Special Report: Gaza Freedom March. We talk to 3 Americans who joined 1400 people from around the world in Cairo, Egypt–attempting to cross into Gaza to join Palestinians in a march to remind the world of Israel’s brutal assault on Gaza just a year ago. Ali Glenesk is a student at UC Berkeley who we talked to in Podcast 78; Tom McAfee is an activist and independent journalist from the Bay Area, and Col. Ann Wright (retired from US military and State Dept) is a courageous peace promoter who has been on our show many times. You’ll hear their accounts of the efforts to persuade the Egyptian government to let them cross the border, and their encounters with Cairo citizens and riot police.
Mark Klein on Obama’s continuation of Bush’s massive domestic wiretapping operations. Klein is the heroic phone technician who exposed the secret room in San Francisco where the NSA diverts all phone calls and emails in clear violation of the 4th Amendment. This is another installment in the Boiling Frogs series, co-hosted by Sibel Edmonds. Klein talks about how he learned of the eavesdropping and its huge scope, how the media and Senators took his confidential information to the government, and how the Obama administration continues the interceptions and obstruction of justice. Please share this with as many people as you can, and visit Sibel’s new website, www.boilingfrogspost.com Klein’s book, Wiring Up The Big Brother Machine…and Fighting It is available only at amazon.com
Author John Perkins on Hoodwinked and Sam Ferguson in Buenos Aires. Perkins wrote the best seller Confessions of an Economic Hitmanand his new book blames unregulated capitalism and corporate greed for the 2008 global meltdown. Perkins has some good ideas for reining in corporate power while addressing climate change and other environmental issues. Ferguson, Thruthout.org’s correspondent in South America, updates his coverage of the war crimes trials in Argentina, where two of the defendants are the “Blond Angel” and “Tigre”–pseudonyms for soldiers who carried out torture and disappearances in the 1970’s. Ferguson also offers some parallel’s to Obama’s “administrative amnesty” for Bush-era war crimes by the US.
Activists Ali Glenesk and Rae Abileah talk about the unauthorized Gaza Freedom March set for 12/31/09; Prof. Lawrence Davidson of West Chester University comments on US policy in the Middle East. Glenesk is a student at UC Berkeley who has been to Gaza twice, and Abileah is with Code Pink for Peace who has also been there. They return with an international group of more than 1,000 to challenge the Israeli blockade, participate in a peace march in Gaza on New Year’s Eve, and remind the world of Israel’s devastating attacks on Gaza last year at this time. More info at www.gazafreedommarch.org. Davidson was the top bidder in The Nation’s online fundraising auction of a guest slot on the PBC Show, is an expert on Middle East history and the author of a number of books, including Foreign Policy, Inc: Privatizing America’s National Interest. He offers some clear comments on Israel’s outsized influence on US policy.
Nomi Prins talks about her book It Takes a Pillage and the failure to solve the financial crisis. Mark Lysgaard reads some poems from his book Babbling On In Babylon. Prins, a former managing director at Goldman Sachs, reveals the total amount of cash and credit extended to banks and financial institutions is over $13 Trillion! She explains the culture, chemistry and politics of the industry, and names names. We talk about the myth of the “success” of TARP and Barney Frank’s re-regulation proposals. Prins says the real fix is to reinstate the Glass-Steagall act. Lysgaard takes the news of the day and writes incisive poems.
Journalist Lance Williams on Sen. Feinstein’s intervention in California’s water wars on behalf of a donor and pal; journalist Jason Leopold on PTSD and suicide among recent vets. Williams is a veteran investigative reporter, formerly with San Francisco’s Examiner and Chronicle newspapers–half of the duo who covered the Barry Bonds Balco scandal and almost went to jail for refusing to disclose sources. He is now at the Center for Investigative Reporting’s California Watch, and his first investigation reveals that Feinstein, at the behest of donor, friend and corporate farmer Stewart Resnick, demanded and got a new study of water distribution in California, where agribusiness already enjoys water rights greater than people and fisheries. Williams also updates the Bonds case and comments on the proposed federal shield law for reporters. Leopold is deputy managing editor of Truthout.org, and details his story on PTSD and suicide, and inadequate mental health support for troops in Afghanistan. He also talks about Obama’s December 1 speech escalating US presence in Afghanistan, and reports that the ACLU is turning up the heat on the bad legal positions of the Obama administration regarding torture, wiretapping and other issues. The tune by The Stranglers is “Vladimir and the Beast” and is on the Aural Sculpture CD, available at iTunes.
Journalist Kristina Borjesson takes us inside the media, including CBS News and HD Net. This is the latest installment in the Boiling Frogs interview series, co-hosted with Sibel Edmonds. Borjesson relates her experiences and provides analysis of the current state of investigative and enterprise journalism in the US. She discusses the drastic decline in true investigative journalism, the role of the internet and the globalization of reporting, and the clashing of the two cultures: traditional media & independent reporters. Ms. Borjesson presents shocking real life examples illustrating behind the scene realities and pressures involved in Network TV, including HDNet and Dan Rather, and others. She talks about government and ownership pressures, and how these pressures successfully shape presented news, the two significant missing ingredients in news reporting today, and more!
Internationally acclaimed for her work, Kristina Borjesson has produced for major American and European television networks and published two groundbreaking books on the problems of the U.S. press: Into the Buzzsaw: Leading Journalists Expose the Myth of a Free Press & Feet to the Fire: the Media After 9/11, Top Journalists Speak out. Her awards include an Emmy and Murrow Award in TV, and the National Press Clubâ€™s Arthur Rowse award for Media Criticism and two Independent Publishers Awards for her books. More at www.boilingfrogspost.com
Top 25 Censored News Stories. Peter Phillips and Mickey Huff, co-editors of Project Censored 2010 which reviews important news reports that were blacked out or under-reported by US media. They make a strong case for a “truth emergency” in our country, as downsized corporate TV and newspaper outlets continue to decline, presenting more tabloid distractions while ignoring important news. We touch on all 25 stories, so feel free to listen to this podcast in segments. Get full info and a range of independent media options at www.projectcensored.org–and sign up for their daily news update RSS feed at the bottom of the home page.
Holiday Music Special!! Dr. Elmo celebrates 30 years of “Grandma Got Run Over By a Reindeer”. Dr. Elmo plays live in our studio and guides us through his expansive Christmas music catalog from Killer Fruitcake to Junk Bond Christmasto the rap version of Grandma, plus Santa’s E-mail from Nigeria, Christmas in the USA and the freaky Uncle Johnny’s Glass Eye. You get a special budget cutting message from our Governator and a stunning live rendition of Grandmaalong with some pet advice from the Doctor, a licensed veternarian. Downloads at iTunes and www.drelmo.com. Tech note: this show is a big file–we did not want to compress the music too much. Enjoy, and share with friends!
Journalists Reese Erlich and Robert Parry on Obama’s escalation in Afghanistan; Michael Blecker of Swords to Plowshares projects the human costs to the new US troops deployed; Gary Chew reviews the new film “The Road”. Erlich is the author of Target Iraq and The Iran Agenda and was in Afghanistan with Norman Solomon in September (podcasts 36 and 41). Parry is a frequent contributor to the PBC Show, and runs ConsortiumNews.com We play key excerpts from Obama’s Dec. 1 speech at West Point and offer critical commentary and context. We compare Obama to Bush in some respects, offer distinctions between Iraq and Afghanistan, and debunk the myth that the “surge” in Iraq succeeded. And we describe many factors that make Obama’s plan futile and politically dangerous. Swords to Plowshares has support vets since Vietnam, and Blecker projects that 30% of those who serve in Afghanistan will return with PTSD or traumatic brain injury. www.stp-sf.org Consistent with these downbeat developments, Gary Chew says The Road is bleak and powerful Oscar material. www.tulsatvmemories.com