Sam Ferguson, Truthout.org reporter, updates the Argentine war crimes trials from Buenos Aires; and activist Kevin Zeese is mobilizing protests against health insurance companies and the US Chamber of Commerce. Ferguson reports on the conviction of Gen. Rovere, who we talked about in podcast #46. He expands on his Truthout story in our conversation, and also tells of his recent trip to Uruguay, where voters did not approve a referendum to repeal amnesty for war crimes. And we talk about the lessons Americans can draw regarding potential trials for war criminals of the Bush/Cheney era. Zeese is Executive Director of Prosperity Agenda and is leading protests of insurance providers–get info here–with Dr. Margaret Flowers and others. We talk about the “public option” and the UFO that rich obstructionists (GOP) call “Obamacare”, and strategies for progressives. We also talk about the Stop The Chamber project to expose the US Chamber of Commerce, including the action of the Yes Men that has drawn a lawsuit from the Chambermaids–preventing Yes Man Mike Bonanno from joining us on this episode. The Yes Men movie opens in San Francisco 10/30 at the Roxie and Kabuki cinemas, plus the Rafael in San Rafael and the Oaks in Berkeley.
Actor and writer Peter Coyote talks about a secret US raid in Syria in late October, 2008; ex-evangelical Frank Schaeffer warns that the Christian is “trolling for murder”. Coyote recently visited Syria with journalist Reese Ehrlich (hear podcast #41) and they co-authored this important story at Vanity Fair’s website. US commandos swooped down in choppers and apparently killed seven innocent civilians, and the Bush administration claimed they killed an al Qaeda leader who had been dead for more than a year. No surprise: Coyote is a good story teller. Schaeffer was a 2nd generation pro-life Republican, and quit the party in 2000. He now warns that evangelicals have tapped dangerous emotions that could lead to an attempt to assassinate Obama. Great quote: “Christian Zionists love Israel the way oncologists love cancer”. Click here for info on an event in NYC Nov. 5 with Schaeffer and Jeff Sharlet, author of “The Family”.
Former FBI Agent John Cole talks about his work on counterintelligence, the Sibel Edmonds case and his own experience as a whistleblower. This is the 8th in our series of Boiling Frogs interviews, co-hosted with Sibel Edmonds. Cole has a lot to say about the internal workings of the FBI, and the chilling effect on its employees who witness the retaliation against people like Cole and Edmonds who raised issues of criminal behavior or agency mismanagement. He talks about Turkish and Israeli espionage operations in the US, the infiltration of the Bureau by a Pakistani spy, abuses of FISA applications, the TRILOGY software fiasco, and more. Cole’s new book is “While America Sleeps–An FBI Whistleblower’s story”.
Peter van Agtmael is an independent photojournalist whose work was recently featured in the New York Times magazine cover story by Dexter Filkins on Gen. Stanley McChrystal and the situation in Afghanistan. The Times has more of his photos in this slide show. Van Agtmael talks about his recent trip to Aghanistan where he met with McChrystal and embedded with US Marines in Helmand Province. He talks about the rugged terrain and extreme temperatures, the morale of US troops, the low trust Afghans have for the Americans, and the recent election. He also described his impressive new photo book about Iraq and Afghanistan combat, “2nd Tour, Hope I Don’t Die” with many powerful photos of American soldiers, including unsanitized shots of the wounded and scenes of soldiers who have come home disabled.
Nomi Prins, former Wall Street insider and author of the new book, “Pillage”; Prof. Adam Finkel and workplace safety consultant Del Leonard talk about OSHA and the risks facing workers. Prins gives an honest estimate of the massive bailout for the financial industry–$13 trillion and more–and we focus on Citigroup’s plan to pay $25 billion in bonuses while relying on nearly $400 billion of taxpayer money, gaurantees and liabilities. She also datamined Tim Geithner’s phone records, and details fascinating info about who Hank Paulson and others were talking to as the bailout plans were jammed throuhg in the fall of 2008. Dr. Finkel and Mr. Leonard give an overview of the regulation of workplace health and safety, and Finkel tells how he blew the whistle when his Bush-appointed boss declined to inform active and retired OSHA inspectors that they may have serious exposure to beryllium.
Richard Barlow, former CIA analyst and Pentagon employee. This is the 7th in our series of Boiling Frogs interviews, co-hosted with Sibel Edmonds. Richard Barlow discusses his experience as a counter-proliferation intelligence officer with the CIA in the 1980s, his work for the Office of the Secretary of Defense under Dick Cheney, and his incredible journey in trying to stop the proliferation efforts of the now infamous A.Q. Khan. He talks about the â€˜real politicsâ€™ involving our relations with Pakistan and the Congressâ€™ role, the draconian State Secrets Privilege, current disheartening status of whistleblower protection laws, and more!
Harvey “No Nukes” Wasserman on Sen. John Kerry’s support for coal, nuclear, and offshore drilling; Jennifer Nix talks about health care and explains why she loves her socialist kidney. Wasserman is the author of “Solartopia” which demonstrates that we can survive and thrive on renewable energy. He sees Democrats like Kerry greasing the skids for new nuke power plants, for the liars who promote “clean coal” and for those who think more offshore drilling makes sense. Along the way, Harvey takes a few good shots at Obama’s war in Afghanistan. Jen Nix is publisher of Guernica and had a kidney transplant earlier this year, and she explains that there is a special Medicare program for kidney patients that forces for-profit health insurers to provide coverage and also controls costs–the very type of “socialist” medicine that Repubs and Blue Dogs are trying to protect us from. Read her article in Salon here.
Sibel Edmonds ungagged, Part 3. In this final installment, Sibel gives us a guided tour of the Turkish network of influence in the US. As a guide, we cite the work of Luke Rosiak at the Sunlight Foundation, and his chart of the Turkish Lobby you can find here. We name names: the last 3 Speakers of the House are all registered lobbyists for Turkey: Livingston, Hastert and Gephardt. Along the way, Sibel describes the “deep state”–the real US government with Henry Kissinger and his crony Brent Scowcroft influencing every administration and linking US foreign policy to the interests of our military-industrial complex. We also look closely at the role of Bruce Fein in advancing Turkish interests, which seems to conflict with his advocacy for our Constitution and the impeachment of Bush and Cheney. And Sibel has special criticism of Colin Powell for failing to stand up to the bad policies and illegal events he witnessed as Secretary of State.
John Shelby Spong on death and afterlife; Jordanian journalist Rana Husseini fights to end so-called “honor killing”; and film reviewer Gary Chew on Michael Moore’s “Capitalism, a Love Story”. Bishop Spong is the retired Episcopal Bishop of New Jersey, a progressive who’s written many books. The latest is “Eternal Life: A New Vision Beyond Religion, Beyond Theism, Beyond Heaven and Hell”. Nearing 80, Bishop Spong speaks clearly about his impending death, assisted exits, heaven and hell. Rana Husseini is equally inspiring in her tireless efforts to change minds, and laws, that permit the “honor killing” of women accused of bringing shame on their families in certain countries. It’s a perversion of Islam, but is deeply ingrained in some cultures, and tolerated in patriarchal societies. Her powerful book is “Murder in the Nameof Honor” and her website is www.ranahusseini.com And Gary Chew returns to chat with PBC about Michael Moore’s new big-screen polemic.
Jason Leopold and Andy Worthington, two fine independent journalists, with important updates on closing Guantanamo and the remnants of the Bush-Cheney detention and torture program. Leopold has just rejoined Truthout.org as deputy managing editor, and has been featuring Worthington’s reporting at PubRecord.org Worthingon joined us from London, where he writes almost daily at AndyWorthington.co.uk and published The Guantanamo Files, which covers all of the 759 men who have been held there. Worthington is a producer and principal in a new documentary film, Outside the Law: Stories from Guantanamo. First topic is the announcement of Obama’s Nobel Peace Price, which PBC refers to as a “premature ejaculation”. Leopold details recent court action in the al Qahtani case: an order to produce video tapes of his interrogations, confirmation of Rumsfeld’s direct role in approving torture, and flat confirmation that he was tortured from military judge Susan Crawford. Worthington describes the case of the Kuwaiti, al-Rabiah, an innocent man who told interrogators what they wanted to hear and has been ordered released by a US court. And we talk about the softening of the irrational position Congress has taken on closing Gitmo and bringing prisoners to US courts and prisons.