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'The Spy' Who Wasn't A Spy: US Media's False Coverage of Maria Butina

"The Spy" Who Wasn't A Spy: US Media's False Coverage of Maria Butina
On today's episode of Loud & Clear, Brian Becker and John Kiriakou are joined by Dan Kovalik, a human rights and labor lawyer who is the author of the new book “The Plot to Control the World: How the US Spent Billions to Change the Outcome of Elections Around the World.”

Russian gun rights activist Maria Butina will plead guilty in federal court today to one count of conspiracy to fail to register as a foreign agent, for which there are no sentencing guidelines. She's been held without bail behind bars since her arrest in July. The hosts review her case and several other pieces of the Russiagate saga.

Thursday's weekly series "Criminal Injustice" is about the most egregious conduct of our courts and prosecutors and how justice is denied to so many people in this country. Paul Wright, the founder and executive director of the Human Rights Defense Center and editor of Prison Legal News (PLN), and Kevin Gosztola, a writer for and co-host of the podcast Unauthorized Disclosure, join the show.

Joshua Schulte is a former CIA computer engineer who has being held in New York's Metropolitan Detention Center. He was arrested after an FBI raid on his apartment in connection with the "Vault 7" leak of cyberweapons, but the government charged him with possessing child pornography. In a recent letter to US District Court Judge Paul Crotty, Schulte says that he is being tortured in prison, and he's being denied medication, writing materials, and access to his attorneys. Furthermore, the government is demanding that if Schulte were to meet with his attorneys, he would have to be shackled, chained to a bolt in the floor, and denied access to the classified documents necessary to defend himself. Brian and John speak with Bill Binney, a former NSA technical director who became a legendary national security whistleblower.

A Kiev court said yesterday that two Ukrainian lawmakers and top anti-corruption official's decision to release documents linked to Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort in 2016 amounted to interference in the US presidential election. The complaint was initially filed by another lawmaker who alleged that Sergei Leshchenko and Artem Sytnik were trying to influence the election in favor of Hillary Clinton. International affairs expert and security analyst Mark Sleboda joins the show.

British Prime Minister Theresa May won a no-confidence vote last night in the House of Commons, making her immune from another leadership challenge for a year. But her loss of 37 percent of her own party's members could be devastating, according to British political observers. Many of those more conservative members are calling on her to resign. Alex Gordon, former president of the National Union of Rail, Maritime, & Transport Workers, joins Brian and John.

Veterans for Peace is Thursday's regular segment about the contemporary issues of war and peace that affect veterans, their families, and the country as a whole. Gerry Condon, a Vietnam-era veteran and war resister who refused orders to deploy to Vietnam and lived in exile in Canada and Sweden for 6 years, organizing with other U.S. military deserters and draft resisters against the Vietnam war, and for amnesty for U.S. war resisters, joins the show. He has been a peace and solidarity activist for almost 50 years and has served on the Board of Veterans For Peace for the last 6 years, currently as national president.

Mental health workers organized by the National Union of Healthcare Workers at Kaiser Permanente in California are on strike this week to protest the quality of care their patients receive. Strike leaders say that the action is not about money, but instead is about how the company allows them to provide for their patients. Nurses have joined the picket line. Brian and John speak with Doug Kauffman, an activist and a member of the National Union of Healthcare Workers.

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