Five Minutes Five Issues: Spain War, Venezuela Oil, Manning’s Fellowship, Border Searches, Lee Statue

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.

In the July 8 episode of Five Minutes Five Issues, I commented that the planned October 1 independence referendum vote in Catalonia could lead to the rise of a new nation in Europe this fall. Now, seeing the Spain government’s response to the election, including ordering the seizure of ballots, threatening to arrest over 700 Catalan mayors for cooperating with the referendum, preparing to take over the Catalan government’s finances, and deploying the national police force to stop the election, it looks like this fall could bring a new war to Europe.

Issue two.

“[T]his could be the most important economic event of 2017.” That is how Robert Wenzel describes at the Economic Policy Journal Venezuela stopping this week accepting United States dollars in payment for oil.

The Central Intelligence Agency’s (CIA) World Fact Book ranks Venezuela number nine among oil exporters worldwide.

And the CIA does not just track Venezuela’s oil sales. The CIA’s interest runs deeper.

Ron Paul, in his February of 2006 House of Representatives floor speech “The End of Dollar Hegemony,” noted the following:

In 2001, Venezuela’s ambassador to Russia spoke of Venezuela switching to the Euro for all their oil sales. Within a year there was a coup attempt against [Venezuela President Hugo] Chavez, reportedly with assistance from our CIA.

In his speech Paul also examines how, after the 1971 abandonment of the last link between the US dollar and gold, the dollar has been “in essence ‘backed’” by oil being priced in dollars internationally.

Concludes Wenzel:

The Venezuelan move may be the first straw that breaks the status of the US dollar as the world’s global reserve currency. And gold may return to play that role.

Issue three.

Whistleblower Chelsea Manning’s Harvard Kennedy School visiting fellowship was announced on Wednesday and then revoked on Friday. The revocation came after expressions of disapproval from members of the US foreign policy establishment including current CIA Director Mike Pompeo who cancelled his scheduled speaking engagement at Harvard and former CIA Acting Director Michael Morrell who resigned from his senior fellow position at the Kennedy School.

Meanwhile, former CIA Director and General David Petraeus is about to begin his fifth year as a senior fellow at the Kennedy School.

While Manning suffered during years of confinement for making public US government information that revealed serious misconduct, Petraeus avoided any prison time after sharing classified information with his biographer who was also his mistress.

Why the different treatment? It comes down to power. As an enlisted Army member, Manning took great risk to expose the abuse of power. In contrast, as an Army general overseeing US wars and as the head of the CIA overseeing US covert interventions around the world, Petraeus pulled the strings of power.

Issue four.

In the March 18 episode of Five Minutes Five Issues, I talked about the recently much more common practice of US government agents conducting warrantless searches of electronic devices of people departing from or returning to America. This week, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) filed a lawsuit in US district court challenging the practice on behalf of ten US citizens and one US green card holder who have been subjected to such searches.

Issue five.

On Wednesday, I wrote at the Ron Paul Institute website regarding my Monday visit to Robert E. Lee Park in Dallas Texas to see a statue of Army of Northern Virginia General Robert E. Lee and a fellow soldier riding their horses side by side. The previous week, the Dallas city council had voted to remove the statue.

Here is an update: On Thursday, the statue was removed from the park.

What happens next? An Associated Press report relates that, “until city officials decide the statue’s future,” the plan is for the statue to be stored at “an abandoned naval air station owned by the city on its western outskirts.”


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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