The Saudi Keystone Kops play Istanbul

The Saudi assassination, horrible and disgraceful, has nonetheless elements of black comedy. I love the initial Saudi protestations that the assassination hit team were merely tourists: including a tourist who travels with his personal bone saw. After all, even on a one-day tourist outing one can never tell when a body might need to be dismembered. And what a coincidence that the embassy rooms needed a paint job in the days immediately following the dismemberment.

This reminds me of a Python sketch about a bicycle trip through Cornwall, which somehow ends up in the British Consulate in Smolensk where the consul has been replaced by a mandarin imposter who explains the absence of the original consul as an accident: “He have heart attack and fell out of window onto exploding bomb, and was killed in a shooting accident.”

Slightly more seriously, I wonder whether the Prince was culpable in the way Henry II was culpable for the death of Becket, by uttering “Will no one rid me of this turbulent priest?” His toadies thought they could solve the problem for him, but their methods ended up making the KGB look subtle. Quite an achievement.

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