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While Trump closes doors, Putin opens them, Pt 1

America operates private prison camps while Russia shows freedom and compassion

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US President Donald Trump got himself into something he wasn’t wearing the shoes for recently as he went about a policy of incarcerating unapproved border crossers without due process and separating families families as he does so. Images of children in cages circulated all over the internet, and the media went wild over the matter, as was the behaviour of Trump’s support base which went to any length to justify the action.

Following the mass of public outcry, Trump decided to sign an executive order which dictated that border crossing families will henceforth be incarcerated together, instead of being split up. Still without undergoing any due process, and now being classified as felons instead of just being guilty of some misdemeanor carrying a fine smaller than that of a traffic ticket. This policy of detaining border crossing families, however, is good for business, that is the private prisons corporations. They’re pulling in lots of cash as they warehouse people for being on the wrong side of a line on the ground.

The Nation explains:

President Donald Trump has signed an executive order that ends family separations at the border by indefinitely detaining parents and children together. Such a policy is illegal. It violates a 20-year-old court settlement called the Flores Agreement, which limits how long and under what conditions children can be kept in immigration-detention facilities. Choosing to ignore Flores allows Trump to put children in the same cages as their parents, indefinitely, for those accused of the misdemeanor of unauthorized border crossing. It will create a Guantánamo in the Southwest United States.

It would also directly benefit the two largest private-prison companies in America, Geo Group and CoreCivic, who run massive family-detention facilities in southern Texas that previously could only hold children with their families for up to 20 days. Authorizing Trump hotels with open-ended stays would be great for business.

Attempts to deter a 2014 migrant influx led to the construction of two giant family-detention centers for women and children in Texas, one for each major private-prison company: the South Texas Family Residential Center in Dilley, which is run by CCA, and the Karnes Residential Center, run by Geo Group. A federal case-management system for family detention went to Geo Care, a subsidiary of Geo Group, until it was shuttered last year. Geo Group also ran an electronic monitoring system for families sent off to await court appearances or asylum hearings.

According to a 2015 Grassroots Leadership report, CCA, Geo Group, and their counterparts operate 62 percent of all immigration-detention centers. Their business model was bolstered by a congressional quota mandating that ICE maintain 34,000 detention beds every day, whether filled or not.

This was a smart diversification strategy for private-prison companies that, during the Obama administration, witnessed declines in violent crime and bipartisan agreements on alternatives to harsh over-sentencing. The stalemate on immigration and the arms race to prove toughness on border security represented a growth opportunity.

But the family-detention centers proved disastrous. Incredibly, Texas unsuccessfully attempted to get Dilley and Karnes labeled as childcare centers—with the Obama administration’s help—so they could house children. But the facilities were nicknamed “baby jails” and compared to Japanese internment camps. Dilley was cited for dozens of violations of state regulations, including recurrent child illnesses. At Karnes, Geo Group was accused of locking mothers in dark rooms as punishment for protesting conditions.

The Trump administration’s policy just takes this effort to deter migration to its logical extreme. As parents go to (mostly privately run) jails for illegal crossing, children move to temporary holding centers until the Office of Refugee Resettlement can place them in foster care or some other stopgap solution. Private companies maintain these facilities too.

Yahoo News identified several of them. Comprehensive Health Services Inc. received $65 million in contracts for emergency shelter operations, and Dynamic Service Solutions got $8.7 million more. Dynamic Educational Systems is providing some of the educational services, with a contract worth up to $5.6 million. Nonprofit organization Southwest Key is running the notorious “Casa Padre” facility, housed in a former Walmart near Brownsville, Texas, as well as 26 facilities nationwide. They’re on track to earn $458 million this fiscal year.

Defense contractors have descended on the tent cities being set up in Tornillo, Texas, and elsewhere. MVM, a Virginia-based defense contractor, has put up recruiting notices seeking personnel to set up the Tornillo shelters; MVM claims they’re only transporting migrants to facilities and since took down the links. Weapons manufacturer General Dynamics assists the Office of Refugee Resettlement in processing immigrant-children cases, and has issued new job postings. “Tender age” migrant facilities offer another chance to profit.

Practically all these companies have disclaimed responsibility for the crisis, but they’re clearly implicated in it. So is Microsoft, which has a cloud-computing contract with ICE. So is American Airlines, which has federal travel contracts with the government but has asked to stop having its flights transport separated children. Other airlines have similar contracts, and workers are vowing to boycott the flights.

ICE spends roughly $159 per day per person on detention, paying some middleman to manage, feed, educate, and, in a particularly gruesome development, medicate the children into listlessness. There are far cheaper alternatives, but sinking all that money into a carceral framework makes it difficult to tear it down. Even cities that want to eject private prisons for immigrants are subject to legal pushback from the deep-pocketed contractors.

Meanwhile, companies overwhelmed by the expanding caseload, fueled by Trump, have reverted to reducing labor to maintain costs, as a whistle-blower who worked in a Southwest Key facility admitted.

Before ramping this up, the administration sought out more privately run immigration jails across the country, increasing detention capacity to 48,000 per day—-surely to the delight of Geo Group and CoreCivic. The executive order would extend this and make the detention indefinite, bringing the facilities at Karnes and Dilley back into play. And scenes of children sleeping on foil blankets would be replaced by scenes of private-prison companies putting immigrants into solitary, and torturing, even killing those in their custody through neglect.

This is an example of how we’ve transformed border policy into a cash cow for private contractors. America cannot capture, detain, transport, and deport people without enlisting a network of outside companies to carry out these tasks. It’s a darkly ironic consequence of decades of anti-government rhetoric. Conservatives complain that government cannot do anything right and must be drowned in the bathtub. Then they devise a zero-tolerance border policy that requires one of the largest and most fearsome government presences in recent memory. But they don’t have the staff to execute it, so they farm it out.

An added benefit here is that subcontractors don’t need to abide by as many transparency rules or Freedom of Information Act requests, so they can hide what really goes on inside the facilities and stage-manage what information to disclose. If somehow misconduct or abuse is discovered, the government has a layer of plausible deniability: It will just claim it was the private contractor’s fault.

The horrific sounds and images led to Trump’s alleged backing down on his family-separation policy, but he just substituted one private contractor for another. That’s who we get to do our dirty work in America, whether it’s raids and murder in Iraq or warehousing immigrants. The only bill that would not only end separation of families but collapse the entire apparatus of caging human beings escaping violence and horror would contain 14 words: “All immigration-related activities must be performed by government employees and cannot be subcontracted out.” ICE should be abolished, but you abolish the contracts and the whole rickety structure will fall on itself.

It should be borne in mind that America’s foreign policy ravaged Latin America, creating the conditions from which these people are running. Meanwhile, in Russia, President Vladimir Putin is finding ways to accommodate Ukrainian refugees illegally abiding in Russia. The pathway being provided is that of naturalization by way of amnesty, which will be covered in part two by Matfey Shaheen over at RussiaFeed.

While Trump closes doors, Putin opens them, Pt 2

 

 

 

 

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WortherthorthStephan WilliamsJackSteve Webberhestroy Recent comment authors
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Wortherthorth
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Wortherthorth

Yikes! What an unfair, hysterical and disingenuous article! The media and NGO’s have created these crisis for their own political ends. They distribute literature in Mexico and South America, telling families to send their children, they arrange organizations to get them through, they even print cartoon instruction manuals. Then, they carp and scream bloody murder when children are caught up in border patrol activities. The rhetoric about cages and private prisons is over the top. take a pill, nobody is buying it. All countries have a moral obligation to protect their borders, why can’t the US? Ukrainian immigration into Russia… Read more »

Stephan Williams
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Stephan Williams

From the article:

“Meanwhile, in Russia, President Vladimir Putin is finding ways to accommodate Ukrainian refugees illegally abiding in Russia.”

President Vladimir Putin is finding ways to accommodate Ukrainian refugees illegally abiding in Russia because the “Ukrainian refugees” are ethnically Russian, stoopid.

Jack
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Jack

This guy who writes this has written a load of cobblers. probably mad bolshevik.

Steve Webber
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Steve Webber
hestroy
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hestroy

This one is not good, Frank. I understand you don’t like Trump, but there is a huge difference between uneducated Latino and educated Ukrainian.

Daisy Adler
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Daisy Adler

” Vladimir Putin is finding ways to accommodate Ukrainian refugees”

But of course. Most of the Ukrainian refugees are ethnic Russians, with Russian as mother tongue, who found themselves stranded over the border, when Ukraine (part of Russian Empire since 1654) separated from Russia in 1990. It is just to give them back their Russian citizenship, if they ask for it.

Vince Dhimos
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Vince Dhimos

There is no comparing the Uke refugees with Mexicans. Ukes who prefer Russia typically are carriers of Russian culture and speak Russian. They are accepted because their country was destroyed by the West. It is a boon for Russia to get these refugees.

Gonzogal
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Gonzogal

“Images of children in cages circulated all over the internet, and the
media went wild over the matter, as was the behaviour of Trump’s support
base which went to any length to justify the action.”

I stopped reading after this since it was already proven that the photos were taken under the OBOMBER immigration policy was enacted.

Logan
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Logan

We would do well to trade Putin 10 to 1 on refuse-gees.

ke4ram
Guest
ke4ram

This was Obama’s policy,,, where was the author then? The pic on Time was a fake as was the pic of the little boy behind bars crying.

I’m not much of a Trump advocate but this article reeks of hypocrisy.

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Some Russian monarchists want Tsar Vladimir Putin

Latest news from Russian monarchists highlight the debate over bringing the Russian Empire back to life in modern times.

Seraphim Hanisch

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A December 13 report in The Wall Street Journal shone light on a notion that has been afoot in the Russian Federation since the fall of Communism in 1991 – the restoration of the Monarchy as the form of government, complete with a new Tsar of all the Russias.

Of course, some of these monarchists have a top contender in mind for that post, none other than President Vladimir Putin himself.

This idea has long been used in a pejorative light in the West, as various shadowy and not-so-shadowy elements in the American media speculated over the years that Mr. Putin was actually aspiring to become Tsar. This was thrown around until probably the time that the Russian president spoke, lamenting the fall of Communism, and since then the prime accusation has been that President Putin wants to bring back the Soviet Union.

This is not true. It also does not appear to be the case that the Russian president wants to be Tsar. But the monarchists are not fazed in the slightest. Here is excerpted material from the WSJ piece, with emphases added:

The last time term limits forced Russian leader Vladimir Putin to step down from the presidency, he became prime minister for a few years.

This time around, a group of pro-Kremlin activists have a different idea: Proclaim him Czar Vladimir.

“We will do everything possible to make sure Putin stays in power as long as possible,” Konstantin Malofeyev, a politically active businessman, said recently to thunderous applause from hundreds of Russian Orthodox priests and members of the country’s top political parties gathered at a conference outside Moscow. They were united by one cause—to return the monarchy to Russia…

Even among those who want a monarchy, however, there are splits over what kind it should be. Is an absolute monarchy better than a constitutional monarchy? Should a blood line be established or should the czar be elected? For those who favor male succession, would it be a problem that Mr. Putin reportedly only has two daughters? Some have even suggested others besides Mr. Putin should accede to the throne.

There is a very keen interest indeed among some in Russia that propose various options as to who might best become Tsar in the event that the Monarchy is restored.

Grand Duke George Mikhailovich Romanov and his mother, Grand Duchess Maria Vladimirovna of Russia, together with Metropolitan Hilarion Alfeyev, head of the Russian Orthodox Church Department of External Relations

One candidate that has received significant attention is a man by the name of George Mikhailovich Romanov. He is an actual member of the Royal family, the heir apparent to Maria Vladimirovna Romanova, Grand Duchess of Russia. There are other heir apparents as well, and the issue as to who it should be has not been settled among the surviving members of the Romanov family.

The restoration of the Russian monarchy is unique because to carries strong religious significance. As far back as the 8th and 9th centuries, A.D., a host of saints and prophets appear to have foreseen the advent of the Soviet times and the restoration of the Tsar after their conclusion.

Some such prophecies are attributed to anonymous sources, but some are named. Here are two with rather extensive editing, so please go to the site linked for the fullest description of the prophecies.

Monk Abel the Prophet (+1831).

In a conversation with Tsar Paul I (+1801), after prophesying the destinies of all the Tsars from Paul I to Nicholas II:

“What is impossible for man is possible for God. God delays with His help, but it is said that He will give it soon and will raise the horn of Russian salvation. And there will arise a great prince from your race in exile, who stands for the sons of his people. He will be a chosen one of God, and on his head will be blessing. He will be the only one comprehensible to all, the very heart of Russia will sense him. His appearance will be sovereign and radiant, and nobody will say: ‘The Tsar is here or there’, but all will say: ‘That is him’. The will of the people will submit to the mercy of God, and he himself will confirm his calling. His name has occurred three times in Russian history. Two of the same name have already been on the throne, but not on the Tsar’s throne. But he will sit on the Tsar’s throne as the third. In him will be the salvation and happiness of the Russian realm.”

“Russian hopes will be realized upon [the cathedral of Hagia] Sophia in Tsargrad [Constantinople]; the Orthodox Cross will gleam again; Holy Rus will be filled with the smoke of incense and prayer, and will blossom like a heavenly lily.”

And from one of the most famous saints in Russian history:

St. John of Kronstadt (+1908):

“I foresee the restoration of a powerful Russia, still stronger and mightier than before. On the bones of these martyrs, remember, as on a strong foundation, will the new Russia we built – according to the old model; strong in her faith in Christ God and in the Holy Trinity! And there will be, in accordance with the covenant of the holy Prince Vladimir, a single Church! Russian people have ceased to understand what Rus is: it is the footstool of the Lord’s Throne! The Russian person must understand this and thank God that he is Russian.”

“The Church will remain unshaken to the end of the age, and a Monarch of Russia, if he remains faithful to the Orthodox Church, will be established on the Throne of Russia until the end of the age.”

What may surprise those in the West is that there are a great many people in Russia and in Orthodox Christian countries in general who take these prophecies quite seriously.

Interestingly enough, when the idea of restoring the monarchy was brought to President Putin’s attention, he regarded the idea as “beautiful” according to Lt. General Leonid Reshetnikov, but also expressed concern that it would lead to stagnation within the country.

A second statement, this one by Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov, noted that President Putin does not like the idea of bringing back the monarchy, but offered no comment on the conversation with Mr. Reshetnikov.

The idea of restoring the monarchy is not completely absurd. Britain overthrew its own monarchy in 1649 during that country’s Civil War, but it was restored shortly afterwards under King Charles II. Spain cast aside its monarchy in 1931, with its king, Alfonso XIII going into exile, but after sixteen years this monarchy, too, was restored.

Both of these monarchies have become largely ceremonial, with most governing functions carried out through some kind of Parliament and Prime Minister. It is therefore not clear what a ruling monarchy in Russia would look like.

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US confirms pullout from INF treaty, Moscow will respond if missiles placed in Europe – deputy FM

Moscow will respond to possible attempts to place short and intermediate range nuclear-capable missiles in Europe if the US decides to go on with this plan.

RT

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Via RT…


Washington has confirmed its decision to withdraw from the INF treaty is final, Russia’s deputy foreign minister said, adding that Moscow will ‘take measures’ if American missiles that threaten its security are placed in Europe.

“Washington publicly announced its plans to withdraw from the treaty (the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces) already in October. Through the high-level bilateral channels it was confirmed to us that this decision was final and wasn’t an attempt to initiate dialogue,” Sergey Ryabkov told the Kommersant newspaper.

The Deputy FM said that Moscow will respond to possible attempts to place short and intermediate range nuclear-capable missiles in Europe if the US decides to go on with this plan.

“We’ll be forced to come up with effective compensating measures. I’d like to warn against pushing the situation towards the eruption of new ‘missile crises.’ I am convinced that no sane country could be interested in something like this,” he said.

Russia isn’t threatening anybody, but have the necessary strength and means to counter any aggressor.
Back in October, President Donald Trump warned that Washington was planning unilateral withdrawal from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) treaty because “Russia has not adhered to the agreement.” The US leader also promised that the country would keep boosting its nuclear arsenal until Russia and China “come to their senses.”

Earlier this month, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced that Washington will suspend its obligations under the treaty within 60 days if Russia does not “return to compliance.”

Signed in late 1988, the INF agreement was considered a milestone in ending the arms race between the US and the USSR.

In recent years, Moscow and Washington have repeatedly accused each other of violating the INF deal. While the US has alleged that Russia has developed missiles prohibited by the treaty, Russia insists that the American anti-missile systems deployed in Eastern Europe can actually be used to launch intermediate-range cruise missiles.

The deputy FM said that Washington “never made a secret” of the fact that its INF treaty pullout “wasn’t so much about problems between the US and Russia, but about the desire of the Americans to get rid of all restrictions that were inconvenient for them.”

The US side expressed belief that the INF deal “significantly limits the US military’s capabilities to counter states with arsenals of medium-range and shorter-range ground-based missiles,” which threaten American interests, he said. “China, Iran and North Korea” were specifically mentioned by Washington, Ryabkov added.

“I don’t think that we’re talking about a new missile crisis, but the US plans are so far absolutely unclear,” Mikhail Khodarenok, retired colonel and military expert, told RT, reminding that the Americans have avoided any type of “meaningful discussion” with Moscow in regards to its INF deal pullout.

While “there’ll be no deployment of [US missiles] in Europe any time soon,” Moscow should expect that Washington would try to void other agreements with Russia as well, Khodarenok warned.

The INF deal “just stopped being beneficial for the US. Next up are all the other arms control treaties. There’ll be no resistance from the NATO allies [to US actions],” he said.

“The neocons who run Trump’s foreign policy never have liked arms reduction treaties,” former Pentagon official Michael Maloof told RT. “The new START treaty which comes up for renewal also could be in jeopardy.”

“The risk of a new nuclear buildup is really quite obvious” if the US withdrawals from the INF treaty, Dan Smith, the director of the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, told RT.

“I think the relations between the great powers – the US and Russia as well as the US and China – are more difficult than they’ve been for a long time,” he added.

However, with Washington having indicated that it wants China to be part of the new deal, “there are still possibilities for negotiations and agreement,” according to Smith. Nonetheless, he warned that following this path will demand strong political will and tactical thinking from the leadership of all three countries.

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US Pressures Germany To Ditch Huawei Over ‘Security Concerns’

This news will likely not go over well in Beijing, which is still struggling with the US and Canada over the arrest of Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou in Vancouver.

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Via Zerohedge


First it was Australia, New Zealand and Japan, now the US is pressing the German government to refuse to use equipment manufactured by Chinese telecom giant Huawei as Europe’s largest economy seeks to build out its 5G infrastructure.

According to Bloomberg, a US delegation met on Friday with German Foreign Ministry officials in Berlin to talk about the security risks presented by Huawei’s equipment, which the US says is vulnerable to spying. The meeting in Germany follows a report from late last month claiming the US had launched an “extraordinary outreach campaign” to warn its allies against using Huawei equipment (while its vulnerability to Chinese spying has been cited as the reason to avoid Huawei, it’s also worth noting that the US and China are locked in a battle for who will dominate the global 5G space…a battle that Huawei is currently winning).

Germany is set to hold an auction early next year to find a supplier to help expand its 5G network. The Berlin meeting took place one day after Deutsche Telekom said it would reexamine its decision to use Huawei equipment.

US officials are optimistic that their warnings are getting a hearing, though any detailed talks are in early stages and no concrete commitments have been made, according to one of the people.

The US pressure on Germany underscores increased scrutiny of Huawei as governments grapple with fears that the telecom-equipment maker’s gear is an enabler for Chinese espionage. The Berlin meeting took place a day after German carrier Deutsche Telekom AG said it will re-evaluate its purchasing strategy on Huawei, an indication that it may drop the Chinese company from its list of network suppliers.

France is also reportedly considering further restrictions after adding Huawei products to its “high alert” list. The US has already passed a ban preventing government agencies from using anything made by Huawei. But the telecoms equipment provider isn’t taking these threats to its business lying down.

U.S. warnings over espionage are a delicate matter in Germany. Revelations over the scale of the National Security Agency’s signals intelligence, including reports of tapping Merkel’s mobile phone, are still fresh in Berlin five years after they came to light.

Huawei is pushing back against the accusations. The company’s rotating chairman warned this week that blacklisting the Chinese company without proof will hurt the industry and disrupt the emergence of new wireless technology globally. Ken Hu, speaking at a Huawei manufacturing base in Dongguan, cited “groundless speculation,” in some of the first public comments since the shock arrest of the company’s chief financial officer.

This news will likely not go over well in Beijing, which is still struggling with the US and Canada over the arrest of Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou in Vancouver. In an editorial published Sunday, the Global Times, an English-language mouthpiece for the Communist Party, warned that China should retaliate against any country that – like Australia – takes a hard line against Huawei. So, if you’re a German citizen in Beijing, you might want to consider getting the hell out of Dodge.

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