Sunday, September 24, 2017

The Scott Horton Show

9/21/17 Trita Parsi on the potential dangers of escalating tensions with Iran

President of the National Iranian American Council Trita Parsi returns to the show to discuss the Iran Nuclear Deal and what’s at stake should the Trump administration attempt to nix the deal and why his bellicose approach to Iran could have significant consequences. Parsi explains Congress’s role in the life of the deal, and why even a Republican-controlled Congress might be hesitant to kill the deal.

Trita Parsi is the president of the National Iranian American Council and the author of “Losing an Enemy: Obama, Iran and the Triumph of Diplomacy.” Parsi is the recipient of the 2010 Grawemeyer Award for Ideas Improving World Order. Follow him on Twitter: @tparsi.

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9/20/17 Gareth Porter reviews the evidence of the supposed Syrian sarin attack of 2016

Gareth Porter returns to the show to discuss his latest story for Alternet, “Have We Been Deceived Over Syrian Sarin Attack?” Porter takes a deep dive into the evidence of the supposed Khan Sheikoun sarin attack and explains why we have good reason to doubt the narrative and evidence presented by the Trump administration, what’s still in dispute, and raises questions that still need answering.

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 and listen to Gareth’s previous appearances on the Scott Horton Show.

Discussed on the show:

  • “4/6/17 Philip Giraldi says IC-Military Doubt Assad Gas Narrative” (The Scott Horton Show)
  • Sarin
  • Khan Shaykhun chemical attack
  • Elliott Higgins
  • “Mounting Evidence Syrian Forces Were Behind Khan Sheikhoun Attack,” by Ole Solvang (Human Rights Watch)
  • “Trump’s Red Line in Syria,” by Sy Hersch (Die Welt)
  • Aluminum phosphide
  • “ISIS used chemical weapons against the Kurds, US officials say” (The Hill)
  • “Yet another video shows U.S.-funded white helmets assisting public-held executions in rebel-held Syria,” by Ben Norton (
  • “OPCW Fact-Finding Mission Confirms Use of Chemical Weapons in Khan Shaykhun on 4 April 2017” (OPCW)
  • “Assad forces carried out sarin attack, says French intelligence”
  • “Government Assessment of the Syrian Government’s Use of Chemical Weapons on August 21, 2013” (The White House)
  • “Regime change in Syria is one of many priorities, says Nikki Haley” (The Telegraph)

9/20/17 May Jeong on the atrocities of U.S.-backed warlords in Afghanistan

Scott interviews May Jeong on her featured article “The U.S.-Trained Warlords Committing Atrocities in Afghanistan” for In These Times. Jeong discusses her time reporting in Afghanistan, why the Afghanistan War is really the American War, and details how the same dynamics at work in Iraq exist in Afghanistan. Jeong explains what she thinks might happen when the United States leaves Afghanistan, but why she believes that the Taliban doesn’t have the manpower to rule the entire country.

May Jeong is a visiting scholar at the NYU school of Journalism and a Logan Fellow at the Carey Institute. Follow her on Twitter @mayjeong.

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9/20/17 Jeff Stein reviews Ken Burns’s “The Vietnam War”

Jeff Stein joins the show to discuss his latest article “Vietnam War: New Ken Burns Documentary Dismisses the Origins of the Futile, Disastrous Conflict” critiquing Ken Burns’s latest documentary series “The Vietnam War.” Stein reflects on his time in Vietnam as an army intelligence case officer and reviews and critiques Burns’s documentary series, which he says is well worth watching, but is not without its flaws. Stein then explains why French colonialism in Vietnam created a false premise in Vietnam—that there was ever a good reason to join the conflict—dooming the war from the outset and explains why the same parallel exists in the ongoing war in Afghanistan.

Jeff Stein is a national security correspondent and author of the SpyTalk column at Newsweek. He has written three books including “A Murder in Wartime: The Untold Spy Story That Changed the Course of the Vietnam War.” Stein spent a year as an army intelligence officer in Vietnam where he was awarded the bronze star. Follow Jeff on Twitter @SpyTalker.

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9/15/17 John Kiriakou on blowing the whistle on the CIA torture network

Famed whistleblower John Kiriakou, the former chief of counter-terrorism operations in Pakistan, returns to the show to discuss his latest book on Abu Zubaydah “The Convenient Terrorist” which he co-authored with Guantanamo whistleblower Joseph Hickman. Kiriakou retells his history at the CIA and explains why the crux of the Abu Zubaydah saga were Zubaydah’s lies about supposed ties between al-Qaeda and Saddam Hussein, which helped the U.S. spin the lies that led to the Iraq War. Kiriakou explains the American fetish with torture and his role in blowing the whistle on the torture network within the CIA and explains how the United States made the decision to invade Iraq long before the invasion. Finally Kiriakou discusses how the drone program is the greatest recruitment tool for Islamic terrorists.

John Kiriakou is a former CIA officer and author of Doing Time Like A Spy: How the CIA Taught Me to Survive and Thrive in Prison. Kiriakou was the only CIA officer to be jailed over the CIA’s torture regime—for telling the truth. Follow him on Twitter @JohnKiriakou.

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9/13/17 Tim Shorrock on the failed diplomacy between North Korea and the United States

Tim Shorrock, author of Spies For Hire, returns to the show to discuss his latest articles for The Nation “Diplomacy With North Korea Has Worked Before, and Can Work Again” and AlterNet “How Sony, Obama, Seth Rogen and the CIA Secretly Planned to Force Regime Change in North Korea.” Shorrock details the 1994 deal with North Korea, which was an important step toward diplomacy between the U.S. and North Korea, how George W. Bush and the neocons torpedoed the deal leading the North Koreans to pursue nuclear weapons, and why diplomacy between the two countries could work despite disastrous U.S. policies towards other regimes who disarmed nuclear weapons.

Tim Shorrock is the author of “Spies For Hire: The Secret World of Intelligence Outsourcing” and a regular contributor to The Nation and the Korea Center for Investigative Reporting. Follow him on Twitter @TimothyS.

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9/10/17 Gareth Porter on the possibility of a diplomatic solution in North Korea

Gareth Porter joins Scott on Antiwar Radio on KPFK to discuss his latest article for, “Can the US and North Korea Move From Threats to Negotiations?” Porter details how America’s history of foreign intervention has been North Korea’s primary motivation for seeking nuclear deterrence and why, as a result, there is no military option in North Korea. And the question we all want answered: is this all ultimately leading toward regime change in Pyongyang? Finally, Porter addresses the role that China and South Korea play in the U.S. consideration of any diplomatic resolution.

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 and listen to Gareth’s previous appearances on the Scott Horton Show.

9/8/17 Andrew Cockburn on Saudi Arabia’s role in 9/11

Washington editor of Harper’s Magazine, Andrew Cockburn, returns to the show to discuss his latest article, “Crime and Punishment: Will the 9/11 Case Finally Go to Trial?” Cockburn explains how the 9/11 families overcame the legal impediments against suing the state of Saudi Arabia even in the face of rank opposition from the Obama administration, what he believed was revealed in the 28 pages, and how the Saudis helped fund the spread of Wahhabism and the rise of al-Qaeda. Cockburn believes the key question is: What is the real U.S.-Saudi relationship? Scott and Cockburn detail how Washington think-tanks have been financed and coopted by foreign countries and debate whether Saudi-funded Wahhabism or blowback from U.S. intervention is primarily to blame for the spread of radical Islam and its corresponding violence.

Andrew Cockburn is the Washington editor of Harper’s Magazine and the author of Kill Chain: The Rise of the High-Tech Assassins. Follow him on Twitter @andrewmcockburn.

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9/8/17 Kelley B. Vlahos on the Trump strategy to end the Iran Deal

Kelley B. Vlahos, managing editor of the American Conservative, returns to the show to discuss her latest article “Haley Debuts Trump’s Case for Ending Iran Nuclear Deal.” Vlahos reviews the Iran Deal, explains how the neocons see Trump as an ally on Iran, and explains why Nikki Haley’s speech to the American Enterprise Institute is a likely preview of Donald Trump’s strategy to torpedo the Iran Deal. Scott and Vlahos then review the history of Iran-American tensions and speculate how the Republicans will torpedo Barack Obama’s singular shining moment as president.

Vlahos is the managing editor of The American Conservative. Follow her on Twitter @KelleyBVlahos.

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9/7/17 Mark Thornton on the Austrian Business Cycle Theory and where we are today

Senior fellow of the Mises Institute Mark Thornton returns to the show to discuss Austrian business cycle theory, how the Fed’s artificially low interest rates create perverse incentives, resulting in wild spending on both the production and consumer sides of the economy. Thornton discusses the crash of the stock market in the 1970s after Richard Nixon took the United States off the gold standard, which motivated Ron Paul to run for office and explains the moral hazard of fractional reserve banking and how it’s at odds with a system of sound, commodity-based money. Instead we’re subjected to a phony fiat system, which Thornton believes is the true cause of the great income and wealth inequality in the United States. Finally, Thornton explains that free trade and immigration aren’t to blame for American hardships and finally why bailouts are always, always the problem.

Mark Thornton is a senior fellow at the Mises Institute. He serves as the Book Review Editor of the Quarterly Journal of Austrian Economics. His publications include The Economics of Prohibition (1991), Tariffs, Blockades, and Inflation: The Economics of the Civil War (2004), The Quotable Mises (2005), The Bastiat Collection (2007), An Essay on Economic Theory (2010), and The Bastiat Reader (2014).

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