Guest: Tim Shorrock. In recent weeks there have been cries of alarm about North Korea’s missile testing all throughout the media but they’ve omitted some key developments like the massive military build up in South Korea and Northeast Asia over the past few years. Tim provides us with some of that omitted context including the fact that the South Korean armed forces, allied with the US, is the seventh largest in the world.
Tim grew up in Japan and Korea and he has been covering national security and other topics around Asia and the Korean peninsula since the late 1970’s . He is a correspondent at The Nation and he’s the author of the popular book “Spies for Hire: The Secret World of Intelligence Outsourcing”.
FOLLOW @TimothyS Find his work at The Nation and at his website http://timshorrock.com. Buy his book: Spies For Hire: The Secret World of Intelligence Outsourcing.
Recorded on December 31, 2019. Music by Fluorescent Grey.
Guest: Alan MacLeod. We discuss the recent UK elections and how the Labour Party’s Brexit strategy backfired. We talk about the relentless propaganda campaign that was launched against Jeremy Corbyn and how there is a similar campaign being run against Bernie Sanders in the United States that is growing in intensity. We wonder if Bernie will learn from Corbyn’s experience or whether he’ll continue the kind of “high road” approach that did not turn out well for Corbyn. We also discuss the post-election implications for the future of the United Kingdom and its constituent countries England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. We also discuss the coup in Bolivia.
Dr. Alan MacLeod is an academic, an author and a journalist who does work on media analysis and politics with a focus on social media, Latin American politics and propaganda. He writes for MintPress News and Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting and he has written two recent books, Bad News From Venezuela: Twenty Years of Fake News and Misreporting and Propaganda in the Information Age: Still Manufacturing Consent.
FOLLOW him on Twitter at @AlanRMacLeod. Find his work at MintPress News and look for his books Bad News From Venezuela: Twenty Years of Fake News and Misreporting and Propaganda in the Information Age: Still Manufacturing Consent.
Recorded on December 19, 2019. Music by Fluorescent Grey.
Guest: Gareth Porter. As the news was breaking of Iranian retaliatory strikes on military bases in Iraq where American troops were deployed, Gareth Porter and I were talking about his analysis comparing the 1964 Gulf of Tonkin incident in Vietnam to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s apparent strategy to “grease the skids” for war with Iran.
Gareth Porter is an independent Investigative historian and journalist on the national security state. He is the author of numerous books including Perils of Dominance: Imbalance of Power and the Road to War in Vietnam (2005) and Manufactured Crisis: the Untold Story of the Iran Nuclear Scare (2014). He is the winner of the 2012 Gellhorn Prize for Journalism
FOLLOW Gareth on Twitter at @GarethPorter. Find his work at The American Conservative, Truthdig, Antiwar.com, Middle East Eye and other media outlets. Read his new book: The CIA Insider's Guide to the Iran Crisis: From CIA Coup to the Brink of War.
Recorded on Jan 7, 2020. Music by Fluorescent Grey.
Guest: Jeffrey Carr. Dan Wright and Joanne Leon did a reunion conversation with cybersecurity expert, Jeffrey Carr, to revisit the infamously erroneous Crowdstrike analysis of the DNC hack which they attributed to Russia based on their analysis of an alleged Russian hack of a Ukrainian military artillery app. We also discussed Crowdstrike’s history, its recent mention in President Trump’s phone call with Ukrainian President Zelensky (the same phone call that led to his impeachment for a different reason) and the broader issue of how cybersecurity firms are incentivized to make specious claims concerning attribution of a hack, particularly if it gains them notoriety that leads to more business.
Jeffrey Carr is a cybersecurity author, researcher, entrepreneur and consultant, who focuses on cyber warfare. He is the author of the book “Inside Cyber Warfare: Mapping the Cyber Underworld” and the creator of the Suits and Spooks conference series which “bridges the gap between the Intelligence Community and Industry on hard challenges in Information Security”.
Recorded on December 17, 2019. Music by Fluorescent Grey.
Guest: Elijah Magnier. We discuss what really happened in Iraq over the past week, leading up to the killing of the Iranian General Qassem Soleimani and the Iraqi PMU vice commander Abu Mahdi al-Muhandes. We talk about the reactions, justifications and likely consequences. Also, Elijah provides some more clarification on the Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF/PMU or Hashd al-Shaabi) and the way the different Iraqi security forces have been described inaccurately in western media.
Elijah Magnier is a veteran war correspondent and political analyst with over 35 years of experience covering the Middle East and North Africa (MENA).
Recorded on January 4, 2020. Music by Fluorescent Grey.
Guest: Neda Bolourchi. We talk about the assassination of Iranian major general of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, Qasem Soleimani by the US military. Was it a punishment for past actions or an attempt at deterrence toward Iran or both? We discuss the impact on the people of Iraq and Iran and the recent protests, the prospects for retaliation by Iran and war throughout the region.
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 her at LinkedIn and find her work on her Rutgers University Center for Middle Eastern Studies web page.
Recorded on January 3, 2020. Music by Fluorescent Grey.