What America Taught Duterte: New at Reason

The masked gunmen came for Paquito Mejos, a 53-year-old electrician and father of five, two days after he had surrendered to police in Manila, identifying himself as an occasional user of methamphetamine, known locally as shabu. Police, who arrived shortly after Mejos had been shot dead, later claimed he was a drug dealer who drew a gun on them. Relatives say the cops planted the gun, along with a packet of shabu.

This is what Rodrigo Duterte's murderous war on drugs looks like, which is why his critics were dismayed that Donald Trump seemed to bless it during a "very friendly" telephone conversation with the Philippine president on Saturday. But while Trump's chumminess with Duterte fits a pattern of admiration for authoritarian leaders around the world, it's also a logical extension of prohibition policies the U.S. government has been pushing for more than a century, writes Jacob Sullum.

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