If the President is so obviously corrupt and damaged why is there a need to fabricate misdeeds?

 

The social media wailers were in full throat today over the latest immigrant insurrection by the Trump administration. Word came out that the US Army was discharging immigrant soldiers who had enlisted in the military as a pathway to citizenship. As Streiff adroitly pointed out this morning, numerous errors and inaccuracies pervade this story from the Associated Press. This is becoming commonplace, and it is all a calculated attempt to smear President Trump over actions he has not undertaken.

Most glaring here is how the report details a number of supposed soldiers (all but one under the veil of anonymity) claiming their military career has been abruptly ended by an arbitrary decision of military brass to discharge them over immigration issues. Except — they were never active members of the military. The article, co-written by Martha Mendoza and Garance Burke, has wildly contradictory claims.

They quote recruits, who detail their careers in the military have been cut short — including one claiming to have been promoted to “Private – Second Class”. However there are conflicts in the specifics, as the writers themselves state in the article: “But the recently discharged service members have had their basic training delayed, so they can’t be naturalized.” Now, how is it that these men they spoke with can be active, without having even been admitted to basic training?

The program – Military Accessions Vital to the National Interest program (MAVNI) – had been instituted under President Bush, mainly as a way to bring in crucial enlistees to the fight against terrorism. President Barack Obama later attached DACA recipients to become qualified for the program, as a way for him to give them pathway to citizenship.

That move created unforeseen problems to the program. Given this new Dreamer fusion was in place it would now mean that illegal residents could become enlistees. That reality meant the military was forced to severely raise the security clearances. This curtailed the program, which eventually was dissolved last year.

So how is it then that this is being saddled onto President Trump today as an extension of his zero-tolerance immigration enforcement? Through timing. The military currently is deciding to purge names of those who had enlisted, when the program was active, from lists of the enlisted but who failed checks. The dissolving of this program has little if anything to do with Trump, and mostly has to do with Obama’s desire to find a new pathway for DACA Dreamers.

The AP article quotes Margaret Stock, a retired Army Reserve lieutenant colonel who was instrumental in the creation of MAVNI. Stock told AP how she has been hearing from numerous prospective soldiers about being in limbo regarding their background checks. Part of this this was due to more restrictive immigration standards applied, but mainly due to the program being ground to a halt.

In a piece from September of last year appearing in Military.com the same Margaret Stock described what had become of the program she had help institute. “DoD has killed the program through bureaucratic bumbling,” she stated last fall. The main cause of this?

But in 2012, the Obama administration used the MAVNI program to address a separate problem: how to give undocumented immigrants who had been living in the U.S. since childhood, also known as Dreamers, a path to citizenship by joining the military while enrolled in DACA.

The decision to pair MAVNI with DACA sounded the death knell for the program, Stock said, because MAVNI was never intended as way to address the political hot potato of citizenship for undocumented long-term residents.  “They made a colossal error, frankly,” she said. “Instead of trying to recruit the DACAs separately, they tried to shove the DACAs into the MAVNI program. And that wrecked both programs.”

 

It also predated the Trump administration, but that is a nuance that the Associated Press does not provide. This is beginning to become a pattern from the news outlet. It was just over two weeks ago when we were given another scathing, albeit slanted indictment of the Trump administration regarding the immigration issue.

This lengthy piece detailed abuses taking place in a facility housing immigrant minors. The article was framed as a contemporary story, while the abuses had taken place in 2015 and 2016 with only passing mention, deep in the piece, of the time of the abuses. (The article has since been edited to clarify some of the details.) Writer Michael Biesecker promoted the article on his Twitter account with the word BREAKING, to describe the events — from 3 years ago.

Given that the AP is such a wide feeder to the media body these have to be seen as purely calculated misrepresentations. The headline is the grabber, and that is what is so easily disseminated. The headline gets posted, it is retweeted, it is sent in boldface in emails, and is briskly noted on FaceBook. The few who endeavor to actually read past hundreds of words of framing to actually get to the verifiable stats are a distinct minority.

What the Associated Press is trafficking in here is misdirection and prevarication, all to fuel the narrative. They know there are squadrons of people hungry for “proof” of Trump malfeasance, and the twisted headlines and misdirection text feeds their confirmation bias. What is blatant here to note — if Trump is so obviously venal and corrupt there should not be this constant need to create the evidence out of the ether.

 

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