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Pierce writes: "As soon as this child was taken into the custody of the United States Border Patrol, she became its responsibility and nobody else's."

The de facto policy of this administration is to make the refugee experience so deadly as to discourage people from attempting to flee to this country. (photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images)
The de facto policy of this administration is to make the refugee experience so deadly as to discourage people from attempting to flee to this country. (photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images)

We Are Governed by Monsters Now

By Charles Pierce, Esquire

15 December 18

The Trump administration's cruelty is not just deliberate. It is casual.

nimaginable. Except that, you know, it's not.

From The Washington Post:

According to CBP records, the girl and her father were taken into custody about 10 p.m. Dec. 6 south of Lordsburg, N.M., as part of a group of 163 people who approached U.S. agents to turn themselves in. More than eight hours later, the child began having seizures at 6:25 a.m., CBP records show. Emergency responders, who arrived soon after, measured her body temperature at 105.7 degrees, and according to a statement from CBP, she “reportedly had not eaten or consumed water for several days.”

After a helicopter flight to Providence Children’s Hospital in El Paso, the child went into cardiac arrest and “was revived,” according to the agency. “However, the child did not recover and died at the hospital less than 24 hours after being transported,” CBP said. The agency did not release the name of the girl or her father, but the father remains in El Paso awaiting a meeting with Guatemalan consular officials, according to CBP. The agency is investigating the incident to ensure appropriate policies were followed, it said.

And before the inevitable trolling begins, as soon as this child was taken into the custody of the United States Border Patrol, she became its responsibility and nobody else's. At that point, it doesn't matter if she had walked here from Guatemala, or Guam, or Jupiter. Once she was in custody, the child's health and well-being became the responsibility of the United States government. It became the responsibility of the United States government to monitor her for any sign of exposure.

(Although it's very hard reading this story not to remember this video of Border Patrol officers pouring out water left in the desert for migrants by church groups.)

Back before he was exposed as not merely a big-hat-wearing fool, but a Russian dupe of a big-hat-wearing fool, Milwaukee Sheriff David Clarke, an early and vociferous supporter of El Caudillo del Mar-A-Lago, allowed an inmate in his jail to die of thirst. We largely are rid of David Clarke from our politics, thank god, but apparently his philosophy of incarceration lives on.

This is cruel, but not unusual. The de facto policy of this administration* is to make the refugee experience so deadly as to discourage people from attempting to flee to this country. The de facto policy of this administration is to whiten the population of this country by any means necessary. (That's why a racist goon like Stephen Miller works in the White House, whereas, with any other president, he wouldn't be allowed within 100 miles of the District of Columbia.) This policy is general throughout the government. While this child was dying in custody, the folks over at ICE once again used her fellow refugees as bait, rounding up people who'd come forward to "sponsor" an immigrant child. As I said, cruel, but not unusual.

Article IX of the international Convention on the Rights of the Child which, in 1989, the U.S. government bravely signed, only to have the U.S. Senate bravely refuse to ratify it, pretty much spells out everything that's wrong with the current policy that has led to this child's death.

Article 9

1. States Parties shall ensure that a child shall not be separated from his or her parents against their will, except when competent authorities subject to judicial review determine, in accordance with applicable law and procedures, that such separation is necessary for the best interests of the child. Such determination may be necessary in a particular case such as one involving abuse or neglect of the child by the parents, or one where the parents are living separately and a decision must be made as to the child's place of residence.

2. In any proceedings pursuant to paragraph 1 of the present article, all interested parties shall be given an opportunity to participate in the proceedings and make their views known.

3. States Parties shall respect the right of the child who is separated from one or both parents to maintain personal relations and direct contact with both parents on a regular basis, except if it is contrary to the child's best interests.

4. Where such separation results from any action initiated by a State Party, such as the detention, imprisonment, exile, deportation or death (including death arising from any cause while the person is in the custody of the State) of one or both parents or of the child, that State Party shall, upon request, provide the parents, the child or, if appropriate, another member of the family with the essential information concerning the whereabouts of the absent member(s) of the family unless the provision of the information would be detrimental to the well-being of the child. States Parties shall further ensure that the submission of such a request shall of itself entail no adverse consequences for the person(s) concerned.

No mention there of children who should die a slow death, alone amid strangers, because it is somehow, in someone's twisted mind, good public policy to allow it. The cruelty in this country's history has been this deliberate before, but rarely has it been this casual. We are governed by monsters now.

Naturally, this being Camp Runamuck and all, the blame-shifting has begun. On Friday morning, Secretary of Homeland Security and Misplaced Consonant Victim Kirstjen Nielsen took time off to visit Three Idiots on a Davenport, because that is the crucible of sophisticated discourse and high-level policy thought in this administration. She promptly blamed the child's family, because she is a monstrous cyborg whose soul is a bag of scorpions.

“What happened was they were about 90 miles away from where we could process them. They came in such a large crowd that it took our border patrol folks a couple times to get them all. We gave immediate care, we’ll continue to look into the situation, but again, I cannot stress enough how dangerous this journey is when migrants choose to come here illegally.”

She was in custody for over eight freaking hours before anyone did anything.

Monsters, all the way down.

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+27 # johnescher 2018-12-15 18:23
I'm opposed to capital punishment. Still, I think it fair to ask what the appropriate punishment would be if one did believe in capital punishment. Beheading? Electric chair? Lethal injection?
+6 # economagic 2018-12-16 08:20
Iron Maiden; drawing and quartering in the public square. . . . Geez John, none of this namby-pamby new age "humane execution," though beheading if done manually is pretty terrifying, especially if the knife is dull. But in this case the obvious choice would be Chinese water torture.
+12 # pmargaret7 2018-12-16 15:00
Witholding water and food!
+14 # dquandle 2018-12-16 01:38
We have been governed by a bipartisan collusion of criminal monsters for decades.
+16 # economagic 2018-12-16 08:16
Great invective, but a little loose with the facts.

"The cruelty in this country's history has been this deliberate before, but rarely has it been this casual."

Sure it has. It's just that prior to the age of everybody being able to access the view screen on the wall directly and in real time virtually nobody even knew about it, to say nothing of its making the top page (digital NOW).

Charlie, surely you are not just now noticing the disconnect between the "de facto" policies of the USian government and the fine words on its official documents. That chasm, however, does seem to be getting wider and deeper, though it may only be our increasing awareness of it.
+30 # Kootenay Coyote 2018-12-16 09:52
Pierce’s article is virulent: & entirely necessary. This is one tragic case of literally thousands in Yemen, Iraq, Afghanistan & elsewhere. Killing children is a poor policy for a great nation; & where, O where, are the strangely silent Right to Life voices now??
+7 # economagic 2018-12-16 17:13
The only right to life that contingent recognizes is that of the unborn. From their own propaganda their position seems to be that everyone else can go to hell.

For a REAL pro-lifer, look up Colman McCarthy, 80 years old and still going. I first came upon his columns in the Oklahoma Observer, a reader-supporte d biweekly, in the mid 1980s.
+8 # Texas Aggie 2018-12-17 08:52
The wrong to life people don't care about kids once they're born. They gave up caring about this kid years ago.
+15 # REDPILLED 2018-12-16 10:21
The detention of children separated from their parents is monstrous, especially for those families fleeing violence in Central America.

But the "leaders" of the U.S. have been monsters since at least 1945, when the nuclear age began.  Threatening the extinction of life on this planet is as monstrous as you can get, and that has been the U.S. deterrence policy since the nuclear age began.
+19 # laborequalswealth 2018-12-16 11:59
The United States is a rogue nation.

I often wonder why the rest of the world doesn't invade us and take away our murderous toys. Answer: Probably because they know our leaders are insane enough to pop nukes that will start a nuclear winter, resulting in omnicide.

The Mad Man Theory in action. Madness rules.

PS: And for those hot to impeach the Trumpster, consider that Mike "6,000-year-old -earth" Pence is a wacko Dominionist who would LOVE to see Jesus return - all Mikey has to do is start Armageddon. Don't think he isn't capable of it. Did anyone think that 900+ human beings would drink cyanide in the Guyanan jungle? Think about it.
+5 # economagic 2018-12-16 17:20
Ooooh, about those 900 human beings that drank cyanide on their leader's call: When I lived in San Francisco in the early to mid 80s I had a customer who thought he was IT. His followers claimed he had "The Gift." After turning that person down a number of times I agreed to go to his Sunday service. It was a long service, too long to detail here, but creepy as hell for the entire 2-3 hours, and so phony a clever ten-year-old would have caught it. It was the only time in my 72 years that I actually felt the hairs on the back of my neck stand up.
+7 # Rodion Raskolnikov 2018-12-16 16:56
The great irony is that by US standards, El Caudillo del Mar-A-Lago isn't much of a monster. He speaks horribly about people but his policies are just the same as those of Obama, Bush, and the rest.

Here's a very good article that explains the monstrous nature of US foreign policy --

On consortiumnews. com there's a discussion vigil for Julian Assange. John Kiriakou participates and tells of the brutal sadism he experienced at the hand of DOJ prosecutors, judges, and jailers. But this is the norm -- as Pierce says.

The US is every bit as bad as Hitler's Germany, only it has been spread out over several hundred years -- the genocide of Native Americans, the brutality of slavers. These things go deep in the American culture. Our major job is to get rid of this. To me, it is far more important putting Dick Cheney in jail rather than putting Trump there.
+6 # chapdrum 2018-12-17 22:09
Only "now?" How about CheneyCo?
It's really super that (naturally) on Christmas Day, a film about him will open.
Conflating Cheney with Christmas?
Cynical, indifferent (to thousands of dead and maimed victims) capitalists are just fine with that.

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