Look At Their Faces. Learn Their Names. Never Forget Them!

Anne Frank didn’t die in one of the Zyklon B gas chambers. She died from typhus contracted from the unsanitary conditions in Bergen-Belsen, the concentration camp she was interned in waiting for execution. She contracted typhus in that camp because her father’s attempt to get a refugee visa for the Franks to come to safety in the US was denied. The reason we have the immigration rules we have now, no matter how in need of updating and revision they are (like too much else in the US), is because of how the Franks, the refugees on The St. Louis, and others trying to flee NAZI tyranny and the Holocaust were treated in the run up to and during World War II. The stories brought back by American Soldiers of what they’d seen in the liberation of the camps and the historical documents found, utilized, and archived by both Civil Affairs personnel and US civilian personnel for the Nuremberg Trials shamed the US into making the changes. It are these changes, changes to prevent the US from ever again being a passive party to the death and destruction of tyranny, state terror, and genocide, that the President, Stephen Miller, former AG Sessions, Senator Cotton, Congressman King, the President’s base of supporters, the base of the GOP and the conservative movement now seek to overturn in an attempt to return to the Immigration Act of 1924.

The children that are dying in the concentration camps that the Trump administration have established on or near the southern border are dying from disease contracted from unsanitary conditions or worsened by them. And they are in those camps because instead of processing their initial asylum requests and releasing them along with their parent or parents, they are being separated and detained in the hope that news of this will somehow get to desperate people in villages in Central American and that will deter them from trying to seek asylum in the US.

Here are the faces and the names of the children who have died in US custody or because they were in US custody* so far.

Here is the Google Docs document that has been created to record these crimes against humanity.

We will need a Truth & Reconciliation Committee to come through this. And it will not only need to have the authority to refer prosecutions, the legislation establishing the Truth & Reconciliation Committee will need to include language establishing a crimes against humanity tribunal for the people who conceived of this policy and strategy, who ordered it, who carried it out, and who have tried to cover it up.

Look at their faces! Learn their names! Never forget them and what is being done to others like them in the name of the United States.

Open thread!

* US personnel have, apparently, been transferring seriously ill detainees from custody to hospitals so that they technically do not die in one of these camps or other Customs & Border Patrol or Health & Human Services Office of Refugee Resettlement facilities.








Sean Hannity Conspired With Paul Manafort To Launder Information Through His Show On Fox and Then Back Into Manafort’s Legal Filings in Court

Earlier today new documents were unsealed from the Manafort case. They are chat logs from 2017 and include text messages between Hannity and Manafort during the investigation into and prosecution of Manafort. They can be found at this link or below.

Manafort_Texts

Among other interesting, not so interesting, and explosive information in them, it appears that Manafort was using Hannity and his Fox News show to launder information into his legal filings with the court. This was done through Sara Carter, who claims to be a national security specialist (she isn’t), but who is a protege of the execrable John Solomon who has been laundering right wing conspiracy theories since the late 1980s/early 1990s.

Here’s the specific section that was tweeted by Brad Heath and that Mariotti is referring to:

Here’s another one tweeted by Heath where Manafort is complaining about former Attorney General Jeff Sessions with an empathetic Hannity.

I haven’t had a chance to read through all 56 pages yet, but it is very interesting that Hannity is Client 3, in touch with Julian Assange in an attempt to get information to broadcast, and is in touch with Manafort in an attempt to get information to broadcast that is then laundered back into Manafort’s court filings.

Just one more bit of evidence about how Fox News coordinates the information that it broadcasts with Republican and conservative movement elites and notables. Makes you wonder who else Hannity regularly texts with and what about?

Open thread!








Today In America’s Concentration Camps for Children

I want to refocus a bit on this:

SAN FRANCISCO (CN) – The Trump administration argued in front of a Ninth Circuit panel Tuesday that the government is not required to give soap or toothbrushes to children apprehended at the U.S.-Mexico border and can have them sleep on concrete floors in frigid, overcrowded cells, despite a settlement agreement that requires detainees be kept in “safe and sanitary” facilities.

All three judges appeared incredulous during the hearing in San Francisco, in which the Trump administration challenged previous legal findings that it is violating a landmark class action settlement by mistreating undocumented immigrant children at U.S. detention facilities.

“You’re really going to stand up and tell us that being able to sleep isn’t a question of safe and sanitary conditions?’” U.S. Circuit Judge Marsha Berzon asked the Justice Department’s Sarah Fabian Tuesday.

U.S. Circuit Judge William Fletcher also questioned the government’s interpretation of the settlement agreement.

“Are you arguing seriously that you do not read the agreement as requiring you to do anything other than what I just described: cold all night long, lights on all night long, sleeping on concrete and you’ve got an aluminum foil blanket?” Fletcher asked Fabian. “I find that inconceivable that the government would say that that is safe and sanitary.”

The settlement at issue came out of Jenny Lisette Flores v. Edwin Meese, filed in 1985 on behalf of a class of unaccompanied minors fleeing torture and abuse in Central America.

Finally agreed upon in 1997, the settlement established guidelines for the humane detention, treatment and release of minors taken into federal immigration custody. The guidelines include the right to a bond hearing and requirements that immigration authorities timely release children to parents or guardians and place those not released in facilities that meet certain standards. The facilities are supposed to be “safe and sanitary.”

I spent about 45 minutes this afternoon looking for a picture of me, from August or September 2008, handing out toothpaste, tooth brushes, floss, soap, shampoo, other sundries, and toys to Iraqi children during a Humanitarian Assistance (HA) operation with the Command Sergeant Major* of the 4th Battalion/27th Field Artillery Regiment – Iron Thunder.** The Command Sergeant Major was handing out small, portable water purifiers, and dry consumables like bags of legumes that wouldn’t spoil, to the women in the village we were visiting. I’ll never forget watching and hearing a 6’6 inch tall, African American Command Sergeant Major, bend over and tell little old Iraqi women through his interpreter: “Mother, I know things aren’t great right now and I’m sorry about that. But on behalf of my battalion commander, my brigade commander, the Soldiers of the US Army, and the American people may I give you some things to try to make your life a little easier?” You can’t teach or train that. He didn’t just give them something. He didn’t hand it to them and walk away. He asked them. He gave them some of their dignity back by making them subjects to be interacted with, not objects to be manipulated. He got it without having to even be taught, not by sitting through hours of cultural engagement classes.

The reason for this reminiscence is that we CANNOT EVEN BE BOTHERED TO DO THE SAME THING FOR CHILDREN WHO WE HAVE SEPARATED FROM THEIR PARENTS AND REFUSE TO RELEASE TO THERE PARENTS !!!!!!! Not in some foreign country, not some place where everyone has to actually go around armed for their own safety, but here in the US!

They’re concentration camps. Their purpose is to concentrate these children, and in other cases adults, in miserable conditions in the perverse belief that word of the immiseration will get back to others in Central America, which will stop those considering fleeing to the US to seek asylum. It won’t. It is also a violation of US Federal law and Senate ratified US treaty obligations that have the force of US Federal law. It is immoral. It is unethical. And anyone who claims to be a devout, believing, and practicing member of any religion that supports this is a fraud, a liar, and a hypocrite!

Home of the brave my ass!

Open thread!

Read more








The Recent Attack On Shipping in the Gulf of Oman

Two commercial shipping vessels were attacked yesterday in the Gulf of Oman. Both vessels and their cargoes will be salvaged, the crews were safely removed, and none of the potentially environmentally damaging cargo – one of the ships was carrying distillates of naptha, the other methanol – appears to have leaked out into the Gulf of Oman. Because of where these attacks occurred, everyone seems to have immediately decided it was Iran. Secretary of State Pompeo went so far as to state it was unequivocally Iran at his press conference yesterday.

Secretary Pompeo eventually changed his statement to US intelligence assesses, from US government. Regardless, it appears that he’s basing a lot of this on the US Navy surveillance footage that was released of an unexploded ordnance (UXO) tech on one of the Iranian rescue teams removing what could be a magnetically attached mine or magnetically attached shaped charge attached to the side of the Kokaku Courageous. The Navy identified the device as a magnetically attached limpet mine, but the video is too grainy to confirm it.

There are problems with the official US position as expressed by Secretary Pompeo.

Chief Wright has far more experience with this than I do, but I’d add that if we had conclusive proof, as Secretary Pompeo claimed yesterday, that Iran had placed these explosive devices, then he would have released that video instead of video of an Iranian UXO tech disarming and removing an unexploded device that is unidentifiable by video prior to the Iranian rescue team beginning rescue operations aboard the attacked ship. Chief Nance, who like Chief Wright, has far more experience with this than I do, has similar concerns.

James Fallow’s sums the problem up for all of us:

The owners of the Kokaku Courageous have now come out and stated that their ship was not attacked with a mine or a shaped charge, rather by an unidentified airborne device – and not by a torpedo.

One of the tankers that were attacked in the Gulf of Oman was struck by a flying object, the ship’s Japanese operator said on Friday, expressing doubt that a mine had been attached to its hull.

But Yutaka Katada, the company’s president, citing accounts from the ship’s crew, said Friday: “I do not think there was a time bomb or an object attached to the side of the ship.”

Please keep in mind that no evidence has actually been provided of who was responsible for last month’s attacks on shipping vessels in the area.

The bigger issue right now is how Secretary Pompeo and Assistant to the President-National Security Advisor Bolton try to spin this and leverage it to get the war they so clearly want. This includes trying to tie all of this back, in some way, shape, and/or form to Afghanistan and/or the Taliban so they can just take action under the existing 2001 Authorization for the Use of Military Force that was passed shortly after 9-11. Speaking of pieces of unexploded ordnance lying around waiting to go off…

Until or unless more and better evidence is actually released, all we can do is wait. The only good news in all of this, if there is any good news beyond that no one was seriously injured and no environmental damage appears to have occurred, is that because of the President’s, his cabinet members’, his administration’s, and his surrogates’ well earned reputation for mendacity, no one, including our allies and partners, is simply accepting the official US position on yesterday’s attacks. The same people that asked all of us to believe that no one on the White House staff asked/ordered the Navy to remove the USS John McCain from the President’s sight while he was in Japan, which was a lie, are the same ones that now want us to accept without question that Iran’s famed and feared IRGC carried out a sloppy operation and did so in such an amateurish way that they got caught red handed. Either these guys are the greatest threat to everyone, everywhere or they’re the Keystone Cops. Pick one, they can’t be both. The President’s, his cabinet members’, his administration’s, and his surrogates’ chronic inability to tell the truth may actually be the one thing that keeps things from escalating.

Open thread!








House Intelligence Committee Hearing on the Mueller Report and Counterintelligence

The House Intelligence Committee is holding a hearing this morning on the Mueller Report and its counterintelligence implications. I just noticed that C-Span was not airing it until a few minutes ago. And the cable news networks don’t appear to be broadcasting it either. I’m not sure if this is a result of the snooze fest that was Monday’s House Judiciary Committee hearing on the Mueller Report or because they were expecting to cover several hours of hearings by the House Oversight Committee culminating in a contempt vote for both Attorney General Barr and Secretary Ross. That vote has been postponed until, at least, this afternoon. So for those interested, here’s the live feed of the ongoing House Intelligence Committee on the Mueller Report and its counterintelligence implications.

Open thread!