US Officials Blame Russia for COVID Confusion in US...Not Trump

US Officials Blame Russia for COVID Confusion in US...Not Trump
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 spread of Covid-19 is worse in the United States than it is in any other country in the world. And the US has more deaths than any other country. Why is this the case? Is it because we have no national policy on masks? Or because governors reopened their states too early? No. It’s because of the Russians. The Associated Press reported today that Russian intelligence services are using three English-language websites to spread disinformation about COVID. The US Intelligence Community has just declassified the information so that we can talk about it in advance of the US presidential election.

The CEOs of Amazon, Apple, Facebook, and Google are testifying before a House antitrust subcommittee today about whether their companies have too much power. Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, in his first-ever Congressional testimony, began the hearing saying that he was raised by a single mother and adoptive father and that he created Amazon 26 years ago from nothing He and the others argued that they are not monopolies and are the only companies large enough to hold off Chinese ventures. Ted Rall, an award-winning columnist and political cartoonist, whose work is at, joins the show.

An unmarked Kia van drove up to a crowd of protestors yesterday in New York City, at least five men jumped out, they grabbed a protestor, threw them in the van, and drove off. The men, it turns out, were New York police officers. But it appears they’ve learned these new tactics, which is little more than kidnapping, from the federal agents sent to Portland and elsewhere. And the protestor, we now know, was facing five misdemeanor counts of damaging a police camera. Meanwhile, the FBI’s No. 2, declared the demonstrations following the murder of George Floyd “a national crisis,” and wrote that in addition to investigating what he called “violent protesters, instigators” and “inciters,” bureau leaders should collect information with “robust social media exploitation teams” and examine what appeared to be “highly organized behavior.” He also suggested that the bureau make use of the Hobbs Act, put into place in the 1940s to punish racketeering in labor groups, to charge the protesters. Brian and John speak with Heidi Boghosian, the executive director of the A. J. Muste Memorial Institute and the former Executive Director of the National Lawyers Guild.

The Trump Administration announced yesterday that it would continue to reject all new applications for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, program, and it would shorten renewals for the more than 600,000 immigrants already enrolled in the program while the government conducts a review. The move comes after the Supreme Court earlier this summer blocked the Trump Administration’s attempts to end the program, which shields young immigrants brought to this country without documentation from deportation. Juan Carlos Ruiz, co-founder of the New Sanctuary Movement, 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.

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