Taiwan’s Representative To The U.S. Slams China For Using Pelosi’s Visit As A Pretext To “Manufacture A Crisis”

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Taiwan’s Representative to the United States Hsiao Bi-Khim appeared on CBS’ Face The Nation to discuss House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s recent visit to her country, which has caused an uproar in China. Rep Bi-Khim slammed China saying it was using Speaker Pelosi’s visit a pretext to “manufacture a crisis.”

Rep(0:24): “We have been living under the threat from China for decades, and we cannot let their ongoing threats define our desire to make friends internationally. If you have a kid being bullied at school, you don’t say, ‘you don’t go to school’, you try to find a way to deal with the bully, and that’s exactly what Taiwan is doing, working on making our society stronger and more resilient, fortifying our defenses so that we have means of managing risks. The risks are not posed by Taiwan, nor are they posed by the United States, the risks are posed by Beijing.”

Asked whether Taiwan is worried about a full scale military invasion from China, Rep Bi-Khim said (1:11): “The Chinese have not renounced the use of force. They have been intensifying threats towards Taiwan that is not only on a military level, it has involved a hybrid toolkit of public disinformation, cyberattacks, economic coercion, they have a broad toolkit that we have become more and more accustomed to. Again, that is not going to change our determination to defend our freedom.”

Asked whether she thought China’s military exercises at the Taiwanese coast following Speaker Pelosi’s visit were a drill, Rep Bi-Khim said it appears they have been preparing for this for a while, even before Speaker Pelosi decided to visit Taiwan.

Asked whether she had any assurances from the Biden administration that the U.S. will provide Taiwan with actual military protection as opposed to just providing them with weapons in the event China invaded, Rep Bi-Khim said (3:08): “We have a very strong security partnership that ensures the protection of our shared interest in the regional peace and stability”–which reasonable people will agree, is diplomat-speak for “yes”.

Asked about the criticism that Speaker Pelosi’s visit amounted to provocation, she responded (3:27): “I think the word provocation has only one place, and that’s with China right now. They are the ones that are provoking regional instability…Sometimes it’s hard for other countries from afar, to fully understand the feelings and perspectives of the Taiwanese people, and that is, for too long, we have been bullied, isolated, and surpressed, and banned from international organizations, so when friends come from afar, and wish to lend their support to Taiwan, we generally take that with gratitude.”

Asked about the reality that China’s invasion of Taiwan would be markedly different from Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, given the fact that China is far more powerful militarily and economically, and thus difficult to sanction, Rep Bi-Khim said that was part of the reason Speaker Pelosi visited–to give them assurances of support. Rep Bi-Khim specifically said (5:11): “I think that was one of the messages that Speaker Pelosi was trying to convey, and that is, despite all challenges, we have friends in the international community who will stand with us.”

Asked about China’s threat to pull out of important global negotiations on climate etc, if it doesn’t get its way with Taiwan, and the effect that may have on other countries (discourage them from defending Taiwan), Rep Bi-Khim responded (5:50): “Are we concerned? Yes we are concerned about the disruption of these very important discussions on global issues that are matters of interest to not only the United States, but to China and everyone in the world, but the fact is, again, congressional visits to Taiwan have been going on for decades, and for decades it hasn’t prevented the United States and China from having constructive discussions on matters of mutual interest…” Rep Bi-Khim added that Beijing was using Speaker Pelosi’s visit as a pretext to “manufacture a crisis”, and finished with this powerful admonition: “If China is to evolve as a responsible stakeholder in the global community, it’s really up to Beijing to decide if China’s rejuvenation will evolve with international respect, or with international condemnation.”

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Australia’s Prime Minister Anthony Albanese’s Interview On CNN’s State Of The Union Show

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Australia’s Prime Minister Anthony Albanese appeared on CNN’s State of The Union show (07/31/22) for a wide ranging interview that touched on among other things climate change, and specifically, his pledge that Australia will achieve net zero carbon emission by 2050.

Asked whether Australia’s 2050 goal will be thwarted because of reluctance by India, China and the United States to come together, and address climate change with the urgency it deserves, PM Albanese responded(video at 0:38): “Well, I certainly hope not, and I’m very optimistic. At the Madrid NATO Summit, I had discussions with world leaders and also of course at the Quad leaders meeting, and I regard people as being very prepared to take much stronger action. There’s a greater recognition now as well, that dealing with the challenge of climate change represents also an economic opportunity. We will see the greatest transformation that we have seen in our economy since the industrial revolution, with the shift to clean energy, and clean energy will of course see jobs being created at the same time, something that the Biden administration recognizes, something that our European friends certainly recognize as well.”

Asked about the growing threat from China, and specifically, a troubling poll that shows 75% of Aussies believe China will attack Australia within the next 20 years, PM Albanese responded (1:44): “What we are preparing for is strengthening our alliances. We want to have good relationships with China and cooperate where we can, but we’ll stand up for Australian values where we must, and that is my approach to the relationship with China. Clearly it has changed in recent years. Under [President] Xi, China has become more forward-leaning, more aggressive in the region. We have strategic competition.”

Asked whether Australia would defend Taiwan if it was invaded by China, PM Albanese punted, saying he did not want to deal with hypotheticals. He then went on to say(2:38): “Australia supports a One China policy, but we also support the status quo when it comes to the issue of Taiwan, that people respect the existing structures which are there. I believe that clearly is in the interest of all parties, and I have taken the view as well, that it is not in the interest of peace and security, to talk up those issues of potential conflict.”

Asked what Australians think about “the health” of democracy the United States in light of the ongoing January 6th investigation, PM Albanese responded (3:57): “Democracy in the United States remains strong. The United States remains a beacon for the world in terms of democratic nations, I firmly believe that. And whilst the assault on democracy that we saw on January 6th was of real concern to all those who hold democratic processes dear around the world, the fact that you are having an open and transparent process, these hearings are being broadcast to the world, indeed underlies, in my view, the strength of U.S. democracy, the strength of those institutions.”

Asked what America can learn from Australia regarding how to deal with gun violence, PM Albanese responded(5:26): “In Australia we had a bipartisan response to the Port Arthur massacre, and we haven’t had once [mass shooting] since, and I just say that people should look at our experience. It’s up to the United States as a sovereign nation what direction it takes of course, but the truth is that Australia’s experience shows that less guns, particularly less automatic weapons, the less crime occurs, and the less tragedy occurs.”

Asked whether he supports the growing sentiment among Aussies to break away from the Queen of England and become a republic, PM Albanese responded(6:24): “Well, I do support a republic, but that doesn’t mean I don’t respect the Queen, who has presided over the Commonwealth for 70 years, it’s quite an extraordinary achievement. Our priority this term, is the recognition of First Nations people in our constitution. Our history didn’t begin in 1788 with the arrival of the British First Fleet, it goes back some 65,000 years with Aboriginal and Torre Strait Islander people, the oldest continuous civilization on the planet. It should be a source of great pride, and my priority is getting that constitutional change done first.” Hmm, very interesting.

Bottom line folks, interviews with world leaders are always interesting(at least to Your Truly-a nerd), because they give you a glimpse into how others view/deal with the same issues confronting us here in the United States. I think reasonable people will agree that by far, the biggest takeaway from PM Alabanese’s interview, is how politicians in Australia came together to stump out mass shootings after the Port Arthur massacre(1996). Simply put, there is zero excuse for the nonsense we get from Congress, when it comes to addressing gun violence in the United States. Zero!!

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CIA Director William Burns Addresses Havana Syndrome Probe And Compensation At Aspen Security Forum

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MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell interviewing CIA Director William Burns at the Aspen Security Forum((07/21/22)

CIA Director William Burns recently attended the Aspen Security Forum, where he sat down for a lengthy interview with MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell. Among the notable topics that came up during the interview was the status of the Havana Syndrome investigation and the criteria the agency will use to decide which victims get compensated and which ones don’t.

The CIA has taken a lot of incoming from critics over what many perceive as their reluctance or even unwillingness, to get to the bottom of the Havana Syndrome mystery, so it was quite refreshing to see Director Burns openly addressing Andrea Mitchell’s questions without unnecessarily hiding behind classification issues.

Andrea Mitchell(video at 37:42):“I want to ask you about something that has been going on for six years since the first known case, and that is what the government calls anomalous health incidents(AHI), and which is commonly known as Havana Syndrome. So six years later, do we know anything more about what caused these illnesses?”

CIA Director Burns(38:49):“I think we’ve made significant progress in ensuring people get the care that they need and deserve. We tripled the number of full time personnel in our medical office that deals with this issue. We’ve worked out very important relationships not just with Walter Reed, but with private medical systems to make sure people got the care. On the investigation side, over the course of the last year and a half, we’ve thrown some of our very best officers at this, working closely with partners across the U.S. intelligence community and the U.S. government. It’s fair to say that we’ve learned a lot over that time. There’s still more to learn, it’s a frustrating process, but I have great confidence in the professionalism of the people who are carrying this out, and in their commitment to objectivity. You know, a few months ago, the intelligence community across the board, made public some preliminary findings, the broadest was that we don’t assess that a foreign player, whether Russians or anyone else, is behind, or is responsible for a sustained global campaign, the scale of what has been reported, to harm U.S. personnel with a weapon or some kind of external device. We further stated publicly several months ago, that in the majority of incidents, and we’ve investigated each one as throughly as we possibly can, we’re still working on a number of them, that you could find reasonable alternative explanations, whether it was other environmental factors, or preexisting medical conditions, or other kinds of medical explanations. None of that detracts from the real nature of what people have gone through. We still have work to do despite the progress that has been made in the investigation. This is not something that CIA only is doing, as I said we work very closely with other partners, and I owe it to my officers and their families to be straight about first making sure that they get the care that they deserve, but also being straight about what we find and what we don’t find.”

There’s no other way to interpret Director Burns’ remarks other than(I’ll be happy to stand corrected of course), the CIA probe has confirmed that some of the victims have indeed suffered brain injuries that would be consistent with some kind of external attack, but the agency is not there yet on a definite attribution–that is, reasonable people could reasonably disagree on the causes of such injuries, whether that be directed energy weapons, other environmental factors, preexisting medical conditions etc. In other words, the CIA has not yet singled out directed energy weapons as the definite cause of the brain injuries to U.S. personnel.

The debate then turned to the thorny issue of who to compensate and who not to

Andrea Mitchell:“Congress has authorized compensation. How do you compensate if you don’t know what it is?”

Director Burns:“We are very careful to implement the spirit of that law, which talks in very specific terms about the kind of injuries that people have suffered, and so it’s not a question of causation, it’s a question of what people have gone through, and so we’ve already began the process of implementation and we are going to work very hard at doing that because that’s what people deserve, and that’s what Congress expects.”

Director Burns’ response, that the compensation decision will be based on the type of injury the victim suffered, and not necessarily the cause of the injury, was quite interesting because it plays right into the hands of CIA critics who say the agency is not being candid about Havana Syndrome and its real cause—RF pulsed microwaves/ directed energy weapons. In other words, a lot of skeptics will raise the same question Andrea Mitchell posed to Director Burns—how the government quickly devised a handsome compensation scheme for victims of Havana Syndrome, whose cause the government does not know. No reasonable person believes that the United States, the most technologically advanced nation on earth, does not know what caused the injuries to U.S. diplomats in Cuba and elsewhere.

As usual, the interview never touched on the taboo question as to whether the CIA is looking into claims by regular civilians in the United States(not U.S. government personnel) who started complaining about directed energy attacks way before the reported incident at our Embassy in Cuba. This is a question the corporate media has made a conscious decision not to ask, but need to be asked. Are claims of directed energy attacks only credible when they are made by current or former government officials?

Bottom line folks, it was refreshing to see Director Burns openly discussing Havana Syndrome, but at some point the corporate media will have to drop its self-imposed embargo, and ask the taboo question as to who/what is behind directed energy attacks on regular civilians. There is absolutely no reason why the media cannot pose this question to the CIA, or any other government agency. None!!

Also, if Director Burns can openly talk to Andrea Mitchell about the Havana Syndrome probe, then he surely can entertain similar questions from members of Congress in an open forum.

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VP Harris Calls Out The Hypocrisy Of “Pro-Lifers” Who Consistently Vote Against Laws Meant to Financially Assist Parents

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U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris sat down for an extensive interview with CNN’s Dana Bash(06/27/22), where she discussed the bombshell Supreme Court decision striking down Roe v Wade, and other issues confronting the Biden administration as we approach the crucial midterm elections this Fall. One of the major highlights of the interview was when VP Harris called out the “abject obvious hypocrisy” of “pro-life” Republicans in Congress, who talk a big game about “right to life”, yet at every turn vote against measures intended to improve the financial situation of parents. It appears congressional Republicans only care about the life of the baby before they are actually born.

Asked by host Dana Bash whether the federal government will step in and help mothers who will be forced to have babies they can’t financially support, VP Harris responded(video at 0:10):“I’m so glad you raised that point because I’m going to say this, and here’s the abject obvious hypocrisy. Those people who say that they do not want to allow a woman to choose, to make the decision with her priest, with her rabbi, with her pastor, that instead the government is going to interfere and make the decision for her. Those same people are the ones who voted against the extension of the child tax credit, the same ones who voted against a tax cut for families to pay for child care, the same ones who are voting against paid family leave, the same ones who vote against putting resources into public schools. I was doing work on maternal mortality. We are pushing to say that for example, Medicaid should be extended for post-partum care from 2 months to 12 months. These are the same people who reject the notion of expansion of medicaid.”

Asked what the Biden administration can do in the form of executive action, VP Harris said that this is a democracy, and therefore Congress is the proper venue for effectively addressing issues related to the reproductive health of women. She said as it currently stands, “the numbers are not there” and so the filibuster remains an obstacle, even though Democrats control the White House, the Senate and the House. VP Harris said codifying Roe v Wade will become a reality if Democrats pick up more seats during the upcoming midterms–a tall order which I suspect will not sit well with already frustrated Dem voters.

Asked to weigh in on whether Supreme Court Justices Kavanaugh and Gorsuch lied under oath during their Senate confirmation hearings, VP Harris responded:“I never believed them. I didn’t believe them. That’s why I voted against them.” She added, “It was clear to me when I was sitting in that chair as a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee that they were very likely to do what they just did. That was my perspective, that was my opinion, and that’s why I voted like I did.”

As about what the Biden administration is doing to assist working families drowning under high inflation and gas prices, VP Harris pointed out that a lot of this has to do with Putin’s war in Ukraine, and that the Biden administration is working closely with our allies around the world to rectify the situation. She also pointed out the things the Biden administration is doing locally to ease the financial burden on working families, namely, lowering the cost of prescription drugs and child care.

Asked about the January 6th investigation, and whether given her background as a prosecutor, she would bring criminal charges against former President Trump, VP Harris cleverly dodged the question, saying jokingly, “As a former prosecutor, I never comment on another prosecutor’s case.”

Importantly, VP Harris finally settled the lingering rumors that keep popping up in various sections of the mainstream media about President Biden possibly opting out of 2024, or picking a different running mate. She gave host Dana Bash a plain an simple answer to that question: “Joe Biden is running for reelection, and I will be his ticket mate. Full stop.”

Hopefully this will put an end to the annoying MSM rumors about a broken Biden-Harris 2024 ticket. Seriously MSM, there are much more pressing issues to focus on–in 2022!!

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Former Assistant AG Jeffrey Clark Discusses FBI Raid On His Home On Tucker Carlson Show

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Former Assistant U.S. Attorney General Jeffrey Clark, who’s currently a Senior Fellow at the Center For Renewing America, appeared on Fox News’ Tucker Carlson show(06/23/22) to discuss the FBI’s predawn raid on his home, which presumably, is related to his role in the fake electors scheme that was meant to thwart the certification of President Biden’s electoral college win.

Clark did not directly address the fake elector scheme during his interview on Tucker Carlson show and instead, attacked the time and manner of the FBI raid, which he shockingly referred to as “Stasi-like”. Stasi is of course the term that was used to refer to Adolf Hitler’s ruthless Ministry of State Security. He also characterized the raid as part of a coordinated nationwide political attack on him and other backers of former President Trump.

Clark told host Tucker Carlson(video at 1:38):“Yeah, I think this is highly politicized and it’s also part, Tucker, if you didn’t know it, of a nationwide effort yesterday. There were multiple states where multiple people were roughly simultaneously raided for their electronic devices, and that obviously requires a high level of coordination, and look, with the hearing[January 6th Committee]that was pointed at me, and targeting me today, with the special audience member of Sean Penn–so you know this is Hollywood– the very next day, you know, it looks highly coincidental. I just don’t believe in coincidences.”

There’s no other way to interpret Clark’s rambling and rather incoherent response other than, he is framing this as some sort of made-for-television political attack against him(the Senn Penn reference). This displays a shocking level of tone-deafness on his part, given the volume of evidence adduced so far, regarding the fake elector scheme. Clark may not realize this, but many consider him very lucky to have gone this far without any criminal prosecution for his efforts to overturn the 2020 election. He is the last person who should be surprised about a search warrant being executed at their home, given the volume of evidence already out there regarding the fake elector scheme.

It also bears pointing out that at his testimony before the January 6th Committee, Clark responded to virtually every question by pleading the 5th(right against self-incrimination), which every reasonable person would agree, demonstrates at the very least, some consciousness of guilt on his part.

Interestingly, he never mentioned the fake elector scheme during his interview on the Tucker Carlson show. Most innocent people would use such venues to reiterate the fact that they did nothing wrong. Clark appeared only bothered by the fact that the FBI showed up at his house very early in the morning, before he could put on his favorite pants, and that they showed up with “electronic sniffing dogs”, which he claimed he has “never seen before, or heard of.”

Bottom line folks, reasonable people will agree that the January 6th Committee has provided enough evidence so far regarding Clark’s role in the fake elector scheme, to justify his criminal prosecution. As I stated earlier, Clark should consider himself lucky that he has not been criminally charged yet, and should be the last person surprised, or upset, by an FBI raid on his home.

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Former AG Holder: Americans Should Prepare For An “Ideologically Driven” Supreme Court Not Tethered To Precedent

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Former AG Holder on MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell Reports show(05/12/22)

Former U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder appeared on MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell Reports show (05/12/22) to discuss his new book “Our Unfinished March”. During his interview, he was asked about the controversy caused by the leaked draft Supreme Court majority opinion dealing with abortion, to which he gave a very interesting response. He said while the leak itself was a serious issue, the bigger problem Americans need prepare themselves for, is an “ideologically driven” Supreme Court, that will have little regard to precedent–an issue Democrats need to focus on as we approach the midterm elections.

Former AG Holder(video at 0:35):“I think the leak is unprecedented both in its breadth, its scope, and its completeness. We’ve heard rumors before about where the court is going to go, how the justices perhaps were aligned, but never actually seen a draft opinion, and that’s serious. That’s something that needs to be addressed. But what we really need to focus on is what’s contained in that leaked opinion, and where the court appears to be lining up. Looks like they are going to overturn Roe v Wade, inconsistent with the notion that you adhere to precedent that people have relied on over the course of the last 50 years. It’s an attack on the right to privacy, and so the question has to be asked, is it only going to be abortion that is going to be at risk, or is same sex marriage going to be at risk? The regulation of contraception, is that going to be at risk? Even interacial marriage. All of these things are based on the right to privacy, which this opinion in its form as we saw it, really goes after that right to privacy.”

Holder added that people need to get prepared for an “ideologically driven” Supreme Court, that is “not going to adhere to the extent that they should, to precedent.” This is of course very troubling given the weighty issues the high court is getting ready to deal with–affirmative action, gun cases, voting rights, etc. Democrats can capitalize on this Supreme Court issue, but only if they present it in AG Holder’s terms–an untethered high court that threatens many of the legal precedents we have come to rely on. This approach will likely drive more people to the polls this Fall, as opposed to only presenting it as an abortion/reproductive rights issue.

Bottom line folks, Dems sucking at messaging is nothing new. “Leakgate” presents them with an opportunity to drive Dem voters afraid of an untethered Supreme Court, to the polls in record numbers, and bucking the midterm election trend which typically favors the party out of power(GOP). Hopefully Dems will get their Supreme Court messaging right this time around by railing against the MAGA Supreme Court as an affront to all the legal precedents we have come to rely on for decades.

It’s also worth noting that former AG Holder, a self-described “institutionalist”, said that after initially being opposed to a criminal prosecution of former President Trump, he now believes, given the revelations about his efforts to overturn the 2020 election results, that he needs to be held accountable. Surely, current AG Garland has to take this seriously, coming from a former prosecutor, who recently held his position.

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Briefing By AOC & Fellow Dems On Banning Stock Trading By Members Of Congress

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Rep Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez(D-NY) joined fellow Democrats for a briefing(04/07/22) on their push to ban stock trading by members of Congress. Others on the briefing were Senator Jeff Merkley(D-OR), Rep Joe Neguse(D-CO), Rep Rashida Tlaib(D-MI), Rep Abigail Spanberger(D-VA), Rep Pramila Jayapal(D-WA), Rep Andy Kim(D-NJ) and Rep Angie Craig(D-MN).

Rep Ocasio-Cortez said banning stock trading by members of Congress will not only address legitimate concerns about conflicts of interest, but that it would also tackle the other urgent problem involving crisis of faith in our institutions. She said: “We are also tackling a crisis of faith in our institutions in the United States, and that exploitation of that crisis of faith is a direct threat to our democracy, as we have seen over the last two to four years. It is our responsibility to ensure that we eliminate that perception of impropriety, because it is these perceptions that can be exploited to undermine our most sacred institutions.”

The final speaker, the epitome of “save the best for last”, was Minnesota’s Rep Angie Craig(remember that name folks, vivacious Angie is going up the Dem ladder). She said: “My background experience in this issue is I actually sat on a corporate executive team for 12 years before I came to Congress, and this is not hypothetical to me, it’s not hypothetical. I helped run the investor relations department of a major fortune 500 company. I know that information moves markets, and it moves stocks. That’s why when I first got here, I wrote something called the Humble Act, which as part of it, would ban members of Congress from owning individual stocks. And it’s also not hypothetical to me because before I was sworn in to Congress, I had stock from the company I had worked for for 12 years. I had stock options from that company as well. Every single one of those shares were sold in the open market before I stepped foot into the U.S. Capitol, every single one. And if we can’t find 535 people in the damn United States of America, who are willing to give up their personal stock portfolio in order to serve their constituents, then shame on us, just shame on us.”

Bottom line folks, as some of the speakers here pointed out, banning stock trading by members of Congress should be a no-brainer, and no Democrat should be opposed to it. Opposing a stock trading ban for members of Congress is bad optics, bad morally, bad politics, and a sure loser at the polls this Fall. It’s really that simple.

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VP Kamala Harris’ Biggest Moment(Yet) On The International Stage

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U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris delivered the keynote address at the Munich Security Conference in Germany on 02/18/22. The Munich conference is arguably VP Harris’ biggest moment on the international stage, and her most consequential speech to date, given it’s timing–the looming Russia-Ukraine conflict. It’s also impossible to ignore the historical significance of the moment, given the fact that she addressed the Munich conference as the first female VP of the United States, and the first woman of color to represent the United States in that capacity.

VP Harris traveled to Munich Germany with a bipartisan group of lawmakers and foreign policy heads. Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky also attended this important international conference, even as Putin’s Russia is on the cusp of invading his country. The Russians skipped the Munich conference.

VP Harris laid out the seriousness of the moment in her opening remarks: “I’m certain we all recognize, this year’s gathering is unlike those of the recent past. Not since the end of the cold war, has this forum convened under such dire circumstances. Today, as we are all well aware, the foundation of European security is under direct threat in Ukraine. Let us remember from the wreckage of two world wars, a consensus emerged in Europe and the United States. A consensus in favor of order, not chaos, security, not conflict…That the rule of law should be cherished, that sovereignty and territorial integrity of all states must be respected, and that national borders should not be changed by force.”

There is no question that the text of VP Harris’ historical speech in Munich will feature in many political science and history classes in years to come, as one of the defining moments in the relationship between NATO countries and Russia.

Bottom line folks, as Yours Truly said earlier, this is easily VP Harris’ biggest moment on the international stage, and reasonable people will agree, she shone bright. With the eyes of the world trained on her, she delivered a great speech, that clearly conveyed the danger Putin’s Russia poses to Europe and the rest of the world, without sounding alarmist. All in all, VP Harris, you represented President Biden, and America, exceedingly well in Munich!!

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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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You may reach the author via email at author@grassrootsdempolitics.com or author@emolumentsclause.com