The MintPress podcast “The Watchdog,” hosted by British-Iraqi hip hop artist Lowkey, closely examines organizations about which it is in the public interest to know – including intelligence, lobby, and special interest groups influencing policies that infringe on free speech and target dissent. The Watchdog goes against the grain by casting a light on stories largely ignored by the mainstream, corporate media.
In the twenty-ninth installment of “The Watchdog” podcast, Lowkey speaks to Todd E. Pierce about the global reach of the U.S. empire and its totalitarian ambitions to control the entire planet. Todd is a retired U.S. Army officer and defense attorney whose experiences serving at the front line of empire moved him to become a defender of its victims. Towards the end of his military service, he volunteered to become a defense attorney for three prisoners held at Guantanamo Bay in Cuba.
Previously a neoconservative cold warrior, Pierce joined the military at an early age and served in the first Gulf War. Yet after being exposed to the realities of neoconservative doctrine, his faith in the project began to waver.
After the fall of the Soviet Union and the U.S. victory in Iraq, American war planners were giddy with excitement and dreamed of a world where they had “full spectrum dominance.” It was at this point that top neoconservatives like Dick Cheney and Scooter Libby began to outline their plans for total world domination. As Pierce told Lowkey, their position was essentially:
The world now is subject to our control and we would not tolerate any country having the ability…to cause us to hesitate in our decision making, even for legitimate grievances. It’s totalitarian. It is a totalitarian doctrine that we tried to impose on the world. And it is still our doctrine.”
Inside the U.S. as well, they saw little need for the façade of democracy and developed their “unitary executive theory,” a notion Pierce described as “the idea that the U.S. president can do anything he or she wishes to do. It is no less than that: it’s a dictatorship.”
Unlike many in the country, Pierce became more radical as he got older and increasingly came to oppose the empire he served for years. Today, Pierce is a searing critic of U.S. human rights discourse, claiming that Washington’s actions around the world have “made a mockery” of the phrase. From protecting torturers to defending human rights-abusing allies like Saudi Arabia, the U.S. has fundamentally undermined its own position. As he has argued, “Everything that we have done since 9/11 is wrong.”
Todd E. Pierce served with the 349th Psychological Operations Company and the 205th Infantry Brigade as a senior NCO. In 2008, he was assigned to the Office of the Chief Defense Counsel. An American lawyer, military historian, former army computer technician, and former Judge Advocate General Defense Attorney, he volunteered to defend Guantanamo Bay inmates, describing the legal theory underpinning the detention camp as an attack on the Constitution.
Lowkey is a British-Iraqi hip-hop artist, academic and political campaigner. As a musician, he has collaborated with the Arctic Monkeys, Wretch 32, Immortal Technique and Akala. He is a patron of Stop The War Coalition, Palestine Solidarity Campaign, the Racial Justice Network and The Peace and Justice Project, founded by Jeremy Corbyn. He has spoken and performed on platforms from the Oxford Union to the Royal Albert Hall and Glastonbury. His latest album, Soundtrack To The Struggle 2, featured Noam Chomsky and Frankie Boyle and has been streamed millions of times.