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Midnight’s Broken Toll. Immigration, Refugees & the Moral Imperative.

“Flashing for the refugees on the unarmed road of flight
An’ for each an’ ev’ry underdog soldier in the night
An’ we gazed upon the chimes of freedom flashing”

— Bob Dylan, Chimes of Freedom


We have said repeatedly and continue to believe, that Donald Trump is a professional demagogue and amateur fascist. We have added to that formula the idea that his chief Nazgul, Steve Bannon, is a professional fascist and amateur demagogue, and that the two of them are awash in the hypocrisy and blood lust that are standard for demagogues and fascists, and are bent on the destruction of the system as we have known it. The system, or as Bannon calls it, the “administrative state” is in fact dangerously corrupt and is in its systemic mendacity, partially responsible for both Bannon and Trump.

The Southern Strategy of the Wall Street wing of the Republican party, in which dog whistle codes for fascism and Klan centric bigotry and terror have been part of the political landscape for decades. The indirect ugly bastard child of John Kennedy’s peeling off of LBJ and the Southern progressives to support civil rights and his bid for the White House, and the violent counter coup that led to Nixon-Ford-Reagan-Bush one and two gave the right everything it wanted just so long as they, for the most part, left the major media presentations to the self-described rationalists and “adults.” Thus the extreme right supported both Bush one and two but then gave up on them when the Wall Street wing betrayed them and the bill for NAFTA (and the neo-liberalism of the democrats) and the anti-union crusade came due.

Along the way the backbone of the system, the intelligence agencies and the corporations with their private armies of security consultants, mercenaries and fixers and lawyers and dirty tricks operatives, went about the business of supporting dictators, staging coups, kidnapping people, drug dealing, extortion and all the rest in the name of whatever was then the national bogeyman: communism, radical Islam, etc.

That genuine threats exist should not be denied. But that those threats never occur in isolation should never be denied either. In other words, while Al Qaeda was/is a gang of psychopaths bent on extreme violence, the whole story requires that we discuss the fact that Osama Bin Laden was originally on the payroll of the CIA.

There are many ways to frame a story and the narrative can be made to contain x while excluding y but it’s arbitrary. Bin Laden was a psychopath. And he was dangerous. And he worked for the CIA.

There are numerous instances of “blowback” where a plan or operation generates negative consequences but there is a consistency to the systemic blowback of the US government and Trump is just the latest manifestation of it.

A general consensus among people who think about such things, is that at the very least the people hired by the US government to kill Castro were either indirectly or directly involved in the death of president Kennedy. Operation Mongoose worked, except it worked in reverse.


Blowback then, blowback now.

Which brings us to former CIA and NSA chief, General (ret) Michael Hayden.

Up to his gills in any number of things that if ever made public would paint him as deserving of a hot seat at the Hague, the former chief spook righteously Tweeted that the current US government operation to take children from their parents, as they illegally cross the border into the US is not so very different from the Nazis separating children from their parents at Auschwitz.

You know things are at a tipping point when the former head of the CIA is publicly accusing the president of the US of being morally similar to Adolf Hitler and the SS.

But one must be honest and ask if Hayden would also tweet a picture of the the CIA headquarters and an image of the Mothers of the Disappeared in South America. They had their children taken away as well, and no honest accounting of Operation Condor will exonerate the CIA or the American political establishment.

The current Trump/congressional policy should be called out for exactly what it is: state sponsored terrorism and state sponsored kidnapping and piracy.

Of course previous regimes kidnapped people and tortured them but the got a get out of jail free card from executive hall monitor, Obama.

Children are being kidnapped and held hostage in order to force the spineless and complicit democrats to pay a ransom in the form of money for Trump’s folly – the wall on the border with Mexico.

Border control and immigration are genuine issues. All nations have a right to protect and control both their borders and their immigration policy. But calls for control and sovereignty would sound better if they included a discussion of the centuries long exploitation of countries South of the border by Americans – American corporations, individuals and state organizations like the CIA. In other words, the nations of Central and South America have the same reciprocal right to ensure their sovereignty and protect their borders.

Or, to put it still in different but synonymous terms: Blowback.

Support for genocidal dictators, land barons, corporate thugs, exploitation of indigenous resources, suppression of any and all attempts at reform, have created a vortex of violence, corruption, and desperate attempts at escape.

One often hears that correlation does not necessarily mean causation. In this case there is no reason for qualifications or doubt. American foreign policy is directly to blame along with a host of other factors for the border crisis, but no one in any position of authority is making the obvious connection. If you want to stop the flow of people trying to cross the border then begin the process of substantial and meaningful reform in America’s colonial relationship with the nations of Central and South America.

Part of that must include an honest reckoning for America’s support of mass murder.

Michael Hayden is not wrong per se. Donald Trump is in bed with the worst people in history. Kidnapping children is immoral. Holding them hostage for a political ransom is immoral.

The CIA’s support for state terrorism in Central and South America must be addressed and the guilty must be held accountable.

The next tweet Michael Hayden sends should include a picture of the Mothers of the Disappeared and a picture of CIA headquarters.

But that’s only if he’s prepared to walk the dangerous road of courage and honor in service to a better and more just world.

Don’t hold your breath.



Read about Hayden’s Tweet here:

For details on Operation Condor:

For details on the Mothers of the Disappeared:

3 comments on “Midnight’s Broken Toll. Immigration, Refugees & the Moral Imperative.

  1. This is my favorite among the recent batch of posts. You get right to the point with this one. And the heart of the damning criticism is this:

    “You know things are at a tipping point when the former head of the CIA is publicly accusing the president of the US of being morally similar to Adolf Hitler and the SS.”

    I doubt anyone can deny that the whole damn situation is tipping precariously.


    1. rauldukeblog says:

      Hayden’s blunt Tweet made a blunt reply easy. Unlike Harris or Peterson Hayden didn’t try to obfuscate his point. And yes the whole machine is clearly dropping bolts and shooting off sparks as it wobbles and sputters towards a moment of truth.


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