06:45 GMT +314 December 2019
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    The Critical Hour

    Navy Secretary Fired: Can the US Ever Be Held Accountable for War Crimes?

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    On today’s episode of The Critical Hour, Dr. Wilmer Leon is joined by Robert Fantina, pro-Palestine activist, peace and human rights leader, journalist and author of "Essays on Palestine."

    Defence Secretary Mark Esper has fired Navy Secretary Richard Spencer, putting an end to the conflict between US President Donald Trump and the military's top brass over the fate of Chief Petty Officer Edward Gallagher, who was accused of war crimes in Iraq. What signals are being sent by the president's actions? Gallagher, a Navy SEAL, was acquitted of murder in the stabbing death of a Daesh* militant captive but convicted of posing with the corpse while in Iraq in 2017. Gallagher was demoted from chief petty officer to petty officer first class after his conviction by a military jury. Trump, however, restored Gallagher’s rank this month. This past Wednesday, the Navy notified Gallagher that he would face a Navy SEAL review board to determine if he should be allowed to remain in the elite force. There appears to be some conflict between the president and others in his administration.

    Confirming ideologically conservative judges has been a top priority for Senate Republicans. So, while many of us have been focused on impeachment hearings, the Trump administration has flipped two appeals courts to having the majority of Republican-appointed judges: the 11th and 2nd circuit courts, meaning GOP appointees now outnumber Democrat appointees on most of the nation's circuit courts. Is this a concern, and if so, how big of a concern is it?

    In a great story for MintPress, Alan MacLeod writes: "Facing increased resistance to its rule, the new 'transition' government of Jeanine Añez in Bolivia has begun to purge and censor potential threats to its authority, including in the media." What does this say about the resistance, and are there similarities between what Añez is doing in Bolivia and what Trump espouses?

    GUESTS:

    Robert Fantina — Pro-Palestine activist, peace and human rights leader, journalist and author of "Essays on Palestine."  

    Leslie Proll — Civil rights lawyer, advisor to the NAACP on judicial nominations, former NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund policy director and former Alabama director of the US Department of Transportation.  

    Netfa Freeman — Host of Voices With Vision on WPFW 89.3 FM, Pan-Africanist, internationalist organizer intimately involved with political prisoners' causes, from Mumia Abu Jamal to the Cuban Five, and an organizer with Family & Friends of Incarcerated People.  

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

    Daesh* (aka Islamic state/ISIL/ISIS/IS) is a terrorist group banned in Russia

    Tags:
    War Crimes, Bolivia, Mitch McConnell, Trump administration, judges
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