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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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Now displaying: 2019

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

Dec 28, 2019

Ep 142 Regime Change Resistance: OAS Bolivia Dominica feat Jeb Sprague

Guest: Jeb Sprague. We discuss how regime change projects seem to be on overdrive right now, the key role played by the Organization of American States (OAS) in regime change operations in Latin American and Caribbean states (former colonial states). Recently in the Commonwealth of Dominica (an island country in the West Indie), there was a successful resistance to regime change. In Bolivia, there was strong resistance as well, but the coup plotters succeeded. Jeb’s research and reporting on the role of Bolivia’s top police and military brass in planning and executing the coup, shows that it was a long term project with training at the School of the Americas. 

Dr. Jeb Sprague is currently a Research Associate at the University of California, Riverside. He formerly taught at the University of Virginia and at the University of California, Santa Barbara. He is a founding member of the Network for Critical Studies of Global Capitalism (NCSGC) and has taught in  the Caribbean, East Asia, and North America. He is the author of two books: “Globalizing the Caribbean: Political economy, social change, and the transnational capitalist class” (2019) and “Paramilitarism and the assault on democracy in Haiti” (2012).

FOLLOW Jeb Sprague @JebSprague and find his writing at The Grayzone, MintPress News, The Canary and at his website jebsprague.blogspot.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 December 6, 2019. Music by Fluorescent Grey.

Reference Links:

  1. Top Bolivian coup plotters trained by US military’s School of the Americas, served as attachés in FBI police programs, Jeb Sprague, The Grayzone
  2. Book: “Globalizing the Caribbean: Political economy, social change, and the transnational capitalist class” (2019), Jeb Sprague
  3. Book: “Paramilitarism and the assault on democracy in Haiti” (2012), Jeb Sprague
  4. Around the Empire: Ep 109 Hybrid War on Venezuela, Embassy Seizure feat Jeb Sprague



Dec 23, 2019

Ep 141 Maidan Massacre in Ukraine feat Ivan Katchanovski

Guest: Ivan Katchanovski. We talk about his vast research and his detailed and prolific writings and presentations on the Maidan protests and the 2014 Maidan massacre in Ukraine. 

Dr. Ivan Katchanovski is a political scientist and his research focuses on politics, conflicts, policy & political communication in Ukraine, US & Canada. who teaches at the University of Ottawa. He was Visiting Scholar at the Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies at Harvard University, Visiting Assistant Professor at the Department of Politics at the State University of New York at Potsdam, Post-Doctoral Fellow at the University of Toronto, and Post-Doctoral Fellow at the Library of Congress. He received his Ph.D. from George Mason University. 

He is a prolific researcher and writer and his publications (which can be found on his University of Ottowa website and elsewhere), his interviews, and comments have appeared in numerous media outlets internationally.

FOLLOW @I_Katchanovski. Find his work at his website https://uottawa.academia.edu/IvanKatchanovski

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 December 5, 2019. Music by Fluorescent Grey.

Reference Links:

  1. The Far Right, the Euromaidan, and the Maidan Massacre in Ukraine, Ivan Katchanovski, Academia
  2. The Maidan Massacre in Ukraine: Revelations from Trials and Investigations, Ivan Katchanovski (presentation)
  3. How Maidan Protesters Were Shot from Maidan-Controlled Buildings: Video Appendix H, Ivan Katchanovski (video appendix for presentation)




Dec 18, 2019

Ep 140 Uprising in Iraq feat Elijah Magnier

Guest: Elijah Magnier. A new generation of Iraqis has new ideas and is not willing to accept an old, corrupt system dominated by ruling parties and sectarianism. Iraqis want foreign meddling to stop and they want reform and change. They want the country’s resources to be used to improve the quality of life. Sayyed Moqtada al-Sadr still has enormous influence over the protesters in the street and the ministers in the government. But what does Sayyed Moqtada al-Sadr want to achieve?

Prime Minister Mahdi inherited all the corruption and deficits from previous governments, the complications of alliances with the US and Iran and neighboring countries. His errors in handling the protests and his police forces and the violent crackdown led to his downfall. The search for a new leader of the parliament and the important ministries is on but there probably won’t be a new election until 2021. Will this new generation of Iraqis succeed in acting as a check on the corrupt actors going forward? 

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 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 December 4, 2019. Music by Fluorescent Grey.

Reference Links:

  1. Why Abdel Mahdi has to go: Many mistakes by the US, Iran and the Marjaiya, Elijah Magnier
  2. Who holds the Initiative, and who has the Power to mobilise the Street in Iraq?, Elijah Magnier
  3. ATE Episode 68: Iraq Politics & Stalled Idlib Op in Syria feat Elijah Magnier (9/17/18)
  4. ATE Episode 127: Iraq Protests, US-Iran War, Regime Change feat Elijah Magnier (10/6/19)
Dec 11, 2019

Ep 139 All Roads Lead to Intelligence Swapcast feat Kyle Anzalone

On this Foreign Policy Focus and Around the Empire swap cast, Kyle and Joanne discuss the Democrats’ efforts to impeach Trump over Russiagate. Statements by Nancy Pelosi and witnesses in the impeachment hearings show the blob’s real aim to prevent Trump from adopting a more realistic foreign policy towards Russia. The hosts also cover Attorney General Barr’s interview about the FBI IG report on the investigation into Trump’s campaign. Barr explains why the media’s coverage of the report is misleading and the Durham report could reveal the intelligence community’s role in the origin of Russiagate.

FOLLOW Kyle on Twitter: @Kyaaale.  SUBSCRIBE to the Foreign Policy Focus podcast at the Libertarian Institute.

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 December 10, 2019. Music by Fluorescent Grey.

Dec 11, 2019

Ep 138 Crazy US and UK Politics

Guest: Gordon Dimmack. We chat about the crazy politics in the US and UK, the high level of propaganda, and the election in the UK that will be held this week with Boris Johnson and Jeremy Corbyn as top contenders for Prime Minister. We talk about the Tory, Labour and other UK parties, likely coalitions and the top issues like Brexit and the NHS. We also touch on Russigate and the recently released IG Report. 

Gordon hosts a popular YouTube channel where he covers news, politics, war and the horrific state of our corporate media. He broadcasts mostly from the Midlands but also on the ground at various events around the country and his slogan is “Make Orwell fiction again.”

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 December 10, 2019. Music by Fluorescent Grey.

Reference Links:

  1. Q&A: Manipulators, Optimism, Utopia, Trump, Writing Tips & More, Caitlin Johnstone



Dec 8, 2019

Ep 137 The Great NHS Heist feat Dr Bob Gill

Guest: Dr. Bob Gill. We discuss the documentary, “The Great NHS Heist”, wherein Dr. Gill, a general practitioner within the NHS system, and others, talk about the imminent threat to and the covert destruction of the English National Health Service. We also talk about what we in the UK and in the US can do to better understand the situation and inform our peers about our respective situations in health care.

To quote from a bit of the abstract on the film from its website:

“We witnessed the new corporate managerialism and marketisation of healthcare, shrinkage of the NHS bed capacity, and transfer of assets into the private sector using Private Finance Initiative and NHS land sales. Private operators expanding their grip on the NHS, securing contracts for the provision of ancillary and then clinical services, rapidly accelerated by the 2012 Health and Social Care Act. The privatisation lobby crafted effective cover stories and carefully managed the national debate to maintain public ignorance and remained largely unchallenged by a compliant mainstream media. Successive reforms were presented as essential improvements while disguising the reality of creeping privatisation. The stage was set for the heist of NHS land, patient medical data, and the £120 billion annual tax-funded budget for US corporate raiders.”

Dr. Bob Gill is a British doctor, an NHS campaigner and the producer of the crowdfunded documentary film, “The Great NHS Heist”.. 

FOLLOW @drbobgill, find all the information at the website TheGreatNHSHeist.com SUBSCRIBE to their YouTube channel and support the work at GoFundMe

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 December 8, 2019. Music by Fluorescent Grey.

Reference Links:

  1. Documentary: The Great NHS Heist
  2. Website:  TheGreatNHSHeist.com 
  3. The Great NHS Heist GoFundMe
Dec 1, 2019

Ep 136 Coup in Bolivia feat Ben Norton

Guest: Ben Norton. We discuss the coup in Bolivia where the recently reelected president, Evo Morales, was forced to step down by the military leaders and later flee to Mexico. An extreme right-wing opposition and fascist paramilitary then moved in to take control. Ben explains some of the groups and individuals involved in the coup and the support and involvement of other Latin American countries and the United States. 

Ben Norton is a journalist, writer, and filmmaker. He is the assistant editor of The Grayzone, and the producer of the Moderate Rebels podcast, which he co-hosts with editor Max Blumenthal. 

FOLLOW @BenjaminNorton  Find his work at The Grayzone. SUBSCRIBE to their Youtube channel and support them on Patreon. 

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 November 14, 2019. Music by Fluorescent Grey.

Reference Links:

  1. Bolivia coup led by Christian fascist paramilitary leader and millionaire – with foreign support, Grayzone, Max Blumenthal & Ben Norton
  2. Top Bolivian coup plotters trained by US military's School of the Americas, served as attachés in FBI police programs, Grayzone, Jeb Sprague
  3. Bolivia: audios leaked from opposition leaders calling for a coup against Evo Morales, EN24
Nov 30, 2019

Ep 135 2020 Election and Impeachment

Guest: Michael Tracey. In a wide ranging discussion we talk about the Democratic primary, the progression of Russiagate, Spygate, Ukrainegate and how it led to the impeachment circus going on now. We discuss the “investigate the investigators” process going on in the background and the media coverage of all of the above. In relation to the 2020 primary, we talk about the different candidates and their rallies and supporters. And we talk about Tulsi Gabbard’s rise in the polls and her recent events and appearances, including her support for the 9/11 families. 

Michael Tracey is a journalist based in the New York City metro area and the host of a podcast and Youtube channel. His articles are published by many different media organizations and he is a frequent commentator on TV and online media. 

FOLLOW @mtracey, subscribe to his Youtube channel and support his work at Patreon

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 November 11, 2019. Music by Fluorescent Grey.

 

Nov 19, 2019

Ep 134 How Democrats Became Party of Monopoly & Corruption feat Matt Stoller

Guest: Matt Stoller. In this episode, we discuss an excerpt of Matt’s new book: Goliath: The 100-Year War Between Monopoly Power and Democracy. Here are two paragraphs from the book’s abstract: 

In Goliath, Matt Stoller explains how authoritarianism and populism have returned to American politics for the first time in eighty years, as the outcome of the 2016 election shook our faith in democratic institutions. It has brought to the fore dangerous forces that many modern Americans never even knew existed. Today’s bitter recriminations and panic represent more than just fear of the future, they reflect a basic confusion about what is happening and the historical backstory that brought us to this moment.

The true effects of populism, a shrinking middle class, and concentrated financial wealth are only just beginning to manifest themselves under the current administrations. The lessons of Stoller’s study will only grow more relevant as time passes. Building upon his viral article in The Atlantic, “How the Democrats Killed Their Populist Soul,” Stoller illustrates in rich detail how we arrived at this tenuous moment, and the steps we must take to create a new democracy.

Matt Stoller is a fellow at the Open Markets Institute. He worked for both the Senate and House of Representatives as an advisor. He has written for the New York Times, the Washington Post, The New Republic, Vice, Salon and he was a producer for MSNBC’s The Dylan Ratigan Show,

Follow Matt on Twitter at @matthewstoller. Find his work at Open Markets Institute and various publications. Buy his new book: “Goliath: The 100-Year War Between Monopoly Power and Democracy

FOLLOW @matthewstoller and buy his new book “Goliath: The 100-Year War Between Monopoly Power and Democracy

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 October 28, 2019. Music by Fluorescent Grey.

Reference Links:

  1. How Democrats Became the Party of Monopoly and Corruption, VICE, Matt Stoller
  2. Book: Goliath: The 100-Year War Between Monopoly Power and Democracy, Matt Stoller

 

Nov 18, 2019

Ep 133 The Blog Strikes Back feat Hunter DeRensis

Guest: Hunter DeRensis. Hunter describes the US foreign policy establishment, or “The “Blob”, as a “self-anointed mandarin class or, if you prefer, deep state, that has largely operated unmolested until the advent of Trump now appears to believe that it can foil, or even subvert, the policies of a president it deems unfit for office, a development that should worry Democrats and Republicans alike.” We talk about William Taylor, an old Cold warrior member of “The Blob” and discuss how they are driving the impeachment effort. We also talk about the anonymous op-ed published in the NYT last year and a new book by the same anonymous author, titled “The Warning” published this month. Lastly, I ask Hunter to speculate on who that anonymous author might be and he gives us his theory and the reasoning behind it. 

Hunter DeRensis is a foreign policy reporter for The National Interest and a contributor to The American Conservative and the Libertarian Institute. 

FOLLOW @HunterDeRensis and find his work at the The National Interest

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 October 28, 2019. Music by Fluorescent Grey.

Reference Links:

  1. The Blob Strikes Back, Hunter DeRensis, National Interest
  2. A Warning: Why Should Anyone Trust Anonymous?, Hunter DeRensis, National Interest

 

Nov 12, 2019

Ep 132 Ending the War in Yemen feat Shireen Al-Adeimi

Guest: Shireen Al-Adeimi. We discussed the recent attacks on Saudi oil facilities and the battle in Najran, near the Saudi-Yemen border. Shireen then lays out some history on the wars in recent decades in Yemen, both civil wars and foreign interventions, and offers important insights on how the Saudi-United Arab Emirates coalition backed by the US and other western powers, does not even have a coherent objective anymore. Further, the Saudis and Emiratis are fighting against each other in a proxy war. Lastly we talk about Samantha Power’s new memoir in which she omits any mention of the war in Yemen or her role in the Obama administration’s decision to support and sustain it. 

Shireen Al-Adeimi is an assistant professor of education at Michigan State University. Having lived through two civil wars in her country of birth, Yemen, she has played an active role in raising awareness about the U.S.-supported, Saudi-led war on Yemen since 2015. Through her work, she aims to encourage political action among fellow Americans to bring about an end to U.S. intervention in Yemen.”

FOLLOW Shireen on Twitter @shireen818. Find her work on the In These Times website.

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 October 3, 2019. Music by Fluorescent Grey.


Reference Links:

  1. The U.S.-Backed Coalition Can’t Agree on Why It’s Bombing Yemen, Shireen Al-Adeimi
  2. How Dare Samantha Power Scrub the Yemen War From Her Memoir, Shireen Al-Adeimi
  3. Yemeni Alliance Committee on Facebook

 

Oct 31, 2019

ep131 Halloween Special: Ghoulish Rematch? feat Margaret Kimberley

Guest: Margaret Kimberley. On this Halloween special episode, we discuss the prospects for a “ghoulish rematch” in 2020 between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton. We mainly focus on Hillary Clinton, recent events and various signs that she is considering making another run for president and why that would be a disaster. 

FOLLOW Margaret on Twitter @freedomrideblog  Find her work at the Black Agenda Report. 

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 October 29, 2019. Music by Fluorescent Grey.

Reference Links:

  1. Freedom Rider: The Return of Hillary Clinton, Margaret Kimberley, Black Agenda Report
  2. Wasserman Schultz, Democrats did not tilt 2016 primary in Clinton’s favor, judicial panel rules, Sun-Sentinel
  3. Event: How Propaganda Manufactures Consent by Big Apple Coffee Party featuring Max Blumenthal, Margaret Kimberley, Aaron Mate, Lee Camp



Oct 28, 2019

Guest: Ahsan Butt. We discuss the history of Kashmir and the current situation after India stripped the Jammu & Kashmir regions of their limited autonomy status to bring it under the direct control of the Indian government. Also we talked about Prime Minister Modi’s history and his relationship with American officials and politicians and why India is considered an important geopolitical balance to China. We discuss Tulsi Gabbard’s support for Modi and lastly about the obstacles to ending the war in Afghanistan. 

Ahsan Butt is an Associate Professor at the Schar School of Policy and Government at George Mason University and a non-resident fellow at the Stimson Center. He generally work on issues of ethnicity and nationalism, security, international order, and South Asia and he is the author of the book: Secession and Security: Explaining State Strategy Against Separatists

FOLLOW @ahsanib, find his book on Amazon or at the OAOPEN Library, or visit his website.

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 September 25, 2019. Music by Fluorescent Grey.

Reference Links:

  1. Book: Secession and Security: Explaining State Strategy Against Separatists, Ahsan I. Butt, Amazon, Download
  2. Ahsan Butt’s website, Twitter page
  3. India just pulled Jammu and Kashmir’s autonomy. Here’s why that is a big deal for this contested region, Ahsan Butt, Washington Post
  4. The Caravan: All in the Family: The American Sangh’s affair with Tulsi Gabbard





Oct 14, 2019

Ep 129 Swapcast Borg Freaks Out Over Syria

Swapcast with Foreign Policy Focus podcast host Kyle Anzalone, on the withdrawal of US troops from northern Syria and the Kurds/SDF new partnership with Syria with Russia as the guarantor.

The Turkish military continues with its “Operation Peace Spring” invasion along with its “rebel” fighter allies, some of whom are jihadis formerly backed by the US-led coalition.  President Trump ordered the withdrawal of US forces from Syria with the exception of Al Tanf. It remains to be seen how much, if not all of that territory will be reclaimed by the Syrian state.  Syrian government forces are moving rapidly into some parts of northeast Syria that had been under the control of the Kurdish-led, US-backed SDF forces. They aim to regain control of all of their territory, which might result in direct fighting between Syrian and Turkish forces.

Meanwhile the American foreign policy “Borg” (as retired Col. Pat Lang calls it or “the Blob” as President Obama called it, or the War Party as I sometimes call it) is engaged in a total freak out which Kyle and I will describe in more detail. The events of the past few days are momentous for a number of different reasons that are just as complicated and multi-faceted as this war in Syria itself. 

FOLLOW Kyle on Twitter: @Kyaaale.  SUBSCRIBE to the Foreign Policy Focus podcast at the Libertarian Institute.

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 October 14, 2019. Music by Fluorescent Grey.

Reference Links:

  1. If We Have to Choose Between Compromise and Genocide, We Will Choose Our People, Mazloum Abdi (SDF Commander), Foreign Policy
  2. “This is our reward?”: After 4 years fighting ISIS, Syrian Kurds face uncertain future as US pivots to Turkey, Defense Post, January 2019
  3. Democrats, Republicans to seek reversal of Trump Syria pullback, AFP



Oct 8, 2019

Ep 128 Will Saudi Kingdom Survive Their War on Yemen feat Isa Blumi

Guest: Isa Blumi. We discuss the war in Yemen, the recent attacks on Saudi oil facilities, the ground operation in Najran, some recent, perhaps game changing statements by Saudi crown prince Mohammad bin Salman, and other comments made by the Saudi energy minister and by Russian and Iranian officials at the Valdai conference. Isa talks about what he describes in his book as the “shifting causal factor behind the ongoing violence in Yemen”, the need for resources, the coalition infighting and the worsening predicament of the Saudi Kingdom and their frenemies in the Gulf. At the root of it is a fragmenting, collapsing empire and global financial interests plundering the world. 

Dr. Isa Blumi is an historian, an author and an Associate Professor at Stockholm University. His very prescient book, titled 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.”  

FOLLOW Isa Blumi @IsaBlumi and find his latest book at UCPress.edu

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 October 4, 2019. Music by Fluorescent Grey.

Reference Links:

  1. Destroying Yemen: What Chaos in Arabia Tells Us about the World, Isa Blumi, UC Press
  2. Around the Empire: Ep 55 Imperial War, Gulf State Rivalry, Resources and Resistance in Yemen feat Isa Blumi
  3. Around the Empire: Ep 64 Yemen War Big Picture & Media Narrative feat Isa Blumi

 

Oct 6, 2019

Ep 127 Iraq protests, US-Iran war, regime change

Guest: Elijah Magnier. We discuss the uprising and protests across Iraq that turned violent this week, with over a hundred deaths and thousands of injuries. 

Elijah’s sources within the office of the Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi told him that the protests were planned during the summer months and the demands of the people are legitimate. The current prime minister inherited a corrupt system and a country struggling to recover from devastating war, sanctions and billions of dollars in debt. The protests coincide with an assassination attempt on the leader of the Iranian Quds force, Qasem Soleimani and PM Mahdi’s office said the objective now seems to be about creating chaos in Iraq and Iran and possibly a coup d’état / regime change carried out by military or encouraged by foreign forces, Saudi Arabia and the US. 

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 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 October 6, 2019. Music by Fluorescent Grey.

Reference Links:

  1. THE US-IRAN SILENT WAR IS TRANSFORMED INTO AN “IRAQ UPRISING”, Elijah Magnier
  2. Around the Empire: Ep 68 Iraq Politics & Stalled Idlib Op in Syria feat Elijah Magnier
  3. Around the Empire: Ep 122 Brink of War: Israel and Hezbollah feat Elijah Magnier
  4. The Post-Saddam Hussein Settlement in Iraq Is on the Brink of Collapse, Patrick Cockburn
  5. Iran-US Tensions Threaten Fragile Iraqi Stability, Amid Army Dismissal, Patrick Cockburn

 

Oct 1, 2019

Ep 126 Magnitsky Myth feat Lucy Komisar

Guest: Lucy Komisar. A deep dive into the story behind the “Magnitsky Hoax”. Lucy tells the story of Bill Browder, Hermitage (his hedge fund) and how he managed to create a massive political weapon called the Magnitsky Act to protect himself and his benefactors and to use against others. The story also involves shell companies, tax havens, money laundering, Mikhail Khodorkovsky, Robert Maxwell, Gazprom, HSBC, Natalia Veselnitskaya, the Trump Tower meeting, the resurgence of the Cold War with Russia, Russiagate, the Mueller Report, and more. 

Lucy Komisar is a New York City-based journalist with a long history of investigating offshore banks and corporate secrecy and abuses. One of her current long term projects is the investigation of the Browder/Magnitsky hoax

FOLLOW Lucy on Twitter @LucyKomisar where there is lively and active participation in this investigative work and find her work at her website TheKomisarScoop.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 September 24th and 27th, 2019. Music by Fluorescent Grey.

Reference Links:

  1. The Komisar Scoop
  2. The Man Behind the Magnitsky Act, 100Reporters, Lucy Komisar
  3. The BBC and the European Court get the Magnitsky story wrong, Lucy Komisar
  4. The Man Behind the Magnitsky Act: Did Bill Browder’s Tax Troubles in Russia Color Push for Sanctions?, Lucy Komisar
  5. Documentary: The Magnitsky Act: Behind the Scenes, Andrei Nekrasov

Timestamps:

2:00 Intro, Lucy’s background, how she met Bill Browder, investigating money laundering, Khodorkovsky, Avisma, Browder, Yukos, Peter Bond, Russia

9:00 The Magnitsky Hoax, how Browder/Magnitsky ties into other things like Russiagate, resurgence of the Cold War, Robert Maxwell, etc. 

11:30 Bill Browder background, Robert Maxwell, Salomon Brothers, telecom Peter Star, Edmond Safra, IMF funds, Beny Steinmetz, Hermitage hedge fund, Mossack Fonseca, Ziff Brothers

16:30 Offshore shell companies, fall of USSR, “shock therapy”, shares/vouchers, Cyprus, Gazprom, Russia-Cyprus double taxation treaties, fraud, Kalmykia region in Russia, Browder tax evasion

23:45 Sergei Magnitsky (Browder’s accountant) investigated 2006, Browder lost Russian visa 2005, Putin, 2007 Browder companies docs seized, Firestone Duncan, Browder says companies stolen

31:00 Magnitsky interrogated 2008, prepares to flee, arrested & imprisoned, HSBC (trustee for Hermitage fund), tax refund fraud, Renaissance, Prevezon, OCCRP, Browder media stenographers, Rimma Starova blew the whistle, Russian reporter Oleg Lurie met Magnitsky in prison, Magnitsky doesn’t mention abuse to Lurie or human rights orgs, Browder doesn’t mention to US House Human Rights Committee,  Magnitsky dies in prison in Nov 2009 poor medical treatment, Russian authorities investigate and report terrible prison conditions, medical neglect

46:00 Russia still pursuing Browder for tax evasion, Jonathan Winer worked for John Kerry’s State Dept and later APCO, Khodorkovsky also client of APCO, Winer helps Browder craft a new story & strategy (“Magnitsky Hoax”) of Magnitsky murder, forgeries, used by media and govt for The Magnitsky Act, in his fraudulent document Browder names new culprits

54:30 Browder and Magnitsky Act help advance US anti-Russia foreign policy, OCCRP (Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project) helps Browder create docs, Magnitsky Act includes a section protecting Khodorkovsky

1:01:00 Documentary “The Magnitsky Act: Behind the Scenes” debunks Browder’s story, banned from broadcast 

1:03:00 Ken Dilanian’s May 2016 reporting on Magnitsky and Browder was killed by NBC, Robert Otto State Dept emails leaked

1:11:45 Trump Tower meeting, Natalia Veselnitskaya, Rob Goldstone, Prevezon case, Russiagate narrative, Fusion GPS, Glenn Simpson

1:32:30 Trump-Russia investigation, The Mueller Report repeats Browder’s Magnitsky hoax story

1:43:00 in 2016 Browder found guilty in Russian court and new embezzlement charges filed as a result of his tax refund fraud

1:51:00 Complexity of tax havens, shell companies, money laundering, purpose of Global Magnitsky Acts campaign as a political weapon

 

Sep 18, 2019

Ep 125 Yemen drone attacks on Saudi feat Nasser Arrabyee

Guest: Nasser Arrabyee. Speaking to us from Yemen, Nasser describes the recent drone attacks by the Yemen armed forces (led by the Houthis) on the Saudi oil facilities in Abqaiq and  Khurais. We discussed the fact that there have been numerous other, progressively advanced, retaliatory strikes by Yemen on Saudi Arabia in recent months and over the past few years. Further, we talk about the five year bombardment and blockade of Yemen by Saudi Arabia (with the critical assistance of the United States) and how the number of casualties has been grossly understated. 

Nasser Arrabyee is a journalist and filmmaker based in Sanaa, Yemen. He has produced four documentaries about the war in Yemen and has been published by numerous media outlets including the New York Times, Bloomberg and Foreign Policy.

FOLLOW Nasser Arrabyee on Twitter @narrabyee

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 September 17, 2019. Music by Fluorescent Grey.

Reference Links:

  1. 9/14/19 video statement from spokesman for Yemen/Houthi armed forces about the drone attack on Saudi oil facilities. Translation by Nasser Arrabyee 
  2. Yemen's Houthis say Aramco plants still a target, Reuters
  3. Scott Horton Show: 9/9/19 Nasser Arrabyee on the Ongoing War in Yemen
  4. Damage At Saudi Oil Plant Points To Well Targeted Swarm Attack, Moon of Alabama
  5. The Secret of Yemen’s War? We Can End It, NYT, Martin Griffiths (UN Special Envoy for Yemen)
  6. Yemen Houthi drones, missiles defy years of Saudi air strikes, Reuters



Sep 17, 2019

Ep 124 Kremlin Spy Russiagate Aaron Mate

Guest: Aaron Maté. We talk about the latest Russiagate “bombshell” story that revealed the identity and Washington, DC area location of a Kremlin spy, Oleg Smolenkov, and claimed that he provided intelligence proving that Vladimir Putin ordered an election influence operation favoring Donald Trump. Also we discuss the machinations of former CIA DirectorJohn Brennan, the Barr and Durham investigation of the investigators and the political ramifications of Russiagate overall. 

Aaron is the host of the Pushback With Aaron Maté show at the Grayzone and a contributing writer at The Nation

FOLLOW Aaron on Twitter @aaronjmate, subscribe to his show Pushback with Aaron Maté at the Grayzone channel on YouTube and support him at Patreon.

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 September 15, 2019. Music by Fluorescent Grey.

Reference Links:

  1. Exclusive: US extracted top spy from inside Russia in 2017, CNN, Jim Sciutto
  2. C.I.A. Informant Extracted From Russia Had Sent Secrets to U.S. for Decades, NYT, David Sanger
  3. Possible Russian spy for CIA now living in Washington area, NBC, Ken Dilanian
  4. CIA slams CNN's 'misguided' and 'simply false' reporting on alleged CIA spy's extraction from Kremlin, Fox News, Gregg Re
  5. Kremlin says reported U.S. spy in Russian president's office was fired years ago, Reuters
  6. Loud and Clear radio show 9/10/19



Sep 16, 2019

ep 123 Swapcast: Bolton Booted

Swapcast with Foreign Policy Focus podcast host Kyle Anzalone, on the firing of Trump’s national security advisor, John Bolton.  

FOLLOW Kyle on Twitter: @Kyaaale.  SUBSCRIBE to the Foreign Policy Focus podcast at the Libertarian Institute.

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 September 14, 2019. Music by Fluorescent Grey.

Reference Links:

  1. Trump Oval Office press conference on Bolton firing
  2. Pushback with Aaron Maté: Ex-CIA analyst on why he predicted John Bolton’s firing
  3. Around the Empire: Ep 111 John Bolton and Escalation With Iran feat Kyle Anzalone
  4. Washington Post: How clashes with Trump led to John Bolton's firing

 

Aug 31, 2019

ep 122

Guest: Elijah Magnier. We discuss the recent Israeli bombings in Lebanon, Syria and Iraq, the political situation and the impending retaliation by Hezbollah. Also we talk about the purpose and importance of the occupation of al Tanf and the battle for Idlib including Turkey’s realignment and the Astana agreement.

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 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 August 30, 2019. Music by Fluorescent Grey.

Timestamps:

2:30 Recent Israeli bombings in Lebanon, Syria and Iraq, violation of 2006 rules of engagement 

10:30 Hezbollah warnings of retaliation, preparation for war

14:00 Political situation in Lebanon and Israel, Hezbollah response before Israeli elections

22:45 Hezbollah response to recent attacks is imminent

29:00 Political impact on Netanyahu, Trump/Netanyahu alliance, risk to American soldiers after bombings in Iraq

36:00 Israeli launched attacks in Iraq from an American base

41:45 Al Tanf base, economic warfare

49:30 Situation in Idlib, Syrian army advance, Turkey realignment and withdrawal of support for former allied jihadi groups; Astana agreement

Reference Links:

  1. Why Netanyahu Dares to Hit Iran’s Backyard in Iraq, Syria and Lebanon: Israel Accepts Hezbollah’s Challenge, Elijah Magnier
  2. Hezbollah Will Respond to Israel But When? And at What Cost? Elijah Magnier


Aug 25, 2019

Ep 121 Epstein and the Clintons feat Whitney Webb

Guest: Whitney Webb. We continue the discussion on Whitney’s multi-part investigative journalism articles on the Jeffrey Epstein affair, the multi-national criminal enterprise, with an American wing that is whole heartedly bipartisan and perennial. Today we focus on Part 4 of the series: From “Spook Air” to the “Lolita Express”: The Genesis and Evolution of the Jeffrey Epstein-Bill Clinton Relationship

Both familiar and unfamiliar names and events turn up in this episode. Iran Contra, Bill & Hillary Clinton, Mena, Arkansas, Rose Law Firm, William Barr, BCCI, PROMIS, Systematics, Danny Casolaro, Jackson Stephens, Adnan Khashoggi, and more. Part 4 is the final piece of this series but not really the end, and Whitney gives us some hints about spinoff investigations that will be pursued. 

Whitney Webb is a MintPress news journalist and the co-host of the MintCast podcast. She is based in southern Chile and has contributed to numerous independent media outlets with writing and interviews and Whitney is the 2019 winner of the Serena Shim Award for Uncompromised Integrity in Journalism.  

FOLLOW @_whitneywebb, find her work at MintPress News and the MintCast podcast. Support her work by contributing to MintPress News or by becoming a patron at patreon.com/MintPressNews.

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 August 23, 2019. Music by Fluorescent Grey.

Reference Links:

  1. MintPress: From “Spook Air” to the “Lolita Express”: The Genesis and Evolution of the Jeffrey Epstein-Bill Clinton Relationship (Part IV of “Too Big to Fail” investigative series by Whitney Webb)
  2. Around the Empire: Ep 115 Epstein, Trafficking & Blackmail feat Whitney Webb
  3. Around the Empire: Ep 117 The Mega Group and the Epstein Affair feat Whitney Webb



Aug 23, 2019

Ep 120

Guest: Mark Sleboda. Mark Sleboda joins us today from Moscow to talk about political affairs in Ukraine and the recent snap elections in the Ukrainian parliament, the Rada. The “throw the bums out” trend continues and the new president,Volodymyr Zelensky and his brand new political party now has a rare absolute majority and they begin the task of actually governing this troubled state. 

Mark is an International Affairs & Security Analyst, a US Navy veteran, a university lecturer and a foreign policy realist.

FOLLOW Mark on Twitter @MarkSleboda1 and on Facebook, look for his appearances on RT, Sputnik and other international channels. 

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 August 7, 2019. Music by Fluorescent Grey.

Timestamps:

01:30 Ukraine presidential and snap parliamentary elections, Zelensky, “Servant of the People”, rejection of Poroshenko, anti-corruption, vague policies that appeal to East and West Ukraine, new inexperienced Zelensky party in Rada with diverse policy positions, no party platform or ideology

11:00 Oligarch Kolomoisky, originally pro-Maidan, funded & armed nationalist/neo-Nazi battalions, Privat Bank, fled country with IMF funds, self-exiled and later returned, possibly created Zelensky

16:30 Zelensky continues orientation toward EU and the West, Minsk agreement, privatization and austerity

18:30 Civil war, refusal to talk with Donbass separatists leaders, relations with Russia

21:30 Ukrainian economy

27:30 Control of military and national guard, intelligence services

30:30 Ukraine elections and parties (also with an introduction to Mark’s pets voicing their opinion in the background :) (see photos in reference links)

44:00 VICE article (see reference links) propaganda on the far-Right militias, influence on Europe, missiles found in Italy, blowback of Western proxies, current situation with neo-Nazi militias, previous contradictory work of VICE in Ukraine


Reference Links:

  1. Around the Empire: Ep 99 Ukraine feat Mark Sleboda
  2. Netflix: Servant of the People
  3. VICE: FAR-RIGHT EXTREMISTS HAVE BEEN USING UKRAINE’S WAR AS A TRAINING GROUND. THEY’RE RETURNING HOME. 
  4. Pics of Mark’s pets (including Morrigan the crow)



 

Aug 20, 2019

Ep119

Guest: Carl Zha. A wide-ranging discussion about colonial Hong Kong, the transition back to China, and the social and economic changes that developed. We analyze the current Hong Kong protests, the forces at work and the prospects for a military crackdown or peaceful resolution. 

Carl Zha is an engineer, historian, podcaster, and a Caltech Alum. His podcast, Silk and Steel, is about China, US-China Great Power competition and the history of Empires, past and present.

FOLLOW @carlzha, SUBSCRIBE to his podcast Silk and Steel and listen to his previous podcast, Clash. 

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 August 15, 2019. Music by Fluorescent Grey.

Reference Links:

  1. Promo Video of PLA troops stationed in Hong Kong since 1997
  2. New York Times: Opinion: A Hong Kong Protester's Tactic: Get the Police to Hit You
  3. Documentary: The Gate of Heavenly Peace
  4. The Silk and Steel Podcast

 

 

Aug 15, 2019

Ep 118

Guest: Douglas Valentine. We talk about the CIA, foreign intelligence and liaison operations, Donald Trump and the Jeffrey Epstein affair. 

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 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 July 29, 2019. Music by Fluorescent Grey.

Timestamps:

2:30 Clip from Andrew McCarthy interview on expectations for the IG report on Russiagate/Spygate, foreign intelligence and liaison operations

7:45 Origins of CIA, political police force, liaison operations, Trump and Epstein, gangsters, ideology based in capitalism, makes it possible for people like Trump & Epstein to thrive, anti-communism/socialism, patriarchy, system enables sexual predatory activity

14:00 Mafia is a model for capitalist corporate enterprises, CIA exempt from laws, all intel services organized similarly, CIA tries to shape social and political environment in other countries for US business enterprises

18:30 To control other countries CIA must control criminal underworld in those countries, Various tactics like sexual blackmail used to coerce businessmen and officials in other countries, partners with organized crime for blackmail, arms and drug trafficking

22:30 1980’s Donald Trump wanted to advance his business overseas, money laundering

26:00  CIA has intel on American businessmen and makes use of them to do its bidding in the US without conducting operations here, immunized and covered up by the national security state

31:30 Five directorates of CIA, directorate of operations has two parts. Foreign intelligence/liaison branch spies and recruits assets, partners with and bargains with foreign intelligence services. 

41:30 Recruiting people to spy on their own countries, wittingly or unwittingly. Creates many “proprietary companies” including charitable entities and NGOs, intelligence operations under cover of civic action. 

46:00 Assets like Epstein are expendable. Trump became president, so not expendable. Ghislaine Maxwell and blackmail operations. Operations will never be revealed because covered by national security laws

50:30 Women can also perpetuate the corrupt, patriarchichal system. Details of various spectacles aren’t very important in the big picture, as nothing will change until the system is changed

Reference Links:

  1. John Batchelor Show 7/25/19: Durham and Horowitz aim to answer the hard questions about Spygate [and Liaison Operations]
  2. Book: “The Phoenix Program: America’s Use of Terror in Vietnam
  3. Book: “The CIA as Organized Crime: How Illegal Operations Corrupt America and the World
  4. www.douglasvalentine.com




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