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Economic Hit Man

Freelance journalist Zoe Cormier, a science writer and photographer with a background in biology, joined George Knapp in the first half to discuss her new book Sex, Drugs and Rock 'n’ Roll: The Science of Hedonism.

In the later half, David Browne, longtime music journalist and contributing editor at Rolling Stone, delved into the Grateful Dead, the band that became a musical and cultural phenomenon that has spanned generations.

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Economic Hit Man

Show Archive
Date: Saturday - September 29, 2007
Host: Ian Punnett
Guests: John Perkins, Peter Lance

Businessman and author John Perkins discussed his work as a former 'economic hit man.' Perkins said his job was to convince governments of third world countries to accept enormous loans from the World Bank (and other institutions) for large-scale infrastructure projects he knew they could not afford.

Money did not actually go to the country taking the loan, Perkins said, explaining that U.S. corporations were guaranteed the contracts and thus received the loan money. When these countries failed to repay their loans, the U.S. government/companies could then demand from them cheap oil and other natural resources, or even U.N. votes, he noted. According to Perkins, this U.S.-led exploitation of foreign governments is a root cause of terrorism.

Perkins talked about why he wrote The Secret History of the American Empire and Confessions of an Economic Hit Man, as well as provided details about his mission to "corrupt" Omar Torrijos, the de facto ruler of Panama from 1968 to 1981. When Torrijos refused to cooperate, privately-contracted assassins called "jackals" were sent in to kill him, Perkins claimed.

Perkins also shared his belief that a "core plutocracy" made up of leaders from the biggest corporations actually run everything on the planet. He said politicians are beholden to them and they remain in charge regardless of which party is in control on Capitol Hill.

DeVecchio Case Update

In the first hour, investigative journalist Peter Lance spoke about his forthcoming true-crime book, 666, which focuses on the murder case of Lindley DeVecchio. The former FBI agent, who goes on trial this week, has been charged with helping mafia hit man Greg Scarpa kill four people.

Lance traced the connection between the FBI, Scarpa's son and the architects of the 9/11 attack. According to Lance, this case will have profound national security implications and could reopen the 9/11 investigation.

Bumper Music

Bumper music from Saturday September 29, 2007

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