The world isn’t his | Tom Camfield

Tom Camfield
Posted 1/6/21

AND I HOPE MORE OF AN ISSUE IS MADE of the fact that while he held down the office of president of the United States, that alone gave him no jurisdiction over international law. Other countries are …

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The world isn’t his | Tom Camfield


AND I HOPE MORE OF AN ISSUE IS MADE of the fact that while he held down the office of president of the United States, that alone gave him no jurisdiction over international law. Other countries are not required to obey his idiosyncrasies just because his name is Trump.

“GENEVA (Reuters) - U.S. President Donald Trump’s pardon of four American men convicted of killing Iraqi civilians while working as contractors in 2007 violated U.S. obligations under international law, U.N. human rights experts said on Wednesday.

“Nicholas Slatten was convicted of first-degree murder, while Paul Slough, Evan Liberty and Dustin Heard were convicted of voluntary and attempted manslaughter, over the incident in which U.S. contractors opened fire in busy traffic in a Baghdad square and killed 14 unarmed Iraqi civilians.

“The four contractors, who worked for the private security firm Blackwater, owned by the brother of Trump’s education secretary, were included in a wave of pre-Christmas pardons announced by the White House . . .

“Pardoning the Blackwater contractors is an affront to justice and to the victims of the Nisour Square massacre and their families,” said Jalena Aparac, chair of the U.N. working group on the use of mercenaries, said in a statement. The Geneva Conventions oblige states to hold war criminals accountable for their crimes, even when they act as private security contractors, the U.N. experts said.

The pardons were criticized by many in the United States. General David Petraeus and Ryan Crocker, respectively commander of U.S. forces and U.S. ambassador in Iraq at the time of the incident, called Trump’s pardons ‘hugely damaging, an action that tells the world that Americans abroad can commit the most heinous crimes with impunity.’”

It’s interesting to couple that report with an Erin Richards USA Today story of Dec. 29 (Betsy DeVos, of course, being the heavy campaign donor and anti-public education supporter appointed education secretary by Trump shortly after his 2016 election). “In her final weeks as education secretary, Betsy DeVos may have found a way to send more federal money to private and religious schools during the Covid-19 pandemic — a goal that’s eluded the billionaire school choice proponent during her tenure.

“According to an executive order Monday by President Donald Trump, low-income families without access to in-person learning in their schools could use federal funds to attend private or religious schools offering in-person classes,

“Disadvantaged families could use the ‘emergency learning scholarships’ to pay for home-schooling expenses, to join a private learning pod or to purchase special education services or tutoring services, the order says.

“Officials confirmed DeVos worked on the plan with the White House and the Department of Health and Human Services, which would provide families with the money through block grants according to Trump’s order. Details are scarce, including how much money would be available, when families could access it and whether the plan could even launch before President-elect Joe Biden is sworn into office — at which point he could presumably undo the executive order . . .”

Personally, I found it quite interesting that the apparent international murderer paroled by Donald was working for the U.S. government — as a member of a civilian firm owned by the brother of his wealthy secretary of education.

One of the greatest moves so far made by President-Elect Biden has been the nomination of Miguel Cardona, a former public school classroom teacher and one of Puerto Rican ethnic background, as his secretary of education. I see this as the salvation of public education.

As for Donald Trump’s own education, or lack of same, it’s all over the Internet. I found interesting recently this late September 2019 New York Times article by Jonathan Valania:
Or there’s my all-time favorite, found here in one of its many sites:

THE LATEST DESCENT INTO DOWNRIGHT IDIOCY, of course, was Donald’s recent phone call. On Saturday, Donald spoke by phone with Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger about November’s presidential election outcome. Trump, who has refused to concede the election he lost to President-elect Joe Biden, repeatedly argued that Raffensperger could change the certified results. Here is one report of that hour-long call:

I’m with those who view Trump’s self-absorbed assault on our long-standing democratic form of government as criminal. And I also believe the worst is still to come prior to the inauguration of Joe Biden on Jan. 20.

See also:

(This blog was submitted before the polls closed in Georgia Tuesday.)