Conflicts of Interest

COI Bonus #2: FedEx/Police Partnership and Fake Stories From Afghanistan

On the second COI bonus show, Kyle Anzalone and Patrick MacFarlane discuss a new police partnership with FedEx that allows cops to use drug dogs in the company’s facilities, leading to constitutionally questionable raids. Will Porter joins Kyle and Pat to discuss news from Afghanistan, including several fake and misleading stories. Kyle, Will and Pat talk about growing up in the early days of the Terror War and how public schools allowed the military to push propaganda on campus.

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COI #156: The Occupation of Afghanistan Is Over, Biden Vows to Continue Bombing

On COI #156, Kyle Anzalone discusses the departure of the last US soldiers in Afghanistan. After 20 years, the occupation has finally ended. However, the US war in Afghanistan may not be over as Biden has vowed to continue drone strikes in the country. The latest strike left seven children dead. The Biden administration says soldiers left after a “successful” withdrawal of over 100,000 people. 

Kyle breaks down a recent article in the Washington Post by Max Boot. The war hawk argues the American people are the ones responsible for 13 soldiers being killed in Afghanistan. Boot is attempting to shift blame because he is among the few truly responsible for the deaths of those soldiers and hundreds of thousands of other human beings over the past 20 years. If we don’t hold people like Max Boot to account, we are doomed to repeat the mistakes of the Afghan War. 

Kyle talks about two recent articles on policing from Reason. One article exposes how cops are teaming up with FedEx to conduct constitutionally questionable raids. Officers deploy dogs to training facilities where any package “hit” on by a dog can then be used to raid the recipient’s home. Immigration police are also abusing their powers by targeting immigration activists. 

Kyle updates the US relationship with North Korea. After placing the North Korea issue on the back burner, the Biden administration is concerned the pot is now boiling over. The IAEA believes North Korea has restarted its reactor that produces weapons-grade nuclear material. The US will now scramble to prevent Pyongyang from advancing its nuclear program, after missing clear opportunities for diplomacy at the start of Biden’s term. 

A humanitarian group in London is seeking an ICC investigation into war crimes committed in Yemen. Saudi Arabia, the UAE, US and UK are all among those accused of killing over 100 Yemenis in violation of the laws of war. The most horrific of the crimes include bombing a school bus, killing at least 34 children. 

Last, Kyle breaks down increasing tensions with China. On a recent trip to Singapore and Vietnam, Vice President Kamala Harris rallied support against China. The VP offered aid and vowed to increase the presence of US warships in the Indo-Pacific region. As Harris wrapped up her trip, the US sailed a destroyer and Coast Guard ship through the Taiwan Strait.

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COI #155: US Bombs Afghanistan, Claims to Target ISIS, Wipes Out a Family

On COI #155, Kyle Anzalone and Will Porter update the situation in Afghanistan, including the aftermath of a deadly suicide bombing outside the Kabul airport on August 26.

President Joe Biden authorized two separate retaliatory drone strikes on what the government claims were ISIS-K targets in Afghanistan. The first was launched Friday in Nangarhar province and was said to have killed two militant “planners” and injured another. A second strike on Sunday hit a neighborhood in Kabul itself, reportedly killing nine civilians, including six children, in addition to at least one jihadist fighter in a vehicle carrying explosives.

Will and Kyle take on a steady stream of bad arguments from war hawks of all stripes, including the likes of Paul Wolfowitz, an architect of the War on Terror and an unrepentant cheerleader for the invasion of Afghanistan.

The DC police officer who murdered Ashli Babbitt – who was fatally shot after entering the Capitol on January 6 alongside a mob of Trump supporters – has given his first public interview. Identified as Lieutenant Michael Byrd, the officer insists he was right to shoot Babbitt, who was unarmed, arguing she posed a threat to US representatives.

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COI #154: The War State Spins Lies to Exploit Tragedy at Kabul Airport

Connor Freeman – writer at the Libertarian Institute – returns to the show to discuss the dual suicide bombing at the Kabul airport. As of the recording, at least 60 Afghans and 13 American soldiers were killed in the blasts. ISIS-K – a group of mostly non-Afghans that have pledged loyalty to the Islamic State – claimed credit for the attack, which came after several terrorism alerts from US and Taliban officials in recent days. 

In response to the bombing, American hawks have exploited the tragedy by spinning lies about the situation in Afghanistan, many claiming Washington could easily take Kabul under control with a few soldiers. Others have suggested that America commit war crimes and wipe Afghan cities off the map in response, often conflating the Taliban with ISIS-K. Kyle and Connor debunk the most popular myths being pushed. 

Connor breaks down how Israel is terrorizing the Palestinians. In the West Bank, Tel Aviv is increasing the use of night raids, seeing IDF soldiers storm refugee camps in the middle of the night. Israeli forces have responded to Palestinian opposition to the raids with increased violence. During a recent raid, Israeli forces murdered a Palestinian teenager. 

Kyle and Connor update ongoing protests in Gaza. The situation for Palestinians in the blockaded enclave is even worse as IDF snipers recently opened fire on demonstrators, injuring over 40 people, including 24 children. A Palestinian gunman shot one of the snipers in the head. In response, Israel has bombed Gaza City. 

Along with bombing Palestinians, Israel has also been targeting Syria. While Syria and Russia have announced they would attempt to prevent the strikes, Israel has so far been undeterred. The strikes add to the instability in the region that could be exacerbated as Israel pushes Biden to leave the JCPOA. Connor explains how Israel’s reckless bombing is driving tensions in the Middle East.

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COI #153: Despite All-Out Media Effort, Americans Still Support Afghan Withdrawal

On COI #153, Kyle Anzalone updates events in Afghanistan. The Pentagon and State Department are working to remove some privileged Afghans and Americans from Afghanistan. The US claims it has evacuated tens of thousands so far,  but it is still unclear how many will be left behind. Despite the speed with which the Afghan government collapsed and ongoing chaos at the airport, the American people have been unpersuaded by a relentless effort by war hawks in the corporate press to turn the public against the withdrawal. New polls show almost two-thirds of Americans support ending the occupation. 

Kyle breaks down recent tragedies in Haiti. After a presidential assassination last month, an earthquake and tropical storm left over 2,200 dead. USAID seized on the opportunity to increase the empire’s reach in Haiti, with hundreds of troops set to deploy for a relief operation led by the agency. However, USAID has a history of supporting regime change efforts through its “charity.” Aid operations after the last major earthquake in 2010 left the country worse off by squandering billions and creating a cholera epidemic. 

Kyle discusses the FDA’s decision to grant full approval for Pfizer’s Covid vaccine. As predicted on Monday’s show, the approval came with a massive wave of government pressure for employers to mandate vaccines for all workers. 

Saudi currency manipulation is wreaking economic chaos as there are now two exchange rates in Yemen. The Saudi-backed government has dumped new dollars into Yemen, causing a spike in inflation in those areas. The Houthis have banned the newly minted bills, preventing the erosion in the currency’s value.

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COI Bonus Ep: End the Damn Wars guest Magnus Panvidya

On the first-ever Conflicts of Interest bonus episode, Kyle Anzalone and Will Porter sit down with Magnus Panvidya to discuss the ‘End The Damn Wars’ project, an effort to unite anti-war voices across the political spectrum and organize street actions opposing US militarism.

Magnus explains the origins and aims of the new initiative, and argues that internet activism alone is not enough to stand in the way of Empire. Calling for cooperation between all dissident movements – left, right and libertarian – Magnus makes the case that ‘bottom unity’ is the best hope for reining in the war state.

Note: NSFW language

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COI #152: Vaccine Passports, Mask Mandates & Booster Shots

On COI #152, Kyle Anzalone and Will Porter discuss the state of the US Covid regime. An increasing number of federal agencies, state and local governments are requiring employees to be vaccinated. The mandates are not limited to government employees as an increasing number of private companies are requiring employees and patients to receive the jab. Several states are rolling out mandates for masks, especially in schools. However, there is some question as to what it means to be “fully vaccinated,” as the Biden administration has urged all adults to receive booster shots within 8 months of their second dose. 

Kyle and Will update the US withdrawal effort in Afghanistan. Many hawks are trying to shift responsibility for the Afghan War to Biden for his poorly planned withdrawal. Kyle and Will argue that the hawks are responsible for much of the suffering of the Afghan people, and that the only reason they continue to wield influence is due to a lack of media coverage of the war. In all of 2020, major network news only spent five minutes covering America’s longest conflict. 

The hosts break down Biden’s increasingly hostile Cuba policy, including two new rounds of sanctions in recent weeks. While the penalties are unlikely to have a practical impact, it signals a continuation of Trump’s economic warfare, rather than the more diplomatic approach favored by the Obama presidency. 

Kyle and Will discuss an FBI report on the events at the Capitol on Jan. 6th, which found a lack of coordination between the people who entered the building. While several people broke into the Capitol and assaulted police, there was no evidence of an attempted coup or insurrection. However, this has not stopped the DoJ from rabidly attempting  to prosecute anyone at the Capitol, including an InfoWars host. 

Kyle and Will update the prosecution of several men accused of plotting to kidnap Michigan’s governor. As more evidence of the plot is exposed, it is increasingly clear that FBI agents and informats played a critical role in crafting the kidnapping scheme. Recently unearthed text messages show FBI agents instructing informats to accuse other group members of working for the feds to take suspicion off of themselves, while also telling them to delete the communications in question. 

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COI #151: Hawks’ Boast of Obsessive Anti-China Paranoia as Basis for Policy

On COI #151, Kyle Anzalone explains how Biden’s China policy is being formed by officials who boast about being Sino-paranoid. Biden’s new Air Force Secretary said he was “obsessed” with China and was hoping to “scare” the CCP. The delusions of key Biden officials is creating an increasingly anti-American bond between Russia and China. The two nuclear superpowers recently demonstrated their growing ties with a round of joint war games. 

Kyle breaks down the ongoing disorder at the Kabul Airport. US officials have suggested the Taliban is complying with the US effort to evacuate Americans. However, Western media has reported Taliban actions are making it impossible for Americans to reach the airport. The US has signaled ambitious goals to evacuate tens of thousands in the coming days, but have only evacuated a few thousand successfully to date. 

Kyle updates Israel’s occupation of Palestine. Tel Aviv recently seized 23 tonnes of chocolate en route to Gaza, depriving the people of an unusual luxury. Israel is planning to construct over 2,000 new settler homes in the West Bank. In a surprise move, the State Department condemned the announcement. 

Kyle discusses Iran’s civilian nuclear energy program. The US recently warned Iran against advancing its program after designing an uranium metal plate. The plate is for the Tehran Research Reactor, built for Iran by the US in the 1960s. Washington – which has a massive nuclear arsenal – continues to point the finger at Iran for producing energy and medicine with its nuclear program. 

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News Roundup

News Roundup 9/16/21

US News New Jersey will divest from Ben and Jerry’s parent company because of its decision not to sell ice cream in Israeli settlements. [Link] Korea North Korea says it test-launched a new rail-based missile system. [Link] China The US signs a new anti-China defense...

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Conflicts of Interest

COI #159: The People Who Were Right About Afghanistan

On COI #159, Kevin Gosztola joins Kyle Anzalone to discuss the people who were right about the Afghan War all along, among them Congresswoman Barbara Lee, who cast the sole ‘no’ vote against the 2001 authorization to attack Afghanistan. Lee correctly predicted that...

COI #157: Biden Puts Israel First

On COI #157, Connor Freeman – writer at the Libertarian Institute – returns to the show to discuss Biden’s Israel policy. Biden entered office with a prime opportunity to revive the Iran nuclear deal, but has instead caved to the demands of Tel Aviv. Now the deal is...

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