Let me just come out and say it, though not a fan of the PNP, Portia Simpson Miller, the not so educated, but savvy former party President and two times Prime Minister of Jamaica has demonstrated that her political savvy is vastly superior to [Peter Phillips’] Ph.D. Portia was a populist, those characteristics are not easy to replicate. In fact, some suggest either you have it or you don’t. So, it is small wonder that Damion Crawford cannot win a seat in the lower chamber of the House of Representatives but he is second only to Simpson Miller in that party. Popularity is something you have or you don’t. On the other hand, Peter Phillips, a Ph.D. has stumbled along making mistake after mistake since taking the reins of the PNP. Clearly, Phillips’ education is not being manifested in the strategies he has embarked on, or the hills he has chosen to die on. Does Peter Phillips not understand that the role of a responsible opposition is not just to oppose but to be a part of a responsible Government?
If Peter Phillips was attuned to his role in the government not merely to oppose, he would know that his role is to help the governing party to fine-tune legislation and offer advice for effective governance of the people. Why would Peter Phillips oppose the continuation of the Zones Of Special Operation (ZOSO) in the Parish of St James which was saving lives? Why would Mister Phillips oppose the initiative, which though not sustainable, was saving lives? In Greek Mythology, the mythical King Midas had a wish that whatever he touched would turn to Gold. The fictitious narrative indicated that King Midas got his wish but it turned out it was not all it cracked up to be. On that score, Dr. Phillips is turning to be the anti-Midas, the opposite of King Midas. It appears that everything that Mister Phillips touches turns to dust, and maybe that was the reason that he found himself at a work site on Hagley Park Road where unprecedented development is happening which will propel Jamaica far into the 21st century. After meeting with one businesswoman in the area and creating a video of her complaints Mister Phillips posted the following on social media.
[Quote] After being in business for 24 years, Charmaine Lee was about to throw in the towel’ because of the effects of the badly administered roadworks on Hagley Park Road on her business. There are many more stories like this. We are committed to fighting for the people.# PNPforthePeople#PNPatwork.
Most of the comments in response to Mister Phillips’ post were less than complimentary. I asked the Opposition leader: Mister Phillips, How exactly is the new infrastructure supposed to be put in place without the inconveniences? Why is Peter Phillips there? If you were in power what would you have done differently? Mister Phillips was gracious by responding to my inquiries, responding thus.
I am there in my capacity as MP and servant and advocate of the people. I have experience in this area being a former Minister of Transport and Works. One of the basic principles of roadworks is to secure all the lands that you need before starting. This was not done. Therefore, prolonging the disruptions and inconveniences experienced by the business owners and residents. [Peter Phillips]
I respected the fact that the Opposition Leader responded to our questions and we respect his point of view as well, but my response to the esteemed Opposition leader was the same as my response when I started this article. “Minister Phillips, as leader of the PNP, and a member of Parliament, I would rather see you and your party in a role in which you understand that you are a part of the Government. By those measures, explain to the people, and help the government to fine-tune this young democracy. [Michael Beckles]
It isn’t that the concerns of that businesswoman Charmaine Lee are merit-less. Surely, the (Jamaican Government) PNP & JLP can come together to ensure there is legislation which adequately takes care of property owners before building out Infrastructure. The Americans have ( Imminent Domain Laws) to protect property owners from Government abuse. It is less than perfect. Surely the two parties can come together for the good of the people to ensure that business owners like Ms. Lee and others ,are not driven into bankruptcy, when the government is putting infrastructure in place.Phillips a dinosaur of the profession has a role in this. In America, they show up and start digging and there is nothing that business owners can do about it. But even though it is hardly perfect in the most powerful country in the world, we do expect that the (3) -year-old JLP Government is supposed to have the answers for all of those problems. I implore the goodly Mister Phillips, to see himself as a part of the Government. In our country, it is common for the opposition party to see itself as divorced from the Government, it should not be so. The Opposition party is a part of the government and should start acting as if it knows it.
In the Parliament two days ago the Prime Minister of Jamaica said that no one would successfully accuse neither he nor his Administration of abusing the rights of the Jamaican people. A noble comment to come from a politician, considering that politicians can hardly be trusted to be judicious with the power they are given. Before you celebrate the Prime Minister, however, I urge you to pause just for a second as I outline the context under which he made the statement and outline the impracticality of that statement when juxtaposed against the nation’s present crime reality.
The honorable Prime Minister was responding to the infantile heckling in the people’s house from a member of the Opposition PNP regarding the recent court ruling on the National Identification and Registration Act 2017. The tragedy inherent for Jamaica, is that the Opposition PNP in its glee to sabotage the Administration and regain power has no compunction about throwing the Jamaican people to the wolves, and certainly is unconcerned about the ongoing loss of lives or the fact that the National Identification and Registration Act 2017 could potentially be a tool for good. Likewise, the Governing Administration of the JLP and Prime Minister Andrew Holness are not particularly perturbed about the daily slaughter of the Jamaican people. What the Holness Administration is concerned about is perception.
Now, I would like to speak to the Prime Minister’s statement in response to the PNP’s gleeful behavior regarding the court’s decision. Before I do I must point out to the Jamaican people who read these pages, to understand that the People’s National Party has one objective and that is to regain state power. The PNP will sabotage the government you elected and it will subvert the process under the guise that it cares about your rights when what it actually wants is to keep the country backward and in the dark ages, ripe for its own manipulation.
There is much that the present Administration has to be proud of. The Jamaican stock market is being celebrated as among the best if not the best in the world. As a consequence, the Island’s bright young and articulate Finance Minister Nigel Clarke has been making the rounds and taking victory laps on American Television recently. The modest 2% growth rate the Island’s economy is experiencing is a far cry from the 0.02% under the PNP, and for that, the Administration must be credited. Additionally, for the first time in my lifetime, there has been a budget presentation to the Jamaican people in which no new onerous taxation has been imposed on the overburdened taxpayers. Accordingly, more Jamaicans are able to find employment and the Tourism sector is experiencing unprecedented levels of visitors. But like in the United States in which the stock market has been on a tear and more people are able to find work those indices, though good for the spreadsheets does not reflect what’s happening to the ordinary everyday citizen.
What the Prime Minister is missing is that as focused as he is on the balance sheet, there is another balance sheet that he has ignored by which he will be judged, regardless of what the economic numbers end up saying. What the Prime Minister has consistently missed, is that we are living in a different time. A time which is far removed from the indoctrination he and others, including the bunch of frauds who pretend to be human rights activists, received from the (UWI). Andrew Holness’ [Commissioner] who speaks on behalf of the Police, equally misguided, recently declared that he believes he will see the day in which all police officers will be human rights activists
As I outlined in a previous Article, Antony Anderson lacks the most basic, yet fundamental understanding of what constitutes a police officer. Because he has never been one, and the circles in which he has operated all his life has been hostile to those who actually enforce the nation’s laws. As such, his statement should be ignored, if it did not carry such dangerous significance for the Jamaican people. Every person who steps forth with the right mindset to becoming a police officer is already a human rights activist. There is no greater sacrifice that any man could give than to lay down his life for his brother. Every police officer who dons a uniform knows that he/she may be killed solely on the basis of being a police officer. That he/she may become a sacrifice for others they have never met. Tell me then which mouthpiece which parrots [human rights] in our country has made that sacrifice? Which one of the glorified frauds who pontificate about human rights, has ever been killed defending the rights of others? And so I say shut your mouths about Human Rights. No greater right has anyone man than the right to life. On that note, the Government, Opposition and the litany of frauds in that fraternity have been exposed for what they are, liars and deceivers.
The daily slaughter of the Jamaican people while the Opposition PNP tries to score political points, and the GOVERNMENT refuses to do what it is constitutionally obligated to do, is a searing indictment of the corrosive complicity and moral decadence of the two political parties. They know that what the Nation faces with the heavily armed gags have long passed just a crime problem. They know that this is existential, not just to the people but to the state itself. Unfortunately, for the Jamaican people, both the JLP and PNP are more concerned with holding and acquiring state power and the potential derivatives from the same, than they are about the daily shedding of innocent blood. They duplicitously conspire to fool the people that police officers asking to enter their premises are abusing their rights are in essence abusing their rights. In the same vein, they are conspicuously silent when the gangs invade and murder entire families. It is the most blatant example of hypocrisy and a barefaced assault on the dignity and intelligence of the people. Andrew Holness, Peter Phillips, their minions, and their anti-Jamaican friends in the Human rights fraternity has perpetrated on the Jamaican people a dangerous fraud. A fraud which is costing the lives of more than (5)Jamaicans each day.
Regardless of the economic numbers, imagine just how well Jamaica could be doing if these two major Political-gangs did not have the Island in the death throes of a stranglehold. Imagine if Jamaicans had the confidence to return home confident in their safety. Imagine if investors were confident enough to return and invest thereby providing our young people with employment which offered a living wage. Imagine that employment opportunities were not just Chinese employment, which is taking us inexorably back into another form of bonded servitude. How in God’s name can a whole group of people who claim to be educated, be so blind, deaf, and dumb?
In response to the recent ruling of the nation’s highest court that theNational Identification and Registration Act (NIRA) is unconstitutional, I wrote what I thought was sobering if not an intellectual response which simply laid out some of what’s at stake now that the law is out. Chief among the points I raised was the fact that, (a) this (NIDS) issue should not be seen as a partisan issue. (b) The court’s decision should not be viewed with partisan lenses, as the courts have a duty to rule based on what’s in the constitution. (c) Those who petitioned the court and received the positive ruling should not see themselves as winners, neither should the Government see itself as losers, as this is critical to the nation’s development. (d) I articulated a way forward which I thought could operate on parallel tracks, vis-a-vis an education campaign which precedes a rewriting of the present legislation and or an amendment to the constitution. (e) in closing, I also laid out in brief, some of the consequences of not having a national database of our citizens in our present world.
As I predicted, but had hoped would not be the case, the court’s ruling on this issue fell snugly into the crevasses of our tribal politics. As was to be expected, the conversation/debate around the issue lacks the merit it deserves based on the authenticity of both points of view, replaced with parochial and outdated political finger-pointing. Since the decision was handed down, a group of the Island’s major private sector organizations have lent their voices by calling for the commencement of the former debate with a view to passing a new piece of legislation which will give the nation a national database of its citizens. The group includes the Private Sector Organisation of Jamaica (PSOJ), Jamaica Chamber of Commerce (JCC) and Jamaica Exporters and Manufacturers Association (JMEA). In a joint statement, the business leaders said “As it appears that there is political consensus as to the necessity for implementing a national identification law, we strongly urge both political parties to immediately commence consultations, with a view to settling the contentious differences in the legislation and avoiding the provisions which offend our constitution, so as to return a bill to the house and enable a smooth and early passage.”
That has been this writers contention since the ruling. There is no question that Jamaica, like most other countries, MUST institute a law in which all of her citizens are known by the state. This is not lost on the Government, it is not lost on the Business leaders, it is not lost on this writer, and it should not be lost on the nation’s opposition party. If the Opposition PNP has legitimate concerns about potential human rights abrogations as it relates to a National Identification Law, it should act responsibly and air out those concerns commensurate with its obligations to be a reasonable and responsible Opposition party. The position of the Opposition party’s arguments should not be brushed aside, neither should the ruling of the court be branded political because it is the easy thing to do. The court’s decision should be viewed as an opportunity to sit down and address the parts of the legislation which the court ruled did not pass constitutional muster. If the present constitution is too archaic and ineffectual to give cover to the (NIDS) legislation, then the nation’s leaders have a duty and a responsibility to amend the constitution, or better yet throw out the whole darn thing.
There is a mindset in our country that effectively latches onto things like crustaceans to a coral reef as the current barrels by, clinging ever so desperately even though it is clear that the position in which it finds itself is not the most tenable position. Now, there is no denying the privacy concerns of many. Governments have not been known to be exactly the most honorable stewards of the people’s trust. Additionally, there are religious and conspiracy theories in the public domain about globalism that this writer is not about to pooh-pooh away.
The website (yourgenome.org )argues The National DNA Database has proved to be a valuable tool in the fight against crime. However, many people are concerned about how it has evolved from a database containing genetic information on convicted criminals to one that has information from a much wider group of people. The publication went on: The UK National DNA Database holds the DNA? profiles and relevant DNA samples from a select number of UK individuals. It is the largest database of its kind in the world and is continuing to grow each year. Every profile in the UK National DNA Database is derived from a sample of human material, such as saliva or hair, collected from a crime scene or police suspects. However, many people are against the idea of extending the DNA database because of the potential threat it has to our privacy. While a DNA profile provides very little information about someone, their DNA sample contains information that can reveal their ethnicity or how susceptible they are to disease. The risk of data abuse is therefore potentially high.
For those on either side of this issue, a look at some of the Information on this site may be pretty helpful in arriving at a more reasoned and informed position. Ultimately though, the trend of creating national databases seems to be the direction the world is heading and not where it is moving from. Subsequently, though (yourgenome.org ) contends that there is no data to support the theory that having a national database with people who are not known criminals helps with solving more crimes, and that it presents a clear danger of false matches, it also argues the following. The information derived from each DNA profile can be a powerful tool in the fight against crime. If a match is made between a DNA profile at a crime scene and a DNA profile on the database, it can help police to identify a possible suspect quickly. They can then use this information as strong evidence to demonstrate an individual is guilty of a crime. https://www.yourgenome.org/debates/is-it-ethical-to-have-a-national-dna-database.
As I wrote in the previous Article on this subject, this issue requires reasoned level-headed and mature dialogue which takes into consideration all of the pros and cons as much is available on the subject. The decision of the court is a clear indication that the law lacked the foundational strength to withstand a constitutional smell-test. This law affects all Jamaicans and so the challenge which came from the PNP was predictable, though the petitioners were exclusively PNP partisans. That is the modus operandi of the People’s National party. The INDECOM act written and constructed with the obviously same degree of alacrity as the NIDS act only affects the police so neither Government nor Opposition felt a need or responsibility to be judicious in the wording or content of the law. They knew that the gullible and hapless police would never test its constitutionality in the courts and so it stands. This issue will not go away, this is just the beginning of what will be a protracted process which inexorably will conclude with a different version of NIDS. Mark my words…..
In response to the Democrat Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, and the Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer, Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib of Michigan did not mince words in clapping back at the silence of the Democrat party regarding the assault on her colleague Ilhan Omar. Tlaib was furious at her party’s silence despite Donald Trump’s and right-wing attack dogs assault on her colleague Ilhan Omar. Recently a white terrorist was arrested for threatening to put a bullet in Representative Omar. This did not stop the race baiter at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave from adding fuel to the fire of the right wing hate machine.
The whole thing started after a piece of garbage Republican Texas member of Congress sought to inflame passions by cherry-picking a sentence from a speech Congresswoman Omar game to (CAIR). In the speech at a fundraiser for the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) in Los Angeles, Omar said, in part, that “CAIR was founded after 9/11 because they recognized that some people did something, and that all of us were starting to lose access to our civil liberties.” The Rupert Murdoch [dishrag] the New York Post responded with the above front-page, sarcastically (HERE’S YOUR SOMETHING). FOX, the main mouthpiece of America’s White Nationalism, through one of its brain-dead mouthpieces, Brian Kilmeade questioned whether the Congresswoman was even American. Kind of an odd question, I guess she has to collude with Russia, obstruct justice and commit a whole litany of crimes to be considered an American. Because the main Race-baiter in the country was quick to join the fray by way of a tweet,(we will never forget).
“They put us in photos when they want to show our party is diverse,” Tlaib tweeted Saturday. “However, when we ask to be at the table, or speak up about issues that impact who we are, what we fight for & why we ran in the first place, we are ignored.” “They put us in photos when they want to show our party is diverse,” Tlaib tweeted Saturday. “However, when we ask to be at the table, or speak up about issues that impact who we are, what we fight for & why we ran in the first place, we are ignored.”
Rashida Tlaib’s clap-back was particularly resonant, because both Nancy Pelosi and Charles Schumer were quick to condemn Representative Omar for speaking freely about the apartheid state of Israel and how money is driving some of the support for the racist state. Conversely, Schumer has been silent in the face of the assault and threats against Congresswoman Omar and Pelosi has been below lukewarm in pushing back against the torrent of vitriolic assault and threats leveled at Congresswoman Omar. So too are the bunch of cowardly opportunists in the Democrat party, many of whom arrived in Washington with Ilahan Omar.
The important thing to consider about Congresswoman Omar’s statements about Israel is that they are absolutely correct. The Republicans and almost all of the Democrat party had no problem when the Republican-led House under John Boehner brought the Right-wing hatemonger Benjamin Netanyahu through the back door as an insult to President Barack Obama, to address a joint sitting of the Racist Republican Congress. The Democrats had the option to boycott that sitting, yet they all showed up like little whipped dogs and sat there to a foreign leader who was brought in to disrespect their president.
According to (The Times Of Israel) In his speech, Netanyahu assailed an emerging nuclear deal with Iran and told Congress that the negotiations between the two countries would “all but guarantee” that Tehran gets nuclear weapons to the detriment of the entire world. The invitation to Netanyahu to address Congress, extended by House Speaker John Boehner, a Republican, has triggered a political furor in the United States. Meanwhile, Netanyahu’s opponents in Israel accused him of staging the speech as a campaign ploy.
Those familiar with the middle-east warmonger Benjamin Netanyahu, knows how he plotted to have America neutralize Iraq under the guise that Iraq possessed weapons of mass destruction. Bush and Cheyney were willing sheep and so an illegitimate war was waged on the nation of Iraq and of course, no weapons of mass destruction were ever found. Barack Obama, then a first-term Senator from Illinois, voted against the Iraq war. Netanyahu knew that he could not move Barack Obama around as he was able to do Bush, or the present idiot-in-chief, so he was no fan of President Barack Obama. Having had Iraq destroyed and segmented in warring enclaves Netanyahu turned his dangerously deceptive attention to the people’s republic of Iran. His opposition and demagoguery of the Iran nuclear deal had nothing to do with anything that Iran may have done. The Iranians had consistently said they did not intend to have a nuclear weapons program for military purposes.
All of the verification regimes which were put in place all said that Iran has complied with the terms of the deal. So, Netanyahu’s opposition to the arrangement and his address to the joint sitting of the American Congress was not [truly] intended to warn the world of impending gloom and doom about Iran’s intentions. But an Iran which is complying with the terms of the deal, is an Iran that Netanyahu cannot convince America to attack. What the Benjamin Netanyahu really wants is total hegemony in the region, with Syria broken up and destroyed, the only other nations of any consequence in the region are Egypt and Saudi Arabia, and both have already sold out to the Zionist state. Netanyahu will form the next Government, having finished less than he expected but with the phalanx of right-wing parties in the Zionist state, he will be in charge once again. He will become the longest serving Prime Minister in that nation’s history. Back In America, Donald Trump has unilaterally declared that the Iranian Revolutionary Guard is a terrorist organization. That ladies and gentlemen is the second drumbeat for war against the Iranian State. The first being, the declaration that Jerusalem is the Capital of Israel. The war clouds are gathering and you will be paying for it.
From our friends over at the Nation. And an in-depth look at the fallacy of the American Drug war which has scooped up guilty and innocent alike, largely people of color while the real powerbrokers behind the use and sale of dangerous drugs, white men gets off scot-free.
A half-century of Washington’s harsh drug prohibition policies has brought misery to millions across the globe.
We live in a time of change, when people are questioning old assumptions and seeking new directions. In the ongoing debate over health care, social justice, and border security, there is, however, one overlooked issue that should be at the top of everyone’s agenda, from democratic socialists to libertarian Republicans: America’s longest war. No, not the one in Afghanistan. I mean the drug war.
For more than a century, the US has worked through the UN (and its predecessor, the League of Nations) to build a harsh global drug-prohibition regime—grounded in draconian laws, enforced by pervasive policing, and punished with mass incarceration. For the past half-century, the United States has also waged its own “war on drugs” that has complicated its foreign policy, compromised its electoral democracy, and contributed to social inequality. Perhaps the time has finally come to assess the damage that drug war has caused and consider alternatives.
Even though I first made my mark with a 1972 book that the CIA tried to suppresson the heroin trade in Southeast Asia, it’s taken me most of my life to grasp all the complex ways this country’s drug war, from Afghanistan to Colombia, the Mexican border to inner-city Chicago, has shaped American society. Last summer, a French director doing a documentary interviewed me for seven hours about the history of illicit narcotics. As we moved from the 17th century to the present and from Asia to America, I found myself trying to answer the same relentless question: What had 50 years of observation actually drilled into me, beyond some random facts, about the character of the illicit traffic in drugs?
At the broadest level, the past half-century turns out to have taught me that drugs aren’t just drugs, drug dealers aren’t just “pushers,” and drug users aren’t just “junkies” (that is, outcasts of no consequence). Illicit drugs are major global commodities that continue to influence US politics, both national and international. And our drug wars create profitable covert netherworlds in which those very drugs flourish and become even more profitable. Indeed, the UN once estimated that the transnational traffic, which supplied drugs to 4.2 percent of the world’s adult population, was a $400 billion industry, the equivalent of 8 percent of global trade.
In ways that few seem to understand, illicit drugs have had a profound influence on modern America, shaping our international politics, national elections, and domestic social relations. Yet a feeling that illicit drugs belong to a marginalized demimonde has made US drug policy the sole property of law enforcement and not health care, education, or urban development.
During this process of reflection, I’ve returned to three conversations I had back in 1971 when I was a 26-year-old graduate student researching that first book of mine,The Politics of Heroin: CIA Complicity in the Global Drug Trade. In the course of an 18-month odyssey around the globe, I met three men, deeply involved in the drug wars, whose words I was then too young to fully absorb.
The first was Lucien Conein, a “legendary” CIA operative whose covert career ranged from parachuting into North Vietnam in 1945 to train communist guerrillas with Ho Chi Minh to organizing the CIA coup that killed South Vietnamese President Ngo Dinh Diem in 1963. In the course of our interview at his modest home near CIA headquarters in Langley, Virginia, he laid out just how the Agency’s operatives, like so many Corsican gangsters, practiced the “clandestine arts” of conducting complex operations beyond the bounds of civil society and how such “arts” were, in fact, the heart and soul of both covert operations and the drug trade.
Second came Colonel Roger Trinquier, whose life in a French drug netherworld extended from commanding paratroopers in the opium-growing highlands of Vietnam during the First Indochina War of the early 1950s to serving as deputy to General Jacques Massu in his campaign of murder and torture in the Battle of Algiers in 1957. During an interview in his elegant Paris apartment, Trinquier explained how he helped fund his own paratroop operations through Indochina’s illicit opium traffic. Emerging from that interview, I felt almost overwhelmed by the aura of Nietzschean omnipotence that Trinquier had clearly gained from his many years in this shadowy realm of drugs and death.
My last mentor on the subject of drugs was Tom Tripodi, a covert operative who had trained Cuban exiles in Florida for the CIA’s 1961 Bay of Pigs invasion and then, in the late 1970s, penetrated mafia networks in Sicily for the US Drug Enforcement Administration. In 1971, he appeared at my front door in New Haven, Connecticut, identified himself as a senior agent for the Treasury Department’s Bureau of Narcotics, and insisted that the bureau was worried about my future book. Rather tentatively, I showed him just a few draft pages of my manuscript for The Politics of Heroin, and he promptly offered to help me make it as accurate as possible. During later visits, I would hand him chapters and he would sit in a rocking chair, shirt sleeves rolled up, revolver in his shoulder holster, scribbling corrections and telling remarkable stories about the drug trade—like the time his bureau found that French intelligence was protecting the Corsican syndicates smuggling heroin into New York City. Far more important, though, through him I grasped how ad hoc alliances between criminal traffickers and the CIA regularly helped both the Agency and the drug trade prosper.
Looking back, I can now see how those veteran operatives were each describing to me a clandestine political domain, a covert netherworld in which government agents, military men, and drug traders were freed from the shackles of civil society and empowered to form secret armies, overthrow governments, and even, perhaps, kill a foreign president.
At its core, this netherworld was then and remains today an invisible political realm inhabited by criminal actors and practitioners of Conein’s “clandestine arts.” Offering some sense of the scale of this social milieu, in 1997 the United Nations reported that transnational crime syndicates had 3.3 million members worldwide who trafficked in drugs, arms, humans, and endangered species. Meanwhile, during the Cold War, all the major powers—Britain, France, the Soviet Union, and the United States—deployed expanded clandestine services worldwide, making covert operations a central facet of geopolitical power. The end of the Cold War has in no way changed this reality.
Andrew Holness took office talking thrash about police kicking off people’s doors. To date, he has empowered political operative Terrence Williams to persecute the police, but has done nothing about the gangs which have taken over entire parishes. In the meantime, the police have become an ineffectual laughingstock while the gangs rule the streets leaving those not yet dead cowering in fear wondering whether one of the barrages of bullets they hear have their name on it.
One of the most renowned quotes attributed to Jamaica’s first national hero, Marcus Mosiah Garvey, is: “Jamaicans will not know themselves until their backs are against the wall.” I do not pretend to know just how far up against the wall the small nation of 2.8 million is willing to be pushed? Neither do I know just how much smaller they can,”small up dem self“. And so, as I have predicted time and again, simply putting grill fortifications around ones home will not be enough given time. That time is here, grill fortifications do nothing to deter the killers anymore. If they decide to kill, nothing stops them. They travel in large groups, heavily armed, totally unconcerned about police or military presence. They simply law down huge and sustained volleys of automatic weapons fire on whoever dare approach them. The tragic irony in that overused Garvey quote, is that the very people who recite it unfailingly, fail to grasp that they themselves, are unwitting pawns on that chessboard.
Jamaica has one of the world’s highest murder rate. For an Island/nation with a size 4,411 square miles, or less than a third of the American state of Connecticut, the 48th smallest of that nation’s 50 states, Jamaica’s murder rate is staggering. Unfortunately for the law-abiding citizens still left in Jamaica, there will be no respite or let up anytime soon. The Island’s political leadership has no concern for the bloodletting outside of using it for mileage politically.
The sitting Prime Minister came to office with a decided attitude against the police, or more appropriately against the tactics the police department used in keeping criminals in check. Tactics used on urban and other criminals and militias around the world. Those are tough no-nonsense hard-nosed policing tactics, which creates space around the population and gives those who would commit murders pause. Without stipulation or context, he repeatedly stated that the quote: ” the days of police kicking off people’s doors are over,” closed quote. Now technically Holness has no power to directly stop the police from going after criminals, and that includes kicking in doors to get them. Nevertheless, he has the power to make it increasingly difficult by increasing the bureaucratic process after such police actions, thereby rendering the police uninterested in going after criminals. This he did by ramping up the power with stated support for the onerous, overbearing and counterproductive police watchdog INDECOM. This essentially iced police enthusiasm for fighting crime. Under this kind of system, officer’s interest is best served by simply running out the clock on their shifts and going home to their families, rather than risk being persecuted by an overzealous INDECOM. Usually on false affidavits provided them by manufactured witnesses.
Day after day I watch uncut video-clips of the dead, at other times the bullet-riddled bodies, sometimes still writhing as the lifeblood drains from their ruptured bodies. Meandering like a lazy puddle on the dusty sidewalks. Simultaneously, I see the Prime Minister mislead the Jamaican people, that he is bringing prosperity to their lives. Fundamentally ignoring the existential crisis the country faces as he makes those promises. Repeating over and over again, the discredited refrain, knowing full well, [or does he], that there can be no prosperity in an environment of wanton unchecked violence.
How stupid are these political leaders really? They ignore the cry of the people, in Saint James, Westmoreland, and Clarendon, in Saint Thomas and Saint Catherine and in Hanover and Manchester, in Saint Elizabeth and Kingston, in Portland and Trelawny, in Saint Andrew and Saint Mary and Saint Ann. There is no safe haven from the gun in Jamaica, guns are everywhere and the gangsters don’t care who knows that they are armed and dangerous. The people are begging for an end to the lawlessness so that they can live their lives as normal people do. Yet the unconscionable Administration in Jamaica House, like the one before it, refuses to release the agents of the state to go after the terroristic thugs who are killing people at will. Choosing instead to focus on supposed human rights obligations of police officers. If the leaders refuse to plug the dike then the water will wash over them. Somehow change will come either with their help or to their peril. I call upon innocent law-abiding Jamaicans to mobilize against this threat. If your leaders refuse to act then you must act. Do not be a statistic stand up and fight and throw out the bums.
Asked about the PNP’s backlash against him for speaking out about his party’s recent loss, former general secretary of the People’s National Party (PNP) Paul Burke said:
“I don’t know what backlash is. You mean the paid social media mercenaries? [They] have very little impact on the ground. It’s going to get worse, not better. I’m going to become Mr Unpopular. It’s water off the duck’s back, trust me.” “They can’t do anything to me. I’m not worried about them. I don’t need them; they don’t need me. The only thing I have is the truth, which I can back up. I don’t know what direction the party will go in, but I really believe that the party has to get its message clear. It has to be clear. It has to be consistent. It has to be credible and you must find messengers, whatever that message ends up being, who can carry that message. In other words, I can’t carry a message to tell people go to church because I don’t go to church,”
Say what you want about Paul Burke’ s brash bravado, and seeming lack of humility, but Burke knows what he is talking about. Paul Burke has been in the trenches and has been instrumental in the PNP’s political successes for decades. Burke understands what it takes to win elections, even though his party lacks the basic fundamentals of governance. It appears that it is to this very issue that Paul Burke is relating. Burke’s unperturbed nonchalance may be a by-product of his knowledge that many who are now condemning him for speaking out and wants him ousted from the party, also wanted Peter Phillips out of the party as well. Many of those same people also at one time labeled Peter Phillips a traitor as well. Phillips was almost [persona non grata ]for signing a Memorandum of Understanding with the United States without the knowledge or consent of the Party boss Portia Simpson Miller. It is that cultish undemocratic mentality which has defined the PNP throughout its existence. A mentality which has kept the party stuck subscribing to a failed and discarded [form of Socialism] which has hurt our country exponentially before, and from which Jamaica has yet to recover.
The great existential threat to the PNP is the PNP’s refusal to adapt and change. The JLP made the same mistake after its loss in 88. As a consequence, they were locked out of the process for over two decades. The brain-dead decision to continue on as a cult, instead of a 21st-century political party is demonstrated by the comments against Paul Burke who has been instrumental in the PNP’s successes long before many of his critics were born. Burke a smart political operative is cognizant that the party needs to change and separate itself from the old failed socialist policies and affiliations which ruined the country in the 1970’s. The Party’s string of losses will continue as long as the JLP continues to build out the nations infrastructure and people sees positive changes happening in the country and in their own lives. As long as the administration can eschew corruption, the PNP will have a long time on the outside looking in with clenched fists and beret’s, relics of a distant past no one wants to revisit.
In the hustle and bustle of everyday life and the challenge to simply put food on the table and get by, we are missing something rather consequential and precedent-setting. The President of the United States, and his campaign has been under investigation by Special Counsel Robert Muller to determine whether he, or his campaign, conspired with a foreign power, [Russia], to defraud the United States in the 2016 Presidential Elections.
As a result, a Special Counsel was appointed, in the person of Robert Muller, former Marine, former FBI Director, Lawyer, Former Federal Prosecutor. Muller’s mandate as Special Counsel, was different than a Special Prosecutor, a-la Kenneth Starr Muller was tasked to look at whether Trump or his campaign conspired with Russia to steal the elections and thereby defraud the United States. The challenge for the American public which has an interest in justice, fairness, the rule of law, and the concept that no one should be above the law, is the way the system is set up. It is a system which means for all intents and purposes, a president can put himself above the laws and there is precious little anyone can do about it.
According to what the present Attorney General William Barr revealed so far, Special Counsel Robert Muller did not exactly establish a link that could stand the test of a criminal trial that Trump or his campaign had criminally conspired with Russia to defraud the United States. That was the very first misrepresentation made by William Baer. counterintelligence investigations are not necessarily criminal investigations. Their results are for the intelligence community and Congress. The Attorney General took the view that the President had not committed obstruction of justice, despite Trumps many acts of interference with the investigations in plain sight, notwithstanding that decision was not William Barr’s to make, but the decision of the Congress. TRUMPS ACTIONS (1) Firing James Comey, the FBI Director when he refused to pledge loyalty and fealty to him. (2) Lambasting then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions for recusing himself from the investigations. (3) Eventually firing Jeff Sessions. (4) Placing an unqualified political hack Matthew Whitaker in place to head the Justice Department after firing Sessions. (After Whittaker had openly declared on Television that he knew how to end the Muller Investigations. (5) After much outcry at the Whittaker appointment, nominating William Barr, a man who wrote an exhaustive memo in support of expansive Executive power, and his disdain for holding a president accountable for obstructing justice. (6) Demonizing, embarrassing and ultimately firing top-tiered Justice and FBI officials who were instrumental in starting a counter-intelligence investigation into Russian interference into the 2016 Elections. These are only a few of the steps Donald Trump took that are public, it begs the question of what kinds of actions he took in private over the two years that the Special Counsel Investigations were in effect.
The Justice Department and its employees are part of the Executive Branch of Government. Subsequently, an investigation undertaken by the Justice Department is technically under the control of the chief executive,(the president). Even though the president is the subject of the investigation, he has the power under the laws to suppress the findings of said Investigation. The so-called safeguards which had allowed this charade to exist for as long as it did, were that previous presidents were less openly hostile to the rule of law. So even though they may have openly broken the laws, a-la, Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan, the Bushes, in recent times, they still maintained an exponentially less disdainful attitude towards the laws of the nation. The moral of all this, is that those laws were designed specifically so that a corrupt President would not ever see the inside of a jail cell, unless he went into one to see conditions for himself as President Barack Obam did. With all of Richard Nixon’s crimes, he resigned before he was tossed from office, but not before cutting a deal with Gerald Ford, the only man to have been vice president and president without being elected by the voters. [Ford] pardoned Nixon immediately h ascended to the presidency, thereby ensuring that Richard Millhouse Nixon, the criminal, never saw the inside of a jail cell. The guise Ford used to justify his actions was that the Nation needed to heal. The irony of that position was that Richard Nixon knowingly and criminally created the Constitutional crisis.
For the people on the left who were of the opinion and belief that a finding by Robert Muller would result in Donald Trump being led out of the white house in handcuffs, it is a bitter pill to swallow that the context of Muller’s findings will never see the light of day, much less the truth of the crimes which were committed in the process of creating and maintaining [a president Donald Trump]. There has been too much energy and arrogance invested in the creation of the sense of mystique and exceptionalism of America and the American Presidency, to allow a report on Donald Trump to destroy it. Did anyone ever really believe that there would be a report, (regardless of the Investigator) which would say a foreign power picked and installed an American President?
Kirstjen Nielsen says DHS is alert to domestic terror threat. Law enforcement sources say the agency has gone “silent.”
The Department of Homeland Security has disbanded a unit of intelligence analysts who monitored domestic terrorism threats even as department officials admit that the threat of domestic terrorism is growing. The DHS Office of Intelligence and Analysis has reassigned a group of intelligence analysts who focused on domestic threats, resulting in a significant drop in reports and analysis about threats from extremists and white supremacists, The Daily Beast reported. Local law enforcement officials told the outlet they are no longer receiving important information from DHS since the unit was disbanded last year.
“It’s especially problematic given the growth in right-wing extremism and domestic terrorism we are seeing in the U.S. and abroad,” a former intelligence official told The Daily Beast. The move came after new Intelligence and Analysis chief David Glawe reorganized the division. A DHS spokesperson told the outlet that it works with other law enforcement agencies to gather “threat information regardless of a threat actor’s ideology” and shares that information with other agencies. “The same people are working on the issues,” a senior DHS official insisted. “We just restructured things to be more responsive to the I&A customers within DHS and in local communities while reducing overlap with what the FBI does. We actually believe we are far more effective now.” But Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department Sgt. Mike Abdeen told The Daily Beast that the Office of Intelligence and Analysis has been “mostly silent” for the past six months despite previously sending his office a significant amount of information. “It’s been very quiet lately,” Abdeen said. “It’s changed with the new administration. It doesn’t seem to be as robust, as active, as important — it is important, I’m sure, but it’s not a priority. It doesn’t seem like engagement, outreach, and prevention are seen as a priority as we used to see in the past. There were roundtable meetings in the past, there was more activity, more training, more seminars. Now it seems like it’s gone away.”
As a result of the “reorganization,” officials said the office must now coordinate with the FBI to share information with local law enforcement.“While I cannot speak to what is going on at DHS I&A today, the analysis provided by I&A personnel on domestic extremism was essential during my tenure at DHS,” former acting head of Intelligence and Analysis John Cohen told the outlet. “Based on the current threat environment, I believe those same efforts are essential today.” Disbanding the domestic terrorism intelligence unit is a curious move after DHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen said in a speech at Auburn University last month that her department would work to prevent attacks like the one in New Zealand, where a white nationalist gunman killed 50 people at two mosques. “We, too, have seen the face of such evil with attacks in places such as Charlottesville, Pittsburgh and Charleston,” Nielsen said. “I want to make one thing very clear: We will not permit such hate in the homeland.” Read more here: https://www.salon.com/2019/04/02/trumps-dhs-responds-to-rise-in-extremism-by-disbanding-domestic-terror-unit/
On Thursday, April 4th, voters in East Portland will get their chance to cast votes for either the JLP’s Ann-Marie Vaz, or the PNP’s Damion Crawford for the seat made vacant after the PNP MP Lynvale Bloomfield was murdered in February. The intense buzz surrounding the by-election for this seat, brings into sharp focus the value the two major political parties place on state power. Still evident is the old style partisan sniping, which generally ends up in bloodshed. Thus far, there has been bloodshed and the old partisan Horace Chang in his dual role as General Secretary for his party and Minister of National Security, has immediately hyped the shootings as political, over the findings of his own police Department which pointedly said the shootings were not political.
Now granted that I couldn’t care a Rat’s ass who wins this fiasco on Thursday, it seems to me that Chang has a duty, and indeed a responsibility, not just to square his pronouncements with the findings of his police department, but to be measured in the way he deals with incidents such as the shootings in the constituency considering that he is the Minister of National Security.(gag) But this is the kind of hyper-partisanship on which Horace Chang cut his teeth and has flourished in, to become the member of Parliament for one of the Island’s grittiest political garrisons. Chang must understand that his statements as General Secretary of his party cannot be separated from Horace Chang the Minister of National Security. If there is information which is of help to the police as to who the shooters were and what their motives were, Horace Chang as Garrison MP, and Minister of National Security is best poised to have those answers. That intelligence should be passed on to the police and not used to stir the pot of political violence. On the other hand, it is remarkable that Fitz Jackson the opposition spokesperson on National Security can garner information with such alacrity indicating that the deceased was a JLP supporter wanted by the law, yet he and his party are unable and unwilling to support measures which are aimed at curbing the lawlessness and the metastacizing gangland stple killings on the Island.
Most Jamaicans at home and abroad wishes that political violence is a thing of the past. Rightly so, most of the building blocks of political violence are gone. Because of better accountability safeguards in place, a-la the Contractor General’s Act. etc, Members of Parliament have fewer dollars to toss around to thugs to do their bidding. As a consequence, politicians are only useful to the thugs as buffers between themselves and the police. Thugs are making their own way, through lotto-scamming, murder for hire, Robberies, and other criminal acts, which renders the politicians far less important. Being that as it may, politicians on both sides of the political divide are still clinging to their connections in the garrisons to deliver the votes en-block, as Mister Anderson clung to his murderous shotta Wayne, in the fictional Jamaican flick (SHOTTAS). For the good and survival of the Jamaican state, it may be a positive outcome if life imitates art, since Jamaican Politicians refuses to eschew this type of criminal association. If they refuse to change, then change should remove them from the equation.
One of the easiest ways for the political gangs which run our country to show maturity is to begin to bring people together, rather than separate them. We are a small country of families, friends, and neighbors, and yes, friends we are yet to meet. What a difference it would make if the two gangs do away with the party colors and show the world that we are one people?
The central argument proffered by Jamaicans for Justice in its suit against the promotion of former SSP Delroy Hewitt,, is that the (PCS) Police Service Commission, did not do a comprehensive enough investigation, before greenlighting Hewitt’s promotion. The argument of the lobby was not without merit for promotions going forward. The country should be seeking to find ways to engage in best practices. Nevertheless, the way the lobby went about the case was prejudicial and biased against SSP Hewitt, a senior police officer of impeccable character. Instead of engaging the Government and the PSC in dialogue on the issue Jamaicans For Justice chose to go after a single police officer it did not like, and in that, it’s biased vendetta was laid bare.
The recent ruling of the British-based Privy Council, buttressed the claim made by JFJ, that had the PCS conducted a lengthy Investigation it would potentially have arrived at a different conclusion. The decision is considered academic, because Hewitt is long retired. Personally, I would not add the word [academic]to anything around that ruling, as the PSC was not legally bound to conduct Investigations of candidates before it for promotion. In the interest of full disclosure, this writer is not a lawyer but it seems to me that the decision of the Privy Council is purely suggestive, as the PSC did not fail as there was no legally binding duty to adhere to conducting investigations before greenlighting promotions. The tragedy in this whole debacle is that the Government did not mount a challenge against the case on the basis that JFJ had no legal standing to mount the challenge to Hewitt’s promotion. Neither did it challenge JFJ’s case on the frivolity of it, since the PSC had no legal binding duty to conduct pre-promotions investigations. The fact is that the Government did not care because the matter was about the police department.
The real victims of the litany of anti-policing lobbies, (JFJ included) which have sprung up over the last three decades or so, are law-abiding Jamaicans who are not invested in crime. Make no mistake about it, the supposed good they are doing is certainly not reflected in the data as it relates to the low standard of living Jamaicans are forced to endure as a result of the Islands exponentially high crime rate. For one, abuse of women are on the increase, there is no systematic effort to get Jamaican men to respect women and not see them as property and or objects to be used and abused. The plight of children is still an incredibly sore subject which requires immediate attention, but supporting children’s rights is not as sexy for JFJ and others, as attacking the police. Murders, Rapes and other sexual assaults are widespread, including sexual assaults perpetrated on children and even babies. Violent crimes of other nature are also widespread throughout the Island, making victims of literally every law-abiding Jamaican. Yet the focus of the supposed human rights lobbies is solely focused on how many murderers are killed by the security forces.
Jamaicans For Justice has certainly not been Jamaica’s first anti-police [rodeo]. Long before they came on the scene, Flo O’Connor was there, and there were others whom I cannot recall at the moment. The truth is, during the ’80s when those bleeding -hearts were crying about police taking out murderous gangsters, homicides were just over 500 annually. Criminals were running away from Jamaica and Investments and Jamaicans in the Diaspora were pouring in. Jamaicans in the ’80s were not stupid, they realized that in order for their standard of living to improve they could not have murderous thugs in their midst, so no one really paid much attention to Flo O’Connor, Horace Levy or the others.
Neither O’Connor nor Levy received much traction but someone saw an opening to step into that space and make a name for herself. In stepped the White Jamaican baby doctor and before long she was an icon, a legend, she received a national honor, and the entire national security apparatus was answerable to her. The long-held glue which bound our police department professionals together, [Esprit de -Corps], was maligned as a blue wall of silence it was out the door. It wasn’t a blue wall of silence, it was a bond which meant cops would give their own lives in support of each other when they are actively fighting for their lives. Owen Ellington, the then Commissioner of Police, was too busy promoting his friends and family to care that the department was in deep distress. Carolyn Gomez’s toxic influence had seeped into the Police Academic curriculum, and the country was not training cops anymore, it was now in the business of turning out agents for JFJ. The sad reality is that it took roughly two decades and thousands of innocent lives for karma to catch up with Gomez and she was exposed as a fraudulent purveyor of gay pornographic smut to children. Not only did they not take back the national honor, but she was also not prosecuted. Yes, white skin has the same power in Jamaica as it does in America, it is privileged.
The damage was already done. Police officers who placed their bodies between bloodthirsty killers and innocent citizens were themselves portrayed as extrajudicial killers. The term “extrajudicial” was attached to every police-involved shooting, never mind that the guns recovered, the innocent dead and wounded. The focus became that police were shooting too many criminals. Attention was successfully deflected away from the homicide numbers to the cops doing the heavy lifting. (a) Perfectly legitimate police fatal shootings were portrayed as [extrajudicial killings]. (b) Because plainclothes cops were the officers facing down the criminals, and because plainclothes cops made up only a small portion of the force at the time, roughly about (6-8%), those officers were necessarily and rationally featured in violent confrontations with criminals. (c) The Aura created as a result of the bravery and dedication of those officers (name-brand-cops) served as a useful deterrent to those who would take life as well as those who would engage in gang activities. (d) Those officers were national heroes, not villains. They never received a national honor. Sure there were instances where cops stepped over the line, those actions cannot be denied and should never be condoned or covered over. But planes fall from the skies because of pilot error, people die on operating tables, because surgeons make mistakes, cars, trucks and buses crash because drivers make mistakes, patients die because nurses give incorrect medicine. I’m not sure why police officers who risk their lives unlike any of the aforementioned, are held to a higher standard of scrutiny?
Neither the Governing political party nor the political opposition, will come clean and tell the Jamaican people that their strategy has been a colossal disaster. Neither will the criminal rights lobby. What is left of the police force has estimated that there are well over two thousand gangs operating in the small space of 4411 square miles. Before it was only the poor and the business-people who were being murdered but of late a few politicians are having their domes pushed back as well. Today the police are not engaging criminals as much, this writer is supportive of that position. Why should officers risk being dragged through a shitty system which favors criminals over them and innocent citizens? The non-police, commissioner of police, recently said he is confident that given time every police officer in Jamaica will be a human rights activists. Every person who ever donned the uniform of a police officer with the right intent is a human rights activist. It is the commitment to the rule of law, the protection of the weak which propels them to run toward the danger when everyone runs away from it. What police officers do not need is a redefinition of policing by someone who was given the top policing role without a single idea of what policing is. Jamaicans certainly need to rise up against these charlatans and frauds who talk about human rights but does not speak to the right their dead relatives had to the most important human right. The right to life!
I am the King of the world’s most powerful country, I find myself under investigations for various and sundry breaches of the laws. Nevertheless, I lambast the prosecutors daily. As if that is not enough, I replace the head of the Agency tasked with doing the Investigations of me, but I was certainly not done. I smeared and tarnished the character of career prosecutors and Investigators as well. I had my minions drag them before the Congress and berated and humiliated them and then I fired them. So they appointed a special counsel which for all intents and purposes should be friendly to me because we are from the very same political party.
When my Attorney General recused himself and failed to interfere in the investigations with a view to protecting me from the Special Counsel, I fired him too. I then replaced him with an unqualified lackey who bad-mouthed the Investigations on television and talked about ways in which he would starve the Special Counsel’s Investigations of resources, eventually shutting it down. There was a widespread outcry and so I immediately looked for a replacement of him who could pass muster with the old guard. Never mind that I still wanted an Attorney General who could get confirmed but I needed one who had written a long memorandum detailing his disdain for the Special Counsel process and expressing his support for wider powers for me. Ah yes, I got my man. He’s been there before and it seems like he can be trusted to do exactly what I want him to do. confirm him now.
Witch hunt, witch hunt, no collusion, no collision is my daily tirade as I wonder about finding new ways to interfere in these investigations which are keeping me up at night. Daily I call for the Investigations to end. What? I don’t care if other people don’t get to demand that an investigation into their activities gets stopped. I don’t care that they don’t get to complain about the length of time investigations are taking, I’m special. Now my man is in place and he gets to decide whether that multi-million Dollar investigation gets revealed to the Congress, much less the poor peasantry. Oh wait, ha-ha-ha, I just realized that even though the Investigations are about my conduct, I’m allowed to decide on whether its findings gets revealed. Oh s**t, what was I worried about, I head the Justice Department b*****s? Touche mother-f*****s, ha, ha, ha…….!
So my boy did his thing after the Republican Special Counsel passed the report he wrote up to him. He writes the Congress led by the Dumb-crats[sic] a little cover letter saying that the Special Counsel found no conspiracy between myself and the Russians. He left them a little something to yap about on the issue of interference. As if it’s not my Justice Department, My FBI, my Country, I can damn well do as I please.
In summing up. You pay for investigating me. I interfere, I get my boy to say no conspiracy was found. I get my boy to say he decided not to act on me interfering in the investigations. And no you cannot see the report, who do you think you are? I decide what Democracy is. It is what I say it is. All of you who sat there and watched and waited these two years as talking heads opined about what the Special Counsel’s investigations would find about my actions are really dumber than me. Do you really think that this country would allow the world to know that a hostile foreign power put me in office? And many of you Libs call me dumb. Who is dumb now? Ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha……
When you think of some of the things happening in our country it is difficult to come away without thinking that they are avoiding tried and proven fixes intentionally. Solutions to the country’s corruption problem are absolutely not insurmountable. The Island’s leaders are not clueless about this. Why then would they continue to allow Ministers of Government ?Members of Parliament and people in public bodies to get away with such high levels of criminal corruption?
It is incredibly hard to make a case against those who talk about police corruption. Nevertheless, when we look at the corrupt acts committed in the open by politicians it is breathtakingly shocking. From the Iran sugar deal. to Outameni, Petrojam, The Dutch Trafigura scandal, the Cuban Light bulb scandal to the present day scandal involving Ruel Reid neither sides have clean hands. Ask yourselves how Kern Spencer could walk away without being convicted in the Cuban light bulb scandal? Then look at the so-called Judiciary and ask yourselves how a sitting Resident Magistrate could throw a monkey wrench in the prosecution’s case and be promoted instead of removed and imprisoned?
Want to talk about corruption? Lets look at the corruption involved in the Firearm’s Licencing Authority today. Law abiding Jamaicans who fulfill every criteria and tick every box can hardly receive approval to purchase a firearm for their protection. But a well connected criminal with some money to toss around can easily secure such approval. This was a function under the Police , much like the issuance of Passports. The politicians promised that they would strip out the corruption from the process when they removed both functions from the police. Today both the Passports and the firearm processes are two of the most corrupt organs of government.
My comments are in no way one of support for those functions to be returned to the police, far from it. I merely intend to point to the across the board corruption draining the economic lifeblood from the country. The Customs department has always been a cesspool of corruption, today more than ever it is a rotten morass of corruption graft and bribes. The Registrar General’s Department, you don’t pay you are not about to receive a birth certificate. The Motor Vehicles Department is infamous for its corrupt examiners, no matter how good a driver you are you will not receive a passing grade to secure a drivers license unless you pay up. Inside the post office, they opened people’s mail and steal whatever they want. It is as a result of this across the board thievery that Transparency International arrived at its rather generous 84% corrupt rating for Jamaica. I fundamentally believe that across all agencies of the over-bloated government bureaucracy, it is somewhere closer to 95% corrupt.
It is against this background that I continue to call for greater training, remunerations, and legislative support for the police. It is against this background that I call for the repeal of the INDECOM act, and greater investments into the justice delivery process. I believe that when there is professionalism, transparency, accountability, competency, honesty, and clarity in the justice delivery system those who work in the system has no choice but to uphold best practices or leave.
On this score, neither political party has clean hands. In some cases, the arguments that those in opposition are simply mad because they are on the outside looking in are not without merit. I shall post the speech given by Andrew Michael Holness when he ascended to the top executive position in our country.
Your Excellencies, the Governor General, the Most Honourable Sir Patrick Allen and Lady Allen. Leader of the Opposition the Most Honorable Portia Simpson Miller Former Prime Ministers: The Most Honorable Edward Seaga and Mrs Seaga The Most Honorable PJ Patterson The Honorable Bruce Golding and Mrs Golding. My fellow Jamaicans Good afternoon.
I recognize that I stand here today only by the Grace of God. It has not been an easy journey to this podium, but earnest labor and fervent prayers conquer all. To God be the glory.It is with a deep sense of gratitude, honor and humility that I took the Oath of Office moments ago, fully conscious of the magnitude of expectations and responsibility I have assumed, but equally energized and optimistic about a prosperous future for Jamaica. I pledge to serve the people of Jamaica faithfully, with all of my energies, all of my heart, mind and soul. I stand here today happy to be representing the voice, vision, vote and victory of Jamaica. We may have different voices and different votes on a similar vision, regardless of our differences, Jamaica was victorious at the General Elections. It is not perfect, but we can all be proud of the people, systems, and institutions that make up our democracy.
Meaning of the Mandate
On the day of Election, I witnessed a young man carrying, cradled in his arm, an obviously bed-ridden elderly man from a polling station. I was touched by the sight. In the bustle of the busy school yard, as they passed, the elderly man pointed his ink stained finger at me and said, “Andrew, do the right thing!”I stand here humbled by the awesome power of you, the people, and I commit to doing right by you. The people are sovereign and their views and votes must never be taken for granted. The people of Jamaica did not vote in vain. They expect a government that works for them and by the same expectation, an Opposition that is constructive. This historic election delivered the smallest majority but also the clearest mandate: Fix Government! With this mandate: There is no majority for arrogance There is no space for selfishness. There is no place for pettiness. There is no room for complacency and There is no margin for error. I am under no illusion as to the meaning of this mandate. We have not won a prize. Instead, the people are giving us a test. There is no absolute agency of power. This means that the winner cannot take all, or believe we can do it alone.
Leading Partnerships for Prosperity
To achieve the vision of shared prosperity through inclusive economic growth and meaningful job creation, now more than ever, Government must lead, activate, empower and build real partnerships. I intend to lead a Government of partnership. The solutions to our problems do not rest with Government alone. The sum total of our potential exceeds our problems; our collective capabilities are greater than our challenges, but it is only through partnership that these capabilities and this potential can be seized, harnessed and realized for the good of Jamaica. Partnerships require trust, clear assignment of responsibility and an elevated sense of duty. There is only so much trust that pledges and statements of commitment can buy. I understand that the Jamaican people now want to see action in building trust. This is part of fixing government. Everyone who will form the next government must be seized of this expectation. From the politician making policy to the civil servant processing an application, we must act dutifully to fulfill our responsibilities. Trust requires the actualization of our commitments. We will fulfill our commitments.
Our actions can achieve so much more if they are coordinated. We will bring greater coordination, rationality and focus to the role of government so that the objectives of partnership can be clear. There is no doubt that significant numbers of Jamaicans have lost hope in our system, but I am encouraged that a far larger number maintains faith, keeps hope and continues to pray that Jamaica will grow and prosper. I am energized by the expressions of willingness to work with our new Government in the interest of Jamaica. The sense of duty is alive and well. There is more hope than despair and this creates a great opportunity to form partnerships for prosperity.
Partnership with Families
You know, I am now joined in Parliament by my life partner Juliet. Family is the ultimate partnership. And that is why my Government will focus resources on supporting families. By increasing the income tax threshold we will restore the economic power of households to participate in not only growing our GDP but more importantly growing the general wellbeing of the society. Here’s how the partnership with families, and the working heads of households will work. Our government will ease your tax burden, but you must spend and invest wisely, use the additional money to acquire a house for your family or improve the house you already have, or buy Jamaican-made goods. This how we will increase local effective demand in housing, manufacturing, and agriculture. This is how you can play a part in creating in jobs while satisfying your wellbeing. We will continue our policy of tuition-free education and no user fee access to health care. However, will enable you to save in an education bond for your children’s education and in a national health insurance scheme your healthcare. We will enhance our social safety net for vulnerable families, and will provide support for parents in crisis, but you must be responsible and send your children to school. Our men must take care of their children, and couples must be responsible in having the children they can afford.
Our government commits to creating the environment in which families can flourish and form communities of social mobility from which every ghetto youth can be star. However, every family member must do his or her part by being personally, socially and economically responsible. I am sure Juliet will understand if I seek to build another partnership in Parliament. Leader of the Opposition, Portia Simpson Miller has given long and dedicated service to the country and I believe the mandate is saying, we may not be on the same side of the road, but as much as possible we should hold hands in cooperation to overcome obstacles for the good of the country. We have evolved without formal structure a very good partnership in education and we intend to continue our informal collaborations in this area and pursue other such areas of cooperation between Government and Opposition members. I still believe it is a useful symbol of national unity for the Prime Minister and the Leader of the Opposition to appear together in zones of political exclusions. I again extend the invitation.
Partnership for Growth with Private Sector
The priority of this Government is to grow the economy and create meaningful jobs. In so doing, we will more rapidly and sustainably reduce debt. I am sure we all agree that much of Jamaica’s development has been achieved without growth, which has left us with much debt. This is unsustainable. Going forward, Jamaica’s development must rest on its ability to create propositions of value and attract investments to convert the value into wealth. In this model, Government is not the main investor, it is the Private Sector whether they be large enterprises or small business. In the economic partnership with the Private Sector, Government’s role, among others, is:
To ensure the rule of law. Create a safe, secure, and fair environment for business. Make markets where none exist. Ensure transparency and access to information -and create an efficient and supportive public sector bureaucracy. In exchange, we want the Private Sector to unleash investments in the local economy. We want to see the return of the pioneering drive to create new industries, the entrepreneurial willingness to take risk, and the innovative insight to do things better. I am heartened by the signals coming from the Private Sector. I believe they have got the message about the partnership for growth and job creation. Now is the time for growth.
Partnership with international partners
We are not naïve about the challenges we face regarding our debt and the need to maintain fiscal discipline. This is why we will continue with the principle of joint oversight of our Economic Programme and performance.We recognize the importance of, and value our relationship with our bilateral and multilateral friends. These relationships have been critical in securing stability. We believe in preserving stability, but we must now build upon this, in a productive partnership with them to achieve inclusive growth and job creation. There are many more areas of partnerships that we must formally pursue for national development and as our government is installed over the coming days these will become evident.
The Role of the Prime Minister
In all these partnerships for prosperity, there must be coordinated effort. That is my role. I will ensure that: Government is coordinated and strategically directed Decisions are taken quickly. Targets are set. The nation is informed and that. Everyone under my appointment is held to account for their action or lack thereof. Institutional Reform There is a sense of expectation of change. It is not lost on me that I am the first of the Post-Independence generation to lead Jamaica. More than anything else we want to see Jamaica take its true place as a developed country in the next 50 years. The struggle is not so much political independence as it is economic independence. It is through our economic independence that we secure real political independence. However, after 53 years of independence, there is need for institutional review of the Jamaican State both in terms of modernization of the institutions of the State, and the structure of the State. Government has to improve its business processes and become more efficient as a regulator and a service provider.
There is need for us to have a say in the fundamental institutions that define Jamaica, the rights we secure for our citizens and how we want Jamaica to be. We will give form to that voice in a referendum to decide on the constitutional matters and social matters. Independent Jamaica must remove the culture of dependency from our midst. We must teach our children that there is no wealth without work, and no success without sacrifice. We must remove the belief from the psyche of our children that the only way they can step up in life is not by how hard they work, but by who they know. As Prime Minister I have a duty to align our incentives and reward systems for those who work and follow rules. We must create a Jamaica where the man who plays by the rules is rewarded! It is important that the citizens of Independent Jamaica have a sense of entitlement to good service from their country. However, increasingly this is not being balanced with a duty of ‘giving back’. Jamaica has benefited significantly from the civic pride and sense of nationhood that drove so many to give generously of their talent and treasures to build our great nation. The spirit still exists, to a great extent, locally and in our Diaspora. However, we have to be more active in promoting civic responsibility, volunteerism and ‘giving back’, particularly among our youth. And we have to integrate the incredible talents and assets of the Jamaican Diaspora in local development. Too often I hear complaints from the Diaspora that they experience difficulty in giving to Jamaica. Giving should be easy, as part of our Partnership for Prosperity which includes the Diaspora, we will make it easier for you to contribute to the development of your homeland.
Jamaica is too rich in people and talent to be a poor country. With good governance and a prospective outlook, Jamaica, within a decade or less, could emerge as a booming economy and a prosperous society. Jamaica is geographically central in the Caribbean. My vision is to turn Jamaica into the centre of the Caribbean. A centre of finance, trade and commerce, technology and innovation, and the centre of arts, culture, and lifestyle regionally. This is all possible within our lifetime. Despite any negatives, Jamaica still has a powerful and alluring brand amplifying our voice and influence in the world. We cannot be satisfied with things as they are. My dream is to fulfill your dream. We must create a Jamaica where there is hope and opportunity. Where we can encourage our children to dream big and be optimistic about their life chances. We must create a Jamaica where our young people can find meaningful work. A Jamaica where you feel safe to live, work and raise your children. A Jamaica that is booming and investors and entrepreneurs can have a confident outlook on the economy. A place where we can retire and truly enjoy as paradise. All of this is possible. We must start now. Time for a partnership. Time for action!
PNPYO CALLS FOR RUEL REID TO BE FIRED AS PRINCIPAL OF JC
The PNP Youth Organisation welcomes news that the Principal of Jamaica College, Ruel Reid has been fired as Minister and has also resigned from the Senate. This development has only come about because of a diligent Parliamentary Opposition led by Dr. Peter Phillips, who called attention to Mr. Reid’s stewardship over corrupt practices at the Ministry. That the Prime Minister has seen it fit to fire Mr. Reid, tells the public that what is being uncovered in Ministry of Education could very well be worse than what was unearthed at Petrojam.
The PNPYO is therefore demanding that Ruel Reid steps down as Principal of Jamaica College and not be allowed to serve on any State Boards in the near future. His prolonged secondment was already improper and to keep him in this position of leadership sends the wrong message to the students who would be under his influence and guidance.The role of Principal must be held by one who is firm on principle, integrity and good judgement. Mr. Reid has proven that he does not meet such high standards. We further ask that the Custos of St. Andrew, HON. DR. PATRICIA DUNWELL review this matter to determine whether Mr. Reid could rightly continue to hold the office of Justice of the Peace (JP). The Ministry of Justice requires that a JP be a person of unquestionable integrity and who commands the respect and confidence of the local community.
We believe that the Prime Minister’s loss of confidence in Ruel Reid to continue his tenure as Minister and Senator is a clear indication that he is no longer suited to bear the seal of such an office as Justice of the Peace. With information yet unfolding, his actions may well warrant a dismissal on the grounds outlined in Section 9, subsection 4a(i and ii) of the Justices of the Peace Act, 2018.
In an unprecedented and unexpected move, Jamaica’s Prime Minister, Andrew Holness has fired Education Minister Ruel Reid. Reid has also resigned from the Senate.
In a statement to the Nation Holness said the following. This morning I met with Minister Ruel Reid regarding certain allegations in the public domain. In keeping with the principles of good governance, I requested and received Minister Reid’s resignation. Minister Reid has also resigned from the Senate. The Minister’s resignation will ensure that any investigation into matters of concern will not be in any way impeded by his presence or oversight of the Ministry. The Ministry of Education Youth and Information will now fall under the temporary supervision of the Office of the Prime Minister which will start its own review of the ministry and its agencies.
According to local reporting, the Auditor General’s Department is currently undertaking a performance audit of the department. It was, however, the political opposition which is credited with raising questions amidst reports of misuse of public funds and corruption at the education ministry and suggested that it was equivalent to the scandal uncovered at Petrojam, the state-owned oil refinery. Opposition Leader Dr Peter Phillips, speaking during a post-Budget press conference, said the allegations are related directly to Caribbean Maritime University and the use of funds sent to the ministry by the HEART Trust for the Career Advancement Programme as well as the Technical, Vocational, Educational and Training (T-VET) Rationalisation Project.(Jamaica Geaner.com)
It is that kind of oversight which the country must encourage rather than the tit-for-tat, back and forth which has characterized opposition parties behavior previously. Although there is far from sufficient information in the public domain for a reasonable conclusion to be drawn, the actions of the Prime Minister in firing Reid, tells us that the story is serious enough despite the PM’s contention that the minister’s removal will ensure that any investigation into matters of concern will not be in any way impeded by Reid’s presence.
I urge the Prime Minister to call in the Police to conduct a free and fair investigation even as the Auditor General’s office is working on a parallel track. One investigation will not impede the other, and should not be seen as antithetical to each other. Regardless of the outcome, the law must take its course. If breaches of the laws are found firings are not enough. The full force of the law must be brought to bear as it would for any other Jamaican. It is about time that those entrusted with public positions of trust understand that public offices and public positions of power are not opportunities to get rich. It would also demonstrate that the Prime Minister is committed to the rule of law and does not believe that the laws are only there for some people.
In the meantime the Opposition PNP issued the following statement under the signature of the opposition leader Peter Phillips.
Statement on the Matter of Corruption at the Ministry of Education and Related Agencies Dr. Peter Phillips, PNP President and Leader of the Opposition March 20, 2019. The hasty removal of the Minister of Education is in response to our demand at the Press Conference on Monday, March 18, 2019, for a full investigation of activities at Ministry of Education in light of credible reports of corruption, nepotism and misappropriation of public funds involving the Ministry of Education and its associated agencies. Our report indicates the depth of the cancer of corruption and dishonesty engulfing the Holness Administration. Reports received indicate that not only the central Ministry but agencies including the Caribbean Maritime University, the National Education Trust and the HEART Trust which was subsequently transferred to OPM have all been implicated in the web of corruption. This is the 2nd senior Minister of Government that has been forced to resign in less than a year under the shadow of corruption affecting agencies for which they have been responsible and accountable. We should remember also that investigations in the Petrojam scandal by the National Integrity Commission and MOCA are still not completed. Furthermore, the Prime Minister who had carriage of the Ministry of Energy has still not provided the relevant documentation to the Parliamentary Committee. I am again calling upon the Auditor General and the National Integrity Commission, as well as security agencies including JCF, MOCA and the Financial Investigation Division (FID) to fully investigate the allegations which have caused the Minister’s resignation. We expect them to act with integrity and urgency to hold those who broke the law accountable. Indeed, we note that the Prime Minster has not yet said what was the basis on which he asked for the resignation of the MOE and we are calling up on him to do so immediately. Also, in light of disturbing reports, that the Security agencies are being hampered in the conduct of their investigations, we are calling up on all the heads of the Security agencies to act with integrity and urgency, mindful that they represent the line of defense against wanton corruption and the abuse of taxpayers money. The People’s National Party strenuously objects to the Prime Minister’s decision to take the Ministry of Education within the Office of the Prime Minister (OPM) and subject to the Prime Minister’s personal control. First of all, the Ministry of Education is much too important to be given partial oversight in the conduct of day-to-day activities, which are absolutely essential to the future of our nation’s children. Secondly, the experience of the role of the Office of the Prime Minister in its management of Petrojam does not give the country confidence. We cannot forget the infamous Non-Disclosure Agreement (NDA) in Petrojam which was done under Prime Minister Holness’ watch. He is yet to table all the documents linked to the resignation of the former Human Resource Manager at Petrojam, nor has he provided the relevant advice that the lawyers gave to Petrojam on this matter. The country cannot afford the Office of the Prime Minister to act once again to cover up the misdeeds of Minsters. The people of Jamaica deserve much better!
This story is developing and may be updated as more information becomes available.
The congresswoman was smeared—nothing she said warranted the criticism she received. But progressives should not fall into the trap of denying that anti-Semitism exists on the left.
What’s wrong with this picture?
Back in February, Representative Ilhan Omar tweeted that American political leaders’ support for Israel was “all about the Benjamins baby”—a Puff Daddy quote that some were quick to condemn as invoking the anti-Semitic theme of Jews buying influence. The freshman congresswoman, who came to the United States as a refugee from Somalia at the age of 12, quickly issued an unequivocal apology, saying she was “grateful for Jewish allies and colleagues who are educating me on the painful history of anti-Semitic tropes.”
A couple of weeks later, after a town-hall meeting at Washington’s Busboys and Poets, where Omar remarked that she wanted “to talk about the political influence in this country that says it is OK for people to push for allegiance to a foreign country,” Omar’s opponents accused her of claiming American Jews had a “dual loyalty”—another vintage anti-Semitic trope. Even though she was clearly referring to the pressure she herself felt as a member of Congress and a supporter of Palestinian rights, that didn’t stop the House Democratic leadership from moving a resolution that, while it didn’t mention Omar by name, was clearly aimed at her.
Yet, by the time that House resolution came to a vote, the text condemned both anti-Semitism and anti-Muslim bigotry as “hateful expressions of intolerance”—along with white-supremacist attacks “targeting traditionally persecuted peoples, including African Americans, Latinos, Native Americans, Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders and other people of color, Jews, Muslims, Hindus, Sikhs, the LGBTQ community, immigrants, and others.” When the resolution passed by a margin of 407 to 23, with almost the entire Democratic delegation, including Omar, voting in favor, some of the same commentators who’d condemned the Democratic leadership for “smearing” Omar now decided the episode had ended happily after all.
One of the most difficult things to accomplish is to get people to think outside their comfort zones. We, humans, are certainly products of our environment. As for us Jamaicans who were raised on JLP and PNP orthodoxy, seeing reason outside of the confines of those political blinkers is nearly impossible. Unfortunately for the country, because of this blinkered mentality, the leadership of the two major political parties has very little to fear from engaging in corruption and stepping outside the bounds of the law.
A revolutionary change is necessary, the imminence is up to the people. I believe it was Norman Manley who was credited with the statement quote;’There can be no real victory without a few broken skulls.” Whether Jamaica’s evolution will be one of a popular people’s uprising or an intellectual awakening is impossible to say. But if the blood-letting and the carnality are to be halted there will have to be a shift, a paradigm shift even,_______________ in the way we think, in the way we act, in the way we expect our country to be run. Presently there is little sign that we are even cognizant of the right path to take. The new normal is the daily killings with the bodies of entire families wiped out by gangsters. The new normal is little babies describing in graphic detail the sexual organs of their parents and the actions their parents engage in sexually. The new normal is the recording of that despicable narration from a child no more than an infant and the promulgation of it on social media for likes.
Often we hear of a desire to return to the way we were. It is incredibly difficult to imagine a return to the way we were when many who created the “way we were” are no longer around. Through the passage of time, death, immigration, and probably more consequential the change forced on the silent majority to remain silent, at the peril of violent death, our country has changed forever. When the mass of criminals and others being returned to the country, some after a lifetime of crime abroad, are added to the mix, it seems to me the status quo is here to stay.
Contrary to the hyperbolic arguments you hear and the faux attempts at patriotism the vast majority of Jamaicans have told pollsters they would emigrate if they could. In fact, those who make the loudest noise about not leaving Jamaica have been those who have not been able to leave. In 2015 alone The United States Embassy in Kingston confirmed that Jamaicans spent J$3 billion) trying to obtain visas to the United States. And that is only to one country. Every day Jamaicans line up at the British and Candian consulates as well as consulates of other countries trying to find a way to have a better life. According to a 2016 survey commissioned by Respect, Jamaica and the local office of UNICEF, 81 percent of Jamaica’s youth between 14 and 40 years of age would leave the country immediately if they could. The only country they ruled out as a possible choice was the nation of Afghanistan. As far as Transparency International is concerned our country is 84% corrupt. These are only a few of the negative trends which dictates that regardless of who is in power politically, the reality is that we are headed in the wrong direction. There seems to be no understanding that their economic survival and growth is hinged on their ability to remove violent crime and corruption from the society. Failing which, regardless of the smoke and mirrors and the mirages, the Island could be doing exponentially better by attracting new Investments. Those Investments are outside the Chinese takeover which is another iteration of slavery. Nevertheless, the emphasis is on whose party is in power so that scarce handouts may be derived. It was sad when it first started, it is sad today, yet the really sad thing is that we appear to be frozen in accepting that we cannot change it. Instead of rooting out the murderers and demanding there is no more corruption, society seemingly has evolved into acceptance of corruption and violent murders as its chosen path.
We should never grade ourselves against the world’s worst actors. Instead, we should look at what works for the best and see whether we can co-opt some of their best practices and see if they can work in our unique situation. Make no mistake about it, the Jamaica of yester-year is no more, not only has the values changed, but the people have also changed. The sad reality is that for many Jamaicans who yearn for the land of peace and serenity of the past, that ship has long sailed.
The Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) and the Jamaica Defense Force JDF has worked side by side for decades. Together both of these Institutions of Government have given blood sweat and tears to nation-building. In the fight to secure the Nation as it relates to protecting Jamaica’s expansive unprotected shoreline, both the (JCF’S)Marine Patrols and the(JDF’s) Coast guard have logged innumerable amounts of hours while the nation sleeps. Despite their efforts, because of the expanse of unprotected shoreline and the lack of resources, guns and drugs continue to flood the Island from Haiti and Latin America.
In the interior of the country, the (JDF) has assisted the (JCF) with logistical as well as numerical support, particularly when the need arises for declaring the State of Emergency, or when the Nation faces an existential threat, like the one faced in 2010 with the Tivoli Gardens annexation to the Jamaican state. I can personally attest to the relationships forged on a personal level with members of the Military as a young constable stationed at the Mobile Reserve. We did Rat-Patrols, rappeled from JDF Helicopters in the mountains of Montpelier to destroy Ganga fields, staked out illegal airstrips and much more. On all of those assignments, whether it was one police officer and a bunch of soldiers or several police officers and even more soldiers, we were a brotherhood.
Having laid out the way the two Organizations are inextricably linked, I want to register my disgust at the idea that anyone, much less someone with direct control over the national security apparatus would expand or exploit any fissure or crack (even perception wise)which may exist between the two, for political or more ominous purposes. And so today I want to talk about an age-old perception within the population that soldiers are more trustworthy, less corrupt. In doing so I wish to offer a bit of perspective in this continued assault on the (JCF) by certain people at the top of this Administration. At the same time, I wish to once again explain that soldiers fight wars and are seen as heroes. Even though members of the (JDF) never have to go to war, the Military does not go out to haul criminals off to jail, and so soldiers are not viewed the same way that police officers are. In a country like Jamaica which is deemed to be 84% corrupt, the flirtatious love affair which exists between the military and the populace is quite understandable. Arguably more consequential is the issue of crimes and acts of corruption among members of the (JDF), these are generally kept out of the public eye and are dealt with by the military, quite unlike incidents which involve the police which is plastered in public spaces for all to see.
Rather than inject much more of my own thoughts about corruption within the JDF I will co-opt the words of some past members of both the (JCF) and (JDF) who like myself are nauseated at the idea that there are moves afoot to disrespect the (JCF) while extolling false virtues assigned to the (JDF). None of this should be a thing but when members of the (JCF) are pushed aside and replaced with heads of the (JDF) to head the force under the guise that the police are too tainted and the military trustworthy we are forced to speak out. When the ZOSO in St James was basically sold as a JDF operation with the (JCF) In a support role we are forced to speak out. When there is a hotline to the (JDF) because of a supposed lack of trust for the police, even as the police hotlines are confidential we call bullshit. When the Commissioner of Police, a usurper from the (JDF) brings over his driver to the (JCF) supposedly because he has special skills or the commissioner do not trust the police and have him promoted to Assistant Superintendent of Police, we call them out as corrupt. When the Commissioner of police purport not to trust the men and women under his command, he is in the wrong job as my friend said.
So here are a few of the comments on this issue, I’ll let them tell it.
Corruption and criminality come from our society. I being an ex-soldier knows that there is a lot of soldiers back in my time being incarcerated for various criminal activities. Guns have gone missing in camp and from New Castle without the public’s knowledge. Soldiers and ex-soldiers have been implicated in training criminal gunmen. Reporters can’t go into camp and get that information but police highlight every case in which they arrest the police or ex-police officer. Every organization has criminals and corruption in it. Soldier shoots girlfriend, girlfriend family, Soldiers shoots girlfriend, soldier robs bread van in cross roads. You hardly hear much about the end because they are not all over the Island like the cops. Soldiers collect money from ganja-farmers in West, allowing them to reap their crops then burn a small portion. Soldier drowns their senior ranks at sea, as boat load of ganja gone missing. Let us deploy these soldiers at every police station and give them the powers of arrest and also a ticket book then we can talk about the squeaky cleaners of the army. Most Jamaicans are always and will forever be stupid. It is like a diehearted political lackey, their party is always the best regardless of all the malfeances and atrocities they commit.
There was a time back when soldiers based at Vernamfield Clarendon, actually every week they arranged for and cause ganja planes to land on the strips and collect ganja, thinking now are paragons of virtue?
The first RPG (Rocket Propel Grenade launcher) recovered in Jamaica was in 1997 and was recovered by the police in Kingston 11 in possession of a soldier at top jungle or tank, Kingston 12. The importer of this weapon was the nephew of Member of Parliament, and he wasn’t arrested and charged for the shoulder held weapon. The man fled to another jurisdiction and the soldier was on bail, and he fled the country.
In 1999 a former member of the Jamaican Defense Force who was a member of the Jamaican Constabulary Force and stationed at Half-Way-Tree Police Station (name withheld) gave his police uniform to a Canadian fugitive who was able to escape from the Kingston Public Hospital under police guard. The fugitive was a white man, and the police officer was half white. The fugitive was held a few weeks later in Rose Town, Kingston 11 living with the former soldiers family members. He was allowed to resign because they did not want to embarrass the army because there were red flags during his antecedent investigations, but he got help from within the organization.
There were two (2) Trailer loads of guns and ammunition found near a high rise buildings downtown Kingston (near the Coronation Market). Those Containers were taken to JDF-HQ where they went missing. You who are talking about Soldiers honesty, please do some research and let us know your findings.
There was a Soldier name, Kenamar Johnson, who usually trained gunmen in web lane, Clarendon to use, Ak and m16. He was a Sniper for the JDF and a hit man for the Web Lane Gang. He was eventually killed by Police in Clarendon, after he was dismissed from the army.
Why Soldiers are more liked than police 🤔, first thing comes to mind (powers of arrest), when you serve as an occupying force and have the powers of arrest, I can tell you that people don’t like you as much…
So there, I believe there ought to be an accounting by both the (JDF) and definitely the (JCF), of all members of the military who have been arrested and charged with a crime and appropriate case dispositions done involving each case. Just like the incidents of police corruption are always rightly in the open. One of the things which I have suggested the (JCF) can be better at, despite the lack of resources and support from Government, is to do an overall better job on its own. These are some of the areas in which the Agency can collect this data and archive it, so that the Agency can use the data to debunk the lies and disrespect coming from the two criminal gangs which run the country, as well as to formulate strategies. Members of the (JCF) at all levels, have done tremendous harm to the Agency, for that there is no excuse. The crimes attributed to members are inexplicable and indefensible. The corruption in the (JCF) is nevertheless a function of a wider societal decay and lack of morality which has its’ genesis at the highest levels of Governmental Administrations. Before the Politicians exploit for their own purposes, the differences between the two organizations, it is important that they look in the mirror and first pluck the beam from their own eyes, then remove the corrupt criminals who are among them right there in the People’s house. When there is moral leadership from the top the people have no choice but to fall in line.