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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
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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Macron cuts ski holiday short, vowing crack down on Yellow Vests (Video)

The Duran Quick Take: Episode 109.

Alex Christoforou

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The Duran’s Alex Christoforou and Editor-in-Chief Alexander Mercouris discuss the 18th consecutive week of Yellow Vests protests in Paris. Following last weeks lower participation, Saturday’s Yellow Vests in Paris gathered larger crowds, with various outbreaks of violence and rioting that has been blamed on extreme elements, who French authorities claim have infiltrated the movement.

“Act XVIII” of the protests has shown that the Yellow Vests have not given up. France’s Champs-Élysées boulevard was where most of the violence occurred, with the street being left in a pile of broken glass and flames.

One day after Paris was set ablaze, French President Emmanuel Macron cut his ski holiday short, returning to Paris and vowing to take “strong decisions” to prevent more violence.

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Via Zerohedge


Paris awoke on Sunday to smouldering fires, broken windows and looted stores following the 18th consecutive Saturday of Yellow Vest protests.

Around 200 people were arrested according to BFM TV, while about 80 shops near the iconic Champs Elysees had been damaged and/or looted according to AFP, citing Champs Elysees committee president Jean-Noel Reinhardt.

The 373-year-old Saint Sulpice Roman Catholic church was set on fire while people were inside, however nobody was injured. The cause of the fire remains unknown.

The riots were so severe that French President Emmanuel Macron cut short a vacation at the La Mongie ski resort in the Hautes-Pyrénées following a three-day tour of East Africa which took him to Djibouti, Ethiopia and Kenya.

Macron skied on Friday, telling La Depeche du Midi “I’m going to spend two-three days here to relax, to find landscapes and friendly faces,” adding “I’m happy to see the Pyrenees like that, radiant, although I know it was more difficult at Christmas” referring to the lack of snow in December.

In response to Saturday’s violence, Macron said over Twitter that “strong decisions” were coming to prevent more violence.

Macron said some individuals — dubbed “black blocs” by French police forces — were taking advantage of the protests by the Yellow Vest grassroots movement to “damage the Republic, to break, to destroy.” Prime Minister Edouard Philippe said on Twitter that those who excused or encouraged such violence were complicit in it. –Bloomberg

The French President has family ties in the Hautes-Pyrénées, including Bagnères de Bigorre where his grandmother lived. He is a regular visitor to the region.

Emmanuel Macron (2ndL), head of the political movement In Marche! (Onwards!) And candidate for the 2017 presidential election, and his wife Brigitte Trogneux (L) have lunch April 12, 2017 (Reuters)

 

 

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Vesti calls out Pompeo on lying about Russia invading Ukraine [Video]

Secretary Pompeo displayed either stunning ignorance or a mass-attack of propaganda about what must be the most invisible war in history.

Seraphim Hanisch

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After the 2014 Maidan revolution and the subsequent secessions of Lugansk and Donetsk in Ukraine, and after the rejoining of Crimea with its original nation of Russia, the Western media went on a campaign to prove the Russia is (/ was / was about to / had already / might / was thinking about / was planning to … etc.) invade Ukraine. For the next year or so, about every two weeks, internet news sources like Yahoo! News showed viewers pictures of tanks, box trucks and convoys to “prove” that the invasion was underway (or any of the other statuses confirming the possibilities above stated.) This information was doubtless provided to US Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo.

Apparently, Secretary Pompeo believed this ruse, or is being paid to believe this ruse because in a speech recently, he talked about it as fact:

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo called Russia’s annexation of Crimea and aggression in eastern Ukraine an attempt to gain access to Ukraine’s oil and gas reserves.

He stated this at IHS Markit’s CERAWeek conference in Houston, the USA, Reuters reports.

Pompeo urged the oil industry to work with the Trump administration to promote U.S. foreign policy interests, especially in Asia and in Europe, and to punish what he called “bad actors” on the world stage.

The United States has imposed harsh sanctions in the past several months on two major world oil producers, Venezuela and Iran.

Pompeo said the U.S. oil-and-gas export boom had given the United States the ability to meet energy demand once satisfied by its geopolitical rivals.

“We don’t want our European allies hooked on Russian gas through the Nord Stream 2 project, any more than we ourselves want to be dependent on Venezuelan oil supplies,” Pompeo said, referring to a natural gas pipeline expansion from Russia to Central Europe.

Pompeo called Russia’s invasion of Ukraine an attempt to gain access to the country’s oil and gas reserves.

Although the state-run news agency Vesti News often comes under criticism for rather reckless, or at least, extremely sarcastic propaganda at times, here they rightly nailed Mr. Pompeo’s lies to the wall and billboarded it on their program:

The news anchors even made a wisecrack about one of the political figures, Konstantin Zatulin saying as a joke that Russia plans to invade the United States to get its oil. They further noted that Secretary Pompeo is uneducated about the region and situation, but they offered him the chance to come to Russia and learn the correct information about what is going on.

To wit, Russia has not invaded Ukraine at all. There is no evidence to support such a claim, while there IS evidence to show that the West is actively interfering with Russia through the use of Ukraine as a proxyWhile this runs counter to the American narrative, it is simply the truth. Ukraine appears to be the victim of its own ambitions at this point, for while the US tantalizes the leadership of the country and even interferes with the Orthodox Church in the region, the country lurches towards a presidential election with three very poor candidates, most notably the one who is president there now, Petro Poroshenko.

However, the oil and gas side of the anti-Russian propaganda operation by the US is significant. The US wishes for Europe to buy gas from American suppliers, even though this is woefully inconvenient and expensive when Russia is literally at Europe’s doorstep with easy supplies. However, the Cold War Party in the United States, which still has a significant hold on US policy making categorizes the sale of Russia gas to powers like NATO ally Germany as a “threat” to European security.

It is interesting that Angela Merkel herself does not hold this line of thinking. It is also interesting and worthy of note, that this is not the only NATO member that is dealing more and more with Russia in terms of business. It underscores the loss of purpose that the North Atlantic Treaty Organization suffers now since there is no Soviet Union to fight.

However, the US remains undaunted. If there is no enemy to fight, the Americans feel that they must create one, and Russia has been the main scapegoat for American power ambitions. More than ever now, this tactic appears to be the one in use for determining the US stance towards other powers in the world.

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Ariel Cohen explains Washington’s latest foreign policy strategy [Video]

Excellent interview Ariel Cohen and Vladimir Solovyov reveals the forces at work in and behind American foreign policy.

Seraphim Hanisch

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While the American people and press are pretty much complicit in reassuring the masses that America is the only “right” superpower on earth, and that Russia and China represent “enemy threats” for doing nothing more than existing and being successfully competitive in world markets, Russia Channel One got a stunner of a video interview with Ariel Cohen.

Who is Ariel Cohen? Wikipedia offers this information about him:

Ariel Cohen (born April 3, 1959 in Crimea in YaltaUSSR) is a political scientist focusing on political risk, international security and energy policy, and the rule of law.[1] Cohen currently serves as the Director of The Center for Energy, Natural Resources and Geopolitics (CENRG) at the Institute for Analysis of Global Security (IAGS). CENRG focuses on the nexus between energy, geopolitics and security, and natural resources and growth. He is also a nonresident senior fellow at the Atlantic Council, within the Global Energy Center and the Dinu Patriciu Eurasia Center.[2] Until July 2014, Dr. Cohen was a senior research fellow at the Heritage Foundation in Washington, D.C. He specializes in Russia/Eurasia, Eastern Europe, and the Middle East.

Cohen has testified before committees of the U.S. Congress, including the Senate and House Foreign Relations Committees, the House Armed Services Committee, the House Judiciary Committee and the Helsinki Commission.[4] He also served as a Policy Adviser with the National Institute for Public Policy’s Center for Deterrence Analysis.[5] In addition, Cohen has consulted for USAID, the World Bank and the Pentagon.[6][7]

Cohen is a frequent writer and commentator in the American and international media. He has appeared on CNN, NBC, CBS, FOX, C-SPAN, BBC-TV and Al Jazeera English, as well as Russian and Ukrainian national TV networks. He was a commentator on a Voice of America weekly radio and TV show for eight years. Currently, he is a Contributing Editor to the National Interest and a blogger for Voice of America. He has written guest columns for the New York TimesInternational Herald TribuneChristian Science Monitor, the Washington Post, the Wall Street Journal, the Washington Times, EurasiaNet, Valdai Discussion Club,[8] and National Review Online. In Europe, Cohen’s analyses have appeared in Kommersant, Izvestiya, Hurriyet, the popular Russian website Ezhenedelny Zhurnal, and many others.[9][10]

Mr. Cohen came on Russian TV for a lengthy interview running about 17 minutes. This interview, shown in full below, is extremely instructive in illustrating the nature of the American foreign policy directives such as they are at this time.

We have seen evidence of this in recent statements by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo regarding Russia’s “invasion” of Ukraine, and an honestly unabashed bit of fear mongering about China’s company Huawei and its forthcoming 5G networks, which we will investigate in more detail in another piece. Both bits of rhetoric reflect a re-polished narrative that, paraphrased, says to the other world powers,

Either you do as we tell you, or you are our enemy. You are not even permitted to out-compete with us in business, let alone foreign relations. The world is ours and if you try to step out of place, you will be dealt with as an enemy power.

This is probably justified paranoia, because it is losing its place. Where the United Stated used to stand for opposition against tyranny in the world, it now acts as the tyrant, and even as a bully. Russia and China’s reaction might be seen as ignoring the bully and his bluster and just going about doing their own thing. It isn’t a fight, but it is treating the bully with contempt, as bullies indeed deserve.

Ariel Cohen rightly points out that there is a great deal of political inertia in the matter of allowing Russia and China to just do their own thing. The US appears to be acting paranoid about losing its place. His explanations appear very sound and very reasonable and factual. Far from some of the snark Vesti is often infamous for, this interview is so clear it is tragic that most Americans will never see it.

The tragedy for the US leadership that buys this strategy is that they appear to be blinded so much by their own passion that they cannot break free of it to save themselves.

This is not the first time that such events have happened to an empire. It happened in Rome; it happened for England; and it happened for the shorter-lived empires of Nazi Germany and ISIS. It happens every time that someone in power becomes afraid to lose it, and when the forces that propelled that rise to power no longer are present. The US is a superpower without a reason to be a superpower.

That can be very dangerous.

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