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July 18, 2019
Nukes
How did 2 guys you've never heard of save the world from nuclear apocalypse? Can nuclear weapons be hacked? What's the most consequential honeymoon in human history? Why was a British nuclear weapon designed to contain live chickens in the bomb casing? And why are nuclear bombs useful for detecting art forgeries? ---- Power Corrupts is written and narrated by Brian Klaas. The executive producer and sound editor is George McDonagh.
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52 min
July 11, 2019
Dirty Cash In / Clean Cash Out
You’ve probably heard of money laundering, but how does it actually work? How did billions of dollars of dirty gold from South America become clean cash in Florida and Ohio? How do crooks launder money using video games? Why are journalists getting killed for exposing money laundering? And what in the world is “cuckoo smurfing”? ---- Power Corrupts is written and narrated by Brian Klaas. The executive producer and sound editor is George McDonagh.
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49 min
July 4, 2019
Blood Diamond / Blood Chocolate
Why are countries that are rich in natural resources so often poor and war-torn? You’ve probably heard of blood diamonds, but what about blood vanilla, blood microchips, or blood chocolate? How are rebels and terrorists funding themselves with watermelons and wheat? We crisscross the globe from Papua New Guinea to Madagascar to find out. ---- Power Corrupts is written and narrated by Brian Klaas. The executive producer and sound editor is George McDonagh.
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57 min
June 27, 2019
An Eye for an Eye?
Nick Yarris spent 22 years on death row. At one point, he even escaped. But then, right before he was slated to be executed, DNA evidence proved he was innocent. Is the death penalty justified? Can a just society execute people? Are you more likely to be executed if you kill a white person? And why do most death sentences come from a tiny number of American counties? ---- Power Corrupts is written and narrated by Brian Klaas. The executive producer and sound editor is George McDonagh.
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61 min
June 20, 2019
Witnessing 283 Executions
What's something that you do every 2 weeks? For Michelle Lyons, over a span of 12 years, she watched someone get executed every two weeks in Texas. What are inmates like on their last day alive? Did she have misgivings watching people take their last breath? And what do people who are strapped to the gurney actually say for their final statements?   ---- Power Corrupts is written and narrated by Brian Klaas. The executive producer and sound editor is George McDonagh.
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51 min
June 13, 2019
Assassinations
Why did the CIA try to kill an African political leader with poisoned toothpaste? Was a recent attempt to blow up Venezuela's dictator with a small consumer drone a genuine attack, or just a pretext to crack down on his political opponents? And which US president got shot in the chest by a would-be assassin but continued speaking for 90 minutes, even as he was bleeding? --- Power Corrupts is written and narrated by Brian Klaas. The executive producer and sound editor is George McDonagh.
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57 min
June 6, 2019
International Arms Trade
Why did the war in Afghanistan hinge on the ability of a teenager to help buy 100 million bullets for the US military? What are international arms dealers actually like? Is the US facilitating war crimes in Yemen while simultaneously transferring weapons to terrorists? And why is so much of the world's corruption wrapped up in gunrunning?  ---- Power Corrupts is written and narrated by Brian Klaas. The executive producer and sound editor is George McDonagh.
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58 min
May 30, 2019
Smuggling
What's the best way to smuggle a crocodile onto an airplane? What is the journey actually like for migrants getting smuggled from Afghanistan to Australia? Why is the European Union paying migrant smugglers in Niger to open bakeries? Will Trump's proposed border wall actually do anything to stop smuggling? And how should you go about smuggling your pet turtle onto an airplane? ---- Power Corrupts is written and narrated by Brian Klaas. The executive producer and sound editor is George McDonagh.
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58 min
May 23, 2019
Ransom
What's it like to be held by Somali pirates for 977 days? Or to meet your Dad for the first time after he's been held in a basement in Beirut for nearly 7 years? Are you more likely to be killed as a hostage if you're American than if you're French? And how does economic game theory help us answer the question: what is the price of your freedom? ---- Power Corrupts is written and narrated by Brian Klaas. The executive producer and sound editor is George McDonagh.
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51 min
May 16, 2019
Disinformation and Deep Fakes
Disinformation is a powerful weapon. It forces your enemy to inflict damage upon themselves based upon lies that you've deliberately spread. How did a homeless man's corpse help win World War II? How does reality television function in Russia, given that the media is so tightly controlled? And what happens when fake video gets so good that we can't tell the difference between fiction and reality?  ---- The executive producer and sound editor for Power Corrupts is George McDonagh.
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53 min
May 9, 2019
Voodoo, Vampires, and General Butt Naked
Why did a West African rebel leader send his troops into battle completely naked, protected only by talismans? How did threats of voodoo and invisible zombies stave off a US invasion of Haiti? And why was a journalist nearly killed when local villagers mistakenly thought he was a vampire? In this episode, we explore the wild and weird world of the politics of magic and witchcraft. ---- Power Corrupts is written and narrated by Brian Klaas. The executive producer and sound editor is George McDonagh.
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59 min
May 1, 2019
Narcopolitics
How have drugs been used in warfare? Why does the cocaine in London nightclubs pass through a dictatorship in West Africa?Why did British soldiers get high on hallucinogens and try to talk to birds? How does heroin bought in the West create a market for child brides? And, should we legalize some drugs?  ---- Power Corrupts is written and narrated by Brian Klaas. The executive producer and sound editor is George McDonagh.
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58 min
May 1, 2019
Conspiracy Theories
Why do some people believe unhinged conspiracy theories? How are they affecting our politics? How did insane theories—like QAnon—convert millions of people? Did John Kerry split a hurricane in half with a laser beam from Antarctica? What's really lurking beneath the Denver airport? And what can we do about these unhinged beliefs, given that America now has a Conspiracy-Theorist-in-Chief? ---- The executive producer of Power Corrupts is George McDonagh. Alex Portfelix is the producer and sound ed
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54 min
May 1, 2019
How to Rig an Election
How do you rig an election—and get away with it? Why did a cult try to poison an entire county to win a local election? And what about using disappearing ink, or threatening arson, or name doubles? This episode shows how the amateurs rig elections — with hilarious mix-ups and puréed beavers — and how the pros get away with it. -- Power Corrupts is written and narrated by Brian Klaas. The executive producer is George McDonagh. Alex Portfelix is the producer and sound editor.
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49 min
March 24, 2019
Power Corrupts: Launching May 2
Does power corrupt? Absolutely. This is the podcast about the hidden—and often nefarious—forces that shape our world. Election rigging. Smuggling. Narcopolitics. Ransom. Conspiracy Theories. North Korean bank heists. Cults. Drug Lords. Voodoo. Money laundering. Assassinations. Unhinged conspiracy theories. Unbelievable stories. Hear the trailer now and subscribe. The show launches on May 2, 2019.
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2 min
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