Monday, April 29, 2019

For the Record: Planked Salman

Once you've done a sword dance with a guy, you just can't stay mad. Screenshot from video by AP/Reuters via The Guardian.

Trumpy getting applause for tough talk aimed at the Saudi monarchy:
But impunity for the murderous Crown Prince (Salman, the father, is 83 and has been developing Alzheimer's dementia for a few years now and doesn't in fact rule the kingdom) who masterminded the killing of Jamal Kashoggi, and this (via

The ruthless Saudi Government is beheading so many people it needs to recruit a deadly new squad of sword-wielding executioners.
The news comes after it slaughtered 37 people in one bloody day last week and is now tipped to kill a record number of its citizens in 2019.
The sharia law-run state has advertised for eight new executioners to handle the projected rise in brutal public beheadings, The Sun reports.
No special qualifications are needed for the job that involves “executing a judgment of death” and performing amputations on those convicted of lesser offences.
Tuesday's executions were of prisoners charged with "adopting terrorist extremist ideology, forming terrorist cells" and harming the "peace and security of society". One of them was 16 when he was arrested for "sending texts online about an anti-government demonstration" (not a capital crime where most of us live). I know, it was in The Sun, but it quotes Amnesty International.

And the latest thing from ProPublica, where we learn that there seem to be a lot of Saudi students in the US committing crimes—real crimes, like rape and manslaughter—and then getting whisked away in black SUVs before facing justice, and jumping bail and fleeing home, at the Kingdom's expense. This has been going on for a decade, apparently, so it's not entirely the Trump administration's fault, but they've been so active in protecting us from Muslim refugees from Syria and Yemen and Somalia and Libya and Chad and Iran, you'd think they'd find time for protecting us from criminals from the country that supplied the 9/11 terrorists, but no:
The Trump administration has deflected calls for an accounting of the Saudi government’s role in the flight of fugitives, asserting that there is little the United States can do because it has no extradition treaty with the kingdom. This week, the State Department said for the first time that it has raised the issue with senior Saudi officials, but it would not specify when or how.
Maybe Donald himself brought it up with his majesty in that phone call.

Also while I'm up

Is that clear? Trump's grotesque story, enriched with loony detail ("they wrap the baby beautifully, and then the mother and the doctor determine"), like the human trafficking story with the duct tape and the left turn ("usually it's a left turn, not a right"), is just a vivid retelling of the lie the Senate Republican Conference has been telling for months, and they're the ones who need to be called out for it.

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