Slowing Down the Beast of American Empire: A Salute to the Life and Legacy of William Blum

“I’m a member of a movement which has the very ambitious goal of slowing down, if not stopping, the American Empire, to keep it from continuing to go round the world doing things like bombings, invasions, overthrowing governments, and torture. To have any success, we need to reach the American people with our message.”

-William Blum, February 2006 [1]


Click to Download audio (MP3 Format)

In the 1999 blockbuster, The Matrix, all of humanity is portrayed as part of a fabricated virtual reality computer program. Participants live out their lives from cradle to grave living a simulated existence while artificially intelligent and malevolent machines take care of their actual living physical bodies as fuel to power their ignoble activities.

The key to escaping this virtual reality, referred to as The Matrix, is to choose between a ‘blue pill’, which allows the character to continue living in ignorance of their status, and the ‘red pill’, which wakes the character up to their true condition. That condition is invariably an impoverished one far less compelling than the lives of comforting illusions they left behind.

The late William Blum (1933-2018) had his ‘red pill’ moment in the mid-1960s and has been dispensing the scarlet medicine in literary form ever since.

A former anti-communist, with ambitions to join the U.S. Foreign Service, Mr. Blum became exposed to the violent and inhumane reality of U.S. foreign policy at the time of the Vietnam War and had since devoted the rest of his life to busting the myth of America as a force for good on the world stage. [2]

Blum had authored a number of books on U.S. foreign policy, including America’s Deadliest Export: Democracy – The Truth About U.S. Foreign Policy and Everything Else (2013), Rogue State: A Guide to the World’s Only Superpower (updated in 2005), Killing Hope: U.S. Military and CIA Interventions Since World War II (updated in 2004), West-Bloc Dissident: A Cold War Memoir (2002), and Freeing the World to Death: Essays on the American Empire (2004).

He was a distinguished member of Covert Action Magazine, whose early focus was to expose and document U.S. clandestine operations. He contributed to several issues as well as to its previous incarnations as Covert Action Quarterly and Covert Action Information Bulletin.

Blum remained active online through his blog, the Anti-Empire Report, as well as other online publications including Global Research. An archive of his work for GR can be found here.

His death on December 9th got scant mention in the major American media, certainly compared to the fawning praise of former President George H. W. Bush the previous week. Where there was coverage, it placed an accent on a 2006 citation of Blum’s work by Al Qaeda bogey man Osama Bin Laden. Even Democracy Now!, the popular progressive daily radio program nominally committed to challenging the U.S. Empire, only mentioned Blum’s passing in a short five sentence headline.

This week’s special edition of the Global Research News Hour devotes the entire 60 minutes to a thorough examination of William Henry Blum’s life work and the legacy he leaves behind for those of us with the courage and dedication to challenge our assumptions and create a better world.

Early in the show we hear from his colleagues at Covert Action Magazine, Chris Agee and Lou Wolf, about his collaboration with ex-CIA officer Phil Agee (Chris’s father), about their understanding of William’s work and motivation, and about his last public appearance, namely his attendance on a panel for Left Forum in July of 2018. (See video below.)

Later we hear from Barrie Zwicker, a veteran Canadian journalist, media critic and staunch anti-imperialist, about the significance of Blum’s body of work.

In the latter part of the show, we get perspectives from son Alexander and wife Adelheid Zöfel with comments on Blum’s personal side, and thoughts about his impact on the public.

Also included in the program are excerpts from a past appearance by William Blum on the Global Research News Hour, and from his last public talk (see video above.)

Chris Agee is a political sociologist and historian  and teaches political science and sociology at the City University of New York, the Bolivarian University of Venezuela, the State University of New York and Hofstra University. He is also publisher / co-editor of CovertAction Magazine.

Lou Wolf is a long time freelance writer and researcher. He is the only still living co-founder of Covert Action Information Bulletin. He was a staff member of the 9/11 Truth newspaper Rock Creek Free Press, and co-edited two books:  “Dirty Work: The CIA in Western Europe” (1978) and “Dirty Work II: The CIA in Africa” (1980)

Barrie Zwicker is a Toronto-based veteran journalist and media critic whose work spans seven decades. In 2006, he published the book, Towers of Deception: The Media Cover-up of 9/11. He is a frequent contributor to Truth and Shadows, and a frequent Global Research New Hour interview guest.

Alexander Blum leads the Research Group Historical Epistemology of the Final Theory Program at Max Planck Institute for the History of Science. Alexander does research in History of Science, in particular modern fundamental physics. He is the son of William Blum.

Adelheid Zöfel is a literary translator based in Freiburg Germany and the former wife of William Blum.

(Global Research News Hour Episode 240)


Click to Download audio (MP3 Format)

The Global Research News Hour airs every Friday at 1pm CT on CKUW 95.9FM in Winnipeg. The programme is also podcast at . Excerpts of the show have begun airing on Rabble Radio and appear as podcasts at

The Global Research News Hour now airs Fridays at 6pm PST, 8pm CST and 9pm EST on Alternative Current Radio (

Community Radio Stations carrying the Global Research News Hour:

CHLY 101.7fm in Nanaimo, B.C – Thursdays at 1pm PT

Boston College Radio WZBC 90.3FM NEWTONS  during the Truth and Justice Radio Programming slot -Sundays at 7am ET.

Port Perry Radio in Port Perry, Ontario –1  Thursdays at 1pm ET

Burnaby Radio Station CJSF out of Simon Fraser University. 90.1FM to most of Greater Vancouver, from Langley to Point Grey and from the North Shore to the US Border.

It is also available on 93.9 FM cable in the communities of SFU, Burnaby, New Westminister, Coquitlam, Port Coquitlam, Port Moody, Surrey and Delta, in British Columbia, Canada. – Tune in  at its new time – Wednesdays at 4pm PT.

Radio station CFUV 101.9FM based at the University of Victoria airs the Global Research News Hour every Sunday from 7 to 8am PT.

CORTES COMMUNITY RADIO CKTZ  89.5 out of Manson’s Landing, B.C airs the show Tuesday mornings at 10am Pacific time.

Cowichan Valley Community Radio CICV 98.7 FM serving the Cowichan Lake area of Vancouver Island, BC airs the program Thursdays at 6am pacific time.

Campus and community radio CFMH 107.3fm in  Saint John, N.B. airs the Global Research News Hour Fridays at 10am.

Caper Radio CJBU 107.3FM in Sydney, Cape Breton, Nova Scotia airs the Global Research News Hour starting Wednesday Morning from 8:00 to 9:00am. Find more details at

RIOT RADIO, the visual radio station based out of Durham College in Oshawa, Ontario has begun airing the Global Research News Hour on an occasional basis. Tune in at

Radio Fanshawe: Fanshawe’s 106.9 The X (CIXX-FM) out of London, Ontario airs the Global Research News Hour Sundays at 6am with an encore at 4pm.

Los Angeles, California based airs the Global Research News Hour every Monday from 6-7pm Pacific time.



Comment on Global Research Articles on our Facebook page

Become a Member of Global Research

Disclaimer: The contents of this article are of sole responsibility of the author(s). The Centre for Research on Globalization will not be responsible for any inaccurate or incorrect statement in this article. The Centre of Research on Globalization grants permission to cross-post Global Research articles on community internet sites as long the source and copyright are acknowledged together with a hyperlink to the original Global Research article. For publication of Global Research articles in print or other forms including commercial internet sites, contact: [email protected] contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available to our readers under the provisions of "fair use" in an effort to advance a better understanding of political, economic and social issues. The material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving it for research and educational purposes. If you wish to use copyrighted material for purposes other than "fair use" you must request permission from the copyright owner.

For media inquiries: [email protected]