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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: 2020

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

Nov 23, 2020

Ep 195 Elections, Voting Systems & Democracy feat Fiorella Isabel & Craig (Pasta) Jardula

Guest: Convo Couch hosts Fiorella Isabel and Craig (Pasta) Jardula. Hosts: Joanne Leon and Kelley Lane. We discuss corrupt voting systems and party machines, rigging the Democratic primary elections and signs of rigging the 2020 elections by a bipartisan establishment, irregularities and challenges to the 2020 election results and more. 

Craig (aka Pasta) Jardula and Fiorella Isabel are the hosts of the Convo Couch show, an independent media show focused on politics, rooted in progressivism and one that strives to stand up for the little guy against the machine. They’ve done extensive work with candidates and investigation of elections and election systems. 

FOLLOW them on Twitter at @theconvocouch, @Fiorella_im and @yopasta  and find their show on YouTube, Rokfin and 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 18, 2020. Music by Fluorescent Grey.

Reference Links:

  1. Ways To Flip And/Or Fix An Election w/David Webber, Convo Couch



Nov 20, 2020

Ep 194 A Biden Foreign Policy, US/UK and Media feat Afshin Rattansi

Guest: Afshin Rattansi. Hosts: Joanne Leon and Kelley Lane. We discussed the Biden transition team, the direction that a Biden cabinet would take in war and foreign policy, Brexit and the US/UK and EU relationship, and the current state of the media. 

Afshin Rattansi is an award-winning journalist, author and the host of the show “Going Underground” that airs three times weekly on the RT network. He has previously worked for BBC Radio, CNN International, Press TV, Al Jazeera and various other international media organizations. He began his journalism at The Guardian and still contributes at Counterpunch

FOLLOW Afshin on Twitter @afshinrattansi

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 @joanneleon @Kelleyswords

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

Recorded on November 16, 2020. Music by Fluorescent Grey.

Reference Links:

  1. What Will Biden’s Foreign Policy Look Like? (Prof. Charles Krupchan, Ex-Special Adviser to Obama), Going Underground 11/14/20
  2. The Joe Biden Presidency: Will It Be Neoliberalism & Regime Change or Progressivism? (Matt Taibbi), Going Underground 11/14/20

 

Nov 17, 2020

Ep 193 Sudan and Red Sea Region feat Isa Blumi

Guest: Isa Blumi. We discuss the recent lifting of sanctions in Sudan, the development of the strategic Red Sea region and the  historical trends, wars, economic collapse, exploitation, violence and political engineering that led up to it as part of a much larger strategy and ambitions. In a bonus question we discuss the likelihood that the 2020 elections cleared the way for multinational factions to resume imperial enterprises and transformations and the way that politics, media and pandemic are employed. 

Dr. Isa Blumi is an historian, an author and Professor of Global History, Islamic World, Ottoman Empire, Yemen, Albania. 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 work at Google Scholar and 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 @joanneleon.  SUBSCRIBE/FOLLOW on iTunes, iHeart, Spotify, Google Play, Facebook or on your preferred podcast app.

Recorded on November 12, 2020. Music by Fluorescent Grey.

Reference Links:

  1. Trump lifts sanctions on Sudan as he announces deal between African nation and Israel, ABC News

 

Nov 13, 2020

Ep 192 Contested Election feat Rod Phillips

Guest: Rod Phillips (“Rod from Philly”). On the weekend after the election Rod Phillips and I got together to talk about our thoughts on the contested election, what we have seen and experienced in real life in the Philadelphia area, the bigger questions and the impact on average Americans. In a bonus question we talked about how we see this playing out, corruption, common ground and what we would like to see going forward. 

Rod is a media analyst and the current producer on the radio show “The Backstory” (Radio Sputnik 4-6 PM EST Mon-Fri). He is a former athlete and worked as an EMT for more than seven years. FOLLOW Rod on Twitter @Rodr_76.

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 7, 2020. Music by Fluorescent Grey.

Nov 3, 2020

Ep 191 Pre Election Discussion

With guest co-host Kelley Lane we talk about what we’re observing in real life in the days before the 2020 election, rallies, polls, fearmongering and the extraordinary measures that have been put in place for this election. We talk about our concerns and in a bonus segment about our predictions for outcomes and things that might happen. 

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 2, 2020. Music by Fluorescent Grey.

Oct 28, 2020

Ep 190 Election Integrity feat Tim Canova, Kelley Lane

Guests: Tim Canova and Kelley Lane tell the story of Tim Canova’s experience running in the Democratic primary against Debbie Wasserman-Schultz in Florida’s 23rd district in 2016 and running again in the general election as an independent in 2018. We also talk about election integrity issues and the upcoming 2020 presidential election.

Tim Canova is an activist, politician and law professor specializing in banking and finance. Since 2012 he has been a Professor of Law and Public Finance at Nova Southeastern University. He’s the chairman of Progress for All, a small-donor based grassroots political and community action group supporting progressive candidates and causes at the national, state, and local levels. 

Kelley Lane is an independent journalist and activist. She is a board member for Candidates With A Contract (CWAC) and the editor/producer of the Assange Countdown to Freedom show and a volunteer with AuditUSA.. 

FOLLOW Tim at @Tim_Canova  and find his work.at progressforall.org

FOLLOW Kelley at @Kelleyswords

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 19, 2020. Music by Fluorescent Grey.

Reference Links:

  1. http://www.johnanthonymarie.com/election/methodology_presentation.pdf
  2. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DzBI33kOiKc&feature=youtu.be

 

Oct 23, 2020

Note: There were mono/stereo issues with the original episode. This is the same content with improved audio. 

Ep 189 OPCW Whistleblowers, Russiagate and a Tribute to Stephen Cohen feat Aaron Maté

Guest: Aaron Maté. We talk about OPCW whistleblowers, Jose Bustani and Aaron’s testimony at the UN. We also discuss recent developments in the Russiagate conspiracy and pay tribute to the great Stephen Cohen, prominent scholar, professor and author. There is a bonus segment for patrons about who was behind the pressuring of OPCW and for what purpose. Ep 189EXTRA Relentless Pressure on OPCW feat Aaron Maté

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

Recorded on October 16, 2020. Music by Fluorescent Grey.

Reference Links:

  1. The Grayzone’s Aaron Maté testifies at UN on OPCW Syria cover-up, Aaron Maté
  2. (Part 1) Analysis: That Senate 'Collusion' Report? It's Got No Smoking Gun ... but It Does Have a Fog Machine,Real Clear Investigations, Aaron Maté
  3. (Part 2) Analysis: Senate Russiagate Report Left Big Stones Unturned. Two Were Named Mifsud and Assange, Real Clear Investigations, Aaron Maté
  4. Pelosis Take a Big Stake in CrowdStrike, Democrat-Connected Linchpin of Russia Probe, Real Clear Investigations, Aaron Maté
  5. Pushback: OPCW Syria whistleblower and ex-director attacked by US, UK, France at UN, Aaron Maté
  6. Ex-OPCW chief Jose Bustani reads Syria testimony that US, UK blocked at UN
  7. Pushback: Ex-OPCW chief defends Syria whistleblowers and reveals he was spied on before Iraq war,  Aaron Maté

 

Oct 23, 2020

Ep 189 OPCW Whistleblowers, Russiagate and a Tribute to Stephen Cohen feat Aaron Maté

Guest: Aaron Maté. We talk about OPCW whistleblowers, Jose Bustani and Aaron’s testimony at the UN. We also discuss recent developments in the Russiagate conspiracy and pay tribute to the great Stephen Cohen, prominent scholar, professor and author. There is a bonus segment for patrons about who was behind the pressuring of OPCW and for what purpose. Ep 189EXTRA Relentless Pressure on OPCW feat Aaron Maté

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

Recorded on October 16, 2020. Music by Fluorescent Grey.

Reference Links:

  1. The Grayzone’s Aaron Maté testifies at UN on OPCW Syria cover-up, Aaron Maté
  2. (Part 1) Analysis: That Senate 'Collusion' Report? It's Got No Smoking Gun ... but It Does Have a Fog Machine,Real Clear Investigations, Aaron Maté
  3. (Part 2) Analysis: Senate Russiagate Report Left Big Stones Unturned. Two Were Named Mifsud and Assange, Real Clear Investigations, Aaron Maté
  4. Pelosis Take a Big Stake in CrowdStrike, Democrat-Connected Linchpin of Russia Probe, Real Clear Investigations, Aaron Maté
  5. Pushback: OPCW Syria whistleblower and ex-director attacked by US, UK, France at UN, Aaron Maté
  6. Ex-OPCW chief Jose Bustani reads Syria testimony that US, UK blocked at UN
  7. Pushback: Ex-OPCW chief defends Syria whistleblowers and reveals he was spied on before Iraq war,  Aaron Maté



Oct 19, 2020

Ep 188 Assange Extradition Hearings Week 3-4 feat Mohamed Elmaazi

Guest: Mohamed Elmaazi. We talk about the Assange extradition hearings, what transpired in weeks 3 and 4 and what procedures lie ahead in this process. Mohamed has been providing continuous coverage of the extradition hearings both last year and this year from the press annex of the different court facilities or from nearby facilities via video link when in person coverage wasn’t possible. 

Mohamed Elmaazi is a journalist with experience in human rights law, with degrees from American University in Cairo and SOAS. He writes for Sputnik News, he publishes The Interregnum blog and he has been a contributor to Open Democracy, The Canary, the Grayzone and The Real News Network.  

FOLLOW Mohamed on Twitter at @MElmaazi. Find his writing at Sputnik News, The Canary and visit his blog The Interregnum

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 9, 2020. Music by Fluorescent Grey.

Reference Links:

  1. Mohamed Elmaazi articles at Muckrack
  2. Assange's Extradition Hearings End With Warnings That 'Journalism is on Trial' From WikiLeaks Chief, Mohamed Elmaazi
  3. Assange's Lawyers 'Priority Targets' of US-Backed Espionage of Ecuadorian Embassy, Court Told, Mohamed Elmaazi
  4. I Had Convinced Myself That They Were Ok' Ex-Prison Warden Tells Assange Hearing on Detainee Regime, Mohamed Elmaazi

 

Oct 8, 2020

Ep 187 Don’t Avert Your Gaze From the Abyss feat Alastair Crooke

Guest: Alastair Crooke. In a recent article, Alastair said: “Theories of human ‘Progress’ as an upward-trending, linear continuum, inevitably leading to ‘a better human end’, though clothed today as technological ‘miracles’, were never empirical hypotheses. They were always concocted myths, answering to a human need for meaning, yet manipulated ruthlessly in the interests of power.” Alastair argues that these kinds of “struggles” have a long and bloody history. Politics in the United States in 2020 have been configured into a crusade against a “cosmic evil” and we seem to be barreling toward a major crisis from which we must not avert our gaze. We go into detail on these topics and Alastair offers an insider’s view of how we got to this point. There is a bonus segment for patrons, Ep 187EXTRA: Underlying Political and Ideological Battles in 2020, about who the key players are in this epic battle, what their goals are and to what lengths they are willing to take all of this. 

Alistair Crooke is a former British diplomat, the founder and director of the Conflicts Forum, a former ranking figure in both British intelligence (MI6) and European Union diplomacy. and he served as an advisor to the High Representative for Common Foreign and Security Policy of the European Union (CFSP) from 1997 to 2003. He was also a member of an international fact finding committee, the Mitchell Committee, which published the Mitchell Report in 2001 on the  causes of the Second Intifada. He is the author of the book Resistance: The Essence of the Islamist Revolution which offers strategic insights into the origins and logic of Islamist groups which have adopted military resistance as a tactic.

Find Alastair’s writing at Strategic Culture and look for his book Resistance: The Essence of the Islamist Revolution.

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 2, 2020. Music by Fluorescent Grey.

Reference Links:

  1. And Then What? – We Daren’t Not Look Into the Abyss, Alastair Crooke
  2. Book: Resistance: The Essence of the Islamist Revolution.



Sep 29, 2020

Ep 186 Withdrawal From Iran Deal Snaps Back feat Neda Bolourchi

Guest: Neda Bolourchi. We talk about the recent developments with the JCPOA Iran deal and how the Trump administration is trying to “have its cake and eat it too”. We discuss the happenings in the UN general assembly and UN Security Council, the news of troop withdrawals from Iraq and a lot more. There is an extra bonus segment for patrons: Ep 186EXTRA Middle East Prospects in the New Cold War Era. 

Dr. Bolourchi teaches at Rutgers University-New Brunswick Center for Middle Eastern Studies. She is is a thought leader whose work crosses multiple fields, from the academic to the legal to foreign policy and more. Her academic research examines the transformative discourse on Iran during the twentieth century across the political and religious spectra. She completed years of research in Iran, Syria, and Armenia and she has provided foreign policy and security analysis and commentary for a variety of publications and news channels internationally. She previously worked on matters of civil litigation and white collar criminal defense. Her legal work includes international and comparative analysis of human rights violations in the Middle East. 

Find Neda at LinkedIn and find her work on her Rutgers University Center for Middle Eastern Studies web page.

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 23, 2020. Music by Fluorescent Grey

Reference Links:

  1. ATE Ep 86 Misunderstanding Regime Change in Iran feat Neda Bolourchi
  2. ATE Ep 143 The Killing of Soleimani feat Neda Bolourchi
  3. US success in Iran arms embargo extension ‘very unlikely’, Al Arabiya
Sep 28, 2020

Ep 185 Patriotic Dissent feat Danny Sjursen

Guest: Danny Sjursen. We talk about his new book Patriotic Dissent: America in the Age of Endless War. We talk about the ways that Danny has broken down, categorized and explained the various forms of patriotism and dissent that he sees. He also talks about his own personal evolution in his views of these things. He gives some examples of people in American history who dissented and why that gives him cause for some optimism. One of the people who urged Danny to write this book, Robert Scheer, said: “Sjursen calls for a critical exploration of our allegiances, and suggests a path to a new, more complex notion of patriotism. Equal parts somber and idealistic, this is a story about what it means to be an American in the midst of perpetual war, and what the future of patriotism might look like.” There is an extra bonus segment for patrons: Ep 185EXTRA 9/11 in 2020. 

Daniel A. Sjursen is a retired U.S. Army Major, a prolific writer and speaker, an author/columnist/speaker/podcast host.. He is a contributing editor at Antiwar.com. His work has appeared in the LA Times, NY Times, The Nation, HuffPost, The Hill, Salon, BuzzFeed News, Tom Dispatch and Truthdig.com, among other publications. He is the co-host of the Fortress on a Hill podcast and does interviews on numerous podcasts and other media. He wrote a memoir and critical analysis of the Iraq War titled, Ghostriders of Baghdad: Soldiers, Civilians, and the Myth of the Surge, his new book Patriotic Dissent: America in the Age of Endless War was published this month and he has another book in progress on the history of the United States. 

FOLLOW @SkepticalVet, SUBSCRIBE to the Fortress on a Hill podcast and buy his book Patriotic Dissent: America in the Age of Endless War published by Heyday.

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 17, 2020. Music by Fluorescent Grey.

Reference Links:

  1. Patriotic Dissent: America in the Age of Endless War, Danny Sjursen
  2. September 14, 2001: The Day America Became Israel, Danny Sjursen
  3. What Activists Today Can Learn From MLK’s Bold Anti-War Stance, Danny Sjursen
  4. NYT 1967 response to MLK Beyond Vietnam speech: “Dr. King’s Error”
  5. How Do You Prefer Your Empire: Coarse or Polite?, Danny Sjursen



Sep 21, 2020

Ep 184 Assange Extradition Week 2 feat Kevin Gosztola

Guest: Kevin Gosztola. We focus on week 2 of the Assange Extradition hearings, witness testimony from Eric Lewis, Thomas Durkin, Daniel Ellsberg, John Goetz and Carey Shenkman and Assange’s defense team. We also talked about the password leaked in a book by Luke Harding and David Lee, the highly problematic Espionage Act and how it, like the Assange case, is political in nature. Kevin has been doing reporting and analysis on the cases of Chelsea Manning and Julian Assange and Wikileaks both on the ground (and now remotely) for the past decade. 

Kevin Gosztola is managing editor of Shadowproof, he publishes the Dissenter newsletter and he produces and co-hosts the Unauthorized Disclosure podcast with Rania Khalek. 

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

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 18, 2020. Music by Fluorescent Grey.

Reference Links:

  1. Assange’s Extradition Trial: Court Hears About the History of Political Prosecutions Under the Espionage Act, Kevin Gosztola
  2. Good Ellsberg, Bad Assange at Extradition Trial, Pentagon Papers Whistleblower Dismantles False Narrative, Kevin Gosztola
  3. Witnesses at Extradition Trial Say Assange Could Spend Rest of His Life in US Prison, Kevin Gosztola
  4. At Assange Trial, Prosecution Invokes Human Rights Court Decision That Downplayed Abusive Supermax Prisons, Kevin Gosztola
  5. Julian Assange Extradition Hearing - September 18, 2020 (video)
  6. Julian Assange Extradition Trial - September 17, 2020 (video)
  7. Julian Assange Extradition Hearing - September 16, 2020 (video)
  8. Julian Assange Extradition Hearing - September 15, 2020 (video)
  9. Julian Assange Extradition Hearing - September 14, 2020 (video)
  10. ATE Ep 110 Assange Indictments Rely on Contrived Narrative feat Kevin Gosztola
  11. Khaled El-Masri biography and statement via ACLU
  12. ATE Ep 152 Kevin Gosztola: Insights from Assange Extradition Hearing in London



Sep 21, 2020

Ep 183 Assange Extradition Hearings Resume feat Mohamed Elmaazi

Guest: Mohamed Elmaazi. We talk about the Assange extradition hearings that resumed this month in London. Mohamed gives us the highlights of the first week’s proceedings with various witnesses and new charges against Assange. He has provided continuous coverage of this case and he is able to give us a sense of what it’s like on the ground in London reporting on these hearings now being conducted with Covid19 special arrangements. 

Mohamed Elmaazi is a journalist with experience in human rights law, with degrees from American University in Cairo and SOAS. He writes for Sputnik News, he publishes The Interregnum blog and he has been a contributor to Open Democracy, The Canary, the Grayzone and The Real News Network and he publishes.  

FOLLOW Mohamed on Twitter at @MElmaazi. Find his writing at Sputnik News, The Canary and visit his blog The Interregnum

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 12, 2020. Music by Fluorescent Grey.

Reference Links:

  1. Absolutely Ludicrous': Diplomat Reacts to Decision in Assange Case Disallowing Witness Summaries, Mohamed Elmaazi
  2. Assange Hearing: Refusal to Grant an Adjournment is a 'Gross Violation', Says WikiLeaks Chief, Mohamed Elmaazi
  3. EXCLUSIVE: 'A Danger for Justice' - Assange Defence Expert Explains How US Conspiracy Trials Work, Mohamed Elmaazi
  4. There's Strong Evidence that Assange's Prosecution is 'Politically Motivated', Defence Expert Says, Mohamed Elmaazi
  5. Charges Against Julian Assange Are 'Unconstitutional' And Threaten Press Freedom, Expert Tells Court, Mohamed Elmaazi
  6. Espionage Charges Against Assange 'An Abuse of the Criminal Law Enforcement Power': Defence Expert, Mohamed Elmaazi
  7. Journalism On Trial: The UK & Press Freedom, Redfish
  8. The War on Journalism: The Case of Julian Assange, Juan Passarelli



Sep 16, 2020

Ep 182 Belarus feat Bryan MacDonald

Guest: Bryan MacDonald. We talk about some of the history and the current state of affairs in Belarus, Alexander Lukashenko and his opposition, the recent elections and subsequent protests and whether or not this is a color revolution. Bryan has been to Belarus many times understands the politics in Russia and Eastern Europe. There’s a bonus question for patrons about the alleged poisoning of Alexei Navalny and the information leaked by Lukashenko about that affair. I also add some recent updates on Navalny who posted on Instagram today after several weeks in a medically induced coma. He said that he plans to return to Russia. 

Bryan MacDonald is an Irish journalist based in Russia. He has written for RT since 2014. Before moving to Russia, Bryan worked for The Irish Independent, the Evening Herald, Ireland on Sunday, and The Irish Daily Mail. Follow him on Twitter @27khv

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

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 6,, 2020. Music by Fluorescent Grey.

Reference Links:

  1. Tens of thousands join Belarus march against Lukashenko, AFP
  2. Lukashenko Says 'Intercepted Call' Shows Germany ‘Falsified’ Navalny Poisoning Claims, Moscow Times
  3. Johnson’s Russia List 
  4. RT Bradley Blankenship Aug 12: The Belarusian protests are not a ‘color revolution’ – they’re the result of Lukashenko repeating Soviet mistakes
  5. Alexei Navalny Releases Photo From Hospital Bed After Nerve Agent Poisoning, NPR



Sep 11, 2020

Ep 181 Xinjiang and the Uyghurs feat Peter Lee

Guest: Peter Lee. We discussed some of the background story on Xinjiang, a province and autonomous region in the northwest of China that borders on Mongolia, Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Afghanistan, Pakistan and India and is part of the historical Silk Road. We also talked about the Uyghurs, the current situation in Xinjiang, the media coverage and the escalating tensions between the US and China. In a bonus question for patrons (Ep 181EXTRA Taiwan and Top Asia-Related Issues), I asked Peter Which Asia-related issues he thinks are most pressing, worrying or important to focus on right now. 

Peter has decades of experience in East Asia both as a businessman and as a writer. He produces Peter Lee’s China Threat Report and has been published at Asia Times, CounterPunch at his own blog, China Matters

FOLLOW @chinahand.  SUBSCRIBE to Peter Lee’s China Threat 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 September 2, 2020. Music by Fluorescent Grey.

Reference Links:

  1. Peter Lee’s China Threat Report: The Xinjiang Series No. 1: The Crisis of Governance
  2. Peter Lee’s China Threat Report: Assessing the Timetable for Taiwan Independence and World War III
  3. Peter Lee’s blog archive on Uyghurs
  4. Scott Horton interview with Andrew Bacevich: Ep. 5009 – Andrew Bacevich on Soros and Koch Teaming Up to End the Wars – 7/3/2019
  5. ATE Episode 14: The Future of China in the Age of Trump feat. Peter Lee (Chinahand)
  6. ATE Episode 61: Escalation With China feat Peter Lee

 

Sep 1, 2020

Ep 180 Evolving Geopolitical Landscape in Middle East feat Isa Blumi

Guest: Isa Blumi. We talk about the current state of affairs in the gulf states and the region during the economic crisis and lockdowns for Covid19, the UAE-Israel deal, the evolution of situation in the Middle East, the war Yemen and the rivalry between Saudi Arabia, UAE, Qatar and Turkey. We discuss the increasing influence of China in the region and we also talk about media coverage and how it is heavily influenced by various sources of funding. 

There is a bonus question for patrons at the end of the interview on China’s increasing influence in the Middle East and whether they will be a savior for the Global South. Episode 180EXTRA Will China be the Savior of the Global South?

Dr. Isa Blumi is an historian, an author and Professor of Global History, Islamic World, Ottoman Empire, Yemen, Albania. 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 @joanneleon.  SUBSCRIBE/FOLLOW on iTunes, iHeart, Spotify, Google Play, Facebook or on your preferred podcast app.

Recorded on August 30, 2020. Music by Fluorescent Grey.

Reference Links:

  1. ATE Ep 128 Will the Saudi Kingdom Survive Their War on Yemen? feat Isa Blumi
  2. ATE Ep 64 Yemen War Big Picture & Media Narrative feat Isa Blumi
  3. ATE Ep 55 Imperial War, Gulf State Rivalry, Resources and Resistance in Yemen feat Isa Blumi

 

Aug 31, 2020

Ep 179 US - China Relations feat Carl Zha

Guest: Carl Zha. We did a follow up discussion about the Hong Kong protests (which we had talked about last summer in Episode 119). Then we had a longer, broad ranging discussion on the rapid deterioration of US-China relations, a new Cold War, the power structure in China, protectionism, globalism, Silicon Valley, the military-intelligence complex and more. There’s a bonus question for patrons about whether we are now in a Cold War with China, the prospect of a hot war between US and China and if that did happen, what would the war look like. Episode 179EXTRA War between US and China.

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 27, 2020. Music by Fluorescent Grey.

Reference Links:

  1. Around the Empire Ep 119 Hong Kong Protests Reality feat Carl Zha
  2. Silk and Steel podcast EP#71-Biking to Xinjiang with Jerry Grey




Aug 27, 2020

Ep 178 Bolivia, Nicaragua and the New Cold War feat Ben Norton

Guest: Ben Norton. We talk about the latest developments in Bolivia, life in Nicaragua, the new Cold War with Russia and China and we wrapped up with a discussion about big picture geopolitics. 

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 and subscribe to his podcast Moderate Rebels

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 20, 2020. Music by Fluorescent Grey.

Reference Links:

  1. Around the Empire Ep 136 Coup in Bolivia feat Ben Norton



Aug 25, 2020

Ep 177 TDY and War Trafficking feat Doug Valentine

Guest: Doug Valentine. Doug talks about his latest book, “TDY” based on a story told to him by a veteran of the Vietnam war who was sent on a covert mission related to the CIA and military involvement in trafficking. There is also a bonus segment about how and why the CIA uses trafficking for funding of covert operations Ep 177EXTRA TDY and War Trafficking. 

From the book description: 

“This novel by Douglas Valentine, author of the nonfiction bestseller The CIA as Organized Crime, is based on a true story, one told to him by a Vietnam veteran, and barely, yet grippingly, fictionalized here.

“In early 1967, a bored, adventurous photojournalist on an Air Force base in Texas is offered a Temporary Duty (TDY) assignment somewhere overseas. The mission is steeped in secrecy, but Pete is promised a large bonus and hazardous duty pay.  The mission that unfolds is terrifying beyond anything Pete ever imagined.”

Here’s what Oliver Stone said about the book: “I read it in suspense and found the last revelations after the mission even more disturbing.”

Douglas Valentine is an author, investigator, journalist and poet. He’s the author of many other 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 Doug on Twitter @DougValentine77   Find his work at his website 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 August 20, 2020. Music by Fluorescent Grey.

Aug 18, 2020

Ep 176 Financial Crisis in Lebanon feat Ehsani

Guest: Ehsani. We talk about the financial crisis that has been building for years and the structural problems in Lebanon’s economy and banking system that has been in place since the 1990’s. The Beirut explosion and widespread damage brought the broader crisis to a head and exposed how the system is broken. We also talk about the political issues, protests and external interference. There is a bonus question for patrons at the end of the interview on whether this is a push for regime change and which external forces are behind it. 

Ehsani is a Syrian American, born in Lebanon and raised in Aleppo. He has a solid background in finance. Find his analysis and discussion on Twitter at @ehsani22. He has also written for the Syria Comment blog under the pseudonym, “Ehsani”.  

FOLLOW Ehsani on Twitter at @EHSANI22  

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 18, 2020. Music by Fluorescent Grey.

Reference Links:

  1. Beirut faces rising poverty after blast, Al Jazeera English
  2. Lebanon's economy: Plundered by politics and banking elites | Counting the Cost, Al Jazeera English




Aug 6, 2020

Ep 175 Beirut Explosion feat Elijah Magnier

Guest: Elijah Magnier. We talk about the August 4, 2020 explosion in the Beirut port, details of what happened, political implications, cui bono and more. Elijah has gathered information from Beirut and provided some of that information for the first time in this interview as an exclusive. There is also a bonus question for patrons, Ep 175EXTRA Beirut Explosion and Political Implications where we talk about the possibility of the faction aligned with Trump, Netanyahu and Salman wanting to escalate while they can in anticipation of Trump and Netanyahu being out of power in the near future. 

FOLLOW Elijah  on Twitter @ejmalrai. Find and support his work at ejmagnier.com. There is a “donate” button at the bottom of the page. 

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 6, 2020. Music by Fluorescent Grey.

Reference Links:

  1. US-ISRAEL MEETING: WHEN IS THE HEZBOLLAH RESPONSE EXPECTED?, Elijah Magnier (7/28/20)
  2. Beirut blast: more than 100 dead and over 5,000 wounded in huge explosion, France24
  3. Will the Beirut explosion lead to political change in Lebanon? | Inside Story, Al Jazeera English
  4. Beirut has suffered a catastrophe that will live long in the memory – and the repeated betrayal of its citizens is a travesty, Robert Fisk
  5. Around the Empire Ep 40 Lebanon Crisis feat. Sonia Mansour Robaey (12/13/17)

 

Jul 24, 2020

Ep 174 Factional Wars, Brexit & Maxwell feat Tom Luongo

Guest: Tom Luongo. We talk about factional wars among the powers that be, the Ghislaine Maxwell and Epstein case, the Southern District of New York (SDNY) federal prosecutor’s office and Brexit (meaning the larger battle between the EU and the US/UK). We attempt to analyze how these things are related and could provide a higher level understanding of some of the scandals and chaos we are witnessing in the run up to the 2020 election and Brexit and the chaos that has escalated to more extreme and public levels since the 2016 election. There is also a bonus episode for patrons (Ep 174BONUS Getting Started With Crypto & Gold) on getting started with investment in cryptocurrency and gold for those who might be considering alternative investments in periods of instability. 

Tom Luongo is an analyst, writer and a former research chemist. His specialty is markets analysis informed by geopolitics. He is a libertarian and Austrian economist who publishes a blog Gold Goats ‘n Guns and a monthly investment letter. He contributes at Newsmax Media and is published by and does commentary for many other media outlets. 

Note: Tom and I are very different politically but we believe in finding common ground especially on war/foreign policy and also on some other very basic things. No doubt his listeners will be aggravated with me and mine with him to some extent but common ground is more important than ever and I also want to provide a variety of voices on this podcast. We already have too many echo chambers and hyperpartisanship, in my view, which are doing more harm than good.

Another note: I have to apologize for the audio quality in this interview. I think we both had some internet issues that caused some audio issues which I fixed as best I could. We had to stop and start a couple times. I edited a lot of the worst problems and hopefully it’s fairly easy to listen to now despite the problems. 

FOLLOW Tom at @TFL1728. Find his work at Gold, Goats ‘n Guns   Also find his work at Patreon, Youtube and DLive. 

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 8, 2020. Music by Fluorescent Grey.

Reference Links:

  1. Maxwell Didn’t Kill Herself By Getting Arrested, Tom Luongo
  2. Tom Luongo: Podcast Episode #42 – Ghislaine Maxwell, Trump and Why Brexit Hangs in the Balance
  3. Whitney Webb’s Epstein articles



Jul 16, 2020

Ep 173 Libya: Civil War & Foreign Intervention feat Giorgio Cafiero

Guest: Giorgio Cafiero. We discuss the civil war and complicated foreign intervention in Libya. We first do a review of what has happened in Libya since the 2011 overthrow of Muammar Gaddafi and then we sort out the situation in Libya right now. There is an extra (bonus question) for patrons only (Ep 173EXTRA) about the outlook for Libya going forward, whether it’s likely to split and/or be used as a battlefield by larger powers. 

Giorgio Cafiero is the CEO and founder of Gulf State Analytics, a geopolitical risk consultancy based in Washington, DC. His research interests include geopolitical and security trends in the Arabian Peninsula and the broader Middle East. He is a regular contributor to the Middle East Institute, Al Monitor, LobeLog, Inside Arabia, and New Arab and he frequently appears as a commentator on various media networks. He is also an adjunct fellow at the American Security Project, an affiliate at the Mena Center and an analyst at London-based advisory Rosa & Roubini Associates.

FOLLOW @GiorgioCafiero. Find him at Gulf State Analytics

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 June 28, 2020. Music by Fluorescent Grey.

 

Jul 9, 2020

Ep 172 Prejudential and BLM feat Margaret Kimberley

Guest: Margaret Kimberley. We talk about Margaret’s new book: Prejudential: Black America and the Presidents and about the current Black Lives Matter protest movement. Here is Dr. Cornel West’s comment about the book:  "Margaret Kimberley gives us an intellectual gem or prophetic fire about all the U.S. presidents and their deep roots in the vicious legacy of white supremacy and predatory capitalism. Such truths seem more than most Americans can bear, though we ignore her words at our own peril!" 

There is an extra (bonus question) for patrons only (Ep 172EXTRA) where we get Margaret’s advice for people who strongly support anti-racism, strongly oppose police brutality, discrimination and the militarization of police but who prefer peaceful protests and are uncomfortable with random violence and political exploitation of these issues by disingenuous politicians and others who are actually part of the problem themselves.  

Margaret Kimberley is an author and she’s the co-founder and Editor and Senior Columnist for Black Agenda Report (BAR). Her Freedom Rider column appears weekly in BAR, and is widely reprinted elsewhere. She is from New York City and her work has appeared in numerous publications and sites. She also writes on her own FreedomRider blog.

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

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 June 20, 2020. Music by Fluorescent Grey.

Reference Links:

  1. Prejudential: Black America and the Presidents by Margaret Kimberley




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