Category: Interviews

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Antiwar Radio: Jeremy Scahill

Jeremy Scahill, author of Blackwater: The Rise of the World’s Most Powerful Mercenary Army, discusses his article “The Dangerous US Game in Yemen; the in-country CIA and JSOC covert agents who might have to relocate for a while; how President Saleh’s alliance with Saudi Arabia against his Shiite minority could prompt Iran to take protective action of their coreligionists; Yemen’s impoverishment and many long-term economic problems; the post-9/11 ultimatum (similar to Musharraf’s) that convinced Saleh to cooperate with the US war on terror; the big bucks given to Saleh by Saudi Arabia and the US, supposedly for fighting Al Qaeda, that instead is used to kill his political rivals; Obama’s continuation of the Bush administration’s worst offenses; Jeremy taking Ed Schultz to task on MSNBC (to skip the sanctimonious monologue, go to the 10:00 mark); and the New Yorker’s account of the Libyan rebels – essentially 1000 trained soldiers fighting against a real army.

Antiwar Radio: Noah Shachtman

Noah Shachtman, editor of WIRED magazine’s Danger Room blog, discusses his article, “Anthrax Redux: Did the Feds Nab the Wrong Guy?” revisiting the FBI’s case against Bruce Ivins; the compelling circumstantial evidence despite the many crucial unknowns, such as motive and opportunity; FBI pressure brought to bear on Ivins and his family, leading to his seemingly-credible suicide (though no autopsy was performed); his coworkers’ near-unanimous opinion of his innocence; and how anthrax hysteria helped sell the case for war on Iraq.

Antiwar Radio: Philip Giraldi

Former CIA officer Philip Giraldi discusses how (relatively) peaceful and quick Arab uprisings make Al Qaeda’s brand of violent revolution even less appealing; the slippery slope of interventions started with Libya, where there is no logical stopping point (why not Iran, Syria, Yemen, Bahrain, etc.); blaming Iran for all the popular uprisings against US-allied dictators; and efforts to reassert US influence in Egypt, especially regarding continued cooperation with Israel on Gaza.

Antiwar Radio: Charles Featherstone

Charles Featherstone, regular writer at LewRockwell.com, discusses the “it’s all about oil” explanation for US foreign policy; why the US is even more concerned about Saudi Arabia’s fate than Israel’s; language in the UN Liyba resolution that seems to forbid ground troops, but doesn’t; the new “leader” of Libya’s rebels that spent the last 20 years in suburban Virginia, arousing suspicions that he’s a CIA asset; the warmongers hard at work figuring how to get the US involved in Syria and Iran; and how the “Arab Spring” marginalizes both Al Qaeda and Israel.

Antiwar Radio: Stephen M. Walt

Stephen M. Walt, professor of international affairs at Harvard University and co-author of The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy, discusses the liberal interventionists and neoconservatives uniting in support of war in Libya; how the mission to protect Libyan civilians almost immediately became a mandate for regime change – despite claims to the contrary; fighting a preventative war based on anticipated massacres and imagined regional repercussions; the risk of moral hazard, where any and all “rebel” groups can demand help and protection – a bailout, so to speak; and how the US government somehow got on the right side of history by sort-of backing the Egyptian protesters at the last minute, after decades of stabbing them in the back.

Antiwar Radio: Gareth Porter

Gareth Porter, independent historian and journalist for IPS News, discusses how the joint congressional testimony of Gen. Petraeus and Michele Flournoy betrays the Obama administration’s intent to stay in Afghanistan indefinitely; why a never-ending military presence greatly hinders negotiations with the Taliban; why pipeline politics remain a peripheral issue in US war-making decisions; the resilience of loyal Obama supporters who still see hope and change in this train wreck of a presidency; and how humanitarian interventions, whether successes or failures, empower the war-hawks.

Antiwar Radio: Thomas E. Woods

Thomas E. Woods, author of Rollback: Repealing Big Government Before the Coming Fiscal Collapse, discusses the actual constitutional war-making powers of the president; why UN mandates do not override the sovereignty of national governments; the “imminent attack” exception to a congressional authorization of war (though somehow FDR found the time after Pearl Harbor to ask for and receive a formal declaration); why the US Constitution is better off in the junk yard than the repair shop; and the cynical American priorities responsible for shutting off the streetlights on Main Street before taking away a dime from the empire.

Antiwar Radio: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz, managing news editor at Antiwar.com, discusses the lengthening Libya intervention from “days not weeks” to an open ended commitment with no end in sight – despite Robert Gates’s assertion that Libya poses no threat to the US; how the Bahrain issue has driven a (real or invented) wedge between the US and Saudi Arabia; Yemeni protests coming to a head and spelling the end of President Saleh’s rule; protests in Syria gaining enough momentum to possibly force the end to an emergency law in effect since 1963; and how French President Sarkozy competes with the impressive warmongering of the two Liebermans, Joe and Avigdor.

Antiwar Radio: Grant F. Smith

Grant F. Smith, director of the Institute for Research: Middle Eastern Policy in Washington, D.C., discusses the Council on Foreign Relations book Start-Up Nation: The Story of Israel’s Economic Miracle; the idea that the Israeli socialist Sparta makes an exemplary model for economic growth, where national conscription breeds cohesiveness and innovation; how the CFR conveniently ignores the transfer of military technology, industrial espionage and favorable trade agreements; and the divide within CFR between Israel-firsters and those devoted to more honest assessments, even when Israel looks bad because of them.

Antiwar Radio: Haroon Siddiqui

Haroon Siddiqui, editorial writer for the Toronto Star, discusses the disparaging reference to Middle Eastern public opinion as “word from the Arab street;” how the scenes from Egypt’s revolution differed from the stereotypical images of Arabs imagined by Americans; the shaky foundations of countries invented by post-colonial European bureaucrats; why Arab monarchs are described as “moderates” because they cooperate with the US, not because they are remotely democratic; the large number of US-allied Arab League states that are either monarchies or autocracies; why people rebelling against repressive regimes (as in Libya) deserve protection, even though the US is not a reliable partner and frequently makes matter worse; and the obvious solution to problems in Afghanistan and Pakistan.

Antiwar Radio: Jason Leopold and Michael Kerns

This recording is from the KPFK 90.7 FM Los Angeles broadcast of March 25th. The KPFK archive is here.

Investigative reporter Jason Leopold and retired Air Force Capt. Michael Kearns discuss the Truthout article “CIA Psychologist’s Notes Reveal True Purpose Behind Bush’s Torture Program;” how psychologically exploited prisoners were used to generate terror-war propaganda, make false confessions and “collaborate” with interrogators; how torture program architect Dr. Bruce Jessen “reverse engineered” defense-oriented SERE training programs to break down prisoners; Sen. Carl Levin’s incomplete torture investigation; and the creation of SERE during the Korean War to combat the mistreatment of US POW’s.

Antiwar Radio: Sheldon Richman

Sheldon Richman, senior fellow at The Future of Freedom Foundation, discusses “Obama’s Imperial Adventure” in Libya; the many Democrats and leftists falling over themselves to defend Obama; why the UN mandate to protect Libyan civilians isn’t possible with the supposedly limited “no-fly” zone; and why Congress couldn’t delegate war-making powers to the UN even if wanted to.

Antiwar Radio: Jennifer Van Bergen

Jennifer Van Bergen, a journalist, author and law lecturer, discusses the reasons why Guantanamo prisoners aren’t being tried in federal courts; how the Miranda warning – established by the Supreme Court to protect constitutional rights – has been eviscerated by Executive branch policy changes; why a parallel legal system for terrorism cases is not necessary; and how the “public safety” exception to Miranda provides all the flexibility needed to interrogate and prosecute terrorists.

Antiwar Radio: John V. Walsh

John V. Walsh, frequent contributor to Counterpunch.org, discusses his article “Impeach Obama: A Challenge to Tea Partiers and Antiwar Liberals;” the two-party partisan trap that causes incessant infighting and diverts attention from the real problems; how Obama’s decision to militarily intervene in yet another Sunni Muslim country virtually guarantees more blowback; looking at the UN Libya vote in terms of the represented populations for and against intervention, which turns the 10-5 vote on its head; and how China’s foreign policy indicates the 21st century will be more about economics than warfare.

Antiwar Radio: Barrett Brown

Barrett Brown, journalist and sometimes-spokesman for Anonymous, discusses the loosely affiliated hacker collective known as Anonymous; contributing to the revolutions in Tunisia, Egypt and beyond; the internet’s use as a tool of liberation and of repressive surveillance; the danger of private companies developing software (dubbed “Metal Gear” by Anonymous) to infiltrate and manipulate social networks – especially those used to aid popular revolutions; and how the anti-Ben Bernanke Anonymous campaign serves as a distraction from the group’s core mission.

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