The Rwandan Genocide’s 25th Anniversary

[NB: Check the byline, thanks. / ~Rayne]

25 years ago today — within hours after the assassination of Rwanda’s and Burundi’s presidents — Rwanda’s Hutus began systematic killing of minority member Tutsi and Pygmy Batwa.

By mid-July 1994, between 500,000 and 1,000,000 Rwandan citizens had been brutally killed — 70% of the Tutsi and 30% of the Pygmy population wiped out by xenophobic rage. It’s not clear exactly how many Rwandans had been slain during the roughly 15-week period because the deaths weren’t documented as they occurred.

The U.S. knew about the threat of violence having intelligence about Hutus seeking “a final solution” but chose to do nothing because the Clinton administration worried they might face another ‘Blackhawk Down’ scenario as they did in Somalia during the Battle of Mogadishu the previous October.

The UN pulled out and did nothing after 10 Belgians serving the United Nations Assistance Mission for Rwanda (UNAMIR) had been killed during the first week of the genocide. They had been protecting Prime Minister Agathe Uwilingiyimana who was slain 25 years ago today; she was the country’s first and so far only female prime minister.

In an interview with Radio France later in the evening on April 6, 1994, she said,

There is shooting, people are being terrorized, people are inside their homes lying on the floor. We are suffering the consequences of the death of the head of state, I believe. We, the civilians, are in no way responsible for the death of our head of state.

Her children survived the attempts on their lives by hiding behind furniture as she and her husband went outside to meet Rwandan soldiers seeking her. They were later smuggled out by a UNAMIR volunteer to safety.

The violence had been fomented for years, its roots likely in the manner by which colonialist Belgium and Germany distinguished for arbitrary reasons the Tutsi over the Hutu, inculcating an idea of separation and otherness with the Rwandan people.

The mounting xenophobia was further fed by hate speech over broadcast radio programming, via Radio Télévision Libre des Mille Collines. Tutsi were depicted as alien, intent on subjugating the majority Hutu, and as non-Christian.

They were killed in horrible ways; in weeks ahead of the genocide, machetes had been imported in much greater quantities than in previous years. Tutsis were also subject to a broad campaign of torture by rape, resulting in maiming, unwanted pregnancies, and death in many cases, as well as a surge in HIV infections which remain with the survivors and those born after to this day.

~ ~ ~
Some may say that what the U.S. is currently experiencing is just politics, matters of opinion in which some like our president may get carried away with their rhetoric. But we’ve seen politics become deadly after systematic use and normalization of hate speech and eliminationist talk, often exemplified in Nazi, Germany of the 1930s.

We don’t need to look back a lifetime for an example of the deadly effects institutionalized hate speech can have on populations. People responsible for decisions that led to many deaths 25 years ago still walk among us. Survivors still bear witness to the genocide and the events that led to it.

We’ve already seen marked a marked uptick in hate crimes since the 2016 election because hate speech by American leaders gives implicit permission to escalate hate. Trouble is brewing here now, and media whether broadcast or social plays a role in its spread. It’s on us to call it out and reject it.

Hate speech and eliminationist talk is not acceptable. It is toxic and corrosive to a democratic society in which every human is equal under the law. Do not look away or ignore xenophobic talk; it is already excusing the loss of lives both American and Central American alike and it can get worse without intervention.

We owe it to the Rwandans who died 25 years ago to learn something from the hateful madness which took them.

This is an open thread.

179 replies
  1. Rayne says:

    I won’t ever be able to forgive Bill Clinton his lack of action. He could have move the UN to send in a peacekeeping force but no. It was maddening to hear news of the mounting death toll that spring and summer wondering why the US had abandoned its role as world leader.

    + + + + + + + + + +
    EDIT — 7:54 PM 08-APR-2019 —

    I am posting this here so it’s just below radar. Please read this story knowing as you do that Stephen Miller has been advising if not directing a purge of DHS and Secret Service personnel

    CNN: Trump pushed to close El Paso border, told admin officials to resume family separations and agents not to admit migrants

    This is how and when ethnic cleansing and genocide escalate. The autocrat consolidates power by purging anyone who will not follow direct orders. In this case, illegal orders.

    It’s time to put sand in the gears. If you are likewise concerned I need your assistance in crowdsourcing material on Stephen Miller. The public has not paid enough attention to Miller’s works while in office.

    I also need an assistance from anyone familiar with the Nuremberg defense. Imagine having a chance to slow down Joseph Goebbels in 1933 before the Holocaust began in earnest — this is where we are at. Probably later and worse than that if Miller is behind Trump’s call to shut down the port of El Paso and other points of entry for trade as well as continuing separation of families at the border; this is more like 1943 when Goebbels advocated ‘total war’.

    I’m putting a comment at the bottom of this thread — let’s start collecting material down there. Community member harpie has already started on this.

    Let’s roll. / ~Rayne

    • CitizenCrone says:

      Thank-you, Rayne. I still feel the horror and heartbreak –and anger at Clinton and the UN.

      We’ve lost our moral courage, in part due to Vietnam.

      And if our government’s lies and actions from that era have had such long-lasting consequences, just imagine what the current administration and Republican invertebrates are leading us (and the world) to.

    • bmaz says:

      You know, this is where we really miss Mary. She was sooo good at this kind of discussion. Scribe too if he is around.

      • timbo says:

        (I think I may have confused Scribe with Scout these past few years.) In any case, are we also rememorializing The Killing Fields these days? I remember when the world stood by and watched that happen… the US politically was hamstrung because of our abysmal failure to stand for much of anything in Vietnam the preceding decade.

        When it comes to meaningful humanitarian intervention in cases of genocide, the US really didn’t get involved much during the 60s and 70s, not really until the war in Bosnia did it become something politically feasible…and one might say that because of the stupid failure to intervene in Rwanda the Clinton administration did pay more attention on Bosnia…although that might also be attributed to our need to assert influence in an area that Russia was trying to dominate. Well, basically, the “World Order” has been half-assed for most of the modern era. I would argue that it was better than nothing but J’Accuse is always lingering in the background.

        Basically, intellectual self-rationalizing as to why there was no intervention in a supposedly unambiguously evil mass killing is an easy exercise but doesn’t stop the killing in the future. At least eventually the US tried in Europe towards the end of the Clinton era… but, meh, the US never ratified the ICC treaty so…

        Okay, back to my fucking chardonnay.

    • Democritus says:

      Thank god, other people are also starting to notice how close we are getting to our reichstag fire. Scarcity, ethic minorities targeted as the problem, and all my warning sensors, and I don’t like to sound arrogant or worse, crazy, but I’m really good at patterns and predicting outcomes, are going off like mad. I wonder how much longer until Trump wants supplemental private security if his next secret service director isn’t to his liking.

      I have time but would need some direction in where to research.

      • timbo says:

        “Ethnic minorities”? How about political majorities targeted by Trump and his ilk. Basically, if you’re for holding him legally accountable for his crimes, you’re a bad guy, a supporter of Islamic religious freedom, an abortionist. The right isn’t about vilifying ethnic minorities, they’re about making you afraid to have an opinion they don’t like. Child separation at the border? That’s a test run to do that to people who are natural born citizens here…of all historical origins. This isn’t about minorities, this is about instilling the fear of being deemed a minority, a lesser, someone who must live in constant fear of being found out and discovered. This is how they grow their power…by silencing those who oppose them. And, basically, at the moment, a majority of us still oppose them.

        But, yeah, you’re right to be worried. The evidence that “good journalists” not being on the side of a free and skeptical press is definitely dangerous and the collapse of skeptical and rigorous analysis of the Trump regime’s rhetoric, motives, and legal or moral basis grows daily.

        Of course, perhaps they’ll stumble. They certainly won’t stumble if certain leaders of the DP refuse to uphold the laws, fail to investigate obvious crimes, or fail to work on impeachment “because we just can’t win”.

          • timbo says:

            My apologies. Not >just< about vilifying US minorities is what I meant. This is a plan to silence everyone so that abuses can become unchecked.

    • Democritus says:

      Rayne, I think broad continued calling out of Stephen miller being in charge of Trump since Trumps too incompetent might help get Miller out.

      You just see this?

      Trump on Stephen Miller, per
      : Excellent guy, wonderful person. People don’t know him. Brilliant man and frankly there’s only one person who’s running it. You know who that is? It’s me.

      • harpie says:

        Here’s video of that question/answer:
        Trump is asked if he thought considered appointing Stephen Miller to DHS Secretary
        7:06 AM – 10 Apr 2019
        [quote] [:50] No. Stephen is an excellent guy. He’s a wonderful person. People don’t know him. He’s a wonde..been with me from the beginning. He’s a brilliant man.
        And, frankly, there’s only one person that’s running it.
        You know who that is? It’s me. [1:08] [end quote]

      • timbo says:

        Yeah, I’d go with that and hold Trump accountable for the criminality and incompetence, not Miller. Of course, that’s easier said than done… so people focus on Miller instead?

        • Rayne says:

          We go after both but they require different approaches for different reasons. In Miller’s case, he is the driving force behind the purge across DHS as well as the push for hardening the response at the border. He is dangerous and must be removed before he pushes the wrong person to do something deadly. He’s already responsible for mass human rights violations including the separation of families and resulting injuries, assaults, and deaths.

          Trump will force him out if it looks like his popularity is suffering because of Miller. He doesn’t want that baggage going into 2020 election season.

          • P J Evans says:

            Miller is making federal policy decisions and federal personnel decisions and he’s not in a job that requires Senate confirmation – though these days, he’d probably get it if McTurtle wants something from Tr*mp.

          • timbo says:

            Yeah, that S Miller fellow does seem to be a tick of a bigot… so, yeah, working Trump’s self-preservation angle might just do it. Sigh. He’s not the big kahuna though in this. I wish the DP would get with it and remove these guys for cause.

  2. Valley girl says:

    Dear Rayne, thank you for this post.

    When you mentioned Belgium my mind immediately thought of the assanation of Patrice Lumumba. Had he lived, IF he had survived to carry out his intentions WITHOUT interference from European and US powers, and if not for their continued exploitation, sub-Saharian Africa as a whole would be a different place. Yes, that’s a simplistic statement. But also said with some knowledge. But, of course that never would have happened. How revolutionary* and unacceptable* for Lumumba to have said (according to legend) “Nous ne sommes plus vos macaques” (* * note, words said with sarcasm).
    ~~One of his most memorable speeches was during the independence day ceremony, attended also by Belgian King Boudewijn. After the boring, polite speech of President Kasa-Vubu, Lumumba’s mentioned the suffering under Belgian colonialism and humiliated the Belgian King who had talked about the progress the Belgians had brought to Congo. The legend is that he ended his speech with “Nous ne sommes plus vos macaques” – we are no longer your monkeys.~~

    Patrice Lumumba, Congo, and Belgium

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      Superb speech by Lumumba and excellent book by Adam Hochschild. Like Howard Zinn’s People’s History, it can change your perspective forever.

      Belgian King Baudouin, his government and security forces were mightily pissed off that Lumumba was uppity, did not stay in his place and continue to follow Belgium’s lead after independence, and was not appropriately grateful to Belgium for its supposed “gift” of independence to the Congolese.

      That Belgian security-led forces killed Lumumba in January (and perhaps Hammarskjold in September) of 1961 was almost happenstance. Eisenhower had already approved similar action by the CIA, as apparently had MacMillan by MI6.

      Then as now, the Congo was too full of resources corporate capital desired for its government to be allowed to administer them in the interests of its own people. Nor could Lumumba be allowed to mirror Castro’s recent attempt to be independent of West and East during the Cold War.

      Little has changed. The Congo remains largely a “made to fail” state. That allows capital to extract those same valuable resources at will while paying billions to a corrupt dictator and small coterie of followers for the privilege (cheaper than paying market prices). It’s the same pattern the US has followed in Latin America since Monroe and his famous doctrine.

      • timbo says:

        Your evidence that Eisenhower approved those operations in the Congo is what exactly? Please cite and give any pertinent links.

        • timbo says:

          “The exact involvement of the CIA in Lumumba’s assassination is still debated by scholars and journalists. According to senior research fellow of the National Security Archive, John Prados, the CIA was involved in several indirect ways. First, the CIA had the Congolese official that issued Lumumba’s arrest warrant on their payroll. The CIA had also been providing Mobutu and his forces with large amounts of money and supplies, as he was going to be their pro-western puppet leading the nation instead of Lumumba. CIA officials were also aware of most situations as they developed, but failed to stop the actions against Lumumba. CIA officer Devlin, in fact, knew about the plan to move Lumumba to an area controlled by his sworn enemy. Devlin decided not to alert neither the Agency nor the US government until he was already being moved. He did this because the Kennedy Administration was about to come into power, and Eisenhower would have wanted Kennedy to decide what to do, since his term was so close to ending. So, Devlin wanted to ensure that Lumumba would die at the hands of Mobutu and the Belgians.[45]”

          45. Prados, John (2006). Safe for Democracy: The Secret Wars of the CIA. Chicago: Ivan R. Dee. pp. 276–279.

      • harpie says:

        It’s not healthy to hold that stuff in, Rayne…you should really just express yourself! :-)

          • Eureka says:

            Apropos of cleaved turkey, may I segue from genocidal fascists to my best recipe ever?
            Turkey Tarragon.
            Cube turkey, add mayo and copious tarragon– lots– and salt and pepper. Good especially on a soft white bread where you can really taste it, tho flavors meld better overnight. Enjoy.

            • Rayne says:

              Oh that, but I gild the lily with the addition of halved grapes or apple chunks just before serving. I love tarragon, miss the plant I had at my last house. I suppose I should plant one here.

              I wintered over indoors a pot of herbs — rosemary, parsley, sage, thyme — and lopped a chunk off each before adding to my instant pot with the turkey today. So good. The broth turned out amazing, can’t wait to make soup tomorrow!

        • Rayne says:

          Somebody must have an eye on the optics ahead of the election. More likely they’ll leave it unfilled and an acting director will do the dirty work.

          If he nominates Baby Goebbels the Senate hearing will be awesome to watch. He’ll break into his usual gross flop sweat and make the adminstration look like trash.

        • earlofhuntingdon says:

          I suspect Stephen Miller prefers to whisper into the king’s ear like Grima the Wormtongue. He would be loathe to be held publicly responsible for managing a large department like DHS – and one that I don’t believe has been audited since it was established by BushCheney. He would, however, get all goose-stepping pimply at the thought of having those armed federal agents at his beck and call.

          Liz Cheney would probably turn it down, too. Daddy Dick is her mentor and constant companion. He has helped her achieve phenomenal authority for a second-term congresscritter from Wyoming.

          He wants her to be president. While having Cabinet-level responsibility would be another step along that path, I suspect neither she nor Daddy Dick think that being that close to the mercurial Trump would be a good thing.

          One thing seems clear: talent will shy away from joining Trump, but the untalented seem drawn to him like moths to a bonfire.

          • Jockobadger says:

            Grima Wormtongue – perfect description. Get thee gone foul dwimmerlaik. Odd that JRRT’s stuff is so apropos. Tr*mp is not smart enough to be one of the truly scary figures. Maybe an orc Corporal?

            Nice work as usual, Rayne. God I feel for those people. I’m an accident of birth. So fortunate.

    • harpie says:

      Source: …other personel changes afoot:
      2:26 PM – 7 Apr 2019
      [quote] At this hour, the status of DHS Secy Nielsen is unclear. A senior admin. official tells me that she had a 5 PM meeting at the WH with POTUS where she was planning to discuss with him the immigration and border issues and a path forward — she had no intention of resigning…
      2/ …according to the source, but rather was going there with an agenda.
      But the source said, it is believed within the administration that President Trump will be pushing for personnel changes and there are others afoot beyond the ICE director nominee who was pulled Friday…
      3/ The source notes President Trump‘s frustration with the current asylum laws, and his desire for individuals who work for the administration to block central American asylum seekers from entering the United States —- contrary to the laws on the books that allow their entry. [end quote]

      • P J Evans says:

        yeah, Tr*mp wants someone who’s even meaner to all those brown people. Which…is not good for the rest of us, either.

        • cat herder says:

          Has he started calling Nielsen a Democrat yet? Odds on how long till he gets around to it?

  3. joejoejoe says:

    There was a daily blog commemorating the 10th anniversary of the Rwandan genocide (I think it was 10) that simply posted snips of daily news reports as the genocide unfolded alongside historical materials (like internal memos, debates) that became available after the fact. It was one of the best uses of the blog format I’ve ever seen. If somebody remembers the name and can share – please do – it was fantastic writing.

    In hindsight it was plainly obvious that there were many opportunities to step in to mitigate the slaughter and few leaders (in the US at least) with the character required to act.

    I think a good part of the support for the stupid Iraq War from Democrats came from the shame Clintonites felt from their own cowardice and poor judgment during the Rwanda genocide. And of course they compounded it because their thinking was about their own careers and not the millions of people directly in the path of war and death. Shame.

    • BobCon says:

      It’s a giant problem that the decisions on intervention are made in such a cloud of ignorance. Rwanda was not Mogadishu, Iraq was not Rwanda, Iran is not Iraq.

      The idiot Neocons didn’t know Islam is divided between Sunnis and Shiites, Paul Wolfowitz couldn’t organize a two car funeral. And now we have those morons off and running our foreign policy again. And to cap it off, the foreign policy community is so inbred that even Democrats rush to the defense of Eliot Abrams. That community needs to ask itself some hard questions about how they are going to respond to the next Trump, because he is not the end of this.

      • Rayne says:

        This administration still hasn’t realized it has been pulled into a war between Shia and Sunni and sub-sects any more than the previous two administrations. So frustrating.

        • P J Evans says:

          This maladministration still hasn’t learned that Iran is following the terms of the agreement on nukes. Too many of its appointees are eager to attack Iran the way that KSA and the Israeli hardliners want.

            • P J Evans says:

              My understanding is that KSA wants to be the regional power, and Iran has been that for a long, long time – like millennia.

            • Democritus says:

              KSA and Iran are the US and Russia of the ME is hoW I have had it explained to me, and that they have always vied to be considered the home of true Islam.

              • Rayne says:

                That’s the religious war I already mentioned, the divide between Shia and Sunni and the various sub-sects. Look up the percentages of either major Islamic group by ME country. It’s telling.

                And then look up oil and gas pipeline maps, actual and planned across the region, as well as the location of known reserves. Also very telling.

    • Rayne says:

      Thanks, Joe, I will have to watch for that 10th anniversary blog coverage. Listening to it in real time each night as I drove home from work was so sickening. How do we stand by and let tens of thousands be murdered before making the decision not to intervene in any way? It was a total abdication of any claim to humanity. Monstrous.

      And I suspect it was easy because the White House could argue we had no compelling national security interests in Rwanda let alone the southern African continent — and black people.

      Two decades later China has locked up resources across the continent, including the rights in perpetuity to all of the largest deposit of cobalt in the world located in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

          • timbo says:

            You are braver than I.

            I went to a Dengue Fever performance a few years back. It was heart wrenching. Everyone else I went with they were only a few years old or not even born yet when 1975 went down. Me, I was politically conscious by that point and reliving those feeling from that time was heart-breaking, the total lack of any true moral direction in the world was palpable once again. Rwanda was much less surprising, personally, to me, two decades later—still maddening and insane but it wasn’t new to me in the 1990s like it was in 1975.

            I won’t be re-listening to those broadcasts unless there’s more actual trials in the ICC that make listening to them again. Maybe after this current political era is over… perhaps under some sort of radically different world order (disorder) than the current one?

  4. Hops says:

    So too there was the American Civil War and the tremendous bloodshed of Gettysburg, Antietam, Bull Run, Chancellorsville, and Sherman’s march to the sea through Georgia.

    • P J Evans says:

      and your point is?
      (BTW, I’ve read first-hand accounts from a couple of Sherman’s infantrymen. They weren’t killing people wholesale.)

      • Hops says:

        Just about the bloodshed on American soil, which seems too forgotten. For sure there is a qualitative difference in that killing was between soldiers, and even then they often took prisoners.

        • Tom says:

          Except in the case of U.S. Colored Troops, who usually didn’t fare well at the hands of Confederates; e.g., the Battle of the Crater during the Petersburg Campaign and the Fort Pillow Massacre.

          • Rayne says:

            Are you really going to go there? This entire country has been built on genocide. The lessons of these ongoing racial and ethnic cleansings across time and countries shouldn’t devolve into little tit-for-tat squabbles.

            The lessons should be:
            — Learn the history of the land and the peoples who live there, past and present;
            — Own your history and your role;
            — Recognize the precursors to ethnic cleansing and genocide and stop them;
            — Share the land and resources in peace.

            For gods’ sake ethnic cleansing is going on right under your noses and you’re squabbling about 200 years ago. Clearly learned nothing.

            • timbo says:

              Most nations in the world have been built on some sort of atrocity. The one hope is that we can build a better world without resorting to “just one more genocide and then we’ll be done”. Rayne, I applaud you. It’s difficult for me to intervene sometimes when people who aren’t as experienced/well-versed in the history are trying to reason out what has happened in the past.

              Are we all cow thieves in the end? I hope not. I hope the jury remains out for a long enough time for those of us that do remain to prove we could maybe be innocent in a future.

  5. earlofhuntingdon says:

    DHS head Kirstjen Nielsen fired or resigned to spend more time with her family. Maybe she will set up a new corporation, better yet, a law firm, that will have an exclusive, no-bid contract to find and match up all those missing immigrant kids and their parents. That should keep her busy fir the next ten or fifteen years. Or maybe Jones Day will hire her to serve coffee to the real partners.

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      That Ms. Nielsen’s resignation letter came in an hour after Mr. Trump tweeted the news about her replacement is both typical of Trump – who delights in humiliating those close to him, especially his most ardent supporters – and evidence that she was fired, however her termination is formally classified for HR purposes.

      (Regarding the Jones Day reference, the global law firm was recently the subject of a class action lawsuit for sex discrimination. It is a major supporter of Trump and source for several of his top appointees.)

  6. Marrinela says:

    Rayne, good write up.
    Not sure what we can do so that history doesn’t repeat itself.

    On the other hand, waiting for an open thread so I can share my recent fascination with Jason Ondara and his album Tales of America.

    Equally amazing is his story. He immigrated from Kenya, I think it was a lottery visa. His voice and lyrics are so unique, really grateful he choose to move to Minnesota.

  7. Eureka says:

    Joan Jett’s trending on the twitter!

    Oh, but it’s because she performed Bad Reputation for the entrance of Rhonda Rousey at Wrestlemania (I can’t believe I just typed that). Good on her for the high-profile gig, too bad/so sad it’s with these 45-et-al.-affiliates. I love rock ‘n roll, sigh…

    Anyway, the better of the videos I saw is here,

    tho some dude taped his tv I think and that’s a much better view of the stage, here:

    • Rayne says:

      OMFG Thank you for that! I would consider my life utterly made if Joan Jett played Bad Reputation for my entrance. How awesome!

  8. Pat Neomi says:

    Thanks for a great post, Rayne. It’s a welcome reminder, in these abberent times, that words carry power and that (vitriolic words) can, all too often, be preludes to horrific actions. Reflection, such as yours above, has strengthened my resolve to be vigilant in rebuking hateful speech.

    • Rayne says:

      While I thank you for the link and its perspective, I want to point out your comment is *exactly* why I preface every one of *my* posts with a note to check the byline.

  9. liberal says:

    As far as democracy and the rule of law deteriorating here in the good-ole US of A, Paul Krugman in his forward or preface to _The Great Unraveling_ deemed the Republican Party a “revolutionary power,” a la Kissinger’s discussion of that topic. It’s not like it’s ancient history, but it’s not these things started in 2016, either.

  10. earlofhuntingdon says:

    Once again, we look to New Zealand for moral leadership. NZ’s privacy commissioner declares FBK “morally bankrupt pathological liars.” Fuller quote below. []

    A “privacy commissioner” is the chief government officer responsible for ensuring compliance with national privacy laws. NZ’s are modeled after those adopted in the EU and are similar to other laws adopted in almost every developed society – barring the United States. American corporations spent lavishly and lobbied hard (and continue to lobby hard) to prevent the US from adopting similar rules.

    One reason for all that lobbying could be because those rules create a privacy regime that makes clear that it is the individual who owns the data about them, that you need permission from them to use it for a specific purpose and period of time, that you have to allow the individual timely and free access to that data and the right to correct inaccuracies, and that users and processors of that data must keep it physically and virtually secure or face stiff fines and penalties.

    New Zealand’s privacy commissioner is holding no punches in his criticism of Facebook…. [c]alling the tech giant “morally bankrupt pathological liars,” John Edwards said… that Facebook “cannot be trusted.”

    The social media platform “enable[d] genocide” in Myanmar, Edwards tweeted, referring to Facebook’s role in inciting violence and promoting discrimination in the Southeast Asian nation, aimed particularly at the minority Rohingya people.

    Facebook also facilitates “foreign undermining of democratic institutions,” and allows the livestreaming “of suicides, rapes, and murders,” Edwards continued, according to the New Zealand Herald.

    Privacy Commissioner Edwards is correct. FBK cannot be trusted. Its very purpose is to take everyone else’s data for free, package it, and sell it to others. With today’s s/w, processing speeds, and storage/access h/w, the information that can be extracted from that data is phenomenal. FBK makes billions at it. As Zuck said when he first got started by taking fellow students’ data and misusing it, “Fuck’em”.

    • Rayne says:

      I think the only question before us about Facebook is whether it knowingly or unknowingly acts as this generation’s Radio Télévision Libre des Mille Collines.

      The systematic lies, misrepresentations, half-truths, and avoidance of authorities’ questions can only lead us to believe it’s the former and not the latter.

      They’ll argue they don’t have the ability to screen real-time video. The answer is simple: screen content and post it only with a time delay. There’s no compelling reason why any entity apart from a vetted news organization or government agency should expect real-time publication.

      They’ll argue they can’t screen the content for offensive material. Bullshit. How much porn appears on Facebook? If anything they overscreen because breastfeeding mother are erased.

      Facebook has no excuses. This corporation is the perfect example of a genocide-enabling entity which should be called to account for its profit seeking over human lives.

      • fpo says:

        Yes, how exactly is it that more and more, we’re left looking outside for what used to pass for common sense here?

        [“UK sets out safety-focused plan to regulate Internet firms”

        “…digital secretary Jeremy Wright said: “The era of self-regulation for online companies is over. Voluntary actions from industry to tackle online harms have not been applied consistently or gone far enough. Tech can be an incredible force for good and we want the sector to be part of the solution in protecting their users. However those that fail to do this will face tough action.”]

        Whether it’s user data commerce practices or malicious content, maybe million-dollar fines will work when nothing else seems to.

        Tx Rayne.

        • Rayne says:

          While I applaud the UK’s effort, Congress can’t take the same approach because of our First Amendment protection of free speech. Whatever approach we take can’t regulate speech; we could, however, regulate the platforms as we do broadcast licensees which are obligated to serve the public interest. Or we could approach regulation from a product liability perspective — is the platform safe for its intended use?

          • fpo says:

            Agree…and (sadly) LOL – if for no other reason than I’m not convinced this country could agree on what is “in the public interest” right now. Look no further than failed attempts to move forward with truly reasonable gun control legislation, or GND Congressional hearings that resemble nothing so much as a 5th grade recess – with apologies to all 5th graders. Nevertheless, resist. Persist. And press on.

            • Rayne says:

              Nothing will pass Congress with the GOP majority in the Senate. But we can prepare the public’s mindset with bills first drafted and submitted in this House, expose to debate. If we can take the Senate then we submit under the next Congress and pass it.

              Should also be using this time and potential legislation like this to cudgel the 20 GOP senators up for reelection.

    • timbo says:

      “are similar to other laws adopted in almost every developed society”? WTF? Have you been paying attention to a lot of the complex cultures in the world today? Being a “developed society” has very little to do with being some how morally virtuous like you seem to be implying.

  11. fpo says:

    There are 575 days between now and November 3, 2020.

    If you were to take 10 minutes PER WEEK between now and Election Day to contact an elected representative(s) about whatever’s on your mind (no shortages here) you will have invested the sum total of 13 1/2 hours. Basically a long – normal, for many – day at the office.

    That works out to about $1,700 (@$125/hour) or $99 ($7.25/hour, national minimum hourly wage). What’s your time worth? Given what’s at stake here and abroad – it seems like a reasonable investment to make.

    Pick me up, Hayes. [Hayes Carll/Times Like These]

    & thanks, EW.

  12. earlofhuntingdon says:

    In his recent talk in Berlin at his own foundation, Mr. Obama expressed concern that progressive Dems would be so concerned with “purity” – an adherence to aims supposedly to the left of what mainstream Americans want and need – that they would harm their fellow Democrats in a kind of “circular firing squad”.

    His concern seems misplaced. For starters, both criticisms could more readily be aimed at the current Democratic Party leadership. It threatens to ostracize campaign advisers who help new candidates run against incumbent Democratic congresscritters. In their hands, purity means preserve the status quo and the control advantages it gives current leadership, not change it by electing more credible energetic progressive voices. It also seems a year too early to be talking about being loyal to a single candidate for any office. A lot can happen in a year.

    Mr. Obama’s position also seems ironic. He ran as the fresh new face who would change the priorities and methods of Washington. Had he confronted in 2008 the sort of policy he now recommends, he would have had a harder time challenging the then front-runner, Hillary Clinton.

    More importantly, his criticism misses the opportunity open to Democrats in 2020. Much of the electorate remains exhausted and impoverished by the cruel methods and priorities of Donald Trump and his subservient Republicans.

    In desperation, that led many to believe the mythology he sold them in 2016 and will sell them again in 2020. But more Americans recognize that they need change and are hungry to support those who will walk the talk. The midterm demonstrated that with the election of AOC and her cohort of talented, energetic, new congresscritters, many women of color.

    Telling Democrats to stick to the old ways and adhere to those already in power is not hopey changey. It will depress the vote because it promises no improvement for those desperate for it. And it will empower those who continue to believe, despite the evidence, in Donald Trump.

    • cat herder says:

      Yes, what we need is leaders who won’t alienate Republican voters (since they’re the only ones that count). Find common ground, cooperate, compromise. It’s only differences of opinion over policy issues, right?

      Maybe somebody should show him a photo of Merrick Garland, if he’s already forgotten how likely it is this strategy will work if only they try just one more time.

  13. oldpaint says:

    A former colleague spent a good bit of time in Rwanda following the genocide, helping to establish a journalism school and journalism standards. He came to love the country and the people, and he told me once that when he left there he felt as though he was leaving home. Ultimately, an infection he acquired there took his life.

    Through him, I came to understand how pointless it is to say “never again” in regard to Hitler’s final solution if we do nothing about what is happening around us today. Thank you, Rayne, for reminding me of him and reinforcing his message.

  14. harpie says:

    “Near systemic” purge by MILLER at DHS:
    Trump is removing US Secret Service director
    1:25 PM ET, Mon April 8, 2019
    […] “There is a near-systematic purge happening at the nation’s second-largest national security agency,” one senior administration official says. […] The President in recent weeks empowered Stephen Miller to lead the administration’s border policies “and he’s executing his plan” with what amounts to a wholesale decapitation or the Department of Homeland Security leadership, the official says. […] [end quote]

    • harpie says:

      Also, news about MaraLago visitor: 10:40 AM – 8 Apr 2019
      [quote] Video: This is bonkers. @CNN’s @ShimonPro updating on what was found in the hotel of the Chinese woman who just wanted to use the pool or whatever at Mar-A-Lago -> Over $7,500 in $100 bills, nine USB drives, five sim cards, and a signal detector used to find hidden cameras [end quote]

      • P J Evans says:

        That just makes it more interesting as to what she was supposed to do at Mar-al-Ego – or what she was distracting its alleged security from.

      • earlofhuntingdon says:

        That sort of cash is usually hard to come by. It would allow her to leave less of a paper trail. The anti-surveillance gadgets listed among her possessions is a red flag. She was planning to avoid observation, which suggests guilty knowledge. She had the impression that M-a-L was easy to penetrate and that what she wanted to do there was done there. Not much of a recommendation either for its the business it conducts there or for its routine security.

        The related item that Trump, via Stephen Miller, has fired the head of the SS is probably a distraction from the above rather than an attempt to improve anything.

      • Rayne says:

        Why “bonkers”? Heck, I’d use a camera detector in AirBnbs. Boggles my mind how freaking naive folks are about basic opsec. While I believe what Yang was doing wasn’t innocent, I hope nobody besides TSA gets a good look at how much technology I carry when I travel. Multiple tablets, multiple cellphones, SIM cards, flashdrives, camera, more — it’s the norm for many business people let alone bloggers.

        • P J Evans says:

          I think it’s more the number of devices and cards – and most of us don’t travel with that kind of cash on us. (I wouldn’t know where to find a camera detector, either. Though if I needed one, I’d ask here first.)

        • timbo says:

          Thank you!

          Like it’s some how shocking that some tourists like to travel with under $10K in cash? Since when? Truly, it’s not unusual in the least for people to carry that amount of cash when traveling. In fact, if you want to maintain you privacy, you certainly have to carry large amounts of cash as everything you purchase by cards, checks, Apple pay, etc is heavily tracked and analyzed by corporations, countries, etc. Impugning someone for simply having this amount of cash as a tourist is a canard; it does not mean you are guilty of anything other than not wanting to give up your private life to the state and/or make transactions quicker and easier (at times). The problem with the logic of “look at all that cash! (less than $10K) Must be a spy!” is that, by that logic, it becomes stupidly only reasonable that one must be monitored by the state or be a spy or criminal. Don’t fall into the trap of “I don’t travel with that much cash so that person must be a [spy, criminal, scammer]”. In that trap, you have sold your soul to the state.

      • earlofhuntingdon says:

        The Julia Ainsley story is that Trump wanted to “restart” his family separation policy. The generally submissive Nielsen said that would go against federal court orders and Trump’s own policy reversal from last year. Trump, never happy at confronting real world complications, apparently found her mild resistance the last straw. Or, Ms. Nielsen left her wand at home on Sunday and could not magically fix a problem Trump created for himself.

        Wormtongue Stephen Miller, whom Trump apparently made acting head of DHS from his White House dungeon, is more likely to have concluded that he could better ingratiate himself with his lord and master by letting him vent. They are both misogynistic misanthropes and “getting” the [insert preferred epithet] was just good palace politics.

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      When things fall into chaos owing to his mismanagement, Mr. Trump will brag that he’s the only one who can fix things. It’s like all those top managers who run their companies into bankruptcy, then want bonuses to stick around and manage them out of it. A good analogy, actually, given Trump’s many trips to the bankruptcy courts.

      Problem is, there are those who will believe him.

      • P J Evans says:

        Just like all the boards of directors who will approve those bonuses, and hire CEOs and CFOs from companies that failed, along with giving them the big contracts as if they were great at their jobs. (The only excuse for running a company that failed, IMO, is that it was failing when you took the job, and you knew it and were making an honest effort to fix it.)

    • Rayne says:

      I guess this tells us what the weak spot is in the spoke-and-hub management system Trump has in place.

      Anybody reading this who wants to help, chip in whatever material you find on Miller. Let’s build a dossier. Conservatives don’t like icky things, capisce? They have a visceral reaction to them. They won’t care if Baby Goebbels is running the show, only that he’s not icky.

  15. Eureka says:

    re Nuremberg Defense- I’m reluctant to bother commenting with so many lawyers around, but it seems the off the bat easiest point of weakness on this is that one condition for it to apply requires the person to NOT know the orders were unlawful.

    Cites above on this page (or are some on another page) note the unlawfulness of misc of the orders/plans.

    Trumpet the unlawfulness of the orders, far and wide.

    (Also seems resonant with some common aspects of law w regard to liability generally- e.g. a nurse following a physician’s medication order is not relieved of responsibility to be sure the order is medically correct as to dosage, safety etc.)


    Superior orders – Wikipedia
    The 1998 Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court
    1. The fact that a crime within the jurisdiction of the Court has been committed by a person pursuant to an order of a Government or of a superior, whether military or civilian, shall not relieve that person of criminal responsibility unless:

    (a) The person was under a legal obligation to obey orders of the Government or the superior in question;
    (b) The person did not know that the order was unlawful; and
    (c) The order was not manifestly unlawful.

    2. For the purposes of this article, orders to commit genocide or crimes against humanity are manifestly unlawful.

    Nuremberg defense – RationalWiki
    Article 33 of the Rome Statute,[2] which established the International Criminal Court, allows the Nuremberg defense to relieve an individual of criminal responsibility provided:
    • The person was under a legal obligation to obey orders of the Government or the superior in question;
    • The person did not know that the order was unlawful; and
    • The order was not manifestly unlawful. In other words, you have to pass yourself off as having been ignorant of the law, but even that defense is not tolerated in especially gross cases.

    • Rayne says:

      You’re the first one to pipe, thanks very much. This gives us a peg from which to start.

      First, if there’s anybody willing to do the research, citing cases or papers in which this point is discussed would be helpful.

      Second, if any of you community members have mad skillz at art work, we could use some.

      Third, if any of you have social media accounts you can use to distribute art and text to ensure we inform unlawfulness, please make sure you’re ready to go — passwords are good, account still active, so on. Begin recruiting likeminded friends and family so we can trend when we move forward.

      Thanks, all!

      • fpo says:

        I’ve been in touch with a couple photographers re subject images – not much, if anything (worthy!) – available in pubic domain. Will advise there.

        If you would, please check the EW gmail – re ‘art work.’ ;~)

        Thanks, Rayne.

      • Tracy Lynn says:

        Don’t have many skills with research or art, but I’m active on Twitter and will be ready to deploy information when you’re ready.

    • harpie says:

      “Trumpet the unlawfulness of the orders, far and wide.”
      Trump is giving UNLAWFUL orders to border agents, and their superiors told them NOT to follow the orders.
      He’s also telling them to lie to Judges.
      From Rayne’s CNN link:
      added: this took place on 4/5 in Calexico.
      [quote] Behind the scenes, two sources told CNN, the President told border agents to not let migrants in. Tell them we don’t have the capacity, he said. If judges give you trouble, say, “Sorry, judge, I can’t do it. We don’t have the room.”
      After the President left the room, agents sought further advice from their leaders, who told them they were not giving them that direction and if they did what the President said they would take on personal liability.
      You have to follow the law, they were told. [end quote]

      • harpie says:

        Quotes from a [or two] “senior administration official[s]”:
        1] “He just wants to separate families.”
        2] “At the end of the day, the President refuses to understand that the Department of Homeland Security is constrained by the laws.”

        • P J Evans says:

          #2 should be grounds for impeachment, all by itself – and you can fill in any department name, as well as “White House”, and it will be just as true a statement about Tr*mp.

    • Eureka says:

      *Quick glosses* (caveat, some of this ‘lite research’ done during the ball game/split attention: e.g. cannot rule out some missed material under item 2):

      1- Nuremberg defenses a la ‘just following’ superior orders didn’t go so well at the Nuremberg Trials (as excerpted in Superior orders wiki above, which outlinks to Trials wiki as well).

      2- I checked out some of the more recently prosecuted Nazis*, and it didn’t seem in the dozen plus articles I skimmed that this defense was being deployed (See item #1)

      *found at e.g.
      nazi deported at DuckDuckGo


      List of people deported or removed from the United States – Wikipedia

      3- Seems like Vietnam objectors were most using Nuremberg unlawful orders defense as reason not to enlist- i.e. using the law in a different way. Fruitful case law may be there:

      Nuremberg And Vietnam – The New York Times

      Nuremberg and Vietnam: An American Tragedy, by Telford Taylor

      • Eureka says:

        Oh, that sound you all heard earlier was my heart sinking at realizing that the Nixonian/Vietnam-era applications of these principles also certainly means that all the president’s lawyers probably have this all ratfucked already.

        Nevertheless, international law is international law and 45’s rights-abusing, emergency-declaring ass is asking for it.

        ETA: but not to make SDNY, NYS Dept. Of Insurance, EDVA, other jurisdictions →∞ jealous

        • Rayne says:

          That declaration of a state of emergency needs to be revisited — he must have believed it got him around the judiciary.

          Here we are in Turkey and I don’t speak a lick of Turkish.

    • Eureka says:

      Towards quasi-completeness-of-an-outline’s sake, for the more recent cases (two re Iraq war) see subsections and related links on:

      Legal proceedings of Jeremy Hinzman in Canada
      Legal proceedings of Ehren Watada in the United States

      Gloss of the commonality of these cases: On the issue of moral choice/personal responsibility, in each of these cases it was judged that policy-makers were responsible for just wars; potential foot-soldiers were responsible just acts within war (so potential Nuremberg responsibility/ conscientious objection in this vein could not be used to evade Iraq war service).

    • Eureka says:

      Now for the bad news. Beyond other reasons why applicability may be difficult, the US withdrew from the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court (a memory refresher for us all). i.e., They know they’re not headed to “The Hague” (however, there’s no statute of limitations; also, perhaps some of the EW bar can weigh in on how UNSC authorizing ICC jurisdiction may change this picture as well). Note the date and signer:

      Press Statement
      Richard Boucher, Spokesman
      Washington, DC
      May 6, 2002

      International Criminal Court: Letter to UN Secretary General Kofi Annan

      Following is the text of the letter to UN Secretary General Kofi Annan from Under Secretary of State for Arms Control and International Security John R. Bolton:

      “Dear Mr. Secretary-General:

      This is to inform you, in connection with the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court adopted on July 17, 1998, that the United States does not intend to become a party to the treaty. Accordingly, the United States has no legal obligations arising from its signature on December 31, 2000. The United States requests that its intention not to become a party, as expressed in this letter, be reflected in the depositary’s status lists relating to this treaty.


      S/John R. Bolton”

      Released on May 6, 2002


      International Criminal Court: Letter to UN Secretary General Kofi Annan

      See also:
      International Criminal Court – Wikipedia

      Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court – Wikipedia

  16. harpie says:

    Thanks for the article about the El Paso decision, Rayne.
    CNN: [quote] Senior administration officials say that Trump then ordered Nielsen and Pompeo to shut down the port of El Paso the next day, Friday, March 22, at noon. The plan was that in subsequent days the Trump administration would shut down other ports. [end quote]
    The LA Times had an article on March 29 :
    U.S. border authorities hold migrant families in a pen under an El Paso bridge
    Here’s their twitter thread about it:
    8:38 AM – 29 Mar 2019
    In El Paso, hundreds of migrant families are being kept in a temporary holding pen under a bridge. Braving cold nights in the desert, most had nothing but thin blankets made of insulated plastic.
    U.S. immigration officials say this hastily erected holding pen under a bridge in El Paso is an extreme but necessary response to a recent surge of Central American families that have crossed into the U.S. illegally in recent months.
    Each day, large groups of asylum-seekers have been walking across a shallow river at the border, and then simply waiting on the narrow strip of U.S. territory north of the river. Sooner or later, U.S. Border Patrol agents pull up in vans and pick them up.
    Rows of families, including parents clutching small children and babies, lay directly on the dirt floor. Some had been living like this, exposed to the elements, for four days [3/25/19][…] [end quote]

  17. Tom says:

    This probably isn’t exactly what you’re looking for, but Trump seems to be–unwittingly but instinctively–following Goebbels’ example by repetitively making false statements about immigrants, the media, Democrats, and anyone or anything that displeases him, without offering any evidence to back up his statements. In 1927, Goebbels gave a speech in which he said that, “What drives an ideological movement … [is] not a matter of knowledge but of faith.” In his case, faith in Adolf Hitler. Goebbels thought that Christ’s Sermon on the Mount was a model of propaganda. “Christ did not offer proofs…,” Goebbels once wrote. “He simply made assertions. Self-evident truths don’t have to be proven.” This sounds very much in keeping with Trump’s repeated warnings of an “invasion” of lawless immigrants loaded down with drugs and weapons seeking to plunder the countryside despite all reasonable fact-based arguments to the contrary. Goebbels also exploited the public’s desire for entertainment in its politics, much like Trump does with the tumultuous, circus-like atmosphere of his rallies. “Berlin needs sensation like a fish needs water,” Goebbels declared. “This city lives off them and any political propaganda that fails to recognize this is bound to miss its target.” From Peter Longerich’s 2015 book, “Goebbels: A Biography”.

    • Rayne says:

      I don’t think it’s instinct. I think he’s spent a fuckton of time rolling around in Hitler’s and Goebbels’ work in his lifetime:

      Donald Trump appears to take aspects of his German background seriously. John Walter works for the Trump Organization, and when he visits Donald in his office, Ivana told a friend, he clicks his heels and says, “Heil Hitler,” possibly as a family joke.

      Last April, perhaps in a surge of Czech nationalism, Ivana Trump told her lawyer Michael Kennedy that from time to time her husband reads a book of Hitler’s collected speeches, My New Order, which he keeps in a cabinet by his bed. Kennedy now guards a copy of My New Order in a closet at his office, as if it were a grenade. Hitler’s speeches, from his earliest days up through the Phony War of 1939, reveal his extraordinary ability as a master propagandist.

      “Did your cousin John give you the Hitler speeches?” I asked Trump.

      Trump hesitated. “Who told you that?”

      “I don’t remember,” I said.

      “Actually, it was my friend Marty Davis from Paramount who gave me a copy of Mein Kampf, and he’s a Jew.” (“I did give him a book about Hitler,” Marty Davis said. “But it was My New Order, Hitler’s speeches, not Mein Kampf. I thought he would find it interesting. I am his friend, but I’m not Jewish.”)

      Later, Trump returned to this subject. “If I had these speeches, and I am not saying that I do, I would never read them.” …

      [source: After the Gold Rush, Vanity Fair, by Marie Brenner 01-SEP-1990]

      This has bugged the crap out of me since I first read it. Why hedge on whether he’s had these speeches? Unfortunately many of his speeches have contained snippets which could have been lifted from them, tweaked for contemporary consumption.

      • Eureka says:

        I also think this is why he routinely does the Capitalized Nouns that are not Proper Nouns which is not the SAE-way but the German One.

        All the signs are always right in front of our faces, Man.

        • P J Evans says:

          I’d buy that one, except that it’s not something that shows up in translations – you only see it if you’re actually reading in German. (I doubt that Tr*mp can read German any better than he can English.)
          (FWIW: four years of German in high school, and another quarter – roughly equivalent to a fifth year in intermediate-level school. The first-year textbook I had was printed in Fraktur [blackletter, AKA Gothic].)

          • Eureka says:

            Oh, I don’t think one need be able to read German in order to wish to evoke ‘Germanity,’ or to have been exposed to the idea that Germans capitalize nouns (Just like neo- nazis can’t read the science from which they they derive other symbols for for their platforms, but that’s a different matter.)

            While biblical exposures to now-odd English caps are probably more likely for his audience, it’s also common for native German speakers to artefactually capitalize nouns in their English writing. Who knows, maybe someone in Trump’s patrilineage did that.

            ETA: while it’s clearly an ‘air’ he puts on regardless of reason(s), I am curious now to see old Fred/others’/Fred’s father’s writing (if literate).

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      He’s made a study of successful political manipulators, the crueler the better. Nazi Germany would stand out. The materials on it are voluminous and accessible.

      Much of that manipulation relies on apparently simple imagery and massive repetition, underpinned by the ruthless cruelty that puts it to the manipulator’s ends. Karl Rove was reputed to be an admirer of such tactics and read deeply about them.

      Trump would be inclined that way, but he reads poorly and has no attention span. But it would be right up Stephen Miller’s alley.

  18. earlofhuntingdon says:

    Surprisingly, Miller’s wiki entry is a good place to start. Miller the privileged but perennial outsider. He seems to have made far right connections his whole life: he was a friend and supporter of Richard Spencer at Duke, where he apparently studied politics and earned a reputation for being “incredibly intolerant.”

    He has also tossed aside those relationships when better ones came along: a former communications director for Jeff Sessions, he was apparently instrumental in having him tossed as Attorney General when, like Kirstjen Nielsen, he was deemed to be insufficiently pursuing the Trump/Miller agenda. He worked closely with Steve Bannon, but later helped expel him from the White House. Something tells me Miller made a close study of Sun Tzu and Machiavelli.

    He and Trump share a determination to destroy. Miller advocated stopping all Chinese from studying in the US, for example, with the stated goal of reducing Chinese spying. Throwing baby and bathwater out the same window. But Miller also apparently intended to harm America’s most prestigious universities: Chinese students make up a large percentage of their graduate students, especially in STEM.

    Perhaps Miller shared Nixon’s resentment at having to attend Duke Law; Nixon was admitted to Harvard but the cost put it out of reach. But I think Miller’s resentments and hatred run deeper, and he now has the ear of the president. In any case, and despite the lethal irony, Baby Goebbels could not be a better nickname for him.

    • P J Evans says:

      I’ve seen stories that indicate Miller was already going that way while he was still in high school. (The rest of his family is apparently normal and sane.)

        • Rayne says:

          I think a lot of people cut him slack. You know how it works, that one weird, troubled kid who then became a weird, troubled adult. “Oh, it’s Stephen, you know how he gets. Just ignore him, he’ll go away.”

          Sadly, no.

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      The loser in a knife fight never feels kindly about the winner. But Nielsen and Miller had been sparring in the dark for some time. An anonymous source characterized their relationship as one of “mutual disgust”.

      She had a “vanishingly low” opinion of a junior White House aide she considered an “egomaniacal lunatic.” The temporary victor considered her a “soft” Bushy – which makes one wonder what size nail bed Stephen Miller sleeps on.


  19. Tom says:

    There’s the Politico article from August 13, 2018: “Stephen Miller is an Immigration Hypocrite. I Know Because I’m His Uncle” by Dr. David Glosser. Also Splinter article from 9/11/2018: “Even Stephen Miller’s Childhood Rabbi is Sick of His Shit”.

    • Eureka says:

      Couple other good ones, the first one especially. And re the third one: where’s that audio?

      How Stephen Miller Rode White Rage from Duke’s Campus to Trump’s West Wing – Vanity Fair

      Stephen Miller Profile: The Believer – POLITICO Magazine

      Why The Times Did Not Publish the Stephen Miller Audio – The New York Times

    • Eureka says:

      How a liberal Santa Monica high school produced a top Trump advisor and speechwriter – LA Times

      Miller grew up in the tony north-of-Montana neighborhood, the middle child, in a Jewish family of longtime Franklin Roosevelt Democrats. He played tennis and golf. But their status abruptly shifted when his parents’ real estate company faltered and the family moved to a rental on the south side of town.

      A subscription to Guns and Ammo magazine introduced him to the writings of National Rifle Assn. leader Wayne LaPierre, sparking Miller’s interest in politics. The conservative ideas were like nothing he had ever heard. 

      By the time Miller began his freshman year in 1999, minority students were the majority on campus, and the community was engulfed in conversations about race and class….

    • Eureka says:

      More, if anyone wishes to note/pull material:

      Stephen Miller’s ‘cringeworthy’ campaign speech for student government – The Washington Post
      [] (note, this archive view tacked on the tracking ‘itself’)

      What you can learn about Stephen Miller from a high school video – YouTube
      [] (at WaPo’s yt channel)

      Stephen Miller’s Op-Eds From High School and College Show How He Became Trump’s Most Notorious Aide
      [] (has some good outlinks)

      Trump’s Newest Senior Adviser Seen as a White Nationalist Ally – Mother Jones

      Meet the White Nationalist Trying To Ride The Trump Train to Lasting Power – Mother Jones

      (this ^ one’s re Spencer; IIRC, both of them more recently downplayed their relationship)

  20. Eureka says:


    A timeline of what Trump was saying about Russia at key moments in the Manafort saga.

    May 4–7
    Over the long weekend, Trump reportedly decides to fire Comey. According to the New York Times, Stephen Miller drafts a letter of Trump’s reasons for the firing.

    Links to:

  21. harpie says:

    Rep. Ilhan Omar called Stephen Miller a “white nationalist.” GOP critics accused her of anti-Semitism.
    April 9 at 7:02 AM
    [quote] […] “Stephen Miller is a white nationalist,” she tweeted on Monday afternoon. “The fact that he still has influence on policy and political appointments is an outrage.” But because Miller, Trump’s senior policy adviser, is Jewish, Omar’s fervent detractors on the right saw her comments not as incendiary criticism of Miller’s hard-line immigration policies but instead as part of a pattern of targeting Jews. […]
    Here’s Omar’s tweet:
    1:34 PM – 8 Apr 2019

    • harpie says:

      WaPo [link above]:
      [quote] Omar’s remarks Monday were spurred by reports that Miller’s desire for tougher candidates to lead Immigration and Customs Enforcement contributed to Trump’s decision to withdraw the nomination of Ronald Vitiello. Miller has been the architect behind numerous hard-line immigration policies, such as family separation, and has advocated for closing the entire U.S.-Mexico border.
      Critics from Donald Trump Jr. to pundits from various conservative news outlets immediately pounced on Omar, questioning how a Jewish person could be accused of being a white nationalist. […]
      The backlash reflects an apparent effort among some members of the GOP to use Omar’s comments to sow division within the Democratic Party and among Jewish Democratic voters. [end quote]
      <<<< That's what Daddy Trump was doing this weekend when he talked at the American Republican Jewish Coalition.

    • harpie says:

      Eric Levitz at NY Mag:
      11:50 AM – 9 Apr 2019
      [quote] Stephen Miller’s white nationalist politics are infinitely more dangerous for American Jews than anything Ilhan Omar has ever tweeted. [end quote] [link to >>>]:
      If You Are Defending Stephen Miller, You Are an Ally of Anti-Semitism
      4/9/19 2:39 P.M.
      Lots of good info and links, there.

  22. harpie says:

    Department of Justice Budget Request for Fiscal Year 2020
    Date: Tuesday, April 9, 2019 – 9:30am
    Location: 2359 Rayburn House Office Building, Washington, DC 20515
    Department of Justice Budget Request for Fiscal Year 2020
    Subcommittees: Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies (116th Congress)
    Live-stream can be found here:

      • harpie says:
        8:57 AM – 9 Apr 2019
        [quote] This exchange between Rep. Case and Barr over grand jury material is the key battle line in looming court fight over the Mueller report.
        Barr’s stance: “Until someone shows me a provision in 6-E that permits its release, Congress doesn’t get 6-E.” (6-E = grand jury material) [end quote]

        • harpie says:

          Schiff invokes “Intel-sharing law/exception”
          [Is this Rule 6(e)(3)(D) ?]
          Laura Rozen Retweeted:
          1:31 PM – 9 Apr 2019
          [quote] Intel chair @RepAdamSchiff said he formally requested Barr hand over to-be-redacted info in Mueller report under intel-sharing law/exception in DOJ rules. That may sound boring & technical but means House Dems are effectively fighting a two-front war to get all underlying info. [end quote]

            • bmaz says:

              There are a few people other than just Barb McQuade who have been mentioning 6(e)(3)(D) for quite a while now. Not sure what her theory as to 6(e)(3)(E)(i) is. That looks dubious to me.

                • harpie says:

                  [quote] […] So does the Rule 6(e)(3)(E)(i) exception, for a disclosure “preliminarily to or in connection with a judicial proceeding,” apply here? […] The absence of such a formally authorized impeachment investigation, however, might not necessarily preclude application of the Rule 6(e)(3)(E)(i) exception [talks about releasing the Starr report…Then there’s an update:] Quite honestly, it’s not clear to me that Judges Sentelle, et al. were right to authorize Starr to disclose his report. […] [end quote]

              • harpie says:

                I’m pretty sure that’s what Luppe Luppen @nycsouthpaw is discussing here:
                In pursuit of Mueller’s grand jury materials, Democrats face an impeachment dilemma

                [quote] […] “Although no exception to grand jury secrecy explicitly encompasses disclosures to Congress,” the Congressional Research Service (CRS) wrote in a summary published in January, “a few of the exceptions could apply to Congress in particular situations.”

                The CRS summary points out that the “judicial proceeding” exception is likely available to Congress only in an impeachment scenario. […] [end quote]

                • bmaz says:

                  I, which I rarely do because he is pretty damn good, disagree with Southpaw. 6(e)(3)(D) is quite clear. NOBODY should be equivocating on that. Nobody.

                  • timbo says:

                    Interesting. Can the Congress compel a US Attorney to tell them which judge they should apply to to get grand jury testimony from an ongoing counter intelligence investigation? I can see there’s serious wiggle-room in the grand jury disclosure rules that makes it difficult to even know where and who to apply to unless you’re already privy to specific information. To put it another way—do Congressional committees that are >NOT in impeachment proceedings< have significant standing for general information in this area when they are not already aware of a specific grand jury, where it is/was empaneled, etc? Seems like the House committees may have to actually issue subpoenas of US Attorneys/AGs to actually find out…

  23. harpie says:

    [via @bmaz]:
    4:28 AM – 9 Apr 2019
    [quote] “He was a chicken shit lawyer,” says a senior White House aide who tells me former DHS General Counsel John Mitnick helped get Nielsen fired by being too cautious about what Trump could or couldn’t do on immigration and border security. [end quote]
    …wonder if that aide’s name is Stephen Miller?

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      It wasn’t Miller, but it’s a sentiment he would agree with. Trump/Miller luxuriate in breaking the laws – and getting away with it. They’re both addicted to power and measure it by how cruel they can be and not be held accountable.

      Mitnick was a WH aide, deputy GC of DHS, and former general counsel of both Raytheon and the Heritage Fund. He has degrees from Emory, U.Va. and Oxford. I would strongly disagree with his politics, but he’s far removed from a “chickenshit lawyer.” His problem is that he wasn’t.

      Miller’s problem will remaining in the shadows, lest he become the topic and upstage Trump in the headlines: that’s the surest way to be fired by Trump.

        • harpie says:

          Not that I’m attached to my guess, but how do we know it wasn’t Miller? I also agree with the rest of Earl’s comment.

        • earlofhuntingdon says:

          My bad. I misread the thread. Source was that famous Irish poet, “Anon,” in this instance, probably by way of Santa Monica.

            • bmaz says:

              Eh, Earl may not be wrong. My inclination is it wasn’t Miller, but it could have been I guess. The only thing we care about here is that speculation be informed, sane and taken as such. You folks are doing great, and we appreciate it. This is what makes the comment section here so good. Thank you.

  24. earlofhuntingdon says:

    From Mackenzie Mays, a brilliant protest sign []:

    “First they came for the journalists: We don’t know what happened after that.”

    Please help support this blog.

  25. earlofhuntingdon says:

    When the MSM hears Trump proudly say he “governs from the gut,” it should make clear to its viewers that it means he governs from ignorance.

    Trump doesn’t read, understands little when he does, and cares only about what will protect and enrich him. His principal source of news and views is Faux Noise, the desert where facts go to die. Its regular viewers are widely regarded as the least informed people in America.

    As usual, Trump tries to make believe that a gross failing is a remarkable advantage. It works pretty much only when you inherit so much money, it doesn’t matter what you do or how well you do it.

  26. harpie says:

    New attorney on Mueller’s FLYNN case:
    9:12 AM – 9 Apr 2019
    [quote] NEW: Deborah Curtis, the deputy chief of the national security section of the U.S. attorney’s office in DC, just signed as an attorney in Mueller’s Michael Flynn case. The next status report in the former Trump adviser’s case is due June 14. end quote]

  27. earlofhuntingdon says:

    Steve Mnuchin’s desire to avoid Kirstjen Nielsen’s fate notwithstanding, the House sent its demand for Trump’s tax returns to the IRS. Although the IRS is part of the Treasury, it is the IRS that is charged with verifying its legal obligations under a clearly written and applicable statute. It should deliver to the House the materials it requested.

    If Trump and his new legal team want to fight it, their proper recourse is to seek a court injunction barring the IRS from delivering the materials, citing its legal authority to make such a request. (Presumably, they’re still making those up.) The rest of this is smoke and mirrors by Trump to confuse and delay. It’s what Trump means by governance.

    • harpie says:

      Vanita Gupta has screenshots, here [via @nycsouthpaw]:
      3:02 PM – 9 Apr 2019
      [quote] READ: Kirstjen Nielsen left @DHSgov with an indefensible legacy of cruel and inhumane civil & human rights violations. @civilrightsorg compiled some of the most egregious actions during her tenure and is calling for a fundamental change in DHS’s direction: [end quote]

  28. harpie says:

    DHS Acting Deputy Secretary Claire Grady resigns:
    4:15 PM – 9 Apr 2019
    [quote] Acting Deputy Secretary Claire Grady has offered the President her resignation, effective tomorrow. For the last two years, Claire has served @DHSgov w excellence and distinction. She has been an invaluable asset to DHS – a steady force and a knowledgeable voice. / […] [end quote]
    In normal order, she would have replaced Nielsen.

      • harpie says:

        Steve Vladeck has the likely answer:
        * 4:28 PM – 9 Apr 2019
        [quote] Steve Vladeck Retweeted Sec. Kirstjen Nielsen
        “To avoid making it look like @realDonaldTrump didn’t know what he was doing, I un-resigned for long enough to force the resignation of the person who otherwise would’ve become Acting Secretary when my resignation became effective.
        With that done, now I can re-resign for realz.” [end quote]

        • harpie says:

          …but that’s not really the answer to your question…what WAS the threat…or maybe the incentive?

            • timbo says:

              And possibly there’s those dozens of whistleblowers and some documents that directly show that Nielsen lied to Congress, not just now but over the past two prior years? I mean, it’s obvious that she did but it’s also key to find out if she knew she was lying or not, etc.

  29. harpie says:
    2:21 AM – 10 Apr 2019
    [quote] Amid the chaos, instability & dangerous amateurishness that is the Trump administration, the one constant is Stephen Miller, who whispers evil in Trump’s ear & methodically transforms it into failed, yet unspeakably cruel immigration & border policy. [end quote] [links to:>>>]
    Twelve days of chaos: Inside the Trump White House’s growing panic to contain the border crisis
    April 9 at 8:02 PM

    • Rayne says:

      Goddamn it, Washington Post, they stepped right in to Trump’s frame with that headline. There is NO crisis at the border. There is NO emergency at the border. The crisis and emergency are in the White House.


      Thanks, harpie. I needed to see that and yet mah blood pressure.

  30. harpie says:

    Lou Dobbs in Trump’s head.
    4:58 AM – 10 Apr 2019
    [quote] There is a view among some longtime Trump allies that Miller is influential, but the most influential person in the president’s ear is Lou Dobbs, through the TV each night. Trump listens closely to Dobbs, they say, then turns to Miller for related policy responses. [end quote] [links to >>>]
    The villain and the naif: Miller and Kushner on a potential collision course in Trump’s border crisis
    April 10 at 6:00 AM

    • Rayne says:

      Hmmmm…did Trump break up with Hannity? I thought Sean was tucking in the Orange Wanker by phone every night? Or is this a redirect by somebody who doesn’t want the relationship to Fox questioned any more deeply?

      • Eureka says:

        Related? / Diversifying assets, or pseudo-divesting (could be seen either way)?:

        David Folkenflik: “Sinclair makes more Fox-like moves: new host @ericbolling tells me he’ll interview longtime friend Donald Trump at WH tomorrow afternoon for his new show, America This Week. Sinclair now boasts Bolling, James Rosen, Sebastian Gorka, Boris Epshteyn, Lara Logan & Sharyl Attkisson”

      • P J Evans says:

        I think Hannity isn’t racist enough for Tr*mp any more.
        (I wonder if Tr*mp is wondering what Hannity might have told Mueller’s people.)

        • Rayne says:

          Whatever Hannity called it was spin. It was both fucking creepy and utterly unethical for those two scumbags to have a nightly chat before Bonzo’s bedtime so they could sync up news coverage between Murdoch’s outlets and the White House. If it’s over I want to know exactly when it happened.

          • timbo says:

            Isn’t that also a campaign finance violation that the House DP leadership should be interested in looking into? Sigh. And if not, why not?

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