September 16, 2021
On this edition of Parallax Views, Russ Bake, Editor-in-Chief and founder of the non-profit news organization WhoWhatWhy and author of Family of Secrets: The Bush Dynasty, America's Invisible Government, and the Hidden History of the Last Fifty Years, returned to Parallax Views to discuss his latest article "FBI Makes Midnight Release of Shocking New Information on Saudi-9/11 Complicity". We discuss the lingering questions about the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and its potential connection to the terrorist attacks of September 11th, 2001. The issue has received renewed attention thanks to the 9/11 victims' families lawsuit and President Joe Biden's Executive Order calling for the declassification review of 9/11 records. Thanks to that E.O., documents pertaining to the FBI's Operation Encore, a probe into the potential Saudi connection to 9/11, were quietly released late on the night of September 12th, 2021. Russ and I delve into the figure of Prince Bandar bin Sultan and other figures as well as discussing the seeming cover-up of this element of the 9/11 story for so many years. We also chat briefly about the concept of the deep state, the controversy around Spike Lee's 9/11 documentary series on HBO featuring voices from the "9/11 Truth" movement, and much, much more.
September 14, 2021
On this edition of Parallax Views, 2020 Libertarian Party Vice Presidential Candidate Spike Cohen joins us to discuss why he, as a libertarian, opposes a government "War on Abortion" and views the Texas Heartbeat Act (Texas SB8) is a pandora's box EVEN IF YOU'RE AGAINST ABORTION that creates a secret police nightmare through a government incentive system. In other words, the Texas Abortion Law brings to the fore the issue of snitch culture and its weaponization. Spike and I discuss the views of libertarians on this matter before delving into why EVERYONE, again even those who are on the "pro-life" side of the debate, should oppose this this bill. We also discuss the states rights debates amongst libertarians, how it factors into libertarian support or silence on the bill, and why Spike thinks we should be skeptical of state power even when it isn't federal. It's not entirely devoted to libertarianism though. We discuss the ways in which this bill can be used against citizens, how deputizing private citizens creates a secret police, and much more. The big issue is weaponized snitching and the endlessly horrific scenarios that can come out of its popularization. All that and more on this edition of Parallax Views.
September 13, 2021
On this edition of Parallax Views, the great Scott Horton, an inspiration for Parallax Views, the host of The Scott Horton Show, and the author of both Fool's Errand: Time to End the War in Afghanistan and Enough Already: Time to End the War on Terror, joins us to provide a down-and-dirty history lesson on the War on Terror and how neoconservative war hawks played right into bin Laden's hands in the aftermath of 9/11. Bin Laden, Scott argues, wanted the U.S. to react to 9/11 by getting involved in an unwinnable war in Afghanistan. Afghanistan, Scott says, was a "Vietnam 2.0" that would inevitably end the same way the Soviet incursion into Afghanistan ended. Who were the architects of these wars? We delve into the neocons like Paul Wolfowitz, Richard Perle, and Michael Ledeen and their enablers like Donald Rumsfeld and Dick Cheney who gave us the decades long nightmare of the War on Terror in the aftermath of the September 11th terrorist attacks. We talk George W. Bush, the waste of the War on Terror, why conservative, libertarians, and progressives should oppose wars and imperial hubris, the history of the neocons and their ex-Trotyskite roots, John Podhoretz, radical Islamists, Colin Powell, and much, much more!
September 11, 2021
On this edition of Parallax Views, it's the 20th anniversary of the September 11th, 2001 terrorist attacks that took down the World Trade Center buildings and damaged the Pentagon (another plane was headed for the White House but ended up crashing in Shanksville, PA). Questions remain, even after the 9/11 Joint Inquiry and the 9/11 Commission, about the role of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in the events of that fateful day. A lawsuit by the 9/11 victims' families is underway. Joining us to untangle the question of the Saudi connection to 9/11 is Dan Christensen of the Florida Bulldog (formerly the Broward Bulldog). Dan Christensen is an journalist who has been covering the story of 9/11 for some years now alongside Anthony Summers and Robbyn Swan, authors of The Eleventh Day: The Full Story of 9/11. As a Florida resident Dan covered the Sarasota, Florida connection to the 9/11 story. Specifically, he detailed the figure of Abdulaziz al-Hijji and his reported relationship to 911 hijackers Mohammad Atta and Marwan al-Sheh. Additionally, Dan has also covered the renegade FBI investigation known as Operation Encore. He has received redacted documents related to Operation Encore that relate to 9/11 and Saudi Arabia. In this conversation we cover all of that as well as the ways in which the FBI has seemingly stonewalled investigations into the Saudi connection to 9/11, the Southern California connection to 9/11 vis-a-vis the suspected Saudi agents Omar al-Baymoui, Musaed al-Jarrah, and Fahad al-Thumairy, Saudi Arabian diplomat Prince Bandar bin Sultan (nicknamed "Bandar Bush") and his subpoena by the 9/11 victims' families, Osama bin Laden, Biden's Executive Order calling for the review of 9/11 records to be declassified, the FBI, Sen. Bob Graham, the infamous "28 pages", Guantanamo Bay detainee Abu Zubaydah and Prince Bandar, the role of Congress in pushing the issues related to Saudi Arabia and 9/11, why the 9/11 victims' family lawsuit matters for society at large, state secrets, the secret pre-9/11 report on al Qaeda sleeper cells in America, the ongoing efforts to unveil the seeming connection between Saudi Arabia and the 9/11 terrorist attacks, and much, much more.
September 9, 2021
On this edition of Parallax Views, has the post-911 Forever Wars created a slew of forever policies that'll live with us long after American military incursions in Afghanistan and Iraq are decades behind us? That's the case Karen J. Greenberg, of the Center on National Security at Fordham Law, joins us on this edition of Parallax Views to discuss that subject as outline in her recent TomDispatch piece "Will the Forever Wars Become Forever Policy?" and her new book Subtle Tools: The Dismantling of American Democracy from the War on Terror to Donald Trump. Karen argues that although we may be seeing some pivots in terms of policies put in place during the War on Terror, many of the policies of the Forever War years remain "on the table". In this conversation we discuss the Department of Homeland Security, managed counter-terrorism handled multilaterally, the War on Terror and the U.S. as "police men of the world", the Authorization for the Use of Military Force and the problem of its broadness, the opening of a Pandora's Box through AUMFs, the Presidency of George W. Bush and overreach of power, the college generation's relationship to the War on Terror and 9/11, U.S. torture programs and the unprecedented use of police powers in the post-9/11 world, domestic terror threats, whether or not the War on Terror has made us more safe and granted us a sense of security, the Guantanamo Bay pictures and their publication by the Pentagon, violations of norms and Constitutional principles during the War on Terror, militarization at home as well as abroad, climate change and globalization, and much, much more.
September 6, 2021
On this edition of Parallax Views, environmental lawyer Larry Schnapf and Jacob Hornberger of the Future of Freedom Foundation join me to discuss the efforts of Larry and others to get the last of the documents promised by the JFK Records Act released to the public. Efforts appear to have been made to keep the last of the records from being released vis-vis a memo that in the estimation of activists like Larry Schnapf and Mark Adamcyzk wouldn't hold up in court as a reason for further release delays. What does this mean for government transparency? Will President Biden's Executive Order related to the review for the declassification of 9/11 documents (which could shed the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia's to the event) be a model for getting the release of the JFK documents? And Jacob Hornberger makes the case for why he believes JFK was assassinated by what amounts to a larger conspiracy than just the lone gunmen figure of Lee Harvey Oswald. We also very off into the issues of vaccine mandates without getting into an argument. Other key topics covered: Kennedy Vs. the National Security State, the JFK assassination and the CIA, John Newman's JFK and Vietnam, Nixon's "Bay of Pigs" comment, and much, much more, All that and much more on this edition of Parallax Views.
September 2, 2021
On this edition of Parallax Views, on June 6th, 1968 Robert F. Kennedy was fatally wounded by gun shots at the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles, California. After the assassination, a Palestinian man, Sirhan Sirhan, was convicted for his death. Over 50 years later, in 2021, Sirhan Sirhan has been recommended for parole. Joining us to discuss why Sirhan Sirhan is up for parole and why he should be released is his defense attorney Angela Berry. Berry argues that Sirhan Sirhan is no longer a threat to the public, and as such should be considered rehabilitated. Berry offers neuroscientific evidence to supoort this case and also discusses the members of the Kennedy family, specifically Douglas Kennedy and Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., that have come out in support of Sirhan Sirhan's parole. Although some members of the Kennedy family and the public at large are outraged by his potential release, Berry argues that under California laws about Corrections and Rehabilitation that her client should be given parole to live out the last of his days (he is now 77 years old) with his brother. Angela also discusses youthful offenses, the role of Sirhan's elderly age in his defense, the question of risk in terms of repeating violent offenses, the psychological tests Sirhan Sirhan has gone through since the 1980s, the emotional backlash against his parole, Sirhan Sirhan's memory loss and the question of complex PTSD, the question of whether Sirhan Sirhan is repentant and remorseful for the events of June 6th, 1968, what the media and the public are missing in regards to this case, the new L.A. District Attorney (D.A.) George Gascón and why the board's decision was not effected by the D.A., and how Sirhan Sirhan's release could be rejected,
September 1, 2021
On this edition of Parallax Views, U.S. military forces have left Afghanistan after 20 years. But the D.C. foreign policy Blob's arrogance is still going strong, as figures like Max Boot, Leon Panetta, and H.R. McMaster. Our guest on this edition, libertarian gadfly James Bovaird, has a personal experience he's decided to share with us about this kind of hubris that he details in his article "Washington Arrogance is Incurable". Jim recounts a telling conversation he had with a "good Washingtonian" that took issue with Jim's questioning of U.S. foreign policy. Meanwhile, Jim recounts seeing wounded soldiers returning from the Forever Wars that very same day.
From there we delve into a number of different topics related to the foreign policy establishment and the Forever Wars like those waged in Afghanistan and Iraq as part of the War on Terror. We discuss the responsibility and complicity of President George W. Bush, Barack Obama, Donald Trump, and, yes, even Joe Biden in regards to these conflicts. Additionally, Jim gives his opinion on the U.S. exit from Afghanistan and how it was handled poorly in his mind. Nonetheless, Jim also expresses that he believes the withdrawal needed to happen. We also delve into the issue of women's and girl's rights in Afghanistan and Jim relates a telling fact about Karzai, who was in power after the U.S. beat back the Taliban in Afghanistan, and how a certain law he signed was anything but a promotion of women's rights. Also, we talk a little bit about perpetual hawkish commentator Max Boot, gun rights, what Jim refers to as the "Sham of Democracy Promotion" in Afghanistan, the winners and losers of the Afghanistan War (hint: Virginia's weapons contractors did quite well for themselves), the relationship between the War on Terror and the loss of civil liberties, the "Bitter Belated Afghan Vindication", 9/11 and the "28 pages" of the post-9/11 Senate Select Committee, Iran and the long push for war with Iran, the rehabilitation of George W. Bush, Jim's book The Bush Betrayal, the worldwide torture regime, the question of U.S. credibility, sanctions, the economic strangulation of Syria, understanding the fact on the ground on these wars, the smugness of our foreign policy elites, the massive amounts of money that go into D.C. think tanks, and more!
August 31, 2021
On this edition of Parallax Views, there's been a political blame game at play since President Joe Biden announced the U.S. withdrawal of its military forces from Afghanistan. The last of the U.S. forces officially left on August 30th, 2021. What now? What does this mean for U.S. foreign policy going forward? Will it open up a debate about U.S. foreign policy since 9/11? And what are the lessons that need to be learned from the U.S. military adventure in Afghanistan?
We have two interviews delving into those questions on this edition of the program. First up, Ret. Lt. Col. Daniel L. Davis of Defense Priorities joins us to discuss his whistleblowing on the Afghanistan War and the surge that took place on President Obama's watch. We talk about the Afghanistan Papers and how the public was systemically misled (or lied to) about the on-the-ground reality in Afghanistan. Also, we find out Lt. Col. Davis' response to criticisms that the withdrawal will hurt Afghans, that this opens us up to new terrorist threats, and calls to end the Forever Wars are the province of dangerous "isolationists". Also, we discuss how figures like Leon Panetta and H.R. McMaster are "addicted to war" as outlined in Lt. Col Davis' commentary at The Guardian. Lt. Col. Davis argues that we need to reintroduce the diplomatic toolkit and reorient U.S. foreign policy. We also manage to delve into the the Kabul airport attack and the U.S. cooperation with the Taliban against the threat of ISIS-K during the evacuation process.
Then, Ted Galen Carpenter of the CATO Institute, who regularly writes for Antiwar.Com and the National Interest, joins us for further discussion about Afghanistan and, more broadly, the need for a revamp of U.S. foreign policy. As supplements to this conversation you may want to read Carpenter's latest Antiwar.Com piece "Blame-Shifting: The Political Elites Response to the Messy Afghan Withdrawal" and "The Cynical Campaign To Scapegoat Joe Biden for the Afghanistan Debacle" as well as his article at the National Interest entitled "U.S. Credibility Not Seriously Damaged by Afghanistan Failure".
August 29, 2021
Interview Start Times:
Trita Parsi - 02:22
Nadia Ahmad - 27:14
On this edition of Parallax Views, we have two interviews relating to U.S. foreign policy. First, up Quincy Institute for Responsible Statecraft co-founder and executive vice president Trita Parsi joins us to discuss how U.S. foreign policy needs a change. For Parsi, that means a shift towards a foreign policy of restraint that rejects militarism and economic warfare like sanctions. He argues that U.S. Grand Strategy is not worked out well for the U.S. as D.C.'s "Blob" adherents of the "Forever Wars" in the Middle East have claimed they would. The disaster of Afghanistan, he argues, is not a repudiation of restraint, but an argument for it. Additionally, Parsi also addresses claims that the Quincy Institute is "isolationist" and takes issue with the U.S. foreign policy Establishment's lack of referring to diplomacy before forms of warfare.
Then, Nadia Ahmad, a law professor at the Barry University School of Law, joins us to discuss her Common Dreams op-ed "The US Endgame in Afghanistan Was Mineral Extraction, Not Democracy". Also, Nadia chimes in on what can be done to help the Afghan people now and launches a criticism of those who ignore the question, "Should we have occupied Afghanistan in the first place?". We discuss the mining companies that Nadia argues the U.S. acted as security guards for in Afghanistan and the threat of sanctions against Afghanistan. All that and more on this edition of Parallax Views!