Written by Christopher Runberg.

It has been said that the truth is the first casualty of war. Writing as someone who has experienced firsthand the reality of U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East, I cannot argue with that statement. As a combat veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom, I witnessed much that would never make it to the nightly news. And there was certainly much more that I was never privy to that would share the same obscure fate. The strange thing is, most of it wasn’t even classified.

When I left the U.S. Army in 2006, I wanted to understand why all I went through was the way it was. I wanted to know why we were on missions like Operation Tiger Walk, or who exactly I was training in Iraq, and for what. I wanted to know what I was so willing give my life for, and what it was for the lives already given.

I quickly became frustrated with the limited prospects of in-depth reporting offered by the mainstream media regarding the Middle East. The major media outlets, Fox News, CNN, MSNBC, etc. lacked the comprehensive and focused approach I was looking for. So I turned to independent media.

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In my quest for a critical and encompassing news source pertaining to U.S. foreign policy, only one show stood out meeting my criteria; the show must be comprehensive, have reputable guests, and go to primary sources. Airing daily interviews with experts on foreign policy, international law, and life in the Middle East through the eyes of journalists and those who live in the region, made the Scott Horton Show (formerly Anti-War Radio) stand out above the rest.

The Scott Horton Show can be heard Monday through Friday from noon to 3PM Eastern on the Liberty Radio Network, and at the show’s website, where the more than 3,000 interviews since 2003 are archived. Or if you happen to be in the Los Angeles area, the show is still Anti-War Radio aired on KPFK 90.7 FM, Sundays at 8:30AM Pacific.

The show’s host, Scott Horton, has had articles appear at www.antiwar.com, www.lewrockwell.com, the History News NetworkThe Future of Freedom and the Christian Science Monitor. Scott is also the recipient of numerous awards, including www.antiwar.com’s Best Iraq War Insight and Play by Play, and the Austin Chronicle’s Best of Austin. Scott is passionate and thorough in his criticism of America’s conflicts in the Middle East. He drives to bring his listeners the important details the major media often fails to cover, from the people who know firsthand.

Seldom reported on topics like the U.S. backing of the Shi’a Bad’r Brigade’s alleged death squads during the Iraqi Civil War post-2003 U.S. invasion, or the arming of the Al’Qaeda branch al-Nusra, by the U.S. government in an attempt to overthrow Bashar al-Assad in the Syrian Civil War, are examples of the types of stories the Scott Horton Show dives into. But the show doesn’t confine itself to stories of covert backroom deals between the U.S. and extremist elements; interviews with economists and legal experts, among others, help outline the sandbox that U.S. foreign policy has to operate in. The focused variety is true to the show’s tagline, “Libertarian foreign policy…mostly.”

The show’s guest lineup rivals the quality of any of the major media outlets’ interviewees. Published guests like Patrick Cockburn, author of The Jihadis Return: ISIS and the New Sunni Uprising; Jeremy Scahill, author of Dirty Wars; and Ron Paul, former several term congressman, three time presidential candidate, and author of several books, make up some of the all-star interviewees Scott has had on his show. Other guests have included former CIA analyst, Ray McGovern; Glenn Greenwald, the journalist that broke the Edward Snowden leaks; and many others, that make up the over 3,000 interviews so far during the show’s existence.

The in-depth reporting by the journalists and correspondents, and observations by the various experts Scott has had on the show, have time and time again, shown how spot on the Scott Horton Show is when it comes to having a finger on the pulse of the Middle East. It is not uncommon to hear so-called breaking stories in the mainstream media, already broken on the Scott Horton Show.

Between the quality and relevance of the guests Scott has on his show, and the in-depth reporting the contributing journalists offer, the Scott Horton Show’s credibility, to me, is second to none. This critical and credible approach offered by the host and his quality guests, more than satisfies my search for a comprehensive show on U.S. foreign policy.

Other talk shows on U.S. foreign policy are too many to count. It can be difficult finding a voice that you can trust on issues of government policies, and specifically, foreign policy. Given the partisanship and conflicts of interest involved, the confusion can be excused. With The Scott Horton Show, you won’t have to worry about where the host is getting his stories, or what the angle might be, because the host interviews his primary sources on-air. I couldn’t ask for more genuine and comprehensive reporting.

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You can follow Christopher on his blog, Freelance Wordsmith.