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In-Depth Interview: Military Whistleblower Joe Hickman Comments on Burn Pits Bill, Gitmo “Suicides, and The Intercept’s Burn of Reality Winner

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Joseph Hickman blew the whistle on warzone burn pits, and comments on new bill authored by Rep. Tulsi Gabbard to treat victims exposed to toxic smoke from dumps at military bases in Iraq and Afghanistan.Hickman is the author of The Burn Pits: The Poisoning of America’s Soldiers, and exposed the negative impacts on thousands of troops despite denials by Pentagon officials.  He also co-authored, with John Kiriakou, of the book about Abu Zubaydeh, The Convenient Terrorist.  His first book, Murder at Camp Delta, is also discussed here.

We open with his comments on the new bill to address the victims of Burn Pits, which requires the Pentagon to collect information on soldiers who were exposed to toxic incineration of all kinds of refuse, most often from open pits with no protection for those down wind.  While PBC tries to give credit to Hickman, he declines.  He relates that former VP Joe Biden has recently read his book, which suggests that Beau Biden’s cancer may have been caused by exposure to burn pits.  We also talk about the incompatibility between Pentagon medical records and those at the Veterans Administration, which continues inexcusably.

We note the grisly milestone of 12 years since the night Hickman was on guard duty at Guantanamo, and witnessed 3 prisoners being removed from the main camp who returned dead the next morning.  Hickman continues to investigate the events and the coverup.  He also remarks on Obama’s failure to close Guantanamo, and the tragic failure of the military tribunals.

And we talk about the latest whistleblower who was compromised by Matthew Cole and The Intercept’s refusal to acknowledge their exposure of Reality Winner when Cole took the document she leaked to a government source for confirmation.  Hickman has strong words for Cole, and for James Risen, the former NY Times reporter who now works for The Intercept.

Near the close, we talk about Hickman’s views of the Russiagate narrative.