Trump senior policy adviser Stephen Miller allegedly advocated blowing up boats of migrants with Predator drones, according to a new book by a former top Department of Homeland Security official, Rolling Stone reported.
Miller was the architect of the racist and draconian family separation policy introduced in 2018, which saw U.S. Border Patrol agents ripping children from the arms of their immigrant parents. Some experts on international law have gone as far as to argue that Miller and other Trump administration officials should be prosecuted for a crime against humanity for the family separation policy.
The Biden administration has gone to great lengths to reunite the 3,924 children separated from their families during the Trump administration. But in February, the Department of Homeland Security reported that there were still some 667 children for whom the process of reunification had not even begun.
In a new book, former DHS official Miles Taylor says back in 2018, Miller advocated what would have been an even more horrific violation of international law.
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Rolling Stone reviewed a passage from the new book by Taylor, who held top posts at DHS from 2017 to 2019. Taylor authored the infamous “Anonymous” 2018 New York Times op-ed describing Trump as “impetuous, adversarial, petty, and ineffective.” He also was the anonymous author of “A Warning” the following year. The book said Trump’s abuse of power threatened the foundations of American democracy. Taylor, a lifelong Republican, went on to endorse Joe Biden in the 2020 presidential election.
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According to Rolling Stone, Taylor’s new book, “Blowback,” describes a 2018 conversation in which Miller allegedly advocated a drone attack on a migrant ship headed for the U.S. Taylor’s book claims Miller made his argument to now-retired Adm. Paul Zukunft, who at the time was commandant of the U.S. Coast Guard.
Per the magazine, here’s how Taylor’s book describes the critical moments of the alleged conversation:
‘Admiral, the military has aerial drones, correct?’ Stephen inquired.
‘Yes,’ Zukunft replied.
‘And some of those drones are equipped with missiles, correct?’
‘Sure,’ the commandant answered, clearly wondering where the line of questioning was going.
‘And when a boat full of migrants is in international waters, they aren’t protected by the U.S. Constitution, right?’
‘Technically, no, but I’m not sure what you’re getting at.’
’Tell me why, then, can’t we use a Predator drone to obliterate that boat?’
Admiral Zukunft looked nonplussed. ‘Because, Stephen, it would be against international law.’
Taylor said that an argument then ensued between Miller and Zukunft, according to Rolling Stone. Miller cited examples in which the U.S. launched airstrikes on terrorists or retaliated against pirates off the coast of Somalia. Zukunft replied that in those cases, the U.S. was attacking armed enemy forces who posed an imminent threat, while migrants at sea were generally unarmed civilians.
Taylor then wrote: “Stephen wasn’t interested in the moral conflict of drone-bombing migrants. He wanted to know whether anyone could stop America from doing it.”
A spokesman for Miller told Rolling Stone that “this is a complete fiction that exists only in the mind of Miles Taylor desperate to stay relevant by fabricating material for his new book.”
Zukunft told Rolling Stone that he had “no recollection” of the exchange described by Taylor in the book. He did recall that he had “a lengthy conversation” with Miller about southwestern border security in 2018 in which he advocated getting at the “root cause of illegal migration at the source rather than a goal-line defense at the border.”
When asked to respond, Taylor insisted to Rolling Stone that “the conversation happened.” Without elaborating further, Rolling Stone asserts that a review of written documentation from during the Trump administration supports Taylor’s claim.
The danger is that Miller would be in line for a top administration post should the twice-impeached, twice-indicted (and counting) former president somehow win the November 2024 election and return to the White House.
As Rolling Stone noted:
Trump himself is campaigning on promises to run on more extreme anti-immigrant policies than his first term’s, including proposals for attacking or invading Mexico and reviving and expanding his travel “Muslim ban.”
In his life after Trump’s presidency, Miller has formed a Trump-allied group—America First Legal—that has been filing court challenges to Biden administration policies. Additionally Miller has already endorsed Trump in the 2024 presidential election.
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Author: Charles Jay