Forensic officials arrive to examine the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul, October 2018.
Osman Orsai / REUTERS

Since the murder of the Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, a rapt global audience has followed in real time a spectacle usually reserved for the most senior levels of government: the fashioning of an exculpatory fig leaf for an atrocity. 

That work is almost done. Saudi Arabia appears on the verge of getting its story straight, about how an interrogation went horribly wrong but had nothing to do with Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, known as MbS. U.S. President Donald Trump has nearly nailed down a pretext for continuing to sell arms to Riyadh and maintaining the close embrace of

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