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It's not that Donald Trump objects to the murder of journalists, of course. Particularly brown ones, with weird names like "Jamal Khashoggi," who get assassinated overseas in Not America. And working for the Jeff Bezos unregistered lobbyist Washington Post? PFFFFT! No, what Trump really objects to is the embarrassingly low production values.

A team of Saudi assassins with ties to the Crown Prince fly in the night before with a bone saw in their luggage. They have this stupid body double sneak out the back wearing the dead man's clothes and a stick-on beard to wave at cameras in Istanbul. Leaving aside the fact that he doesn't even look like Khashoggi, he forgets the guy's shoes and wanders around wearing his own tacky blue sneakers. And to top it all off, the consulate is bugged -- yeah, no shit it is -- and the Turks get the whole thing on tape?

What kind of crappy, low rent, shithole hitjob is this?


BAD DEAL. So now Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman has to admit that he was mistaken when he said that Khashoggi walked out of the embassy after picking up his paperwork. And also when he said that the dissident reporter accidentally got dead after fisticuffs with 15 guys including a coroner wielding a bone saw. In fact, MBS has had to admit that this was a premeditated murder, even "a heinous crime." Oh, he's just sick about it!

And we hate to agree with Commander Opsec, but he's actually right. This cover-up was one of the worst cover-ups in the history of cover-ups. Because instead of searching the Royal Palace couch cushions for a spare billion or two for a nice infrastructure project that employs a lot of people in Turkey, the Saudis went on offense. So now, the Americans had to send CIA Director Gina Haspel on a little field trip to Turkey to listen to their audio of the murder. And unless she deleted the tape -- which is kind of her bag, baby -- the window for this thing to go away just closed.

Because even a Republican Congress is likely to force her to describe those tapes in closed hearings, to determine whether the Saudis violated the Magnitsky Act. But if the Democrats take either house of Congress, those hearings are going to be public. Which means all those lovely murder machine sales that Trump keeps lie-bragging will employ a hundred billion Americans are in jeopardy. All because one murderous dictator who imprisons journalists outplayed another, younger, more arrogant dictator, who also imprisons journalists.

Yep. SOMEBODY REALLY MESSED UP.

[WaPo / WaPo, again]

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