In the first half, author and adventurer Robert Young Pelton, who has traveled around the world working with private military contractors, discussed the instability in the Middle East, his work helping refugees, the globalization of borders, various secret wars and conflicts, and the political climate in the United States. There are some 65 million people that are currently displaced from their homes, the highest number since WWII, he reported. Unresolved warfare and economic problems contribute to the problem, and in some places it's actually cheaper to pay a smuggler than it is to fly to Europe, he noted. But the crisis in Europe is quite severe, with some 23% of refugees from Syria and Africa drowning or dying as they attempt to complete the journey, he lamented.
Pelton talked about the mechanics of how ISIS has grown, and is funded. Composed of predominantly young people, armed ISIS members have taken over towns in Iraq and Syria, where they demand money from local governance and oil field operators, and then distribute the cash among their fighters, rather than using banks. They also use a Western Union-like system called Hawala to transfer money, he detailed.
One trend that Pelton has observed is that the US is empowering groups that would normally not have access to a lot of weapons to fight their wars, "and we're not winning those wars." Whether Clinton or Trump wins, he predicts they will both be "war presidents," trying to shore up their divisive support by getting the US involved in conflicts. "Hillary has shown that she has no problem destabilizing Libya or Syria, so I think we're looking at a very different change over the next eight years," he remarked. The US is in a kind of war with the Chinese right now, Pelton continued. "Electronically, the Chinese are insidiously attacking our businesses, our intellectual property, and government bases," he commented.
In the third hour, cyber technology expert Charles R. Smith talked about the FBI, as being "America's secret police," with a force of covert planes that employ "stingray" electronic surveillance. As uncovered by the North Star Post, the FBI has created around 10 shell companies, and through them acquired about 100 small airplanes that they have outfitted with high resolution and infrared cameras, and cell phone interceptors. These aircraft are flying reconnaissance missions over America to surveil its own citizens, listen in on cell phone calls, and monitor text messaging, he said. Smith was critical of these operations, and considers them to be a major privacy invasion-- monitoring Americans without a warrant.
The last hour featured Open Lines.
Bumper music from Wednesday July 13, 2016
Midnight Express (The Chase)
The Fox and the Lady
4 Non Blondes
Once Upon a Time
Friday On My Mind
The Magnificent Seven