Wednesday, July 10, 2019

Last Call For The Trump Trafficking Jam

Not only will current Trump regime Labor Secretary Alex Acosta not be fired because of his sweetheart deal with convicted billionaire pedophile, human trafficker, and inhuman monster Jeffrey Epstein a decade ago, but Acosta is once again trying to dismantle the budget to stop human traffickers like Epstein by slashing funds by 80 percent in Trump's proposed 2020 budget plan.

The International Labor Affairs Bureau’s office of child labor, forced labor and human trafficking has several functions, including producing an annual authoritative, congressionally mandated report on child labor and human trafficking globally as well as maintaining a list of products and source countries that the office has reason to believe use child and forced labor. It also helps fund programs in countries through civil society organizations and others non-governmental groups to address the root of child labor and trafficking, according to a source with knowledge of the bureau’s operation.

The Department of Labor did not respond to a request for comment as to why this program chosen for cuts, but a 2017 press release announcing the department’s 2018 budget request states the government will save, “$68 million by refocusing the Bureau of International Labor Affairs on ensuring that U.S. trade agreements are fair for American workers.”

In an interview on Wednesday, [Democratic Rep. Katherine] Clark said the attempt to defund this program “ speaks to the priorities of this administration and specifically the Secretary Acosta that they would in essence make the bureau inoperable.”

“This is the program within the Department of Labor that really promotes a fair global playing field for workers in the United States and specifically it does it by looking at forced labor for children and human trafficking all that sexual exploitation that sadly we see too often,” she said.

She added, “What it showed me is that Secretary Acosta has a pattern of not recognizing the priority of these issues. He certainly did that in Florida when he chose the powerful and the wealthy over child victims and a 53-page indictment that had been put together by his office."

Advocates have also decried recent decision by the Department of Labor to stop issuing certain visas to victims of human trafficking or other workplace crimes until the victims consult with another law enforcement agency like the FBI.

Erika Gonzalez, an attorney with the Coalition to Abolish Slavery & Trafficking, told The Daily Beast the change means victims will have to jump through “a lot more hoops” to get the relief they need. She compared the policy change to the Epstein plea deal, which Acosta did not clear with the billionaire’s victims before accepting.

“What the Epstein case shows is when these policies around human trafficking are implemented, they’re not necessarily considerate of the impact on the victims themselves,” Gonzalez said. “With the Department of Labor asking the FBI to look into [workplace violations] first, they’re adding another barrier for victims of trafficking to access the services the Department of Labor has.”

Other anti-trafficking organizations went further, saying the Epstein case shattered their trust in Acosta’s ability to protect victims of sex and labor exploitation. ECPAT-USA, and anti-child-trafficking organization, wrote a letter to Trump this week calling for Acosta to be fired.

“How can you in good faith be trusted to carry out labor laws when you can’t even enforce sex trafficking laws among children?” Joe Huang-Racalto, ECPAT’s government relations director, told The Daily Beast.

“With the scourge of labor trafficking in this country, the refusal to address recruiter fees, and companies that aren’t playing by the rules, we should [be able to] depend on the Secretary to enforce them—and we don’t.”

He's not going to.  Trump hired Acosta specifically because he was going to dismantle the agency responsible for human trafficking enforcement, so that the powerful could continue to exploit children.  The sheer amount of evil would be laughable if it wasn't for how serious the situation is.

This is the Trump regime.  We spend too much money on preventing child trafficking, I guess.

This is America, and half of us will vote for him anyway.

Bangers And Mashed

Sir Kim Darroch, the UK Ambassador to the US, has quit his post after diplomatic cables were leaked over the weekend showing he considered the Trump regime to be "inept".

Kim Darroch submitted his resignation on Wednesday as Britain’s ambassador to the United States, following the leak of his candid observations about the Trump administration and the subsequent fierce criticism of him and the British government from President Trump.

“Since the leak of official documents from this embassy there has been a great deal of speculation surrounding my position and the duration of my remaining term as ambassador,” Mr. Darroch said in his resignation letter. “I want to put an end to that speculation. The current situation is making it impossible for me to carry out my role as I would like.”
“Although my posting is not due to end until the end of this year, I believe in the current circumstances the responsible course is to allow the appointment of a new ambassador,” Mr. Darroch wrote.

On Monday, Mr. Trump said the White House would no longer deal with Mr. Darroch after the leak of confidential emails written by the ambassador that had described the Trump administration as “clumsy and inept.”
Mr. Trump also accused Prime Minister Theresa May of ignoring his advice and mismanaging Britain’s tortured efforts to leave the European Union, a departure now delayed at least until the end of October. As for Mr. Darroch, the president described him as “wacky,” a “very stupid guy,” and a “pompous fool.”

The dispute has cast a shadow over ties between London and Washington and has taken center stage in the contest to succeed Mrs. May as prime minister.

During a TV debate Tuesday night, Boris Johnson, the former foreign secretary and favorite to succeed Mrs. May, refused several opportunities to say that he would keep Mr. Darroch in his post until a scheduled departure date in January. He also declined to criticize Mr. Trump and played down the rift.

His comments probably made Mr. Darroch’s position untenable, given that Mr. Johnson is the clear front-runner in the contest and is likely to become prime minister later this month.

By contrast, the rival candidate, Jeremy Hunt, the current foreign secretary, described Mr. Trump’s comments as “unacceptable” and said that he would keep Mr. Darroch in his job.

I absolutely believe Boris Johnson's allies leaked those cables to the British press.  Johnson's not only measuring the drapes at 10 Downing Street, he's already cleaning house of anyone who could cause problems between himself and Dear Leader Trump.   Johnson says he'll hunt down whoever the leakers were, but I believe that about as far as Theresa May can throw me.

The good news is that Brexit will eventually finish off Johnson's career as well as May's, and maybe our friends across the pond can get it together.

Alas, we're still stuck with the Orange Imbecile.

It's All About Revenge Now, Con't

At the behest of Dear Leader, Attorney General Bill Barr continues his quest to find reasons to punish those who dared to investigate Donald Trump, and while Trump was in the UK last month, he had his goons grill British agent Christopher Steele over his now infamous dossier last month for a 16-hour London session, but Steele apparently remained as cool as a North Sea spring.

Christopher Steele, the former British spy behind the infamous “dossier” on President Donald Trump’s ties to Russia, was interviewed for 16 hours in June by the Justice Department’s internal watchdog, according to two people familiar with the matter.

The interview is part of an ongoing investigation that the Justice Department’s inspector general, Michael Horowitz, has been conducting for the past year. Specifically, Horowitz has been examining the FBI’s efforts to surveil a one-time Trump campaign adviser based in part on information from Steele, an ex-British MI6 agent who had worked with the bureau as a confidential source since 2010.

Horowitz’s team has been intensely focused on gauging Steele’s credibility as a source for the bureau. But Steele was initially reluctant to speak with the American investigators because of the potential impropriety of his involvement in an internal DOJ probe as a foreign national and retired British intelligence agent.

Steele’s allies have also repeatedly noted that the dossier was not the original basis for the FBI’s probe into Trump and Russia.

The extensive, two-day interview took place in London while Trump was in Britain for a state visit, the sources said, and delved into Steele’s extensive work on Russian interference efforts globally, his intelligence-collection methods and his findings about Trump campaign adviser Carter Page, who the FBI ultimately surveilled. The FBI’s decision to seek a surveillance warrant against Page — a warrant they applied for and obtained after Page had already left the campaign — is the chief focus of the probe by Horowitz.

The interview was contentious at first, the sources added, but investigators ultimately found Steele’s testimony credible and even surprising. The takeaway has irked some U.S. officials interviewed as part of the probe — they argue that it shouldn’t have taken a foreign national to convince the inspector general that the FBI acted properly in 2016. Steele’s American lawyer was present for the conversation

Oops.  It's almost like unlike the Barr DoJ, Steele and the FBI are career professionals instead of flunkies and idiots. Steele not only survived, he actually convinced the agents interrogating him that he was right about Trump.

No wonder we didn't hear about this when it happened.

It didn't fit the narrative.


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