Eric Zuesse, originally posted at WashingtonsBlog…
California U.S. Senator Kamala Harris (who until recently was California’s Attorney General) is a gifted prosecutor, but that doesn’t qualify a person to be the type of person who will make a good U.S. President. An American President needs very different gifts than that, and she unfortunately doesn’t possess those.
This article is only for Democratic Party voters who are considering possibly to vote for that candidate.
Wikipedia, in its article on Senator Harris, provides an honest and documented summary of her positions on the issues. I shall start here by presenting, from that comprehensive summary article, the issues on which I believe that she most clearly is unfit, from the standpoint of progressives. These are the issues that the Democratic Party is supposed to stand for, and that the Republican Party is supposed to stand against. I shall show that, on these core issues, she is actually more of a Republican than a Democrat. (She, like Joe Biden and Pete Buttigieg, is making her electoral appeal to RepubliCratic voters, as these passages will document clearly.)
First, however, I should mention that the billionaires who own, and whose companies advertise in, and who otherwise effectively control the hiring and firing at, all of the mainstream news-media, are entirely satisfied with Joe Biden to become the Party’s nominee. However, they are equally satisfied with Kamala Harris to be that; so, both of those candidates have been doing very well fundraising on Wall Street. This means that both of them will be in this electoral contest until its very end. Many of the other candidates will drop out, but they won’t. Democratic Party voters who prefer a “middle ground” nominee” will be voting overwhelmingly for one of these two; they are satisfied for the nation’s billionaires to control the U.S. federal Government, as has, in fact, been the case ever since at least 1980.
A good example of the billionaires’ control of America is a news-article from Reuters, on August 1st, titled “Biden steadies ship while setting up impending clash with Warren”. This headline, and its accompanying news-article, assumes that if Biden in the final contests will be squaring off against one of the two leading progressive candidates, it will be against Elizabeth Warren, and not against Bernie Sanders. The article is campaigning for Biden against Warren, because America’s billionaires would prefer Warren over Sanders, who, in the latest Real Clear Politics tabulation of all of the polls that were published during the latest week, was actually the second-strongest candidate after Biden. Though Warren was 1.6% weaker than Sanders (and has always shown weaker there than Sanders has), the Reuters news-report not only headlined Biden versus Warren, but it mentioned Warren 9 times, and Sanders only 4 times, and it implicitly pretended that the likeliest final contest will be between Biden versus Warren — not Biden versus Sanders. While that pretense might possibly turn out to have been correct, the news-article merely presumed it, and presented no evidence whatsoever for that remarkable presumption. This is called “slanting the news” to favor the impression that the person who effectively controls the given news-organization wants Democratic Party voters to believe. These people are choosing whom will ultimately go up against Trump in the general election, and that’s how they do it: by fooling the public.
But here, regarding specifically Kamala Harris, is the reality of one of these candidates.
Each section here, of the core parts of that Wikipedia article, starts with a URL that, if clicked upon, will bring you directly to the specific passage in that lengthy Wikipedia article (so that you won’t need to search there to find it). I shall highlight in bold not only what’s bolded in the original but also what I consider to be the most dangerous of her actions — decisions as an official — and will accompany that section by an indented “NOTE” in brackets “[ ]” explaining why I consider it to be an especially dangerous indication from her:
Prison conditions …
After California failed to fully implement the court’s order to reduce crowding, and was ordered to implement new parole programs, the State of California appealed the decision, and in court filings the AG’s office argued that if forced to release these inmates early, prisons would lose an important source of labor, such as for fighting wildfires. Prisoners in California earn between 8 and 37 cents per hour in maintenance and kitchen jobs; prisoner firefighters receive higher pay, at $1 per hour. She later backed away from her office’s argument in the prison-litigation case, telling the website ThinkProgress: “The way that argument played out in court does not reflect my priorities… The idea that we incarcerate people to have indentured servants is one of the worst possible perceptions. I feel very strongly about that. It evokes images of chain gangs.”
Harris refused to take any position on criminal sentencing-reform initiatives Proposition 36 (2012) and Proposition 47 (2014), arguing it would be improper because her office prepares the ballot booklets.Former California Attorney General John Van de Kamp considered her explanation “baloney.”
In 2011, while serving as Attorney General of California, she created the Mortgage Fraud Strike Force which had a mandate to eliminate mortgage foreclosure fraud. The task force has been criticized for not filing as many foreclosure cases as in states with smaller populations.
In 2013, Harris did not prosecute Steve Mnuchin‘s bank OneWest despite evidence “suggestive of widespread misconduct” according to a leaked memo from the Department of Justice. In 2017, she said that her office’s decision not to prosecute Mnuchin was based on “following the facts and the evidence…like any other case”. In 2016, Mnuchin donated $2,000 to her campaign, making her the only 2016 Senate Democratic candidate to get cash from Mnuchin, but as senator, she voted against the confirmation of Mnuchin as Secretary of the Treasury.
County prosecutors’ misconduct
In 2015, Harris defended convictions obtained by county prosecutors who had inserted a false confession into an interrogation transcript, committed perjury, and withheld evidence. Federal appeals court Judge Alex Kozinski threw out the convictions, telling lawyers, “Talk to the attorney general and make sure she understands the gravity of the situation.”
In March 2015, a California superior courts judge ordered Harris to take over a criminal case after Orange County District Attorney Tony Rackauckas was revealed to have illegally employed jailhouse informants and concealed evidence. She refused, appealing the order and defending Rackauckas.
Harris appealed the dismissal of an indictment when it was discovered a Kern County prosecutor perjured in submitting a falsified confession as court evidence. In the case, she argued that only abject physical brutality would warrant a finding of prosecutorial misconduct and the dismissal of an indictment, and that perjury alone was not enough.
In April 2017, responding to the Khan Shaykhun chemical attack, Harris [on April 6th] charged Syrian president Bashar al-Assad with attacking Syrian children, and stated “the clear fact that president Assad is not only a ruthless dictator brutalizing his own people – he is a war criminal the international community cannot ignore.” She called on President Trump to work with Congress on his administration’s “lack of clear objectives in Syria and articulate a detailed strategy and path forward in partnership with our allies.”
In 2017, Harris gave a public address to AIPAC attendees. She said: “I believe Israel should never be a partisan issue, and as long as I’m a United States senator, I will do everything in my power to ensure broad and bipartisan support for Israel’s security and right to self-defense.” She has opposed the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement targeting Israel. She was a co-sponsor of a Senate resolution expressing objection to the UN Security Council Resolution 2334, which condemned Israeli settlement building in the occupied Palestinian territories as a violation of international law. At the AIPAC conference, she said that “the first resolution I co-sponsored as a United States senator was to combat anti-Israel bias at the United Nations”. She also supported a Senate resolution celebrating the 50th anniversary of the reunification of Jerusalem. In late 2017, she traveled to Israel, where she met with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
[NOTE: America’s most-expert intelligence analyst regarding events such as Khan Shaykhun (which Harris on 6 April 2017 had blamed on Assad), MIT’s Dr. Theodore Postol, concluded on 13 April 2017 that it couldn’t have been done by Syria’s Government, the forces of Bashar al-Assad (such as Harris and President Obama alleged). Headlining “Addendum to Dr. Theodore Postol’s Assessment of the White House Report on Syria Chemical Attack”, he concluded: “It is now obvious that a second incident similar to what happened in the Obama administration has now occurred in the Trump administration. … The president, supported by his staff, made a decision to launch 59 cruise missiles at a Syrian air base, … undermining cooperative efforts to win the war against the Islamic State. … I therefore conclude that there needs to be a comprehensive investigation of these events that have either misled people in the White House, or worse yet, been perpetrated by people seeking to force decisions that were not justified by the cited intelligence. This is a serious matter and should not be allowed to continue.”
Furthermore, the German intelligence-analyst who publicly blogs anonymously at the “Moon of Alabama” site headlined on 20 April 2017 “Chlorine, Not Sarin, Was Used In The Khan Sheikhun Incident” and he noted that, “the OPCW did not conclude that a chemical attack occurred in Khan Sheikhun. It suggested nothing about the incident itself. It only talked about bio-medical samples of several persons – nothing more, nothing less. It also did not give any hint of how much exposure the persons in question received. Was it a minimal traceable amount that had no effect on them or did they die from it? The OPCW does not say.” Furthermore: “Al-Qaeda propaganda organizations in Khan Sheikhun were the first to claim that sarin was used on the ground. ‘Western’ media and governments later repeated those claims before any further investigations could have been done. The very first claim I found was made by the former British doctor Shajul Islam who works for the terrorists. This video of him of ‘doctors’ and ‘patients’ in an emergence room in Khan Sheikhun is pure theater, taken over a longer time period. The main presenter, Shajul Islam, is a well-known criminal Takfiri with links to the British secret service.” Kamala Harris clearly is in the mold (though not necessarily the style) of Joe Biden and Hillary Clinton, Democratic Party neocons who recklessly voted to invade Iraq on the basis of a lying U.S. President and his cooperative CIA-fabricated evidence, instead of invaded only after all of the necessary independent investigations have been done — which would have prevented those disastrous and evil, illegal and entirely unjustifiable, aggressions. (We’ve had more than enough such neocons — do we really need it from Democratic Party ones, too?) As a prosecutor, she knows that this prejudice-and-prejudging is extremely wrong (and in matters of war, may be mass-murdering) to do, but, as a neoconservative U.S. federal politician, she clearly adheres to that vile model: George W. Bush, Joe Biden, Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, and Donald Trump. How can any Democrats support such a person, whom any progressive person would outright reject as being unfit for America’s Presidency? Haven’t such neocons already done enough harm, and produced enough invasions that are based on lies? So, though Kamala Harris clearly isn’t as stupid as Hillary Clinton was (under Obama) to destroy Libya and then to publicly brag “We came, we saw, he died — Ha ha ha!” (and how could any Democrat vote for such a person?), Senator Harris’s policies are virtually the same, and very dangerous, both for us and for the world. And how can Harris support — and strongly — the far-right Israeli Benjamin Netanyahu, the Republican hero and darling of Donald Trump and of his chief financial backer, the bloodthirsty Sheldon Adelson (who also is Netanyahu’s main financial backer) — both of whom have made quite clear that they want America to invade Iran, in order to protect Israel, as if a U.S. President exists in order to protect Israelis, who already receive $3.8 billion-per-year gifted from America’s taxpayers? (They’re the largest recipient of U.S. foreign aid.) Isn’t that enough? And isn’t Israel — the only nuclear power in the Middle East — capable of defending itself? This is outrageous. How can candidates like that even attain prominence? The U.S. has no obligation to Israel, which already costs this country a lot, not only financially, but also in damaged reputation abroad. The Republicans want that, but do Democrats, too? How much worse do Democrats want Palestinians to be mistreated and deprived of the most-basic human rights? That’s a specialty of Republicans and of Israel’s Government, but does it really have to be also a specialty of Democrats, too — and of U.S. taxpayers? Why is it that way? Do we need more of that? Or less — or none at all? So, how misinformed does a Democratic Party voter have to be in order to think that this is acceptable?
The American people, by over 3 to 1, sympathize with Israel’s government more than with any Palestinian representatives, but also — and by around similar margins — they want the U.S. government to be neutral between the Israeli population and the Palestinian population. For example, back during 12-15 June 2003, Gallup asked “In the Middle East conflict, do you think the United States should take Israel’s side, take the Palestinians’ side, or not take either side?” and 74% said “Neither.” 18% said “Israel’s.” 4% said “Palestinians’” During 12-17 December 2017, CNN asked exactly the same question, “In the Middle East conflict, do you think the United States should take Israel’s side, take the Palestinians’ side, or not take either side?” and 67% said “Not take either side.” 24% said “Israel’s side.” 2% said “Palestinians’ side.” Americans, like other nationalities, almost always prefer and respect the more powerful side in any conflict; and, clearly, Israel’s government is vastly more powerful than is any organization that represents Palestinians; so, this is the case in this instance, and it is becoming increasingly the case as the decades pass — America is becoming an increasingly conservative country. However, nonetheless, still overwhelming majorities of Americans don’t want U.S. politicians to favor either side more than the other side in this dispute. And, yet, almost all U.S. politicians agree almost 100% with Israel’s government and in all policy matters almost 100% ignore even the most basic human rights of Palestinians and trust 100% Israel’s government, no matter how barbaric it is against Palestinians. Kamala Harris is no different, but any decent U.S. President would need to be extremely different. Instead of Harris’s refusing to speak before Israeli organizations and before Palestinian organizations, she fundraises among Israeli organizations and tells them how much she is on their side. Biden and most other successful American politicians do likewise. They aren’t leaders — they follow the money. No progressive would vote for such cravenous people, because such politicians are liberals or conservatives, not at all progressives. No progress will be made with leaders like that. They are cowards, who just go where the money is — which always is against the public.
On foreign policy, Kamala Harris is a groveling coward. She’d be just as bad a President as Biden or Buttigieg would be. They all grovel for the money.]
Foreign policy …
Harris voted in favor of a $675 billion defense budget bill for 2019. She said that North Korea is “one of the most serious security threats”. In February 2019, after former Acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe claimed that President Trump believed the claims of President of Russia Vladimir Putin over U.S. intelligence agencies’ reports on the subject of North Korea’s missile capabilities, she told reporters, “The idea that the president of the U.S. would take the word of the head of Russia over the intel community is the height of irresponsibility and shameful.”
[NOTE: Though North Korea is certainly “one of the most serious security threats” to Japan and to South Korea, both of those countries should — and by now are more than economically able to — defend themselves, and U.S. taxpayers and our troops need now to get out. North Korea is no national-security threat against the United States, and we are not supposed to be policemen for the world, we are supposed (since we helped create the United Nations) to help to enforce U.N. resolutions. But America instead routinely violates its obligations under the U.N. Charter (to which this country is a signatory). This is not supposed to be optional, but it’s clearly obligatory: no single nation is a policeman to the world; and any that would try to be is instead (as America is) an international outlaw. Kamala Harris wants to continue the U.S. being an international outlaw. It’s what we are, and unfortunately long have been, but do we need a President who will continue that? Or should we instead end that — not continue being the leading perpetrator of it. Should we start respecting the institution of the U.N. — as we haven’t done, at least ever since George W. Bush entered the White House? If we instead continue having Presidents (such as Kamala Harris would be) who serve the billionaires behind the Military-Industrial Complex, not the American people, then we’ll simply have to eliminate health, education, welfare, justice, regulatory enforcement, environmental, and other functions — ‘our’ Government will become a totally military operation. That may be liberal, but it’s certainly not progressive.]
One of Harris’s actions ignored by Wikipedia’s article, but which most clearly reflects her conformity and cowardice, is the following:
“S.722: Countering Iran’s Destabilizing Activities Act of 2017”
Harris was one of 64 co-sponsors (23 Democrats, 40 Republicans, 1 Independent) of “S.722 — 115th Congress (2017-2018)” “Introduced in Senate (03/23/2017) Countering Iran’s Destabilizing Activities Act of 2017” and subsequently “as amended” to become “An Act to Provide Congressional Review and to Counter Iranian and Russian Governments’ Aggression”, authorizing “asset blocking and U.S. exclusion sanctions” (the first official step toward war) against Iran (&/or Russia) and countries that trade with Iran (&/or Russia). Passed 98/2 — only Paul & Sanders voted “Nay” on it. As the Republican Senator from Colorado, Cory Gardner, said of it, “One of President Obama’s biggest foreign policy blunders was the nuclear agreement with Iran, which emboldened Tehran to ramp up its nefarious activities, including ballistic missile tests, support for terrorism, and human rights abuses. … This bipartisan legislation is a strong message to Vladimir Putin: the United States will not stand idly by as you undermine democracy and human rights around the globe.” But was his condemnation describing the United States there, far more than any other country? The U.S. Congress has become almost 100% neoconservative. Harris is merely one of many.
Like all recent U.S. Presidents, Kamala Harris is profoundly deceitful and needs to be evaluated by her actions — not merely her words. Her promises to her Wall Street financial backers will be honored by her (just as Obama honored his to them), but her promises to her voters will not be (just as his were not). She and Joe Biden and Pete Buttigieg are the same product in different packages: servants to — agents of — their Party’s billionaires. To have yet another lousy President would be one too many. The only candidate that I trust even somewhat is Bernie Sanders, as being, perhaps, the only one who as President wouldn’t be serving ONLY the billionaires — and therefore no billionaire donates to him: they call him a ‘communist’ (which Sanders actually never was).
Incidentally, that particular billionaire explained why he said this: “He calls us ‘the billionaire class.’ … It’s the billionaire class, the bad guys.’ This is how communists think.” But that, too, is a lie. Karl Marx blamed “the bourgeoisie” — the middle class — NOT the aristocracy (such as that aristocrat said); and that’s why Marx was able to obtain any financial support, at all, from the aristocracy in his own time, and thus become published. If he hadn’t done this, he wouldn’t have been published, at all, and he would thus have been forgotten by history. That’s reality — not just another aristocratic myth. It’s normal, throughout history, for the aristocracy to have a stranglehold against democracy. (Furthermore, Marx had no desire for democracy; he was a liberal, not a progressive, and he favored dictatorship, but a different type of dictatorship than the aristocracy wants.) That stranglehold against democracy is just normal — not, at all, exceptional. And this anti-Sanders billionaire was simply normal. All of them feel entitled to rule the government. It’s the way they are and always have been. Some of them have no idea of the destruction they do to democracy by their political donations. Others of them are such psychopaths that they know but don’t even care. Some of them are such stupid psychopaths that they think they have a right to destroy democracy. They come up with all sorts of rationalizations — they think that their wealth gives them a right to do this. It does give them the power to do this, but not the right; but, ultimately, they think that might makes right — this is their ultimate ‘justification’.
Kamala Harris is unfit because she is un-good; but this is a judgment of her only as a progressive; and liberals and other (that is, purer) conservatives (believers in might-makes-right) could find her to be quite acceptable. This article does not represent conservative, or even liberal, opinion of her, at all. It’s written 100% from a progressive standpoint. That’s what this is, regarding Kamala Harris. She’s a fraud.
Investigative historian Eric Zuesse is the author, most recently, of They’re Not Even Close: The Democratic vs. Republican Economic Records, 1910-2010, and of CHRIST’S VENTRILOQUISTS: The Event that Created Christianity.
The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of The Duran.