Author: Graham Fitzgibbon

Background Briefing: September 27, 2020

 

A Top Intelligence Official Warns Trump Decisions Are Not Based on Real-World Facts But on What’s Good For Him

We begin with the broadside from a senior intelligence official who has briefed Trump many times and is sounding the alarm that our commander-in-chief is a danger to U.S. national security because he inhabits his own world of alternative facts and cannot absorb factual real-world information critical to decision-making at the highest level. Malcolm Nance, a 33 year career intelligence officer with U.S. Special Operations, Homeland Security, and Intelligence agencies whose latest book is The Plot to Betray America: How Team Trump Embraced Our Enemies, Compromised Our Security, and How We Can Fix It, joins us. We discuss the warnings from Robert Cardillo, the former Director of the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency, the most secretive and important among the 16 U.S. intelligence agencies. Cardillo is also a former deputy director of the Defense Intelligence Agency who has served four Republican presidents and two Democratic presidents spending over 300 mornings in the Oval Office delivering the PDB, the President’s Daily Brief, and has spent over 1,000 hours in the White House Situation Room. Having briefed Trump up close, Cardillo is alarmed that Trump bases his decisions on uninformed instincts based on what’s in it for me, and he concludes that Trump comes up tragically short and that the American people should demand and deserve a leader who will put the country first.

 

The Politics Behind the Choice of Amy Coney Barrett

Then we examine the politics behind the choice of Amy Coney Barrett to fill Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s seat on the Supreme Court barely a week after she died, as the Republicans rush to confirm her before the election. Lara Bazelon, a professor of law and the director of the Criminal Juvenile Justice and Racial Justice Clinical Programs at the University of San Francisco School of Law and the author of Rectify: The Power of Restorative Justice After Wrongful Conviction, joins us to discuss her article at The New York Times, “Amy Coney Barrett is No Ruth Bader Ginsburg.”

 

Religious Dogma’s Influence on Barrett’s Approach to the Law and Whether it Serves Justice For All

Then finally we investigate the influence of personal religious dogma on Amy Coney Barrett’s approach to the law and whether it serves justice for all and speak with Massimo Faggioli, a professor of theology and religious studies at Villanova University whose books include Vatican II: The Battle for Meaning and The Liminal Papacy of Pope Francis: Moving Towards Global Catholicity. We discuss her membership in the male-dominated, authoritarian charismatic Christian group People of Praise and the influence of Opus Dei in the form of The Federalist Society’s Leonard Leo who oversees a dark money fund of hundreds on millions through the Judicial Crisis Network and has picked the current five conservatives on the court and now has a sixth.