Trump Picks Another General: Kelly for HSA

UnPresident Elect Donald Trump has named retired Gen. John Kelly to be Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security.

If you're wondering why his name is familiar, think Guantanamo:

General Kelly attracted notice while at the Southern Command for comments about the military prison at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, which fell in his area of responsibility. He rejected criticism from human rights activists about the treatment of detainees, and said the program to force-feed prisoners undertaking hunger strikes was reasonable and humane. He also dismissed one argument cited by those who advocate closing the military prison at Guantánamo, saying it had not proven to be an inspiration to those taking up militant action.

In an interview about a year ago, Kelly claimed "There are no innocent men down there."

His other area of "expertise" is Latin America and he's been a henny-penny claiming ISIS will take over the drug cartel routes. [More...]

On drugs: He has said the legalization of marijuana "undermines the war on hard-core drugs." (Although he's okay with veterans using it for medicinal reasons.) He says pot is a gateway drug to more serious drug use "There's no doubt." He claims the "ripple effects" from pot are tied to El Salvador's murder rate.

As for cocaine,

"If Americans understood," Kelly said, "what doing a little blow on the weekends — on a college campus or here on Capitol Hill — was doing to Honduras or El Salvador, or what it's doing to Colombia, I think they'd responsibly realize that this is not a good thing."

He praises the DEA's Excellent African Vacations. I guess we can expect to see more DEA stings all over the world with him at the helm of Homeland Security.

"We know," Kelly said, "that as that cocaine [bound for Europe] moves up through [Africa], ... some of the old al Qaida type organizations allow it to pass but charge a fare....

As I wrote here and here:

I'd bet that if you told every American how much money Congress has authorized the DEA to spend on stings designed to stop drugs being shipped from South America to Africa to Europe, and then to fly those arrested to the U.S. for trial and how much we'll be paying for their years of incarceration, you could fit all those who approved on the head of a pin.

...The DEA's most excellent African adventures aren't winning the war on drugs or even impacting drugs coming into the U.S. They are just wasting our money.

Is Kelly going to further militarize the DEA's Global Holy Warriors?

What a shame that America is getting an UnPresident who chooses an afficionado of our decades old failed War on Drugs policy rather than someone astute enough to know that the cause of the problems is not college kids doing a line of blow but the criminalization of drugs which creates and sustains the black market for them -- especially in countries with extreme poverty, like El Salvador and Honduras -- and in Africa.

Here is Gen. Kelly's 2015 statement to Congress. Here is his 2016 statement, in which he blasts marijuana and legalization even more:

If it is not obvious as this point, I will cut to the bottom line and tell you that the fundamental factor that drives the entire illicit enterprise is our country’s demand for heroin, methamphetamines, cocaine, and opiates in pill form. I do not even include marijuana and the many synthetic offshoots which in and of itself is a major factor in so many social ills. It is in fact a “gateway drug” to more destructive illegal drug use, and its use results in a great many destructive physical effects on the brain, the user’s health, and social development. Many hoping to cash in on the emerging commercial enterprise that is legal or medical marijuana work hard to discount or deny these facts, but they are facts. It is at the same time ludicrous and inconceivable to me why with all the Americas already struggling with drug and alcohol addiction that we would make available even more substances to poison the body and confuse the brain. To make the powerful modern-day drug that is marijuana available on demand and compound the problem.

...Mr. Chairman, it is a fool’s position to think that the tax revenue raised by legal sales will offset the physical and social costs of its use. Indications and warnings are already coming in from those states that have legalized the drug or allowed widespread “medical” use and abuse, but something to consider is what the DEA would tell you and that is for every dollar raised from two drugs already legal—tobacco and alcohol—amounts approaching 23 and 17 dollars respectively are paid out by the already overburdened taxpayer to deal with the effects of these two drugs. If those public officials voting to legalize pot either by outright legalization, or via the dispensing of medical marijuana, were responsible they would most certainly, and responsibly, consider the additional burden that it will have on the tax payer and add additional tax by say 17x onto the price of the drug at the counter.

Gen. Kelly is already a Homeland Security Advisor. He serves on the Countering Violent Extremism Subcommittee, the Foreign Fighters Task Force

Homeland Security is:

... the third largest Department of the U.S. government, with a workforce of 229,000 employees and 22 components including TSA, Customs and Border Protection, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, FEMA, the Coast Guard and the Secret Service.

While it's unfortunate Trump is stocking his cabinet with so many military leaders, at least we dodged the Rudy Giuliani bullet which would have been a disaster for civil liberties and privacy, and the radical right local sheriffs Trump was reportedly considering for the position.

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  • Display: Sort:
    Nancy Pelosi and other (5.00 / 1) (#2)
    by KeysDan on Thu Dec 08, 2016 at 11:15:04 AM EST
    Democrats seem to be playing their cards before the deck is dealt.  There is, already, a "compromise" on the procedure for granting a waiver to make General (ret) Mattis eligible for nomination as Sec of Defense.  

    It would be wise to await the completion of the top tier of Cabinet nominations before showings their hand. The cabinet is shaping up to be millionaires, billionaires and generals.  And, the ex-Marine generals are to be in charge of military (Defense) and civilian surveillance (Homeland Security).

      And, of course, then there is General Flynn.  And, maybe, General (ret) Petraeus, as Secretary of State, who would be serving while still on probation for passing on top secrets to his mistress and lying to the FBI about it all.

    Even General Flynn's son, if not the general, himself, might begin to think this might be the makings of "Seven Days in May."  Trump had better stop and read Section 4 of the 25th Amendment!

     And, the Democrats, should, at least, strike a deal to support General Mattis.  Not just avoidance of hooking the waiver to the spending bill, but a real deal==such as dump your outrageous EPA nominee in exchange for clear sailing for General Mattis.

    Republicans (5.00 / 1) (#7)
    by TrevorBolder on Thu Dec 08, 2016 at 08:10:54 PM EST
    Will probably not deal with the Mattis nomination. If Democrats want to block it, they will have to convince the public that it is the right move. Mattis may just be too popular to do that (even among Dem Senators)
    To shoot down the EPA nominee they will need converts from the Republicans, at the same time holding onto their red state senators where rolling back some of the EPA reg's would be beneficial to their states. They only need 51 votes to seat the nominee, the Harry Reid legacy that will never be reversed.

    Trevor, the deal should be (none / 0) (#12)
    by KeysDan on Fri Dec 09, 2016 at 09:52:29 AM EST
    made with Trump, rather than the Congressional Republicans.  Trump withdraws Pruitt, the Democrats in Congress support the waiver and the nomination of Mattis.  

     Based on the Carrier deal, Trump's deal-making is rooted in public relation's capabilities that make him look good.  The Democrats can throw-in some compliments for Trump as part of the deal.  Next thing you know, Pruitt is back fracking in Oklahoma and Mattis is passing out Meditations of Marcus Aurelius at the Pentagon.


    I don't think (none / 0) (#25)
    by TrevorBolder on Fri Dec 09, 2016 at 06:41:22 PM EST
    Trump feels the need to deal on the Mattis nomination.

    If he really wants Pruitt, he will just let the Democrats try to deny Mattis.

    That would not be a good start, denying one of the  best nominations of the President elect, and fairly universally liked.

    Pruitt is the target, but Democrats will be hard pressed to deny the 51 votes needed there.


    Seven Days in May? (none / 0) (#6)
    by linea on Thu Dec 08, 2016 at 08:09:55 PM EST
    i feel

    ex-military officers should neither be in charge of the military nor in charge of internal security. it would be better to accept the outrageous EPA nominee in exchange for dumping the military in roles as SoD and HS. in my opinion.  


    1960's Fletcher Knebel novel (5.00 / 1) (#8)
    by TrevorBolder on Thu Dec 08, 2016 at 08:15:01 PM EST
    thank you!! (none / 0) (#28)
    by linea on Fri Dec 09, 2016 at 07:07:48 PM EST
    Do you know how to use Google? (none / 0) (#19)
    by Towanda on Fri Dec 09, 2016 at 01:23:52 PM EST
    3 Generals.... (5.00 / 1) (#18)
    by BTAL on Fri Dec 09, 2016 at 01:16:35 PM EST
    Original Obama team included:

    Marine Gen. Jim Jones (ret)
    National Security Adviser

    Army Gen. Eric Shinseki (ret)
    Sec. Veterans Affairs

    Navy Adm. Dennis Blair (ret)
    Director of National Intelligence

    Then (later) Petraeus as Dir. CIA

    1st President was a general (none / 0) (#26)
    by TrevorBolder on Fri Dec 09, 2016 at 06:46:55 PM EST

    How can the most disliked and most distrusted president-elect in American history signal that he's competent and capable of leading the nation? By appointing people from the nation's most trusted institution to important positions. We can't forget that in an era when trust for government and other civic institutions is plunging, the military has retained strong public support.

    and so was one of the worst Presidents (5.00 / 1) (#37)
    by Peter G on Fri Dec 09, 2016 at 09:49:02 PM EST
    Ulysses S. Grant. And Eisenhower, of course. Jackson. Any others who had been generals? Quite a disparate lot.

    The next civil war will begin in the west. (none / 0) (#1)
    by Chuck0 on Wed Dec 07, 2016 at 08:52:11 PM EST
    Trump, being the revenge driven, vengeful male appendage that he is, will go full throttle with restarting the drug war. Colorado and California went to HRC. Trump will want his revenge for the slight. With Sessions and Flynn he will go after the legal marijuana industries in those states. I predict clashes between federal and state/local law enforcement agencies, culminating in an uprising by the people tired of violent drug raids by DEA or other federal agents.

    You folks (none / 0) (#3)
    by jimakaPPJ on Thu Dec 08, 2016 at 03:04:29 PM EST
    remind me of Texas leaving the union when Obama was elected.

    If only they had (none / 0) (#5)
    by Yman on Thu Dec 08, 2016 at 07:39:06 PM EST
    ... along with a bunch of those other red "taker"/welfare states that are living off the rest of us.  

    Well, they didn't just as all the Gollywood (none / 0) (#9)
    by jimakaPPJ on Thu Dec 08, 2016 at 08:22:00 PM EST
    stars didn't leave.

    There's always hope (5.00 / 1) (#11)
    by Yman on Thu Dec 08, 2016 at 08:31:08 PM EST
    Maybe you and some fellow Trump supporters can convince them next time they lose an election.  It'd be really nice if all those southern and "flyover" states would finally learn some personal responsibility and pay their own way for a change.

    If you folks will do you share (none / 0) (#14)
    by jimakaPPJ on Fri Dec 09, 2016 at 10:09:47 AM EST
    of national defense by taking in the military bases.

    Rhode Island will be a fine Ft Hood...

    And if the charts all factored out military pay and research ducks before comparing...


    We already do (none / 0) (#24)
    by Yman on Fri Dec 09, 2016 at 02:38:51 PM EST
    Not sure about that last sentence.   It appears to be an attempt at English.

    Hate to break it to you,  but military spending IS federal spending and benefits the local economy,  so it's included.  Talk your buddies into it and don't let the door hit ya!


    But the spending is for the benefit of the (none / 0) (#31)
    by jimakaPPJ on Fri Dec 09, 2016 at 07:33:56 PM EST

    Tell me your address and I'll try and get the 101st to relocate in your backyard


    They can relocate to NJ any time (none / 0) (#35)
    by Yman on Fri Dec 09, 2016 at 08:45:23 PM EST
    More money back to where it came from and less to all those ungrateful moochers in the red states.

    But the spending is for the benefit of the (none / 0) (#32)
    by jimakaPPJ on Fri Dec 09, 2016 at 07:34:39 PM EST

    Tell me your address and I'll try and get the 101st to relocate in your backyard


    The high poverty level (none / 0) (#21)
    by jondee on Fri Dec 09, 2016 at 02:05:55 PM EST
    in the deep red states would be even higher if they didn't have all those military base jobs..

    But I'm sure the sorry state of affairs down there is all Obama, Barney Frank, and Clinton's fault..


    maybe people don't know (none / 0) (#10)
    by linea on Thu Dec 08, 2016 at 08:26:29 PM EST
    your insider conservative lingo of gollywood? you keep using it but never explain it. i'm sorry.

    It's a made up word (5.00 / 1) (#13)
    by jimakaPPJ on Fri Dec 09, 2016 at 09:54:28 AM EST
    of "golly" and Hollywood.

    used to express surprise or delight.

    It is a dated word, as in "By golly, that was great!"

    Hollywood, of course, is a place fully of people who think they are important and run around expressing, usually leftie, comments and attacks on people they disagree with. Many said they would leave the US if Trump was elected. Unfortunately none have left.

    So "Gollywood" is a sarcastic referral to a place and the people in it.


    How do you know who has left and who hasn't? (none / 0) (#15)
    by Chuck0 on Fri Dec 09, 2016 at 10:11:34 AM EST
    Is there some requirement that they check in with you first?

    Do you think a Gollywooder (none / 0) (#16)
    by jimakaPPJ on Fri Dec 09, 2016 at 10:15:13 AM EST
    would leave without a press conference?

    But I do hope I have missed some who have gone and never come back.


    Heh (none / 0) (#20)
    by jondee on Fri Dec 09, 2016 at 01:56:24 PM EST
    so you always click the tv right off as soon as Jon Voight comes on Fox?

    Of course you do.

    What makes someone like Limbaugh anymore qualified and any less self-important than a Hollywood actor?

    Your standard deep, penetrating insights into the matter would be appreaciated.


    Reading is not your strong suit... (none / 0) (#22)
    by jimakaPPJ on Fri Dec 09, 2016 at 02:22:59 PM EST
    usually leftie,

    You do understand, don't you, that usually means often but not always.

    And my first comment was a poke at the Lefties who had laughed at the Texas, and other, folks who threatened to leave when Obama is elected.

    jondee, you just wanna snark.

    As for Limbaugh he is an entertainer whose act is expressing his opinions. Unlike you he gets paid to do so.

    But my favorite is some supposed entertainer crying about people driving big cars with poor gas mileage destroying the earth through fire....then jumping in their 400 gallons an hour jet fuel burning private plane and flying of to another protest.

    The hypocrisy is just so rich..



    Jim, I don't wanna snark (none / 0) (#23)
    by jondee on Fri Dec 09, 2016 at 02:33:04 PM EST
    any more than you wanna troll.

    And at least I keep it brief and get right to the point.

    They're All "entertainers", so what's your point?

    Some opinions you like (because they save you the effort involved in thinking), and some "leftie" opinions get your Depends in wad.

    Democracy and free speech can be messy and irritating at times.


    So you say (none / 0) (#30)
    by jimakaPPJ on Fri Dec 09, 2016 at 07:29:04 PM EST
    Democracy and free speech can be messy and irritating at times.

    So you opine that I'm a troll.

    Do you see the hypocrisy in that statement?


    It's an expressed opinion (none / 0) (#33)
    by jondee on Fri Dec 09, 2016 at 07:53:03 PM EST
    which is allowed in this country.

    No one's censoring you here. Obviously.

    If being considered a troll bothers you, you can always post at Breitbart, where they'll welcome you with open arms, or go back to posting racist pictures of Obama on your blog.


    a person (5.00 / 1) (#34)
    by linea on Fri Dec 09, 2016 at 08:25:33 PM EST
    who dissagrees with your politics and adamantlly argues his point of view is not what a "troll" is. you dont know the meaning of the word. it is not a general term of disparagment.

    I know the meaning of the word (5.00 / 1) (#36)
    by Yman on Fri Dec 09, 2016 at 08:48:52 PM EST
    Well (none / 0) (#38)
    by TrevorBolder on Fri Dec 09, 2016 at 10:21:54 PM EST
    It is if they prefer echo chambers

    thank you!! (none / 0) (#27)
    by linea on Fri Dec 09, 2016 at 07:07:16 PM EST
    Sorry for being such a burden... (none / 0) (#4)
    by kdog on Thu Dec 08, 2016 at 07:25:23 PM EST
    all these years guys. I really had it twisted, I thought it was guys Kelly giving the taxpayers the old in-out in-out.

    22 years though I still can't find the damn gateway...where the hell is it? Can someone draw me a map?

    With all these generals (none / 0) (#17)
    by fishcamp on Fri Dec 09, 2016 at 01:11:03 PM EST
    being appointed, I hope we don't have to go through an old fashioned military coup.

    finally!! (none / 0) (#29)
    by linea on Fri Dec 09, 2016 at 07:11:11 PM EST
    the old fashioned military coup in need of being overthrown by a citizen-millitia that the gun-rights activists have been pining for all these years! (meant as funny)