October 23 - Canada's PM Vows to Redouble Canada's Anti-Terrorism Efforts; Petty Criminal Turned Terrorist's Possible Links to the Islamic State; A Pulitzer Prize-Winning New York Times Investigative Reporter Who is Facing Jail Time for Doing His Job

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We begin and go to Ottawa, Canada for a day-after appraisal following the killing of a Canadian soldier at the National War Memorial and a shoot-out in the Canadian parliament. Thomas Juneau, a professor at the Graduate School of Public and International Affairs at the University of Ottawa, Canada, who worked for the Canadian Department of National Defense from 2003 to 2014, chiefly as a strategic analyst covering the Middle East, joins us to discuss Prime Minister Harper’s promise to redouble Canada’s anti-terrorist efforts and his description of the second attacker as a terrorist and the first as having been a part of a plot inspired by the Islamic State.

 

thomas juneau

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Then we speak with Christian Leuprecht, a Professor in the Department of Political Science and Economics at the Royal Military College of Canada about the extent to which the two recent attacks on Canadian military personnel are in response to Canada’s recent decision to join the ant-Islamic State coalition, and although both assailants had already had been designated as high-risk travelers who had their passports confiscated because of jihadist sympathies, how was Michael Zehaf-Bibeau able to get to the Prime Minister’s caucus room in the parliament and was this recent convert, a petty criminal with drug convictions, acting as a low-tech free-lancer or an agent of the Islamic State?

 

leuprecht

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Then finally, Pulitzer Prize-winning New York Times investigative journalist, James Risen joins us to discuss Canada’s more measured approach to anti-terrorism and counter-radicalism, compared to the United States’ overzealous reaction to 9/11 that led to the ongoing foreign policy disasters in the Middle East brought about by the continuing war in Iraq, as well as on the domestic front, with warrantless wiretapping by the NSA. We also discuss James Risen’s latest book, just out “Pay Any Price: Greed, Power, and Endless War”.

 

james risen

 

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October 22 - The Shootout in the Canadian Parliament; The Passing of an Australian Prime Minister Who Believed He was the Victim of a CIA Coup; The Conviction of Four Blackwater Mercenaries

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We begin and go to Ottawa, Canada’s capitol where there was a violent shootout inside the parliament with an assailant who had shot and killed a Canadian soldier guarding the National War Memorial, then entered the parliament building with guns blazing. David Harris, a former Director of Strategic Plans at the Canadian Security Intelligence Service joins us to discuss the apparent cause and effect of the attacks on Canadian soldiers which followed the Canadian parliament’s vote to join the anti-Islamic State alliance.

 

david harris

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Then we go to Sydney, Australia to speak with Frank Stilwell, Professor Emeritus in the Department of Political Economy at the University of Sydney about the passing of the popular and progressive former Australian Prime Minister Gough Whitlam who was removed from power in a “constitutional coup” in 1975 that Whitlam suggested the CIA had a hand in encouraging, a charge the U.S. government has repeatedly denied. We discuss the sweeping foreign policy changes Whitlam made; recognizing China, Cuba and Hanoi, getting out of the Vietnam war and publically criticizing Nixon’s Christmas bombing of Hanoi, while establishing universal healthcare, banning racial discrimination, making education free for all Australians, lowering the voting age and abolishing military conscription.

david stilwell

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Then finally, following the convictions of four former Blackwater security guards for shooting more than 30 unarmed Iraqi civilians in 2007, we speak with Robert Young Pelton, the author of “Licensed to Kill: Hired Guns in the War on Terror”. He is currently suing the founder of Blackwater, Erik Prince, who is now working for the Chinese government with a new mercenary company Frontier Services Group. We look into the irony of the U.S. government putting military contractors on trial for carrying out orders issued by the U.S. government.

robert pelton

 

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October 21 - The Midterm Elections May Not Be Over Until January 2015; "The Culture of Fear: Why Americans are Afraid of the Wrong Things"; An American Prisoner Released from North Korea

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With two weeks to go before the November 4th midterm elections, we begin with an analysis of the critical senate races that will determine the fate of the remainder of the Obama presidency. Democratic strategist Ed Kilgore, the principal writer for the Washington Monthly’s Political Animal blog, who was formerly Vice President for Policy at the Democratic Leadership Council and Communications Director for U.S. Senator Sam Nunn, joins us to discuss the recent shift in the polls in favor of Republicans that make it more and more unlikely the Democrats will retain the senate, particularly with fear-mongering driving Republicans to the polls while apathy and indifference on the Democratic side usually makes turnout low for them in midterms.   

 

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Then we examine the epidemic or unreasonable fear and irrational paranoia sweeping the land following the contraction of Ebola by two healthcare workers in Texas. Barry Glassner, a professor of sociology at Lewis and Clark College in Oregon and author of the award-winning book “The Culture of Fear: Why Americans are Afraid of the Wrong Things”, joins us to discuss why, according to recent polls, almost 50% of Americans believe they are at risk of contracting Ebola and how much exaggerated fears drummed up by Republican politicians of porous borders allowing Ebola and the Islamic State to spread across the land are likely to drive voters to the polls.

glassner

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Then finally we speak with Sung Yoon Lee, a Professor of International Affairs at the Fletcher School at Tufts University and an Associated in Research at the Korea Institute at Harvard University, about the release of one of three Americans held captive in North Korea and examine the possible reasons why North Korea’s young leader has been absent from view as speculation over his health has prompted false rumors of a coup when it might just be that Kim Jong-un has gout as a result of eating too much rich food in a country where people are starving.  

sung yoon lee

 

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October 20 - Turkey's Apparent Shift Over Kobani; Media-Stoked Fear and Paranoia Over Ebola; Turkey's Reluctance to Get Involved Militarily in Syria

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We begin with the apparent reversal on the part of Turkey which up until now has appeared indifferent to the plight of Syrian Kurds under siege by the Islamic State in the border town of Kobani. David Phillips, a foreign affairs expert and former senior advisor to the U.S. Department of State in the administrations of Presidents Clinton, Bush and Obama and author of “The Kurdish Spring: A New Map of the Middle East”, joins us to discuss whether Turkey’s decision to allow Kurdish fighters and weapons to cross into Syria from Turkey is cosmetic or represents a strategic shift, given that Turkey still will not allow the U.S. to use the NATO airbase nearby at Incirlik in Turkey.

david phillips

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Then we look into the exaggerated fear and paranoia being stoked by the media over two cases of Ebola in the United States while little attention and focus is being applied to West Africa where 5,000 have died and where the source of the Ebola outbreak in located and must be contained before the disease is allowed to spread further. Roxane Silver, a professor of Psychology and Social Behavior, Medicine and Public Health at the University of California, Irvine, joins us to discuss comparisons with the hysteria generated by the media over the Boston Marathon bombings that she studied which found that individuals who were exposed to a great deal of the media reported more acute stress than did people who were actually at the marathon.  

roxane silver

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Then finally, Henri Barkey, who served on the State Department’s Policy Planning Staff dealing with the Middle East, the Eastern Mediterranean and Intelligence, joins us to discuss why Turkey has been so reluctant to get involved in Syria while still insisting that the removal of the Assad regime should be the number one priority, at the same time appearing to be in denial about the extent to which Turkey turned a blind eye to the creation of the Islamic State which they helped facilitate.

henri barkey

 

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October 19 - When Scandal Replaced Substance in our Politics; The Mother of all Political Scandals

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We begin with the extent to which scandal dominates politics today and how every political incident nowadays ends up with a “Gate” attached to it, the latest of which is the recent so-called Secret Service scandal which has yet to be branded Secret Service Gate, but stayed tuned. Matt Bai, the national political columnist at Yahoo News and a former chief political correspondent for the New York Times Magazine joins us to discuss his new book “All the Truth is Out: The Week Politics Went Tabloid”, which traces the current fusion of news and infotainment to the scandal that erupted around Senator Gary Hart back in 1987 when he was the front-runner to be the next president of the United States, way ahead of George H.W. Bush in the polls, only to become the laughing stock of late night television and a footnote in history. We examine what happened to break the tradition of silence about the private lives of politicians, in particular presidents like FDR, JFK and Lyndon Johnson, who the press knew were engaged in extra-marital affairs but never went public with the information.

 

matt bai

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Then we hear from John Dean in an interview I did with him back on August the 7th when his new book came out “The Nixon Defense: What He Knew and When He Knew It”. We discuss the mother of all political scandals Watergate and its legacy on journalism and in politics as the reforms that took place in the wake of Watergate are being rolled back and all political scandals since, whether large or small, have been given the “Gate” label whether they deserve it or not.

john dean

 

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