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-   -   So let's all agree: Trump actually did something ethical and morally correct (https://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/showthread.php?t=860886)

chappachula 08-22-2018 07:40 AM

So let's all agree: Trump actually did something ethical and morally correct
 
He threw a Nazi SS officer out of the country, when no other president for the past 14 years cared.

The man named Jakiw Palij, who served in the SS at the death camp in Trawniki, was convicted in federal court and sentenced to deportation in 2004. But there was no country willing to accept him as a deportee; so he stayed at home in New York, a free man for 14 years.

Quote:

The deportation was the final result of a renewed push by the Trump administration, which had spent months pressuring Germany to accept Mr. Palij...
Richard Grenell, the new United States ambassador in Berlin, pushed Germany to accept him.
“I made it a point to bring it up at every single meeting,” Mr. Grenell said
So yes, folks, let's say it out loud: Trump did the right thing. After no other president cared enough to make an issue of it.

Sure, we can say nit pick and say that it was really due the ambassador Trump appointed, not Trump himself.
But the rules of the game say that in politics, the credit goes to the guy at the top.


So let's all agree that at least once, a tiny gleam of light shone out of the Trump era.







(on edit: note to mods: I didn't realize I was in GD. I'm not trying to start a debate, since there's really no issue here in contention. Maybe move it?

davidm 08-22-2018 07:48 AM

A stopped clock etc.

He likes deporting people. This particular one happened to genuinely be a bad guy. Most of them aren't.

He's also issued one or two pardons that were actually a good thing, but he also pardoned Arpaio, and is failing to pardon many victims of the drug war.

Ravenman 08-22-2018 07:50 AM

I haven't seen that the White House had anything to do with this matter. ETA: other than announcing it, of course.

Jasmine 08-22-2018 07:59 AM

"Even a blind pig finds mud once in a while."

madmonk28 08-22-2018 08:01 AM

The US has been trying to deport the man for well over a decade. The problem was that no country would accept him. Germany finally agreed.
chappachula, can you please provide cites that indicate Trump was involved in this process and what his role was in the deportation?

zoid 08-22-2018 08:02 AM

Just wait for the talking point - "I deport a white criminal and the Liberals applaud. I deport Mexican criminals and they're up in arms!"

Icarus 08-22-2018 08:15 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by madmonk28 (Post 21161762)
The US has been trying to deport the man for well over a decade. The problem was that no country would accept him. Germany finally agreed.
chappachula, can you please provide cites that indicate Trump was involved in this process and what his role was in the deportation?

This. Your statement "when no other president for the past 14 years cared" is factually incorrect. And since it is the foundation of your argument, you have failed.

BeepKillBeep 08-22-2018 08:24 AM

"President @realDonaldTrump's instructions were clear and his leadership crucial to getting a former Nazi guard deported from the U.S. Our President is focused on protecting the promise of freedom and the rule of law."
- Richard Grenell

I would believe that Trump's leadership was crucial except for at least one thing. Trump and his administration lie ALL the time. Like non-stop. What's the latest average per day for Trump personally? 7.5 lies per day! If they told me the sky was blue, I'd have to go outside and check it hadn't turned green. So while it is great that it has happened, I have deep reservations about attributing this to Trump. What seems more likely is that Germany's new foreign minister deserves most, if not all, of the credit.

Also, as others have pointed out, your basic premise is flawed that no other president has cared.

Pantastic 08-22-2018 08:46 AM

I too would like to know what specifically trump did to deport this guy that other presidents didn't do that leads you to give him credit for this. My understanding of the situation is that the decision to deport him had been made a decade ago, but there wasn't a country willing to accept him to deport him to. What made this happen now is not some kind of Trump magic, but instead that Germany decided to accept him even though the guy isn't a German citizen.

Inner Stickler 08-22-2018 08:47 AM

What's Germany's healthcare system like compared to the US? At 95 years old, how do we know from his perspective, this isn't an upgrade?

zoid 08-22-2018 08:48 AM

Pardon my ignorance but wouldn't Germany want to put this guy on trial?

John Mace 08-22-2018 08:54 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by zoid (Post 21161871)
Pardon my ignorance but wouldn't Germany want to put this guy on trial?

It's complicated. They have a system for doing so, but I saw an interview with the (a?) German official involved in (in charge of?) such matters, and he said he wasn't sure they would be able to. It gets more difficult each year.

Ashtura 08-22-2018 09:12 AM

What? The next Hitler deported a Nazi? Does not compute.

running coach 08-22-2018 09:25 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Ashtura (Post 21161923)
What? The next Hitler deported a Nazi? Does not compute.

Getting rid of the competition.

ElvisL1ves 08-22-2018 09:29 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by zoid (Post 21161871)
Pardon my ignorance but wouldn't Germany want to put this guy on trial?

The FRG might be a little cautious about getting into another Demjanjuk case. But they wouldn't have to prepare for it very long before it became moot.

John Mace 08-22-2018 09:33 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Ravenman (Post 21161743)
I haven't seen that the White House had anything to do with this matter. ETA: other than announcing it, of course.

Quote:

Originally Posted by madmonk28 (Post 21161762)
The US has been trying to deport the man for well over a decade. The problem was that no country would accept him. Germany finally agreed.
chappachula, can you please provide cites that indicate Trump was involved in this process and what his role was in the deportation?

I think the best we can say at this point is that Trump did not stop it. That he was actively involved in executing the action is questionable, at best.

BeepKillBeep 08-22-2018 09:55 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by John Mace (Post 21161974)
I think the best we can say at this point is that Trump did not stop it. That he was actively involved in executing the action is questionable, at best.

Aye, this seems like the most reasonable conclusion given the evidence, and the history of those involved.

Now, if somebody can show me evidence of somebody with a non-political reason for saying Trump facilitated this by doing X, then I will give Trump what portion of credit (1% to 99%) that he deserves for doing X.

Until then, Trump and his team are liars who MUST have asbestos throughout all of their clothing. Hmmm... wasn't there an announcement recently about facilitating importing asbestos? I may have just figured out why.

chappachula 08-22-2018 10:28 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Pantastic (Post 21161865)
the decision to deport him had been made a decade ago, but there wasn't a country willing to accept him to deport him to. What made this happen now is not some kind of Trump magic, but instead that Germany decided to accept him .

Quote:

your basic premise is flawed
And what made Germany suddenly decide to accept him now?
I would say it was exactly what Trump's ambassador said: he mentioned the issue constantly.
So it only took a few months of action by a new ambassador who cared, after 14 years of inaction by previous ambassadors and Presidents who did not.

BeepKillBeep 08-22-2018 10:49 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by chappachula (Post 21162128)
And what made Germany suddenly decide to accept him now?
I would say it was exactly what Trump's ambassador said: he mentioned the issue constantly.
So it only took a few months of action by a new ambassador who cared, after 14 years of inaction by previous ambassadors and Presidents who did not.

They got a new foreign minister (on March 14 2018) who explicitly said that Germany must own their past. I'm not sure why you put so much weight in statements from administration officials from an administration infamous for routinely lying.

By the way, the ambassador may (and likely) deserves some credit. I have severe doubts that Trump deserves any at all.

Bryan Ekers 08-22-2018 10:52 AM

The not-caring part doesn't become true on repetition.

BeepKillBeep 08-22-2018 10:58 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Bryan Ekers (Post 21162187)
The not-caring part doesn't become true on repetition.

I can see Trump's tweet now: "Some people tell me that they didn't care. I don't know. That's what they tell me. That they didn't care. But I care. I care more than anybody else ever. Believe me. I care bigly."

Bryan Ekers 08-22-2018 11:11 AM

If this is the best, or only, example of ethics in the Trump Administration, well... That's just damn sad.

ElvisL1ves 08-22-2018 11:17 AM

Why is it even necessary to discuss deporting Nazis for war crimes trials? Is that where we are now?

Ravenman 08-22-2018 11:37 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by John Mace (Post 21161974)
I think the best we can say at this point is that Trump did not stop it. That he was actively involved in executing the action is questionable, at best.

Sounds like my role in the story, too.

Youíre welcome, Nazi haters.

BeepKillBeep 08-22-2018 11:39 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Ravenman (Post 21162295)
Sounds like my role in the story, too.

Youíre welcome, Nazi haters.

Literal LOL.

Projammer 08-22-2018 12:28 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by davidm (Post 21161739)
He's also issued one or two pardons that were actually a good thing, but he also pardoned Arpaio, and is failing to pardon many victims of the drug war.

Which victims of the drug war should he consider pardoning? Keep in mind that he can only pardon people convicted in federal court and that he has no legal standing in state cases.

Pantastic 08-22-2018 12:35 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by chappachula (Post 21162128)
And what made Germany suddenly decide to accept him now?
I would say it was exactly what Trump's ambassador said: he mentioned the issue constantly.
So it only took a few months of action by a new ambassador who cared, after 14 years of inaction by previous ambassadors and Presidents who did not.

As has been pointed out, Germany got a new foreign minister recently who has a different opinion on accepting deportations like this. Trump doesn't have any sway in internal German politics, so I don't think he can actually claim credit for that. In general, Trump and his administration have told so many outright, bald faced lies that statements from them taking credit for things that happen are completely worthless at this point. You'd need to support your contention with information from a credible source, like someone from the German government, or someone involved in the case under a previous administration saying 'yeah, we didn't pursue it'. If the frequent blatant lies of the Trump administration weren't enough, your own bold claim that previous presidents didn't care to make an issue out of it casts doubt on your other statements, as it is clear that they did care at least enough to approve his deportation and request that someone accept him.

Bryan Ekers 08-22-2018 01:41 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Pantastic (Post 21162414)
Trump doesn't have any sway in internal German politics

Likely aggravated by Trump's penchant for calling Angela Merkel in the middle of the night to ask if her refrigerator is running.

BeepKillBeep 08-22-2018 01:45 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Bryan Ekers (Post 21162609)
Likely aggravated by Trump's penchant for calling Angela Merkel in the middle of the night to ask if her refrigerator is running.

You guys kill me.

davidm 08-22-2018 02:10 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Projammer (Post 21162392)
Which victims of the drug war should he consider pardoning? Keep in mind that he can only pardon people convicted in federal court and that he has no legal standing in state cases.

He pardoned a woman who had served 20+ years of a lifetime sentence for a first time non-violent drug offense. Surely there are others with similar situations in prison on federal charges.

My point was that I'm not going to praise him for occasionally doing something good while he's either ignoring the bigger picture or actively doing harm.

Sage Rat 08-22-2018 02:52 PM

He also retaliated for the chemical attack in Syria.

Quartz 08-22-2018 03:57 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by chappachula (Post 21161724)
He threw a Nazi SS officer out of the country,

I'll believe it when I see the evidence.

Bryan Ekers 08-22-2018 05:09 PM

So did Trump kick out the Nazi personally or did the Nazi find out via twitter, like many of Trump's cabinet members?

clairobscur 08-24-2018 05:26 AM

Sorry to rain on the parade, but I don't agree.

From what I read, Germany won't prosecute him for lack of evidence. Himself denies having served in this camp.

After 75 years, it's extremely unlikely that evidences of crime can be found, and if by chance they are, it's extremely unlikely that the accused could provide evidences for his defense. For instance, it will be very difficult to find someone still alive who can say "I saw him there", and if you can find such a person, it will be extremely difficult for an innocent accused to find someone still alive who can say "he wasn't there, since he was elsewhere with me". In other words, in the rare cases when you can mount a prosecution, the accused won't have the means to defend himself, hence the trial won't be fair.


It's way too late to go after people who might have been involved in the holocaust at some low level (If I remember correctly, for the last one, even his identity was in doubt). There have been *decades* during which people could have been prosecuted and punished, and many of them high enough in the totem pole that their guilt couldn't be reasonnably doubted. The overwhelming majority never was. Plenty who had been so important in the nazi apparatus that they couldn't avoid being prosecuted were sentenced, and then paroled after some years and lived a perfectly normal life. What should have been done hasn't been, and it's way too late to pretend to catch up.


Going after someone who can't even leave his bed, and, from my experience of 90 yo people, is likely unable to reason sensibly or remember anything reliably (IME most people this age, even when they don't suffer from Alzheimer or such, and even though they might superficially appear sound of mind, are plainly unable to reason coherently), because he might or might not have been a camp guard is a parody. It has for sole pupose to make people feel good because they assume justice was finally served, while I see a fair possibility that an injustice has been commited. I see no reason to rejoice.

Jackmannii 08-24-2018 07:21 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by clairobscur
Going after someone who can't even leave his bed, and, from my experience of 90 yo people, is likely unable to reason sensibly or remember anything reliably (IME most people this age, even when they don't suffer from Alzheimer or such, and even though they might superficially appear sound of mind, are plainly unable to reason coherently), because he might or might not have been a camp guard is a parody. It has for sole pupose to make people feel good because they assume justice was finally served

The overriding purpose should be to send a message that horrific crimes have no statute of limitations, and that no matter how long someone has gotten away with them they should never stop looking over their shoulder.

The ability to prosecute (or even deport) Nazi-era war criminals is pretty much over, but there are lots of others culpable for more recent mass murders/ethnic cleansing who need to be relentlessly tracked down and punished, and potential killers who might think twice if they knew they'd never be off the hook for their crimes.

Jackmannii 08-24-2018 07:22 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by clairobscur
Going after someone who can't even leave his bed, and, from my experience of 90 yo people, is likely unable to reason sensibly or remember anything reliably (IME most people this age, even when they don't suffer from Alzheimer or such, and even though they might superficially appear sound of mind, are plainly unable to reason coherently), because he might or might not have been a camp guard is a parody. It has for sole pupose to make people feel good because they assume justice was finally served

The overriding purpose should be to send a message that horrific crimes have no statute of limitations, and that no matter how long someone has gotten away with them they should never stop looking over their shoulder.

The ability to prosecute (or even deport) over Nazi-era war crimes is pretty much over, but there are lots of others culpable for mass murder/ethnic cleansing who need to be relentlessly tracked down and punished, and potential killers who might think twice if they knew they'd never be off the hook for their crimes.

The Trump Administration gets a crumb of credit here.

russian heel 08-25-2018 02:22 AM

The fact that we have to highlight ONE THING Trump did, when actually he really had nothing to do with it, that was ethically and morally correct, says a lot about the tragically low bar that has been set for this wretched Presidency.


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk

bluezooky 08-25-2018 04:02 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by zoid (Post 21161871)
Pardon my ignorance but wouldn't Germany want to put this guy on trial?

Because he wasn't a Nazi SS Officer, he was a prison guard who would have ended up dead himself if he disobeyed orders, I would hate to be in that situation myself.

RivkahChaya 08-25-2018 04:40 AM

If you deport enough people, the law of very large numbers suggests that some of them are going to be very bad people. It's almost impossible that some of them aren't. On the other hand, it's almost impossible that some of them aren't going to be very good people as well.

The number of children in detention separated from their parents is huge. If Trump has his way, all those children will go back to their countries of origin. There is probably a future serial killer among them, who will be a serial killer no matter where he (and it is probably a he, but it could be a she) grows up. However, there are also probably 20 future oncologists, 200 elementary school teachers, and a Nobel-winning author, or the person who is going to discover the cause of autism, but none of those people are going to do those things if they get deported, because they may die of cholera at age 16, or at the orders of a despot at 21, or just spend their lives on subsistence farms, and never go higher than a 5th grade educations.

Yay! deportation!

I'm Jewish, and I'm in favor of identifying and punishing former Nazis, especially those who actively ran concentration camps, but I think the poster who pointed put that a 95-year-old may actually have gotten an upgrade by moving to a European country at this point is on to something.

In a very basic sense, Trump's administration did the right thing by deporting this guy: it followed the letter of the law. However, it might have been more fitting to have punished him for lying on his citizenship application, but doing so in the US. And in the 14 years he continued to live here, he had been stripped of his US citizenship. He was here not illegally, technically, I guess, but I'm pretty sure he was ineligible for social security and Medicare. He may have even been asked to pay back any previous disbursements (although whether the government collected is another thing, but there could have been a judgement against anything he owned, or any investments he had).

Personally, I would have found it just as satisfying to know he was living here, but forced to do so with no rights of citizenship, and no rights to social security and Medicare, that he probably paid into for years. He could have been fined for lying on his application, and maybe even imprisoned for a while. I would have found that quite satisfying as well. Hell, if he'd been forced at age 81 to go out every morning at 6am and clean up trash on the highway with the drunk drivers, low-level drug dealers, and taggers, I'd've liked that too.

I'm not giving Trump points for this. He fired a whole lot of arrows at the side of a barn, and drew targets around some of them.

Meh.

Nava 08-25-2018 12:09 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Inner Stickler (Post 21161869)
What's Germany's healthcare system like compared to the US? At 95 years old, how do we know from his perspective, this isn't an upgrade?

I find that "everybody is required to pay into the medical insurance system", including pensioneers. For the public system, the amount to pay is calculated depending on the person's income; for those who instead opt for private insurance, the payments are based on risk assessment. Costs for those privately insured are normally incurred out of pocket and later reimbursed; according to my friends who've worked in Germany this was quick and normally painless (you may get a request for clarification, but not the automatic denials of the American system).

Link to English-language information from what appears to be the horse's mouth.

SamuelA 08-25-2018 07:46 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by bluezooky (Post 21168501)
Because he wasn't a Nazi SS Officer, he was a prison guard who would have ended up dead himself if he disobeyed orders, I would hate to be in that situation myself.

I know. We sit here from the comfort of our chairs tutting at someone who served in the German Army and either volunteered or was voluntold to guard a prison. What was he supposed to do, ask to be moved to the Eastern Front? Then he'd have likely died like over a million other German soldiers. Protest that the ordered executions of the prisoners was wrong and he wouldn't stand for it? Then they might have executed one more person that day.

One element of a crime, even a terrible crime on this scale, is the prosecution should be forced to prove that the defendant had a viable other choice. Otherwise, his crimes were committed under duress.

Pantastic 08-25-2018 08:53 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by SamuelA (Post 21169536)
I know. We sit here from the comfort of our chairs tutting at someone who served in the German Army and either volunteered or was voluntold to guard a prison. What was he supposed to do, ask to be moved to the Eastern Front? Then he'd have likely died like over a million other German soldiers. Protest that the ordered executions of the prisoners was wrong and he wouldn't stand for it? Then they might have executed one more person that day.

He was supposed to... not be a concentration camp guard. This isn't really a rough moral decision, he chose to participate in the holocaust and now he's paying the price. If you think it's unfair for him to get deported, just think about all the people he killed and how unfair it was that he chose to kill them.

JKellyMap 08-25-2018 09:10 PM

RivkaChaya wrote: “He fired a whole lot of arrows at the side of a barn, and drew targets around some of them.“
What a wonderful image! I’ve never heard this before, but I’ll start using it.

Horatio Hellpop 08-25-2018 11:29 PM

It's possible to put the toilet seat down after you're finished with it and still be the worst president ever to hold the job, alive or dead, but thanks for the toilet seat. Is that what you want to hear?

andros 08-26-2018 08:44 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by SamuelA (Post 21169536)
I know. We sit here from the comfort of our chairs tutting at someone who served in the German Army and either volunteered or was voluntold to guard a prison. What was he supposed to do, ask to be moved to the Eastern Front? Then he'd have likely died like over a million other German soldiers. Protest that the ordered executions of the prisoners was wrong and he wouldn't stand for it? Then they might have executed one more person that day.

One element of a crime, even a terrible crime on this scale, is the prosecution should be forced to prove that the defendant had a viable other choice. Otherwise, his crimes were committed under duress.

Oh, I get it! He was just following orders!

E-DUB 08-26-2018 12:26 PM

He likes Nazis that didn't get captured.

Bruiser1036 08-26-2018 01:27 PM

Amen. That Nazi scum got what he deserved.

SamuelA 08-26-2018 03:59 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by andros (Post 21170081)
Oh, I get it! He was just following orders!

The following orders defense was unsucessfully used by much higher level officers in the organization who realistically did have a choice. They likely could have resigned their commissions and were too old to be drafted, or they could have gotten themselves reassigned. There's a massive difference between an officer around the rank of a General and a private ordered to guard a fence.

andros 08-26-2018 05:03 PM

I think you'll find that the IMT held to the principle that "superior orders" was a defense that might, in some instances, mitigate degree of culpability, but did not remove it.

doreen 08-26-2018 06:32 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by SamuelA (Post 21169536)
I know. We sit here from the comfort of our chairs tutting at someone who served in the German Army and either volunteered or was voluntold to guard a prison. What was he supposed to do, ask to be moved to the Eastern Front? Then he'd have likely died like over a million other German soldiers. Protest that the ordered executions of the prisoners was wrong and he wouldn't stand for it? Then they might have executed one more person that day.

One element of a crime, even a terrible crime on this scale, is the prosecution should be forced to prove that the defendant had a viable other choice. Otherwise, his crimes were committed under duress.

Duress isn't an defense for all crimes. Some, yes- if someone points a gun at me and orders me to steal a car, I can be excused because I committed the theft under duress. But there are requirements (both legal and moral) in using that defense and one of them is that the threatened harm must be greater than the harm caused by the crime - and this doesn't meet that standard. The prison guard's life is not worth more than the life of any of the prisoners- and therefore he won't be excused for saving his life by assisting in ending theirs.


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