Shadow World Participants
In order of appearance
Arms Industry Expert, author The Shadow World: Inside the Global Arms Trade
Andrew Feinstein is one of the world’s leading experts on corruption and the global arms trade. A frequent commentator on BBC, CNN and Al Jazeera, and The Guardian, his writing has been published by The New York Times, Der Spiegel, the Huffington Post, and many others. As the author of the book on which the film is based, he has guided the production team on the contemporary issues and history addressed in the film. Andrew is founding director of Corruption Watch UK, and is a former ANC Member of Parliament from South Africa where he served under Nelson Mandela.
Investigations Editor, The Guardian (2000-2013)
David Leigh is a British journalist and author who was the investigations editor of The Guardian. Although Leigh retired in April 2013, he continues his association with the newspaper, especially on major global investigative stories.
Prosecutor, BAE Systems case, U.K. Serious Fraud Office
Helen Garlick is globally recognised as a specialist in investigations and prosecutions relating to bribery, corruption and fraud. She worked at the Serious Fraud Office for almost 20 years where she specialised in extradition and mutual legal assistance. She worked as an investigating lawyer on some of the SFO’s landmark cases including BAE Systems, Barlow Clowes, and BCCI. She advises clients across multiple jurisdictions, carrying out anti-corruption assessments and advising on international investigations on high-profile and sensitive cases.
Arms & equipment dealer, Talisman Europe Ltd. (dissolved)
Riccardo Privitera has worked in the weapons and military equipment business for many years, primarily through his company Talisman Europe, which was based in Warsaw. He is currently serving a 7-year jail sentence in relation to an allegedly corrupt and fraudulent military matériel deal between Portugal and Poland.
Co-designer F-16 fighter aircraft, Former Defense Analyst, Pentagon
Pierre Sprey was a defense analyst at the Pentagon, working together with John Boyd and Thomas P. Christie, as a member of the self-dubbed ‘Fighter Mafia’, which advocated the use of energy-maneuverability theory in fighter design. Sprey was educated at Yale and Cornell where he studied mathematical statistics and operations research. He subsequently worked at Grumman Aircraft as a consulting statistician. From 1966 to 1970 he was a special assistant at the US Office of the Secretary of Defense. He currently works as a record producer.
Journalist and Author “The Poorer Nations”
Vijay Prashad is an Indian historian, journalist, commentator and intellectual. He is the George and Martha Kellner Chair in South Asian History and Professor of International Studies at Trinity College. In 2013–2014, he was the Edward Said Chair at the American University of Beirut. Prashad is the author of seventeen books, of which the most recent is “No Free Left: The Futures of Indian Communism,” published by LeftWord.
Investigative Journalist and Author “Dirty Wars”
Jeremy Scahill is a founding editor of the online news publication The Intercept and author of “Blackwater: The Rise of the World’s Most Powerful Mercenary Army” which won the George Polk Book Award. His book “Dirty Wars: The World Is a Battlefield” was published by Nation Books on April 23, 2013. On June 8, 2013, the documentary film of the same name, produced, narrated and co-written by Scahill, was released. It premiered at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival and was nominated for an Academy Award.
El Salvador War Resistance Leader and Peace Activist
Rev. Marta Benavides is a theologian, ordained minister, permaculturist, educator, and artist. She is one of the last surviving activists from the original group of human rights and peace advocates who began their work during the 1970s in a rising climate of repression in Latin America. A leader of an ecumenical revolution focused on bringing peace to her country, the ordained pastor who chose “to live and not die for the revolution” has been bringing people from all fields to defend human rights and develop a culture of peace. In the early 1980s, Benavides was head of the Ecumenical Committee for Humanitarian Aid, a group sponsored by the Archbishop Óscar Romero to provide support to the victims of violence in El Salvador. After Romero’s assassination in 1980, she worked for the next decade to bring an end to the war in her country, and achieve a negotiated settlement under the UN.
Colonel, U.S. Army (retired), Fmr. Chief of Staff to US Sec. of State, Colin Powell
Lawrence “Larry” B. Wilkerson is a retired United States Army Colonel who served in Vietnam as an observation helicopter pilot and in the US Navy’s Pacific Command in South Korea, Japan and Hawaii. He served as chief of staff to General Colin Powell, while Powell was Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and later Secretary of State. Wilkerson taught at the Naval War College in Newport, Rhode Island and served as deputy director of the Marine Corps War College at Quantico.
Correspondent, The New York Times (1990-2005)
Author, “War is A Force That Gives Us Meaning”
Christopher “Chris” Lynn Hedges is an American journalist, activist, author, and Presbyterian minister. He is the best-selling author of several books including “War Is a Force That Gives Us Meaning” (2002)—a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award for Nonfiction, “Death of the Liberal Class” (2010), the New York Times best seller, written with cartoonist Joe Sacco “Days of Destruction, Days of Revolt” (2012), and his most recent “Wages of Rebellion: The Moral Imperative of Revolt” (2015). Hedges is currently a host for the television program Days of Revolt on TeleSUR and The Real News, a columnist for the progressive news and commentary website Truthdig, a senior fellow at The Nation Institute in New York City, and a contributing author for OpEdNews. He spent nearly two decades as a foreign correspondent in Central America, the Middle East, Africa, and the Balkans. He has reported from more than fifty countries, and has worked for The Christian Science Monitor, NPR, Dallas Morning News, and The New York Times, where he was a foreign correspondent for fifteen years (1990–2005). In 2002 Hedges was part of a group of eight reporters at The New York Times awarded the Pulitzer Prize for the paper’s coverage of global terrorism. He also received the Amnesty International Global Award for Human Rights Journalism in 2002.
Franklin C. Spinney
Fmr. Military Analyst Pentagon
Born on a military base, Franklin C. “Chuck” Spinney spent the vast majority of his career in the military. He was a military analyst for the Pentagon who became famous in the early 1980s for what became known as the “Spinney Report,” criticizing the reckless pursuit of costly complex weapon systems by the Pentagon, with disregard to budgetary consequences. Despite attempts by his superiors to bury the report, it was eventually exposed during a US Senate Budget Committee on Defense hearing, which though scheduled to go unnoticed, made the cover of Time magazine on March 7, 1983. He was described by Senator Grassley, the chair of the Committee, as the “conscience of the Pentagon.” Spinney produced many other reports critical of the Pentagon until his retirement.
British Minister for International Development (1997-2003)
Clare Short is a British politician who was the Member of Parliament for Birmingham Ladywood from 1983 to 2010; for most of this period she was a Labour Party MP, but she resigned the party whip in 2006 and served the remainder of her term as an Independent. She stood down as a Member of Parliament at the 2010 general election. Short was a highly regarded Secretary of State for International Development in the government of Prime Minister Tony Blair from 3 May 1997 until her resignation from that post on 12 May 2003. She is the author of “An Honourable Deception?: New Labour, Iraq, and the Misuse of Power,” (2004). In 2011 Short was elected as Chairwoman of the EITI (the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative).
Middle East Correspondent, The Independent
Robert Fisk is an acclaimed English writer and journalist who has been Middle East correspondent of The Independent for more than twenty years, primarily based in Beirut. Fisk holds more British and international journalism awards than any other foreign correspondent and has been voted British International Journalist of the Year seven times. He has published a number of books and reported on several wars and armed conflicts. An Arabic speaker, he is one of a few Western journalists to have interviewed Osama bin Laden, which he did on three occasions between 1993 and 1997. Fisk has lived in Beirut since 1976, remaining throughout the Lebanese Civil War. He was one of the first journalists to visit the scene of the Sabra and Shatila massacre in Lebanon, as well as the Syrian Hama Massacre. His book on the Lebanese conflict, “Pity the Nation,” was first published in 1990. Fisk also reported on the Arab–Israeli conflict, the Bosnian War, the Kosovo War, the Algerian Civil War, among others. During the Iran–Iraq War, he suffered partial but permanent hearing loss as a result of being close to Iraqi heavy artillery in the Shatt-al-Arab when covering the early stages of the conflict.
James Der Derian
Centre for International Security Studies, University of Sydney
James Der Derian is the Michael Hintze Chair of International Security Studies and Director of the Centre for International Security Studies at The University of Sydney. Before that, Der Derian was a Watson Institute research professor of international studies and professor of political science at Brown University, where he directed the Information Technology, War, and Peace Project in the Watson Institute’s Global Security Program.
He is author of, amongst others, “Virtuous War: Mapping the Military-Industrial-Media-Entertainment Network” (2001; 2nd edition, 2009). His most recent book is a collection of selected essays, “Critical Practices of International Relations: Selected Essays” (2009). His articles on war, technology, and the media have appeared in The New York Times, The Nation, Washington Quarterly, and Wired. Der Derian has produced three documentaries with Udris Film, Virtual Y2K, After 9/11, and most recently, Human Terrain: War Becomes Academic which won the Audience Award at the 2009 Festival dei Popoli in Florence and has been an official selection at numerous international film festivals. His most recent documentary, “Project Z: The Final Global,” co-produced with Phillip Gara, premiered at the 2012 DOK Leipzig Film Festival. Der Derian is the recipient of the Bosch Berlin Prize in Public Policy.
Political Philosopher, Co-author “Empire”
Michael Hardt is an American literary theorist and political philosopher. He is Professor of Literature and Italian at Duke University and Professor of Philosophy and Politics at the European Graduate School in Saas-Fee. Hardt is best known for his book “Empire,” which was co-written with Antonio Negri. It has been praised by some as the “Communist Manifesto of the 21st Century.” A sequel, “Multitude: War and Democracy in the Age of Empire” was published in August 2004. It outlines an idea first propounded in ‘Empire’, which is that of the multitude as possible locus of a democratic movement of global proportions. The third and final part of the trilogy, ‘Commonwealth’, was published in 2009.
U.S. House of Representatives, 1997-2003, 2005-2007
Cynthia McKinney is an American politician and activist. As a member of the Democratic Party, she served six terms in the United States House of Representatives. She was the first black woman to represent Georgia in the House. In 2008, the Green Party of the United States nominated McKinney for President of the United States. In Congress, amongst other things, McKinney advocated unsealing records pertaining to the CIA’s role in the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr., supported anti-war legislation and introduced articles of impeachment against President Bush, Vice President Dick Cheney, and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice. She left the Democratic Party in September 2007. As an activist and speaker she has opposed US military intervention around the world.
David Lawley-Wakelin is a documentary filmmaker. His work includes “The Alternative Iraq Enquiry” and as assistant director, “The Wildest Dream,” Simon Schama’s “Power of Art,” “Peter and the Wolf,” amongst others. In May 2012, he interrupted the Leveson inquiry during Tony Blair’s statement, suggesting the former Prime Minister was a war criminal. He was later fined £100 plus costs. Speaking on the steps outside the court afterwards, Mr. Lawley-Wakelin revealed he had received messages of support from the Nobel Laureates Mairead Maguire and Archbishop Desmond Tutu.
Journalist Al-Baghdadia TV
Muntazer al-Zaidi is an Iraqi broadcast journalist who served as a correspondent for Iraqi-owned, Egyptian-based Al-Baghdadia TV. As of February 2011, al-Zaidi works with a Lebanese TV channel. On November 16, 2007, al-Zaidi was kidnapped by unknown assailants in Baghdad. On December 14, 2008, al-Zaidi threw his shoes at then-U.S. President George W. Bush during a Baghdad press conference. Al-Zaidi suffered injuries as he was taken into custody and some sources suggest he was tortured during his initial detention. There were calls throughout the Middle East to place the shoes in an Iraqi museum, but instead they were later destroyed by US and Iraqi security forces. Al-Zaidi’s action inspired many similar incidents of political protest around the world. Following the incident, Al-Zaidi was represented by the head of the Iraqi Bar Association during his 90-minute trial by the Central Criminal Court of Iraq. He was sentenced to three years in prison, which was reduced to one year. He was released on 15 September 2009 for good behavior, after serving nine months of the sentence. After his release, Al-Zaidi was treated for a number of injuries suffered in custody. He continues to work as a journalist in Lebanon and is engaged in numerous charitable and health activities.
National Iranian American Council, Author “Treacherous Alliance”
Trita Parsi is the founder and current president of the National Iranian American Council. Born in Iran, Parsi moved with his family to Sweden at a young age to escape political repression, as his father was an outspoken academic who was jailed both under the reign of the Shah and later under Ayatollah Khomeini’s Islamic Republic. Parsi earned a Master’s Degree in International Relations at Uppsala University and a second Master’s Degree in Economics at Stockholm School of Economics. As an adult, Parsi moved to the United States and studied foreign policy at the Johns Hopkins School for Advanced International Studies where he received his PhD in International Relations. Early in his career Parsi worked for the Swedish Permanent Mission to the UN in New York, addressing human rights in Iran, Afghanistan, Myanmar and Iraq. He has served as an adjunct professor of International Relations at Johns Hopkins University SAIS, an adjunct scholar at the Middle East Institute and as a Policy Fellow at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington DC.
U.S. Army (retired) Supreme Allied Commander, Europe (1997-2000)
Wesley Kanne Clark, Sr. is a retired General of the United States Army. He graduated as valedictorian of the Class of 1966 at West Point and was awarded a Rhodes Scholarship to the University of Oxford, where he obtained a degree in Philosophy, Politics and Economics. He later graduated from the Command and General Staff College with a master’s degree in military science. He spent 34 years in the Army, receiving many military decorations, several honorary knighthoods, and the Presidential Medal of Freedom. Clark commanded Operation Allied Force in the Kosovo War during his term as the Supreme Allied Commander Europe of NATO from 1997 to 2000.
Clark was a candidate in the 2004 race for the Democratic Party presidential nomination in 2003. In his book, “Winning Modern Wars,” published in 2003, he describes a conversation with a military officer in the Pentagon shortly after 9/11 regarding a plan to attack seven Middle Eastern countries in five years: “As I went back through the Pentagon in November 2001, one of the senior military staff officers had time for a chat. Yes, we were still on track for going against Iraq, he said. But there was more. This was being discussed as part of a five-year campaign plan, he said, and there were a total of seven countries, beginning with Iraq, then Syria, Lebanon, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and finishing off Iran.”
Israeli Economist, Alternative Information Center
Shir Hever is an Israeli researcher of the economic aspects of the Israeli Occupation of the Palestinian territories and the privatisation of security in Israel. He is the author of “Beyond Repression: The Political Economy of Israel’s Occupation” (2010). He has published numerous reports and studies on the related topics, especially for the Alternative Information Center, a Palestinian-Israeli organization active in Jerusalem and Beit-Sahour. He is currently working on his PhD dissertation at the Freie Universität, Berlin.