Ivan Eland, Senior Fellow at The Independent Institute and regular contributor to Antiwar.com, discusses the U.S. fight for diplomatic leverage in Afghanistan, why extreme militarization signals the final stage of empire, the many tragedies created by Democrats acting tough and why we need a president like Eisenhower who won’t jump headfirst into every foreign conflict.
Charles Goyette, former Antiwar Radio co-contributor and author of The Dollar Meltdown : Surviving the Impending Currency Crisis with Gold, Oil, and Other Unconventional Investments, discusses the sacrifice of social programs to preserve the sacrosanct Pentagon budget, how American insularity breeds ignorance, the worthless 2300-page financial reform bill passed by Congress, how alternate systems of money and commerce will bypass Fed control and why oil and gold will hold their value against a declining dollar.
James Bovard, author of Attention Deficit Democracy, discusses the FBI’s flagrant abuse of national security letters that apparently entitles them to even more eavesdropping power, the lawsuits and sabotage efforts likely heading WikiLeaks’ way, how media sycophancy enables the know-nothing Congress and why Bob Barr’s 2008 Presidential Committee needs help paying its bills.
Muhammad Sahimi, Professor of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science at the University of Southern California, discusses the differences between the two Jundallah terrorist groups, the easily exploited tensions between Iran’s government and ethnic and religious minorities, the lack of support for Jundallah (Iran) even within the Baluchi community, the post-9/11 U.S. rejection of Iran’s cooperation that crippled the moderate government and put hardliners in charge, why the U.S. won’t tolerate an independent Middle East regional power no matter the political ideology and why a U.S. attack on Iran would be dangerous for troops in Iraq.
This recording is excerpted from the KPFK Strategy Session program of July 26th. Scott Horton separately interviews Eric Margolis and Tom Engelhardt. The audio for Tom Engelhardt begins around 17:10. The complete recording can be heard here.
Internationally syndicated columnist Eric Margolis discusses the differences between the WikiLeaks Afghan War files and the Pentagon Papers, why the media won’t press the issue and inflame public opinion against the war, the U.S. ultimatum after 9/11 that made Pakistan walk a tightrope between servitude and strategic interests, how private mercenary contractors got out of control and why troop surges are usually met with even larger resistance surges.
Tom Engelhardt, author of The American Way of War: How Bush’s Wars Became Obama’s, discusses the flood of new leaks following the WikiLeaks blockbuster, a possible insurgency within the U.S. military or intelligence services that is determined to end the Afghanistan War, the unprecedented secrecy revealed in the “Top Secret America” Washington Post piece and the markedly different emphasis in the U.K. Guardian vs. The New York Times on the WikiLeaks documents. The show ends with listener calls and some Q&A.
James Bamford, author of The Shadow Factory: The Ultra-Secret NSA from 9/11 to the Eavesdropping on America, discusses the huge advances in NSA technology and invasiveness since the Church Committee‘s 1975-76 investigation of illegal intelligence gathering, the NSA’s ominously-titled “Perfect Citizen” cyber assault monitoring program, technology and free speech activists who fight internet censorship and how the major telecom hubs provide the NSA with enough information to fill enormous data centers
Michael Flynn, project director of IPS Right Web, discusses his website’s devotion to profiling individuals who promote militarist U.S. foreign and defense policies, William Kristol’s Emergency Committee for Israel advocacy group, the unrelenting push for war with Iran and the close family relationships between the (relatively few) neocon true believers
Julian Assange, co-founder and spokesperson for WikiLeaks, discusses the 15 thousand unreleased intelligence reports from Afghanistan, efforts to get the WikiLeaks Garani massacre video ready for public release, the warning from Seymour Hersh that government officials were ready to ignore the rule of law to silence him (Assange), indications that the supposedly leaked 260,000 diplomatic cables never made it to WikiLeaks, the secret rendition program from Somalia to Kenya and how Bradley Manning’s confinement in Kuwait is essentially rendition.
Daniel Ellsberg, the man who leaked the Pentagon Papers, discusses the myriad official reasons why the Afghan War Diary is endangering soldiers and/or completely irrelevant, how WikiLeaks has changed the face of journalism and government transparency, the scapegoating of Pakistan for the failing Afghanistan War effort and why now is the time for other whistleblowers/leakers to come forward.
Ray McGovern, former senior analyst at the CIA, discusses the supplanting of the traditional press (Fourth Estate) by borderless internet journalism (the “Fifth Estate”), the New York Times‘ “attaboy” reward from the White House for its deference to government authority, the media’s new discovery that other countries sometimes have different priorities than the U.S., the plethora of information in the Afghan War Diary that will aid Iran war boosters and why the Taliban seem to be waging a very successful insurgency.
Internationally syndicated columnist Eric Margolis discusses the biggest intelligence leak in history courtesy WikiLeaks and (probably) Bradley Manning, the much higher Afghan civilian casualties than publicly acknowledged, much ado about Pakistan’s “betrayal” of the U.S. by supporting the Taliban, how WikiLeaks endangers politicians but not soldiers in the field and why the Taliban’s acquisition of shoulder-fired anti-aircraft missiles would lead to a victory over NATO forces.
Jason Ditz, managing news editor at Antiwar.com, discusses the notable early discoveries within the huge cache of leaked documents from WikiLeaks, the impressive Afghanistan “War Logs” spread set up by the Guardian, the leak’s effect on public opinion and Congressional war funding, roaming U.S. assassination squads in southern Afghanistan and evidence that IED attacks are as deadly and unstoppable as ever.
Mike Gogulski, founder of the Help Bradley Manning website, discusses “Collateral Murder” leaker Bradley Manning’s bravery and risk of an effective lifelong prison sentence, media smears and misrepresentations of Manning, the Obama administration’s record-setting whistleblower prosecutions and how you can donate to Manning’s legal defense fund.
This recording is excerpted from the KPFK Beneath the Surface program of July 23rd. Scott Horton interviews Jeremy Scahill and is himself interviewed by KPFK producer Alan Minsky. The complete recording can be heard here.
Independent journalist Jeremy Scahill, author of Blackwater: The Rise of the World’s Most Powerful Mercenary Army, discusses the too little too late Washington Post exposé on “Top Secret America,” how private contractors do the dirty (and illegal) work of state terrorism while providing the U.S. government plausible deniability, the “preparing the battlefield” exception to Congressional oversight and how the U.S. has created a big brother surveillance state in the British model.
Paul Rogers, Global Security Consultant to Oxford Research Group, discusses Israel’s military upgrades that make a solo attack on Iran possible, why military action would prompt Iran to withdraw from the NPT and develop nuclear weapons in earnest, Israel’s strategic alliances with Azerbaijan and the Iraqi Kurds, the little-known permanent U.S. military operational presence in Israel, why the U.S. military (and not Israel) is most at risk to an Iranian counterattack and the lingering hard feelings Iranians have for their “Axis of Evil” inclusion.