Mass Arrests in Mississippi

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Aug 08 2019 115 mins  
On today's episode of Loud & Clear, Brian Becker and John Kiriakou are joined by Mary Townsend, the director of El Pueblo Immigration Legal Services.

In a coordinated operation, Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents yesterday arrested 680 immigrants believed to be undocumented and working in several companies across Mississippi. The raids coincided with President Trump’s visit to El Paso, Texas in the aftermath of the anti-Latino terrorist attack that took place there last weekend, and were the biggest immigration raids since 2006.

President Trump and Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden made competing speeches yesterday in the aftermath of the weekend’s massacres in El Paso and Dayton. The President, after meeting with people injured in the Dayton attack, harshly criticized Democratic Senator Sherrod Brown and Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley. Meanwhile, former Vice President Biden delivered a speech in Iowa, accusing Trump of coddling white supremacists, an accusation that raised eyebrows considering Biden’s own past or working with white supremacists. Juan José Gutiérrez, the executive director of the Full Rights for Immigrants Coalition, joins the show.

Puerto Rico’s Justice Secretary, Wanda Vasquez, yesterday became the island’s third governor in less than a week when she was sworn in following the resignation of Pedro Pierluisi. The Puerto Rican Supreme Court had declared that Pierluisi had assumed the office unconstitutionally. And he had become governor when Ricardo Rossello resigned after massive protests. But will the leadership change fix the problems on the island? Brian and John speak with Dr. Adriana Garriga-López, Department Chair and Associate Professor of Anthropology at Kalamazoo College.

Disgraced former FBI agent Peter Strzok is suing his former employer, saying that he was inappropriately and illegally dismissed last year. A Justice Department official says the suit is “dead on arrival.” Strzok was fired after text messages that he exchanged with his girlfriend, a Justice Department attorney, which were highly critical of President Trump, were made public. Coleen Rowley, a former FBI special agent who in 2002 was named Time Magazine person of the year along with two other whistleblowers, joins the show.

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro yesterday pulled his government out of negotiations with the opposition aimed at resolving the country’s political crisis after President Trump issued an executive order imposing an embargo on the country. Maduro stopped short of abandoning the negotiations altogether, however. This is the second set of promising talks that the Trump administration has foiled, with the first in North Korea in the second peace summit. Ricardo Vaz, a writer and editor at Venezuelanalysis whose articles have appeared on Mint Press News, Truthout, Counterpunch, and other alternative media, 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.