The Coast Guard's 'Floating Guantanamos'
December 11, 2017 9:35 PM   Subscribe

"In an expansion of the war on drugs, the U.S. Coast Guard is targeting low-level smugglers in international waters — shackling them on ships for weeks or even months before arraignment in American courts." (SLNYTM)

"The increased detentions and the domestic prosecutions of extraterritorial activity were ushered in largely under the watch of Gen. John Kelly, who from 2012 to 2016 served as the head of the Southern Command and is now the White House chief of staff. He has long championed the idea that drug smuggling and the drug-related violence in Central America poses what he has called an “existential” threat to the United States and that to protect the homeland, American law enforcement must reach beyond U.S. borders."
posted by Chutzler (13 comments total) 17 users marked this as a favorite
 
Congress responded by passing a set of laws, including the 1986 Maritime Drug Law Enforcement Act, that defined drug smuggling in international waters as a crime against the United States, even when there was no proof that the drugs, often carried on foreign boats, were bound for the United States. The Coast Guard was conscripted as the agency empowered to seek out suspected smugglers and bring them to American courts.
$Deity! What's going to happen next Canada Day? Are we going to see covert American agents kidnapping Canadians and dragging them across the boarder for drug smuggling?
posted by Mitheral at 10:20 PM on December 11, 2017 [3 favorites]


Because, what America really needs is more prisoners. Let’s start plucking them out of the sea from other countries and importing them.

What the every loving fuck? Does no one think of the end game here? How much does it cost to keep a low level drug mule in prison for 10 years? Why are we doing this?
posted by [insert clever name here] at 10:43 PM on December 11, 2017 [12 favorites]


Do these people know what an "existential threat" means? Or do they just think it sounds cool?
posted by thelonius at 3:09 AM on December 12, 2017 [20 favorites]


Nobody bought it when Kelly went on about "precious bodily fluids," so he changed it to "existential threat."
posted by Kirth Gerson at 3:23 AM on December 12, 2017 [6 favorites]


Is it a threat where existence precedes essence, so we can say there is one without having to explain its nature?
posted by Segundus at 3:55 AM on December 12, 2017 [3 favorites]


American law enforcement must reach beyond U.S. borders

Piracy. The word you’re looking for is ‘piracy’.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 4:39 AM on December 12, 2017 [6 favorites]


No that would be Privateer.
posted by sammyo at 5:23 AM on December 12, 2017 [2 favorites]


Press gangs for prisons
posted by thivaia at 5:24 AM on December 12, 2017 [1 favorite]


As in, 'I have the privateer of the president'?
posted by biffa at 5:24 AM on December 12, 2017 [1 favorite]


Keeping people of color shackled in the holds of ships for months at a time? They... they just don't get it, do they?
posted by Halloween Jack at 6:07 AM on December 12, 2017 [2 favorites]


Keeping people of color shackled in the holds of ships for months at a time? They... they just don't get it, do they?

it's-a-feature-not-a-bug.gif
posted by lalochezia at 7:10 AM on December 12, 2017 [3 favorites]


Thank for posting this. I put it in one of the polititical threads where it was all coastguards rah tah rah together with an acid comment that got axed.
American systems are incredibly broken where a service which does a lot of good is required to carry out this shit.
There were reports of prison ships during Bush II so we really should not be surprised.
posted by adamvasco at 8:03 AM on December 12, 2017 [1 favorite]


Letters of marque and covfefe
posted by XMLicious at 10:14 AM on December 12, 2017


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