Category: Trump

Rep. Handel, Stop Betraying Your Country over Russia

Dear Representative Handel,

Are you truly unaware that you are committing treason against the United States?

The question of what you will do in the wake of Mueller’s indictment of 12 Russian intelligence officers for their use of cyberwar and other criminal activities to influence the outcome of the 2016 elections is now your number one priority. Your track record, so far, is not encouraging.

Handel’s failure #1: It has been two years since our intelligence agencies revealed Russian use of cyberattacks to interfere in our elections. In the intervening period, the attacks have continued, gotten more sophisticated, and are being used to undermine this year’s elections. U.S. intelligence chiefs in February unanimously reaffirmed the nature of the Russian acts and the serious danger they pose to the United States.

The Senate Intelligence Committee, this month, issued a bipartisan report strongly reaffirming the findings of the intelligence services.

What has Karen Handel done in the two years of flagrant Russian attacks on the United States?

Karen Handel has not done one damn thing, that’s what.

Karen Handel is guilty of a dereliction of duty unparalleled in American history.

Karen Handel has sold out his country to suck up to the Donald Trump who is sucking up to Vladimir Putin.

Karen Handel is a member of the Republican Congressional establishment that has abandoned any semblance of Congressional oversight of the Trump Administration. As no less than John Boehner said, there is no longer a Republican Party. There is only the Trump Party.

The chief feature of Handel’s Republicans and their President? They have done absolutely nothing to put in place measures to counter the Russian attacks, even after Director of National Intelligence Daniel Coates warned on July 13 that the “warning lights are blinking red” indicating intensified Russian cyberattacks to undermine the United States’ democracy and erode its institutions as the elections near.

Trump’s meeting with Putin scheduled for July 16 has compressed the timetable and intensified the need for Karen Handel—and Trump—to take decisive measures to punish Putin for his past transgressions and to prevent the Russian attacks from continuing. Handel’s reputation—as well as Trump’s—will be determined by the outcome of the meeting.

Representative Handel, I greatly fear you underestimate the watershed of the new indictments. Almost 48 hours after Rosenstein announced the indictments, and a few hours away from the Trump-Putin meeting, Karen Handel is so unconcerned about his country’s security, she does not bother to even issue a press release on the implications. His web and Facebook pages are devoid of any comment.

Rep. Handel, Trump and his “witch hunt” puppets have lost any semblance of credibility. Your country is at war. Donald Trump’s surrender to Russia poses a clear and present danger to the national security of the United States.

Rep. Handel, the time is past for you to stop betraying your country. Your cowardly obeisance to Trump no longer suffices. Americans and Georgians demand action, and they demand it now.

Georgia Republicans Are Committing Treason

Section Three of the U.S. Constitution reads: Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying war against them, or in adhering to their enemies, giving them aid and comfort. No person shall be convicted of treason unless on the testimony of two witnesses to the same overt act, or on confession in open court.

Although there is a definitive “or” between the words “levying war” and “providing aid and comfort,” the legal consensus seems to be that treason can only be committed if  U.S. is waging war.

That is now a moot point. The indictments, the findings of our intelligence services, and the report of the Senate Intelligence Committee leave no doubt that we are under attack by Russia.

And by any reasonable definition of those words, refusing to punish Russia for its attacks on America and refusing to take any steps to prevent the attacks from continuing, is giving aid and comfort to the enemy.

In short, as of right now, Johnny Isakson, David Perdue, Karen Handel, and Barry Loudermilk—and their staffs—are committing treason against the United States.

Rep. Loudermilk, Stop Betraying Your Country over Russia

Dear Representative Loudermilk,

Are you truly unaware that you are committing treason against the United States?

The question of what you will do in the wake of Mueller’s indictment of 12 Russian intelligence officers for their use of cyberwar and other criminal activities to influence the outcome of the 2016 elections is now your number one priority. Your track record, so far, is not encouraging.

Loudermilk’s failure #1: It has been two years since our intelligence agencies revealed Russian use of cyberattacks to interfere in our elections. In the intervening period, the attacks have continued, gotten more sophisticated, and are being used to undermine this year’s elections. U.S. intelligence chiefs in February unanimously reaffirmed the nature of the Russian acts and the serious danger they pose to the United States.

The Senate Intelligence Committee, this month, issued a bipartisan report strongly reaffirming the findings of the intelligence services.

What has Barry Loudermilk done in the two years of flagrant Russian attacks on the United States?

Barry Loudermilk has not done one damn thing, that’s what.

Barry Loudermilk is guilty of a dereliction of duty unparalleled in American history.

Barry Loudermilk has sold out his country to suck up to the Donald Trump who is sucking up to Vladimir Putin.

Barry Loudermilk is a member of the Republican Congressional establishment that has abandoned any semblance of Congressional oversight of the Trump Administration. As no less than John Boehner said, there is no longer a Republican Party. There is only the Trump Party.

The chief feature of Loudermilk’s Republicans and their President? They have done absolutely nothing to put in place measures to counter the Russian attacks, even after Director of National Intelligence Daniel Coates warned on July 13 that the “warning lights are blinking red” indicating intensified Russian cyberattacks to undermine the United States’ democracy and erode its institutions as the elections near.

Trump’s meeting with Putin scheduled for July 16 has compressed the timetable and intensified the need for Barry Loudermilk—and Trump—to take decisive measures to punish Putin for his past transgressions and to prevent the Russian attacks from continuing. Loudermilk’s reputation—as well as Trump’s—will be determined by the outcome of the meeting.

Representative Loudermilk, I greatly fear you underestimate the watershed of the new indictments. Almost 48 hours after Rosenstein announced the indictments, and a few hours away from the Trump-Putin meeting, Barry Loudermilk is so unconcerned about his country’s security, he does not bother to even issue a press release on the implications. His web and Facebook pages are devoid of any comment.

Rep. Loudermilk, Trump and his “witch hunt” puppets have lost any semblance of credibility. Your country is at war. Donald Trump’s surrender to Russia poses a clear and present danger to the national security of the United States.

Rep. Loudermilk, the time is past for you to stop betraying your country. Your cowardly obeisance to Trump no longer suffices. Americans and Georgians demand action, and they demand it now.

Georgia Republicans Are Committing Treason

Section Three of the U.S. Constitution reads: Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying war against them, or in adhering to their enemies, giving them aid and comfort. No person shall be convicted of treason unless on the testimony of two witnesses to the same overt act, or on confession in open court.

Although there is a definitive “or” between the words “levying war” and “providing aid and comfort,” the legal consensus seems to be that treason can only be committed if  U.S. is waging war.

That is now a moot point. The indictments, the findings of our intelligence services, and the report of the Senate Intelligence Committee leave no doubt that we are under attack by Russia.

And by any reasonable definition of those words, refusing to punish Russia for its attacks on America and refusing to take any steps to prevent the attacks from continuing, is giving aid and comfort to the enemy.

In short, as of right now, Johnny Isakson, David Perdue, Barry Loudermilk, Karen Handel, and their staffs are committing treason against the United States.

Senator Perdue: Stop Betraying Your Country over Russia

Dear Senator Perdue,

Are you truly unaware that you are committing treason against the United States?

The question of what you will do in the wake of Mueller’s indictment of 12 Russian intelligence officers for their use of cyberwar and other criminal activities to influence the outcome of the 2016 elections is now your number one priority. Your track record, so far, is not encouraging.

Perdue’s failure #1: It has been two years since our intelligence agencies revealed Russian use of cyberattacks to interfere in our elections. In the intervening period, the attacks have continued, gotten more sophisticated, and are being used to undermine this year’s elections. U.S. intelligence chiefs in February unanimously reaffirmed the nature of the Russian acts and the serious danger they pose to the United States.

The Senate Intelligence Committee, this month, issued a bipartisan report strongly reaffirming the findings of the intelligence services.

What has David Perdue done in the two years of flagrant Russian attacks on the United States?

David Perdue has not done one damn thing, that’s what.

David Perdue is guilty of a dereliction of duty unparalleled in American history.

David Perdue has sold out his country to suck up to the Donald Trump who is sucking up to Vladimir Putin.


Perdue in the News
Headline on something called davidharrisjr.com on May 22, 2018: “Sen David Perdue: It’s Going to Come Out Obama Interfered in 2016 Election.”

Perdue Compares Trump to Churchill

Read more


David Perdue is a senior member of the Republican Congressional establishment that has abandoned any semblance of Congressional oversight of the Trump Administration. As no less than John Boehner said, there is no longer a Republican Party. There is only the Trump Party.

The chief feature of Perdue’s Republicans and their President? They have done absolutely nothing to put in place measures to counter the Russian attacks, even after Director of National Intelligence Daniel Coates warned on July 13 that the “warning lights are blinking red” indicating intensified Russian cyberattacks to undermine the United States’ democracy and erode its institutions as the elections near.

Trump’s meeting with Putin scheduled for July 16 has compressed the timetable and intensified the need for David Perdue—and Trump—to take decisive measures to punish Putin for his past transgressions and to prevent the Russian attacks from continuing. Perdue’s reputation—as well as Trump’s—will be determined by the outcome of the meeting.

Senator Perdue, I greatly fear you underestimate the watershed of the new indictments. Almost 48 hours after Rosenstein announced the indictments, and a few hours away from the Trump-Putin meeting, David Perdue is so unconcerned about his country’s security, he does not bother to even issue a press release on the implications. His web and Facebook pages are devoid of any comment.

Senator Perdue, Trump and his “witch hunt” puppets have lost any semblance of credibility. Your country is at war. Donald Trump’s surrender to Russia poses a clear and present danger to the national security of the United States.

Senator Perdue, the time is past for you to stop betraying your country. Your cowardly obeisance to Trump no longer suffices. Americans and Georgians demand action, and they demand it now.

Georgia Republicans Are Committing Treason

Section Three of the U.S. Constitution reads: Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying war against them, or in adhering to their enemies, giving them aid and comfort. No person shall be convicted of treason unless on the testimony of two witnesses to the same overt act, or on confession in open court.

Although there is a definitive “or” between the words “levying war” and “providing aid and comfort,” the legal consensus seems to be that treason can only be committed if  U.S. is waging war.

That is now a moot point. The indictments, the findings of our intelligence services, and the report of the Senate Intelligence Committee leave no doubt that we are under attack by Russia.

And by any reasonable definition of those words, refusing to punish Russia for its attacks on America and refusing to take any steps to prevent the attacks from continuing, is giving aid and comfort to the enemy.

In short, as of right now, Johnny Isakson, David Perdue, Barry Loudermilk, Karen Handel, and their staffs are committing treason against the United States.

Georgia Republicans: Stop Betraying Your Country over Russia

Note to Georgia’s Republican Congressmen and Senators: Are you aware that you are committing treason? Keep reading.

The announcement on July 13 that Special Counsel Robert Mueller had secured the indictment of 12 Russian intelligence officers is a watershed in the history of Russian interference in U.S. elections. As anyone with an ounce of common sense knows, the detailed indictments blasts into oblivion the Donald Trump/Republican assertions that the whole Russian investigation is nothing but a witch hunt and fake news. Those words, themselves, are now revealed as the real fake news.

Trump and his Republican lapdogs have been caught with their pants down. They have been shown, beyond the shadow of a doubt, to have been lying to the American people and to be dupes or outright agents of Vladimir Putin.

Remember: U.S, intelligence services have stated for two years that they had the irrefutable evidence that Russia had interfered massively in the U.S elections in 2016. Further, the evidence proved that the interference was designed to help Trump get elected President and to discredit Hillary Clinton.

The intelligence services also have stated without reservations that the Russian cyberwarfare is continuing, becoming more sophisticated, and is being and will be used in the 2018 elections.

After Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein announced the indictments at a news conference, Daniel Coates, director of national intelligence, told an audience at the Hudson Institute think tank that the “warning lights are blinking red again” that Russian will attempt to interfere with the November 2018 elections. He said the last time the nation encountered this frequency and intensity of threat indicators was in the lead-up to the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks.

The Republican-led  Senate Intelligence Committee on July 3, 2018, issued a bipartisan report backing the intelligence community’s assessment that Russia interfered in the 2016 presidential election to aid President Donald Trump and is continuing its efforts to undermine U.S. democracy. The report capped 14 months of an exhaustive review of the evidence.

The Committee’s finding revealed Russia meddled in far more extensive ways than previously known and constituted a strong rebuke to Trump and many of his allies who continue to cast doubt on the finding from the intelligence community that Moscow carried out an operation to help his candidacy and hurt Hillary Clinton.

Trump, of course, has made his denial of the accuracy of the reports of Russian meddling a cornerstone of his presidency. His denial equals in vehemence his denial that his campaign colluded with the Russian effort to get him elected.

Trump has gone further that denigrate U.S. intelligence services. He has repeatedly given more weight to Putin’s denial of the allegations than to the unanimous opinion of those services, fully backed by the Senate Intelligence Committee.

Mueller’s indictment of the 12 Russian intelligence officers for crimes committed in 2016 has not altered Trump’s willingness to accept Putin’s denials. Deputy Attorney General Rosenstein briefed Trump on the pending indictments before Trump left for his visits this month to the NATO summit, Great Britain, and a summit with Putin in Helsinki scheduled for July 15.

Even after receiving the Rosenstein briefing that laid out the details of Russian meddling in U.S. elections, Trump publicly repeated his assertion that the whole matter was nothing but a witch hunt and fake news. His position gives every indication that Trump will fail to take a strong stand on the issue in his meeting with Putin.

A White House statement issued after the public revelations of the indictments showed conclusively that Trump and Republicans remain blithely unconcerned about Russia’s war on America. The statement chortled that the indictments said nothing about Trump campaign officials colluding with Russia. The WH statement did not:

  • Denounce Russia or Putin for his intelligence services criminal acts against America
  • State any retaliatory measures would be taken
  • Warn Russia against any further attacks
  • State any steps would be taken to counter further Russian cyberwarfare campaigns

Let there be no doubt about the seriousness of what Trump is doing. Russia under Putin has declared war on the United States and is attacking the U.S. every day. President Donald Trump is sacrificing the vital national interests of the United States on the altar of being Putin’s lap dog. In his 19 months in office, Trump has recklessly and consciously betrayed his country by rejecting the proven reality that Russia is waging war against the United States of America.

Donald Trump has proven himself to be an agent of Vladimir Putin. Whether from being paid, duped, or blackmailed is a moot point. Every word Trump speaks and every deed he performs are exactly what a Putin agent would be saying and doing. Putin did his part to get Trump elected. Trump repays him the favor by turning a blind eye to his depredations and obsequiously praising him.

If you do not believe Trump is Putin’s agent, tell us how your examination of the evidence leads to that conclusion. What is the alternative?

Georgia Republicans Are Committing Treason

Section Three of the U.S. Constitution reads: Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying war against them, or in adhering to their enemies, giving them aid and comfort. No person shall be convicted of treason unless on the testimony of two witnesses to the same overt act, or on confession in open court.

Although there is a definitive “or” between the words “levying war” and “providing aid and comfort,” the legal consensus seems to be that treason can only be committed if  U.S. is waging war.

That is now a moot point. The indictments, the findings of our intelligence services, and the report of the Senate Intelligence Committee leave no doubt that we are under attack by Russia.

And by any reasonable definition of those words, refusing to punish Russia for its attacks on America and refusing to take any steps to prevent the attacks from continuing, is giving aid and comfort to the enemy.

In short, as of right now, Johnny Isakson, David Perdue, Barry Loudermilk, Karen Handel, and their staffs are committing treason against the United States.

Nice Guy Kavanaugh: Reminds Me of the Ol’ Southern Segs

The Washington Post today published an op-ed written by a mother whose daughters attend the same Catholic school as Judge Brett Kavanaugh, Trump’s Supreme Court nominee:  “I don’t know Kavanaugh the judge. But Kavanaugh the carpool dad is one great guy.”  The article gushingly praises Kavanaugh in his non-official role as a girl’s basketball coach, car pool dad, and all around good guy. 

The article rang my bell as a native Southerner.  Here is my response.

Ms. O’Brien has pushed my button dead-on. As native Southerner, during the Civil Rights struggles I lived in a culture of flagrant Christian hypocrisy. The headlines blared with reports of the brutal murder of civil rights workers, frequent bombings of blacks’ homes and churches, police dogs and fire hoses used against peaceful demonstrators, adults spitting in the faces of black children desegregating a school, police brutally clubbing demonstrators on a bridge in Selma, and the assassination of Martin Luther King.

Underlying all this was the institution of segregation. “Good” Southerners would declare their commitment to “segregation today, segregation tomorrow, segregation forever”—while declaring they had nothing to do with all that violence stuff.

And Christian churches during all this? They either declared that God and Jesus endorsed segregation, or they remained on the sidelines in blissful silence. You could lynch a black person on Saturday and be assured in church on Sunday that your immortal soul was headed for eternal salvation. It produced the “other than that” argument. “My friend Bubba is a rabid racist who believes we should ship the ‘N’ words back to Africa, but other than that, he’s a damn fine fellow. Why, he has always shown me the greatest kindness.”

In her accolade for Kavanaugh, O’Brien has delivered a pluperfect “other than that” argument. Sure, Kavanaugh wants to deny heath care to Americans with preexisting conditions, deny women the control of their bodies, always rules in favor of special interests, shows he’s a puppet of Big Business by having a powerful D.C. lobbyist as his “Sherpa” during the confirmation process, and he seems indifferent to the suffering of the kidnapped migrant children.

But other than that, Kavanaugh is a damn fine fellow who coaches my daughters’ basketball team and is a wonderful car pool dad.

Do you understand why I’m reaching for my barth bag?


A little elaboration: my comment on another commenter’s comment:

And don’t forget the “nice” Southern Baptists who championed slavery and segregation, the slaveowner who would help take care of a sick white neighbor while tying his slaves to a fence post and lashing them with a bullwhip, the ever so noble and full-of-integrity Southern Senators who used their power to maintain segregation for 100 years, and the “nice” car pool dads who would use billy clubs on a bridge in Selma to beat peaceful demonstrators nearly to their deaths.

Not to mention the “nice” car pool dad Nazis.

Judge Kavanaugh does, in fact, represent a particular class of human beings. And Ms. O’Brien, a particular class of their enablers.

 

Trump’s Montana Speech Gains Force as Emblematic of His Moral & Intellectual Bankruptcy

Trump’s Montana speech on July 5 is increasingly viewed as a watershed in establishing beyond a doubt that he is a mentally and psychologically disturbed human being.  (See also: “GA GOP Congressional Delegations Sink Deeper into Trump’s Sewer”) The speech showed someone who is simply unhinged. It no longer suffices to say he’s done it all before, or it’s Trump being Trump. Yes, you can make a point-by-point defense of that proposition, but there are specific events that can bring into perfect focus the evidence that has been accumulating all along.  Trump’s Montana speech is that event.

Along the lines of Captain Queeg’s testimony in the court martial trial in the famous book and movie “The Caine Mutiny.” The acts he took that led his officers to mutiny had already taken place. but it took the trial and his testimony to put it all in perspective and lay the blame where it needed to be placed.

If our Constitutional system was working the way it should, the speech would have given his Vice President and Cabinet the incentive to invoke the 25th Amendment and remove him from office. But of course, the Republican Party is even more of a burnt-out case than Trump. And the miserable cowards Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell have led their sheep in abandoning any semblance of Congressional oversight.

The reputations of Georgia’s own Johnny Isakson, David Perdue, Barry Loudermilk, Karen Handel, and their staffs plummet ever downward every minute they remain the slavish lap dog supporters of Trump despite his incompetence and moral depravity.

The only hope for our Republic is the November elections. I can only hope enough normal Americans and even many Republicans will listen to the voices of respected conservatives who have joined the opposition–or even bolted the GOP–and join with Democrats in giving Democrats control of the House. Followed two years later with a new President and a new Senate.

GA GOP Congressional Delegations Sink Deeper into Trump’s Sewer

(Editor’s note: This post first appeared as a  Newsletter on July 7, 2018)

Within the last 24 hours, a plethora of headlines have highlighted the implosion of Trump’s Republican Party into a corrupt, intellectually and morally burnt-out case, with nothing positive to offer America. Trump, with his speech in Montana, shows every sign of being unhinged. And the speech is simply the latest of a growing pattern of flagrant lies and false claims. It’s no longer a Republican swamp. It’s a Republican sewer.

But, Georgians, note this: your Republican Congressional delegations in Washington are swimming happily in this sewer. Our Senators, Representatives, and their staffs remain among the most slavish lackey supporters of Donald Trump. They are eagerly helping Trump to wage his war against America’s basic moral and democratic values, against God’s Commandments, against Jesus’ Golden Rule, and against common human decency.

But let’s get specific. IndieDems provides below the headlines that will lead you to articles that provide sentence by sentence and paragraph by paragraph the facts about the debased Republican agenda and its debased supporters.

As you read, remember this: the following Republicans endorse every word and deed that is being condemned:

  • Senator Johnny Isakson and his Chief of Staff Joan Karr and Immigration Legislative Assistant Michael Black.
  • Senator David Perdue and his COS Derrick Dickey and Immigration LA Drew Robinson
  • Rep. Karen Handel and her COS Muffy Day and Immigration LA Elisabeth Conklin
  • Rep. Barry Loudermilk and his COS Rob Adkerson and Homeland Security LA Susannah Johnston

What human being could listen to a President of the United States in a public speech insult George H.W. Bush and John McCain, call a U.S. Senator “Pocahontas” and then devote hundreds of words to discussing how, in a debate, he is going to have her DNA tested—and not conclude that the President is unhinged? All the people listed above, that’s who.

Details

Trump Assails Critics and Mocks #MeToo. What About Putin? ‘He’s Fine

In a speech July 5 in Montana, Donald Trump mocked or insulted: John McCain, former President George H.W. Bush and his Points of Light, the #MeToo movement, Elizabeth Warren, and Maxine Waters. He did not attack the latter two for their policies. He leveled a racist slur at Warren and a personal insult at Waters. In the same speech, he praised Vladimir Putin—a now consistent Republican policy of attacking friends and allies and decent people, while heaping praise on Putin, Kim Un Jong, and fascists copying Nazi parades by marching through the streets of Charlottesville bearing torches and chanting “Jews will not replace us.”

Trump Administration in Chaotic Scramble to Reunify Migrant Families

These reports of the Trump Administration’s continued chaos and confusion in reuniting the kidnapped refugee children with their families—including an inability to provide accurate numbers—surfaced on the same day that Trump delivered his Montana diatribe. Look at the names of the Republicans above. They give not a damn about what this shows about the state of their debased and incompetent rule.

Scott Pruitt is out, far too late

“The most dishonest and corrupt administration in about a century is only marginally improved by the departure of Pruitt.” A conservative columnist speaks. Georgia’s elected Republican and their staff remain speechless, clear evidence of their acceptance of massive corruption.

True Conservatives Flee Trumpist Republican Party

I left the Republican Party. Now I want Democrats to take over.

by Max Boot, conservative (i.e., in the traditional sense) columnist

(IndieDems note: Mr. Boot has eloquently and cogently stated why no real conservative–and no real American–would remain a member of the racist, xenophobic, authoritarian, know-nothing Republican Party of Donald Trump. He summarizes the names of prominent Republicans who have seen the light. Suggestion: send the original article, or this wrap-up, via email to your U.S. Senators and Representative. Ask a simple question: “In the face of this clear proof of how debased the Republican Party has become, why are you still a member of it?”

For added oomph, in the subject line of the email, put the names of the Chief of Staff and the Legislative  Assistant for Immigration and/or Homeland Security.)

Excerpts:

  • You used to belong to a conservative party with a white-nationalist fringe. Now it’s a white-nationalist party with a conservative fringe. If you’re part of that fringe, what should you do?
  • A vote for the GOP in November is also a vote for egregious obstruction of justice, rampant conflicts of interest, the demonization of minorities, the debasement of political discourse, the alienation of America’s allies, the end of free trade and the appeasement of dictators.
  • Like postwar Germany and Japan, the Republican Party must be destroyed before it can be rebuilt.
  • Steve Schmidt, Republican strategist and former head of McCain’s 2008 presidential campaign: “I renounce my membership in the Republican Party. It is fully the party of Trump.”
  • Schmidt follows in the illustrious footsteps of Post columnist George F. Will, former senator Gordon Humphrey, former representative (and Post columnist) Joe Scarborough, Reagan and Bush (both) aide Peter Wehner, and other Republicans who have left the party.
  • If Trump announced he were going to spit-roast immigrant kids and eat them on national TV (apologies to Jonathan Swift), most Republicans probably would approve of that, too. The entire Republican platform can now be reduced to three words: “whatever Trump says.”
  • Personally, I’ve thrown up my hands in despair at the debased state of the GOP. I don’t want to be identified with the party of the child-snatchers
  • What I can’t respect are head-in-the-sand conservatives who continue to support the GOP by pretending that nothing has changed.

Senator Isakson and the Kidnapped Refugee Children

In a separate post, IndieDems publishes Senator Johnny Isakson’s reply to our criticism of Trump’s implementation of the “zero tolerance” policy regarding immigrant asylum seekers and illegal border crossers, resulting in the separation of thousands of children from their parents and their detention in inhumane and un-Christian circumstances.

We applaud Isakson’s recognition of the wrongfulness of separating children from their parents and his efforts to end it. The bill Senate Bill 3093 (S.3093) he is co-sponsoring—Senator Elizabeth Warren is one of nine Democratic co-sponsors—is a step in the right direction toward a more on long-term solution to the immigration imbroglio.

But there are many lose ends that Senator Isakson needs to continue to address to bring to an end this shameful episode in American history:

Time frame. The Senate bill is making its laborious way through the Congressional process. It will take weeks, if not months, before it passes the Senate. And then it must get House approval, And President Trump must then sign it into law.

The imprisoned children are suffering trauma and emotional distress every single minute they remain in custody.

Senator Isakson needs to be more pro-active in expediting the process. The children’s release needs to be separated from the longer-term issues and brought to a quick solution. Whatever funds are needed to accomplish that task should be immediately appropriated.

The Trump Administration’s obfuscation of the numbers issue. There is still no authoritative statistics on: the number of children detained, where they are being held, what contact they are having with their parents, how many have been reunited, the timetable for the reuniting of those that remain in custody.

The deliberate confusion—or just gross incompetence—gives the Big Lie to claims that the reunification process is proceeding expeditiously. Activists who have managed to make contact with some children or parents report Trump officials are lying about the ability of children to contact their parents and the rate of reunification.

Senator Isakson needs to take the lead in resolving the numbers issue. He should use his office as a U.S. Senator to find out what agency is keeping the statistics up to date. He should demand a daily accounting of what is going on regarding the children—and make the findings public.

Trump and Sessions’ sick, slick game regarding detention. They claim that a new court ruling ordering that separated children be promptly reunited with their parents amounts to a green light for federal officials to detain them — together. A decades-old court accord, known as the Flores ruling, requires immigrant children be released from custody “without unnecessary delay,” and that when they are held, it be in state-licensed day-care facilities.

The Trump administration now insists that if the new ruling requires the government to reunify and keep families together, then the government will keep the families in detention pending the outcome of their immigration or asylum cases, which typically take months or years to resolve.

But there is no legal requirement that migrant parents be detained while their cases are resolved, and previous administrations used alternative, effective means of ensuring that immigrants who are released pending the adjudication of their cases show up for their court hearings — they include electronic ankle bracelets; telephonic contacts with voice-recognition technology; and mobile phone app check-ins. These methods worked.

A Washington Post editorial summed it up: “That’s a neat bit of lawyerly jujitsu. It attempts to turn a federal judge’s reunification ruling last week…into a rationale for extending the current administration’s cruel crusade against migrant families. As a legal matter, it’s also unsupportable…antithetical to American values, offensive to the law and an affront to decency.”

Other matters Isakson should demand answers to: Are the legal rights of the parents being protected and respected? Do they have adequate legal representation?  How is it to be paid for? What about the parents who have already left the United States? What are the procedures to reunite them with their children?

Recent media reports state that even parents who have the clearance to reunite with their children face massive transportation costs to make the connection. Senator Isakson should take the lead in appropriating funds to meet these travel costs. They would be tiny fraction of the recently passed Agricultural Subsidy bill for rich farmers that Isakson championed and loudly praises.

The potentially horrendous future of some of the children. People knowledgeable about what can happen to children once they are in the clutches of the “authorities” tell us there is no guarantee that all the kidnapped children will ever be returned to their families. Some of them, for example may end up being legally and permanently separated from their parents and placed in the U.S. foster care system. They will then be treated like any child in that system. The parents, at a minimum, would face a long and costly legal battle to get them returned. And, of course, virtually none of the parents who fled their home countries have the money for such a battle.

It would be an unspeakable shock to the conscience for the U.S. Government to kidnap children from a parent because the parent was arrested for a misdemeanor; keep those children in inhumane conditions for months or years; and then use the full majesty of government to find a legal excuse for keeping some of those children from being returned to their parents, family, or legal guardian.

Senator Isakson should take the lead in preventing this Big Brother future from happening. I presume his Chief of Staff, Joan Kirchner Karr; and his Homeland Security and Immigration Legislative Assistant, Michael Black,  are already working overtime dealing with the above issues. IndieDems will closely monitor Isakson, Karr, and Black’s actions to make sure all kidnapped children are returned safely to their families. Any American who failes to use the full power of their office to expedite that solution would reveal themselves as totally lacking a moral conscience.

That reputation would follow them all the days of their lives.

Senator Isakson’s Reply on Child Immigrant Crisis

IndieDems has roundly criticized Republicans for creating out of whole cloth a crisis involving the kidnapping of thousands of  immigrant children ,imprisoning them in wire cages, and moving many of them around the country in the dead of night, with no mechanism in place to reunite them with their parents.

This inhumane, un-American, and un-Christian action was loudly condemned, forcing President to sign an executive order that technically put an an to further separations. But thousands remain in custody, and confusion and chaos blocks speedy resolution.

We publish below Senator Johnny Isakson’s reply to our criticism of his role.

Thank you for contacting me regarding immigration and children. I appreciate hearing from you and am grateful for the opportunity to respond.

Our country is a nation of immigrants, and it is my belief that those who seek to come to this country through lawful channels to share in the pursuit of the American dream should be welcomed. However, I have always drawn a clear distinction between legal and illegal immigration. Illegal immigration places a great strain on our institutions and in turn burdens the American taxpayer. For this reason, I believe immigration reform is one of the most significant domestic issues facing our nation today.

On May 7, 2018, Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced that the U.S. Department of Justice would prosecute every person who illegally crosses into the United States along the Southwest border. As a result, when adults with children illegally enter the United States, authorities would detain the adult pending a hearing on their immigration status. Meanwhile, the child would be placed into the custody of the Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of Refugee Resettlement, which coordinates and implements the care and placement of the children as appropriate. This distinction is due in part to a court order that prohibits minors from being detained for more than 20 days in immigration cases, meaning that in most cases children cannot stay with their parents if the parents are being held pending an asylum hearing. Earlier this year, I supported an immigration proposal offered by Senator Chuck Grassley (R-IA) that would have overturned this court order, in addition to providing funding for border security and a path to citizenship for those eligible for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.

While I firmly stand behind enforcing our laws and protecting our borders, I believe Congress and the administration should work to keep families together whenever possible. I am also a cosponsor of S.3093 (Senate Bill 3093), the Keeping Families Together and Enforce the Law Act, introduced on June 20, 2018 by Senator Thom Tillis (R-NC). (IndieDems note: the bill is co-sponsored by 6 Democrats, including Sen. Elizabeth Warren). This bill would end separation of families at the border, allow families to be processed together, and require fair and humane treatment while awaiting immigration processing. Additionally, the legislation provides additional funding for family residential centers, sets mandatory standards for care, and authorizes 225 new immigration judges to expedite proceedings for children and families who are apprehended at the border.

Following the introduction of S.3093, President Trump issued an executive order to end the separation of families in the course of enforcing immigration laws. However, legislation is still needed to address the 20-day limit on keeping families together. I will continue to work with my colleagues in the Senate to secure our borders and advocate for immigration policies that strengthen our nation and benefit the people of Georgia.

Thank you again for contacting me. If I can be of any assistance to you in the future, please do not hesitate to call upon me.

Sincerely,
Johnny Isakson
United States Senator