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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.
The killings by police continue in the Philippines drug war.
In the August 4 episode of Five Minutes Five Issues, I mentioned that police had carried out hundreds of summary executions with the support of newly elected President Rodrigo Duterte.
As I noted then, United States Secretary of State John Kerry had met the week before with Duterte, and, afterward, Kerry pledged “continued assistance to the Philippine government as it works to address drug trafficking and violent extremism,” and Duterte’s spokesman said Kerry offered $32 million for Philippines law enforcement training
Nearly four months later the death toll from the Philippines drug war continues to grow, and US support continues to flow.
Megha Rajagopalan reports in a Monday BuzzFeed article that Philippines Police Chief Superintendent John Sosito said there have been 90 US training sessions in the Philippines since the drug war escalation began in July and that Sosito thinks such training will continue.
Is Donald Trump yet another candidate who challenges the establishment only to melt into the establishment once he is in office?
Let’s consider a recent Cabinet pick from the man who promised to “drain the swamp in Washington, DC” and “make America great again.”
On Tuesday, Trump announced his choice of Elaine Chao for secretary of transportation. Chao was secretary of labor in the George W. Bush administration and deputy transportation secretary for George H. W. Bush. She also worked at the DC-based Heritage Foundation think tank. If that isn’t sounding establishment enough, here’s one more fact: Chao’s husband is Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY).
In the November 5 episode of Five Minutes Five Issues I talked about an in-depth ProPublica article by Ryan Gabrielson regarding the use of unreliable drug field tests to pressure individuals into pleading guilty to drug law violations. Gabrielson provided an update on Monday, reporting that the district attorney’s office for Multnomah County, where Portland, Oregon is located, has, in response to ProPublica reporting, “mandated lab confirmation of field test results even after guilty pleas.” In addition, Gabrielson notes that a partial review of drug convictions in the county has resulted in vacating “five wrongful convictions based on inaccurate field test results.”
In May, Ron Paul praised President Barack Obama’s improving of relations with Iran and Cuba as “the best things that Obama ever did.” Donald Trump appears poised to rescind both achievements.
Trump has long opposed the Obama administration’s Iran nuclear deal. Now, Philip Giraldi, in an article at the Ron Paul Institute (RPI) website this week, provides Rep. Mike Pompeo (R-KS), former Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) head Michael Flynn, and retired General James Mattis as examples of anti-Iran people close to Trump. Trump picked Pompeo and Flynn, respectively, to run the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and serve as Trump’s national security advisor. News reports are saying Mattis is Trump’s secretary of defense choice, though Trump has not confirmed this.
Regarding Cuba, Trump wrote on Twitter Monday that he will “terminate” Obama’s deal unless Cuba is willing to make a better deal.
A Sunday New York Times article says the Obama administration plans to inform Congress that the administration views US attacks on al-Shabaab in Somalia as authorized by the 2001 authorization for use of military force (AUMF) that Congress passed in response to the September 11, 2001 attacks in America. As the article points out, al-Shabaab did not even exist when the 2001 authorization was considered.
Don’t expect resistance from leaders of the US House and Senate who have long supported the Obama administration’s exercise of expansive war powers.
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.