Brian Becker

Loud & Clear

Tune in to Loud and Clear with Brian Becker for the latest news, commentary and searing political analysis five days a week.
Loud & Clear

Description

Tune in to Loud and Clear with Brian Becker for the latest news, commentary and searing political analysis. We bring you independent experts, activists and political writers.

Link: www.spreaker.com/show/loud-clears-tracks

Episodes

"We Don't Care": Swing State Voters React to Impeachment Hearings

Nov 15, 2019 6825

Description:

On today's episode of Loud & Clear, Brian Becker and John Kiriakou are joined by Sputnik News analysts and producers Walter Smolarek and Nicole Roussell.


Friday is Loud & Clear’s weekly hour-long segment The Week in Review, about the week in politics, policy, and international affairs. Today they focus on the impeachment inquiry, Ukrainian election interference, a new agreement in Chile, the Bolivian protests against the ongoing coup, and the mass killings in Gaza this week.



Former US Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovich testified today before the House impeachment committee. Yovanovich said that she was encouraged to tweet supportively about President Trump and when she didn’t do so, she was recalled and her career effectively ended. That was apparently at the urging of presidential pal Rudy Giuliani. Dan Kovalik, a human rights and labor lawyer who is the author of the book “The Plot to Overthrow Venezuela: How the US is Orchestrating a Coup for Oil.” joins the show.



The public is beginning to learn more about Bolivia’s interim president Jeanine Añez. She declared herself president after all of Bolivia’s constitutional successors resigned in what was a military and police coup that overthrew President Evo Morales. Añez is a born again evangelical Christian and opponent of participatory democracy, but only if you happen to be indigenous or leftist. Meanwhile, in Chile, the Congress has reached an agreement to reform the constitution, which would become “100 percent democratic,” compared to the current constitution, which was passed during the dictatorial regime of Augusto Pinochet. Brian and John speak with Patricio Zamorano, an academic and international analyst and Co-Director of the Council on Hemispheric Affairs, COHA.



UK nationals voted three and a half years ago to leave the European Union, an action that has become known as Brexit. The decision has upended British politics and has polarized the country. Now we’ve learned of an unpublished UK government report on alleged Russian influence in the Brexit vote. The report was compiled by the British intelligence services. But why keep it a secret? Neil Clark, a journalist and broadcaster whose work has appeared in The Guardian, The Week, and Morning Star, joins the show.



Former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley planned an event at George Washington University this week to promote her new book -- and her future political career. But students activists used the event to denounce her record as a strident defender of U.S. war and aggression around the world. Hajira Asghar, a George Washington University student and steering committee member with Students Against Imperialism, joins Brian and John.



It’s Friday! So it’s time for the week’s worst and most misleading headlines. Brian and John speak with Steve Patt, an independent journalist whose critiques of the mainstream media have been a feature of his site Left I on the News and on twitter @leftiblog, and Sputnik producer Nicole Roussell.

“Debunked”? Not Really: What Was Ukraine’s Role in 2016 Elections?

Nov 14, 2019 6883

Description:

On today's episode of Loud & Clear, Brian Becker and John Kiriakou are joined by Ted Rall, an award winning journalist and editorial cartoonist whose work is at www.rall.com, and Jeremy Kuzmarov, a professor of American history whose latest book is “The Russians Are Coming, Again: The First Cold War as Tragedy, the Second as Farce.”

The way yesterday’s first day of impeachment hearings went depends on your political viewpoint. CNN and MSNBC say that the testimony included bombshells about President Trump and his quid pro quo from two career diplomats that have upended the entire story. Fox says the hearings were boring and pointless and didn’t tell us anything important or that we didn’t already know. There were no hearings scheduled for today, but former Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovich, whom President Trump recalled as ambassador months ago, will testify tomorrow.

Thursday’s weekly series “Criminal Injustice” is about the most egregious conduct of our courts and prosecutors and how justice is denied to so many people in this country. Paul Wright, the founder and executive director of the Human Rights Defense Center and editor of Prison Legal News (PLN), and Kevin Gosztola, a writer for Shadowproof.com and co-host of the podcast Unauthorized Disclosure, join the show.

Former Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick said yesterday that he would enter the Democratic presidential race. This is just days after former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg did the same. And a new poll from Iowa has shocked the race by showing South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg in first place there. Meanwhile, former Vice President Joe Biden released his infrastructure plan and attacked Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren, calling her “angry” and thus unfit to be President. Brian and John speak with Jacqueline Luqman, the editor-in-chief of Luqman Nation, whose livestream is on every week on Facebook and Youtube.

The situation in Bolivia continues its sharp move to the right, as self-proclaimed president Jeanine Anez, along with military and police leaders, continue to crack down on indigenous people and leftists. With thousands of protestors in the streets, exiled President Evo Morales urged Anez not to “stain herself with the blood of Bolivians.” And despite talk that Morales may seek to return to Bolivia, countries around the world are beginning to recognize the Anez government. Gerry Condon, a Vietnam-era veteran and war resister who has been a peace and solidarity activist for almost 50 years, currently as national president of Veterans for Peace, joins the show.

Police in Washington yesterday tried unsuccessfully yesterday to arrest our friend Medea Benjamin, the co-founder of the peace group Code Pink. They failed because they had no arrest warrant. But they made the ridiculous allegation that Medea had assaulted Representative Debbie Wasserman Schultz at a press conference Wasserman Schultz attended in support of Venezuelan presidential pretender Juan Guaido. This action by the Washington DC police fits a new pattern, whereby truthtellers are being falsely arrested and charged with crimes after a massive show of police force just to silence them and to frighten others. Medea Benjamin, a well-known peace activist and the cofounder of the peace group Code Pink, joins Brian and John.

Violence in Hong Kong continues to worsen, with protestors making and practicing throwing petrol bombs in a dry swimming pool on a university campus. The level of unrest and destruction in the almost six-month-long protest has reached new heights in recent days, with the Chinese state media warning protestors that they are “at the edge of doom.” KJ Noh, a peace activist and scholar on the geopolitics of Asia, and a frequent contributor to Counterpunch and Dissident Voice, joins the show.

A regular Thursday segment deals with the ongoing militarization of space. As the US continues to withdraw from international arms treaties, will the weaponization and militarization of space bring the world closer to catastrophe? Brian and John speak with Prof. Karl Grossman, a full professor of journalism at the State University of New York, College at Old Westbury and the host of a nationally aired television program focused on environmental, energy, and space issues.

Impeachment Train Leaves the Station

Nov 13, 2019 6819

Description:

On today's episode of Loud & Clear, Brian Becker and John Kiriakou are joined by Coleen Rowley, a former FBI special agent who in 2002 was named Time Magazine person of the year along with two other whistleblowers.

Public impeachment hearings began today on Capitol Hill as House members consider whether to impeach President Trump for his actions in seeking a Ukrainian government investigation of former Vice President Joe Biden. Career State Department diplomats testified today on the alleged quid pro quo of an investigation for military aid.

Jeanine Anez, a right-wing rival of Bolivia’s ousted president Evo Morales, declared herself President of Bolivia yesterday as anti-coup protesters tried to storm the Congress building. The heads of the army and national police vowed to support her, but Morales loyalists in the legislature boycotted the legislative session in which she declared herself president. Morales, meanwhile, is now in exile in Mexico. Chuck Kaufman, the National Co-Coordinator of the Alliance for Global Justice, joins the show.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is meeting at the White House today with President Trump. It’s the first meeting between the two since Turkey invaded Syria that angered members of Congress on both sides of the aisle. Trump and Erdogan discussed Syria, the fight against ISIS, and, according to the media, ways in which Turkey can weaken US military sanctions against it. Brian and John speak with Rick Sterling, an investigative journalist and member of the Syria Solidarity Movement.

Israeli forces bombed targets in Gaza overnight and Gazans retaliated with rocket attacks after Israelis killed a Palestinian Islamic Jihad leader yesterday. The clash is threatening to escalate into a major conflict despite Egyptian efforts to mediate between the two sides. The Palestinian death toll continues to rise, meanwhile, with 24 dead and at least 70 wounded. Mark Sleboda, an international affairs and security analyst, joins the show.

Demonstrations in Hong Kong escalated to an unprecedented level over the past several days as clashes between police and demonstrators paralyzed the city’s transportation networks and closed schools and universities. The Chinese Foreign Ministry criticized a Congressional resolution supporting the demonstrators and urged the US to mind its own business. And a Hong Kong police spokesman said the rule of law is “on the brink of collapse.” KJ Noh, a peace activist and scholar on the geopolitics of Asia, and a frequent contributor to Counterpunch and Dissident Voice, joins Brian and John.

Wednesday’s weekly series, In the News, is where the hosts look at the most important ongoing developments of the week and put them into perspective, including impeachment, the supreme court, and global protests. Sputnik news analysts Nicole Roussell and Walter Smolarek join the show.

Wednesday’s regular segment, Beyond Nuclear, is about nuclear issues, including weapons, energy, waste, and the future of nuclear technology in the United States. Kevin Kamps, the Radioactive Waste Watchdog at the organization Beyond Nuclear, and Sputnik news analyst and producer Nicole Roussell, join the show.

The Real Story Behind the Military Coup in Bolivia

Nov 12, 2019 6918

Description:

On today's episode of Loud & Clear, Brian Becker and John Kiriakou are joined by Leo Flores, a Latin America campaign coordinator with the peace group Code Pink.

Bolivian President Evo Morales arrived in Mexico yesterday, where he was granted asylum after being overthrown in a military coup. The coup took place at the urging of right wing opposition leaders and mutinying police officers. Every constitutional successor has resigned, leaving the opposition Senator Jeanine Áñez in nominal charge of the country now effectively ruled by a military junta.

Attorneys representing presidential candidate and Hawaii Representative Tulsi Gabbard have sent a letter to former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton demanding that Clinton retract a statement she made several weeks ago calling Gabbard a “Russian asset.” When challenged about the assertion, Clinton responded, “If the nesting doll fits..” Gabbard’s lawyers say the statement was defamatory, and they want a retraction. Meanwhile, two new likely entrants are trying to upset the Democratic presidential primary. Jim Kavanagh, editor of thepolemicist.net whose latest article is “Trump’s Syrian See-Saw: From Pullout to Pillage,” joins the show.

Bill Ayers is Loud & Clear’s regular guest on “Education for Liberation” about the state of education around the country. But today he discusses the election victory of his son Chesa Boudin as district attorney of San Francisco, California. Against huge odds, and despite the fact that the police union spent hundreds of thousands of dollars to defeat him, Chesa won the race and is expected to institute radical reforms that will bring a fairness in sentencing that has not been previously seen. Brian and John speak with Bill Ayers, an activist, educator and the author of the book “Demand the Impossible: A Radical Manifesto.”

Google over the past year has been secretly working with one of the largest health-care networks in America to collect and analyze personal health care data on millions of people across 21 states. In an initiative codenamed Project Nightingale, Google has collected lab results, diagnoses, and hospitalization records, patient names and dates of birth, among other information, all without the patients’ approval or even knowledge. Patricia Gorky, a software engineer and technology and security analyst, joins the show.

In this segment, The Week Ahead, the hosts take a look at the most newsworthy stories of the coming week and what it means for the country and the world, including the ongoing right-wing coup in Bolivia, the protestors in Hong Kong, Israel’s killing of a Palestinian leader, and the upcoming public impeachment hearings. Sputnik News analysts and producers of this show Nicole Roussell and Walter Smolarek join the show.

Today’s regular segment that airs every Tuesday is called Women & Society with Dr. Hannah Dickinson. This weekly segment is about the major issues, challenges, and struggles facing women in all aspects of society. Dr. Dickinson is out this week. Nathalie Hrizi, an educator, a political activist, and the editor of Breaking the Chains, a women’s magazine; and Loud & Clear producer Nicole Roussell join the show.

Bloomberg Throws His Hat in the Ring: Billionaires Vie to Rule America

Nov 8, 2019 6988

Description:

On today's episode of Loud & Clear, Brian Becker and John Kiriakou are joined by Lee Camp, a writer, actor, activist, journalist, and host of the television show “Redacted Tonight,” which you can see on RT America, and online at leecamp.com, and Sputnik News analysts and producers of this show Nicole Roussell and Walter Smolarek join the show.

In this segment, The Week Ahead, the hosts take a look at the most newsworthy stories of the coming week and what it means for the country and the world, including the Democratic 2020 primary and the possible addition of Michael Bloomberg to the race, the ongoing mass demonstrations in Chile, tensions resulting from the U.S. withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal, and more.

Former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg has indicated that he intends to enter the Democratic race for president. Bloomberg yesterday filed papers to contest the Alabama primary. Alabama has an unusually short filing deadline. Pundits are saying that Bloomberg has told friends that he doesn’t believe the current crop of Democrats has the wherewithal to defeat Donald Trump in the 2020 election. But critics are ridiculing the move as yet another deeply unpopular intervention by a billionaire into politics. Richard Wolff, a professor of Economics Emeritus, University of Massachusetts, Amherst and founder of the organization Democracy at Work. Prof. Wolff’s latest book is “Understanding Marxism,” joins the show.

The Trump Administration this week sued Gilead Sciences, a pharmaceutical company that sells HIV prevention drugs that can cost up to $20,000 a year, saying the company is earning billions of dollars from research funded by taxpayers, without paying those taxpayers back. The government says Gilead has infringed upon patents owned by the Department of Health and Human Services and has fought attempts by HHS to license its patents and collect royalties. Brian and John speak with Jeremiah Johnson, the HIV Project Director for the Treatment Action Group.

A Chilean police officer was arrested yesterday after shooting two students in ongoing demonstrations. Other police officers have been accused of beatings and a sexual assault and more than 2,000 protestors have been injured. Protestors are demanding economic equality and an end to corruption. Meanwhile, in Hong Kong, protests continued, and one demonstrator died after falling from a parking garage. Dan Kovalik, a human rights and labor lawyer who is the author of the book “The Plot to Overthrow Venezuela: How the US is Orchestrating a Coup for Oil,” joins the show.

Brazil’s top court ruled yesterday that former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva must be released from prison because no Brazilian can be incarcerated until he or she has exhausted all appeals. The ruling could lead to the release of thousands of prisoners besides Lula, and it seriously weakens the hand of right-wing president Jair Bolsonaro’s Justice Minister. Arnold August, a journalist, author and lecturer currently on an international speaking tour “U.S.-Venezuela-Cuba-Canada: The Geopolitics,” which has already stopped in 7 Canadian cities and in Havana, with further appearances in Venezuela and Ireland, joins Brian and John.

It’s Friday! So it’s time for the week’s worst and most misleading headlines. Brian and John speak with Steve Patt, an independent journalist whose critiques of the mainstream media have been a feature of his site Left I on the News and on twitter @leftiblog, and Sputnik producer Nicole Roussell.

A First in U.S. History: Impeachment on the Eve of a National Election

Nov 7, 2019 6927

Description:

On today's episode of Loud & Clear, Brian Becker and John Kiriakou are joined by Daniel Lazare, a journalist and author of three books--“The Frozen Republic,” “The Velvet Coup,” and “America's Undeclared War.”

Open impeachment hearings start in the US House of Representatives in the inquiry into President Trump next week. The House Democrats likely have the majority they need to impeach Trump, but will that help their cause in the end?

The trial for Roger Stone, President Trump’s advisor, is on its third day. Stone, a self described “dirty trickster,” is being charged with obstructing the Mueller investigation. What actually happened? Ted Rall, an award-winning editorial cartoonist and columnist whose work is at www.rall.com, joins the show.

Two former employees of social media giant Twitter have been arrested. The ex-employees are accused of spying for the Saudi government, using their access to the company’s data to gather information on dissidents. Brian and John speak with Ali al-Ahmed, the Director of the Institute for Gulf Affairs.

Chinese and US negotiators appear to be within reach of an agreement that would result in the reduction of tariffs and lead to a final resolution to the trade war. But lingering doubts remain as officials from both sides scramble to find a suitable location for the “phase one” deal to be signed. Steve Keen, the author of “Debunking Economics” and the world’s first crowdfunded economist, whose work is at patreon.com/ProfSteveKeen, joins the show.

A regular Thursday segment deals with the ongoing militarization of space. As the US continues to withdraw from international arms treaties, will the weaponization and militarization of space bring the world closer to catastrophe? Brian and John speak with Prof. Karl Grossman, a full professor of journalism at the State University of New York, College at Old Westbury and the host of a nationally aired television program focused on environmental, energy, and space issues.

The Democratic primary is heating up as the leading candidates sharpen their attacks ahead of the first primaries and party elites frantically search for an adequate pro-establishment candidate. And on the Republican side, ousted former Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced he will run for his old Senate seat in Alabama. Jacqueline Luqman, the editor-in-chief of Luqman Nation, whose livestream is on Facebook and Youtube every week, joins the show.

Thursday’s weekly series “Criminal Injustice” is about the most egregious conduct of our courts and prosecutors and how justice is denied to so many people in this country. Paul Wright, the founder and executive director of the Human Rights Defense Center and editor of Prison Legal News (PLN) joins the show.

Were off year elections a referendum on Trump?

Nov 6, 2019 6972

Description:

On today's episode of Loud & Clear, Brian Becker and John Kiriakou are joined by Dave Lindorff, an investigative reporter, a columnist for CounterPunch, and a contributor to Businessweek, The Nation, Extra! and Salon.com.

Democrats saw major gains in off-year elections yesterday. They won both houses of the Virginia legislature and appear to have won the Kentucky governorship. Meanwhile, Republicans are worried about a trend showing suburban women moving solidly to the Democrats.

A lobbying firm representing Burisma Holdings, the Ukrainian energy company that famously had Hunter Biden on its board of directors, referenced Biden’s role in the company when it contacted the State Department in 2016 to downplay concerns about corruption. The revelation, so far published only in the conservative media, is important because the lobbying took place at almost exactly the same time that then-Vice President Joe Biden was pressuring Ukraine’s president to fire a prosecutor in order to secure $1 billion in loan assistance. Brian and John speak with Jim Kavanagh, the editor of thepolemicist.net.

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson kicked off the country’s election campaign yesterday by saying that his Conservative Party would get Brexit “over the line” and would then unleash the UK’s real potential. Britain’s other main parties--Labour, the Liberal Democrats, and the Brexit Party--also began their campaigns, with Labour saying virtually nothing about Brexit. Neil Clark, a journalist and broadcaster whose work has appeared in The Guardian, The Week, and Morning Star, joins the show.

Mass protests have effectively toppled the Prime Ministers of Lebanon and Iraq, but actions are continuing in both countries targeting government institutions and key infrastructure. A fierce debate over the political, social and economic future of these countries. Massoud Shadjareh, founder of the Islamic Human Rights Commission, joins Brian and John.

Demonstrations resumed in Chile today as tens of thousands of people took to the streets to protest government corruption, poor social services, and an end to economic inequality. Twenty people have died in clashes so far, but President Piñera is refusing demands to resign. Journalist Alina Duarte, on Twitter @AlinaDuarte_, joins the show.

It’s time for In the News, where hosts look at the most important ongoing developments of the week and put them into perspective. Today they focus on the elections yesterday, with big races in Virginia, Mississippi, and Kentucky, then take a broader perspective on elections — what does it mean that the largest bloc yesterday was actually nonvoters? Sputnik news analysts Walter Smolarek and Nicole Roussell join the show.

The Circus Continues: Roger Stone’s Trial Begins

Nov 5, 2019 7028

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On today's episode of Loud & Clear, Brian Becker and John Kiriakou are joined by Joe Lauria, the editor-in-chief of Consortium News and the author of the book “How I Lost, by Hillary Clinton.”


Political operative Roger Stone’s trial started today with the beginning of the jury selection process. Stone is facing charges of lying to Congress in a case related to the Mueller investigation as well as witness tampering. But Stone maintains that he is being targeted for purely political reasons.



Billionaire serial sexual predator Jeffrey Epstein is dead, but controversy over how he was able to escape justice for so long continues to swirl. Now, a newly leaked recording suggests that ABC News tried to suppress reports about his crimes. Daniel Lazare, a journalist and author of three books—“The Frozen Republic,” “The Velvet Coup,” and “America's Undeclared War,” joins the show.



Outrage is growing across the country about the case of Tania Romero, a Honduran immigrant who is battling cancer. She was arrested by ICE two months ago and is being held in a detention center in Georgia, where she is unable to access the life-saving medical care she needs. Brian and John speak with Christian Padilla Romero, Tania Romero’s son and a PhD student in Latin American history at Yale University. You can find the petition he’s circulating in support of his mother at www.action.mijente.net/petitions/ice-is-deporting-my-mother-who-is-recovering-from-stage-4-cancer.



Supporters of Palestinian rights are criticizing Twitter’s decision to ban accounts related to the media outlet Quds News Network, which had hundreds of thousands of followers. This ban, along with a ban on Lebanese Al-Manar, have raised further concerns about censorship by social media giants. Ben Norton, a journalist with the Grayzone Project and co-host of the Moderate Rebels podcast, joins the show.



The Trump administration officially pulled out of the UN Paris climate accord yesterday, a move that fulfilled a longtime Trump administration pledge. Meanwhile, the Environmental Protection Agency announced a rollback of rules and regulations on coal plants. The new rules will allow the coal industry to continue producing coal ash ponds, widely found to be harmful to nearby residents, who are often low income. Fred Magdoff, professor emeritus of plant and soil science at the University of Vermont and the co-author of “What Every Environmentalist Needs to Know About Capitalism” and “Creating an Ecological Society: Toward a Revolutionary Transformation” from Monthly Review Press, joins Brian and John.



Beyond Nuclear is a Loud & Clear regular segment about nuclear issues, including weapons, energy, waste, and the future of nuclear technology in the United States. Kevin Kamps, the Radioactive Waste Watchdog at the organization Beyond Nuclear, and Sputnik news analyst and producer Nicole Roussell, join the show.


Today’s regular segment that airs every Tuesday is called Women & Society with Dr. Hannah Dickinson. This weekly segment is about the major issues, challenges, and struggles facing women in all aspects of society. Hannah Dickinson, an associate professor at Hobart and William Smith Colleges and an organizer with the Geneva Women’s Assembly; Nathalie Hrizi, an educator, a political activist, and the editor of Breaking the Chains, a women’s magazine; and Loud & Clear producer Nicole Roussell join the show.

40 Years Later: The Seizure of the US Embassy in Iran

Nov 4, 2019 6622

Description:

On today's episode of Loud & Clear, Brian Becker and John Kiriakou are joined by Gareth Porter, a historian, investigative journalist, and the author of “Manufactured Crisis: The Untold Story of the Iran Nuclear Scare.”


Today is the 40th anniversary of the Iran Hostage Crisis, where Iranian students seized the American Embassy in Tehran and took 52 embassy officers hostage. That standoff lasted 444 days, and it permanently changed the scope of both US-Iran relations and American politics. And yesterday was the 40th anniversary of the Greensboro Massacre, where Ku Klux Klansmen, led by an FBI agent and an ATF agent, opened fire on a group of American communists in Greensboro, North Carolina, killing five. Nobody was ever brought to justice for the attack.



Even as House Democrats on Thursday ratified an impeachment resolution against President Trump, a federal judge has slowed the pace of the inquiry by declining to rule on whether a key witness needed to testify before the House of Representatives. Instead, he gave all relevant parties several weeks to prepare their arguments. That means the hearings will likely last through the Christmas holidays. And how will all of this affect the 2020 election? Dan Kovalik, a human rights and labor lawyer who is the author of the book “The Plot to Overthrow Venezuela: How the US is Orchestrating a Coup for Oil.”, joins the show.



Rioting continued over the weekend in Hong Kong, with demonstrators attacking Xinhua, the Chinese state news service. Xinhua then called on authorities to take a tougher line with demonstrators. Meanwhile, protestors are calling on the US to help them. Brian and John speak with John Ross, Senior Fellow at Chongyang Institute, Renmin University of China, and an award-winning resident columnist with several Chinese media organizations.



Two activists with the organization Veterans for Peace are trapped in Ireland, unable to return home due to criminal charges pending against them for engaging in anti-war protest. A renewed effort is underway to win their freedom. Gerry Condon, national president of Veterans for Peace, joins the show.



The hosts take a look at the big stories to watch in the week ahead. Walter Smolarek, Sputnik News analyst and producer, joins Brian and John.



The hosts continue the weekly segment Technology Rules with Chris Garaffa—a weekly guide on how monopoly corporations and the National Surveillance State are threatening cherished freedoms, civil rights and civil liberties. Web developer and technologist Chris Garaffa and Patricia Gorky, a software engineer and technology and security analyst, join the show.

From Street Protest to Revolution?

Nov 1, 2019 7105

Description:

On today's episode of Loud & Clear, Brian Becker and John Kiriakou are joined by Jodi Dean, an activist, author and professor of Political Science at Hobart and William Smith Colleges, as well as by Sputnik News analyst Walter Smolarek. They discuss the biggest stories of the week, including the wave of protests sweeping the world, U.S. military moves to pillage Syria’s oil resources, the 2020 Democratic primary, and more.



Turkey and Russia began their first joint patrols on Friday in northeast Syria under a deal between the two countries that forced Kurdish fighters to evacuate a so-called “safe zone” on the Syrian side of the border. However, U.S.-Turkey joint patrols have reportedly also recently began. Peter Ford, former UK Ambassador to Syria, joins the show.



Chesa Boudin is an attorney, writer, and lecturer specializing in criminal justice reform. And he’s now a candidate for San Francisco District Attorney. He’s running on a platform of ending cash bail, dismantling the War on Drugs, and restoring civil rights. Those positions have led to vicious attacks against him by the San Francisco police union, which has spent more than $650,000 to label him as “dangerous.” Brian and John speak with Bill Ayers, an activist, educator and author.


Hundreds of thousands of Iraqis took to the streets of Baghdad today in the biggest anti-government demonstration since the fall of Saddam Hussein. Protests in which more than 250 have died over the past month have accelerated dramatically in recent days, drawing huge crowds across ethnic and partisan lines to reject the political parties that have governed the country since 2003. Protestors see the government as deeply corrupt, beholden to foreign powers, and responsible for daily privations. Sputnik News analyst Walter Smolarek, joins the show.



The Organization of American States has begun an audit of Bolivia’s presidential election. Thirty electoral auditors will examine how the votes were cast and how they were tallied. Meanwhile, the U.S. government is stepping up threats that supporters of President Evo Morales fear could culminate in a coup attempt. Patricio Zamorano, Co-Director of the Council on Hemispheric Affairs, joins Brian and John.



Finally, the hosts look at the worst, most misleading, funniest, and just plain wrong headlines of the past week. Steve Patt, an independent journalist whose critiques of the mainstream media have been a feature of his site Left I on the News at lefti.blogspot.com, joins the show.

It’s Official: Impeachment Goes Forward with Newly Passed Rules

Oct 31, 2019 6698

Description:

On today's episode of Loud & Clear, Brian Becker and John Kiriakou are joined by Jim Kavanagh, editor of thepolemicist.net.

The House today voted to move forward on a formal impeachment inquiry against President Trump. The inquiry will include public hearings and will end with a formal vote on impeachment. Meanwhile, Republican senators are adopting a more sober tone on impeachment.

Twitter announced yesterday that it was banning all political ads on its platform as the public debate over the role of social media in politics continues. The company presented their move as a way to protect democracy, but will this end up shutting out grassroots organizers who would have no choice but to rely on much more expensive traditional media outlets? Ted Rall, an award winning journalist and editorial cartoonist, joins the show.

Protesters in Lebanon continue to take to the streets as the political elite are thrown into a state of deep uncertainty following the resignation of Prime Minister Hariri. What’s in store for the next phase of the Lebanese uprising? Brian and John speak with Rania Masri, a professor, writer and environmental scientist who has been active in the protest movement.

The peace process in Colombia between the government and the former rebel FARC continues to be deeply imperiled as paramilitary assassinations of former combatants and social leaders continues. But the recent local elections dealt a blow to far-right President Ivan Duque, who is an avowed opponent of peace. James Jordan, a member of the Alliance for Global Justice and has been deeply involved in supporting the Colombian peace process, joins the show.

We continue our weekly segment dealing with the ongoing militarization of space. As the US continues to withdraw from international arms treaties, will the weaponization and militarization of space bring the world closer to catastrophe? Karl Grossman, space expert and professor of journalism at the State University of New York, College at Old Westbury, joins Brian and John.

The hosts dig into one of the most pressing issues facing the people of the United States: the domination of the media by a tiny handful of corporations. From the 2020 election to climate change and perhaps in the most glaring way war and international events, the corporate media serves as a mouthpiece for the rich and powerful and the Pentagon. Lee Camp, host of the television show “Redacted Tonight,” joins the show.

The hosts continue our weekly series “Criminal Injustice,” where we talk about the most egregious conduct of the courts and prosecutors and how justice is denied to so many people in this country. Brian and John speak with Kevin Gosztola,a writer for Shadowproof.com and co-host of the podcast Unauthorized Disclosure, and Paul Wright, Executive Director of the Human Rights Defense Center and editor of Prison Legal News and Criminal Legal News magazines.

Families of Plane Crash Victims Confront Boeing CEO on Capitol Hill

Oct 30, 2019 6869

Description:

On today's episode of Loud & Clear, Brian Becker and John Kiriakou are joined by Bijan Vasigh, a professor of air transportation at Embrey-Riddle University, an expert on aviation issues, a consultant to some of the biggest airlines in the world, and the author of dozens of academic papers and books.

The CEO of Boeing continues his testimony on Capitol Hill today as outraged family members of the victims of the Lion and Ethiopian airlines crashes demand justice. The CEO is attempting to assure the public that all the problems have been fixed with the Boeing 737 Max Jet, but will there be real accountability for the tragedies?

Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi appears to be on his way out of office as the two largest blocs in parliament announced they are withdrawing their support for his government. Political leaders are responding to the massive wave of protests that have engulfed the country and persisted despite deadly repression. Kathy Kelly, co-coordinator of Voices for Creative Non-Violence, and Sputnik News analyst Walter Smolarek, join the show.

The National Park Service recently pulled the proposed anti-protest rules that they had announced, after public outrage and tens of thousands of public comments. The rules would have crushed public protest in the nation’s capital, and legal groups were suing the rules as unconstitutional. Brian and John speak with Mara Verheyden-Hilliard, the executive director of the Partnership for Civil Justice Fund, the law firm leading the fight against the unconstitutional protest rules.

Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri resigned yesterday in light of mass protests, but President Michel Aoun has asked Hariri government to stay on in a caretaker capacity until a new cabinet is formed. The president will deliver a speech to the nation on Thursday as demonstrators stay in the streets demanding the ouster of the traditional political elite and an end to the sectarian system that dominates the country’s politics. Jana Nakhal, an independent researcher and a member of the central committee of the Lebanese Communist Party, joins the show.

The Trump administration has settled on a brazenly colonial strategy towards Syria: take the country’s oil. The Pentagon now says that it will continue to occupy the country to control Syria’s oil wealth, despite its withdrawal from strategic towns along the border with Turkey. Francis Boyle, a professor of international law at the University of Illinois College of Law and author of the book “Destroying World Order: US Imperialism in the Middle East Before and After September 11,” joins Brian and John.

Wednesday’s weekly series, In the News, is where the hosts look at the most important ongoing developments of the week and put them into perspective. Jacquie Luqman, the co-editor in chief of Luqman Nation and a host on The Real News Network, and Sputnik news analysts Nicole Roussell and Walter Smolarek join the show.

Wednesday’s regular segment, Beyond Nuclear, is about nuclear issues, including weapons, energy, waste, and the future of nuclear technology in the United States. Kevin Kamps, the Radioactive Waste Watchdog at the organization Beyond Nuclear, and Sputnik news analyst and producer Nicole Roussell, join the show.

Independent Journalist Max Blumenthal Arrested on False Charges

Oct 29, 2019 7042

Description:

On today's episode of Loud & Clear, Brian Becker and John Kiriakou are joined by Medea Benjamin, a well-known peace activist and the cofounder of the peace group Code Pink.

Journalist Max Blumenthal, a good friend of this show, was arrested on Friday on completely fabricated charges that he assaulted a pro-Juan Guaido protestor in front of the Venezuelan Embassy in Washington last spring. Max was finally released from Washington, DC’s central jail over the weekend. But his arrest and coming prosecution says a lot about the lengths to which anti-democratic forces in our own government are willing to go to silence dissent.

US troops will remain in Syria, ostensibly to “guard” Syria’s oilfields. This is despite President Trump’s protestations that he wants to end US military involvements overseas. Meanwhile, more details continue to emerge from Saturday’s special forces operation that resulted in the death of ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. Kevin Zeese, co-coordinator of Popular Resistance, whose work is at popularresistance.org, joins the show.

Britain’s Labour Party announced that it will support Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s call for early elections. Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn had said earlier that the party would oppose early elections, but he changed his position in advance of a formal vote this afternoon because Johnson met his demand to take a no-deal Brexit off the table by asking for a deadline extension. The vote already is seen as a last ditch attempt by both sides to either affirm or reject Brexit. Brian and John speak with Alexander Mercouris, the editor-in-chief of The Duran.

Lebanese Prime Minister Sa’d al-Hariri announced his resignation today in the face of massive protests against government corruption, high taxes, and a lack of economic opportunities. Meanwhile, huge protests continue in Chile and Iraq, with the Chilean cabinet already having resigned and another 18 demonstrators were killed overnight in Iraq. Jamal Ghosn, the former managing editor of al-Akhbar English, and Andrea Alvarado, a member of the central committee of the Social Convergence Party and has been in the Chilean demonstrations, join the show.

Australian regulators accused Google today of misleading consumers about its collection of their personal location information through its Android mobile operating system. The lawsuit is the first of its kind by a government against a tech company for its use of subscribers’ personal data. Consumer groups in Europe have been suing Google for several years over the same locational tracking issue. Dr. Robert Epstein, the Senior Research Psychologist at the American Institute for Behavioral Research and Technology, which you can learn about and support at mygoogleresearch.com, joins Brian and John.

Tuesday’s weekly series is False Profits—A Weekly Look at Wall Street and Corporate Capitalism with Daniel Sankey. Brian and John speak with financial policy analyst Daniel Sankey.

Today’s regular segment that airs every Tuesday is called Women & Society with Dr. Hannah Dickinson. This weekly segment is about the major issues, challenges, and struggles facing women in all aspects of society. Hannah Dickinson, an associate professor at Hobart and William Smith Colleges and an organizer with the Geneva Women’s Assembly; Nathalie Hrizi, an educator, a political activist, and the editor of Breaking the Chains, a women’s magazine; and Loud & Clear producer Nicole Roussell join the show.

Trump Openly Brags About “Keeping the Oil” of Syria & Iraq

Oct 28, 2019 7009

Description:

On today's episode of Loud & Clear, Brian Becker and John Kiriakou are joined by Mark Sleboda, an international affairs and security analyst.

President Trump yesterday gave a highly unusual press conference to announce that a special forces operation the night before resulted in the death of ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. After a short statement, the President launched into a highly detailed-and probably highly classified--account of how Baghdadi was killed. He insulted Baghdadi and went on to talk about the US invasion of Iraq, advocating taking Iraq’s oil, which would be a war crime.

Russian student Maria Butina was finally released from prison over the weekend. She had been incarcerated since July 2018 for failing to register as a foreign agent. Butina was targeted by the Justice Department, smeared in the press, given a sentence greater than the maximum recommended by law, and will finally be expelled from the United States. Robert Driscoll, who leads the Washington DC office of the law firm of McGlintchey Stafford, represents Maria Butina, and is a former Deputy Assistant Attorney General of the United States and former chief of staff of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division, joins the show.

A former deputy to former National Security Advisor John Bolton defied a subpoena over the weekend and is refusing to testify in the House impeachment inquiry. Meanwhile, the parallel investigation being done by US Attorney John Durham turned criminal in its focus over the weekend. Brian and John speak with Coleen Rowley, a former FBI special agent who in 2002 was named Time Magazine person of the year along with two other whistleblowers.

European Union leaders agreed today to extend the date of Brexit to January 31, meaning the UK will not leave on Thursday, as originally planned. The announcement comes as members of parliament are meeting on vote on a proposal by Prime Minister Boris Johnson to hold early elections on December 12. Neil Clark, a journalist and broadcaster whose work has appeared in The Guardian, The Week, and Morning Star, joins the show.

Monday’s segment “Education for Liberation with Bill Ayers” is where Bill helps us look at the state of education across the country. What’s happening in our schools, colleges, and universities, and what impact does it have on the world around us? Bill Ayers, an activist, educator and the author of the book “Demand the Impossible: A Radical Manifesto,” joins Brian and John.

In this segment, The Week Ahead, the hosts take a look at the most newsworthy stories of the coming week and what it means for the country and the world, including the reaction to the U.S. special forces raid that killed the leader of ISIS, the extension to the Brexit deadline and crucial elections around the world. Sputnik News analysts and producers of this show Nicole Roussell and Walter Smolarek join the show.

Monday’s regular segment Technology Rules is a weekly guide on how monopoly corporations and the national surveillance state are threatening cherished freedoms, civil rights and civil liberties. Brian and John speak with web developer and technologist Chris Garaffa.

“Talking about Revolution” - Street Protests Around the World

Oct 25, 2019 7205

Description:

On today's episode of Loud & Clear, Brian Becker is joined by Richard Wolff, a professor of Economics Emeritus, University of Massachusetts, Amherst and founder of the organization Democracy at Work. Prof. Wolff’s latest book is “Understanding Marxism.”


Countries around the world are rising up against increasing income inequality and lack of economic opportunities, especially for young people. What are the economics behind the protests in Haiti, Lebanon, Chile, Ethiopia, Ecuador, and Iraq?



Friday is Loud & Clear’s weekly hour-long segment The Week in Review, about the week in politics, policy, and international affairs. Today they focus on the situation in Syria, impeachment, the Chicago teachers strike, and more. Sputnik News analysts and producers Walter Smolarek and Nicole Roussell join the show.



The Department of Justice has reportedly decided that the Russiagate probe will become an official criminal investigation. The initial review was begun in May by Attorney General William Barr due to signs of potential misuse or abuse of power by US intelligence agencies. Brian speaks with Ben Norton, a journalist with the Grayzone Project and co-host of the Moderate Rebels podcast.



Political prisoner Maria Butina has been released today after serving over a year in prison, most of which was in solitary confinement. She was accused of failing to register as a foreign agent and slandered by the corporate media. Her case became a main component of the now-debunked Russiagate narrative. Jim Kavanagh, the editor of thepolemicist.net whose most recent article is “The Empire Steps Back,” which is at Counterpunch and thepolemicist.net, joins the show.



The Chilean elite is in a state of panic, offering both concessions and violent repression to tamp down the most intense wave of protest since the end of the Pinochet dictatorship. But demonstrators are demanding a complete overhaul of the political system and the convocation of a constituent assembly. Journalist Alina Duarte, on Twitter @AlinaDuarte_, joins Brian.



Major developments in the unrest in Hong Kong continue to unfold. This week, the Taiwanese alleged killer whose extradition case from Hong Kong sparked the demonstrations was released from prison, and reports circulated that Chinese central government authorities were planning to oust Hong Kong chief executive Carrie Lam early next year. K.J. Noh is a long time activist working on global justice issues, writer, teacher, and a member of Veterans for Peace, joins the show.


It’s Friday! So it’s time for the week’s worst and most misleading headlines. Brian speaks with Steve Patt, an independent journalist whose critiques of the mainstream media have been a feature of his site Left I on the News and on twitter @leftiblog, and Sputnik producer Nicole Roussell.

Inequality, Corruption, Poverty: The World Erupts in Protest

Oct 24, 2019 6830

Description:

On today's episode of Loud & Clear, Brian Becker and John Kiriakou are joined by Vijay Prashad, the Director of the Tricontinental: Institute for Social Research, Chief Editor of LeftWord Books, and the author of several books including most recently “Arab Spring, Libyan Winter.”

Protests are taking place all around the world. Demonstrators in Lebanon, Iraq, Ecuador, Chile, Bolivia, Haiti, and elsewhere are in the streets to demand economic opportunity, an end to corruption, and democratic elections. 2011 is known as the year of the protestor. Are we seeing 2011 redux?

Thursday’s weekly series “Criminal Injustice” is about the most egregious conduct of our courts and prosecutors and how justice is denied to so many people in this country. Kevin Gosztola, a writer for Shadowproof.com and co-host of the podcast Unauthorized Disclosure, joins the show.

President Trump yesterday claimed credit for is being called the permanent ceasefire in northern Syria, saying that after decades of violence in the region, he has finally brought peace. He said specifically, “Turkey, Syria and all forms of the Kurds have been fighting for centuries,” Mr. Trump said from the Diplomatic Room at the White House. “We have done them a great service and we’ve done a great job for all of them. And now, we’re getting out. Let someone else fight over this long bloodstained sand.” That may sound disingenuous, but there may be something to it in terms of Trump’s reelection prospects. Brian and John speak with Sputnik news analyst Walter Smolarek.

Opponents of the House impeachment probe are sharply criticizing the process being followed, saying that it is secretive and unfair. But as both parties maneuver for control of the media narrative, what’s going on behind the scenes? Daniel Lazare, a journalist and author of three books--“The Frozen Republic,” “The Velvet Coup,” and “America's Undeclared War,” joins the show.

Bolivian President Evo Morales is warning of a right-wing coup attempt underway as the country’s electoral authorities prepare to announce the final results of the country’s presidential election. As more votes trickle in from Morales’ rural strongholds, it appears increasingly likely that Morales will avoid a second round, but is facing violent protests from the opposition. Dan Kovalik, a human rights and labor lawyer who is the author of the book “The Plot to Overthrow Venezuela: How the US is Orchestrating a Coup for Oil”, joins the show.

The body of Spanish dictator Francisco Franco is being exhumed from it’s mausoleum, a location that had become a pilgrimage site for supporters of the extreme right wing. Franco died decades ago, but the legacy of his regime still shapes core parts of Spanish politics and society. Dick Nichols, the correspondent for Spain and Catalonia for Green Left Weekly, joins Brian and John.

A regular Thursday segment deals with the ongoing militarization of space. As the US continues to withdraw from international arms treaties, will the weaponization and militarization of space bring the world closer to catastrophe? Brian and John speak with Prof. Karl Grossman, a full professor of journalism at the State University of New York, College at Old Westbury and the host of a nationally aired television program focused on environmental, energy, and space issues.

Trump on Syria: “U.S. Troops Will Remain…Where They Have the Oil”

Oct 23, 2019 6938

Description:

On today's episode of Loud & Clear, Brian Becker and John Kiriakou are joined by Rick Sterling, an investigative journalist and member of the Syria Solidarity Movement.

President Trump made a statement from the White House today in which he said lauded the deal on Syria between Russian President Putin and Turkish President Erdogan. Trump added that US combat missions have ended, the Kurds are “safe and have worked very nicely with us,” and that ISIS prisoners have been secured.

Ambassador Bill Taylor, the US Ambassador to Ukraine, testified on Capitol Hill yesterday and made explosive charges against President Trump, including that the President directed officials to withhold aid to Ukraine over demands that the Ukrainian government open an investigation of the Biden family. Taylor said that he was convinced in July that the White House was withholding aid for electoral purposes. Jim Kavanagh, the editor of thepolemicist.net, whose most recent article is “The Empire Steps Back,” which is at Counterpunch and thepolemicist.net, joins the show.

Chile is bracing today for more protests and a general strike, despite President Sebastian Piñera’s pleas for forgiveness and announcement of ambitious reforms to quell unrest that has rocked the country and left 15 people dead. Piñera is promising a guaranteed minimum wage, a hike in the state pension, and the stabilization of electricity costs. But the demonstrations show no sign of abating. Brian and John speak with Patricio Zamorano, academic and international analyst and Co-Director of the Council on Hemispheric Affairs, COHA.

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s Brexit bill is in limbo as the European Union is considering a delay in the UK’s withdrawal. Meanwhile, there’s lots of talk about a new election in the UK once the extension is granted. The Labour Party supports that, but it looks like Brexit supporters would win a race. Steve Hedley, the senior assistant general secretary of the UK’s Rail, Maritime, and Transport Workers Union, joins the show.

Protests continued today across Lebanon today as protestors took to the streets to demand a wide variety of economic reforms. Meanwhile, the country is headed for a cash crisis, as banks remain closed a week into the protests. Sputnik news analyst Walter Smolarek joins Brian and John.

Wednesday’s weekly series, In the News, is where the hosts look at the most important ongoing developments of the week and put them into perspective. Sputnik news analysts Nicole Roussell and Walter Smolarek join the show.

Wednesday’s regular segment, Beyond Nuclear, is about nuclear issues, including weapons, energy, waste, and the future of nuclear technology in the United States. Kevin Kamps, the Radioactive Waste Watchdog at the organization Beyond Nuclear, and Sputnik news analyst and producer Nicole Roussell, join the show.

Syrian Government to Regain Control of Border After Putin, Erdogan Meet

Oct 22, 2019 7021

Description:

On today's episode of Loud & Clear, Brian Becker and John Kiriakou are joined by Mark Sleboda, an international affairs and security analyst.


Russian President Vladimir Putin and Turkish President Recep Erdogan met in the Russian city of Sochi today to discuss Turkey’s ceasefire in Syria, which expired today. Erdogan said that Turkey would immediately resume military operations against Syrian Kurds.


U.S.diplomat William Taylor is testifying in the House’s impeachment probe today, as a new media frenzy emerges over the fact that President Trump met with Hungarian President Viktor Orban in May, and that Orban is thought to hold “anti-Ukraine” views. Daniel Lazare, a journalist and author of three books--“The Frozen Republic,” “The Velvet Coup,” and “America's Undeclared War,” joins the show.


Picket lines and mass rallies continue to take place as Chicago teachers enter the fourth day of their strike. Stacy Davis Gates, the Vice President of the Chicago Teachers Union said that negotiations with the city are not going well, that no progress was made in talks yesterday, and that the two sides are “stuck.” Brian and John speak with Aislinn Pulley, an organizer with the Black Lives Matter movement who has been organizing community support for the strike.


Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told President Reuven Rivlin that he was unable to form a government in the aftermath of Israeli elections. Rivlin, then, asked Blue & White Party leader Benny Gantz to begin work to form a coalition. The jury is out on whether Gantz can do so, and it is still possible that Netanyahu could lead a minority government or new elections could be called. Miko Peled, the author of “The General’s Son - A Journey of an Israeli in Palestine,” and of "Injustice: The Story of the Holy Land Foundation Five,” joins the show.


As mass opposition to Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro mounts, major new breakthroughs on the legal front appear possible for ex-President Lula da Silva. Lula’s imprisonment and subsequent banning from the 2018 election was essential to the extreme right wing Bolsonaro’s victory, and it has become even more obvious in recent months that Lula is in fact a political prisoner innocent of the crimes he is charged with. Natalia de Campos, performance artist and activist, co-founder of the Defend Democracy in Brazil Committee in New York City, joins Brian and John.


Tuesday’s weekly series is False Profits—A Weekly Look at Wall Street and Corporate Capitalism with Daniel Sankey. Brian and John speak with financial policy analyst Daniel Sankey.


Today’s regular segment that airs every Tuesday is called Women & Society with Dr. Hannah Dickinson. This weekly segment is about the major issues, challenges, and struggles facing women in all aspects of society. Hannah Dickinson, an associate professor at Hobart and William Smith Colleges and an organizer with the Geneva Women’s Assembly; Nathalie Hrizi, an educator, a political activist, and the editor of Breaking the Chains, a women’s magazine; and Loud & Clear producer Nicole Roussell join the show.

Mass Uprising Shakes Chile

Oct 21, 2019 6997

Description:

On today's episode of Loud & Clear, Brian Becker and John Kiriakou are joined by Andrea Alvarado, a member of the central committee of the Social Convergence Party and has been active in the demonstrations.

Chile’s government declared a state of emergency and brought the military out onto the streets for the first time since the end of the military dictatorship in 1990 in response to the most intense wave of demonstrations the country has seen in decades. The uprising was triggered by an increase in subway fares but has tapped into deep-seated discontent with economic inequality. A general strike is taking place today.

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson said today that he will pull the vote on Brexit if parliament passes any amendment “which would render it meaningless.” But parliamentary speaker John Bercow will not even allow a vote in the first place. Meanwhile, Wikileaks cofounder Julian Assange was in a London court today, where he was denied a delay in his extradition to the United States. That hearing will now take place over five days in February. Neil Clark, a journalist and broadcaster whose work has appeared in The Guardian, The Week, and Morning Star, joins the show.

White House Acting Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney confirmed last Thursday in a press briefing that the President had sought a quid pro quo with the government of Ukraine when he sought to withhold military assistance until Ukrainian President Zelensky began an investigation of the 2016 election. Mulvaney also said this kind of thing happens all the time and he told Democrats to “get over it.” Over the weekend, however, he backpedaled mightily, denying that he ever admitted to a quid pro quo. Democrats, meanwhile, are treating the interview as one more nail in the President’s impeachment coffin. Brian and John speak with Ted Rall, an award winning journalist and editorial cartoonist at www.rall.com.

Early election results in Bolivia show President Evo Morales leading, but not by enough to avoid a runoff in his race for a fourth term. Morales has 45 percent to 38 percent for conservative former president Carlos Mesa. Meanwhile, protestors in Ecuador appear to have won their fight to force President Lenin Moreno to back down from his proposed cuts to fuel subsidies. Demonstrations had grown so large that Moreno temporarily moved the government from Quito to the coastal city of Guayaquil. Alina Duarte, a journalist whose work is on Twitter @AlinaDuarte_, joins the show.

Monday’s segment “Education for Liberation with Bill Ayers” is where Bill helps us look at the state of education across the country. What’s happening in our schools, colleges, and universities, and what impact does it have on the world around us? Bill Ayers, an activist, educator and the author of the book “Demand the Impossible: A Radical Manifesto,” joins Brian and John.

In this segment, The Week Ahead, the hosts take a look at the most newsworthy stories of the coming week and what it means for the country and the world, including the unfolding crises for the Trump administration, the uprising in Chile, Brexit, the Canadian election and more. Sputnik News analysts and producers of this show Nicole Roussell and Walter Smolarek join the show.

Monday’s regular segment Technology Rules is a weekly guide on how monopoly corporations and the national surveillance state are threatening cherished freedoms, civil rights and civil liberties. Web developer and technologist Chris Garaffa and software engineer and technology and security analyst Patricia Gorky join the show.

Syria: The Turkish Ceasefire That Wasn’t

Oct 18, 2019 6875

Description:

On today's episode of Loud & Clear, Brian Becker and John Kiriakou are joined by Massoud Shadjareh, the founder of the Islamic Human Rights Commission.

Clashes continued on the border between Turkey and Syria, despite the fact that the two sides were supposed to have come to a five-day ceasefire agreement yesterday. Kurdish officials said that the Turkish military continues to shell civilian targets along the border, and that the Turkish army bombed a hospital in Ras al-Ain.

A strike by Chicao teachers entered its second day today, and there are no prospects for a quick resolution. Teachers aren’t looking just for a pay raise. They’re looking for bold, transformative changes, including more affordable housing in the city for students and teachers. The city, however, says that the teachers’ demands are too much, and that it prefers to address some issues outside the bargaining process. Chicago Teachers Union member and activist Nick Stender joins the show.

The British Parliament will be in session tomorrow, its first Saturday session in 37 years, to debate and vote on Boris Johnson’s Brexit deal and selected amendments. If the plan passes with no amendments, the UK will leave the EU. If it passes with amendments, Johnson will have to ask for an extension to negotiate a new deal. If the plan fails, Johnson will have to ask for an extension to head off a no-deal Brexit. Brian and John speak with Neil Clark, a journalist and broadcaster whose work has appeared in The Guardian, The Week, and Morning Star.

A general strike in the semi-autonomous Spanish region of Catalonia has brought Barcelona and its environs to a complete stop. Tens of thousands of protestors are marching in opposition to a Spanish Supreme Court decision to incarcerate the leaders of Catalonia’s independence movement. Are Catalonians headed for another standoff with the Madrid government? Dick Nichols, the correspondent for Spain and Catalonia for Green Left Weekly, joins the show.

It’s Friday! So it’s time for the week’s worst and most misleading headlines. Brian and John speak with Steve Patt, an independent journalist whose critiques of the mainstream media have been a feature of his site Left I on the News and on twitter @leftiblog, and Sputnik producer Nicole Roussell.

Friday is Loud & Clear’s weekly hour-long segment The Week in Review, about the week in politics, policy, and international affairs. Today they focus on the Turkish invasion of Syria, the impeachment probe, and the possible breakthrough in UK-EU negotiations over Brexit. Brian and John speak with Jim Kavanagh, the editor of thepolemicist.net whose most recent article is “The Empire Steps Back: Trump Withdraws From Syria – Impeachment Now Possible,” and Sputnik News analysts and producers Walter Smolarek and Nicole Roussell.

Trump White House Faces Multiplying Crises

Oct 17, 2019 7095

Description:

On today's episode of Loud & Clear, Brian Becker and John Kiriakou are joined by Joe Lauria, the editor-in-chief of Consortium News, founded by the late Robert Parry, and the author of the book “How I Lost, By Hillary Clinton.”

U.S. Ambassador to the European Union is testifying in Congress behind closed doors today. A copy of his opening statement indicates he may be turning on President Trump. And yesterday, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham showed Senate Republicans a PowerPoint on the mechanics of a potential impeachment trial in the Senate.

Vice President Pence announced today that the United States and Turkey reached an agreement to implement a temporary ceasefire in Northern Syria. President Trump met last night with Congressional leaders from both parties, after the House voted overwhelmingly, by 354-60, to condemn the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Syria. A bizarre letter from Trump to Erdogan was also made public, adding to the confusion over the situation. Dan Cohen, a journalist and a documentary filmmaker, most recently of the film Killing Gaza, joins the show.

The UK and the European Union made a breakthrough agreement today over the terms of Britain’s exit from the bloc. However, the likelihood of its passage by the British parliament appears slim, setting the stage for a dramatic last-minute political and legal battle before the October 31 deadline. Brian and John speak with Alexander Mercouris, the editor-in-chief of The Duran.

Over 25,000 Chicago teachers and school staff went on strike today and schools are closed. The Chicago Teachers' Union along with SEIU Local 73 are demanding better benefits, reduced class size, and that measures be taken to address injustices students and their families face outside the classroom, like a lack of affordable housing. The Chicago Teachers' Union pointed out in a tweet yesterday, “we have nearly 17,000 homeless students in CPS [Chicago Public Schools].” Frank Chapman, an organizer with the Chicago Alliance Against Racist and Political Repression, joins the show.

A regular Thursday segment deals with the ongoing militarization of space. As the US continues to withdraw from international arms treaties, will the weaponization and militarization of space bring the world closer to catastrophe? Brian and John speak with Prof. Karl Grossman, a full professor of journalism at the State University of New York, College at Old Westbury and the host of a nationally aired television program focused on environmental, energy, and space issues.

The Trump administration is engulfed in multiple crises on the domestic and international fronts. As nearly the entire political and military establishment unites in condemnation of the U.S. withdrawal from Syria, the impeachment inquiry moves forward and President Trump’s mental state shows signs of serious strain. Ben Norton, a journalist with the Grayzone Project and co-host of the Moderate Rebels podcast, and Lee Camp, a writer, actor, activist, journalist, and host of the television show “Redacted Tonight” on RT America, joins the show.

Thursday’s weekly series “Criminal Injustice” is about the most egregious conduct of our courts and prosecutors and how justice is denied to so many people in this country. Paul Wright, the founder and executive director of the Human Rights Defense Center and editor of Prison Legal News (PLN), and Kevin Gosztola, a writer for Shadowproof.com and co-host of the podcast Unauthorized Disclosure, join the show.

Democratic Candidates Seem to Be In Love with War Hawk John McCain

Oct 16, 2019 6775

Description:

On today's episode of Loud & Clear, Brian Becker and John Kiriakou are joined by Margaret Flowers, a medical doctor and the co-coordinator of Popular Resistance, whose work is at www.popularresistance.org.

12 Democratic presidential candidates squared off last night, with 10 trying to set themselves apart from frontrunners Joe Biden and Elizabeth Warren. Political observers in the media are declaring Elizabeth Warren, Pete Buttigieg, and even Bernie Sanders the winners. There’s no telling what will happen in the polls in the coming days, and the race is still wide open.

Fighting continues to rage in Northern Syria as Turkish forces face a newly formed alliance between the Kurdish YPG and the Syrian government. Meanwhile, pressure grows on the Trump administration to reverse course and maintain the U.S. occupation in the country. Rick Sterling, an investigative journalist and member of the Syria Solidarity Movement, joins the show.

Chicago’s teacher’s union is meeting today and it will almost certainly vote to strike effective tomorrow. Classes already are canceled, and negotiators are not optimistic about any breakthrough. Both sides say they are facing multiple issues, including teacher pay, staffing, and the duration of the contract. Brian and John speak with Kofi Ademola, an activist and organizer with the Black Lives Matter movement.

As Brexit negotiations go down to the wire, the UK’s Brexit secretary has indicated that Prime Minister Boris Johnson will send a letter requesting an extension if there’s been no deal by this Saturday, as the legislation that was recently passed designed to prevent a no-deal Brexit requires. Neil Clark, a journalist and broadcaster whose work has appeared in The Guardian, The Week, and Morning Star, joins the show.

Carrie Lam, the head of Hong Kong’s government, was unable to deliver her annual speech to the city’s legislative council today after opposition lawmakers shouted her down. As the United States prepares to intervene more forcefully and the central Chinese government remains determined to stand strong in the face of increasingly violent demonstrations. John Ross, Senior Fellow at Chongyang Institute, Renmin University of China, and an award-winning resident columnist with several Chinese media organizations, joins Brian and John.

Wednesday’s regular segment, Beyond Nuclear, is about nuclear issues, including weapons, energy, waste, and the future of nuclear technology in the United States. Kevin Kamps, the Radioactive Waste Watchdog at the organization Beyond Nuclear, and Sputnik news analyst and producer Nicole Roussell, join the show.

Wednesday’s weekly series, In the News, is where the hosts look at the most important ongoing developments of the week and put them into perspective. Sputnik news analyst & producer Walter Smolarek joins the show.

Syrian Government & Kurds Forge New Alliance as Turkey Invades

Oct 15, 2019 7075

Description:

On today's episode of Loud & Clear, Brian Becker and John Kiriakou are joined by Ambassador Peter Ford, the former UK Ambassador to Syria.

A major realignment has taken place in the Syrian war as the Turkish invasion of northeast Syria enters its sixth day today. US troops are out of the immediate area and a new alliance between the Kurdish YPG and the Syrian government. President Trump has put economic sanctions into place against Turkey for their military actions.

Fiona Hill, an aide in the White House, testified yesterday for nine hours about her interactions with former National Security Council John Bolton. She testified that Bolton asked her to notify the chief lawyer for the National Security Council about the pressure that several of the administration’s officials were putting on Ukraine. Dan Kovalik, a human rights and labor lawyer who is the author of the book “The Plot to Overthrow Venezuela: How the US is Orchestrating a Coup for Oil,” joins the show.

Ecuadorian protestors succeeded in forcing President Moreno’s government to withdraw the IMF-imposed austerity package on Sunday. The move ended strikes across the country and created a new commission to design a new set of measures. The commission includes representatives from the indigenous movement as well as the government and will be mediated by the United Nations and the Catholic church. Meanwhile, leftist leaders were arrested and accused of instigating the protests. Brian and John speak with Arnold August, author and journalist currently on an international speaking tour on the theme "US-Venezuela-Cuba-Canada: The Geopolitics.”

As tensions grow and alliances shift rapidly in the Middle East, Russian President Vladimir Putin is making an official visit to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. The crisis in Syria, the global energy trade, and security cooperation in the gulf are at the top of his agenda. Mindia Gavashelli, the Editor in Chief of Sputnik News’ D.C. Bureau, joins the show.

A Spanish court handed down harsh prison sentences for Catalan political leaders for their role in a push for independence. The sentences, which include a 13-year prison term for the Vice President of Catalonia, have caused widespread outrage in the region and militant demonstrations. Dick Nichols, the correspondent for Spain and Catalonia for Green Left Weekly, joins Brian and John.

Tuesday’s weekly series is False Profits—A Weekly Look at Wall Street and Corporate Capitalism with Daniel Sankey. Brian and John speak with financial policy analyst Daniel Sankey.

Today’s regular segment that airs every Tuesday is called Women & Society with Dr. Hannah Dickinson. This weekly segment is about the major issues, challenges, and struggles facing women in all aspects of society. Special guest and creative activist Eleanor Goldfield, host of the podcast Act Out!, which is on Free Speech tv, and whose work is at ArtKillingApathy.com; Hannah Dickinson, an associate professor at Hobart and William Smith Colleges and an organizer with the Geneva Women’s Assembly; Nathalie Hrizi, an educator, a political activist, and the editor of Breaking the Chains, a women’s magazine; and Loud & Clear producer Nicole Roussell join the show.

Trump Happy to Make Impeachment the Centerpiece of 2020 Campaign

Oct 11, 2019 6880

Description:

On today's episode of Loud & Clear, Brian Becker and John Kiriakou are joined by Sputnik News analysts and producers Walter Smolarek and Nicole Roussell.

Friday is Loud & Clear’s weekly hour-long segment The Week in Review, about the week in politics, policy, and international affairs. Today they focus on the impeachment probe, the Turkish invasion of northern Syria and resulting controversy over the U.S. military occupation in that country, and the strike by workers at General Motors.

President Trump gave a fiery, angry, vulgarity-filled 102-minute-long speech in Minneapolis last night in which he called the impeachment inquiry “a brazen attempt to overthrow our government,” while two close associates of Rudy Giuliani were arrested at an airport while trying to leave. They are facing campaign finance violation charges. Meanwhile, one of the last Democratic holdouts in the House of Representatives said that she will now support impeachment. Daniel Lazare, a journalist and author of three books--“The Frozen Republic,” “The Velvet Coup,” and “America's Undeclared War,” joins the show.

President Trump and Chinese Vice Premier Liu today had a high stakes meeting at the White House in a bid to avoid new tariffs on $250 billion worth of Chinese goods set to go into effect on Tuesday. What’s the big picture behind the U.S.-China trade war? Brian and John speak with Richard Wolff, he is a professor of Economics Emeritus, University of Massachusetts, Amherst and founder of the organization Democracy at Work. Prof. Wolff’s latest book is Capitalism's Crisis Deepens: Essays on the Global Economic Meltdown.

A mounting sense of chaos is permeating the Turkish and Syrian border on day three of the Turkish military invasion of the region. Tens of thousands of Kurdish civilians are fleeing the area, abandoning a major hospital along the border. And experts fear an imminent return to the region of fighters from the Islamic State. Ben Norton, a journalist with the Grayzone Project and co-host of the Moderate Rebels podcast, joins the show.

Ecuadorean President Lenin Moreno last week ended fuel subsidies. That act drew so many protestors, led by indigenous people, trade unions and progressive political parties that he had to move the government out of the capital of Quito to the coastal city of Guayaquil. Meanwhile, 10 police officers were taken hostage and were forced to carry the coffin of an indigenous activist who had been killed the day before. They were later released. Patricio Zamorano, academic and international analyst and Co-Director of the Council on Hemispheric Affairs, COHA, joins Brian and John.

It’s Friday! So it’s time for the week’s worst and most misleading headlines. Brian and John speak with Steve Patt, an independent journalist whose critiques of the mainstream media have been a feature of his site Left I on the News and on twitter @leftiblog, and Sputnik producer Nicole Roussell.

Busted: Giuliani’s Associates Arrested on Eve of Impeachment Hearing

Oct 10, 2019 6851

Description:

On today's episode of Loud & Clear, Brian Becker and John Kiriakou are joined by Jim Kavanagh, the editor of thepolemicist.net whose latest article on the subject is on CounterPunch and thepolemicist.net, titled “Dead Man's Hand: The Impeachment Gambit.”

Two donors to a pro-Trump fundraising committee who helped former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani investigate Joe Biden in Ukraine were arrested yesterday and charged with campaign finance law violations. Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman will be arraigned in Virginia today. Giuliani in May described them both as clients. Meanwhile, President Trump said that he would cooperate with House impeachment investigators “if the process was fair.”

Turkish forces have secured an area 20 miles into Syrian territory and running the length of the Kurdish region. Turkish President Erdogan said that his country may set up a permanent buffer zone in Syria, and that it could run the length of the entire Turkish/Syrian border. Erdogan, meanwhile, threatened Europe with a flood of refugees if EU countries continue to refer to the Turkish move as “an occupation.” Ambassador Peter Ford, the former UK Ambassador to Syria, joins the show.

The Dow Jones Industrial Averages jumped 160 points after being down 300 points, when President Trump tweeted this morning that he would meet on Friday with China’s Vice Premier Liu He. Trade talks between the two countries have been bogged down over tariffs. A principal in the trade negotiations this morning called the situation “very fluid.” Brian and John speak with Steve Keen, the author of “Debunking Economics” and the world’s first crowdfunded economist, whose work is at patreon.com/ProfSteveKeen.

Last week we told you about a march on the White House that will take place tomorrow and Saturday as part of the Rage Against the War Machine movement. The event is in protest of the absolutely insane amounts of money spent on war and weapons, which then leaves little to nothing to spend on healthcare, education, clean water, and more, to say nothing of the human cost to life and limb. Cindy Sheehan, an anti-war activist and journalist whose son Casey was killed during the Iraq War, and one of the organizers of the March on the Pentagon, joins the show.

A regular Thursday segment deals with the ongoing militarization of space. As the US continues to withdraw from international arms treaties, will the weaponization and militarization of space bring the world closer to catastrophe? Brian and John speak with Prof. Karl Grossman, a full professor of journalism at the State University of New York, College at Old Westbury and the host of a nationally aired television program focused on environmental, energy, and space issues.

The Turkish military said today that its ground offensive so far has been successful, with media reports indicating that more than 100 Kurdish fighters have been killed and buried in ditches. A Pentagon official said that Turkey may continue its offense and may take an area along the entire Turkish/Syrian border, not just the part in Kurdish territory. Meanwhile, a Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman said that Moscow may try to mediate between the Turks and the Syrians. Mark Sleboda, an international affairs and security analyst, joins the show.

Thursday’s weekly series “Criminal Injustice” is about the most egregious conduct of our courts and prosecutors and how justice is denied to so many people in this country. Paul Wright, the founder and executive director of the Human Rights Defense Center and editor of Prison Legal News (PLN), and Kevin Gosztola, a writer for Shadowproof.com and co-host of the podcast Unauthorized Disclosure, join the show.

Turkey Moves Into Syria: What’s the Next Move for the Kurds?

Oct 9, 2019 6983

Description:

On today's episode of Loud & Clear, Brian Becker and John Kiriakou are joined by Ambassador Peter Ford, the former UK Ambassador to Syria.

The Turkish Army today attacked Syrian Kurds across the border between the two countries. The military move was not unexpected, since President Trump gave Turkish strongman Recep Tayyip Ergogan the green light to attack the Kurds two days ago. Meanwhile, war hawks both Democratic and Republican alike are trying to take advantage of the situation to justify a de facto permanent, illegal U.S. military presence in Syria.

The White House has sent a letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi saying that it would not cooperate in any way with the House’s impeachment inquiry. Saying that the inquiry was “unprecedented and unconstitutional,” White House attorneys said they would not provide any documents and would not allow witnesses to testify. The President, meanwhile, accused Democrats of trying to undo the 2016 election. Coleen Rowley, a former FBI special agent who in 2002 was named Time Magazine person of the year along with two other whistleblowers, joins the show.

A new poll by RealClearPolitics and an aggregate poll of polls shows Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren for the first time with a national lead over former Vice President Joe Biden in the Democratic presidential primaries. With Senator Bernie Sanders slowed by a recent heart attack, how is the Democratic landscape changing? Brian and John speak with Jacqueline Luqman, the editor-in-chief of Luqman Nation whose livestream is on every week Facebook and Youtube.

The situation in Baghdad calmed overnight after more than a week of protests left more than 110 people dead and more than 6,000 injured. Protestors are demanding better jobs, higher wages, a return of basic services and an end to government corruption. As security forces pressed on against demonstrators in the streets, the central government has ordered the release of more than 800 people so far. Ali Mamouri, the editor of Al-Monitor's “Iraq Pulse,” joins the show.

A crisis is developing between China and the National Basketball Association because of a tweet published by the owner of the Houston Rockets saying that the team stood with protestors in Hong Kong. The league forced him to take down the tweet, but not before the Chinese government protested this meddling in its internal affairs. Now, a day before a scheduled NBA game to be held in Shanghai, everything is postponed and the crisis is no closer to a resolution. John Ross, Senior Fellow at Chongyang Institute, Renmin University of China, and an award-winning resident columnist with several Chinese media organizations, joins Brian and John.

Wednesday’s weekly series, In the News, is where the hosts look at the most important ongoing developments of the week and put them into perspective, including the Turkish invasion of northern Syria and controversy over the U.S. troop presence, the latest in the impeachment probe, and the Democratic 2020 presidential primary. Sputnik news analysts Nicole Roussell and Walter Smolarek join the show.

Wednesday’s regular segment, Beyond Nuclear, is about nuclear issues, including weapons, energy, waste, and the future of nuclear technology in the United States. Kevin Kamps, the Radioactive Waste Watchdog at the organization Beyond Nuclear, and Sputnik news analyst and producer Nicole Roussell, join the show.

Missing from the Debate: US Troops in Syria an Illegal Occupying Force

Oct 8, 2019 6871

Description:

On today's episode of Loud & Clear, Brian Becker and John Kiriakou are joined by Rick Sterling, an investigative journalist and member of the Syria Solidarity Movement.

Political and military elites are in an uproar over the surprise move by the Trump administration to withdraw, or at least partially withdraw, U.S. troops from Syria. Mainstream media has been filled with wall-to-wall condemnation of the move, and Democratic and Republican politicians alike are united in their demand to continue the illegal U.S. presence in Syria.

The new Supreme Court term started this week, and today the highest court in the country is hearing three cases about workplace discrimination against LGBTQ people. Also on the docket in this new session is a challenge to the court’s historic case Roe v. Wade, which legalized abortion in 1973 but has been under attack since then. Julie Hurwitz, civil rights attorney and partner at the law firm Goodman, Hurwitz and James, joins the show.

The Trump administration today directed US Ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland not to testify before the House of Representatives today, according to Sondland’s lawyers. President Trump says that Sondland has previously stated there was no quid pro quo and therefore has no need to testify. Brian and John speak with Ted Rall, an award winning journalist and editorial cartoonist whose work is at www.rall.com.

After a third day of anti-austerity protests in Ecuador, President Lenin Moreno’s government fled from the nation’s capital, Quito, to Guayaquil, a right-wing stronghold. The austerity measures are due to a $4.2 billion deal that the country signed with the International Monetary Fund in March. Independent journalist, writer and researcher Denis Rogatyuk joins the show.

Juan Guaido’s U.S.-backed coup attempt in Venezuela has become little more than a farce as his so-called government loses international standing and is beset by corruption scandals. Nevertheless, the U.S. government still stands by its policy of attempting to install him as the country’s leader and is waging increasingly devastating economic warfare to do so. Anya Parampil, a journalist for The Grayzone who’s the author of two recent pieces on the crisis in Venezuela: “How Venezuela defeated Washington’s coup attempt at the United Nations” and Hausmann hypocrisy: Guaido coup official raked in dollars from dictators and banking behemoths while promoting ‘democracy’ for Venezuela,” joins Brian and John.

Tuesday’s weekly series is False Profits—A Weekly Look at Wall Street and Corporate Capitalism with Daniel Sankey. Brian and John speak with financial policy analyst Daniel Sankey.

Today’s regular segment that airs every Tuesday is called Women & Society with Dr. Hannah Dickinson. This weekly segment is about the major issues, challenges, and struggles facing women in all aspects of society. Hannah Dickinson, an associate professor at Hobart and William Smith Colleges and an organizer with the Geneva Women’s Assembly; Nathalie Hrizi, an educator, a political activist, and the editor of Breaking the Chains, a women’s magazine; and Loud & Clear producer Nicole Roussell join the show.

Impeachment Fight Escalates Political Civil War in Washington

Oct 7, 2019 7041

Description:

On today's episode of Loud & Clear, Brian Becker is joined by Daniel Lazare. He is a journalist and author of three books--“The Frozen Republic,” “The Velvet Coup,” and “America's Undeclared War.”

A second so-called whistleblower has now come forward claiming first hand knowledge of the call between Trump and Ukrainian President Zelensky that forms the basis of the Democrats’ impeachment probe. But the controversy is not just engulfing the White House -- Democratic 2020 frontrunner Joe Biden is also badly damaged by the details of the case, leaving the effort to unseat Trump in next year’s election in a severely weakened state.

In a surprise announcement, the Trump administration announced that U.S. troops would withdraw from Northern Syria to make room for a new Turkish military offensive targeting the Kurdish YPG militia. The move has caused great controversy in the United States and around the world. Ambassador Peter Ford, the former UK Ambassador to Syria, joins the show.

More than 100 people are now dead from an Iraqi government crackdown on protests that have been going on for the last week. Protestors have taken to the streets against unemployment, lack of basic infrastructure, and corruption in the government. Brian speaks with Kathy Kelly, co-coordinator of Voices for Creative Non-Violence.

Protests continued in Hong Kong over the weekend as many marchers defied a new regulation prohibiting the wearing of masks at actions. Demonstrations continue to be violent, and on Sunday a journalist was burned after being hit by a molotov cocktail. Mike Wong, the outreach coordinator for the San Francisco chapter of Veterans for Peace, joins the show.

Monday’s segment “Education for Liberation with Bill Ayers” is where Bill helps us look at the state of education across the country. What’s happening in our schools, colleges, and universities, and what impact does it have on the world around us? Bill Ayers, an activist, educator and the author of the book “Demand the Impossible: A Radical Manifesto,” joins Brian.

In this segment, The Week Ahead, the hosts take a look at the most newsworthy stories of the coming week and what it means for the country and the world, including the new second whistleblower in the impeachment inquiry, the potential withdrawal of US troops from the north eastern region of Syria, and the heavy death toll in Iraq following protests there over the past week. Sputnik News analysts and producers of this show Nicole Roussell and Walter Smolarek join the show.

Monday’s regular segment Technology Rules with Chris Garaffa is a weekly guide on how monopoly corporations and the national surveillance state are threatening cherished freedoms, civil rights and civil liberties. Web developer and technologist Chris Garaffa and Patricia Gorky, a software engineer and technology and security analyst, joins the show.

Gross US Interference in Ukraine Didn’t Start with Trump

Oct 4, 2019 6725

Description:

On today's episode of Loud & Clear, Brian Becker and John Kiriakou are joined by Joe Lauria, the editor-in-chief of Consortium News, founded by the late Robert Parry, and author of the recent article in Consortium News, “The Untold Story of the Trump-Ukraine ‘Scandal’: The Routine Corruption of US Foreign Policy.”


Former US envoy to Ukraine Kurt Volker testified in a closed-door session on Capitol Hill yesterday that Rudy Giuliani ran what he called a “shadow shakedown” of the Ukrainian government, according to a member of Congress who was present. Volker testified further that President Trump, through Giuliani, withheld aid to Ukraine and asked the country to look into former President Joe Biden, his son Hunter, and the 2016 election.



The Iraqi government imposed a curfew in Baghdad and blocked access to the internet following the deaths of at least 42 protestors over three days of violence, the worst rioting since the 1968 revolution. Prime Minister Adil Abd al-Mahdi said today that protestors’ demands were righteous and he added that he would work against corruption and for job creation, as demonstrators are demanding. Mike Prysner, an Army veteran who served for a year in Iraq, a documentary filmmaker, and a co-host of the anti-war podcast Eyes Left, joins the show.



British Prime Minister Boris Johnson will ask for a Brexit delay if no deal for withdraw from the European Union is agreed upon before October 19, according to papers filed in a Scottish court. Johnson earlier had said that he would rather lie dead in a ditch on the side of the road than ask for a delay. Brian and John speak with Steve Hedley, the senior assistant general secretary of the UK’s Rail, Maritime, and Transport Workers Union.



Peace activists will march on the White House on Friday, October 11 and Saturday, October 12 as part of the Rage Against the War Machine movement. The event is in protest of the mind-boggling amounts of money spent on war and weapons, which then leaves little to nothing to spend on healthcare, education, clean water, and more, to say nothing of the human cost to life and limb. Cindy Sheehan, an anti-war activist and journalist whose son Casey was killed during the Iraq War, and one of the organizers of the March on the Pentagon, joins the show.



It’s Friday! So it’s time for the week’s worst and most misleading headlines. Brian and John speak with Steve Patt, an independent journalist whose critiques of the mainstream media have been a feature of his site Left I on the News and on twitter @leftiblog, and Sputnik producer Nicole Roussell.



Friday is Loud & Clear’s weekly hour-long segment The Week in Review, about the week in politics, policy, and international affairs. Today they focus on the new details in the impeachment inquiry and the US’s longer-term relationship to Ukraine, plus the protests in Iraq and Hong Kong. Brian and John speak with Jim Kavanagh, editor of thepolemicist.net, and Sputnik News analyst and producer and Nicole Roussell.

How This Impeachment Inquiry Differs from Watergate

Oct 4, 2019 6946

Description:

On today's episode of Loud & Clear, Brian Becker and John Kiriakou are joined by Coleen Rowley, a former FBI special agent who in 2002 was named Time Magazine person of the year along with two other whistleblowers.

Former Special Envoy for Ukraine Kurt Volker is being deposed by Congress today as part of the impeachment probe. And in two White House appearances with the President of Finland yesterday, President Trump continued to lash out at Democrats leading the impeachment inquiry, and he again called for Rep. Adam Schiff to be arrested for treason. House Democrats, meanwhile, said they would issue a subpoena for White House documents, and they warned Trump and Secretary of State Pompeo not to interfere with the probe.

YouTube has quietly begun demonetizing videos that, it says, don’t comply with its terms of service and community guidelines. What does that mean? It means that many content providers who are outside the mainstream or that use certain words or phrases in their descriptions, are not eligible to earn money from advertising. So how do alternative news providers reach their audiences? Ford Fischer, the founder of the media startup News2Share, joins the show.

Hong Kong’s cabinet will meet tomorrow to discuss the invocation of emergency powers to tackle increasingly large and violent protests, beginning with a ban on protestors wearing masks that they use to protect themselves from tear gas or to hide their identities. Chief Executive Carrie Lam called for the emergency meeting and said that the power will be approved and will become law on Friday. Brian and John speak with Walter Smolarek, a Sputnik News analyst and one of the producers of this show.

The Justice Department is planning to require the collection of DNA from all migrants crossing the border with Mexico, as well as from all people in immigration detention for use in a national criminal database. Senior Administration officials say the policy could take effect before the end of the week. Juan José Gutiérrez, the executive director of the Full Rights for Immigrants Coalition, joins the show.

The US plans to swiftly impose tariffs on $7.5 billion in aircraft, food products, and other goods from the European Union after the World Trade Organization authorized the levies yesterday. The new duties represent the most significant trade action against the EU since the Trump administration hit Europe with tariffs on aluminum and steel a year ago. The EU announced this morning that it would impose retaliatory tariffs on US goods. Meanwhile, stocks took yet another dive after disappointing data was released related to the US service sector. Steve Keen, the author of “Debunking Economics” and the world’s first crowdfunded economist whose work is at patreon.com/ProfSteveKeen, joins Brian and John.

Thursday’s weekly series “Criminal Injustice” is about the most egregious conduct of our courts and prosecutors and how justice is denied to so many people in this country. Paul Wright, the founder and executive director of the Human Rights Defense Center and editor of Prison Legal News (PLN), and Kevin Gosztola, a writer for Shadowproof.com and co-host of the podcast Unauthorized Disclosure, join the show.

A regular Thursday segment deals with the ongoing militarization of space. As the US continues to withdraw from international arms treaties, will the weaponization and militarization of space bring the world closer to catastrophe? Brian and John speak with Prof. Karl Grossman, a full professor of journalism at the State University of New York, College at Old Westbury and the host of a nationally aired television program focused on environmental, energy, and space issues, and with Bruce Gagnon, coordinator of the Global Network Against Weapons & Nuclear Power in Space and a contributor to Foreign Policy In Focus.

Impeachment Inquiry A Shield to Protect U.S. Intelligence Agencies?

Oct 2, 2019 6988

Description:

On today's episode of Loud & Clear, Brian Becker and John Kiriakou are joined by Daniel Lazare, a journalist and author of three books-- “The Frozen Republic,” “The Velvet Coup,” and “America's Undeclared War.”

The House Intelligence Committee’s impeachment inquiry seems to be expanding by the day. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is being accused of obstructing justice by insisting that State Department employees not cooperate with the investigation; the State Department Inspector General requested an emergency meeting this morning with Intelligence Committee staff members; and both Pompeo and Attorney General Barr and have either been in Italy or have spoken with Italian authorities, reportedly about Joseph Mifsud, a shadowy Maltese academic who is somehow involved.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson is set to present what he says is his final Brexit proposal to the European Union today. The plan was supposed to include customs checks on the Irish border beginning in January 2021. Irish officials dismissed Johnson’s plan as “completely unacceptable,” and then in his speech at the annual Conservative Party conference, he said there would be no customs checks. British business leaders, meanwhile, reiterated their position that a no-deal Brexit would crash the UK’s economy. Alexander Mercouris, the editor-in-chief of The Duran, joins the show.

The New York Times is reporting that a senior Boeing engineer filed an internal ethics complaint earlier this year, saying that during the internal development of the 737 Max8 jet, the company had rejected a safety system in order to minimize costs. The engineer believes that the system could have reduced risks that contributed to two crashes that resulted in 346 deaths. Brian and John speak with Dr. Alan Diehl, an award-winning aviation psychologist and safety consultant, a major air safety whistleblower, and the author of the book “Air Safety Investigators.”

The United Nations reported yesterday that more than 1,000 migrants and refugees have died in the Mediterranean Sea this year, the sixth consecutive year that what it calls “this bleak milestone” has been reached. The UN refugee agency UNHCR called on European Union member states to reactivate search and rescue operations and to acknowledge the crucial role of aid groups’ vessels in saving lives at sea. What role have U.S. and European intervention played in causing the refugee crisis in the first place? Francis Boyle, a professor of international law at the University of Illinois College of Law and author of the book “Destroying World Order: US Imperialism in the Middle East Before and After September 11,” joins the show.

Under a new agreement between the Kiev government and separatist leaders, local elections will be held in separatist-controlled areas in the country’s east and troops from both sides will withdraw from the area. Experts believe the move could pave the way for peace talks between the government and ethnic Russian separatists. Mark Sleboda, an international affairs and security analyst, joins Brian and John.

Wednesday’s weekly series, In the News, is where the hosts look at the most important ongoing developments of the week and put them into perspective. Sputnik news analysts Nicole Roussell and Walter Smolarek join the show.

Wednesday’s regular segment, Beyond Nuclear, is about nuclear issues, including weapons, energy, waste, and the future of nuclear technology in the United States. Kevin Kamps, the Radioactive Waste Watchdog at the organization Beyond Nuclear, and Sputnik news analyst and producer Nicole Roussell, join the show.

The Hidden Story Behind Impeachment

Oct 1, 2019 6885

Description:

On today's episode of Loud & Clear, Brian Becker and John Kiriakou are joined by Joe Lauria, the editor-in-chief of Consortium News, founded by the late Robert Parry, and author of the recent article in Consortium News, “The Untold Story of the Trump-Ukraine ‘Scandal’: The Routine Corruption of US Foreign Policy.”

News surrounding the impeachment inquiry against President Trump gets curiouser and curiouser. We now know that the President has enlisted the help of the Prime Minister of Australia to investigate the origins of the Mueller inquiry. And Attorney General Barr is personally asking foreign leaders for assistance on the same matter. Once of the primary questions seems to be “Who is Joseph Mifsud and how is he involved?”

Violent protests continued to take place in Hong Kong as China celebrated the 70th anniversary of the revolution that established the People’s Republic. Groups of demonstrators carried out attacks with metal pipes and molotov cocktails in an attempt to disrupt this important occasion as the hardcore separatist forces take center stage in the protest movement. Ben Norton, a journalist with The Grayzone and co-host of the Moderate Rebels podcast, joins the show.

Tomorrow marks the one year anniversary of the murder of Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi. Khashoggi was a moderate critic of the Saudi government when he was lured into the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, murdered, and dismembered by agents of Saudi Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman. The CIA concluded that Muhammad bin Salman was responsible for the assassination, but President Trump has refused to hold him or his government to account. Brian and John speak with Medea Benjamin, the co-founder of the peace group Code Pink, which is holding a protest at the Saudi Embassy in Washington tomorrow at 1:00 p.m., the time at which Khashoggi entered the Saudi consulate.

Now-fired Dallas police officer Amber Guyger has been convicted of murder in the killing of her neighbor Botham Jean. Guyger burst into Jean’s home, which she said she mistakenly believed was her apartment, and shot Jean dead. Meanwhile, A New York police officer on Sunday got out of his vehicle to question a man, who then fled. The officer gave chase, caught up with the man, and in the ensuing struggle was shot and later died. While the man who was being chased was initially blamed for the killing, it turns out that it was in fact other police officers who opened fire and killed their comrade. Michelle Gross, president of Communities United Against Police Brutality, joins the show.

Today’s regular segment that airs every Tuesday is called Women & Society with Dr. Hannah Dickinson. This weekly segment is about the major issues, challenges, and struggles facing women in all aspects of society. Hannah Dickinson, an associate professor at Hobart and William Smith Colleges and an organizer with the Geneva Women’s Assembly; Nathalie Hrizi, an educator, a political activist, and the editor of Breaking the Chains, a women’s magazine; and Loud & Clear producer Nicole Roussell join the show.

Massive celebrations are being held across China today as the country marks 70 years since the revolution of 1949. President Xi Jinping presided over a huge military parade in Beijing where he paid tribute to the founders and past leaders of the People’s Republic of China. Meanwhile, violent demonstrations in Hong Kong have led to major disruptions in the city. John Ross, Senior Fellow at Chongyang Institute, Renmin University of China, and an award-winning resident columnist with several Chinese media organizations, and Jude Woodward, who is the author of the book “The US vs China: Asia's new Cold War?”, joins the show.

Tuesday’s weekly series is False Profits—A Weekly Look at Wall Street and Corporate Capitalism with Daniel Sankey. Brian and John speak with financial policy analyst Daniel Sankey.

Trump Sees "Civil War" Breaking Out Over Impeachment

Sep 30, 2019 7053

Description:

On today's episode of Loud & Clear, Brian Becker and John Kiriakou are joined by Jacqueline Luqman, the co-editor-in-chief of Luqman Nation, which hosts a livestream every week on Facebook, Dan Kovalik, a human rights and labor lawyer, and Aaron Maté, a journalist with The Grayzone and The Nation and host of “Pushback with Aaron Maté.”

House Intelligence Committee chairman Adam Schiff said over the weekend that the Committee had reached a tentative agreement for the CIA whistleblower to testify. It is not clear whether the testimony will be in open session or behind closed doors. Meanwhile, President Trump accused Schiff of manufacturing the transcript of his call with Ukrainian, and he called for the Congressman to be charged with treason, a death penalty offense.

Yemen’s Houthi rebels announced over the weekend that they had killed 500 Saudi troops and had captured another 2,000 Saudis. A Houthi-run television station ran video of long, snaking lines of Saudi prisoners, as well as interviews with some prisoners confirming that they were indeed Saudis. Meanwhile, Saudi Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman appeared on CBS’s 60 Minutes yesterday to say that he did not want war with Iran and that he did not order the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, although he took responsibility for the killing because it was carried out by Saudi government employees. Kathy Kelly, co-coordinator of Voices for Creative Non-Violence, joins the show.

Monday’s segment “Education for Liberation with Bill Ayers” is where Bill helps us look at the state of education across the country. What’s happening in our schools, colleges, and universities, and what impact does it have on the world around us? Bill Ayers, an activist, educator and the author of the book “Demand the Impossible: A Radical Manifesto,” joins Brian and John.

In this segment, The Week Ahead, the hosts take a look at the most newsworthy stories of the coming week and what it means for the country and the world, including the ongoing drama over impeachment and the 70th anniversary of the foundation of the People’s Republic of China -- an occasion that protesters in Hong Kong want to disrupt. Sputnik News analysts and producers of this show Nicole Roussell and Walter Smolarek join the show.

Monday’s regular segment Technology Rules with Chris Garaffa is a weekly guide on how monopoly corporations and the national surveillance state are threatening cherished freedoms, civil rights and civil liberties. Web developer and technologist Chris Garaffa joins the show.

Beneath the Headlines: Dissecting the Politics of Impeachment

Sep 27, 2019 6926

Description:

On today's episode of Loud & Clear, Brian Becker and John Kiriakou are joined by Aaron Maté, a journalist with Grayzone and The Nation and on the podcast Pushback with Aaron Maté.


The New York Times reported yesterday evening that the whistleblower who disclosed the contents of President Trump’s call with Ukrainian President Zelensky is a senior CIA officer. The ultimate disclosure was actually the result of several different memos and reports collated by the whistleblower. So now members of Congress are asking several questions: Is the whistleblower really a whistleblower or is there a partisan angle to the story? And has the President actually committed a crime?



The United Auto Workers and General Motors apparently are not close to a deal to end the nationwide strike against the company, and talks are expected to take at least another week, according to the Detroit Free Press. That also means that the strike could last at least another TWO weeks, if the union acts on a plan it’s considering to keep members on the picket lines until the rank and file votes to ratify a deal. Benjamin Frantz, the Vice President of the United Auto Workers Union’s Local 652, joins the show.



A former US Army soldier was arrested last week and charged with conspiring to use weapons of mass destruction in an attack against a major US news network and conspiring to murder Democratic presidential candidate Beto O’Rourke. The FBI revealed that the soldier also attempted to go to Ukraine to fight alongside neo-Nazi paramilitaries there. This is not an isolated incident. Recently two ex-Army soldiers who had fought alongside the neo-Nazis in Ukraine murdered a Florida couple to steal their money and fund a trip to Venezuela to fight the Maduro government. Is this a trend? And if so, what’s behind it? Brian and John speak with Mark Sleboda, an international affairs and security analyst.



Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has been conducting a flurry of activity in the United States to boost his standing globally and especially with the Trump administration. Today, Modi is addressing the United Nations General Assembly, but a wide range of progressive groups anchored by Indian-Americans is holding a demonstration outside. Dr. Ania Loomba, a professor of literature at the University of Pennsylvania and an expert in postcolonial studies, joins the show from the action outside the United Nations.



It’s Friday! So it’s time for the week’s worst and most misleading headlines. Brian and John speak with Steve Patt, an independent journalist whose critiques of the mainstream media have been a feature of his site Left I on the News and on twitter @leftiblog, and Sputnik producer Nicole Roussell.



Friday is Loud & Clear’s weekly hour-long segment The Week in Review, about the week in politics, policy, and international affairs. Today they focus on impeachment, the UAW strike, the United Nations General Assembly meetings, a partial ceasefire in Yemen, and the Afghan elections. Sputnik News analysts and producers Walter Smolarek and Nicole Roussell join the show.

Impeachment: A Political Gift to Donald Trump?

Sep 26, 2019 7070

Description:

On today's episode of Loud & Clear, Brian Becker and John Kiriakou are joined by Ben Norton, a journalist with The Grayzone and co-host of the Moderate Rebels podcast.

Acting Director of National Intelligence Joseph McGuire testified before the House and Senate Intelligence Committees this morning on the whistleblower complaint about President Trump’s phone call with Ukrainian President Zelensky. Committee members took predictably partisan lines. But the Administration also released a redacted copy of the whistleblower complaint. It shows a president using his power to force a foreign leader to do something for him. And the complaint also says that the President ordered the call transcript “locked down,” that is, kept in a standalone computer in the National Security Council reserved for codeword material and covert action plans. However, critics are pointing out that the whistleblower was not actually on the call in question, and only heard about it from colleagues.

The Trump Administration announced a migration deal on Wednesday that will give US immigration authorities the ability to send asylum seekers from the US-Mexico border to Honduras, a country wracked by violence and instability especially since the 2009 U.S.-backed coup. The deal was reached between the Department of Homeland Security and President Juan Orlando Hernandez, who is widely seen as having been installed into office by the United States and also dogged by credible corruption allegations. Juan José Gutiérrez, the executive director of the Full Rights for Immigrants Coalition, joins the show.

Israeli President Ruvin Rivlin has asked Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to try to form a new government. Netanyahu has six weeks to do so. If he fails, Rivlin will ask Blue and White Party leader Benny Gantz to try to form a government. In the meantime, Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas announced that he will call the first Palestinian elections since 2006. Brian and John speak with Daoud Kuttab, an award-winning Palestinian journalist.

Thursday’s weekly series “Criminal Injustice” is about the most egregious conduct of our courts and prosecutors and how justice is denied to so many people in this country. Paul Wright, the founder and executive director of the Human Rights Defense Center and editor of Prison Legal News (PLN), and Kevin Gosztola, a writer for Shadowproof.com and co-host of the podcast Unauthorized Disclosure, join the show.

A regular Thursday segment deals with the ongoing militarization of space. As the US continues to withdraw from international arms treaties, will the weaponization and militarization of space bring the world closer to catastrophe? Brian and John speak with Prof. Karl Grossman, a full professor of journalism at the State University of New York, College at Old Westbury and the host of a nationally aired television program focused on environmental, energy, and space issues, and with Bruce Gagnon, coordinator of the Global Network Against Weapons & Nuclear Power in Space and a contributor to Foreign Policy In Focus.

Impeachment Fever: What Trump Said to the Ukrainian President

Sep 25, 2019 7098

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On today's episode of Loud & Clear, Brian Becker and John Kiriakou are joined by Jim Kavanagh, the editor of thepolemicist.net.

At least 200 Democrats have now said that they support impeaching President Trump for abuse of power after he apparently pressured Ukrainian President Zelensky to assist in an investigation of former Vice President Joe Biden and his son Hunter. But the White House released what it says is a transcript of that call. And the accusations against Trump are now not so clear.

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly in New York yesterday, said that Washington must lift sanctions imposed on Iran in order for Tehran to return to the negotiating table. President Trump, in his own speech before the General Assembly, said the US wants “partners, not adversaries,” but only after he condemned Iran as the world’s gravest threat to peace. Kevin Zeese, co-coordinator of Popular Resistance. You can find their work at popularresistance.org, joins the show.

Google “corruption and gentrification” and you get almost half a million links to articles, studies, and scholarly research papers from all across America. Cities from Washington to Los Angeles, to Baltimore and Buffalo and San Francisco are all gentrifying, driving up prices and forcing poor people and minorities out of the neighborhoods that many of them have known for generations. The problems with this are many. But add corrupt municipal officials and politicians, and you have a looming disaster, including right here in the nation’s capital. Brian and John speak with Yasmina Mrabet and Tmac, both organizers with LinkUp, a community group that works to prevent displacement.

The Chief Executive Officer of the vaping pod maker Juul resigned yesterday and was replaced by the former Chief Growth Officer of the tobacco giant Altria as Massachusetts joined New York and California in banning the flavored smoking product. Dozens of people, mostly young people, have developed dangerous lung diseases, and at least seven have died, after smoking vaping pods. Altria owns a 35 percent stake in Juul. Dr. Louis Kyriakoudes, a professor at Middle Tennessee State University, director of the Albert Gore Research Center, and one of only three experts who has testified against Big Tobacco, according to The Nation magazine, joins the show.

Google has won, in part, a major case in Europe in its appeal of the EU’s so-called “Right to be Forgotten” law. The law allowed people in Europe to request the removal of old news about them that might be harmful to their reputations or otherwise embarrassing. The European Court of Justice, the EU’s highest court, ruled that while Google must delete such information in Europe, it doesn’t have to do so for the rest of the world. Patricia Gorky, a software engineer and technology and security analyst, joins Brian and John.

Wednesday’s weekly series, In the News, is where the hosts look at the most important ongoing developments of the week and put them into perspective. Sputnik news analysts Nicole Roussell and Walter Smolarek join the show.

Wednesday’s regular segment, Beyond Nuclear, is about nuclear issues, including weapons, energy, waste, and the future of nuclear technology in the United States. Kevin Kamps, the Radioactive Waste Watchdog at the organization Beyond Nuclear, and Sputnik news analyst and producer Nicole Roussell, join the show.

Impeachment...It’s On!

Sep 25, 2019 7188

Description:

On today's episode of Loud & Clear, Brian Becker and John Kiriakou are joined by Ted Rall, an award-winning editorial cartoonist and columnist whose work is at rall.com and Sputnik News analysts and producers Walter Smolarek and Nicole Roussell.

This is special coverage of the announcement of impeachment proceedings against Donald Trump. Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, who until this point has been an opponent of impeachment, speaks at the start of the show, and then the hosts analyze her statement and its far-reaching implications.

Donald Trump addressed the United Nations General Assembly today and gave a strongly “America First” speech, condemning Venezuela, Cuba, China, Iran, and the Taliban, and criticizing China, but saying he looked forward to a trade deal. The President also criticized the European Union and immigration, and reiterated his support for Brexit. Meanwhile, the UK, Germany, and France blamed Iran for the recent attack on Saudi Arabia and British Prime Minister Boris Johnson urged the Iranians to agree to a “Trump deal” to end the current tensions. Dr. Gerald Horne joins Brian and John and is a professor of history at the University of Houston and the author of many books.

The UK’s Supreme Court, in a unanimous decision, ruled that Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s suspension of parliament was illegal, and it called for lawmakers to reconvene. The ruling opens the window for parliament to approve a Brexit deal before the UK’s scheduled exit from the European Union on October 31. Johnson said that he would respect the decision as the opposition Labour Party called for him to resign immediately. Brian and John speak with Neil Clark, a journalist and broadcaster whose work has appeared in The Guardian, The Week, and Morning Star.

Days of direct action beginning with the global climate strike on Friday have brought students into the streets to protest climate change, and Greta Thunberg, a 16-year-old Swedish girl has become the face of that movement. She addressed the United Nations General Assembly yesterday and was mocked by President Trump on Twitter, but UN Secretary General Antonio Gutteres said that 77 countries have announced moves to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050. Jodi Dean, a professor of Political Science at Hobart and William Smith Colleges and whose latest book is “Comrade,” joins the show.

President Trump addressed the United Nations General Assembly today, using the occasion to condemn Iran, Venezuela, Cuba, Nicaragua, socialism, and several US trading partners. Meanwhile, the UK, France, and Germany publicly blamed Iran for the recent attack on a Saudi oil installation, and President Trump found himself mired even more deeply in a controversy involving what may have been a threat against the President of Ukraine over an investigation--or lack thereof--of former Vice President Joe Biden and his son Hunter. Alexander Mercouris, the editor-in-chief of The Duran, joins Brian and John.

Tuesday’s weekly series is False Profits—A Weekly Look at Wall Street and Corporate Capitalism with Daniel Sankey. Brian and John speak with financial policy analyst Daniel Sankey.

The Ukraine Connection: Trump, Biden and the Prospects of Impeachment

Sep 23, 2019 6887

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On today's episode of Loud & Clear, Brian Becker and John Kiriakou are joined by Daniel Lazare, a journalist and author of three books--“The Frozen Republic,” “The Velvet Coup,” and “America's Undeclared War.”

President Trump acknowledged on Sunday that he raised corruption allegations against former Vice President Joe Biden during a phone call with Ukraine’s leader, a stunning admission as Democrats in the House are ramping up pressure to impeach the president for misuse of his authority, among other reasons. But Republicans are countering that the real crime here was committed by Joe Biden during the previous administration, when he attempted to shield a Ukrainian company that had his son on its board of directors from a corruption probe.

The stakes are growing in President Trump’s policy of pressuring Iran to the point that the country acceeds to his demands to abandon its nuclear program or collapses entirely. And British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said over the weekend that he would support the US in the event of an armed conflict with Iran. The Iranians, for their part, tried to lessen the situational pressure by releasing a British oil tanker they had held since July. Mohammad Marandi, an expert on American studies and postcolonial literature who teaches at the University of Tehran, joins the show.

The Joint List, the group of Arab parties represented in Israel’s parliament, or Knesset, issued a statement saying that its members would vote for Blue & White leader Benny Gantz to form the next Israeli government. Ayman Odeh, the leader of the Joint List, wrote an op-ed in Sunday’s New York Times saying that the election last week should signal the end of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s career. Brian and John speak with Miko Peled, the author of “The General’s Son - A Journey of an Israeli in Palestine,” and of "Injustice: The Story of the Holy Land Foundation Five.”

In a speech to 50,000 Indian-Americans at NRG Stadium in Houston, Texas on Sunday, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi called President Donald Trump, who introduced him, “a true friend,” and “the best friend India has ever had.” This was after Trump compared the US-Mexico border, to the border between India and Pakistan, where the two nuclear powers have fought five wars since 1947. Sputnik News analyst and producer of this show Walter Smolarek joins the show.

Monday’s segment “Education for Liberation with Bill Ayers” is where Bill helps us look at the state of education across the country. What’s happening in our schools, colleges, and universities, and what impact does it have on the world around us? Bill Ayers, an activist, educator and the author of the book “Demand the Impossible: A Radical Manifesto,” joins Brian and John.

In this segment, The Week Ahead, the hosts take a look at the most newsworthy stories of the coming week and what it means for the country and the world, including President Trump’s phone call with Ukrainian President Zelensky about Vice President Biden, Iran releasing an oil tanker, and day 8 of the workers strike at General Motors. Sputnik News analysts and producers of this show Nicole Roussell and Walter Smolarek join the show.

Monday’s regular segment Technology Rules with Chris Garaffa is a weekly guide on how monopoly corporations and the national surveillance state are threatening cherished freedoms, civil rights and civil liberties. Web developer and technologist Chris Garaffa joins the show.

Why is the New York Times Begging Trump for a War Against Iran?

Sep 20, 2019 6897

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The panel takes a look at the biggest stories of the week, including U.S. war threats against Iran, the global climate strike, the controversy over a call between Donald Trump and a foreign leader, and the Israeli election

We’ve been telling you about an intelligence agency official who reported what he or she believes is evidence of wrongdoing on the part of President Trump and an unnamed leader of an unnamed country. Well, the Washington Post is now reporting that the country is Ukraine and the leader is President Volodimyr Zelensky. This flies in the face of the rumors and innuendo about Russia and North Korea that had been dominant in the media just yesterday.
Dan Kovalik, a human rights and labor lawyer who is the author of several books, the latest of which is “The Plot to Overthrow Venezuela: How the US is Orchestrating a Coup for Oil”, joins the show.

A team of experts from the United Nations has been dispatched to Saudi Arabia to investigate the attack on Saudi oil fields that took place last weekend. Saudi and U.S. officials have already asserted that Iran was behind the attack, despite Yemen’s Houthi rebels having taken responsibility. And now media outlets like the New York Times appear to be egging Trump on to take more and more aggressive action. Brian and John speak with Medea Benjamin, an anti-war activist who is the co-founder of Code Pink.

Hundreds of thousands of protesters are on the streets today all around the world for the Global Climate Strike. Led overwhelmingly by young people, the actions are demanding world leaders take decisive action to address the existential threat of climate change. Activist Timour Kamran, who is participating in today’s climate strike action, joins the show.

At least 30 Afghans were killed and 28 wounded yesterday when US forces bombed a group of civilians harvesting pine nuts. The harvesters had informed the Afghan government in advance that they would be in the area. Brian Terrell, a long time peace activist and a co-coordinator of Voices for Creative Nonviolence, joins the show.

Again this week we’ll look at the worst, most misleading, funniest, and just plain wrong headlines of the past week. Steve Patt, an independent journalist whose critiques of the mainstream media have been a feature of his site lefti.blogspot.com, joins Brian and John.

Media Blows up Over Trump & Latest Insider Whistleblower Saga

Sep 19, 2019 6988

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An intelligence agency whistleblower apparently reported in the past months to the Inspector General that President Trump, during a call with an unnamed foreign leader, promised that leader something that was in direct violation of US law. The Inspector General then reported the complaint to the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, but the ODNI allegedly covered it up. Now speculation is rampant in the media and among political figures about the content of Trump’s phone call and the promises that were made -- is this controversy about foreign policy decisions that the intelligence agencies object to, or is it a clear cut issue of legality?

Iran’s Foreign Minister is warning of “all-out war” in the event that Iran is attacked by the United States or Saudi Arabia. He also asked rhetorically in an interview with CNN whether Saudi Arabia was prepared to fight to the last American soldier. President Trump, meanwhile, said that he is considering all options and has not decided on a military response. The Saudis are adamant that it was Iran, and not Yemen’s Houthi rebels, who attacked Saudi oil installations over the weekend. Massoud Shadjareh, founder of the Islamic Human Rights Commission, joins the show.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and opposition leader Benny Gantz are jostling over the terms of a unity government as neither the right-wing coalition nor the center left coalition won enough seats to govern the country. Meanwhile, former Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman, the leader of the Israel Our Home Party, said that he would enter into a government of national unity, but only if it is NOT led by Benjamin Netanyahu. Brian and John speak with Richard Becker, an anti-war organizer and author of the book “Palestine, Israel and the U.S. Empire”.

The Venezuelan government announced a deal with four small opposition parties and has released opposition leader Edgar Zambrano from prison, where he had been held for four months after being arrested for treason. Coup leader Juan Guaido, meanwhile, was furious with the announcement of the deal and said that he would not engage in any further talks with the government of President Nicolas Maduro. Paul Dobson, a writer for VenezuelAnalysis.com, joins the show.

In a very provocative move today, General Motors abruptly canceled the health benefits of all 50,000 striking members of the United Auto Workers Union. That means that the union will now have to cover the costs of all health benefits for all union members, while at the same time, its members have no income. And this comes as the company made $8.1 billion in profits last year, and the CEO is being paid $22 million. Dr. Jack Rasmus, a professor of economics at Saint Mary's College of California and author of “The Scourge of Neoliberalism: US Policy from Reagan to Trump”, joins Brian and John.

We continue our weekly series “Criminal Injustice,” where we talk about the most egregious conduct of our courts and prosecutors and how justice is denied to so many people in this country. Paul Wright, the founder and Executive Director of the Human Rights Defense Center, joins the show.

We continue our weekly segment dealing with the ongoing militarization of space. As the US continues to withdraw from international arms treaties, will the weaponization and militarization of space bring the world closer to catastrophe? Brian and John speak with Prof. Karl Grossman, author of six books and the host of a nationally-aired television program focused on environmental, energy, and space issues, and by Bruce Gagnon, coordinator of the Global Network Against Weapons & Nuclear Power in Space and a contributor to Foreign Policy In Focus.

Addicted to Russiagate, Dems Make Another Huge Blunder with Lewandowski

Sep 18, 2019 7098

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On today's episode of Loud & Clear, Brian Becker and John Kiriakou are joined by Jim Kavanagh, the editor of thepolemicist.net and whose latest article on the subject is “Dead Man’s Hand: The Impeachment Gambit,” on Counterpunch and thepolemicist.net.

President Trump’s former campaign manager, Corey Lewandowski, testified before the House Judiciary Committee yesterday in what was a day-long, very heated, event. Lewandowski repeatedly invoked Executive Privilege, even though he has never worked in the White House, refusing to answer most questions put to him by Democrats. But many Democrats came off as angry, loud showboaters, more interested in getting on television than in finding the truth over whether the President committee obstruction of justice. The hearing puts committee chairman Jerry Nadler even further at odds with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

President Trump today named State Department hostage negotiator Robert O’Brien as his new National Security Advisor. O’Brien does not have an intelligence background and has no political ties to Trump. The move appears to solidify Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s position as the most formidable figure in the Administration next to Trump. Kevin Zeese, co-coordinator of Popular Resistance, whose work is at popularresistance.org, joins the show.

Israelis went to the polls yesterday to elect a new government, and the result is still too close to call. What is clear, though, is that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and allied right wing parties do not have enough seats to form a government. At this stage, it appears that Benny Ganz’s Blue and White Party has won the most seats--32 to Netanyahu’s 31. With 91 percent of votes counted Netanyahu’s right-wing bloc has 55 seats, while Ganz’s center-left bloc has 56 seats. 61 seats are needed to govern. It looks like Avigdor Lieberman, a former Defense Minister and bar bouncer from Moldova who heads a right-wing nationalist party, but who has broken with Netanyahu, will play the kingmaker. Brian and John speak with David Sheen, an independent writer and filmmaker whose work is at www.davidsheen.com.

Talking heads on many of the morning news shows are now saying, without offering any evidence, that the attack on Saudi oil facilities was from a cruise missile launched from Iran. This is despite the fact that there is no evidence--at least publicly--to indicate that the attack wasn’t from a drone launched by Yemen’s Houthi rebels, who have already claimed responsibility. Meanwhile, President Trump announced new sanctions on Iran and said that he is weighing his options, but would not launch a “knee jerk response.” Mohammad Marandi, an expert on American studies and postcolonial literature who teaches at the University of Tehran, joins the show.

European Union lawmakers voted overwhelmingly, by a vote of 544-126 today, to offer a Brexit delay if British Prime Minister Boris Johnson requests one. European President Jean-Claude Juncker warned, however, that a no-deal Brexit is still a very real possibility. This comes after a serious embarrassment for Johnson when he recently went to Luxembourg for negotiations. Currently, the UK is scheduled to withdraw from the European Union on October 31 with or without an agreement. Neil Clark, a journalist and broadcaster whose work has appeared in The Guardian, The Week, and Morning Star, joins Brian and John.

Wednesday’s weekly series, In the News, is where the hosts look at the most important ongoing developments of the week and put them into perspective. Sputnik news analysts Nicole Roussell and Walter Smolarek join the show.

Wednesday’s regular segment, Beyond Nuclear, is about nuclear issues, including weapons, energy, waste, and the future of nuclear technology in the United States. Kevin Kamps, the Radioactive Waste Watchdog at the organization Beyond Nuclear, and Sputnik news analyst and producer Nicole Roussell, join the show.

Trump: ‘I Meant To Say We SHOULDN’T Have a War with Iran’

Sep 17, 2019 6715

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On today's episode of Loud & Clear, Brian Becker and John Kiriakou are joined by Gareth Porter, a historian, investigative journalist, and analyst specializing in U.S. national security policy and the author of “Manufactured Crisis: The Untold Story of the Iran Nuclear Scare.”

President Trump said yesterday that he does not want war with Iran, less than 24 hours after tweeting that he was “locked and loaded” and awaiting instructions from Saudi Arabia. Regardless of his public statements, however, the President internationalized the crisis by publicly blaming Iran for the attack, despite the Houthi rebels’ claims of responsibility and a lack of any evidence of direct Iranian involvement.

The New York Times editorial page is, once again, mired in controversy. The Times ran an essay in the Sunday Review opinion section by the authors of a new book on Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh. The book was written by two Times journalists who covered Kavanaugh’s confirmation hearings and it contains explosive information of an unreported allegation of sexual misconduct against Kavanaugh. But the Times editor took out some critical information: that the woman at the center of the controversy declined to be interviewed and did not recall the incident. Sputnik News analyst and producer Nicole Roussell joins the show.

Israeli elections are being held today and, while it will be very close, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is widely expected to be able to cobble together another coalition government that will give him an unprecedented fifth term as Prime Minister. Netanyahu has several felony charges related to corruption hanging over him, as does his wife, but it doesn’t seem to have affected him politically. Netanyahu has vowed to begin annexing parts of the West Bank if he’s reelected. Brian and John speak with Miko Peled, the author of “The General’s Son - A Journey of an Israeli in Palestine,” and of "Injustice: The Story of the Holy Land Foundation Five.”

50,000 General Motors workers are in their second day of a strike against the company for better wages, benefits, and job security. These were concessions that the union offered a decade ago when the economy collapsed and GM was forced into bankruptcy. But now the company is wildly profitable, and it’s not sharing the wealth with the workers who sacrificed for it to survive. Benjamin Franz, the Vice President of the United Auto Workers Union’s Local 652, joins the show.

The Presidents of Russia, Turkey, and Iran met in Ankara yesterday to discuss what to do to ease tensions in Syria and particularly along Syria’s border with Turkey. Disagreements between the countries linger. Russian President Putin said that the threat to peace came from a resurgent ISIS. But Turkish President Erdogan countered that the only threat to peace in Syria came from Kurdish groups. Rick Sterling, an investigative journalist and member of the Syria Solidarity Movement, joins Brian and John.

Tuesday’s weekly series is False Profits—A Weekly Look at Wall Street and Corporate Capitalism with Daniel Sankey. Brian and John speak with financial policy analyst Daniel Sankey.

Today’s regular segment that airs every Tuesday is called Women & Society with Dr. Hannah Dickinson. This weekly segment is about the major issues, challenges, and struggles facing women in all aspects of society. Hannah Dickinson, an associate professor at Hobart and William Smith Colleges and an organizer with the Geneva Women’s Assembly; Nathalie Hrizi, an educator, a political activist, and the editor of Breaking the Chains, a women’s magazine; and Loud & Clear producer Nicole Roussell join the show.

When Will They Go To Jail? Sacklers Hide Billions in Opioid Profits

Sep 16, 2019 6804

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Purdue Pharma, the makers of OxyContin, filed for bankruptcy protection on Sunday in New York. The company said the filing was the only way to implement an agreement with more than 2,000 state and municipal governments to provide funding for anti-opioid addiction programs. But news also broke over the weekend that the Sackler family, the owners of Purdue, secretly transferred $1 billion out of the country and into European bank accounts so that it would not be subject to the bankruptcy. The move, of course, is likely illegal. And the entire agreement is now in jeopardy because of it.

Drone attacks over the weekend on Saudi Arabia’s largest oil refinery and on one of its oil fields have cut the country’s oil production in half, causing oil prices to soar overnight. Meanwhile, President Trump and Secretary of State Pompeo are blaming Iran for the attacks, despite Yemen’s Houthi rebels’ claim of responsibility. With the President’s comments yesterday that the US military is “locked and loaded,” war with Iran could be in the offing. Kathy Kelly, co-coordinator of Voices for Creative Non-Violence, joins the show.

Nearly 50,000 General Motors workers went on strike at midnight last night after negotiations between the company and the United Auto Workers Union faltered. Negotiations continued today, but union officials said the two sides were far apart on the issues of wages, health care, the use of temporary workers, job security, and profit sharing. Brian and John speak with Neal Sweeney, the Vice President of UAW Local 5810.

Israelis will vote tomorrow for the second time in six months in an election that could see Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu win an unprecedented fifth term. Or it could end his decades-long dominance of Israeli politics. One thing most observers agree on, however, is that no matter who wins, the peace process is dead, Israeli settlements will continue to expand, and there’s no end in sight to the oppression of Palestinians. Miko Peled, the author of “The General’s Son - A Journey of an Israeli in Palestine,” and of "Injustice: The Story of the Holy Land Foundation Five,” joins the show.

Monday’s segment “Education for Liberation with Bill Ayers” is where Bill helps us look at the state of education across the country. What’s happening in our schools, colleges, and universities, and what impact does it have on the world around us? Bill Ayers, an activist, educator and the author of the book “Demand the Impossible: A Radical Manifesto,” joins Brian and John.

In this segment, The Week Ahead, the hosts take a look at the most newsworthy stories of the coming week and what it means for the country and the world, including the strike on Saudi Arabia’s oil fields and President Trump’s threat that the United States is “locked and loaded”, the revelations that the Sackler family is allegedly hiding Purdue Pharma’s profits as they claim bankruptcy in the wake of a lawsuit over the opioid crisis, 50,000 auto workers on strike at General Motors plants nationwide, and the Israeli election taking place tomorrow. Sputnik News analysts and producers of this show Nicole Roussell and Walter Smolarek join the show.

Monday’s regular segment Technology Rules with Chris Garaffa is a weekly guide on how monopoly corporations and the national surveillance state are threatening cherished freedoms, civil rights and civil liberties. Web developer and technologist Chris Garaffa joins the show.

Will the Real Joe Biden & Elizabeth Warren Please Stand Up?

Sep 14, 2019 6683

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Friday is Loud & Clear’s weekly hour-long segment The Week in Review, about the week in politics, policy, and international affairs. Today they focus on yesterday’s Democratic presidential debate as well as the ouster of former National Security Advisor John Bolton. Democrats last night held their third presidential debate, arguing over healthcare and immigration. It was the first time that three frontrunners, Joe Biden, Elizabeth Warren, and Bernie Sanders, were on the stage together. There were few fireworks, other than an attack on Biden by former Housing Secretary Julian Castro, and no candidate delivered a knockout blow on another. Ted Rall, an award-winning editorial cartoonist and columnist whose work is at rall.com, joins the show. The Justice Department said that it will reveal the name of an individual believed to be connected to the Saudi government who allegedly provided support to the 9/11 hijackers. But DOJ will reveal that name only to the attorneys representing the families of victims of the attacks. That’s a good thing. But why has it taken 18 years for DOJ to finally admit that there was credible evidence that Saudi government officials had a role in the worst terrorist attacks in American history? Brian and John speak with Mark Sleboda, an international affairs and security analyst. Federal authorities have found several sophisticated technological devices that had been deployed around the White House in the past two years and that are meant to intercept cell phone calls. Even more importantly, three federal officials with knowledge of the find are saying that they were placed there by Israeli intelligence officers. But the crazy part of this story is that the Trump Administration has decided to do nothing to punish Israel. Ali Abunimah, the co-founder of The Electronic Intifada and author of the book “The Battle for Justice in Palestine,” joins the show. China will exempt purchases of US soybeans, pork, and other agricultural products from punitive tariffs ahead of trade talks, addressing one of President Trump’s most pressing demands. For its part, the United States has delayed previously announced tariffs so they no longer go into effect on the highly political sensitive 70th anniversary of the foundation of the People’s Republic of China. The two countries are looking for a way to break a deadlock in the trade war before new high-level talks begin in early October. Jude Woodward, the author of the book “The US vs China: Asia's new Cold War?” joins Brian and John. It’s Friday! So it’s time for the week’s worst and most misleading headlines. Brian and John speak with Steve Patt, an independent journalist whose critiques of the mainstream media have been a feature of his site Left I on the News and on twitter @leftiblog, and Sputnik producer Nicole Roussell.

Liberals Join Conservatives On Supreme Court to Stop Asylum Seekers

Sep 12, 2019 6975

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On today's episode of Loud & Clear, Brian Becker and John Kiriakou are joined by Juan José Gutiérrez, the executive director of the Full Rights for Immigrants Coalition. The Supreme Court ruled last night by a vote of 7-2 that refugees may be denied asylum in the United States if they crossed another country to get here and did not first apply for asylum in that country. The move reverses decades of US asylum policy. ABC and Univision will host the third Democratic debate tonight in Houston, Texas. Only 10 candidates will participate because the others failed to qualify under Democratic National Committee rules. Foreign affairs and healthcare are expected to be the major topics. And the pundits are telling us to keep our eyes on Elizabeth Warren and whether she’s able to present herself tonight as the only viable alternative to Joe Biden. Meanwhile, the House Judiciary Committee voted to give definition to its probe considering whether or not to recommend impeachment of President Trump. Jacqueline Luqman, the co-editor-in-chief of Luqman Nation, which hosts a livestream every week on Facebook, joins the show. Purdue Pharma, and its owners, the Sackler family, have agreed to settle thousands of lawsuits brought against them by state and municipal governments because of the opioid crisis. Not all of the details of the deal are public yet, but Purdue will file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy and the Sackler family will pay $3 billion in cash over seven years. Purdue is the maker of OxyContin. Brian and John speak with Dr. Louis Kyriakoudes, a professor at Middle Tennessee State University, director of the Albert Gore Research Center, and one of only three experts who has testified against Big Tobacco, according to The Nation magazine. The Trump Administration joined 10 Latin American countries yesterday invoking a regional defense pact, ostensibly “in support of the Venezuelan people.” However, President Trump also said yesterday that ousted National Security Advisor John Bolton was “was way out of line” on Venezuela. Is this the prelude to a hot war against Venezuela? Or is the administration moving in the other direction? Dan Kovalik, a human rights and labor lawyer who is the author of the book “The Plot to Overthrow Venezuela: How the US is Orchestrating a Coup for Oil,” joins the show. 65 million years ago a city-sized asteroid slammed into the earth, causing an unprecedented mass extinction that devastated life across the planet and killed off the dinosaurs. Now, groundbreaking new research gives us deeper insight into what that fateful day was like. Dr. Sean Gulick, research professor at the University of Texas, Austin, specialist in the role of catastrophism in the geologic record, and author of the new study, joins Brian and John. Thursday’s weekly series “Criminal Injustice” is about the most egregious conduct of our courts and prosecutors and how justice is denied to so many people in this country. Paul Wright, the founder and executive director of the Human Rights Defense Center and editor of Prison Legal News (PLN), joins the show. A regular Thursday segment deals with the ongoing militarization of space. As the US continues to withdraw from international arms treaties, will the weaponization and militarization of space bring the world closer to catastrophe? Brian and John speak with Prof. Karl Grossman, a full professor of journalism at the State University of New York, College at Old Westbury and the host of a nationally aired television program focused on environmental, energy, and space issues, and with Bruce Gagnon, coordinator of the Global Network Against Weapons & Nuclear Power in Space and a contributor to Foreign Policy In Focus.

18 Years after 9/11 Attacks First Responders Still Fighting for Justice

Sep 11, 2019 6758

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On today's episode of Loud & Clear, Brian Becker and John Kiriakou are joined by Jaime Hazan, a 9/11 First Responder who was an EMT at Ground Zero, Nancy Carbone, Founder and Executive Director of Friends of Firefighters, and Lila Nordstrom, Executive Director of StuyHealth, a health advocacy group for students impacted by 9/11. Today marks 18 years since the September 11th attacks. 9/11 first responders, their families, and residents and students who were in the vicinity of the World Trade Center are still dealing with serious health consequences. What more needs to be done to ensure that they receive the support that they need? War hawk John Bolton was ousted as National Security Advisor yesterday amid fierce factional disputes within the White House over key foreign policy and military issues. But is Bolton now about to be embraced by the corporate media on the basis of his clash with Trump? Joe Lauria, editor-in-chief of Consortium News, founded by the late Robert Parry and the author of the book "How I Lost, By Hillary Clinton," joins the show. The story of a high-level Russian official working as a CIA spy, who was secretly exfiltrated in 2017 and resettled in Virginia, is taking some interesting new turns. Major news outlets are reporting that the source and his information were unvetted and uncorroborated, and that he made up information that later became the basis of the Russia investigation. Brian and John speak with Daniel Lazare, a journalist and author of three books--“The Frozen Republic,” “The Velvet Coup,” and “America's Undeclared War.” Attorneys General for 48 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico have launched investigations into whether Google is violating antitrust laws, has become too big, and has illegally ruined smaller rivals. The overall probe is being led by the Texas Attorney General and will focus on whether Google broke the law in achieving dominance in online marketing. Patricia Gorky, a software engineer and technology and security analyst, joins the show. On today’s anniversary of the september 11th attacks in 2001, we are running our fascinating and important interview from this date last year, where authors Ray Nowosielski and John Duffy discuss the September 11 attacks and their aftermath, including alleged Saudi involvement in the attacks and the that fact that within the CIA and the rest of the intelligence community, literally nobody was held accountable for what was arguably the worst intelligence failure in American history. Ray Nowosielski and John Duffy, the authors of the book “The Watchdogs Didn't Bark: The CIA, NSA, and the Crimes of the War on Terror,” which you can get on Amazon or through Skyhorse Publishing, join Brian and John. Wednesday’s regular segment, Beyond Nuclear, is about nuclear issues, including weapons, energy, waste, and the future of nuclear technology in the United States. Kevin Kamps, the Radioactive Waste Watchdog at the organization Beyond Nuclear, and Sputnik news analyst and producer Nicole Roussell, join the show.

Will Bolton’s Firing Lead to Trump White House Foreign Policy Shift?

Sep 10, 2019 6915

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On today's episode of Loud & Clear, Brian Becker and John Kiriakou are joined by Daniel McAdams, executive director of the Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity. President Trump today announced the departure of National Security Advisor John Bolton. Trump said in a tweet that he told Bolton last night that his services were no longer needed and that Bolton resigned this morning. He added that he will name a new National Security Advisor next week. Washington is abuzz with news that the CIA had to exfiltrate a sensitive Russian source, according to CNN because the Agency didn’t trust Donald Trump with the secret. But it turns out that the story is far more complicated. The source was actually not as well-placed as has been reported. He was under pressure from former CIA Director John Brennan to produce intelligence that he didn’t have access to. And now he’s living openly--using his true name--in suburban Virginia. Aaron Maté, a journalist with The Grayzone and The Nation and the host of Pushback with Aaron Maté, joins the show. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced today that, if he wins reelection in the country’s September 17 election, he will seek to annex parts of the West Banks. The Israeli media is reporting that Netanyahu told aides that if the West Bank were to ever be annexed, it would have to be done during a Trump presidency. Meanwhile, Trump said that he will unveil his “deal of the century” for Middle East peace as soon as Israeli elections are completed. Brian and John speak with Miko Peled, the author of “The General’s Son - A Journey of an Israeli in Palestine,” and of "Injustice: The Story of the Holy Land Foundation Five.” The British parliament is now suspended. It ended its session last night with no decision on early elections or on anything having to do with Brexit. And there was genuine fury as the session wound down last night, according to the BBC. Opposition parliamentarians tried to block Speaker John Bercow’s traditional procession to the House of Lords, and other opposition members sang Welsh and Scottish folk songs, the Labour Party’s anthem, and even hymns. Alexander Mercouris, the editor-in-chief of The Duran, joins the show. A special election for a seat in the US House of Representatives is taking place in North Carolina today. The seat has been in Republican hands since 1960, but the winner of the most recent election was not certified because of an illegal ballot-harvesting scandal. Today’s election is seen as a referendum on the Trump Administration. The President won 56 percent there in 2016 and the district leans Republican. But Democrats are pulling no punches in their efforts to win. Ted Rall, an award-winning editorial cartoonist and columnist whose work is at www.rall.com, joins Brian and John. Tuesday’s weekly series is False Profits—A Weekly Look at Wall Street and Corporate Capitalism with Daniel Sankey. Brian and John speak with financial policy analyst Daniel Sankey. Today’s regular segment that airs every Tuesday is called Women & Society with Dr. Hannah Dickinson. This weekly segment is about the major issues, challenges, and struggles facing women in all aspects of society. Hannah Dickinson, an associate professor at Hobart and William Smith Colleges and an organizer with the Geneva Women’s Assembly and Nathalie Hrizi, an educator, a political activist, and the editor of Breaking the Chains.

Vaping Epidemic: A Toxic Combination of Corporate Profit and Addiction

Sep 9, 2019 7018

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On today's episode of Loud & Clear, Brian Becker and John Kiriakou are joined by Dr. Louis Kyriakoudes, a professor at Middle Tennessee State University, director of the Albert Gore Research Center, and one of only three experts who has testified against Big Tobacco, according to The Nation magazine. Hundreds of people across the country have been sickened by a severe lung disease linked to vaping, and at least five have died so far. Most were otherwise healthy young people in their teens and 20s. Scientists are only just beginning to study the phenomenon, and governmental regulation of e-cigarettes is sorely lacking. The situation sounds just like it did with tobacco decades ago. President Trump abruptly announced in a series of tweets last night that he had invited the Taliban leadership to Camp David to discuss peace terms and that he had CANCELED his invitation for the Taliban to go to Camp David. More importantly, the flip flop on Taliban talks points to major policy divisions within the Administration, especially between National Security Advisor John Bolton, who has adamantly opposed any contact with the Taliban, and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who supports it. Matthew Hoh, a veteran and peace activist who in 2009 resigned from the State Department over the American escalation of the war in Afghanistan and a winner of the Ridenhour Prize for Truth Telling, joins the show. The British parliament will be prorogued, that is, suspended, at the close of business tonight, following a series of important votes. And as the day has gone on, the situation there has become more and more confusing. Parliamentary Speaker John Bercow announced that he will resign effective October 31, and yet another Tory Minister has announced his resignation. But a large public opinion poll shows that if Prime Minister Boris Johnson is able to call new elections, his Conservative Party would win 287 of 650 seats, not enough for a majority, but enough to form a new government with a like-minded partner. Brian and John speak with Neil Clark, a journalist and broadcaster whose work has appeared in The Guardian, The Week, and Morning Star. Violent clashes continued in Hong Kong over the weekend as thousands of protestors marched to the US consulate to demand American support for their demonstrations. Some of the protestors sang the US national anthem and called on President Trump to “liberate” the island. The Chinese government, meanwhile, warned Washington to not meddle in Hong Kong’s affairs. Mike Wong, the outreach coordinator for the San Francisco chapter of Veterans for Peace, joins the show. Monday’s segment “Education for Liberation with Bill Ayers” is where Bill helps us look at the state of education across the country. What’s happening in our schools, colleges, and universities, and what impact does it have on the world around us? Bill Ayers, an activist, educator and the author of the book “Demand the Impossible: A Radical Manifesto,” joins Brian and John. In this segment, The Week Ahead, the hosts take a look at the most newsworthy stories of the coming week and what it means for the country and the world, including . Sputnik News analysts and producers of this show Nicole Roussell and Walter Smolarek join the show. Monday’s regular segment Technology Rules with Chris Garaffa is a weekly guide on how monopoly corporations and the national surveillance state are threatening cherished freedoms, civil rights and civil liberties. Web developer and technologist Chris Garaffa joins the show.

Trump Works for Wall Street, Pushes Housing Market Overhaul

Sep 6, 2019 6579

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On today's episode of Loud & Clear, Brian Becker and John Kiriakou are joined by Dr. Jack Rasmus, a professor of economics at Saint Mary's College of California, author of “Central Bankers at the End of Their Ropes: Monetary Policy and the Coming Depression,” and at jackrasmus.com. The Trump Administration is unveiling a plan to alter the very structure of the housing market, drastically reducing the federal government’s role in housing, and slashing regulations established in response to the 2008 housing market crash that caused financial devastation for millions of people around the world. At its core, the plan would release Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac from government control. Hundreds of people are missing in the Bahamas and at least 30 are confirmed dead there as Hurricane Dorian moved north and now sits off the coast of North Carolina’s Outer Banks as a Category 1 storm. Experts at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration say that stronger and more destructive storms will become more frequent as the climate continues to change. Meanwhile, meteorologists are watching three more tropical storms currently forming in the Atlantic, including one that’s already been named Tropical Storm Gabrielle. Danielle Purifoy, a board member of the North Carolina Environmental Justice Network, and a geographer at UNC Chapel Hill, and Fred Magdoff, professor emeritus of plant and soil science at the University of Vermont and the co-author of “What Every Environmentalist Needs to Know About Capitalism,” join the show. Robert Mugabe, the independence icon who led Zimbabwe out of its colonial past and who became its first president, died this morning in a hospital in Singapore. He was 95. Mugabe was praised internationally for broadening access to health care and education for his country’s black majority. But his later years were marked by political opposition and by his country’s severe economic problems in the face of western sanctions. He lost power after his own military leadership turned against him in 2017 after 37 years in power. Brian and John speak with Dr. Gerald Horne, a professor of history at the University of Houston and the author of many books, including his most recent “White Supremacy Confronted: U.S. Imperialism and Anti-Communism vs. the Liberation of Southern Africa from Rhodes to Mandela.” Downing Street--that is, the Office of the British Prime Minister--is refusing to rule out the possible resignation of Prime Minister Boris Johnson in the coming weeks. No Prime Minister in British history has survived defeat in four major parliamentary votes, let alone the first four votes of his premiership. And pressed yesterday over whether he would resign if he cannot lead the UK out of the European Union by October 31, Johnson said, “That is not a hypothesis that I am willing to contemplate.” Sputnik news analyst Walter Smolarek joins the show. It’s Friday! So it’s time for the week’s worst and most misleading headlines. Brian and John speak with Steve Patt, an independent journalist whose critiques of the mainstream media have been a feature of his site Left I on the News and on twitter @leftiblog, and Sputnik producer Nicole Roussell. Friday is Loud & Clear’s weekly hour-long segment The Week in Review, about the week in politics, policy, and international affairs. Today they focus on the Brexit political crisis in the UK, the impact of Hurricane Dorian on poor and working people, the potential peace agreement in Afghanistan, and more. Brian and John speak with Sputnik News analysts and producers Walter Smolarek and Nicole Roussell.

Boris Johnson’s Great Brexit Miscalculation

Sep 5, 2019 6966

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On today's episode of Loud & Clear, Brian Becker and John Kiriakou are joined by Alexander Mercouris, the editor-in-chief of The Duran. Yesterday we told you that British politics were in a state of chaos. That hasn’t changed. Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s own brother this morning resigned both from parliament and from the Conservative Party and Johnson again was defeated in a procedural vote last night. It appears that there will be new elections, but nobody knows when. And it also appears that, in the event of those new elections, not much will change. A federal judge in the Eastern District of Virginia ruled yesterday that the federal terrorism watchlist violates the civil rights of those people listed on it. Judge Anthony Trenga said that the standard for inclusion on the list was unconstitutionally vague and he struck it down. Trenga is the same judge that has jailed whistleblower Chelsea Manning. Dave Lindorff, an investigative reporter, a columnist for CounterPunch, and founder of ThisCantBeHappening.net, who recently learned that he was on a watchlist, joins the show. Iranian President Hasan Rouhani said in a televised address yesterday that Iran would no longer restrict its development of centrifuges for uranium enrichment, a major move away from the Iran nuclear deal, which the US withdrew from last year. Rouhani added, however, that the decision was “peaceful and reversible” if other signatories to the deal make firm commitments to provide economic relief to Iran. Meanwhile, the State Department announced a $15 million reward for anybody who can hack into and disable the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps computer system, which the State Department called the IRGC’s “oil for terror” network. Brian and John speak with Dan Kovalik, a human rights and labor lawyer who is the author of the book “The Plot to Overthrow Venezuela: How the US is Orchestrating a Coup for Oil.” Prominent Washington attorney Greg Craig was acquitted yesterday on a charge of making a false statement to federal investigators examining Craig’s work through his law firm for the Ukranian government. The investigation came out of the Muller probe and focused on Craig’s interaction with the New York Times. The verdict is a setback for the Justice Department’s aggressive new policy on unregistered work for foreign governments. Daniel Lazare, a journalist and author of three books--“The Frozen Republic,” “The Velvet Coup,” and “America's Undeclared War,” joins the show. The Federal Reserve is planning to cut interest rates as much as one quarter of one percent in the next two weeks, according to the Wall Street Journal. The Fed believes that it must act to counter an economic slowdown caused in part by the trade war with China. Meanwhile, trade negotiations between China and the US will resume in October in Washington. Steve Keen, the author of “Debunking Economics” and the world’s first crowdfunded economist whose work is at patreon.com/ProfSteveKeen, joins Brian and John. Thursday’s weekly series “Criminal Injustice” is about the most egregious conduct of our courts and prosecutors and how justice is denied to so many people in this country. Paul Wright, the founder and executive director of the Human Rights Defense Center and editor of Prison Legal News (PLN), and Kevin Gosztola, a writer for Shadowproof.com and co-host of the podcast Unauthorized Disclosure, join the show. A regular Thursday segment deals with the ongoing militarization of space. As the US continues to withdraw from international arms treaties, will the weaponization and militarization of space bring the world closer to catastrophe? Brian and John speak with Prof. Karl Grossman, a full professor of journalism at the State University of New York, College at Old Westbury and the host of a nationally aired television program focused on environmental, energy, and space issues, and with Bruce Gagnon, coordinator of the Global Network Against Weapons & Nuclear Power in Space and a contributor to Foreign Policy In Focus.

UK Political Crisis: Parliament Blocks "No Deal" Brexit

Sep 4, 2019 7078

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On today's episode of Loud & Clear, Brian Becker and John Kiriakou are joined by Neil Clark, a journalist and broadcaster whose work has appeared in The Guardian, The Week, and Morning Star. British politics are in a state of crisis. Prime Minister Boris Johnson lost his parliamentary majority yesterday when, during his first Prime Minister’s Questions session, one of his members stood up, walked over to the Liberal Democrats, and switched parties. Johnson is now calling for new elections, but Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn has said he won’t back a new election until a Brexit delay is voted on. Jeremy Hammond, an Anonymous hacker who was set up by law enforcement, is on his way back to the notorious Eastern District of Virginia, as authorities there apparently will try to force him to testify against Wikileaks cofounder Julian Assange. Hammond’s supporters report that he was recently moved from a medium-security prison in Tennessee to a Bureau of Prisons transportation hub in Oklahoma City and is on his way to Alexandria, Virginia. Hammond has been steadfast in his refusal to testify against anybody at any stage of his involvement with the federal legal system. Kevin Gosztola, a writer for Shadowproof.com and co-host of the podcast Unauthorized Disclosure, joins the show. Hong Kong’s Chief Executive, Carrie Lam, said in a televised speech today that she is withdrawing the controversial extradition bill that set off months of ever-growing protests on the island. The move marks a major concession to demonstrators, although some protest leaders are saying that the bill’s withdrawal is not enough. They are now calling for the release of all protestors and for direct elections in Hong Kong. Brian and John speak with Sputnik news analyst Walter Smolarek. Defense Department officials announced yesterday that they would delay or suspend 127 military construction projects so that $3.6 billion could be diverted to pay for President Trump’s border wall. The move prompted an outcry from Congressional Democrats who maintain that the Pentagon must seek Congressional authorization before any money can be diverted. Juan Carlos Ruiz, cofounder of the New Sanctuary Movement, joins the show. Our friend and frequent guest Ann Wright is in Moscow as part of a peace delegation. Along with a group of other Americans, she has been part of meetings with Russian civil society figures in an effort to reduce tension and promote peace and understanding. Ann Wright, a retired United States Army colonel and former U.S. State Department official in Afghanistan, who resigned in protest of the invasion of Iraq and became an anti-war activist, joins Brian and John. Wednesday’s weekly series, In the News, is where the hosts look at the most important ongoing developments of the week and put them into perspective. Sputnik news analysts Nicole Roussell and Walter Smolarek join the show. Wednesday’s regular segment, Beyond Nuclear, is about nuclear issues, including weapons, energy, waste, and the future of nuclear technology in the United States. Kevin Kamps, the Radioactive Waste Watchdog at the organization Beyond Nuclear, and Sputnik news analyst and producer Nicole Roussell, join the show.

Huge Explosion Rocks Kabul as US Says “Peace is at Hand”

Sep 3, 2019 7123

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On today's episode of Loud & Clear, Brian Becker and John Kiriakou are joined by Brian Terrell, a long time peace activist and a co-coordinator of Voices for Creative Nonviolence. Taliban and U.S. negotiators have drafted an initial agreement paving the way for peace in the country and the withdrawal of U.S. troops. However, fierce fighting continues to take place across the country. As Hurricane Dorian bears down on the southeastern coast, what happens to prisoners who are in harm’s way? And with federal and state laws saying that convicted sex offenders--even those who have done their time--are not permitted in shelters, what happens to them. Paul Wright, the Executive Director of the Human Rights Defense Center and the editor and publisher of Prison Legal News and Criminal Legal News magazines, joins the show. As tense negotiations over the future of the Iran nuclear deal continue, French President Emmanuel Macron has reportedly offered a $15 billion loan to the country to compensate for the harm done by the Trump administration’s unilateral withdrawal. Meanwhile, Israel escalated regional tensions with an attack on Hezbollah, prompting an exchange of fire along the Lebanese border. Brian and John speak with Massoud Shadjareh. He is the founder of the Islamic Human Rights Commission. The three-year-old peace deal between the Colombian government and the FARC rebels has been beset by problems stemming from a wave of right wing repression and murder. One faction of the FARC led by FARC commander Ivan Marquez and other high-ranking demobilized rebel leaders have returned to the armed struggle while the majority of the FARC leadership has stayed with the Peace agreement. The latest move follows a wave of violence that has left 137 former FARC combatants assassinated along with over 700 progressive social movement leaders. James Jordan, a member of the Alliance for Global Justice who has been deeply involved in supporting the Colombian peace process, joins the show. Most Americans agree that the country is in the grip of an opioid epidemic. Federal and state authorities are working to address it, but they don’t always agree on the causes or the solutions. And at the same time, many solutions are chosen because they’re politically expedient, not because they work, especially over the long term. Corey Davis, staff attorney at the National Health Law Program, joins Brian and John. Tuesday’s weekly series is False Profits—A Weekly Look at Wall Street and Corporate Capitalism with Daniel Sankey. Brian and John speak with financial policy analyst Daniel Sankey. Today’s regular segment that airs every Tuesday is called Women & Society with Dr. Hannah Dickinson. This weekly segment is about the major issues, challenges, and struggles facing women in all aspects of society. Hannah Dickinson, an associate professor at Hobart and William Smith Colleges and an organizer with the Geneva Women’s Assembly; Nathalie Hrizi, an educator, a political activist, and the editor of Breaking the Chains, a women’s magazine; and Loud & Clear producer Nicole Roussell join the show.

Trump: "We Are Preparing for Victory" for Upcoming Wars in Outer Space

Aug 30, 2019 6925

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On today's episode of Loud & Clear, Brian Becker and John Kiriakou are joined by Sputnik News analysts and producers Walter Smolarek and Nicole Roussell. Friday is Loud & Clear’s weekly hour-long segment The Week in Review, about the week in politics, policy, and international affairs. Today they focus on Space Command and the militarization of space, the reallocation of money from hurricane relief to immigrant detention beds, the broader discussion of global migration and where the planet is heading, the massive corporations that have marketed and profited off of opioid addiction and death, and lastly, Joe Biden’s new fake war story. After decades in prison, many of the MOVE 9 political prisoners have now come home. To many, the police attacks on the MOVE organization, including the infamous 1985 bombing of their house by Philadelphia police, crystallized the racism and brutality displayed by the Philadelphia Police Department towards African Americans. The fight to free Delbert and Chuck Africa continues. Mike Africa Sr. and Debbie Africa, members of MOVE who spent 40 years in prison for their activism until their release last year, and Netfa Freeman, resident expert at the Institute of Policy Studies, a long-time activist, and host of the radio show Voices With Vision on WPFW, join the show. Three prominent leaders of Hong Kong’s protests were arrested overnight as the government there prepared for the 13th consecutive weekend of anti-government demonstrations. Hundreds of thousands of people have taken to the streets to protest an extradition law and the governance of Hong Kong Executive Carrie Lam, and there is no end in sight to the upheaval. Brian and John speak with Eugene Puryear, the host of Radio Sputnik’s By Any Means Necessary, which airs Monday through Friday from 2pm to 4pm on 105.5 FM and 1390 AM in the Washington area and online at SputnikNews.com. It’s Friday! So it’s time for the week’s worst and most misleading headlines. Brian and John speak with Steve Patt, an independent journalist whose critiques of the mainstream media have been a feature of his site Left I on the News and on twitter @leftiblog, and Sputnik producer Nicole Roussell.

Comey Violated FBI Protocols By Leaking Trump Conversation Memos

Aug 29, 2019 6940

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On today's episode of Loud & Clear, Brian Becker and John Kiriakou are joined by Daniel Lazare, a journalist and author of three books--“The Frozen Republic,” “The Velvet Coup,” and “America's Undeclared War.” The Justice Department’s Inspector General released a long-awaited report today saying that former FBI Director James Comey violated DOJ policy when he gave a sensitive memo of a conversation he had with President Trump to a friend, and then asked the friend to leak the memo to a journalist. The Inspector General said the memo contained the names of countries raised in the conversation with Trump, which automatically classified it at the “confidential level,” the lowest level of classification. But the violation was not serious enough to prosecute. MSNBC host Lawrence O’Donnell said on his show that a single source told him that Donald Trump’s loans with Deutsche Bank had been co-signed by unnamed Russian oligarchs. The report apparently was made up out of whole cloth, the White House threatened an immediate lawsuit, and O’Donnell has retracted the entire story and apologized. What does that say about MSNBC’s supposed “rigorous” verification and standards process? Lee Camp, a writer, comedian, activist, journalist, host of the television show “Redacted Tonight,” which is on RT America, and online at www.leecamp.com, joins the show. Italy’s populist government collapsed yesterday, and President Sergio Mattarella has asked Prime Minister Giuseppe Conti to form an interim coalition government with the center-left Democratic Party. The move would force the hard right-wing League Party out of government and would stave off snap elections. Brian and John speak with Alexander Mercouris, the editor-in-chief of The Duran. Yemeni government forces have retaken control of Aden Airport from southern separatists in what by all accounts was a night of intense fighting, but by afternoon today, the separatists had regained control of the city itself. More than 30 government troops were reported killed in the fighting. The rebels are backed by the United Arab Emirates, while government forces are backed by Saudi Arabia. The US is providing weapons and logistics to both sides. Kathy Kelly, co-coordinator of Voices for Creative Non-Violence, joins the show. The Washington Post and the New York Times reported today that the US Cyber Command in June carried out an attack that knocked out a crucial database used by Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps to target oil tankers and shipping traffic in the Persian Gulf. This happened just hours after the IRGC shot down a US drone over the Gulf. Medea Benjamin, co-founder of the peace group Code Pink, joins Brian and John. Thursday’s weekly series “Criminal Injustice” is about the most egregious conduct of our courts and prosecutors and how justice is denied to so many people in this country. Paul Wright, the founder and executive director of the Human Rights Defense Center and editor of Prison Legal News (PLN), and Kevin Gosztola, a writer for Shadowproof.com and co-host of the podcast Unauthorized Disclosure, join the show. A regular Thursday segment deals with the ongoing militarization of space. As the US continues to withdraw from international arms treaties, will the weaponization and militarization of space bring the world closer to catastrophe? Brian and John speak with Prof. Karl Grossman, a full professor of journalism at the State University of New York, College at Old Westbury and the host of a nationally aired television program focused on environmental, energy, and space issues, and with Bruce Gagnon, coordinator of the Global Network Against Weapons & Nuclear Power in Space and a contributor to Foreign Policy In Focus.

Trump Is Blaming Puerto Ricans for Having Hurricanes

Aug 28, 2019 6843

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On today's episode of Loud & Clear, Brian Becker and John Kiriakou are joined by Aurora Santiago-Ortiz, Research Enhancement and Leadership (REAL) Fellow and a Doctoral Student in Social Justice Education at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. Tropical Storm Dorian is expected to hit hurricane strength today and to make landfall in Puerto Rico. And this is as the island still hasn’t recovered from a devastating 2017 hurricane season. But what is the Trump Administration doing? The White House announced yesterday that it would divert $271 million in funds earmarked to help those affected by hurricanes and instead spend the money to add 1600 beds in immigrant detention facilities. Deutsche Bank confirmed yesterday that it has a copy of Donald Trump’s tax returns responsive to Congressional subpoenas. But MSNBC commentator Lawrence O’Donnell went further than that and made some brash accusations on his show yesterday. He said that other Deutsche Bank loan documents show that Donald Trump’s cosigners are “Russian billionaires close to Vladimir Putin.” O’Donnell repeated the words “if true” multiple times. Even if it’s not true, he and MSNBC are doing what they can to keep the fake Russiagate narrative alive. Jim Kavanagh, the editor of thepolemicist.net, whose latest article is “Dead Man’s Hand: The Impeachment Gambit” on Counterpunch and The Polemicist, joins the show. It seems that CNN and the Democratic National Committee are working hard to decide who should be the next president. The media outlet and the party apparatus will allow only 10 candidates on the debate stage for the next Democratic debate, scheduled for September 12. The cutoff to add candidates was today, and those candidates have to meet polling and fundraising thresholds. As of today, billionaire Tom Steyer and Rep. Tulsi Gabbard are out. Brian and John speak with Dave Lindorff, an investigative reporter, a columnist for CounterPunch, and a contributor to Businessweek, The Nation, Extra! and Salon.com. And you can find his writings at ThisCantBeHappening.net. British Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced this morning that he has asked Queen Elizabeth II to suspend parliament days after it returns from its summer recess next week and just weeks before the Brexit deadline. Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has written to the Queen asking her to deny the request. A suspension would drastically shorten the amount of time parliamentarians would have to attempt to block a no-deal Brexit. Neil Clark, a journalist and broadcaster whose work has appeared in The Guardian, The Week, and Morning Star, joins the show. Earlier this week, where a state judge in Oklahoma ordered Johnson & Johnson to pay the state $572 million for intentionally playing down the dangers and overselling the benefits of opioids. The decision fell short of the $17 billion that Oklahoma was seeking as reimbursement addiction treatment, drug courts, and other costs of the epidemic. But it opens the company to similar suits in every other state in America. Meanwhile, Purdue Pharma, the makers of OxyContyn offered $10-12 billion to settle more than 2,000 lawsuits against it. There are lessons to be learned here, and those lessons began with the lawsuits 20 years ago against Big Tobacco. Dr. Louis Kyriakoudes, a professor at Middle Tennessee State University, director of the Albert Gore Research Center, and one of only three experts who has testified against Big Tobacco, according to The Nation magazine, joins Brian and John. Wednesday’s weekly series, In the News, is where the hosts look at the most important ongoing developments of the week and put them into perspective. Sputnik news analysts Nicole Roussell and Walter Smolarek join the show. Wednesday’s regular segment, Beyond Nuclear, is about nuclear issues, including weapons, energy, waste, and the future of nuclear technology in the United States. Kevin Kamps, the Radioactive Waste Watchdog at the organization Beyond Nuclear, and Sputnik news analyst and producer Nicole Roussell, join the show.

America’s Biggest Drug Pushers Are in Corporate Boardrooms

Aug 27, 2019 6961

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On today's episode of Loud & Clear, Brian Becker and John Kiriakou are joined by Dr. Louis Kyriakoudes, a professor at Middle Tennessee State University, director of the Albert Gore Research Center, and one of only three experts who has testified against Big Tobacco, according to The Nation magazine. In a landmark decision yesterday, a state judge in Oklahoma ordered Johnson & Johnson to pay the state $572 million for intentionally playing down the dangers and overselling the benefits of opioids. The decision fell short of the $17 billion that Oklahoma was seeking as reimbursement addiction treatment, drug courts, and other costs of the epidemic. But it opens the company to similar suits in every other state in America. Senator Tom Cotton, a far-right wing senator from Arkansas, has an op-ed in today’s New York Times in which he says that the United States must purchase Greenland at all costs. Cotton adds that he even raised the idea with the Danish Ambassador to the US a year ago. The Danish government has repeated that the island is not for sale. Is this crazy idea becoming mainstream? Bruce Gagnon, the coordinator of the Global Network Against Weapons & Nuclear Power in Space and a contributor to Foreign Policy In Focus, joins the show. French President Emmanuel Macron said yesterday that he would like to broker direct talks between President Trump and Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, a proposal that Trump immediately endorsed. But Rouhani said today that there would be no direct talks between the two countries until US sanctions against Iran are lifted. Brian and John speak with Mohammad Marandi, an expert on American studies and postcolonial literature who teaches at the University of Tehran. Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro is rejecting $20 million in aid offered by the G-7 countries to fight raging wildfires in the Amazon. He also called on French President Emmanuel Macron to apologize for calling the fires an international crisis. Bolsonaro is apparently so angry at Macron that he took to Facebook today to call Macron’s wife “ugly.” Now it’s Macron who is demanding an apology. But are both politicians just grandstanding while the planet is in crisis? Aline Piva, a journalist and a member of Brazilians for Democracy and Social Justice, joins the show. British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said today that he’s feeling more optimistic about achieving a Brexit deal and not crashing out of the European Union after spending the past week touring Europe and meeting with leaders. The hook seems to be--still--what to do about the Irish border. In the meantime, though, it is more and more clear that there will not be freedom of movement into the UK by EU nationals once the deal is done. Neil Clark, a journalist and broadcaster whose work has appeared in The Guardian, The Week, and Morning Star, joins Brian and John. Tuesday’s weekly series is False Profits—A Weekly Look at Wall Street and Corporate Capitalism with Daniel Sankey. Brian and John speak with financial policy analyst Daniel Sankey. Today’s regular segment that airs every Tuesday is called Women & Society with Dr. Hannah Dickinson. This weekly segment is about the major issues, challenges, and struggles facing women in all aspects of society. Hannah Dickinson, an associate professor at Hobart and William Smith Colleges and an organizer with the Geneva Women’s Assembly; Nathalie Hrizi, an educator, a political activist, and the editor of Breaking the Chains, a women’s magazine; and Loud & Clear producer Nicole Roussell join the show.

Central Bankers Say Trump Trade War Is Single Biggest Threat to Economy

Aug 26, 2019 6906

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On today's episode of Loud & Clear, Brian Becker and John Kiriakou are joined by John Ross, Senior Fellow at Chongyang Institute, Renmin University of China, and an award-winning resident columnist with several Chinese media organizations. US-China trade is in a state of confusion this morning amid mixed signals and contradictory statements over the weekend from President Trump. First the President said that, perhaps, the trade war was a mistake. Then he said it wasn’t. He later said that he might get even tougher on China. And he finally said that the Chinese had called him to work out a deal, which Beijing adamantly denied. In the end, the stock market is convulsing, prices, especially of farm goods, are going up, and the US is exporting less and less to China. French President Emmanuel Macron pulled something of an end run around Donald Trump over the weekend when he invited Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif to visit Biarritz, the location of the G-7 Summit, while the G-7 was still meeting. Macron and others have been pushing Trump for months to soften his stance on Iran, but to no avail. Massoud Shadjareh, the founder of the Islamic Human Rights Commission, joins the show. The Amazon is on fire. It’s not just any fire. It is one of such gargantuan scale that it threatens the health of the planet. So far, the devastation is 85 percent worse than the fires there last year, which then were the worst in history. So far, Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro has done almost nothing to try to combat the disaster. Today, though, he said he would dispatch 40,000 troops to the state of Rondonia. How does the area known as the “lungs of the planet” recover? Brian and John speak with Fred Magdoff, professor emeritus of plant and soil science at the University of Vermont and the co-author of “What Every Environmentalist Needs to Know About Capitalism.” Besieged Hong Kong police fired warning shots over groups of demonstrators yesterday amid a night of violent protests that saw the protestors throwing Molotov cocktails and paving stones and smashing shop windows. 36 people were arrested yesterday, and the crowds continue to grow. The demonstrations began 11 weeks ago in opposition to a law that would have allowed Hong Kong residents to be extradited to mainland China. Mike Wong, the outreach coordinator for the San Francisco chapter of Veterans for Peace, joins the show. Monday’s segment “Education for Liberation with Bill Ayers” is where Bill helps us look at the state of education across the country. What’s happening in our schools, colleges, and universities, and what impact does it have on the world around us? Bill Ayers, an activist, educator and the author of the book “Demand the Impossible: A Radical Manifesto,” joins Brian and John. In this segment, The Week Ahead, the hosts take a look at the most newsworthy stories of the coming week and what it means for the country and the world, including the G7 summit, the U.S.-China trade war and the massive fires devastating the Amazon. Sputnik News analysts and producers of this show Nicole Roussell and Walter Smolarek join the show. Monday’s regular segment Technology Rules with Chris Garaffa is a weekly guide on how monopoly corporations and the national surveillance state are threatening cherished freedoms, civil rights and civil liberties. Web developer and technologist Chris Garaffa joins the show.

This Economic System Can't Be Fixed: Millions to Lose Jobs in Recession

Aug 16, 2019 6587

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On today's episode of Loud & Clear, Brian Becker and John Kiriakou are joined by Richard Wolff, a professor of Economics Emeritus, University of Massachusetts, Amherst and founder of the organization Democracy at Work. Prof. Wolff’s latest book is Capitalism's Crisis Deepens: Essays on the Global Economic Meltdown. Fears are spreading around the world as a key recession indicator goes off in the United States and evidence of economic slowdown surfaces in other major global economies. The last economic crisis was an unusually long 11 years ago, raising fears that another major downturn is right around the corner. Parts of New York City have changed through the decades of white flight, neglect, and gentrification, but the massively wealthy elites who live in the Manhattan penthouses remain a constant. Award-winning author and commentator Lewis Lapham satirized them in his original 1988 book “Money and Class in America,” newly updated, which we talk about with him today. Brian and John speak with Lewis Lapham, the founding Editor of “Lapham's Quarterly,” a quarterly publication about history and literature, the editor emeritus of “Harper's Magazine,” and an award-winning author of many books, including the newly updated “Money and Class in America.” Friday is Loud & Clear’s weekly hour-long segment The Week in Review, about the week in politics, policy, and international affairs. Today Brian and John start by interviewing Bruce Gagnon about Trump’s bid for Arctic dominance in trying to buy Greenland, then they discuss with producers Walter and Nicole Israel’s bans and reversals on US Congresswomen’s visits, the signs of a coming recession, the ongoing Jeffrey Epstein atrocities, and the Hong Kong protests, and they wrap up the hour with Steve Patt’s headlines of the week. Brian and John are joined by Bruce Gagnon, coordinator of Global Network Against Weapons & Nuclear Power in Space, Loud & Clear producers Nicole Roussell and Walter Smolarek, and independent journalist Steve Patt, whose mainstream media critiques have been a feature of his site Left I on the News.

Israel Banned US Congresswomen From Entering the Country

Aug 15, 2019 6691

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On today's episode of Loud & Clear, Brian Becker and John Kiriakou are joined by Miko Peled, the author of “The General’s Son - A Journey of an Israeli in Palestine,” and of "Injustice: The Story of the Holy Land Foundation Five.” The Israeli government denied entry into the country for Congresswomen Rashida Tlaib and Ilhan Omar, who are scheduled to make an official trip on Sunday. Before the official denial, President Trump tweeted about it, urging the Israeli government to deny the Representatives. The move was cheered by Republicans, but threatens to further drive a wedge between the conservative Israeli Prime Minister and Congressional Democrats. The New York Stock Exchange fell more than 800 points yesterday, it’s biggest loss of the year, on news that the economy was slowing and bond yields were inverted. Meanwhile, nine major global economies are either in recession or on the brink of recession. Couple that with multiple trade wars between the US and its partners and it spells trouble for the US economy. Steve Keen, the author of “Debunking Economics” and the world’s first crowdfunded economist, whose work is at patreon.com/ProfSteveKeen, joins the show. An autopsy of Jeffrey Epstein has found a broken hyoid bone in his neck, common in homicide by strangulation, but sometimes also appearing in hanging suicides. The finding only complicates the story of what happened to Jeffrey Epstein inside the Metropolitan Correctional Center in Manhattan. Meanwhile, prosecutors say that the investigations of, and cases against, his accused co-conspirators will continue. Brian and John speak with Coleen Rowley, a former FBI special agent who in 2002 was named Time Magazine person of the year along with two other whistleblowers. The UK Labour Party has announced a bold new plan to go on the offensive to prevent a no-deal Brexit. Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn intends to set up a temporary caretaker government by encouraging defections from the Conservative Party, and then organizing a second referendum on Brexit and then immediately calling for general elections. Neil Clark, a journalist and broadcaster whose work has appeared in The Guardian, The Week, and Morning Star, joins the show. The United States issued a last minute appeal to British authorities in Gilbraltar to turn over custody of a seized Iranian oil tanker to US naval authorities rather than release it. However, a court rejected the request and the tanker, that became a focal point of geopolitical tension, is set to be released from UK custody. Mohammad Marandi, an expert on American studies and postcolonial literature who teaches at the University of Tehran, joins Brian and John. Thursday’s weekly series “Criminal Injustice” is about the most egregious conduct of our courts and prosecutors and how justice is denied to so many people in this country. Paul Wright, the founder and executive director of the Human Rights Defense Center and editor of Prison Legal News (PLN), and Kevin Gosztola, a writer for Shadowproof.com and co-host of the podcast Unauthorized Disclosure, join the show. A regular Thursday segment deals with the ongoing militarization of space. As the US continues to withdraw from international arms treaties, will the weaponization and militarization of space bring the world closer to catastrophe? Brian and John speak with Prof. Karl Grossman, a full professor of journalism at the State University of New York, College at Old Westbury and the host of a nationally aired television program focused on environmental, energy, and space issues, and with Bruce Gagnon, coordinator of the Global Network Against Weapons & Nuclear Power in Space and a contributor to Foreign Policy In Focus.

Wall Street Panics: Has the Next Recession Arrived?

Aug 14, 2019 6823

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On today's episode of Loud & Clear, Brian Becker and John Kiriakou are joined by Dr. Jack Rasmus, a professor of economics at Saint Mary's College of California and author of “Central Bankers at the End of Their Ropes: Monetary Policy and the Coming Depression,” whose work is at www.jackrasmus.com. An economic indicator that has a perfect record of predicting a recession is blinking red. The spread between the 2-year and 10-year U.S. government bond yield today turned negative for the first time since 2007. This has occurred before every recession in the last 50 years. Meanwhile, US mortgage debt hit an all-time high, eclipsing the record set in 2008. Police arrested five anti-government protesters after clashes at Hong Kong’s international airport yesterday in which officers used batons and pepper spray and demonstrators beat two men from mainland China. Several dozen protesters remain inside the airport, and airport officials say they’ve received an injunction limiting the permitted demonstration areas. Jude Woodward, who is the author of the book “The US vs China: Asia's new Cold War?,” joins the show. Marty Gottesfeld is an imprisoned whistleblower who has been placed incommunicado in a restrictive Communications Management Unit at the US penitentiary in Terre Haute, Indiana. Why? Because he spoke to the media. But before his odyssey began in Terre Haute he was in the same prison, the Metropolitan Correctional Center in Manhattan, that Jeffrey Epstein was. Brian and John speak with Dana Gottesfeld, the wife of Marty Gottesfeld, who was Jeffrey Epstein’s cellmate. Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders took a swipe at the Washington Post on Monday when he said that the paper does not support him because he has criticized its owner, billionaire Jeff Bezos, and the Amazon corporation that he is CEO of. Sanders has criticized Bezos in the past for his treatment of Amazon workers and Amazon for not paying taxes. But the Post’s executive editor is calling Sanders’ complaints a “conspiracy theory.” Ted Rall, an award winning journalist and editorial cartoonist whose work is at www.rall.com, joins the show. Thousands of students and teachers participated in protests across Brazil yesterday to protest a decision by far-right President Jair Bolsonaro to cut $87 million from school budgets from the kindergarten level to universities. The money would have gone to pay for textbooks and supplies. Bolsonaro this spring cut education budgets by 30 percent and ended all scholarships at the masters and doctoral degree levels. Sputnik news analyst Walter Smolarek joins Brian and John. Wednesday’s weekly series, In the News, is where the hosts look at the most important ongoing developments of the week and put them into perspective, including the economy and a possible recession, the fight between Bernie Sanders and the Washington Post, and protests in Hong Kong. Sputnik news analysts Nicole Roussell and Walter Smolarek join the show. Wednesday’s regular segment, Beyond Nuclear, is about nuclear issues, including weapons, energy, waste, and the future of nuclear technology in the United States. Kevin Kamps, the Radioactive Waste Watchdog at the organization Beyond Nuclear, and Sputnik news analyst and producer Nicole Roussell, join the show.

Trump Declares War vs. Legal Immigrants Too -- If They're Poor People

Aug 13, 2019 6930

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On today's episode of Loud & Clear, Brian Becker and John Kiriakou are joined by Isabel Garcia, co-founder of Coalición de Derechos Humanos. The White House announced a new policy yesterday whereby immigrants will be denied permanent legal status if they appear likely to apply for public assistance programs, including Medicaid, housing subsidies, or food stamps. The measure is set to take effect in October and will be challenged in court. Meanwhile, the State Department will close all but seven immigration application centers in American embassies around the world. Investigators say that only one of the three people who was supposed to be guarding Jeffrey Epstein was an actual prison guard, and none of the three checked on him every thirty minutes, as called for by Bureau of Prisons policy. Law enforcement officials say that Epstein was apparently dead for hours before he was found. Kevin Gosztola, a writer for Shadowproof.com and co-host of the podcast Unauthorized Disclosure, joins the show. Jury selection was supposed to begin today in the false statements trial of former Obama White House Counsel and Washington superlawyer Greg Craig. But Judge Amy Berman Jackson abruptly postponed the trial for three months, saying that she may have inadvertently violated his constitutional rights to a public trial. Craig is accused of lying to Mueller team investigators about work he did on Ukraine with former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort and his deputy, Rick Gates. Craig did not register as a foreign agent, and Gates is expected to be a key witness against him. Brian and John speak with Daniel Lazare, a journalist and author of three books--“The Frozen Republic,” “The Velvet Coup,” and “America's Undeclared War.” The Venezuelan legislature voted yesterday to create a commission to evaluate holding 2020 legislative elections early. This move comes as the country grapples with the newly-announced full embargo imposed on the country by the United States. Meanwhile, Argentine President Mauricio Macri was upset in that country’s first round of elections, causing the peso to fall 25 percent against the dollar, and the Argentine stock market to drop 35 percent. Paul Dobson, a writer for VenezuelAnalysis.com, joins the show. Russia’s state nuclear agency said that rocket fuel being tested on an offshore platform detonated last Thursday causing an explosion that killed nine people, including five scientists. US intelligence officials say the explosion was of a new nuclear-propelled cruise missile. Meanwhile, President Trump confirmed in a tweet that the United States has similar nuclear propulsion technology. Mark Sleboda, an international affairs and security analyst, joins Brian and John. Tuesday’s weekly series is False Profits—A Weekly Look at Wall Street and Corporate Capitalism with Daniel Sankey. Brian and John speak with financial policy analyst Daniel Sankey. Today’s regular segment that airs every Tuesday is called Women & Society with Dr. Hannah Dickinson. This weekly segment is about the major issues, challenges, and struggles facing women in all aspects of society. Hannah Dickinson, an associate professor at Hobart and William Smith Colleges and an organizer with the Geneva Women’s Assembly; Nathalie Hrizi, an educator, a political activist, and the editor of Breaking the Chains, a women’s magazine; and Loud & Clear producer Nicole Roussell join the show.

The Mystery of Jeffrey Epstein’s Death

Aug 12, 2019 6872

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On today's episode of Loud & Clear, Brian Becker and John Kiriakou are joined by Jacqueline Luqman, the co-editor-in-chief of Luqman Nation, which hosts a livestream every week on Facebook. Accused sex trafficker, pedophile, and friend of presidents Jeffrey Epstein apparently committed suicide in prison on Saturday, just a week after another suicide attempt. What will his death do in a case that threatened to implicate presidents past and present, a prince, senators and governors, a Harvard law professor, and others? And why was Epstein shielded from the consequences of his crimes for so long? Protests in Hong Kong continued to grow today with thousands of demonstrators raiding the international airport there and forcing the cancelation of all incoming and outgoing flights. Meanwhile, a Chinese government spokesman warned that Beijing was seeing increasing signs of terrorism in the protests. Mike Wong, the outreach coordinator for the San Francisco chapter of Veterans for Peace, joins the show. Hawaii Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard is carving out a niche for herself as one of the only truly anti-war candidates running for President. She made news over the weekend when she gave an interview reiterating her position that the United States should not be the world’s policeman. Brian and John speak with Bob Schlehuber, who had a chance to speak with Tulsi Gabbard at the Iowa State Fair, and is a Sputnik News analyst and the producer of the Sputnik News show By Any Means Necessary, which airs every day, Monday through Friday on 105.5 FM and 1390 AM in the Washington DC area from 2:00-4:00 PM. National Security Advisor John Bolton began a two-day trip to London yesterday to meet key players in the new government, including Prime Minister Boris Johnson. Bolton is expected to offer a free trade pact with the US and he will encourage the UK to support hardline US policies on Iran and Huawei. Neil Clark, a journalist and broadcaster whose work has appeared in The Guardian, The Week, and Morning Star, joins the show. Monday’s segment “Education for Liberation with Bill Ayers” is where Bill helps us look at the state of education across the country. What’s happening in our schools, colleges, and universities, and what impact does it have on the world around us? Sitting in for Bill is Mike Klonsky, an educator, author, and political activist best known for his work with Students for a Democratic Society and the small schools movement, and who has a podcast called “Hitting Left With the Klonsky Brothers.” In this segment, The Week Ahead, the hosts take a look at the most newsworthy stories of the coming week and what it means for the country and the world, including Jeffrey Epstein’s death in jail over the weekend, the Hong Kong protests that have shut down the airport, and the elections in Argentina. Sputnik News analysts and producers of this show Nicole Roussell and Walter Smolarek join the show. Monday’s regular segment Technology Rules with Chris Garaffa is a weekly guide on how monopoly corporations and the national surveillance state are threatening cherished freedoms, civil rights and civil liberties. Web developer and technologist Chris Garaffa joins the show.

Loss of Water Threatens a Quarter of Humanity

Aug 9, 2019 6699

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On today's episode of Loud & Clear, Brian Becker and John Kiriakou are joined by Jim Kavanagh, the editor of thepolemicist.net, and Sputnik News analysts and producers Walter Smolarek and Nicole Roussell. An alarming new study by the World Resources Institute found that a quarter of humanity lives in areas that are under “extreme water stress.” As climate change intensifies, major metropolitan areas are on the brink of running out of water and the threat of mass displacement looms. What can humanity do to address this crisis? Jodi Dean, a professor of Political Science at Hobart and William Smith Colleges and her latest book is Crowds and Party, and Fred Magdoff, professor emeritus of plant and soil science at the University of Vermont and the co-author of “What Every Environmentalist Needs to Know About Capitalism,” joins the show. The Iowa State Fair is a big deal, not just as far as state fairs go, although it is the biggest and most famous. But it’s also a major stop on the campaign trail every four years for Democrats and Republicans alike. The fair has been known to make lasting campaign memories, good and bad. Recall Howard Dean taking a bite of a fried Oreo and throwing the rest in the trash or John Kerry washing down a hotdog with a strawberry smoothie instead of a cold beer. Brian and John speak with Bob Schlehuber, a Sputnik News analyst and the producer of the Sputnik News show By Any Means Necessary, which airs every day, Monday through Friday on 105.5 FM and 1390 AM in the Washington DC area from 2:00-4:00 PM, and is at the Iowa State Fair. It’s Friday! So it’s time for the week’s worst and most misleading headlines. Brian and John speak with Steve Patt, an independent journalist whose critiques of the mainstream media have been a feature of his site Left I on the News and on twitter @leftiblog, and Sputnik producer Nicole Roussell. Friday is Loud & Clear’s weekly hour-long segment The Week in Review, about the week in politics, policy, and international affairs. Today they focus on the massacres in El Paso and Dayton, the huge immigration raid that took place in Mississippi, the anniversary of the killing of Mike Brown and subsequent Rebellion in Ferguson, and the anniversary of the U.S. atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

Mass Arrests in Mississippi

Aug 8, 2019 6941

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On today's episode of Loud & Clear, Brian Becker and John Kiriakou are joined by Mary Townsend, the director of El Pueblo Immigration Legal Services. In a coordinated operation, Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents yesterday arrested 680 immigrants believed to be undocumented and working in several companies across Mississippi. The raids coincided with President Trump’s visit to El Paso, Texas in the aftermath of the anti-Latino terrorist attack that took place there last weekend, and were the biggest immigration raids since 2006. President Trump and Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden made competing speeches yesterday in the aftermath of the weekend’s massacres in El Paso and Dayton. The President, after meeting with people injured in the Dayton attack, harshly criticized Democratic Senator Sherrod Brown and Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley. Meanwhile, former Vice President Biden delivered a speech in Iowa, accusing Trump of coddling white supremacists, an accusation that raised eyebrows considering Biden’s own past or working with white supremacists. Juan José Gutiérrez, the executive director of the Full Rights for Immigrants Coalition, joins the show. Puerto Rico’s Justice Secretary, Wanda Vasquez, yesterday became the island’s third governor in less than a week when she was sworn in following the resignation of Pedro Pierluisi. The Puerto Rican Supreme Court had declared that Pierluisi had assumed the office unconstitutionally. And he had become governor when Ricardo Rossello resigned after massive protests. But will the leadership change fix the problems on the island? Brian and John speak with Dr. Adriana Garriga-López, Department Chair and Associate Professor of Anthropology at Kalamazoo College. Disgraced former FBI agent Peter Strzok is suing his former employer, saying that he was inappropriately and illegally dismissed last year. A Justice Department official says the suit is “dead on arrival.” Strzok was fired after text messages that he exchanged with his girlfriend, a Justice Department attorney, which were highly critical of President Trump, were made public. Coleen Rowley, a former FBI special agent who in 2002 was named Time Magazine person of the year along with two other whistleblowers, joins the show. Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro yesterday pulled his government out of negotiations with the opposition aimed at resolving the country’s political crisis after President Trump issued an executive order imposing an embargo on the country. Maduro stopped short of abandoning the negotiations altogether, however. This is the second set of promising talks that the Trump administration has foiled, with the first in North Korea in the second peace summit. Ricardo Vaz, a writer and editor at Venezuelanalysis whose articles have appeared on Mint Press News, Truthout, Counterpunch, and other alternative media, joins Brian and John. Thursday’s weekly series “Criminal Injustice” is about the most egregious conduct of our courts and prosecutors and how justice is denied to so many people in this country. Paul Wright, the founder and executive director of the Human Rights Defense Center and editor of Prison Legal News (PLN), and Kevin Gosztola, a writer for Shadowproof.com and co-host of the podcast Unauthorized Disclosure, join the show. A regular Thursday segment deals with the ongoing militarization of space. As the US continues to withdraw from international arms treaties, will the weaponization and militarization of space bring the world closer to catastrophe? Brian and John speak with Prof. Karl Grossman, a full professor of journalism at the State University of New York, College at Old Westbury and the host of a nationally aired television program focused on environmental, energy, and space issues, and with Bruce Gagnon, coordinator of the Global Network Against Weapons & Nuclear Power in Space and a contributor to Foreign Policy In Focus.

"Red Flag" Gun Laws a Gift to the Police State but Won't Stop Massacres

Aug 7, 2019 6942

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On today's episode of Loud & Clear, Brian Becker and John Kiriakou are joined by Georgia political activist Brad Lathem. Congressional Republicans are under intense pressure to approve some sort of gun control legislation in the wake of recent massacres in El Paso and Dayton and, according to the New York Times, so-called “red flag” legislation is gaining traction. Such legislation would make it easier for law enforcement to take guns away from people who may pose a danger to the public, but who have not yet committed a crime, raising concerns over civil liberties and police powers. The Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons is the primary global body that looks at chemical weapons incidents. The hosts talk about potential biases in the OPCW’s investigation into alleged chemical weapons attacks in Syria and the officials who carry them out. Scott Ritter, a former United Nations Weapons Inspector and former Marine Corps Intelligence Officer, joins the show. A federal judge in the notorious Eastern District of Virginia ruled this morning that Chelsea Manning could be held for another 15 months on contempt charges for refusing to testify before a grand jury about her contact with Wikileaks and its cofounder, Julian Assange. Manning already has been held for three months and is being fined $1000 per day. Brian and John speak with Joe Lauria, the editor-in-chief of Consortium News, founded by the late Robert Parry. Far-right Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro said yesterday that he hopes “criminals die in the streets like cockroaches” as a result of hardline legislation he is pushing to shield security forces and citizens who shoot alleged offenders from prosecution. Activists fear this legal cover for extrajudicial killings would cause a bloodbath. Arnold August, an author who has written 3 books on US-Latin America relations, and a journalist whose articles appear on web sites around the world, joins the show. Well over a year away from the actual election, 67 billionaires have already donated to 20 Democrats running for president. The biggest recipient is Pete Buttigieg, with donations from 23 billionaires. Cory Booker has donations from 18. Kamala Harris 17. Michael Bennet 15. And Joe Biden 13. Is this enough to buy a nomination? Ted Rall, an award winning journalist and editorial cartoonist, joins Brian and John. Wednesday’s weekly series, In the News, is where the hosts look at the most important ongoing developments of the week and put them into perspective, focusing on the mass shooting in Dayton and the terrorist attack targeting Latinos in El Paso. Sputnik news analysts Nicole Roussell and Walter Smolarek join the show. Wednesday’s regular segment, Beyond Nuclear, is about nuclear issues, including weapons, energy, waste, and the future of nuclear technology in the United States. Kevin Kamps, the Radioactive Waste Watchdog at the organization Beyond Nuclear, and Sputnik news analyst and producer Nicole Roussell, join the show.

Escalating! Trump Declares Full-Scale Economic War Against Venezuela

Aug 6, 2019 6928

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On today's episode of Loud & Clear, Brian Becker and John Kiriakou are joined by Lucas Koerner, an activist and writer for VenezuelAnalysis.com. President Trump yesterday issued an executive order freezing all Venezuelan assets in the United States and prohibiting transactions with the country. The Wall Street Journal reports that the action amounts to a total economic embargo. The move puts Venezuela on par with North Korea, Syria, Cuba, and Iran as the only countries subject to such stringent US sanctions and is a direct challenge to Russia and China, which continue to trade with Venezuela. The Treasury Department yesterday labeled China a currency manipulator after the yuan weakened to less than seven to the dollar, pushing the trade dispute between Washington and Beijing to its most severe point yet. The US action came after China said it would institute a moratorium on the purchase of US farm goods. US stock markets fell three percent yesterday. Richard Wolff, a professor of Economics Emeritus, University of Massachusetts, Amherst and founder of the organization Democracy at Work. Prof. Wolff’s latest book is Capitalism's Crisis Deepens: Essays on the Global Economic Meltdown, joins the show. Two more shooting victims died yesterday in El Paso, bringing the total to 22 dead and dozens wounded in the worst anti-Latino attack in US history. Democrats and Republicans, however, are deeply divided on how to respond. And President Trump plans to visit the city tomorrow. Brian and John speak with Juan Carlos Ruiz, cofounder of the New Sanctuary Movement. Protests were held today across Pakistan to protest India’s constitutional changes that stripped Kashmir of its special status in a bid to fully integrate the Muslim-majority state into India, a move that involved the imprisonment of all top regional political leaders and the deployment of large numbers of additional troops. Kashmir is claimed by both countries and is a frequent flashpoint for violence. Sputnik news analyst Walter Smolarek joins the show. Toni Morrison, a giant of American literature who is perhaps best known for her 1988 novel Beloved, which explored the African American experience past and present, died today at the age of 88. Morrison was the recipient of the Nobel Prize for literature and the Presidential Medal of Freedom. Dr. Gerald Horne, a professor of history at the University of Houston and the author of many books, including his most recent “Jazz and Justice: Racism and the Political Economy of the Music” newly available from Monthly Review Press, joins Brian and John. Tuesday’s weekly series is False Profits—A Weekly Look at Wall Street and Corporate Capitalism with Daniel Sankey. Brian and John speak with financial policy analyst Daniel Sankey. Today’s regular segment that airs every Tuesday is called Women & Society with Dr. Hannah Dickinson. This weekly segment is about the major issues, challenges, and struggles facing women in all aspects of society. Hannah Dickinson, an associate professor at Hobart and William Smith Colleges and an organizer with the Geneva Women’s Assembly; Nathalie Hrizi, an educator, a political activist, and the editor of Breaking the Chains, a women’s magazine; and Loud & Clear producer Nicole Roussell join the show.

Mass Shootings and White Supremacy in US

Aug 5, 2019 6539

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On today's episode of Loud & Clear, Brian Becker and John Kiriakou are joined by Jacqueline Luqman, the co-editor-in-chief of Luqman Nation, which hosts a livestream every week on Facebook. The country experienced yet two more mass shootings over the weekend, with 20 dead and dozens wounded in El Paso and another nine dead and more than a dozen wounded in Dayton, Ohio. Both shooters were white men and their motives appear to be little more than blind hatred of those not like them. The El Paso shooter, who was captured, published a manifesto before launching his attack. The Dayton shooter was killed by police, but only after killing his own sister in his attack. Turkish President Erdogan said yesterday that Turkey would begin a major military operation in the Kuridsh-controlled area of northern Syria east of the Euphrates River. It would be the third Turkish operation to rout the Kurds close to its border. Ambassador Peter Ford, the former UK Ambassador to Syria, joins the show. Germany’s Foreign Minister reaffirmed today that the country would not take part in a US-sponsored naval coalition to escort ships through the Straits of Hormuz. Foreign Minister Heiko Maas complained that the current operation is led by the United States and includes only the UK. He said that Germany would consider an EU-led coalition, but until then, would not participate. Brian and John speak with Mohammad Marandi, an expert on American studies and postcolonial literature who teaches at the University of Tehran. Ricardo Rossello is out as governor of Puerto Rico following weeks of street protests, and now Pedro Pierluisi is in, although many Puerto Ricans already are questioning his legitimacy. Pierluisi was confirmed by the Puerto Rican House of Representatives, but he does not appear to have enough votes for confirmation in the Senate. Rossello, however, said that Pierluisi doesn’t need to be confirmed, citing a 1952 law. Still, the Commonwealth is lurching from one crisis to another. Dr. Adriana Garriga-López, Department Chair and Associate Professor of Anthropology at Kalamazoo College, joins the show. Monday’s segment “Education for Liberation with Bill Ayers” is where Bill helps us look at the state of education across the country. What’s happening in our schools, colleges, and universities, and what impact does it have on the world around us? Sitting in for Bill Ayers, Rick Ayers, a professor of education at the University of San Francisco, the author of “An Empty Seat in Class: Teaching and Learning after the Death of a Student,” and co-author of the book “You Can’t Fire the Bad Ones: And 18 Other Myths about Teachers, Teachers Unions, and Public Education,” joins Brian and John. In this segment, The Week Ahead, the hosts take a look at the most newsworthy stories of the coming week and what it means for the country and the world, including the two mass shootings that happened this weekend in Dayton, Ohio and El Paso, Texas; the situation in Iran, as Germany decides not to join the US naval coalition in the Gulf; and the additional tariffs president trump announced to go into effect september 1st against Chinese goods. Dan Kovalik, a human rights and labor lawyer who is the author of the book “The Plot to Overthrow Venezuela: How the US is Orchestrating a Coup for Oil,” joins the show. Monday’s regular segment Technology Rules with Chris Garaffa is a weekly guide on how monopoly corporations and the national surveillance state are threatening cherished freedoms, civil rights and civil liberties. Web developer and technologist Chris Garaffa joins the show.

Democratic Debates Marked by CNN's Pro-War, Pro-Establishment Bias

Aug 2, 2019 6919

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On today's episode of Loud & Clear, Brian Becker and John Kiriakou are joined by Nicole Roussell and Walter Smolarek, producers of this show and Sputnik News analysts. It’s time for our weekly segment The Week in Review, where we’ll talk about the week in politics, policy, and international affairs. This week we talk about a big roundup of the Democratic debates this week on subjects like criminal justice, nuclear proliferation, and immigration; the new tariffs on China; and the new economic warfare against Iran. The Syrian government has agreed to a truce and a ceasefire in the war-torn northwestern region of Idlib, on the condition that a Turkish-Russian buffer zone is implemented. The announcement yesterday followed weeks of heavy government bombardment, and came as talks resumed in Kazakhstan between Turkey, which backs the Syrian rebels, and government supporters Russia and Iran. Ambassador Peter Ford, the former UK Ambassador to Syria, joins the show. In a series of tweets yesterday, President Trump yesterday announced another round of tariffs on $300 billion worth of Chinese goods that had not already been targeted. The Chinese government immediately announced retaliatory countermeasures. And stock markets around the world fell on the news. Brian and John speak with David Ewing, the chair of the San Francisco chapter of the US-China People’s Friendship Association. From late 1918 through the summer of 1919, African-American soldiers returned to the United States from duty during World War I. They had fought and served valiantly, and they were anxious to get back to their families and their lives. What they returned to instead was violence, racism, and Jim Crow. And all of that culminated in the summer of 1919 in a series of riots across American. It was called Red Summer and it electrified the movement against racism in the country. Officially, 150 people were killed, almost all of them black. But the Arkansas State Archives says that 200 African-Americans were killed in that state alone. Dr. Gerald Horne, a professor of history at the University of Houston and the author of many books, including his most recent “Jazz and Justice: Racism and the Political Economy of the Music” newly available from Monthly Review Press, joins the show. It’s Friday! So it’s time for the week’s worst and most misleading headlines. Brian and John speak with Steve Patt, an independent journalist whose critiques of the mainstream media have been a feature of his site Left I on the News and on twitter @leftiblog, and Sputnik producer Nicole Roussell.

Tulsi Gabbard’s Takedown of Kamala Harris at Democratic Debate

Aug 1, 2019 6940

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On today's episode of Loud & Clear, Brian Becker and John Kiriakou are joined by Bob Schlehuber, a Sputnik News analyst and the producer of the Sputnik News show By Any Means Necessary, which airs on 105.5 FM and 1390 AM in the Washington DC area from 2:00-4:00 pm every day, and Ted Rall, an award-winning editorial cartoonist and columnist whose work is at www.rall.com. Democrats last night held their second debate in the latest series, with most candidates arriving prepared and ready for a fight. Thursday’s weekly series “Criminal Injustice” is about the most egregious conduct of our courts and prosecutors and how justice is denied to so many people in this country. Paul Wright, the founder and executive director of the Human Rights Defense Center and editor of Prison Legal News (PLN), and Kevin Gosztola, a writer for Shadowproof.com and co-host of the podcast Unauthorized Disclosure, join the show. The United States has imposed sanctions on Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif in the latest sign that it is completely uninterested in diplomatic engagement with Iran. Will the Trump administration further escalate its regime change push against Iran? Brian and John speak with Sean Reynolds, the co-coordinator of Voices for Creative Non-Violence. A regular Thursday segment deals with the ongoing militarization of space. As the US continues to withdraw from international arms treaties, will the weaponization and militarization of space bring the world closer to catastrophe? Brian and John speak with Prof. Karl Grossman, a full professor of journalism at the State University of New York, College at Old Westbury and the host of a nationally aired television program focused on environmental, energy, and space issues, and with Bruce Gagnon, coordinator of the Global Network Against Weapons & Nuclear Power in Space and a contributor to Foreign Policy In Focus. A new report issued on July 29th by the House Oversight committee based on 60,000 newly released internal corporate documents communications show that IP3, a private company led by retired generals and admirals, lobbied the White House to transfer U.S. nuclear technology to Saudi Arabia. U.S. hypocrisy is on full display as it’s military industrial complex -- and profit driven generals and admirals -- worked towards nuclear proliferation when it comes to Saudi Arabia. Kevin Kamps, the Radioactive Waste Watchdog at the organization Beyond Nuclear, joins Brian and John.

CNN Debate Host Pushes US Nuclear First-Strike Position

Jul 31, 2019 6962

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On today's episode of Loud & Clear, Brian Becker and John Kiriakou are joined by Bob Schlehuber, a Sputnik News analyst and the producer of the Sputnik News show By Any Means Necessary, which airs on 105.5 FM and 1390 AM in the Washington DC area from 2:00-4:00 pm every day. A second tranche of Democratic presidential candidates will debate tonight in Detroit. Last night’s debate saw Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren take command of a variety of issues, but second-tier candidates other than Marianne Williamson had difficulty breaking out of the pack. Tonight’s debate will feature Joe Biden and Kamala Harris and will cover some of the same issues as last night’s debate, including health care and infrastructure. Do you remember Maria Butina, the Russian graduate student who was convicted of failing to fill out a form identifying her as an agent or lobbyist for the Russian government? She’s still in prison for that process crime. And now her attorney is revealing that Butina’s former romantic partner was actually an FBI informant who targeted her for information. He reported to the FBI that Butina was not a spy. She really was just a graduate student. But the FBI and the US Attorney kept that exculpatory information from the defense. And that’s illegal. Coleen Rowley, a former FBI special agent who in 2002 was named Time Magazine person of the year along with two other whistleblowers, joins the show. A combination of political, environmental and infrastructure issues this year has pushed many farmers to the brink. The U.S.-China trade war, extreme heat and now for farmers in Nebraska and Wyoming the collapse of a huge irrigation canal has created a crisis that threatens to force many into bankruptcy. Brian and John speak with Dr. Upmanu Lall, Chair of the Department of Earth and Environmental Engineering at Columbia University and Director of the Columbia Water Center. The nomination of John Ratcliffe as Director of National Intelligence is bringing to the fore inconsistencies in his resume. Ratcliffe claims to have been a renowned fighter against terrorism as US attorney. But the case he alludes to is the infamous Holy Land Foundation Five case, which many observers believe to be a profound injustice. Miko Peled, the author of "Injustice: The Story of the Holy Land Foundation Five,” joins the show. North Korea fired two short-range ballistic missiles off of its east coast, according to the South Korean military. The missiles appear to be different from those fired last week. At that time, the North Korean media said that the launch was a warning over planned US-South Korean military exercises that simulate a war with the North. Author and professor Tim Beal, whose most recent book is “Crisis in Korea,” joins Brian and John. Wednesday’s weekly series, In the News, is where the hosts look at the most important ongoing developments of the week and put them into perspective. Today the panel concentrates on last night’s Democratic presidential primary debate. Sputnik news analysts Nicole Roussell and Walter Smolarek join the show. Wednesday’s regular segment, Beyond Nuclear, is about nuclear issues, including weapons, energy, waste, and the future of nuclear technology in the United States. Kevin Kamps, the Radioactive Waste Watchdog at the organization Beyond Nuclear, and Sputnik news analyst and producer Nicole Roussell, join the show.

US Tries to Dragoon “Allies” into Armada Against Iran in Persian Gulf

Jul 30, 2019 6914

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On today's episode of Loud & Clear, Brian Becker and John Kiriakou are joined by Mohammad Marandi, an expert on American studies and postcolonial literature who teaches at the University of Tehran. The US and UK are asking their European allies to participate in a program whereby allied navies would escort western tankers through the Straits of Hormuz. The Iranian government condemned the idea as provocative and Oman, the country which usually mediates between the US and Iran, said that it is in touch with both sides. Germany has said it has no concrete plans to join the effort. Democratic presidential candidates will debate again tonight and tomorrow in Detroit. The event will be hosted by CNN. The second-tier candidates will likely try to break out of the pack on the issues of healthcare, student debt, and social justice, with pundits watching Kamala Harris, Pete Buttigieg, Beto O’Rourke, Amy Klobuchar, and Julian Castro most closely. Bob Schlehuber, a Sputnik News analyst and the producer of the Sputnik News show By Any Means Necessary, which airs on 105.5 FM and 1390 AM in the Washington DC area from 2:00-4:00 pm every day, joins the show. The Senate yesterday failed to override the president’s veto of a bipartisan measure that would have suspended arms sales to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates because of the war in Yemen and the Saudi murder of Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoqgi. All five freshman Democrats with CIA experience in the House voted with the President. Meanwhile, a Saudi attack on a market in Yemen has reportedly killed 13 civilians and Khalid Shaikh Muhammad, the mastermind of the 9/11 attacks, said that he would be willing to help 9/11 families in their lawsuits against the Saudi government if that US government abandons plans to execute him. Brian and John speak with Ali al-Ahmed, the director of the Institute for Gulf Affairs. A new report released by the United Nations shows that 1,366 civilians have been killed and another 2,446 have been wounded in Afghanistan so far in the first half of this year. That is a 27 percent decline from last year’s record numbers. 52 percent of the casualties were caused by the Taliban, ISIS, and affiliated groups, 28 percent by Improvised Explosive Devices, and 14 percent by allied airstrikes. Afghan leaders vowed to reduce civilian casualties at talks in Doha earlier this month, and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said that the administration aims to withdraw U.S. forces from the country before the 2020 election. Medea Benjamin, the co-founder of the peace group Code Pink, joins the show. British Prime Minister Boris Johnson today reaffirmed his commitment to having no checks or impediments of any kind at the Irish border once the UK leaves the European Union. He added that his government is committed to the Belfast Agreement and will not hinder cross-border movement. But a leaked recording of Johnson speaking recently to a group called the Institute of Directors, shows that he simply does not understand the details of the border issue. Neil Clark, a journalist and broadcaster whose work has appeared in The Guardian, The Week, and Morning Star, joins Brian and John. Tuesday’s weekly series is False Profits—A Weekly Look at Wall Street and Corporate Capitalism with Daniel Sankey. Brian and John speak with financial policy analyst Daniel Sankey. Today’s regular segment that airs every Tuesday is called Women & Society. This weekly segment is about the major issues, challenges, and struggles facing women in all aspects of society. Hannah Dickinson, an associate professor at Hobart and William Smith Colleges and an organizer with the Geneva Women’s Assembly, Karla Reyes, managing editor of the women’s magazine Breaking the Chains, and Loud & Clear producer Nicole Roussell join the show.

Supreme Court Backs Trump Over Congress for "The Wall"

Jul 29, 2019 7046

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On today's episode of Loud & Clear, Brian Becker and John Kiriakou are joined by Juan José Gutiérrez, the executive director of the Full Rights for Immigrants Coalition. Uniformed soldiers are now monitoring migrants in a detention camp in Texas in what may be a violation of the Posse Comitatus Act of 1878, one of the cornerstones of American civil liberties. Active duty troops are only allowed to help domestic law enforcement under limited exceptions to the law, including when they are specifically authorized by an act of Congress or under conditions laid out in the Constitution. Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats submitted his resignation yesterday and President Trump tweeted that he would replace Coats with two-term Representative John Ratcliffe of Texas. Ratcliffe is a former US Attorney and has almost no intelligence experience. But what does the position even entail? And how was the relatively new office of the DNI created in the first place? A new report from the New York Times reveals the extent to which Boeing was allowed by the FAA to effectively self-regulate when it came to their MCAS software system, the failure of which caused the crashes of two Boeing 737 Max8 jets, killing 346 people. Brian and John speak with Dr. Alan Diehl, an award-winning aviation psychologist and safety consultant, a major 1990s air safety whistleblower, and the author of the book “Air Safety Investigators.” Doubling down on his reelection strategy of enflaming racist sentiment, President Trump tweeted about Baltimore, Maryland over the weekend, calling the city, “a disgusting rat and rodent-infested mess.” He specifically criticized the district’s congressman, Rep. Elijah Cummings, who has represented Baltimore for 23 years. Trump then went on to say that Baltimore is “far worse and more dangerous than the US-Mexico border and is a very dangerous and filthy place. Eugene Puryear, the host of Radio Sputnik’s By Any Means Necessary, which airs Monday through Friday from 2pm to 4pm on 105.5 FM and 1390 AM in the Washington area and online at SputnikNews.com, joins the show. Monday’s segment “Education for Liberation with Bill Ayers” is where Bill helps us look at the state of education across the country. What’s happening in our schools, colleges, and universities, and what impact does it have on the world around us? Joel Westheimer, University Research Chair in Democracy and Education at the University of Ottawa and education columnist for CBC Radio’s Ottawa Morning and Ontario Today shows, joins John and Brian. In this segment, The Week Ahead, the hosts take a look at the most newsworthy stories of the coming week and what it means for the country and the world, including the Democratic Party primary debate, President Trump’s attacks on Baltimore, and ongoing controversy of Robert Mueller’s congressional testimony. Sputnik News analysts and producers of this show Nicole Roussell and Walter Smolarek join the show. Monday’s regular segment Technology Rules with Chris Garaffa is a weekly guide on how monopoly corporations and the national surveillance state are threatening cherished freedoms, civil rights and civil liberties. Web developer and technologist Chris Garaffa joins the show.

More, More, More: Pentagon Spending Drains the National Treasury

Jul 26, 2019 6743

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On today's episode of Loud & Clear, Brian Becker and John Kiriakou are joined by Lee Camp, a writer, comedian, activist, journalist, and host of the television show “Redacted Tonight,” on RT America, whose work is at www.leecamp.com. A new two-year spending deal passed by Congress on Thursday with President Trump’s support raises spending by hundreds of billions of dollars over current spending caps and allows the government to keep raising the debt ceiling. It also allows for yet greater military spending about $40 billion over current levels. Current spending on defense is more than the next eight largest countries combined. The deal also spells the death of the Budget Control Act of 2011, which sought, briefly, to rein in spending. Presidential candidate Tulsi Gabbard has filed a federal lawsuit against Google, alleging that the tech giant illegally suspended her campaign’s advertising account after the June Democratic debate, obstructing her ability to raise money, and that it sent fundraising emails to the spam folder for those on her mailing list who use the company’s gmail service. Brian and John speak with Ted Rall, an award-winning editorial cartoonist and columnist whose work is at www.rall.com. The US on Thursday imposed sanctions on ten individuals and 13 companies associated with the Venezuelan government, accusing them of forming part of a sophisticated scheme that stole hundreds of millions of dollars from food import contracts associated with the CLAP program, which delivers heavily subsidized basic goods directly to Venezuelans and serves as a cornerstone of the Maduro government’s response to the country’s economic crisis. The Venezuelan government says that the new U.S. measures are targeted at the CLAP program itself and aim at intensifying the economic war by preventing the sanctioned companies from importing consumer goods. Brian and John speak with Paul Dobson, a writer for VenezuelAnalysis.com. Officials from Greece, Cyprus, Israel, and the United States met at the State Department yesterday to discuss a US-backed regional economic initiative in the eastern Mediterannean. The four countries are looking to expand cooperation on Cypriot oil drilling in the face of a challenge from Turkey, which has begun drilling for oil in Cypriot waters and has sent warships to the area. Massoud Shadjareh, the founder of the Islamic Human Rights Commission, joins the show. It’s Friday! So it’s time for the week’s worst and most misleading headlines. Brian and John speak with Steve Patt, an independent journalist whose critiques of the mainstream media have been a feature of his site Left I on the News and on twitter @leftiblog, and Sputnik producer Nicole Roussell. Friday is Loud & Clear’s weekly hour-long segment The Week in Review, about the week in politics, policy, and international affairs. Today they focus on Mueller’s testimony and the senate report that came out the day after claiming Russian interference in all 50 states without offering a shred of specific evidence, the protests in Puerto Rico that have forced the governor to resign, and Boris Johnson becoming the new Prime Minister of the UK. Brian and John speak with Sputnik News analysts and producers Walter Smolarek and Nicole Roussell.

Mueller Falls from Grace but Russiagate Hoax will not Die

Jul 25, 2019 6847

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On today's episode of Loud & Clear, Brian Becker and John Kiriakou are joined by Aaron Maté, a journalist with The Grayzone and The Nation, who launched a new show this week on The Grayzone called Pushback with Aaron Maté. Former Special Counsel Robert Mueller testified yesterday in front of two committees. Despite his clear lack of knowledge of the report and refusal to answer the majority of questions, headlines today included the New York Times’ “Mueller Defends Inquiry and Says Russia Isn’t Done: Rejects ‘Witch Hunt’ Claim and Warns of New Meddling.” Thursday’s weekly series “Criminal Injustice” is about the most egregious conduct of our courts and prosecutors and how justice is denied to so many people in this country. Paul Wright, the founder and executive director of the Human Rights Defense Center and editor of Prison Legal News (PLN), and Kevin Gosztola, a writer for Shadowproof.com and co-host of the podcast Unauthorized Disclosure, join the show. Puerto Rico Governor Ricardo Rosselló resigned yesterday effective next week in the aftermath of a crippling scandal that began when leaked chat logs showed that he had used homophobic and misogynistic language about Puerto Rican politicians and personalities and that he had mocked victims of Hurricane Maria. Over the past week, the island has seen the largest demonstrations in its history. Rosselló is expected to be replaced by Puerto Rico’s Secretary of Justice, Wanda Vasquez. Brian and John speak with Dr. Maritza Stanchich, a professor of English at the University of Puerto Rico, an award-winning journalist, and a longtime activist in the areas of human rights and civil rights, and Dr. Adriana Garriga-López, Department Chair and Associate Professor of Anthropology at Kalamazoo College. Britain’s new Prime Minister Boris Johnson reshaped the UK government today by appointing a cabinet that is arguably the most conservative in the country’s history. One national political observer said, “it’s not a reshuffle. It’s an entirely new government.” Foreign Minister Jeremy Hunt and Finance Minister Phillip Hammond were both fired, while Johnson named Dominic Raab as Foreign Secretary, and named his brother Joe, Johnson, as Minister of State for Business, Energy, and Industrial Strategy. Meanwhile, rumors abound that Scotland may ask for another referendum on leaving the UK and the impending exit of the country from the European Union causes a cascading political crisis. Andy Brennan, a journalist with Asia Times and CGTN, joins the show. A regular Thursday segment deals with the ongoing militarization of space. As the US continues to withdraw from international arms treaties, will the weaponization and militarization of space bring the world closer to catastrophe? Brian and John speak with Prof. Karl Grossman, a full professor of journalism at the State University of New York, College at Old Westbury and the host of a nationally aired television program focused on environmental, energy, and space issues, and with Bruce Gagnon, coordinator of the Global Network Against Weapons & Nuclear Power in Space and a contributor to Foreign Policy In Focus.

Mueller Hearings: Another Colossal Democratic Party Blunder

Jul 25, 2019 6990

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On today's episode of Loud & Clear, Brian Becker and John Kiriakou are joined by Jim Kavanagh, the editor of thepolemicist.net, whose latest article on the topic is “Investigation Nation: Mueller, Russiagate, and Fake Politics.” Former Special Counsel Robert Mueller testified before the House Judiciary and Intelligence Committees today. Mueller appeared confused and slow at many points during the testimony as Democrats tried to keep the Russiagate narrative going and Republicans tried in vain to get Mueller to comment on the shadowy origins of the investigation into the 2016 Trump campaign. Wednesday’s regular segment, Beyond Nuclear, is about nuclear issues, including weapons, energy, waste, and the future of nuclear technology in the United States. Kevin Kamps, the Radioactive Waste Watchdog at the organization Beyond Nuclear, and Sputnik news analyst and producer Nicole Roussell, join the show. The hosts continue their coverage of the Mueller hearings. Brian and John speak with Daniel Lazare, a journalist and author of three books--“The Frozen Republic,” “The Velvet Coup,” and “America's Undeclared War.” The Justice Department has opened an antitrust investigation into several tech giants, including Facebook, Amazon, Apple, and Google, to determine how they got so big and whether they have illegally squelched competitors. The real question is “should they be broken up?” Meanwhile, Facebook will have to pay a $5 billion fine for failing to protect users’ data. Steve Keen, the author of “Debunking Economics” and the world’s first crowdfunded economist whose work is at patreon.com/ProfSteveKeen, joins the show. Boris Johnson officially took office as the new Prime Minister of the UK today and proceeded to reshape the country’s cabinet and replace half of his ministers as he prepares to lead the country out of the European Union by the end of October. Londoners even formed a human chain across the road to block his car from going to Buckingham Palace to be named Prime Minister. Steve Hedley, the senior assistant general secretary of the UK’s Rail, Maritime, and Transport Workers Union, joins Brian and John. As of today, Benjamin Netanyahu is the longest serving Prime Minister in the history of the State of Israel. His legacy will be one of polarization, one of expansion and even corruption. But he has become the very definition of Israeli politics. What does that mean for peace or even for continuing expansion of Jewish settlements or destruction of Palestinian villages? Miko Peled, the author of “The General’s Son - A Journey of an Israeli in Palestine” and "Injustice: The Story of the Holy Land Foundation Five, joins the show.

.02% of British Population Chooses Boris Johnson as Next Prime Minister

Jul 23, 2019 6826

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On today's episode of Loud & Clear, Brian Becker and John Kiriakou are joined by Neil Clark, a journalist and broadcaster whose work has appeared in The Guardian, The Week, and Morning Star. Britain’s Conservatives today voted for Boris Johnson to take over the party’s leadership. He will become Prime Minister tomorrow afternoon. Nearly 160,000 Conservative Party members voted and gave Johnson 66 percent to Jeremy Hunt’s 34 percent. Johson said his matra would be Deliver Brexit, Unite the Country, and Defeat Jeremy Corbyn. When a reported noted that this spelled “DUD,” Johnson added, “Energize the Country,” and said, “That’s what we’re going to do, DUDE.” In the meantime, several cabinet ministers already have resigned. Former Special Counsel Robert Mueller will testify tomorrow before the House Judiciary and Intelligence Committees following two years of silence and release of his written report on allegations of collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia. Mueller, however, is unlikely to say anything of substance. He already told Congress that he would limit his statement and answers to what was released in the report. And the Justice Department yesterday instructed him to limit the scope of his testimony solely to the report and the information contained in it. Jim Kavanagh, the editor of thepolemicist.net, joins the show. Venezuela was hit again yesterday by a nationwide power outage that the Information Minister blamed on an “electromagnetic attack.” At least 14 of Venezuela’s 24 states were affected when the power went off yesterday at 4:00, snarling traffic and causing chaos during rush hour. Venezuela suffered a series of blackouts in March, which the government blamed on US attempts to disrupt the Guri hydroelectric dam. The attack on the electric grid comes as the Venezuelan government says U.S. spy planes entered the country’s airspace and hardline factions of the opposition seek to derail the political dialogue sponsored by Norway. Brian and John speak with Chuck Kaufman, he is the National Co-Coordinator of the Alliance for Global Justice. More than 400,000 people took to the streets of San Juan yesterday in the largest demonstrations ever to have taken place in Puerto Rico. Protestors want Governor Ricardo Rosselló to resign. We told you yesterday that Rosselló has caught making misogynistic and homophobic remarks about prominent Puerto Ricans and mocking victims of Hurricane Maria in private chats with friends and other governmental officials. His political allies have abandoned him. And even the island’s largest-circulation daily newspaper told the governor in a front-page editorial to quit. Dr. Mariolga Reyes Cruz, an adjunct professor of psychology at the University of Puerto Rico and a founding and active member of PAReS, an education collective, and Aurora Santiago-Ortiz, Research Enhancement and Leadership (REAL) Fellow and a doctoral student in Social Justice Education at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, join the show. Israeli elections will take place on September 17 and the Knesset, Israel’s parliament, will likely move even further to the right. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu probably will remain as Prime Minister, despite the fact that he has serious corruption-related felonies hanging over his head. And all the while, the government will continue to raze Palestinian villages, burn Palestinian fields, and build Israeli settlements in their place. Dr. Yousef Jabareen, a member of the Israeli Knesset representing Hadash, a progressive party that draws its support primarily from the country’s Palestinian population, joins Brian and John. Tuesday’s weekly series is False Profits—A Weekly Look at Wall Street and Corporate Capitalism with Daniel Sankey. Brian and John speak with financial policy analyst Daniel Sankey. Today’s regular segment that airs every Tuesday is called Women & Society. This weekly segment is about the major issues, challenges, and struggles facing women in all aspects of society. Hannah Dickinson, an associate professor at Hobart and William Smith Colleges and an organizer with the Geneva Women’s Assembly, Karla Reyes, managing editor of the women’s magazine Breaking the Chains, and Loud & Clear producer Nicole Roussell join the show.

Puerto Rico Gov. Under Siege With Hundreds of Thousands on the Streets

Jul 23, 2019 6898

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On today's episode of Loud & Clear, Brian Becker and John Kiriakou are joined by Bob Schlehuber, a Sputnik News analyst and the producer of the Sputnik News show By Any Means Necessary, which is on 105.5 FM and 1390 AM in the Washington DC area from 2:00-4:00 pm every day. Puerto Rico Governor Ricardo Rosselló, who has been buffeted by massive demonstrations since news leaked that he had used misogynistic and homophobic language about other politicians and popular Puerto Rican personalities as well as mocking huricane victims, announced over the weekend that he would not seek reelection in 2020. But that’s not good enough for demonstrators, who are continuing their protests and are demanding that he resign immediately. British Prime Minister Theresa May demanded today that Iran release a UK-flagged oil tanker that it had seized late last week in the Strait of Hormuz. She said the ship was seized under “false and illegal pretenses.” But the British continue to hold an Iranian tanker that they seized a week earlier off the coast of Gibraltar. And they took that action at the behest of National Security Advisor John Bolton. Dr. Zeinab Ghasemi, a professor of American studies at the University of Tehran, joins the show. Ukranian President Volodymir Zelensky’s party is projected to win a majority of seats in the country’s 450-seat parliament. It would be the first time since Ukraine’s independence in 1991 that a party has won an outright majority. But what does that mean for foreign policy, especially toward NATO and Russia? Brian and John speak with Bruce Gagnon, a contributor to Foreign Policy In Focus, and Jeremy Kuzmarov, a professor of American history whose latest book is “The Russians Are Coming, Again: The First Cold War as Tragedy, the Second as Farce”. President Trump welcomed Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan to the White House today for the first time. The two have engaged in Twitter feuds in the past, but they agree on the need for continuing negotiations between the Afghan government and the Taliban. Brian Terrell, a long time peace activist and a co-coordinator of Voices for Creative Nonviolence, joins the show. Monday’s segment “Education for Liberation with Bill Ayers” is where Bill helps us look at the state of education across the country. What’s happening in our schools, colleges, and universities, and what impact does it have on the world around us? Bill is out today and Derek Ford, an assistant professor of education studies at DePauw University and a community organizer whose latest book is “Education and the Production of Space,” joins Brian and John. In this segment, The Week Ahead, the hosts take a look at the most newsworthy stories of the coming week and what it means for the country and the world, including the ongoing protests in Puerto Rico; the acceleration of tensions between Europe, the US, and Iran; and Robert Mueller’s testimony on Wednesday. Bob Schlehuber, a Sputnik News analyst and the producer of the Sputnik News show By Any Means Necessary, and Sputnik News analysts and producers of this show Nicole Roussell and Walter Smolarek, join the show. Monday’s regular segment Technology Rules with Chris Garaffa is a weekly guide on how monopoly corporations and the national surveillance state are threatening cherished freedoms, civil rights and civil liberties. Web developer and technologist Chris Garaffa joins the show.

Who's the Real Aggressor in the U.S.-Iran Confrontation?

Jul 19, 2019 6976

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On today's episode of Loud & Clear, Walter Smolarek and John Kiriakou are joined by Vijay Prashad, Director of Tricontinental: Institute for Social Research and Chief Editor of LeftWord Books. The panel takes a look at the biggest stories of the week, including escalating U.S.-Iran tensions, massive protests in Puerto Rico, President Trump’s attacks on Representatives Omar, Ocasio-Cortez, Tlaib and Pressley and a power-sharing agreement between protesters and the military in Sudan. President Trump said yesterday that the US Navy had shot down an Iranian drone that came within 100 yards of the USS Boxer. A Navy official said that there were several other contacts between Navy ships and Iranian forces in the hours before the shoot down. The Iranian government, however, denied the charge said that the US may have accidentally shot down its own drone. Medea Benjamin, co-founder of the peace group Code Pink, joins the show. Large-scale protests continued in Puerto Rico yesterday as outrage over Governor Ricardo Rossello’s many scandals reach a boiling point. Fierce clashes have broken out as police try to break up demonstrations, but the movement has continued nonetheless. Walter and John speak with Sputnik News analyst Bob Schlehueber, who traveled to Puerto Rico to cover the protests British parliamentarians last night passed a measure that would prevent the next Prime Minister from suspending parliament to force through a no-deal Brexit. The move undermines the hard-line strategy of Boris Johnson, who is widely expected to become Prime Minister next week. The move opens the door for yet another Brexit delay. Neil Clark, a journalist and broadcaster whose work has appeared in The Guardian, The Week, and Morning Star, joins the show. The Intermediate Range Nuclear Forces Treaty, or INF, appears to be coming to an end. The US is demanding that Russia destroy its SSC-8 missile systems by August 2, which it says are in violation of the INF. But Moscow says that the systems do not violate the INF and they will take no action in the coming weeks. NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg has made multiple public comments on the issue this week as the alliance ramps up for a possible arms race. Mark Sleboda, an international affairs and security analyst, joins Walter and John. Again this week we’ll look at the worst, most misleading, funniest, and the just plain wrong headlines of the past week. Steve Patt, an independent journalist whose critiques of the mainstream media have been a feature of his site Left I on the News, joins the show.

Puerto Ricans Rise Up to Demand Governor's Resignation

Jul 18, 2019 6841

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Protests calling for the resignation of Puerto Rican Governor Ricardo Rosello escalated overnight, as demonstrators overturned barricades and police fired tear gas into the crowds. The demonstrations came in the wake of the release of nearly 900 pages of chat logs between Rosello and 11 friends whom he has named to top governmental positions that mocked victims of the 2017 hurricanes and reveal misogyny, homophobia, and severe personal criticism of prominent Puerto Rican personalities. Demonstrations also took place in at least 10 cities across the US. The Iranian media are reporting that the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps has seized what it calls a “foreign oil tanker” carrying one million liters of smuggled fuel. An IRGC statement said that Iranian dhows, small wooden boats, were carrying fuel to the tanker, which was seized in the Strait of Hormuz. The United States also announced that it is sending troops to Saudi Arabia. Massoud Shadjareh, the founder of the Islamic Human Rights Commission, joins the show. President Trump was speaking at a rally in North Carolina last night when he prompted chants of “send her back” by attacking Rep. Ilhan Omar, a naturalized citizen of Somali origin who is a member of the House of Representatives. Trump paused to allow the chanting to swell, and it was followed by shouts of “traitor” and “treason.” Meanwhile, a motion to impeach the President for his recent comments that were widely condemned as racist was killed in the House of Representatives when it was tabled before it could be voted on. John speaks with Jacqueline Luqman, the co-editor-in-chief of Luqman Nation, which hosts a livestream every Thursday night at 9:00 p.m. on Facebook. The Pentagon announced yesterday that it will further militarize the border, sending 1,100 active duty troops and 1,000 members of the Texas National Guard to the border with Mexico in support of President Trump’s immigration crackdown. These troops will carry out logistical support and aerial surveillance, and will be in addition to the 4,500 troops and national guardsmen already at the border. Isabel Garcia, co-founder of Coalición de Derechos Humanos, joins the show. Turkey is officially out of the F-35 program, the U.S. government announced yesterday. Turkey’s purchase of the Russian-made S-400 air defense system was labeled an existential threat to the F-35 by the Pentagon, bringing relations between the U.S. and Turkey -- nominally NATO allies -- to a new low. Sputnik News analyst Walter Smolarek joins John. A regular Thursday segment deals with the ongoing militarization of space. As the US continues to withdraw from international arms treaties, will the weaponization and militarization of space bring the world closer to catastrophe? Brian and John speak with Prof. Karl Grossman, a full professor of journalism at the State University of New York, College at Old Westbury and the host of a nationally aired television program focused on environmental, energy, and space issues. Thursday’s weekly series “Criminal Injustice” is about the most egregious conduct of our courts and prosecutors and how justice is denied to so many people in this country. Paul Wright, the founder and executive director of the Human Rights Defense Center and editor of Prison Legal News (PLN), and Kevin Gosztola, a writer for Shadowproof.com and co-host of the podcast Unauthorized Disclosure, join the show.

Trump is Setting the 2020 Political Agenda: Will He Win Again?

Jul 17, 2019 6923

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The House of Representatives last night voted almost completely along party lines to condemn President Trump’s recent comments about four progressive women of color recently elected to the House of Representatives. The final vote was 240-187, with only four Republicans and one independent who caucuses with the Republicans voting in favor. Trump tweeted over the weekend that Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ilhan Omar, Ayanna Pressley, and Rashida Tlaib should “go back to the countries they came from.” Three of the four were born in the United States, and one was naturalized as a citizen even before the First Lady was. New reports have emerged showing that $40 million in humanitarian funds from the US Agency for International Development apparently have been diverted to pay for Venezuelan coup leader’s Juan Guaido’s effort to install himself as president. Meanwhile, the European Union is preparing targeted sanctions against Venezuelan security officials responsible for alleged human rights violations. Arnold August, an author who has written 3 books on US-Latin America issues and a journalist whose articles appear on web sites across the world, joins the show. Former German Defense Minister Ursula Von der Leyen was elected head of the European Commission yesterday and will replace Jean-Claude Junker on November 1. Von der Leyen is a member of the conservative bloc in the European Parliament and was elected with the support of the liberal bloc of which French President Emmanuel Macron’s party is a member. Von der Leyen is facing an ongoing scandal in Germany over concealing huge payments to outside contractors hired by the Defense Ministry. Brian and John speak with Sputnik news analyst Walter Smolarek. Big tech firms were under fire at a high profile Congressional hearing conducted by the House Judiciary Committee yesterday, raising the spectre of serious anti-trust action against Amazon and other tech giants. Meanwhile, negotiations between the major US automakers and the United Auto Workers Union are breaking down because the companies want concessions in case there is a recession. So are we headed into a recession? Richard Wolff, a professor of Economics Emeritus, University of Massachusetts, Amherst and founder of the organization Democracy at Work. Prof. Wolff’s latest book is Capitalism's Crisis Deepens: Essays on the Global Economic Meltdown, joins the show. Wednesday’s weekly series, In the News, is where the hosts look at the most important ongoing developments of the week and put them into perspective. Sputnik news analysts Nicole Roussell and Walter Smolarek join the show. Wednesday’s regular segment, Beyond Nuclear, is about nuclear issues, including weapons, energy, waste, and the future of nuclear technology in the United States. Kevin Kamps, the Radioactive Waste Watchdog at the organization Beyond Nuclear, and Sputnik news analyst and producer Nicole Roussell, join the show.

Exposing the Lies in CNN Fake Assange “Exclusive”

Jul 16, 2019 6763

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CNN claims in what it calls an “exclusive report” that Russian intelligence officers met with Wikileaks co-founder Julian Assange to give him DNC emails they had allegedly hacked. But there is no evidence that Assange met with Russian intelligence, just with a Russian producer...of his own TV show. Almost two years after Hurricane Maria devastated Puerto Rico and exposed deep problems in the government there, Governor Ricardo Rosello has found himself in trouble. Somebody has leaked 889 pages of chat logs between the governor and eight friends of his, who are also in government, in which he uses highly-charged, misogynistic, and homophobic language when talking about other Puerto Rican politicians, entertainers, and prominent citizens. The Puerto Rican media is calling it Rosello’s deepest crisis as governor. Dr. Adriana Garriga-López, Department Chair and Associate Professor of Anthropology at Kalamazoo College, joins the show. Attorney General Bill Barr said yesterday that he agreed with his Department’s Civil Rights Division to not pursue federal charges against the New York City police officer who killed Eric Garner in 2014. Garner was selling single cigarettes from an untaxed pack when he was approached by police officers, wrestled to the ground, and put in an illegal chokehold. He pleaded with the officers, saying, “I can’t breathe” 11 times before dying. Brian and John speak with Kofi Ademola, an activist and organizer with the Black Lives Matter movement, and Joel Northam, an activist with the Justice Center en El Barrio. The government of North Korea issued a statement today saying that Pyongyang would consider rethinking whether it should abide by its moratorium on missile and other tests if the US goes forward with a joint military exercise with South Korea. The statement, which was issued by the Foreign Ministry, appeared to be aimed at pushing the US back to the negotiating table. Kevin Zeese, co-coordinator of Popular Resistance whose work is at popularresistance.org, joins the show. David Marcus, the head of Calibra--that’s Facebook’s new cryptocurrency Libra--testified before the Senate Banking Committee yesterday. He fended off hostility from some senators and said that Libra would not launch until every senator’s questions had been answered. Meanwhile, the Philippines, a major Asian tech market, has chosen China’s Huawei for its new 5G network. And President Trump yesterday tweeted that he would “take a look” at Google after a billionaire friend, Peter Thiel, said that Google should be charged with treason for working with the Chinese government. Patricia Gorky, a software engineer and technology and security analyst, joins Brian and John. Tuesday’s weekly series is False Profits—A Weekly Look at Wall Street and Corporate Capitalism with Daniel Sankey. Brian and John speak with financial policy analyst Daniel Sankey. Today’s regular segment that airs every Tuesday is called Women & Society. This weekly segment is about the major issues, challenges, and struggles facing women in all aspects of society. Hannah Dickinson, an associate professor at Hobart and William Smith Colleges and an organizer with the Geneva Women’s Assembly, Karla Reyes, managing editor of the women’s magazine Breaking the Chains, and Loud & Clear producer Nicole Roussell join the show.

Following Rift with Pelosi, Trump Jumps into Fray vs. Progressive Reps

Jul 16, 2019 6935

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President Trump tweeted this weekend in reference to Representatives Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ayanna Pressley, Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib, “go back and help fix the totally broken and crime infested places from which they came...I’m sure that Nancy Pelosi would be very happy to quickly work out free travel arrangements!” His racist comments were in the context of a widening rift between moderate Democratic House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi and the four progressive Congresswomen. Anti-immigrant raids begun by Immigration and Customs Enforcement over the weekend largely failed to materialize, but still spread fear in immigrant communities across the country. Meanwhile, the Trump administration rolled out a new hardline policy making it more difficult to apply for asylum. Jorge Barón, the executive director of the Northwest Immigrant Rights Project, and Juan Carlos Ruiz, cofounder of the New Sanctuary Movement, join the show. European Union Foreign Ministers are currently meeting in Brussels to discuss ways to save the Iran nuclear deal, but Iran is expressing skepticism that the EU powers will deliver on promised sanctions relief. Walter and John speak with Mohammad Marandi, an expert on American studies and postcolonial literature who teaches at the University of Tehran. One hundred Amazon employees at a cavernous warehouse in Minnesota are on strike today to protest working conditions, poor benefits, an anti-labor corporate culture, and treatment of employees at the company. The strike falls on what Amazon calls Prime Day, one of the company’s flagship events that generates billions of dollars in profits. Meanwhile, federal authorities have ordered Facebook to pay the largest ever corporate fine--$5 billion-- for mishandling users private data. Dr. Jack Rasmus, a professor of economics at Saint Mary's College of California, author of “Central Bankers at the End of Their Ropes: Monetary Policy and the Coming Depression,” joins the show. Monday’s segment “Education for Liberation with Bill Ayers” is where Bill helps us look at the state of education across the country. What’s happening in our schools, colleges, and universities, and what impact does it have on the world around us? Joel Westheimer, University Research Chair in Democracy and Education at the University of Ottawa and education columnist for CBC Radio’s Ottawa Morning and Ontario Today shows, joins John and Walter. In this segment, The Week Ahead, the hosts take a look at the most newsworthy stories of the coming week and what it means for the country and the world, including President Trump’s racist attack on four progressive Congresswomen, the administration’s latest attacks on immigrants, and Amazon Prime Day boycotts and strikes. Ted Rall, an award-winning editorial cartoonist and columnist whose work is at www.rall.com, and Sputnik News analysts and producers of this show Nicole Roussell and Walter Smolarek, join the show. Monday’s regular segment Technology Rules with Chris Garaffa is a weekly guide on how monopoly corporations and the national surveillance state are threatening cherished freedoms, civil rights and civil liberties. Web developer and technologist Chris Garaffa joins the show.

Epstein In Jail, Acosta Resigns: Will Others Fall?

Jul 13, 2019 6861

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Labor Secretary Alex Acosta abruptly resigned this morning amid a furor over a sweetheart deal that he gave accused billionaire sex trafficker and pedophile Jeffrey Epstein when he was US Attorney in South Florida. Acosta has repeatedly denied any wrongdoing, saying that his orders to offer Epstein leniency came from higher up in the Justice Department. A new Belgian news investigation has found what many US privacy activists have long suspected: Not only are smart devices like Google Assistant or Amazon Alexa listening to us literally all the time, but thousands of Google employees are listening to us through our devices, even when they’re not activated, ostensibly to help train the algorithm to be more precise. In a statement, the company admitted that the news was true, but tried to downplay it, saying that Google employees listen to only 0.2 percent of all recordings. Patricia Gorky, a software engineer and technology and security analyst, joins the show. A four-year study by the Bureau of Investigative Journalism has revealed more about the CIA’s secret torture program than was ever revealed in the heavily redacted Senate Torture Report, including information about the origin of the rendition and secret prison program. Meanwhile, the CIA is pushing a new law that would make it illegal to reveal the name of any CIA officer who has ever been undercover, even if that officer never served overseas. The goal? To protect those CIA officers who have committed war crimes or crimes against humanity. Turkey received its first shipment of the Russian S-400 air defense system today, setting the stage for likely US sanctions, and heightening tensions with its NATO allies. Meanwhile, a series of proposed amendments to the 2020 National Defense Authorization Act--all sponsored by Senate Democrats--could impose crippling sanctions on Russia. Mark Sleboda, an international affairs and security analyst, joins the show. It’s Friday! So it’s time for the week’s worst and most misleading headlines. Brian and John speak with Steve Patt, an independent journalist whose critiques of the mainstream media have been a feature of his site Left I on the News and on twitter @leftiblog, and Sputnik producer Nicole Roussell. Friday is Loud & Clear’s weekly hour-long segment The Week in Review, about the week in politics, policy, and international affairs. Today they focus on massive impending ICE raids across the country, the arrest of Jeffrey Epstein and resignation of Labor Secretary Acosta and tensions between Iran and the UK. Jesse Franzblau, a Sanctuary DMV member and organizer, and Sputnik News analysts and producers Walter Smolarek and Nicole Roussell, join the show.

ICE Official Resigns: “I Won’t Lie” For Trump about Immigration Raids

Jul 11, 2019 6950

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Agents of Immigration and Customs Enforcement will conduct raids on Sunday to round up thousands of undocumented migrants around the country who have existing deportation orders. According to the New York Times, the raids are expected to take place in 10 major cities, will last for several days, and will likely include collateral deportations, that is, undocumented migrants who are not the targets of the raids, but who happen to be caught up in them. Multiple media outlets are reporting today that Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps speedboats approached a British oil tanker in the Straits of Hormuz yesterday, several days after UK marines boarded and seized an Iranian tanker. Mazda Majidi, an author, journalist and anti-war activist, joins the show. Pacific Gas & Electric Corporation, or PG&E, provides California with its electricity using electrical towers that were almost all built between 1900 and 1960. According to the Wall Street Journal, the company knew for years that its ancient towers could fail and cause massive fires. That’s exactly what happened last year, when a century-old transmission line failed and sparked a wildfire that killed 85 people. Now documents obtained under the Freedom of Information Act show that the company knew that 49 of the towers that failed during the fire should be been replaced entirely. Brian and John speak with Sputnik news analyst Nicole Roussell. A regular Thursday segment deals with the ongoing militarization of space. As the US continues to withdraw from international arms treaties, will the weaponization and militarization of space bring the world closer to catastrophe? Brian and John speak with Prof. Karl Grossman, a full professor of journalism at the State University of New York, College at Old Westbury and the host of a nationally aired television program focused on environmental, energy, and space issues. A new study in the journal Science argues that 900 million hectares of land around the world, roughly the size of the United States, is suitable for reforestation, which could capture two-thirds of man-made carbon emissions. Such reforestation would have no impact on land already used for agriculture and would effectively store 205 billion tons of carbon, two thirds of the 300 billion tons released into the atmosphere as a result of human activity since the Industrial Revolution. Jean-Francois Bastin, the primary author of the study, an ecologist and geographer, and a post-doctoral fellow at The Crowther Lab, joins Brian and John. Venezuela and Honduras are in states of turmoil, thanks in great part to US intervention. In Venezuela, Washington has made no secret that it actively supports a coup against President Nicolas Maduro. And in Honduras, where there is a long history of US meddling, both the Obama and Trump Administrations have opposed democratic elections and reforms and have supported military strongmen. Anya Parampil, a journalist for The Grayzone who just returned from Honduras where she interviewed former President Manuel Zelaya, who was overthrown in the 2009 military coup, joins the show. Thursday’s weekly series “Criminal Injustice” is about the most egregious conduct of our courts and prosecutors and how justice is denied to so many people in this country. Paul Wright, the founder and executive director of the Human Rights Defense Center and editor of Prison Legal News (PLN), and Kevin Gosztola, a writer for Shadowproof.com and co-host of the podcast Unauthorized Disclosure, join the show.

The mystery of Epstein’s sweetheart deal

Jul 10, 2019 7012

Description:

Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta held a press conference today in which he attempted to defend the outrageously lenient plea deal he negotiated when he was a U.S. attorney in Florida with the ultra-rich, well-connected financier Jeffrey Epstein. The release of Justice Department’s Inspector General report on the Mueller investigation is being pushed back because investigators spent much of June interviewing Christopher Steele. Meanwhile, Yahoo News reporter Mike Isikoff is at it again. After writing an utterly discredited book on how the Steele Dossier was a Russian intelligence operation and doubling down on the equally discredited Russia collusion narrative, Isikoff has published an article saying that reports that former DNC staffer Seth Rich was killed by a hit squad working on behalf of Hillary Clinton was, you guessed it, a Russian propaganda operation. Isikoff makes pointed accusations, but the facts in his piece just don’t add up. Jim Kavanagh, the editor of thepolemicist.net, joins the show. The US is promising to ramp up sanctions on Iran and is seeking to create a military coalition to protect commercial shipping off the coasts of Iran and Yemen. Under the plan, a coalition of nations would patrol the Persian Gulf and the Straits of Hormuz, near Iran, and the narrow Bab al-Mandeb that separates Yemen from Africa. This comes just days after the Pentagon sent an additional 2500 troops to the Middle East. Brian and John speak with Massoud Shadjareh. He is the founder of the Islamic Human Rights Commission. At least ten Syrian soldiers were killed yesterday by an al-Qaeda affiliate supported by the US and Turkey in fighting outside Aleppo. In one case, fighters from the Turkestan Islamic Party captured a Syrian border guard near Lattakia, beheaded him, posted a photo of his severed head on his Facebook page using his cell phone, and then called his mother to mock him. Francis Boyle, a professor of international law at the University of Illinois College of Law and author of the book “Destroying World Order: US Imperialism in the Middle East Before and After September 11,” joins the show. The governments of the UK and Canada are hosting an event supposedly about press freedom this week, but in a bizarre irony is refusing to allow RT and Sputnik to participate. Neil Clark, a journalist and broadcaster whose work has appeared in The Guardian, The Week, and Morning Star, joins Brian and John. Wednesday’s weekly series, In the News, is where the hosts look at the most important ongoing developments of the week and put them into perspective. Sputnik news analysts Nicole Roussell and Walter Smolarek join the show. Wednesday’s regular segment, Beyond Nuclear, is about nuclear issues, including weapons, energy, waste, and the future of nuclear technology in the United States. Kevin Kamps, the Radioactive Waste Watchdog at the organization Beyond Nuclear, and Sputnik news analyst and producer Nicole Roussell, join the show.

Mueller Report Fails to Prove Russian Govt Interference -- Here's Why

Jul 10, 2019 6806

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The report by special counsel Robert Mueller essentially cleared the Trump 2016 campaign of collusion or conspiracy with Russia but Mueller’s report asserts that Russian interference in the campaign was “sweeping and systematic.” Investigative journalist Aaron Maté has written a major article that carefully and comprehensively analyzes the 448-page Mueller Report and comes to the dramatic conclusion that Mueller’s report clearly fails to prove that Russia carried out a “sweeping and systematic” interference campaign in the 2016 presidential election campaign. Read, listen and assess for yourself. An appeals court is hearing arguments today in a case brought by several conservative state attorneys general that attempts to overturn the Affordable Care Act. Meanwhile the administration’s new policy on prescription drug pricing transparency was struck down in court. Jacqueline Luqman, the co-editor-in-chief of Luqman Nation, which hosts a livestream every Thursday night at 9:00 p.m. on Facebook, joins the show. After unprecedented talks between Afghan government leaders and the Taliban, the two groups have released a joint declaration emphasizing the need to reduce “civilian casualties to zero.” This comes amid reports of major progress in talks between the United States and the Taliban. Brian speaks with Kathy Kelly, co-coordinator of Voices for Creative Non-Violence. Today’s regular segment that airs every Tuesday is called Women & Society with Dr. Hannah Dickinson. This weekly segment is about the major issues, challenges, and struggles facing women in all aspects of society. Hannah Dickinson, an associate professor at Hobart and William Smith Colleges and an organizer with the Geneva Women’s Assembly, Karla Reyes, managing editor of the women’s magazine Breaking the Chains, and Loud & Clear producer Nicole Roussell join the show. Tuesday’s weekly series is False Profits—A Weekly Look at Wall Street and Corporate Capitalism. Brian speaks with Dr. Jack Rasmus, a professor of economics at Saint Mary's College of California, author of “Central Bankers at the End of Their Ropes: Monetary Policy and the Coming Depression,” and at jackrasmus.com

Billionaire Pedophile Indicted: Will His Elite Friends Also Fall?

Jul 9, 2019 6852

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Billionaire Jeffrey Epstein was indicted today on sex trafficking charges for maintaining what the indictment calls a vast network of underage victims for him to sexually exploit in locations including New York, Palm Beach, and his private jet. Epstein has long standing political, business and personal ties to Republican President Donald Trump and former Democratic President Bill Clinton, Prince Andrew, attorney Alan Dershowitz, and many other politicians, businessmen, bankers, and media elites. Some of Epstein’s many underage female victims and their families have been fighting back and demanding justice. Supported by courageous journalists and attorneys and their families, they have exposed how Epstein was shielded by friends in high places who provided him with a sweetheart prosecution deal in 2008. Will true justice be served this time around and will Jeffrey Epstein’s friends and possible collaborators be brought down as the new case proceeds? Iran said yesterday that it would exceed the limit in the 2015 Iranian nuclear deal of enriched uranium. This morning it confirmed that it had started enriching at 4.5%, past the limit of 3.67% level allowed. Mohammad Marandi, an expert on American studies and postcolonial literature who teaches at the University of Tehran, joins the show. Two weeks ago, President Trump threatened “millions of deportations” and on Friday said that his administration would start them “fairly soon.” Trump and other officials have denied the reports from Congresspeople and state entities that have shown horrendous conditions in border facilities in past weeks. Brian speaks with Juan Carlos Ruiz, cofounder of the New Sanctuary Movement. Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras’s party Syriza lost the elections in Greece yesterday. The conservative party called New Democracy won, and leader Kyriakos Mitsotakis will become the next prime minister. Loud & Clear co-host John Kiriakou is on the ground there reporting on the elections that just took place yesterday. Monday’s segment “Education for Liberation with Bill Ayers” is where Bill helps us look at the state of education across the country. What’s happening in our schools, colleges, and universities, and what impact does it have on the world around us? Joel Westheimer, University Research Chair in Democracy and Education at the University of Ottawa and education columnist for CBC Radio’s Ottawa Morning and Ontario Today shows, joins Brian. In this segment, which we call The Week Ahead, the hosts take a look at the most newsworthy stories of the coming week and what it means for the country and the world, including 2020 politics, the indictment of billionaire Jeffrey Epstein (who is a friend of Trump and Bill Clinton and many others in high places) for running a vast network for the trafficking of young girls who were victims of rape and sexual assault, and Iran’s decision to breach the limits of enriched uranium production. Jim Kavanagh, editor of thepolemicist.net, joins the show. Monday’s regular segment Technology Rules with Chris Garaffa is a weekly guide on how monopoly corporations and the national surveillance state are threatening cherished freedoms, civil rights and civil liberties. Filling in for Chris today is Patricia Gorky, a software engineer and technology and security analyst.

The American Exceptionalism Mythology

Jul 5, 2019 6695

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On today's episode of Loud & Clear, Brian Becker and John Kiriakou are joined by Professor Gerald Horne, a prolific author, who has recently released “Jazz and Justice: Racism and the Political Economy of the Music” and “White Supremacy Confronted: U.S. Imperialism and Anti-Communism vs. the Liberation of Southern Africa from Rhodes to Mandela.” On July 5, 1852, Frederick Douglass gave a keynote address at an Independence Day celebration and asked, “What to the slave is the Fourth of July?” It was a scathing speech in which Douglass said, “This Fourth of July is yours, not mine. You may rejoice. I must mourn.” What do those words mean 167 years later? Yesterday was July 4th. The anniversary of the start of the American Revolution. Since its founding there have been many mythologies created about the United States. The race for the presidency is going strong, and many of the candidates are talking about American Exceptionalism. Most Americans, though, don’t understand the term, and they don’t understand how dangerous American Exceptionalism actually is. American Exceptionalism is the belief that the US follows a path of history different from the laws or norms that govern other countries. It’s the belief that the US is not just a bigger and more powerful country, but an exception. It’s the bearer of freedom and liberty and it’s morally superior to all other countries. Dr. Peter Kuznik, a professor of history and director of the Nuclear Studies Institute at American University, the co-author with Oliver Stone of the book and the hit Showtime television series “The Untold History of the United States,” joins the show. All across the country politicians, corporations and top Pentagon brass use the July 4 holiday to present themselves as the ultimate patriots and supporters of U.S. service members. But what does this country really do to its soldiers, both abroad and when they return home? And what effect does it have on the world? Brian and John speak with Ryan Endicott, a veteran and mental health counselor working in a clinic that serves low income and Medicaid clients, who writes the weekly series “Taking My Boots Off: A Weekly Story About War, Coming Home, and Healing from Combat Trauma.” Thursday’s weekly series “Criminal Injustice” is about the most egregious conduct of our courts and prosecutors and how justice is denied to so many people in this country. Paul Wright, the founder and executive director of the Human Rights Defense Center and editor of Prison Legal News (PLN), and Kevin Gosztola, a writer for Shadowproof.com and co-host of the podcast Unauthorized Disclosure, join the show.

Iran War or No? Chaos in the White House

Jul 3, 2019 6737

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On today's episode of Loud & Clear, John Kiriakou and Nicole Roussell (sitting in for Brian Becker) are joined by Gareth Porter, a historian, investigative journalist, and analyst specializing in U.S. national security policy. Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said today that Iran would enrich as much uranium as it wants, beginning on Sunday, because of the Trump Administration’s decision to scrap the JCPOA. Meanwhile, a Defense Department spokesman said that several apparently empty ships have been seen approaching Iranian waters, they’ve dropped off the radar, and they have reappeared days later, apparently full and leaving Iranian waters. Edward Gallagher, a Navy SEAL accused of war crimes in Iraq was found not guilty of first degree murder and myriad other charges in the deaths of civilians and one ISIS fighter in 2017. He was convicted of the crime of posing with a body and sentenced to four months, although he already has served more than that in pretrial detention. Gallagher’s own men turned him in, and his arrest and trial exposed great fissures between those SEALS who followed the rules of engagement and those who saw their primary goal as hunting terrorists while ignoring US and international law. Dave Lindorff, an investigative reporter and a columnist for CounterPunch whose writings are also at ThisCantBeHappening.net, joins the show. The British Parliament will soon enter its summer recess, even if it has decided nothing on Brexit. As Conservative Party members choose a new leader and, by extension, a new Prime Minister, will a soft Brexit finally become a reality? Will it be under Prime Minister Boris Johnson? And what will become of Wikileaks co-founder Julian Assange? He’s in a British prison fighting extradition to the United States. John speaks with Neil Clark, a journalist and broadcaster whose work has appeared in The Guardian, The Week, and Morning Star. Wednesday’s weekly series, In the News, is where the hosts look at the most important ongoing developments of the week and put them into perspective. Today they discuss President Trump’s flashy and expensive military parade he’s putting on tomorrow, the ongoing reports of criminally inhumane conditions at detention facilities, the NAVY Seal who just escaped conviction of war crimes, and a call to end war published in several national papers by our guest Dan Kovalik. Dan Kovalik, a human rights and labor lawyer and the author of the book “The Plot to Overthrow Venezuela: How the US is Orchestrating a Coup for Oil” and co-author with award-winning filmmaker Oliver Stone of the op-ed published this week entitled, “We must stop our nation’s push for relentless war,” joins the show. Wednesday’s regular segment, Beyond Nuclear, is about nuclear issues, including weapons, energy, waste, and the future of nuclear technology in the United States. Kevin Kamps, the Radioactive Waste Watchdog at the organization Beyond Nuclear, joins the show.

Honduran Students Protest Police Assaults 10 Years After US-Backed Coup

Jul 3, 2019 6924

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Yesterday there were protests by students against police repression in Honduras, while Friday marked the 10th anniversary of a US-backed coup against the government of Honduras that ousted President Manuel Zelaya and sent him into exile. Honduran governments since then have been imposed on the Honduran people by the military and the police. Ten years later, dissenting voices are still silenced, the opposition is routinely jailed, and in many cases tortured. And all the while, the American government continues to prop up a government that even the Honduran Supreme Court has ruled is illegitimate. Federal authorities are investigating whether Customs and Border Protection agents participated in a private Facebook group for Border Patrol employees that hosted racist, sexist, and sexually violent memes and conversations about immigrants and members of Congress, including Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. Meanwhile, Ocasio-Cortez and other members of Congress toured the detention camps and condemned conditions there. Juan José Gutiérrez, the executive director of the Full Rights for Immigrants Coalition, joins the show. The baseless campaign of anti-Semitism against the progressive British Labour Party continues with another member of parliament, Chris Williamson. These claims started with the smearing of Jeremy Corbyn, the popular leader of the Labour Party, and have continued. Meanwhile, the European Union cannot decide on its leadership. John speaks with Neil Clark, a journalist and broadcaster whose work has appeared in The Guardian, The Week, and Morning Star. Today’s regular segment that airs every Tuesday is called Women & Society with Dr. Hannah Dickinson. This weekly segment is about the major issues, challenges, and struggles facing women in all aspects of society. Hannah Dickinson, an associate professor at Hobart and William Smith Colleges and an organizer with the Geneva Women’s Assembly, and Karla Reyes, managing editor of the women’s magazine Breaking the Chains, join the show. Tuesday’s weekly series is False Profits—A Weekly Look at Wall Street and Corporate Capitalism with Daniel Sankey. John speaks with financial policy analyst Daniel Sankey.

Trump & Kim Walk Into North Korea Together, Raising Hopes For a Deal

Jul 1, 2019 6665

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On today's episode of Loud & Clear, John Kiriakou and Nicole Roussell (sitting in for Brian Becker) are joined by Walter Smolarek, a Sputnik News analyst and one of the producers of this show, who is in Seoul, South Korea, covering the meeting between President Trump and North Korean leader Kim. President Trump over the weekend became the first sitting president in history to take a step into North Korea after inviting himself to meet with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in the village of Panmunjom in the Demilitarized Zone. There, he announced that nuclear talks between the two countries would restart within weeks. The 50-minute meeting was Trump’s third with Kim. Stocks surged today on news that President Trump and Chinese leader Xi Jinping had agreed on a truce on the trade war between the two countries. Trump agreed to ease restrictions on Chinese tech giant Huawei’s US technology purchases and to hold off on extending tariffs on virtually all Chinese goods, while Xi agreed to resume trade talks and to buy an unspecified amount of US farm products. Meanwhile, pro- and anti-government protestors both had marches in Hong Kong today. Jude Woodward, the author of the book “The US vs. China: Asia's new Cold War?”, joins the show. Monday’s segment “Education for Liberation with Bill Ayers” is where Bill helps us look at the state of education across the country. What’s happening in our schools, colleges, and universities, and what impact does it have on the world around us? Filling in for Bill Ayers today is Dr. Kevin Kumashiro, an internationally-recognized expert on educational policy, school reform, and educational equity and social justice, and the former dean of the School of Education at the University of San Francisco. In this segment, which we call The Week Ahead, the hosts take a look at the most newsworthy stories of the coming week and what it means for the country and the world, including the G20, the state of the 2020 race, yet another political cartoonist firing, and gerrymandering. Ted Rall, an award winning journalist and editorial cartoonist whose work is at rall.com, joins the show. Monday’s regular segment Technology Rules with Chris Garaffa is a weekly guide on how monopoly corporations and the national surveillance state are threatening cherished freedoms, civil rights and civil liberties. Filling in for Chris today is Patricia Gorky, a software engineer and technology and security analyst.

Kamala Harris Takes Down Biden…And Then Affirms Neo-Con Foreign Policy

Jun 28, 2019 7039

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On today's episode of Loud & Clear, Brian Becker and John Kiriakou are joined by Jim Kavanagh, editor of thepolemicist.net, and Sputnik News analyst and producer Nicole Roussell. Friday is Loud & Clear’s weekly hour-long segment The Week in Review, about the week in politics, policy, and international affairs. Today they focus on the democratic debates from last night, where they examine Kamala Harris’s attack against Joe Biden’s ongoing and recent embrace with the most notorious racists and segregationists in the US Senate. They also look at Kamala Harris’s own record as a prosecutor and her neocon political positions. Plus, they talk about the decline of european centrist parties and the announced shift back by European elites and capitalists to democratic socialism, and about US-Iranian tensions, including an Iranian saying today that they’ve examined North Korea’s trajectory as a lesson for their own next move. Donald Trump and South Korean president Moon Jae-in are about to hold a major summit and expectations are running high that major progress will be made towards peace in Korea. The peace process has run into major obstacles as the United States demands that North Korea completely denuclearize before any relief can be given in terms of the suffocating US-imposed sanctions the country is suffering under, but that rigid stance could be shifting. Loud & Clear producer Walter Smolarek traveled to Seoul, South Korea, and interviewed Dr. Moon Chung-in. Dr. Moon is the special advisor to President Moon Jae-in on national security and foreign policy and a well-known scholar advocating for the reunification of Korea. The second tranche of 10 Democrats debated last night in Miami, Florida, and it turned out to be more of a bare-knuckle brawl than the previous night’s debate. The consensus seems to be that California Senator Kamala Harris carried the night, South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg held his own, and Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders was able to stay on message and fend of the handful of attacks that came his way. Former Vice President Joe Biden spent most of the night trying to defend himself, and Author Marrianne Williamson and former Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper showed early on that they were out of their league. Brian and John speak with Bob Schleuhuber, a Sputnik News analyst and the producer of the Sputnik News show By Any Means Necessary, which you can hear on 105.5 FM and 1390 AM in the Washington DC area from 2:00-4:00 pm every day.

Tulsi Gabbard’s Anti-War Message at Debate Spreads Nationwide

Jun 27, 2019 6701

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On today's episode of Loud & Clear, Brian Becker and John Kiriakou are joined by Lee Camp, a writer, comedian, activist, journalist, host of the television show “Redacted Tonight” on RT America, and at www.leecamp.com. Did you know that the Trump Administration drops a bomb somewhere in the world every 12 minutes? Last night was the first Democratic Party debate. And this particular fact did not come up, but the issues of war and peace were discussed. Every 12 minutes somebody is being killed, maimed, or made homeless all in our names. And this is despite the fact that we are officially, legally at war with nobody. At the same time, the Pentagon has lost $21 trillion of the taxpayers’ money. Meanwhile, climate change is bringing us closer and closer to disaster. The first half of the first round of Democratic presidential debates took place last night in Miami, Florida, hosted by MSNBC with 10 Democrats facing questions. Although the format was unwieldy--every response from every candidate was limited to 60 seconds--the debate did offer an opportunity to begin the weeding out process, so to speak. Pundits seem to agree that the winners were Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren, former Housing Secretary Julian Castro, and perhaps New Jersey Senator Cory Booker. Washington Governor Jay Inslee was surprisingly substantive. But former Congressmen Beto O’Rourke and John Delaney, and New York City Mayor Bill DeBlasio didn’t do themselves any favors. Bob Schleuhuber, who is in Miami covering the debates and is a Sputnik News analyst and the producer of the Sputnik News show By Any Means Necessary, which you can hear on 105.5 FM and 1390 AM in the Washington DC area from 2:00-4:00 pm every day, joins the show. Veterans for Peace is Thursday’s regular segment about the contemporary issues of war and peace that affect veterans, their families, and the country as a whole. Gerry Condon, a Vietnam-era veteran and war resister who has been a peace and solidarity activist for almost 50 years, currently as national president of Veterans for Peace, joins the show. Thursday’s weekly series “Criminal Injustice” is about the most egregious conduct of our courts and prosecutors and how justice is denied to so many people in this country. Paul Wright, the founder and executive director of the Human Rights Defense Center and editor of Prison Legal News (PLN), and Kevin Gosztola, a writer for Shadowproof.com and co-host of the podcast Unauthorized Disclosure, join the show. A regular Thursday segment deals with the ongoing militarization of space. As the US continues to withdraw from international arms treaties, will the weaponization and militarization of space bring the world closer to catastrophe? Brian and John speak with Prof. Karl Grossman, a full professor of journalism at the State University of New York, College at Old Westbury and the host of a nationally aired television program focused on environmental, energy, and space issues, and with Bruce Gagnon, coordinator of the Global Network Against Weapons & Nuclear Power in Space and a contributor to Foreign Policy In Focus.

NSA Continues Illegal, Mass Spying on American People

Jun 26, 2019 6861

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On today's episode of Loud & Clear, Brian Becker and John Kiriakou are joined by Bill Binney, a former NSA technical director who became a legendary national security whistleblower. The Wall Street Journal is reporting today that the National Security Agency, or NSA, last year continued to collect records about US calls and text messages that it was not authorized to obtain, renewing privacy concerns about a program that NSA said it had discontinued. The unauthorized collection took place last October, several months after NSA leaders said they had ordered that previously unauthorized material collected since 2015 be purged from NSA databases. The House of Representatives yesterday passed a bill to provide funding for undocumented migrants being held in what are being described as inhumane conditions at ICE facilities along the southwestern border. The bill is unlikely to pass in the senate. In the meantime, the children being held in these facilities are dealing with an outbreak of lice and the flu, are kept apart from relatives, and are not being given soap and toothbrushes. Isabel Garcia, co-founder of Coalición de Derechos Humanos, joins the show. The Acting Secretary of Defense, Mark Esper, said yesterday that he will work to unify NATO Ministers of Defense to deter Iran and to force it to return to the negotiating table. But France’s Defense Minister said that there would be no negotiations, not just because the Iranians are refusing to participate, but because quote “even the United States doesn’t know what its Iran policy is.” Meanwhile, Houthis in Yemen are posing an ever-increasing threat to Saudi Arabia, allegedly with the help of Iran. Brian and John speak with Mohammad Marandi, an expert on American studies and postcolonial literature who teaches at the University of Tehran. Ten Democratic presidential candidates will debate tonight in Miami, Florida and another 10 will debate tomorrow in the first such events of the 2020 presidential race. More than two dozen Democrats are running for president, so many that they had to be split into two groups. Former Vice President Joe Biden is generally seen as the frontrunner at this early stage, and the rest of the candidates are going to look to gain on him. Bob Schleuhuber, who is in Miami covering the debates and is a Sputnik News analyst and the producer of the Sputnik News show By Any Means Necessary, which you can hear on 105.5 FM and 1390 AM in the Washington DC area from 2:00-4:00 pm every day, joins the show. The G20 heads of state will hold their annual summit later this week in Osaka, Japan, but observers are not expecting much in the way of progress, especially on climate change issues. Indeed, according to The Financial Times, whose reporters have seen a copy of the draft communique, it doesn’t even mention the words “global warming” or “climate change,” apparently as a sop to the Trump Administration. World Trade Organization officials also complain that US tariffs are creating major roadblocks for streamlined international trade. Dr. Jack Rasmus, a professor of economics at Saint Mary's College of California and author of “Central Bankers at the End of Their Ropes: Monetary Policy and the Coming Depression,” whose work is at www.jackrasmus.com, joins Brian and John. Wednesday’s weekly series, In the News, is where the hosts look at the most important ongoing developments of the week and put them into perspective. Jim Kavanagh, the editor of thepolemicist.net, and Sputnik news analyst Nicole Roussell join the show. Wednesday’s regular segment, Beyond Nuclear, is about nuclear issues, including weapons, energy, waste, and the future of nuclear technology in the United States. Kevin Kamps, the Radioactive Waste Watchdog at the organization Beyond Nuclear, and Sputnik news analyst and producer Nicole Roussell, join the show.

Will the Democratic Debate Topics Include “Imperialist” Foreign Policy?

Jun 25, 2019 6895

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On today's episode of Loud & Clear, Brian Becker and John Kiriakou are joined by Dr. Gerald Horne, a professor of history at the University of Houston and the author of many books, including his most recent “Jazz and Justice: Racism and the Political Economy of the Music,” newly available from Monthly Review Press. More than two dozen Democratic candidates for president will be on the debate stage tomorrow, trying to convince the American people that they should sit in the Oval Office for the next four or eight years. All that diversity should mean diverse opinions. But does it? Where do voters turn when the Democrats and Republicans end up agreeing on most issues of war, peace, and economy? The Trump Administration yesterday announced strong new sanctions on Iran’s Supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and moderate Foreign Minister Muhammad Zarif in response to the Iranian shoot-down of a US Global Hawk drone. The Iranians responded by saying that negotiations with the United States were over forever. Meanwhile, Russian officials say their own investigation shows that the drone was actually flying over Iranian airspace. Jim Kavanagh, the editor of thepolemicist.net, whose latest article “Eve of Destruction: Iran Strikes Back” is on CounterPunch and thepolemicist.net, joins the show. Bahrain today and tomorrow is hosting a so-called “Peace to Prosperity” workshop as part of a plan to bring peace to the Middle East. Neither the Israelis nor the Palestinians are participating. Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza as well as the diaspora held protests today to denounce the workshop and the so-called “deal of the century” as a ploy to end their aspirations for self-determination. Brian and John speak with Ali Abunimah, the co-founder of The Electronic Intifada and author of the book “The Battle for Justice in Palestine.” New documents released as part of a Freedom of Information Act request show that Steele Dossier author Christopher Steele met with State Department officials in October 2016 and gave them sensitive information that should have gone solely to the FBI. The documents reveal that Steele was passing information to Obama Administration officials all the way back in 2014. Daniel Lazare, a journalist and author of three books--“The Frozen Republic,” “The Velvet Coup,” and “America's Undeclared War,” joins the show. Today’s regular segment that airs every Tuesday is called Women & Society with Dr. Hannah Dickinson. This weekly segment is about the major issues, challenges, and struggles facing women in all aspects of society. Hannah Dickinson, an associate professor at Hobart and William Smith Colleges and an organizer with the Geneva Women’s Assembly, and Loud & Clear producer Nicole Roussell join the show. Tuesday’s weekly series is False Profits—A Weekly Look at Wall Street and Corporate Capitalism with Daniel Sankey. Brian and John speak with financial policy analyst Daniel Sankey.

Trump’s War Against Immigrants Rages On

Jun 24, 2019 6776

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On today's episode of Loud & Clear, Brian Becker and John Kiriakou are joined by Juan Carlos Ruiz, cofounder of the New Sanctuary Movement. President Trump over the weekend abruptly postponed his already announced immigration raids and said he would give Congress two weeks to make changes to the asylum law before sending agents from Immigration and Customs Enforcement around the country to seize and deport undocumented migrants. The raids had been set to begin yesterday in 10 major cities around the country. The United States Cyber Command, an adjunct of the National Security Agency, on Thursday initiated a cyber attack against an Iranian intelligence group that US officials say planned the attacks against oil tankers in the Gulf of Oman in recent weeks. The Iranian government announced today that it was aware of the cyber attack but that it failed and there was no damage. Meanwhile, Mike Pompeo is in Saudi Arabia meeting with the King and Crown Prince and the government of Bahrain is going forward with plans to host a “Peace to Prosperity” workshop tomorrow and Wednesday, despite the fact that neither the Israelis nor the Palestinians will attend. Kathy Kelly, co-coordinator of Voices for Creative Non-Violence, joins the show. Yet another Democrat--former Admiral and Representative Joe Sestak--has jumped into the Democratic race for President. That makes 25, maybe 26 Democrats running for President. The lesser-knowns will have a change to make their cases to the American public during debates this week on MSNBC. And Pete Buttigieg, who’s been embraced by the party establishment and much of the corporate media, is facing fierce criticism for his handling of a police killing of a Black resident of South Bend. Brian and John speak with Anoa Changa, the Director of Political Advocacy and a Managing Editor of Progressive Army, and host of the show The Way With Anoa, and Walter Smolarek., a Sputnik News analyst and one of the producers of this show. In March, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan nullified the results of the Istanbul mayoral race, saying that his AKP party’s candidate lost only because of voting irregularities. He forced a re-vote, which took place over the weekend. Instead of Erdogan’s candidate losing by 13,000 votes, as he did in March, he lost by a massive 775,000 votes. The stinging rebuke ended 25 years of AKP rule in Istanbul. Sputnik news analyst Walter Smolarek joins the show. Monday’s segment “Education for Liberation with Bill Ayers” is where Bill usually helps us look at the state of education across the country. What’s happening in our schools, colleges, and universities, and what impact does it have on the world around us? Today, Dr. Kevin Kumashiro, an internationally recognized expert on educational policy, school reform, and educational equity and social justice, and the former dean of the School of Education at the University of San Francisco joins Brian and John. In this segment, which we call The Week Ahead, the hosts take a look at the most newsworthy stories of the coming week and what it means for the country and the world, including the upcoming G20 summit, the Democratic debate, tensions in the Middle East and more. Sputnik News analysts and producers of this show Nicole Roussell and Walter Smolarek join the show. Monday’s regular segment Technology Rules with Chris Garaffa is a weekly guide on how monopoly corporations and the national surveillance state are threatening cherished freedoms, civil rights and civil liberties. Web developer and technologist Chris Garaffa joins the show.

US War with Iran Will Open the Gates of Hell in the Middle East

Jun 21, 2019 7083

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On today's episode of Loud & Clear, Brian Becker and John Kiriakou are joined by Sputnik News analysts and producers Walter Smolarek and Nicole Roussell. Friday is Loud & Clear’s weekly hour-long segment The Week in Review, about the week in politics, policy, and international affairs. Today they focus on the narrowly avoided U.S. attack on Iran last night and the ongoing danger of a devastating regional war as well as the visit by Chinese President Xi Jinping to North Korea. President Trump tweeted today that US forces were 10 minutes away from launching a missile attack on Iran, but that he canceled the attack after learning that there likely would have been 150 Iranian casualties. The statement, simple on its face, reveals serious splits within the Administration. And the real question mark is what would the Iranian response have been? Kevin Zeese, the co-coordinator of Popular Resistance, whose work is at popularresistance.org, joins the show. Hero pilot Sully Sullenberger’s testimony before the House Transportation Subcommittee said that the design of the Boeing 737 Max-8 jet was flawed and should never have been deemed airworthy. He said later that he participated in a re-creation of an accident flight in a Max-8 simulator, telling members of Congress, “Even knowing what was going to happen, I could see how crews could have run out of time before they could have solved the problems. Prior to these accidents, I think it is unlikely that any US airline pilots were confronted with this scenario in simulator training." Brian and John speak with Lori Bassani, the National President of the Association of Professional Flight Attendants, and Dennis Tajer, a spokesperson for the Allied Pilots Association and an American Airlines pilot trained on Boeing 737 planes. Chinese President Xi Jinping is in Pyongyang today, where he reaffirmed his support for negotiations on denuclearization and peace on the Korean peninsula. North Korean leader Kim Jong Un said he was prepared to work with China to make progress in the talks. Emanuel Pastreich, founder and director of The Asia Institute, a pan-Asian think tank, joins the show. It’s Friday! So it’s time for the week’s worst and most misleading headlines. Brian and John speak with Steve Patt, an independent journalist whose critiques of the mainstream media have been a feature of his site Left I on the News and on twitter @leftiblog, and Sputnik producer Nicole Roussell.

If U.S. Attacks, Iran's Retaliation will be "Relentless"

Jun 20, 2019 6836

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On today's episode of Loud & Clear, Brian Becker and John Kiriakou are joined by Mohammad Marandi, an expert on American studies and postcolonial literature who teaches at the University of Tehran. Iran announced this morning that it had shot down a US military drone the size of an airliner this morning near the Strait of Hormuz. The US acknowledged the shoot-down, saying that the drone was in international airspace. The Iranians countered that it was in Iranian airspace. Meanwhile, a rocket struck a building housing the headquarters of international oil companies in Basra, Iraq, including ExxonMobil. No group has claimed responsibility for the attack, which injured two Iraqi workers. Top Trump administration officials are now engaged in high-level international and domestic consultations, raising fears of all-out conflict. Joe Biden says some dumb things. He once told reporters, “I’ve done some dumb things. And I’ll do dumb things again.” Well, earlier this week, Biden felt compelled to defend himself against accusations that he may be too “old fashioned” for today’s Democratic Party. He tried to turn that into a positive, saying that his old traditionalism harkened back to a better era, where gentility reigned in the US Senate. That wasn’t good enough, though. Biden felt compelled to give an example. And so he said, with a completely straight face, that when he was first elected to the Senate in 1972 he became friendly with two of the most rabid segregationists in the body—Senators James O. Eastland (D-MS) and (“the meanest man I ever met”) Herman Tallmadge (D-GA). According to a reporter for the New York Times who heard the words directly from Biden’s mouth, “I was in a caucus with James O. Eastland. He never called me ‘boy.’ He always called me ‘son.’” And Biden told this story with a southern accent. It apparently never occurred to him that Eastland never called him “boy” because he was white. Today, Senator Cory Booker said that Biden’s comments were hurtful. And now Biden has called on Booker to apologize. Ted Rall, an award-winning editorial cartoonist and columnist whose work is at www.rall.com, joins the show. Chinese President Xi Jinping is in North Korea, the first visit of a Chinese president to the DPRK in 14 years and only the second time a chief of state has met Kim Jong Un on his home turf. According to an op-ed that Xi wrote for the front page of a North Korean newspaper, he is in Pyongyang to strengthen strategic communication and exchanges. The more likely scenario is that he is there to discuss Chinese and North Korean relations with the United States and how to deal with President Trump. Brian and John speak with Jude Woodward is the author of the book “The US vs China: Asia's new Cold War?” Hero pilot Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger testified on Capitol Hill yesterday that an automated flight control system on the Boeing 737 Max-8 jet was “fatally flawed and should never have been approved in the first place.” The House Aviation Subcommittee is investigating the crashes of Boeing 737 Max-8 jets in Indonesia last fall and in Ethiopia in March that killed 346 people. The panel is also examining what role, if any, Boeing's rush to develop the latest version of its popular 737 and the FAA's process of certifying the new model as airworthy may have played in the tragedies. Bijan Vasigh, a professor of air transportation at Embrey-Riddle University, an expert on aviation issues, a consultant to some of the biggest airlines in the world, and the author of dozens of academic papers and books, joins the show. Veterans for Peace is Thursday’s regular segment about the contemporary issues of war and peace that affect veterans, their families, and the country as a whole. Gerry Condon, a Vietnam-era veteran and war resister who has been a peace and solidarity activist for almost 50 years, currently as national president of Veterans for Peace, joins the show. Thursday’s weekly series “Criminal Injustice” is about the most egregious conduct of our courts and prosecutors and how justice is denied to so many people in this country. Paul Wright, the founder and executive director of the Human Rights Defense Center and editor of Prison Legal News (PLN), and Kevin Gosztola, a writer for Shadowproof.com and co-host of the podcast Unauthorized Disclosure, join the show. A regular Thursday segment deals with the ongoing militarization of space. As the US continues to withdraw from international arms treaties, will the weaponization and militarization of space bring the world closer to catastrophe? Brian and John speak with Prof. Karl Grossman, a full professor of journalism at the State University of New York, College at Old Westbury and the host of a nationally aired television program focused on environmental, energy, and space issues, and with Bruce Gagnon, coordinator of the Global Network Against Weapons & Nuclear Power in Space and a contributor to Foreign Policy In Focus.

Cyberwar with Russia, War with Iran? US Military Machine in Full Gear

Jun 19, 2019 7097

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On today's episode of Loud & Clear, Brian Becker and John Kiriakou are joined by Ben Norton, a journalist with the Grayzone Project and co-host of the Moderate Rebels podcast, and Sputnik News analyst and producer Walter Smolarek. Wednesday’s weekly series, In the News, is where the hosts look at the most important ongoing developments of the week and put them into perspective, including U.S. cyber attacks on the Russian electrical grid and the latest US moves against Iran. Wednesday’s regular segment, Beyond Nuclear, is about nuclear issues, including weapons, energy, waste, and the future of nuclear technology in the United States. Kevin Kamps, the Radioactive Waste Watchdog at the organization Beyond Nuclear, and Sputnik news analyst and producer Nicole Roussell, join the show. Former Vice President Joe Biden caused outrage when he fondly noted what he called the “civility” of the US Senate of the 1970s and 1980s by invoking by name two of the body’s most polarizing segregationists--Senators James Eastland of Mississippi and Herman Talmadge of Georgia. Is Biden trying to lose the Democratic nomination for President on purpose? Brian and John speak with Jacqueline Luqman, editor-in-chief of Luqman Nation, which livestreams every week on Facebook and Youtube, and a journalist with The Real News Network. The White House is actively considering launching airstrikes against Iranian nuclear facilities, according to press reports quoting Pentagon insiders. The plans are at an advanced stage and could be initiated at any time. Dr. Peter Kuznik, a professor of history and director of the Nuclear Studies Institute at American University and the co-author with Oliver Stone of the book and the hit Showtime television series “The Untold History of the United State,” joins the show. Today is Juneteenth. It is the oldest known celebration commemorating the end of slavery in the United States. Dating back to 1865, it was on June 19th that Union soldiers, led by MG Gordon Granger, landed at Galveston, Texas with news that the war had ended and that all enslaved people were free. Note that this was two and a half years after President Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation - which had become official January 1, 1863. The Emancipation Proclamation had little impact on Texans due to the miniscule number of Union troops in Texas to enforce the new Executive Order. However, with the surrender of General Robert E. Lee in April of 1865, and the arrival of General Granger’s regiment, the forces were finally strong enough to influence and overcome the resistance. C. R. Gibbs, an author and co-author of six books and a frequent national and international lecturer, joins Brian and John. President Trump kicked off his reelection campaign yesterday with what was supposed to be a campaign rally in Orlando, Florida. In the end, it looked more like a white supremacist rally. Lee Stranahan, co-host of the Sputnik News program Fault Lines, joins the show. The race to succeed Theresa May is entering a crucial stage. In the next two days, Conservative Party members will narrow the field of candidates to two, and party members will choose between them. The winner will become Prime Minister and will serve out the remainder of May’s term or until new elections are called, whichever comes first. Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson is still the frontrunner. But Rory Stewart, a virtual unknown, as shown the greatest strength and may actually have a chance to defeat the frontrunner. Brian and John speak with Neil Clark, a journalist and broadcaster whose work has appeared in The Guardian, The Week, and Morning Star.

Trump Plans to Arrest Tens of Thousands in Mass Deportation Raids

Jun 18, 2019 6804

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On today's episode of Loud & Clear, Brian Becker and John Kiriakou are joined by Juan José Gutiérrez, the executive director of the Full Rights for Immigrants Coalition. President Trump said yesterday that his administration plans a sweeping immigration enforcement crackdown on undocumented migrants that could see coordinated raids in multiple cities across the country. The move comes ahead of Trump’s official re-election campaign launch, but grassroots activists are vowing to fight back. The Justice Department has admitted that the FBI relied on information provided by the private company Crowdstrike concluding that Russia was to blame for hacking into the Democratic National Committee’s servers, even though that information had been heavily redacted by the company. The FBI never had access to any of the original documents. That news was just made public yesterday in a filing by Roger Stone’s defense attorneys. Jim Kavanagh, the editor of thepolemicist.net, joins the show. The Pentagon announced yesterday that it would send an additional 1000 to the Middle East, a potentially dangerous move that could greatly increase the chances for war between the United States and Iran, even by accident. Brian and John speak with Ann Wright, a retired United States Army colonel and former U.S. State Department official in Afghanistan, who resigned in protest of the invasion of Iraq and became an anti-war activist. Facebook released information today on its new cryptocurrency, called Libra, which is supposed to be less volatile than Bitcoin and the other hundreds of cryptocurrencies already available to the public. Facebook wants Libra to be used as a legitimate way to purchase goods and services, unlike Bitcoin, which is more speculative. Steve Keen, the author of “Debunking Economics” and the world’s first crowdfunded economist, whose work is at patreon.com/ProfSteveKeen, joins the show. A massive embezzlement scandal is threatening the political future of Venezuelan opposition figure Juan Guaido. Media outlets in the region are reporting that two people appointed by Guaido to manage aid meant for Venezuelan soldiers who have defected to Colombia instead have been stealing it. Both the Government of Colombia and the Organization of American States, known for their strong support of Guaido, have called for an investigation. Ricardo Vaz, a writer and editor at Venezuelanalysis, joins Brian and John. Tuesday’s weekly series is False Profits—A Weekly Look at Wall Street and Corporate Capitalism with Daniel Sankey. Brian and John speak with financial policy analyst Daniel Sankey. Today’s regular segment that airs every Tuesday is called Women & Society with Dr. Hannah Dickinson. This weekly segment is about the major issues, challenges, and struggles facing women in all aspects of society. Hannah Dickinson, an associate professor at Hobart and William Smith Colleges and an organizer with the Geneva Women’s Assembly, and Loud & Clear producer Nicole Roussell join the show.

Iran Renews the Enrichment of Uranium After Trump Rips Up Nuclear Deal

Jun 17, 2019 6909

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On today's episode of Loud & Clear, Brian Becker and John Kiriakou are joined by Massoud Shadjareh, the founder of the Islamic Human Rights Commission. The Iranian government has announced that it will break the uranium stockpile limit agreement agreed to as part of the JCPOA nuclear deal in the next 10 days. The move came in response to the Trump administration’s decision to scrap the deal. Iranian President Rouhani said that his country would not withdraw from the JCPOA, but would reduce its commitments to the deal. He also urged European countries to mediate between Iran and the United States as tensions between the two countries continue to flare in the aftermath of explosions that hit two tankers in the Gulf of Oman last week. A federal judge in the Eastern District of Virginia said on Saturday that Chelsea Manning would be fined $500 per day for refusing to testify before a grand jury looking into Wikileaks cofounder Julian Assange. If Manning still does not testify after one month, the fine will be $1000 per day. Manning has been steadfast in her refusal to speak to the grand jury. Kevin Gosztola, a journalist with Shadowproof.com and co-host of the podcast Unauthorized Disclosure, joins the show. The New York Times reported over the weekend that the United States had deployed computer code inside the Russian electrical grid system that would disrupt it in the event of hostilities. The Times went on to say that the move was done in response to allegations that Russia had interfered in the 2016 election. President Trump tweeted that the article was “a virtual act of treason.” But later in the article, The Times acknowledged that the operation had begun in 2012, at the end of Barack Obama’s first term in office, and during the tenure of Hillary Clinton as Secretary of State. Brian and John speak with Dan Kovalik, a human rights and labor lawyer who is the author of the book “The Plot to Overthrow Venezuela: How the US is Orchestrating a Coup for Oil.” Boeing executives attending the high-profile Paris Air Show today apologized for the hundreds of deaths caused when two of their 737 MAX-8 jets crashed in separate incidents last October and last March. But no one in the company has been held criminally liable and Boeing is even looking to loosen its safety testing requirements. Dr. Alan Diehl, an award-winning aviation psychologist and safety consultant, 1990s air safety whistleblower, and the author of the book “Air Safety Investigators,” joins the show. Monday’s segment “Education for Liberation with Bill Ayers” is where Bill helps us look at the state of education across the country. What’s happening in our schools, colleges, and universities, and what impact does it have on the world around us? Bill Ayers, an activist, educator and the author of the book “Demand the Impossible: A Radical Manifesto,” joins Brian and John. In this segment, which we call The Week Ahead, the hosts take a look at the most newsworthy stories of the coming week and what it means for the country and the world, including Democrats and Republicans working together to escalate tensions with Iran, the Pentagon deploying cyber weapons against Russia’s electrical grid and Chelsea Manning being subjected to huge fines. Sputnik News analysts and producers of this show Nicole Roussell and Walter Smolarek join the show. Monday’s regular segment Technology Rules with Chris Garaffa is a weekly guide on how monopoly corporations and the national surveillance state are threatening cherished freedoms, civil rights and civil liberties. Web developer and technologist Chris Garaffa joins the show.

War with Iran? A Closer Look at U.S. Strategy

Jun 14, 2019 7079

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On today's episode of Loud & Clear, Brian Becker and John Kiriakou are joined by Lee Camp, a writer, actor, activist, journalist, and host of the television show “Redacted Tonight,” which you can see on RT America, and Sputnik News analysts and producers Walter Smolarek and Nicole Roussell. Friday is Loud & Clear’s weekly hour-long segment The Week in Review, about the week in politics, policy, and international affairs. Today they focus on the Middle East oil tanker attack and escalation between the US and Iran, Julian Assange’s extradition hearing today, the leak of documents this week showing the political imprisonment of former Brazilian president lula da silva, and the rebellion in memphis after cops shot a young Black man. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said yesterday that US intelligence showed that Iran was responsible for attacks on two oil tankers in the Gulf of Oman. He showed a Pentagon video that he claimed showed Iranian sailors removing an unexploded magnet mine from the side of a Japanese ship. Iran’s Foreign Minister dismissed the accusation as “sabotage diplomacy and warmongering.” Mohammad Marandi, an expert on American studies and postcolonial literature who teaches at the University of Tehran, joins the show. A hearing was held in London this morning related to the US request for the extradition of Wikileaks co-founder Julian Assange. The British magistrate scheduled a formal five-day extradition hearing to begin on February 24, 2020. That would be 45-and-a-half weeks into his 50-week sentence for bail-jumping. With British politics currently in turmoil, what does this mean for Julian’s chances to regain his freedom? Brian and John speak with Joe Lauria, the editor-in-chief of Consortium News, founded by the late Robert Parry, and the author of the book "How I Lost, By Hillary Clinton." The Defense Department’s Inspector General and the Defense Finance and Accounting Service report that $21 trillion of the taxpayers’ money is unaccounted for. That’s 21 thousand billions of dollars. It’s the amount of the entire national debt. If you spent a million dollars a day starting on the day Jesus was born, you wouldn’t even have spent $1 trillion yet. So how does $21 trillion just disappear and no Pentagon heads roll? Lee Camp, a writer, actor, activist, journalist, and host of the television show “Redacted Tonight,” which you can see on RT America, joins the show. Nearly four years after the City of Flint, Michigan declared a state of emergency over the condition of its drinking water, and three years after the first criminal charges were filed against government officials responsible for the crisis, prosecutors have dropped all charges and said that they’ll start the entire investigation over again from the beginning. Will there ever be justice for Flint’s residents? Julie Hurwitz, a civil rights attorney and partner at the law firm Goodman, Hurwitz and James, joins Brian and John. It’s Friday! So it’s time for the week’s worst and most misleading headlines. Brian and John speak with Steve Patt, an independent journalist whose critiques of the mainstream media have been a feature of his site Left I on the News and on twitter @leftiblog, and Sputnik producer Nicole Roussell.

Who’s Blowing Up Oil Tankers in the Middle East?

Jun 13, 2019 6732

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On today's episode of Loud & Clear, Brian Becker and John Kiriakou are joined by Ambassador Peter Ford, the former UK Ambassador to Syria. Two oil tankers came under suspected attack in the Gulf of Oman today. Both the US and Iranian navies responded to distress calls, and the vessels’ crews were safely evacuated. The attacks come amid heightened tension because the US and Iran and in the middle of a visit to Tehran by Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. The Justice Department has asked US Attorney John Durham to investigate the origins of the Russiagate case. Durham said yesterday that he is seeking testimony from two CIA officers--one a counterintelligence expert and the other a senior analyst. CIA director Gina Haspel said that her people will cooperate, but would “protect sources and methods.” Aaron Maté, a journalist for The Grayzone and The Nation and a former host and producer at Democracy Now and The Real News, joins the show. Authorities in Memphis, Tennessee claim that 24 police officers and two journalists were injured in a melee last night that began when US marshals in a Memphis suburb shot a man 20 times and killed him while allegedly trying to serve him with an arrest warrant. It is unclear how many protestors were injured, but the event is yet another example of the volatility of confrontations with the police all across the country. Brian and John speak with Kym Smith, a community organizer involved in struggles against police brutality and mass incarceration. Boris Johnson finished first in today’s first round of voting for a new leader of the UK’s Conservative Party. The field of 10 hopefuls is now winnowed to seven. The second round of voting will be held next week, and then the top two vote-getters will face off on July 22. Meanwhile, British authorities confirmed that the Department of Justice has formally requested the extradition of Wikileaks co-founder Julian Assange. Neil Clark, a journalist and broadcaster whose work has appeared in The Guardian, The Week, and Morning Star, joins the show. President Trump yesterday said that he will transfer 1,000 US troops from Germany to Poland after Polish President Andrzedj Duda said he would spend $2 billion to build a new US military base in his country. Trump said that he liked the idea, but was not sure if he wanted to commit to a permanent presence in Poland. But he did like Duda’s quip that he would name the facility Fort Trump. Mark Sleboda, an international affairs and security analyst, joins Brian and John. Thursday’s weekly series “Criminal Injustice” is about the most egregious conduct of our courts and prosecutors and how justice is denied to so many people in this country. Paul Wright, the founder and executive director of the Human Rights Defense Center and editor of Prison Legal News (PLN), and Kevin Gosztola, a writer for Shadowproof.com and co-host of the podcast Unauthorized Disclosure, join the show. A regular Thursday segment deals with the ongoing militarization of space. As the US continues to withdraw from international arms treaties, will the weaponization and militarization of space bring the world closer to catastrophe? Brian and John speak with Prof. Karl Grossman, a full professor of journalism at the State University of New York, College at Old Westbury and the host of a nationally aired television program focused on environmental, energy, and space issues, and with Bruce Gagnon, coordinator of the Global Network Against Weapons & Nuclear Power in Space and a contributor to Foreign Policy In Focus.

Battle Rages Between Attorney General Barr and House Democrats

Jun 12, 2019 7038

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On today's episode of Loud & Clear, John Kiriakou and Nicole Roussell (sitting in for Brian Becker) are joined by Coleen Rowley, a former FBI special agent who in 2002 was named Time Magazine person of the year along with two other whistleblowers. The House of Representatives yesterday approved a resolution authorizing the Judiciary Committee to go to court to enforce its subpoena for former White House Counsel Don McGahn’s testimony and to seek grand jury information from Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s report. The resolution also authorized the Committee to take its subpoena of Attorney General William Barr to court, but an agreement struck with the Justice Department on Monday will put that action on hold for now. Scott Warren is an activist with an Arizona group called No Mas Muertes, or No More Deaths. He was arrested last year for providing food, water, and shelter to migrants crossing the Sonoran desert. Supporters call him an apostle of humanitarianism. Prosecutors call him a criminal and asked that he be sent to prison for 20 years. Indeed, in closing arguments, the prosecutor said, “He gave them food. He gave them water. He gave them shelter. He’s a very dangerous man.” But a jury deadlocked and the judge declared a mistrial. Justine Orlovsky-Schnitzler, the media coordinator for No More Deaths, joins the show. Kim Yo Jong, the sister of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, visited the demilitarized zone between the two countries today to deliver a condolence message over the death of a former South Korean First Lady who had promoted unity between North and South. Kim Yo Jong is a trusted aide to her brother, and she held talks with the South Korean National Security Advisor. Johns speak with Henri Feron, Senior Fellow at the Center for International Policy. A new study says that the world’s oceans will lose one-sixth of their fish and marine life by the end of the century if climate change continues on its current path. The study comes on the heels of an Australian study last week that found that the world faces an existential risk from climate change by 2050. William Cheung, professor at the University of British Columbia and an author of this study, joins the show. Just days before a law protecting renters and tenants was set to expire, New York lawmakers reached a deal to strengthen those protections. The new law keeps more housing units in the rent regulatory system, adding inventory for the poor and middle classes. And it makes the change permanent so that the legislature neve again has to take up the issue. Why is housing so expensive across the country? And why is it central to the entire U.S. economy? Dr. Jack Rasmus, a professor of economics at Saint Mary's College of California and author of “Central Bankers at the End of Their Ropes: Monetary Policy and the Coming Depression,” whose work is at www.jackrasmus.com, joins John. Wednesday’s weekly series, In the News, is where the hosts look at the most important ongoing developments of the week and put them into perspective. Sputnik news analyst Walter Smolarek joins the show. Wednesday’s regular segment, Beyond Nuclear, is about nuclear issues, including weapons, energy, waste, and the future of nuclear technology in the United States. Kevin Kamps, the Radioactive Waste Watchdog at the organization Beyond Nuclear, joins the show.

Secret Recording of Pompeo: US Plots to Stop Jeremy Corbyn

Jun 11, 2019 6814

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On today's episode of Loud & Clear, Brian Becker and John Kiriakou are joined by Jackie Walker, a life-long activist against racism and the former Vice Chair of the pro-Jeremy Corbyn organization Momentum. The Washington Post yesterday reported that Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told a group of American Jewish leaders in a private meeting that the US would seek to block Jeremy Corbyn from becoming British Prime Minister if the US detected what Pompeo called “antisemitism.” He said the US government would “push back” against Corbyn and that “we won’t wait for him to do those things,” presumably meaning oppose Israel. The Pentagon says that it is canceling Turkey’s involvement in the F-35 Stealth fighter program over Ankara’s plans to buy a Russian S-400 missile defense system. Turkish pilots will no longer be trained on the F-35, and they’ve been asked to leave a US Air Force base in Arizona. Turkish President Erdogan said that he is undeterred by the US action and will complete the purchase and installation of the S-400. Dr. Gönül Tol, the founding director of The Middle East Institute’s Center for Turkish Studies and a former professor, joins the show. The Intercept is reporting that an enormous trove of secret documents reveals that Brazil’s most powerful prosecutors, who have spent years insisting that they are apolitical, instead plotted to prevent the Workers Party from winning the 2018 election by blocking or weakening a pre-election interview given by former president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva with the explicit purpose of affecting the outcome of the election. Dubbed Operation Car Wash, the prosecutors’ plot began in 2014. Brian and John speak with Aline Piva, she is a journalist and a member of Brazilians for Democracy and Social Justice. Kim Jong Nam, the half brother of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, told a Japanese journalist shortly before his assassination in Malaysia in 2017 that he was in contact with the CIA. The Western media is saying that Kim was a “source” for the CIA. The revelation will soon appear in a new book. Emanuel Pastereich, a professor and the founder and director of The Asia Institute, a pan-Asian think tank, joins the show. Jorge Ramos is arguably the best-known Spanish-language journalist in America. The chief anchorman of Univision is known as the Walter Cronkite of Latin America. As such, he interviewed Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro in February. But the interview was contentious. Ramos said Maduro walked out after Ramos started playing a video of Venezuelans eating out of trash cans. Univision announced last week that it had recovered the film and would air it soon. But it shows something completely different from what Ramos has said. What will the fallout be? Alex Rubenstein, a journalist for Mint Press News and on Twitter @realalexrubi, joins Brian and John. Tuesday’s weekly series is False Profits—A Weekly Look at Wall Street and Corporate Capitalism with Daniel Sankey. Brian and John speak with financial policy analyst Daniel Sankey. Today’s regular segment that airs every Tuesday is called Women & Society with Dr. Hannah Dickinson. This weekly segment is about the major issues, challenges, and struggles facing women in all aspects of society. Hannah Dickinson, an associate professor at Hobart and William Smith Colleges and an organizer with the Geneva Women’s Assembly, and Loud & Clear producer Nicole Roussell join the show.

“Tariffs are a Beautiful Thing” – Deciphering Trump’s Strategy

Jun 10, 2019 6957

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On today's episode of Loud & Clear, Brian Becker and John Kiriakou are joined by Sputnik News analysts and producers of this show Nicole Roussell and Walter Smolarek. In this segment, which we call The Week Ahead, the hosts take a look at the most newsworthy stories of the coming week and what it means for the country and the world, including the political theater of Donald Trump’s threats of new tariffs against Mexico, the emerging Democratic party strategy of new hearings on Russiagate, a new outrage from Guantanamo, and much more. Monday’s regular segment Technology Rules with Chris Garaffa is a weekly guide on how monopoly corporations and the national surveillance state are threatening cherished freedoms, civil rights and civil liberties. Web developer and technologist Chris Garaffa joins the show. House Democrats are pushing ahead with plans to hold hearings this week that would feature testimony--or a lack of testimony--by Special Counsel Robert Mueller. House Intelligence Committee chairman Adam Schiff will hold a rare open session on what he calls the “counterintelligence implications” of the Mueller report. A parallel hearing before the House Judiciary Committee today will feature testimony by famed Watergate whistleblower John Dean. And Democrats also plan a vote tomorrow to hold Attorney General William Barr and former White House Counsel Don McGahn in contempt of Congress. Brian and John speak with Ted Rall, an award-winning editorial cartoonist and columnist. You can check out his work at rall.com. Nearly one million people protested in Hong Kong yesterday against a proposed law that would create an extradition system between semi-autonomous Hong Kong and mainland China. The law would allow for case-by-case fugitive transfers between Hong Kong and the Chinese provinces. Leaders of the protests say Beijing will use the measure to target activists, dissidents, and other political opponents. Hong Kong’s governor, however, says she will continue to push for passage of the bill to guarantee the unity of China rather than deepen the division between the city and the mainland that is a legacy of a century and a half of British colonial rule. Eugene Puryear, the co-host of the Sputnik News radio show By Any Means Necessary, which you can hear every day from 2:00-4:00 and as a podcast, joins the show. Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro has reopened the border with Colombia after a closure of four months. The situation on the Venezuela-Colombia border has been a central theme promoted by those who favor yet another so-called “humanitarian” regime change operation. Anya Parampil, a Washington-based journalist for The Grayzone, joins Brian and John. Monday’s segment “Education for Liberation” takes look at the state of education across the country. What’s happening in our schools, colleges, and universities, and what impact does it have on the world around us? Dr. Kevin Kumashiro, former dean of the School of Education at the University of San Francisco, joins Brian and John. Abdel Baset al-Sarout was arguably the most famous soccer player in Syria. He became something of western media star when he left the game to take up arms against the government of President Bashar al-Assad. Sarout was killed in a battle in Idlib over the weekend and is being hailed as a hero in the western press. What the media don’t want you to know, however, is that Sarout was killed fighting on behalf a group sponsored by al-Qaeda and had pledged allegiance to ISIS. Brian and John speak with Dan Cohen, a journalist and a documentary filmmaker who made the mini-doc “The Syria Deception: Al-Qaeda Goes to Hollywood,” available at The Grayzone.

Russiagate Hoax Unravels: The “Russian” Spy Was Actually a US Asset

Jun 7, 2019 6755

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On today's episode of Loud & Clear, Brian Becker and John Kiriakou are joined by Aaron Maté, a journalist for The Nation and The Grayzone, and a former host and producer at Democracy Now and The Real News. A new report reveals not only that key Russiagate figure Konstantin Kilimnik was not a so-called Russian government agent, but that he was in fact a US State Department source. And, Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s team knew about this for more than the past year. US and Russian warships came within 165 feet of each other earlier today, and each country blames the other for the near collision. Accidents happen -- but when tensions between countries are as high as they are now in this new Cold War, even small mishaps can start unnecessary war. Mark Sleboda, an international affairs and security analyst, joins the show. President Trump this week criticized the war in Vietnam, a sentiment that many Americans share. Rather than concentrate on keeping America out of more wars, CNN took him to task about his comments and his not having served in the military, noting that many soldiers don’t want to serve but “it is the call of their country.” Brian and John speak with Jim Kavanagh, editor in chief of thepolemicist.net. It’s Friday! So it’s time for the week’s worst and most misleading headlines. Brian and John speak with Steve Patt, an independent journalist whose critiques of the mainstream media have been a feature of his site Left I on the News and on twitter @leftiblog, and Sputnik producer Nicole Roussell. Friday is Loud & Clear’s weekly hour-long segment The Week in Review, about the week in politics, policy, and international affairs. Will Trump impose new tariffs on Mexico as Mexico scrambles to meet his demands to stem asylum seekers from reaching the US/Mexico border? We also talk about the newest developments in the US efforts to overthrow the government of Venezuela, the falsification of history on this the 75th anniversary of D-Day (specifically negating the role of the Soviet Union), and Joe Biden’s flip flop on abortion rights and what it means for his campaign. Dan Kovalik, a human rights and labor lawyer who is the author of the book “The Plot to Overthrow Venezuela: How the US is Orchestrating a Coup for Oil,” and Sputnik News analyst and producer of this show Nicole Roussell, joins Brian and John.

Trump Pushes Global Trade War with One Goal in Mind

Jun 6, 2019 6968

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On today's episode of Loud & Clear, Brian Becker and John Kiriakou are joined by Richard Wolff, a professor of Economics Emeritus, University of Massachusetts, Amherst and founder of the organization Democracy at Work. President Trump said on Twitter yesterday that no agreement has been reached with Mexico on stemming the flow of undocumented migrants and that tariffs would go into effect on Monday. Mexico’s Foreign Minister met yesterday with Vice President Pence and Secretary of State Pompeo hoping to convince them that Mexico is doing all it can to protect the border. But White House officials said nothing would make the president happy short of a complete cessation of illegal border crossings. The President also made threats today about new tariffs on another $300 billion of Chinese goods. Thursday’s weekly series “Criminal Injustice” is about the most egregious conduct of our courts and prosecutors and how justice is denied to so many people in this country. Paul Wright, the founder and executive director of the Human Rights Defense Center and editor of Prison Legal News (PLN), and Kevin Gosztola, a writer for Shadowproof.com and co-host of the podcast Unauthorized Disclosure, join the show. YouTube announced yesterday that it was removing all videos that promote extremist agendas like white supremacy or that deny events that the company says are “generally known to have happened,” like the Sandy Hook massacre or the Holocaust. The policy sounds like a great idea. But what would it do about events like the Gulf of Tonkin or alleged Syrian government chemical attacks, which were later debunked? And what does the policy say about freedom of speech? Alex Rubenstein, a journalist with Mint Press News, joins the show. Today marks the 75th anniversary of the D-Day invasion of Normandy. A high-profile ceremony involving heads of government was held, but it included some surprising guests -- Germany and Italy. Also notable was Russia’s absence, the country that suffered the highest casualties in the war and took on the bulk of the Nazi army. What’s the true story of D-Day and World War Two as a whole? Peter Kuznick, a professor of history and director of the Nuclear Studies Institute at American University and the co-author with Oliver Stone of the book and the hit Showtime television series “The Untold History of the United States,” joins the show. Russian President Vladimir Putin met yesterday at the Kremlin with Chinese President Xi Jinping to discuss the arms race, trade, and what they called “global political stability.” The visit coincides with the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum and the 70th anniversary of relations between the two countries. Relations are warming between the two emerging world powers as hostility from the United States escalates against both. Brian and John speak with Vijay Prashad, the Director of the Tricontinental: Institute for Social Research and Chief Editor of LeftWord Books and the author - most recently - of “Arab Spring, Libyan Winter.” Veterans for Peace is Thursday’s regular segment about the contemporary issues of war and peace that affect veterans, their families, and the country as a whole. Gerry Condon, a Vietnam-era veteran and war resister who has been a peace and solidarity activist for almost 50 years, currently as national president of Veterans for Peace, joins the show. A regular Thursday segment deals with the ongoing militarization of space. As the US continues to withdraw from international arms treaties, will the weaponization and militarization of space bring the world closer to catastrophe? Brian and John speak with Prof. Karl Grossman, a full professor of journalism at the State University of New York, College at Old Westbury and the host of a nationally aired television program focused on environmental, energy, and space issues, and with Bruce Gagnon, coordinator of the Global Network Against Weapons & Nuclear Power in Space and a contributor to Foreign Policy In Focus.

Australian Police State? Feds Raid Australian Broadcaster

Jun 5, 2019 7052

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On today's episode of Loud & Clear, Brian Becker and John Kiriakou are joined by Tim Karr, the senior director of strategy and communications at Free Press and he joins us from Washington. Australian federal police this morning raided the headquarters of the Australian Broadcasting Corporation in a move that is meeting with an outcry from journalists, civil libertarians, unions, and human rights groups. The police had warrants naming two reporters and the news director, who had worked on a story using Defense Ministry documents showing that Australian troops had committed war crimes in Afghanistan. Police also raided the home of one of the reporters. Joe Biden is the frontrunner for the Democratic nomination for president. Believe it or not, this is the fourth time he’s run for the country’s highest office. And he was Vice President for eight years. Biden’s earlier campaigns were doomed for a variety of reasons. In 1988 he was credibly accused of plagiarism. In 1992 he was accused of embellishment. In 2000, his candidacy didn’t catch on because of his high-profile role in the Clarence Thomas hearing. All these years later, Biden doesn’t seem to have changed. Can he really win the Democratic nomination? And if he does, can he really become president? A controversy over plagiarism in his newly announced environmental policy have people raising these questions more and more. Jim Kavanagh, the editor of thepolemicist.net, joins the show. The US and its allies say that 180 civilians were killed in military operations in Raqqa, Syria between June and October 2018. But a new study by Amnesty International says that the real number of civilian deaths was more than 1600. Meanwhile, Iraq has executed nine French citizens who worked as cooks and mechanics for ISIS and is preparing to execute 11 more. The nine had trials that lasted mere minutes. Brian and John speak with Ben Norton, a journalist with the Grayzone and co-host of the Moderate Rebels podcast. Wednesday’s regular segment, Beyond Nuclear, is about nuclear issues, including weapons, energy, waste, and the future of nuclear technology in the United States. Kevin Kamps, the Radioactive Waste Watchdog at the organization Beyond Nuclear, and Sputnik news analyst and producer Nicole Roussell, join the show. Wednesday’s weekly series, In the News, is where the hosts look at the most important ongoing developments of the week and put them into perspective. Sputnik news analysts Nicole Roussell and Walter Smolarek join the show. They focus on the Australian police raid of major news outlet Australian Broadcasting Corporation, the major problems and challenges facing Joe Biden’s campaign for the Democratic nomination, and the “deal of the century” where the United States that is attempting to liquidate the national aspirations of the Palestinian people for genuine self-determination. Jazz arose in late nineteenth century North America—most likely in New Orleans—based on the musical traditions of Africans, newly freed from slavery. Grounded in the music known as the “blues,” which expressed the pain, sufferings, and hopes of African-Americans under the thumb of Jim Crow, this new music entered the world via the instruments that had been abandoned by departing military bands after the Civil War. Gerald Horne’s new book Jazz and Justice examines the economic, social, and political forces that shaped this music into a phenomenal US—and Black American—contribution to global arts and culture. They also talk with Dr. Horne about his second new book, “White Supremacy Confronted: U.S. Imperialism and Anti-Communism vs. the Liberation of Southern Africa from Rhodes to Mandela.” Dr. Gerald Horne joins Brian and John and is a professor of history at the University of Houston and the author of many books.

Tiananmen Square 30 Years Later: The State of U.S.-China Relations

Jun 4, 2019 6979

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On today's episode of Loud & Clear, Brian Becker and John Kiriakou are joined by John Ross, Senior Fellow at Chongyang Institute, Renmin University of China, and an award-winning resident columnist with several Chinese media organizations. Top U.S. and Chinese officials exchanged sharp criticisms in the run up to today’s 30th anniversary of the 1989 events in Tiananmen Square, with U.S. Secretary of State Pompeo slamming China’s human rights record and a Chinese government spokesman replying that the remarks aim to “patronise and bully the Chinese people.” What happened 30 years ago, and why is it still such an important issue in contemporary U.S.-China relations? President Trump is in the second day of his visit to the UK. He met this morning with outgoing Prime Minister Theresa May and said he was interested in negotiating what he called a “major trade deal” with the country. Queen Elizabeth hosted a state dinner for the president last night, but Trump’s crowds have been small and very large protests have been staged around the country. Neil Clark, a journalist and broadcaster whose work has appeared in The Guardian, The Week, and Morning Star, joins the show. Sudan’s Transitional Military Council canceled all agreements with the main opposition coalition today just hours after the military fired live ammunition into unarmed pro-democracy protesters. More than 35 people were killed and hundreds were wounded. The military’s leadership said that it would hold elections in nine months, but without the help and support of the opposition. But protest leaders are now calling for a massive nationwide campaign of civil disobedience. Brian and John speak with Mwiza Munthali, the host of the WPFW Radio show Africa Now and formerly with the advocacy group TransAfrica Forum. A Swedish judge has rejected a request to detain Wikileaks co-founder Julian Assange in absentia, complicating hopes to extradite him from the UK. Assange faces what many observers call a politically-motivated sexual assault charge in Sweden, but the court’s decision now prohibits Sweden from asking the UK to hold him if he is released. Meanwhile, the Justice Department has decided that Assange will not face charges related to the “Vault 7” leak of CIA cyberweapons. Kevin Gosztola, a writer for Shadowproof.com and co-host of the podcast Unauthorized Disclosure, joins the show. The House of Representatives yesterday finally approved a $19.1 billion disaster relief bill after protests from three Republican House members delayed it for months. The bill has already passed the Senate and has President Trump’s support. The measure would provide aid to states and territories hit by floods, hurricanes, wildfires, and other natural disasters, but is this assistance too little too late? Dr. Adriana Garriga-López, Department Chair and Associate Professor of Anthropology at Kalamazoo College, joins Brian and John. Tuesday’s weekly series is False Profits—A Weekly Look at Wall Street and Corporate Capitalism with Daniel Sankey. Brian and John speak with financial policy analyst Daniel Sankey. Today’s regular segment that airs every Tuesday is called Women & Society with Dr. Hannah Dickinson. This weekly segment is about the major issues, challenges, and struggles facing women in all aspects of society. Hannah Dickinson, an associate professor at Hobart and William Smith Colleges and an organizer with the Geneva Women’s Assembly, and Loud & Clear producer Nicole Roussell join the show.

Feds Defy Court Order, Refuse to Make Flynn-Russian Transcripts Public

Jun 3, 2019 7074

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On today's episode of Loud & Clear, Brian Becker and John Kiriakou are joined by Bruce Fein, a constitutional law scholar and a former assistant deputy Attorney General of the United States, and Dan Kovalik, a human rights and labor lawyer who is the author of the book “The Plot to Overthrow Venezuela: How the US is Orchestrating a Coup for Oil.” The Justice Department is refusing to comply with a federal judge’s order to release transcripts of recorded conversations between former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn and Russian Ambassador to the United States Sergey Kislyak. Federal prosecutors also refused to release an unredacted portion of the Mueller report that focused on Flynn. That puts the Department of Justice in contempt of court. Monday’s regular segment Technology Rules with Chris Garaffa is a weekly guide on how monopoly corporations and the national surveillance state are threatening cherished freedoms, civil rights and civil liberties. Web developer and technologist Chris Garaffa joins the show. President Trump arrived in London this morning on his first official visit to the UK. He met at Buckingham Palace with Queen Elizabeth, but he also took the time to call the mayor of London “a stone cold loser.” Meanwhile, former British parliamentarian George Galloway, a frequent guest of this show, was fired over the weekend from his own radio show in the UK on the Talk Radio network after being accused of anti-semitism. When did even the most vague criticism of Israel become anti-Semitism? Brian and John speak with George Galloway, a legendary anti-war activist and a former parliamentarian. Tensions between former Vice President Joe Biden and progressive Democrats were on full display over the weekend as the party’s presidential front-runner skipped the California Democratic Party Convention and was criticized for his establishment views. Other party moderates like former Colorado governor John Hickenlooper and former Maryland Congressman John Delaney were roundly booed for warning attendees not to move too far to the left. But much of the media has lept to Biden’s defense. Jacqueline Luqman, the editor-in-chief of Luqman Nation, which livestreams every week on Facebook and Youtube, and a journalist with The Real News Network, joins the show. Newly released documents from the Snowden archives reveals that Israel relied heavily on intelligence from NSA in its 2006 war in Lebanon and made repeated requests for locational information on Hezbollah operatives to target them for assassination. That Israeli pressure led to the creation of a new intelligence-sharing framework between the US and Israel. Bill Binney, a former NSA technical director who became a legendary national security whistleblower, joins Brian and John. In a surprise announcement yesterday, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said that the US was prepared to negotiate with Iran with no preconditions. The statement is the second softening of Iran policy in the past week, with President Trump saying that he was ready to talk to Iran’s leaders and was not seeking regime change. This put him in direct conflict with his own National Security Advisor, John Bolton, who has long sought just that. Ambassador Peter Ford, the former UK Ambassador to Syria, joins the show. Monday’s segment “Education for Liberation with Bill Ayers” is where Bill helps us look at the state of education across the country. What’s happening in our schools, colleges, and universities, and what impact does it have on the world around us? Bill Ayers, an activist, educator and the author of the book “Demand the Impossible: A Radical Manifesto,” joins Brian and John.

Assange Hospitalized: He Was Psychologically Tortured, Says UN Official

May 31, 2019 6960

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On today's episode of Loud & Clear, Brian Becker and John Kiriakou are joined by Joe Lauria, the editor-in-chief of Consortium News, founded by the late Robert Parry. And he’s the author of the book “How I Lost, By Hillary Clinton.” Wikileaks co-founder Julian Assange is in a prison hospital in serious condition, according to his attorneys, family members, and Wikileaks. Julian was transferred to the prison hospital yesterday after one of his attorneys found him to be incoherent in advance of a court hearing that he was going to do via video. Meanwhile, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Torture appealed to the UK government today, saying that Julian was being tortured psychologically. President Trump last night announced onerous new sanctions against Mexico that will take effect on June 10, unless the Mexican government stems the flow of migrants to the United States. Tariffs of 5 percent on all Mexican goods began that day and will rise to 25 percent by October. Stocks and bonds both tumbled with the news, and Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said “social problems cannot be solved with taxes or coercive measures,” and he accused the United States of being a “ghetto” for undocumented migrants. Isabel Garcia, co-founder of Coalición de Derechos Humanos, joins the show. Iran today accused Saudi Arabia of rallying regional countries to follow US and Israeli hostility toward it at a summit in Mecca. Saudi King Salman called on countries to contain what he called “an aggressive and hostile Iran.” Saudi Arabia says that Iran is behind recent attacks against oil tankers in the Gulf, as well as Saudi oil installations. Brian and John speak with Ambassador Peter Ford, the former UK Ambassador to Syria. In 1989, five Black and Latino teenagers were arrested and charged with the assault and rape of a white woman in New York’s Central Park. Police pressured them into making false confessions. They all served prison time. But a convicted murderer later confessed to the crime. Now a new four-part mini-series by Ana DuVernay is telling the story of the Central Park 5. Called “When They See Us,” it was released today on Netflix. Gerald Horne, a professor of history at the University of Houston and author of many books, including “The Counter-Revolution of 1776: Slave Resistance and the Origins of the United States of America,” joins the show. It’s Friday! So it’s time for the week’s worst and most misleading headlines. Brian and John speak with Steve Patt, an independent journalist whose critiques of the mainstream media have been a feature of his site Left I on the News and on twitter @leftiblog, and Sputnik producer Nicole Roussell. Friday is Loud & Clear’s weekly hour-long segment The Week in Review, about the week in politics, policy, and international affairs. Today they focus on Julian Assange’s grave health crisis, war tensions in the Middle East as the US tries to back away from an escalating confrontation with Iran, Trump’s new announced tariffs on Mexico, the failure of Netanyahu to form a government in Israel, and the results of the European Parliament election. Brian and John are joined by Sputnik News analysts and producers Walter Smolarek and Nicole Roussell.

Mueller Closes the Case But Politicians, Media are Still Obsessed

May 30, 2019 6745

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On today's episode of Loud & Clear, Brian Becker and John Kiriakou are joined by Aaron Maté, a journalist for The Nation and a former host and producer at Democracy Now and The Real News. Special Counsel Robert Mueller said in a rare press conference yesterday that his investigation is over and that his written report speaks for itself. He added that he would not answer any questions, even from Congress, beyond what is already in the report. But one thing the mainstream media is overlooking is that careful language Mueller used. What did he really say about the DNC hack, Russia, and collusion? Israelis will go to the polls again in September after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu failed to form a governing coalition by yesterday’s deadline. Netanyahu was unable to pull in enough support amid a dispute with former ally Avigdor Lieberman of the ultranationalist Israel Our Home over the conscription of ultra-orthodox Jewish seminary students. Netanyahu will remain in office until the election and, in July, will become the longest serving Israeli prime minister in history. Sputnik news analysts and producers of Loud & Clear Walter Smolarek and Nicole Roussell join the show. Janet Africa and Janine Africa, two members of the Philadelphia-based Black liberation group MOVE, became the third and fourth members to be released from prison last week after serving 40 years. The women were arrested in 1978 after a confrontation with police that left one policeman dead. However, it was proven during trial that no member of MOVE had fired a single shot. Nonetheless, nine MOVE members were convicted. Walter and John speak with Mike Africa Jr., a member of the MOVE organization and son of two of the members of the MOVE 9. Veterans for Peace is Thursday’s regular segment about the contemporary issues of war and peace that affect veterans, their families, and the country as a whole. Gerry Condon, a Vietnam-era veteran and war resister who has been a peace and solidarity activist for almost 50 years, currently as national president of Veterans for Peace, joins the show. Mexico’s Attorney General today charged Emilio Lozoya, the politically-connected former CEO of the state oil company Pemex, with corruption. His arrest warrant is part of an anti-corruption campaign waged by President Andrés Manuel López Obrador. Dr. John Ackerman, professor of Constitutional Law at the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM), researcher at the Legal Research Institute of UNAM, and editorial director of the Mexican Law Review, joins Brian and John. Thursday’s weekly series “Criminal Injustice” is about the most egregious conduct of our courts and prosecutors and how justice is denied to so many people in this country. Paul Wright, the founder and executive director of the Human Rights Defense Center and editor of Prison Legal News (PLN), and Kevin Gosztola, a writer for Shadowproof.com and co-host of the podcast Unauthorized Disclosure, join the show. A regular Thursday segment deals with the ongoing militarization of space. As the US continues to withdraw from international arms treaties, will the weaponization and militarization of space bring the world closer to catastrophe? Walter and John speak with Bruce Gagnon, coordinator of the Global Network Against Weapons & Nuclear Power in Space and a contributor to Foreign Policy In Focus.

Mueller Resigns But the Russiagate Conspiracy Hoax Lives On

May 29, 2019 7119

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On today's episode of Loud & Clear, Brian Becker and John Kiriakou are joined by Ted Rall, an award-winning editorial cartoonist and columnist whose work is at rall.com. Special Counsel Robert Mueller held a press conference today in which he said that he would not say anything before Congress than he had already written in his report. He cautioned that he had NOT said that the President had not tried to obstruct justice, but that it was unconstitutional to charge a sitting president with a crime and unfair to accuse a person of a crime when he could not defend himself. National Security Advisor John Bolton held a press conference today where he accused Iran of using mines to attack the oil tankers that were damaged in the Persian Gulf on May 12. Bolton also accused Iran of being behind a failed attempt to disrupt Saudi oil infrastructure. No evidence was presented to support these claims, but the Trump administration’s march towards confrontation with Iran continues regardless. Massoud Shadjareh, the founder of the Islamic Human Rights Commission, joins the show. In honor of Memorial Day this weekend, the US Army tweeted a question to its followers, “How has serving impacted you?” along with a video of a young soldier saying he learned to “better himself as a man and a warrior.” But instead of similar responses, the tweet garnered a huge response detailing the suicides, deaths, PTSD, and myriad mental health problems that veterans and family members cope with. Brian and John speak with Mike Prysner, an Army veteran who served for a year in Iraq, a documentary filmmaker, and a co-host of the anti-war podcast Eyes Left. Today marks six months since 7 men were declared responsible for the murder of indigenous Lenca leader Berta Caceres in Honduras. Yet, the court still hasn’t issued a written sentence, leaving the case in a precarious legal situation. The court found that top DESA executives (the company that Berta was trying to stop from building a hydroelectric dam) knew about, and consented to, planning and killing Berta. Today, international members of the Observer Mission in the trial will hold a press conference outside the court. Joe Berra, from the UCLA school of Law, who represented the Promise Institute in the Observer Mission during the trial, joins the show. Chinese telecommunications company Huawei is stepping up its efforts to resist a campaign led by the U.S. government to curtail its operations around the world. In a press conference today, Huawei’s top lawyers said, “The US government has provided no evidence to show that Huawei is a security threat. There is no gun, no smoke. Only speculation.” Sputnik News analyst and producer Walter Smolarek joins Brian and John. Wednesday’s weekly series, In the News, is where the hosts look at the most important ongoing developments of the week and put them into perspective. Today they discuss Mueller’s comments today, Bolton’s new accusations against Iran, what’s become of the few soldiers who defected from Venezuela to Colombia when Guaido asked, and the assaults on women’s right to abortion nationwide. Sputnik news analysts Nicole Roussell and Walter Smolarek joins the show. Wednesday’s regular segment, Beyond Nuclear, is about nuclear issues, including weapons, energy, waste, and the future of nuclear technology in the United States. Kevin Kamps, the Radioactive Waste Watchdog at the organization Beyond Nuclear, and Sputnik news analyst and producer Nicole Roussell, join the show.

European Parliament Election: Traditional Parties Shattered in UK

May 28, 2019 6969

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On today's episode of Loud & Clear, Brian Becker and John Kiriakou are joined by Neil Clark, a journalist and broadcaster whose work has appeared in The Guardian, The Week, and Morning Star. Elections for the European Parliament are over and the results are not nearly as clear cut as many observers had expected. In the UK, the results held true to public opinion polls, with Nigel Farage’s Brexit Party finishing first with more than 35 percent of the vote. Elsewhere around Europe in the European Parliamentary election, the anticipated right-wing tide never materialized, and although more nationalists were elected to the body, the Greens also finished very strongly. In the end, pro-Europeanists still control the majority. Independent journalist Diani Barreto and Alexander Mercouris, the editor-in-chief of The Duran, join the show. Cybercriminals--extortionists--have terrorized Baltimore over the past three weeks, freezing thousands of city computers, freezing emails, and disrupting everything from real estate transactions to water bills. But the kicker in this computer ransom attack is that the malware being used to do it was developed just down the Baltimore-Washington Parkway at NSA, which lost control of the program in 2017. Brian and John speak with web developer and technologist Chris Garaffa. Fighting in the last rebel-held stronghold in Syria continued today. Syrian government forces have been closing in on Idlib for the past month, and the United Nations estimates that nearly 1,000 civilians have been killed or wounded there in that period. Idlib is controlled by the Tahrir al-Sham group, formerly known as the al-Nusra Front, al-Qaeda’s military wing in Syria. And the group’s leader is calling on Turkish forces for assistance. Meanwhile, the Syrian government and Israel had an especially intense exchange of fire over the weekend. Rick Sterling, an investigative journalist and member of the Syria Solidarity Movement, joins the show. During a trip to Japan over the weekend, President Trump insisted that the peace talks with North Korea are still on and made a series of comments that generated major controversy in the United States. Simone Chun, a fellow at the Korea Policy Institute and a member of the Korean Peace Network, joins Brian and John. Tuesday’s weekly series is False Profits—A Weekly Look at Wall Street and Corporate Capitalism with Daniel Sankey. Brian and John speak with financial policy analyst Daniel Sankey. Today’s regular segment that airs every Tuesday is called Women & Society with Dr. Hannah Dickinson. This weekly segment is about the major issues, challenges, and struggles facing women in all aspects of society. Hannah Dickinson, an associate professor at Hobart and William Smith Colleges and an organizer with the Geneva Women’s Assembly, and Loud & Clear producer Nicole Roussell join the show.

Charging Assange with Espionage is a Dagger at Heart of Press Freedom

May 24, 2019 6702

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On today's episode of Loud & Clear, Brian Becker and John Kiriakou are joined by Joe Lauria, editor-in-chief of Consortium News and author of the book "How I Lost, By Hillary Clinton." The superseding indictment of Julian Assange on violations of the espionage act is sending shockwaves around the world. The panel discusses what this extreme attack on press freedom means for democracy in the United States. President Trump yesterday gave Attorney General William Barr sweeping powers to review and declassify documents related to how the Russia collusion investigation was conducted. He also ordered the CIA and all of the other 15 intelligence agencies to cooperate in the review. Barr also will seek to determine if the Obama Administration authorized a spying operation against the Trump campaign. The hosts are joined by Dan Kovalik, a human rights and labor lawyer who is the author of the book “The Plot to Overthrow Venezuela: How the US is Orchestrating a Coup for Oil.” British Prime Minister Theresa May announced this morning that she was resigning as Prime Minister and as leader of the Conservative Party. She will remain as a member of parliament. The resignation will be effective June 7. May has lost control of her party’s backbench and has been unable to push a Brexit agreement through parliament. A succession race already has begun. Lee Stranahan. He’s the co-host of Fault Lines and is on the ground in the UK covering the European Parliament election for Sputnik, joins the show. The Trump Administration is preparing to circumvent Congress to allow the export to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates of billions of dollars of weapons and munitions that are currently on hold because of the war against Yemen, reportedly by declaring that an emergency exists with regards to alleged Iranian threats. The weapons are worth about $7 billion. The move already has drawn the ire of Republicans and Democrats alike. Brian and John speak with Brian Terrell, a long time peace activist and a co-coordinator of Voices for Creative Nonviolence. Our next guest just got back from a conference in Beijing called Dialogue of Asian Civilizations and its conclusions couldn’t have been more different from what has been going on in Washington. A senior State Department officials and former Trump campaign official told a conservative think tank in Washington earlier this month that US competition with China is a result of a “clash of civilizations, cultures, and ideologies.” But our guest today is a scholar who pushes back on this dangerous interpretation that poses a serious threat to peace in the world. Emanuel Pastereich. He is a professor and the founder and director of The Asia Institute, a pan-Asian think tank, joins the show. Again this week we’ll look at the worst, most misleading, funniest, and the just plain wrong headlines of the past week. Steve Patt, an independent journalist whose critiques of the mainstream media have been a feature of his site Left I on the News, at lefti.blogspot.com, joins Brian and John.

Ex-Darling of the Media: Michael Avenatti Charged Again as a Fraudster

May 23, 2019 6852

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On today's episode of Loud & Clear, Brian Becker and John Kiriakou are joined by Jim Kavanagh, the editor of thepolemicist.net. Michael Avenatti, the attorney who rocketed to fame by representing adult film star Stormy Daniels in her lawsuit against President Trump, was charged yesterday with defrauding her of $300,000. Avenatti was charged earlier this year in New York on multiple felony counts of trying to extort the Nike shoe company of $25 million. And he faces yet more felony charges in Los Angeles, accusing him of defrauding other clients. However, at the height of his public notoriety last year, he was hailed as a hero by the corporate media and even established an exploratory committee and said he wanted to run for president. A federal judge ruled against President Trump’s request to block Deutsche Bank from complying with Congressional subpoenas seeking his financial records. Meanwhile, the president angrily walked out of a White House meeting with Congressional Democrats yesterday, saying that any infrastructure bill was dead until Democrats stop all investigations of him. Dave Lindorff, an investigative reporter, a columnist for CounterPunch, and a contributor to Businessweek, The Nation, Extra! and Salon.com, at ThisCantBeHappening.net, joins the show. Voting began today in the most divisive European parliamentary elections in a generation. The UK and the Netherlands vote today, while the remaining 26 European Union nations vote Sunday to allot the parliament’s 751 seats. All eyes are on the UK election, where the far-right Brexit Party has a commanding lead in the polls. The most recent poll shows the ruling Conservatives winning just seven percent of the vote. Meanwhile, Prime Minister Theresa May abandoned her plan to offer a vote on holding a second referendum after backlash from her party. Brian and John speak with Lee Stranahan, the host of Radio Sputnik’s Fault Lines, which you can hear every day, Monday through Friday from 7:00-10:00 am. Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi won a decisive victory in elections yesterday, thumping the opposition Congress Party of Rahul Gandhi, and cruising to another five-year term. Modi is one of the most powerful and divisive figures in modern India, and his Bharatiya Janata Party, or BJP, is poised to win at least 300 seats, far beyond the 272 seats necessary to govern. Dr. Ania Loomba, a professor of literature at the University of Pennsylvania and an expert in postcolonial studies, joins the show. Veterans for Peace is Thursday’s regular segment about the contemporary issues of war and peace that affect veterans, their families, and the country as a whole. Gerry Condon, a Vietnam-era veteran and war resister who has been a peace and solidarity activist for almost 50 years, currently as national president of Veterans for Peace, joins the show. Thursday’s weekly series “Criminal Injustice” is about the most egregious conduct of our courts and prosecutors and how justice is denied to so many people in this country. Paul Wright, the founder and executive director of the Human Rights Defense Center and editor of Prison Legal News (PLN), and Kevin Gosztola, a writer for Shadowproof.com and co-host of the podcast Unauthorized Disclosure, join the show. A regular Thursday segment deals with the ongoing militarization of space. As the US continues to withdraw from international arms treaties, will the weaponization and militarization of space bring the world closer to catastrophe? Brian and John speak with Prof. Karl Grossman, a full professor of journalism at the State University of New York, College at Old Westbury and the host of a nationally-aired television program focused on environmental, energy, and space issues, and with Bruce Gagnon, coordinator of the Global Network Against Weapons & Nuclear Power in Space and a contributor to Foreign Policy In Focus.

US Diverting After “Bombshell” Cover-Up on Chemical Weapons in Syria

May 22, 2019 7004

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On today's episode of Loud & Clear, Brian Becker and John Kiriakou are joined by Ambassador Peter Ford, the former UK Ambassador to Syria. The Trump Administration announced yesterday that it “sees signs that the Syrian government may again be using chemical weapons” in its offensive to recapture the last remaining rebel-held territory in the country, and warned that the use of chemical weapons would incur retaliatory measures from Washington. The alleged chlorine attack took place weeks ago against a group allied with al-Qaeda. These accusations take place, however, just a few days after a report by Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons experts was leaked which casts doubt on the United States’ version of events with regards to a previous alleged chemical attack. The United States is preparing sanctions and criminal charges against Venezuelan officials whom they accuse of using food aid program to launder money for the Maduro government, as well as companies involved in supplying goods to the program. Millions of Venezuelan families rely on the program for food and other basic necessities because of hyperinflation caused in part by existing US sanctions on the country. Lucas Koerner, an activist and writer for VenezuelAnalysis.com, joins the show. The latest Brexit proposal from British Prime Minister Theresa May is causing major controversy and dissension within her own party. May’s final effort to pas a deal comes ahead of elections for the European Parliament, which begin tomorrow. The new hard-right Brexit Party will likely finish first, if the latest polls are correct, with 35 percent of the vote. It shows the Liberal Democrats in second place with 16 percent, followed by Labour at 15 percent, and the environmentalist Green Party at 10 percent. The ruling Conservative Party is projected to finish fifth, with only nine percent of the vote. And the anti-Brexit Change Party, made up of former Conservative and Labour parliamentarians, is polling only five percent. Brian and John speak with Steve Hedley, the senior assistant general secretary of the the UK’s Rail, Maritime, and Transport Workers Union. President Trump is expected to soon name former Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli III to a senior White House position dealing with immigration policy. Cuccinelli is known as a hardliner on immigration and is a frequent contributor to Fox News. He is also the former convention delegate coordinator for Senator Ted Cruz’s presidential campaign. Jacqueline Luqman, co-editor-in-chief of Luqman Nation, where she livestreams every week on Facebook and Youtube, and a journalist with The Real News Network, joins the show. The corruption trial of former Argentine president Cristina Fernández de Kirchner begins today in Buenos Aires. Kirchner faces 12 separate trials and is accused of accepting bribes from a construction company in exchange for lucrative government contracts. She argues, however, that the charges are meant to keep her from being elected to office again. She is currently running for vice president and is polling strongly, especially among young people. Arnold August, a Canadian author and journalist, currently writing articles on Venezuela and Latin America for web sites in the U.S., Canada, Latin America and Europe, joins Brian and John. Wednesday’s weekly series, In the News, is where the hosts look at the most important ongoing developments of the week and put them into perspective. Today they discuss the explosive meeting between Trump and Pelosi, US-Iranian relations, and the continued attack on Venezuela. Sputnik news analysts Nicole Rousesll and Walter Smolarek joins the show. Wednesday’s regular segment, Beyond Nuclear, is about nuclear issues, including weapons, energy, waste, and the future of nuclear technology in the United States. Kevin Kamps, the Radioactive Waste Watchdog at the organization Beyond Nuclear, and Rose Gardner of Alliance for Environmental Strategies in Eunice, New Mexico, join the show.

Yes There Will Be Blowback: The Folly of the Trump Subpoena Saga

May 21, 2019 6846

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On today's episode of Loud & Clear, Brian Becker and John Kiriakou are joined by Ted Rall, an award-winning editorial cartoonist and columnist whose work is at www.rall.com House Democrats fumed today when former White House Counsel Don McGahn was a no-show for a Judiciary Committee hearing, despite the fact that he was subpoenaed. Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler said that McGahn would be held in contempt of Congress, but President Trump said he had ordered McGahn to not testify, and he added that he had done so as a favor to all future presidents. Meanwhile, investigators are seeking a wide range of financial records from President Trump and Donald Trump, Jr. A 16-year-old Guatemalan boy who was being detained by Immigration and Customs Enforcement and was diagnosed with the flu, has died in custody. He is the fifth child to die in ICE custody since December. ICE officials had no response when asked why the boy was not taken to a hospital when he complained of feeling sick. Isabel Garcia, co-founder of Coalición de Derechos Humanos, joins the show. British Prime Minister Theresa May said today that members of parliament have one last chance at a Brexit deal, but only if they back the EU Withdrawal Agreement Bill. That bill contains guarantees on workers rights, environmental protections, and the Irish border, as well as a customs compromise. Parliament already has rejected the bill three times. But May said if it is rejected again, Brexit will be “dead in the water.” Brian and John speak with Neil Clark, a journalist and broadcaster whose work has appeared in The Guardian, The Week, and Morning Star. The United States is pushing for a Middle East peace conference to be held in the small Persian Gulf country of Bahrain next month, describing the event as the first step in unveiling President Donald Trump’s peace plan. The problem is, nobody bothered to either invite or even inform the Palestinians. Palestinian leaders responded by rejecting the event and saying that any peace agreement must be political in nature and must include definitive borders and the end of Israeli territorial occupation. Miko Peled, the author of "Injustice: The Story of the Holy Land Foundation Five,” joins the show. The Environmental Protection Agency is planning to adopt new modeling to project air pollution health risks, according to a new report. Officials plan to start calculating air pollution effects on humans by assuming "there is little or no health benefit to making the air any cleaner than what the law requires,” going against well documented evidence that says otherwise. Fred Magdoff, professor emeritus of plant and soil science at the University of Vermont and the co-author of “What Every Environmentalist Needs to Know About Capitalism” and “Creating an Ecological Society: Toward a Revolutionary Transformation” from Monthly Review Press, joins Brian and John. Tuesday’s weekly series is False Profits—A Weekly Look at Wall Street and Corporate Capitalism with Daniel Sankey. Brian and John speak with financial policy analyst Daniel Sankey and Sputnik news analyst Walter Smolarek. Today’s regular segment that airs every Tuesday is called Women & Society with Dr. Hannah Dickinson. This weekly segment is about the major issues, challenges, and struggles facing women in all aspects of society. Hannah Dickinson, an associate professor at Hobart and William Smith Colleges and an organizer with the Geneva Women’s Assembly, and Loud & Clear producer Nicole Roussell join the show.

American Puppet: Ecuador Hands Assange’s Legal, Medical Records to US

May 20, 2019 6725

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On today's episode of Loud & Clear, Brian Becker and John Kiriakou are joined by Randy Credico, an activist, a comedian, and the former director of the William Moses Kunstler Fund for Racial Justice. Today, Ecuadorian authorities handed over to US prosecutors Julian Assange’s legal documents and medical records that remain in the Ecuadorian Embassy after Assange’s arrest. Sweden also issued a request for a detention order against Assange. Over the weekend president Trump threatened to “end” Iran if it threatens the United States, prompting an outraged response from the Iranian government. Fears are mounting that the stage is being set for war. Massoud Shadjareh, the founder of the Islamic Human Rights Commission, joins the show. New Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky was inaugurated today following his landslide election victory, and immediately dissolved parliament and called for snap elections. What does Zelensky’s presidency mean for Ukraine and for the geopolitical conflicts the country is embroiled in? Brian and John speak with Mark Sleboda, an international affairs and security analyst. Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s coalition is expected to form a majority government after an unexpectedly strong finish in yesterday’s elections. Voters rejected the opposition Labor’s Party’s focus on climate change in favor of Morrison’s push for the use of more coal. Anti-immigrant and anti-Muslim sentiment are also thought to have played a key role in the election. Dick Nichols, the correspondent for Spain and Catalonia for Green Left Weekly, joins the show. Monday’s segment “Education for Liberation with Bill Ayers” is where Bill helps us look at the state of education across the country. What’s happening in our schools, colleges, and universities, and what impact does it have on the world around us? Bill Ayers, an activist, educator and the author of the book “Demand the Impossible: A Radical Manifesto,” joins Brian and John. Corporate media came out with a new line of attack on the Democratic presidential candidates most closely identified with the peace movement. The New York Times recently published a magazine article accusing Bernie Sanders of embracing left-wing and liberation movements and involving himself in the Cold War when he was mayor of Burlington, Vermont. And The Daily Beast wrote this weekend that Tulsi Gabbard’s campaign is being “boosted by Putin apologists.” Is this the Democrats’ version of McCarthyism for the 2020 campaign? Jim Kavanagh, the editor of thepolemicist.net, and Dan Kovalik, a human rights and labor lawyer who is the author of the book “The Plot to Overthrow Venezuela: How the US is Orchestrating a Coup for Oil,” joins the show. Monday’s regular segment Technology Rules with Chris Garaffa is a weekly guide on how monopoly corporations and the national surveillance state are threatening cherished freedoms, civil rights and civil liberties. Web developer and technologist Chris Garaffa joins the show.

Trump Tries to Slow Down Bolton & Pompeo’s War Drive Against Iran

May 17, 2019 6833

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On today's episode of Loud & Clear, Brian Becker is joined by Sputnik News analysts and producers Walter Smolarek and Nicole Roussell. Friday is Loud & Clear’s weekly hour-long segment The Week in Review, about the week in politics, policy, and international affairs. Today they focus on the U.S. drive for regime change in Iran, the seizure of the Venezuelan embassy in D.C., the U.S.-China trade war, new developments in the fight for justice for Eric Garner, and the draconian anti-abortion law in Alabama. Donald Trump has unveiled a sweeping proposal to fundamentally remake the U.S. immigration system under the so-called “merit based” process long demanded by the far right. Trump’s proposal would crack down on the family reunification process that working people from poor nations frequently rely on. Juan José Gutiérrez, the executive director of the Full Rights for Immigrants Coalition, joins the show. UK Labour Party leader jeremy corbyn has ended negotiations with Prime Minister Theresa May over the future of Brexit. Citing the government's "weakness and instability" as well as its refusal to agree to a customs union with the European Union, Corbyn concluded that there was no point in continuing the talks. Brian speaks with Neil Clark, a journalist and broadcaster whose work has appeared in The Guardian, The Week, and Morning Star. It’s Friday! So it’s time for the week’s worst and most misleading headlines. Brian speaks with Steve Patt, an independent journalist whose critiques of the mainstream media have been a feature of his site Left I on the News and on twitter @leftiblog, and Sputnik producer Nicole Roussell. Victor Grossman has lived a remarkable life as one of the few Americans to have defected to the Soviet Union at the height of the Cold War. He has been a lifelong activist for peace and social justice. Victor’s most recent book is “A Socialist Defector: From Harvard to Karl-Marx-Allee.” He joins Brian to talk about his story.

Police Raid Venezuelan Embassy In DC & Arrest Activists

May 16, 2019 6622

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On today's episode of Loud & Clear, Brian Becker is joined by Kei Pritsker, an organizer with the ANSWER Coalition and a member of the Embassy Protection Collective who stayed in the embassy for weeks. This morning, all of the Embassy Protectors at the Venezuelan Embassy in DC were arrested and taken away in police vehicles, despite being legal tenants of the building that is owned by the Venezuelan Government. Over a grueling 36-day struggle the Embassy Protection Collective made headlines worldwide and became a formidable line of defense against the U.S.-backed right wing coup attempt that is still underway. Veterans for Peace is Thursday’s regular segment about the contemporary issues of war and peace that affect veterans, their families, and the country as a whole. Gerry Condon, a Vietnam-era veteran and war resister who has been a peace and solidarity activist for almost 50 years, currently as national president of Veterans for Peace, joins the show to describe his own experiences in front of the Venezuelan Embassy as a part of the Embassy Protection Collective. The Trump administration issued an executive order yesterday targeting Chinese telecommunications firm Huawei, a move sure to deepen overall economic tensions between the United States and China. The executive order, while not explicitly referencing Huawei, could be used to disrupt the company’s supply chain by prohibiting U.S. companies from selling them components on the basis of supposed national security threats. Brian speaks with Steve Keen, the author of “Debunking Economics” and the world’s first crowdfunded economist, whose work is at patreon.com/ProfSteveKeen. As tensions between the US and Iran escalate, Iran-backed Houthis in Yemen are being bombed by the Saudi Arabia-led coalition. At least six civilians have died today and dozens are wounded after the air raids struck Sanaa, Yemen’s capital. Mohammad Marandi, an expert on American studies and postcolonial literature who teaches at the University of Tehran, joins the show. The Sudanese military abruptly cut off talks with protest leaders just a day after a deal on a transitional authority was reported to be imminent. Repression against demonstrators, who are conducting a sit-in in front of army headquarters, has ramped up in recent days. Bayan Abubakr, a PhD candidate studying the history of Sudan at Yale University, joins Brian. Thursday’s weekly series “Criminal Injustice” is about the most egregious conduct of our courts and prosecutors and how justice is denied to so many people in this country. Paul Wright, the founder and executive director of the Human Rights Defense Center and editor of Prison Legal News (PLN), and Kevin Gosztola, a writer for Shadowproof.com and co-host of the podcast Unauthorized Disclosure, join the show. A regular Thursday segment deals with the ongoing militarization of space. As the US continues to withdraw from international arms treaties, will the weaponization and militarization of space bring the world closer to catastrophe? Brian speaks with Prof. Karl Grossman, a full professor of journalism at the State University of New York, College at Old Westbury and the host of a nationally-aired television program focused on environmental, energy, and space issues, and with Bruce Gagnon, coordinator of the Global Network Against Weapons & Nuclear Power in Space and a contributor to Foreign Policy In Focus.

Alabama: The War Against Women in the US Escalates

May 15, 2019 6715

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On today's episode of Loud & Clear, Brian Becker is joined by Amanda Reyes, the executive director of Yellowhammer Fund, an abortion fund in Alabama to help women get abortion procedures. The Alabama State Senate passed a hotly debated bill yesterday banning all abortion except in cases of “serious health risk” for the mother. The bill does ban abortions for pregnancies resulting from rape or incest. The Senate approved this bill 25 to 6. The U.S. government has ordered the evacuation of all non-emergency personnel from Iraq due to alleged threats by Iranian-aligned militias in the country, a charge Iran rejects as an attempt to create a false pretense for U.S. military aggression. Meanwhile the Iranian government has announced changes in its nuclear policy as a means to express frustration that Western powers are not living up to their side of the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action. Shabbir Razvi, an economist and political analyst, joins the show. Pamela Turner, a 44 year old Black woman who lived in the Baytown suburb of Houston, was shot and killed by a police officer on Monday. The killing, which was captured on video, has caused outrage across the country. Brian speaks with Dr. Gerald Horne, a professor of history at the University of Houston and author of many books, including “The Apocalypse of Settler Colonialism: The Roots of Slavery, White Supremacy and Capitalism in Seventeenth Century North America and the Caribbean.” Palestinian and their supporters around the world are marking Nakba Day today. 71 years ago, the state of Israel was formally created, launching a mass displacement of hundreds of thousands of Palestinians in a brutal campaign of colonization that continues today with renewed intensity. Daoud Kuttab, an award-winning Palestinian journalist, whose latest book is “Sesame Street Palestine: The Ups and Downs of Producing a Children’s Program,” joins the show. San Francisco became the first major city in the country to ban the use of facial recognition technology by law enforcement. The measure, passed by an overwhelming margin by the city’s Board of Supervisors, cited the near certainty that the technology would be used to carry out civil rights violations. Web developer and technologist Chris Garaffa joins Brian. Wednesday’s weekly series, In the News, is where the hosts look at the most important ongoing developments of the week and put them into perspective. Sputnik news analysts and producers Walter Smolarek and Nicole Roussell join the show. Wednesday’s regular segment, Beyond Nuclear, is about nuclear issues, including weapons, energy, waste, and the future of nuclear technology in the United States. Kevin Kamps, the Radioactive Waste Watchdog at the organization Beyond Nuclear, and Sputnik news analyst and producer Nicole Roussell, join the show.

A US Seizure of the Venezuelan Embassy in DC: An Act Without Precedent

May 14, 2019 7019

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On today's episode of Loud & Clear, Brian Becker and Walter Smolarek, sitting in for John Kiriakou, are joined by Medea Benjamin, co-founder of CODE PINK and member of the Embassy Protection Collective, and by Ann Wright, a retired United States Army colonel and former U.S. State Department official in Afghanistan, who resigned in protest of the invasion of Iraq and became an anti-war activist. Last night, the police cut the locks on the door of the Venezuelan Embassy in DC and entered. But after about half an hour of tense negotiations with activists still living in the embassy and their lawyer, the cops resealed the door and left in a resounding win for the Embassy Protection Collective. This comes amid Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido public request for a U.S. military invasion to rescue his failed coup attempt. Tuesday’s weekly series is False Profits—A Weekly Look at Wall Street and Corporate Capitalism with Daniel Sankey. Brian and Walter speak with financial policy analyst Daniel Sankey. Donald Trump today denied reports that his administration was considering plans to send up to 120,000 U.S. troops to the Middle East in preparation for armed conflict with Iran. Meanwhile, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo met with Russian President Vladimir Putin and Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov for talks that included Iran and the 2015 nuclear deal that the Trump administration is intent on sabotaging. Brian and Walter speak with Mark Sleboda, an international affairs and security analyst. With 95 percent of the vote counted in the Philippines, it appears that all 12 Senate seats up for a vote will be filled with supporters of far-right President Rodrigo Duterte. With the House of Representatives filled with Duterte’s allies as well, what can the opposition do to combat the increasingly repressive policies of Duterte’s government? Bernadette Ellorin, the spokesperson for BAYAN USA, a progressive organization fighting for justice and democracy in the Philippines, joins the show. A recent opinion poll shows the once-dominant Conservative Party running in fourth place for the upcoming European Parliament election. The new right wing Brexit Party looks almost certain to come in first. Neil Clark, a journalist and broadcaster whose work has appeared in The Guardian, The Week, and Morning Star, joins Brian and Walter. Today’s regular segment that airs every Tuesday is called Women & Society with Dr. Hannah Dickinson. This weekly segment is about the major issues, challenges, and struggles facing women in all aspects of society. Hannah Dickinson, an associate professor at Hobart and William Smith Colleges and an organizer with the Geneva Women’s Assembly, and Loud & Clear producer Nicole Roussell join the show.

"Please Invade Our Country!" Juan Guaidó's Message to the Pentagon

May 13, 2019 6761

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On today's episode of Loud & Clear, Brian Becker and John Kiriakou are joined by Dan Kovalik, a human rights and labor lawyer who is the author of the book, “The Plot to Overthrow Venezuela: How the US is Orchestrating a Coup for Oil.” Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido, on the heels of his failed coup attempt against President Nicolas Maduro, has formally requested the armed intervention of the US military. Guaido said on Saturday that he had tasked his political envoy in Washington to “open direct communications” with the US military toward what he called “military cooperation.” A week after Secretary of State Mike Pompeo canceled a visit to Berlin, he abruptly canceled a visit to Moscow to meet with President Vladimir Putin and Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov. Pompeo instead flew to Brussels, where he said he had important meetings on Iran, although the European Union’s foreign policy chief said she knew nothing of the meetings. Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates announced that several of their tankers were bombed in acts of sabotage. Are US-Iran tensions behind this apparent chaos? Rick Sterling, an investigative journalist and member of the Syria Solidarity Movement, joins the show. The Chinese government announced this morning that it would implement tariffs of as much as 25 percent on $60 billion worth of American-made goods in retaliation for the Trump Administration’s tariffs announced last week. The Chinese tariffs would begin on June 1. In response, the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell by 500 points at the opening bell. Brian and John speak with John Ross, Senior Fellow at Chongyang Institute, Renmin University of China, and an award-winning resident columnist with several Chinese media organizations. Attorneys for Trump confidant Roger Stone asked a federal judge on Friday to dismiss all charges against him because the evidence used in the case relied on unproven assumptions that Russia was behind the hack of Democratic National Committee emails during the 2016 campaign. Stone also is demanding proof that it was the Russians who provided the emails to Wikileaks. Bill Binney, a former NSA technical director who became a legendary national security whistleblower, joins the show. Monday’s segment “Education for Liberation with Bill Ayers” is where Bill helps us look at the state of education across the country. What’s happening in our schools, colleges, and universities, and what impact does it have on the world around us? Bill Ayers, an activist, educator and the author of the book “Demand the Impossible: A Radical Manifesto,” joins Brian and John. Swedish authorities said today that they would reopen an investigation into a rape allegation against Wikileaks co-founder Julian Assange. The move could further complicate the US government’s efforts to extradite Assange to the US to face charges of conspiring to hack into a government computer. Assange has long denied the Swedish accusations. Coleen Rowley, a former FBI special agent who in 2002 was named Time Magazine person of the year along with two other whistleblowers, and Suzie Dawson, an activist and the president of the Internet Party of New Zealand, joins the show. Monday’s regular segment Technology Rules with Chris Garaffa is a weekly guide on how monopoly corporations and the national surveillance state are threatening cherished freedoms, civil rights and civil liberties. Web developer and technologist Chris Garaffa joins the show.

"President" Bolton Drives U.S. Towards War with Iran, Venezuela

May 10, 2019 6850

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On today's episode of Loud & Clear, Brian Becker and John Kiriakou are joined by Gareth Porter, a historian, investigative journalist, and analyst specializing in U.S. national security policy, and by Sputnik News analyst and producer Walter Smolarek. The panel takes a look at the biggest stories so far this week and put them into historical context, including U.S. aggression against Iran and Venezuela and so-called “great power competition” against China. Chelsea Manning was released yesterday from a federal detention facility in Alexandria, VA. She had refused to testify before a grand jury against Wikileaks co-founder Julian Assange. The term of the Assange grand jury had expired. But Manning will likely be arrested again next week when a new grand jury is empaneled. She already has said that she again will refuse to testify. Joe Lauria, editor-in-chief of Consortium News and author of the book "How I Lost, By Hillary Clinton", joins the show. The Justice Department announced yesterday that Daniel Everett Hale was arrested and indicted on espionage charges for providing an Intercept journalist with information about the US’s drone program. The information apparently was the subject of an expose Jeremy Scahill wrote in 2015. The U.S. government’s war on whistleblowers continues at it seeks to shield from public view the abuses it carries out around the world. Brian and John speak with Kevin Gosztola, a writer for Shadowproof.com and cohost of the podcast Unauthorized Disclosure. The Trump Administration has escalated its trade war with China, raising tariffs from 10 percent to 25 percent on $200 billion worth of Chinese exports. Beijing expressed what it called “deep regret” over the development and said that it would immediately implement countermeasures. Meanwhile, in an early morning tweet storm, President Trump said that there was “no need to rush” into a China trade deal. Steve Keen, an economist and author of “Debunking Economics”, joins the show. A poll released today by The Financial Times shows that the UK’s Conservative Party is facing its worst defeat in the history of European parliamentary elections. The poll of polls shows the Tories winning just 14 percent. That’s compared to 29 percent for Nigel Farage’s new Brexit Party and the Labour Party’s 25 percent. Sputnik News analyst and producer Walter Smolarek joins Brian and John. Again this week we’ll look at the worst, most misleading, funniest, and the just plain wrong headlines of the past week. Steve Patt, an independent journalist whose critiques of the mainstream media have been a feature of his site Left I on the News, at lefti.blogspot.com, joins the show.

John Bolton Huffs and Puffs but Can't Blow Venezuela's House Down

May 9, 2019 6835

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On today's episode of Loud & Clear, Brian Becker and John Kiriakou are joined by Kevin Zeese, co-coordinator of Popular Resistance and a member of the Embassy Protection Collective; Medea Benjamin, co-founder of CODE PINK and a member of the Embassy Protection Collective; and from Caracas by Lucas Koerner, an activist and writer for VenezuelAnalysis.com. DC’s power company shut off the electricity in the Venezuelan Embassy yesterday reportedly on orders from Venezuelan coup leader Juan Guaido’s so-called ambassador Carlos Vecchio. Members of the Embassy Protection Collective are still inside as tenants of the Venezuelan government. Meanwhile, the Venezuelan government arrested the vice president of the national assembly for treason over his role in last week’s military push to overthrow president Maduro. Today we continue our weekly series “Criminal Injustice,” where we talk about the most egregious conduct of our courts and prosecutors and how justice is denied to so many people in this country. Paul Wright, the founder and Executive Director of the Human Rights Defense Center, joins the show. The Senate Intelligence Committee has now subpoenaed Donald Trump, Jr. over the Trump Tower meeting, despite the 400-page Mueller report that investigates that meeting and all contacts with the president’s campaign and finds no evidence of collusion. Meanwhile, the House Judiciary Committee voted yesterday to hold Attorney General Barr in contempt of Congress. The hosts are joined by Jim Kavanagh, founder of thepolemicist.net, whose most recent article on the subject is "Investigation Nation: Mueller, Russiagate, and Fake Politics." As the Trump administration adopts an increasingly hostile attitude towards North Korea, the DPRK has moved in the last week to conduct two new tests of weapons systems in a warning to Washington. Can the negotiations be put back on track? Brian and John speak with Simone Chun, a fellow at the Korea Policy Institute and a member of the Korean Peace Network. The European Union rejected the 60-day deadline announced by Iran in response to the latest round of suffocating U.S. sanctions. The future of the landmark 2015 nuclear deal is in deepening jeopardy. Massoud Shadjareh, founder of the Islamic Human Rights Commission, joins the show. South African voters went to the polls yesterday in an election marked by the rise of new left wing political forces and growing momentum behind land redistribution to address the legacy of apartheid colonial rule. Results are continuing to trickle in. Glen Ford, executive editor of Black Agenda Report, joins Brian and John. Today we continue our weekly segment dealing with the ongoing militarization of space. As the US continues to withdraw from international arms treaties, will the weaponization and militarization of space bring the world closer to catastrophe? Karl Grossman, a professor at the State University of New York, College at Old Westbury, joins the show.

US Escalation: On the Road to War with Iran

May 8, 2019 7069

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On today's episode of Loud & Clear, Brian Becker and John Kiriakou are joined by international affairs and security analyst Mark Sleboda. Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said today that Iran would no longer comply with parts of the landmark nuclear deal, the JCPOA, and will resume uranium enrichment if the other countries that remain in the deal--China, France, Germany, Russia, and the UK--fail to protect Iran’s banking and oil sectors. The move comes as Washington has ramped up military and economic pressure on Iran. Drivers for rideshare services Uber and Lyft are going on strike today in more than a dozen cities across the United States, as well as in the UK, Australia, and around South America. Drivers want a liveable wage, job security, and regulated fares, among other things. After factoring in commissions, fees, and vehicle expenses, the average driver makes $9.21 an hour, but has no health insurance, no retirement, and no job security. Web developer and technologist Chris Garaffa joins the show. The House Judiciary Committee voted today to hold Attorney General William Barr in contempt of Congress, a misdemeanor, for failing to provide it with an unredacted copy of the Mueller report and for failing to appear before the committee to testify. Speaker Nancy Pelosi said that Barr should be held in contempt, but she has not yet scheduled a floor vote. Meanwhile, Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler says he may also seek to hold former White House Counsel Don McGahn in contempt for refusing to testify. Brian and John speak with Coleen Rowley, a former FBI special agent who in 2002 was named Time Magazine person of the year along with two other whistleblowers. The New York Times has acquired Donald Trump’s tax returns from 1985 to 1994. They show that Trump’s companies lost $1.17 billion during that period, while the man and his family continued to earn hundreds of millions of dollars. Trump’s paper losses were so significant, that he did not pay any income taxes at all for eight years. Not a single dollar. Ted Rall, an award-winning editorial cartoonist and columnist whose work is at rall.com, joins the show. Millions of South Africans went to the polls today in the first election since Cyril Ramaphosa became president early last year amid promises to rid his African National Congress of corruption and redistribute the country’s land in favor of the Black majority. The ANC is almost certain to retain its status as the largest party, but with newer parties like the Economic Freedom Fighters rising in the polls its majority is in doubt. Eugene Puryear, the host of By Any Means Necessary, which you can hear every day, Monday through Friday, here on Sputnik Radio, joins Brian and John. Wednesday’s weekly series, In the News, is where the hosts look at the most important ongoing developments of the week and put them into perspective. Sputnik news analysts and producers Nicole Roussell and Walter Smolarek join the show. Wednesday’s regular segment, Beyond Nuclear, is about nuclear issues, including weapons, energy, waste, and the future of nuclear technology in the United States. Kevin Kamps, the Radioactive Waste Watchdog at the organization Beyond Nuclear, and Sputnik news analyst and producer Nicole Roussell, join the show.

US-EU Tension: What's Behind the Cancellation of Pompeo-Merkel Meeting?

May 7, 2019 6640

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On today's episode of Loud & Clear, Brian Becker and John Kiriakou are joined by Berlin-based independent journalist Diani Barreto. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo yesterday abruptly canceled a visit to Germany, where he was scheduled to meet with Chancellor Angela Merkel. Pompeo’s office cited “pressing issues” as the reason for the cancelation. The German Foreign Minister said the visit would be quickly rescheduled. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell delivered a speech on the floor of the Senate today decrying ongoing speculation over the Russia probe. He said rumors of a conspiracy between President Trump and Russia had been proven false and that the case was closed. Meanwhile, 500 former prosecutors have signed a letter saying that if President Trump weren’t president, he would have been prosecuted. Dan Kovalik, a human rights and labor lawyer who is the author of the book “The Plot to Control the World: How the US Spent Billions to Change the Outcome of Elections Around the World,” joins the show. National Security Advisor John Bolton made an unusually strong anti-Iran statement this week, while the Pentagon ordered a carrier strike force to the Persian Gulf in response to undisclosed intelligence that there was a threat in the region to US interests. Well, the news outlet Axios has found that that intelligence came from Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu himself, who has a vested interest in a conflict between Iran and the United States. Brian and John speak with Ben Norton, he’s a journalist with the Grayzone Project and co-host of the Moderate Rebels podcast. President Trump yesterday pardoned a former soldier who had been convicted of killing an Iraqi prisoner in cold blood. Michael Behenna served five years in the military prison at Leavenworth, Kansas and was released in 2014. He had originally been sentenced to 25 years. Trump said that Behenna was “entirely deserving” of a pardon. Brian Terrell, a long time peace activist and a co-coordinator of Voices for Creative Nonviolence, and Sputnik news analyst Walter Smolarek, join the show. The ceasefire between Israel and Gaza appears to be holding, thanks to intervention by the United Nations and the government of Egypt. Meanwhile, Qatar announced that it would send $480 million in humanitarian aid to Gaza. Sputnik news analyst Walter Smolarek joins Brian and John. Tuesday’s weekly series is False Profits—A Weekly Look at Wall Street and Corporate Capitalism with Daniel Sankey. Brian and John speak with financial policy analyst Daniel Sankey. Today’s regular segment that airs every Tuesday is called Women & Society with Dr. Hannah Dickinson. This weekly segment is about the major issues, challenges, and struggles facing women in all aspects of society. Hannah Dickinson, an associate professor at Hobart and William Smith Colleges and an organizer with the Geneva Women’s Assembly, and Loud & Clear producer Nicole Roussell join the show.

U.S. Sends Carrier to Persian Gulf: Bluff or is War on the Horizon?

May 6, 2019 6935

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On today's episode of Loud & Clear, Walter Smolarek (sitting in for Brian Becker) and John Kiriakou are joined by Mohammad Marandi, an expert on American studies and postcolonial literature who teaches at the University of Tehran. The Trump Administration announced yesterday that it would send an aircraft carrier strike group and Air Force bombers to the Persian Gulf because of what it called “troubling and escalating indications and warnings” related to Iran. National Security Advisor John Bolton said on Sunday that the deployment was meant to send “a clear and unmistakable message to the Iranian regime that any attack on US interests or those of our allies would be met with unrelenting force.” Military analysts in Washington, however, that they were unaware of any new threat to the US, US interests, or US allies in the region. The pro-Juan Guaido siege against the Venezuelan Embassy in Washington continues. Members of the Embassy Protection Collective remain inside. Kevin Zeese, the co-coordinator of Popular Resistance, whose work is at popularresistance.org, joins the show. Monday’s segment “Education for Liberation with Bill Ayers” is where Bill helps us look at the state of education across the country. What’s happening in our schools, colleges, and universities, and what impact does it have on the world around us? Bill Ayers, an activist, educator and the author of the book “Demand the Impossible: A Radical Manifesto,” joins Walter and John. President Trump issued a series of threats against China via Twitter yesterday, saying that the US would raise tariffs on $200 billion of Chinese goods to 25 percent if China doesn’t relent in trade talks. The Chinese rebuffed the president, but said that trade talks would continue. Meanwhile, the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 471 points at the opening because of the tweets. Jude Woodward, the author of the book “The US vs China: Asia's new Cold War?,” joins the show. A United Nations report released this morning says that one million plant and animal species are on the verge of extinction because of human activity. The species range from whales to insects barely detectable by the naked eye. The mass extinction, if it occurs, could seriously disrupt the food chain, and it could adversely affect food and water security and farming. Fred Magdoff, professor emeritus of plant and soil science at the University of Vermont and the co-author of “What Every Environmentalist Needs to Know About Capitalism” and “Creating an Ecological Society: Toward a Revolutionary Transformation” from Monthly Review Press, joins Walter and John. Israel and Gaza agreed to a ceasefire this morning after the worst violence between the two sides since 2014. Four Israelis were killed when Palestinians launched rocket attacks on Friday. Twenty three Palestinians were killed in Israeli strikes, including two pregnant women and two infants. The latest round of fighting began when Israeli forces carried out yet another mass shooting during Friday demonstrations along the border of Gaza. Ali Abunimah, the co-founder of The Electronic Intifada and author of the book “The Battle for Justice in Palestine,” and Miko Peled, the author of the new book "Injustice: The Story of the Holy Land Foundation Five,” join the show. Monday’s regular segment Technology Rules with Chris Garaffa is a weekly guide on how monopoly corporations and the national surveillance state are threatening cherished freedoms, civil rights and civil liberties. Web developer and technologist Chris Garaffa joins the show.

Venezuela Quashes Coup Yet Again: Bolivarian Revolution Still Stands

May 3, 2019 6822

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On today's episode of Loud & Clear, Brian Becker and John Kiriakou are joined by Sputnik News analysts and producers Walter Smolarek and Nicole Roussell. Friday is Loud & Clear’s weekly hour-long segment The Week in Review, about the week in politics, policy, and international affairs. Today they focus on the attempted coup in Venezuela, British local elections where the Conservatives lost hundreds of representatives, and the synagogue shooting earlier in the week. Facebook announced yesterday that it was banning several people whom it called “dangerous.” Is this not a direct attack on free speech? Web developer and technologist Chris Garaffa joins the show. A group of activists who are invited guests of the Venezuelan government have been enduring siege-like conditions to prevent the illegal seizure of the country’s embassy in Washington, D.C. by supporters of coup leader Juan Guaido. And supporters of the right-wing opposition are growing increasingly abusive and violent against the supporters of the embassy protectors gathered outside. Brian and John speak with Kei Pritsker, an activist with the Embassy Protection Collective. The Department of Labor announced this morning that the unemployment rate fell to 3.6 percent, a 49-year low, as the economy added jobs for the 103rd consecutive month. Despite the strong economy, however, the gap between the rich and poor continued to grow. Dr. Jack Rasmus, a professor of economics at Saint Mary's College of California and author of “Central Bankers at the End of Their Ropes: Monetary Policy and the Coming Depression,” whose work is at www.jackrasmus.com, joins Brian and John. Following weeks of calls for her to step down, Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh resigned yesterday. Pugh is the subject of a federal investigation into allegations that she made $800,000 from the sale of her self-published children’s book to major healthcare companies that had business with the city. Eddie Conway, a journalist with The Real News Network who was a leading member of the Baltimore branch of the Black Panther Party and a political prisoner for 44 years, joins the show. It’s Friday! So it’s time for the week’s worst and most misleading headlines. Brian and John speak with Steve Patt, an independent journalist whose critiques of the mainstream media have been a feature of his site Left I on the News and on twitter @leftiblog, and Sputnik producer Nicole Roussell.

Will the UK Extradite Assange?

May 2, 2019 6685

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On today's episode of Loud & Clear, Brian Becker and John Kiriakou are joined by Jim Kavanagh, the editor of thepolemicist.net. Julian Assange today appeared in a London court by videolink for a preliminary hearing to fight his extradition to the United States. A judge asked Assange if he was prepared to surrender himself for extradition. He replied, “I do not wish to surrender myself for extradition for doing journalism that’s won many, many awards and affected many people.” An attorney representing the US government then asked for a formal extradition hearing on June 12. British Prime Minister Theresa May yesterday fired Defense Secretary Gavin Williamson after a British newspaper published classified information from a National Security Council meeting that the UK was planning to give Chinese telecommunications giant Huawei partial access to the country’s 5G network. Williamson has adamantly denied that he was the source of the leak. Neil Clark, a journalist and broadcaster whose work has appeared in The Guardian, The Week, and Morning Star, joins the show. The U.S. government continues to make aggressive moves to assert power over international energy markets. Sanctions waivers issued for purchasers of Iranian oil officially expired today, and as a European energy summit kicks off in Brussels the Trump administration is pressuring EU members to replace Russian natural gas supplies with imports from the United States. Brian and John speak with Sputnik news analyst Walter Smolarek. Today marks five years since 46 people were killed in an arson attack on a trade union headquarters in the Ukrainian city of Odessa carried out by a far right mob. In the years that followed, neo-Nazi sentiment and organizations became increasingly normalized in the country. Jeremy Kuzmarov, a professor of American history whose latest book is “The Russians Are Coming, Again: The First Cold War as Tragedy, the Second as Farce,” joins the show. A regular Thursday segment deals with the ongoing militarization of space. As the US continues to withdraw from international arms treaties, will the weaponization and militarization of space bring the world closer to catastrophe? Brian and John speak with Prof. Karl Grossman, a full professor of journalism at the State University of New York, College at Old Westbury and the host of a nationally-aired television program focused on environmental, energy, and space issues. As the latest military putsch by self-proclaimed Venezuelan leader Juan Guaido falls apart, the United States is stepping up threats of a military assault on the country to overthrow President Nicolas Maduro’s government. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo yesterday that the Trump administration position is “crystal clear and incredibly consistent. Military action is possible.” Meanwhile, tensions inside the country continue following large demonstrations for and against the government. Paul Dobson, a writer for VenezuelAnalysis.com, Gerry Condon, a Vietnam-era veteran and war resister who has been a peace and solidarity activist for almost 50 years, currently as national president of Veterans for Peace, who recently returned from Venezuela where he was a member of a peace delegation, and Sputnik news analyst Walter Smolarek, join the show. Thursday’s weekly series “Criminal Injustice” is about the most egregious conduct of our courts and prosecutors and how justice is denied to so many people in this country. Kevin Gosztola, a writer for Shadowproof.com and co-host of the podcast Unauthorized Disclosure, joins the show.

Mueller Letter Conspiracy Supposed to Replace Debunked Russiagate

May 1, 2019 6791

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On today's episode of Loud & Clear, Brian Becker and John Kiriakou are joined by Daniel Lazare, a journalist and author of three books—“The Frozen Republic,” “The Velvet Coup,” and “America's Undeclared War.” Attorney General William Barr testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee today and answered questions about the Mueller Report. Democrats criticized Barr harshly because he first released his own four-page analysis of the Mueller Report, apparently in an attempt to control news of its release. A redacted version of the report was released later. Julian Assange was sentenced today to 50 weeks in prison by a UK court for skipping bail, close to the maximum allowable sentence. His lawyers, however, argue that he had a well-founded fear of extradition to the United States, where his fundamental human rights would be violated. Karen Kwiatkowski, an activist and former U.S. Air Force Lieutenant Colonel who left the armed forces in protest of the invasion of Iraq, joins the show. Last week, the NSA’s mass collection of Americans’ metadata under Section 215 of the Patriot Act was reported as ending. Our guest, Bill Binney said that he would believe it when he saw it. Today, new reports have surfaced that the White House will seek the permanent renewal of Section 215 that would once again allow NSA to collect and analyze the phone records of every American. Brian and John speak with Bill Binney, a former NSA technical director who became a legendary national security whistleblower. May Day demonstrations are taking place across the world, marking International Workers Day. Huge marches, acts of civil disobedience and clashes are taking place in nearly every country. Vijay Prashad, the Director of the Tricontinental: Institute for Social Research, Chief Editor of LeftWord Books, and the author of several books including most recently “Arab Spring, Libyan Winter,” joins the show. For the first time ever, the US Air Force has used at F-35 fighter jet in a combat mission, using two of the aircraft to bomb an ISIS tunnel network and weapons cache in Iraq yesterday. The F-35 has long been a subject of complaint for its difficult maneuverability and its excessive cost. The Government Accounting Office estimates that the F-35 program will cost more than $1 trillion over its lifetime. Pierre Sprey, a special assistant to the Secretary of Defense, a former defense analyst who is considered to be one of the fathers of the F-16 and A-10 fighter jets. He is also one of the country’s foremost critics of the F-35, joins Brian and John. Juan Guaido’s third coup attempt appears to fail once again. What’s driving the US effort to carry out the overthrow of a democratically elected government in Latin America? Is it oil? Is it regional domination? Is it both? Dr. Gerald Horne, a professor of history at the University of Houston and author of many books, including “Blows Against the Empire: U.S. Imperialism in Crisis,” joins the show. Wednesday’s regular segment, Beyond Nuclear, is about nuclear issues, including weapons, energy, waste, and the future of nuclear technology in the United States. Kevin Kamps, the Radioactive Waste Watchdog at the organization Beyond Nuclear, and Sputnik news analyst and producer Nicole Roussell, join the show.

Venezuela Coup Leader Launches Armed Assault on Gov't with US Support

Apr 30, 2019 6646

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On today's episode of Loud & Clear, Walter Smolarek (filling in for Brian Becker) and John Kiriakou are joined by Lucas Koerner, an activist and writer for VenezuelAnalysis.com, and Nicole Roussell, Sputnik News analyst and producer. Fierce clashes have taken place across Venezuela today as U.S.-backed self-proclaimed President Juan Guaido launched a military operation he claimed was the “final phase” of ending Nicolas Maduro’s presidency. Armed opposition supporters and a small group of military defectors are attempting to seize a key airbase in the capital, while huge crowds of Maduro supporters have rallied outside the presidential palace. Top Trump administration officials have publicly expressed their support for the coup attempt. We continue our regular segment Women & Society with Dr. Hannah Dickinson. In this weekly segment we talk about the major issues, challenges, and struggles facing women in all aspects of society. Hannah Dickinson, a professor and organizer with the Geneva Women’s Assembly, joins the show. President Trump yesterday ordered new restrictions on asylum seekers at the southern border, including application fees and new restrictions on work permits. He also ordered that all asylum requests be decided within 180 days. Walter and John speak with Juan José Gutiérrez, the executive director of the Full Rights for Immigrants Coalition. The US military and intelligence prison at Guantanamo has been around for 17 years. Many of the prisoners there--almost none of whom have been charged with a crime--arrived when the facility was first opened. The military’s response is to gradually turn the prison into a geriatric care center and even into a hospice. Marjorie Cohn, former president of the National Lawyers Guild and editor of the book “The United States and Torture, Interrogation, Incarceration, and Abuse”, joins the show. British Prime Minister Theresa May said that cross party talks on a Brexit plan should conclude by the end of the week. But the Labour Party is divided. Some members support Brexit strongly, while others want a second referendum. Neil Clark, journalist and broadcaster whose work has appeared in The Guardian, The Week, and Morning Star, joins Brian and John. We continue our weekly series False Profits -- A Weekly Look at Wall Street and Corporate Capitalism with Daniel Sankey. Daniel Sankey, financial policy analyst, joins the show.

Wave of Fascist Attacks on Synagogues, Mosques & Black Churches

Apr 29, 2019 6838

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On today's episode of Loud & Clear, Brian Becker and John Kiriakou are joined by Julie Hurwitz, a civil rights attorney and partner at the law firm Goodman, Hurwitz and James. A 19-year-old gunman opened fire inside a synagogue in Poway, California yesterday killing one woman and wounding at least four other people. The gunman had ranted on the internet against Muslims and Jews and said that he had taken his inspiration from recent attacks on a synagogue in Pittsburgh and on mosques in New Zealand. Are these racist, bigoted, and xenophobic attacks against worshippers the new normal in the United States? The hosts take a look at the latest attempt to demonize and suppress alternative media -- cementing the dominance of big corporations and establishment narratives, a task that takes on special significance ahead of the 2020 presidential election. Sputnik news analyst Nicole Roussell joins the show. Spaniards took to the polls this weekend and delivered a victory for the left of center government. Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez’s Socialist Party was the biggest winner, but will need the help of smaller parties to form a government. The conservative Popular Party won just 66 seats, down from 137. And importantly, the far-right Vox Party won 26 seats and about 10 percent of the popular vote. Brian and John speak with Dick Nichols, the correspondent for Spain and Catalonia for Green Left Weekly. Russian officials held a press conference today revealing a new report about the so-called White Helmets, an organization in Syria presented as a humanitarian group that critics say has ties to terrorist militias and has been party to human rights violations. Lee Stranahan, host of the Radio Sputnik show Faultlines who was at the press conference covering the event for Sputnik News, joins the show. Two American veterans, members of the group Veterans for Peace, were arrested at Shannon Airport in Ireland in March and charged with taking part in a protest against US military flights through Shannon on their way to the Middle East. But the wheels of justice turn slowly in Ireland. The vets’ passports have been confiscated and, even though the charges against them are very minor, they may not leave the country and a trial could be three years away. Tarak Kauff, one of the Veterans for Peace activists trapped in Ireland, joins Brian and John. In a blockbuster story today, the Wall Street Journal reported that Boeing failed to inform Southwest Airlines and other carriers that a safety feature on the Boeing 737 Max-8 aircraft that warns pilots about malfunctioning sensors had been deactivated. FAA inspectors and managers also were unaware of the deactivation. Two 737 Max-8 jets crashed in the past six months, resulting in the deaths of some 500 people. Today, executives faced angry shareholders for the first time since the jets were grounded. Dr. Alan Diehl, an award-winning aviation psychologist and safety consultant, and a major air safety whistleblower in the 1990s, and Steve Keen, the author of “Debunking Economics” and the world’s first crowdfunded economist, whose work is at patreon.com/ProfSteveKeen, join the show. Monday’s regular segment Technology Rules with Chris Garaffa is a weekly guide on how monopoly corporations and the national surveillance state are threatening cherished freedoms, civil rights and civil liberties. Web developer and technologist Chris Garaffa joins the show.

Maria Butina Given 18 Months in Prison Because “She Is Russian”

Apr 26, 2019 6964

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On today's episode of Loud & Clear, Brian Becker and John Kiriakou are joined by Sputnik News analyst and producer Nicole Roussell. Maria Butina, the Russian graduate student who pleaded guilty to a charge of conspiring to fail to register as a foreign agent, was sentenced today to 18 months in prison. She already has served nine months in jail awaiting trial. Prosecutors had accused Butina of a wide array of crimes, in addition to using sex to collect information, none of which was true, and they had to withdraw numerous accusations against her. Still, she gets prison time when American co-conspirators will sleep in their own beds tonight. And that’s despite the fact that she cooperated with prosecutors. Sputnik News analyst Nicole Roussell, who attended today’s sentencing hearing, joins the show. Democratic presidential candidate and former vice president Joe Biden yesterday apologized to law professor Anita Hill for his treatment of Hill during the Clarence Thomas Supreme Court nomination hearings that he chaired in 1991. Well, he didn’t really apologize. He said that he “regretted what she had to endure.” Hill responded that she was deeply unsatisfied with the statement and added that she was troubled by recent reports that Biden has repeatedly touched women in a way that made them feel uncomfortable. Brian and John speak with Mara Verheyden-Hilliard, the executive director of the Partnership for Civil Justice Fund. Donald Trump took questions from the press today before departing to the NRA convention, giving a series of bizarre answers on a wide range of topics. Ted Rall, an award-winning editorial cartoonist and columnist at www.rall.com, joins the show. NSA has is recommending the cancellation one of it’s most controversial collection program, the wholesale gathering of metadata from American citizens. The program was initially revealed by Edward Snowden and ruled illegal in 2015 unless it conformed with the USA Freedom Act. But does the NSA still retain vast spying operations targeting the public? Bill Binney, a former NSA technical director who became a legendary national security whistleblower, joins Brian and John. It’s Friday! So it’s time for the week’s worst and most misleading headlines. Brian and John speak with Steve Patt, an independent journalist whose critiques of the mainstream media have been a feature of his site Left I on the News and on twitter @leftiblog, and Sputnik producer Nicole Roussell. Friday is Loud & Clear’s weekly hour-long segment The Week in Review, about the week in politics, policy, and international affairs. Today they focus on Joe Biden’s presidential campaign announcement, efforts by the Trump white house to illegally seize the Venezuelan embassy in D.C. and efforts by US peace activists to prevent this illegal seizure, the summit between North Korean Leader Kim Jong Un and Russian President Vladimir Putin, The U.S. economic growth report and more. Walter Smolarek, Loud & Clear producer and Sputnik News analyst, joins the show.

The Fundamental Weakness of the Mueller Report

Apr 25, 2019 6461

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On today's episode of Loud & Clear, Brian Becker and John Kiriakou are joined by Gareth Porter, historian and investigative journalist, to discuss his forthcoming article for Truthout where he lays out his analysis of the Mueller report, its impact on U.S. society, and implications for geopolitics. For the past two weeks, a group called the Embassy Protection Collective has been guarding the Venezuelan Embassy here in Washington DC against illegal seizure by representatives of coup leader Juan Guaido. Members of the collective, who are invited tenants of the legitimate government of Venezuela, held a rally today to talk about why they are there protecting it, and producer Nicole Roussell went down to report on the protest. Linda Winter, an activist who flew here from Chicago to protect the Venezuelan Embassy, and producer and Sputnik news analyst Nicole Roussell, join the show. Veterans for Peace is Thursday’s regular segment about the contemporary issues of war and peace that affect veterans, their families, and the country as a whole. Gerry Condon, a Vietnam-era veteran and war resister who has been a peace and solidarity activist for almost 50 years, currently as national president of Veterans for Peace, joins the show. A regular Thursday segment deals with the ongoing militarization of space. As the US continues to withdraw from international arms treaties, will the weaponization and militarization of space bring the world closer to catastrophe? Brian and John speak with Prof. Karl Grossman, a full professor of journalism at the State University of New York, College at Old Westbury and the host of a nationally-aired television program focused on environmental, energy, and space issues. Thursday’s weekly series “Criminal Injustice” is about the most egregious conduct of our courts and prosecutors and how justice is denied to so many people in this country. Paul Wright, the founder and executive director of the Human Rights Defense Center and editor of Prison Legal News (PLN), and Kevin Gosztola, a writer for Shadowproof.com and co-host of the podcast Unauthorized Disclosure, join the show.

US SEALs Chief Accused of War Crimes in Iraq: Was There a Cover-Up?

Apr 24, 2019 6938

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On today's episode of Loud & Clear, Brian Becker and John Kiriakou are joined by Tarak Kauff and Kenneth Mayers, activists with Veterans for Peace who were unjustly denied permission to return home to the United States pending a trial on charges stemming from an anti-war protest at Shannon air base. Controversy continues to engulf the case of Special Operations Chief Edward Gallagher, who is awaiting trial in May for stabbing a captive teenager to death in Iraq, spraying civilian neighborhoods wildly with machine gun fire and rockets, and other illegal acts. New reports point to a potential coverup as high-ranking officers discouraged their troops from officially reporting the war crimes. Although the UK has secured a so-called flexible extension to its deadline to leave the European Union, intense political pressure is still mounting on the government of Prime Minister Theresa May. The rise of the new Brexit Party, dissent within her own party, and an upcoming visit by President Trump pose sharp challenges. Neil Clark, a journalist and broadcaster whose work has appeared in The Guardian, The Week, and Morning Star, joins the show. Wednesday’s regular segment, Beyond Nuclear, is about nuclear issues, including weapons, energy, waste, and the future of nuclear technology in the United States. Kevin Kamps, the Radioactive Waste Watchdog at the organization Beyond Nuclear, and Sputnik news analyst and producer Nicole Roussell, join the show. Wednesday’s weekly series, In the News, is where the hosts look at the most important ongoing developments of the week and put them into perspective. Today they discuss Joe Biden’s preparations for his presidential campaign announcement and the escalating campaign by the Trump white House against against Iran. Sputnik news analyst Walter Smolarek joins the show. Loud & Clear’s regular segment called Women & Society with Dr. Hannah Dickinson is included in today’s Wednesday show, though it usually airs every Tuesday. This weekly segment is about the major issues, challenges, and struggles facing women in all aspects of society. Hannah Dickinson, an associate professor at Hobart and William Smith Colleges and an organizer with the Geneva Women’s Assembly, and Loud & Clear producer Nicole Roussell join the show.

George Papadopoulos: “I Was Targeted by US, UK Intelligence Agencies”

Apr 23, 2019 6876

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On today's episode of Loud & Clear, Brian Becker and John Kiriakou are joined by George Papadopoulos. On October 2017, George Papadopoulos plead guilty for making false statements to the FBI in what was the first guilty plea of those charged in the Russia probe. During the past two years, George Papadopoulos has become a household name. A former volunteer foreign policy advisor to the Trump campaign, he came to the attention of the FBI regarding his contacts in 2016 related to US-Russian relations. In the end, he took a plea to the throwaway charge of making a false statement. He now has a book out called “Deep State Target: How I Got Caught in the Crosshairs of the Plot to Bring Down President Trump.” Sri Lankan officials today are continuing their investigation into a series of deadly bombings on Easter Sunday that killed at least 321 people, mostly in churches and hotels. A virtually unknown group, the National Tawheed Jamiah, has taken responsibility and 40 people so far have been arrested. The Islamic State this morning also claimed responsibility. The Sri Lankan government, meanwhile, says that the group is loosely affiliated with the Islamic State and carried out the bombings in retaliation for the killing of 50 Muslims last month in New Zealand. Brian and John speak with Bhavani Fonseka, a human rights attorney and senior researcher at the Center for Policy Alternatives, a prominent think tank. Just as the U.S. government was ratcheting up economic sanctions, Google joined in the anti-Iran campaign and blocked the accounts of Iranian media outlets Press TV and HispanTV. This includes the outlets’ YouTube channels, an essential platform to promote their content. Massoud Shadjareh, the founder of the Islamic Human Rights Commission, joins the show. Democratic presidential candidates have begun taking sides on impeachment just as House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said she was taking impeachment off the table. But House Judiciary Committee chairman Jerry Nadler said that if obstruction of justice is proven during the course of his committee’s investigation, President Trump should be impeached. Will the Democrats’ new aggressiveness hurt the president or rally his supporters? Dennis Bernstein, an author, poet, activist, and co-host of the political news show Flashpoints on Pacifica Radio, joins Brian and John. Tuesday’s weekly series is False Profits—A Weekly Look at Wall Street and Corporate Capitalism with Daniel Sankey. Today they address the claim that the costs of Social Security will become higher than the income from it in 2020. Brian and John speak with financial policy analyst Daniel Sankey.

Chelsea Manning, Political Prisoner, Is Denied Freedom

Apr 22, 2019 6897

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On today's episode of Loud & Clear, Brian Becker and John Kiriakou are joined by Kevin Gosztola, a writer for Shadowproof.com and co-host of the podcast Unauthorized Disclosure. A federal appeals court ruled this morning that Chelsea Manning must remain in jail for refusing to testify before a grand jury investigating Wikileaks co-founder Julian Assange. Manning had argued that the Justice Department was trying to weaken her credibility as a defense witness, rather than to punish her for refusing to testify. The U.S. government announced today that it would not be issuing any further waivers on sanctions imposed on the Iranian oil industry. In its effort to isolate Iran economically, the Trump administration may now take action against traditional U.S. allies that do not go along with the sanctions regime. Mohammad Marandi, an expert on American studies and postcolonial literature who teaches at the University of Tehran, joins the show. People across the country and world were shocked as video surfaced of a group of far-right vigilantes holding undocumented immigrants at gunpoint along the U.S.-Mexico border. The FBI arrested Larry Hopkins, a leader of the militia, on Sunday and charged him with federal gun violations, which carry a mandatory minimum sentence of eight years in prison. Kidnapping charges are expected to be added soon. But will violent far-right groups continue to grow? Brian and John speak with Daryle Lamont Jenkins, executive director of the anti-fascist organization One People’s Project. Monday’s segment “Education for Liberation with Bill Ayers” is where Bill helps us look at the state of education across the country. What’s happening in our schools, colleges, and universities, and what impact does it have on the world around us? Bill Ayers, an activist, educator and the author of the book “Demand the Impossible: A Radical Manifesto,” joins Brian and John. Ukraine has a new president. President Petro Poroshenko conceded last night to television comedian Volodymir Zelensky, who won more than 70 percent of the vote in what was seen as a referendum on corruption and poverty. Zelensky has no political experience, but he plays a president on television. Mark Sleboda, an international affairs and security analyst, joins Brian and John. House Democrats lined up over the weekend to announce the start of new investigations into allegations that President Trump obstructed justice during the Russia investigation, while one Fox News contributor complained that the Mueller Report was a “how-to manual for impeachment.” Some Democrats argue against impeachment, however, because the Senate is unlikely to take up the issue and because impeachment proceedings could rally Republicans. And new questions are being raised as journalists dig into the content of the report, including about the role of Joseph Mifsud and western intelligence agencies in the initiation of the FBI’s investigation into alleged Russian interference. Dan Kovalik, a human rights and labor lawyer who is the author of the book “The Plot to Control the World: How the US Spent Billions to Change the Outcome of Elections Around the World,” and Jeremy Kuzmarov, a professor of American history whose latest book is “The Russians Are Coming, Again: The First Cold War as Tragedy, the Second as Farce,” joins the show. Monday’s regular segment Technology Rules with Chris Garaffa is a weekly guide on how monopoly corporations and the national surveillance state are threatening cherished freedoms, civil rights and civil liberties. Web developer and technologist Chris Garaffa joins the show.

Dissecting Mueller’s Report & Media Spin: Russiagate Enters Next Phase

Apr 19, 2019 6882

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On today's episode of Loud & Clear, Brian Becker and John Kiriakou are joined by Sputnik News analysts and producers Walter Smolarek and Nicole Roussell. Friday is Loud & Clear’s weekly hour-long segment The Week in Review, about the week in politics, policy, and international affairs. Today they focus on the Mueller report that was released yesterday. It was more than 400 pages, and referenced hundreds of people - but what did it really say, and what does it mean? We talk about what evidence is in the report and what is not, the political implications of the report, and the way the corporate owned media is covering the report and its conclusions. Former Vice President Joe Biden will formally announce his candidacy for president next week. Along with Bernie Sanders, Biden has consistently been at the top of early opinion polling, but has also come under harsh criticism for a wide range of positions he has taken over his long career in politics. But after three failed presidential bids and eight years as vice president, can the fourth time be the charm? Ted Rall, an award-winning editorial cartoonist and columnist at www.rall.com, joins the show. CIA Director Gina Haspel made a rare public appearance yesterday at Alabama’s Auburn University yesterday, ostensibly to discuss what she described as the “thrill” of her hiring more than 30 years ago. Instead, she was repeatedly interrupted by hecklers who demanded that she answer questions about her role in the CIA’s torture program. The hecklers were removed and arrested, and Haspel concluded by saying that the Agency had recently turned its focus away from terrorism and toward Russia, Iran, and North Korea. Within hours of the near destruction of Paris’ Notre Dame Cathedral on Monday, wealthy French citizens pledged more than $1 billion to reconstruct the landmark. But the backlash was almost immediate. French President Emmanuel Macron already is accused of being the “President of the Rich,” and the country’s yellow vest protestors are in the streets calling for social equality and higher wages and pensions. And at the same time, French police have cracked down on these protestors, causing scores of deaths and injuries. Gilbert Mercier, Editor in Chief of News Junkie Post and the author of “The Orwellian Empire,” joins the show. Sudanese protest leaders today announced plans to unveil a civilian body to take over from the country’s ruling military council, although that council has resisted calls to step aside. The event will go forward on Sunday, however, with foreign diplomats and journalists invited. Producer Walter Smolarek joins Brian and John. It’s Friday! So it’s time for the week’s worst and most misleading headlines. Brian and John speak with Steve Patt, an independent journalist whose critiques of the mainstream media have been a feature of his site Left I on the News and on twitter @leftiblog, and Sputnik producer Nicole Roussell.

Mueller Says “No Collusion” But Affirms Russian Interference Myth

Apr 18, 2019 6657

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On today's episode of Loud & Clear, Brian Becker and John Kiriakou are joined by Coleen Rowley, a former FBI special agent whistleblower and TIME person of the year, Ben Norton, a journalist with the Grayzone Project and co-host of the Moderate Rebels podcast, and Dan Kovalik, a human rights and labor lawyer. The long-awaited Mueller investigation report was released today. They dive into the 448-page document and that deals with both allegations of collusion and obstruction of justice, the claim that Russia intervened in the election, and how the media and establishment politicians are reacting to the collapse of the narrative they promoted since the 2016 election. The report states that there was no collusion between the Trump campaign and the Russian government, and while it does not make a recommendation on charges of obstruction of justice the report appears to leave the door open for those charges to be brought later. Thursday’s weekly series “Criminal Injustice” is about the most egregious conduct of our courts and prosecutors and how justice is denied to so many people in this country. Paul Wright, the founder and executive director of the Human Rights Defense Center and editor of Prison Legal News (PLN), and Kevin Gosztola, a writer for Shadowproof.com and co-host of the podcast Unauthorized Disclosure, join the show. Veterans for Peace is Thursday’s regular segment about the contemporary issues of war and peace that affect veterans, their families, and the country as a whole. Gerry Condon, a Vietnam-era veteran and war resister who has been a peace and solidarity activist for almost 50 years, currently as national president of Veterans for Peace, Hector Lopez, the Director of Unified U.S. Deported Veterans, and Ann Wright, a retired United States Army colonel and former U.S. State Department official in Afghanistan, who resigned in protest of the invasion of Iraq and became a prominent anti-war activist, join the show. A regular Thursday segment deals with the ongoing militarization of space. As the US continues to withdraw from international arms treaties, will the weaponization and militarization of space bring the world closer to catastrophe? Brian and John speak with Prof. Karl Grossman, a full professor of journalism at the State University of New York, College at Old Westbury and the host of a nationally-aired television program focused on environmental, energy, and space issues.

Why is Trump So Committed to Supporting the Saudi War in Yemen?

Apr 17, 2019 6915

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On today's episode of Loud & Clear, Brian Becker and John Kiriakou are joined by Kathy Kelly, co-coordinator of Voices for Creative Non-Violence. President Trump yesterday vetoed a measure that would have cut aid to Saudi Arabia’s war against Yemen, saying that it was an infringement on his authority as President. The Yemen bill passed with healthy majorities in both houses of Congress, but not by enough to override the veto. A redacted version of the Mueller report will be released tomorrow, but Democrats and their media allies already are downplaying the event. House Democrats announced that they will seek an unredacted version of the report on Friday. Meanwhile, CIA Director Gina Haspel apparently told the President that British intelligence officials told her that two children were injured and several ducks were killed in last year’s Novichok attack against a Russian dissident in the UK. There is no evidence, however, that this ever happened. Jim Kavanagh, the editor of thepolemicist.net, whose latest article on both Counterpunch and The Polemicist is "Investigation Nation: Mueller, Russiagate, and Fake Politics," joins the show. The FBI affidavit used to charge Wikileaks co-founder Julian Assange confirms that the US government targeted him for publishing information. Although he has not been charged with espionage, the affidavit, sworn by FBI agent Megan Brown, clearly accuses Assange of violating the Espionage Act and raises fears of a superseding indictment. Brian and John speak with Kevin Gosztola, a journalist for Shadowproof.com and host of the Podcast “Unauthorized Disclosure.” In a major reversal of US immigration and human rights policy, Attorney General Barr yesterday declared that detained asylum seekers who have shown that they have a credible fear of returning to their countries will no longer be able to ask a judge to grant them bail. The move will likely fill the country’s prisons and detention centers for refugees, even though they have been neither convicted of or even accused of a crime. Isabel Garcia, co-founder of Coalición de Derechos Humanos, joins the show. French President Emmanuel Macron yesterday gave a short and solemn speech in the aftermath of the fire that devastated the Cathedral of Notre Dame. He used the speech, however, to draw parallels between the fire and the Yellow Vest protests. Macron had planned the speech for Monday, and it was supposed to be exclusively about the political uprising that has shaken France for five months. Gilbert Mercier, Editor in Chief of News Junkie Post and the author of “The Orwellian Empire,” joins Brian and John. Yesterday, Israeli President Reuven Rivlin tapped current Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to form a governing coalition, after a majority of Knesset members supported him. Netanyahu will now continue talks with the goal of dividing up cabinet ministries among his coalition partners. The new government is expected to be the most right wing in Israeli history, and human rights advocates are sounding the alarm that even more restrictions on Palestinian citizens of Israel are imminent. Loud & Clear producer Nicole Roussell spent the week in Israel covering the election there. She had the opportunity to speak with Jonathan Kuttab, a leading human rights attorney in Israel and Palestine. He was born in West Jerusalem, but after the Six Day War, his family moved to the United States. After practicing law with a Wall Street firm for several years, he returned home to co-found the Palestinian Center for the Study of Nonviolence, al-Haw (which is a group of lawyers and others who assist with human rights issues), and the Mandela Institute for Political Prisoners. He serves on the board of directors of the Sabeel Ecumenical Liberation Theology Center in Jerusalem. Wednesday’s regular segment, Beyond Nuclear, is about nuclear issues, including weapons, energy, waste, and the future of nuclear technology in the United States. Kevin Kamps, the Radioactive Waste Watchdog at the organization Beyond Nuclear, and Sputnik news analyst and producer Nicole Roussell, join the show.

Bernie Sanders Makes “Big Impression” at Fox News Town Hall

Apr 16, 2019 6810

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On today's episode of Loud & Clear, Brian Becker and John Kiriakou are joined by Richard Wolff, a professor of Economics Emeritus, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, founder of the organization Democracy at Work, and his latest book is “Capitalism's Crisis Deepens: Essays on the Global Economic Meltdown.” The audience at a Fox News Town Hall meeting in Pennsylvania with Bernie Sanders erupted in cheers and applause when the host asked the crowd if it supported Medicare for all, a signature Sanders campaign issue. The raucous response was despite the fact that the White House condemned the bill, with Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders calling it “a socialist takeover of healthcare.” Sanders’ strong showing is being interpreted as evidence that he could win in states where Trump prevailed in 2016. An indictment against Julian Assange in the Eastern District of Virginia was unsealed on Thursday, and the criminal complaint was released today, adding detail to the case against the Wikileaks co-founder. But even with the new detail, the government’s case is weak and limited and still accuses Assange only of a minor charge of conspiracy to access a government computer without authorization. Joe Lauria, the editor-in-chief of Consortium News, founded by the late Robert Parry, and author of the book "How I Lost, By Hillary Clinton," joins the show. London police last night arrested more than 100 climate activists who had blocked Waterloo Bridge in central London to protest the government’s failure to address climate change. As soon as police completed the arrests, more protestors arrived and either chained or glued themselves to the bridge. The protests are part of a global campaign called Extinction Rebellion, with demonstrations taking place in 80 cities across 33 countries. Brian and John speak with Antony Loewenstein, an independent journalist whose work has appeared in the New York Times and the Guardian, and the author of many books, including “Disaster Capitalism.” Huge demonstrations demanding “freedom, peace and justice” are continuing as the revolt that toppled Sudan’s long-time leader Omar al-Bashir are continuing. In the aftermath of last week’s military takeover in Sudan, the African Union has given the country’s military leadership 15 days to revert to civilian rule or face expulsion. Military leaders and opposition parties and civil society groups are currently in negotiations. Nisrin Elamin, a Sudanese PhD student at Stanford and an activist in the Sudanese diaspora, joins the show. Secretary of State Michael Pompeo recently wrapped up a tour of countries with right wing governments in Latin America to build support for the U.S.-backed push to overthrow the government of President Nicolas Maduro. Pompeo also prompted a strong response from China when he said that the country’s support for Venezuela is causing the disintegration of that country and chaos in Latin America. Chuck Kaufman, the National Co-Coordinator of the Alliance for Global Justice, joins Brian and John. Tuesday’s weekly series is False Profits—A Weekly Look at Wall Street and Corporate Capitalism with Daniel Sankey. Brian and John speak with financial policy analyst Daniel Sankey. Today’s regular segment that airs every Tuesday is called Women & Society with Dr. Hannah Dickinson. This weekly segment is about the major issues, challenges, and struggles facing women in all aspects of society. Hannah Dickinson, an associate professor at Hobart and William Smith Colleges and an organizer with the Geneva Women’s Assembly, and Loud & Clear producer Nicole Roussell join the show.

The Imprisonment of Assange Seeks to “Kill Journalism”

Apr 15, 2019 6966

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On today's episode of Loud & Clear, Brian Becker and Walter Smolarek (sitting in for John Kiriakou) are joined by Lee Stranahan, co-host of Radio Sputnik’s Fault Lines who traveled to the UK to cover Julian Assange’s arrest. There were protests in London this weekend at the prison where Wikileaks founder Julian Assange is being held, having been forced out of the Ecuadorian Embassy late last week despite receiving political asylum seven years ago. Meanwhile, Ecuadorian President Lenin Moreno signed a $4.2 billion loan with the US-backed International Monetary Fund at the same time. The Justice Department said today that the Mueller report will be released this Thursday, and Special Counsel Robert Mueller is one of the officials working on the redactions from the memo. But the corporate media is already preparing to defend its two years of collusion accusations between President Trump and Russia, despite no evidence. Daniel Lazare, a journalist and author of three books—“The Frozen Republic,” “The Velvet Coup,” and “America's Undeclared War,” joins the show. President Trump tweeted a video this weekend attacking Representative Ilhan Omar, ludicrously linking her with the September 11th terrorist attack. She has since received a wave of death threats. Brian and Walter speak with Dr. Nazia Kazi, an activist, professor of Anthropology at Stockton University, and the author of the book “Islamophobia, Race and Global Politics.” It’s tax day in the United States. While working people hand over a big share of their income, many huge corporations are paying hardly anything at all, a situation made even worse by the new Trump tax reform. Dave Lindorff, an investigative reporter and founder of This Can’t Be Happening!, joins the show. North Korean leader Kim Jong Un said on Saturday that he is open to another summit with President Trump within 2019 if there are mutually agreed upon terms. Will the United States move forward with this offer and be willing to engage in bilateral negotiations? Simone Chun, a fellow at the Korea Policy Institute and a member of the Korean Peace Network, joins Brian and Walter. 11 people were killed in Aleppo by rockets fired by opposition fighters in Idlib last night, an area dominated by the al-Qaeda affiliated HTS terrorist group. A final government offensive to recapture the province may be imminent. Ambassador Peter Ford, the former UK Ambassador to Syria, joins the show. Monday’s segment “Education for Liberation with Bill Ayers” is where Bill helps us look at the state of education across the country. What’s happening in our schools, colleges, and universities, and what impact does it have on the world around us? Bill Ayers, an activist, educator and the author of the book “Demand the Impossible: A Radical Manifesto,” joins Brian and Walter. Monday’s regular segment Technology Rules with Chris Garaffa is a weekly guide on how monopoly corporations and the national surveillance state are threatening cherished freedoms, civil rights and civil liberties. Web developer and technologist Chris Garaffa joins the show.

What the Arrest of Assange Means for the Future of Press Freedom

Apr 12, 2019 6889

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On today's episode of Loud & Clear, Brian Becker and John Kiriakou are joined by Sputnik News analyst and producer Walter Smolarek. The panel takes a look at the biggest stories of the week, including the arrest of Julian Assange, the overthrow of Sudanese leader Omar al-Bashir, the indictment of Greg Craig, and South Korean president Moon Jae-in’s trip to the White House. After nearly seven years in the Ecuadorian embassy in London, Julian Assange has been arrested by British authorities on behalf of the U.S. government. But the fight is just beginning to defend Assange, Wikileaks, and freedom of the press. Lee Stranahan, co-host of Radio Sputnik’s Fault Lines who traveled last night to the UK to cover the story, joins the show. Again this week we’ll look at the worst, most misleading, funniest, and the just plain wrong headlines of the past week. Steve Patt, an independent journalist whose critiques of the mainstream media have been a feature of his site Left I on the News, joins the show. Loud & Clear producer Nicole Roussell has been on the ground all week covering the Israeli election. She was able to interview prominent political leader Dr. Yousef Jabareen. He is a member of the Israeli Knesset representing Hadash, a progressive party that draws its support primarily from the country’s Arab community. He discusses the pressing issues facing the Palestinian people as hardline right-wing Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu appears set to yet again lead the coalition coming out of the election.

Attorney General Accuses Govt Agencies of Spying on Trump 2016 Campaign

Apr 10, 2019 6705

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On today's episode of Loud & Clear, Brian Becker and Walter Smolarek (filling in for John Kiriakou) are joined by Jim Kavanagh, editor of thepolemicist.net and whistleblower and activist Coleen Rowley. The hosts continue our weekly segment In the News, where we look at the most important ongoing developments of the week and put them into perspective. Today we’ll be focusing on Attorney General Barr’s testimony to Congress and his comments on FBI spying on the Trump campaign. The hosts continue our regular segment, Beyond Nuclear, where we look at nuclear issues, including weapons, energy, waste, and the future of nuclear technology in the United States. Kevin Kamps, the Radioactive Waste Watchdog at the organization Beyond Nuclear, joins the show. A high stakes summit of European Union leaders is underway in Brussels just two days ahead of the deadline for the UK to exit the bloc. With no agreement in sight, the leaders are considering a so-called flexible extension that would push the deadline back up to one year. Brian and John speak with Neil Clark, a journalist and broadcaster whose work has appeared in The Guardian, The Week, and Morning Star. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu appears to be on track to become the longest-serving leader in Israel’s history after the right wing parties won a majority of seats in last night’s election. Negotiations are now under way to form a coalition government that will be led by Netanyahu’s Likud party. Sputnik News analyst and producer Nicole Roussell, who’s been on the ground as the elections unfold, joins the show. Wikileaks revealed today that it’s founder Julian Assange has been subjected to extensive surveillance during his time at the Ecuadorian embassy in London. Supporters fear that authorities could be on the verge of expelling Assange, a development that could lead to his extradition to the United States. Joe Lauria, editor-in-chief of Consortium News, joins Brian and John.

William Barr to Release Mueller Report to Congress & Explain Redactions

Apr 9, 2019 6705

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On today's episode of Loud & Clear, Brian Becker and John Kiriakou are joined by ed Rall, an award-winning editorial cartoonist and columnist. Attorney General William Barr told a House subcommittee today that the Mueller Report will be released within the week, although portions will be redacted. He added that he would explain the redactions line by line with lawmakers. Meanwhile, Republican Congressman Devin Nunes announced that he will send eight criminal referrals to the Justice Department, accusing unnamed people of lying to Congress, misleading Congress, and leaking classified information. Thousands of people continued to flee war-torn Tripoli, Libya today as forces loyal to rebel General Khalifa Haftar bombed the country’s only functioning airport. There were no casualties, but all flights have been cancelled and all passengers evacuated. Here in Washington, President Trump met with Egyption leader Abd al-Aziz al-Sisi over lunch to discuss Libya, security, and the Egyptian economy. A White House spokesman said the pair also discussed human rights. Massoud Shadjareh, founder of the Islamic Human Rights Commission, joins the show. The hosts continue our weekly segment Women & Society with Dr. Hannah Dickinson. In this weekly segment we talk about the major issues, challenges, and struggles facing women in all aspects of society. Hannah Dickinson, a professor and an organizer with the Geneva Women’s Assembly, and Gabriela Quintanilla, Western NY Coordinator for Rural & Migrant Ministry and founder and director of Adelante Student Voices, join Brian and John. Israel held national elections for the Knesset, its parliament, today and the vote counting has begun. Polls indicate that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud Party will lose between three and five seats, while General Benny Gantz’s Blue and White coalition will likely win a plurality. With that said, Netanyahu has a better chance of cobbling together a coalition of right-wing parties and remaining as Prime Minister and has been pulling out all the stops as the campaign draws to a close, including declaring his support for annexing the West Bank, accusing his opponents of planning to cooperate with Arab parties, and intimidating Arab voters with cameras outside polling places. Sputnik News analyst and producers Nicole Roussell and Walter Smolarek join the show The hosts continue our weekly series False Profits -- A Weekly Look at Wall Street and Corporate Capitalism with Daniel Sankey. Daniel Sankey. He’s a financial policy analyst, joins the show.

The Big Purge: Trump Sacks Top Homeland Security Officials

Apr 8, 2019 6929

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On today's episode of Loud & Clear, Brian Becker and John Kiriakou are joined by Pedro Rios, Director of the American Friends Service Committee’s U.S./Mexico Border Program. Kirsten Nielsen, Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, resigned yesterday after a meeting with President Trump. The move came amid reports of Trump’s unhappiness over Nielsen’s inability to close ports of entry along the southern border and to stop accepting asylum seekers. Critics of the administration fear that this is a precursor to an intensification of anti-immigrant policies in the run up to the 2020 election Libya sank deeper into chaos over the weekend, with more than 2800 people fleeing fighting in Tripoli, according to the United Nations. Forces under General Khalifa Haftar are approaching the city, and seeking to wrest control of the country from UN-backed Prime Minister Fayez al-Serraj. Libya has been wracked by violence since the US-led NATO attack on the country that resulted in the death of Muammar al-Qaddafi in 2011. Vijay Prashad, Director of the Tricontinental: Institute for Social Research and Chief Editor of LeftWord Books, joins the show. Israelis will go to the polls tomorrow to elect members of parliament, who in turn will elect a prime minister. The vote will bring to an end a race that has pitted Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu against Benny Gantz, the leader of a trio of generals who could end his uninterrupted decade as Prime Minister. Brian and John speak with Nicole Roussell, Sputnik News analyst and one of the producers of this show. President Trump today placed the Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, or IRGC, on the list of international terrorist groups. Iran warned that the move would destabilize the region and it retaliated by officially declaring the U.S. military a terrorist organization. Kevin Zeese. He’s the co-coordinator of Popular Resistance, joins the show. The hosts continue the regular segment “Education for Liberation with Bill Ayers,” where Bill helps us look at the state of education across the country. What’s happening in our schools, colleges, and universities, and what impact does it have on the world around us? Bill Ayers an activist, educator and the author of the new book “about Becoming a Teacher”, joins Brian and John. The new book, “The Russian Peace Threat: Pentagon on Alert”, has been released to rave reviews. It reports on the propaganda that informed US-Russian relations from the Bolshevik Revolution to the present. He takes us through historical events forgotten by time and shaped by propaganda to explain a history that is largely unknown in the west. Brian and John speak with Ron Ridenhour, the author of the book. The hosts continue the weekly half hour segment Technology Rules with Chris Garaffa—a weekly guide on how monopoly corporations and the National Surveillance State are threatening cherished freedoms, civil rights and civil liberties. Web developer and technologist Chris Garaffa joins the show.

Attack on Free Press: Expulsion of Assange from Embassy May Be Imminent

Apr 5, 2019 6804

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On today's episode of Loud & Clear, Brian Becker and John Kiriakou are joined by Sputnik News analysts and producers Walter Smolarek and Nicole Roussell. Friday is Loud & Clear’s weekly hour-long segment The Week in Review, about the week in politics, policy, and international affairs. Today they focus on the possibility of Julian Assange being expelled from his safety in the embassy, the NATO summit this week, Boeing’s acknowledgement that they fully knew about the problems that killed hundreds, and the House vote to end the aid for the war in Yemen. Wikileaks tweeted last night that a high level source in the Ecuadorian government confirmed that Wikileaks co-founder Julian Assange would be expelled from the Ecuadorian Embassy in London “within hours or days” and that it already has an agreement with the UK for his arrest. Assange likely would be extradited to the United States. Joe Lauria, the editor-in-chief of Consortium News, founded by the late Robert Parry, the author of the book "How I Lost, By Hillary Clinton," joins the show. British Prime Minister Theresa May has written to the President of the European Council, Donald Tusk, to ask for an extension of Brexit until June 30, a request that is likely to be rejected. The UK is currently due to leave the EU on April 12, but parliament has not yet approved a Brexit plan. Brian and John speak with Neil Clark, a journalist and broadcaster whose work has appeared in The Guardian, The Week, and Morning Star. It’s Friday! So it’s time for the week’s worst and most misleading headlines. Brian and John speak with Steve Patt, an independent journalist whose critiques of the mainstream media have been a feature of his site Left I on the News and on twitter @leftiblog, and Sputnik producer Nicole Roussell. Activists from around the world are gathering April 6-8 in Washington, D.C. for the National Summit for Human Rights and Democracy. As the Duterte government steps up its repressive measures, grassroots opposition is growing to resist these attacks on democracy as well as U.S.-funded militarization. Mong Palatino, chair of the BAYAN Metro Manila chapter and former legislator, Ed Cubelo, chairman of the Metro Manila chapter of the trade union federation May 1st Movement Manila, and Rhonda Ramiro, the chairperson of BAYAN USA.

The Latest Desperate Attempt to Keep Debunked "Russiagate" Story Alive

Apr 4, 2019 6851

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On today's episode of Loud & Clear, Walter Smolarek (filling in for Brian Becker) and John Kiriakou are joined by Daniel Lazare, a journalist and author of three books—“The Frozen Republic,” “The Velvet Coup,” and “America's Undeclared War.” The New York Times and Washington Post had blaring headlines today that Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigators believed the Mueller report was more damaging than Attorney General William Barr had let on. But that was not supported by the substance of the articles. And there was no additional evidence that President Trump had committed any crime. The family of an American citizen killed in the crash of an Ethiopian Airlines Boeing 737 Max-8 is now suing Boeing in federal court in Chicago. The suit is only one of nearly a dozen against Boeing, in addition to a Justice Department criminal investigation. Dr. Alan Diehl, an award-winning aviation psychologist and safety consultant, a major air safety whistleblower, and the author of the book “Air Safety Investigators,” joins the show. Intense negotiations between the United States and China involving President Trump himself are underway. With a definitive Trump-Xi summit widely expected to be announced in the coming days, is the trade war with China finally coming to an end? Walter and John speak with Richard Wolff, a professor of Economics Emeritus, University of Massachusetts, Amherst and founder of the organization Democracy at Work, whose latest book is “Capitalism's Crisis Deepens: Essays on the Global Economic Meltdown.” NATO Foreign Ministers continued today to meet in Washington a day after a rare speech to congress given by the alliance’s Secretary General. Meanwhile, the newly re-named Republic of North Macedonia is being welcomed to the alliance and NATO leaders are threatening Turkey for that country’s purchase of a Russian S-400 missile system. Peter Kuznick, a professor of history and director of the Nuclear Studies Institute at American University and the co-author with Oliver Stone of the book and the hit Showtime television series “The Untold History of the United States,” joins the show. Veterans for Peace is Thursday’s regular segment about the contemporary issues of war and peace that affect veterans, their families, and the country as a whole. Gerry Condon, a Vietnam-era veteran and war resister who has been a peace and solidarity activist for almost 50 years, currently as national president of Veterans for Peace, joins the show. Thursday’s weekly series “Criminal Injustice” is about the most egregious conduct of our courts and prosecutors and how justice is denied to so many people in this country. Paul Wright, the founder and executive director of the Human Rights Defense Center and editor of Prison Legal News (PLN), and Kevin Gosztola, a writer for Shadowproof.com and co-host of the podcast Unauthorized Disclosure, join the show. A regular Thursday segment deals with the ongoing militarization of space. As the US continues to withdraw from international arms treaties, will the weaponization and militarization of space bring the world closer to catastrophe? Walter and John speak with Prof. Karl Grossman, a full professor of journalism at the State University of New York, College at Old Westbury and the host of a nationally-aired television program focused on environmental, energy, and space issues, and with Bruce Gagnon, coordinator of the Global Network Against Weapons & Nuclear Power in Space and a contributor to Foreign Policy In Focus.

NATO Military Alliance an Instrument of the New Colonialism

Apr 3, 2019 7065

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On today's episode of Loud & Clear, Brian Becker and John Kiriakou are joined by Matthew Hoh, who resigned in 2009 from the State Department over the American escalation of the war in Afghanistan, and was a marine in the US occupation of Iraq prior. He is a winner of the Ridenhour Prize Recipient for Truth Telling. NATO foreign ministers are meeting in Washington this week to mark the 70th anniversary of the alliance’s creation. The agenda also includes NATO relations with Russia, the fight against terrorism, NATO expansion, and military spending. A number of peace groups are planning demonstrations opposing the meeting, and one major event is planned for tomorrow here in Washington. Federal Aviation Administration whistleblowers told the Senate Commerce Committee yesterday that safety inspectors at the FAA, including those involved in approving use of the Boeing 737-Max8, lacked proper training and certifications. The Republican-controlled Senate committee has launched a formal investigation into why two of the jets crashed in the past five months, killing 346 people. Mary Schiavo, the former Inspector General at the Department of Transportation, an aviation attorney, and an aviation professor, joins the show. Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika resigned yesterday after weeks of protests demanding the end of his 20-year rule. He had been expected to resign before the end of his term on April 28, but just a few days ago, the country’s military chief said publicly that Bouteflika was unfit for office. Brian and John speak with Dr. Gerald Horne, a professor of history at the University of Houston and author of many books, including “Blows Against the Empire: U.S. Imperialism in Crisis,” “The Counter-Revolution of 1776: Slave Resistance and the Origins of the United States of America,” and “The Apocalypse of Settler Colonialism: The Roots of Slavery, White Supremacy and Capitalism in Seventeenth Century North America and the Caribbean.” Wednesday’s weekly series, In the News, is where the hosts look at the most important ongoing developments of the week and put them into perspective. Today they discuss the Judiciary Committee’s vote on subpoenaing the Mueller report, new sanctions on Russia, the homophobic Trump-Putin animation from last summer winning an award, and the resignation of yet another Brexit secretary. Sputnik news analyst Walter Smolarek joins the show. Wednesday’s regular segment, Beyond Nuclear, is about nuclear issues, including weapons, energy, waste, and the future of nuclear technology in the United States. In this episode, they talk about the US secretly giving nuclear information to Saudi Arabia. Kevin Kamps, the Radioactive Waste Watchdog at the organization Beyond Nuclear, and Sputnik news analyst and producer Nicole Roussell, join the show.

Behind the Scenes: Pelosi Moves to Torpedo Medicare for All

Apr 2, 2019 6942

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According to a new report, a top aide to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi asked lobbyists in a private meeting to raise public doubts about Medicare For All, saying that the progressive program would detract from Democrats’ agenda. In a 5-4 vote yesterday, the Supreme Court ruled that there is no constitutional guarantee that an execution must be painless, saying that a Missouri prisoner may be executed despite having a rare condition that could cause him to suffocate. Trump appointee Neil Gorsuch wrote the majority opinion, which was joined by President Trump’s second Supreme Court pick, Brett Kavanagh. Stephen Bright, a professor at Yale Law School and the former Director of the Southern Center for Human Rights, joins the show. UK Prime MInister Theresa May held a marathon cabinet meeting today to discuss the ongoing crisis around the country’s departure from the European Union and announced that she would be seeking an extension to the “Article 50” deadline. This comes one day after UK lawmakers failed again to back any alternatives to Prime Minister Theresa May’s Brexit deal. Brian and John speak with Alex Gordon, former president of the National Union of Rail, Maritime, & Transport Workers. NATO foreign ministers are meeting in Washington this week to mark the 70th anniversary of the alliance’s creation. The agenda also includes NATO relations with Russia, the fight against terrorism, and military spending. A myriad of peace groups are planning demonstrations opposing the meeting. One major event is planned for Thursday here in Washington. Ann Wright, a retired United States Army colonel and former U.S. State Department official in Afghanistan, who resigned in protest of the invasion of Iraq and became a prominent anti-war activist, joins the show. Senate Democrats last night killed a bill that would have provided aid to Puerto Rico because it did not go far enough. President Trump, who publicly opposes ANY aid to Puerto Rico lashed out at the island and its elected officials on Twitter overnight, saying that Puerto Rico is “a mess” and that its politicians are “incompetent and corrupt.” The Mayor of San Juan responded by saying, “He can huff & puff all he wants but he cannot escape the death of 3,000 on his watch. SHAME ON YOU!” Dr. Adriana Garriga-López, Department Chair and Associate Professor of Anthropology at Kalamazoo College, joins Brian and John. Today’s regular segment that airs every Tuesday is called Women & Society with Dr. Hannah Dickinson. This weekly segment is about the major issues, challenges, and struggles facing women in all aspects of society. Hannah Dickinson, an associate professor at Hobart and William Smith Colleges and an organizer with the Geneva Women’s Assembly, and Loud & Clear producer Nicole Roussell join the show. Tuesday’s weekly series is False Profits—A Weekly Look at Wall Street and Corporate Capitalism with Daniel Sankey. Brian and John speak with financial policy analyst Daniel Sankey.

Russiagate: The Hoax that Keeps on Giving

Apr 1, 2019 6767

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On today's episode of Loud & Clear, Brian Becker and John Kiriakou are joined by Ted Rall, an award-winning editorial cartoonist and columnist whose work is at rall.com. In the week since it was released, politicians and journalists have changed their narrative about the Mueller report, saying that its criminal findings are being suppressed and that Attorney General William Barr is part of a pro-Russia conspiracy. House Democrats will prepare subpoenas this week seeking Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s full, unredacted report. Former Vice President Joe Biden is facing a crisis in his not-yet-launched presidential campaign as Lucy Flores, a Democratic politician from Nevada, says Biden once sniffed her hair and kissed the back of her head. Biden says that he has no memory of the incident, but other senior Democrats are demanding that he explain himself and apologize. Biden said only that he doesn’t believe that he ever acted inappropriately with Flores, but has a long-standing reputation of inappropriate behavior toward women, on top of his widely-criticized handling of the historic Anita Hill hearing when he was head of the Senate judiciary committee. Nicole Roussell, a Sputnik News analyst and a producer of Loud & Clear, joins the show. British parliamentarians considered a series of alternatives to Prime Minister Theresa May’s unpopular Brexit deal today, but none were binding. Less than two weeks away from the already-extended deadline, the UK and the European Union appear to have made no progress towards a deal. Brian and John speak with Alexander Mercouris, the editor-in-chief of The Duran. Monday’s segment “Education for Liberation with Bill Ayers” is where Bill helps us look at the state of education across the country. What’s happening in our schools, colleges, and universities, and what impact does it have on the world around us? Bill Ayers, an activist, educator and the author of the book “Demand the Impossible: A Radical Manifesto,” joins Brian and John. A comedian with no political experience has won the most votes in the first round of Ukraine’s presidential election. Volodymyr Zelenskyi received 30 percent of the popular vote, while current president Petro Poroshenko received just 16 percent. Former prime minister Yulia Tymoshenko was eliminated from the race. Mark Sleboda, an international affairs and security analyst, joins Brian and John. President Trump yesterday threatened to completely close the border with Mexico, saying, “We are closing the border. We’ll close it. And we’ll keep it closed for a long time. I’m not playing games.” This is one of Trump’s boldest threats yet as he escalates his anti-immigrant rhetoric ahead of the 2020 election. The President also is threatening to cut off all aid to Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador, saying, “They’re not doing anything for us.” Jorge Barón, the executive director of the Northwest Immigrant Rights Project, and Dave Lindorff, an investigative reporter and founder of This Can’t Be Happening!, joins the show. Monday’s regular segment Technology Rules with Chris Garaffa is a weekly guide on how monopoly corporations and the national surveillance state are threatening cherished freedoms, civil rights and civil liberties. Web developer and technologist Chris Garaffa joins the show.

British Politics Descend Into Chaos As Brexit Deal Fails Again

Mar 29, 2019 6968

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On today's episode of Loud & Clear, Brian Becker and John Kiriakou are joined by Neil Clark, a journalist and broadcaster whose work has appeared in The Guardian, The Week, and Morning Star. UK Prime Minister Theresa May’s Brexit plan was voted down by Parliament today for the third time, bringing the country even closer to a “no deal” departure from the European Union. In response to the 344-286 vote defeat, the European Council has called for an emergency summit to be held just two days before the April 12 Brexit deadline. The US and UK have been adamant that Chinese telecommunications giant Huawei works as a front for Chinese intelligence. The company, of course denies that and appears to be weathering the storm -- Huawei just announced record profits. Meanwhile, Chinese President Xi Jinping recently wrapped up a tour of Europe aimed at improving relations in the wake of the EU’s declaration that China was a “strategic competitor” to the bloc. Jude Woodward, the author of the book “The US vs China: Asia's new Cold War?,” joins the show. This week marked the 20th anniversary of the US-led bombing of Yugoslavia, a war that resulted in the further breakup of that country. The 78 days of NATO bombing resulted in the deaths of more than 2,500 people and caused billions of dollars in damage. Brian and John speak with Dr. Gerald Horne, a professor of history at the University of Houston and author of many books, including “Blows Against the Empire: U.S. Imperialism in Crisis.” The Ecuadorean National Assembly has decided to investigate an alleged money laundering scheme hatched by President Lenin Moreno involving a complex network of offshore accounts. Meanwhile, Julian Assange is still trapped in the Ecuadorian Embassy and supporters worry that he may soon be ejected. Arnold August, a lecturer and journalist who most recently wrote “The Trump Trudeau Lima Group Policy and Its Nemesis” for Mint Press, joins the show. It’s Friday! So it’s time for the week’s worst and most misleading headlines. Brian and John speak with Steve Patt, an independent journalist whose critiques of the mainstream media have been a feature of his site Left I on the News and on twitter @leftiblog, and Sputnik producer Nicole Roussell. Friday is Loud & Clear’s weekly hour-long segment The Week in Review, about the week in politics, policy, and international affairs. Today they focus on the Mueller report, 2020 elections, Israeli violence in Gaza, and today’s Brexit vote. Jacqueline Luqman, the co-editor-in-chief of Luqman Nation, which livestreams every Thursday night at 9:00 p.m. on Facebook, and Sputnik News analyst and producer Walter Smolarek, join the show.

Trump-Russia Collusion Hoax is Adam Schiff's Gravy Train

Mar 28, 2019 6673

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On today's episode of Loud & Clear, Brian Becker and John Kiriakou are joined by Daniel Lazare, a journalist and author of three books—“The Frozen Republic,” “The Velvet Coup,” and “America's Undeclared War.” House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff is on the hot seat. Schiff has been one of the leading voices in government pushing the narrative of collusion between Russia and the Trump campaign. Following completion of the Mueller report, he doubled down, saying that he has seen definitive proof of collusion. Meanwhile, Senator Rand Paul said yesterday that former CIA director John Brennan, who has been repeating Schiff’s talking points, should be subpoenaed to answer for his role in the dissemination of the Steele Dossier. Acting FAA Administrator Dan Elwell told Congress today that the FAA will enact major changes in its oversight of US airlines in the aftermath of the crashes of two Boeing 737 Max-8 aircraft in the past five months that resulted in the deaths of nearly 400 people. Still, Elwell defended the FAA’s process by which the 737 Max-8 was declared to be trouble free before the crashes. Dr. Alan Diehl, an award-winning aviation psychologist and safety consultant, and a major air safety whistleblower, joins the show. A federal judge yesterday blocked work requirements for Medicaid in the states of Kentucky and Arkansas, sending both of those states and the US Department of Health and Human Services back to the drawing board. Work requirements are already in effect in Arkansas, although Kentucky’s requirements were on hold pending the judge’s ruling. Brian and John speak with Jane Perkins, the legal director at the National Health Law Program. Today Russian officials pushed back on President Trump’s comments that Russian military in Venezuela was an "unwelcomed provocation.” Meanwhile the country fights to recover from yet another attack on its electrical system. Paul Dobson, a writer for VenezuelAnalysis.com, joins the show. A little known North Korean anti-government exile group called Cheollima Civil Defence has claimed responsibility for a raid on North Korea’s embassy in Spain. Its alleged links to the U.S. government are unclear, but the dramatic events come during a particularly tense diplomatic period as the United States and the DPRK scramble to revive peace talks. Sputnik News analyst Walter Smolarek joins Brian and John. Thursday’s weekly series “Criminal Injustice” is about the most egregious conduct of our courts and prosecutors and how justice is denied to so many people in this country. Paul Wright, the founder and executive director of the Human Rights Defense Center and editor of Prison Legal News (PLN), and Kevin Gosztola, a writer for Shadowproof.com and co-host of the podcast Unauthorized Disclosure, join the show. A regular Thursday segment deals with the ongoing militarization of space. As the US continues to withdraw from international arms treaties, will the weaponization and militarization of space bring the world closer to catastrophe? Brian and John speak with Prof. Karl Grossman, a full professor of journalism at the State University of New York, College at Old Westbury and the host of a nationally-aired television program focused on environmental, energy, and space issues, and with Bruce Gagnon, coordinator of the Global Network Against Weapons & Nuclear Power in Space and a contributor to Foreign Policy In Focus. They’re also joined by Will Griffin, an Iraq and Afghanistan war veteran, a member of Veterans for Peace, and director of The Peace Report, an online anti-war news source.

Theresa May Offers Resignation in Last-Ditch Effort to Save Brexit Deal

Mar 27, 2019 6966

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On today's episode of Loud & Clear, Brian Becker and John Kiriakou are joined by producer Walter Smolarek and Steve Hedley, the senior assistant general secretary of the the UK’s Rail, Maritime, and Transport Workers Union. Developments in the UK parliament are moving fast as the government of Prime Minister Theresa May makes a last ditch attempt to save her Brexit deal, and a wide range of alternative plans are considered. Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn is pushing for a second referendum on Brexit, and May has offered to resign in return for securing the support of skeptical MPs in the much-anticipated “meaningful vote” likely to be held this week. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu addressed the American Israel Political Action Committee, or AIPAC, conference by video feed yesterday where he joined in on the attack on Representative Ilhan Omar and the growing sentiment opposing the Israeli government’s policies. Meanwhile, Syria requested an emergency United Nations Security Council meeting to discuss US recognition of the Golan as Israeli territory. All five European members of the Security Council called Israel’s annexation of the Golan illegal and US recognition of the move void. Ariel Gold, a peace activist and the national co-director of Code Pink, joins the show. Seven people were killed yesterday, including four children, when Saudi jet fighters bombed a hospital in northwestern Yemen. The attack also injured eight people. Thirty seven children are killed or wounded every month in Saudi attacks in Yemen, despite Saudi protestations that they do not target civilians. Brian and John speak with Professor Mohammad Marandi, an expert on American studies and postcolonial literature who teaches at the University of Tehran. Donald Trump demanded today that Russia “get out” of Venezuela, referring to the arrival of Russian military personnel in the country that the Venezuelan government said was a routine part of defense cooperation between the two long-standing allies. The coup attempt in Venezuela is rapidly taking on importance of a global scope. Chuck Kaufman, the National Co-Coordinator of the Alliance for Global Justice, joins the show. Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said yesterday that he had asked Spain and the Vatican to apologize for the conquest of the Americas 500 years ago. In a letter to King Felipe VI and Pope Francis, Lopez Obrador said the Spanish conquest was carried out “with the sword and the cross.” The Spanish government quickly refused to make any apology. Pope Francis has not yet commented, but in 2015 he apologized for crimes against the indigenous people of Bolivia. Juan José Gutiérrez, the executive director of the Full Rights for Immigrants Coalition, joins Brian and John. Wednesday’s weekly series, In the News, is where the hosts look at the most important ongoing developments of the week and put them into perspective. Today they dive into the so-called evidence that was and still is being cited in now-dead Russiagate and the way that the Democrats have been driving this anti-Trump train primarily on an anti-Russian basis. Sputnik News analysts and producers Walter Smolarek and Nicole Roussell join the show. Wednesday’s regular segment, Beyond Nuclear, is about nuclear issues, including weapons, energy, waste, and the future of nuclear technology in the United States. They focus on the 40-year anniversary of the Three Mile Island nuclear reactor meltdown in pennsylvania, the coverups associated with it, and the impacts it has had on people’s health and on social justice movements. Kevin Kamps, the Radioactive Waste Watchdog at the organization Beyond Nuclear, and Sputnik news analyst and producer Nicole Roussell, join the show.

Trump-Russia Story Was A Hoax But Hostility to Russia Will Increase

Mar 26, 2019 6950

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On today's episode of Loud & Clear, Brian Becker and John Kiriakou are joined by Max Blumenthal, a bestselling author and journalist, whose latest film is “Killing Gaza,” the senior editor of Grayzone Project and co-host of the podcast “Moderate Rebels.” Proponents of the Russiagate conspiracy are scrambling to salvage their reputation in the wake of the conclusion of Robert Mueller’s probe that found no evidence of collusion during the 2016 election. Meanwhile, attorney and frequent Trump critic Michael Avenatti was arrested yesterday and charged with multiple felonies related to an alleged attempt to extort at least $20 million from Nike. British Prime Minister Theresa May was dealt yet another blow yesterday as parliament seized control of the decision making process as Brexit goes down to the wire. Will her government fall? Will the much-dreaded “no deal” scenario come to pass? Eugene Puryear, the host of Radio Sputnik’s By Any Means Necessary, which you can listen to Monday through Friday from 2:00-4:00 p.m, joins the show. Most of Venezuela suffered another blackout yesterday, although power was restored in much of the country within several hours. The government said that this was the result of another series of attacks on the country’s electrical system, and also presented evidence tying top opposition leaders to a plot to carry out terrorist attacks throughout the country. Brian and John speak with Ricardo Vaz, a writer and editor at Venezuelanalysis, whose articles have appeared on Mint Press News, Truthout, Counterpunch, and other alternative media. Ecuador on Sunday held elections for local offices and governorships, but the Moreno government was extremely slow to announce results, leading to speculation that the election was not free and fair. Meanwhile, aides to Wikileaks cofounder Julian Assange note that security at the Ecuadorian Embassy in London, where Assange has sought asylum, has increased significantly, and a US Department of Justice jet used recently to render a Russian hacker landed last week in London, only to return to the US, empty, yesterday. Independent journalist Denis Rogatyuk joins the show. Tuesday’s weekly series is False Profits—A Weekly Look at Wall Street and Corporate Capitalism with Daniel Sankey. Today they talk about the federal reserve’s pessimistic forecast about the future of the U.S. economy and much more. Brian and John speak with financial policy analyst Daniel Sankey. Today’s regular segment that airs every Tuesday is called Women & Society with Dr. Hannah Dickinson. This weekly segment is about the major issues, challenges, and struggles facing women in all aspects of society. Today they focus on the Justice Department’s decision to seek the repeal of the affordable care act in its entirety. How will this affect women and families and what kind of healthcare do we really need? Hannah Dickinson, an associate professor at Hobart and William Smith Colleges and an organizer with the Geneva Women’s Assembly, and Loud & Clear producer Nicole Roussell join the show.

Trump-Russia Conspiracy Theory Collapses with Mueller Final Report

Mar 25, 2019 6974

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On today's episode of Loud & Clear, Brian Becker and John Kiriakou are joined by Coleen Rowley, a former FBI special agent who in 2002 was named Time Magazine person of the year, Gareth Porter, a historian and investigative journalist, and Ted Rall, an award-winning editorial cartoonist and columnist whose work is at www.rall.com. Special Counsel Robert Mueller has completed his investigation into alleged collusion between the Russian government and the Trump campaign and has found no evidence of wrongdoing. The final report is with Attorney General William Barr and is on its way to Congress. Mueller’s finding of no collusion and no criminality on the part of the president has Democrats reeling and calling for new Congressional investigations. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met with President Trump in Washington today for a ceremony in which the U.S. formally recognized Israeli sovereignty over the Golan region of Syria. The visit is being cut short, however, because a rocket fired from Gaza hit an Israeli house in Tel Aviv, injuring seven people. Sensing yet another opportunity to present himself as a hardliner ahead of the April 9 election, Netanyahu ordered the mobilization of ground units and the Israeli air force launched a wave of strikes. Daoud Kuttab, an award-winning Palestinian journalist, whose latest book is “Sesame Street Palestine: The Ups and Downs of Producing a Children’s Program,” joins the show. British members of parliament began debating a series of alternatives today to Prime Minister Theresa May’s Brexit plan, with an eye toward holding a third vote on the deal. The Prime Minister met with her cabinet at Number 10 Downing Street this morning, where reports say she was confronted over her inability to unify her party. Meanwhile, a petition calling for a new referendum on Brexit has gathered more than 5 million signatures. Brian and John speak with Alexander Mercouris, the editor-in-chief of The Duran. Monday’s segment “Education for Liberation with Bill Ayers” is where Bill helps us look at the state of education across the country. What’s happening in our schools, colleges, and universities, and what impact does it have on the world around us? Bill Ayers, an activist, educator and the author of the book “Demand the Impossible: A Radical Manifesto,” joins Brian and John. Monday’s regular segment Technology Rules with Chris Garaffa is a weekly guide on how monopoly corporations and the national surveillance state are threatening cherished freedoms, civil rights and civil liberties. Web developer and technologist Chris Garaffa joins the show.

"Most Progressive" Biden's Real Record: Segregation, Prisons and War

Mar 22, 2019 6955

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On today's episode of Loud & Clear, Walter Smolarek (sitting in for Brian Becker) and John Kiriakou are joined by Jacqueline Luqman, the co-editor-in-chief of Luqman Nation, which livestreams every Thursday night at 9:00 p.m. on Facebook. Friday is Loud & Clear’s weekly hour-long segment The Week in Review, about the week in politics, policy, and international affairs. Today they focus on the presidential race in 2020 and the Democratic primary, the president weighing in on the Golan region of Syria, and the floods in Southeastern Africa as a result of Cyclone Idai. President Trump yesterday announced that the US would recognize Israeli sovereignty over the occupied Golan Heights, reversing 52 years of US policy and infuriating friends and foes alike in the Middle East. Israel has occupied the Syrian territory since the 1967 war. Ariel Gold, a peace activist and the national co-director of Code Pink, joins the show. Brazil’s former president, Michel Temer, was arrested yesterday in Sao Paulo and charged with multiple crimes in a massive corruption scandal. His former Mining and Energy Minister also was arrested. Brazilian media say that the US Justice Department is helping Brazilian authorities with the case, which has been dubbed Operation Carwash. It is reportedly the largest corruption and money laundering case in Brazil’s history. Walter and John speak with Aline Piva, a journalist and a member of Brazilians for Democracy and Social Justice. European Union leaders yesterday agreed to a short extension of the deadline for Britain’s withdrawal from the EU to give Prime Minister Theresa May and the British parliament more time to pass legislation. If May can persuade parliament to approve that legislation next week, the official Brexit date will be May 22. Co-host Brian Becker, who is in Brussels for the European Union summit, joins the show. North Korea is withdrawing from a joint liaison office near the demilitarized zone with South Korea because the US last week put sanctions on two Chinese firms that had done business with North Korea. The North said in a statement that Pyongyang does not mind if the South Koreans continue to man the office. But North Korean officials have been withdrawn. Simone Chun, a fellow at the Korea Policy Institute and a member of the Korean Peace Network, joins Walter and John. It’s Friday! So it’s time for the week’s worst and most misleading headlines. Walter and John speak with Steve Patt, an independent journalist whose critiques of the mainstream media have been a feature of his site Left I on the News and on twitter @leftiblog, and Sputnik producer Nicole Roussell.

Confusion Reigns at Crucial EU Summit on Brexit

Mar 21, 2019 6897

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On today's episode of Loud & Clear, Walter Smolarek and Nicole Roussell (sitting in for Brian Becker) and John Kiriakou are joined by Loud & Clear co-host UK Prime Minister Theresa May is in Brussels to press European Union leaders to agree to an extension of the Brexit negotiating period. But EU officials appear to be taking a hardline, and have just published a set of planned measures that would be taken in the event of a no-deal scenario. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is wrapping up a tour of the Middle East with a trip to Lebanon, focusing on stepping up pressure on Iran as the Trump administration seeks regime change in that country, and allegedly bolstering support for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu ahead of a tight election next month. Jana Nakhal, an independent researcher and a member of the central committee of the Lebanese Communist Party, joins the show. Veterans for Peace is Thursday’s regular segment about the contemporary issues of war and peace that affect veterans, their families, and the country as a whole. Gerry Condon, a Vietnam-era veteran and war resister who has been a peace and solidarity activist for almost 50 years, currently as national president of Veterans for Peace, joins the show. A new report shows that a group of eight American mercenaries who were arrested in Haiti on February 16 were there at the behest of President Jovenel Moise as part of a harebrained scheme to transfer $80 million from the country’s central bank to Moise’s personal account. The Americans were promised $30,000 each. Instead, they were put in shackles and, three days later, expelled from Haiti. Walter and John speak with Kim Ives, an editor of the newspaper Haiti Liberte. Thousands of students, university professors, and healthcare workers continued to rally yesterday in Algiers, calling on President Abdelaziz Boutefliqa to resign. They also warned the military not to interfere in the marches, which have now entered their second month. Boutefliqa, who has been president for 20 years, said last week that he would not seek reelection, but demonstrators want him to resign immediately. The demonstrations are being called The Arab Spring II in the western media. Dr. Gerald Horne, a professor of history at the University of Houston and author of many books, including “Blows Against the Empire: U.S. Imperialism in Crisis,” joins the show. Thursday’s weekly series “Criminal Injustice” is about the most egregious conduct of our courts and prosecutors and how justice is denied to so many people in this country. Paul Wright, the founder and executive director of the Human Rights Defense Center and editor of Prison Legal News (PLN), and Kevin Gosztola, a writer for Shadowproof.com and co-host of the podcast Unauthorized Disclosure, join the show. A regular Thursday segment deals with the ongoing militarization of space. As the US continues to withdraw from international arms treaties, will the weaponization and militarization of space bring the world closer to catastrophe? Walter and John speak with Prof. Karl Grossman, a full professor of journalism at the State University of New York, College at Old Westbury and the host of a nationally-aired television program focused on environmental, energy, and space issues, and with Bruce Gagnon, coordinator of the Global Network Against Weapons & Nuclear Power in Space and a contributor to Foreign Policy In Focus.

No Deal Brexit Looms as UK PM May Heads to Summit with No Good Options

Mar 20, 2019 6815

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On today's episode of Loud & Clear, Walter Smolarek (sitting in for Brian Becker) and John Kiriakou are joined by Neil Clark, a journalist and broadcaster whose work has appeared in The Guardian, The Week, and Morning Star. British Prime Minister Theresa May is asking the European Union for a delay until June 30 for the UK to complete its withdrawal from the Union. An EU spokesman warned, however, that a delay beyond the May 23 European Parliament elections was probably impossible. Former George W. Bush press secretary Ari Fleischer took to Twitter yesterday to commemorate the 16th anniversary of the start of the Iraq war and to try to dispel the common belief that the Bush Administration lied about Iraqi weapons of mass destruction as a cause for the war. Fleischer instead set off a debate about intelligence support for the war, intelligence failures, and the politicization of analysis as the world mourned the deaths of the hundreds of thousands who lost their lives as a consequence of the 2003 U.S. invasion. Kathy Kelly, co-coordinator of Voices for Creative Non-Violence, joins the show. The European Union has hit Google with yet another big antitrust fine. This time it’s $1.7 billion. The European Commission says that Google has “cemented its dominance and shielded itself from competitive pressure by imposing contractual restrictions on other websites. Since 2017 the company has been fined $9.3 billion by the European Union. That’s against $31 billion in profits just last year. Walter and John speak with Bill Binney, a former NSA technical director who became a legendary national security whistleblower. Former DNC Chair Donna Brazile is joining Fox News as a paid contributor, a move that caused serious political controversy. In addition to her decision to work for an outlet that critics say promotes extreme right-wing views, Brazile has come under fire for her role in the 2016 Democratic Party primary. Tim Karr, the senior director of strategy and communications at Free Press, joins the show. The family of a woman shot in what activists are saying is yet another racist killing by police, this time committed by a Florida state trooper, is asking the Justice Department to investigate. Police say that Latasha Walton was pulled over for driving erratically before she tried to run over the policeman. But video shows that Walton tried to slowly drive around the officer when he pulled out his gun and shot her at least seven times. Ruth Beltran, an organizer with Black Lives Matter Tampa, joins Walter and John. Wednesday’s weekly series, In the News, is where the hosts look at the most important ongoing developments of the week and put them into perspective. Jacqueline Luqman, the co-editor-in-chief of Luqman Nation, which hosts a livestream every Thursday night at 9:00 p.m. on Facebook, and Sputnik news analyst Walter Smolarek, join the show. Wednesday’s regular segment, Beyond Nuclear, is about nuclear issues, including weapons, energy, waste, and the future of nuclear technology in the United States. Kevin Kamps, the Radioactive Waste Watchdog at the organization Beyond Nuclear, and Sputnik news analyst and producer Nicole Roussell, join the show.

Brazil’s Bolsonaro Heads Straight to CIA HQ Upon Arrival in DC

Mar 19, 2019 6780

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On today's episode of Loud & Clear, Brian Becker and John Kiriakou are joined by João Rodríguez, a Brazilian activist who is currently a doctoral candidate in sociology at the University of Pennsylvania. Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro arrived in Washington yesterday in his first foreign visit since being elected and he went almost immediately to CIA headquarters for consultations. He was accompanied by his son and by Brazil’s Minister of Justice, who has long been accused of having ties to the CIA. Today, he went to the White House to meet with President Trump. Special Counsel Robert Mueller revealed today that he had sought search warrants for Trump attorney Michael Cohen’s records in July 2017, far earlier than previously revealed. His investigators went through those records before referring them to prosecutors in the Southern District of New York. Meanwhile, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein announced that he would be staying in his role longer than expected, and anticipation builds over the final release of the Mueller report. Daniel Lazare, a journalist and author of three books—“The Frozen Republic,” “The Velvet Coup,” and “America's Undeclared War,” joins the show. 74 cities, 65 counties, and four tribal areas in Nebraska declared states of emergency today following massive floods caused by days of heavy rain and snowmelt. Nebraska has seen three deaths so far, but waters are raging in 14 other midwest states, affecting more than eight million people. At least 200 miles of levees have been compromised and thousands of people have been driven from their homes. Brian and John speak with Craig Sterle, the president of the Minnesota Division of the Izaak Walton League of America, which works to conserve, restore, and promote the sustainable use and enjoyment of our natural resources, including soil, air, woods, waters, and wildlife. Kazakhstan’s President Nursultan Nazarbayev, who has ruled the country since the fall of the Soviet Union 30 years ago, resigned this morning. He said that the speaker of the upper house of parliament, Kassym Jomart-Tokayev, will serve out the remainder of his term. Nazarbayev sacked the entire government several weeks ago because of the weak economy. Mark Sleboda, an international affairs and security analyst, joins the show. Israel’s Justice Minister, Ayelet Shaked, is out with one of the most controversial election commercials we have ever seen. Shaked is a member of a far-right political party called The New Right. The black-and-white commercial shows Shaked putting on a fancy dress and earrings, and then spritzing herself with a perfume called “Fascism.” She then looks at the camera and says, “To me it smells like democracy.” But the Israeli media says the ad may backfire. All Israelis see is their Justice Minister dousing herself in fascism. Miko Peled, the author of the books “The General’s Son - A Journey of an Israeli in Palestine” and "Injustice: The Story of the Holy Land Foundation Five,” joins Brian and John. Tuesday’s weekly series is False Profits—A Weekly Look at Wall Street and Corporate Capitalism with Daniel Sankey. Brian and John speak with financial policy analyst Daniel Sankey. Today’s regular segment that airs every Tuesday is called Women & Society with Dr. Hannah Dickinson. This weekly segment is about the major issues, challenges, and struggles facing women in all aspects of society. Hannah Dickinson, an associate professor at Hobart and William Smith Colleges and an organizer with the Geneva Women’s Assembly, and Loud & Clear producer Nicole Roussell join the show.

“Beto” O’Rourke Stands For ??? and Raises $6 Million in 24 Hours

Mar 18, 2019 6775

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On today's episode of Loud & Clear, Brian Becker and John Kiriakou are joined by Ted Rall, an award-winning editorial cartoonist and columnist whose work is at www.rall.com. Despite facing sharp criticism for his lack of specific policy positions, former Texas Congressman Robert “Beto” O’Rourke raised $6.1 million dollars in just 24 hours after announcing his run for the presidency, more than any of the other Democratic 2020 hopefuls. Meanwhile New York Senator Kirsten Gillibrand announced her candidacy for president over the weekend, while former Vice President Joe Biden accidentally did the same thing before backing off and delaying an official announcement. Yellow Vest protesters in France held demonstrations for the 18th consecutive weekend as clashes and police repression intensifies. French President Emmanuel Macron has steadfastly refused to change his economic policies. Gilbert Mercier, Editor in Chief of News Junkie Post and the author of “The Orwellian Empire,” joins the show. Representatives of coup leader Juan Guaido announced new measures today to seize control of Venezuela’s assets based in the United States. Meanwhile, US-led sanctions are having a severe impact on the poorest and neediest Venezuelans. Brian and John speak with Gloria La Riva, the Director of the Cuba and Venezuela Solidarity Committee, who just returned from a month in Venezuela. Monday’s segment “Education for Liberation with Bill Ayers” is where Bill helps us look at the state of education across the country. What’s happening in our schools, colleges, and universities, and what impact does it have on the world around us? Bill Ayers, an activist, educator and the author of the book “Demand the Impossible: A Radical Manifesto,” joins Brian and John. The Hanoi summit between the United States and North Korea has ended without any agreements, and observers and commentators are speculating about what could happen next. Did the second summit set the cause of peace back or are both sides determined to make progress? Emanuel Pastreich, a professor and the founder and director of The Asia Institute, a pan-Asian think tank, joins Brian and John. New Zealand continues to reel in the aftermath of a mass shooting at a mosque, unprecedented in the country’s history, that resulted in the deaths of at least 50 people. An Australian right-wing extremist was caught and has confessed to the massacre. Authorities are cooperating with law enforcement officials in a dozen countries to determine what motivated the shooter and with whom he may have cooperated. Dennis Maga, the president of First Union, a major national trade union, and Mike Treen, the national director of the Unite union, which represents workers in the fast food, cinema, and casino industries, join the show. Monday’s regular segment Technology Rules with Chris Garaffa is a weekly guide on how monopoly corporations and the national surveillance state are threatening cherished freedoms, civil rights and civil liberties. Web developer and technologist Chris Garaffa joins the show.

A Well-Planned Fascist Massacre Against Muslims in New Zealand

Mar 15, 2019 6745

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On today's episode of Loud & Clear, Brian Becker and John Kiriakou are joined by Jacqueline Luqman, the co-editor-in-chief of Luqman Nation, which livestreams every Thursday night at 9:00 p.m. on Facebook, and Daniel Lazare, a journalist and author of three books—“The Frozen Republic,” “The Velvet Coup,” and “America's Undeclared War.” Friday is Loud & Clear’s weekly hour-long segment The Week in Review, about the week in politics, policy, and international affairs. Today they focus on the Islamophobic white nationalist shooting at two mosques in New Zealand, where at least 49 people were killed, the ongoing coup attempt in Venezuela, and several of the candidates in the 2020 race. A gunman attacked two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand yesterday, killing at least 49 people and wounding dozens. The victims included women and children. The attacker left a 73-page manifesto at the scene of the first mosque identifying himself as a 28-year-old Australian white supremacist. He has been arrested. Daryle Lamont Jenkins, executive director of the anti-fascist organization One People’s Project, joins the show. North Korea threatened today to suspend denuclearization talks with the United States and to resume missile research and production because National Security Advisor and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo created an atmosphere of hostility. North Korean leader Kim Jong Un said that he would make a decision soon. Addressing a gathering diplomats and journalists in Pyongyang, however, Vice Foreign Minister Choe Son-hui said that personal relations between Kim and President Trump were “still good, and the chemistry is mysteriously wonderful.” Brian and John speak with Simone Chun, a fellow at the Korea Policy Institute and a member of the Korean Peace Network. A federal judge in Florida yesterday ordered unsealed a trove of documents that the Washington Post asserts in a bold headline sheds new light on the hacking theft of Democratic Party emails. The documents include a forensic analysis by a former senior official in the FBI’s cybercrime division, and despite media protestations to the contrary, they shed no new light on who was responsible for the hack. Jim Kavanagh, the editor of thepolemicist.net, joins the show. The Trump Administration is pledging an additional $5 million in assistance to the White Helmets, the civil defense group that is often involved in controversies in extremist-held parts of Syria. The Administration gave the group $6.8 million ten months ago, after promising to cut off support. Who are the White Helmets? And why are they so controversial? Rick Sterling, an investigative journalist and member of the Syria Solidarity Movement, joins Brian and John. It’s Friday! So it’s time for the week’s worst and most misleading headlines. Brian and John speak with Steve Patt, an independent journalist whose critiques of the mainstream media have been a feature of his site Left I on the News and on twitter @leftiblog, and Sputnik producer Nicole Roussell.

Is Theresa May Strengthened after Today's Brexit Vote in Parliament?

Mar 14, 2019 6857

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On today's episode of Loud & Clear, Brian Becker and John Kiriakou are joined by Robert Griffiths, an organizer for the left campaign in support of Brexit during the 2016 referendum and the General Secretary of the Communist Party of Britain, and Walter Smolarek, Sputnik News analyst and one of the producers of this show. The British Parliament voted today to support an extension of the Brexit process. Prime Minister Theresa May appears to have further lost control of the situation, as the future of her government remains very much in doubt. The US Senate yesterday voted again to end American military assistance to Saudi Arabia for its war in Yemen, rebuking President Trump and expressing discontent for his refusal to press the Saudis over the assassination of journalist Jamal Khashoggi. The vote was 54-46, mostly along party lines, not enough to override a presidential veto. Kathy Kelly, co-coordinator of Voices for Creative Non-Violence, joins the show. President Trump yesterday ordered the grounding of all Boeing 737 Max 8 jets in the country following similar actions around the world in the aftermath of two major crashes, reversing his earlier decision to not force the FAA to take the action. Meanwhile, pilots reacted furiously in a meeting with Boeing executives because they had not been informed of airliner’s software problems. Brian and John speak with Mary Schiavo, the former Inspector General at the Department of Transportation, an aviation attorney, and an aviation professor. Veterans for Peace is Thursday’s regular segment about the contemporary issues of war and peace that affect veterans, their families, and the country as a whole. Gerry Condon, a Vietnam-era veteran and war resister who has been a peace and solidarity activist for almost 50 years, currently as national president of Veterans for Peace. He joins the hosts today from a peace delegation in Caracas, Venezuela. A regular Thursday segment deals with the ongoing militarization of space. As the US continues to withdraw from international arms treaties, will the weaponization and militarization of space bring the world closer to catastrophe? Brian and John speak with Prof. Karl Grossman, a full professor of journalism at the State University of New York, College at Old Westbury and the host of a nationally-aired television program focused on environmental, energy, and space issues. Former Texas Congressman Beto O’Rourke announced early this morning that he was a candidate for the Democratic nomination for President. He begins with broad name recognition from his close senate race against Ted Cruz and his ability to raise millions of dollars in small donations. Meanwhile, another candidate, Hawaii Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard appeared on the Stephen Colbert show, where she reiterated her opposition to foreign interventions. And all the candidates are bracing for the possible entry of Joe Biden into the race. Dave Lindorff, an investigative reporter and founder of This Can’t Be Happening!, and Coleen Rowley, a former FBI special agent who in 2002 was named Time Magazine person of the year along with two other whistleblowers, join the show. Thursday’s weekly series “Criminal Injustice” is about the most egregious conduct of our courts and prosecutors and how justice is denied to so many people in this country. Paul Wright, the founder and executive director of the Human Rights Defense Center and editor of Prison Legal News (PLN), and Kevin Gosztola, a writer for Shadowproof.com and co-host of the podcast Unauthorized Disclosure, join the show.

Why Is the Trump Administration Targeting Chelsea Manning?

Mar 13, 2019 6918

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On today's episode of Loud & Clear, Brian Becker and John Kiriakou are joined by Daniel Ellsberg, one of the the most important whistleblowers in modern American history and the author of The Doomsday Machine: Confessions of a Nuclear War Planner. Army whistleblower Chelsea Manning is still sitting in a federal jail in Alexandria, Virginia for refusing to respond to a subpoena to testify before a grand jury, apparently against Wikileaks co-founder Julian Assange. Manning invoked her rights under the first, fourth, fifth, and sixth amendments in her refusal to testify. How long can the injustice of her incarceration go on? Donald Trump finally relented and grounded Boeing 737 MAX 8 jets today, following earlier moves by the European Union and countries around the world in the aftermath of the second crash of one of the new jets in the past five months. Why was the U.S. so slow to act? Mary Schiavo, the former Inspector General at the Department of Transportation, an aviation attorney, and an aviation professor, joins the show. The British Parliament voted today against leaving the European Union without some sort of a deal on the Irish border and import tariffs. A vote will be held tomorrow on whether to ask for an extension to try to negotiate the country’s exit, but that must be approved by all 26 EU member states. Prime Minister Theresa May’s options for getting through the crisis are dwindling quickly. Meanwhile, Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn is calling for a new national election. Brian and John speak with Steve Hedley, the senior assistant general secretary of the the UK’s Rail, Maritime, and Transport Workers Union. A federal judge in Washington sentenced former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort to an additional three-and-a-half years in prison on two tax and corruption charges. The sentence comes just days after Manafort was sentenced to 47 months in prison by a federal judge in the Eastern District of Virginia. Talk in the mainstream media has now turned to the possibility of a presidential pardon for Manafort. Jim Kavanagh, the editor of thepolemicist.net, joins the show. Outrage is spreading across the country in the wake of dozens of indictments announced by the FBI in a college entrance cheating scandal involving wealthy parents and celebrities. What does this scheme tell us about the state of higher education in America? Rick Ayers, a professor of education at the University of San Francisco, the author of “An Empty Seat in Class: Teaching and Learning after the Death of a Student,” and co-author of the book “You Can’t Fire the Bad Ones: And 18 Other Myths about Teachers, Teachers Unions, and Public Education,” joins Brian and John. Wednesday’s weekly series, In the News, is where the hosts look at the most important ongoing developments of the week and put them into perspective. Today they discuss the scandal that celebrities and the wealthy are scamming their way into elite colleges in new ways and analyze the deep-rooted inequalities built in to the higher education system. Jacqueline Luqman, the co-editor-in-chief of Luqman Nation, which hosts a livestream every Thursday night at 9:00 p.m. on Facebook, and Sputnik news analyst Walter Smolarek, join the show. Wednesday’s regular segment, Beyond Nuclear, is about nuclear issues, including weapons, energy, waste, and the future of nuclear technology in the United States. Today, the hosts focus on the 8th anniversary of the Fukushima nuclear meltdown disaster. Kevin Kamps, the Radioactive Waste Watchdog at the organization Beyond Nuclear, and Sputnik news analyst and producer Nicole Roussell, join the show.

The end of Brexit or Brexit till the end?

Mar 12, 2019 6908

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On today's episode of Loud & Clear, Brian Becker and John Kiriakou are joined by Neil Clark, a journalist and broadcaster whose work has appeared in The Guardian, The Week, and Morning Star. The British parliament decisively rejected changes to Prime Minister Theresa May’s Brexit deal, defeating a measure that she said would reduce the risk that a backstop to prevent a hard border with Ireland would become permanent. European Commission President Jean Claude Juncker said this was the UK’s last chance to negotiate a smoother exit from the EU. As Venezuela continues to feel the effects of an alleged cyber attack on its electrical system, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said last night that he had ordered all American diplomats to leave the country, saying their presence was “a constraint” on US policy there. Those diplomats will spend the day shredding documents and destroying equipment, and the marine guard will lower the flag. Lucas Koerner, an activist and writer for VenezuelAnalysis.com, joins the show. Marielle Franco was a local politician in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil who fought against police violence against the city’s poorest residents. She was murdered a year ago Thursday. But yesterday, authorities arrested two former policemen in a killing that prosecutors are calling “a meticulously planned assassination.” Brian and John speak with Dr. Francisco Dominguez, a senior lecturer at Middlesex University and the head of the Centre for Brazilian and Latin American Studies. The United States has threatened Germany that if they keep working with Chinese tech company Huawei on 5G technology, then the United States will cease some intelligence sharing with Germany. Will this further fray ties between the United States and Europe? Jude Woodward, the author of the book “The US vs China: Asia's new Cold War?,” joins the show. President Trump yesterday sent his record $4.75 trillion budget to Capitol Hill for congressional consideration. Democrats in the House declared it “Dead on Arrival” because of provisions that would cut $1.9 trillion from Medicare and Medicaid and that would eviscerate federal employee pay and benefits. Ted Rall, an award-winning editorial cartoonist and columnist whose work is at rall.com, joins Brian and John. Tuesday’s weekly series is False Profits—A Weekly Look at Wall Street and Corporate Capitalism with Daniel Sankey. Today they focus on job reports and whether the United States and the globe are on their way to a recession. Brian and John speak with financial policy analyst Daniel Sankey. Today’s regular segment that airs every Tuesday is called Women & Society with Dr. Hannah Dickinson. This weekly segment is about the major issues, challenges, and struggles facing women in all aspects of society. This week they talk about the strikes and rallies with millions of people worldwide for International Women’s Day. Hannah Dickinson, an associate professor at Hobart and William Smith Colleges and an organizer with the Geneva Women’s Assembly, and Loud & Clear producer Nicole Roussell join the show.

Boeing in Trouble after Second Fatal Crash with Nearly 200 Deaths

Mar 11, 2019 6872

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On today's episode of Loud & Clear, Brian Becker and John Kiriakou are joined by Professor Bijan Vasigh, a professor of air transportation at Embrey-Riddle University, an expert on aviation issues, a consultant to some of the biggest airlines in the world, and the author of dozens of academic papers and books. The Chinese government has ordered all of the country’s airlines to ground their Boeing 737s after one of the jets belonging to Ethiopian Airlines crash after takeoff over the weekend, killing all 157 people on board. A Lion Air 737 crashed five months ago into the Java Sea shortly after takeoff, killing all 189 people on board. Is there something fundamentally wrong with the new 737? Unpublished video footage obtained by the New York Times contradicts claims by the Trump Administration that Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro was responsible for lighting a convoy of humanitarian aid on fire. Vice President Pence tweeted over the weekend, “The tyrant in Caracas danced as his henchmen burned food and medicine.” The truth, however, is that members of the US-backed opposition accidentally started the fire with a Molotov cocktail. Dan Cohen, a journalist and a documentary filmmaker, most recently of the film Killing Gaza, joins the show. One member of the recent Code Pink peace delegation to Iran, David Hartsough, upon landing in Iran, had what doctors usually call a “cardiac episode.” That required emergency treatment and an angioplasty in an Iranian hospital. The hosts will talk about medical care in Iran and about President Rouhani’s trip to Iraq to try to blunt the effect of sanctions. Brian and John speak with David Hartsough, cofounder of World Beyond War and the Nonviolent Peaceforce, and author of the book “Waging Peace: Global Adventures of a Lifelong Activist.” A British organization called The Charity Commission this week accused the London-based Islamic Human Rights Commission of anti-Semitism and challenged its legal structure, saying that it was designed to support terrorism. The charge, of course, is ridiculous. But it points to a trend whereby people and organizations that support the rights of Palestinians are somehow anti-Semitic and support terrorism. Massoud Shadjareh, founder of the Islamic Human Rights Commission, joins the show. Monday’s segment “Education for Liberation with Bill Ayers” is where Bill helps us look at the state of education across the country. What’s happening in our schools, colleges, and universities, and what impact does it have on the world around us? Bill Ayers, an activist, educator and the author of the book “Demand the Impossible: A Radical Manifesto,” joins Brian and John. Hawaii Congresswoman and presidential candidate Tulsi Gabbard conducted a nationally-televised town hall meeting on CNN last night in which she answered several tough questions that set her apart from other Democratic candidates. Meanwhile, Rep. Ilhan Omar, a Democrat from Minnesota, continued to be the target of attacks because of her comments on foreign influence in American politics and the legacy of President Obama. Dan Kovalik, a human rights and labor lawyer who is the author of the book “The Plot to Control the World: How the US Spent Billions to Change the Outcome of Elections Around the World,” joins the show. Monday’s regular segment Technology Rules with Chris Garaffa is a weekly guide on how monopoly corporations and the national surveillance state are threatening cherished freedoms, civil rights and civil liberties. Web developer and technologist Chris Garaffa joins the show.

Whistleblower Manning Sent Back to Prison for Standing on Principle

Mar 9, 2019 7137

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On today's episode of Loud & Clear, Brian Becker and John Kiriakou are joined by Jacqueline Luqman, the co-editor-in-chief of Luqman Nation, which livestreams every Thursday night at 9:00 p.m. on Facebook, and Sputnik News analyst and producer Walter Smolarek. Friday is Loud & Clear’s weekly hour-long segment The Week in Review, about the week in politics, policy, and international affairs. Today they focus on Chelsea Manning being taken back into custody, the smears against Representative Omar all week, and the Venezuelan power outage. 18 of Venezuela’s 23 states were hit yesterday with a massive power outage, which the Maduro Administration blamed on anti-government saboteurs. Senator Marco Rubio, a Florida Republican who has been the Senate’s leading voice against the Maduro government, earlier in the day had called for widespread unrest, and he celebrated the blackout as the beginning of the end of the Venezuelan government. Chuck Kaufman, he is the National Co-Coordinator of the Alliance for Global Justice, joins the show. Our friends and frequent guests Ann Wright and Medea Benjamin over the past two weeks led a peace delegation to Iran, where they met with government officials, peace activists, and regular Iranians. They were public about the trip. They gave interviews and posted their progress on Facebook. But when they returned to Washington last night, they were detained and questioned by the FBI. The hosts also talk about the recent travails of Chelsea Manning in the notorious federal district court for the Eastern District of Virginia. Brian and John speak with Ann Wright, a retired United States Army colonel and former U.S. State Department official in Afghanistan, who resigned in protest of the invasion of Iraq and became a prominent anti-war activist. Yesterday the hosts talked about the five different federal agencies that had created a database to illegally track and harass journalists, activists, and attorneys reporting on or involved with the migrant caravan that made its way to the United States late last year. Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said when the story broke that the Mexican government would not cooperate in the scheme with US officials. But, it turns out, that was not true. Juan José Gutiérrez, the executive director of the Full Rights for Immigrants Coalition, joins the show. Former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort yesterday was sentenced to 47 months in prison for charges of corruption and tax evasion. Federal prosecutors had asked for 17½ to 24 years. Judge T. S. Ellis said that Manafort had committed serious crimes, but not serious enough for him to spend the rest of his life in prison. The public and media outcry was swift, with many commenting that the decision showed that there is one kind of justice for wealthy white men and another kind of justice for people of color. Manafort will be sentenced in a separate case in Washington next week. Daniel Lazare, a journalist and author of three books—“The Frozen Republic,” “The Velvet Coup,” and “America's Undeclared War,” joins Brian and John. It’s Friday! So it’s time for the week’s worst and most misleading headlines. Brian and John speak with Steve Patt, an independent journalist whose critiques of the mainstream media have been a feature of his site Left I on the News and on twitter @leftiblog, and Sputnik producer Nicole Roussell.

Progressives Push Back on Dem Leadership’s Racist Attack on Rep. Omar

Mar 8, 2019 6884

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The fallout from Rep. Ilhan Omar’s recent comments about foreign intervention in US politics, interpreted as a reference to pro-Israel lobbying giant AIPAC, deepened today. Presidential candidates Bernie Sanders and Kamala Harris both backed Omar’s right to her political position, and senior Democrats pushed back against House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s decision to offer a resolution which at first condemned anti-Semitism and then condemned all religious intolerance. Senior Democrats now are debating whether there is a need for any resolution at all. Leaked documents reveal that five different federal agencies have been maintaining a secret database to target and track journalists, activists, and attorneys working on the recent migrant caravan heading toward the United States. The program, dubbed Operation Secure Line, resulted in the journalists, activists, and attorneys being harassed at the US-Mexico border, detained, and denied entry into Mexico. Ariana Drehsler, a photojournalist who recently completed a series on migrants and asylum seekers at the US-Mexico border and was one of the many journalists and immigration advocates who was tracked, targeted, and interviewed, joins Brian and John. President Trump yesterday issued an executive order revoking an requirement introduced at the end of the Obama administration to publicly report the number of US drone strikes outside of war zones and the number of civilians killed by them. The Bureau of Investigative Journalism estimates that up to 1,700 civilians, including as many as 400 children, have been killed by U.S. drone bombings since the program began. Jeremy Kuzmarov, a professor of American history whose latest book is “The Russians Are Coming, Again: The First Cold War as Tragedy, the Second as Farce,” joins the show. The Federal Reserve has decided to end some of the public pass-fail grades it gave big banks after their annual stress tests, which came as a result of the Dodd-Frank Act during the Great Recession. A bank will no longer receive a grade if it has taken the test for the past four years and passed in the most recent year, a move critics say raises the risk of another 2008-style financial collapse. Brad Birkenfeld, a famed whistleblower who single handedly brought down international money laundering at banking giant UBS, joins the show. Veterans for Peace is Thursday’s regular segment about the contemporary issues of war and peace that affect veterans, their families, and the country as a whole. Gerry Condon, a Vietnam-era veteran and war resister who refused orders to deploy to Vietnam and lived in exile in Canada and Sweden for 6 years, organizing with other U.S. military deserters and draft resisters against the Vietnam war, and for amnesty for U.S. war resisters, joins the show. He has been a peace and solidarity activist for almost 50 years and has served on the Board of Veterans For Peace for the last 6 years, currently as national president. A regular Thursday segment deals with the ongoing militarization of space. As the US continues to withdraw from international arms treaties, will the weaponization and militarization of space bring the world closer to catastrophe? Brian and John speak with Prof. Karl Grossman, a full professor of journalism at the State University of New York, College at Old Westbury and the host of a nationally-aired television program focused on environmental, energy, and space issues, and with Bruce Gagnon, coordinator of the Global Network Against Weapons & Nuclear Power in Space and a contributor to Foreign Policy In Focus. Thursday’s weekly series “Criminal Injustice” is about the most egregious conduct of our courts and prosecutors and how justice is denied to so many people in this country. Kevin Gosztola, a writer for Shadowproof.com and co-host of the podcast Unauthorized Disclosure, joins the show.

U.S. Trade Deficit Hits All-Time Record During Trump Presidency

Mar 7, 2019 6934

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On today's episode of Loud & Clear, Brian Becker and John Kiriakou are joined by Richard Wolff, a professor of Economics Emeritus, University of Massachusetts, Amherst and founder of the organization Democracy at Work. Prof. Wolff’s latest book is “Capitalism's Crisis Deepens: Essays on the Global Economic Meltdown.” President Trump has promised repeatedly to bring the trade deficit under control. Instead, it has exploded. The latest figures from the Commerce Department show that the US last year ran a trade deficit of $891.2 billion, the largest in American history. The deficit with China hit a record $419 billion, despite the President’s trade sanctions against that country. Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen testified today before the House Homeland Security Committee. The testimony focused on the Trump Administration’s policy of family separation at the border and the deaths of migrant children in federal custody. The testimony is taking place as President Trump prepares to veto a resolution from Congress overturning his border wall state of emergency. Isabel Garcia, co-founder of Coalición de Derechos Humanos, joins the show. Scores were arrested earlier this week in Sacramento, California as police repressed demonstrations demanding justice for Stephon Clark, an unarmed 22-year-old African-American man who police shot and killed in his grandmother’s backyard in Sacramento last year. The Sacramento County district attorney and the California Attorney General announced in the past few days that the two policemen who killed him will not face any charges. Brian and John speak with Jamier Sale, an organizer with the ANSWER Coalition and was one of the activists who was arrested on Monday night. In a ceremony marking the sixth anniversary of the death of his predecessor, Hugo Chavez, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro called for demonstrations on Saturday, which he called “a day of anti-imperialism.” Oppositionist and self-described president Juan Guaido is holding rallies the same day. And Guaido called on Venezuela’s public employees to join his efforts to overthrow the government. Arnold August, a lecturer, journalist and author of the book “Cuba-US Relations: Obama and beyond,” joins the show. Last night, Senator Chris Murphy announced new actions were being taken to force to the Senate floor a bipartisan effort to rein in US support for the war in Yemen as early as next week. The resolution, sponsored by Republican Mike Lee, Democrat Chris Murphy, and Independent Bernie Sanders, has broad bipartisan support, but probably not enough to override an expected presidential veto. Kevin Zeese, the co-coordinator of Popular Resistance, at popularresistance.org, who has just returned from a peace delegation organized by CodePink to Iran, joins Brian and John. Wednesday’s weekly series, In the News, is where the hosts look at the most important ongoing developments of the week and put them into perspective. Jacqueline Luqman, the co-editor-in-chief of Luqman Nation, which hosts a livestream every Thursday night at 9:00 p.m. on Facebook, and Sputnik news analyst Walter Smolarek, join the show. Wednesday’s regular segment, Beyond Nuclear, is about nuclear issues, including weapons, energy, waste, and the future of nuclear technology in the United States. Kevin Kamps, the Radioactive Waste Watchdog at the organization Beyond Nuclear, and Sputnik news analyst and producer Nicole Roussell, join the show.

Will NSA Suspend Massive Spying Program Against the American People?

Mar 6, 2019 6858

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On today's episode of Loud & Clear, Brian Becker and John Kiriakou are joined by Bill Binney, a former NSA technical director who became a legendary national security whistleblower. The National Security Agency, NSA, has reportedly shut down a system that analyzes logs of Americans’ domestic calls and text messages, halting a program that has been the source of controversy over privacy since the 9/11 attacks. The program apparently ended months ago, and the Trump Administration apparently will not ask Congress to reauthorize it. But the NSA retains vast domestic and international spying capabilities Chinese electronics giant Huawei is preparing to sue the US government for barring federal agencies from using the company’s products. Huawei executives believe the move could force the US to make public whatever evidence it has against it. Meanwhile, Huawei’s CFO, Meng Wanzhou, has filed a suit in Canada for violating her constitutional rights as she continues her fight against extradition to the United States. Jude Woodward, the author of the new book “The US vs China: Asia's new Cold War?,” joins the show. Venezuelan oppositionist Juan Guaido returned to the country yesterday after meeting with the right-wing leaders of Colombia and Brazil in defiance of a Supreme Court order prohibiting him from leaving the country. He breezed through customs and immigration officials without incident and then brazenly called for the overthrow of President Nicolas Maduro at a rally in Caracas. Supporters of both Maduro and Guaido will hold large-scale demonstrations on Saturday. Brian and John speak with Anya Parampil, a Washington-based journalist for The Grayzone Project. The Trump Administration has canceled agreements that give Turkey and India preferential treatment in trade. The US Trade Representative’s office said that India has not allowed more US goods into the country in contravention of the current agreement, and Turkey no longer qualifies for trade concessions. While the U.S.-China trade war might be cooling down, the Trump administration is now moving to ignite conflicts with other major economies. Steve Keen, the author of “Debunking Economics” and the world’s first crowdfunded economist, whose work is at patreon.com/ProfSteveKeen, joins the show. Following statements from top European leaders, including the Irish Prime Minister and the president of the European Council, expectations are mounting that the long-anticipated departure of the UK from the European Union will be delayed. British Prime Minister Theresa May is still holding out for a March 29 Brexit however and is desperately maneuvering to improve her government’s position. Neil Clark, a journalist and broadcaster whose work has appeared in The Guardian, The Week, and Morning Star, joins Brian and John. Today’s regular segment that airs every Tuesday is called Women & Society with Dr. Hannah Dickinson. This weekly segment is about the major issues, challenges, and struggles facing women in all aspects of society and today they focus on International Women’s Day. Hannah Dickinson, an associate professor at Hobart and William Smith Colleges and an organizer with the Geneva Women’s Assembly, and Loud & Clear producer Nicole Roussell join the show. Tuesday’s weekly series is False Profits—A Weekly Look at Wall Street and Corporate Capitalism with Daniel Sankey. Brian and John speak with financial policy analyst Daniel Sankey.

Why the Trump-Kim Korea Peace Talks Broke Down and What’s Next

Mar 4, 2019 6841

Description:

On today's episode of Loud & Clear, Brian Becker and John Kiriakou are joined by Tim Shorrock, a Washington-based investigative journalist who grew up in Japan and South Korea and who is the author of “SPIES FOR HIRE: The Secret World of Outsourced Intelligence.” The conventional wisdom is that the US-North Korean summit in Hanoi was a failure that resulted in no deals and no changes to the sanctions regime, but new moves by the United States and South Korea aim to put the peace process back on track. The cancellation of large-scale war exercises and statements by top officials are raising hopes that negotiations can be revived. Monday’s regular segment Technology Rules with Chris Garaffa is a weekly guide on how monopoly corporations and the national surveillance state are threatening cherished freedoms, civil rights and civil liberties. Web developer and technologist Chris Garaffa joins the show. Congressional Democrats announced that they will aggressively pursue an investigation into obstruction of justice and a wide range of other misconduct against President Trump as the Mueller probe appears to be wrapping up, leaving many of the most fervent Russiagate proponents disappointed. Meanwhile, Senator Rand Paul, a Kentucky Republican, announced over the weekend that he would vote against President Trump’s declaration of a national emergency related to the border. This means a measure rejecting the declaration now has enough votes to pass the Senate despite Trump’s veto threat. Brian and John speak with Jim Kavanagh, the editor of thepolemicist.net who has written on this topic in a recent article called "Be Careful What You Ask For: Wasting Time with Manafort, Cohen, and Russiagate." Venezuelan opposition leader and self-declared President Juan Guaido has returned to Venezuela following a trip to meet with the right-wing leaders of Colombia, Brazil and Ecuador carried out in defiance of a court-issued travel ban. The Trump Administration warned the government of President Nicolas Maduro today that Guaido’s arrest would be deemed a hostile provocation. Dan Cohen, a journalist and a documentary filmmaker, most recently of the film Killing Gaza, joins the show. Monday’s segment “Education for Liberation with Bill Ayers” is where Bill helps us look at the state of education across the country. What’s happening in our schools, colleges, and universities, and what impact does it have on the world around us? Bill Ayers, an activist, educator and the author of the book “Demand the Impossible: A Radical Manifesto,” joins Brian and John. Representative Ilhan Omar, a Minnesota Democrat who is Muslim, rejected criticism from some of her colleagues after she criticized the influence of pro-Israel lobbying group AIPAC. Rep. Jerry Nadler, the Democratic chairman of the House Oversight Committee, called Omar’s comments “a vile, anti-Semitic slur.” Meanwhile, a blatantly Islamophobic display in the West Virginia capitol building that linked Rep. Omar to 9/11 is causing outrage. Ali Abunimah, the co-founder of The Electronic Intifada and author of the book “The Battle for Justice in Palestine,” joins the show. Hundreds of people, including ISIS fighters, fled their last foothold in eastern Syria this morning after US-backed Kurdish fighters had to slow their own advance because ISIS was using civilians as human shields. Even so, a spokesman for Kurdish forces said the battle to take Baghouz from ISIS would be over quickly. Rick Sterling, an investigative journalist and member of the Syria Solidarity Movement, joins Brian and John.

Cohen Testimony Wraps Up, Trump Returns from Hanoi Summit With No Deal

Mar 1, 2019 6774

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On today's episode of Loud & Clear, Walter Smolarek (filling in for Brian Becker) and John Kiriakou are joined by Jacqueline Luqman and Abdus Luqman, the editors-in-chief of Luqman Nation, which livestreams every Thursday night at 9:00 p.m. on Facebook. Friday is Loud & Clear’s weekly hour-long segment The Week in Review, about the week in politics, policy, and international affairs. Today they focus on Michael Cohen’s testimony this week, the issue of reparations in the 2020 elections, the Kim-Trump summit in Hanoi, and Nigerian elections. South Korean President Moon Jae In struggled to save face today after the collapse of President Trump’s summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. Moon said in a speech that the summit’s failure makes South Korea even more important on the world stage. But polls show that most South Koreans wanted the summit to succeed. Meanwhile, the North Koreans wanted sanctions relief more than anything, and they got none of that. Hyun Lee, a member of the Solidarity Committee for Democracy and Peace in Korea and writer for Zoominkorea.org, joins the show. Israel’s Attorney General yesterday indicted Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on three felony counts related to bribery and breach of trust. The announcement, coming just before next month’s general election, is a major blow to Netanyahu as he seeks a fifth term in office. Brian and John speak with Miko Peled, the author of “The General’s Son - A Journey of an Israeli in Palestine.” Miko Peled has a new book "Injustice: The Story of the Holy Land Foundation Five. Army whistleblower Chelsea Manning revealed yesterday that she has been subpoenaed to testify before a grand jury in the Eastern District of Virginia. Last month the Justice Department accidentally revealed that it had secretly indicted Wikileaks co-founder Julian Assange in the Eastern District. Manning said that she will fight the subpoena. New York Governor Andrew Cuomo can’t just let Amazon walk away. So he’s written an open letter to Amazon founder Jeff Bezos begging him to reconsider his decision to not open a second headquarters in Queens. Cuomo also has phoned Bezos and other Amazon executives asking them to come back. Dr. Jack Rasmus, a professor of economics at Saint Mary's College of California and author of “Central Bankers at the End of Their Ropes: Monetary Policy and the Coming Depression,” whose work is at www.jackrasmus.com, joins Walter and John. It’s Friday! So it’s time for the week’s worst and most misleading headlines. Walter and John speak with Steve Patt, an independent journalist whose critiques of the mainstream media have been a feature of his site Left I on the News and on twitter @leftiblog, and Sputnik producer Nicole Roussell.

Korea Peace Process Dealt a Blow as Trump Walks from Bargaining Table

Feb 28, 2019 6915

Description:

On today's episode of Loud & Clear, Walter Smolarek and John Kiriakou are joined by Brian Becker, who is in Hanoi covering the US-North Korean summit. Talks between President Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un ended today with no agreement on any issue. Kim said that he would continue a moratorium on missile testing and development, but the fate of future negotiations remain very much in doubt. Can the peace process be put back on track? Thursday’s weekly series “Criminal Injustice” is about the most egregious conduct of our courts and prosecutors and how justice is denied to so many people in this country. Paul Wright, the founder and executive director of the Human Rights Defense Center and editor of Prison Legal News (PLN), and Kevin Gosztola, a writer for Shadowproof.com and co-host of the podcast Unauthorized Disclosure, join the show. Michael Cohen, President Trump’s longtime personal attorney and fixer, testified on Capitol Hill, saying that the President was a liar, a conman, and a racist, and that those around the President had traded their own integrity for proximity to power. Expectedly, the President exploded on Twitter, despite being busy with his summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. Cohen is due to report to prison on a myriad of felony charges in the next few weeks, which his opponents cite as reason to disbelieve his testimony. Walter and John speak with Dan Kovalik, a human rights and labor lawyer who is the author of the book “The Plot to Control the World: How the US Spent Billions to Change the Outcome of Elections Around the World.” President Trump’s senior adviser and son-in-law Jared Kushner is finishing up a visit through the Middle East to publicize an Israeli-Palestinian peace plan. Meanwhile, the United Nations released a report saying that “the commission found reasonable grounds to believe that … the use of live ammunition by Israeli security forces against demonstrators was unlawful.” Ariel Gold, a peace activist and the national co-director of Code Pink, joins the show. Veterans for Peace is Thursday’s regular segment about the contemporary issues of war and peace that affect veterans, their families, and the country as a whole. Gerry Condon, a Vietnam-era veteran and war resister who refused orders to deploy to Vietnam and lived in exile in Canada and Sweden for 6 years, organizing with other U.S. military deserters and draft resisters against the Vietnam war, and for amnesty for U.S. war resisters, joins the show. He has been a peace and solidarity activist for almost 50 years and has served on the Board of Veterans For Peace for the last 6 years, currently as national president. A regular Thursday segment deals with the ongoing militarization of space. As the US continues to withdraw from international arms treaties, will the weaponization and militarization of space bring the world closer to catastrophe? Brian and John speak with Prof. Karl Grossman, a full professor of journalism at the State University of New York, College at Old Westbury, the author of six books, and the host of a nationally-aired television program focused on environmental, energy, and space issues. Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif resigned earlier this week just hours after meeting with an American peace delegation, apologizing for what he called his shortcomings. But President Hassan Rouhani refused the resignation, and Zarif was back in the office two days later. What was behind the resignation? Walter and John speak with Massoud Shadjareh, the founder of the Islamic Human Rights Commission.

Historic Kim-Trump Summit Begins: Will the Korean War Finally End?

Feb 27, 2019 6991

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On today's episode of Loud & Clear, Walter Smolarek and John Kiriakou are joined by Brian Becker, who is in Hanoi covering the US-North Korean summit, and Christine Ahn, a co-founder of the Korea Policy Institute and the International Coordinator of Women Cross DMZ. President Trump and North Korean Leader Kim Jong Un held a joint press conference today during which Trump said that he foresees a North Korea that is an economic powerhouse in East Asia. He added that he expects to make progress this week on outstanding issues between the two countries and repeated that he has an excellent personal relationship with Kim. Former attorney for President Trump Michael Cohen testified in open session before the House Oversight Committee today. He submitted documents to the committee including copies of hush money checks that Trump wrote to him, financial documents, and emails. Ted Rall, an award-winning editorial cartoonist and columnist, whose work is at www.rall.com, joins the show. A series of airstrikes have dramatically escalated the conflict between India and Pakistan. Are we headed toward another war in South Asia? Brian and John speak with Dr. Marvin Weinbaum, Scholar-in-Residence and director of the Middle East Institute’s Center for Pakistan and Afghanistan Studies. Venezuela’s self-declared president Juan Guaido said today that he will begin exercising his “presidential duties” as soon as he returns to Venezuela from Colombia, where he met with Vice President Pence and Colombian President Ivan Duque. Meanwhile, the diplomatic tide appears to be turning in favor of President Maduro as several countries vigorously opposed foreign intervention at the UN Security Council and a major pro-government international civil society conference is held in Caracas. Anya Parampil, a Washington-based journalist for The Grayzone Project, joins the show. Wednesday’s weekly series, In the News, is where the hosts look at the most important ongoing developments of the week and put them into perspective. Today the hosts focus on the Congressional vote of disapproval of the national emergency, the US-Korean summit going on now in Vietnam, and the ongoing debate about letting U.S. citizen Hoda Muthana back in the country after leaving ISIS. Jacqueline Luqman, the co-editor-in-chief of Luqman Nation, which hosts a livestream every Thursday night at 9:00 p.m. on Facebook, joins the show. Wednesday’s regular segment, Beyond Nuclear, is about nuclear issues, including weapons, energy, waste, and the future of nuclear technology in the United States. Today the hosts talk about Diablo Canyon, where nuclear reactors are scheduled to shut down; the massive proposed Holtec New Mexico radioactive waste dump; and the nuclear weapon state conflicts of India v. Pakistan and US v. Russia. Kevin Kamps, the Radioactive Waste Watchdog at the organization Beyond Nuclear, and Sputnik news analyst and producer Nicole Roussell, join the show.

Labour Declares Support for New Referendum As UK Faces "No Deal" Brexit

Feb 26, 2019 6804

Description:

On today's episode of Loud & Clear, Walter Smolarek, filling in for Brian Becker, and John Kiriakou are joined by Neil Clark, a journalist and broadcaster whose work has appeared in The Guardian, The Week, and Morning Star. British Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn said yesterday that Labour is prepared to back another Brexit referendum if the party’s own Brexit plan is rejected in parliament tomorrow. The UK is still scheduled to withdraw from the European Union on March 29, but any number of scenarios could come to pass before then. President Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un arrived in Hanoi today in advance of their second bilateral summit. Substantive meetings will begin almost immediately, with the media speculating that Trump may offer to formally end the Korean War. Co-host Brian Becker, who is in Hanoi covering the summit, joins the show. For the first time in a half century, Indian fighter jets this morning carried out airstrikes inside Pakistan, killed what the Indians called “a very large number” Jaish e-Muhammad terrorists. The strikes come in response to a suicide bombing last week that killed 40 Indian soldiers in the disputed region of Kashmir. Walter and John speak with Dr. Marvin Weinbaum, the Scholar-in-Residence and director of the Middle East Institute’s Center for Pakistan and Afghanistan Studies. Cubans yesterday overwhelmingly ratified a new constitution that replaces the country’s 1976 charter. 84.4 percent of Cuba’s 8.7 million voters went to the polls, with 87 percent supporting ratification, 9 percent opposing it, and the remainder entering spoiled or blank ballots. Arnold August, a lecturer, journalist and author of the book “Cuba-US Relations: Obama and Beyond,” joins the show. President Trump’s former attorney Michael Cohen is scheduled to begin three days of testimony on Capitol Hill today. Two of those sessions will be behind closed doors. The third is in open session. The mainstream media says that Cohen will likely tell lawmakers about illegalities the President, his company, and his children may have been involved in. Daniel Lazare, a journalist and author of three books—“The Frozen Republic,” “The Velvet Coup,” and “America's Undeclared War,” joins Walter and John. Today’s regular segment that airs every Tuesday is called Women & Society with Dr. Hannah Dickinson. This weekly segment is about the major issues, challenges, and struggles facing women in all aspects of society. Hannah Dickinson, an associate professor at Hobart and William Smith Colleges and an organizer with the Geneva Women’s Assembly, and Loud & Clear producer Nicole Roussell join the show. Tuesday’s weekly series is False Profits—A Weekly Look at Wall Street and Corporate Capitalism with Daniel Sankey. Walter and John speak with financial policy analyst Daniel Sankey.

Venezuelan Foreign Minister: American People Should Stand Up for Peace

Feb 25, 2019 7054

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On today's episode Loud & Clear has a special and extensive interview with Venezuela’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Jorge Arreaza. In addition to his current role of the country’s top diplomat, which he has held since 2017, Minister Arreaza previously served in the cabinet as the Minister in charge of education, science and technology and was Venezuela’s Vice President from 2013 to 2016. Loud & Clear Producer Walter Smolarek traveled to New York on Sunday to conduct the interview at Venezuela’s diplomatic residence in the city. Then, following the dramatic events of last Saturday, where supporters of coup leader Juan Guaidó attempted to storm the Venezuela-Colombia border, the so-called Lima Group of countries supporting Guaidó held a high-profile meeting in Colombia where Mike Pence gave an address. Loud & Clear Producer Walter Smolarek fills John and Nicole in on the latest. Co-host Brian Becker is in Hanoi this week to cover the second summit between President Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. The President said yesterday that he has high hopes for the meetings this week, that he and Kim are “on the same page,” and that he is confident the two countries can settle their differences. Administration officials are suggesting that Vietnam could be a model for a future North Korea. Brian Becker joins the show from Hanoi, Vietnam. Monday’s segment “Education for Liberation with Bill Ayers” is where Bill helps us look at the state of education across the country. What’s happening in our schools, colleges, and universities, and what impact does it have on the world around us? The hosts focus on the Oakland teacher strike, in its third day. Today, Rick Ayers, a professor of education at the University of San Francisco and co-author of the book “You Can’t Fire the Bad Ones: And 18 Other Myths about Teachers, Teachers Unions, and Public Education,” joins Walter and John. Monday’s regular segment Technology Rules with Chris Garaffa is a weekly guide on how monopoly corporations and the national surveillance state are threatening cherished freedoms, civil rights and civil liberties. Web developer and technologist Chris Garaffa joins the show.

Trump & Pentagon Setting the Stage for War against Venezuela

Feb 22, 2019 7015

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On today's episode of Loud & Clear, Brian Becker and John Kiriakou are joined by Jim Kavanagh, founder of thepolemicist.net, whose most recent article is “The Siege of Venezuela and The Travails of Empire,” and Sputnik News analyst and producer Walter Smolarek. Friday is Loud & Clear’s weekly hour-long segment The Week in Review, about the week in politics, policy, and international affairs. Today they focus on the ongoing situation in Venezuela, the power of labor and teachers recent successes, and the new announcement that 200 “peacekeeping” troops will now stay in Syria. As the US effort to overthrow the Venezuelan government has run into obstacles within Venezuela, there appears to be a growing danger of a US orchestrated military intervention in alliance between the Pentagon and the right-wing governments of Colombia and Brazil. US-corporate owned media today were dominated by headlines related to an incident at the Venezuela-Brazil border. The New York Times headline for instance reads, “Deadly Violence Erupts on Brazil Border in Venezuela Aid Showdown: Venezuelan security forces fired on those protesting the government’s determination to block aid.” Meanwhile, competing concerts are still scheduled to take place today and tomorrow on both sides of the Venezuelan-Colombian border. Paul Dobson, a writer for VenezuelAnalysis.com, joins the show. A court in North Carolina has ordered a rerun of the congressional election in the state’s 9th district. A firm hired by Republican candidate Mark Harris was found to have committed egregious election irregularities, invalidating the result. Ted Rall, an award-winning editorial cartoonist and columnist, whose work is at www.rall.com, joins the show. Hoda Muthana is an American woman. She was born in the United States, the daughter of a former Yemeni diplomat and she went to college in Alabama. But in 2014 she told her parents that she was going to attend a university event. Instead, she went to Syria and joined the Islamic State. Now she wants to come home. But President Trump and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo won’t allow her. Indeed, Pompeo says she isn’t even really a US citizen. Brian and John speak with Hassan Shibly, the Muthana family attorney and the Executive Director of the Florida Council of American Islamic Relations at Tampa. The Australian Ministry of Foreign Affairs acknowledged yesterday that it had issued a passport to Wikileaks co-founder Julian Assange in September 2018 as a result of extended negotiations. It is not clear what Assange would be able to do with the passport. He has sought asylum in the Ecuadorian Embassy in London and would likely be extradited to the United States if he leaves. Kevin Gosztola, a writer for Shadowproof.com and co-host of the podcast Unauthorized Disclosure, joins Brian and John. It’s Friday! So it’s time for the week’s worst and most misleading headlines. Brian and John speak with Steve Patt, an independent journalist whose critiques of the mainstream media have been a feature of his site Left I on the News and on twitter @leftiblog, and Sputnik producer Nicole Roussell.

Mueller Russiagate Probe Ending: What to Expect?

Feb 21, 2019 6822

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On today's episode of Loud & Clear, Brian Becker is joined by Coleen Rowley, a former FBI special agent who in 2002 was named Time Magazine person of the year along with two other whistleblowers. It is widely believed that the final report from the Mueller probe report will be submitted next week. The investigation has led to a string of indictments, but mostly relate to lying to the FBI and other crimes not connected to collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia. What can we expect, and what impact will it have on U.S. politics and foreign policy? In a rare unanimous decision from the Supreme Court, the practice of civil asset forfeiture was declared unconstitutional in most instances. This is a major victory for advocates who have long argued that civil asset forfeiture was little more than a mechanism for police agencies to steal from the general public. Brad Schlesinger, an appellate attorney licensed to practice in the Supreme Court, joins the show. A new alliance has been formed by the former head of the Israeli military and the leader of a smaller so-called centrist political party to take on Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in upcoming elections. In response, Netanyahu has even further embraced the extreme right wing of Israeli politics. Brian speaks with Miko Peled, the author of “The General’s Son - A Journey of an Israeli in Palestine.” Miko Peled also has a new book "Injustice: The Story of the Holy Land Foundation Five. The fight against ISIS in the final piece of territory it controls continues to drag on as hundreds of civilians flee the battlefield. Meanwhile, a major political controversy has erupted over whether or not citizens of countries like the UK and United States who joined ISIS -- including some who were children at the time -- will be allowed to return home. Ambassador Peter Ford, the former UK Ambassador to Syria, joins the show. Veterans for Peace is Thursday’s regular segment about the contemporary issues of war and peace that affect veterans, their families, and the country as a whole. Gerry Condon, a Vietnam-era veteran and war resister who refused orders to deploy to Vietnam and lived in exile in Canada and Sweden for 6 years, organizing with other U.S. military deserters and draft resisters against the Vietnam war, and for amnesty for U.S. war resisters, joins the show. He has been a peace and solidarity activist for almost 50 years and has served on the Board of Veterans For Peace for the last 6 years, currently as national president. Thursday’s weekly series “Criminal Injustice” is about the most egregious conduct of our courts and prosecutors and how justice is denied to so many people in this country. Paul Wright, the founder and executive director of the Human Rights Defense Center and editor of Prison Legal News (PLN), and Kevin Gosztola, a writer for Shadowproof.com and co-host of the podcast Unauthorized Disclosure, join the show. A regular Thursday segment deals with the ongoing militarization of space. As the US continues to withdraw from international arms treaties, will the weaponization and militarization of space bring the world closer to catastrophe? Brian speaks with Prof. Karl Grossman, a full professor of journalism at the State University of New York, College at Old Westbury, the author of six books, and the host of a nationally-aired television program focused on environmental, energy, and space issues.

Andrew McCabe: The Politics of an Attempted FBI Coup

Feb 20, 2019 6748

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On today's episode of Loud & Clear, Brian Becker and John Kiriakou are joined by Dan Kovalik, a human rights and labor lawyer who is the author of the book “The Plot to Control the World: How the US Spent Billions to Change the Outcome of Elections Around the World.” Former FBI Acting Director Andrew McCabe told NBC’s Today Show yesterday that he had briefed senior Congressional leaders--called the Gang of Eight--on the counterintelligence investigation that he had initiated against President Trump and that “no one objected--not on legal grounds, not on constitutional grounds, and not based on the facts.” President Trump said in a speech in Miami on Monday that there is “no going back” in his efforts to oust Venezuelan president Nicolas Maduro as fears of a staged provocation along the border with Colombia this Saturday mount. Meanwhile, supporters of U.S.-backed self-proclaimed president Juan Guaido have reportedly seized control of the Venezuelan embassy in Costa Rica. Lucas Koerner, an activist and writer for VenezuelAnalysis.com, joins the show. Russian President Vladimir Putin, in his annual address to the nation, threatened to use new weapons systems to target countries that host offensive missiles and countries that deploy them, calling out the United States in particular. Putin said that Moscow is not seeking confrontation with Washington, but that it objected to the recent US decisions to withdraw from the INF Treaty and to deploy US missiles to central and eastern Europe. Brian and John speak with Steven Starr, a professor at the University of Missouri in the Peace Studies Program on the environmental, health, and social effects of nuclear weapons, and a senior scientist for Physicians for Social Responsibility. Three British Conservative Party parliamentarians quit the Tories and joined eight former Labour MPs in a new independent political group that looks like it’s becoming a bona fide political party. The conservatives left the party over Brexit, while the Labour members, who are widely to be considered centrist “Blairites”, accused their former party of anti-Semitism. The new Independent Group is now the fourth largest political grouping in parliament, along with the Liberal Democrats. Jess Cobbett, a researcher for a British Labour Party Member of Parliament, joins the show. The US Supreme Court on Tuesday declined to consider the Maryland Attorney General’s bid to revive a state law aimed at preventing price gouging by pharmaceutical companies. The court let stand a Circuit Court ruling that it was a constitutional violation to try to stop big pharma from raising the prices of medication. Dr. Margaret Flowers, a medical doctor and the co-coordinator of Popular Resistance whose work is at www.popularresistance.org, joins Brian and John. Wednesday’s weekly series, In the News, is where the hosts look at the most important ongoing developments of the week and put them into perspective. Today they talk about Bernie Sanders announcing his bid for the democratic nomination, Trump’s attempted coup in Venezuela, the danger of war against Venezuela, and the effort by the Trump administration to pull the plug on a high speed train linking Southern and northern california. Jacqueline Luqman, the co-editor-in-chief of Luqman Nation, which hosts a livestream every Thursday night at 9:00 p.m. on Facebook, and Sputnik news analyst Walter Smolarek, join the show. Wednesday’s regular segment, Beyond Nuclear, is about nuclear issues, including weapons, energy, waste, and the future of nuclear technology in the United States. Kevin Kamps, the Radioactive Waste Watchdog at the organization Beyond Nuclear, and Sputnik news analyst and producer Nicole Roussell, join the show.

Bernie Sanders Announces 2020 Bid as Trump Crusades against “Socialism”

Feb 19, 2019 6944

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On today's episode of Loud & Clear, Brian Becker and John Kiriakou are joined by Anoa Changa, the Director of Political Advocacy and a Managing Editor of Progressive Army, and host of the show The Way With Anoa. Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders announced his candidacy for president this morning. Recent polls show Sanders narrowly trailing former Vice President Joe Biden for the Democratic nomination. But Sanders is expected to face fierce attacks from the Democratic Party establishment. President Trump issued a direct threat against Venezuela in a speech in Miami yesterday, urging the largely loyal Venezuelan military to move to the side of Juan Guaidó. He said that those backing the elected government of Nicolas Maduro were risking their own lives and that, while the US seeks a peaceful transition of power from Maduro to Guaidó, “all options are open.” Paul Dobson, a writer for VenezuelAnalysis.com and Walter Smolarek, Sputnik News analyst, join the show. Facebook has blocked the viral video channel In the Now after CNN accused it of being a Kremlin propaganda outlet aimed at American millennials and of hiding its leadership structure. But it never did any such thing. Brian and John speak with Jim Kavanagh, the editor of thepolemicist.net, whose most recent article is “The Siege of Venezuela and The Travails of Empire.” Seven members of the British parliament left the Labour Party yesterday, criticizing Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership and sending shockwaves through the country’s political system. As Brexit and the possibility of a new election looms, this split could prove to be exactly what conservative Prime Minister Theresa May needs to stay in power. Neil Clark, a journalist and broadcaster whose work has appeared in The Guardian, The Week, and Morning Star, and Sputnik News analyst Walter Smolarek, join the show. Investigators in North Carolina have determined that a political operative working on behalf of a Republican congressional candidate oversaw an illegal absentee ballot scheme and went to elaborate lengths to conceal it. The finding could lead to a new election for what is the only still-undecided congressional race in the country. Dave Lindorff, an investigative reporter and founder of This Can’t Be Happening!, as well as a columnist for CounterPunch, and a contributor to the London Review of Books, The Nation, Extra! Tarbell, and Salon.com, joins Brian and John. Today’s regular segment that airs every Tuesday is called Women & Society with Dr. Hannah Dickinson. This weekly segment is about the major issues, challenges, and struggles facing women in all aspects of society, including the teacher strikes in West Virginia, Chicago, Oakland, and Denver, a new nurses strike, and climate marches here and in Europe. Hannah Dickinson, an associate professor at Hobart and William Smith Colleges and an organizer with the Geneva Women’s Assembly, and Loud & Clear producer Nicole Roussell join the show. Tuesday’s weekly series is False Profits—A Weekly Look at Wall Street and Corporate Capitalism with Daniel Sankey. Brian and John speak with financial policy analyst Daniel Sankey.

A National Emergency that Isn’t: Trump Says “I Didn’t Need to Do This”

Feb 15, 2019 6755

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On today's episode of Loud & Clear, Brian Becker and John Kiriakou are joined by Jacqueline Luqman, the co-editor-in-chief of Luqman Nation, which livestreams every Thursday night at 9:00 p.m. on Facebook, and Sputnik News analyst and producer Walter Smolarek. Friday is Loud & Clear’s weekly hour-long segment The Week in Review, about the week in politics, policy, and international affairs. Today they focus on Trump’s announcement today that he’ll sign the funding bill and a national emergency, the ongoing coup attempt in Venezuela, and Amazon pulling out of putting a headquarters in New York City. Amazon yesterday abruptly announced that it was canceling plans to open a second headquarters site in the Queens borough of New York City. The move came amid what the company said was an unexpected backlash from lawmakers, union leaders, and progressives angry over huge tax breaks and incentives that the state offered the company. Brian and John speak with Gabi Silva, an organizer with Damayan and the Scamazon Coalition as well as a resident of Queens. Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez has called a snap general election for April, continuing a period of turmoil as the territorial conflict over Catalonian independence continues to weigh on the country’s politics. Sanchez suffered a major defeat earlier this week as opposition parties banded together to defeat his budget. The new election is expected to reveal even further fragmentation of the country’s political landscape. Sputnik news analyst and producer of this show Walter Smolarek joins the show. A Washington DC developer has resorted to intimidation and displacement tactics to force residents from their homes in the city’s Brookland Manor. Developer Mid-City Financial stands to receive $47 million to reduce the affordable housing stock and increase the number of luxury units available in Northeast Washington. And the company is using hardball tactics to do that. Brian and John speak with Yasmina Mrabet, a housing organizer with LinkUp, a community group organizing with tenant associations around the city. The Wall Street Journal reported yesterday that the Chinese government is in talks with Venezuelan opposition leaders to safeguard its investments in the country. The Journal says that Chinese economic officials are worried about the $20 billion that Venezuela owes China, as well as its investments in the Venezuelan oil industry. Chinese officials, however, called the reports “fake news” and said that no such discussions had taken place. This is just one front in the global battle for control of Venezuela’s oil assets following U.S.-backed Juan Guaidó’s appointment of parallel boards of directors for the country’s main petroleum corporations. Andy Brennan, a journalist with Asia Times and CGTN in Beijing, joins the show.

BBC Producer Admits Syrian “Chemical Attack” Was Staged

Feb 14, 2019 6746

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On today's episode of Loud & Clear, Brian Becker and John Kiriakou are joined by Dr. Piers Robinson, the chairman of the politics, society, and political journalism department at the University of Sheffield and the author of “Routledge Handbook of Media, Conflict and Security.” Following an in-depth investigation by James Harkin published in The Intercept about the Douma chemical weapons attack, a BBC reporter has come out publicly to say he can confirm the core claims of the article, which challenge the dominant narrative around that attack that served as a pretext for a U.S. strike on the country. Elliott Abrams is a convicted criminal who played a key role in the Iran-Contra scandal and death squad operations in Latin America in the 1980s. He’s also President Trump’s special envoy for Venezuela, leading the effort to overthrow the government of President Nicolas Maduro and to install a puppet regime led by Juan Guaido. He testified yesterday before the House Foreign Affairs Committee, but faced a hostile crowd leery of his history of lying to Congress and his support for a hawkish, activist, neoconservative foreign policy. Kei Pritsker, an activist who was arrested yesterday during the hearing, joins the show. Our friend and contributor Ted Rall recently had a major court decision go against him in California. This was a case that had very important implications for Americans’ constitutional rights to freedom of speech. In the end, the court decided essentially, that Ted’s right to criticize the Los Angeles Police Department was less important than the Los Angeles Times’s right to block Ted’s right to freedom of speech. It’s a case with very important constitutional implications. Ted is appealing that ruling to the California Supreme Court. Brian and John speak with Ted Rall, an award-winning editorial cartoonist and columnist, whose work is at www.rall.com. Former FBI deputy director Andrew McCabe confirmed yesterday that FBI officials were so alarmed by President Trump’s decision to fire former FBI director James Comey, that they held talks on recruiting a cabinet official to push Trump out of office using the Constitution’s 25th amendment. Meanwhile, a federal judge yesterday ruled that former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort breached the terms of his plea deal by lying to investigators after taking the deal. The ruling virtually ensures that, absent a presidential pardon, Manafort will die in prison. Dan Kovalik, a human rights and labor lawyer who is the author of the new book “The Plot to Control the World: How the US Spent Billions to Change the Outcome of Elections Around the World,” joins the show. Veterans for Peace is Thursday’s regular segment about the contemporary issues of war and peace that affect veterans, their families, and the country as a whole. Gerry Condon, a Vietnam-era veteran and war resister who refused orders to deploy to Vietnam and lived in exile in Canada and Sweden for 6 years, organizing with other U.S. military deserters and draft resisters against the Vietnam war, and for amnesty for U.S. war resisters, joins the show. He has been a peace and solidarity activist for almost 50 years and has served on the Board of Veterans For Peace for the last 6 years, currently as national president. Congress today will vote on a budget to keep the federal government open beyond midnight tomorrow, even though President Trump has not yet said that he’ll sign the measure. The deal does not include funding for the president’s border wall. Susan Pai, an immigration attorney and a member of a number of civil liberties and immigrant rights organizations, joins the show. Thursday’s weekly series “Criminal Injustice” is about the most egregious conduct of our courts and prosecutors and how justice is denied to so many people in this country. Paul Wright, the founder and executive director of the Human Rights Defense Center and editor of Prison Legal News (PLN), and Kevin Gosztola, a writer for Shadowproof.com and co-host of the podcast Unauthorized Disclosure, join the show.

U.S. Anti-Iran Conference Goes off the Rails

Feb 13, 2019 6800

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On today's episode of Loud & Clear, Brian Becker and John Kiriakou are joined by Mark Sleboda, an international affairs and security analyst. Sixty countries are participating in a two-day US-organized Middle East so-called “peace conference” in Warsaw starting today that was originally billed by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo as a gathering to put pressure on Iran. The conference comes as some countries, including several in the European Union, are hoping to salvage the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, increasing tensions with Washington. Senate Intelligence Committee chairman Richard Shelby made the rounds of political talk shows over the past two days to say that his committee had found no collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia. CBS and NBC reported at length on that conclusion. Ranking Democrat Mark Warner, however, said that he “respectfully disagreed” with Shelby, adding that, while there was no evidence of collusion, the Committee still had to interview several key witnesses. Meanwhile, some proponents of the Russiagate campaign are attempting to downplay expectations by arguing that the Mueller probe isn’t expansive enough. Daniel Lazare, a journalist and author of three books—“The Frozen Republic,” “The Velvet Coup,” and “America's Undeclared War,” joins the show. Congress is finally set to help veterans who were exposed to highly toxic burn pits in Iraq, Afghanistan, and elsewhere. Solid waste--everything from abandoned military equipment to plastic, to expired food, to body parts--is doused with jet fuel and set ablaze by the US military overseas. But the smoke and fumes are highly toxic and cause rare brain cancers. Brian and John speak with Kathy Kelly, co-coordinator of Voices for Creative Non-Violence, and Joe Hickman, journalist, professor, and author of “The Burn Pits: The Poisoning of America's Soldiers.” British Prime Minister Theresa May’s top Brexit negotiator is finding himself in hot water. He was reportedly overheard speaking in a Brussels bar and saying that if parliament does not vote to support May’s Brexit deal with the European Union, the prime minister could indefinitely delay leaving the union, keeping the country in economic and political limbo with no end in sight. May spoke before parliament today to address the controversy. Steve Hedley, the senior assistant general secretary of the the UK’s Rail, Maritime, and Transport Workers Union, joins the show. Wednesday’s weekly series, In the News, is where the hosts look at the most important ongoing developments of the week and put them into perspective. Jacqueline Luqman, the co-editor-in-chief of Luqman Nation, which hosts a livestream every Thursday night at 9:00 p.m. on Facebook, and Sputnik news analyst Walter Smolarek, join Brian and John. Wednesday’s regular segment, Beyond Nuclear, is about nuclear issues, including weapons, energy, waste, and the future of nuclear technology in the United States. Kevin Kamps, the Radioactive Waste Watchdog at the organization Beyond Nuclear, and Sputnik news analyst and producer Nicole Roussell, join the show.

Theater of the Absurd: The Politics of Another Gov’t Shutdown

Feb 12, 2019 6845

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On today's episode of Loud & Clear, Brian Becker and John Kiriakou are joined by Juan Carlos Ruiz, cofounder of the New Sanctuary Movement. President Trump held a rally in El Paso, Texas yesterday that was meant to pressure congressional negotiators into funding his border wall. But things didn’t work out the way he had expected. First, negotiators came to an agreement in principle to fund the government beyond Friday without any input from the president and without money for a wall. And then his rally was dwarfed in size by a competing rally across town held by possibly Democratic presidential candidate Beto O’Rourke. Ilhan Omar is a freshman congresswoman from Minnesota. She’s one of the first two Muslim women elected to Congress and is the body’s first Somali-American and first refugee. She’s a strong supporter of self-determination for the Palestinian people. And last week she tweeted light-heartedly that much US support for Israel is a result of money injected into politics by AIPAC, the American Israel Political Action Committee. The condemnation was swift and strong. Omar apologized immediately. But what did she say that was wrong? Dan Cohen, a journalist and a documentary filmmaker, most recently of the film “Killing Gaza,” joins the show. The Defense Department announced this morning that US fighter jets attacked a mosque in eastern Syria that was being used as an ISIS control center as American-allied Syrian forces battled the extremists in their last stronghold in the country. Brian and John speak with Ambassador Peter Ford, the former UK Ambassador to Syria. A regular Tuesday segment deals with the ongoing militarization of space. As the US continues to withdraw from international arms treaties, will the weaponization and militarization of space bring the world closer to catastrophe? Prof. Karl Grossman, a full professor of journalism at the State University of New York, College at Old Westbury, the author of six books, and the host of a nationally-aired television program focused on environmental, energy, and space issues, joins the show. A dozen leaders of Catalonia’s failed 2017 independence bid have gone on trial in Madrid on charges that include rebellion and sedition. Several of them face up to 25 years in prison. The semi-autonomous region held an independence referendum on October 1, 2017 and declared its independence from Spain weeks later. Dick Nichols, the correspondent for Spain and Catalonia for Green Left Weekly, and Sputnik news analyst Walter Smolarek, join Brian and John. Today’s regular segment that airs every Tuesday is called Women & Society with Dr. Hannah Dickinson. This weekly segment is about the major issues, challenges, and struggles facing women in all aspects of society. Hannah Dickinson, an associate professor at Hobart and William Smith Colleges and an organizer with the Geneva Women’s Assembly, and Loud & Clear producer Nicole Roussell join the show. Tuesday’s weekly series is False Profits—A Weekly Look at Wall Street and Corporate Capitalism with Daniel Sankey. Brian and John speak with financial policy analyst Daniel Sankey.

Trump & Democrats Push “Fake News” About Venezuela

Feb 11, 2019 6814

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On today's episode of Loud & Clear, Brian Becker and John Kiriakou are joined by Paul Dobson, a writer for VenezuelAnalysis.com, and Lucas Koerner, an activist and writer for VenezuelAnalysis.com. The Trump Administration succeeded last week in advancing its overthrow of the Venezuelan government and in controlling the public relations agenda. A false narrative that President Nicolas Maduro blocked a food and aid convoy was all over the mainstream media. Former Vice President Joe Biden jumped on the bandwagon to endorse puppet figure Juan Guaido, and the US moved to cripple CITGO, the US-based retail branch of the Venezuelan national oil company. Monday’s regular segment Technology Rules with Chris Garaffa is a weekly guide on how monopoly corporations and the national surveillance state are threatening cherished freedoms, civil rights and civil liberties. Web developer and technologist Chris Garaffa joins the show. Negotiators clashed on Sunday over whether to limit the number of migrants whom authorities can detain at the border, creating a new hurdle as the two sides try to strike a compromise before the government shuts down--again--on Friday. Brian and John speak with Juan José Gutiérrez, the executive director of the Full Rights for Immigrants Coalition. Monday’s segment “Education for Liberation with Bill Ayers” is where Bill helps us look at the state of education across the country. What’s happening in our schools, colleges, and universities, and what impact does it have on the world around us? Bill Ayers, an activist, educator and the author of the book “Demand the Impossible: A Radical Manifesto,” joins the show. What is a stock buyback? It’s a common way for companies to prop up their stock prices and create wealth for shareholders. The company uses cash on hand to buy its own stock on the open market, thus propping up the price regardless of what the economy is doing. But is that necessarily a good thing? Couldn’t the money be put to better use if it’s spent on innovation or on workers? Dr. Jack Rasmus, a professor of economics at Saint Mary's College of California and author of “Central Bankers at the End of Their Ropes: Monetary Policy and the Coming Depression” whose work is at www.jackrasmus.com, joins Brian and John. The US and South Korea struck a last-minute deal over the weekend on the cost of the US military presence there. South Korea will pay $890 million a year for the US military to occupy its country, an 8.2 percent increase over the previous five-year deal. South Korea already was paying 50 percent of the cost of the US military presence, but the US had sought at least $1 billion per year. Author and professor Tim Beal whose most recent book is “Crisis in Korea,” joins the show. President Trump refused to abide by a legal mandate to tell Congress by Friday whether the White House thinks Saudi Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman was responsible for the death of Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi. A senior Administration official said, “The president maintains his discretion to decline to act on congressional committee requests when appropriate.” Brian and John speak with Ariel Gold, a peace activist and the national co-director of Code Pink.

Targeting Immigrants & “Socialism,” Trump Signals 2020 Campaign Themes

Feb 8, 2019 6639

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On today's episode of Loud & Clear, Brian Becker and John Kiriakou are joined by Jacqueline Luqman, the co-editor-in-chief of Luqman Nation, which livestreams every Thursday night at 9:00 p.m. on Facebook, and Jodi Dean, a professor of Political Science at Hobart and William Smith Colleges whose latest book is “Crowds and Party.” Friday is Loud & Clear’s weekly hour-long segment The Week in Review, about the week in politics, policy, and international affairs. Today they focus on the implosion of the Democratic Party leadership in Virginia, why Donald Trump has declared the war against socialism inside the United States to be central to his ongoing political campaign effort, new exposees about the Trump-led coup in Venezuela, the war against women’s rights and the block from the Supreme Court on a stringent anti-abortion law in Louisiana, and much more. In an explosive tell-all blog posted yesterday, Amazon founder and world’s richest man Jeff Bezos accused the publisher of the National Enquirer of trying to blackmail him. The post on the blogging platform Medium revealed what Bezos said were the full texts of emails his representatives received from executives at the National Enquirer’s parent company threatening to publish nude photos that Bezos apparently had sent to his girlfriend. In exchange, the Enquirer wanted Bezos to announce that he had no reason to believe that the Enquirer’s reporting was politically motivated or influenced by political forces. Ted Rall, an award-winning editorial cartoonist and columnist whose work is at www.rall.com, joins the show. A diplomatic row between France and Italy deepened yesterday as France recalled its ambassador to Italy after populist Italian deputy Prime Minister Luigi de Maio met with Yellow Vest leaders in central Paris. The media is calling the development the worst crisis between the two countries since the end of the Second World War. Italy has not been shy in criticizing French President Emmanuel Macron on issues from immigration and trade to the Yellow Vests. Brian and John speak with Gilbert Mercier, Editor in Chief of News Junkie Post and the author of “The Orwellian Empire.” Freshman Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a Democrat from New York and Senator Ed Markey, a Democrat from Massachusetts, yesterday sponsored a massive bill that they are calling the Green New Deal. It is a massive policy package that would reshape the entire US economy and, in the end, eliminate all carbon emissions. In doing so, it aims to boost the economy and create millions of jobs. Dr. Margaret Flowers, a medical doctor and the co-coordinator of Popular Resistance at www.popularresistance.org, joins the show. In the midst of the political turmoil in Washington and the changes in trade policy worldwide, more and more american farmers are facing bankruptcies. Kathy Schmitt, Bureau Director, Farm and Agribusiness Services, and Frank Friar, Economic Specialist: Financial Consulting & Farm Succession Planning, both at the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection, join Brian and John. It’s Friday! So it’s time for the week’s worst and most misleading headlines. Brian and John speak with Steve Patt, an independent journalist whose critiques of the mainstream media have been a feature of his site Left I on the News and on twitter @leftiblog, and Sputnik producer Nicole Roussell.

"Multilateral Coalitions" as a Fig Leaf for U.S. Imperial Intervention

Feb 7, 2019 6879

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On today's episode of Loud & Clear, Brian Becker and John Kiriakou are joined by Alexander Mercouris, the editor-in-chief of The Duran; Ann Wright, a retired United States Army colonel who resigned in protest of the invasion of Iraq and became an anti-war activist; Kim Ives, an editor of the newspaper Haiti Liberte; and producer Walter Smolarek. The United States makes a practice of touting international coalitions as a means to achieve a military or foreign policy goal. Just think of the coalition to defeat ISIS, the Coalition of the Willing that was the Iraq War, the coalition that overthrew the Libyan government, the Lima Group, and others. But these international coalitions are really just a myth. They serve as a cover for US intervention around the world in the absence of a United Nations Security Council Resolution or other international approval for military action. Thursday’s weekly series “Criminal Injustice” is about the most egregious conduct of our courts and prosecutors and how justice is denied to so many people in this country. Paul Wright, the founder and executive director of the Human Rights Defense Center and editor of Prison Legal News (PLN), and Kevin Gosztola, a writer for Shadowproof.com and co-host of the podcast Unauthorized Disclosure, join the show. An international conference of neutral countries will be held today in Uruguay to jumpstart a dialogue between Venezuelans seeking a way out of the current crisis sparked by the U.S.-orchestrated effort to install Juan Guiadó as Venezuela’s president. Spokesmen for the governments of Uruguay and Mexico said they expect at least 10 countries to be represented at the talks today in Montevideo. Brian and John speak with Aline Piva, a journalist and a member of Brazilians for Democracy and Social Justice, and Sputnik News analyst Walter Smolarek The Virginia Democratic Party is in a state of collapse. Senior Democrats around the country are calling for Governor Ralph Northam to resign after allegations that he appeared in blackface and with a friend dressed as a Ku Klux Klansman in college. Attorney General Mark Herring also admitted to appearing in blackface while in college. And Lieutenant Governor Justin Fairfax is being accused of sexually assaulting a woman. If all three are forced to resign, as appears increasingly likely, the Republican House Speaker would become governor. He became speaker after an election was decided by drawing lots from a hat. Rebecca Keel, a Richmond community organizer and a member of Southerners on New Ground, joins the show. Veterans for Peace is Thursday’s regular segment about the contemporary issues of war and peace that affect veterans, their families, and the country as a whole. Gerry Condon, a Vietnam-era veteran and war resister who refused orders to deploy to Vietnam and lived in exile in Canada and Sweden for 6 years, organizing with other U.S. military deserters and draft resisters against the Vietnam war, and for amnesty for U.S. war resisters, joins the show. He has been a peace and solidarity activist for almost 50 years and has served on the Board of Veterans For Peace for the last 6 years, currently as national president. This week, Sputnik News analyst Walter Smolarek also joins the show. Jill Abramson, the former Executive Editor of the New York Times, is being accused of plagiarising portions of her new book, “Merchants of Truth: The Business of News and the Fight for Facts,” which purports to be an expose of Vice News. Abramson told Fox News yesterday that she had no comment, other than to deny plagiarism. But Vice News released a carefully-annotated side-by-side comparison of the book along with passages from Time Out and The New Yorker magazines and the Columbia Journalism Review that show uncanny similarities. Ted Rall, an award-winning editorial cartoonist and columnist, whose work is at www.rall.com, joins the show. Israel’s Minister of Justice, Ayelet Shaked, who now co-chairs a new political party called “The New Right,” recently posted a tweet accusing the Israeli right wing party Likud of being left. That’s a common put-down right now in Israel. But what it really means is the accused is weak and unwilling to kill Palestinians. Brian and John speak with Sputnik news analyst Walter Smolarek.

Trump Lashes out at Venezuela, Russia and Iran in State of the Union

Feb 6, 2019 6873

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On today's episode of Loud & Clear, Brian Becker and John Kiriakou are joined by Jacqueline Luqman, the co-editor-in-chief of Luqman Nation, which hosts a livestream every Thursday night at 9:00 p.m. on Facebook, Jim Kavanagh, the editor of thepolemicist.net, and Sputnik news analyst Walter Smolarek. Wednesday’s weekly series, In the News, is where the hosts look at the most important ongoing developments of the week and put them into perspective, including immigrant rights, economic inequality, US military presence around the world, and the Democratic response. The US Senate yesterday voted 77-23 to allow states to penalize businesses that participate in the Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions movement against Israel. The bill, which also includes measures aiming to prolong U.S. troop presence in Syria and Afghanistan, goes to the House of Representatives for consideration today. Even though the bill had broad support in the Senate, several senators, including Vermont’s Bernie Sanders and Kentucky’s Rand Paul, opined that the measure was likely unconstitutional and would be overturned. Ali Abunimah, the co-founder of The Electronic Intifada and author of the book “The Battle for Justice in Palestine,” and Sputnik news analyst Walter Smolarek, join the show. A report published this morning by the human rights group Amnesty International concludes that the United Arab Emirates is illegally supplying advanced American weaponry to Yemeni militias and other factions there. The report describes how the UAE has become what Amnesty International calls “a major conduit” for armored vehicles, mortar systems, and guns to groups accused of war crimes and crimes against humanity. A parallel CNN investigation found that both the UAE and Saudi Arabia were transferring US weapons to al-Qaeda-affiliated groups in Yemen. Brian and John speak with Dr. May Darwich, an assistant professor in International Relations of the Middle East in the School of Government and International Affairs at Durham University and Sputnik news analyst Walter Smolarek. Wednesday’s regular segment, Beyond Nuclear, is about nuclear issues, including weapons, energy, waste, and the future of nuclear technology in the United States. Kevin Kamps, the Radioactive Waste Watchdog at the organization Beyond Nuclear, and Sputnik news analyst and producer Nicole Roussell, join the show.

"Our Rights are Under Attack!": The Real State of the Union for Women

Feb 5, 2019 6850

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On today's episode of Loud & Clear, Brian Becker and John Kiriakou are joined by Hannah Dickinson, an associate professor at Hobart and William Smith Colleges and an organizer with the Geneva Women’s Assembly, and Loud & Clear producer Nicole Roussell join the show. Today’s regular segment that airs every Tuesday is called Women & Society with Dr. Hannah Dickinson. This weekly segment is about the major issues, challenges, and struggles facing women in all aspects of society, and today focuses on the the state of the union for women, including health care, immigration, abortion access, and more. Tuesday’s weekly series is False Profits—A Weekly Look at Wall Street and Corporate Capitalism with Daniel Sankey. Financial policy analyst Daniel Sankey joins the show. President Trump this evening will deliver his second State of the Union address. The president is expected to focus on immigration and on his demands for a border wall and his threats to declare a national emergency to build the border wall, as well as the opioid crisis, the economy, and sentencing reform. Will the American people see the so-called presidential Donald Trump of last year’s State of the Union? Or will we see the angry Donald Trump of Twitter? Brian and John speak with Ted Rall, an award-winning editorial cartoonist and columnist. You can check out his work at www.rall.com. The US envoy to the Korean peace talks Stephen Biegun will meet with high-level officials in North Korea tomorrow as preparations for the second Kim-Trump summit go down to the wire. There is also anticipation that crucial new details about the summit will be announced by President Trump during tonight’s state of the union address. Hyun Lee, a member of the Solidarity Committee for Democracy and Peace in Korea and writer for Zoominkorea.org, joins the show. Senior Afghan officials, including former president Hamid Karzai, met with Taliban representatives in Moscow today weeks after the insurgents met with US representatives to discuss an end to the war. Again, however, no Afghan government officials were present. And President Ashraf Ghani strongly criticized the talks as undermining his government. Dr. Marvin Weinbaum, the Scholar-in-Residence and director of the Middle East Institute’s Center for Pakistan and Afghanistan Studies, joins Brian and John. President Trump announced on Twitter yesterday that he will nominate acting Interior Secretary David Bernhardt to formally take over the job from former Secretary Ryan Zinke, who resigned two months ago under an ethics cloud. Bernhardt is a former oil and agriculture industry lobbyist, who Congressman Raul Grijalva, the chairman of the House Interior Committee, described as “everything that’s wrong with this administration.” Fred Magdoff, professor emeritus of plant and soil science at the University of Vermont and the co-author of “What Every Environmentalist Needs to Know About Capitalism” and “Creating an Ecological Society: Toward a Revolutionary Transformation” from Monthly Review Press, joins the show. A regular Tuesday segment deals with the ongoing militarization of space. As the US continues to withdraw from international arms treaties, will the weaponization and militarization of space bring the world closer to catastrophe? Brian and John speak with Prof. Karl Grossman, a full professor of journalism at the State University of New York, College at Old Westbury, the author of six books, and the host of a nationally-aired television program focused on environmental, energy, and space issues.

Trump’s Comments Enrage Iraqis: What’s the Real Role of US Troops?

Feb 4, 2019 6838

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On today's episode of Loud & Clear, Brian Becker and John Kiriakou are joined by Mohammad Marandi, an expert on American studies and postcolonial literature who teaches at the University of Tehran. President Trump caused consternation in Baghdad over the weekend when he said that he may leave US troops in Iraq to “watch” Iran. Those US troops had been in Iraq fighting ISIS. The problem is that the president never asked the Iraqi government’s permission to leave those troops, and now there is legislation in the Iraqi parliament to evict US troops from the country. Monday’s regular segment Technology Rules with Chris Garaffa is a weekly guide on how monopoly corporations and the national surveillance state are threatening cherished freedoms, civil rights and civil liberties. Web developer and technologist Chris Garaffa joins the show. Venezuelans are being forced to consider the possibility of civil war as major European Union countries today recognized Juan Guaidó as president and huge street mobilizations both in favor of and opposed to the government of President Nicolás Maduro took place. Brian and John speak with Paul Dobson, a writer for VenezuelAnalysis.com. Hawaii Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard formally announced her candidacy for president on Saturday. Her campaign is off to a rough start because of internal dissent, but her problem may be bigger than that. Is there room for an anti-war Democrat in the presidential race? Garland Nixon, the cohost of Sputnik News’s Fault Lines, on air every day between 7:00 and 10:00 a.m. eastern time, who was on the ground covering the campaign announcement this weekend, joins the show. Monday’s segment “Education for Liberation with Bill Ayers” is where Bill helps us look at the state of education across the country. What’s happening in our schools, colleges, and universities, and what impact does it have on the world around us? Today Bill discusses education in Venezuela, along with several teacher strikes in the US. Bill Ayers, an activist, educator and the author of the book “Demand the Impossible: A Radical Manifesto,” joins Brian and John. French President Emmanuel Macron is expected to call for a national referendum to reduce the size of government in an effort to stem increasingly large yellow vest protests across the country. That would take place in May, at the same time as elections for the European Parliament. At the same time, however, Macron has authorized police to fire rubber bullets at unarmed protestors, causing serious injuries and inflaming still more would-be protestors. Yellow vest leaders have called an assembly of assemblies, that is, Yellow Vest leaders from around the country, to discuss next steps. Gilbert Mercier, editor in chief of News Junkie Post and the author of “The Orwellian Empire,” joins the show. The truce in the US trade war with China ends on March 2, when additional sanctions will go into effect absent a new trade agreement. President Trump says that a “great deal” is in the works, but he may have to fight anti-China hawks in his own cabinet to come to such an agreement. Brian and John speak with Sputnik news analyst Walter Smolarek.

While Homeless Freeze in US, Senate Focuses on Keeping Troops Abroad

Feb 1, 2019 6772

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On today's episode of Loud & Clear, Brian Becker and John Kiriakou are joined by Jacqueline Luqman, the co-editor-in-chief of Luqman Nation, which livestreams every Thursday night at 9:00 p.m. on Facebook, and Sputnik News analyst and producer Walter Smolarek. Friday is Loud & Clear’s weekly hour-long segment The Week in Review, about the week in politics, policy, and international affairs. Today they focus on the polar vortex’s effect on the homeless and all people (while some fearmonger about Russia instead); the candidates for the 2020 presidential race including recently declared Cory Booker and Tulsi Gabbard, who will declare tomorrow; and a new court decision about Julian Assange. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced this morning that the United States would withdraw from the 1987 Intermediate Range Nuclear Forces Treaty, a major arms control treaty with Russia, ending a cornerstone Cold War agreement by claiming that Russia has already violated it. The withdrawal takes effect in six months, and threatens to set off a global arms race. Greg Mello, the Executive Director of the Los Alamos Study Group, joins the show. The Senate voted 68-23 yesterday to approve an amendment expressing strong opposition to President Trump’s decision to withdraw troops from Syria and to draw down the American presence in Afghanistan. The vote is veto-proof and is a direct challenge to the president’s decision to bring the troops home. Brian and John speak with Cindy Sheehan, an anti-war activist and journalist whose son Casey was killed during the Iraq War. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials admitted yesterday that they have been force-feeding six detained immigrants who went on a hunger strike to protest conditions at the Texas detention center where they are being held. A total of 15 immigrants are on hunger strikes, and most complain that they are being brutalized by ICE officers. Juan Carlos Ruiz, cofounder of the New Sanctuary Movement, joins the show. As preparations are underway for a historic second summit between Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un later this month, the United States may be softening its negotiating position in the hopes of reaching a deal. Meanwhile, the country’s top intelligence officials told Congress earlier this week that North Korea likely will not give up its nuclear capabilities in an attempt to undermine these crucial upcoming talks. Tim Shorrock, a Washington-based investigative journalist who grew up in Japan and South Korea and who is the author of “SPIES FOR HIRE: The Secret World of Outsourced Intelligence,” joins Brian and John. It’s Friday! So it’s time for the week’s worst and most misleading headlines. Brian and John speak with Steve Patt, an independent journalist whose critiques of the mainstream media have been a feature of his site Left I on the News and on twitter @leftiblog, and Sputnik producer Nicole Roussell.

US Seeks to Plunder, Loot & Pillage Venezuela’s Vast Oil Wealth

Jan 30, 2019 6770

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On today's episode of Loud & Clear, Brian Becker and John Kiriakou are joined by Jacqueline Luqman, the co-editor-in-chief of Luqman Nation, which hosts a livestream every Thursday night at 9:00 p.m. on Facebook, and Sputnik news analyst Walter Smolarek. Wednesday’s weekly series, In the News, is where the hosts look at the most important ongoing developments of the week and put them into perspective. Today they discuss the Venezuelan coup attempt and Kamala Harris’s near-immediate walkback of Medicare for all. Wednesday’s regular segment, Beyond Nuclear, is about nuclear issues, including weapons, energy, waste, and the future of nuclear technology in the United States. Kevin Kamps, the Radioactive Waste Watchdog at the organization Beyond Nuclear, and Sputnik news analyst and producer Walter Smolarek, join the show. Former presidential advisor Roger Stone entered not guilty pleas on seven felony counts in a federal court in Washington, DC yesterday and then immediately took to the airwaves to proclaim his innocence, to repeat that he will not testify against the president, and to warn the president that the Mueller investigation could mean the end of his presidency. Brian and John speak with Dr. Jerome Corsi, an author and political commentator who was close to Roger Stone and who wrote the book, “Silent No More: How I Became a Political Prisoner of Mueller’s Witch Hunt.” Large-scale protests are taking place in Venezuela both for and against the government today after the Supreme Court moved to freeze U.S.-backed self-proclaimed president Juan Guaidó’s bank accounts and to impose a travel ban on him. Guaidó responded by calling on the military to side with him and he asked the United States to send weapons and advisors to help him overthrow the government of President Nicolás Maduro. Lucas Koerner, an activist and writer for VenezuelAnalysis.com, joins the show. Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats, CIA Director Gina Haspel, and FBI Director Christopher Wray delivered their annual intelligence threat assessment yesterday in an open hearing of the Senate Intelligence Committee. Notably, they contradicted Donald Trump on nearly every major issue: the Iranian and North Korean nuclear programs, ISIS, and China. Kevin Zeese, the co-coordinator of Popular Resistance, which is at popularresistance.org, joins Brian and John. The US and China met today to try to dig out from a damaging trade war with a new round of high-level talks aimed at bridging deep differences over China’s intellectual property and technology transfer policies. US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer represented the United States, while the Chinese delegation was led by Vice Premier Liu He. The deadline for an agreement is March 1. Jude Woodward, the author of the new book “The US vs China: Asia's new Cold War?,” joins the show. The British Parliament yesterday narrowly failed to approve an amendment giving it the power to instruct Prime Minister Theresa May to seek a delay to avoid a disorderly and possibly chaotic exit from the European Union on March 29. May later lost a nonbinding amendment that said the UK should not leave the EU without a Brexit deal. With chaos deepening, Prime Minister May today held a meeting with Jeremy Corbyn, leader of the opposition Labour Party. Brian and John speak with Steve Hedley, the senior assistant general secretary of the the UK’s Rail, Maritime, and Transport Workers Union.

Racism and Islamophobia: The Politics of the U.S. War Machine

Jan 29, 2019 7005

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On today's episode of Loud & Clear, Brian Becker and John Kiriakou are joined by Dr. Nazia Kazi, an activist and professor of Anthropology at Stockton University. Dr. Nazia Kazi has a new book out called “Islamophobia, Race and Global Politics.” It’s published by Rowman & Littlefield and is an introduction to the scope of Islamophobia in the US. Dr. Kazi draws connections between Islamophobia and racism more broadly to US military interventions around the world and to empire-building. Tuesday’s weekly series is False Profits—A Weekly Look at Wall Street and Corporate Capitalism with Daniel Sankey. Financial policy analyst Daniel Sankey joins the show. Former Trump advisor and Republican dirty trickster Roger Stone was arraigned in federal court in Washington today. He pled not guilty to seven felonies, including obstruction of a federal proceeding, witness tampering, and five counts of making false statements. He is free on $250,000 bond. Brian and John speak with Daniel Lazare. He is a journalist and author of three books—“The Frozen Republic,” “The Velvet Coup,” and “America's Undeclared War.” President Trump yesterday approved sanctions on Venezuela’s state oil company, the parent company of the US-based Citgo, in an effort to further cripple the economy. Meanwhile, National Security Advisor John Bolton was filmed yesterday holding a notepad on which he had written “5000 troops to Colombia.” It is not known whether exposure of the notepad was an accident or if it was meant to put psychological pressure on the Maduro government. Dan Cohen, a journalist and author of the new article “The Making of Juan Guaidó: How the US Regime Change Laboratory Created Venezuela’s Coup Leader,” at grayzoneproject.com, joins the show. The Justice Department yesterday unsealed a host of criminal charges against Chinese telecommunications giant Huawei and its Chief Operating Officer, Meng Wanzhou. Meng has been held in custody in Canada for more than a month, pending extradition to the United States in a move that has deepened the diplomatic crisis between China and the U.S.. The charges against Meng and Huawei include bank fraud, obstruction of justice, and theft of technology. John Ross, Senior Fellow at Chongyang Institute, Renmin University of China, and an award-winning resident columnist with several Chinese media organizations, joins Brian and John. Today’s regular segment that airs every Tuesday is called Women & Society with Dr. Hannah Dickinson. This weekly segment is about the major issues, challenges, and struggles facing women in all aspects of society. Hannah Dickinson, an associate professor at Hobart and William Smith Colleges and an organizer with the Geneva Women’s Assembly, joins the show. President Trump has promised to be “far worse than anybody, if need be,” by developing space weapons technology faster than any country in the world. This would require withdrawing from existing treaties that forbid the development of space weapons. And will it even make the United States any safer, or do these policies increase the likelihood of a devastating conflict? Brian and John speak with Prof. Karl Grossman, a full professor of journalism at the State University of New York, College at Old Westbury, the host of a nationally aired television program focused on environmental, energy, and space issues, and the author of the new article on CounterPunch, “Darth Trump: From Space Force to Star Wars.”

United States of Dysfunction: Bracing for Next Govt Shutdown in 3 Weeks

Jan 28, 2019 6954

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On today's episode of Loud & Clear, Brian Becker and John Kiriakou are joined by Anoa Changa, the host of the show The Way With Anoa, and Pedro Rios, the director of the American Friends Service Committee’s U.S./Mexico Border Program. President Trump and congressional leaders agreed on Friday afternoon to reopen the government for three weeks to give all sides time to come up with a workable federal budget. The three-week Continuing Resolution does not include money for the President’s border wall, but it does include money to hire more border patrol agents. The countdown is now on to strike a major deal on immigration policy before the government shuts back down next month. Monday’s regular segment Technology Rules with Chris Garaffa is a weekly guide on how monopoly corporations and the national surveillance state are threatening cherished freedoms, civil rights and civil liberties. Web developer and technologist Chris Garaffa joins the show. The United States and the Taliban agreed on a draft framework for peace in Afghanistan following nearly a week of talks in Qatar. The Afghan government did not participate because the Taliban does see it as illegitimate. But US envoy Zalmay Khalilzad told reporters that the Taliban had agreed to never again allow the country to be a base for terrorists. The Taliban spokesman, meanwhile, said that “all foreign troops must leave Afghanistan.” Brian and John speak with Brian Terrell. The political crisis in Venezuela deepened over the weekend following Juan Guaido’s self-proclamation as Interim President. The main institutions of government remain loyal to President Nicolas Maduro, but the United States, along with allies like the UK, are turning up the economic pressure. What’s next for Venezuela? Chuck Kaufman, the National Co-Coordinator of the Alliance for Global Justice, joins the show. The Integrity Initiative, a UK-based group that purported to be a watchdog for what it called the Russian threat against democracy in the UK, Europe, and the US, was unmasked last year as a British intelligence-funded propaganda front group. Its website was hacked recently and its internal documents were spread. The group has now taken the website down. Investigative journalist Kit Klarenberg joins Brian and John. Monday’s segment “Education for Liberation with Bill Ayers” is where Bill helps us look at the state of education across the country. What’s happening in our schools, colleges, and universities, and what impact does it have on the world around us? Bill Ayers, an activist, educator and the author of the book “Demand the Impossible: A Radical Manifesto,” joins Brian and John. A new National Intelligence Strategy, a long-term intelligence outlook prepared by the Director of National Intelligence, says that the United States will be challenged in the coming years by nations that exploit “the weakening of the post-WWII international order and dominance of western democratic ideals...and increasingly isolationist tendencies in the west.” What does that mean? It means that the US believes that Russia and China are its most important adversaries for the coming decades. Brian and John speak with Mark Sleboda, an international relations and security analyst.

Gov’t to Reopen: Worker Actions & Rising Discontent Force Trump’s Hand

Jan 25, 2019 6797

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On today's episode of Loud & Clear, Brian Becker and John Kiriakou are joined by Jacqueline Luqman, the co-editor-in-chief of Luqman Nation, which livestreams every Thursday night at 9:00 p.m. on Facebook, and Sputnik News analyst and producer Walter Smolarek. Friday is Loud & Clear’s weekly hour-long segment The Week in Review, about the week in politics, policy, and international affairs. Today they focus on the pressure on the US government to reopen, the coup attempt in Venezuela, and the way the mainstream media is downplaying the success of the teacher strike in L.A. Longtime Republican Party operative Roger Stone was arrested during a pre-dawn FBI raid on his Florida home this morning. He was charged with seven felonies, including witness tampering, obstructing a federal investigation, and five counts of making false statements. Stone was arraigned in federal court today at 11:00 and his attorneys said he would fight the charges vigorously. Jim Kavanagh, whose commentary is published on his website, thepolemicist.net, Counterpunch, and other online journals, joins the show. Venezuela’s judicial, political and military leaders backed President Nicolas Maduro yesterday as the U.S.-backed coup attempt continued. Meanwhile Secretary of State Mike Pompeo urged member countries of the Organization of American States to back Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido as president and refused to accept the decision by Maduro to expel the U.S. embassy staff. Street mobilizations by supporters of the government are continuing in the face of violence by opposition supporters. Brian and John speak with Medea Benjamin, an anti-war and anti-torture activist who is the co-founder of Code Pink. Marzieh Hashemi, the American citizen who is a journalist for Iran’s Press TV, was released from federal custody after testifying before a grand jury. Hashemi had been held without charge as a material witness to force her testimony. She was subject to a variety of degradations while being held. Marzieh Hashemi joins the show. It’s Friday! So it’s time for the week’s worst and most misleading headlines. Brian and John speak with Steve Patt, an independent journalist whose critiques of the mainstream media have been a feature of his site Left I on the News and on twitter @leftiblog, and Sputnik producer Nicole Roussell.

Trump and Pompeo Adopt 19th Century Colonial Language Towards Venezuela

Jan 24, 2019 6945

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On today's episode of Loud & Clear, Brian Becker and John Kiriakou are joined by Aline Piva, a journalist and a member of Brazilians for Democracy and Social Justice, and Paul Dobson, a writer for VenezuelAnalysis.com. As the attempted coup in Venezuela continues, the United States is upping the pressure by announcing that it will refuse to remove its embassy staff from the country, as ordered by President Nicolás Maduro in retaliation for the U.S. orchestrated plot to replace him with far-right opposition figure Juan Guaido. The U.S. diplomats were given 72 hours to leave the country, and President Maduro also has ordered closed the Venezuelan embassy in the U.S. Thursday’s weekly series “Criminal Injustice” is about the most egregious conduct of our courts and prosecutors and how justice is denied to so many people in this country. Paul Wright, the founder and executive director of the Human Rights Defense Center and editor of Prison Legal News (PLN), and Kevin Gosztola, a writer for Shadowproof.com and co-host of the podcast Unauthorized Disclosure, join the show. The Senate voted on two competing measures today that would reopen the federal government. Neither bill garnered the required 60 votes, however. And President Trump announced that he will postpone the State of the Union Address; this came after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said that she would not authorize the address so long as the government was closed. The partial government shutdown is now in its 34th day, with federal workers projected to soon miss their second paycheck. Brian and John speak with Julie Hurwitz, a civil rights attorney and partner at the law firm Goodman, Hurwitz and James. Alex Salmond, who served as First Minister of Scotland from 2007 to 2014 and who was leader of the Scottish National Party for more than 20 years, was arrested yesterday and charged with sex crimes. The arrest took place two weeks after Salmond won a lawsuit against Scottish authorities relating to their investigative practices in this case. Mark Hirst, the Editor-In-Chief of Sputnik’s Edinburgh bureau, joins the show. Veterans for Peace is Thursday’s regular segment about the contemporary issues of war and peace that affect veterans, their families, and the country as a whole. Gerry Condon, a Vietnam-era veteran and war resister who refused orders to deploy to Vietnam and lived in exile in Canada and Sweden for 6 years, organizing with other U.S. military deserters and draft resisters against the Vietnam war, and for amnesty for U.S. war resisters, joins the show. He has been a peace and solidarity activist for almost 50 years and has served on the Board of Veterans For Peace for the last 6 years, currently as national president. A lot of Democrats are running for president. Major media outlets say that as many as two dozen Democrats are considering, or have already announced, campaigns. There are major names like Joe Biden, Bernie Sanders, and Elizabeth Warren, newcomers like Kamala Harris and Tulsi Gabbard, and unknown like South Bend Indiana mayor Pete Buttigieg and Maryland Congressman John Delaney. But are any of these politicians really any different from previous Democratic candidates? And do many of them have a chance to beat Donald Trump? Kevin Zeese, co-coordinator of PopularResistance.org, joins the show. Our friend and contributor Ted Rall recently had a major court decision go against him in California. This was a case that had very important implications for Americans’ constitutional rights to freedom of speech. In the end, the court decided essentially, that Ted’s right to criticize the Los Angeles Police Department was less important than the Los Angeles Times’s right to block Ted’s right to freedom of speech. It’s a case with very important constitutional implications. Brian and John speak with Ted Rall, an award-winning editorial cartoonist and columnist whose work is at www.rall.com.

Trump & Allies Launch Coup Effort Against Venezuelan Government

Jan 23, 2019 6472

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On today's episode of Loud & Clear, Brian Becker and John Kiriakou are joined by from Caracas by Lucas Koerner, an activist and writer for VenezuelAnalysis.com, and from Merida, Venezuela, by Paul Dobson, a writer for VenezuelAnalysis.com, and in studio by Sputnik news analyst and producer Walter Smolarek. Venezuela’s opposition leader Juan Guaido has declared himself the country’s president and was immediately recognized as such by the U.S. government. Huge numbers of government supporters have taken to the streets to fight back against this coup effort. Wednesday’s regular segment, Beyond Nuclear, is about nuclear issues, including weapons, energy, waste, and the future of nuclear technology in the United States. Kevin Kamps, the Radioactive Waste Watchdog at the organization Beyond Nuclear, and Sputnik news analyst and producer Nicole Roussell, join the show. Wednesday’s weekly series, In the News, is where the hosts look at the most important ongoing developments of the week and puts them into perspective, including the ongoing government shutdown, which is in Day 33, the successfully ended LA teacher strike, the indefinite detaining of journalist Marzieh Hashemi, and the news that Julian Assange is now working to have his US charges unsealed. Brian and John speak with Jacqueline Luqman, the co-editor-in-chief of Luqman Nation, which hosts a livestream every Thursday night at 9:00 p.m. on Facebook, and Sputnik news analyst Walter Smolarek. The six-day Los Angeles teachers strike ended yesterday as teachers and staff threw their support behind a new agreement negotiated with the school board. The agreement, which garnered the votes of a super-majority of union members, calls for a six percent pay raise, a gradual decrease in class sizes, and the hiring of more librarians, nurses, and counselors. Cecily Myart-Cruz, a teacher in the LA Unified School District for 23 years and the Vice President of United Teachers Los Angeles/National Education Association, the teachers union, joins the show. Turkish President Erdogan is in Moscow today to meet with Russian President Putin on Syria. The two will discuss coordination in Syria, where they’ve been on opposing sides. Meanwhile, the Syrian government has floated the possibility of a retaliatory strike against Israel if it carries out another attack on the Damascus airport. Mohammad Marandi, an expert on American studies and postcolonial literature who teaches at the University of Tehran, and Ambassador Peter Ford, the former UK Ambassador to Syria, joins Brian and John.

Really?? Dr. King Saluted By FBI, CIA, & Northrop Grumman

Jan 22, 2019 6883

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On today's episode of Loud & Clear, Brian Becker and John Kiriakou are joined by Ariel Gold, a peace activist and the national co-director of Code Pink, and Ted Rall, an award-winning editorial cartoonist and columnist at www.rall.com. A lot happened this weekend, including women’s marches across the country, despite attacks on the leadership, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday and federal holiday, which was ironically highlighted by groups like Northrop Grumman and the FBI, and Special Counsel Robert Mueller called foul on a breathless Russiagate report from Buzzfeed late last week. And meanwhile the government shutdown continues. Tuesday’s weekly series is False Profits—A Weekly Look at Wall Street and Corporate Capitalism with Daniel Sankey. Financial policy analyst Daniel Sankey joins the show. The government shutdown is now in its second month, and no solution appears in sight. As the Trump administration digs in and refuses to budge from its demand for a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border, the shutdown is beginning to have serious effects on the overall health of the economy. Brian and John speak with Dave Lindorff, an investigative reporter and founder of This Can’t Be Happening!, as well as a columnist for CounterPunch, and a contributor to the London Review of Books, The Nation, Extra! Tarbell, and Salon.com. Reporters Without Borders has condemned the continued detention in the United States of Marzieh Hashemi, an American citizen who is a journalist for Iran’s Press TV. Hashemi was detained on a material witness warrant to force her to testify before a federal grand jury. That testimony is supposed to take place today. Hashemi has been held in St. Louis since January 13. Nargess Moballeghi, an independent journalist and friend and former colleague of Marzieh Hashemi, joins the show. The European Commission confirmed this morning that a “no deal” Brexit would mean a hard border for Ireland; that is, the border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland would be like crossing any other international frontier. But the soft border was one of the pillars of the Good Friday Accords that ended the decades-long war in the North of Ireland. Meanwhile, a second referendum that could see Brexit overturned is becoming increasingly possible. Andy Brennan, a journalist with Asia Times and CGTN, joins Brian and John. Today’s regular segment that airs every Tuesday is called Women & Society with Dr. Hannah Dickinson. This weekly segment is about the major issues, challenges, and struggles facing women in all aspects of society. Hannah Dickinson, an associate professor at Hobart and William Smith Colleges and an organizer with the Geneva Women’s Assembly, joins the show. Controversy continues to surround a Buzzfeed article saying that President Trump had specifically ordered his former attorney Michael Cohen to lie to Congress about the Trump Organization’s plans to build a residential tower in Moscow in 2016. Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s team took the unusual step of denying the piece, in an embarrassing rebuke to the publication and the Russiagate narrative overall. Brian and John speak with Daniel Lazare, a journalist and author of three books—“The Frozen Republic,” “The Velvet Coup,” and “America's Undeclared War.”

Trump Will Meet Kim Jong-un for 2nd Peace Summit in February

Jan 18, 2019 6967

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On today's episode of Loud & Clear, Brian Becker is joined by Jacqueline Luqman, the co-editor-in-chief of Luqman Nation, which livestreams every Thursday night at 9:00 p.m. on Facebook, and Sputnik News analyst and producer Walter Smolarek. Friday is Loud & Clear’s weekly hour-long segment The Week in Review, about the week in politics, policy, and international affairs. The White House announced today that the second summit between Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un will take place in late February at a yet-to-be-determined location. This dramatic announcement comes after North Korean lead negotiator Kim Yong Chol visited Washington to meet with Trump and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. Brian speaks with Simone Chun, a fellow at the Korea Policy Institute and a member of the Korean Peace Network. A new story published by Buzzfeed is being called a bombshell that will lead to Donald Trump either resigning or being impeached. The story is based on anonymous sources. It asserts that Donald Trump directed his then personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, to lie to Congress about the nature and timing of negotiations between the Trump Organization and individuals in Moscow who are trying to broker a deal to set up a Trump Tower in Moscow. We’ll take a look at the story and its authors. Daniel Lazare, a journalist and author of three books—“The Frozen Republic,” “The Velvet Coup,” and “America's Undeclared War”, joins the show. Four activists with the humanitarian organization No More Deaths are on trial in Tucson, Arizona, facing charges from an arrest in 2017 related to their efforts to place life-saving supplies like water in a stretch of desert near the U.S.-Mexico border to prevent migrants from dying of thirst and starvation. The outcome of the case will have wide-reaching implications for humanitarians and immigrant rights activists. Justine Schnitzler, a volunteer and staff member with No More Deaths, joins Brian. As Jeremy Corbyn comes closer and closer to becoming the Prime Minister of the UK, attacks against him are ramping up. One line of attack has been the allegation that Corbyn, a long time supporter of Palestinian rights and opponent of intervention in the Middle East, is anti-semitic. Now, a new report shows that bot accounts on social media are being used to provide false evidence for these claims. Asa Winstanley. He is an investigative journalist with The Electronic Intifada and a columnist at Middle East Monitor whose article “Fake Labour accounts fueling ‘anti-Semitism crisis’” broke the story, joins the show. It’s Friday! So it’s time for the week’s worst and most misleading headlines. Brian speaks with Steve Patt, an independent journalist whose critiques of the mainstream media have been a feature of his site Left I on the News and on twitter @leftiblog, and Sputnik producer Nicole Roussell.

Facebook Bans Sputnik Pages on Advice of NATO-funded Atlantic Council

Jan 17, 2019 6820

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On today's episode of Loud & Clear, Brian Becker is joined by Ford Fischer, the founder of the media startup News2Share, and Alex Rubinstein, a writer for MintPress News. Overnight, Facebook deleted hundreds of pages that it said were run by employees at Sputnik. 75 Sputnik employees have been blacklisted for posting on these pages. The reason that Facebook gave is that they promoted anti-NATO views. Is Facebook continuing its war on independent and alternative media? Thursday’s weekly series “Criminal Injustice” is about the most egregious conduct of our courts and prosecutors and how justice is denied to so many people in this country. Paul Wright, the founder and executive director of the Human Rights Defense Center and editor of Prison Legal News (PLN), and Kevin Gosztola, a writer for Shadowproof.com and co-host of the podcast Unauthorized Disclosure, join the show. President Trump announced his Missile Defense Review today at the Pentagon. This includes 20 new ground-based interceptors but also a space-based missile defense layer as the Trump administration pushes ahead with its dangerous militarization of outer space. Brian speaks with Prof. Karl Grossman, a full professor of journalism at the State University of New York, College at Old Westbury, the author of six books, and the host of a nationally aired television program focused on environmental, energy, and space issues. American citizen and journalist Marzieh Hashemi has been detained and held by the FBI since Sunday. She is not charged with any crime, but is being held because she is a “material witness.” Hashemi is an anchor for Press TV, an Iranian news outlet, and was detained at the airport when she flew to the US to visit her children and work on a documentary about the Black Lives Matter movement. Glen Ford, the executive editor of Black Agenda Report, joins the show. Veterans for Peace is Thursday’s regular segment about the contemporary issues of war and peace that affect veterans, their families, and the country as a whole. Gerry Condon, a Vietnam-era veteran and war resister who refused orders to deploy to Vietnam and lived in exile in Canada and Sweden for 6 years, organizing with other U.S. military deserters and draft resisters against the Vietnam war, and for amnesty for U.S. war resisters, joins the show. He has been a peace and solidarity activist for almost 50 years and has served on the Board of Veterans For Peace for the last 6 years, currently as national president. Two Democrats and two Republicans introduced a bill yesterday that would ban sales of US technology like phone chips to Chinese companies ZTE and Huawei. Despite ongoing negotiations between U.S. and Chinese trade officials, the campaign to stop China’s economic rise continues. David Ewing, the chair of the San Francisco chapter of the US-China People’s Friendship Association, joins the show. This week mainstream media exploded over meetings between President Trump and Russian President Putin without a US translator. But this is not without precedent -- the hosts take a look at the history of presidential diplomacy. Brian speaks with Dr. Jeremy Kuzmarov, a professor of history and author of the new book “The Russians Are Coming, Again: The First Cold War as Tragedy, the Second as Farce.”

Blast Kills US Troops in Syria: Will it Be Used to Stop Pullout Plans?

Jan 16, 2019 6899

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On today's episode of Loud & Clear, Brian Becker is joined by Jacqueline Luqman, the co-editor-in-chief of Luqman Nation, which hosts a livestream every Thursday night at 9:00 p.m. on Facebook, and Sputnik news analyst Walter Smolarek. Wednesday’s weekly series, In the News, is where the hosts look at the most important ongoing developments of the week and puts them into perspective. Today they talk about the government shutdown, confirmation hearings for Trump’s Attorney General nominee, and more. Wednesday’s regular segment, Beyond Nuclear, is about nuclear issues, including weapons, energy, waste, and the future of nuclear technology in the United States. Kevin Kamps, the Radioactive Waste Watchdog at the organization Beyond Nuclear, and Sputnik news analyst and producer Nicole Roussell, join the show. Several U.S. troops have reportedly been killed in northern Syria in a bomb blast claimed by ISIS. Opponents of a U.S. withdrawal from the country, something long demanded by Syria’s sovereign government, seized on this development to try to derail the pullout. Brian speaks with Rick Sterling, an investigative journalist and member of the Syria Solidarity Movement, and Sputnik news analyst Walter Smolarek. Marzieh Hashemi, an American journalist, was arrested on Sunday and is still being held without charge by the FBI. Hashemi works for the Iranian outlet Press TV, and many are speculating that her detention is yet another move in the Trump administration’s effort to ramp up pressure on Iran and journalists. Massoud Shadjareh, the founder of the Islamic Human Rights Commission, joins the show. Mainstream media outlets across the country are in a frenzy over Donald Trump’s decision to meet with Russian president Vladimir Putin without keeping official records; Brian puts this issue into context. Meanwhile, new developments in the ongoing struggle between the FBI and the White House have emerged, involving former FBI general counsel James Baker. Jim Kavanagh, the editor of thepolemicist.net, joins Brian and John. Purdue pharmaceutical corporation play a major role fueling the opioid crisis, an epidemic that has made the Sackler family who owns the company fabulously wealthy. Now, new internal documents reveal the direct involvement of the Sacklers in an ad campaign seeking to shift the blame for the crisis. Dr. Margaret Flowers, the co-coordinator of the news site Popular Resistance, at popularresistance.org, joins the show. A top aid to imprisoned drug lord Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman testified in court today that El Chapo paid a $100 million bribe to former Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto. While this is yet to be verified, the claim highlights the endemic corruption among the country’s political elites and newly-elected progressive president Obrador’s effort to end it. Brian speaks with Dr. John Ackerman, professor of Constitutional Law at the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM), researcher at the Legal Research Institute of UNAM, and editorial director of the Mexican Law Review, and Sputnik news analyst Walter Smolarek.

Theresa May Suffers a “Historic Defeat:” What’s Next for Brexit?

Jan 15, 2019 6934

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On today's episode of Loud & Clear, Brian Becker and John Kiriakou are joined by legendary anti-war activist and former British parliamentarian George Galloway and Sputnik news analyst Walter Smolarek. Tuesday’s weekly series is False Profits—A Weekly Look at Wall Street and Corporate Capitalism with Daniel Sankey. Financial policy analyst Daniel Sankey joins the show. President Trump’s choice to head the Justice Department, William Barr, begins his nomination hearings today before the Senate Judiciary Committee. Barr has pledged not to hamper or end the Mueller investigation, and he spent last week paying calls on Committee members. He was previously Attorney General under President George H. W. Bush. Brian and John speak with criminal defense attorney Brad Schlesinger. The New York Times reported today that a year ago President Trump suggested to aides that the United States should withdraw from NATO, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. He made the statement several more times throughout 2018, calling it a financial drain on the US. A US withdrawal would likely signal the end of the alliance. Dr. Peter Kuznik, a professor of history and director of the Nuclear Studies Institute at American University and co-author with Oliver Stone of the book and the hit Showtime television series “The Untold History of the United States,” joins the show. The Los Angeles Teachers Strike entered its second day today with no immediate end in sight. Why won’t the LA Unified School District reduce class sizes, hire more nurses, counselors, and librarians, and give teachers a raise when the district is sitting on a $1.86 billion surplus? Today, huge pickets are continuing and charter school teachers are joining the strike. Cecily Myart-Cruz, a teacher in the LA Unified School District for 23 years and the Vice President of United Teachers Los Angeles/National Education Association, the teachers union, joins Brian and John. Today’s regular segment that airs every Tuesday is called Women & Society with Dr. Hannah Dickinson. This weekly segment is about the major issues, challenges, and struggles facing women in all aspects of society. Hannah Dickinson, an associate professor at Hobart and William Smith Colleges and an organizer with the Geneva Women’s Assembly, joins the show. Representative Steve King, a Republican of Iowa, will be stripped of his committee assignments because of racist comments he made last week. But King has been making similar comments for years and the Republican leadership never said a word. Senator Chuck Grassley even endorsed him for reelection just last year. Why are the Republicans acting now? And does this mean the end of King’s career? Brian and John speak with Dr. Nazia Kazi, an activist and professor of Anthropology at Stockton University, and author of the new book “Islamophobia, Race and Global Politics,” published by Rowman & Littlefield.

Investigating Trump: Who Holds Power in the US? The FBI or President?

Jan 14, 2019 6949

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On today's episode of Loud & Clear, Brian Becker and John Kiriakou are joined by Coleen Rowley, a former FBI special agent who in 2002 was named Time Magazine person of the year along with two other whistleblowers, and Daniel Lazare, a journalist and author of three books—“The Frozen Republic,” “The Velvet Coup,” and “America's Undeclared War.” Americans learned over the weekend that the FBI had taken perhaps an unprecedented step by opening a counterintelligence investigation targeting President Trump following his decision to fire former FBI Director James Comey. Shortly after news of the counterintelligence investigation broke, the media began to heavily focus on the availability of the translators’ notes from Trump’s meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin. Monday’s regular segment Technology Rules with Chris Garaffa is a weekly guide on how monopoly corporations and the national surveillance state are threatening cherished freedoms, civil rights and civil liberties. Web developer and technologist Chris Garaffa joins the show. Senator Lindsey Graham, a Republican from South Carolina and strong supporter of President Trump, urged him today to temporarily reopen the government to allow for talks that could satisfy his demand for a border wall. Anger is mounting as hundreds of thousands of federal employees are going without pay, and polls show that most Americans don’t want a border wall and most blame Trump for the longest government shutdown in history. Brian and John speak with Kevin Zeese, the co-coordinator of Popular Resistance, you can check out their work at popularresistance.org. National Security Advisor John Bolton asked the Pentagon last year to draw up plans to attack Iran, and senior Pentagon officials are voicing deepening fear that he could precipitate a conflict with that country at a time when the US presence in the Middle East is declining. And President Trump said he would “devastate Turkey economically” if it attacks the Kurds when the US pulls its troops out of Syria. Mohammad Marandi, an expert on American studies and postcolonial literature who teaches at the University of Tehran, joins the show. Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard, a Democrat from Hawaii, announced her candidacy for president on Saturday. Gabbard is a decorated veteran of the Iraq War and is a strong proponent of peace issues. She’s also the first American Samoan and the first Hindu to be elected to Congress. Pundits believe she may draw support away from Bernie Sanders, but she has also been subject to intense criticism over her record on LGBTQ rights. Sputnik news analyst and producer Walter Smolarek joins Brian and John. Monday’s segment “Education for Liberation with Bill Ayers” is where Bill helps us look at the state of education across the country. What’s happening in our schools, colleges, and universities, and what impact does it have on the world around us? Bill Ayers, an activist, educator and the author of the book “Demand the Impossible: A Radical Manifesto,” joins Brian and John. British Prime Minister Theresa May traveled around the country to drum up support ahead of Tuesday critical parliamentary vote on Brexit. She told voters in northern England that if parliament votes down the Brexit deal there will be no alternative and it will paralyze British politics and likely lead to no Brexit. Brian and John speak with Steve Hedley, the senior assistant general secretary of the UK’s Rail, Maritime, and Transport Workers Union.

Gov’t to Unpaid Fed. Workers: ‘Hold a Garage Sale’ Or ‘Try Babysitting’

Jan 11, 2019 6765

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On today's episode of Loud & Clear, Brian Becker is joined by Jacqueline Luqman, the co-editor-in-chief of Luqman Nation, which livestreams every Thursday night at 9:00 p.m. on Facebook, and Sputnik News analyst and producer Walter Smolarek. Friday is Loud & Clear’s weekly hour-long segment The Week in Review, about the week in politics, policy, and international affairs. Today they focus on the shutdown, which is now tied for the longest in history, the troop withdrawal from Syria, and the New York Times Manafort story retraction this week. The US military today said that the troop withdrawal from Syria has already begun, but refused to give a timetable for the pullout. This move comes despite National Security Advisor Bolton’s announcement of a series of difficult-to-meet conditions that would need to be met before the withdrawal would happen. Ambassador Peter Ford, the former UK Ambassador to Syria, and Rick Sterling, an investigative journalist and member of the Syria Solidarity Movement, joins the show. Today is Day 21 of the government shutdown, tied for the longest in history. Approximately 800,000 federal workers continue to be affected by the shutdown, as well as people on Native reservations, national parks, farmers, and many others. President Trump went to the border yesterday, and there have been increasing signs that he may issue a national emergency to fund the wall. Brian speaks with Juan José Gutiérrez, the executive director of the Full Rights for Immigrants Coalition. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo delivered a high-profile address in Cairo yesterday, doubling down on the Trump administration’s hostile posture towards Iran and pushing the regime change agenda. Pompeo purposely chose to give his speech in the same location as former President Obama’s landmark 2009 address. Mohammad Marandi, an expert on American studies and postcolonial literature who teaches at the University of Tehran, joins the show. Polish authorities arrested a Huawei sales executive, the second Huawei executive arrested in recent months. Meanwhile, trade talks between the US and China have continued all week, which is being interpreted as a positive sign by financial markets. Will there be resolution from the recent trade war? Jude Woodward, the author of the new book “The US vs China: Asia's new Cold War?,” joins Brian. It’s Friday! So it’s time for the week’s worst and most misleading headlines. Brian speaks with Steve Patt, an independent journalist whose critiques of the mainstream media have been a feature of his site Left I on the News and on twitter @leftiblog, and Sputnik producer Nicole Roussell.

Chickens Coming Home to Roost: US Empire & Latin American Emigration

Jan 10, 2019 6756

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On today's episode of Loud & Clear, Brian Becker and John Kiriakou are joined by Dr. Gerald Horne, a professor of history at the University of Houston and author of many books, including “The Apocalypse of Settler Colonialism: The Roots of Slavery, White Supremacy and Capitalism in Seventeenth Century North America and the Caribbean.” President Trump is heading to the border today to speak with Customs and Border Patrol officials about the so-called “crisis” there, even though those same officials aren’t being paid because of the government shutdown. Meanwhile, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro was sworn in today for a new term as the U.S.-backed regime change effort targeting his government continues, and Brazil’s new president, Jair Bolsonaro, moved today to withdraw his country from the UN global migration pact. Thursday’s weekly series “Criminal Injustice” is about the most egregious conduct of our courts and prosecutors and how justice is denied to so many people in this country. Paul Wright, the founder and executive director of the Human Rights Defense Center and editor of Prison Legal News (PLN), and Kevin Gosztola, a writer for Shadowproof.com and co-host of the podcast Unauthorized Disclosure, join the show. President Trump said today that he will “almost definitely” declare a national emergency soon to secure funding for his border wall. He made the comment as he departed today to Texas to meet with Customs and Border Patrol officials and continue making the case for hardline anti-immigrant policies. Brian and John speak with Isabel Garcia, co-founder of Coalición de Derechos Humanos. The US has accused Russia’s Kaspersky Lab of working with Russian spies on cyberwarfare. But Politico is reporting that Kaspersky actually helped catch an NSA data thief, even though the US had completely missed the theft. Kim Zetter, the author of the book “Countdown to Zero Day: Stuxnet and the Launch of the World’s First Digital Weapon,” and a prolific journalist who has contributed to Politico, the Washington Post, the New York Times, CNN, NPR, and other outlets, joins the show. The New York Times today issued a correction--a retraction would be more appropriate--to a front-page story yesterday saying that former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort had shared polling data with a Russian contact for passage to a Russian oligarch. That information was untrue. Manafort had shared the information for passage to two Ukrainian politicians with whom he had had a business relationship. The true story undercuts any accusation of collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia. Dan Kovalik, a human rights and labor lawyer who is the author of the new book “The Plot to Control the World: How the US Spent Billions to Change the Outcome of Elections Around the World,” joins Brian and John. It’s time again for our regular weekly segment Veterans for Peace, where we’ll discuss contemporary issues of war and peace that affect veterans, their families, and the country as a whole. Gerry Condon, a Vietnam-era veteran and war resister who has been a peace and solidarity activist for almost 50 years, currently as national president of Veterans for Peace, joins the show. The UK’s departure from the European Union is fast approaching. The British parliament is now conducting the official debate on the Brexit deal ahead of a vote next week. But Prime Minister Theresa May may not have the votes necessary to pass the terms of the deal, and was dealt a blow when members of her own Conservative Party revolted to help pass a motion limiting her options in the event that the deal is rejected. Brian and John speak with Alexander Mercouris, the editor-in-chief of The Duran.

Government Shutdown Appears as Surreal Reality TV in Washington

Jan 9, 2019 6739

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On today's episode of Loud & Clear, Brian Becker and John Kiriakou are joined by Jacqueline Luqman, the co-editor-in-chief of Luqman Nation, which hosts a livestream every Thursday night at 9:00 p.m. on Facebook, and by Sputnik news analysts Nicole Roussell and Walter Smolarek. Wednesday’s weekly series, In the News, is where the hosts look at the most important ongoing developments of the week and puts them into perspective. Their conversation includes the televised address about the wall and the shutdown last night, the coup in Gabon, and the outrage over an organization rescinding a civil rights award to Angela Davis. Wednesday’s regular segment, Beyond Nuclear, is about nuclear issues, including weapons, energy, waste, and the future of nuclear technology in the United States. Kevin Kamps, the Radioactive Waste Watchdog at the organization Beyond Nuclear, and Sputnik news analyst and producer Nicole Roussell, join the show. President Trump’s Oval Office speech last night calling for $5 billion to construct a wall along the border with Mexico apparently did nothing to bring politicians on Capitol Hill any closer together. Meanwhile, with no end to the government shutdown in sight, Republicans in both the House and Senate are beginning to break away from the President. Brian and John speak with Dave Lindorff, an investigative reporter and founder of This Can’t Be Happening!, as well as a columnist for CounterPunch, and a contributor to the London Review of Books, The Nation, Extra! Tarbell, and Salon.com. Teachers in the Los Angeles Unified School District are set to go on strike tomorrow after years of frustration over class sizes, salaries, and a shortage of nurses and school counselors. The district has made several offers, but the teachers union says they don’t go far enough. So barring a last-minute deal, 32,000 teachers will walk off the job tomorrow. Cecily Myart-Cruz, a teacher in the LA Unified School District for 23 years and the Vice President of United Teachers Los Angeles/National Education Association, the teachers union, joins the show. Newly declassified information suggests that CIA Director Gina Haspel was in charge of a secret CIA base at the US military prison at Guantánamo Bay, a site notorious around the world for torture of detainees. If true, the revelation shows a much deeper involvement in CIA torture than Haspel has so far admitted to. Attorneys for former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort made a critical error yesterday when they filed motions in federal court and accidentally revealed that Manafort had met in 2016 with Konstantin Kilimnik, and passed him polling data. But once again, crucial details are being left out of the mainstream media narrative. Daniel Lazare, a journalist and author of three books—“The Frozen Republic,” “The Velvet Coup,” and “America's Undeclared War,” joins the show. States and localities across the country are expanding healthcare access to their residents, despite the fact that Republicans at the federal level are still seeking to weaken or do away with the Affordable Care Act. Single-payer healthcare is a widely popular idea, but what is the best way to go about achieving it? Brian and John speak with Dr. Margaret Flowers, a medical doctor and the co-coordinator of Popular Resistance, at PopularResistance.org.

When a “National Emergency” Isn’t a Real Emergency: Trump’s Bogus Claim

Jan 8, 2019 6871

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On today's episode of Loud & Clear, Brian Becker and John Kiriakou are joined by Jorge Barón, the executive director of the Northwest Immigrant Rights Project, and Dan Kovalik, a human rights and labor lawyer and author of the new book “The Plot to Control the World: How the US Spent Billions to Change the Outcome of Elections Around the World.” President Trump is considering declaring a national state of emergency as a way to obtain funding for his border wall. With the partial government shutdown nearing its third week and no end in sight, Trump says he is willing to take the unusual action. Immigrant rights advocates, on the other hand, say that there is absolutely no reasonable argument that the situation on the U.S.-Mexico border constitutes a national crisis. Will the Trump administration get away with this massive expansion of executive authority? Tuesday’s weekly series is False Profits—A Weekly Look at Wall Street and Corporate Capitalism with Daniel Sankey. Financial policy analyst Daniel Sankey joins the show. News broke today that prosecutors in New York charged Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya with obstruction of justice. But a closer look at the indictment reveals that U.S. authorities charger her essentially for corresponding with Russian prosecutors to advocate for her client, the corporation Prevezon. Nevertheless, the indictment is now being cited as evidence that Veselnitskaya is an agent of the Russian government, and was acting as such when she participated in the June 2016 Trump Tower meeting prior to the election. Brian and John speak with Jim Kavanagh, the editor of thepolemicist.net, and Lee Stranahan, co-host of the Radio Sputnik show Fault Lines. Today is the start of a new regular segment that will air every Tuesday called Women & Society with Dr. Hannah Dickinson. This weekly segment is about the major issues, challenges, and struggles facing women in all aspects of society. Hannah Dickinson, an associate professor at Hobart and William Smith Colleges and an organizer with the Geneva Women’s Assembly, joins the show. US-China trade talks showed signs of progress today with President Trump tweeting optimistically that a deal is likely. Tariffs on $200 billion of Chinese imports are set to jump from 10 percent to 25 percent on March 2. Meanwhile, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un is in Beijing for talks with Chinese premier Xi Jinping for the fourth time since assuming power. Andy Brennan, a journalist with Asia Times and CGTN, and Jude Woodward, the author of the new book “The US vs China: Asia's new Cold War?,” joins Brian and John. Turkish President Erdogan issued a blunt put-down of National Security Advisor John Bolton yesterday over his pledge to ensure Turkish non-aggression against Syrian Kurds, saying, “We cannot accept Bolton’s messages given from Israel,” and adding, “Bolton has made a serious mistake.” Bolton was in Turkey yesterday, but Erdogan refused to meet him. Dr. Gönül Tol, the founding director of The Middle East Institute’s Center for Turkish Studies and former professor who has taught courses on Islamist movements in Western Europe, Turkey, world politics, and the Middle East, joins the show. The French government will take new measures to deter violence against police and damage to property as it seeks to corral the Yellow Vest movement after another weekend of mass protest. More than 50,000 people demonstrated over the weekend, with some of the marches turning violent. The Macron government is taking full advantage of the opportunity to clamp down on dissent. Brian and John speak with Gilbert Mercier, editor in chief of News Junkie Post and the author of “The Orwellian Empire.”

Bolton, Bibi & Neocons Wage a War against Plans to End US War in Syria

Jan 7, 2019 7037

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On today's episode of Loud & Clear, Brian Becker and John Kiriakou are joined by Rick Sterling, an investigative journalist and member of the Syria Solidarity Movement, and Mark Sleboda, an international affairs and security analyst. National Security Advisor John Bolton backpedaled on President Trump’s promise to withdraw from Syria, saying during a visit to Israel yesterday that the withdrawal would take place only when ISIS was completely destroyed. Then, Bolton traveled to Turkey today to seek assurances from Ankara that, in the event of a US withdrawal from Syria, that country’s Kurds would be safe from an attack by the Turkish military. Monday’s regular segment Technology Rules with Chris Garaffa is a weekly guide on how monopoly corporations and the national surveillance state are threatening cherished freedoms, civil rights and civil liberties. Web developer and technologist Chris Garaffa joins the show. A second pro-Democratic Party false flag operation has been revealed in Alabama. The New York Times reported today that progressive activists set up fake social media pages that appeared to come from Alabama evangelicals, falsely representing that Republican Roy Moore would make Alabama dry. The single-state operation cost another $100,000 over two weeks, the amount that the Internet Research Agency spent nationwide in the 2016 election. Meanwhile, the “sonic attacks” in Cuba that were supposed to be from Russia have now been attributed to crickets. Brian and John speak with Daniel Lazare, a journalist and author of three books—“The Frozen Republic,” “The Velvet Coup,” and “America's Undeclared War.” Four Republican senators led by Marco Rubio of Florida last week sponsored a bill that would seek to criminalize the Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions, or BDS, movement. It would also impose harsh sanctions on Syria and increase military aid to Israel and Egypt. The bill has broad bipartisan support in the Senate and will be called to an expedited vote as early as today. House Foreign Affairs Committee chairman Elliott Engel, a Democrat, said that he will seek to push the bill through the House. Miko Peled, the author of “Injustice: The Story of the Holy Land Foundation Five,” joins the show. Monday’s segment “Education for Liberation with Bill Ayers” is where Bill helps us look at the state of education across the country. What’s happening in our schools, colleges, and universities, and what impact does it have on the world around us? Bill, John, and Brian focus on the Los Angeles teachers who plan to strike on Thursday. Bill Ayers, an activist, educator and the author of the book “Demand the Impossible: A Radical Manifesto,” joins Brian and John. Today we enter Day 17 of the partial government shutdown, already the second-longest in American history. President Trump is threatening to upend negotiations with Congress by declaring a national emergency that would allow him to build his border wall while completely bypassing Congress. Negotiations between Republicans and Democrats over the weekend did not yield any results. Juan Carlos Ruiz, cofounder of the New Sanctuary Movement, joins the show. Jim Bridenstine, the NASA Administrator, was forced to rescind an invitation to the head of the Russian space agency to visit the United States after the offer was criticized by key senators. Space historically has been a point on which the US and Russia have cooperated, but is this cancellation yet another sign of a dangerous arms race leading to the militarization of space? Brian and John speak with Prof. Karl Grossman, a full professor of journalism at the State University of New York, College at Old Westbury, the author of six books, and the host of a nationally aired television program focused on environmental, energy, and space issues.

Ready For More Austerity on Workers? Here Comes Pelosi!

Jan 4, 2019 6770

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On today's episode of Loud & Clear, Brian Becker and John Kiriakou are joined by Jacqueline Luqman, the co-editor-in-chief of Luqman Nation, which livestreams every Thursday night at 9:00 p.m. on Facebook, Ted Rall, an award-winning editorial cartoonist and columnist whose work is at rall.com, and Sputnik News analyst and producer Walter Smolarek. It’s time for our weekly segment The Week in Review. The 116th Congress took office yesterday with Nancy Pelosi as Speaker. This Congress is unlike any other, with a record number of women, including two Muslim women, the first two Latina congresswomen from Texas, the first two African-American Congresswomen from New England, a former refugee from Somalia, and New York’s Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who’s still in her 20s. The issues this Congress will face are daunting, beginning with the Democrats’ ideas on PayGo, or pay-as-you-go spending, investigations, leadership challenges, and legislative plans. The road ahead, as one part of a divided government, will not be easy. Job growth ended 2018 on a powerful note, with the economy adding 312,000 new non-farm jobs in December. Unemployment rose to 3.9 percent as more people entered the job market and the labor force participation rate increased to 63.1 percent. A broader measure of unemployment that includes discouraged workers and those holding part-time jobs for economic reasons held steady at 7.6 percent. Is the economy truly booming? What’s going on beneath the surface? Richard Wolff, a professor of Economics Emeritus, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, founder of the organization Democracy at Work, and author of “Capitalism's Crisis Deepens: Essays on the Global Economic Meltdown,” joins the show. French police have arrested a leader of the Yellow Vest movement for a second time in a clear sign that the government is following through on its threats to crack down on protests that have shaken France for the past six weeks. Eric Drouet, a 33-year-old truck driver was charged with “organizing an undeclared demonstration” for planning to meet six colleagues outside a McDonald’s restaurant. He was earlier charged with “carrying a wooden club,” leading many in the media to speculate that he is being targeted for his political actions. Brian and John speak with Gilbert Mercier, Editor in Chief of News Junkie Post and the author of “The Orwellian Empire.” It’s Friday! So it’s time for the week’s worst and most misleading headlines. Brian and John speak with Steve Patt, an independent journalist whose critiques of the mainstream media have been a feature of his blog Left I on the News and on twitter @leftiblog, and Sputnik producer Nicole Roussell.

Is Trump Really Withdrawing U.S. Troops from Syria?

Jan 3, 2019 7006

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On today's episode of Loud & Clear, Brian Becker and John Kiriakou are joined by Peter Ford, former UK Ambassador to Syria. President Trump held his first cabinet meeting of the new year yesterday and -- after having his secretaries take turns gushing about his wonderful leadership -- cast doubt on his previously-announced withdrawal from Syria, saying that he had not announced a timetable. Will the administration and the Pentagon slow-walk the U.S. withdrawal? Will U.S. troops ever leave at all? The hosts continue the weekly series “Criminal Injustice,” where we talk about the most egregious conduct of our courts and prosecutors and how justice is denied to so many people in this country. Kevin Gosztola, a writer for Shadowproof.com and co-host of the podcast Unauthorized Disclosure, and Paul Wright, the founder and Executive Director of the Human Rights Defense Center, joins the show. Major technology companies came under heavy pressure on Wall Street today after Apple announced an unprecedented cut in its sales forecast, citing falling iPhone sales and pressure from the trade war with China. It was the first time in more than 15 years that Apple cut its earnings forecast. Shares of Samsung, Microsoft, Intel, and companies that make components for Apple also fell. And this might just be the tip of the iceberg as other companies brace for declining revenues. Brian and John speak with Dr. Jack Rasmus, a professor of economics at Saint Mary's College of California and author of “Central Bankers at the End of Their Ropes: Monetary Policy and the Coming Depression.” The New York Times yesterday published an article saying that sexual harassment and sexual discrimination were serious problems in Bernie Sanders’s 2016 presidential campaign. The article notes that nearly a dozen former campaign staff members say that Sanders’s failure to address the problem in 2016 could jeopardize a run for president in 2020. Sanders has apologized to any woman who felt mistreated, but many are also questioning the motives of the New York Times, the ultimate elite news outlet that has been consistently hostile to progressive candidates and movements. Julie Hurwitz, a civil rights attorney and partner at the law firm Goodman, Hurwitz and James, and Sputnik News analyst Nicole Roussell join the show. The hosts continue the regular weekly segment Veterans for Peace, where we’ll discuss contemporary issues of war and peace that affect veterans, their families, and the country as a whole. Gerry Condon, a Vietnam-era veteran and war resister who serves as national president of Veterans for Peace, joins Brian and John. In an historic first, a Chinese lunar rover successfully landed on the far side of the moon yesterday. Chinese scientists say the landing was a bulls-eye. The rover will conduct a number of experiments and will study the interaction between solar winds and the moon’s surface. But the biggest impact of the landing may really be political. Jude Woodward, author of the book “The US vs China: Asia's new Cold War?”, joins the show. President Joseph Kabila, who has ruled the Democratic Republic of the Congo with an iron fist, is stepping down after 17 years following mass protests demanding democracy and an end to the persecution of opposition activists. After repeatedly postponing elections, votes from opposition strongholds are just trickling in, and Kabila has shut down the country’s internet and observers are complaining of widespread electoral irregularities. Brian and John speak with Kambale Musavuli, national spokesman for The Friends of the Congo.

Dysfunctional America: The Politics Behind a Government Shutdown

Jan 2, 2019 6741

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On today's episode of Loud & Clear, Brian Becker and John Kiriakou are joined by Jacqueline Luqman, the co-editor-in-chief of Luqman Nation, which hosts a livestream every Thursday night at 9:00 p.m. on Facebook, and Sputnik news analyst Walter Smolarek. Wednesday’s weekly series, In the News, is where the hosts look at the most important ongoing developments of the week and put them into perspective. Today they look at the government shutdown and moves by possible 2020 presidential contenders. Wednesday’s regular segment, Beyond Nuclear, is about nuclear issues, including weapons, energy, waste, and the future of nuclear technology in the United States. Kevin Kamps, the Radioactive Waste Watchdog at the organization Beyond Nuclear, and Sputnik news analyst and producer Nicole Roussell, join the show. The government shutdown entered its 12th day today, and meanwhile, everything from the Environmental Protection Agency to the IRS to the national parks and the Department of Homeland Security are closed. That didn’t stop border guards from firing tear gas at would-be migrants. Brian and John speak with Juan José Gutiérrez, the executive director of the Full Rights for Immigrants Coalition. The 2020 race for president is heating up--for both parties. Massachusetts Democratic Senator Elizabeth Warren effectively announced over the weekend that she was running for president, the first of as many as two dozen Democrats thinking of making the leap. Meanwhile, Utah’s new Republican Senator Mitt Romney harshly criticized President Trump in a New Year’s Day op-ed in the Washington Post. And he’s not the only Republican being talked about as a primary challenger to President Trump. Sputnik News analyst Walter Smolarek joins the show. A new Congress is about to be sworn in, and Democrats will assume control of the House of Representatives, threatening to use their committee chairmanships to escalate the Mueller investigation and other investigations targeting the Trump administration. What does 2019 hold for Russiagate? Daniel Lazare, a journalist and author of three books—“The Frozen Republic,” “The Velvet Coup,” and “America's Undeclared War,” joins Brian and John. In a New Year’s address, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un said that he was ready to meet again with President Trump at any time and he reaffirmed his commitment to denuclearization. But Kim also warned that his country might have to pursue what he called a “new way” if the United States insisted on imposing new sanctions. President Trump, meanwhile, said that he welcomes another meeting. Hyun Lee, a member of the Solidarity Committee for Democracy and Peace in Korea and writer for Zoominkorea.org, joins the show. Yesterday was Jair Bolsonaro’s inauguration, and Brazil’s new president is very much in the mould of Donald Trump, but even more bombastic. He has said that he will “rid Brazil of socialism,” and would open vast portions of the Amazon rainforest to developers. President Trump tweeted to Bolsonaro, “The USA is with you!” Brian and John speak with Aline Piva, a journalist and a member of Brazilians for Democracy and Social Justice.

North & South Korea Push Peace Plan Forward Despite Pentagon Opposition

Dec 31, 2018 6784

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On today's episode of Loud & Clear, Brian Becker and John Kiriakou are joined by Jacqueline Luqman, the co-editor-in-chief of Luqman Nation, which livestreams every Thursday night at 9:00 p.m. on Facebook, Ted Rall, an award-winning editorial cartoonist and columnist whose work is at rall.com, and Sputnik News analyst and producer Walter Smolarek. 2018 is coming to an end. In this special Year in Review segment, Brian and John discuss the biggest stories of the year, including the immigration crackdown, US relations with North Korea, heightened confrontation with Iran, a trade war with China, the Mueller probe and the non-stop hysteria generated by politicians and the corporate owned media against Russia, intensifying wildfires, and global warming. As the year ends today, Brian and John continue reviewing the year in their regular segment False Profits—A Weekly Look at Wall Street and Corporate Capitalism with Daniel Sankey. Financial policy analyst Daniel Sankey joins the show to cover the big picture economic trends of 2018. Today’s last 2018 Technology Rules with Chris Garaffa segment goes over the year in how monopoly corporations and the national surveillance state threaten cherished freedoms, civil rights and civil liberties. Brian and John go over changes and developments in the world of technology over the past year. Web developer and technologist Chris Garaffa joins the show.

Breakthrough for Mumia Abu-Jamal, Most Famous U.S. Political Prisoner

Dec 28, 2018 6748

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On today's episode of Loud & Clear, Brian Becker and John Kiriakou are joined by Jacqueline Luqman, the co-editor-in-chief of Luqman Nation, which livestreams every Thursday night at 9:00 p.m. on Facebook, and with Sputnik News analyst and producer Walter Smolarek. Friday is Loud & Clear’s weekly hour-long segment The Week in Review, about the week in politics, policy, and international affairs. Today they focus on the important new ruling in the case of world-renowned political prisoner Mumia Abu Jamal, the government shutdown that’s in its seventh day, and new updates in the Russiagate saga. Syrian troops have arrived on the front lines at the flashpoint town of Manbij as Kurdish forces appealed to Damascus for help against Turkey in light of President Trump’s decision to pull troops out of Syria. Turkish President Erdogan is threatening to send troops across the border to take Manbij and to rout the Kurds. Rick Sterling, an investigative journalist and member of the Syria Solidarity Movement, joins the show. It’s Friday! So it’s time for the week’s worst and most misleading headlines. Brian and John speak with Steve Patt, an independent journalist whose critiques of the mainstream media have been a feature of his blog Left I on the News and on twitter @leftiblog, and Sputnik producer Nicole Roussell. This interview was originally aired in October of 2018. It focuses on the use of Agent Orange during the Vietnam War and is one of the best 2018 shows. Paul Cox and Marjorie Cohn joined the show. Paul is a Vietnam veteran and a member of Veterans for Peace. He focuses on advocating for compensation for victims of Agent Orange. Marjorie is a professor emerita at Thomas Jefferson School of Law and the former president of the National Lawyers Guild.

Trump Visits Iraq, Pledges to Continue US Occupation

Dec 27, 2018 6276

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On today's episode of Loud & Clear, Brian Becker and John Kiriakou are joined by Gerry Condon, a Vietnam-era veteran and war resister who has been a peace and solidarity activist for almost 50 years, currently as national president of Veterans for Peace. Veterans for Peace is Thursday’s regular segment about the contemporary issues of war and peace that affect veterans, their families, and the country as a whole. They start today with President Trump’s surprise visit to Iraq yesterday, his first into a combat zone as president. Instead of telling the troops they might go home soon, following his recent decisions in Syria and Afghanistan, the president continued the presidential legacy of discussing military strategy while keeping troops away from home instead. One of the year’s most important Loud & Clear interviews is being replayed from November. Brian and John talked to investigative journalist and historian Gareth Porter about the Pentagon’s deepening control over U.S. politics, government and the economy in what he calls America’s Permanent-War Complex. Six Israeli F-16s attacked Syria yesterday. But this wasn’t just any attack. The Israelis used civilian flights headed to Damascus and Beirut as cover for the operation, directly endangering the passengers onboard. And this is according to the Israeli press. The Syrian Defense Ministry said that it did not engage the Israelis because it did not want to accidentally hit the passenger jets. Brian and John speak with Ambassador Peter Ford, the former UK Ambassador to Syria. Billionaire Reid Hoffman, the founder of LinkedIn, has acknowledged that he partially funded New Knowledge, a group that used disinformation tactics and fake news to influence the 2017 Alabama senate race in a successful effort to sink Republican Roy Moore. Last week, Facebook suspended five accounts linked to the operation for “engaging in inauthentic behavior.” One of those accounts belonged to Jonathan Morgan, CEO of New Knowledge. Jim Kavanagh, the editor of thepolemicist.net, joins the show. This May 30 interview is one of Loud & Clear’s best 2018 shows, focusing on Washington’s hundreds of think tanks. These quasi-academic institutions are supposed to be a home for subject matter experts to think the big thoughts, write important papers and books, and, perhaps to influence policy. But the truth isn’t that simple. Most think tanks are financed by special interests like defense contractors, foreign governments, and partisan billionaires. Very few Americans realize the impact these groups have on our government and on our politics. Max Blumenthal, a bestselling author and journalist, whose latest film is “Killing Gaza,” senior editor of Grayzone Project, and co-host of the podcast “Moderate Rebels,” joins Brian and John.

Facebook Suspends Page of Russiagate Accuser for “False Flag Operation”

Dec 26, 2018 6954

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On today's episode of Loud & Clear, Brian Becker and John Kiriakou are joined by Dan Cohen, a journalist and a documentary filmmaker, most recently of the film “Killing Gaza.” Last week we discussed two reports that were made public after being commissioned by the Senate Intelligence Committee. Those reports purported to document Russian interference in the US electoral process and senators from both parties lauded the research as “proof positive” that social media companies and the government should work more closely together to police and block fake news. But the truth is that the authors of those reports were the ones who engaged in electoral manipulation. They manipulated social media platforms to impact the 2017 special election for an Alabama senate race, utilizing Russian bots and troll farms and then accusing the Russians themselves of interference. Now one of the authors has had his Facebook page suspected and his credibility ruined. False Profits—A Weekly Look at Wall Street and Corporate Capitalism with Daniel Sankey is Tuesday’s regular segment that is airing today. Financial policy analyst Daniel Sankey joins the show. An 8-year-old Guatemalan boy died yesterday in the custody of Customs and Border Protection in New Mexico. This is the second death of a child in CBP custody in the past two weeks. The Congressional Hispanic Caucus has called on CBP to conduct a probe into what they call “systemic failures” to protect and care for children in custody. Human rights activists say that vulnerable children are kept in overcrowded, unsafe, and cold facilities called “hielaras,” Spanish for “ice boxes.” Brian and John speak with Juan José Gutiérrez, the executive director of the Full Rights for Immigrants Coalition. The partial government shutdown is in its fifth day today with no end in sight--at least not in the near term. President Trump this morning said that he was content to keep the government closed indefinitely, so long as Democrats will not agree to fund his border wall, which he is now calling, “a border wall or border fence or whatever you want to call it.” Senators speaking anonymously told the Washington Post yesterday, however, that negotiations are underway, and there could be an agreement to end the shutdown as soon as next week. Ted Rall, an award-winning editorial cartoonist and columnist whose work is at www.rall.com, joins the show. Wednesday’s regular segment, Beyond Nuclear, is about nuclear issues, including weapons, energy, waste, and the future of nuclear technology in the United States. Kevin Kamps, the Radioactive Waste Watchdog at the organization Beyond Nuclear, and Sputnik news analyst and producer Nicole Roussell, join the show.

A Sad Christmas Message: Homelessness in America is Growing. But Why?

Dec 24, 2018 6846

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On today's episode of Loud & Clear, Brian Becker and John Kiriakou are joined by Richard Wolff, a professor of Economics Emeritus, University of Massachusetts, Amherst; founder of the organization Democracy at Work; and his latest book is “Capitalism's Crisis Deepens: Essays on the Global Economic Meltdown.” On any given night, more than 554,000 people are homeless in America. In New York, authorities report that 114,659 children are either homeless or living in temporary housing. And in the past six years, homelessness in Los Angeles has surged 75 percent to more than 55,000 people. Hunger, disease, and violence are rife in homeless communities. How can something like this happen--how can it keep getting worse--in the richest country in the world? National Security Adviser John Bolton gave a speech last week to the right-wing Heritage Foundation, where he revealed his administration’s new “Africa Strategy.” His understanding of history on the continent has been criticized as lacking understanding of the white supremacy and colonialism that has plagued Africa for centuries. Dr. Gerald Horne, a professor of history at the University of Houston and author of many books, including “Blows Against the Empire: U.S. Imperialism in Crisis,” joins the show. President Trump over the weekend decided to fire Secretary of Defense James Mattis effective a week from today, rather than to allow him to remain in his position until his resignation became effective in February. Mattis’s resignation letter embarrassed the president and was the talk of the right-wing chat shows all weekend. And while Mattis has signed an order to begin withdrawing troops from Syria, no such order has been given for Afghanistan, where the President says he wants to cut the US troop presence in half. Brian and John speak with Ambassador Peter Ford, the former UK Ambassador to Syria. The Times of London is reporting that the British government is considering freezing the assets of Sputnik and RT employees in the UK, whom they accuse of being engaged in “information warfare” to destabilize Britain. Is this a brazen attempt to force RT and Sputnik out of business by attacking their employees? Mark Hirst, editor-in-chief of Sputnik UK, joins the show. Monday’s segment “Education for Liberation with Bill Ayers” is where Bill helps us look at the state of education across the country. What’s happening in our schools, colleges, and universities, and what impact does it have on the world around us? Bill Ayers, an activist, educator and the author of the book “Demand the Impossible: A Radical Manifesto,” joins Brian and John. Monday’s regular segment Technology Rules with Chris Garaffa is a weekly guide on how monopoly corporations and the national surveillance state are threatening cherished freedoms, civil rights and civil liberties. Web developer and technologist Chris Garaffa joins the show.

Committed to Endless US Occupation of Syria, Mattis Resigns

Dec 21, 2018 7037

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On today's episode of Loud & Clear, Brian Becker and John Kiriakou are joined by Jacqueline Luqman, the co-editor-in-chief of Luqman Nation, which livestreams every Thursday night at 9:00 p.m. on Facebook, and with Sputnik News analyst and producer Walter Smolarek. Friday is Loud & Clear’s weekly hour-long segment The Week in Review, about the week in politics, policy, and international affairs. Today they focus on Defense Secretary Jim Mattis’s resignation, the troop drawdown in Afghanistan, new rearrangements in Saudi Arabian intelligence services, and the possible government shutdown. In a series of sharply worded tweets this morning, President Trump promised a “very long” government shutdown if Congress does not approve his border wall. The House approved a temporary funding measure yesterday by a vote of 217-185 and sent the bill to the Senate. But even if it passes there, Trump said he would veto it. Brian and John speak with Abdushahid Luqman, the co-editor-in-chief of Luqman Nation, which livestreams every Thursday night at 9:00 p.m. on Facebook. Fears had been growing that authorities could have taken advantage of the holiday weekend to evict Julian Assange from the Ecuadorian embassy in London. But a group of German parliamentarians on Thursday condemned the Trump administration for pursuing the arrest and criminal trial of the Wikileaks co-founder, and the UN made a strong statement of support. Still, activists are on guard to mobilize at a moments notice. Suzie Dawson, an activist, journalist and the president of the Internet Party of New Zealand, joins the show. Earlier this week, the US media was dominated by the news that a report produced for the Senate Intel Committee documented a massive Russian effort to influence the 2016 election campaign with targeted messaging towards the African-American community. This was presented as proof, as a smoking gun, proving that the Russians indeed interfered in the US election in the effort to elect Donald Trump. Less known and not widely reported, is that the same organization that produced the report, called New Knowledge, had itself used the same tactics that were attributed to Russia in what the company admitted was “an elaborate, false-flag operation that planted the idea that [Republican Roy] Moore’s campaign [in Alabama] was amplified on social media by a Russian botnet.” In fact, the same organization spent nearly $100,000 in this false-flag campaign including purchasing Russian bots to intervene in the Alabama election so as to help Democratic candidate Doug Jones. Jim Kavanagh, the editor of thepolemicist.net, whose most recent piece is “For What It’s Worth: The Yellow Vests and the Left,” joins Brian and John. Thousands of Catalonian protesters took to the streets today to oppose a cabinet meeting in Barcelona. Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez called the meeting, which coincidentally takes place exactly one year after the central government called snap elections in Catalonia, to discuss raising the minimum wage and to rename the airport in an effort to placate supporters of Catalonian independence. But the continued imprisonment of Catalonian political leaders and the repressive tactics of the Civil Guard police force has caused outrage in the region. Dick Nichols, the correspondent for Spain and Catalonia for Green Left Weekly, joins the show. It’s Friday! So it’s time for the week’s worst and most misleading headlines. Brian and John speak with Steve Patt, an independent journalist whose critiques of the mainstream media have been a feature of his blog Left I on the News and on twitter @leftiblog, and Sputnik producer Nicole Roussell.

Anti-Russia Crusade Revives Cold War Slander Against African Americans

Dec 20, 2018 6968

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On today's episode of Loud & Clear, Brian Becker and John Kiriakou are joined by Dr. Gerald Horne, a professor of history at the University of Houston and author of many books, including “The Counter-Revolution of 1776: Slave Resistance and the Origins of the United States of America.” The New York Times reported earlier this week that Russia made an extraordinary effort in 2016 to influence the votes of African Americans, using an array of tactics to suppress voter turnout among Democrats and unleashing what it called a “blizzard of activity” on Instagram. But the implication of the article harkens back to the bad old days of segregation. It revives the racist narrative that African-American voters are so gullible to outside agitators that they effectively have no control over their own votes. Thursday’s weekly series “Criminal Injustice” is about the most egregious conduct of our courts and prosecutors and how justice is denied to so many people in this country. Paul Wright, the founder and executive director of the Human Rights Defense Center and editor of Prison Legal News (PLN), and Kevin Gosztola, a writer for Shadowproof.com and co-host of the podcast Unauthorized Disclosure, join the show. President Trump’s surprise announcement yesterday that he would pull all US troops out of Syria has ignited a firestorm of opposition among the political elite. Democrats, even those who were historically anti-war, have joined Republicans in their outrage that the United States might “lose” Syria. Brian and John speak with Massoud Shadjareh, the founder of the Islamic Human Rights Commission. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue announced this morning that he would unilaterally tighten work requirements related to food stamps, a move that threatens hundreds of thousands of people’s access to the most basic of necessities. Anoa Changa, the director of political advocacy and a managing editor of Progressive Army, and host of the show The Way With Anoa, joins the show. Despite ongoing negotiations, North Korea continues to suffer under a near total economic blockade imposed by the United States and other world powers. This has had a devastating effect on the North Korean people, and now even their efforts to mitigate the damage through scientific research is being demonized as a nefarious military plot. Author and professor Tim Beal, whose most recent book is “Crisis in Korea,” joins Brian and John. Veterans for Peace is Thursday’s regular segment about the contemporary issues of war and peace that affect veterans, their families, and the country as a whole. Gerry Condon, a Vietnam-era veteran and war resister who refused orders to deploy to Vietnam and lived in exile in Canada and Sweden for 6 years, organizing with other U.S. military deserters and draft resisters against the Vietnam war, and for amnesty for U.S. war resisters, joins the show. He has been a peace and solidarity activist for almost 50 years and has served on the Board of Veterans For Peace for the last 6 years, currently as national president. A federal jury yesterday found a former Blackwater security contractor guilty of murder in the 2007 shootings of dozens of unarmed Iraqi civilians. This was the second time that former sniper Nicholas Slatten had been found guilty in the case. The first verdict was overturned. This comes as Donald Trump is intervening in the case of Green Beret Major Matthew Golsteyn, who admitted to carrying out a summary execution of an Afghan prisoner. Brian and John speak with Kevin Zeese, the co-coordinator of Popular Resistance, whose work is at popularresistance.org.

Senate Passes "First Step" Act, But Mass Incarceration Still Intact

Dec 19, 2018 6888

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On today's episode of Loud & Clear, Brian Becker and John Kiriakou are joined by Jacqueline Luqman, the co-editor-in-chief of Luqman Nation, which hosts a livestream every Thursday night at 9:00 p.m. on Facebook, and Sputnik news analyst Walter Smolarek. Wednesday’s weekly series, In the News, is where the hosts looks at the most important ongoing developments of the week and puts them into perspective. Today they talk about the First Step Act getting passed through the Senate, Mike Flynn’s hearing yesterday, and the Israeli military crackdown on the West Bank. Wednesday’s regular segment, Beyond Nuclear, is about nuclear issues, including weapons, energy, waste, and the future of nuclear technology in the United States. Kevin Kamps, the Radioactive Waste Watchdog at the organization Beyond Nuclear, and Sputnik news analyst and producer Nicole Roussell, join the show. Newly released internal documents reveal that, for years, Facebook gave some of the world’s largest tech companies more intrusive access to its users private data than it had previously disclosed, effectively exempting those companies from privacy rules. In other words, Facebook sold your private data and then lied to you about it. Brian and John speak with New Haven, Connecticut by web developer and technologist Chris Garaffa. A Defense Department official confirmed President Trump’s tweet this morning that he will order the withdrawal of all US troops from Syria. The president said that the only reason the US was in Syria was to defeat ISIS. That has been accomplished and so the troops will come home. Neither the president nor the Defense Department, however, gave a timeline for the withdrawal. Rick Sterling, an investigative journalist and member of the Syria Solidarity Movement, and Sputnik news analyst Walter Smolarek, join the show. The Federal Reserve announced at 2:00 today that it would increase the prime interest rate by 0.25 percent to ward off inflation. Steve Keen, the author of “Debunking Economics” and the world’s first crowdfunded economist, whose work is at patreon.com/ProfSteveKeen, joins Brian and John. Police in Cleveland confirmed yesterday that an African American man was denied the right to cash his paycheck because bank tellers thought he made too much money for the check to be good. When he demanded that they call his employer to confirm the check’s authenticity, the tellers called 911 and the man was handcuffed and put into a police car. The police and bank officials later apologized. Kofi Ademola, an activist and organizer with the Black Lives Matter movement, and Sputnik news analyst Walter Smolarek, join the show. In a major policy reversal, the Trump Administration is changing the way it reviews sponsors who want to care for migrant children in custody. The change could lead to thousands of children being released to family members already in the US. There are currently nearly 15,000 unaccompanied children being held in government detention centers. Brian and John speak with Isabel Garcia, co-founder of Coalición de Derechos Humanos.

Mike Flynn’s Explosive Sentencing Hearing

Dec 18, 2018 6720

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On today's episode of Loud & Clear, Brian Becker and John Kiriakou are joined by Coleen Rowley, a former FBI agent who in 2002 was named Time Magazine person of the year, and Dan Kovalik, a human rights and labor lawyer and author of “The Plot to Control the World: How the US Spent Billions to Change the Outcome of Elections Around the World.” A federal judge in Washington today delayed the highly anticipated sentencing of former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn for lying to the FBI as part of the Mueller investigation related to lobbying he conducted on behalf of the Turkish government. Prosecutors had asked for leniency because of the degree to which Flynn cooperated in the Mueller probe, but Judge Emmet Sullivan’s incendiary comments during the hearing led to the sentencing being delayed. Tuesday’s weekly series is False Profits—A Weekly Look at Wall Street and Corporate Capitalism. Regular “False Profits” guest Daniel Sankey is out sick today, but Loud & Clear is honored to be joined by Dr. Jack Rasmus, a professor of economics at Saint Mary's College of California and author of “Central Bankers at the End of Their Ropes: Monetary Policy and the Coming Depression,” whose work is at www.jackrasmus.com. President Trump has decided to shut down his embattled and much-criticized personal charitable foundation amid allegations that he used it for personal and political gain. New York Attorney General Barbara Underwood said the president had also agreed to give away the remaining money. She added that the president had engaged in what she called “a shocking pattern of illegality.” Brian and John speak with Ted Rall, an award-winning editorial cartoonist and columnist whose work is at www.rall.com. Headlines in all major US newspapers and news websites today crowed about the firing of former CBS Chief Les Moonves for sexual misconduct. But even in this #MeToo era, nearly every headline mentioned Moonves’s loss of a $120 million severance package, but did NOT mention the accusations against him. Jodi Dean, a professor of Political Science at Hobart and William Smith Colleges and her latest book is “Crowds and Party,” joins the show. US negotiators in Abu Dhabi yesterday met with members of the Taliban leadership and representatives of the Afghan government to discuss a possible peace in Afghanistan. It’s possible that the Taliban and government delegations could meet face to face for the first time. The talks were supposed to last one day, but they’ve stretched into a second, raising hopes of substantive advances. Dr. Marvin Weinbaum, the Scholar-in-Residence and director of the Middle East Institute’s Center for Pakistan and Afghanistan Studies, joins Brian and John. In a speech marking the 40th anniversary of China’s economic reform, President Xi Jinping vowed to continue market liberalization, but made no major policy announcements. He asserted the importance of strong Communist Party control of the economy and society and said in a reference to the United States that no master can control the Chinese people. Meanwhile, the intelligence chiefs of the Five Eyes countries met in Nova Scotia to discuss Chinese electronics giant Huawei. John Ross, senior fellow at Chongyang Institute, Renmin University of China, and an award-winning resident columnist with several Chinese media organizations, joins the show. The Trump Administration earlier this year laid out plans to weaken emission controls on vehicles. The changes were so dramatic that even automakers balked at the notion of making and selling dirtier cars and trucks. But it turns out that another group was behind the push. The New York Times reports that it was US oil companies leading the charge to allow cars and trucks to emit more pollution. Brian and John speak with Dr. Fred Magdoff, professor emeritus of plant and soil science at the University of Vermont and the co-author of “What Every Environmentalist Needs to Know About Capitalism” and “Creating an Ecological Society: Toward a Revolutionary Transformation” from Monthly Review Press.

Who Cares about Facts? Reports to Senate Add to Anti-Russia Hysteria

Dec 17, 2018 6829

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On today's episode of Loud & Clear, Brian Becker and John Kiriakou are joined by Daniel Lazare, a journalist and author of three books—“The Frozen Republic,” “The Velvet Coup,” and “America's Undeclared War,” and Jim Kavanagh, the editor of thepolemicist.net. Two reports prepared for the Senate Intelligence Committee boldly assert that Russians working at the Internet Research Agency clearly sought to influence the 2016 election to the benefit of the Republican Party. But they don’t include anything about the dollar amounts spent (they’re absurdly low), when they were spent (56% after the election), or that when this agency actually showed up in court post-indictment, that the prosecution asked for a continuance -- and hasn’t made any moves since. Monday’s regular segment Technology Rules with Chris Garaffa is a weekly guide on how monopoly corporations and the national surveillance state are threatening cherished freedoms, civil rights and civil liberties. Web developer and technologist Chris Garaffa joins the show. There are only five days to go before a partial government shutdown, but the White House and Congressional Democrats are digging in their heels. As members of Congress left Washington for the Christmas holiday, Presidential Senior Advisor Stephen Miller said the administration will do “anything that is necessary” to build a border wall. But Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said, “the President is not going to get a wall in any form.” Brian and John speak with Jorge Barón, the executive director of the Northwest Immigrant Rights Project. US airstrikes over the weekend killed 62 purported members of the al-Shabaab fundamentalist armed group affiliated with al-Qaeda in a remote area of southern Somalia. A spokesman for the Pentagon’s Africa Command, or AFRICOM, said the strikes were carried out jointly with the Somali government and were designed to prevent future Shabaab attacks. But what’s behind the stepped-up role of AFRICOM that these strikes reflect? Is the U.S. engaged in a major escalation of its drone war program? Glen Ford, the executive editor of Black Agenda Report, joins the show. A federal judge in Texas on Friday struck down the Affordable Care Act, ruling that because Congress changed the tax law associated with it, the entire system is no longer legal. The decision will be appealed immediately and will likely end up in the Supreme Court. Meanwhile, experts say that the decision will affect literally every American. Dr. Margaret Flowers, a medical doctor and the co-coordinator of Popular Resistance, at PopularResistance.org, joins Brian and John. President Trump on Friday named as acting Chief of Staff OMB Director Mick Mulvaney. Mulvaney also is director of the Consumer Financial Protection Board. Both of these latter positions make him susceptible to Congressional subpoena. Why did Trump finally settle on Mulvaney, someone already with two jobs, after an embarrassingly protracted search for a Chief of Staff? Dave Lindorff, an investigative reporter and founder of This Can’t Be Happening! as well as a columnist for CounterPunch and a contributor to The Nation, joins the show. Monday’s segment “Education for Liberation with Bill Ayers” is where Bill helps us look at the state of education across the country. What’s happening in our schools, colleges, and universities, and what impact does it have on the world around us? Bill Ayers, an activist, educator and the author of the book “Demand the Impossible: A Radical Manifesto,” joins Brian and John.

Trump’s Lawyer Off to Jail: What’s Next in Mueller Probe?

Dec 14, 2018 6795

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On today's episode of Loud & Clear, Brian Becker and John Kiriakou are joined by Jacqueline Luqman, the co-editor-in-chief of Luqman Nation, which livestreams every Thursday night at 9:00 p.m. on Facebook, and with Sputnik News analyst and producer Walter Smolarek. Friday is Loud & Clear’s weekly hour-long segment The Week in Review, about the week in politics, policy, and international affairs. Today they focus on Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador’s roll back of anti-labor teaching regulations and making education free, US-China relations through the Huawai arrest, North Carolina election fraud, and Michael Cohen’s week. On Wednesday of this week, federal court judge Emmet Sullivan issued new orders demanding that the Mueller investigation provide to the judge, who’s overseeing the sentencing of former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn, FBI memoranda and other documentation held by the FBI regarding how and why the FBI initially interviewed Flynn on January 24, 2017. That was the day that Michael Flynn reported to FBI agents about his discussions with the Russian ambassador in Washington, D.C. in December, 2016. Flynn ultimately pled guilty to one count of lying to the FBI about his discussions with the Russian ambassador in that meeting. The hosts talk about what the judge’s order might mean for Michael Flynn and the Mueller probe. Brian and John speak with Dan Kovalik, a human rights and labor lawyer who is the author of the new book “The Plot to Control the World: How the US Spent Billions to Change the Outcome of Elections Around the World.” The FBI has raided the home of a government employee who apparently sent documents to Congressional oversight committees showing fraud committed by the Clinton Foundation. Senator Chuck Grassley, an Iowa Republican who is a champion of whistleblowers, sent a letter to the FBI asking them to explain why the whistleblower should not be protected under federal statute. So far, Grassley has been ignored. Meanwhile, a Congressional hearing on the Foundation yesterday exploded as Republicans attacked their own witnesses for refusing to answer questions. Brad Birkenfeld, a famed whistleblower who single handedly brought down international money laundering at banking giant UBS, joins the show. A 7-year-old girl has died of shock and dehydration after being detained by the Border Patrol in New Mexico. The girl and her father were taken into custody after crossing the border. She was not given any food or water, and eight hours later, with a temperature of 105.7 degrees, she began having seizures. She died shortly thereafter. Juan José Gutiérrez, the executive director of the Full Rights for Immigrants Coalition, joins Brian and John. The Senate last night, by a margin of 56-41, voted to end US military assistance for Saudi Arabia’s war in Yemen in the strongest showing yet of bipartisan defiance of President Trump’s defense of the kingdom after the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi. Although dramatic, the vote is likely symbolic because House Speaker Paul Ryan is refusing to permit a similar vote in the House. Meanwhile, an agreement to end fighting in the crucial Yemeni port city of Hodeidah has raised hopes for peace in the country. Kathy Kelly, co-coordinator of Voices for Creative Non-Violence, joins the show. It’s Friday! So it’s time for the week’s worst and most misleading headlines. Brian and John speak with Steve Patt, an independent journalist whose critiques of the mainstream media have been a feature of his blog Left I on the News and on twitter @leftiblog, and Sputnik producer Nicole Roussell.

"The Spy" Who Wasn't A Spy: US Media's False Coverage of Maria Butina

Dec 13, 2018 6714

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On today's episode of Loud & Clear, Brian Becker and John Kiriakou are joined by Dan Kovalik, a human rights and labor lawyer who is the author of the new book “The Plot to Control the World: How the US Spent Billions to Change the Outcome of Elections Around the World.” Russian gun rights activist Maria Butina will plead guilty in federal court today to one count of conspiracy to fail to register as a foreign agent, for which there are no sentencing guidelines. She’s been held without bail behind bars since her arrest in July. The hosts review her case and several other pieces of the Russiagate saga. Thursday’s weekly series “Criminal Injustice” is about the most egregious conduct of our courts and prosecutors and how justice is denied to so many people in this country. Paul Wright, the founder and executive director of the Human Rights Defense Center and editor of Prison Legal News (PLN), and Kevin Gosztola, a writer for Shadowproof.com and co-host of the podcast Unauthorized Disclosure, join the show. Joshua Schulte is a former CIA computer engineer who has being held in New York’s Metropolitan Detention Center. He was arrested after an FBI raid on his apartment in connection with the “Vault 7” leak of cyberweapons, but the government charged him with possessing child pornography. In a recent letter to US District Court Judge Paul Crotty, Schulte says that he is being tortured in prison, and he’s being denied medication, writing materials, and access to his attorneys. Furthermore, the government is demanding that if Schulte were to meet with his attorneys, he would have to be shackled, chained to a bolt in the floor, and denied access to the classified documents necessary to defend himself. Brian and John speak with Bill Binney, a former NSA technical director who became a legendary national security whistleblower. A Kiev court said yesterday that two Ukrainian lawmakers and top anti-corruption official’s decision to release documents linked to Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort in 2016 amounted to interference in the US presidential election. The complaint was initially filed by another lawmaker who alleged that Sergei Leshchenko and Artem Sytnik were trying to influence the election in favor of Hillary Clinton. International affairs expert and security analyst Mark Sleboda joins the show. British Prime Minister Theresa May won a no-confidence vote last night in the House of Commons, making her immune from another leadership challenge for a year. But her loss of 37 percent of her own party’s members could be devastating, according to British political observers. Many of those more conservative members are calling on her to resign. Alex Gordon, former president of the National Union of Rail, Maritime, & Transport Workers, joins Brian and John. Veterans for Peace is Thursday’s regular segment about the contemporary issues of war and peace that affect veterans, their families, and the country as a whole. Gerry Condon, a Vietnam-era veteran and war resister who refused orders to deploy to Vietnam and lived in exile in Canada and Sweden for 6 years, organizing with other U.S. military deserters and draft resisters against the Vietnam war, and for amnesty for U.S. war resisters, joins the show. He has been a peace and solidarity activist for almost 50 years and has served on the Board of Veterans For Peace for the last 6 years, currently as national president. Mental health workers organized by the National Union of Healthcare Workers at Kaiser Permanente in California are on strike this week to protest the quality of care their patients receive. Strike leaders say that the action is not about money, but instead is about how the company allows them to provide for their patients. Nurses have joined the picket line. Brian and John speak with Doug Kauffman, an activist and a member of the National Union of Healthcare Workers.

Will Trump Shut Down the US Government Over “The Wall”?

Dec 12, 2018 6689

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On today's episode of Loud & Clear, Brian Becker and John Kiriakou are joined by Jacqueline Luqman, the co-editor-in-chief of Luqman Nation, which hosts a livestream every Thursday night at 9:00 p.m. on Facebook, and Sputnik news analyst Walter Smolarek. Wednesday’s weekly series, In the News, is where the hosts looks at the most important ongoing developments of the week and puts them into perspective. Today they talk with Jacquie and Walter about the government shutdown, voter fraud in North Carolina, the protests in France, and the politics of the farm bill. Wednesday’s regular segment, Beyond Nuclear, is about nuclear issues, including weapons, energy, waste, and the future of nuclear technology in the United States. Kevin Kamps, the Radioactive Waste Watchdog at the organization Beyond Nuclear, and Sputnik news analyst and producer Nicole Roussell, join the show. President Trump’s former attorney Michael Cohen was sentenced this afternoon to 36 months in a federal prison. He had earlier pleaded guilty to a number of felonies, what the judge called a smorgasbord of fraud. He apparently only partially cooperated with the Mueller investigation, and prosecutors told the judge that Cohen had been truthful. Brian and John speak with Daniel Lazare, a journalist and author of three books—“The Frozen Republic,” “The Velvet Coup,” and “America's Undeclared War.” Meng Wanzhou was arrested on December 1 at the request of the United States because her company allegedly is doing business with Iran, which is subject to US sanctions. But she has now been released on bail by order of a judge in Canada. Jude Woodward, the author of the new book “The US vs China: Asia's new Cold War?” joins the show. Lawmakers from Britain’s Conservative Party called for a no confidence vote today in a bid to oust Prime Minister Theresa May because of the Brexit deal she negotiated with the European Union. However, as of the time of this recording, 2:00 p.m. Eastern time, a majority Tory Party members have said they would support May. That’s enough for her to win. But the future of her government is still in doubt. Sputnik News analyst Walter Smolarek joins Brian and John. Turkish President Erdogan said today that his country would begin a new military offensive within day in northern Syria to “clear the area of Kurdish rebels on both sides of the Euphrates River.” Erdogan added that Turkey would specifically not target Americans in the area, but the move will almost certainly raise tensions with the United States. Ambassador Peter Ford, the former British Ambassador to Syria, joins the show. Israeli soldiers entered Ramallah yesterday, with low-level clashes breaking out only yards from the home of Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas. The soldiers seized security footage from buildings in the area and they raided the offices of WAFA, the Palestinian news agency. Meanwhile, a Palestinian child was killed in an earlier shooting and a pregnant woman was gravely wounded. Brian and John speak with Jonathan Kuttab, an international human rights lawyer, and Dan Cohen, a journalist and a documentary filmmaker, most recently of the film “Killing Gaza.”

All the King’s Horses & All the King’s Men Won’t Put May Together Again

Dec 11, 2018 6788

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On today's episode of Loud & Clear, Brian Becker and John Kiriakou are joined by Alexander Mercouris, the editor-in-chief of The Duran. The Brexit crisis is coming to a head. UK Prime Minister Theresa May traveled to Brussels this morning for talks with German Chancellor Angela Merkel and other European leaders. She has not yet rescheduled the vote on Brexit after postponing it yesterday. Meanwhile, Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn told parliament that the country is in chaos. Tuesday’s weekly series is False Profits—A Weekly Look at Wall Street and Corporate Capitalism with Daniel Sankey. Financial policy analyst Daniel Sankey joins the show. President Trump said this morning in a series of tweets that he will call out the military to build a border wall if Democrats in Congress fail to provide the necessary funding for the wall’s construction. Democrats, meanwhile, warned that Trump could cause a government shutdown on Friday if the Republican Congress does not approve emergency government funding. Brian and John speak with Pedro Rios, the Director of the American Friends Service Committee’s U.S./Mexico Border Program and chairperson for the San Diego Immigrant Rights Consortium. Maria Butina, a Russian student and gun rights activist accused of failing to register as a foreign agent, has agreed to plead guilty to one count of conspiracy and to cooperate in ongoing federal, state, and local investigations. Butina is expected to tell a federal court in Washington tomorrow that she was working to establish relationships with American political groups at the direction of an unnamed Russian official. But critics of the Russiagate campaign say that Butina was a victim of strong-arm tactics by the FBI. Jim Kavanagh, the editor of thepolemicist.net, joins the show. Google CEO Sundar Pichai testified before the House Judiciary Committee this morning about his company’s algorithms and whether they are politically biased and about Google’s privacy practices. Employees took advantage of the high-profile meeting to raise concerns about the company’s harassment and discrimination policies. Dr. Robert Epstein, the senior research psychologist at the American Institute for Behavioral Research and Technology, joins Brian and John. The Supreme Court yesterday declined to review lower court decisions that blocked state efforts to cut off public funding for Planned Parenthood, a move that reveals a split within the court’s conservative bloc. Julie Hurwitz, a civil rights attorney and partner at the law firm Goodman, Hurwitz and James, joins the show. An antitrust lawsuit brought by states over two drugs has exploded into a price-fixing investigation against 16 pharmaceutical companies manufacturing more than 300 drugs. Federal authorities allege that pharma executives fixed prices for generic drugs for years. And the attorney general of Connecticut is calling it “the largest criminal cartel in the history of the United States.” Brian and John speak with Tim Horn, the director of medication access and pricing at the National Alliance of State and Territorial AIDS Directors.

Loud & Clear Show Targeted By Anti-Russia Witch Hunters

Dec 10, 2018 6871

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On today's episode of Loud & Clear, Brian Becker and John Kiriakou are joined by Kevin Gosztola, a writer for Shadowproof.com, and Paul Wright, the founder and executive director of the Human Rights Defense Center. They both regularly join Loud & Clear every Thursday for regular segment Criminal Injustice. Every Thursday, Loud & Clear helps expose the injustices carried out by America’s courts, prisons, and police departments. Regular segment “Criminal Injustice” recently caught the attention of professional Russia-bashers, including a former Undersecretary of Homeland Security, who claim that this specific segment is part of a dastardly foreign plot to undermine confidence in the oh-so-wonderful institutions of the U.S. criminal justice system. Monday’s regular segment Technology Rules with Chris Garaffa is a weekly guide on how monopoly corporations and the national surveillance state are threatening cherished freedoms, civil rights and civil liberties. Web developer and technologist Chris Garaffa joins the show. Monday’s segment “Education for Liberation with Bill Ayers” is about the state of education across the country. Today Dr. Monique Redeaux-Smith is sitting in for Bill Ayers, and the hosts talk with her about the Chicago charter school strike that just successfully finished yesterday. Dr. Monique Redeaux-Smith is an organizer with the Illinois Federation of Teachers. British Prime Minister Theresa May called off tomorrow’s critical vote on her Brexit deal so she can go back to Brussels and ask for changes in it. British political observers say that the deal would have been easily defeated and would have plunged the British political scene into chaos. Legendary anti-war activist and former British parliamentarian George Galloway joins the show. In a nationally televised address this afternoon, French President Emmanuel Macron said he would speed up tax relief for struggling workers and to scrap a tax hike for retirees. Macon had earlier promised to raise the minimum wage and to abolish taxes on overtime pay. All of these promises were made to contain four weeks of demonstrations against his policies that have devolved into nationwide rioting. Gilbert Mercier, editor in chief of News Junkie Post and the author of “The Orwellian Empire,” and Sputnik news analyst Walter Smolarek join Brian and John. Venezuelans held municipal elections on Sunday to elect some 2,500 local counsellors. Turnout was relatively low with opposition parties boycotting the polls, but debate is raging as Venezuela attempts to overcome its economic crisis and efforts to isolate it on the world stage. Paul Dobson, a writer for Venezuelanalysis.com, joins the show. Today is the 70th anniversary of the adoption by the United Nations of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The document gives to all humans basic human rights, including the right to work and for equal pay, the right to not be enslaved, the right to health care, the right to amnesty in other countries, and more. But even in the richest economies like the United States, people are still denied these fundamental rights. Brian and John speak with Sputnik news analyst Walter Smolarek.

Trump's New Attny General Nominee An Architect of US Mass Incarceration

Dec 7, 2018 6873

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On today's episode of Loud & Clear, Brian Becker and John Kiriakou are joined by Jacqueline Luqman, editor-in-chief of Luqman Nation, and Sputnik News analyst and producer Walter Smolarek. Loud & Clear continues its regular segment The Week in Review, where we take a look at the biggest developments in the United States and around the world. The Chinese government reacted yesterday to the arrest in Canada at US request of Huawei Chief Financial Officer Meng Wanzhou on charges of violating US sanctions on Iran. The government-aligned newspaper Global Times called the arrest “despicable” and the US Commerce Department began warning American businessmen about travel to China. Meng will be arraigned in Vancouver today, but any extradition could take years. Brian and John speak with Dr. Jack Rasmus, a professor of economics at Saint Mary's College of California and author of “Central Bankers at the End of Their Ropes: Monetary Policy and the Coming Depression.” The Ecuadorian president, Lenin Moreno, has ramped up pressure on Wikileaks co-founder Julian Assange to leave his country’s embassy in London. Moreno said yesterday that the UK government has agreed to not extradite Assange to any country where he might face the death penalty. But that’s a red herring. Assange already has been indicted in the United States, likely for national security crimes which do not call for the death penalty. Suzie Dawson, an activist and the president of the Internet Party of New Zealand, joins the show. Today is the 77th anniversary of the Japanese bombing of Pearl Harbor. Was the bombing of Pearl Harbor an intelligence failure or a pretext for the US to enter the war? Peter Kuznick, a professor of history and director of the Nuclear Studies Institute at American University, joins Brian and John. All major tourist sites in Paris will be closed this weekend as authorities expect what they are calling “major violence” from anti-government demonstrations. The so-called “yellow vest” protests have swelled this week, even after the government postponed the tax increase that set them off. 89,000 police will be deployed around the country, along with armored personnel carriers. Gilbert Mercier, Editor in Chief of News Junkie Post and the author of “The Orwellian Empire”, joins the show. This week we’ll continue to look at the worst, most misleading, funniest, and the just plain wrong headlines of the past week. Brian and John speak with Steve Patt, an independent journalist whose critiques of the mainstream media have been a feature of his blog Left I on the News

Coup D’état in Wisconsin Aims for Massive Voter Suppression

Dec 7, 2018 6810

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On today's episode of Loud & Clear, Brian Becker and John Kiriakou are joined by Jay Heck, executive director of Common Cause Wisconsin, David Liners, state director of WISDOM, a statewide organization seeking justice and common good, and Rabbi Bonnie Margulis, the president of Wisconsin Faith Voices for Justice. Republican lawmakers in Wisconsin’s lame duck legislature have forced bills into law that will strip the incoming Democratic governor and attorney general of much of their power. New laws also would throw poor people off of Medicaid and shorten voting and voter registration times. And two days ago that same legislature approved 82 of Governor Scott Walker’s political appointees with no debate. Thursday’s weekly series “Criminal Injustice” is about the most egregious conduct of our courts and prosecutors and how justice is denied to so many people in this country. Paul Wright, the founder and executive director of the Human Rights Defense Center and editor of Prison Legal News (PLN), and Kevin Gosztola, a writer for Shadowproof.com and co-host of the podcast Unauthorized Disclosure, join the show. The chief financial officer of Huawei, the Chinese telecommunications equipment and consumer tech giant, was arrested in Canada at US request yesterday. The Trump Administration wants her to be extradited to face trial on charges of violating sanctions on Iran. But Huawei’s business in Iran is perfectly legal under international law and under the terms of the JCPOA, which the US unilaterally withdrew from. Brian and John speak with Dr. Jack Rasmus, a professor of economics at Saint Mary's College of California and author of “Central Bankers at the End of Their Ropes: Monetary Policy and the Coming Depression,” whose work is at www.jackrasmus.com. The funeral of former President George H. W. Bush was held yesterday in Washington and his body was returned to Texas, where he will be interred today. Every day this week the hosts are talking about the Bush legacy, focusing today on Bush’s response to the AIDS crisis. Mark Harrington, an HIV/AIDS researcher, activist, and the cofounder and policy director of the Treatment Action Group, joins the show. Veterans for Peace is Thursday’s regular segment about the contemporary issues of war and peace that affect veterans, their families, and the country as a whole. Gerry Condon, a Vietnam-era veteran and war resister who serves as the national president of Veterans for Peace, and Michael McPhearson, a Gulf War veteran and the executive director of Veterans for Peace, join the show. Global carbon emissions rose by 2.7 percent this year, following a 1.6 percent increase last year. Scientists blame strong economies in India and China and say that those countries are burning more coal and the middle classes there are buying more and more cars, but per-capita carbon emissions remain highest by far in Europe and the United States. They also say that we have passed a point of no return on carbon emissions and climate change. Scott Edwards, co-director of the Food & Water Justice project at Food & Water Watch, joins the show. Two independent academics at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies will soon release a report in which they conclude that North Korea is expanding two missile bases that could be used to house long-range ballistic missiles. South Korean military officials said they are monitoring the situation in cooperation with the United States. There have been no formal announcements by any party. Brian and John speak with Simone Chun, a fellow at the Korea Policy Institute and a member of the Korean Peace Network.

Drug War, War Against Iraq: The Legacy of George HW Bush

Dec 5, 2018 6887

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On today's episode of Loud & Clear, Brian Becker and John Kiriakou are joined by Dennis Bernstein., an author, poet, activist, and co-host of the political news show Flashpoints on Pacifica Radio, and Jackie Luqman, the co-editor-in-chief of Luqman Nation, whose livestream is on every Thursday night at 9:00 p.m. on Facebook. The funeral of former president George H. W. Bush was held this morning at Washington’s National Cathedral with three former presidents and three former first ladies in attendance. Brian and John have looked at the legacy of George H. W. Bush every day this week and focus today on the Gulf War, the war on drugs, and mass incarceration. Wednesday’s regular segment, Beyond Nuclear, is about nuclear issues, including weapons, energy, waste, and the future of nuclear technology in the United States. Kevin Kamps, the Radioactive Waste Watchdog at the organization Beyond Nuclear, and Sputnik news analyst and producer Nicole Roussell, join the show. Republicans in Wisconsin and Michigan were wiped out of their states’ top offices in last month’s election. But both legislatures called lame duck sessions to strip incoming Democratic governors of much of their power. The bills also would reduce the time for early voting and throw poor people off of Medicaid. Brian and John speak with Matt Brusky, the deputy director of Citizen Action of Wisconsin. Special Counsel Robert Mueller is asking a federal judge to sentence former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn to probation -- not jail time -- for lying to the FBI, citing Flynn’s exceptional assistance in the Russia collusion investigation. Later this week, former Trump Campaign Manager Paul Manafort will be back in court, where Mueller will have to identify what Manafort has done to break his plea deal. And meanwhile, new information has emerged that Manafort met with Ecuadorian President Lenín Moreno in 2017 about a complex deal that would involve Julian Assange’s expulsion from the Ecuadorian embassy in London. Jim Kavanagh, the editor of thepolemicist.net, joins the show. CIA Director Gina Haspel briefed a bipartisan group of senators on the murder of Jamal Khashoggi yesterday. Many came out of the briefing offering angry accounts of the information Haspel conveyed and said there was no doubt in their minds that Saudi Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman ordered the assassination. Ali al-Ahmed, the director of the Institute for Gulf Affairs, joins Brian and John. A Houthi delegation and the UN special envoy for Yemen, Martin Griffiths, arrived in Stockholm last night in advance of peace talks with the Yemeni government. A Saudi delegation is expected to arrive today. Mediators from Kuwait, which hosted the last direct talks in 2016, are also in Sweden for the meetings, which should begin today. Mohammad Marandi, an expert on American studies and postcolonial literature who teaches at the University of Tehran, joins the show. Venezuelan president Nicolas Maduro left for Moscow this morning, where he’ll meet with Russian president Vladimir Putin. No specific reason for the meeting was announced, but Putin said that he is acutely aware of the economic crisis in Venezuela and the media are speculating that oil and gas will be on the agenda. Brian and John speak with Paul Dobson, a writer for VenezuelaAnalysis.com.

Inauguration of Mexico's New President López Obrador: A Historic Shift?

Dec 4, 2018 6871

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On today's episode of Loud & Clear, Brian Becker and John Kiriakou are joined by Dr. John Ackerman, professor of Constitutional Law at the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM), researcher at the Legal Research Institute of UNAM, and editorial director of the Mexican Law Review. Mexico’s new president, Andrés Manuel López Obrador was inaugurated on Saturday and began his six year term with a press conference--something unusual for Mexican presidents. He promised to bring what he called “deep and radical change” in his fight against crime, and he even held a meeting with his national security team at 6:00 am today, something he said would happen daily. López Obrador said that he has a “respectful” relationship with President Trump, but it promises to turn rocky in negotiations over migrants and a border wall. And, Obrador has proposed sweeping changes to the country’s economic policy to break from neoliberalism. Tuesday’s weekly series is False Profits—A Weekly Look at Wall Street and Corporate Capitalism with Daniel Sankey. Financial policy analyst Daniel Sankey joins the show. French Prime Minister Edouard Phillippe announced this morning that the fuel tax that set off rioting around the country will be suspended for six months. The yellow vest protests have grown to include other issues, however, reflecting widespread anger at President Macron for his failure to implement reforms. Brian and John speak with Gilbert Mercier, editor in chief of News Junkie Post and the author of “The Orwellian Empire.” Former President George H. W. Bush died over the weekend at the age of 94. His body now lies in state in the US Capitol and a funeral will take place tomorrow. The hosts look at the Bush presidency and the Bush legacy each day this week, focusing on a different issue. Today is about his role in the coup that overthrew Haiti’s democratically elected government in 1991. Kim Ives, an editor of the newspaper Haïti Liberté, joins the show. The European Court of Justice’s Advocate General delivered a non-binding opinion yesterday that the UK could arbitrarily cancel its decision to withdraw from the European Union if it so chose. The decision comes as the House of Commons begins a week of debate on Prime Minister Theresa May’s Brexit plan, and Parliament found the government in contempt this morning for not issuing Brexit advice. Steve Hedley, the senior assistant general secretary of the the UK’s Rail, Maritime, and Transport Workers Union, joins Brian and John. Israel’s military says that it has begun an operation to destroy what it calls “cross border attack tunnels” under its border with Lebanon dug by Hezbollah operatives. An Israeli government spokesman said the tunnels had only recently been detected and they will be destroyed without having to cross the border into Lebanon. But is this in fact motivated by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s legal and political problems at home? Miko Peled, the author of “The General’s Son - A Journey of an Israeli in Palestine” and "Injustice: The Story of the Holy Land Foundation Five,” joins the show. Nexstar Media Group announced this morning that it will buy Tribune Corporation’s 42 television stations and cable network in an all-cash $4.1 billion deal. An earlier takeover attempt by Sinclair Media was blocked by the Federal Communications Commission. If approved, the company will own more than 200 television stations covering 39 percent of all American households. Brian and John speak with Tim Karr, the senior director of strategy and communications at Free Press.

Trump Declares Temporary Truce in US-China Trade War: What’s Next?

Dec 3, 2018 6785

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On today's episode of Loud & Clear, Brian Becker and John Kiriakou are joined by John Ross, senior fellow at Chongyang Institute, Renmin University of China, and an award-winning resident columnist with several Chinese media organizations. The Group of 20, or G20, summit is over. As summits go, it was uneventful--almost not newsworthy. President Trump and the leaders of Canada and Mexico announced a trade deal to replace NAFTA, though, and more importantly, the US and China agreed to halt new tariffs. Immediately after the summit ended, President Trump announced that he would not boost tariffs on Chinese goods on January 1, and that China would purchase what he called “a very substantial amount” of US agricultural, industrial, and energy products and would reduce or remove tariffs on US automobiles. Monday’s regular segment Technology Rules with Chris Garaffa is a weekly guide on how monopoly corporations and the national surveillance state are threatening cherished freedoms, civil rights and civil liberties. Web developer and technologist Chris Garaffa joins the show. Former President George H. W. Bush died over the weekend at the age of 94. His body will lie in state in the US Capitol and a funeral will take place on Wednesday. We’ll look at the Bush presidency and the Bush legacy each day this week, focusing on a different issue. Today we’ll talk about the invasion of Panama. Brian and John speak with Kim Ives, an editor of the newspaper Haïti Liberté. Clashes across France continued to spread over the weekend, with students blockading more than 100 high schools to protest changes in the country’s university entrance system. Protestors also blockaded 11 fuel depots in northern France, causing severe gas shortages. But polls show that 72 percent of French adults support the protests, and they show no sign of waning. Gilbert Mercier, editor in chief of News Junkie Post and the author of “The Orwellian Empire,” joins the show. Monday’s segment “Education for Liberation with Bill Ayers” is where Bill helps us look at the state of education across the country. What’s happening in our schools, colleges, and universities, and what impact does it have on the world around us? Bill Ayers, an activist, educator and the author of the book “Demand the Impossible: A Radical Manifesto,” joins Brian and John. Three St. Louis police officers who beat an undercover colleague during a protest last year turned themselves in after being indicted on federal charges. A fourth also was indicted for lying to a grand jury about the incident. Rev. Darryl Gray, a long-time civil rights activist and candidate for Alderman in St. Louis’ 18th ward who was arrested in the demonstration where the beating took place, and Kristine Hendrix, an activist and vice president of the University City school district, join the show. The far-right Vox Party stunned Spain this weekend by winning seats in the Andalusian regional parliament. The party won 12 seats and 11 percent of the vote on a platform of expelling all immigrants from Spain and ending Catalonia’s political autonomy. Brian and John speak with Dick Nichols, the correspondent for Spain and Catalonia for Green Left Weekly.

G20 Summit: Is the US Charting a Collision Course with China?

Nov 30, 2018 6652

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On today's episode of Loud & Clear, Brian Becker and John Kiriakou are joined by Jacqueline Luqman, the co-editor-in-chief of Luqman Nation, which livestreams every Thursday night at 9:00 p.m. on Facebook, and Sputnik News analyst and producer Walter Smolarek. Friday is Loud & Clear’s weekly segment The Week in Review, about the week in politics, policy, and international affairs. This week includes the G20 segment, Marc Lamont Hill’s firing, and a domestic workers’ bill of rights being introduced. FEMA, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, is spending more than $1 billion in Puerto Rico to repair homes damaged by Hurricane Maria. But much of that money is going to contractors charging steep markups and overhead? The New York Times reports that some repairs are indeed being made, but at an astronomical cost. Dr. Adriana Garriga-López, Department Chair and Associate Professor of Anthropology at Kalamazoo College, joins the show. Seven men were found guilty yesterday of the murder of Honduran indigenous environmental activist Berta Caceres, who was shot and killed on March 2, 2016, two days before her 45th birthday. Caceres had waged a long battle to stop construction of an internationally-financed hydroelectric dam on the Gualcarque River, which the Lenca people consider sacred. The judge found that the murder was ordered by the construction company’s executives. Brian and John speak with Jackie McVicar, a member of the Atlantic Region Solidarity Network, working in solidarity with people struggling for social justice and environmental protection in Latin America, the Caribbean and Atlantic Canada, and a former co-coordinator of the Maritimes-Guatemala Breaking the Silence Solidarity Network. Manor Care was a highly respected nursing home and retirement community company based in Silver Spring, Maryland. Five years ago it was taken over by the Carlyle Group, one of the largest private equity firms in the world. Under Carlyle’s ownership, however, the company went bankrupt. And serious cases of elder abuse are now coming to light. Len Haberman, an attorney with the Senior Justice Law Firm who has specialized in elder law and nursing home abuse cases for more than 20 years, joins the show. The political news website Politico this week published an article about the foreign press and their apparent love affair with Donald Trump. The thrust of the article was that the foreign press doesn’t criticize the president because fawning coverage is a way for countries to ingratiate themselves with him. But the article focuses on, of course, the Russians. It makes no mention of the Israeli press or news outlets in most Arab countries. Joe Lauria, the editor-in-chief of Consortium News, founded by the late Robert Parry, and the author of the book "How I Lost, By Hillary Clinton," joins Brian and John. It’s Friday! So it’s time for the week’s worst and most misleading headlines. Brian and John speak with Steve Patt, an independent journalist whose critiques of the mainstream media have been a feature of his blog Left I on the News and on twitter @leftiblog, and Sputnik producer Nicole Roussell.

Climate Change: The Fight of Our Lives

Nov 29, 2018 6860

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On today's episode of Loud & Clear, Brian Becker and John Kiriakou are joined by Fred Magdoff, professor emeritus of plant and soil science at the University of Vermont, and Antony Loewenstein, an independent journalist and author of “Disaster Capitalism: Making a Killing Out of Catastrophe.” Last week, just before Thanksgiving, the White House did everything it could to bury its own report on climate change, which Donald Trump says he doesn’t believe. But the science is in and climate change is here and is already affecting our health, with extreme heat having an effect on productivity, the food supply, and disease transmission. And the last four years have been the hottest in recorded history. Thursday’s weekly series “Criminal Injustice” is about the most egregious conduct of our courts and prosecutors and how justice is denied to so many people in this country. Kevin Gosztola, a writer for Shadowproof.com and co-host of the podcast Unauthorized Disclosure, joins the show. President Trump’s former lawyer Michael Cohen pleaded guilty today to a single count of lying to Congress. But does this say anything about the larger investigation into alleged Russian interference into the 2016 election. Brian and John speak with Dan Kovalik, a human rights and labor lawyer who is the author of the new book “The Plot to Control the World: How the US Spent Billions to Change the Outcome of Elections Around the World.” In an article written by a former CIA officer under the pen name Alex Finley, Politico tries to make an argument that an article in The Guardian yesterday saying that Paul Manafort met in Ecuador’s London embassy with Julian Assange, was either planted or that sources duped the authors, Luke Harding and Dan Collins. Politico then points the finger squarely at Russia, including Sputnik, RT, and its so-called partners like Wikileaks and Glenn Greenwald. But isn’t it more likely that Luke Harding is just a lousy journalist? After all, he has already been caught plagiarizing the work of other journalists, and his book, entitled Collusion, takes a conclusion and then tries to find the evidence to support it. Activist and journalist Diani Baretto and Ted Rall, an award-winning editorial cartoonist and columnist whose work is at www.rall.com, join the show. President Trump is threatening to withdraw subsidies from General Motors after the company announced the closure of five plants and the layoff of 15,000 salaried workers, and he says that he’s on the side of the American worker. But is he serious, especially in light of the massive tax cuts that GM benefited from earlier this year. How can the auto workers union capitalize on the situation and save jobs? Neal Sweeney, the Vice President of UAW Local 5810, joins Brian and John. Veterans for Peace is Thursday’s regular segment about the contemporary issues of war and peace that affect veterans, their families, and the country as a whole. Gerry Condon, a Vietnam-era veteran and war resister who refused orders to deploy to Vietnam and lived in exile in Canada and Sweden for 6 years, organizing with other U.S. military deserters and draft resisters against the Vietnam war, and for amnesty for U.S. war resisters, joins the show. He has been a peace and solidarity activist for almost 50 years and has served on the Board of Veterans For Peace for the last 6 years, currently as national president. Furious over being denied a briefing by the CIA Director on the killing of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, the Senate last night voted by an overwhelming 63-37 vote to bring to the floor a measure to limit President Trump’s war powers in Yemen. It was the strongest signal yet that the Administration’s insistence that Saudi Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman did not order Khashoggi’s killing cannot be believed. Brian and John speak with Ariel Gold, a peace activist and the national co-director of Code Pink.

Mississippi Election: The Struggle to Overcome Racism is Not Over

Nov 28, 2018 6907

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On today's episode of Loud & Clear, Brian Becker and John Kiriakou are joined by Jacqueline Luqman, the co-editor-in-chief of Luqman Nation, which hosts a livestream every Thursday night at 9:00 p.m. on Facebook. Wednesday’s weekly series, In the News, is where the hosts looks at the most important ongoing developments of the week and puts them into perspective. Wednesday’s regular segment, Beyond Nuclear, is about nuclear issues, including weapons, energy, waste, and the future of nuclear technology in the United States. Kevin Kamps, the Radioactive Waste Watchdog at the organization Beyond Nuclear, and Sputnik news analyst and producer Nicole Roussell, join the show. Special Counsel Robert Mueller has told the court that he is no longer obliged to maintain the plea agreement with Paul Manafort. Mueller asserts that Manafort has violated it by lying to the Special Counsel. Today, there are headlines proclaiming this to be true, because his legal team spoke with President Trump’s. But the two legal teams have a defense agreement authorizing this -- it’s a common communication tool that the two parties have had in place long term. Brian and John speak with Bruce Fein, a constitutional law scholar and a former assistant deputy Attorney General of the United States. International media outlets are in the crosshairs of Russiagate zealots once again, with a new hit piece in Politico that accuses a variety of outlets of shifting their coverage to become mouthpieces for the Trump administration. What do these outlets really cover? Meanwhile, journalists in mainstream outlets, like The Guardian’s Luke Harding, spread misinformation. Joe Lauria, the editor-in-chief of Consortium News, founded by the late Robert Parry, and the author of the book "How I Lost, By Hillary Clinton," joins the show. President Trump gave an interview to the Washington Post yesterday in which he threatened to cancel a meeting with Vladimir Putin and urged European countries to maintain a hostile posture towards Russia. Trump also railed against Federal Reserve chairman Jerome Powell and the interest rate policies the Fed has been pursuing. Steve Keen, the author of “Debunking Economics” and the world’s first crowdfunded economist, whose work is at patreon.com/ProfSteveKeen, joins Brian and John. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has named former Wall Street Journal editorial writer Mary Kissel as his new senior advisor for policy and strategic messaging. It’s not unusual that a journalist would enter the State Department. It actually happens all the time. But in 2016, Kissel went on MSNBC’s Morning Joe to call Donald Trump “frighteningly ignorant” and to say that he had “no principles and no policies.” Trump responded by tweeting that Kissel was “a major loser.” Dave Lindorff, an investigative reporter and founder of This Can’t Be Happening!, a columnist for CounterPunch, and the author of a major new article in The Nation titled, “The Pentagon’s Massive Accounting Fraud Exposed,” joins the show. Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said yesterday that the UK Integrity Initiative is a British government-sponsored front organization aimed at defaming the Russian government. The UK Integrity Initiative purported to be an independent watchdog organization until hackers from the group Anonymous found documents proving that it was created by British intelligence organizations. Brian and John speak with Jim Kavanagh, the editor of thepolemicist.net.

Debate Inside Taliban: Peace or More War?

Nov 27, 2018 6851

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On today's episode of Loud & Clear, Brian Becker and John Kiriakou are joined by Ahmed Rashid, a journalist and the best-selling author of “Pakistan on the Brink: The Future of America, Pakistan, and Afghanistan” and several books on Afghanistan and Central Asia, including “The Resurgence of Central Asia, Islam or Nationalism.” More than 17 years after US troops entered Afghanistan and overthrew the Taliban, that country is still in a state of disarray. In just the past 48 hours, at least 20 Afghan police officers were killed in a Taliban ambush, a US special forces officer was killed, three American soldiers were killed in a bomb blast, and the Afghan government announced that it may delay the upcoming presidential election. Tuesday’s weekly series is False Profits—A Weekly Look at Wall Street and Corporate Capitalism with Daniel Sankey. Financial policy analyst Daniel Sankey joins the show. A journalists group, Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press, has filed a federal motion asking that all documents related to a pending indictment of Julian Assange in the Eastern District of Virginia be unsealed. Federal prosecutors oppose the motion and say that a recent leak that seemed to indicate that a secret indictment already exists, was inadvertent and should not be construed as confirmation. Judge Leonie Brinkema, who reserves all national security cases for herself, will make a decision. Brian and John speak with Suzie Dawson. She is an activist and the president of the Internet Party of New Zealand. The Guardian is reporting today that Paul Manafort held secret meetings with Julian Assange in the Ecuadorian Embassy in London in 2013, 2015, and 2016. Manafort calls the report “100 percent false” and Wikileaks said there is literally nothing true about it. Meanwhile, the Special Counsel’s office says that Manafort has violated the terms of his plea deal by continually lying to investigators and should be sentenced to prison immediately. Coleen Rowley, a former FBI special agent who in 2002 was named Time Magazine person of the year along with two other whistleblowers, and Daniel Lazare, a journalist and author of three books—“The Frozen Republic,” “The Velvet Coup,” and “America's Undeclared War,” joins the show. Nikki Haley, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, accused Russia on Monday of taking “outlaw actions” against Ukrainian ships in an incident at sea this weekend and vowed that sanctions punishing Russia’s annexation of Crimea would continue. Haley said, “outlaw actions like this one continue to make an improvement in US-Russia relation impossible... “The United States will maintain its Crimea-related sanctions against Russia. Indeed, further Russian escalation of this kind will only make matters worse.” Donald Trump’s comments however struck a different tone from Haley’s. Mark Sleboda, an international relations and security analyst, joins Brian and John. The Mississippi Senate race will be decided in a runoff election today that pits former Congressman and Agriculture Secretary Mike Espy against incumbent Republican Senator Cindy Hyde-Smith. Hyde-Smith has found herself at the center of controversy recently over her previous support of Confederate symbols and monuments. Espy is the strongest possible Democrat to challenge Hyde-Smith, but polls show that the Republicans will keep the seat. Ted Rall, an award-winning editorial cartoonist and columnist whose work is at www.rall.com, joins the show.

Ukraine Declares Martial Law Using Russia Crisis as Pretext

Nov 26, 2018 6934

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On today's episode of Loud & Clear, Brian Becker and John Kiriakou are joined by Alexander Mercouris, the editor-in-chief of The Duran. Two Ukrainian naval ships along with a tow boat navigated into the Kerch Strait yesterday, a narrow waterway that separates the Black Sea from the Sea of Azov, and were fired on and detained by Russian authorities. This set off a major political crisis, with the Ukrainian President vowing to declare martial law and Russia accusing Ukraine of staging a deliberate provocation by ignoring the procedure that had previously allowed safe passage for Ukrainian ships through the strait. Monday’s regular segment Technology Rules with Chris Garaffa is a weekly guide on how monopoly corporations and the national surveillance state are threatening cherished freedoms, civil rights and civil liberties. Web developer and technologist Chris Garaffa joins the show. Migrants held protests at the border yesterday in Tijuana demanding their right to asylum be honored. When several tried to cross the erected barriers, Border Patrol pummeled the migrants, including children and babies, with tear gas. Brian and John speak with Juan José Gutiérrez, the executive director of the Full Rights for Immigrants Coalition. Former Trump campaign advisor George Papadopoulos reported to prison today to begin his two-week sentence for making a false statement to the FBI. Papadopoulos has complained loudly on Twitter in the past few weeks that he had been “set up” and “coerced” by the FBI to take a plea. A judge denied his request to delay his prison sentence. Meanwhile, Jerome Corsi has shed new light onto what he says is a plea deal reached with the Mueller investigation. Alex Rubinstein, a Sputnik news analyst and journalist whose work is on twitter at @RealAlexRubi, joins the show. Monday’s segment “Education for Liberation with Bill Ayers” is where Bill helps us look at the state of education across the country. What’s happening in our schools, colleges, and universities, and what impact does it have on the world around us? Bill Ayers, an activist, educator and the author of the book “Demand the Impossible: A Radical Manifesto,” joins Brian and John. Over the weekend, the European Union formally approved the proposed Brexit plan. As we've covered extensively, it still includes three primary parts: limits on migration, the relationship with the European customs union, and the Irish backstop. The hosts talked with Andy Brennan on Friday and focused on the third element. As Brexit nears, there are fears that the reinstitution of a so-called “hard border” between the Republic of Ireland and the British-controlled north could reignite the long-simmering conflict. Andy Brennan, a journalist with Asia Times and CGTN, joins the show. Syrian news reported that insurgents launched a chlorine attack in Aleppo on Saturday. At least 70 people were injured in the attacks, according to the reports. In response, Russia launched air strikes on Sunday. Brian and John speak with Ambassador Peter Ford, the former British Ambassador to Syria.

Trump Gives Thanks to Trump on Thanksgiving

Nov 23, 2018 6660

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On today's episode of Loud & Clear, Brian Becker and John Kiriakou are joined by Jacqueline Luqman, co-editor-in-chief of Luqman Nation, and Sputnik News analyst Walter Smolarek to talk about this week’s biggest news stories. Olivia Hooker, the last survivor of the 1921 Tulsa Massacre, died over the weekend at the age of 103. Dr. Hooker described the notorious 48 hours of death and fire at what was known as the Black Wall Street, as a “catastrophe” that began when a white lynch mob descended on the county courthouse where a black teenager was being held. Brian and John speak with Dr. Gerald Horne, an author and professor of history at the University of Houston. An Israeli court has ruled in favor of a settler organization seeking to evict 700 Palestinian residents from the Silwan neighborhood in East Jerusalem. The steady expansion of Israeli settlements -- illegal under international law -- continues. Journalist and filmmaker Dan Cohen joins the show. There’s a new international challenge to the Trump administration’s trade policy that disputes the “national security” justification the U.S. government cites as a pretext for tariffs. David Ewing, chair of the San Francisco chapter of the US-China People’s Friendship Association, joins Brian and John. More than 80 activist, political and labor organizations are signing on to a call to action, organizing demonstrations in cities across the country to show solidarity with the migrant caravan as it begins to arrive at the U.S.-Mexico border. The actions will be held this Sunday. Juliana Musheyev, a member of the Board of Directors of the Peace Education and Action Center who is involved in this weekend’s activities, joins the show. Again this week we’ll look at the worst, most misleading, funniest, and the just plain wrong headlines of the past week. Brian and John speak with Steve Patt, an independent journalist whose critiques of the mainstream media have been a feature of his blog Left I on the News.

Reform Bill Proposed, But More Needed to End Mass Incarceration

Nov 21, 2018 6718

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On today's episode of Loud & Clear, Brian Becker and John Kiriakou are joined by Jacqueline Luqman, the co-editor-in-chief of Luqman Nation, and Sputnik News analyst and producer Walter Smolarek. It’s the day before Thanksgiving and much of official Washington is closed. New members of Congress have been sworn in and have returned home to their families. But the rest of the world hasn’t come to a stop. The hosts take a look at this week’s major stories. Wednesday’s regular segment, Beyond Nuclear, is about nuclear issues, including weapons, energy, waste, and the future of nuclear technology in the United States. Kevin Kamps, the Radioactive Waste Watchdog at the organization Beyond Nuclear, and producers Nicole Roussell and Walter Smolarek join the show. We all know the story of Thanksgiving. Native Americans welcomed newly arrived pilgrims, showed them how to hunt and forage for food, and the two groups celebrated and gave thanks. But that’s a lie. The first mention of Thanksgiving came in 1627, six years after the Wampanoag tribe helped the pilgrims, and immediately after those same pilgrims massacred an entire Piquot village and celebrated their so-called victory. So what does Thanksgiving mean to Native Americans? Brian and John speak with Andrea Carmen, executive director of the International Indian Treaty Council, which is hosting their annual Indigenous Peoples Thanksgiving Sunrise Gathering on Alcatraz Island tomorrow, broadcast on KPFA Radio at 6am Pacific. President Trump broke with his own Intelligence Community yesterday when he said that the CIA did not have a smoking gun proving that Saudi Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman ordered the assassination of Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi. A CIA analytic report said that MBS did indeed order the hit. The President’s statement exposed a rift in his administration over how to handle the fallout. Professor Mohammad Marandi, an expert on American studies and postcolonial literature who teaches at the University of Tehran, joins the show. The EU Commission this morning again rejected Italy’s budget for 2019, paving the way for financial sanctions to be imposed in the coming months. The Commission Vice President said that the budget is in “serious non-compliance with EU rules” and could lead to political instability and as much as $4 billion in fines. Sputnik News analyst Walter Smolarek joins Brian and John. The Ohio House of Representatives has passed a bill — and the State Senate is considering it — that would ban abortions after just six weeks gestation. Another bill being proposed in Ohio would open up the death penalty as a possible sentence for an abortion. Jane Cutter, the editor of LiberationNews.org, joins the show. The United Nations Special Envoy for Yemen, Brian Griffiths, arrived in the capital Sana’a today in a renewed push to get the various sides in the war there around a negotiating table. Griffiths has convinced the government and the Houthi rebels to agree in principle to begin talking. Brian and John speak with Brian Terrell, a long-time peace activist and also co-coordinator of Voices for Creative Nonviolence.

“America’s Permanent-War Complex”

Nov 20, 2018 6979

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On today's episode of Loud & Clear, Brian Becker and John Kiriakou are joined by Gareth Porter, a historian, investigative journalist, analyst specializing in U.S. national security policy, and a prolific author whose most recent piece, “America’s Permanent-War Complex,” is the subject of today’s interview. Fifty-eight years ago, President Dwight Eisenhower warned us of a growing military-industrial complex. He said, “In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex.The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists, and will persist.” All these years later, his prediction has come true. In a new article in The American Conservative magazine, Gareth Porter argues that the US has transitioned into a “permanent war complex,” where wars are now not meant to be temporary. Tuesday’s weekly series is False Profits—A Weekly Look at Wall Street and Corporate Capitalism with Daniel Sankey. Financial policy analyst Daniel Sankey joins the show. A federal judge in California has temporarily blocked the Trump Administration from denying asylum claims made outside of legal checkpoints, dealing a setback to the president’s efforts to halt thousands of migrants making their way from Central America to the US border. Brian and John speak with Juan Carlos Ruiz, cofounder of the New Sanctuary Movement. Airbnb announced yesterday that it would withdraw all listings for homes in Israeli settlements in the West Bank, saying that those settlements were “at the core” of the Israel-Palestine conflict. Israel’s tourism minister said he would sue the company immediately. Also yesterday, an Israeli sniper shot an AP cameraman with a press jacket on. Ariel Gold, a peace activist and the national co-director of Code Pink, joins the show. The White House yesterday reinstated the press credentials of CNN correspondent Jim Acosta, but not until drafting new rules saying that any reporter who asks a follow-up question without permission could then lose his or her press credentials. CNN has dropped its lawsuit against Trump. Meanwhile, the White House Correspondents Association, apparently bowing to Trump, announced that it would not have a comedian at its annual dinner this year, but instead will have a Pulitzer Prize-winning historian speak. Last year’s speaker, comedian Michelle Wolf, called the association “a bunch of cowards.” Tim Karr, the senior director of strategy and communications at Free Press, joins Brian and John. The Trump Administration is preparing to add Venezuela to the list of state sponsors of terrorism in what would be a dramatic escalation of the conflict between the two countries. The list of state sponsors of terrorism is for countries “that repeatedly provide support for acts of international terrorism” and currently includes only Iran, North Korea, Sudan, and Syria. Jeanette Charles, a writer, editor, and solidarity liaison with Venezuelanalysis.com, joins the show. President Trump yesterday picked a Twitter fight with Pakistan over what he called that country’s refusal to do “anything” to help the United States. Pakistan summoned the US Ambassador to protest, and Prime Minister Imran Khan took to Twitter to rebut Trump’s allegations. Brian and John speak with Dr. Marvin Weinbaum, the Scholar-in-Residence and director of the Middle East Institute’s Center for Pakistan and Afghanistan Studies.

American White Supremacists Receive Training from Ukrainian Neo-Nazis

Nov 19, 2018 6981

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On today's episode of Loud & Clear, Brian Becker and John Kiriakou are joined by Max Blumenthal, a journalist, the senior editor of Grayzone Project, co-host of the podcast “Moderate Rebels,” and bestselling author whose latest book is “The 51 Day War: Ruin and Resistance in Gaza.” Monday’s regular segment Technology Rules with Chris Garaffa is a weekly guide on how monopoly corporations and the national surveillance state are threatening cherished freedoms, civil rights and civil liberties. Web developer and technologist Chris Garaffa joins the show. California’s wildfires continued to burn out of control over the weekend with 77 people dead and 997 still missing. President Trump visited Paradise, California, the town that was completely devastated, and called it “Pleasure, California.” He also claimed that the President of Finland told him that raking the forest floor would prevent future fires. Brian and John speak with Fred Magdoff, professor emeritus of plant and soil science at the University of Vermont and the co-author of “What Every Environmentalist Needs to Know About Capitalism” and “Creating an Ecological Society: Toward a Revolutionary Transformation.” Democrats in the Georgia and Florida Governor’s races and the Florida Senate race conceded to their Republican challengers over the weekend amid charges of voter suppression. Meanwhile, all seven of Orange County, California’s House races went to Democrats for the first time ever. Ted Rall, an award-winning editorial cartoonist and columnist whose work is at rall.com, joins the show. The Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum ended in Papua New Guinea this weekend, and for the first time, no end-of-summit communique was issued. The US and China exchanged repeated barbs over trade and, in the end, Papua Prime Minister Peter O’Neill said, “You all know who the two big giants in the room were, so what can I say?” Jude Woodward, the author of the new book “The US vs China: Asia's new Cold War?,” joins Brian and John. At its first meeting since the midterm elections, the House Progressive Caucus, which has increased its membership by 20 thanks to those elections, announced its policy priorities. They include healthcare, jobs, and fighting corruption. And although the caucus chairman said that abolishing Immigration and Customs Enforcement, or ICE, was still on the table, it was pushed to secondary importance. Juan José Gutiérrez, the executive director of the Full Rights for Immigrants Coalition, joins the show. Monday’s segment “Education for Liberation with Bill Ayers” is where Bill helps us look at the state of education across the country. What’s happening in our schools, colleges, and universities, and what impact does it have on the world around us? Brian and John speak with Bill Ayers, an activist, educator and the author of the book “Demand the Impossible: A Radical Manifesto.”

How Government Screw Ups Prove Assange Right

Nov 16, 2018 6669

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On today's episode of Loud & Clear, Brian Becker and John Kiriakou are joined by Jacqueline Luqman, co-editor-in-chief of Luqman Nation, and Sputnik News analyst and producer Walter Smolarek. Today Loud & Clear begins a new hour-long segment called The Week in Review. We’ll talk about the most important events of the week and offer some analysis to put it all into perspective. A federal prosecutor in the Eastern District of Virginia accidentally revealed yesterday that Wikileaks co-founder Julian Assange has been indicted in the district, and the indictment is sealed. Assange’s name was accidentally included in an unrelated terrorism and child pornography case. Dan Kovalik, a human rights and labor lawyer who is the author of the new book “The Plot to Control the World: How the US Spent Billions to Change the Outcome of Elections Around the World”, joins the show. An announcement by the North that they have developed an unspecified new “tactical weapon” is causing controversy. The hawkish CSIS think tank said this week that they had discovered 13 supposedly secret North Korean missile development sites. President Trump, however, said that he’s known about the sites for a long time. Is the Intelligence Community trying to sabotage the Korean peace talks? Brian and John speak with Gregory Elich, a member of the Solidarity Committee for Democracy and Peace in Korea and the author of, “Strange Liberators: Militarism, Mayhem, and the Pursuit of Profit.” Regional leaders gathered in Singapore this week for the summit of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations. The intense competition for influence in the region between China and the United States was fully on display at this high-profile gathering. Nile Bowie, a writer and journalist with the Asia Times who was on the ground covering the ASEAN summit, joins the show. 631 people are now missing and 66 are dead in the devastating California wildfires. Thousands of other people are living in tent cities after their homes were destroyed. Meanwhile, President Trump said that he will visit California tomorrow to inspect the damage. This was after he tweeted that the fires were the fault of California’s Democratic elected officials. California-based activist Sheila Xiao joins Brian and John. Finally, the hosts look at the worst, most misleading, funniest, and the just plain wrong headlines of the past week. Steve Patt, an independent journalist whose critiques of the mainstream media have been a feature of his blog Left I on the News, and Nicole Roussell, a Sputnik News analyst and producer, join the show.

Crisis in Britain Deepens as Brexit Deal Splits Conservative UK Gov’t

Nov 16, 2018 6977

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On today's episode of Loud & Clear, Brian Becker and John Kiriakou are joined by Alexander Mercouris, the editor-in-chief of The Duran. UK Prime Minister Theresa May’s hopes of selling a draft Brexit agreement to parliament were dealt a serious blow today, when several senior members of her cabinet, including the Brexit Minister, resigned in protest of the deal. The resignations have May’s government teetering on collapse, with many arguing that the Labour Party’s Jeremy Corbyn poised to become Britain’s next Prime Minister. Thursday’s weekly series “Criminal Injustice” is about the most egregious conduct of our courts and prosecutors and how justice is denied to so many people in this country. Paul Wright, the founder and executive director of the Human Rights Defense Center and editor of Prison Legal News (PLN), and Kevin Gosztola, a writer for Shadowproof.com and co-host of the podcast Unauthorized Disclosure, join the show. The Saudi-led coalition has ordered a halt in its offensive against the Yemeni port city of Hudaidah in advance of UN-sponsored ceasefire talks, apparently in response to western pressure to avoid a humanitarian catastrophe. Millions of Yemenis rely on the port for food, water, and medicine and are in grave danger of starvation. Brian and John speak with Brian Terrell, a long time peace activist and also co-coordinator of Voices for Creative Nonviolence. The ceasefire in Gaza appears to be holding, even as it may force the Israeli government to collapse. Yesterday’s resignation of Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman, and his party’s withdrawal from the ruling coalition, may be enough to force new elections. Still, Prime Minister Netanyahu, who also has appointed himself Defense Minister, Foreign Minister, and Communications Minister, will likely win with an even stronger coalition. Ambassador Manuel Hassassian, the Palestinian Ambassador to Hungary, joins the show. The global economy has hit a soft patch, putting the US economy’s robust growth at risk if the slowdown persists, according to the Wall Street Journal. Economic output in Germany and Japan slowed in the third quarter, while consumer spending in China hit a five-month low. Daniel Sankey, a financial policy analyst, joins Brian and John. A new study from Brown University’s Watson Institute of International and Public Affairs says that by the end of the 2019 fiscal year, the US will have spent nearly $6 trillion on the so-called War on Terror. This differs wildly from the Pentagon’s $1.5 trillion calculation because the Brown study also takes into account veteran care, interest on debt from the wars, and war-related spending from the State Department. Alexander Rubinstein, a Sputnik news analyst and journalist whose work is on Twitter at @RealAlexRubi, joins the show. New revelations have exposed a key force behind the unrest that rocked Nicaragua this year, leading to hundreds of deaths – the leadership of the Catholic Church. A recently leaked, clandestine recording of Bishop Silvio Báez shows the high-ranking church leader directly coordinating the deadly barricades that were set up across the country. Brian and John speak with Chuck Kaufman, he is the National Co-Coordinator of the Alliance for Global Justice.

Netanyahu's Right-Wing Cabinet Splinters Over Temporary Gaza Ceasefire

Nov 14, 2018 6665

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On today's episode of Loud & Clear, Brian Becker and John Kiriakou are joined by Ali Abunimah, the co-founder of The Electronic Intifada and author of the book “The Battle for Justice in Palestine,” and Miko Peled, the author of “The General’s Son - A Journey of an Israeli in Palestine” and “Injustice: The Story of the Holy Land Foundation Five.” Israel’s government moved close to collapse yesterday when Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman resigned and withdrew his party’s support for the government to protest the Netanyahu Administration’s cease-fire talks with Hamas. Far-right Education Minister Naftali Bennett threatened to withdraw his own party from the governing coalition unless Netanyahu names him as the new Defense Minister. Wednesday’s regular segment, Beyond Nuclear, is about nuclear issues, including weapons, energy, waste, and the future of nuclear technology in the United States. Kevin Kamps, the Radioactive Waste Watchdog at the organization Beyond Nuclear, joins the show. In an interview with the Washington Post yesterday Vice President Pence said that if China wants to avoid what he called an all-out Cold War with the United States and its partners, it must fundamentally change its behavior. The comments came in advance of President Trump’s meeting later this month with Chinese President Xi Jinping. Brian and John speak with Jude Woodward, the author of the new book “The US vs China: Asia's new Cold War?” British Prime Minister Theresa May told parliament today that the country is “significantly closer” to delivering on Brexit, saying that the draft agreement reached with the European Union would give the UK control of its borders, laws, and money. She is seeking the backing of her senior-most ministers before putting the agreement to a parliamentary vote. Steve Keen, the author of “Debunking Economics” and the world’s first crowdfunded economist, whose work is at patreon.com/ProfSteveKeen, joins the show. Jemel Roberson was shot by police in a Chicago suburb earlier this week. He was a Black security guard who was on duty the night a shooter came to the bar where he worked. He successfully had the alleged shooter on the ground when cops got there, but instead of taking the shooter into custody, the cops shot and killed Roberson, the security guard. Frank Chapman, a longtime organizer with the Chicago Alliance Against Racist and Political Repression, joins Brian and John. Protesting students in Colombia are preparing for a major demonstration tomorrow as they continue their struggle for adequate funding for the country’s higher education. They are facing massive, violent repression from the new far-right government of Ivan Duque. Christian Polo, the spokesperson for the National Union of Students in Higher Education at the National University of Colombia in Bogota, joins the show. President Trump today named the former Commander of Central Command, General John Abizaid, as the new Ambassador to Saudi Arabia. The appointment came as a surprise, as Abi Zaid has no known direct ties to Trump and the Saudis insist that any US Ambassador be a direct line to the president. Brian and John speak with Ali al-Ahmed, the Director of the Institute for Gulf Affairs.

Angry with Trump, Macron Calls for European Army: Real or Theater?

Nov 13, 2018 6962

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On today's episode of Loud & Clear, Brian Becker and John Kiriakou are joined by Peter Kuznick, a professor of history and director of the Nuclear Studies Institute at American University and the co-author with Oliver Stone of the book and TV show “The Untold History of the United States,” and Alexander Mercouris, the editor-in-chief of The Duran. President Trump went to Paris over the weekend to attend a commemoration of the 100th anniversary of the end of the first World War. By the time he left France on Monday, he was being scorned from several quarters. As U.S. relations with its European allies have dramatically shifted during the past two years, French President Emmanuel Macron and other European leaders have introduced the idea of the creation of a “European Army.” Tuesday’s weekly series is False Profits—A Weekly Look at Wall Street and Corporate Capitalism with Daniel Sankey. Financial policy analyst Daniel Sankey joins the show. Midterm elections were held a week ago today, but more than a dozen races are yet to be decided. The most inflammatory fight is in the Florida Senate race, where Governor Rick Scott, who is leading by only 12,500 votes out of more than eight million cast, accused incumbent Democratic Senator Bill Nelson of voter fraud for asking for a recount. Scott is going with a scorched earth strategy to secure the seat, while in Arizona, Republican Senate candidate Martha McSally gracefully conceded to Democrat Kyrsten Sinema after falling behind by 38,000 votes out of more than two million cast. Brian and John speak with Dave Lindorff, an investigative reporter and founder of This Can’t Be Happening!, as well as a columnist for CounterPunch, and a contributor to the London Review of Books, The Nation, Extra! Tarbell, and Salon.com. Special Counsel Robert Mueller could issue new indictments in the so-called Russian investigation as early as today. Jerome Corsi, a figure on the right-wing fringe, told his followers in a YouTube video that he expects to be indicted on perjury charges today. Meanwhile, the media is speculating that several people close to President Trump and other friends of Republican consultant Roger Stone also could be indicted. Daniel Lazare, a journalist and author of three books—“The Frozen Republic,” “The Velvet Coup,” and “America's Undeclared War,” joins the show. Wildfires in northern and southern California continued to spread over the holiday weekend, resulting in 44 deaths and becoming the deadliest and most destructive wildfires in the state’s history. More than 200 people are still missing. Meanwhile, President Trump tweeted that the fires are so severe only because of mismanagement by state fire prevention officials. That tweet was roundly condemned on both sides of the political aisle. Fred Magdoff, professor emeritus of plant and soil science at the University of Vermont and the co-author of “What Every Environmentalist Needs to Know About Capitalism” and “Creating an Ecological Society: Toward a Revolutionary Transformation” from Monthly Review Press, joins Brian and John. A botched Israeli commando raid into Gaza late last night brought Israel and the Palestinians to the brink of war before Egyptian mediators convinced both sides to step back from the brink. Israeli forces killed seven Palestinians last night, an action which led to the largest-scale rocket fire into Israel since 2004. An Israeli officer was also killed. Daoud Kuttab, an award-winning Palestinian journalist, joins the show. Last week, John sat in Athens with former Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis and renowned UBS whistleblower Brad Birkenfeld. They recorded their conversation about whistleblowing in the financial and banking sectors and about Varoufakis’s experience standing up to the Troika of the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund, and the European Central Bank, which was then in control of the Greek economy. Additionally, Varoufakis discussed his plans with Senator Bernie Sanders and other international progressive leaders to found a new international progressive movement.

On the Way Out, Sessions Gives Green Light to Unfettered Police Abuse

Nov 9, 2018 6846

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On today's episode of Loud & Clear, Brian Becker and John Kiriakou are joined by Dr. Gerald Horne, a professor of history at the University of Houston and author of “Blows Against the Empire: U.S. Imperialism in Crisis,” and Dr. Alex Vitale, an associate professor of sociology at Brooklyn College and author of “The End of Policing.” Former Attorney General Jeff Sessions took a parting shot at communities affected by police violence and civil libertarians on his way out the door when he severely limited the ability of federal law enforcement officials to use court enforced agreements, or consent decrees, to overhaul local police departments accused of abuses and civil rights violations. Friday is Loud & Clear’s regular segment on the midterms, today taking a look at the just-completed political races around the country and some of the marquee races still yet to be decided. Jacqueline Luqman, the co-editor-in-chief of Luqman Nation, which hosts a livestream every Thursday night at 9:00 p.m. on Facebook, joins the show. President Trump signed a new executive order yesterday denying migrants the right to ask for asylum when they are caught crossing the border without a visa. Immigrant rights organizations say the new executive order targets Central Americans almost exclusively. Meanwhile, a federal appeals court yesterday blocked the Trump Administration from ending DACA, or Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals. Brian and John speak with Juan Carlos Ruiz, cofounder of New Sanctuary Coalition. A federal judge late last night blocked construction of the controversial Keystone XL Pipeline, saying that the Trump Administration had “simply disregarded” the effect that the pipeline will have on climate change. The President said today that he will take the issue to the Supreme Court. Andrea Carmen, executive director of the International Indian Treaty Council, joins the show. Utah, Nebraska and Idaho, three Republican-dominated states, all voted to expand Medicaid in midterm election ballot measures. What will this mean for the residents in those states? And what will it mean for the fight for the right to healthcare across the country? Leo Cuello, an attorney and the director of health policy for the National Health Law Program, joins Brian and John. Four inmates in Tennessee are on death row, and are suing the state to let them choose to be killed via firing squad rather than the electric chair or lethal injection. Both methods have had many legal challenges, and the last lethal injection execution in Tennessee, which took place on August 9, took more than 20 minutes to complete. Deborah Golden, an attorney with Human Rights Defense Center and a national expert in prisoner human rights litigation, joins the show. It’s Friday! So it’s time for the week’s worst and most misleading headlines. Brian and John speak with Steve Patt, an independent journalist whose critiques of the mainstream media have been a feature of his blog Left I on the News and on twitter @leftiblog, and Sputnik producers Nicole Roussell and Walter Smolarek.

Sessions is Gone: What Next in Washington’s Unfolding Political Drama?

Nov 8, 2018 6837

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On today's episode of Loud & Clear, Brian Becker is joined by Julie Hurwitz, a civil rights attorney and partner at the law firm Goodman, Hurwitz and James, and Dan Kovalik, a human rights and labor lawyer and the author of the new book “The Plot to Control the World: How the US Spent Billions to Change the Outcome of Elections Around the World.” Jeff Sessions is out as Attorney General after a long period of tension with Donald Trump. Brian reviews the ultra right-wing policies that earned him the ire of so many millions of people across the country, and considers what his replacement by acting Attorney General Whitaker means for the future of the Mueller investigation. Thursday’s weekly series “Criminal Injustice” is about the most egregious conduct of our courts and prosecutors and how justice is denied to so many people in this country. Paul Wright, the founder and executive director of the Human Rights Defense Center and editor of Prison Legal News (PLN), and Kevin Gosztola, a writer for Shadowproof.com and co-host of the podcast Unauthorized Disclosure, join the show. 12 people were killed in a horrendous mass shooting at a bar in southern California last night. Details are still emerging, but news is now reporting that the shooter was a 28-year old combat veteran of the Marine Corps in Afghanistan. Mike Prysner, a U.S. veteran who served four years in the Army in Iraq, a documentary filmmaker, and co-host of the anti-war podcast Eyes Left, joins the show. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg fell and broke three ribs late last night. With conservative Justices Brett Kavanaugh and Neil Gorsuch in their 50s and Samuel Alito and John Roberts in their 60s, what could the court look like if Trump makes more appointments? Brian speaks with Deborah Golden, an attorney with Human Rights Defense Center and a national expert in prisoner human rights litigation. Dangerous new anti-abortion ballot measures passed in Alabama and West Virginia this week, setting up for an intense and protracted court battle. Is the historic Roe vs. Wade decision in jeopardy? Mia Raven, an advocate for women at the Reproductive Health Services of Montgomery abortion clinic, and the cofounder of the nonprofit next door to the clinic called POWER House – People Organizing for Women’s Empowerment & Rights, joins Brian. Intense fighting took place last night in the province of Takhar, killing 14 Afghan government soldiers. As the government loses ground, is there any hope for a negotiated peace? Dr. Marvin Weinbaum, the Scholar-in-Residence and director of the Middle East Institute’s Center for Pakistan and Afghanistan Studies, joins the show. The second half of this week’s regular segment, Beyond Nuclear, is about nuclear issues, including weapons, energy, waste, and the future of nuclear technology in the United States. Brian speaks with Kevin Kamps, the Radioactive Waste Watchdog at the organization Beyond Nuclear.

Dissecting the Midterm Election Results: What’s Next for U.S. Politics?

Nov 7, 2018 6838

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On today's episode of Loud & Clear, Brian Becker is joined by Jacqueline Luqman, the co-editor-in-chief of Luqman Nation; Loud & Clear co-host John Kiriakou; Florida activist Juliana Musheyev; and Josh Hovey, communications director of the Coalition to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol. Results from the midterms have been rolling in, and this first hour is what happened at the polls last night. First, the hosts talk about the federal races for Congress. The Democrats won the House and the Republicans strengthened their lead in the Senate. How will this affect the nation when those new congresspeople get into office? What will the 2020 map look like? Then the hosts move into state races, where there were several tight races for governor. Last will be a few of the many important amendments and ballot measures that voters weighed in on last night, including a few states legalizing medical or recreational marijuana and the felony disenfranchisement law in Florida. Less than 24 hours after polls closed in the midterms, Attorney General Jeff Sessions resigned at the request of President Trump. The relationship between Trump and Sessions soured early, following Sessions’ decision to recuse himself from the Russiagate investigation. Trump named an acting attorney general, but no one knows yet who will permanently fill the seat. Jim Kavanagh, the editor of ThePolemicist.net, joins the show. Speaking by video link to a conference in Israel, Edward Snowden denounced the use of Israeli software that he says was used to track Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi before he was killed. Snowden also went on to comment on mass surveillance in Israel in general. Brian speaks with Bill Binney, a former NSA technical director who became a legendary national security whistleblower, and journalist and filmmaker Dan Cohen. According to new reports, Amazon will open not one but two new headquarters -- in Long Island City, Queens and in Northern Virginia. As municipal governments competed to offer the company enormous tax breaks and other incentives in the hopes of reaping the economic benefits of hosting the new headquarters, is this a historic instance of bait-and-switch? Dr. Jack Rasmus, a professor of economics at Saint Mary's College of California and author of “Central Bankers at the End of Their Ropes: Monetary Policy and the Coming Depression” whose work is at www.jackrasmus.com, joins the show. The incoming far-right administration of Brazilian President-elect Jair Bolsonaro is taking shape, and the military is set to take a huge role in the governance of the country. But inside the country and around the world people are pushing back to defend democracy in Brazil. João Rodríguez, a longtime political activist in Brazil who is currently a doctoral candidate in sociology at the University of Pennsylvania, joins Brian. Wednesday’s regular segment, Beyond Nuclear, is about nuclear issues, including weapons, energy, waste, and the future of nuclear technology in the United States. Kevin Kamps, the Radioactive Waste Watchdog at the organization Beyond Nuclear, joins the show.

What’s at Stake in U.S. Midterm Elections?

Nov 6, 2018 6886

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On today's episode of Loud & Clear, Brian Becker is joined by Kevin Zeese and Margaret Flowers, the co-directors of Popular Resistance, and from Philadelphia by Dave Lindorff, an investigative reporter, a columnist for CounterPunch, and a contributor to Businessweek, The Nation, Extra! and Salon.com. Today millions of people across the country are lining up to vote in crucial local, state and federal elections, as well as a number of important referendums. What is at stake in the midterm election, and how will it affect the direction of the country? Tuesday’s weekly series is False Profits—A Weekly Look at Wall Street and Corporate Capitalism with Daniel Sankey. Financial policy analyst Daniel Sankey joins the show. On the eve of the midterm election, Facebook announced that it had conducted another round of account deletions. How have social media purges and constant stories about foreign interference impacted the political climate leading up to polling day? Brian speaks with Daniel Lazare, a journalist and author of three books--“The Frozen Republic,” “The Velvet Coup,” and “America's Undeclared War.” Thousands of migrants from Central America are making the perilous journey north, fleeing violence, poverty and political repression. Donald Trump has made the caravan the top issue in the midterm election, whipping up anti-immigrant sentiment and talking about an “invasion”. But who really are the people who make up the caravan? Gloria La Riva, a journalist and filmmaker who has been reporting on the ground as the caravan makes its way through Mexico, joins the show. The harshest U.S. sanctions yet have been imposed on Iran, targeting the country’s crucial oil sector. World leaders are expressing their frustration with U.S. unilateralism, but the economic pressure on the country continues to mount. Professor Mohammad Marandi, a professor of American Studies at the University of Tehran and an expert in postcolonial literature, joins Brian. Three Venezuelan guards were killed along the border with Colombia this weekend by an armed group. This comes just days after US National Security Adviser John Bolton declared support for far-right Colombian President Ivan Duque while naming Venezuela in the “troika of terror.” Paul Dobson, a writer for VenezuelaAnalysis.com, joins the show. Last week on Loud & Clear, the hosts talked about the Human Rights Watch report that featured North Korean defectors alleging sexual abuse in North Korea. Today, they’re joined again by Dr. Christine Hong to rebut these allegations and discuss how South Korean and other intelligence agencies use defectors to further a narrative aimed at disrupting steps toward peace and reunification. Brian speaks with Dr. Christine Hong, Associate Professor of Critical Race and Ethnic Studies at UC Santa Cruz and a member of the Korea Policy Institute.

Trump Tries to Choke Iran, Imposes New Severe Sanctions

Nov 6, 2018 6931

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The US reimposed sanctions on Iranian oil today that had been lifted under the 2015 Iran nuclear deal. The sanctions have already caused serious inflation and there are fears that products like medicine and food could become scarce. Eight countries have been temporarily exempted from the sanctions so their major oil purchases from Iran can continue, but the U.S. regime change push continues at full speed. Monday’s regular segment Technology Rules with Chris Garaffa is a weekly guide on how monopoly corporations and the national surveillance state are threatening cherished freedoms, civil rights and civil liberties. Web developer and technologist Chris Garaffa joins the show. Tomorrow is Election Day as tens of millions of people prepare to go to the polls to vote in a variety of federal, state and local elections. But if there’s a change of party control in either the House or the Senate, will the politics of this country really shift? Brian and John speak with Dave Lindorff, an investigative reporter, a columnist for CounterPunch, and a contributor to Businessweek, The Nation, Extra! and Salon.com, and Ted Rall, an award-winning editorial cartoonist and columnist whose work is at rall.com. In an interview yesterday Donald Trump shrugged off U.S. responsibility for the horrific airstrike on a school bus in Yemen that killed 51, including 40 children, saying “That was basically people that didn’t know how to use the weapon”. But what is the real role of the United States in this deadly war? Ann Wright, a retired United States Army colonel and former U.S. State Department official in Afghanistan, who resigned in protest of the invasion of Iraq and became an anti-war activist, joins the show. If the Democrats win tomorrow, who will the Republicans blame? And if the Republicans win, who will the Democrats blame? From Russian interference to Chinese interference to much-maligned but extremely rare “voter fraud,” the two major U.S. political parties have a number of scapegoats at the ready to avoid blame. Jim Kavanagh, editor of thepolemicist.net, joins Brian and John. Just days before the midterm election, Donald Trump amped up his anti-immigrant rhetoric and announced that he would send up to 15,000 U.S. soldiers to the U.S.-Mexico border. As rank-and-file soldiers are yet again used as political pawns, U.S. military veterans are calling on their fellow service members to refuse the order to deploy. Mike Prysner, a US veteran who served four years in the Army in Iraq, a documentary filmmaker, and a co-host of the anti-war podcast Eyes Left, joins the show. Monday’s segment “Education for Liberation with Bill Ayers” is where Bill helps us look at the state of education across the country. What’s happening in our schools, colleges, and universities, and what impact does it have on the world around us? Brian and John speak with Bill Ayers, an activist, educator and the author of the book “Demand the Impossible: A Radical Manifesto.”

Bolton’s “Troika of Tyranny” Speech Promotes US-Backed Regime Change

Nov 2, 2018 6940

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On today's episode of Loud & Clear, Brian Becker and John Kiriakou are joined by Max Blumenthal, a journalist and bestselling author whose latest book is “The 51 Day War: Ruin and Resistance in Gaza,” the senior editor of Grayzone Project, and co-host of the podcast “Moderate Rebels.” National Security Advisor John Bolton gave a fiery speech in Miami yesterday declaring the existence of a “troika of tyranny” in Latin America — Cuba, Venezuela and Nicaragua. Bolton also pledged support for far-right Brazilian President-elect Jair Bolsonaro, who made several bold announcements yesterday. Since the election Bolsonaro said that he would move Brazil’s embassy in Israel to Jerusalem, he would merge the Environment and Agriculture Ministries, threatening the Amazon, and he would name former president Luis Ignacio Lula da Silva’s prosecutor as the new Minister of Justice. Friday is Loud & Clear’s regular segment on the midterms, taking a look at political races around the country in the runup to midterm elections in November. Jacqueline Luqman, the co-editor-in-chief of Luqman Nation, which hosts a livestream every Thursday night at 9:00 p.m. on Facebook, joins the show. Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley, a Republican of Iowa, announced yesterday that for four years during the Obama Administration, the CIA intercepted the emails of potential Intelligence Community whistleblowers and the emails of the Senate Intelligence and Judiciary Committees. Grassley said that he had known this was happening for four years, but the information was classified. It was finally declassified at his request this week. Grassley blames former CIA Director John Brennan and former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper by name for what appears to be an overtly illegal act. President Trump offered remarks yesterday evening about immigration and the thousands of troops he’s sending to the border. He said he hopes the military doesn’t have to shoot, but he told reporters that he’s told the military that if any migrants seeking asylum throw any rocks, that the military should consider the rock a rifle. Pedro Rios, the director of the American Friends Service Committee’s U.S./Mexico Border Program and chairperson for the San Diego Immigrant Rights Consortium, joins the show. US sanctions against Iran will take effect again on Monday, six months after the Trump Administration withdrew from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, or the Iran trade deal. The question, though is what other countries will do about the sanctions and whether waivers will make a difference. Professor Hamed Mousavi, a professor of political science with the University of Tehran, joins Brian and John. Just hours after President Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping had a positive phone call that pointed to an improvement in diplomatic relations, the Department of Justice issued indictments against two Chinese companies and three individuals yesterday for allegedly stealing trade secrets. What’s behind the mixed signals coming from the U.S. government? David Ewing, he is the chair of the San Francisco chapter of the US-China People’s Friendship Association, joins the show. It’s Friday! So it’s time for the week’s worst and most misleading headlines. Brian and John speak with Steve Patt, an independent journalist whose critiques of the mainstream media have been a feature of his blog Left I on the News and on twitter @leftiblog, and Sputnik producer Nicole Roussell.

Trump Promises 15,000 Troops to U.S.-Mexican Border

Nov 1, 2018 6908

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On today's episode of Loud & Clear, Brian Becker and John Kiriakou are joined by Juan José Gutiérrez, the executive director of the Full Rights for Immigrants Coalition, and Isabel Garcia, co-founder of Coalición de Derechos Humanos. With less than a week left before the midterm election, Donald Trump has announced that he would be sending up to 15,000 soldiers to the U.S.-Mexico border. Meanwhile Republicans released an overtly racist campaign ad yesterday showing an undocumented migrant who was convicted of killing two policemen saying with a smile that he would soon escape and kill more people and then blaming Democrats for the deaths. Thursday’s weekly series “Criminal Injustice” is about the most egregious conduct of our courts and prosecutors and how justice is denied to so many people in this country. Paul Wright, the founder and executive director of the Human Rights Defense Center and editor of Prison Legal News (PLN), and Kevin Gosztola, a writer for Shadowproof.com and co-host of the podcast Unauthorized Disclosure, join the show. More than 1,000 Google employees and contractors briefly walked off the job yesterday in Europe and Asia amid complaints of racism, sexism, and abuse of executive authority in the workplace. More walkouts are scheduled today. Google’s chief executive said in a statement that the company will carefully weigh its employees demands and respond appropriately. Brian and John speak with Patricia Gorky, an activist and a tech worker in San Francisco. The Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction, or SIGAR, issued a report yesterday showing that the Afghan government controls less territory than it has at any time since the US invasion. SIGAR said that the government of Ashraf Ghani controls only 55.5 percent of Afghanistan after 17 years of US military aid and support. Kathy Kelly, co-coordinator of Voices for Creative Non-Violence, joins the show. Human Rights Watch, the US-based human rights organization, released a study yesterday based on interviews with more than 100 North Korean defectors now in South Korea, saying that North Korean government officials routinely commit sexual violence against women with impunity. The allegation is shocking, but critics say this is just another smear job to derail steps towards peace in Korea. Dr. Christine Hong, Associate Professor of Critical Race and Ethnic Studies at UC Santa Cruz and a member of the Korea Policy Institute, joins Brian and John. The Bank of England this morning warned of an economic catastrophe if the UK leaves the European Union without a Brexit deal. Bank governor Mark Carney said that absent an agreement, the UK should expect gridlock in its ports and airports, inflation, and a collapse in the value of the pound. This comes as police open a criminal probe into pro-Brexit campaign donor Arron Banks, who has been the target of conspiracy theories relating to his business interest in Russia. Steve Hedley, senior assistant general secretary of the the UK’s Rail, Maritime, and Transport Workers Union, joins the show. Rep. Steve King, a Republican of Iowa, is one of the most conservative and anti-immigrant members of the House of Representatives. He calls himself a nationalist. Many of his detractors call him a bigot, a racist, and a white nationalist. King made a controversial tweet a few days ago and instantly moved his safe Republican seat to a toss-up. Is there a limit to xenophobia, even for conservative Republicans?

About Face! After Khashoggi Incident, Mattis Announces Shift on Yemen

Oct 31, 2018 6802

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On today's episode of Loud & Clear, Brian Becker and John Kiriakou are joined by Gareth Porter, a historian, investigative journalist, and analyst specializing in U.S. national security policy, and the author of “Manufactured Crisis: The Untold Story of the Iran Nuclear Scare.” Secretary of Defense James Mattis and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo called today for all participants in the Yemen war to begin a ceasefire within 30 days. The two said that within 30 days they wanted all parties to engage in peace talks that would be led by UN Special Envoy Martin Griffiths. No venue for talks has yet been announced. Wednesday’s regular segment, Beyond Nuclear, is about nuclear issues, including weapons, energy, waste, and the future of nuclear technology in the United States. Kevin Kamps, the Radioactive Waste Watchdog at the organization Beyond Nuclear, and Sputnik news analyst and producer Nicole Roussell, join the show. President Trump and his advisors are pushing ahead with his theory that he can revoke birthright citizenship by signing an executive order. Most Republican leaders and Constitutional scholars have condemned the president’s position on the basis that it violates the 14th Amendment, but the issue will likely have to be settled in the courts. Brian and John speak with David Gespass, the former President of the National Lawyers Guild. An Israeli airstrike killed three young Palestinian boys on Sunday evening near the fence that separates Israel from Gaza. Israeli authorities say that one of their aircraft rocketed the boys, two aged 13 and one 14, while they were planting explosives. Palestinian authorities, however, said that was nonsense. Dan Cohen, a journalist and a documentary filmmaker with extensive experience in the Middle East, joins the show. The New Zealand government said today that a landmark 11-country trade deal that would slash tariffs and increase trade will come into effect at the end of December after being ratified by New Zealand, Australia, Canada, Japan, Mexico, and Singapore. The Trump Administration withdrew from the Pacific Rim Trade Pact early last year to, in President Trump’s words, prioritize protecting American jobs. Dr. Jack Rasmus, a professor of economics at Saint Mary's College of California, author of “Central Bankers at the End of Their Ropes: Monetary Policy and the Coming Depression,” and at www.jackrasmus.com, joins Brian and John. Chabahar is an Iranian port on the Indian Ocean, Iran’s only direct access to open ocean. The port was built and developed by Indian companies working with the government of India to expand that country’s ability to trade with the rest of the world, but especially with Afghanistan. The idea was a good one for virtually all the economies of the area. But now US sanctions on Iran threaten the port’s viability. Vijay Prashad, the director of the Tricontinental: Institute for Social Research and chief editor of LeftWord Books, joins the show. The Cook Political Report, arguably the most highly-respected political analysis outlet in the country, reported today that Democrats may be on the brink of a major sweep of governors’ mansions in every Great Lakes state with an election this year. Democratic gains would have lasting importance because of the upcoming 2020 census and the resultant mandate to draw new congressional district borders. Brian and John speak with Julie Hurwitz, a Detroit civil rights attorney and partner at the law firm Goodman, Hurwitz and James.

Pittsburgh Massacre: A Look Inside the Politics of Polarization

Oct 30, 2018 7063

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On today's episode of Loud & Clear, Brian Becker and John Kiriakou are joined by Dan Kovalik, a Pittsburgh human rights and labor lawyer, and the author of the new book “The Plot to Control the World,” and Eugene Puryear, the host of the Sputnik News show By Any Means Necessary. Funeral services were held today for the victims of the anti-Semitic massacre at Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh as the city and the country mourns the loss of life in this brazen terror attack carried out by a white supremacist. Donald Trump is also on his way to the city, as he continues to face criticism over the impact of his rhetoric on the political climate in the country. Tuesday’s weekly series is False Profits—A Weekly Look at Wall Street and Corporate Capitalism with Daniel Sankey. Financial policy analyst Daniel Sankey joins the show. President Trump said in an HBO documentary that will be broadcast Sunday that he would seek to end birthright citizenship by executive order, that is automatic American citizenship for any person born in the United States. Apparently he hasn’t bothered to read the 14th Amendment to the Constitution. Brian and John speak with Juan Carlos Ruiz, cofounder of New Sanctuary Coalition. A judge in Ecuador has ruled against WikiLeaks co-founder Julian Assange, who had contested new rules imposed on him in the country's embassy in London. The judge said a requirement to pay for internet use and clean up after his cat did not violate his right to asylum. Assange had argued that the conditions violated his "fundamental rights and freedoms", and were intended to force him to leave. His lawyers have appealed against the ruling. Randy Credico, an activist, a comedian, and the former director of the William Moses Kunstler Fund for Racial Justice, joins the show. Maria Butina, a Russian graduate student being held without bail for conspiracy to fail to register as a foreign agent, is now being accused of being involved in cyber warfare, according to the Associated Press. The only problem is that Butina WASN’T involved in cyber warfare. When she was studying at American University in Washington, one of her professors asked her to gather information on the cyberdefenses of US non-profits for a study he was doing. That’s it. Jim Kavanagh, the editor of ThePolemicist.net, joins Brian and John. The New York Times reported yesterday that South Korean President Moon Jae-in is succeeding where all of his predecessors have failed — in engaging North Korea and convincing that country to give up its nuclear weapons program. But the article isn’t complimentary. It quotes a South Korean newspaper as saying that Moon is Kim’s most effective spokesman. And it quotes an American think tank analyst saying Moon is a “Bad moon on the rise,” quoting an old Creedence Clearwater Revival song. Simone Chun, a fellow at the Korea Policy Institute and a member of the Korean Peace Network, joins the show. Midterm elections are one week away, so today the hosts look at how an offhand comment may affect them. Hillary Clinton told an audience in New York a few days ago that she still would like to be president. When asked if she would run again, she said no, paused, said no again, and then said that, well, sure, she’d like to be president. The interviewer says that the public has overreacted to the statement. But Clinton supporters relished the notion of another campaign against Donald Trump. Brian and John speak with Walter Smolarek, Sputnik news analyst and producer of Loud & Clear.

Bolsonaro Victory Opens New Stage in Brazil’s Political Struggle

Oct 29, 2018 6753

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On today's episode of Loud & Clear, Brian Becker and John Kiriakou are joined by João Rodrigues, a longtime political activist in Brazil, and Aline Piva, a journalist and a member of Brazilians for Democracy and Social Justice. Far-right populist Jair Bolsonaro won the presidency of Brazil yesterday with 55 percent of valid votes cast. Thirty percent of Brazilians cast blank ballots. Bolsonaro is seen as a populist and has been compared to Donald Trump and to Philippines President Duterte. He also has spoken warmly of Brazil’s 1964-1985 military dictatorship and said recently that he would have served in Hitler’s army if he had had the chance. Monday’s regular segment Technology Rules with Chris Garaffa is a weekly guide on how monopoly corporations and the national surveillance state are threatening cherished freedoms, civil rights and civil liberties. Web developer and technologist Chris Garaffa joins the show. Robert Bowers walked into the Tree of Life Synagogue on Saturday in Pittsburgh and opened fire with an AR-15 assault rifle. He’s facing 29 felony counts, including 11 counts of murder with a hate crime enhancement and the Assistant U.S. Attorney says that he will seek the federal death penalty. Bowers’ virulently anti-Semitic online posts presaged the attack. Brian and John speak with Mindy Isser, a labor organizer and member of the Jewish community in the Philadelphia area. The Wall Street Journal is reporting today that the number of troops the US is sending to the border in anticipation of a migrant caravan is up from the reported 800 last week to 5,000. They’re joining 2,000 National Guardsmen already there. Meanwhile, Mexican officials say that the size of the caravan has dropped by half as some migrants are electing to remain in Mexico’s southern Chiapas state. Jorge Barón, the executive director of the Northwest Immigrant Rights Project, joins the show. German Chancellor Angela Merkel announced this morning that she would resign from the leadership of the Christian Democratic Party in December and would not seek re-election as chancellor in 2021. The announcement was unexpected, but comes in light of a resounding defeat for Merkel’s coalition in recent regional elections in Bavaria. Activist and journalist Diani Baretto joins Brian and John. The fight for stronger rent control in California is headed to the ballot box next week. Proposition 10 would repeal the state’s Costa-Hawkins Rental Housing Act, which strictly limits rent control in cities across California. It’s blamed for the state having some of the highest rents in the country. Nathalie Hrizi, a public school librarian who ran on the Peace & Freedom Party ticket for state insurance commissioner in California in the last election and received over 5% of the statewide vote, joins the show. Monday’s segment “Education for Liberation with Bill Ayers” is where Bill helps us look at the state of education across the country. What’s happening in our schools, colleges, and universities, and what impact does it have on the world around us? Brian and John speak with Bill Ayers, an activist, educator and the author of the book “Demand the Impossible: A Radical Manifesto.”

Prominent Neocon Promises More Censorship of Social Media

Oct 26, 2018 6997

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On today's episode of Loud & Clear, Brian Becker and John Kiriakou are joined by Max Blumenthal, a journalist, the senior editor of Grayzone Project, co-host of the podcast “Moderate Rebels,” and bestselling author whose latest book is “The 51 Day War: Ruin and Resistance in Gaza.” This month, Facebook and Twitter deleted the accounts of hundreds of users, including man alternative media sites. Most of those purged were popular sites that scrutinized police brutality and US interventionism, like The Free Thought Project and Cop Block. Max Blumenthal has written a major article exposing the neoconservative cadres, they are former government officials and now affiliated with DC think tanks, which are playing a dominant role in the new cenersoship of alternative media. Friday is Loud & Clear’s regular segment on the midterms, taking a look at political races around the country in the runup to midterm elections in November. Jacqueline Luqman, the co-editor-in-chief of Luqman Nation, which hosts a livestream every Thursday night at 9:00 p.m. on Facebook, joins the show. Cesar Sayoc was arrested in Florida today in connection with more than a dozen pipe bombs that have been mailed to prominent critics of Donald Trump. Two more bombs were intercepted today after being mailed to Democratic Senator Cory Booker and former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper. Brian and John speak with Ted Rall, an award-winning editorial cartoonist and columnist whose work is at rall.com. Rep. Mark Meadows, a Republican from North Carolina, said following a seven-hour-long closed-door session with former Trump campaign advisor George Papadopoulos that the FBI’s Russia investigation was on weak footing from the beginning, and that the investigation of Papadopoulos in and of itself was unconstitutional. Papadopoulos told Fox & Friends this morning that the FBI had violated his constitutional rights and that he was considering withdrawing from his plea deal, even though he has already cooperated with the Mueller team and served two weeks in jail. Daniel Lazare, a journalist and author of three books—“The Frozen Republic,” “The Velvet Coup,” and “America's Undeclared War,” joins the show. Sixteen years ago today the US anti-war movement burst onto the scene with a massive protest in Washington DC. The focus of the protest was to stop George W. Bush and Dick Cheney from taking the country to war in Iraq. Within a few weeks, that movement became a global anti-war movement, drawing in more than 10 million people. The NYT in February 2003 called this unprecedented movement “the world’s second superpower.” John interviews co host Brian Becker, the national director of the Answer Coalition, the group that initiated these mass protests 16 years ago today. An oil spill that has been quietly leaking million of barrels into the Gulf of Mexico has gone unplugged for so long that it now verges on becoming one of the worst offshore disasters in American history. Between 300 and 700 barrels of oil per day have been leaking from a site off the coast of Louisiana for the past 14 years, since an offshore oil platform sank during Hurricane Ivan. It has never been capped. Scott Edwards, co-director of the Food & Water Justice project at Food & Water Watch, joins the show. It’s Friday! So it’s time for the week’s worst and most misleading headlines. Brian and John speak with Steve Patt, an independent journalist whose critiques of the mainstream media have been a feature of his blog Left I on the News and on twitter @leftiblog, and Sputnik producers Nicole Roussell and Walter Smolarek.

Instead of “Unity,” Political Polarization Deepens After Pipe Bombs

Oct 25, 2018 6762

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On today's episode of Loud & Clear, Brian Becker and John Kiriakou are joined by New York by Jim Kavanagh, the editor of thepolemecist.net, and from Virginia by Joe Lauria, the editor of Consortium News. Even more pipe bombs were found this morning, this time addressed to former Vice President Joe Biden and to actor Robert DeNiro, both critics of Donald Trump. Yesterday, bombs were sent to Bill and Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, two members of Congress, former CIA director John Brennan, former Attorney General Eric Holder, and CNN. The bomber is clearly targeting opponents of President Trump. But the president’s only response so far is to blame the media for not treating him fairly and for inciting hatred in the country. Thursday’s weekly series “Criminal Injustice” is about the most egregious conduct of our courts and prosecutors and how justice is denied to so many people in this country. Paul Wright, the founder and executive director of the Human Rights Defense Center and editor of Prison Legal News (PLN), and Kevin Gosztola, a writer for Shadowproof.com and co-host of the podcast Unauthorized Disclosure, join the show. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis is expected to sign an order sending at least 800 U.S. troops to the U.S.-Mexico border as a caravan of thousands of migrants heads north from Central America. Brian and John speak with Isabel Garcia, co-founder of Coalición de Derechos Humanos. In a stunning prediction, Ben Hodges, the commander of U.S. forces in Europe from 2014 to 2017, told an audience at the Warsaw Security Forum that there is “a very strong likelihood that we will be at war with China” within 15 years. What can the world do to avert such a catastrophic conflict? Sputnik news analyst Walter Smolarek joins the show. Type the words “Erdogan slams” into Google and you get a long list, including the US, the UN, the EU, France, Germany, and the Netherlands. Compare that to the Turkish president’s latest statement about Saudi Arabia, which is “I have no reason to doubt the king’s honesty.” He’s referring to the Saudi murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi. Saudi Arabia’s “Davos in the Desert” investment summit has just finished, with billions of dollars in new investment being planned for the kingdom. Erdogan understands that. Why let the death of one journalist get in the way of Turkey’s share of the profits? Professor Mohammad Marandi, an expert on American studies and postcolonial literature who teaches at the University of Tehran, joins Brian and John. The New York and NASDAQ stock exchanges have experienced extreme volatility over the past week, with daily swings of as much as five percent. Indeed, the markets are down so much this week that the entire year’s gains have been wiped out. What accounts for this volatility? And is it temporary or something we should get used to? Financial policy analyst Daniel Sankey joins the show. There was a debate last night in Florida between the two gubernatorial candidates--Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum and Congressman Ron DeSantis. Actually, it was less of a debate than it was a bare-knuckle brawl. DeSantis said that Gillum as governor would allow pedophiles to have free reign in Florida. And Gillum said that DeSantis was the candidate of neo-Nazis and white supremacists. In the meantime, news broke that the FBI had earlier tried to set up Gillum on a criminal charge by giving him free tickets to the musical Hamilton. Brian and John speak with Sputnik news analyst Walter Smolarek.

Bombs Sent to Obama, Clinton, Brennan, Holder, Soros & Other Figures

Oct 24, 2018 7152

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On today's episode of Loud & Clear, Brian Becker and John Kiriakou are joined by Dr. Gerald Horne, a professor of history at the University of Houston and author of many books, including “Blows Against the Empire: U.S. Imperialism in Crisis.” Explosive packages were sent to Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, and former Democratic National Committee chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz today and to billionaire Democratic Party donor George Soros over the weekend. None of them detonated and no one was injured. Why are incidents like this so common in the United States? The hosts look at the issue of political polarization, factional struggles among political elites and their impact on the larger population and the history and the role violence has played during periods of political turmoil and indeed within the foundational structures of what became the United States. Wednesday’s regular segment, Beyond Nuclear, is about nuclear issues, including weapons, energy, waste, and the future of nuclear technology in the United States. Kevin Kamps, the Radioactive Waste Watchdog at the organization Beyond Nuclear, producer of Loud & Clear Nicole Roussell, and Sputnik news analyst Walter Smolarek, join the show. In our continuing daily coverage of the midterm elections, the hosts take a look at Medicaid. Medicaid expansion is on the ballot in some of the unlikeliest places this election, places like Idaho, Utah, Montana, and Nebraska. These are states whose populations were no fans of Obamacare, but many people there have come to the conclusion that the only way to cover gaps in health care is to expand the federal program long attacked by conservatives. Brian and John speak with Leo Cuello, an attorney and the director of health policy for the National Health Law Program. The United Nations Undersecretary General for Humanitarian Affairs said yesterday that as many as 14 million Yemenis--half of the country’s population--is at risk of starvation because of Saudi Arabia’s war on that country. Mark Lowcock said, “There is a clear and present danger of an imminent and great famine” hitting Yemen that would be bigger than anything seen in the lifetime of any UN official. Kathy Kelly, co-coordinator of Voices for Creative Non-Violence, joins the show. Ecuador’s foreign minister said yesterday that the country would no longer intervene with the UK government on behalf of Wikileaks founder Julian Assange. Jose Valencia departed from previous policy by saying that it is now up to Assange to deal with his own problems with the UK. Randy Credico, an activist, a comedian, and the former director of the William Moses Kunstler Fund for Racial Justice, joins Brian and John. Apple Corporation CEO Tim Cook launched a blistering attack yesterday in Brussels against what he called