Dear Mr. Bezos:
You’re the richest man in the world, with a net worth of $160 billion according to Forbes.
According to Time Magazine, in early 2018 you were earning $230,000 a minute (which comes to $13,800,000 an hour.)
You’re also the owner of The Washington Post, whose columnist, American resident and Saudi citizen Jamal Khashoggi was reportedly tortured, murdered and dismembered in the Saudi Arabian embassy in Istanbul.
Your columnist’s murder was one of the most ghastly and heinous threats to a free press and a civilized world in recent memory.
As The Post’s owner, you have a unique responsibility to fight back to protect press freedom and free speech in America and around the world.
Sadly, we cannot rely on any of the relevant governments to identify the killers and bring them to justice.
The Saudi government has promised an investigation. But the murder and torture was almost certainly carried out by operatives of the Saudi government at the orders of, or at least with the consent of, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.
Asking the Saudi government to investigate a murder they may have ordered is as likely to reveal the truth as a Corleone family investigation of a hit job on the heads of the other five families.
President Trump has compared charges that the Saudi government was responsible for the grisly murder to the charges that Judge Kavanaugh was responsible for sexual assault on Christine Blasey Ford, of which he claims Kavanaugh was proved innocent. So any investigation over which The White House has any influence is bound to be tainted.
The Turkish government, which may have the most information on the murder (including a reported audio tape of Khashoggi’s torture and murder recorded inside the Saudi embassy) is unlikely to trust either the Saudi government, or a Trump-led American government, with its most secret intelligence.
Which leaves us with you, Mr. Bezos.
Immediately put up $10 million – less than what you earn in a single day -to pay for a real investigation and information leading to the apprehension and appropriate punishment of the killers and torturers of one of your journalists.
Hire a crack team of intelligence and law enforcement professionals to find the truth and capture the perpetrators.
If Khashoggi’s murderers get away with their barbaric actions, it will intimidate journalists not only in Saudi Arabia and America but around the world.
Mr. Bezos, if you shake loose few million dollars of your pocket change to bring the murderers to justice, you will have helped defend a free press and helped fulfill your duty, as the owner of The Washington Post, to let your employees know you will do what’s necessary to protect their safety.
And if you have any spare change left over, please donate it to organizations dedicated to defending freedom of speech and the press in America and around the world.