Just before Christmas President Trump intervened in a case involving a Navy SEAL and Navy authorities who wanted to sanction the soldier.
Edward Gallagher had been acquitted of the knife murder of an Islamic State prisoner in Iraq but he had been convicted of posing, like a big game hunter, with the detainee’s corpse.
That picture, by any civilised standard, facilitated and encouraged the most gruesome voyeurism.
The link between that and yesterday’s garda appeal that images apparently showing the remains of Drogheda teenager Keane Mulready-Woods not be circulated may not be immediately apparent.
However, it is not too hard to see a link between a White House endorsement of what was immoral, disrespectful trophy photography — for that’s how Gallagher presented it — and any circulation of the awful images from Drogheda or Dublin.
They are affronts from the same deaf, callous, inhumane playbook.
It is though more than sobering that there can be any valid comparison between a frontline barbarism from Iraq and the brutal murder and dismembering of an Irish schoolboy caught up in this island’s drug war.
It may be impossible to fathom why or how Trump has normalised so much that is, even in today’s angry world, anathema to a sane, civilised public discourse but that does not excuse us from trying, in a completely new, cold-eyed way, to understand how the savagery around the teenager’s murder can take hold in a relatively peaceful society.