Five Minutes Five Issues: Invading Venezuela, Shona Banda, American Fear, Benghazi Emails, RPI Conference

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.

Last month, United States Treasury Secretary Steven T. Mnuchin announced new US sanctions on Venezuela, stating that “As President Trump has made clear, the United States will not ignore the Maduro regime’s ongoing efforts to undermine democracy, freedom and the rule of law.”

A noninterventionist may respond, “Why not?” Indeed, it sounds like Mnuchin is doing just what then-Secretary of State John Quincy Adams warned against in an 1821 speech — going “abroad in search of monsters to destroy.” Nobody is even suggesting Venezuela poses any threat to America.

Mnuchin’s statement is in line with the “democracy promotion” and “humanitarian intervention” rationales the Obama administration used for meddling in countries including Libya and Syria.

And sanctions may not be the end of US hostile action toward the South American country. Responding to a reporter’s question of Friday, President Donald Trump said, “We have many options for Venezuela, and, by the way, I am not going to rule out a military option.”

Trump said this with Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, with whom Trump had just had a meeting, standing next to him. Tillerson had recently brought hope to some nonintervention supporters by suggesting democracy promotion would be removed from the State Department mission.

The empire plods on.

Issue two.

Shona Banda has had the threat of decades in prison hanging over her for over two years for charges for a stack of drug law violations in Kansas. The charges arise from Banda’s use of medical marijuana. Banda explained in a January Ron Paul Liberty Report interview that using cannabis oil helped her with her very debilitating Crohn’s disease so that, as she put it, “I was able to get my life back.”

There is some good news for Banda. Mark Minton reported Thursday in the Garden City Telegram that a plea agreement was finalized this week where Banda would plead no contest to one of the charges in return for the dropping all other charges and that the prosecution will recommend Banda receive probation that Banda may satisfy in Washington state where she may legally use marijuana.

Issue three.

Interviewed Thursday on the Ron Paul Liberty Report, Ludwig von Mises Institute Chairman Lew Rockwell made a keen observation regarding Americans’ fears of potential attacks from overseas. Rockwell asserted the big danger is instead from our own government.

“Who,” Rockwell asks, “is threatening our liberties here in the United States … is taxing us … is spying on us … is wanting to control our speech … regulates our businesses … wants to control how our schools are operated” and “controls our neighborhoods.” The answer, Rockwell says, is the US government — not the Russian, Chinese, North Korean, or any other foreign government.

Issue four.

Due to an order this week from US District Court Judge Amit Mehta arising from a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit, we may learn more about the killing in Benghazi, Libya in 2012 of the US ambassador to Libya, another diplomat, and Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) contractors.

As related by Jason Le Miere at Newsweek, the judge ordered the State Department to search its email system for emails related to the matter. The search could yield information beyond what was found in former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s private server emails and emails from some of her aides.

Issue five.

If you are attending the Ron Paul Institute’s September 9 conference at the Washington Dulles Airport Marriott, you may save money by reserving your hotel guest room right away. The hotel has available a few more guest rooms for conference participants at a special reduced price. The last special reduced price rooms may be taken soon.

You can find out more about the conference and purchase tickets to the conference at


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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