42 episodes

Welcome to MintCast, the official MintPress News podcast hosted by Mnar Muhawesh. MintCast is an interview podcast featuring dissenting voices, independent researchers and journalists the establishment would rather silence.

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    • 5.0 • 3 Ratings

Welcome to MintCast, the official MintPress News podcast hosted by Mnar Muhawesh. MintCast is an interview podcast featuring dissenting voices, independent researchers and journalists the establishment would rather silence.

    Is Brazil About to Face a Military Coup? Brian Mier on Brazil’s March Towards Fascism

    Is Brazil About to Face a Military Coup? Brian Mier on Brazil’s March Towards Fascism

    Brazil, the world’s fifth-largest country, is at a political crossroads. Heading into next year’s presidential elections, the country’s 211 million people are faced with choosing between social democrat and anti-imperialist Lula Da Silva (president between 2003 and 2010) and far-right populist incumbent Jair Bolsonaro.
    But many are worried they will not even be allowed to elect anyone. Whispers are turning into shouts about a military-backed coup before next year, as the ailing Bolsonaro -- trailing Lula by 15-20 points in the polls -- seeks to hang on to power. The 66-year-old former military officer recently stated that there are only three potential futures for him: arrested and jailed, killed, or staying on as president, only adding fuel to the fire of speculation.
    Bolsonaro came to power in 2018 in a deeply flawed election that saw Lula imprisoned on phony corruption charges. Still ahead in the polls, judges ordered Lula be stripped of the right to stand for office, even from his jail cell. The judge leading the “anti-corruption” crusade (known as Operation Car Wash) was quietly co-ordinating with the prosecution the whole time, and later accepted a position as Justice Minister in Bolsonaro’s cabinet.
    Here today to talk about Brazil’s past, present and uncertain future is Brian Mier. Brian is co-editor at Brasil Wire and Brazil correspondent for TeleSUR English. Unlike most U.S. journalists who cover the country, Brian has lived and worked in Brazil for over 25 years and speaks Portuguese. He also co-edited the book, “Year of Lead. Washington, Wall Street and the New Imperialism in Brazil.”

    MintPress News is a fiercely independent, reader-supported outlet, with no billionaire owners or backers. You can support us by becoming a member on Patreon, bookmarking and whitelisting us, and by subscribing to our social media channels, including Twitch, YouTube, Twitter and Instagram.
    Subscribe to MintCast on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, and SoundCloud.
    Also, be sure to check out the new Behind the Headlines channel on YouTube and subscribe to rapper Lowkey’s new video interview/podcast series, The Watchdog.
    Support the show (https://www.mintpressnews.com/donations/)

    • 58 min
    Asa Winstanley on the Purging of Socialists from the U.K. Labour Party

    Asa Winstanley on the Purging of Socialists from the U.K. Labour Party

    Shocking almost everybody in positions of power, life-long socialist and anti-war activist Jeremy Corbyn was elected leader of the British Labour Party in 2015. There was no honeymoon period for the Londoner, however, as right away the media, the government and even senior members of his own party began attempting to oust him.
    Defying the critics, Corbyn held on and took Labour to arguably its greatest-ever electoral success in 2017. However, his poor handling of Brexit and an unprecedented phoney anti-Semitism smear campaign sank his chances of becoming prime minister of the United Kingdom.
    Our guest today on Mintcast saw the entire situation unfold from up close. Asa Winstanley is a London-based investigative journalist at The Electronic Intifada. A former member of the Labour Party, like Corbyn, he was suspended from the party, in his case after he called the Jewish Labour Movement an "Israel embassy proxy."
    Corbyn -- a veteran anti-imperialist who opposed nuclear weapons, proposed the United Kingdom leave NATO and supported a targeted boycott of Israel over their annexation of much of Palestine -- was immediately attacked by sources of entrenched power. U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo even stated that his government was “doing its best” to prevent Corbyn from being elected.
    Despite a near-hysterical campaign against him, Corbyn’s popularity grew and grew. His 2017 manifesto -- which included making college free for all and proposed a huge expansion of social housing, an end to government austerity measures, nationalizing key industries like railways, and providing everyone in the country with free high-speed internet access -- was immensely popular.
    However, by the 2019 general election, years of attacks from the media, the military and even most of the elected officials within his own party had taken their toll, and Labour lost the contest to Boris Johnson’s Conservative Party. In the three months prior to the vote, there were 1,450 articles in national British newspapers linking Corbyn to anti-Semitism.
    Asa Winstanley joined Mintcast host Mnar Adley today to discuss his work covering this case, and also talks about the wider implications of the affair. Originally from South Wales, Winstanley focuses his work primarily on the Middle East and British politics. Apart from being an associate editor at The Electronic Intifada, he also writes at Substack and The Middle East Monitor.
    Subscribe to MintCast on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, and SoundCloud.
    Also, be sure to check out the new Behind the Headlines channel on YouTube and subscribe to rapper Lowkey’s new video interview/podcast series, The Watchdog.
    Support the show (https://www.mintpressnews.com/donations/)

    • 1 hr 2 min
    Want Regime Change with Plausible Deniability? Call Creative Associates International

    Want Regime Change with Plausible Deniability? Call Creative Associates International

    After organizing coups, overthrowing democratically-elected heads of state, and arming death squads all around the world in the 1960s and 1970s, it was clear that the CIA had an image problem. The Reagan administration, therefore, began constructing a network of outsourced private organizations that would do the dirty work of the U.S. empire, shielding the U.S. government from the prying eyes of investigators and journalists.


    “A lot of what we do today was done covertly 25 years ago by the CIA,” Allen Weinstein, co-founder of the National Endowment for Democracy, told The Washington Post.


    One of these groups is Creative Associates International, the subject of an in-depth MintPress News investigation by Senior Staff Writer Alan MacLeod. Alan joins MintCast host Mnar Muhawesh Adley today to discuss his findings.


    Creative Associates International (CAI) was founded by Bolivian ex-pat M. Charito Kruvant in 1979. Visiting the organization’s website, viewers are met with images of smiling African children being taught how to read and write, happy Latino farmers, and pictures of Asian women going to school. The image CAI projects of itself is that it is a progressive charity helping many of the world’s poorest and most vulnerable groups. And it does indeed do education work in dozens of countries. But it also has a long history of being the shock troops for the U.S.’ regime-change agenda throughout the world.


    CAI was involved in the 1991 Haitian coup d’etat that removed populist priest Jean Bertrand Aristide from power; it has worked with Contra death squads in Nicaragua, helping to defeat the Sandinista revolution there; and it has also spearheaded a number of attempts to sow discord in Cuba, with the ultimate goal of removing the Communists from power.


    CAI was hired to create a Twitter-like app for Cubans called ZunZuneo. The app would, at first, provide a great service and take over the market. Slowly, however, the plan was to drip-feed Cubans anti-Communist propaganda until the time came to organize a color revolution on the island through bombarding users with messages to take to the streets. CAI also recruited rappers to serve as anti-government figureheads who would push divisions and spread discord throughout the island.


    With virtually all of its budget coming from the U.S. government and six of the seven members of its board former or current high U.S. officials, MacLeod describes Creative Associates as a government organization posing as a non-governmental organization.

    MintPress News is a fiercely independent, reader-supported outlet, with no billionaire owners or backers. You can support us by becoming a member on Patreon, bookmarking and whitelisting us, and by subscribing to our social media channels, including Twitch, YouTube, Twitter and Instagram.


    Also, be sure to check out the new Behind the Headlines channel on YouTube and subscribe to rapper Lowkey’s new video interview/podcast series, The Watchdog.


    Support the show (https://www.mintpressnews.com/donations/)

    • 37 min
    Decline and Fall of the US Empire: Lawrence Wilkerson Discusses Afghanistan Pull-Out

    Decline and Fall of the US Empire: Lawrence Wilkerson Discusses Afghanistan Pull-Out

    After 20 years of war and occupation that have caused the deaths of almost a quarter of a million people and displaced 5.9 million more, the United States appears to have finally (tacitly) admitted defeat in Afghanistan, pulling its forces and representatives out of the country.
    The U.S.-installed government fell within days, with President Ashraf Ghani escaping to the United Arab Emirates, reportedly with $169 million in cash stuffed in his suitcases. Ghani’s departure is illustrative of the extraordinary grift of the entire operation. Overall, the U.S. spent well over $2 trillion on the Afghanistan War, making weapons contractors and construction agencies in the Washington, D.C. suburbs extremely wealthy.
    Today, Mintcast host Mnar Adley is joined by an individual with first-hand knowledge of U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East. Lawrence Wilkerson is a retired U.S. Army colonel who was Chief of Staff to Secretary of State Colin Powell between 2003 and 2005. In this role, he observed the rapid expansion of the Bush administration’s War on Terror. A military veteran of 31 years, he has since become a vocal critic of American militarism and endless wars.
    After leaving the Bush administration, Wilkerson became an academic, teaching on public policy and security issues at the College of William & Mary and at George Washington University. Since 2020, he is also a non-resident fellow at the Quincy Institute, a Washington-based think tank urging restraint in U.S. foreign policy.
    MintPress News is a fiercely independent, reader-supported outlet, with no billionaire owners or backers. You can support us by becoming a member on Patreon, bookmarking and whitelisting us, and by subscribing to our social media channels, including Twitch, YouTube, Twitter and Instagram.
    Subscribe to MintCast on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, and SoundCloud.
    Also, be sure to check out the new Behind the Headlines channel on YouTube and subscribe to rapper Lowkey’s new video interview/podcast series, The Watchdog.
    Support the show (https://www.mintpressnews.com/donations/)

    • 41 min
    The Finders: Harmless Cult or CIA-Linked Child Traffickers? A Discussion with Elizabeth Vos

    The Finders: Harmless Cult or CIA-Linked Child Traffickers? A Discussion with Elizabeth Vos

    It’s a story that has captivated many for over three decades. In 1987, locals in Tallahassee, Florida alerted police to a strange incident in a local park. Six dirty, hungry and poorly clothed kids — almost resembling feral children — were in the custody of two extremely sharply dressed men.
    Both men were questioned but later released by police, although when it transpired that the men and the children were members of an obscure cult, situated in Washington, D.C. and called “The Finders,” the story went viral, causing nationwide hysteria. The incident occurred in the middle of the “Satanic Panic:” the fear that devil-worshipping gangs across the U.S. were kidnapping or even sacrificing children.
    The trail would ultimately lead to allegations of a cult involved in ritual abuse, an international child-trafficking ring, evidence of child abuse confirmed and later denied, and ties with the CIA, which was alleged to have interfered in the case.
    Investigative journalist Elizabeth Vos has been following the story and recent updates to it closely. Based in Arkansas, Elizabeth was the editor-in-chief of Disobedient Media and also hosts the CNLive webcast on Consortium News. Today, she joined Mintcast host Mnar Muhawesh Adley to discuss her latest trilogy of articles about the case, which can be found here: part 1, part 2, part 3.
    Elizabeth’s series focuses on the Finders’ close connections to the CIA, which suggest they may have been more than just an obscure group of people living an alternative, communal lifestyle: Isabelle Pettie, the wife of Finders’ head Marion Pettie, was employed at the agency between 1952 and 1961, while members of The Finders also trained CIA staff in computing. And, as Vos shows in the series, there is ample official evidence of an attempted CIA coverup, emanating from police and other federal agencies.
    In 2019, the FBI released hundreds of documents from their investigation of The Finders into the public domain. Although many are heavily redacted, they do appear to legitimize many of the claims regarding CIA involvement made by agents.
    The case and the subsequent alleged CIA coverup has led to all manner of wild speculations about who and what The Finders were. But there is good reason to believe that the official story that they were merely a harmless — if odd — cult is likely not the whole truth.
    In a free-flowing discussion, Elizabeth shares insights into her new research on the group, discusses the media silence on the case, and fills us in on what we need to know about this mysterious, captivating story.
    MintPress News is a fiercely independent, reader-supported outlet, with no billionaire owners or backers. You can support us by becoming a member on Patreon, bookmarking and whitelisting us, and by subscribing to our social media channels, including Twitch, YouTube, Twitter and Instagram.
    Subscribe to MintCast on Spotify,
    Support the show (https://www.mintpressnews.com/donations/)

    • 31 min
    Calling Sanctions by Their Name: Rania Khalek on US Mideast Genocide

    Calling Sanctions by Their Name: Rania Khalek on US Mideast Genocide

    Around one quarter of the world lives in countries under unilateral United States sanctions. While American government officials insist that sanctions are targeted at officials committing human rights abuses in foreign countries, the United Nations notes that they always “disproportionately affect the poor and most vulnerable.”
    In Cuba, U.S. sanctions are causing shortages that led to widespread protests earlier this summer and are slowing the worldwide rollout of Cuba’s domestically produced coronavirus vaccine. U.S. government documents explicitly state that the goal of the blockade of the island is to “decrease monetary and real wages, to bring about hunger, desperation and [the] overthrow of [the] government.”
    U.S. sanctions on Venezuela, too, have been widely condemned, and are estimated to have caused the deaths of over 100,000 people.
    It is in the Middle East, however, where U.S. economic measures have arguably had the most impact. Our guest today has first-hand experience of this. Rania Khalek is a Lebanese-American journalist based in the Middle East. In addition to being a presenter on Breakthrough News, she is co-host of the Unauthorized Disclosure podcast. You may also have seen her work in ​​The Grayzone, The Intercept, Truthout, Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting, Al-Jazeera, The Nation, Salon, AlterNet or Vice.
    Today, Khalek speaks about the impact of sanctions across the Middle East and the current political situation in Lebanon, Syria and beyond.
    In Iraq in the 1990s, U.S. sanctions are thought to have cost the lives of around 1 million people, including half a million children under five years old. Successive United Nations diplomats tasked with overseeing the sanctions regime resigned in protest, citing a breach of the Genocide Convention. "I've been using the word 'genocide' because this is a deliberate policy to destroy the people of Iraq. I'm afraid I have no other view,'' said former U.N. Humanitarian Coordinator for Iraq Dennis Halliday. When pressed on the issue, then-Secretary of State Madeline Albright did not dispute the numbers, merely assuring “60 Minutes” that “the price is worth it.”
    Today, much of the region -- including Syria, Iran and Lebanon -- is under similar, crushing American sanctions. At the height of the pandemic, Iran was unable to import personal protective equipment, medicine and other medical goods, as no country wanted to risk Washington’s ire by trading with Tehran. In the end, the World Health Organization itself stepped in, directly trading with the Islamic Republic, one key factor in the Trump administration’s withdrawal from the body last year.
    Meanwhile in Lebanon, the country is struggling to recover from an enormous explosion that wiped out much of central Beirut last year. Food and electricity remain in short supply.
    Support the show (https://www.mintpressnews.com/donations/)

    • 1 hr 9 min

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