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Friday, March 03, 2017

Bannon's dream

by digby

Rachel Maddow had a big scoop last night which you should watch if you missed it. Greg Sargent gives a rundown here:
Maddow obtained a new internal Department of Homeland Security document that reached this key judgment:
We assess that most foreign-born, US-based violent extremists likely radicalized several years after their entry to the United States, limiting the ability of screening and vetting officials to prevent their entry because of national security concerns.
This new document is separate from another DHS document that was leaked to the press last week. That one also undercut the case for the ban, concluding that “country of citizenship is unlikely to be a reliable indicator of potential terrorist activity.”

The new document obtained by Maddow weakens the central rationale for the ban, which is to put a temporary delay on entry into the United States for the express purpose of tightening up our vetting procedures. DHS’s conclusion appears to be that vetting procedures in particular are not that useful in screening out people who radicalize later, and that most foreign-born emigrants to the United States who become violent extremists fall into that category.

“The national security justification for this whole ban — this setting up of extreme vetting — is bull-pucky,” Maddow said. “There’s nothing they can set up at the border to tell you years down the road who might become … a radical and violent person years from now.”

This complements the conclusion of the other leaked memo. Taken together, they appear to mean that DHS’s analysts believe that singling out those countries makes little sense and that the problem in preventing terrorism by immigrants does not lie in our vetting procedures as they are, which already screen out the immediate threats.
The first report you'll recall was dismissed by the Trump administration because they said it was "political." They will probably say the same about this other one. This White House doesn't need no stinkin' analysis. Everything they need to know resides in President Trump's pants.

Recall that we hve been told by every counter-terrorist official in the country for years that the real threat is "lone wolf" homegrown terrorists. And that's been shown. The Islamist terrorists in recent years who've shot up Christmas parties and gay nightclubs and Army bases Marathon races were born here or were radicalized long after they came. (I won't even bring up the other "lone wolves" who shoot up elementary schools and college campuses and workplaces all over the country because they're not Muslim so or some reason Republicans don't give a shit.)

In other words, this DHS report is in keeping with everything we've heard publicly for a very long time. Trump's Muslim ban isn't about terrorism. It's about Muslims, period. He doesn't like them.

Greg discusses this other, even more ominous, dimension to this whole argument:
Now, an important caveat is necessary here — one that sheds more light on the Trump administration’s actual rationale for the ban, which is crying out for more debate. The ban’s main architects — Stephen K. Bannon and Stephen Miller — would probably argue that these new documents don’t undercut their larger arguments for it.

As I have reported, the evidence is mounting that Bannon and Miller view the ban as part of a much broader, long-term demographic-reshaping project. Miller let slip in a recent interview that the ban isn’t just about national security, but also about protecting U.S. workers from foreign competition. And the Los Angeles Times reports that Bannon and Miller have privately argued that the ban is in keeping with the need to combat immigration by people who “will not assimilate”:

Inside the West Wing, the two men have pushed an ominous view of refugee and immigration flows, telling other policymakers that if large numbers of Muslims are allowed to enter the U.S., parts of American cities will begin to replicate marginalized immigrant neighborhoods in France, Germany and Belgium that have been home to plotters of terrorist attacks in recent years, according to a White House aide familiar with the discussions.
It's not just about protecting "American's jobs" or keeping out terrorists. It's about protecting American "culture" as they define it.

Read this piece about Bannon's beliefs. These fascist comments are things he's said just in the last couple of years. He is a white ethno-nationalist at his core. He wants to pretty it up by saying that he just cares about the working folks who need a break and worries about terrorism. It goes way, way beyond that.