15:04 GMT04 December 2020
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    Trump Sets the Stage for War With Iran: Israel Troops on High Alert

    Loud & Clear
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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, an analyst specializing in U.S. national security policy, and the author of “Manufactured Crisis: The Untold Story of the Iran Nuclear Scare.”

    In dramatic fashion, Donald Trump took to the airwaves to announce that the US was leaving the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, also known as the Iran Nuclear Arms Deal. Trump had been signaling his decision for many months. The speech was filled with bellicose and threatening language. What comes next? Is the Trump administration gearing up for military conflict and another war in the Middle East?

    Tuesday's weekly series "False Profits-A Weekly Look at Wall Street and Corporate Capitalism with Daniel Sankey" continues looking at the top economic issues of the day, today focusing what unemployment numbers really mean and how the price of oil is affecting geopolitics. Financial policy analyst Daniel Sankey joins the show.

    Senate candidate and former mining company CEO Don Blankenship, who spent a year in prison for his role in the deaths of 29 miners, appears to be surging in the West Virginia senate race in light of an overtly racist television ad his campaign has been airing this week. Blankenship says that, if elected, he will create jobs for Americans, not for "China people" and he excoriates Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, whose wife is Chinese-American, as "Cocaine Mitch." Brian and John speak with community organizer Frank Ariet and Sputnik news analyst Walter Smolarek.

    Oliver North, the central figure in the Iran-Contra scandal of the 1980s, and now a Fox News contributor, was named president of the National Rifle Association yesterday. It was North who illegally arranged for arms sales to Iran during the Iran-Iraq war, and then used the proceeds to illegal purchase weapons for the Contra rebels, who were fighting to overthrow the Nicaraguan government. Joe Lauria, the editor-in-chief of Consortium News, founded by the late Robert Parry, who broke the Iran-Contra scandal, joins the show.

    Peace and anti-torture groups have begun arriving on Capitol Hill to protest the nomination of Gina Haspel to be CIA director. Haspel was integral to the CIA's torture program during the George W. Bush Administration. She headed a secret prison, oversaw torture sessions, and later destroyed videotaped evidence of the torture. Jeremy Varon, a professor at the New School in New York and an anti-torture activist who is helping to lead those protests, joins Brian and John.

    A new report in the Observer newspaper and New Yorker Magazine says that unidentified people connected to the Trump Administration hired an private Israeli intelligence company last year to dig up embarrassing information-primarily sexual in nature-on Democrats who had supported the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, all in an effort to discredit it. This Israeli firm is the same one allegedly hired by movie mogul Harvey Weinstein to discredit women who accused him of sexual improprieties. Whitney Webb, a journalist and a staff writer for MintPress News, joins the show.

    President Trump is sending a plan to Congress that calls for cutting $15 billion in previously-approved spending. Almost half the cuts would come from two accounts within the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP), while another $800 million would come from a program within Obamacare. Brian and John speak with Mary Gerisch, an organizer and member chair of the Rights & Democracy health care justice team.

    We'd love to get your feedback at radio@sputniknews.com

    Nuclear Deal, Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), Iran, Israel, Syria
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