Mark Ames, author of “The Cold War that Wasn’t” in The Nation, discusses the dominant narrative and ideological underpinnings in the U.S. press regarding the recent Georgian attack on South Ossetia and subsequent Russian counterattack on Georgia, the attempt to portray Russia as the aggressor by floating the idea of a first-strike cyber war despite the lack of any evidence, the alleged poisoning of Ukraine’s Victor Yushchenko and the current dispute between Yushchenko and Yulia Timoshenko over her reaction to the Georgia war, the poisoning of Alexander Litvinenko, NATO expansion into Eastern Europe, the precedent set by U.S. intervention in Kosovo, the danger of putting “defensive” missiles in Eastern Europe while the U.S. foreign policy establishment contemplates first strike capability, U.S. NED support for the Russian National Bolsheviks, the “shock therapy” robbery of Russian resources under Yeltsin’s autocracy in the 1990s and the consequences.
Robert Dreyfuss, author of The Dreyfuss Report blog for The Nation, discusses the policy of “hot pursuit” across international boundaries against anyone deemed an enemy, an increased military budget that encourages greater use of special forces, the prospect of a renewed UN mandate replacing a failed Iraq SOFA agreement and how it could effect the incoming U.S. administration, Iran’s decision to reduce confrontation with the U.S., how the Israeli election result will impact prospects for peace in the Middle East and the strategy behind al Qaeda’s attacks against America.
Tom Engelhardt, editor of TomDispatch and of The World According to TomDispatch, chronicles the failures of the Bush Administration and their misguided faith in the dark side of force, the state of complete catastrophe inside Afghanistan and on its border with Pakistan, the precarious situation in Iraq, Bush’s failure to get Iran to stop enriching Uranium (his standard), how U.S. policy has benefited Hamas and Hezbollah, the worst crisis on earth: the U.S.-caused war in Somalia and the rise of much more radical forces there than those whose power the invasion was meant to thwart.
H. Candace Gorman, Chicago civil rights attorney representing two Guantanamo detainees, discusses the difficulty of being a defense attorney for detainees subject to shifting court rulings and legal designations, a paralyzed federal court system that is stalling habeas corpus hearings until after the presidential election is decided, back room repatriation deals between the Bush administration, potential host countries and Guantanamo defense attorneys in order to preempt unfavorable judicial decisions, the ongoing struggle to obtain health care for detainee and Gorman client Abdul Al-Ghizzawi, the latest resignation of a prosecutor – Darrel Vandeveld – in protest of the Guantanamo show trials, the weakening war crimes case against detainee Omar Khadr, the relatively light sentence against “worst of the worst” David Hicks and the possibility that an Obama victory will finally mean the closure of Guantanamo.
Grant F. Smith, director of the Institute for Research: Middle Eastern Policy and author of America’s Defense Line: The Justice Department’s Battle to Register the Israel Lobby as Agents of a Foreign Government, discusses the intrigue behind the AIPAC spy case, long rage patterns of neocon duplicity and criminality, the history behind the Logan Act, the complicity of the corporate media, the likely continuity of Mideast policy in an Obama administration and the War Party’s shutting down of much needed U.S. trade with the Mideast.
Michael Scheuer, former chief of the CIA’s bin Laden unit and author of Marching Toward Hell: America and Islam After Iraq, discusses the likely view of Barack Obama and John McCain’s foreign policy positions from al Qaeda’s perspective, how developments in Afghanistan, Pakistan and Iraq are too good to be true for them, the importance of the book Who Speaks for Islam, former DCI George Tenet’s withholding of Scheuer’s team’s report debunking accusations about Saddam Hussein’s ties to al Qaeda before Powell’s UN speech, the lies and omissions of the 9/11 commission and infighting between intelligence agencies in the run up to September 11th.
Matthew Rothschild, editor of The Progressive and author of You Have No Rights: Stories of America in Our Repressive Age, discusses the U.S. Army’s NORTHCOM acquisition of part of the 3rd Infantry Division, the effective suspension of the Insurrection Act and Posse Comitatus, the need for a political realignment around the most important issues of liberty and war, the use of the military at both conventions and the sadly un-exercised power of impeachment.
Gareth Porter, independent historian and reporter for IPS News, discusses the Status Of Forces Agreement being negotiated with Iraq, Bush’s abetting of the Iranian influence in the Iraqi government, last week’s massive demonstrations against the occupation, Russia and the soon to expire UN mandate, the longstanding canard of Iran’s nuclear ambitions the waning likelihood of an attack on Iran and the situation in Pakistan.
Jim Bovard, author of many great books, most recently Attention Deficit Democracy, discusses America’s abandonment of law and rising police state, many people’s need to identify with a savior, the benefits of the Ron Paul candidacy, the story behind the Republicans failure to remove Bill Clinton from power in 1998, the continuing failure of the corporate media and the hope for a more humble foreign policy with Obama.
James Bamford, author of The Puzzle Palace, Body of Secrets, A Pretext for War and now, The Shadow Factory: The Ultra-Secret NSA from 9/11 to the Eavesdropping on America, discusses what the NSA knew about the 9/11 hijackers before the attack, the infighting between the CIA, NSA and FBI, the 9/11 hijackers proximity to NSA headquarters in Maryland prior to the attacks, the abandonment of law and limits on their domestic spying after 9/11, the complicity of major telecoms in helping the state tap the entire internet, the enormous new date storage and mining facility in San Antonio, Texas and the Israeli companies who make the software that runs the Big Brother database.
Jim Fine, Legislative Secretary for Foreign Policy for the Friends Committee on National Legislation’s Iraq Peace Campaign, discusses the pacifism of the Quaker faith, the defeat of the Iranian war resolution in Congress, the exaggerated Iranian threat, the need for global nuclear disarmament and to negotiations with adversaries, Ahmadinejad’s admission of the 2003 negotiations that the U.S. backed out of, Bush’s signing statements immunizing him from obeying the law stopping permanent military bases and seizing Iraq’s oil, the hawkish stance Obama will have to display to avoid Republican criticism and the groups who stand up to AIPAC.
Lester Ness, friend of the show and American English teacher in China, discusses that land and it’s relationship with the United States.
Robert Murphy, author of the blog Free Advice and ConsultingByRPM.com, as well as The Politically Incorrect Guide to Capitalism, discusses the financial crisis, Credit Default Swaps, the manipulation of modeling systems, the Austrian school economists’ predictions of the housing bubble’s burst, the myth of our “free-market,” why artificial booms lead to busts, the danger of price controls and the case against monetarist economics.
John L. Esposito, professor at Georgetown University and co-author of Who Speaks For Islam: What A Billion Muslims Really Think, the causes of and misconceptions about Muslim radicalism, religion as an accessory to, not motivation for terrorism, the research behind the facts in the book, the nature of bin Laden’s recruitment pitch, “democratic exceptionalism,” the similarities between Islam and Christian values and the underlying racism of American media and many citizens.
Shashank Bengali, reporter for McClatchy Newspapers, discusses the new U.S. African command center AFRICOM, the difficulty in finding a host country, the major crises in Somalia and Congo, China’s role in the African oil grab, the capability of U.S. Army humanitarian aide, the fight against AIDS, the Nigerian delta oil conflict and the spread of the “war on terror” to Africa as bin Laden predicted.