Target USA Podcast by WTOP

Marat Mindiyarov worked in the nerve center of Russia's infamous St. Petersburg troll house. He saw the plan, reluctantly participated in the plot and played a key role in the Internet Research Agency. The organization conducted an operation to trick Americans on Facebook, Twitter and other social media platforms into believing a Kremlin-backed disinformation campaign -- until he could no longer put up with the hours, the drudgery and diabolical plot. So he quit and began sounding alarm. Shortly afterward he was arrested. We have all the details on this episode.

Target USA Podcast by WTOP
00:32:01 9/19/2018

Past Episodes

Maria Butina, a young Russian woman, pleaded guilty to charges that she was working as an illegal agent of the Russian Federation in the U.S. Her lawyer Robert Driscoll joins Target USA to talk about why she did that and the possibility that she'll be sent back to Russia as early as mid-April.
00:34:47 3/13/2019
In a world that seems to be careening out of control, what keeps the intelligence official whose job it is to provide the U.S. government with "decision advantage" up at night? You might be surprised by his answer.
00:38:37 3/6/2019
President Donald Trump and North Korean Leader Kim Jong Un are meeting for the second time to try to put an end to North Korea's nuclear weapons program. Former Special Envoy Joseph Detrani and the Nuclear Threat Initiative's Richard Johnson -- who've both worked on shutting down North Korea's nuclear program -- join us to tell us what needs to be done.
00:28:56 2/27/2019
More than 600 high-level international decision makers from politics, business, academia and civil society along with throngs of media gathered in Munich for what was arguably the most important gathering in the 55-year history of the Munich Security Conference. But instead of harmony, conflict was center stage. NATO, defense cooperation, Russian aggression, cyber and climate change were just some of the many urgent problems discussed. What was accomplished? And will those accomplishments make a difference in the quest to resolve those problems? A chorus of powerful and candid voices join us on Target USA to assess this pivotal conference.
00:00:00 2/20/2019
On Feb. 7 Robert Cardillo retired as director of the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency. But, the day before he did that, he sat down with Target USA for a final time. And something he said was quite troubling -- true, but troubling.
00:00:00 2/13/2019
On Feb. 1, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced the U.S. was going to withdraw from the historic Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF), negotiated in 1987 by former U.S. President Ronald Reagan and Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev. This came after years of discussions, technical meetings and intelligence sharing by U.S. officials to show the Putin regime that it was breaking the rules of the treaty, that the U.S. knew about it, and that it would be best for all if Russia came back into compliance. Andrea Thompson, undersecretary of state for arms control and international security affairs, has led the State Department's efforts and joined Target USA to discuss the impact of the withdrawal and what's next.
00:00:00 2/6/2019
Paul Whelan is an American who was arrested on Dec. 28 in Moscow. The Russian government says he was caught red-handed committing espionage. But they've never said what he was doing -- except that he received a USB flash drive from someone in a hotel that allegedly contained classified information. And what's worse for the family is that the Kremlin is denying him the ability to get the help he needs from the U.S. government. Whelan's twin brother David Whelan returns to Target USA to explain the latest concerning developments. Among them is the Russian government's continued refusal to explain the charges.
00:00:00 1/30/2019
Nancy McNamara is assistant director in charge of the FBI Washington Field Office. We continue the conversation we started with her in Episode 150. But in addition to the challenging work the FBI faces, its employees now have to face it all with no pay checks. The stark and grim reality of the impact of the federal government shutdown on U.S. national security and FBI employees is presented in a conversation with Tom O'Connor, president of the FBI Agents Association, on this program.
00:00:00 1/23/2019
On our last podcast episode, we talked with David Whelan about his brother Paul Whelan's detention in Russia on what many believe are bogus charges. The Russian government says he was caught in the act of committing espionage. But on this episode Valerie Plame, a former CIA covert operations officer, explains why Whelan is not likely a CIA spy and why Moscow probably framed him.
00:00:00 1/16/2019
On Dec. 28, former U.S. Marine and citizen of the U.S. citizen Paul Whelan disappeared in Russia. Since then, his story has captivated the world. Three days later he turned up in a Russian prison, arrested for allegedly committing espionage. What was he doing there? What's the basis for the charges? Is he a "pawn" in a political tug of war between the U.S. and Russia? In an extensive interview, Target USA spoke with Whelan's twin brother David Whelan, and got answers to all those questions and many more. Some of the answers may surprise you, and after you listen there'll be no doubt about just how serious this situation is.
00:00:00 1/9/2019

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