John Ratcliffe

The Captors’ Resumes


cjones08072019

Trump’s pick to be the new director of national intelligence, John Ratcliffe, has multiple embellishments on his resumé.

He claims on his website and in campaign material that he tried suspects accused of funneling money to Hamas. As it turns out, that’s not true. He never prosecuted a case in the matter.

He was an interim U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of Texas during George W. Bush’s administration. He was basically a placeholder in the position. But, Ratcliffe claims he oversaw terrorism cases, plural. The only example of any significant cases that concern national security is one trial where he prosecuted an Iraq War veteran who pleaded guilty to possessing a pipe bomb.

Ratcliffe also claims that during his time at U.S. attorney that he “arrested” over 300 illegal aliens in a single day that were illegally employed by chicken processing plants in five states. His House website makes the same claim. He did help bring charges against 280 noncitizens on identity fraud charges and other crimes to secure employment, but he didn’t arrest anyone. Even Matlock has more arrests than Ratcliffe because he was Sheriff of Mayberry first.

He also claimed on his 2016 campaign website and in a bio on his House website that he “put terrorists in prison.” This was the case involving a Muslim charity sending money to Hamas. Three former government lawyers and a former senior FBI official, when asked about John Ratcliffe’s involvement, said, “who?” They said he didn’t contribute any substance to the case. Plus, there were no convictions against the charity. One attorney said the mistrial hit the Justice Department like a “two-by-four in the middle of the forehead.” This is what Ratcliffe is basing his claim of putting “terrorists in prison.”

Also, it turns out he was never a member of the Backstreet Boys and didn’t co-write “I Want It That Way.”

The director of intelligence should have actual experience with national intelligence. The man Ratcliffe is replacing, Dan Coats, did not have to pad his resume. Coats predecessor, James Clapper, served as undersecretary of defense for intelligence, director of the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (ask Ratcliffe or Trump what that is), and as director of the Defense Intelligence Agency. He was unanimously confirmed by the Senate. Later, Trump revoked Clapper’s security clearance because he said negative things about Trump. Ratcliffe, on the hand, has skeptics in his own party. He’s less of an actual analyst of intelligence and more of a Trump cultist.

Donald Trump also likes to boastéé about accomplishments he’s never accomplished. At one of his campaign stops, he displayed Trump steaks that were NOT Trump steaks and were actually purchased at a local butcher shop. Trump also did NOT help at the site of the World Trade Center, as he claimed earlier this week. In reality, after the WTC fell down from the attack by al Qaida, he boasted about how he now had the tallest building in New York City. And, just in case you’re a Trump revisionist, he didn’t “create” this economy. Like most things he has, Trump inherited a great economy. Unlike the fortune he claims he built but was inherited from his father, he inherited the economy from Barack Obama.

And, when Trump is throwing children into cages, he’s not locking up MS-13 gang members. In 2018, Trump said unaccompanied minors “look so innocent but aren’t in reality.” His acting commissioner of Customs and Border Protection, Mark Morgan, once told Fox News that he can tell which unaccompanied minors will become gang members by looking into their eyes. He told Tucker Carlson, “I’ve looked into their eyes and said, ‘that is a soon-to-be MS-13 gang member.'” Apparently, Mark Morgan got the job after Miss Cleo turned it down.

While MS-13 is horrible and violent and everything you should hate, they’re not invading the country or posing as fake families. MS-13 was created in the United States and it recruits within the U.S. They don’t import. They’re not even that large of an organization. According to the Justice Department, the gang only accounts for 10,000 of the 1.4 million gang members nationwide. They’re not growing as they had the same number of members a decade ago. They average about 35 murders a year nationwide, which is fewer than murders committed by gangs you never heard of, and possibly fewer than those committed by Trump supporters. If Trump wants to focus on gang activity, he should direct his agencies to combat all of it, not just focus on the one that’s meat for his racist base.

When you think about it, when someone kills minorities in this nation while echoing Trump’s racist rhetoric, that makes Trump a recruiter of terrorists. Donald Trump is more dangerous to American communities than MS-13.

Ratcliffe has never arrested a terrorist in his life. Neither has Donald Trump. Instead, Trump is throwing kids in cages.

Support the cartoonist

As I noted in a previous cartoon, these are perilous times for political cartoonists. But you can help me continue to create cartoons, blogs, and videos by making a contribution. All support, large and small, is greatly appreciated. You can also support me by purchasing a signed print (8 1/2×11) for $40, or a signed poster (18×24) for $100 by clicking the PayPal button (just include a note if you’re purchasing a print). If you want to support but don’t want to use PayPal, you can send a contribution through the mail (address is on the contact page. Again, include a note for a print).I don’t plan on going anywhere and your support will help guarantee that. Whether you support, can’t. or just choose not to, please know that I am truly thankful that you visit my site and read my work.

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Intelligence Free Intelligence


cjones08062019

The United States is facing a new threat that the new Director of National Intelligence needs to identify, and that threat is the new Director of National Intelligence.

Donald Trump likes to use the phrase, “I never was a fan of…” in regards to some person or some thing. Like, “I never was a big fan of John McCain.” You can replace McCain with basically anyone who criticizes Trump, like fellow Republican Mark Sanford or former Republican Justin Amash. But, one thing Donald Trump truly is not a fan of are facts.

Trump will dismiss facts as “fake news” or lies if he doesn’t like them. If they threaten his approval or contradict past statements, facts become “fake news.” Even if a fact that Trump doesn’t approve of reveals a danger to the country, he would rather dismiss it than protect the nation he swore an oath to protect. Dogma has infected this presidential administration to the point that it resembles the Kim regime. Formerly independent positions in vital government agencies are now being staffed by cronies and Kool-Aid drinkers with all the seriousness and credibility of a Kellyanne Conway or a Sarah Huckabee Sanders. Out went Tillerson, McMasters, and Mattis. Now, we can add Dan Coats to the list.

When Donald Trump hired Dan Coats as director of national intelligence, he probably didn’t understand what the job entailed and took someone else’s advice on the hire. After two and a half years of Coats being stubbornly honest about Russian attacks on our nation , stating that inviting Vladimir Putin to the White House was NOT a good idea, and not serving as a lackey yes man, Trump has had enough.

Just like Trump did with the Justice Department by placing a toady, William Barr, at the head of it, Trump has now put a loyalist in charge of national intelligence. Texas Congressman John Ratcliffe is a conspiracy-minded Trump cultist who believes in the “Deep State,” Russian interference is a conspiracy theory, and that Robert Mueller’s investigation was a “witch hunt.” Basically, Donald Trump has removed intelligence from national intelligence.

In appointing Ratcliffe, Trump spelled out what he wants the cultist to do, and that is to clean out the intelligence services of anyone who participated in collecting information about Russia and Trump. Trump said, “We need somebody strong that can really rein it in because as I think you’ve all learned the intelligence agencies have run amok.” Trump has now politicized the nation’s 17 intelligence agencies. About the only way he could have made a worse hire would have been if he hired Ivanka to lead the agencies. At least he doesn’t want to date Ratcliffe. That would be awkward.

In January 2018, Ratcliffe claimed he saw text messages between FBI agents Lisa Page and Peter Strzok that suggested there was a “secret society” working against Trump. That turned out to be bogus when the full-text messages became public. But, Ratcliffe ignored the facts and reported what Trump wanted to hear.

During Mueller’s testimony before Congress, Ratcliffe put on a performance that got Trump’s attention and probably swung the intelligence appointment in his favor. He berated Mueller for not “exonerating” Trump and said the second volume of Mueller’s report, which showed obstruction by Trump, was not authorized to be written.

Ratcliffe has argued that Russian interference may have helped Hillary Clinton and that Mueller didn’t even write his report, but that it was actually written by “Hillary Clinton’s de fact legal team.” At this point, I’m kinda surprised he’s not Trump’s physician.

It has to be his performance during Mueller’s testimony that got him the job because it can’t be his qualifications. It appears he embellished his resume. It’s not clear he has any actual experience prosecuting or investigating terrorism cases, though he’s claimed he’s “put terrorists in prison.” He only held the post of U.S. attorney in Texas on an interim basis for about a year. McGruff the Crime Dog would have been a better hire and he’s entirely fictional. But then again, why would a criminal hire someone who actually wants to take a bite out of crime.

When CIA director Gina Haspel and Dan Coats testified before Congress about Russian interference, that Iran was abiding by the nuclear treaty, and that climate change was a national security threat, Trump said they should “go back to school.” In Ratcliffe, he’s found a lackey who can’t even find the school.

Trump’s toad in the Justice Department is already investigating the intelligence agencies over “partisan motives” in initiating the investigation into Russian interference. How dare they investigate the bad guys. Trump has also given Barr permission to allow Devin Nunes, another favorite Congressional henchman of his, access to declassified information related to the investigation with the idea that all of it was a “coup attempt” (I still don’t understand how replacing Trump with Mike Pence is a coup, unless Pence overthrows Trump).

This is where the danger comes in.

It’s said that the president is the number one customer of intelligence (HA!). But there are other consumers of the briefings, such as secretary of state, defense secretary, national security advisor, Joint Chiefs of Staff, FBI director, etc. So, even if the number one customer isn’t interested in the product, the other customers will at least see it and can act on it. With a director of national intelligence who will also dismiss actual threats because they’ll make the president grumpy, the real dangers and intelligence may not ever make it out of his office to be read by anyone else. This fealty to Donald Trump is an actual danger to the nation.

Anyone with intelligence knows Donald Trump is a national security threat. Now that he’s purging the adults from his administration, all his hires are national security threats too.

Support the cartoonist

As I noted in a previous cartoon, these are perilous times for political cartoonists. But you can help me continue to create cartoons, blogs, and videos by making a contribution. All support, large and small, is greatly appreciated. You can also support me by purchasing a signed print (8 1/2×11) for $40, or a signed poster (18×24) for $100 by clicking the PayPal button (just include a note if you’re purchasing a print). If you want to support but don’t want to use PayPal, you can send a contribution through the mail (address is on the contact page. Again, include a note for a print).I don’t plan on going anywhere and your support will help guarantee that. Whether you support, can’t. or just choose not to, please know that I am truly thankful that you visit my site and read my work.

You can purchase a signed print of this cartoon.

Watch me draw.