The Black Banners (Declassified) w/ Ali Soufan – Ep 85

Ali Soufan, former FBI agent who investigated al Qaeda in the late 1990’s up to and including the 9/11 attacks, chairman and CEO of The Soufan Group, and author of several great works, including the recent second edition of “The Black Banners”, now completely unredacted, stops by the podcast to discuss his work as a federal agent, his portrayal in The Looming Tower (both the award winning book by Lawrence Wright and the Hulu limited series), his youth in Lebanon and how he was dared to apply for an opening as a FBI agent, his thoughts on the Global War on Terror and how U.S. military operations have changed the “landscape” of the Middle East, the long journey of fighting to unredact The Black Banners, and a whole lot more.

Ali Soufan is Chairman and CEO of The Soufan Group, and a leading national security and counterterrorism expert.  Previously, as an FBI Supervisory Special Agent, he investigated and supervised complex international terrorism cases, including the East Africa embassy bombings, the attack on the USS Cole, and the events surrounding 9/11. He also serves as a member of the Homeland Security Advisory Council. 

He is the author of Anatomy of Terror: From the Death of bin Laden to the Rise of the Islamic State and the New York Times top-10 bestseller The Black Banners: The Inside Story of 9/11 and the War Against al-Qaeda, which won the 2012 Ridenhour Book Prize.

Ali has testified before the U.S. Congress and the British Parliament’s Home Affairs Committee. He’s also contributed to and been profiled and interviewed by 60 Minutes, Frontline, The New Yorker, Newsweek, the Washington Post, the New York Times, and the Wall Street Journal, among others – and also appeared on CNN, MSNBC, Fox News, and the BBC.

 Many of our book and film buff listeners have probably seen his work detailed in several nonfiction books, including The Looming Tower, by Lawrence Wright, which was adapted into a 10-part Hulu series in 2018.


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A special thanks to our Patreon honorary producers – Will Ahrens, Fahim Shirazee, James O’Barr, Adam Bellows, Eric Phillips, Paul Appell, Julie Dupris, Thomas Benson, Emma P, Janet Hanson, Lawrence Taylor, Tristan Oliver, Marwan Marwan, Daniel Fleming and the Statist Quo Podcast.  You all are the engine that helps us power the podcast.  Thank you so much!!!

Not up for something recurring like Patreon, but want to give a couple bucks?!  Visit Paypal.me/fortressonahill to contribute!!

Fortress On A Hill is hosted, written, and produced by Chris ‘Henri’ Henrikson, Danny Sjursen, and Keagan Miller.

Intro / outro music “Fortress on a hill” written and performed by Clifton Hicks.  Clifton’s Bandcamp pageClifton’s Patreon page

Cover and website art designed by Brian K. Wyatt Jr. of B-EZ Graphix Multimedia Marketing Agency in Tallehassee, FL

Note: The views expressed in this podcast are those of the hosts alone, expressed in an unofficial capacity, and do not reflect the official policy or position of the Department of the Army, Department of Defense, or the U.S. government.

“I Ain’t Marching Anymore: Dissenters, Deserters, and Objectors to America’s Wars” w/ Chris Lombardi – Ep 84

Chris Lombardi, editor at Democratic Left Online, stops by the podcast to discuss her new book “I Ain’t Marching Anymore: Dissenters, Deserters, and Objectors to America’s Wars”.  It’s an amazing history of military dissenters, conscientious objectors, and their hard, but determined path of dissent.

She will be hosting a live stream on Nov 10, 2020, at 4pm PST.  Click here to register for the event!

Journalist Chris Lombardi has been writing about war and peace for more than twenty years. Her work has appeared in The Nation, Guernica, the Philadelphia Inquirer, ABA Journal, and at WHYY.org. The author of I Ain’t Marching Anymore: Dissenters, Deserters, and Objectors to America’s Wars (The New Press), she lives in Philadelphia.


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Not a contributor on Patreon? You’re missing out on amazing bonus content! Sign up to be one of our patrons today! – www.patreon.com/fortressonahill

A special thanks to our Patreon honorary producers – Will Ahrens, Fahim Shirazee, James O’Barr, Adam Bellows, Eric Phillips, Paul Appell, Julie Dupris, Thomas Benson, Emma P, Janet Hanson, Lawrence Taylor, Tristan Oliver, Marwan Marwan, and the Statist Quo Podcast.  You all are the engine that helps us power the podcast.  Thank you so much!!!

Not up for something recurring like Patreon, but want to give a couple bucks?!  Visit Paypal.me/fortressonahill to contribute!!

Fortress On A Hill is hosted, written, and produced by Chris ‘Henri’ Henrikson, Danny Sjursen, and Keagan Miller.

Intro / outro music “Fortress on a hill” written and performed by Clifton Hicks.  Clifton’s Bandcamp pageClifton’s Patreon page

Cover and website art designed by Brian K. Wyatt Jr. of B-EZ Graphix Multimedia Marketing Agency in Tallehassee, FL

Note: The views expressed in this podcast are those of the hosts alone, expressed in an unofficial capacity, and do not reflect the official policy or position of the Department of the Army, Department of Defense, or the U.S. government.

The foreign policy history of Joe Biden – Ep 83

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It all comes down to this.  After around 18 months of speculation and primaries, the election is Tuesday.  The country is at a crossroads of immense proportions.  And to add to the leftist/progressive discussion and atmosphere of the 2020 presidential election, here is an analysis of the critical points of Joe Biden’s record concerning foreign policy anda brief examination of his domestic record relating to racial justice, to include a half dozen sound clips from the man himself.  This was a difficult episode to create, given the polarizing nature of Biden’s record and American politics today more generally, and it will be difficult to hear as well.  Please email us with your comments, let us know where you fall, whether you agree or disagree, and be sure to vote on Tuesday!

Worth The Price: Joe Biden and the launch of the Iraq War –

The Real News Network


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A special thanks to our Patreon honorary producers – Will Ahrens, Fahim Shirazee, James O’Barr, Adam Bellows, Eric Phillips, Paul Appell, Julie Dupris, Thomas Benson, Emma P, Janet Hanson, Lawrence Taylor, Tristan Oliver, Marwan Marwan, and the Statist Quo Podcast.  You all are the engine that helps us power the podcast.  Thank you so much!!!

Not up for something recurring like Patreon, but want to give a couple bucks?!  Visit Paypal.me/fortressonahill to contribute!!

Fortress On A Hill is hosted, written, and produced by Chris ‘Henri’ Henrikson, Danny Sjursen, and Keagan Miller.

Intro / outro music “Fortress on a hill” written and performed by Clifton Hicks.  Clifton’s Bandcamp pageClifton’s Patreon page

Cover and website art designed by Brian K. Wyatt Jr. of B-EZ Graphix Multimedia Marketing Agency in Tallehassee, FL

Note: The views expressed in this podcast are those of the hosts alone, expressed in an unofficial capacity, and do not reflect the official policy or position of the Department of the Army, Department of Defense, or the U.S. government.

Former FBI agent and whistleblower Coleen Rowley – Ep 82

Coleen Rowley, retired FBI agent and whistleblower on the FBI’s inaction prior to and following September 11, 2001, joins us for a discussion on her career history to include her time conducting racketeering investigations in NYC, her role as a whistleblower in the FBI during the Bush administration, her thoughts on nonviolent alternatives to state violence, and a whole lot more.  Enjoy!!


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Not a contributor on Patreon? You’re missing out on amazing bonus content! Sign up to be one of our patrons today! – www.patreon.com/fortressonahill

A special thanks to our Patreon honorary producers – Will Ahrens, Fahim Shirazee, James O’Barr, Adam Bellows, Eric Phillips, Paul Appell, Julie Dupris, Thomas Benson, Emma P, Janet Hanson, Lawrence Taylor, Tristan Oliver, Marwan Marwan, and the Statist Quo Podcast.  You all are the engine that helps us power the podcast.  Thank you so much!!!

Not up for something recurring like Patreon, but want to give a couple bucks?!  Visit Paypal.me/fortressonahill to contribute!!

Fortress On A Hill is hosted, written, and produced by Chris ‘Henri’ Henrikson, Danny Sjursen, and Keagan Miller.

Intro / outro music “Fortress on a hill” written and performed by Clifton Hicks.  Clifton’s Bandcamp pageClifton’s Patreon page

Cover and website art designed by Brian K. Wyatt Jr. of B-EZ Graphix Multimedia Marketing Agency in Tallehassee, FL

Note: The views expressed in this podcast are those of the hosts alone, expressed in an unofficial capacity, and do not reflect the official policy or position of the Department of the Army, Department of Defense, or the U.S. government.

Lebanon: The Top Ten Myths About the Country and Its Conflicts – Ep 81

We take a pause from the insanity of the election and a commander in chief with COVID-19 (remind me to thank him for endangering the staff at Walter Reed, as well as the permanent staff at the WH!) to discuss the recent explosion in Lebanon and America’s long intervention history there.  We break down some of the myths from Danny’s series and give everyone a good picture of where Lebanon is today and how American foreign policy took it there.  Below is the links for Danny’s series on Lebanon.  Enjoy!!!

Lebanon: Bellwether, Battleground, and Bastard Child of the Mideast

Lebanon: The Top Ten Myths About the Country and Its Conflicts

Lebanon: The Top Ten Myths About the Country and its Conflicts (Part Two)

Lebanon: Inconvenient Truths About Syria, Iran, Hezbollah, and the Shia ‘Street’


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Not a contributor on Patreon? You’re missing out on amazing bonus content! Sign up to be one of our patrons today! – www.patreon.com/fortressonahill

A special thanks to our Patreon honorary producers – Will Ahrens, Fahim Shirazee, James O’Barr, Adam Bellows, Eric Phillips, Paul Appell, Julie Dupris, Thomas Benson, Emma P, Janet Hanson, Lawrence Taylor, Tristan Oliver, Marwan Marwan, and the Statist Quo Podcast.  You all are the engine that helps us power the podcast.  Thank you so much!!!

Not up for something recurring like Patreon, but want to give a couple bucks?!  Visit Paypal.me/fortressonahill to contribute!!

Fortress On A Hill is hosted, written, and produced by Chris ‘Henri’ Henrikson, Danny Sjursen, and Keagan Miller.

Intro / outro music “Fortress on a hill” written and performed by Clifton Hicks.  Clifton’s Bandcamp pageClifton’s Patreon page

Cover and website art designed by Brian K. Wyatt Jr. of B-EZ Graphix Multimedia Marketing Agency in Tallehassee, FL

Note: The views expressed in this podcast are those of the hosts alone, expressed in an unofficial capacity, and do not reflect the official policy or position of the Department of the Army, Department of Defense, or the U.S. government.

Understanding the War Industry w/ Christian Sorenson – Ep 80

Christian Sorenson stops by the podcast to discuss his new book “Understanding the War Industry”, a detailed look at contracting within the U.S. military industrial complex and how its giant war chest gets funneled to an endless list of contractors, without question to its necessity or what could have been purchased in its place.  Christian writes at ibpoffices.com, and he’s on Twitter @cp_sorensen

Everyone from libertarians to mainstream liberals to anarchists utters the words “military-industrial complex,” often as a catchall for murky forces that press the U.S. government into war. But what is this complex? More accurately rendered as the “military-industrial-congressional complex,” it is comprised of the Pentagon, the headquarters of the U.S. Armed Forces; industry, the corporations that sell goods and services to the Pentagon and allied governments; and Congress, which authorizes funding for the Pentagon to purchase industry’s products. Large corporations—the “industrial” side—steer the triangle.

Understanding the War Industry is a critical examination of corporate influence on matters of war. The book throws back the veil on how the corporations comprising the U.S. war industry wield authority and exploit financial structures and legal code. Sorensen demonstrates how corporate aggressors profit through such business sectors of war as information technology, nuclear weaponry, drones, space, and special operations. Sales to foreign governments (“foreign military sales,” or FMS) provide a major source of revenue for U.S. war corporations. Large swaths of U.S. academia function as part of the war industry instead of advancing the public’s understanding of the world or incubating innovation that benefits human progress. Other revelations within Understanding the War Industry include insight into how corporate boardrooms view the troops, overseas bases, and warzones.

Understanding the War Industry can be read as a call for peaceful mobilization or as a detailed journey covering the ins and outs of corporate dominance. Drawing upon an impressive body of research, Sorensen demonstrates how industry commands the other two sides of the military-industrial-congressional triangle and how it subverts democracy in the process. Stunning in its depth and analytical perspective, Understanding the War Industry instructs the reader about the state of the nation and offers hope for a future in which “national security” involves caring for the public instead of waging elective global war.


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Not a contributor on Patreon? You’re missing out on amazing bonus content! Sign up to be one of our patrons today! – www.patreon.com/fortressonahill

A special thanks to our Patreon honorary producers – Will Ahrens, Fahim Shirazee, James O’Barr, Adam Bellows, Eric Phillips, Paul Appell, Julie Dupris, Thomas Benson, Emma P, Janet Hanson, Lawrence Taylor, Tristan Oliver, Marwan Marwan, and the Statist Quo Podcast.  You all are the engine that helps us power the podcast.  Thank you so much!!!

Not up for something recurring like Patreon, but want to give a couple bucks?!  Visit Paypal.me/fortressonahill to contribute!!

Fortress On A Hill is hosted, written, and produced by Chris ‘Henri’ Henrikson, Danny Sjursen, and Keagan Miller.

Intro / outro music “Fortress on a hill” written and performed by Clifton Hicks.  Clifton’s Bandcamp pageClifton’s Patreon page

Cover and website art designed by Brian K. Wyatt Jr. of B-EZ Graphix Multimedia Marketing Agency in Tallehassee, FL

Note: The views expressed in this podcast are those of the hosts alone, expressed in an unofficial capacity, and do not reflect the official policy or position of the Department of the Army, Department of Defense, or the U.S. government.

Steve Poikonen, cohost of Slow News Day / the Free Assange online vigil series – Ep 79

Steve Poikonen, host of Slow News Day and co-host of the Free Assange online vigil series, joins us for a discussion on all things Julian Assange (FYI: this was recorded before the recent hearings on Julian’s extradition from the U.K.)  We discuss Steve’s view of NAFTA-driven neoliberalism in his childhood home of Elwood, IN, how the fallout from Chelsea Manning’s leaks made life better for all whistleblowers, even if just on paper, and of course, on the importance of Julian Assange’s actions as a publisher and how important unvarnished views of government activity are to activists who call out government criminality.   


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Not a contributor on Patreon? You’re missing out on amazing bonus content! Sign up to be one of our patrons today! – www.patreon.com/fortressonahill

A special thanks to our Patreon honorary producers – Will Ahrens, Fahim Shirazee, James O’Barr, Adam Bellows, Eric Phillips, Paul Appell, Julie Dupris, Thomas Benson, Emma P, Janet Hanson, Lawrence Taylor, Tristan Oliver, Marwan Marwan, and the Statist Quo Podcast.  You all are the engine that helps us power the podcast.  Thank you so much!!!

Not up for something recurring like Patreon, but want to give a couple bucks?!  Visit Paypal.me/fortressonahill to contribute!!

Fortress On A Hill is hosted, written, and produced by Chris ‘Henri’ Henrikson, Danny Sjursen, and Keagan Miller.

Intro / outro music “Fortress on a hill” written and performed by Clifton Hicks.  Clifton’s Bandcamp pageClifton’s Patreon page

Cover and website art designed by Brian K. Wyatt Jr. of B-EZ Graphix Multimedia Marketing Agency in Tallehassee, FL

Note: The views expressed in this podcast are those of the hosts alone, expressed in an unofficial capacity, and do not reflect the official policy or position of the Department of the Army, Department of Defense, or the U.S. government.

Patriotic Dissent: America in the Age of Endless War – Ep 78

It’s here folks!!  Danny’s new book is out first thing tomorrow.  You can find it right here at Heyday Books.  For this episode, Danny and I broke down the book a bit, discussing the differences between Ghost Riders of Baghdad (Danny’s first book.  Get it here) and Patriotic Dissent, and even a few tidbits on the podcast itself, and a whole lot more.  Enjoy!!!


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Not a contributor on Patreon? You’re missing out on amazing bonus content! Sign up to be one of our patrons today! – www.patreon.com/fortressonahill

A special thanks to our Patreon honorary producers – Will Ahrens, Fahim Shirazee, James O’Barr, Adam Bellows, Eric Phillips, Paul Appell, Julie Dupris, Thomas Benson, Emma P, Janet Hanson, Lawrence Taylor, Tristan Oliver, Marwan Marwan, and the Statist Quo Podcast.  You all are the engine that helps us power the podcast.  Thank you so much!!!

Not up for something recurring like Patreon, but want to give a couple bucks?!  Visit Paypal.me/fortressonahill to contribute!!

Fortress On A Hill is hosted, written, and produced by Chris ‘Henri’ Henrikson, Danny Sjursen, and Keagan Miller.

Intro / outro music “Fortress on a hill” written and performed by Clifton Hicks.  Clifton’s Bandcamp pageClifton’s Patreon page

Cover and website art designed by Brian K. Wyatt Jr. of B-EZ Graphix Multimedia Marketing Agency in Tallehassee, FL

Note: The views expressed in this podcast are those of the hosts alone, expressed in an unofficial capacity, and do not reflect the official policy or position of the Department of the Army, Department of Defense, or the U.S. government.

Stone and Sjursen Part 4 – Ep 77

Danny’s final discussion with Oliver Stone is here!!!  The discussion includes how Oliver expressed his angst with his parents’ divorce through the stories of Elias and Barnes in Platoon, boot licking war films (like Gladiator and Blackhawk Down) and their exceptionally narrow points of view, and the DOD’s reaction to providing support for Platoon.

Buy Oliver’s new book right here, “Chasing the Light: Writing, Directing, and Surviving Platoon, Midnight Express, Scarface, Salvador, and the Movie Game”

Danny’s new book, “Patriotic Dissent: America in the Age of Endless War” releases on September 8th.  Pick it up right here from Heyday Books.


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Not a contributor on Patreon? You’re missing out on amazing bonus content! Sign up to be one of our patrons today! – www.patreon.com/fortressonahill

A special thanks to our Patreon honorary producers – Will Ahrens, Fahim Shirazee, James O’Barr, Adam Bellows, Eric Phillips, Paul Appell, Julie Dupris, Thomas Benson, Emma P, Janet Hanson, Lawrence Taylor, Tristan Oliver, Marwan Marwan, and the Statist Quo Podcast.  You all are the engine that helps us power the podcast.  Thank you so much!!!

Not up for something recurring like Patreon, but want to give a couple bucks?!  Visit Paypal.me/fortressonahill to contribute!!

Fortress On A Hill is hosted, written, and produced by Chris ‘Henri’ Henrikson, Danny Sjursen, and Keagan Miller.

Intro / outro music “Fortress on a hill” written and performed by Clifton Hicks.  Clifton’s Bandcamp pageClifton’s Patreon page

Cover and website art designed by Brian K. Wyatt Jr. of B-EZ Graphix Multimedia Marketing Agency in Tallehassee, FL

Note: The views expressed in this podcast are those of the hosts alone, expressed in an unofficial capacity, and do not reflect the official policy or position of the Department of the Army, Department of Defense, or the U.S. government.

Mike Monetta, National Director of Wolf-PAC – Ep 76

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Mike Monetta, National Director for Wolf-PAC, stops by the podcast to discuss his organization’s vision of fighting money in politics amid a sea of political corruption, how progressives and those who align with them can find common cause, and how the American ideal of thanking veterans for their service desperately needs reform.

Wolf-PAC’s main mission, from the org’s website: Build a citizen movement powerful enough to add an amendment to the U.S. Constitution that will break the stranglehold that corruption and special interests have on Congress. In short, we aim to ensure a government of, by, and for the people. Current objective: pass our measures in 34 states. Every action we take must be towards this goal.  

HBO documentary “The Swamp”


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Not a contributor on Patreon? You’re missing out on amazing bonus content! Sign up to be one of our patrons today! – www.patreon.com/fortressonahill

A special thanks to our Patreon honorary producers – Will Ahrens, Fahim Shirazee, James O’Barr, Adam Bellows, Eric Phillips, Paul Appell, Julie Dupris, Thomas Benson, Emma P, Janet Hanson, Lawrence Taylor, Tristan Oliver, Marwan Marwan, and the Statist Quo Podcast.  You all are the engine that helps us power the podcast.  Thank you so much!!!

Not up for something recurring like Patreon, but want to give a couple bucks?!  Visit Paypal.me/fortressonahill to contribute!!

Fortress On A Hill is hosted, written, and produced by Chris ‘Henri’ Henrikson, Danny Sjursen, and Keagan Miller.

Intro / outro music “Fortress on a hill” written and performed by Clifton Hicks.  Clifton’s Bandcamp pageClifton’s Patreon page

Cover and website art designed by Brian K. Wyatt Jr. of B-EZ Graphix Multimedia Marketing Agency in Tallehassee, FL

Note: The views expressed in this podcast are those of the hosts alone, expressed in an unofficial capacity, and do not reflect the official policy or position of the Department of the Army, Department of Defense, or the U.S. government.