Secretary Tillerson Took Months to Address the Anti-LGBT Concentration Camps in Chechnya
In honor of Spirit Day the U.S. Dept. of State is denouncing violence and discrimination of LGBTQI people worldwide. It could not be more hypocritical. Spirit Day, organized and promoted by GLAAD, is an annual event created to raise awareness of the bullying experienced by LGBTQI youth and teens, and to honor those who succumbed to bullying-related suicide. The goal is to help support LGBTQI youth and teens.
After explaining Spirit Day in a press briefing Thursday, State Dept. Spokesperson Heather Nauert told reporters, “Around the world LGBTI individuals face increasing physical attacks, arbitrary arrests, just because of who they are or who they love. Our global policy is to oppose violence and discrimination targeting LGBTI persons, including from governments and non-state actors.”
â€” Department of State (@StateDept) October 19, 2017
And while that sounds great, it is extraordinarily hypocritical.Â
Back in June, as NCRM reported, it was revealed that Secretary of State Rex Tillerson had not bothered to denounce, condemn, or even address the kidnapping, torture, beating, and murder of more than 100 gay people in Chechnya, which is part of the Russian Federation. It took the Secretary of State until some time this past summerÂ â€“Â the State Dept. won’t say whenÂ â€“ to send a letter toÂ Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov expressing U.S. concern over the concentration camp prisons that are being used to torture and murder LGBT people. (In fairness,Â U.S. Ambassador Nikki Haley issued a statement condemning the atrocities in April.)
On Wednesday the Human Rights Campaign was forced to file a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request demanding the State Dept. hand over the letter supposedly sent to Lavrov by Tillerson.Â
â€œThe very fact that we are required to compel the State Department to release this letter speaks volumes about the Trump-Pence administrationâ€™s lack of leadership on this life-or-death situation in Chechnya,â€ Ty Cobb, Director of HRC Global, said in a statement.
â€œIt took months for Secretary Tillerson to write a letter on the atrocities in Chechnya, and we still don’t know if he addressed human rights issues forcefully or not because he won’t allow anyone to see the letter,â€ Cobb continued. â€œItâ€™s far past time that President Trump and Secretary Tillerson publicly condemn the ongoing attacks against the LGBTQ community in Chechnya. Given the growing violence and arrests of LGBTQ people around the world, the United States must not back away from leading on LGBTQ human rights.â€
This is on top of the U.S. State Dept. United NationsÂ vote earlier this month that opposed a resolution that condemned theÂ death penalty for blasphemy, adultery and same-sex relations. While the resolution was broad, the U.S. should have voted to support it, and Ambassador Nikki Haley, and spokesperson Nauert both gave false statements when forced to defend the vote.
There are many career foreign service officers and others in the Dept. of State, including the members of GLIFAA, who, it is clear, have tremendous respect for the LGBT community and have, under previous administrations, done great work in support of LGBT people. But under Secretary of State Tillerson, it’s clear LGBT people, on Spirit Day or on any other, in the U.S. and around the world, are second class citizens.
That goes for Trump and his administration’s agencies.
The Trump administration’s Dept. of Justice and the Dept. of Education especially have consistently worked against LGBT people. If the U.S. were a foreign country the State Dept.’s “global policy,” to oppose discrimination targeting LGBTI persons would need to be invoked.
It’s unclear that Secretary Tillerson was even made aware of State’s honoring Spirit Day, but regardless, paying lip service is one thing. Doing the actual work, and in a timely manner, to “oppose violence and discrimination targeting LGBTI persons, including from governments and non-state actors,” requires effort. The Secretary hopefully will decide to prioritize LGBT people.
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In Angry Letter McCarthy Warns Thompson J6 Docs ‘Do Not Belong to You’ – After Defending Trump Taking Classified Info
House Minority Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy in an angry letter to Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-MS) warned the Chairman of the U.S. House Select Committee on the January 6 Attack that his role will end on January 3 and it is “imperative that all information collected be preserved.” The California Republican congressman had a dramatically different position on Donald Trump‘s unlawful retention of well over ten thousand items from the White House, including at least 300 documents with classified markings, including some classified at the highest levels.
McCarthy, who is running to be Speaker of the House but is facing strong opposition from some of the GOP caucus, nevertheless is acting as if he will wield the gavel.
His letter, angry and accusatory in tone, also strongly suggests Republicans will hold their own hearings on the January 6 attack on the Capitol and on democracy, but with a vastly different focus.
“The American people chose Republicans to lead the 118th Congress,” McCarthy’s letter begins. “On January 3, 2023, your work as Chairman of the Select Committee to Investigate the January 6th Attack on the United States Capitol will come to an end,” McCarthy told Thompson in his letter, which was reported on by CBS News.
“For those reasons, I remind you and your staff on the Committee to preserve all records collected and transcripts of testimony taken during your investigation in accordance with House Rule VII. As the Chairman, regardless of who may be directing the work of the Committee, you are responsible for the work done by its members and staff.”
Some have suggested that Thompson could transfer some or all of the Committee’s work product – all transcripts and other evidence – to the Senate.
McCarthy continued with his angry attack.
“It is clear based on recent news reports that even your own members and staff of the Committee have no visibility into the totality of the investigation. Some reports suggest that entire swaths of findings will be left out of the Committee’s final report. You have spent a year and a half and millions of taxpayers’ dollars conducting this investigation.”
House Republicans, including McCarthy, spent million dollars on six Benghazi investigations, the last one of which McCarthy admitted was designed to harm former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s presidential aspirations.
“Everybody thought Hillary Clinton was unbeatable, right? But we put together a Benghazi special committee, a select committee. What are her numbers today? Her numbers are dropping,” McCarthy bragged in 2015.
Unlike his defense of ex-president Donald Trump unlawfully removing and retaining at Mar-a-Lago approximately 13,000 items belonging to the National Archives from the White House, McCarthy warned Thompson the Committee’s work does not belong to the Chairman.
“It is imperative that all information collected be preserved not just for institutional prerogatives but for transparency to the American people,” McCarthy wrote. “The official Congressional Records do not belong to you or any member, but to the American people, and they are owed all of the information you gathered – not merely the information that comports with your political agenda.”
That’s actually false.
The Committee has undoubtedly uncovered government secrets, including national security information, classified information, and information, for example, the Secret Service needs to keep secret to allow it to continue to secure its protectees. It also has entered into agreements with witnesses that prevent it from releasing those documents, transcripts, and other evidence to the public.
Politico’s senior legal affairs reporter Kyle Cheney says, “Kevin McCarthy’s letter demanding that the Jan. 6 committee preserve its records is mostly nonsense because the committee is planning to release all but a few of its transcripts.”
McCarthy continued, warning: “Although your Committee’s public hearings did not focus on why the Capitol complex was not secure on January 6, 2021, the Republican majority in the 118th Congress will hold hearings that do so.”
He then served up what some might say is a threat.
“The American people have a right to know that the allegations you have made are supported by the facts and to be able to view the transcripts with an eye toward encouraged enforcement of 18 USC 1001.”
18 U.S. Code § 1001 is the federal statute that makes it a crime to knowingly make false statements.
McCarthy had a very different take when the U.S. Dept. of Justice executed a legal search warrant of Donald Trump’s Florida residence and resort, Mar-a-Lago, to retrieve government-owned materials, including classified documents.
“Joe Biden and the politicized Dept. of Justice launched a raid on the home of his top political rival, Donald Trump,” McCarthy said on Sept. 1. “That is an assault on democracy.”
“Joe Biden and the politicized Department of Justice launched a raid on the home of his top political rival, Donald Trump. That is an assault on democracy.”
— House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, before Biden gives remarks in Philadelphia, attacks the lawful Mar-a-Lago search pic.twitter.com/qDwPSzrYs8
— The Recount (@therecount) September 1, 2022
Watch the videos above or at this link.
Treasury Dept. Finally Hands Over Six Years of Trump’s Tax Returns to Powerful House Committee
The U.S. Dept. of the Treasury has finally handed over six years of Donald Trump’s tax returns, after the U.S, Supreme Court denied the ex-president’s request to block the document transfer. The powerful House Ways and Means Committee is now in receipt of all six years, according to a Wednesday afternoon report from CNN.
The returns are primarily from Trump’s time as president.
The Committee will need to work quickly, as Republicans will take over the House majority early next year, and the current Chairman, Richard Neal, will no longer serve in that role.
Republicans are expected to end any investigations into Donald Trump, including his tax returns, as they begin investigations into top GOP priorities: Hunter Biden’s laptop, the origin of the novel COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic, and President Joe Biden’s withdrawal of U.S. forces from Afghanistan.
This is a breaking news and developing story.
Image via Shutterstock
Trump Allies So Shaken by His White Supremacist Dinner a Top Campaign Aide Will Now ‘Be Present With Him at All Times’
Top allies of Donald Trump were so disturbed by his decision to have dinner with white supremacist Nick Fuentes last week that the ex-president and 2024 GOP candidate will now have a handler with him around the clock.
The Associated Press also reports the campaign has also changed the protocols for visitors and will start to vet guests who come to see Trump, after the few procedures in place allowed antisemite Kanye West to bring along three guests.
“In an acknowledgment of the severity of the backlash and an effort to prevent a repeat, Trump’s campaign is putting new protocols in place to ensure that those who meet with him are approved and fully vetted, according to people familiar with the plans who requested anonymity to share internal strategy,” the AP adds, revealing the campaign apparently does not trust the 76-year old ex-president to make decisions about who he should or should not spend time with.
“The changes will include expediting a system, borrowed from Trump’s White House, in which a senior campaign official will be present with him at all times, according to one of the people,” the AP adds, revealing what appears to be a previously unknown fact.
The lax security at Mar-a-Lago was in place when Trump was storing 300 documents with various classified markings, including documents with top secret information and a set with the highest level of classification.
In yet another stunning revelation the AP reports that the antisemitic Holocaust “denier” and white supremacist Fuentes “arrived by car with Ye, the rapper formerly known as Kanye West, and was waved into the club by security, even though only Ye had been on the security list, according to one of the people present and others briefed on the events.”
The AP also reports that “Fuentes apparently did not show his ID and the car’s driver, a frequent guest at the club, got in using a credit card after misplacing her license.”
The report does not mention the other two guests Trump dined with, reportedly far right wing provocateur Milo Yiannopoulos, who has supported adult men having sex with young teens, and Karen Trump 2016 aide Karen Giorno, who was reportedly involved in a pay-for-pardon scheme.
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