Background Briefing: August 5, 2021


The DOJ and Senators Stop a Saudi Lawsuit That Would Expose State Secrets

We begin with the fear that states secrets will be exposed in a lawsuit the Saudis have brought against a former top Saudi intelligence official Saad Aljabri and speak with Dr. Ben Freeman, the Director and Founder of the Foreign Influence Transparency Initiative at the Center for International Policy. The author of The Foreign Policy Auction, he joins us to discuss the intervention by the Justice Department in a Saudi lawsuit against a former top Saudi Counterterrorism official who has already escaped a hit team Saudi Crown Prince MBS sent to kill him in Canada, (the same team who murdered and dismembered Khashoggi). With Senators Rubio, Kaine, Leahy and Cardin demanding MBS release Aljabri’s children who are being held hostage in Saudi Arabia, we assess how much there has been a change in dealing with MBS since his champions Trump and Kushner left office.


Mexico Sues U.S. Gun Manufacturers For Arms Trafficking

Then we look into the Mexican government’s lawsuit against U.S. gun manufacturers accusing them of arms trafficking and fueling the torrent of bloodshed in Mexico with more than 17,000 murders in Mexico linked to weapons trafficked from the U.S. in 2019 alone. Joining us from Mexico City is investigative journalist Ioan Grillo, a contributing writer at The New York Times specializing on crime, drugs and guns. The author of El Narco and his latest Blood Gun Money: How America Arms Gangs and Cartels, we discuss the $10 billion lawsuit filed in Boston against Massachusetts manufacturer Smith & Wesson Brands along with Colt Manufacturing Co., Beretta USA, Glock and Barrett Firearms Manufacturing. With Colt manufacturing its .38 Special pistol engraved with a portrait of Emiliano Zapata, it is hard not to conclude American gunmakers are marketing to Mexican drug lords since this same model handgun was used in 2017 in the assassination of the Mexican investigative journalist Miroslava Breach.


A Call For a National Security Overhaul to Deal With the Real Threats We Face From Global Warming, Pandemics and Insurrection, Inequality and Injustice at home

Then finally we speak with Colonel Andrew Bacevich, a 23-year veteran of the U.S. Army who is now the founder and president of the Quincy Institute for Responsible Statecraft. The author of the bestsellers, Breach of Trust, Washington Rules and Limits of Power, he joins us to discuss his latest book just out, After the Apocalypse: America’s Role in a World Transformed which calls for a complete overhaul of our understanding of national security to deal with the real threats we face from global warming, pandemics and insurrection, inequality and injustice at home.