AOC Exposes FBI’s Terrorism Double Standard

Rep Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez(D-NY) grilling the Assistant Director of FBI’s Counter-Terrorism Division Michael McGarrity

In one of her most stunning congressional performances yet, Freshman Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez(D-NY) grilled FBI’s Assistant Director of Counterterrorism Michael McGarrity on the double standard with which the bureau charges non-White perpetrators as terrorists, while pursuing equally violent White supremacists only with hate crimes–with far fewer legal consequences.

There is no question that FBI’s double standard when it comes to terrorism has to be addressed. However, Rep Ocasio-Cortez and other members of Congress should not focus solely on who gets charged with what statute and instead dig into an even more troubling and still very under-covered topic by the mainstream media and that is, the increasing designation by the FBI/DHS of non-White activists in major urban centers(New York, Houston, LA, Chicago etc) as terrorists or radicalized extremists who then end up on their surveillance lists. Americans will be shocked to find out that even mundane activities like participating in/being an organizer of a Black Lives Matter rally, or Tweeting under “TheResistance” hashtag (#TheResistance)–all activities protected by the 1st amendment–could land someone in these obscure FBI/DHS surveillance lists.

Therefore members of Congress should not be singularly focused on who gets charged with what statute but rather the arbitrariness with which non-White political activists in major cities are increasingly getting caught up in FBI/DHS surveillance dragnets. These kinds of surveillance have disastrous effects on people’s lives whether they result in criminal charges or not, meaning absolute care must be taken to ensure the wrong people don’t end up in these dragnets. It certainly appears given the exchange between Rep Ocasio-Cortez and A.D. McGarrity, that it is infinitely easier for a non-White person to be designated and therefore investigated for terrorism than a similarly situated White person. These seemingly racist/bigoted surveillance policies should greatly trouble members of Congress.

Bottom line, Americans entrust the FBI and DHS with enormous investigative powers including but not limited to, the deterrence of terrorism. AOC and her fellow members of Congress have a duty to step in and ensure that these powerful agencies are not arbitrarily designating minority political activists as terrorism suspects and subjecting them to unjustified long-term surveillance for engaging in constitutionally protected speech.

1700 Migrant Children Were Separated Before “Zero Tolerance” Policy

A shocking NBC News piece says DHS separated more than 1700 migrant children before it officially began the “zero tolerance” policy in May 2018. This means the 1700 figure is over and above the official figures released by the Trump administration as to the number of migrant children separated from their parents as a result of the administration’s “zero tolerance” policy which according to this NBC News piece currently stands at 2800. Think about that, we are now finding out that the roughly 2800 migrant children that were separated from their parents as a result of DHS’ “zero tolerance” policy sparking justified national outrage, were just a drop in the bucket.

All these new revelations are coming out as a result of U.S. District Judge Dana Sabraw’s order that the Trump administration identify all the migrant children that were separated before “zero tolerance” took effect and make efforts to reunite them with their families. Lee Gelent, the Lead ACLU lawyer in the case told NBC News, “The government has indicated that it has already found preliminary indications of 1700 more separated families, on top of the more than 3000 separated families already reported.”

Bottom line folks, it appears even with all the bombshell news reports about DHS’ evil family separation policy and the resultant national outrage, we are just now coming to terms with the breadth and scope of DHS’ troubling actions in this regard. It is vitally important that House Democrats and the mainstream media not drop their guard on this humanitarian issue of great national concern so that we not only get to the bottom of what happened here, but that bad actors are brought to justice. America owes this to the innocent migrant children.

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DHS-ICE Illegally Detaining U.S. Citizens

A troubling report on MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow show says DHS-ICE is increasingly detaining U.S. Citizens, something it has absolutely no legal authority to do. According to host Joy Reid who was subbing for the vacationing Maddow, this stems from a legally questionable practice currently in place in many U.S. counties where DHS-ICE places “detainers” on county jail inmates it suspects are either not in the U.S. legally, or even if here legally, are subject to deportation proceedings based on their criminal convictions. The Maddow segment focused on Peter Brown, a Philadelphia native who DHS-ICE almost mistakenly deported to Jamaica. For the record DHS-ICE has no legal authority to detain a U.S. citizen so any ICE detainer placed on a U.S. citizen is void on its face.

The full Maddow segment is available here but the relevant clip is below.

So for example if someone is convicted in Harris County Texas for say DWI, and jailed for say 6 months at the county jail, one of the preliminary issues that is determined by county jail officials is whether the inmate is a U.S. citizen. If it is determined that the inmate is not a U.S. citizen then DHS-ICE places a “detainer” on them essentially telling the Harris County jail officials to detain the said inmate for an extra 48 hours(2 days) to allow DHS-ICE to come and pick them up for deportation proceedings.

The problem with this policy is that it is prone to a lot of racial and ethnic profiling by county jail officials who often arbitrarily classify inmates who don’t “look like” or “speak like” Americans as non-citizens and thereby illegally subjecting them to DHS-ICE detainers. This is especially problematic in immigrant-rich cities like Houston which is home to many naturalized U.S. citizens who don’t “look like” or “speak like” Americans.

According to the Maddow segment, DHS-ICE apparently enters into contracts with county officials where they pay them an agreed sum for every inmate the county detains for them. It turns out however that in addition to this “detainer” policy being patently illegal as applied to U.S. citizens, it is also draining county tax dollars from the resultant lawsuits. In other words this “detainer” policy is ending up costing counties infinitely more money in lawsuits than the money DHS-ICE pays them to detain inmates for them. So in their zeal to push a “tough-on-immigration” agenda using the “detainers”, county officials(often Republican counties) are ending up wasting much needed tax dollars settling lawsuits brought by illegally detained U.S. citizens—a total travesty.

Bottom line as Yours Truly has said all along, Congress must step in and enforce some checks on DHS-ICE’s seemingly absolute powers. It seems as if at every turn DHS-ICE is violating the constitutional rights of poor immigrants whether that be through its evil family separation policy, illegal surveillance of legal immigrants or now illegally detaining U.S. citizens. A wise man once said, “power corrupts, absolute power corrupts absolutely.” It’s about time the U.S. Congress reigned in DHS-ICE’s absolute power.

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DHS Gutting Election Meddling Task Force

DHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen

A bombshell Daily Beast piece says despite the threat of a Russian/foreign attack on the upcoming 2020 Elections, DHS is gutting two task forces specifically created to counter such attacks. According to the Daily Beast piece, the two DHS task forces being downgraded are part of the Cyber Security and Infrastructure Agency (CISA) whose job is to guard the nation against foreign cyber attacks including those targeting our election infrastructure.

This is of course very serious news given the ongoing TrumpRussia investigation but predictably, it has also escaped the attention of the corporate mainstream media which instead devotes much of its attention and resources to Trump/GOP-inspired “scandals” implicating Democrats, the latest being Senator Warren’s ancestry and the mess in Virginia state government.

The Daily Beast reports that the two task forces meant to guard our elections against foreign meddling, especially by Russia, have seen drastic staff reduction since the 2018 midterm elections and there are no plans to ramp them back up to full force even as we face similar threats in 2020.

One of the excuses being put forward by DHS, an unavailing one, is that the task forces were meant to be temporary in nature and therefore as bad as the staff reductions look given the ongoing Russian threat, there is nothing abnormal or sinister about them. In other words the staff reductions were bound to happen one way or another because the task forces were not set up to be permanent.

Bottom line House Democrats and indeed the mainstream media must put pressure on DHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen to explain why two DHS task forces specifically charged with election security are being downgraded. Simply put, after the horrendous family separation policy and now this, Secretary Nielsen’s tenure at DHS is becoming increasingly hard to justify from both a professional and moral standpoint.

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Devos Profiting From Separated Migrant Children?

Education Secretary Betsy Devos

As the scandal surrounding thousands of migrant children who the Department of Homeland Security appears to have lost track of continues, a troubling but interesting thread is developing and that is, that the migrant children are not lost, but are instead being channelled into adoption for profit. In other words, there is a profit motive behind the already shocking child separation policy.

Even more troubling is that the adoption agency at the center of this controversy, Bethany Christian Services, has close ties to current Education Secretary Betsy Devos, a close ally of President Trump. Strangely, even though this is a topic that has been reported by some sections of the mainstream media, it has not garnered the attention it clearly deserves.

Yours Truly has certainly done his part highlighting this very troubling migrant children separation issue and will continue to do so

Bottom line, House Democrats and the mainstream media need to get to the bottom of the migrant children separation issue and specifically, whether there are people up to and including Education Secretary Betsy Devos, who are profiting from the pain and suffering of these migrant families. This is way beyond politics and clearly a moral issue of the utmost importance. Simply put, tax payer funds should not be used to separate migrant families or any other family for that matter, for profit.

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Video Shows Migrant Children Abused At Arizona Detention Center

Surveillance footage shows migrant children dragged on the floor at a migrant detention center in Arizona

A shocking video obtained by The Arizona Republic shows migrant children being mercilessly dragged on the floor by detention officials at the now defunct Hacienda del sol detention facility in Arizona. These migrant detention facilities even though privately run, are overseen by the Department of Homeland Security(DHS) meaning this shocking incident will almost definitely be investigated by House Democrats. The original video by The Arizona Republic is available here but the relevant clip is below

Abuse of migrant detainees by detention officials is however nothing new. The root cause of migrant detainee abuse is the unspoken truth that thanks to the U.S. Supreme Court, private migrant detention centers are for all intents and purposes above the law. In other words thanks to the U.S. Supreme Court decision in Correctional Servs. Corp. v. Malesko, 534 U.S. 61, 63 (2001), it is virtually impossible for abused migrants to prevail in civil lawsuits against these private prisons, even in cases of egregious abuses like the ones captured in this video. As a matter of fact some have argued that this is precisely why DHS subcontracts migrant detention to these private prisons–that way both DHS and the prisons avoid civil liability for abuses.

It is therefore very important that House Democrats if they decide to investigate this troubling incident, look beyond the specific instances of abuse here and address the root cause of migrant detainee abuse which is that nobody(neither DHS nor the private prisons) is ever held civilly liable for abuses. Unless and until there’s a realization by both DHS and these private prisons that they risk being hit with hefty financial penalties for abusing migrants in their custody, nobody should expect them to treat migrant detainees any better.

Bottom line, House Democrats need to grill DHS secretary about the abuse of migrants at DHS-overseen private detention centers. More importantly, House Democrats need to come up with legislation aimed at forcing these DHS-overseen detention centers to compensate migrants who can show that their constitutional rights were violated while in custody. Then and only then will these private detention centers start treating detained migrants like human beings. House Democrats must solve the migrant detainee abuse problem to save victims from wasting their time seeking redress at the Roberts Supreme Court, especially now that Kavanaugh is there.

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Tyrannical DHS Is Arraigning 2 Year Olds In Immigration Court

DHS recently arraigned 2 year old Fernanda Jacqueline Davila, a Honduran, before an Immigration Judge

A very troubling New York Times piece says Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen’s DHS which already shocked Americans with its cruel & inhumane family separation policy a few months ago, is now arraigning migrant children as young as 2 years old before immigration judges—2 year olds folks!!

It is well known that court settings can be very intimidating to a lot of adults–even traffic court. Can you imagine how scared a 2 year old would be being asked questions by an Immigration judge without their parents, in a court with uniformed law enforcement officers? The poor Honduran girl was probably so tormented by her immigration court experience, she will remember it for the rest of her life.


These horrendous scenes we are witnessing with secretary Nielsen’s DHS never used to happen in previous administrations–this callous disregard for the welfare of migrant children. You don’t have to take Yours Truly’s word for it, here’s what the President of the National Association of Immigration Judges Ashley Tabaddor said: “We rarely had children under the age of 6 until the last year or so.”

Previous administrations have always gone to great lengths to ensure the young children of immigrants are spared as much as possible from the emotional trauma stemming from the decisions of their parents to bring them across the border. It is very clear that such caution has been thrown out of the window by the current Trump administration and certainly by Secretary Nielsen’s tyrannical DHS where seemingly even 2 year old migrant children are fair game.

Bottom line little Fernanda Jacqueline Davila and other very young migrant children should not be arraigned in immigration court. Surely there are other humane, civilized ways DHS could handle their immigration cases without subjecting them to this needless emotional torture. DHS does this simply because it has the power to do it. Tyranny is defined as “cruel, unreasonable, or arbitrary use of power or control.” Now you understand why Yours Truly routinely refers to Sec Nielsen’s DHS as “Tyrannical DHS”.

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Why Is DHS Letting Local Election Officials Defend Themselves Against Russia?


A cyber security expert David Hickton recently made a startling revelation on MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow show that the Department of Homeland Security is apparently letting local county election officials defend their voting systems against the threat of hacking by Putin’s Russia. Think about that folks, while most Americans think DHS is the first line of defense going out there chasing down would be Russian hackers to prevent them from interfering in midterms 2018, we now find out courtesy of Maddow that Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen’s DHS has in fact left local county officials to defend themselves against the powerful military grade Russian hacking capabilities–a total travesty!


This is a very serious story that deserves the utmost attention by the mainstream media and Democrats. As Maddow correctly points out in the segment, it is foolhardy to expect that local county officials will have the wherewithal to withstand a highly sophisticated Russian hacking operation,  with all due respect to local county officials.

Bottom line Dems and the mainstream media must confront DHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen for leaving local county officials fend for themselves against the threat of Russian hacking when she knows or ought to know they cannot possibly fend off a highly sophisticated Russian hacking operation. Simply put Dems should demand Secretary Nielsen’s resignation if she does not make her DHS the first line of defense against Russian hacking in midterms 2018. Anything less than that would be an abdication of her sworn duty to protect the homeland against foreign threats.

The full Maddow segment is available here but the relevant clip is below

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Is The Surveillance State Targeting Dems Using Twitter

California ACLU Technology and Civil Liberties Director Nicole Ozer penned a very troubling piece in December 2016 on how federal spy centers aka fusion centers are increasingly using Twitter for mass surveillance.


According to Nicole’s piece a company called Dataminr, partly owned by Twitter, provides the federal spy centers(fusion centers) with tweet data, including GPS location, which the spy centers use for surveillance purposes. Twitter says it stopped Dataminr from providing tweet data to fusion centers in 2016 but given the Trump administration’s demonstrated hostility towards any form of criticism especially on Twitter, any reasonable person would go back and verify whether Dataminr has indeed stopped its cooperation with federal spy centers.

The article also points out that this kind of Twitter surveillance is  directed more at minorities and political activists. It is therefore not a stretch to suggest that #TheResistance movement which has grown in leaps and bounds on Twitter since December 2016 when Nicole Ozer penned her article, has also become a target of these federal spy centers(fusion centers). In other words there is reason to believe that Dem activists are increasingly being subjected to surveillance by these federal spy centers over their anti-Trump tweets–a clear cut violation of their first amendment rights.

Bottom line congressional Dems must demand hearings on this troubling nexus between Twitter and federal spy centers to make sure the public(especially Dems) are not being punished with unconstitutional surveillance for their anti-Trump posts on Twitter

Alternatively, because congressional Dems have developed a reputation for weakness, ACLU’s Nicole Ozer should revisit the issue and inform the public as to whether Dataminr really terminated its cooperation with federal spy centers as Twitter alleged in 2016.

Yours Truly already knows the answer to this question but will give Twitter/Dataminr the benefit of the doubt nonetheless.

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The Real Reason I.C.E Should Be Abolished

After the Trump Administration’s “Zero Tolerance” policy which called for the separation of migrant children from their parents upon apprehension at the southern U.S. border, there have been increasing calls including by a senior U.S. Senator, for the abolition of DHS’ Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). Calls for the abolition of ICE went on overdrive when a previously little known Progressive Democrat Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez scored a stunning upset victory in the NY14 Democratic primary, unseating the 4th ranking Democrat in the U.S. House of Representatives. Ocassio-Cortez made abolishing ICE the central theme of her campaign, so naturally her stunning upset win has been read by many to mean there is groundswell support among grassroots Democrats for the abolition of ICE

Left out of the ICE abolition debate however is what Yours Truly believes should be the real reason ICE should either be abolished or severely investigated;–That ICE which most Americans associate with going after people in the U.S. illegally, is now also terrorizing legal permanent residents (green card holders) and naturalized  U.S. citizens with illegal surveillance for their political statements on social media(Twitter, Facebook). Even more troubling is that these outright unconstitutional practices by ICE(First Amendment violations) have been widely reported in the media yet Congress remains silent. The troubling practices at DHS-ICE have been likened to the infamous “Cointelpro” tactics employed by the FBI in the 1960s to target black civil rights activists.


To be very clear, Yours Truly is not saying the evil child separation policy of the Trump Admin is not reason enough for Dems to call for the abolition of ICE. What Yours Truly is suggesting is that Congressional Dems, especially Senators need to start hammering DHS/ICE over its unconstitutional surveillance of legal permanent residents and naturalized citizens for their political speech and then add the evil child separation policy as the reason the agency needs to be abolished. Put another way, Dems should argue that ICE is already flagrantly and routinely violating the constitutional rights of permanent residents and naturalized citizens, and that this coupled with the evil child separation policy, should be sufficient grounds for its abolition–the proverbial straw that broke the camel’s back.

Bottomline the real atrocities at ICE have not yet been exposed enough to convince the public that time has come to disband the agency. Dems will be better advised to first push for hearings/investigation into ICE’s unconstitutional practices towards legal permanent residents and naturalized citizens and then call for its abolition for the evil child separation policy. When the truth about ICE’s illegal practices are finally put on full display to the public,  abolition will be a very easy sell.

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