Background Briefing: August 15, 2019


More Questions and Suspicions Surround Epstein’s Death

We begin with reports on Jeffrey Epstein’s preliminary autopsy results which raise questions, particularly about the break in the hyoid bone more common in victims of homicide by strangulation, not suicide by hanging, and reports from Epstein’s lawyers that he was upbeat on the day of his death about his chances of winning his case and that the neck injuries from the previous “suicide” attempt were inflicted by his hulking cellmate, a mobbed-up ex-cop charged with four murders. Joining us is award-winning New York-based investigative journalist Robert Hennelly, a staff reporter with the Chief Leader, a newspaper serving the civil service since 1897, who is a contributing writer for Salon. We discuss the state of the Federal prisons overseen by William Barr, the head of the Bureau of Prisons, where it would seem, following the death of Whitey Bulger by a Mafia hit man in a West Virginia Federal prison, that high-profile prisoners in federal custody can be killed with ease. And in support of what Epstein’s lawyers say were his last upbeat words that “I’ll see you Sunday”, Bob Hennelly was in the court when Epstein’s lawyers made the case that their client’s original deal with Acosta gives him immunity from the charges brought by the SDNY and that Epstein appeared confident and assured that he could beat the wrap and that the arrest by the FBI at Teterboro airport was a minor inconvenience.


Trump Deflects His Own Racism by Claiming the Democrats Are Anti-Semites

Then, with Israel’s Prime Minister Netanyahu, urged on by President Trump, banning the first two Muslim women elected to the House of Representatives from entering Israel, we will assess whether Trump can successfully deflect charges against him that he is a racist and a supporter of white supremacists by charging that the Democrats are anti-Semites as he did again today with his tweet “Representative Omar and Tlaib are the face of the Democrat Party, and they HATE Israel!” A leading authority on the Arab-Israeli conflict and the role of the U.S. Congress, Lara Friedman, the President of the Foundation for Middle East Peace who was a U.S Foreign Service Officer serving in Jerusalem, joins us to discuss a move that many supporters of Israel in congress and the so-called “Israel Lobby” AIPAC, disagree with.


Race Is the Main Weapon of the Rich to Divide America in a Class War They Are Winning

Then finally we speak with Ian Haney Lopez, a Professor of Law at the University of California, Berkeley and author of the new book, just out, “Merge Left: Fusing Race and Class, Winning Elections, and Saving America”. He joins us to discuss his op-ed at The Los Angeles Times, ”Why do Trump’s supporters deny the racism that seems so evident to Democrats?” and how America’s super-rich who got 87% of Trump’s tax cuts have been using racism as their principal weapon to divide the races in the class war they are winning.