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J. Michael Springmann worked for the State Department in the 1980s, in Saudi Arabia. What he witnessed and experienced did not make much sense at the time, but what he later learned put it all in context, and helped to explain the entire course of U.S. foreign policy for the next 30 years. In short, just as the CIA provided funding and training for radical Mujahideen to fight the Soviets in Afghanistan, they have been doing the same thing ever since. Prior to 9/11, this legion of foreign fighters was used to destabilize and destroy Yugoslavia. Afterward, Iraq, Libya, and today Syria.

For this entire period of time, al-Qaeda has been a fighting force for America, a fact that has been known for years, but which is only now going mainstream due to American failures and Russian successes in Syria.

Today, we interview Mr. Springmann about his time at the consulate in Jeddah, and the events that led him to blow the whistle and expose the reality of the U.S.'s creation and support of terrorism around the globe.

You can visit Mr. Springmann's website here: michaelspringmann.com

His book is Visas for al-Qaeda: CIA Handouts That Rocked the World

In the second hour of the show, we discussed the latest Trump and Clinton leaks, and how they reveal what everyone should have already known: politicians are two-faced and corrupt, and fairly unsavory individuals. Brent closed the show with another Police State Round-up on police un-accountability.

Running Time: 02:04:03

Download: MP3

Here's the transcript of the show:

Harrison: Welcome back everyone to the Truth Perspective, today on the programme we have Elan Martin, and myself, Harrison Koehli, and we are pleased to be joined by Mike Springmann. Mike is the author of the book Visas for Al-Qaeda - CIA Handouts that Rocked the World.
Mike served in the United States Government as a diplomat with the State Department's Foreign Service and he had postings in Germany, India and Saudi Arabia; the last being quite an interesting posting as we will find out.

He eventually left the federal service and currently practices law in the Washington DC area. So, first of all, Mike, thanks for joining us and we are really excited to talk to you.

Mike: I am pleased to be invited to speak to your listeners, I really enjoy this and I am very grateful for the opportunity.

Harrison: Great! To start out with, maybe you could just give us some background on what you actually did and how you got to Saudi Arabia; how about we start there?

Mike: Sure! Ok, back in the midst of time, I worked for the Commerce Department's International Trade Administration and had gotten an assignment abroad as a commercial officer in what they call the State Commerce Exchange Program; a program that provided Washington assignments in the Commerce Department for State Department officers who really needed to be in Washington but couldn't find a berth at the State Department.

In return, the state would make available to the Commerce Department's staff, a position as a Commercial Officer Abroad in a consulate or an embassy somewhere. I was later in the Foreign Commercial Service when the commercial function was taken away from the State Department. This got me trips to Germany and India as Commercial Attache in New Delhi but I really always wanted to be in the real foreign service and could never pass the oral exam which was the real exam.

I could get past the written exams no trouble, and did it a number of times, but eventually I got into the State Department and as a reward, they sent me to Saudi Arabia; that was a kind of a strange place. Saudi Arabia was a strange county but I think the American Consulate General on Palestine Road was an even stranger place.

I had been told before I went out to Saudi Arabia, that I was going to be assigned to the embassy in what was then East Berlin, and was told "don't sell your house" but generally what the European Bureau wants, the European Bureau gets - because it's primus inter pares - it has great influence in the State Department. Next thing I knew, I was in the class for new foreign service officers and they were handing out assignment orders and the flag of the country to which you are going to be assigned and they handed me the green flag of Saudi Arabia.

I wanted to find out more about the place and wrote three letters to my predecessor, Greta Holtz, who frankly, never answered. I thought this was really odd, I had asked relatively straightforward, simple questions like "what did you wish you knew before you got there? What's the job like? Tell me some of the issues you have to deal with." And so forth; dead silence.

People had said, why don't you call them? And I said, well you know there is an 8-hour time difference or so and it's kind of hard to do it. So I said, I'll go, it should be interesting. And I ended up there and I was welcomed with open arms. I had previously been told by the American Ambassador at the time, Walter Cutler, in what I thought was going to be a 5-minute hello and goodbye session, that Greta Holtz was a troublemaker and had created all kinds of problems for the embassy in Riyadh.

She was refusing visas to all these rich Saudi women who couldn't travel without an entourage or hairdressers and seamstresses and other factotums. I thought that this was really strange, he is telling me something for 45 minutes, but I couldn't figure out what it was that he was telling me, and I asked the desk officer who is essentially representing the embassy and admissions in Saudi Arabia to the State Department of Washington DC, keeping track of what is going on and interpreting what is happening in Saudi Arabia to the officials of the department in Washington.

He said, "Cutler? He is just a queer duck". So, I'm there in Jeddah, and I am welcomed with open arms "oh, Greta Holtz, she was such a troublemaker, she was so hard to get along with, she did all these problems and we just couldn't handle her". I said, this girl is going to make my career! Well, after a while I would be getting requests for visas "it's your decision; you're the consular officer in charge of the visa section, but we really want to get this guy into the country. He is one of our really good contacts."

They were sort of straightforward people at the time and I said, sure! Then afterwards, we got strange applicants; the King's barber's servant; and I said no; and I got in an argument. Then there was a guy, in fact two guys, from, I think, Pakistan, who were going on a trade mission to the United States, sponsored by the Commerce Department. These guys couldn't name the trade show they were going to and couldn't tell me what city it was being held in; and I refused them.

Within half an hour or so, maybe an hour, I get a call from Paul Arvid Tveit, who is a CIA Clandestine Service Officer hidden in the commercial section; he demanded visas for these guys. I said no, the Immigration and Nationality Act in the State Department's own regulations say "if you have any questions about any of these applicants, he doesn't get the visa. The burden of proof is on the applicant and every applicant is to be considered an intending immigrant unless, and until, he can prove otherwise" and these guys can't do it. In an hour, I get a call from the head of the consular section, Justice (given name) Stevens, who says "I am issuing these visas" and I never got an explanation.

Then there was a Sudanese fellow who was a refugee from the Sudan, and who was an unemployed person in Saudi Arabia, and Karen Sasahara, the Political Officer, wanted a visa for him. And I said "no, what's preventing him from staying in the United States? He has no ties in Saudi Arabia or in the Sudan that are going to bring him back home". I said "no, no and no" and the next thing, she goes to Justice Stevens and he gets the visa. When I asked Justice later on why? He said "national security" and it never went further.

I don't think Karen really worked for the Department of State, I think that she worked for another agency and she is currently Deputy Chief of Admission and likely Station Chief in Sana'a in Yemen and is probably co-ordinating American support for the Saudi attacks on that country.

Harrison: Mike, a couple of quick questions about some of the things that you have just mentioned; some details. First of all, I'm just curious about the kind of day-to-day routine that you were going through and that was part of your position there. When you received these visa applications, did they involve a one-on-one interview? Is it all via paper? Did many of these people speak English or did you have an interpreter?

Mike: One, generally, except Saudis, we required a personal appearance of the visa applicant in front of us. If the Saudis had problems in their paperwork, I would demand that the come in and see me personally. As to what I did daily, people would come in and there would be a tremendous line when we opened up at 8.30 in the morning and I had about 2 minutes to decide whether to issue or refuse the visa. By-and-large I got to where I could sit at the window and pick out people in line who I knew I was going to refuse, because of the way they stood, the way they dressed, the passport that they carried and so-forth.

The visa applicants generally talk themselves out of getting a visa, they didn't know where they were going, they had no real job, they weren't somebody who was a philosopher-king; a good person with a good job and a business or a family and a property to come home to. They were basically sketchy people who were clerks in a grocery store for example. You had further questions?

Harrison: Just the language issue, I was wondering if you had translators?

Mike: It depends; they generally spoke pretty good English or at least passable English. I tried Arabic; they did a bad job of teaching it to me. I had worked out a basic visa interview in Arabic and if the line wasn't too long and I had a guy that didn't speak very good English, I tried Arabic out. On people that spoke absolutely no English, I'd ask one of my three-man staff, who all spoke Arabic fluently, to translate for me.

Harrison: So basically every day, you have got this long line of applicants and you have very little time to devote to each one but after getting used to your job, you can pretty much spot the problems right away. Just by looking at the guy or looking at their application and there are certain little flags that come up.

Mike: Exactly.

Harrison: So it sounds like what you have been alluding to is that you had that first conversation with the ambassador who mentioned the problems with Greta Holtz, and he was telling you, in code, or subtle language, that you have basically got to rubber stamp these people and not really pay attention. Is that kind of what you were getting?

Mike: I think that is what he was trying to convey, but he was doing a really bad job of doing it. He was talking about seamstresses and rich Saudi women and I didn't get any of them. I got characters like the unemployed Sudanese, and if I didn't refuse these characters, it was my name on the visa plate and they could come after me for not doing my job.

Elan: Mike, I had a question for you.

Mike: Sure.

Elan: You spoke, in your book, of being surrounded by CIA and NSA employees basically, did you find that a little strange or unusual? Or was it just a kind of wait-and-see; why are these guys here? If you can speak a little bit about the context of that.

Mike: I found it very, very strange. The state department opens its doors to lots of people from the intelligence services; in fact, too many at times I think. No other country in the world has so many CIA or NSA officials working in their Foreign Ministry as those in the United States.

In Jeddah for example, they were roughly, of just about everyone in the consulate, maybe 3 people, including myself, whom I knew for certainty to have no ties [to the CIA/NSA] either professional or familial; being married to one of the spooks for example, was basically the way the thing went. There were some 20 people and out of the 20, there were 3 people that I knew for a certainty, to work for the State Department. Everybody else worked for the NSA.

We had a CIA Arabic interpreter working for the NSA Signals Intelligence branch in the back room in the Chancery building. Greta Holtz, who was such a troublemaker is now American Ambassador to Oman, and she had worked for defence intelligence while at the Pentagon, before she became a member of the State Department; if, in-fact, she ever became one.

When I was in Stuttgart for example, the first time I was there in the late 70's, the only intelligence people in the consulate were something called the lot liaison officers, which was basically army intelligence whose assignment was to look at the rear areas of the huge American army prisons in Germany; in our consular district of Baden-Wurttemberg in the South West. Everybody else worked for the State Department and when I came back a second time suddenly I had some questions about who it was that was working there.

My predecessor had apparently worked for the CIA as the position of Political Economic Officer and the fellow in communications, his wife worked for the agency and he wanted to retire from the State and go and work for the CIA because the pay was bad. It's really amazing, but Jeddah was incredible with the number of spooks working there.

Harrison: What years were you stationed there?

Mike: I was in Jeddah between 1987 and 1989.

Harrison: Ok, so late 80's.

Mike: This was, I guess, towards the end of the war in Afghanistan and it wasn't until I was out of the State Department, I had actually been fired essentially, that I learned from Joe Trento, the journalist, that what they were doing was that all these questionable and sketchy people they were sending to me for visas, were recruits for the mujahedeen to fight the soviets in Afghanistan. Now, I asked him "Joe, why didn't they just tell me?"
At the time I was stupid enough, probably, to have said "ok, I'll go along with that. We work for the same government and we are out to get the Godless communists you know." He said "They want plausible deniability, if something happens or something screws up, it's the consular officer's fault, not their fault."

Harrison: So you were there for what? 2-3 years?

Mike: Not quite 2 years. I had the opportunity to extend for another 6 months but I decided with all the crap I was getting from the consular general, Jay Freres, who is now dead, that I didn't need this. I didn't want to put up with him demanding visas for these people and then threatening to get me out of the foreign service. Apparently it was well known, I started hearing things like there was an inspection team coming out and the State Department has an inspection core that goes around the consulates and embassies every couple of years to check whether they are following regulations, are there issues or something that needs to be addressed, what's the morale like, how competent are the staff and-so-forth?

I was told by a friend, who very likely had ties to the American Intelligence Services, that "you know, the inspectors are coming and I want to tell you that if you say one word to them about the problems you are having with visas..." or there was another issue with alcohol sales; money seemed to disappear and nobody was accountable for it; vast quantities of liquor were sold, both to diplomats, staff and to the mobile corporation's boat, and somehow passed on to other people who had connections.

"....you talk about that and you are going to get fired." And the inspector who came in to talk to me, Joseph P. O'Neill Jr, who is also now dead, comes in and says "I understand there are some issues with alcohol and visas?" And I said "I'm sorry, I can't talk to you about that, I have been told if I do I will lose my job." And he went on and on and on "it's like a priest, it's confidential, I can't make you talk, this is just between me and you and I have to file a report and you won't be mentioned" and on and on and on and after about an hour, he finally wore me down; in the process telling me some things I hadn't known myself.

So I said "yeah, I pretty much confirm everything that you said" and the next thing I knew, Freres went ballistic and he was going to ensure that I wasn't going to work for the State Department any more.

Harrison: But you did continue working for the State Department for a little bit after that didn't you?

Mike: Another assignment in Germany, again in Stuttgart, for a couple of years. Then I was reassigned to Washington, to the Bureau of Intelligence and Research, for a few months and they told me "I'm sorry, we're not going to renew your appointment, you're unemployed fella".

Elan: Michael, earlier you mentioned that it wasn't until after you left that you were informed that you were basically giving these visas to people who were going to join the mujahedeen. I guess, up until that time, you just thought "gee, this is a really dysfunctional, corrupt place here" that it's a bad place?

Mike: Yeah, I was hearing stories that the people were paying bribes of some $2000 American dollars to get a visa and I said "well, who are they paying it to?" Again, this is from the guy, Nestor Martin, who I thought had ties to the agency. He said "don't ask me! What am I, your own private CIA? Look to who need the money at the consulate."

I reported this to diplomatic security in Riyadh, with whom we had a series of meetings, and nothing ever came of it. When I was in Washington, at the Bureau of Intelligence and Research, they told me they were going to fire me; I said I had nothing to lose and I went to the Inspector General's Office, I went, to what was then the government accounting office, and is now called the government accountability office; a congressional watchdog on the efficiency of the government, and I went to the Justice Department and the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and was basically ignored.

The Inspector General's Office said "you just had a personality conflict with Jay Freres." And I said "no, that is not the case at all."

Harrison: If we look back at it, you were talking about your perspective at the time, if they would have just told you, you might have gone along with it; as a good patriotic American. If we look back at it with hindsight, it's like ok, so we know that the CIA and the Americans were basically setting up and funding the mujahedeen for the war in Afghanistan; so this was just a part of it.
What I want to get into is, is it more than that and why is it still important, not only today but for the last 30 years? Since the time that you were doing this and for all that time afterwards?

Mike: I initially thought that after I started speaking out and complaining to various public agencies and writing a couple of articles I got published; one in Covert Action Quarterly, which is defunct thanks to its publisher, I thought this whole thing had stopped. Then, as the American involvement got deeper into the Middle East, when they got into Iraq and then they moved into Libya and Syria, I thought "wait a minute! This is still going on!" And I wondered if they hadn't created a cadre of these people to take down governments the Americans didn't like.

Then I started doing some research in talking to people and found out that yeah, they practiced on Yugoslavia; taking the place apart, using Osama Bin Laden and some 5000 Saudis; plus, lots of other people from all over the world. Then they took the same people and sent them into Iraq and then Libya and Syria, and it the beginning of Al-Qaeda in Yugoslavia.

But I realized that somewhere along the way, either at the end of the Afghan war, maybe before or after, I have never been able to ascertain when, they said "hey, we have got a cadre of guys who are as good as shooting things down and boiling things up; let's use them!" I tell people it's maybe not as organised and controlled as the United States Marine Corp, but you have got a lot of people who are essentially the most vicious, fanatical types of people he American government can locate; and they are trained.

They were trained originally in the United States; in a lot of cases in the Eastern part of the country in military bases in North Carolina. And they were sent back overseas, and I gather now, these people were being trained in Jordan and in Turkey. It's astonishing, and I came across Richard Dreyfuss'; book, The Devil's Game, and in it, he talks about how the United States had not been really deeply involved in the Middle East, except on an ad-hoc basis, where we tried to get rid of Gamal Abdel Nasser in Egypt, or tried to overthrow the Syrian government a couple of times. It was basically on an ad-hoc, one-off basis.

He said, "now, after Afghanistan and September 11th 2001, the United States is deeply involved in a region it had no interest in before and is doing its best to get a hold of bases and get governments on its side" I said yeah, to get rid of the governments that are not on its side, it sends its shock troops in to take care of them. Look at Iraq for example, Edmund Ghareeb, the professor who was a widely known expert on Iraq and the Kurds and the Arab world in general I guess, he has written that there was no Al-Qaeda in Iraq until the American invasion.

The fellow, John Schindler, who was something of a right wing guy who used to teach at the Naval War College in Providence Rhode Island, wrote in his book, Unholy Terror, that Al-Qaeda and Yugoslavia became a worldwide organized force for terrorism as a result of American support. The intel in the American government and the German government provided them with information intelligence, if you will, supplies and-so-forth.
The Americans, at one point, had worked with the Germans to put weapons in the cartons of food being delivered supposedly to the refugees in the country. So it's like this, and it's going on and after Syria? Who knows where they are going to go.

Harrison: I just wanted to read one little paragraph from your book; in the section on the Balkans. I am fairly young and Canadian and from what the public saw; in the exposure from the media to what was going on. I was in high school when 9-11 happened and so after that, it took me awhile to get up speed with what was actually going on in the world. I remember first of all, finding out about 9-11, what happened and researching it. Then that lead to looking back at the history before then and I realise now, that I had no idea that there was this connection between Al-Qaeda and what was going on in the Balkans and Yugoslavia.

Just to speak to that, there is an interesting quote from your book that struck me, and I wasn't aware of this but, "Bin Laden's deputy, Ayman Al-Zawahri, was often in Bosnia, as was Bin Laden himself; the latter using a Bosnian passport. Renate Flottau, the German news magazine Der Spiegel's Balkan correspondent, saw Bin Laden there in 1994 with the mujahedeen who claimed they were "humanitarian aid workers"."
This struck me while looking through your book again before the interview because there is just a whole lot of coincidence when you look at all these things and how history had been repeating itself for the past 30 years. Lately all of us at SOTT.net have been following what has been going on in Syria and maybe we can get into that. We can jump over the timeline a bit right to the present, in Syria, right now, we have got this situation where there is an admitted Al-Qaeda affiliate group, Al-Nusra, who are now called Jabhat Fateh al-Sham.

Everyone acknowledges that this is a terrorist organisation along with ISIS, both of whom are in Syria at the moment. We have had this whole rigmarole back and forth with Russia and the United States where Russia has gone in and started this air campaign, bombing all kinds of targets and the Russians claim, of course, that these are terrorist targets; this is Al-Nusra basically. And the Americans are saying "you are not bombing any Al-Nusra targets or Daesh targets, you're only bombing civilians and the so-called moderate rebels."

When we look at these moderate rebels, the US still [lost audio] when it is becoming increasingly clear, especially in the past 2 weeks, even though it was obvious pretty much for the whole duration of the war, that these moderates are not moderate and they themselves, are direct affiliates or direct members of Al-Nusra; they basically are Al-Qaeda.

So with these latest cease fire agreements, if you strip down the language that they are actually using in public and look at the actions and what their goals set out to accomplish, the US wants a cease fire for Al-Qaeda in Syria and they say they want to separate these moderates from the extremists but they can't do so and because they can't do so, they say "no one should be able to bomb Al-Nusra because they'll bomb our guys who are basically embedded with Al-Nusra."

It's mind boggling when you think about it, especially given the fact that on 9-11, allegedly, Al-Qaeda were the ones to attack the United States.

Elan: But that was the old Al-Qaeda.

Harrison: That was the old Al-Qaeda. Maybe before we discuss Syria a bit more, I mentioned 9-11. I believe there is a connection to 9-11 in your book relating to this visa issue. Can you speak about that?

Mike: There is a couple of connections. One - My successor several times removed, Shayna Steinger, had issued visas to 11 of the 15 Saudi alleged hijackers in Saudi Arabia. There were some 19 and 15 of the 19 got their visas to come to the United States in Saudi Arabia. 11 of the 15 got them from Shayna Steinger in Jeddah. Again, this guy John Schindler, in his book Unholy Terror, names a number of people who had fought in Yugoslavia, who had fought for Al-Qaeda and who got training in Afghanistan and had then connected them to planning or carrying out the September 11th attacks. I think that you can draw parallels there.

Harrison: When you look at it from the official government narrative, well not necessarily the government narrative but just the way that history has played out, you have had the US intelligence agencies and government basically supporting Al-Qaeda openly; in a sense; first in Afghanistan and then the Balkans. Then after 9-11, all of a sudden "no, these aren't our guys". Then after 9-11 it's almost like "these are our guys again".

Mike: You don't have to be crazy to work for the American government; but it helps.

Elan: While we are sort of on that topic of 9-11, what is your take on the 28 pages and the information contained in there Mike? Do you feel that the threat of divulging more information about Saudi Arabia's possible participation in 9-11 was a kind of threat that the US was holding over Saudi Arabia for the purposes of leverage? What can you say is involved in all of that?

Mike: I wouldn't say it was leverage of any kind, I think that the Americans and the Saudis worked very close together in supporting terrorism. The Saudis paid for it and the Americans worked to implement it. In the case of the 28 pages, if they were in fact, the real pages that existed and were not re-written, despite the blacked out sections on almost every one of the 28 pages; sometimes very substantially blacked out, it names Saudi government officials like Prince Bandar Abdullah Bin Sultan, long term ambassador of the United States and former head of their intelligence service as being deeply involved in this and he and his wife sent a good bit of money off to these various organisations.

He worked behind the scenes, from what I can see in the pages, to help with other issues on terrorism. The 28 pages, name a number of Saudi intelligence officers who were involved with helping or supporting or even finding places to live for some of the hijackers. It shows the Saudis are deeply involved in this. They were deeply involved in the original attacks in Afghanistan, they worked with intel services in Pakistan to organise and carry this stuff out.

Harrison: Getting back to Syria, the reason I read that quote from the book is that these guys, Bin Laden and Al-Zawahiri, and the guys working with them, passed themselves off as humanitarian aid workers. Again, coincidentally we have the same thing going on in Syria where we have these groups like the White Helmets in Syria who are passing themselves off as humanitarian workers. Again, this is just mind boggling because you have got countless, endless praise in the Western media and from Western governments about these guys, they were nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize; thankfully they didn't win.

Yet, when you look online, you can find dozens of videos and pictures of these guys, in one picture they are holding rifles and in another they have got their white helmets on. You can see videos of Al-Nusra executing people on the streets and then white helmets come to clean up the operation. You have got videos of Al-Nusra or White Helmets basically embedded with these various groups, all weaponed up, going around praising suicide bombers; it's just, there is no way of looking at these guys and not coming to the conclusion that they are Al-Nusra's humanitarian wing basically.

Mike: I would agree with that. I was watching RT a couple of times this week and they have been kind enough to interview me several times and they had a couple of programs where they examined these White Helmets through the eyes of a couple of different journalists and they said pretty much just what you did, that these guys have ties, financial, political, you name it, to some of the nastier types running around Syria blowing people up and shooting people down. They are not the kind of people you want to give a Nobel Peace Prize to.

Harrison: So that's how far we have come I guess; since the 80's. Now we are trying to give Nobel Peace Prizes to Al-Qaeda.

Mike: Remember Barack Obama, the American president, got the Nobel Peace Prize in his first year in office and he hasn't done anything since; except have more wars running than the Bush crime syndicate did. I think it's 5, 5 or 6; I've lost count. What's happening now is that the Americans are driving people out of the Middle East and elsewhere, into Europe and it weakens the countries that have been losing populations and they are dumping these people into the middle of Europe where they have no cultural ties whatsoever; no religious ties whatsoever.

You now have street battles between the Europeans and these people who have been dumped into the centre of the continent going back really to last year when they really started to flood in. They had rapes and robberies all through Germany after the chancellor Merkel invited a million people into the country.

It kind of fits in with what I've seen in this book by Kelly Greenhill Weapons of Mass Migration and the idea that you drive people out of a country to weaken it and put them into a country to divide it. I think this is the next phase in what the Americans and their repressive and repulsive allies in the region are doing.

Elan: So you have this experience, getting back to leaving your job in Jeddah and eventually going into private practice, and you come across some books; you begin to see patterns; you discover that the NATO/US attack on Libya a few years ago is part and parcel of things that you were witnessing first hand; you were an unwitting part of this infrastructure of moving terrorists basically; getting them position to come into the US to get training from Green Berets, going to certain other places around the world where they were needed as employees of the CIA and what-have-you. At what point did you say "my God, I have to start writing about it from my own perspective here; having seen what I saw"?

Mike: I started writing articles and getting them published in OpEdNews and Foreign Policy Journal for example. About the time my first freedom of information act lawsuit was shut down as a threat to national security, I thought I would be able to find what really was going on and why I had been fired and that maybe I could get back into the State Department with enough leverage; I found out that that was an impossibility; the government was going to close ranks against me.

As time went by and I was speaking out and writing still more articles, I decided that I would go and ask what I should have asked the first time around about the visa application forms that I had refused and that the Consular General Jay Freres insisted I issue. When I was in Jeddah, I had asked my staff to start shredding some of these old visa application forms that were in the filing cabinets that filled one room and spilled over into another. They went back about 10-15 years maybe and they said "Mike, we can do two things. We can shred this stuff or we can deal with the 100-200 people a day, on average, that are coming in for visas. What do you want us to do?" and I said "we deal with the visas".

So I filed a freedom of information act request for these applications and the government delays and delays and wouldn't speed things up; said there was no public interest in my finding out about this and so-on and so-forth. And after 2 years, I ended up filing a lawsuit and the State Department then denied that these documents existed; that they were shredded every year. I filed an application with the US History Court for DC and said "no, they aren't shredded every year" and listed what I just told you about my three-man staff.

The judge at the time, Reggie Walton, who was on the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act court, the secret court the government has that essentially legitimises black bag jobs; government sponsored burglary, said "the State Department's right, you hadn't exhausted all of your administrative remedies. I'm going to deny the lawsuit and shut it down".

At that point I said "alright, I'm going to write a book, I'm going to put everything in it that I know, that I personally experienced, that I can possibly research and I am going to name names." In fact, I had one of the journalists in DC tell me "you have written a very dangerous book; it does name names." I list people in the CIA and people in the State Department who were involved in this stuff and I would love to have more names but in the case of the recruitment for example, for the mujahedeen, there were 52 recruiting offices in the United States; one of which was in Washington DC but I have never been able to track them down as to where they were are who knows where they were and that sort of thing; it's basically a clam job, nobody says anything more than a clam does.

Elan: Could you just explain what a recruitment office is? What the 52 offices are and what they do?

Mike: There was Osama Bin Laden's mentor, Sheikh Abdullah, and he had written in a publication for the mujahedeen that "we can't go for help to poor Muslim countries" like Sudan or maybe Yemen "we need to go where the money is and that is the United States. We have a lot of Arabs, we have a lot of Muslims in the United States and let's go to them and ask them to 1. Collect money for us and 2. To find us fighters that are willing to be trained by us and by our affiliates then go and fight the Godless communists in Afghanistan."

Harrison: There was also a centre in Brooklyn right?

Mike: Yes, that was at the Al Kifah mosque or was it the Al Farouk centre? The one that was on Atlantic Avenue in Brooklyn.

Elan: I used to live not far from there. When I asked you that, you were actually in the process of explaining this kind of reaction you had. It sounds a bit like righteous anger and outrage at being told that you had no legal recourse; they weren't going to respond to your freedom of information request; you wrote a few articles and you wrote your book and named names.

Mike: It's getting the attention; I sell the book all over the world. There is a German language edition in train; we are working on the translation now. I have had contacts from people in Spain and France who want to have the book translated there as well. I have struck out with the Arabs, they want me to pay them 6000 dollars to translate it! That's generally not the way it works elsewhere in the world.

It's gotten me invitations to speak all over the place. I have been invited to New York a couple of times to speak at the Left Forum this past spring, I was up there on September the 10th and 11th of this year to speak at Justice and Focus 9-11-2016, I had been invited up there last September and very kindly had been asked to speak for 5 minutes about the book. I guess the word is getting out there, I have been on TV stations in Beirut Lebanon by telephone, I have talked to Press TV in telephone interviews and in one Skype interview; RT occasionally calls me. They are helping me spread the word, I have got something of a reputation I guess, as an expert on terrorism; at least the American government sponsored variety.

Harrison: That's great and I hope that our listeners check it out too. What's the preferred way of getting your book Mike?

Mike: It's available on Amazon. If they are interested in reading 3 really good reviews by 3 really good journalists, Wayne Madsen, Barrie Zwicker who is a Canadian and Andrew Craig who is also here in Washington DC, they can go to the website www.michaelspringmann.com and they have all 3 of the reviews of the book there, plus a link to Amazon where they can buy the book, either in print or as an e-book.

Harrison: Great. I have got a couple of questions. The first thing that I wanted to get into before we end the show was a question I have and I just want to hear your thoughts on it Mike, because looking at the dynamics of what was going on, in the 80's till now, it sounds like in the 80's there was a very heavy American involvement, and by that I mean on American soil, where there were these recruitment centres, there was training going on, there was fund raising; all this stuff going on in the United States. It looks like nowadays that has changed slightly; at least that's how it appears from the surface.

It looks like that has gone overseas in a sense, where now we have this kind of stuff happening in countries like Libya and Saudi Arabia and Turkey. So, it seems to me that the on-the-ground operations are going on, where these people are trained, in Jordan and Turkey. It just got me thinking that, going back to when I was a kid and I was first learning about this stuff, the dominant alternative narrative about 9-11 was that it was strictly this blowback.

So the US had done these things in the 80's and then basically washed their hands of it and now they were experiencing the consequences of that because the guys they trained turned on America, turned on their masters and now attacked the United States. It doesn't look like that's totally the case because it looks like we have direct American support for these same guys in Iraq, Libya and now Syria and so the question I have is how do you see the American involvement over the years and are there levels of involvement?

I believe an article that was talking about your book said there is this veil of secrecy in the sense that some of the guys that were getting recruited for these operations didn't even know that they were being recruited. From their perspective, they basically found themselves on the ground in the war theatre. I'm not really making much sense but do you see where I am going with that?

Mike: I do, in fact I talked to Rob Baer; I put it into the book; I had a conversation with him on the phone when I was researching it. He said we did such a good job or recruiting these guys, they didn't know they were recruited. They might be Americans, they won't talk to us, but we had worked through the Saudis, we had worked through the Pakistanis and you had guys like a fellow named Badeeb who was a Saudi carrying bags of money to Pakistan to support the mujahedeen; it was parcelled out to buy weapons; it was parcelled out to pay off politicians and-so-forth.

I think that as Richard Dreyfuss has said, the American involvement in the Middle East didn't really get so deep and so fast as after 9-11. Whether or not this was planned, whether or not they let it happen on purpose or any other explanations, we will never really know until somebody does a decent investigation; like the Kennedy assassination and like September 11th, there was never any real, in-depth investigation by dispassionate sources.

It looks really peculiar insofar as 9-11 goes because you had a government official, Shayna Steinger, issuing visas to these guys; 11 of the 15 who had visas in Saudi Arabia and somehow they come to the United States. Schindler and his Unholy Terror lists the names of the people who got the visas and what they did for the September 11th attacks. It's something to look into and unfortunately, we don't know enough about anything.
This forum that we had in New York, in September, was really asking some hard questions and is doing real investigations with architects and engineers and scientists as to what happened and how it happened so I think we need to look at the political end of things as well.

Elan: Towards the end of your book, I think you really get to the heart of the matter when you discuss the history of the CIA actions in the Middle East and other places; how they operate, how incredibly cunning and manipulative they are and I was just wondering, if you had to explain to someone what the CIA is, as an entity, CIA being short for Intelligence Agencies and think tanks and NGOs and the whole apparatus that's connected to it, how would you explain the CIA to someone?

Mike: I would say that the whole concept grew out of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbour which I have long believed was something that was encouraged and something that was known about in advance based on bits and pieces I have picked up over the years. The idea of the whole intelligence system being an early warning system was conceived at the end of the war and was organised by Harry Truman, the Democrat president of the United States, in the late 1940's.

He had wanted something that was basically an intelligence service, not a secret police agency but what has happened over the years - and Truman himself had second thoughts even as he signed the bill because the Secretary of Defence and the Secretary of State both opposed the creation of the CIA and the NSA - was they turned into essentially a secret police with a private army based on the misinterpretation of one phrase in the initial authorising act saying that they would be able to engage in things which the National Security Council and the president may deem necessary.

Of course, this created the CIA so this is creating the clandestine service where you go and you recruit spies and you go in and you blow things up and you destabilize governments and they have got the backing of the Brooking institution which Justin Vaïsse criticized the American Government. You have got the right wing organisations like Cato and Heritage; again, they love this and they think we should do more of it and they have created this climate of fear now that they have run out of enemies with the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991.

They didn't have an enemy, but you had this huge military industrial complex, you had this huge range of intelligence services and all of the think tanks and things that fed off of them and advised them and wrote plans and books and analysis for them; they didn't have anybody to fight. They said, "we need more enemies" and you created this terrorist enemy out of whole cloth, or maybe thin air and they have been running with it ever since.

They have got the Americans afraid of terrorists hiding under every bed "I want to be safe, I want somebody to torture somebody who might be planning an attack on the United States". I think 50 or 60% of the American people support torture as a means of conducting foreign affairs; look at what happened to John Kiriakou, he confirmed to a journalist that yes, the US had used torture as a means of foreign policy and he went to jail for 30 months. It has gone from bad to worse and I don't see it getting any better.

Elan: One of the things that really strikes home in your writings is just how many tentacles the CIA has in the business and the politics and the economics of half the world, it seems.

Mike: Wayne Madsen has come out with a new book in the last couple of weeks, the title is something along the lines of The Not So Secret List of CIA front Companies (The Almost Classified Guide to CIA Front Companies, Proprietaries & Contractors - Wayne Madsen) which are apparently legitimate businesses that essentially do most of their business on behalf of or with or to the CIA.

It is a very broad thing, back in the 50's the CIA created something called Operation Mockingbird where they co-opted journalists to plant CIA friendly articles in the newspaper, or create CIA articles for the newspapers out of thin air, and it's been going on ever since. You read the Washington Post and it's a house organ for the government and for the intelligence services.

Elan: In your book, you mentioned at the time, or after a few years of initiating Operation Mockingbird, there was something like 3000 journalists on the payroll and we can only imagine how many more journalists are embedded in Western media right now. It is exactly why the lies about Syria, about Russia and about Libya are so pervasive, because they drill, like a Wurlitzer, these lies one after the other; repeatedly. Half of the Western world, those who don't find their information elsewhere, are completely brainwashed by this stuff.

Mike: I had thought in the past that the Europeans were a little bit more realistic and a little bit more sceptical but they are buying this line about "we need to bring all these poor refugees into Europe because they have no place to live in their own country which has been destroyed". Well the American government destroyed the countries.

But in the United States, you have got people that don't really travel. If they have been to 5 different states then they are probably considered well-travelled but they don't go to Europe, they don't go to Asia, they don't go to the Caribbean or Latin America or Africa or anywhere else for that matter. If they do go, they are working for the American version of Disneyland in France and in Germany. "We want to find something like America, not different from America."

They have nothing to compare it to, they haven't changed their attitudes based on the interactions with foreigners so they simply agree "the government does know best". It's a shame and it's costing them. The money that is being spent to destroy Yugoslavia, Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya and Syria, suppose that were put into repairing crumbling bridges or leaking water mains or highways that are clogged with traffic? You could spend the money on co-ordinating traffic lights, you could come up with public transportation systems that actually move people around in the United States like they do in Europe.

Harrison: Mike, thanks again so much for joining us. I just want to recommend your book again, Visas for Al-Qaeda - CIA Handouts that Rocked the World. Like you said, you can get it on Amazon, you can also go to the website michaelspringmann.com. It really is a great book, even though it was written 2 years ago, it is relevant to what is going on right now and probably even more relevant today than it was 2 years ago.

It just becomes more and more topical based on what is going on at this very moment so if you want to get the whole background, check out the book because it basically provides the reality of what's been going on these past years and reading it, it makes sense of what's going on right now. You have the context that you wouldn't have if you weren't into alternative news or if you just watched the mainstream.

This stuff has been going on for 30 years, it's been in operation this whole time and it is not ending so I think the first thing all of us can do is get aware of it and I think that Mike, your book is a great way to start doing that so thank you again, for not only having the backbone to stand up all these years but to finally end up writing this book and to speak about it. I think it is a great thing; it is a great example of courage and actually doing the right thing in a world where that is in short supply, so thank you again Mike.

Elan: Absolutely Mike, a very brave act on your part and continued success with getting your information out there and staying safe and sharing all this with everyone.

Mike: Thank you for all your kind words, I am pleased and honoured to be able to speak to you and your listeners.

Harrison: Alright, thanks Mike. Take care.

Mike: Thank you, goodbye.

Elan: Thank you.

Harrison: And for the second half of the show, we have brought in two more SOTT editors. Welcome to the table William Barbe

William: Hello everyone.

Harrison: And Carolyn MacCallum

Carolyn: Hi.

Harrison: Where do we want to go after that? What's the big news lately?

Carolyn: Where do you want to start? Domestically? Internationally?

Harrison: Were we going to talk about Trump and Hillary?

Carolyn: I suppose we have to. They are plumbing new depths.

William: I like Maria Zakharova little quote there that America's stupidity is more dangerous than terrorism.

Harrison: It keeps getting more stupid.

Carolyn: And it's on full display.

Harrison: In case you haven't heard, it's been a story of leaks and counter leaks so this week, WikiLeaks released a bunch more emails from the Clinton campaign and from the last several years; I haven't even had a chance to look through a lot of them, I have seen a few stories; just some nice little quotes here and there.

Carolyn: Oh my goodness, I'm sure the DNC is just having kittens at this point because there is just so much of it. Partly what got leaked was excerpts from some of her speeches; private, paid speeches. One was to a bank where she was waxing lyrical on the idea of open borders and open current financial transactions and basically she was endorsing the TTIP; not in so many words but certainly the spirit of it. That kind of scotches her whole line for the little man and strengthening the middle class and all of that.

Then, that's bad enough, there is another whole trench of emails between her and a really shady PR group called Podesta Group. If you want to really get a look at a lot of nefarious goings on, you can Google John Podesta and Podesta Group and see who they do PR for. It's just a roll call of nasty groups around the world where they create PR for their clients.

Saudi Arabia is a client; I don't have it in front of me but anyway, the emails, because Podesta was connected with her campaign, are between her organisation and the DNC proper, where months before the convention, they were already mapping out strategy to counter anyone; they were developing strategies on everybody because this was at the point during the Republican's run up to the Republican convention. There were what, 17 candidates at one point? It was lunacy. They were seriously developing strategy on the 6 or 7 who could potentially be an issue before anybody had been decided.

They thought ok, "if Cruz gets in we can smear him with this, if Paul Ryan gets in we can get him on that" and at the same time, how to marginalize Bernie Sanders. So, here is this organisation that is supposed to be completely neutral "will of the people" or at least "will of the democratic party" who will represent their candidate. The collusion is just there, front and centre, so more kittens and hysteria.

Harrison: The funny thing for me about these leaks, both the Trump and the Clinton leaks, is that from one perspective, it's not a surprise at all because this is the kind of stuff that has been going on for probably the last hundred years. This is how elections work, they got dirt on all your possible opponents and you prepare your strategy and it's just what gets done.

What is different about these days is that now we just get a little peek behind the curtain for the people who weren't actually aware of that; that it's been going on for their entire lives.

Carolyn: And the speed with which it can propagate; yay Twitter.

Harrison: Two of the other tit-bits that I noticed from the Clinton leaks were first, a comment which again, isn't much of a surprise. I believe it was in one of the Wall Street talks that she gave; it might have been the Goldman Sachs one; these are talks that she gave where she and her team have basically been refusing to release what she said at them. So now we get excerpts from them that were included in these e-mails, and she says that it's important to have a public and a private policy stance on things." So it's important to actually know what you are going to do and then it's important to tell the public that you are going to do something completely different.

Carolyn: What they want to hear.

Harrison: What they want to hear. Again, it's nothing new, it's what politicians do all the time but it's nice to have it from the horse's mouth so-to-speak. Then, the one where she is talking about Syria in 2013 and talking about the prospects of a no-fly zone and what a no-fly zone over Syria would entail.

Again, nothing new because we know what no-fly zones entail but she explicitly says that again, "this would require that we, the US Military and the Coalition, take out all of Syria's air defences and because these are in heavily populated areas, this would mean killing a lot of Syrians". So, in the 3 years since then, there has been a lot of talk about a no-fly zone and they are still talking about it and yet they don't mention this fact when they talk about a no-fly zone in public.

Carolyn: It's such a benign phrase.

Harrison: And it's totally not true because a no-fly zone doesn't mean there's no flights; that no one is allowed to fly. It means that only the enemy isn't allowed to fly but the American jets have total freedom to fly and then bomb whoever they want; that's what a no-fly zone is.

Elan: This was demonstrated previously in Libya where France and/or the US had established a no-fly zone after accusing Gaddafi of killing 300 of his own people. It's a pattern; it's part of the playbook; it's something that we see again and again. I think that there was a no-fly zone established in Iraq at some point a number of years ago as well.

Carolyn: And Kosovo which was kind of a model.

Elan: It's just one of those things in the name of saving lives and humanitarian intervention that's really just a cover for, like you said Harrison, a militarily strategic dominion over a certain part of the country that they want to dominate.

Harrison: Not to leave Trump out of the discussion, I'm sure everyone's heard by now that a conversation that he had with a journalist, Billy Bush, was filmed or recorded while he was in a van before heading into some TV studio to make an appearance on Days of Our Lives or something like that; some soap opera. The mic was on and it got recorded and he is having this lewd conversation with this Bush guy and we won't repeat what he says on air but it's pretty offensive.

Carolyn: Very locker room.

Harrison: This comes out yesterday, the day before the second presidential debate which is scheduled for tonight coincidentally. It also came right after these Clinton email leaks, so that's why I called it leaks and counter leaks. This is the direction the election has been going and will probably continue in; something gets leaked about Clinton and then the Democratic party does whatever they can to cover it up.
They focus on the fact, the unproven fact and the non-fact, that Russia was behind it so that distracts the attention away from what is actually in the leaks and then they counter leak and put something out about Trump. Of course, they have probably got a lot on Trump that they haven't even released yet because there is just so much material.

Carolyn: What is interesting with Trump is that the stuff that is coming out Hilary are not his leaks; they are just out there which I find kind of interesting. He just has to wait and every week or so, another useful bomb drops but he didn't have to lift a finger to do it.

Elan: I want to say that several days ago there was a death threat that was made on behalf of, or from someone connected to the Hillary campaign against Julian Assange. Just prior to Assange making this announcement that he was going to be dropping yet another big bombshell about Hillary. Then this had caused Assange to back off a little bit, although making such a public threat in the way that this guy did, and I forget his name, you would think that Assange would be safer in a way because if he were killed or something happened to him then people could very easily associate such violence to Hillary Clinton's team.

Harrison: Then there is the allegation that Clinton herself had said, in conversation with someone or some team, "why don't we just drone the guy?"

Carolyn: To which she said "oh, that's a joke!"

Harrison: She said "I don't remember saying that but if I did say it, it was a joke" kind of like Obama joking about dropping bombs on people.

Carolyn: Droning potential boyfriends for his daughters.

Harrison: That's the kind of people that run for president. On the subject of Trump, because this is a huge controversy that a lot of GOP guys are...

Carolyn: They are all jumping ship.

Harrison: Jumping ship, revoking their backing for him and criticizing him for it, and rightfully so. The guy is just a cretin.

Carolyn: Pence is still holding his nose and hanging in there.

Harrison: A lot of them are and that's the thing, I really doubt that this will have much of an effect at all on Trump's support, for numerous reasons. First of all, there are the people that don't necessarily like him; just like the people who don't really like Clinton, but they are voting against the other candidate. There are people who will just vote for Trump no matter what because Hillary is such an evil person. Then there are the hard-core Trump supporters and these are the guys, women and men, who like Trump because he is a bit of a jerk, or a lot of a jerk.

Carolyn: He is keeping it real.

Harrison: He is keeping it real and he is just like them. This has pretty much been Trump's campaign strategy, to be as big of a jerk as possible, and people like him for it.

Elan: We had an article the other day that was on SOTT and the titled Listening to a Trump Supporter I Know which was written by a guy who was discussing an old acquaintance of his' decision to vote for Trump. It was very interesting and it was an angle that I had never read before; at least not fleshed out to the extent that this article had it fleshed out.

Basically, the woman who was voting for Trump had recognised in Hillary Clinton what we all recognise basically: that she is affiliated with Wall Street and war. This is a woman, a very hard working person who had her own business and who had been shafted by banks and wasn't very sophisticated; relatively speaking in terms of information, kind of knew that Trump's a jerk.

Carolyn: She was very hard-working, blue collar, working class.

Elan: Absolutely desperate to have anyone who resembled being on her side. We have said many times here on the show and on SOTT, that it's quite likely that Trump will cave in to the pressures of geopolitics and banking industry and what-have-you, that are so prevalent in Washington DC. It's just a testament to the desperation to find any leadership in this country that resembles something outside of what has been done here for so long.

The writer of the piece spoke with a good deal of empathy for this person; it wasn't clear whether or not he was a Clinton supporter or not. There is something to be said for the amount of people who are jerks and who identify with Trump because of his racism and phobia, but I think that there is also something to be said for the numbers of people who are looking for something else; and now that Bernie Sanders is out of it, however good he may have been, and the fact that folks like Jill Stein and Garry Johnson really don't have any chance, this is just a last-ditch effort to put their vote towards someone who they believe may possibly, hopefully, God willing, do something good for them.

Harrison: What I find interesting is that there is one big scandal that I think the Clinton team hasn't latched on yet and which has been in the news for a while. On September 30th, a new lawsuit was filed, and this is actually an older case and it has been in the news for longer than just the last week and a half. This new lawsuit was filed on September 30th against Donald Trump and Jeffrey Epstein and the person for whom this lawsuit represents was a 13-year old girl in 1994, and she is saying that both Jeffrey Epstein and Donald Trump raped her at Jeffrey Epstein's property in New York several times at several of these infamous parties that Jeffrey Epstein was putting on.

That's interesting for a number of reasons, one of which is that this is a real actual rape allegation, whereas this leak has Trump basically talking like a 15-year old in the locker room with his buddies. Not actually implying that he necessarily even did anything illegal; it's definitely immoral and kind of disgusting but he never said "I raped women" or anything like that. Then here is this real allegation of an actual rape against a 13-year old and the Democrats and Clinton aren't saying anything about it at this point. That's probably because Jeffrey Epstein was also close friends with Bill Clinton and Bill Clinton is caught up in exactly the same stuff.

Carolyn: That would be a can of worms they do not want to open.

Harrison: Trump is fine because he's kind of a jerk out in the open; he is what probably 3 out of 4 American presidents have been for the past 50 years behind closed doors, but he is most of that stuff out in the open because he doesn't really have a filter. Good politicians have that filter; the best ones are psychopaths who can just easily keep their private lives private by putting on a very convincing mask of sanity, Trump doesn't have that.

He says stupid things at inopportune times and he just totally exposes himself; he just has to open his mouth to discredit himself. If you look back to Bill Clinton, Bill Clinton was a great speaker, he comes across as this really nice, affluent guy and yet this is a guy who has multiple rape allegations against him. Not only Juanita Broaddrick.

Elan: One of the best known ones.

Carolyn: Paula Jones, Jennifer Flowers.

Harrison: They are all in the news right now saying Trump has apologised, his wife Melania has apologised and kind of slapped him in this little statement "I'm totally offended by what my husband said, but that is not the man I know and I forgive him because he has apologised and has been a great guy ever since we have been together."

Elan: But he also said something kind of funny which speaks to what you were saying Carolyn, to think about the Clinton campaign being very careful around bringing up these allegations, which was "you should've heard the stuff that Bill Clinton would tell me on the golf course."

Carolyn: He said that?

Elan: Yes, he did.

Carolyn: Oh my gosh, I missed that one.

Elan: He does a couple of things when he says such a thing, he one: deflects form his own behaviour...

Carolyn: "You think I'm bad?"

Elan: And two: "the lady I'm running against, her husband is even worse and she's a reflection of him." It's classic Trump, deflection. In a way, he has a point: it's like don't cast any stones on me.

Harrison: Well the point is that the United States already had a president that was worse than him in this regard. Bill Clinton arguably was, and is, because he is still alive, worse than Trump, in this regard. There are all kinds of things about Trump that are worse than other people but at least when it comes to this particular topic, Bill Clinton is just a rapist; ha was a serial rapist, he is a serial rapist and he was president of the United States.

William: Do we want him back in the Whitehouse as the First Man?

Elan: Speaking of the Clintons, a big story in the news domestically has been hurricane Matthew which really inflicted a lot of damage in Haiti. There have been some numbers estimated, 300, and another one at 800 deaths. It's the worst disaster since the earthquake back in 2010, so bringing this back around to the Clinton's, their Clinton foundation was affiliated with this Haiti relief effort where they, in-fact, pocketed most of the money that was earmarked towards rebuilding Haiti, rebuilding infrastructure, creating hospitals and schools and roads and just making basic living conditions for these people liveable.

Carolyn: They just handed out all these new big contracts and nothing ever happened.

Elan: Well, they did manage to build some luxury hotels but again, they pocketed a lot of the money. Of course, this is money that could have made the quality of life for many Haitians vastly different from what it is today. Hearing about hurricane Matthew is just a stark reminder of what the Clintons do; not that they are responsible for a hurricane; at least not directly, that's for another program. The more you read about them; they are just horrible human beings.

Carolyn: I wonder if they will try to pull it again; are they stupid enough to try and do the whole schtick all over again? That'll be interesting.

Harrison: The one point that I wanted to finish was about Trump and Melania and how Juanita Broaddrick and Paula Jones and a bunch of other women have gone on to Twitter and basically said that "Trump apologised, his wife apologised, I, and we collectively, have yet to receive an apology from Bill Clinton or Hillary for all the things that they both did to us."

All of these ladies allege that not only did Bill Clinton rape them, but that Hillary Clinton threatened them, covered it up and basically protected him. On the one hand you have Trump, who is a totally irresponsible bottom barrel jerk of a person, and then you have Hillary Clinton who's pretty much the same, and of course, it's totally lowbrow to get into sex lives but I'll just say that there is plenty out there about Hillary Clinton to make her a contender, to put it that way.

Carolyn: Well, there's always Syria where the Russians and the Syrian army are cleaning up. They estimate Aleppo will fall in less than 3 weeks and that is what the US has considered to be a defeat. I can't remember who it was, but I remember somebody was saying that "if the Syrian regime is allowed to take Aleppo, it would be a big disaster and we have to prevent the regime from prevailing."

Harrison: Not going to happen. It looks like we have got a caller; caller, you are almost on the line; hi, caller, are you there?

Denise: Hello, this is Denise calling from Dallas.

Harrison: Welcome Denise.

Denise: This is my first time to call today, this is wonderful. I just want to say a few things, I'm a Texas woman, a patriot, I've been Republican all my life and to me, the most obvious thing is not being addressed by a few people, and the thing is, Trump, I know this to be true, Trump and Vladimir Putin are the only statesmen in the world, and I will say statesmen, who are openly fighting against the NWO, the New World Order. This is not about Republicans or Democrats; this is more about keeping America as a country from becoming dissolved into the entire global structure.
In my opinion, I do take exception to calling Mr Trump a cretin, I will say that it was unfortunate what happened; I guess a lot of people would say he is a jerk but quite frankly we are having such a magnificent struggle right now in this entire globe, that quite frankly, I believe a cretin is necessary to do the job and I just wanted to say that because we need somebody who is outrageous. It doesn't bother me that he is outrageous because quite frankly, I am very outrageous and I understand he is a man of his conviction so that's all I wanted to say about that.

Carolyn: It is in Trumps favour and credit that he is willing to state things as they are; not always the most graceful way but he is quite upfront. We are spending money all over the world and we can't afford to, we are antagonizing every country in the world, especially the countries that could inflict a lot of damage on us so, to his credit, he's out in front saying that. He just has some drawbacks.

Harrison: Denise, first of all, thanks for calling in and for sharing that with us. I just want to say that while we may disagree on some points, I think we agree on that main point that you just made, and that is, from my perspective, so we will add a little bit of my bias into there, I would say that even though I don't like Trump, I agree with you and I think that the one thing that he has that makes him a better candidate than Hillary Clinton for example, is that he is taking at least a vocal stance against, I'd focus on foreign policy, the totally horrendous and murderous foreign policy that the United States has been on for decades, which Hillary Clinton represents.

Hillary Clinton basically does represent, this, as you called it, NWO, New World Order agenda which is just for more warfare; spending trillions of dollars overseas and neglecting the actual United States. I wouldn't call that very patriotic at all, I'd call it imperialistic and completely immoral. While I don't necessarily think that a bad person is necessary, I think that a person who is against that is necessary. That might be the one thing that kind of pushes him over the edge and makes him, if you had to choose between Hillary and Trump, even though I don't like Trump, I'd say might as well right?

Denise: I would like to say one last thing on the subject of the Russians, I do not believe that the Russians are our enemies, I do not believe that, I do not see it. All I know is what they say on the TV which is censored. I will say this, I see Vladimir doing good things for his country, he loves his country; we need somebody who loves our country and I'm sure you people know that the enemy of my enemy is my friend and that exactly describes Russian and Vladimir Putin.

One more thing I will say for those who know anything about Christian Mysticism, Edgar Cayce prophesied, many, many tens of years ago, that Russia would be the saviour of the world. So just please think about that too. I love what the Russians are doing and I believe they are friends; do not believe this stuff on the TV about "the Russians are doing this!" that's just [makes spitting sound] I just don't buy it.

Harrison: Absolutely!

Carolyn: The thing about the Russians, and it's wonderful that you have picked up on it, it that they are very forthright about what they plan to do and what their views are, and they follow them. They follow them and they say sovereignty is important; they are respecting Syria's sovereignty. They say cooperation is important, Putin, on the one hand, is very much the businessman, and war is destructive and wasteful when we could all be making money from each other, why not? He backs that up.

Denise: Putin has kicked out the central banks, that's the thing, this is a war with the global banking structure that wants to enslave us all. Putin is handling that part for his country, I would like to see us handle it for our country.

Harrison: I'm glad you brought this up Denise, again, because you pointed out what the United States really needs is a leader that cares about the United States, as Putin does for Russia, and does good things for their own country. A part of that, is that if you look at the Russian approach to politics with other nations, the way they approach politics is what they call, multi-polarisms; it's an equal relationship between states, between nations, where they negotiate and they come to the best possible deals between the two nations that benefit both nations.

Russia and China do this with all of their allies and they are very vocal about saying that they want to do it with everyone, even the United States. This is the model that the world should be based on, about respecting other nations. Basically, if you look at it in terms of an interpersonal relationship, it's treating all the people around you as if they are their own people and not your slaves to be exploited and told what to do.

I think that that is what the United States needs; a leader that not only cares about the United States but takes a different approach to geopolitics, because ever since World War II, with brief and minor exceptions, the approach of the United States and its leadership has been to exploit the world, to take out foreign governments that they don't like, to send death squads into countries that they don't like and where their so-called "national interests" are at risk, to set up vassal nations, slave nations essentially, and to be the dictator of the world essentially. That doesn't work and it's shown that it doesn't work, it just creates misery for the planet.

I think that not only do we need someone who actually focuses on domestic issues, but fixes the way that the United States relates to other countries.

Denise: I want to say one last thing.

Harrison: Sure.

Denise: One last thing on this subject of this world domination, it's not so much to exploit the world, it's to dominate, it's the banking structure. What we did with Gaddafi in Libya, Gaddafi was beloved by his people, he has done so many great things; my goodness, it's too much to talk about. He kicked the bankers out, he established his own currency, gold backed, which was not under domination of the global banking structure. That's why they had to get rid of him and they are trying to do the same thing in Syria, just to establish puppet governments, puppet leaders of other countries. This has got to stop; we cannot have peace in the world with that kind of shenanigans.

Harrison: Absolutely, thank you so much Denise.

Elan: I wanted to ask you a question if I may?

Denise: Sure.

Elan: I wanted to ask you, Denise, what you thought of the fact that so many guys are coming out in support of Trump, like John Bolton and Donald Rumsfeld who has expressed interest in the Trump administration. You have this ex-CIA guy from the early 90's, I forget his name but he goes out to colleges and talks up the bogus war on terror, do you have any concern that if it became a part of his administration that he would be subject to their New World Order council? That they would affect his thinking and influence his best ideas?

Denise: This is my thought about that, once a person has ascended to the presidency of the United States, they are subject to all kinds of influences and I don't know what is in his heart of hearts, I would hope; I would hope that he would not be influenced in such a way as that, however, the other person who we already know, is being influenced by that so it's like the devil you don't know rather than the devil you know. The devil we know is Hillary Clinton and the devil we don't know, who we hope would not be a devil, is Trump.

Elan: Well said.

Harrison: Great, well thanks again for calling in Denise, we hope to hear from you again sometime.

Denise: Thank you so much, I'm so glad I found you.

Harrison: Great, take care.

Carolyn: From the Heart Land.

Elan: That was refreshing. An informed, intelligent person calling in with an informed point of view. I wonder how many of her friends and people she knows feel the same way.

Harrison: I'm just glad because we often get callers that call in that disagree with us about something that we have said, but they do so in a very rude fashion, so I just want to thank Denise for being so diplomatic and just a great conversationalist; it's a nice refreshing change from the trolls.
Unless we have any other stories that we want to get to, we can get to the police state roundup; was there anything else that we wanted to cover before we get there? No? OK, then Brent, if you are listening, call in and we will talk for a few seconds before you get here.

Harrison: Brent, welcome back to the show. What do you have for us today?

Brent: Hey, thank you. That was a really interesting discussion. I have a lot of stories but instead of just hitting bullet points, I wanted to talk about systemic lack of accountability in policing, especially when they commit some sort of crime or questionable offence.

It was a major topic on John Oliver's recent show and while I tend to disagree with some of the things he has to say, this show was kind of spot on in that it really highlighted examples of police not being held to account and how frequently they're able to get away with murder. He goes into a couple of different things, for example, there is just no data on how many people are shot and killed by police every year.

There is data, but you have to go looking for it and the best data comes from an independent researcher named Philip Stinson; he is a criminologist with Bowling Green State University. The way that he gets his information is he set up google alerts back in 2005 and he has just been collecting it ever since. His stuff shows that there have been thousands of police shootings in the United states in the last 11 years. Out of those thousands of shootings, only 77 officers have been charged with a crime and out of those, only 26 have been convicted.

We have all these shootings from Tamir Rice, to everybody else that has gone down recently and in the not too distant past; frequently, they are not even brought up on charges. He talks about the reasoning behind that and kind of goes on to show that when police investigate another officer for potential wrongdoing, they will cast that officer in the best possible light.

A Department of Justice report found that in Cleveland, investigators told us they intentionally cast officers in the best possible light when investigating the officer's use of deadly force. Further, in Miami, these investigations take so long that at least two officers shot and killed a suspect whilst still under investigation for a previous shooting.

These are just two little things that are replicated across the board in America and it makes it really difficult because, I bet everybody has heard of this "thin blue line", sometimes it's referred to a "blue privilege", basically any time a police officer comes out and tries to blow the whistle or report corruption or report wrongdoing by their fellow officers, they are threatened or even retaliated against with violence.

Serpico is a case from many years ago which highlights this practice where when an officer comes out against his brethren, all of a sudden they are not getting back-up on calls, they are harassed in the workplace and this is a regular practice. The saying, like a lot of defenders, police apologists and people that come out and say "this isn't really a big deal, it's only a few bad apples" Oliver makes the point that this saying "it's just a few bad apples, don't worry about it" well, a few bad apples ruin the whole bunch. It's kind of weird to hear police higher-ups use this sort of logic in order to defend dismissed police crimes when they don't even seem to have a cursory understanding of what it is they are saying.

There is another guy, Michael Wood, he is an ex-cop from Baltimore and he is a former marine and he is a big name in advocating for exposing police corruption and police crime. There are a lot of videos of interviews with him out on YouTube; you can find them easily just by Googling "Mike Wood Cop". He goes into the litany of systemic problems amongst policing; his experience was specific to Baltimore but again, his experience really speaks to policing in America in general.

He talks about how cops will physically assault people for so much as bumping into them or how they arrest black people just because they need to make a quota. This highlights that we have a systemic problem here and again, it's not just a few bad apples.

Another big problem is that officers can even have complaints against them wiped from their record. There is an internal video in Baton Rouge which was shown to the officers there, reminding them to periodically go through their personnel file and have their complaints against them purged according to department policy. You can't even track the bad apples!

There is even a term for police if they have so many complaints against them, or if there is an investigation looming, they may just resign to avoid the whole mess and go look for a job somewhere else; this happens so frequently, there is a term for it, they are called "gypsy cops". One of these officers for example moved to 9 jurisdictions in 9 years and in one of those years, he moved 3 times. This particular cop was found, in one of these instances, drunk driving with a bottle of whiskey and a bag of assorted pills in his police cruiser. When he was confronted during the investigation, I guess he had to take a drug test or something, he said "I'm not taking no drug test, I guess I'll resign".

Wow, it blows my mind. Speaking of Tamir Rice, this officer was in the process of being fired from his previous position, before he was working in Cleveland, when got his current job. There is even a note in his personnel file from a training exercise, in which he was handling a firearm, making it abundantly clear that this individual shouldn't be handling a firearm and that no amount of training or practice would probably solve the problem.
The city must have missed that note somehow in the hiring process and as a result, we have a dead 12-year old and 6 million dollars of taxpayer money being paid out to the family. Even in that case, the city was still adamant that there was no wrongdoing on the part of the officer.

Carolyn: Are they that desperate for staff?

Brent: I don't know what the justification is there but you would think that, almost like hiring a doctor, you would have some sort of process to vet these individuals to make sure that they could do the job and do the job well; I faced more scrutiny when applying for a job as a lab technician. I applied for a job to be a phone call person for counselling young individuals who were having issues with HIV and AIDS and they shot me down because I didn't really have any experience but it seems like with these officers, not only don't they have that much experience but they have bad experience. It specifically stated that they shouldn't be handling weapons and they are.

Carolyn: Wasn't there a ruling several years ago? Some kind of court ruling that you couldn't put a certain intelligence level as part of a qualification?

Brent: I think the story was in the New York State; a guy was rejected from employment for being an officer because he took an intelligence test and scored too high, and he sued. The justification there was that if your intelligence is too high, you are going to move on. All this time and training that gets invested in the individual will be wasted. Frankly. That's just seems like a load of horse hockey, the time and training clearly isn't very much and when you compare the training that officers in America undergo versus officers in other countries, it's dismal. It's much, much less and they don't get specific instruction on how to handle people with mental illness for example.

Frequently, officers encounter people with mental illness; either they are homeless or somebody is having some sort of psychotic episode and they called to the scene in order to bring calm and restore peace, and very frequently, they kill that individual. Just recently, there was a ruling that came down for a guy that was killed by police on the side of the road in Georgia. This guy was having a psychotic episode and his family couldn't control him so they pulled over and called 911 for help and the officer showed up, a bunch of them piled on top of him, they tased him repeatedly and he died on the side of the street. It was really sad, a 32-year old guy with his fiancé in the car. Those cops were cleared of any wrongdoing, no charges.

There was another case that I thought was particularly interesting which highlights this "blue privilege" that officers get. There was an officer who drove to another officer's house with her 3-year old daughter in the car, the officer got out of the car and went into the other one's house and left her daughter in the car for somewhere around 4 hours without checking on her. Another officer arrived at the scene and found the child in the car dead.

This is still under investigation but there are a lot of similar cases where parents leave children in their car and they die because they get overheated or they are not properly taken care of or whatever, it's criminal negligence. These individuals get immediately arrested and thrown in jail. The two officers in this case where given a paid vacation pending the outcome of the investigation. Again, consistently, we see officers that are being investigated for criminal wrongdoing and they get a paid vacation, they are not arrested, they are not held, they get treated with the utmost respect and it really highlights this "blue privilege".

Oliver also continued to talk about how prosecutors and cops work in a very close knit, almost symbiotic, relationship and it makes it incredibly difficult to prosecute a cop when the prosecutor in question may have worked with this individual and may have a relationship. It's virtually impossible to get impartiality which is something that the rest of Americans aren't really privileged to, especially if you are African American or Latino; it's not presumption of innocence, you get presumption of guilt.

Elan: Brent? As you were discussing that and talking about "blue privilege" I couldn't help but be reminded of all the parallels between the US police state and the red, white and blue privilege that the national security state or the US Empire imposes around the world in being the so-called world's policemen, and all these so-called humanitarian interventions and collateral damage and drone strikes and wholesale murder around the world. Do you have any thoughts about the parallels between what we are seeing here domestically, and this larger phenomenon we are seeing unfold with the US military and NATO intervention around the world?

Brent: It reeks of similarity right? You have America, as the exceptional nation and we have heard all kinds of politicians, from Hillary Clinton to President Obama to everybody that came before them, repeatedly talk about how America is some sort of exceptional city on a hill; I don't know whether it's God given, but they seem to almost act as if it's this mandate to behave as the world's hegemon.

We see the same amongst our officers and now I don't know if that's intentional but what occurs to me is that what is sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander and we have a government on a national and global level behaving one way, why wouldn't its representatives behave the same way domestically?

When police are accused of a crime, it's almost impossible, unless the circumstances are so egregious, to prove that there was some sort of wrongdoing. Even when there is a pay-out to families, in a civil lawsuit for example, very frequently, the department and the city will still admit no wrongdoing.

Carolyn: It struck me that a lot of police today are often ex-military and they would bring that attitude of impunity into the job.

Brent: Yes, that's another point. Frequently, they have these guys come back from war zones, then they are given a badge and a gun and put out on the streets. You can't help but wonder if that same sort of mentality and training and the way that they view civilians in war zones, as potential enemy combatants, is being carried with them back here; which could explain why frequently, officers seems to treat civilians as objects to do with what they will.

There was a story I read not too long ago, where police were looking for a murder suspect, and they invaded the home of a family because one of the family members supposedly looked like the suspect; this was an African American family and African American suspects. They brought the whole family out at gunpoint; and this was including young children. They forced them all to lie down on cold, wet concrete with guns in their backs.
If you had the most basic humanity and the most basic respect for your fellow human beings, you wouldn't do that. I can't even imagine myself putting a young child on the ground and pointing a gun at his back. It almost brings tears to my eyes to think about it and that's what these people do; it's all according to procedure and it's all according to protocol and any time you try to bring up these problems with police officials, they are adamant and vitriolic in their defence of "this is the way it must be done; There is no other way to do this; Policing is a very difficult job; you don't understand." On and on and on. It has become clear that Americans all across the nation, of all colours, have a problem with the way policing is being done and that something needs to change.

Harrison: When you were telling that story, I just thought about what Elan was saying about the parallels between domestic and foreign policy and the raid on someone's house. They were looking for a different suspect, or drugs or something, and it's the wrong house and it just made me think that they are looking for those weapons of mass destruction, if you just think about the parallels.

And the parallels are even worse when you look at the foreign entanglements because if you look at Iraq, it's not like they were looking for weapons of mass destruction, that was the pretext for a separate agenda. At this point, with the police, I can buy the excuse that they are just really stupid and that they get the wrong house every once in awhile, or a lot of the times, and that they kill someone because they are trained to do so and in the heat of the moment, their reflexes kick in and they kill this person. Whereas if you look at what's going on internationally, you have assassination lists where Obama says "ok sure, we are going to murder this person" and they go and do it and they kill a bunch of civilians in the process. If we were to actually import the way that America does war in other nations and bring it home, it would be even worse because you would have the police saying "ok, we want this person dead. Let's go to their house and kill them"; they probably do that in certain instances.
You have them setting up innocent families who have done nothing wrong and saying "we just want that person's house" or maybe that "we want the money that we know they have got in it so we are just going to say that we got the wrong house and then we are just going to kill everyone in it and maybe the people in the houses around there. Maybe we will just drop a drone bomb on them now" now that the cops are using drones, or robots.

Another parallel is that the States will, just like the police, commit these horrible crimes and then never be held accountable for them and only in the most egregious cases will it actually become a story. That's what happens around the world where the US will drop bombs, kill hundreds of thousands of civilians, collectively over all these past 15 years; and that's just the past 15 years because it goes back generations.

They will do this, and it's only in the most egregious cases, like with the bombing of the hospital in Kunduz in Afghanistan, where it actually become a story. Then they do a little fake investigation and no one is held accountable, no one goes to jail, no one is charged with war crimes and they just get away with everything. Not only do they get away with it, then they blame Russia for doing the same thing in Syria and expect a war crimes tribunal to be set up against the Russians for doing what the Americans are doing.

Either way you look at it, if you look at the police, the American police of the world is like just taking the American police state to a whole other level and looking at it from the other way, you have got the world police in microcosm as the domestic police in the United States.

Brent: Yeah, it's very similar and you can't help but wonder why that is? I would argue that it's basically we have this culture of exceptionalism and lack of accountability when it comes to authority figures. This is why child predators are frequently found in positions of power. They are doctors and they are coaches, any sort of position that would grant them some sort of authority or prestige that would allow them to escape from charges of misconduct. We see the same thing with the United States and how it behaves abroad. We just go around, we bomb whoever we want and we just demand that everyone else accepts it.

It's just getting to the point now where I am hoping people are finally fed up, and we are seeing more and more exposure of these kinds of crimes. There are websites and Twitter feeds that are dedicated to this kind of stuff and they are filled, every day, with new stories. There is one for Chicago Illinois where a 56-year old man was being transferred during a prison transfer and they stuffed a bunch of toilet paper down his throat and he died of suffocation; how do you justify that?

Carolyn: The other horrible thing is that the system is self-reinforcing because when you have this culture of privilege in impunity, you attract those who find that [attractive], you start getting the kinds of personalities, the psychopaths, the sociopaths, that would thrive. The system has got this feedback loop that the more impunity you grant, the more people who will take advantage of that impunity become part of the system.

Elan: On top of that, if you don't have a strong sense of self and what's right and what isn't right, you have a whole percentage of cops that are probably authoritarian followers who, under different circumstances and a different culture, might be behaving very differently. They've become unwittingly complicit in this abuse without even realising that there could be a very different way to do their jobs.

Harrison: Brent, any final thoughts before we end the show?

Brent: I think we need to have some sort of groundswell, people need to realise what's happening and people need to take a stand; whether it's on social media or contacting representatives. Everybody can do something and if it's just a Tweet here and there, that's great; if it's calling your local politician, that's awesome but the more stuff like that happens, it will only be a matter of time until the support for change will overcome the inertia that seems to have gripped policing America. Hopefully things will change, we can only wait and see.

Harrison: Great. Thanks Brent and we hope we will see you again next week. Thanks everyone for tuning in, make sure to tune in on a Friday for the Health and Wellness Show and until then, I guess we will see you next week. Everyone take care.

Elan: Be well everyone; thanks for listening.

Carolyn: Bye.

Harrison: Thanks again to Denise for calling in and for another great Police Roundup by Brent.

Elan: And our chatters.