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Around The Empire

Around the Empire podcast explores the massive apparatus of the American Empire. In-depth interviews, discussions. Hosted by Joanne Leon.
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Around the Empire podcast explores the massive apparatus of the American Empire. In-depth interviews, discussions. Hosted by Joanne Leon.

Mar 12, 2019

Dr. Alan McLeod has done extensive analysis of the past two decades of media coverage on Venezuela ,since the election of Hugo Chavez and the Bolivarian revolution. He joins us today from Scotland to share some of that analysis and one particularly interesting observation. Corporate media has used Venezuela, “consistently demonized and misrepresented in the US press,” to pressure left-leaning political movements conform with and even promote aggressive American foreign policy.

We look at the current case of Bernie Sanders and his positions on regime change in Venezuela to illustrate this process of policing narratives and manufacturing consent for meddling and aggression.  We also talk about how regime change operations against countries with strong socialist policies are driven not just by the desire for domination and the pursuit of resources. They’re also used to manipulate politics at home: to suppress anti-imperialist dissent and to subvert the rise of left-oriented populist movements.

Ep96 Using Venezuela to Suppress Anti-Imperialism & Populism feat Alan MacLeodMacLeod, an expert in sociology, media theory and analysis, is a writer, and a member of the Glasgow University Media Group. His research interests include social media, Latin American politics and propaganda. He is the author of 2018 book titled: Bad News from Venezuela: Twenty years of fake news and misreporting and he is currently working on a project to update and refine the Propaganda Model of Edward Herman and Noam Chomsky.

FOLLOW him on Twitter at @AlanRMacLeod

Around the Empire is listener supported, independent media. Pitch in if you can at Patreon: patreon.com/aroundtheempire or paypal.me/aroundtheempirepod. Find all links at aroundtheempire.com.

SUBSCRIBE on YouTube. FOLLOW @aroundtheempire and @joanneleon.

SUBSCRIBE/FOLLOW on iTunes, iHeart, Spotify, Google Play, Facebook or on your preferred podcast app.

Recorded on March 7, 2019. Music by Fluorescent Grey.

Reference Links:

  1. Venezuela-Baiting: How Media Keep Anti-Imperialist Dissent in Check, FAIR, Alan MacLeod
  2. Book: Bad News from Venezuela: Twenty years of fake news and misreporting (2018) (Routledge Focus on Communication and Society)
  3. Twitter 2/3/19 THREAD on Venezuela media coverage, Alan MacLeod
  4. Manufacturing Consent for the 2018 Elections in Venezuela and Colombia (2018), Alan MacLeod, Media Theory Journal
  5. Chavista ‘thugs’ vs. opposition ‘civil society’: western media on Venezuela (2019), Alan MacLeod, SAGE Journals
  6. Was Hugo Chávez to Blame? Media Depictions of Polarisation in Venezuela, 1998–2013, Alan MacLeod, Bulletin of Latin American Research. Society for Latin American Studies
  7. A Force for Democracy? Representations of the US Government in American Coverage of Venezuela (2019), Alan MacLeod, frontiers in Communication
  8. Manufacturing Consent in Venezuela: Media Misreporting of a Country, 1998–2014,
  9. Noam Chomsky on Venezuela, audio clip from Ralph Nader Radio Hour, March 2, 2019

 

Mar 9, 2019

Today former Army intelligence analyst and whistleblower Chelsea Manning was jailed for contempt of court. She is resisting testifying in front of a grand jury convened in the Eastern District of Virginia to deal with sealed charges against Wikileaks’ Julian Assange.  Manning said the matter was related to her 2010 disclosures. She has already spent 7 years in prison, before and after being convicted by a military tribunal on her leaking of material related to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Her sentence was commuted by President Obama before leaving office in 2017. Journalist and filmmaker Ford Fischer was at the courthouse today and is here to tell us about it.

Ep95 Manning Jailed Resisting Wikileaks Grand Jury feat Ford Fischer

Ford Fischer is an independent videographer and editor, a computer scientist and web designer. He’s the editor-in-chief and co-founder of News2share.com where citizen journalists and independent videographers contribute content to the evolving news cycle. His work has been featured on CNN, Fox, MSNBC, ABC and more. He also does freelance work as a  videographer/journalist.

In protestation, Wikileaks made statements and published other people’s statements on Twitter. They said:  “This is America, 2019: A secret trial against a source for refusing to testify against a journalist.” Their lawyer, Jen Robinson said: “No journalist or their source should ever be subjected to this.”

Wikileaks cited Glenn Greenwald’s response: “This is disgusting, and all due to the efforts of the DOJ to criminalize the publication of classified information in order to prosecute WikiLeaks and Assange: something all press freedom groups, major newspapers & even the Obama DOJ said would be a major threat to press freedom."

Pentagon Papers whistleblower Dan Ellsberg issued a statement calling for Chelsea Manning to be released. He called it a travesty and said that “an investigation into Wikileaks for publishing is a grave threat to all journalists’ rights.” He said that she has suffered enough and should be released immediately.

Chelsea Manning’s legal defense fund can be found at the website xychelsea.is.

FOLLOW Ford on Twitter at @FordFischer. Follow his news site at @N2Sreports on Twitter and at news2share.com on the web. Support his work at patreon.com/FordFischer.

Around the Empire is listener supported, independent media. Pitch in if you can at Patreon: patreon.com/aroundtheempire or paypal.me/aroundtheempirepod. Find all links at aroundtheempire.com.

SUBSCRIBE on YouTube. FOLLOW @aroundtheempire and @joanneleon.

SUBSCRIBE/FOLLOW on iTunes, iHeart, Spotify, Google Play, Facebook or on your preferred podcast app.

Recorded on March 8, 2019. Music by Fluorescent Grey.

Audio clips from outside the courthouse included with Ford Fischer’s permission.


Reference Links:

  1. Chelsea Manning Held in Contempt, Taken Into Custody (includes video), Ford Fischer, News2Share
  2. Ford Fischer’s Facebook livestream outside the courthouse
  3. Chelsea Manning jailed for refusing to testify before grand jury in Virginia, NBC News
  4. Refusing to “Snitch,” Whistleblower Chelsea Manning Becomes Two-Time Political Prisoner, Alexander Rubinstein, MintPress News
  5. With Ecuador’s Cooperation Bought by IMF Loans, Washington Waxes Optimistic on Assange Extradition, Whitney Webb, MintPress News
  6. Chelsea Manning Legal Defense Fund
Mar 5, 2019

Sharmine Narwani joins us today to talk about how western regime change wars are born and raised. She offers some of her research and analysis on Middle East wars, particularly the war in Syria as a comparison to what we are seeing in Venezuela today and with a special focus on how it all starts with a carefully crafted narrative.

Ep94 How Regime Change Wars Are Born feat Sharmine NarwaniSharmine is a commentator and analyst of Mideast geopolitics based in Beirut. She is a former senior associate at St. Antony’s College, Oxford University and has been published by a wide variety of publications, including the New York Times, the Guardian, Asia Times Online, al Akhbar English, Al Jazeera and RT.  And you can always find her writing at her website, MidEastShuffle.com.

The methods used in much of the regime change and destabilization that we have seen so frequently in recent years is laid out in the 2010 Unconventional Warfare (UW) Manual of the US Military’s Special Forces, which was leaked in 2010. Sharmine has written about it and shares some of those insights today. This manual begins with the following paragraph:

“The intent of U.S. [Unconventional Warfare] UW efforts is to exploit a hostile power’s political, military, economic, and psychological vulnerabilities by developing and sustaining resistance forces to accomplish U.S. strategic objectives…For the foreseeable future, U.S. forces will predominantly engage in irregular warfare (IW) operations.”

But, as we note in our conversation, the world is changing and the success rate of these methods, used for decades by the American empire and its allies, is declining. The political environment in America and even more consequential, the balance of power in the world is also in a state of flux, dynamic and uncertain. There are many signs that the American people want to adopt a new approach toward the world and foreign policy. But it remains to be seen whether the elected government, the plutocrats and the dominant national security state will be able to accept a new global reality and the loss of their sole superpower empire.

FOLLOW Sharmine @snarwani and find her work at her website mideastshuffle.com.

Around the Empire is listener supported, independent media. Pitch in at Patreon: patreon.com/aroundtheempire or paypal.me/aroundtheempirepod. Find all links at aroundtheempire.com.

SUBSCRIBE on YouTube. FOLLOW @aroundtheempire and @joanneleon.

SUBSCRIBE/FOLLOW on iTunes, iHeart, Spotify, Google Play, Facebook or on your preferred podcast app.

Recorded on March 1, 2019. Music by Fluorescent Grey.

Reference Links:

  1. How narratives killed the Syrian people, Sharmine Narwani (2016)
  2. Going Rogue: America’s Unconventional Warfare in the Middle East, Sharmine Narwani (2012)
  3. Elizabeth Warren tweet
  4. Americans Want a Less Aggressive Foreign Policy. It's Time Lawmakers Listened to Them, Ian Bremmer, TIME
  5. Vox Populi, Vox Peanut Gallery?, Eurasia Group Foundation
  6. Bush rejects Chávez aid, The Guardian


Feb 26, 2019

Today we welcome author and editor Teodrose Fikre for a discussion about his profound article about Malcolm X’s warnings on American political parties and their “bourgeois hustlers”. We talk about colonization, the weaponization of identity, the deliberate division of the people and the need for unity and collaboration for inclusive justice.

Ep93 Weaponization of Identity and Malcolm X Warnings feat Teodrose Fikre

Teodrose Fikre, is the co-founder and editor of the Ghion Journal and host of video shows on the Ghion Journal channel. Originally from Ethiopia, he is a published author, a prolific writer, a former consultant in the defense industry and a former community organizer and political activist. He told me about his two year journey, going from a life of upper-middle class privilege to a time of hardship and struggle, and how this taught him a valuable lesson in the essence of togetherness and the need to speak against injustice.  He believes we should focus not just on the symptoms but need to get over the divides and actually speak truth to power instead of speaking half truth to power, and that’s what the Ghion Journal is all about. His writing defies conventional wisdom and challenges readers to look outside the constraints of labels and ideologies that serve to splinter the people.

FOLLOW Teodrose Fikre at @TeodroseFikre. Find his work at GhionJournal.com and at the Ghion Journal channel on YouTube.

Around the Empire is listener supported, independent media. Pitch in at Patreon: patreon.com/aroundtheempire or paypal.me/aroundtheempirepod. Find all links at aroundtheempire.com.

SUBSCRIBE on YouTube. FOLLOW @aroundtheempire and @joanneleon.

SUBSCRIBE/FOLLOW on iTunes, iHeart, Spotify, Google Play, Facebook or on your preferred podcast app.

Recorded on February 23, 2019. Music by Fluorescent Grey.

Reference Links:

  1. The Wisdom of Malcolm X: He was Warning Us about These Bourgeois Hustlers, Teodrose Fikre
  2. Malcolm X interview with Mike Wallace, CBS, aired on June 9, 1964
Feb 13, 2019

Gordon Dimmack joins us from the West Midlands, UK with updates and analysis on Brexit and to offer some insights on the similarities between the War Party attacks on Jeremy Corbyn and Tulsi Gabbard. We also have a wide ranging discussion on war, the Anglo-American empire, Russiagate, the Skripal Affair, and UK politics.

Ep92 Brexit and War Party Attacks on Corbyn & TulsiGordon hosts a popular YouTube channel where he covers news, politics, war and the horrific state of our corporate media. He works to fill their void by striving to analyze and report truthfully and consistently. In his own words:

“The corporate and mainstream media have sunk to such depths of distrust, that the public are tuning in to the rantings of a middle aged man on his YouTube channel instead. That’s a damning indictment on the state of Western media today, in my opinion. Which is really something considering I’m the middle aged man in question.

The Fourth Estate has become the Fifth Column, in the UK and many other Western countries, which is extremely dangerous. Democracy can only thrive if it has an independent media holding power and government to task, unearthing lies and corruption rather than being complicit in them, as our media now sadly is.”

 

FOLLOW Gordon on Twitter @gordondimmack. SUBSCRIBE to his YouTube channel and support him via Patreon.com/GordonDimmack or StreamLabs. Find his work at his website gordondimmack.com.

Around the Empire is listener supported, independent media. Pitch in at Patreon: patreon.com/aroundtheempire or paypal.me/aroundtheempirepod. Find all links at aroundtheempire.com.

SUBSCRIBE on YouTube. FOLLOW @aroundtheempire and @joanneleon.

SUBSCRIBE/FOLLOW on iTunes, iHeart, Spotify, Google Play, Facebook or on your preferred podcast app.

Recorded on February 10, 2019. Music by Fluorescent Grey.

Reference Links:

  1. Tulsi gets the Corbyn treatment - Smeared relentlessly by NBC, Gordon Dimmack
  2. Theresa May: A Prime Minister in Denial, Gordon Dimmack

 

Feb 11, 2019

Psychologist and author Dr. Roy Eidelson joins us today to talk about political mind games and manipulative ploys used by the power elite to mislead Americans, divide us and thwart efforts to advance the common good.

Ep91 Political Mind Games feat Dr Roy Eidelson

Dr. Eidelson has been a practicing clinical, research, and political psychologist for over thirty years and his work focuses on applying psychological knowledge to issues of social justice and social change. He is the former executive director of the Solomon Asch Center for Study of Ethnopolitical Conflict at the University of Pennsylvania, and a past president of Psychologists for Social Responsibility and he is also a member of the Coalition for an Ethical Psychology, which advocates against complicity in torture and in favor of restoring psychology’s commitment to do-no-harm ethics.

Eidelson has been published in many academic journals and more recently has written for a broader audience in his Psychology Today blog, and in various media outlets like the Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Alternet, and Truthout. Last year he published a new book, Political Mind Games: How the 1% Manipulate Our Understanding of What's Happening, What's Right, and What's Possible.

FOLLOW Roy on Twitter @royeidelson. Find his work at royeidelson.com and his blog.

Around the Empire is independent media supported by our listeners. You can pitch in at Patreon: patreon.com/aroundtheempire or at aroundtheempire.com.

FOLLOW @aroundtheempire. Follow Joanne Leon at @joanneleon. SUBSCRIBE/FOLLOW on iTunes, iHeart, Spotify, Google Play, YouTube, Facebook.  SUBSCRIBE on YouTube

Recorded on February 7, 2019. Music by Fluorescent Grey.

Reference Links:

  1. Book: Political Mind Games: How the 1% Manipulate Our Understanding of What's Happening, What's Right, and What's Possible, Roy Eidelson
  2. In a World of Corporate-Backed Politicians, Beware the Sounds of Sirens, Roy Eidelson
  3. Resisting the Drums of War, Roy Eidelson
  4. Get Ready for These Political Mind Games in 2019, Roy Eidelson

 

Feb 10, 2019

Columnist and analyst Ted Snider joins us to talk about patterns in US foreign policy and history as it relates to coup attempts in Venezuela. We discuss the well established history of American-backed coups in Venezuela and how democratic nationalist leaders like Maduro are not tolerated because they’re too difficult to subjugate. Ted provides some detail about Juan Guaidó and his extreme opposition party and the role that resources and oil play in these regime change operations. We also explain our objections to the way that many people frame their opposition to the coup in that they ultimately help the advance the regime change narrative by structuring their argument as follows: “Maduro is a bad dictator but coups are bad too”.

Ep90 American Coup Playbook in Venezuela feat Ted Snider

Ted Snider writes on analyzing patterns in US foreign policy and history. His writing can be found in several places, including Mondoweiss and Truthout. You can follow his work at AntiWar.com where he is a columnist.

Around the Empire podcast is listener supported independent media. Your support is needed and appreciated. Please pitch in at patreon.com/aroundtheempire or paypal.me/aroundtheempirepod. You can also find these links on our website aroundtheempire.com. And please help me build up the Around the Empire YouTube channel as I prepare to expand into the world of video content. Do that by subscribing to the channel. Youtube.com/aroundtheempire.

FOLLOW @aroundtheempire. Follow Joanne Leon at @joanneleon. SUBSCRIBE/FOLLOW on iTunes, iHeart, Spotify, Google Play, YouTube, Facebook.

Recorded on February 6, 2019. Music by Fluorescent Grey.

Reference Links:

  1. What the Media Won’t Tell You About the Venezuelan Coup, Ted Snider

 

Feb 6, 2019

Dan Kovalik joins us today to talk about the situation in Venezuela. US officials and almost all media outlets have made claims about the illegitimacy of the Venezuelan presidential election last May, using that claim to recognize a little known opposition leader, Juan Guaidó, as the new interim president, replacing President Nicolás Maduro. Dan begs to differ with that characterization, having witnessed that election process, up close, while he was on the ground in Venezuela as an election monitor. He shares that experience with us today and many other insights on the country, the region, and the media coverage and politics around it here in the United States.

Ep89 Real Story of Venezuelan Elections feat Dan KovalikDaniel Kovalik is a labor and human rights lawyer, a peace activist, an author and a college professor. He teaches International Human Rights at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law.

The Christian Science Monitor described him as “one of the most prominent defenders of Colombian workers in the United States” in reference to his work defending Colombian unionists under threat of assassination. He is the recipient of the Project Censored Award for his work exposing the killing of trade unionists in Colombia. He has done interviews and written articles for many different media sites including Counterpunch and the Huffington Post. He has recently written three books, including The Plot to Control the World: How the US Spent Billions to Change the Outcome of Elections Around the World, which was published last November.

Find Dan’s work at Counterpunch and the Huffington Post and look for his informative interviews on various alternative media channels.  FOLLOW him on Twitter @danielmkovalik.

Around the Empire is independent media supported by our listeners. You can pitch in at Patreon: patreon.com/aroundtheempire or at aroundtheempire.com.

FOLLOW @aroundtheempire. Follow Joanne Leon at @joanneleon. SUBSCRIBE/FOLLOW on iTunes, iHeart, Spotify, Google Play, YouTube, Facebook.

Recorded on February 5, 2019. Music by Fluorescent Grey.

Reference Links:

  1. The Real Venezuela Is Not What You Think: Human Rights lawyer Daniel Kovalik tells of his recent trip to Venezuela as part of the international electoral accompaniment mission, Venezuela Analysis
  2. Book: The Plot to Control the World: How the US Spent Billions to Change the Outcome of Elections Around the World (2018), Dan Kovalik
  3. Book: The Plot to Attack Iran: How the CIA and the Deep State Have Conspired to Vilify Iran (2018), Dan Kovalik
  4. Book: The Plot to Scapegoat Russia: How the CIA and the Deep State Have Conspired to Vilify Putin (2017)
  5. Book: Humanitarian Imperialism: Using Human Rights to Sell War, Jean Bricmont
  6. Film: The Revolution Will Not Be Televised (2003)
  7. Goodbye Middle East, Hello Latin America: The Coming Destruction of the Caribbean Basin, Thierry Meyssan, MintPress News

 

Jan 31, 2019

Columnist, editor and well known activist Margaret Kimberley joins us today to talk about a 1967 speech at the Riverside church in New York City by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., “Beyond Vietnam: Time to Break the Silence”. We talk about the prescience of the lesser known but epic speech and its relevance today. We also talk more broadly about NATO, the new Cold War, the yellow vests protest in France, Brexit, Greece and American politics.

Ep88 Beyond Vietnam feat Margaret Kimberley

Margaret Kimberley is a senior columnist and editor at the Black Agenda Report and an activist for peace and justice issues. Her work has been published in many newspapers and websites and she has been a guest on radio shows around the country.  Margaret has spoken at Riverside Church herself for seminars and student groups and she speaks to us today from New York.

Find her work at Black Agenda Report, her blog FreedomRider.blogspot.com

FOLLOW her at @freedomrideblog and patreon.com/margaretkimberley.

Around the Empire is independent media supported by our listeners. You can pitch in at Patreon: patreon.com/aroundtheempire or at aroundtheempire.com.

FOLLOW @aroundtheempire. Follow Joanne Leon at @joanneleon. SUBSCRIBE/FOLLOW on iTunes, iHeart, Spotify, Google Play, YouTube, Facebook.

Recorded on January 28, 2019. Music by Fluorescent Grey.


Reference Links:

  1. Beyond Vietnam: A Time to Break the Silence (transcript and audio), Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. April 4, 1967
  2. Black Alliance for Peace
  3. BAP's Second Anniversary Celebration and A Call for a Mass Mobilization to Oppose NATO, War & Racism, March 30 and April 4, 2019

 

Jan 29, 2019

Journalist Whitney Webb joins us today from Chile to talk about the budding “trust industry” -- the latest crusade (and gold rush) to fight fake news.  A new, for-profit startup called Newsguard, aims to partner with major tech platforms, marketing firms and other institutions to mark news and information websites with color-coded flags to show consumers which ones are reliable. It is already installed as a feature of Microsoft’s mobile web browser and is running as a browser extension in some public libraries.

Ep87 Newsguard & "Trust Industry" feat Whitney Webb

Newsguard markets itself as a “a news literacy tool,” “a research tool” and claims that it will “tell you if a news site is reliable” with the lofty goal of

“restoring trust and accountability.“ One of their founders has made the rounds in the print, online and TV media pledging to fight fake news, disinformation and Russian propaganda.

Whitney Webb did her own extensive research, fact-checking and analysis on the credibility and reliablity of Newsguard itself: its founders, financial backers, advisory board and staff and she discovered a lot of troubling facts. She also provides insightful analysis on the risk and potential outcome if Newsguard succeeds in becoming a ubiquitous, involuntary service, and some more upbeat advice on ways to deal with a scenario that threatens to blacklist genuine, independent media outlets that allow dissent and refuse to stick to the establishment-approved narratives.

Whitney Webb is an American journalist and staff writer for MintPress News who has been published by and done interviews with many other independent media outlets. She currently lives with her family in southern Chile. FOLLOW Whitney on Twitter @_whitneywebb . Find her work at MintPress News.

Around the Empire is independent media and we rely on the support of our listeners. You can pitch in at Patreon: patreon.com/aroundtheempire or offer one-time contributions via aroundtheempire.com.

FOLLOW @aroundtheempire. Follow Joanne Leon at @joanneleon. SUBSCRIBE/FOLLOW on iTunes, iHeart, Spotify, Google Play, YouTube, Facebook.

Recorded on January 26, 2019. Music by Fluorescent Grey.

Reference Links:

How a NeoCon-Backed “Fact Checker” Plans to Wage War on Independent Media, Whitney Webb, Mint Press News

Jan 19, 2019

Dr. Neda Bolourchi joins us for a discussion of several major issues around Iran -- involvement in Syria, the complicated alliance with Russia and their decentralized power structure. We also focus on the Green Revolution, the MEK and especially the misplaced expectations from some factions in the American foreign policy establishment that Iran’s people, especially their minority communities, will bring about the regime change that their adversaries desire.

Ep86 Misunderstanding Iran Regime Change feat Neda Bolourchi

To quote Dr. Bolourchi from her recent Atlantic Council article:

“Like previous American administrations, the Trump Administration seeks regime change in Tehran. And like the current White House, but more fervently, the Washington establishment assumes Iranian minorities will join in what is being called in certain circles ‘transformative change.’

Recent nationwide demonstrations in Iran—over the state of the economy, Tehran’s regional activities, corruption, and general disenchantment with the Islamic government—are strengthening the Trump administration’s hopes. But attempts to catalyze religious or ethnic minority protests as a means to transform the Islamic Republic have been a failed US policy for almost as long as the theocracy has existed. This time will be no different. History demonstrates ethnic and religious minorities will neither spur nor lead regime change.”

Dr. Bolourchi is Assistant Professor at Rutgers University-New Brunswick Center for Middle Eastern Studies. She is an interdisciplinary scholar who focuses on modern legal practices in and the history of the Middle East, particularly Iran. She is deeply engaged in legal and archival theory and methodology as she continues a book project on the ideas of political theology, nationalism, war, and minority communities. She is also working on an oral history project and she completed years of research in Iran, Syria, and Armenia for her doctoral dissertation at Columbia University.

Around the Empire is independent media supported by our listeners. You can pitch in at Patreon: patreon.com/aroundtheempire or at aroundtheempire.com.

FOLLOW @aroundtheempire. Follow Joanne Leon at @joanneleon. SUBSCRIBE/FOLLOW on iTunes, iHeart, Spotify, Google Play, YouTube, Facebook.

Recorded on January 18, 2019. Music by Fluorescent Grey.

Reference Links:

  1. Lessons from the Iran-Iraq War: Iranian Minorities Won’t Lead Transformative Change, Atlantic Council, Neda Bolourchi
  2. Iranian and Russian involvement in Syria: purposes and prospects, The International Institute for Strategic Studies:
  3. The Sacred Defense: Sacrifice and Nationalism Across Minority Communities in Post-Revolutionary Iran, Neda Bolourchi

 

Jan 4, 2019

Scott Horton joins us from Texas to talk about the withdrawal of troops from Syria and Afghanistan.  Scott and Joanne offer some cautiously optimistic analysis on Trump’s latest actions on war and foreign policy and how he could use a “Horton’s Rule” strategy to his advantage, outflanking Left and Right opponents with detente and de-escalation. Is there an “only Nixon could go to China” opportunity for Trump and will he deliver on it?

We also discuss the dilemma that Establishment Democrats’ have created for themselves as they assume a twisted political opposition to scaling down wars and now routinely provide unquestioning fealty to the national security state. Lastly, we review William Atkin’s dissenting farewell memo to NBC and the media’s passive acceptance and cheerleading of perpetual war.

Ep85 Ending Wars Trump Outflanks Opposition feat Scott Horton

Scott Horton is the author of the book  Fool’s Errand: Time to End the War in Afghanistan. He’s the managing director of the Libertarian Institute,, opinion editor at Antiwar.com, host of Antiwar Radio on Pacifica and the host of the Scott Horton Show podcast. Scott has spent the past two decades giving voice to ardent anti-war and anti-interventionist activists, experts and reporters from across the spectrum and has done nearly five thousand interviews. Find his work at LibertarianInstitute.org, antiwar.com, ScottHorton.org Patreon.com/ScottHortonShow and FoolsErrand.us.

Around the Empire is independent media and we rely on the support of our listeners. You can pitch in at Patreon: patreon.com/aroundtheempire or offer one-time contributions via aroundtheempire.com.

FOLLOW @aroundtheempire. Follow Joanne Leon at @joanneleon. SUBSCRIBE/FOLLOW on iTunes, iHeart, Spotify, Google Play, YouTube, Facebook.

Recorded on January 3, 2019. Music by Fluorescent Grey.

Dec 31, 2018

In this two-part series investigative journalist Mohamed Elmaazi joins us from London. Mohamed has been working on what is potentially one of the most explosive international scandals in recent years. Hacked documents have exposed a secretive “charity” think tank, the Institute for Statecraft, which is funded by the British Foreign Office, the US State Department, NATO, Facebook, a neoconservative foundation and others. Mohamed located their London office in a neo-gothic mansion, Two Temple Place, and later accompanied a British MP on an unwelcome visit. One of the Institute for Statecraft’s projects, The Integrity Initiative, possibly a front for military intelligence, is a covert propaganda network of politicians, journalists, academics, researchers and military officers engaged in smearing political leaders and interfering in the affairs of other allied governments.

Ep84 Temple of Covert Propaganda Part 2 feat Mohamed Elmaazi

Mohamed Elmaazi is a journalist with experience in human rights law, with degrees from American University in Cairo and SOAS. He contributes to Open Democracy, The Canary, the Grayzone and The Real News Network.  FOLLOW Mohamed on Twitter at @MElmaazi.

Institute of Statecraft

Two Temple Place

Around the Empire is independent media and you can support it at Patreon: patreon.com/aroundtheempire or at aroundtheempire.com.

FOLLOW @aroundtheempire. Follow Joanne Leon at @joanneleon. SUBSCRIBE/FOLLOW on iTunes, iHeart, Spotify, Google Play, YouTube, Facebook.

Recorded on December 22, 2018. Music by Fluorescent Grey.

Reference Links:

  1. Inside the Temple of Covert Propaganda: The Integrity Initiative and the UK’s Scandalous Information War, Gray Zone, Mohamed Elmaazi and Max Blumenthal
  2. Institute for Statecraft slams door in Labour MP’s face, The Canary, Mohamed Elmaazi
  3. Labour’s Chris Williamson warns of ‘British interference’ in Spain’s national security affairs, The Canary, Mohamed Elmaazi
  4. Briefing note on the Integrity Initiative, Paul McKeigue, David Miller, Jake Mason, Piers Robinson
  5. CyberGuerilla site, Nov 5 post, Nov 29 post

 

Dec 31, 2018

In this two-part series investigative journalist Mohamed Elmaazi joins us from London. Mohamed has been working on what is potentially one of the most explosive international scandals in recent years. Hacked documents have exposed a secretive “charity” think tank, the Institute for Statecraft, which is funded by the British Foreign Office, the US State Department, NATO, Facebook, a neoconservative foundation and others. Mohamed located their London office in a neo-gothic mansion, Two Temple Place, and later accompanied a British MP on an unwelcome visit. One of the Institute for Statecraft’s projects, The Integrity Initiative, possibly a front for military intelligence, is a covert propaganda network of politicians, journalists, academics, researchers and military officers engaged in smearing political leaders and interfering in the affairs of other allied governments.

Ep83 Temple Covert Propaganda Part 1 feat Mohamed ElmaaziMohamed Elmaazi is a journalist with experience in human rights law, with degrees from American University in Cairo and SOAS. He contributes to Open Democracy, The Canary, the Grayzone and The Real News Network.  FOLLOW Mohamed on Twitter at @MElmaazi.

Institute of Statecraft

Two Temple Place

Around the Empire is independent media and you can support it at Patreon: patreon.com/aroundtheempire or at aroundtheempire.com.

FOLLOW @aroundtheempire. Follow Joanne Leon at @joanneleon. SUBSCRIBE/FOLLOW on iTunes, iHeart, Spotify, Google Play, YouTube, Facebook.

Recorded on December 22, 2018. Music by Fluorescent Grey.

Reference Links:

  1. Inside the Temple of Covert Propaganda: The Integrity Initiative and the UK’s Scandalous Information War, Gray Zone, Mohamed Elmaazi and Max Blumenthal
  2. Institute for Statecraft slams door in Labour MP’s face, The Canary, Mohamed Elmaazi
  3. Labour’s Chris Williamson warns of ‘British interference’ in Spain’s national security affairs, The Canary, Mohamed Elmaazi
  4. Briefing note on the Integrity Initiative, Paul McKeigue, David Miller, Jake Mason, Piers Robinson
  5. CyberGuerilla site, Nov 5 post, Nov 29 post

 

Dec 20, 2018

Elijah Magnier returns to the show. He is currently in Beirut enroute to Damascus. We discuss Trump’s announcement of a rapid withdrawal from Syria, the prospect of a Turkish invasion of Kurdish and US-occupied areas in Syria, and the situation this creates for the Kurds, who, even if Trump reneges on his order, are now confronted with a crisis of confidence in long term American occupation. We also discuss Russia’s consequential change in the rules of engagement with Israel and Syria, and a possible Middle East summit.

Ep 82 Syria Withdrawal feat Elijah Magnier

Elijah is a veteran war correspondent, a terrorism/counterterrorism analyst specializing in the Europe and the Middle East, especially Lebanon, Iraq, Syria, Sudan and Libya. FOLLOW Elijah at @ejmalrai and find his work at ejmagnier.com. Support him by using the Paypal link at the bottom of every page on his website.


Around the Empire is independent media and you can support it at Patreon: patreon.com/aroundtheempire or at aroundtheempire.com.

FOLLOW @aroundtheempire. Follow Joanne Leon at @joanneleon. SUBSCRIBE/FOLLOW on iTunes, iHeart, Spotify, Google Play, YouTube, Facebook.

Recorded on December 20, 2018. Music by Fluorescent Grey.

Reference Links:

  1. NEW RULES OF ENGAGEMENT BETWEEN SYRIA AND ISRAEL, AS RUSSIA CHANGES ITS POSITION, Elijah Magnier

 

Dec 18, 2018

A wide-ranging discussion with author and policy analyst Patrick Eddington about his service in the CIA during the Bush 41 and Bill Clinton eras, the Gulf War, Russiagate, the failure to change course at the end of the Cold War and about the unsustainability of and America’s incompatibility with empire.

Ep 81 Bush 41, Gulf War, State of the Empire feat Patrick Eddington

Patrick Eddington is a policy analyst in homeland security and civil liberties at the Cato Institute. He was an advisor to Rep. Rush Holt of New Jersey and he’s an Adjunct Assistant Professor at Georgetown University’s Center for Security Studies.  Eddington was a military imagery analyst at the CIA’s National Photographic Interpretation Center from 1988 to 1996 with assignments that included monitoring the breakup of the former Soviet Union and providing military assessments to policymakers on Iraqi and Iranian conventional forces.

Eddington resigned from the CIA in 1996 after working on a book titled (Gassed in the Gulf: The Inside Story of the Pentagon-CIA Cover-up of Gulf War Syndrome) and he also wrote a 2011 memoir titled Long Strange Journey about his years in the CIA. He has been published at many outlets and has opinion pieces at the CATO Institute, Just Security and other sites. Find his work and links to his articles and events at the CATO Institute and at his blog, PatrickEddington.com.  FOLLOW him on Twitter at @PGEddington.

Around the Empire is independent media and you can support it at Patreon: patreon.com/aroundtheempire or at aroundtheempire.com.

FOLLOW @aroundtheempire. Follow Joanne Leon at @joanneleon. SUBSCRIBE/FOLLOW on iTunes, iHeart, Spotify, Google Play, YouTube, Facebook.

Recorded on December 11, 2018. Music by Fluorescent Grey.


Reference Links:

  1. Eddington’s Twitter thread on GHWB’s death
  2. George H.W. Bush’s Persian Gulf War: Victory, With Tragedy, Patrick Eddington
  3. Long Strange Journey: An Intelligence Memoir, Patrick Eddington
  4. Gassed in the Gulf: The Inside Story of the Pentagon-CIA Cover-up of Gulf War Syndrome, Patrick Eddington



Dec 11, 2018

Joanne Leon and investigative journalist and historian Gareth Porter discuss “The Permanent War Complex” and how it developed in stages to the point where we have defense and intelligence mega-contractors helping to drive perpetual wars around the globe. Eisenhower’s nightmare has now come true. We also talk about recent machinations in the case of Julian Assange and Wikileaks.

Ep80 Permanent War Complex feat Gareth Porter

Gareth Porter specializes in covering issues related to U.S. wars and interventions. He is the winner of the 2012 Gellhorn Prize for Journalism who has covered U.S. policy toward Iraq, Afghanistan, Iran, Pakistan, and Syria for Inter Press Service from 2004 to 2014, and his stories were widely republished on other news sites. Since then he has published stories and columns at Truthdig, American Conservative, Foreign Policy, Consortium News, Truthout, antiwar.com The Nation and Middle East Eye.

 He is the author of five books, including three books on Vietnam and the U.S. war in Indochina.  His latest book, Manufactured Crisis: The Untold Story of the Iran Nuclear Scare, reveals the true story of the Iran nuclear issue that has been hidden and distorted by government propaganda and complete lack of media scrutiny. FOLLOW Gareth on Twitter at @GarethPorter.

 Around the Empire is independent media and you can support it at Patreon: patreon.com/aroundtheempire or at aroundtheempire.com.

FOLLOW @aroundtheempire. Follow Joanne Leon at @joanneleon. SUBSCRIBE/FOLLOW on iTunes, iHeart, Spotify, Google Play, YouTube, Facebook.

Recorded on December 4, 2018. Music by Fluorescent Grey.


Reference Links:

  1. U.K. and Ecuador Conspire to Deliver Julian Assange to U.S. Authorities, Gareth Porter
  2. America’s Permanent-War Complex, Gareth Porter
Dec 3, 2018

Friends of the show Kyle Anzalone and Will Porter join Joanne Leon for a special two-part series on the Khashoggi Affair, which symbolizes a much bigger geopolitical crisis and battle. Roundtable format, released in two separate episodes in the coming week for our listeners or available in advance, in full for patrons.

Ep 78 Khashoggi Affair (Part 2)

Kyle Anzalone is the host of the Foreign Policy Focus podcast and the editor-in-chief of ImmersionNews.com. He also writes the Daily News Roundup at Libertarian Institute.

Will Porter is a freelance journalist with a focus on US foreign policy and conflicts abroad. His work can be found at the Libertarian Institute, Antiwar.com and Consortium News

We are independent media and we rely on your contributions. Patreon: patreon.com/aroundtheempire Donations: aroundtheempire.com.

FOLLOW @aroundtheempire. Follow Joanne Leon at @joanneleon. SUBSCRIBE/FOLLOW on iTunes, iHeart, Spotify, Google Play, YouTube, Facebook.

Recorded on November 23 and 24, 2018. Music by Fluorescent Grey.

Fair Use Act Disclaimer. Copyright Disclaimer under section 107 of the Copyright Act 1976, allowance is made for “fair use” for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, education and research. Fair use is a use permitted by copyright statute that might otherwise be infringing.

Reference Links:

  1. FPF #274 - Trump Runs Cover for MbS guest Will Porter, Kyle Anzalone, Will Porter
  2. Khashoggi Was No Critic of Saudi Regime, Asad AbuKhalil, Consortium News
  3. Why Did CIA Turn Against Saudi Crown Prince MBS? It’s More Than Khashoggi, The Real News, Ben Norton, Professor Asad AbuKhalil
  4. Off the Hookah podcast 10/31/18: Episode #075: Crown Control (feat. Bruce Riedel)
  5. One-on-one with Prince Al-Waleed bin Talal, Fox Business, Maria Bartiromo, Prince Al-Waleed bin Talal
  6. Saudi Arabia vs Iran: Is the cold war heating up? - UpFront, Al Jazeera English, Mehdi Hasan, Jamal Khashoggi, Seyed Hossein Mousavian
  7. Saudi Prince Turki says CIA cannot be trusted on Khashoggi, Al Jazeera
  8. Rand Paul on Face the Nation
  9. Lindsey Graham on Meet the Press
  10. Lindsey Graham on Hannity
  11. Tulsi Gabbard Twitter thread
  12. Here is a Saudi 'war game' scenario that demonstrates the peril of a post-Khashoggi period for the US and the Middle East, CNBC, Fred Kempe
  13. Exclusive: After Khashoggi murder, some Saudi royals turn against king’s favorite son, Reuters
  14. Keeping Bin Salman In Place Will Hurt Trump's Middle East Policies, Moon of Alabama

 

Dec 1, 2018

Friends of the show Kyle Anzalone and Will Porter join Joanne Leon for a special two-part series on the Khashoggi Affair, which symbolizes a much bigger geopolitical crisis and battle. Roundtable format, released in two separate episodes in the coming week for our listeners or available in advance, in full for patrons.

Ep 77 The Khashoggi Affair - Part 1

Kyle Anzalone is the host of the Foreign Policy Focus podcast and the editor-in-chief of ImmersionNews.com. He also writes the Daily News Roundup at Libertarian Institute.

Will Porter is a freelance journalist with a focus on US foreign policy and conflicts abroad. His work can be found at the Libertarian Institute, Antiwar.com and Consortium News

We are independent media and we rely on your contributions. Patreon: patreon.com/aroundtheempire Donations: aroundtheempire.com.

FOLLOW @aroundtheempire. Follow Joanne Leon at @joanneleon. SUBSCRIBE/FOLLOW on iTunes, iHeart, Spotify, Google Play, YouTube, Facebook.

Recorded on November 23 and 24, 2018. Music by Fluorescent Grey.

Fair Use Act Disclaimer. Copyright Disclaimer under section 107 of the Copyright Act 1976, allowance is made for “fair use” for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, education and research. Fair use is a use permitted by copyright statute that might otherwise be infringing.

Reference Links:

  1. FPF #274 - Trump Runs Cover for MbS guest Will Porter, Kyle Anzalone, Will Porter
  2. Khashoggi Was No Critic of Saudi Regime, Asad AbuKhalil, Consortium News
  3. Why Did CIA Turn Against Saudi Crown Prince MBS? It’s More Than Khashoggi, The Real News, Ben Norton, Professor Asad AbuKhalil
  4. Off the Hookah podcast 10/31/18: Episode #075: Crown Control (feat. Bruce Riedel)
  5. One-on-one with Prince Al-Waleed bin Talal, Fox Business, Maria Bartiromo, Prince Al-Waleed bin Talal
  6. Saudi Arabia vs Iran: Is the cold war heating up? - UpFront, Al Jazeera English, Mehdi Hasan, Jamal Khashoggi, Seyed Hossein Mousavian
  7. Saudi Prince Turki says CIA cannot be trusted on Khashoggi, Al Jazeera
  8. Rand Paul on Face the Nation
  9. Lindsey Graham on Meet the Press
  10. Lindsey Graham on Hannity
  11. Tulsi Gabbard Twitter thread
  12. Here is a Saudi 'war game' scenario that demonstrates the peril of a post-Khashoggi period for the US and the Middle East, CNBC, Fred Kempe
  13. Exclusive: After Khashoggi murder, some Saudi royals turn against king’s favorite son, Reuters
  14. Keeping Bin Salman In Place Will Hurt Trump's Middle East Policies, Moon of Alabama



Nov 19, 2018

Middle East expert Joshua Landis returns to the show to discuss the recent summit in Istanbul, Europe’s move to join the Astana process, the war in Syria, the Khashoggi Affair and the forces aligning against the current US foreign policy in the MidEast.

Ep76 Istanbul Summit feat Joshua Landis

Professor Landis is the Director of the Center for Middle East Studies at the University of Oklahoma. He spent much of his childhood in Saudi Arabia and Lebanon, and later lived in several other countries in the Middle East including Syria and Turkey. He is a frequent interview guest in numerous media outlets in the United States and abroad. You can find his work at his blog, Syria Comment. FOLLOW him on Twitter at @joshua_landis and on Facebook.

Around the Empire is independent media and you can support it at Patreon: patreon.com/aroundtheempire or at aroundtheempire.com.

FOLLOW @aroundtheempire. Follow Joanne Leon at @joanneleon. SUBSCRIBE/FOLLOW on iTunes, iHeart, Spotify, Google Play, YouTube, Facebook.

Recorded on November 1, 2018. Music by Fluorescent Grey.


Reference Links:

  1. Landis thread on the Istanbul Summit (Twitter thread)
  2. Istanbul Summit on Syria Was a Success but Caveats Remain, MK Bhadrakumar

 

Oct 31, 2018

Major Danny Sjursen joins the show to talk about about the war in Afghanistan, an unsustainable quagmire for which no more blood and treasure should be sacrificed. We also talk about the magical American soldier myth and the empire denial syndrome.

Ep75 Myths and Quagmires feat Maj Danny Sjursen

Major Danny Sjursen is a US Army strategist and former history instructor at West Point. He served tours with reconnaissance units in Iraq and Afghanistan. He has written a memoir and critical analysis of the Iraq War, Ghostriders of Baghdad: Soldiers, Civilians, and the Myth of the Surge. He’s the co-host of the podcast Fortress on a Hill, and his articles are published frequently at numerous websites including The Nation, Truthdig, TomDispatch and antiwar.com. FOLLOW Danny Sjursen on Twitter at @skepticalvet and support his work at patreon.com/fortressonahill.         

We are independent media and we rely on your contributions. Patreon: patreon.com/aroundtheempire Donations: aroundtheempire.com.

FOLLOW @aroundtheempire. Follow Joanne Leon at @joanneleon. SUBSCRIBE/FOLLOW on iTunes, iHeart, Spotify, Google Play, YouTube, Facebook.

Recorded on October 31, 2018. Music by Fluorescent Grey.

Reference Links:

  1. Quagmire: What the Attack on General Miller in Afghanistan Tells Us, Maj. Danny Sjursen
  2. Not Worth Another Life: An Afghan Anniversary To Lament, Maj. Danny Sjursen
  3. The Limits of Power – The Myth of the Magical American Soldier, Maj. Danny Sjursen
  4. Danny Sjursen on The War on Terror, Scott Horton Show
  5. Major Danny Sjursen: Endless War in Afghanistan,The Zero Hour



Oct 22, 2018

Tom Secker joins the show for this two-part series as we compare and contrast two movies: War Machine and Charlie Wilson’s War. We talk about Afghanistan, wars, history, geopolitics, movies, the involvement of the national security state in the entertainment industry and more. A great conversation that is interesting and informative, both serious and light-hearted at varying times and is packaged into two episodes (available in full in advance for patrons).

Ep 74 War Machine and Charlie Wilson's War (Part 2) feat Tom Secker

Tom Secker is a writer, researcher and podcast host from Northern England, who specialises in the intelligence services, Hollywood and the history of terrorism.  He hosts the ClandesTime podcast and is the author of two books, including National Security Cinema: The Shocking New Evidence of Government Control in Hollywood. Find his work and ways to support that work at spyculture.com and patreon.com/tomsecker.

We are independent media and we rely on your contributions. Patreon: patreon.com/aroundtheempire Donations: aroundtheempire.com.

FOLLOW @aroundtheempire. Follow Joanne Leon at @joanneleon. SUBSCRIBE/FOLLOW on iTunes, iHeart, Spotify, Google Play, YouTube, Facebook.

Recorded on October 18, 2018. Music by Fluorescent Grey.

Fair Use Act Disclaimer. Copyright Disclaimer under section 107 of the Copyright Act 1976, allowance is made for “fair use” for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, education and research. Fair use is a use permitted by copyright statute that might otherwise be infringing.

Reference Links:

  1. War Machine (2017), IMDB
  2. Charlie Wilson’s War (2007), IMDB
  3. Did the CIA rewrite Charlie Wilson's War?, Tom Secker
  4. The Cinema of the Soviet-Afghan War, Tom Secker
  5. How to Catch Brzezinski in a lie, Tom Secker
  6. Towards an International History of the War in Afghanistan, 1979-1989,  Christian F. Ostermann, Mircea Munteanu, The Wilson Center
  7. National Security Cinema: The Shocking New Evidence of Government Control in Hollywood, Tom Secker
  8. 06/23/10 – Michael Hastings – The Scott Horton Show
  9. 04/21/09 – Michael Hastings – The Scott Horton Show
  10. Brzezinski’s Afghan War and the Grand Chessboard, The Real News Network
  11. The Operators: The Wild and Terrifying Inside Story of America's War in Afghanistan, Michael Hastings
  12. The Runaway General, Rolling Stone, Michael Hastings
  13. The Brzezinski Interview with Le Nouvel Observateur (1998), D. Gibbs, University of Arizona



Oct 20, 2018

Tom Secker joins the show for this two-part series as we compare and contrast two movies: War Machine and Charlie Wilson’s War. We talk about Afghanistan, wars, history, geopolitics, movies, the involvement of the national security state in the entertainment industry and more. A great conversation that is interesting and informative, both serious and light-hearted at varying times and is packaged into two episodes (available in full in advance for patrons).

Ep 73 War Machine and Charlie Wilson's War Part 1 feat Tom Secker

Tom Secker is a writer, researcher and podcast host from Northern England, who specialises in the intelligence services, Hollywood and the history of terrorism.  He hosts the ClandesTime podcast and is the author of two books, including National Security Cinema: The Shocking New Evidence of Government Control in Hollywood. Find his work and ways to support that work at spyculture.com and patreon.com/tomsecker.

 

We are independent media and we rely on your contributions. Patreon: patreon.com/aroundtheempire Donations: aroundtheempire.com.

 

FOLLOW @aroundtheempire. Follow Joanne Leon at @joanneleon. SUBSCRIBE/FOLLOW on iTunes, iHeart, Spotify, Google Play, YouTube, Facebook.

 

Recorded on October 18, 2018. Music by Fluorescent Grey.

 

Fair Use Act Disclaimer. Copyright Disclaimer under section 107 of the Copyright Act 1976, allowance is made for “fair use” for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, education and research. Fair use is a use permitted by copyright statute that might otherwise be infringing.

 

Reference Links:

  1. War Machine (2017), IMDB
  2. Charlie Wilson’s War (2007), IMDB
  3. Did the CIA rewrite Charlie Wilson's War?, Tom Secker
  4. The Cinema of the Soviet-Afghan War, Tom Secker
  5. How to Catch Brzezinski in a lie, Tom Secker
  6. Towards an International History of the War in Afghanistan, 1979-1989,  Christian F. Ostermann, Mircea Munteanu, The Wilson Center
  7. National Security Cinema: The Shocking New Evidence of Government Control in Hollywood, Tom Secker
  8. 06/23/10 – Michael Hastings – The Scott Horton Show
  9. 04/21/09 – Michael Hastings – The Scott Horton Show
  10. Brzezinski’s Afghan War and the Grand Chessboard, The Real News Network
  11. The Operators: The Wild and Terrifying Inside Story of America's War in Afghanistan, Michael Hastings
  12. The Runaway General, Rolling Stone, Michael Hastings
  13. The Brzezinski Interview with Le Nouvel Observateur (1998), D. Gibbs, University of Arizona



Oct 3, 2018

Syrian analyst Ehsani returns to the show to talk about the latest developments in the Syrian war, with a focus on the Idlib deal, Turkey’s role in the war, perspectives from Syrians, and the prospects for recovery.

Ep 72 Syria: Idlib Deal and Outlook feat Ehsani

Ehsani is a Syrian American originally from Aleppo. You can find his social media analysis and discussion about Syria on Twitter at @ehsani22. He has also written for the Syria Comment blog under the pseudonym, “Ehsani”.  

We are independent media and we rely on your contributions. Patreon: patreon.com/aroundtheempire Donations: aroundtheempire.com.

FOLLOW @aroundtheempire. SUBSCRIBE/FOLLOW on iTunes, iHeart, Spotify, Google Play, YouTube, Facebook.

Recorded on October 2, 2018. Music by Fluorescent Grey.

Photo: By Jamen Schahoud at the English language Wikipedia, CC BY-SA 3.0

 

Reference Links:

  1. Ep 34 An End to the Syrian War feat Ehsani (9/20/17)
  2. Ep 45 Ghouta, Afrin and Eastern Syria feat Ehsani (3/27/18)
Sep 28, 2018

Friends of the show Kyle Anzalone and Will Porter join Joanne Leon for a special three-part series on the Rise and Fall of John Brennan, done in a roundtable format and released in three separate episodes in the coming week for our listeners or available in advance, in full for patrons.

Ep 71 The Rise and Fall of John Brennan - Part 3

Kyle Anzalone is the host of the Foreign Policy Focus podcast and the editor-in-chief of ImmersionNews.com. He also writes the Daily News Roundup at Libertarian Institute.

Will Porter is a freelance journalist with a focus on US foreign policy and conflicts abroad. His work can be found at the Libertarian Institute, Antiwar.com and Consortium News

In American political life, few officials have weathered as many storms as former CIA director John Brennan. With a career marred by a virtually endless series of scandals, Brennan’s ability to maneuver himself within institutions of power has served him exceptionally well both inside and outside of government.

Brennan’s decades-long tenure at the CIA presents a microcosmic portrait of US foreign policy since the fall of the Soviet Union—a true exemplar of the American role in a “unipolar” world.

His name has become synonymous with torture, regime change, targeted assassinations, drones, spying, the arming of foreign militias and now, in the era of Trump, politicized intelligence.

But that may have finally come to an end. The recent revocation of Brennan’s security clearance could represent the final nail in a coffin that, until now, has simply refused to stay shut.

Join us in this 3 part series reviewing Brennan’s career at the CIA, the litany of scandals tied to his name, as well as what could come next for the retired intelligence officer.

Support Kyle at  https://www.patreon.com/ForeignPolicyFocus. Support Will at patreon.com/WKPJournalist.

We are independent media and we rely on your contributions. Patreon: patreon.com/aroundtheempire Donations: aroundtheempire.com.

FOLLOW @aroundtheempire. SUBSCRIBE/FOLLOW on iTunes, iHeart, Spotify, YouTube, Facebook.

This discussion was recorded in two sessions: August 24 and 31, 2018. Music by Fluorescent Grey.

Reference Links:

  1. President Trump’s Claims of No Collusion are Hogwash, New York Times, John Brennan
  2. William H. McRaven: Revoke my security clearance, too, Mr. President, Washington Post
  3. Scores of ex-spies join in rebuking Trump over security clearances, Politico
  4. The Seven Deadly Sins of John Brennan, Micah Zenko, Foreign Policy
  5. Confront and Conceal (book), David Sanger
  6. Gates to National Security Team on Osama Raid: 'Shut the F--- Up', Daniel Halper, Weekly Standard
  7. Exclusive: Did White House "spin" tip a covert op?, Mark Hosenball, Reuters
  8. Who Bombed Khobar Towers? Anatomy of a Crooked Terrorism Investigation, Gareth Porter, Truthout
  9. Brennan-led secret raids may have led to Benghazi retaliation, book claims, FoxNews
  10. The media are misleading the public on Syria, Stephen Kinzer, Boston Globe
  11. US Special Forces sabotage White House policy gone disastrously wrong with covert ops in Syria, SOFREP, Jack Murphy
  12. Secret Kill List Tests Obama’s Principles New York Times, Jo Becker, Scott Shane
  13. A Spymaster Steps Out of the Shadows, New York Times Magazine, Mattathias Schwartz

 

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