Processing Distortion with Peter B. Collins: Hastert Coverup Cemented in Place

Peter B. Collins presents Sibel Edmonds

In the last week of April, the judge who sentenced former GOP Speaker Dennis Hastert to 15 months in jail described him accurately as a “serial child molester” while, perhaps unwittingly, he cemented in place the coverup of Hastert’s serious crimes (not limited to pedophilia) as a Congressman and Speaker. Sibel Edmonds has accurately, and courageously, exposed much more of the sordid history of Hastert; in over 9 months, no other media outlet we’re aware of has even raised the most obvious question: did Hastert stop molesting boys when he went to Washington? Edmonds knows that the FBI and CIA videotaped many of his sexual adventures, strong evidence that Hastert’s conviction for lying about structured transactions is the most serious attempt at a “limited hangout” coverup since Nixon. So far, it’s holding nicely for its creators.

*Sibel Edmonds is found and publisher of BoilingFrogsPost. Her most recent book, a novel called The Lone Gladio, includes some scenes based on the real Dennis Hastert Story. The complete archive of Hastert coverage is here.

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Processing Distortion with Peter B. Collins: US Role in Unfolding Coup in Brazil?

Peter B. Collins presents Journalist Pepe Escobar

Following the dramatic April 17 vote to impeach Brazil’s President Dilma Rousseff, Pepe Escobar unpacks the layers of corruption in his native country and suspects an American role in the effort to take down the pro-workers PT party based on NSA surveillance of the state oil firm, Petrobras, and of Rousseff personally. We talk about the “Car Wash” corruption scandal that touches most elected officials, the brazen effort to remove a president who has not been charged with a “crime of responsibility” as required by law, and the scheming of the vice president, Michel Temer, who will serve as acting president if the Senate sustains the impeachment attempt.

*Pepe Escobar is a globetrotting reporter who writes for RT, Sputnik and TomDispatch. He is the author of Empire of Chaos and several other books.

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Processing Distortion with Peter B. Collins: The Israeli Propaganda Machine

Peter B. Collins presents Journalist Max Blumenthal

Framed around a new documentary that exposes the sophisticated Israeli message machine, and the influence of American media manipulator Frank Luntz in shaping perceptions of Israel as a victim, Max Blumenthal is candid, and critical. Blumenthal is one of many contributors to this important film. We also discuss the recent execution of a wounded, disabled Palestinian suspect by an Israeli medic, and how Netanyahu initially misjudged the Israeli public’s reaction. We talk about the Brooklyn debate between candidates Clinton and Sanders, and Blumenthal has strong remarks about each. And, he states that this is the first time he’s been asked about the attempted smears Blumenthal has been targeted for by Rabbi Shmuley Boteach and other allies of Israel.

*Max Blumenthal is a journalist, and author of Goliath and The 51-Day War. Get more information on the documentary mentioned, The Occupation of the American Mind here.

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Processing Distortion with Peter B. Collins: New NSA Whistleblower Fears for Her Life

Peter B. Collins presents Karen Stewart

After 28 years at the National Security Agency, Karen Stewart was fired in 2010 and continues to face retaliation that she fears will lead to her death. After filing a complaint with the Inspector General in 2006 about a workplace dispute, Stewart endured harassment, home invasions and false claims that she was delusional and paranoid; her security clearance was pulled, then she was terminated with a gag order. In 2015, she discovered that the man who broke into her house was a high-level NSA manager, and payback resumed with obvious 24/7 team surveillance, just like they do on TV. Her most alarming claim is that she is being targeted with Directed Energy Weapons beamed in from nearby homes, and fears that ongoing exposure will lead to cancer or seizures that could be fatal.

*Karen Stewart joined the NSA in 1982, and enjoyed positive job ratings and promotions to GS-12 before her report to the Inspector General. She lives near Tallhassee, Florida and is pursuing a new career as an artist.

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Following the Money to War Profiteers

Peter B. Collins presents Christian Sorensen

In this Newsbud special, BFP contributor Christian Sorensen and Sibel Edmonds talk about Sorensen’s latest breakdown of Pentagon spending, a regular feature here. Sorensen makes a compelling argument that terrorism has replaced the cold war as the driver of our military machine and the huge profits it throws off to corporate contractors. Sorensen displays an encyclopedic knowledge of DoD outlays, informed by the wasteful spending he observed while serving in the Air Force. After reviewing some details from his February report, we discuss the need for independent media that won’t take advertising from the military industrial complex, in order to provide uncompromised coverage of the Pentagon and other powerful arms of the government.

*Christian Sorensen is an independent writer and Arabic translator. He served in the U.S. Air Force from 2007-2011. The profligate waste he witnessed during his time in uniform forced him to reassess his support for U.S. Empire. Mr. Sorensen holds advanced degrees in Translation Studies and International Relations. His writings focus on the Israel-Palestine conflict and U.S. imperialism. Read his latest report here.

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Processing Distortion with Peter B. Collins: Tor Was Built, Then Hacked by Pentagon

Peter B. Collins presents: Journalist Yasha Levine

Last fall, we learned that one branch of the Navy paid Carnegie-Mellon University researchers to hack into the “onion routing” encryption system called Tor, which was spawned by a different branch of the Navy, the Naval Research Laboratory. The FBI used the hack to penetrate the Dark Web and bust Silk Road 2.0, and Levine asserts that Tor is falsely advertised as impenetrable, and promoted by Ed Snowden. Laura Poitras and Glenn Greenwald. The judge in the Silk Road 2.0 case wrote that Tor users “are taking a gamble on any real expectation of privacy”. Levine also offers his views on the encryption battle between Apple and the FBI, and updates us on his progress on his new book.

*Yasha Levine is an investigative reporter for Pando.com. Read his latest Tor article here . His new book, Surveillance Valley, is due in 2017.

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Processing Distortion with Peter B. Collins: Final Days of Oregon Standoff

Peter B. Collins Presents Attorney/Rancher Todd Macfarlane

In this follow-up to our recent interview, attorney, rancher and activist Todd Macfarlane provides details of the final days of the standoff in Oregon, and explains some of the history of western ranchers vs. government disputes over grazing rights on public lands. He shares eyewitness accounts of the death of LaVoy Finicum at the January 26 roadblock, and speculates about possible government infiltrators, like “Mark McConnell” who insisted on driving Ammon Bundy into the roadblock but was not arrested. We talk about many aspects of the final days of the occupation, and the arrest of Cliven Bundy before Macfarlane explains important history of rancher disputes over grazing rights and fees.

*Todd Macfarlane is the attorney for the Finicum family and an activist for western rancher rights. The report we refer to by Montana rancher Hal Herring is here. The article in the Daily Astorian about the two sheriffs is here.

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Processing Distortion with Peter B. Collins: The Real Story of Oregon Standoff

Peter B. Collins Presents Attorney Todd Macfarlane

Following his written commentary on the month-long occupation of a remote wildlife refuge near Burns, Oregon, Todd Macfarlane gives a detailed account of the history of rancher-government disputes, the Cliven Bundy confrontation in Nevada in 2014, and the occupation of Malheur by Bundy’s sons and others. Macfarlane spent 2 days there—unarmed—and is openly critical of Pete Santilli and other hotheads at the scene. He describes the over-reaction by political leaders and media, culminating in the roadblock January 26 where the group’s unofficial spokesman, LaVoy Finicum was killed. He represents the Finicum family, and is seeking answers to many important questions about the incident.

*Todd Macfarlane is an attorney, rancher, writer and political activist. He and his family own and operate the Turkey Track Ranch, near the small town of Kanosh, Utah. Todd is a veteran from earlier dust-ups in the sagebrush rebellion, having represented Mary Bullock and other ranchers in long-standing struggles with the federal government. Read his article here

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Processing Distortion with Peter B. Collins: Looking Back at Watergate

Peter B. Collins Presents Saint John Hunt

In this interview with the son of Watergate conspirator E. Howard Hunt, we get a new angle on the scandal that brought down Nixon. Howard Hunt was a CIA agent who participated in the Bay of Pigs fiasco and the JFK assassination, and was recruited for the “plumbers” crew that broke into the Watergate headquarters of the Democratic National Committee. In a new book, “Saint” focuses on his mother’s role as the bag woman who distributed “hush money” from Nixon’s allies and was killed in a mysterious plane crash in 1972. We get some interesting new insights and anecdotes on the state crimes against democracy linked to Watergate.

*Saint John Hunt’s new book is Dorothy: The Murder of E. Howard Hunt’s Wife—Watergate’s Darkest Secret. More information and links to his music recordings are here.

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Processing Distortion with Peter B. Collins: Drone Whistleblowers Warn of Blowback

Peter B. Collins Presents Cian Westmoreland

Four veterans of America’s drone warfare operations have gone public, warning that our use of weaponized drones—and especially the large numbers of deaths to innocent civilians—has and will produce blowback from the populations living under coverage of American unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV’s). Cian Westmoreland helped set up the communications networks that gave the US military control over airspace in Afghanistan and Pakistan, and his unit was given a certificate crediting them with “200+ enemy kills”. Westmoreland isn’t proud of that, and wants Americans to discuss and debate the use of drones and their true impact on the operators and their targets.

*Cian Westmoreland served in the US Air Force in the 606th Air Control Squadron and the 73rd Expeditionary Air Control Squadron in Kandahar, Afghanistan. You can read his essays here and here.

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Processing Distortion with Peter B. Collins: 13 Questions About San Bernardino Bloodbath

Key points of the official narrative of the December 2 incidents in San Bernardino produce critical questions, or are contradicted by other information. The FBI director and a lawyer for the family of the suspects agree that “a number of things in this case don’t make sense”. But that hasn’t stopped James Comey from using unverified Facebook posts or unproven claims that the couple were “radicalized” before they married to define them as inspired, but not directed by Daesh. Live coverage presented at least 2 eyewitnesses who described 3 tall, white, male shooters, but the corporate media accepts the police version of two shooters, including a 5-foot-3, 90-pound female. My 13 questions are listed below, with links to source material.

13 Big Questions

What happened to the 3rd shooter described by eyewitnesses during live coverage?

Eyewitness accounts of 3 tall, male, white shooters seem to eliminate Tashfeen Malik, who was 90 pounds and about 5-foot-3? Video clips are here and the amateur “false flag” reporters’ video is here

How did the “active shooter” drill transform into a massive deployment of law enforcement, was it related to active shooter drill 11/30 at Victor Valley College? Local newspaper report here

The Facebook post where Malik allegedly “pledged allegiance” to al-Baghdadi is treated as fact, based on anonymous government and Facebook sources…can we see proof?

We’re told the FB post was made at or near the start of the shooting, but we are also told that Malik had a burner phone without apps or internet access…how’d she do it?

With no evidence, FBI Director Comey asserts that the couple was “radicalized” before Malik came to the US and married Farook. Will they disclose the sources?

News chopper video of final scene is very different from dramatic photos with hood raised and shot up windshield….where are the dashcam videos? Newschopper video is here

Why do photos show Farook lying dead, face down, with handcuffs on?

Corporate media is following up on Farook’s friend Enrique Marquez, Walmart worker who bought the 2 semi-automatic rifles, why does it ignore other issues?

Family attorney David Chesley joins FBI Director Comey in saying “It doesn’t add up” and mentions Sandy Hook as a precedent; corporate media dismisses Chesley’s Sandy Hook reference as “truther” bullshit, obscures his key objections. Why?

Corporate media detailed the apparent conflict between Farook and co-worker Nicholas Thalasinos as a “pro-Israel messianic Jewish Christian…really?

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Processing Distortion with Peter B. Collins: How the “Sharing Economy” Screws Workers

Peter B. Collins Presents Author Steven Hill


Smartphone apps have enabled the new “sharing economy” companies like Airbnb and Uber to disrupt housing and taxi service, and Steven Hill’s new book focuses on the impact on workers. Airbnb is displacing working families in cities with low vacancy rates, and Uber has challenged regulated taxi and livery industries worldwide. The business model was introduced as unemployment peaked, and in most cases the workers earn less than 9-to-5 workers, with zero benefits like health insurance, overtime, vacation and sick pay. Hill details how FDR’s New Deal is being replaced by the “raw deal”, and that people are seduced by “cool technology” and the power of smartphones—not to mention negative attitudes toward the taxi industry.

*Steven Hill is a Senior Fellow with the New America Foundation and author of Raw Deal: How the Uber Economy and Runaway Capitalism Are Screwing American Workers.

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Processing Distortion with Peter B. Collins: FBI Infiltrates Peaceful Activists, Again!

Peter B. Collins Presents Hendrik Voss

For many years, peaceful protesters have gathered each November at Fort Benning, Georgia to advocate for the closure of America’s torture academy, the School of the Americas (renamedWestern Hemisphere Institute for Security and Cooperation). Hendrik Voss explains that his organization, School of the Americas Watch, has accessed FBI documents showing that undercover operatives have infiltrated the group for at least 10 years on the pretext of potential violence. The files show that the infiltrators repeatedly reported that the activists “never exhibited a propensity for violence”, yet peaceful First Amendment activists continued to be monitored.

*Hendrik Voss is national organizer for School of the Americas Watch. Get details on the Fort Benning protests November 20-22 here.

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Processing Distortion with Peter B. Collins: Will Obama Close Gitmo?

Peter B. Collins Presents Journalist Andy Worthington

As an author and journalist, Andy Worthington is an expert on America’s offshore island prison, Guantanamo. As an activist, he helped lead a year-long campaign to free Shaker Aamer, the last British prisoner who finally went home on October 30. We talk about his return and reunion with family, and the ordeal he experienced as the most high-profile inmate released so far. When he’s healthy—physically and psychologically—Aamer is expected to expose much about his detention, torture, hunger strikes, and the complicity of British officials and intelligence agents in his almost 14-year detention without trial or charge. Worthington also talks about Sen. Feinstein’s recent call to close Guantanamo, and the irrational objections expressed by many American leaders.

*Andy Worthington is the author of The Guantanamo Files and covers America’s gulag on his blog. He is also a member of The Four Fathers, a music group that updated their Song for Shaker after Aamer’s return to England.

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Processing Distortion with Peter B. Collins: Any Opposition to Endless Afghan War?

Peter B. Collins Presents David Swanson

With Obama’s about-face on withdrawing almost all American troops from Afghanistan, the reaction of most Americans seems to be “Whatever”. The new non-exit plan is Obama’s 5th or 6th in 7 years, and David Swanson is one of the few voices demanding a complete withdrawal now. We discuss how Obama has created the perception that he has ended the Afghan war, and despite the recent events at the hospital in Kunduz, most Americans and elected officials are passive in the face of this perpetual war.

*David Swanson is a long-time activist and author of War is a Lie. You can sign his petition here

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