FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

About Those Kids in Camp X-Ray

by DAVE LINDORFF

 

Word that the Bush Administration’s goons down in Guantanamo Bay have been detaining children under the age of 16 among the “enemy combatants” that they spirited out of Afghanistan following the rout of the Taliban suggests a new strategy for dealing with America’s daycare crisis.

We know that as Bush and the conservative Congress continue to hack away at the nation’s already tattered welfare “safety net,” increasing numbers of single parents are being forced to abandon their small children at home while they go off to remote minimum-wage jobs or workfare assignments in an effort to make enough money to feed them.

Day care is not an option for these people. The federal government has been slashing daycare funding, while financially strapped states are rushing to exit the child-care subsidy business.

What’s a welfare mother to do?

Bush, the Pentagon and John Ashcroft’s increasingly inappropriately named Justice Department have provided us with the answer: detention in the name of national security.

All these working mothers and fathers need to do is get their little offspring to toddle around carrying small arms (the guns don’t have to be loaded, for goodness sake!) while spouting easily taught phrases like “Allah Akhbar!” or “Death to America!” and they’ll quickly be picked up and placed in confinement where they’ll be watched day and night and fed regularly.

Alternately, if the parents in question are undocumented aliens, they might just claim to the Immigration Department that their kids were born overseas and don’t have proper visas. That would lead to their being taken away and put in detention, too.

According to Pentagon officials, the youthful enemy combatants being held at Guantanamo are not being kept in cages like their elders, so presumably they are being treated in a manner more appropriate to their tender years–probably kept in some locked base rec room with a big-screen TV set tuned perpetually to the Cartoon Channel or WB.

Since this is pretty much what unlicensed child care services are doing in low-income neighborhoods anyway, parents can feel confident that their children are getting at least as good care in government custody as they would have been getting in a local child care facility, and at taxpayer expense instead of their own.

The only drawback I can see to this scheme is that under Pentagon and Justice Department rules since 9/11, relatives don’t have visitation rights where illegal aliens or enemy combatants are concerned.

We could work on this, perhaps getting Congress to amend the rules where minor detainees are involved. Surely the “family friendly” Republican majority would see the logic in such a rule change.

If not, at least poor struggling parents would know that their kids were getting three square meals a day in government custody.

DAVE LINDORFF is the author of Killing Time: an Investigation into the Death Row Case of Mumia Abu-Jamal. A collection of Lindorff’s stories can be found here: http://www.nwuphilly.org/dave.html

 

Dave Lindorff is a founding member of ThisCantBeHappening!, an online newspaper collective, and is a contributor to Hopeless: Barack Obama and the Politics of Illusion (AK Press).

More articles by:

CounterPunch Magazine

minimag-edit

bernie-the-sandernistas-cover-344x550

zen economics

Weekend Edition
December 09, 2016
Friday - Sunday
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: Nasty As They Wanna Be
Henry Giroux
Trump’s Second Gilded Age: Overcoming the Rule of Billionaires and Militarists
Andrew Levine
Trump’s Chumps: Victims of the Old Bait and Switch
Chris Welzenbach
The Forgotten Sneak Attack
Lewis Lapham
Hostile Takeover
Joshua Frank
This Week at CounterPunch: More Hollow Smears and Baseless Accusations
Paul Street
The Democrats Do Their Job, Again
Vijay Prashad
The Cuban Revolution: Defying Imperialism From Its Backyard
Michael Hudson - Sharmini Peries
Orwellian Economics
Erin McCarley
American Nazis and the Fight for US History
Mark Ames
The Anonymous Blacklist Promoted by the Washington Post Has Apparent Ties to Ukrainian Fascism and CIA Spying
Yoav Litvin
Resist or Conform: Lessons in Fortitude and Weakness From the Israeli Left
Conn Hallinan
India & Pakistan: the Unthinkable
Andrew Smolski
Third Coast Pillory: Nativism on the Left – A Realer Smith
Joshua Sperber
Trump in the Age of Identity Politics
Brandy Baker
Jill Stein Sees Russia From Her House
Katheryne Schulz
Report from Santiago de Cuba: Celebrating Fidel’s Rebellious Life
Nelson Valdes
Fidel and the Good People
Norman Solomon
McCarthy’s Smiling Ghost: Democrats Point the Finger at Russia
Renee Parsons
The Snowflake Nation and Trump on Immigration
Margaret Kimberley
Black Fear of Trump
Michael J. Sainato
A Pruitt Running Through It: Trump Kills Nearly Useless EPA With Nomination of Oil Industry Hack
Ron Jacobs
Surviving Hate and Death—The AIDS Crisis in 1980s USA
David Swanson
Virginia’s Constitution Needs Improving
Louis Proyect
Narcos and the Story of Colombia’s Unhappiness
Paul Atwood
War Has Been, is, and Will be the American Way of Life…Unless?
John Wight
Syria and the Bodyguard of Lies
Richard Hardigan
Anti-Semitism Awareness Act: Senate Bill Criminalizes Criticism of Israel
Kathy Kelly
See How We Live
David Macaray
Trump Picks his Secretary of Labor. Ho-Hum.
Howard Lisnoff
Interview with a Political Organizer
Yves Engler
BDS and Anti-Semitism
Adam Parsons
Home Truths About the Climate Emergency
Brian Cloughley
The Decline and Fall of Britain
Eamonn Fingleton
U.S. China Policy: Is Obama Schizoid?
Graham Peebles
Worldwide Air Pollution is Making us Ill
Joseph Natoli
Fake News is Subjective?
Andre Vltchek
Tough-Talking Philippine President Duterte
Binoy Kampmark
Total Surveillance: Snooping in the United Kingdom
Guillermo R. Gil
Vivirse la película: Willful Opposition to the Fiscal Control Board in Puerto Rico
Patrick Bond
South Africa’s Junk Credit Rating was Avoided, But at the Cost of Junk Analysis
Clancy Sigal
Investigate the Protesters! A Trial Balloon Filled With Poison Gas
Pierre Labossiere – Margaret Prescod
Human Rights and Alternative Media Delegation Report on Haiti’s Elections
Charles R. Larson
Review:  Helon Habila’s The Chibok Girls: the Boko Haram Kidnappings and Islamist Militancy in Nigeria
David Yearsley
Brahms and the Tears of Britain’s Oppressed
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail