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.
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