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Ali Abunimah discusses the odd relationship between U.S. policing and the Israeli government. He describes the way higher-ups at many American police departments are sent on all-expenses paid trips by the Israel lobby, where they learn counter-terrorism tactics from...
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Recent Episodes of the Scott Horton Show
Ali Abunimah discusses the odd relationship between U.S. policing and the Israeli government. He describes the way higher-ups at many American police departments are sent on all-expenses paid trips by the Israel lobby, where they learn counter-terrorism tactics from the Israeli military. This is framed as a way to keep U.S. cops on the cutting edge, but really has the effect of making them view their communities as insurgents that need to be suppressed. No wonder, then, that police in America have such problems with the people they are supposed to serve. On the other side, says Abunimah, the Israeli government is concerned that the Black Lives Matter movement could be dangerous for their interests, since it might help Americans to understand the plight of the Palestinians in Israel, who live under the threat of violence without repercussion from their occupiers.
Discussed on the show:
- “Israel lobby sees Black Lives Matter as major strategic threat” (Electronic Intifada)
- “‘He’s Disabled,’ the Caregiver Screamed. ‘I’m With Her,’ Eyad Cried. The Cop Opened Fire Anyway” (Israel News | Haaretz.com)
- Deadly Exchange
- “Navigating Intersectional Landscapes” (The Reut Group)
This episode of the Scott Horton Show is sponsored by: NoDev NoOps NoIT, by Hussein Badakhchani; The War State, by Mike Swanson; WallStreetWindow.com; Tom Woods’ Liberty Classroom; ExpandDesigns.com/Scott; Listen and Think Audio; TheBumperSticker.com; and LibertyStickers.com.
The following is an automatically generated transcript.
All right, shall welcome at Scott Horton show. I am the director of the libertarian Institute editorial director of antiwar.com, author of the book fool’s errand, time to end the war in Afghanistan. And I’ve recorded more than 5000 interviews going back to 2003, all of which are available at Scotthorton.org. You can also sign up to the podcast feed full archive is also available youtube.com/ScottHortonshow. All right, you guys introducing Ali Abunimah, from electronic Intifada net and author of the battle for justice in Palestine, and one country a bold proposal to end the Israeli Palestinian impasse and why as a bunch of important articles here to talk about But we’ll start here with Israel lobby sees Black Lives Matter as a major strategic threat. Welcome back to the show. Ali, how are you doing?
Ali Abunimah 1:11
It’s good to be back. Thank you for having me.
Scott Horton 1:14
Very happy to have you here. So how ironical that just this morning an email friend sent me a copy of this study that you also linked to in here, I guess, just from last year, reflecting a real concern on the part of the Israel lobby, that all this black lives matter stuff is going to essentially wash over into the Israel lobby or Israel Palestine debate, essentially. And that if there’s this whole new push for civil rights for blacks in America, that maybe people will start equating blacks in America, with Palestinians in Palestine and the way that they’re being treated And obviously, you know, essentially Jim Crow or worse type conditions there. And so what can they do about that? It has nothing to do, of course, with solving the problems of the Israeli Palestinian conflict, just focusing, of course, on how to spin it. But the larger reality that they’re afraid of, is one thing, and then their fear of it is another. So I guess, you know, recent developments have obviously, you know, kick those same sentiments into higher gear here. So, what have you found?
Ali Abunimah 2:38
Well, that’s exactly right. That’s a good summary. Of course, this is not a new concern. But there’s a couple of things that have happened in the last few years that have really made this really sort of a cold read for the Israel lobby and it really goes back to 20. 14 to the Ferguson uprising. When, of course, police in Ferguson, Missouri killed the black teenager Michael Brown. And that was the same summer that Israel was bombing Gaza and this massive campaign which killed 2200 Palestinians, including 551 children in the space of 51 days. And you saw this explosion of solidarity between Palestinians and black people in the United States that a lot of identification between protesters in the streets of Ferguson and around the country, and one of the issues that really came to the fore at that time for many activists, was the fact that practically every major US police force, and also this includes not just the big cities like Chicago and New York and Los Angeles. But, you know, many medium sized provincial cities have been sending for many years top officers to Israel for so called counterterrorism training. And these trainings are usually sponsored. These are all expenses paid junkets that are usually sponsored by the major Israel lobby groups. This includes specifically a PAC, the anti defamation League, the American Jewish Committee and others. And these police chiefs then come back to the United States and they will issue press releases saying, Oh, well, what Israel and we learned from the best of the best, and we need to apply the lessons that we learned in Israel to our cities. This was particularly popular, I mean, it’s been going on for decades, but it sort of took a huge boost. In the post 911 sort of war on terror at a sphere where Israel is marketed as this. You know, we know we know how to do this. We’ve been dealing with terrorists for so long. And of course, it was also very much about selling Israeli so called counterterrorism technologies, surveillance technologies and other kinds of, you know, intrusive systems to American federal, state and local police forces. So it was also a huge marketing opportunity for Israel’s arms industry. But what happened with the Ferguson uprising is people said, Wait a minute, why our police who are murdering innocent people on the streets of American cities being trained in Israel. So it highlighted this, this you know, really nefarious relationship and that has been a major point of rallying and organizing Ever since then, and just very briefly, you alluded to a report I cited in my article in the electronic Intifada that been several reports from Israel lobby groups. Some are what you’d call open source where they publish them. But there have also been leaked report, there was one from the anti defamation League and the Institute, which is a major Israeli Think Tank, that that was linked in 2017. I believe it was either 2017 or 18. We published the whole thing at the electronic Intifada, where they actually talk about the Black Lives Matter movement and particularly intersectionality as a huge, long term threat to support for Israel because heaven forbid, oppressed groups, whether it’s black people in the United States or power Seniors get together and realize their collective strength and common interests. And that really is the gist of the worry of the Israel lobby. And so now you see all these major pro Israel groups who are in this difficult and awkward position of having to basically pretend to be, you know, supportive of Black Lives Matters, while also upholding the staunch support for Israeli racism and brutality against Palestinians.
Scott Horton 7:36
on of course, the key to that is portraying all opposition to Israel as anti semitism. And nevermind the Palestinians, they don’t even exist at all. There’s only one reason to ever criticize Israel and that would be as cover for your anti semitic emotions.
Ali Abunimah 7:53
Quite right. And it’s also about portraying, you know, anyone who challenges that power authority as criminal as terrorist as a threat, and I think this mindset very much mirrors what has been going on in American policing since 911. With the increased militarization, of course, you know, people are talking about a lot the Obama administration and and the Bush administration handing over huge amounts of military weaponry to local police forces. But also the mindset, you know, because a lot of the people who are in US police forces now are people who took part in the in American invasions and occupations of Iraq, Afghanistan, other countries. So there is a whole mindset of counterinsurgency where instead of seeing the civilian public, as people they are charged with serving and protecting as the slogan goes, they see them as an enemy. And that also is very much I don’t To say it necessarily comes from the Israelis. But it is a very much a shared value or shared worldview that we’re not talking about protecting civilian populations, we’re talking about viewing them as enemies, controlling them, corralling them, defeating them. And that’s really how US cities are policed.
Scott Horton 9:23
Yeah. Now, on that last point, they’re just about the number of people who’ve come home from the wars. And essentially, that’s their skill set. It’s not helicopter repair man, like in the recruitment pitch on TV. It’s deputy sheriff or city policeman is essentially you know, the kind of runner up position when you get home from the war. And I remember there was one in the Austin Chronicle this story about a cop who I think the guy had been popping cars or something like that, you know, burglarizing cars, and the cops chasing the guy through the grocery store parking lot. Just shooting that wildly. And one of the bullets had gone through the back of the minivan and through the car seat, and luckily the baby was inside the store with its mom but would have been killed. And the cop was fired for it was so reckless, the cop was actually fired APD here in Austin, and he admitted that he know what it was like I was back in Iraq in a firefight with the enemy. And these kind of rules of engagement. He’s in our neighborhood in the grocery store parking lot, you know, yeah. Not that Iraqis lives ought to be any more forfeit, but that’s where he came back from. And then that Yeah,
Ali Abunimah 10:38
suddenly, just as his exonerees That’s who he was doing, you know? Yeah. Correct. Yeah. I What I’m saying is this there’s no excuse for that behavior. But you know, the poor guy could have been having some kind of flashback. In other words, we’re putting people who who have also been in you know, traumatic situations with The amount of PTSD and traumatic brain injury and what have you, and then you’re going to give them guns and put them on the streets. That really is a crazy mindset in terms of American policing. But it’s one and I want to be very clear, because I’ve written a lot about this issue of Israel’s sort of relationship with us policing, and so on. I think my book, The battle for justice, in Palestine, published in 2014, is the first book to really treat this as a as a topic. It’s not the whole book, but I have a whole chapter on that. I think that was the first time it had been written about that length. Since then, we’ve seen a lot more attention to it, which is fantastic. But what I’m saying is I certainly don’t want anyone to come away with the impression that American police learned racism from Israel. That is not the case at all. You know, we know that the roots of American policing go back to, you know, slave overseeing into finding runaway slaves. And, you know, and and to Jim Crow. So the American police, in general has nothing to learn from anyone in terms of how to be racist. But what I am saying is that, sadly, in particular, after 911, what we see is Israel providing a kind of legitimation and a cover for this kind of racism, addressing it up as expertise. And one example of that, that I wrote about them was this sort of airport. You remember back when, you know airport security was the major thing that they trial this they run pilot programs in Boston Airport and a couple of others as well, where it was supposedly successful. sophisticated technique where they could tell by I don’t know the way your eyes moved or the way you were looking, whether you were a terrorist or not, you know, is supposedly this very, very sophisticated technique. And they hired the former head of security from Ben Gurion Airport to run this thing in Boston and in other airports. He had his own company, of course, by this point. And I think the the Department of Homeland Security has spent like a billion dollars on this program. And not only was it absolutely useless, but a number of, of TSA transport Security Administration. Agents blew the whistle and actually said this was nothing but racial profiling. We were just told, basically, you know, if we saw a black person who has kind of dressed too fancy, you know, their clothes look, quote unquote, too extreme. ffensive how we think a black person should dress, you’d stop them. If we saw a Latino person, we’d stop them. And it was also about like trying to find people who were carrying drugs, which is not the job job of the TSA. You know, the the job of the TSA is the security and safety of aircraft. So what it was, again, it was just sheer racism, but now you can dress it up as this very sophisticated Israeli technology. And that’s a lot of what what, what has been happening.
Scott Horton 14:36
Yeah, so that was one thing I was going to ask you was in, you know, I hope people will get the book. But I was going to say so what really is the best bit of journalism about the effect because as you mentioned, there have been a lot of reports of cops going to Israel and coming back, and sort of correlations and causations made but who has really the best piece about that really shows The change that they go to Israel, they come back and now they start driving their armored personnel carrier around more or now they treat, you know, jaywalkers with more force or whatever the actual changes.
Ali Abunimah 15:15
Yeah, well, we actually have to be careful about that because what what we’re not seeing I mean, you know, I saw people passing around following the the murder of George Floyd, you know that the Minneapolis police department had sent a delegation to Israel a couple of years ago and they had That’s true. But on the whole, you know, these are not you know, this isn’t low level stuff. It’s not like we have, you know, rank and file street cops going to Israel and being trained in chokeholds. That’s not what’s happening. So, you know, when we say a cops are trained in Israel, oh, by Israel, I think we have to be careful not to sort of think well, oh yeah, cops are going in there. being taught how to arrest people or how to shoot people. It’s really the the upper level and the management who are going to Israel. And I think it’s creating a mindset in addition to, as I mentioned, a market a very lucrative market for Israeli technologies and, and that kind of thing. So it’s really about a mindset. And I think that there is need for you know, to answer that question if what is the impact of this? That’s a good question. I don’t think there has been enough research on that. One piece, though, that I think is important. That was done. I did mention my book. That’s, that’s a few years since then. There is a campaign that has been started by Jewish voice for peace called deadly exchange, and they’re talking about the the relationship between us police forces and Israeli security forces, as a deadly exchange. And that website is deadly exchange.org. And they actually have a research report there that sort of outlines a lot of what we know about what’s going on. Cool. And this, by the way, doesn’t just include local police forces includes ice Border Patrol, the FBI, you know, and in fact, the federal government has been one of the biggest custom of, you know, these kinds of Israeli surveillance and spying technologies, which you have to remember, are all tested on Palestinians of the military occupation. So the Palestinians are the guinea pigs. I’ve done military occupation robbed of any rights of these Israeli technologies of control of occupation of oppression, a tested and refined on Palestinians, and then sold to the world as Israeli prowess at great profit by the way. So it’s not just a question of what impact this is having in American cities or along the border, as important as that is, it’s also a moral question of Israeli companies. And they’re complicit American and other firms profiting from basically experimentation on a captive population.
Scott Horton 18:22
Right. Okay, now, so some of that has to do with actual weapons, like in the occasional attacks on Gaza, but then also, there’s the surveillance technologies that they use against Palestinians and that kind of thing. So to bring it back around, I’d like to give you a chance to really talk about how the Palestinians live under the Palestinian Authority and the Israeli occupation on the West Bank, and then also under Hamas and the siege in the Gaza Strip. Talk about some of those technologies and the experimentation on the Palestinians. That you mean to you know, give people something to hang on to to back that up there. And then we can bring it back. Round Two, why it would be that civil rights activist types in America would start to see themselves in the Palestinians. And we’ll start to see why. Well, geez, if if Black Lives Matter, maybe Palestinian ones do too, and why that’s such a cause for alarm for the Israelis, because they can’t fix the problem, you know?
Ali Abunimah 19:24
Right. Well, I mean, one very specific example. I’ll give you a couple. One is an Israeli firm called any vision, which received a huge investment from Microsoft, I think about $80 million or so. And thankfully, Microsoft just announced that they were planning to divest from it for following an activist campaign. Because what any vision was doing is they basically they have been supplying biometric facial recognition. technology to Israeli army checkpoints in the occupied West Bank. And also it’s been reported that they were basically using the Palestinian population without any consent without any ability to opt out whatsoever. Remember, persons are under military occupation. They have no rights whatsoever. Using the Palestinian population going through the checkpoints, to refine and develop the face recognition technology, and this is really sinister. It is absolutely disgusting. So disgusting, but even Microsoft divested from it once they, you know, investigated what was going on.
Scott Horton 20:44
So I want to chip in here real quick just on how you characterize the relationship of the power there. There’s major Todd Prince, who is a former jag lawyer in the army and all that has written extensively about this, and how, what we think of as martial law Were the civilian authorities completely suspended. And a general can issue an order like anyone who resists any order at all will be shot on site, this kind of thing that stadiums are occupied. Yeah, as Prince says, the Palestinians are occupied under war law, which is all other level of lawlessness beyond martial law. We’re talking about a foreign occupying army. And under that law, the power is that much less accountability than even under martial law, which you would think of as absolute lawless military dictatorship.
Ali Abunimah 21:40
Yeah, it’s zero accountability. If you’re Palestinian, you can be shot dead with total impunity by Israeli soldiers and settlers. There are very, very, very rare cases where Israeli soldiers or settlers are held accountable for killing Palestinians. The norm is They kill Palestinians with total impunity, which means you have to look at it from the other side. As a Palestinian living under military occupation, you have no right to life, because there’s nothing there’s no law protecting you. You’re not allowed to defend yourself. You can be killed with impunity. And that’s those are the conditions under which Israel is experimenting on Palestinians, the surveillance technology, the face recognition to drones. And now, the second example I wanted to give you is in the context of the pandemic of the Coronavirus, which I take very seriously. We all have to take it seriously. It’s a real thing. And we need to control it. We need to deal with it. But I think people have very rightly been alarmed by how, you know, this has also been an opportunity for governments and corporations to expand surveillance. And so we’ve seen Israeli companies we saw a company called NSO group, which is notorious for hacking WhatsApp, for hacking the telephone, for example, they’re involved in the hacking of the telephone of Jamal Khashoggi, just before he was murdered in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul. So this company and so group works for the worst governments in the world for the Saudis, for the UAE where basically they can hack any one smartphone and get all their information and eavesdrop on them. They’ve been condemned by all the major human rights groups all the major civil rights groups in the world, you you name it. So in the context of COVID-19, NSO group tried to rebrand itself as Oh, look, we can help governments to track the Coronavirus using, you know, cell phone apps. I mean, this is these are the last people you weren’t anywhere near your mobile phone. And in fact, it turns out that Because Palestinians are the occupation, have no account, you know, Israel has destroyed their economy doesn’t allow them to operate their own economy. Thousands 10s of thousands of Palestinian workers are forced to go and work in Israel. You know, as laborers, construction laborers in fields a very similar setup to how our economy is structured with with migrant labor. But, you know, but Palestinians in the context of Coronavirus, Israel said, Okay, if you want a permit to come in and work, you must download this app onto your phone, supposedly under the cover of Coronavirus. But it turns out this app as was reported by Israeli media can access that camera can access the photos can access all kinds of stuff that has nothing to do with the Quran. You know, nothing to do with tracking the Coronavirus I haven’t seen I suspect that this app is from NSO group or a company like it. And again, this is an example of Palestinians with no power being used as unwitting guinea pigs for technologies that will then be marketed in Europe and the United States. And not just marketed but welcomed. Our officials and leaders will say, Oh, you know, the is really to the best of the best. So of course, we want to buy whatever they’re selling. Yeah,
Scott Horton 26:10
Well, and so to bring it back to the comparison to the United States of America. I mean, this really is like Jim Crow before the Civil Rights and voting rights acts of the 60s. And maybe even worse than that, maybe back to the Wilson years or something. I mean, this is the situation that the Palestinians are in. I mean, there are people from apartheid South Africa who say that no, this is worse than what we were living in back then.
Ali Abunimah 27:41
Yeah, and in a way, it’s worse because it’s it’s, I mean, the brutality is brutality at the end of the day.
Scott Horton 27:48
I mean, I’m not saying that American blacks out lucky I’m just saying these guys have it worse, that’s all.
Ali Abunimah 27:54
Well, what I want to say is at the end of the day, all of these racist systems are in Forced at the barrel of a gun. That’s what it comes down to, no matter how you dress it up. But the what Israel is really, you know, the South African rulers could only dream of the level of sophistication and technology that Israel brings to surveillance and brings to total control. And I think that, you know, the Palestinians are the canary in a coal mine in so many ways, because what what is done to them, it will follow too many people in the world afterwards. And we’ve seen that pattern consistently, particularly because Israel is so determined to market what it’s doing. It’s not it’s just not ashamed of what it’s doing for the policies. That’s something to understand. It’s saying, Look how well we do this, and we can help you do it too. And so, you know, repressive governments around the world, and even supposedly liberal governments, you know, European governments attorney to Israel for drone technology for surveillance technology for all kinds of systems of control that again have been developed in the most oppressive circumstances. What What do you think the long term impact that is going to be of that on civil liberties and human freedom around the world? is a technologies developed in those circumstances likely to make you more free or less free?
Scott Horton 29:28
Yeah. All right. Now I want to talk to Raul I want to let you talk about the story of EOD HELOC here, which I read Gideon Levy’s take that you link to in your piece. Again, your pieces called Israel lobby sees Black Lives Matter as a major strategic threat. And in there you link to this. Let’s see it’s under pleaded for his life is the link to the Gideon levy piece, telling this story, but if you could take people through this a little bit, I think the parallels pretty obvious
Ali Abunimah 30:01
Yeah, yeah, Allah, it’s just it’s just such a horrible tragedy. Yeah, Allah was Palestinian 32 years old with autism and some intellectual disabilities. And he attended a special school in Jerusalem he’d been attending for six years. He absolutely loved it in occupied East Jerusalem. And he was on his way to school a couple of years weeks ago with his caregiver. This was I think on on June 1, or there abouts. And he was simply chased through the streets of Jerusalem by Israeli occupation soldiers and gunned down. The soldiers claimed later that they thought he had a gun he didn’t or that they had heard there was a terrorist on the loose in the area and he just happened to be coming by, but the details of his killing Which were investigated by Gideon Lavery and also by the Palestinian human rights group, Al Harper he issued a detailed report on his killing is that, you know, that Hulk report reveals that the soldiers had been told numerous times by the caregiver, he is disabled. He is not armed, do not shoot him. He’s deaf. I mean, he you know, though he had difficulty not, I don’t know if he was deaf, I have to verify that but he has difficulty understanding orders. He had spoken previously of his fear of the soldiers so that he ran away from you know, he was he was terrified. Then they cornered him in a room where garbage dumpsters were stored, and essentially executed him. And it’s just a horrific story. Now. It was was so egregious. And I guess the publicity for Israel around it was so bad that even the Israeli Prime Minister called it to tragedy. Now that is so deceptive because by doing that, and by commenting on it, Netanyahu is trying to give the upright impression that this is something unusual that this sort of thing never really happens. But in fact, it happens all the time. And the day before he had a love had been killed. Another Palestinian was driving through a checkpoint in the West Bank and he was shocked to death by the Israeli army, who claimed he was trying to carry out a car ramming attack. His family says he was just on his way to pick up his wife. But this has happened again and again. We have examples of Palestinians. There was a an example a couple of years ago of a group of teenagers who are on their way to a swimming pool party in the world. begging Israeli soldiers just opened up on the car and killed several of them. And so this is happening with with frequency and that is zero accountability, zero, that in the past 50 odd years, there have been you could count on one hand the number of Israeli soldiers or police who have been tried and convicted for unlawful killings of Palestinians. And usually, you know, if in the rare event that happens, it’s a slap on the wrist that they get it might be a few months in prison. If that so that that’s the case of he had how long coincided with the murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis. And I think again, highlighted for many people, the similarities, if you like the shared values of the United It States and Israel.
Scott Horton 34:02
Yeah. And this is it could stand in for almost any police shooting on any day of the week here in the US, but it’s always particularly egregious when it’s a retarded guy. You know who they say that this guy was a multi year old or three year old his family? Yeah, that about him?
Ali Abunimah 34:21
I wouldn’t. I wouldn’t use those terms. But it there is a history of Israel killing people with disabilities. And there seems to be a pattern that suggests that it is willful there has have been cases of, for example, Ibrahim, Abu Surya in 2017, who was a double amputee, who was basically executed in his wheelchair while he was taking part in a protest. in Gaza near the near the boundary fence. Everyone could see the soldiers apparently knew him because he was Regular at the protest. He’s a double amputee in a wheelchair. And all he was doing was waving a flag. They shot him from, you know, a long distance away he, there’s no conceivable way by which he could have been a threat. He was killed for sport because they know they can do it and get away with it. And this is this has been a repeated pattern, unfortunately.
Scott Horton 35:24
Yeah. And I’m sorry to change subject for a second but can you give us an update on the Friday marches at the Gaza gate, the Gaza so called fences that’s still going on.
Ali Abunimah 35:35
It hasn’t been going on because of course the pandemic
Scott Horton 35:39
it was going on.
Ali Abunimah 35:40
Then. It was going on, on and off. I mean, it had cooled down but I think they had they had been intentions to revive the protests but with the pandemic, you know that that became impossible so so for now, it seems to it’s not taking place but palestinians’ have been, you know, looking for other ways to make their voices heard. And it’s always a challenge given the media environment which which is loath to give attention to anything that is critical of Israel, but they do try.
Scott Horton 36:15
Yeah, I remember one time Thomas Friedman was criticizing something or other that the Palestinians had done instead, instead, what they should do is all the Gazans should just march on armed to the border and say, let me in, in a peaceful civil disobedience kind of a way, and then the Israelis will just have no choice but to start treating them fairly then.
Ali Abunimah 36:38
Well, actually what he said and I think Nick Kristof said something similar. And in fact, this is just such a tiresome trope from these liberal blowhards is that oh, you know, if the Palestinians launched this mass, movement, nonviolent movement, then the whole world will rally to their support. Well, lo and behold, not only The columnist who wrote those columns rally to their support, right? Yeah, so they’re such hypocrites. And it’s the same with the BDS the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement here is a global non violent movement to bring pressure on Israel and companies complicit in his crimes, the same way that people boycotted lunch counters and the Montgomery Bus Boycott and how we boycott North Carolina or Georgia or whatever state is passing some, you know, law against a particular segment of the population. And, you know, not only do they not support BDS, but they condemn it. So it’s just hypocrisy. It’s a way for them to get off the hook to always blame the Palestinians to say, well, you’re not protesting right? You’re not resisting. Right? You know, if only you would do you do a bit more of this a bit less of that. And of course, the Palestinians just like African Americans can Never can never do right in the eyes of these liberal hypocrites who really are not interested in it and fundamentally changing the power relationship. Yeah.
Scott Horton 38:12
Well, you know, in a way, I’m kind of dubious about all this intersexual or intersectional, victimhood of all of these things where, you know, the race to define oneself as most oppressed and all that. But at the same time, I do get the point here.
Ali Abunimah 38:30
But that’s not what’s going on. I mean, okay,
Scott Horton 38:33
well on Twitter, but anyway, I mean, I was gonna say, it’s clear that there’s value here in saying that look, instead of having to divide, activist pressure and take away from say, Black Lives Matter types, that it’s everybody chipping in together and and helping each other and so the pro Palestinian factions side with Black Lives Matter, and hopefully the Black Lives Matter will side with the Palestinians as well in this kind of And so it’s a mutually beneficial kind of a deal. I get that.
Ali Abunimah 39:03
Yeah, and it’s more than that’s, of course, important. Solidarity is important. But it’s also more than that it’s beginning to understand that the systems that oppress us are linked, the same companies that are involved in, you know, mass surveillance in the United States are involved in it in Israel or developing the technologies in Israel, the same companies that make what’s it called combined tactical systems in Pennsylvania, which is where most of the tear gas and the rubber coated metal bullets that Israel fires at Palestinians, these things can be lethal and they have been lethal. These are being fired at Americans all over the country now for protesting. So it’s about understanding the connections and and that and that really, none of us by ourselves or as particular communities or groups have the power the wherewithal to defeat these systems by ourselves. So it’s not just about Wouldn’t it be nice to be in solidarity with each other. But that kind of solidarity becomes a necessity if we’re serious about trying to change these realities.
Scott Horton 40:15
Yeah. And it is important to short circuit the, you know, media, of course, is their constant attempt to divide everyone on as many things as possible and force people to compete over whatever attention and that kind of thing that instead work together and negate all those incentives that you know, divide people from each other when they ought to be helping.
Ali Abunimah 40:39
Scott Horton 40:41
Yeah. All right. Well, listen, I love your website. We run as much as your stuff as we can antiwar.com and it’s always great to talk to you. I appreciate it.
Ali Abunimah 40:49
Likewise, and thanks for having me and I I really do appreciate you the seriousness with which you and anti war take this issue because a lot of people Don’t want to take it on and that kind of, you know, we don’t always agree on every single issue. That’s not important. The willingness to talk about these things is crucial. And I think that’s where courage lies in this day and age. So thank you for doing that.
Scott Horton 41:14
Absolutely right on well talk to you again soon. Appreciate.
Ali Abunimah 41:18
Alright, take care. Bye.
Jake Johnston discusses the coup in Bolivia last year following accusations of election fraud by former President Evo Morales. Leading up to the election, the Organization of American States had raised concerns about the legitimacy of the election, given Morales’ decision to seek another term in excess of official term limits. On the other hand, a Bolivian court had previously ruled that the move was constitutional. In any case, the OAS and its allies in the U.S. quickly claimed that early voting returns indicated a fraudulent election, and set forces in motion that led to Morales, his family, and high profile members of his government fleeing the country for their lives. The problem, Johnston explains, is that the election statistics actually never supported the claim of election fraud, and were consistent all along with normal electoral patterns. Only now, nearly a year later, have independent reviewers and news outlets come out to public support such claims. Unfortunately, with the damage already done, it may be too late for Morales and the people of Bolivia.
Discussed on the show:
- “Observing the Observers: The OAS in the 2019 Bolivian Elections” (Center for Economic and Policy Research)
- “In Bolivia, A Bitter Election is Being Revisited” (The New York Times)
- “The Ukrainian Template” (Antiwar.com Original)
- “Statement of the OAS Electoral Observation Mission in Bolivia” (Organization of American States)
- “Final Report of the Audit of the Elections in Bolivia: Intentional Manipulation and Serious Irregularities Made it Impossible to Validate the Results” (Organization of American States)
Jake Johnston is a Senior Research Associate at the Center for Economic and Policy Research in Washington, D.C. He is the lead author for CEPR’s Haiti: Relief and Reconstruction Watch. Find him on Twitter @JakobJohnston.
This episode of the Scott Horton Show is sponsored by: NoDev NoOps NoIT, by Hussein Badakhchani; The War State, by Mike Swanson; WallStreetWindow.com; Tom Woods’ Liberty Classroom; ExpandDesigns.com/Scott; Listen and Think Audio; TheBumperSticker.com; and LibertyStickers.com.
The following is an automatically generated transcript.
For Pacifica radio, June 14 2020. I’m Scott Horton. This is anti war radio.
Alright y’all. Welcome to the show. It is anti war radio. I’m your host, Scott Horton. I’m the editorial director of anti war calm and the author of the book, fool’s errand. Time to end the war in Afghanistan. You’ll find my full interview archive more than 5000 of them now going back to 2003. At ScottHorton.org or youtube.com/ScottHortonShow. All right, you guys introducing Jake Johnston. He is a senior research associate at the Center for Economic and Policy Research in Washington, DC. That’s CPR dotnet Welcome to the show. How are you doing, Jake?
Jake Johnston 1:03
Thanks for having me.
Scott Horton 1:04
Very happy to have you here. So audience, everybody remember that there was a coup d’etat, somewhat sanctioned by the USA last October down in Bolivia. And we all knew that it was a big fake excuse at the time. That was the election, that crooked election was excused for the coup. And one of the reasons that we knew that is because of the Center for Economic and Policy Research, they came out debunking the debunking of the election by the Organization of American States right away. And the big news now, is that now that it’s June of the next year, the New York Times has seen fit to print that bitter election, accusations of fraud, and now second thoughts, not by them and not that they’ll take any responsibility for the lies that they printed at the time at the position Their editorial page took at the time about it. But here they are admitting that the separate guys, were right. All along. So that’s the bottom line here. But, Jake, if you could please go back and take us through the story of the coup d’etat against Avo Morales in Bolivia there last October.
Jake Johnston 2:21
Yeah, sure thing. So I mean, again, as you mentioned, you know, this sort of started in the OAS role, and in our role in this began with the October 20, election 2019. Now, you know, it’s worth pointing out that there was a criticism of evos ability to run in general, there was a lot of, you know, accusations that this election was not going to be fair before a single vote was cast. Right. Many opposition leaders pledge not to respect the results of morality one, and this is a highly polarized environment which this election was taking place right and on the day of the vote, the preliminary vote count was suspended and at that point in time, morale has had a seven and a half percentage point of view. Vantage over his nearest competitor, that would be just short of the 10 percentage point threshold needed to avoid a second round runoff election. The next day, the preliminary count restarted and when those results were processed, Morales had overtaken that 10 percentage point threshold and appeared headed to a first round victory. Now, this is when the actions get really important in terms of this story on the evening of October 21. After that update, the oise put out a press release, then crying in inexplicable and drastic change in the result of the trend of the election that undermines the credibility of the vote. Right. And this was latched on to as proof right as confirmation that fraud had taken place. And you know, of course, they were going to be protesting no matter what many opponents of Morales again pledged not to respect these results. But that the OAS would make this call it certainly gave credence to those calls and gave legitimacy to that movement and help consolidate this narrative that there had been an inexplicable change in trend and that was what was repeated in newspapers all over the world including in the New York Times, right? It took us 24 hours less than 24 hours to realize that they had no reason to make that claim. There was no statistical basis for it. And in fact, I reached out to a high level contact in the electrical department that day and told him as such as the data didn’t seem to back up their statement. And their response was we no enable shouldn’t have been running. Right. And this so to me, right. This is two days after the election.
Scott Horton 4:24
I’m sorry, Your wasn’t that said that to you?
Jake Johnston 4:27
That was a source of mine inside the OAS. Okay.
Scott Horton 4:30
Yep. But that’s important. I mean, a single source but anonymous source, but inside the OAS admitted to you, at the time, that yeah, this is essentially a means to an end here. We know we’re lying.
Jake Johnston 4:44
Right, exactly. And this and yet, despite that, and despite clear evidence, we put out reports to skull analysis, there was a letter from 100 economists and statistical experts, saying that the US had no basis for this. Members of Congress wrote a letter to the OAS asking for their methodology and what led them to do this. There was actually Attention out very little or any of that was actually reported at the time, right. But they knew these things. And yet they continue to repeat this and report after report after report after report. And it’s that initial claim now that the New York Times is reporting on and, you know, setting this new academic study that basically confirms our previous findings, though, the new thing is that they actually had access to the same data set that the OAS did. Now for months and months, the OAS has refused to release their data refused to release any methodology, and they still refuse to release their methodology. But these researchers were able to replicate the findings, but only if they excluded certain tally sheets from their analysis. In other words, they weren’t using the right data set, and they excluded certain pieces of evidence that then resulted in this claim. Clearly not backed up by any statistics.
Scott Horton 5:47
And now as I understand it, basically what happened here was they counted all the city votes first, where the Indian President obviously has less of a lead the 7% you’re talking about? And then all the returns started coming in from the countryside where all the Indians live, where he has a much higher margin of victory. And then they say, Oh, no, something, you know, irregular must be taking place here when it’s perfectly regular.
Jake Johnston 6:14
Yeah, that’s right. So when we started looking at the data, right, it actually, you know, it wasn’t even, you know, early returns all one thing late returns all the other there was a steady progression as the votes were tallied, right, that’s slowly and moralities lead slowly built, as more and more votes were tallied, because of that dynamic, as you mentioned, were
Scott Horton 6:32
more so it wasn’t even a big shift. It was like it was a kind of curve on the chart as the rural votes came in interest.
Jake Johnston 6:39
Right, exactly. These updates were provided every three minutes. Right. And so we you know, you can look at the data it was publicly available and look at these updates every three minutes right over time. And you can see the leap slowly building slowly building slowly building from morning till evening, right. And so again, you know, this is really simple. But I mean, if you’re the OAS, right, I mean, I think anyone who’s who’s witnessed an election just from seeing sitting at home and watching CNN or something, you know, is aware that, you know, you zoom in on a little rural county and say, oh, there’s zero percent reporting here, right? how might that impact the results? Right. And this is this is pretty basic stuff here, right that the OAS didn’t even consider these geographical explanations, you know, is a real sin of omission.
Scott Horton 7:18
And again, because they had an agenda here any excuse to get rid of this guy, and so about that, just how badly was he abusing his power attempting to stay in office here, do you think?
Jake Johnston 7:30
Well, look, I mean, I think there are legitimate critiques of morality on many issues. Right. But that doesn’t really change the fact that, you know, the OAS, right, this is a regional organization. This is a regional institution, right? Nothing allows them to simply lie about the facts. And especially when the end result of that is a coup government using those OAS flies right to justify their actions. Right. And so, you know, I think you can have a much broader conversation around you know, the local dynamics in Bolivia. criticisms of a vo etc, etc. but that’s really not what this conversation has to be about. Right. This is about what the OAS did, specifically what the OAS did, and that has impacts for Bolivia. But it has impacts for the entire region. Right. The OAS observes elections in every country in the hemisphere, basically. Right? And so, can we trust them to be credible? Can we trust them to be neutral, and we trust them not to intervene in political affairs of sovereign nations, right, when it suits their interests? Right. And that, I think, is what’s most important today
Scott Horton 8:27
that said that, you know, the problem, of course, is that the American government’s position, is it? No, it’s democracy, that’s more important, and that’s why we have to save it, when people are abusing it. And this kind of they’re invoking a higher morality in order to justify this kind of thing. They constantly do. And so, you know, I thought it was important to note as Glenn Greenwald did, that Jesus Netanyahu has been in power since 2009. And Angela Merkel has been in power are great ally in Germany for whatever, 16 years or whatever it is over there, and you don’t hear the Americans crying that that’s the end of democracy there. She keeps getting reelected. And so what’s the problem as long as they’re friends of ours, even look at all this strife going on in the electoral system in Israel, Netanyahu comes up comes out on top after for elections or whatever it is fine, whatever, he’s our guy. Our guys are his guys, whatever it is, it’s fine. But in this case, oh, this guy, you know, he’s trying to finagle himself an extra term in office. And and and that gets to our highest and most deepest sense of commitment and obligation to our principle of regular democratic turnover and power. And so even though we have no legal right to do so, it’s right for us to stop these, you know, leftist tyrants from seizing power away illegally from their people and all these things. Which is after all the argument. Right. And, and not just from right wingers this was the argument from the Hillary Clinton night, you know, center left liberals last October.
Jake Johnston 10:09
Certainly there was widespread sort of acceptance of, you know, these claims of fraud at the time, you know, across the political spectrum where there were very few voices of dissent at the time, I think, you know, and notably,
Scott Horton 10:20
this wasn’t a Barack Obama era coup, right. This is a Trump era coup, and you still have liberals going along with it.
Jake Johnston 10:27
Yeah, I think, you know, this gets to sort of a bigger and more systemic problem, right, which is that there’s a willingness from foreign policy elites, from political elites, and from many in the media to simply accept powerful institutions comments at face value, right. And that’s the case here. The boss said something and so in the minds of many it would be a became fact. But nobody was willing to actually look critically at what what they were saying and what the basis of those statements were right. And I think, again, that’s what’s so key and in all of this right is, you can’t simply accept these things at face value. You You have to do your own research. And that’s what we did. And that’s what led to our findings. Right. And I think, you know, going back to your point around, you know, Morales, his reelection and the controversy over that, you know, I think it is worth noting, right that that was the highest court in Bolivia did rule that that was constitutional. Now, many, you know, argued at the time that this was a court packed with Morales supporters, and it was just doing his bidding, right. And so it wasn’t legitimate. Nevermind, this is a sovereign process. It’s their court, you know, it’s not really up for us to make that decision. But fast forward to after the coup and the swearing in of an opposition senator Jeanine on Yes, who was not actually in the constitutional line of succession, and that same High Court in Bolivia issued a constitutional ruling, providing legitimacy for that process. Right. And it was cited by everyone who had been spending years criticizing Morales for for his running in the first place. All of a sudden, that same port was perfectly legitimate and reasonable to give the constitutionality to the government. Right. And so, again, this is not going to come as a surprise to I’m sure Many of your listeners but there’s a deep hypocrisy you know in so much of this and so much of US foreign policy right and and I think it’s really just on display situation with Bolivia.
Scott Horton 12:08
Can you give us exact numbers or real close ballpark as to what the real vote totals were? And just how badly he would have won on that first round? If the head just let the election take place, according to the law?
Jake Johnston 13:21
Yeah, well, it’s an interesting question, right. I mean, you know, on one hand, you know, we aren’t, we aren’t the ones who give legitimacy or provide final results to elections. Right. So what we are analyzing is what the OAS has done. And now, the official results of the election, announced by the Bolivian electoral Council was that April morale is one by about 10.5 percentage points, right. And so often, this is like, you know, it’s it’s a razor thin margin, he barely secured this victory, right. But to be clear, nobody’s questioning that he received far and away the most votes. The real controversy becomes was he just under or just over that 10 percentage point threshold? And again, this is where the OAS says It only could have been possible with fraud. And whatever study that looked at this closely since says, Well, actually, it was totally explainable by already released electors.
Scott Horton 14:10
Now, medically speaking, if it had gone to the second round. Were there enough other opponents that if they had started dropping out that their numbers could have added up to enough to beat him? Or he already had enough that it’s virtually certain that he would have won on the second or the third, whichever, then?
Jake Johnston 14:27
No, I mean, certainly, there was an impression that it would have been much closer in a second round, there was a number of opposition candidates who would split their vote. Right. And so, you know, there in theory would be some coalescing around one candidate for a second round. But it is, you know, worth pointing out, you know, his official Morales, his official results, you know, in the first round, were him receiving about 47% of the vote, right. So, it wouldn’t be that difficult to imagine him also picking up some level of votes from other candidates. Not all of them were, you know, categorical A representative of opposition factions. Right. Yeah. So again, you know, I think, obviously would have been close to, you know, but it was never allowed to happen. And I think you know, this is important, right? Because after the election, the initial call is there needs to be a second round. Right. That’s what the OAS said that the men in the opposition said, and as things develop over time, those calls turned into Morales must go right. And so on November 10, the morning that he was eventually ousted evil actually agreed to hold new elections with a new electoral council as a bid to try and avoid the worst right and and satisfy these plans and comply with the OAS audit which had recommended as such, right. But but it was clear that’s not what this was about. It was not about a fair election or having a fair election. It was about getting rid of Avo Morales. And that’s certainly what ended up being accomplished.
Scott Horton 15:48
Yeah. Now, talk to us a little bit about the method of the coup and exactly how that played out because it actually broke into violence where they burned his sister’s house down. I don’t know if Many people were killed, but he was chased out of the country, you know, seemingly at the threat of his life, right?
Jake Johnston 16:06
Yeah, that’s exactly right. And this is something that’s been, you know, systematically sort of avoided in coverage of this whole situation. Right. It’s treated as though it was simply resigned right. Now, I think that totally ignores the sort of broader context which is happening, you know, the police had been muting for multiple days. There were certainly protests happening, turning on him, and in the day, critical 2448 hours before his resignation. The homes and family members of both Morales and his allies were ransacked, you know, members of family members were kidnapped, beaten, threatened. Right. And that was the greater context of what happened and it wasn’t just morality resigned right. key to this is that not only did they ever resign, but so did his vice president and the constitutional line of succession which were part of his political party, right. And in that absence is what called This sort of power vacuum that could be seized upon by the sort of most retrograde right wing forces in Bolivia.
Scott Horton 17:08
Yeah. And so talk a bit about them. I heard Morales himself say, yeah, this was a lithium coup, which, on the face of it, it sounds a lot more plausible than this is a dispute about electoral totals.
Jake Johnston 17:23
Yeah. Well, I think this is, you know, it’s a dispute around control, right. It’s a dispute around power. You know, there are many factions in Bolivia that have never recognized the legitimacy. They have a morality and in fact, the indigenous majority of the country, which has been systematically excluded from the political process for centuries in Bolivia. And so that is a huge dynamic and one of the first things that happened after the coup was you know, had this again a far right senator opposition senator Regina Janine. Anya is, was sworn in as president, you know, by the military, the military put this presidential shaft sash over your shoulder. So you get the militarization but then on the other side, it was also proclaimed as we are returning the Bible to the National Palace, right? I mean, this was a Christian fundamentalist takeover and directly sort of criticizing the indigenous majority in the country, not yet
Scott Horton 18:10
Jake Johnston 18:13
Yeah, the genius genius has has, in the past referred to the country’s indigenous majority as savages, right. And there’s been this the desecration of the indigenous flag, which was, you know, elevated under the Morales government, and was seen ripped down from from militaries uniforms burned in the streets. So there was a tremendous amount of this sort of anti indigenous racism that was also at the core of much of this.
Scott Horton 18:37
Yeah, well, you know, it’s an American backed democracy when it’s the tiny European minority that rule over the majority. I was just thinking, I mean, usually when you say fundamentalist, that means Protestant, but in this case, you’re saying far right Catholic forces, I guess. Yeah, that’s right, meaning the Spanish. And now can you tell us what’s the 60/40 on the population split between The European elite and the Indians.
Jake Johnston 19:03
Yeah, well, it’s it’s, you know, it’s obviously difficult to know precisely, you know, it’s a lot of self identification. I think it’s not with not. It’s not questionable that there is a majority indigenous population in Bolivia, however,
Scott Horton 19:17
yeah, well, so they must be kept out of power at all costs so that democracy can be maintained. And by the way, for people who, you know, listeners who are interested in how this works, I’d ask you to look at this old Justin Raimondo article from 2004, called the Ukrainian template. And this is exactly how, you know it’s not really the CIA as much anymore as the National Endowment for Democracy and their allied institutions. But what they do this is how they do the color coded revolution most of the time is wait till they lose an election, and then just dispute it and refuse to concede and get out in the street and do everything they can to destabilize the place. Force concessions, figure out a way to give the military an excuse to do a coup in this kind of thing. So for those of us who’ve seen this kind of thing before, we’ve seen this kind of thing before, there’s no fool and a lot of people who got this right last October, because of their familiarity with the way that this kind of deal plays out. And it’s just like the Orange Revolution and that kind of thing.
Jake Johnston 20:25
Yeah, you know, I think one thing that’s important to add to right is that this isn’t a unique event, even in terms of just the OAS role and an electoral crisis. Right. So you go back to 2010. In Haiti, there was a disputed election, the OAS was called into, you know, adjudicate solve this process, look at the election. And what they ended up doing was based on no statistical analysis whatsoever, any sort of consistent methodology, they removed tally sheets that predominately benefited one candidate and change the results of that election, all during the course of 80s. Politics, right, today. And so we’ve seen the OAS Do these sorts of improper interventions around elections before? Right? This isn’t new behavior from the OAS. And I think, again, it’s why calling them out on this and having some accountability for what their actions were is so important, because if they aren’t held accountable, and the OAS very rarely is ever held accountable for their actions, it’s only more likely that they will do it again. Right. And then the next electoral crisis can do is actually be trusted to be a credible actor in that process. And you know, I think the answer at this point is clear that No, they are not credible.
Scott Horton 21:29
Yeah. Hey, speaking of which, is there been any good reporting about the process at the OAS, when they decided to go this way? In other words, the amount of American influence at play?
Jake Johnston 21:42
Yeah, you know, I think this is this is a key aspect of this that really hasn’t gotten the investigative, you know, focus that it deserves, right. So what we do know is the LA Times reported in January that the US representative to the Organization of American States Carlos Trujillo. He is a far right Latin America Hawk and an acolyte of Marco Rubio. And the LA Times reported that he quote unquote, steered the OAS observation mission to reach a determination of fraud. Right. I think that’s a key aspect here. Right. And again, goes back to this initial press release on October 21. That’s what this, you know, that’s where the clear is lie first occurred. And we have to know what actually caused that to happen. Right, who pressured them to make that statement? Why did they make that statement? Those are the questions that need to be answered if we want to get to the bottom of what really happened here in Bolivia. Yeah.
Scott Horton 22:33
All right. Well, and and by the way, was there anything really notable about that New York Times story, other than how hilarious it was that they refuse to give credit to anyone who got it right before their final admission here?
Jake Johnston 22:46
Yeah, you know, of course. I mean, I think, you know, this has been the sort of response in the New York Times sort of does its job carrying water for this response, which is, you know, the statistics are basically moot because we found all this time other evidence of irregularities. Now a few points on that as the oil audit, which does include, you know, a number of other irregularities that they allege was released a preliminary report in November it was then the findings altered significantly in a final report released in December, a month after the coup and handed over to the KU government. Right. And in that report, you know, we have gone through in detail that is 800 pages with appendix the OAS report, we went through it in detail. And what we found was that it wasn’t just the statistics that were faulty from the OAS. In fact, they miss represented key pieces of evidence, they excluded key facts that ran counter to their narrative, and actually just grossly misrepresent some of their findings in that audit. Right. And so it’s not just that their initial claim was bogus, but in fact, they’ve consistently manipulated the public record since.
Scott Horton 23:45
Yeah. Well, just, you know, zoom out of this, you know, from the story a little bit and look at it, and see, what would it take to really justify an American supported intervention. You know, like this against the government in Bolivia there? You know, I mean, most of the time they try to invoke some impending massacre, some fake massacre or some stock weapons or some kind of thing here. But what could possibly be the justification for this sort of intervention? There’s not one there simply hooking up their business cronies, is all it is.
Jake Johnston 24:25
Yeah. And I think, you know, again, you look back to some of the the motivations around here. And I think a key factor to in all of this is the Secretary General vs Luis Almagro, right? Again, he has become a close ally of the sort of Latin America hawks in the US, including Marco Rubio. Now, he was running for his own reelection, as Secretary General, the OAS, while this was happening, and it was certainly seen, you know, his hard stance against Morales and against this quote unquote, electoral fraud right after the election was seen by the region’s right wing governments and sort of a good indication that they could trust Almagro, right This was key to him sort of gathering and getting that base of support because he did face some opposition internally. Now, it will come as no surprise that the, you know, de facto government resulting from this coup and Bolivia was a vocal supporter of Ahmad rose reelection. You know, that’s obviously not a surprise and elbow did indeed win reelection within the OAS for another five year mandate. And I think looking at his role specifically in this is extremely important. You know, he has been the, you know, at the forefront of this effort to politicize the OAS and turned into an institution that does intervene into the sovereign affairs, whereas the OAS is, in theory made up of the member countries in the hemisphere itself, right. And so I think that’s really important to sort of hold these individual actors in the OAS accountable for their role. Almagro should resign, and this is there’s no question, right? I mean, this is the clear lie from the OAS. And, you know, Almagro, even at the time, went to the OAS and said there was no coup. The only coup was able was fraud on October 20. Right now, we know that the OAS claim That was bogus from the beginning.
Scott Horton 26:02
Yeah. Well, isn’t that something about, you know, the internal politics at the OAS? I mean, you could be describing how Mohammed bin Salman started the war in Yemen, because of the internal politics in Saudi Arabia, or for that matter how Samantha Power started the war in Libya, so that she could get a promotion from Deputy Assistant something on the National Security Council. That’s how this kind of thing works often, right, is the individual political interest of the people involved in carrying out the policy ends up with these massive consequences for other people?
Jake Johnston 26:39
Yeah, that’s exactly right. And I think that’s why it’s, you know, you really do have to look at all of those different motivations and factors that go into these things, right. And then often it is, you know, that not related to the actual sort of overall picture, but these various sort of petty personal issues or interests, right, that lead to these tremendous implications in terms of human life, right. I think That’s, you know, an extremely important part of any analysis of this.
Scott Horton 27:03
Absolutely. And now, so where’s Morales now?
Jake Johnston 27:07
So Avo accepted political asylum in Mexico. He has been prevented from running in the next election. He personally said he would not run for president the electoral Council has since. I think it is still ongoing, but it’s trying to prevent him from running as a senator and those elections. They are currently scheduled for September 6, though there is obviously concern that the government in power now will not allow those to take place or will further militarized the country and you know, again, the amount of repression and violence that we’ve seen in the aftermath of that coup has been extremely distressing. And the further militarization, you know, would only sort of erode the credibility of that election further, right. And again, I think, you know, you look back to the sort of motivations, right, and again, beginning this was this was an illegitimate election, right. But now we’re going forward to this new election under this cool government. And it seems like there are very less voices in the international community worried about the legitimacy of that election. Yeah, again, you have to look at the selective enforcement of these principles.
Scott Horton 28:09
Absolutely. Right. Well, and I was gonna ask you, are there any obvious successors to Morales there on his side?
Jake Johnston 28:17
So there’s a number so Lewis RC was a former finance minister is currently the mosque candidate for president. And David Toko, honka, longtime indigenous leader and member of Morales is mosque party is running for vice president. You know, and I look, I mean, I think there, there has been sort of this rejuvenation of the mass movement, right as its look to other leaders and look to build its own movement, sort of, as in in this context, right. And I think, you know, the moss has made some really interesting decisions in that regard, right to try and at least, you know, they’ve maintained a power in the legislature, right, the mass had a majority in the legislature and maintain that and they tried to use that to you know, at least maintain Some influence or some control over what is happening, going forward with elections. And again, I mean, you know, I think it deserves close attention from actors all over the world. And I think, you know, key we need different observers in the OAS to be on the ground in September, that’s for sure.
Scott Horton 29:15
Yeah, I know where they can find some. Alright guys, that is Jake Johnston, senior research associate at the CPR, that is the Center for Economic and Policy Research CPR.net. And check out their study observing the observers, the OAS in the 2019 Bolivian elections again, that’s at cpr.net. Thank you again, Jake.
Jake Johnston 29:45
Thanks so much for having me, Scott.
Kelley Vlahos discusses the scandalous ties between the arms industry and the American government, starting with the fact that so many members of the Defense Department are former employees of top arms firms like Raytheon, Lockheed, and Northrop Grumman—and vice versa. This revolving door inevitably leads to a deliberate alignment of the interests of these two parties, meaning more unnecessary wars in the Middle East so we can make and sell more bombs. In particular, the entire justification for allowing the war in Yemen to continue is the fact that America’s weapons deals with Saudi Arabia supposedly mean a great deal for our economy. President Trump has even claimed that this relationship is responsible for a million American jobs. In reality, says Vlahos, that number is probably more like 40,000, many of which are white collar consulting and lobbying jobs in Washington D.C. that are otherwise completely worthless.
Discussed on the show:
- “Before COVID Strong, Navarro Was Big War’s Man in the White House” (The American Conservative)
- “Turns Out Saudi Arms Deals Won’t Add a ‘Million’ Jobs to U.S. Economy” (The American Conservative)
- “5/15/20 Ben Freeman on the Qatar Lobby in Washington” (The Libertarian Institute)
- “Arms Dealers and Lobbyists Get Rich as Yemen Burns” (The American Conservative)
This episode of the Scott Horton Show is sponsored by: NoDev NoOps NoIT, by Hussein Badakhchani; The War State, by Mike Swanson; WallStreetWindow.com; Tom Woods’ Liberty Classroom; ExpandDesigns.com/Scott; Listen and Think Audio; TheBumperSticker.com; and LibertyStickers.com.
The following is an automatically generated transcript.
For Pacifica radio, June 7 2020. I’m Scott Horton. This is anti war radio.
All right show welcome. The show is anti war radio. I’m your host, Scott Horton. I’m the editorial director of antiwar.com and the author of the book fool’s errand time to end the war in Afghanistan. You can find my full interview archive more than 5000 of them now going back to 2003. At Scotthorton.org and youtube.com/ScottHortonShow. All right, you guys introducing Kelly Vlahos, from the American Conservative magazine. She’s got two important pieces for you here before COVID strong. Navarro was big wars man in the White House. And then the follow up. Turns out Saudi arms deals one Add a million jobs to the US economy. Oh, you don’t say. Welcome back to the show. Kelly, how are you?
Kelley Vlahos 1:06
Oh, great. It’s awesome talking to you again. Yeah. Great
Scott Horton 1:10
to have you here. So I guess first of all, with the first one here, this was your reaction to what was is the New York Times piece right? All About Raytheon, and their role in lobbying for the continuation of America’s genocidal campaign against the civilians, of Yemen. So first of all, tell us all about what we learned in that piece.
Kelley Vlahos 1:35
Well, well, we learned is, you know, I don’t think many people are very familiar with Peter Navarro. So up until COVID, he’s sort of been behind the scenes as Trump’s chief trade adviser. He you know, and he’d come out during COVID as a sort of primary spokesman for you know, redirecting our manufacturing Back from China, particularly pharmaceuticals, and I feel like you know, so he had gotten a lot of props from people who had looked at China as sort of like, you know, dominating the manufacturing space and people who have wanted to see particularly in crisis for jobs, manufacturing, and also pharmaceuticals and emergency equipment coming back to US companies. But aside from that, the New York Times had published a piece that you brought up, that it talked about his advocacy, very strong advocacy for the defense industry inside the White House from the get go since he was since he was hired. So you know, the idea that you know, he is a predominant spokesperson for you know, made in America, America first trade policy. This is doesn’t begin and end with, you know, the stuff that we would like to see happen like, you know, being able to manufacture penicillins and, and vitamin C, but also to export in munitions in arms to countries that are currently involved in bombing civilians, like in Yemen. So that’s what I had written about. And I had written about his fierce advocacy, which had included lobbying on behalf of Raytheon inside the White House. And as you know, Raytheon has, you know, this huge footprint in this administration, including, you know, the Secretary of Defense Mark Esper, who is you know, who is a former Raytheon, executive and lobbyists so and you see that throughout the the Defense Department, you have a number of people who have bounced back and forth From the private industry, but Esper obviously is the top dog. So aside from their small army of lobbyists that they have in Washington right now, now they have their hooks into actual White House officials, and Pentagon, top Pentagon, senior officials, and it’s very disturbing because it like I pointed out in the piece that Navarro was able to floor an effort by Senator Mike Lee republican constitutionalist who had attempted to stop the sales of weapons to Saudi Arabia, because of their human rights abuses because of the things that are happening in Yemen don’t want to be a party to the civilian the 10s of thousands of civilian deaths there, and Navarro was able able to whisper in the ears of Jared Kushner and Trump himself and to thwart any attempt to stop those sales. And they have gone through. You know, there was later on there was a bill that was passed by both the House and Senate after Jamal Khashoggi had been killed and dismembered by by Saudis to stop these arms sales and President Trump vetoed that bill. And so the sales go on.
Scott Horton 5:29
Now. I mean, there was just a little sub scandal here, what a week or so ago about Trump firing the Inspector General at the State Department on Palm pails recommendation, then it turned out that inspector general, it sounds like the limited hangout was he was investigating pompeyo having staff walk his dog when the berry raid was actually regarding this that pompeyo had intervened and invoked, apparently illegally invoked some emergency measure To continue the arms sales, even against the will of Congress. So, but I guess I’m confused if Trump vetoed it, which will of Congress? Was it that he was in violation of Do you know?
Kelley Vlahos 6:13
I think I think what happened was, what happened was that there was a constant battle over this $8 billion that had been set to $8 billion worth of arms that had been set to be sold to Saudi Arabia. So Mike Lee made an early effort. That’s the word it the you know, the sale. Navarro steps in there is then later on, there’s a bill and then it’s vetoed. But apparently, in order to get this, this this $8 billion push through that, you know, the Congress tried to stop Secretary pompeyo and invoke this emergency declaration saying that it was an emergency for the safety of our allies against Iran, that these these weapons needed to be sold. And this was this is obviously controversial, and the IGP was looking into it. Now, we don’t know if that’s why the IGP was ultimately, you know, canned by palm pail, but it’s one of the reasons that has been raised, you know, in this weird abrupt firing, you know, other than what you had stated where there’s the weird, him having his staff walk his dog and pick up dry cleaning. There’s other issues regarding these dinners that he’s he’s held these Madison dinners in which donors and other corporate types have been sort of like immediate brought in and it kind of just smacks of, you know, he’s campaigning for 2024. But yeah, this emergency deputy ration, which is a bunch of hoo ha, really, ultimately grease the skids for this this arms deal. And Trump was able to get what he wanted and Congress looks, you know, a bit mask elated by it all.
Scott Horton 8:17
Yeah. Well, you know, one of the things about Donald Trump, you know, he really kind of just takes the veneer off of this thing.
Kelley Vlahos 8:25
Well, it also take away all of the the fake laws that they have governing, you know, lobbying, you know, that the controls, they supposedly have these grace periods where, you know, people who left the military and higher office in the Pentagon have a grace period where they cannot lobby for such and such time. And then they find other ways of lobbying and they call it consulting. And so this these loopholes are riddled like Swiss cheese all through the Pentagon, all through the State Department, all through every major You know, industry, you know, where it looks like yay, we’re paying attention to ethics. And we really don’t want, you know, lobbyists coming back. We don’t want people who have worked for staff members on the hill, or for the Secretary of Defense coming back a year later representing Raytheon, or Lockheed and Northrop Grumman. So we’ve passed these these measures, these agencies have passed these message measures to control that, and then they that it’s blatantly violated. So, you know, American people think well, there, there are controls there. You wouldn’t possibly have somebody, you know, who had just left the Secretary of Defense office coming back and representing Lockheed Martin, but it happens all the time. And then those guys you know, and then or they come from Lockheed and start, there are pointed to major major influence It’s influencing positions, like Secretary of Defense, like Secretary of the Navy, like Secretary of the Army, when they had just left places like Lockheed and Boeing. I mean, it’s it’s amazing. Pat Shanahan was our last Secretary of Defense, and he came directly from Boeing, as a major top executive. yet so this happens all the time in there. There’s a lot of trappings of democracy and rules and ethics. But if you strip it all the way, people that are really in charge, and the people who have a major influence on Capitol Hill and in the halls of the Pentagon are representing major corporations, not interest groups, like the project for government oversight, or you know, when without war, or all, all these groups that are advocating to get out of Yemen, they have no presence, no presence at all.
Scott Horton 10:58
Yeah, and that’s the other thing right? Is They can just spend a pittance as the smallest fraction of the taxpayer money that they’re receiving on lobbying Congress, you by Congressman for 1000 bucks if you’re already in their position Anyway, you know, as Ben Freeman has shown, quite specifically, here’s a lawyer for a lobbyist donate some money to a senator and his vote changes from against genocide to four genocide in a day for $1,000. Yeah,
Kelley Vlahos 11:29
yeah. It’s so much for their character of these members of Congress. That’s for sure.
Scott Horton 11:37
Oh, by the way, so listen, I’m making some wild accusations with the big g word there. And so maybe people don’t know that. Yes. In fact, when America is American companies, the American government is all working together to sell all these weapons to the Saudis. Unlike the old days, where they all just collected dust in their warehouses, or maybe were used by National Guard forces to you know, oppress their own people. Right now they’re being used in a war of extermination of civilian life in Yemen for the last five years, where the entire strategy and this is a proven fact, this strategy has been to target the civilian infrastructure, to starve and destroy and murder the civilian population of the country in a way to try to make them so miserable, that they’ll overthrow the government in the capital city, which is of course ludicrous and has not worked.
Kelley Vlahos 12:33
Right. It’s not working. But you know, our reporter at the American conservative.com Barbara Boland did a piece last year, where she emphasized that munitions by Lockheed Martin, Boeing, General Dynamics, and Raytheon were all identified at the site of over two dozen attacks that had killed civilians in Yemen open to that time. When she, you know, produced this report, so you know, these bombs are showing up in you know that that terrible carnage of those children on the school bus. I don’t know if you remember that that was an American laser guided bomb. Raytheon’s technology she reports killed 22 people attending a wedding in 2018. So we can actually trace these these companies munitions to civilian Carnage in Yemen. And yet Congress was unable even pointing all this out, was unable to stop it was unable to stop the sale the weapons and it was also unable to stop our assistance to the Saudis.
Scott Horton 13:47
And because he says Kelly, we’re making $400 billion off the Saudis and so therefore, the part on said but pretty explicit, is if we got to kill every last year For the money, then that’d be worth it. $400 billion. What about that?
Kelley Vlahos 14:05
Right? Well, I think there’s two things going on here. We have the idea that we are making money and Donald Trump likes. He’s the art of the deal, man, he likes to make money. He’s getting lots of pressure, as we’ve just spoken about on the inside, to continue these deals. He has Peter Navarro in there, lobbying him personally saying these exports are not only going to make money for the American economy, but jobs as well. He’s got pressure from corporations. These are his friends and CEOs who are representing themselves and their shareholders. But he also has the pressure of Iran and the anti Iranian narrative within the US government. And as long as there are people within the administration who make this about Iran There’s always the pressure to stay in and continue to assist the Gulf states because somehow this is a prop. They’ve made this out to be a proxy war. So I think that you have these two different two distinct tensions that are playing on Trump right now. But getting back to the jobs, his hundred billion dollar deal was a piece of paper, they’ve managed to push through $8 billion of sales since that big announcement was made. And we’re finding now that it’s resulted in maybe at the very most 40,000 jobs a year, you know, based on William hard tongs, very thorough investigation of arms sales, not just Saudi, but all foreign arms sales. So the idea that, that our sales of weapons to the Saudis is going to result in a million jobs for America. has not been worn out. It sounds good, but it’s it’s not been worn out. We don’t really know how many jobs and how many of those jobs are actually manufacturing jobs that would help the working class that is always implied when we talk about jobs for Americans. We don’t think of them as consulting, lobbying executive jobs, we think we need to sell arms so we can put more guys to work in a factory. You know, we don’t know how many. And I tried to find out personally through the you know, the trade organizations or the aerospace industry trade organization that tracks us and they haven’t made any of their numbers for defense jobs public. I wonder why I tried. So, you know, I feel like it’s it’s it’s a bill of goods that we’ve been sold, and it sounds great, especially at a time when Well, right now we have 40 million people out of work to say that we have to keep selling these weapons to foreign countries, whether they misuse them or not, because we have to keep Americans working. I don’t like that.
Scott Horton 17:06
Yeah, I mean, even if you took the fantasy of the half a trillion dollars in sales over 10 years or whatever, that Donald Trump or mercenary in chief says is the reason why we continue this policy? That’s a pittance. Right? Oh, yeah. Thank goodness in Fort Worth, we’re still turning out f 16. Because our whole economy would collapse. Without that, or without, you know, a couple of shipbuilders in New Jersey cashing in making aircraft carriers. That’s completely ridiculous. We could abolish that entire industry out of America, and all be the better for it.
Kelley Vlahos 17:42
Right? Well, I mean, this is the thing. I mean, do we want to be a country that depends, you know, our economy depends on exporting weapons of war, so that countries like Saudi Arabia, can turn other countries like Yemen into a smoking crater and result in levels of cholera not seen since the 1940s. is I think that bears some sort of conversation. And and aside from that moral justifications that have been used to send these weapons over, but the fact that on his and on the other side of his mouth. President Trump has talked about getting out of needless wars in the Middle East. That’s he won in part on that promise. How does he think we are ever going to extricate ourselves from these entanglements from these wars, these endless wars if we are supplying countries to continue them and are directly linked to violence in the Middle East, it’s not going to get us out of these wars. So it’s just this self licking ice cream cone. And I feel that if if he could threaten Saudi Arabia like he did in the last few months when they would refuse to decrease their oil production, and he said you watch outside Arabia I have leverage over you. I we have security we have we’ve been sending you troops to protect you from ostensibly from Iran. You know, we’ll pull those if you don’t play play nice with us over there’s oil. And he did. He actually pulled the Patriot missiles out of there. He started pulling troops out of there, who were put in to the area into Saudi Arabia last year, when they were getting there when their oil facilities were being attacked. And he never came out. Nobody ever came out and directly linked the two things. But he gave a speech the next day after the Pentagon announced it was pulling these assets out. And he says we’re tired of these wealthy nations taking stuff from us and getting nothing in return. But I’m not talking about Saudi Arabia there. He was talking about Saudi Arabia. So it’s very sad that he was able to follow through on a threat when it looked like our oil industry was being affected by the actions of Saudi Arabia. But the Senate had tried to send him a bill cutting off weapons of destruction because people, people were dying, not just 1000 we’re talking 10s of thousands of people, and he vetoed it. That wasn’t enough. So it’s a matter of priorities. I get that. But it would be nice if he extended, you know, his interest and putting some leverage on this country to Saudi Arabia in that regard. Human Rights.
Scott Horton 20:46
And you know, I know that there was a some kind of bureaucratic sort of snafu the way they did the resolutions. Were one is the concurrent resolution and the other is resolution. And I forget which one it was they passed, but they they passed the kind you can veto instead of the kind you had. And so Trump just vetoed it. But still Congress twice. The house in the Senate, working together with the exact same language for the first time in history invoked the 1973 War Powers Resolution to try to force Trump to stop this war, or that Obama had no authorization whatsoever to start when he started. I mean, under the IMF, he was bombing al Qaeda, but this is the war for Al Qaeda against the Houthis. And yet, you know, they hide behind. Oh, well, it’s the Saudi lives. coalition, even though again, it’s entirely dependent on American has been it’s leading from behind as the Obama is called it. That’s exactly what it is leading still. So America is the world’s superpower. There’s no question about that. And right, and there’s no authorization for it in the first place. Then Congress says, you have to stop it. And Trump just vetoes it and keeps going anyway. Sounds like there’s grounds for impeachment, right? They’re not just for war crimes, because you know, he’s committing more crimes in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Libya, but at least, just like we saw in the bush years, we have a memo that says we could do that. But there’s nothing that says they can do what they’re doing in Yemen at all. It’s completely illegal. And so, you know, too bad that they wasted three years, accusing him of being a Russian spy, and literally, impeaching him for holding up an arms deal to a bunch of Ukrainian Nazis. But anyway, now here we go. He’s still he’s five years into Obama or sorry, four years into Obama’s war in Yemen, continuing it. And, and where’s the outcry about that? The worst thing that’s happening in the whole world today, American Saudis war against Yemen, makes what’s happening in America pale in comparison. And in fact, for the audience, for people who don’t know anything about this, just put in Yemen child in your Google Image return and know that it’s brock obama and Donald Trump that did that.
Kelley Vlahos 24:33
Yeah. Well, you know, going back to the Congress for a second, I feel like and I know you have there are critics out there. Winslow Wheeler comes to mind because every time one of these 1973 war power act stories come up, he he has a meltdown because the way that they have done it, like you said, sets them up for the veto. Second of all, they have another opportunity. Bye Just not funding, and the Congress has not been able and not been willing to just shut off the spigot. And it sounds like the nuclear option, but come on, they know these bills are going to be vetoed. It puts them on record is making a stand. That’s really nice. And I’m glad I’m with you. I’m happy to see that, that they were able to come together twice for this and get something passed. But for me, I’m thinking you have the power of the purse string, and they never use it because to them that’s going nuclear. That’s actually that’s putting them on record for making a stand that could have some serious repercussions with their constituencies who might be defense contracting job, you know, companies who have jobs in their district is taking it to another level. I think that these weaselly Congress persons do not want to do. I think there are plenty of guys out there who would do it and gals, I just think that it’s harder for them to get support for really going nuclear, because so many are just so skittish about campaign contributions, and primaries. And that all goes back to the way the system is set up, that they’re constantly running for office. And they’re getting money from members from these PACs and from the companies and their, their employees. And they get opponents who say How dare you want to eliminate the jobs that our district is getting for the F 35. Because we know these jobs, they’re spread out all over the states purposefully, so that they can they can get the foothold in and pull these kinds of stunts during election time. Yeah, so I agree. I just I think that at some point. If these members really care, then they got to, they actually have to step up to the plate and stop with these resolutions
Scott Horton 27:09
right now. I’m sorry, because I’m over time. But I gotta let you make this last point about the US funding out Qaeda, its enemy, the only real enemy of the American people in the world which of course, our government made for us in the first place. But here we are, and backing them again, in Yemen, just like in Libya, and in Syria, by way of the UAE, which we’re still on right and funding to in this work.
Kelley Vlahos 27:32
Absolutely. And I know we don’t have enough time, but this cnn actually did a really good investigation last year where they found that weapons that we had been sending to UAE, were ending up in the hands of these al Qaeda linked groups in Yemen, which obviously is just a nightmare. The government that said we’ll do our own investigation, apparently the Pentagon did an investigation and the State Department did an investigation. Last week, CNN reported that they had sources inside saying that they finished their investigations and they found that there were no nefarious handover of our weapons to al Qaeda linked groups and that they are going to be continuing these arms sales ua was cleared. And so any hold that has been put on arms sales to the UAE in that time has been lifted. This is in the middle of Coronavirus is in the middle of all sorts of crises that are going on in this country. But let’s get those let’s get those arms sales to the UAE running. And let’s just put out besides the Yemen. I mean, besides the al Qaeda linked issues, we know that both of these countries are violating people’s rights. And that is supposed to be a precursor or an obstacle for us to sell them weapons under State Department rules, right? We just overlook that.
Scott Horton 28:58
Aren’t you guys. That’s Kelly Vlahos. From the American Conservative magazine, her latest is turns out Saudi arms deals won’t add a million jobs to the US economy. Thank you so much, Kelly.
Kelley Vlahos 29:09
Scott and Matt Agorist discuss the recent protests against police brutality that have swept through cities across the nation. Both agree that America’s police are in serious need of reform, though see deficiencies in the proposed solutions of movements like Black Lives Matter. For example, trying to end the war on drugs would remove the excuse for most police interactions in the first place, particularly those with racial minorities and in poor neighborhoods. Simply trying to eliminate personal bias on the level of individual officers, on the other hand, may not be a very promising avenue for reform.
Discussed on the show:
- “Beyond George Floyd: A Look at the 400 Americans Killed By Police in 2020” (The Libertarian Institute)
- “The State’s Priority Is Protecting Itself, Not You” (The Libertarian Institute)
- “Minneapolis City Council President Lisa Bender on the intent to defund and dismantle the city’s police department” (Twitter)
- “Brazil (1985)” (IMDb)
The following is an automatically generated transcript.
All right, y’all welcome it’s Scott Horton Show. I am the director of the Libertarian Institute editorial director of antiwar.com, author of the book Fool’s Errand: Time to End the War in Afghanistan. And I’ve recorded more than 5000 interviews going back to 2003, all of which are available at ScottHorton.org. You can also sign up to the podcast feed full archive is also available at youtube.com/ScottHortonShow.
Good, man, thank you for having me on. And I’m glad we finally got to meet up. I know we’ve been trying to do this for a couple of days now.
Yeah, I’m, I’m way behind on my cops and murders and protests and riots and soldiers interviews here. I’ve been waiting for you. Now I got so, so much is going on. I wanted to start with this article that you wrote for the freethought project that I poached and ran at the libertarian Institute as well about the 400 other people who were already killed by the cops in America this year, before they ever got around to murdering George Floyd. And what this really means for the American people and say, particularly for people who actually don’t live that experience at all and might not even believe the number could be that high.
Yeah, I mean, that’s, I wrote that pert that that Piece not to take away from the tragedy that was George Floyd’s death. But to just you know, just just capitalize on that moment. There were people who were paying attention to police brutality. And just to show them the actual scope of what we’re dealing with here. You know, these people they they’re protesting the death of George Floyd out there right now, but they’re also protesting the the hundreds of deaths that already took place this year at the hands of Americans. Peace Officers,
do you have like a good ballpark estimate of what percentage of those are really unarmed and unwarranted versus people who hate you draw down on a cop? You? You know, that’s what happens. Coming?
Yeah. I mean, well, one of the cases that I cited in that actual article was Michael Ramos, who was killed by Austin police on video. Yeah. He had a someone made a report of an armed guy in a parking lot somewhere and when the Austin police pulled up they saw Michael Ramos there whether or not he was their guy. remains unclear as he could because he was not armed. However, within just a couple of minutes of arriving on the scene, he was dead. And this guy got out of his car, raised his hands in the air, showed the cops that he had nothing in his waistband by lifting up his shirt and was telling him he was not harmed. And this is all on video. And he was it was asking them what what, why they want him to why they’re there. What are they doing to him? And as their as he’s asking them these questions, some crazed cop in the background on loads and dumps a beanbag round into him. And it uh, it freaked him out. He I guess he thought he was being shot and killed. And so he jumped in his car and tried to drive away and that’s when they actually unloaded on him with ar 15 and did kill him. And you know, this, that’s like one of so many other deaths that take place in this country on a regular basis. That you know that we highlighted a few of them that were all unarmed and in this article, and then that’s what we’re dealing with, you know, Michael Ramos had never been accused of a crime, you know, he may have fit the description of some, some guy that someone called in about our 911 call, but he, he didn’t do anything and he hadn’t you know, he wasn’t suspected of any other crime other than fitting the description of a guy that may have may or may not have committed a crime. Yeah. And, yeah, that’s why people are angry. That’s why, you know, it’s on fire right now.
Yeah, you know, as far as the calling 911 it’s almost like everybody knows that the wars are corrupt and the military industrial complex as even like Eisenhower said, and we always lose and create more terrorists and it’s still just great to join the army though. And that’s exactly what you should do son right. It right as soon as you get out of high school, and all of this because it’s almost you know, because joining is almost it’s a different reality. It’s a it’s a separate argument has no bearing on the actual reality of our foreign policy or any of these things. It’s just an entirely separate issue. It seems like the same way with 911. Where if people have an a kind of idea in their head from 30 years ago when they were a little kid or something about, if you call 911, that’s when the hero comes to rescue you or something like that, that no matter how many times they hear that somebody called 911, and some innocent person got killed by these guys acting essentially as armed rabid dogs. It doesn’t matter, they still have this conception in their head that well, what you do is you call 911. And that’s when the hero comes and saves you and they just can’t seem to adjust to the reality that for whatever series of reasons, American police are the most destructive force in society. They’re not superheroes here to protect you. They are here to spread violence to take every opportunity. They can. to escalate and make matters worse for their own fun. You see it over and over and over again. In this case, as you said, it seems like the the rookie in the back, you know, accidentally fired maybe at this guy and set off the whole thing. But then he’s just driving away and the other cop shoots him with an AR. Well, what’s the excuse for that? That’s entirely illegal. So even if, you know, some kind of as Donald Trump would say, even if she had choked with that first beanbag round, the other cop fires. No one says Hold your fire. This is just how they are and yet the lady who call 911 on the guy, you can guarantee that she won. That’s not my fault. It’s your fault. Whatever she’s proud call 911 people three times since then, you know, and Americans will hear people hear that story. And then they’ll still call 911 on each other all day long. Sucks
It’s true man and this I shouldn’t
format in the phrase of a question doesn’t that suck?
Yeah, of course it does. We have the you know, we have the snitch society and then it was brought to a heightened peak of our state whenever this COVID-19 locked down and stuff ensued and people were snitching on their neighbors for for coughing in their own backyards you know this this is some This is like unprecedent at times we’re living in with with things going on like that you know and i i was gonna add before we started talking about the the snitches is that the same department that killed Michael Ramos is has been all over the art blotter you know, in the last couple of weeks for how they’ve been treating the protesters. And, you know, a 15 year old boy who was sitting on a hillside watching the protesters was shot right above his eye. He’s in ICU right now because of some crazed cop on some rage just decided that he was going to put a rubber band In this dude’s forehead,
and it was just a pot shot. I mean, people can see that footage where the kids just standing there on this hillside separate from everyone doing nothing.
Right? And then there was another college kid, like a star student in political science who was attending like the University of Texas, I believe. And he was there peaceful protests hadn’t done any he hadn’t committed any crime, someone nearby him or something is what the police claim through a water bottle of cops. So they unloaded rubber bullets in that direction. And they shot the wrong guy in the head, and then immediately knocked him out. He’s still currently in ICU. But what’s worse about his case is that there four or five people, like pick them up, but to try to get them out of harm’s way. I mean, this is like a war zone do these people are carrying which is all caught on video. It’s all in the freethought project that they can go see. They’re carrying this guy like, you know, he’s he’s injured in a war zone. And as they’re carrying him, the dude even had a red cross on the back man. Like he was like, part of the you know, he’s a medic, and he was clearly You know, that he clearly had on the markings the show, please don’t shoot it these people you know. And cops opened fire on these people carrying a person that an innocent person that they had just shot, trying to get them to safety and they opened fire on them and shot several of the people that were carrying them,
you know? In fact, I didn’t even read a thing that said that the cops had said Bring him here. We’ll get him medical attention. Exactly.
Yeah, they did and they got brought to the department they opened fire. Oh,
yeah. Just sick. Yeah, that’s my hometown the APD who have a reputation around here as being less worse.
If you believe I have a I have a very good friend who was a who’s on the APD actually and I’m not gonna say his name but he’s uh, he’s he’s we did a story one time and I on him and not on him but on the APD and we had to research their their test scores and he was the highest scoring one like a by magnitudes of you know, Five like where everybody else is getting C’s on their competence exams and everything he he’s number one by a large margin where he’s doubling their their scores. Yeah,
you know, I’ve mentioned this before, but I’ll mention again, my worst friend who is kind of a bad person, but I like him. I’ve known him for a long, long time. We’re cab drivers together years ago, he went and joined up the sheriff’s department, which has the Travis County Sheriff’s have a reputation as being a little bit less worse even than the APD, who were said to be less worse than say, the Williamson County Sheriff’s. But anyway, they make you work at the jail for the first year before you get out there. And he didn’t last through that. He just couldn’t stand it. And he quit and went back to you know, driving a cat for a living, I guess.
Because of just how criminal it was.
and this is a guy who, you know, he’s a right winger enough that he’s like, maybe not totally ideological about it, but at least he’s extremely well educated in the history of George Washington and James Madison in the Bill of Rights and the whole theory that in America that people are born free and allow the government to exist to protect their rights and all of that. And here these people to him, they’re merely suspects. They’re in the county lockup, they haven’t, you know, actually been convicted of anything. His job is protecting their rights. He may be an sob, and he may not like or respect them at all. But hey, the job is what the job is, as if that wasn’t the job. The job was persecuting them and treating them all absolutely as terribly as possible for no reason all the time. And in just the very worst way, and he just couldn’t stand it and had to leave. Because the worst guy I know was like, these cops are such scum. I just can’t be around people like this.
That’s telling, right.
Yeah. And I’m talking smack. I love this guy. He’s an old friend of mine, but still, he’s, he’s a bad person. You know? So listen now, so George Floyd, he touched it off and you know what people are on mandatory you mentioned the lockdown there. People are on mandatory fired from work all across the country 10s of millions of people. And then you have something like this to set off the spark. The long hot summer begins now with the killing of George Floyd here. So in fact, go ahead and and talk a little bit about that. I mean, I’m sure there are people who are not on Twitter who haven’t seen the video, they heard that some guy got killed. But can you talk a little bit about what happened to this guy? And then let’s talk about the brush fire that got touched off by the thing here.
Yeah, for sure, man. So George Boyd was Yes, he had a like a really weak criminal past and another state and but you know, not in Minneapolis. And he was accused of trying to pass off a $20 bill that was counterfeit. Now George Floyd worked in a nightclub. And I know from experience that when I used to bartend we would get counterfeit bills all the time passed off because it’s you know, it’s dark. there and that’s like a place where a lot of people go. So he might not even have known that he had a counterfeit bill, you know, because he might have just gotten tipped out that night or whatever, and then just went to go spend it and when they ran the ink on it, they saw that it was counterfeit or whatever. And then
and that’s assuming that that’s right right now. Yeah, I mean, they’ve changed the currency so often that who knows they might have just been like, what the hell is this? Like who who even knows that he actually passed a counterfeit bill much less deliberately, you know,
right. He’s not he’s not around to tell us that but I mean to show that even if he was accused of it, he never ran and he was waiting outside the store for police who showed up you know, and he was taken in without incident the he got out of his car he was put in handcuffs he was put down on the on the side of the road. He sat down there he never fought the officers nothing nothing. He never fought anybody. And this was all seen on the surveillance camera not just the ones that the the viral video that you know, that was taken by the woman who filmed the cops actually kill him but the initial is an taken into custody was completely peacefully never resisted or anything. And then they, they for some reason they didn’t put them in the cruiser right by where they originally arrested them. They walked them across the street to where their their Chavez cruiser was. And you can see on the surveillance camera that first like either trips and goes to the ground, or they throw them down, and that’s when the other two cops held him down and dare dare show man put his knee on his neck for the next eight minutes until he died. And in the end, that’s that was just one of the most grueling videos to watch it. This guy begged for his life, you know, for the last few minutes and if you had all the apologists, you know, if you could say I can’t breathe and you can breathe, which time again, we’ve proven that so many people have been killed by the police. Their last words were I can’t breathe and they in fact, could not breathe And
that seriously, you know, note for any cops listening to this, that when the person you’re strangling says, Mommy, they’re dying. They’re dying. That’s why they say that.
Right? Yeah. Actually Floyd called out for his mom while he was, you know, being killed, and it come to find out his mom is, uh, had died several years ago. And so it was like, you know, like, he knew he was dying. And it was, yeah, I mean, it just, it’s heart wrenching to know that that, you know, that was what he was doing as his last breaths were being taken from them. And there’s several videos of Floyd to about like, he was pretty active in trying to be like a, like a good person and mentor people. He’s, he had some Facebook videos where he got on there and urged the young kids not to be violent against each other and, you know, just be good jobs and do good in your community. I mean, this guy was a he was a good guy. Yeah. made some mistakes earlier in his life. But he was, you know, he was just a good guy. And he tried to mentor his community and let people know, you know that. It’s up to them to create a better world. And now he’s pushing up daisies.
Yeah. So this thing went viral. And the protests started and now, I mean, it pretty much goes without saying when you have a protest movement, this big about police abuse, especially against poor black people in their ghettos across the country, that there’s going to be riots and collateral damage, but how would you kind of, like proportionally How would you measure the size of the protest movement versus the size of the rioting and and stealing I mean, there have been some killings and stuff it’s pretty serious. The same time we’re talking about every major city in America has been holding protests and there have not been riots and all of them
just this morning. We are We put a story out someone sent send send us in a video of Minneapolis cops in like a caravan of their their SUVs and they’re driving by completely peaceful protesters who are on the side of the road holding up signs. And they’re spraying them with pepper spray, like big clouds of pepper spray that shootout like 20 feet, they’re spraying all these people who are just peacefully protesting. That’s the type of stuff that you know that’s the stuff that makes that causes riots, right. They’re you they’re trying it’s like they’re actually trying to provoke these people into violence and the people are resisting now that don’t get me wrong like there’s a lot of bad actors also like you said, you know that there’s there’s been people killed. There’s some bad actors that couldn’t care less about the death of George Floyd who are exploiting these these organic protests to loot and get that they want and you know, or just do whatever they like maybe takeover rival neighborhood gangs or something like that. And so they’re they’re using these as cover to do that. They’re to do their dirty work. But that doesn’t that should never take away from the actual from the peaceful protests that are happening all across the country. And it’s also important to point out that that most of the we’ve reported on a lot of instances in which the cops weren’t confrontational, and no rioting happened in a lot of these other instances in which you see tear gas being fired at protesters and protesters returning like thrown back at cops and throwing bottles and stuff at the cops it’s it’s not because these protests turned violent and then the the tear gas had to be deployed. It’s because these these cops are enforcing ridiculously early curfews, like at 4pm in the afternoon in Los Angeles. And so when that people don’t want to disperse when they want to keep practicing their constitutional right to, you know, voice, their concern about police brutality, that they don’t disperse at 4pm like within this unlawful order that are being given that the police then open fire on with tear gas and rubber bullets, so they’re not even violent. They’re peacefully protesting exercising their constitutional right and the cops are opening fire into your guests with them to to get them to disperse because they’re violating some ridiculously unconstitutional curfew.
Yeah, so things are Institute where I witness wrote that about Philadelphia where they’re just having a big protest. And then here come the cops on horseback charging into the crowd and causing a big ride and then the reaction from there and then now they have their excuse to roll in with the rest of their force. And of course, you know, in fact, there’s another article we ran by Bradley Thomas, where he had a quote from the cop talking essentially, you know, it’s a paraphrase about, well, of course, we would rather attack the protesters all day and let the riders go because the riders are in looters are dangerous. So we don’t want to put our cops in danger. So we’re going to go ahead, let the looters burn down whatever they want, steal whatever they want, and we’re going to focus on hurting these people who are out there. testing with their signs about police abuse instead because they’re just the lower hanging fruit and we’re a bunch of cowards
telling right Yeah, kind of sounds like the reason they pursue the drug war instead of actually go after actual criminals like murderers and rapists. Yeah.
And even then on the drug war they focus on pot dealers instead of cocaine dealers and heroin dealers because the pot colors are easier to fight yeah
exactly because they they’re just chill people who want to have and sell a plant they’re willing customers Exactly.
Yeah, so yeah, here they are, you know burning down city blocks and hear the cops admit that like Well, what do you want me to do? Put my officers lives in danger to arrest people who are burning down our city? Of course not. That would be reckless.
You know, right. Instead we’ll open fire on a peaceful crowd rubber bullets and tear gas grenades and, and maybe kill some of them in the process. Yeah,
and of course all the artists involved Especially arson fires that night is the number one best public relations for police that you could ever invent. You know, for everybody who’s not in on the riot, that’s scary looking. And so it’s good for the cops to go ahead and let things like that spin out of control. So that just like in V for Vendetta, the rest of the city can remember why they need us, you know, because of it, actually, because of the disruptions that they cause.
It’s actually having the opposite effect that Minneapolis though, you know, that you had, on Sunday, they had nine of the 12 city council members hold a rally, I guess in the park and they they all came out and said that they’re now working on plans to disband the entire Minneapolis police force and replace it with something completely different community oriented, which could be awesome. And it also it also could, you know, it’s almost like the government is never actually gets rid of anything bad and places it replaces it with anything good. So, yeah, I’m kind of skeptical of that. But I do like the talk of removing a police force. That’s always awesome, you know? And yeah.
It does raise a lot of questions, right? I mean, I guess first of all, if they might abolish this police department and then just Institute an entirely new different one right in its place. Or they could say, well, we’re just going to leave it all up to the county sheriff’s department, which is going to turn around and hire all these same cops back again, probably. Right, or, and, you know, I can see definitely, I mean, presuming you really have these social justice leftist seize control of the city government in this fashion, and they’re really determined to send a social worker instead of a cop as much as they possibly can. I mean, that could be great, right? Somebody’s having a heroin overdose. The cops don’t get called for that. You know, EMTs come out. Maybe some, you know, here’s a flyer for an addiction program. But, you know, something like that that could be, I gotta say here I was kind of picking around the edges saying, Let’s get rid of qualified immunity and these kinds of things. But if they want to talk about, you know, essentially ending policing, ending the enforcement of all kinds of laws, I think they could go really far with that. Except, you know, of course, there’s still the question of violent felonies, that people need to be protected from one way or the other. And what’s their plan for that? And I don’t know if you saw this, Matt, I just our allies, the leftists on this issue. on CNN are one of these I saw a clip somebody sent me a clip where they’re interviewing one of the leaders of the Black Lives Matter group in Minneapolis and saying Okay, so when you abolish the police or might’ve even been one of the Councilwoman, I’m not sure when you do abolish the police. Okay, so Then what happens if someone tries to break in my house in the middle of the night? Who do I call? Then? You know, and it was actually like an honest question, not like trying to just already have the answer built in, you know what I mean? It was like an honest question. Well, so so what’s gonna be the alternative for that? And the answer was, that question comes from a place of privilege. And you have, you have no right to think that you should have a security force to help keep you safe in your home at night. You know, how dare you white lady TV reporter, you know, rich capitalist person or whatever. So, yeah, they’re not gonna get very far with that kind of thing. Because ultimately, these questions aren’t decided by the City Council of Minneapolis. They’re decided by the state legislature of Minnesota, and they’re not gonna completely turn, you know, security over to the sociology department at the local college or whatever seems to be going on.
No, no, not at all. And that could go I mean like, like you said that you gave a good example of what could happen if they you know, if someone has a heroin overdose and they send some kind of counselor over there maybe get them into some kind of rehab programs that lock him in a cage but it could also It could also go in like an extremely a terrible place with you know, we’ve seen some of these social justice movements that are based completely in reactionary and emotional thinking that have no logic or reason behind them and are in our entirely dangerous and anti freedom at all levels. And that would be pretty scary to see. Someone like that with a badge and a gun. You know, like, I saw a tweet on a Yeah, shoot over the weekend. It was hilarious. I don’t remember word for word, but it stated but without the police who’s going to protect you from plastic straws, you know, and that’s the it completely called out like the whole these. So many of the leftist people calling for the abolishing the Police which I happen to agree with, but they also want you know, they also use the police to implement all these crazy these permitting things and these uh, and plastic straw laws and and just you know arbitrary anti freedom type all those fees and
all those taxes all those fines I know can you imagine what what would happen to every leftist program in America without the cops they’re
going to be able to pull off your entire mandatory way of thinking and they don’t do this don’t realize that you know but which is but that’s the discussion that I’m trying to push out yeah
No, no what I kind of wish the you know the guy with the straw tweet would be quiet and go ahead and just let them abolish some police departments while we’re at it right now and let them figure out that now they don’t have the force to implement the rest of their stupid crap later. You know?
Yeah, he also said who would take the guns to say who would take the guns and the plastic straws? If you abolish the police. It’s funny.
I saw right winger tweeting that, you know, this is all Obama’s plot to disarm the police and the citizens to so that then only the government will have guns
with the police or the government.
Yeah, yeah. Anyway. right wingers on Twitter, man, they don’t think things through much better than Black Lives Matter times most of the time. And speaking of which, I mean, and this is such a huge point that you wrote about that. I honestly, I’m a bit surprised. You know, I always complain, the Black Lives Matter is kind of missing the point. I mean, it really should be accountability for killer cops. That is the bottom line. And isn’t that what’s important. We’re going to abolish racial prejudice as the long way around to abolishing police brutality. It’s gonna be awesome. While it seems like there are other things that could be done sooner, you know, but you know, they do talk about accountability from time to time anyway that like, yes, this would be big progress. But they do not pick up on what you call the elephant in the room here, the most obvious leading cause of police abuse of all people and probably especially black people in society, and that is the war on drugs. So tell us about that great article that you wrote. And then also, I’m curious of why you think that is? Because it seems like yeah, you gotta have a war on drugs. What do you think is the number one excuse for all of these intrusions and on all levels to you know,
right. I, I actually, I wrote that article to do two things to, to call out the people who kept saying all lives matter. All lives matter. I wanted to try to give them a bit of perspective. So they may have some empathy into why people are saying Black Lives Matter. It’s not because they’re saying black lives matter more than white lives or any of that it’s because black people experience completely set separate for some form of justice in the United States. And it’s it’s shown statistically, by in by all the numbers, you know, black people are disproportionately killed more than white people. They’re four times more likely to have police violence escalated against them in the exact same type situations than their white counterpart. It’s the racial disparity is a real thing. It’s measurable. And it shows us that the system is far from equal it does not do allow justice dole out justice equally like it should. And so that’s why there’s Black Lives Matter there. Everybody like the there’s like the the tweet I cited in there from comedian Arthur Jew. He said Do people who change black lives matter to all lives matter run through a cancer fundraiser going? There are other diseases too. Yeah, no, it’s just like that. It’s a it’s trying to take away from why they’re why they’re saying Black Lives Matter. There’s an implicit to at the end of that phrase, Black Lives Matter. Black Lives Matter, too. But it does suck, though that Oh, that Oh, but our lives are being disproportionately affected by the police state far more than yours. So that’s why we need to draw attention.
Yes. It is unfortunate though, that they can’t say they couldn’t name the movement. Black Lives Matter too, because then that sounds whiny and weak. Right?
So they, they had to drop the two and like you say, just leave it implicit. But if people are unwilling to infer it, then they won’t get it. And then they react in the way that you described where they think that the slogan means black people are special, not you, which was never the thing. It was black. People are just as special as you That’s all. But it just it’s kind of a it’s kind of custom made to be misunderstood, unfortunately, you know, really right. And even people who are disingenuous it gives them a great out, you know? Right,
right. And it’s it’s easy to be admitted, easily dismissed by those who don’t even want to content you know to have this conversation. Oh, you said black lives matter that you’re irrelevant to me now you know that’s racist or it but it’s just it’s really isn’t but so that was the first part I wanted to do in that article. The second part I wanted to do was the point I wanted to make was that black lives matter they they want to talk solutions and like their main solution to their pointing right or pointing to right now is to defund the police, which is a really good solution. It’s it’s one aspect to a multifaceted problem that we have, but that that’s a long way down the road. Like you said, you know, the Minneapolis police department they’re trying to do that right now. And that’s gonna all go through the state and it’s not gonna it’s not gonna look like what they think it’s going to look like. It could arguably make things a lot worse if you you know, if you go through this half cocked and don’t actually have a plan to do this, and it doesn’t appear that they do. But one thing that the Black Lives Matter group could do right now, which would which would end 80% of police interactions that turned violent is to advocate for the end of the drug war right now, if the drug war was ended today, people the cops wouldn’t be shaking down kids on the street if they smell weed, they wouldn’t be pulling people over suspected him of carrying a plant in their car. They wouldn’t be stopping and frisking people thinking that they you know that they might get to fish for some other crime about that they may have some kind of contraband in their pocket. That’s what all these police interactions are about are the like the majority of them anyway are for cops fishing for for substances deemed illegal by the state. We’re talking you know, 70% of cars. Don’t quote me on that. But it’s pretty close to there. I’m not I don’t have these numbers in front of me. But I mean, I’m pretty sure it’s roughly 70% of the people in, in, in the prison population right now are for are in there because of drugs. You know, and this is in this what you when you arrest somebody for drugs and put them in prison for a substance that they chose to ingest or sell to willing customers that’s deemed illegal by the state, then that puts a permanent record on their on our permanent scar on their record. So they they become unemployable, then they have to go back to crime just to make a living when they get out of jail. And then they learn about all this other bad thing, all these other bad things while they’re in jail, and it leads to recidivism, which is when it’s the likeliness, that you’re going to return back into the system after you’ve already been marked into it. So if you’re disproportionately targeting black communities, which we know that the law the US justice system does do, you’re actually guaranteeing future crime from the from that community Because we see that the the effects of recidivism that guarantees that people wind up back into the system so it’s it’s a, it’s feeding the drug the drug war is feeding the prison industrial complex. With black bodies, they’re keeping them the prisons full at 99% capacity. And they’re, they’re doing so because they’re enforcing prohibition. And we obviously you know, your your listeners gonna know that prohibition never works. It never removes the demand for a product that just pushes that demand into the black market creates crime, and it and it creates violence for the from the criminals trying to maintain their monopolies on the supply lines. And so that’s another talking point of the right is, well, they’re all saw all the Black Lives Matter people are silent on, you know, all the black people killing black people because 98% of the black people killed are killed by black people, but they completely ignore the fact that that’s not mutually exclusive and that the reason that they’re killing black people is because they’re participating in an illegal drug trade. That’s kept illegal by the government that creates this crime and, and makes black people kill black people because they’re they’re at war with each other. There’s rival gangs there’s criminal gangs that protect the supply lines and territories and all these towns and like Chicago and they’re they’re literally at war with one another because the government has made a substance illegal and created an entire market that drives criminal behavior and violence.
They also ignore the black people complain about it all the time. You know, it’s not like they’re silent about that. Of course they talk about that, you know,
yeah. So that’s it
now so what do you think is what do you think is the reason for the reluctance behind the Black Lives Matter types to get behind ending the war on drugs? It’s such a simple argument, you know,
it really is man. It’s uh, it’s it’s obviously one you can tell I’m passionate about but it’s uh, I have no idea I will be speculation but I mean, it’s almost conspiratorial for them. It’s it’s irresponsible. It does nothing to help their cause. In fact, it does everything to help They’re calls that the fact that they’re not doing this, you know that you have you have other groups like drug war Alliance and leap, you know, Law Enforcement Against Prohibition that have been advocating these solutions for years if they could join forces with Black Lives Matter and push this, this same ending the drug war agenda, this might have been taken care of five years ago.
And in fact, if Black Lives Matter would invoke conservative type and and libertarian type and ex law enforcement type groups that take these positions as the ultimate proof that they must be right because even these right wingers agree with them about it, then that’s the perfect talking point. You know, hell, William F. Buckley wrote in the national review that we ought to give up the stupid drug war back in like 1988 or something man, you know what public enemy was still new.
Ron Paul has been saying it for decades
Yeah, I mean, of course you have libertarians have said so all along and, and and I’m sure that there are On the left who have who have been doing great work on this all along to I don’t mean to dismiss that, but it seems like and you know, people are afraid to say something that sounds too controversial, like legalized heroin. But what the hell you’re talking about abolishing police departments, you think that’s not shocking to people’s imaginations when they’ve never thought of such a concept before in their lives? Go ahead and explain it. Actually, we’d be better off without them know, really. Same thing with the drug laws. That Yeah, for all the problems that come with the abuse of opiates. Go on. The problems of opiate prohibition are far worse. And especially when as you said, it can not work so you should not try, you know, for all the collateral damage when there’s no possibility of success. That’s sinful, man that’s wrong. And so find a better way. And you know what, this is the thing that bothers me too, is every grown adult in America every single one of us knows this. solution to drug addiction and that is that you have recovered addicts help current addicts recover Simple as that. It has nothing to do with nailing them to the wall or burying them in a cage under the ground somewhere until they start acting right and never works
no you can’t you can’t cure addiction with the barrel of a gun and that’s as simple as that. I mean we can it actually has like I pointed out it has the opposite effect. We have the highest rate of drug overdoses in the history of America going on right now and we have the cops have the most resources air quotes to actually go after that is what they consider you know, because if they they’re like we got we need bigger guns we need you know, so you got em rats rolling down the street right now to go kick it to go the level houses that someone suspect of growing weed in and it’s not doing a damn thing to stop demand. It’s making the problem worse you have worse drugs coming back out into the market. Now you have fentanyl which is which is deadly. One of our one of our Writers jack burns that freethought project. His son just recently died two weeks ago from a fentanyl overdose, man. Yeah, and this is all stemmed by the war on drugs. You know, this is these these fentanyl lines are coming. They’re there. This is like some it’s like a bathtub drug. You know, it’s like these people are making some really ridiculously strong and deadly stuff because you can’t just grow heroin in the United States, you know? So all these synthetic things are coming through on all the different black market streams and people have no idea what they’re doing and they can you know, that I’m not saying like, it’s responsible to use heroin on a daily basis or anything like that. But regular heroin is far safer than any kind of fentanyl and fentanyl is a direct reaction to the prohibition of heroin. Yeah, and that’s all it they just keep making these substances illegal and new ones keep coming in. They’re more dangerous and, and it’s a nice dosing
right like fentanyl is perfectly safe if you take the right amount. It, you know, you go to the doctor, they give you that stuff for certain surgeries or whatever, doesn’t kill you, it only kills you because you don’t know what the percentage is. So you’re used to shooting this much heroin but now you’re shooting this much heroin plus fentanyl and it’s enough to stop your heart or stop your breathing, you know, right, that’s right thing and, and you know what, to just the sheer number 10s of thousands of these deaths goes to show that these are good people dying, you do not have to be some scumbag to be addicted to drugs. It happens though good people, you know that’s and so it was the rest of us should not be writing them off. You know, same with black people. You know what you might not be part of the black minority but they keep telling you very loudly that they live in terror of the SWAT team night raid, believe them, you know, tear about them for a minute. Same thing here you know might not be your cousin that died of fentanyl overdose, but it could have been.
That’s a that’s it’s so true man. So like jack burns his son, he was. He was the star like he was the star athlete of his high school. He, I think he had a football scholarship and went to his college and he was still in college when all this happened. And here’s the thing this is this is how the system actually created his fitting on heroin problem. He was, uh, he was on Adderall for ADHD. And Adderall was causing him some kind of heart palpitation disorder. And so he spoke with his doctor, they decided that it would be a good idea for him to get off the Adderall and he could try medical cannabis in place of that, and it took it the state he lives in I’m not gonna give away any of this information I don’t want I don’t want the you know the family to not anyone know me anybody know who it is so, but so the state that they live in you have it takes a while to apply for the medical Cannabis card and this son didn’t carry started doing the start smoking weed before the current medical card was approved. And I think it was like the day before the he got the he got his card that he was caught with like a joint in his in his car. And this they have like these mandatory laws in this state and so he was sentenced to drug court, which is for those who aren’t familiar with drug court, it’s like basically it’s just a scam by the state to make you pay them thousands and thousands of dollars to not go to jail for a drug offense. And you have to go to these meetings at these at the courthouses and they’re full of drug addicts. And at one of these places, that’s where his son met. I guess, a really pretty girl who did heroin and couldn’t resist you know, like the herd like her deserve Her request to do heroin with him and then that’s what got him addicted to heroin and and that’s what eventually led to his untimely death less than a year later. So it’s a pretty crazy man because he was he would have probably never came in contact with anybody that ever did heroin in his life, you know, until he was sentenced to go interact with other people that were that that did harder drugs than he ever did. Yeah.
Like ISIS being formed at Camp buco. You know, all these guys together. Yeah, no, it’s terrible. It’s completely, you know, if there was just a book about the collateral damage of the drug wars that were all you know, somehow tangential to whatever up the cops were launching at any particular time. You know, be a step to the moon is just unbelievable the amount of suffering that has, you know, taken place Against all kinds of people, but yeah, especially the poorest and racial minorities. And because, you know, of course cops know that they have, you know, legally they have immunity, but politically, they have immunity for taking out, you know, their sport on poor black people. Whereas if they pick on the rich white side of town, it gets shut down before too long, you know, they start taking, you know, rich white kids with promising futures away on cocaine charges. They’re, you know, people with juice are going to push back against that, but they can pick on poor black people all day and get away with it and they know it. So, I’m sure That sure looks a lot, you know, no different than guys weren’t clan hoods to people on the receiving end of it. But I think it’s a lot more about economics, you know, and political economic incentives than it is just outright bigotry. Though obviously it’s all mixed together.
Right? Well, I mean, there’s a, there’s a really chilling video of it was some interview with about 12 or 14, NYPD cops, who were all minorities and who all came forward and told, told the world that they were that they targeted minorities as well, because that was the easiest ones. And one of the cops even said that, like it was a black cop talking about how they had to go, they went to the black communities in the in the Latino communities to arrest these people for drugs, because it was easier. And he’s like, if we showed up at, you know, and the white neighborhoods and we try to do that we’d be shut down instantly. So we couldn’t do that we need they said we are the predators, they are the prey. And this is minorities that are targeting minorities, because they know if they target these upper middle class areas with the same bullshit laws, that for victimless crimes, then they then they’d be shut down immediately. Yep, that’s that’s sad state of affairs. I mean, that that is the white privilege, the racial disparity that is the whole system when the system is so racially connected that even minority cops have to prey on minorities and know that they’re doing it because they can’t prey on the rich people. That’s when you know, some some some messed up. Yeah,
well, I mean, a big part of it is just even the existence of these police unions where Hey, when the crime rate falls, these guys should be getting laid off in droves. But instead the whole thing is just a racket they got to find things to do. You can’t expect them to actually just provide basic security services in response to you know, not you know, legitimate 911 emergencies or what have you and prosecution of felony cases, which probably most people go ahead and agree to without a problem. They get to find all these other things to do all these other laws to enforce and, and all the rest of this stuff and you know, Once you’re in the system, good luck man and probation for five years, you’re going to get revoked and go back and then you’re going to get another five year probation after they let you out and this and that they’re gonna find you, as you talked about, make you go to these classes, how you supposed to keep your job, when you have to take the bus across town to go do another government piss test again, and all of these things, they just completely ruin people’s lives with this stuff. It’s like that movie Brazil or something. We’re just the lowest level bureaucrats. You know, idiocracy level bureaucrats just completely smashing you and destroying your life over Yeah. Roach in your ashtray or whatever gets it started, you know,
right. Window Tint or seatbelt violation
or an outright lie?
Yeah, or just yeah, just a bad cop.
Okay, so, but now, let me ask you a little bit about the whole thing about Donald Trump calling out the military and all of that. I mean, my initial impression with this thing was just I don’t know the exact numbers but I kind of have in my gut an estimation of how much National Guard force the governor Have without any federal help, and it seemed like it’s plenty. And I can’t imagine a situation where you would, you know, really need, you know, US Army to help instill or like maybe if somebody knew St. Louis there’s not like under what circumstances could anyone consider you know actually calling out the military. I wonder if you think that was just a big bluff or what I guess not. You got you got the highest generals and people distancing themselves from it and all this.
Yeah, but Donald Trump is crazy, man. I mean, he when the looting starts, the shooting starts. Are you kidding me? You’re threatening to extra to just extra dude judicially murder people for a suspected property theft. And he’s just
gonna President of the United States.
That’s utter insanity. Like I mean, I’d ever really gave us about any of the Russian conspiracy things against Trump or anything like that. But him him tweeting that out last weekend was, I mean, that’s grounds for that’s grounds for impeachment. That’s grounds for putting them in jail right then and there. I mean, he’s, he’s talking about with removing due process and executing Americans in the street for a misdemeanor crime. That is a that’s unprecedented. No president has ever said that before. And it just shows it just shows to the state of affairs in the land of the free that we have right now that we’re dealing with is it’s utter insanity. And we know that he would have invoked the military. I mean, look what he did just to pay for a photo op, you know, and he cleared the protesters in Lafayette Square and then they the press secretary comes on and says no, we’d never use tear gas and we never, but that was bullshit. Where there was all kinds of people on the ground filming at the time when they were peaceful in Lafayette Square when it’s your grass can’t see your gas canisters came flying. And then they were cleared out with rubber bullets. So the President could walk across the street and take a picture holding the Bible. That’s some that’s some. I mean, I hate to do it invoke the Hitler, you know, analogy but that is some Hitler’s that is that is some that’s crazy off the wall just flexing your might for no other reason but because you can and you’re doing so while doing so you’re trampling the rights of people that were peacefully protesting that Exactly,
yeah. The only difference is he’s so much more of a flake than Hitler. You know. It all just seems so disingenuous. I mean, on the other hand, somebody set fire to that church, man, that’s, you know, this is again, back to the right it’s, you know, it serves discredit to your whole we just want our rights narrative, that when you’re burning down One of the oldest churches in America. And and oh, and the one that all these politicians have gone to, you know, that matters the most to them as symbolic across from the White House 200 year old thing. Yeah, not good. In fact, that might even have been cointelpro stuff right there. That was so bad. You know, I don’t know. Although you can’t sell these leftists short they have plenty of bad ideas.
Yeah, yeah. There’s some crazy stuff going on out there, man. I’m glad not anywhere near me.
But now it was clear, though, right that the riots aren’t gonna last long enough for troops to be called out anywhere. Clearly the Secretary of Defense and the chiefs are going to be telling him No, sir. We’re not putting the arm. We don’t need the army. There’s not a single neighborhood in this country where things are so out of control that the National Guard can’t handle it. Sorry. I mean, we just there’s no need to do it. So and then that’s played out. Right. I guess there’s still some very low level writing in some places, but mostly it’s all given way to peaceful protest. Now correct.
Yeah Yeah, that’s what seems to be going on seems to the mass violence is not mass violence, but the the destruction is looking like it’s taken an optimistic turn for the better for sure.
But I mean, I’ve seen some of these huge marches. I think one was in Philadelphia and San Francisco across the Golden Gate Bridge and some of these things. It’s really something else. And again, everybody’s got nothing to do. Show up to these effects. It’s the only thing they’re allowed to do socially with each other. Right? Otherwise I get a ticket. Or worse get slammed on the curb, you know?
Okay. What are you doing stand in their talk, and you better either protest or set something on fire or I’m taking you to jail.
Oh, man, that’s sad, but true,
man. All right. Well, listen. I meant what I said at the beginning of this thing that I think the freethought project is so important and You ruined my day every day with this thing, man, the afternoon email. I hope everyone will Subscribe to it. As I wrote in my last article for anti war calm and a look. Check out the world from somebody else’s point of view. Here people getting their heads smashed, oftentimes all the way open by the cops every single day in this country and it’s almost unbelievable at set, that it’s still true. And that’s the freethoughtproject.com Thank you again very much, Matt.
Thank you Scott means a lot brother.
Scott talks to Ray McGovern about the June 8th anniversary of the USS Liberty attack, a U.S. ship that was fired on by Israeli forces during the 1967 Six-Day War. The Israelis claimed the attack had been an accident, but evidence at the time—not to mention a more recent investigation—showed that it was really an intentional attack. More than 30 sailors were killed and over 100 injured, yet all the survivors were ordered to keep silent under pain of court martial, and such orders went all the way up to President Johnson. More than anything, says McGovern, this proves just how much influence Israel has always had over our own government. Little has changed to this day. Scott and McGovern also return to the dying “Russiagate” story, which continues to fall apart thanks to recently publicized evidence undermining many of the narrative’s central claims from almost the very beginning. Sadly none of the recent revelations are getting covered with anything close to the fervor that the original story was covered.
Discussed on the show:
- United Nations Resolution 242
- “NSA shares raw intelligence including Americans’ data with Israel” (The Guardian)
- “RAY McGOVERN: Turn Out the Lights, Russiagate is Over” (Consortium News)
- “VIPS: Mueller’s Forensics-Free Findings” (Consortium News)
- “Russia Hoax: Nearly Three Dozen Subpoenas Approved for Obama Administration Officials” (Gregg Jarrett)
- “Inside the fight to reveal the CIA’s torture secrets” (The Guardian)
Ray McGovern is the co-creator of Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity and the former chief of the CIA’s Soviet analysts division. Read all of his work at his website: raymcgovern.com.
The following is an automatically generated transcript.
All right, y’all welcome it’s Scott Horton Show. I am the director of the Libertarian Institute editorial director of antiwar.com, author of the book Fool’s Errand: Time to End the War in Afghanistan. And I’ve recorded more than 5000 interviews going back to 2003, all of which are available at ScottHorton.org. You can also sign up to the podcast feed. The full archive is also available at youtube.com/ScottHortonShow.
All right, so you guys introducing the great Ray McGovern, you know, former CIA co founder veteran intelligence professionals for sanity, regular contributor at consortium news.com and anti war calm and keeps his own website Ray McGovern comm Welcome back, Ray. How are you?
Ray McGovern 0:56
Thanks, guys. Well, how are you?
Scott Horton 0:58
I’m doing great. Listen, writer. On this time every year, I like to interview you and or other people about the Israeli attack on the USS Liberty in 1967. And I know the only thing you like talking about more than that is Russiagate. And even though we just talked about that a couple weeks ago, there are some new developments. But I thought, first of all, you could tell people about the USS Liberty, presumed they’ve never heard of it.
Ray McGovern 1:23
Okay. Exactly. Let’s see, it was 67. So what is that 53 years ago, on this date, June 8, there was a spaceship run by NSA and the Navy off of Israel. And they were collecting communications what was going on because the the war had begun and was about to end. The Israeli said already destroyed. The Air Forces and most of the armies of Syria Jordan And in Egypt, and the question was what else they intended to do. Now on the morning around noon time of June 8 1967. Israeli planes kind of recognize the USS Liberty, which was 19 or 13, I guess, nautical miles off off the Israeli coast near Gaza. And then they came back an hour later and shut it up. No, there’s no question about how whether this was authorized. They know is an American ship was flying a great big American flag and more important we have better ships. were one of the pilots that but this American ship, follow your orders. Now, it’s very clear that they intended to sink the ship which would have meant killing almost 300 people They had torpedo boats there that shot a big big hole in the middle of the USS Liberty. And there was a young Texan named Terry hardbody ga who was one of the sailors and after the Israeli plane said to drop napalm and all kinds of other charges on the deck of the Liberty. Jerry says to Captain mechanical he says captain, I think I’d like to go and try to connect that one antenna that we couldn’t get worked on and remember last week, we couldn’t get it working. This is really just shadow off all the all the other antenna we can’t use them. So request permission to go try to hook up that antenna and mechanical says what do they do? We’re going to swim across that napalm and help helberg jaysus request permission sir permission Granted, he went out with some baling wire and one end of a big electric circuit connected the radar that had not been working and got an SOS out. That SOS was the only reason why 300 crew didn’t perish that day. The Israelis intercepted the SOS and immediately broke off the attack torpedoes. torpedo boats went back to their base and the planes went away. Now Meanwhile, and this is the really sad part of the story. The US naval commander of the air forces there in the Mediterranean, had scrambled his his fighter bombers, and we’re going to the relief of this ship was under attack. Long story short, the commander got a phone call from Secretary Mattis Mr. Who was Secretary of Defense at the time? He said no polos, polos, planes back polos playing back. Now, Admiral was a pretty gutsy guy and he said, Sir, one of my ships under attack, I want to speak to your boss. That would have been Lyndon Johnson. Johnson, he gets on the phone and he says, I want you to pull those, pull those planes back, pull them back immediately. We don’t want this this blemish to go on our on our good friends, our allies. That’s not a direct quote. I don’t have it in my mind anymore. But that was exactly the essence of it. Everyone was scandalized. 34 us Sailors and Marines were killed. 174 were wounded. Even when they try To put lifeboats over the side, the Israeli shut those light boats up. And we’re still when the remainder of them, the survivors got to got to port in Malta and then will flow in half to Athens where there were us hospitals. They were told look, you are not to mention this to anyone. You’re not to mention it to your wife or your child under pain of court martial. You can’t even speak to it to this incident with one another. Whoa. Now, Scott, you want to see PTSD? today talk to one of the survivors of that attack from the US socially I have I I went out for Well, there was one gutsy Congressman, this is worth mentioning. There was a congressman out in the Central Valley of California. His name was Devin newness. I didn’t know him from Adam, but Hurry How to Buy z. The young sailor 23 years old who saved the Liberty by getting it SOS out work from now Devin Nunez learned about this and said well have you been appropriately awarded, rewarded? And now sir, I just glad to be you know, just glad to be alive. So nowness petitioned the Navy, the Navy having done zero, nothing nada Nietzsche or nothing at all to help the Liberty survivors because they were under orders not to so known as it gets this silver Silver Star, I guess it is that is the second highest award that can be given to a hero like carbide, G. And he says, I’m going to give this to him out into bisaya, my my headquarters in the Central Valley, and I live in Tibet. I was on the next plane out there because I know these guys really well, and I got there just in time for the next day. About noontime ceremony where there was a little bit of press there and and nowness personally gave the gave the award. The press was typically Hey, can we can you Terry Can you show us your your flat though? The ones you got front of flack is I can I can show you the flag itself man. shirt, stomach. Well, I won’t even describe it. Anyhow, I learned by having lunch with the those guys have to ceremony, what it meant first to have this happen. Second, they have to fish out their comrades from from where the torpedo struck, and then to be told you are not to mention this to anyone under pain of court martial. Well, they come out from that PTSD, some of them and we’re able to talk about it then we’ve been able to talk about it now. And perhaps Bestival Admiral Moorer. Thomas Moorer, who is actually a pretty big guy, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and Ambassador London, he did a separate investigation and came to the findings, of course, that it was deliberate on the Israeli’s part, and that there’s no no excuse for the timidity on the part of the United States Navy, to follow orders for all these years. To keep this off the radar screen. I used to go to Arlington Cemetery on this day, where those who survived would gather usually about 1012, the actual survivors and their wives. And it was a very sad occasion because many are varied in a sort of a collective grave there. Nobody knows about them. It’s not even well marked. But we go there every year we did at least until well, this year, we’re not we’re not observing this speak well. reserving it, but we’re not going anywhere. So it’s one of those tragedies. And, of course, what’s the lesson there? I mean, the lesson is, well, I mean, let’s, let’s just speak it out. Hmm. The Israelis learned 53 years ago that they could get away with murder. They could get away with murdering deliberately. We had those intercepts. I saw them get deliberately killing USS us sailors and so forth. And of course, this is something that is not allowed to be said these days. But I will, I’ll just say two more things. One is that general Brent Scowcroft, who was the national security adviser to George HW Bush, and for a while Reagan when he saw How George W. Bush and Dick Cheney in subservience to Israel launched an attack on Iraq that had no justification. And the full expectation that the Rockies would meet us with cut flowers and, and welcome is in there. And then what would happen? Well, Chalabi would be in there he’d recognize Israel, Israel, they have nothing to fear from Saddam Hussein anymore. That was not the whole motivation, but it was one third of it. The other third was the oil and the other third was oil, logistics the business about having permanent military bases in Iraq. So what I’m saying here is that Scowcroft in the middle of all this, went to the Financial Times, and he said, Look, you ought to know that area Your own Prime Minister of Israel at the time, quote, he has your prison your president wrapped around his little finger and quote now, Scowcroft was a real stable kind of member of the of the establishment, you know, he would never say anything that he didn’t well plan. And this of course was well planned. What What do you say that? Well, because he was really really ticked off that Bush and Cheney would do this on false pretenses because he knew chapter and verse about you know, being that there be being no Wi Fi or that kind of thing. So, so there you go. You have a very high level person said, Look, this has really gone too far. I’m going to blow the whistle on this. He does have the president wrapped around his little finger. Now, the second and last thing I’ll say is that that was reflecting on My days in Washington I left a year ago. I go live in the boondocks now. But while I was there, I made a made a practice of going not only to lectures where I could ask embarrassing questions, but also, you know, cultural events where every now and then I’d meet some some, my Irish grandmother called muckety muck, okay, a high level guy. So here I am at the Arlington Symphony, and it’s intermission. And I’m walking and my wife says, Ray, that’s that’s Senator Warner. senator john Warner will come out there and, and he was all alone. So I say that Hi. So right out the door there. And I said in order. Yes. You know, you descended into the great big white mane and he was head of the Armed Services Committee in the Senate for about 150 years and he was the guy that let the Defense Department look into Gray ball by itself and come up with him. So, so this is the guy. Okay? So I said he’s my son at the Virginia Beach, Virginia said Okay, so, Sarah Warner. You owe me one. It looks to me. I shouldn’t say it that way. It’s terrible wonder but do you remember when you came to Moscow and 1972 to conclude the incidents at sea agreement together with salt and other things, and you came late to the Bolshoi when we hit Swan Lake there with the Kasabian and Nixon right there. “I Remember that?” Well, nobody had a seat for you. So I even when she first row balcony. “Oh, you’re Norma gurdon and McGovern”, oh, yeah, I have something I really want to let you know is Israel is trying to get us in a war with Iran. I don’t know if you’re aware of that because it’s not in the print. I will show you how to here. Israel is trying to get us into war with Iran. Now, here’s the point of my story. Okay?
Scott Horton 15:05
That’s a great icebreaker remember me from that one time? Let’s talk about Israel. All right.
Ray McGovern 15:10
So, so he’s got his, you know, he’s got his arm, or what’s on my, my biceps, you know, and all of a sudden, I could not get blood going from into into the rest of my body. His hand closed like a vise. It was, it was painful. As soon as I mentioned the word Israel, and he finally he broke it. So somebody he thought he knows Oh, john, y’all come on over here. And you know, was that Well, that was it for me. Now, what’s my point? My point is here, when I was about 80 years old at the time, he achieved all these wonderful things, so to speak, by being part of a system and it nothing to beat Afraid of and yet the mention of the word Israel prompted him probably in voluntarily to kinda freeze up. And and I felt the physical results of that by the fact that blood no longer flowed through my biceps or it was even a holy night and so all I’m saying is that it’s not not possible to relate these stories in in polite polite circles so to speak. I did get a chance to recount some of them at one of those conferences that the what’s that wonderful magazine on the Middle East? The Washington Washington report in the Middle East you were there I think Scott you spoke. So, here we are. Here we are today with Israel, saying is annexing the west bank loan portions of it are in direct contravention to international law on I think was the 23rd of November 119 67. So a couple of months after the Liberty disaster. There was a un resolute Security Council resolution, which said Israel must or must return or give up the territory said it seized in 1967 war. You know that the whole war was a was a hoax. I mean, we know Miko pellets. Mikko pellets father was one of the generals. We go as far as recently written articles. Just confirming what others have said including Prime Minister former prime minister. men often begun, begun said in the New York Times Look, during the speech it was quoted New York Times look at let’s not pretend that we were threatened by the by the Egyptians or me. We weren’t. We chose that time to do what we did know we’re smart people to do that. Now that’s that’s the fact I mean he was deployment is there and being Mikko that his father and confirm that so what we’ve got now is a territory that has been annexed and sort of ruled by by Israel are not quite yet next are not quite yet brought into Israel proper. I’ve been there. I’ve been there a couple of times I see how those people live. And the notion that they will not be given citizenship. Well, he will, we will have an apart we already have an apartheid state. The only problem is since it’s Israel, on which try to apply the same mechanisms like boycott Divestment and Sanctions PDS, we’re trying to do that which we did in South Africa. And that was a miracle. I mean, I never, I don’t know anyone that thought there would be a peaceful, relatively peaceful transition of power in that country. Nobody, and it happened. So now we try to do that with respect to Israel, and my God, all hell breaks loose people are prohibited from speaking at universities that people are called anti semitic. We know what’s going on there. Is apartheid, pure and simple. And some of the folks that were really close to Nelson Mandela have been have been in the West Bank. And you know what they say? They say it’s worse. It’s worse. And apartheid was in South Africa. I mean, that’s saying something. And what do we do? Well, because of this strange hold, that Israeli lobby has on us manifested physically by Senator Warner, my biceps, we, we support them in those outrageous apartheid, racism pure and simple.
Scott Horton 20:11
Alright, well, so let me ask you. And you know, you’ve been around the block a few times worked at the CIA as very high level analysts for 27 years briefing, the President, Vice President and this kind of thing in the 1980s, and all of that. So what is it that they have on Senator Warner? Or what is it that they’re holding over the USA, they promise that they don’t give a damn they’d be happy to drop an H bomb on DC. If we don’t do whatever they say or they’ll prove that our entire Senate is all pedophiles or what?
Ray McGovern 20:43
Well, I think it’s mostly money. Kind of the root of all evil. You know, we have a situation in the US Congress where if is really don’t like you, feels very out. Cynthia McKinney One example of that.
Scott Horton 21:01
Well, no question about that. I mean, we’ve talked a lot about the power of the Israel lobby, but you seem to be hinting that there’s something more to it. I mean, I’m reminded of the Edward Snowden documents. This one was only in The Guardian and never was printed in the New York Times, about how the NSA essentially gives their entire Hall over to the Israelis every day. So the NSA that’s scooping up, everything is handing over everything to the Israelis. So in other words, it could be 435 different things for 435 different congressmen that they’ve got, you know, but they sure know everything about anybody that they’re interested in knowing about no question there.
Ray McGovern 21:47
And I know from very authoritative sources that that begin with one person like Pollard in the NSA, so to doing this all by himself now That is putting a little extra line in so that Israel get everything we have.
Scott Horton 22:07
And so instead of locking that guy up, they just legalized it and made that the policy.
Ray McGovern 22:11
Yeah, yeah, they regularize that. So, yeah, it’s pretty bad. And it’s my Russian tissues to say, this is nothing to laugh. This is nothing to laugh. Why are you laughing? Julio laughing Do not laugh.
Scott Horton 22:26
Funny. It’s they don’t do articles, the Russians.
Ray McGovern 22:29
If we didn’t have two presidents who are former generals, Washington was one. Eisenhower was another who learned specifically about foreign entanglements. The notion of having a passionate attachment of one country to another, which would leave you with the impression that the goals and the objectives of this one country were the same as yours, but Washington saw that and you In his farewell address he spoke out against at the time it was France. Everybody wanted to come to France as a because they went to war with Britain and France helped us a lot. And he doesn’t make any sense. It makes no sense at all.
Scott Horton 23:15
Ray McGovern 23:16
And then, you know, Eisenhower warned also about these things. So
Scott Horton 23:21
Well, that’s a two state thing or the annexation problem here that you’re talking about, you know, as a as your example of the whole that the Israel lobby still hasn’t the Israeli government still has over the us that this is a major change, right. For the last 30 years. They have said, just hold your horses, what really lasts 40 years right since cam David, they said just hold your horses, you’ll get a Palestinian state just give us a little time we’re working on the peace process, you’ll get a Palestinian state. Now they’re essentially no longer pretending they’re annexing so much of the West Bank, or they claim to be about two that it will make that an absolute impossibility. Even For the most self diluted American liberal Zionists to be able to hold these conflicting views in their head, and they’ll have to choose then it’s a major turning point what is to happen to the Palestinians? And how is it when there was a future of independence possible for them? That was the trap, you know, the the escape hatch, essentially, from being accused of that South African apartheid type system that you’re describing, after annexation? There’ll just be no question. You’re talking about 6 million people almost something like that among the Palestinian Christians and Muslims there in the West Bank and Gaza and in East Jerusalem and so. But then, on this side, the point being back to your point, on this side of the oceans here, it’s essentially silence and I know that there’s an epidemic and a protest movement and all these other newsworthy things going Not, but this is essentially going unremarked. No controversy whatsoever. And you would think that this would be incredibly controversial? Because after all, I think it’s super majorities of American Jews support a two state solution and oppose this kind of annexation. And, you know, certainly it’s well within liberal civil rights tradition, to think that the Palestinians deserve a little bit more than absolutely nothing, right? Like if you ask Bernie Sanders to be like, Look, we’ve got to treat these people fairly, you know, that kind of?
Ray McGovern 25:34
Well, you know, the two state solution has been dead for years. The Palestinians have been tricked out and lots of things. Some people consider that their leaders have been naive. Well, there was one who was not so naive. His name was Yes, here, verify. And he was poisoned. He was killed. Who did it? It was very, very, very, very obscure. But I don’t know, one Palestinian or one objective observer of these kinds of things that doubts that Israeli intelligence did that, okay. So without leadership and dispersed as they are, and with the Israeli military machine being given millions and millions, millions, billions actually of arms and money for arms by the United States, the Palestinians hadn’t have had a chance now what’s really interesting to me at least, is that how long How much longer will it be able to say Oh, Israel’s The only democracy or when Mr. Crowley it ma cracy in the Middle East and because you know, you’re gonna you’re gonna end up with more Palestinians and Israelis and then Israelis in what they are expanding to Laban spouse Is what Hitler called it room for expansion. So, these these palaces not going to be able to vote, they’re not going to be citizens. Well, how can you? How can you pretend to be a democracy if you give everybody the vote? Yeah. So that’s really pretty, pretty basic. And it’ll be, you know, be yours. Unfortunately, before this thing works itself out, but the Israelis unless they do mass genocide,
I’m not suggesting that they would.
I would not rule that out.
Unless they do that, they’ll end up with a patently undemocratic country that even the best pundits under Israeli influence and a lot of them are in this country and not be able to pretend that Israel is democracy. Much less that they married, was it $3.8 billion of, of arms support every year from the US Treasury. And they’re trying to increase that now. So you know, we have to get this money out of the out of things because
Scott Horton 28:17
they couldn’t massacre millions of people, but they can put them in boxcars, and ship them all to Gaza, or ship them to the Sinai desert. Or maybe just try to force March them, you know, Andrew Jackson style into the Jordan River and hope they can swim.
Ray McGovern 28:32
Yeah. Well, you know, when you talk about –
Scott Horton 28:34
it does make sense, though. I mean, I’m, you know, and your point that well, what are you going to do with these people? Clearly, the Israelis want that land and do not want those people. And they have the martial ability, in a literal sense to do whatever they want with them. Right.
Ray McGovern 28:50
Yeah. And what what people need to realize is that there are very sturdy Palestinians who are been living in the West Bank forever? Okay. They’re not going to take this sitting down. Now, some of you will remember I had Tommy, who slapped a Israeli soldier and did six months in jail for that. And he came with a hero. I know her I met her, I stated her, her father’s boss him at Tommy’s house. That was three years ago with a Veterans for peace delegation. Why do I say that? I say that because I talked to a father after everyone else who’s been nice advice him. How can you How can you encourage or how can you allow your children to go up there and challenge the wall? You your brother in law was shot by a sniper in the head killed. One of your sons has leg blown off eg he’s crippled. How can you We just did a very dangerous demonstration. We were all tear gassed earlier today. Well, how can you let the kids do this? They looked at me like I was from Mars. He says, “Ray, what’s the alternative? what’s the alternative? Do you want me to tell my children that they have to live under foreign occupiers without protesting? Is that what you’re trying to say to me? There’s no alternative right? I will not restrain my children.” Now later, of course, she must be about 18 or 19 Now she was arrested for slapping the Israeli soldier and her mother was put in jail again as well. But that’s not gonna stop. Moral of the story is that these people have guts that that you wouldn’t believe and powerless as they seem. They have the most Oral authority on their side and as long as the world does not when the world gets out of this COVID-19 tragedy and begins to pay attention again I think there are enough people enough I hope there are enough people in enough countries to put the put the BDS into real effective force and to shame the knighted states into not doing anything further to establish apartheid in Israel.
Scott Horton 31:40
Let’s talk about Russia gate, the worst president in all of American History According to you, which I don’t think there’s any way measures up to Truman or or Wilson or a few others but anyway According to you the worst president united states, he was framed by the FBI counterintelligence division in the CIA for being a traitor under the control of the Kremlin, of all things, which happens to be your speciality. And you never believed it and he defended him from day one, because you’re not a partisan except for the truth. And and so, there have been recent developments even since we last spoke, and you have two new articles at consortium news calm. Turn out the lights Russia gate is over. And memo to the Attorney General, more on Muller’s forensics free findings here, so well go in fact, I’ll say one more thing. I’m actually not sure the original source of this. Oh, I know. Yeah. It’s what’s his name, Greg Jarrett from Fox News says that nearly three dozen subpoenas have been approved for obama administration officials. So I guess they haven’t been delivered yet. That’s like a leak that this is coming. So I don’t know. Anyway, so a possibility that the Durham investigation into the origins of this hoax is developing further. I think it’s one of your articles you quote bar, implying that some people are going to be indicted and punished for their roles in this thing. But anyway, you go ahead and take it from there and say whatever you want for the next half hour.
Ray McGovern 34:33
I was saying to myself, Trump, Barr, Durham, it sounds like a law firm, doesn’t it? Trump barn door Yeah. That’s what
Scott Horton 34:45
sounds like bad guys. But in this case, you know, they’re on the side of riding this one anyway.
Ray McGovern 34:50
I said lawyers. Yeah. You know, there’s that. Let me put it this way. It’s hard for the normal person to understand the ethos of an intelligence analyst. The more so, because CIA is really two units, one is a political one doing covert action and the other, which is the one that was established by Harry Truman established to have one place you could go to to get get the truth, okay, you didn’t want to have the filter of the Pentagon, which always said that the Soviets were 10 feet tall. He didn’t want the State Department to be massaging the truth to show that their policies are working just splendidly. He wanted one place to go, which was answerable only to him, that he would control our careers. And he could say, look, give it to me straight what’s going on here. Okay. Now that became adulterated over the years, and especially over the last 10 years or so. It’s become pretty much impossible for American citizens to believe that they could be an ethos like ours that says, hey, we’re after the truth here. And wherever the chips may fall that does, that’s not our job. We do the truth. Okay. So it was not a matter of defending Trump or anything like that. And you aren’t suggesting that I know. It was a matter of smelling a rat. As soon as people started saying, Russia did, Russia did it Russia did. Russia did while Russia hacked into the DNC and gave those terribly damaging emails, all of them authentic to WikiLeaks. WikiLeaks published them three days before the Democratic National Committee convention and it hurt Hillary. Well, number one. I didn’t get much play at the time because they had already started To say Russia did it Russia did it. Russia did it. And when they were released when they will publish the 22nd of July 2016, three days before the convention, all the headlines were saying, Why did Russia do this? Why did Russia do this? Why did Russia do this? nobody paid any attention to the content of the emails, which clearly showed that the DNC and the Clinton campaign had stolen the nomination from Bernie Sanders, pure and simple. By the way, they rigged the primaries. Bye, bye, bye, everything. Okay. So it worked from the beginning. So give a give a kind of a diversion. Now, their version became an explanation once beyond all expectations. Hillary lost. Okay. Now, what happened then? Well, there are a couple of things that happen then that are really important. People like James comi, head of the FBI, john brennan. The CIA, James Clapper, Ursa phob, from way back head of the National Intelligence set up, they did everything they could, before the election to make sure that Hillary won and the Trump lost. It’s very simple. It’s in the record. Just look at the template. The texts exchanges between Peter struck of the FBI and his paramour, Lisa Paige, who I will note is now a big judicial commentator on msnbc. My God, anyhow, all right. Look at those texts, exchanges. It’s very, very clear. They tried to sabotage Trump and help Hillary now it didn’t work. But oh, wait a second. Wouldn’t it didn’t work they realized oh, my god. We were so confident that Hillary is gonna win that we didn’t hide our tracks. Oh my god. Oh, what’s going oh, this guy friends coveted He knows where the bodies are buried. Oh my God he’s got so what I’m saying here Scott is that a lot of the reasons for Russia gate to wish I like Russia gate one was before the election okay Russia gate to the after the election were to make sure that they could they could hide their tracks ex post facto which is human I know isn’t that really possible in this day and age and make sure that they didn’t get found out instead you lead your best defenses and offense and that’s what you do. Now, one big question these days is how much did Obama know?
Wow. That’s a legitimate question. Why do I say that? Is McGovern against Obama? No. Government is it against anybody? He’s not for anybody either. is for the facts. Okay, now on the second of September 2016 Lisa page The top lawyer who worked for deputy FBI Director, McCabe texted her friend or lover. Peter struck and said, My God, I’m preparing. Preparing talk, talking points. POTUS. POTUS is president of the United States. So POTUS wants to know everything we’re doing. And, quote, wow. POTUS wants to know everything we’re doing the second of September 2016. Hmm. That’s pretty persuasive evidence that what that Obama wanted to do. Okay. And then there’s also indications from how Obama acted on the fifth of January just before Trump took office. How are you authorized clapper Brennan, and call me to go ahead with this steel dossier exposure to the president elect himself. How Komi did the deed by telling them Mr. Brennan and Mr. Clapper, you would need to leave now because I have something very, very delicate to raise with the president elect. And so he says to, to Trump, he says Now, Mr. Trump, we have this is terribly awkward. We have this dossier. And it shows that well, we really can’t prove it. We can’t it’s not uncorroborated, but it shows that you were or you were messing with prostitutes in Moscow in all manner of other things. Just so you know, that just Just so you know, because we think the press is gonna gonna have it and so just so you know, now, if I were Trump, Trump was a new new newbie here in Washington. If I were Trump, I would have said, Thank you very much, Mr. Comey. I direct you right now to go back to the Bureau. clean out your desk. Don’t show your face in my presence anymore. You’re out of there as soon as I become president on the 20th of January, just a couple weeks from now. Okay, get out of here. I know that trick as JFK that’s as Jagger Hoover on steroids For God’s sake. It happens to every every incoming president every president elect, so don’t try to pull that stuff. I mean, instead, it was Trump do. Yeah, it does the real estate stuff from New York. Yeah. I can cajole this guy. I could get him on my side. I could show him at a great man I hit so he plays around with me for months and months and finally has the firearm. So that’s what’s at stake here. Now. comi Brennan, and clapper have all been named not only by the Attorney General bar, but by the President himself. And the President is his has said in an interview. Let me get this right here. Things keep going the way they’re going. I have a chance to destroy the deep state. Whoa, well, now, if things keep going the way they were going, he said that before all these terrible things having to do with the riots about race. That’s a big diversion. COVID-19 is another big diversion. Right now. Trump is at a low point. As I see it, he’s lost all manner of support, except by his most rabid supporters. He has a choice. And this is the choice that I see. He’s got the good sunny skies, as I said, it didn’t, you know, they, they were so sure that Hillary is gonna win. That James Comey admits that in his book, he says, and I quote
I was operating in an environment in which Hillary Clinton was should be our next president. Period, end quote. So if you’re operating in that kind of environment, you got to take all manner of liberties with the law, the constitution and regulations and I’m gonna be indicted for you’re gonna be promoted or allowed to stay in your job is that guy. So, it all it all makes very good sense that this is how they proceeded but now now the evidence is available to john bright john Durham was the US Attorney in Connecticut. It’s a vailable to a district to a US Attorney named bashes looking into these disclosures about who, who asked people to be unmasked. And so it’s all come to a head. Now the question is, this is the This is the worst possible time for Trump to claim some credibility. I mean, everybody hates him. Colin Powell is gonna vote against them. Everybody and his brother thinks he’s, so what was he going to do? Now? You need a psychiatrist to figure this out. But there’s a really good one. His name is just the Frank. He used to do some psychological assessments for us at the CIA. We call them arm’s length or distance psychological assessments. And I wrote them last night so Jessie, for God’s sake, not another book, not another book about bush on the couch or Trump on the couch. What we need now is an assessment what’s what’s Trump gonna do? push us come to shove here? Is he gonna let that he’s gonna let dorm let it all hang out and indict call me Brennan clapper. Maybe even less That Loretta Lynch that the attorney general former, or is he going to cave? Or was he going to do well, what is it in a desperate frame of mind like this? There’s no telling way so some people make a my do a false flag operation or whatever they call it a wag the dog operation in Venezuela or in yarn. But I think it’s much more likely that he’ll have to either bite the bullet on this with he called these guys vicious people, this deep state, you know, I hate to agree with but they are And not only that, but they have lots of chips to call in, and lots of people who are involved with them, they know what the story is. So bottom line for me is that if he goes ahead and does the gutsy thing Hmm, I’d say only 49% then it’s good to meet with the kind of resistance That the deep state can mount and that’s going to be formidable. All the more so since they have the complete mainstream media at their beck and call, so there’ll be a Donnybrook. If he does that, if he doesn’t do that, then as a as a person. And this sounds funny, but I’m gonna say it anyway, as a person who has taken only one solemn oath and that is to support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic. That constitution will not be in the same shape that it was before Trump, because the deep state security state will have one will have shown its power and any incoming president will be treated to the same core sort of level. We have this dossier Mr. President Elect, and we’ll have to couch out to these very, very powerful forces to keep wars going. Give Israel billions of dollars that do all manner of things to keep the American people as malnourished and as oppressed, as most of our people are. So the, the, the stakes are really, really high. And I’m hoping that my friend, Dr. Frank, just the Frank will come in and say, you know, he’s likely to my gift best guess without having him on the couch physically, is that he’s likely to do this. So that and just these been right in the past. We need to we need to draw on all professional resources, in this case, psychiatry to figure out how Trump is going to react because he’s in a corner now is get something really good going for him. That is the facts on Russia gate. But if he puts that into play, you
Scott Horton 48:54
I mean but you know what, even if Trump says to bar, you tell Durham I want to see this thing. Through the hard way, they might not go along with that. You know, he’s not really in control of that. And Durham has already proven his usefulness to the CIA. I wouldn’t know why. to assume that his job is anything here but to cover for them just as he did in the torture and murder scandal of the Bush years.
Ray McGovern 49:20
Yeah, that was well, actually that was Obama that.
Let Well, yeah. torture and scandal the Bush years, but it was Obama. Obama era cover up. Yeah.
We did cover up. Yeah. Well, we’ve had this conversation before.
Scott Horton 49:34
That’s an important point, too. He covered up the Bush era torture and murder scandal for Barack Obama. So yeah, that’s a bit of nuance with some import there and seems like
Ray McGovern 49:47
you and I agree completely that Durham will do what he’s told. Okay. Now, Obama told him to let these guys off even though the evidence was just horrendous, the accurate and clear. Now, we’ll bar well bar is going to do in my view what Trump tells him to do and if Trump tells him as I fear look you know this these are big fish these are these are what he calls them a really bad people bad cops vicious vicious was the word he used well they are so if he says the bar luck we have a couple of lawyers that falsified evidence. We get get these medium guys at the medium levels and let’s just fold Fold the thing up, then my guess is that I would be shocked if far So no, no, no, no, we gotta get these guys. Now he’ll say yes, yes, Mr. President, and you tell tell them to knock it off. That’s what happened last time. I just don’t think that see Obama was scared but he is He was riding pretty high, having just won the election. Trump is scared, but he’s riding really, really low. So the question is where they’ll go ahead and do what nobody expects him to do. And there’s hold these people accountable. And if he does that, it’s going to be real Donnybrook. And you know, I started on the Constitution. We care about the constitution and when we see liberties being taken with it by the likes of Comey and clapper and Loretta Lynch, for God’s sake and Brennan, we feel strongly about that. And, you know, last time I checked, our oath has no expiration data. Okay. And I don’t mean that track quarterly. I often think of a good friend of mine. His name was Dave ob. He was head of House Budget Committee for many, many years. And he he teared before George or George Shultz. was ordered to appear before ob on Iran Contra. Because of course, there were all kinds of violations of the law having to do with weapons being delivered to to Iran. Okay. So this is late in the Iran Contra thing and Schultz made the mistake of saying, you know, missed ob, with all due respect. I’m a little tired and the American people are tired of all this. And cook in dico Dave ob says Mr. Secretary, Phillips was Secretary of State. As the Secretary. I didn’t take a solemn oath to support and defend the Constitution United States against all enemies foreign and domestic until I got tired. Well, that’s the way we look at it and veteran intelligence professionals who say it’s for sanity. We were trained, and we were encouraged We were paid by the American people to tell the truth. And no matter how, Which Way, the Truth cuts, we continue to do that. And
Scott Horton 53:11
not to tell the truth to us, but to tell the truth to the people in the White House at least, right?
Ray McGovern 53:16
Scott Horton 53:18
don’t tell me that they paid you to tell the truth to the American people, right?
Ray McGovern 53:22
No, no, no, no. You have to tell
Scott Horton 53:25
Bob Perry might have paid you to tell the truth of the American people. But that’s different. Yeah,
Ray McGovern 53:30
you don’t make no mistake. What we’re trying to do here is substitute for the stuff you get in the mainstream media, which is a bunch of garbage. And the thing is that Russia gate is already too big to fail, so to speak. So many people are are committed to the fable. People from lindsey graham to Jimmy Carter, for God’s sake, you know, I mean, so Even though one slice of that, namely collusion has petered out because of what Muller was able to do. The other thing which Muller either was not well was not, did not do is to say the whole thing, Russian hacking of the DNC was a hoax. And maybe that’s the end. And on this note here, we have, let’s see what’s today, the eighth of June now, exactly a month ago, on the seventh of May. documents were revealed regarding testimony before the House Intelligence Committee, headed at that time by Conway who is substituting for newness, and the ranking member was Adam Schiff we all know. Now Adam Schiff is the head of CrowdStrike CrowdStrike was the firm picked and paid for by the Democratic National Committee. Just as Christopher Steele was picked and paid for by the Democratic National Committee, they were the ones that call me Let do the forensics on the so called Russian hack the DNC. FBI didn’t do this forensics. No, no, they prefer to give it to this firm hired by the DNC itself. Hmm. Okay. So now, Sean Henry, who is the head of CrowdStrike, testified before that House Intelligence Committee on the fifth of December 2017. So are we talking in two and a half years ago? Okay. What do you say? Well, here’s newness. Mr. Henry, can you tell us the date that the Russians hacked into the DNC? What would that have been? Henry Sean Henry, head of CrowdStrike With his lawyer, he says, Well, my counsel advises that we have no evidence that there was exfiltration of the DNC documents exfiltration fancy word for hacked. We sometimes says Henry, we have very good evidence, we know exactly what happened. But this time, we have no concrete evidence.
Scott Horton 56:25
It’s interesting, isn’t it, Ray that his lawyer made him tell the truth about that. I wonder why? Because he could have just kept lying about it and saying, well, I can’t show you because we don’t have it anymore. But trust us or something, right, but
Ray McGovern 56:37
well, it has something to do with being under oath.
Scott Horton 56:41
I guess so. Yeah.
Ray McGovern 56:43
So that’s, that’s the So you mentioned all these subpoenas going out? Well, Lindsey Graham is still trying to persuade most of his committee to let him do what what’s his name the Senator from from Illinois has already done that is issued dozens of subpoenas so it’s all going to be done over the coming weeks but in my view at VB people really are tired of this now nobody’s gonna pay attention anymore especially with the virus going around and the the disturbances having to do with killing blacks. So I don’t know how that’s gonna fall out but they do have the chairs in these committees. And now Johnson has his name the Senator Johnson from from Illinois. He’s got he’s got a homeland security purchase. Okay, so he can do this and when lindsey graham will do the same, but Graham GOT GOT Rosen Stein who is the acting Attorney General for a while, he got him to admit that he never would have proved last face applications if he knew now, if you know that anybody knows now, and then McCabe is here. No, no, he’s lying. So it’s gonna be who’s Said I he said she said or he said he said he said and then Lisa page will come in and read and visit MSNBC and say well now I said he said, so it’s going to be a little little tedious. I think the question is dorm was supposed to report around now, like April May is what? What Barr originally said. Now it’s June. What’s going to happen? Is he just gonna kind of go longer and then let it be seen as a pure political ploy employed by Trump to win the election. That’s that’s the danger. I say. There’s enough evidence out there to close the damn thing. And so make sure that those who are clearly indicted or indicted, Barr threatens to do that. Trump threatens to do that to whether they have the guts to do it is another question and then whether they have the ability to do it. If you had another question, and again, I come down on the side of the Constitution, if these people violated the Constitution, which is very clear to me that they did they need to be held accountable. Otherwise, every incoming president will be faced with the same kind of situation.
Scott Horton 59:17
Yeah. Hey, listen, I mean, Dave Smith said this, I thought it was great that the seriousness of this scandal of the fake Russia hoax and the false accusations by these cops and spies against first, a major party candidate for president, then the president elect and the President himself after being sworn in that it is as big as the claims were, if it had all been true. Essentially, their accusations of his treason, were treason. They were acting, they’re so far out of their legitimate authority to have done what they did. That is essentially equal to the scandal if the whole story had been true.
Ray McGovern 1:00:06
Yeah, I agree I wouldn’t use treason I would use sedition. It’s it’s a little bit more precise in what they did. And since I’m against the death penalty, although I might make an exception in these cases, treason carries the death penalty. sedition doesn’t
Scott Horton 1:00:26
either banishment in exile. I think that is more fitting. He sees all their family’s property and you kick all of the Brennan’s out of America permanently, you know, down to the second cousins.
Ray McGovern 1:00:39
I think Belmarsh sounds a little better. maximum security prison in London. Julian should be laid out. These guys should be put in.
Scott Horton 1:00:51
That sounds fair. You know what they still have a prison down at Guantanamo Bay. I think John Brennan might know little something about that. His CIA murdered three men down there.
Ray McGovern 1:01:04
Yep. And we know that but you know obama. I have to say that from the very start, I saw that Obama had a very strange relationship with john brennan. And it began, actually, as he started to be a candidate, he was still a senator. Okay. And he was a progressive senator or so he thought. And he made a big deal about this illegal eavesdropping, which was going on note this even before 911 but then when on steroids, okay, these are the telephone calls and all that kind of stuff. All right, so so Obama comes out and says, I am against holding these mega corporations, these, these big telephone and internet corporations harmless, they violated the law. They’re going to pay the price. I’m voting For this, this bill that says they’re going to be they’re going to be held accountable. Oh, that was that was May June 2012 2008, I guess right. When was he elected? 2008? Yeah. Okay. So what happens? Oh, john brennan joins his team. And in late June, Obama says I changed my mind on those on holding those mega corporations, telecoms, countable nouns I think they should be held harmless. I said to myself, what kind of guy is this? And I wrote about it at the time. I said, Look, you know, I’m an intelligence officer. I see a real rad here. Let’s be on guard. This guy does not deserve our support. is going to be this malleable in the hands of I didn’t know whom at the time, but it was at precisely that time. burnin join his campaign. Then, you know another telling thing was when the Senate Intelligence Committee to its great credit, completed a four year study on CIA torture. What did Obama do? Well, they looked away when john brennan had his goons go into the senate computers, talk about separation of powers. They went into the senate computers. Okay. And then, when it became clear that the Senate investigators persisted, and that wonder of wonders Dianne Feinstein was really supporting her staff. What did he do? He sent his chief of staff to every one of those meetings that they had to declassify or to get this out of the reporter and his chief of staff every one of those meetings. Then at the very end he pleaded with Feinstein Hey, get john carried away in with all those senators No, no, don’t do this would be a terrible thing. And Feinstein persisted. And I think the way she got got it done was she said, lay on this fellow out there and Colorado. That senator, Mark, What’s the name? can take any sec, but he likes this rebid for re election and he feels real strongly about this. And he’s going to read the report from the Senate floor. If you don’t publish it, it’s all redacted. just publish it. And Obama said, Oh, darn, sorry, john. Sorry, john. We have to report so what am I saying? I said, What What in the world would compel Obama to defend Brennan from these horrendous horrendous practices? You know, it was very clear people need to read that executive summary. It was awful. What happened? Why Why was Obama So? So fastidious, so, so compelled to defend Brennan on that? I’ll say one more thing. There’s a fella named Spencer Ackerman. He’s a journalist. He used to be better than he is now but he was really really good and telling the story of how this one investigator and his co workers they’re working for Dianne Feinstein, close this thing to, to reach completion. Most things like it do not. And he wrote a three part series for The Guardian. You should look it up Ackerman a ck he or ma n. Spencer, first name, a really good trio of articles are showing, showing how Obama was was so obsequious to Brennan. And so why is that? I don’t know. But it’s there. And now Now we have to ask the question. You know, when when Trump said Obama gate I said, Oh, no. No, no. Why? Because Trump said there is an Obama gate, and it’s automatically automatically dismissed. Because he came out of the the mouth of Trump. So, you know, I mentioned before Lisa page saying, the President wants to know, everything we’re doing. Well, I mean, that’s a little bit more than just circumstantial evidence, in my view. And that’s one reason why Obama is out on the hustings now. Talking about Oh, god, yes. Yesterday talked about the equivalent of Trump Oh, yeah, bro. The bromance before between Trump and Putin talked about
Scott Horton 1:06:45
Obama said that. See ya. Oh, can you believe that?
Ray McGovern 1:06:50
Yeah, the bromance and what was the other thing he said? It was equally bad. So you know,
Scott Horton 1:06:57
you know what, back to what you’re saying about the investigation here. Why are they taunting him? You know what I mean? Like, if anything is gonna solidify Trump’s determination to see the very worst done here in the best sense. I mean, it would be something like Obama waving a red flag at him. You know what I mean? That’s completely crazy.
Ray McGovern 1:07:20
Yeah, I’m saying I’m saying that Obama has a dog in this fight. Okay. And he’s just like the others mounting an offense offensive here at a time when Trump is at a new low, deservedly so. And
Scott Horton 1:07:38
still bad strategy man. He should wait till he knows if his people are going to be indicted or not before he starts defending himself too much like that, you know?
Ray McGovern 1:07:47
Yeah. So, it’s gonna be it’s gonna be interesting. And, you know, I’ve been talking about a constitutional conflict. For years now, but now there will be one or there won’t be one. If there is one, it’s going to be really, really important how it comes out. If there isn’t any Well, that’s worse, because that will mean that every president that comes in will be treated to something like Chuck Schumer’s warning. Remember, on the third of January 2016, Chuck says to Rachel Maddow, Rachel, I got it got interesting thing to tell you so. So they go on the show. And she says, Now, Chuck, you said you had something interesting about about President Elect Trump? And Schumer says yes, Rachel. I used to. I used to think he’s a was a very smart businessman. He would he would pick his quarrels, but he said something very, very stupid. Rachel. Oh, what would that be Chuck? He’s taken on the intelligence community. And they have six ways from Sunday to get you there. Always very, very foolish. Ah, thanks, Chuck. Now, third of January 2017, what happened the day after? Well, on the fifth is when Obama was briefed by The Three Musketeers Brennan clapper and call me about this dossier that they had on Trump. And should we give him the dossier together with this assessment? this so called intelligence community assessment, which pretty much will, which concludes that pitching helped the president elect to become the president elect. And should we give them the dossier? Yeah, go ahead, give them the dossier. And that’s when that little scenario that I spelled out before it took place on the sixth the next day. So you have Schumer and the third Okay, warning. Pretty, pretty clearly what’s going to happen if you take on the intelligence can You have the fifth Obama said, Okay, go get them. Okay. On the sixth they brief Trump as president elect, not only on this assessment, which says he wouldn’t be president if it weren’t for the help from poaching, but also, we have this dossier. It’s very scarless. It’s not corroborated, but it’s out there. Just so you know, Mr. President elect, just so you know.
Scott Horton 1:10:27
Yeah. Nice little pretext. And then well, we got to report it now because now that it’s been he’s been confronted with it, we have a hook.
Ray McGovern 1:10:37
Scott Horton 1:10:37
and build on that, just like they did with Mike Flynn where clapper told David Ignatius at the post, take to kill shot. So Ignatius writes something in the post and then the FBI says, Oh, look, a pretext for us to go interview Flynn about that thing we read in the post.
Ray McGovern 1:10:54
Yeah. You know, the challenges to make this intelligible to the normal citizens. And now I think your listeners are certainly up to it. But there are certain things that jump out at you and need to be made as simple as possible. And that’s that’s what we’re struggling with now. Our latest that I’m talking about veteran intelligence professionals for Saturday. Our latest was a follow up to a to a memo we sent to bar a month after he took office. The date was March 13 2019. So a month after he took office, we tell him at the time Look, Marlon is going to give you this report, and it’s going to have zero forensics. So, this is nine days before we got that report. Okay. We said so, so please take a look at it and see if it has, if it has zero forensics, it is ipso facto, incomplete report, okay. Give them an incomplete mark and mark the fact that there has zero forensics, we called our memo, the forensics free report by Muller. This was before he gave it okay. And so we rehearse that just last couple days ago, when we did a follow up and we said, Look, you know, not not only will we write about that, but now this proof. And if you read the New York Times this zero proof, it’s been a month, a whole month, since the head of trice, CrowdStrike testified, there was no hack of the DNC, none, not by Russia, not by anybody. And Mr. Mr. Barr, if you’re unaware, you need to know first that you have the the horse’s mouth saying that they had CrowdStrike. And you need to know secondly, that no one who reads the New York Times or its derivatives knows this. So just so you know, Mr. Mr. Barr,
Scott Horton 1:12:58
and that is so important. They knew that, you know, they knew before they ever started the Muller investigation that Oh, the Papadopoulos thing. Yeah, though now that doesn’t really add up and the page thing Yeah, no, we know that CIA says he actually works for us. And he’s all right. And the Mike Flynn and the phone call. Yeah, he was asking them for a favor. They said, No, no collusion there. And they knew all that before they ever started. That before Rosenstein ever turned the thing over to Bob Muller to even begin this investigation. And then as you say, what, nine months after that in December of Trump’s first year, you have the guy from CrowdStrike admit that? Yeah. We have no evidence that the Russians got these files. Yeah, sorry if we might have led anybody to believe otherwise. And then that was it and then they kept the thing going for another year and a half after that, through your midterm elections in 2018. Until the late spring, early summer 2019 did they finally admit that they had nothing at all, and they knew they had nothing before they began. They’re just dragging the whole thing out just as a smear job, you know, you gotta admire it in a way in terms of cointelpro Ops, you know, taken on the Black Panthers by writing letters and other men’s handwriting or whatever, that’s one thing, but taken on the president this way, it’s, it’s quite an accomplishment. I mean, they failed, but it’s, it’s still you know, for for the the level of art that they mounted here. And it was it’s pretty substantial.
Ray McGovern 1:14:41
The big difference, Scott, I would suggest between then and now is that now the entire mainstream media has bought into this fable to the point where american people don’t have a chance To know what’s going on. Really and truly, these are bright people who are interested in the truth, but they have been so conditioned to believing that the Russians hacked the DNC that I have some of my old buddies up there in New York I went to college with they just can’t deal with it.
Scott Horton 1:15:20
That’s true. I mean, all these new developments they don’t get coverage on CNN, they don’t get a thing. There’s not a big headline in the New York Times. Turns out that after all, they knew that they were lying. Oops, no, no come up. It’s just like with Iraq, hell, just like with Syria no admission that they were ever wrong about any of it. And so this keep rolling on and as you say, yeah, people who aren’t exposed to mostly right wing partisan media, they don’t ever even get to hear this stuff. Other than you know, if you read Greenwald or a couple other you know, Matt Taibbi or a couple of Aaron Mata Of course, on the left, but other than that, certainly not on TV. They never frame it this way that hey, that one narrative, it turns out, it really wasn’t true. After all, they never came clean even when the Mueller report came out. They were still just trying to cherry pick things to say they were right. Mostly, you know.
Ray McGovern 1:16:10
Yeah. You know, Scott, it’s all terribly reminiscent of the weapons of mass destruction. And as consequential I would suggest, well, not not. I take that back. There’s Bedlam in the Middle East now. But you know, there were a few of us that were right, in saying there weren’t any weapons of mass destruction, that Colin Powell was lying through his teeth, he to emerge to yesterday to have his word. And nobody, and nobody really kind of fessed up but there was one exception and this is worth recording, the head of the editorial section of the Washington Post, Fred Hiatt. He’s been in place 20 years, count them 22 zero years. Okay. Well, after the debacle on iraq where there were no weapons of mass destruction, he was asked at the Columbia Columbia Journalism Institute, the one that puts out that report. Tell me, Mr. Hyatt, tell me what you kept saying that there were weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. How do you how do you explain that? This is what I had said. We did assert it as flat fact. And if we’re wrong, we probably shouldn’t have said it. No, no, no Bob Perry cover to this. No, that’s a cardinal facet of journalism. If it’s wrong, you probably shouldn’t say. So,
Scott Horton 1:17:56
Ray McGovern 1:17:57
what I was going to say is there was one answer Remember that fellow may who did all the investigations for a whole year afterwards, given a billion dollars to find those weapons of mass destruction? Well, they finally reported I think was the spring of probably 2005 or four, that there weren’t any any could verify they tracked it all down when I happen to be out in Detroit speaking to the editorial board of the was that detroit news and they used to have a really good paper out there. The main major Detroit paper there, I’ll remember name in a second. So Wow, were they welcoming me, the whole board and others came around and said, How do you explain this? There’s no weapons of mass the trick. They were. They were physically disheveled. And, you know, they hadn’t been reading my stuff, of course. So I laid it all out for them. Do you know what the editor of the editorial page did? He apologized two days later. He apologized to his readers. And he suggested that other major newspapers do the same. Because this was a terrible mistake, and how could they have been so, so reckless and just repeating this garbage now? Oh, it was nice that I had that opportunity to take them through that. But there was no other newspapers. It said that. The toy I can’t remember the name of it. But anyhow, what I’m saying is here, nobody paid any price. Fred Hyatt is still head of the editorial section of the washington post at the you know, except for that one, Judy Miller, who sort of disappeared somewhere. Nobody paid price. Not David Sanger, not all those other new york times people who
Scott Horton 1:19:48
Michael Gordon, he’s at the Wall Street Journal now.
Ray McGovern 1:19:51
And they’re the same guys that are playing this leading role in Russia gate. So you would think that Americans might have a chance to look did all this but trying to make a living trying to put food on the table you kick your your slippers off and you watch fox nosy you don’t really learn an awful lot alone. I guess you can learn as much from fox news these days as the others given even though it’s it’s slanted one way or the other.
Scott Horton 1:20:18
Yeah. All right. Well listen, I better cut you off here. We’re at an hour 20 and I want people to want to listen to this thing. I love talking to you. Right? We could do this all afternoon if you were an austenite.
Ray McGovern 1:20:30
But I enjoyed Scott and keep up the good work, man.
Scott Horton 1:20:33
Okay, good deal, man. Talk to you again very soon. Thanks, Ray.
Ray McGovern 1:20:36
That’s great. I know.
Scott talks to David Stockman about his latest article on the economic fallout from the coronavirus lockdowns. Stockman begins by pointing out a startling fact: though the stock market has now returned to all-time highs, the American job numbers are back down to where they were in the year 2000. This economic bloodbath, he insists, is not the effect of the virus at all—it is simply the result of a forced shutdown that never needed to happen. Why, then, are financial markets doing so well? Only because the Federal Reserve has printed nearly $3 trillion in new money in under three months, says Stockman, which they’ve used to directly monetize debt. As usual, this kind of heavy-handed intervention in the economy can delay the inevitable crash for a little while, but it is sure to make it more painful when it eventually comes around.
David Stockman is the ultimate Washington insider turned iconoclast. He began his career in Washington as a young man and quickly rose through the ranks of the Republican Party to become the Director of the Office of Management and Budget under President Ronald Reagan. After leaving the White House, Stockman had a 20-year career on Wall Street. He is the author of Trumped!, The Triumph of Politics, and his history of the financial crisis, The Great Deformation: The Corruption of Capitalism in America.
Danny Sjursen discusses America’s absurd Afghan War strategy for the last nearly two decades. Sjursen served in Afghanistan during the Obama surge, seeing firsthand the utter futility of America’s attempt to conquer and rule a country that for centuries has been the graveyard of empires. Scott and Sjursen are hopeful that President Trump will follow through on some of his rhetoric and instincts and actually try to end this war, though they realize how difficult it will be even for a president who seems ready to leave, given all the entrenched interests that would like to stay forever.
Discussed on the show:
- “SIGAR: The Boys Who Cry About Actual Wolves” (Antiwar.com Original)
- “Red Dawn (1984)” (IMDb)
Danny Sjursen is a retired U.S. army major and former history instructor at West Point. He writes regularly for TomDispatch.com and he’s the author of “Ghost Riders of Baghdad: Soldiers, Civilians, and the Myth of the Surge.” Follow him on Twitter @SkepticalVet.
The following is an automatically generated transcript.
All right, y’all welcome it’s Scott Horton Show. I am the director of the Libertarian Institute editorial director of antiwar.com, author of the book Fool’s Errand: Time to End the War in Afghanistan. And I’ve recorded more than 5000 interviews going back to 2003, all of which are available at ScottHorton.org. You can also sign up to the podcast feed. The full archive is also available at youtube.com/ScottHortonShow.
All right, you guys introducing Danny Sjursen. Again, a regular writer for antiwar.com and a lot of other places too. He wrote the book Ghost Riders of Baghdad, and of course was in the Iraq surge and the Afghan surge both And so yeah, anyway. Welcome back to the show. How you doing, Danny?
Danny Sjursen 1:01
I’m great, man. Thanks for having me.
Scott Horton 1:03
Yeah, happy to have you here. Hey, listen, um, would you give us a short rundown of the different places where you are writing these days? We try to publish everything republish everything linked to everything we can at antiwar.com but Eric complains that he just can’t keep up we have a de luge of Danny Sjursen and pieces constantly. And you’re doing more and more radio interviews and this and that kind of thing all over the place too, which is great. But where can people find your writings on a regular basis, sir? Well, you know so first of all, my website skeptical that calm is a pretty good place just to grab everything that comes in. But you know, since truth dig fell apart. That was my other regular weekly column. I’ve branched out even more so monthly. I’m at Tom dispatch. I’m pretty regular at popular resistance, which is kind of picking up some of the truth dig mantle. Mother Jones more recently. You
Danny Sjursen 2:00
You know that as well as common dreams and other other spots, I’ve really kind of been thrown my work a lot of different places. And I also work with something called the independent media Institute. And what they do is, I don’t know, kind of like syndicate in the left, Alt left circuits. So it’s actually difficult to say where stuff’s gonna show up. But uh, but those are sort of my regulars. But if you check out the site, pretty much everything kind of bumps over there. And it’s, it’s a decent PR, you know, it’s kind of gathering ground but it’s, it’s a busy world and you know, how it works. You know, if, if, if Jake Tapper won’t invite you on, and the New York Times won’t hire you then, you know, you kind of piece it all together and get out where you can, you know, yep. And yeah, it is a good idea to keep your own site where you republish everything there for safekeeping because even an institution like truthdig might fly by night. And so, you know, by the way, I mean, is the site still up? Did we have your archives or the whole thing is just gone now or what?
So the archives are up and I checked on that, actually, Eric from anti wars recommendation because I wrote so much stuff there, including the history book, although that’s mid publication now, but
Scott Horton 3:11
yeah, it’s Wait, what about the history is what publication now?
Danny Sjursen 3:15
Oh, yeah. So So I wrote that 38 part history United States are truthdig based on my kind of like my lectures at West Point. That’ll be publishing with steer fourth press out of New Hampshire, lost early next year. So you have already contracted for that. We’re kind of in the editing right now. But luckily, the editing won’t be as, hopefully as bad as it is for most books, especially since this one’s gonna be like 700 pages. Because it went through that pretty extensive editing with Tom Caswell over at truth, who’s kind of like, you know, been in the business forever. So, but yeah, that’s coming out, but the truth is, stuff is still up. But when you click on the site, it says like that they’re on a hiatus, but the truth is that we all got pink slipped with no notice even those of us who didn’t sign on to the work dispute or the labor spew. And so it’s funny how sometimes the proprietor of a liberal progressive site doesn’t necessarily live out some of those values when it comes to business. But that’s a whole other issue. And people like Chris Hydros are better to speak to that, because they were more involved. But it’s been drama of course.
Scott Horton 4:17
Yeah. All right. Well, anyway, I’m glad to know that your archives are there. And I’m really happy to hear that you’re making a book out of that history series. That’s really great stuff. So and sorry, my levels, everybody. It’s this new board. It’s got no compression on it and no insert hole for my compressor. So the volume on the way it’s working. Anyway. See is way up in the red or it’s way too quiet. goddamn thing. Anyway. So I should ask you about, there’s so many different articles you’ve written lately, but I want to focus on Afghanistan, this thing that you wrote for anti war.com about SIGAR, the boys who cry about actual wolves. And so as I mentioned, you know, a thing or two about The Afghan war having helped lose it. So. And I just love in here, the way you get into the parallels with Obama and Gorbachev and all that, but first of all, tell people about SIGAR. And you know what you’re talking about 47th time’s the charm and all this in here.
Danny Sjursen 5:18
Yeah, I mean, I’ve been writing about Sega for a while. So yeah, SIGAR is the Special Inspector General for Afghan reconstruction. And around the time Obama was coming office, you know, you know, a, sort of like the last quarter of a congress mandated the creation of this and, you know, they were supposed to look into like fraud, waste and abuse and, you know, investigate themselves, you know, so he’s great when the government investigates itself. I mean, in practice, you know, the concepts, not the worst one, you know, in terms of what the war in Afghanistan has been about, and how, you know, we’ve been lied to So the interesting thing about SIGAR is that, you know, look, they’re polite, or they’re owned by the government, whether they’re say they’re independent or not, right. So They’re polite, and their language is Washingtonian. But if you read the reports, and I’m a geek and I read rather quickly, so I’ve read most of them over the last at least two years, they actually have a lot of truth in them. And and they do raise some alarm. And recently, they’ve even gotten a little flippant and some of their language specifically because around 2017, and we’ll get into this the government, the Pentagon, the administration started classifying pretty much every single metric that would tell us how the war is going, as it relates to security, like Taliban attacks, and the, you know, the progress and abilities of the Afghan local security forces and their equipment, which is particularly important because we are being told, you know, all of Vietnamization Nixon, that the Afghan local security forces are the future, right. That’s the key to our strategy. But we’ve gone ahead and we’ve you know, sort of classified made secret, all those things. So the public’s not even allowed to know anything. longer, how the wars going? And of course, that’s the most undemocratic thing I’ve ever heard. It’s, it’s, it’s absurd, actually, it’s worthy of, you know, Kambou absurdity. But you know, the most interesting about this latest report and then we can go whatever direction you want is that for the first time because of you know, COVID and now will those medical recommendations, they’re not even publishing a classified version. So that means that almost everyone in Congress, okay, the people that supposedly represent you aren’t even able to see how the war is going. This is just the other piece with the Afghan war in general in the war on terror. I mean, this level of farce is, it should be an alarm bell in the night. And I don’t think anyone’s reading these reports God except like, you know, you and I,
Scott Horton 7:46
yeah, I honestly didn’t even read this one man. I just been so busy. I saw it It showed up and whoever it was that SIGAR that put me on the email list. I really appreciate that. I’m not sure if just a stranger signed me up for it. Are they actually did it themselves has been a few years ago now. But anyway, no, I actually skipped this one. But you know, and this gets right into the heart of what you’re writing about here in this story is I wouldn’t really mind if they have to do nothing but lie and cover up all the way out the door. Right? In other words, if all the metrics being reported would mean, x, much more political pressure in DC to keep us there, then go ahead and cover it up. I don’t care just in a goddamn war. So I care about but then, as I read your piece here, you don’t seem to think that the deal reached with the Taliban will end the war at all.
Danny Sjursen 8:47
Oh, no, that’s that’s the whole thing. So
Scott Horton 8:49
which I’m sorry, one more thing about that the headline this week is that Trump is saying, forget the peace deal. I don’t want to get out next May. I want to get out right now?
Danny Sjursen 8:58
Yeah, and I mentioned that in myself. social media post about this. Hey, kudos, President Trump, you know, it would be it would actually be a first if, if he did that right for him and for any other president or figure. And I’m not even afraid to say that, you know, of course, I mean, people think I wear a mogga hat when I write my articles these days, which is ridiculous. But, you know, if he means it, and I think his instincts are in that direction, and always have been without much follow through so far, then then let’s let’s do it, because I actually think that maybe I’m giving them too much credit. But I actually think that Trump knows that the peace deal right that he signed was a farce. I don’t think he ever believed that was going to save the war or bring peace to Afghanistan. I think he knew that it was just, you know, a way out basically a sort of a surrender without saying and of course, he’s never going to say that and either as any president, but the reality is, if he really is ahead of timeline like he says he is although the Pentagon and the White House aren’t sure how many soldiers still in Afghanistan one says there’s better Got 9001 says there’s about 7000. Doesn’t matter if we’re trying to get ahead of schedule. Good. Let’s do it. But let’s be but so I think the peace deal is ridiculous. And it’s got enough holes in it to keep the war going forever. But that’s okay. Because it’s the only choice. The facts on the ground aren’t going to change because we signed a treaty that lets the Taliban stay in the field continue to attack. It’s not they’re not even precluded from attacking, it says so when the report like the State Department sent an email to SIGAR, saying, Oh, actually, don’t freak out about this, not just Taliban tax but increase in Taliban attacks a march because the deal doesn’t actually say that they can’t attack the Afghan security force. So in other words, this is Vietnam all over again, right, Paris Peace Accords. We let the South you know, the North Vietnamese Army stay in South Vietnam and they take the capital two years later. Now I’m not going to predict when Kabul is going to fall or if it’s going to, what I will say is that there’s a lot of historical precedent that this war is only going to continue,
Scott Horton 10:58
but in other words, what you’re saying It’s a, the question is which war? The war between the US and the Taliban might be over. But the war between the Taliban and the Kabul government is still going on? Is that what you’re saying? And will sadly,
Danny Sjursen 11:11
yeah, exactly. And I don’t have any problem with that. Because I don’t I try to be clear eyed about this. I don’t think we can influence that are affected. I don’t think we ever truly could. So I’m totally fine with that. I just want us to be honest about what the piece is. Because
Scott Horton 11:25
it’s just like in my book, I mean, time time to end the war in Afghanistan. I’m referring to our war there. I don’t, I don’t think we can end the war there just by leaving, but we can’t end it by staying either, that’s for sure.
Danny Sjursen 11:37
We, America’s history in Afghanistan has always been generally de stabilizing, right, at least since 19. You know, 79, probably 1973. So, I mean, the idea that we’re gonna have any major influence on the outcome after we leave is silly, which is why the tragedy that I point out is that whether we would have left in 2000 to 2006 2008, or you name the The outcome probably would have been basically the same. So I don’t have a problem with Trump’s concept. I just like clear language and being honest about it. Maybe I’m sentimental.
Scott Horton 12:10
Yeah. But you do think that? Well, I guess. So what I’m trying to get at here is loopholes in the actual deal. So if the loophole is that North and South Vietnam are going to keep fighting, that’s one thing. But are there loopholes in here that are going to keep our troops there or not?
Danny Sjursen 12:27
Well, not necessarily, but there is the potential for it. For example, pompeyo made a statement inside of the State Department saying, well, not only is the Taliban not precluded from continuing their attacks and staying armed but you know, were then not prohibited from fighting back so we’re allowed to bomb them if they attack the Afghan forces. So yeah, there is a loophole that allows us to keep fighting but the question is, whether that’s what the Trump administration wants, I like to think, especially of late that they don’t want that that they are ready to cut and run. Yeah, they’ll call it with They call it but I’m at this point, I’m so desperate that we really care what they call it. I mean, I’m gonna write about it. I’m gonna call for some version of like honesty about it. But if they don’t, and I don’t expect they will be clear about it, then. All right, let’s just go. Let’s just go because at this point, I’ll take what I can get as cynical as that sounds.
Scott Horton 13:16
Yeah, seriously. I mean, well, what the hell that doesn’t sound that cynical. I mean, you’re talking about the level of destruction being wrecked on these people by US forces to this day. As well, as you know, all the American troops still going in and out of there and all of the rest of this. You know, I’ll take half a loaf on this, if it means the war there keeps going on. That’s a shame. But it’s certainly the right thing to get out here. And I guess the greatest thing I ever heard in my life was that this President thinks he needs this win for his reelection. And by win, that is acceptance of total failure. He’s willing to go ahead and he he is calculated apparently from the traffic balloons in the press and all this stuff. He has calculated that if he tells the American people on the president that ended the Afghan war, even in failure, that the American people will vote for that. You know, and it makes me think I need to start writing a bunch of books called time to do this and time to do that, because apparently, you’re pretty good at making things come true with my subtitles.
Danny Sjursen 14:23
But yeah, Scott, I blame you. I think I think I think you caused the I think you caused this pivot. But but you actually make a good point. I mean, your book was important. And it’s interesting how this is sort of Trumps calculation now, which I like, is the inverse of like, what happened in Vietnam and Afghanistan ups and Alka so as you know, the argument was always like, I don’t want to be the president that lost Vietnam. I don’t wanna be the president that lost Afghanistan. So there was always like this inertia to stay because you didn’t want to leave and then have the bloodshed that follows and then everyone says, Oh, you lost China, you know, like going back to 1949. But I think Trump has has demonstrated that you know what we’re so far Through the Looking Glass, that at this point, the American people are pretty much okay with admission of defeat, you know, And hey, if he does it, then he deserves to be applauded. And it doesn’t matter how much I love him. I think that intellectual honesty and ethical honesty demands that we applaud whatever he does to get us out of this place, if he does it.
Scott Horton 15:18
Right. Well, it’s also perfect political Judo against the Democrats. Go ahead, Biden attack me and say that no, we have to leave 20,000 troops to fight a counterterrorism campaign forever.
Danny Sjursen 15:28
You know, God, I gotta say that, I mean, you’re right, it actually because I’m so sick of the Democrats. And just as much as I hate Trump I am I would find it almost amusing to watch him and I think you’ll do it place the democrats in a position where they have to defend the forever wars because he kind of did that in 2016. And I think he’s gonna do it in 2020 and it’s gonna be really fun watching Biden’s like you know, intellectual and ethical gymnastics trying to defend these wars it it’s it’s ridiculous, but it’s gonna happen most likely.
Scott Horton 15:59
Yeah. Well, I mean, and the thing is time is sort of running short. But if he would, you know, develop this thought a little bit further, maybe this could be an article for you, you know, Hey, Mr. tall, fantastic, wealthy, successful Trump. Here’s the thing for you that you know how you think we’d like it. If you ended the war in Afghanistan. You’re right. Same goes for Somalia, and Syria and Iraq, and especially Yemen. Think of all the wars you could end between now and November, you want to get reelected. You want to be trumped the great, go ahead and call off the entire project, and then just do nothing but scapegoat Bush and Obama for ruining everything. And after all, it’s true. Right? It’s not like I mean, it is his fault for he could have he should have done this in 2017. But still, he could still just say, look, this is all idiot bush and weakling Obama’s fault. And so we’re calling the whole thing off.
Danny Sjursen 16:58
I mean, I have this image in my head. Almost like a fantasy, you know, it’s a dark one because it’ll get him reluctant. I don’t necessarily want that. But if he was as if he was truly brilliant, like he would fly to Yemen tomorrow, make a speech against the Saudis and hold a brown skinny Yemeni kid, and like, give it a kiss. If he did that. I mean, just imagine, just imagine, you know, all the talk about how he’s like anti immigrant all this is true, right. But I mean, it would be a coup. What would the democrats do with that?
Scott Horton 17:26
Well, I would lay in the whole thing on Obama and Biden’s administration for starting the war. I mean, he’s guilty as hell, but he’s also Donald Trump. So he’s just mister flip flop, but he could just pretend it still all Obama and Biden’s fault and not his and probably get away with that. And I’d probably let him if he was actually ending the damn thing. Again, go ahead and lie just stop the bombing.
Danny Sjursen 17:50
Yeah, that’s where we’re at right now. I mean, and how is Obama gonna look from, you know, Martha’s Vineyard or whatever. When you know, if Trump were to slip you stand in a Yemeni refugee camp like I don’t know if it’s gonna happened. But like, if he’s listening like it would be the most brilliant and like almost. I mean, it would be a brilliant political move, and it will. And if it ended the bombing, it would also be the probably the most humanitarian thing done by a US president in quite some time. And all of this, by the way, I realize is crazy, that we’re even talking about Trump in this way. But hey, the opportunity is there and he could seize it. And if he did, and it was an interest of humanity. I guess I’ll be a little utilitarian on this one.
Scott Horton 18:25
Yeah. No. And look, he doesn’t know the first thing about humanity. He didn’t care about that. We’re talking about good politics. You know, this is good politics, because this is what the American people want and forget it. You many refugee camp stand in the Rose Garden, and just announce that we’re no longer backing Saudis war in Yemen. That’s it. And not only that, we’re sending them wheat to eat, you know, what the hell, why not? And especially again, it’s all just in his own selfish interests that not like this has anything to do with Donald Trump caring about anyone but himself or anything like that, but just if He wants to hold on to the power. It would be nice if he would start to restrain himself on this issue, particularly, and everybody feels this way, and especially after the virus, you know, who thinks that? Oh, yeah, no, we definitely should have spent the 21st century so far killing people in the Middle East, killing 2 million people for $6 trillion. That was definitely a great investment. Nobody believes that you can’t even get the guys at the National Review to support this thing anymore. You know? Well, some of them.
Danny Sjursen 19:30
Oh, yeah. And me and you’re seeing a, I mean, you’re seeing a sort of not not a rebellion, but you’re seeing a lot of wavering within the military ranks. I mean, definitely the mid level and even some of the high level folks from what I’m hearing and also what I’m reading there, you know, no one believes in victory anymore. No one really thinks that this has been a good investment and I’m talking about even most of the channels. Now they will play along because their company man and they want their jobs and all that most of them aren’t monsters, but There’s a lot of rumblings. And that’s, that’s really pretty instructive, isn’t it at this point shows where we’re at.
Scott Horton 20:07
Yeah. And again, the polls, you know, the veterans. It’s, it’s amazing that the American people say we never should have fought the wars in Afghanistan or Iraq, which, hey, at least Osama was in Afghanistan. I mean, we all know they could have negotiated for him and all that. But you would think the American people would say, Well, you know, yeah, we had to do that or so. But no, super majorities of Americans say, we never should have fought Afghanistan or Iraq. And then amazingly, the veterans of Afghanistan and Iraq, their numbers are even higher than the general public’s by a few points consistently. Now, when it comes to saying we never should have fought these wars at all. Not even should we end them now. But we wish we could take back the 21st century so far. Wow.
Danny Sjursen 20:56
This is actually an extraordinarily remarkable thing. You know, As much Trumpy and hyperboles, that is, I was doing just a very vague research and I did look further into poor write it in an article, but my understanding is that the the rates of troops and dependence of those troops families that are against these wars that you mentioned is higher even that at the end of the Vietnam War. I mean, that’s pretty darn remarkable, isn’t it?
Scott Horton 21:20
Yeah. Well, and, you know, it’s pretty easy to see why, right. I mean, take you, for example, you fought in Iraq. Now you’re in the US, and you’re figuratively looking across the ocean back at Iraq, and what’s happened there since then. And what are you supposed to think? Yeah, we sure did a great job over there. You know, I mean, that’s you and everybody else who fought over there with you, too, you know.
Danny Sjursen 21:50
And I’m seeing I’ve seen a huge sea change and like, not to, like personalize it, but just in an anecdotal way, you know, when I started this game, and you know, wrote the book in 2014, and my first time articles I used to get massive hate mail from, from veterans and from from serving members. I would say now it’s, you know, five, six to one positive from that, and military folks. And it used to be probably three to one against. And and and that that’s Dude, that’s a big deal because we’re only talking about four or five years something is afoot. And hey, if the people trust American soldiers now you know that i don’t think that we should be trusted just because of that. I think that’s obscene. But it’s the reality, hey, if people trust the American troops, and seven out of 10 plus their families are against this, then hey, like be vocal because maybe it’ll have some influence.
Scott Horton 22:38
Yeah. And after all, I mean, it’s pretty much undeniable, right? That it’s not supporting the troops to support a war that they shouldn’t be in, where they’re risking their life and limb for a reason that’s less than a perfect one. Right. And so all the people who said support the troops oppose the war. War back then, obviously, we’re right, that you guys would have all been a lot better, you know, marching around at Fort Bliss doing nothing, then over there getting your limbs blown off for nothing, you know?
Danny Sjursen 23:14
You know, it’s got I think you just gave me the idea for maybe my next article, which is, you know, I call it something like chicken Hawk extremists. And the point would be that, like, Is there any better definition of a chicken off than being for wars that even seven out of 10 of the troops against I don’t know that we’ve ever been in a situation like that in American history? Yeah. I don’t know that we’ve ever had those statistics even in a drafty army in Vietnam. I don’t know if we ever reach that point. I’ll look into it. But I mean, that to me is is the logical extreme conclusion of Chickenhawk madness, right? It has to be Yeah, anyway, so let’s get to your Soviet Union comparison here. Since we’re talking about collapsing empires in Afghanistan and everything here, Danny, you really have some great research here about the war in Afghanistan from the point of view of the Soviet Union and, in fact, internal Soviet politics in Moscow at the time so and then the the comparison parallels to the Obama and Trump admin illustrations here with Gorbachev in the 1980s.
Yeah, I think there are really important parallels. You know, I don’t pretend that I’m the best writer in town, but I probably read more than most writers. And so there’s a lot of times that I’ll be reading something and then I jot down like, Oh my god, I got to write about this. And so I was reading some extensive stuff on the internal Soviet Cold War. And I found all these declassified, you know, sort of documents that have now been published, like speeches Gorbachev gave and some statistics from the Soviet war effort. And what struck me was in two particular ways, and kind of three, there are enormous parallels. So Gorbachev comes in and 85. He’s elected on a very almost obAmE and platform at least for the Soviet Union. He’s gonna focus on domestic reform. He’s kind of against these third world crusades, right he right, he doesn’t run, but that’s what he kind of comes to power on. And then his initial move is to actually sort of surge in Afghanistan, which which falls on his face and part of that search, and this is a little bit more trumpian, although also Obama But Trump took it even further. As you know, when that doesn’t work when he doesn’t see the progress with his, you know, Afghan proxies that he was hoping for, you know, when when the surge didn’t create the space and time for the security for political reconciliation. I mean, they use almost the exact same words as Obama and Petraeus did Iraq and Afghanistan. So it’s, it’s, it actually was disturbing. Like, it made me sad, how similar it was because I was like, man, if folks read books that would have helped, like, I mean, policymakers. So then when that didn’t work out, so well, he’s like, well, what we’ll do is we’ll just increase our cross border artillery. barrages, which we can’t do, obviously, because we’re not touching Afghanistan, but airstrikes as well. And so, you know, if that didn’t work, either, right, and it just, it just increased the ire internationally, and then, of course, with the local proxies. And then the final thing that really struck me was that when the Soviets finally decided to leave, they did it sort of unilaterally. I mean, they sort of abandon their people on the ground, and it’s because Gorbachev realized the search didn’t work. The bombing didn’t work. It’s time to go. This this this government in Cuba. is not considered legitimate, just like the one we have now largely isn’t and but to his credit, and I don’t know if Trump has had this conversation, but to his credit, he had a conversation with Bob rock Kemal, who eventually was the president of Afghanistan had to be replaced because he didn’t play ball. And he basically says, You’re on your own. We’ll support you with arms. But that’s it. You’ve got to reach out to the Mujahideen, you’ve got to make peace and broaden your coalition or you’re going down. And he was pretty honest about that. And it was February of 87. So it’s just about two years before he finally leaves. I don’t know if Trump’s had that exact conversation with Ashraf Ghani, or whoever they decide is president, although they did just make a power sharing deal. But it’s it’s remarkably similar. It is disturbing. It’s actually tragic to read. And then as I say, in the article, Gorbachev event eventually sort of speaks at a public meeting where he says, like, what did all these kids die for? He feels hopeless, you know, and he’s torn because he’s like, oh, if we leave, it’s going to we’re going to look weak and you know, the same language we use today. But deep down, he’s like, What in the world of the kids die for how you can explain to the Soviet people this is the Soviet Union, right? This was to be like total totalitarian state. Right.
Scott Horton 29:06
And this quote you’re
Danny Sjursen 29:06
sharing with the people think
Scott Horton 29:07
This this quote is, when he’s justifying staying right, this isn’t him saying, you know, lamenting on the way out the door, this is him saying, we can’t give up now, because of the sunk cost fallacy of the guys, we already got killed. Is that correct?
Danny Sjursen 29:24
That’s right. And it’s and it’s actually a little bit crazier because of it, because the way it’s described, and so the transcript exists, but then it’s also described by other folks in the meeting. And they described him as like, exasperated and desperate like that he was just torn. And so he’s saying, Yeah, we can’t leave because how are we going to explain it to people that we left but then he also was emotionally invested in the idea that he’s like, he knew was wrong, sort of like he knew it wasn’t working. And so he’s got this cognitive dissonance that I think you saw, I’m pretty much all of the American presidents and policymakers so far. And and frankly, if I would have, you know, played a little trick on the reading You know, and just put Trump or Obama in some of these speeches, particularly Obama, I don’t think that most folks would have ever thought that, you know, believe that wasn’t Obama. I mean, it’s that similar and the language is almost stolen. And yet we know for a fact that, you know, they didn’t plagiarize it, we know that even Obama, you know, it was like an intelligent guy wasn’t really studying this kind of level of Soviet domestic, you know, effects on the Afghan war. So they came up with these things independently. And to me, that’s almost even more instructive and disturbing, because they’re so similar.
Scott Horton 30:35
Yeah, exactly. That this is what will happen to the French when they try to take over Afghanistan in 2152, as well, you know,
Danny Sjursen 30:44
it’s gonna play for the same way. Yeah. Right. Or the Chinese, although I think that Yeah, they’re smart enough to do it mostly, like, economically and all that. But yeah, it’ll happen to the next Empire, in Afghanistan or elsewhere, Afghanistan, just like an extreme example of like gray yard of empires, you know, and I know that gets thrown around. I know how many books and articles are titled around it, and I hate platitudes. But like, what do you do when the platitude is true?
Scott Horton 31:09
What is the geography?
Danny Sjursen 31:10
When it’s demonstrably true?
Scott Horton 31:12
I mean, it seemed to me that this was always a matter of geography. I mean, I remember arguing in 2001 that Listen, this country is the size of Texas, it’s completely landlocked behind mountains. And it’s, you know, all mountains and deserts and Badlands and a population with an ancient warrior culture. And so like all these things mean that you cannot take this place over no matter who you are, unless you’re just gonna drop h bombs and kill them all. Come back in 20 years when the radiation dies away, something like that, but otherwise
Danny Sjursen 31:46
Oh, yeah. Oh,
Scott Horton 31:48
what are you supposed to do about it?
Danny Sjursen 31:50
I know we’re getting tight on time if I could just like quickly say like, just from an anecdotal but I think also illustrative perspective like, talk about geography. I was in the Argonaut Valley. Right on most dangerous place in Afghanistan, for the Russians and for us, right, we were proud that we pushed further south and the Soviets like we were proud of that my Battalion, I was like, that’s the most absurd thing to be proud of.
Scott Horton 32:10
Yeah.Back when you would switch sides in the war and fighting the war the Russians had fought anyway, go ahead.
Danny Sjursen 32:16
So then it’s directly to so so the American army thought that the way to win this war was to be near the population center. So we dropped ourselves in the middle of this valley that’s fairly fertile, literally, just to the north of the main road, highway one. There’s mountains that are like impenetrable, literally, just to the south, and we’re talking a matter of a few miles of me is the ridge desert, and on the other side of the desert is Pakistan. And so think about it. Like from the Taliban’s perspective, they’ve got complete safe haven in either direction. Oh, by the way, west towards May, Juan is also pretty desert. So like in three directions, they have complete safe haven where they could hit and run at any time. And we’re kind of like trapped in the valley like rats. And then we’re like, Look, we’re winning because we’re doing population centric coin. Because we’re here, and it’s inverted, though it was like an it was an inverted strategy because we were actually the sitting ducks. And so the idea is that even on a micro level, in like one valley that happened to be a nightmare where like, literally hundreds of Americans have died. It just speaks to the macro of Afghan geography and fall just failed Imperial strategy. It’s staggering when I think about it, actually looking back.
Scott Horton 33:25
Yeah. All right. But so let me devil’s advocate you one more on the way out the door here, which is I this is where the name fool’s errand came from for the book was an interview with Daniel Davis. And when I asked him, okay, but what if instead of the ridiculous fool, David Petraeus would if there had been a competent general? And what if instead of having 140,000 troops, including NATO there would if he had had 300,000, like in the high end estimates, and and so what if he had had more troops, and what if instead of 18 months Ridiculous timeline would if he had had essentially an indefinite timeline, a good 10 years for a competent General, to see through the counterinsurgency strategy, and then, you know, I had asked Lieutenant Colonel Davis, so might that have worked or it still would have been a fool’s errand? And he said, yeah, it still would have been a fool’s errand. But I wonder whether, you know, maybe that’s too pessimistic. And maybe the Hawks are right, that Obama just didn’t. And okay, maybe the Hawks are right that bush should have never diverted all those resources away from Afghanistan to Iraq. And then when Obama put those resources back in Afghanistan, he shouldn’t have put them on such a short timetable. That’s what all the Hawks say.
Danny Sjursen 34:47
You know, I’m with Danny on this Danny Davis, but I will say this. The Soviets never tried 300,000. They topped out at about 120 and Gorbachev surge like Obama surge was time limited, and it announced that it would be in fact, as was 12 months versus 18 months. So here’s what I think the best case would have been. If you flooded the place with 300,000 soldiers. People like me on the ground could have made more of a security difference. But even still, it would have been short term. And let me say why? two things. Number one, flooding the place with troops has the effect on legitimacy of looking even more like an imperial invasion. And we know that the Afghan people don’t even like the Presidents either like the most libertarian people ever, right, in a way like except for their religion thing. They don’t even want the COBOL government down there. Right. So the American foreigners, I probably would have raised the ire now we might have won militarily right for on the ground, and we might have been able to keep security but I think the bigger thing is also geography and also diplomacy until we destroyed the safe haven of Pakistan, maybe Iran, although much less so you name it. The reality is, it doesn’t really matter. How many soldiers we had on the ground? Like I said, we probably if we stay 10, eight more years with a surge of 300,000, I am confident that we would have kept attacks probably almost to a minimum, but it’s a wait and see. And the question is, how long is wait and see. And I do not think you can ever overcome the just the historical block against the ability of foreign occupying troops to impose government at the tip of a band, it tends to always be temporary. And an example of when it was tried with lots of troops is like Napoleon in Spain. And of course, you know, he couldn’t stay forever but he did stay five years with hundreds of thousands of folks right. And it didn’t matter to me pan out and and and understand that the limits of historical analogy, but still, I think that there’s something there. So there’s a legitimacy problem and there’s a safe haven problem, and I don’t see us being able to overcome either of those.
Scott Horton 36:54
What was the maximum number of troops deployed in South Vietnam?
Danny Sjursen 36:58
Yeah, we got up to about five 150,000 soldiers in August I believe of 1969. So like, around the time we’re hamburger hailing it up, you know, in the a shau. Valley, there’s about 550,000 soldiers there on the ground early nixon administration. And that’s another great example and a more relevant recent one, you know, it ultimately didn’t affect the major problem, which was the North Vietnamese safe haven and sort of the lack of international and local legitimacy. So you know, Australia and South Vietnam send some folks to help out. But do you think NATO was going to, you know, kick in the requisite, you know, 90 or 120,000? Now? Of course not. And were we really gonna question the Pakistani safe haven in any real way? Well, probably not. And if the whole thing is a mess, look, South Vietnam, had a lot of the same problems as Afghanistan, except there’s one major difference. Afghanistan, Afghanistan’s almost worse, because South Vietnam at least on one side, there’s an ocean
Scott Horton 38:00
Danny Sjursen 38:01
In Afghanistan You don’t even have that you got you know deserts in Pakistan and you name it I mean, I was put in an impossible situation it’s not what was me it’s just looking back with a little bit more strategic knowledge having read your book and others and you know thousands of others it’s becomes apparent that it’s actually shocking what we allowed to happen to us as soldiers and and also just as an American people, right. It’s it’s really staggering.
Scott Horton 38:26
It is and you know, the thing about it is to is the counterfactuals just right there and not the counterfactual, but the whatever they call the hypothetical thing where you just put the shoe on the other foot and say, What if a posh tune army tried to invade and pacify the population of Texas? It would be hilarious watching the Texans shoot them all to death for daring to try. Give me a break not in 1 million years. So why the other way around?
Danny Sjursen 38:59
I do where like, sometimes Patrick Swayze movies from the 80s have like strategic relevance. It’s the Red Dawn effect is what I would call it right? It wouldn’t play out. And there’s another connection here. Look at the protests, the state houses and lots of other stuff in American history. You don’t want to aim and Bundy and all this. There’s there’s a lot of stuff like, like Afghanistan, maybe slightly less extreme, but like Afghanistan, or people are very well armed. And lots of parts of America don’t particularly love the federal government that has enormous enormous parallels the situation in Afghanistan. It does, and technology and roads and internet hasn’t changed that there’s still a distrust of the federal government here and in Afghanistan sticking to extremists.
Scott Horton 39:40
Yeah. And same thing with the terrain to try to take Colorado from the Americans and see how well that works out when they already have the mountain tops and they’re shooting down at you. No matter who you are. If they sent every last Chinaman over here. Oh, you’re not supposed to say that. If whatever they said The whole population of China, they couldn’t take call Colorado from the Americans ever.
Danny Sjursen 40:06
Hey, look, we’ve talked about it a lot of times I think the Waco effect is important, too. All right. So you got the distrust of the federal government, you got the religious component. Look, Afghanistan has all of that. And look how that turned out. Right? Yeah. Did they win? I don’t know, a couple years later in Oklahoma City, I bet you can make a lot of parallels to some of the bombings in Kabul that really derived from the rural parts of Kandahar.
Scott Horton 40:28
Yeah. Although, unless you just mean because both of those bombings Waco and Oklahoma were both perpetrated by the government. But now I know what you mean. That’s a no, that’s a whole other story, man.
Danny Sjursen 40:39
Right. Yeah, that could be a whole bunch of episodes. I bet. But you know, the, the I just think that your point is really important. And the Red Dawn effect is real. And of course, that’s the movie where like the, you know, Russians and then Soviets and whatever, Nicaraguans come to the United States, and we fight them off, but I mean, it’s real. Yeah. And it proves that Afghanistan was just a, you know, it was it was a fool’s errand Scott right. No, I think you came up with that.
Scott Horton 41:01
And sorry to say it, you know what to? Um I think maybe, just maybe out of all of them, this one may be really wrapping up now. What do you think? Think the first one to end?
Danny Sjursen 41:17
Yeah, a hopeful and cautiously optimistic is where I put myself, you know, I really do try when the facts change, to admit them, you know, it’s easy to bang like an anti war drum sometimes or progressive drama, whatever you have. And then like, not see when there is progress, because you kind of get used to liking how dark and terrible everything is because it gives you a platform. But I actually tried it as best as I can alter my views on the fact change. So, you know, I’m not sure that Trump’s going to end it. But I think there’s a better chance in this moment than there’s probably ever been in the last 18 and a half years.
Scott Horton 41:51
Yeah. Well, and so speaking of which, to, you know, there’s a distinct lack of political rallies and all these things going around. So one way or the other People have to let the White House know and let the Trump campaign know that there’s some talking points we like to hear. Say that some more do that some more. oppose the war in Afghanistan, we’d like that, you know, and let them hear that feedback and know that they were right to think he was right to think that the American people would hastily ratify his decision to get us the hell out of there. If we could, you know,
Danny Sjursen 42:26
it isn’t this guy needs a lot of positive reinforcement, like as a person and I think we should give it to him when it’s appropriate to bring our troops home got us out of the Mountain West, you’ve heard me write about them. They’re there. They’re libertarians. They’re Republicans. So you know, they admit themselves as Republicans and they’ve been doing a lot of great work on their social media and in their congressional like work on saying, Hey, Mr. Trump, great job, you know, and not all of them love Trump. I mean, a lot of them don’t. But they, they’re not afraid to like praise Him when it’s appropriate. And I think that turns off most of the other anti war groups because I have no Notice that I’m like the only guy who, who straddles like veterans for peace and bring our troops home. I’m sure there’s a couple others, but I’m the only one I know. And it’s I think it shouldn’t turn off the lefty anti war groups. I think that they should understand that this is a tactical move, and we need all the Allies we can get.
Scott Horton 43:15
Yeah, absolutely. And unless, you know, it always should have been the case. This has driven me crazy all along that the and this even happened at the last big anti war protests over Iran. They literally you can’t make this stuff up. They actually brought Jane Fonda out to headline and give a big speech at the one in LA. Which is just, it shows just absolutely no imagination whatsoever for trying to persuade anyone for even thinking even considering about who their audience is that you’re going to take the poster child which is is totally unfair what they’ve done to her, but it is what it is. You can take this total hate figure and put her up there when what they should be doing. Bringing up Thomas Massie or bringing up somebody who from from bringing our troops home who leans right and then say, look, even these right wingers agree with us that’s how right we are. It’s a perfect talking point. You have to pretend as leftists that that libertarian and right wing anti war sentiment doesn’t exist why not invoke it to say this is proof that we are the most brilliant geniuses in the world that even these libertarians and conservatives agree with us? That should be all you’d have to do you know?
Danny Sjursen 44:37
Absolutely. Look even if you are completely sympathetic to their arguments and I often them there are there is a strategic calculus right and the left is an apt and you are an apt if you think that bringing out michael moore or Jane Fonda is going to even if they’re right, if you think that’s going to convince a single person who’s not ready convinced then then what you are doing is is it You are like a, you’re so insular. And so self important and self righteous. That’s what you’re being if you think that that’s going to have an influence because it’s not it just it isn’t. And you’re right. Someone like Thomas Massie you like, like if I disagree with him on a whole bunch of stuff, but he’s the bravest voice a lot of times on some of these issues, then I’ve got to be willing to say that even if I’m not a Republican, even if I’m not, you know, with him on everything like this is this is strategy. This is street strategy, and let’s do it right. Let’s be smart.
Scott Horton 45:31
Yep. And that’s the whole thing, right is like, the more you disagree with him, the better. You know, for that matter, right? It just proves that this is a bipartisan consensus, because it’s the truth. Everyone in DC wants war, everyone who’s not in DC doesn’t. That’s the divide. You know, it’s not left versus right. Republican versus Democrat. It’s the people versus the power period. And, and that shouldn’t you know, left wingers or right wingers or whoever should Be afraid of sharing their Thunder with the other side when the other side only makes your thunder louder. It only makes it more important, it only proves that you’re right. You know, you shouldn’t hesitate to share the attention or what you know, whatever it is.
Danny Sjursen 46:16
Well, you know, I wrote that article for antiwar about when I went to DC for like the big conference or bring our troops home. And, you know, one of the things I wrote about was like, you know, this guy Tyler Lindholm from like Idaho. He’s like, literally got a huge belt buckle and a big ass cowboy hat. And he’s like one of our lead spokesman and and he’s, he’s a long term conservative. And like, if a lot of folks that I know who I love to death from other anti war organizations on the left had been there, they probably would have walked out when they saw him. But I looked at him and I was like, This is awesome. This is awesome. That this veteran in a huge cowboy hat from Idaho is in DC to say no more war. That’s the greatest thing I saw all year.
Scott Horton 46:55
Right. And yeah, why should the veterans for peace people be against that, in fact, long as we’re at it, why should the veterans for peace people put we’re leftists, as their highest, you know, messaging when their messaging is supposed to be we’re veterans for peace. Instead, it’s like, What is this about trying to recruit people for your workers union that doesn’t even really exist anyway? Or some some fantasy of a future socialist America? Are you trying to actually end the wars? Because if this is actually an issue based thing, why would you put Tom Morello on your board of directors instead of anti war veterans? You have the guitarist, the Stalinist from Rage Against the Machine up there saying, Oh, yeah, if you hate war, you hate America, because everybody knows those things go together. Let’s go sell that. I know we’ll bring Jane Fonda and have her headline. It’s completely just head up as thinking I don’t know. Seriously, and I like leftist. I could put myself in their shoes and go Yeah, I’m a leftist. Okay, fine. Why does that mean that you put Michael put the guy from Rage Against the Machine on the head of your veterans for peace committee? It makes no sense. Unless you’re just it’s just a self referential thing. You know, like some, like a power bubble like you would have in DC, of people agreeing with each other, but not thinking anything through.
Danny Sjursen 48:24
Yeah, I mean, I, you know, I’m a member of vendors piece, I go to their, you know, I keynote speech at one of their conventions, I’m gonna continue to be a member. But I’ve also even in my speeches in front of these folks pointed out some of the major flaws in in the organization and some of the reasons why. And some folks in the leadership know that some of the younger folks but the potential that like they could almost die out, right, because so many of them are sort of like leftovers of the Vietnam generation. Great. I love them to death, but some of their positioning is actually affecting their recruitment. And so that’s why I think you’re seeing The younger or veterans, it’s a crisis by the way for veterans peace, like recruiting our people so you see them going in the libertarian direction to bring our troops home or you see them go into like about face and you know what used to be iraq veterans against the war on the left. And so the young generation is not really like all about the traditional like Vietnam, Jane Fonda rhetoric, even if they agree with it, right, they go in one of those other two directions. So it is a crisis for that organization.
Scott Horton 49:24
It’s really too bad because, I mean, they got chapters all over the country, as you say, they’re, you know, they’re created in the 80s. But they’re essentially made up of all Vietnam era, guys. And so there’s a huge, you know, background and infrastructure there. And it’s a shame to see them just kind of, you know, sacrifice their potential power and influence there. And by the way, I love Rage Against the Machine, but I’m just saying, you know, it’s just a bad look. Why do it that way, you know, when, when tearing down the whole system Not the point of this group, right? You can have other groups that are for that. But this is supposed to just be guys who’ve been to the war. And so now no better. That’s a really important message. That’s the message that you bring. Right? That’s, you know, and I love your writing, but your writing is twice as important as it would be because you’ve been to both searches and back. And so that is, you know, the, the credibility that they’re essentially sacrificing for no good reason. It seems like to me, unfortunately, you know, not to be critical, because there are a lot of great guys
Danny Sjursen 50:34
trying to, well, you know, Garrett reppin hang his, his up there. He’s a former sniper from like, the post 911 wars. And, you know, he’s a friend and I and I think, you know, from everything I can tell that he, you know, he’s trying to, you know, go in a more inclusive direction and also for the youth. But there’s obviously a ways to go I always joke whenever I speak at VFP rallies, like whether they’re regional or national, I always say like, you know, I love you guys, but I don’t love the fact that I’m the youngest person in this room, you know when it gets a good like chuckle, but I’m like, No, I’m dead serious, you know, right?
Scott Horton 51:07
Yeah. Well anyway, I’m so sorry I can’t end on a positive note Aaron’s just sitting here complaining about these groups, but ya know, um, you know, all these guys are, they’re doing a lot of work. They’re really doing great work. And so I don’t want to just slam him but it’s supposed to be constructive criticism, not just complaining here. But anyway, so I just want to thank you again for all your great work, Danny. I mean, it’s absolutely indispensable stuff. As always.
Danny Sjursen 51:32
Thanks, God, I’m always glad to be on the show and anymore.com you know, it’s the place man it’s you guys are one of the only outlets you don’t change by titles you barely change anything. You let me be free and you don’t tell me what to write. It’s It’s awesome. And it’s rare because the media space man, it’s so a lot of contrived stuff going on, as you all know.
Scott Horton 51:50
Yep. Well, we’re very happy to have you. I speak for all the rest of us too. So Hell, yeah.
Danny Sjursen 51:55
Thanks, man. Well, thanks for having me on. Let’s do it again soon. Absolutely.
Scott Horton 51:59
Aren’t you guys. That’s a great day. arson. He was a major in the US Army now he’s an anti war guy. Here he is at anti war calm SIGAR. The boys who cry about actual wolves. The Scott Horton show anti war radio can be heard on kpfk 90.7 FM in LA. APSradio.com. Antiwar.com, Scotthorton.org and libertarianinstitute.org
Scott talks to Coleen Rowley about the failures in America’s intelligence agencies that contributed to the 9/11 attacks, and that continue to plague us today. She reminds us that three FBI agents in three different states tried to pass very specific warnings to their higher-ups about the possibility of an attack like the one on September 11th, but were ignored in all three cases. After 9/11, of course, our politicians assented to an unprecedented expansion of surveillance powers, most likely assuming that they would never be the victims of the abuse of these powers. In reality, they have turned out to be some of the biggest victims, as was revealed during the “Russiagate” fiasco. Rowley hopes that the both the deliberate malfeasance and the ineptitude of these government agents will start to become evident to people, who may ultimately lose faith in such institutions and demand reform.
Discussed on the show:
- “Ghost of J. Edgar Haunts Flynn Investigation” (Consortium News)
- “CIA Director Mike Pompeo “We Lie, We Cheat, We Steal” – Texas A M University April 2019″ (YouTube)
- The Peter Principle: Why Things Always Go Wrong
- Wisdom of Psychopaths
Coleen Rowley is a retired FBI agent and lawyer who helped expose the FBI’s pre-9/11 failures. She was honored with TIME magazine’s “Person of the Year” in 2002. Find her on Twitter @ColeenRowley.
The following is an automatically generated transcript.
All right, shall welcome and Scott Horton show. I am the director of the libertarian Institute editorial director of anti war calm, author of the book fool’s errand, time to end the war in Afghanistan. And I’ve recorded more than 5000 interviews going back to 2003, all of which are available at Scott horton.org. You can also sign up to the podcast feed full archive is also firstname.lastname@example.org. Slash Scott Horton show.
All right, you guys introducing the great Colleen Rowley former time Person of the Year for 2002. Of course, she was the FBI lawyer who told the real story about Zacharias Musawi not really the 20th hijacker, but still definitely an Al Qaeda member and in on all of what surrounded the September 11 plot anyway. And if only they had listened to her, they could have stopped the dang attack. Everybody knows that. And now it’s very lucky that we have her as a great anti war writer on a great many issues and here she is, again at consortium news.com. Ghost of J. Edgar haunts Flynn investigation. Welcome back to the show Coleen How are you?
Coleen Rowley 1:29
Well, I’m fine. Except we have mass chaos and violence breaking out 10 miles from where I live with the police shooting the other day. So they know there’s there’s I just wrote to someone I said, I think it’s another sign of the Empire rotting from the inside. This is it’s very sad for all of us to be witnessing but you see all these blowback, whatever you want to call it the sorrows of empire blowback and Right now it’s pretty up close and personal for us in Minneapolis. But it was just a question of time. And, you know, there’s lots of cracks breaking out in the Empire. I think if you look at all of this Russia gate and, you know, targeting leaders and all this is, you know, so bogus, it’s unbelievable. That’s another sign of rot in corruption and rot inside an empire as well. It’s it’s, you’re really are you can attribute this all to this really fool’s errand notion that the United States who is entitled to become the policemen of the world and unilaterally, you know, gain its power over other countries and control the world through illegitimate completely illegal wars and violence. And unfortunately, the worst of this started after 911 I did just want to quickly correct you on one thing about prevention of 911 I wrote about this That 911 could have easily been prevented. But I wasn’t the one personally, who did the warning, we had three or four agents actually two in Minnesota, one of whom called up headquarters in August and said, this is a guy who could fly into the World Trade Center quote, and the guy in headquarters said, That’s not gonna happen. So that’s that was the two agents here in Minnesota, an agent and his acting supervisor, then that the agent in Phoenix, who wrote the memo had noticed that all the al Qaeda, different terrorism suspects were training in flight schools and had an urgent request that the FBI check out flight schools and again, they didn’t even read his memo and it was so incredibly urgent. It was incredible. That that agent By the way, his last name is Williams. He testified just two weeks before me to the Senate Judiciary, but Robert Mueller was able to co opt in at the time, and he put his arm around, you know, Moeller put his arm around Williams and they walked in together. And Williams testified, I didn’t even expect anyone would ever read my memo. He completely reversed what he had written, you know, warning about it. Williams now is quite after all these years, he’s working for the 911 families trying to sue Saudi Arabia as an investigator. And he was appalled that the FBI was not going to allow him to help the victims of 911 after all of this was incredible. So he’s, he’s finally seen the light. And then there was another agent in New York who warned that people are going to die unless we do something about looking for these two hijackers or these two terrorists who had come into California. So there were agents and again, it was quite, quite easy to have at least reduced 911 Not maybe not have totally avoided or prevented it but at least to have reduced it greatly if the people at the top and you know Richard Clarke was trying to warn Condi Rice and she put him off, they all had their prior agendas before 911. Bush wanted to undo the treaties and and start, you know, start the anti Ballistic Missile Treaty and Condi Rice wanted to target Russia. They all had Ashcroft wanted to reinstate the death penalty. They all had their prior agendas when they came in. And terrorism was their lowest priority was just that simple. And then after 911 happened, then they use it. The worst thing here is they use this trauma as a pretext to do all these terrible things, including launching war on a country that had nothing to do with with the terrorist attack in fact, was an enemy of The al Qaeda and the Wahhabi group. And all these years, then we’ve never even looked at what what was the real problem? why did why were we attacked on 911. You know, none of us has really been examined, except I should say, by you, Scott, and by, you know, some other few others in alternative media, but the mainstream media has almost never examined This is so we were kind of on this, steamrolling you know, downhill, where one thing just leads to another and once they install loud mass surveillance of other Americans, and we’ve pretty much as I said, the ghost of J. Edgar Hoover, we’ve gone back to a pre Church Committee situation that Hoover was an expert at because he was spying on all the other leaders in order to maintain his own power and using blackmail against them. And I think we’re very, very close to two minutes. That situation right now. And you see it in the Flynn case you see it in the face applications for Carter page. You know, I told someone yesterday that if we don’t finally realize it’s the politicians don’t realize that they were that was the dumbest thing on their behalf to allow all of those prior standards that were the attorney general guidelines and the the Church Committee recommendations. And when they when they did those, they didn’t realize that they were really the first ones to be the potential victims of it. You know, it was like, Oh, well, this is going to be used on other people so I don’t care. Everybody was said Well, well, if you you have nothing to be afraid of if you’ve done nothing wrong, etc. So it’s not gonna hurt me. I think now maybe some of them people like Rand Paul and and maybe a few others have woken up to the fact that the the leaders that are possible Fall are actually the ones who are going to be the most the most likely to be the victims of abuses or different abuses once you lower those standards and you have a way around the Fourth Amendment as they did after 911. The most likely people to be hurt by it are going to be other leaders because now everybody’s just just like Hoover was using Hoover was using it for his own power. So anyway, I wrote that article about Flynn case because it’s his it’s an egregious case. Glenn Greenwald did it an even better job, he talked for an hour and 45 minutes about it and he just really lays it out. But in my my experience in the FBI, this is pretty incredible that they turned title 18 1001 false, making false statements to an agency or to the government, which is supposed to be used only as a warning. applications, so people don’t lie on on their applications for grants for government grants or for even employment. So that’s a warning, it’s supposed to be used as a warning so people won’t lie. We were told in new agents training, that we could use it if we thought someone wasn’t telling the truth in an interview, we could at least use it as a warning and say, Hey, you know, there’s a law that if you lie to us, you could be prosecuted. But at the same time, we were told about potentially using that as a warning to get people to tell you the truth. We were also told that it would almost never be prosecuted. Even if the person did lie, it would never be prosecuted, and only sometimes it was used if it was tacked on to another crime. So there were times that you that a prosecutor would charge the false statements law would be if it was tacked on to something bigger or more More important, it was never used, like in the Flynn case, where they tried deliberately to get him to lie, just so they could have something to charge him with, because they already knew his interview. I mean, that’s turning the this law completely on its head. And then of course, the threat threats of the Logan Act, which has not been used for 150 years. And even then, I don’t think even 100 fit I don’t think was ever used successfully. They tried to use it, you know, years and years ago in the 1850s or something once, but the Logan act all all up leaders tend to be not even leaders, but people are in contact with foreign governments, and especially, especially incoming administration’s would be in it would be normal for them to be in contact with a foreign government, you couldn’t possibly then say that you’re going to prosecute them under the Logan act. And that’s what Flynn was threatened with. And, you know, again, there’s just So many egregious reasons why this Flynn case should the judge Sullivan should have immediately dismissed it once the once the US Attorney recommended and Barr agreed that it was that it was really a travesty it was an entrapment and they were using it it was a ploy a real like in the in the notes, they call it a game or playing games, you know an exact that’s exactly what it was they were playing games to try to get him to lie and then use it to get him fired. Or, or in this case, you know, when they pushed it to charge him with making a false statement, but we’ll see how it ends. I think Sullivan really went out on a limb in a very unusual way when he called for a what he called for a friend, not a friend but another former judge or somebody to write an abacus brief That was very unusual. So let’s see what let’s see what happens. But it’s a it’s a mess and a half and right now, that’s for sure.
Scott Horton 12:09
Well, so there’s so many different facets of this, but I am somewhat fascinated by the judges reaction here where he says, Well, I’m not dismissing the charges even if the justice department wants to, I’m going to appoint this other lawyer to come in and see whether I should go ahead and see him prosecuted anyway, and possibly even explore a new charge of perjury for changing his plea. Now, to paraphrase Matt Taibbi, he said, Now listen, all good liberals are supposed to go along with this because the victim is Flynn when the correct answer is, this is like the kind of thing you’d see in Bella Reuss. This is insane. Can you even do that your FBI lawyer formerly Coleen, can they do that?
Coleen Rowley 13:00
Well, he the judge Sullivan tried to do it, I think he probably is to be to be generous with him. I think he’s probably as quite brainwashed by all of this Russia gate as most, you know, the people who have really put their heart and soul into this all along, have a difficult time now dismissing it all, as the bogus thing that it was from the start. And again, Flynn is just one aspect of it. I mean, the Carter pages is even worse, in some ways. They’re all really bad. there’s a there’s a lot of aspects to this Russia gate, that were simply You don’t have to be a fan of Trump or Flynn or Carter page or any of them. You don’t have to be any, you know, don’t have to be their supporters to understand that this is turning up our system of justice and fairness. And, and what I said is, is going around the Fourth Amendment now under the same way, the same example way that J. Edgar Hoover did, because he didn’t he did not have a wall J. Edgar Hoover was allowed to say national security. He was allowed to use those pretexts for bugging for eavesdropping on Martin Luther King Jr. And by the way, many other officials in Washington DC, the NSA, you know that minaret program that Frank church, eventually the Church Committee under Frank church exposed the see at some some of the CIA and the NSA, they weren’t able to expose it all on the NSA and the CIA, they expose a lot of the cointelpro of the FBI, but not that much of the NSA and the CIA. And you come to find out years later, that the NSA program back then was actually monitoring Frank church himself. That’s pretty incredible. So Frank church maybe didn’t even know that but he was one of the main targets of this. Now again, this is really some horrible stuff. That happened in the in the 60s. And of course not, not on coincidentally during the The worst part of the Vietnam War, which I think you have these wars abroad, and the wars abroad are then allowing this internal domestic corruption, and you end and by the way, terrorism breaks out and everything during these this time period. And I think that we’re seeing this repeat all over again, the same things that happened in the 60s. But I think judge Sullivan, like others are just really brainwashed, they watch too much Rachel Maddow, and they can understand that none of this was true. And that really, these are very quite egregious abuses. You know, people like Peter, like struck in the FBI, the FBI agent, I think he he was also brainwashed. He started to think, you know, we we have a manchurian candidate, you know, They all believe that there was this danger McKay probably did. They they’re in a bubble kind of like a groupthink, where they’re only getting this reinforcement from inside their own groupthink bubble. And you know, you see this of course, the worst. The worst of groupthink is of course during World War Two with the Nazis and stuff, but groupthink is a common thing. And when you’re only seeing and hearing things that confirm your own conspiracy theories or whatever, you’re going to get brainwashed. And I think that’s what happened here. I think a lot of people then grabbed on to ends justify the means. They said, Well, we have such a noble goal. You know, Hoover thought he had a new noble goal. He wrote a whole book whole book about basically suspecting a communist hiding behind every tree. And so if you start if you’re in that paradigm, like McCarthy and like j Edgar Hoover, you’re gonna think that You’re You’re entitled then to take these illegal means to accomplish your noble goal.
Scott Horton 17:08
Okay, now, I understand that. But are you sure I mean, there seems to be so many times in this case. And believe me, I’m a subscriber to your theory in generally speaking of the self justification angle, however, it seems like God they had to have known they’re lying when they put Halper and apparently Miss foot up to go in to talk to Papadopoulos in the first place. And then when they didn’t think that they could make a case out of that, they tried to make a case out a quarter page, and they live and pretended to not know that the CIA had told them that this guy’s with us. He’s not a pro Russian trader, he’s an American patriot and a CIA asset. And, and then even the fact that, you know, Muller even launched this investigation at all and kept it going for two years and keeping speculation about it. Trump’s treason going for another two years. As my friend Dave Smith likes to point out that when BuzzFeed got it wrong, that Trump had told Michael Cohen to lie to Congress that Muller had no problem putting out a press release saying that’s just not true. And we’re not going that that way. Well, he could have told us that it wasn’t true that Donald Trump was a pro Kremlin trader too. But he didn’t he let people continue to speculate about that and to believe that for another two years, which seems to me to be part of the conspiracy, just as much as sending Miss foot to try to get Papadopoulos to repeat something back into an open mic in this entrapment in the first place, you know, open mic, proverbially speaking you understand.
Unknown Speaker 18:44
Yeah, you know, and trap that has become, in a way a major tactic after 911 the FBI used constantly used entrapments in order to you know, show the public that they were doing so thing they were making progress and preventing terrorism. Meanwhile the real terrorist acts they had no clue about ever, you know, because things get lost in the in the in the mix the haystack you know all the stuff they’re collecting on people and going after but then the real ones would get lost. But this fools and of course our media is easily fooled. So they started they they really gravitated to the use of entrapment as a main weapon, and no one has there’s been a couple of books written about it, but that’s never really been shot down. entrapment. I’ve argued it over and over and people just cannot understand how if you can get someone to do something, but they never would have done it had you not coerce them or subtly pressured them etc. They don’t understand that that’s, you know that this this is wrong. We can it’s easy actually to get people to commit crimes especially When they’re the weaker and you put in a con artist or somebody like you said miffed said or some of these people, and you put them in there, and they’re trying to use their, their, you know, even sometimes it’s subtle pressures. It’s not like you’re twisting their arms but you you’re subtly pressuring. It’s still wrong. It’s still wrong because what are you doing? You’re creating crime, you’re supposed to be the ones who are working against it. And you know, in the history of the FBI, things like operating whitey Bolger, who’s killing, I mean, there were agents, and not just a few most people now believe it was a few rogue apples. You know what, it really wasn’t just a few rogue apples, the worst were the rogue apples. But then all these other people knew it was going on. And the whole of the FBI no one ever said Is it wrong to operate the top echelon organized criminals? I mean, I thought to myself, I mean, wow, that’s kind of like Why are we operating the top echelon of the crime structure? Does that make much sense for the FBI to be doing that just as a policy, and no one ever spoke against that policy? In fact, they praise the people who got the top echelon informants, and not until whitey Bolger? Did they really have a way of saying, Hey, here’s the problem here. You got the FBI now, who was who was helping commit murders and covering up murders and putting people in prison who weren’t the murderers, you know, that were framed, etc, etc. By the way, Robert Moeller might have had a role in that to framing the innocent people for whitey bolger’s murders. It’s it’s incredible that people like that, that otherwise good people and I know this sounds real naive, but it’s, I think, from what I’ve always witnessed, it’s true. Otherwise good people, when they fall into this paradigm of believing the ends justify the means. You know, you heard official say, you know, we can’t follow the constitution anymore. John you with his Oh yeah, now we can torture you know anything up to organ failure. You see people thinking that the that they don’t have to follow the old rules anymore because they have such a noble goal and it’s it’s a lot of its superiority but when you break down the rules, those rules existed for a reason. And the main reason is that, you know, they try to maintain a standard that will produce the best results overall. And so not torturing people produces the best results, you get the best information blah, blah, blah. And then you get your people afterwards you know, falling into this trap of saying we can’t follow the gold standards that we used to and line by the way you hear pompeyo say this now? Oh yeah, we were taught taught at West Point. Not too cheat or lie, or steal, cheat or lie and guess what I do in the CIA? Haha, that’s all we do every day is lie, steal and cheat to steal. And that’s that mentality, I would say maybe to a lesser extent maybe pompeyo is one of the worst here at least he’s open openly admitting it. But you know, most people fall into that if they think the green light is on and that their goal is so noble. They go against everything that they learned in Sunday school, and you know, that we learned in the FBI Academy and that you learned at it all these different prior stages of life that you thought were golden rules. And then you get into this situation where your bosses are saying, Hey, you got to do this because you know, the gloves are off and now we got to do this. And I think even salt Like I said, I think judge Sullivan has kind of fallen into this a little bit because he’s he’s You know, Ben, he’s read so much about how bad Flynn is, you know, Flynn has accused
Scott Horton 24:05
him of treason right at the sentencing before. Yeah. And then had to apologize and walk that back that actually yeah, that’s not one of the charges. Yeah, really.
Coleen Rowley 24:15
You know, I think Muller was trying actually to help his buddies to some extent, you know, they, you know, call me call me and Moeller, we’re close. And even Brennan and clapper. These people all work together. If you can think about how a whistleblower one of the worst things for a whistleblower is that if they do discover some wrongdoing, they know that they’re gonna be going against people that they work closely with. And you know, and everybody’s gonna hate them, even if it has nothing to do with their friends. Their friends are still gonna hate them afterwards for telling the truth about something. Yeah.
Scott Horton 24:51
It’s so remarkable though that you know, and I do see what you mean about them convincing themselves that there’s something to this enough to continue looking at or whatever there must have been some of that. And yet, you’re talking about spying on a major party presidential candidate. You’re talking about essentially, in trapping of fellow traveler like a no by this guy Papadopoulos didn’t have any real stature and then when that didn’t work, pretending to believe the steel dossier is reporting about page when the steel dossier says that the Russians promised page, a 19% ownership stake in Rosneft, the Russian oil company if only he would seize control of America’s sanctions policy toward Russia and fix it for him. Oh, yeah, sure. That is the least plausible lie in the world. I knew the moment I first laid eyes on the steel dossier. That that was obviously a blatant ridiculous couldn’t possibly be true lie, and therefore the FBI must have agreed with me about that. They were just pretending to think that it was true in order to use it as a pretext to spy on page Therefore by hops, the rest of the campaign and not that I’m would justify it this way or anything, but we’re not talking about spying on Gary Johnson or Jill Stein, who didn’t have a snowball’s chance in hell, no matter what we’re talking about the republican party’s nominee for president united states, who, on a regular day has a 5050 shot at being the next president, and for them to decide that they could do this and launch this investigation against him. And his team in that way is just absolutely amazing. And you know, I don’t know I hear you like if maybe part of them really thought that maybe there was a possibility there was something to this Russia stuff still enough to it to justify taking on a presidential candidate and then a president elect and then a newly sworn in precedent in the way that they did his just something for the history books for sure. You know, it’s really something else.
Coleen Rowley 26:58
I think Totally agree with you. I cannot believe how anyone could have read that dossier and have thought it was valid and not have asked questions. They didn’t even ask questions. They didn’t even question him after they realized he had lied and gone to the media.
Scott Horton 27:16
I mean, he had set up a spreadsheet I’m not sure on the date on this right but they said they’d set up this spreadsheet that detailed all of the different assertions of fact in there and then they had quickly debunked all of it like a good cop might if he tried
Coleen Rowley 27:31
Yeah, it’s it’s that’s really so unexcusable, but I’m gonna offer a couple of more devil’s advocate explanations for how egregiously bad this was
Scott Horton 27:43
or you know the devil better than I do. So go ahead.
Coleen Rowley 27:47
And one is Peter Principle. You know, people don’t like to know Peter Principle the majority of people when you say, the explanation is that this person is like Ted and Mary Tyler Moore. Or, you know, Bernie fights, they’re in positions of five or six levels beyond their competency, and why? Well, they had interpersonal skills. They were well liked all different reasons, but has nothing to do with their competency. And in fact, a lot of these big organizations actually want the competent people at the bottom. Yeah, I’ve seen this over and over in the FBI. I read the book Peters principal way back in college, I think. And then later on in the FBI, I thought, well, why is that guy in the FBI lab, who has degrees in chemistry and physics said, you know, advanced degrees, why is he the lab examiner, and his supervisor barely knows a little smidgen of biology. I mean, you saw this over and over. People were that couldn’t even speak the language were the ones that were supposed to be listening. I mean, I saw this over and over, and meanwhile the people that rose up to the top People like McCabe, they tend to have, you know, almost I hate to say this, but it’s psychopathic talents. They’re, they’re articulate, they know how to be convincing. They’re very ambitious. These are all kind of goes hand in glove with psychopathic traits, if you ever read the book wisdom of psychopathy, so those are the people who rise up but they are not necessarily competent in their job skills. And so that’s another explanation for this. There is a lot of Peter Principle, lots and lots of Peter Principle all through government, of course in and elsewhere. And then I think the the other thing is, is just that like what I said about going along once you have a green light, and you think your bosses have told you it’s okay to do these things. And you know, in the highest levels here, people like Brennan and clapper and Hayden and all these former directors, it’ll be Interesting to see, because someone asked me yesterday about the Durham investigation and how high level it would possibly go. And, you know, obviously the highest level it can possibly go would be, you know, to get people like Brennan and clapper and they did a lot of I’m sure some or all of them did some that were responsible for some of those illegal leaks just says call me, you know, was doing but I think at the very least they were responsible for that and probably more. But the question will be will Durham actually hold any of them accountable? He did punt on the CIA torture. So he has a pretty lame track record for going after officials on things. And at this point, like you said, it is it’s a really a large, it’s a whole party. It’s the democrat party leaders. It’s also a lot of these former agency directors and they Get kind of giving a green light into people on lower levels. And of course, the people on the lower levels just kind of say, Wow, they’re they’re saying it’s that dangerous right now I have got to do what I have to do. And so line obviously, becomes normalized. And, and this has happened, of course in the country on so many levels. You know, people constantly pointed Trump now about his double talking stuff. But, you know, Trump is just a symptom of a far greater disease here. There’s so much disinformation on the media part and whatever. You see it happening with Coronavirus where people are saying one thing one day and then turning around the next day and saying the opposite. And I think people are realizing that you know, what is truth they kind of almost get very cynical that there is no such thing as truth. Because you know, there’s so much line it’s so pernicious, and it’s so so rampant. So those are my my flimsy, flimsy excuses. is for how this could have happened. And I think the only remaining question is, will any of it potentially get fixed? Will there be any accountability? You know, I think if Flynn is finally exonerated on this, he will probably then he will probably go a long ways, you know, trying to remedy this and maybe some of the senators in Republican senators especially maybe maybe they will take it up. There is a chance there seems to be a chance now to fix the Pfizer. I’m not real optimistic that they will really fix the Pfizer process because the secrecy I was going to say that was one of the other main things here, Scott, you have to understand that when you think what you are doing will never come out and it will always be secret. The the doors open up to wrongdoing. When you No on the other hand that someone can Freedom of Information and find out what you did even if it’s a couple years from now, or, or even 10 years from now, people are going to be much more careful, accurate and cautious etc. You see the same thing with the police shootings until the cameras were rolling and now that the cameras are rolling, and there are starting to be a little bit of accountability for some of these seriously egregious you know, use of abuse of firepower by the police or chokeholds, etc. Now that the cameras are rolling, guess what? Everyone is going to be a lot more careful. What what happened here a few days ago in Minneapolis has happened repeat before the cameras before the police had cameras before people had their cell phone, phone, cameras rolling. It was happening all the time. It’s just that there was no way to prove it. And you had Very little accountability. So the good news is transparency and accountability, even though initially, it really shocks you. But that’s the answer. And with the five step process that has to be a part of the fix, if they merely say, oh, we’re going to have a devil’s advocate type advocates come in and will brief them and they can argue on the side of whoever the person being targeted is. That’s not going to work. In my opinion, that would be a very meager, very meager thing. What they have to do is inject a way for a secret Pfizer application to eventually as happened in the Carter page case, to eventually become public, and not tell the people doing it that this will all be covered up for the rest of your life. No matter what you do before a fight the court no matter what advice a judge authorizes, you know, to be honest, the Pfizer Judges judge themselves signed on these things are to blame to they should have asked a lot more questions.
Scott Horton 35:05
Well, and FISA is a criminal statute, right, the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. And so these guys who lied to the FISA court in order to get their FISA warrant, like for example, comi, and his people at DOJ, in the Flynn in the page case, they should be going to prison for what they’ve done not just for their illegal leaks, but for manipulating, essentially unlawfully using the FISA court against a political opponent. That’s right. I mean, that’s all was written to prevent right in the wake of Jackson and all this stuff.
Coleen Rowley 35:39
In all the thousands of cases of FISA, applications that turned out to be wrong. And there were there were probably hundreds, if not thousands, that turned out to be as you know, almost I would say as wrong is the Carter page when that’s terrible and because of his position in the campaign and trying to use it To go after other people in the campaign, but in all just average cases, there are lots and lots of mistakes. What What was the situation before the Carter page is that they would never, ever see the light of day. And if they’re never see the light of day, the only thing that an agent could fear would be that a supervisor or an inspector, eventually might, they had this IPR. What’s it called? office? I can’t remember if there’s an office, where if there was something like this internally, they would refer it up to that office, and then they would inspect it and they would, then yes, they could maybe hurt a person’s career a little bit internally. So there were things that they could do to the agent, but nothing like putting the pert No, he never thought they could go to jail for for making for saying wrong things to a feisty judge. And so this this has changed things. Now the Carter page, the whole the whole Russia gate fiasco has it has changed everything. Now whether the officials will be able to overcome that and continue business as usual, because even Bar Bar signed off on the renewal of the Patriot Act. Authorities. And you know, Rand Paul was saying, Hey, we have to fix FISA, this is the chance to fix fix the FISA process, but Barr was not on board. Barr actually signed off on this renewal. And now maybe because Trump has weighed in, but a lot will hinge on the next election. And I don’t know if it will be fixed or not, I’m not really that optimistic that it will really be fixed. The real fixed advice is you need to have a way to make it more like the criminal process where in fact because those deaths coloration because the affidavit is given to the court given to a defense attorney, they basically have the i’s dotted and the T’s crossed, there is very, very rarely a serious problem in requests for electronic surveillance that go to the regular District Court. They’re usually 100 pages long. They’re perfectly done. You know, one of my jobs in the FBI for 13 years as the legal counsel was to review these, these title three applications for surveillance of Americans under the under the criminal statute. And, you know, we we made sure that they were done very, very well. Not like in the, in the, in the Carter page case where they were written, you know, very quickly and we’re basically, you know, horrible. And you say, what’s the difference between the fight so the same, it’s a judge right, you’re going before a judge in both cases. Well, the difference is the agents believe in the face of and so does DOJ. And so does everybody involved. They believe it’s perpetually secret. And the difference is in the title three criminal case where you follow the Fourth Amendment. You know, if someone’s going to know about this, not right now, they’re not going to know about it. But in some time later, they’re going to know about it. And that changes everything that absolutely changes everything. That’s why the real fix is there to fix the problem. The process has to be a way. And I think I may have told you this story before. But I before I see, just after I retired, I was at a conference at a law conference in Washington DC national security law conference, and I think I was already retired. And I was going through the buffet line, and I happened to see be standing next to the gentleman counsel of the FBI, it was just a real quick since I was standing next to her I can’t remember her name. Now. She was kind of a really bad too. She went along with all of this post 911 stuff. And I said to her, you know, there’s 100 page Law Review, that if you had the process, and you told the judge, I don’t need perpetual secrecy, but please just give us five years, five years of secrecy until we can investigate this terrorist enterprise. And at the end of the five years, if we still need more secrecy, we’ll come back and ask for an extension. And maybe you could even if it was a really big, horrible terrorist, or if it was espionage, you could even ask for longer times. I said, if that was the case, you would have the agents really being more careful and cautious automatically, it would turn into much more like the like the criminal process. You know what this general counsel in the FBI said to me at the time, Coleen, that would be a real nuisance. We’d have to keep track of the time of the of the court orders and the time. That was her excuse that would be a real nuisance. And so that’s the mentality if you don’t have to do something, even though there’s a perfect fix to this really bad slicer process, they won’t even entertain the the idea, a suggestion from somebody that would make more that would make sense
Scott Horton 41:33
right? Hey, man, you guys are gonna love No dev no ops no it by Hussein Barack Johnny. It’s a fun and interesting read all about how to run your high tech company. Like a good libertarian should forget all the junk. Read no Dev, no Ops, no it by Hussein bodek. Johnny, find it in the margin at Scott Horton. org. Hey y’all, here’s the thing. Donate $100 to the Scott Horton show. And you can get a QR code commodity disc as my gift to you. It’s a one ounce silver disc with a QR code on the back you take a picture of with your phone, and it gives you the instant spot price. And lets you know what that silver that ounces silver is worth on the market and Federal Reserve Notes in real time. It’s the future of currency in the past to commodity discs.com or just go to Scott Horton. org slash donate. Hey guys, Scott Horton here for expanddesigns.com Harley Abbott and his crew do an outstanding job designing building and maintaining my sites and they’ll do great work for you need a new website? Go to expanddesigns.com/scott and save 500 bucks.
Again, sounds like typical bureaucratic incentives and politics and everything like that. No different than we’d expect. You know, I used to. I spoke to him for a long time but I used to speak occasion with Frederick Whitehurst who was the whistleblower from the FBI crime lab. And I guess, I think this was off the air. I was just talking with him, and was asking him about September 11. And, or maybe even on Oklahoma City, because he had been a whistleblower on Oklahoma City. And, and I was asking him about, you know, why they didn’t follow all the leads to the Nazis who were involved in the plot with McVeigh and all that. They were all FBI informants. You understand how it goes. But anyway, he said to me something like listen, if a regular beat FBI agent, goes to his supervisor, and says, Hey, check it out. I found out all this stuff, and I got all these leads, and I want to follow them that, you know, the average American might expect that the supervisor would say, great job Jenkins, get back out there and tell me what you find. But instead that even if it really is good work, and even if for whatever political reasons, the supervisor decides that yes, they should continue to pursue these angles, they’re probably going to turn it over to another cop, instead of letting the guy who was on the right track in the first place, continue doing what he’s doing. And just because essentially, like some sitcom or whatever, like the Peter Principle or whatever kind of thing, that you could just always expect them to do the wrong thing. You could never expect them to do what any regular Joe would assume that they would do, which is say, Good job Jenkins, get back out there and and finish it up. And that it just doesn’t work that way. It never does. And so that’s why everything is screwed up is because it has to be.
Coleen Rowley 44:35
Yeah, and you know, Frederick core Whitehurst would probably be the first to agree with me about the Peter Principle. He’s actually the example I was mentioning, you know, he’s a perfect example being far more competent, and at the lower levels and then have people that are your your supervisor, and your supervisor, supervisor and the directors and literally not have any clue about anything. But cronyism a what I actually knew a case in in New York City where it was a black female agent who had been a, I think she’d been a forensic coroner or something. She was very, very competent. She worked a whole case of a killing of a, of a Joint Terrorism Task Force officer, she got the guys it was already to go to trial. And they took the case away from her and gave it to a white friend of the supervisor. So and and by the way, that guy rose up I want to say to become assistant director, the guy that they gave a case to back when he was just a GS 13 agent. He got a case handed to him because he was buddies with the supervisor at the time and he rose up to be like an assistant director, maybe even Acting Director, incorrect, but that’s that’s that is how this Peter Principle works. And it does explain a lot. But people don’t like to know that because it really does. It’s it’s a scam. Your proposition in some ways that this kind of incompetence and cronyism and and you know, kind of a corruption a form of corruption infects our, our institutions and our structures so badly that it’s actually scarier than believing that there’s like evil, you know, like like our our movies will show some evil character who’s smart or evil genius, we’d almost prefer to believe that there’s an evil genius than there are than this Peter Principle. And I’ve seen this over and over, but it’s a problem. And yes, Peter principals guess what they do? They have huge ego defenses because by and large, they have very they don’t have the confidence they don’t actually they actually lack self confidence when when push comes to shove and so they’re nothing but ego defense. So they lie all the time. And that’s how they got ahead. They they you know, I even politicians They’re like this kind of in a way they, they’re always saying things that they think people want to hear instead of the truth.
Scott Horton 47:08
Yep. I was just having this conversation with another friend this morning about the studies that come out every few years or so that say, surprisingly, and coincidentally and interestingly, psychopaths and politicians share many of the same characteristics, which is just another way of saying politicians are psychopaths, you know, they probably usually are, you know, born to a better educated family. And so instead of going to the penitentiary, into the penitentiary, they go into politics or become a cop themselves, and put other people in the pin. And then they get to, you know, act with license to do whatever they want to other people and get away with it.
Coleen Rowley 47:53
I have a whole PowerPoint on on site, psychopathy and propaganda, and it’s basically This book, which I highly recommend, it’s maybe 10 years old now called the wisdom of psychopaths by Kevin Dutton. And it’s got charts in there. It’s not just politicians, all leaders, all leaders will possess psychopathic talents. It’s not that they’re bad things. We think of psychopaths, we think of serial killers, of course, well, that’s that’s only a fraction of 1% of all psychopaths, right? And
Scott Horton 48:28
I got a really nice email from a psychopath who said, Listen, I don’t care about anyone except myself, my own people, but I would never hurt anyone. Thank you very much. Like he’s kind of offended that I was conflating that term with someone who would actually do something bad to someone when that’s really not the same thing as it.
Coleen Rowley 48:45
That’s right. It’s a there’s a subset of psychopaths who are serial killers who actually get their only joy in life is you know, torturing somebody to death, etc. So that’s a very small subset. Most people with these tests Are are courageous, they are very persevering. They are very focused we think of focus, for instance, in persevering, even never giving up keep trying whatever we think of those as positive leadership traits. And in fact they are psychopathic traits. Most normal people will give up they will say hey, I tried this once or twice i’m i’m going to give up I psychopath keeps trying. And so the in the personal ambition, we think of that, you know, ambition is considered to be a positive trait. So but you know, when it goes too far, you know, a little bit of these things you will be you could become a surgeon and focus, there’s all kinds of professions that people with some of those traits end up in, including political leadership. But when you possess that gamut, you have to understand that those are those are the traits and that’s just the way civilization and you know, so Since the beginning of all time, this is the way human civilization has always been structured, equally problematic, besides the leader is the the groupies, the followers. And you see this very clearly with the Russia gate. And Rachel Maddow. So you know, switching over from writing a book about peace now to be in one of our main warmongers, you know, having Brennan on every other day and, you know, you see in all of her followers that you thought, you know, they thought they had principles, whatever, no, they all switch over. And that’s because people are very emotionally vulnerable. One thing a psychopath doesn’t have, they do not have emotional vulnerability, but most people do. And they in most people think of it as a good thing, oh, I’m empathetic, I have empathy I’m that’s a good thing. Well, actually no, in excess of empathy, which two thirds of all people have is emotional vulnerability, and it leads them to be very, very vulnerable and susceptible. To charlatan people that are no skate using fear and hate and scapegoating, because they’re manipulating those people. And that’s what again, this is the the history of the world is this. I think there, there’s probably very little we can do about it. There’s, there’s maybe some things we can do about it. But there’s not we can’t change it overnight. But what we can do is be aware of this right now, if we’re aware of it, that goes a long ways to, to, you know, trying to tell people Hey, you know, facts matter, not your not your emotions. Yeah. And
Scott Horton 51:39
yeah, right. And if you’re going to be emotional about it, mistrust and distrust, the burden of proof is on them, especially after everything that they’ve said this whole time has been wrong and so destructive. There’s just how could anyone have believed Russia gate after Syria? And how could anyone I believed in all the propaganda about Syria after Iraq, and etc, etc, all the way back? Because at some point we should be good and inoculated against these narratives. You know,
Unknown Speaker 52:05
it’s, it’s, I never cease to be amazed that people who I thought had minds. Yet when their leader or someone they know and trust tells them something it can it can be as silly as that like you mentioned in the steel dossier. It could be that Syria is Assad is using chemical weapons I mean, I saw a good piece activists here that fell for every bit of that simply because their leaders were telling them that in the same thing with Rachel Maddow and the Russia gate, and it’s it’s a it’s either as a way to to, again, I think if you understand what’s going on, maybe there’s a way we can deal with it. By the way, if you ever get on if you ever get a request for a talk on this. I have a PowerPoint on this on this issue on psychopathy. And so you know, I’d love to go and talk more about it because I think if more people understood it, I think we’d we’d have a better chance of dealing with it as well.
Scott Horton 53:13
Well, how about writing an article about it for the libertarian Institute?
Coleen Rowley 53:17
Well, you know, maybe I’ll, I’ll look at my PowerPoint again. I don’t know I i we take care of our grandchildren now during the corona virus. So I’m homeschooling. And you know, at the end of the day, I’m gonna like oh my gosh, I’m like worn out and I haven’t I wrote the the Flynn article is like the first article I’ve written in some time, but I’ll think about it and maybe maybe we could, we could co write one. That would be good too. But getting back to J. Edgar Hoover. I don’t think anybody wants to go back to the time of J. Edgar Hoover. If the situation right now if people do not put some hard thought into what has happened and how this is a perfect example of how this is really all of the things when they, you know, reduce the standards after 911. It’s a perfect example of of what it has led to, and how it needs to be fixed right now. Otherwise, we go back to a frank church being monitored by the NSA are our senators and everybody else. And here we are. We’ve seen it already happen. And I think that we’re on the verge of of on one of two ways we can try to fix it now. Or we can just continue on into this. You know, the Empire rotting from the inside.
Scott Horton 54:36
Yep. All right, you guys. That is the great Coleen Rowley. Writing again at consortium news.com. This one is called Ghost of J. Edgar haunts Flynn investigation. Thanks so much for time calling. great to talk to you.
Coleen Rowley 54:49
Yeah, thank you.
Scott Horton 54:51
The Scott Horton show anti war radio can be heard on kpfk 90.7 FM in LA, APSradio.com antiwar.com Scott horton.org and libertarian institute.org
5/29/20 Ron Enzweiler on the Continued Gaslighting of the American Public on the Pensacola Terrorist Attack
Ron Enzweiler discusses the narratives surrounding domestic terrorist attacks like the one in Pensacola, Florida last December. Too often, these incidents are practically ignored, disappearing from the news before anyone can dig deeply into the details. When they are covered, the story often conveniently revolves around the idea that the attacker supposedly hated American freedoms or was simply radicalized by a dangerous form of Islam. In reality, says Enzweiler, these terrorists are often very specific in describing their motives: they are trying to strike back at America for its detrimental and unjust role in conducting aggressive wars in the Middle East, where it has no business. Talking about these motives is not in any way to excuse the murder of American citizens. But Enzweiler and Scott agree that if we want to prevent future attacks, we must first understand the conditions under which they are likely to take place.
Discussed on the show:
- “Gaslighting of the American Public on Pensacola Terrorist Attack Continues” (Antiwar.com Original)
- 2009 Fort Hood shooting
- “Do Saudi Arabs Really Love Americans?” (Antiwar.com Original)
- “U.S. Policy in the Gulf: – Five Years of Dual Containment” (The Washington Institute for Near East Policy)
- “The Middle East Isn’t Worth It Anymore” (WSJ)
- “Pensacola: Blowback Terrorism” (Antiwar.com Original)
- “The future of U.S.-Saudi relations” (Quincy Institute for Responsible Statecraft)
The following is an automatically generated transcript.
All right shall welcome Scott Horton show. I am the director of the libertarian Institute editorial director of anti war calm, author of the book fool’s errand, time to end the war in Afghanistan. And I’ve recorded more than 5000 interviews going back to 2003, all of which are available at Scotthorton.org. You can also sign up to the podcast feed full archive is also email@example.com. Slash Scott Horton show.
Aren’t you guys introducing Ron ends Wyler. He was in the State Department in Iraq and Afghanistan and also worked with us aid. But now he’s a good guy and writes for us at anti war calm from time and this one is really important gas lighting of the American public on Pensacola. terrorist attack continues. Welcome back to the show. Ron, how are you doing?
Ron Enzweiler 1:04
Hey, Scott, great, great to be on your program again and supporting your journalism and the anti war con people. So thank you.
Scott Horton 1:13
Yeah, well, we’re happy to have you around, you do good stuff. And this is, well, it’s a crazy time all the way around. And our news cycle is dominated, of course, by the big germ. So it’s important that we keep a spotlight on all this other stuff that is still also important, such as this terrorist attack at Pensacola and Naval Air Station, back on December the sixth of 2019 by a Saudi national who was in the US for pilot training at the Naval Air Station there. And as you remind us here, three Americans were killed and eight were injured. And then just last week, there was one right along these lines. I hope you know the details better than me because I don’t know him very well.
Well, about what happened in Corpus Christi was where there was something like an attempted attack along these lines, although apparently, a guard grabbed his rifle and put an end to it real quick. And I think that was the end of it there. But maybe you can fill us in on that, too. But this was, again, I believe, another Saudi student insurer in the country. Well, go ahead.
Ron Enzweiler 2:23
And that case, in that case, God Well, first of all, I almost put in my article that was published on your website a couple days earlier, as their as well as the Arabic word for a copycat because I was almost sure there would be other people tried to now this is back in the news, you know that some in the FBI you know, kind of glossed over all the all the background on the on the terrorist motivation, you know, anti Americanism and doesn’t like we’re doing in the Middle East, that sort of thing. And that case got actually I think it was it wasn’t so much a pilot. I saw the national in the country for pilot training. It was a local Arab citizen of the United States who just got flamed up and just tried to go through the front gate of the base. Oh yeah, he did shoot shoot it’s actually I think he’s doing a security contract with him sure as a US soldier a better
Scott Horton 3:15
citizen that did it Han that attacked a military base Jesus Christ.
Ron Enzweiler 3:19
Yeah, you know trying to crash the front gate there might have been a second accomplice. I never heard more about that but they thought it might have been another guy was part with and who got away then number one attacker got shot down shot killed. So that kind of ended that episode. But you know, back of the the information that came out, I guess it’s been about came out on May 18. I guess that’s like a, you know, 10 days ago or so. Scott, that was they actually did say in the police report or the FBI report that there are 850 Saudi nationals training at us air bases throughout the country. And after the guy in December sort of slipped through security in background checks and was obviously The detailed report on that that did come out from the Justice Department and FBI was that this particular Saudi national had joined them Saudi military on purpose to get say, Get get going to the pilot training bug and gets sent to the US then use his presence here to carry out a Jihadi attack and he was actually in contact with outside of the night before he akata of the Arabian potential. No, he was actually in contact with him the night before they finally got that off his cell phones, but I mean, this was one person who is 850 they actually sent home 21 more people in the last six months based on the fact that they thought they might be suspected Totti jihadi radicalized Saudis in our country when you think about a Scott work is next 911 looks simple. We’re giving them the airplane we’re teaching the fly we’re giving to the airplane and we’re letting them you know, fly around the country, at least within restricted areas you know for their pilot training and doesn’t take much imagination to find some guy decides he wants to, you know, plow that plane into a city or something like that and not land back at the base. And you
Scott Horton 5:10
guys imagination doesn’t seem to extend further than grabbing a gun. Hmm
Ron Enzweiler 5:15
You know and that’s it, you know if I was painting this I mean hey, I’m not trying to you know, it just couldn’t agree more. I mean if I was planning this thing out I don’t think I would have just, you know, got a gun run outside my base and shoot a couple of soldiers that me walking by, you know, as you got out there, but let’s not let’s not try to condone any of this stuff. It’s obviously horrible.
Scott Horton 5:33
No, of not just could be worse as all you know. Oh, yeah,
Ron Enzweiler 5:39
definitely. I mean, you know, and you know, it’s it doesn’t take much imagination to find it out.
Scott Horton 5:43
And when you look at what happened or
hood, where he knew he had a whole room full of guys and killed 13 you know, yeah. So and that was gone, I believe maybe two.
Ron Enzweiler 5:56
And this was definite, you know, motivated by US involvement in the Middle East, you know, pro Israel stuff, you know, soldiers and occupying Arab countries and you know killing 10s of thousands hundreds of thousands of Muslims for us geopolitical interest. I mean, it’s clear that this this was what motivated same as Osama bin Laden Of course going back to 911 if you read his manifesto, but so it’s kind of a you know, it’s getting I think the relationship I think the facts are getting pointed out here. I got I was just happened to catch a blurb last night I don’t normally watch much cable but I did catch a little bit of laura ingram she had prom pail on they were mostly talking about China and you know, softball questions about China and Hong Kong, that the anti Canada film is anger. And what about these this Saudi Arab guy in here propeller training, getting, you know, attacking and killing soldiers that are basis and how do we justify having these guys here to get this training when it’s obviously a security risk? And you’ll love this answer, Scott. So pangos from payout says, Well, you know, we have to train the soul. Pilots over here, we don’t have to send more American pilots in the Middle East so they can fly all the missions over there to try to keep Americans safe. So I said you got it. You got to be kidding me, you know, you know talking about gaslighting the American public. I mean, it’s as if we’re going to go over there and you know, of course we train these guys got to fly them here.
Scott Horton 7:19
Don’t have to train him over there. Like he’s literally flip floppy slogans, you know?
Ron Enzweiler 7:25
Yep. And we’re gonna walk.
Scott Horton 7:27
They’re keeping us safe from who the who these Is that it? Don’t make him finish that sentence about who the Saudis are helping keep us safe.
Ron Enzweiler 7:38
In the course, unfortunately, this kind of gets one of my questions I had about our article is that the American public gets so just you know, deceived us a nice word deceived by the press releases from the Saudi embassy. What these public officials what Trump says you know, Trump reads out this statement from King Solomon back in December. This was the article of one of my My first article that I wrote for you firstname.lastname@example.org back in December where he actually the kinko Saudi Arabs love Americans. I said, Gee, I lived there. My family’s lived there for a long time, my wife’s family, and I go, Wow, that’s news to me. I mean, it’s the most anti Western, you know, the Wahhabi establishment is practicing a very fundamentalist form of Islam. They still have, you know, Sharia law where you get your hand cut off if you caught stealing, and women who commit adultery are scorned, and there’s even does beheadings and stonings. I mean, you know, that that just I mean, any idea that there’s any sort of common values between our countries is just ridiculous, you know, and yet that type of information doesn’t get out to the American public and people in Washington, the mainstream media mainly tries to just downplay all that stuff doesn’t mention all the blowback and the fact that our presence there, particularly in Saudi Arabia, This cartel has caused a lot of anger in the Islamic world.
Scott Horton 9:05
You know, I think it must have been Daniel Davis, who recently was talking about that on the show about being in Saudi Arabia and how they told him during iraq war one, I think about how Yeah, you’re just the hired help, you know, they look at us like we’re Filipino maids basically here to fight their war for them.
Ron Enzweiler 9:24
Oh, yeah. I mean, and then, of course, we sell them, you know, 10s of billions of dollars of military hardware every year that, you know, fuels and ultra industrial complex and in
Scott Horton 9:34
that funny that, like whites are so in the West in the world, just generally speaking, that kind of so racist against Arabs, that they couldn’t imagine that the Saudis would be racist against us. And think that right that they’re the, the Uber mentioned, and that we’re just their servants. So here we are acting as their servants, but acting you know, completely oblivious to who’s zooming who, because how could those you know And, and words or whatever be, you know really taking advantage of us, not us.
Ron Enzweiler 10:07
Well, you know, the, the interesting The other factor that doesn’t come out too much am I mentioned, I did listen in on a Quincy Institute seminar on webinar on Wednesday that was the future of us Saudi relations. And besides there and David Miller, who’s a fairly knowledgeable person about the Middle East is most of your listeners will probably know, you know, in terms of being involved in us. Peace, probably the Israel Palestinian peace process as well as a scholar from London School of Economics and the Dow. We are Rashidi, who is a Saudi and lives in London. Very, very astute woman from what I could hear, but she even tells me she brought out the fact Scott that the pro West orientation of particularly Mohammed bin solem, you know, the current president, I guess he’s the king and waiting, whatever you want to exactly.
Scott Horton 10:56
Crown Crown Prince. Yeah, yes.
Ron Enzweiler 10:58
Yeah. He’s basically he He’s going so far pro Western, that he that the Wahhabi religious establishment is. He basically said right out in the in the interview that they basically here they have no legitimacy now anymore for a large part of the Wahhabi religious establishment, which is the dominant force in the country in terms of how people how the instability is maintained in Saudi Arabia. That’s been a very tenuous relationship. Ever since Aramco, which was the Arabian American oil company was formed in 1930. They didn’t want any Westerners in the in the country to even you know, help with oil production, that sort of thing. And they kind of had to make a deal where you kind of keep these guys profiled, and like you said, just use them as indentured servants to work you know, work on the oil fields and keep the oil flowing, and we keep all the money. So that was kind of like you were saying a moment ago, kind of the they looked down on us as inferior people because that we didn’t practice religion most. You know what I mean, and all the other things I think are important in life and that relate equals Appalachian I got really strain. We started putting us soldiers in the country. Of course, there’s been several attacks the Khobar Towers attack and other ones, where they just right out, yeah, they just don’t like Westerners in the country. And, yeah, I think there’s a good chance and this is kind of what she was alluding to this Arabic lady on the podcast was that she was literally on the fact that there could be the world’s under bin sama has to be a little bit careful because he could he could really upset things here. And that got to be interesting part of the discussion, Jen, is that how stable and how mutually beneficial is the Saudi us relationship? Yeah, at this point,
Scott Horton 12:39
right now when you know, their economy has got to be I haven’t seen the charts. I should ask david stockman to come on. Tell us about what the Saudi charts say about their oil production and revenues. But it’s got to look like the world’s deepest black hole right now.
Ron Enzweiler 12:56
Yeah, and, of course, they just went to that price for with Russia. You know, that was also discussed that
Scott Horton 13:01
you write for, for the world’s greatest drop in demand for fuel ever, by a million times, they were already in a price war with the Russians. Hmm.
Ron Enzweiler 13:12
Yeah. And with that, that’s a geopolitical I mean, you know, they’re doing us no favors by stuff like that, you know, because they probably realized that we’re getting more oil independent. So we’re not, you know, the big reason I was there in the 80s, you know, and people before me, and even up to probably 2000 or so that we needed, you know, four or 5 million barrels of oil of Saudi oil coming, you know, coming our way every every day. And it was made sense to have a military presence ever protect that. And that’s just no longer the real world anymore. That’s what
Scott Horton 13:43
david stockman used to always say that no, I mean, as we’ve seen since then, the solution to higher oil prices, in this case, not because Saudi cut us off, but just because of the disruption from Iraq war two over there, that the solution to high low prices is high oil prices. All that does is the obvious, which is create new discovery and new development and new investment in bringing new resources to bear so that greedy capitalists can profit off of those high prices and then that’s what drives the prices right back down again and so forth. So with or without, you know, the Saudis, the world find a fuel supply. There’s enough oil to last forever, and a lot of people think that’s unfortunate or whatever. But nevermind, environmentalism for the sake of the argument just in terms of our dependence on Saudi oil. There’s always been enough oil in Texas. The only question is, at what price Are you willing to develop it? Yeah,
Ron Enzweiler 14:39
you know, they have to go to more expensive recovery techniques. And let’s face it, we’re with our massive military industrial complex that we’re, we’re, we’re we’re subsidizing the carbon fuel industry, which mostly people that are environmentally concerned with climate change were the ones who were it’s kind of funny because you I think in that call was on with the Quincy Institute, Dr. Miller talked about the fact that we’ve spent $60 billion fighting terrorism, I’m not sure we got that number. As far as I’m concerned. All of our all of the all of the Afghanistan war might not even be low, you know, why would it be closer the truth? I think 6.4 trillion is the number I’m you know, in terms of, let’s face it, we, we got the the, quote, fighting terrorism started after 911. And that was the Iraq War and the Afghanistan war. And that’s all about I mean,
Scott Horton 15:32
the Pentagon is probably consumed as much oil in that time as Germany, you know,
Ron Enzweiler 15:37
yeah. And, clearly and, you know, I mean, that’s, I mean, that’s our, quote, evil foreign policy in the Middle East has sort of caused us to spend all that money and get all you have all the other, you know, plus the names of local nationals. We killed them. It’s just it’s just incredible having been over there and seeing all that I can never could understand why we are fighting that What was this whole thing about but then it really, really caused a lot of problems. And yes, I think there’s a good I’m sorry, I was gonna say I think there’s a growing I think there was a consensus from some of those people that I on that call and i know i know Martin Indyk who was, you know, very prominent member of the blob in Washington and Middle East. He wrote a nice editorial in the Wall Street Journal after after the, out to the sulemani assassination in January about Hey, man, we got to start rethinking why we’re even over there, you know, because
Scott Horton 16:30
this is the primary author of the dual containment policy. It’s crying. Oh, yeah, finally.
Ron Enzweiler 16:36
Well, it’s finally saying i think i think he saw Trump going into the, you know, starting a war with Iran, which he of course, I would have read about you, but the stupidest thing you could possibly do, but that’s not i’m not sure that is a constraint on what? foreign policy Yeah, full of voice comes out of Washington these days. But I think I’m a little bit optimistic, Scott, that there’s a growing consensus, you know, I get the washington post some credit. Maybe because of your, their, their relationship with, you know, the Kasai guy that got murdered viciously by the Saudis, give him a little bit of credit for pointing out that some of this Saudi us relationship is starting not to make as much sense and should be reassessed. So most of the other people are just, you know, sweeping as long under the carpet, you know, making these terrorist attacks. I’m no big deal. You know, in terms of the pilots, we talked about being flat airplanes around our country and getting all this training. And, you know, I think, clearly Trump sees the whole thing is just a big business deal, you know, hey, they’re going to buy, you know, 10s of billions of dollars of aircraft and other military hardware from us every year. And that’s just good business. But he doesn’t think through the implications of that. And I think that’s very unfortunate because it is, I see it as a lose lose relationship. At this point. It might have started out as a win win, you know, back in the day, we needed the oil, they needed, you know, some economic development, we had to help them produce the oil. That’s why they had you know, a lot of Americans and Westerners over there, but I don’t see that anymore. That’s just as you gotta do. Reality the situation and we’re making the US presence there their Western president you’re you’re there your flaming terrorism I mean I love it in this one article I quoted from the in my in my article or quote at the press release the Saudis put out after after the press report last Monday. This is where they they claim that this is the report
Scott Horton 18:23
that came out was about the disc I really had been working with, okay, the long term Okay, something like
Ron Enzweiler 18:30
Yep. And the quote says the Saudi people are greatly angered by this barbaric act of the shooter. This person, the perpetrator, in no way shape or form represents the feelings of the Saudi people who love the American people. And then there was one about how they later on in the article they talked about how they this one I liked, I said, as this attack tragic reminds us, the extremists and terrorists threaten both our nation’s will not stop in their efforts to target innocent people. But we in the course they talked about the Saudis will never let the terrorists win or allow other acts. There are other acts to hate a patriot to divide us. Saudi Arabia claiming that high ground on fighting terrorism is about his ridiculous as you know, you know, I mean, I mean, just, that’s just completely the opposite of the reality that and this came out in that call on Wednesday as well. You know, they are the greatest sponsor of all their jihadi ideology comes out of the Wahhabi ism that they find all around the world. And I saw all the masks and buildings that mosque and buildings I think they built in Afghanistan. I mean, they flew all the pilgrims back over to Mecca and stuff like this. I mean, they I mean, they are they are really, you know, the greatest source of terrorist ideology and financial support in the Islamic world and yet they in America to the American They claim they’re out there fighting terrorism and trying to work with United States on making everybody safer. I guess again, those are statements that just have no basis in reality. And I think the fact that the they’re sort of losing legitimacy with their own people, the Saudi royal family, that’s, that’s going to be that’s going to be a factor that comes up here fairly soon. I think.
Scott Horton 20:19
Hold on just one second. Be right back. So you’re constantly buying things from amazon.com. Wow, that makes sense. They bring them right to your house. So what you do though, is click through from the link in the right hand margin at Scott Horton. org. And I’ll get a little bit of a kickback from Amazon’s into the sale won’t cost you a thing. Nice little way to help support the show. Again, that’s right there in the margin at Scott Horton. org. Hey, I’ll check it out. The libertarian Institute. That’s me and my friends have published three great books this year. First is no quarter, the ravings of William Norman Greg. He was the best one of us. Now he’s gone. But this great collection is a truly fitting legacy for his fight. Freedom. I know you’ll love it. Then there’s coming to Palestine by the great Sheldon Richmond. It’s a collection of 40 important essays. He’s written over the years about the truth behind the Israel Palestine conflict. You’ll learn so much and highly valued this definitive libertarian take on the dispossession of the Palestinians and the reality of their brutal occupation. And last but not least, is the great Ron Paul, the Scott Horton show, interviews 2004 through 2019 interview transcripts of all of my interviews of the good doctor over the years, on all the wars, money taxes, the police state and more. So how do you like that? Pretty good, right? Find them all at libertarian institute.org slash books. You need stickers for your band, your business will Rick and the guys over at the bumper sticker.com have got you covered great work, great prices, sticky things with things printed on them whenever you need the bumper sticker.com we’ll get it done right for you. The bumper sticker.com
Well, not so There’s this report in the weekly standard, but it confirms my bias. So I believe it. It’s from back in 2001. And it says that in the 1990s, it’s the sources a unnamed Special Operations Command or a high level one says that the Joint Staff at the Pentagon used to always say that, well, terrorism is a small price to pay for being a superpower. And you know, the thing about that is not that this is justified or anything, I definitely don’t mean that. But I’m saying it is understandable why they would think that that, you know, a couple of truck bombs go off in Africa, and mostly Africans are killed and a few dozen Americans Yeah, somebody tries to sink the coal. They don’t even sink the coal. They kill 17 sailors. They bombed Khobar Towers, they killed 19 airmen, and how from the point of view of those guys that like hell, we had a storm on D day, the beaches Omaha and whatever the thing and so it is It’s a small price to pay if you look at all the advantage that we’re taking and that kind of thing, and then of course, September 11, at least temporarily changed the calculation on that, that Geez, you know, we really can do a lot of damage with a plane. Hmm. So that I worry that and of course, we have all the FBI entrapments over the years. But now the FBI doesn’t have to keep in trapping people because now they really are generating enough homegrown and pseudo copycat and Fort Hood style San Bernardino style attacks like these, where I fear that because you have I’m not saying it would be better if it was bigger. I don’t mean that but I’m just saying because you have a small attack where handful of people are killed and doesn’t reverberate through the society and everything. It’s just another news story goes away again. I think, you know, there’s no reckoning right? There’s no it doesn’t matter that it happened. And so, where we’re supposed to be saying, Oh my god, you know what? Keeping our bases in Arabia and continuing to bomb Arabs from them continues to cause problems for us here. And so we don’t even have that conversation at all. We just continue on like, it’s okay. And then you and I are having conversations like this where we’re going chasis kind of lucky he didn’t suicide crashed his plane into downtown somewhere, which he might have, considering he was a flight student. You know, this is the kind of thing where it’s like, all other things being equal, if it was just a regular Tuesday or whatever, that the needle should scratch off the record, everyone should stop and go, look, we still got been last night type attacks in our country. You know, 20 years after you guys promised you were going to end terrorism by fighting it over there. So what in fact is the damn deal and instead, that conversation isn’t even happening?
Ron Enzweiler 24:50
Clearly, and I’m, you know, the sooner we withdraw troops out of Afghanistan, that place becomes a non problem. And then same way in the Middle East, you know, get out of Iraq. In Syria These are places that we’re creating more problems and issues than we can possibly any do any good but as I mentioned, Scott the other shoe that’s gonna drop and this came up in the Quincy a seminar on Wednesday is the fact that you know Trump is Trump and Kushner and net and I you are pushing this one sided land grab deal by us Riyal. And there was a question that came up that I think was a good one where you know, if this if this is clear that Saudi Arabia is not going to this was Aaron, David Miller’s opinion not going to support that in any overt way. Because it’s just too much chance to do they don’t want their fingerprints on it. But if the Trump administration pushes it through with the new with the network, they’re continuing now, you Israeli Government. I think the jihadist elements in Saudi and the other countries I just don’t see them abandoned in Palestine. is a core is brahmic issue. That is You know, been around that region now for 50 6070 years. I, I agree that the Saudi Crown Prince is probably, you know, not going to rally against it any overweight because he needs to, you know, he stays in power only because the US supports him. So but I just think there’s enough. And I think modality, the lady from London kind of thought the same thing that there is, there’s no probability that that goes down, maybe it won’t go down because we won’t go anywhere and Trump may not get elected who knows what but if it does go down, then it’s going to be a real that’s gonna that could be a real game changer in terms of Jihadi activity and Arab unrest and attacks on US military installations over there with almost no consequence of what the what the secondary effects are, is I think that’s still out there is a, you know, is a potential problem if, depending on how that situation goes, yeah. Someone has to keep that in mind and I can’t do things without ran. I’ve kind of been toned down a little bit, but I still think there’s the There’s still there’s still underlying issues there and the continuing strangulation of their economy is only going to, you know, make things worse if Trump gets reelected, but let’s just You mean, those are still a very dangerous place? And yeah, I’m just interested to see some of the big name Middle East experts so called coming to the same conclusion that more or less, you know, I am is that, you know, hey, it’s just time to get out of there because you just, I’ve heard him Andrew Bacevich talked about this in some of his books, seminars and things that, you know, we got to just reassess this thing and realize it’s, there’s no wind out there as we might as well, just down, you know, minimize the involvement and realize are never going to change that part of the world. Israel can take care of itself, it’s got the strongest military in the region by far, and just, you know, just focus, you know, spend day with our own problems here at this country, but that’s kind of kind of the philosophy I’ve developed just having been around the world and vents on these places and seeing things a little bit closer up and, you know, in realizing that whatever good USA did, we probably did more But all sorts of other ways Believe me, State Department, same way military clearly, you know, so we just don’t have the our institutions are not the Empire This is not receive any place in the world that I’ve ever lived. I can almost say that is a fact. Yeah.
Scott Horton 28:15
Well, and you know, the real danger. One real danger here is it’s so easy for Al Qaeda to jerk America’s chain. And, you know, by that I mean, take one example where there’s at least I don’t know, I think a 5050 chance that the attack on December 27 on the American base in Iraq, wasn’t even ca t ball Hezbollah, the Shiite militia at all Iran backed or otherwise, but was actually an ISIS attack makes perfect sense to think that it was Yeah, America’s they’re embedded with the Shia fighting against ISIS. Why wouldn’t the presumption be that it was ISIS that attacked the damn base? But then, so it goes to show though that when you have Americans in the Foreign Policy establishment and particularly in the form of our current Secretary of State and his cabal inside the administration, that they are so primed to blame Iran for anything that, you know, think about if that same principle took place inside this country and so instead of a local rocket Katyusha attack kill her, instead of a local Katyusha rocket attack in Iraq, you had a major terrorist attack inside the United States. And wouldn’t we expect that pompeyo and the people with him would be saying to Trump, that this must have been Iran and now’s our chance to hit Iran and relying on the fact that Donald Trump actually does not know shit from apple butter and would say, Okay, if you guys say it was the shear who did this, let’s hit him and go along with something like that. I think that is the real danger and by the way, other than the overthrow of bin Solomon or you know, the The installation of the watt Zawahiri as Pharaoh in Egypt or something like that, can you think of anything that al Qaeda would like to see better than the ayatollah beheaded? And the current regime on overthrown?
Ron Enzweiler 30:15
Yeah, matter of fact, at this webinar, listen to the Airbus lady, Huawei, she said that they actually call their attack on the houthis down in Yemen, jihad, they consider that to be jihad against, you know, infidels and Islam or whatever you want to do that shia Sunni issue. Of course, coming back, maybe
Scott Horton 30:36
that was Obama Trump al Qaeda war against the Houthis in Yemen. Uh huh. Go ahead.
Ron Enzweiler 30:41
Is that’s why she said, we’re supporting what the Saudi fundamentalists believe is jihad. Yeah. See, we are actually talking about spreading terrorism and we are reinforcing the notion that they are saving their form of Islam or whatever they think they’re saving, but you’re to be even territorial integrity, but you may so that gets so muddled in next You’re right, there’s no, there’s no idea that there’ll always be the tension between the Iran is a Shia power and Saudi is the Sunni power, you know, that we don’t that’s, that’s been going on for a century. So I mean, to think we’re going to get involved in that and resolve it, but we just got to get out of the middle of it. And, you know, by the way, going back to your rocket attack story, episode there, Scott, I lived in all those bases in Iraq and in Afghanistan. We got we got we had rocket attacks every week. I mean, it was just standard procedure. The sirens go off, you’re jumping the bump bunker, you know, sometimes they would hit sometimes they would miss. But I mean, I just like anybody that served over there lived over there. That’s just, I mean, that’s just like not even news. I mean, that’s just Yeah, they don’t want us here. They want us out. And every day, they’re gonna remind us of that fact. And that’s about what those things are all about. They’re not really intended to be capacitate the military or have any big strategic value. It’s just reminding you that we don’t want you over here. And so you get out the better and you know, they might Every now and then kill somebody by locking out I mean, and but that’s mean to make a major issue out of that and to go launch this war against, you know, assassinate a government official of another country set that precedent Think about that for a minute, you know that, you know, now someone comes to Washington, this acetate some assassinate some government officials just paid back for the Samadhi execution, you know, I mean, you got to recognize that these, you know, some decorum or some rules of war here that we’re violating. But so that’s kind of what I mean, I never I always thought that i think i think you’re right about the intelligence and intelligence masses, whatever assessment, the powers to be wanted to win, it’s to say, I mean, I’ve been through that I’ve seen how they would come up with all these assessments that were winning the war in Afghanistan every year, you know, and yet we always did, the one commander would come in and claim he did better than the guy before him, and even then, then the next guy would, you know, do better. Well, we’ve had five or six successive commanders are all doing better why we went to war. I mean, no one ever asked that question. So I totally I agree that the, the the intelligence community’s assessments of who did what, for what reasons, is is designed to fit a narrative that somebody wants to achieve based on some other objective or interest they have. It’s not based on hard reality. So that’s kind of my ground level observation of that. As I said, the rocket attacks are just that’s just, that’s just not even a significant event.
Scott Horton 33:25
Yeah. Now, so, back to the Pensacola thing in specific here. A fun kind of sort of side note about this. I guess it’s not that fun is that there was a republican congressman who tweeted out some of the statement that was made on Twitter by the attacker at the time last December, and Twitter took down his page for the day or two days or whatever it was a republican congressman, and the Congress Congress made that this is terrible censorship which I Totally agree, obviously not official government censorship, but it’s totally against the spirit of free speech is totally uncalled for. And the fact is that if they had let his posts stand, his post actually refuted itself, because what he claimed the statement said, was that Islamic extremism will not sleep until all Americans are dead or something like that, when that, in fact is not at all what the statement says. In fact, it begins. I’m not against you for just being American. I don’t hate you because of your freedoms. I hate you because every day you supporting funding and committing crimes, not only against Muslims, but also humanity, I am against evil and you are evil, etc, etc, etc, etc. has nothing whatsoever to do with I’ve signed on to this extreme form of Islam that says that I You must travel to North America and kill innocent people for believing in Jesus peace be upon him but not Muhammad peace be upon him too. Yeah. Right. And instead and and it goes on, by the way, and by the way. Yeah, I think you know this my article as far as I know, my email@example.com from last December, which is held Pensacola blowback terrorism is the only place in the world where you can find this guy’s entire statement at set. If you follow my link, there it is on the web archive, they saved his tweet at the Wayback Machine is where I linked to and go it, which I’ll give credit to the New York Post because they actually were the first to link to the Wayback Machine there. But they didn’t quote the whole thing and I quote the whole thing, and in no way justifies this guy killing anyone. It’s just a matter of shedding light on the reality. It’s not an excuse. It’s his reasons and we need to know what are the motives for doing this kind of thing and what he’s talking About, of course, his violence committed by the American government against the people of the Middle East at large. And he ain’t wrong about that. And as Ron Paul said, you know, if we ignore that people are upset about what we do to them, then we ignore that at our own peril. And we put ourselves in danger. If we think we can just go around bombing people and not end up getting shot in return. This is the way it works. And so here we still are having this conversation in 2020.
Ron Enzweiler 36:34
Yep, but that was Matt gates OR gates, I guess it wasn’t, wasn’t for him to close. So it’s his his his his his his district. So you’re right Scott, because I was working on my article Yo, and I tried to link back to his tweets or whatever his statements and he was gone, you know, because I wanted this guy. I knew this guy said this. I just read it five hours ago, what happened to it? And you know, I had to wait to your article came out where you actually could link back as you mentioned, to the The original tweet on Twitter, but you know they Twitter in the MSM, Wall Street Journal had an article, they just completely whitewash it with any of this Manifesto. You know, I, you know, anti Israel anti American military interventionism the white horse at all out of the news stories, as I mentioned in the article we just talked about the one I wrote last week. No one did I give the Washington Post credit. They do make a few words in that regard. But no one talks about the manifesto about why was he radicalized? What was the real issue that was perpetuating this attack? And what are the implications for our foreign policy? That was my whole point. What’s the implication our military and foreign policy for myself, all these jets to Saudi Arabia, these warfighting machines have to bring their pilots over here to train them. That’s, that’s a, you know, that was that was the question the wisdom of doing that, given the large potential for a major attack and problem. And of course, secondly, if if it’s all driven by blowback from our policy in the Middle East, is a time to reassess our policy and realize like you just said that the fundamental problem, we’re creating the problem we think we’re trying to solve by just the way our actions are over there and how we support, you know, despotic regimes and, you know, don’t care about the Palestinians and do all sorts of things that are just anathema to most of the people in the Islamic world. And these are, I worked a lot of real educated, you know, people, you know, in the jobs I had, you know, doing training government officials and doing business stuff and things like that as God and they would have very intelligent conversations with them where they’d ask these very simple questions and I had a hard time you know, you’re right, I got a great we’re not we’re just doing this for some geopolitical reason that has no real interest in your society of your culture, your people, we’re just, you know, have our own reasons to be spend all this money and doing all this and I really can’t answer those questions about why this makes sense from your viewpoint because I kind of agree with you. It doesn’t you know, that’s that’s just the reality of how that plays out. I mean, we Always try to oversell I think our you know our how the rest of the world loves America and our way of life and things we do and and stuff like that I just don’t come away with that.
Scott Horton 39:11
Just funny stuff is mostly just for American consumption that don’t worry everybody we’re going to help the people over there. They know that the people over there know better, but they know that we don’t so
Ron Enzweiler 39:23
that you’re definitely right about that. What did I did maybe they have to sell it to the American public doesn’t have most of them are not world knowledgeable people just because they lived the other very life, you know, without traveling a whole lot over abroad. But in reality, you’re right it and you know, they, yeah, but you never you want to trust your gut, right? You want to believe what they’re saying is true. But you know, you get out in the real world and experience some of the causes and effects of these things and negative consequences, civilian casualties and daily bombing runs and, you know, just disrupting people’s lives. You realize, man, this isn’t really up in advance anything You know, any legitimate humanitarian interest I mean, I was kind of always my final judgment on the whole thing but and then like the article said, we get the the US public gets gaslighted by the politicians who are taking money from the arms industry and other, you know, people that are influential in Washington. So it’s just a perpetual machine trying to maintain the status quo. I mean, that’s, you know, it’s gonna be hard to see that break in. But that’s, that’s hopefully there’ll be some you know, some crack in the blob there. And some of the thinkers they’re starting to realize that this is perpetuating this makes no sense and this hope it winds up as I say, at the end of my article, you really got this the only way this silver we just got to retrench in the Middle East if you want to really get rid of make Americans safe here in this country because it’s you’re not going to make them safe by going over there and interfering in all these other civilizations and destroying countries and creating refugees and bombing people. You’re not gonna win in the hearts and minds by you know, running massive bombing campaigns and you know, The people you support one day they they support you the next day, they’re getting used to you and there’s no loyalty to any cause that would be sympathetic with what the American military is trying to do.
Scott Horton 41:11
Yeah. All right, you guys, that is Ron ends Weiler again writing for anti war.com gaslighting of the American public on Pensacola terrorist attack continues and check out his book. When will we ever learn question? Thanks again But
Ron Enzweiler 41:29
okay, Scott, thank you.
Scott Horton 41:31
The Scott Horton show anti war radio can be heard on kpfk 90.7 FM in LA, APS radio.com antiwar.com Scotthorton.org and libertarianinstitute.org
Max Blumenthal discusses the outrageous treatment of Julian Assange during his time at the Ecuadorian embassy in London over the last few years, and since his arrest last year. Blumenthal has reported on the extensive spying Assange was subjected to at the embassy, and on the scandalous connection between the Sheldon Adelson-backed security firm, UC Global, and an espionage campaign overseen by the CIA that attempted to illegally gather information on Assange, and possibly even kidnap him from the embassy. UC Global CEO David Morales has since been charged with leading this illicit spy operation. Scott and Blumenthal also discuss the devastating aftermath of the “Russiagate” narrative, which has seen President Trump move toward a tougher stance on Russia, withdrawing from several nuclear treaties and supporting the expansion of U.S. and UN forces right up to Russia’s border. The mainstream media in America has been almost totally silent on both their role in pushing the phony “Russiagate” hoax, and also on the dangerous precedent of Assange’s persecution.
Discussed on the show:
- “‘The American friends’: New court files expose Sheldon Adelson’s security team in US spy operation against Julian Assange” (The Grayzone)
- Collateral Murder
- The State Department Cables
- “Lying not to make America ‘great again’” (CGTN)
- “How Comey intervened to kill WikiLeaks’ immunity deal” (The Hill)
- “Trump to Withdraw U.S. From ‘Open Skies’ Treaty” (The New York Times)
- Killing Gaza
The following is an automatically generated transcript.
Scott Horton 0:10
All right, shall welcome it’s Scott Horton Show. I am the director of the Libertarian Institute editorial director of antiwar.com, author of the book Fool’s Errand: Time to End the War in Afghanistan. And I’ve recorded more than 5000 interviews going back to 2003, all of which are available at ScottHorton.org. You can also sign up to the podcast feed full archive is also available at youtube.com/ScottHortonShow.
All right, you guys introducing max Blumenthal. He is the author of the book, Goliath, and also the 51 Day War. And his latest book is the management of Savitri, a great retelling of the War on Terrorism there. And of course, he runs the gray zone project. Where he co hosts the podcast, moderate rebels, and where he writes articles including this important one, the American friends, new court files expose Sheldon Adelson security team in US spy operation against Julian Assange. Welcome back to the show. How you doing Max?
Max Blumenthal 1:23
Good, good to be back.
Scott Horton 1:25
Great. Great to have here. So let’s see, two or three months ago, we talked about this with Kelly flay hosts from the American Conservative magazine about this connection to Sheldon Adelson, which is very interesting, and which I’m not sure I completely understand. But first of all, can you give us the background here, starting with Assange holed up in the embassy and this security company that was providing supposedly security for the embassy, and then how that all change here Understand it right? The guy that runs that company just saw an opportunity to go ahead and prostitute himself to the CIA. Is that it?
Max Blumenthal 2:10
Exactly. I am building off of what Kelly was reporting on at the time. And you know, some of this has been out there, particularly in Spanish media, because it’s all relates to a Spanish high court case, where David Morales, who you just mentioned, who’s the mercenary, the CO owner of the UC global mercenary security contractor firm, is on trial for various crimes, including, you know, bribery, violating Julian Assange, his attorney, client privileges, money laundering, violating the privacy of Assange and what I demonstrate is he was possibly involved in a global criminal black operation guided by Mike Pompeo, CIA So the way that I put this story together was working with court documents, mostly court documents that had been leaked to me, including protected witness testimony, who the witnesses being the former workers of Morales, including people who were at the embassy where Julian Assange had taken sanctuary legal sanctuary, and a former co owner, or business partner of UC global. I conducted my own interviews and did my own research. And what I focused on was the role of Las Vegas Sands. And Sheldon Adelson, tons of kind of financial and political empire in giving cover to the CIA, to hire this guy Morales, to spy on Assange and pretty much everyone associated with him. And so how that came about is I think what’s interesting here. So I’ll take you back to 20. 16 before Trump was elected, David Morales was playing in the minor leagues of the mercenary world. He had really one contract, which was significant. He got it through. Rafael Correa, who was, at the time the leftist president of Ecuador. And it was, you know, first to guard court as children and then it was folded into guarding the Embassy in London, where Julian Assange had been given asylum by Korea. The reason Morales got it is simply because his company was based in Spain in the EU, and Ecuadorian Security Service. officials were having trouble getting visas to enter the EU to enter the Schengen zone. So this guy just got it by luck. And then he realized that he had something big on his hands. I mean, he had he was overseeing and protecting the top target of the US government. Someone the US wanted arrested because Julian Assange had humiliated them. leaked, or he had published classified information, the, the, you know, the the Chelsea Manning leaks of you know, Iraqi reporters being murdered on camera cable gate all of the State Department cables that just showed how the US was attempting to subvert governments around the world. And, you know, everybody’s listening to this is pretty much familiar with what Wikileaks did. So Morales goes off alone to a security fair in Las Vegas in 2016, which I believe was held at the sands Expo owned by Sheldon Adelson. And this is the part that’s completely original to my investigation. He was recruited by the Israeli vice president of Sheldon Adelson security team, whose name is Zoho lahav. And lahav is you know, former Israeli security services either Shin better Mossad Adelson server rounded himself with these guys. Israelis really formed the core of his sort of Praetorian Guard, and lahav. You know, recruits Morales, Morales returns to Spain and starts bragging to his employees. We’re playing in the big leagues, now we’re playing in the First Division, and I’m going to be working for the dark side, and his employees start to become suspicious of him. From then on, they’re all brought into a black operation that they credit American intelligence with devising, but it was run through Las Vegas Sands. So I mean, you’re familiar with the CIA and other intelligence services, using friendly billionaires as kind of cutouts in using foundations like the Rockefeller Brothers foundation or the Ford Foundation to kind of fund cultural activities that they don’t want to take direct credit for. But this was a little bit different because Sheldon out Nelson security team, including figures who have experience and intelligence, American and Israeli intelligence, are actually kind of running the running point on the operation. They’re handing down instructions to David Morales, who’s basically just a mercenary who wanted to be the next Eric Prince and is going to do whatever it takes. So basically, to fast forward to 2019 to explain, you know, how I got this story how this story got out there, the employees after, you know, months and months of engaging in these black operations, which included theft, and you know, I’ll describe it as we go on. They became disgruntled, disgusted, they said, you know, we broke the contract that we had with Ecuador security services, we lied to our client. Our business is completely destroyed by what you did. Out of vanity, and we are going to go they went to Assange law After Julian Assange was arrested on April 11 2019, and confessed, at least, the former business partner in two employees, and Assange, as lawyers then brought all the evidence which included, you know, a massive trove of company backups, emails, call logs, all a lot of evidence, even backup files of all of the, you know, the surveillance tapes, showing Julian Assange meeting with his lawyers, you know, including audio. And a Spanish judge accepted the case and acted a secret investigation. And Morales was arrested in and charged in October 2019. And so he had to hand over his phones there D encrypting the phones. All of this is coming out still as we speak. But that’s how this case came about. And so between Trump’s election when Mike Pompeo, also a close ally of Sheldon Adelson, you know, Adelson spent his fortune to get Trump elected. When Trump comes into office, that’s when this operation really kicks into high gear. And it runs under the watch of UC global through early 2018.
Scott Horton 9:23
Now, it’s interesting to me just right there about when you’re talking about the Spanish case, that the CIA was unable to prevent the Spanish government from proceeding with that, it seems like that’s the kind of thing that they could have scotched, so to speak.
Max Blumenthal 9:38
Yeah. I mean, I’ll describe one incident that might have factored into the decision of it’s a Spanish judge and the judiciary in Spain is, I would argue, possibly probably more independent than ours here. Certainly less partisan but, you know, UC global was was doing a lot to antagonize Spanish authorities. In one case, according to a protected witness testimony, David Morales, the CEO, proposed robbing the Office of Baltazar Garson who is Julian Assange, his lawyer, and not an insignificant figure in Spanish life. I mean, this is someone who oversaw the prosecutions of Franco’s men for crimes committed under his dictatorship. This is someone who helped pioneer the concept of universal jurisdiction. He’s one of the most famous lawyers in Spain. And somewhere Alice proposes this his his workers, at least the ones who testified in the case and this is insane, like, you know, you’re taking us down a really dangerous path. But two weeks after his his proposal, there were reports in Spanish mainstream media have Carson’s office being burglarized by three men wearing hoods. Who took nothing of value but rifled through files? And I mean, it’s it’s a classic kind of Nixonian Watergate style burglary. It’s, you know, it recalls, you know, Chuck Colson proposing firebombing the Brookings Institution. So thieves disguised as firemen could run in and steal the Pentagon Papers because they were being held there. I mean, this really is worse than Watergate. And it was being done on behalf of the CIA. On behalf of Mike Pompeo, who bragged we lied, we cheated we stole when he spoke at Texas a&m last year. And you know, it’s it’s worth revisiting while going back and watching that clip because when he says that, an audience full of students cheers and laughs You know, when the rest of us were horrified. But uh, you know, this was the the, these are the kind of dirty tricks in black operations that characterized the attack on Assange that Mike Pompeo laid out in his first speech. As CIA director in April 2017, at CSIS in Washington, and he said Wikileaks can no longer hide behind free speech. Basically, he is laying out countermeasures that aim to explode the concept of free speech, not just as a constitutional right, but sort of as a global human rights principle. And so I think for Spain, it’s really a question of the rule of law, as well as I mean, it could be also a question of democracy. And then you have a parallel case running in the UK, where the British government basically, you know, in its, you know, traditional postwar role as Americans, America’s poodle is deciding whether to extradite Julian Assange. And as I demonstrate towards the end of my piece, America, the US government is basically running the British Prosecution Service. See photographs from a witness to the extradition hearing in February of supposedly, are allegedly, DOJ officials who are seated behind the British prosecutors throughout the trial, were basically whispering in their ears the whole time. And everyone expects that the British judge will do whatever the US wants. And the UK has refused to allow Assange to testify in the Spanish court. So to your question and the implied point, it does appear like the CIA is trying to sabotage the Spanish case and they have much more leverage in the UK.
Scott Horton 13:39
Yeah, and you know, just I guess as I read about this, I haven’t seen any pictures of it but I read about how they have Assange in that extradition. The the series of extradition hearings there in the UK. They have them in this plexiglass box. Like he’s Hannibal Lecter or something To try to which the judge doesn’t need any impressing anyway, but they’re doing this to impress who with the danger of this villain, right? He’s radioactive or like he’s I got up maybe has a bomb under his shirt or something.
Max Blumenthal 14:16
Right. And they would you know, he can’t confer with his lawyers. And as I demonstrate in my piece, he his meetings with his lawyers, especially the most sensitive ones, we’re all spied on by the same forces that are prosecuting him. Yeah. And by the way, I do have a feeling. You’ll be seeing some photographs of that glass cage soon. Good.
Scott Horton 14:39
I’m sure must be rushed. And now so and there’s so much to discuss here. But to your recent point there about free speech and pompeyo claiming that Assange is hiding behind the First Amendment to the US Constitution which says that the federal government cannot criminalize speech, which so far has meant including the publication of government secrets. And and so it’s interesting there because on one hand, he’s saying that, well, WikiLeaks is not a journalistic enterprise, like, say, The New York Times or The gray zone. It’s, as he put it, a private intelligence agency. And so therefore, those don’t apply. And yet, that’s such bs that it seems like it could also apply to the gray zone or anybody else who was publishing government secrets, right?
Max Blumenthal 15:38
Yeah, I mean, pompeyo called it a hostile foreign intelligence agency. That was the language he used when he laid out the countermeasures that were apparently put into play by UC global, which by
Scott Horton 15:51
the way, is just has no factual basis. It’s just a turn of phrase that means nothing. I mean, it’s a website run by a guy. It’s not an intelligence agent. See that belongs to a state or any power anywhere never has.
Max Blumenthal 16:05
Right. But you know, when we let draconian
hawkish government officials, like Mike Pompeo define what journalism is, in many ways that was an expression of the anxieties of these kinds of figures. And it wasn’t. It wasn’t just Mike Pompeo, Joe Biden, when he was vice president called Assange and WikiLeaks, digital terrorists, terrorists, hostile intelligence agency, whatever it is, they do see the gray zone in a similar light. And that’s why we were recently listed among deprecated sources at Wikipedia. Which if you look at the Wikipedia foundation and who runs it, these are people with ties to Western governments and intelligence agencies and USA ID in organizations like this. They’re liberals, but they still see Those who expose national security secrets and criminality as threats. So,
Scott Horton 17:09
I think therefore instead of but but yeah, I understand
Max Blumenthal 17:16
guess, you know, the the liberal mentality augments the way that the anxieties and resentment is expressed. I mean, upon pose address, really, it has to be seen or, you know, read the transcript with the CIA website to, to really understand how extreme this figure and the people behind them are. You know, if you had leon panetta giving that address, it would have been much more elegant. And you know, what I’ve been told, actually, by people I’ve been speaking to around this investigation is that the Obama administration was so much more sophisticated in the way that they were trying to undermine Assange, because they worked through the Brits, but they themselves win. Meeting with, you know, Ecuadorian, Ecuadorian officials. You know, they, they wore a velvet glove, and then in meetings with the Brits, you’d have the doors slamming and screaming and British, you know, British soap opera. And, you know, Trump comes in and just, it’s run in a classic trumpian way it just lifts the mask on us Empire. And that’s partly why we’re learning so much about it just because it was carried out in such an absurdly clumsy way. I’ll give you another describe another episode, which has been reported before, but for some reason, it didn’t generate, I think, you know, sufficient interest or outrage. I mean, honestly, like, can’t believe that journalists in you know, mainstream journalists are just completely ignoring this story because, you know, you had Ellen Nakashima from the Washington Post, you had Anthony Lowell Bergman, you know, these are mainstream correspondents going to the embassy to interview Assange and having their belongings taken while they were in the meeting. And their phones hacked into with their SIM card numbers taken. You had Pamela Anderson, who’s a friend of Assange going to the embassy, and having her gmail account password stolen, because she had written it on a piece of paper, and it was photographed by the spy cameras that had been installed. So you have Stella Morris, who is a lawyer for Assange, showing up at the embassy, and usually she was preceded by a friend of Assange carrying a baby, US intelligence or you see global, suspected that the baby belong to Assange, and that Stella Morris was the mother. So a worker for UC global was assigned with a task of stealing the baby’s diaper from the trash and extracting the feces in order to conduct a DNA test to connect the baby to Assange. Apparently, they had Assange his DNA somehow Then they realize though you can’t get DNA from feces go get the babies pacifier. So the worker had had enough. He said, this is just ridiculous what we’re doing. He actually stopped Stella Morris outside the embassy and said, stop bringing your kid here. There. The US government is trying to steal his body matter. So that was that. And all along, Assange knew he was being spied on. But there was, I mean, there was only so much he could do when everyone around him was a spy.
Scott Horton 20:35
Hey, guys, Scott Horton here from my Swanson scrape book, The War state. It’s about the rise of the military industrial complex and the power elite after World War Two, during the administration’s of Harry Truman, Dwight Eisenhower and jack kennedy. It’s a very lightning take on this definitive era on America’s road to world Empire. The war state by Mike Swanson finding the right Hand margin at Scotthorton.org. Hey, yo, Mike Swanson is a successful Wall Street trader with an Austrian School understanding of the markets, and therefore he has great advice to share with you check out Mike’s work and sign up for his list at WallStreetwindow.com and that’s what you’ll get a window into all of Mike’s trades. He’ll explain what he’s buying and selling and expecting and why. I know you’ll learn and earn a lot. Wall Street window.com that’s WallStreetwindow.com and now what’s this about the proposal at least to poison and kill him?
Max Blumenthal 21:38
Yeah, there was a proposal to poison him put forward. Apparently by morality. This was described by a witness who was an IT specialist who was in charge of basically installing all of the spy cameras. There was also a proposal to leave the door of the embassy open, you know, make it seem like an accident. So then, you know A team of like a special forces style police team could run in and kidnap Assange. There were those though those were proposals that were rejected by employees because they said, you know, we don’t want to all go to jail.
Scott Horton 22:18
Yeah, well, not much chance of, you know, accountability, although I guess, you know, there was a trial and in Spain, where does that case stand now?
Max Blumenthal 22:30
It’s pending. I mean, it’s an ongoing investigation, and we’re learning more, including about, you know, how, to what extent the Trump administration managed this campaign of dirty this disk criminal global campaign. I write in my piece about a proposal or a plan that was enacted and by Assange his legal team and Ecuadorian diplomats in December 2017 to grant Julian Assange, diplomatic immunity by making him a diplomat of a friendly country, you know, a country that was friendly with Ecuador. Yeah. And as this was taking place, the US was apparently getting really nervous because it was completely legal under under the Vienna conventions, and then he could have left the embassy. And so they’re ramping up the surveillance people, everyone going there is getting their phones taken and hacked. You know, I have the journalists to funny Mr. eetzi from Italy, telling me that you know, her phone was taken and then calls stopped going through from her editors to her. The cameras were on and recording sound when Julian Assange would put on white noise. The UC global spies put a magnetic microphone underneath a fire extinguisher in the main conference room to listen to the sound. They put a camera in the women’s bathroom where he was holding meetings with the faucets open so they could listen there to what he was saying to his lawyers. And it was around this time that Todd Chapman, who was at the time the US ambassador to Ecuador, started running around badgering and threatening Ecuadorian officials telling them don’t enact the plan. And they were wondering How did he know that this was taking place? On December 20, the head of Ecuador’s senayan security services Rami via via visits the embassy to put into place the last components of the plan. His phone is opened, the cameras are uploaded to a server. And Morales had just been in Las Vegas, staying at the Venetian hotel. This is the hotel owned by Sheldon Adelson. It’s his signature Hotel in Las Vegas. I have the emails in there from a static IP address at the Venetian hotel and Morales was receiving all the instructions, including of which visitors to specifically target. You know, when, you know, he was receiving instructions on creating separate servers on the cameras for the American friends, and the their instructions were coming down in English. He was receiving them apparently from someone at Las Vegas Sands. So it was very clear that this this footage was being fed to the Americans. And the day after via home meets with Assange, a secret indictment is introduced in a Virginia federal court by us prosecutors. This timing in this chronology has never really been put together December 21. That indictment was made public much later and you know, you of course had the media and US officials and Adam Schiff and all these other people denying That any secret indictment existed but that indictment was issued because of the fear of Julian Assange using international law to exit the embassy. And his plan was ultimately foiled through spying and threats. And of course, you had a new government in Ecuador. The government of Lenin Moreno, who is basically a US stooge, who called Assange a hacker cut off his internet restricted guests to him and ultimately handed him over to the British police in exchange for a gigantic IMF loan.
Scott Horton 26:37
Man, this all sounds like something that happened in the Soviet Union or something. This is the US government that is doing this that’s behind all this. It’s just crazy. And we’re so used to it now. It’s the new normal max that freedom is dead. The bill of rights is over and this is just the way things are they gonna go after a journalist in this fashion for simply doing Good work. And you know, you mentioned earlier about the media, essentially forsaking this guy and refusing to take his side and cover even cover his story and what they’re doing to him. When men Is he the canary in their coal mine, they have everything to lose if the precedent is set against him. And yet, instead, they’re trying to sacrifice him for their own gain and say, Oh, yeah, no, he’s not one of us. And this is not the alternative media, but the mainstream media that posts in the times and there are other and you know, and then but also, you have the left and the right with the right wingers always hated him because he helped Manning make a fool out of George W. Bush, and hurt him. You know, that 2010 leak was mostly about bush ears. There was some Obama stuff in there, but mostly that hurt the right and so that was their big cause back then was demonizing Manning and Assange. But then, with all the accusations about the DNC leak being published, by WikiLeaks in 2016, which turned all the liberals and progressives, not all, but many liberals and progressives against Assange were now he’s a co conspirator with Vladimir Putin to install the hated Donald Trump in power. But right. He just came out in private secret transcripts of closed congressional hearing testimony, that the company that determined that it was the Russians and told the FBI and the FBI cited from then on that the Russians had hacked the DNC and given those emails to WikiLeaks, that they had no evidence of that after all, and that that entire half of the story that has convinced liberals and progressives to join in the forsaking of Assange, who ought to be the greatest hero for people on all parts of the political spectrum, but, you know, certainly it’s the left that champions this kind of aggressive muck right. journalism, historically speaking, and that kind of thing, and they were all duped by a giant CIA a lie that Assange was somehow in it with Vladimir Putin. And so they have, you know, basically given up on defending him, and Manning for that matter, they are manning the collateral damage in that when no one ever no one ever even accused Manning of having anything to do with this Russia stuff. But Manning by association with Assange, as you know, her name is also now dirt. And so as she was doing a year in jail on contempt of court charges for refusing to testify against Assange, largely speaking, the progressive movement that had championed what Manning had done in 2010 was nowhere to be found. And so what about all of that Max?
Max Blumenthal 29:47
Right, you know, the, the the hillary clinton dead Enders who helped stir up Russia gate didn’t wasn’t so much that they were duped by Russia. What upset them the most That there, corruption was exposed for everyone to see. And so Julian Assange became part of this long list of, you know, Democrat Party scapegoats along with Ralph Nader and Jill Stein and everyone else who cost them elections that, you know, they really won. They really lost through their own ineptitude. Julian Assange was also, you know, the target, a reputation destruction campaign that was being stirred up by intelligent Western intelligence services, starting with the claim that he was a rapist. I mean, this was to, you know, turn feminists and liberals away from him before the DNC leaks and the he was blamed for Hillary Clinton emails that actually came out, thanks to a FOIA request by Jason Leopold, which I think were actually more damaging than the DNC emails, right. Well, I don’t see any real evidence that the DNC leaks cost Hillary Clinton the election. And honestly, if they want to have escape go, what about James Comey? dropping, you know, all of the the dirt on anthony wiener and, you know, this is the story that Anthony Weiner may be indicted. There may be, you know, indictments around Hillary Clinton two days before the election. When Hillary Clinton was surging in the polls, they could you know, easily blame comi but call me sort of became a resistance hero after the election because he turned against Trump. But, you know, what I’ve shown here in this piece is a inner, the inner circle of Donald Trump, with some of the most villainous characters surrounding Trump, just a grotesque gallery of high right wing authoritarian figures starting with Sheldon Adelson, who is like this, some sort of human project have like an anti semitic hologram from the imagination of a deranged neo nazi. He’s a walking anti semitic stereotype whose entire existence focuses around it building his global casino Empire number one. And number two, building apartheid Israel atop the heads of Palestinian fella in the West Bank on behalf of Benjamin Netanyahu. I mean, you couldn’t get a more odious figure. And he’s right in the thick of this black operations campaign, which also which included, you know, armed robbery and all sorts of hideous acts that Mike Pompeo seem to brag about in public.
Scott Horton 32:46
And this is a guy that gives 100 million dollars every two years for the Republican Congressional campaigns.
Max Blumenthal 32:51
Yeah, I mean, he basically is running the Republican parties for him. He’s, he’s, he’s helping run the Republican Party. In To the neo-con ground, he’s helped bring the US to the brink of war with Iran. I think it weren’t if it weren’t for Sheldon Adelson, qasem soleimani would still be alive and hundreds of American servicemembers wouldn’t have suffered traumatic head injuries at the Al Assad military base in Iraq. And so then you have Donald Trump authorizing the whole thing after, you know, praising Wikileaks in 2016. And Mike Pompeo opening a senate exploratory committee in Kansas and reaching out to Sheldon Adelson to fund it. So I mean, you would think, on top of all of that, then you have the spying on us journalists, mainstream journalists under the watch of pompeyo. This to me seems worse than Donald Trump being mean to journalists in press briefings, right. It has all of the elements of, you know, the perfect congressional Ambassador allegation for House Democrats to open the problem is that the target is someone that all these democrats blame for Donald Trump being president. So not one member of Congress on the Democratic side. I mean, I haven’t heard from anyone on the Republican side either. It would be interesting if you know, someone like Thomas Massie could say something about this. But, you know, not one person on the Democratic side is willing to say anything about this Titanic scandal. Meanwhile, you know, everyone’s freaking out because one of the inspector general’s under pompeyo was fired by Trump. And I think that that is scandalous because he was looking into many of the same things that I’ve been looking into in this investigation, like whether pompeyo is using official state department trips to advance his own political ambitions. But, you know, that scandal pales in comparison to what I’ve laid out here.
Scott Horton 34:56
You know, you reminded me to about The story that Assange was making a deal with the CIA, that he would not publish the vault seven week, if they would see to it that he would get the charges dropped. He would be promised, you know, immunity and, and allowed to go free. And then I forget, I think part of it was he would reiterate again, that the Russians did not give him any of the 2016 material. You know, Panetta leaked or not Panetta sorry Podesta leaks or DNC emails there. And then the FBI found out about it and leaked it to a democratic senator, and got that deal ruined. Do you know much about that?
Max Blumenthal 35:48
Well, I mean, I explained how David Morales from UC global was flown from Spain to Alexandria, Virginia, just down the street. From Langley on February 28, which is two days after Wikileaks announced the release of vault seven that they were going to release vault seven. So, I mean, there’s a clear connection between the escalation and the attack on Assange and vault seven. I actually hadn’t heard the story that you just described. I do know that Dana Rohrabacher went to the Embassy in London to propose a pardon, and he’s disputed the claim by Jen Robinson, who is the lawyer of Assange, that he was dispatched personally by Trump as an emissary of Trump to offer the pardon. But the pardon was contingent on Julian Assange demonstrating that he did not receive the DNC emails from a Russian source. And he of course, refused because he refuses to identify his sources. That’s part of, you know, the ethos of WikiLeaks. What made it so successful is that, number one, he always protects his sources. Number two, all the material is verified. And so they’ve never made a mistake or published something that was false, right. And number three, the material is protected. The site has top notch security. And that’s what I think is frustrated. The US government.
Scott Horton 37:24
Now, by the way, that story, it was a john Solomon story from June of 2018. How Coumi intervened to kill Wikileaks immunity deal. That was at the hill
Max Blumenthal 37:36
for an army. That’s it. That’s interesting. I mean, Solomon obviously is sort of a partisan pro Trump reporter, but
Scott Horton 37:42
you know, he did some great scoops on this stuff.
Max Blumenthal 37:45
Yeah, yeah. Yeah, that’s interesting. I hadn’t seen it.
Scott Horton 37:49
And, you know, I mean, if he’s right, that really goes to show how bad the CIA did not want that vault seven stuff to come out that they were willing To even intervene with the rest of the government on his behalf If only he would withhold it. But then it was comi who screwed the whole thing up him and I got Senator Warner is the story here and Warner got it killed.
Max Blumenthal 38:15
Oh, interesting. Well, Warner’s, you know, the coach, the ranking Democrat on the Senate Intelligence Committee at the time. That’d be something he do. I mean, I woke up today and my smart TV was on that always happens. And it’s because of vault seven that I wonder if I’m being spied on because vault seven revealed that the CIA has hacking tools that can listen to their targets through their Samsung Smart TVs. It also shows that they can break into encrypted messaging applications like signal and telegram. Then there’s the spying application called marble, which allowed CIA spies to implant code that obfuscates the identity, on the identity of the hacker on Google computers that they hacked. So, you know, theoretically, and I’m not I’m not asserting this in any way as my theory or what I think happened. But theoretically, the DNC emails could have been hacked and Cyrillic code could have been implanted by a intelligence agency or private hacking group that was not rushing through the marble program or something like it.
Scott Horton 39:26
Yeah, no question about that. In fact, you know, when I talked with Jeffrey Carr, right after the story came out, he said that essentially, it’s impossible to prove who broke into a computer by examining that computer, you know, because anyone could fake and leave breadcrumbs and, and telltale signs and clues pointing to others, and so it can never be conclusive. In other words, no one can know for sure, except for the NSA, because they have the ability to oversee the whole internet and every packet that ever went Anywhere. And so they can tell you 100% no one else can tell you beyond 10% essentially, you know,
Max Blumenthal 40:07
yeah, I mean, you know, another agency that has top notch hacking capacity is the Israeli Mossad. And then you have the NSO group, which was spun out of the Israeli aid unit at 200. In the Israeli military. We’re all Israel’s hackers are assigned during when they do their army service. And they have the Pegasus software that has been used to implant code, malicious malware, on the phones and computers and devices of human rights activists and journalists around the world. There’s so much technology out there. Clearview AI is scraping facial, basically the images of millions of people off of social media To use and facial recognition technology around the world. So the the idea that someone could basically attribute blame to Russia on the hacking side, sort of plant Cyrillic code or something that would easily identify Russia, which was done. I mean, maybe it was the Russians is not it’s not outside the realm of possibility. And then beyond that, I mean, the whole CrowdStrike attribution. Their their record of attribution is terrible. They’ve been exposed. First of all, CrowdStrike is the private security firm that was hired by the FBI to conduct the attribution investigation of the DNC email, suppose it hack, and they’d already been exposed for falsely attributing the hacking of Ukrainian artillery system to Russia’s FSB turned out a possibly The artillery system hadn’t even been hacked but the Ukrainian military came out and said no, that was totally false. The head of CrowdStrike who had carried out that investigation Dimitri al Petrovich is a Russian dissident, a Russian exile who’s had a fellowship with the Atlantic Council, which is one of the main think tanks in Washington that was spinning out Russia gate. It’s funded by NATO. It’s NATO’s unofficial think tank in Washington. So you got to clearly part is in character. He’s working with Sean Henry, who was a former FBI agent who is at MSNBC contributor. And these are the guys that were hired by the FBI to determine who hacked the DNC email server. And they never had the email server. They had what’s called sort of like a print of it. I don’t know how that works, how you get a print of it, but the email server was destroyed by the FBI. It was never subpoenaed. And then finally, Julian Assange was never interviewed. In the Mueller investigation, why is that? Why he was right there? It’s not like he’s hiding. There’s three rooms he can hide in. So I’m sure you can find him in one of them inside the embassy and ask him what took place. I don’t know why
Scott Horton 43:13
they was Craig Murray. I mean, Craig Murray said that, not that he received the leak. That’s what the Daily Mail kind of miss quoted him as saying, but yeah, he met the leaker of the DNC leak in the woods in Washington, DC. And I don’t think he said that he would be happy to identify that person to the cops. But he was certainly happy to testify to them under threat of going to prison for lying to the FBI, etc. that this person had no conceivable relationship with the Russians and that he knew for a fact that this was the person who had provided the emails, and they didn’t want to talk to him.
Max Blumenthal 43:50
Yeah, and you just they resort to sort of the reputation destruction campaign, Craig Murray’s and eccentric you know, he’s been attacked in British tabloid Lloyds for having a weird lifestyle or something I don’t I don’t know what they would say. This is someone who exposed torture when he was in the British Foreign Service. And he was completely correct about that he sacrificed his career to expose human rights violations when he was the British ambassador to Pakistan. Yeah. Julian Assange has never, ever published a faulty document or a false document. And he was accused, I think, first by Donna Brazil, than by Malcolm Nance of publishing doctored files, and, you know, basically writing the names of democratic officials he wanted to embarrass into them, it was they were the liars. So there’s really no basis to believe that these individuals would deliver false testimony, but they were just completely ignored. And, you know, so then you have the congressional transcripts that were released, because of pressure by the Trump administration, Richard Grinnell and others. And they show Sean Henry from CrowdStrike testifying that he had no evidence that Russian intelligence had hacked the DNC email servers. It’s within the realm of possibility that Russia did it. It would have been a pretty elegant response to everything the US has done to Russia over the years. Most recently, with basically attempting to put NATO troops directly on their border in Ukraine, Georgette Musburger, mosbacher, the US ambassador to Poland, just proposed, like a week ago putting nuclear weapons in Poland on Russia’s border. So, I mean, it’s within the realm of possibility but there’s still no evidence. There’s no evidence and up the congressional testimonies are hilarious because you have all these people who were, you know, Twitter pundits spinning there, you know, former intelligence experience into kind of Twitter expertise and getting the resistance all whipped up, and then they have to and then they’re talking about, you know, call this collusion and then they’re asked to testify. Do you see any evidence of collusion? And they’re forced to say no, because they’re under oath. You know, there’s, they’re sworn to tell the truth. So Adam Schiff knew what through witness after witness that there is no evidence of collusion and he delivers this grand narrative in 2017. About CrowdStrike, attributing the Russian hack and WikiLeaks being in the thick of it. It was all just a kabuki theater for a bunch of, you know, Kooks and dupes delivered by, you know, Cold War spooks.
Scott Horton 46:48
Yeah. You know what’s funny, too, it is kind of mildly ironic that Trump spent all these years pretending that Barack Obama was a completely you know, unlawful usurper. john mccain’s rightful throne on account of the fact of him being born in Kenya, supposedly and all of this stuff. So, on that basis alone, he kind of really deserved it, you know, although the collateral damage in this case in Russia gate compared to the stupid birther thing from back then is just incredible and especially again, with the prime example being the heroic Julian Assange, who ought to figuratively be hoisted on all of our shoulders all of the time, has instead just been demonized into the ground here. And you know, hardly anyone except I hate to say it, but you know, more fringe media are on a high call marginal media, like antiwar.com and the gray zone project and consortium news, calm and others. We’re still trying to stick up for him as best we can. But overall, you know, broadly speaking, the left and right political moves movements in America, I have no interest in defending this guy. And all wrapped up in these bogus narratives, you know, because of these bogus narratives,
Max Blumenthal 48:09
well the other bogus narratives and their partisan narratives that are completely divorced from any principle and the principle here is first amendment. The principle here is free speech. If Julian Assange is extradited to the US and goes to jail, he’s an Australian citizen for publishing documents that the US media reported on the First Amendment is over. I mean, it already is in so many ways. But that’s the end of it. And Mike Pompeo was explicit about his intention to destroy free speech in order to protect his view of national security. It’s also about crucifying whistleblowers in the town square. It’s not just Julian Assange, it’s Chelsea Manning, who has been heinously abuses everyone associated with Assange has been abused through the Gross Misconduct of a US intelligence agency that has a black budget that’s not subjected to public approval, basically, the most undemocratic opaque agency. So that’s what this is about. That’s what the stakes are. And everyone’s so consumed with partisan narratives, including Trump world, that these principles have been completely lost. It’s not It’s not like, you know, this is anything unfamiliar. But, I mean, that’s what Russia gate was about is about getting Trump and now Oh, the open skies treaty was just shredded and you know, any any democrat who’s up in arms about that has their themselves to blame? Because they’re the ones who helped ratify and reinforce this new Cold War of hostility?
Scott Horton 49:53
Absolutely right about that man. Hear democrats complain about Trump breaking treaties with the Russians at this point. Got to be the most obnoxious thing in the world. No self reflection whatsoever. Yeah, it’s so odd that a baby’s hard. The reason he’s doing it is to protect himself from this narrative. In fact, he’s completely abandon the get along with Russia policy for adopting the Cold War policy, in self defense against their false accusations of his treason.
Max Blumenthal 50:22
Yep, he’s overcompensating for the summit with Putin where, when he was handed a soccer ball, CNN reported that a listening device was potentially inside the soccer ball. I forgotten about
Scott Horton 50:33
Max Blumenthal 50:35
john brennan went on. Where was he a country hired as a contributor. msnbc. Yeah, he’s the msnbc renta spook called john called Donald Trump as a trader, I mean, for basically meeting with Putin and what were they talking about? They were talking about new treaties on intermediate range ballistic missiles. That’s really what they were talking about. So here
Scott Horton 50:57
we are, we got rid of the old one.
Max Blumenthal 51:00
Yep, yep. And so that’s why I was opposed, really, ultimately why I was so opposed to Russia gate aside from it being a completely and transparently false narrative. And you know, I stood up against the, the birther campaign against Obama, because the blowback is no more racism and more Islamophobia. it justifies the targeting of Muslims and increased anti muslim attitudes. And so, you know, all of these phony partisan mccarthyite campaigns have terrible blowback. And, you know, whatever’s left of democracy hangs in the balance here. I think that, you know, the final chapter of Russia gate is what happens with Julian Assange. I mean, we’re left with a new Cold War. But yeah, I think this is sort of the undecided episode. And so you have these two parallel court cases, one in Spain, and one in the UK. And it’s really important to pay attention to what happens with Spain. They’ll continue to. I’ll continue to report out anything I get out of that court.
Scott Horton 52:06
Yeah. Well, you know, at this point, they might as well just move the White House and the Department of Justice buildings to Langley. And just let these guys rule because they’re the charge anyway. And the washington post in New York. them too, for sure. All right. Well, listen, man. Thanks for coming back on the show max. Great stuff as always.
Unknown Speaker 52:26
Yeah. Thanks for having me on. I got to run off to an interview with chris hayes now and then, you know, I’m heading into New York Times building to talk about my blockbuster bombshell investigation. I’m so sure.
Scott Horton 52:38
It’s not flying on my show, Max. All right. Thanks, man.
Max Blumenthal 52:41
All right, Scott.
Scott Horton 52:42
Aren’t you guys? That’s max Blumenthal. You got to read Goliath. It’s all about Israel. What is Israel? What’s the deal with Israel? Anyway, read that thing. It’ll blow your socks off. And you know, I forgot to mention at the beginning there to watch his documentary. It’s like three bucks to watch the documentary he made with Dan Cohen called Killing Gaza. And it’s just so good and so important. It’s important for me to remember to mention it all the time. And, of course his most recent book is management of savagery, which is excellent. And this article is at the gray zone. It’s called the American friends. New court files expose Sheldon Adelson security team in US spy operation against Julian Assange.
The Scott Horton show anti war radio can be heard on kpfk 90.7 FM in LA, APSradio.com antiwar.com ScottHorton.org and libertarianinstitute.org
Scott interviews James Bradley about the growing threat of war with China, evinced by political rhetoric, public sentiment, and media coverage. The thing is, Scott and Bradley agree, this threat has no real basis in any bellicosity on China’s part. It is mainly the result of powerful interest groups who stand to gain from hostilities, and the rabble rousers who exploit a natural need in the American people to find a scapegoat for domestic problems. The problem, of course, is that an actual conflict with China would be nothing short of catastrophic for both countries, and likely for the rest of the world as well. Scott insists that there is simply no way to fight conventional wars between nuclear-armed countries. A small consolation is to be found in President Trump, who, despite his belligerent rhetoric, has actually not been as hawkish as his predecessors.
Discussed on the show:
- “War With China?” (Accuracy.Org)
- Wilson’s War: How Woodrow Wilson’s Great Blunder Led to Hitler, Lenin, Stalin, and World War II
- “What Happens to Hong Kong Now?” (The New York Times)
- “From Death Camp to Civilization” (LewRockwell)
- Base Nation: How U.S. Military Bases Abroad Harm America and the World
- “The Coming War on China (John Pilger)” (YouTube)
- The Doomsday Machine: Confessions of a Nuclear War Planner
- “America’s Pacific Century” (Foreign Policy)
- Agreed Framework
The following is an automatically generated transcript.
All right, y’all welcome it’s Scott Horton Show. I am the director of the Libertarian Institute editorial director of antiwar.com, author of the book Fool’s Errand: Time to End the War in Afghanistan. And I’ve recorded more than 5000 interviews going back to 2003, all of which are available at ScottHorton.org. You can also sign up to the podcast feed. The full archive is also available at youtube.com/ScottHortonShow. All right, you guys introducing James Bradley. He wrote the movie and the book Flags of Our fathers. And yes, the sequel was just called Eva Jima wrote the book Imperial cruise, and also fly boys and his latest is called the China Mirage the hidden history. American disaster in Asia. Welcome back to the show, James, how you doing?
James Bradley 1:06
Hey, Scott, thank you for having me again,
Scott Horton 1:08
good to talk to you. It’s been a little while. And you know what, I am so busy fighting the last war in the Middle East all the time. I am way behind on our problems with China. But I gather we’ve got loads of them and that you would disagree about many of them being necessary conflicts. I have this great press release sent out by the Institute for Public accuracy. Talking about the danger of even real war with China and an unnecessary war, in your opinion. So what do you think about what’s going on here recently?
James Bradley 1:50
Well, I, you know, I’ve been watching the news and the Chinese navy is not in San Francisco Bay and they’re not in The Caribbean and they haven’t built a base in Canada or Mexico. And it’s a mirage and, you know, ridiculous to think they would. So what is the problem with China?
Scott Horton 2:15
Yeah, what is the problem with China?
James Bradley 2:18
Well, I’d like to add, I mean, you know what we’re really what militarily? What’s the big problem? Ray McGovern, ex CIA briefer to Ronald Reagan. His name is Ray McGovern. He’s at Ray McGovern calm. Ex CIA briefer to Ronald Reagan. George Herbert Walker Bush just told me in an interview that the pivot to Asia that President Obama announced in Australia in 2011 was all about Raytheon and Lockheed popping champagne bubbles, big bottles, because war in the Middle East, you know, we’ve destroyed almost every building there and chasing terrorists down alleys. You know, it’s it’s it’s not hard. profit, whereas China biggest country in the world, population wise, there’s a, you know, generations of of business to be done there. So that the preparation for war is the key. And then the American media is, you know, hyping that China is some danger. But, you know, I’ve been living on and off in Asia since 1974. And, again, I’m looking for this danger to be defined.
Scott Horton 3:28
Yeah. Well, I mean, you really hit the nail on the head there when you talk about business and all the business to be done building up a cold war against China. But of course, when most people think of China in business, they don’t think of militarism at all. They think about all the trade back and forth between China all the American investment in China and all the cheap plastic crap we get from them. And not only that, but other quality goods as well. And so it would seem like war, or even the threat of war Cold War with China, like we have, you know, beginning right now are really beginning back in Obama years, but continuing now, that that would be a huge detriment to American big business. If you’re not Lockheed or Raytheon. What about everybody else? All the auto manufacturers, all the blue jeans and all the soda pop and all the whatever, you know, equipment that people use to run their businesses and all the other trade back and forth.
James Bradley 4:29
Well, again, I’m quoting another expert here a guy by the name of Michael Claire KLE. If people want to look up his many articles, he’s uh, you know, he’s deep into Washington and is consulted by the Pentagon. And he says that the few you know that we are decoupling from China. And if if any of your listeners are ever looked at 1920s or 1930s maps of the various trading entities, you know, Indochina was French, so it was this color. And then you use the French franc within these three countries, Cambodia, Laos, you know, and then over here was the British Empire and Malaysia and Singapore and then you use the British pound. So he says we’re going back to less world trade, less of a large economy. It’s going to be smaller and more trading bloc’s like I’m in New Zealand, New Zealand’s working with Australia to form a healthy bubble from the virus and they’re cutting off all tourists and then they’re just going to intermingle among themselves that will go on forever. But the idea is smaller trade and trade within these, you know, decoupled blocks.
Scott Horton 5:50
Yeah, I mean, the virus really has changed everything as far as the entire globalist project goes. for better and for worse, but you know, a lot of what you say they’re reminding Me of Jim Powells book about World War One, where the whole first I guess introduction or chapter one to the thing or something is about the different trade bloc’s that became the Central Powers and Allied Powers alliances in war. And that, you know, there were these multinational trade bloc’s not entirely, you know, they weren’t entirely seeking autarky, but they weren’t seeking global free trade either. They just had them within these two kind of minor alliances that grew into war alliances, you know?
James Bradley 6:33
Yeah, that that’s, you know, one of the recurring things in history, another recurring thing specifically between American China and the reason I named my last book, The China Mirage, is there there’s been since you know, George Washington’s time all the way up to ours, this recurring thing where we don’t like China don’t pay attention to China and then China comes into fall. Because, and the key is that China’s going to become more like us. And in the 1930s this was typified by Franklin Roosevelt perot buck, the number one author of the 1930s, Henry Luce of Time Magazine. I document it all in my book. And we’d love to China, because China was going to be like us. They’re going to have white Christian churches on hilltops, and they had a Christian leader and Chiang Kai check. And he posed for pictures, you know, holding the Bible. And we supported this dictator because, you know, China wanted to be just like us. We’re, you know, once he took control of all of China, then it’s going to be christianized. And our missionaries are going to be happy. And God, do you know, after Pearl Harbor, they did a poll who’s the number one most popular ally in the world, and it wasn’t that it wasn’t with Churchill. It was. Check. I check in China, because China wanted to be just like us. perot buck told us this. Franklin Roosevelt told us China is the best example of American democracy in the world. This is when it was being run by a dictator. Then the second that Milo came to power in 1949. The Chinese people wanted Mao overtake. I checked, there was a civil war. They fought it out. Oh my god, China didn’t want to be like America. So we cut relations. I don’t know if you know, but we fired everyone who knew Chinese in the State Department. We fired anybody who knew Mao Zedong and cut off relations for a couple decades. Now then, oh, globalization, China. What we’re going to do back in the bush in the Obama administration’s is the same thing that FDR and Henry Luce and Pearl buck are doing, we’re going to work with China say we’re Americans and then we’re so democratic and, and we’re just extraordinary people. And then we’ll go over you know what these Chinese who we view as a third world nation rising, and then they’ll liberal liberalize, the more they work with us. the more they’ll liberalize the more, in other words be like us, they’re gonna want to eat apple pie, they’ll probably give up their chopsticks. And they’ll have potluck suppers across the country. Now, if you look at the American media, which I don’t much, but I studied, you know, what they’re saying about China. You see this on the it’s on the, you know, the liberal spectrum that the conservative spectrum the up and down left and right, every Americans agree now, gee, we got screwed. You know, we worked with China so well over the past 20 years, and they didn’t liberalize and they’re, they’re still Chinese, you know. And it’s the same China Mirage, the China is going to change. Oh, look at New York Times front page article today. Look what China’s doing in Hong Kong, they are restricting democratic rights. We got to get involved in this you know, China should be more like a I mean, you know, whatever. We’re going to give it up. China’s the largest thing in the world. It’s one fourth of the world. And I’m not arguing for China’s policies. I’m just saying, hey, for a few thousand years, they’ve had this system. It’s the same system. It’s the Emperor system right now the Emperor is committed. But it’s the same system. They are Chinese, there’s 1.4 billion, and they’re not bombing America, you know, there are no threat to America.
Scott Horton 10:28
And then what was the thing to I mean over when you talk about americanizing them and all of that kind of thing, I mean, they did abandon communism for fascism, which is still a totalitarian system, but at least they have prices. So now instead of laying down dying by the 10s of millions to get rich, this glorious and they have improved the standard of living created a massive middle class and even, you know, like a pretty well to do working class. You know, all things considered over there. As Lew Rockwell wants to wrote an article called from death camp to civilization, about how the mouse had just raised the entire society all the way down to the ground. And to and it just had to be started all over again kinda and so when people demonize China now, you got to take into account. This is probably, you know, because of the artificial constrictions against them. This is probably the greatest rags to riches story in the history of the world. And then on top of that, I’ll also add was you say whatever you want about that, but also, it seems to me like maybe if America wasn’t soaking in the blood of a million dead Iraqis, and we hadn’t blown the entire 21st century being the most bank robbed and destructive, blood soaked hypocrites going around talking about freedom when we obviously have no idea as a society, what that’s supposed to mean, or you know, have absolutely zero commitment whatsoever to living up to it, then maybe the Chinese and everybody else in the world would have taken the American brand of liberty a little bit more seriously. But instead it’s it’s not liberty, we’re exploiting its democracy. And that means whatever the republicans say, or something, you know, which Why would anyone take that seriously, and then surprise, they don’t?
James Bradley 12:15
Well, it’s the greatest rags to riches story and the Pew Research Foundation and American polling organization polls and tells us that like, 80% of the Chinese, but this is before COVID 80% that the Chinese are happy with their leadership. And why would they be the leadership of China has put like 50 million people a year into breaking into the middle class. I mean, it’s a I saw it. It’s just an economic success story. Yes. China has a lot of problems. Yes. I’m not saying you know, I agree with all our policies. My point is, we have bridges to build in America. I mean, I was living in New York about three years ago. And, you know, I don’t know how many tires I had to replace just driving to JFK Airport from Connecticut, you know, potholes. We we can take care of our own country and let’s do that. And but why are we, you know, pushing way across the Pacific to dig around with China. We’re not going to have a fight with with China, if we just withdrew a bit. We don’t need our military out there. We need to work on some world problems. And we’re not going to change China is my message. Yeah. Am I agreed with China and my arguing for China? No, what I’m saying is China’s China, United States is the United States, Mexico, you know, let’s invade Mexico and try to change them. Right. Well,
Scott Horton 13:51
so. So now do you discount the accusation that they have this more aggressive foreign policy now as signaled by their rising Navy in their calling Have all those little hotels in the South China Sea and all that stuff?
James Bradley 14:04
Well, those are a lot of words. And you know, there’s a lot of information out there about it. The way I look at it behind the scenes is the Emperor looks at the maps and says, Hey, this lane from Singapore, when the oil comes out of the Middle East, and it turns the corner down there on the bottom of Singapore, and then it sails up the Malaysian coast pass Vietnam in between Taiwan and brings oil to the Emperor’s people. That’s a lane that has to stay open. I mean, you have highway 95, in the United States on the east coast of America, you have to keep it open for national security. So everything else is a detail in the bumpers ready to wait a few hundred years to, you know, consolidate that highway. But the Emperor would say, Hey, we’re not in the Caribbean. You know, nobody is stopping your movement around San Francisco, San Diego. So get off our bags.
Scott Horton 15:04
Yeah. Hey guys, just real quick. If you listen to the interviews only feed at the institute or at Scott Horton. org. I just want to make sure you know that I do a q&a show from time to time at Scott Horton. org slash show the old whole show feed. And so if you like that kind of thing, check that out there. Hey, guys, here’s how to support this show. You can donate various amounts at Scott Horton. org slash donate. We’ve got some great kickbacks for you there. Shop amazon.com by way of my link at Scott horton.org. Leave a good review for the show and iTunes and Stitcher. Tell a friend. Oh, yeah, and buy my books. fool’s errand time to end the war in Afghanistan and the great Ron Paul. The Scott Horton show interviews 2004 through 2019. And thanks. Hey, guys, check out listen and think audio books. They’re listening think.com Calm, and of course on audible.com and they feature my book fool’s errand time to end the war in Afghanistan as well as brand new out inside Syria by our friend Rhys, Eric, and a lot of other great books, mostly by libertarians there. Reese might be one exception. But essentially, they’re all libertarian audiobooks. And here’s how you can get a lifetime subscription to listen and think audiobooks. just donate $100 to the Scott Horton show at Scott Horton. org slash donate, it seems like part of the problem might also be just kind of a matter of projection by the Americans against the Chinese that as our empire is falling apart and is being forced to retrench, at least in some ways, that Well, obviously they’re going to try to fill the vacuum and be the global hegemon in our place. And yet, I wonder if you think that that’s true. I mean, they do have, as you said, a very long tradition of just being China and not intervening around the world. All but then again, it’s been 100 years of chaos over there. So who knows what they want to do now? I don’t know.
James Bradley 17:07
Well, no, we have history what, you know what the Emperor wants. The Emperor in that was at the 11th or 12th century sent this unique Admiral out, he had the largest fleet of ships that were ever out in the sea, it was only equaled until World War Two. If you can imagine they had that like 700 doctors in the fleet. And they, they built this huge fleet of ships. And they went all over the world, Australia, South Africa, Indonesia. And they brought back you know, the artifacts and food from all over the world. And the mandarins and the Emperor said, What is this there’s all we you know, in the world, there’s only barbarians a bad food, and they burnt all the ships and they said we’re not going out to the rest of the world. You China could have been conquering countries for thousands of years. And they weren’t interested in it’s it’s more of an inward looking country, you know, the capitals in Beijing, in the middle of the country. This is a land country. This is not a project power outside and invade other countries country. I’m not saying, you know, there’s such wonderful people and I’m naive. No, I’m just looking at history who invaded China and World War Two, the Japanese. The Chinese didn’t invade. Others, the South China Sea. Okay, let’s worry about the South South China Sea. Let’s look at the last 66 in my lifetime. Let’s count up the deaths from China in the South China Sea. I don’t know if Are there any? Let’s see Americans. john mccain was flying off aircraft carriers in the South China Sea. I interviewed hundreds of Vietnamese who are bombed from you know, South China Sea Ships 3 million people died because of the American presence in the South China Sea. So I don’t see this argument that the world’s gonna fall apart if the Emperor keeps open the South China Sea is his lane.
Scott Horton 19:14
All right, but the big one is Taiwan. How many million people live in Taiwan now?
James Bradley 19:19
daughter lives there in the downtown Taipei. I go to Taipei an awful lot. That is a big one. And short term. It’s just an argument, you know. And long term, it’s part of China. I mean, if you look at back long term in I, let’s see, I document this in the Imperial cruise, and also the China mirage. You can see that yes, Taiwan was under Chinese influence. And it was an American general who got the Japanese to invade I think it was an 1878 and start to poke around Taiwan. So historic. It was Chinese and someday it will be Chinese. And it’ll probably be, you know, folded in peacefully. But the Emperor has got a few centuries to wait.
Scott Horton 20:10
Now, so you don’t think it’s an emergency that the Chinese might attack and try to take over Taiwan sometime soon?
James Bradley 20:16
Well, who knows, but they didn’t do it yesterday. And, you know, but that See, that’s their waters. It’s like, let’s it to the American public, I just say, Okay, put an enormous Chinese presence in Bermuda or in the Bahamas. And and China’s sell in the Bahamas, you know, aggressive weaponry that could hit Washington, DC. Yeah. We’re not talking. I’m not talking right or wrong. I’m just saying. I don’t think you know, like I question Why are Americans debating what China doing and what about the I mean, what’s going on here? debate about San Diego. I mean debate about Miami or something. I’m from Wisconsin. And if you had taken, let’s say some people from New Orleans who really were in New Orleans well, and brought them up to Wisconsin and tried to run Wisconsin, like they ran New Orleans, we’d go absolutely nuts. They can’t understand Wisconsin, they don’t know our traditions. You know, it’s, it’s just it that can’t be done. But we think we can take the American military and send them someplace and have a good outcome where they don’t even speak the language. Hmm. So I just asked America, America to pull back. I mean, I just interviewed David vine who wrote bass nation. And he said, you know, James, if he cut the American military budget by half, we’re still the largest military by far. Right. And I mean, if you eat Ray McGovern, who says we have to have China’s in enemy because That’s the only reason you can squeeze the American taxpayer for 50% of his taxes is to have a huge enemy. And Russia got boring in the Middle East isn’t profitable enough?
Scott Horton 22:10
Yeah, it does seem like the Air Force in the army prefer picking on Russia and the Navy in the Marine Corps prefer picking on China, which is sort of all you need to know. Right? This is just parochial interests of, you know, corrupt, self interested bureaucracies here doing what they do. But here’s the thing I want to ask you about. I noticed this all the time, in regards to Russia and China, and all the war plans, you know, they have the air sea battle plan and all of this stuff. And they have their various theories for fighting with the Russians as well. And I just hear this all the time discussions in DC and among military people and think tankers and what have you about fighting Russia and or China with conventional weapons. And it’s discussed in a way where the best I can tell The phenomenon works like this. It goes without saying that they got nukes, everybody knows they got nukes, they got h bombs, they could destroy all our biggest cities in one day. And we all know that and everybody knows that it’s not in dispute. It’s not controversial or in discussion. But so because it goes without saying, it literally goes unsaid. And then, for time after time, after time, they talk about, Hey, you know, it could really be a lot of fun, fighting a big naval battle against, you know, big Naval War against China. And this could be, you know, all we ever dreamed of, in the excitement as naval warriors, this kind of thing. And just ignoring the fact that if we ever do really have a fight with China, that it’s almost certain that we’ll lose San Francisco and LA, and possibly Denver and New York and DC and Houston and every, you know, major city in America, and they only need hundreds, and that’s how many they have. But I just wondered, I mean, do you notice that there’s there really is More talk all the time about, you know, this air sea battle strategy and this kind of thing where we could really get into a war if you listen to these guys.
James Bradley 24:10
Well, let’s talk about listening to these guys. I mean, America has said, we’re going to have a I mean, we have a war college. It’s called the War College. We have West Point what I think that what’s the official name of West Point, the United States Military Academy, and we’ve got the Air Force Academy, we have the Naval Academy, so what are they studying, you know, gardening or, you know, surfing or or, you know, hydroponics. They’re studying war. So, yeah, there’s a lot of war plans when you’ve got colleges turning out really bright people whose job it is to have war plans.
Scott Horton 24:53
Yeah, well, and you know, I was still a kid during the Cold War. I remember it, you know, pretty well, but You know, even at the height of the brinksmanship in the early 80s, the idea was that Yeah, but we’re not really gonna fight them, because we can’t. And everybody knows that ronald reagan don’t want to fight them anymore. And they want to fight us, and so kind of don’t worry about it. But things seem actually worse now than then it seemed like it was a more stable kind of a situation with the Soviet bloc there the way it was, and all that and where are the Americans? Even the Reaganites seem to be a lot more rational than the people who represent the centrist foreign policy consensus now.
James Bradley 25:39
Well, I don’t know what exactly what to say about that. I, Trump doesn’t want more. That’s kind of obvious, if you look, you know, globally, but the president is not in control of the entire situation. And let’s say there was a mistake. See, this is what the the real geniuses, and I’m not in that category. But john Pilcher, the Australian journalist who did the great documentary that’s online called the coming war with China. I’m in it. And Michael Claire, who I mentioned in this interview earlier, what they’re concerned about are accidents. Not you know, President g wanting to go to war President Trump wanting to go to war, but oh my god, something happened and there’s 70,000 dead Chinese and the something came from Okay. Now. What could the president of China do? Even if he doesn’t want to fight? You know what I mean? Oh, 4000 Americans are dead in a sunken aircraft carrier. Control prevent it. Could any president stop war at that point? Right. What they’re concerned about is an accident that I brought up john Pilger, in his documentary the coming war with China in there. He interviews the guy who got the order on Okinawa to nuke China and Russia. So it was in the 60s. It’s a true story documents. And so these accidents have happened.
Scott Horton 27:14
And you’re saying, This guy got an order? That was the mistaken order that he refused to carry out?
James Bradley 27:19
Yeah. Oh, yeah. It’s a it’s a famous story. And it’s documented in in pillagers. I mean, it’s documented many places, but he brings it out and actually interviews the people. So, you know, accidents happen. We’re humans. And that’s what these big thinkers are really concerned about is that there’s just so much movement, intention, and tit for tat going on right now, between China and America that an accident could happen. accident, flames, public opinion. And then we’re not talking about the decisions of presidents in Beijing or Washington. We’re talking talking about forced hands.
Scott Horton 27:56
Yep. And when you talk about those different war plans, I mean, Oftentimes, it seems like, you know, the blue binder on the shelf there essentially is written in stone. And so if the war plan says in the event of x, you do that, then they just do that. And it seems like, you know, so many governmental type things, thinking goes off. And the the previously provided structure kind of takes over, you know, back when, as Ellsberg talks about in his book, the doomsday machine, when when he took over nuclear war planning in the Kennedy administration, the plan was that if war had broken out over Berlin, that they were to nuke every city in the Soviet Union and China, you know, and just kill however many hundreds of millions of people, even on the very first day, and that there were no other plans, that if, in other words, if the Soviets had decided to conquer Western Berlin that That’s exactly what would have happened. And there wasn’t anyone in the chain of command to say no, no, just let’s implement page two, but not page three of the plan or anything like that. You know, it’s all just kind of automatic at that point.
James Bradley 29:12
You know, reading daniel ellsberg books, I mean, just when it’s nonfiction, he’s talking about, you know, the egghead, high national security situation he was in if your listeners don’t know, you know, he was an assistant to McNamara and Vietnam and nuclear policy, and he’s just a fantastic guy. But reading his books, you know, you don’t need science fiction. When you read what Ellsberg was talking about, at these meetings, what they’re actually thinking about,
Scott Horton 29:41
yep, yeah. He says when he and his buddy from the RAND Corporation went and saw Dr. Strangelove that they walked out of there saying, Man, that’s not a satire, that’s a documentary.
James Bradley 29:50
This is ya know, really how we do business. What are we doing? No, it’s true. And then he, you know, he knew And then when Kissinger got promoted to national security director, what national security director, Ellsberg went to him and said, You know, you’re going to get more stupid, because there’s all these classifications. So let’s say we have a team of 10 people, well, I got the lowest classification. So I don’t know what you know, and you have a little more classification. So you know, more than I know, but you don’t know as much as the other person up the line. And then if Henry Kissinger is on the top of the totem pole, and so he’s listening to his team of 30 people, but he has a higher classification. So he has information they don’t. And then as he says, you just become stupid in this highly classified secretive machine.
Scott Horton 30:42
Yep, that’s exactly it and had no regard whatsoever for anybody with open source information because what could they possibly know since they don’t have access to the secrets, even though a lot of times the real context that matters is you know, much broader and not secret, but Those kind of voices get completely ignored by essentially this cult of, you know, je s employment, right?
James Bradley 31:09
Yeah. And you know, you mentioned today’s present leadership and I don’t want to talk politically because I don’t care Trump Obama Bush, you know, Republican left, right. That’s not my game. I’m out in the Pacific. You’re just counting who’s doing what. And, oh my god, Trump is Trump is a peacenik compared to Obama who was bombing nine countries at one point, the pivot to Asia is is a brock obama, Hillary Clinton thing, the the Clarion, the South China Sea as a place that we that America would fight. That was that was from the mouth of Hillary Clinton.
Scott Horton 31:45
Right. So she wrote that article in foreign policy announcing the whole thing.
James Bradley 31:50
So people, you know, Trump and there’s going to be war and I mean, I heard from friends, you know, we’re going to go to war with Korea and the beginning of the administration, and then there’s a We’re here and there’s war here and and what are you talking about? This is all mythical. This idea that Donald Trump is going to go to war, where is it? Whereas with Obama, there was a lot of war and a lot of droning. And the movement, the reason we’re even talking about conflict with China that came out of the Obama administration with Secretary of State Clinton.
Scott Horton 32:21
Yep. Although in the aftermath of the virus and all of that it looks like things are getting pretty ugly. Trump was talking the other day about just cutting off all trade with China altogether.
James Bradley 32:31
Talking. No, I got the talk. Can I get it? Can I talk about talking? Yeah, Australia, here in Australia, they’re rabidly anti Chinese right now. And I mean, some of the some of the commentary is almost comical, but you know, anti Chinese. Well, then, the Australian media exploded because the Chinese said, you know, your Australia, your mouth and off so much. We don’t want Buy your wine. And I think it was wine and beef, some types of wine and some types of beef and oh my god that newspapers are full of this. Well, a friend of mine said, look at iron ore. So what he says the game between China and Australia is all about iron ore. You can’t make steel with iron ore and Australia has 65% of the world’s iron ore. And so at the same moment that the Australian newspapers are saying, oh, they’re not gonna buy our wine, the Chinese and Australians we’re negotiating import IRS regulations that become easier for iron ore, we want to buy more. In other words, China is upping the amount of imports that they will take into China. But with the other hand, they’re talking talking, yeah, so Trump talks and says this about China and whatever, you know, he didn’t bond Beijing. Obama didn’t say all those words and he bombed places. So I’ll take Trump’s talk. I like it. It’s nice and it’s it’s peace. He was beating up the North Korean leader and you know, what was it a missile man or something? And, you know, but there’s no war. He went mad. It’s the I it’s a Trump way. I don’t understand it, but I’m out in the Pacific. And I don’t see Trump, you know, or mon green out here.
Scott Horton 34:20
Right? Well, yeah, like you say, if he wants to talk tough, who cares? As long as he’s doing the right thing, as we saw on North Korea, he’s made more progress than any president since the end of the Cold War. Well, I don’t know Clinton had that pretty good Agreed Framework deal in 94. But never did live up to that. And
James Bradley 34:38
I really don’t. And I don’t mean to get political for Trump or against Trump.
Scott Horton 34:43
Yeah, no, I hear you. It’s just a matter of policy. No partisanship on this show anyway, so it’s fine.
James Bradley 34:49
You know, but um, it people really do ignore the eight years of Obama and the amount of warmaking that went on there. And Trump is building up the military, but you know, we haven’t broken out into war. So he’s a piece like compared to the last two presidents.
Scott Horton 35:09
That’s true. I mean, Bush and Obama, conservatively speaking, probably killed about a million people each. And Trump at most is in, you know, probably half a million. He certainly helped to wage a genocidal war in Yemen has been the very worst bit of it. He escalated start.
James Bradley 35:28
Again, no defense of Trump, but that was the machinery was in place with Obama. Obama started that.
Scott Horton 35:35
Yeah, no, he inherited all of those wars, and he’s actually doing everything he can to wrap up the one in Afghanistan.
James Bradley 35:41
Sorry. And, and again, I don’t want to Obama versus Trump, but right now. tough talk against China. Well, gee, there’s an election. Gee, the American people say no. document this in my book about World War Two. The American people, you know, we came from Europe generally, you know, especially at that time, and wow, they were the American people were debating, you know, you know, Northern Italy versus this place in France and should we move troops here and but in terms of in terms of Asia, they were just ready. It was like 90% ready to go to war with Japan. Lindenberg was saying, No, we shouldn’t fight Germany, America first and, you know, let’s stay peaceful. But you know, Japan was just bombed, you know, whatever out of them. And right now, it isn’t Trump beating up China. It’s Trump looking at the polls. 80 to 90% of Americans are upset with China, anti China. Well, guess what I’m running for president. I’m gonna say some anti China things. I need to get elected. You know, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt in a campaign speech slide and his eldest son sent to them after the speech, Dad, you lied. And Roosevelt said, you know, the job of the President, I gotta get elected first. That’s the only thing that matters.
Scott Horton 37:10
Yep. Well, of course, they rationalize everything that they do and say like that. And always, my
James Bradley 37:16
point is my point is Trump, you know, why is Trump gonna say something in the next few months? It’s to get elected?
Scott Horton 37:24
Well, you know, Biden also is talking it up against China and claim Yeah, that yeah, it’s Trump, who’s the one who’s rolling over for them all the time, etc.
James Bradley 37:34
But I mean, you know, and then I could sound cynical when I say that people might think that cynic No, no, this is the system we set up. This guy’s got to get elected, you know, and they look at what the American people want. And if the American people are all of a sudden polling 90% for Red Hats, or I don’t, I don’t mean to say that because that’s a trump hat. But if they’re pulling for you know, surfboards, Trump is going to To be talking about surfboards, and the American public, our polling anti China once again, you know what all this trade stuff about how China rip this off? Why don’t we do this? I’m in New Zealand, I’ll fly to America. Let’s go into an American home. And there’ll be a big screen TV now we’ll do some deep research. We’ll look at that TV. Oh my god that’s made in China. Okay, we’re getting close here. Now we’ll look at the receipt. Where’d that come from? We got to get them. It came from Walmart. You know what I mean? If we have a problem with trade with China, let’s talk to Walmart, which was the front for Chinese goods. That’s how Walmart grew. That television is in that American consumers house because it’s an excellent value because it’s high quality and kept American inflation down. So it’s a bigger story than this simple black and white China’s bad but If you keep it black and white, China’s bad 80 90% of Americans, Democrats, Republicans left right are polling with you.
Scott Horton 39:09
Yep. Well, I wonder if they’ll regret it for one, you know, half of a fraction of an instant as they’re being vaporized by hydrogen fusion one day not too soon over it, but hey, as long as it makes them feel better for now, I guess that’s all right.
James Bradley 39:29
Well, I don’t know that’s above my intelligence level, the hydrogen fuse. You’re gonna have to take us through that once again. I’ll just watch the
Scott Horton 39:38
nukes they burn real hot. I mean, that’s really all you need to know.
James Bradley 39:44
Yeah, it’s it’s, uh, I don’t know, there’s a lot of rhetoric and there’s a lot of tension. But I don’t. The guys I’m interviewing on I have a podcast channel called untold Pacific and I have a section called war. with China question mark, and I’m bringing experts on who really do know, deep knowledge. And they all say there’s, you know, the leadership has no intention on either side. But there’s a potential for accidents is kind of the bottom line, right? So all the anti American stuff in China and all the anti Chinese stuff in America, these political leaders have to maintain their power. And it’s, I’m saying it’s, it’s, it’s, it’s well enough from the people. I don’t look at Trump. And what he’s saying about China, I look at the American people saying 80 90% were mad with China, and then it comes out, of course, out of Biden’s and Trump’s mouth,
Scott Horton 40:42
yeah. necessarily translate into any specific policies against them. I mean, that much is up to the government to exploit that sentiment. But it is always regretful when the people are even worse than the politicians on their feelings toward foreign countries. That’s the last thing we need in the World.
James Bradley 41:01
Well, the, I mean, I wrote a whole book about this. When when Mao said, you know, the Christian leader Chiang Kai Shek, you get out of here and Chiang Kai Shek was flushed out to Taiwan. We just this this was unspeakable. I mean, we just couldn’t face it. And we stopped relations with the biggest country in the world. See, everybody says Nixon opened up China. No, I documented my book. Mao was right into Franklin Roosevelt, hey, you’ve got the capital. We’ve got the workers and we need to work together, you know, to have this globalization industrialization. Mao, Mao didn’t like Moscow. He wanted Wall Street. Right. So the globalization, the industrialization that’s taken place in the last 20 years, Mao was writing to FDR about that Mao wanted to come to the White House to explain the benefits of American Chinese friendship. America slapped his hand over He tried with trohman he tried with Eisenhower. He tried with Kennedy. He tried, you know, and then he
Scott Horton 42:06
tried communism. It was a disaster. It’s too bad. They didn’t take him up on his offer in the first place.
James Bradley 42:13
But I’m talking about relations between I’m talking about Nixon opening up China. Yeah. Mao had his hand out all that time, Nixon was the one who, who finally shook his head. Yep.
Scott Horton 42:26
All right, well, listen, I sorry, I didn’t have a chance to read this book. But I’m gonna get my hands on it. And and maybe this will be my first step on catching up on the, you know, China, part of the American Imperial story as it’s being written now. So Scott, really appreciate your time, James.
James Bradley 42:48
Yeah, and I appreciate it if you’re agreed my book, The China Mirage, but I also want to say take a look at the documentary that’s online. It’s called common war with China by john Pilger. brilliant guy. And then take a look at the writings of Michael Claire KLRE. Oh, yeah.
Scott Horton 43:06
James Bradley 43:08
so war with China is already happening in there. He talks about the motivations of both sides. And it’s brilliant.
Scott Horton 43:17
Great. Yeah, I was. I had that queued up to watch. But then I saw it was two hours and I just didn’t have the chance to get to it today, but I definitely will watch that. And I’m sorry, it’s john pillager is the director and then what is it called again?
James Bradley 43:29
the coming war with China coming to China.
Scott Horton 43:32
Okay, great. All right, you guys. So that is James Bradley. He is the author of the China Mirage and of course, Flags of Our fathers and imperial cruise. And, and, oh, you can find his own website at untold pacific.com as well. Thanks again.
James Bradley 43:53
Okay, Scott, thank you for having me.
Scott Horton 43:56
The Scott Horton show, Antiwar Radio can be heard on kpfk 90.7 FM in LA, APSradio.com antiwar.com ScottHorton.org and libertarianinstitute.org
Scott talks to Gareth Porter about the decades-long attempt by neoconservative war hawks in the U.S. to link the Iranian government to terrorist activities, most notably those of Al-Qaeda in Iraq. This was the supposed justification for the killing of Qasem Soleimani earlier this year, a claim that Porter says is totally unfounded. Allegations that Iran knew about and supported Al-Qaeda operatives during America’s war on terror have always been tenuous at best, and a recent analysis of documents found in Osama bin Laden’s home prove that clandestine operatives hiding in Iran were doing so without the knowledge of that country’s government, and knowing that they would be captured if discovered. As usual, such claims are simply used by those who want war with Iran for their own purposes.
Discussed on the show:
- “Washington’s tall tale of Iranian-Al Qaeda alliance based on questionably sourced book ‘The Exile’” (The Grayzone)
- The Exile: The Stunning Inside Story of Osama bin Laden and Al Qaeda in Flight
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.
Braden Chapman discusses his time serving in Afghanistan with Australia’s SAS, a special forces unit that worked closely with American troops to go after high profile targets. Chapman has recently come forward with allegations of war crimes by some of his fellow soldiers, a pattern that many others have now supported. The Australian government has made some moves investigating conduct like this, but Chapman says this kind of malfeasance usually goes unpunished.
Discussed on the show:
- “Killing Field: Explosive new allegations of Australian special forces war crimes” (YouTube)
Scott talks to Brett Wilkins about Project SHAD, a Cold War era bioweapons test program that exposed thousands of American sailors to chemical and biological weapons. These veterans have been seeking redress for a slew of ailments allegedly caused by exposure to these weapons, but the government continues to evade culpability. Sadly, SHAD is only one of many incidents where the U.S. government deliberately tested dangerous substances on its soldiers, and even on its civilians. On top of such programs, the American military has left behind a wake of chronic health problems and generations of birth defects in places like Vietnam, Iraq, and Pakistan because of the toxic chemicals and heavy metals used to wage its wars.
Discussed on the show:
- “Veterans Exposed in Cold War Bioweapons Testing Still Awaiting Answers — and Help” (CounterPunch.org)
- Project 112/Project SHAD
- Unit 731
- “Wormwood (TV Mini-Series 2017)” (IMDb)
- War is a Racket
Brett Wilkins is the editor-at-large for US news at the Digital Journal and a contributor at The Daily Kos. Follow him on Twitter @MoralLowGround.
Scott interviews Trevor Timm about a recent U.S. senate vote that would grant the government access to Americans’ browser history without a warrant. This shameful vote is surprising to those who thought that even Washington insiders would have stood up to a civil liberties violation this egregious. Timm and Scott also discuss Julian Assange’s extradition case, which has the potential to set a dangerous precedent not just for iconoclasts exposing scandalous government secrets, but for anyone who does investigative journalism as we know it.
Discussed on the show:
- “The US Senate voted to let Trump spy on your search history. But all is not lost” (The Guardian)
- “State Department Cables” (WikiLeaks)
- “Iraq War Logs” (WikiLeaks)
- The Shadow Factory: The NSA from 9/11 to the Eavesdropping on America
Trevor Timm is a co-founder and the executive director of the Freedom of the Press Foundation. He is a journalist, activist, and lawyer whose writing has appeared in the New York Times, The Guardian, USA Today, The Atlantic, and many others. Follow him on Twitter @trevortimm.