Most Americans know the acronym “AP” stands for Associated Press. Many even know it is a “wire service,” so-called because in earlier times, the AP’s news feeds went out over the wires rather than via the Internet as they now do.
The AP is a subscription news service. Virtually no news outlets, particularly local newspapers, can afford to maintain correspondents in distant cities, to say nothing of abroad. However, they can afford to subscribe to the AP, which maintains a network of stringers across the globe who provide photos and stories, which are in turn packaged and marketed to the AP’s subscribers. But there is a major problem with this arrangement, a problem that is growing worse by the day.
If the AP is biased, if the AP gets a story wrong, if they fail to require at least two reliable sources for publication, if they don’t bother to confirm stories because they’re “too good to check,” if they adopt a partisan political outlook and outright lie, everyone subscribing to their stories lies too, whether they know it or want to or not. The Daily Beast provides an example:
The Department of Homeland Security is roundly condemning an Associated Press story that broke Friday morning about considering the use of the National Guard to ‘round up’ undocumented immigrants. The DHS says that isn’t true, and—contra the AP’s reporting—that DHS Secretary John Kelly didn’t write the draft memo.
‘The Department is not considering mobilizing the National Guard,’ said Gillian Christensen, the acting press secretary for DHS.
A DHS official told The Daily Beast that the memo the AP cited was an early, pre-decisional draft, that Kelly never approved it, and that the department as a whole never seriously considered it.
The AP reported that the draft memo suggested using National Guard troops to ‘to perform the functions of an immigration officer in relation to the investigation, apprehension and detention of aliens in the United States.’
The AP also reported that Kelly wrote the memo, but Christensen told The Daily Beast that that is ‘absolutely incorrect.
Not that any of this would have meaning to the AP, which has, particularly during the last few years, become a reliable arm of the Democrat Party. As has become their standard practice, they went to press with an unconfirmed story. Print first, ask questions later.
The draft memo, which the AP published in full after putting up its initial story, discusses the possibility of using the National Guard for immigration enforcement. It directs the heads of Customs and Border Protection and Immigration and Customs Enforcement to ‘immediately engage’ with the governors of the border states and states that touch those states about using their National Guard troops for immigration enforcement. That would mean Texas, Louisiana, Arkansas, Oklahoma, New Mexico, Colorado, Arizona, Utah, California, Oregon, and Nevada.
The memo, dated Jan. 25, 2017, says that Trump’s executive order on border security was issued on Jan. 20, Inauguration Day. But the president didn’t issue any immigration-related executive orders that day, indicating the DHS memo was written before his inauguration and during the transition process.
Despite the lunatic ravings of President Trump opponents, including some Congressional Republicans who have no idea what the Americans that elected Donald Trump have in store for them, Mr. Trump has shown not the slightest intent to violate the law in any way. He is not going to put gays in concentration camps. His is not going to murder all black people. He is not going to scoop up millions of illegal immigrants next week. He is not in bed with Vladimir Putin. More than anything, these incredibly deranged people fear that Mr. Trump will restore fidelity to the Constitution and the rule of law. They fear he will force all federal employees to obey the law and understand they are not the rulers of Americans, but their hired hands.
Here’s what no one is saying about this story: such a plot, even if it were true, would be inherently unlawful because of the Posse Comitatus Act:
18 U.S. Code, 1385: Whoever, except in cases and under circumstances expressly authorized by the Constitution or Act of Congress, willfully uses any part of the Army or the Air Force as a posse comitatus or otherwise to execute the laws shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than two years, or both.
Back during the height of the Cold War when I served as an Air Force Security Policeman–an actual police officer, not a missile and bomber watching rivet counter–this law was driven into us as a matter of holy writ. The military did not engage in civilian law enforcement. To do so would be to become what the Founders most feared: a standing army ruling the people by force of arms. We took it seriously way back then; the military takes it seriously now. That’s why our military still enjoys the overwhelming respect and trust of the American people.
It was Barack Obama that ignored any law that got in his way and fired high-ranking officers that respected the law, duty, honor and country. That’s not Donald Trump, at least not yet… not that the AP would notice.
And they wonder why no one trusts them.