Seeking Justice …

On the evening of August 27th, in the county of Northamptonshire in the United Kingdom, a young man was riding his motorcycle when he was struck head on by a car driving on the wrong side of the road.  The young man was 19-year-old Harry Dunn, and the driver of the car was Anne Sacoolas, wife of U.S. diplomat Jonathan Sacoolas.  The Sacoolas had been in the UK for only about three weeks when the accident occurred.

Harry-Dunn

Harry Dunn

The following day, August 28th, Northamptonshire police interviewed Ms. Sacoolas, who claimed to have diplomatic immunity.  The police applied for a waiver from diplomatic immunity later the same day.  Ms. Sacoolas was cautioned not to leave the UK, promised she wouldn’t, then promptly fled back to the United States on a US Air Force plane.

Understandably, people in the UK, particularly the parents of Harry Dunn, are not happy that Ms. Sacoolas was allowed to return to the U.S.  To add fuel to the fire, Donald Trump took a nonchalant attitude toward it, saying that driving on the wrong side of the road “happens to a lot of people.”

“You go to Europe and the roads are opposite. And it’s very tough if you’re from the United States, you do make that decision to make a right turn where you’re supposed to make a left turn. The roads are opposite.”

Stop and think for a minute … what if the tables were turned.  What if a British diplomat’s wife killed a person here because she was driving on the wrong side of the road.  Would we shrug our shoulders and say, “Oh well, our roads are the opposite, so what can you expect?”  I think not.  There is a certain responsibility when one steps behind the wheel of a car, whether that wheel is on the left or right side of the car, to understand the laws of the country they are driving in, and to, at the very least, understand which side of the road to drive on!

I was pleased to read that yesterday Anne Sacoolas was formally charged by Northamptonshire Police with “causing death by dangerous driving”.  In Britain, causing death by dangerous driving carries a maximum penalty of 14 years in prison and a disqualification from driving for at least two years.

I was not pleased with the response by the U.S. State Department, whose spokesperson said …

“We will continue to look for options for moving forward. We are disappointed by today’s announcement and fear that it will not bring a resolution closer. We do not believe that the UK’s charging decision is a helpful development.”

anne-sacoolas

Anne Sacoolas

Not a “helpful development”???  What would they consider to be a “helpful development”?  I suppose they would prefer that the police simply forget the whole thing, let Ms. Sacoolas get by with taking a young life because of her carelessness?  Ms. Sacoolas’ lawyer has said that she would not voluntarily return to the UK to stand trial, and Trump certainly cannot be relied upon to do the right thing and honour the British request for Ms. Sacoolas to be returned to the UK.

It’s probably just as well that I am not a leader of a nation, for if I were Boris Johnson, I believe I would be sorely tempted to expel all U.S. diplomats from the UK, saying that if they do not take the lives of the citizens of the UK any more seriously than that, and if they cannot even manage to drive on the correct side of the road, they are not welcome here!

At the very least, Ms. Sacoolas ought to be willing to return to the UK to stand trial.  People in the U.S. would be demanding the same if the tables were turned.  At the very least, this should be a lesson for the U.S. … diplomats and their families are guests of the host nation.  They are emissaries, they represent us all.  When they act with such careless disregard for human life, they put a stain on the entire nation.

Just one more example of what I call “American Arrogance”.

28 thoughts on “Seeking Justice …

  1. It is such a horrible mess – and to think that the Canadian government acceded to the wishes of the US to arrest that Chinese CEO for extradition to the US. Then China seizes and jails two innocent Canadians in retaliation. Trudeau asked Trump not to sign a trade deal with China until those Canadians are released. FAT CHANCE!!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sigh … I know, dear friend … it is a colossal mess, most of it caused by the arrogance, ignorance and greed of one ‘man’. I wish I could say for sure that he will be gone in just over a year, and we can begin to try to straighten things out, but … far too many people in this nation still have their heads up their you-know-what. 😥

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Actually this is one of those incidents which has rattled the government even in its moment of Triumph.
    Andrea Ledsam the local MP, and on the right has been of assistance to the family and today she along with the current Home Secretary Priti Patel are meeting with family members. Both MPs come in for criticism from the Left for other reasons, so you can see there is a concern over this issue; what the motivations might be is up for conjecture. Anyway here’s the link:
    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-northamptonshire-50882657
    As for Trump, who cares what he has to say on the subject?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for the link … interesting, but as you say, to what end? Perhaps just to show the public that they haven’t forgotten, that they are ‘on the job’. I suspect nothing will happen, the State Dept. will refuse to extradite and eventually it will just fade into the sunset, Sigh. If I were that young man’s mum, I’d be out for blood.

      Liked by 1 person

      • His family are out for blood Jill, and since 16,000,000+ people did not vote for this government I think there will be lots of people willing to support this family.
        Of course the State Department can adopt a ‘So? Sue us’ attitude but it will be one of those niggles which will not sit well.
        The trouble is the poor family will be used as currency in a political games.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Sigh. Yes, I thought that the other night when I was writing this post … that the mother and father were being somewhat exploited. A young man was killed … his life snuffed out … shouldn’t that be the primary focus? A woman was careless and caused the death of a young man … should no she at least have the decency to answer for her carelessness? People lose sight. I also heard that Trump was planning to “write them a check” … no amount of money will compensate the parents for the loss of a child. I just hate this whole thing, and I suspect it will be swept under the carpet before long.

          Liked by 1 person

          • Some Arabian cultures had the concept of ‘Blood Money’ which was a regulated system to avoid continuing feuds and settle the matter and was a very complex business.
            Something which doesn’t translate into Trump ‘writing a check’
            In the UK, things like this just don’t go away. There was a disaster at a football ground 15th April 1989; initially ‘the system’ tried to blame it entirely on supporters and not poor crowd control. 30 thirty years on the search for justice for 96 fatalities and 766 injuries still goes on. And that’s just one.

            Liked by 1 person

            • Naturally, curiosity got the better of me, and I had to look up the Hillsborough disaster … how awful!!!

              Your mention of “blood money” brought back a memory from long, long ago, probably around 1985. My ex was ordered to pay child support … a whopping $200 per month. Every month he would bring the month, throw it on my table, and say, “Here’s your blood money!” Never mind that he helped create those 3 children and that I was working 3 jobs trying to keep a roof over our heads and food on the table. Ah, the good ol’ days!

              Like

  3. The puzzle to me is that this “diplomat” was visiting a US airbase in the UK. If the couple were Russians there would be widespread suspicions of espionage and conspiracy. At the same time, I think it is a mistake to impute a “couldn’t care less” attitude to Ms Sacoolas. She is no doubt breing advised by lawyers and senior diplomats. We cannot know that, left alone to make her own decision, she would not do the right thing.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Although it is said he was with the NSA (National Security Agency), I have read speculation that he is actually with the CIA. I read a piece in, I think The Sun, stating that he was a spy, but then I don’t put a lot of trust into what is written in The Sun. But, it seems credible that he may be with the CIA, and I thought it odd that throughout this entire thing, his name was only briefly mentioned once or twice. The one interview I saw with Ms. Sacoolas, she seemed rather … haughty, as if she felt she was being unfairly blamed and plainly stated that she had no intention of returning. Coached by lawyers? Maybe, but I didn’t see anything that resembled remorse for the life of a young man.

      Like

  4. This is tragic and a travesty. Fleeing the country is the equivalent of hit and run, regardless of diplomatic immunity. Not sure why she felt the need to leave, she wouldn’t be charged due to diplomatic immunity and white/ elite privilege. Another case of American Exceptionalism- lack of morals, responsibility and basic decency. Where’s her humanity?! At least apologize to the boy and her family, what a b*tch.
    We all expected as much from the President, weakening relations his modus operandi.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Diplomatic immunity is abused too often. In the UK the general feel is that America wants justice for its own citizens but then ignores the rules when it doesn’t suit them. Got to say that our government have been too concerned with future trade deals than for justice for this poor family.

    Liked by 4 people

    • You are so right about that! And, frankly, you guys aren’t far off base. Remember when Trump said his policy would be “America First”? That is the arrogance that rules our government … not all the citizens, but about 40% of them have no consideration for any others. Sigh.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. that woman needs to be shipped BACK to the UK with all possible speed, and be held accountable for her bad behavior. She has no immunity! Where do the idiot families of diplomats get the absurd idea that they have immunity?? What kind of MORONS is the state department sending out to represent us and…………oh wait. nevermind. TRUMP.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. I hope there is no statutory limitation on how long this charge will stand. Hopefully, once Trump is out, cooler heads will prevail, and Ms. Sacoolas will be forcefully returned to England to face those charges.
    It would be better, of course, if she would voluntarily return, but obviously she is taking no responsibility for her actions. No one is surprised.

    Liked by 3 people

    • I don’t know if there is or not … good question. I suspect that Ms. Sacoolas will get off without ever being extradited to the UK, which is a gross miscarriage of justice. She has stated that she will never return voluntarily. She keeps referring to it as “an unfortunate accident”. While I’m sure she didn’t set out that day to kill Harry Dunn, her carelessness, inattention to detail, was the cause of his death and she should pay the price, just as you or I would. Seems that some people are ‘above the law’. Sigh.

      Like

  8. I’m sure Ms Sacoolas would be anxious for justice if it were one of her own children who’d been hit by a diplomat from the UK. Having said that I daresay every diplomat from very country that have faced being charged with a crime and that has diplomatic immunity would always try to invoke it. I hope Harry’s parents can find forgiveness within themselves for their sake, not hers.
    Cwtch

    Liked by 3 people

    • No doubt you are right … if it had been one of her children killed by a UK diplomat, she would be screaming for blood! I think diplomatic immunity goes too far. I remember one time many years ago, when Chris was managing a convenience store, her car was hit in the parking lot by a low-level diplomat who was drunk at the time. When the police came, they refused to charge him, saying that he had ‘diplomatic immunity’. Without the police charging him, of course, Chris had to pay for the damages to her car. Nothing to compare to the life of young Harry Dunn, but it makes you wonder just how much is dismissed under the umbrella of diplomatic immunity.
      Cwtch

      Liked by 2 people

    • Y’know … I knew that and had every intention of including it in my post! I simply got in too big of a hurry and somehow managed to leave it out. I was wondering why my word count was so low, but didn’t proofread it closely enough. Sigh. Thanks for bringing that up, for it was indeed unconscionable on the part of Trump! But, what’s new, right? He has no sense of decency. 🙋

      Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s