Five Minutes Five Issues: US v. Assange, Trump Fan, Macedonia Money, Lincoln’s War, FBI Investigation

A new episode of Five Minutes Five Issues posted on Saturday. 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 new episode here:

Read a transcript of the new episode, 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.

At a Thursday press conference, United States Attorney General Jeff Sessions confirmed it is a priority to arrest Julian Assange of WikiLeaks.

What does the US have planned for Assange? John Kiriakou, who was imprisoned after he discussed torture by the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), suggested in a Ron Paul Liberty Report interview on Tuesday that the US would like to bring an Espionage Act case against Assange in the US District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia where Kiriakou was prosecuted and where charges were filed against Edward Snowden. Kiriakou explains:

The Eastern District of Virginia in Alexandria, Virginia is known as “the espionage court,” and it’s called that because no national security defendant has ever won a case there. The judges are “hanging judges.” The government knows that not only will it win, but, if a defendant elects to go to trial, the jury will likely be made up of people from the district — from the CIA, the FBI, the Pentagon, the intelligence contractors, the Department of Homeland Security. So, if you’re charged with a national security crime in the Eastern District of Virginia, you don’t have a prayer.

Issue two.

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) makes regular appearances in the “Neocon Watch” section of the Ron Paul Institute website due to his frequent expressions of strong support for escalating US intervention abroad. Graham was also a “never-Trumper” after ending his own 2016 presidential campaign.

Seeing the Trump administration in action, though, has turned Graham into a Trump fan. Interviewed this week on Fox News, Graham said:

I am like the happiest dude in America right now. We’ve got a president and a national security team that I’ve been dreaming of for eight years.

Issue three.

Why did the US Agency for International Development (USAID) transfer nearly 5 million dollars to George Soros’ Open Society Foundation – Macedonia during the Obama administration? Maybe the purpose was to effect a change in government in the European nation, something with which USAID has familiarity.

In the June 5, 2015 episode of the Ron Paul Liberty Report, Ron Paul Institute Executive Director Daniel McAdams explained that a source of US government antagonism toward the Macedonia government related to the Macedonia government supporting allowing a Russia-backed pipeline to pass through the country and opposing sanctions on Russia.

Maybe more information will come to light because Judicial Watch filed this week a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit against the US Department of State and USAID seeking records and communications relating to Open Society Foundation – Macedonia funding and political activities.

Issue four.

On Wednesday, US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson criticized Iran for its relationship with Syria, stating, “Iran continues to support the brutal Assad regime in Syria, prolonging a conflict that has killed approximately half a million Syrians and displaced millions more.”

Tillerson’s comment brings to mind US President Abraham Lincoln. Bashar Assad faces opposition that seeks to overthrow his government. In Lincoln’s case, some states chose to secede from his government. Instead of just exercising power in what remained of the US, Lincoln chose war. Estimates are that more than half a million people died in that war.

Issue five.

In November of 2013, I wrote at the Ron Paul Institute website about how Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) documents had been released a week earlier revealing the FBI had investigated the website and its founding editors Eric Garris and Justin Raimondo for at least six years beginning in 2002. I related that the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), representing, was suing the FBI in response.

Here is an update on the case. Helen Christopher reported Monday at Courthouse News Service that, as a result of the ongoing lawsuit, the FBI has agreed to turn over the records it created in its investigation, as well as to pay $299,000 for attorney fees.

Julia Mass of the ACLU is quoted in the article saying the FBI documents “reveal a very troubling focus on our clients’ political speech.”


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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