Attorney Jonathan Emord discussed the corrupt relationship between the FDA and 'Big Pharma'. "Without question the FDA's system for drug approval is broken and results in horrific consequences both when it approves drugs and when it denies terminally-ill patients access to drugs," he stated. The FDA plays favorites with large pharmaceutical companies, Emord continued, citing the example of a Sanofi-Aventis drug called Ketek that was approved even after it had been revealed the primary clinical trials were entirely made up. Perhaps even worse than approving potentially unsafe drugs, the FDA often denies patients access to promising experimental treatments. A drug called Gleevec was found effective in treating Chronic Myelogenous Leukemia yet the FDA denied, and essentially condemned to death, thousands of patients, Emord said. Eighty percent of the few subjects allowed to receive the treatment are still alive, he added. Emord encouraged listeners who have been denied access to treatment by the FDA to email him their stories at email@example.com.
Emord commented on recent developments around the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) and similar draconian legislation. Section 1021 of the NDAA allows the armed forces to arrest any American citizen who is engaged in "substantially supporting" a terrorist organization, he explained. According to Emord, one significant problem is the vague wording of the law. For instance, with no requirement of intent, it is feasible that one could be arrested for inadvertently making a contribution to a charity that is linked to al-Qaeda, he hypothesized. A person found guilty under this legislation would be sent to military prison, denied right of counsel and writ of habeas corpus, and indefinitely detained, Emord noted. Journalists have argued that the NDAA's vague wording could also subject them to indefinite military detention because they often come into contact with people whom the U.S. government considers to be terrorists, he added. "We see directly in the law the absence of limits on the exercise of these intrusive powers. And if you don't have the limits on the power and you give people the discretion to abuse it... they will," Emord warned.
On this Armed Forces Day, first hour guest, renegade military historian Douglas Dietrich, considered the struggle of U.S. servicemen with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and the ugly realities of warfare. American soldiers occupy 150 of the 195 United Nations recognized countries, in what are essentially ghetto bases leftover from previous conflicts, Dietrich explained. The result is a military stretched thin with active duty men and women who are "used until they drop," he added, noting the relationship between multiple combat deployments and PTSD. Dietrich said the government's military documents are "heavily doctored" so as to minimize the true cost in lives lost. The Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall should contain half a million names instead of the 58,000-plus currently etched on it, he suggested. Dietrich also spoke about black ops programs and the incredibly violent acts committed by some servicemen while in theater, as documented in On the Dark Side in Al Doura. (View at Dietrich's Facebook Page. WARNING: Contains graphic and disturbing images.)
Guinness World Records recently announced that Garrett McNamara caught the biggest wave ever when he rode a monster 78-ft wave off the coast of Nazaré, Portugal, last November. "It felt like a ton of bricks," the 44-year-old surfer described the massive wall of water as it crashed behind him during the ride. More at Discovery News.
Bumper music from Saturday May 19, 2012