Archives by month

Cocaine Death Squads and the War On Terror

Regular listeners to our broadcast know – we have repeatedly made the point that the war on drugs doesn’t work – nor has it ever.  Tonight, Mike and Mark speak with Dr. Oliver Villar, co-author of “Cocaine, Death Squads, and the War on Terror: U.S. Imperialism and Class Struggle in Colombia”, who has spent over a decade researching the subject, and has some eye-opening observations on not only why it doesn’t work, but also on why it’s supposed to work that way.

About the guest:

Dr. Oliver Villar is a lecturer in Politics at Charles Sturt University. For the past decade his research has been devoted to this book. Much of the research is based on his PhD dissertation on the political economy of contemporary Colombia in the context of the cocaine drug trade. He has published broadly on the Inter-American cocaine drug trade, the U.S. War on Drugs and Terror in Colombia, and U.S.-Colombian relations.

Oliver was born in Mendoza, Argentina and has lived in Sydney for most of his life. In 2008 he completed his PhD on the political economy of contemporary Colombia in the context of the cocaine drug trade at the then UWS Latin American Research Group (LARG). Whilst completing his PhD, Oliver’s research interests in political economy, Latin America and the global drug trade followed teaching positions in politics at UWS and Macquarie University. His academic interests have involved an engagement with the sizeable Latin American immigrant community in Sydney and Melbourne and international concerns, such as with political and policy concerns over the ‘globalisation’ of crime and terrorism and the underlying causes of the processes involved.

At CSU Oliver’s research interests continue to focus on the vast and dynamic reservoir of political economy and the study of class analysis and class relations. This abiding interest extends across economic thought, economic development and the development of social and political relationships between the First World and Third World (in particular between the United States and Latin America) and the impact of neoliberal economic globalisation.

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Fast and Furious / House of Death update from Bill Conroy – and more.

Those who have been listening to us for any length of time have heard our broadcasts on Fast and Furious and the House of Death. Well… Mike’s on a crusade to get someone thrown in jail – and who can blame him?  Here are a couple of headlines:

U.S. troops deployed to the US/Mexican border last week may well be there, in part, to deal with the blowback from ATF’s botched Fast and Furious gambit.

PLUS

A new voice from the past has emerged in the House of Death mass-murder case — in which a US government informant is accused of assisting with up to a dozen murders, the bodies of the victims later found buried, covered in lime, in the backyard of a house in Juarez, Mexico.

Tonight, we delve into these subjects and more with Bill Conroy.

About the Guests:

Bill Conroy has worked as a reporter or editor for the past eighteen years at newspapers in Wisconsin, Arizona, Minnesota and Texas.

His investigative reporting over the past five years has focused on corruption and discrimination within federal law enforcement agencies.

He is also a journalist for Narco News. His investigative pieces, particularly those on the House of Death, have made him our most-favored guest.

Show links:

http://narcosphere.narconews.com/notebook/bill-conroy/2012/02/us-troops-may-now-be-coping-fast-and-furious-fallout

http://narcosphere.narconews.com/notebook/bill-conroy/2012/01/new-lead-surfaces-cold-house-death-drug-war-case

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How We Got Swindled

So, like dozens of times before, we’re faced with the same situation… massive fraud and criminality that results in huge profits for some, and prosecutions for pretty much nobody – but in this case, it has also led our country into what our guest E. Henry Schoenberger says is absolutely a depression.

How did we get here? And who’s responsible for it?

Tonight, Mike and Mark speak with Henry about his devastating book “How We Got Swindled by Wall Street Godfathers, Greed & Financial Darwinism – The 30-Year War Against The American Dream” – which Mike calls an “autopsy report” on the financial state of the country.

Fixing this might just be something that the 99% of us can get behind, together, to actually change something.

About our guest:

Henry Schoenberger is a Cleveland entrepreneur, financial specialist, writer and author of How We Got Swindled by Wall Street Godfathers, Greed & Financial Darwinism – The 30-Year War Against The American Dream. The book, an insightful look at the failures of Washington and Wall Street as well as all the contributing factors that led to the current depression-like economy and dysfunctional state of the US, includes a foreword from David Satterfield, a veteran financial journalist who shared in two Pulitzer Prizes while he was the business editor at the Miami Herald.

Schoenberger’s 1990 book, Invest for Success, How to Avoid Getting Ripped Off by Real Estate Partnerships, the Stock Market and Diversification became a critical success nationally, and recently B&N decided to carry it again online and in stock. He has authored a number of articles in professional journals and mainstream publications.

A 1964 graduate of Miami University, with a degree in English and Economics, Schoenberger has served in a variety of roles in the financial world. From capital formation consulting, to having been among the earliest financial planners in 1968, to owning his own broker-dealer NASD Member Firm specializing in private placements, to a venture capital CEO leading a small business into and successfully out of Chapter 11. He presented testimony to Senate Finance for TRA 86 at the request of George Mitchell, has spoken before various professional groups and has taught his continuing education course for CPAs, Trust Officers and Trust Department Lawyers for many years.

Schoenberger has been successful in both the insurance and securities businesses for over four decades, and has been a life-long student of economics and economic history as well as a political junkie dating from the day his father gave him an I Like Ike button. He is a poet-philosopher and pragmatic, rational idealist with a point of view encompassing human needs as well as economic realities. He believes the past will be eventually be acknowledged as prologue to provide the lessons to successfully transition from where we find ourselves today to a future that has appropriate concern for the public good. And he believes in the collective spirit of Americans, a spirit that has always found a way to transcend rancorous disagreement to form a stronger union.

From 45 years of personal experience, he understands why we cannot fix our continuing financial tragedy until it is recognized and acknowledged that Financial Darwinism is Born-again Social Darwinism and the survival of the richest ethic has been curbed by rebuilding the barriers against greed. And the Keynesian pragmatic solutions which worked in the after-math of the Great Depression must be applied to solve economic problems that cannot be solved by monetary and fiscal policy.

Site links:

Henry’s Guest Essays here at the EWRS:

CAPITALISM: ACTING IN GOOD FAITH: CORZINE? LEHMAN AND THE COURT APPOINTED EXAMINER? OK BUNGEE JUMPING WITHOUT CORDS!

Henry’s articles on Huffington Post

HowWeGotSwindled.com

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This Week – Support WBAI

Since 1996, we’ve been doing this for nothing.  We couldn’t have done it without WBAI.

Tonight, we feature some of our favorite guests and topics from over the past year.  While you may only listen to our show via the web – the show itself would not be possible were it not for WBAI-FM – Part of the Pacifica Radio network.

So please show your support for WBAI by sending them a donation below, or by visiting their website.  During the broadcast, you can also call 212-209-2950.

Info on the guests can be found below.

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Tonight’s guests:

Bill Conroy has worked as a reporter or editor for the past eighteen years at newspapers in Wisconsin, Arizona, Minnesota and Texas.

His investigative reporting over the past five years has focused on corruption and discrimination within federal law enforcement agencies.

He is also a journalist for Narco News. His investigative pieces, particularly those on the House of Death, have made him our most-favored guest.


Stephan Salisbury is the senior cultural writer for the Philadelphia Inquirer, where he has been a reporter for three decades.

He has won numerous awards for his work and was a finalist for a Pulitzer Prize as part of an Inquirer investigative team looking into local election fraud.

He is author of the recently published Mohamed’s Ghosts: An American Story of Love and Fear in the Homeland published by Nation Books.


Howard Bloom, a Visiting Scholar at New York University, is founder of the International Paleopsychology Project, executive editor of the New Paradigm book series, a founding board member of the Epic of Evolution Society, and a member of the New York Academy of Sciences, the National Association for the Advancement of Science, the American Psychological Society, the Human Behavior and Evolution Society, The International Society of Human Ethology, and the Academy of Political Science. He has been featured in every edition of Who’s Who in Science and Engineering since the publication’s inception.


Dr. Mark M. Lowenthal, an internationally recognized expert on intelligence, is the President and CEO of the Intelligence & Security Academy, LLC, a national security education, training and consulting company.

From 2002-2005, Dr. Lowenthal served as the Assistant Director of Central Intelligence for Analysis and Production and also as the Vice Chairman for Evaluation on the National Intelligence Council. Prior to these duties, he served as Counselor to the Director of Central Intelligence. Dr. Lowenthal was the staff director of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence in the 104th Congress (1995-97), where he directed the committee’s study on the future of the Intelligence Community, IC21: The Intelligence Community in the 21st Century. He also served in the State Department’s Bureau of Intelligence and Research (INR), as both an office director and a Deputy Assistant Secretary of State, and has been the Senior Specialist in U.S. Foreign Policy at the Congressional Research Service, Library of Congress.

Dr. Lowenthal has written extensively on intelligence and national security issues, including five books and over 90 articles or studies. His most recent book, Intelligence: From Secrets to Policy (Congressional Quarterly Press, 4th ed., 2009), has become the standard college and graduate school textbook on the subject. He has also written a fantasy novel, Crispan Magicker, published in 1978. Dr. Lowenthal is a frequent public commentator on intelligence issues. He has appeared on each of the major networks, the Lehrer Newshour and Charlie Rose; his op-eds have appeared in The New York Times and The Washington Post.

Dr. Lowenthal received his B.A. from Brooklyn College and his Ph.D. in history from Harvard University. He joined the adjunct faculty of the Johns Hopkins University in 2008, after 14 years as an adjunct at Columbia University. He is the Executive Director of the International Association for Intelligence Education and a Chairman Emeritus of the Intelligence Committee for AFCEA.

In 2005, Dr. Lowenthal was awarded the National Intelligence Distinguished Service Medal, the Intelligence Community’s highest award. In 2006, he received AFCEA’s Distinguished Service Award for service to the Intelligence Community. In 1988, Dr. Lowenthal was the Grand Champion on Jeopardy!, the television quiz show.


Photo by Charles Miller

LESLIE KEAN is an independent investigative journalist with a background in freelance writing and radio broadcasting. She has contributed articles to dozens of publications here and abroad including the Boston Globe, Philadelphia Inquirer, Atlanta-Journal Constitution, Providence Journal, International Herald Tribune, Globe and Mail, Sydney Morning Herald, Bangkok Post, The Nation, and The Journal for Scientific Exploration. Her stories have been syndicated through Knight Ridder/Tribune, Scripps-Howard, New York Times wire service, Pacific News Service, and the National Publishers Association. While spending many years reporting on Burma, she co-authored Burma’s Revolution of the Spirit: The Struggle for Democratic Freedom and Dignity (Aperture, 1994) and she has contributed essays for a number of anthologies published between 1998 and 2009. Her freelance journalism has been supported by grants from numerous foundations including the Open Society Institute of the Soros Foundation, The Fund for Investigative Journalism, and the Nation Institute.

Kean was also a producer and on-air host for a daily investigative news program on KPFA radio, a Pacifica station in California. She began covering the UFO subject in 2000 with a feature story in the Boston Globe, and followed with additional mainstream stories. In 2002, she co-founded the Coalition for Freedom of Information (CFi), an independent alliance advocating for greater government openness on information about UFOs, and for responsible coverage by the media based on a rational and credible approach. As director of the CFi, she was the plaintiff in a successful, five-year Freedom of Information Act federal lawsuit against NASA. In 2007, she co-organized a landmark Washington DC international press conference on official UFO investigations, which received media coverage around the world.

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Delayed Justice

Delayed Justice – Inside Stories from America’s Best Cold Case Investigators.

“Delayed Justice belongs on the bookshelf of every criminal investigator and all those who enjoy reading the true crime genre. The authors have managed to present a fascinating array of ‘cold cases’ while at the same time providing the reader with a step-by-step methodology on how to solve them.  It is indeed rare for one book to entertain and educate.  Delayed Justice succeeds at both.”

—ROY HAZELWOOD
FBI (Ret.), Academy Group, Inc.

Tonight, Mike and Mark are joined by authors Jack and Mary Branson, who have put together this brilliant book on Cold Cases.  Forget what you see on TV – this here is the real deal.  PLUS: Mike Levine’s official theory on why ex-wives are more effective than profilers.

About the guests:

Jack Branson, a retired special agent with the US Department of the Treasury, is now the head of Branson & Associates, a private investigation firm. He has also written a novel, Terminal Justice.

Mary Branson is a freelance writer and the president of AptWord, Inc., a literary agency. She is the author of many books, including (with Jack Branson) Murder in Mayberry and Cutting Myself in Half.

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The Capture of Whitey Bulger

After 16 years on the lam, James “Whitey” Bulger – a notorious Irish mobster from Boston, who was number 2 on the FBI’s most-wanted list for over 14 years – has finally been captured by the FBI.

Tonight, Mike and Mark speak with noted author Richard Stratton, who has not only researched and written about Bulger, but actually met the man face-to-face when Bulger acted to save Richard from a Mafia hit contract. We’ll talk about Bulger’s history, his turning of FBI agents, the methods used to bring him in, whether or not he’s responsible for a whole string of armed robberies as the infamous “geezer bandit” in Orange County, California…and what secrets he still may have to tell about a thoroughly corrupt FBI that aided him in murdering his rivals.

About the guest:

Richard Stratton is the author of the underground cult classic novel, Smack Goddess. He was a writing fellow at the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, Massachusetts in 1970.

In 1982 he was convicted of conspiracy to import marijuana and hashish and sentenced to twenty-five years in prison. He wrote Smack Goddess while incarcerated. He also became a jailhouse lawyer, had his sentence vacated and was released after serving eight years.

In 1989 he was awarded first prize for short fiction in the PEN American Prison Writing contest.

His work has been published in Story Magazine, Rolling Stone, High Times, Spin, Newsweek, Penthouse, Esquire and a number of literary quarterlies. He formerly edited Fortune News, the newspaper of the Fortune Society, a non-profit organization which aids prisoners and ex-offenders and advocates for criminal justice reform.

He worked as a producer and creative consultant on a number of HBO productions including Prisoners of the War on Drugs, The Execution Machine: Texas Death Row, Thug Life in D.C. and the dramatic prison series, Oz. He is qualified as an expert witness in state and federal courts in the areas of prison violence and prison culture, and has testified in capital prison murder cases in Texas, Oklahoma, Utah and California. He co-wrote and produced Slam, the movie, and co-edited Slam, the book. He is co-producer and co-writer of the feature film Whiteboys, and Executive Producer and show runner for Street Time, a dramatic television series.

Richard’s most recent novel is “Altered States of America.”, and his Piece “Super Rat” – about Whitey Bulger, was featured in the February 2009 issue of Playboy magazine. He has many works on his slate at the present time. One of which is the film Dog Eat Dog based on the novel by Eddie Bunker. Richard is the director and the screenplay writer. He resides in New York with his wife Antoinette and their son Ivan and his stepdaughter, Bianca. He has three children from a former marriage, Maxx, Dash and Sasha.

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Violence and US Weapons in Mexico – and more

Tonight’s show is a smorgasbord… from violence & US weapons in Mexico, to corruption in the U.S., to a resolution ensuring that citizens retain a right to videotape law enforcement pros on the job.

Our favorite reporter Bill Conroy joins us to discuss these and more…

About the Guest:

Bill Conroy has worked as a reporter or editor for the past eighteen years at newspapers in Wisconsin, Arizona, Minnesota and Texas.

His investigative reporting over the past five years has focused on corruption and discrimination within federal law enforcement agencies.

He is also a journalist for Narco News. His investigative pieces, particularly those on the House of Death, have made him our most-favored guest.

More info on related topics:

Bill Conroy’s article – U.S. federal agents nationwide bilked by brazen Ponzi scheme

Carlos Miller’s blog post about citizen videotaping

Congressional Resolution 298

Critical Mass NYPD Bicyclist Assault video referred to in the broadcast:

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PLUNDER – The Crime of Our Time

Plunder: The Crime of Our Time is a hard-hitting investigative film by Danny Schechter. The “News Dissector” explores how the financial crisis was built on a foundation of criminal activity uncovering the connection between the collapse of the housing market and the economic catastrophe that followed.

The film opens with the conviction of Ponzi King Bernie Madoff, whose acknowledged criminality drove a $65 billion dollar pyramid scheme. It argues that the wrong doing committed by a few individuals distracts from the real story, implicating the best-known institutions that financed and profited from fraudulent sub prime lending. This connection is now being investigated by the FBI as part of a probe into what it calls a “fraud epidemic.”

PLUNDER shows how these firms created special securities to repackage and resell these dubious loans after they were re-rated as Triple A. These firms then bet against many of these toxic assets with credit default swaps and other insurance scams. By leveraging these investments, they recklessly put trillions of dollars and the world economy at risk.

Tonight, Mike and Mark speak with Danny Schechter about the film, media and about 20 other things…. a great, freewheeling conversation with the “Uber-investigative-journalist.”

More on the film at the Plunder website – or click on the cover above to purchase.

About the guest:

Danny Schechter is a journalist, author, television producer and an independent filmmaker who also writes and speaks about economic and media issues.

He is the executive editor of MediaChannel.org, the world’s largest online media issues online network, and recipient of many awards including the Society of Professional Journalists’ 2001 Award for Excellence in Documentary Journalism.

His latest films are “Barack Obama, People’s President [2009], an examination of how Obama won and “IN DEBT WE TRUST: America Before The Bubble Bursts,” [2007] an investigation of the impact of credit and debt on American society.

In Debt We Trust was one of the first films or media coverage to expose subprime lending and warn of an economic crisis. He was a director on “Viva Madiba,” a feature-length biopic tribute to Nelson Mandela on his 90th Birthday. (2008).

He is the author of nine books.

Schechter is co-founder and executive producer of Globalvision, a New York-based television and film production company now in its 21st year. He founded and executive-produced the TV series “South Africa Now” and co-produced the series “Rights & Wrongs: Human Rights Television.”

Schechter has specialized in investigative reporting and producing programming about the interface between human rights, journalism, popular music and society. His career began as the “News Dissector” at Boston’s leading rock station, WBCN. Later, he moved into television as an on-camera reporter for WGBH (Channel 2) in Boston and then as a producer for WLVI (Channel 56) and WCVB (Channel 5).

Schechter then joined the start-up team of CNN and later became a producer for ABC News 20/20. He produced 50 segments for ABC News, winning two national Emmys and nominated for two others.

He has produced and directed many TV specials and documentary films. click here for a full listing. He has spoken at scores of universities – from Harvard to Hamline, from Minnesota to MIT, NYU to Georgia State, Santa Monica to the University of Hawaii, Princeton to Cornell.

A Cornell University graduate, he received his Master’s degree from the London School of Economics, and an honorary doctorate from Fitchburg College. He was a Neiman Fellow in Journalism at Harvard, where he also taught in 1969. After college, he was a full time civil rights worker and then communications director of the Northern Student Movement, and worked as a community organizer in a Saul Alinsky-style War on Poverty program. Then, moving from the streets to the suites, Schechter served as an assistant to the Mayor of Detroit in 1966 on a Ford Foundation grant.

Schechter has reported from 61 countries. He was an adjunct professor at the Graduate School of Journalism at Columbia University and taught investigative reporting at the New School. Schechter’s writing has appeared in leading newspapers and magazines including the Newsday, Boston Globe, Columbia Journalism Review, Media Studies Journal, Detroit Free Press, Village Voice, Z, Mediachannel.org, OpedNews.com, ZNET, Creative1, Global Research, Alternet and many others.

You can follow him on Twitter here.

Find him on Facebook here.

Closing music from the show:

“Man Walking” from Mark’s “New Eye” album.

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The Infiltrator, Part 2

My Secret Life Inside the Dirty Banks
Behind Pablo Escobar’s Medellin Cartel.

Robert Mazur spent five years undercover infiltrating the criminal hierarchy of Colombia’s drug cartels. The dirty bankers and businessmen he befriended-some of whom still shape power across the globe- knew him as Bob Musella, a wealthy, mob-connected big shot living the good life.

Together they partied in $1,000-per-night hotel suites, drank bottles of the world’s finest champagne, drove Rolls-Royce convertibles, and flew in private jets. But under Mazur’s Armani suits and in his Renwick briefcase, recorders whirred quitely, capturing the damning evidence of their crimes.

Then, at a staged wedding, he led a dramatic takedown that shook the underworld In the end, more than eighty men and women were charged worldwide.

Operation C-Chase became one of the most successful undercover operations in the history of U.S. law enforcement, and evidence gathered during the bust proved critical to the conviction of General Manuel Noriega.

Tonight, Mike and Mark talk with Rober Mazur about this amazing story, and the life that led to it.

This video gives a good indication of just HOW big this case was:


About the Guest:

Robert Mazur served for 27 years as a federal special agent for the IRS, the Customs Service, and the Drug Enforcement Administration. Now the president of Chase and Associates, an agency that advises law firms and public companies on banking protocols and risk assessment, he lives in Florida with his family.

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The Infiltrator, Part 1

My Secret Life Inside the Dirty Banks
Behind Pablo Escobar’s Medellin Cartel.

Robert Mazur spent five years undercover infiltrating the criminal hierarchy of Colombia’s drug cartels. The dirty bankers and businessmen he befriended-some of whom still shape power across the globe- knew him as Bob Musella, a wealthy, mob-connected big shot living the good life.

Together they partied in $1,000-per-night hotel suites, drank bottles of the world’s finest champagne, drove Rolls-Royce convertibles, and flew in private jets. But under Mazur’s Armani suits and in his Renwick briefcase, recorders whirred quitely, capturing the damning evidence of their crimes.

Then, at a staged wedding, he led a dramatic takedown that shook the underworld In the end, more than eighty men and women were charged worldwide.

Operation C-Chase became one of the most successful undercover operations in the history of U.S. law enforcement, and evidence gathered during the bust proved critical to the conviction of General Manuel Noriega.

Tonight, Mike and Mark talk with Rober Mazur about this amazing story, and the life that led to it.

This video gives a good indication of just HOW big this case was:


About the Guest:

Robert Mazur served for 27 years as a federal special agent for the IRS, the Customs Service, and the Drug Enforcement Administration. Now the president of Chase and Associates, an agency that advises law firms and public companies on banking protocols and risk assessment, he lives in Florida with his family.

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Some Prior Guests

David Moorhouse

Ray McGovern

Dr. Rick Nuccio

Renee Boje

Daniel Ellsberg

Richard Stratton

Gerard Colby

Greg Palast

Dennis Dayle

Ralph McGeehee

Stan Goff

Mark Levine

Vincent Bugliosi

J.H. Hatfield

Siobhan Reynolds

Charles Bowden

Katherine Gun

Bob Parry

Sandy Gonzalez

Sibel Edmonds

Ellen Mariani

Peter Lance

Senator Bob Graham

Cele Castillo

Tosh Plumlee

Donald Bains

Will Northrop

Aukai Collin

John Loftus

Joyce Reilly Von Kliest

Kelly O' Meara

John P. Flannery

Bill Conroy

Sander Hicks

Paul Williams