Engaging Interviews, Insightful Commentary from Electric Politics

January 10, 2009
Electric Politics Podcast Schedule Resumes January 16

Well, I enjoyed having two weeks off, but I’m glad to get back to podcasting.
So here’s the starting lineup for the new season. Friday, January 16, my guest
is Martin Fletcher of The Times of London (not to be confused with
Martin Fletcher of NBC news). Martin is a roving reporter without portfolio
and previously the Times‘ foreign editor, their Washington Bureau Chief,
and a foreign correspondent. He talks to me from Israel. The Friday following,
January 23, my guest is Dr. James Petras, who’s got a lot to say about Zionism
in America. After that, I’m not sure — a couple interviews are pending,
on arms control and on the economy. So we’ll see… And as I say, I’m glad to
be back!

January 16, 2009
Barbarism in Gaza (and Zimbabwe)

Come To Palestine antique posterOne wonders whether, if it weren’t for the
excessive delay between election and inauguration, Israel would still have attacked
Gaza. In any case, Israel’s assault being less a war than a hunt for naked prey,
it’s difficult, particularly here in the U.S., to get a feeling for what’s happening.
So I was fortunate in being able to turn to Martin Walker of The Times,
who spoke to me from Jerusalem. We also talk about Zimbabwe, where Martin has
spent much of the past year. And Somalia. I highly value Martin’s insights and
experience and I’m grateful for his making himself available. Hopefully we can
talk again. Total runtime an hour and seven minutes. Where’s the humanitarian
intervention for Gaza?

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December 19, 2008
The Art of Interrogation

It’s fair to say that nobody knowledgeable about interrogations has ever produced
a single example of torture working — either in the historical record
or in contemporary experience — quite apart from consideration of the
ethical implications. But proponents of torture find it all too easy to claim
secret successes. So it’s extremely helpful to hear once again the bright line
admonition, never torture, from a seasoned interrogator who led the interrogation
team in pursuit of Abu Musab Al Zarqawi, at the time perhaps the deadliest man
in Iraq. In his just published book, How To Break A Terrorist, written
under the pseudonym of “Matthew Alexander,” he describes the chase
that culminates in Zarqawi’s targeted killing. It’s a lively read (I couldn’t
put it down) and most worthwhile. While I come at the issues with some different
perspectives I salute “Matthew” for his unflinching determination
to treat all detainees humanely and to interrogate them with kindness. And for
his willingness to leave active duty and speak up for his beliefs. It was a
pleasure and an honor to talk with “Matthew” and I hope his message
gets heard. Total runtime an hour and eleven minutes. Think like a detective.

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