Can we just stop ignoring the fact that human trafficking is a HUGE issue as part of the Channel 4 News expose on Cambridge Analytica? Is it not equally as bad as the misuse of data belonging to 50 million people in this country? How ironic that people who manage data seemingly didn’t investigate the client with whom they met to discuss ways of discrediting political rivals. That new client was a Channel 4 undercover reporter. Cambridge Analytica CEO, Alexander Nix, is recorded offering the new client the “service” of sending Ukrainian sex workers to rivals’ rooms to discredit the rival. SEX WORKERS! In most parts of the world, that sort of offer is referred to as engaging in sex trafficking – and yet the offer is barely mentioned.
How are the sex workers be hired? What is the history of the exploitation of these women – are they in the work by choice or by force? Who will be paid for their labor? Do they receive direct payment or will a manager/pimp/human trafficker receive that payment on their behalf? The introduction of the world “Kompromat” to the American English has, I’m afraid, lessened the impact of the reality of what the word means and its potential for harm to the worker on the more dehumanizing end of the bargain. It is doubtful that we are talking about women (and men) who decided to enter the sex trade of their own accord. Self-selecting the field still holds risks and the potential for dehumanization, but individuals at least own their labor and have the right, and the ability, to decline work.
Have we accepted the practice of the exploitation of women for power as standard and, therefore, acceptable or predictable? We know it is historical, but isn’t it time for that history to end? Are we to conclude that individuals who hire sex workers to compromise others are simply business people, or political figures, who are using a means to reach an end? What happens to those sex workers when the job is finished? Are they compromised in a way that puts their lives at risk? Even when the target is exposed, he is rarely placed in a life-threatening situation, does the risk increase for the sex worker?
IF concern for the women who are trafficked as part of these seedy plots is, sadly, not enough, let’s really make it “sexy”.
— Did Team Trump receive the same offer as other potential new clients? When, and who would have been the identified targets of such offers?
— If the link between CA and #Trump extends as far back as is now alleged, was #Trump preparing the public for a CA hit on #TedCruz after Trump-friendly rags claimed that Cruz had a history of hiring sex workers?
— Ted Cruz was also a client of CA, was the same Kompromat offer made to him regarding primary rivals? How could he not know that CA operated this way?
— How could Kushner, Trump, Trump Jr., Conway, Bannon, Manafort, and the rest of the rogue’s gallery of individuals tightly connected to CA not know that this was part of the “services” the organization provided?
— What will be the reaction of an Evangelical movement that has made peace with #Trump’s infidelities and ill treatment of women? They have already made peace with his relationship with porn star, Stephanie Clifford (#StormyDaniels). Will they make peace with his relationship with a company that brags about trafficking women as a matter of routine? A man with a “difficult” history with women hires a company with a “difficult” history with women. How much more of their integrity are Evangelicals willing to sacrifice to defend this?
And now for the less “sexy” part: Why are we not more concerned that trafficking and politics seem to go hand-in-hand? Somewhere out there, at any given moment, human traffickers are profiting in ways we never expected, but that directly and indirectly touch our lives. They are profiting by making us queasy and distrustful of any politician caught up in one of these plots. They may even be profiting by putting elected officials in high offices, blackmailing them into making decisions favorable to traffickers, their bosses, their colleagues – all at our expense, in order to cover their secrets.
I am hoping that the U.S. Congress (read as: The Democrats), or some other international governing body, will research Nix’s offer. If they find that there is even one scintilla of evidence pointing to this as a routine past practice, CA should be, in my opinion, charged with human trafficking in an international criminal court.