Biden’s Canned Hunt: The Punishment of the Border Agents is about Protecting a President, not Migrants

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Below is my column in The Hill on the punishment of four mounted Border Patrol agents in Texas and what is says about us as a country. What is particularly crushing is not just that this can occur but that it was predicted almost a year ago.

Here is the column:

President Eisenhower once said that “The search for a scapegoat is the easiest of all hunting expeditions.” When it comes to subordinates, that can become a virtual canned hunt for a president. Worse yet, presidents often use other subordinates to pull the trigger.

That is what happened this week when President Biden bagged four Border Patrol agents in one of the most cowardly canned hunts in political history.

After almost a year of investigation, the Biden administration announced the agents would be punished even though investigators found no evidence that they whipped migrants, as Biden and many other politicians and pundits insisted. Since the president declared — before an investigation had begun — that the agents would have to be punished, the agents had to be found guilty of something. So, they were reprimanded for “unprofessional conduct,” “working in an unsafe manner” and “derogatory language.”

Make no mistake: This is not about protecting migrants. It is about protecting a president.

The verdict on these agents was decided ten months ago, after the media went into a frenzy over a false story accusing mounted officers of whipping undocumented migrants near Del Rio, Texas, on Sept. 19.

A photographer captured the scene, which showed agents using bridle reins to guide their skittish horses. The entire videotape clearly shows the agents using the reins on their mounts, not on the migrants. Not only did the photographer quickly deny seeing any officers whip migrants, the videotape clearly refuted that allegation. However, for many in politics and the media it did not matter because it played into a racial-justice claim of the “whipping (of) Haitian asylum seekers.”

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) condemned “the inappropriate use of what appear to be whips by Border Patrol officers on horseback to intimidate migrants.” Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) decried “images of inhumane treatment of Haitian migrants by Border Patrol — including the use of whips.” Vice President Kamala Harris emoted on “The View” about how the brutality “invoked images of some of the worst moments of our history, where that kind of behavior has been used against the Indigenous people of our country, it has been used against African Americans during times of slavery.” Reps. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.) and Ayanna Pressley (D-Mass.) described the incident as “worse than what we witnessed in slavery” and “white supremacist behavior.”

President Biden rushed to express his own revulsion and rage, too: “It was horrible what — to see, as you saw — to see people treated like they did: horses nearly running them over and people being strapped. It’s outrageous. I promise you, those people will pay.”

At the time, some of us objected that the president had, once again, declared the guilt of accused persons without evidence or investigation. The possible innocence of these officers simply did not matter to the president or to many in the press.

Despite being tasked with an investigation, Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas joined the condemnations of the agents, saying that their conduct “defies all of the values that we seek to instill in our people.” He then promised swift justice with an investigation that would take “days, not weeks” — yet the investigation dragged on for months.

The reason was obvious. Within hours, the issue was no longer whether the agents whipped migrants. The issue was that the president wrongly claimed they whipped the migrants and would be punished.

Even some in the media admitted that the story was false, but President Biden never apologized for his false accusation. The innocence of the agents simply did not matter.

In a column last year, I explained what was likely to happen. First, the administration would bury the investigation “to wait for public attention to wane.” Then it would issue a long-delayed report and protect the president “by changing the question. For example, what began as an investigation into whether agents used reins to whip migrants might be converted into a long investigation into the use of horses in crowd control operations.”

And that is precisely what has happened. After almost a year, the agents will face relatively light punishment — two weeks without pay — for such transgressions as speaking in a threatening matter or managing a horse too close to a child.

This small detachment of mounted border officers was ordered to the river’s edge to prevent a huge body of migrants from crossing. In previous legal cases, I have deposed mounted officers involved in crowd-control operations. Since horses are commonly used to control crowds, such moments are routine. That does not excuse threatening language or careless maneuvers — but such instances generally result in verbal reprimands at the scene or, occasionally, formal discipline within weeks of the operation. They do not involve multi-agency efforts and almost a year of investigation.

Moreover, these circumstances were known within days of the Del Rio incident. Yet the Biden administration waited until a Friday afternoon ten months later to release its findings. Notably, at no point did it clear the agents of allegations of being racists who whipped black migrants, despite that fact that Customs and Border Protection Commissioner Chris Magnus said there was “no evidence Border Patrol agents involved in this incident struck anyone with their reins intentionally or otherwise.”

From beginning to end, these agents have been treated as props for the president and his administration. They were first used as embodiments of alleged systemic racism in law enforcement; they were then used as scapegoats to fulfill the president’s promise that “those people will pay.”

Most Americans would be appalled by this treatment, but few have seen the full story. It is doubtful they will, either, because much of the media was complicit with the president in the original false story and may be reluctant to fully correct the record now.

At the start of his administration, President Biden proclaimed that “the most difficult but important step [for a free nation] is burying the legacy of tyranny” and ensuring “a government and institutions that abide by the rule of law. Every country faces challenges to the rule of law, including my own.” What few of us expected was that Biden himself would become one of those most persistent challenges.

Jonathan Turley is the Shapiro Professor of Public Interest Law at George Washington University. Follow him on Twitter @JonathanTurley.

74 thoughts on “Biden’s Canned Hunt: The Punishment of the Border Agents is about Protecting a President, not Migrants”

    1. Here’s some Real People instead of the usual Patronizing political Aholes.

      Latinos Call OUT Jill Biden’s Ignorance

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      Jul 12, 2022
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      Sav Says
      Sav Says

      After Jill Biden called the Hispanic community “Latinx” tacos, I decided to go out and see if anyone even uses the made up term…

      https://banned.video/watch?id=62cde0d5010da6756b0914ae

      ****************

      This is just the 1st study they are comment on, there will be more for conformation of the findings, as was predicted before the shots started

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  1. Make no mistake: This is not about protecting migrants. It is about protecting a president.

    True but he was elected by the majority. Alas, the majority have no inclination to remove Biden from office like they successfully did with Trump. Thus we are ruled by tyrants (plural), as the Dumb Ox explained. No election, no political party nor candidate can fix America’s pathology, only Americans can.

    If an unjust government is carried on by one man alone, Footnote who seeks his own benefit from his rule and not the good of the multitude subject to him, such a ruler is called a tyrant—a word derived from strength —because he oppresses by might instead of ruling by justice. Thus among the ancients all powerful men were called tyrants. If an. unjust government is carried on, not by one but by several, and if they be few, it is called an oligarchy, that is, the rule of a few. This occurs when a few, who differ from the tyrant only by the fact that they are more than one, oppress the people by means of their wealth. If, finally, the bad government is carried on by the multitude, it is called a democracy, i.e. control by the populace, which comes about when the plebeian people by force of numbers oppress the rich. In this way the whole people will be as one tyrant.

    Saint Thomas Aquinas
    De regno ad regem Cypri / On Kingship To the King of Cyprus
    January 1, 1265
    https://isidore.co/aquinas/DeRegno.htm

    1. “True but he was elected by the majority.”

      That is as questionable as the guilt of Biden’s scapegoats.

      1. I didnt think I was asking for the moon in quoting Thomas Aquinas from this crowd, but especially you. Peter Shill likely thinks Aquinas is a gay destination in Europe, but you? I thought you of all people would have run with it.

        To one who has faith, no explanation is necessary. To one without faith, no explanation is possible
        ― St. Thomas Aquinas

        1. Estovir, I do not know how Thomas Aquinas is involved with my response, especially since I agree with his quote. I commented on my belief that Biden might be in office because he won based on the illegal votes cast for him. Biden, in my opinion, is the senile representative of an “unjust government.”

          As far as Peter Shill is involved, we still have to put up with him and his idiocy. We all know where he is hiding. Someday someone will put a lock on the door from the outside.

    2. Aquinas is the liar and/or dope who also authored Rome’s so-called “just war” theory claiming that “unavoidable” wars are just wars. The lie is this: Rome does NOT prohibit surrender. Surrender is always an option to avoid war, hence SURRENDER IS ALWAYS an option to avoid all war.

  2. And still they pass through our border, thousands each week unvetted, given money and transportation on the tax payers kick. They are flooding our communities and stressing services intended for Americans. If it were possible the entire administration should be impeached.

  3. Besides protecting slow Joe, another purpose of this finding is to destroy morale of the border patrol. Kind of akin to a police officer not wanting to be the next Darrin Wilson or Derek Chauvin. I used to represent a lot of law enforcement officials in a professional capacity and can assure this to be a common sentiment.

    So I feel absolutely no sympathy when urban s@@tlibs see a rise in crime and consequently suffer. Seems like flashing their ‘good white’ card is of no use.

    Seems like Hispanics are not getting the message that they are supposed to support unlimited immigration, including the writer of this post. Guess s@@libs will soon be calling them ‘white supremacist’ too.

    https://www.americanthinker.com/articles/2022/07/hispanics_will_not_join_a_blackbrown_coalition.html

    antonio

  4. This shows not only the caliber of the demented political opportunist in the WH, but of every Democratic race hustler in Congress. In 2024, when a Republican replaces Biden, I have no doubt that all the Democratic loonies who today support illegal and unconstitutional acts by this administration, as well as its attacks on ordinary people from parents to border agents, will be shrieking nonstop for 4 years. And someone should take bets on what new hoax they’ll come up with as a pretense for their insanity.

  5. Joe Biden campaigned on saving the soul of the nation or some such stupidity. He campaigned on bringing back “decency.” All his worthless yammering came from the comfort of his million-dollar basement, protected every step of the way by the fake news.

    Let’s talk about “decency,” of which Joe Biden has NONE. Joe Biden’s own family is full of degenerates and greedy sellouts.

    Joey 2bits and Jersey Jill are horrid, classless people. HORRID.

  6. Uh, actually, that Biden is that is precisely what a great many of us expected to happen with our modern Democratic party in power, period – the writing has been on the wall with the dems/globalists for some time and has indeed played out far *worse* than even someone like myself imagined. A person would have to be pretty dang privileged to be unaware at this point IMO.

  7. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) condemned “the inappropriate use of what appear to be whips by Border Patrol officers on horseback to intimidate migrants.” Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) decried “images of inhumane treatment of Haitian migrants by Border Patrol — including the use of whips.” Vice President Kamala Harris emoted on “The View” about how the brutality “invoked images of some of the worst moments of our history, where that kind of behavior has been used against the Indigenous people of our country, it has been used against African Americans during times of slavery.” Reps. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.) and Ayanna Pressley (D-Mass.) described the incident as “worse than what we witnessed in slavery” and “white supremacist behavior.”

    President Biden rushed to express his own revulsion and rage, too: “It was horrible what — to see, as you saw — to see people treated like they did: horses nearly running them over and people being strapped. It’s outrageous. I promise you, those people will pay.”
    ****************************
    As good a catalogue of liars as I’ve seen. Maybe we can get Hank Johnson’s and Shirley Jackson Lee’s take, too? That ought to round out the club. Oh, and I had no idea Mad Maxine and Ayatollah Ayanna were old enough to have witnessed slavery though Maxine’s ill-fitting wig appears to be of the right vintage. These Dims are such clowns.

    1. “Maxine’s ill-fitting wig…”

      I have wondered about that wig. Isn’t it cultural appropriation?

  8. Just more oral flatulence from the Biden administration, home of the demented despot of Delaware.
    Sounds to my like these agents could use a good attorney and a lot of Discovery.

  9. This admin makes the US look more and more like a banana republic, or old Soviet style those in power can do no wrong, even when it is obvious they are wrong, as in this case.

    1. “This admin makes the US look more and more like a banana republic ….”
      *************************************
      It’s what happens when you put the monkeys in charge. Old ones at that. Maybe the country won’t like what they see come November.

  10. This administration has weaponized the national security agencies, corrupted the justice department beyond recognition, and holds Stalin like proceedings against CBP agents without apology. The colluding leftist press covers it all up all while asserting day after day that Trumpism is the greatest threat to democracy. Do we live in an Orwellian world or what?

  11. What were the agents supposed to do? Well, I am going to engage in wokespeak and attempt to answer as a s@@tlib.

    They were supposed to welcome these tired masses with open arms; process and release them in lieu of a future court date (where they will never show) and afterwards turn them over to some leftist religious organization, so they can sign up for food stamps and other government benefits at taxpayer expense.

    And remember every poor, semi-literate, difficult to assimilate person admitted in such manner means we are a day closer to our glorious, multicultural future. No more ‘White supremacy’. Yes, we can replace you!!

    https://www.nytimes.com/2018/10/29/opinion/stacey-abrams-georgia-governor-election-brian-kemp.html

    https://www.houstonchronicle.com/local/gray-matters/article/Yes-we-will-replace-you-11942497.php

    If we lefties say it, it is commendable, for someone who questions its desirability, they are a conspiracy nut and should be hunted down, doxxed and destroyed, financially and socially.

    So the Biden administration was correct in doing its part in combating the ‘White supremacist’ border patrol agents.

    S@@tlibs, maybe I am missing something in my attempt to duplicate wokespeak, so feel free to comment.

  12. Biden and HIS son, HIS family and HIS Democrat party are doing everything they and the lying fake news media accused Trump of doing. It’s sick.

  13. Those horses looked like Thorobreds who offer a good view and some speed but they were not willing participants by nature .The agents were trying to keep the horses attention as well as the crowds. Polo Ponies would work better. Optics being misinterpreted and used by Politicians to deceive the masses into not believing their own eyes is not uncommon, however sometimes we take the time to put on our glasses to see what stinks so bad… its nothing the horses did LOL

  14. No due process, no exculpatory evidence allowed. All of the event is in an information blackout. Secrecy is a feature for Democrats (Jan 6, Democrat constructed committee).( Schiff’s basement hearings for the impeachment). Sunlight is a disinfectant, Democrats dread.

  15. Using agents of the government to punish your enemies. Jill (like a taco) Biden had a decorated General fired, because he has a sense of humor, and tweeted a response to her. The General must serve as an example of exactly who is in charge. (the ones that cannot be mocked, are in charge)

    Democrats accused President Trump of all the things they actually do.

    1. This has become the normal modus of today’s progressives. Verdict first, evidence later.
      Jan 6, Border agents, Akron shooting. The list goes on.

  16. Once again, Americans are reminded that these are two kinds of justice: One harsh system for the unprotected, and another, gentle system for the protected.

    Obviously the border patrol agents experienced the former.

    Guess which system Hunter Biden gets?

    1. @monumentcolorado

      Don’t worry, Hunter and his father will be protected until the MSM do not need to do so anymore. The NYT is already preparing for a gentle letdown regarding slow Joe.

      https://www.nytimes.com/2022/07/09/us/politics/biden-age-democrats.html

      And if some unprotected individual engaged in the shenanigans below. From the UK Daily Mail…sorry s@@tlibs, you can’t cancel them! They cover stories which would never be published in a US MSM source and there is nothing you can do about it.

      https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-10966153/Hunter-Biden-spent-30k-prostitutes-FIVE-MONTHS-documents-reveal.html

      antonio

      1. It is a FELONY to transport women across state lines for purposes of prostitution. It is also a felony to submit a false application to buy a firearm. St, Hunter was guilty of both but I won’t hold my breath waiting for his indictment. Of course, I expect some s@@lib to explain why all of this was ok since it was for a larger, leftist purpose.

        antonio

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