Friday, July 28, 2017

Gen. John Kelly - Trump Zealot (And New Chief Of Staff)

Click here for a Digby article at Salon from June 12, entitled "John Kelly the 'grownup'? Forget it -- Homeland Security chief turns out to be another Trump zealot." Subtitle: "Democrats are finally noticing Kelly is an immigration hard-liner and anti-drug fanatic with a dubious worldview."

She says: "For some reason they [Democrats] believed Kelly would rein in Trump’s draconian policies on immigration and security. They were wrong, according to Politico":
Instead, Kelly has moved to impose those policies with military rigor. He has pursued an aggressive deportation campaign; defended Trump’s effort to ban visitors from several Muslim-majority countries; and hinted that he might separate migrant parents from their children at the U.S.-Mexico border. Kelly has joked with Trump about using violence against reporters and defended Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner, amid allegations that he tried to set up a secret back channel to the Russian government.

Today, it’s tough to find anyone on the left willing to defend Kelly. He has alienated potential allies on Capitol Hill, including Democrats who voted to confirm him, and is endangering his reputation as a nonpartisan figure in a presidential administration that has relatively few.
He's a border-security fanatic:
The Southern Command under Kelly was intensely focused on “narcoterrorism” and he was a zealot on the subject. He told that he believed the nation was seriously threatened by a nexus between what “known terrorist organizations and illicit smuggling and money-laundering networks.” Kelly added, “There are those in the intelligence community who take the view that it is not a major threat and argue that those groups will never find common cause. I think those who take that view are simply trying to rationalize away the problem because no one wants to raise another major threat at a time when we face so many around the world.”
His views on marijuana:
Kelly’s stance on drugs is equally rabid. His view on marijuana legalization is that the U.S. won’t be able to ask other countries to cut back on their export of drugs to our country if we are making a substance legal. That’s an odd point of view to say the least, particularly since he says he has said doesn’t care if Americans smuggle pot into other countries. Marijuana legalization should lead to less smuggling, which would seem to be a good thing. Kelly also says he has “no doubt” that marijuana is a gateway to harder drugs but notes that he’s not a doctor so he doesn’t know if medical marijuana might be useful. He proves that he’s out of touch, however, by saying “every medicine is probably illegal unless you take it medicinally,” which is is somewhere between obviously not true and totally meaningless.
How about his position on immigrants?
In the first three months of the Trump administration, arrests of non-criminal immigrants rose by 157 percent over the same period a year earlier, according to data from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
In short, don't be reassured by Kelly's appointment as chief of staff, usually considered to be the second most powerful position in the White House. Priebus was, after all, a moderate; Kelly has drunk deeply of the Trump kool-aid.


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