On today's BradCast, the GOP Convention finally gets underway in Cleveland as we try to make sense of the attempted military coup in Turkey over the weekend and the release of 28 previously classified pages of the 9/11 Commission's report.
First, as the RNC kicks off amidst a cycle of gun violence in this country and on the heels of another mass shooting of police officers over the weekend, this time in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, the Cleveland Police union begged Ohio Gov. John Kasich to restrict guns outside the gathering during the convention, despite the state's open carry provisions. Kasich refused, citing Ohio's Constitution which, he says, does not permit the Governor to restrict real guns from the perimeter of the Quicken Loans Arena, even as toy guns and tennis balls are disallowed.
As the official proceedings finally began today inside the convention center, Republican opponents of Trump clashed with GOP officials after a thwarted attempt to force a roll call vote on the approval of the rules. Not a good start.
Then, we're joined by my guest today, former CIA analyst Ray McGovern. The longtime agency veteran, who used to deliver Presidential Daily Briefings to Reagan and Bush Sr. among others, joins us to discuss the apparently-failed military coup attempt that took place over the weekend in Turkey. We discuss what appears to have happened in the NATO nation, what it may mean for their hopes of joining the European Union, as well as what President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's mass arrests of police, military and judges in its wake may mean for Turkey, NATO, the EU, the U.S. and other nations.
The veteran analyst turned anti-war advocate and co-founder of Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS), also details his opinion on whether the attempted coup by a faction of the Turkish military was at least partly a "false flag" event orchestrated by Erdogan, how much the U.S., an allly, may or may not have known about the uprising in advance, and why the U.S. will continue to be friendly with the Islamic nation, come what may.
"The bottom line on the Turkish coup," McGovern says, "is Erdogan has been given a terrific present here. He'll be able to change the constitution further, and he'll be able to exert dictatorial powers without much dissent. And that is very dangerous for NATO and the whole Near East area because he is the very definition of a loose cannon."
On the related topic of increasingly authoritarian friends of the U.S., we discuss the newly declassified 28-pages [PDF] of the 9/11 Commission's Final Report regarding a much closer relationship between the 9/11 hijackers and the Saudi government than either the Obama Administration or a number of major media outlets have so far reported. "These are damning, damning pieces of evidence of extensive Saudi government support for some of the 9/11 hijackers," he explains, before also explaining how the information revealed by these pages could have even come about in the first place --- and his quick thoughts on the rise of Donald Trump.
Finally today: It looks like Roger Ailes, longtime mastermind of the Fox "News" Channel scam, is about to be pushed out of his job in the wake of sexual harassment allegations against him by a former Fox anchor Gretchen Carlson; Donald Trump's Art of the Deal ghostwriter says he has a "deep sense of remorse" for "put[ting] lipstick on a pig"; and a bit of somewhat encouraging polling news for Hillary Clinton over the weekend...
(Snail mail support to "Brad Friedman, 7095 Hollywood Blvd., #594 Los Angeles, CA 90028" always welcome too!)