AuthorTopic: 🌍 How did Stalin become a monster? Gute frage!  (Read 454 times)

Offline K-Dog

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Re: 🌍 How did Stalin become a monster? Gute frage!
« Reply #15 on: September 20, 2018, 12:33:24 AM »
People here get summarily executed all the time.  They are Black people.

If you're black you better not show up on the street
Unless you wanna draw the heat - Bob Dylan "Hurricane"


I don't think our Constitutional "protections" ever worked.  The FSoA has always been ruled by an Oligarchy, and "taking down" Nixon merely got Gerry Ford in his parking spot.  Before Nixon we had McCarthyism.  Precisely when did our "Constitutional Protections" work during our lifetimes?  Before that we had FDR forcing us into a war with Japan.  Before that we had the Great Depression where millions of people disappeared.    Your problem is you buy the whitewashed propaganda of Amerikan History, which is a load of bullshit.

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/v/gGMSfiH850o" target="_blank" class="new_win">http://www.youtube.com/v/gGMSfiH850o</a>

Reuben "Hurricane" Carter was given life in prison.

RE

In general, we citizens of the empire, who live here in the heart of the empire, have fared way better than citizens of Russia or  China, or NK, or Vietnam, or Cuba, or any other communist country.

I'm not saying the empire isn't corrupt, of evil, or even insane. But people have died like flies in most of those places, and life has been hard for the rest.

You have to keep some perspective. There has been, in the last few decades, ongoing genocide in several places in the world. There will be more, I'm fairly sure. There is something to be said just for living in a country where even the poor people live without widespread famine, or out-and-out civil war. Do we live well at the expense of desperately poor people in the 3rd world? Maybe, but most of those people would be happy to take your place or mine, here at the banquet table.

Well sure, we avoided killing and imprisoning people here by killing them and enslaving them elsewhere, but that doesn't make our system any better than Stalin's, we just export the death elsewhere.  Do most people like living in the heart of an Evil Empire where they can buy Prime Rib at expensive restaurants every Friday?  Sure they do, but it doesn't make the system any more moral than Stalinist Russia.

RE

Prime rib for $6.95 would be great!



I can dream.

Under ideal conditions of temperature and pressure the organism will grow without limit.

Offline RE

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Re: 🌍 How did Stalin become a monster? Gute frage!
« Reply #16 on: September 20, 2018, 12:55:03 AM »

Prime rib for $6.95 would be great!



I can dream.

You can afford $30/plate now.  You have moved into the Upper Class.  CHOW DOWN!


RE
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Offline RE

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🌍 The Truth about the Soviet Gulag – Surprisingly Revealed by the CIA
« Reply #17 on: October 11, 2018, 01:52:15 AM »
https://www.greanvillepost.com/2018/10/09/the-truth-about-the-soviet-gulag-surprisingly-revealed-by-the-cia/

The Truth about the Soviet Gulag – Surprisingly Revealed by the CIA
October 9, 2018 Patrice de Bergeracpas


HELP ENLIGHTEN YOUR FELLOWS. BE SURE TO PASS THIS ON. SURVIVAL DEPENDS ON IT.

Saed Teymuri } The Stalinist Katyusha

Dateline: October 7, 2018


Introduction


Aleksandr Solhenitsyn, a misguided patriot and unapologetic
reactionary was used for many years by the West as a
propaganda battering ram against the USSR.


“Humanitarian” lies serve to brainwash the population into supporting imperialist wars. Fed by far-right propaganda, and funded by the CIA, the mainstream “news” outlets describe the Soviet labour camps – also known as the “the Gulags” – as Stalin’s means to repress pro-democracy dissidents and to enslave the Soviet masses. However, the same CIA that, through Operation Mockingbird, gave the US military almost-total control over mainstream press in order to foster anti-Soviet disinformation (Tracy 2018), has recently released declassified documents that invalidate the slanders surrounding the Gulags.

The CIA which conducted various anti-Soviet operations for almost five decades, and whose staff strived to obtain accurate intelligence about the USSR, cannot be said to have any bias in favor of the USSR. Therefore, the following declassified CIA files that surprisingly “confess” in favor of the Soviet Union are particularly valuable.

While acknowledging the harsh conditions that existed in the Gulags – as with any prison system in the world – the goal of this article is to shed light on the following facts: (1) the harshness of the prisons has been exaggerated by the Western press, with numerous lies being made up, (2) the statistics in regards to the Gulag population have been exaggerated, (3) there was a genuine effort at improving the prison conditions when given the chance, and (4) the prison standards were much higher than those of many capitalist countries.

The Conditions of the Prisons

A 1957 CIA document titled “Forced Labor Camps in the USSR: Transfer of Prisoners between Camps” reveals the following information about the Soviet Gulag in pages two to six:

1. Until 1952, the prisoners were given a guaranteed amount food, plus extra food for over-fulfillment of quotas

2. From 1952 onward, the Gulag system operated upon “economic accountability” such that the more the prisoners worked, the more they were paid.

3. For over-fulfilling the norms by 105%, one day of sentence was counted as two, thus reducing the time spent in the Gulag by one day.

4. Furthermore, because of the socialist reconstruction post-war, the Soviet government had more funds and so they increased prisoners’ food supplies.

5. Until 1954, the prisoners worked 10 hours per day, whereas the free workers worked 8 hours per day. From 1954 onward, both prisoners and free workers worked 8 hours per day.

6. A CIA study of a sample camp showed that 95% of the prisoners were actual criminals.

7. In 1953, amnesty was given to 70% of the “ordinary criminals” of a sample camp studied by the CIA. Within the next 3 months, most of them were re-arrested for committing new crimes.

The following are excerpts of the CIA document, underlined and put together for the reader:


These facts negate the narrative that Gulag prisoners were unpaid. The labour was indeed forced; however, material rewards were provided. The prisoners were paid from 1952 onward, and rewarded by food prior to 1952.

According to bourgeois fantasies, the Soviet “regime” sought to deliberately starve the Gulag populations. However, as a matter of fact, there indeed were Soviet efforts to increase the food supply of prisoners, after World War II.

The fact that the working day was only two hours more than that of the free workers until 1954, and equal to that of the free worker from 1954 onward is a clear demonstration of the egalitarian tendencies of the Soviet State.

All the while, the noteworthy fact is that criminals, not “pro-democracy revolutionaries” were sent to the Gulags. Like all justice systems, there certainly were errors and some innocent people were sent to the prisons; the point though is that this fact has been exaggerated by the imperial press.

Let’s compare the Soviet system to that of the United States. The 13th amendment permits prison slavery, with many prisoners victimized by racial profiling. Even the Clinton Dynasty had slaves in the Arkansas Province (News 2017).

The Numbers

According to page four of another CIA (1989) document titled “The Soviet Labour System: An Update,” the number of Gulag prisoners “grew to about 2 million” during Stalin’s time.

These figures match Soviet statistics as well, from declassified Soviet achieves. The following is a 1954 declassified Soviet archival document (Pyakhov), an excerpt of which is translated into English:
“During the period from 1921 to the present time for counterrevolutionary crimes were convicted 3,777,380 people, including to capital punishment – 642,980 people to the conent in the camps and prisons for a period of 25 years old and under – 2,369,220 into exile and expulsion – 765,190 people.

“Of the total number of convicts, approximately convicted: 2,900,000 people – College of OGPU, NKVD and triples Special meeting and 877,000 people – courts by military tribunals, and Spetskollegiev Military Collegium.

“It should be noted… that established by Decree … on November 3, 1934 Special Meeting of the NKVD which lasted until September 1, 1953 – 442,531 people were convicted, including to capital punishment – 10,101 people to prison – 360,921 people to exile and expulsion (within the country) – 57,539 people and other punishments (offset time in detention, deportation abroad, compulsory treatment) – 3,970 people…

Attorney General R. Rudenko

Interior Minister S. Kruglov

Justice Minister K. Gorshenin”

The Soviet archives remained declassified for decades, only to be released near or after the collapse of the Soviet Union. In addition, after Stalin died, the pro-Stalin head of the NKVD (Soviet interior ministry) Lavrenty Beria had already been executed by Khrushchev, a staunch anti-Stalinist (History in an hour 2010). These facts make it very unlikely that the Soviet intelligence would have a pro-Stalin bias.

The Italian-American historian Michael Parenti (1997, pp. 79-80) further analyzes the data provided from the Soviet archives:

“In 1993, for the first time, several historians gained access to previously secret Soviet police archives and were able to establish well-documented estimates of prison and labor camp populations. They found that the total population of the entire gulag as of January 1939, near the end of the Great Purges, was 2,022,976. At about that time, there began a purge of the purgers, including many intelligence and secret police (NKVD) officials and members of the judiciary and other investigative committees, who were suddenly held responsible for the excesses of the terror despite their protestations of fidelity to the regime.

“Soviet labor camps were not death camps like those the Nazis built across Europe. There was no systematic extermination of inmates, no gas chambers or crematoria to dispose of millions of bodies…. [T]he great majority of gulag inmates survived and eventually returned to society when granted amnesty or when their terms were finished. In any given year, 20 to 40 percent of the inmates were released, according to archive records. Oblivious to these facts, the Moscow correspondent of the New York Times (7/31/96) continues to describe the gulag as ‘the largest system of death camps in modern history’.

“Almost a million gulag prisoners were released during World War II to serve in the military. The archives reveal that more than half of all gulag deaths for the 1934-53 period occurred during the war years (1941-45), mostly from malnutrition, when severe privation was the common lot of the entire Soviet population. (Some 22 million Soviet citizens perished in the war.) In 1944, for instance, the labor-camp death rate was 92 per 1000. By 1953, with the postwar recovery, camp deaths had declined to 3 per 1000.

“Should all gulag inmates be considered innocent victims of Red repression? Contrary to what we have been led to believe, those arrested for political crimes (‘counterrevolutionary offenses’) numbered from 12 to 33 percent of the prison population, varying from year to year. The vast majority of inmates were charged with nonpolitical offenses: murder, assault, theft, banditry, smuggling, swindling, and other violations punishable in any society.”

Thus, according to the CIA, approximately two million people were sent to the Gulag in the 1930s, whereas according to declassified Soviet archives, 2,369,220 up until 1954. When compared to the population of the USSR at the time, as well as the statistics of a country like the United States, the Gulag percent population in the USSR throughout its history was lower than that of the United States today or since the 1990s. In fact, based on Sousa’s (1998)research, there was a larger percentage of prisoners (relative to the whole population) in the US, than there ever was in the USSR:

“In a rather small news item appearing in the newspapers of August 1997, the FLT-AP news agency reported that in the US there had never previously been so many people in the prison system as the 5.5 million held in 1996. This represents an increase of 200,000 people since 1995 and means that the number of criminals in the US equals 2.8% of the adult population. These data are available to all those who are part of the North American department of justice…. The number of convicts in the US today is 3 million higher than the maximum number ever held in the Soviet Union! In the Soviet Union, there was a maximum of 2.4% of the adult population in prison for their crimes – in the US the figure is 2.8% and rising! According to a press release put out by the US department of justice on 18 January 1998, the number of convicts in the US in 1997 rose by 96,100.”

Conclusion

Seeing the USSR as a major ideological challenge, the Western imperial bourgeoisie demonized Stalin and the Soviet Union. Yet after decades of propaganda, declassified archives from both the US and USSR together debunk these anti-Soviet slanders. Worth our attention is the fact that the CIA – a fiercely anti-Soviet source – has published declassified documents debunking the very anti-Soviet myths it promoted and continues to promote in the mainstream media. Together with declassified Soviet archives, the CIA files have demonstrated that the bourgeois press has lied about the Gulags.

Notes

13th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution: Abolition of Slavery. (n.d.). Retrieved August 28, 2018, from https://www.archives.gov/historical-docs/13th-amendment

Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). (1989). THE SOVIET FORCED LABOR SYSTEM: AN UPDATE (GI-M 87-20081). Retrieved February 12, 2018, fromhttps://www.cia.gov/library/readingroom/docs/DOC_0000500615.pdf

Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). (2010, February 22). 1. FORCED LABOR CAMPS IN THE USSR 2. TRANSFER OF PRISONERS BETWEEN CAMPS 3. DECREES ON RELEASE FROM FORCED LABOR 4. ATTITUDE OF SOVIET PRISON OFFICIALS TOWARD SUSPECTS 1945 TO THE END OF 1955. Retrieved January 5, 2018, from https://www.cia.gov/library/readingroom/docs/CIA-RDP80T00246A032000400001-1.pdf

Hillary and Bill used ‘slave labour’. (2017, June 08). Retrieved June 10, 2017, from https://www.news.com.au/technology/online/social/hillary-and-bill-clinton-used-black-prisoners-for-forced-slave-labour-in-the-arkansas-governors-mansion/news-story/9af23848a5d44770b538c931c62460fe

Игорь, П. (n.d.). Книга: За что сажали при Сталине. Невинны ли «жертвы репрессий»? Retrieved August 28, 2018, from https://www.e-reading.club/bookreader.php/1008874/Pyhalov_-_Za_chto_sazhali_pri_Staline._Nevinny_li_zhertvy_repressiy.html

Parenti, M. (1997). Blackshirts and reds: Rational fascism and the overthrow of communism. San Francisco, Calif: City Lights Books.

Sousa, M. (1998, June 15). Lies concerning the history of the Soviet Union. Retrieved August 27, 2018, from http://www.mariosousa.se/LiesconcerningthehistoryoftheSovietUnion.html

The Death of Lavrenty Beria. (2015, December 23). Retrieved August 31, 2018, from http://www.historyinanhour.com/2010/12/23/lavrenty-beria-summary

Tracy, J. F. (2018, January 30). The CIA and the Media: 50 Facts the World Needs to Know. Retrieved August 28, 2018, fromhttps://www.globalresearch.ca/the-cia-and-the-media-50-facts-the-world-needs-to-know/5471956
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Offline Eddie

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Re: 🌍 How did Stalin become a monster? Gute frage!
« Reply #18 on: October 11, 2018, 04:48:11 AM »
Another bullshit Stalin apologist. Read Solzhenitsyn before you believe this made-up crap.

Prisoners were fed "adequate food"?

I was fed what is called adequate food when I was in jail, but I couldn't choke it down, and I'm not that fuckin' picky.

Trying to reconstruct history from reading the reports of some bureaucrat's creative CYA reports is equivalent to getting your information about American chattel slavery from the secretary of your local chapter of the  Klan.

What makes the desert beautiful is that somewhere it hides a well.

Offline RE

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Re: 🌍 How did Stalin become a monster? Gute frage!
« Reply #19 on: October 11, 2018, 05:25:30 AM »

I was fed what is called adequate food when I was in jail, but I couldn't choke it down, and I'm not that fuckin' picky.


Try Truckstop food.  ::)  lol.

These days, I can't choke down much of anything, so I'm not sure what "adequate" is.  If you're not losing wieght at the rate of 19 lbs a month, it's probably adequate.

Far as Uncle Joe is concerned, I hardly think he was a nice guy, but neither do I think he was the monster he was made out to be by the historical propaganda here.

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Offline Ashvin

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Re: 🌍 How did Stalin become a monster? Gute frage!
« Reply #20 on: October 11, 2018, 08:18:29 AM »

I was fed what is called adequate food when I was in jail, but I couldn't choke it down, and I'm not that fuckin' picky.


Try Truckstop food.  ::)  lol.

These days, I can't choke down much of anything, so I'm not sure what "adequate" is.  If you're not losing wieght at the rate of 19 lbs a month, it's probably adequate.

Far as Uncle Joe is concerned, I hardly think he was a nice guy, but neither do I think he was the monster he was made out to be by the historical propaganda here.

RE

Another way of saying that, because I'm pro communism, I'm going to downplay his systematic slavery and genocide for no articulate reason other than "propaganda".

As Eddie says, the article posted is biased horseshit. It doesn't even pretend to make much sense. Even assuming the CIA notes are genuine and accurate, and the authors interpretation of them are correct, the gulags look just as bad as they always did

The abducted prisoners slash forced laborers who had no.due process were "rewarded by food"? Their unjust sentences were discounted by a day when they worked hard enough? Most of them were classified as criminals? Apologists for the Soviet genocide should be ashamed.

Stalin was a monster of the 20th century on par with Hitler, no question.

Offline Surly1

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Re: 🌍 How did Stalin become a monster? Gute frage!
« Reply #21 on: October 11, 2018, 08:44:36 AM »

I was fed what is called adequate food when I was in jail, but I couldn't choke it down, and I'm not that fuckin' picky.


Try Truckstop food.  ::)  lol.

These days, I can't choke down much of anything, so I'm not sure what "adequate" is.  If you're not losing wieght at the rate of 19 lbs a month, it's probably adequate.

Far as Uncle Joe is concerned, I hardly think he was a nice guy, but neither do I think he was the monster he was made out to be by the historical propaganda here.

RE

Another way of saying that, because I'm pro communism, I'm going to downplay his systematic slavery and genocide for no articulate reason other than "propaganda".

As Eddie says, the article posted is biased horseshit. It doesn't even pretend to make much sense. Even assuming the CIA notes are genuine and accurate, and the authors interpretation of them are correct, the gulags look just as bad as they always did

The abducted prisoners slash forced laborers who had no.due process were "rewarded by food"? Their unjust sentences were discounted by a day when they worked hard enough? Most of them were classified as criminals? Apologists for the Soviet genocide should be ashamed.

Stalin was a monster of the 20th century on par with Hitler, no question.

Because you have a monopoly on the truth?

RE posted an article. You are delivering him for arrest for having an opinion, a quality with which you fairly bristle. But since you spout lies with every post, it is to be expected as long as RE permits the continued attested hijacking of the Forum.

You mention Solzhenitsyn the other day. Should we credit what he had to say about the Soviet regime? Then tell me about the Soviet concentration camps and gas chambers.

Quite frankly I tend to credit The Gulag Archipelago. George Kennan called "the most powerful single indictment of a political regime ever to be leveled in modern times." It painstakingly documents the moral vacuity of the Soviet regime. The Soviet economy depended on the productivity and output of forced labor. That attribute is not unique to communist regimes:  the Trump admin has been a boon to the carceral state of there FSoA, reversing the Obama-era curtailing its use of private prisons -- incarceration run by for-profit companies. Which companies contract such labor to a variety of businesses, profiting from a vigorous market in slavery.


One of the things you can always safely expect from the furious bobbleheaded assent of true believers of Imperial propaganda is that it is The Way, The Truth and The Light, whereas the other side's story is "propaganda." I don't know why it is so hard to see and believe that US Cold Warriors were as ardent in creating domestic propaganda as the Soviets. I am old enough to remember when CIA analysts were dramatically overstating Soviet military capabilities Ito secure military appropriations every budget cycle that were magically transmuted into Congressional pork. But then, I was alive e and aware as a witness to all this, at a time the OP was still shitting his diapers.

Memory: the liberal superpower.
"It is difficult to write a paradiso when all the superficial indications are that you ought to write an apocalypse." -Ezra Pound

Offline RE

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Re: 🌍 How did Stalin become a monster? Gute frage!
« Reply #22 on: October 11, 2018, 09:04:10 AM »
RE posted an article. You are delivering him for arrest for having an opinion, a quality with which you fairly bristle. But since you spout lies with every post, it is to be expected as long as RE permits the continued attested hijacking of the Forum.

Right now his bullshit isn't bugging me too much, and he has been a little better at avoiding the ad hom.  You however are free to ban his ass anytime you like.  :icon_sunny:

RE
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Offline Surly1

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Re: 🌍 How did Stalin become a monster? Gute frage!
« Reply #23 on: October 11, 2018, 09:22:54 AM »
RE posted an article. You are delivering him for arrest for having an opinion, a quality with which you fairly bristle. But since you spout lies with every post, it is to be expected as long as RE permits the continued attested hijacking of the Forum.

Right now his bullshit isn't bugging me too much, and he has been a little better at avoiding the ad hom.  You however are free to ban his ass anytime you like.  :icon_sunny:

RE

Not if you read carefully. He's just sneakier, attacking "SJW's" like we don't know who he's referencing. Nevertheless, he's your hair shirt, not mine.

Calling me a "social justice warrior" and a "liberal" are badges I wear with pride. Better than being a fellator of the worst people on the planet.
Anyone who has a problem with that can go their desk, open a drawer, pull out their pistol and eat a bullet, thus making the world a better place.
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"It is difficult to write a paradiso when all the superficial indications are that you ought to write an apocalypse." -Ezra Pound

Offline RE

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Re: 🌍 How did Stalin become a monster? Gute frage!
« Reply #24 on: October 11, 2018, 11:01:18 AM »
Not if you read carefully. He's just sneakier, attacking "SJW's" like we don't know who he's referencing. Nevertheless, he's your hair shirt, not mine.

I'm not an SJW, I'm a Communist.

RE
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Offline Ashvin

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Re: 🌍 How did Stalin become a monster? Gute frage!
« Reply #25 on: October 11, 2018, 02:20:59 PM »
Not if you read carefully. He's just sneakier, attacking "SJW's" like we don't know who he's referencing. Nevertheless, he's your hair shirt, not mine.

I'm not an SJW, I'm a Communist.

RE

Exactly. I haven't been attacking anyone personally, only their self-professed ideologies.

Quote from: Surly
You mention Solzhenitsyn the other day. Should we credit what he had to say about the Soviet regime? Then tell me about the Soviet concentration camps and gas chambers.

Quite frankly I tend to credit The Gulag Archipelago. George Kennan called "the most powerful single indictment of a political regime ever to be leveled in modern times." It painstakingly documents the moral vacuity of the Soviet regime. The Soviet economy depended on the productivity and output of forced labor.

Alright, I'm with you so far...

Quote
That attribute is not unique to communist regimes:  the Trump admin has been a boon to the carceral state of there FSoA, reversing the Obama-era curtailing its use of private prisons -- incarceration run by for-profit companies.

And you lost it! The only time you even acknowledge the evils of socialist/communist societies is when using it as a segue to criticize the U.S., capitalism, and the Trump administration. You are NOT crediting the Gulag Archipelago, because you are comparing its monumental import to the fact that there exists a partially private prison system in the U.S. The latter is a problem, the former was an absolute catastrophe. What's next, comparing the immigration camps to Auschwitz? I wouldn't be surprised, after all, since Michael Moore already went there in what was quite possibly the worst "documentary" ever conceived.

Offline Surly1

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Re: 🌍 How did Stalin become a monster? Gute frage!
« Reply #26 on: October 12, 2018, 04:55:56 AM »

Quote
That attribute is not unique to communist regimes:  the Trump admin has been a boon to the carceral state of there FSoA, reversing the Obama-era curtailing its use of private prisons -- incarceration run by for-profit companies.

And you lost it! The only time you even acknowledge the evils of socialist/communist societies is when using it as a segue to criticize the U.S., capitalism, and the Trump administration. You are NOT crediting the Gulag Archipelago, because you are comparing its monumental import to the fact that there exists a partially private prison system in the U.S. The latter is a problem, the former was an absolute catastrophe. What's next, comparing the immigration camps to Auschwitz? I wouldn't be surprised, after all, since Michael Moore already went there in what was quite possibly the worst "documentary" ever conceived.

The sun has not risen on a day where you are competent to judge me, Pangloss. HERE is your carceral state, the "home of the brave, land of the free,"  in action:

The Five-Year-Old Who Was Detained at the Border and Persuaded to Sign Away Her Rights

Helen—a smart, cheerful five-year-old girl—is an asylum seeker from Honduras. This summer, when a social worker asked her to identify her strengths, Helen shared her pride in “her ability to learn fast and express her feelings and concerns.” She also recounted her favorite activities (“playing with her dolls”), her usual bedtime (“8 p.m.”), and her professional aspirations (“to be a veterinarian”).

In July, Helen fled Honduras with her grandmother, Noehmi, and several other relatives; gangs had threatened Noehmi’s teen-age son, Christian, and the family no longer felt safe. Helen’s mother, Jeny, had migrated to Texas four years earlier, and Noehmi planned to seek legal refuge there. With Noehmi’s help, Helen travelled thousands of miles, sometimes on foot, and frequently fell behind the group. While crossing the Rio Grande in the journey’s final stretch, Helen slipped from their raft and risked drowning. Her grandmother grabbed her hand and cried, “Hang on, Helen!” When the family reached the scrubland of southern Texas, U.S. Border Patrol agents apprehended them and moved them through a series of detention centers. A month earlier, the Trump Administration had announced, amid public outcry over its systemic separation of migrant families at the border, that it would halt the practice. But, at a packed processing hub, Christian was taken from Noehmi and placed in a cage with toddlers. Noehmi remained in a cold holding cell, clutching Helen. Soon, she recalled, a plainclothes official arrived and informed her that she and Helen would be separated. “No!” Noehmi cried. “The girl is under my care! Please!”

Noehmi said that the official told her, “Don’t make things too difficult,” and pulled Helen from her arms. “The girl will stay here,” he said, “and you’ll be deported.” Helen cried as he escorted her from the room and out of sight. Noehmi remembers the authorities explaining that Helen’s mother would be able to retrieve her, soon, from wherever they were taking her.

Later that day, Noehmi and Christian were reunited. The adults in the family were fitted with electronic ankle bracelets and all were released, pending court dates. They left the detention center and rushed to Jeny’s house, in McAllen, hoping to find Helen there. When they didn’t, Noehmi began to shake, struggling to explain the situation. “Immigration took your daughter,” she told Jeny.

“But where did they take her?” Jeny asked.

“I don’t know,” Noehmi replied.

The next day, authorities—likely from the Office of Refugee Resettlement (O.R.R.)—called to say that they were holding Helen at a shelter near Houston; according to Noehmi, they wouldn’t say exactly where. Noehmi and Jeny panicked. Unable to breathe amid her distress, Noehmi checked herself into a local hospital, where doctors gave her medication to calm her down. “I thought we would never see her again,” Noehmi said. She couldn’t square her family’s fate with the TV news, which insisted that the government had stopped separating migrant families.

Helen had been brought to Baytown, a shelter run by Baptist Child & Family Services, which the federal government had contracted to house unaccompanied minors. Helen was given a pack of crayons and spent the summer coloring patriotic images: busts of George Washington and Abraham Lincoln, the torch on the Statue of Liberty. She was granted an hour of “Large Muscle Activity and Leisure Time” each day, and received lessons on the human respiratory system, the history of music, and “the risk and danger of social media.” “Helen,” a caseworker observed, “has excellent behavior at all times.” She had no major sources of stress, her reports noted, aside from “being separated from her family.” Her teachers encouraged her to develop “smartgoals”—ambitions that are “Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound.” Helen’s goal was simple: “Minor disclosed wanting to live with her mother and family in the U.S.”

According to a long-standing legal precedent known as the Flores settlement, which established guidelines for keeping children in immigration detention, Helen had a right to a bond hearing before a judge; that hearing would have likely hastened her release from government custody and her return to her family. At the time of her apprehension, in fact, Helen checked a box on a line that read, “I do request an immigration judge,” asserting her legal right to have her custody reviewed. But, in early August, an unknown official handed Helen a legal document, a “Request for a Flores Bond Hearing,” which described a set of legal proceedings and rights that would have been difficult for Helen to comprehend. (“In a Flores bond hearing, an immigration judge reviews your case to determine whether you pose a danger to the community,” the document began.) On Helen’s form, which was filled out with assistance from officials, there is a checked box next to a line that says, “I withdraw my previous request for a Flores bond hearing.” Beneath that line, the five-year-old signed her name in wobbly letters.

As the summer progressed with no signs of Helen’s return, Noehmi and Jeny contacted lupe, a nonprofit community union based in the Rio Grande Valley, to ask for help winning Helen’s release. Founded by the famed activists César Chávez and Dolores Huerta in 1989, lupe fights deportations, provides social services, and organizes civil mobilizations on behalf of more than eight thousand low-income members across south Texas; Jeny, employed as an office cleaner, was one such member. Tania Chavez, a strategy leader forthe organization, met with the family to hear their story.

Helen’s case didn’t fit the typical lupe mold. “Historically, we have served longtime residents of the Rio Grande Valley,” Chavez told me, “but since this new surge of refugees came about, we’ve been on the front lines of advocacy against family separation.” Freeing Helen struck Chavez as a tangible and urgent goal. “Right away, we said, ‘How do we help this little girl?’ ” she said. As Chavez saw it, the girl’s seizure by the government showed that the family-separation crisis hadn’t been resolved, as many Americans believed—it had simply evolved.

The first stage of the family-separation crisis unfolded largely out of public view, not long after Trump took office. By January, 2018, when I began collecting the stories of parents who had been separated from their children at the border, the government denied that these separations were happening without clear justifications, and insisted that they weren’t encouraged by official policy. In the late spring, the Secretary of Homeland Security, Kirstjen Nielsen, was still espousing this line, even as she ramped up “zero tolerance” prosecutions—criminally charging parents with “illegal entry,” and seizing their kids in the process.

Stage two of the crisis unfolded in the national spotlight. As the number of separations soared past two thousand, and their wrenching details surfaced, hundreds of thousands of Americans protested in the streets. Laura Bush said that the practice broke her heart. The American Academy of Pediatrics denounced it as “abhorrent,” noting that the approach could inflict long-term, irrevocable trauma on children. On June 20th, the President issued an executive order purporting to end the practice.

Now stage three has commenced—one in which separations are done quietly, lupe’s Tania Chavez asserts, and in which reunifications can be mysteriously stymied. According to recent Department of Justice numbers—released because of an ongoing A.C.L.U. lawsuit challenging family separations—a hundred and thirty-six children who fall within the lawsuit’s scope are still in government custody. An uncounted number of separated children in shelters and foster care fall outside the lawsuit’s current purview—including many like Helen, who arrived with a grandparent or other guardian, rather than with a parent. Many such children have been misclassified, in government paperwork, as “unaccompanied minors,” due to a sloppy process that the Department of Homeland Security’s Office of the Inspector General recently critiqued. Chavez believes that, through misclassification, many kids have largely disappeared from public view, and from official statistics, with the federal government showing little urgency to hasten reunifications. (O.R.R. and U.S. Customs and Border Protection did not respond to requests for comment.)

Noehmi and Jeny connected with lupe’s newly hired attorney, Eugene Delgado. Delgado had grown up in the Rio Grande Valley, a child of migrant workers. He left the region for a life in corporate law, practicing in New York and in the United Arab Emirates. But, when the family-separation crisis flooded the news this summer, he told me, “I wanted to help my community.” He moved back to McAllen and joined lupe to fight deportations full time. He agreed to represent Noehmi and her family, and at the summer’s end he went with them to court to represent them in removal proceedings. There, a judge granted Noehmi and her relatives more time to apply for asylum. Toward the end of the hearing, Delgado brought up Helen.

“Judge, this case doesn’t stop here,” Delgado said. “What about the little child lost in the system?”

The judge looked confused. “What do you mean?” he asked.

“Well, where is Helen, the five-year-old?”

The judge, Delgado recalled, seemed startled. Both he and the government prosecutor had no idea that Helen existed, let alone where she was being held. “I could give you a couple of phone numbers to call?” the prosecutor offered.

Delgado began the search. “It was just a complete maze, trying to trace the girl down,” he recalled. “I talked to at least ten people—case workers, social workers.” Eventually, he learned of Helen’s placement in Baytown, the Houston shelter. After that, Noehmi and Jeny were allowed two ten-minute calls with Helen per week, during which the girl often pleaded, “Come get me, Grandma!” The government collected fingerprints and other information from Noehmi and Jeny, to determine whether they were Helen’s rightful guardians; the Office of Refugee Resettlement soon deemed Jeny a fit sponsor, Delgado told me, but the completion of Noehmi’s background check was delayed for unexplained reasons.

On August 17th, Helen was transferred to a foster home in San Antonio. “I feared, did they give Helen away?” Noehmi told me; she worried about the prospect of adoption. Delgado managed to arrange a supervised visit between Noehmi and her granddaughter. At the visit’s start, Helen was gleeful, shouting, “Grandma, you came to get me!” But the girl exhibited strange new behaviors that troubled Noehmi. “She kept hiding under the table,” Noehmi said. After an hour, the two were separated again; again, they both cried. A case worker offered Noehmi a chance to ride the elevator downstairs with Helen before the girl was taken away. Noehmi declined. “I took the stairs, so I could scream and cry,” she told me. But she raced down to meet Helen outside and hugged her one more time before Helen was loaded into a minivan and carted back to foster care.

By the end of August, Noehmi felt desperate. She ate only a few spoonfulsof beef stew each day. Again, she sought hospitalization, for anxiety. “I was sick in the head,” she told me. Tania Chavez asked if the family wanted to escalate their tactics for getting Helen back. “People forget that family separation has been happening in our community for decades—it’s not a new thing,” Chavez told me, referencing the routine nature of deportations for mothers, fathers, and grandparents with deep Texas roots, and the children often left behind. Chavez had found, in these cases, that authorities sometimes responded to public pressure; she’d never tried this in family-separation cases, but it seemed worth a shot. Chavez reached out to Alida Garcia, the vice-president of advocacy for the group FWD.us, and Jess Morales Rocketto, the chair of an alliance known as Families Belong Together. These teams worked together to craft a national social-media campaign, using Helen’s O.R.R. case-file photograph: an image that eerily resembled a cherub-cheeked mug shot. On August 31st, they began to circulate a petition addressing the O.R.R. official in charge of Helen’s case. “By that Friday, we already had six hundred signatures,” Chavez said. Right away, they began receiving calls from O.R.R., promising that Helen would be returned to her family as soon as possible. There was simply a holdup with her grandmother’s fingerprint check, they said.

On September 7th, lupe was told that Helen would finally be released, nearly two months after she was taken from Noehmi. “We were attached to our phones all freaking Saturday,” Chavez said. “Then she wasn’t released—they played us!” lupe’s team adjusted the petition to address a greater number of O.R.R. officials, each of whom received a personal e-mail every time a person signed. Paola Mendoza, an artist and prominent voice for immigrant rights, tweeted about the petition, as did the actress Alyssa Milano. “We got six thousand signatures, then ten thousand,” Chavez said. Then, that Monday, Noehmi and Jeny got a phone call: they should be at their local airport at 6:20 p.m.

At the airport, Noehmi breathlessly scanned the gates: nothing. Then, she heard a little voice cry out, “That’s my grandma! That’s my grandma!” Helen raced into her arms. “Is that my mom?” Helen asked. She hadn’t seen her mother since she was an infant. The whole family held one another, and then went home. Noehmi had prepared a surprise for Helen: a giant Teddy bear, a pizza party, a stack of new clothes, and a Disney princess castle with a “Mulan” theme (“She’s a princess fanatic,” Noehmi told me).

Soon after, the shelter sent a small black backpack that Helen had left behind. It held Helen’s legal paperwork, including the document that the five-year-old had been told to sign, withdrawing her request to see a judge. The backpack also held Helen’s colored sketch of Lady Liberty. Beneath the statue’s image, a lesson summary, in Spanish, read, “Objective: That the students draw one of the most representative symbols of the United States.”

Last Thursday, Helen’s family held another party, with cake and more princess gear, to celebrate the reunion and to thank the advocacy groups that helped make it happen. Chavez hoped that the party would also help the family’s healing. “Helen had resentment,” she said, “because I think she thought she was abandoned by her family.”

Jess Morales Rocketto, of Families Belong Together, told me that Helen’s reunion—the result of the first known public mobilization to free a specific kid from O.R.R. custody—holds lessons for a broader organizing effort. “One of the things Helen’s story really showed us is that the Trump Administration never stopped separating children from their families,” Morales Rocketto said. “In fact, they’ve doubled down, but it’s even more insidious now, because they are doing it in the cover of night.” She added, “We believe that there are more kids like Helen. We have learned we cannot take this Administration at their word.”

Noehmi fears that some of the damage inflicted on her family can never be mended. “Helen was always a very calm girl,” she told me, sitting in lupe’s office on a recent Friday night. “Now I have to be very patient with her—she’s very attention-seeking.” Lately, at bedtime, Helen hides in the closet and refuses to go to sleep, afraid that her family might leave her in the night. Sometimes Noehmi wants to hide, too; she buried her round face in her hands, weeping, when she recounted one of Helen’s declarations upon her return: “You left me behind.” But Noehmi decided to share their story with me because she worries that other families are still living out a similar search. “I fear there are still other children suffering,” she said. “Other families are feeling this anguish, this struggle, and they need us to act.”


A document from July shows a checked box where Helen asserted her legal right to have her custody determination reviewed by a judge.



Later, in August, officials assisted Helen in filling out a form—signed by the five-year-old, while separated from her family—withdrawing her request for a hearing before a judge. While in custody, she was also given crayons and asked to color patriotic images, including one of the Statue of Liberty.


  • Sarah Stillman is a staff writer at The New Yorker.

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« Last Edit: October 12, 2018, 09:55:29 AM by Surly1 »
"It is difficult to write a paradiso when all the superficial indications are that you ought to write an apocalypse." -Ezra Pound

Offline Ashvin

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Re: 🌍 How did Stalin become a monster? Gute frage!
« Reply #27 on: October 12, 2018, 10:32:44 AM »
The sun has not risen on a day where you are competent to judge me, Pangloss. HERE is your carceral state, the "home of the brave, land of the free,"  in action:

Not judging you, judging the dogmatic ideology that you wear so proudly on your sleeve. You can't see how the issues surrounding immigration are extremely complex and require something MUCH more than ideological blinders to confront, so my assessment is spot on. Recklessly comparing the state of the U.S. in 2018 with the state of Soviet Russia or Nazi Germany in the mid 20th century is not only wrong, completely unsupported, it is counter productive to creating any sort of reasonable dialogue for change and helping the oppressed portions of our society. You are helping to RUIN the chances of our country to deal with the issues you claim to be concerned with.

What you serve is just another thinly veiled ideology of nihilism and totalitarianism which people like Nietzsche and Dostoevsky brilliantly took to task in the 19th century. Nothing new under the sun.

Offline RE

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Re: 🌍 How did Stalin become a monster? Gute frage!
« Reply #28 on: October 12, 2018, 10:51:05 AM »

Not judging you, judging the dogmatic ideology that you wear so proudly on your sleeve.

Oh brother.  You simply can't get more dogmatic than Fundy Christianity.  You project onto others your own issues.  ::)



RE
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Offline Ashvin

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Re: 🌍 How did Stalin become a monster? Gute frage!
« Reply #29 on: October 12, 2018, 11:00:07 AM »

Not judging you, judging the dogmatic ideology that you wear so proudly on your sleeve.

Oh brother.  You simply can't get more dogmatic than Fundy Christianity.  You project onto others your own issues.  ::)



What's your definition of Fundy Christian? I'll take a wild guess and say it is nothing resembling what I believe about the Christian faith, or most other Christians here. Probably another caricature you use of other people to avoid the hard work of thinking.

 

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