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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
Guest
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
Guest
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
Guest
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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Claims of Khashoggi death by fistfight expose Saudi brutality

The brutality of both state claims and unproven allegations in Khashoggi’s death raise serious questions about American alliances.

Seraphim Hanisch

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On October 2, 2018, Muslim Brotherhood member and Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi entered the Saudi Arabian embassy in Turkey, never to be seen or heard from again.

This chilling report has been answered with some horrifying and grisly stories about what happened – that he was dismembered while still alive, that his body parts were dissolved completely in acid, leaving nothing left.

Now after two weeks, the Saudi official word on what happened came out: He died in an unexpected fistfight in the embassy.

Really. That is the Saudi’s explanation. A fistfight. In an embassy. With 18 people detained as suspects in the investigation.

And apparently the Saudi government expects the world to accept this explanation and just let it go.

This situation has just exposed the true nature of this “ally” of the United States. Even Rush Limbaugh, a staunch supporter of all conservative positions in America, has spoken from time to time about the amazing disconnect in American foreign policy with regards to Saudi Arabia. He continued that on his radio programs on both October 18th and 19th, 2018, as shown in this excerpted transcript, with emphasis added:

I’m simplifying this, folks, but generally that’s what happens. So, by the same token, you could say that this militant terrorist Islam that we’ve known since 9/11 and maybe 10, 15 years prior, that has been sponsored by Saudi Arabia, by the Saudi royal family. It’s why so many people have been upset with so many American presidents being buddy-buddy with the king, whoever he happens to be. The Saudis always fund former presidents’ libraries. I mean, the Saudis had a good thing going. They had relationships with every president, former president and so forth.

And while they were selling us oil, sometimes. Cooperative or uncooperative, depending on the time, with price. But during all of that, they were the primary thrust for Wahhabi Islam. Now, here comes MbS (Mohammed bin Salman, the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia), and he wants to just reform the hell out of the country, get rid of Wahhabism, bring in petrodollars competitors such as Hollywood and Silicon Valley and basically bring Saudi Arabia into the twenty-first century instead of the seventh. And there’s some people that don’t want that to happen.

And from the 19th:

Wahhabi Islam is where the really radical clerics and Imams are who are welcoming anybody they can into their mosques and just literally converting them into suicide bombers, terrorists, and what have you, under the auspices of Islam. And the Saudi royal family stood by and let it all happen. Whether they were instrumental in advocating it, don’t know, but Saudi-funded charities all over the world promoted Wahhabism.

And that’s when I went back to Mr. Buckley and said, “I don’t see how the Saudi royal family, the Saudi government can be separated from these 19 hijackers.”

Now in the rest of these transcripts, which are very interesting, Rush explains that Khashoggi was a Muslim Brotherhood member, and as such, stood opposed to MbS’ reform plans and actions. However the brutality of the alleged murder of Mr. Khashoggi, and the official “State version” account of his death are almost equally brutal. Death by fists? How is it that the United States considers such people allies?

President Trump is on record as saying that this explanation by the Saudi government is “credible.” However, this statement alone is out of context, so we bring you the entire statement:

This is not to be misunderstood as a Trump endorsement of belief. He points out that this is a first step, and that in his view it is a good one, but that is all.

Still, these events throw the real nature of the Saudi kingdom into sharp relief. They are the number one customer for US military equipment, now considered allies against Iran. In the complicated field of Middle East relations, the president’s caution is probably very wise for the moment. However, this is a nation which produced most of the 9/11 hijackers, which is said to be the last voice in what Islam is, and so promotes a very violent interpretation of an already violent faith.

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The news and information media got a great lesson in following something like “due process” with this matter, and while the President is doing that, this situation still invites some strong speculation. Allies that simultaneously seek an allied nation’s destruction do not seem like allies much at all. And embassies are usually held to be very safe places for people, not places where they meet their death in any way at all, let alone the cruel means alleged and later claimed.

This event may actually be very damaging to the Saudi Crown Prince’s effort to bring his nation out of Wahhabism and into some more kind interpretation of Islam, and indeed the West’s assessment of Khashoggi has taken to calling him a “teddy bear” when he is a Muslim Brotherhood member. Former US President Obama supported the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, and these people were so violent, killing Christians and destroying homes and businesses, that the Muslim Brotherhood’s uprising was followed by a second uprising from the more reasonable people in Egypt (which Obama promptly dropped).

If reports are to be believed, Mohammed bin Salman wants to end Wahhabism. It would seem to logically make sense that his agencies were involved in what happened to Kashoggi, who is a known critic of bin Salman. But if it really is true that the Saudi royals were not involved, then whoever it was certainly succeeded in stopping bin Salman’s efforts to modernize his country, at least for now.

 

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The future of war: UAE hires U.S. mercenaries to assassinate political leaders (Video)

The Duran – News in Review – Episode 137.

Alex Christoforou

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An investigation by BuzzFeed News has revealed that Middle East Monarchy, United Arab Emirates, hired U.S. mercenaries to assassinate political leaders and religious clerical leaders in war torn Yemen.

The U.S. ex-military, elite soldiers were paid by to kill those designated as “terrorists” by the UAE.

The UAE worked with the U.S. based mercenary-for-hire Spear Operations Group, founded by Israeli-American Abraham Golan, who told BuzzFeed News…

“There was a targeted assassination program in Yemen. I was running it.”

Spear Operations Group’s first target in Yemen was Anssaf Ali Mayo, the local leader of the Islamist political party Al-Islah, a party whose members include Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Tawakkul Karman.

Is this the future of war?

The Duran’s Alex Christoforou and International Affairs and Security Analyst via Moscow, Mark Sleboda discuss the stunning Buzzfeed News article that exposes the dangerous and dark assassination strategy of the United Arab Emirates, hiring American ex-soldiers to target and kill political enemies.

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Follow The Duran Audio Podcast on Soundcloud.

Authored by Aram Roston via BuzzFeed News…


The operation against Mayo — which was reported at the time but until now was not known to have been carried out by American mercenaries — marked a pivot point in the war in Yemen, a brutal conflict that has seen children starved, villages bombed, and epidemics of cholera roll through the civilian population. The bombing was the first salvo in a string of unsolved assassinations that killed more than two dozen of the group’s leaders.

The company that hired the soldiers and carried out the attack is Spear Operations Group, incorporated in Delaware and founded by Abraham Golan, a charismatic Hungarian Israeli security contractor who lives outside of Pittsburgh. He led the team’s strike against Mayo.

“There was a targeted assassination program in Yemen,” he told BuzzFeed News. “I was running it. We did it. It was sanctioned by the UAE within the coalition.”

The UAE and Saudi Arabia lead an alliance of nine countries in Yemen, fighting what is largely a proxy war against Iran. The US is helping the Saudi-UAE side by providing weapons, intelligence, and other support.

The press office of the UAE’s US Embassy, as well as its US public affairs company, Harbour Group, did not respond to multiple phone calls and emails.

The revelations that a Middle East monarchy hired Americans to carry out assassinations comes at a moment when the world is focused on the alleged murder of dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi by Saudi Arabia, an autocratic regime that has close ties to both the US and the UAE. (The Saudi Embassy in the US did not respond to a request for comment. Riyadh has denied it killed Khashoggi, though news reports suggest it is considering blaming his death on a botched interrogation.)

Golan said that during his company’s months-long engagement in Yemen, his team was responsible for a number of the war’s high-profile assassinations, though he declined to specify which ones. He argued that the US needs an assassination program similar to the model he deployed. “I just want there to be a debate,” he said. “Maybe I’m a monster. Maybe I should be in jail. Maybe I’m a bad guy. But I’m right.”

Spear Operations Group’s private assassination mission marks the confluence of three developments transforming the way war is conducted worldwide:

  • Modern counterterrorism combat has shifted away from traditional military objectives — such as destroying airfields, gun emplacements, or barracks — to killing specific individuals, largely reshaping war into organized assassinations.
  • War has become increasingly privatized, with many nations outsourcing most military support services to private contractors, leaving frontline combat as virtually the only function that the US and many other militaries have not contracted out to for-profit ventures.
  • The long US wars in Afghanistan and Iraq have relied heavily on elite special forces, producing tens of thousands of highly trained American commandos who can demand high private-sector salaries for defense contracting or outright mercenary work.

With Spear Operations Group’s mission in Yemen, these trends converged into a new and incendiary business: militarized contract killing, carried out by skilled American fighters.

Experts said it is almost inconceivable that the United States would not have known that the UAE — whose military the US has trained and armed at virtually every level — had hired an American company staffed by American veterans to conduct an assassination program in a war it closely monitors.

One of the mercenaries, according to three sources familiar with the operation, used to work with the CIA’s “ground branch,” the agency’s equivalent of the military’s special forces. Another was a special forces sergeant in the Maryland Army National Guard. And yet another, according to four people who knew him, was still in the Navy Reserve as a SEAL and had a top-secret clearance. He was a veteran of SEAL Team 6, or DEVGRU, the sources told BuzzFeed News. The New York Times once described that elite unit, famous for killing Osama bin Laden, as a “global manhunting machine with limited outside oversight.”

The CIA said it had no information about the mercenary assassination program, and the Navy’s Special Warfare Command declined to comment. A former CIA official who has worked in the UAE initially told BuzzFeed News there was no way that Americans would be allowed to participate in such a program. But after checking, he called back: “There were guys that were basically doing what you said.” He was astonished, he said, by what he learned: “What vetting procedures are there to make sure the guy you just smoked is really a bad guy?” The mercenaries, he said, were “almost like a murder squad.”

Whether Spear’s mercenary operation violates US law is surprisingly unclear. On the one hand, US law makes it illegal to “conspire to kill, kidnap, maim” someone in another country. Companies that provide military services to foreign nations are supposed to be regulated by the State Department, which says it has never granted any company the authority to supply combat troops or mercenaries to another country.

Yet, as BuzzFeed News has previously reported, the US doesn’t ban mercenaries. And with some exceptions, it is perfectly legal to serve in foreign militaries, whether one is motivated by idealism or money. With no legal consequences, Americans have served in the Israel Defense Forces, the French Foreign Legion, and even a militia fighting ISIS in Syria. Spear Operations Group, according to three sources, arranged for the UAE to give military rank to the Americans involved in the mission, which might provide them legal cover.

Despite operating in a legal and political gray zone, Golan heralds his brand of targeted assassinations as a precision counterterrorism strategy with fewer civilian casualties. But the Mayo operation shows that this new form of warfare carries many of the same old problems. The commandos’ plans went awry, and the intelligence proved flawed. And their strike was far from surgical: The explosive they attached to the door was designed to kill not one person but everyone in the office.

Aside from moral objections, for-profit targeted assassinations add new dilemmas to modern warfare. Private mercenaries operate outside the US military’s chain of command, so if they make mistakes or commit war crimes, there is no clear system for holding them accountable. If the mercenaries had killed a civilian in the street, who would have even investigated?

The Mayo mission exposes an even more central problem: the choice of targets. Golan insists that he killed only terrorists identified by the government of the UAE, an ally of the US. But who is a terrorist and who is a politician? What is a new form of warfare and what is just old-fashioned murder for hire? Who has the right to choose who lives and who dies — not only in the wars of a secretive monarchy like the UAE, but also those of a democracy such as the US?

BuzzFeed News has pieced together the inside story of the company’s attack on Al-Islah’s headquarters, revealing what mercenary warfare looks like now — and what it could become.

Full Story at BuzzFeed News…

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Saudis Admit Khashoggi Killed At Consulate “In Fist-Fight”, King Salman Fires 5 Top Officials

Saudi Arabia confirmed tonight that Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi was killed at its consulate in Istanbul on 2 October.

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Democrat Congressman Adam Schiff has weighed in on the Khashoggi murder admission from KSA claiming “the Saudi report of Khashoggi is not credible.”

The White House issue a statement…

Via Zerohedge


Saudi Arabia confirmed tonight that Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi was killed at its consulate in Istanbul on 2 October.

In a statement put out on Saudi state television, citing an initial investigation by Saudi prosecutors, SPA said that:

“an argument erupted between him [Khashoggi] and others whom he met in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul leading to a fistfight which led to his death.”

Prosecutors said the investigation was still ongoing and that 18 people, all Saudi nationals, had so far been arrested, SPA reported.

“The Kingdom expresses its deep regret at the painful developments that have taken place and stresses the commitment of the authorities in the Kingdom to bring the facts to the public,” the statement said.

Additionally, Saudi Arabia’s King Salman has removed a key royal adviser and a senior intelligence official..

King Salman issued an order to remove Saud al-Qahtani, an adviser to Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, according to the state-run Ikhbariya television.

The monarch also relieved deputy intelligence chief Gen. Ahmed al-Assiri.

This follows the narrative reported by The New York Times on Thursday that Riyadh is looking to blame Assiri for the purported murder of Khashoggi in an effort to shield Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman from the blame.

Saudi King Salman has also ordered the formation of ministerial committee led by crown prince Mohammad bin Salman to restructure the general intelligence agency.

As Ali Shihabi, Founder, The Arabia Foundation, tweets:

“The removal of two top officials, a cabinet ranking, very powerful and close advisor of MBS and the Deputy Head of Foreign intelligence + 4 other Generals in foreign intelligence (virtually its whole top leadership) cannot be written off as a cover up. This is unprecedented.”

This is not saying “rogue killers” but implicating virtually the whole top leadership of foreign intelligence. They carried out a mission that went sour very quickly and tried to cover it up initially. Bad news travels slowly to the top.”

We await President Trump’s “very severe consequences.”

 

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