Parallax Views w/ J.G. Michael

Mitch McConnell, Republican Senators, & the Betrayal of America w/ Ira Shapiro/Robert Hanssen, America’s Most Damaging Spy w/ Lis Wiehl

June 1, 2022

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On this edition of Parallax Views, Ira Shapiro, former Ambassador and author of such books as The Last Great Senate: Courage and Statesmanship in Times of Crisis and Broken: Can the Senate Save Itself and the Country?, joins the show to discuss his book The Betrayal: How Mitch McConnell and the Senate Republicans Abandoned America. We begin by discussing Newt Gingrinch and his "politics of destruction", the declining faith in the Senate as an instituinon, and the polarization of the United States of America. We then turn our attention to Mitch McConnell and how he went from a "moderate Republican" to moving, alongside the GOP, further to the Right. McConnell, Shapiro argues, has broke from his responsibility to serve the national interest in favor of partisanship that serves the interest of the GOP. In this regard we delve into McConnell's "Bitter Harvest" in the Obama years and the broken politics and government dysfunction that plagued America even before the Presidency of Donald J. Trump. From there we move onto the relationship between Donald Trump and McConnell; the Supreme Court, tax cuts for the rich, and anti-Affordable Care Act priorities of McConnell; McConnell and the donor base of the Republican Party; the confirmation of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court; beating the Democratic Party at all costs; the 2020 Presidential Election and the Jan. 6th Insurrection; Under Secretary of State George Ball's quote from the Vietnam War era "He who rides the tiger cannot chose where he dismounts"; the Senate going forward; thoughts on diplomacy; and much, much more!

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In the second segment of the show, true crime author Lis Wiehl, whose previous books include Hunting the Unabomber and The Hunting Charles Manson, joins the show for a conversation about her new book A Spy in Plain Sight: The Inside Story of the FBI and Robert Hanssen—America's Most Damaging Russian Spy. Rober Hanssen is perhaps one of the most notorious spies in modern American history. While working for the FBI he decided to start working with the Soviet Union and the Russians. After all was said and done, he became the most damaging spy in American history whose actions had massive ramifications for national security. We discuss who Hanssen was; Hanssen's association with the conservative Catholic organization known as Opus Dei; Hanssen as a disgruntled employee of the FBI; his nickname at the FBI: "The Mortician"; Hanssen's anti-communism; how Robert's wife Bonnie Hanssen and a priest found out about Hanssen spying for the Russians; Hanssen's psychiatrist David Charney and Hanssen's penchant for compartmentalization and warped thinking; how the intelligence community became aware of a spy in their midst and the wrongful finger pointed at CIA agent Brian Kelley being the spy; the Webster Commission Report and why it took so long for suspicion to fall on Hanssen; the contradictions of Robert Hanssen; intel figures' belief that there will be another Robert Hanssen and that there's likely already one today; cybersecurity today; Wiehl's thoughts on the dangers of politicization of intelligence; and much, much more!

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