Coincidence of the year, so far: Two days after Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen leaves office, we hear from “a source in on the discussions” that President Trump tried to get her to go along with a plan to dump detained immigrants on sanctuary cities to punish Democrats.
I’m sorry that hasn’t happened yet. It wouldn’t have hurt the cities. Cities are designed to take immigrants in. That’s what they do.
Trump himself says that in many cases immigrants are drug dealers, murderers and rapists. We know that’s not true, but that’s what he says, and if he believes his own words, then the plan was to dump drug dealers, murderers and rapists on concentrated populations as payback for not supporting him. As if that would win more support.
But, because Kirstjen Nielsen and the Department of Homeland Security wouldn’t let it happen, everyone in the country will have forgotten this story by November 2020. Including me. I can’t keep all this nonsense in my head.
If it wasn’t for the internet and my bookmarks folders on my browser, I wouldn’t be able to remember anything political. I’m afraid that pretty soon I’m going to have to thin the weeds. Then my effective political memory will be about one year, 240 bookmarks worth. Eleven months and two weeks longer than that of the average American who doesn’t use bookmarks.
Getting back to Kirstjen, the coincidence at hand reminds us of Trump’s Achilles’ Heel: The man can’t resist firing people, even though every person who has been fired turns out to have some goods on him.
And now Julian Assange appears to be headed to the U.S. to face charges unrelated to WikiLeaks’ involvement in the Russian hacking affair. Odds are, another coincidence is due. “A source close to Julian Assange has revealed …” Let’s hurry up his trial to speed that coincidence.
Meanwhile, speaking of coincidences, Chelsea Manning has been jailed for just about a month for refusing to give secret testimony to a grand jury investigating WikiLeaks and her dealings with that organization. We all, of course, remember that Manning was convicted for releasing secret documents to WikiLeaks, making them public. She’s still at it. She wanted her testimony to be public. So now, after being pardoned by Obama, she’s back in jail for contempt of court.
Assange is to be charged with crimes on account of WikiLeaks’ receiving of the documents Manning provided them. The theory seems to be that if Manning violated the Espionage Act, then WikiLeaks aided and abetted that crime by acquiring those documents and releasing them to The Guardian, The New York Times and Der Spiegel.
Right? Manning couldn’t have got all those documents to the public without help from Julian Assange.
If the courts validate that theory, those newspapers will be next in line for charges of facilitating Manning’s criminal acts, because WikiLeaks couldn’t have got the documents so widely disseminated without help from those newspapers.
Then, when the courts are done convicting whoever at those newspapers was responsible for letting WikiLeaks’ documents be printed, most of us who read the secret documents that were printed in those newspapers will be able to be charged with knowingly acquiring and reading U.S. classified documents without authorization.
If you hadn’t cooperated by reading the documents in The Times or wherever, Chelsea Manning would never have succeeded in exposing the documents. It’s your fault.
I’ve known peeping Toms. People tend to think ill of me when I say things like that. I’ve also known at least two murderers. In fact, I lived next door to them at different houses. “Look at the company you keep,” people say, shaking their heads.
But these things just happen to me. It’s not my fault. Take the first peeping Tom I met. I was minding my own business in a café in Belltown when this stranger sat at my table and said, “Hi, I’m Tim, and I’m a peeping Tom. What do you think about that?” I said, “I think that would make you a peeping Tim.”
He ignored that remark and proceeded to tell me why it was OK for him to be a peeping Tom. He said, “I can’t see anything unless I can see through the window. If your curtains are open enough for me to see you through it, that’s your fault. It’s your window.”
Was it wrong of me to listen to him tell me his legal theory and then share it with you, just now?
Dr. Wes Browning is a one time math professor who has experienced homelessness several times. He supplied the art for the first cover of Real Change in November of 1994 and has been involved with the organization ever since. This is his weekly column, Adventures in Irony, a dry verbal romp of the absurd. He can be reached at drwes (at) realchangenews (dot) org
Read the full April 17 - 23 issue.
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