Thursday, June 21, 2018

4 Things The Media Won’t Tell You About The Border Crisis

June 20, 2018
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The images and stories now being reported from the southern border—families torn apart, children crying for their parents, parents with no idea where their children are—are disturbing and heartbreaking
The Trump administration’s “zero tolerance” immigration enforcement policy has obviously created chaos along the border, tasking already overburdened federal agencies with the seemingly impossible job of taking into custody everyone—men, women, and children—caught crossing the border illegally. The number of children taken from their parents and placed in federal custody climbed to about 2,000 from April 19 through May 31, according to figures from the Department of Homeland Security. With border facilities overwhelmed, some teenagers are now being housed in temporary shelters outside El Paso.
But the reporting from the border has also been incomplete, misleading, and at times biased and emotionally overwrought. It’s no secret the mainstream media disagrees with Trump’s push to crack down on illegal immigration and tighten border security, but that shouldn’t excuse the lack of nuance and granularity in much of the reporting we’ve seen over the past week or so.
Illegal immigration and its attendant problems along the U.S.-Mexico border are vastly complex and defy easy solutions. With that in mind, here are four key aspects of the border crisis that the media has failed to report or adequately explain.

1. Prior To ‘Zero Tolerance,’ Families Who Crossed The Border Illegally Were Often Released

For a long time, the vast majority of illegal border crossers were single men from Mexico looking for work. Dealing with them was a fairly straightforward matter: most would be immediately deported to Mexico. It’s not that there weren’t families and unaccompanied minors also illegally entering, but they made up a small subset of illegal immigration.
Beginning in 2014, the situation changed. Large numbers of families and unaccompanied minors began showing up on the border in unprecedented numbers, many seeking asylum from dangerous criminal gangs in their home countries. Most of these foreign citizens were from Central America, not Mexico, and under a 2008 federal law designed to protect victims of human trafficking, migrants from noncontiguous countries have a right to a deportation hearing.
That meant the Obama administration had to figure out what to do with tens of thousands of unaccompanied minors and families that could not be quickly deported. Some were placed in shelters run by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) along the border, but because shelter space was limited, many more were placed with family members while they awaited hearings. Thousands have waited more than three years for a hearing, and thousands more have been ordered to be removed from the country in absentia (they never showed up for their hearing).
During this time, Obama was attacked from the Left for operating family detention centers in Texas and Pennsylvania. A New York Times editorial from July 2016 criticized the administration’s detention policies, saying the “privately run, unlicensed lockups are no place for children. Or mothers.”
Click on the link below to read the rest of the article:

Switzerland Welcomes Radicalization


No foreign financing for Swiss mosques, preaching in national language – lower house
Minaret of Geneva mosque in the neighbourhood of Le Petit-Saconnex Geneva. © Fabrice Coffrini / AFP

Switzerland has just rejected a proposed law preventing mosques from accepting money from abroad, and compelling them to declare where their financial backing comes from and for what purpose the money will be used. According to the proposal, imams also would have been obliged to preach in one of the Swiss national languages.

While the proposal narrowly passed in the lower house of parliament already in September 2017, the upper house recently rejected it. The proposal was modeled on regulations in Austria, where already in 2015, a law banning foreign funding of religious groups was passed. The Austrian law aims to counter extremism by requiring imams to speak German, prohibiting foreign funding for mosques, imams and Muslim organizations in Austria, and stressing the precedence of Austrian law over Islamic sharia law for Muslims living in the country.

The Federal Council, which constitutes the federal government of Switzerland, was also against the proposal, and claimed that it constituted 'discrimination': "We must not discriminate against Muslim communities and imams and put them under general suspicion," Justice Minister Simonetta Sommaruga said. The Federal Council noted that in Austria, Islam is officially recognized, whereas it is not in Switzerland. According to the Swiss government, therefore, the model applied in Austria does not apply to Switzerland, as "One cannot demand obligations without rights". Instead, the Federal Council evidently believes that the risks posed by extremist Islamist preachers and communities can be combated within existing law.

There are approximately 250 mosques in Switzerland, but the authorities do not know who finances them. The authorities have no jurisdiction to collect data on the financing of Muslim associations and mosques apart from exceptional cases in which internal security is threatened. By rejecting the proposal compelling mosques to disclose who finances them, the Swiss authorities can now remain willfully blind.

Several experts have pointed out the foreign Muslim networks at work in Switzerland. In 2016, Reinhard Schulze, professor of Islamic Studies at the University of Bern, pointed out that donations from the Muslim World League, based in Saudi Arabia, and other funds from Saudi Arabia were flowing to "those mosques and organizations that are open to the Wahhabi tradition". Another expert on Islam in Switzerland, Saïda Keller-Messahli, has spoken andwritten widely on how "Huge sums of money from Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Kuwait and Turkey are flowing to Switzerland", and how the Saudi-based Muslim World League is behind "a whole network of radically-oriented mosques in Switzerland... with the clear intention of spreading Salafist thought here".

In addition to the Salafist influence, there are an estimated 35 Turkish mosques, financed by Turkey's official Religious Affairs Directorate, known as Diyanet. (Previous reports have mentioned 70 Turkish mosques in Switzerland).

According to a report published by Diyanet in 2017, Islam is "superior" to Christianity and Judaism and "Interfaith dialogue is unacceptable". Turkey supports the Muslim Brotherhood and its terrorist off-shoot Hamas.

In fact, the building of another Turkish mosque was just given the go-ahead in the Swiss town Schaffhausen. The people behind it reportedly claim that the 1.5 million Swiss francs (approx. $1.5 million) will be collected locally, and not from Turkey, but the imams for the mosque will nevertheless be sent from Turkey.

None of these facts, however, appears to bother the Swiss government, which seems to want to continue the flow of foreign funding of mosques and Islamic centers into the country.

Above all, the Swiss government seems not to have considered the rights of Swiss non-Muslim citizens, who are the ones left to live with the consequences of the government's ill-thought-out policies.

One such consequence was recently on display in Swiss courts, as three board members of the Islamic Central Council of Switzerland (ISSC) were on trial for charges of having produced illegal propaganda for al-Qaeda and related organizations. One of them, Naim Cherni, was given a suspended prison sentence of 20 months for publishing an interview he conducted with Saudi cleric Abdullah al-Muhaysini in Syria in 2015, in which al-Muhaysini called on young Muslims in Europe to join the jihad. The two other board members, chairman Nicolas Blancho and Qaasim Illi, were acquitted.

In contrast to Switzerland, Austria recently announced plans to shut down seven mosques and expelling up to 60 imams belonging to the Turkish-Islamic Union for Cultural and Social Cooperation in Austria (ATIB), a Muslim group close to the Turkish government, on the grounds of receiving foreign funding.

The response from Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's spokesman was that the policy was part of an "Islamophobic, racist and discriminatory wave" in Austria.

The strong message that the Swiss government is sending to those Muslim states and organizations that are fueling radicalization in Switzerland by funding Salafist, Turkish and other radical mosques, is that they are welcome to continue doing so; the Swiss government has no intention of stopping them, let alone asking any unpleasant questions. It might as well put up a sign, saying, "Radicalization Welcome".

Judith Bergman is a columnist, lawyer and political analyst.


By Ann Coulter
June 19, 2018

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(Getty Images)

Journalists know absolutely nothing about immigration and refuse to learn, so when I cited the fraudulent "humanitarian" cases on TV Sunday night, I footnoted myself live on air, citing a New Yorker article as well as my book, "Adios, America," which has nearly 100 pages of footnotes. That should make it easy for even the stupidest reporters. 

You haven't met The Hill's Jacqueline Thomsen! She was at a loss. The New Yorker? What's that? Jacqueline thought and thought and thought, until her head hurt! Finally, she decided, as she wrote in The Hill, "It's unclear what New Yorker article Coulter was referring to." 

Armed only with the information that there was an article in a tiny little publication known as "The New Yorker" about asylum applicants being coached on their fake asylum claims, how could an American reporter ever hope to locate "The Asylum Seeker" in the Aug. 1, 2011, New Yorker? Forget "Adios, America," where it is cited, along with many, many other sources. I can't read a BOOK, Thomsen thought to herself. 

I Googled "New Yorker asylum," and the article I was referring to came up as the third item in the list. Add "coaching" or "coached," and it's the very first item Google gives you. It took 3 seconds. 


The New Yorker article begins with "Caroline," an illegal alien from a middle-class family in Africa, who passed herself off to U.S. immigration authorities as a victim of rape and torture. As she admitted to The New Yorker, while giggling: "I have never been raped." 

Fortunately, "Caroline had been tutored in how to act like a rape victim by her landlady in the Bronx, who hadn't been raped, either, but had successfully applied for asylum." 

As she prepared to weep and lie through her interview with a very tough American immigration officer about her nonexistent torture and rape, Caroline said of the country she was lying her way into: "I don't know why I didn't just go back. They are racists and xenophobes here."

Glad to have you, too, Caroline! (At least you'd make a better reporter than Thomsen.) 

Luckily, we have the very best government officials reviewing asylum applications. (Pasted on the window of one immigration official's office was a cover from the official Cuban Communist newspaper.) Caroline's completely apocryphal asylum application was, naturally, approved. 

Our immigration officials are so thorough, so hard to fool, that they granted Beatrice Munyenyezi asylum and citizenship, allowing her and her kids to live off the U.S. taxpayers for 10 years before federal prosecutors noticed, Hey! Munyenyezi wasn't a victim of the Rwandan genocide; she was a perpetrator! Munyenyezi had personally sentenced thousands of Rwandan women and children to death.

And now the poor murderess has been SEPARATED FROM HER CHILDREN! 

Crack reporter Thomsen must have missed that story, too. For her reading pleasure, assuming she can read: Chris McGreal, "Rwandan woman stripped of U.S. citizenship after lying about genocide," The Guardian, Feb. 22, 2013. 

One asylum applicant written about in The New York Times claimed she was being persecuted in Russia because she was gay. She told her immigration lawyer, "I'm not gay at all. I don't even like gay people." (For ace Hill reporter Thomsen, who is hopelessly confused about "books" and "Google," the cite is: Sam Dolnick, "Asylum Ploys Play Off News to Open Door," The New York Times, July 12, 2011.) 

Usually, frauds are only exposed when the asylum applicant makes the news. You'd think one of these times, an asylee would become famous and we'd find out: Hey, this person really was fleeing persecution! 

Nope. The pattern is: They make the news; we find out their asylum applications were total frauds. 

Here are a few: 

Ramzi Yousef was the mastermind of the 1993 World Trade Center bombing and the Bojinka plot, as well as the nephew of 9/11 architect Khalid Sheik Mohammed. Poor Yousef almost didn't make it through customs. Not only was his own passport of dubious provenance, but his traveling companion was carrying bomb manuals, car bombing videos -- and instructions on how to lie to U.S. immigration inspectors. Yousef claimed asylum and was released into our country to execute the first WTC attack. 

Sofitel hotel maid Nafissatou Diallo falsely accused the head of the International Monetary Fund, Dominique Strauss-Kahn, of rape. She had been granted asylum after memorizing a tape given to her by an American immigration activist about being gang raped in Guinea. (For Jackie "How does Google work?" Thomsen: That's from the same Times article cited above.) 

Amadou Diallo was all over the news after being killed by four New York City police officers in 1999. Only because of that, we found that, in his asylum application, he had claimed his parents had been murdered by the Mauritanian government. APPROVED! 

In fact, Diallo was born into a prosperous Guinean family and his parents were alive and well -- and looking for a settlement from New York taxpayers. (For super reporter Thomsen, you'll find that story here: Alan Feuer, "$3 Million Deal in Police Killing of Diallo in '99," The New York Times, Jan. 7, 2004.) 

America is the most generous country on Earth, but -- as The New York Times' John Tierney demonstrated 20 years ago -- even denizens of the "nicest" town lose patience when the third panhandler asks them for money. (For reporters who couldn't find their asses if you drew them a map: John Tierney, "Mean Streets," The New York Times, May 12, 1996.) 

Our country is being victimized by a network of con-artist foreigners and America-hating left-wingers passing out fake papers, fake stories and fake scripts to Third-Worlders, who lie about seeking "asylum" to get in on the American gravy train and wreck our country. 

And that's in normal times. 

The crisis on the border today is no ordinary asylum fraud. It's a political stunt by a left-wing organization, "Pueblo Sin Fronteras" -- People Without Borders -- which believes, as its name suggests, that the U.S.A. has no right to have a border. This group has very publicly marched hordes of Latin Americans through thousands of miles of another country to demand entry into our country. Pueblo Sin Fronteras' monthlong trek has been so well publicized that everyone in the country knows about it -- except, apparently, our media. 

The New York Times describes the horror thus: "At some border crossings, migrants are being forced to wait for days or longer in Mexico." 

Wait. Why don't they just stay in Mexico? Isn't Mexico a fantastic country with ZERO rapists? If not, maybe we should build something at the border -- I don't know, maybe a wall? 

"Wall" is a one-syllable word, so even Jacqueline Thomsen can understand that. 


Central American migrants aren’t seeking asylum, they’re activists challenging US sovereignty-

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Border Games

The Left’s dishonesty about families disguises its real intentions
By Bob McManus
June 19, 2018
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New York governor Andrew Cuomo announced this week that he will refuse to deploy National Guard troops to assist in border control—though no one asked him to, and no one is ever likely to ask. Cuomo is a master of the political non sequitur—last month, he promised to send a Dunkirk-style small-boat flotilla against offshore oil rigs that don’t exist—and he’s also pretty good at twisting the English language to serve his interests.
In this, he is not unique—hence the rhetorical riot generated by the Trump administration’s so-called “family separation” policies—but the governor’s National Guard posturing is at once over the top and instructive. “In the face of the federal government’s inhumane treatment of immigrant families, New York will not deploy National Guard to the border,” Cuomo announced Monday. “We will not be complicit in this ongoing human tragedy.”
Well, again, nobody asked. But the Guard diversion is a useful tool, deflecting attention from the fundamental dishonesty of the governor’s full statement. That is, the federal government is treating no one inhumanely; the “families” involved are not so much immigrants as they are economic migrants with no inherent right of entry into the United States—and to the extent that there is an “ongoing human tragedy” on the border, responsibility for it resides with those attempting to enter the county illegally.
It is true that Americans love children. The Clinton administration discovered that in 2000, when it sent heavily armed immigration agents storming into a Florida home to remove a screaming seven-year-old boy. The reaction was furious. That same instinct underlies the current controversy, as well as thepoliticized reaction to it. Just as most people don’t want bad things to happen to children, even fewer want to be perceived as agents of harm, and not just to children. That’s why disingenuous rhetoric such as Cuomo’s can be such an effective tool.
Indeed, not since “the homelessness crisis” blossomed a generation ago to constrain honest discussions of substance addiction, disintegrating families, deinstitutionalization, and an explosion of common vagrancy has artful rhetoric so successfully obscured facts, law, and sound public policy. Then (as now) it was deemed judgmental—a grave sin—to censure personal choices or behavior. The problem, advocates and the media insisted, was lack of a home, and it was up to government to provide one. Since then, billions have been spent on housing and other programs, to no discernible long-term positive effect—and it is still all but impossible to have a serious public discussion about the addled, the addicted, and the socially dysfunctional.
Fast forward to America’s southern border, where—advocates and the media contend—children routinely are “ripped” from their mothers’ arms, shunted off to “cages,” and pretty much traumatized for the rest of their lives. Once again, facts and context are optional; politically opportunistic rhetoric drives what little debate is allowed, and meretricious politicians like Cuomo get away with simply making stuff up. Never mind that the policies now at issue date at least to the Obama administration, even if the circumstances have changed. Or that the alternative to separation is a choice between jailing the children with their illegal-alien parents, or allowing those parents free passage into the country.
That last point, of course, is the fundamental element in the debate: is America to have control of its borders, or not?  Once again, euphemism obscures the issues; when “illegal alien” morphed into “undocumented immigrant” in the popular lexicon, the debate was largely over. After all, immigrants are American icons—isn’t that where we all came from?—whereas illegals are a nettlesome law-enforcement problem. And as was the case with the socially dysfunctional, if you label problems as something other than what they are, you can ignore the issues they raise.
Meanwhile, is there a more delightful attention-deflector in America discourse than the word “undocumented?” Every other country on the planet requires passports, entry papers, work permits, and the like, but on America’s southern borders, just tell the immigration agents that you left your “documents” in your other suit, and everything is cool. Or so the advocates, and especially the media, would have it. But “illegal alien” is precisely the correct term because it speaks directly to the debate’s core issue: territorial integrity, the basis for national sovereignty. Without that, there can be no meaningful rule of law—and withoutthat, every place becomes a sanctuary city, and eventually an MS-13 gang war.
So let’s lay it out in simple terms: Americans have the right, if not the duty, to lock their doors to keep their persons and property safe. Why shouldn’t the nation, too? Senator Ted Cruz has advanced a humane proposal to let detained parents stay with their children while their cases are adjudicated, but opponents of the administration’s border policy are arguing for blanket immunity from the democratically legislated consequences of blatantly illegal conduct. There’s no other honest way to put it—not that honest debate seems to matter.
Bob McManus is a City Journal contributing editor.

Trump and Democrats both weaponize children in immigration fight

June 20, 2018
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In this photo provided by U.S. Customs and Border Protection, a U.S. Border Patrol agent watches as people who've been taken into custody related to cases of illegal entry into the United States stand in line at a facility in McAllen, Texas, on June 17, 2018. (U.S. Customs and Border Protection's Rio Grande Valley Sector / AP)
Raw emotion unleashed makes for potent politics.
And the wave of emotion in America over the plight of families separated and children held in detention along the southern border is as potent as anything we’ve seen in a while.
It has allowed political actors to say just about anything and get away with it. PresidentDonald Trump’s opponents gleefully drop the race card. They breathlessly accuse him of child abuse.
White House immigration policy has even been compared to the death camps of Nazi Germany, as Never Trumper and former CIA Director Michael Hayden did the other day on Twitter, to his shame.
Emotion is exactly what politicians want, especially if they have that media prod in their hands, the better to herd public opinion.
Republicans held that prod years ago, when the Bush administration pushed its disastrous war in Iraq. And Democrats have it now, with the specter of those children being separated from their parents along the border.
It makes for power politics.
But does it make for sound policy?
If you don’t feel powerful emotion at the sight and sound of children being taken from their parents who tried to cross illegally over the southern border, you have no heart.
The repeated images of frightened children, some shouting “Papa! Papa!” as they’re taken away by federal agents, are horrible and beyond words.
But what’s also apparently beyond words is this: The children in the detention centers have now been thoroughly politically weaponized by the left and their allies in the Democratic Media Complex.
The children are the arrows in the Democratic quiver. Republicans are panicking, trying to come up with compromise legislation. Polls show Americans are overwhelmingly opposed to Trump’s family separation policy.
And so Democrats have absolutely no political incentive to help solve the problem in Congress. They’d rather draw their bows and let fly at Trump.
“There’s no need for legislation,” said Senate Democratic Leader Charles Schumer of New York. “There’s no need for anything else. You can do it. Mr. President, you started it, you can stop it.”
Make no mistake, Trump is deserving of the arrows. He did this ham-handedly, with confused and contradictory messaging. The public relations disaster he created is written on the panicked faces of his fellow Republicans.
Yes, the Obama administration engaged in forced separation too, but not nearly to this extent.
Trump was first to weaponize these children. With his “zero tolerance” policy aimed at either deterring illegal immigration or helping negotiate changes in immigration law in Congress, the president took things to a grotesque, draconian level.
And now, Democrats and others who are part of the left’s no-borders alliance feel they’ve scored a significant political victory. They’re not wrong. They have scored a victory, at least in the short term.
In the past, people crossing the border illegally (a misdemeanor) with children were charged, then released into the United States with the promise they’d return to court. Naturally, few returned. And so, more came with children. They had been given incentive.
Border policy was already a complete mess when former President Barack Obama took office, and he was slammed by the left as a betrayer and as the “deporter in chief.”
In 2014, at a CNN town hall meeting, Democrat Hillary Clinton said deterrence was critically important.
“We have to send a clear message: Just because your child gets across the border, that doesn’t mean the child gets to stay,” Clinton said. “We don’t want to send a message that’s contrary to our laws or will encourage more children to make that dangerous journey.
But talking about sending a message when children are involved is quite different from actually sending it.
Trump sent that message and now he’s paying for it.
He made securing the border the centerpiece of his presidential run. It propelled him past establishment Republican candidates who tried appeasing the desire of business for cheap labor, without angering those who were economically left behind.
But they were inconsolably angry. And Trump was not about compromise. But he seems ready to compromise now. And Republicans, facing the midterm elections, are worried.
Republicans and Trump are now focusing on a new plan for the families who don’t properly seek asylum at border crossings, but who are caught illegally crossing the border.
The law now limits the amount of time minors can be held to 20 days. One Republican plan would allow children to be kept with their parents in detention for longer than that. A revised bill would give the Department of Homeland Security powers to use $7 billion in “border technology funding” to build family detention centers.
Can you see the problem here? Refugee camps growing along the southern border, families and children held for extended periods, with the left increasing its call to let everybody in and put an end to something as cruel and exclusive as borders.
It could serve as an incentive for others to come, and our new refugee camps could grow even larger, as desperate people run from poverty, the cruelty of their corrupt Central American governments and the violence back home.
In the short term at least, Schumer and the Democrats won’t budge. Schumer’s got those weaponized children in his quiver and ample support in the media.
But what are the long-term consequences? We’re not really thinking about the long term, are we?
We don’t want to see those children crying. We just want an end to it. And the long-term consequence of policy isn’t on our minds.
Listen to "The Chicago Way" podcast with John Kass and Jeff Carlin — at

‘Future Pres’ Hillary — the Font of all the Scandals

By Victor Davis Hanson
June 19, 2018
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James Comey, Hillary Clinton and Loretta Lynch
Review the Clinton email scandal, the Steele dossier, the insertion of at least one FBI informant into the Trump campaign, the misleading of the FISA court by FBI and DOJ officials intent on monitoring U.S. citizens, and, now, the inspector general’s report. There emerges a common denominator: the surety by all involved that Hillary Clinton would be president, and the need to prepare for that fact.
Examine the IG’s transcript of a random, pre-election series of electronic chitchat between high-ranking FBI employees:
15:07:41, Agent 1: “ . . . I’m done interviewing the President — then type the 302. 18 hour day . . . ”
15:13:32, FBI Employee: “you interviewed the president?”
15:17:09, Agent 1: “you know — HRC” [Hillary Rodham Clinton]
15:17:18, Agent 1: “future pres”
15:17:22, Agent 1: “Trump cant win”
“Trump can’t win” explains the salty language also of the Page-Strzok text trove, where the two paramours talk of Trump supporters that they “can smell” and an “insurance” plan to preclude Trump’s nearly nonexistent chances. (“I want to believe the path you threw out for consideration . . . that there’s no way [Trump] gets elected — but I’m afraid we can’t take that risk. It’s like an insurance policy in the unlikely event you die before you’re 40.”)
Perhaps the most iconic example of deep-state bias was the following Page-Strzok exchange:
Page: “[Trump’s] not ever going to become president, right? Right?!”
Strzok: “No. No he won’t. We’ll stop it.”
When high-career FBI and DOJ officers go on to refer to American voters as smelly, “retarded,” ignorant, and feces (easily trumping Hillary’s own “deplorables” and “irredeemables” and Obama’s “clingers”), they do so because they assume their candor to each other will earn rewards rather than punishments. More generally, they count on their illegal and unethical behavior becoming known and thus résumé points rather than grounds for later firing and jail.
In such an incestuous Washington world, one presidential candidate, an abject outsider and sure loser, was a hopeless “idiot,” ”loathsome,” a ”menace” and a “disaster.” In contrast, as another (unnamed) FBI agent boasted to a female counterpart, “I’m . . . with her.” What he meant was not so much that he was obviously a Clinton partisan and a would-be born-again feminist, but rather that he was a partisan of someone who was going to shortly be president, and that he was an enemy of one who would pay a big price for his eccentric and uncouth bid.
So recalibrate the following questions:
Why would a seasoned careerist like Andrew McCabe allow his spouse to receive nearly $700,000 in campaign donations from Clinton-affiliated organizations, only later to become a chief investigator of the Clinton email scandal, or why would he so clumsily leak to the press and lie about it afterwards? Easy answer: He wisely played the odds and knew that his future FBI ascendency was assured, given that he had helped exonerate the soon-to-be president, Hillary Clinton. His only rub would be competing with other post-election sycophants who would all be vying for President Clinton’s patronage, each claiming that his own particular improper, illegal, or unethical behavior trumped that of the others.
Why would Loretta Lynch endanger her reputation with an adolescent stunt like agreeing to a weird jet-plane meeting on an Arizona tarmac with the old conniving schmoozer Bill Clinton? (What are the odds that two friends accidentally bump into each other in charter jets at the same time at one of the nation’s roughly 5,000 airports?) Answer? Such a concession was not entirely adolescent by Lynch’s savvy calculations. Not only was her improper behavior unlikely to become publicized; far more important, the Clintons, once Hillary was elected, would probably have either retained Lynch as AG or promoted her to the Supreme Court as a careerist reward for noble service rendered. We can imagine that Lynch would have reported to President Hillary that she had forced Comey to drop the word “investigation” and only with a wink and nod had “recused” herself from an investigation that she intended would lead to only one result.
Why would the last boy scout James Comey, in clumsy fashion, reinterpret a federal statute about handling classified communications so that it would suddenly include “intent” as a newly invented criterion for being found in violation of the law? Why, as investigator and prosecuting attorney, would he shut down, open up, and then shut down his investigation of Clinton at the height of the election season? Why would he for so long ignore the Wiener laptop evidence?
Comey later himself answered those questions by his admission that he assumed Clinton would be president. As he stated, he thought his (Potemkin) investigation would give her legitimacy after her exoneration.
A losing Hillary Clinton may now be mad at Comey, but that is only because the deep-state pollsters’ sure 90 percent odds of her winning proved laughable. Had she won, Hillary probably would at least have listened to Comey as he pleaded that his exoneration of her email impropriety and the way in which he had assigned partisans to her case were proof — along with her victory — that he deserved praise and rewards, not firing. Comey’s 2016 calculus was always that Clinton had likely done something wrong but would be president, while Trump probably had not broken the law but certainly would not be elected.
Why would Hillary, John Podesta and the DNC be so childish as to hire the likes of a reckless egotist Christopher Steele who would leave a paper trial with their fingerprints over his bought fantasies and fabrications? Again, a President Hillary would probably soon have appreciated such slavish service. And more significantly, as a sure winner, she would have thought such dirt would help subject the pathetic loser Trump to a legal morass in his post-election bitter isolation. Who knows, Hillary might have cackled to her gang that their neat oppo-research file reminded her of her own cattle-futures gambit or the mysterious vaporization and reincarnation of the Rose Law Firm files.
Why would professionals such as the omnipresent Rod Rosenstein and the proper Sally Yates sign on to juvenile FISA-court requests for surveillance that were obviously misleading, if not constituting some sort of felonious obstruction of justice by deluding the court about the nature of the Steele dossier? (The application failed to disclose that the dossier was unverified, that the FBI had fired Steele for improper leaking, that the dossier itself was the source of circular “corroborating” news stories, and that it was paid for by Hillary Clinton.)
Answer? Again, Yates, Rosenstein, and Comey, along with other signatories of FISA requests, would now be rewarded with tenure and/or promotions for noble service to the cause. Bill might have guffawed that it all reminded him of the Marc Rich pardon caper or the minor inconvenience of being disbarred.
Why would supposed intelligence pros like Comey, John Brennan, and James Clapper stoop to traffic in the Steele dossier, and in Comey’s case, even become a party to inserting at least one informant into an ongoing political campaign?
Lots of answers. One, Trump’s was not a political campaign, but rather a sure losing political campaign. Two, Trump himself would not just go down to defeat, but was likely to be ruined after the election as he experienced a Manafort-like fate of endless leaked negative stories in the media, a litany of made-up charges designed to have him plea-bargain to a felony or two, and millions in never-ending legal fees. Three, nothing in the past of either Brennan or Comey, both of whom had previously lied with impunity and while under oath to Congress, gave them any reason to fear any legal consequences for either unethical or illegal behavior. Again, in careerist terms, their behavior was logical; what was abjectly illogical was that Trump won.
Why would supposed progressive humanitarians and civil libertarians such as Susan Rice and Samantha Power request unmasking of hundreds of American citizens and somehow expect such unredacted names to reappear in dark contexts right before the 2016 election? Aside from the fact that neither Rice nor Power is a humanitarian or a civil libertarian, such behavior would springboard a rapprochement with the Clintons. Service beyond the call of duty, indeed, even risking criminal exposure through leaking unmasked but still classified names, could not be ignored even by a vindictive Hillary Clinton, who had prior reason to distrust both.
What then would be stupid in careerist terms? Had James Comey and the Obama DOJ run their investigation of Hillary Clinton the same way that Robert Mueller is currently conducting his hounding of Donald Trump, or had Robert Mueller conducted a post-election, Comey-like faux inquiry into Donald Trump, it would be the epitome of administrative-state stupidity.
It is tiring to hear sermons about the integrity of the FBI and DOJ, as if their elite leadership in Washington has no more influence over an organization than a general does over his army. Of course, the vast majority of employees in the field are both competent and just. But too many of their Washington leaders see themselves in grandiose terms, as subject to no law other than the demands of their own egos.
That same mindset of exemption explains why Mueller did not disclose to the public immediately why he removed Page and Strzok from his investigation, and why their staggered and initially clandestine departures were in fact related. And why, too, Andrew Weissmann, Jeannie Rhee, and Aaron Zebley were seen to have no possible conflict of interests even though one of them was not shy about his earlier disdain for Trump and his enthusiasm for Clinton, while the other two had either in the past defended a Clinton aide or the Clinton Foundation. Again, the way the orthodox state works is that the mere suggestion that such progressive attorneys have conflicts of interests is branded heresy and earns outrage — but never alters the fact that they do in fact have real ethical conflicts.
The problem with all the current scandals is that half the country, including the half that runs the media and the administrative state, thinks that any means are justified to achieve the ethical and noble end of aborting Donald’ Trump’s presidency. What one half of the country sees as unethical behavior is assumed by blue America to be noble service beyond the call of duty. When a Page or Strzok or Andrew McCabe broke protocols and likely the law, 50 percent of the population saw something like James Comey’s version of a “higher duty.”
For all the investigations and IG reports, for all the revelations of scandals and wrongdoing, there will probably in the end be little consequence, simply because to those who matter, such illegality is seen as nobility. Many at the highest echelons of the FBI and DOJ broke laws. But Trump broke a far higher and far more important unwritten law — one forbidding any presidential candidate and future president to be and act like Donald J. Trump.
VICTOR DAVIS HANSON — NRO contributor Victor Davis Hanson is a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution and the author, most recently, of The Second World Wars: How the First Global Conflict Was Fought and Won.

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Media Dishonesty on Immigration Contributes to Gridlock

June 19, 2018

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The illegal-immigration issue has always been one fraught with politicking. We always hear the same refrain from both sides: that people are suffering and living in the shadows; that we must find a solution for them as well as a way to solidify our border security. And yet nothing ever gets done.
The impression of some in the press seems to be that nothing gets done because of a lack of public pressure. If only they could somehow jar American sensibilities into solving this problem once and for all!
Certainly, that’s the motivation that lies behind the sudden media enthusiasm for covering the phenomenon of Immigration and Customs Enforcement separating children from their illegal-immigrant parents at the border. For the last week, the attention has been nearly wall-to-wall — and the moral preening has hit an all-time apex. MSNBC is now analyzing Biblical verses while asking, “What Would Jesus Do?” (Does this mean Trump has finally won the War on Christmas?) Chuck Todd of NBC News is accusing Republicans of holding kids “hostage.” Media members are breaking land-speed records to rush down to the border in order to shout their outrage over the holding pens in which the authorities are holding small children.
Presumably, all of this is designed to effectuate change.
Instead, it achieves precisely the opposite.

That’s because the media coverage of the illegal-immigration issue has always been shot through with emotionally manipulative falsehoods. In this case, that manipulation has been particularly extreme.
We’ve heard that the Trump administration has heartlessly sought to rip toddlers from the arms of their weeping mothers in order to punish illegal-immigrant parents who are merely seeking asylum. But the truth is more complex: The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled that even accompanied immigrant minors must be released from custody within 20 days. That means that if their parents do not arrive at a point of entry to claim asylum, and instead violate the law by crossing the border illegally, they will be arrested — and their children must then be separated from them by the working of the law. The only possible solution, without a change to the law itself, would involve releasing illegal-immigrant parents along with their children into the general population.
We’ve also heard about the terrible living conditions in the holding centers for these children. Likely, some of that is true — although the stories from various sources conflict. But those facilities were overburdened for years before Trump took office; in fact, the media covered these same facilities and pointed out the problems therein during the Obama administration. In other words, this isn’t a Trumpian attempt to dump kids in hellholes. It’s a longtime problem that has yet to be solved.
In reality, all of this could be solved with simple legislation. The House of Representatives is actually set to take up the issue of family separation in both versions of the immigration bill being presented in the House. But Democrats probably won’t sign on to either bill — and it’s unlikely they’d even sign onto an independent piece of legislation designed to allow children to stay with their illegal-immigrant parents until their cases can be adjudicated. That’s because thanks to biased media coverage — and, in some cases, outright falsehoods — Democrats are winning the public-relations war. The longer the Democrats prevent a solution from arising, the more they gain in the public-opinion polls. So they have little incentive to come to the table around an immigration solution — their better political option remains to wait Trump out and let the press inflict damage on him. There’s a reason every Republican attempt at immigration reform has stalled out over the past two decades — and there’s a reason Democrats have celebrated every time they have. There’s also a reason that Democrats with unified control of the presidency and Congress attempted no serious immigration reform. Better to let the problem fester for political gain than to attempt to solve it.
If the media truly wished to contribute to a solution, all they’d have to do is cover the issue honestly. Yes, Trump is enforcing the laws against crossing the border illegally more harshly than the Obama administration did. But he didn’t create the separation policy. Yes, Trump has spoken with great passion in favor of stronger border controls. But he’s also offered a bigger amnesty for so-called DREAMers than even Barack Obama did.

Instead of using truth as a guide, however, the press continue to suggest that base animus animates conservative feelings on immigration. This leads to a political prisoner’s dilemma in which everyone’s best option is stasis: Republicans are best off doing nothing, since they’ll earn nothing but scorn for any action they take from the press anyway, as well as the undying enmity of many in their base; Democrats are best off doing nothing, since they can count on the press to clock Republicans for any immigration failures. The only ones who lose out are the American people.