There was a bare-fisted street brawl in Las Vegas last night, and a Democratic presidential debate broke out. Indeed, the New York Post called last night’s debate “the single best debate in the history of American politics.” That may be a stretch, but Mike Bloomberg looked unprepared, angry, and defensive. Elizabeth Warren looked like the big winner of the evening, as she relentlessly pummelled Bloomberg. Pete Buttigieg seemed to hold his own, and Bernie Sanders appears to have come out on top with no real damage other than over his medical records.
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.
One of Julian Assange’s London-based attorneys said yesterday that President Trump had authorized former Congressman Dana Rohrbacher to tell Assange that he would be pardoned if he showed proof that Russia was not behind the hack of DNC computers in 2016. Assange has repeatedly said over the years that no state actor was involved. But Rohrbacher issued a statement several hours later saying the report was not true, and that he had made the offer on his own volition. Brian and John speak with independent journalist Diani Barreto, and Joe Lauria, the editor-in-chief of Consortium News, founded by the late Robert Parry.
Roger Stone was sentenced today to 40 months in a federal court in Washington DC. Judge Amy Berman Jackson sided with prosecutors in their demand for real prison time for Stone, and she read several of Stone’s text messages to his friend Randy Credico into the record, including messages where Stone threatened Credico and his dog. This is despite the fact that Credico wrote to the judge and asked not to give Stone any prison time at all, saying that he never took Stone’s threats seriously. 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.
Fighting broke out in Syria’s Idlib Province today after two Turkish soldiers were killed and five wounded in a Syrian Army air attack. The Turks responded, saying later that they killed more than 50 Syrian troops. A Turkish government spokesman said that move does not constitute a Turkish attack on Idlib, while a Russian government spokesman said that both sides need to stand down. Meanwhile, reports circulated that were denied by Turkey that it had asked the US to deploy two Patriot missile batteries on its southern border to protect Turkish troops from Syrian air attacks. Ambassador Peter Ford, the former UK Ambassador to Syria, joins Brian and John.
The US government issued harsh new restrictions on Chinese public media outlets this week that would put them in the same legal category as foreign missions. This dramatic move is being denounced as yet another escalation of the war on alternative media. In retaliation, several Wall Street Journal reporters in China had their credentials revoked. 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, and with Bruce Gagnon, coordinator of the Global Network Against Weapons & Nuclear Power in Space and a contributor to Foreign Policy In Focus.
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