Today in Domestic Terrorism: Anti-Muslim Attack in Portland Oregon

Earlier this evening two people were killed and another wounded attempting to intervene with a man who had been bullying a pair of women for being Muslim.

Portland’s KATU News reported that:

Witnesses told KATU’s Joe Douglass the stabbing suspect was hurling racial insults at two women with dark skin, one of whom was wearing a headdress. Two men who came to the woman’s defense had their throats slashed by the suspect, witnesses said.

Another witness says she saw two women who appeared to be of Middle Eastern-descent get on the train. At least one of them was wearing a headdress. The suspect was asking them questions when he got belligerent. When another bystander tried to calm him down, the man took out a knife and began stabbing people.

“He said, ‘Get off the bus, and get out of the country because you don’t pay taxes here,’ [he said he] doesn’t like Muslims, they’re criminals,” Evelin Hernandez said.

Portland’s KGW News also reports that:

Portland police spokesman Sgt. Pete Simpson said the man was yelling hate speech on the train. While Simpson said the rants weren’t exclusively anti-Muslim, he said at some point the man began directing his speech towards two younger women are believed to be Muslim. One was wearing a hijab, Simpson said.

While the man was yelling, other passengers began trying to calm him down. That’s when the man attacked three of the people who intervened, Simpson said. One person died at the scene and one later died at a hospital. The third victim is expected to survive. They have not yet been identified.

The suspect then ran from the train into a nearby neighborhood, where police took him into custody. Simpson said it’s not yet known what prompted the man’s behavior.

None of the news reports identify who the suspect is or provide a description of him.

(H/T: Timurid)

 

 



News Dump of the Day: Part the 3rd

According to CNN, Attorney General Jeff Sessions failed to disclose his contacts with Ambassador Kislyak on his Security Form (SF) 86.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions did not disclose meetings he had last year with Russian officials when he applied for his security clearance, the Justice Department told CNN Wednesday.

Sessions, who met with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak at least two times last year, didn’t note those interactions on the form, which requires him to list “any contact” he or his family had with a “foreign government” or its “representatives” over the past seven years, officials said.
Sessions initially listed a year’s worth of meetings with foreign officials on the security clearance form, according to Justice Department spokeswoman Sarah Isgur Flores. But she says he and his staff were then told by an FBI employee who assisted in filling out the form, known as the SF-86, that he didn’t need to list dozens of meetings with foreign ambassadors that happened in his capacity as a senator.
After CNN’s story published, a spokesman responded to the reporting with a statement, saying that Sessions was instructed not to list meetings like the ones with Kislyak on his form.
“As a United States Senator, the Attorney General met hundreds — if not thousands — of foreign dignitaries and their staff,” spokesman Ian Prior said. “In filling out the SF-86 form, the Attorney General’s staff consulted with those familiar with the process, as well as the FBI investigator handling the background check, and was instructed not to list meetings with foreign dignitaries and their staff connected with his Senate activities.”

Here’s a link to a blank SF 86 below the fold/after the jump. Here’s what the bottom of page 121 looks like:

Read more



DCI Brennan Testimony Before House Select Committee on Intelligence

Here’s the live feed:

Every GOP committee member has yielded their time back to Congressman Gowdy after asking a question or two that are tangential at best to the issue before the committee. Congressman Gowdy then treats DCI Brennan as if he is a hostile witness in a case that Gowdy is prosecuting. DCI Brennan is not having any of it and is not amused. Here is a great example from earlier in the hearing:



Open Thread: When Someone Tells You What They Are…



Late Night Opposite-of-Nostalgia Open Thread: GUILTY! GUILTY! GUILTY!

“Out of the loop” worked as an excuse for VP ‘Poppy’ Bush during the Iran-Contra investigation. “In a(n Alzheimers) fog” worked for Reagan. But that was twenty-five years ago, Bush was (however crooked & compromised) smart, and Reagan was popular. “Mike Dense”, as he was known back in Indiana, isn’t even popular with the guy who gave him his current job.



It is Important to Bear Witness: Protestors Beaten by Erdogan’s Bodyguards

Yesterday after Turkish President Erdogan’s meetings with the President, his bodyguards decided to give a beat down to a number of protestors (Kurdish Americans, Yazidi Americans, Kurdish and Yazidi immigrants to America, Americans who are neither Kurdish or Yazidi) in front of the Turkish ambassador’s residence. VOA Turkish has the video.

Andrea Mitchell confirmed what I suspected last night:

A similar response by Erdogan’s bodyguards to protestors also took place last year.

But the event was seemingly upstaged by proceedings outside the venue, where protesters appeared to clash with Erdogan supporters, as well as the controversial Turkish leader’s security detail.

During the 2016 incident Erdogan’s security detail actually went so far as to attack their hosts at the Brookings Institute.

Later, a shoving match between what appeared to be a Brookings Institute worker and Turkish security broke out. “I am in charge of this building,” the apparent Brookings employee shouted as the two tangled. A Foreign Policy reporter and others holding cameras outside the event were also scolded by Turkish security.  One cameraman was chased across the street by Turkish guards.

In yesterday’s incident, as I would have expected in the 2016 one, the official bodyguards to President Erdogan were armed, which has been confirmed by analysis of stills from the video.

A number of folks in comments last night, as well as in comments today have asked why the DC Police responded the way they did. I think my answer in a comment from last night makes sense:

The cops did a decent job with less than lethal force. Given that the Turks who were assaulting and battering the protestors would clearly have beaten them to death if given the chance, I would not have been opposed to them escalating to lethal force. Unfortunately that is really the only thing that the guys giving out the beatings respond to.

As to why they didn’t? They had most likely been prepped by the Department of State Diplomatic Security folks and given instructions about what the rules of engagement would and would not permit. This is a diplomatic incident. And people have been severely beaten and hurt. But it is containable. Ventilating the first goon to charge the protestors when he ignored the order to stop and back off would be a major, major problem.

Given that Erdogan’s security detail were armed it is a good thing that the Metropolitan Police officers responding on site did not escalate from less than lethal to lethal responses. Doing so could have turned a group beating into a shoot out and likely a bloodbath. This would have created the conditions for an even larger rift with a NATO ally that could be exploited by the US’s competitors (Russia).

So what happens now? Under any other administration the Department of State’s Bureau of Diplomatic Security, working in conjunction with DC’s Metropolitan Police Department and the Department of Homeland Security would be working to positively identify the members of Erdogan’s security detail involved. They would then be declared persona non grata and barred from reentry into the United States. What will actually happen given the current administration I have no idea.

Update at 1:30 PM EDT

Before anyone asks why no one being threatened/beaten didn’t draw a firearm and defend themselves, the simple reason is that Washington DC has dragged out implementing the Supreme Court ruling Heller V DC. As a result it is almost impossible to get a concealed carry permit in DC. Additionally, Washington DC’s code defines self defense in the following manner:

You are entitled to claim self-defense: (1) if you actually believe you are in imminent danger of bodily harm; and (2) if you have reasonable grounds for that belief. You may use the amount of force which, at the time of the incident, you actually and reasonably believe is necessary to protect yourself (or a third person) from imminent bodily harm. This may extend to the use of deadly force if you actually and reasonably believe you are in imminent danger of death or serious bodily harm from which you can save yourself only by using deadly force against your assailant.

Even if the other person is the aggressor and you are justified in using force in selfdefense, you may not use any greater force than you actually and reasonably believe is necessary under the circumstances to prevent the harm you reasonably believe is intended or to save your life or avoid serious bodily harm.

Under the case law of the District of Columbia, the District is neither a “right to stand and kill” nor a “duty to retreat to the wall before killing” jurisdiction. The District case law has established a “middle ground.” 2

You should take reasonable steps, such as stepping back or walking away, to avoid the necessity of taking a human life, so long as those steps are consistent with your own safety. However, you do not have to retreat or consider retreating when you actually and reasonably believe that you are in danger of death or serious bodily harm and that deadly force is necessary to repel that danger.

 



Wednesday Morning Open Thread: A Millipede’s Worth of Dropped Shoes

(Walt Handelsman via GoComics.com)
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Remember when there was such a thing as a “slow news day”?

“CNN Contributor, former Cruz comms director, DeMint speechwriter” asks…