Philip Giraldi, former CIA officer and Director of the Council for the National Interest, says that “military and intelligence personnel,” “intimately familiar” with the intelligence, say that the narrative that Assad or Russia did it is a “sham,” instead endorsing the Russian narrative that Assad’s forces had bombed a storage facility. Giraldi’s intelligence sources are “astonished” about the government and media narrative and are considering going public out of concern over the danger of worse war there. Giraldi also observes that the Assad regime had no motive to do such a thing at this time.
Craig Murray, former UK ambassador to Uzbekistan and whistleblower, discusses his article claiming the DNC and Podesta emails came from U.S., not Russian, sources.
Gilbert Doctorow, the European Coordinator of The American Committee for East West Accord, discusses why the US-Russia confrontation in Ukraine and Syria is far more serious than generally understood, and could easily lead to a shooting war – especially if Hillary Clinton is serious about imposing a no fly zone in Syria.
12/29/16 Eric Margolis on Russian election hacking, Trump vs. CIA, and the UN resolution on Israeli settlements
Eric Margolis, a journalist and author of American Raj: Liberation or Domination, discusses the Obama administration’s retaliation against alleged Russian interference in the US election; why the CIA is due for a major shakeup; and why the US didn’t veto (as it usually does) a UN resolution demanding an end to Israeli settlements in Palestinian territory.
3/31/17 Arnaldo Claudio on National Security Advisor Gen. H.R. McMaster’s human rights violations of Iraqis in 2005
Arnaldo Claudio, a retired senior US Military Police officer, discusses his 2005 investigation of human rights abuses of detainees in Tal Afar, in a camp commanded by then-Colonel H.R. McMaster, whom Claudio threatened to arrest. According to Claudio, detainees were kept in overcrowded conditions, handcuffed, deprived of food and water, and soiled by their own urine and feces. A so-called “good behavior program” was implemented by McMaster, that held detainees indefinitely (beyond a rule requiring release after 2 weeks) unless they provided “actionable intelligence.”
Gareth Porter, an independent investigative journalist and winner of the 2012 Gellhorn Prize for journalism, discusses President Obama’s decision to help arm the Syrian opposition to appease Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Qatar; then-CIA Director David Petraeus’s role in smuggling guns out of Benghazi to Turkey; and the failure of Obama’s advisors to anticipate direct Iranian and Russian support for the embattled Assad regime.
Scott talks with Phil Giraldi, former DIA and CIA officer and friend of the show, about the intelligence leaks surrounding the Trump administration. The information flow from the intelligence agencies and the FBI to the media is discussed and so is the possible impeachment that is being pushed. The leaks coming from the NSC, the staff of which was hand-picked by President Trump, and the FBI’s inability to find the leakers or even to look, is also discussed, as are potential motives.
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Gareth Porter returns to the show to discuss his latest articles for the American Conservative, “How America Armed Terrorists in Syria” and “How CIA and Allies Trapped Obama in the Syrian Arms Debacle.” Scott and Gareth discuss how U.S. national security policy since Obama took office has been largely been, either directly or indirectly, in support of al-Qaeda and that unlike George W. Bush, who empowered al-Qaeda accidentally, Barack Obama did it with full understanding of the likely consequences of his policies. Gareth then explains how U.S. policy in the Middle East, and in Syria particularly, changed with the outbreak of the Arab Spring, which the U.S. saw as an opportunity to foment revolution with the goal of regime change. According to Gareth, Obama’s advisors failed to warn him that arming Assad’s enemies in Syria would increase the role of Hezbollah and Iran, and ultimately backfire—just another example of how the U.S. foreign policy machine is always able to rationalize their views, no matter how ill-fated, in order to advance their supposed interests. Gareth also explains why the Iran Deal pressured Obama into opposing Iran everywhere else in order to placate Saudi Arabia and many of his advisors, including David Petraeus. Finally, Scott and Gareth touch on the considerable role Israel and the U.S.’s Sunni allies in the region play in determining U.S. policy.
Gareth Porter is an investigative historian and journalist on the national security state and author of Manufactured Crisis: The Untold Story of the Iran Nuclear Scare. Follow him on Twitter @GarethPorter.
Discussed on the show:
- “A hawkish Kerry emerges as point man in Obama’s push to punish Syria” (Reuters)
- Robert Baer: “If you want a serious interrogation, you send a prisoner to Jordan. If you want them to be tortured, you send them to Syria. If you want someone to disappear – never to see them again – you send them to Egypt.” (Wikipedia)
- The Long Game, by Derek Chollet
- “Clinton: Arming Syrian Rebels could help al Qaeda” (CBS News)
- “See last item – AQ is on our side in Syria.” (Hillary Clinton Email Archives, WikiLeaks)
- “In the Matter of Amendment of the Designation of al-Qa’ida in Iraq” (Federal Register, 2012)
- “Animosity between David Petraeus and Iranian commander, Qassem Soleimani, still on display,” (Washington Post)
- New York Times: “The White House needed to placate the Saudis”
- “Obama to Iran and Israel: ‘As President of the United States, I Don’t Bluff’,” by Jeffrey Goldberg (The Atlantic)
- “The Redirection,” by Seymour Hersh (The New Yorker)
- “Remember the Golan Heights?” by Eric Margolis (EricMargolis.com)
- Yinon Plan
- “A Clean Break: A New Strategy for Securing the Realm by David Wurmser 1996” (ScottHorton.org)
- “Coping with Crumbling States: A Western and Israeli Balance of Power Strategy for the Levant by David Wurmser 1996” (ScottHorton.org)
- “Sunnis vs. Shiites and the Lesser of Two Evils” (The Aspen Institute)
- Camp Speicher Massacre
- “Secret Israel-Syria Peace Talks Involved Golan Heights Exit” (New York Times)
- “John Kerry and Bashar al-Assad dined in Damascus” (The Telegraph)
- “The Real Reason to Intervene in Syria,” by James Rubin (ForeignPolicy.com)
- “Contra Iran,” by Michael Oren (The New Republic)
- Israeli consul general in New York to Jodi Rudoren “Let them both bleed, hemorrhage to death” (New York Times)
- “America Had Already Lost Its Covert War in Syria—Now It’s Official” (The Century Foundation via Gareth Porter’s Twitter feed)
- “08/15/12 – Flynt Leverett” (The Scott Horton Show)
- “US watched ISIS rise in Syria and hoped to ‘manage’ it — Kerry on leaked tape,” by Philip Weiss (Mondoweiss.net)
- “Behind Biden’s gaffe lie real concerns about allies’ role in rise of the Islamic State” (Washington Post)
- “How We Would Fight China” (The Atlantic, 2005)
- “Don’t attack Saddam,” by Daniel Scowcroft (Wall Street Journal)
- “Did Robert Gates Manufacture the Iran Crisis?” (Huffington Post)
- Manufactured Crisis: The Untold Story of the Iran Nuclear Scare, by Gareth Porter
“Gareth Porter Interview Series on His New Book Manufactured Crisis: The Untold Story of the Iran Nuclear Scare” (The Scott Horton Show)
1/23/17 Ray McGovern on Obama’s admission that there’s no proof Russian hackers gave DNC emails to WikiLeaks
Ray McGovern, a former CIA analyst and co-founder of Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS), discusses the “gap” in the Russian hack case; why it makes much more sense that a Democratic insider, fed up with the sidelining of Bernie Sanders, gave the DNC emails to WikiLeaks; why Obama protected the CIA and John Brennan from the Senate Intelligence committee’s investigation on torture; and how Donald Trump could fulfill his professed goal of quickly knocking out ISIS.
12/8/16 Daniel McAdams on the Obama administration’s refusal to concede defeat in their Syria regime-change operation
Daniel McAdams, Executive Director of the Ron Paul Institute For Peace and Prosperity, discusses the Syrian government’s defeat of rebels in East Aleppo; Rep. Tulsi Gabbard’s “Stop Arming Terrorists Act;” and the upside to having Dana Rohrabacher as secretary of state – if Trump chooses him.