Episode

7/27 Frank Church vs. The CIA & FBI: The Depths Of The Deep State w/ James Risen, Thomas Risen

July 27, 2023

It’s another EmMajority Report Thursday! She speaks with James Risen, senior national security correspondent at The Intercept, and co-author Thomas Risen, to discuss their recent book The Last Honest Man: The CIA, the FBI, the Mafia, and the Kennedys—and One Senator’s Fight to Save Democracy. First, Emma runs through updates on ANOTHER Fed rate raise despite cooling inflation, rising child labor, a telecom probe, Mitch McConnell’s medical emergency, Niger’s coup, and Hunter Biden’s legal woes, before touching on Jim Cramer’s telling CNBC comments on the UPS Teamsters and UAW. James and Thomas Risen then join, diving right into a background on Senator Frank Church and his political evolution into a progressive, anti-imperialist, and anti-authoritarian legend of American politics, including his outspoken opposition to the Vietnam War and the expansion of the US Intelligence community in the wake of the assassination of JFK, and eventual push for the establishment of the Senate Select Committee to Study Governmental Operations with Respect to Intelligence Activities (Church Committee). Next, the Risens explore the expansion of the US Intelligence community post-WWII, tackling the establishment of the CIA as a covert actor for US hegemony on foreign soil, putting them on track to rapidly become the international assassination juggernaut they are today, before expanding on their interaction with domestic actors, their mutually antagonistic relationship with J. Edgar Hoover’s FBI, and the FBI’s own relationship to political conspiracy and terrorism. After taking on the establishment of the Church Committee in the wake of Watergate, the state of disillusionment with the US government, and the revelations the Church Committee brought forward (particularly around COINTELPRO), James, Thomas, and Emma wrap up by assessing the absurdity of the GOP’s attempt to frame their Congressional farce as the Church Committee 2.0.

And in the Fun Half: Emma is joined by Brandon Sutton and Matt Binder as they discuss the British-American accent dynamics in Hollywood, DeSantis’ position on an RFK cabinet roll, and the Weinstein couple muses about their voyeuristic experience at a recent drag show. Lucas from Montana dives into the anti-woke hijacking of libraries, Cody from Georgia expands on today’s interview and connections with JFK and the Oswalds, Newsmax comes for the White House dogs, Kowalski proposes a prudent judicial philosophical conundrum, and Adam from Rhode Island brings up Elon’s active destruction of Twitter, plus, your calls and IMs!

Check out James and Thomas’s book here: https://www.hachettebookgroup.com/titles/james-risen/the-last-honest-man/9780316565134/?lens=little-brown

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