President Donald Trump has explicitly endorsed the mass murder of innocent civilians who've done nothing more than use a substance deemed illegal by the state.
In April, Trump reportedly had a “very friendly conversation” with Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte, who has repeatedly bragged about his ongoing campaign of summarily executing people who use and sell drugs in the Philippines. Following that conversation, Trump invited Duterte to the Oval Office.
Now, thanks to an official transcript of the phone call, obtained by The Intercept, we know Trump went much farther than a simple conversation between two heads of state. The American president actually heaped praise on Duterte for his systematic extermination of civilians.
“You are a good man,” Trump told Duterte, according to an official transcript of the April 29 call produced by the Philippines’ Department of Foreign Affairs and obtained by The Intercept. “Keep up the good work,” Trump told Duterte. “You are doing an amazing job.”
Trump began the call by telling Duterte, “You don’t sleep much, you’re just like me,” before quickly pivoting to the strongman’s drug war.
“I just wanted to congratulate you because I am hearing of the unbelievable job on the drug problem,” Trump told Duterte at the beginning of their call, according to the document. “Many countries have the problem, we have a problem, but what a great job you are doing and I just wanted to call and tell you that.”
“Thank you Mr. President,” replied Duterte. “This is the scourge of my nation now and I have to do something to preserve the Filipino nation.”
The Intercept notes that the transcript has been authenticated by “well-placed sources in the Palace and the Department of Foreign Affairs by reporters at the Manila-based news outlet Rappler.”
Duterte has been rightly condemned by several countries around the world and the UN for human rights abuses, by directing national police and vigilante death squads to roam the Philippines and execute drug users and dealers on the spot. So far, 7,000 people have been murdered by police death squads, who have also used Duterte’s directive to murder government officials and community leaders who don’t fall in line.
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Duterte has promised pardons and immunity for the killers, and continues to call for even more slaughter. The Filipino president has also proudly admitted to killing people himself.
“Hitler massacred three million Jews, now, there’s three million drug addicts. I’d be happy to slaughter them,” Duterte proclaimed in September.
The shocking transcript revelations comes as Duterte has just declared martial law on the island of Mindanao for the stated purpose of fighting Islamic extremism. Davao, Mindano is where Duterte first began ordering death squads, according to former member and police officer Arturo Lascanas. The long campaign of State-sponsored murder has led to its normalization in the psyche of many Filipinos.
President Trump called Duterte a “good man” doing an “amazing job” in the April phone call, and said former President Obama “did not understand that.”
It almost defies belief that in this day and age, the supposed ‘leader of the free world’ would explicitly praise a modern-day extermination campaign by the State against its citizens.
Trump is ramping up his own war on drugs back in the U.S., by appointing rabid prohibitionist Jeff Sessions as Attorney General. Sessions has already sent a directive to prosecutors to seek the maximum prison penalty for drug charges. Apparently, Trump thinks summary executions of drug users is even better punishment.
When Trump was elected, this writer posited that Donald Trump will use anti-establishment sentiment to form a new authoritarianism. He has already displayed many signs of doing so, but the call to President Duterte praising his murderous drug war may be the biggest yet.