(Note: The following blog post was originally published to the Emmanuel Baptist Church website and was intended for members of that congregation and the community at large.
October 26, 2018)
If you have been paying attention to the news, and I know that is sometimes a difficult thing to consistently do, you might have heard about Jamal Khashoggi. Khashoggi was a well-known journalist, who became an outspoken critic of the Saudi Arabian government. According to the BBC, Khashoggi, who was initially close to the Saudi royal family and served as an advisor, “fell out of favour and went into self-imposed exile in the US last year.” In that time, he wrote a column for the Washington Post, where he criticized the policies of the Crown Prince, Mohammed bin Salman.
Initial reports indicated that he entered into the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, Turkey and was not seen again. He was reported to be missing, but it was later discovered that he was, in fact, dead. Turkish officials believe he was murdered by Saudi agents while in the consulate. Evidence in the days since the initial reporting have grown increasingly in favor of that claim, so much so that Tamar El-Ghobashy and Kareem Fahim of the Washington Post have reported on Thursday, October 25th, Saudi Arabia’s public prosecutor said, “Jamal Khashoggi was killed in a planned operation.” This disputed previously claims by the Saudi government that Khashoggi was killed in a “fistfight” while inside the consulate in Turkey.
The current president of the United States, who many of us un-affectionately refer to as “45” (to indicate he’s is the 45th person to hold that position), has made several comments about the apparent scandal. Although his comments started off, what many refer to as, “soft,” his most recent comment is as fascinating as they come. He literally stated, “the cover-up was one of the worst in the history of cover-ups.” Maybe someone should have reminded him that he ought not use words like “cover-up” to describe the actions of another government or person when he and his closest advisors and campaign officials are under investigation by special counsel Robert Mueller over collusion with the Russian government in interfering with the 2016 Election.
Thirty-two people and three companies have been indicted in the investigation so far. In fact, several people who were a part of 45’s team and inner circle (some for a number of years) have already been indicted and are being prosecuted. Those persons include: George Papadopoulos, former Trump campaign foreign policy adviser, Paul Manafort, Trump’s former campaign chair, Rick Gates, a former Trump campaign aide and Manafort’s longtime junior business partner, Michael Flynn, Trump’s former national security adviser, and Michael Cohen, Trump’s former lawyer.
This alone is an indictment of hypocrisy in the highest order, but there is an underlying hypocrisy that is taking place as well. The current occupant of the white house has regularly referred to the press (journalist, news media, etc.) as “enemies of the people.” The free press, which is supposed to be a staple of the United States, and which is protected under the U.S. Constitution, in the warped perspective of 45, enemies of the citizens of this country. The irony is rich, when you think about how reporters have been treated at his rallies (several met with violence) for asking the tough questions are demanding answers. If this was in fact Saudi Arabian agents acting in the interests of the government, then it is a foreshadowing of what is to come in the United States as 45 continues to spew his bombastic rhetoric concerning the press.
The only way to counter this hypocritical way of life this country is being sucked deeper and deeper into, is to vote Tuesday, November 6, 2018, and in every local, state, and national election in the years to come!