Cui bono?



The ancient Roman consul Lucius Cassius Longinus Ravilla had a simple maxim for bringing light to crimes commited: Cui bono? Who benefits?

Is it the obvious guilty party, or should one pause and consider also the person in the room who stands to gain the most from it all?

Then, as now, smart people found ways to enrich themselves or further their political goals while setting up some dumb guy to take the rap. But by starting the investigation in the right end, many “obvious” scapegoats got a fair shake while the manipulator behind the scenes was brought to justice.

What makes me think of this maxim is the mysterious rash of half-hearted “assaults” on Swedish mosques, so perfectly timed and limited in scope that the question of cui bono practically jumps out and slaps you across the face.

Let’s preface this by pointing out that investigations are ongoing…

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