06:43 GMT +324 March 2019
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    Loud & Clear

    Committed to Endless US Occupation of Syria, Mattis Resigns

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    Brian Becker, John Kiriakou
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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.

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

    Tags:
    occupation, resignation, Pentagon, General James Mattis, Syria
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