Friday, February 10, 2017

Trump's Get Tough on Immigration and Civil Liberties Agenda


Trump’s Get Tough on Immigration and Civil Liberties Agenda

by Stephen Lendman

His immigration and travel suspension (now in limbo following its judicial rejection) was politicized, not about protecting America’s borders or national security. 

Designated Muslim countries alone are affected, not Judeo/Christian ones - adversaries, not allies.

They’re mostly nations America owes restitution to for lawless aggression, for mass slaughter and destruction, for creating appalling chaos and human misery. 

Instead, further punishment is being inflicted on people so grievously harmed by Washington’s imperial agenda.

Individuals targeted are human beings, not terrorists. The best way to keep America safe is by ending attacks on other countries, renouncing the nation’s permanent war policy, stopping imperial madness, fostering peace and stability, not continuing endless wars on humanity.

On Thursday, three new Trump executive orders declared war on drugs his way, “crime” as he defines it, and anyone harming law enforcers.

The devil is in the details, unknown until implementation reveals them. Civil libertarians have reason to worry.

Tyranny arrived in America before Trump’s ascension to power. Rolling back police state abrogation of constitutional rights is needed, not piling on more harshness, the nation’s most vulnerable affected, its privileged class benefitting at their expense.

Are Trump’s latest orders designed to destroy remaining fundamental freedoms on the phony pretext of keeping us safe?

Longstanding war on drugs is disastrous policy, filling prison cells with nonviolent offenders. Sound policy would end the war altogether, not escalate it - what Trump’s EO appears designed to do.

Rising crime is a “dangerous, permanent trend,” said Trump, ignoring the worse kinds: state-sponsored criminality worldwide and crime in the suites virtually unpunished. Rare exceptions prove the rule.

Trump’s actions risk advancing things toward full-blown tyranny. A White House statement said he acted “to fight crime, gangs, and drugs; restore law and order; and support the dedicated men and women of law enforcement.”

Fact: Federal, state and local laws in place already do these things, no presidential actions needed for tougher enforcement - just the opposite to stop abusing the nation’s most vulnerable, its people of color and poor, incarcerating them in the world’s largest gulag, the shame of the nation.

Trump’s EOs will worsen things, not accomplish his dubious goals. They’ll make America more of a police state than already.

The White House claiming increased “violence and threats against law enforcement officials” ignores police brutality, cops killing over 1,000 Americans last year, mostly Black youths. They’re nearly always unaccountable. Rarely ever are police officers imprisoned.

White House: “These Executive Orders recognize that the most important crime-fighting measure is to stand behind the officers who are on the front lines. The people who risk their lives every day to protect Americans need to know they are supported 100 percent.”

Fact: Cops serve and protect privileged interests at the expense of popular ones - a defining police state feature.

White House: “These Executive Orders recognize that the most important crime-fighting measure is to stand behind the officers who are on the front lines. The people who risk their lives every day to protect Americans need to know they are supported 100 percent.”

Fact: US governance of, by and for all its citizens was never the nation’s policy. Ordinary people are abused politically and economically. Federal, state and local law enforcement authorities impose injustice.

Trump risks making things worse, the White House saying:

The “first executive order will place the government firmly on the side of federal, state, tribal, and local law enforcement.” 

“This will ensure that funding supports officers on the street, and anyone who tries to do them harm will be aggressively prosecuted.”

“The second Executive Order will instruct the Attorney General to form a task force to look at how crime can be reduced and public safety increased.”

“The third Executive Order instructs the Attorney General to form a separate task force to focus on destroying transnational criminal organizations and drug cartels.” 

“These dangerous groups bring drugs and violence to once- peaceful neighborhoods in the United States and around the world.” 

“They have fueled addiction and fatal overdoses. They will no longer operate with impunity in this country or this hemisphere.”

Fact: These EOs are scary. The first one suggests enhancing  police state powers of federal, state and local authorities instead of responsibly curbing them, stopping their systematic abuses, protecting the rights of ordinary America, not unleashing greater savagery against them.

Fact: The second EO isn’t about reducing crime and increasing public safety. The way to achieve both is by rescinding police state laws, creating good jobs for America’s unemployed and underemployed, ending neoliberal harshness, and holding people in high places accountable for their high crimes of war and against humanity, along with prosecuting Wall Street and other corporate crooks.

Fact: The thirds EO will make a bad situation worse. Underworld crime is part of the national fabric everywhere. Federal, state and local laws in place are adequate to deal with it if responsibly enforced. 

The way to destroy illicit drug cartels is by ending the long ago failed war on drugs, legalizing them, getting government out of the business of mandating what people should or shouldn’t do to their bodies. 

It’s their choice for good or ill. Too many legal drugs are more harmful than banned ones. GMOs harm human health. So does the nation’s food supply contaminated by toxic chemicals.

Instead of chasing drug lords and street pushers, Trump should target these issues, doing infinitely more harm than illicit drugs - along with smoking, excessive alcohol use, and America’s pay or die healthcare system.

Most Trump actions so far serve special interests over the general welfare. It disappoints but doesn’t surprise.

Except for killing TPP (likely TTIP to follow) and mandating ethics standards on former government officials, he’s governing like his predecessors. 

His inaugural address said “(w)hat truly matters is…whether our government is controlled by the people. January 20th 2017, will be remembered as the day the people became the rulers of this nation again.”

“The forgotten men and women of our country will be forgotten no longer…The oath of office I take today is an oath of allegiance to all Americans…I will fight for you with every breath in my body - and I will never, ever let you down.”

“We will seek friendship and goodwill with the nations of the world…We do not seek to impose our way of life on anyone.”

Realpolitik straightaway overrode lofty inaugural rhetoric on domestic and geopolitical issues.

Trump can’t control congressional action. He’s responsible for his own. For the most part, he’s off to a disturbing start. It’s cause for concern about what’s coming next.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net. 

His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: How the US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."

http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanIII.html

Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com. 

Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.