Five Minutes Five Issues: War Spending, Hawaii Drugs, Sanders Delegates, 28 Pages, Hastert Sentencing

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, YouTube embed below:

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.

Since August of 2014, the United Sates military has spent over $7 billion on the ISIS War. That is according to an estimate the Department of Defense released last week.

Sure, the estimate does not include all US government costs for the ISIS War. But, still, ISIS War spending is not much compared to the trillions of dollars in US costs arising from the Afghanistan and Iraq Wars. But, give the ISIS War time. President Barack Obama announced last week that more US troops will soon join the war effort

Issue two.

As of Thursday, the Hawaii legislature approved a resolution that directs the Hawaii Legislative Reference Bureau to “conduct a study on the potential impact on state government of decriminalizing the illegal possession of drugs for personal use” in the state.

By itself a study does nothing to end the drug war. But, spreading decriminalization beyond marijuana to all drugs is a big step, and a study could help prepare the way for taking that big step. Now that many state and local governments have taken on the easier marijuana prohibition battle, might Hawaii lead against the rest of drug prohibition?

Issue three.

After losing to former Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-NY) in four out of five states in the Democratic presidential contest on Tuesday, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) issued a statement indicating a shift in his campaign’s purpose. Instead of talking about winning the nomination, Sanders says “this campaign is going to the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia with as many delegates as possible to fight for a progressive party platform that calls for” several listed goals.

None of Sanders’ listed goals, by the way, include protecting liberty or reducing foreign intervention.

This Democratic Party platform purpose seems perplexing. Sanders has never held political office as a Democrat. He serves in the US Senate as an independent. Many of Sanders’ supporters also are far from “party people.” Some Sanders delegates must be wondering if traveling to the Democratic National Convention is still worth it.

Issue four.

Eric Schmitt related in The New York Times a comment US National Intelligence Director James Clapper told reporters on Monday. Clapper said the Obama administration may complete in June its review of the George W. Bush administration’s classification of 28 pages from the 2002 congressional Joint Inquiry into Intelligence Community Activities Before and After the Terrorist Attacks of September 11, 2001. Classification has prevented the public from seeing the 28 pages.

Since December of 2013, Rep. Walter Jones (R-NC) (a Ron Paul Institute Advisory Board member) and lead cosponsor Rep. Stephen Lynch (D-MA) have been championing a resolution calling for making public the 28 pages.

Issue five.

On Wednesday, a US federal judge called former US House of Representatives Speaker Dennis Hastert (R-IL) a “serial child molester” and sentenced him to 15 months in prison. But, Hastert had not been charged with child molestation. Instead, Hastert’s trial was about whether he had committed the “crime” of “structuring” withdrawals. You see, Hastert’s prosecution regarded Hastert taking his own money out of his own bank account incrementally such that the bank would not report to the US government a single withdrawal of over $10,000.

The sentence is much harsher than the zero to six-month incarceration the prosecution had sought pursuant to a plea deal with Hastert. The sentence also requires Hastert, who was never charged with a sex crime, to undergo sex-offender treatment.

There is no justice in imprisoning a person for withdrawing his own money from his own bank account. And there is no justice in punishing a person for child molestation when he has not been convicted of that crime.


That’s a wrap.

Transcripts of Five Minutes Five Issues episodes, including links to related information, are 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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