Five Minutes Five Issues: FBI Creep, Exporting Solitary, Refugee Maker, Superdelegates, President Ryan

A new episode of Five Minutes Five Issues posted today. You can listen to it, and read a transcript, below. You can also find previous episodes of the show at Stitcher, iTunes, YouTube, and SoundCloud.

Listen to the show here:

Read a transcript of the show, including links to further information regarding the topics discussed, here:

The Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity welcomes you to Five Minutes Five Issues.

Starting in five four three two one.

Hello, I am Adam Dick, a Ron Paul Institute senior fellow.

Let’s start.

Issue one.

The suggestion that the United States government just wanted to access information connected to one secured cell phone of one mass killer in San Bernardino, California never rang true. The goal has always been much bigger.

Soon after the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) announced it had accessed the information on the San Bernardino iPhone, the FBI sent a letter to police departments across America saying. “We are in this together,” and promising to aid them in accessing information on electronic devices.

What starts with a trickle threatens to become a flood. Expect the US government to routinely aid in the overcoming of electronic devices’ privacy protections in penny-ante and victimless crime investigations from “Podunk” to New York City.

Issue two.

With police militarization we have seen war methods and machinery used by US, state, and local police across America. But, sometimes, the process works in reverse. Extreme actions employed in the criminal justice system against Americans can be used to justify similar actions against foreigners.

Jeffrey Kaye reported Wednesday at MuckRock regarding US government documents he obtained via a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request. The documents include US Department of Defense (DOD) “talking points” supporting subjecting people designated as “unlawful enemy combatants” to conditions including weeks on end of solitary confinement.

The talking points document refers to the extensive use of solitary confinement in American prisons and the practice’s subjection to “numerous legal reviews” in an effort to justify such treatment of detained foreigners as well.

Issue three.

In January, Ron Paul Institute Executive Director Daniel McAdams wrote about former US Ambassador to Syria Robert Ford. McAdams stated that Ford “not only was a chief architect of regime change in Syria, but actively worked with rebels to aid their overthrow of the Syrian government.” McAdams also addressed how Ford has admitted that “most of the moderates he backed were fighting alongside ISIS and al-Qaeda.” In short, Ford helped create the disastrous situation from which refugees are escaping and helped advance groups responsible for terrorist actions in Syria and beyond.

Earlier this year, Ford participated in an Intelligence Squared debate. In the debate, Ford argued in support of the proposition that “the US should let in 100,000 Syrian refugees.” One of Ford’s arguments for bringing 100,000 Syrian refugees into America is that, he says, rejecting the refugees will help ISIS’ recruitment. No matter your position on allowing refugees into America, it may be best to look elsewhere for advice on what US policies will help deter ISIS.

 Issue four.

The Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) run of state victories in the Democratic presidential nomination contest, which I discussed in episode four of Five Minutes Five Issues, has continued with wins in Wisconsin and Wyoming. But, the pundits won’t stop saying Sanders cannot overtake former Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-NY) because of Clinton’s support from superdelegates.

Samantha Bee, on her news comedy show “Full Frontal,” said in response, “If Bernie gets more votes than Hillary, her superdelegates will drop her faster than she drops her fake Southern accent the second she leaves South Carolina.” Bee points to how superdelegates jumped from supporting Clinton to supporting future president Barack Obama as Obama won states in the 2008 contest.

This comparison, though, may present things a little too simply. First, key people may see Sanders as a greater threat than Obama. Second, if superdelegate votes make the difference, expect attempts to attach strings to shifting votes.

Issue five.

US House of Representatives Speaker Paul Ryan made news this week with his declaration that he would neither seek nor accept the presidential nomination at the Republican National Convention this summer.

Just keep in mind that Ryan used definitive language last year to reject the possibility of him becoming House Speaker.


That’s a wrap.

A transcript of this episode, including links to related information, is at the Ron Paul Institute blog.

Five four three two one.

Reprinted with permission from the Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity.

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