We are torturing people again. MAGA, man, as great as we ever were!
Lawrence O’Donnell shared a Mississippi television station’s report on the aftermath of Wednesday’s roundup of 680 low-paid Hispanic workers at seven chicken “processing plants” by ICE. Democracy Now! also played a clip from the wrenching piece in their report on the president and Stephen Miller’s latest aktion against “illegals,” many employed by Koch Foods. I hope outraged accounts of this video of the crying children of the workers dragged away get onto the front page of the New York Times and on Fox as well. The largest ever ICE raid in a single state, history making. Maybe WJTV’s short report will wake up the collective conscience of our citizens.
O’Donnell introduces the short clip, which he shares in its entirety, saying “Alex Love and his video crew found the victims of Donald Trump’s torture in Forest, Mississippi yesterday.” It is hard to watch the upset children who are seen in the short report, but the entire piece is only about a minute long. The cruelty Trump is displaying toward these children and their parents is undeniably torture. Watch this short piece , if you haven’t seen it, and tell me it’s not.
O’Donnell notes that the only people arrested in the coordinated ICE raids were undocumented Latino workers, not any of the employers who illegally hired them. He opines that this is so because we now have Republican law enforcement, Trump law. It’s hard to disagree with his assessment. You can’t arrest the Koch Brothers, who own at least one of the seven raided facilities! This is America, where liberty and freedom from government coercion rule!
O’Donnell’s entire nine minute report is important to watch (I know you readers rarely click on the links here, but click this one, I have it cued up for you). He nails an essential element of the fundamental unfitness for power that animates our cruel 78,000 vote Electoral College president. Trump is a man without any empathy for anyone. He is a sadist who orders torture, and apparently enjoys the power to make others suffer. The law is never an obstacle to Trump’s appetites.
Federal law and the Army Manual define torture as
an act committed by a person under the color of law specifically intended to inflict physical or mental pain and suffering
Torture, in spite of its rebranding and widespread use under Cheney and Dubya, is still against American law, against multiple treaties and international agreements America is a signatory to. Torture is also an offense against common decency, even among modern day savages. This president authorizes and encourages torture, along with numerous hateful practices that make it permissible in his world — racism, misogyny, xenophobia, intolerance, contempt for law, scorn for due process (fairness), exemption from all law for those in his circle, the harshest application of the law for his many enemies. His angry base apparently loves these kind of public displays of utter contempt by Trump.
O’Donnell, in yesterday’s piece, is outraged by the in-your-face hypocrisy of the shallow, self-serving, empathy-lacking Donald John Trump, seeking a propaganda op for a campaign clip where he can show fake empathy to recent victims of gun violence as his administration is busily torturing children. O’Donnell pulls no punches in laying out Trump’s utter lack of temperament (and experience) to make policies of any kind.
This latest incident of the public torture of children (only seen by Americans because “enemies of the people” aired it) was carried out at the very moment Trump was at an El Paso hospital for a photo op, pretending to care for people who’d been shot. Although his party continues to block all reasonable restrictions on weapons of mass murder, Trump planned to pose with people wounded in two cities ravaged by recent mass killings. Two cities mourning recent gun mass murders whose leaders asked Trump not to come. All eight survivors of the El Paso massacre declined to be visited by the president for his staged moment of false empathy. Prudently, Trump’s handler’s banned the press from the hospital, seeking to write the alternative narrative as they saw fit.
Those eight survivors of the mass killing fighting for their lives in an El Paso hospital may have been squeamish about being in the presence of the man who’d inspired the shooter to drive hours to kill Mexicans in the border city. Some may have heard Trump attacking Democrats in Dayton earlier that day, on a similar mission of staged, fake compassion. Perhaps they believed that the mass killing had been perpetrated by a violent coward fired up to kill by Trump’s nonstop hateful rhetoric. The shooter’s manifesto made reference to Trump’s constant memes: infestation, invasion, rapists, criminals, replacement. It could have been written by Trump, with help from the slightly more literate Stephen Miller.
Trump was at the El Paso hospital for photo/propaganda ops with victims of the shooting, to show how much he cares. Not one of the eight consented to see him, so he stood in the hallway, in character, nonchalantly lying for a cellphone video about the size of his enormous crowds of support in El Paso and how much of a loser former Congressman Beto O’Rourke was with his tiny crowd. We can talk about this, what an obliviously lying braggart Trump is, instead of Trump’s deliberate infliction of torture on children.
The great David Bromberg paused late in his show at Town Hall a few years ago, during the falsely sold war in Iraq (Operation Shock and Awe), and started musing about what has happened to our great nation, a democracy that once gave hope to the downtrodden of the world. A man a few rows behind us, in a military uniform, stood up and demanded that Bromberg cut the politics and just play his music. Bromberg stopped, looked at the man, thought for a second and said “we torture people now?” Then he did as the protester requested, he continued playing, his point made.
Obama famously admitted “we tortured some folks” (the only “accountability” moment for any American involved in the recent hideous, inhuman, illegal practices) so now we can simply get back to torturing children and their parents in the spirit of Dick Cheney’s “Dark Side” and American Exceptionalism?
We torture people now? Seriously?