- Beyond the Obama-Karzai Spin: Oil and Afghan War – an interview with Antonia Juhasz
- Brennan and Hagel – One Claimed no Civilian Drone Killings and the other Voted for Iraq War – an interview with Ray McGovern
Antonia Juhasz is a fellow at the Investigative Reporting Program at the University of California, Berkeley, Graduate School of Journalism and was recently in Afghanistan. She wrote the just-published piece “The New War for Afghanistan’s Untapped Oil,” which states: “With the close of 2012, the Pentagon has revealed a disturbing trend in Afghanistan: Taliban attacks remained steady, or in some cases increased, over 2011 levels. I experienced the Taliban surge firsthand this past November, and can offer a cause not cited in the Pentagon’s report: oil and gas.”
Reuters reports: “President Barack Obama on Monday will announce the nominations of Republican Chuck Hagel as his next defense secretary and White House counterterrorism adviser John Brennan as the new CIA director, a senior administration official said.”
Ray McGovern is a veteran CIA analyst. He has scrutinized Brennan’s backing of torture and drone killings. See his interview “Obama’s and Brennan’s ‘Kill List'” and his letter on Brennan, in which he notes: “Nov. 24, 2008 saw the publication of a letter to President-Elect Obama, signed by 200 psychologists, urging him not to select John Brennan to head the CIA because of his open support of ‘dark-side’ policies (Brennan’s, as well as Dick Cheney’s, adjective). Brennan withdrew his name the next day, and The New York Times explained the move as a reaction to ‘concerns he was intimately linked to controversial CIA programs authorized by President Bush. Brennan is now the administration’s strongest advocate of extrajudicial killing of U.S. citizens by drones. As for civilian deaths from CIA drone strikes in Pakistan, Brennan made the preposterous claim [in June 2011] that, over the previous year, ‘there hasn’t been a single collateral death’ from CIA drone strikes there.” McGovern is scheduled to speak at a protest at 1:00 p.m. outside the White House, as Obama is scheduled to make the nomination.
McGovern also recently wrote “Obama Needs Hagel in the Pentagon.” McGovern works with Tell the Word, the publishing arm of the ecumenical Church of the Saviour in Washington, D.C. During his career as a CIA analyst, he prepared and briefed the President’s Daily Brief and chaired National Intelligence Estimates.
This week’s show features another interview that still holds my interest. Since guests are hard to get hold of on New Year’s Eve and I will be running the show solo this week and thought it would be a good time to replay an interview I did with Pepe Escobar from August of this year.
You can read his most recent Asia Times articles here
Here is the post that accompanied that show at the time. I have made no changes:
Syria is on fire but there has been little by way of explanation as to why this is happening now and what else may be part of the picture. Our guest for the whole hour is Pepe Escobar.
Pepe Escobar is 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 (Masoud: From warrior to statesman, Sep 11, 2001). Two weeks before September 11, 2001, while Pepe was in the tribal areas of Pakistan, ATol published his prophetic piece, Get Osama! Now! Or else … (Aug 30, 2001). 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 … Pepe Escobar is the author of Globalistan: How the Globalized World is Dissolving into Liquid War (Nimble Books, 2007) and Red Zone Blues: a snapshot of Baghdad during the surge. His new book, is Obama does Globalistan (Nimble Books, 2009). (on Asia Times Online).
Pepe’s recent articles on this topic:
- Stories that didn’t make the news – Project Censored – an interview with Mickey Huff
- The real story of the resignation of General Petraeus – an interview with Ray McGovern
More about our guests:
Mickey Huff is Director of Project Censored and a member of the board of directors for the Media Freedom Foundation. He is currently an associate professor of history at Diablo Valley College (DVC), located in the San Francisco Bay Area. Huff is radio co-host of the Project Censored Show with former Project Censored director Dr. Peter Phillips. The program airs as part of The Morning Mix on KPFA in Berkeley, CA on Pacifica Radio, and is rebroadcast on the Progressive Radio Network online out of New York City. He is also on the board of directors of No Lies Radio and is a former adviser to the Students for a Democratic Society at DVC. Huff regularly holds forums on campus with authors and activists from across the country to discuss issues surrounding history, critical thinking, and current events.
About Project Censored: The mission of Project Censored is to teach students and the public about the role of a free press in a free society – and to tell the News That Didn’t Make the News and Why
Ray McGovern Veteran CIA analyst Ray McGovern works with Tell the Word, the publishing arm of the ecumenical Church of the Savior in Washington, DC. During his career as a CIA analyst, he prepared and briefed the President’s Daily Brief and chaired National Intelligence Estimates. He is a member of the Steering Group of Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS)wrote the article “Pundit Tears for Petraeus’s Fall,”
Quote: “As commander in Afghanistan, Petraeus was able to elbow the substantive intelligence analysts in Washington off to the sidelines. … As for winning hearts and minds, it was Petraeus who shocked Afghan President Hamid Karzai’s aides by claiming that Afghan parents might have burned their own children in order to blame the casualties on U.S. military operations. And the same Petraeus eagerly increased the incredibly myopic drone strikes in Pakistan, killing thousands of civilian ‘militants’ and creating thousands more to contend with in the ‘long war’ now alienating a nuclear-armed country of 185 million people.
McGovern advises Obama: “You can select a person with a proven record of integrity and courage to speak truth, without fear or favor, and with savvy and experience in matters of State and Defense. There are still some very good people with integrity and courage around — former Ambassador Chas Freeman would be an excellent candidate. Go ahead, Mr. President. Show that you can stand up to the Israel lobby that succeeded in getting Freeman ousted on March 10, 2009, after just six hours on the job as Director of the National Intelligence Council. And there are still some genuine experts around to help you enlist Afghanistan’s neighbors in an effort to ease U.S. troop withdrawal well before the 2014 deadline. The faux experts – the neocon specialists at Brookings, AEI and elsewhere — have had their chance. For God’s sake, take away their White House visiting badges at once. Create White House badges for genuine experts like former National Intelligence Officer for the Near East Paul Pillar, former State Department Chief of Staff Lawrence Wilkerson, and military historian and practitioner Andrew Bacevich (Lt. Col., USA, ret.). These are straight-shooters; they have no interest in ‘long wars’; they will tell you the truth; all you need do is listen. Do NOT listen this time to the likes of your counter-terrorism adviser, John Brennan, a former CIA functionary who was staff director for CIA Director George “slam-dunk” Tenet. Brennan will probably push for you to nominate Petraeus’s deputy and now Acting CIA Director Michael Morell, who did the same dirty work for Tenet that Brennan did. Morell is even more likely to take his cues from Brennan and tell you what he and Brennan want you to hear. At best, Morell is likely to let things drift until you move on Petraeus’s replacement. And this is no time for drift.
Likening Palestinians to Blades of Grass – Elizabeth Murray, former Deputy National Intelligence Officer for Near East. Murray is a former CIA analyst colleague who retired two years ago with her conscience intact.
Inside Story: Gen. Petraeus — War Hero? Ray, Larry Korb, and Gareth Porter roundtable (video) 25 min.
Petraeus Resignation Makes it Easier for Obama to Do Something Sensible on Iran and Vietnamistan — Ray McGovern interviewed on The Real News Network on Nov 12, 2012 (12 min.)
Pundit Tears for Patraeus’s Demise — Ray McGovern, November 10,2012
This week’s theme is elections, no prizes for guessing why. We take a look at the history and effects of redistricting and the impact of corporate money on elections.
- The League of Dangerous Mapmakers – an interview with Robert Draper
- Obama continues Bush wiretaps and expands drone warfare – an interview with Kevin Gosztola
More about this week’s guests:
Robert Draper is a freelance writer, a correspondent for GQ and a contributor to The New York Times Magazine. Previously, he worked for Texas Monthly, where he first became acquainted with the Bush political family. He was on The Monitor last when he had just published Dead Certain: The Presidency of George W. Bush
Who’s most to blame for our divisive politics? How about the gerrymanderers quietly deciding where your vote goes. Inside the dark art and modern science of making democracy a lot less democratic. The League of Dangerous Mapmakers is the title of an article by Robert Draper in the Atlantic Magazine. The article takes a long look at how redistricting is done and by whom. Click the link to read it and tune into the show to hear Robert’s explanation.
Kevin Gosztola is a journalist for Firedoglake.com and recently wrote the piece “Obama’s Pathetic Answer to Jon Stewart’s Question on Continuation of Bush National Security Policies.” In the interview, President Obama claimed that he has set out to put legal structures in place to rein in the presidency. Gosztola argues that Obama has in fact done the opposite. Obama stated in the interview: “One of the things we’ve got to do is put a legal architecture in place and we need congressional help to do that, to make sure that not only am I reined in but any president is reined in in terms of some of the decisions that we’re making.” Gosztola retorted: “Like, the Constitution?”
Also see the new Amnesty International post: “Secret U.S. Drone Program Still Getting Away With Killing Children.” http://blog.amnestyusa.org/africa/secret-us-drone-program-still-getting-away-with-killing-children
On the show this week:
- Court Rules Against Detention; Congress Doubles Down on Government Spying – an interview with Marjorie Cohn
- The anniversary of the Occupy Movement and the events at US Embassies and consulates in the Middle East – an interview with Stephen Zunes
More about our guests:
Marjorie Cohn is Professor at Thomas Jefferson School of Law and former president of the National Lawyers Guild, Cohn is also the author of “The United States and Torture.”
Quote: “Just as the House voted to extend the FISA Amendments Act, that strengthens the government’s ability to spy on us, a federal judge permanently blocked enforcement of the section of the National Defense Authorization Act that permits indefinite detention. The Obama administration has followed the Bush practice of indefinitely detaining terrorism suspects without charges. But the NDAA expands the group to include not just those who perpetrated the September 11 attacks, but also anyone who is part of, or substantially supports, Al Qaeda, the Taliban or other forces engaged in hostilities against the United States or its allies. Judge Katherine B. Forrest ruled that the provision is ‘unconstitutionally overbroad’ because it ‘purports to encompass protected First Amendment activities,’ and it also violates the Fifth Amendment. This is an example of the judicial branch fulfilling its constitutional duty to check and balance overreaching by the other branches of government.”
Stephen Zunes is a Professor of Politics and International Studies at the University of San Francisco, where he chairs the program in Middle Eastern Studies. Recognized as one the country’s leading scholars of U.S. Middle East policy and of strategic nonviolent action, Professor Zunes received his PhD. from Cornell University, his M.A. from Temple University and his B.A. from Oberlin College. We talk to Stephen about his two most recent articles.
The first, posted on the home page of CNN.com, examines the impact of the Occupy movement on its first anniversary: http://www.cnn.com/2012/09/17/opinion/zunes-occupy-movement/index.html?hpt=hp_c1
The second, from Foreign Policy in Focus, looks at the attack on the Benghazi consulate and other anti-American protests in the Middle East in the context of U.S. policy in the region: http://www.fpif.org/articles/the_middle_east_unrest_in_context
KPFT is in a one week pledge drive. The Monitor has a goal of $750. Please call 713 526 5738 to donate.
Our guests this week are Richard Gage and Greg Palast. Each has something to offer our listeners.
At the $60 Pledge Level you can get Greg Palast’s Why We Occupy DVD:
Get the DVD of Greg Palast LIVE from the Vultures’ Picnic speaking tour. Undercover at the Vultures’ Picnic, Greg Palast rips the sheets off the One Percent.
Palast shows you the documents marked “secret” and “confidential” from the files of Chevron, Goldman Sachs, Koch Industries, the IMF, WTO, bribers and billionaires.
Palast turned his skills to journalism after two decades as a top investigator of corporate fraud. Palast directed the U.S. government’s largest racketeering case in history–winning a $4.3 billion jury award. He also conducted the investigation of fraud charges in the Exxon Valdez grounding.
Following the Deepwater Horizon explosion, Palast set off on a five-continent undercover investigation of BP and the oil industry for British television’s top current affairs program, Dispatches.