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Trump’s new order: A ‘Muslim ban in sheep’s clothing’

On Capitol Hill, the new travel ban neither appeases critics, nor distracts from the latest questions about Trump’s sanity


 
U.S. President Donald Trump walks towards Marine One on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Friday, March 3, 2017. (Bloomberg/Getty Images)

U.S. President Donald Trump walks towards Marine One on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Friday, March 3, 2017. (Bloomberg/Getty Images)

President Donald Trump resurrected his temporary and arbitrary ban on students, scientists and sufferers who seek admission to the United States from six Muslim countries—down from seven in a hat-tip to the Iraqis whose families have died in the hundreds of thousands on the anvil of American hubris. A slightly more universal, but largely identical, act of Trumpian fiat was struck down by the federal judiciary almost as soon as it was issued in January.

Trump’s directive, signed at the White House in secret on Monday morning with no reporters present and then publicly flacked by his embattled attorney general and previously-invisible secretary of state—who took no questions from the press/“enemy of the people”—exempts permanent-resident “green card” holders, persons already holding valid visas and dual-nationals (including Canadians) even if their second passport is Yemeni, Sudanese, Iranian, Libyan, Somali or Syrian. It takes effect on March 16—“we lost the element of surprise,” sighed White House spokesman Sean Spicer—and mandates a review of “extreme vetting” after 20 days and a “transparent” report every six months on how many terrorist plotters actually have been apprehended. All refugees will be barred for 120 days under the new order.

MORE: Read the full text of Trump’s revised travel ban

Like the original version, it would have had no effect on repulsing the entry of most of the 9-11 attackers, nor of the French or Belgian nationals who have perpetrated many of Western Europe’s most murderous mass-casualty terror attacks of the 2010s. Like Canadians, citizens of all but five member states of the European Union do not currently require visas to enter the U.S.

In his missive, Trump noted that the Department of Justice “has reported to me that more than 300 persons who entered the United States as refugees are currently the subjects of counterterrorism investigations by the Federal Bureau of Investigation,” and referenced the 2014 case in which “a native of Somalia who had been brought to the United States as a child refugee and later became a naturalized United States citizen was sentenced to 30 years in prison for attempting to use a weapon of mass destruction as part of a plot to detonate a bomb at a crowded Christmas-tree-lighting ceremony in Portland, Oregon.” But neither the revised nor the original travel ban would have any effect on a U.S. citizen such as that Somali-American terrorist.

The original executive order “was not motivated by animus toward any religion,” Trump’s new encyclical insisted, a howler that immediately was attacked by immigrant-rights and religious groups. Assembling a dozen clergy members of various faiths outside the White House Monday afternoon, a woman who identified herself as the Rev. Jennifer Butler, CEO of Faith in Public Life, told Maclean’s that the new decree “is the old Muslim ban in sheep’s clothing.”

MORE: The new underground railroad to Canada

“There is some improvement,” conceded Imam Talib Shareef of Washington’s Masjid Muhammad, which styles itself “The Nation’s Mosque.” Imam Shareef, who served 30 years in the U.S. Air Force, said that “our conclusion still stands—the harm far outweighs the benefits.”

“When Donald Trump called for a complete ban on Muslims, I believe he meant it,” Butler said. “He must not only rescind this order. He must repent.”

If the Commander-in-Chief thought that his newest promise-fulfilling proclamation might deflect attention away from his spectacular Shabbat-morning accusation that a “Nixon/Watergate” (sic)  “tapp” (sic) on the telephones at Trump Tower had been personally ordered by the “sick” (sic) Barack Obama just before the 2016 election, a slanderous sucker-punch of unprecedented venality, dubious (at best) veracity and Oval Office disrespect, he failed epically.

The president did not appear in public Monday, but his press secretary, the tightly-wound Spicer, was barraged with questions about the basis, purpose and sanity of a president charging his predecessor with a serious criminal offence without providing an atom of evidentiary proof. (Trump has decided that the alleged espionage must be probed by committees of the House and Senate, presumably as soon as they have finished their investigations of the five million illegal immigrants who voted—without one single, solitary exception—for Hillary Clinton.)

“There’s no question that something happened,” Spicer squirmed. “Is it surveillance? Is it a wiretap?”

MORE: Donald Trump vs. The Courts

While constitutional experts noted that the president—and only the president—has the power to declassify any document he deigns to unveil, Spicer insisted that Trump has chosen to send the matter to Congress in the interests of the separation of powers.

“If we start down the rabbit hole on this, we’ll end up in a very difficult place,” the spokesman said.

Republicans on Capitol Hill, meanwhile, quickly skulked into line. House Speaker Paul Ryan praised the new Muslim ban, saying that, “This revised executive order advances our shared goal of protecting the homeland,” and Devin Nunes, the chairman of the House intelligence committee, threw the TappGate charges and all other leaks, wink-winks and rumours right back at the executive branch by calling for the FBI to investigate the whole mess itself.

Left unanswered was the source—if any—of the IED that the 45th president rolled under the bus of the 44th on Saturday, which came after an outward détente between Trump and Obama during the presidential transition.

Asked whether Trump had ruptured, with a single tweet, any possibility for future cooperation with Obama, should an experienced head be sought during an actual national emergency, Sean Spicer shrugged again.

“I think they’ll be just fine,” he said.


 

Trump’s new order: A ‘Muslim ban in sheep’s clothing’

  1. Latest is that Trump is taking large doses of Ritalin for ADHD

    • President Trump is trying to protect the american people, and the Democrats do not give a dam ,they just want to do everything they can to destroy President Trump. All one has to do, is check out what has happened in Britain and Europe with the Muslim so called refugees,

  2. GOOD Every time #45 opens his mouth or signs a new E.O. or tweets Canada looks better and better.
    They have lost over 300,000 visitors and convention goers in just one month.
    March 10th will report on how many jobs #45 actually created himself.
    Does his sons really believe they need 28 foreign workers for their vineyard?

    • Dianne McCollum I fully agree with you. Do Americans know how this is going to affect them when they go abroad? They will become pariahs with good cause given the attitude being shown by many people besides the official administration never mind that their president is a liar and a bigot and a pervert.
      I am afraid that American s may not live this down for a long time. Just imagine they will now start to say “we always knew Americans were like this despite their previous denials.
      This is the first time I start to think I should no longer deny that Americans are not nice.

      • Because of the role the US has historically played around the world, their are few places they have ever been liked and this goes back a long way. For one year as part of the Canadian National Defense College in the mid ’90s I traveled around the world with largely military colonels. 40 were Canadian, 2 were Brits, 1 was Australian, 1 was a new Zealander and 3 were Americans. Outside of North America all but the Americans were very comfortable wearing their military dress. The Americans refused. They said that wearing their uniforms was the same as if they painted a target on their backs!! I know several American civilians who always travel with a Canadian pin on their lapels. This American negative image abroad has transcended several U.S. Presidents. Nothing new here for Trump.

  3. It is unbelievably sad that this is happening to America. Trump should be sued for liable especially since he used to tweet instead of a press conference. This new ban specifically denying Muslims, there have been Canadian citizens denied access to the US possibly by trump devotees who now feel they can safely act on their racist and bias against certain religions religious believing this is now the norm for America. There have been attacks by this same group on certain people.
    If this keeps up Americans better stay home because they may no longer be welcome in normal countries.

    • Robertvan or whatever your name is: That would be libel,….and this from an under educated deplorable. You can call it a Muslim ban if you like and it would sure be nice if our politicians that are “monitoring” the situation would actually act. Conversely, you could move to Syria or Yemen, I am sure you would find a decent standard of living there.

    • Give your head a shake,we do not need the problems that they have in Britain and Europe with Muslims,of course why would anybody listen to Canadian political experts,look who they voted in as Prime minister.

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