The Obama administration created a media Potemkin base tour of the area housing children detained for illegally entering the United States. Media were shown a bright, shiny image of healthy children in organized activity, but not allowed to interact with children or staff.
The administration is fighting media reports of health concerns and overcrowding, including widespread scabies and tuberculosis.
The Pentagon and Department of Homeland Security, and Department of Health and Human Services coordinated to create the event.
Why the tour was arranged
President Obama ceased deportations of most underage border crossers in the run-up to his most recent reelection.
After Rep Jim Bridenstine was denied access to the military facilities housing unaccompanied alien children, Senator Tom Coburn said the administration broke the law.
“I will just tell you I think you made a grievous error in denying Congressman Bridenstine access to that facility,” Coburn said to Mark Greenberg, a DHHS acting assistant secretary, at a Senate hearing.
Obama administration officials then arranged the carefully constructed media tour.
Potemkin base tour
From Tulsa World:
FORT SILL — In quiet barracks, 60 teenage girls were knitting with bright yarn, making tissue-paper flower bouquets and playing bingo from a kindergarten-level English word game.
Part of a cafeteria was being used as a classroom for rudimentary English and math, and four soccer games were being played by boys outside.
The housing areas for 1,160 children and teens from Central America at Fort Sill were clean and sanitary with occasional bursts of color from drawings and posters typical of a teenager’s room. All dorms had references to Jesus, God or Christ in youth-created artwork.
On Friday, Oklahoma media from 30 organizations were invited to tour the section of the military base used to house youths who were detained at the U.S. border attempting to cross illegally.
Restrictions on media included no photography or recording devices, no questions asked of staff and no interactions with the children.
The Obama administration wants to bring another 5,000 illegal immigrant children to military bases, and is forcing the commanders to accept this use of their facilities.