A common form of state policy, if not a natural strategy, is to handicap some people and then come back on a white horse to save them in return for their support. The practice is not new and comes in many shapes. We had an illustration yesterday when President Donald Trump took on to Twitter to reinforce the bullying of his Attorney General who wants to force Apple to help decrypt its iPhones or, better, to offer a permanent backdoor to the government (and to other hackers).

The president tweeted:

We are helping Apple all of the time on TRADE and so many other issues, and yet they refuse to unlock phones used by killers, drug dealers and other violent criminal elements.

The caps on “trade” are from the president himself. Obviously, “the United States” is being taken advantage of again. The president added (the Wall Street Journal did not quote this last bit):

They will have to step up to the plate and help our great Country, NOW! MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN.

As we know, Apple needed help on trade because the president’s trade war itself was threatening the company’s customers with price hikes.

As if a Providence of Humor had arranged the whole affair and wanted to make sure we did not miss her visible hand, the excuse for this new government attack on encryption is a crime that was committed in a facility of the federal government itself and a military facility at that, and while training soldiers from a foreign allied tyranny.

Right now, H.L. Mencken must be begging God to let him come back.