« The Jordan Harbinger Show

617: Daniel Levin | Finding a Missing Person in the Middle East

2022-01-27 | 🔗

Daniel Levin is an attorney, political commentator, and author of Nothing but a Circus: Misadventures Among the Powerful and Proof of Life: Twenty Days on the Hunt for a Missing Person in the Middle East.

What We Discuss with Daniel Levin:
  • How the Syrian regime kidnaps westerners and blames the opposition, keeping them in captivity -- often for years -- as bargaining chips.
  • How Daniel became the go-to person for hunting down a missing person in Syria when no government, embassy, or intelligence agency would help.
  • What proof of life means in a kidnapping scenario, and how someone in search of a missing person goes about finding this.
  • How people use leverage to get what they want from one another in a place where no one does a favor without wanting something in return.
  • The nuances of negotiating with criminals.
  • And much more...

Full show notes and resources can be found here: jordanharbinger.com/617

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Miss our episode with FBI hostage negotiator Chris Voss? Catch up with episode 165: Chris Voss | Negotiate as If Your Life Depended on It here!

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This is an unofficial transcript meant for reference. Accuracy is not guaranteed.
Coming up next on the Jordan Harbinger show. First of all, I don't get involved in ransom negotiations. and the reason I don't do that as a personal conviction, where I am deeply convinced that the moment you open up discussions for ransom, you, basically even if you get someone Tenue hostages, I understand that its heart breaking and they said the way, the situation there were cases, including an American in Syria, where I was asked to get in of by a politician and when I called my friend to see, if there was anything we could do, he said don't touch this one, their negotiating ransom behind your back. There would be paid by the categories and its president of getting out because a ransom was paid, but what I know is he gets out ten more people get taken,
welcome to the shelf on Jordan Harbinger on the Jordan Harbinger, show we decode the stories, secrets and skills of the world's most fascinating people. We have in depth conversations with people at the top of their game, astronauts and entrepreneurs spies in psychology Even the occasional journalists turned poker champion russian chest grandmaster or former jihadi, and each episode turns our guest wisdom into practical advice. Tat. You can use to build it deeper understanding of how the world works and become a better critical thinker. If your to the show or you're looking for a handy way to tell your friends about the sheriff. We have episode, starter packs. These are collections of top rated episodes organised by topic. They'll help new listeners get a taste of everything we do here. Just go to Jordan, harbinger dot com slash, starts to get started there on the website there also Spotify. You can also use these start pages to help. Somebody else get started with the show, and I love it when you do, that that's how we grow and keep the lights on around here. Not today's episode I realized after I did hear there
maybe some confusion. If you haven't read any of this story, I people might be a little bit. Loss right now began, but I'm pulling out a lot of the story itself and a lot of useful lessons from this source of us. Forget it like. The book is great. You should read it, but at the end of the day, It's about the lessons in the bus of even if you get a little lost in the beginning. Bear with us, wives and take away is that you can use as you'd expect from this show this story. Is about a missing persons in Syria, but it ends up really being about him trafficking and the horrors of the syrian conflict and human fall, collateral damage thereof. It's really such an interesting story, but Daniel Levin is extremely interesting fell. I just you we need people like this now by way of back around Daniel Levin runs and NGO. That has a lot to do with divine Bring young leaders in the Middle EAST, and so what this means is as a result, he is essentially the go to guy when somebody gets kidnapped or goes missing, a place like Syria, where there's just no one has any reach its just a black box for even places like the Red Cross Red Crescent. Just
no idea where people are because Daniel saying a man your network or almost just is to cliche. He knows everyone from human traffickers to terrorist financiers and Leaders of tribes and Ngos and people respect him on all sides of this crazy sort of battle. That is going on in the Middle EAST, especially in Syria, and he's just an amazing character. The stories quite fascinating and I know, you're going to get a lot of show if you're wondering how I managed to book all these amazing folks for the show it is because of my network. In fact, this episode was suggested by show fan, I'm teaching you how to build your network for free over at Jordan, harbinger dot com, slash course This is about improving you're, networking and connection skills and inspiring others to develop a personal and professional relationship with you I'll, make you a better network or a better connector and a better thinker. That's Jordan. Of dot com, slash course, and by the way, most guess on the show. Subscribing contributed the course and, as you hear, Daniel Levin is an extreme
good network or that's what basis for the whole episode here so come join us we'll be in smart company, where you ve along now, here's Daniel left. What do you do day to day? You know what is your sort of day to day job if you work as it sounds like from the book, you have quite a diverse repertoire of skills. I guess you could say that Everest repertoire of shit, Astrid skills, but it's them around. The foundations are whenever we're doing to projects in Libya in Yemen, and there have been really hard because one of our libyan staffers got killed a roadblock a few days ago in one of our Yemen staffers, a woman got kidnapped in Yemen. After this part, custom gonna take a nap action. Is I don't blame you yeah? That sounds quite intense. Why do people come to? You want help with missing people in Syria. You know why you, I don't know who I would call if a friend of my well besides you if a my went missing in Syria. I mean the list is short
specifically, the civic context was that our foundation got active after everything fell apart in two thousand and seven we were asked Micheline the war when the war broke out eleven twelve? It wasn't really it was gonna emerged that were in this before russian intervention in two thousand fourteen and they ran in. it was only incidental through his mother and his manner was actually getting that aspect eleven unto initially. So really unclear the. U S was all over the place supporting putting free syrian army, so we got contacted by the various groups in Syria actually by certain groups. First, the government and one opposition are condition. Was everyone has to be on board to help me the conflict and our condition for doing that was the way I mean when I say we are foundation, was that will we get involved in this conflict is by them giving us surface next generation people, in other words, people young people under twenty two. trees that we can been trained for post conflict work, otherwise we didn't feel like this mediating. For the sake of then everybody saying so sorry, but we don't have anyone to take over. So
They were fine with and we got to take about twenty five people in Syria in the project, to call project by start the time two thousand and twelve slash two thousand and thirteen and train them outside the country in any kind of leadership, anything from political leadership basic Sunday trying to develop a new exchange,
different parts of the country and the end. That was the work that we were doing it because of required all the stakeholders to be supportive of that, we ended up interacting with the top of the regime top up position. This is before major Aslam is intervention, the country, ISIS and other groups in twenty fourteen, so the most radical groups at the time where the local Al Qaeda, which is new in that context, so it was really before things completely fell apart and when things started to fall apart, we stopped our project, but because we had this network of relationships, all the side we got contacted by both families and governments is asking where the first of all you know what happened to this person and secondly, if Kentucky was kidnapped and held hostage, can we get proof of life and then, if you're lucky enough to negotiate a release, so that was kind of the cascade, but it all started because of the workout foundation was good, which is really awesome. It's not like our foundation is in the business of hostage negotiations. It's is really incidental to our work, but it happened, and even today, as we speak in two thousand twenty one there are, I am
the wear of thirteen westerners when that, without a mean Americans, Canadians and Brits who are being held hostage in Syria, whose names have not made the public know some not talking about those with no publicly about so this is an undersea part of this dark underbelly of these wars that people dont really talk about. You mention in the book that most missing person cases in Syria dont have happy ending, so it's catchword, kind of got to be a bit heartbreaking to work on a dozen or two dozen missing persons cases, just knowing that the odds are really stacked against finding this person happy and healthy, or possibly at all, and in fact we know in the storage of places in late, two thousand fourteen I was done. I want to do the same. more and I got roped into the story, because I just had a really bad experience when I was asked to help with the hostage negotiation and about two days before I was supposed to really entered the negotiation physically and meet them in Syria.
They executed the hostage- and I worked in that for nine months- got to know the family in everything I was done with this. I don't want to do this anymore and two thousand and tickly hardier. This was the year. The fall of that was worded. James fully got decapitated, put on view too Stephen sought, laugh and then in a Peter has a few. Several journalism partake about aid workers, and so I really didn't want to do this anymore. It had a really bad experience in two thousand thirteen, also so for the a few moments where you can give families just good news that the hazards I'm in the very rare moments it you can negotiate a release. You have so much heartbreak. I was done and I was roped into this sort of under false pretences, fastened to a meeting and depressing just broke down in front of me, and I felt like I couldn't just walk away. So where is really hard, and even today, when a mass for help it's very hard to deal with More than one of these situations at a time just emotionally and usually trials and act together
involved with a family. I try to communicate with the family himself as little as possible, usually in writing, because once you are vested in you really feel part of it. You just don't have the distance anymore to make decisions, what kind of decisions require you to be more cold or calculated cuz. It sounds like you don't want to you, one of a sort of minimize, I'm trying to say this without making you sound bad cuz. Of course it doesn't she's out effective, but you sort of want to minimize the amount of empathy you have read in a way I mean what you're doing is, is admirable and is sort of like the most sympathetic act that you can have your also I didn't make sure you don't cloud your emotions. But what sort of decisions require that during our negotiation like US hostage hostage of awards, and I know you have you spoken to that hostage- negotiation, an attack by the tactics of interacting with a hostage takers, I'm just talking for person about the basic, logical constellation of geopolitics, of it's, even in Syria weather
the regime that hold someone. That's a completely different approach. That lets say this lobby groups it hold someone. Sometimes people were taken hostage just for their shop value of executing them. One thing: that's comment to most positive situations in wars and syrian particular is that you do not want to drive up the perceived value of the hostage in the names of the hostage takers, and that means the first thing you have to do is tell the parents to stop doing something, that they want to do and that every schmuck under the sun, from government to other kinds of advisers telling him to do, which is to seek public support right. You get public statements to do facebook, campaigns and teacher gains and have the secretary of state say how we're not gonna leave a stone unturned until this awful act is being brought to justice and Howard, he's gonna rest until sounds so comes from all those kinds of campaigns really hurt you, because all it does in the eyes of the hostage takers is convince them that they have, we high value it usually much
value than they actually have, and so what just happened with that is. Your price went up before even started negotiations, so the first thing I have to do is really be called to the parents and ask him to stop doing in from experience have learnt that usually Just ask him to do it. They don't want to hear that right because of all these people supposed to know what they're doing from you know the State Department special envoy for hostage negotiations to any one else, claiming you know that these public pays a really good, but they don't realize it. Everyone doing. Those campaigns is a vested interest. Rate is kind of like a divorce lawyer has a vested interest in have Knacker ammonia divorce cause. That's the only way to make money. Who is the same thing here? all the pr campaigns. Although communication devices the congressmen from the district he's thinking about his next reelection, so the fact that he or she writes, we're going to pass a resolution on the floor. They're going to condemn the evil has to take his insulin, and all that does is piss them off and drive up the value. So you have to convince the family to do that, and usually just explaining is not going to do the trick
They really want to hear that those expressions of empathy that they perceive that we aren't their interest. So you always get to a point where you say lucky: you can do this to me or not. Do this with me if you're not do this to me. I will really wish all the best understand what you're gonna do the campaign to doing right now is gonna get your child or your spouse, kill, and that's a hard thing to say to apparent at sixty the harsh I wouldn't want anyone say that to me, but this is one of the first things you're doing so you haven't yet the months, sometimes years of trust with someone they realise that you know what you're doing so the other they is who's, this guy he can. They have come recommended behind guy telling us that we have to stop talking to the media right and it's really perverse think people are mourning, but they really want to have that connection to the outside world. They delude themselves in thinking that you know these teacher campaigns are gonna, be reported back to their son or their husband, whose syrian presence somewhere in a basement somewhere. So this all these strange things, if you re,
managed to do this like an algorithm. Basically, everything would go dark and the first thing had convince the hostage. Takers, though, is that the hostages very little value I say no value because then they just executed discarded would have to be little value. Then you can approach, may say this man, you have a future. Senor hand their expiring chips. Let's see what we can do to catch him, looking you get for those chips. Just understand at some point. Discharge expired. You can't do that either before you know what it is they would need, because if they They will. We want a b c and you're not able to deliver that. That's a death sentence do so. There is a lot of nuance. Elsa timing. Watson is positive, but the first thing is to get the families to stop talking and stop engaging people talk and asking all the politicians who claim to be the friends to also shut up while this can't be like you, said right as of course there are writing their senator in their senators like great I'm going Go on CNN right now in tell everyone
yet behind you, which will apply pressure to maybe even the president. Certainly the armed forces are like great were on the right track and you got. These jihadi is Syrian secular army authoritarian crazies watching it and go and oh, we thought we had some journalist backpacker. But now we ve got some guys. Parents are friends with the centre of the state so wish we were as for five hundred thousand dollars, but now we should get like five million dollars or some media. We should drag this out as long as possible because they are going to give us media attention if we keep this guy around on which so he's more valuable and in the basement for the next three years than he is just a cash grab which is off is exactly right. that's exactly right and then the other stuff you want to stop. You also want to stop us Secretary of State in travelling to Syria and inquiry, about it, because all they're gonna hear is. Oh, of course we don't know what happened to this hostage. We battalion aside, while dosages dying in their basement
obviously so all they do is just enforce the hostage takers, conviction that time is on their side and that's really dangerous cuz if they think that the value of the hostage will just go up when in fact the likelihood that this hostage will die because they're extremely difficult circumstances, even without Covid, obviously to survive many years in captivity, from depression to just physical health to accidents, can happen to a bombing campaign. They don't know there have been cases of hostages who were killed by friendly fire from allied forces. Gonna put it didn't know that that some building held hostage in the basement right, the human shields So time is never your friend, but the problem is the more you publicly doing more. Your government publicly does the more. The hostage takers, in fact, are convinced that the value just goes up with time if they have to hold the person for ten years, so be it and and and very few suggest, survive ten years in captivity. Yeah remember there was a story a while back about. I think it was,
female milk. Maybe she was military, but she ended up becoming and I'm putting. This includes causes the disgusting situation that I guess what he's like sort of clerics married her and used her as a wife in a very short of disk anyway, and then, eventually, they found out that she most likely died in a U S. Air strike, which is awful but also seems to be leagues better than the situation she had previously been. There is a case of an American Keller mother who was actually kidnapped and was one of our book daddy that hit the leader of ISIS, his brides, essentially it is debatable whether she died in an american airstrike or whether he actually had to execute in early two thousand fifteen. So these are really heartbreaking stories hey, don't we don't really know to wish for obvious in those moments the Algiers heartbreaking? It really is just sort of the heights of human cruelty right. These people are stuck in just terror,
all circumstances for ten years their kids are growing up their families, sort of grieved and moved on, but with no real closure at all and it just such a horrific fate radium. We're losing years of your life. Your healthier kids think that you're dead. You miss I have a two year old now and a baby on the way, and I just can't even imagine what, if I'm gone for the next decade, they don't know who you are: it's almost better to just be murdered running on how long you're going to be there, given the horrific conditions, the lack of health care and just the the not knowing aireco to me every time I interact with someone who manages to get out- and I realized just like how strong that's desire to persevere and survive must have to be because people really endure the most horrific things imaginable. So it's inspiring. Actually it's something that keeps me going is the few cases of success that you said. Okay, just kind of makes sense, because it's so much heartbreaking that end,
I've seen even hostages to just come out of captivity and their families and their lives to break apart, because they really never overcome Pjc that they. This massive trauma that this offered in that time yeah I can imagine it's quite understandable. So what is proof of life actually and announced the title? The book, of course, but it does, might be dumb question those of us who do now, but for many of us who are not in the kidnap for higher business or adjacent business, we I need a little refresher on on what that means. So is just them, I found when you have a hostage in negotiation, especially in a war zone. What happens is that the first thing, actually that happens in the hardest thing to do, is to actually figure out who the hostage takers are because the first thing that happens when someone goes missing. Their cases made public and it's usually unfortunate, made public before public before asked to help. Otherwise, I would say, don't make it public rent. Is that this?
industry of mercenaries, of advisers, communication advisers, middlemen, gatekeeper, they all emerge from the woods and they start offering their services and what happens within days, certainly within weeks. Is that you don't really know giving giving real information is river and the rumours are off the charts. Every single hostage situation have been involved in by the time I talked to the parents. They tell me of several cases. of someone who know someone who knows someone who saw their son right, and it's always the same story. He looked really thin. He had a beard. His hair was kind of Fani, looked really unkempt, those the same version of something that's made to sound like people
know what they're doing and usually almost always, these reports are wrong. So the hardest thing in the course of a negotiation is to know that you're talking with people actually have the person, and did you want to know, of course, that the person still alive and so for those two elements, unique essentially authenticate, is no different than different than commended communication right and who the way you do. That is with some form of questions not enough to do the old sort of ninety seven is red brigades thing with the picture in a newspaper in anything like that cause you can fake. So much of that today, defects are so amazing. So what you really have to do is a key question that only the hostage can answer, so you interact with a family. You ask him for some question of some tell some nickname something that no one would be able to know and whoever the gatekeeper there Mercenary the intermediaries, who claims that they have some information them asked them for that. Ask them what you know. What is my son's favor whatever is that and if they don't come
within a worthy of the name is first girlfriend was the name of the hands to that. If left down the toilet when he was to Asia whatever it is right and if they can come back answer, you walk away his immediate reaction, don't even engage, don't listen to the news, cuz, usually what this says. Well, I may not be able to answer that, but let me give you some information that might save your son's life. Most people don't have the sort of Doctor Spotify you know, algorithm ability to say, stop, don't talk to me anymore, because anything this coming after now is gonna, be nonsense. rights. Are they still want to hear you holding on clinging desperately to desire to hear anything, and so proof of life is getting that type of offence. Education is not so much only that person is alive, but rather that you're actually communicating with the people, are holding the person and that's key. If you can't established that is the first
you have to do before trying to find out where the person is before you figure out what kind of a rescue plan, what kind of the package to trade in what all those things. Firstly, after knows who has them and what condition is the person here? That's interesting that you mentioned the Red brigades in this. Is that the oh geez proof of life is: have them stand there, holding a copy of today's New York Times or something with a date visible on the cover, but yeah, like you said now, I mean you're, just a really clever Photoshop away from being able to do that with any sort of photo that they might have had. That could be years old. At that point, it sort of reminds me of how I didn't get up with catfishing or you're, not sure, if you're talking to somebody who's living three towns away or is like a scammer from an african country or eastern european play, you say, like you, send me a picture of yourself. Holding three fingers up on your right. Shoe
ginger sum up of your other hand and then their lot. I gotta go it's time for workers that you know they make up a bunch of excuses in and or you never hear from them again ray. I really am really happy. I met my wife before online dating yeah me too, about a fund for the May two. I have met Jen before all that and now friends or like all you know, I met with his person and there a million different issues with it not sort of trivialize. What we're talking about on the show, but yeah there's a whole just making sure somebody as they say they are turned to be a whole art in itself in many contexts. So you get this sort of secret questions. I think, One of the ones from the book was the missing guy had a favorite food that wasn't just like spaghetti at me balls. It was something a little bit more unique, the hamster that he flushed down until it when he was three years old, sounds like something it would be really looking for something that's basically impossible to fake and that isn't in documentation somewhere on the internet. Red this case it was a character from the jungle and
and they did no one would ever gas. The reverse engineer, it's kind of the same thing. As you know, you don't use your birthday for as your password Bray ATM car to something like that. You tried something a little bit different and something memorable, so it's pretty is it to agree what proof of life signals would be? And if you can't get that it doesn't mean you stop the search of the negotiation, but you go out in a calm. A different way. Another words: it's not like I'm a purist about us, I'm not going to talk to anyone who can't defend to get them talking to the right person. Cuz most hostage negotiations in war zones require you to work like an onion, you're, peeling and feeling and feeling before you even get. There sounds like a flying somewhere and just a okay. Well then, I have a question to ask the person don't waste my time without that, it's that you're, even trying to get close to the group that might be able to answer that question, there are layers of games and encounter games in their chips. Your cashing in all kinds of free party deals essentially just to get close to the group, but when you get there, that's the part you need to do. What is the difference in dealing with these types of gross? You mention its different if you're loved one gets kidnapped.
by the syrian government verses in islamic group. What we're? How do you sort of figure out what these groups want? It is first of all a really big difference, which is the syrian government. If they kidnapped someone you, to have a major favour that you can do for them in order to get a release. Because what happens is the moment they kidnapper westerner westerner? They can't admit that they haven't so in words the time gap between when they start. The negotiation when is concluded is bade, maybe a date, because the moment they admit that they have this person. If this person die, your triggering all kinds of wrath from sanctions to potential Tom had myself, so they never ever admitted. There isn't a case with ever made it when you have had us with the syrian government. No one ever finds out that it took place is no public press conference, the purser returns, because they really do want their fingerprints on it and very often the government has not because they wanted to take the westerner, but
as one of their and militias that works with them like in Syria, for example, there should be a you. Have these thugs, these steroids, infuse dogs that Rome this it's in there and the coastal areas like one in Damascus. They take us just deliver them at this day. Prison didn't ask for them, but now they have them right and it's kind of the pottery bundle right. They break their own. It so they don't really admit that you're not completely different situation. Where is this lamas groups? You have to make a big distinction, which is: do they have the hostage cuz? They want to trade for something Monday attention whatever it is, or they have the hostage because they want to execute a publicly for recruitment and shop value, and you have to make that brutal distinction. I've been in situations where I knew that it was the ladder and I had to go back to the parents and say: look: I'm gonna do what I can, but you have understand where we have to be honest about that and it's the hardest conversation have, which is basically waiting for the child's execution half guard at
so horrible. I've got journalist, friends that dude crazy things like sneak into Syria across the turkish border and the Turks troops are shooting at them and I'm thinking you're lucky if you get hit instead of kidnapped in Syria, like em out to stop doing that. Ninety five percent of the cases I got involved in Syria, where people thought I was gonna go end because we were told this ok and then they don't. You realize that the people are taken in already work for the groups that are gonna, get nothing the dragon straight to the prince. oh, my gosh, so yeah. If anyone ever tells you have a great idea. I know people who thought that they know Byron journalists who couldn't get their newspapers published, then just desperately trying to write war. Reporters trying to be this great roller part is that they just can't be, and they can their pictures even answered, and then they say you know what I'm going to do. I'm just going to go into Aleppo and I'm going to take some photoshoot and report from that. That's going to win the Pulitzer, the starting to think through that kind of stuff. They make it ten minutes and they connect with someone and in southern turkey and that purse
these broken English and says. I know where I can get you in and out just like that. You know, within an hour of being in Syria, there in the hands of ice deserve no sign of any other of these rebel groups. My guy, that's exactly how that goes. That is in eight mare scenario. This is one of the most horrible fades I feel like you can meet as this doesn't even compared to being drowned or in a house. That's burning down, I mean it's. You come into contact with someone people somebody's characters or in the book. These are. I would save the world the living people on the planet right now, our kind of congregated in this area and in this particular industry dealing with human trafficking and kidnapping and hostage taking, I mean I can't really think of worse humans, Antonov. You can Well as finding any. Obviously you see you are in the midst of it. having war economy and when everyone a thriving work economy, you see the ugliest side of human beings right so where the summons trading and blankets.
Or water, mineral water, or in little girls taken from their villages, sailed into prostitution are western hostages or drugs or chemical weapons. It's all the same once you're in a war economy there's no moral distinction. There's this amphetamine cook had gone to write about it, both its being massively trade to feel so once you know we're gonna, be you see the other side of humans, but their couple things. I want to add to that when we are handing out kind of human ugliness awards here, and I want to be clear about that- I feel this really strong and I live is really surely. If you're gonna look about the other side of humans, then are some enabling groups that you should be, including in this, for example, the astronomical cast profits that these work economies turn out, whether human trafficking weapons trades. You name it. Drug trade right. Those costs
Profits have to be formalised legalised laundered in our financial system. There are top bluechip top twenty western banks that fly planes in two capitals in South EAST Asia to pick up containers full of cash and put them into their votes. For the sake of four thirty forty percent discount use, then the cash money to fund the russian cash. Because a sanctions is dollar dollar and are exactly part of of this war. Different different me than the guy who manufactured capped again, some amphetamine in the lab and trades it for some thirteen year old girl that he then surely rates for the next half year said to me be careful of these kinds of moral stations. In the other angle, the other category which are going to add on Euro notes, inflammatory, but I think that I feel it they have no incentive to hold back. Is that if you talking specifically about journalists, the little dirty secret of a war zone such as Syria, which is particularly ugly, is that the top newspapers,
but each have near times less imposed. Frankfurter Allgemeine, Lamar doesn't really matter. Ok, the financial times dont really want then their own staff and correspondence to those worse, if understandable reasons. So what you happening you basically have these so called freelance. As often college kids, people just out of college, can't quite figure and they're saying I know, I'm gonna go very their assent, revising them to take on those stories and take on risks. These kids are completely prepare for. I know you here of the big Pistorius Dagmar Recall, vendor the journalists to with it. Eyepatch was killed in Syria and the war or James volumes. The captive does a journalist who experienced experts are worth, but most of the journalists who get killed in places Syria, Yemen are, Libya are freelancers, were
trying to make a name for themselves and so and they are being exploited. If I can use that word by the media platforms, it would never send their own, I'm not even think their own children, I'm even talked about their own staff journalist to those areas. So there is an angle to this. This really savory and it goes it's very easy, condemned the drug dealer and weapons deal, and we should then its hideous beyond description, but I think that enabling industries that exist well outside it is worth. Zones deserve a little bit of shame in this context to yeah. I agree to you, I'm gonna be doing a show about western, enabling or just enabling, in general, of a lot of these yet money laundering. Equally I mean we ve had enough you're familiar The book billion dollar well sure come right in Bradley offer good friends the other great guys I I am in contact with them, and it's just it's disgusting how we'll go out. Man look at these Cayman Islands. People are stashing money, try South Dakota, the H, Q, one of the world's headquarters of just illegal money,
the wandering operations and shell corporations, and things like that and, like you, said, private jets full of cash. There. Law firms, and it's not just more sex when taken in panama- and you know it the panel on paper, our law in the United States, where guys were point of Michigan LAW like me, get out and get it god there and don't even necessarily fully understand what they're doing, but sure enough are working for a partner whose may be run in a bunch of money from, like you said, the captain, trade and just clean and on up in hoovering that money for fees in there's a lot of it, and it really is you're right. It's there's a reason. The law treats accessories to crimes similar to the actual criminal, right leg. You might not have a thirteen year old, syrian village girl does your basement. But if you are laundering money for human traffickers, you are guilty of that crime and you're right. It might be easy to sort of look at yourself in the mirror sleep at night
Knowing that you're not really getting your hands dirty or as dirty is the guy who's got the girls locked up in cages in his basement, but you're really the same the same type of awful human we ve been experienced as that for decades in my job, so, for example, the goddamn these money guy in Libya, ambitious enough Bashir who, for thirty years, was basically taking billions of dollars of care. out of the country of putting it in warehouses all over the world, especially in South EAST Asia, like Indonesia in Jakarta and then having western banks flying their plans and take it into their votes right and then that money disappears? Does that's part of the swift that's before cryptic currency, which is it till the game changer when it comes to this, and so that same guy bushes but she was now another w fled to South Africa. First was very involved in in challenging Sarkozy, which led to the fall of Gaddafi. That's the story for another time. That's the same guy been involved in laundering, some of the cap, the gun, profits from the syrian war and there's an axis without without too that so
these things are connected, and I'm not trying to this is not some kind of a crusade against western banks and feel account. Thing is If we really want to stop these dreadful wars, we have to stop these work on Emmy's from thriving these wars really, sir, and wore a country's destroyed, is wiped out its burnt down. whatever metaphor he went to use they'll be reasonable, are still going on? Is because the work on these is throwing up these astronomical profits. You want to stop this war, you want to stop refugees, mass migration, distant broken countries, broken cultures, broke, generations, you have to start cutting off the work on a man. You're not gonna. Do that without all the willing, helpers and am not just talking willing. Help is in terms of sleazy bankers, our trust as you know, in Panama or in Dakota, wherever there came an, I ll, doesn't really matter. I am also talking about having interesting break out sessions at the World Economic Forum in Davos. With some of these individuals at some point
or, if you dont want to do that, and you say: look man is pure capitalism. The thought is, then: let's stop the moral grandstanding, but just to spare me that part, please and then let's just then that's fine than these wars exists as long as the profits to be made, but the part that so hard to take us, this gap between the ugly reality and these empty, how the moral statements at your daughter, your listening to, Jordan, Harbinger show with our guest Daniel Levin, we'll be right back. This episode is sponsored in part by square space. Why don't you have a website for your personal or professional projects? Are you worried? It might be too distracting from doing the things you do best and you hate the thought of wasted. precious time building and maintaining something. That's frankly, not even in your we'll house, don't be a disgrace. Try square space, you dont, have to know the first thing about tech or the intricacies of web design, because square space covers all of that. So you can focus on the things that are important to you like selling
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dust? We can't believe all this is going on, and then it's like, why don't you own three hundred thousand shares of whatever bankers wandering always money, or are you not also supplying a bunch of drugs? Money or even just supporting this and pretend saying that you're lobbying for a legitimate cause when you're really just keeping the border open for illegal petroleum exports whatever it is because the What you're saying is the monies just so good that it can't be ignored, but at the same time people feel the need to sort of white their reputation by saying, hey, I'm not do and that its like look if you're you're doing this, what we need to do is just admitted and then talk about it, otherwise it just gonna keep going as you're right it almost sort of makes it impossible to stop if we're gonna pretend like were against it as oppose the admitting that were not really doing anything right.
I'm not I'm, I'm not some shareholder activists trying to take down big banks or anything like that, but its particularly from its particular grading. When I deal with it on a political level when I know, for example, that I can't get state department officials to stop talking you know. I know that someone a hostage has been I'll buy regime, and they keep on making these grand statements condemning you know this illegal taking and the journalists should be free and asked. How is that helping that hostage? Answer that question: how is pissing off the people who hold a person's life in their hands? Helping you, then the answer to that. Of course you don't really care about the hostage they care about the little three minute press conference that might give them how many lights they get they treat this little statement of theirs, and so you have to also tell parents there you, you have to understand that you don't know who your friends here is. So it's not just about going after banks and other neighbours, but again with respect to journalists. I have a particular bone to pick with newspapers and media companies who take advantage of young kids, who are completely unprepared for wars and if you're gonna send people there are
set their work. They at least have to prepare them. Do you understand that they now do you satellite phone? Have they deal with a passport to them more than one passport? Do they leave their passport with someone else? How did they connect with any diplomatic representation, in particular, if their own country doesn't happen there? You really trained them through that that would save us through their connection to the police chief in the locally all those things that you would go through, an a protocol level with journalists never prepared for us to win. That moment comes and it always comes in the wars, and when that moment comes, they have no idea. They just have no idea and so it is really unsavory had so many levels, its super easy to look at the drug dealer in Japan and the weapons dealer and look at them and think this is just com, but I was slightly more expansive definition of the term. This actually makes a lot of sense. Eve really is young folks coming out of college and is not being able to get their shot. Anderson Cooper talked about this on the show we said. No one would talk to him, which is surprising to see
when this pedigree, but nobody would really talked to him, so he was doing sort of like mailroom stuff, and then he picked up a cat like a cheat camera and went to Somalia, and this is like the nineties. You know, Somalia was the eye rack understand whatever it is of the nineties and he just sort of. Lay down over there with commercial flights. in cars, trucks, whatever it was in, started filming and it all We didn't get chopped up into little pieces, but now it seems like such a it's, even the more hellish landscape in terms of the conflict itself. In like a set up, as my age or younger crawling through holes and fences and the Syrian border with Turkey and then running into the nearest town in the back of a pickup truck to take photographs and do right opt in I think a lot of on just don't realize how close they were to ending up in the basement of assyrian prison right now, I'm in itself It's me. I get involved it's usually too late, obviously, and so I get so
angry I've had these conversations with senior people at major newspapers and tv programs and said deuces, just reckless what you're doing is so wrong. You have to explain this to people to see what we're not forcing them to take The answer is you taking advantage and we know full well. This is someone wants to make it His or her name in journalism, they, you know full The way to do that to be a little more reckless there, Anyone else and take risks known ass were taken there, you they're either going to unprepared it's one thing to go to Switzerland and prepared to go to recently unprepared, wherever it doesn't really matter Morocco, unprepared, it's all different thing to have some are going to Syria and prepare. You mentioned capped again. This is a drug. Sort of Meda cameo or or to hear on the show with people mentioning casually what is kept a gun, and where does it come from? What is this? It seems to be a sort of trending up in the Middle EAST, especially in the world.
yeah captain new drug, actually cap, two guns drive that has existed since the early sixties. It was developed in Germany, not surprisingly, by a company called me back a handbook and it was initially treated as medication. Inside of a similar to eighty ADHD medication and then was pulled in time play out of medical market within a few years because of the height of sissy leveling, the heart in the blood that the generator not just usually addicted to and what makes it so insidious is extremely easy to manufacture. I mean, if you have sort of a high school chemistry set in the scale water. You can make half the gun by the way, not so dissimilar. I don't know if you're aware of this drugs and feta me cook pervitin that the Germans used in the Second World war. It was something that german scientist developed, which had a big role in the blitzkrieg. The reason is that the Germans were able to basically travel to Western Europe to Belgium, HOLLAND with for four days, without sleeping a lot of them asked officers less assess was because of this
Fatima that who, having to the room that Hitler was take, it was on. It himself was therefore really sleep deprived, but so captain on very similar properties to that and thence in Syria? The manufacturing of category really exploded with the war itself and is just basically mass manufacturing costs, an epidemic in Saudi Arabia and the saudi friend a medical doctor who told me that he suspects that fish, two percent of saudi males under twenty five, take up the gun and become a date. Rape drug is deeper sense. He suspects of salaries under twenty five years is crazy. Number there when they find cap two gun and it comes in all kinds of ways- is often do written blister paths to make it look like medicine when they find it. The hall is often worth five six billion. U S dollars! Those are the kinds of vines is now making way to Southern Europe into the Italian spent
to Portuguese Board and then from there to Northern Europe, a lot of it now in France, its extremely insidious drug, then the profits. It is astronomical milk, as a cost, almost nothing to make five or six billion dollars to Revalue makes submarine full cocaine look like child's play, yet the margins are off the track, as it really is not only cost nothing to do with us and customers, nothing to distribute. Also in a lot of the cap. The gun deal is that talk about the cinema both because the people held this young man hostage where the biggest captain on traders in the country. By the way a one of the people started to cap. The gun business in the war was the uncle of the current president of the present Bashar Al Assad. His father was half is, alas, at the end, the father was late, Father, the brother, his
does the fact that I said who was just convicted last summer in a french court and he was the one who really started to profit massively of the drug trade so that the intersection their various groups making money that some regime, some opposition Hizbollah has its hand in category and obviously a lot of these freelancers. But the person I ended up to flag down and find who held that this westerner hostage was probably the biggest category dealer in the country and they often use the same distribution routes for the cap. The gun as they do for the, for example, the human trafficking so the same people who take little girls from villages and send them to the Gulf to Dubai, to react and Saudi Arabia to other places. There primarily those two places, though they use the same distribution rats. Very often they fill also stomachs of the girls with drugs, not only category of it
and use them as couriers in while also especially shipping them as the product itself. That's horrible. I this is just so dark their captain, God I've heard hasn't made it to the: U S necessarily or hasn't. Ended up in the U S, just because we have, to put it bluntly, more effective sort of better drugs that do the same thing like, but is it methamphetamine like different kinds of methamphetamine, or something like that? Would you agree? the MIA de I mean just the margins would be too small because you're breaking into saturated market right now, where's the market in Saudi Arabia and in southern Europe is not nowhere. Nearly a saturated unfortunate because of the method, the dynamic that we have this country is saturated market. So that's pure supply and demand thing. This such a massive amount of supply in this EU, despite the huge demand that your margins have to be really small, such as not attractive amid this drugs really follow very symbols that you know it. Adam Smith, invisible hand. Rules is fairly simple.
Interesting that where the United States is bullet proved from category because we're addicted to so many other things that it just there's no room for it. That's like depressing humor, in a way, almost like a ridiculous sort of notion, We just like hey. We have no room in our drug market because we have so many other drugs that we can't get a free from that. There is no room for a cap again unbelievable exactly by the wayside. no totally different topic. Here. You mentioned that in one of the characters in the book enjoyed going to the top of the Eiffel Tower to a hidden apartment there is there really an apartment at the top of the Eiffel Tower the air they used to be Who's the life of the builder of the tower actually lived there for a while. That's where it was ok. What had happened in the book was that the person who asked me for help, I met him, Paris for dinner. I didn't know what do you want from me and then we walked through Paris at night, and we did this kind loop that he loves to do where at some point you turn over. You turn around a corner, you see the Eiffel Tower lit up and it was something he was
It was beautiful and then then that's what it was reminiscent of that type of secret apartment under the goose device of the building of the tower kept for himself and definite best one of the best real estate pieces. I would think of worldwide right, yeah was going to say that has to be the most valuable one of the most valuable properties anywhere on the planet like owning IRAN, island. No thanks! That's for pleads. I live at the top of the Eiffel Tower in the Middle EAST and in that all right, we should probably keep this. A secret is gonna, be subject billionaire reveal that that's exactly what it is to have some, maybe we shouldn't we hand advertised as the owl we'll be done without. I suppose you mentioned that you don't ask for compensation when you are trying to help missing people or be discussed the hostage negotiations or look for missing persons. Why don't you ask for compensation? I can't explain this first call in the work that we do it's really we is really incidental works to works in my work? Is foundations were works covered by the budget of the foundation so number once it has no need to ask for compensation for some of the bigger issue. Is there is twofold? First of all,
don't get involved in ransom negotiations, and the reason I don't do that as a personal conviction based my own days back the military israeli military, where I am deeply convinced them will you open up discussions for ransom? You? Basically, even if you get someone outrageous, insured, Tenue hostages? Is it just a personal principle? I understand that its heart breaking and you just have to step, Wayne situation. There were cases, including an American in Syria, where I was asked to get it by a politician and when I called my friend to see if there was anything we could do, he said: don't touch this one, their negotiating ransom behind your back. There would be paid by the categories and as end up getting out because a ransom was paid, but what I know is he gets out ten more people get taken, and I don't want that on my hands that now we want. The second thing is when you start getting involved with ransom negotiations. Jordan, if you think this through think about the dynamic that happen, let
today there is a one million dollar ransom request. Ok, what that doesn't come directly to me that comes through layers of gatekeepers couriers intermediaries, representative, by the time that number reaches me. That's ten million dollars festival. Second of all the moment you have a financial interest, you become vulnerable mean that the moment any money changes had that avenges mean ten billion dollars. I mean a cup of coffee, a meal, a flight, a hotel, a driver. Whatever favour the has monetary value that gets thrown you, wait, are don't even accept meal invitations. The moment there's any money Terry value people start rumours that you got perks benefits out of it. Did you didn't share and that's the way to press you even fact. In the course of my story, someone said they would spread that kind of a rumour. Even it wasn't true here just for the sake of getting something out of me. So the moment money gets involved. It moves you away,
from resolving the case. Now, I'm not saying you can do said there is no quid pro quo. I just can't be monetary. So, to give an example, I've been hostile negotiations where a relative of the hostage takers had breast cancer mother? Had breast cancer couldn't get treatment for a number of reasons? There was The house was in a country where working or the family with sanctions if she could travel abroad for treatment as an example, and so through network of favours if you can arrange for this person to get treatment in Cyprus are in Germany, and this is just one example that I just went through. That's a quid pro quo. You can offer those are fake, The chains have but no one's, enriching him or herself personally that process, but it gets much less cluttered if you take money completely off the table, so that sort of the readers digest version to your question. It gets much major every time. Money changes hands is almost impossible to get involved unless it's a flat out you'd ransom payments. Some outside government pays- and I dont want to get involved in this case. Yet
that makes sense. It generates demand you gotTa Lebanon, meet this chick and he seems extremely intensive. What is he like? A terror financier as I kind of his position No, this is some minor was well known. This is someone who is always been sanctioned by the. U s ever since the aid so anyone who reads the footnote in the books carefully will know it is, but I made him a promise that I would use a pseudonym when he agreed to help. This is the head, a very powerful head of a political movement military movements in Lebanon that I had to use this early, the condition for being able to write this book. I got everyone's consent involved, except for the the evil people and I named them and shamed them. It's not like they get pseudonyms, but the people get pseudonyms are the victims of the two girls that talk about the person was kidnapped himself and a few other people who made their support conditional upon your being used on this pseudonym. That was one of them, and it was critical because he was the one who do.
Me too. He basically put me on the trail of the people, had this hostage if it says extremely intense or reason I sort of tried to tease that out as because you can read the footnotes, but also its If you don't really know your way around this sort of conflict it. It doesn't really mean anything to you, but the guy's, extremely it's like street smart but level one hundred. We know you, you don't just put your phone away, but he said the handler to deal with you and evaluate you beforehand and take the flight with even sit next to you to sort feel you out and The handler, whose intense in his own way gives you this temporary says, don't beat him with the fist of flattery. I think right was what he said, which here this is actually really useful concept. We can you tell us about this. I had never heard that, but I like it here the way the whole meeting came up is through a the person whose I feel like almost as a man to her father figure. For me, as someone could hardly their money, who then sell be with the syrian mother, who is often in most cases, especially in Syria and in the gulf. The person who helped me has two situations and he
No, this militia leaders known him for many many years saved this person's life at some point, and so this person always feels indebted to him. So when he called the militia leader and say hey, can you help with this particular hostage? The guy said he'll help, but you have to send the person was asking about him to me to see him. I have to see what I'm going to trust him to share the information, and that was the deal, so I have to go at the base be seeing what we called dark or blind, which is I flew from Istanbul to Beirut and landed in Beirut middle of the night, and I didn't fly by myself, which is this person said one of his trusted deputy to pick me up in the lounge in Istanbul and that me both in the lounge throughout the fly and when we arrived and if it any port moment in the voting process, I had failed for whatever reason to been too inquisitive to chatty, not trustworthiness in his mind. Try compressed into much whatever it is that would have triggered it. He would have left me behind that it could have been in Istanbul. When we arrived in Beirut at any moment in this process
and then, when we arrived in Beirut, Enneads seem to have passed those tests. I had to give up all my foes passports and phones, and that means I'm going completely line, which is I'm surrendering entirely to this group, and this is a group that the South Beirut, it's very Milton group, a very ordinary group which use it in the nice way. But I did it because the introduction had to made to my friend Carly that completely trusted, and he wouldn't send me in harm's way, but it was still an extremely intense few hours and this aids of this leader told me one thing: don't do do rather than those of the guy. Basically saying don't play the player, don't bullshit bullshit, I don't get a shudder. That kind of advice is giving me, which is added symbols, the advice and friend was tell me which, as if in a room, play poker and you look around, can figure out, the sucker is good chance. It's, U S same thing here, which is every smart person, and I've been really smart and wise understands that when they are being flattered that the person who is flattering them is trying to play the game them get.
Something out of them and if you're really enlightened in that sense to think you'll be the most suspicious of that some of those unpleasant or confrontational. You just don't have to deal with a person if you don't want to. But at least you know what you have. Who are you? after these worried is when you get the flattery and is something very strange about people in power, and you don't have to go to I'm a girl proportionate, such as the last president, even generally people in power people to be very shrewd, very smart and political, Economic power, media power doesn't really matter the one thing. People seemed really susceptible to his flattery for some reason. That's our blind spot. I mean when I say our. I just have to make the assumption We even if I dont have power. That is just a human flawed people can figure out a way to flatter us in a way that we don't notice, and we just enjoy the company of that person right just released his particular endorphins and make us happy and the advice I got here is a baby really stressed: maybe really hard. You maybe sweating like a pig when he makes you uncomfortable but be honest with him. If you don't,
dumb answer and answered doesn't like it's always gonna be preferable to giving the sends you trying to play him and the rest. You flatter him. If you even the way you addressed him, don't use those stupid, huh, terrific this is not your excellencies. Now, your majesty, not your whatever you just a common shake, and that's in fact would address in it and just keep it. Real, and if you ask your question may be hard, you may be asked you about being jewish. Maybe ask you about America. May ask you whatever it is. Give him an honest answer, things got he waited Sultan but speak your mind and just be respectful, and it was really good advice because it was an extremely tense few hours I spent in that were felt like an interrogation. I always felt safe in that way, because he did to even when it disagreed with me at somebody said: look I'm gonna give you high marks for honesty, if not for intelligent. So there was an insult in there, but at least I knew I was safe. He didn't get angry at me because he felt like I was trying to manipulate him. It was really smart advice
That is interesting. Although I I, I have to note that if you saying don't use his honorific title just calling unchecked, it's kind of like saying just use this other honours. Title that I have no, and I wrote that into both your body out it s. A diluted, shape is really much more common. I think in the Gulf is veto in the in the Gulf monarchies. You ain't, you got there, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, people use the word shake with much more kind of pomp and sir stands. Its Muslim puffed up in the Lebanese, Levant kind of context is really not use that way, so that friends, when they give me shit, they just a haystack, has a going to the arab friends of mine. So it's really used in Palestine, Jordan, Syria, it's really used much more colloquially. That way said really didn't have that flavour got it. Ok, as it did sort of striking, is where your I did notice. You did right about that. I probably hearts that in my brain is, I did think that was strange to its likes. It nano, let's be informal. Call me doctor Jordan Nerve at your heads
right, not absolutely right, you're, absolutely right and is in fact even occur to me when he said it, but in the context that he said it didn't feel that way at all. In your conversation with him, he gave you some insight into why some of these groups hate the west, and I thought was this- is fascinating rights, not necessarily religious, even Oh did that the United States is more religious than Lebanon and many other middle eastern countries too, who those countries have religious laws, but a sinful culture, and she thought America of course, also has a simple culture, but has is more sort of of pure. Is the right word? like the people actually believe it, whereas in some of the Middle eastern countries a lot of people are just sort of performative because they have to be by law. It sounds like him, since that he doesn't want America to succeed, but for reasons that seem totally backwards. Can you take so this, because I am not even sure I got this right is. It seems so insane to me his explanation, resolute. We ended up into the sky, he was drawing me into discussion. I was getting really both nervous and also impatient, because I was really there just to get information on this hostage and
He was drawing me into this whole religious, cultural discussion. I mean he was challenging my thoughts of Judaism The fact that I haven't even realise that every time the symbol of the eagle was involved the Jews were getting wiped out at happened with the Romans. It happened with the Germans and it's going to happen America through assimilation with american Eagle. So it was really fascinating stuff, but it was also I was getting Cadillac show me just get on to just give me the information of here for but never really say that right. He also gets into civil rights, America and misunderstanding Martin Luther king Malcolm X, distinction between the two is really fascinating, stuff and wanting that he mentioned to me, as you know, that that is a view in the west. You really don't understand. You think we hate America, you think we just resented, because it's a christian country are because it's a heretic country. That's not true at all. reason we resent America is because, as something that we don't have, we here have this tribalism were tribes, really big, the don't forget this is happening. Two thousand fourteen. This is before the last five years of with we endured in this country, so
say something different today, but at the time were saying as the EU not beset by these tribalism, America's really founded on being a multicultural cited. He was very critical of miracles in terms of slavery and in terms of not integrating. happily, he had a lot of critical things to say, but none the less. You view that America is a successful multicultural experiment and he said Here we are you take Lebanon, Lebanon's a failed state. It only works because we're able to pit various tribes and cultures and religions against each other, and so what really? The truth is the people, where we are, they want what America really has. Is that multi mind end, but we really had America for this being that kind of a successful its relative concept, but that kind of a successful multicultural experiment which I thought was pretty fascinating, so that would we missed interpret as this deed kind of almost religious hatred that we are so
with his men- and we really do associate that in fact was really more or less like a jealous resentment for an experiment that he wished could work where he is an almost makes no sense to me right. He wants to prove that this antiquity, the mindset of warring tribes in kind of like ethnic conflict that makes life literally just hell for so many people in that region, but he was a show that that better than the melting pot. Salad, bowl that he's envious of in the United States that somehow that's even more disgusting than just blind religious hatred, which I could go K. This is like a stone age mindset of organised religion. He can't get out of it. Now he just wants it's like saying. Oh, this person is successful. I want them a fail miserably so that I feel better about myself ready to serve the most of
even lower than just like. Well, my God hates their got. It stuck evens, that's more understandable than this line of nonsense. Yes, the biggest challenge his power and his power is derived from six are, and violence experienced, fears and the sort of weird geopolitical tectonic alignments, and you look at his Lebanon. Lebanon is a failed state for that reason, but it's also his power base, and so his biggest fear is that at some point enough, people in these countries- people weren't you know, have access to any kind of media social media. Otherwise it can see our life can be elsewhere. When you don't have sectarianism killing a country how they look at the west and looked at America the time he was saying and say we can have a different kind. not just about just my god. I wish we could just go eat Mcdonald's when everyone is that, as we can actually have an integrated life, where does it really matter with them, christian and Muslim or whatever skin color? Now again, this house ever conversation about what America, actually as it will have to have that now, but from his perspective, the biggest threat to
This rule is people in Lebanon and Syria and Jordan and Egypt demanding that kind of society. A sort of a DE tribalism society so from his it's very rational. His power base requires that kind of sectarianism to thrive. Then, of course, he looked at America is the biggest threat to him I saw the end of the day for all his sort of philosophizing and things like that from the book and all these sort of so called deep, believes it sounds like when it comes down to it it's just about him, holding on to power and wealth at the expense of literally every one else around him, and he doesn't care about anything else. That's all it is, but it's all it is everywhere. It's just a different games that when we have a corruption conversation, you know, corruption in one country might be the policeman and his bride do not fine. You are can be the politician who gets a bribe in order to award you some kind of a contract and oil drilling contact and then their much more subtle forms.
What about in my last book, nothing but a circus where you know where State Department, people direct certain private sector contributions rather than to the global partnerships under the State Department ends up being with the Clinton Global Foundation. You know, how is that not corruption, so that fact to judge these things are the same thing with power. We have people, and in the west in the U S: everyone, our justice power, thirsty as the other countries that may have slightly less medieval means of maintaining our reaching it. But that's not because we have
The better or more evolved sophisticated, just a different context. That way, so I'm gritty careful about awarding us kind of a more evolved understanding of using power for good and little careful about that enough, and if the last few years have taught us envy and without lit assessing the conversation is, maybe we should be a little bit less quick to jobs, not just judge other countries, but also judge within our countries, people on the other side of any kind of ideology. This is the Jordan Harbinger show with our guest, Daniel Levin, we'll be right back. This episode of sponsored and part by Bomba Spambots mission is simple: make the most comfortable close ever and match every item sold with an equal item donated so when you buy bombers, your also giving to somebody else in need. Farmers is an incredible,
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by better help online therapy? We talk about better help. A lot on the show this month were discussing some of the stigmas around mental health. We ve all kind of been taught either deliberately or through us. Most is here that mental health shouldn't be a part of normal life, sweep it under the rod right. That is wrong. We should care of our bodies. In the gym we go to the doctor. We get nutrition. We definitely need to be filled missing on our minds, just as much many people think therapies just for crazy people who walked down the street talkin themselves or southern, but it's just not true therapy doesn't mean that something is wrong with you. It means that you recognise all humans have emotions. We need to learn to control and not avoid them. Better help is customized online therapy that offers videophone even live chat sessions with your therapist. You don't see any
on camera, if you dont want to its much more affordable than in person therapy and you can be matched up with a therapist an under forty eight hours give it a try and see why over two million people have used better help online therapy and our listeners get ten percent off your first month at better help: dot com, sash, Jordan, that's better h, E Lp that comes Ass, Jordan. This episode is also sponsored in part by progressive progressive helps. You get a great rate on car insurance, even if it's not with them. They have initially compares dual that puts rate side by side. So you choose a rating coverage that works for you. So, let's say you're interested in lowering your rate on car insurance visit, progressive dot com get a quote with all the coverage you want, you'll see, progressives rate and then their tool provide options from other companies all lined up and easy to compare, so that all you have to do is choose the right and cartridges. You like progressive gives you options, so you can make the best choice for you
could be looking forward to saving money in the very near future, more money for, say, a pair of noise, cancelling headphones and instead pot more puzzles. Whatever brings you joy, get a quote today at progressive dot com, it's just one small step you can do today. They can make a big impact on your budget tomorrow. Progressive casualty, insurance company in various comparison, mates not available in all states, are situation prices very based on how you buy by the way you can read the show of your listening on Spotify relatively new feature here. This is helpful. It makes the show more visible on Spotify it flow my ego in a very small way, which is really all require these days, just coated Jordan Arbour. you're not come. Slash, Spotify or easier search for us in your Spotify up click, the doubts on the right- and you can make it happen now for the rest of my conversation with Daniel Leavin, the story of the hotel guest. This cook is breaking eggs with his hands right in this guest goes
crazy tell me about this, because this sort of illustrates you're the way that you think in a way that I think is pretty pretty incredible. I don't know that's why you included it, but it definitely does. Does that Having the book the I put it in person because just occurred, and I wrote the book on this like a diarrhea. Really, you know that he is a writer the book I recorded a lot. I took notes a lot and it was important for me it. I do write diaries. Everyday coke has diarrhea since I'm twelve years old and stuff. For me, that's what it was. So it was really something first of all, about the need also showed so much in terms of the hypocrisy and sexual violence that occurs in that region. So what happened? Was I chasing this gang and the gang leader and of going to Jordan. At some point I missed it Jordan and applied to the buying a chicken into buying to the hotel late at night and I'm in the elevator going up to my room and there are two couples and there's two lebanese guys and to russian prostitutes with them,
The two guys are arguing over which I guess which prostitute and it's the most, and I understand the Arabic and what the russian women are saying to each other and Russians pretty fascinating and so thereof just there. So over it obviously in their their annoyed about the haggling over them and the two lebanese geyser discussing who gets into both one and the same one. Finally, the dominant one of the two hours he gets his way they get out on the floor. Keepin argued that the door closes in. I go into my room, the next morning I go to the breakfast lounge and the top of the hotel, and I'm just about to ask the cook and I've been going to do the ten or fifteen years. I really know the whole staff there go there, a lot very I swam there once a month, because a lot of our work in the gulf was based in Dubai in Abu Dhabi, so I've known these people for years, the cook them everyone that works there, and so I'm,
about that came for some eggs when one of the two lebanese guys from the night before cuts in front of me and the cook and look summon, says hey Ukpai, certain person so sure go ahead. So the guy asked for eggs in a certain way in the cook's, just take them out and start scratching them, and then this guy just loses his mind and start screen the coffee's going to have a fire that he put his dirty hands and use those kinds of racial vective at the guy and touch the days with dirty hands and Lawson's going to get him fired. Basically, at that moment I just looked at the the lebanese God that you know actually given where your body parts have been last night. I'm not so sure that you're, this cooks, hands on your excel is going to be at least over the biggest eyes,
probably going to face as though this guy just last year and was wasted. Erasing too, though, tell management to get the cook fired and the cook was trembling. This is the guy who you're sending remittances home to India and life depends on damages is ugly dark side of the economy in the Gulf, which is the opposite of labourers. Work from us nothing and live in awful conditions and keep that economy going construction workers. so people like this cook and he was jury, is life is over. You know that always incomes going away and he's gonna be kicked out of the country. Diet is lucky guess his passport back, and so I say the next day and the hotel manager sure enough comes and is about to fire the cook, and so I had this huge clash of hotel manager ended up and basically the way I got it done is Dubai had passed zero tolerance and no prostitution pass endeavour tells and when the guy's gonna fire the Cook S, it body feel about prostitution, guy, a policy that you have here and then he was all your grandstanding in pompous about how they adhere to thy stands. It s, actually a guess. They complained in
are you over there wearing your tell a prostitute. So how do you want it to be? How do you want to play our door? One? Is you protect the cook and you tell them telling us to go to Hell door too? Is you go for it and your careers over? Because you just violated by Lhasa, ended up working out, but did for me the hypocrisy of the moment and how this played out and behind the whole thing again, the sort of on the surface, the laws we don't a prostitute and then behind that the reality- what's going on with something I wanted to include, because it was so tell him everything happening in the region. It really isn't it to give people a little bit a background on this type of light, market incorrect me where I am wrong, but essentially the philippine India and other countries sent ten of thousands, possibly hundreds of thousands. What do I know, workers from those countries to work in the Gulf as construction our hotel labour or a sort of any menial task in many ways. There's a lot of exposes online where these people are kept liked.
what do you guys in a room there, all sleeping on the floor? They dont have this one toilet for the whole building or no toilet or a bucket in a corner. Sometimes there not fed they dont have their travel documents there paid like three bucks a day. Two of the dollars or one of the dollar's they're, sending back to the Philippines or India to keep their family alive and some sort of horrible, equally horrible circumstances back home and it almost like a slave labour economy, and this irate hotel gasters, like I'm, just gonna, ruin this guy's life because I had a long night or I'm hung over and I'm looking on him, because I'm a racist, p o s and he touched the eggs with his bare hands and you had sort of checkmated him, by saying, why saw you, bang in a russian prostitutes are about to being a russian prostitute last night. Do you want them sure to find out about that, and then that guy loses his job right. So it's like a whole chess social chess match. going on here. Where did learn to think. Like what personal do you sort of systematically think like that, all the time that must be exhausting, look
I hope I don't pick fights. I don't need to pick, but if I'm going to have to pick a fight, then I'm going to fight it and I'm not walking around looking for fights, but this cooked. I considered it. Almost a friend is someone I'd known for eight years or so lovely lovely old man, could have been my grandfather and so having an beaches diminished, for no reason whatsoever? I felt like it could have been my father grandfather, and so it brought out that instinct. But you know you constantly confronted with that, and I dont walk around them. People what I think of them. If you live in the Gulf, for example, and by the way could be anyone there. A lot of enablers responded back to the work on him discussion. You have the World CUP the Football Soccer World CUP next year and cut the right in twenty twenty two because of course, in its infinite wisdom, the World Soccer Association thought that the best place to do a World cup is in the gulf in summer, at one hundred and eighty thousand degree temperature right and now the people
building on this day against, for a one time, use literally for one time use another hotels literally for one time you will never have them in a guess again. Those are our neighbours from those places who work in two hundred and forty degree. Temperatures paid really nothing sampling with Saudi Arabia is so you have them I'll be happening, and of course I was gonna tell you know, that's not your but it, but it is in fact true. So when you're confronted your where they policy- and you consume that hypocrisy, because if I go to a hotel in Dubai. I know full well. I am a consumer of that hypocrisy and a beneficiary of it. Some, not here some high horse say that I'm fighting some just wharf anybody, but when I'm confronted with it like, I was with this tell guessed the choice after me gives do I let him just destroy this poor cook or do I intervene and if I'm forced into that choice, I'm gonna intervene. So it is not frequent, those moments is another moment in this story in the bar,
by when confronted by someone is dragging a young girl by her hair and he's literally in my path. So there's a guy, Jason. I carefully avoided a moment I walked around in the war. but I do I'm really not trying to look for these types of fights. I wouldn't live very long if I did at some point you're picking a fight with the wrong person who has different kind of weapon on him, yeah yeah, exactly where did you learn that type of thinking? What sort of background gives you the the inside to say: ok, here's the lover, I'm gonna, pull I don't know that. I can say that I don't think it's those terrible process. It's really more instinctive. In that moment, I think it's more basically just a filter that you and others that we all applied ourselves it is it worth it or isn't worth that mean it's any argument, then the question is: how effective are you in a fight? What are your tools? Do you know how to do physical combat? You know what to avoid physical, better, assess the risk of whether someone's arm that's a whole different set of issues and skills that more military related US demand background back into line It is early nineties, but just in terms of whether or not to pick a fight
something we do in our relationships and in our jobs and with people we do and whether surrounding is worth in whether you want to do. just around the you know. I mean I think you and I both had a comedy. We someone worked in life law firm in New York and at some point I felt that I spent so much. Today in acrimony that I found some meaningless right into Goshi and no one really cared about like spending three weeks. Negotiate. An arbitration provision is something like that. Just did really matter, but it became a pissing contest of everyone involved, the kind of, acrimonious find just like your cars in neutral, but full throttle. So you just producing smoking noise and nothing else. Those kinds of fines and acrimony that try to avoid the really unproductive at every once in a while? You just have to decide whether its necessary or whether it's worth it or whether you have no choice to take a fight because you might be threatened and then you have to do and then you just have to have the skills to do it into ended quickly. at the first mover advantage, that's like anyone in any combat. If you're gonna hit you back to be the one who had first there's a lot of
little nuanced interactions like this in the book that I think are really just streets. Marts turned up to eleven, like your friend gave you advice when you're about to meet this very street, wise, manipulative woman, she's, the Ex wife of the human traffickers, justice for human you're gonna meet her that for the second time, and he warns you any says: ok, if she shows up in this a matter as she did earlier in the day, it's all good if she shows up dressed dramatically different, it likely means that she's decided to change her facade for you in order to get what she wants from you and when I heard that I was like, while this guy this is a guy who has been run through the ringer or is like I've expire or something I mean. That's so astute. You rarely see that level of collaboration in anyone. There that's my friend valid, and I mentioned earlier he's somewhere. I can't even express how much I admire how much I owe him I'd, show up even thinking about em cause he's such a wonderful person, just so off the charts within innate intelligence and with
I'll, say also wisdom in the sense that you know how wise and smiles not the same thing. A wise person doesn't even get into the situation that the small person they know how to extricate himself from rights in that kind of wisdom, and so at the time there was this, the former wife of this drug boss, is someone I need to connect with to find a way to him to know where to reach him and to get some information in him. But she is well known in Dubai decision very beautiful woman I'm very, very manipulative, and so did vice city gives me said: look she's going to meet you quickly, she's going to personal talk in the phone. This is going to decide if it's worth meeting you but she's not going to talk to you just in the first meeting, so that first bidding is still the only fair to assess you and see what is even worse. For time and one way to know whether she's trying to manipulate your nose. You gonna meet you in one way, one context dressed in a certain way if, when you meet
again in the evening. If you meet you again and you meet her again in the evening, she appears completely differently. You have to understand she's, assess you and she's trying to devise a strategy to how to get something out of you and that's exactly what happened. First time I met her. She calls on the phone. She was extremely rude actually on the phone, but I still need her in this place. Called the address and device and very it's kind of a glitzy me, no people need to make an impression on someone else. You walk in there he's setting within The guy look a guy from a babby and he's dressed in this drop dead beautiful our money, business attire with silk, blouse and beautiful attire, the only kind of giveaway that you was trying to wrestle too hard, as the cleavage was a little too big for a business context, but she meets me and we talked, and then she abruptly ends the conversation, and I was really crestfallen because I needed her to get to her ex husband and I'm just basically, this phone, I'm just following the thread- run falling the yard of the sweater trying to get to the source, and she at that point as a person
trying to get closer to she just get up and leave it. I'm done I just slipped my way back to the hotel. Take a cabin sort of inner slept myself into the hotel, thinking that but as I'm getting out of the cab and tell my phone things again answer again said this, I'm so sorry I had to go. What do we mean tonight over dinner, so. At that moment, I realized ok. She was really just doing this trio trying to assess me, but then she shows up at dinner completely different no natural hairs down where's this glue summer, dress flats, not fifty thousand inch pumps and just a completely different person. So she had assessed me as someone that she's gonna impressed by being informed by not overdressed right, and so my some faint hearted was exactly when she was extremely shrewd fur. Was a trade I'll help you I'll give you information but ears.
I'm gonna need from you and what, if she needed for me, was baby, get away from Dubai? Take her daughter, out of there start a new life elsewhere, and that was a trade. I did. She now lives in Western Europe, but in return for what she helped me with try try to get your former husband and also prepare me for when I would meet him while so we were able to its you're. Really, like the Chinese would say like a master of Gwan, she right you're. You just know exactly like the connections to use not to sort of step number to say: look. I know somebody can help you get to Western Europe, but you know I need this particular thing and you can't be a bullshitter when it comes that, because on that's gonna burn, yes, we really do need it. Somehow, what a call somebody who can get her a visa to stay in France or wherever she lives now, and that is a life. Time of relationship building and not manipulation, and I kind of want to highlight that cause a lot of people will go out. You know you just knows how to pull These levers tell me if you agree, somebody was connections like that. Most of them are built on honest to goodness.
Report and friendship over years and inconsistently not on having some dirt on somebody or having something to give to somebody at the right time, but by actually just being a good friend to a lot of people over a longer they could not agree with you more. That's exactly right. People first of all make two mistakes personally think they can take on the task like this and sudden Lee generates is generally these relationships right, like they can suddenly generate favours, which is an illusion. You can't do that because they have to pre exist. That's like I usually give the example that it's like a surgeon. You know you put in fusion in the arm way before the surgical. Once you start the surgery, blood pressure thinks you can't find a vain. You better have that future stop way before the surgery rights of those relations have to exist, and the second thing is in a relationship that a purely transactional purely by vested interests not based on an actual affinity for a person expire, their basically defined by that's. In other words, if you are a very and some are good looking person and you are then shocked when the person in your life,
these you, when you agent, are not really that good. Looking anymore, you didn't understand the bases of the whole relationship versus one. This built in some kind of a genuine affection. It doesn't have to be endless affection. have to be honest kind of relationship that wasted the only relationships and favours that really work. Working. That was is networks that have pre existed for years with friends they haven't been, they ve been stress test it in a way that we're not trying to squeeze something out of each other and you're way, more skilled inexperienced in terms it just the concept of building relations but my experience, my modest number one has been that the only ones over my career, my lifetime, that really have been preserved to this day. I've been ones that I haven't costly tribes, monetize married when you have favours encounter favours it's never framed that way. It's so when did, I can ask for something without costly met, third, and they can ask me for something, and it's often really small things off, and I have friends who tell me: hey man, you know if someone breaks into your house and I threatened to kill you
just call me, I'm gonna come over my baseball bat and those to mere empty offers, but that's not the situation that ever happens is the little new and stuff the stuff where I need you to do something without even telling me right or not taking credit for it, because it s the same thing I'll do those that that's the real honest core of the relationship, and if you build that over time, you build the kind of trust where, if you do ever do need that kind of a favorite, Every doesn't seem like they feel that the persons part of what you are going through and there really happy to do in that's exactly how these things play out and and for me the blessing as they get older to feel like. I have those kinds of relationships in my life and to be somewhat conscious of those versus the ones there are really transaction and that's ok, they're transaction relationship, but you just have to recognise them as such. Right. Exactly your digging the well before you get thirsty and then you're also not keeping score right, you're not like. Why did this thing for them exactly? They owe me this because that then pour
since the well, and they can feel that? No, I go so he does. Did that thing, you want something from me. Fine I'll give him this one thing that I'm never talking we're dealing with him again, because I don't want to be in debt. The no votes, just like miserable marriage discussions well lighted the dishes three times it's your night tonight to get up with a baby, the scream ass, a member of your keeping score like that. You have a really should a future ahead of you. You know I mean they're just gets really all that something has to be a basis where, with a spouse, you want more for the spouse than you want for yourself right, you not keeping score. Would you keep score? It breeds resentment it everyone feels victimized. Everyone feels taken advantage of. This is not really a very promising foundation towards the end of a book you talking with this human trafficking is one of the worst characters in any book anywhere and you use clues and behaviour to realise a. I can't threaten this guy, but I can flatter him like that's kind of his weakness. You know you sniffed that out and in the epilogue Utah
but some of the human trafficking victims you met along the way which is sort of like the subject. The real story of the book is all about sort of human trafficking is opposed to just this missing person in you mention that this human traffickers name is a US. You said he's been retired. I assume that mean, he's dead right. Is that what that means that a euphemism for he's no longer with us? How do you know that? Oh, I just know that that's going to be going to have to invite me for a separate episode to talk about that. I would let you know for sure, because I but I do have a lot of friends. So I'm guessing you didn't get an invitation to his funeral or something like that. I might have been something tells me there for involvement there? Yet what will come on four part? Two about that? I know of in short on time, but I just want to say the ending of this book about the syrian war is full of personal stories about horrific atrocities that are very detailed and it's one of the most wrenching things that I've ever
in my life, I was on an airplane you going to pursue in the flight attendant. Actually approached me with tissues and she's. Like are you ok, because it's the part that you titled it? Who cares? I think it's called. Who cares if the postscript yet a poster yeah I was not ok, you know this is right. Really you did a really good job of detailing some of the atrocities of this war. So if you want to read a good story, and you're interested in sort of a story within a story and your interested in the Serbian, where I highly recommend his book and will link it in the show notes. I want to thank you for your time that talking with his great this interview on an entirely different direction than I expected, and I think it ended up much better and I just really appreciated. Thank the I really appreciate it. I listen to one podcast of yours Sammy the bull, oh yeah part one year and I really loved it actually wanted to say something that aside sends to scan Silly and flattery you in your own fell, but he was probably the most honest interview. Conversation. I've ever heard
mean that, like I can't imagine where, in other words where every nothing he said was intended to impress you nothing. You asked was intended to flatter him, and I I enjoyed that now. I've got some thoughts in this episode, but before we get into that, here's what you should check out next on the Jordan Harbinger show tradesmen and bank rumble on the second negotiate on a phone Human down his creator, the Nypd team he puts notifying, takes this guy officers, Europe the nexus. What I want you to do you just gotta because the to me talk, I going to really abrupt. My point is tat. The job, which is what the hostage negotiator supposed to do, and somebody hands me and ask him if you want to come out, I was somebody there was less than my friend Jamie Jamie, sedate Jamie's married something Jamie's instincts is telling him at this. Guy wants to come out more than anything else It is here that any rights as everyone come up. I see no problem.
From my face I go on come on all sides on the line and the crisis was a grave danger. Yes, holy cow Jake. I'm talking talking talking again, half an hour later because of my aunt haven't worked from as it turns out from Jamie again it tell me months. I I say Tommy four major back? yeah, I'm I get out there, you don't appears Chris amount here,
standard operating procedure is the barricade, the exit from the outset so bag. I suddenly doesn't run away the swan his barricades back from the outset, which everyone has begun. So I'm fine talk this guy out the door will allow me bad guys inside will react against, but she will without council rattles in areas like nervous right. I mean no problem trapped in here now, and the answer will now get unlocked the door and are bad guy is collect all play games with me for more from FBI hostage, negotiate Chris Vos, including negotiation and persuasion tips along with a few? Z stories check out episode, one sixty five of the Jordan Harbinger Show
One take away here is that the Middle EAST and Lebanon may be in particular, is just insane I mean look. We know Korea is there in the middle of a civil war but level not just seemed like the wild West, plus Paris mixed together, there's a reason called the parents of the Middle EAST. It is just a while place. I've always wanted to visit not all day since to Lebanon, include as much action is Daniel got into. Fortunately are, unfortunately, I would love to see Lebanon, but every time I have planned a trip there, there has been a war. It's happened literally three times so far. So, for the sake of the people of Lebanon, I am not planning any more troops there, because apparently I'm a very bad luck. Charm, that place and they might need a little bit like these days. This book really makes you think but human trafficking and slavery and refugees in a very different way. It really gets you to see the human side of this conflict. I join this book a lot, but it is in. It is not a feel good rate at all. This is more
a hug, your wife and kids, like you, ve, never hugged them before kind of red links to the book of course or shut out. The syrian conflict just has so many side too many sides, big power. Like IRAN in Russia, they have every incentive to keep that plays a hell on earth, keep it open and keep it going because of the money that comes into and out of all the chaos that goes into and out of war zone like that in the refugee crisis, actually strengthens their hand relative to Europe and the United States, which has just kind of a sick way to look at it. But that is power thanks for your global politics and power, genuine our Tonkin anywhere, the? U N is especially in a peacekeeping kind of roll. It's really good for the business of criminals. They use you and vehicles to transport, weapons and drugs. Syria, who's buying chemical weapons from North Korea, with very little or no oversight. Frankly, I mean these are things that you learn? First, and from arms traffickers. I'm not saying the! U! N is not good for anything, but I am saying that when they are
Although the situation is too dire for them to do much about it, unfortunately, in the book Her on one of the main villain characters actually says something quite telling. I thought this was the sums up a lot here, The islamic part of islamic terror is largely bullshit. It's just criminal gangs, stuff top to bottom. The islamic part is just a veneer. It might help some people get behind it in a way, but really it's just the all. These costs, They are a magnet for the worst people in humanity. It has nothing to do with religion and everything to do with souci apathy and making money at any cost? I just found his conversations so enlightening and dark, but at the same time enlightening you do that it sounds like an oxymoron or a paradox, I'll leave at their links to all things, data when will be in the website in the show notes at Jordan, harbinger dot com, please use our website links. If you buy books from any guessed, it does help support the show transcripts in the shadows Vince. as on Youtube. Jordan, harbinger dot com, Slash Youtube, I'm at Jordan, Harbinger on both
twitter and Instagram, or just hit me I'm linked in above to connect with you. There is well I'm teaching you how to connect with great people and manage relationships using the same system, software in time habits that I use every single day, that's our six minute networking course and the course is free. It's over it, Jordan, harbinger dot com, slash course. I want you to dig the well before you get thirsty. This is how you create great relationships for life and most of the guess you here on the show, subscribe and contribute to the course so come join us you'll, be in smart company where you belong. This shows created in association with Podcast one. My team is Jen Harbinger Jason Sanderson, Robert Frogeity, Milieu Campo in bared, Josh, Ballard and Gabriel, Ms Raw. He remember we rise by lifting others defeat for the shows that you share it with friends when you find something useful or interesting. If you know somebody was interested in conflict to Syria civil war, the Middle EAST, human trafficking, refugee situation share this episode with him. I hope you find something great in every episode of the show. The greatest complex
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Transcript generated on 2022-02-26.