We will begin with the production line killings being carried out by the state of Arkansas with eight men scheduled to be put to death in 11 days because suppliers of drugs used for lethal injections will only allow their products to be used for medically approved purposes so the state’s executioners, who are short on supply, had to drive to an undisclosed location to make a drug deal with an unnamed dealer who made no record of the sale.  The President of Death Penalty Focus, Mike Farrell, a political and social activist best known for his roles in MASH and Providence, joins us to discuss the unseemly rush to kill which resulted in Justice Gorsuch casting his first vote on the Supreme Court to put a likely innocent man to death even though Ledell Lee in mentally incapacitated, DNA evidence was never tested, his defense was grossly incompetent and the judge who sentenced him was having an affair with the prosecutor.

Then we will go to Istanbul, Turkey to speak with Ronald Suny an historian at the University of Michigan and a professor emeritus of political science and history at the University of Chicago. The author of “They Can Live in the Desert but Nowhere Else: A History of the Armenian Genocide”, he joins us to discuss the local reaction to the 102nd anniversary of the Armenian genocide and how the educated and urban half of Turkey who voted against President Erdogan’s recent power grab feel about Donald Trump’s endorsement of their new dictator.

Then finally we will speak with the Turkish scholar who is considered the Sherlock Holmes of the Armenian genocide. Taner Akcam, who holds the chair of Armenian Genocide Studies at Clark University and is the author of “The Young Turks’ Crime Against Humanity” joins us to discuss how he found documentation, the “smoking gun” that proves the genocide against the Armenians that the Turkish government persists in denying, took place.

Background Briefing

Arkansas' Assembly Line Executions

A Report From Turkey on the 102nd Anniversary of the Armenian Genocide

The Turkish Scholar Known as the Sherlock Holmes of the Armenian Genocide

SHOW NOTES

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusmail

We begin with the fraud-ridden and rigged referendum in Turkey that the Europeans and half of the Turkish population are disputing, but nevertheless, the President of the United States gave it his blessing and called Turkey’s new dictator Erdogan to congratulate him on his “victory”. Turkish-born Asli Bali, the Director of the Center for Near Eastern Studies and a professor of law at the UCLA School of Law, joins us. We will discuss the possibility that Trump is either acting out of ignorance, amateurism or cynicism in undercutting the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe and the Council of Europe who have disputed the vote and complained about the un-level playing field, and the educated and urban half of Turkey who are now under the thumb of a repressive and illegitimate regime bent on further eroding their democratic rights, the freedom of the press and Turkey’s secular traditions.

Then on this last day to file income tax returns, we will look into Donald Trump’s continuing refusal to release his taxes as he and House Speaker Paul Ryan prepares a “tax reform” package that will benefit billionaires, hurt the poor, con the middle class and blow up the deficit. Edward Kleinbard, a Professor of Law at the University of Southern California who served as Chief of Staff of the U.S. Congress’s Joint Committee on Taxation, joins us to discuss the Democrat’s demand that Trump reveal his taxes before the tax code is overhauled with changes that will further enrich Trump and his family.

Then we will get an update on the special election in Georgia where the Democrats are pinning their hopes on an upset victory in a Republican district which could be seen as an early rejection of the Trump administration before its first one hundred days. Andra Gillespie, a professor of Political Science at Emory University who worked as an analyst for Democratic pollster Mark Mellman, joins us to discuss the results that require 50% plus one vote for an outright win by Jon Ossoff the Democratic challenger, otherwise there will be a June 20 runoff that could favor the Republicans.

Background Briefing

Trump Praises a Dictator on Stealing an Election

Show Us Your Taxes Before So-Called "Tax Reform"

Results in Georgia's Special Election

SHOW NOTES

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusmail

We begin with Donald Trump’s recent discovery that dropping bombs and threatening war distracts the public and the press from the inquiries into collusion between the Trump campaign and the Russians and the many questions yet to be answered about Trump and his team’s financial ties to oligarchs close to Putin. Scott Horton, a professor at Columbia Law School and a contributing editor at Harpers in legal affairs and national security, joins us to analyze the latest explosive revelations from the former British MP Louise Mensch who claims intelligence sources say that Carter Page went to Moscow with a videotape of Donald Trump offering Putin a change in U.S. policy to Russia in exchange for his help in hacking our election.  We will investigate this and other claims that General Flynn was compromised by the Russians and coordinated with Putin to have fake news created by the Russian state fed into the campaign to hurt Hillary Clinton and help Trump.

Then we will get a further analysis of the narrow victory in Sunday’s referendum in Turkey with European election monitors questioning the legitimacy of the results while the winner, Turkey’s new dictator-for-life President Erdogan, admonishes them imperiously with “Know Your Place”.  Nicholas Danforth, a senior policy analyst for the national security program at the Bipartisan Policy Center joins us to discuss his new report from the Bipartisan Policy Center “Dark Cloud of Illegitimacy Hovers Over Turkey Vote” and Trump’s call congratulating Erdogan which undercuts the European case against Erdogan.

Then finally we will examine alternatives to the collision course the U.S. is on with North Korea as its regime warns that thermonuclear war could break out at any minute. Adam Mount, a Senior Fellow at the Center for American Progress who is the project director at the Council on Foreign Relations independent task force chaired by former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs Admiral Mullen and former U.S. Senator Sam Nunn, joins us to discuss their new report “A Sharper Choice on North Korea: Engaging China for a Stable Northeast Asia”.

Background Briefing

Explosive Revelations of Trump's Collusion With Putin

Trump Congratulates Erdogan on His Illegitimate Victory

Alternative to the Collision Course We Are on With North Korea

SHOW NOTES

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusmail

We will begin with North Korea’s failure to launch a missile in conjunction with the “Day of the Sun” celebrations commemorating the birth of Kim Il Sung. We will look into speculation that the U.S. has a covert program to sabotage North Korea’s missile and nuclear program and speak with John Pike, one of the world’s leading experts on defense, space and intelligence policy. He is the Director of GlobalSecurity.org and previously worked for more than two decades with the Federation of American Scientists where he directed the Space Policy, Military Analysis, Nuclear Resource and Intelligence Resource projects. He joins us to discuss whether the U.S. has managed to insert a kind of “Stuxnet” malware into the North Korean’s missile and nuclear program or if Kim Jong Un is simply pushing the envelope too hard in a rush to get a long range missile that could deliver a nuclear warhead to the continental United States.

Then we will get an analysis of an apparent shift underway in the White House with the adults in the room beginning to take over as Donald Trump seems to have recognized the need to govern and that ideologues like Stephen Bannon offer little in that regard beyond heated rhetoric. Andrew Nathan, a Professor of Political Science at Columbia University and the author of “China’s Transition: the Tiananmen Papers”, joins us to discuss the Trump Administration’s tilt towards China and whether that means Trump has given up on working with Putin and reneged on whatever covert deal they might have had.

Then finally we will get an update on the referendum in Turkey where from early returns, it appears the Turks have voted away democracy in favor of dictatorship. Henri Barkey, the Director of the Middle East Program at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, who served as a member of the State Department’s Policy Planning Staff, joins us to discuss President Erdogan’s the new powers that will enable his megalomaniacal vision of himself as Turkey’s new Sultan who can now rule until 2029.

Background Briefing

Did the US Sabotage a North Korean Missile Launch?

Trump Tilts to China and Away From Russia

Erdogan's Narrow Win in a Rigged Referendum

SHOW NOTES

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusmail

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

SHOW NOTES

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusmail

We begin with escalating threats from Turkey’s President Erdogan against the Dutch government he accuses of Nazism as he cuts off high level diplomatic contacts and threatens to flood Europe with Syrian refugees in camps in Turkey. Michael Werz, a Senior Fellow at the Center for American Progress’s National Security Team who specializes in Turkey and the Turkish diaspora in Germany and Holland, joins us to discuss the worsening quarrel with Europe that Turkey’s autocratic leader appears to using cynically to fire up Turkish nationalism and anti-European sentiments ahead of a referendum in Turkey on April 16 aimed at giving Erdogan even more power to stifle the press, purge the military, judiciary and academia and create more problems for Turkey and its neighbors which ironically is the exact opposite of Erdogan’s promise when he first came to power.

Then we examine the Congressional Budget Office’s finding that Paul Ryan’s American Health Care Act designed to repeal and replace Obama’s Affordable Care Act, will increase the number of Americans without healthcare coverage by 24 million, making a liar our of President Trump who repeatedly promised that the Republican alternative would provide universal coverage at lower prices. Dr. John Geyman, a professor emeritus of family medicine at the University of Washington School of Medicine whose new book is “Crisis in Healthcare: Corporate Power Versus the Common Good”, joins us to discuss how “Ryancare” could be such a disaster for the American people and the GOP that it might make single payer healthcare a realistic option in the future.

Then finally we look into the reasons behind Trump’s firing of Preet Bharara, the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York, and his rumored replacement Marc Mukasey, who happens to be former Fox News head Roger Ailes’s personal lawyer. Craig Harrington, a researcher at Media Matters who edited the new article at Media Matters,“U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara was Investigating Fox News When Trump Fired Him”, joins us to discuss an impending cover-up of an epidemic of sexual harassment at Fox News.

Background Briefing

Erdogan Stirs Up Turkish Nationalism Ahead of April Referendum

Could the "Ryancare" Disaster Lead to Single Payer?

Trump Appoints New US Attorney to Cover-Up Fox News Sex Scandals

SHOW NOTES

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusmail

We begin with the poisoning of a Kremlin critic for the second time and the kangaroo court conviction of Alexei Navalny on trumped-up charges that bars him from running for president next year against Vladimir Putin. Joining us is Russia expert, Kathryn Stoner, the Director of International Policy Studies and Senior Fellow at the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies and the Center for Democracy, Development and the Rule of Law at Stanford University. We discuss the new bill, The Russia Sanctions Review Act of 2017, introduced today by a bipartisan group of six senators designed to prevent President Trump from easing sanctions on Russia without congressional approval and assess why Trump continues a conciliatory approach to Russia and doggedly refuses to criticize Putin while a cloud of suspicion about Trump’s legitimacy hangs over him and his presidency because of the intelligence Community’s findings that Putin interfered in our recent election to help elect Trump.

Then with the announcement that White House will be providing press credentials to the Washington Bureau Chief for Alex Jones’ Infowars conspiracy website, we will  look into the extent to which Donald Trump is informed by Alex Jones whose disgusting false assertions are echoed faithfully and repeatedly by Trump. Arthur Goldwag, the author of “Isms & Ologies, Cults, Conspiracies & Secret Societies” and “The New Hate: A History of Fear and Loathing on the Populist Right”, joins us to discuss how every recent crazy statement Trump has made from 5 million illegal voters, terrorist incidents deliberately ignored by the press and protesters being paid, to the crime rate being the highest in 47 years, all come from the fevered fantasies of Alex Jones. Not to mention the Obama birther conspiracy, the 9/11 truther conspiracy and the thousands of imaginary Muslims in New Jersey celebrating 9/11.

Then finally we discuss the two red lines that Turkey’s president laid down in last night’s conversation with President Trump, demanding that the U.S. cut ties with the Kurds, America’s “boots on the ground” and most capable fighters taking on the Islamic State, as well as an insistence that the U.S. hand over Fethullah Gulen, a U.S. resident living in exile in Pennsylvania. An expert on Syria, Nicholas Heras, a Middle East Researcher at the Center for a New American Security, joins us to discuss this and the report by Amnesty International “Human Slaughterhouse” that documents how the Assad regime murdered 13,000 of its citizens in secret prisons.

Background Briefing

Senate Acts to Prevent Trump From Easing Russian Sanctions

Trump Faithfully and Repeatedly Echos Alex Jones

Will Trump Give Into Turkey's New Red Lines?

SHOW NOTES

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusmail

We will begin with the stealth attempt by House Republicans to get rid of the Office of Congressional Ethics as their first priority that backfired, igniting a firestorm of protest which prompted Donald Trump to tweet out a message to them to back down in the name of draining the swamp, which they did. Noah Bookbinder, the Executive Director of CREW, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, joins us to discuss the about face reversal of a secret vote of 119 to 74 by House Republicans to strip the independent Office of Congressional Ethics of its powers on day one of the new Congress that was quickly dropped from the rules package of measures the next day due to public outcry which allowed Donald Trump to take credit while House Republicans ended up looking corrupt and weak.  

 

Then we will explore the irony that President Erdogan’s lslamist government in Turkey encourages religious and nationalist hatemongers while jailing a prominent journalist for predicting weeks ago that Islamists might target New Year celebrations. Natana DeLong-Bas, a Professor of Theology at Boston College who researches modern and contemporary Islamic thought and practice, joins us to discuss whether Erdogan is trying to create his own Islamic State in Turkey while the terrorists of the Islamic State in Syria that he previously enabled, are now attacking him for turning on them and allying with Russia.

 

Then finally we will speak with Daniel Rodgers, Professor Emeritus of History at Princeton University whose recent book “Age of Fracture” won the 2012 Bancroft Prize. He has an article at The Guardian “Liberals Risk Becoming a Permanent Minority in America” and we will discuss how anger overrode optimism in the recent election and the need for liberals to find new means of talking truth to Americans and making sure they hear them, while a populist billionaire spins fairy tales and trickle-down fantasies about freeing up the billionaires to make America great again. 

Background Briefing

House Republicans Target Ethics on Day One

Is Erdogan Trying to Make His Own Islamic State in Turkey?

How Liberals Can Make a Comeback

SHOW NOTES

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusmail

We will begin with the New Year’s massacre in Turkey which the Islamic State has taken credit for and assess the exploding blowback to President Erdogan’s misrule across a broad front of issues, not just his earlier support for Islamic State fighters and their entry into Syria, but his resumption of a war against the Kurds, his wholesale purging of teachers, lawyers and judges, and more recently his uncritical embrace of Russia which calls into question Turkey’s membership in NATO. David Phillips, the Director of the Peace-building and Rights Program at the Institute for the Study of Human Rights at Columbia University and author of “The Kurdish Spring: A New Map for the Middle East” joins us to discuss what it will take for the people of Turkey to wake up to what a dangerous and destructive autocrat they have in Erdogan. As he dismantles democracy, ruins the economy and divides the country between its secular traditions and a resurgent Islamic fundamentalism of the ruling AKP Party, the irony becomes clear that Erdogan and the AKP are increasingly similar in outlook and ideology to the Islamic State terrorists who are just beginning to strike at their former patron.

 

Then, with the editor of the Wall Street Journal saying that in their coverage of the new Trump Administration, they will not call Trump’s lies, lies, we will explore what the role of the press is likely to be in covering Trump since so far he has written his own rules which the press has dutifully followed, as well as not demanding his tax returns, not getting him to do press conferences, and all the while giving Trump $5 billion’s worth of free media. John Nichols, The Nation magazine’s Washington correspondent and author of “People Get Ready: The Fight Against a Jobless Economy and a Citizenless Democracy” joins us to discuss what can be done to expose the real Donald Trump and whether he is in any way up to the job of president when the press has so far been unable to lay a glove on him while our political opposition appears unwilling to question Trump’s legitimacy let alone his competence to be president.    

Background Briefing

Erdogan: Turkey's One-Man Wrecking Crew

Pulling Back the Curtain to Expose the Real Donald Trump

SHOW NOTES

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusmail

We will begin with the sanctions imposed today by President Obama against Russia over its efforts to influence the recent election which U.S. intelligence agencies believe were directed by President Putin to hurt Hillary Clinton and help elect Donald Trump. Nina Khrushcheva, a Professor in the Graduate Program of International Affairs at The New School and author of “The Lost Khrushchev: A Journey Into the Gulag of the Russian Mind”, joins us to discuss the expulsion of 35 Russian diplomats in response to harassment of American diplomats in Russia and the closing of Russian “recreational” compounds in Maryland and New York used for signals intelligence. We will also discuss the broader question of whether sanctions against Putin work, since earlier sanctions over Crimea have served as an excuse for Putin’s mismanagement and looting of the Russian economy.

 

Then we will speak with Diane Winston, who holds the Knight Chair in Media and Religion at the University of Southern California’s Annenberg School of Communication and Journalism and is the publisher of Religion Dispatches. She joins us to discuss Donald Trump’s choice of the prosperity gospel televangelist Paula White to offer readings and give the invocation at his upcoming inauguration. She was a target of Senator Grassley’s 2007 congressional investigation into the spending habits of Pastor White on church-owned private jets and luxury homes and we will explore the similarities between political magical thinking that a billionaire president will make average folks wealthier and Paula White’s promise to her followers that if they give her money, it will make them richer.

 

Then finally we will look into the latest ceasefire in Syria brokered by Russia and Turkey that already is showing signs of not getting off the ground and speak with James Gelvin, a Professor of History at UCLA and author of “The Arab Uprisings: What Everyone Needs to Know”. He joins us to discuss what “winning” the war in Syria will mean for the Assad family and what the bill will be for Assad’s Russian and Iranian backers in making a devastated country habitable again, assuming the cycle of atrocity and vengeance ends.

Background Briefing

Obama Sanctions Russian Diplomats and Spies

The Blonde Prosperity Gospel Televangelist Who Will Bless Trump's Inauguration

What "Winning" the War in Syria Will Mean

SHOW NOTES

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusmail

We will begin with the second terrorist attack in Europe where a big-rig truck was used as a weapon of mass destruction, this time plowing into shoppers at a Christmas market in Berlin. Thomas Berger, Professor of International Relations at Boston University who specializes in German politics, joins us to discuss how already the leader of the far right Alternative for Germany party has labeled the victims of an attack that the Islamic State is taking credit for, “Merkel’s dead”, indicating how explosive a political issue it will be if the perpetrator turns out to be a refugee from the Middle East. We will also examine how right wing parties across Europe are stoking anti-immigrant xenophobia which plays into the hands of the Islamic State who want to drive a wedge between refugees and Muslims in Europe and the populations of the host countries.

 

Then we will look into why Trump’s new national security advisor General Michael Flynn met recently with the head of Austria’s anti-immigrant Freedom Party which was founded by former Nazis. Daniel Serwer, Professor and Director of the Conflict Management Program and Senior Fellow at the Center for Transatlantic Relations at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies, joins us to discuss the capture of U.S. national security and strategy by conspiracy theorists, ethnic nationalists and anti-Semites who are the top close advisors of a president-elect who is an anti-immigration bigot who ran on a platform of ethnic cleansing of Mexicans and Muslim immigrants.

 

Then finally we will examine the announcement today in Moscow by the foreign ministers of Russia, Turkey and Iran that they are ready to act as guarantors in a peace deal between the Syrian government and the opposition. Henri Barkey, the Director of the Middle East Program at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars joins us to discuss the growing anti-American and pro-Russian rhetoric coming from Erdogan’s government that prompted Secretary of State Kerry to raise concerns about allegations of American involvement in the assassination of the Russian Ambassador which Erdogan blames on Fethullah Gulen, the exiled cleric living in the United States.   

Background Briefing

Germany's Right Blame Merkel For Terrorist Act

US National Security In the Hands of Conspiracy Theorists and Ethnic Nationalists

Russia, Turkey and Iran Announce a Peace Deal for Syria

SHOW NOTES

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusmail

We will begin with the assassination of Russia’s Ambassador to Turkey at the hands of an off-duty Turkish policeman who shouted “don’t forget Aleppo” and “Allahu Akbar” as he opened fire. Aaron Stein, a Resident Senior Fellow at the Atlantic Council’s Center for the Middle East whose research interests include U.S.-Turkey relations, Turkish foreign policy and the Syrian conflict, joins us. We will discuss whether there is a disconnect between President Erdogan’s policy of stirring up anti-Americanism while cozying up to Russia, and how the Turkish people feel about Russian atrocities in Aleppo and Syria that are straining Turkish resources on the border as more and more Syrian refugees pour into Turkey to escape the Russian/Iranian/Assad offensive to capture Aleppo and the rest of rebel-controlled Syria.

 

Then we will speak with a veteran former CIA officer Mel Goodman, about Donald Trump’s continuing denial of Russian involvement in helping him win the election, now that it is the consensus of the Intelligence Community that Putin did indeed intend to hurt Hillary Clinton and help elect Donald Trump. We will discuss whether Trump, who has trashed the CIA and refuses to take daily briefings, will continue on this collision course and reject the findings of a report on Russian hacking that Obama has ordered released before his term ends and Trump is inaugurated.

 

Then finally, with today’s The New York Times report finding that there was next to no voter fraud in the recent election, we will speak with David Jefferson, a computer scientist in the Center for Applied Scientific Computing who sits on the boards of the California Voter Foundation and Verified Voting. He was among the experts who conducted the recount in Wisconsin and was poised to do so in Pennsylvania and Michigan before the Trump campaign sued to stop the recount. We will discuss whether the issue is settled and what remains to be done to secure voting systems in America. 

Background Briefing

The Assassination of Russia's Ambassador to Turkey

Trump's Collision Course with the CIA

An Expert Who Conducted the Recount in Wisconsin on Whether the Issue is Settled

SHOW NOTES

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusmail

Hammer Forum
Turkey’s Future: Democracy or Autocracy?

Cosponsored by the UCLA Center for Near Eastern Studies Turkey’s recent failed military coup and President Erdogan’s subsequent crackdown have […]Read more »


Facebooktwittergoogle_plusmail

We begin with the question of whether Donald Trump is the so-called Manchurian Candidate”, a fictional Cold War book and twice a movie of an American patriot who becomes President of the United States all the while under the control of America’s Communist enemies. With growing concerns expressed by the ranking members of the Senate and House Intelligence Committees, Senator Feinstein and Congressman Adam Schiff, warning “Based on briefings we have received, we have concluded that the Russian Intelligence agencies are making a serious and concerted effort to influence the U.S. election”, we speak with Karen Dawisha, a Professor of Political Science at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio and author of Putin’s Kleptocracy: Who Own Russia?”  We look into questions that are beginning to surface about the extent to which Putin is not just orchestrating the SVR and GRU’s efforts to manipulate the outcome of the election, but also has ties to Trump that go beyond alleged covert financing of Trump’s enterprises and  seem to indicate Trump is owned by Putin, who is rumored to have compromising video of Trump with very young women ensnared in a so-called “honey trap” by the FSB when Trump was in Moscow for the 2013 Miss Universe pageant.

Then we examine further the Trump-as-the- “Manchurian Candidate” scenario with Roger Morris who served on the National Security Council under both presidents Lyndon Johnson and Richard Nixon and is the author of the forthcoming comparative history of the inner politics of the U.S. and the USSR, “Kindred Rivals: America, Russia and their Failed Ideals”. We look into research he has uncovered from former KGB Generals and other Kremlin insiders that the Trump operation has been underway for years and that within the ranks of Russian Intelligence, there is some dissent about Putin’s increasingly brazen efforts to undermine the U.S. election by in effect, declaring war on American democracy.

Then finally, Daphne Matziaraki joins us in the studio. She just graduated from U.C. Berkeley’s Documentary Program at the Graduate School of Journalism and her latest film is “4.1 Miles”, a searing documentary filmed in the 4.1 miles of the Aegean Sea between Turkey and the Greek island of Lesbos that shows the trauma the already traumatized Syrian and Afghan refugees endure as they make the harrowing journey, packed into unseaworthy boats that often capsize. The film is in the running for an Academy Award and any sentient person who sees it, can no longer be indifferent to the humanitarian catastrophes underway in the Middle East and the human suffering caused by the wars in Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan.

Background Briefing

Sounding the Alarm on Russian Intelligence's Interference in the US Election

Is Trump the Manchurian Candidate?

The Filmmaker of the Searing Documentary "4.1 Miles"

SHOW NOTES

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusmail

We begin with the G-20 summit underway in China at which President Obama was deliberately snubbed by his hosts who extended the red carpet to leaders from Russia, Britain, Brazil, India and South Korea but forced Obama to disembark from Air Force One via a little used exit in the plane’s cargo hold. China expert, Andrew Nathan, a Professor of Political Science at Columbia University and author of “China’s Search for Security” joins us to discuss a more assertive China that is challenging the U.S. military presence off its shores and is signaling to the G-20 leaders that China is a serious, effective and reliable player on the world stage in contrast to the United States that is crippled by gridlock in Washington and could elect an unstable, reckless and unqualified leader who will further weaken America and undermine its global leadership.

Then we examine why Donald Trump is closing on Hillary Clinton, having recently cut her lead in the polls in half, and assess why Clinton in not twenty points ahead rather than five. Lawrence Jacobs, Chair of Political Studies at the University of Minnesota and director of the Center for the Study of Politics and Governance at the Hubert H. Humphrey School of Political Affairs, joins us to discuss the Clinton campaign’s deficit in clear messaging in an election in which everyone knows what Trump stands for, and that is to “make America great again and build a wall”, while it is remains unclear what Hillary Clinton stands for.

Then finally, with President Obama and Turkey’s President Erdogan in a side meeting at the G-20 in China, we look into what Turkey is doing on its southern border with Syria attacking the U.S’s most effective ally the Syrian Kurds while apparently in some kind of secret alliance with the Islamic State who Turkey’s intelligence service the MIT is still secretly supporting. Graham Fuller, the former vice chairman of the National Intelligence Council at the CIA and author of “Turkey and the Arab Spring: Leadership in the Middle East”, joins us to discuss the confusing tactics Turkey is engaged in in Syria and what strategic changes are underway as Erdogan improves ties with Russia, Iran and Israel while relations with NATO and the U.S. remain strained.

Background Briefing

China on the Rise While Washington is Gridlocked and America Could Elect a Dangerous Demagogue

Why Isn't Clinton 20 Points Ahead of Trump?

Turkey Warms to Russia, Iran and Israel While Stoking Anti-Americanism

SHOW NOTES

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusmail

We begin with the complete capture of the Republican Party by the far right with Breitbart’s Stephen Bannon, Roger Ailes and Laura Ingraham now apparently running Trump’s campaign and speak with Will Saletan, the national correspondent for Slate who months ago likened Donald Trump to the GOP’s warlord who has taken over the Republican Party as if it were a failed state. He joins us to discuss the cowardice of the Republican establishment in not taking a moral stand against the alt-right’s racist appeals and hate speech and the growing evidence of unprecedented intrusion by Trump’s backer in the Kremlin Vladimir Putin into our election. We will look into the possibly of more to come in terms of foreign meddling in the November election, and how much the tables have turned on us, given the CIA’s long history of meddling in elections in the Third World, Japan and Europe.

Then, with the European Commission charging Apple with owing $14.5 billion in taxes it has not paid in Europe owing to a sweetheart deal it has with the government of Ireland, we speak with James Henry a Global Justice Fellow at Yale University and a Senior Advisor to the Tax Justice Network. We will discuss the peculiar response in criticizing the move by the E.U. from the U.S. Treasury that does not seem to be concerned that Apple is dodging U.S. taxes by its fictional operation in Ireland and how the battle between multi-national corporations and states is shaping up with Google, Facebook and Microsoft the likely next targets for parking their profits in Ireland.

The finally we try to get some clarity on why the U.S’s most effective proxy in its fight against the Islamic State, the Syrian Kurds, are under military attack from America’s NATO ally Turkey following a recent meeting between Vice President Biden and Turkey’s President Erdogan at which Biden clearly got played. A former foreign policy expert and senior advisor to the State Department under presidents Clinton, Bush and Obama, David Phillips, the Director or the Peace-Building and Rights Program at the Institute for the Study of Human Rights at Columbia University, joins us to discuss Turkey’s intelligence service the MIT’s continuing secret arrangements with the Islamic State who are working with the Turks in their fights against America’s most effective allies in the region, the YPG Peoples Protection Forces of the Syrian Kurds.

Background Briefing

Trump Takes Over the GOP Like a Warlord in a Failed State

Apple's Irish Tax Dodge

Turkey in a Secret Alliance With ISIS While It Attacks a US Ally, The Syrian Kurds

SHOW NOTES

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusmail

We begin with the second anniversary of the attack on the ancient tribe of Yazidis by the Islamic State who still hold thousands of Yazidi women as sex slaves and investigate the role of Masoud Barzani’s political party in Iraqi Kurdistan who are about to receive a massive arms shipment from the United States while blockading the Yazidis who have escaped from ISIS because they are seeking autonomy and democracy as opposed to accepting the corrupt patriarchy that Barzani offers. Meredith Tax, a writer, feminist and political activist joins us to discuss her new book “A Road Unforeseen: Women Fight the Islamic State” and her article in The New York Times “When Women Fight ISIS” and how the U.S. celebrates the Kurdish fighters who are the only boots on the ground who have been effective against ISIS, but turns a blind eye to the corrupt political systems that suppress some of the most progressive and promising political movements in a neighborhood mired in violent theocracy and kleptocratic autocracy.

Then with the head of the U.N. in Syria all but giving up on a situation that he describes as being consumed by killing and destruction with no meaningful peace efforts and zero humanitarian convoys getting through to besieged populations, we speak with James Gelvin, a professor of history at UCLA who specializes in present-day Syria and is the author of “The Arab Uprisings: What Everyone Need to Know”. We discuss how the world was recently riveted by the picture of the injured Syrian boy in an ambulance but apart from sympathy for his plight, nothing is being done to stop the death and destruction in Syria.

Then finally we speak with Thomas Ferguson, a contributing editor for The Nation and the author of “Golden Rule: The Investment Theory of Part Competition and the Logic of Money-Driven Political Systems”. He joins us to discuss the money race that has Clinton ahead of Trump as Republicans fret over losing the Senate, and his new paper at the Institute for New Economic Thinking “How Money Drives U.S. Congressional Elections”.

Background Briefing

Supporting the Women Who Fight ISIS

Nothing Is Being Done To End The War in Syria

The Money Race For the Presidency and Congress

SHOW NOTES

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusmail

We begin with a profile of the latest candidate running for president of the United States Evan McMullin and speak with Priscilla Alvarez, assistant editor at The Atlantic where she has an article “Never Trump’s Last-Ditch Effort” and discuss who is behind this apparently quixotic run by a 40 year old Mormon bachelor who used to be with the CIA before becoming the chief policy director for the House Republican Conference. With 50 former senior Republican national security officials in an open letter warning Trump “would be the most reckless President in American history” and Republican Senator Susan Collins saying “Donald Trump does not reflect historical Republican values” and a former presidential speechwriter for George W. Bush urging Trump’s running mate Mike Pence to ease Trump off the ticket, we will look into the piling on against Trump happening in Republican circles. Meanwhile Trump himself suggested today that gun rights activists he calls the second amendment people, might be able to stop Hillary Clinton, hinting that he means presumably with a bullet.

Then we examine the nationwide strike in Pakistan by lawyers after a heinous suicide bombing at a hospital in Quetta where 74 were killed as they gathered to mourn the assassination of the head of the Baluchistan Bar Association. Christine Fair, a former United Nations political officer in Afghanistan who is a professor at Georgetown University’s Security Studies Program and the author of “Fighting to the End: The Pakistan Army’s Way of War”, joins us to discuss the hyping of the Islamic State’s involvement in this attack in Pakistan and an earlier one in Bangladesh by so-called terrorism experts.

Then finally we look into today’s meeting in St. Petersburg between Russian President Putin and Turkey’s increasingly autocratic leader Erdogan and speak with Dimitar Bechev, a visiting scholar at Harvard University’s Center on European Studies who is an expert on the politics and history of Turkey and Russian foreign policy. He joins us to discuss his article at Al Jazeera “What’s Behind the Turkey – Russia Reset?” and the irony that as U.S.–Turkish relations continue to deteriorate, ties between Russia and a NATO ally are likely to grow stronger.

Background Briefing

A Profile of the Latest Presidential Candidate

Hyping the Islamic State's Claim They Were Behind the Quetta Atrocity

Russia and Turkey Make Up

SHOW NOTES

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusmail

The Continuing Meltdown of the Trump Campaign
We begin with the continuing meltdown of the Trump campaign following a Bloomberg report that Trump instructed his supporters to attack the press and double down on the racist smears against the Federal judge presiding over the Trump University case who Trump refers to as a “Mexican” and a “hater”. Adele Stan, a columnist for The American Prospect, joins us to discuss the dysfunction at the heart on Trump’s campaign, or non-campaign, as the candidate strikes out at his critics with increasing stridency as his top campaign managers fight amongst themselves and leading Republican figures including a prospective running mate Newt Gingrich, distance themselves from Trump’s attacks on the judge. 

Does Germany’s Vote Fuel Turkey’s Genocide Denialists?
Then we look into whether the recent historic move by the German parliament to recognize the Armenia genocide played into the hands of Turkish genocide denialists, confirming their belief that the accusations are inspired by anti-Turkish politics rather than historical truth. Nicholas Danforth, a doctoral candidate in Turkish History at Georgetown University, joins us to discuss his article at Foreign Policy “The Impeccably Bad Timing of Germany’s Armenian Genocide Vote” and what can be done to stop the unravelling of the Turkey – E.U. refugee deal and restrain President Erdogan’s increasingly autocratic rule.
Nicholas Danforth

The Brexit Vote Raises Alarms on Both Sides of the Atlantic
Then finally we assess the latest polls in Britain ahead of the June 23 “Brexit” vote which indicate the “Leave” vote is edging ahead of the “Remain” vote, a development that is alarming officials on both sides of the Atlantic with the Fed Chair Janet Yellen warning today of “significant economic repercussions” on U.S. markets which will be impacted by an adverse reaction in European financial markets. Harold Clarke, a Professor in the School of Economic, Political and Policy Studies at the University of Texas and co-investigator of the British Election Study at the University of Manchester, joins us to discuss the competing scare campaigns with “Remain” warning of dire economic consequences and “Leave” warning of waves of immigrants swamping England’s shores.

Background Briefing

The Continuing Meltdown of the Trump Campaign

Does Germany’s Vote Fuel Turkey's Genocide Denialists?

The Brexit Vote Raises Alarms on Both Sides of the Atlantic

SHOW NOTES

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusmail