The stories coming out of Texas this week are horrific and heartbreaking. They're so far past maddening they've now entered territory where heads explode.
No other way to put this: our government has been kidnapping refugee children and hiding them all across the country.
They move them in the dead of night and won't say where they've gone.
They refuse to open detention center doors to concerned government officials--the ones who haven't gone over to the dark side and show no signs of budging.
They won't allow outside cameras or recording devices, releasing instead their own sanitized versions of nice places to incarcerate terrified children.
They hang "Dear Leader" posters on the walls, showing a smirking Donald Trump alongside a bizarre, irrelevant quote from his book, "The Art of the Deal". ("Sometimes by losing a battle you find a new way to win the war", in both English and Spanish.)
We know now that, long before Jeff Sessions told those families they're going to have their kids taken away if they didn't stop fleeing the dangers in their own countries to get to the Land Of The Free And the Home Of The Brave, they were already taking kids away from fleeing refugees.
Now they have over 2000 of them--some as young as eight months old--and it's as if locusts suddenly appeared in their fields, out of nowhere, thousands of them, all at one time. What is happening??
It's as if the plan to forcibly remove children from their refugee parents ended at "forcibly remove", followed by TO BE DETERMINED in the middle of a whole lot of white space.
It's as if they thought nothing bad would happen if they forcibly removed small, helpless human beings from the people who love them and care for them.
It's as if they thought...
You know where I'm going with this, right?
They didn't think.
They didn't keep accurate records. They know where some of the children are, but not all of them. They sent them off to dozens of locations across the country without a fool-proof paper trail or electronic trail or any other kind of trail, and now that the cockamamie plan to steal kids away from their parents has been whomped to bits by millions of furious, vocal Americans, along with hundreds of members of the press, the clergy, and by God, Congress--all clamoring to know where the kids are-- they've been forced to admit they just don't know.
In a tone so nonchalant you would think they were talking about missing Kleenex boxes, they admit some of the children--the small children they kidnapped in broad daylight, along with the older ones who came alone many months before--may never be found.
They're okay with that. In fact, now that the crisis is over, now that they've stopped ripping children away from their families, their job here is done.
So today we're on a tear to find those kids. Everyone from governors to mayors to social workers to battle-scarred reporters to those of us who do our best work on Facebook and Twitter--everyone is trying to reunite families who have been torn apart by an American government getting off on teaching terrified refugees a lesson. We're so angry we can barely stand it.
But what worries me now is the tone set by the punditry. The return of those children is the talk of the town. Every TV pundit is putting together panels to discuss everything from long term psychiatric disorders stemming from separation and incarceration (almost guaranteed) to whether or not Melania meant the kids when she wore the jacket screaming I really don't care. Do U? on a flight to visit the detention centers (who the hell knows?).
On every panel someone reminds us that there will be some kids who will never (not may never, will never) see their families again. Everyone nods in agreement. Yes. They'll never see their families again.
Sad face, everyone.
And then they move on. They MOVE ON.
I haven't heard a single person talk about punishment. Kidnapping is a crime. Terrorizing refugees is a crime. Sending children off to vanish without a trace is surely a crime.
Who's going to jail? Is anybody in trouble for this?
Not that I've seen. And I want to know why.
(Cross-posted at Dagblog, Medium, and Crooks & Liars)