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Democratic Debate Degenerates Into Rabid Red-Baiting

Democratic Debate Degenerates into Rabid Red-Baiting
On today's episode of Loud & Clear, Brian Becker and John Kiriakou are joined by Ted Rall, an award-winning editorial cartoonist and columnist, whose work is at

Last night’s Democratic debate in Charleston, South Carolina was a free-for-all, with six candidates attacking frontrunner Bernie Sanders and a resurgence of the pointed fight between Elizabeth Warren and Mike Bloomberg. Meanwhile, Joe Biden did his best to convince viewers that he has the most experience and the best chance of beating Trump.

Today is Day 3 of the Julian Assange extradition hearing in London. Julian’s attorneys today continued laying out their defense of the Wikileaks co-founder, arguing that his prosecution is political in nature and that he should not be extradited to the United States. Walter Smolarek, a Sputnik News analyst and producer who is at the courthouse where the hearing is taking place, joins the show.

The House Judiciary Committee yesterday introduced a bill to reauthorize the Foreign Intelligence and Surveillance Act, or FISA, court. But there are some changes to the legislation. Among other things, the draft legislation would repeal authority to access call detail records on an ongoing basis, and would also require the declassification review and public release of significant decisions, orders, and opinions within 180 days of being issued. The proposed legislation would expand mandatory reporting on the number of search terms and queries concerning a US citizen to include reporting on search terms and queries that are “reasonably likely to identify a United States person.” Brian and John speak with Daniel Lazare, a journalist and author of three books - “The Frozen Republic,” “The Velvet Coup,” and “America's Undeclared War.”

Syrian Arab Army forces yesterday attacked towns in Idlib Province in an attempt to push rebel forces out of the area. But Turkish President Erdogan said that his own forces would force the Syrians away from Turkish outposts in the area. Ambassador Peter Ford, the former UK Ambassador to Syria, joins the show.

After 10 months of silence, UK Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn has again called for the UK government to drop extradition proceedings against Julian Assange. Meanwhile, Prime Minister Boris Johnson refused to comment specifically on the Assange case, but instead said that the current extradition treaty with the United States is “unbalanced.” Neil Clark, a journalist and broadcaster whose work has appeared in The Guardian, The Week, and Morning Star, joins Brian and John.

In this segment, The Week Ahead, the hosts take a look at the most newsworthy stories of the coming week and what it means for the country and the world, including the further-right foreign policy in the Democratic debate last night, the ongoing Julian Assange extradition trial in London this week, and more. Sputnik News analyst and producer of this show Nicole Roussell joins the show.

Wednesday’s regular segment, Beyond Nuclear, is about nuclear issues, including weapons, energy, waste, and the future of nuclear technology in the United States. Kevin Kamps, the Radioactive Waste Watchdog at the organization Beyond Nuclear joins the show.

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