I know I’m slow in getting a post up on the Manhattan ISIS attack. It’s been a busy couple of days and I’ve seen it discussed in the active open thread, but I think the subject deserves its own post to breathe. Honestly, I’m not fully caught up on the details of the attack or the aftermath. What I’m most interested in is the aftermath bit.
It’s that Trump has fully embraced politicizing national tragedies.
It’s probably an exercise in WhatAboutIsm to say, but I’ve long since grudgingly accepted that an attempt to further a policy goal in response to mass murder from politicians and the media is normal in America nowadays. To me, the descent started when Obama and the Democrats made a hard push for new gun control legislation after Sandy Hook. They’ve tried it in every shooting since then, particularly over Las Vegas, and it usually starts within 30 minutes of the first casualty reports coming in.
What’s different about this instance, I suppose, is that it has that Trumpian aspect of making it about a specific person in a stunningly personal way. The Democrats usually go after “the NRA” or might blame Trump or “Republicans” for creating a climate of intolerance or some junk.
This is the first time I’ve ever seen a president call out a specific politician by name and his support for a specific policy causing a specific incident. That tweet took my breath away when I first saw it. I don’t think it crosses the line though. I mean, it should, but Democrats are going to have to live under the rules they’ve established for responding to these types of events. It’s their own bad luck that the current Republican president is a master at applying them with a penchant for shitposting on Twitter.
That’s not to say I completely agree with Trump’s response on policy grounds, except for the end of whatever this “lottery” immigration from Third World shitholes is, as well as chain immigration. That’s all great. What I don’t like is the attempt to return us to 2002 rules for dealing with domestic terror suspects, whether they’re Islamic radicals or not.
The suspect should not be sent to Guantanamo Bay, given the Jose Padilla treatment, or put before a military tribunal. The federal courts are functioning, there isn’t a state of emergency in New York, and law enforcement is perfectly capable of responding to any other emerging threats. I don’t believe that the suspect has much information to offer, given how unsophisticated and badly conceived his plot was, so I don’t see any need to withhold his Miranda rights or subject him to any sort of enhanced interrogation. Doing this wouldn’t accomplish anything good.
As we’ve seen with the last two domestic ISIS attacks (and I count Las Vegas; fuck you, FBI), we can’t deport our way out of this nor can we simply remove all of the means that maniacs might use to kill people. An American citizen who commits a terrorist attack can’t be deported if he raises any red flags and an immigrant can acquire firearms through a straw purchaser. The Democrats who politicize gun violence aren’t any more serious than the anti-immigrant Republicans are when it comes to actually solving the problem of dealing with politically or religiously inspired mass murder.
However, if I have to choose, I have to say that the policy I’d rather see advanced is the one that punishes lawbreaking immigrants, not law-abiding American citizens. It’s infuriating that the Manhattan suspect wasn’t promptly deported immediately after the FBI interviewed him. It’s an embarrassment when we have these “known wolves” fool law enforcement and successfully carry out attacks. It’s unnecessary too.
If Trump wants to stop bringing in unskilled immigrants who contribute nothing to our country and immediately deport them and their families the moment there is even a whiff of radicalization and use this attack as the basis for it, I’m good with it.
Get them out of here so law enforcement can concentrate their limited resources on preventing domestic threats from American citizens such as the Las Vegas shooter. There’s absolutely no good reason to allow anyone here on a temporary status to stay. It’s risk-free and completely eliminates any threat they may potentially present. Let’s focus on those threats we can’t simply remove. And let’s find a way that law enforcement can focus on these threats without destroying any of our Constitutional rights in the process, please.