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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.

Jun 19, 2019

Guest: Kevin Gosztola studied and analyzed the 17 superseding indictments brought against Julian Assange on May 23. He argues that a familiar contrived, conspiracy narrative and timeline underpin the Dept. of Justice charges.

Ep110 Assange Indictments

Kevin says that: “In order to defend the First Amendment and investigative journalism itself, it is crucial to understand the timeline of events for Chelsea Manning’s disclosures to WikiLeaks and their publication in 2010.” He uses his extensive experience covering that military trial to demonstrate the prosecutor’s dilemma and to show how specific arguments based on those details will be more crucial than the broad defense of rights.

Kevin Gosztola is managing editor of Shadowproof. He also produces and co-hosts the excellent weekly podcast with Rania Khalek, "Unauthorized Disclosure."

FOLLOW Kevin @kgosztola, find his work at shadowproof.com, and subscribe to his podcast Unauthorized Disclosure.

Around the Empire is listener supported, independent media. Pitch in if you can at Patreon: patreon.com/aroundtheempire or paypal.me/aroundtheempirepod. Website: 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 May 31, 2019 / June 19, 2019.. Music by Fluorescent Grey.

Reference Links:

  1. Unraveling the Justice Department’s Conspiracy Theory Against Julian Assange, Kevin Gosztola, Shadowproof
  2. Trump Justice Department’s Prosecution Of Julian Assange Relies On Contrived Conspiracy Theory, Kevin Gosztola, Medium
  3. WikiLeaks Founder Julian Assange Charged in 18-Count Superseding Indictment, US Dept. of Justice
  4. Around the Empire Ep 97 Chelsea Manning’s Resistance feat Kevin Gosztola
May 24, 2019

Guest: Jeb Sprague. We discuss the hybrid war being waged on Venezuela with an end goal of regime change. We also talk about recent events at the Venezuelan embassy under siege in Washington and the Venezuelan opposition figures who operated outside to help with a seizure in violation of the Vienna Convention.

Ep 109 Hybrid War Venezuela feat Jeb Sprague

Jeb Sprague lectures at the University of Virginia and formerly taught at the University of California, Santa Barbara. He is the author of Globalizing the Caribbean: Political Economy, Social Change, and the Transnational Capitalist Class (Temple University Press, 2019) and Paramilitarism and the Assault on Democracy in Haiti (Monthly Review Press, 2012). In addition, he has authored and co-authored a number of scholarly articles, and is the editor of Globalization and Transnational Capitalism in Asia and Oceania (Routledge, 2016). He is a founding member of the Network for Critical Studies of Global Capitalism (NCSGC) and has taught sociology in the Caribbean, East Asia, and North America. Find his articles at The Grayzone, MintPress News, The Canary and at his website jebsprague.blogspot.com.

FOLLOW Jeb Sprague @JebSprague and find his writing at The Grayzone, MintPress News, The Canary and at his website jebsprague.blogspot.com. Visit him at Jeb Sprague CV.

Around the Empire is listener supported, independent media. Pitch in if you can at Patreon: patreon.com/aroundtheempire or paypal.me/aroundtheempirepod. Website: 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 May 21, 2019. Music by Fluorescent Grey.

Reference Links:

  1. Who’s Behind the Pro-Guaidó Crowd Besieging Venezuela’s D.C. Embassy?, Jeb Sprague, Alex Rubinstein, Mint Press News
  2. Washington’s hybrid war on Venezuela – a very 21st-century attempt at regime change, Jeb Sprague, The Canary



May 23, 2019

Guest: Douglas Valentine. We discuss the CIA warrior class. As Doug says, they “truly believe the heroic myth they have created about themselves… endowing the warrior class with the highest social virtues, while justifying the tragic consequences of their imperial marauding as ‘fate’”.

Ep108 CIA Warrior Class feat Douglas Valentine

Douglas Valentine is an author, investigator, journalist and poet. He’s the author of many books, including  “The Phoenix Program: America’s Use of Terror in Vietnam,” and “The CIA as Organized Crime: How Illegal Operations Corrupt America and the World.” He is well known for his extensive research and interviews of numerous CIA officers, former CIA director William Colby and others involved in the Phoenix Program. The Phoenix Program was a large operation that involved kidnapping, torture, and assassination. Its goal was the destruction of the Viet Cong insurgency, a political and paramilitary movement that worked against the United States and the US-backed South Vietnamese government during the Vietnam war.

FOLLOW Douglas Valentine @dougvalentine77 and find his books, writing and archives on his website www.douglasvalentine.com.

Around the Empire is listener supported, independent media. Pitch in if you can at Patreon: patreon.com/aroundtheempire or paypal.me/aroundtheempirepod. Website: 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 May 18, 2019. Music by Fluorescent Grey.

Reference Links:

www.douglasvalentine.com.

 

May 22, 2019

Guest: Dave Foster. We discuss the evolution of the military-industrial complex, Cold War weapons systems and “last war-ism.”

Ep 107 Last War-ism Cold War MIC feat Dave Foster

In Dave’s own words:

“The U.S. status quo model of the military is one composed of advanced conventional forces equipped with modern ships, planes, tanks, sensor networks, and logistic capability and also nuclear weapons. The Pentagon, the broader government, and the industrial base is beholden to this status quo and favored visions of future operations. The Pentagon can modify to a degree for operations but finds it difficult to adapt structurally to new realities. The primary reasons are financial. Last War-ism and nostrums of future scenarios always vastly outweigh truly fresh thinking. The commitment to the ideas of the past that exist today – as business relationships, existing infrastructure, organizations, systems, plans, and past research – dominate the Pentagon’s budget. With rare exception, the entire Pentagon budget funds the status quo.”

Dave Foster is a data analyst in the private sector. He’s a former Marine Corps pilot and a Defense Department contract and civilian weapons engineer and operations analyst. You can find his writing at antiwar.com.

Timestamps:

  • 1:45 Dave Foster’s background
  • 6:30 Anti-war vs anti-interventionism vs pacifism
  • 7:15 Empire, military-industrial complex, weapons evolution
  • 9:15 Last war-ism, building weapons for the last war or last century’s war, air war
  • 13:15 Reviving the Cold War, peer level competitor adversaries, for-profit wars
  • 16:15 Return to priority on conventional land forces and weapons with Russia as adversary. Competition between different branches of the military, repurposing anti-Soviet weapons for Middle Eastern wars, GPS aided weapons. Adversaries focusing on surface-to-air weapons
  • 20:15 Iraq war, all volunteer force
  • 26:00 Excerpt from Lawrence Wilkerson’s speech at a Maine Peace Action speech, May 2019
  • 31:15 Military-industrial complex, profiteering, maintaining the status quo, form of welfare and what we build isn’t really suitable for the future.
  • 33:45 Post-WWII, Korean war, Vietnam war, setting up a military poised to go out and look for things to do, wasted good will, world views US as a threat
  • 38:45 War is no longer dependent on having a big conventional military, vulnerability due to large number of bases and ships
  • 42:15 Batteships are outdated, size of the navy, difficulty making big changes in big organizations, life cycle costs of military products, assumptions and estimations
  • 54:15 Recent proposal for fighting Chinese navy
  • 56:15 Arleigh Burke class destroyers accidents, vulnerabilities, vast operations present opportunity for adversaries to study our systems, network-centric systems
  • 1:02:15 Digital systems, testing complex systems
  • 1:09:15 Pentagon has a hard time dealing with disruptive realities, inertia and profits, investing in old fashioned notions of what a military should be
  • Around the Empire is listener supported, independent media. Pitch in if you can at Patreon: patreon.com/aroundtheempire or paypal.me/aroundtheempirepod. Website: 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 May 12, 2019. Music by Fluorescent Grey.

Reference Links:

  1. The Pentagon’s Days of Future Past, Dave Foster, antiwar.com
  2. National Security in Three Diagrams and Six Takeaways
  3. Maine 2019 Spring Gathering & Colonel Lawrence Wilkerson Speech
  4. So Much for Conventional Wisdom, America Actually Seems to Care About Foreign Policy, Deep State Radio podcast
May 21, 2019

Guest: Patrick Lawrence. We discuss President Trump’s relationship with his chosen cabinet hawks, Mike Pompeo and John Bolton and what Lawrence sees as a foreign policy coup by the Bolton-Pompeo axis.

Ep 106

Patrick Lawrence is a columnist and essayist who specializes in foreign affairs and media analysis and his work is published at The Nation, Consortium News, Salon and other outlets.  Also he’s the author of the book “Time No Longer: Americans After the American Century.”

FOLLOW Patrick Lawrence @thefloutist. Find his work at his website patricklawrence.us and support his work at patreon.com/thefloutist.


Around the Empire is listener supported, independent media. Pitch in if you can at Patreon: patreon.com/aroundtheempire or paypal.me/aroundtheempirepod. Website: 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 May 16, 2019. Music by Fluorescent Grey.

Reference Links:

  1. A Week of Dangerous Developments from Iran to North Korea,  Patrick Lawrence, Consortium News
  2. The US Moves on Iran’s Oil Market as an Expression of an Irrational Foreign Policy, Patrick Lawrence, Consortium News
  3. Trump & the Bolton-Pompeo Axis, Patrick Lawrence, Consortium News
  4. White House Reviews Military Plans Against Iran, in Echoes of Iraq War, New York Times
  5. Pompeo, Russia’s Lavrov see hope for improved US-Russia ties, AP



May 20, 2019

Guest: Elijah Magnier. According to Elijah’s analysis, the recent sabotage attacks in the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia were a warning from Iran to the US and allies in the region about what kinds of retaliation would occur if escalation continues and an attack on Iran is carried out. We also talk about his recent reporting about the prospects for a summer war in Lebanon and the wider region.

Ep105 War with Iran feat Elijah Magnier

Elijah Magnier is a veteran war correspondent and political analyst with over 35 years of experience covering the Middle East and North Africa (MENA).

FOLLOW Elijah Magnier @ejmalrai. Read and support his work at ejmagnier.com

Around the Empire is listener supported, independent media. Pitch in if you can at Patreon: patreon.com/aroundtheempire or paypal.me/aroundtheempirepod. Website: 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 May 17, 2019. Music by Fluorescent Grey.

Reference Links:

  1. What Would be the Role of Iraq in a US-Iran War Scenario? Elijah Magnier
  2. No Attacks Against US Forces in the Middle East but Against US Allies, Elijah Magnier
  3. No War Between Iran and the US Anytime Soon: Trump Doesn’t Know How to Negotiate With Iran, Elijah Magnier
  4. Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps on Full Alert Sending a Clear Warning to Gulf Countries, Elijah Magnier
  5. From Karbala to Al Fujairah: An Act of Sabotage May End Prospects of a Summer War in the Middle East, Elijah Magnier
  6. US sets course for its next Middle Eastern war of choice, Financial Times, Edward Luce



May 19, 2019

Guest: Michael Krieger. Michael explains how the extraction of Assange from the Ecuadorian embassy in London and subsequent arrest and request for extradition to the US was a profound turning point for investigative journalism, freedom of speech and for liberty and civilization. This event might end up being as consequential as the bailout of the “too big to fail” banks and the impact that had on the financial system and the rule of law.

Ep104 Assange Arrest Crossroads

Michael Krieger is the creator and editor of Liberty Blitzkrieg. He’s a former Wall Street analyst from New York now based in Colorado where he is, as his Twitter profile says, “ poet laureate of the debt apocalypse.”

FOLLOW Michael on Twitter @LibertyBlitz and find his work at LibertyBlitzkrieg.com.

Timestamps:

  • 04:00 Kreiger’s background and article, Wall Street, TARP bailout bill, information arbitrage, Tech giants, a turning point, precedents set, no rule of law
  • 11:00 Assange arrest another precedent being set, national security state, no transparency, loss of freedom of speech and investigative journalism
  • 14:00  No accountability for elites aligned with empire, lying on a ridiculous level, outrageous propaganda
  • 22:00 Too big to jail, voluntary corporate surveillance, passive population, rulers and the ruled
  • 31:00 The “problematic” people, dissidents, Assange, Manning and Snowden
  • 35:00 Decline of empire, acceleration of abuse of power
  • 41:00 Investigative journalism, voluntary suppression of leaked or hacked information
  • 44:00 Suppression of speech online, deplatforming from the public square  
  • 50:30 Open source software, platforms, systems, journalism

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

SUBSCRIBE on YouTube. FOLLOW @aroundtheempire and @joanneleonSUBSCRIBE/FOLLOW on iTunes, iHeart, Spotify, Google Play, Facebook or on your preferred podcast app.

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

Reference Links:

Krieger 4/15/19: Arrest of Julian Assange is an Attack on Journalism, Liberty, Self-Government and Civilization Itself



May 15, 2019

Guest: Daniel Lazare. We discuss the origins of Russiagate, some key questions that we have about the Mueller Report and surprising things that the Mueller Report doesn’t cover at all.

Ep103

In Lazares’s own words:

“Mueller’s door-stopper of a report may be chockfull of facts, but it’s also filled with the non sequiturs, loose threads and self-serving arguments that we’ve come to expect from official Washington.  It’s good on collusion, pointing out that reports of a Trump-Russia conspiracy remain unsubstantiated despite desperate Democratic efforts to spin it otherwise.”

“But it’s lousy on interference, regurgitating the standard intelligence-community line that Russia ‘interfered in the 2016 presidential election in sweeping and systematic fashion.’ Simultaneously, it is remarkably incurious about how the scandal began, who propelled it along, and how it all snowballed into a mega-Watergate.”

Timestamps:

  • 02:00- historical recap (from 2014) of US-Russia relations and flawed US foreign policy: Maidan revolution, Crimea, Syria regime change war, Russian intervention and subsequent fury and panic of US War Party, Trump campaign’s pro-Russia stance leading to War Party believing Trump was in league with Putin
  • 8:30 Origins of Russiagate: US and foreign intelligence suspicions about Trump campaign’s contacts with Russians, counterintelligence investigation. Informants, creating pretexts for investigations, Papadopoulous, Mifsud, Roger Stone, Felix Sater
  • 18:00 Mueller and Weismann reputations, Manafort, collusion section of Mueller report
  • 24:00 Other foreign policy and empire ambitions and problems that influenced Russiagate, e.g. Syria, Ukraine, refugee crisis in Europe, rise of right-wing parties
  • 32:00 Watergate narrative, DNC alleged hack, neverending Russiagate, Assange
  • 36:00 Key questions we have about the Mueller Report and questions the Mueller report does not answer, creeping conspiracy culture, the Steele dossier, IRA, GRU, new investigations and the political impact

Daniel Lazare is a journalist and author of three books: The Frozen Republic; The Velvet Coup, and America's Undeclared War.

FOLLOW Dan  on Twitter @dhlazareFind his work at Consortium News and find his writings and his books at daniellazare.com.

Around the Empire is listener supported, independent media. Pitch in if you can at Patreon: patreon.com/aroundtheempire or paypal.me/aroundtheempirepod. Website: 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 May 8, 2019. Music by Fluorescent Grey.

Reference Links:

  1. Top Ten Questions About the Mueller Report, Daniel Lazare, Consortium News
  2. The ‘Guccifer 2.0’ Gaps in Mueller’s Full Report, Daniel Lazare, Consortium News
  3. The Tale of a ‘Deep State Target’, Daniel Lazare, Consortium News
  4. Bachelor Show 5/7/29 interview with Andrew McCarthy: "I think they're not finding Mifsud because they don't want to find him."

 

May 10, 2019

Guest: Joe Emersberger. We talk about the latest failed coup in Venezuela, the sanctions causing tens of thousands of deaths, and the level of political support or resistance to intervention in the US and Europe. We also discuss Canada’s foreign policy and involvement in the American and British empires. Lastly we assess the risk of a larger war with Russia and China as they oppose American aggression and sanctions in various parts of the world.

Ep102 Another Failed Coup Venezuela feat Joe Emersberger

Joe Emersberger is a Canadian engineer and UNIFOR member with Ecuadorian roots. He writes for FAIR, Venezuela Analysis, Counterpunch, The Canary, MintPress News, Telesur English, and Znet.

Timestamps:

  • 00:00 Canada’s foreign policy and involvement in US empire and British empire
  • 10:00 LIMA Group
  • 12:45 Venezuela Constituent Assembly, 2018 election
  • 18:20 Sanctions causing tens of  thousands of deaths in Venezuela
  • 19:30 January 23 and April 30 coup attempts
  • 36:00 Political support and resistance to intervention and sanctions in US and Europe
  • 43:00 Maduro cabinet members’ false defections
  • 48:00 Warnings against military intervention
  • 57:00 Anti-interventionist movement
  • 1:00:00 Trump-Putin phone call on Venezuela, larger risk of war with Russia & China

 

FOLLOW Joe on Twitter @rosendo_joe and find his writing at FAIR, Venezuela Analysis, Counterpunch, The Canary, MintPress News, Telesur English, and Znet.

Around the Empire is listener supported, independent media. Pitch in if you can at Patreon: patreon.com/aroundtheempire or paypal.me/aroundtheempirepod. Website: 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 May 4, 2019. Music by Fluorescent Grey.

Reference Links:

  1. Report finds that US sanctions have killed 40,000 people in Venezuela since 2017, Joe Emersberger, The Canary
  2. The Black Book of Canadian Foreign Policy, Yves Engler
  3. Trump’s May 3 tweet about phone call with Putin
  4. Kremlin readout on Trump’s phone call with Putin
  5. Venezuela's Failed Uprising: How a Deal to Oust Maduro Unraveled, Bloomberg
  6. Quotes from retired Adm. James Stavridis in Foreign Policy: Venezuela Is at a ‘Tipping Point’


Apr 30, 2019

Journalist Zaid Jilani joins the show to talk about the ideological differences in the Democratic party which have been on display in a recent public feud between the Bernie Sanders campaign and Neera Tanden, the leader of the Democratic party think tank, Center for American Progress (CAP). Jilani draws on his experience working at CAP for several years to help analyze the deep divide. We talked about how flooding the field with a large number of primary candidates might be used as a strategy to undermine Bernie Sanders. Lastly we discussed Russiagate and the politics of impeachment.

Ep101 Democrats Deep Divide feat Zaid Jilani

Zaid Jilani is a journalist from from Atlanta, Georgia, currently a Writing Fellow for the University of California, Berkeley’s Greater Good Science Center. He has previously worked as a reporter and blogger for ThinkProgress, and for other political organizations and media outlets. He is the co-host of the Extremely Offline podcast.

FOLLOW Zaid on Twitter @ZaidJilani and subscribe to his podcast: Extremely Offline

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

SUBSCRIBE on YouTube. FOLLOW @aroundtheempire and @joanneleonSUBSCRIBE/FOLLOW on iTunes, iHeart, Spotify, Google Play, Facebook or on your preferred podcast app.

Recorded on April 20, 2019. Music by Fluorescent Grey.

Reference Links:

  1. Bernie Sanders Is Right: Money Always Corrupts. Will The Liberal Establishment Listen?, Zaid Jilani, The Forward
  2. Zaid Jilani Twitter THREAD April 14 thru April 18
  3. The Rematch: Bernie Sanders vs. a Clinton Loyalist, NYT
  4. Bernie Sanders' campaign escalates feud with top liberal think tank, CNN

 

Apr 17, 2019

As Russiagate winds down, its toxic legacy endures in more ways than one. Journalist Bryan MacDonald has witnessed this first hand in his dealings with ordinary Russians. They’re losing their good will and admiration towards America largely because of Russiagate. Due to their broad exposure to western media and social media, Russian citizens are fully aware of the growing xenophobia and hatred expressed toward Russians by prominent Americans in government and media. Bryan tells us that “admiration and curiosity towards the US has been replaced with disappointment, hostility and often anger”. And this is a drastic change from the positive attitudes he found to be common just a few years ago.

Ep 100 Russagate Turned Ordinary Russians Against US feat Bryan MacDonald

Bryan MacDonald is an Irish journalist living and working in Russia. He writes for RT and previously Before moving to Russia, Bryan worked in Ireland for the Evening Herald, Ireland On Sunday and the Irish Independent and has written for many other publications and was a regular guest on various networks.

FOLLOW Bryan on Twitter @27khv and find his work at RT.

Around the Empire is listener supported, independent media. Pitch in if you can at Patreon: patreon.com/aroundtheempire or paypal.me/aroundtheempirepod. Website: 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 31, 2019. Music by Fluorescent Grey.

Reference Links:

  1. Bryan MacDonald: Mueller report: ‘Russiagate’ hoax helped turn ordinary Russians against the US
  2. Ex-Intel head Clapper: Russians ‘almost genetically driven to co-opt & penetrate’
  3. Wes Clark - America's Foreign Policy "Coup"

 

Apr 7, 2019

Mark Sleboda joins us today from Moscow to talk about the state of affairs in Ukraine, the Ukraine elections and the larger geopolitical picture. Mark is an International Affairs & Security Analyst, a US Navy veteran, a university lecturer and a foreign policy realist.

Ep99 Ukraine feat Mark Sleboda

We do a deep dive into the 2014 Maidan / Euromaidan uprising and intervention by the US, EU and NATO, and how Ukraine became the country that it is today. There is an ongoing separatist movement, civil war and an economic and ideological break from Russia. But there has been no significant improvement for its citizens, leaving the country with a crisis of confidence, poverty and corruption. We discuss the three frontrunner candidates in the elections: the current president Poroshenko, former prime minister Tymoshenko, and Zelensky, a dark horse, anti-corruption comedian who plays a president on TV on a media channel owned by an infamous exiled oligarch, Kolomoisky.

This interview was recorded on the day before the first part of the elections on March 30. We now know that Poroshenko and Zelensky will now advance to the runoff elections on April 21.

FOLLOW him on Twitter @MarkSleboda1 and on Facebook, find his appearances on RT and other international channels.

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

Recorded on March 30, 2019. Music by Fluorescent Grey.

Mar 28, 2019

Journalist and author Matt Taibbi joins the show to talk about his latest book chapter, titled: “It's official: Russiagate is this generation's WMD: The Iraq war faceplant damaged the reputation of the press. Russiagate just destroyed it” and we discuss some corporate media reaction to the piece. We think back on the changes to American policy and American life brought about by the WMD lies, the Iraq War and the War on Terror and the likelihood of serious, real world consequences of the Russiagate conspiracy. This is one of the reasons why it’s so important to re-examinine the origins and details of the Russiagate story now that it has collapsed.

But even as the Russiagate conspiracy collapses, the curiously bipartisan consensus on the matter of Russia being a threat to our democracy lives on -- or at least the establishment and national security state are working hard to make sure it survives even if all or most other aspects of the narrative die.  

Ep98 Russiagate This Generation's WMD feat Matt Taibbi

Matt Taibbi is an author, journalist and contributing editor for Rolling Stone. He won the 2008 National Magazine Award for columns and commentary. His most recent book is ‘I Can’t Breathe: A Killing on Bay Street,’ about the infamous killing of Eric Garner by the New York City police. He’s also the author of the New York Times bestsellers 'Insane Clown President,' 'The Divide,' 'Griftopia,' and 'The Great Derangement.'

FOLLOW Matt on Twitter @mtaibbi. Find his articles at Rolling Stone and find his book writing subscription at taibbi.substack.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 @joanneleonSUBSCRIBE/FOLLOW on iTunes, iHeart, Spotify, Google Play, Facebook or on your preferred podcast app.

Recorded on March 27, 2019. Music by Fluorescent Grey.

Reference Links:

  1. It's official: Russiagate is this generation's WMD: The Iraq war faceplant damaged the reputation of the press. Russiagate just destroyed it, Matt Taibbi, Hate, Inc.
  2. Serious journalists should be proud of — not bullied over — their Russia reporting, Margaret Sullivan, Washington Post
  3. Taibbi: As the Mueller Probe Ends, New Russiagate Myths Begin, Rolling Stone
  4. FT Edward Luce:  Robert Mueller is the God that failed Democrats
  5. Edward Luce on Morning Joe, MSNBC, March 25, 2019
  6. Video: Christopher Steele's Former Boss Dismisses Trump Dossier Claims, Calls Them 'Overrated'
  7. Podcast: John Batchelor Show with Stephen Cohen, Feb. 14/15, 2017




Mar 21, 2019

Editor and journalist Kevin Gosztola joins the show to talk about the jailing of former US Army intelligence analyst and whistleblower Chelsea Manning for her resistance to a grand jury investigating Wikileaks. Kevin has been reporting on Manning’s case from the start in 2010 and has been a tireless advocate. Secret grand juries, and investigations have been used against dissidents and activists for more than a century as a political tactic of repression, isolation, intimidation and harassment. But there is also a long tradition of resistance. As Kevin wrote: “Chelsea Manning is carrying on this tradition through her bold defiance.” In Manning’s own words:

“I will not participate in a secret process that I morally object to, particularly one that has been historically used to entrap and persecute activists for protected political speech.”

We discuss what little information we have about the secret grand jury and speculate about other factors that might be affecting the timing of the Manning subpoena. We also talk about the wild political flip flops of the Left and the Right on the subject, about Julian Assange and Wikileaks publications before and after the 2016 election. We toss around some ideas on how the Trump-Russia investigation (aka Russiagate) might factor in. Finally we discuss how Manning’s well being and her health related needs, especially given the history, are the most important priorities and foremost in our minds.  

Ep 97 Chelsea Manning's Resistance feat Kevin Gosztola

Kevin Gosztola is managing editor of Shadowproof. He also produces and co-hosts the excellent weekly podcast with Rania Khalek, "Unauthorized Disclosure."

FOLLOW Kevin @kgosztola, find his work at shadowproof.com, and subscribe to his podcast Unauthorized Disclosure.

Chelsea Manning’s legal defense fund can be found at xychelsea.is. Her friends and volunteers are managing her Twitter account @xychelsea and her support committee Twitter account @ResistsChelsea while she is in jail. They published an address where she can receive letters (They note that the jail does not accept books or cards):

Chelsea Elizabeth Manning

A0181426

William G. Truesdale Adult Detention Center

2001 Mill Road Alexandria, VA 22314

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

Recorded on March 11, 2019. Music by Fluorescent Grey.

Reference Links:

  1. Defying Wikileaks Grand Jury, Chelsea Manning Carries on Tradition of Resistance and Goes to Jail, Kevin Gosztola
  2. Interview: Chelsea Manning Jailed for Refusing to Cooperate with Wikileaks Grand Jury, Kevin Gosztola on The Real News Network
  3. Book: TRUTH AND CONSEQUENCES: The U.S. vs. Private Manning, Kevin Gosztola, Greg Mitchell

 

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.

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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

 

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