Background Briefing: January 12, 2023


AG Garland Appoints a Special Counsel in Biden’s Classified Docs Self-Inflicted Wound

We begin with the self-inflicted wound the Biden White House is grappling with as about 10 classified documents have turned up at the Penn Biden Center, his home office and garage, prompting AG Garland today to announce the appointment of a special counsel from the Trump Administration Robert Hur. Joining us is Frederick Baron, who formerly served as associate deputy attorney general, special assistant to the attorney general, and director of the Executive Office for National Security in the Department of Justice. He also served on the Church Committee and we discuss his article at The Bulwark, “Jim Jordan, Church Committee Pretender.”


Brazen Murders in Honduras Raise Questions of How the US Is Dealing With the Root of the Migrant Problem

Then we go to Honduras for an update on whether it is possible to deal with the source of the problem behind the flow of migrants from Central America and speak with Jared Olson, a writer and independent journalist based in Honduras covering violence, migration, and social struggle in Central America whose writing has appeared in The Nation, the New Humanitarian, El Faro English, Vice World News, and the Los Angeles Review of Books, among others. We discuss the brazen killing of environmentalists protesting a mine owned by a powerful oligarch in the middle of a national park which is polluting the headwaters of many rivers.


The Need to Engage Both Russia and Ukraine as a Long War in Ukraine Promises to Grind On

Then finally we examine the likelihood that the war in Ukraine along a 600 mile front could be long, inflicting a terrible cost on Ukraine which increasingly needs military aid since Ukraine fires as many shells in a week as the US can produce in a month. Joining us is James Goldgeier, Professor in the School of International Relations and the Former Dean of International Service at American University, a Visiting Scholar at the Center for International Security and Cooperation of Stanford University and Visiting Fellow at Center on the United States and Europe at the Brookings Institution. He has held a number of public policy appointments, including Director for Russian, Ukrainian and Eurasian Affairs on the National Security Council Staff, and his books include America Between the Wars: From 11/9 to 9/11, Power and Purpose: U.S. Policy toward Russia after the Cold War, and Not Whether But When: The U.S. Decision to Enlarge NATO. We discuss his article at Foreign Affairs, “The Long War in Ukraine: The West Needs to Plan for a Protracted Conflict With Russia.