9/15/20 Kevin Gosztola: Day Six of the Assange Extradition Hearing

Kevin Gosztola is back for an update on Julian Assange’s extradition hearing. He describes the great line-up of witnesses being summoned by Assange’s defense team and how easily, for the most part, they’ve been able to dismantle the arguments from the prosecution. It’s unclear, however, how effective any kind of reasoned argument about the facts will be, given that we know this whole hearing has been conducted on political grounds from the beginning. The case the U.S. government wants to bring...

9/11/20 Gareth Porter: More on Trump’s First Term Foreign Policy Record

Scott and Gareth Porter continue their ongoing conversation about President Trump’s foreign policy so far. Porter focuses first on Iran, which has become the ultimate excuse for just about every foreign policy decision over the last decade. In reality, of course, Iran is basically irrelevant to the security of the United States, and isn’t, says Porter, even much of a threat to America’s allies like Israel and Saudi Arabia. But in the perception of the neocon establishment, Iran is the greatest...

9/11/20 Arthur Bloom on the Fake Opinion Columnists Pushing War With Iran

Arthur Bloom talks about a recent piece from The American Conservative, which exposes the case of a prolific and well-known anti-Iran opinion columnist who turned out not to be a real person. “Amir Basiri,” who wrote dozens of pieces for mostly right-leaning publications advocating for war with Iran, turns out to have been nothing more than a pseudonymous figurehead for the Mujahideen-eKhalq (MEK), an Iranian dissident exile group. The MEK has been described as a communist terrorism cult, but...

9/11/20 Ford Fischer on the Unified Activism the Media Doesn’t Want You to See

Journalist Ford Fischer discusses his coverage of the various armed factions taking to the streets in the wake of the killing of George Floyd, and amid broader calls for police reform. The mainstream media typically paints a black-and-white narrative: on one side are left-leaning, antiracist, mostly peaceful protestors, and on the other are right-leaning, racist, armed militia groups whose presence only makes things more dangerous. But Fischer has made the rather surprising discovery that...

9/11/20 Josiah Lippincott on the Wholesale Slaughter of Japanese Civilians in WWII

Scott interviews Josiah Lippincott about the conventional narrative surrounding the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki during World War II. The common argument, says Lippincott, is that the U.S. had no real choice but to drop the bombs, since the alternative would have been a ground invasion that ultimately would have cost many more lives. In reality, he explains, the Japanese had been willing to negotiate for months, but the American government, insisting on an unconditional surrender,...

9/11/20 Aaron Maté on the Deep State’s Many ‘Russiagate’ Lies

Aaron Maté revisits the many lies on which the ‘Russiagate’ probe into Donald Trump’s campaign and presidency was founded. Maté calls the whole story what it is: a conspiracy theory. The only way someone could find all the far-fetched and flimsy pieces of evidence credible is if they were already convinced beforehand and had to make every new development fit their narrative. In particular, Maté focuses on the way figures like Joseph Mifsud and George Papadopoulos, though initially the entire...

9/11/20 Trita Parsi: What Trump’s Iraq Troop Withdrawal Means for Ending America’s Wars

Trita Parsi discusses President Trump’s recent announcement of a troop withdrawal from Iraq. Parsi is hesitant to fully endorse this move, explaining that while troop reductions are obviously good, such individual tactical moves, in order to be truly effective, must be part of a larger strategy of peace. Trump, instead, has repeatedly escalated tensions in other regions, even as he withdraws troops elsewhere, with the result that his foreign policy often results in, at best, a net wash for...

9/11/20 Paul Robinson on the ‘Russiagate’ Narrative that Refuses to Die

Scott talks to Paul Robinson about yet another round of claims that President Trump colluded with Russia to disingenuously win the 2016 election. This time, what’s at issue is a trove of emails from Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort from his time working as a consultant in Ukraine. Manafort’s ties to Ukraine have long been labeled suspect by the Democrats and the corporate media because they supposedly connect him, by extension, to the Russian government. But Robinson explains that while...

9/11/20 Danny Sjursen: America in the Age of Endless War

Scott interviews Danny Sjursen about his new book, which chronicles his own story of disillusionment with America’s endless wars, in addition to outlining what he believes should be the new attitude of true American patriotism. He calls this type of patriotism “patriotic dissent,” explaining that when one’s country has become an empire of military adventurism founded on lies, the truly patriotic thing to do is to oppose these trends. Part of the way he does so is by offering historical...

9/11/20 Clive Stafford Smith on Julian Assange’s Political Show Trial

Clive Stafford Smith, expert witness in Julian Assange’s extradition hearing, talks about the outrageous scandal that is the U.S. government’s attempted prosecution of Assange and Wikileaks. Smith begins by making the obvious point that as a recipient of classified leaks, and not a leaker himself, Assange is no different than any journalist who writes stories containing classified information. To prosecute Wikileaks, in other words, the government would have to admit that they could prosecute...

9/11/20 Ted Snider on the Israel-UAE Normalization Agreement

Ted Snider discusses the details of the recent “peace deal” between the UAE and Israel. President Trump, who helped broker the deal, has been bragging that this is a groundbreaking normalization of two hostile nations—most likely, says Snider, in an effort to score political points before the election. In reality, Snider explains, Israel and the UAE have had an unofficially friendly relationship for at least a decade, and really going back to the middle of the twentieth century. Champions of...

9/11/20 David Vine on the Tens of Millions Displaced by America’s Terror Wars

Scott interviews David Vine about his research into the effects of America’s decades-long wars on terror. Vine and his team have recently estimated that at minimum, 37 million people have been displaced as a direct result of the war on terror, with roughly 8 million of these fleeing across international borders as refugees. He adds, moreover, that at least 800,000 people have been killed just in combat, along with probably 3–4 million more due to deprivation and destruction of infrastructure...

9/8/20 Kevin Gosztola: Day Two of the Assange Extradition Hearing

Scott talks to Kevin Gosztola about day two of Julian Assange’s extradition hearing. Gosztola covers some of the highlights of the day’s proceedings, including witness testimony for Assange’s defense, the main purpose of which was to emphasize the fact that Assange’s behavior in running Wikileaks is not categorically different from any other journalistic practices as carried out by, say, the New York Times. Gosztola explains that the prosecution’s main strategy seems to be to emphasize these...

9/7/20 Joe Lauria: Day One of the Assange Extradition Hearing

Joe Lauria gives an update on Julian Assange’s extradition trial in the UK. The biggest piece of news from day one is that certain media outlets are reporting 17 new charges added to Assange’s indictment, when in reality, there was simply a superseding indictment to add a little bit of new evidence, but which had to restate all of the original charges. Lauria explains that this new indictment is nothing more than a PR move, designed to elicit exactly this kind of false narrative that there’s a...

9/4/20 James Carden on the Rotten Alliance between Liberals and Neocons

Scott interviews James Carden about his latest article, which explores the recent return of many prominent neocons to the Democratic Party in opposition to Trump. Carden reminds us that during the 1960s a group of hawkish Democrats moved over to side with the Republicans in response to some of the radical social movements in America at that time, thus founding the neoconservative movement. Now, as we near the end of Trump’s first term, many of them are supporting Biden—and it’s easy to see...

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