We begin with revelations that the Crown Prince of the United Arab Emirates made a secret trip to the U.S. for meetings in Trump tower with General Michael Flynn and later in the Seychelles met with the founder of Blackwater Erik Prince, who has a mercenary military force operating out of the UAE. Joining us to look into the role of the UAE in the 9/11 attacks is Kristen Breitweiser, 9/11 widow and activist and author of “Wake Up Call: The Political Education of a 9/11 Widow”. We discuss her article at The Huffington Post “UAE: Financial and Transit Hub of 9/11 Terror” and the extent to which the Trump Administration has made secret deals with the UAE and Saudi Arabia who are behind the blockade of Qatar and are actively encouraging the U.S. to intervene in Iran.

Then we will look further into the growing evidence that the Trump Administration is frantically trying to fabricate any excuse to demonstrate Iran’s non-compliance with the terms of the P5+1 nuclear deal signed by Obama which Trump has decried on the campaign trail and later as president as “the worst deal in history”. The author of “The Great Satan versus the Mad Mullahs: How the United States and Iran Demonize Each Other”, William Beeman, a Middle East Specialist for more than 30 years who has served as a consultant to the U.S. State Department, the Department of Defense, the U.N. and the U.S. Congress, joins us to discuss his article at NewAmericaMedia.org “Trump Administration Signals Plans to Abandon Iran Deal”.

Then finally with more demonstrations expected tonight on the campus of the University of California, Berkeley, we speak with the Dean of the Berkeley Law School Erwin Chemerinsky, the co-author of a new book “Free Speech on Campus”. He joins us to discuss the potential of clashes between outside groups on the right like the Proud Boys and the Fraternal Order of Alt-Knights and the RefuseFascism.org group on the left promoting demonstrations against a conservative speaker Ben Shapiro. Later this month Stephen Bannon and Milo Yiannopoulos will cause more disruption and expense for the university in the hope they will be banned and thus become martyrs for free speech.

Background Briefing

The UAE's Links to Terror and Trump

Trump's Frantic Search to Break the Iran Deal

Right Wing Provocateurs Hope That Berkeley Bans Them

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We begin with the worsening flooding in Houston as Hurricane Harvey, now a tropical storm, continues to dump up to 50 inches of rain over the surrounding area. Jeff Goodell, a contributing editor at Rolling Stone and author of the forthcoming book, “The Water Will Come: Rising Seas, Sinking Cities and the Remaking of the Civilized World”, joins us to discuss the factors involved in contributing to this unnatural disaster. Along with the rising sea level due to global warming, we will examine the role of unchecked development in and around Houston as a result of the housing boom and the coastal subsidence where the land has sunk more than half a foot due to oil drilling. Another effect of global warming is the rising sea surface temperature responsible for a 3% increase in average atmospheric moisture content for each half degree centigrade of warming which has resulted in 3-5% more moisture in the atmosphere, creating the potential for more intense rainfalls known as “rain bombs” and much greater flooding.

Then we assess Trump’s remarks in a press conference today in which he again called for the building of a border wall that he insists Mexico will pay for while defending his controversial pardon of former sheriff Joe Arpaio who Trump claimed “was treated unbelievably unfairly”. Joining us to refute this absurdity is Antonia Noori Farzan, a staff writer at the Phoenix New Times where she has covered the former sheriff for years and where she has an article, “Latino Reaction to Arpaio Pardon ‘Just Throwing the Finger” at Federal Judges”.

Then finally we look into a repeat of the White House leaning on the CIA to cook the books on intelligence to justify a war against Iraq, with this time the target being Iran. Middle East expert Rasool Nafisi, the author of The Rise of the Pasdaran” and “The Cultures of the Middle East”, joins us to discuss White House pressure on the CIA to create evidence against Iran to support Trump’s determination to tear up the nuclear agreement with Iran which will end up as a gift to Iran’s hardline rulers and undermine President Rouhani and the pro-democracy reformers.

 

Background Briefing

The Unnatural Disaster Underway in Houston

Trump Defends Arpaio Pardon

White House Leans on CIA to Cook Books on Iran Intel

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We begin with an analysis of President Trump’s address to the nation on his strategy for America’s longest war in Afghanistan now in its 16th year. Two specialists who have spent a lot of time in the country join us starting with Christine Fair, a former United Nations Political Officer and a Professor at Georgetown University’s Security Studies Program and author of “Fighting to the End: The Pakistan Army’s Way of War”. We  discuss the complex and contradictory strategic landscape surrounding landlocked Afghanistan with Pakistan in the east and south sabotaging the U.S. at every turn, and Russia in the north now arming the Taliban. And while Iran to the west is the best bet to work with India to get our irons out of the fire, Trump is likely to resume sanctions and provoke hostilities at the behest of both our Israeli and Saudi allies who want us to go to war against Iran. Meanwhile Iran and India have built a port, road and rail link from the Indian Ocean into Herat, Afghanistan which could be the only way for India, as Trump announced, to help with the reconstruction of Afghanistan.

Then we look further into Trump’s just-announced Afghanistan strategy that was long on bravado and promises but short on specifics, and speak with Robert Young Pelton, the author of “Licensed to Kill: Hired Guns in the War on Terror”. He joins us to discuss how the generals, Mattis, McMaster and Kelly won the argument with the ignoramus their Commander-in-Chief over Bannon, who wanted to privatize the war in Afghanistan and hand it over to the hedge fund billionaire Feinberg who owns DynCorp and the Blackwater founder Erik Prince, the brother of Education Secretary Betsy DeVos who is close to Vice President Pence and has been on the Chinese payroll while in bed with the Emiraties where he has a private army.

Then finally we get an assessment of the “let them eat cake” moment that has social media abuzz following an Instagram that Louise Linton, the trophy wife of the Secretary of the Treasury, Steven Mnuchin sent out cataloging the designer outfit and accessories she was wearing on a visit to Fort Knox where the nation’s gold is stashed. Robin Givhan, the Washington Post’s fashion critic joins us to discuss her article at The Washington Post, “Louise Linton just spelled out her value system to you common folk”.

Background Briefing

The Strategic Complexities and Contradictions Surrounding Afghanistan

The Generals Beat the Mercenaries Over Afghanistan Strategy

Mnuchin's Wife's "Let Them Eat Cake" Moment

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We speak first with Steve Andreasen, who was director for defense policy and arms control on the National Security Council and is currently a national security consultant at the Nuclear Threat Initiative and teaches at the University of Minnesota’s Humphrey School of Public Affairs. He joins us to discuss his article at The New York Times “Is Trump Scheming to Kill the Iran Deal?” and assess whether the adults in the room, Generals Mattis and McMaster and Secretary of State Tillerson got rolled by the hardliners like Bannon who have Trump’s ear. Although the adults were able to get Trump to certify that Iran was sticking to the P5+1 agreement for now, the price they paid was to have Bannon put in charge of a group of ideologues who will look for a way to de-certify Iran within the next 90 days to find a pretext to resume sanctions and open the way for military action.

Then we examine further the likelihood of Trump starting a war with Iran and speak with Dr. Trita Parsi, the co-founder and president of the National Iranian American Council and author of “Losing an Enemy: Obama, Iran and the Triumph of Diplomacy”. He joins us to discuss his article at Alternet “This October, Trump Will Try to Start a War With Iran: Trump plans to sabotage the nuclear deal” and explain how Saudi Arabia’s ruling family wants to fight Iran to the last American soldier and what a gift it would be to the hardline mullahs and Revolutionary Guards to have the “great Satan” go to war against Iran.

Then finally we look into why Trump is imposing sanctions on Venezuela’s new dictator Maduro for killing democracy via a phony referendum while praising Erdogan for his recent electoral coup as Turkey’s wannabe dictator rolls back democracy and jails thousands of political opponents. Max Hoffman, the Associate Director for National Security and international Policy at the Center for American Progress where his research focusses on Turkey and the Kurdish regions, joins us to discuss Erdogan’s show trials underway and the reshuffling of the top brass of Turkey’s military.

Background Briefing

Trump's Scheme to Kill the Iran Deal

Will Trump Try to Start a War With Iran in October?

Erdogan's Show Trials

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We begin with the increasingly important White House role of Stephen Bannon who successfully challenged the Secretary of State’s argument that Iran is sticking to the deal made with Obama, which makes it likely that in 90 days Trump will pull out of the G-5 +1 agreement with Iran. Joshua Green, a senior national correspondent for Bloomberg Businessweek and author of the new book “Devil’s Bargain: Steve Bannon, Donald Trump, and the Storming of the Presidency”, joins us to discuss the deep right wing Catholic fervor driving Bannon’s apocalyptic worldview that appears to go back to the 11th century crusades of the crescent versus the cross. We will look into the key role of Rebekah Mercer who brought Bannon and Kellyanne Conway in to rescue Trump’s flagging campaign and what the Mercer’s expect to get in exchange for being the biggest donors to both Bannon and Trump.

Then we speak with Thomas Nichols, a professor of national security affairs in the National Security Affairs Department of the Naval War College and author of the new book, “The Death of Expertise: The Campaign Against Established Knowledge and Why it Matters”. He joins us to discuss his belief that “the abysmal literacy, both political and general, of the American public is the foundation for all these problems. It is the soil in which all of the other dysfunctions have taken root and prospered, with the 2016 election only its most recent expression”.

Then finally we get an assessment of the new Democratic agenda, the “Better Deal” announced by Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi that aims to rebuild the coalition that FDR put together and bring the white working class back into the Democrat’s big tent. Dean Baker, the co-director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research, joins us to discuss Schumer’s implicit criticism of Hillary Clinton’s campaign and the promising anti-trust measures in the plan that hopes to reclaim the Democrat’s populist mantle that Trump was able to expropriate in the last election.

Background Briefing

The Author of "Devil's Bargain: Steve Bannon, Donald Trump, and the Storming of the Presidency"

Why Americans Have Turned Against Expertise and Knowledge

The Democrat's "Better Deal"

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We begin with growing tensions in the standoff between Qatar and its neighbors led by Saudi Arabia who issued an unrealistically harsh and humiliating set of demands to the tiny Gulf state under an ultimatum that has since past, and now they are dismissing Qatar’s response to their list of demands as the crisis deepens. Marwan Kraidy, the Anthony Shadid Chair of Global Media, Politics and Culture and Director for Advanced Research in Global Communications of the Annenberg School for Communication at the University of Pennsylvania, joins us. An expert on the Arab media, we discuss how much Egypt’s and Saudi Arabia’s demand to shut down Qatar-based Al Jazeera is at the heart of this dispute provoked by Saudi Arabia’s belligerent young Crown Prince who appears to have bitten off more than he can chew in Yemen and is now threatening war or at least regime change in Qatar.

Then we assess the extent to which Donald Trump’s visit to Poland is based on his aversion to protests which are being planned in Hamburg and London, and his susceptibility to enticements by the authoritarian right wing Polish leader whose Law and Justice government will bus in adoring fans of Trump from the countryside to what they have promised the White House will be “a great patriotic picnic”. A former senior advisor with the State Department’s Policy Planning Staff, Charles Gati, a Senior Research Professor of European and Eurasian Studies at the Johns Hopkins School of Advance International Studies, joins us to look into what seems more like a mutually beneficial photo-op than a diplomatic engagement, particularly since Trump has refused to meet with anyone from Poland’s opposition.

Then finally we examine the looming crisis following North Korea’s long-range missile test which has essentially called Trump’s bluff since he had warned that a test of a North Korean missile that could reach the U.S. “is not going to happen”. Now that it has happened, we will speak with a former State Department Senior Analyst, Stephen Noerper, Senior Director of the Korea Society, an associate of the Weatherhead Institute and Pacific Forum, and a professor at Columbia University. He joins us to discuss this crisis that, in the absence of diplomacy, could lead to devastating military consequences and civilian casualties.

Background Briefing

The Qatar Standoff Is All About Shutting Down Al Jazeera

Poland's Authoritarian Leader Lures Trump For Photo-Op

North Korean Missile Test Calls Trump's Bluff

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We begin with the latest round of global cyber-attacks and focus on the crippling assault on Ukraine’s infrastructure that is widely being blamed on Russia although Russian companies such as Rosneft have also suffered intrusions. Patrick Tucker, the technology editor of Defense One and author of “The Naked Future: What Happens in a World That Anticipates Your Every Move?” joins us to discuss Russia’s active use of cyber weapons, particularly against its neighbors, that operate just below the threshold of open warfare but can come close to paralyzing a country. We will look into reports that the U.S. has even greater offensive capabilities in cyber warfare and assess why these capabilities have not been used offensively as far as we know since the Stuxnet virus was used to cause havoc inside Iran’s nuclear program.

Then we will get an analysis of why Donald Trump is able to continue tweeting out his childish, bullying and petty insults aimed at people he does like or those who criticize him without any embarrassment or shame being expressed by Republicans. The same Republicans who piled on with such righteous indignation against Bill Clinton for his behavior they felt was beneath the dignity of the office of president of the United States and warranted Clinton being impeached. Adele Stan, a weekly columnist for The American Prospect joins us to discuss her latest article at The New Republic “First Family LLC” and whether there is a threshold of undignified behavior that the head of state could cross that would force Republicans to stand up for decency and decorum.

Then finally we will look further into the Trump tweets spewing misogyny and abusive insults that reflect his extreme narcissism and insecurity, indicating a compulsion the leader of the free world has to tear down other people in order to build himself up. Lawrence Douglas, a Professor of Law, Jurisprudence and Social Thought at Amherst College, who is a regular columnist for The Guardian, joins us to question when Trump’s supporters, who seem cocooned in propaganda and impervious to reality, will see the real side of this weak strongman.

Background Briefing

The Latest Global Cyber Attack

When Will Republicans Stand Up to Trump's Tweets?

When Will Trump's Supporters See the Real Side of this Weak Strongman?

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We begin with an analysis of the daunting task ahead for the Democrats who hope to take back the House and even the Senate in 2018 and speak with George Lakoff, Professor Emeritus of Cognitive Science and Linguistics at the University of California, Berkeley and author of ”The All New Don’t Think of an Elephant” and “The Political Mind”. He joins us to discuss the recent Democratic defeat in the most expensive congressional race in history and offer an alternative strategy for Democrats as they try to reach out to disaffected Republican voters in potential swing districts. Facing a gerrymandered electorate with unlimited Republican money pouring in, Lakoff argues that the Democrats are doomed as long as they fail to learn from recent defeats while clinging to the vain hope Trump will self-destruct or be impeached. He urges them to stop running the same campaigns with bland candidates who continue to run on facts and figures, platforms and policies, while ignoring the political mind and the importance of values and emotions.

Then we examine the consequences of having a commander in chief who delegates decisions to the military as the war against ISIS in Syria and Iraq gets more complicated and potentially explosive while the security situation in Afghanistan deteriorates. Henri Barkey, the Director of the Middle East Program at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars who was a member of the State Department’s Policy Planning Staff on the Middle East, the Eastern Mediterranean and Intelligence, joins us to discuss that in the absence of hands-on leadership, there is a growing possibility that a clash between the U.S. and Syrian or Iranian forces could spark a wider war in Syria.

Then finally we speak with Mel Goodman, an expert on U.S. relations with Russia who served as a senior analyst and division chief at the CIA and is the author of six books on U.S. intelligence and international security, the latest of which is “Whistleblower at the CIA: An Insider’s Account of the Politics of Intelligence”. He joins us to discuss the inner workings of the intelligence community and how corruption, intimidation and misinformation can lead to disastrous foreign interventions.

Background Briefing

Alternative Strategies to Stop Democrats From Losing

The Danger of Delegating Presidential Decisions to the Military

A CIA Insider on Trump's War With the Intelligence Community

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We begin with the most expensive congressional race in the nation’s history in Georgia where the polls closed an hour ago and speak with Andra Gillespie, a Professor of Political Science at Emory University who served as a Martin Luther King Visiting Scholar in Political Science at MIT and was an analyst for Democratic pollster Mark Mellman. She joins us to discuss this tight race between Democrat Jon Ossoff and Republican Karen Handel that has been flooded with outside money since it is widely seen as an early referendum on the troubled Trump Administration. We look into whether Ossoff can squeak by with a narrow victory this time with the help of the African/American vote, the absence of which some analysts say cost Ossoff an outright win in the primary in which he fell just short of the 50% threshold.

Then following the shoot-down of 2 Iranian drones and a Syrian fighter-bomber by U.S.-led coalition forces in Syria, we assess the warning from the Russians that any coalition aircraft venturing west of the Euphrates will be painted by Russian radar and treated as targets. An expert on Syria, Nicholas Heras, a Middle East researcher at the Center for a New American Security, joins us to discuss how Syria and Iran are trying to capture territory in the east of Syria, attempting to fill the vacuum as the Islamic State is defeated in the hope that they can create a land corridor from Assad-controlled territory across Iraq to Iran.

Then finally we speak with Jonathan Marshall, an award-winning journalist and researcher who has a 5 part series of articles on foreign lobbying at Consortium News, the latest of which is “Saudis Win Hearts by Lining Pockets”. We discuss how other nations, apart from Russia, interfere in our elections by pouring money into hiring lobbyists and former officials while funding think tanks and political issues using the dark money channels opened up the Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision.

Background Briefing

An Update on the Georgia Congressional Race

Could an Accidental War Between the US and Russia Break Out in Syria?

How Other Nations, Apart From Russia, Interfere in Our Elections

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We begin with the 153rd mass shooting so far in the U.S.A. in 2017, this time with the victims being a congressman, an aide, a lobbyist and two Capitol Policemen. But later today the 154thmass shooting took place in San Francisco at a UPS facility that left four dead. Joshua Horowitz, the Executive Director of the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence and author of “Guns, Democracy and the Insurrectionist Idea”, joins us to discuss whether the unity and bipartisanship on display in the House today as well as President Trump’s call that “our children deserve to grow up in a nation of safety and peace”, will lead to an easing of the deadlock over guns rights versus gun safety, over the right to bear arms versus the right to be safe from gun violence. We will assess whether any change will come from this latest tragedy that hit so close to home for lawmakers, or since the perpetrator once supported Bernie Sanders, will right wing media fan the flames as they blame the shooting on Trump-haters.

Then we will explore the broader issue of what is behind the proliferation and availability of firearms and with so much access to data, why is it we as a nation are unable to prevent people with a history of mental illness, or in the case of the gunman who shot the congressman, a history of domestic violence and the reckless discharge of a firearm, from getting hold of lethal military-style weaponry and causing multiple deaths and injuries. Tom Diaz, a former senior policy analyst at the Violence Policy Center and author of “The Last Gun: How Changes in the Gun Industry Are Killing Americans and What to do About It”, joins us to discuss what is driving America’s disproportionately-high civilian death toll from guns.

Then finally we will look into the siege of the tiny Gulf state of Qatar and speak with an Arabic-speaking expert on the Middle East, Graham Fuller, the former vice chairman of the National Intelligence Council who is currently a professor of history at Simon Frazer University. He joins us to refute the bogus claims by Donald Trump and the Saudi rulers that they are fighting terrorism and confronting Iran when in fact it is all about the self-preservation of autocratic monarchs who can’t stand the freedom of expression on al-Jazeera and want to spread Saudi Wahhabism to dominate the Gulf.

Background Briefing

Today's 153rd Then 154th Mass Shootings So Far in 2017

What is Driving America's Unique Epidemic of Mass Shootings

The Bogus Excuses For the Saudi Siege of Qatar

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We begin with the suicide bombing in Manchester, England in which a 22 year old British born Salman Abedi deliberately targeted young innocents killing 22 and wounding 59 in a terrorist act that the Islamic State is taking credit for. Hassan Hassan, a Senior Fellow at the Tahrir Institute for Middle East Peace and co-author of “ISIS: Inside the Army of Terror”, joins us to discuss the role of Libyans in the Islamic State and the approximately 300 former ISIS fighters who have returned to the U.K. whose role in this horrendous bombing of young concert-goers is not apparent in what is known about the suspect so far, but it is likely that the instructions to build the bomb that was laced with nuts and bolts came from ISIS websites where instructions to make explosives and use trucks as weapons against soft targets are readily available.

Then following today’s testimony by former CIA Director John Brennan and the current head of the NSA Admiral Rogers, we speak with Kate Brannan, the Deputy Managing Editor of Just Security who is a non-resident fellow at the Brent Scowcroft Center for International Security at the Atlantic Council. She joins us to discuss her latest article at Just Security “Connecting the Dots: Political Microtargeting and the Russian Investigation” and the testimony of top intelligence officials that is keeping the Russia story alive with next week’s testimony by the recently-fired FBI Director likely to intensify interest bigly.

Then finally we examine the looming confrontation with Iran that the Saudis and the Israelis are leading a gullible and ill-informed Donald Trump towards and speak with William Beeman, a Professor and Chair of the Department of Anthropology at the University of Minnesota who was a consultant to the State and Defense Departments as well as the U.N. and the U.S. Congress. The author of “The Great Satan vs. the Mad Mullahs: How the United States and Iran Demonize Each Other”, he joins us to discuss how Iran in being demonized because Israel uses it as an excuse for its failure to deal with the Palestinians while the Saudis blame Iran for the problems they have with their own Shia minority who they mistreat.

 

Background Briefing

ISIS Takes Credit For Deliberately Targeting Young Innocents

Testimony By Top Intel Officials Keep the Russian Story Alive

Israel and Saudi Arabia Lead Trump By the Nose Into a Confrontation With Iran

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We begin with the second leg of Donald Trump’s first presidential trip abroad and discuss his first day in Israel where he has promised to take on the ultimate challenge, an Israeli/Palestinian peace deal. Joining us to assess Trump’s meetings with Israeli officials and his meeting tomorrow with the so-called Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas is Kate Gould, the Legislative Representative for Middle East Policy for the Friends Committee on National Legislation, a Quaker lobby fielding the largest team of registered peace lobbyists in Washington D.C. We discuss whether Israel, as a member of the anti-Iran alliance with Saudi Arabia and Egypt, can be pressured into making a peace deal with the Palestinians as a part of a broader strategic realignment in the Middle East with the U.S. and Israel joining an alliance of Sunni states against Shia Iran.

Then we speak with Christine Fair, a former United Nation’s political officer in Afghanistan and a Professor at Georgetown University’s Security Studies Program who specializes in South Asia security issues. She joins us to discuss a matter unrelated to her regional expertise and that is her encounter with the white nationalist leader Richard Spencer in her gym in Alexandria, Virginia which resulted in the termination of Spencer’s gym membership. We discuss how Spencer, who leads an alt-right movement that seeks a whites-only America and recently led a Nazi-like torch light rally in Charlottesville to protest the removal of a Confederate statue, asked a female African-American gym instructor to protect him from Chris Fair’s verbal confrontation.

Then finally we look into today’s Supreme Court ruling rejecting two gerrymandered districts in North Carolina citing racial bias. Thomas Wolf, counsel with the Democracy Program at the Brennan Center for Justice at New York University who focuses on redistricting issues, joins us to discuss what former Attorney General Holder describes as “a watershed moment in the fight to end racial gerrymandering” and another recent Supreme Court victory for North Carolina Democrats that struck down a restrictive Republican voter ID law.

Background Briefing

Trump Takes on the Ultimate Challenge

Confronting the Leader of America's Alt-Right White Nationalist Movement

A Victory Over Racial Gerrymandering in North Carolina

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We begin with speech by President Trump in Saudi Arabia before more than 40 leaders of Muslim nations in which he condemned extremism and terrorism as not “a battle between different faiths” but “a battle between good and evil”. Natana DeLong-Bas, a Professor of Theology at Boston University who is an expert on Wahhabism, Salafism and Jihadism and is the author of “Jihad for Islam: The Struggle for the Future of Saudi Arabia”, joins us to analyze the speech and its likely impact. We will discuss how Trump avoided his inflammatory language against Muslims but instead was eloquent in describing how much Muslims are the main victims of terrorism, and examine the apparent disconnect with reality as Trump castigated Iran for spreading destruction and chaos across the region before a group of leaders who oppress their own people and would never allow an election such as the one which the Iranians just conducted.

Then with scandal and intrigue still rolling back in Washington as reports emerge that Trump told the Russians in the Oval Office that he had just fired Comey who he called “a nut job” to relieve pressure on him from the Russia investigation, together with reports that Jared Kushner is likely the “person of interest” investigators are looking into, we will speak with a former senior CIA analyst who was National Intelligence Officer for East Asia and Chief of Station in Asia. Kent Harrington joins us to discuss his latest article at Project Syndicate “Trump’s Loose Lips and America’s Intelligence Relationships” and examine reports that China has “systematically dismantled” CIA spying operations killing or imprisoning between 18 and 20 CIA sources in China.

Then finally we speak with Middle East expert Rasool Nafisi, the author of “The Rise of the Pasdaran”, which is about the social, political and economic roles of the Guardians of the Revolution in Iran, who just lost the election to the incumbent Rouhani with their hardline candidate losing by 20 points. We will look into the country that Trump just blamed for all the troubles in the Middle East and assess how and when the dwindling chorus chanting “death to America” will fade into the background.

Background Briefing

In Saudi Arabia, Trump Vows to Meet "History's Greatest Test"

A Former CIA Official on Trump's Loose Lips

Trump Blames Iran For Chaos in the Middle East

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We begin with more heated rhetoric from the White House and accusations of “alarming ongoing provocations” from a country that the Secretary of State just said “has the potential to travel the same path as North Korea and take the world along with it”.  That country, Iran, is the same country which the Trump Administration on April 18 just certified as abiding by the nuclear of 2015, the same Obama deal that Trump promised to tear up. Joining us to try to make sense of the flip-flopping and incoherence of Trump’s Middle East policy, which is headed up by his son-in-law who has no government or diplomatic experience other than being in New York real estate, is Mansour Farhang, a professor of international relations at Bennington College. He resigned as revolutionary Iran’s first ambassador to the United Nations when Khomeini’s regime refused to accept the U.N.’s recommendations to release its U.S. hostages.

Then with Attorney General Jeff Sessions poised to revive Nancy Reagan’s “war on drugs” prioritizing his personal obsession against marijuana over the very real problem of a nation-wide opiate addiction scourge, we will speak Norm Stamper, a retired Seattle police chief and advisory board member of Law Enforcement Action Partnership, a drug policy advocacy group. The author of “To Protect and Serve: How to Fix America’s Police”, he joins us to discuss Sessions’ coming war on legal marijuana.

Then finally we will discuss President Trump’s threat to kill the Affordable Care Act by taking away subsidies to insurers as a way to get Democrats to negotiate changes in the 2010 health law.  Wendell Potter, who was chief spokesman for CIGNA and head of corporate communications at Humana before becoming a senior analyst on healthcare at the Center for Public Integrity  joins us in the studio to discuss this cruel and callous tactic designed to make Trump’s prediction that Obamacare would “explode”, come true.

Background Briefing

Syria, Then North Korea and Now Iran as Enemy Number One

Jeff Sessions' Coming War on Legal Marijuana

Trump's Cruel and Callous Tactic to Make Obamacare "Explode"

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We begin with the role of Trump’s friend Rudy Giuliani, who was apparently behind the infamous Comey letter that Hillary Clinton blames for her loss, and examine his latest and sleaziest machination as he now lobbies for the release of Reza Zarrah, Iran’s biggest sanction-buster, to help out Turkey’s dictator Erdogan who is implicated in profiting from the Turkish/Iranian businessman’s racket of selling gold to the Iranians on phony invoices for food and medicine that generated $11 billion in profits. David Phillips, the Director of the Peace-building and Rights Program at Columbia University and author of “An Uncertain Ally: Turkey Under Erdogan’s Dictatorship”, joins us to discuss how Giuliani and his partner former Attorney General Mukasey are trying to get Trump, who fired the U.S. Attorney prosecuting Zarrah, to replace Preet Bharara with Mukasey’s son Marc, so that he would be in charge of the prosecution of the man his father is trying to get out of jail.

Then we will speak with Bartlett Naylor, the financial policy advocate for Public Citizen’s Congress Watch who served as chief of investigations for the U.S. Senate Banking Committee. He joins us to discuss the investigation by Wells Fargo Bank that led to its announcement that it would claw back $75 million in severance it paid to two senior executives, former CEO John Stumpf and community bank head Carrie Tolstedt, who presided over the fake accounts scandal where Wells Fargo customers were ending up with an average of six accounts per household whether they wanted them or not.

Then finally we will go to Wichita, Kansas and speak with Neal Allen, a professor of political science at Wichita State University to get an update on the special congressional election taking place today to fill the seat left by Mike Pompeo who Trump appointed to head up the CIA. With the polls having closed 40 minutes ago, we will look into whether this solidly Republican district could be a bellwether for a Democratic resurgence as resistance to the Trump Administration grows.

Background Briefing

Rudy Giuliani in the Pay of the Biggest Trader With the Enemy

Docking $75 MiIlion From Payouts to Top Level Wells Fargo Executives

A Bellwether Special Election in Kansas

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We will begin with the G7 nations meeting in Italy to find a unified approach to pressure Russia to distance itself from Syria’s Assad regime following its use of chemical weapons on children. Nader Hashemi, the Director of the Center For Middle East Studies at the University of Denver and author of the new book “Sectarianization: Mapping the New Politics of the Middle East” joins us to discuss his latest article at CNN, “Obama’s Syria Mistake is now Trump’s Problem”. We will assess whether Assad’s latest atrocity has brought the Syrian conflict back onto the front burner after it appeared that the fall of Aleppo meant that Assad, the Russians and Iranians had won the war and that the U.S. was prepared to accept that reality and go along with a Russian plan to keep Assad in power as this war that has destroyed Syria enters its seventh year.

Then we will look into the Rose Garden ceremony today where Judge Gorsuch was sworn in amid sunny smiles and spring flowers as the president Senator McConnell and Senator Grassley celebrated a great victory for which Justice Gorsuch thanked them without any mention of the seat stolen from Judge Garland and that the U.S. Senate was blown up in order to get Gorsuch on the Supreme Court. Elizabeth Wydra, President of the Constitutional Accountability Center, joins us to discuss the important cases before the court that Gorsuch will now rule on.

Then finally we will speak with Josh Gerstein, a Senior White House reporter at Politico, about his latest article at Politico “New suit demands Trump White House visitor logs”, and discuss how what used to be public information, is kept under wraps by the new Administration so that the identity of Trump’s visitors to the White House, Trump Tower and Mar-a-Lago remain secret. We will also examine how being a member of Trump’s private club in Florida has its benefits with the Koch brothers enjoying a table-side chat with Trump as a perk that goes along with William Koch’s $200,000 annual membership of Mar-a-Lago.

Background Briefing

Is Syria Back on the Front Burner?

Gorsuch Sworn in With Victory Smiles

Making the Visitor Logs to the White House Public Again

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We begin with the corroboration by U.S. investigators of details in the controversial intelligence dossier of compromising information the Russians have on Trump and suspected links the Trump campaign had with the Kremlin. Dr. Rachel Kleinfeld, a senior associate in the Democracy and Rule of Law Program at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace and a former member of the Foreign Affairs Policy Board, the advisory body to the U.S. Department of State, joins us to discuss the countervailing efforts of the Republicans to slow walk the Senate Intelligence Committee Inquiry and shut down the Justice Department Inspector General’s investigation into the alleged Russian interference in our recent election and calls by Nancy Pelosi and other Democrats for an independent and thorough investigation to clear the air and come to a complete understanding of what was an apparent attack on American democracy itself.

Then Middle East expert and veteran former CIA officer Robert Baer joins us. He is now the National Security Analyst for CNN and we will look into rumors of war with Iran as the Trump Administration, working closely with Israel’s Prime Minister Netanyahu, are recruiting Sunni Arab allies like Egypt, Saudi Arabia and the Gulf States in what appears to be a coming confrontation with Iran. We also investigate off-the-books intelligence and paramilitary private armies that General Flynn, Stephen Bannon and Erik Prince are reported to be setting up that would appear to be a fulfillment of Oliver North’s dream team from a previous disastrous era of White House covert action against Iran.

Then finally Ellis Krauss, professor emeritus of Japanese politics and policy-making at the University of California, San Diego, joins us to discuss North Korea’s launch of a ballistic missile which occurred during Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s weekend retreat to Florida where he met with President Trump for a round of golf and some male bonding. We also discuss the hawkish responses from both leaders and Trump’s reassurance to our ally that the U.S. “stands behind Japan, its great ally, 100 percent”.

Background Briefing

Corroboration of the Intel Dossier on Trump

Rumors of War with Iran

A North Korean Missile Upstages the Abe-Trump Meeting

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We begin with the growing possibility that Donald Trump could be put on trial for treason given the extraordinary lengths he goes to in making excuses for Putin and his unwillingness to lift the cloud of illegitimacy that hangs over his presidency, a refusal to clear the air which suggests Trump has something to hide. Scott Horton, a professor at Columbia Law School and a contributing editor at Harpers in legal affairs and national security joins us to discuss the latest evidence that Donald Trump is the main beneficiary of the most successful covert operation in history run by a former KGB Colonel who managed to get his asset Donald Trump placed in the White House as the head of the most powerful nation on earth. We discuss the roll-up of America’s network of spies inside the top levels of the Russian government which has resulted in many senior FSB and former KGB officers arrested and some murdered, and the coincidence that Putin’s purge began shortly after officials in the Trump Administration were given access to secret information on sources and methods inside Russia that were providing intelligence to the U.S.

Then we look into the role of Erik Prince, the founder of “Blackwater”, the notorious mercenary army and cutout for intelligence paramilitary operations, who is a close friend of Stephen Bannon and the brother of Trump’s nominee for education secretary Betsy DeVos. Joining us is Robert Young Pelton who was hired by Prince to write his biography. He is author of “License to Kill: Hired Guns in the War on Terror” and the “Adventurist” and is a Strategic Advisor to MOAS, the Migrant Offshore Aid Station that operates ships to rescue migrants at sea. We will examine whether Bannon will use Prince’s shadowy outfit now called “Frontier Services Group” to provide the spark to start a new war.

Then finally we speak with an expert on offshore tax havens, kleptocracy and pirate banking, investigative economist James Henry.  He is the co-founder of DC Report and author of “Blood Bankers” and joins us to discuss Trump’s nominee for commerce secretary, Wilbur Ross’s partnership in a Cyprus bank with a Russian mobster and money launderer, and whether Trump is the secret beneficiary of a recent sale of 19% of the Russian oil giant Rosneft, the proceeds of which went into a myriad of hidden accounts in the Cayman Islands.

Background Briefing

Could Trump Be Tried For Treason?

Could Erik Prince Start a War For His Friend Bannon?

Wilbur Ross's Bank For Dirty Russian Money

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