Background Checks

One of America’s top security concerns this year has been focused on refugees, and the background checks they undergo. I agree that we need better background checks in America. However, it’s not the refugees and immigrants that are in need of better background checks: it’s the people in our United States government.

Screening of refugees is a complicated and long process, generally taking years to complete. To see the full process of checks, check out the USCIS’s website. Basically the FBI, Interpol, and many other organizations all come together for one of the first screenings of many that refugees undergo. Fingerprints, biometrics and biographical data are all used to screen refugees, as well as many intensive interviews.

For our elected officials in America however, there are absolutely no mandatory background checks. If they get elected by the people, they are good to go. If we are to engage in a culture of fear and paranoia, I say we need to start at the top. For the safety of our nation, elected officials should undergo the most intensive background checks of any person. I decided to start my own security check on our officials, starting with a basic google search of a few prominent names.

 

Michael Flynn 220px-Michael_T_Flynn

It briefly made news this week that Flynn, Trump’s former National Security Advisor, was paid to represent Turkey’s interests during the Trump campaign. This news was soon pushed under the rug that Flynn was working as a foreign agent.

Earlier this month, it came out that Flynn met with the Russian ambassador multiple times during the Trump campaign, and denied doing so which the Trump administration later cited for his resignation.

 

Steve Bannon

Bannon had domestic abuse charges held against him. His wife of 20 years accused him of “grabbing her by the neck ‘violently’ and destroying a telephone when she tried to summon police.” The woman claims in the divorce filing that it was dismissed because Bannon convinced her to leave town, “He also told me that if I went to court he and his

lead_960attorney would make sure that I would be the one who was guilty. I was told that I could go anywhere in the world,” Bannon’s former wife stated.

Bannon was charged with misdemeanor domestic violence, battery and dissuading a witness (his abuse victim). The case was dismissed, as is statistically the case with domestic violence taken to the courts- especially for high power men.

 

Jeff Sessions Jeff_Sessions,_official_portrait

Sessions is the new Attorney General of the US. Under oath at his confirmation hearings, Sessions denied any contact with Russia during the 2016 presidential campaign. This month, news came out that Sessions had twice met with the Russian ambassador, committing perjury (a federal offense).

Sessions’ past is smeared with allegations of racially insensitive remarks, and his questionable record on civil rights.

 

Rex Tillerson 320x486.jpg

Exon Mobile knew as early as the 70s that fossil fuels caused global warming, but hid that information from the public. Tillerson used an alias “Wayne Tracker” on a separate email account when discussing global warming while he CEO of Exon Mobile from 2008-20016. These emails were just discovered, and have not been vetted yet.

 

Scott Pruitt NN5L-_l0

Pruitt is the new Environmental Protection Agency Administrator, and denies that human activity is the leading contributor to climate change. Pruitt has been committed to deregulation of environmental protections since his time in office as attorney general for Oklahoma where he sued the EPA 13 times.  Though this isn’t a punishable crime, I believe if you held him accountable for all the violence and damage this deregulation has brought to human lives, he could be charged with much.

 

Mike Pompeo Mike_Pompeo_Official_Portrait_112th_Congress

He’s from right next here in Kansas, and he also believe torture is a valid form of counter terrorism for the US to use. Pompeo is a strong supporter of expanding the prison at Guantánamo Bay. He has also previously called for the expansion of domestic surveillance and called NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden a traitor who should be killed.

Though he denied he would order torture, or would comply if the president ordered torture, his record and the president he serves record speak otherwiseTorture is against international law, according to the Geneva Convention.

 

 

Sean Spicerimages (3)

Spicer is the Press Secretary for the Trump administration, and was a campaign adviser during the election. His google search came back pretty clear, but I found a funny anecdote that I will definitely not forget. During college in Connecticut Spicer wrote a letter to the student paper, The College Voice, which rendered his byline as “Sean Sphincter.” The incident was later cited as the beginning of his turbulent relationship with the media.

 

 

Melania Trump landscape-1451924994-hbz-melania-trump-embed-03.jpg

Our first lady is an immigrant from Slovenia who became a permanent resident of the US in 2001 and a naturalized American citizen in 2006. Before marrying Trump in Melania speaks six languages. Melania Trump is the second foreign-born First Lady of the United States, following Louisa Adams in 1825.

It seems that the immigrant in the Trump administration is one of the few without a seeming criminal past.

 

Donald Trump

The president of the US, Donald Trump, was accused of marital rape by his first wife. Mrs. Trump later retracted her accusation as many victims of domestic violence do because of threat by their abusers. Trump was also accused of child rape, but the plaintiff dropped her lawsuit shortly after she decided not to reveal her identity to the media. He has also faced a string of sexual assault allegations from more than a dozen women over the past few decades, all of which he denied.

During the 2016 election, a tape was release of Trump speaking about grabbing women by the genitals. Still, he was elected. If there is any more need for explanation for the fact that we live in a rape culture, there it is.

 

Conclusion

There are at least three separate background checks refugees must go through upon being accepted into America. Based on this initial background check of Trump’s team, half of them would be considered criminal or dangerous, and wouldn’t even pass the first security check point. Why would anyone trust the Trump administration to “protect” our country by tightening security checks on refugees and immigrants, when the administration can’t even do security checks on their own people?

Politics 101 is to divert the focus of a nation to something else when there is a division in the country, or someone is questioning your leadership as an elected official. Going to war works nice most of the time, but you also have to shake it up a little bit and put the blame on people who are just trying to start new lives in America, or have been trying to escape the cycle of poverty for centuries.

Welcome to America, where we call for background checks on the vulnerable while passing up on background checks for those who hold immense power over our lives.  Our renowned “democracy” is the power of the people to put criminals in office, and choose to discriminate against other people seeking humanitarian aid.

Photo Credit: http://media1.s-nbcnews.com/j/newscms/2016_09/1440106/160301-refugees-calais-terrorists-mdl-904_a417a7420770175b4dc9239cfd90e096.nbcnews-ux-2880-1000.jpg

 

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