August 3 - Trump's Dangerous Talk About Using Nukes; US Silent on Death Toll From Filipino Vigilantes; Obama Commutes While the Congress Fills Jails

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Full Program


Part 1

We begin with the alarming statement that Donald Trump is said to have made to a foreign policy expert who was briefing him, during which on three occasions Trump asked “if we have nuclear weapons, why can’t we use them?” Joseph Cirincione, the President of the Ploughshares Fund and the author of “Bomb Scare: The History and Future of Nuclear Weapons”, joins us to discuss the dangerous ignorance displayed by Donald Trump in blithely rejecting the fundamental role of nuclear weapons as a deterrent which is largely why no nuclear weapon has been used since Nagasaki. We assess the possibility of a civil-military breakdown if Trump were to be president resulting in a possible mutiny, not to mention foreign powers interpreting Trump’s statements as a radical new nuclear policy that could shatter the shaky peace in a world where there are 16,000 nuclear weapons in the hands of the U.S., Russia, China, India, France, the U.K., Israel, North Korea and Pakistan.


Part 2

Then, with the front page of Wednesday’s New York Times displaying a photo of a Filipino woman cradling her dead husband in her arms beside a handwritten note left by vigilantes branding the dead rickshaw driver a drug dealer, we examine the death toll of 704 killed since the new President of the Philippines encouraged extra-judicial killings. Hannah Hetzer, a senior policy manager of the Americas at the Drug Policy Alliance joins us to discuss her article at The Huffington Post “Why Is the U.S. Silent On Massacres of Drug Users in The Philippines” and the silence from the U.S. as 300 hundred human rights organizations around the world call on the U.N. to denounce the violence.

Part 3

Then finally we examine the record-breaking commutations of 214 federal prisoners by President Obama today, the largest single-day grant of commutations in American history. Donna Hamm, a retired judge who is the founder and Executive Director of Middle Ground Prison Reform joins us to discuss the release of mostly low-level drug offenders. And while Obama is to be commended for pardoning and commuting the sentences of 562 prisoners so far, it with take the Congress to change the draconian laws that fill up federal, state and private prisons with those convicted of minor offenses.