Most things in life are strongly g loaded, from obvious things such as socio-economic success and chess ability to less obvious ones such as an appreciation for Indian cuisine or quality terrorism.
Assassinations are no different.
Assassination quality seems to be a function of national IQ, plus the levels of remuneration and prestige with the national intelligence services.
Mossad is really, really good at this game. Stands to reason. High IQ, incredible prestige, decent money.
The Soviets were also very good at it. Again, very high prestige – the KGB only recruited from the best universities. Incidentally, the post-Soviet penetration of the Russian state by former KGB men was not so much the result of a conspiracy as the natural effects of a high concentration reservoir of human capital gradually spilling out into society.
Phrenology doesn’t lie. Just look at that fellow above, parading after his graduation. Highfalutin espionage work?… cryptography? foreign languages?? fuggedaboutit! His level is that of a nightclub bouncer. At best.
This is because the quality of people who are attracted to work in Russia’s modern espionage agencies is much lower than in the USSR. Talented people have many more options.
But even Putin’s hapless spies have nothing on the Saudis.
Not only did they whack a harmless dissident who did happen to be very well connected in Blue Checkmark circles – you know, the people who run the West – in THEIR OWN CONSULATE, but apparently they even neglected to consider he might be wearing a smartwatch. Which, like, every second SWPL does these days (and a WaPo columnist is going to be culturally SWPL regardless of his skin color). They had a squad of 15 people – incidentally, involving a movement of people that the Turks must have noticed – and nobody thought of it.
I know there’s counter-arguments that the Apple watch can’t transmit data that far, and that the Turks are using it as a cover story to avoid admitting that they were bugging the Saudi consulate.
But it really wouldn’t surprise me if this story was true after all. Everything else hints at rock bottom incompetence, so why not this too.