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BBC Producer Admits Syrian "Chemical Attack" Was Staged

BBC Producer Admits Syrian “Chemical Attack” Was Staged
On today's episode of Loud & Clear, Brian Becker and John Kiriakou are joined by Dr. Piers Robinson, the chairman of the politics, society, and political journalism department at the University of Sheffield and the author of “Routledge Handbook of Media, Conflict and Security.”

Following an in-depth investigation by James Harkin published in The Intercept about the Douma chemical weapons attack, a BBC reporter has come out publicly to say he can confirm the core claims of the article, which challenge the dominant narrative around that attack that served as a pretext for a U.S. strike on the country.

Elliott Abrams is a convicted criminal who played a key role in the Iran-Contra scandal and death squad operations in Latin America in the 1980s. He's also President Trump's special envoy for Venezuela, leading the effort to overthrow the government of President Nicolas Maduro and to install a puppet regime led by Juan Guaido. He testified yesterday before the House Foreign Affairs Committee, but faced a hostile crowd leery of his history of lying to Congress and his support for a hawkish, activist, neoconservative foreign policy. Kei Pritsker, an activist who was arrested yesterday during the hearing, joins the show.

Our friend and contributor Ted Rall recently had a major court decision go against him in California. This was a case that had very important implications for Americans' constitutional rights to freedom of speech. In the end, the court decided essentially, that Ted's right to criticize the Los Angeles Police Department was less important than the Los Angeles Times's right to block Ted's right to freedom of speech. It's a case with very important constitutional implications. Ted is appealing that ruling to the California Supreme Court. Brian and John speak with Ted Rall, an award-winning editorial cartoonist and columnist, whose work is at

Former FBI deputy director Andrew McCabe confirmed yesterday that FBI officials were so alarmed by President Trump's decision to fire former FBI director James Comey, that they held talks on recruiting a cabinet official to push Trump out of office using the Constitution's 25th amendment. Meanwhile, a federal judge yesterday ruled that former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort breached the terms of his plea deal by lying to investigators after taking the deal. The ruling virtually ensures that, absent a presidential pardon, Manafort will die in prison. 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," joins the show.

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.

Congress today will vote on a budget to keep the federal government open beyond midnight tomorrow, even though President Trump has not yet said that he'll sign the measure. The deal does not include funding for the president's border wall. Susan Pai, an immigration attorney and a member of a number of civil liberties and immigrant rights organizations, joins the show.

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.

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