Inspector General Testimony Reveals FBI’s Extreme Abuse of Power

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Dec 12 2019 114 mins   1
On today's episode of Loud & Clear, Brian Becker and John Kiriakou are joined by Daniel Lazare, a journalist and author of three books--“The Frozen Republic,” “The Velvet Coup,” and “America's Undeclared War.”

Michael Horowitz, the Justice Department’s Inspector General, testified about FBI malfeasance yesterday before the Senate Judiciary Committee. Horowitz described the F.B.I. as a dysfunctional agency that severely mishandled its surveillance powers in the Russia investigation, but he told senators that he had no evidence that the mistakes were intentional or undertaken out of political bias. Instead, he attributed the FBI’s behavior to “gross incompetence and negligence.”

Britons went to the polls today to elect a new government. Prime Minister Boris Johnson is confident of victory and, although polls showed the race tightening in its final days, expects to have a working majority that he will need to lead the UK out of the European Union. But Jeremy Corbyn has mobilized an army of enthusiastic volunteers based on his program “For the many, not the few” to close the gap. Steve Hedley, the senior assistant general secretary of the UK’s Rail, Maritime, and Transport Workers Union, joins the show.

Federal Aviation Administration investigators decided last year to allow Boeing Company’s 737-Max8 jets to continue flying despite the fact that their own analysis indicated that the jet was prone to crashes and would be one of the most crash-prone jets in the world without design changes. The FAA analysis found that, without design changes, the 737-Max8 would have averaged one crash every two or three years, a substantially worse crash rate than either Boeing or the FAA had previously acknowledged. Brian and John speak with Dennis Tajer, a spokesperson for the Allied Pilots Association and an American Airlines pilot trained on Boeing 737 planes.

The House of Representatives, led by the Democratic leadership, voted in favor of a new National Defense Authorization Amendment which funds a new arms race in space, reauthorizes NSA to spy on American citizens, and designates Russia as a state sponsor of terrorism. Previous NDAAs have authorized warrantless wiretapping of American citizens and even the murder of US citizens around the world without criminal charge and even with the use of drones. Why are so few members of Congress willing to stand up? Medea Benjamin, a well-known peace activist and the cofounder of the peace group Code Pink, joins the show.

Several weeks ago, journalist Max Blumenthal was arrested and charged with assault after Washington DC police showed up at his house in an early morning raid. Max hadn’t assaulted anybody, but that didn’t stop Washington authorities from keeping him in jail for nearly two days. Well, the charges have now been dropped and the hosts talk to Max about his ordeal and next steps. Max Blumenthal, a bestselling author and journalist, whose latest film is “Killing Gaza,” the senior editor of The Grayzone, and co-host of the podcast “Moderate Rebels,” joins Brian and John.

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.

A regular Thursday segment deals with the ongoing militarization of space. As the US continues to withdraw from international arms treaties, will the weaponization and militarization of space bring the world closer to catastrophe? Brian and John speak with Prof. Karl Grossman, a full professor of journalism at the State University of New York, College at Old Westbury and the host of a nationally aired television program focused on environmental, energy, and space issues, and with Bruce Gagnon, coordinator of the Global Network Against Weapons & Nuclear Power in Space and a contributor to Foreign Policy In Focus.