ICE Utilizes Military-Style Shock Tactics to Round up Immigrants – kra: ICE is Incredibly Cruel Endeavors
We must never forget the calculated, deliberate, incredibly cruel policies of the tRump administration, using ICE as its weapon.
All this bullshit about “gang members” and “the worst of the worst”… Hell, they are incarcerating FAMILIES, whose only transgression was to enter the U S, in horrid private prisons called “detention centers”, and then deporting them.
Make no mistake: the hatred is driven by racism. tRump even had the nerve to say “Why don’t we get more people from Norway”!
Excerpts from the Article:
The U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (“ICE”) military-style raid, where 100 armed agents stormed a store in Ohio to round up suspected illegal immigrants, brought the war on immigrants to a new level, immigrant rights activists charge.
While large-scale immigration raids are not uncommon, the sheer size of the force used in the Ohio raid shocked even the most seasoned advocates, the ACLU said.
A man carrying a stack of doughnut boxes called workers at Corso’s Flower and Garden Center in Sandusky, Ohio, for a “meeting.” Minutes later, 100 armed ICE agents in military garb stormed the store with dogs while helicopters hovered overhead to ensure nobody escaped. In all, agents herded up 114 workers, zip-tying their hands behind their backs, without ever checking to see who were U.S. citizens.
Then they separated the men and women and took them to detention centers. Numerous minors also were swept up in the raid.
ICE released the minors after 12 hours, but a week later, over 200 children were still without their parents and are being cared for by a local church.
While ICE announced it was releasing some detainees for “humanitarian reasons,” many still remained in custody. Civil and immigration rights lawyers were able to contact some of the men a week later but were prevented from reaching the women. Most detainees were not allowed to talk to their families at all. Deportations were expected to begin within days of the raid.
Treating immigrant workers as enemy insurgents is “terrible, barbaric, and inhumane,” the ACLU says, and is “beyond disturbing.”
The same problem exists concerning prison abuse: when an inmate wins an award (an all too rare occurrence, because they are fighting teams of skilled lawyers representing the abusing prison staff), the state almost always pays the money, so the abusive guard go on their merry way, and continue their abuse!
Excerpts from the Article:
Lots of lawsuits get filed against law enforcement, but very few result in a payout. Police have an ever-growing shield called “qualified immunity” and decades of court decisions to hide behind. And even when there is a payout, it is not groundbreaking.
The U.S. Supreme Court recently upheld the broad protection qualified immunity offers law enforcement. The Court, once again, held that qualified immunity “gives ample room for mistaken judgments by protecting all but the plainly incompetent [officers] or those who knowingly violate the law.” Kisela v. Hughes, 138 S. Ct. 1148 (2018). It is a high standard, lawyers admit, and no defined criteria exist.
Police again can thank the courts for decisions that give them a loophole to get out of lawsuits. Say police use excessive force and crush a man’s pelvis during an arrest, as in the case of Brandon Anderson, who had his pelvis crushed by Bristol, Tennessee, police after he gave them a fake name. There’s an easy and virtually foolproof way to ensure he cannot sue—charge him with resisting arrest, even if he didn’t do so. When Anderson sued, police invoked the “Heck Rule,” which bars a criminal defendant from winning a civil lawsuit if it would “necessarily imply the invalidity of his conviction or sentence.” Heck v. Humphrey, 512 U.S. 477 (1994). Because a jury had found Anderson guilty of resisting arrest, he could not sue the police.
Last year, Bristol, Tennessee, paid $62,971 for liability insurance, and its twin city, Bristol, Virginia, paid $42,997. Yet the payouts over the last five years amounted to just $205,000. Half of that amount went to one litigant, who was wrongfully jailed after an identity mix-up, and the next highest payout of $50,000 went to Prison Legal News magazine, which successfully sued the Sullivan County Sheriff’s Office for blocking its publication from prisoners. Insurance covered all those expenses, and police never felt a thing.
More importantly, none of the officers who caused the payouts felt a hit to their wallets. They got free lawyers, and insurance paid the bill if they lost. They felt no fallout from their actions.
There’s overwhelming evidence that the criminal-justice system is racist. Here’s the proof. – Radley Balko Strikes Again! – kra
There already are excellent, thorough studies which show this, but this is more confirmation. Time and space constraints allow for only a few of the highlights here, but if this is of interest to you open the article and check it out!
Radley Balko does great work.
Excerpts from the Article:
A couple of years ago, Sen. Tim Scott (R-S.C.) gave a powerful speech on the floor of the U.S. Senate. Scott talked about how he had been repeatedly pulled over by police officers who seemed to be suspicious of a black man driving a nice car. He added that a black senior-level staffer had experienced the same thing and had even downgraded his car in the hope of avoiding the problem. Given that Scott otherwise has pretty conservative politics, there was little objection or protest from the right. No one rose up to say that he was lying about getting pulled over.
The thing is, most people of color have a similar story or know someone who does. Yet, there’s a deep skepticism on the right of any assertion that the criminal-justice system is racially biased. In early August, National Review editor and syndicated columnist Rich Lowry wrote a column disputing the notion that our system is racist. Andrew Sullivan wrote something similar in New York magazine. (Interestingly, both Lowry and Sullivan cite criminologist John Pfaff to support their positions. Pfaff has since protested on Twitter that both misinterpreted what he wrote.) And attempting to refute the notion that the system is racist has become a pretty regular beat for conservative crime pundit Heather Mac Donald.
Of particular concern to some on the right is the term “systemic racism,” often wrongly interpreted as an accusation that everyone in the system is racist. In fact, systemic racism means almost the opposite. It means that we have systems and institutions that produce racially disparate outcomes, regardless of the intentions of the people who work within them. When you consider that much of the criminal-justice system was built, honed and firmly established during the Jim Crow era — an era almost everyone, conservatives included, will concede rife with racism — this is pretty intuitive. The modern criminal-justice system helped preserve racial order — it kept black people in their place. For much of the early 20th century, in some parts of the country, that was its primary function. That it might retain some of those proclivities today shouldn’t be all that surprising.
In any case, after more than a decade covering these issues, it’s pretty clear to me that the evidence of racial bias in our criminal-justice system isn’t just convincing — it’s overwhelming. But because there still seems to be some skepticism, I’ve attempted below to catalog the evidence. The list below isn’t remotely comprehensive. And if you know of other studies, please send them to me. I would like to make this post a repository for this issue.
But the problem with trying to dismiss profiling concerns by noting that higher rates at which some minority groups commit certain crimes is that it overlooks the fact that huge percentages of black and Latino people have been pulled over, stopped on the street and generally harassed despite the fact that they have done nothing wrong. Stop and frisk data, for example, consistently show that about 3 percent of these encounters produce any evidence of a crime. So 97 percent-plus of these people are getting punished solely because they belong to a group that statistically commits some crimes at a higher rate. That ought to bother us.
A 2013 Justice Department study found that black and Latino drivers are more likely to be searched once they have been pulled over. About 2 percent of white motorists were searched, vs. 6 percent of black drivers and 7 percent of Latinos.
A 2017 study of 4.5 million traffic stops by the 100 largest police departments in North Carolina found that blacks and Latinos were more likely to be searched than whites (5.4 percent, 4.1 percent and 3.1 percent, respectively), even though searches of white motorists were more likely than the others to turn up contraband (whites: 32 percent, blacks: 29 percent, Latinos: 19 percent).
According to the Justice Department, between 2012 and 2014, black people in Ferguson, Mo., accounted for 85 percent of vehicle stops, 90 percent of citations and 93 percent of arrests, despite comprising 67 percent of the population. Blacks were more than twice as likely as whites to be searched after traffic stops, even though they proved to be 26 percent less likely to be in possession of illegal drugs or weapons. Between 2011 and 2013, blacks also received 95 percent of jaywalking tickets and 94 percent of tickets for “failure to comply.” The Justice Department also found that the racial discrepancy for speeding tickets increased dramatically when researchers looked at tickets based on only an officer’s word vs. tickets based on objective evidence, such as vs. radar. Black people facing similar low-level charges as white people were 68 percent less likely to see those charges dismissed in court. More than 90 percent of the arrest warrants stemming from failure to pay/failure to appear were issued for black people.
A 2013 study by the ACLU found that black people were 3.73 times more likely than white people to be arrested for marijuana possession. And 88 percent of marijuana arrests are for possession. (The disparity is actually lowest in the West and South, and highest in the Northeast and Midwest.) The study found that the racial disparities were also getting larger, not smaller.
In contrast to the assertion that blacks are more likely to be arrested because they’re more likely to use drugs in public, a 2002 study of narcotics search warrants in the San Diego area — that is, warrants to search for drugs in private homes — found that black and Hispanic residents were “significantly over-represented as targets of narcotics search warrants,” even after adjusting for usage rates. The study also found that “searches of White suspects were more successful in recovering the targeted drug than were searches of either Black or Hispanic suspects.”
According to figures from the National Registry of Exonerations (NER) black people are about five times more likely to go to prison for drug possession than white people. According to exoneration data, black people are also 12 times more likely to be wrongly convicted of drug crimes.
When Harris County, Tex., saw a flaw in how drug testing was conducted at its crime lab, officials went back and exonerated dozens of people who had been wrongly convicted for possession — most pleaded guilty, despite their innocence. This is because prosecutors often promise harsher sentences or more charges for defendants who take a case to trial. Black people comprise 20 percent of the Harris County population but made up 62 percent of the wrongful drug convictions.
Not included in these wrongful conviction figures are cases in which police and narcotics task forces conducted mass arrests of entire black or Latino neighborhoods or towns. Hundreds of people were persuaded to plead guilty to drug charges. By the NER’s estimate, there have been more than 1,800 such “group exonerations” in 15 cities since 1989. Almost all those exonerated were black or Latino.
An analysis of drug war data by the Vera Institute of Justice published this year found that “the risk of incarceration in the federal system for someone who uses drugs monthly and is black is more than seven times that of his or her white counterpart.”
A 2017 report of civil asset forfeiture seizures in Chicago showed that the vast majority of such actions were in poor, predominantly black neighborhoods. The average value of the property seized was $4,553; the median value was $1,049.
There are no comprehensive national data on the rate at which prosecutors strike black jurors, but there have been quite a few regional studies.
A study of criminal cases from 1983 and 1993 found that prosecutors in Philadelphia removed 52 percent of potential black jurors vs. only 23 percent of nonblack jurors.
While white people make up less than half of the country’s murder victims, a 2003 study by Amnesty International found that about 80 percent of the people on death row in the United States killed a white person.
A 2012 study of Harris County, Tex., cases found that people who killed white victims were 2.5 times more likely to be sentenced to the death penalty than other killers.
In Delaware, according to a 2012 study, “black defendants who kill white victims are seven times as likely to receive the death penalty as are black defendants who kill black victims. … Moreover, black defendants who kill white victims are more than three times as likely to be sentenced to death as are white defendants who kill white victims.”
A 2000 study of federal cases found that federal prosecutors were about 50 percent more likely to offer a plea bargain to white murder suspects than black suspects that allowed them to avoid the death penalty.
Depending on which study you look at, somewhere between 80 and 95 percent of criminal cases are resolved with a plea bargain before ever getting to trial. While most legal observers agree that plea bargaining is widely abused and does little to serve the interests of justice, most also believe believe that if every defendant were to insist on a trial, the system would come grinding to a halt. The bias here comes in when we look at who gets plea bargains, what kinds of deals they’re offered and how many, though innocent, feel pressured to accept.
A 2015 study by the Women Donors Network found that in three-fifths of the states where prosecutors are elected, there isn’t a single black prosecutor. Overall, the study found that in the United States, 95 percent of elected prosecutors are white, and nearly 80 percent are white men. In nine death penalty states (Colorado, Delaware, Idaho, Montana, Oregon, South Dakota, Tennessee, Washington and Wyoming), all of the elected district attorneys were white in 2015.
A 2017 study of about 48,000 criminal cases in Wisconsin showed that white defendants were 25 percent more likely than black defendants to have their most serious charge dismissed in a plea bargain. Among defendants facing misdemeanor charges that could carry a sentence of incarceration, whites were 75 percent more likely to have those charges dropped, dismissed or reduced to a charge that did not include such a punishment.
Data from the Massachusetts Sentencing Commission released in 2016 found that black people in the state are eight times more likely to be incarcerated than white people. Hispanic people were about five times more likely.
In 2016, the New York Times reported a working paper (i.e., not peer-reviewed) by Harvard’s Roland G. Fryer Jr. found that though there was evidence of racial bias in how and when police generally use force, there was no evidence of bias when it came to police shootings. Fryer later criticized the way his study had been reported, and critics (including me) pointed out several limitations to his study.
IT IS CHILD ABUSE, NOT IMMIGRATION POLICY: by the Greater Bay Area [CA] Child Abuse Prevention Council Coalition
That’s right, let us call it what it is. It is an abuse of the criminal justice system, a deliberately cruel policy, and we should not let it fade from memory. The child victims will remember the trauma forever!
Excerpts from the Article:
The systemic separation of children from their families is government sanctioned child abuse. As we first learned about the immigration policy being enacted on our southern border, we were concerned. Because we can no longer stand by, we must add our voices to the doctors, clergy, parents, and Americans who are outraged at these actions.
On June 18th the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) announced their opposition to the Border Security and Immigration Reform Act announced by the U.S. House of Representatives leadership. The AAP has affirmed that separating families at the border is a form of child abuse.
The actions being taken today will produce real and lasting harm to these children. It has both life-long physical and developmental impacts. This kind of stress, particularly in small children, can “disrupt the neurological connections that are part of the developing brain” — Dr. Colleen Kraft of the AAP.
Whether or not the separation policy is moral or immoral, legal or illegal, it is harming these children. The problem we are facing here is not an immigration policy or a biblical validation for the actions. The problem is child abuse. Every child deserves the comfort and security of their parents. Children should be able to rely on their parents’ nurturing protection.
We urge anyone concerned about the impact of separation on children and families to go to the National Child Traumatic Stress Network to learn more: https://www.nctsn.org/what-is-…types/refugee-trauma
While we are encouraged by the executive order halting family separations for the time being, we add our voices to the collective concern for the approximately 2,300 children who have yet to be reunited with their parents. We also urge Congress and the Administration to work together to end family separation immediately and permanently as a part of immigration policy.
The Greater Bay Area [CA] Child Abuse Prevention Council Coalition
David Maradei, Chair
I have been fortunate to have been quite successful in all of my chosen professions… law, teaching, business broker, entrepreneur, and mentor to many. Learned a lot, made some mistakes … such is life.
I list here some suggestions which are not merely “feel good” slogans or platitudes, but which actually can help most people succeed … if they keep them in mind.
- Know what you are doing. Sounds obvious, but too many people do not! One needs to take the time to do your research, know the facts, know what is expected, set realistic goals, … and keep moving forward. Virtually any information is at your fingertips … on the internet.
- Be persistent. That old saying that failure is the key to success has a lot of truth to it. Thomas Edison tried more than 3,000 times, and failed, before creating what we call the light bulb. If others are involved – such as unresponsive government officials, be persistent without being a pain in the ass.
- Ask for help when you need it. Too many people are too stubborn, too proud, too embarrassed, or too vain to ask for help. Don’t be. Many people and organizations are willing to help. A little help from the right source can go a long way!
- Keep that critical balance in your life: allow plenty of time for family. I failed at this, as is apparent from my life story.
- Have faith, count your blessings, pray.
- Maintain a positive attitude. YOU are in control of your attitude, and a positive attitude affects not only yourself but those around you, and truly does make a difference.
- Assume nothing. If you want to assume something, assume you are wrong and find out the facts.
- Take time to prepare. I have had about 700 trials; did not keep count, but I know how many I lost … lost 2. That is not because I am a friggin’ genius; it is because I was prepared. I no doubt encountered many lawyers much brighter than I, but they were not prepared.
Last but not least, of course you need good judgement to “know when to hold ’em and know when to fold ’em”, but I leave you with my “theme song” by Tom Petty: I Won’t Back Down: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nvlTJrNJ5lA
Letter to the Editor or Op Ed Submission – The Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave- 9/8/18 – kra
This Letter was PUBLISHED in 3 papers that I know of!
Letter to the Editor – The Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave – 9/8/18
“The Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave”” … those words stir the hearts of the Americans who sing them. It is difficult to describe the depth of the emotion – proud to be an American – which we feel when we sing our national anthem.
The headline blared: “I am boycotting Nike for putting politics into sports.” It really is astonishing how many people do not understand the issue here! It has nothing to do with politics; it is about freedom of speech. Colin Kaepernick exercised his right of free speech, no more, no less, to protest the wave of violence against blacks by police. I salute Nike for supporting him. It was brave of Mr. Kaepernick to take a knee and to continue doing it, with his career at stake, and he was exercising the freedom about which we sing.
Nike’s support for Colin Kaepernick has sparked a new round of debate about free speech, our most precious right. Many people do not even realize the value of the First Amendment; they take it for granted. It is what allows us to say all of the important things which need to be said about our president, about religion, our military, about … “you name it”! In plenty of countries one would be summarily shot for what we see being said all over the internet here about the head of state! Clearly he himself does not value free speech: witness all of his remarks about news he does not like -“fake news”. Since when is the truth “fake” just because you don’t like it?! Following through on that, my right of free speech allows me to say that Rudy Giuliani, once a revered prosecutor, is an idiot when he says “The truth is not the truth”!
It is a bit ironic that the U S Supreme Court has ruled that one has the right to burn the American Flag – the very symbol of our rights – because that is freedom of speech. There can be no doubt that was a wise ruling. I salute Nike for supporting Mr. Kaepernick. They get it. His kneeling had nothing to do with “disrespecting our flag” or “disrespecting veterans”, until president Trump made it a political issue because he is a racist bigot and he knew his “base” would “eat it up”. Colin Kaepernick is likely to win a large award once his lawsuit (now in the courts) against the NFL is done. They conspired to keep him unemployed because they feared losing fans – Trump’s “base”.
The flag and the anthem represent the right to burn it, the right to kneel, the right to protest injustice, the right to speak out, and we all should understand this and be forever grateful that they do. Freedom of speech is the first right to be crushed by despots and tyrants once they seize power. Yes, I salute Nike.
Should Colin Kaepernick have chosen the NFL as the place to protest? That’s another question. But it worked: it brought huge attention to the issues of racism and police brutality in America.
I had not chosen to buy Nike footwear, because I am for the “underdog”, and New Balance sneaks are great, but my next pair of sneakers will be Nikes!
Ken Abraham, founder of Citizens for Criminal JUSTICE, Deputy Attorney General 1974-1979, Dover, DE 302-423-4067
I get lots of letters published, and ghost write for others. THIS IS THE BEST WAY TO REACH THOUSANDS OF READERS! The keys to getting your Letter published are:
1. Keep it to 250 words or fewer.
2. Do not make it about “poor little old me”. Describe the problem as one which not only affects the individual, but is a senseless or ineffective measure, policy, or law which also harms communities and society. For example, with reentry, the obstacles make it unnecessarily difficult for the individual, but also harm society by making it hard to become productive, spending money and paying taxes in the community, and they cause increased recidivism = increased crime.
3. Speak from your heart.
4. Google any facts you are not sure about.
5. Do not name-call.
Do what works: Write that Letter!
Letter to Editor – sign name, town, state, and your phone number (they often call to verify that you sent it), and “Member of Citizens for Criminal JUSTICE” if you like – shows you are part of a large group.
Send the email to yourself, and put on the “bcc” bar the email addresses for Letters to the Editor for the top ten newspapers in your state and several national ones – The New York Times, Chicago Tribune, U S A Today (google the Letter to Editor email addresses). Any questions, CALL me at 302-423-4067!
GOOGLE THE EMAIL ADDRESSES FOR “LETTERS TO THE EDITOR” FOR THE TOP TEN NEWSPAPERS IN YOUR STATE AND SAVE THAT INFORMATION FOR REPEATED USE – Some papers will print a letter from you every 2 weeks, some every 30 days, some every 90 days. They have varying policies. But if you really want to make a difference shoot them a new letter once a month! I send one out every 2 weeks.
Need a Letter on some criminal justice issue and not a great letter writer? NO EXCUSE! Email me a rough draft and call me and I’ll polish it up! firstname.lastname@example.org .
ANY QUESTIONS, CALL ME AT 302-423-4067.
Bob Woodward’s new book reveals a ‘nervous breakdown’ of Trump’s presidency Aides routinely stole documents off Trump’s desk. Military leaders ignored the president’s orders. And the backstabbing went both ways.
This is the clown we can count on for criminal justice reform? I think NOT. Hmmmm, believe Bob Woodard or believe tRump? LMAO
Excerpts from the Article:
John Dowd was convinced that President Trump would commit perjury if he talked to special counsel Robert S. Mueller III. So, on Jan. 27, the president’s then-personal attorney staged a practice session to try to make his point. In the White House residence, Dowd peppered Trump with questions about the Russia investigation, provoking stumbles, contradictions and lies until the president eventually lost his cool.
The dramatic and previously untold scene is recounted in “Fear,” a forthcoming book by Bob Woodward that paints a harrowing portrait of the Trump presidency, based on in-depth interviews with administration officials and other principals.
Woodward writes that his book is drawn from hundreds of hours of interviews with firsthand participants and witnesses that were conducted on “deep background,” meaning the information could be used but he would not reveal who provided it. His account is also drawn from meeting notes, personal diaries and government documents.
Woodward depicts Trump’s anger and paranoia about the Russia inquiry as unrelenting, at times paralyzing the West Wing for entire days. Learning of the appointment of Mueller in May 2017, Trump groused, “Everybody’s trying to get me”— part of a venting period that shellshocked aides compared to Richard Nixon’s final days as president.
The 448-page book was obtained by The Washington Post. Woodward, an associate editor at The Post, sought an interview with Trump through several intermediaries to no avail. The president called Woodward in early August, after the manuscript had been completed, to say he wanted to participate. The president complained that it would be a “bad book,” according to an audio recording of the conversation. Woodward replied that his work would be “tough,” but factual and based on his reporting.
A central theme of the book is the stealthy machinations used by those in Trump’s inner sanctum to try to control his impulses and prevent disasters, both for the president personally and for the nation he was elected to lead.
Again and again, Woodward recounts at length how Trump’s national security team was shaken by his lack of curiosity and knowledge about world affairs and his contempt for the mainstream perspectives of military and intelligence leaders.
At a National Security Council meeting on Jan. 19, Trump disregarded the significance of the massive U.S. military presence on the Korean Peninsula, including a special intelligence operation that allows the United States to detect a North Korean missile launch in seven seconds vs. 15 minutes from Alaska, according to Woodward. Trump questioned why the government was spending resources in the region at all.“We’re doing this in order to prevent World War III,” Defense Secretary Jim Mattis told him.
After Trump left the meeting, Woodward recounts, “Mattis was particularly exasperated and alarmed, telling close associates that the president acted like — and had the understanding of — ‘a fifth- or sixth-grader.’ ” In Woodward’s telling, many top advisers were repeatedly unnerved by Trump’s actions and expressed dim views of him. “Secretaries of defense don’t always get to choose the president they work for,” Mattis told friends at one point, prompting laughter as he explained Trump’s tendency to go off on tangents about subjects such as immigration and the news media. Inside the White House, Woodward portrays an unsteady executive detached from the conventions of governing and prone to snapping at high-ranking staff members, whom he unsettled and belittled on a daily basis.
White House Chief of Staff John F. Kelly frequently lost his temper and told colleagues that he thought the president was “unhinged,” Woodward writes. In one small group meeting, Kelly said of Trump: “He’s an idiot. It’s pointless to try to convince him of anything. He’s gone off the rails. We’re in Crazytown. I don’t even know why any of us are here. This is the worst job I’ve ever had.”
Reince Priebus, Kelly’s predecessor, fretted that he could do little to constrain Trump from sparking chaos. Woodward writes that Priebus dubbed the presidential bedroom, where Trump obsessively watched cable news and tweeted, “the devil’s workshop,” and said early mornings and Sunday evenings, when the president often set off tweetstorms, were “the witching hour.” Trump apparently had little regard for Priebus. He once instructed then-staff secretary Rob Porter to ignore Priebus, even though Porter reported to the chief of staff, saying that Priebus was “‘like a little rat. He just scurries around.’”
A near-constant subject of withering presidential attacks was Attorney General Jeff Sessions. Trump told Porter that Sessions was a “traitor” for recusing himself from overseeing the Russia investigation, Woodward writes. Mocking Sessions’s accent, Trump added, “This guy is mentally retarded. He’s this dumb Southerner. … He couldn’t even be a one-person country lawyer down in Alabama.”
At a dinner with Mattis and Gen. Joseph F. Dunford Jr., the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, among others, Trump lashed out at a vocal critic, Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.). He falsely suggested that the former Navy pilot had been a coward for taking early release from a prisoner-of-war camp in Vietnam because of his father’s military rank and leaving others behind. Mattis swiftly corrected his boss: “No, Mr. President, I think you’ve got it reversed.” The defense secretary explained that McCain, who died Aug. 25, had in fact turned down early release and was brutally tortured during his five years at the Hanoi Hilton.“Oh, okay,” Trump replied, according to Woodward’s account.
With Trump’s rage and defiance impossible to contain, Cabinet members and other senior officials learned to act discreetly. Woodward describes an alliance among Trump’s traditionalists — including Mattis and Gary Cohn, the president’s former top economic adviser — to stymie what they considered dangerous acts.
After Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad launched a chemical attack on civilians in April 2017, Trump called Mattis and said he wanted to assassinate the dictator. “Let’s fucking kill him! Let’s go in. Let’s kill the fucking lot of them,” Trump said, according to Woodward. Mattis told the president that he would get right on it. But after hanging up the phone, he told a senior aide: “We’re not going to do any of that. We’re going to be much more measured.” The national security team developed options for the more conventional airstrike that Trump ultimately ordered.
Then-White House chief economic adviser Gary Cohn tried to temper Trump’s nationalistic trade views. (Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post)
Cohn, a Wall Street veteran, tried to tamp down Trump’s strident nationalism regarding trade. According to Woodward, Cohn “stole a letter off Trump’s desk” that the president was intending to sign to formally withdraw the United States from a trade agreement with South Korea. Cohn later told an associate that he removed the letter to protect national security and that Trump did not notice that it was missing.
Cohn came to regard the president as “a professional liar” and threatened to resign in August 2017 over Trump’s handling of a deadly white supremacist rally in Charlottesville. Cohn, who is Jewish, was especially shaken when one of his daughters found a swastika on her college dorm room.
Trump was sharply criticized for initially saying that “both sides” were to blame. At the urging of advisers, he then condemned white supremacists and neo-Nazis, but almost immediately told aides, “That was the biggest fucking mistake I’ve made” and the “worst speech I’ve ever given,” according to Woodward’s account.
When Cohn met with Trump to deliver his resignation letter after Charlottesville, the president told him, “This is treason,” and persuaded his economic adviser to stay on. Kelly then confided to Cohn that he shared Cohn’s horror at Trump’s handling of the tragedy — and shared Cohn’s fury with Trump. “I would have taken that resignation letter and shoved it up his ass six different times,” Kelly told Cohn, according to Woodward. Kelly himself has threatened to quit several times, but has not done so.
Woodward illustrates how the dread in Trump’s orbit became all-encompassing over the course of Trump’s first year in office, leaving some staff members and Cabinet members confounded by the president’s lack of understanding about how government functions and his inability and unwillingness to learn.
At one point, Porter, who departed in February amid domestic abuse allegations, is quoted as saying, “This was no longer a presidency. This is no longer a White House. This is a man being who he is.” Such moments of panic are a routine feature, but not the thrust of Woodward’s book, which mostly focuses on substantive decisions and internal disagreements, including tensions with North Korea as well as the future of U.S. policy in Afghanistan.
Woodward recounts repeated episodes of anxiety inside the government over Trump’s handling of the North Korean nuclear threat. One month into his presidency, Trump asked Dunford for a plan for a preemptive military strike on North Korea, which rattled the combat veteran.
In the fall of 2017, as Trump intensified a war of words with Kim Jong Un, nicknaming North Korea’s dictator “Little Rocket Man” in a speech at the United Nations, aides worried the president might be provoking Kim. But, Woodward writes, Trump told Porter that he saw the situation as a contest of wills: “This is all about leader versus leader. Man versus man. Me versus Kim.”
The book also details Trump’s impatience with the war in Afghanistan, which had become America’s longest conflict. At a July 2017 National Security Council meeting, Trump dressed down his generals and other advisers for 25 minutes, complaining that the United States was losing, according to Woodward.
The president’s family members, while sometimes touted as his key advisers by other Trump chroniclers, are minor players in Woodward’s account, popping up occasionally in the West Wing and vexing adversaries.
Woodward recounts an expletive-laden altercation between Ivanka Trump, the president’s eldest daughter and senior adviser, and Stephen K. Bannon, the former chief White House strategist. “You’re a goddamn staffer!” Bannon screamed at her, telling her that she had to work through Priebus like other aides. “You walk around this place and act like you’re in charge, and you’re not. You’re on staff!” Ivanka Trump, who had special access to the president and worked around Priebus, replied: “I’m not a staffer! I’ll never be a staffer. I’m the first daughter.”
Such tensions boiled among many of Trump’s core advisers. Priebus is quoted as describing Trump officials not as rivals but as “natural predators.” “When you put a snake and a rat and a falcon and a rabbit and a shark and a seal in a zoo without walls, things start getting nasty and bloody,” Priebus says.
Hovering over the White House was Mueller’s inquiry, which deeply embarrassed the president. Woodward describes Trump calling his Egyptian counterpart to secure the release of an imprisoned charity worker and President Abdel Fatah al-Sissi saying: “Donald, I’m worried about this investigation. Are you going to be around?” Trump relayed the conversation to Dowd and said it was “like a kick in the nuts,” according to Woodward.
The book vividly recounts the ongoing debate between Trump and his lawyers about whether the president would sit for an interview with Mueller. On March 5, Dowd and Trump attorney Jay Sekulow met in Mueller’s office with the special counsel and his deputy, James Quarles, where Dowd and Sekulow reenacted Trump’s January practice session.
Woodward’s book recounts the debate between Trump and his lawyers, including John Dowd, regarding whether the president will sit for an interview with special counsel Robert. S. Mueller III. (Richard Drew/AP)
Dowd then explained to Mueller and Quarles why he was trying to keep the president from testifying: “I’m not going to sit there and let him look like an idiot. And you publish that transcript, because everything leaks in Washington, and the guys overseas are going to say, ‘I told you he was an idiot. I told you he was a goddamn dumbbell. What are we dealing with this idiot for?’ ”
“John, I understand,” Mueller replied, according to Woodward.
Later that month, Dowd told Trump: “Don’t testify. It’s either that or an orange jumpsuit.”
But Trump, concerned about the optics of a president refusing to testify and convinced that he could handle Mueller’s questions, had by then decided otherwise.
“I’ll be a real good witness,” Trump told Dowd, according to Woodward.
“You are not a good witness,” Dowd replied. “Mr. President, I’m afraid I just can’t help you.”
The next morning, Dowd resigned.
We all know of the absurd and dangerous militarization of police, and that there are far too many bad cops.
Read PRACTICAL TIP – What YOU Can Do About Police Abuse and Prison Abuse & Bad Judges, CPS Workers – Updated!
This article is loaded with exaggerations and some false information, but it is a good reminder of the problem. The author says: “…it’s hard to pinpoint exactly when it all started going downhill.” WRONG! Read How the “War on Drugs” has Destroyed Justice!
Excerpts from the Article:
In the American police state, police have a tendency to shoot first and ask questions later. In fact, police don’t usually need much incentive to shoot and kill members of the public. Police have shot and killed Americans of all ages—many of them unarmed—for standing a certain way, or moving a certain way, or holding something—anything—that police could misinterpret to be a gun, or igniting some trigger-centric fear in a police officer’s mind that has nothing to do with an actual threat to their safety.
In recent years, Americans have been killed by police merely for standing in a “shooting stance,” holding a cellphone, behaving oddly and holding a baseball bat, opening the front door, running in an aggressive manner holding a tree branch, crawling around naked, hunching over in a defensive posture, wearing dark pants and a basketball jersey, driving while deaf, being homeless, brandishing a shoehorn, holding a garden hose, and peeing outdoors.
So when police in Florida had to deal with a 19-year-old embarking on a shooting rampage inside Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., what did they do? There were four armed police officers, including one cop who was assigned to the school as a resource officer, on campus during that shooting. All four cops stayed outside the school with their weapons drawn (three of them hid behind their police cars).
Not a single one of those cops, armed with deadly weapons and trained for exactly such a dangerous scenario, entered the school to confront the shooter.
Seventeen people, most of them teenagers, died while the cops opted not to intervene. Let that sink in a moment. Now before your outrage bubbles over, consider that the U.S. Supreme Court has repeatedly affirmed (most recently in 2005) that police have no constitutional duty to protect members of the public from harm.
The myth of the hero cop really is a myth. Cops are no more noble, no more self-sacrificing, no braver and certainly no more deserving of special attention or treatment than any other American citizen.
This misplaced patriotism about police and, by extension, the military—a dangerous re-shifting of the nation’s priorities that has been reinforced by President Trump with his unnerving knack for echoing past authoritarian tactics—paves the way for even more instability in the nation.
For years now, we’ve been told that cops need military weapons to wage the government’s wars on drugs, crime and terror.
Unfortunately, “we the people” don’t get to call the shots anymore. And we no longer live in a constitutional republic.
And then there’s President Trump’s plans for a military parade on Veterans Day (costing between $10 million and $30 million) to showcase the nation’s military might. Other countries that feel the need to flex their military muscles to its citizens and the rest of the world include France, China, Russia and North Korea.
We’ve been losing our freedoms so incrementally for so long—sold to us in the name of national security and global peace, maintained by way of martial law disguised as law and order, and enforced by a standing army of militarized police and a political elite determined to maintain their powers at all costs—that it’s hard to pinpoint exactly when it all started going downhill, but we’re certainly on that downward trajectory now, and things are moving fast.
Back in 2008, an Army War College report revealed that “widespread civil violence inside the United States would force the defense establishment to reorient priorities in extremis to defend basic domestic order and human security.” The 44-page report went on to warn that potential causes for such civil unrest could include another terrorist attack, “unforeseen economic collapse, loss of functioning political and legal order, purposeful domestic resistance or insurgency, pervasive public health emergencies, and catastrophic natural and human disasters.”
Rounding out this profit-driven campaign to turn American citizens into enemy combatants (and America into a battlefield) is a technology sector that has been colluding with the government to create a Big Brother that is all-knowing, all-seeing and inescapable. It’s not just the drones, fusion centers, license plate readers, stingray devices and the NSA that you have to worry about. You’re also being tracked by the black boxes in your cars, your cellphone, smart devices in your home, grocery loyalty cards, social media accounts, credit cards, streaming services such as Netflix, Amazon, and e-book reader accounts.
It’s astounding how convenient we’ve made it for the government to lock down the nation.
Don’tchajusthateit, when they can’t say yes or no?
It makes me want to shout “answer the question, you Bozo!”
Yes, we have seen it thousands of times, politicians ducking the question,
And for that I have a very sensible, sound suggestion,
Let them know that you are completely fed up, disgusted, and pissed off,
Kick them out, kick them in the butt, hard enough to achieve liftoff!
Vote them out, out, out, get a straight shooter,
There is not one running? Get out there and become a recruiter,
These people must think we are fools, so let’s make them superfluous,
They just cannot remember, that it is they who work for US!
The reporter asks: Are you in favor of more treatment, rather than prison, for nonviolent drug users? Answer: “Bullshit, bullshit, bullshit, double talk”
The reporter asks: Do you favor bail reform, so we don’t keep poor people in jail for months or years without a trial? Answer: “Bullshit, bullshit, bullshit, double talk”
The reporter asks: Do you think criminals deserve a second chance? Answer: “Bullshit, bullshit, bullshit, double talk”
The reporter asks: “Why can’t you answer with a yes or no and then explain your answer? Answer: “Bullshit, bullshit, bullshit, double talk”
This is not law enforcement; this is our government out of control! tRump’s comments encourage and condone this malicious criminal conduct by I C E agents.
Stay FOCUSED – I told my clients: DO what WORKS, what gets results! We are approaching a tipping point – NOVEMBER – when a clear message will resonate across the land and the tRumpist fools will be done. Nunes did us a favor, by saying on that tape that all they care about is circling the wagons to protect tRump, to impede criminal investigations. When they lose the House and the Senate, they will be DONE! You are a certifiable idiot if you do not VOTE AGAINST every politician who has not forcefully called for tRump’s removal! 🙂 These politicians have sold their souls.
Get him – tRump – OUT of there so he cannot keep up his criminal, mean, idiotic activities!
In Leaked Tape, Nunes Says Protecting Trump More Important Than Defending US.https://mavenroundtable.io/theintellectualist/news/in-leaked-tape-nunes-says-protecting-trump-more-important-than-defending-us-ABcEKs-EA0KF10fz1336Ug/
Excerpts from the Article:
The Honduran mother said she felt repeatedly pressured to sign documents she wasn’t given time to read, so she lashed out at an immigration officer, telling him it shouldn’t be this hard to get her son back. The officer put his hands in a motion imitating choking someone and told her that’s what he’d do to her if she were his wife, the woman said in an interview Thursday. She spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity over fears about her safety.
“I felt so horrible because of so many things they told us, that they were gonna deport us, that our kids were gonna stay here,” she said of her experience after being separated from her son at the border this spring.
A complaint filed against the Department of Homeland Security on Thursday alleges many parents were coerced into signing paperwork they didn’t understand and that they were verbally and emotionally abused while detained and away from their children. In some of the cases, parents gave away rights to be reunited with their children when the non-English speaking mothers and fathers signed documents in English they could not read, according to the complaint provided to the AP before it was filed with the Department of Homeland Security.
In other examples, parents who had been reunited were threatened with another separation if they didn’t agree to be deported with their children, the complaint said. The complaint was filed by the American Immigration Lawyers Association and the American Immigration Council, who say attorneys spoke with 76 parents who said they were asked to sign forms affecting their rights to reunify with their children.
All of them said they weren’t allowed to ask what would happen if they signed the form.
The U.S. government separated more than 2,500 children from their parents this year as the Trump administration adopted a “zero-tolerance” policy requiring anyone who crossed the border illegally to be prosecuted. That resulted in parents who had to go to federal court to face criminal misdemeanor charges of illegal entry to be separated from their children, often for months.
The complaint to the Department of Homeland Security’s Officer for Civil Rights and Civil Liberties and Inspector General claims several mothers said that Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers told them that if they didn’t sign the form, they would never see their children again.
The complaint claimed migrant parents separated from their children were subjected to verbal and physical abuse, including being deprived of food and water and being put into solitary confinement.
In another example, a Guatemalan mother who was separated from her 5-year-old son said an officer at the Port Isabel, Texas, detention center told her to sign a document to be returned to her home country so that she could get her son back.
The officer didn’t explain what she was signing and the woman did so out of desperation, according to the complaint. The woman, like many others, also reported being threatened with solitary confinement because she was crying so much over being separated from her son.
The woman, referred to only as “A.E.” in the complaint, was eventually reunited with her son and is currently detained with him in Dilley, Texas.
Stories of parents who said they were coerced into signing off on their deportations and further separations have circulated for months. Rolando Antonio Bueso Castillo, the father of a 1-year-old boy, said he was told he’d be reunited with his son if he signed off on his deportation.
But it would be five months before the boy, Johan, would be reunited with his parents in Honduras. That happened only after an immigration judge granted the boy a voluntary departure order, which allowed the government to fly him home.