Category Archives: Interviews

11/15/17 David Ruiz on recent surveillance policy developments

Scott is joined by David Ruiz to talk about the latest developments to U.S. surveillance policy and how new policy is being written and passed to extend the spirit of expiring elements of the Patriot Act. Ruiz explains how the various elements of U.S. mass surveillance work, including how the FBI uses backdoor searches and parallel construction in order to construct cases against Americans. Scott and Ruiz attempt to assess just how much valuable intel is being collected by American spying, and how, because we’re totally in the dark about most things related to U.S. surveillance, it is very difficult to assess the effectiveness of the program.

David Ruiz writes about the NSA for the Electronic Frontier Foundation. Follow him on Twitter: @davidalruiz.

Discussed on the show:

Today’s show is sponsored by: NoDev, NoOps, NotIT, by Hussein Badakhchani; The War State, by Mike Swanson; WallStreetWindow.comRoberts and Roberts Brokerage Inc.LibertyStickers.comTheBumperSticker.com3tediting.comExpandDesigns.com/Scott; and Darrin’s Coffee.

Check out Scott’s Patreon page.

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11/13/17 Alfred McCoy on Opium production in Afghanistan

Professor and author Alfred McCoy joins Scott to discuss his latest article “Washington’s Drug of Choice in the War on Terror.” McCoy describes how heroin first became a major factor of the Afghan economy and credits the Taliban’s capture of the illicit opium market for their recent resurgence. According to McCoy, at the peak of the Columbian cartel’s operations cocaine made up 3% of Columbia’s GDP; in Afghanistan in 2008 it was 58%. McCoy then details how all of the U.S. programs to disincentivize people from growing opium have blown up and actually increased incentives to grow opium. McCoy explains why he thinks that the combination of covert and conventional warfare will make Afghanistan the major war of the Trump administration—and how America’s failure to eradicate opium production in Afghanistan is emblematic of a fading superpower. Finally Scott asks: what’s the solution?

Alfred McCoy is a professor of history at the University of Wisconsin. McCoy is the author of “The Politics of Heroin” “The Question of Torture” and “In The Shadows of the American Century.” He writes regularly at TomDispatch.com.

Discussed on the show:

“This is  what I call the stimulus of prohibition—it’s the underlying illogic of the entire supply side effort of the drug war that the United States has been fighting in Afghanistan since the U.S. intervened in 2002.” —Alfred McCoy

Today’s show is sponsored by: NoDev, NoOps, NotIT, by Hussein Badakhchani; The War State, by Mike Swanson; WallStreetWindow.comRoberts and Roberts Brokerage Inc.LibertyStickers.comTheBumperSticker.com3tediting.comExpandDesigns.com/Scott; and Darrin’s Coffee.

Check out Scott’s Patreon page.

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11/13/17 Stephen Walt on Charles Koch’s new institute for foreign policy research

Harvard professor and author of the “The Israel Lobby And U.S. Foreign Policy,” Stephen Walt joins the show to discuss Charles Koch’s latest initiative to create a multi-million dollar grant for graduate and doctoral students to study U.S. foreign policy at MIT and Harvard. Walt briefly describes how the grant came about and then discusses with Scott the modern state of U.S. foreign policy debate in academia and why there has been striking uniformity in the post-Cold War era.

Stephen Walt is Professor of International Affairs at the Harvard Kennedy School. Walt is a regular contributor to ForeignPolicy. Follow him on Twitter @stephenWalt.

Discussed on the show:

Today’s show is sponsored by: NoDev, NoOps, NotIT, by Hussein Badakhchani; The War State, by Mike Swanson; WallStreetWindow.comRoberts and Roberts Brokerage Inc.LibertyStickers.comTheBumperSticker.com3tediting.comExpandDesigns.com/Scott; and Darrin’s Coffee.

Check out Scott’s Patreon page.

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11/10/17 Nasser Arrabyee on the escalation of the U.S.-Saudi war in Yemen

Nasser Arrabyee returns to the show to give his latest update on the devestation from the U.S.-Saudi Arabian war in Yemen. Arrabyee confirms that more than 900,000 people have contracted cholera and discusses the recent retaliatory strike by the Houthis against the Saudi airport and the latest developments in the U.S.-Saudi blockade, which the U.N. warns could kill millions of people. Arrabyee explains how Yemeni deaths have been vastly underestimated and dispels the myth that this is a moral war. Finally Arrabyee explains in detail the myriad factors that contribute to the war in Yemen and why it would be impossible for someone like Donald Trump to understand them.

Nasser Arrabyee is a Yemeni journalist based in Sana’a, Yemen. He is the owner and director of yemen-now.com. You can follow him on Twiiter @narrabyee.

Discussed on the show:

  • “8/28/17 MSF’s Clair Manera on the cholera epidemic in Yemen” (Scott Horton Show)
  • “A new Saudi blockade could worsen Yemen’s cholera crisis” (Washington Post)
  • “Millions In Yemen Will Die Unless Saudi Aid Blockade Is Lifted, UN Warns” (Huffington Post)
  • “Saudi Arabia accuses Iran of ‘direct aggression’ over Yemen missile” (The Guardian)
  • “11/7/17 Congressman Walter Jones on his fight for H.Con.Res.81 and against the War Party” (Scott Horton Show)
  • Houthis
  • Zaidi Shias
  • “Airstrike Kills at Least 25 at Market in Yemen” (New York Times)
  • “Yemen attack: 42 killed in suicide bombings claimed by Isis” (The Independent)
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11/7/17 Rick Sterling Reviews the Evidence from the April Syrian Sarin Attack

Investigative journalist Rick Sterling joins Scott to discuss his story for Consortium News “The Trumped-Up Syria-Sarin Case.” Sterling goes through the play-by-play of the attack in Khan Sheikhoun in April, 2017 and what has come to light since then. Sterling comprehensively addresses the major details and outstanding questions from the attack, starting with the earliest reports, including Phil Giraldi breaking the newson Scott’s show back in April, to the latest developments of his reporting.

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11/15/17 Grant Smith on Americans’ waning patience for military spending

Grant Smith, director of the Institute for Research Middle Eastern Policy returns to the show to discuss his latest article for Antiwar.com “Poll: Americans Would Cut Middle East War Spending.” Smith promotes the IRMEP’s upcoming 2018 conference and explains why he believes the organized Israel lobbying groups are, contrary to their claims, unrepresentative of American Jewish communities. Scott and Smith then discuss whether Israel needs the United States’ continual aid and why noninterventionism is the best policy. Smith then explains why the Saudis don’t need a considerable lobby like AIPAC to ensure their goals are met. Finally Smith addresses the free speech threats of the latest domestic pro-Israel policies.

Grant F. Smith is the author of a number of books including “Big Israel: How Israel’s Lobby Moves America” and “Divert!”. He is director of the Institute for Research: Middle Eastern Policy in Washington, D.C.

Discussed on the show:

Today’s show is sponsored by: NoDev, NoOps, NotIT, by Hussein Badakhchani; The War State, by Mike Swanson; WallStreetWindow.comRoberts and Roberts Brokerage Inc.LibertyStickers.comTheBumperSticker.com3tediting.comExpandDesigns.com/Scott; and Darrin’s Coffee.

Check out Scott’s Patreon page.

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11/7/17 Congressman Walter Jones on his fight for H.Con.Res.81 and against the War Party

Congressman Walter Jones of North Carolina joins Scott to discuss his co-sponsorship of H.Con.Res.81, the United States’s never-ending wars, and how Congress can take back its mantle. Jones explains why he blames Paul Ryan for the lack of a vote on H.Con.Res.81, how Congress has abdicated its responsibility on matters of war, and why issues of war and peace are the most pressing that are facing the U.S.

Discussed on the show:

Quote of the show: “Scott, that is the dishonesty of Washington…the Rules Committee is nothing but a puppet group…it’s just hogwash to be honest with you.” – Walter Jones

 

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10/6/17 Alex Kane on the rise of American police training in Israel

Journalist Alex Kane joins the show to talk about his latest article “Ending Deadly Collusion between U.S. and Israeli Police.” Kane describes how American police regularly travel to Israel to train, and how the Jewish Voice for Peace Chapter decided to bring light to the issue through their new “Deadly Exchange.” According to Kane, hundreds of American police officers have travelled to Israel and trained with Israeli commanders. Kane then details the multifaceted cooperation between Israeli and U.S. security forces, both domestically and in foreign policy. Finally, Kane addresses the integral differences between Judaism and Israel and why they are so frequently conflated.

Alex Kane is a freelance journalist who’s writing appears in Ha’aretz, the Intercept and elsewhere. He’s formerly an editor at Mondoweiss and Alternet. Read more of his work at his website and follow him on Twitter.

Discussed on the show:

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11/6/17 Reese Erlich on the political turmoil in Iraqi-Kurdistan and Saudi Arabia

Reese Erlich returns to the show to discuss his latest article for Antiwar.com, “US Sells Out the Kurds—Again” Erlich discusses the history of the Kurds in Iraq, America’s yo-yoing approach to first supporting then betraying the Kurds, and how it all relates back to today. Scott then brings the discussion to the political turmoil in Saudi Arabia, and what the apparent coup means for the U.S.-Saudi relations and the Middle East generally.

Reese Erlich is a nationally syndicated columnist and the author of Inside Syria: The Backstory of Their Civil War and What the World Can Expect. Erlich’s next book” The Iran Agenda” will be published in 2018. In the meantime read his work at his website and follow him on Twitter.

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11/6/17 Elijah Magnier on the mayhem in Lebanon and Saudi Arabia

Middle East correspondent Elijah Magnier returns to the show to discuss the latest turmoil in the Middle East and his recent article “ISIS into History’s rubbish bin and Iraq neither Iranian nor American.” Magnier shares what he knows about the resignation of Saad Hariri in Lebanon, and Saudi Arabia’s role in the latest Middle Eastern mess. Magnier then discusses the history of Hezbollah in Lebanon, the distinction between the terrorist group and the parliamentary party, which has considerable political power and popularity. Magnier then slams the U.S. media for turning al Qaeda into a moderate rebel group and the fall out from the war in Syria.

Elijah Magnier is the chief international correspondent at Al Rai and a political and terrorism/counterterrorism analyst. Find all his work at elijahjm.wordpress.com and follow him on Twitter @ejmalrai.

Discussed on the show:

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11/6/17 John Feffer on Donald Trump’s escalation of North Korea

John Feffer returns to the show following his trip to South Korea and Japan where Donald Trump is visiting to continue his escalation against North Korea. Feffer details China’s role in curtailing North Korea, why the effort has fallen short, and how the Trump administration continues to pressure countries in the region. Scott wonders whether Donald Trump is really as dangerous on North Korea as everyone portrays him—and why neither the United States or North Korea has motivation to start a war. Feffer believes that the United States ultimately uses the North Korea threat to increase our leverage and influence in Asia, particularly over China. Feffer then travels down memory lane and explains how the Iraq War somehow dovetailed into escalation with North Korea. Feffer then shares his guess for the future: strategic patience—even from Donald Trump.

John Feffer is the co-director of Foreign Policy In Focus and author of the dystopian novel Splinterlands. His latest article for FPIF.org is “Honoring Otto Warmbier.” Follow Feffer on Twitter @JohnFeffer.

Discussed on the show:

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10/31/17 Mark Thornton explains why ending heroin prohibition will solve America’s opiate crisis

Mark Thornton returns to the show to discuss his latest articles for the Mises Institute “The Real Cause of America’s Opioid Epidemic” and “Big Pharma Makes Drugs that Please Regulators, Not Customers.” Thornton makes the case for why legalizing heroin—and all drugs—would be a major step towards solving the opioid crisis. Instead, because of FDA regulations, doctors and pharmaceutical companies are not held liable for the awful consequences of their use. According to Thornton, and counter to popular opinion, lack of government regulations is what will actually regulate the quality of the product on the market.

Mark Thornton is a senior fellow at the Mises Institute. He serves as the Book Review Editor of the Quarterly Journal of Austrian Economics. His publications include The Economics of Prohibition (1991), Tariffs, Blockades, and Inflation: The Economics of the Civil War (2004), The Quotable Mises (2005), The Bastiat Collection (2007), An Essay on Economic Theory (2010), and The Bastiat Reader (2014).

Discussed on the show:

  • Ludwig Von Mises Institute 
  • Chicago School
  • “In one year, drug overdoses killed more Americans than the entire Vietnam War did” (Vox)
  • Fentanyl
  • “Authorities seize enough fentanyl for ‘1 million overdoses'” (CBS News)
  • “Trump to declare national emergency on opioids months after initial promise” (CNN)
  • “Tylenol made a hero of Johnson & Johnson : The recall that started them all” (New York Times)
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10/30/17 Trevor Thrall on ending the war on terror

Cato Institute senior fellow Trevor Thrall joins Scott to discuss his article for War On The Rocks, “Time to Step Back from the War on Terror.” Thrall’s piece details how the U.S. war on terror has been a failure and raises the question “what if we abolish the war on terror?” Thrall’s solution begins by, in the first place, stopping the constant interventions in the first place. Thrall believes that, at the root of the problem, is the fact that America believes it needs to control everything, everywhere, spurred on by the false belief that it is “providing regional stability and improving the global economy.” Then the interview pivots to the war in Afghanistan. Thrall discusses Trump’s about-face on foreign policy, which has alienated him from his Steve Bannon-directed base. As a result, Thrall has little hope that the Afghan War will play out any differently than it did during the Bush and Obama presidencies.

Trevor Thrall is a senior fellow for the Cato Institute’s Defense and Foreign Policy Department and an associate professor at George Mason University’s Schar School of Policy and Government. Follow him on Twitter @trevor_thrall.

Discussed on the show:

Today’s show is sponsored by: NoDev, NoOps, NotIT, by Hussein Badakhchani; The War State, by Mike Swanson; WallStreetWindow.comRoberts and Roberts Brokerage Inc.LibertyStickers.comTheBumperSticker.com3tediting.comExpandDesigns.com/Scott

Check out Scott’s Patreon page.

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10/27/17 Gareth Porter deconstructs Trump’s decision to decertify the Iran Deal

Gareth Porter returns to the show to discuss his latest article for The American Conservative “Trump Trashes Iran Deal to Satisfy Netanyahu.” Porter discusses Trump’s goal to convince Congress to pass new sanctions against Iran and explains why, even if the United States breaks the deal, Iran may have incentives to remain in the deal. Porter and Scott then take a trip back down memory road to the outset of the Iraq War and the role Iran played in helping push the U.S. gears into war. The two then consider the likelihood that Trump could push the U.S. into war with Iran and why, thankfully, it appears unlikely.

Gareth Porter is an investigative historian and journalist on the national security state and author of Manufactured Crisis: The Untold Story of the Iran Nuclear Scare. Follow him on Twitter @GarethPorter and listen to Gareth’s previous appearances on the Scott Horton Show.

Discussed on the show:

Today’s show is sponsored by: NoDev, NoOps, NotIT, by Hussein Badakhchani; The War State, by Mike Swanson; WallStreetWindow.comRoberts and Roberts Brokerage Inc.LibertyStickers.comTheBumperSticker.com3tediting.comExpandDesigns.com/Scott

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10/27/17 Patrick Cockburn on Iraqi Kurdistan and the liberation of Raqqa

Patrick Cockburn joins Scott from Baghdad to discuss the liberation of Raqqa from ISIS and the battle in Kirkurk between the Iraqi army and Peshmerga. Cockburn describes how ISIS is still in business as a guerrilla force, but the caliphate has been destroyed. Cockburn further details which powers in the region have gained in influence and power and who faces even more pressure—in particular the Kurds, who have seen major losses since the referendum for independence, which Cockburn believes was a major mistake. Cockburn then discusses the always fragile relation between Sunnis and Shias and the bizarre role the United States plays in the middle and on both sides.

Patrick Cockburn is the Middle East correspondent for The Independent and the author of “The Age of Jihad” and “Chaos & Caliphate.”

Discussed on the show:

Quote of the show: “On the other hand people are fairly cock-a-hoop in Baghdad—they feel we’ve been pushed around by these Kurds long enough, let’s really make sure we’re in control in future.” —Patrick Cockburn

Today’s show is sponsored by: NoDev, NoOps, NotIT, by Hussein Badakhchani; The War State, by Mike Swanson; WallStreetWindow.comRoberts and Roberts Brokerage Inc.LibertyStickers.comTheBumperSticker.com3tediting.comExpandDesigns.com/Scott

Check out Scott’s Patreon page.

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