Tag: foia

Background Briefing: November 25, 2019


The Firing of the Secretary of the Navy

We begin with the firing of the Secretary of the Navy by the Secretary of Defense on orders from President Trump who, as the strongman leader, expects total obedience from his underlings, and as a tough guy on torture, insists on supporting war criminals over the objections of military justice leaders and senior Pentagon officials. Tom Nichols, a U.S. Naval War College University Professor whose latest book is “The Death of Expertise: The Campaign Against Established Knowledge and Why it Matters”, joins us to discuss the scathing letter of resignation sent to Trump by Secretary of the Navy Richard Spencer in which he said “I no longer share the same understanding with the Commander-in-Chief who appointed me, in regards to the key principle of good order and discipline. I cannot in good conscience obey an order that I believe violates the sacred oath I took in the presence of my family, my flag and my faith to support and defend the Constitution of the United States”. We will assess the damage being done to the armed forces in terms of the standards they uphold at home and the respect they are held in abroad, and examine the role of a former U.S. Army National Guard Major Pete Hegseth who is the former director of the Koch Brothers-funded Concerned Veterans For America whose appearances on Fox News appear to guide Trump.


The Clear paper Trail Between Giuliani, Pompeo and the Oval Office

Then we speak with a former Senior Counsel in the State Department, Austin Evers, the Founder and Executive Director of American Oversight, the top Freedom of Information Act litigator who, in response to American Oversight’s FOIA lawsuit, received 100 pages of documents on Friday revealing Secretary of State Pompeo’s dealings with Rudy Giuliani over Ukraine.  We will discuss the clear paper trail from Trump’s lawyer Rudy Giuliani to the Oval Office to Secretary Pompeo in facilitating the smear campaign against the U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch.


Labour Leader Corbyn’s “Neutral Stance” on Brexit

Then finally we go to the U.K. for an update on the campaigns for the December 12 elections and speak with Rob Ford, a Professor of Political Science at the University of Manchester and author of “Revolt on the Right” which examines the rise of the UK Independence Party UKIP. He joins us to discuss the Labour opposition leader Jeremy Corbyn’s decision to adopt a neutral stance on Brexit, the biggest issue Britons have faced for generations, which Corbyn has defended as a sign of strength and maturity while others like Scottish National Party leader Nicola Sturgeon say it shows a “woeful lack of leadership”.