Phyllis Bennis


Phyllis Bennis, Director of the New Internationalism Project at the Institute for Policy Studies, discusses her article “The Phases of War: Afghanistan, Iraq, Iran, and Israel;” how the US lost the Afghan War before it even began; why military occupation/pacification campaigns always degenerate into massacres and degradations like those lately perpetrated by US soldiers in Afghanistan; why neoconservatives like Marco Rubio conveniently ignore the Iraq War disaster in speeches justifying an interventionist foreign policy; and the pro-Israel lobby’s push for war with Iran – despite the consensus of all US intelligence agencies that Iran is not pursuing nuclear weapons.

MP3 here. (19:55)

Phyllis Bennis is a fellow of both TNI and the Institute for Policy Studies in Washington DC where she directs IPS’s New Internationalism Project. Phyllis specializes in U.S. foreign policy issues, particularly involving the Middle East and United Nations. She worked as a journalist at the UN for ten years and currently serves as a special adviser to several top-level UN officials on Middle East and UN democratization issues. A frequent contributor to U.S. and global media, Phyllis is also the author of numerous articles and books, particularly on Palestine, Iraq, the UN, and U.S. foreign policy.

Marcy Wheeler


Blogger Marcy Wheeler discusses the laws governing assassination-by-drone; re-using “signature strikes” in Yemen, after large numbers of Pakistani civilian casualties prompted the US to briefly abandon the tactic; why Gen. Stanley McChrystal’s “insurgent math” applies to Yemen as well as Afghanistan; and why the government is throwing the book at whistleblower Bradley Manning.

MP3 here. (19:59)

Blogger Marcy Wheeler, a.k.a. emptywheel, grew up bi-coastally, starting with every town in New York with an IBM. Then she moved to Poway, California, home of several participants in the Duke Cunningham scandal. Since then, she has lived in Western Massachusetts, San Francisco, Salt Lake City, Ann Arbor, and — just recently — Western Michigan.

She got a BA from Amherst College, where she spent much of her time on the rugby pitch. A PhD program in Comparative Literature brought her to Michigan; she got the PhD but decided academics was not her thing. Her research, though, was on a cool journalistic form called the “feuilleton” — a kind of conversational essay that was important to the expansion of modern newspapers in much of the rest of the world. It was pretty good preparation to become a blogger, if a PhD can ever be considered training for blogging.

After leaving academics, Marcy consulted for the auto industry, much of it in Asia. But her contract moved to Asia, along with most of Michigan’s jobs, so she did what anyone else would do. Write a book, and keep blogging. (Oh, and I hear Amazon still has the book for sale.)

Marcy has been blogging full time since 2007. She’s known for her live-blogging of the Scooter Libby trial, her discovery of the number of times Khalid Sheikh Mohammed was waterboarded, and generally for her weedy analysis of document dumps.

Marcy met her husband Mr. emptywheel playing Ultimate Frisbee, though she retired from the sport several years ago. Marcy, Mr. EW and their dog — McCaffrey the MilleniaLab — live in a loft in a lovely urban hellhole.

Jefferson Morley


Author and journalist Jefferson Morley discusses his article “Drones for ‘urban warfare’” at; the International Drone Summit hosted by CODEPINK, Reprieve, and the Center for Constitutional Rights in Washington D.C.; Congress’s fast-track approval of domestic drone aviation; and concerns about privacy and the eventual weaponization of drones.

MP3 here. (10:25)

Jefferson Morley is a Washington-based journalist, author, and blogger with a specialty in American history. He has worked as an editor and reporter at the Washington Post,, New Republic, Nation, Center for Independent Media, Harper’s, and Spin. His next book, Snow-Storm in August: Washington City, Francis Scott Key, and the Forgotten Race Riot of 1835, will be published in July 2012 by Nan Talese/Doubleday. He has taught at Boston University, Georgetown University, and the District of Columbia public schools.

Gareth Porter


Gareth Porter, investigative historian and journalist specializing in U.S. national security policy, discusses Washington Post writer David Ignatius’s claim that a deal has already been made on Iran’s nuclear program and that ongoing talks are scripted; why the US and Iran can’t just “make a deal and shut up already;” how Benjamin Netanyahu’s bluff about attacking Iran is influencing US policy and helping the GOP win election; why it’s still unlikely NATO will drag the US into war in Syria, like Libya before; and the US-Afghan Strategic Partnership Agreement that envisions US involvement through 2024.

MP3 here. (24:38)

Gareth Porter is an investigative historian and journalist specializing in U.S. national security policy. The paperback edition of his latest book, Perils of Dominance: Imbalance of Power and the Road to War in Vietnam, was published in 2006.

Joshua Freeman


Joshua B. Freeman, History Professor and author of American Empire, discusses his TomDispatch article on the “prison-corporate complex;” the late 19th century chain gangs in the South and industrial prison labor in the North; the return of involuntary servitude, i.e. slavery, in American prisons; how low-paid prisoners keep pressure on labor unions and generate profits for Fortune 500 companies; America’s huge prison population relative to the rest of the world; and why it’s time to revamp the criminal justice system.

MP3 here. (20:04)

Joshua B. Freeman, a TomDispatch regular, teaches history at Queens College and at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York and is affiliated with its Joseph S. Murphy Labor Institute. His forthcoming book, American Empire, will be the final volume of the Penguin History of the United States.

Mark Sheffield


Mark Sheffield of the Policy on Point blog discusses his article “Ignorance or Arrogance (or Both): The Long War Doctrine and Post-9/11 US Foreign Policy;” a comparison of the limited invasions and proxy wars between Vietnam and 9/11, and the lengthy full-scale occupations since then; looking at 9/11 through the eyes of Americans who don’t know or understand history; how the Bush Administration played right into Osama bin Laden’s hands by invading Afghanistan and Iraq; and the political barriers to bringing the troops home and winding down the US empire of bases.

MP3 here. (22:01)

Mark Sheffield runs the Policy on Point blog.

Oleg Novinkov


Oleg Novinkov, former Soviet officer and author of Afghan Boomerang, discusses the propaganda-filled book Charlie Wilson’s War about the CIA operation to arm mujaheddin in their fight against the Soviet army in Afghanistan; the Western media’s re-labeling of Afghan “freedom fighters” as “terrorists” once the US invaded; why Afghans would rather be occupied by the Soviets than the US/NATO; how a new Cold War with China will eventually displace the War on Terror as the top US priority; and why Gorbachev, Yeltsin, and perestroika are much more respected in the West than in Russia.

MP3 here. (30:07)

Oleg Novinkov was a Soviet Air Force flight surgeon who was stationed in Kabul, Ghazni, and Bagram while in Afghanistan during the Soviet-Afghan War. After returning from the war, he became involved in supporting the Soviet space program as a flight surgeon and medical researcher at the Institute of Medical and Biological Problems. He subsequently emigrated from Russia to the United States in 1995. Since then, he has worked in various capacities as an international space medicine consultant in support of NASA.

Jean MacKenzie


Jean MacKenzie, senior correspondent for GlobalPost, discusses her article on why the March 11 Kandahar massacre is much more surprising to Americans than Afghans; the success of US night raids in killing mid-level Taliban commanders – who are quickly replaced by younger, more hardcore fighters; the lack of a US endgame strategy, other than spinning withdrawal as a “victory;” and Afghan President Hamid Karzai’s odds of survival without US backing.

MP3 here. (19:30)

Jean MacKenzie is a senior correspondent for GlobalPost formerly based in Kabul, Afghanistan. After five years as program director for the Institute for War & Peace Reporting in Kabul, she is now working as a journalist trainer and consultant. Her work has taken her to the farthest corners of Afghanistan, where she has met hundreds of Afghans from all walks of life. She has created a network of Afghan reporters who can gather news and information from all over the country, lending an all-important local perspective to coverage of the conflict there.

MacKenzie has forged a reputation as an analyst and commentator, contributing frequently to broadcast and online projects, including National Public Radio, the Canadian Broadcasting Corp., CNN, and the Australian Broadcasting Corp. She spent nearly two years in Helmand Province, where she covered the Taliban insurgency as well as the booming poppy industry. Prior to moving to Afghanistan, MacKenzie spent more than a decade in Moscow, where she worked for a variety of newspapers. She began her career as a journalist with the Moscow Times in 1992, branching out to write for publications such as the Christian Science Monitor, Newsday and the Boston Globe.

J.M. Berger


J.M. Berger, investigative journalist and terrorism consultant, discusses his article “Patriot Games: How the FBI spent a decade hunting white supremacists and missed Timothy McVeigh;” how years of bad reporting have muddied the waters of the Oklahoma City bombing story; the FBI’s PATCON operation of infiltrating (and possibly inciting) the radical right in the 1990s; sorting out the real members and government provocateurs within the Aryan movement; and how the government’s current infiltration of Muslim groups resembles the PATCON operation.

MP3 here. (24:41)

J.M. Berger is the author of Jihad Joe: Americans Who Go to War In the Name of Islam. He has been a journalist for 25 years, working in every form of media from newspapers to New Media, radio and television. His work has appeared in The Atlantic, Foreign Policy, the CTC Sentinel, the New York Daily News and the Boston Globe, and on National Public Radio, Public Radio International and the National Geographic Channel.

In addition to working internationally as an investigative reporter studying terrorism, he is an award-winning business writer and has covered science, technology and religion. He is currently working on a book about the FBI’s infiltration of white supremacist and militia groups in the United States. Berger consults on homegrown terrorism and online extremism. He has presented research for counterterrorism professionals such as the New York City Police Department’s Intelligence Division, New Jersey state law enforcement, the National Counterterrorism Center (NCTC), the Homeland Security Policy Institute at George Washington University and more.


Jesse Trentadue


Jesse Trentadue, attorney and brother of Kenneth Trentadue (who was probably tortured and killed by FBI agents mistaking him for Richard Lee Guthrie – a.k.a. John Doe No. 2 – in the wake of the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing), discusses the new book Oklahoma City: What the Investigation Missed-and Why It Still Matters by Andrew Gumbel and Roger Charles; the June 15th court deadline for the FBI to explain why the Murrah Building surveillance tapes are missing; allegations that FBI agents tried to sell the tapes in 1995 – which is why LA Times reporters were able to see two men, Timothy McVeigh and John Doe 2, exit the Ryder truck; the FBI’s PATCON program of infiltrating and probably provoking the radical right; how the FBI’s media informants help kill stories and manage the news cycle; and the lack of Congressional hearings on the single largest terrorist attack in US history (in 1995).

MP3 here. (31:05)

Scott’s collection of OKC audio clips here.

Scott’s collection of Jesse Trentadue’s court files here.

Interviews of the late J.D. Cash, Roger Charles, James Ridgeway, Frederic Whitehurst, Rick Ojeda and others on the Oklahoma City Bombing available here.

Jesse Trentadue is an attorney in Salt Lake City, Utah.

Carol Moore


Carol Moore, author of The Davidian Massacre, discusses the 19th anniversary of the final siege against the Branch Davidians in Waco, TX; evidence that several Delta Force members were “pulling triggers” at Waco; Independent counsel John Danforth’s investigation and coverup; the FLIR cameras that captured FBI automatic weapons being fired to prevent the Davidians from surrendering; and how the current NDAA makes future Waco-type massacres and coverups even easier for the government.

MP3 here. (20:27)

Carol Moore is a libertarian activist, writer, songwriter and video producer. Brought up in New Jersey, educated in Ohio, Massachusetts and Michigan, she has lived in New York City, Los Angeles and for 20 years now in Washington, D.C. She has been active over the years in the radical feminist, anti-nuclear, peace, libertarian, Green/bioregional, radical decentralist, drug legalization and new age consciousness movements.

John Feffer


John Feffer, co-director of Foreign Policy In Focus at the Institute for Policy Studies, discusses his article “North Korea’s Failed Fireworks;” the UN Security Council’s condemnation of their dual-use missiles (even Iran is able to launch satellites without comment); North Korea’s commitment to spending a big chunk of their meager GDP on a single failed satellite launch; the known unknowns about Kim Jong Un (except he likes basketball); how an increasingly worldly and foreign-educated North Korean elite could open up the “hermit kingdom;” and their blossoming IT and animation industries – aside from the usual mineral and energy extraction.

MP3 here. (19:13)

John Feffer is co-director of Foreign Policy In Focus at the Institute for Policy Studies and author of Crusade 2.0: The West’s Resurgent War on Islam. His webpage is

John has been a Writing Fellow at Provisions Library in Washington, DC and a PanTech fellow in Korean Studies at Stanford University. He is a former associate editor of World Policy Journal. He has worked as an international affairs representative in Eastern Europe and East Asia for the American Friends Service Committee. He has studied in England and Russia, lived in Poland and Japan, and traveled widely throughout Europe and Asia. He has taught a graduate level course on international conflict at Sungkonghoe University in Seoul in July 2001 and delivered lectures at a variety of academic institutions including New York University, Hofstra, Union College, Cornell University, and Sofia University (Tokyo).

John has been widely interviewed in print and on radio. He serves on the advisory committees of the Alliance of Scholars Concerned about Korea. He is a recipient of the Herbert W. Scoville fellowship and has been a writer in residence at Blue Mountain Center and the Wurlitzer Foundation. He currently lives with his partner Karin Lee in Hyattsville, Maryland.

John Glaser


John Glaser, Assistant Editor at, discusses his article “How to Make Syria Much, Much Worse; John McCain and Joe Lieberman’s meeting with leaders of the anti-Assad resistance; compelling arguments against arming Sunni “freedom fighters,” this time in Syria; why Kofi Annan’s ceasefire plan is still holding; how Libyan regime change destabilized the entire region; Zbigniew Brzezinski’s bellyaching about the end of American hegemony; and President Obama’s dismissal of decriminalization and ending the War on Drugs in Central America.

MP3 here. (32:16)


Arash Norouzi


Arash Norouzi, artist and co-founder of The Mossadegh Project, discusses the Washington Post’s much-delayed admission that Iranian President Ahmadinejad didn’t say Israel should be “wiped off the map;” the context of Ahmadinejad’s speech and the origin of the quote – which compared Israel’s potential collapse to the fall of the USSR, the Shah’s regime and Saddam Hussein; putting an end to the seven year old anti-Iran talking point; and why we shouldn’t hold our breath waiting for other media outlets to admit their mistake.

MP3 here. (28:51)

Arash Norouzi is an artist and co-founder of The Mossadegh Project.

Eric Margolis


Eric Margolis, internationally syndicated columnist and author of War at the Top of the World and American Raj, discusses his article “Cuba Starts to Come Alive;” hanging out with Ernest Hemingway in pre-revolutionary Cuba; why meaningful reform will be delayed until the “old fossil” hardliners die off; how to liberalize the Cuban economy and property rights while preventing US domination; Midwest agricultural exports not subject to the embargo; how Venezuela filled the Soviet void and saved Cuba from regressing to the pre-industrial age; the outsized political influence of Florida’s anti-Castro lobby; and Cuba’s institutionalized police state.

MP3 here. (25:57)

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.

Roy Gutman


Roy Gutman, Europe Bureau Chief for McClatchy Newspapers, discusses the latest developments in P5+1 talks on Iran’s nuclear program; the US government’s gradual acknowledgement of Ayatollah Khamenei’s seven-year-old fatwa against nuclear weapons; finding encouragement in the lack of deal-breaking preconditions, e.g., that Iran stop all nuclear enrichment before talks can begin; the domestic political calculations motivating Benjamin Netanyahu’s seemingly-crazy belligerence; and why the US needs to end the diplomatic freeze with Iran, open an embassy in Tehran, and work things out.

MP3 here. (28:01)

Roy Gutman is the Europe Bureau Chief for McClatchy Newspapers, based in Istanbul. Previously, he served as McClatchy’s Baghdad bureau chief and, before that as foreign editor. He has also been diplomatic correspondent for Newsweek and director of American University’s Crimes of War Project. He won a Pulitzer Prize for his coverage of the 1993 war in Bosnia-Herzegovina, where he provided the first documented reports of concentration camps.

Gutman’s honors include the Pulitzer Prize for international reporting, the George Polk Award for foreign reporting, the Selden Ring Award for investigative reporting, and a special Human Rights in Media Award from the International League for Human Rights. He holds an M.A. in international relations from the London School of Economics.

Robert Parry


Robert Parry, founder and editor of, discusses his article “How Neocons Sank Iran Nuke Deal;” Obama’s conflict-averse, consensus building style of presidency; how Iran’s uranium swap deal with Brazil and Turkey was undermined by the US media, hardliners in government (but not Obama himself), and Israel; why Iran’s Green Movement is not a viable conduit for pro-US regime change, despite the fevered dreams of neoconservatives; and Benjamin Netanyahu’s complaint that the latest P5+1 talks give Iran a nuclear “freebie.”

MP3 here. (20:38)

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 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.

Chase Madar


Chase Madar, author of The Passion of Bradley Manning, discusses his article “Do the WikiLeaks War Logs Reveal War Crimes — Or the Poverty of International Law;” doubts about whether the “Collateral Murder” video shows war crimes in a legal sense; why the laws of war aren’t easily applied to the asymmetrical, occupation-type conflicts since WWII; how the UN provides “window dressing on great-power politics;” and the selective enforcement of military law (see Lt. Col. Ralph Kauzlarich v. Bradley Manning).

MP3 here. (20:02)

Chase Madar is an attorney in New York and a member of the National Lawyers Guild. He writes for TomDispatch, the American Conservative magazine, Le Monde Diplomatique, and the London Review of Books.

Peter Jenkins


Peter Jenkins, the UK’s Permanent Representative to the IAEA from 2001-06, discusses his article “Iran Nuclear Talks Offer Opportunity If The US Wants It;” the mainstream media’s sudden truth-telling on Iran’s nuclear program; Obama’s apparent interest in good-faith negotiations that recognize Iran’s NPT rights; why excessive US demands (close Fordow facility, give up 20% uranium) don’t necessarily preclude reasonable compromises later on; Ray McGovern’s theory that a Jundullah terrorist attack scuttled the 2009 fuel swap agreement; why Israel is the main hindrance to better US-Iran relations; IAEA claims that the “alleged studies” documents are corroborated by other sources, and that Iran at least pursued knowledge (if not production) of nuclear weapons before 2003; and a comparison of IAEA chief Yukiya Amano and his predecessor Mohamed ElBaradei.

MP3 here. (32:10)

Peter Jenkins was the UK’s Permanent Representative to the IAEA in 2001-06 and is now a partner in ADRg Ambassadors.

Gareth Porter


Gareth Porter, investigative historian and journalist specializing in U.S. national security policy, discusses his article “Israeli Experts Mum on Iran Attack to Support Bibi’s Bluff;” Obama’s dangerous game, talking tough on Iran to appease Israel and Republican critics while trying to avoid war; how outrageous US demands on Iran’s nuclear program risk scuttling negotiations before they even begin; and how Israel-sponsored terrorism in Iran (using Jundullah or MEK as a proxy) could start a war if Iran counterattacks.

MP3 here. (20:17)

Gareth Porter is an investigative historian and journalist specializing in U.S. national security policy. The paperback edition of his latest book, Perils of Dominance: Imbalance of Power and the Road to War in Vietnam, was published in 2006.

M.J. Rosenberg


M.J. Rosenberg, journalist and former Senior Foreign Policy Fellow at Media Matters Action Network, discusses how his criticism of Israel made him a liability for his former employer; why members of Congress won’t take a risk on controversial issues, even when they have “safe seats;” why the Palestinian Authority risks losing US aid for giving an award to journalist Helen Thomas; billionaire Sheldon Adelson’s circulation-leading, money-losing, right-wing Israeli newspaper; the longtime friendship between Mitt Romney and Bibi Netanyahu; why Americans are free to badmouth US presidents and politicians, but risk being labeled an anti-Semite for criticizing Netanyahu; and the enigma of Alan Dershowitz.

MP3 here. (37:47)

M.J. Rosenberg was Senior Foreign Policy Fellow at Media Matters Action Network. He worked on Capitol Hill for various Democratic members of the House and Senate for 15 years. He was also a Clinton political appointee at USAID. In the early 1980s, he was editor of AIPACs weekly newsletter Near East Report. From 1998-2009, he was director of policy at Israel Policy Forum.


Pepe Escobar


Globetrotting journalist Pepe Escobar discusses his recent articles at the Asia Times; why the whole world is a mess except for South America; the Iran to Pakistan (and possibly China) pipeline, abhorred by the US, that could be operational in 2014; how Iran sanctions allow Russia’s Gazprom to continue dominating the European energy market; US strategists coming up short in the global “great game;” Syria’s strategic importance to Russia’s navy and NATO’s plans for Mediterranean supremacy; AFRICOM’s reconquest of Africa; and a possible Iran-Iraq-Syria-Lebanon pipeline.

MP3 here. (41:54)

Pepe Escobar is the author of Globalistan: How the Globalized World is Dissolving Into Liquid War and Obama Does Globalistan.

An extreme traveler, Pepe’s nose for news has taken him to all parts of the globe. He was in Afghanistan and interviewed the military leader of the anti-Taliban Northern Alliance, Ahmad Shah Masoud, a couple of weeks before his assassination. Two weeks before September 11, 2001, while Pepe was in the tribal areas of Pakistan, Asia Times Online published his prophetic piece, “Get Osama! Now! Or else …” Pepe was one of the first journalists to reach Kabul after the Taliban’s retreat, and more recently he has explored and reported from Iraq, Iran, Central Asia, US and China.

Sheldon Richman


Sheldon Richman, senior fellow at The Future of Freedom Foundation, discusses his article “Is Serfdom an Executive Order Away?” at; Obama’s National Defense Resources Preparedness plan that authorizes a government takeover of the economy during a national emergency (whatever that means); the tendency of all presidents to draft Executive Orders that grant themselves dictatorial powers; why limits on government power are now guided by political, not legal, concerns; and why we should end the wars and bring all the troops home – while we can still afford it.

MP3 here. (26:11)

Sheldon Richman is editor of The Freeman, published by The Foundation for Economic Education in Irvington, New York, and serves as senior fellow at The Future of Freedom Foundation. He is the author of FFF’s award-winning book Separating School & State: How to Liberate America’s Families; Your Money or Your Life: Why We Must Abolish the Income Tax; and FFF’s newest book Tethered Citizens: Time to Repeal the Welfare State.

Calling for the abolition, not the reform, of public schooling. Separating School & State has become a landmark book in both libertarian and educational circles. In his column in the Financial Times, Michael Prowse wrote: “I recommend a subversive tract, Separating School & State by Sheldon Richman of the Cato Institute, a Washington think tank… . I also think that Mr. Richman is right to fear that state education undermines personal responsibility…”

Mr. Richman’s articles on population, federal disaster assistance, international trade, education, the environment, American history, foreign policy, privacy, computers, and the Middle East have appeared in the Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, American Scholar, Chicago Tribune, USA Today, Washington Times, Insight, Cato Policy Report, Journal of Economic Development, The Freeman, The World & I, Reason, Washington Report on Middle East Affairs, Middle East Policy, Liberty magazine, and other publications. He is a contributor to the Fortune Encyclopedia of Economics.

A former newspaper reporter and former senior editor at the Cato Institute, Mr. Richman is a graduate of Temple University in Philadelphia.

Adam Morrow


IPS News journalist Adam Morrow discusses the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood’s surprise presidential candidate; why former Egyptian spy chief Omar Suleiman, the “CIA’s man in Cairo,” has a chance of winning the presidency; the Egyptian military’s continued dominance of civilian government, pending a revised constitution; and why the Egypt/Gaza border crossing at Rafah still hasn’t opened to regular trade and commerce.

MP3 here. (13:41)

Adam Morrow writes for Inter Press Service News Agency.

John Glaser


John Glaser, Assistant Editor at, discusses UN Special Envoy to Syria Kofi Annan’s proposed ceasefire deal; the difficulty of negotiating with Syria’s decentralized and leaderless opposition; a Cold War-type proxy battle, with Russian and Iran supporting the Assad regime and the US aiding the rebellion; forcing Iran into an impossible-to-accept “Rambouillet” ultimatum – purposefully designed to start a war; and why the Obama administration’s Iran agenda still can’t be deciphered.

MP3 here. (20:10)

John Glaser is Assistant Editor at He is a former intern at The American Conservative magazine and CATO Institute.

Jason Leopold


Jason Leopold, lead investigative reporter of Truthout and author of News Junkie, discusses the FOIA-revealedtorture manual” that influenced John Yoo’s infamous torture memo; how the Bush administration, keen to go to war with Iraq, intentionally devised an interrogation program to produce false information that linked Iraq and al-Qaeda; the difference between SERE training for US military personnel (in safe, non-hostile environments) and the “enhanced interrogations” of unprotected prisoners; and how detainees were physically and psychologically broken down into a state of “learned helplessness,” where they would tell an interrogator anything he wanted to hear.

MP3 here. (17:42)

Jason Leopold is lead investigative reporter of Truthout. He is the author of the Los Angeles Times bestseller, News Junkie, a memoir.

Lew Rockwell


Lew Rockwell, founder and Chairman of the Ludwig von Mises Institute, discusses Ron Paul’s tireless opposition to war, the primary enemy of individual liberty; a general election featuring ideological twins Obama and Romney; recent trends in media consumption, with young people getting information online and older people still watching too much government propaganda on TV; the worldwide legion of young Ron Paul fans, who are enthusiastic supporters of his views on war and peace, economics and civil liberties; and the anti-Paul shenanigans in Republican primaries.

MP3 here. (19:47)

Lew Rockwell is the founder and Chairman of the Ludwig von Mises Institute in Auburn, Alabama, Vice President of the Center for Libertarian Studies in Burlingame, California, and publisher of the political Web site He is the author of The Left, The Right and The State and served as Ron Paul’s congressional chief of staff between 1978 and 1982. Check out his podcast show here.

Jon Basil Utley


Jon Basil Utley, director of Americans Against World Empire, discusses his article “Polling the Right Questions on Defense – Voters Get It Right,” a summary of Scott Rasmussen’s book The Peopole’s Money; the super-majority of Americans more concerned with economic threats than military ones; the “political class” cheerleaders of US empire; European labor laws and regulations that limit business competition; and the redundancy and waste in US “defense” spending.

MP3 here. (27:15)

Jon Basil Utley is associate publisher of The American Conservative. He was a foreign correspondent in South America for the Journal of Commerce and Knight Ridder newspapers and former associate editor of The Times of the Americas. He is a writer and adviser for and edits a blog, The Military Industrial Congressional Complex. Jon also runs the and websites.

Robert W. Merry


Robert W. Merry, editor of The National Interest, discusses his article “Unmasking the Democracy Promoters;” the National Democratic Institute’s recent problems, from threats of prosecution in Egypt to expulsion from the UAE; the generous government financing of so-called non-governmental organizations; how foreign policy “realism” compares with the other major ideologies; and the growing number of countries, including Russia and China, angry about US NGOs interfering in their politics and elections.

MP3 here. (21:50)

Robert W. Merry is editor of The National Interest and the author of books on American history and foreign policy. His next book, Where They Stand: The American Presidents in the Eyes of Voters and Historians, is due out on June 26 from Simon & Schuster.

Daniel Ellsberg


Daniel Ellsberg, author of Secrets: A Memoir of Vietnam and the Pentagon Papers, discusses his article “For nuclear security beyond Seoul, eradicate land-based ‘doomsday’ missiles;” the slow pace of nuclear weapons reductions, despite much lip service from every US president since Carter; the surprising low number of hydrogen bombs required to cause nuclear winter and effectively end life on earth; redefining nuclear deterrence in terms of dozens of missiles instead of thousands; why everyone loses in nuclear war, even the nation to get a “first strike;” and the complete list of references for the scientific studies, data, and historical incidences mentioned in the article.

Update: Your host was apparently wrong. The footnote I was thinking of was this report [.pdf] which does not refer to 14 nukes anywhere. Sorry.

MP3 here. (47:19)

Daniel Ellsberg is the author of Secrets: A Memoir of Vietnam and the Pentagon Papers. His upcoming book is titled The American Doomsday Machine.

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.

Jeremiah Goulka


Jeremiah Goulka, former lawyer in the Bush Justice Department and former analyst with the RAND Corporation, discusses his op-ed “MEK and its material supporters in Washington;” a history of the MEK including the group’s founding in 1965, their exile from Iran, and their alliance with Saddam Hussein; Jeremiah’s first-hand account of the MEK’s cult-like practices during his tour of Camp Ashraf in Iraq; US State Department negotiations on the breakup of Camp Ashraf and removing the MEK from the Foreign Terrorist Organization list; and the Treasury Department’s investigation into the source of the MEK’s substantial funding.

MP3 here. (28:14)

Jeremiah Goulka was a lawyer in the Bush Justice Department and an analyst with the RAND Corporation.

Rajan Menon


Rajan Menon, Professor and Chairman of the Department of International Relations at Lehigh University, discusses his article “Libya: What the Intervention Has Wrought;” the numerous internal divisions tearing Libya apart and destabilizing neighboring countries like Mali; the stolen cache of weapons from Gaddafi’s arsenal now available on the black market; why China and Russia won’t be fooled into allowing another UN Security Council backdoor regime change; reprisal attacks on black Africans in Libya, no matter whether they are mercenaries or migrant workers; and how al-Qaeda-linked Abdel-Hakim Belhaj has remained a major player in Libya’s government.

MP3 here. (19:56)

Rajan Menon is Monroe J. Rathbone Professor and Chairman of the Department of International Relations at Lehigh University. He has been a Fellow at the New America Foundation in Washington, DC and an Academic Fellow and Senior Advisor at the Carnegie Corporation of New York for two years (1999-2000), where he played a key role in developing the Corporation’s “Russia Initiative,” among other programs. He has also served as Senior Fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations and as Director for Eurasia Policy Studies at the Seattle-based National Bureau for Asian Research (NBR).

He has taught at Columbia University and Vanderbilt University and served as Special Assistant for Arms Control and National Security to Congressman Stephen J. Solarz (D-NY), while an International Affairs Fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations, of which he is a member. His current work concerns American foreign and national security policy; globalization; terrorism; security issues in Northeast Asia; the political and security dimensions of energy development in the Caspian Sea zone; and the comparative study of empires; and the international relations of Russia and the other post-Soviet states. His latest book, The End of Alliances, Oxford University Press (2007), was selected as an “Outstanding Academic Title” by the American Library Association.

Ray McGovern


Ray McGovern, member of Veterans For Peace and former senior analyst at the CIA, discusses the prosecution of Poland’s former intelligence chief for helping the CIA set up a black-site torture prison; how Israel and Hillary Clinton sabotaged two Iran uranium swap deals; James Risen’s recent NY Times articles that cast doubt on Iran’s supposed nuclear threat; why Bibi Netanyahu doesn’t want Obama to win a second term; how veiled threats like “all options are on the table” violate international law; and the “high value targets” who were indefinitely detained and tortured, even after it was discovered they had, at most, minor roles in terrorist groups.

MP3 here. (38:18)

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

John Hutson


Rear Admiral John D. Hutson (Ret. USN) discusses his article “Military Commissions Are a Failed Experiment, Try Terror Suspects in Civilian Courts;” how commissions are traditionally and properly used to quickly determine the status of captured enemy soldiers on a battlefield; why the greatest US export is (was) justice and equal protection under the law, not democracy; how Guantanamo trials are set up to guarantee conviction – even more so than the near-certainty in federal courts; relying on the goodwill of the President and Attorney General to uphold and enforce laws against torture; and how al-Qaeda, by all accounts a decimated terrorist organization, has frightened Americans into giving up their Bill of Rights.

MP3 here. (23:35)

Rear Admiral John D. Hutson, JAGC, USN (Ret.) served in the U. S. Navy from 1973 to 2000. He was the Navy’s Judge Advocate General from 1997 to 2000. He is Dean Emeritus at the University of New Hampshire School of Law in Concord, New Hampshire, where he served as Dean & President from July 2000 through January 2011.

Allie Bohm


Allie Bohm, advocacy and policy strategist for the ACLU, discusses the NY Times article “Police Are Using Phone Tracking as a Routine Tool;” how local law enforcement makes up their own rules on cell phone surveillance, largely unfettered by judicial oversight; why our outdated telecommunications privacy laws should be modernized; how the Supreme Court ruling on GPS tracking could effect the legality of other kinds of warrantless surveillance; and how the PATRIOT Act has been used almost exclusively in non-terrorism cases.

MP3 here. (19:59)

Allie Bohm is an advocacy and policy strategist for the ACLU.

Daniel DePetris


Foreign Policy in Focus contributor Daniel DePetris discusses his article “Al-Qaeda in Iraq’s Strategy for 2012,” which boils down to restarting the sectarian civil war through terrorism designed to provoke Shia retribution; Iraq’s attempted reintegration into regional affairs through the first Arab League Summit in Baghdad in decades; how Gen. Petraeus’s surge strategy helped security in the short term, but didn’t fix any sectarian political problems; the Maliki government’s refusal to integrate the Sunni “Sons of Iraq” into the national security forces; and Maliki’s martial law approach to combating terrorism – which is losing him the hearts and minds of ordinary Iraqis.

MP3 here. (18:27)

Foreign Policy in Focus contributor Daniel R. DePetris is the senior associate editor of the Journal of Terrorism and Security Analysis.

Stephen Elsberry


Stephen Elsberry discusses his article “There Will Be No War with Iran. At Least Not a Hot One;” the mitigating factors of war, including the fragile world economy and Israel’s inability to go it alone; Israel’s faltering “periphery doctrine,” that requires friendly relations with regional non-Arab countries (Turkey, Iran) to counterbalance the Saudi sphere of influence; how Iranian regime change risks starting a “Shia Spring” that could take hold in Bahrain and eastern Saudi Arabia; and why Israeli-sponsored terrorism in Iran isn’t intended to halt their nuclear program, but to provoke a counterattack useful for drawing in the US.

MP3 here. (22:16)

Stephen Elsberry writes for the Yahoo! Contributor Network.