05:15 GMT11 May 2021
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    Does Trump Want Assange Jailed to Keep Him Quiet, Protect Election Campaign?

    The Critical Hour
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    On this edition of The Critical Hour, co-hosts Dr. Wilmer Leon and Garland Nixon talk to Neil Clark about whether US President Donald Trump wants to keep WikiLeaks co-founder Julian Assange in jail in order to protect the legitimacy of Trump's election campaign.

    US lawyer Eric Lewis stated during Assange’s extradition hearing in London on Tuesday, “WikiLeaks and Mr. Assange pose a threat to the legitimacy of Trump’s [election] campaign that he is desperate to squash by diverting attention and imprisoning Mr. Assange." What are we to make of this and why isn’t this trial making US corporate media headlines?

    A Tuesday Washington Post headline read: "Pro-Trump youth group enlists teens in secretive campaign likened to a ‘troll farm,’ prompting rebuke by Facebook and Twitter." How powerful is the spam-like behavior of bots and trolls across social media?

    Our show broadcasts from Washington, DC. Both hosts live in Maryland and are now seeing smoke from the California, Washington state and Oregon wildfires in the US capital's atmosphere. A Tuesday New York Times headline read: "Some of the Planet’s Most Polluted Skies Are Now Over the West Coast." How serious of a problem is this, and what does it mean going forward?

    "Insisting during a town hall Tuesday night that COVID-19 will simply disappear on its own - echoing a baseless claim he also made in February, March, April, May, June, July and August - President Donald Trump touted a so-called 'herd immunity' approach to the pandemic," Common Dreams reported Wednesday. How do public health experts feel about this?

    "A new report from Brown University’s Costs of War project has found that at least 37 million people have been displaced as a result of America’s so-called 'war on terror' since 9/11, a conservative estimate of a number that may actually be somewhere between 48 million to 59 million," Caitlin Johnstone wrote for the Strategic Culture Foundation on September 11. What are we to make of this?

    "US troop cuts in Afghanistan have been ahead of schedule or on track for much of the year, and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo says that the US expects a full withdrawal from the country by April or May of 2021, as agreed to in the peace deal," Antiwar.com reported Monday. How can this be? 

    The headline to Vijay Prashad and John Ross' Tuesday CounterPunch piece read: "The Difference Between the US and China’s Response to COVID-19 is Staggering." According to Bob Woodward’s taped interviews with the US president, the article said, "Trump admitted that the virus was virulent, but he decided to underplay its danger. 'I wanted to always play it down,' Trump said, 'because I don’t want to create a panic.'" The piece continued, "Meanwhile, in China, ever since the virus was crushed in Wuhan, the government merely has had to contain small-scale localized outbreaks; in the last month, China has had zero domestically transmitted COVID-19 cases." 

    For our last segment, Chris Hedges talks about his August Common Dreams article, entitled "America's Death March," in which he argues that the November election "will not stop the rise of hyper-nationalism, crisis cults and other signs of an empire’s terminal decline."

    Guests:

    Neil Clark - Journalist and broadcaster

    Niko House - Political activist, independent journalist and podcaster

    Tina Landis - Organizer in the environmental and social justice movement

    Dr. Jehan "Gigi" El-Bayoumi - Professor of medicine and founding director of the George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences' Rodman Institute

    Gerald Horne - Professor of history at the University of Houston, author, historian and researcher

    Kathy Kelly - American peace activist, founding member of Voices in the Wilderness and co-coordinator of Voices for Creative Nonviolence

    Caleb Maupin - Journalist and political analyst

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

    Tags:
    war on terror, SARS coronavirus, COVID-19, Climate Change, Julian Assange
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