May 16 - Terror Groups Are Hard to Penetrate But Penetrations Are Easily Blown as Trump Has Demonstrated; The Doomed Meeting Between Trump and Erdogan; The US Compares the Assad Regime to the Nazis

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Full Program


Part 1

We begin with the possibility that Donald Trump has compromised a vital intelligence operation against the Islamic State and speak with a former FBI Supervisory Special Agent who investigated and supervised highly sensitive international terrorism cases such as the East Africa embassy bombings by Al Qaeda and their attack on the USS Cole. Ali Soufan joins us to discuss how painstakingly difficult it is to penetrate terrorist groups like Al Qaeda and ISIS compared to how easy it is to blow an operation as apparently Trump has done, and his latest book, “Anatomy of Terror: From the Death of bin Laden to the Rise of the Islamic State”, which is a compelling and definitive account of how and why bin Laden’s ideology keeps rising from the dead with his son Hamza now poised to take over the growing organization that his father founded.


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Part 2

Then we look into today’s White House meeting between President Trump and President Erdogan of Turkey that was bound to end in disappointment for Erdogan who is demanding the extradition of the cleric he blames for the coup against him, Gulen, and that the U.S. cut ties with the Syrian Kurds, who are the only fighting force the Pentagon can count on to defeat ISIS and take their Syrian capitol Raqqa. Max Hoffman, a Policy Analyst on National Security and International Policy at the Center for American Progress who focuses on Turkey and the Kurdish regions, joins us to discuss Trump’s business ties in Turkey and why the U.S. president was almost alone in congratulating Erdogan’s power grab in narrowly winning the recent disputed referendum.  

Max Hoffman

Part 3

Then finally we speak with Joshua Landis, the Director of the Center for Middle East Studies at the University of Oklahoma who writes “Syria Comment” a daily newsletter and blog on Syrian politics. He joins us to discuss a comparison that the U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. has made between the Assad regime and the Nazis, following the revelation that a crematorium has been installed in a Syrian prison to dispose of the bodies of the thousands of Syrians the regime systematically murders.