December 3 - Possible Foreign Links to the San Bernardino Shooters; Once Again American Imams are on the Defensive; A Coal Baron Gets a Slap on the Wrist

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Full Program


Part 1

We begin with the current efforts to define yesterday’s tragedy in San Bernardino, California as either yet another mass shooting by well-armed deranged individuals, an act of domestic terrorism or an act of terrorism inspired from abroad. Paul Pillar, the Director of Graduate Studies at the Center for Peace and Security Studies at Georgetown University who retired after 28 years in the CIA as the National Intelligence Officer for the Near East and South Asia, joins us to discuss what foreign influences might be involved in motivating Syed Farook and his wife Tashfeen Malik to kill 14 people, wound 21 and leave behind their six month old baby after dying in a furious shootout with the police.

Part 2

Then we speak with Ali Al-Ahmed, the founder and director of the Institute for Gulf Affairs about the need for less Saudi Wahhabi influence and more diversity in Islam as American Imams and Islamic Scholars once again find themselves on the defensive, repeating clich├ęs that “Islam is a religion of peace” to an increasingly skeptical  American public that is more and more susceptible to the kind of Islamophobic ignorance being spread by Republican presidential candidates like Donald Trump and Ben Carson.

Part 3

Then finally we examine the maximum one year jail sentence that the West Virginia coal baron Don Blankenship faces from a misdemeanor conviction of conspiracy handed down today after the Justice Department failed in a prosecution that could have led to a 30-year prison term for causing the deaths of 29 miners at the Upper Big Branch mine in 2010. Bob Kincaid, the co-founder of the Appalachian Communities Health Emergency Campaign and President of the Coal River Mountain Watch joins us to explain this slap on the wrist.