Not a Word Game: The Seychelles and the Mercenary

#trumpswindle | #WhatTheyVotedFor

This is not a word game. I dare you to put all these words and strings of words together in some way that makes sense:

• Mercenary
• Brother of future Secretary of Education
• Unofficial Trump envoy
• Secret meeting
• The Seychelles
• Russia
• United Arab Emirates
• Qatar
• Failed loan negotiation
• President’s family
• Blockade
• UAE hired mercenary army to invade Qatar

And remember: This is how the news cycle has gone over the last week, in terms of what we learn about the #trumpswindle.

In the moment we might pause to imagine a photo of Erik Prince tacked to a wall amid a network of yarn connecting him to other photos of people in some vast conspiracy theory, we could easily also admit it is rather quite a strange prospect to say, So that’s what he was doing in the Seychelles.

It might also behoove us to wonder at the spectacle of such intrigue; to some degree it really does seem melodramatic adventure complete with villanous buffoonery—or is it buffoonish villainy?—is #WhatTheyVotedFor.

A Seven Year Search for Justice

It only took seven years, but four former contractors who worked in Iraq for the infamous Blackwater Worldwide have been convicted of various charges related to their participation in a 2007 massacre of civilians amid the Iraqi Bush Adventure. Matt Apuzzo brings the news—

Jurors found one defendant guilty of murder and three others of manslaughter and weapons charges, roundly asserting that the shooting was criminal.

—and despite his problems with integrity, we ought to believe this report because it is all of two paragraphs long and does not purport to be a fact-check.α


α An “apuzzo” is a fake fact check, which the Associated Press reporter for whom the term is coined. This sort of thing tends to damage an alleged reporter’s credibility, but hasn’t much to do with the present issue.

Apuzzo, Matt. “Former Blackwater Guards Convicted in Iraq Shooting”. The New York Times. 22 October 2014.

Sargent, Greg. “Frontiers in fact checking”. The Plum Line. 6 September 2012.