The Critical Hour is a daily 60 minute hard hitting news analysis and talk radio program hosted by Dr. Wilmer Leon. The mainstream news outlets play it safe by parroting the perspectives of their corporate benefactors. The Critical Hour uses clear, cutting edge insight and analysis to examine national and international issues impacting the global village in which we live. Those who are truly interested in understanding what is going on in the world, why and especially who is behind it turn to The Critical Hour for rhetoric free analysis and commentary.
The Russia-gate Hoax is Under Indictment; Biden "Forgets" US Empire is at War
Ted Rall, political cartoonist and syndicated columnist, joins us to discuss the indictment of attorney Michael Sussman that shines a light on the Clinton campaign's involvement in turning the Russia-gate opposition research operation into a criminal investigation. We now know that the FBI illegally hid the Steele dossier's connections to the Clinton campaign, while Michael Sussman was hiding his connection to the same organization. Is it plausible to argue that the FBI was ignorant of the fact that Sussman was running a politically motivated scam?
Professor Peter Kuznick, author and historian, joins us to discuss President Biden's UN speech. In a speech to the United Nations General Assembly, President Biden implausibly argued that the United States is not currently involved in any wars. Also, he named several nations that the US is currently targeting for regime change as bad actors on the international stage.
Jack Rasmus, professor in economics and politics at St. Mary's College in California, joins us to discuss the economy. The US House of Representatives has passed a spending bill that will prevent the shutdown and suspend the debt limit. Will the bill pass the Senate or will we see another fiscal cliff fight between the ruling parties?
Nick Davies, peace activist and author of "Blood on Our Hands: The American Invasion of Iraq," joins us to discuss Iran. Iran has been accepted into the Shanghai Cooperation Organization at the invitation of Russia and China. Our expert guest explains how this new economic dynamic will work to shape the future of the Eurasian group and whether the US empire and its coalition have made a drastic mistake in dragging their feet on the JCPOA restoration.
K. J. Noh, peace activist, writer, and teacher, joins us to discuss China. An Australian newspaper has taken the extraordinary step of recommending that the US empire and its coalition of vassals overthrow the government of China and replace it with a neoliberal group. Also, The Global Times argues that President Biden and former President Trump must both be held responsible for the disastrous new cold war against China and Russia.
Robert Fantina, journalist and Palestine activist, joins us to discuss the Middle East. A new article in Responsible Statecraft about President Biden's foreign policy argues that "the administration remains entranced by the siren calls of defense industry profits, under cover of outdated claims of security imperatives to justify continuing billions in weapons and political support to repressive governments in the Middle East." The article examines Middle East policy and finds that massive amounts of weaponry are still being sold to autocratic leaders in the region.
Dan Lazare, investigative journalist and author of "America's Undeclared War," joins us to discuss the AUKUS deal between the US and Australia. President Biden has torpedoed the US and French relations by stealing a submarine contract from Paris. Also, a former Australian prime minister argues that France has every right to be angry.
Dan Cohen, filmmaker and writer for the Gray Zone Project, joins us to discuss artificial intelligence. Former CEO Eric Schmidt is at the center of a Pentagon drive to control the world using hi-tech arms. Dan Cohen argues that Silicon Valley's political ambitions could cause a devastating war.
Haitian Immigrant Crisis on Southern US Border Intensifies; Biden's UN Speech
Dr. Jemima Pierre, associate professor of Black studies and anthropology at the University of California, joins us to discuss the Haitian immigrant crisis. President Biden is struggling to find the right message regarding the Haitian immigrant crisis on the southern US border. Meanwhile, some Haitian officials are demanding a humanitarian moratorium on deporting the immigrants until the political crisis and earthquake response can be brought under control.
Professor Ken Hammond, professor of East Asian and global history at New Mexico State University and activist with Pivot to Peace, joins us to discuss China. Air Force Secretary Frank Kendall, the latest Raytheon employee to rise to the top of the military establishment in Washington, has said that his focus is on China and intends to see that considerably more money is spent to address his concerns. Observers and anti-war activists argue that this is merely another example of the war profiteering and corruption surrounding the US Empire's military machine.
Dan Kovalik, writer, author, and lawyer joins us to discuss Biden's UN speech. In the shadow of a humiliating exit from Afghanistan, a murderous drone strike in Kabul, and a diplomatic row with Paris, President Joe Biden gave a speech at the UN General Assembly on Tuesday morning in New York. Biden reiterated US imperial rhetoric about leading the world against non-democratic nations.
K. J. Noh, peace activist, writer, and teacher, joins us to discuss AUKUS. Russian Security Council Chief Nikolai Patrushev argues that the new US, UK, and Australia alliance known as "AUKUS" is aimed directly at Russia and China. Also, North Korea is reacting to AUKUS with anger, and some analysts believe that the move will drive the small nuclear nation directly into the Chinese military and political orbit.
Mark Sleboda, Moscow-based international relations security analyst, joins us to discuss the Russian election. United Russia, the political party that is the political home of Russian President Vladimir Putin, has retained power in the latest election. The US empire and its vassal states are positing that the election is illegitimate and arguing that the Russian annexation of Crimea invalidates the results of the entire electoral process.
Scott Ritter, former UN weapon inspector in Iraq, joins us to discuss NATO expansion. In another dangerous expansion of NATO troops, the US Congress is moving to put more troops on the border of Russia. While some security analysts suspect that the move is for domestic purposes, the presence of US troops along with the constant regime change rhetoric coming out of US think tanks could be enough to spark a Russian response and create a disaster.
Gerald Horne, professor of history at the University of Houston, author, historian, and researcher, joins us to discuss the US empire. Patrick Lawrence has penned an excellent article in Consortium News in which he revisits the Cold War and explains how this one is similar. Lawrence writes "It is the U.S. that has assiduously sought to kindle Cold War II, just as it, and not the Soviet Union, was responsible for starting Cold War I."
Miko Peled, author and activist, joins us to discuss Israel. Miko Peled's latest Mintpress news article discusses the Israeli long-term move to change the foundational story of the Palestinian people in their homeland. Peled says that the narrative change has been an effective tool for Zionists to convince the world to forgive their horrendous crimes against the Palestinian populace.
The Origin of the First Cold War
Gerald Horne, professor of history at the University of Houston, author, historian, and researcher, joins us to discuss the US empire. Patrick Lawrence has penned an excellent article in consortium news in which he revisits the cold war and explains how this one is similar. Lawrence writes "It is the U.S. that has assiduously sought to kindle Cold War II, just as it, and not the Soviet Union, was responsible for starting Cold War I."
Clinton Lawyer Indicted for Russia-gate Lies; France Recalls Ambassador Over AUKUS
Alexander Mercouris, editor in chief at theduran.com and host of "The Duran" on YouTube, joins us to discuss Russia-gate. A Clinton campaign lawyer has been indicted in connection with spreading falsehoods and lying to push the Russia-gate narrative. Special counsel John Durham has levied charges against attorney Michaels Sussman for lying to the FBI about his connections to the Clinton campaign. Sussman allegedly told the FBI that he was not representing any political entity as he passed on false information, but documents reveal that he was billing the Clinton campaign for the interview in which he made that claim.
Scott Ritter, former UN weapon inspector in Iraq, joins us to discuss AUKUS. US and French diplomats are scrambling to clean up a geostrategic mess as the US has stolen massive military contracts from France. Also, France has recalled its ambassador to the US, and the EU power is flexing its muscles against the US empire. Will France back down, or will the US strike out at its long-time ally?
Dr. Iyabo Obasanjo, professor, epidemiologist, veterinarian, and the daughter of former Nigerian president Mr. Olusegun Obasanjo, joins us to discuss covid. Advisers at the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) have refused to authorize a third booster shot for vaccinated Americans, but did ok it for the population of 65 and over. Also, a number of big cats have tested positive for covid at the National Zoo, and hospitals in some rural states are facing tough decisions.
Laith Marouf, broadcaster and journalist based in Beirut, joins us to discuss the Middle East. The US is levying sanctions on Hong Kong companies for allegedly doing business with Iranians in violation of US rules. Also, Iran has announced that they are going to sell oil directly to Lebanon, and the EU is considering more sanctions on Beirut.
Marjorie Cohn, professor of law at the Thomas Jefferson School of Law in San Diego, joins us to discuss her book about drones and targeted killings. Cohn has written an extensive book about drones, and our guests talk to her about the many violations of US and international law created by the US program.
Steve Poikonen, national organizer for Action4Assange, joins us to discuss Pentagon spending. Anti-war activists are pushing back against a questionable Biden administration plan to provide helicopter maintenance to Saudi Arabia for 500 million dollars. Also, William Astore has penned an article in which he proposes that the weapons manufacturers are the perpetual winners in Afghanistan-style wars of occupation.
Nino Pagliccia, activist and writer, joins us to discuss the Global South. China has come out firmly against the US-sponsored illegal detention of Alex Saab. Saab was working on a diplomatic mission for Venezuela when he was captured by US empire lackeys. Also, the president of Mexico has come out to openly condemn the US blockade of Cuba.
Dr. Linwood Tauheed, associate professor of economics at the University of Missouri- Kansas City, joins us to discuss neoliberalism. In his article "(Neoliberalism) and its discontents," Francis Lee compares classical liberalism to the current neoliberal political movement. He then goes on to discuss how and why neoliberal politics conflicts with traditional collectivist political movements and philosophies.
US Sanctions and China
Gerald Horne, professor of history at the University of Houston, author, historian, and researcher, joins us to discuss US sanctions and China. China is dealing a significant blow to the sanctions policy of the US empire. A major blow to the sanctions against Venezuela seems to be in the offing as China seems poised to revive the oil industry of the Bolivarian republic.
Weekly News Roundup; Pentagon Paid Arms Industry Over $4 Trillion Since 9/11
Caleb Maupin, journalist and political analyst, joins us to wrap up the important stories of the week. The Pentagon paid out over 4 trillion dollars since 9/11, with the lion's share going to five major defense contractors. Also, the Kabul drone attack that killed 10 family members reveals no explosives in the target vehicle, and generals lied about Afghanistan for the entire period of the occupations.
Dr. Jemima Pierre, associate professor of Black studies and anthropology at the University of California, Los Angeles, joins us to discuss immigration. A federal judge has blocked the Biden administration from continuing one of the Trump administration's most egregious immigration policies. Also, the Biden administration is being criticized for "cruel and callous" deportations to Haiti.
Jack Rasmus, professor in economics and politics at St. Mary's College in California, joins us to discuss economics. Retail sales are showing surprising gains, leading some to believe that there is a silver lining behind the recent dark clouds on the economy. Also, in the latest negative numbers, another 332,000 workers filed for unemployment benefits last week.
Ted Rall, political cartoonist and syndicated columnist, and Mark Williams, writer, essayist, and former 30-year editor at Bloomberg News, come together to talk about domestic politics. Law enforcement is boosting security ahead of an upcoming right-wing political rally at the Capitol. Also, President Biden accuses 24 GOP governors of risking lives as a number of them threaten legal action over vaccine mandates, Rep. Anthony Gonzalez (R-OH) decides to leave Congress, and Pennsylvania GOP state senators approve a subpoena for the personal information of voters.
Jim Kavanagh, writer at thepolemicist.net and CounterPunch, and Margaret Kimberly, editor and senior columnist at Black Agenda Report, join us to discuss this week's foreign policy stories. DOJ counsel John Durham brings charges against one of the lawyers who worked for the Clinton campaign for lying to the FBI. Also, Evo Morales makes anti-imperialist rounds in South America and the Caribbean, China throws a monkey wrench in US imperialism, and big tech companies make a fortune from the War on Terror.