Hear Jamal Khashoggi's powerful final op-ed

CNN's Poppy Harlow and Jim Sciutto read Jamal Khashoggi's final column for the Washington Post. The column, entitled "What the Arab World Needs Most is Free Expression," was filed just days before he disappeared.

Posted: Oct 19, 2018 1:33 AM
Updated: Oct 19, 2018 1:48 AM

The Washington Post has published what the newspaper describes as the "last piece" written by missing Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, who was allegedly killed and dismembered in his country's consulate in Istanbul earlier this month.

In a note at the top of the column, published late Wednesday, Post Global Opinions editor Karen Attiah wrote that she "held off publishing it because we hoped Jamal would come back to us."

"Now I have to accept: That is not going to happen," she said. "This is the last piece of his I will edit for The Post. This column perfectly captures his commitment and passion for freedom in the Arab world. A freedom he apparently gave his life for."

In the piece, Khashoggi bemoaned the lack of free expression in the Arab world, leaving the majority of its population "unable to adequately address, much less publicly discuss, matters that affect the region and their day-to-day lives."

He contrasted the current situation with the sentiment felt by many during the Arab Spring, when they hoped to be "emancipated from the hegemony of their governments and the consistent interventions and censorship of information," only to have those expectations dashed as revolutions -- both peaceful and violent -- failed or were crushed by outside intervention.

One of the biggest players in pushing back against the tide or Arab populist revolt was the Saudi regime itself, which sent tanks into Bahrain, embraced tottering dictators, and stamped down on any signs of dissent at home.

Some observers had seen in Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (known as MBS) an alternative avenue to reform in the kingdom. New York Times writer Tom Friedman, who this week was forced to defend his previous cheerleading of MBS, wrote in November last year that the kingdom was "going through its own Arab Spring, Saudi style."

Khashoggi, who was allegedly killed by members of the crown prince's inner circle, had a more measured view of his country's de facto ruler. In a column from September last year -- one of several that allegedly angered Riyadh and made it impossible for Khashoggi to return to Saudi Arabia -- he wrote that MBS had "promised an embrace of social and economic reform," but instead pursued a crackdown on dissent.

"He spoke of making our country more open and tolerant and promised that he would address the things that hold back our progress, such as the ban on women driving," Khashoggi said. "But all I see now is the recent wave of arrests."

In that column, he also criticized the tightening space for free speech in the kingdom, and recounted how he was fired from a newspaper and forced off Twitter for being too critical of government policies.

According to CNN National Security Analyst Peter Bergen, MBS has moved Saudi from a consensus based absolute monarchy -- where criticism was limited but not unheard of -- "toward a totalitarian dictatorship in which all aspects of society are controlled by him and all forms of dissent are stifled."

This was a topic Khashoggi had written about as well. As a member of the Saudi elite and former adviser to the royal family who was still influential inside the Kingdom, Khashoggi was becoming more and more of a rarity under MBS, and his criticisms may have stung more than those of a regular, unconnected dissident, and sparked a more extreme reaction.

In his final column for the Post, he warned that the "Arab world is facing its own version of an Iron Curtain, imposed not by external actors but through domestic forces vying for power."

Khashoggi's answer to the paucity of adversarial media in Arab countries is to fund and promote a transnational media organization.

"We suffer from poverty, mismanagement and poor education," Khashoggi said. "Through the creation of an independent international forum, isolated from the influence of nationalist governments spreading hate through propaganda, ordinary people in the Arab world would be able to address the structural problems their societies face."

Minnesota Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 445047

Reported Deaths: 5955
CountyCasesDeaths
Hennepin924911470
Ramsey39703735
Dakota32788331
Anoka30811360
Washington20004225
Stearns17775185
St. Louis13546240
Scott1189996
Wright11548102
Olmsted1035775
Sherburne815765
Carver691436
Clay648478
Rice600166
Kandiyohi552871
Blue Earth538033
Crow Wing479673
Otter Tail453464
Chisago449732
Benton416785
Winona386246
Douglas372466
Nobles366746
Mower362328
Goodhue343657
Polk327756
McLeod323144
Morrison310043
Beltrami308746
Lyon299835
Itasca282643
Becker281738
Isanti281141
Carlton278143
Steele27119
Pine265113
Freeborn241320
Todd230929
Nicollet223336
Brown213734
Mille Lacs212845
Le Sueur208515
Cass206123
Meeker198533
Waseca188816
Martin169126
Wabasha16883
Roseau165316
Hubbard148338
Redwood139227
Renville136539
Houston135313
Dodge13304
Chippewa130832
Cottonwood126518
Fillmore12215
Wadena119416
Rock109512
Sibley10797
Aitkin107133
Watonwan10618
Faribault104615
Pennington97715
Kanabec97218
Pipestone93823
Yellow Medicine93314
Murray8655
Jackson85010
Swift83018
Pope7355
Marshall70115
Stevens6978
Clearwater68514
Lac qui Parle65616
Lake62915
Wilkin6229
Koochiching59010
Lincoln4821
Big Stone4543
Unassigned43468
Grant4257
Norman4228
Mahnomen4087
Kittson37019
Red Lake3164
Traverse2473
Lake of the Woods1801
Cook1130

Iowa Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 303065

Reported Deaths: 4267
CountyCasesDeaths
Polk45335447
Linn17673274
Scott15356163
Black Hawk13648236
Woodbury12945175
Johnson1202149
Dubuque11300149
Pottawattamie8934112
Dallas881171
Story863434
Webster467471
Cerro Gordo462968
Sioux453356
Clinton448361
Warren437538
Marshall425561
Buena Vista391529
Muscatine386177
Des Moines380641
Plymouth348868
Wapello340898
Jasper319658
Lee313530
Marion301752
Jones269649
Henry263230
Carroll253034
Bremer242048
Crawford228122
Boone216217
Washington214231
Benton208544
Jackson190831
Mahaska190736
Tama185657
Dickinson184226
Delaware172236
Kossuth170543
Clay166019
Wright162724
Fayette159522
Buchanan158023
Hamilton157829
Winneshiek154819
Harrison154462
Hardin153929
Cedar151419
Clayton150748
Butler146424
Page143715
Cherokee138127
Floyd137936
Mills136016
Lyon133632
Poweshiek132324
Hancock128824
Allamakee126827
Iowa122822
Calhoun12209
Grundy120026
Jefferson119524
Madison11869
Winnebago118229
Mitchell115634
Louisa114130
Cass112541
Chickasaw110512
Emmet110231
Sac110215
Appanoose109638
Union108122
Humboldt104219
Guthrie102224
Shelby101326
Franklin101218
Unassigned9210
Palo Alto9019
Keokuk84325
Montgomery84022
Howard82519
Monroe80518
Clarke7817
Pocahontas77211
Ida73830
Greene6887
Davis68721
Adair68620
Lucas6468
Osceola6349
Monona63316
Worth5983
Taylor5919
Fremont5036
Van Buren49412
Decatur4784
Ringgold4269
Wayne41421
Audubon4108
Adams2953
Rochester/St. Mary'S
Cloudy
21° wxIcon
Hi: 26° Lo: 20°
Feels Like: 15°
Mason City
Partly Cloudy
20° wxIcon
Hi: 29° Lo: 17°
Feels Like: 11°
Albert Lea
Cloudy
19° wxIcon
Hi: 27° Lo: 16°
Feels Like: 13°
Austin
Cloudy
18° wxIcon
Hi: 26° Lo: 17°
Feels Like: 9°
Charles City
Cloudy
19° wxIcon
Hi: 28° Lo: 18°
Feels Like: 9°
A big temperature swing is on the way
KIMT Radar
KIMT Eye in the sky

Latest Video

Image

John Marshall ready for 2021

Image

Is the City of Rochester paying men and women equally?

Image

LWVMN asks for "truth and consequences" for state lawmakers

Image

Sports Overtime Part 2

Image

Sports Overtime Part 1

Image

Plans for polar plunge

Image

Equal work and equal pay.

Image

Aaron's Friday Night Forecast

Image

Mega Millions jackpot soars to $750 million

Image

Increase in 2021 travel plans

Community Events