Five people were sentenced to death Monday as punishment for the murder of Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi. A public prosecutor said another 10 defendants were released due to insufficient evidence.
Khashoggi was killed and dismembered on October 2, 2018 near the Saudi consulate in Istanbul. His criticism of Saudi Arabia and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s policies were said to be the reason for the punishment. The men behind the act were thought to have been working for or in support of the highest levels of the Saudi government and bin Salman.
On November 2, 2018 the CIA revealed a recording of bin Salman ordering Khashoggi to be “silenced.”
“The Central Intelligence Agency is in possession of a phone call recording of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in which he is heard giving an instruction to ‘silence Jamal Khashoggi as soon as possible,’ Hürriyet columnist Abdulkadir Selvi wrote on November 22,” according to a report in Mediaite.
U.S. President Donald J. Trump said at the time, “King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman vigorously deny any knowledge of the planning or execution of the murder of Mr. Khashoggi. Our intelligence agencies continue to assess all information, but it could very well be that the Crown Prince had knowledge of this tragic event – maybe he did and maybe he didn’t!”
Just spoke with the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia who totally denied any knowledge of what took place in their Turkish Consulate. He was with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo…
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 16, 2018
…during the call, and told me that he has already started, and will rapidly expand, a full and complete investigation into this matter. Answers will be forthcoming shortly.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 16, 2018
Responses ran the gamut on Twitter following the ruling Monday.
When Saudis sentence five to death for Khashoggi’s murder, we fear that it is a way to silence them for ever and to conceal the truth. We cannot consider death penalty helps to bring justice. We still expect a full accounting. #Khashoggi #PressFreedom
— Christophe Deloire (@cdeloire) December 23, 2019
Imagine being sent to murder a journalist and then the people who sent the murderers sentence the murderers to death for murdering on their behalf, while the alleged ringleaders face no justice. #Khashoggi
— Nihal Arthanayake (@TherealNihal) December 23, 2019
“Expeditious justice. A closed trial. Five death sentences. This is how the Saudi authorities decided to protect the perpetrators of Jamal #Khashoggi‘s heinous crime. And at the same time it is burying the truth” said @abellanger49, IFJ General Secretary #EndImpunity @AFP https://t.co/9dZbQuInWz
— IFJ (@IFJGlobal) December 23, 2019
— Nieman Foundation (@niemanfdn) December 23, 2019
#SaudiArabia Initial ruling of 5 death sentences against defendants on charges of murder and accessory in murder the in #Khashoggi case.
3 Jail sentences of 24 years in total for defendants charged with the obstruction of justice by covering up for the crime. pic.twitter.com/PGTWvKeiQ5
— Khaled Alshareef (@0khalodi0) December 23, 2019
— The Middle East Eye (@TheMEEye) December 23, 2019
— Türk Arap Medya Derneği (@TAMdernegi) December 23, 2019
— A.Silver-MeMEs & GIFs (@SilverAdie) December 23, 2019
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‘The Good Type of Mexican’: Ohio GOP Latina Aide Accuses Three Republican Lawmakers of Racism and Sexism
‘Degrading Comments and Harassment’
Latina legislative aide in Ohio over the weekend accused three Republican state lawmakers of racism and sexism ahead of a vote for speaker of the House.
In a letter sent to Democratic lawmakers and posted to Twitter, Marissa Reyes detailed racist and sexist comments made by her former boss, Republican state Rep. Scott Wiggam, Cincinnati.com reported. Former state Rep. Wes Retherford and Rep. Derek Merrin were also accused of inappropriate remarks.
— Marissa Reyes (@Marissavreyes) January 6, 2019
Reyes argued that Democratic lawmakers should not throw their support for speaker behind Republican Rep. Larry Householder. Democrats have reportedly agreed to back Householder’s bid for speaker.
“I have suffered degrading comments and harassment by the very people that the Democratic caucus may choose to empower on January 7th, 2019,” Reyes said in the letter. “I urge you not (to) support a leadership team that promises to solve problems that they themselves are perpetuating.”
Reyes described in the letter how Retherford made sexist remarks following a House Christmas party.
“He caused a scene by screaming and threatening myself and other female House aides not to discuss events from that night and remarked to me at a different point that he would ‘prefer to see me with my dress off,’” she explained.
Reyes, who now works for Republican state Rep. Bob Cupp, said that her former boss, Rep. Scott Wiggam, made remarks about her gender and ethnicity.
“During my time as a staffer in this office, I had to endure months of unacceptable treatment and was forced to listen to the Representative’s opinions that painted myself, my family and other Hispanics in a demeaning light,” she wrote. “When I respectfully disagreed with the Representative about an issue, I was told that ‘women do not think logically, they think with their hearts not with their brains.’”
At one point, Wiggan called her “the good type of Mexican,” she said.
Democratic state Rep. Kristin Boggs, who received Reyes’ letter, said that she was disturbed by the allegations. But it was not immediately clear if the accusations would impact Monday’s vote for speaker.
Image via Instagram
Homeland Security Secretary Blasted for Response to Death of 7 Year Old Girl Who Died in Border Patrol Custody
Offers Condolences to Family of 7 Year Old Who Died in Custody – and ‘All of DHS’?
Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen is sending her condolences to the family of the 7-year old girl who died while in custody of dehydration and exhaustion. But in the same breath Secretary Nielsen, whose department is responsible for separating thousands of children at the U.S.-Mexico border from their parents, also appears to offer condolences to the entire Dept. of Homeland Security.
“Yeah, it’s heart-wrenching,” Sec. Nielsen told “Fox & Friends” Friday morning, a week after the young child’s death.
“My heart goes out to the family – all of DHS,” she said. It’s unclear if she meant she was speaking for all of DHS or if she was sending condolences to all of DHS.
Meanwhile, the embattled Homeland Security chief didn’t stop there. She then pivoted, blaming the family who “chose” to flee dangerous Central America to seek refuge in the U.S.
“You know, this is just a very sad example of the dangers of this journey. The family chose to cross illegally. What happened here was they were 90 miles away from where we could process them.”
“They came in such a large crowd, it took our Border Patrol folks a couple of times to get them all,” she insisted.
“We gave immediate care, we’ll continue to look into the situation, but again I cannot stress how dangerous this journey is when migrants choose to come here illegally.”
FOX & FRIENDS: What do you know about the 7-year-old girl who died in Border Patrol custody?@SecNielsen: “This is just a very sad example of the dangers of this journey. This family chose to cross illegally… I cannot stress [enough] how dangerous this journey is.” pic.twitter.com/bjFMdFlW3E
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) December 14, 2018
In truth, the girl was held for 8 hours before being taken to a hospital. Some have noted that is not “immediate care.”
Vox adds that “DHS hasn’t said if she was given water.”
Secretary Nielsen is being chastised on social media for the death of the child and for what many see as an offensive response.
MSNBC’s Chris Hayes blasted the statement released by DHS on the child’s death:
This is a disgusting statement dripping with cruelty, contempt and inhumanity. Everyone who worked on it should be ashamed of themselves. https://t.co/jxzxRzdFlC
— Chris Hayes (@chrislhayes) December 14, 2018
Hillary Clinton just weighed in, calling this a “humanitarian crisis.”
There are no words to capture the horror of a seven-year-old girl dying of dehydration in U.S. custody. What’s happening at our borders is a humanitarian crisis. https://t.co/8KZeynGjIv
— Hillary Clinton (@HillaryClinton) December 14, 2018
Others are calling Sec. Nielsen a criminal:
— Molly Jong-Fast (@MollyJongFast) December 14, 2018
Nielsen deserves prison time for willful criminal neglect and indifference to human suffering, that her policies increase. These are crimes against humanity. She and her willing acomplices need to answer for every last one of the lives she’s help destroy.
— Jim Shepherd (@zathraslives) December 14, 2018
Anybody else think Kirstjen Nielsen should face an international criminal tribunal in The Hague?
— Nick Knudsen 🇺🇸 (@DemWrite) December 14, 2018
Nothing to see here, just the DHS Secretary blaming the death of a 7 year old girl who died while in the custody of the Border Patrol on her parents https://t.co/4TAMNFekn2
— Michael Cohen (@speechboy71) December 14, 2018
She didn’t die *on the journey* to America, @SecNielsen.
She died *in* America.
She died in El Paso, Texas, on the watch of the US Border Patrol, which reports to you.https://t.co/nqOO4oSc6W
— Kevin M. Kruse (@KevinMKruse) December 14, 2018
She could have grown up to be a doctor, an artist, a mom, a senator. Immigration & diversity make this country strong. We should always welcome people fleeing bad situations and seeking a new start because they will help us be great. Instead, we have a tragedy. https://t.co/waJosvlp5U
— Joyce Alene (@JoyceWhiteVance) December 14, 2018
GOP on Trump: He’s 70 and there are SO MANY laws.
GOP on a dead 7-year old: It’s our considered opinion that this little girl should have had a better understanding of 8 U.S. Code § 1158. https://t.co/4Qm8pEjLuh
— LOLGOP👀 (@LOLGOP) December 14, 2018
— Sara Just (@sarajust) December 14, 2018
A 7 year old girl was taken away from her father by Border Patrol a week ago and taken into custody.
She died of of dehydration and exhaustion.
In other words: we killed her.https://t.co/mPOlNW1sE1
— Leah McElrath (@leahmcelrath) December 14, 2018
A) You are purposefully limiting valid ports of entry so there’s no choice but to cross illegally.
B) You feign concern for the people risking the “dangers of the journey,” yet reject the validity of their desperation by closing off asylum.
C) You are responsible for her death. https://t.co/qe34tAQIJu
— Scott Hechinger (@ScottHech) December 14, 2018
Mika Brzezinski Blasts Kellyanne Conway for Using Her Sexual Assault to Protect ‘Predator of a President’
‘That Was as Low as It Gets’
MSNBC’s Mika Brzezinski called out White House adviser Kellyanne Conway for trying to have it both ways on Christine Blasey Ford.
Conway revealed that she, too, had been a victim of sexual assault after Ford came forward with her allegations against Brett Kavanaugh, but the “Morning Joe” co-host said that admission shouldn’t let her get away with defending personal attacks against the accuser.
“I was really struck by Kellyanne Conway saying that (Ford)’s been treated like a Fabergé egg,” Brzezinski said. “That’s interesting.”
“I find that fascinating,” she continued, “actually, because Kellyanne Conway went on a Sunday show and, in the middle of making her point, she announced she’s a victim of sexual assault. Really? Oh, my gosh — okay.”
She challenged Conway to reveal the details of her attack to see if she would be treated like a Fabergé egg.
“So tell us your story,” Brzezinski said. “Who is your attacker? Who broke the law? Who hurt you? You seemed really uncomfortable when you let that slip out. Your voice got small, your voice cracked, you had to clear your throat.”
“You were really uncomfortable just saying, ‘I am a victim of sexual assault,’” she continued. “And you know what? I say that as a victim of sexual assault myself. So I want to ask why can’t you be the egg, Kellyanne Conway, the Fabergé egg and tell your story?”
She called out Conway as a hypocrite for claiming victim status to attack other victims.
“You say women should be heard,” Brzezinski said. “You talk out of both sides of your mouth. You say women should be heard, their stories are credible and compelling — let’s hear yours. It’s very convenient to drop that. I want to know your story, I want to know what happened. You should have justice, shouldn’t you?”
Host Joe Scarborough tried to cut in, but Brzezinski held him off.
“Hold on, I’m not done,” she said. “Know your value. You can’t just throw that out as a political dagger to protect this reprehensible predator of a president, and make an announcement that you’re the victim of sexual assault which, therefore, for some reason makes everybody not ask you about it?”
“If women are being treated like Fabergé eggs when they announce their stories, then you go ahead and tell yours and see how easy it is, okay?” Brzezinski continued. “That was as low as it gets.”
Brzezinski said Conway should resign in shame if she was unwilling to back up her own claims of sexual assault.
“You have such great, tight, little points that you want to throw out there,” Brzezinski said. “This one is not going to fly. You can’t use being a victim of sexual assault, throw it out there, and then literally dirty, sully the name of someone who has stepped in front of the cameras before the United States of America and told her story.”
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