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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.

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

 

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 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

 

Sep 27, 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 70 The Rise and Fall of John Brennan - 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

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


Sep 4, 2018

Roving journalist Michael Tracey joins the show for a discussion about the McCain Holy Week, as he called it, and what it tells us about the state of the American empire.

Ep 67 Mourn McCain Mourn Empire feat Michael Tracey

Tracey is a journalist who has been published by numerous media organizations including The Young Turks, Rolling Stone, The New Republic, VICE, The Intercept. The Nation, Reason, American Conservative and New York Daily News.

FOLLOW @mtracey on Twitter and find his work on Medium and on his website.

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

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

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

Reference Links:

  1. John McCain Was Not An Anecdote, Michael Tracey
  2. Funeral For A Dying Doctrine, Michael Tracey
  3. John McCain’s Funeral Was the Biggest Resistance Meeting Yet, Susan Glasser, The New Yorker
  4. Washington Mourns John McCain – And Its Own Demise Under Trump, Tim Alberta, Politico Magazine
  5. John McCain: The View from the Middle East, As’ad AbuKhalil, Consortium News
Aug 17, 2018

Analyst and writer Tom Luongo returns to the show to talk about the economic and geopolitical implications of the current hybrid war between the US and Turkey and the broader war around it. We discuss the collapse of the Turkish Lira, dollar-denominated debt, how currency wars work, and the inertia of markets and traders. We also delve into the geopolitical lead up to this crisis -- Turkey’s role in the Syrian war and a failed coup -- both of which led to realignments and new allies that might result in an unusual rescue. Will Turkey employ a Russian formula for surviving sanctions and currency crises? Will it lead to an exit from NATO?  Or will the old guard, Cold Warrior foreign policy establishment bring a defiant Erdogan back into the fold one more time?

Tom is former research chemist and a current staunch libertarian. His speciality is markets analysis informed by geopolitics. Tom currently publishes his blog, Gold Goats ‘n Guns along with a monthly investment newsletter focused on geopolitics, commodities and cryptocurrencies. His work is also featured regularly on sites like Zerohedge, Strategic Culture Foundation and Investing.com. FOLLOW Tom @TFL1728. Find his work at Gold, Goats ‘n Guns, Steemit and on YouTube.

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

FOLLOW @aroundtheempire. SUBSCRIBE/FOLLOW us on iTunes, YouTube, Facebook.

Recorded on August 14, 2018. Music by Fluorescent Grey.

Reference Links:

  1. Lira Collapse To Jump The Mediterranean, Tom Luongo, ZeroHedge
  2. BRICTS: Turkey Is Getting Off The US Reservation, Tom Luongo, ZeroHedge
  3. Five Pillars of Debt Default, Tom Luongo, Gold, Goats n Guns
  4. Turkey’s president: US waging economic war against Turkey, Associated Press
  5. Losing Faith Fast, Istanbul Merchants Throw in Towel on the Lira, Bloomberg
  6. Erdogan: How Turkey Sees the Crisis With the U.S., New York Times Op-Ed

 

Jul 31, 2018

Our guest, journalist and analyst Pepe Escobar, speaks to us from Bangkok about the new Great Game in Eurasia and why the critical military and geopolitical situation requires that the US resume relations with Russia despite the massive forces working against that.

Escobar is the correspondent-at-large for Asia Times and a frequent contributor to websites, TV and radio shows ranging from the US to East Asia. Born in Brazil, he's been a foreign correspondent since 1985, and has lived in London, Paris, Milan, Los Angeles, Washington, Bangkok and Hong Kong.

FOLLOW Pepe Escobar on Facebook and find his work at Asia Times.

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

FOLLOW @aroundtheempire. Follow Dan & Joanne: @USEmpireShow,  @joanneleon. SUBSCRIBE/FOLLOW us on iTunes, YouTube, Facebook.

Recorded on July 26, 2018. Music by Fluorescent Grey.

Reference Links:

  1. Here’s the real reason the US must talk to Russia, Pepe Escobar, Asia Times
  2. Losing Military Supremacy: The Myopia of American Strategic Planning, Andrei Martyanov
Jul 16, 2018

Dan and Joanne talk with Jim Kavanagh about the summit between American President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin in Helsinki and the anticipated attempt to strike a MidEast grand bargain.

Jim is editor and writer at The Polemicist. His work is also published at CounterPunch, Greanville Post and he’s a frequent guest on the Loud and Clear radio show.  

Follow Jim at @ThePolemicist_ . Find his work at polemicist.net.

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

Follow @aroundtheempire. Follow Dan & Joanne: @USEmpireShow,  @joanneleon

Please subscribe/follow us on iTunes, YouTube, Facebook.

Recorded on July 12, 2018. Music by Fluorescent Grey.

Reference Links:

  1. Lindsey Graham interview laying out War Party strategy for Syria, Iran, Turkey (starts at 2:20)
  2. Israeli, Saudi, and Emirati Officials Privately Pushed for Trump to Strike a “Grand Bargain” with Putin, Adam Entous, New Yorker
  3. Netanyahu May Offer Putin: Remove Iran From Syria for Lifting of U.S. Sanctions on Russia, Zvi Bar’el, Haaretz
  4. Middle East officials flocking to Moscow – is there a big deal to be made before Putin meets Trump?, RT
  5. The Real “Deal of The Century” in The Middle East is The One Russia Struck With Israel Regarding Syria, Adam Garrie, Eurasia Future
  6. The Warm War: Russiamania At The Boiling Point, Jim Kavanagh, The Polemicist
Jul 1, 2018

Dan and Joanne talk with Sharmine Narwani about the Southern Front -- US-backed rebels based in southern Syria -- and their affiliation with al Qaeda. We also discuss how the Syrian war is like an irregular world war and how it played a role in accelerating a global shift in power.

Sharmine is a commentator and analyst of Mideast geopolitics based in Beirut, speaking to us today from the United States. 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.

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

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Recorded on June 28, 2018. Music by Fluorescent Grey.

Reference Links:

Are al-Qaeda Affiliates Fighting Alongside U.S. Rebels in Syria’s South?, Sharmine Narwani, The American Conservative

Jun 25, 2018

Dan and Joanne talk with Aaron Maté about Russiagate and the Mueller investigation. We discuss Aaron’s recent article which argues that after a year of investigation there have been several guilty pleas, but none of them go “to the core of the special counsel’s mandate,” about collusion between the Trump campaign and the Russian government.

Aaron is a host/producer for The Real News and a contributor at The Nation magazine. Follow him on Twitter at @aaronjmate.

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Recorded on June 21, 2018. Music by Fluorescent Grey.

Reference Links:

The Mueller Indictments Still Don’t Add Up to Collusion, Aaron Maté, The Nation

Jun 21, 2018

Joanne talks with political analyst and Progressive Independent Garland Nixon about investigations and intelligence operations concerning the 2016 election. We also talk about the recently published Inspector General report on the Clinton email “MidYear Exam” investigation.

Garland is the co-host of the daily radio show “Fault Lines” and host of the weekly radio show “News Views With Garland Nixon”. He is also has a background in law enforcement and investigations. Follow him @Garland Nixon.

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

May 31, 2018

Elijah Magnier returns to the show to talk about politics in post-ISIS Iraq, the results of the recent election, and the mission to select a new prime minister and cabinet. Elijah and Joanne also talk about the latest developments in Syria as the battle for the southwest Syria begins.

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. He recently left Iraq and is speaking to us today from Lebanon.

Follow Elijah at @ejmalrai and find his work at ejmagnier.com

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

Reference Links:

  1. Qassam Soleimani and Donald Trump Agree on Al-Abadi as Prime Minister Despite Ameri and Maliki's Discontent, Elijah Magnier
  2. South Syria to Return Within the Control of Damascus: With or Without a Russian-Israeli Deal, Elijah Magnier
  3. The Iraqi Elections: Implications For Regional Politics, Shireen Hunter, LobeLog
May 23, 2018

Joanne interviews Dr. Isa Blumi, an historian, an author and an Associate Professor at Stockholm University. His recent book Destroying Yemen: What Chaos in Arabia Tells Us about the World tells the story of the wars in Yemen but also “ultimately tells an even larger story of today’s political economy of global capitalism, development, and the war on terror as disparate actors intersect in Arabia.”

Dr. Blumi gives us a deeper understanding of the war in Yemen in a way that is compelling, fascinating, tragic, and largely untold in the western world. Yemen’s people have a long history of resistance. The war in Yemen is an imperial war for resources and dominance and also a hidden war between Gulf state rivals. The latest escalation of the war has been fueled by Saudi Arabia’s now urgent need for finance and resources.

Follow @IsaBlumi and find his latest book at UCPress.edu.

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

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 Recorded on May 10, 2018. Music by Fluorescent Grey.

 Reference Links:

  Destroying Yemen: What Chaos in Arabia Tells Us about the World, Isa Blumi, UC Press

A History of the Colonial War in Yemen and the US Involvement, KPFA

May 18, 2018

Dan and Joanne analyze the New York Times exposure of Operation Crossfire Hurricane and commentary by the authors. We examine the damning claims by pro-Trump media and we also talk about Daily Caller’s revelation of the identity of the alleged FBI informant in the Trump campaign.


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Recorded on May 17, 2018. Music by Fluorescent Grey.

Reference Links:

  1. Code Name Crossfire Hurricane: The Secret Origins of the Trump Investigation, Matt Apuzzo, Adam Goldman, Nicholas Fandos, New York Times
  2. EXCLUSIVE: Cambridge Prof With CIA, MI6 Ties Met With Trump Adviser During Campaign, Beyond, Chuck Ross, Daily Caller
May 16, 2018

In this bonus episode (a bonus episode for patrons, 30 minute preview free to the public), Dan and Joanne talk about the growing conflict with Iran, the impact of Trump’s withdrawal from the Iran deal and the severe escalation in the Syrian war that began just hours after that withdrawal.


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

Reference Links:

 

Time for Europe to Join the Resistance, Spiegel, by Klaus Brinkbäumer

May 11, 2018

Dan and Joanne talk about the FBI in crisis, James Comey, Andrew McCabe, the Mueller investigation, and the abuse of power.  We also discuss the strange political bedfellows the crisis has created

 

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Recorded on May 5, 2018. Music by Fluorescent Grey.

Reference Links:

  1. The FBI Is in Crisis. It's Worse Than You Think, TIME, Eric Lichtblau
  2. Rod Rosenstein is not above the law, The Hill, Mark Penn
  3. Mueller, FBI face crisis in public confidence, The Hill, Mark Penn
  4. Comey’s last stand for the deep state, The Hill, Mark Penn
Apr 30, 2018

We hold a roundtable discussion with Joanne Leon, Kyle Anzalone and Will Porter about French President Emmanuel Macron’s visit to the White House and Congress where he presented a prodigious plan for the Middle East that includes a harsher set of terms for the Iran deal, containment of Iran and Western dominance in the Middle East.

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

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

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Recorded on April 28, 2018. Music by Fluorescent Grey.

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