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"Russiagate" Morphs Into a War on Dissent

"Russiagate" Morphs into a War on Dissent
On today's episode of Loud & Clear, Brian Becker and John Kiriakou are joined by Joe Lauria, a journalist and political commentator, and Dan Kovalik, a human rights and labor lawyer.

An attorney associated with Manafort associate Rick Gates was charged today with lying to the FBI. Mueller may amend the Manafort indictment, alleging that he laundered more than $40 million in ill-gotten gains. Former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn is talking about withdrawing his guilty plea. And National Security Advisor H. R. McMaster directly contradicted President Trump, saying that there was Russian meddling in the 2016 election. Meanwhile, conservatives are calling on Trump to issue a blanket pardon for everybody involved in the scandal.

News outlets around the Middle East reported contradictory information on what is happening around the northern Syrian city of Afrin. The Syrian government announced that it would send troops to Afrin to help the Kurds fight Turkish forces. The Kurds initially denied that there is any deal with Damascus, but a YPG representative later confirmed to Sputnik that this was in fact the case. Meanwhile, Turkish president Erdogan is claiming that his military's shelling has forced the Syrian army to turn around. Peter Ford, former UK Ambassador to Syria, and Rick Sterling, an investigative journalist and member of the Syria Solidarity Movement, join the show.

When a CIA officer going by the pseudonym James Pars reported waste, fraud, abuse, and mismanagement at a CIA station overseas, he was recalled to the US, stripped of his official position, and asked to resign. Instead, he filed a lawsuit. This is typical of what happens to whistleblowers in the intelligence community. Brian and John speak with Brad Birkenfeld, a whistleblower and author of "Lucifer's Banker: The Untold Story of How I Destroyed Swiss Bank Secrecy", whose writings can be found at

States all across the country, as well as the federal government, are passing, or trying to pass, new legislation that would make it a felony to boycott Israel. How is this constitutional? It probably isn't. Ali Abunimah, co-founder of The Electronic Intifada, joins the show.

British Labor Party leader Jeremy Corbyn has dismissed as "utter nonsense" a claim made by the tabloid newspaper The Sun that he had been a recruited asset of the Czechoslovakian Intelligence Service during the Cold War. Jackie Walker, former Vice Chair of the organization Momentum, joins Brian and John.

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court redrew the state's congressional district boundaries on Friday, overturning a Republican gerrymander that was so extreme that it was mocked by politicians and late-night talk show hosts alike. Drew Penrose, Legal and Policy Director at the election reform advocacy organization FairVote, joins the show.

Brian and John are joined by financial policy analyst Daniel Sankey to continue their weekly series looking at the economic issues of the day.

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