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Monday Morning Quarterbacking

“Two years ago the FBI focused on a suspect with a far-fetched scheme—right as it stopped tracking the Boston Marathon bomber.”

That’s the subhead of Trevor Aaronson’s latest piece at Mother Jones, entitled How the FBI in Boston May Have Pursued the Wrong “Terrorist”.

You might remember Trevor from our episode “The Terror Factory”, based on Trevor’s book of the same name.

In this episode, we cover a whole new story of informant mishandling, plus other examples of “Incompitude”, and cover a story on how Daimler A.G., the parent company of Mercedes Benz, will have to defend itself in front of the U.S. Supreme Court from allegations that its Argentina division collaborated with state security forces during the Dirty War of the 1970s.

About the guest:

Trevor_AaronsonTrevor Aaronson is author of The Terror Factory: Inside the FBI’s Manufactured War on Terrorism (Ig Publishing, January 2013). He is also co-director of the Florida Center for Investigative Reporting and a senior fellow at the Schuster Institute for Investigative Journalism at Brandeis University.

Aaronson was a 2010-11 fellow at the Investigative Reporting Program at the University of California, Berkeley, where he produced an award-winning project about FBI counterterrorism operations for Mother Jones.

Previously, Aaronson was an investigative reporter and editor for The Commercial Appeal in Memphis, where his stories ranged from local government investigations to reporting in Asia, Africa and South America. He was also formerly a staff writer for Miami New Times and New Times Broward-Palm Beach.

A two-time finalist for the Livingston Awards for journalists under the age of 35, Aaronson has won more than two dozen national and regional awards, including the Molly Prize, the international Data Journalism Award and the John Jay College/Harry Frank Guggenheim Excellence in Criminal Justice Reporting Award.

Related links:

Daimler Supreme Court case

Mike on the Crier Report talking about operation Agent Scrub:

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The Terror Factory

At the end of last year, Project Censored published their yearly top 25 censored stories list.

Well, Number 4 caught our eye pretty fast:

4. FBI Agents Responsible for Majority of Terrorist Plots in the United States

The Federal Bureau of Investigation has embarked on an unusual approach to ensure that the United States is secure from future terrorist attacks. The agency has developed a network of nearly 15,000 spies to infiltrate various communities in an attempt to uncover terrorist plots. However, these moles are actually assisting and encouraging people to commit crimes. Many informants receive cash rewards of up to $100,000 per case.”

The main Mother Jones article they cited was the work of Trevor Aaronson – whose subsequent book “The Terror Factory” nails the whole story.

Longtime listeners know that this has been one of our pet peeves forever – the financial and societal cost of mishandling informants.

Back in August of 2010, our “Stage Managing the War on Terror” episode with Stephan Salisbury covered some of the same cases we talk about tonight.

So we were only too pleased when Trevor agreed to have a talk with us about the subject.

About the guest:

Trevor_AaronsonTrevor Aaronson is author of The Terror Factory: Inside the FBI’s Manufactured War on Terrorism (Ig Publishing, January 2013). He is also co-director of the Florida Center for Investigative Reporting and a senior fellow at the Schuster Institute for Investigative Journalism at Brandeis University.

Aaronson was a 2010-11 fellow at the Investigative Reporting Program at the University of California, Berkeley, where he produced an award-winning project about FBI counterterrorism operations for Mother Jones.

Previously, Aaronson was an investigative reporter and editor for The Commercial Appeal in Memphis, where his stories ranged from local government investigations to reporting in Asia, Africa and South America. He was also formerly a staff writer for Miami New Times and New Times Broward-Palm Beach.

A two-time finalist for the Livingston Awards for journalists under the age of 35, Aaronson has won more than two dozen national and regional awards, including the Molly Prize, the international Data Journalism Award and the John Jay College/Harry Frank Guggenheim Excellence in Criminal Justice Reporting Award.

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

Below: A superinformant at work.

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The more things (don’t) change….

On the anniversary of 9/11, we cover a variety of stories, and get a visit from Henry Schoenberger to talk about the possible impending failure of the investigation / prosecution of the Wall Street debacle.

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.

Site links:

The NYPD’s Far-Flung Empire

Too Big to Jail

Five Major Banks consistently hindered Mortgage Investigation

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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The Mexican Diplomat, Stratfor and Wikileaks part two.

On the heels of our last show with Narco News’ Bill Conroy about revelations that came to light through a Wikileaks document dump,  Bill has released another piece detailing alleged collusion between the U.S. & Mexican Governments and Mexican drug cartels.

This week, Mike and Mark talk with Bill about the latest story, and do a fair amount of ranting all on their own.

Bill’s latest story:
US, Mexican Officials Brokering Deals with Drug “Cartels,” WikiLeaks Documents Show
Revelation Exposed in Email Correspondence Between
Private Intelligence Firm and Mexican Diplomat

The New Yorker article “Throwaways” that Mike referenced.

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.

 

 

Extra news – Mike’s legendary book The Big White Lie is now available in e-book format.

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The Mexican Diplomat, Stratfor and Wikileaks

In our ever-vigilant effort to point out what the hell is going on, your Expert Witness SWAT team of truth focuses on the latest noble effort from Narco News’ Bill Conroy:

Mexican Diplomat Traded Secrets with Private Intel Firm Stratfor, WikiLeaks Documents Reveal

Exchange of Sensitive Information Focused on the US/Mexican Operations in the Drug War

Tonight, Mike, Mark and Bill talk about the latest news from Narco News – and further confirm, for the umpteenth time, how no one really wants to get to the bottom of Fast and Furious – no matter how much they pontificate.

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.

 

 

Extra news – Mike’s legendary book The Big White Lie is now available in e-book format.

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Fast and Furious – the Fortune article and more

If you’ve been listening to the EWRS for any length of time, you know how we’ve been riding the “Fast and Furious” case.

Katherine Eban has penned an investigative piece for Fortune magazine – “The truth about the Fast and Furious scandal” that for some, seems to turn the whole story on it’s head. Or does it? Well, we get into that, big time.  Listen to the story – read the documentation we’ve got here, and let us know what YOU think.

IMPORTANT NOTE:  WBAI – our mother station, where the EWRS originated and broadcasts from, is in fundraising mode and needs your support.  PLEASE go to wbai.org and make a donation.

Documentation:

The truth about the Fast and Furious scandal

Eban followup on gun dealers:

http://finance.fortune.cnn.com/2012/07/03/fast-and-furious-follow-up-the-atf-and-gun-stores/

Outgunned – minority staff report – Committee on Oversight and Government Reform

Voth lawyer letter

Newell Lawyer letter

2009-10-27-Newell Email DOJ Cartel Strategy

2010-01-08 Briefing paper redacted

GAO – FIREARMS TRAFFICKING U.S. Efforts to Combat Arms Trafficking to Mexico Face Planning and Coordination Challenges

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.

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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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Whitey Bulger & UFOs

Tonight, we cover the latest in the Whitey Bulger Story with T.J. English and Richard Stratton – plus, we get the lowdown from Leslie Kean on a startling UFO event – caught on camera by multiple people in multiple locations.

We’ll give you the show links first this week, as there’s a LOT of guest information:

Whitey’s girlfriend pleads: http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2012/03/15/whitey-bulger-s-girlfriend-avoids-trial-with-guilty-plea-angers-his-victims.html

FBI Sting: http://www.lvrj.com/news/fbi-stung-after-sting-involving-corrupt-foreign-practices-140838393.html

Amazing UFO video: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/leslie-kean/the-extraordinary-ufo-sig_b_1342585.html

About the guests:

Thomas Joseph “T.J.” English comes from a large Irish Catholic family of ten brothers and sisters. Early in his writing career, English worked as a freelance journalist in New York City during the day and drove a taxi at night. He often refers to cab driving as a metaphor for what he does as a writer – cruising the streets, interviewing strangers, exploring the unknown, reporting on what he sees and hears from his sojourns in and around the underworld.

In 1990, English published his first book, The Westies, an account of the last of the Irish Mob in the infamous Manhattan neighborhood known as “Hell’s Kitchen.” The book was the result of a series of reports English wrote for a weekly Irish American newspaper based in New York…
His second book, Born to Kill (1995), was an unprecedented inside account of a violent Vietnamese gang based in New York’s Chinatown, that operated up and down the East Coast. In 2005, English published Paddy Whacked, a sweeping history of the Irish American gangster in New York, Chicago, Boston, New Orleans, and other U.S. cities. Most recently, English published Havana Nocturne (2008), an investigative account of U.S. mobster infiltration of Havana, Cuba, in the years before the Revolution swept Fidel Castro into power.

As a journalist, English has written for many magazines and newspapers including: Esquire, Playboy, Irish America, The Village Voice, The Los Angeles Times, and The New York Times…

In the mid-1990s, he wrote a three-part series for Playboy entitled “The New Mob” that explored the changing face of organized crime in America. His work as a writer has taken him to Cuba, Jamaica, Hong Kong, Mexico, Ireland, and all around the U.S… Most of his articles are on the subject of crime and criminal justice, though English writes on a wide variety of subjects including music, politics, and movies. He has published full-length interviews with Chicago mayor Richard J. Daley, actor Bill Murray, director Martin Scorsese, and comedy legend George Carlin, to name a few.

In addition, English is a screenwriter and has penned episodes for the television crime dramas “NYPD Blue” and “Homicide,” for which he was awarded the prestigious Humanitas Prize.

His new book, THE SAVAGE CITY – Race, Murder, and a Generation on the Edge, is out Now.

He lives in New York City.

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.

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.

Kean was a producer for the 2009 independent documentary I Know What I Saw and is currently working with Break Thru Films, an award-winning film company, on a new feature documentary. She and her coalition have launched an ongoing initiative to affect US government policy so that scientists and aviation authorities can gain greater understanding of the still-unexplained UFO phenomenon.

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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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More Fast and Furious / Did Cele Call it?

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. What we increasingly run into is the fact that, no matter who’s in office, the same kind of boneheaded policies stay in place – that result in death and mayhem. Why?

Iran/Contra-Era Whistleblower Cele Castillo Alleged in 2008 That Federal Agents Were Helping to Smuggle Guns into Mexico

Cele Castillo, a former DEA agent who blew the whistle on the CIA-backed arms-for-drugs trade used to prop up the 1980s Contra counter-insurgency in Nicaragua, is now sitting in a federal prison for what may well be another act of whistleblowing in this century.

Plus: The criminal case of accused Sinaloa drug organization leader Jesus Vicente Zambada Niebla is straying even further into the path of a cover-up under the guise of national security, if pleadings filed by his attorneys are to be believed.

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/2011/11/was-former-dea-agent-jailed-exposing-atf-arms-trafficking

http://narcosphere.narconews.com/notebook/bill-conroy/2011/11/us-prosecutors-seeking-prevent-dirty-secrets-drug-war-surfacing-cartel-

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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