Lew Rockwell

[audio:http://dissentradio.com/radio/12_06_28_rockwell.mp3]

Lew Rockwell, founder and Chairman of the Ludwig von Mises Institute, discusses his “War and Inflation“speech at a 2008 Future of Freedom Foundation conference;” how central banking allows governments to fund wars and empire through money printing instead of direct taxation, keeping a lid on internal dissent; why deflation is a normal and desirable condition of productive economies; and why Keynesianism is best summarized as the economics of state power.

MP3 here. (22:08)

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 LewRockwell.com. 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.

Ivan Eland

[audio:http://dissentradio.com/radio/12_06_21_eland.mp3]

Ivan Eland, Senior Fellow at The Independent Institute and regular contributor to Antiwar.com, discusses his new book No War For Oil: U.S. Dependency and the Middle East; why it isn’t necessary to secure oil supplies with military force; how US meddling in the Middle East increases oil prices and destabilizes regional governments; why national energy independence is a foolish pursuit; his article “Smoke and Mirrors in Energy Policy;” and how sanctions on Iranian oil exports help China and India get a discount on their energy needs.

MP3 here. (21:44)

Ivan Eland is a senior fellow at the Independent Institute and author of Recarving Rushmore: Ranking the Presidents on Peace, Prosperity, and Liberty.

Mark Sheffield

[audio:http://dissentradio.com/radio/12_04_24_sheffield.mp3]

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.

Jon Basil Utley

[audio:http://dissentradio.com/radio/12_04_06_utley.mp3]

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 Antiwar.com and edits a blog, The Military Industrial Congressional Complex. Jon also runs the IraqWar.org and TheWarParty.com websites.

Thomas E. Woods

[audio:http://dissentradio.com/radio/12_02_17_woods.mp3]

Thomas E. Woods, author of Rollback: Repealing Big Government Before the Coming Fiscal Collapse, discusses the Ron Paul revolution and why there are very few popular American uprisings specifically against foreign policy and empire; the “26 Things Non-Paul Voters Are Basically Saying;” the left-right political realignment, putting aside jingoistic nationalism and uniting around a moral foreign policy; and why Ron Paul’s campaign staff should get him into more town hall meetings, where his message really resonates.

MP3 here. (21:19)

Thomas E. Woods, Jr., is the New York Times bestselling author of Meltdown: A Free-Market Look at Why the Stock Market Collapsed, the Economy Tanked, and Government Bailouts Will Make Things Worse. A senior fellow at the Ludwig von Mises Institute, Woods holds a bachelor’s degree in history from Harvard and his master’s, M.Phil., and Ph.D. from Columbia University.

Robert Koehler

[audio:http://dissentradio.com/radio/12_01_02_koehler.mp3]

Nationally syndicated writer Robert Koehler discusses his article “‘Bugsplat’: the civilian toll of war;” robbing America’s enemies of their humanity through derisive name calling or utter indifference; how US nationalism – America’s civic religion – permits the government to commit atrocities abroad without domestic political repercussions; why all the regular people look like ants to those on high; and military recruiting through video games and high unemployment.

MP3 here. (20:26)

Robert Koehler is a nationally syndicated writer and author of Courage Grows Strong at the Wound. His website is commonwonders.com.

Steve Horn and Allen Ruff

[audio:http://dissentradio.com/radio/11_11_28_horn_ruff.mp3]

Steve Horn and Allen Ruff discuss their two-part article at Truth-Out, “How Private Warmongers and the US Military Infiltrated American Universities;” how the allies of empire (from neoconservatives to liberal hawks) united to promote “Grand Strategy Programs” – essentially elaborate fictions used to trick Americans into supporting endless warfare; the group of military officers and academics behind David Petraeus and his PR-focused military doctrine; and how radicals have succeeded in redefining the political center and the acceptable range of foreign policy opinions.

MP3 here. (20:07)

Steve Horn is a researcher and writer at DeSmogBlog. He is also a freelance investigative journalist.

Allen Ruff is a US historian and an independent writer on foreign policy issues. He lives in Madison, Wisconsin.

Rep. Ron Paul

[audio:http://dissentradio.com/radio/11_11_23_paul.mp3]

Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX) discusses how American politicians have moved inexorably away from the republic and toward empire (witness the most recent Republican debate); how the Republican base – especially the youngest and oldest members – are developing a healthy skepticism of US foreign policy; and debunking the argument that the US can never “cut and run” because disaster will ensue.

MP3 here. (9:56)

Congressman Ron Paul represents Texas’s 14th district. He is the author of Liberty Defined: 50 Essential Issues That Affect Our Freedom, The Revolution: A Manifesto, A Foreign Policy of Freedom: Peace, Commerce, and Honest Friendship and End the Fed. His archived columns for Antiwar.com are here.

Pepe Escobar

[audio:http://dissentradio.com/radio/11_11_21_escobar.mp3]

Globetrotting journalist Pepe Escobar discusses his article “China and the US: The roadmaps;” how the ever-expanding “arc of instability” could get the US into a trade war (or hot war) with China; how South American economies are gathering steam while Goldman Sachs takes over a chaotic and bankrupt Europe; possible covert US support for Muslim Chinese Uighurs; and how the US empire is being crushed by the burden of “full spectrum dominance.”

MP3 here. (27:08)

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.

Robert P. Murphy

[audio:http://dissentradio.com/radio/11_11_18_murphy.mp3]

Robert P. Murphy, author of The Politically Incorrect Guide to Capitalism, discusses his article “The Economics of War;” how open markets and free trade make expansionist states and war unnecessary; a cost/benefit analysis of empire and “war for oil;” and the $15 trillion US debt (a trillion here, a trillion there, and soon you’re talking real money).

MP3 here. (22:47)

Robert P. Murphy is an adjunct scholar of the Mises Institute, where he teaches at the Mises Academy. He runs the blog Free Advice and is the author of The Politically Incorrect Guide to Capitalism, The Politically Incorrect Guide to the Great Depression and the New Deal, and his newest book, Lessons for the Young Economist.

Andrew Bacevich

[audio:http://dissentradio.com/radio/11_11_14_bacevich.mp3]

Andrew Bacevich, Professor of International Relations at Boston University and author of The Short American Century: A Postmortem, discusses his article “The Passing of the Postwar Era;” the major factors leading to a “transformative” decline in US power and prestige on the world stage; the American political elites who are driving the country into a ditch; the redundancy or counter-productivity of overseas bases (excepting the Asia Pacific region); and the lack of “prudent” decision making in Washington D.C.

MP3 here. (10:18)

Andrew J. Bacevich is Professor of International Relations and History at Boston University. A graduate of the U.S. Military Academy, he received his PhD in American Diplomatic History from Princeton University. Before joining the faculty of Boston University, he taught at West Point and Johns Hopkins.

Bacevich is the author of Washington Rules: America’s Path to Permanent War (2010).  His previous books include The Limits of Power: The End of American Exceptionalism (2008);  The Long War: A New History of US National Security Policy since World War II (2007) (editor); The New American Militarism: How Americans Are Seduced by War (2005); and American Empire: The Realities and Consequences of U. S. Diplomacy (2002). His essays and reviews have appeared in a variety of scholarly and general interest publications including The Wilson Quarterly, The National Interest, Foreign Affairs, Foreign Policy, The Nation, and The New Republic. His op-eds have appeared in the New York Times, Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, Financial Times, Boston Globe, and Los Angeles Times, among other newspapers.

In 2004, Dr. Bacevich was a Berlin Prize Fellow at the American Academy in Berlin. He has also held fellowships at the Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies, the John F. Kennedy School of Government, and the Council on Foreign Relations.

Tom Engelhardt

[audio:http://dissentradio.com/radio/11_11_09_engelhardt.mp3]

Tom Engelhardt, creator of Tomdispatch.com and author of The United States of Fear, discusses how the Bush administration’s version of the American Dream is dying on the vine; the dull-eyed Obama administration bureaucrats who have unthinkingly carried on the plans of radical visionaries from the Bush era; how Hillary Clinton’s imperial hubris makes her immune from logical contradictions (e.g.: “US forces are in the Persian Gulf to prevent foreign interference”); and why the Iraq War has become a clear defeat for the US, despite the middling security detail and giant embassy that remain.

MP3 here. (20:11)

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 The American Way of War: How Bush’s Wars Became Obama’s, 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.

John Feffer

[audio:http://dissentradio.com/radio/11_11_07_feffer.mp3]

John Feffer, co-director of Foreign Policy In Focus at the Institute for Policy Studies, discusses his article “Closing Overseas Bases Is Good Policy and Good Politics;” why chances for peace on the Korean peninsula should improve after the next (Korean) election; the known unknowns on North Korea’s nuclear arsenal; why a mass closure of foreign US military bases would almost certainly result in Japan’s militarization; and the bipartisan Congressional proposals to close bases and cut military spending.

MP3 here. (20:18)

John Feffer is co-director of Foreign Policy In Focus at the Institute for Policy Studies. His webpage is JohnFeffer.com.

He is the author of several books and numerous articles. He 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.

Brian Phillips

[audio:http://dissentradio.com/radio/11_11_03_phillips.mp3]

Brian Phillips, author of the Truth And Culture blog, discusses his article “The Imperial Boomerang Returns;” why conducting wars abroad inevitably leads to tyranny at home; the weapons of war returning to America in the form of Texas sheriffs with drone aircraft; why the US empire is economically and morally unsustainable; the veteran soldiers-turned cops who will be using their night-raid experience in Afghanistan (and the same dubious intelligence) when doing drug busts in their hometowns; and why “collateral damage” isn’t just for foreigners anymore.

MP3 here. (18:30)

Dr. Brian Phillips works as a pastor, history and philosophy teacher, and writer.

Charles Goyette

[audio:http://dissentradio.com/radio/11_10_31_goyette.mp3]

Charles Goyette, former Antiwar Radio host and author of the upcoming new book Red and Blue and Broke All Over: Restoring America’s Free Economy, discusses why America’s economic and political problems can’t be solved until the red-blue paradigm is rejected; irreconcilable economic headlines where consumer spending is up while income drops – and nobody asks why; why the demand (Keynes) and supply-siders (Friedman) are two sides of the same government monetary intervention coin; a summary of the global debt crisis and European Financial Stability Facility (EFSF); the other PIIGS countries teetering on insolvency while Greek rescue plans founder; how “military Keynesianism” has bankrupted the US; the intertwined fates of US empire and the dollar; and why Americans prefer a stern father-figure for president, even one as clueless as Herman Cain.

MP3 here. (34:08)

Charles Goyette was a longtime award winning morning drive-time radio host from Phoenix, AZ. He is a libertarian commentator, who is noted for his outspoken anti-war views, his opposition to the war in Iraq, and his economic commentary. He is the author of the book The Dollar Meltdown: Surviving the Impending Currency Crisis with Gold, Oil, and Other Unconventional Investments.)

Will Grigg

[audio:http://dissentradio.com/radio/11_10_27_grigg.mp3]

Will Grigg, blogger and author of Liberty in Eclipse, discusses his article “‘Rising’ to Empire, Falling from Grace;” why the “United State” of America is indeed an empire and has the Founding Fathers turning in their graves; why America’s elite are little different than the Soviet Union’s nomenklatura; the strengths and shortcomings of the Occupy Wall Street and Tea Party movements, and how their minor differences keep them divided and conquered; how Oakland police – disinterested in property or violent crimes – found time to nearly kill IVAW member and Occupy Oakland protester Scott Olsen; and redefining political centrism as something resembling libertarianism, rather than the radicalism of John McCain and Joe Lieberman.

MP3 here. (20:11)

Will Grigg writes the blog Pro Libertate and is the author of Liberty in Eclipse.

Will Grigg

[audio:http://dissentradio.com/radio/11_09_28_grigg.mp3]

Will Grigg, blogger and author of Liberty in Eclipse, discusses why the American Dream is collapsing; the dollar’s rapid decline since leaving the (partial) gold standard in 1971; keeping the fiat currency game going by waging war – the biggest public works/jobs stimulus program imaginable; how the dollar’s reserve currency status, solidified by dollar denominated oil sales, has let the US expand its empire far beyond sustainability; and why economic troubles often prompt people to scapegoat minorities, rather than directing their anger toward the actual causes.

MP3 here. (25:52)

Will Grigg writes the blog Pro Libertate and is the author of Liberty in Eclipse.

Charles Goyette

[audio:http://dissentradio.com/radio/11_09_19_goyette.mp3]

Charles Goyette, author and former Antiwar Radio co-contributor, discusses his upcoming new book Red and Blue and Broke All Over: Restoring America’s Free Economy; the “cocaine theory” of economic stimulus; why the bond market bubble – the biggest one yet – has to pop someday; how the US dollar’s weakness is masked by the simultaneous devaluation of all the world’s fiat currencies; why the first major country to institute a gold-backed currency will dominate global finance; why it’s no coincidence the most innovative, cost-competitive industries have the least government intervention; and why economic central planning in a country of 300+ million people is doomed to failure.

MP3 here. (32:45)

Charles Goyette was a longtime award winning morning drive-time radio host from Phoenix, AZ. He is a libertarian commentator, who is noted for his outspoken anti-war views, his opposition to the war in Iraq, and his economic commentary. He is the author of the book The Dollar Meltdown: Surviving the Impending Currency Crisis with Gold, Oil, and Other Unconventional Investments.

Lew Rockwell

[audio:http://dissentradio.com/radio/11_08_25_rockwell.mp3]

Lew Rockwell, founder and Chairman of the Ludwig von Mises Institute, discusses why Ron Paul is the first real peace candidate for president since Eugene McCarthy in 1968; the prime importance of foreign policy, since waging imperial wars abroad inevitably harms liberty and prosperity at home; Paul’s bold challenge to Rick Santorum’s Iran warmongering in the Iowa debate; why the US unnecessarily provoked the Cold War and kept it going; why democratic wars fail to differentiate between soldiers and civilians (the people ARE the government, right?); ending the morality double standard that prohibits individuals from grave acts but allows the government to kill and steal; and Dick Cheney’s book promotion media tour, where he defends torture, regrets he couldn’t start a war with Syria, and laughs all the way to the bank.

MP3 here. (24:56)

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 LewRockwell.com. 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.

John Glaser

[audio:http://dissentradio.com/radio/11_08_22_glaser.mp3]

John Glaser, Assistant Editor at Antiwar.com, discusses the seemingly victorious Libyan rebels (or was NATO the victor?); imagining Libya post-Gadhafi, with a devastated infrastructure, East/West schism, wrecked economy and human rights abuses galore; whether this is the end of foreign intervention or just the beginning; and the manic, self-destructive US empire, where limited resources are spread ever thinner.

MP3 here. (20:00)

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

Stephen M. Walt

[audio:http://dissentradio.com/radio/11_08_19_walt.mp3]

Stephen M. Walt, professor of international affairs at Harvard University and co-author of The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy, discusses his article “When did the American empire start to decline;” locating the peak of US global dominance during the first Gulf War rout of Iraqi forces, following the Soviet collapse and “unipolar moment;” the big mistakes and missed opportunities that have degraded US power since then; the Clinton administration’s failed dual-containment policy on Iran and Iraq, intended to get Israel more interested in the Oslo Accords but instead creating blowback and eventually 9/11; Walt’s belief in the wise projection of power and self-inclusion in the foreign policy “realist” camp; and why a delayed Israel/Palestine resolution is bad for Arab states, the US and Israel.

MP3 here. (29:24)

Stephen M. Walt is the Robert and Renée Belfer professor of international affairs at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government, where he served as academic dean from 2002-2006. He previously taught at Princeton University and the University of Chicago, where he served as master of the social science collegiate division and deputy dean of social sciences.

He has been a resident associate of the Carnegie Endowment for Peace and a guest scholar at the Brookings Institution, and he has also been a consultant for the Institute of Defense Analyses, the Center for Naval Analyses, and Singapore’s S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies.

Professor Walt is the author of Taming American Power: The Global Response to U.S. Primacy (W. W. Norton, 2005), and, with coauthor J.J. Mearsheimer, The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2007).

He presently serves as faculty chair of the international security program at the Belfer Center for Science and international affairs and as co-chair of the editorial board of the journal International Security. He is also a member of the editorial boards of Foreign Policy, Security Studies, International Relations, and Journal of Cold War Studies, and co-editor of the Cornell Studies in Security Affairs, published by Cornell University Press. He was elected as a fellow in the American academy of arts and sciences in May 2005.

John Glaser

[audio:http://dissentradio.com/radio/11_07_29_kpfk_glaser.mp3]

This interview is excerpted from the KPFK 90.7 FM Los Angeles broadcast of July 29th, available here.

John Glaser, Assistant Editor at Antiwar.com, discusses the mind-boggling number of ongoing US wars (6, 7, maybe 8?); how US aid to Colombia, supposedly intended to fight the war on drugs and leftist guerrillas like FARC, ends up going to government-connected right wing paramilitary death squads; Plan Colombia‘s gift to the military-industrial complex; the State Department’s heavyhanded, imperialist meddling in Haitian affairs as revealed by the WikiLeaks cables; and how the Arab spring has unmasked the real purpose of US foreign policy –  supporting cooperative dictators and crushing democratic reform.

MP3 here. (28:22)

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

Lew Rockwell

[audio:http://dissentradio.com/radio/11_07_07_rockwell.mp3]

Lew Rockwell, founder and Chairman of the Ludwig von Mises Institute, discusses the consistently excellent moral and political record of Ron Paul throughout the years; why a foreign policy “Golden Rule” works best; the wisdom of cutting war spending before domestic entitlements during an economic crisis; the essentially (soft) fascistic US economic system of today; and whether or not public office can be the mechanism to reign in government excesses (in case of a successful 2012 Ron Paul presidential run).

MP3 here. (20:11)

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 LewRockwell.com. 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.

Gareth Porter

[audio:http://dissentradio.com/radio/11_06_10_kpfk_porter.mp3]

This interview is from the KPFK 90.7 FM Los Angeles broadcast of June 10th.

Gareth Porter, independent historian and journalist for IPS News, discusses his article “Slain Writer’s Book Says US-NATO War Served al-Qaeda Strategy” about murdered Pakistani journalist Syed Saleem Shahzad’s last work; evidence that al-Qaeda in Pakistan is more powerful than previously thought; why scaling back the US empire won’t come until economic collapse demands it; and a formula for winning the Global War on Terror: get the military out of Muslim countries.

MP3 here. (26:35)

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.

Andrew Bacevich

[audio:http://dissentradio.com/radio/11_06_28_bacevich.mp3]

Andrew Bacevich, Professor of International Relations at Boston University and author of Washington Rules: America’s Path to Permanent War, discusses his article “War Fever Subsides in Washington” at tomdispatch.com; Robert Gates on excessive war costs and the end of “wars of choice;” why the US should eliminate the unnecessary and counterproductive military bases in Europe and the Middle East, respectively, while maintaining those in Japan and South Korea; the failure of militaristic “hard power” foreign policy; the officer corps getting on board with budget cuts and reform; and why current US involvement in Libya is at a peak (no need to worry about purple-finger elections and decades of nation building).

MP3 here. (21:42)

Andrew J. Bacevich is Professor of International Relations and History at Boston University. A graduate of the U.S. Military Academy, he received his PhD in American Diplomatic History from Princeton University. Before joining the faculty of Boston University, he taught at West Point and Johns Hopkins.

Bacevich is the author of Washington Rules: America’s Path to Permanent War (2010).  His previous books include The Limits of Power: The End of American Exceptionalism (2008);  The Long War: A New History of US National Security Policy since World War II (2007) (editor); The New American Militarism: How Americans Are Seduced by War (2005); and American Empire: The Realities and Consequences of U. S. Diplomacy (2002). His essays and reviews have appeared in a variety of scholarly and general interest publications including The Wilson Quarterly, The National Interest, Foreign Affairs, Foreign Policy, The Nation, and The New Republic. His op-eds have appeared in the New York Times, Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, Financial Times, Boston Globe, and Los Angeles Times, among other newspapers.

In 2004, Dr. Bacevich was a Berlin Prize Fellow at the American Academy in Berlin. He has also held fellowships at the Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies, the John F. Kennedy School of Government, and the Council on Foreign Relations.

Robert Higgs

[audio:http://dissentradio.com/radio/11_06_07_higgs.mp3]

Robert Higgs, senior fellow at the Independent Institute and author of Crisis and Leviathan, discusses his cherished yet under-appreciated chapter 3 in Crisis and Leviathan, about the rational ideological motivation of collective action; beating back the pervasive myth that war stimulates and improves the economy; how the increase in US GDP following massive post-WWII cuts in government spending undermines Keynesian economic theory; and why there is no such thing as free money: government spending is either derived from direct taxation or by debasing the dollar.

MP3 here. (18:37)

Robert Higgs is Senior Fellow in Political Economy for The Independent Institute and Editor of the Institute’s quarterly journal The Independent Review. He received his Ph.D. in economics from Johns Hopkins University, and he has taught at the University of Washington, Lafayette College, Seattle University, and the University of Economics, Prague. He has been a visiting scholar at Oxford University and Stanford University, and a fellow for the Hoover Institution and the National Science Foundation. Dr. Higgs is the editor of The Independent Institute books Opposing the Crusader State, The Challenge of Liberty, Re-Thinking Green, Hazardous to Our Health? and Arms, Politics, and the Economy, plus the volume Emergence of the Modern Political Economy.

His authored books include Neither Liberty Nor Safety, Depression, War, and Cold War, Politická ekonomie strachu (The Political Economy of Fear, in Czech), Resurgence of the Warfare State, Against Leviathan, The Transformation of the American Economy 1865-1914, Competition and Coercion, and Crisis and Leviathan. A contributor to numerous scholarly volumes, he is the author of more than 100 articles and reviews in academic journals.

Rep. Ron Paul

[audio:http://dissentradio.com/radio/11_06_03_paul.mp3]

Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX) discusses the two competing bills on Libya – Dennis Kucinich’s legally binding demand for withdrawal and John Boehner’s nonbinding suggestion that Obama seek Congress’s approval, eventually; the rising antiwar sentiment among Americans, reflected but not necessarily shared by their representatives in Congress; why the new 2011 National Intelligence Estimate on Iran should be declassified; the unyielding US foothold in Iraq; and the Fed bailout money that went to foreign banks, plus more shenanigans blacked out in the Fed’s document dump.

MP3 here. (10:47)

Congressman Ron Paul represents Texas’s 14th district. He is the author of Liberty Defined: 50 Essential Issues That Affect Our Freedom, The Revolution: A Manifesto, A Foreign Policy of Freedom: Peace, Commerce, and Honest Friendship and End the Fed. His archived columns for Antiwar.com are here.

Anthony Gregory

[audio:http://dissentradio.com/radio/11_06_02_gregory.mp3]

Anthony Gregory, Editor in Chief of Campaign for Liberty, discusses Murray Rothbard’s book Wall Street, Banks, and American Foreign Policy (with an introduction by Anthony Gregory); banks and the war machine, closely collaborating since the 1800s; shattering the left-right paradigm and finding the intersection of corporate power and public corruption; why the US economic system is not now, and has never been, based on unfettered free market capitalism; and how the state apparatus attracts those seeking power and privilege, putting the lie to the Marxist theory of capturing government to “help the little guy.”

MP3 here. (19:40)

Anthony Gregory is a research analyst at the Independent Institute, Editor in Chief of Campaign for Liberty, moderator of the Beacon, policy adviser to the Future of Freedom Foundation and columnist for LewRockwell.com. He guest edits Strike the Root. His writing has appeared in such places as the Christian Science Monitor San Diego Union Tribune, Antiwar.com, the Journal of Libertarian Studies, Counterpunch, the American Conservative, Liberty Magazine, the Mises Institute blog, the Stress Blog, The Libertarian Enterprise and Liberty and Power, as well as in textbooks, journals and other outlets, and has been translated in several languages.

He wrote for Michael Badnarik’s 2004 campaign. He got his B.A. in history at UC Berkeley in 2003, where he wrote his thesis on the 1993 Waco disaster. He sings and plays in a rock band, the Melatones, and is an Eagle Scout. He gives talks frequently and is now writing an Independent Institute book on habeas corpus, detention policy and individual liberty.

Anthony Gregory

[audio:http://dissentradio.com/radio/11_06_01_gregory.mp3]

Anthony Gregory, Editor in Chief of Campaign for Liberty, discusses his article “Worse Than a Third Bush Term?” evaluating Obama’s presidential performance thus far; the “Nullify Now!” speeches on YouTube from the May 28th event in Los Angeles; how the Libya War raises Obama’s notoriety to Bush’s level; the US-supported Libyan rebels who learned their craft by fighting US troops in Iraq; and why most Americans still can’t put aside political party loyalties to demand an end to the wars.

MP3 here. (18:39)

Anthony Gregory is a research analyst at the Independent Institute, Editor in Chief of Campaign for Liberty, moderator of the Beacon, policy adviser to the Future of Freedom Foundation and columnist for LewRockwell.com. He guest edits Strike the Root. His writing has appeared in such places as the Christian Science Monitor San Diego Union Tribune, Antiwar.com, the Journal of Libertarian Studies, Counterpunch, the American Conservative, Liberty Magazine, the Mises Institute blog, the Stress Blog, The Libertarian Enterprise and Liberty and Power, as well as in textbooks, journals and other outlets, and has been translated in several languages.

He wrote for Michael Badnarik’s 2004 campaign. He got his B.A. in history at UC Berkeley in 2003, where he wrote his thesis on the 1993 Waco disaster. He sings and plays in a rock band, the Melatones, and is an Eagle Scout. He gives talks frequently and is now writing an Independent Institute book on habeas corpus, detention policy and individual liberty.

Joshua Holland

[audio:http://dissentradio.com/radio/11_05_31_holland.mp3]

Joshua Holland, editor and senior writer at AlterNet, discusses his article “Five Eye-Opening Facts About Our Bloated Post-9/11 ‘Defense’ Spending;” how the “Medicare gap” pales in comparison to the defense spending increase since 9/11; the significant but unknown costs of war, including long term care for severely wounded soldiers; the common ideological ground shared by leftists and Ron Paul libertarians; what your tax dollars buy, in terms of guns and butter; and how defense spending accounts for the vast majority of public debt – and should be the first target of budget cuts.

MP3 here. (19:48)

Joshua Holland is an editor and senior writer at AlterNet. He is the author of The 15 Biggest Lies About the Economy (and Everything else the Right Doesn’t Want You to Know About Taxes, Jobs and Corporate America).

Glenn Greenwald

[audio:http://dissentradio.com/radio/11_05_24_greenwald.mp3]

Glenn Greenwald, Salon.com blogger and former constitutional lawyer, discusses his upcoming new book With Liberty and Justice for Some: How the Law Is Used to Destroy Equality and Protect the Powerful; the Libya War’s illegality (whether governed by the Constitution or the War Powers Act); how Congress hides its support for war – and hedges its political liabilities – by ceding control to the president; the glaringly obvious two-tiered justice system; the slippery legal and moral slope of extrajudicial assassinations, whether failed or successful; how Obama continues the Bush administration’s pursuit of a unitary executive, beholden to no one; and why the Osama bin Laden boogeyman will soon be replaced with another, since the national security state must justify its immense size and scope.

MP3 here. (28:39)

Glenn Greenwald was a constitutional lawyer in New York City, first at the Manhattan firm Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz, and then at the litigation firm he founded, Greenwald, Christoph. Greenwald litigated numerous high-profile and significant constitutional cases in federal and state courts around the country, including multiple First Amendment challenges. He has a J.D. from New York University School of Law (1994) and a B.A. from George Washington University (1990). In October of 2005, Greenwald started a political and legal blog, Unclaimed Territory, which quickly became one of the most popular and highest-trafficked in the blogosphere.

Upon disclosure by the New York Times in December 2005 of President Bush’s warrantless eavesdropping program, Greenwald became one of the leading and most cited experts on that controversy. In early 2006, he broke a story on his blog regarding the NSA scandal that served as the basis for front-page articles in the Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times and other newspapers, all of which credited his blog for the story. Several months later, Sen. Russ Feingold read from one of Greenwald’s posts during a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on Feingold’s resolution to censure the president for violating FISA. In 2008, Sen. Chris Dodd read from Greenwald’s Salon blog during floor debate over FISA. Greenwald’s blog was also cited as one of the sources for the comprehensive report issued by Rep. John Conyers titled “The Constitution in Crisis.” In 2006, he won the Koufax Award for best new blog.

Greenwald is the author of A Tragic Legacy: How a Good vs. Evil Mentality Destroyed the Bush Presidency, How Would a Patriot Act? Defending American Values from a President Run Amok and Great American Hypocrites: Toppling the Big Myths of Republican Politics.

John Feffer

[audio:http://dissentradio.com/radio/11_05_19_feffer.mp3]

John Feffer, co-director of Foreign Policy In Focus at the Institute for Policy Studies, discusses the Afghanistan debate following Osama bin Laden’s death; his disagreement with Jonathan Landay, who says we can’t withdraw for fear of the terrible consequences; the sea-change in public opinion (and even in Congress and among elite opinion-makers) on the wisdom of staying in Afghanistan; why Syria may be a bridge too far for US intervention; the failed “kill the chicken to scare the monkey” US strategy in Libya; bin Laden’s partial victory, wherein the US empire is bankrupt and failing, but Islamic radicalization was eschewed in favor of a democratic, non-fundamentalist Arab Spring; how neoconservatives and antiwar libertarians are close cousins with similar backgrounds who have arrived at diametrically opposed worldviews; whether the US empire is a stabilizing force globally, or an impediment to ending unhealthy stalemates (as on the Korean peninsula); and the complex (wonkish even) history of N. Korea’s uranium enrichment program, plutonium nuclear weapons, and broken deals with successive US administrations.

MP3 here. (54:02)

John Feffer is co-director of Foreign Policy In Focus at the Institute for Policy Studies. His webpage is JohnFeffer.com.

He is the author of several books and numerous articles. He 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.

Alfred McCoy

[audio:http://dissentradio.com/radio/11_04_25_mccoy.mp3]

Alfred McCoy, professor of history at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, discusses his article on the US empire of failed states at TomDispatch; the post-WWII breakup of European empires into 100 new countries, shifting the balance of world power; how empires require cooperative foreign elites to keep the natives under control; the transition from imperial Britain’s dominant naval power to US air supremacy, which requires many more military bases (which are slipping away as the US loses its empire mojo); and how competition from BRICS and the global economy make US client states less dependent on their benefactor.

MP3 here. (25:38)

Alfred W. McCoy is professor of history at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, a TomDispatch regular, and author most recently of the award-winning book, Policing America’s Empire: The United States, the Philippines, and the Rise of the Surveillance State. He has also convened the “Empires in Transition” project, a global working group of 140 historians from universities on four continents. The results of their first meetings were published as Colonial Crucible: Empire in the Making of the Modern American State, and the findings from their latest conference, at Barcelona last June, will appear next year as Endless Empires: Spain’s Retreat, Europe’s Eclipse, and America’s Decline.

Malou Innocent

[audio:http://dissentradio.com/radio/11_04_07_innocent.mp3]

Malou Innocent, Foreign Policy Analyst at the Cato Institute, discusses her article, “Protests in Afghanistan: Our Excuse to Get Out;” how we underestimate the Afghan resentment of our intrusion into their lives and culture; why Western-style democracy is not the end all, be all political solution for much of the world; and the myriad forces that make ending the Afghan War all but impossible: establishing a Central Asia client state, keeping the military busy, bureaucratic inertia, and a domestic political culture that equates peace with weakness.

MP3 here. (18:54)

Malou Innocent is a Foreign Policy Analyst at the Cato Institute. She is a member of the International Institute of Strategic Studies, and her primary research interests include Middle East and Persian Gulf security issues and U.S. foreign policy toward Pakistan, Afghanistan, and China. She has appeared as a guest analyst on CNN, BBC News, Fox News Channel, Al Jazeera, Voice of America, CNBC Asia, and Reuters.

Innocent has published reviews and articles on national security and international affairs in journals such as Survival, Congressional Quarterly, and Harvard International Review. She has also written for Foreign Policy, Wall Street Journal Asia, Christian Science Monitor, Armed Forces Journal, the Guardian, Huffington Post, the Washington Times, and other outlets both in the United States and overseas. She earned dual Bachelor of Arts degrees in Mass Communications and Political Science from the University of California at Berkeley, and a Master of Arts degree in International Relations from the University of Chicago.

Thomas E. Woods

[audio:http://dissentradio.com/radio/11_03_29_woods.mp3]

Thomas E. Woods, author of Rollback: Repealing Big Government Before the Coming Fiscal Collapse, discusses the actual constitutional war-making powers of the president; why UN mandates do not override the sovereignty of national governments; the “imminent attack” exception to a congressional authorization of war (though somehow FDR found the time after Pearl Harbor to ask for and receive a formal declaration); why the US Constitution is better off in the junk yard than the repair shop; and the cynical American priorities responsible for shutting off the streetlights on Main Street before taking away a dime from the empire.

MP3 here. (19:53)

Thomas E. Woods, Jr., is the New York Times bestselling author of Meltdown: A Free-Market Look at Why the Stock Market Collapsed, the Economy Tanked, and Government Bailouts Will Make Things Worse. A senior fellow at the Ludwig von Mises Institute, Woods holds a bachelor’s degree in history from Harvard and his master’s, M.Phil., and Ph.D. from Columbia University.

Rep. Walter Jones

[audio:http://dissentradio.com/radio/11_03_17_jones.mp3]

Rep. Walter Jones, eight term Congressman from North Carolina, discusses the talk of a 2014, instead of 2011, Afghanistan withdrawal deadline; the Kucinich-Jones cosponsored bill requiring Obama to get the troops out by year’s end; the elusive definition of “winning” the war (possibly meaning building roads and schools in Afghanistan while US infrastructure crumbles); why the US can’t continue as the world’s policeman while borrowing the money to do so; using smarter tactics (more bombs, fewer troops) in fighting the war on terrorism; and how a renewed military draft will serve as a forceful reminder to Americans that there are indeed wars going on.

MP3 here. (19:49)

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.

David Bromwich

[audio:http://dissentradio.com/radio/11_03_10_bromwich.mp3]

David Bromwich, professor of literature at Yale University, discusses the Mideast protests that threaten US-allied autocrats and embarrass the empire; the mealy-mouthed government statements borne of an hypocritical foreign policy; burdensome obligations of the omnipresent US empire; and those interventionist think-tank writers who advocate a Libyan no-fly zone without knowing squat about the forces in play.

MP3 here. (20:00)

David Bromwich teaches literature at Yale. He has written on politics and culture for Huffington Post, The New Republic, The Nation, The New York Review of Books, and other magazines. He is editor of Edmund Burke’s selected writings On Empire, Liberty, and Reform and co-editor of the Yale University Press edition of On Liberty.

Chris Hellman

[audio:http://dissentradio.com/radio/11_03_01_hellman.mp3]

Chris Hellman, Communications and Budget Analyst for the National Priorities Project, discusses the $1.2 trillion national security budget; how government secrecy and over-classification of documents hides wasteful programs and prevents Congressional oversight; huge projected increases in health care and pensions for veterans and retired military; and the bloated Homeland Security, intelligence and State Department budgets.

MP3 here. (20:17)

Chris Hellman is Communications and Budget Analyst for the National Priorities Project.

Chris joined NPP after serving as a military policy analyst for the Center for Arms Control and Non-Proliferation where his work focused on national security spending, military planning and policy, base closures, major weapons systems, trends in the defense industry, global military spending, and homeland security. Prior to joining the Center, Chris spent six years as a Senior Research Analyst at the Center for Defense Information. He also worked for two years as a military budget specialist at Physicians for Social Responsibility. Previously, Chris spent ten years on Capitol Hill as a congressional staffer working on national security and foreign policy issues. He is a frequent media commentator on military planning, policy, and budgetary issues and is the author of numerous reports and articles. He holds a Bachelors Degree from Middlebury College in Vermont

Ivan Eland

[audio:http://dissentradio.com/radio/11_02_14_eland.mp3]

Ivan Eland, Senior Fellow at The Independent Institute and regular contributor to Antiwar.com, discusses the historical revisionists coming out of the woodwork for Ronald Reagan’s 100 birthday; Reagan’s overrated presidency, from foreign policy to the economy; why the Soviet collapse had more to do with a failed economic model than provocative US policy; how Iran Contra dealt a huge blow to Constitutional checks and balances, with the Executive branch doing an end-run around Congress and the Boland Amendment to secretly fund the Nicaraguan Contras; the persistence of Reagan’s “fake” tax cut model (cutting taxes without cutting spending simply hides the costs of government) evident in Dick Cheney’s “deficits don’t matter” mantra; why a better Cold War strategy would have been to let the USSR run amok in the empire-killing money pits of South and Central Asia and Latin America; and the Pentagon’s conflict of interest in making threat assessments (why would they ever not find one?)

MP3 here. (19:41)

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.

Kevin Zeese

[audio:http://dissentradio.com/radio/11_02_09_zeese.mp3]

Kevin Zeese, Executive Director and co-founder of VotersForPeace, discusses the collection of left-right antiwar essays in Come Home America and the prospect of a politically diverse movement against war and empire; how diverting money from military spending to civilian uses would boost the economy; the big three unifying issues: corporate welfare, empire, and the Bill of Rights; and how Rand Paul has dared to question the politically sensitive issue of US foreign aid, even advocating cutting off Israel from the US dole.

MP3 here. (19:42)

Kevin Zeese  is the Executive Director and co-founder of VotersForPeace. He also served as the Executive Director of Democracy Rising, is an attorney, and a long term peace advocate. He took a leave from VotersForPeace for most of 2006 while he was running for the U.S. Senate in Maryland. Zeese was a founding member of the Montgomery County Coalition Against the War in Maryland and has worked with various non-profit organizations on peace, justice, and democracy issues since 1978.

Jacob Hornberger

[audio:http://dissentradio.com/radio/11_02_08_hornberger.mp3]

Jacob Hornberger, founder and president of the Future of Freedom Foundation, discusses how Washington’s mixed messages on Egypt are exposing the US government’s preference for dictatorships over democracies when they suit policy goals; why the US isn’t quite ready to join Chile and other countries willing to look back and examine previous government misdeeds; and why abandoning empire doesn’t presage military defeat and economic ruin.

MP3 here. (17:43)

Jacob G. Hornberger is founder and president of The Future of Freedom Foundation. He is a regular writer for The Future of Freedom Foundation’s publication, Freedom Daily, and is a co-editor or contributor to the eight books that have been published by the Foundation.

Lew Rockwell

[audio:http://dissentradio.com/radio/11_02_07_rockwell.mp3]

Lew Rockwell, founder and Chairman of the Ludwig von Mises Institute, discusses the heartening Egyptian fight for liberty and freedom from government oppression; why the real threat of global domination comes from the US empire, not some Islamic caliphate; how crop subsidies and Fed monetary policy contribute to food riots in the third world; the close cooperation of Egyptian Christians and Muslims in their mutual defense; and why, even if the US isn’t quite ready for revolution, economic imperatives may force the issue.

MP3 here. (21:02)

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 LewRockwell.com. 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.

Sheldon Richman

[audio:http://dissentradio.com/radio/11_02_03_richman.mp3]

Sheldon Richman, senior fellow at The Future of Freedom Foundation, discusses why opponents of state power are naturally against war; Murray Rothbard’s foreign policy litmus test for assessing devotion to liberty; the history of  left-libertarianism and the conceptual left-right political spectrum, from the post-French Revolution era onward; and why across-the-board deregulation is not a free market cure-all, especially while state privileges like bailouts, FDIC insurance and government guarantees remain in place.

MP3 here. (20:05)

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.

Thomas E. Woods

[audio:http://dissentradio.com/radio/11_02_03_woods.mp3]

Thomas E. Woods, author of Rollback: Repealing Big Government Before the Coming Fiscal Collapse, discusses why the trillion dollar military budget is the most deserving candidate for federal spending cuts; why the military’s aging weapons and vehicles, and the shrunken Air Force and Navy, should make us wonder where all the money is going; how an increase in interest rates would end the charade that US debt levels are sustainable; and some creative ideas on reducing the rolls of social security.

MP3 here. (22:03)

Thomas E. Woods, Jr., is the New York Times bestselling author of Meltdown: A Free-Market Look at Why the Stock Market Collapsed, the Economy Tanked, and Government Bailouts Will Make Things Worse. A senior fellow at the Ludwig von Mises Institute, Woods holds a bachelor’s degree in history from Harvard and his master’s, M.Phil., and Ph.D. from Columbia University.

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.

Charles Goyette

[audio:http://dissentradio.com/radio/10_12_07_goyette.mp3]

Charles Goyette, former Antiwar Radio co-contributor and author of The Dollar Meltdown : Surviving the Impending Currency Crisis with Gold, Oil, and Other Unconventional Investments, discusses Ben Bernanke’s 60 Minutes interview where he declares (with lip-quivering certitude) a “100 percent confidence” the Fed can control inflation; how the Fed filled up on bad assets full of “mystery meat” in their quantitative easing program(s); Republican deficit reduction plans that will be decimated from even a minuscule increase in interest rates; the crisis in fiat money as most of the world’s currencies are debased relative to hard assets; and why Americans are still asleep at the switch while their government actively destroys the economy.

MP3 here. (37:57)

Charles Goyette was a longtime award winning morning drive-time radio host from Phoenix, AZ. He is a libertarian commentator, who is noted for his outspoken anti-war views, his opposition to the war in Iraq, and his economic commentary. He is the author of the book The Dollar Meltdown: Surviving the Impending Currency Crisis with Gold, Oil, and Other Unconventional Investments.

Tom Engelhardt

[audio:http://dissentradio.com/radio/10_11_22_engelhardt.mp3]

Tom Engelhardt, author of The American Way of War: How Bush’s Wars Became Obama’s, discusses the legacy of Blowback author Chalmers Johnson who died November 20, how Johnson changed from a self-described “spear carrier for empire” to a sharp and authoritative critic of US foreign policy, learning from Blowback that covert ops have real consequences even if Americans don’t realize what is being done in their names, how positive initial book reviews of The Sorrows of Empire somehow failed to mention the US empire of bases (which is the central focus of book), how Johnson spent the last few months of his life thinking about dismantling the US empire and wondering what a bankrupt superpower would look like and why Americans are facing a stark choice: either give up your empire or live under it.

MP3 here. (18:33)

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.

Jacob Hornberger

[audio:http://dissentradio.com/radio/10_11_16_hornberger.mp3]

Jacob Hornberger, founder and president of the Future of Freedom Foundation, discusses the history of FFF.org and the reading materials behind his conversion from liberal Democrat to Libertarian, the forewarning from Chalmers Johnson’s prescient book Blowback: The Costs and Consequences of American Empire that was written before 9/11, why Americans must choose to either abandon their empire or live under it, the mostly-unseen inflation tax that disproportionately effects the poor and the ongoing struggle between libertarians and statists.

MP3 here. (26:47)

Jacob G. Hornberger is founder and president of The Future of Freedom Foundation. He was born and raised in Laredo, Texas, and received his B.A. in economics from Virginia Military Institute and his law degree from the University of Texas. He was a trial attorney for twelve years in Texas. He also was an adjunct professor at the University of Dallas, where he taught law and economics. In 1987, Mr. Hornberger left the practice of law to become director of programs at The Foundation for Economic Education in Irvington-on-Hudson, New York, publisher of The Freeman.

In 1989, Mr. Hornberger founded The Future of Freedom Foundation. He is a regular writer for The Foundation’s publication, Freedom Daily. Fluent in Spanish and conversant in Italian, he has delivered speeches and engaged in debates and discussions about free-market principles with groups all over the United States, as well as Canada, England, Europe, and Latin America, including Brazil, Cuba, Bolivia, Mexico, Costa Rica, and Argentina.

He has also advanced freedom and free markets on talk-radio stations all across the country as well as on Fox News’ Neil Cavuto and Greta van Susteren shows. Most recently, he has regularly appeared as a commentator on Fox News’ legal commentator Judge Andrew Napolitano’s Internet-based show Freedom Watch. His editorials have appeared in the Washington Post, Charlotte Observer, La Prensa San Diego, El Nuevo Miami Herald, and many others, both in the United States and in Latin America. He is a co-editor or contributor to the eight books that have been published by the Foundation.

Philip Giraldi

[audio:http://dissentradio.com/radio/10_10_01_giraldi.mp3]

[I’ve been out of town takin’ care of some bidness. Show returns at its regular time on Monday. 1,500 re-runs here. -Scott]

Former CIA officer Philip Giraldi discusses the establishment of CIA front companies in Yemen and Somalia that may presage military incursions, the exorbitant price we pay to maintain an empire at permanent war, the 180 degree divergence between Obama’s rhetoric and actions and why terrorism itself can’t destroy the U.S. but decades of overreaction can.

MP3 here. (29:59)

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.

Dilip Hiro

[audio:http://dissentradio.com/radio/10_09_24_hiro.mp3]

Dilip Hiro, author of After Empire: The Birth of a Multipolar World, discusses the terminal decline of the still-mighty U.S. empire, the frequent defeat of American strong-arm tactics in foreign affairs and the rise of competing powers in the BRIC countries.

MP3 here. (17:34)

Born in the Indian sub-continent, Dilip Hiro was educated in India, Britain and America, where he received a master’s degree at Virginia Polytechnic & State University. He then settled in London in the mid-1960s, and became a full-time writer, journalist and commentator. He has published many books, the latest of which is After Empire: The Birth of a Multipolar World.

Gareth Porter

[audio:http://dissentradio.com/radio/10_09_23_porter.mp3]

Gareth Porter, independent historian and journalist for IPS News, discusses Gen. Petraeus’s decision to double down in Afghanistan rather than deescalate and blame the quagmire on his predecessors, evidence of a civilian-military rift on war decisions with Obama failing to control policy and his generals near open rebellion, how the media love fest over Gen. Petraeus gives him unprecedented influence in the political process and why – for the sake of the republic – the permanent U.S. war footing must end soon.

MP3 here. (32:42)

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

Jon Basil Utley

[audio:http://dissentradio.com/radio/10_09_13_utley.mp3]

Jon Basil Utley, director of Americans Against World Empire, discusses how the U.S. export-grade democracy (proportional representation) differs from domestic democracy (direct elections) and the dysfunctional foundations of Iraq’s government that may have been intentionally crippled to guarantee a permanent U.S. occupation.

MP3 here. (9:35)

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 Antiwar.com and edits a blog, The Military Industrial Congressional Complex. Jon also runs the IraqWar.org and TheWarParty.com websites.

Matthew Harwood

[audio:http://dissentradio.com/radio/10_09_08_harwood.mp3]

Washington DC-based writer Matthew Harwood discusses the RAND Corporation’s study – commissioned by the Army War College – that recommends a hybrid “Stability Police Force” to supplement U.S. military actions abroad, the placement of non-deployed SPF “police” in the U.S. Marshal’s Service to avoid conflicts with the Posse Comitatus Act, the blurred line between rules of engagement for the military and civilian police and how the addition of yet another tool for foreign intervention effectively lowers the barrier to conflict entry.

MP3 here. (28:14)

Matthew Harwood is a writer in Washington DC. His work has appeared in The Guardian (UK), The Washington Monthly, Truth-out.org, The Huffington Post, The Columbia Journalism Review and elsewhere. He is currently working on a book about evangelical Christian rhetoric and aggressive US foreign policy.

Patrick Cockburn, Michael Hastings and Andy Worthington

[audio:http://dissentradio.com/radio/10_09_02_kpfk_cockburn_hastings_worthington.mp3]

These interviews are excerpted from the KPFK broadcast of September 2nd. The entire show can be heard here.

Patrick Cockburn, Middle East correspondent for The Independent, discusses the embarrassing performance of what was supposed to be an impressive display of U.S. military power in Iraq, the bitter sectarian divide remaining from Iraq’s civil war of 2006-07 and why Kurdish autonomy my be preferable to true independence in the short term.

Michael Hastings (audio begins at 19:30), author of the article “The Runaway General” in Rolling Stone magazine, where he is now a contributing editor, discusses why the AfPak War – unfortunately – lives up to its name, the large increase in drone strikes during Obama’s presidency, the elusive “inflection point” at which combat casualties permanently decline and why the “surge” in Iraq can’t be duplicated in Afghanistan.

Andy Worthington (audio begins at 35:45), author of The Guantanamo Files, discusses the proceedings at Guantanamo that are grinding to a halt, why “material support for terrorism” charges have no relation to war crimes and should be tried in federal courts, the political realities that make Guantanamo’s timely closure highly unlikely and the 58 Yemeni prisoners still in custody despite being cleared for release.

MP3 here. (54:12)

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.

Michael Hastings is a contributing editor at Rolling Stone magazine and 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 Washington Post, LA Times, and other publications. His blog The Hastings Report focuses on the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and other foreign policy topics.

Andy Worthington writes for Counterpunch, the Future of Freedom Foundation and Antiwar.com. He is the author of The Guantanamo Files and blogs at AndyWorthington.co.uk. His documentary movie Outside the Law: Stories From Guantanamo is available on DVD.

Lew Rockwell

[audio:http://dissentradio.com/radio/10_08_31_rockwell.mp3]

Lew Rockwell, founder and Chairman of the Ludwig von Mises Institute, discusses how central banks print fiat money to pay for world wars that would otherwise be impossible to finance, the enormous resources at the U.S. government’s disposal to delay an economic reckoning, why WalMart is a net gain to society, the division between those who live off the state and those who support it (albeit unwillingly) and why more super-rich dynastic families are needed to compete for power with the state.

MP3 here. (43:20)

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 LewRockwell.com. 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.

Robert Naiman

[audio:http://dissentradio.com/radio/10_08_31_naiman.mp3]

Robert Naiman, Policy Director at Just Foreign Policy, discusses Obama’s commendable follow-through on reducing troop levels in Iraq and (at least rhetorically) standing by the 2011 withdrawal date, the huge increase in troop numbers and casualties in Afghanistan since the Bush administration, the end of finite wars as U.S. foreign policy remains on a permanent war footing and the much-exaggerated death of the antiwar movement.

MP3 here. (18:37)

Robert Naiman is Policy Director at Just Foreign Policy. Mr. Naiman edits the Just Foreign Policy daily news summary and writes on U.S. foreign policy at Huffington Post. He is president of the board of Truthout. Naiman has worked as a policy analyst and researcher at the Center for Economic and Policy Research and Public Citizen’s Global Trade Watch. He has masters degrees in economics and mathematics from the University of Illinois and has studied and worked in the Middle East.

Jon Basil Utley

[audio:http://dissentradio.com/radio/10_08_17_utley_donate.mp3]

Jon Basil Utley, director of Americans Against World Empire, discusses the “national defense” exception from popular outrage against government waste, conservatives who think government isn’t competent to run a nursery school but is up to running a world empire, why warfare and welfare go hand in hand, the coming VAT that will aid in prolonging the U.S. empire and why the conservative movement is all out of good ideas.

MP3 here. (29:16)

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 Antiwar.com and edits a blog, The Military Industrial Congressional Complex. Jon also runs the IraqWar.org and TheWarParty.com websites.

Kevin Zeese

[audio:http://dissentradio.com/radio/10_08_06_zeese.mp3]

Kevin Zeese, Executive Director and co-founder of VotersForPeace, discusses why the Antiwar movement needs to dissociate from the major political parties, how popular pressure really does affect change, the cozy relationship between corporate media and the defense industry and how creating an effective antiwar movement requires rethinking previous failures and realistically assessing the (very formidable) opposition.

MP3 here. (20:54)

Kevin Zeese  is the Executive Director and co-founder of VotersForPeace. Zeese also served as the Executive Director of Democracy Rising, is an attorney, and a long term peace advocate. Zeese took a leave from VotersForPeace for most of 2006 while he was running for the U.S. Senate in Maryland. Zeese was a founding member of the Montgmery County Coalition Against the War in Maryland and has worked with various non-profit organizations on peace, justice, and democracy issues since 1978.

Ivan Eland

[audio:http://dissentradio.com/radio/10_07_30_eland.mp3]

Ivan Eland, Senior Fellow at The Independent Institute and regular contributor to Antiwar.com, discusses the U.S. fight for diplomatic leverage in Afghanistan, why extreme militarization signals the final stage of empire, the many tragedies created by Democrats acting tough and why we need a president like Eisenhower who won’t jump headfirst into every foreign conflict.

MP3 here. (21:48)

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.

Eric Margolis and Tom Engelhardt

[audio:http://dissentradio.com/radio/10_07_26_kpfk_margolis_engelhardt.mp3]

This recording is excerpted from the KPFK Strategy Session program of July 26th. Scott Horton separately interviews Eric Margolis and Tom Engelhardt. The audio for Tom Engelhardt begins around 17:10. The complete recording can be heard here.

Internationally syndicated columnist Eric Margolis discusses the differences between the WikiLeaks Afghan War files and the Pentagon Papers, why the media won’t press the issue and inflame public opinion against the war, the U.S. ultimatum after 9/11 that made Pakistan walk a tightrope between servitude and strategic interests, how private mercenary contractors got out of control and why troop surges are usually met with even larger resistance surges.

Tom Engelhardt, author of The American Way of War: How Bush’s Wars Became Obama’s, discusses the flood of new leaks following the WikiLeaks blockbuster, a possible insurgency within the U.S. military or intelligence services that is determined to end the Afghanistan War, the unprecedented secrecy revealed in the “Top Secret America” Washington Post piece and the markedly different emphasis in the U.K. Guardian vs. The New York Times on the WikiLeaks documents. The show ends with listener calls and some Q&A.

MP3 here. (44:44)

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 appears as an expert on foreign affairs on CNN, BBC, France 2, France 24, Fox News, CTV and CBC.

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.

Jeremy Scahill

[audio:http://dissentradio.com/radio/10_07_23_kpfk_scahill_horton.mp3]

This recording is excerpted from the KPFK Beneath the Surface program of July 23rd. Scott Horton interviews Jeremy Scahill and is himself interviewed by KPFK producer Alan Minsky. The complete recording can be heard here.

Independent journalist Jeremy Scahill, author of Blackwater: The Rise of the World’s Most Powerful Mercenary Army, discusses the too little too late Washington Post exposé on “Top Secret America,” how private contractors do the dirty (and illegal) work of state terrorism while providing the U.S. government plausible deniability, the “preparing the battlefield” exception to Congressional oversight and how the U.S. has created a big brother surveillance state in the British model.

MP3 here. (25:50)

(Scott Horton discusses the forthcoming U.S. military presence in Costa Rica, the political motivations behind “Islamic terrorism” and how U.S. intervention in Somalia created Al Shabaab.)

Jeremy Scahill operates the website Rebelreports.com and is a contributor to The Nation, Democracy Now, CommonDreams.org and Alternet.org. He is the author of Blackwater: The Rise of the World’s Most Powerful Mercenary Army.

Shelley Walden

[audio:http://dissentradio.com/radio/10_07_23_walden.mp3]

Shelley Walden, international officer at the Government Accountability Project, discusses Paul Wolfowitz’s girlfriend Shaha Riza, their corrupt deal with SAIC and the World Bank and the Foundation for the Future which came to nothing but kept everyone paid.

MP3 here. (20:31)

Shelley Walden graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with a B.A. in Journalism and International Studies. Before joining GAP in 2004, she worked as a freelance reporter for The Chapel Hill Herald and the Museum of Life and Science. She also interned in Bolivia with Save the Children (in collaboration with the Foundation for Sustainable Development), where she helped raise funds for and launch a housekeepers’ rights campaign. She was the 2004 SERVAS essay winner and delegate to the United Nations Non-Governmental Organization Conference.

David T. Beito

[audio:http://dissentradio.com/radio/10_07_21_beito.mp3]

David T. Beito, professor of history at the University of Alabama and keeper of the blog Liberty and Power at the History News Network, discusses his book (with co-author Linda Royster Beito) Black Maverick: T.R.M. Howard’s Fight for Civil Rights and Economic Power, Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s madness, his Justice Department’s witch hunt against those who opposed the New Deal regime and march to war, FDR’s direct and personal use of the IRS to persecute dissenters, widespread opening of mail, rumors of actual fascist threats to the Roosevelt administration, the role of Martin Samuel Dickstein, the only U.S. Congressman proven to have been an actual KGB agent, in spreading the “brown-shirt under every bed” meme, the Old Right anti-New Deal coalition, the persecution of Edward A. Rumely, the bogus mass sedition trial during WWII, the distance between the America First Committee and the pro-Nazi types, the Communists repeated flippa-floppas back and forth on the war question and hard core support for sedition persecutions and the foundations of the modern police/imperial state in the Roosevelt years.

MP3 here. (39:52)

David T. Beito is a professor of history at the University of Alabama and keeps the blog Liberty and Power at the History News Network. He is co-author with Linda Royce Beito of the book Black Maverick: T.R.M. Howard’s Fight for Civil Rights and Economic Power, and author of From Mutual Aid to the Welfare State: Fraternal Societies and Social Services, 1890-1967, and Taxpayers in Revolt: Tax Resistance during the Great Depression.

David Spero

[audio:http://dissentradio.com/radio/10_07_20_spero.mp3]

David Spero RN, author of the book The Art of Getting Well, writer for DissidentVoice.org, discusses his push for a left-right-libertarian realignment for liberty and against the empire, the important issues we agree on and the divisive social issues that divide us, Scott’s hairbrained idea for a real two-party system, TV’s best efforts to keep Americans helpless, the hopeful rise of civilian mutual support networks to decrease dependence on the central state as economic times get worse.

MP3 here. (24:57) Transcript below.

David Spero RN writes books, columns, and blogs about the social dimensions of health. He edited the paper Green Consensus for the California Greens.

———————-

Transcript – Scott Horton interviews David Spero, July 21, 2010

Scott Horton: All right, everybody, it’s Antiwar Radio, I’m Scott Horton, and our next guest is David Spero, RN. His website is DavidSperoRN.com. He’s the author of the book The Art of Getting Well: Maximizing Health and Well–being When You Have a Chronic Illness, and he writes political stuff over at DissidentVoice.org. I think we spoke in January about “Left and Right Against the Empire,” and now is “Don’t Fear the Right: They Are Potential Class Allies,” written from the left, from July 15, 2010 – again on the website at DissidentVoice.org. Welcome to the show, David. How are you?

David Spero: Hey, I’m doing good. Thanks for having me.

Horton: Well, thanks very much for joining us here. Sorry about the delay there.

Spero: It’s good to hear that speech.

Horton: Yeah, it started out really poetry wise, but I don’t really know about those things, but it sounded like a poem at first anyway. Yeah, good stuff. And you know it makes a good jumping-off point here, that Ron Paul clip. Because what he’s saying is the kind of thing, most of that – at least I think that it’s a very kind of centrist speech that he was giving, really, that it incorporates the very best parts of the left and the right. It doesn’t make him a so-called moderate, you know, bloodthirsty warmonger like Lindsay Graham or Joe Lieberman or something. He’s in the center, but up at the top toward freedom instead of down at the bottom towards totalitarianism, where those guys are. And I think that’s the same kind of mindset that I see in your writing here, that, you know, like me and like Ron Paul, you put all the emphasis on the war and the Bill of Rights first and culture wars later.

Spero: Right. And this new article, “Don’t Fear the Right,” it sort of disagrees with what Ron Paul said at the end there, about this is all gonna be – can be done through peaceful and intellectual means. I mean, that’s what most people have to do, but I think that we all agree that we’re moving into a – or we have moved into a police state, in a large degree, and a warfare state, which he said.

And I think we need to involve the people who are fighting those wars and carrying out that police state, and that’s what the Oath Keepers are doing. That was the essence of my article; the new article was about the Oath Keepers, which is a group of active duty and retired military and police who pledge to follow the Constitution and to not carry out unconstitutional orders. And I would rather have police like that than, you know, than Blackwater or the SWAT team.

And so that’s – it’s interesting, though, that they have been attacked like most groups that are identified as right, whether they really are right or not – that they’re attacked as being a militia or as being racist or a lot of things that really aren’t true. Because they – although they haven’t come out fully against the wars and things, they do encourage soldiers to think for themselves, and police officers as well, and I think we could use that.

Horton: Yeah, well, and you know what, it may be, you know, in the broadest sense, a right phenomenon, but what does that really mean? You know, especially from kind of leftist definitions – I saw Noam Chomsky saying, “Well, wait a minute, these are all working-class people – shouldn’t they be coming to us? And why aren’t we reaching out to them? Why are we sitting around condemning them and calling them racists all day and whatever, when we ought to be their heroes? Maybe we’re doing something wrong, y’all.”

Spero: Well I didn’t know that Chomsky said that, but I agree. I mean, Chomsky’s a pretty smart guy, so… And there’s a lot of – well, I think, as you’ve often called it, that, you know, the culture wars and cultural prejudice that keeps a lot of people who at least identify themselves as left from reaching out to people that they should be reaching out to, that we really have lots in common with because culturally they’re different, or because we disagree on certain points. I mean, it’s really interesting to read the comments section on DissidentVoice with the first article, “Left and Right Against the Empire,” or in this article – the comments can get pretty angry.

Horton: Yeah, well, hold it right there, man. The music’s playing. We got to go out to this break.

Spero: Okay.

Horton: But we’ll be right back with David Spero, from DissidentVoice.org, on Antiwar Radio after this, y’all.

* * * * *

Horton: All right, y’all, welcome back to the show. It’s Antiwar Radio. I’m Scott Horton. I’m talking with David Spero from DissidentVoice.org. We’re talking about left and right and the empire and the war and all that kind of thing. You know – well, go ahead, you were talking, David, about the war in the comments section over your article proposing that people get their priorities straight.

Spero: Well, yeah, and most of the complimentary comments I received came from libertarians, but not exclusively. You know there were some people who identified themselves as very left who said that, “Yeah, we need to work with libertarians and we need to work with conservatives as much as possible,” but with real questions about how that can be done, especially with what’s sort of happening in the part of the political spectrum that identifies itself as conservatives – that a lot of them are very interventionist, very statist, very, you know, people that it’s hard to see how you could work with.

Horton: I wonder if you’re – are you familiar with the Nolan Chart?

Spero: Yes.

Horton: So, for people not familiar, you know, your high school history teacher – if they teach you – probably your gym coach in the first place who doesn’t know anything – but then if he teaches you anything, he shows you this left-right political spectrum, it tells you that you gotta fit somewhere in the “reasonable” center between Stalin and Hitler on the left-right spectrum.

And what the Nolan Chart does is it adds – I forget which is the X and which is the Y axis, but it adds a second dimension to these questions, and if you rank right at the very top in the center, you rank as a plumb-line libertarian, and down at the bottom is where the communists and the fascists meet with their total statism. And so it’s useful for thought experiment purposes. I don’t even know if the questionnaire even includes foreign policy. I think it doesn’t, and that’s probably its major flaw.

But, anyway, it kind of shows the possibility there of – in fact, I would say foreign policy of course is most important, that and the Bill of Rights – and you see the possibility for where, if a conservative Democrat like Joe Lieberman and a liberal republican like John McCain can get it together and form coalitions in order to kill people all around the world forever, then the people who are opposed to those things ought to also be able to form those coalitions. I mean, that’s what to me is the natural party distinction. It’s not between, you know, country and rock and roll, it’s between whether you’re on the side of elite power and the national state – the empire – or you’re on the side of individuals.

Spero: Yeah, and I think we need to move – now we’re at the point where we need to start to really think about, “How are we going to do that in practice?” And you know there are issues that we’ll need to work out. And actually some of that has come up in the comments section of this last article, of, you know, how do you feel about Social Security, for example. Can we work out these differences so that we can ally? And I think we can, but we really need to be talking to each other and people need to get out of their comfort zone, you know, and be willing to talk to people that may be, both in terms of their ideas and also in terms of maybe their cultural attitudes and things, are a little different. And really, it’s a challenge, and I’m going to keep writing about this stuff, and I hope we can get some of these things going.

Horton: Well, you know, when it comes down to it, there are some intractable questions such as abortion and the role of the federal government in regulating business and whatever. But for me – well, I mean obviously that’s part of it, you know, the second thing there – but most of these, you know, cultural divisions I think are basically just bogus. And this is what makes the two-party system a scam is that everybody’s divided, not among people who actually believe that the government ought to be doing this or that about the important things, but just about their kind of cultural distinctions, you know, whether they wear boots or sandals – crap like that.

Spero: Yeah, well, I mean, from the emotional content, the anger that I see in these comments, and that you see when you go to, say, a Tea Party rally – you know that there is going to be some more work to do for people to connect, and to work out these things. And whether it’s even possible or not, I don’t really know. I mean, so far what I see is left/right. So what’s actually happened is libertarians and greens, or libertarians and far leftists – you know Alexander Cockburn type, which I guess I would count myself as one of – and those people can see it, and like the sort of the average conservative and average liberal aren’t seeing it at this point, you know what I mean?

Horton: Yeah, yeah, well that’s exactly right. But then again, the people who are the most ideological are the ones who do the most writing and can help to lead the way on things like that. And I know Alex Cockburn has always been a Ron Paul fan. I think he says he’s just a rogue Texas congressman fan and just likes that style of politics that Ron represents there.

But so that brings me actually to where we started and really where the rubber meets the road, I think, one of the major important questions, which is, can the left get behind a coalition to support Ron Paul for president next time? After all, the last time, he said over and over and over again, “I’m not trying to abolish your Social Security and your Medicare and your Medicaid. I’m trying to shore it up by abolishing the empire.” And he had a proposal to let people who are under the age of 25 opt out of Social Security if they wanted. But he always was opposed to the George Bush/Cato Institute proposal to “privatize” Social Security by taking it all out of government bonds and putting it in the stock market – he was never for that fascism. You know? And so this is a guy who’s basically made his offer to the left, “Look, I might try to abolish the Department of Education while I demolish the Department of Homeland Security too. Do we have a deal?” You know? And that to me is fair enough – should be.

Spero: Yeah, and I think a lot of leftists would… Okay, you go out and actually talk to people about this then. During the elections a lot of people would say, “I would love to see a Ron Paul / Dennis Kucinich ticket,” or something like that. Or a Dennis Kucinich / Ron Paul ticket, you know? And so there are a lot of people like that, but it’s going to require work. And that’s why I’m mainly writing on left sites and things like that because like, you know, that’s where I grew up, and that’s the audience that I think I can talk to. And you do see an awful lot of pro Ron Paul comments in the comments sections of like Common Dreams and other left sites, not so much on like the Huffington Post or you know you get more closer to the liberal center, but you know the leftist Counterpunch and places like that, there is a lot of left support for Ron Paul. Although you know a lot of people also feel – and I kind of think that Paul is a little bit like Kucinich in the sense they kind of allow him to do what he does and they don’t trash him because they think it’ll keep people in the Republican Party or keep people in the electoral system. You know what I mean?

Horton: Yeah. Well, boy, I’ll tell you what, support for Ron Paul should never translate to support for any other Republican. I mean, boy, that would be horrible, to shore up the Republican Party there. And let me suggest too that when it comes to Pat Buchanan and all the different people which – I don’t even think he’s any longer at the American Conservative magazine – but, you know, the whole paleoconservative right, and the libertarians as well – but even just the paleo right – I notice that left-wingers get very uncomfortable about having any agreement with somebody like Pat Buchanan – which is understandable if you’re a true blue leftist, then you know, Pat’s problematic from your point of view in a lot of ways or whatever.

But it seems like rather than being nervous about that kind of thing, that he would make a great talking point for the left – that, look, “I’m so right that Pat Buchanan says I’m right.” “I ‘m so right that there’s a whole group of right-wingers who completely agree with me about how we’ve got to stop the killing of people all the time. We’ve got to reinstate the Bill of Rights before we have no chance to, ever again.”

Spero: No, I agree with that, and I think Jane Hamsher over at Firedoglake – which is a liberal site, or a left site, let’s say – was working with and actually cosigned some articles and papers with Grover Norquist and I think Pat Buchanan as well. So there are some people doing that.

Horton: Yeah, right on. That’s leading the way right there. That’s what we need.

Spero: Yeah. And it’s going to be, and it is uncomfortable, and it is difficult, and I don’t think success is guaranteed, either, you know, because we are talking about a fairly small group of rightists and a fairly small group of leftists there. But I think it’s what we got to try, don’t you?

Horton: Yeah, well, that’s my view. I’ll tell you what, we’re almost out of time for this segment. If you want to talk politics more, I could hold you over through the news and we can go on for another ten minutes, or I’ll let you go if you need to go.

Spero: I can do another ten minutes.

Horton: Okay, great. So why don’t you hold on right there. Everybody, it’s David Spero from DissidentVoice.org. We’re talking about the left and the right and, you know, what I like to think of as the new realignment. In the 1930s – I learned in school that basically the only people left out of the New Deal alliance were the old classical liberals. All the conservatives got on board for it, black and white, and all the different ethnicities, town and country, and rich and poor, and Wall Street and Main Street, and everybody got on board for the New Deal. And that’s really what we need now is that kind of realignment where there’s a real consensus that we are going to put peace and the Bill of Rights first. And end the corporate welfare too, by the way, which means abolishing the central bank. We’ll get back to all this with David Spero, right after this.

* * * * *

Horton: All right, y’all. Welcome back to the show. It’s Antiwar Radio. I’m Scott Horton. I’m talking with David Spero from DissidentVoice.org. Back in January he wrote this great one, “Left and Right Against the Empire.” And he’s got a new one called “Don’t Fear the Right,” which is a message to the Left.

Now, David, so, here’s the thing. This is never going to happen in a million years, but it’s a fun little thought experiment type thing, for me anyway – at least it helps me make my point. Here’s what I want to see happen: Have everybody who cares about peace and the Bill of Rights all bum rush the Republican Party, rename it the Democratic-Republicans after Thomas Jefferson’s first real party – born in dissent against the tyranny of John Adams, Alexander Hamilton and the Federalists. And we’ll take all the Jeffersonian leftists or liberals and all the Jeffersonians on the right, with the libertarians as the center instead of Joe Lieberman as the center, and then we will just name the other party “The War Party.” And [we’ll say] “you guys will be the party of taxation and tyranny, police state and mass murder, and we’ll be the party of individual liberty and peace.”

Spero: Well, I’ll tell you what. Call me up and I’ll be there, but I do think that’s rather a long shot.

Horton: Yeah, yeah, it’s impossible. But shouldn’t that really be the division? I wish people could see it the way I see it. Seems like we’d win!

Spero: Well, there’s the control of an incredibly massive media world out there that keeps people from seeing that. I mean there’s television, and there’s movies, and there’s – yeah, you go to the movies and there’s ads for the military, right there before you see your movie – and there’s news, actually there’s Fox News radio that you have on this network, and it’s pretty hard to get the message out. And that’s what we’ve got to work on, is how can we get to that point? Because people don’t change their minds that easily, you know? And they’ve been hearing this patriotic or jingoistic kind of – let’s go kill everybody kind of – ideas and education and publicity for decades now.

So it’s going to take a lot of work. And you’re doing a lot, I mean you’re doing the best you can – I mean, this show – I’m really happy to be on this show because you’re consistent about that, and we need more voices. But I don’t see exactly where those – there aren’t a lot of outlets like Liberty Radio for these voices to go on. There are some, though, and with the Internet there are more and more, so, yeah, I don’t think it’s impossible. I just think that it’s, you know, especially people – I’m like, I’m almost 60, so I mean, it’s like you get trapped in old ways of doing things, like, “Lets get this in the newspaper, let’s get an article in a magazine,” or something like that. And it doesn’t really seem to work anymore. I think it’s very difficult to compete with the War Party message.

Horton: Yeah. Well and you know, I gotta hand it to the War Party too. They really did good with this Obama guy. You know? I mean the George Bush scam was so transparent – you know, George Bush’s son – oh yeah, he’s a cowboy, he’s a middle class guy just like you, and whatever, and that was ridiculous.

Spero: But that worked too!

Horton: Oh, it worked just as well, but the Obama thing is more plausible on its face. You know, he’s not George Bush’s son. You know what I mean?

Spero: Yeah, I know what you mean.

Horton: And boy it worked so well. And you know I saw Cindy Sheehan, bless her, she put this thing out on the Facebook about how, “Antiwar protest at the White House cancelled for lack of interest.” Oh, man! They can’t even get anybody to show up. I saw a hardcore leftist, I think it was, in the comments section at Antiwar.com, who said, “Man, those dirty hippies in the ’60s did more to fight the war and the state before breakfast than all y’all people have ever done. Pathetic! And that was with Democrats in the White House. That was with Lyndon Johnson in the White House, you know? Most of it.

Spero: That’s true. Well, you’re right, I mean that was a stroke of genius with Obama, and I don’t think it was accidental either. I think, you know, some War Party types found him when he was just getting started and groomed him for this role, and Goldman Sachs and others poured hundreds of millions of dollars into his campaigns and made it happen.

Horton: Hey, at what point do you think they started grooming him?

Spero: I think before he was first elected to the state senate in Illinois.

Horton: Really?

Spero: I mean, probably when he was in Harvard.

Horton: You know, I haven’t even really read about that. I probably should. I just figured only goofy right-wingers had written about it, so why bother? But I read, like the Newsweek account was that he gave a great speech after he was a state senator and some Democratic Party Clintonite types said to him, “Hey man, you give a pretty good speech. Why don’t you come with us?” But that was the Newsweek version. Who knows what’s real?

Spero: Yeah, and that’s true of a lot of things that happen. And when things happen that just don’t seem quite right, like, “How did this guy? Who is this guy? How did he get to be president at the age of 45 or whatever it is?” You think maybe there was something else going on there that we weren’t told.

Horton: Well, the American people certainly wanted to believe in the hope and change. At least we’ve got to give them credit for that, that they knew that – I mean, none of them want to take responsibility for being former supporters, really, but they knew they didn’t want the Bush-Cheney era to go on anymore. Something had to change. They just didn’t know what, and they went for the easy thing, but –

Spero: And it didn’t – you know, there’s a Bruce Cockburn song – can’t remember the name of it [Ed. – Last Night of the World] – but he’s got this line in there, “I’ve seen the flame of hope flashing in the eyes of the hopeless, and that was the cruelest blow of all.” You know? And that’s the way you feel when you look at anybody who had some hope for Obama would feel, you know? “Wow we’ve got this guy and it’s worse than ever.”

Horton: Well, I kind of hope that that’s true that people at least are starting – I mean I would hate the idea that they just all drop out, you know, “Well, gee, I tried my best and all I did was help get another bad guy elected,” or whatever. But at least if they learn the truth that, “Hey, wow, so it might as well have been John McCain, huh!” then, you know, there’s a perspective there that’s, you know, progress in the mind of the average Left–Right believing American.

Spero: If we can give them an alternative. You know, I’m thinking of the younger folks now that were really – that came out for Barack and are totally, you know, burned out and turned off at this point. Who can give them another way to go – but I don’t – that may not be another candidate, I mean, although, you know, a good candidate like Ron Paul would help, but I mean I think about one of the militias that I wrote about in this article, up in Maine – the author Carolyn Chute created this club, “The Second Maine Militia,” and she says that it’s definitely anti-police state and anti-corporate, and you know it’s a bunch of poor people with guns. And I think that that’s something we could do even in the cities. Maybe you could have an unarmed militia, you know? But I think we need to organize-that we may need to find other ways to organize.

Horton: Yeah, well, and you know that’s really facing the hard truth there, that, like Ron Paul always says, “This is all going to change and it won’t be because you listened to me, it’ll be because, like I told you when you weren’t listening to me, ‘All empires fall down, man, this is how it goes.'” And now, you know, what you’re talking about is how are we going to take care of ourselves after that. And this is why I think our focus on ideology is so important, because when times are really bad, people are easily led by demagogues and easily led to blame the powerless instead of the powerful for their predicament and embrace authoritarianism and stuff, and who knows how bad it’s really going to get economically here, but it could get really bad. It’s already pretty consistently high unemployment for a few years in a row now.

Spero: I don’t see that getting any better any time soon. I think that the, you know, the really powerful folks in this country made a decision about 20, 30 years ago to send the good jobs away because the labor movement with the unions were the biggest thing that was standing in their way of doing what they wanted, so they broke them. You know, they just sent all those, closed all those factories down, or most of them. And so I don’t see that coming back.

If you don’t have productive good–paying jobs, I don’t see how, you know, Krugman and some of these liberal economists saying, you know, “More stimulus, more stimulus, more.” What are you stimulating? There’s no, you know, the underlying economy is pretty screwed, and we need to sort of rebuild it. And I mean I just think we need to be organizing at the local level and at every level to try to take care of ourselves. And that sounds kind of – Just this morning I was on the Oath Keepers website to see what’s happening over there.

Horton: Oh, real quick, sorry, we’re about out of time.

Spero: Yes, but anyway, people are arguing about these things. People are talking about these things. And so I’m just encouraging people to get out of your comfort zone, talk to people that you don’t normally talk to and find out where you’ve got the common ground.

Horton: All right everybody, that’s David Spero.

Bruce Fein

[audio:http://dissentradio.com/radio/10_07_19_fein.mp3]

Bruce Fein, author of American Empire: Before the Fall, discusses the domestic consequences of foreign empire, the very fast transition from republic to empire in American history, the changing of the presidency from chief executive to permanent war commander, the simple truth that terrorism is a reaction to, not the reason for American interventionism in the Middle East, Faisal Shazad’s explanation of how this works to a federal judge in New York recently, an example of how empire’s bring themselves down, the morality and effectiveness of a peaceful state with an explicit nuclear deterrent, the long, long list of new powers claimed by the president since 9/11 and the secrecy surrounding it all, the war powers of the presidency as the core of our problem, the Washington D.C. imperial court, how to restore the republic and why we have to try.

MP3 here. (29:02)

Bruce Fein was Associate Deputy Attorney General and General Counsel to the Federal Communications Commission under President Reagan and author of The American Empire: Before the Fall.

————–

Transcript – Scott Horton Interviews Bruce Fein July 19, 2010

Scott Horton: All right y’all, welcome back to the show. It’s Antiwar Radio. I’m Scott Horton, and our next guest is Bruce Fein. He was the Associate Deputy Attorney General and General Counsel to the Federal Communications Commission under Ronald Reagan, and he is the author of the book American Empire: Before the Fall. Welcome to the show, Bruce. How are you?

Fein: I’m doing well. Thank you for inviting me, Scott.

Horton: Well, I really appreciate you joining us here. So basically the book is structured around the farewell address of the first President, George Washington; a speech on July 4, 1821, I think it was, by John Quincy Adams; and of course the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution. And you take these as a mandate from the founders of the American federal government – the general government, as they called it back then – to stay out of the world’s affairs.

Fein: I think that’s a fair approximation. I call these the charter documents. The philosophy is the United States of America is about protecting and securing the blessings of liberty for Americans, that the influence of America abroad was by the force of example – period. No entangling alliances. We build defenses, defenses, defenses for United States citizens alone. If people want to volunteer to do Good Samaritan work abroad, that’s up to them. But the government of the United States has no right or authority to coerce an American to spend a dollar to fight for the liberty of somebody who doesn’t owe their loyalty to the United States.

And the reason why – although it seems to some as callous – the Founding Fathers undertook this particular posture was because when you go abroad in search of monsters to destroy – as John Quincy Adams, then Secretary of State put it –you destroy the Republic. All power concentrates in the president. All due process is shattered. The money, the taxes, the contracts, the appointments, the desire for fame and remembrance – all pushes the President to inflate fear, to concoct excuses for war, and to destroy individual liberty at home in the name of having some particular obelisk built.

The Founding Fathers knew the executive branch was vulnerable to that temptation because that was their entire experience in observing the history of Europe prior to the Revolutionary War. It was the European monarchs that would fight for trivial causes. The Founding Fathers said, “No! We must stay away from these entanglements because it will destroy our republic.”

Horton: Well now, I guess it could be argued – I think I would argue – that the American state has really been at war since they created its power to raise armies and put taxes on people, and they hardly ever stopped. I mean, a lot of times we act like the Age of Empire began maybe when they stole Hawaii or something like that, but I think Noam Chomsky on this show called that the “saltwater fallacy,” and they waged war to seize this continent.

Fein: I think that that is an incomplete examination. I do think it’s fair to say that up until the Mexican-American War, the United States did expand – like the Louisiana Purchase that bought the land from Napoleon, from the French – and there certainly were clashes with Indians, but the major issue that destroyed the Republic is the legal architecture of war.

When you formally declare war, that’s the silence of the rule of law and the subordination of individual liberty. Up until the Mexican-American War – we did fight the War of 1812 over impressment and neutrality; the British had attacked, and they ultimately burned Washington on that occasion; but that was a war declared by the Congress of the United States. But until the Mexican-American War, I do not believe that we were using the legal architecture of war to justify the destruction of checks and balances and the securing of the unalienable right to life, liberty, and [the] pursuit of happiness, which is the goal of all government.

It was the Mexican-American War and this rather ridiculous idea of “manifest destiny” and a crusading spirit of bringing to all of the world United States’ values and free enterprise that launched us on the trajectory towards empire that now has reached its zenith, post-911, where we now have a military force in Afghanistan and Pakistan, which, if that ratio to the enemy was used in World War II, we would have had 3.4 billion Americans fighting Germany and Japan – which means multiplying the population by twenty-five and conscripting every one of them.

And I do believe that it was because the successors to the founding generation after Quincy Adams forgot the lessons, the creed of the founding Republic, that led them into this enterprise of domination for the sake of domination. That’s what we’ve got to get away from.

Our pride has to be in securing freedom for Americans, making us a more perfect union, and hoping the rest of the world, by emulation, may wish to copy us – but if not, that’s up to the rest of the world. We still have a union that treasures liberty – the individual as the center of the universe, not the government.

Horton: Well, and it’s fair enough that you focus on the consequences for the American people because, one, the American people don’t seem in majority, or in large measure anyway, to care about the lives of foreigners at all, so never mind the Indians or the Iraqis or the Pakistanis and what it’s like for them.

But you’re confronting one of the foundational myths of our entire civic religion in this society, which is that you and I couldn’t even be having this conversation if it wasn’t for the Army killing Iraqis, and that, you know, it’s good for the economy, etc. – that all this empire is for us, that we benefit from it, it’s why we have the Bill of Rights – it’s not the biggest threat to the Bill of Rights. That’s what the people are told to believe on TV all day.

Fein: Yeah. Well, and of course the fact is [that] empires ultimately end up in self-destruction because the arrogance and the duplicity of their motivations cause resentment and what you might call “blowback,” which is exactly what, largely, Osama bin Laden/al Qaeda is about.

It’s very striking, Scott, that if you examine the reported colloquy that was had in a New York Federal District Court up in the Southern District of New York recently between Faisal Shahzad – he was the individual who pled guilty to having the car with a bomb in New York Times Square – and the attempted conspiracy, if you will, to kill Americans – and he was asked by the judge when he pled guilty, “Well, why did you do this?” He said, “Well, we are at war with Islam; that’s what the Afghanistan and Pakistan wars are about.” And she said, “Well, but why are you killing women and children if it’s a war?” And he says, “Well, your drones don’t make any distinction when they come crashing into Afghanistan and Pakistan between women and children – they kill anybody. So why are we to play by Queensberry rules where you engage in atrocities?” And she didn’t have an answer for that.

And this was an individual – Faisal – who was a U.S. citizen. He didn’t say, “I hate American liberty.” He didn’t say that he despised the fact that women didn’t have headscarves on or burqas that caused him to do what he did. It was retaliation for exactly what we’re doing abroad.

This is the stupidity – we are creating a hundred new enemies for every drone that kills one militant, if we even know how to define a militant. This is quite stupid, but that’s the stupidity of empire – ultimately to destruction, like Rome, the Ottomans, the British, etc.

Horton: In fact I just interviewed a writer, a journalist named Stephan Salisbury, about some of these entrapment cases, these bogus terrorism cases since September 11th. And he talks about how the informants always use Israeli policy, American policy in the Middle East as their talking points to try to provoke these people into saying something stupid into an open microphone so that they can be prosecuted. And they don’t ever say, “Don’t you hate it that women can wear skirts to a primary election?” Or something like that. They always say, “Look at what’s going on in the West Bank! How can you not fight back?” That’s what the provocateur says to entrap.

Fein: Yeah, exactly! Because they know that, no, even if these people don’t necessarily embrace the American form of democracy, they don’t wake up each day and think, “Oh, I’m so angry that someone has freedom, that a woman can go to school.” That’s ridiculous! They don’t care about that 5,000 miles away from Afghanistan or Pakistan. It’s a concoction made to dupe the American people into thinking that these are non-human beings and that there will be a caliphate in Washington D.C. unless we’re sending Predator drones into their wedding parties.

Horton: Right, and that is the strength of this book. Again, it’s called American Empire: Before the Fall. And it seems like we are really pretty much at least at the top of the decline here. It seems like the apex of American power was in the last administration. I think Pat Buchanan wrote that the “high tide” was Fallujah, when they turned us back, basically. It was a giant massacre for nothing.

All right, so hang on the phone, Bruce. It’s Antiwar Radio. The music’s playing, we’ll go out to break, and we’ll come back and talk more about this excellent book – I really recommend you all run out and get it – American Empire: Before the Fall. It’s Antiwar Radio.

* * * * *

Horton: All right, y’all, welcome back to the show. It’s Antiwar Radio. I’m Scott Horton. I’m talking with Bruce Fein. He’s the author of the brand new book, American Empire: Before the Fall.

Now I want to ask you to kind of catalog, as you do so well in the book, the degradation of even the theory of the rule of law as binding the power of anybody in the government at all.

But first I want to pick a fight with you about what you say about how America should be unilaterally at peace – abandon collective security and all that stuff – and we should be unilaterally at peace, but we should threaten nuclear annihilation against anyone who ever attacks us. But it seems to me like, at the very worst, if we respond to somebody that attacks us, it should be proportional, not nuclear annihilation of women and children and other men who had nothing to do with the decisions of their politicians. That’s not any more fair than Iraq or Iran nuking us now for what we did to them.

Fein: Well, obviously you’ve got to – look, the purpose here of the threat is to try to deter war in the first instance. That’s the greatest tragedy.

Horton: Yeah, but then if somebody attacks us, we got to nuke ’em.

Fein: It’s hard to argue. Take, for example, Scott – was Hiroshima and Nagasaki disproportionate to Pearl Harbor and all the deaths that had happened in the interim?

Horton: Yes.

Fein: The main success is deterring war in the first instance. You want to promise, in my view, that someone who is the aggressor – and this is an aggressor state. An attack/war is not an individual who comes in and says, “I hate America” – that doesn’t justify a war response. I’m talking about an attack that’s an existential attack like Pearl Harbor with a country that’s got millions of people in the armed forces – Japan ultimately had over 10 million – a huge industrial base – that you want to prevent this catastrophe that comes in the first instance by saying, “Then you’re going to lose all of your power. Your country will be annihilated.” That’s the goal there.

Now you may disagree with regard to whether it will be effective. I think that’s far more beneficent towards mankind, to prevent war in the first instance, than saying, “Well, if you attack us, even if it’s unprovoked, we’ll only go back, and so you’ll suffer the same amount as we did.” I think that would be more encouraging to warfare, but we can debate that.

But I want to go back, if I can – well, I don’t want to cut you off. You may have a response to mine. It’s not fair for me to just say it without you responding to my observation.

Horton: Well, I mean, I would agree with you that the deterrence of having thousands of hydrogen bombs does work to prevent major-power war. It has worked. But it seems like at the same time we could absolutely annihilate the capital city of any major power that ever attacked us without nukes even. I mean, they’ve got all kinds of conventional weapons that can make life hell for anyone in the world without actually fusing hydrogen atoms together over their cities, you know?

Fein: Yes. Well, okay, let’s move on. I think we both agree that, whatever purposes, our posture ought to be defense and deterring war, not preemptive war.

Horton: Certainly. Now go ahead, go ahead, because time is limited.

Fein: Yeah. This would be just a catechism of all the lacerations of the rule of law. One, when war comes, the president claims – and he is claiming – a unilateral authority to identify Americans abroad who he says are an imminent danger and have them wiped out by assassination squads. We have one member that President Obama has identified as a U.S. citizen in Yemen who’s on the hit list for assassination. It’s a little bit like Vladimir Putin’s killing of one of his opponents, Mr. Litvinenko, in London with polonium-211.

The President then claims authority he can detain any American citizen, or noncitizen, without accusation, without a trial, as a so-called “enemy combatant.” So you just sit there and rot. It goes back to the days, pre-Magna Carta, where King John would throw people in the dungeon without any accusation to let them sit there until they turned into vassals or otherwise.

Then he claims the authority to use these military commissions, which combine judge, jury, and prosecutor in a single branch, for alleged “war crimes,” which include activities such as “conspiring to train in a terrorist training camp” even if you’ve never threatened an American at any time or any place. And military commissions are about as procedurally irregular as the Spanish Inquisition.

Then he claims he has absolute power, in fighting the war against international terrorism, to spy on us without warrant – that he’s gathering military intelligence on the battlefield when he undertakes this collection because with terrorism it can occur anywhere, so the geography of war is not limited, it’s everywhere on the planet. And he can collect “battlefield intelligence” with group warrants, or without warrants whatsoever.

He also claims the authority to act in secrecy. Congress has no ability to even subpoena a member of the executive branch and inquire as to how they’re running war. Which is of course is an enormously menacing proposition. We have government in secrecy instead of transparency. And we know that secrecy breeds abuses.

Let’s just think for a minute, Scott, about these Predator drones slamming into Afghanistan and Pakistan. Neither you, nor me, nor the audience, nor anyone in Congress, has any idea, how do these targets get selected? We read in the newspapers, “12 militants killed, and maybe some civilians.” Well how do we know there were 12 militants that were killed? Where’s the proof that that was accurate information? Where did you get it? Were the informants who you paid $10,000 the ones who you relied upon? Is the accuracy the same as the accuracy for detainees at Guantanamo Bay? Where 5 or 6 out of 7 get released once a court has an opportunity to examine the evidence, even if a bunch of it’s classified?

So this is basically running government in secrecy, which is the opposite of government by the consent of the governed. How can the people consent to government activity if you don’t even know what it is?

And this is truly, perhaps, the most destructive element of our entire constitutional system that has come into play with the so-called “war against international terrorism.” It’s all in secret. And I don’t know whether you read in today’s front page of the Washington Post about our new intelligence leviathan out there.

Horton: Yeah it was about [inaudible] part about how it says they occupy the equivalent of almost three Pentagons or 22 U.S. Capitol buildings – about 17 million square feet of space. It’s the new post-9/11 only – never mind post-World War II – national security state, Bruce.

Fein: Yes, that’s right. And a million people with Top Secret security clearances that don’t even talk to each other. And what has resulted? You know, the recipients, the users, say this is useless. It doesn’t even give us any information that enables us to defeat the enemy, if you will, the terrorists. It’s utter and complete mindlessness, but you can imagine all the information that’s captured about American citizens, you know – to what end? Other than just make government bigger and giving them control over your life.

So that’s another element of the rule of law. And I suppose perhaps the most egregious comes to this issue of how we get into war in the first instance.

The Founding Fathers universally agreed that only Congress could be trusted with deciding whether to initiate war, because the president has such a temptation to concoct danger in order to get into clashes because war gives the President the taxes, the money, the contracts, the appointments, the fame, the jingoism that he thinks will let him profit politically and leave his mark in the footprints of time. And that was the statement of even the most aggressive proponent of the strong executive, Alexander Hamilton – the legislative branch decides on war or peace.

And now we’ve come in the empire phase where, no, the president unilaterally decides whether to go to war, or Congress delegates to the president, like the Iraqi War Resolution, “You decide, Mr. President, whether to go to war.” Same thing happened in the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution. Same thing happened in Korea – President Truman unilaterally decided to call the Korean War a “police action” and said, “We don’t need any authority from Congress to fight this.”

Horton: Well let me ask you now, Bruce, is there any chance I can keep you for another 10-minute segment here?

Fein: Yes, you can.

Horton: Okay, great, hang on the line. Everybody, I’m talking with Bruce Fein. He used to be a lawyer in the Ronald Reagan administration, wrote the articles of impeachment of Bill Clinton, and wrote the book, American Empire: Before the Fall. We’ll be right back.

* * * * *

Horton: All right, y’all, welcome back to the show. It’s Antiwar Radio. I’m Scott Horton, and I’m talking with Bruce Fein. He’s the author of American Empire: Before the Fall. And you know, for those of you who have somebody that you’re trying to get the anti-empire point across to, this might be the one. In fact, I’m pretty sure this book will go down in history as part of the story of “Some Americans tried to fight this.”

But anyway, let me share a little bit of the table of contents with you guys:

One: Empire Without a Cause.

Two: How Far the Republic Has Fallen – From Lexington and Concord to the Korangal Valley.

Three: The Nation’s Charter Documents.

Four: America’s Descent into Empire: From the Mexican-American War to World War II.

Five: Twin Myths of the American Empire.

Six: Crucifying the Rule of Law on a National Security Cross.

And I’m going to skip ahead here to Chapter Nine: Restoring the American Republic. Bruce, how do you propose to do that?

Fein: Well, in some sense the ultimate solution, if you will, lies in the American people. We The People are still sovereign. It’s the first three words of the Constitution of the United States.

We have to insist, by our votes and by our opinions, that we withdraw all of our troops from abroad. Our military posture should be a thoroughly defensive one. We can spy and gather intelligence for defensive purposes, but we shouldn’t have a single soldier on any foreign soil.

We’ve got to renounce this idea that the President is there to make us safe. No, he’s there to give us freedom, along with Congress.

We have to restore checks and balances. We have to make certain that a member of Congress is not elected who will not impeach a president for unilaterally initiating war, who would not impeach a president if he withholds information and testimony from Congress, who will insist that we have a government that places the individual at the center of the universe, that protects privacy, that views the thrill of stealth government and transparency as the earmark of the United States, that differentiates us from citizens who are vassals and serfs of a leviathan at the federal level.

And that’s going to mean civic education. It’s going to mean a promotion of the idea that it is not great to dominate for the sake of domination. That is not the earmark of the destiny of the United States and of the Republic.

It’s America for Americans, not because we’re callous but because we recognize that by going abroad in search of monsters to destroy, we would destroy the Republic for ourselves. And the American people need to embrace this. We have to reject as a people the idea that absolute safety is what we crave more than anything else. We have to recognize that you have to take some limited degree of risk, because everybody is capable of evil – that is, no one can go and swear on Korans or Bibles or whatever that it’s impossible for them to do wrong.

That doesn’t mean we stick everybody in prison but that freedom and liberty thrive when there’s some measurable prudent risk out there that you can have a Timothy McVeigh. And that has got to be the creed of the United States of America.

Right now, Scott, all of the language, the grammar is, “Safe, safe, safe, safe.” It doesn’t matter how much you destroy the whole purpose of the enterprise, of freedoms. Just tell me it’s gonna make me safe, even if it doesn’t. Body scanners, whatever.

And one of the ironies of the gathering of the more information that was disclosed to be useless in the Washington Post today – you know, what is the government saying? “Give us even more analysts.” You know? And this makes the problem even worse, by creating even more useless information. That’s the kind of bureaucratic big government mentality that has to be repudiated.

But in the long run it’s got to be a change in the political culture. And that was what was so vibrant and thrilling about the founding generation. The American people understood and craved liberty over domination for the sake of domination.

When the Latin Americans and South American colonials erupted against Portugal and Spain, the American people didn’t say, “We have to go over there and run interference and engage in warfare.” No, we wished them well, but otherwise we remained Americans. America has to come first.

Otherwise I think the changes – the things that can be done incrementally by changing the laws – will not have the sustaining power to return to the Republic.

Just think, for instance, we have laws, Scott, against torture which includes waterboarding, which the president himself has said is torture. They don’t go enforced because we lack the political will to say, “Hey, this is the rule of law. If you want to pardon somebody and take accountability for committing torture, go ahead. But the president doesn’t have the authority to just ignore enforcing the law because he thinks it’s politically inconvenient.”

Horton: Well, yeah, and they’d have to repeal the Eighth Amendment to legalize torture, anyway, right?

Fein: They would have to do that, yeah. Or I suppose Congress could try to at least eliminate maybe criminal penalties, which they haven’t tried to do.

But that’s what the culture is about here in terms of restoring the Republic to what it was envisioned by the founding generation. We can’t just blame the individual leaders. We can complain about it, but it’s up to us to throw them out of office,  to give them a stigma. This is simply not acceptable.  Wedo not want the United States dropping Predator drones on wedding parties because there’s a one trillionth percent chance that someone might be a baby Osama bin Laden growing up in Kabul in the next 50 years coming as an individual and try to commit a terrorist attack.

No! We’re more than that. We care more about our freedom. We care more about transparency in government.  Even if it does [mean] taking some risks than it does domination for the sake of domination. The latter is the earmark of tyranny. It’s the earmark of the lion and the tiger in the jungle, just wanting to try to beat and brutalize and dominate for the thrill that’s rather visceral, a feeling that you’re the first guy on the block.

Horton: Well you know I think a lot of people would, you know, if you were one of the guys they talk to on TV all the time about these things, I think you could win people over to your position. In terms of what the people really want, I mean they’re mostly unconcerned with foreign policy anyway, but if you could truly offer them peace, I think they’d take it.

But what about the imperial court? You know, William S. Lind said on this show that you shouldn’t even call it Washington D.C.; it is simply an imperial court. And there are bazillions of uncounted, printed dollars flowing to specific extremely rich and powerful private interests that control the empire. And how are Americans supposed to believe that they can do anything about that? That’s why most people don’t care and don’t pay attention to these kinds of issues – it’s because they feel powerless. Why would they sit around and read Antiwar.com all day if all they’re going to do is shrug and pout and it does them no good?

Fein: Well, Scott, it’s certainly true that it’s an uphill battle. But the process of struggle itself is its own reward.

Just think about the initial effort in the United States to abolish slavery. William Lloyd Garrison, born in the place that I grew-up in – Boston, Massachusetts – he formed The Liberator magazine in 1831. He was tarred and feathered, driven out. He said people told him just what you told me – “Oh, slavery. There are too many monied interests involved here. It’s profitable. The North lends money to the South. The South gets the tobacco. They grow agricultural products at cut-rate prices with slavery. It’s hopeless.”

Lloyd Garrison, he came back despite being tarred and feathered. He was there when the Thirteenth Amendment was ratified – abolished slavery in 1865 – then he shut down The Liberator magazine.

It’s true. Oftentimes it seems hopeless. But the quest itself, to do what is right, to pay rewards to the Founding Fathers, who had the right philosophy, has to be its own reward. You do it anyway even if it seems hopeless, like Lloyd Garrison did, because everything else would be ignoble. That’s why we fought at Valley Forge. It didn’t seem we were going to have a victory around the corner, but we persisted and ultimately prevailed.

But in some sense, Scott, even if we fail, it was worth it. Our legacy is our immortality in terms of the philosophy that will be there in future generations and maybe be taken up in more propitious times to carry the beacon of freedom and liberty, the way the Founding Fathers understood it to be there. That’s why we can never despair. We can never yield simply because it looks hopeless. We always fight and be uncompromised in our principles in knowing why we’re here between ashes to ashes and dust to dust.

Horton: Wow. So that’s Bruce Fein. He worked for Ronald Reagan in the Justice Department back in the ’80s. He wrote up the articles of impeachment against the felon, William Jefferson Clinton, in the 1990s, and now he’s the author of the book American Empire: Before the Fall. And this is some really good stuff, y’all. I highly suggest you go out and read it. And I want to thank you very much for your time on the show today, Bruce.

Fein: I’m really thankful, Scott, and I appreciate your audience being so patient. Thanks again.

Punk Johnny Cash

[audio:http://dissentradio.com/radio/10_07_16_cash.mp3]

“Punk Johnny Cash,” veteran of the U.S. Marine Corps and blogger at the GonzoTimes.com, discusses movie portrayals of the marines, how basic training changes one forever, the modern epidemics of shell shocked vets and on-base violence, the similarity of the mindset of an enlisted man and a battered wife, examples of how they humiliate and break down new recruits in order to rebuild them and whether or not the U.S. needs to take over the planet Earth in the first place.

MP3 here. (20:22)

Punk Johnny Cash is a blogger for the GonzoTimes.com.

Sheldon Richman

[audio:http://dissentradio.com/radio/10_07_12_richman.mp3]

Sheldon Richman, senior fellow at The Future of Freedom Foundation, discusses the unsustainable expense of US empire, the “political transaction costs” that shield government from scrutiny and protest, lack of emphasis on foreign policy at the Freedom Fest 2010 conference and why defense spending is the trillion pound gorilla in the (budget deficit) room.

MP3 here. (18:47)

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.

Robert Higgs

[audio:http://dissentradio.com/radio/10_07_01_higgs.mp3]

Robert Higgs, senior fellow at the Independent Institute, discusses the tiresome rants of gloom and doom survivalists, why those who long for a government or economic collapse should be careful what they wish for, why federal spending can’t continue at the current level without a bond market revolt, the none-too-encouraging result of the Soviet Union’s collapse and why the US empire may face gradual cutbacks instead of outright abolition.

MP3 here. (28:55) Transcript below.

Robert Higgs is Senior Fellow in Political Economy for The Independent Institute and Editor of the Institute’s quarterly journal The Independent Review. He received his Ph.D. in economics from Johns Hopkins University, and he has taught at the University of Washington, Lafayette College, Seattle University, and the University of Economics, Prague. He has been a visiting scholar at Oxford University and Stanford University, and a fellow for the Hoover Institution and the National Science Foundation. Dr. Higgs is the editor of The Independent Institute books Opposing the Crusader State, The Challenge of Liberty, Re-Thinking Green, Hazardous to Our Health? and Arms, Politics, and the Economy, plus the volume Emergence of the Modern Political Economy.

His authored books include Neither Liberty Nor Safety, Depression, War, and Cold War, Politická ekonomie strachu (The Political Economy of Fear, in Czech), Resurgence of the Warfare State, Against Leviathan, The Transformation of the American Economy 1865-1914, Competition and Coercion, and Crisis and Leviathan. A contributor to numerous scholarly volumes, he is the author of more than 100 articles and reviews in academic journals.

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Scott Horton interviews Robert Higgs, July 7, 2010

Scott Horton: Okay, y’all, welcome back to the show. It’s Antiwar Radio. I’m Scott Horton, and I’m joined on the line by the great Robert Higgs from The Independent Institute. Let me click on the right thing here so I can read you some of the books he wrote: Crisis and Leviathan, Depression, War, and Cold War, Against Leviathan, Resurgence of the Warfare State, Opposing the Crusader State, Neither Liberty Nor Safety, The Challenge Of Liberty, Arms, Politics, and the Economy… On and on like that it goes. He is the editor of The Independent Review. You can check out The Independent Institute at Independent.org, and, boy, this guy is more libertarian than all of y’all. He doesn’t even like it when the government does bad things to other government people, which makes him more libertarian than me, even. Welcome back to the show, Bob, how are you doing?

Robert Higgs: I’m doing fine, Scott.

Horton: Yeah, I think you’re the only libertarian I ever heard say: “I am absolutely opposed to Dick Cheney being tried for war crimes. There shouldn’t be any federal trials at all ever again for anyone.”

Higgs: Well, I don’t remember saying that, but I’d actually prefer that he were struck by lightning, and that could save us some expense, perhaps.

Horton: Well, I have a witness. It was Anthony Gregory, your colleague at The Independent Institute. He can verify this.

Higgs: I trust him more than I trust my own memory.

Horton: Yeah, well, and if you’re smart, more than you trust me too, so, we’ll double check with him. All right, now – and I know you’re smart because I read your stuff. Let’s talk about “Which End, If Any, is Near?” Which end, if any, is near, Bob?

Higgs: [laughs] I wish I knew, Scott. I assume you’re referring to a little piece I wrote recently which was a kind of a lament, I think, about the proliferation of doomsday forecasts or expectations or households or whatever they are that have appeared, particularly in the last year or so. They’re all over the web now, and on certain Websites you get hardly anything else. And some sites have more or less switched over from doing libertarian analysis to doing gloom and doom and survivalism and talking about which guns and ammo are better and so forth, so there’s been a lot of this stuff going on, and at some point I found it more than I could take, and so I had to express the opinion that I think most of it is extremely overwrought.

Horton: Well, I guess I hate to say this, but I’m sort of hopeful about an economic collapse. What Ron Paul always says is that, you know, these horrible policies, meaning the complete and total destruction of any semblance of the rule of law, especially at the national level, but really across the society in terms of at least the way it binds the power of the government (obviously it still applies to us) the endless warfare around the world, that this is only going to end, not because people listen to him but because the dollar’s going to break, because our empire’s going to fall apart like the Soviet Union. And I always figure that’s better than going out like the Germans or the Japanese.

Higgs: A lot of unfortunate things may happen. I’m not at all arguing against that. In fact I think some unfortunate things are virtually certain to happen. From one point of view they may not be unfortunate at all. For example, the government’s promises to pay benefits under Social Security, and particularly the Medicare part of Social Security, cannot be kept, so if you know arithmetic, you already know that at some point these programs are going to collapse in the sense that they will be unable to pay what they promise people and therefore in one way or another they will not make those payments. So, yes, that sort of thing is easy to not only imagine but actually to expect, and people would be well advised to plan for it, but there are a lot of other aspects of gloom and doom being discussed that are by no means sure things. Although I think the dollar conceivably might collapse at some point, I think the odds are strongly against it, and in history there have been many worse-managed currencies that managed to hang on for a very long time, and I won’t be surprised if the dollar turns out to be that way too. That doesn’t mean the dollar is going to hold its value. It almost certainly will continue to depreciate quicker or slower over time. And again that’s something that people should expect and plan for, but that’s a different matter from pell-mell abandonment of the dollar. I think, too, Scott that it’s worth recalling that when people long for a kind of overall collapse of the economy, they should think twice about that, because historically collapses like that are virtually never the occasions in which liberty comes out ahead at the end. In my work and in other people’s work that I’ve read about but not really participated in doing the research for, it seems to me that social collapses and particularly government collapses generally portend even greater totalitarianism.

Horton: Well, sure, and your book, Depression, War, and Cold War, as the mark of all of that.

Higgs: The tsarist regime was horrible. But the Bolsheviks were worse. The Weimar German regime was horrible. But the Nazis were worse. The people should think twice when they hope for collapse.

Horton: Yeah, no, I’m with you, and especially when, you know, the American people are so detached from reality in so many ways now and you can see somebody like Glenn Beck take a perfectly Ron Paulian argument that, “All we’ve got to do is not be afraid and just start doing the right thing,” and then he turns the right thing into, “Let’s persecute the poor and the brown and the powerless,” instead of “Let’s end the war and shore up the dollar and reinstate the Bill of Rights,” which is how Ron finishes the sentence, you know. But, but you take a Glenn Beck, and if economic times got much worse, that whole side of the Tea Party movement could be a real kind of fascist thing, I think. It scares me.

Higgs: I share your view in that regard. I think we need to remember that when there is some kind of revolution or thorough-going collapse of the political order, what happens next really depends heavily on the kind of ideological stance that people have and what kinds of preparation and schemes have been made by activists as well. There are sometimes little groups like the Bolsheviks in old Russia. They didn’t amount to much, you know, their numbers were trivial, but they were more or less prepared to do something and take action when an opportunity arose, and so they managed to leverage that crisis into their domination of a huge society. So if we’ve got people out there who are laying their plans and are well prepared to be unscrupulous, then they have a much stronger chance of coming out on top of the heap at the end. But most of all what will happen depends on what people will be willing to tolerate. And in general when there’s some kind of collapse of society or economy, almost everybody becomes tremendously fearful and they look for salvation. And where they look for salvation and how they expect to find it hinges entirely on the dominant ideology those people hold at the time, and right now I’m afraid to say that the dominant ideology of the United States is anything but propitious for the cause of liberty.

Horton: Yeah.

Higgs: So, you know, I could easily see that if things fell apart, we’d come out of it in a few years even worse off than we are now.

Horton: I don’t know what propitious means, but it sounds right.

Higgs: [laughs]

Horton: I’ll tell you. Well, you know, the Soviet Union, that was certainly a benefit when the Soviet Union fell apart, and yet millions starved and the collapse of their system was absolutely devastating for the people of Russia and continues to be. And, hell, in America, we got FDR the last time we went through a real depression, so…

Higgs: Yeah, I think…

Horton: Hold it right there, Bob. I’m sorry, we’re going to have come back right after this break.

Horton: All right, y’all, welcome back to the show. It’s Antiwar Radio. I’m Scott Horton, and I’m so selfish, I’m sitting here pining for an economic collapse just because I’m sick and tired of talking about war all day, every day, and yet Robert Higgs is saying, “Be careful what you wish for, young man,” something along those lines. Now, and then I guess your real point, Bob, is that the American empire is not going to collapse anytime soon. It’s going to be just like when Harry Browne died when I die, 50-60 years from now or whatever, everything is still the Permanent Crisis.

Higgs: Well, I don’t think the empire’s on the verge of collapse, Scott, but I do think, again, that it’s likely that financial constraints will bring about some changes, and in this case, probably some retrenchment. The U.S. government in the last few years has been mismanaged so badly that it’s put itself in a position that it can’t maintain indefinitely. Now, the people who run the system, I think at least some of them understand this, and that’s why they’re busily getting together in Toronto and having active discussions all the time how to disengage from some of these measures they’ve taken in the past two years to stimulate, as they imagine, the economy in this financial debacle and the recession.

But even though some of them appreciate the need for them to retrench, particularly to stop adding so much debt every year until they reach the point where the capital markets rebel against them, that that will be the real constrain on them. Because at some point the people that buy these bonds will simply lose interest in buying any more of them and in fact will want to hold fewer of them, and when that turnaround comes, and I think we may be in the neighborhood of such a turnaround right now, these governments will not be able any longer to continue spending at the same rate that they’ve been spending without financing their expenditures in even more troublesome ways such as by outright inflation of the money stock. So, if they reach the point where the financial constraint really begins to bite, they’re going to have to reduce expenditures, and that will almost certainly have to include the enormous expenditures on maintenance of the U.S. empire.

So I think there’s some hope, reason for hope, that the empire will be diminished in future years. I don’t see, with my understanding of political realities of the world, that it’s going to be given up all at once, or easily, because a great many people are going to fight to keep it, but I think the fundamental forces that hold up these governments, the U.S. government and the other advanced ones in the world, are now running against them. And so those forces ultimately will probably produce some results in the direction of retrenchment. I think it will be easier, ultimately, for the U.S. government to reduce the size of the empire than it will be for the U.S. government to cut down on old people’s pensions and medical care and so forth, because that’s going to generate just tremendous opposition politically.

Horton: Well now, ironically speaking and so forth, what role does the empire of bases play in propping up the dollar in the sense of impressing upon foreign leaders how they probably ought to still want to buy American securities?

Higgs: I don’t think it plays much of a role, Scott. You know, there’s a certain amount of intimidation that is part and parcel of the U.S. empire, and so this so-called central bank cooperation, for example, is a reflection of the clout that the U.S. brings to the table whatever the issue happens to be, whether it’s financial cooperation or military cooperation or anything else, but most of the people who hold U.S. debt and the debt of other governments are private individuals and institutions, and I think these people are practically all living in a world of very mobile capital. They can, with a push of a button, move tremendous sums of money anywhere in the world very quickly, and I simply don’t think they’re going to be intimidated by how many bases the U.S. happens to be maintaining in Somewhereistan.

Horton: In other words, these [bases] are simply a gross and net loss. There’s no – you know, there’s a whole theory that part of the reason that America wanted to attack Iraq is because he wanted to start buying his oil in euros and that kind of thing, and here they wanted to spend trillions of dollars doing a regime change to, in essence, prop up the dollar. But you think that probably doesn’t hold water then?

Higgs: I’ve never thought there was much to that idea, frankly. First of all, the magnitudes are trivial, when you look at the amounts of money at stake.

Horton: There is the example, though, right?

Higgs: There might be an example, but again the U.S. can invade Iraq fairly readily compared to its ability to invade and wreak havoc in a lot of other parts of the world. So I think other factors lie much more strongly behind the U.S. invasion of Iraq. But in any event, I think the empire is and always has been for the U.S. a net loser, but it’s not maintained for its aggregated benefits and costs, it’s maintained for the benefits it brings to the people who run it or are cozy with those who run it. So, so, it’s a ripoff.. It’s like virtually everything the government does. It goes about under an umbrella of misrepresentation about national security and weapons of mass destruction la la la la la, but that’s just for the boobeoisie. The people who actually run the system are interested in much more definite things, and I think in most of the cases where it looks like a screw-up for U.S. foreign policy, or the empire in general, these people who run the system still come out smelling like roses.

Horton: Yeah, of course. You’re the one who takes the blame. I saw you on C-SPAN, you’re the guy who got us into this mess, you mean old man.

Higgs: [laughs]

Horton: Now, which by the way, I highly recommend Bob Higgs on C-SPAN, Robert Higgs on C-SPAN, the three-hour call-in episode, to anyone who feels like gut laughing all day. Or crying, whichever you prefer. But now here’s the thing, though, we run up against what you’re saying about when times get bad, rather than the people who run the state retrenching, it tends to be a “Crisis and Leviathan” situation. We go into the Great Depression, everybody blames Bob Higgs and the libertarian free market for causing the problem, and what we need is another New Deal and another New Deal. I’m looking at your article entitled, “Crisis and Leviathan” at the Independent Institute, which is also the name of your book, talking about the revolution within the form that we’re undergoing right now. While everybody’s watching the oil spill, there’s a revolution inside the White House and inside the Congress as we speak, Bob. And if it’s okay, I’d like to keep you one more segment and ask you about that.

Higgs: Okay.

Horton: Thanks. Hang tight. Antiwar Radio.

Horton: All right, y’all, welcome back to the show, Antiwar Radio, and lucky me, lucky you, we’ve got Robert Higgs to stay one more segment with us. He’s at The Independent Institute, that’s Independent.org, the author of Crisis and Leviathan, and, Bob, I guess this is where we get back to ideology. When a crisis comes, are we going to start rolling back some of our excesses, like, you know, all the money spent torturing people to death, or are we just going to have more of what it seems like we’re in the midst of right now, which when Garet Garrett talked about Franklin Roosevelt back in the ’30s, he called it a revolution within the form. He said, “All the revolutionaries are inside the White House and everybody else is outside the gate saying ‘Stop, stop.'” So, it seems like that’s where we’re already at. The dollar, if there’s a run on the dollar, like they say, I guess the crackup boom is the worse case scenario, then what do we get? Just military dictatorship?

Higgs: Well, I wouldn’t rule that out. They’ve certainly made preparation for that if they need it. Of course they would prefer not to have things get to that point, I’m sure, but I don’t think the people who control the U.S. government are going to just walk away from their power ever. I think they’ll do what they feel is necessary to retain their power, and I think they are unscrupulous people, and if they have to do horrible things, that’s what they’ll do. So, that’s the main reason I think why we all ought to be hoping that we don’t have any kind of a breakdown of the existing order because we’re likely to have a really fierce, terrible response to it from the government. And to make things work, a great many Americans will back the government when it takes these actions. As you know, governments always identify certain scapegoats and people to blame and hold responsible, and whether its economic royalists or communists or whatever it happens to be at the time, you identify the enemy, you start smearing everybody who gets in your way and putting people in prison right and left. So, I think our government is perfectly capable of reacting fiercely to the prospect of losing its grip on power. Now, that doesn’t mean they’ll never lose their grip, I simply think that when they do, and I think ultimately they probably will, it will be a much more gradual process of decay in which more and more people, as it were, simply walk away from them, refuse to cooperate any longer, withdraw their support, and eventually behave in such a noncooperative, evasive and sabotaging manner that the government can no longer accumulate resources and can no longer command enough allegiance to do its will.

Horton: Well, and that’s really what happened with the Soviet Union, right?

Higgs: I think so. In that case, it was also a revolution from the top, of course, even though many people in the lower levels of Soviet society were surely unhappy, and hardly anybody at that point believed in communism any longer as an ideological object or, you know, the loyalty to communism had pretty much dissolved except amongst some of the very old people. But I think what the Soviet power elite realized at some point in the 1980s was that the system was doomed and that there was a way for them to come out on top as it went under. And so they did that. They snatched the state property they had controlled by various devices, and they created a lot of billionaires among themselves, and they retained a lot of control over what was worth something in the society, like the natural resource deposits and means of marketing, and they still pretty much run the system. They renamed the KGB, and they call the new system capitalism, and whoopee. But as you mentioned before, the mass of the people continue to be in very bad economic condition there. And I think there has been some improvement. I think things for the masses of the Russians are a little better than they were under communism, but certainly it’s been a top down kind of regime change that has much less substance than it appears to have.

Horton: Well now, it’s funny because, I’m looking back on this thing, and it seems like FDR had this massive failure of a New Deal for a decade or so, and then he got us into a war, because that’s what you do when all else fails is you start conscripting people, that’ll bring that unemployment rate down one way or another there, and, you know, just dump them en masse on machine gun nests on top of cliffs and stuff, that kind of thing. But we never stopped warring since 1941, in that war that FDR got us in, and now it’s brought us to this point, and we see that there’s a pseudo New Deal going on with the government intervening more than ever in terms of the markets and taking over companies and bossing them around and these kinds of things. But so does that mean that we have another major full-scale, you know, World War III coming up – I don’t know, Obama or the next guy’s only way out of the mess they’ve got us in so far – or are we at the end of this cycle?

Higgs: I think conditions are different this time, partly because the configuration of power in the world as a whole is different. The wars that we may get in now are wars like attacks on Iran. That’s a very different thing from the United States and its allies going to war against Germany, Japan and their allies in World War II.

Horton: Sure.

Higgs: But those were powerful nation states that could really put up a fight. The U.S. makes war now against people that it would appear it’s bound to defeat, and yet it can’t. That’s a kind of paradox of the U.S. empire, that it loses all of these wars of empire, because what it tries to do is impose its will on societies that don’t want to be subjects of the United States, and so they keep sabotaging U.S. control of their societies in one way or another until finally the political will wears down among the American political establishment and they give it up or make some kind of arrangement like the one in Korea. But it always ends. The shooting stops and life goes on. But these post World War II wars have all been – even though Korea and Vietnam were not negligible in any sense, but relative to World War II much smaller affairs and aimed at much different objectives, I think. This was not the same situation Roosevelt was confronting in 1939 at all, and I don’t think it will play out the same either. If, for example, the U.S. does go ahead with or without Israel to attack Iran, what I would expect is a massive outpouring all over the world of opposition to that, just as there was sooner or later great opposition to the U.S. attack on Iraq, and that will provide some constraint on what the U.S. does and some encouragement for it to back away. Again, I think that these little kind of palace wars that are dreamed up by neocon schemers for the most part, who have inside connections, are quite different from the world wars in so many ways that it’s hard to draw a parallel.

Horton: So you think that if it really did come to, I don’t know, record unemployment and a horrible 1930-style situation, that at that point that’s where they’ll have to realize and give the empire up rather than going crazy like FDR and expanding it.

Higgs: Not give it, but cut back on it I think.

Horton: Yeah. At least. Well, hopefully starting with Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iraq and Somalia, for their sakes. Thanks so much for your time, Bob, and your wisdom. Appreciate it.

Higgs: You’re welcome, Scott.

Horton: Everybody, that’s the great Bob Higgs, author of Crisis and Leviathan and Depression, War, and Cold War, Independent.org.

org.

Fred Branfman

[audio:http://dissentradio.com/radio/10_06_29_branfman.mp3]

Fred Branfman, author of the article “5 Million Iraqis Killed, Maimed, Tortured, Displaced — Think That Bothers War Boosters Like Christopher Hitchens?” discusses the demonstrably false assertion that Iraqis are “better off” now than under Saddam Hussein, why liberal warhawks like Hitchens bear a moral burden for Iraqi civilian deaths, the ongoing class war in America (that the billionaires are winning) and why holding elections does not qualify Iraq as a democracy.

MP3 here. (28:58)

Fred Branfman is a writer and longtime activist who directed the Indochina Resource Center during the war in Indochina. Visit his Web site.

Tom Engelhardt

[audio:http://dissentradio.com/radio/10_06_21_engelhardt.mp3]

Tom Engelhardt, author of The American Way of War: How Bush’s Wars Became Obama’s, discusses American ignorance of the unprecedented US empire of bases, fighting one-sided impersonal wars by remote control, forgotten lessons from George Orwell’s 1984, why the USAF plan to run the world from Guam and Diego Garcia won’t be easy, another Green Zone-style US “embassy” planned for Islamabad in Pakistan and why the Obama administration seems to be floundering without the intense (if deluded) strategic vision of the Bush era.

MP3 here. (20:22)

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.

Gareth Porter

[audio:http://dissentradio.com/radio/10_05_26_porter.mp3]

Gareth Porter, independent historian and journalist for Inter Press Service, discusses the swiftly unraveling US disaster in Afghanistan, the short-lived “government in a box” Marjah model, US reliance on Wali Karzai (Hamid Karzai’s brother) for intelligence gathering, Gen. McChrystal’s continuation of night raids despite their ineffectiveness and why the upcoming operation in Kandahar may be the last gasp of US occupation.

MP3 here. (28:54)

Gareth Porter is an independent historian and journalist. His articles appear on Counterpunch, Huffington Post, Inter Press Service News Agency and Antiwar.com.

Rep. Ron Paul

[audio:http://dissentradio.com/radio/10_05_12_paul.mp3]

Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX) discusses the pitfalls his “Audit the Fed” amendment faces during the legislative process, vastly increased public awareness of the Federal Reserve and central banking, gold’s increase in value relative the dollar and why the US empire would be impossible to maintain without the Fed’s ability to monetize debt.

MP3 here. (10:28)

Congressman Ron Paul represents Texas’s 14th district. He is the author of The Revolution: A Manifesto, A Foreign Policy of Freedom: Peace, Commerce, and Honest Friendship and Freedom Under Siege. His archived columns for Antiwar.com appear at http://original.antiwar.com/paul

Lew Rockwell

[audio:http://dissentradio.com/radio/10_04_16_rockwell.mp3]

Lew Rockwell, founder and Chairman of the Ludwig von Mises Institute, discusses Ron Paul’s ability to explain and popularize libertarian ideas, the large number of Americans seething about the economy, how William F. Buckley, Jr. spearheaded the purging of antiwar rightists from the Conservative movement (and how Ron Paul is putting them back in) and how the hidden inflation tax allows the government to fund wars and avoid popular outrage.

MP3 here. (27:50)

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 LewRockwell.com. He served as Ron Paul’s congressional chief of staff between 1978 and 1982. Check out his podcast show here.

Jon Basil Utley

[audio:http://dissentradio.com/radio/10_03_19_utley.mp3]

Jon Basil Utley, director of Americans Against World Empire, discusses the insular and ignorant world views of pro-Israel evangelical Americans, how the strong outward appearance of the US empire belies the rotten core, gerrymandering’s deleterious effects on representative government and how rising interest rates threaten the US government’s ability to finance debt.

MP3 here. (44:46)

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 Antiwar.com and edits a blog, The Military Industrial Congressional Complex.

John V. Walsh

[audio:http://dissentradio.com/radio/10_03_18_walsh.mp3]

John V. Walsh, frequent contributor to Counterpunch.org, discusses Paul Krugman’s “economic chauvinism” regarding China’s currency valuation, provocative US military postures in Central and East Asia, China’s eons-long history of open trade and self defense and why the US should abandon the policy of “containing” China.

MP3 here. (30:36)

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

Rep. Ron Paul

[audio:http://dissentradio.com/radio/10_03_04_paul.mp3]

Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX) discusses the budgetary limitations that expansive U.S. foreign policy imposes on domestic programs, the Dennis Kucunich resolution (co-sponsored by Rep. Paul) that will require a House of Representatives debate on the war in Afghanistan, wrongheaded government action on the coming dollar crisis and why the peace and liberty movement is best served by setting a good example and avoiding the politics of personality.

MP3 here. (13:34)

Congressman Ron Paul represents Texas’s 14th district. He is the author of The Revolution: A Manifesto, A Foreign Policy of Freedom: Peace, Commerce, and Honest Friendship and Freedom Under Siege. His archived columns for Antiwar.com appear at http://original.antiwar.com/paul

Kirkpatrick Sale

[audio:http://dissentradio.com/radio/10_02_26_sale.mp3]

Kirkpatrick Sale, director of the Middlebury Institute, discusses Vermont’s secessionist movement that derives from the state’s unique historical independence, the need to scrap the US Constitution due to its failure to preserve freedom and liberty, the inverse relationship between population size and the ability of government to function properly, the strong secessionist language enshrined in the Declaration of Independence and the Liberal tradition of supporting a strong national government to enforce civil rights despite the (at best) mixed results.

MP3 here. (33:33)

Kirkpatrick Sale is the author of many books, including Secession: How Vermont and All the Other States Can Save Themselves from the Empire. He is the director of the Middlebury Institute and has written for The Nation, Counterpunch and Mother Jones.

Kevin Zeese and David T. Beito

[audio:http://dissentradio.com/radio/10_02_25_zeese_beito.mp3]

Kevin Zeese and David T. Beito discuss the formation of a full-spectrum political alliance against militarism and empire, the unwavering commitment of Democrat and Republican leadership to the military-industrial complex, the media’s unwillingness to discuss (much less debate) US empire and how you can help the fundraising effort for a broad-based peace movement.

MP3 here. (30:48)

Kevin Zeese  is the Executive Director and co-founder of VotersForPeace. Zeese also served as the Executive Director of Democracy Rising, is an attorney, and a long term peace advocate. Zeese took a leave from VotersForPeace for most of 2006 while he was running for the U.S. Senate in Maryland. Zeese was a founding member of the Montgmery County Coalition Against the War in Maryland and has worked with various non-profit organizations on peace, justice, and democracy issues since 1978.

David T. Beito is Professor of History at the University of Alabama. He received his Ph.D. in history at the University of Wisconsin, and he is the recipient of the Ellis Hawley Prize. Professor Beito is the author of Taxpayers in Revolt: Tax Resistance during the Great Depression, From Mutual Aid to the Welfare state: Fraternal Societies and Social Services, 1890-1967, and Black Maverick: T.R.M. Howard’s Fight for Civil Rights and Economic Power.

Chris Floyd

[audio:http://dissentradio.com/radio/10_02_23_floyd.mp3]

Chris Floyd, author of Empire Burlesque – High Crimes and Low Comedy in the Bush Imperium, discusses the media-designated “post-war” status of Iraq, the real “Mission Accomplished” goal of establishing a permanent US military footprint in Iraq, Ahmed “hero in error” Chalabi’s talent for remaining politically relevant despite a total lack of public support, why only war criminals on the losing side need worry about prosecution and how ending the US empire would improve nearly all aspects of society.

MP3 here. (37:47)

Chris Floyd operates a website and blog at chris-floyd.com. He is the author of Empire Burlesque – High Crimes and Low Comedy in the Bush Imperium.

Sheldon Richman

[audio:http://dissentradio.com/radio/10_02_12_richman.mp3]

Sheldon Richman, senior fellow at The Future of Freedom Foundation, discusses the case for decentralized non-state national defense, the ideological line – created by an informed and assertive citizenry – that the government dares not cross, the deterrence of government abuse of power through nonviolent action and how society tends toward informal customs – not rampant lawlessness – in the absence of government.

MP3 here. (30:18)

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.

Mark Ames

[audio:http://dissentradio.com/radio/10_01_26_ames.mp3]

Mark Ames, regular writer for The eXiled, discusses Russia’s transition from neoliberal Yeltsin to nationalist Putin, the US “economic hit men” advisers to Yeltsin who facilitated the rise of the oligarchs, the huge decline in Russian life-expectancy rates in the 1990s, the trail of economic disasters left in Larry Summers‘ wake, how the “cakewalk” victory of Gulf War I increased American bravado and militarism, the end of US meritocracy and why a more vigorous opposition is needed to stop the War Party.

MP3 here. (54:57)

Mark Ames is the author of Going Postal: Rage, Murder and Rebellion From Reagan’s Workplaces to Clinton’s Columbine and Beyond and The eXile: Sex, Drugs and Libel in the New Russia. He is a regular contributor to eXiled Online and The Nation magazine.

Rep. Ron Paul

[audio:http://dissentradio.com/radio/10_01_21_paul.mp3]

Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX) discusses his disinterest in political parties, the slippery slope from indefinitely detaining foreign terrorism suspects to designating domestic criminals “enemy combatants,” why the US empire is more likely to end from the dollar’s collapse than a reasoned decision to return to a republic, the diminishing returns from intelligence spending and why reestablishing gold and silver as currency is a good idea.

MP3 here. (29:49)

Part 2, Part 3

Congressman Ron Paul represents Texas’s 14th district. He is the author of The Revolution: A Manifesto, A Foreign Policy of Freedom: Peace, Commerce, and Honest Friendship and Freedom Under Siege. His archived columns for Antiwar.com appear at http://original.antiwar.com/paul

John Feffer

[audio:http://dissentradio.com/radio/10_01_13_feffer.mp3]

John Feffer, co-director of Foreign Policy In Focus at the Institute for Policy Studies, discusses the US influence in remaking the Japanese government after WWII, the enduring popularity of Japan’s Peace Constitution, the Pentagon’s recognition that US military bases eventually overstay their welcome even in allied countries, the continued symbolic significance of US gestures of regret for Hiroshima and Nagasaki and how Japanese foreign policy is influenced by antipathy toward N. Korea.

MP3 here. (25:04)

John Feffer is co-director of Foreign Policy In Focus at the Institute for Policy Studies.

He is the author of several books and numerous articles. He 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.

Will Grigg

[audio:http://scotthorton.org/radio/10_01_12_grigg.mp3]

Will Grigg, author of Liberty in Eclipse, discusses the current generation of physically and emotionally damaged veterans churned out by the war machine, why “patriotism” no longer means adherence to the principles of the Declaration of Independence, the “cannibalism” stage of US empire, lessons to be learned from illegal immigrants who survive in the informal economy, a vision of an alternate history without Woodrow Wilson and 20th century warfare and why the US “synchronization” of previously separate government functions is a harbinger of totalitarianism.

MP3 here. (32:07)

Will Grigg writes the Pro Libertate blog and is the author of Liberty in Eclipse.

Sibel Edmonds

[audio:http://scotthorton.org/radio/10_01_04_edmonds.mp3]

Former FBI contract translator-turned-whistleblower Sibel Edmonds discusses the corruption of “political termite” former Republican Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert, the systemic rot indicated by the disappearance of accountability and oversight in all levels of US government, pervasive political self-dealing and foreign espionage based in Chicago, bribes and lucrative salaries given to current and former US politicians by Turkish operatives, ignorant or apathetic voters that keep voting for incumbents, the special set of ethical and legal exceptions given to Israel and the bribery and espionage investigations that have targeted Dan Burton, Bob Livingston, Jane Harman and others in Congress.

MP3 here. (41:40)

Sibel Edmonds is the founder and president of the National Security Whistleblowers Coalition (NSWBC), a nonprofit organization dedicated to aiding national security whistleblowers. She has appeared on national radio and TV as a commentator on matters related to whistleblowers, national security, and excessive secrecy & classification, and has been featured on CBS 60 Minutes, CNN, MSNBC,  NPR, and in the New York Times, Washington Post, Vanity Fair, The American Conservative, and others. Her book, Shooting the Messenger, co-authored with Professor William Weaver, is forthcoming from Kansas University Press in the fall of 2010.

PEN American Center awarded Ms. Edmonds the 2006 PEN/Newman’s Own First Amendment Award for her “commitment to preserving the free flow of information in the United States in a time of growing international isolation and increasing government secrecy”. She is also the recipient of the 2004 Sam Adams Foundation Award.

Ms. Edmonds worked as a language specialist for the FBI’s Washington Field Office. During her work with the bureau, she discovered and reported serious acts of security breaches, cover-ups, and intentional blocking of intelligence that had national security implications. After she reported these acts to FBI management, she was retaliated against and ultimately fired in March 2002. Since that time, court proceedings on her issues have been blocked by the assertion of “State Secrets Privilege”, and the Congress of the United States has been gagged and prevented from any discussion of her case through retroactive re-classification issued by the Department of Justice.

Ms. Edmonds began her career in 1993 as Project Director for the Rostropovich Foundation, a non-profit humanitarian organization providing medical and food aid to children of the former Soviet Union. She re-located to St. Petersburg, Russia and managed correspondence, shipments, inventory and security precautions in the largest children’s hospital in St. Petersburg. Later, she worked as the Executive Director & Co-Founder of Edmonds Industries, a Consulting and Holding Company, investing in international business and residential real estate development. Ms. Edmonds also worked as a volunteer for the Alexandria CASA program (Court Appointed Special Advocate) for abused children, and as an instructor for the Alexandria Office on Women’s Domestic Violence Program.

Ms. Edmonds has a MA in Public Policy and International Commerce from George Mason University, a BA in Criminal Justice and Psychology from George Washington University, and AA degree in Science from NVCC. She is certified as a Court Appointed Special Advocate and as an instructor for the Women’s Domestic Violence Program. She is fluent in Turkish, Farsi and Azerbaijani.

Cindy Sheehan

[audio:http://dissentradio.com/radio/09_12_30_sheehan.mp3]

Peace activist Cindy Sheehan discusses the Peace of the Action anti-empire protests beginning in March in Washington, DC, how current US wars are outlasting the public’s attention span and the need for focused antiwar goals to prevent division among allies and derision in the media.

MP3 here. (20:23)

Cindy Sheehan became a leader of the antiwar movement after her son, Casey, was killed in Iraq. Her efforts to get answers from President Bush, including a vigil in Crawford, Texas, have received national media attention. She has a website and radio show, is the author of Peace Mom: A Mother’s Journey through Heartache to Activism and wrote the introduction to 10 Excellent Reasons Not to Join the Military.

Michael Prysner and James Circello

[audio:http://scotthorton.org/radio/09_12_18_prysner_circello.mp3]

Michael Prysner and James Circello, staff members of March Forward!, an antiwar organization for active duty soldiers and veterans, discuss the bigotry ingrained in military culture that dehumanizes the enemy du jour, the class struggle between enlisted soldiers and officers, the intentional “draw fire” missions that boost an officer’s career while endangering troops, double-dipping retired generals who get paid to propagandize for more war, the continued deployment of soldiers with PTSD and the Pentagon’s fear of a mass GI desertion.

MP3 here. (30:09)

Michael Prysner joined the U.S. Army when he was 17 years old, between his junior and senior year of high school. He left for basic training in June 2001, and spent six months training at the U.S. Army Military Intelligence Academy, where he was taught to operate a radar system used to call air strikes and artillery barrages on vehicle convoys. He was assigned to the 10th Mountain Division in Fort Drum, N.Y., and in March 2003 his company was attached to the 173rd Airborne Brigade to take part in the initial invasion of Iraq.

Of this experience, Michael wrote: “Once in Iraq, there was no computer screen separating me from the suffering civilian population. Because of the Bush administration’s failure to anticipate the resistance of the Iraqi people, there was an inadequate number of soldiers in my unit, and I ending up having to do a myriad of different jobs. I spent 12 months in Iraq, doing everything from prisoner interrogations, to ground surveillance missions, to home raids. It was my firsthad experiences in Iraq that radicalized me. I believed I was going to Iraq to help liberate and better the lives of an oppressed people, but I soon realized that my purpose in Iraq was to be the oppressor, and to clear the way for U.S. corporations with no regard for human life.

“I separated from the Army in 2005, by which time I had begun to make sense of my experiences in Iraq, and understood that the occupation I was a part of was a crime against humanity. I understood that illegal conquering of Iraq was for profit, carried out by a system that serves a tiny class of superrich whose endless drive for wealth is at the expense of working people in the United States and abroad.

“I left this Army with a new understanding of the system under which we all live, and the nature of U.S. foreign policy. But, I still had the same drive to fight for freedom, justice and equality as I did when I joined, and I understood that fighting for those things meant fighting against the U.S. government, not on behalf of it.”

James Circello enlisted in the United States Army as an Airborne Infantryman in September 2001.

He served with various units throughout Europe and deployed with the 173rd Airborne Brigade during the 2003 invasion of Iraq.

Of this experience, James writes: “During the occupation of Iraq, the truth about what the United States government has done to the country of Iraq became more apparent. Open waste water flowed through neighborhood streets where children played soccer. Families were thrown out of their homes with simple accusations from others. Vehicles were taken on sight by the military if individuals couldn’t provide proper documents claiming they own the vehicle. These events and others helped in strengthening my opposition to the so-called ‘War on Terror.’”

In April 2007, while his unit was preparing to deploy to Afghanistan, James Circello deserted the military. Months later, he issued an open letter to the U.S. government declaring he had officially resigned from the military. While AWOL he delivered speeches along the devastated Gulf Coast, making the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan personal to many of Hurricane Katrina’s survivors.

In November 2007, James Circello turned himself in to the military at Fort Knox and was discharged administratively within three days.

Thomas E. Woods

[audio:http://dissentradio.com/radio/09_06_26_woods.mp3]

Thomas E. Woods, author of Meltdown: A Free-Market Look at Why the Stock Market Collapsed, the Economy Tanked, and Government Bailouts Will Make Things Worse, discusses Seymour Melman‘s [.pdf] research into the societal repercussions of a military economy, the diversion of research scientists from the private sector to Cold War military programs, the transformation of the U.S. university system into a DOD jobs program and the corruption of defense contractors into companies that can’t compete in a free market.

MP3 here. (22:11)

Thomas E. Woods, Jr., is the New York Times bestselling author of nine books. A senior fellow at the Ludwig von Mises Institute, Woods holds a bachelor’s degree in history from Harvard and his master’s, M.Phil., and Ph.D. from Columbia University.

Ben Manski

National campaign to bring the guard home

[audio:http://dissentradio.com/radio/09_06_11_manski.mp3]

Ben Manski, Executive Director of Liberty Tree, discusses the Bring the Guard Home! campaign that seeks to end the illegal use of national guard units deployed abroad, the historical U.S. change from a republican system of state militias to an imperial army and the reassertion of state governor control over the guard.

MP3 here. (18:09)

Ben Manski is a Wisconsin attorney. He serves Liberty Tree as Executive Director, editor of the Liberty Tree Journal, and as a Fellow. Ben received his J.D. from the University of Wisconsin in 2005, and a B.A. in Sociology with a focus in Rural Sociology from the UW-Madison in 1999. Ben Manski served as co-chair of the Green Party of the United States from 2001 through 2004. He was employed on the staffs of a number of environmental, social justice, pro-democracy, and education advocacy organizations throughout the 1990s, and played leadership roles in many others. Ben currently serves as President of the Press Connection Foundation.  He is a member of the Speak Out! Speakers and Artists speakers bureau.

Chalmers Johnson

Tracking the Fall of the Empire

[audio:http://dissentradio.com/radio/09_05_19_johnson.mp3]

Chalmers Johnson, author of the indispensable Blowback trilogy, discusses the evolution of his view of the Cold War and American empire since the fall of the Soviet Union, the inevitable collapse of the U.S. dollar and world empire, Obama’s LBJ guns and butter trap, the kicking-out of the empire by the people of Latin America, the danger of further intervention in Pakistan, the ongoing rape of Okinawa and America’s relationship with Russia.

MP3 here. (39:23)

Chalmers Johnson is the author of Blowback: The Costs and Consequences of American Empire, The Sorrows of Empire: Militarism, Secrecy, and the End of the Republic and Nemesis: The Last Days of the American Republic.

Gareth Porter

Empires tend to commit suicide

[audio:http://dissentradio.com/radio/09_04_30_porter.mp3]

Gareth Porter, independent historian and journalist for Inter Press Service News Agency, discusses the connection between PNAC and the U.S. empire of bases, how beltway foreign policy advisers changed Obama’s antiwar rhetoric, the rumors of a U.S.-sponsored Iraqi coup d’etat to replace Nouri al-Maliki and the tendency of empires to enter costly military quagmires that bring their downfall.

MP3 here. (28:13)

Gareth Porter’s articles appear on the Huffington Post, Inter Press Service News Agency and on Antiwar.com.

George McGovern

Get out of Iraq now, not later

[audio:http://dissentradio.com/radio/09_04_28_mcgovern.mp3]

Former senator George McGovern discusses the danger to the U.S. in continuing the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, why the damage to Iraq is already done and can’t be fixed by the U.S., Eisenhower ended the Korean war as promised, the lessons he learned flying a B-24 in World War II, the extraordinary cost of maintaining a world empire and the difficulty of unraveling the influence of the permanent warfare economy.

MP3 here. (15:00)

George McGovern is a former senator and presidential candidate.

Lawrence Wilkerson

Colin Powell’s aid tells truth about Guantanamo

[audio:http://awr.dissentradio.com/09_03_27_wilkerson.mp3]

Lawrence Wilkerson, former chief of staff to Colin Powell during his tenure as Secretary of State, discusses how the Bush administration ignored the perfectly adequate Geneva Conventions guidelines for classifying war-zone detainees, the ethical and practical considerations of detaining and interrogating innocent civilians to “fight terror,” the counterclaim to Dick Cheney’s assertion that torture prevents terrorism and the end of an Israel/Palestine two state solution. Wilkerson also says he would cooperate with the prosecution of Dick Cheney for war crimes – not that that would ever happen.

MP3 here. (30:10)

Larry Wilkerson is a retired United States Army Colonel and former chief of staff to United States Secretary of State Colin Powell. He is chairman of the New America Foundation/U.S.-Cuba 21st Century Policy Initiative and wrote “Some Truths About Guantanamo” as a guest post on The Washington Note.

Pepe Escobar

America’s attempted oil empire

[audio:http://awr.dissentradio.com/09_03_27_escobar.mp3]

Pepe Escobar, writer for the Asia Times, discusses the importance of home-field advantage in the fossil fuel Great Game, how the U.S. empire of bases is used to dominate access to critical energy resources, the IPI (Iran, Pakistan, India) pipeline proposal that defies U.S. influence and the increasing cooperation of Russia and China on energy issues.

MP3 here. (26:36)

Pepe Escobar is the author of Globalistan: How the Globalized World is Dissolving Into Liquid War and Obama Does Globalistan. His article “Welcome to Pipelineistan” appears at Tomdispatch.com.

Philip Giraldi

Some Reasons for Optimism

[audio:http://awr.dissentradio.com/09_03_23_giraldi.mp3]

Philip Giraldi, contributing editor at The American Conservative magazine, discusses the disposition of U.S. diplomacy in the Obama administration, the role Dick Cheney played in scuttling a Syria/Israel peace agreement, Obama’s use of unofficial envoys to float diplomatic trial balloons in Iran and Russia, the fate of Hamid Karzai and why the Pyrrhic nature of the Israel lobby’s recent victory over the realists has been greatly exaggerated.

MP3 here. (41:43)

Philip Giraldi is a former DIA and CIA counter-terrorism officer, member of the American Conservative Defense Alliance and contributing editor at the American Conservative Magazine. His Smoke and Mirrors column is a regular feature on Antiwar.com

Frida Berrigan

War is Bad for the Economy

[audio:http://awr.dissentradio.com/09_03_13_fberrigan.mp3]

Frida Berrigan, columnist for Foreign Policy in Focus, discusses the frantic U.S. defense contractors lobbying for stimulus money while promising job creation, the prospect of a militarized outer space, Lockheed Martin’s overpriced and unnecessary F-22 Raptor and why the commonly held assumption that World War II ended the Great Depression must be challenged.

MP3 here. (23:33)

Frida Berrigan is Senior Program Associate for the Arms and Security Initiative at the New America Foundation. She is a columnist for Foreign Policy in Focus and a contributing editor of In These Times magazine.

Noam Chomsky

Hegemony or Survival

[audio:http://awr.dissentradio.com/09_03_03_chomsky.mp3]

Noam Chomsky, author of Manufacturing Consent: The Political Economy of the Mass Media, discusses the roots of U.S. imperialism, the often overlooked opportunity costs of empire, the exaggerated strength of U.S. economic rivals, the continuation of the Great Game into the 21st century, how the Western World’s observance of the Durand Line exacerbates problems in Afghanistan, the empire’s loss in Iraq, the U.S. doctrine of punishing Iran just to make an example out of them and the Israeli policy of incremental displacement of the Palestinian population in the occupied territories.

MP3 here. (41:12)

Noam Chomsky is professor emeritus of linguistics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and widely regarded as the father of modern linguistics. He is the author of Failed States: The Abuse of Power and the Assault on Democracy, Necessary Illusions: Thought Control in Democratic Societies and dozens of other books on politics and linguistics.

David R. Henderson

The Economics of Empire

[audio:http://awr.dissentradio.com/09_02_26_henderson.mp3]

David R. Henderson, research fellow with the Hoover Institution, discusses the love-fest between Congressional Democrats and President Obama, the benefit of empire for a select few and the net loss for everyone else, the common misconceptions on what caused and worsened the 1973 oil crisis and the difficulty of communicating with people whose ideas and arguments are wrapped in insulating layers of emotion and patriotism.

MP3 here. (37:08)

David R. Henderson is a research fellow with the Hoover Institution and an associate professor of economics in the Graduate School of Business and Public Policy at the Naval Postgraduate School. He writes a regular column, “The Wartime Economist”, for Antiwar.com and is the author of The Joy of Freedom: An Economist’s Odyssey. His latest book is The Concise Encyclopedia of Economics.

Robert Higgs

Depression and War, Then and Now

[audio:http://awr.dissentradio.com/09_02_20_23_higgs.mp3]

Robert Higgs, senior fellow at the Independent Institute and author of Depression, War and Cold War, discusses his thesis of “regime uncertainty” as a major factor of the Great Depression, the crash and recovery of 1921-22, the bubble created by the Fed in the later “roaring” twenties in order to prop up British interests, how World War II provided the certainty big business needed to start investing again – in arms, why the Cold War buildup was still cheap enough for the economy to continue under its weight, who really benefits from empire, who pays, the irrelevance of trade deficits, the roots of the financial crisis in Wall St.’s bogus financial models, congressional and Federal Reserve polices and the cartelized ratings business, the all-important intertwined policy of inflation and war, his view of the extent of the collapse and whether the empire will be dismantled, the danger of high price inflation, danger of nationalization, and why government regulation of the market is responsible for – not the solution to – its failures.

MP3 here. (1:16:17)

Robert Higgs is Senior Fellow in Political Economy for The Independent Institute and Editor of the Institute’s quarterly journal The Independent Review. He received his Ph.D. in economics from Johns Hopkins University, and he has taught at the University of Washington, Lafayette College, Seattle University, and the University of Economics, Prague. He has been a visiting scholar at Oxford University and Stanford University, and a fellow for the Hoover Institution and the National Science Foundation. Dr. Higgs is the editor of The Independent Institute books Opposing the Crusader State, The Challenge of Liberty, Re-Thinking Green, Hazardous to Our Health? and Arms, Politics, and the Economy, plus the volume Emergence of the Modern Political Economy.

His authored books include Neither Liberty Nor Safety, Depression, War, and Cold War, Politická ekonomie strachu (The Political Economy of Fear, in Czech), Resurgence of the Warfare State, Against Leviathan, The Transformation of the American Economy 1865-1914, Competition and Coercion, and Crisis and Leviathan. A contributor to numerous scholarly volumes, he is the author of more than 100 articles and reviews in academic journals.

Saul Landau

The End of the Monroe Doctrine

[audio:http://awr.dissentradio.com/09_02_05_landau.mp3]

Saul Landau, author of the article “Repudiating the Monroe Doctrine,” discusses the history of the Monroe Doctrine from its origin in 1823 to the present, the little known reciprocity that the U.S. would not meddle in European spheres of influence if the European colonial nations did the same in the Western hemisphere, the evolution of U.S. power projection from military force to CIA-led coups to the IMF and neoliberal wealth schemes, the total failure of the war on drugs and the increasing rejection of U.S. influence in Central and South American countries.

MP3 here. (31:19)

Saul Landau is a senior Fellow at the Institute for Policy Studies and Professor Emeritus at California State Polytechnic University, Pomona. He is the author of A Bush & Botox World: Travels Through Bush’s America, a commentator for Pacifica Radio and an award winning filmmaker.