Philip Giraldi

[audio:http://dissentradio.com/radio/11_01_28_kpfk_giraldi.mp3]

This interview is excerpted from the KPFK 90.7 FM Los Angeles broadcast of January 28th. The original is available here.

Former CIA officer Philip Giraldi discusses the beginning of the end of Hosni Mubarak’s rule in Egypt; the uncertain political roles of Mohamed El Baradei and the Muslim Brotherhood; mixed messages from the US government (which must balance lip service for “democracy” with an Israel-centric foreign policy); how the large, disaffected youth populations in many Arab countries energize revolutionary movements; Obama’s fanciful SOTU speech that wildly diverged from reality; the CIA-Egypt partnership in “extraordinary renditions” that dates back to the 1980s, at least; and how commodity price increases have the potential to foment popular unrest in Western countries.

MP3 here. (30:11)

Philip Giraldi, a former CIA officer, is a contributing editor to The American Conservative and executive director of the Council for the National Interest. He writes regularly for Antiwar.com.

Jason Ditz

[audio:http://dissentradio.com/radio/11_01_21_kpfk_ditz.mp3]

This interview is excerpted from the KPFK 90.7 FM Los Angeles broadcast of January 21st. The original is available here.

Jason Ditz, managing news editor at Antiwar.com, discusses the ongoing developments in the Tunisia revolution; the nervous Middle East/N. African dictators of US client states who fear they could be toppled next; the State Department group-think revealed in the WikiLeaks diplomatic cables; the low-enriched uranium swap proposal that will leave Iran up to its eyeballs in medical isotopes; Bradley Manning’s mistreatment in the Quantico marine brig and the MLK day protests on his behalf; large scale bombings in Iraq that may indicate a revitalized Sunni insurgency; and the goings-on in Lebanon, where a successful coalition would allow Hezbollah to form a government.

MP3 here. (25:55)

Jason Ditz is the managing news editor at Antiwar.com.

The Other Scott Horton

[audio:http://dissentradio.com/radio/11_01_21_horton.mp3]

The Other Scott Horton (no relation), international human rights lawyer, professor and contributing editor at Harper’s magazine, discusses the one year anniversary of Obama’s broken promise to close Guantanamo; the politicization of terrorism prosecutions, normally the purview of professional prosecutors and not Congress; authorization in the Army Field Manual Appendix M for subjecting prisoners to long-term sensory deprivation; recent court rulings that grant high government officials immunity from prosecution, even for torture, much to the relief of Donald Rumsfeld; how the Gulet Mohamed case casts doubt on the end of “torture by proxy” under Obama; and why the AUMF catchall justification is applicable in the Afghanistan/Pakistan border region but not in Yemen or Somalia.

MP3 here. (25:54)

The other Scott Horton is a Contributing Editor for Harper’s magazine where he writes the No Comment blog. A New York attorney known for his work in emerging markets and international law, especially human rights law and the law of armed conflict, Horton lectures at Columbia Law School. A life-long human rights advocate, Scott served as counsel to Andrei Sakharov and Elena Bonner, among other activists in the former Soviet Union.

He is a co-founder of the American University in Central Asia, and has been involved in some of the most significant foreign investment projects in the Central Eurasian region. Scott recently led a number of studies of abuse issues associated with the conduct of the war on terror for the New York City Bar Association, where he has chaired several committees, including, most recently, the Committee on International Law. He is also a member of the board of the National Institute of Military Justice, the Andrei Sakharov Foundation, the EurasiaGroup and the American Branch of the International Law Association.

Pardiss Kebriaei

[audio:http://dissentradio.com/radio/11_01_21_kebriaei.mp3]

Pardiss Kebriaei, staff attorney at the Center for Constitutional Rights, discusses the revived Military Commissions and Obama’s broken promise about closing Guantanamo; the broken system of checks and balances in government, in favor of the Executive; the dismissal of the lawsuit challenging Anwar al-Awlaki’s targeted assassination, giving Obama the power to kill US citizens without review, oversight or challenge; the scores of “worst of the worst” Guantanamo prisoners who turned out to be innocent; and how the US government picks and chooses which laws of war are applicable, and which aren’t (remarkably, the conclusions favor US government positions).

MP3 here. (21:33)

Pardiss Kebriaei joined the Guantánamo Global Justice Initiative at the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) in July 2007. She provides direct representation to several of CCR’s clients at Guantánamo and helps coordinate CCR’s network of hundreds of pro bono counsel representing other prisoners. She also focuses on using international human rights mechanisms to bring international pressure to bear on the U.S. government and hold other governments accountable for their role in the violations at Guantánamo.

Pardiss came to CCR after five years at the Center for Reproductive Rights, where she specialized in international litigation, working within the Inter-American, European and UN human rights systems, and in foreign jurisdictions including the Philippines, India, Nepal, Thailand, and Colombia.

She has also worked with Global Rights in Morocco and as an adjunct professor at Hunter College in New York, where she taught courses on international human rights and women’s rights. She is a graduate of the University of  Pennsylvania Law School and has degrees in Middle Eastern studies and cello performance from Northwestern University. She speaks Farsi, Dari and French.

Michael Boldin

[audio:http://dissentradio.com/radio/11_01_21_boldin.mp3]

Michael Boldin, founder of the Tenth Amendment Center, discusses Thomas Jefferson’s suggested response to government run amok: nullification; why a compromise agreement on raising the US debt ceiling will mean the current Republican resurgence has already fizzled out; the persistence of state medical marijuana laws despite federal government outrage and unfavorable SCOTUS rulings; why those trying to effect change within government should stick to the local and state levels; the misuse of national guard troops for foreign occupations; and provocative new state gun laws meant to skirt federal regulations and instigate a Supreme Court showdown.

MP3 here. (21:33)

Michael Boldin is the founder and executive director of the Tenth Amendment Center. Michael has a full schedule working as senior editor of the Center’s website, writes a regular column, fields media interviews, and travels the country (when invited, of course) to speak to crowds about sticking to the Constitution – every issue, every time, no exceptions, no excuses.

Muhammad Sahimi

[audio:http://dissentradio.com/radio/11_01_20_sahimi.mp3]

Muhammad Sahimi, Professor of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science at the University of Southern California, discusses the power struggle between Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and Supreme Leader Khamenei in Iran; how Ahmadinejad’s appointment of a well-regarded moderate foreign minister could help achieve a compromise with the US on a low-enriched uranium swap deal and Iran’s nuclear enrichment program in general, as well as easing the sanctions that are crippling Iran’s economy; Hillary Clinton’s less-hawkish rhetoric on Iran’s civilian nuclear program; a tally of damage done to Iran’s centrifuges from the Stuxnet computer virus and the potential for a Chernobyl-scale event at the Bushehr reactor; and a brief reminder that industrial sabotage is generally considered a crime (but don’t hold your breath on anyone in the supposed joint US/Israel operation going to jail).

MP3 here. (26:53)

Dr. Muhammad Sahimi is a political columnist for Tehran Bureau. He is a professor of chemical engineering and materials science, and the NIOC Chair in petroleum engineering at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles. In addition to his scientific research, which has resulted in four books and nearly 300 published papers, he has been writing about Iran’s nuclear program and its internal developments for many years.

His articles have appeared in the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, the International Herald Tribune, the Wall Street Journal, Harvard International Review, the Progressive, Antiwar.com and Huffington Post. Muhammad has been a member of the Union of Concerned Scientists since 1986, and a contributor to its Partners for Earth program.

Philip Weiss

[audio:http://dissentradio.com/radio/11_01_20_weiss.mp3]

Philip Weiss, investigative journalist and author of the blog MondoWeiss, discusses the mounting pressure on the US to refrain from vetoing a UN resolution critical of Israel’s illegal settlements (even J Street is on board); the glaring omission of George Mitchell from Obama’s new Mideast task force, which is full of establishment hacks and pro-Israel pundits; the continuing pretense that equal concessions must be made in a two-state solution, ignoring the reality of occupation and the vastly unequal parties involved; evidence that the US has lost all credibility as an “honest broker” as a rash of countries independently recognize the Palestinian state; how Noam Chomsky underestimates (or understates) the influence of the Israel lobby; and why a one-state solution is the only reasonable settlement, even though the subject remains verboten in polite society.

MP3 here. (18:05)

Philip Weiss is an investigative journalist who has written for The Nation, New York Times Magazine, The American Conservative, Jewish World Review and other publications. He is the author of American Taboo: A Murder in the Peace Corps.

Nick Baumann

[audio:http://dissentradio.com/radio/11_01_19_baumann.mp3]

Nick Baumann, assistant editor at Mother Jones, discusses the favorable court proceedings on behalf of Gulet Mohamed, a teenage US citizen detained and mistreated in Kuwait for a month, that may have him headed home soon; the clear Constitutional and legal precedents that prevents the government from banishing a US citizen (in Mohamed’s case, by placing him on the no-fly list, knowing Kuwaiti law demands deportation by a direct flight); FBI interrogators who won’t take “no” for an answer, and who lie about not being bound by US law while in other countries; the proxy detentions of Muslim American citizens, similar to the extraordinary renditions during the Bush administration; and Anwar al-Awlaki’s sentence in absentia in Yemen on a strange incitement to murder charge unrelated to terrorism.

MP3 here. (19:17)

Nick Baumann is an assistant editor at Mother Jones based in their DC bureau, where he covers national politics. Nick’s writing has also appeared in The Economist, The Washington Monthly, and Commonweal.

Greg Mitchell

[audio:http://dissentradio.com/radio/11_01_19_mitchell.mp3]

Greg Mitchell, author of the Media Fix blog for TheNation.com, discusses why all those people claiming WikiLeaks never released anything noteworthy, need to actually read the cables, or at least follow Greg on Twitter or at TheNation.com, where he has 53 consecutive days of noteworthy WikiLeaks updates; how the mainstream media’s disinterest in WikiLeaks is compensated for by region-specific media outlets reporting on significant local events (the revelations of Tunisia’s government corruption, for example); and the “cherry-picking” style of journalism, for good or evil.

MP3 here. (19:57)

Greg Mitchell was the longtime editor of Editor & Publisher. He now writes the Media Fix blog for TheNation.com and maintains a Twitter feed. He is the author of Hiroshima in America, So Wrong for So Long: How the Press, the Pundits–and the President–Failed on Iraq and Why Obama Won: The Making of a President 2008.

Gareth Porter

[audio:http://dissentradio.com/radio/11_01_19_porter.mp3]

Gareth Porter, independent historian and journalist for IPS News, discusses Ike Eisenhower’s extraordinary (but too little too late) farewell address; how the overblown Soviet threat and missile gap hoax scared Americans enough to boost the bottom line of defense contractors; how the unlimited supply of government money corrupts otherwise solid businesses that are forced to compete with insiders and cheats; how the perquisites of government/military employment, though relatively harmless in isolation, drive the entire “permanent war state;” revelations that the British mission in Afghanistan was simply to “give the Army something to do;” and the three choices for fighting back against state militarism: abolish government, protest for change, or expatriate.

MP3 here. (33:06)

Gareth Porter is an independent historian and journalist. He is the author of Perils of Dominance: Imbalance of Power and the Road to War in Vietnam. His articles appear on Counterpunch, Huffington Post, Inter Press Service News Agency and Antiwar.com.

Jason Ditz

[audio:http://dissentradio.com/radio/11_01_18_ditz.mp3]

Jason Ditz, managing news editor at Antiwar.com, discusses Ehud Barak’s decision to abandon the sinking ship that is Israel’s Labor party; the departure of IDF chief Gabi Ashkenazi, one of the few Israeli government officials to oppose an Iran offensive; why the West may be completely wrong about Mahmoud Ahmadinejad; and the prosecution of former CIA officer Jeffrey Alexander Sterling for telling James Risen that the CIA gave Iran nuclear blueprints.

MP3 here. (19:55)

Jason Ditz is the managing news editor at Antiwar.com.

Will Grigg

[audio:http://dissentradio.com/radio/11_01_17_grigg.mp3]

Will Grigg, blogger and author of Liberty in Eclipse, discusses how little has changed since 1967 when MLK referred to the US government as “the greatest purveyor of violence in the world today;” the incongruence of the US government’s taken-for-granted massive and arbitrary use of violence abroad and the official uproar over the relatively few casualties in the Tucson shootings; conflating “anti-government” speech (aka First Amendment protected dissent) with incitement to violence; and Rep. Peter King’s past support of the IRA and his planned Congressional inquiry witch-hunt for the “Muslim threat” in America.

MP3 here. (18:26)

Will Grigg writes the blog Pro Libertate and is the author of Liberty in Eclipse. Archives of his Pro Libertate Radio show on the Liberty News Radio Network can be found here.

John V. Walsh

[audio:http://dissentradio.com/radio/11_01_17_walsh.mp3]

John V. Walsh, frequent contributor to Counterpunch.org, discusses the Left’s outrage about Sarah Palin’s virtual cross hairs (in the wake of the Tucson shootings) and near-silence about the real cross hairs of helicopter gunships and Predator drones killing civilians overseas; the American reverence of government officials, especially in death, and the popular belief in the righteousness of state-sanctioned murder; the spectacle of Obama being cheered like a rock star while delivering his eulogy in Tucson; and the collection of antiwar writing from across the political spectrum in the book ComeHomeAmerica.

MP3 here. (18:13)

John V. Walsh is a scientist who lives in Cambridge, Mass. He is a frequent contributor to CounterPunch.org and Antiwar.com.

Patrick Cockburn

[audio:http://dissentradio.com/radio/11_01_14_kpfk_cockburn.mp3]

This interview is from the KPFK 90.7 FM Los Angeles broadcast on January 14th. The original program is here.

Patrick Cockburn, Middle East correspondent for The Independent, discusses how Muqtada al-Sadr’s return to Iraq has changed the political landscape and made a full US withdrawal by year’s end more likely; how otherwise-nationalist Iraqis use foreign allies as leverage against domestic sectarian/religious rivals; why the Pentagon seems to have drunk its own surge narrative Kool-Aid (in expecting the Iraq occupation to continue indefinitely); why the April Glaspie memo can’t be construed as a green light for invasion, because nobody expected Saddam Hussein to do it; how George H.W. Bush’s failure to support the 1991 Shiite uprising showed a US preference for an enduring, but weakened, Hussein led government, and an understanding that a Shia win would benefit Iran; how plain “stupidity” explains George W. Bush’s policy shift to depose Hussein and occupy the country; and how Iraq’s crippling problems are reflected by the millions of refugees who still refuse to return home.

MP3 here. (28:51)

Patrick Cockburn was awarded the 2009 Orwell Prize for political writing in British journalism. He is the Middle East correspondent for The Independent and a frequent contributor to CounterPunch.org. Cockburn is the author of The Occupation: War, Resistance and Daily Life in Iraq and Muqtada Al-Sadr and the Battle for the Future of Iraq.

Anand Gopal

[audio:http://dissentradio.com/radio/11_01_14_gopal.mp3]

Independent journalist Anand Gopal discusses why counterinsurgency strategy works better in theory than in practice; the short term PR victories in Afghanistan that create long term problems; the only two policy choices deemed worthy of popular consideration: continue the Afghan War forever, or scale down to night raids while moving into Pakistan; how the “denying al-Qaeda sanctuary” justification for US military deployments ignores the real reasons the 9/11 attacks succeeded; why the Taliban’s Iranian-sourced weapons are more likely from black market deals than the Iranian government; and how the India-Pakistan rivalry ensures a continued stalemate in Afghanistan.

MP3 here. (21:52)

Anand Gopal has covered Afghanistan for the Wall Street Journal, The Christian Science Monitor and a number of other outlets. His dispatches can be read at AnandGopal.com.

Jack Hunter

[audio:http://dissentradio.com/radio/11_01_14_hunter.mp3]

Jack Hunter, talk radio host and newspaper columnist, discusses the cycle of hypocrisy, Left and Right, that turns skeptics to statists whenever their party occupies the White House; why conservatives like Grover Norquist, despite his hypocrisy, should be applauded for questioning the Afghan War; so-called political “moderates” who are in fact the most fervent warmongering radicals; and why foreign policy isn’t at all a fringe issue, but the definitive political litmus test that excludes people like Ron Paul from his own party’s convention and makes soul-mates of warmongers of both parties.

MP3 here. (18:03)

Jack Hunter, a.k.a. the “Southern Avenger“, is a conservative commentator (WTMA 1250 AM talk radio) and columnist (Charleston City Paper) living in Charleston, South Carolina. Check out his YouTube channel.

Rep. Walter Jones

[audio:http://dissentradio.com/radio/11_01_14_jones.mp3]

Rep. Walter Jones, eight term Congressman from North Carolina, discusses why he regrets his initial support for the “unnecessary” Iraq War; the high cost we pay in blood and treasure for continuing the boondoggle in Afghanistan; why a super-debtor nation like the US can’t afford to continue policing the world; how a visit to Walter Reed to see the war wounded can change one’s opinion on US foreign policy; and the small-but-growing Congressional Republican opposition to the Afghanistan War.

MP3 here. (20:03)

Walter Jones was first sworn in to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1995, after serving 10 years as an elected member of the North Carolina General Assembly. Currently serving his 8th term in Congress, Congressman Jones is a member of the House Committees on Armed Services and Financial Services.

Coleen Rowley

[audio:http://dissentradio.com/radio/11_01_13_rowley.mp3]

Coleen Rowley, retired FBI agent and 9/11 whistleblower, discusses the recent COINTELPRO-style government infiltration of a peaceful activist group; planned MLK day protests at FBI Washington headquarters and Quantico Marine base in support of Bradley Manning; how the government’s overreaction to WikiLeaks has led to a culture of paranoia, including a memo warning of “insider threats” and suspiciously grumpy employees; how the expansive national security state sacrifices our civil liberties while justifying its bureaucratic existence; and why Manning’s detainment conditions are excessively severe, especially for a nonviolent man who hasn’t been convicted of anything.

MP3 here. (28:44)

Coleen Rowley grew up in a small town in northeast Iowa. She obtained a B.A. degree in French from Wartburg College in Waverly, Iowa and then attended the College of Law at the University of Iowa. She graduated with honors in 1980 and passed the Iowa Bar Exam that summer.

In January of 1981, Ms. Rowley was appointed as a Special Agent with the FBI and initially served in the Omaha, Nebraska and Jackson, Mississippi Divisions. In 1984, she was assigned to the New York Office and for over six years worked on Italian-organized crime and Sicilian heroin drug investigations. During this time, Ms. Rowley also served three separate temporary duty assignments in the Paris, France Embassy and Montreal Consulate.

In 1990, Ms. Rowley was transferred to Minneapolis where she assumed the duties of Chief Division Counsel, which entailed oversight of the Freedom of Information, Forfeiture, Victim-Witness and Community Outreach Programs as well as providing regular legal and ethics training to FBI Agents of the Division and additional outside police training.

In May of 2002, Ms. Rowley brought several of the pre 9/11 lapses to light and testified to the Senate Judiciary Committee on some of the endemic problems facing the FBI and the intelligence community. Ms. Rowley’s memo to FBI Director Robert Mueller in connection with the Joint Intelligence Committee’s Inquiry led to a two-year-long Department of Justice Inspector General investigation. She was one of three whistleblowers chosen as Person of the Year by TIME magazine.

In April 2003, following an unsuccessful and highly criticized attempt to warn the Director and other administration officials about the dangers of launching the invasion of Iraq, Ms. Rowley stepped down from her (GS-14) legal position to resume her position as a (GS-13) FBI Special Agent. She retired from the FBI at the end of 2004 and now speaks publicly to various groups, ranging from school children to business/professional/civic groups, on two different topics: ethical decision-making and “balancing civil liberties with the need for effective investigation.”

Ms. Rowley authored a chapter in a book published in 2004 by the Milton Eisenhower Foundation entitled, Patriotism, Democracy and Common Sense: Restoring America’s Promise at Home and Abroad. She is also now an avid blogger on the Huffington Post.

William Hartung

[audio:http://dissentradio.com/radio/11_01_13_hartung.mp3]

William Hartung, Director of the Arms and Security Initiative at the New America Foundation, discusses Lockheed Martin‘s close ties to leading neoconservatives and considerable contribution to US militarism; its domestic expansion into TSA agent training and contract work for the IRS, Postal Service, Census Bureau and FBI; Lockheed’s work on the controversial TIA and TALON domestic intelligence gathering programs – going far beyond the role of a typical defense contractor into a big-brother domestic role; its extensive global forays in diplomatic and even peacekeeping missions that has effectively wrought a company-specific foreign policy; the many bought and paid for Washington politicians, including Buck McKeon and Dan Inouye, in Lockheed’s pocket; and how watchdog groups like Project on Government Oversight are working to expose corruption and conflicts of interest.

MP3 here. (19:19)

William D. Hartung is Director of the Arms and Security Initiative at the New America Foundation and the author of Prophets of War: Lockheed Martin and the Making of the Military-Industrial Complex. His recent Tomdispatch article is “Is Lockheed Martin Shadowing You? How a Giant Weapons Maker Became the New Big Brother.”

Nick Turse

[audio:http://dissentradio.com/radio/11_01_12_turse.mp3]

Nick Turse, author of The Complex: How the Military Invades Our Everyday Lives and editor of The Case for Withdrawal from Afghanistan, discusses his research that shows the Pentagon has over 1000 foreign bases – taking care to exclude the golf courses, resort hotels and family housing from the final count; the 88 bases (at least) remaining in Iraq that comprise lots of facts on the ground impeding the SOFA-agreed 2011 “for real” withdrawal deadline; inferring the presence of secret bases from discrepancies between troop deployments and the Pentagon’s official list of bases; and how Africa’s recent colonial history makes it difficult to headquarter AFRICOM on the continent.

MP3 here. (21:50)

Nick Turse is an historian, journalist, essayist and the associate editor and research director of the Nation Institute’s Tomdispatch.com. He is the editor of The Case for Withdrawal From Afghanistan and author of The Complex: How the Military Invades Our Everyday Lives. He has written for a wide variety of publications on subjects ranging from street art to war crimes.

Jason Ditz

[audio:http://dissentradio.com/radio/11_01_12_ditz.mp3]

Jason Ditz, managing news editor at Antiwar.com, discusses how Joe Biden was caught talking out both sides of his mouth on the 2014 Afghanistan withdrawal date; how Gen Petraeus is now claiming progress in small and lesser-known Afghan cities after poor performances in Kandahar and Marjah; polls that show a record percentage of Americans dislike the Afghan War (not that it matters); and why Benjamin Netanyahu is displeased at the (relative) infrequency of US military threats against Iran.

MP3 here. (19:38)

Jason Ditz is the managing news editor at Antiwar.com.

Cynthia Wachtell

[audio:http://dissentradio.com/radio/11_01_11_wachtell.mp3]

Cynthia Wachtell, author of War No More: the Antiwar Impulse in American Literature 1861-1914, discusses how Romantic literature, which tended to sanitize and idealize war, was unsuitable for portraying the mechanization of modern warfare and the brutal reality of the Civil War; how Julia Ward Howe, writer of The Battle Hymn of the Republic, eventually rejected the glorification of war and called for a worldwide woman’s movement to advocate for disarmament; how Mark Twain’s brief informal Confederate service shaped his lifelong antiwar beliefs; and why the modern media’s refusal to show images of dead soldiers is similar to Romantic-era self-censorship.

MP3 here. (28:06)

Cynthia Wachtell is a research associate professor of American Studies and the founding director of the S. Daniel Abraham Honors Program at Yeshiva University. She earned a joint BA and MA in American Studies, summa cum laude, from Yale University and an AM in English and PhD in the History of American Civilization from Harvard University. A native New Yorker, she lives in Manhattan with her husband and two sons.

Tom Engelhardt

[audio:http://dissentradio.com/radio/11_01_10_engelhardt.mp3]

Tom Engelhardt, creator of Tomdispatch.com and author of The American Way of War: How Bush’s Wars Became Obama’s, discusses Tomdispatch writer Nick Turse’s updated estimate of just how many US foreign military bases exist; how the official DOD tally omits bases in Iraq, Afghanistan and most of the Persian Gulf; why, in the age of billion dollar embassies and $130 million fuel depots, the US “empire of bases” is not economically sustainable; and how your stimulus dollars are being used for building police forces (in Afghanistan).

MP3 here. (18:10)

Tom Engelhardt created and runs the Tomdispatch.com website, a project of The Nation Institute where he is a Fellow. He is the author of a highly praised history of American triumphalism in the Cold War, The End of Victory Culture, and of a novel, The Last Days of Publishing, as well as a collection of his Tomdispatch interviews, Mission Unaccomplished. Each spring he is a Teaching Fellow at the Graduate School of Journalism at the University of California, Berkeley. His newest book is The American Way of War: How Bush’s Wars Became Obama’s.

Nima Shirazi

[audio:http://dissentradio.com/radio/11_01_10_shirazi.mp3]

Nima Shirazi, creator of WideAsleepinAmerica.com, discusses his catalog of the numerous failed predictions – primarily by the US and Israel – of Iran’s imminent creation of a nuclear weapon; how the latest Israeli estimate of a 2015 Iran nuke is explained, not by a longtime mistaken assumption about Iran’s nuclear intentions, but by the effectiveness of sanctions, espionage and assassination; the vastly overstated Iranian “breakout” capability that could also be ascribed to well over 100 other countries; Israel’s genuine concerns of an emboldened Hezbollah and a “brain drain” of educated Israelis migrating to the US and Europe; and how Iran’s leaders are portrayed by Western media as irrational “mad mullahs” that want to destroy the world and can’t be reasoned with.

MP3 here. (18:38)

Nima Shirazi is the creator of the Wide Asleep in America website. It is described as “dedicated to confronting the rampant and widespread falsehoods (usually about Iran, Israel, Palestine, and US policy thereof) found and repeated in the media and/or presented by politicians and pundits, and to exposing this propaganda for what it is: hegemonic efforts to manufacture consent and delegitimize the independence, sovereignty, and self-determination of nations, governments, and peoples who oppose imperialism, colonialism, oppression, and hypocrisy on a world stage, all while stifling and criminalizing dissent and resistance to such actions here in the United States.”

Frida Berrigan

[audio:http://dissentradio.com/radio/11_01_10_berrigan.mp3]

Frida Berrigan, journalist and activist blogger at Witness Against Torture, discusses the Day of Action Against Torture protest starting on Tuesday, Jan. 11, at the White House and Justice Department in Washington; and why Congress, Obama, and the DOJ will continue the perversion of justice at Guantanamo until sufficient political pressure is brought to bear.

MP3 here. (9:36)

Frida Berrigan serves on the Board of the War Resisters League and is a columnist for Foreign Policy In Focus. She was Senior Program Associate of the Arms and Security Initiative at the New America Foundation. She served for eight years as Deputy Director and Senior Research Associate at the Arms Trade Resource Center at the World Policy Institute at the New School in New York City. She has also worked as a researcher at The Nation magazine.

Danny Schechter

[audio:http://dissentradio.com/radio/11_01_06_schechter.mp3]

Danny Schechter, executive editor of MediaChannel.org, discusses his new article that revisits journalist Helen Thomas’s career-ending Israel gaffe; how selective quotation from the “gotcha” clip turned Thomas’s poorly phrased response into “proof” of her anti-Semitism; the media hit pieces, gloating about Thomas’s exile, that make clear there is little tolerance in Washington for Israel-critics; and Schechter’s firsthand account – while working for ABC News in 1982 – of an Israeli campaign to stop the airing of an investigative news story about the West Bank.

MP3 here. (20:03)

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

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.

Ali Gharib

[audio:http://dissentradio.com/radio/11_01_07_gharib.mp3]

Ali Gharib, New York-based journalist on U.S. foreign policy and LobeLog writer, discusses how American neoconservatives remain the hardest working warmongers around despite Israeli claims of success – via Stuxnet sabotage and assassination of nuclear scientists – in delaying Iran’s (alleged) pursuit of nuclear weapons; Jennifer Rubin’s venue-change from Commentary to The Washington Post, which <sarcasm alert> finally gets a pro-Israel perspective in mainstream media; and the WikiLeaks cable that shows internal Iranian politics prevented President Ahmadinejad from completing the 2009 low-enriched uranium swap deal.

MP3 here. (19:49)

Ali Gharib is a New York-based journalist on U.S. foreign policy with a focus on the Middle East and Central Asia. His work has appeared at Inter Press Service, where he was the Deputy Washington Bureau Chief; the Buffalo Beast; Huffington Post; Mondoweiss; Right Web; and Alternet. He holds a Master’s degree in Philosophy and Public Policy from the London School of Economics and Political Science. A proud Iranian-American and fluent Farsi speaker, Ali was born in California and raised in D.C.

Edward Hasbrouck

[audio:http://dissentradio.com/radio/11_01_07_hasbrouck.mp3]

There is also a KPFK 90.7 FM Los Angeles broadcast version of this interview here.

Edward Hasbrouck, global traveler, author and privacy advocate, discusses US citizen Gulet Mohamed‘s alleged abduction and torture in Kuwait, and how the US government blocked his return home (and violated international law) by adding him to the no-fly list; the questionable Constitutionality of an extrajudicial no-fly list immune from court challenge; how DHS sifts through extensive travel records (PNRs) and tells the airlines who they can and can’t do business with; and how airports have become law-free zones much like Guantanamo.

MP3 here. (18:23)

Edward Hasbrouck is the author of The Practical Nomad travel book series. He is a journalist, consumer advocate, and travel expert. An avid traveler, his Identity Project blog “explores and defends the fundamental American right to move freely around our country and to live without constantly having to prove who we are or why we are here.”

Greg Mitchell

[audio:http://dissentradio.com/radio/11_01_04_mitchell.mp3]

Greg Mitchell, author of the Media Fix blog for TheNation.com, discusses his multi-week long effort to provide daily blog updates on WikiLeaks stories; why the few mainstream journalists who aren’t openly hostile to WikiLeaks are keeping their mouths shut; the spectacle of Judith Miller scolding WikiLeaks for bad, harmful journalism; Bradley Manning’s inhumane treatment in prison; and why the decline in MSM WikiLeaks coverage can be partly contributed to lack of demand, ie: Americans don’t care.

MP3 here. (18:19)

Greg Mitchell was the longtime editor of Editor & Publisher. He now writes the Media Fix blog for TheNation.com and maintains a Twitter feed. He is the author of Hiroshima in America, So Wrong for So Long: How the Press, the Pundits–and the President–Failed on Iraq and Why Obama Won: The Making of a President 2008.

Fred Branfman

[audio:http://dissentradio.com/radio/11_01_05_branfman.mp3]

Fred Branfman, writer for Alternet.org, discusses how the WikiLeaks documents reveal, more than anything else, the “vast lying machine” of our government and military; why the Cablegate disclosures alone are enough to justify a new Nuremberg-style war crimes tribunal; how US military escalations in Afghanistan and Pakistan are counterproductive when considering (Ret.) Gen. Stanley McChrystal’s “insurgent math;” and why the US government – not WikiLeaks – is a danger to national security and needs to be reigned in before another 9/11 attack makes the US a police state.

MP3 here. (28:52)

Fred Branfman is a writer and longtime activist who directed the Indochina Resource Center during the war in Indochina. He edited “Voices From the Plain of Jars: Life Under an Air War” (Harper & Row, 1972), that exposed the U.S. secret air war in Laos. Visit his Web site.

Gareth Porter

[audio:http://dissentradio.com/radio/11_01_04_porter.mp3]

Gareth Porter, independent historian and journalist for IPS News, discusses how Gen. James Jones pushed for NATO to take over the Afghanistan occupation, giving the purposeless organization a new raison d’etre; NATO’s inability to deal with the Afghan insurgency (that wasn’t supposed to happen) after the quick and resounding US ouster of the Taliban; President Bush’s willingness to cede control to NATO in order to free up soldiers for his preferred war in Iraq; and how European countries – expecting to participate in peacekeeping rather than military operations – are quickly souring on Afghanistan.

MP3 here. (18:47)

Gareth Porter is an independent historian and journalist. He is the author of Perils of Dominance: Imbalance of Power and the Road to War in Vietnam. His articles appear on Counterpunch, Huffington Post, Inter Press Service News Agency and Antiwar.com.

Grant F. Smith

[audio:http://dissentradio.com/radio/11_01_03_smith.mp3]

Grant F. Smith, director of the Institute for Research: Middle Eastern Policy in Washington, D.C., discusses how Steven Rosen’s lawsuit disclosures are shining a light on the highly-secretive inner workings of AIPAC; the pro-Israel media’s focus on the “injury of the United States” part of the Espionage Act while ignoring the “advantage of a foreign nation” part; why Attorney General Eric Holder would rather prosecute WikiLeaks than AIPAC; Rosen’s violation of court proceeding rules that may get his case dismissed; and the 1700 or so generous donors to AIPAC – many of whom also support Israel’s Likud Party – who essentially dictate US foreign policy in the Middle East.

MP3 here. (19:51)

Grant F. Smith is the author of Spy Trade: How Israel’s Lobby Undermines America’s Economy, America’s Defense Line: The Justice Department’s Battle to Register the Israel Lobby as Agents of a Foreign Government and Foreign Agents: The American Israel Public Affairs Committee from the 1963 Fulbright Hearings to the 2005 Espionage Scandal. He is a frequent contributor to Radio France Internationale and Voice of America’s Foro Interamericano. Smith has also appeared on BBC News, CNN, and C-SPAN. He is currently director of the Institute for Research: Middle Eastern Policy in Washington, D.C.

Eric Margolis

[audio:http://dissentradio.com/radio/11_01_04_margolis.mp3]

Eric Margolis, foreign correspondent and author of War at the Top of the World and American Raj, discusses how the secession of South Sudan could jeopardize the entire African continent’s colonial-drawn borders; considerable US influence in South Sudan that almost guarantees the new nation will be yet another American protectorate flush with oil; why controlling the world’s oil supplies has been a US foreign policy goal since WWII, when Axis countries were irreparably damaged by fuel supply shortages; the increasing US/China rivalry in resource-rich Africa; fundamentalist Christian missionary groups competing with Islamic groups for conversions in Africa; the incremental US stealth-occupation of Pakistan that threatens to become the boggiest of military quagmires; and why the US stands to lose substantial influence in Western Europe should NATO fail in Afghanistan.

MP3 here. (24:52)

Eric S. Margolis is an award-winning, internationally syndicated columnist. His articles appear in the New York Times, the International Herald Tribune, the Los Angeles Times, Times of London, the Gulf Times, the Khaleej Times and Dawn. He is a regular contributor to The Huffington Post. He appears as an expert on foreign affairs on CNN, BBC, France 2, France 24, Fox News, CTV and CBC.

As a war correspondent Margolis has covered conflicts in Angola, Namibia, South Africa, Mozambique, Sinai, Afghanistan, Kashmir, India, Pakistan, El Salvador and Nicaragua. He was among the first journalists to ever interview Libya’s Muammar Khadaffi and was among the first to be allowed access to KGB headquarters in Moscow. A veteran of many conflicts in the Middle East, Margolis recently was featured in a special appearance on Britain’s Sky News TV as “the man who got it right” in his predictions about the dangerous risks and entanglements the US would face in Iraq.

Margolis is the author of War at the Top of the World: The Struggle for Afghanistan, Kashmir and Tibet and American Raj: Liberation or Domination?: Resolving the Conflict Between the West and the Muslim World.

Becky Akers

[audio:http://dissentradio.com/radio/11_01_03_akers.mp3]

Becky Akers, columnist at Lewrockwell.com, discusses the Department of Homeland Security’s expansion into malls, hotels and Walmarts; the disputed safety of TSA body scanner radiation and millimeter wave technology; the DHS “If You See Something, Say Something” program for recruiting citizen informants (a familiar hallmark of police states); and why the 9/11 Commission’s primary duty was to recommend the creation of DHS.

MP3 here. (18:11)

Becky Akers, an expert on the American Revolution, writes frequently about issues related to security and privacy. Her articles and columns have been published by LewRockwell.com, Campaign for Liberty, The Freeman, Military History Magazine, American History Magazine, the Christian Science Monitor, the New York Post, and other publications.

Robert Parry

[audio:http://dissentradio.com/radio/11_01_03_parry.mp3]

Robert Parry, founder and editor of ConsortiumNews.com, discusses how discredited mainstream journalists like Judith Miller keep getting TV appearances while the reporters who got it right about Iraq, don’t; how the muckraking press corps of yesteryear was replaced by a bevy of sycophantic stenographers; the punishment/reward system for journalists that makes very clear the kind of reporting required for promotions; the infamous pre-Gulf War April Glaspie memo that shows the US took no position on the Iraq-Kuwait border dispute; how George H.W. Bush started an unnecessary war to eradicate the “Vietnam syndrome” of American aversion to war; and how US triumphalism in post-Soviet occupied Afghanistan escalated the civil war that eventually brought the Taliban to power in 1996.

MP3 here. (26:03)

Robert Parry is an investigative journalist who won the George Polk Award in 1984 for reporting on the Iran-Contra affair and uncovering Oliver North’s involvement in it. He is the founder and editor of ConsortiumNews.com and author of Neck Deep: The Disastrous Presidency of George W. Bush, Trick or Treason: The October Surprise Mystery and Secrecy & Privilege: Rise of the Bush Dynasty from Watergate to Iraq.

Ray McGovern

[audio:http://dissentradio.com/radio/10_12_29_mcgovern.mp3]

Ray McGovern, former senior analyst at the CIA, discusses the likely CIA involvement in the 2009 Jundallah suicide bombing that killed several Revolutionary Guards officers and disrupted promising negotiations on an Iranian LEU fuel-swap deal; how the (predictable) Iranian backtracking after the terrorist attack gave the US a pretext to end talks and push for further sanctions; why we should expect whistleblowers to leak contradictory information if the 2010 Iran NIE reverses the previous estimate and provides justification for a war with Iran; how US diplomacy and talk of giving sanctions “time to work” and are just pretenses that lead to the endgame (desired by Israel) of regime change; why Israel – for the benefit of all parties – must negotiate a settlement for a Palestinian state based on 1967 borders; the connection between the 2004 Blackwater massacre in Fallujah and Israel’s assassination of Hamas founder Ahmed Yassin; and why nobody believes Obama, if given a sudden ultimatum from Netanyahu, will have the fortitude to forbid an Israeli airstrike on Iran.

MP3 here. (41:21)

Ray McGovern was a CIA analyst for 27 years, from the John F. Kennedy administration to that of George H. W. Bush. His articles appear on Consortium News and Antiwar.com.

Kelley B. Vlahos

[audio:http://dissentradio.com/radio/10_12_29_vlahos.mp3]

Featured Antiwar.com columnist Kelley B. Vlahos discusses her article “Julian Assange: Man of the Decade;” why WikiLeaks – inspired by a culture of open source software, free exchange of information, high technology and distrust of authority – is the natural antagonist of a US-led global security state; dossier collections on “suspicious” Americans who have not been charged with, or even suspected of committing, a crime; the “who is a journalist” debate that presumes a press pass is required to exercise First Amendment rights; slow-on-the-uptake Americans who are ever-ready to trade liberty for false security; and why it’s time to stop playing Farmville and get serious about protecting our rapidly-diminishing liberties.

MP3 here. (34:09)

Kelley Beaucar Vlahos, a Washington, D.C.-based freelance writer, is a longtime political reporter for FoxNews.com, a contributing editor at The American Conservative magazine and featured Antiwar.com columnist. She is also a Washington correspondent for Homeland Security Today magazine.

Daniel Ellsberg

[audio:http://dissentradio.com/radio/10_12_29_ellsberg.mp3]

Daniel Ellsberg, author of Secrets: A Memoir of Vietnam and the Pentagon Papers, discusses the government and media attacks on Julian Assange and WikiLeaks; a reminder that – at the time – Ellsberg was called a traitor for releasing the Pentagon papers; why Assange can’t be charged with a crime without jeopardizing investigative journalism and the notion of a free press; how Bradley Manning’s punitive detainment conditions seem designed to elicit a false confession; the question whether a potential US official secrets act (or implementation of the 1917 Espionage Act as such) would survive Supreme Court scrutiny; how the NY Times‘ deference to government power – especially when it counts the most – guarantees immunity from the charges leveled at WikiLeaks; Ellsberg’s reassuring conversation with Assange about his sexual misconduct charges; and why we need more whistleblowers ready to risk life in prison to expose government criminality.

MP3 here. (52:10) Transcript here.

Daniel Ellsberg is the author of Secrets: A Memoir of Vietnam and the Pentagon Papers.

In 1959 Daniel Ellsberg worked as a strategic analyst at the RAND Corporation, and consultant to the Defense Department and the White House, specializing in problems of the command and control of nuclear weapons, nuclear war plans, and crisis decision-making. He joined the Defense Department in 1964 as Special Assistant to Assistant Secretary of Defense (International Security Affairs), John McNaughton, working on Vietnam. He transferred to the State Department in 1965 to serve two years at the U.S. Embassy in Saigon, evaluating pacification on the front lines.

On return to the RAND Corporation in 1967, he worked on the Top Secret McNamara study of U.S. Decision-making in Vietnam, 1945-68, which later came to be known as the Pentagon Papers. In 1969, he photocopied the 7,000 page study and gave it to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee; in 1971 he gave it to the New York Times, the Washington Post and 17 other newspapers. His trial, on twelve felony counts posing a possible sentence of 115 years, was dismissed in 1973 on grounds of governmental misconduct against him, which led to the convictions of several White House aides and figured in the impeachment proceedings against President Nixon.

Michael Hastings

[audio:http://dissentradio.com/radio/10_12_29_hastings.mp3]

Michael Hastings, author of the infamous article “The Runaway General” in Rolling Stone magazine, discusses the Obama administration’s attempt to create a “new normal” 2014 Afghanistan withdrawal date while hoping the 2011 deadline is quickly forgotten; how US operations are – intentionally or not – creating fertile ground for an Afghan civil war; how the “clear, hold, build” strategy fails due to the inability of Afghan government (in a box or otherwise) to take control of conquered territory; reversion to the “Biden option” of targeted assassinations, drone strikes, and fewer troops on the ground; Obama’s assertion that the US is in Afghanistan to fight al-Qaeda and isn’t nation building – despite all evidence to the contrary; and why Gen. Petraeus’s talk about COIN doctrine is intended for a sympathetic audience of think tanks, media and domestic armchair generals – because the soldiers on the ground don’t buy it.

MP3 here. (41:26)

Michael Hastings is the author of I Lost My Love in Baghdad: A Modern War Story. In 2008, he covered the U.S. presidential elections for Newsweek, and before that he was the magazine’s Baghdad correspondent. His articles have appeared in GQ, Slate, Salon, Foreign Policy, the LA Times, and other publications. His blog The Hastings Report focuses on the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and other foreign policy topics.

Ivan Eland

[audio:http://dissentradio.com/radio/10_12_29_eland.mp3]

Ivan Eland, Senior Fellow at The Independent Institute and regular contributor to Antiwar.com, discusses how the US nuclear umbrella puts American cities at risk of nuclear attack while protecting Taiwan and Middle Eastern client states; how over-broad security guarantees can escalate regional conflicts into world wars; the lack of progress toward abolition of nuclear weapons since the Cold War’s end; and why a (potential) Iranian nuke poses a threat to US hegemony but not security.

MP3 here. (19:28)

Ivan Eland is Senior Fellow at the The Independent Institute and a regular Antiwar.com columnist. He is the author of Recarving Rushmore: Ranking the Presidents on Peace, Prosperity, and Liberty, The Empire Has No Clothes: U.S. Foreign Policy Exposed, Partitioning for Peace: An Exit Strategy for Iraq and Putting “Defense” Back into U.S. Defense Policy: Rethinking U.S. Security in the Post-Cold War World.

Bryan Bender

[audio:http://dissentradio.com/radio/10_12_28_bender.mp3]

Bryan Bender, reporter for the Boston Globe‘s Washington Bureau, discusses the very high percentage of retired high-ranking US military officers going to work for defense contractors; the Pentagon’s limited oversight on conflicts of interest that seems based on the assumption retired generals have an unshakable code of ethics; how private equity firms – specializing in defense industry investments – give compensation to rent-a-general firms for privileged information about Pentagon contracts; why Eisenhower should have gone with the military-industrial-Congressional complex version of his famous farewell address; and how retired Army Gen. Jack Keane – on behalf of AM General – helped overturn the Army’s decision to repair instead of replace Humvees.

MP3 here. (20:01)

Bryan Bender is a reporter for the Boston Globe’s Washington Bureau. Bender’s primary beat is the Department of Defense as well as Homeland security, the U.S. war on terrorism and international military affairs. Bender is a graduate of the University of Pittsburg.

Juan Cole

[audio:http://dissentradio.com/radio/10_12_28_cole.mp3]

Juan Cole, Professor of History and author of Engaging the Muslim World, discusses his “Top Ten Myths About Afghanistan, 2010” article; why the supposed “progress” being made in Afghanistan is nothing more than the ebb and flow of guerrilla fighters fleeing from direct confrontation with a conventional army (returning when the soldiers inevitably depart); how the media fails to differentiate between the many insurgent groups and instead lumps them all together as “Taliban;” the messy, violent, and prone-to-failure process of decolonization; why expectations for “success” should consider Afghanistan’s tribal culture and deep aversion to an all-powerful central government; and why allegations of close (Shia) Iranian collaboration with the (hard-line Sunni) Taliban are probably false.

MP3 here. (16:38)

Juan Cole is the author of Engaging the Muslim World. He is a Professor of History at the University of Michigan and writes the “Informed Comment” blog at Juancole.com.

Max Blumenthal

[audio:http://dissentradio.com/radio/10_12_28_blumenthal.mp3]

Max Blumenthal, author of Republican Gomorrah: Inside the Movement that Shattered the Party, discusses the strange cabal of supporters behind the anti-Islam groups that gained prominence during the vigorous protests against the “Ground Zero mosque;” the fraudulent “terrorism consultants” spreading misinformation about Islam to US law enforcement agencies; how the David Project – an Israel-lobby-created college campus group targeting pro-Palestinian academics – laid the foundation for the Islamophobia crusade; Pamela Geller‘s interesting history and close affiliation with European fascists; and how widespread fear of a global Islamic caliphate gives the US empire a reason for existence and serves to justify the otherwise nonsensical wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

MP3 here. (23:42)

Max Blumenthal is an award-winning journalist and bestselling author whose articles and video documentaries have appeared in The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, The Daily Beast, The Nation, The Huffington Post, Salon.com, Al Jazeera English and many other publications. He is a writing fellow for the Nation Institute. His book, Republican Gomorrah: Inside The Movement That Shattered The Party, is a New York Times and Los Angeles Times bestseller.