TMC and I have had the pleasure of meeting Jeremy Schakill twice.
The first time was during his book tour for Dirty Wars when he was interviews at The New School by Spencer Ackerman (now of The Guardian– we actually sat next to Spencer’s Mom who was a very nice and charming lady). When we went to get our copies signed he recommended an interesting Pakistani restaurant nearby.
The second time was also in New york at the launch of The Assassination Complex which is more kind of a joint reporting exercise by many Authors at The Intercept where he now works. That was kind of an interesting event, selected readings punctuated by folk music in a dance club. We sat next to the door to the Green Room so we got a good view of everyone’s backs as they waited to take the stage. Oddly enough he remembered TMC from our previous encounter, though she’s kind of hard to forget.
Anyway he’s a gracious guy and whip smart as well as an excellent raconteur even though we don’t agree on every point politically. He was recently interviewed by Democracy Now regarding his most recent piece at The Intercept.
Notorious Mercenary Erik Prince Is Advising Trump From the Shadows
by Jeremy Scahill, The Intercept
Erik Prince, America’s most notorious mercenary, is lurking in the shadows of the incoming Trump administration. A former senior U.S. official who has advised the Trump transition told The Intercept that Prince has been advising the team on matters related to intelligence and defense, including weighing in on candidates for the Defense and State departments. The official asked not to be identified because of a transition policy prohibiting discussion of confidential deliberations.
In July, Prince told Trump’s senior adviser and white supremacist Steve Bannon, at the time head of Breitbart News, that the Trump administration should recreate a version of the Phoenix Program, the CIA assassination ring that operated during the Vietnam War, to fight ISIS. Such a program, Prince said, could kill or capture “the funders of Islamic terror and that would even be the wealthy radical Islamist billionaires funding it from the Middle East, and any of the other illicit activities they’re in.”
Prince also said that Trump would be the best force to confront “Islamic fascism.” “As for the world looking to the United States for leadership, unfortunately, I think they’re going to have to wait till January and hope Mr. Trump is elected because, clearly, our generals don’t have a stomach for a fight,” Prince said. “Our president doesn’t have a stomach for a fight and the terrorists, the fascists, are winning.”
Prince’s sister, Betsy DeVos, is Trump’s nominee for education secretary and she has all but vowed to embark on a crusade to push a privatization and religious agenda in education that mirrors her brother’s in military and CIA affairs. Prince has long been a contributor to the campaign of fellow Christian warrior Mike Pence, and he contributed $100,000 to the pro-Trump Super PAC Make America Number 1. Prince’s mother, Elsa, pitched in another $50,000. That organization, run by Rebekah Mercer, daughter of billionaire hedge funder Robert Mercer, was one of the strongest bankrollers of Trump’s campaign.