Orlando massacre, self-hate, not jihadism

This video from the USA says about itself:

22 June 2016

The mass shooting at the Pulse gay nightclub in Orlando earlier this month was an act of “revenge,” not terrorism, according to a man who claims to be gunman Omar Mateen’s former lover. The man, identified only as Miguel, claimed that Mateen was “100 percent” gay, in an interview with Univision Noticias on Tuesday. … We look at the latest revelations about the Orlando shooting on the Lip News with Mark Sovel, Margaret Howell and Elliot Hill.

By Bill Van Auken in the USA:

Man claiming to be lover of Orlando shooter casts further doubt on “terror” claims

23 June 2016

The attempts to cast the horrific June 12 massacre of 49 people at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando as a case of Islamist terrorism have been further undermined by the testimony of a man claiming to have been the lover of the shooter, Omar Mateen.

In an exclusive interview Tuesday with the Spanish language television network Univision, a man who identified himself only as Miguel and who appeared with his face and voice disguised said that Mateen had attacked the gay nightclub not as an act not of [‘Islamic’] terrorism, but of “revenge.”

According to his account, Mateen was enraged over a sexual encounter with two Puerto Rican men he had met at the Pulse nightclub, one of whom, he said, later acknowledged that he was HIV positive. He described Mateen as “terrified” of becoming infected with the virus.

“I’m going to make them pay for what they did to me,” he recalled Mateen telling him, adding that “he hated Puerto Rican gays” because of the incident.

Bigotry both against both Puerto Ricans and other Latin American people, and against LGBTQ people, is widespread among Republican party politicians like Donald Trump, also in Florida. As it is widespread in the G4S mercenary corporation where Mateen worked.

The man recounted that he had met Mateen via a gay dating app and had gone with him between 15 and 20 times to the Ambassador Hotel in Orlando. A receptionist interviewed by Univision confirmed that she recognized Mateen and that the man the network interviewed had been a regular guest.

The FBI confirmed the man’s report that he had been interviewed several times by the agency, which has also sought security video from the hotel.

The testimony of “Miguel” conforms with accounts given by a number of others, including Mateen’s former wife and a number of patrons of the Pulse nightclub, who described him as a regular and reported that he had been on gay dating apps for years.

The gunman’s ex-wife, Sitora Ysufiy, an immigrant from Uzbekistan, told a Brazilian television news interviewer that Mateen had been “mentally unstable and mentally ill,” having physically abused her during their brief marriage.

Ysufiy added that she believed he was gay, and that his father, an Afghan immigrant, had denounced him as such in front of her. According to her and her fiancé, she recounted this experience to the FBI, but had been asked by FBI agents “not to tell this to the American media.”

The media, for its part, has largely cooperated. Neither the New York Times nor the Washington Post, two newspapers that set the agenda for the national press, had published as of Wednesday a word about either the Univision interview or Mateen’s ex-wife’s account of her encounter with the FBI.

Instead, the overwhelming attention has been given to Mateen’s call to 911 during the massacre, in which he delivered “a pledge of allegiance to Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi of the Islamic State [ISIS],” and the controversy surrounding the FBI’s redaction of this statement from a transcript originally released to the press.

Given the widespread testimony relating to Mateen’s apparent mental illness and internal conflicts over his sexual identity, as well as the extremely repressive social attitudes within his family, there is every reason to suspect that the invocation of the Islamic State was aimed at concealing his real motives.

There is a clear political purpose behind the media’s selective reporting. The aim is to support the narrative that Mateen acted as a “domestically radicalized” Islamist terrorist, inspired to violence by the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), rather than, as with the far more typical mass shooter in America, driven by mental illness, perceived grievances and the toxic social atmosphere that prevails in a country dominated by unending war and deepening inequality.

The massacre in Orlando is being harnessed to a drive by the US ruling establishment to escalate war abroad and political repression at home. The mass killing has coincided with demands by US generals for the dispatch of more American troops to Iraq as well as a call by some 50 State Department officials for the redirection of the US intervention in Syria to more directly target the Russian-backed government of President Bashar al-Assad.

Meanwhile, the US Senate Wednesday narrowly defeated legislation that would further empower the FBI to troll through the Internet browsing histories, emails and social media activity of American citizens without the necessity of securing a court order. The measure represents a significant expansion of the warrantless searches authorized under the Patriot Act, which require only an administrative subpoena, called a “National Security Letter” (NSL). Over the past decade, the FBI has issued some 300,000 such letters.

While supposedly not including access to the content of emails, the legislation in the Senate would allow the FBI to track the web sites viewed by citizens and determine how long they visited them, as well as the “to” and “from” lines of emails and location information garnered from IP addresses.

Telephone and Internet companies served with NSLs are barred under the law from disclosing either to their customers or the general public that they have received these letters.

Those backing the legislation have invoked the Orlando attack as the pretext for the further shredding of constitutional protections against unreasonable searches and seizures.

One of the sponsors of the measure, which was presented as an amendment to a spending bill that included funding for the FBI, was Arizona’s Republican Senator John McCain. “In the wake of the tragic massacre in Orlando, it is important our law enforcement have the tools they need to conduct counterterrorism investigations and track ‘lone wolves,’ or ISIS-inspired terrorists,” he said.

The vote on the measure was 58-38, just two shy of the 60 votes needed for it to go forward. Eleven Democrats joined all but six members of the Republican majority in voting to approve it. In a procedural move, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell changed his vote from “yes” to “no,” allowing him to reintroduce the legislation during a later debate.

Orlando massacre and LGBTQ people in Britain

This video from the USA says about itself:

Activist: Latinx LGBTQ Community & Its Stories of Survival Should Be at Center of Orlando Response

14 June 2016

On Monday night, thousands gathered in downtown Orlando for a candlelight vigil to remember the victims of the massacre at the Pulse nightclub. A nearby church bell tolled 49 times—once for each victim. Most of the victims were young and Latinx. To talk more about the Orlando shootings, we are joined by Isa Noyola. She is director of programs for the Transgender Law Center, the largest transgender organization. She’s a translatina activist and a national leader in the LGBT immigrant rights movement.

By Sami Hillyer in Britain:

The queer family needs to address its own prejudices

Thursday 23rd June 2016

If we are to come together as a family within our community, many an uncomfortable truth needs to be faced up to, writes Sami Hillyer

I’VE had a number of unexpected moments of the past fortnight. Unexpected because of how I’ve been sitting as a queer person living in London.

I don’t manage to turn heads through my somewhat flamboyant presentation. I can wear make-up to work at the hospital.

And I enjoy a fantastic group of supportive friends from diverse cultural backgrounds. Life has felt very comfortable in those respects.

Then Orlando happened. And it shook me and all the LGBTQ+ people I know around me.

It shook us because it was a homophobic attack. And not only was it a homophobic attack, but it was an attack on the Latinx LGBTQ+ community in a space they thought was safe for them.

I didn’t expect it to change me, but it has. Perhaps over the years I had just shut it out, but I’m noticing the stares of disgust or pity again, hearing the abuse shouted, feeling nervous on the streets once more.

It had always been there, homophobia, I’d just got good at ignoring it. It took the tragic loss of 49 lives and the 53 others shot to show me this again.

It took this unimaginable violence to bring us as LGBTQ+ people together again.

From the outside, we are seen as one group, one community, grouped together by our difference and as the recipients sometimes of a shared hate, sometimes pity and sometimes solidarity.

However from the inside we know we’re a fractured family, with all the letters of the alphabet soup split up from the rest.

Even within one of those letters alone, we have divides created by self-made “tribes” or the experiences of people of colour in mainstream gay spaces.

On the Monday night following the attack, a vigil was held in Soho and every colour in the spectrum of our queer rainbow turned out.

It was a vision of Soho I had never seen before, and it showed that, when affronted by such tragedy, by the challenge and threat of hate in this world, LGBTQ+ people can and will pull together.

We as a family recognise the homophobia that led Omar Mateen to gun down our siblings in Orlando.

We know, whether we’re out or not, what hate directed towards difference in how we express our gender or our attraction for others looks and feels like.

This major loss of our family has put to rest the opinion held by some that the fight for LGBTQ+ liberation is over now and has shown the spark for how we can regroup to take on the problems that not only affect the whole family, but the challenges that affront specific branches of our tree.

Although we have equal marriage, homophobic hate crimes have been on the rise in Britain.

One in 20 gay men in the UK, and one in 10 in London, have HIV and although not a death sentence any more and treatable with anti-retroviral drugs, HIV is still associated with complications to physical, mental and sexual health.

An HIV prevention drug with known efficacy is available, but the NHS has been delaying on making it easily available, allowing for the 2,500 new diagnoses of HIV in men who have sex with men to continue each year.

Tied to this disregard of LGBTQ+ people is the loss of spaces where we as a community can come together and feel safe.

An estimated 25 per cent of venues, bars, clubs have been lost since the recession.

Like the escalating loss of social housing, the social value of LGBTQ+ spaces is being ignored in favour of property developers looking to squeeze our cities more.

Our queer spaces are important, they break the isolation we can experience as queer people.

We know that 48 per cent of young trans people have attempted suicide and 34 per cent of young LGB people.

Young LGBT people are disproportionately hurt by the loss of spaces, whether it be bars, venues or housing. Twenty four per cent of the UK’s street homeless youth are LGBT.

Our community, if we are one family, needs to look at its own role in the isolation it creates.

Misogyny, transphobia and racism all exist within the gay scene, with many who aren’t gay white men feeling excluded from the main circuits of bars and clubs in places like Soho.

Prejudice is visible on dating apps like Grindr too, with the common taglines that body shame, attack feminity or reject people of colour (no fats, no femmes, no blacks, no Asians) or discriminate against people living with HIV or mental health problems (neg4neg, clean, sane and sorted looking for the same).

If we are to come together as a family within our community, these uncomfortable truths need to be faced up to and that the experiences of cisgendered gay white men who perhaps are in the position to marry, don’t represent the experiences of this diverse community. For example, LGBTQ+ asylum-seekers still face detention centres and deportations back to countries with the choice of living in hiding and fear or dying. Since Orlando, and our shared loss, we have potential as a family to fight for LGBTQ+ liberation for all our family, not just those best placed to receive it, and that means standing together in one another’s fights.

Sami Hillyer (UNISON) – SERTUC Observer to TUC LGBT Conference 2016

British Jo Cox murderer’s international nazi network

This video from the USA says about itself:

Meet the FBI Informant Who Organized Neo-Nazi Gathering Attended by Jo Cox Murder Suspect in 2000

22 June 2016

We turn now to look at Thomas Mair, the British man who killed British parliamentarian Jo Cox last week. Mair reportedly yelled out “Britain First” during the attack—a reference to the far-right, anti-immigrant political party of the same name … In court on Friday, Mair gave his name as “Death to traitors, freedom for Britain.” …

More information is coming to light about Mair’s ties to neo-Nazi groups in the United States and Britain. Meanwhile, a former paid FBI informant named Todd Blodgett has revealed he met Thomas Mair at a neo-Nazi gathering that the informant set up in London in 2000. Joining us now is Todd Blodgett, who once worked with several leaders of the far right, including Willis Carto, who founded the Liberty Lobby, and William Pierce, leader of the neo-Nazi National Alliance.

Orlando mass murderer, self-hating homophobic gay rather than jihadi

This video from the USA says about itself:

Orlando Shooter’s Lover Comes Forward

22 June 2016

Many like to point out that the Orlando shooter claimed allegiance to ISIS before he attacked the Pulse nightclub. However, his motivations may have had much more to do with his feeling shame in his sexuality rather than radical Islam. Cenk Uygur, host of The Young Turks, breaks it down.

‘Violent far-right lone wolves more lethal than jihadist ones’

This video from the USA says about itself:

Norway Terrorist Not Right-Wing (Fox News)

26 July 2011

Fox News is going out of its way to argue that Anders Behring Breivik who was behind the bombing and shooting spree in Oslo is not a right-winger or Christian terrorist. Cenk Uygur breaks down a clip on the topic.

Translated from Dutch NOS TV today:

Attacks by right-wing extremist loners pose a greater threat to the security of citizens than religious terrorists who act alone. According to the British think tank for security the Royal United Services Institute (RUSI) they make most of the victims, while the media and the public focus more on the threat of Islamic extremists.

And so do governments usually. As its name indicates the RUSI is linked to the British armed forces. This report was paid by establishment institutions like the European Union. But even they admit that the Islamophobic propaganda industry is wrong.

According to the RUSI that focus is not justified. The research looked at attacks by lone actors in Europe in the period 2000-2014 and concluded that far-right terrorists have killed 94 people and wounded 260. In attacks by religious terrorists who acted alone, 16 people were killed and 65 wounded. …

Here one should not forget that not by any means all ‘religious terrorists’ are Muslim terrorists. Look, eg, at Robert Lewis Dear, the far-right Christian misogynist terrorist and his massacre at a Planned Parenthood clinic in Colorado, USA. Not even mentioning the organised anti-abortion and anti-LGBTQ terrorism by the self-styled Christian self-styled Army of God.

The think tank also points out that right-wing so-called lone wolves are the most difficult ones to detect. 40 percent of the extreme right-wing terrorists were discovered by accident, while religious terrorists are often exposed by security forces after investigation.

Are violent white racists really the most difficult category to detect? Or are they detected less often because they are white, and because there may be racial profiling among police, searching more diligently for potential terrorists among brown people than among white people?

Murdered Honduran environmentalist on army hit list

This video says about itself:

US-Funded Honduran Army Unit Had Caceres on Hit List

22 June 2016

A U.S.-trained army’s hit list included Berta Caceres and other Honduran leaders and activists.

Months before her death, Caceres was already targeted by groups who saw her as a threat.