Donald Trump names three extremists to his future cabinet

[Admin Note: The Mexican press is worried and anxious about Trump’s election, to put it mildly! Here’s a little taste of what they’re saying.]

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Donald Trump names three extremists to his future cabinet: Jeff Sessions, Attorney General; Mike Pompeo, CIA Director, and Michael Flynn, national security advisor

A wall with messages about the election of Trump as president of the United States in a hall of the Union Square Metro in New York. Photo: David Brooks

A wall with messages about the election of Trump as president of the United States in a hall of the Union Square Metro in New York. Photo: David Brooks

By: David Brooks, Correspondent

New York

President-elect Donald Trump confirmed some of the worst fears of the defenders of rights and civil liberties here and around the world upon naming three extremists to his future cabinet: Senator Jeff Sessions as Attorney General, who at the same time functions as head of the Justice Department; Representative Mike Pompeo as head of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), and General Michael T. Flynn as National Security Advisor.

Sessions, an Alabama senator for 20 years, was the first legislator of the high chamber to support Trump’s candidacy. He is considered the high chamber’s most anti-immigrant legislator and has a long racist history. One of the architects of the anti-immigrant positions of the Trump campaign, Sessions has headed the opposition to almost all immigration reform legislation in the Senate for two decades.

Although the Trump team dared to present him as a champion of civil rights and someone that is “universally respected in both parties,” the Senate denied Sessions confirmation 30 years ago, when Ronald Reagan nominated him for a federal judgeship for his racist comments and positions.

In his statements to the Senate on that then he referred to respected Afro-American civil rights organizations, among them the oldest one, the NAACP, as “anti-American” and “inspired by communism.”

Today, the president of the NAACP’s Legal Defense Fund, Sherrilyn Ifill, stated that Sessions has a history of decades of “opposition to civil rights and equality. It’s unimaginable that he could be serving as the chief official in charge of compliance with the law and the civil rights of this nation.” The American Civil Liberties Union denounced the naming. It remembered that he has fought against the positions on gay rights, the death penalty, abortion rights and presidential authority during his entire stay in the Senate. Others remember that he has justified torture and other illegal methods in the “war against terrorism.”

Sessions will receive Justice Department keys from Loretta Lynch, the current attorney general, who is Afro-American, a civil rights defender and an heir to the changes forged by the civil rights movement, which the senator has opposed.

General Flynn was director of the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) until President Barack Obama terminated him in 2014. He retired only to suddenly amaze his colleagues at the highest levels upon appearing together with Vladimir Putin at an anniversary celebration for the television network Russia Today, where he was supposedly paid for giving a speech.

He was added to the Trump campaign while he continued expressing ideas that “radical Islamic terrorism” represents an existential threat against the United States and justified that: “the fear of Muslims is rational.” He has referred to the Muslim faith as “a cancer.”

Meanwhile, he promotes the idea adopted by Trump that it is the principal threat and we must cooperate with others, above all Russia, in this common front. He proposes with Trump the idea of reducing and controlling the flow of Muslim migrants and establishing a registry of all Muslims, including U.S, citizens, in the country.

Basic rights organizations, like Human Rights Watch and others, affirm that Flynn has shown little respect for the Geneva Conventions and norms against practices like torture.

Pompeo is the federal representative from Kansas and former Army official. The Koch brothers –billionaires that have armed the country’s most powerful ultra-conservative political force and did not support Trump– financed and promoted his (Pompeo’s) political career. He is a ferocious opponent of the Iran nuclear agreement and was among the most prominent critics of Clinton when she was Secretary of State, above all in the interminable investigation into the incident in Bengazi, Libya, where, it was suspected, there was some kind of a cover up of the facts.

Pompeo has aggressively defended mass espionage programs in house as well as overseas, and opposes the limits that have been implemented on them. He is also a defender of the concentration camp at Guantánamo and of the torture programs. He has called the CIA torturers “heroes.”

Ultra-conservative organizations and figures, including white supremacists like David Duke, former head of the Ku Klux Klan, among others, celebrated the three nominations. Meanwhile, organizations that defend immigrant rights, other rights and civil liberties of different sectors continued condemning what they consider a government that could achieve reversing decades of legislative achievements.

The interviews and meetings continue today for constituting the rest of the cabinet and other Executive Power positions (there are approximately some 4,000 total) inside of Trump Tower Fifth Avenue.

Saturday, the president-elect will move to one of his golf clubs in New Jersey, where he has programed a meeting with Mitt Romney, former Republican presidential candidate in 2102, who headed the anti-Trump movement in the party during the past year. It is speculated that perhaps he might offer him the position of Secretary of State, but others say that it’s only a meeting to repair relations.

Meanwhile, some 25 blocks to the north of Trump Tower, residents of three luxury buildings decided to physically take down the name Trump from the properties (part of his business is to rent his name –the buildings don’t belong to him), and on Wednesday two employees happily removed the golden letter for letter of the surname of the president- elect, the result of a request from the residents, embarrassed by Trump throughout the campaign.

In the opposite direction, more than 40 blocks to the south of Trump Tower, inside of the Union Square Metro Station, some walls are covered over with post-it messages about what people are feeling after Trump’s win. Pencils and notes to attach are available for those that wish to add more, in what some call a “social therapy” program. The overwhelming majority of the messages son expressions of anger, protest, sadness and lament in various languages, in what is a species of the wall of tears.


Originally Published in Spanish by La Jornada

Saturday, November 19, 2016

Re-Published with English interpretation by the Chiapas Support Committee



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