"Red Flag" Gun Laws a Gift to the Police State but Won't Stop Massacres

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Aug 07 2019 115 mins  
On today's episode of Loud & Clear, Brian Becker and John Kiriakou are joined by Georgia political activist Brad Lathem.

Congressional Republicans are under intense pressure to approve some sort of gun control legislation in the wake of recent massacres in El Paso and Dayton and, according to the New York Times, so-called “red flag” legislation is gaining traction. Such legislation would make it easier for law enforcement to take guns away from people who may pose a danger to the public, but who have not yet committed a crime, raising concerns over civil liberties and police powers.

The Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons is the primary global body that looks at chemical weapons incidents. The hosts talk about potential biases in the OPCW’s investigation into alleged chemical weapons attacks in Syria and the officials who carry them out. Scott Ritter, a former United Nations Weapons Inspector and former Marine Corps Intelligence Officer, joins the show.

A federal judge in the notorious Eastern District of Virginia ruled this morning that Chelsea Manning could be held for another 15 months on contempt charges for refusing to testify before a grand jury about her contact with Wikileaks and its cofounder, Julian Assange. Manning already has been held for three months and is being fined $1000 per day. Brian and John speak with Joe Lauria, the editor-in-chief of Consortium News, founded by the late Robert Parry.

Far-right Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro said yesterday that he hopes “criminals die in the streets like cockroaches” as a result of hardline legislation he is pushing to shield security forces and citizens who shoot alleged offenders from prosecution. Activists fear this legal cover for extrajudicial killings would cause a bloodbath. Arnold August, an author who has written 3 books on US-Latin America relations, and a journalist whose articles appear on web sites around the world, joins the show.

Well over a year away from the actual election, 67 billionaires have already donated to 20 Democrats running for president. The biggest recipient is Pete Buttigieg, with donations from 23 billionaires. Cory Booker has donations from 18. Kamala Harris 17. Michael Bennet 15. And Joe Biden 13. Is this enough to buy a nomination? Ted Rall, an award winning journalist and editorial cartoonist, joins Brian and John.

Wednesday’s weekly series, In the News, is where the hosts look at the most important ongoing developments of the week and put them into perspective, focusing on the mass shooting in Dayton and the terrorist attack targeting Latinos in El Paso. Sputnik news analysts Nicole Roussell and Walter Smolarek join 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, and Sputnik news analyst and producer Nicole Roussell, join the show.