Tuesday, June 18, 2019

Week in Review Discussion on The Critical Hour (6/14/19)

Assange Extradition Trial Scheduled For February, Will Justice Be Served?

A London court will decide in February whether WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange will be extradited to the US to face 18 criminal charges in connection with the leak of thousands of classified documents relating to US military activity in Iraq and Afghanistan. Assange appeared at the Westminster Magistrates’ Court Friday by video link from Belmarsh Prison, where he is currently serving a 50-week sentence for skipping bail and fleeing to the Ecuadorian Embassy in London in 2012. It’s interesting to me that Assange told the London court he had not seen the latest indictment containing 18 US allegations against him.
[My related articles: Avoiding Assange and Swedish Sex Pistol Aimed at Assange]

The US Supreme Court on Monday refused to hear a lawsuit by a Yemeni man, Moath Hamza Ahmed al-Alwi, who has been held in wartime detention for more than 17 years at the military’s Guantánamo Bay prison, prompting Justice Stephen G. Breyer to warn in a statement that the American legal system is on autopilot toward permitting life imprisonment without trial. “It is past time to confront the difficult question left open by” a 2004 ruling allowing the indefinite detention of Guantánamo prisoners captured after the 2001 American invasion of Afghanistan. What has happened to the US Constitution? 

Two petrochemical tankers in the Gulf of Oman came under suspected attack early Thursday amid soaring tensions between the United States and Iran. One of two ships attacked, a Japanese-owned tanker, was targeted just as Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe was wrapping up a high-stakes visit to Tehran to help cool hostilities in the region and potentially mediate US-Iran talks. US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo blamed Iran on Thursday for the “blatant assault” on the vessels and said the United States would defend itself and its allies against Iranian aggression in the region. US President Donald Trump rejected Iran’s denials Friday that it had attacked two tankers, insisting in a television interview that “Iran did do it” and pointing to a video released by the US Central Command purporting to show Iranian vessels retrieving an unexploded mine from one of the damaged ships. Can anyone say Gulf of Tonkin?

[My related article: Eve of Destruction: Iran Strikes Back]

President Trump announced an expanded military relationship with Poland on Wednesday, including the likelihood of additional US troops serving at what Trump called a “world-class” new Polish base, as his administration rewards a like-minded and increasingly authoritarian NATO ally. What’s going on here? Poland, which has said it wants to buy 32 state-of-the-art F-35s from the US, meets its NATO defense spending commitment, while Germany falls far short. Trump pointed to the NATO spending shortfall several times during public appearances alongside Polish President Andrzej Duda, and also criticized Germany for its planned purchase of large amounts of Russian natural gas.


Dr. Jack Rasmus — Professor of economics at Saint Mary's College of California and author of "Central Bankers at the End of Their Ropes: Monetary Policy and the Coming Depression."

Jim Kavanagh — Political analyst and commentator and editor of The Polemicist.

Caleb Maupin — Journalist and political analyst who focuses his coverage on US foreign policy and the global system of monopoly capitalism and imperialism.

Listen to "Assange Extradition Trial Scheduled For February, Will Justice Be Served?" on Spreaker.

The Critical Hour is a daily 60-minute news analysis and talk radio program on Radio Sputnik hosted by Dr. Wilmer Leon. Introduction above is theirs, with related articles of mine referenced in brackets.

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