Five Minutes Five Issues: National Emergency, Foreign Bases, Marijuana Noncrackdown, Oligarchs, Roving Patrols
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The Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity welcomes you to Five Minutes Five Issues.
Starting in five four three two one.
Hello, I am Adam Dick, a Ron Paul Institute senior fellow.
In a Tuesday editorial, Rutherford Institute President John W. Whitehead discussed in detail dangers from presidents declaring national emergencies. Here is one intriguing fact Whitehead notes: The Constitution “allows for only one emergency power;” it does so when it states “The Privilege of the Writ of Habeas Corpus shall not be suspended, unless when in Cases of Rebellion or Invasion the Public Safety may require it.’”
In a Tuesday TomDispatch article, Nick Turse writes that the official listing of 514 Department of Defense sites overseas fails to include any bases in countries such as Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, Cameroon, or Somalia “where such military outposts are known to exist.” Unlisted bases, Turse suggests, number in the hundreds.
You might guess other nations also have hundreds of military bases abroad. However, that is not the case. Turse writes:
The Overseas Base Realignment and Closure Coalition notes that the United States possesses up to 95% of the world’s foreign military bases, while countries like France, Russia, and the United Kingdom have perhaps 10-20 foreign outposts each. China has just one.Issue three.
One year ago this month, then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions rescinded prior Justice Department guidance that had advised restraint in US prosecutions of some people complying with liberalized state marijuana laws. Sessions replaced it with his own new memorandum.
In response, many advocates of rolling back marijuana prohibition warned a big marijuana crackdown was likely coming. However, a few days after Sessions issued his memorandum, I noted in an article at the Ron Paul Institute website that Sessions did not “direct or even suggest any increase in marijuana prosecutions whatsoever” and that his memorandum “so far has amounted to all bluster and no action.” Continuing, I wrote: “Maybe that is how he wants it — an opportunity to state as policy his anti-marijuana views for all to see without directing actions that would meet head-on the growing majority public support for marijuana legalization, the strong momentum for legalization’s expansion across the country, and the growing rejection among Congress members of US government marijuana law enforcement efforts.”
This week, Kyle Jaeger reports at Marijuana Moment that “in the year since” Sessions issued his replacement memo, “the government has not launched a crackdown, five more states legalized cannabis in some form—with Vermont lawmakers voting to do so on the very same day Sessions made his move—and federal prosecutions for marijuana-related offenses during the 2018 fiscal year, which ended in September, declined by almost a fifth.”
In a Wednesday post at Twitter, the writer Glenn Greenwald made an insightful comment regarding language used in American media. Greenwald wrote that “the way the US media calls every rich Russian an ‘oligarch’ but never uses that term for US billionaires is extremely revealing about how they propagandize for nationalistic purposes.”
Roving patrols of the United States Border Patrol were instructed to use a list of 21 “actionable facts,” with any one fact serving as a basis for stopping cars within 100 miles of a US border. The list, included among Border Patrol training material received by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) through a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request and reported Monday by Max Rivlin-Nadler at The Intercept, includes as bases to stop a vehicle the mere fact that a vehicle is “close to the border,” is “from out of the area,” or “appears to be heavily laden.” Such broad categories make many people having nothing to do with, say, illegal immigration or illegal drugs, subjectable to Border Patrol harassment. The list even includes two contradictory facts that together could justify stopping just about any vehicle: A stop can be based on people inside the vehicle either avoiding looking a Border Patrol agent or “paying undue attention to the agent’s presence.”
That’s a wrap.
Transcripts of Five Minutes Five Issues episodes, including links to related information, are at the Ron Paul Institute blog.
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