Hosts Rania Khalek and Kevin Gosztola spend the hour with journalist Todd Miller, whose book, Empire of Borders: The Expansion of the U.S. Border Around the World, was released this month.
Miller's book is an exceptional and revealing work of journalism. He traveled to various border zones, particularly where security regimes are influenced by the United States, and he describes what he found over the past several years.
The United States government has developed a multi-layered border strategy that involves recruiting countries to help prevent refugees, asylum seekers, migrants, etc, from ever reaching the U.S. border. Miller outlines how border zones are increasingly internationalized.
There are more than "77 border walls, billions upon billions of dollars' worth of surveillance technology—including biometrics—and tens of thousands of armed agents guarding the dividing lines between the Global North and Global South." It is estimated that there are over 2,250 detention centers throughout the world that are crammed with people.
Miller recounts his trip to the Zacapa military base in Guatemala. He talks about freedom of movement—who is really free to travel—and the U.S. special operations unit, the Border Patrol Tactical Unit or BORTAC.
Later in the interview, Miller addresses how the security states that are developed around these border zones are designed to control poor populations. In fact, the very people who are likely to be oppressed by these systems are also the cheap labor making the tools for these state-of-the-art border zones.
The final part of the interview highlights Israel's role in pushing security technology that can be used against populations and the funding the U.S. has provided to Jordan to control the flow of Syrians fleeing their country.
Note: For those of you who are patrons, there is bonus material with Todd Miller for further listening. Thanks again for all your support.
Direct download: S6E29.mp3
-- posted at: 10:06am EDT