to the American embassy and staff way back in 1979. The matter of a U.S. citizen, news reporter and respected gentleman, entering a Saudi embassy, and being bound, tortured and then dismembered and killed, is almost beyond considering, except for what’s been learned about the inhumanity of man towards man over the time civilization has been developing.

It is important to consider more than the news with respect to the likeliness of this event really having happened. Turkey keeps reporting that the reporter was killed after being lured inside the embassy, but the nature of spycraft, world power, and economic strength would not seem to bear that out, not in the manner being put forward. Why fly in special planes full of operatives to lure a single man into an embassy and then do what is alleged to that man while in there? Why bother? Like Saudi Arabia cannot and would not empty one of its special services military teams to accomplish the same end without ever setting foot inside any embassy? The whole passion play of videotapes and recordings, at first attributed to the Saudi agents to prove that they’d killed the guy (rather unlikely, to say the least), and then, when that story did not sell well, the rumor that the victim kept his I watch on and sent a recording up to the cloud during the whole ordeal? Like what bunch of torturing bad guys would leave his watch on his wrist? It would not happen in the real world during that kind of activity. Not that it could not, as everyone is living it pretty outrageous times when it comes to Russian’s poisoning people in downtown London public places. Why would Saudi Arabian leaders not simply send a team of operatives to kill the man away from any public place? For a country, that’s not a difficult thing to do. Why would Saudi potentially limit the number of people who might ever visit one of their embassies because of personal security issues?

Again, it does not appear likely the stories being spread by Turkey have much in the way of logical merit. And Turkey has become a guerrilla enemy of the man holding power in Saudi Arabia because of right-wing Moslem beliefs. This issue is an important one for everyone who might consider traveling beyond the borders of their own country. If embassy and consulate spaces are not places where safety is provided, both against local and foreign powers, not to mention one’s own government, then how is anybody to travel with any kind of confidence that this supposed murder might not happen to them or somebody they love? Getting to the bottom of what really happened, if anything other than the reporter disappearing for a bit, is absolutely required. The U.S. is powerful enough to demand and get real answers but will it use that power to hold Saudi’s feet to the fire? What’s at stake is a whole lot more than the trust everyone might be expected to place in visiting a Saudi embassy or consulate. This translates out into the entire world of diplomatic relations and foreign travel. Saudi Arabia also has itself caught in a public relations nightmare in that, although it can certainly prove the reporter entered the embassy (video) it apparently does not videotape everyone that leaves the embassy. So how do they ever prove he left?   This story has no seeming end to it as both the President and the Prince come up with stuff that seems more suited to a Dumb & Dumber script than real life.

~James Strauss



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