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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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Ripped off!

If you heard our show last week, you already know how outraged we were after reading our guest E. Henry Schoenberger‘s book – and how his outrage brought him to write it in the first place.

Well, tonight, Henry returns to talk more about “How We Got Swindled by Wall Street Godfathers, Greed & Financial Darwinism – The 30-Year War Against The American Dream“.  We talk about specific individuals and organizations who should be indicted, and how that process would work.

Then, we’re joined by our buddy Bill Conroy of Narco News. Turns out that CBS thinks nothing of using Bill’s investigative work without giving him (or anyone else) credit.

PLUS: Next week, we’ll be broadcasting live from WBAI.  Save the date and call in!

About our guests:

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.

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.

 

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:

CBS News poaches Narco News’ Drug War Coverage

Chapo Guzman’s “Head of security” captured

Operation Wide Receiver records released

Angry former ATF chief blames subordinates

 

Henry’s Guest Essay 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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Any donation of $25 or more automatically makes you a member of WBAI. Members of WBAI are entitled to vote in the WBAI elections. Pacifica bylaws require hardcopy ballots for these elections to be mailed out, thus, we need a mailing address. Thus, for donations that include WBAI membership, Paypal will ask for your mailing address and will pass that along to WBAI. Donations of $20 do not qualify for WBAI membership, so we have configured Paypal not to ask for your mailing address in this case. In either case, as noted above, WBAI never knows your credit card number, or even which credit was used, only Paypal does.

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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Crossing Zero

In light of the now decade-long war in Afghanistan, and the rapid-fire political and societal changes sweeping through the world, it helps to understand how we got here… what forces played a part in setting it up – and continue to exert their influence to this day.

Elizabeth Gould and Paul Fitzgerald have been writing and researching the subject for over 30 years.  Their valuable insight – not just with regard to the situation on the ground, but the political machinations and power players behind the scenes – sheds a sorely-needed light on these subjects.

Tonight, Mike and Mark talk with them about this, propaganda, the media and more.

About the guests:

Gould & Fitzgerald have been involved in the Afghan debate for over thirty years. Their books, Invisible History: Afghanistan’s Untold Story (2009) and Crossing Zero – The AfPak War at the Turning Point of American Empire (2011) have been praised internationally by numerous news, foreign policy and military experts.

Their involvement in Afghanistan began in 1981 when they were the first journalists to gain access through diplomatic channels at the United Nations following the expulsion of 1135 western journalists one month after the Soviet invasion. Contracted to CBS news, they found a stark contrast to the picture that was playing on the evening news. In 1983 they invited Roger Fisher, director of the Harvard Negotiation Project to return with them to assess the chances of getting the Soviets to leave Afghanistan. Contracted to ABC Nightline, Roger was told by the Soviets that they wanted to go home. Nightline skewed the story away from negotiation. Over the years they saw efforts to negotiate a resolution in Afghanistan consistently overruled by forces who always managed to undermine peaceful solutions. Cold War journalism still haunts the Afghan story to this day.

You can read a whole bunch of their brilliant work at their website – http://invisiblehistory.com/

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Favor and Fear

How liberal IS the media? When does the press really fight for the truth? The answers, from someone who has been deep inside mainstream media – are “not” and “rarely”. His latest article, “The NYT’s Favor and Fear” – gives just one glaring example.

Tonight, Mike and Mark speak with Robert Parry about this and much much more. A conversation that covers deep history right up to the present – and gives a sobering look into how politics reaches deeper than just electioneering and rhetoric – but into the intelligence community itself.

About the guest:

Robert Parry broke many of the Iran-Contra stories in the 1980s for the Associated Press and Newsweek. His latest book, Neck Deep: The Disastrous Presidency of George W. Bush, was written with two of his sons, Sam and Nat, and can be ordered at neckdeepbook.com.

His two previous books, Secrecy & Privilege: The Rise of the Bush Dynasty from Watergate to Iraq and Lost History: Contras, Cocaine, the Press & ‘Project Truth’ are also available there.

His investigative journalism website, consortiumnews.com, is an incredibly important resource. Please visit the site, and support them any way you can.

The Consortium News stories we cover tonight:

The NYT’s Favor and Fear

From the archives: Interview with Judge Lawrence Walsh (mp3)

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Intelligence

Tonight, we have an in-depth discussion about intelligence, training and recruitment of intelligence agents – in both analysis and operations – and the crucial subject of human intelligence.

Joining Mike and Mark is Dr. Mark Lowenthal – someone who has not only worked in the intelligence community, but in the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence in the 104th Congress (1995-97).

Dr. Lowenthal is the author of Intelligence: From Secrets to Policy – which details how the intelligence community’s history, structure, procedures, and functions affect policy decisions. With his friendly prose, he demystifies a complicated and complex process. Rich with examples and anecdotes, Intelligence also includes bolded key terms, an acronym list, suggested readings and websites, and a list of major intelligence reviews or proposals.

The fourth edition highlights many crucial recent developments in reforms, ethics, and transnational issues, including:

-the actual implementation of the Director of National Intelligence (DNI) reforms and their successes and strains;
-the ongoing legal, operational, and ethical issues raised by the war against terrorism;
-the growth of transnational issues, such as WMD;
-fresh coverage of analytic standards and analytic transformation;
-more in-depth explanation of geospatial, signal, and human intelligence;
-a new discussion of the lessons of 9/11;
- and, the growing politicization of intelligence in the United States, specifically through the declassified use of National Intelligence Estimates (NIEs).

It’s a fascinating conversation about where we’ve been, where we are and where we’re going.

About the guest:

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.

Links:
A Secret Life” – book referred to by Dr. Lowenthal in the broadcast.

Dr. Lowenthal’s appearances on Charlie Rose

 

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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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Howard Bloom Returns

For those who have heard him previously, either on or off of our airwaves, you know what a powerhouse thinker he is – and tonight’s show just proves the point even more.

Tonight – a rollicking conversation with Howard Bloom about war, intelligence, history and the future of energy.

About the guest:

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.

Continue reading Howard Bloom Returns

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The Genius of the Beast

Howard Bloom returns…

“The first decade of the twenty-first century gave the Western World one skull-cracking slap after another. The Great Crash of 2008, the downing of New York’s World Trade Center, the implosion of major corporations like General Motors, Chrysler, Merrill Lynch, and Citibank, and the growth of China to superpower status–these were wakeup punches. They handed you and me–CEOs, researchers, artists, students, and thinkers–what may be our greatest opportunity and our greatest responsibility since the Great Depression and the Nazis threatened to topple the Western way of life in the 1930s.

Our civilization is under attack. But many of us don’t want to defend it. Why? There’s a void in our sense of meaning. We’ve been told that the “the Western system” is one in which the rich stoke artificial needs to suck money, blood, and spirit from the rest of us. We’ve been told 9 that the barons of industry work overtime to turn us from sensitive humans into consumers–mindless buyers listlessly watching TV while growing obese on the artificial flavors, chemical preservatives, and the cheap sugars of junk food. And some of that is true.

But the problem does not lie in the turbines of the Western way of life–it does not lie in industrialism, capitalism, pluralism, free speech, and democracy. The problem lies in the lens through which we see. Emotional flows have powered our past and will drive our future, too. But we’ve never had the perceptual lens to bring them into view. Capitalism works. It works for reasons that don’t appear in the analyses of Marx or in the statistics of economists. It works clumsily, awkwardly, sometimes brilliantly, and sometimes savagely. The Genius of the Beast: A Radical re-Vision of Capitalism attempts to show you how and why.”

The above is an excerpt from Howard Bloom’s latest book The Genius of the Beast: A Radical Re-Vision of Capitalism Putting Soul In the Machine. Tonight, Howard returns to the show to speak with Mike and Mark about this amazing book.

About the guest:

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.

Continue reading The Genius of the Beast

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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