This is so unspeakably grotesque that I can scarcely believe it actually happened, and in the Trump era, that’s saying something. A 19-year-old British motorcyclist, Harry Dunn, was killed in August by an American wrong-way driver who subsequently fled the country under cover of diplomatic immunity. Dunn’s grieving parents are in the U.S. trying to get justice for their son, and Trump lured them to the White House for a mind-bogglingly gross reality TV show surprise:
The Dunn family, now in the United States to drum up support to send [Anne] Sacoolas back to the U.K. to face justice, had accepted an “urgent” invitation by the White House from National Security Adviser Robert O’Brien, to visit Donald Trump in Washington, D.C. Trump, it seems, thought he could convince the Dunns to meet the woman who killed their son, and would do so by opening a side door through which she would walk. The whole scene would be captured by a pool of photographers who had been summoned for the meeting.
The Dunns refused to meet Sacoolas and said they felt “ambushed” when Trump told them the woman who killed their son was in the next room. Ya think?
It’s long been obvious that Trump is incapable of experiencing normal human emotions, so it’s easy enough to believe he’d regard the Dunn’s tragic situation as an opportunity to gain good press for himself, much as he and his horrible wife grabbed a photo op in Texas using an infant who’d been orphaned by a Trump-supporting white nationalist.
But the Dunn incident signals there’s no one left in the building who can recognize a disaster in the making and talk Trump out of these ghoulish impulses, if only to avoid the PR fallout. It’s sociopaths, all the way down.
I’m guessung that these are words never uttered in the Trump-occupied White House:
“Mr President, what you propose to do is stupid and wrong. It won’t work, and there will be severe blowback. For you.”
My gut feeling is that the problem is less on the “recognize a disaster in the making” side of things and more on the “talk Trump out of it” side. Trump is so convinced of his own genius that he’s unwilling to listen to any of his advisors unless they’re either A) repeating his own ideas back to him or B) making suggestions on how to be even worse than he already is. Nobody with the guts to tell him he’s making a mistake will stay around for long.
Jerry is self-aware enough to have said: “I am going to hell for doing this show”. Trump has no idea. And he has nukes.
Dunning-Kruger meets Dunn & Freddy Krueger.
We need more people who refuse to play their assigned roles. I admire these people, because the pressure to go along and pretend he and his employees are normal is intense, I imagine, when you’re in it.
It’s like the duty to prop him up falls to other people, and they wouldn’t take it on. Nope. Not doing it.
One of these days, my gob is going to get resentful about being smacked all the time.
@Amir Khalid: Also, these words are never uttered: “What the fuck is wrong with you? That ghoulish beyond description. Do you have no sympathy for anyone but yourself, you self-centered orange bastard?”
Sociopaths supposedly blend in with society.
@Amir Khalid: ‘You’re fired.’
i read that story and still can’t believe it. fuck me.
Oh God that is so gross it makes me feel ill. I guess not even Ivanka can talk him out of his terrible ideas now.
@MattF: I for one am sick of my gob getting smacked. Glad Nancy SMASH is charging up the Smack Back machine.
hedgehog the occasional commenter
My heart aches for the Dunns. On top of unspeakable tragedy to have that sociopathic fuck use them for a photo op. As chopper said, fuck me.
Me reading this story:
This is typical for fundie evangelicals….maybe where he got the idea….one of my co-worker’s daughters was sexually assaulted by the co-worker’s boyfriend at the time, and the crazy fundie church they all belonged to talked the daughter into hugging the guy and “forgiving” him up in front of the congregation….never underestimate the idiocy and tone-deafness of these people…and OF COURSE no one ever reported or confronted HIM about anything….
You have to understand, Trump recognizes and respects a fellow American running away from their responsibilities, and wanted to help them continue to evade them.
That’s a very plausible take on it.
Jim, Foolish Literalist
@evodevo: that angle hadn’t occurred to me. He does have a lot of those people around him– Pence, Pompeo. Pompeo is the more likely, I think, he seems to be trump’s special friend these days
Never would’ve guessed Trump watched “Succession.”
If I were in that poor man’s shoes, I wonder if I’d have the guts to give the monster the speech he deserves:
Credit to J. Michael Straczynski, who knows monsters when he sees them.
As previously mentioned, I just keep thinking about all the people I know right there on that street and how difficult it must be for everyone trying to continue working together and how this kind of stupidity is complicating an already delicate issue.
We are living in the worst reality TV show ever right now.
I would think the penalties for manslaughter might be more gentle in Britain, which has jurisdiction. Further, it is a moral evil that Mrs. Sacoolas has fled, using “diplomatic immunity.”
A better administration might counsel her to return and face justice.
This Trump maladministration is probably hanging on to “diplomatic immunity” for dear life, because dog knows what Trump cretins might need for protection down the line.
Remind me again which service Mrs. Sacoolas’ husband belongs to? Might that service have a say in the situation? Her flight from justice has not made their job any easier in the UK.
I wonder, just…has anyone looked to see if Roody really is, like, a dues-paid, NY state-licensed lawyer, for real. Sure, he has “people” who tend to all those pesky details for him, but IIRC you really do have to clock the required hours of CLE every year. It would fit really well in our current reality if he, perhaps, has neglected to perform those minimum requirements.
What makes you think she would see this as a terrible idea? That acorn fell pretty close to the tree, far as I can tell.
@Elizabelle: State Department.
I don’t know if State Department mandate it but I would assume they did…when we lived there we had to go through a drivers course specifically for Britain before we could even drive. I mean it doesn’t prevent you from autopilot sometimes but I’ve been wondering if SD mandated it before their people could drive there.
A lot of us have been saying that maybe it would be helpful for us to stop letting people bring their own cars over. If you have to drive a Brit car, being on that other side of the car would be a jarring reminder not to drive on the wrong side of the road there.
It is indeed. I have been following this case closely, and the White House theatrics are just a side show in this disgusting affair.
Anne Sacoolas has the dubious distinction of having caused more harm to British-American relations than anything Trump has done in the minds of the British public. She needs to get on a plane and face the music.
I suppose it’s possible that the US government is putting enormous pressure on her not to do that because it might set a difficult and dangerous precedent in the world of diplomacy, but she still needs to do the right thing. She has to live with what she did for the rest of her life, and by fleeing and hiding she is only making things worse for herself.
Sociopaths? Or psychopaths? Or sociopathic psychopaths/psychopathic sociopaths?
Even with being on the other side of the car, I pulled out into the wrong lane the second day I drove in England, back in my mid-20s. Fortunately for me, it was early morning and the car coming towards me was a distance away and kindly flashed their lights to let me know, “Oy, move over, Yankee.” That said, it was still scary and I felt like a fool.
(When we went to Ireland this summer, I spent a LOT of time reading about driving there and watching YouTube videos of people driving through roundabouts because it had been a loooong time since England.)
This woman is a coward for running back to the USA to hide. It reminds me that loss of freedom is the only thing the rich and well-connected really fear.
Jim, Foolish Literalist
OT: The Beast is babbling like an idiot about the Kurdish situation. “They’re not angels, they’re not angels”
We are watching an episode of Yes, Minister where Sir Humphrey got sh*tcanned.
If somehow the Dunns can be convinced to be very very public and sustained in their condemnation of Trump, then that’s the kind of foreign influence in our elections I could really get behind.
@Elizabelle: I’ve read up on it a bit since this shocking incident (the American fleeing under diplomatic immunity part, not Trump’s horrifying production), and apparently, diplomatic immunity protection is abused a lot. I had no idea.
@Roger Moore: I’m guessing those who have sufficient conscience and empathy to recognize how these things will be perceived by actual functioning humans are also sufficiently low level as to have zero power to pushback.
@Fleeting Expletive: Your comment inspired me to go check nycourts.gov where attorneys are registered. He’s there in good standing.
Gin & Tonic
@Avalune: There was some speculation in the press when this first broke that her husband is some sort of “intelligence asset.” Having no idea what that facility does, I can only repeat what I read. Is this remotely plausible?
@Nicole: As I said – helpful. I know it wouldn’t solve the problem 100% but I recall driving in the Brit cars to be supremely awkward enough to keep me off autopilot most of the time.
I have to wonder if her and her family were not ordered to leave.
Well, of course he did that: He’s a game-show host.
Gin & Tonic
@Betty Cracker: Having lived in NYC for quite a while, it’s a major issue there with all the UN missions and their staffs.
@Gin & Tonic: If I’m totally honest – I have no idea. I know what our mission was there but I don’t really know what all the State Department was doing there. Most of the people I knew in SD were engineers not intelligence.
Jim, Foolish Literalist
Sweet Jeebus how are more people not just simply embarrassed to have this oaf speaking for our country?
@Bruce K: That didn’t end well for Vir. He got his wish and it was …bittersweet.
Confounder of Fraud Guarantee arrested at airport.
@Betty Cracker: I have only heard about used by other countries here, especially Middle Eastern ones going back to my school days in the 70’s. I never would have dreamed of such a President as Trump. Every day is just Oh my God.
@Jim, Foolish Literalist: Yeah Donnie, it’s all just one giant fucking sandbox and they’re all playing pretend GI Joe.
I could be on my own deathbed at the time but I swear regardless of my condition or position I will stand up and fucking cheer the moment when I hear of this inhuman monster’s death.
@Gin & Tonic:
It’s far more than that; it’s true. He was a spy according to an (anonymous) intelligence source…
@Jim, Foolish Literalist: He fundamentally is incapable of thinking of himself as anything less than perfect. Ergo, no decision that he makes can be anything less than absolutely the best decision. No matter how objectively stupid it is in the real world. See also the “perfect” phone call…
@Elmo: Thank you, thank you. I’m kind of surprised that he is legit licensed. Not that any of his “missions” have actually been legal matters requiring his august command of the law.
West of the Rockies
Well, the right (white) kind of Americans. Although there was the rapper guy, too, who Clump attempted to assist.
@Betty Cracker: It’s not clear whether she has any immunity, as she is no longer in the UK and was not a member of the diplomatic mission. The UK could request extradition, which Trump will not grant. Seems like this stupid stunt could further piss off the British public and put Johnson in a well-deserved bind. Thing is, if she had stayed to face the music and shown appropriate remorse, she might have had immunity and/or they probably would have gone lightly on her, as this would be likely been characterized as reckless driving or negligent homicide, not manslaughter or something more serious. The fact that she didn’t makes me wonder if she was drunk or high.
The fact that she was going to participate in this stunt tells you a lot about her.
I remember driving in the countryside in Britain at night years and years ago, and realizing, from the headlights way up ahead, that I was on the wrong side of the road. Had made the error when I turned out of a restaurant parking lot.
It’s easy to do; fatal in this case, and I wonder if the jury might have cut her a tiny bit of slack for a driving mistake. Since she fled, throw the book at her.
I wonder if her selfishness has just cost her husband any future postings abroad.
@Bruce K: That’s the perfect quote. Vir was such a great character.
@Jim, Foolish Literalist:
He said that? Seriously? Sand?
@Mandalay: Well so much for that whole ‘cover ‘ thing.
@lumpkin: I was more riffing on the idea, oft advanced early in Trump’s presidency, that Ivanka would be a “moderating” force who would keep Trump in line. We can all see how that worked out.
The Trump loan/tax docs that Propublica got should, by all precedent, start a feeding frenzy. Let’s see if anyone follows up.
Well, we’re almost to the inevitable “paternity test” episode where furniture gets trashed and two or three wimmins set about pulling out each others’ weaves. Jer-ree! Jer-ree! Jer-ree!
We should at least reassure our British friends that if someone in his inner circle had mowed down an American kid here in the States, he would have done the exact same thing.
Jim, Foolish Literalist
@dmsilev: MSNBC chyron says trump described his meeting with the Dunns as “beautiful but sad”. The paucity and superficiality of his vocabulary fascinates me– “nice”, “beautiful”, “perfect”, “nasty’, “horrible”
(Press is in the room to photograph trump with the premier of Italy, and he’s been pretty much delivering a monologue for over fifteen minutes. Didn’t MSNBC say a few months ago they were going to stop carrying him live like this?)
ETA: “You go to Europe, and the roads are opposite”
Jim, Foolish Literalist
So we are ALL in a Reality TV show now? Don’t we get consolation prizes?
I need a LOT of consolation.
@Jim, Foolish Literalist:
I’m _sure_ the Germans and French will be just _thrilled_ to know that Trump thinks Britain == Europe.
scott (the other one)
Yeah, that would be Trump pulling his famous manly man handshake™ on a grieving father.
I really hope one of these days he tries that on someone like Arnold Schwarzenegger, who returns in the favor tenfold. Watching Trump have to try (and fail) to pretend like he wasn’t in tremendous pain in front of the camera would be…well, it wouldn’t make up for any of the horrors, but the schadenfreude would be delicious, at least.
I don’t know how I’m supposed to interpret that they were contacted by the National Security Advisor for the US President for a shitty attempt at a day-time talk show. I would have thought that the National Security Advisor would have important things to do related to National Security, but apparently he’s just the Preznit’s shitty producer?
I suppose the fact that Dump had a phone call and then almost literally went about taking a shit on our allies in Syria should have been a clue that the National Security Advisor isn’t doing much advising. He probably sits in his office twirling his pen all day.
Enhanced Voting Techniques
Trump the self defeating idiot again in action; throwing the book at this State Department worker for using diplomatic immunity to get away with murder would support Trump’s own narrative, instead Trump has to make a reality tv show out of it.
Here he’s asked about the photo op:
I’m still having trouble believing that the Trumps didn’t leave a huge paper trail that could be explored by media.
What about the bankruptcies? Couldn’t one compare those records to other records they created? You know they fucking defrauded the bankruptcy court. That’s a given. If there isn’t blatant fraud in one of those petitions I would be amazed.
Enhanced Voting Techniques
@scott (the other one): Macon did that to Trump when Trump tried that on him. It was pretty funny.
Gin & Tonic
@Jim, Foolish Literalist:
Wo. Sure am glad I survived all the miles I drove in Germany, and Austria, and Slovenia, and Czechia, and…..
@germy: I can’t stop thinking about how hard it was to face the woman who almost killed my husband on his motorbike…and he’s still alive. I can’t imagine wanting to see the woman who killed my young son and then left the country… especially when you weren’t prepared for it. I knew the court date. I was steeling myself for seeing her face to face. I wasn’t bloody ambushed.
Maybe Democrats should hire a forensic accountant team and just look at every record the Trumps ever filed. By the time that’s thru no one will need the tax returns. These people are blatant, they’re arrogant, and they operated with impunity for decades. They also hire low quality people. The “cover ups” are probably sloppy and easier to unravel.
Take some of the money they’re going to flush down the toilet with tv ads and hire investigators who will do the dull, unexciting work of records review. They own tangible property and they’re deadbeats. There have to be records.
The Brits take a really dim view of driving under the influence.
@Avalune: And then imagine hearing a president say “Well, I think maybe Avalune lawyered up.”
@Gin & Tonic: @Mandalay: Hi, I’ll be happy to clear up both of these issues. 1) US and U.K. media keep calling this an “American spy base”. It’s not. RAF Croughton is a communications hub for both the military and the State Department. Here’s my disclosure: I was the Non-Commissioned Officer-in-Charge (NCOIC) of the Satellite Communications facility there. I ran the military side of things there. My State Dept colleagues were awesome people. We don’t have “spies” there. Want the “spy” facility? That’s RAF Molesworth. It’s about 90 minutes down the road.
Here’s some other popular myths about Croughton:
– we have submarines under the base
– we fly UAVs out of there
– we refused to give high speed fiber internet access to the locals, even though we have fiber running into the base
Regarding driving: everyone who is stationed there has to go through the drivers licensing course before you’re given your U.K. substitute driving license. That’s a four hour lecture/presentation and taking the U.K. written test. That’s for both military and State Dept officials. Base Safety, and SOFA rules, mandate that. Avalune and I had SD officials in our class. If you’re new there, yeah, you might pull onto the wrong side. By three months? No.
The blog thewartburgwatch posted many reports a few yrs ago about the pattern of abuse at churches in Sovreign Grace Ministries.
They had a dreadful story about a 6yo who had been abused by a church worker. They forced the child to meet with the abuser. They pulled her out from under the chair where she had hidden when she saw him and told her to hug him and tell him she forgave him!
The head pastor of SGM was CJ Mahoney. He moved his church to Louisville, gave a ton of the ministry’s money to the SoBaptist seminary there, and later became a ‘member in good standing’ of the denomination. He has been frequently praised by Al Mohler, president of the seminary and de facto ‘pope’ of the SoBaptists.
Your damned right I did!
Imagine hearing the President say, eh, driving on the wrong side of the road happens, it happens! Imagine any bloody thing on any bloody given day. These people are just inhuman. BEEP BOOP!
I never tire of announcing I happily voted for Jerry Springer for Cincinnati City Council back in the late 1970s/early 80s. He was a fine Council-member.
Then he left elective office and became an anchor on the local evening news. He ended each night with a brief witty and insightful comment on a current event. He was very good at this job too.
Then in what has to be a Guinness Book of Records-level act of cynicism, he became the Jerry Springer of daytime television.
I suppose there is an argument to be made he was good at that job as well; he certainly made a lot of money at it.
He’s still around town but he keeps a low profile these days. When I think of the force he could have been in liberal politics, I get pissed at what he forfeited.
@germy: Ha. Lends a certain je ne sais quoi to Trump’s violations of the Emoluments Clause.
@Jim, Foolish Literalist: Nah, just for the U.K. As soon as you exit the Chunnel, or ferry, there are huge signs warning you about that. Continent sign: drive on the right hand side! U.K.: drive on the left! The people waving you off the boat, out of the train car, also point the way.
@Kay: They would never allow us to put out a “White Collar Crime Czar” to coordinate interagency efforts to fight a “War on White Collar Crime.” But we need something like that. I think the “National Security” issue is that if the banks issue to many bad loans, the Too Big to Fail banks will need bailing out again.
Gin & Tonic
@Leto: I will note that you did not explicitly deny the submarines.
Jim, Foolish Literalist
@Leto: that’s a quote from The Oaf
ETA: My god. My god. And Johnson pathetic enough to swallow this
@dmsilev: I suspect Boris and Farage would be surprised to hear it put that way
Great idea, but the cynical part of me says that a lot of the records “seem to have disappeared.” Yes, I figure you were talking about those items filed with the State, and are (theoretically) part of the public record. But given how things like how Deutsche Bank says they don’t have any tax records/returns, and so forth, my cynicism gets kicked up to 11.
But, yeah, I would bet a case of really good beer that forensic accountants would show how completely corrupt he is.
@Avalune: Unfortunately they are human, but they are amoral sociopaths . Imagine having to put up with this for another four years.
@Jim, Foolish Literalist:
They can borrow our rakes of they want to play in the sand. I think California is supposed to have a lot of rakes.
I’m not sure why we are spending so much time on this car crash. Tens of thousands of them happen every year here in the US and in the UK. Has anyone presented any evidence that this was anything more than an ordinary unfortunate accident due to carelessness and inexperience with UK streets?
As for the parents. I’m not sure what they were doing in the US in the first place. I feel for them but that’s not how justice works. It isn’t their place to go lobby and create a media spectacle in the US. That would be the role of the prosecutors in the UK and the British foreign service or whatever agency is their equivalent of our state department. These parents made a spectacle of themselves by going to the US and seeking out TV cameras. I don’t frankly have that much sympathy for them one way or the other.
As for Trump? WTF, I mean seriously. With all that’s on his plate why is he involving himself in this? Because he is a dumbfuck obviously. But still, not the role of the president to be engaging in this stuff. That’s what he has a state department for.
Why would the woman agree to this grotesque meeting?
In an era of I Cannot Process That This Is Even Happening, this little scene is way out there on the edge.
Let’s just say that they came as close as they possibly could to ending his current career whatever it is. Mrs. Sacoolas must be exceptionally stupid. I have a close friend whose dad was a career foreign service officer, and in a situation like this, you go to your supervisor and on up, and then let the person whose job it is to deal with situations like this one contact their counterparts in the home office of the country you are in and they work on a resolution. It is unusual to expose diplomats to loss of immunity because immunity exists for a reason, but where the crime is egregious it will be considered. It is not supposed to be routine, and for the most part, expulsion is the preferred remedy. As in, the Sacoolas family has a certain time to leave the country before their immunity expires for the rest of their lives in GB. Our allies have the right to veto the extension of immunity to people they have some objection to.
I don’t know enough to know how bad this was — was it dark, was the road narrow and poorly marked, or, you know, a well-lit, well-marked divided road. However, by resorting to self-help and leaving, Sacoolas basically forced everyone’s hands in a way that compromised relations between the two countries.
@Gin & Tonic: Haha; I did like saying that we re-routed part of the Thames to accommodate them. You’d see the eyes widen slightly, then they’d realize that I was bullshitting them. Honestly we have an annual tour for the local town representatives where we show them around the entire facility. There’s no off-limits areas. The town council comes in, the base commanders are there, we give several junior Airman the chance to lead the group around explaining the various equipment and functions that we do. As much as we can be, we’re fairly transparent in what we do there. There’s also never been a Navy prescience there, so /shrug!
And maybe cost him his professional future. And eventually his marriage.
I hadn’t realized Trump literally ambushed the grieving parents with this – it’s one thing if they’d agreed to meet their son’s killer, but what the utter fuck is this?
The Moar You Know
@Ohio Mom: He had a very brief show on Air America a while back, which I tuned into a while back. I was definitely not expecting what I heard. The guy is fucking brilliant – seriously, he was well-informed on every subject that crossed his path that night – and a leftist to the core.
He probably made the right decision. Politics is a hell of a grind, and unless you’re a morally bankrupt monster, you won’t make much money at it.
Mike in NC
Remember, folks, that Fat Bastard thought it was an amazing idea to invite the Taliban leadership (whoever that would be) to Camp David to watch the Super Bowl and chow down on Melania’s famous ham salad sandwiches. There would be lots of cameras present and the ratings would be through the roof! He is very sick and doesn’t operate in the same plane of reality that everyone else does.
Gin & Tonic
@Leto: That’s good misdirection, frankly. Very good. But still not explicitly denying the submarines.
I read this a couple of hours ago, and it still disturbs my spirit. The vileness. The ghoulness. The callousness. It’s so sick. So mean. Just vicious.
@HumboldtBlue: No that’s Finland. They do all the raking.
Even if they turn up nothing it would be money well spent because it would be explored. Due diligence that should have been done before he was elected. But they won’t. Turn up nothing. There are just no cases where there’s fraud in one area and no fraud in another. This is how they do business. If they defrauded these lenders they did the same to others, and the bankruptcy court, and every single other entity they even brushed up against.
We already know Ivanka and one of the sons defrauded lenders. There were emails that for some reason were never investigated or prosecuted.
How many hundreds of millions are they planning to spend on tv ads? Take a small percentage of that and do something worthwhile with it.
@Avalune: Why would anyone want to drive an American car in England? All your sight lines would be wrong.
@Jim, Foolish Literalist:
Those responsible for this man WILL NEVER EVER BE FORGIVEN!
Here’s a Google Maps of the road/site. The B4031 is the road the accident took place. The accident happened in August so it means that even early morning (0700) there’s already a good bit of sunlight. There are no street lamps on that road until you get to the village of Croughton (out the front of the base, take a left, after the first roundabout you’re in the town). I believe the reporting states that she came out the base and went left towards the village. If she did that, what you don’t see from the satellite view is that the road dips down a good ways, in front of the Park End Reclamation business. Coming from base, you don’t exactly see the dip. From the village side you do. If she were traveling that way, and he was coming up, she never would have seen him.
@Kent: The problem is that Sacoolas forced the issue. She could have stayed in the UK and claimed diplomatic immunity and let the higher up diplomats deal with it. Technically speaking, it’s not up to her to determine whether her immunity extends to specific conduct. There may be extenuating circumstances, as in, “wrong side of the road” could mean veering too close to the center on roads that are barely big enough to accommodate two vehicles, of which there are many in the UK. The authorities might have conferred with the CPS to determine whether they even had enough evidence to bring charges under the circumstances.
Trump stepping in the middle of it is just ghastly.
There’s a roundabout near Heathrow that’s famous for accidents by Americans (and presumably others) driving on the left-hand side for the first time.
And for fuck’s sake, DON’T DRIVE A RENTAL CAR IN A STRANGE COUNTRY WHEN YOU’RE JET-LAGGED. Get a bus/train to your hotel and sleep, just walk and use public transport the first day. My family has personal of an accident in these circumstances, with a broken back and broken collarbone the result of forgetting which side of the road to drive on (fortunately the people in the other car were OK).
Lack of sleep combined with jet-lag is like being drunk — it’s dangerous enough when it’s in your own car on home turf. In a strange car, on unfamiliar roads and driving on the opposite side is an accident waiting to happen.
@Leto: Excellent to have first hand information, but who do the folks in Croughton actually work for? DoS? NSA? USAF? I got the (incorrect?) impression from the linked article that the husband of Anne Sacoolas was probably an employee of the CIA.
Yet isn’t that exactly what happened?
Right, but no one has to “allow” this, anymore than Propublica were “allowed” to compare Trump lender records with Trump tax records. They just did it.
They have a 50 year business paper trail. Look at all of it.
scott (the other one)
@Enhanced Voting Techniques: I remember, and it was delightful—and did Trudeau do something similar?—but I’m talking about someone really truly strong and/or practiced in martial arts not just making him uncomfortable but…really doing to him what he likes to do to others, only far, far more so.
With a one-way ticket?
@Shana: For military? Because buying a U.K. car is expensive, temporary, and no guarantee that you’ll be able to sell it when you leave. We don’t get stipends for moving expenses. It’s basically, here you go, make it work. A number of things that we were able to get compensation for, the Republican led SEQUESTRATION!!! Effectively killed those programs off. That doesn’t mean that dome of us didn’t buy U.K. cars while we were there, but it also meant more hassle when you were going to leave. We had many an Airmen simply abandon their cars when they couldn’t resell them and had to leave.
Gin & Tonic
@rikyrah: I was curious, so I pursued the reports. He was arrested *arriving* at JFK, planning to turn himself in.
@Barbara: Yeah visibility in that section wouldn’t have been great.
I mean SOMEONE has to show them where the magic happens.
@evodevo: Is this evangelical symbolic-act-makes-horrible-crimes-ok what’s behind the media’s expectation that black people forgive the people who have murdered their family members? Or is that just the desire that white people should not have to pay for their crimes against black people?
@Hoodie: It’s not actually up to Trump to determine who gets extradited. There actually is a judicial process, and yes, she could claim immunity and that would likely be a defense, so State would have to agree to waive it. We ask for waivers in egregious traffic incidents, but it has to be really egregious. We forced the waiver of immunity for a lunatic who was extremely inebriated, going at a high rate of speed through Dupont Circle in the early evening, ignoring all lights, and killed a pedestrian.
ETA: Immunity is not situational. It is my understanding that the foreign country submits a list of those with immunity to the home country. It’s not an ad hoc status you claim after you have committed a crime. Most countries limit the number of people who can claim diplomatic status to the number needed for the mission, which would probably be pretty high for allies like UK and US.
@Shana: I have never been anywhere that drives on the LHS of the road. But in a left-hand-drive car I know where my fenders are and don’t have to spend any of my attention to keeping my car in the lane, as I know where my doorhandles are.
@Shana: The biggest problem with driving an American spec car in the UK (besides having to get light conversions) is passing. Basically, you can’t.
But people brought their cars for the reasons Leto already gave. Additionally, like in our case, if you were bringing a car you bought from another European country, they mostly drive on the same side as the US. We bought our car in Italy and just drove it to the UK.
It’s not about the car crash as such. It’s about Anne Sacoolas negligently killing a young man, and then fleeing English justice under cover of diplomatic immunity. I’m not so sure I would begrudge her victim’s parents the option of going to the US and campaigning to have her brought back to Britain for that purpose. It may be irregular, it could turn out to be futile, but is it unwise or wrong? I don’t think so. And in this matter, all my sympathy is with Mr and Mrs Dunn. I want them to succeed.
I’m sure you know far more than me about how this stuff works, but I am not assuming that Anne Sacoolas freely made the choice to flee. I find it completely plausible that she and her husband were told that they had to leave. The media were reporting that it would have been difficult for her to remain in Croughton, and I also find that to be very plausible; I doubt that she would have ever been able to safely show her face in public had she remained.
I have little hope of it happening, but the best thing she can do now is return to Britain. There is little chance that she will go to prison if she does the right thing, but if she takes the coward’s way out her awful behavior (and I’m not referring to the accident itself) will dog her forever.
@Mandalay: The site is joint USAF and State Department. USAF runs the base (Host) and the SD is a tenant unit there. We don’t have NSA/CIA/other three letter agencies there. There was a plan, a few years ago, to move other bases facilities there (see below) which would’ve created a mini-intel center there. But that was scrapped because of DEVIN FUCKING NUNES and concerns from the UK government.
DoD Announces European Infrastructure Consolidation Actions and F-35 Basing in Europe
Pay for a team to help David Cay Johnston
Drink! Also, don’t knife hands me! ?❤️
It’s an act of intimidation thinly disguised as ‘healing’. Note it’s always the less-powerful party (in fundagelical circles, the woman) being paraded to make a performative act of forgiveness. It’s basically “Shut up and drop your complaint and we’ll throw you a few crumbs of praise, otherwise you’ll get scorned”. It’s power asserting privilege in an authoritarian culture.
@Mandalay: Then someone is really failing to step up here, to let her take so much heat for what might not have been her decision. Regular diplomats are schooled in how all this works and they have to follow protocol, but it’s possible that Ms. Sacoolas and her husband are “irregular” diplomats who were not very well-informed about how to handle this. As in, she should not have promised to stay and then left, she should have stated that she would need to consult with the consulate. Indeed, I think most diplomats would have requested someone to accompany them when they spoke with the police.
Words fail me. You have to be trolling.
From this Black person’s POV….
Or is that just the desire that white people should not have to pay for their crimes against black people?
@Mandalay: Right, it’s not the parents who are creating the media spectacle. The media is creating the spectacle, egged on by our very own president.
@Nicole: @Mike G: Feast your eyes on the glory of this roundabout some of our people had to navigate on an almost daily basis: See the Swirling Glory of Britain’s 7-Circle Magic Roundabout
Welcome to the U.K.!
@rikyrah: And the corollary is that white people should not even have to be feel bad about their crimes against black people. Give us a hug, and we’re all good, right?
The Moar You Know
I’m beginning to get an idea that everything – literally everything – Trump learned about life is from television.
Which is far better than his kids, who are learning about life and interpersonal relations solely from the internet.
I’m not arguing with anything you wrote. Only that we have channels and diplomatic relations with the UK and this sort of thing gets sorted out every damn day with crimes and incidents around the world. Did Anne Sacoolas break any actual laws by getting on a plane? I don’t know the answer to that. If she actually has diplomatic immunity then it is checkmate anyway, whether she left on her own accord, or was escorted out of a UK police station by another diplomat. And if the US decides to wave diplomatic immunity then she will be extradited back anyway, regardless. You miss my point. I don’t begrudge the victim’s parents for going to the US. They are free to do that even though it really isn’t the role of the victim to do that sort of thing either in the US or in the UK. But the main reason they actually went to the US was to create a spectacle and media circus. Otherwise they could have just written a letter to the state department. So I really don’t care that much one way or the other that the spectacle spun out of their control.
It sucks when diplomats and their dependents get off the hook for stuff due to diplomatic immunity. But the bigger picture is that it is necessary to prevent diplomats and their dependents to be used as pawns and hostages around the world. That’s just the way it is.
@Kent: The mystery is why she told them she would stay.
That’s manslaughter. An American diplomat’s wife is involved in manslaughter and flees the country. We’ve had American service members who have committed the same things and you know what happens to them? They’re promptly turned over to the U.K. police for trial. They don’t get the chance to flee. Same thing should be applied here.
Oh, it is just trolling. Carry on!
I think I know the one you mean, if it’s the one I encountered back in the early 80s, getting a rental car from Heathrow for the first time. It’s a good thing it was very early morning and traffic was light, because I had to come to a dead stop, look at each of my hands in turn, and then reason out which way to enter the circle.
I’m pretty sire she was warned not to leave the country and she did. No matter who’s decision, she skipped the country on a military transport. Somebody screwed up bigtime there and pleas to let the judicial process work quietly as designed went off the rails there. Some level of the govt is complicit in this and, as a nation, we’re left to wrestle with yet another example of thereapparently being now consequences for Americans (whoops!) accodentially killing people (see also the Norwegian shot by his father-in-law). They really mishandled it if they were hoping to quiet things away: apparently Interpol can now possibly become involved. Irish Examiner Whoops again!
That right there is the driving experience in the US Virgin Islands — US cars driving on the left side of the road.
Truth in advertising.
No, it’s not actually, at least not without knowing additional circumstances. It is simply not the case that every traffic infraction that results in a death is manslaughter. I am not defending Sacoolas, but Kent is correct in one respect, and that is, this kind of stuff happens every day. There are car accidents, and sometimes they involve diplomats, and diplomats typically bear fewer consequences than the rest of us, and that’s for reasons that might not always seem like good ones, especially when it involves allies, whom we trust not to abuse our citizens living abroad. But then, if we permit some countries that we trust to act in certain ways, that raises difficulties for us because that means we are by implication telling other allies that we don’t really trust them. That is one of the reasons that we limit the number of people who are entitled to immunity, but it’s always going to be a large number in a country like the UK.
It does suck, and it does get waived in egregious situations, involving outrageous or intentional conduct, but it doesn’t seem like this incident involved that kind of outrage. No one seems to be accusing her of driving under the influence or at a high rate of speed, for instance.
Snarki, child of Loki
The Dunns should have held off visiting the WH until they were given diplomatic immunity, then punched Donald in the throat.
@Joey Maloney: A police officer in Durham asked us to pull over at a very difficult roundabout and helped us find the way to our hotel through some other means “before we caused an accident.”
@scav: One thing is for sure, Mr. and Mrs. Sacoolas will not be living abroad together again anytime soon.
Because her lawyers and minders would present that meeting as Sacoolas accepting responsibility for her actions, and label it as a closure on a very unfortunate incident, so there would be no need for her to return to Britain.
Fortunately, Harry Dunn’s parents saw that charade for what it was, and refused to play along. They rightly insisted that any meeting had to occur on British soil.
Wanna bet she never thinks of trying? Because she doesn’t or doesn’t want to think about it. She probably thinks it’s a good idea.
Of course it is. That’s how this sort of campaign works. If you have a problem with that, you have a problem with what the Dunns are trying to do.
Like it or not, this accident has become symbolic of how America operates overseas: we go to foreign countries, act like assholes, kill people, and then flee the scene claiming we have no responsibility, leaving everyone else to pick up the pieces.
I don’t blame the parents for coming here — they want justice for their dead child. I suspect that it’s going to come out that they flew here in response to a direct invitation from the White House, only this “meeting” was such a fiasco that Trump’s flunkies are afraid to admit that they were the ones who asked the parents to visit.
@Kent: Besides the basic “WTF is wrong with you” thing, this part makes me wonder whether you even read your own comment while you were writing it:
From the Daily Beast article Betty linked at top:
Nincompoops on the run. How did we miss that phrasing?
never mind brexit notably and loudly expressing just the opposite.
@Mandalay: With arbitrators, mediators, and their legal team in place.
Good for the Dunns. We will all have to keep an eye on what people in the UK are saying about this. It’s probably a nice (albeit sad) diversion for them from Brexit.
Ok, I am going to go against CW here and say the our reliance on Diplomatic Immunity in this case is the right thing to do.
MikeG at 119 has it so right and it applies so well to Black people feeling pressured to forgive white people who have wronged them that I’m going to repeat what he said in full:
@Immanentize: Explain, please.
Diplomatic immunity exists for a good reason, and there will always be horrible corner cases. But Sacoolas did just about everything wrong here.
I’m reminded of the murder of Yvonne Fletcher in 1984:
If Sacoolas had done the right thing (stayed at the accident site, stayed in the country) she most likely would have had her immunity preserved and been able to return to the US without major issues. As it is, she’s caused a huge row and made things much, much worse for herself, the victim’s family, and US/UK relations. Especially given the monster in the White House…
smedley the uncertain
@Gin & Tonic: Yes. The magic Google tells all…
@The Moar You Know:
A few weeks ago, I read — and found quite persuasive — the new book Audience of One: Donald Trump, Television, and the Fracturing of America by James Poniewozik, TV critic of the NYTimes. It doesn’t explain all of Trump’s weirdness and awfulness by any means, but I found it a useful tool to add to the Trumpanalysis kit.
It is NOT the same thing and you know it. American service members serving in the UK do not have diplomatic immunity. They may be governed by a status of forces agreement between the UK and US. I don’t know the details. But soldiers do not have diplomatic immunity.
You can say “same thing should be applied here” but that doesn’t mean the same thing actually does apply here. It does not. I’m not trying to troll you. Just pointing out facts.
If you think the US should waive diplomatic immunity in this case then fine. I’m sure there are procedures and criteria that the US (and other countries) follow when deciding whether to do that. I’m not aware of what they are, but I guarantee there is a whole lot of standing policy on this topic in the state department. They might well negotiate some sort of diplomatic waiver and send her back. None of us really know how this is eventually going to play out.
@catclub: I think maybe he divides countries into Us and Them. He’s just learned that some of Them drive on the wrong side of the road so he assumes that they all do.
Agreed. I don’t know what actual instructions US diplomats and their dependents are given for situations like this. But I absolutely GUARANTEE that they are given extensive training and instruction on exactly how they are instructed to behave when they find themselves in this sort of circumstance. I served in the Peace Corps in Guatemala in the 1980s and I still remember all the briefings that we got from the embassy security and legal team about how we were supposed to behave in any encounter like this with the local law.* I guarantee that this woman went through similar briefings and instruction. I expect for diplomats and higher ranking people it is a lot more extensive than for Peace Corps volunteers. And I doubt getting on the next plane was part of those instructions.
This case is likely to be a case study on what NOT to do that will be used in future lectures and briefings to diplomats in training and their dependents.
*In Guatemala the US Embassy had the top law firm in Guatemala on permanent retainer to deal with any incidents involving volunteers in country. If you wound up stuck in a Guatemalan jail you were to contact the embassy and they’d send out a team consisting of consular officials and high level Guatemalan attorneys to sort things out since Peace Corps volunteers do not have diplomatic immunity. Most of the cases involving volunteers were traffic accidents or drug busts and they mostly got expelled from the country and the Peace Corps.
Although I haven’t read any reports alleging that she fled the accident scene, her lawyers issued a curious statement:
It seems very odd the statements says “She spoke with authorities at the scene…“, because that strongly suggests that “the authorities” were not the police. If it was the police the statement surely would have said so; the authorities could have been medics, or her husband’s boss.
I drove for a weekend in Northern Ireland & found that as long as there were other cars on the road, keeping to the proper side was not a problem. But when the road was empty –
I screwed up twice. Once on a deserted rural road – when as soon as a car appeared & flashed its lights I changed lanes. The other time, I was traveling with friends to the Giants Causeway & had just taken over the wheel. As we pulled out & approached a roundabout 3 of us were arguing furiously as to which road to take from it; there were no cars in the roundabout & I turned right, causing screams from my passengers & the cars screeching to a halt on the other access roads (mostly screaming Fookin’ Yank!!). Luckily the next turnoff was into a parking lot; I pulled in & said, We are not going anywhere until we agree on which road to take from here! Once we did so (as it happens I was correct) there were no more incidents.
I found driving a manual transmission over there interesting. considering it’d been years since I’d used a stick. The shift operated exactly as over here, but using the opposite hand. The most disconcerting other factors (other than the proper side of the road) were (1) having to remember to look up & to the left for the rearview mirror, & (2) staying close to the centerline. (I was told all rental autos over there have breakaway mirrors on the kerb (left) side because Yanks all drove too far from the centerline & would smack them on telephone poles etc.)
Curiously enough, the one time behind the wheel I came far too close to a potentially fatal head-on collision (at the hands of an idiiot in a BMW) was in the Czech Republic, where they drive as we do on the right.
And yet you specifically state that you have no sympathy for the grieving parents who were invited to visit the White House by NSA staffers only to discover that they were intended to be the center of a reality show spectacle.
What is known is that the police have CCTV showing Sacoolas driving on the wrong side of the road immediately prior to the accident, which also occurred (from her point of view) on the wrong side of the road. So putting all else aside, it’s hard to imagine that she wouldn’t be found guilty of something if she returned to Britain, and that may be a factor in her choosing to stay in the US.
OK, that was inartfully expressed on my part. I’m just saying that there are tens of thousands of victims of traffic accidents here and in the UK every day. I’m sympathetic for all there families generally. In fact there are millions of injustices happening around the world every day. I just don’t put this particular incident at the top of my list of things to expend my own limited sympathies on. Nothing any of us can do will bring their son back. This isn’t even like the recent police shooting in Fort Worth where actual shit can be done to demilitarize police and change police practices from hiring to training to procedures in the field to prevent it from happening again. I prefer to reserve my outrage and sympathies for actual injustices that will make a difference. I’m not sure there is even any injustice here in this Sacoolas case as the case is far from over.
@Enhanced Voting Techniques: IIRC LBJ** had learned some “One Weird Trick” (sorry, couldn’t resist) to keep anyone from injuring his hand when he had to shake a lot of others’. There’s a certain way to take the other person’s hand first & apply pressure so they can’t. I think it involves grabbing them between their thumb & forefinger & pressing down on the bone that runs from the base of the forefinger to the wrist … but I could be wrong.
** Obligatory Fuck LBJ! for Raven.
No, I said I didn’t have that much sympathy for them one way or the other. I mean seriously. The whole White House is a reality show spectacle every damn day. Why NSA staffers were inviting them to the White House to begin with is beyond me. Do they not have more important shit to be doing? And Trump is a horrible excuse for a human being. We all already know that. I’m sorry if my outrage meter isn’t pegging 10 on this one while Kurds are being slaughtered, Hong Kong protestors are being jailed, women are about to be subjected to medieval cruelty in Afganistan, and everything else going on in the world that Trump has touched.
I think the outrage is because people find it suspicious that she would flee the country rather than rely on diplomatic immunity to protect her. Has it even been confirmed that she actually has immunity, or is that chum being thrown in the waters to deflect attention from her actions?
@Joey Maloney: Ha. Permissible BAL for drivers in the Czech Republic is zero. I remember one lunch outside Cesky Krumlov where my 3 passengers were indulging in some of that outstanding Czech beer while I made do with mineral water (which cost twice what the beer did). Next day one friend offered to do the driving after lunch so I could have a beer – he was a native & could have it any time, I was a visitor.
You’re really not helping yourself. Maybe you should step away for a few minutes rather than continue digging.
@Mandalay: She can claim diplomatic status even if she returns to UK. Truly, this is something that is settled between UK and US. They cannot force us to waive her immunity. They won’t, but now that it has become a domestic issue for Johnson, they will most likely put pressure on us.
For that matter. What actual justice is she fleeing? Has any reporting here actually looked at the UK laws in question and how these cases are actually dispensed in the UK? This is surely not a unique case. The UK is a big country. I’m sure there are traffic deaths every week, many caused but similar types of negligence. What is the most likely scenario of what she was looking at? A fine? Suspended license? Community service? A week in jail? A year in jail? Does anyone actually know?
Sorry, I am running around….
Diplomatic Immunity protects diplomats, their staff and their families from the use of laws in the hosting country to hassle, blackmail, or pressure diplomats. It really is an ancient and critical cornerstone of inter national diplomacy. Think of it this way — why would any same person go to a diplomatic post in a foreign country if they would be at the whims of momentary political interests as exercised through criminal laws? Like I said, this is one of the first aspects of diplomacy everyone understood — as representatives of the foreign state (usually king) they were necessary to communications and threfore off limits for pressures, legal of physical. Think of the Herald in Henry V. And every side agreed to this arrangement understanding the potential for abuse.
So what should a country do when the laws are not being abused? Like, apparently, in this case. Well the state of the visiting diplomatic group could either assert diplomatic immunity or waive it. Waiver could be in specific charges (maybe intentional killings?) Or on a case by car basis.
The US has always taken the position that we never waive diplomatic immunity. That is always out starting point because if you waive it in this case in England, wouldn’t you have to do the same for a similar case in (pick your favorite evil country). So we (almost) never waive diplomatic immunity but I do think we have said some person was not an official part of our diplomatic mission which ends up having a similar effect.
Also, once the driver lady left England, there was no more immunity to assert. Now it goes into a different set of laws, although we could still argue she was diplomatically immune at the time of the offense.
D.I. is a very important tool for diplomats. Sometimes it ends in awful results like maybe this case, but the result is almost huge cash payments to the victims rather than criminal charges.
Sorry for ant typos!
I think this should be added to any articles of impeachment. Christ, what an asshole.
@Kent: Nope. I don’t. I assume that incarceration would be unusual and if considered would be for a short time. I assume, however, that she does have immunity, and if she doesn’t, someone very high up must be protecting her. UK would KNOW whether she has immunity because — at least the way it used to work — every person who has it has to be identified, and usually their own identification makes it rather clear. This is for all kinds of reasons, for one, if the person is arrested everyone will know that they do indeed have immunity. I once had a fender bender with a guy. Nothing really happened but his girlfriend demanded an ambulance, and when the police arrived, he jumped out of the car screaming that he was a diplomat. The DC police are used to this, so the officer looked at his ID, and then told him that while he might be a diplomat, his car didn’t have diplomatic plates — in fact, it didn’t have any plates (expired), and they impounded it on the spot. I think my insurer did not end up paying much because it wasn’t street legal. This stuff happens, there are rules we follow.
OMG, y’all! Trump is trying to throw BoJo under the bus on this one:
ETA: The quote is from WaPo here.
I wish there was a way to reverse this flesh pressing PR shitshow and go back to a time when this sort of WH visit was rarity. While the Obama’s did it very well; mostly it is pretty awkward and such a waste of the executive office’s time. And honestly, If Nancy would change one House rule, it would be the one allowing members to invite outsiders to the State of the Union address. It’s a circus anymore of aggrieved widows and horrible celebrities. It’s gruesome and the practice should end now. too bad we live in the Reality TV universe now.
@Jim, Foolish Literalist:
“plus, they’ll have plenty to eat. because of the sand which is there”
Not passing judgment on whether it is good or bad procedure but the ‘normal’ way this would play out is for the claim of immunity being made, followed by expulsion from the host country.
Yes. That’s why I mentioned that once she fled, immunity was moot.
There was a horrible case of drunk/drugging kids of some country (Saudi Arabia maybe? My mind is mush) who killed a bunch of people in a car accident in Washington DC back maybe 20 years? It was pretty egregious, but, diplomatic immunity!
Then there was the CIA dude who killed the intelligence officer in Pakistan during Bush II. Now that was a fascinating case. We ended up paying legal blood money to the family to end the prosecution.
@Immanentize: Don’t apologize for your ants — they type pretty good!
I think this might be one occasion where Trump is actually telling the truth. There’s no reason to believe that Johnson wasn’t genuinely offended by what Sacoolas did, he was under strong political pressure to do something by an outraged British public, and he delivered by setting up a meeting with Trump. I strongly doubt that Trump would have seen the Dunns without Johnson’s intervention.
– I doubt that BoJo anticipated that Sacoolas would be lurking in the wings.
– I’m sure Trump would have taken all the credit and glory if things had gone well. It’s only because the Dunns told Trump to go fuck his face with a bread knife that Trump is blaming BoJo for the fiasco.
– Look for Johnson to say or do something bizarre in the next few days that helps Trump and/or Putin. The explanation for his behavior will be that he owed Trump, and Trump is calling in a favor.
@Immanentize: U.S. demanded that Georgia waive immunity for a diplomat who was clocked at speeds of up to 70 miles per hour as he went around Dupont Circle ignoring traffic lights and, literally, ran down a pedestrian — a 22 year old Brazilian woman. He had some incredibly high blood alcohol level as well. There is a charity called the Sasha Bruce Youth Network, named after the daughter of a wealthy woman married to a Greek diplomat whose son killed the girl, and then left the U.S. Greece would not send him back.
@Barbara: He doesn’t seem to have been on the list
Harry Dunn death: Foreign Office doubt Anne Sacoolas will return to UK Guard, Oct 8
Heh. Better even than archy and mehitabel.
Those are unhappy results. And Americans have done similar things in foreign countries. But these days, I would be more worried that Trump would sell diplomatic immunity to leaders he likes than I am concerned whether any country gets a criminal conviction (as opposed to civil redress) in a particular case. Criminal Law is always a very crude stick and often misses both letting the guilty go free and making the innocent go to prison.
@elroy:. Ha! See what I meant! I am on the run today
Interesting. I wonder if that’s why she fled — she assumed that she had diplomatic immunity as a spouse because they thought that her husband had it, and whoops! ?
Also, kind of a general comment:
I think this is gaining traction because it’s the entire shitshow of the Trump administration writ small enough that anyone can understand that they are fuckups on every level. FFS, they can’t even handle what should be a relatively minor matter of an American screwing up overseas without making things 100 times worse.
IIRC, when actor Matthew Broderick made a similar deadly mistake in Ireland 20+ years ago and killed 2 people, there was no criminal penalty, but he did have to pay a pretty large civil one. But, of course, he didn’t flee the country and try to claim diplomatic immunity.
@scav: The article suggests that the U.S. might have told her to leave in an effort to protect the identity of her husband. I guess that didn’t turn out the way they planned.
Trump has always bristled at attempts to control his worst impulses, but he is increasingly out of control. I guess this was to be expected.
Increasingly, he surrounds himself with loyalists and butt kissers. And he more openly asserts his infallibility. We see today how, refusing ever to admit a mistake, he rationalizes the terrible plight of the Kurds, which is fully his responsibility.
Things will only get worse. Trump not only does not know how to respond to changing events, now he is actively creating disasters.
ETA: Of course, we early on saw how Trump deliberately makes a bad situation worse in his treatment of immigrants. His “trade war” is an unfocused farce without any reasonable economic goals.
@Kent: There is a graduated scale of criminal charges in the UK associated with driving offences, going up roughly from “Driving without due care and attention” (i.e. not looking where you’re going properly, running red lights, misjudging overtaking and the like) up through dangerous driving (driving at an inappropriate speed, weaving through traffic etc.). Driving while under the influence of alcohol and drugs is a separate category but it will increase the penalties for the previous offences if they happen together. Note that those offences don’t need to result in an accident to be prosecutable.
There is a specific offence of causing death through dangerous driving which usually means jail time, it’s roughly equivalent to vehicular manslaughter in the US. Driving without due care and attention causing a death will almost certainly not involve jail time unless drugs or alcohol were involved — in that case the charges are usually uprated to Dangerous Driving i.e. you worked hard to have an accident rather than being momentarily careless but otherwise being competent to drive at the time of the accident.
From what I can make out from the reports it would not be a case of causing death by dangerous driving, she would be charged with “driving without due care and attention”. I would expect she was tested for alcohol at the scene of the accident and this would have been reported if there was anything notable about the readings. Penalties for driving without due care and attention, even if it resulted in a death would probably be a large fine and loss of licence for a period of time, maybe 12-18 months and a compulsory retest before her licence could be renewed. Jail time would be very very unlikely.
@The Moar You Know: If I am remembering correctly, Springer crashed & burned politically when he paid a prostitute in Covington with a personal check.
Thread is long dead, but I remember when I was living in NYC that a few Saudi diplomats were whisked out of the country after raping young women. You better believe America was calling for diplomatic immunity to be waived. Hell, there was even disputes when diplomats were told they had to pay parking tickets!
@debbie: Italy still wants the hot-dogging USMC Growler pilot who killed 20 people in a cable car in 1998 back to face charges. Not going to happen to a military veteran of course.
I toured NZ by motorcycle for 3 weeks. We had to go through a course with the NZ dmv before we could rent our bikes. That helped a lot. Next it is easier on a bike because you are always centered on the vehicle. And if you want to live you look, pay attention, and you always expect car drivers to do the worst thing at the worst time.
@Mandalay: Thanks for the correction/amplification. I shouldn’t have said that she fled the scene – that was my interpretation of a not-careful reading of the circumstances.