Reading Time: 18 minutes In March of 2000, the acclaimed conceptual artist Mark Lombardi was found hanged in his New York apartment. It was ruled a suicide. But Lombardi was no ordinary artist. His pieces , “Interlocks” as they were called, shone an unwelcome light on the Vatican, the Mafia, the Bushes, international financiers, and the CIA. His biographer, Patricia Goldstone tells his story to WhoWhatWhy’s Jeff Schechtman.
Reading Time: 2 minutes During his current visit, Pope Francis not only called Africa “the continent of hope” but also railed against corruption, which continues to hold back development in many countries. However, defying popular opinion, parts of Africa are at the cutting edge of technology and economic growth— and the rise of the African consumer economy is one of the biggest, and most undercovered, stories. A podcast.
Reading Time: 13 minutes The assassination of John F. Kennedy forever changed America and its politics. And yet, even in the wake of such a tectonic event, the facts around that fateful day are still in dispute. One man who can cut through the confusion is Gary Shaw, a pioneering investigator of JFK’s death. He is this week’s guest of WhoWhatWhy’s Jeff Schechtman.
Reading Time: 15 minutes Who actually runs the country? If you said our elected officials, think again. Despite what candidates promise while running for office, the national security policy of each successive president and administration tends to look very similar, irrespective of party or stated philosophy. In this podcast interview, Michael J. Glennon, Professor of International Law at Tufts Fletcher School, lays bare the truth few are willing to acknowledge: “We have a structure of double government in which even the president now exercises little substantive control over the overall direction of US national security policy.”
Reading Time: 1 minute Here’s WhoWhatWhy Editor in Chief Russ Baker with the podcaster Jack Blood a few months back. In this wide-ranging discussion, they mulled Donald Trump; what’s wrong with the candidates and the coverage; problems with modern conversation; the importance of thinking and reading outside the box; the narrow mindset of elites; and more.
Reading Time: 2 minutes Even the most zealous guardians of the environment don’t realize that they often do their worst environmental damage when they die. Green burial activist Suzanne Kelly talks to WhoWhatWhy’s Jeff Schechtman about the current American way of death. It is often presided over by seemingly small, but often corporatized funeral homes, and may in fact be one of the most polluting and environmentally damaging things that we do.
Reading Time: 2 minutes WhoWhatWhy Editor in Chief Russ Baker chats with Pat Thurston, talk show host on the megastation KGO, about what is — and is not — in the new movie “Truth.” The film, which features Robert Redford and Cate Blanchett, explores the events in 2004 when CBS News reported on George W. Bush’s failure to complete his required military service during the Vietnam War. Instead of Bush facing the music, it was CBS’s journalists whose heads ended up on the chopping block. Russ goes deep for some surprising insights.
Reading Time: 2 minutes Wasting billions of dollars in taxes is standard operating procedure for the US government. It has spent more on Afghanistan than on the entire Marshall Plan to rebuild Europe after World War II. Where are these staggering amounts going? In this strikingly candid interview, John Sopko, a former federal prosecutor and currently the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction lets loose an amazing commentary on what he and his inspectors are finding. This is a must-listen. Even the most jaded will be astonished to hear.
Reading Time: 1 minute A wide-ranging fall 2014 podcast interview of Russ Baker on a variety of topics that continue to fascinate us, not only because of the amazing things we have discovered, but because of the continuing mysteries about them — the Bushes, the Clintons and Obama, how elites cross usual political lines, problems presidents face when they antagonize powerful private interests, and much more.
Reading Time: 1 minute You know you give up privacy on Facebook. But what about when you go to the doctor, make a phone call, open a bank account or shop for groceries? Felicia King tells WhoWhatWhy’s Jeff Schechtman why everything short of using cash and an old passport for ID could be leaving yourself open to having your privacy invaded.
Reading Time: 1 minute A new book on the CIA’s most powerful director, Allen Dulles, will be out next week. WhoWhatWhy’s Jeff Schechtman interviews author David Talbot about his many discoveries. These include World War II and Cold War secrets and crucial new information relating to the assassination of John F. Kennedy. Podcast.
Reading Time: 2 minutes In her last work, Annie Jacobsen gave us a look at Area 51. Now she talks to WhoWhatWhy’s Jeff Schechtman about the trove of government secrets connected to DARPA, the Defense Advanced Research Project Agency. That’s the secret military R&D labs that gave us the Internet, Agent Orange, drones, and advanced research into human cloning.
Reading Time: 1 minute Despite technological advances in nearly all areas of life, our elections are still safest when paper ballots are used, the distinguished cybersecurity scholar Jonathan Katz tells WhoWhatWhy. In our weekly podcast, he points out the vulnerabilities of all other types of voting and makes the case against Internet voting at this time.
Reading Time: 2 minutes Everywhere you turn, these days, it seems they’re talking about “mass incarceration.” But count on this site for a fresh perspective. In this podcast, a former member of the Symbionese Liberation Army, who spent time in prison for a 1975 bank robbery and is now a professor at the University of Illinois, talks to WhoWhatWhy’s Jeff Schechtman about how prison has become a panacea for a wide range of our social ills. And why the 1980s ushered in “the most extensive campaign of prison building and incarceration in modern history.”
Reading Time: 1 minute 9/11 was a seminal day in US history, but, as noted author and historian Peter Dale Scott tells WhoWhatWhy, the true significance of what happened goes far beyond what meets the eye. In this podcast, Scott focuses in particular on the implementation of a secret “Continuity of Government” plan that had been decades in the making. Consequently, he argues, there has been “a permanent change to the United States” that permeates the lives of all Americans. The result, according to Scott, has been the suspension of Constitutional rights and the transformation of America in ways that we are still living with today.
Reading Time: 1 minute One in three American young people will be arrested or taken into custody by the time they are 23. A few of these will be as young as ten.
Many will be locked in detention centers under conditions that run counter to everything we know about rehabilitation — indeed, about what constitutes a civilized society.
But what is the right way to lock up a youth? Journalist Nell Bernstein tells WhoWhatWhy’s Jeff Schechtman that there is no right way. The very act of separation from society in prison-like conditions denies them the most essential requirement of their growth — positive relationships with caring adults.
Reading Time: 1 minute In this week’s WhoWhatWhy Podcast, Russ Baker recounts the backstory behind his five-part series on the corruption, incompetence, contempt, and depraved indifference exposed by the Bush administration’s response to Katrina
Reading Time: 1 minute America’s next President might be put in office by Google. Either by the natural “trending” of the Google search algorithm — or by the invisible hand of a Google executive, manipulating the Search Engine. A new scientific study, by RadioWhoWhatWhy podcast guest Robert Epstein, clearly shows that the rankings in Google search results directly affect our voting behavior.
Reading Time: 1 minute A Law Professor who wants to throw out the law. That’s right: Adam Benforado thinks we should yank out by the roots our entire criminal justice system. Do we need to eliminate juries, much of our court system — and find whole new ways to determine guilt, innocence and punishment? Benforado says yes. PODCAST
Reading Time: 1 minute Charles Pellegrino opens a you-are-there time capsule on the 70th anniversary of the bombing of Hiroshima, which was followed three days later by the bombing of Nagasaki. With WhoWhatWhy’s Jeff Schechtman, Pellegrino shares the heart-searing testimony of survivors —who show what’s really at stake in the nuclear negotiations with Iran.