Background Briefing: November 11, 2018

Background Briefing: November 11, 2018


A Subject of an FBI Investigation Now in Charge of the FBI?

We will begin with the president distancing himself from his own appointment of Matthew Whitaker as the acting Attorney General by going out of his way to repeatedly claim he does not know Whitaker even though they met frequently at the White House because Trump refused to meet with Whitaker’s boss Jeff Session and instead dealt with the AG’s chief of staff Whitaker who was deliberately installed at the Justice Department as the White House’s eyes and ears. Lisa Graves who has served as a senior adviser in all three branches of the federal government including as Deputy Assistant Attorney General in the Justice Department, Chief Counsel for Nominations on the Senate Judiciary Committee and as a Deputy Chief for the U.S. Courts, joins us. We will discuss Whitaker’s role as a shill for a bottom-feeding invention promotion operation in Miami that scammed inventors many of whom were veterans which the FBI investigated, resulting in the company going out of business and paying fines. In both promoting the scam then intimidating the victims who claimed they were ripped off by the scam, Whitaker uses his credentials as a former U.S. Attorney and now as Acting AG, he oversees the FBI which investigated him.


Nationalism and the Causes of World War I

Then with President Trump’s cancellation on Saturday of his visit to a U.S. military cemetery in France to honor the American fallen in World War I, we discuss the gathering of world leaders for the 100th anniversary of the armistice at which the President of France Emmanuel Macron used the opportunity to denounce Trump’s embrace of nationalism describing nationalism as a “betrayal of patriotism”. Along with chauvinism, nationalism was an undeniable cause of World War 1 in which 20 million died, a half of whom were civilians, along with 117,000 Americans. Geoffrey Wawro, a Professor and the Director of the Military History Center at the University of North Texas and the author of A Mad Catastrophe: The Outbreak of World War I and the Collapse of the Habsburg Empire, joins us to discuss whether the intellectually incurious Donald Trump, who gets a lot of his information from conspiracy sites like Infowars, could be educated by his peers to accept the lessons of history.


The Filmmaker of the Stunning New Feature Documentary “Of Fathers and Sons”

Then finally we are joined in the studio by Talal Derki, a documentary filmmaker who was born in Damascus and has been based in Berlin since 2014. He joins us to discuss his new documentary feature just out, “Of Fathers and Sons”, which reveals how deeply rooted Salafist Islam practiced by Al Qaeda and promoted by Saudi Arabia is in the lives of the father and sons facing death as their country Syria is destroyed. This powerful and important film brings a unique insight to Western audiences who for the first time will begin to understand what inspires and motivates jihadists to fight corrupt regimes in the Middle East and the U.S. which they see as the far enemy.