The Target


Photo credit: Kai Pilger pexels-photo-462867 Taxi

Peter took a taxi from JFK into Manhattan, seeing the driver frown in the rear view mirror when he gave the address.

Anna had met him outside Terminal 4 where she’d given him the item secured in a laptop case. He was the only one in the organization who could deliver it to the target, but it would mean his death as well. It hardly mattered, He had stage four liver cancer and would be dead soon anyway.

Arriving at the Trump Tower, he paid the fare adding a generous trip. He had more in common with the driver than the man might expect.

Showing his ID, he was waved through every level of security except the Secret Service. Fortunately, the laptop was a working model.

“Donald, how good to see you again.” He shook hands with one of his oldest friends. They exchanged pleasantries in the President’s private suite, and then, “Let me show you that information we have on the FBI.”

The explosion killed them both instantly, raining debris onto 5th Avenue.

Listening to the news, Anna felt both grief and joy. Now maybe the government would reunite all of those poor babies with their parents at the border.

I wrote this for the Flash Fiction for the Purposeful Practitioner – 2018 Week #25 challenge. The idea is to use the photo above as the inspiration for crafting a piece of flash fiction no more than 200 words long. My word count is 200.

No, I’m not advocating assassinating President Trump or hurting or killing anyone. However, Trump’s “zero tolerance” immigration policy, which has been blamed for the separation of parents and children who have illegally attempted to enter the U.S., is all over the news and social media. Also, all you have to do is search twitter for the hashtag #resistance, and you can see the tremendous response to this policy in specific, and President Trump in general.

So I thought I’d create an extremist form of that resistance, one in which even some of Trump’s closest friends have joined, and one that is willing to use lethal force to enact political and social change.

It wouldn’t be the first time.

Oh, “Peter” and “Anna” are totally fictitious and is not based on any actual people.

To read other stories based on the prompt, visit Remember, this linkup still needs a lot of love, so please consider contributing a story. Thanks.

41 thoughts on “The Target

  1. Well, James, I was rather hoping you might write about this, because I have a number of questions to which perhaps some of your readers might be able to provide some insight. The news perspective I get from here in Israel might be somewhat incomplete. As I think I understand the situation, the US border control authorities have been following legal procedures that have been in place since well before the present administration, that children have been separated from adults who crossed the US border illegally, that this occurred also under the previous Obama administration, but that only within the past week or so has any fuss been raised about it, perhaps occasioned by a recent wave of presumed asylum seekers who have flouted US immigration laws. The outrage has been directed at President Trump because he has insisted that US immigration laws and policies be enforced firmly, and that it is unacceptable for anyone merely to waltz across the border at a whim. Have I understood this situation correctly so far?

    My questions include the following: How long will the affected children remain separated from the adults with whom they came into the country? Are their accommodations and standards of care reasonably sufficient to provide suitable food, shelter, sanitary facilities, sleeping facilities, temperature control, medical supervision and other basic care? Is the purpose for separating them from the adults to protect them from the rigors of investigation into the adults’ eligibility for asylum, or their prior inability to apply properly for immigration status, or possibly any prior criminal history? Are the adults being treated and housed humanely, despite perhaps some degree of duress that may be justified by their illegal invasion of the country? If no one is actually being mistreated, then it seems to me that merely separating the children from the adults may be well-advised and conducive to the well-being of the children; that all the hue and cry about it is not justified but is rather some sort of political opportunism.

    Of one thing I am convinced from articles I’ve read so far: that some of the response and protest about this has been utterly hysterical, including false comparisons with Nazi concentration-camp practices. Such comparisons denigrate the distinctive severity of the Holocaust and the philosophy that drove it, and substitute purely emotive irrational condemnation in place of reasoned analysis and discussion.

    Liked by 1 person

    • And apparently just a brief while ago, while I was out protecting and serving the Israeli public as an Israeli border police patrolman, the news was published about POTUS Trump issuing an executive order to terminate the separation policy, pending action by Congress to change the existing law. Let no one henceforth accuse him of not responding to public expressions of conscience or of lacking such himself.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Yes. I think public pressure finally took its toll, although it hardly bothers him on many other issues. To be fair, the law separating parents from children who enter the country illegally has been on the books at least since the Obama administration, but I think Obama (I can’t confirm this) directed the Immigration Authorities not to separate parents and children. Since the parents would have been incarcerated in any case, I’m not sure how that worked, unless they were all immediately transported back across the border. Even then, it would have been a difficult situation, since many of these families are fleeing nations south of Mexico and were also in Mexico illegally. As I understand it, the Mexican authorities aren’t a bunch of nice, warm, and fuzzy people.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Previously, there were children without parents upon crossing the border because they had come without parents in the first place. The new policy was to immediately separate* children (even infants) even if they had come with parents. No, that wasn’t happening before.

    As for the children (including babies) that have already been separated under the flash-in-a-pan policy, there are no procedures for getting the little ones back together with their parents.

    *Not only have children been severed from their parents, they were removed from siblings. And five young girls were seen at around midnight in New York City being walked to an institution. Later, some young girls came out of the institution (still at night) with black bags over their heads.


    • Where did you find such a set of assertions, Marleen? They do not align with even what little I’ve been able to access. Some of it smacks of urban legend and conspiracy theory. At what border would five young girls have been intercepted that they would be processed in an institution in New York? The whole black-bag-over-the-head scenario is the strongest indicator of hysterical falsification, especially when combined with the images of innocent young girls and some nameless faceless “institution”, in the middle of the night, in New York (of all places!). I was hoping for some response from readers who might have documentable factual information of greater depth to offer, particularly elucidating reasons and history and purposes and projections for actual policies and procedures. I cannot credit the above as factual, nor does it contribute to the rational analysis and discussion for which I was seeking.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Obviously, babies didn’t come without parents or guardians (previously) by the way — unless perchance the parent(s) died along the way or were kidnapped before arriving here.

        PL, I’m not going to interact with your (to use one of your favorite terms) ad hominem take on whatever strikes you wrong. You are unfair and ridiculous. Study up.
        Proclaim Liberty said at 1:03 pm June 20:
        The news perspective I get from here in Israel might be somewhat incomplete. ,

        I concur.


      • Marleen, I did not reject any assertion because of who may have said it — which, by the way, is the definition of an “ad hominum” response. I offered a justified inference based on my analysis of the nature of the story you presented. There is nothing unfair about that. It is not the first suspiciously-skewed perspective that I’ve read. Perhaps I’m not the only one whose access to news reportage and analysis may be incomplete. For example, I just read an article which refutes one of the key assertions in your post, which you may read at:
        It has been precisely the odd characteristics of the reportage of this story, and the reactions to it, that evoked my curiosity to dig a little deeper to find real facts underneath a lot of superficial hype.


    • I seem to recall that quote, and of course it seems “nutty” when taken out of its original context. Do you know what it was to which the slogan on that jacket was directed? Do you know what the intention of the wearer was? I doubt that anyone can say with any hope of certainty — especially if they are unwilling to believe what the wearer said about it. If I were wearing it, I might be trying to insult some of the media reps. I’m just cheeky enough that I might do it , too.


      • The above was somehow misplaced, and should have been a response to Marleen’s question about the quote “I REALLY DON’T CARE. DO U?”.


      • Go right ahead and be Donald Trump’s mouthpiece. Of course Milania can’t speak for herself. Her spokeswoman says she didn’t mean anything by it. Then her husband says she did mean something by it (his own sort of message). And it’s not a surprise if she then caves to say “sure, whatever he said.”


      • I’m trying merely to be rational, Marleen. If you accuse me of being Donald Trump’s mouthpiece, whose mouthpiece are you?


  3. I would prefer my 12:16 p.m. say the following:

    Proclaim Liberty said at 1:03 pm June 20:
    The news perspective I get from here … might be somewhat incomplete.

    I concur.


    • I said: [Melania’s] spokeswoman says she didn’t mean anything by it. Then her husband says she did mean something by it (his own sort of message). And it’s not a surprise if she then caves to say “sure, whatever he said.”

      I haven’t heard of her, even yet, coming out and caving. The situation reminds me of Donald projecting onto the Kahn’s that the wife perhaps couldn’t speak for herself. (In Melania’s case, I think it is more true although not totally.)


  4. It seems this conversation has escalated quite a bit.
    Having worked in child protective services back in the day, I can say that even with the best intentions of protecting children, removing them from their parents always had problems. Invariably, children are bonded to their parents, even if their parents are horribly dangerous to their kids. They never do very well in foster care. The government makes a bad parent (which is also my criticism of the public education system).
    As far as I understand it, the issue was that when parents cross into the country illegally and are jailed, the children can’t be jailed with them, thus they are placed in foster care of some sort of facility until the legal case is resolved.
    That issue is apparently moot, since President Trump has signed an executive order setting aside the law that required such a separation (the law having predating the Trump administration).
    As far as the First Lady’s unfortunate apparel, it seems to be a legitimate piece of fashion (I will never understand the world of fashion), but a little care on her part beforehand might have save her quite a bit of controversy. It seems a little ridiculous to believe that she would have worn the coat deliberately.


  5. He didn’t end the “zero tolerance” policy.

    PUBLISHED: 18:12 EDT, 20 June 2018 | UPDATED: 17:27 EDT, 21 June 2018

    The president then went on a tear against MS-13 and illegal immigrants, hours after he gave in to tremendous public pressure amid an outcry over child immigrants.

    ‘They’re not sending their finest, that I can tell you. And we’re sending them the hell back,’ Trump said.


    ‘I just got back as you know from Singapore, where I met Kim Jong-un. Where we had a great meeting – great chemistry, we got along really well,’ Trump said.

    …… They stopped everything that we’d want them to stop,’ he continued.

    But Trump’s remarks didn’t mention North Korea’s human rights record, instead praising the dictator for turning North Korea ‘into a great successful country’.

    Trump also brought up the inspector general’s report during the rally, and blasted a pair of FBI lovers over infidelity.

    ‘What a scam this whole thing is. How guilty is she?’ Trump asked the crowd, referencing Clinton as they chanted ‘Lock her up!’


    Lara Trump, the president’s daughter-in-law, discussed the controversial separation issue while warming up the crowd in Duluth.

    Lara condemned the media for only talking about the horrific images of children being torn apart from their [parents], rather than Trump’s summit with North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un.

    ‘It was just last week that we saw history happen. Donald Trump is the first president to ever meet with the leader of North Korea,’ she said.

    ‘…… They won’t try and stop a loser but they will try and stop a winner,’ she added, despite the fact that many have noted Kim got a summit he sought without making tangible concessions.[ ]

    Lara went on to call the summit ‘historic’ and vented her frustrations that the media had stopped covering the week-old meeting.


    Lara blamed the media for making people ‘hysterical’ about the issue, which saw more than 2,000 children being separated from their parents in the last two months.

    She also erroneously claimed that immigrant children have been separated from their families ‘for years and years and years’.


    A spokesman for the Department of Homeland Security revealed last week that Trump’s administration separated 1,995 children from 1,940 adults from April 19 to May 31.



  6. ….. The whole black-bag-over-the-head scenario is the strongest indicator of hysterical falsification, especially when combined with the images of innocent young girls and some … “institution”, in the middle of the night, in New York (of all places!).

    I’m usually seeing it reported as black blankets (but only as a guess on their part). When we see the video, we don’t know for sure if it is towels or what. The appearance is too small to me to be blankets.



    A show of solidarity in the Bronx for children separated from their families at the border and brought to the city to be placed in foster homes.

    Catholic Charities is one of two organizations in the Bronx housing and processing the children. Its Bronx director, Father Eric Cruz, says Catholic Charities is taking good care of them.

    “Immediate care, making sure they’re being cared for on every level, mental, physical and educationally, the comfort, the peace and the stress and eventual reunion,” Cruz said.

    Cruz says the dirt on his shoes is from McAllen, Texas. He was there Thursday, with religious leaders who met with the migrants at the center of the crisis.

    He says Catholic Charities of New York has a history of helping unaccompanied minors, children who cross the border without their parents. But this week, in the Bronx and around the state, his nonprofit, he says, began processing children separated by immigration agents at the border.

    The charity would not say exactly how many of these children are now under its care, but admitted it is a large number.

    President Donald Trump signed an executive order Wednesday supposedly ending the separation policy, but it still wasn’t clear Friday what will happen to children already separated. Cruz anticipates more children will be sent to the city.

    “It’s just natural to believe they’re going to be coming,” he said.

    Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. called a news conference with other politicians Friday and revealed that some children were brought here. He said he had no idea this was happening anywhere in the city until NY1 reported that five girls from the border were taken to an intake center in East Harlem at 12:45 a.m. Wednesday. Diaz said he then learned that some children were also in the Bronx.




    • So far, as nearly as I can tell in the news media, Trump’s solution to not separating parents and children is to immediately deport the whole family, sending them back into Mexico. Of course, this ignores due process, which the President is taking quite a bit of heat for, but if you jail the parents, you can’t put children in an adult holding facility, too. I suppose it would require a facility that would keep the family together while legal proceedings were taking place. I’m not sure what else should be done short of abolishing all immigration law and having totally open borders, but I’m pretty sure even Canada isn’t so lax with their borders.


      • The answer, James, is found is a Supreme Court ruling from 1903, Yamataya v. Fisher, 189 U.S. 86, whereby a young Japanese girl — age 16 — was deported because she had no one here and would be a “Ward of the State.” Rather then make her “our” burden, she was sent back to Japan. The U.S. Supreme Court upheld the deportation and even ruled that the courts have no say-so in the matter. As long as the deportee was fairly tried by the authorities, the immigrants had no right to appeal. The U.S. Supreme Court has already given the President all the authority he needs to deport all these folks, children and adults. It is arguable that, as non-citizens, their “due process” may not consist of much more than an investigation of their background, the circumstances of their illegal entry, and a hearing that reviews such information.


      • Gee, I wish this information would make it into the news media, but then I guess it wouldn’t be considered “good copy.”

        That said, I still have compassion for children separated from their parents. I used to work for child protective services back in the day, and even when it was in the child’s best interest, going to live in a receiving home or foster home with a bunch of strangers was still very hard.


      • Understandably… Among the questions to be answered is to determine what are the alternatives, and are any of them tolerable.


      • I don’t think there will be a solution that will be palatable to everyone, since having immigration laws and vetting who is admitted and who is not means some people are not permitted entry.


  8. So the topic was snatching kids away from their parents (including at least some being led through streets at night and many being secreted around), and when that’s shown not to be a conspiracy theory it’s time to skip around and ignore it.


  9. At least one child has been sent away (back to wherever) without a parent, and many parents have been sent back without their children. If we have separated parents and children and then sent parents back while keeping youngsters here (again… including infants) — or who knows where — this escapade of theirs (of Sessions’ and Trump’s and those who laugh at their jokes or keep their heads down and let it all happen) is not about following a protocol wherein dependents are not kept here as “wards” of the state. On the contrary.
    There is some sick sense of humor going on here about taking away children and (at best) not planning further.


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