Five Minutes Five Issues: Trump’s Non-Obstruction, Cuba, Yemen Cholera, Veterans’ Holiday, Afghanistan Surge

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.

It seems silly that President Donald Trump could be guilty of the crime of obstruction of justice because he talked with James Comey.

If I talk with the director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, I have the right to tell him that the FBI should not investigate or prosecute Michael Flynn, Donald Trump, me, somebody I saw mentioned in the news, or a whole class of people such as individuals alleged to have violated drug laws. You have the right to do the same thing.

When you communicate these opinions you are exercising your rights, including rights to speak freely or to seek a redress of grievances that are recognized in the First Amendment of the United States Constitution. You are not obstructing justice.

Trump can exercise these rights too. On top of that, Trump, as the president, is responsible for overseeing the executive branch, including the FBI. Telling the FBI director what he thinks of FBI investigations is within the scope of the president’s job.

Issue two.

President Trump said while he was campaigning for the presidency that he would roll back actions President Barack Obama took to improve relations with Cuba. On Friday, Trump followed through on that promise, announcing in a Florida speech that he is reversing some Obama administration efforts, including through opening up business dealings and travel, to improve relations with Cuba.

In a May of 2016 Fox Business interview Ron Paul had called these actions of Obama in regard to Cuba, along with Obama’s actions to improve relations with Iran (something else Trump has targeted for a roll back), the two “best things Obama ever did.”

Issue three.

Diseases can be as destructive as bullets and bombs in war.

The ongoing war on Yemen by Saudi Arabia and allies, with the assistance of the US government, including via the providing of weapons and aerial refueling, is killing many people through direct attacks. Many are also being killed by the blockading of imports, including food and medicine, and the destruction of infrastructure and facilities, including hospitals, that help people be healthy.

Bethan McKernan reported at the Independent last week on a cholera epidemic in Yemen that Oxfam indicates has killed nearly 800 people in a little over a month and that the World Health Organization says has 100,000 suspected cases identified.

McKernan relates that, while cholera is “easily treatable and preventable with proper sanitation procedures, the country’s health, water and sanitation systems are on the verge of collapse.”

Issue four.

Some businesses offer perks or discounts to customers who are veterans. Some businesses make special efforts to recruit veterans to be employees. Agree or not with such choices, they are these businesses’ prerogative.

In contrast, the government mandating that businesses provide special treatment to veterans violates those businesses’ freedom to operate as they choose. Nevertheless, some legislators in Wisconsin want to force employers in the state to give veterans an extra day off work with pay. Wisconsin State Senate Minority Leader Jennifer Shilling issued a press release this week in which she criticized the state senate’s rejection of consideration on Wednesday of an amendment she and several other senators offered that would require businesses in the state to give veteran employees Veterans Day off as a paid holiday.

Issue five.

Interviewed Thursday on RT, Ron Paul made an interesting point regarding talk of a surge of US troops in Afghanistan. Looking at the Trump administration potentially adding about 8,000 US troops to the around 9,000 now in Afghanistan, Paul concludes, “that’s not going to work.” Back in 2009, Paul reminds us, President Obama increased the number of US troops in Afghanistan to 100,000, and even that comparatively huge troops presence did not work.


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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