Scott Horton Interviews Kenneth Ballen

Scott Horton, June 11, 2009

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Kenneth Ballen, president of the non-profit Terror Free Tomorrow: The Center for Public Opinion, discusses the polling results of the Iranian public that show a large majority of Iranians have favorable opinions of Jews and Christians and want a more democratic society.

MP3 here. (13:09)

Ken Ballen has spent more than 20 years on the frontlines in law enforcement, international relations, intelligence oversight and congressional investigations. As a federal prosecutor, Ken successfully prosecuted international terrorists. Ken also prosecuted major figures in organized crime, international narcotics and one of the first cases in the United States involving illegal financing for Middle Eastern terrorists. Ken served as Counsel to the House Iran-Contra Committee under Chairman Lee Hamilton, where he was a lead investigator responsible for questioning key witnesses during the nationally televised hearings. Among other assignments on Capitol Hill, Ken also served as Chief Counsel to a bi-partisan Senate special investigative committee with Senator John McCain and as Chief Counsel to the House Steering and Policy Committee, where he directed policy initiatives on crime prevention and security, intelligence oversight and select national security matters for the U.S. House of Representatives. Ken received his J.D. with honors in 1980 from Columbia Law School, where he was an Editor of the Columbia Law Review. He is also an honors graduate of The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, obtaining a M.A. in International Affairs. He received his B.A. summa cum laude from Tufts University in 1977

10 Responses to “Kenneth Ballen”

  1. Having known quite a few Iranians it seems to me that many think of themselves as being as much a part of the 'west' as part of the 'east'. They pride themselves on their Indo-European culture and language and have some disdain for their immediate neighbors.

    In spite of the appalling treatment Iran has received at the hands of the west, the pro-western sympathies are still strong. The slightest concession from the Bush administration in late 2001/early 2002 might have set in motion a profound change of the politics of Iran and seriously challenged the hold of the religious loonies.

    Of course that other religious loony, George W. Bush and his crew of criminal incompetents completely mishandled the situation with their 'axis of evil' poppycock. (Surprise, surprise.) Yet another opportunity flushed down the toilet of history. Yet another reason to loathe them until kingdom come.

  2. Iran is a blossoming democracy, that is why the US hates them, as Kaveh L Afrasiabi establishes:

    http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Middle_East/KF11Ak02.html

    "Rhetoric aside, the Barack Obama administration has shown a great deal of continuity with the George W Bush administration, by pursuing, in part via its Iran point man, Dennis Ross, the diplomatic track of bifurcating the region into "moderate" and "radical" camps. The former includes Saudi Arabia, Jordan and Egypt, with Iran, Syria, Hamas in Palestine and Lebanon's Hezbollah in the other camp.

    The election for the 10th president of Islamic Republic exposes the hypocrisy and double standards of putting the considerably more democratic Iran below authoritarian Arab monarchies, as there is nothing "moderate" about the repression of women or Shi'ite minorities in Saudi Arabia, no matter how Washington spins it.

    More than the nuclear issue, what the conservative oil sheikdoms in the Persian Gulf fear is Iran's brand of Islamist democracy that has mobilized masses of Iranians. The long-demobilized and politically docile populations in the countries of the Gulf Cooperation Council (Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates) could use Iran as a reference society and question the legitimacy of their archaic and tribal political systems that are perpetuated by the US for the sake of geo-economic and geostrategic interests."

  3. My wife grew up in the Shah's Iran. The Shah allowed a lot of western influence. There are lots of people in Iran who would like to return to that relative freedom they had back then. Hopefully, Obama will bring about better relations between the US and Iran and my Iranian wife and I can go back there for a visit.

    I feel the current regime in Israel, not Iran, poses the greatest threat against peace in the middle east. I think Obama should threaten to withhold the 3-1/2 billion dollars we give Israel every year if they do a preemptive stike on Iran. Iran is justified under the Nonproliferation Treaty to develop nuclear energy for domestic use. Even if Iran did develop a nuclear weapon, it would be for the purpose of a deterrance against Israel and the US. I doubt that no matter how fanatical the mullahs and Ahmadinejad might be, I doubt they would be stupid enough to use nukes against country when they know that Israel and the US could obliterate their country in retaliation.

  4. Herb, there is NOTHING stopping you from visiting Iran. Hang on a 'sec….yup: I can book flight TONIGHT to Dubai, and from there to Tehran. No problem.

    You say:

    "The Shah allowed a lot of western influence"

    Like that was a GOOD thing?!

    I seem to recall that the Shah's secret police were second ONLY to the MOSSAD for DEPRAVITY. Oh yeah: they were TRAINED by the fucking MOSSAD! How could i forget?

    I also seem to recall several TONS of GOLD adorning the Shah's HOLY toilets while most Persians were eking out an existence as serfs of US-UK oil companies or desperately traversing the Caspian to supply the multi-billionaire Z-ionist cocksuckers with tons of caviar and KIDNAPPED Iranian women moving through Israhell and "Kosovo". Mostly KIDNAPPED and SOLD.

    Nice little system you got there…so, tell us, how much did your Iranian "wife" cost you? I'm guessing a little less than the KIDNAPPED Eastern European girls currently being transacted through your stooge states of "Kosovo" and that vile fucking godless state Georgia? – all of witch is being orchestrated out of ISRAHELL.

    You people will have to face the music one day. I wonder, will you be heroes like the Arabs? Or will you be simpering fucking cockroaches that i know you to be?

  5. Wasn't the Islamic Revolution blowback against the corruption of the Shah?

  6. Kenneth Ballen's research shows that Iranians, by and large, are favorably disposed toward Americans, Christians, and Jews. They want peaceful relations with the United States.

    A laudable goal.

    The Iranians dislike and/or distrust Israel, and that's understandable. The warmongering regime in Tel Aviv wants to attack Iran, after all. And, no doubt, Iranians distrust the U.S. Government because of its slavish support for Israel.

  7. Whoa, Duncan! I'm not a supporter of the Pahlavi regime. I only pointed out that that regime was more pro-Western than the current regime. Marina is right in pointing out that the current regime is backlash against the US puppet regime of the Shah. The Dulles brothers were wrong to overthrow the democratically elected Mossadeg government and install the corrupt dictator Shah.

  8. I apologize Herb. Sometimes I get carried away with my hatred for the Imperium that it is transfered to unintended recipients.

    Lo ciento

  9. Duncan chill out man… you don't have to be such an ass. In fact, you just make people pay less attention to the important points you make by discrediting yourself with your behavior, unless that is what you want to do.

  10. [...] West, more freedom, but Ahmadinejad was well ahead in their polls. Mr. Ballen was on AntiWar Radio last week before the election and the co-author of this article, Patrick Doherty was on Wednesday to discuss [...]

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