Donate
Photoshoop by Wonkette

John Kelly, the former Homeland Security secretary and former chief of staff to Donald Trump, has a brand new job! Kelly's the genius who brought America the family separation policy -- sure, he had help, but it was his screaming stolen baby from the start. So it makes all kinds of sense that after being quitfired from the White House, he has now joined the board of directors of Caliburn International, a conglomerate that owns "Comprehensive Health Services." That's the for-profit company that runs a huge immigration detention facility for "unaccompanied alien children" in Homestead, Florida, as well as three other baby jails in Texas.

Kelly was spotted going into the Homestead shelter by protesters outside in April; not long after, he was recorded by a local teevee station being squired around the grounds in a golf cart. Does anyone associated with the Trump administration walk, ever?


It's almost like a double homewrecker's homecoming for the retired general, since in addition to keeping his hand in the child immigrant misery game, CBS reports this is a corporate reunion for Kelly: "Prior to joining the Trump administration in January 2017, Kelly had been on the board of advisors of DC Capital Partners, an investment firm that now owns Caliburn." The Caliburn board is just stuffed full of retired military brass, and its "portfolio includes work in a variety of defense sectors." Plus, of course, the concentration camps for kids who cross the border alone and are waiting to be put into foster care or whatever.

In a masterpiece of corporate puffery, Caliburn CEO James Van Dusen offered this statement:

With four decades of military and humanitarian leadership, in-depth understanding of international affairs and knowledge of current economic drivers around the world, General Kelly is a strong strategic addition to our team.

Putting children in cages to deter people from seeking asylum is certainly an odd spin on "humanitarian leadership." But when he got to the part about his company's immigration jail business, Van Dusen's spin went positively circular:

Our board remains acutely focused on advising on the safety and welfare of unaccompanied minors who have been entrusted to our care and custody by the Department of Health and Human Services to address a very urgent need in caring for and helping to find appropriate sponsors for these unaccompanied minors.

Once ICE finishes arresting any undocumented family members foolish enough to come forward, we presume.

And what a booming business Comprehensive Health Services is doing! CBS News notes it's "the only private company operating shelters," and has rapidly become "one of the most dominant players in the industry." Yes, America, we have an immigrant child detention industry! Trump really did come through on creating jobs, that's for sure.

Last August, it secured three licenses for facilities in Texas, totaling 500 beds, and in December, the Homestead facility began expanding from a capacity of 1,250 beds to 3,200.

And as Yr Wonkette noted in February, the Homeland shelter shares one of the troubling aspects of that now-closed tent city for migrant kids outside Tornillo, Texas: Since it's technically a "temporary emergency shelter" designated to handle overcrowding in the government's licensed shelter system, it isn't subject to the same regulations normal baby jails are. As the Miami Herald explained at the time,

Being unlicensed means the facilities like Homestead don't have to be certified by state authorities responsible for regulating facilities that house children. Temporary shelters also don't have to comply with the 1997 "Flores Settlement," which limits the length of time and conditions under which U.S. officials can detain unaccompanied minors — 20 days.

And as CBS News points out, that also means no pesky inspections by state child-welfare authorities. Everything's just fine, though, for sure!

Teens sleep in bunk-bed-lined dorm rooms, ranging in size from small rooms that fit 12 younger children to enormous halls shared by as many as 200 17-year-old boys, in rows of beds about shoulder-width apart.

During a tour in February, a program coordinator told CBS News that the older children prefer the cavernous digs. "They say it's like a slumber party," she said.

Sounds like a lot of fun! You'll also be delighted to know that even though Comprehensive Health Services and DC Capital landed a bunch of lucrative government contracts while John Kelly was Trump's chief of staff, a Columbia Law School prof, Richard Briffault, told CBS News Kelly may not have done anything illegal by taking a job with his old outfit. It's just one of those military-industrial complexities, you see:

"It sounds like he's running between the raindrops. It doesn't sound great, but most likely he's not directly violating any policies," Briffault told CBS News. Briffault said government officials are barred from benefiting from their involvement in matters that involve specific parties, meaning that while serving at the White House, Kelly could not directly influence any decision to award a contract to a DC Capital company.

Unless of course he ignored those rules, but who ever heard of a member of Team Trump doing such a thing? Everyone is exonerated forever, hadn't you heard?

Briffault described Kelly's returning to his previous employer, which now happens to be the biggest player in the for-profit baby jail business, as a "classic" example of the "revolving door" between government and industry. As long as Kelly doesn't do any lobbying on DC Capital's behalf for five years after leaving government, he's golden. For all we know, he may be planning to demonstrate that the private sector can terrorize immigrant families even more effectively than the government. But that wouldn't violate any ethics rules.

And in case you're wondering, the Homestead shelter is surrounded by barbed wire fences and private security guards. Not a revolving door on the grounds, no sir.

[CBS News / Miami Herald / Photoshoop based on Health and Human Services image; John Kelly was not photographed in an empty shelter]

Yr Wonkette is supported by reader donations. Please send us money and we'll help you make your way through this hell world.

How often would you like to donate?

Select an amount (USD)

Doktor Zoom

Doktor Zoom's real name is Marty Kelley, and he lives in the wilds of Boise, Idaho. He is not a medical doctor, but does have a real PhD in Rhetoric. You should definitely donate some money to this little mommyblog where he has finally found acceptance and cat pictures. He is on maternity leave until 2033. Here is his Twitter, also. His quest to avoid prolixity is not going so great.

$
Donate with CC
'Bella" by Wonkette Operative 'IdiokraticSubpoenaKommissar'

Sunday already, which means a substantial portion of US America is preparing to be astonished/heartbroken/outraged by the series finale of that show with the dragons, while another portion is just going to stay off Twitter for three days because nothing will make any sense. Yr Dok Zoom tends to come very late to trendy things, so get ready for our own thoughts on the gamy thrones show sometime in about 2023, or never. But we'd be glad to tell you just how much we enjoy the brilliance and humanity of the Cartoon Network series "Steven Universe," which debuted in 2013 and we started bingeing on the Hulu last month, late again.

Hell, we still want to talk about that one Mrs Landingham episode of "The West Wing," which we first watched years after it aired (We finally bought our new used car yesterday, and know one thing: don't drive over to the White House to show it off to President Bartlet). We might even get around to reading Infinite Jest someday. We hear it has something to do with a superhero team and a guy named Thanos. So hey, let's talk about culture and missing out and patching together some knowledge of what's happening anyway.

Keep reading... Show less
$
Donate with CC
Get Me Roger Stone

Roger Stone, his wife would like you to know, is broke. And he is not dealing with it well. Once in khaki suits, gee, he looked swell, full of that yankee-doodle-dee-dum, but now no one calls him Al anymore and he has to stand on a street corner singing "Brother Can You Spare A Dime?"

Yesterday, the conservative but also kind of Never Trumper site The Bulwark revealed the details of a grifty "fundraising" plea sent out by Stone's wife Nydia, begging supporters to give money to the Stones in order to help them keep up the lifestyle to which they have become accustomed.

It was titled "I am embarrassed to write this."

"Dear Friend," begins the missive. "My husband and I have an urgent new problem and we need your help. I told my husband I was going to write you, one of his most valued supporters. I am embarrassed to write this, but I must."

"Mrs. Roger Stone" tells a tale of woe: FBI agents swooping in on them at the crack of dawn to arrest her husband, a subsequent "fake news" feeding frenzy causing friends and fans to abandon the Stones.

"He laid off all our consultants, contractors and employees, and we have 'pulled in our belts' like so many Americans in 'tight times,'" she wrote, sounding for all the world like a plucky working-class patriot, not the wife of a man who made and lost his fortune lying in the service of power.

She should have been more embarrassed.

Keep reading... Show less
$
Donate with CC
Donate

How often would you like to donate?

Select an amount (USD)

Newsletter

©2018 by Commie Girl Industries, Inc