July 2017 Archives

What goes down comes round in a nasty sequel to human rights abuse by your government. Former head of U.S. Southern Command, United States Marine Corps general John Kelly was responsible for all U.S. military activities in South and Central America, including Guantánamo. Kelly shares the current administration's determination to keep the prison open, to "load it up with some bad dudes," as Trump puts it.

"Presiding over a population of detainees not charged or convicted of crimes, over whom he had maximum custodial control, Kelly treated them with brutality," the Center for Constitutional Rights said. "His response to the detainees' peaceful hunger strike in 2013 was punitive force-feeding, solitary confinement, and rubber bullets. Furthermore, he sabotaged efforts by the Obama administration to resettle detainees, consistently undermining the will of his commander in chief."

General Kelly was rewarded for his efforts with U.S. Senate confirmation to head the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) on January 20, 2017. The willful collaboration of Congress to the program of false imprisonment cultured under pretext of U.S. exception to international law has expanded under the Trump/Pence administration. As head of Homeland Security, Kelly "would be responsible for implementing some of Trump's most controversial policy pledges, including mass deportations, curtailing immigration from some Muslim majority countries, and enhanced security at the southern border," warned the Guardian at the time.

Kelly's "spectacular job" at the helm of DHS -- especially the massive increase in immigration arrests -- rewards his loyalty to Trump's nationalist agenda with appointment to the influential position of White House Chief of Staff. The former general is expected to bring "order" to an embattled presidency. Not everyone applauds. "By putting Gen John Kelly in charge, Pres Trump is militarizing the White House & putting our executive branch in the hands of an extremist," twittered California Representative Barbara Lee.

images-1.jpgFormer Bush Justice Department Official splits hairs in defense of Trump Jr's Russian lawyer meeting. Shameless? Hypocritical? You bet.

"Unfortunately, while Trump may not know or care about the legal precedents behind his actions, his lawyers surely do, and you can be sure they'll be citing Yoo's work on the unitary executive theory," notes political blogger Heather Digby Parton. "No one could have predicted that Trump, of all people, would become president, but that's exactly why the cumbersome checks and balances were put in place to begin with."

"Worse, a majority of Trump supporters don't believe the meeting occurred. This is an example of just what we're up against. Fortunately, we have the agency to counter denial of the crimes of our government:

Refuse Fascism Organizing Meeting
Thursday July 20, 6:30 - 8:30 pm
Mission Cultural Center for Latino Arts
2868 Mission Street, San Francisco

Hundreds, in several major cities, took to the streets and raised a unified demand: THE TRUMP/PENCE REGIME MUST GO! This signifies something new. An organized force proposing a bold plan to demand that an entire regime be removed from power because it is fascist and what that would mean for the future of humanity and the planet. Everyone who stepped out July 15th should know we have put this demand, the stand and organization of RefuseFascism.org on the map.
There are plenty of 'bad guys' complicit in the criminal actions of the Trump administration. More are likely to be exposed. But until then, people living in the United States share responsibility to acknowledge the horrors perpetrated in their name, and demonstrate determined resistance to the cruel and brutal future advanced by America's executioner-in-chief.

"Assault on truth has been slowly building for years. It took the election of Donald Trump to make frighteningly clear the civic consequences of living in a world in which the truth is not respected," blogs Bill Scheinman. "But a community denial of truth -- which is what we can call it when millions of people, on the political left and right, choose to believe patent falsehoods -- this community denial of truth can only happen if we, as individuals, are also denying the simple, basic truths of our own lives."

The Trump/Pence regime not only subverts the separation of powers, the separation of Church and State, and calls for a new nuclear arms race; it demonizes the press and substitutes "alternative facts" for scientific reality. 

Dr. James Waller, Professor of Holocaust and Genocide Studies at Keene State College, explains that "what makes perpetrators of genocide and mass killing different is the group dynamic. Any type of group amplifies a situation, either for bad or for good. Individual killers in these groups believe that killing itself is wrong but it is a worse wrong to not kill. That subtle difference may be the key element in what separates the mentality of "them" and "us." 

Dr. Waller also points out that perpetrators have a very high sense of morality "BUT their morality goes in the opposite direction of ours. For the perpetrator, the victim means nothing to them morally speaking, but for us, we will empathize for the victim and with the victim's loved ones. Perpetrators are able to reconfigure their mindsets, justifying their actions."

The process of 'normalization' attending these crimes, enhanced by codification into law by ruling parties, plus the bombardment of justification by news media, threatens to make monsters of us all -- if we let it. Say NO! The Trump/Pense Regime Must Go! 

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Events & Calendars

War Criminals Watch Events

Important Reading

Physicians for Human Rights
Broken Laws, Broken Lives

NLG White Paper

The President's Executioner

Detention and torture in Guantanamo

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