Ep 100 Russiagate Turned Ordinary Russians Against the US feat Bryan MacDonald

As Russiagate winds down, its toxic legacy endures in more ways than one. Journalist Bryan MacDonald has witnessed this first hand in his dealings with ordinary Russians. They’re losing their good will and admiration towards America largely because of Russiagate. Due to their broad exposure to western media and social media, Russian citizens are fully aware of the growing xenophobia and hatred expressed toward Russians by prominent Americans in government and media. Bryan tells us that “admiration and curiosity towards the US has been replaced with disappointment, hostility and often anger”. And this is a drastic change from the positive attitudes he found to be common just a few years ago.

Ep100 Russiagate Turned Ordinary Russians Against US feat Bryan MacDonald
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Ep 99 Ukraine feat Mark Sleboda

Mark Sleboda joins us today from Moscow to talk about the state of affairs in Ukraine, the Ukraine elections and the larger geopolitical picture. Mark is an International Affairs & Security Analyst, a US Navy veteran, a university lecturer and a foreign policy realist.

Ep 99 Ukraine feat Mark Sleboda
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Ep 98 Russiagate, This Generation’s WMD feat Matt Taibbi

Journalist and author Matt Taibbi joins the show to talk about his latest book chapter, titled: “It’s official: Russiagate is this generation’s WMD: The Iraq war faceplant damaged the reputation of the press. Russiagate just destroyed it” and we discuss some corporate media reaction to the piece. We think back on the changes to American policy and American life brought about by the WMD lies, the Iraq War and the War on Terror and the likelihood of serious, real world consequences of the Russiagate conspiracy. This is one of the reasons why it’s so important to re-examinine the origins and details of the Russiagate story now that it has collapsed.

But even as the Russiagate conspiracy collapses, the curiously bipartisan consensus on the matter of Russia being a threat to our democracy lives on — or at least the establishment and national security state are working hard to make sure it survives even if all or most other aspects of the narrative die.  

Ep 98 Russiagate This Generation's WMD feat Matt Taibbi
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Ep 97 Chelsea Manning’s Resistance feat Kevin Gosztola

Editor and journalist Kevin Gosztola joins the show to talk about the jailing of former US Army intelligence analyst and whistleblower Chelsea Manning for her resistance to a grand jury investigating Wikileaks. Kevin has been reporting on Manning’s case from the start in 2010 and has been a tireless advocate. Secret grand juries, and investigations have been used against dissidents and activists for more than a century as a political tactic of repression, isolation, intimidation and harassment. But there is also a long tradition of resistance. As Kevin wrote: “Chelsea Manning is carrying on this tradition through her bold defiance.” In Manning’s own words:

“I will not participate in a secret process that I morally object to, particularly one that has been historically used to entrap and persecute activists for protected political speech.”

We discuss what little information we have about the secret grand jury and speculate about other factors that might be affecting the timing of the Manning subpoena. We also talk about the wild political flip flops of the Left and the Right on the subject, about Julian Assange and Wikileaks publications before and after the 2016 election. We toss around some ideas on how the Trump-Russia investigation (aka Russiagate) might factor in. Finally we discuss how Manning’s well being and her health related needs, especially given the history, are the most important priorities and foremost in our minds.  

Ep97 Chelsea Manning's Resistance feat Kevin Gosztola
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Ep 96 Using Venezuela to Suppress Populism & Anti-Imperialism feat Alan MacLeod

Alan McLeod has done extensive analysis on the past two decades of media coverage on Venezuela, since the election of Hugo Chavez and the Bolivarian revolution. He joins us today from Scotland to share some of that analysis and one particularly interesting observation. Corporate media has used Venezuela, “consistently demonized and misrepresented in the US press,” to pressure left-leaning political movements conform with and even promote aggressive American foreign policy.

We look at the current case of Bernie Sanders and his positions on regime change in Venezuela to illustrate this process of policing narratives and manufacturing consent for meddling and aggression.  We also talk about how regime change operations against countries with strong socialist policies are driven not just by the pursuit of domination and resources. They’re also used to manipulate politics at home: to suppress anti-imperialist dissent and to subvert the rise of left-oriented populist movements.

Ep96 Using Venezuela to Suppress Anti-Imperialism & Populism feat Alan MacLeod
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Ep 95 Chelsea Manning Jailed, Resisting Wikileaks Grand Jury feat Ford Fischer

Today former Army intelligence analyst and whistleblower Chelsea Manning was jailed for contempt of court. She resisting testifying in front of a grand jury convened in the Eastern District of Virginia to deal with sealed charges against Wikileaks’ Julian Assange.  Manning said the matter was related to her 2010 disclosures. She has already spent 7 years in prison, before and after being convicted by a military tribunal on her leaking of material related to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Her sentence was commuted by President Obama before leaving office in 2017. Journalist and filmmaker Ford Fischer was at the courthouse today and is here today to tell us about it.

Ep 95 Chelsea Manning Jailed Resisting Wikileaks Grand Jury feat Ford Fischer
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Ep 94 How Regime Change Wars Are Born feat Sharmine Narwani

Sharmine Narwani joins us today to talk about how western regime change wars are born and raised. She offers some of her research and analysis on Middle East wars, particularly the war in Syria as a comparison to what we are seeing in Venezuela today and with a special focus on how it all starts with a carefully crafted narrative.

Ep94 How Regime Change Wars Are Born feat Sharmine Narwani
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Ep 93 Weaponized Identity & Malcolm X Warnings feat Teodrose Fikre

Today we welcome author and editor Teodrose Fikre for a discussion about his profound article about Malcolm X’s warnings on American political parties and their “bourgeois hustlers”. We talk about colonization, the weaponization of identity, the deliberate division of the people and the need for unity and collaboration for inclusive justice.

Ep93 Weaponized Identity & Malcolm X Warnings feat Teodrose Fikre
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Ep 92 Brexit and War Party Attacks on Corbyn & Tulsi feat Gordon Dimmack

Gordon Dimmack joins us with updates and analysis on Brexit and to offer some insights on the similarities between the War Party attacks on Jeremy Corbyn and Tulsi Gabbard. We also have a wide ranging discussion on war, the Anglo-American empire, Russiagate, the Skripal Affair, and UK politics.

Ep92 Brexit and War Party Attacks on Corbyn & Tulsi

Gordon hosts a popular YouTube channel where he covers news, politics, war and the horrific state of our corporate media. He works to fill their void by striving to analyze and report truthfully and consistently. In his own words:

“The corporate and mainstream media have sunk to such depths of distrust, that the public are tuning in to the rantings of a middle aged man on his YouTube channel instead. That’s a damning indictment on the state of Western media today, in my opinion. Which is really something considering I’m the middle aged man in question.

The Fourth Estate has become the Fifth Column, in the UK and many other Western countries, which is extremely dangerous. Democracy can only thrive if it has an independent media holding power and government to task, unearthing lies and corruption rather than being complicit in them, as our media now sadly is.”


FOLLOW Gordon on Twitter @gordondimmack. SUBSCRIBE to his YouTube channel and support him via Patreon.com/GordonDimmack or StreamLabs. Find his work at his website gordondimmack.com.

Around the Empire is listener supported, independent media. Pitch in at Patreon: patreon.com/aroundtheempire or paypal.me/aroundtheempirepod. Find all links at aroundtheempire.com.

SUBSCRIBE on YouTube. FOLLOW @aroundtheempire and @joanneleon.

SUBSCRIBE/FOLLOW on iTunes, iHeart, Spotify, Google Play, Facebook or on your preferred podcast app.

Recorded on February 10, 2019. Music by Fluorescent Grey.

Reference Links:

  1. Tulsi gets the Corbyn treatment – Smeared relentlessly by NBC, Gordon Dimmack
  2. Theresa May: A Prime Minister in Denial, Gordon Dimmack

Ep 91 Political Mind Games feat Dr. Roy Eidelson

Psychologist and author Dr. Roy Eidelson joins us today to talk about political mind games and manipulative ploys used by the power elite to mislead Americans, divide us and thwart efforts to advance the common good.

Ep91 Political Mind Games feat Dr Roy Eidelson
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Ep 90 American Coup Playbook in Venezuela feat Ted Snider

Columnist and analyst Ted Snider joins us to talk about patterns in US foreign policy and history as it relates to American coup attempts in Venezuela. We discuss the well established history of American backed coups in Venezuela and how democratic nationalist leaders like Maduro are not tolerated because they’re too difficult to subjugate.

Ted provides some detail about Juan Guaidó and his extreme opposition party and the role that resources and oil play in these regime change operations. We also explain our objections to the way that many people frame their opposition to the coup in that they ultimately help the advance the regime change narrative by structuring their argument as follows: “Maduro is a bad dictator but coups are bad too”.

Ep 90 American coup playbook in Venezuela feat Ted Snider
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Ep 87 Newsguard & the “Trust Industry” feat Whitney Webb

Journalist Whitney Webb joins us today from Chile to talk about the budding “trust industry” — the latest crusade (and gold rush) to fight fake news.  A new, for-profit startup called Newsguard, aims to partner with major tech platforms, marketing firms and other institutions to mark news and information websites with color-coded flags to show consumers which ones are reliable. It is already installed as a feature of Microsoft’s mobile web browser and is running as a browser extension in some public libraries.

Ep87 Newsguard & the "Trust Industry" feat Whitney Webb
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Ep 86 Misunderstanding Regime Change in Iran feat Neda Bolourchi

Dr. Neda Bolourchi joins us for a discussion of several major issues around Iran — involvement in Syria, the complicated alliance with Russia and their decentralized power structure. We also focus on the Green Revolution, the MEK and especially the misplaced expectations from some factions in the American foreign policy establishment that Iran’s people, especially their minority communities, will bring about the regime change that their adversaries desire.

Ep86 Misunderstanding Regime Change in Iran feat Neda Bolourchi
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Ep 85 By Ending Wars Trump Outflanks Opposition feat Scott Horton

Scott Horton joins us from Texas to talk about the withdrawal of troops from Syria and Afghanistan.  Scott and Joanne offer some cautiously optimistic analysis on Trump’s latest actions on war and foreign policy and how he could use a “Horton’s Rule” strategy to his advantage, outflanking Left and Right opponents with detente and de-escalation. Is there an “only Nixon could go to China” opportunity for Trump and will he deliver on it?

We also discuss the dilemma that Establishment Democrats’ have created for themselves as they assume a twisted political opposition to scaling down wars and now routinely provide unquestioning fealty to the national security state. Lastly, we review William Atkin’s dissenting farewell memo to NBC and the media’s passive acceptance and cheerleading of perpetual war.

Ep85 By Ending Wars Trump Outflanks Opposition feat Scott Horton
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Ep 84 Temple of Covert Propaganda (Part 2) feat Mohamed Elmaazi

In this two-part series investigative journalist Mohamed Elmaazi joins us from London. Mohamed has been working on what is potentially one of the most explosive international scandals in recent years. Hacked documents have exposed a secretive “charity” think tank, the Institute for Statecraft, which is funded by the British Foreign Office, the US State Department, NATO, Facebook, a neoconservative foundation and others. Mohamed located their London office in a neo-gothic mansion, Two Temple Place, and later accompanied a British MP on an unwelcome visit. One of the Institute for Statecraft’s projects, The Integrity Initiative, possibly a front for military intelligence, is a covert propaganda network of politicians, journalists, academics, researchers and military officers engaged in smearing political leaders and interfering in the affairs of other allied governments.

Ep84 Temple of Covert Propaganda Part 2 feat Mohamed Elmaazi
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