Unauthorized Disclosure

OPCW whistleblower Ian Henderson and former OPCW director José Bustani, who testified before the UN Security Council, were attacked by the United States, United Kingdom, France, and Germany during two UN Security Council meetings in which they provided testimony.

Bustani was blocked from reading his prepared statement on the OPCW's cover-up of what they uncovered when investigators examined the scene of an alleged chemical attack in Douma, Syria, in April 2018.

Henderson was accused of being part of a "disinformation exercise," even though he was personally involved as an investigator, and physicist Ted Postol and journalist Aaron Maté, host of "Pushback" and a contributor to The Grayzone, faced smears as well as they shared testimony.

For this week's episode, Rania Khalek and Kevin Gosztola talk with Aaron about what he experienced and his reaction to the attacks on Henderson and Bustani.

Aaron calls out U.S. media, in particular progressive media, that have totally ignored the OPCW scandal exposed by whistleblowers and WikiLeaks.

Later in the show, Kevin asks Rania and Aaron for their thoughts on the crisis at the U.S. Agency for Global Media, which oversees Voice of America and other state media projects.

Employees there allege the Trump administration has politicized the organization and turned it into a propaganda outlet (even though that is what it always does—produce propaganda for the U.S. government).

We wonder when Facebook or Twitter will finally label VOA "US state-controlled media," given developments.

Direct download: aaronmate_UD.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:28am EDT

For this week's show, journalist Richard Medhurst, who was at the Old Bailey Criminal Courthouse to cover WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange's extradition trial, joins Rania Khalek and Kevin Gosztola.

Richard shares his experience reporting on proceedings and why it was so important to him to be there in person to see what unfolded at the courthouse in September.

Since Richard and Kevin committed themselves to following the trial for four weeks (unlike numerous establishment and progressive media journalists), Rania asked them both to provide highlights from the extradition trial.

The conversation concludes with a conversation about the actions of United States empire that were effectively put on trial by Assange's legal team. They kept the focus on war crimes and torture committed by the U.S. government, which documents WikiLeaks published exposed.

And the legal team also detailed abuses of power and cruel conditions in U.S. prisons that should discourage any British court from allowing extradition, if they claim to uphold human rights.
Direct download: richardmedhurst_UD.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:16am EDT

Kevin Gosztola interviewed Pentagon Papers whistleblower Daniel Ellsberg, who testified during the second week of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange's extradition trial.  

In the interview, a parallel is drawn between Dan's case and the mental health evidence that was presented by the defense in the third week. He has Dan comment on the questions he received from lead prosecutor James Lewis.   

Later, Dan addresses the U.S. Espionage Act, how far the Trump Justice Department thinks they can go in prosecuting Assange, and how the law was deployed against him nearly 50 years ago.  

Kevin and Dan conclude with some discussion on the political nature of this unprecedented prosecution.

Direct download: S7E35.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:36am EDT

Rania Khalek and Kevin Gosztola spend this week's episode discussing some of the latest developments in the extradition trial against WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange—primarily because Kevin is covering proceedings every weekday from 4 am to 10 am.

It is expected to wrap by the end of September, and each week has been fairly intense with witnesses important to Assange's effort to convince a British court not to approve extradition to the United States for trial on charges of violating the Espionage Act.

Kevin describes the testimony CIA torture and rendition survivor Khaled El Masri submitted in support of Assange.

Also, there has been a lot of discussion lefty independent media about the media silence around Assange's extradition trial. Rania criticized The Young Turks' Ana Kasparian after she said the outlet "would look into" covering the case.

Both Rania and Kevin discuss establishment media and progressive media that are ignoring this case, and Kevin has an admittedly biased viewpoint that he shares as a reporter actually covering the trial.

Direct download: S7E34.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:40am EDT

Ricardo Vaz, an editor and writer for Venezuelanalysis.com, joins Rania Khalek and Kevin Gosztola to talk about censorship his media organization is dealing with on Twitter.

For nearly two weeks, Twitter locked out Ricardo and other Venezuelanalysis staffers from their account, which they use to distribute reporting and analysis of the latest political developments in Venezuela. (Their access was restored on September 6.)

Anyone who went to @venanalysis, the organization's Twitter page, saw the following: "Caution: This account is temporarily restricted. You’re seeing this warning because there has been some unusual activity from this account. Do you still want to view it?"

What is unusual is that Venezuelanalysis consistently publishes content that challenges the United States government's policy of regime change in Venezuela.

During the latter part of the episode, Ricardo discusses the impact of COVID-19 on Venezuela and how U.S. sanctions have worsened the Venezuelan government's ability to deal with the pandemic. He shares some of his thoughts on what would (and would not change) if Democratic nominee Joe Biden becomes President.

Ricardo comments on where Venezuelanalysis fits in the media landscape and highlights some of the history of the website, which has a lot to do with why they are now a target of censorship on social media platforms.

Direct download: S7E32edit.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:36am EDT

The "Unauthorized Disclosure" weekly podcast interviews Shahid Buttar, who is running against Speaker Nancy Pelosi in California.

He is the first Democrat in the 30-plus years that Pelosi has been in Congress to make it to a general election to challenge her.  

In the first half of our interview, Shahid addresses some of the allegations that have swirled around his campaign.

Rania and Kevin discuss the disappointing rush to judgment, including among progressive media organizations and progressive left groups.  

Shahid assesses how Pelosi and the Democrats have done when it comes to responding to the COVID-19 crisis. He reacts to the Democratic Party's strategy to distance themselves even further from progressives and embrace so-called Biden Republicans to defeat President Donald Trump.   

The interview concludes with Shahid commenting on whether NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden should be pardoned.

Category:general -- posted at: 10:55am EDT

For this week's episode of "Unauthorized Disclosure," Rania Khalek and Kevin Gosztola welcome Lee Camp to the show.

Lee is a stand-up comedian who is the host of "Redacted Tonight." He has a new comedy special, "Not Allowed on American TV." He also has a book, Bullet Points & Punch Lines.

Stand-up comedy has become near impossible or extraordinarily difficult during the COVID-19 pandemic. We ask Lee what the the last months have been like then quickly pivot to a conversation about deterioration of political comedy in the era of President Donald Trump.

Lee talks with us about social media platforms that label your content as "dangerous." Rania and Kevin talk about satire being interpreted more and more as fact or truth.

And Lee discusses how he covers United States-backed coups and wars through his comedy, unlike the vast majority of stand-up comedians who delve into politics.

Direct download: UD-LeeCamp.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:48am EDT

The show was relieved that co-host Rania Khalek survived the Beirut blast and did not suffer any severe injuries. That unfortunately cannot be said for more than 150 people, who were killed, and over 5,000 who were wounded.

For this week's episode, Rania recounts her experience during and after the explosion. She describes the widespread devastation in and around the port. She also addresses the criminal negligence on the part of the Lebanese government that led to this tragedy.

What happened will have lasting impacts, especially since Lebanon was already in the middle of a massive economic crisis.

During the latter portion of the episode, which was recorded exclusively for patrons, Rania provides further clarity on who was responsible and why it could not be Hezbollah or Israel.

Both Rania and Kevin Gosztola move on to discuss how Twitter labeled media accounts "state-affiliated," including In The Now, where Rania works. They outline the implications and continue a conversation that took place last week after Maffick (the parent of In The Now) sued Facebook.

*To access the exclusive content for this episode go to https://www.patreon.com/unauthorizeddisclosure and subscribe.

Direct download: S7E29edit.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:13am EDT

For this week's episode, hosts Rania Khalek and Kevin Gosztola talk about President Donald Trump and Attorney General Bill Barr deploying federal police squads to cities, like Albuquerque, Chicago, and Kansas City.

Rania and Kevin also spend some time discussing Democrats in the House and Senate, who voted against a very modest 10 percent cut to the United States military budget. Several showed how they are captives of the military industrial-complex.

The final portion of the episode features a tribute to journalist Michael Brooks, who tragically died on July 20. They reflect on the mark that he left on independent media.

To unlock the full episode, go to patreon.com/unauthorizeddisclosure and become a subscriber of the show.

Direct download: S7E27edit.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:43am EDT

Jen Perelman has had the same representative in the United States Congress for nearly 16 years—Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, a Democrat in Florida’s 23rd congressional district. Now, Perelman is mounting a primary challenge against Wasserman Schultz.

For this week's show, we share this interview with Jen about her campaign. She discusses her platform, which includes Medicare For All, the Green New Deal, student loan debt forgiveness, eliminating policing where it is not needed, and dismantling the military-industrial complex.

Jen confronts key issues like regime change wars and U.S. meddling in Venezuela.  She also talks about the state of the Democratic Party and what Florida Democrats are doing to protect Wasserman Schultz from her campaign.

Direct download: S7E26edit.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:19pm EDT

Hosts Rania Khalek and Kevin Gosztola are joined by journalist Gareth Porter to discuss the media malpractice surrounding "Bountygate," which was manufactured to extend the war in Afghanistan.

Gareth has covered national security policy since 2005 and was the recipient of the Gellhorn Prize for Journalism in 2012.  His most recent book, The CIA Insider’s Guide to the Iran Crisis, was co-authored with John Kiriakou and published in February.

For the Grayzone, Gareth outlined how the Pentagon "failed to sell the Afghan government's bunk 'Bountygate' story" United States intelligence agencies.

The New York Times published a report that was like a bad spinoff to the Russiagate stories they churned out. As it turned out, the Afghan intelligence service known as the National Directorate Security (NDS) was the source of unsubstantiated claims that Russia offered Afghan militants bounties to kill U.S. troops.

"This is absolutely the worst so-called intelligence, not real intelligence, scandal of modern history," Gareth contends. "It surpasses Iraq and Iran by a fairly comfortable margin."

During the interview, Gareth describes the culprits responsible for pushing this fabricated "bombshell." He addresses the fallout from the alleged story and then focuses on the malpractice by the Times and other media outlets, which have declined to do the kind of follow-up reporting that he has done.

In fact, because they seem to recognize it is embarrassing, details that would effectively show the Times committed malpractice were buried in the back pages of the printed edition of their newspaper.

Direct download: S7E25edit.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:47am EDT

The following is a preview clip. If you enjoy what you hear, become a patron at patreon.com/unauthorizeddisclosure and support the show. 

***

During a live broadcast of "Unauthorized Disclosure," hosts Rania Khalek and Kevin Gosztola discuss the obstacles that stand in the way of ending the war in Afghanistan.

Democrats recently made common cause with neoconservative Republicans to ensure President Donald Trump could not withdraw U.S. forces from Afghanistan. This was tied to dubious reports of Russian bounties for militants who killed U.S. soldiers.

Direct download: Unauthorized_Disclosure_What_Is_It_Going_To_Take_To_End_Afghanistan_War.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:29am EDT

Rania Khalek and Kevin Gosztola welcome Vincent Bevins, the author of The Jakarta Method: Washington's Anticommunist Crusade and the Mass Murder Program That Shaped Our World, to discuss his book.

He was the Brazil correspondent for the Los Angeles Times and the southeast Asia correspondent for the Washington Post.

As Bevins contends, United States-backed violence that occurred in Brazil and Indonesia in 1964 and 1965 "greatly reshaped the world." He examines the dark history and legacy of anticommunism in two of the most populous countries.

Bevins offers a brief overview of the politics in Indonesia and the Third World and how there really wasn't any opposition or fear of communism until it was fueled by the U.S. and factions within the Indonesian military.

Sukarno was removed from power in a CIA coup and replaced by Suharto. Bevins highlights who each of these figures were and describes the massacres that occurred.

Later in the interview, Bevins offers his view on the parallels between the 1960s and now. He comments on the economic warfare that was used against Indonesia, U.S. training of military officers from Indonesia, and the way in which the U.S. media justified the bloodshed that occurred.

Direct download: S7E24.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:46am EDT

For this week's show, Rania Khalek and Kevin Gosztola present a conversation that was recorded several months ago on Angola history: Portuguese colonialism, Black anti-colonial resistance, United States imperialism, and the way in which this history reverberates during President Donald Trump's administration.

"Unauthorized Disclosure" welcomed two guests: Prexy Nesbitt, who is a presidential fellow at the Peace Studies Department at Chapman University in Orange County, California where he teaches Southern African History, and Marissa Moorman, who is the author of the book, Powerful Frequencies: Radio, State Power, and the Cold War in Angola, 1931-2002.

Prexy was one of Kevin's professors in college, and he wanted to introduce some more people to the history of southern African countries. (Plus, Kevin attributes a significant part of his political awakening in college to Prexy.)

Our conversation begins with Marissa, who provides a brief background on Portuguese colonialism in Angola and the rise of black Angolan resistance that ignited a struggle for independence.

We pay particular attention to Jonas Savimbi, who was the militant leader of the National Union for the Total Independence of Angola (UNITA). Savimbi sought support from the U.S. government, and the government was willing to provide support during the Cold War because they believed Angola was a crucial battleground in the fight against the Soviet Union.

The Clark Amendment was repealed in 1985, which removed a prohibition to providing covert or overt U.S. assistance to militant groups in Angola. It was the result of a lobbying effort by conservative organizations like the Conservative Caucus, the Heritage Foundation, and the American Security Council, as well as Senator Jesse Helms, Representative Jack Kemp, and Representative Claude Pepper.

Savimbi was promoted as the leader of "true anti-communist freedom fighters." The militant leader even traveled to the United States in 1985 and hired a publicity firm called Black, Manafort, Stone and Kelly for $600,000/year. It was tied to President Ronald Reagan, and one of the partners at the firm was Paul Manafort. The firm was largely successful. Reagan said during the tour, "We want to be very helpful to what Dr. Savimbi and his people are tying to do."

Later, Marissa and Prexy talk about the civil rights movement and solidarity work with struggles against colonialism in southern Africa. They address how developments in Angola led to fractures in organizing, including among Black activists.

We really have not done a show on this part of the world before so we're pleased to share this conversation.

Direct download: S7E23.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:15pm EDT

Hosts Rania Khalek and Kevin Gosztola are joined by Alex Vitale, sociology professor at Brooklyn College and a coordinator of of the Policing and Social Justice Project. He's also the author of The End of Policing, which is a best-selling book from Verso.

E-book copies are available for FREE at this link.

The conversation focuses on the limitations of police reforms, many which have been proposed for decades. Alex particularly highlights the reforms that were proposed by President Barack Obama's administration after Mike Brown, Freddie Gray, Sandra Bland, Eric Garner, and Tamir and so many others were murdered.

"It did nothing to change policing. It did nothing to save George Floyd's life, and people have had enough of it," Alex declares. "They understand that radical changes to our reliance on policing have to be enacted."

According to Alex, the response to Floyd's murder caught the establishment media off guard because they were ignoring what communities were doing across the United States to shut down a gang unit or move police overtime into social programs.

Alex describes some alternatives that may be pursued by cities that want to turn away from relying so heavily on police. He breaks down what it may mean to "defund" a police department.

Later in the show, Alex addresses the issue of protest policing as well as broken windows policing in the country, which reforms pushed by Democrats do virtually nothing to change.

Direct download: 22_Alex_Vitale.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:23am EDT

Hosts Rania Khalek and Kevin Gosztola discuss the protests calling for justice for George Floyd. They highlight some of the positive developments from the past week while offering an overview of attacks from police departments against protesters.

During the show, Rania highlights the issue of whether there may be a spike in the COVID-19 pandemic as a result of demonstrations. Both Rania and Kevin consider how the left may be blamed for a second wave.

Later in the conversation, Kevin and Rania highlight the federal government's response to the protests.

*Note* The first half of the show was recorded for everyone, and the last half is for only patrons. 

Direct download: S7E21.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:19am EDT

*This episode was released early for patrons.

Hosts Rania Khalek and Kevin Gosztola welcome Matt Kennard, the head of investigations for Declassified UK, to the "Unauthorized Disclosure" podcast.   

Declassified UK is an investigative journalism organization that focuses on U.K. foreign, military, and intelligence policies.

Matt describes why he founded Declassified UK and some of the obstacles the organization experiences when it comes to challenging the British national security state. He outlines how The Guardian has transformed into a media organization more beholden to security agencies.

He highlights what he considers to be "third rail" subjects that "blue-check" progressives cannot "take a heterodox view" on and retain access to BBC shows or The Guardian.   

Later in the discussion, Matt shares his views on how Prime Minister Boris Johnson and the UK have handled the coronavirus response.  

Direct download: S7E20.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:56pm EDT

Hosts Rania Khalek and Kevin Gosztola welcome Anya Parampil, Grayzone contributor and host of "Red Lines." She joins the show to discuss Silvercorp USA and the planned mercenary invasion against Venezuela that failed spectacularly.

During the show, Anya highlights the players involved and what the United States government knew and/or should have known about former Green Beret Jordan Goudreau and his negotiations with right-wing opposition leaders, including Juan Guaido.

Anya suggests Goudreau wanted Silvercorp USA to be the next Blackwater, and later in the conversation, she talks about a contract that was apparently inked between Goudreau and opposition leaders.  

The conversation concludes with an update on how Venezuela is dealing with the coronavirus pandemic.

Direct download: S7E19.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:25pm EDT

Last week's episode of "Unauthorized Disclosure" featured filmmaker Josh Fox, and Kevin Gosztola talked with Josh about the "Planet Of The Humans" documentary that Michael Moore posted to his YouTube.

Our interview with Josh was scheduled before the documentary stirred controversy among the climate movement, and we did our best to engage in a constructive critique of the film, even as Josh essentially endorsed censorship of the film by demanding Films For Action take the film off of their website.

There are a few problems we aim to address with this additional discussion. Rania Khalek had not seen the film so she was unable to join the conversation between Josh and Kevin. And in the past week, Josh has escalated his rhetoric and now contends the documentary features "fossil fuel talking points" and Michael Moore has essentially become the new flack for the oil and gas industry.

Rania and Kevin object to this label that Josh and other voices seem intent to pin on Michael Moore.  

In this discussion, Rania, who finally watched the film, offers her review, and Kevin adds some comments that he had difficulty expressing during the prior episode.

We both believe censorship is not the answer. If there is misinformation, let's address it. If the framing and the way the movement is covered is problematic, let's have a debate. But acting as if the filmmakers are engaged in personal and vicious attacks against climate leaders, when they have not displayed any malice, only serves to undermine solidarity that we need to confront an ever-looming catastrophe.

Or, as PEN America's Summer Lopez stated, "Calls to pull a film because of disagreement with its content are calls for censorship, plain and simple. Those who take issue with the film have every right to make their concerns and arguments heard, but first and foremost, the public also has the essential right to view Moore’s film and make their own judgements.”

Direct download: S7E17edit.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:46am EDT

Hosts Rania Khalek and Kevin Gosztola are joined by filmmaker Josh Fox to discuss the coronavirus pandemic in the context of of the climate emergency we all face.

Josh is the director of "Gasland," "Gasland: Part II," and "How To Let Go Of the World And Love All the Things Climate Can't Change." He collaborated on a documentary on resistance at Standing Rock against the Dakota Access Pipeline that was called "Awake, A Dream From Standing Rock."

He currently hosts a show called "Staying Home."

In this interview with Josh, he talks about President Donald Trump's administration and the accelerated environmental deregulation occurring during the coronavirus pandemic.

He describes how COVID-19 showed the climate is making us sick and by going on lockdown lives were saved.

Later in the interview, Josh discusses what needs to happen in communities around the world after the outbreak. Kevin and Josh also have a bit of a debate on the documentary, "Planet Of The Humans."

Josh led a campaign that removed the film from Films For Action, which was a distributor for the documentary.

Direct download: UD_JoshFox_4_24_20.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:58am EDT

In this episode, Rania Khalek and Kevin Gosztola interview Ajit Singh, a lawyer and journalist. He recently had two articles published at the Grayzone and the Monthly Review on China's response to the global coronavirus pandemic. He tweets at @ajitxsingh.

For the Grayzone, Ajit highlighted how the United States pushed a conspiracy related to China's coronavirus death toll in order to deflect attention away from the failures of President Donald Trump's administration.

Ajit compared the response of China to the United States response in an article for the Monthly Review that was published on March 30. He contended COVID-19 has exposed the "bankruptcy of neoliberalism."

"After being demonized by the U.S. establishment as it came to grips with a previously unknown pathogen, China, led by its robust state institutions, has contained the virus with decisive measures and emerged as the global leader in providing medical aid and expertise to countries around the world," Singh recounted.  

"Meanwhile, having squandered the months to prepare bought by China’s disciplined approach, the U.S. government’s response to the pandemic has been woefully inadequate. Relying on the whims of the private sector and 'free market,' the U.S. is now suffering from the worst coronavirus outbreak in the world—with infections per capita currently six times greater than China."

Singh concluded, "In the wealthiest country in the world, families are pleading for donations to cover obscene coronavirus treatment costs while doctors and nurses are forced to wear garbage bags to protect themselves and patients amid widespread shortages of basic medical supplies."

During the interview, Singh unpacks much of the disinformation around China's response and discusses why the United States government feels so threatened.

Direct download: S7E14edit.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:14am EDT

For this week's "Unauthorized Disclosure" weekly podcast, Charles Derber, an activist and sociologist at Boston College, talks with Rania Khalek and Kevin Gosztola about responses to the coronavirus outbreak and how those responses further expose the nature of the United States' capitalist system.

Charles begins by sharing his personal experience with his students, who he is teaching through virtual classes. He describes what he believes younger generations are going through.

Rania asks Charles whether the pandemic may significantly alter the structure of the economy in the United States.

Later in the conversation, Kevin asks Charles about the frontline workers, who are part of "essential services." They explore the question of who deserves safety and who does not deserve safety and the ways in which people are coming to realize society does not value these lives. 

Direct download: UDinterviewcharlesderber.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:43am EDT

Hosts Rania Khalek and Kevin Gosztola recorded a live broadcast of the "Unauthorized Disclosure" weekly podcast.

The global coronavirus pandemic is bringing out the best at the grassroots level while further exposing who is truly the worst among elites. The pandemic is also making it abundantly clear whose lives people in power value and whose lives they don't.     

Rania and Kevin spent the hour responding to questions and comments from patrons and listeners of the show. They discussed the disaster capitalism at the core of a so-called stimulus bill that passed in Congress, as well as racism stemming from those who label COVID-19 the "China virus."  

They rundown the severity of the crisis that medical professionals at hospitals throughout the U.S. face.   

Later in the show, Rania and Kevin highlight what they impact may be to Gaza and Yemen. They contemplate what the world may be like after the pandemic, given the sociopathic nature of the United States government's response so far.

 
Direct download: unauthorizeddislive01.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:59am EDT

Host Rania Khalek left Lebanon and traveled back to the United States while the global coronavirus pandemic intensifies in the U.S. and throughout the world. Host Kevin Gosztola is sheltering in place in Illinois. Both are healthy, fortunately.

Rania and Kevin spend the show talking about the impact on them personally. That includes Rania highlighting what a relative who is a medical professional is enduring in this crisis.

They contend that the dramatic measures to lockdown the United States are crucial, no matter how much one cares about civil liberties. This has to be done, and anyone who tries to defy and flout the measures is extremely selfish.

Later in the show, Rania and Kevin talk about the coronavirus primaries. Democratic National Committee chair Tom Perez and the DNC sociopathically pushed onward with primaries in Arizona, Florida, and Illinois and put lives at risk.

Kevin went out to vote during the pandemic, and he shares what he observed and why he organized against this criminal recklessness.

The show concludes with some discussion of more global issues, in Venezuela and Iran, and some discussion of what can and must be done to help people in these tumultuous and uncertain times.

***

We know these are highly stressful times and that some of you are just beginning to suffer from the uncertainty paralyzing our economy. We thank everyone of you who is able to remain a patron, and we will constantly find ways to show our appreciation for you as you keep this show going.

Soon there will be an announcement about a live show that will stream next week in the evening either on March 25 or 26. We will let you know as soon as we have exact details. But we will be taking any questions or comments you have for us.






Direct download: udcoronavirusedition.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:40am EDT

In this week's episode of the weekly podcast, "Unauthorized Disclosure," hosts Rania Khalek and Kevin Gosztola discuss the intensifying spread of the Coronavirus and its impact on countries throughout the world.   

Rania highlights the latest escalation in the war in Idlib in Syria and why it escalated.

Later in the show, Rania and Kevin react to the results from Super Tuesday and the power move the Democratic Party establishment executed against Senator Bernie Sanders, which worked incredibly well for elites.

The episode concludes with a debate: Kevin takes the position of an optimistic "Bernie Bro" while Rania articulates the view of a cynical person, who may still support Sanders but does not think there is any chance the Democratic Party will ever allow Sanders to have their party's nomination.

Direct download: S7E9.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:14am EDT

For this week's episode, Rania Khalek interviews Kevin Gosztola, who has been in London reporting on WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange's extradition proceedings.

The world had a first chance to hear much of the case the prosecution, as well as the defense, will be making. Kevin talks about the impact of Chelsea Manning's resistance. He describes what the defense presented in relation to Undercover Global, the Spanish security company that engaged in an espionage operation against Assange on behalf of the CIA.

Kevin generally talks about the media that were there (and not there), who the judge is that is presiding over the extradition proceedings, and a bombshell allegation made by the defense against President Donald Trump that involves the abuse of pardon power.

The show concludes with a brief conversation about the Coronavirus and how the lack of a national healthcare program may make the spread of the virus worse. 

Direct download: S7E8_edit.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:54am EDT

Rania Khalek and Kevin Gosztola, hosts of the "Unauthorized Disclosure" weekly podcast, discuss what unfolded in the Democratic presidential debate in Las Vegas, Nevada, days before the Nevada Caucuses.   

This is the show's first video broadcast, and we're excited to be able to do this. We plan to do more videos, particularly for patrons, in the future.

During the episode, Rania and Kevin focus attention on the final question of the debate, where Senator Bernie Sanders was the only one who mentioned superdelegates and endorsed democracy—the idea that if a candidate has the most delegates they should be the Democratic Party's nominee.   

They share hare how delighted they were to see all the candidates absolutely hammer former New York Mayor Mike Bloomberg. His debate performance certainly undermined the "electability" argument for him.   

Later in the broadcast, Rania and Kevin highlight Bloomberg's answer on his role in racist stop-and-frisk policing. They also lay out the way in which a "feud" between the Culinary Workers Union leadership and the Bernie Sanders campaign was manufactured by interests, which want to maintain the status quo for health care.

Direct download: S7E7.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:19pm EDT

It was only about a month ago that it seemed President Donald Trump's administration was going to escalate tension and take the United States into an all-out war in Iran.

Joining the show this week is CIA whistleblower John Kiriakou, who is the co-author of a new book, The CIA Insider's Guide To The Iran Crisis: From CIA Coup To The Brink Of War, which he co-authored with journalist Gareth Porter.

Our wide-ranging conversation with John veers into discussion of Israel's influence over U.S. foreign policy and what struggles a possible President Bernie Sanders administration would have in challenging The Blob—the foreign policymaking elite in Washington, D.C.

We conclude with John's thoughts about the upcoming one-week extradition hearing in WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange's case that will take place in the final week of February.

Direct download: S7E6edit.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:10am EDT

Hosts Rania Khalek and Kevin Gosztola are joined by Nomiki Konst, who is the host of the recently launched, "The Nomiki Show."

Nomiki was part of the Unity Reform Commission that reformed several processes in the Democratic primary. She also is involved in a PAC called Matriarch that was founded to help working class women get elected to Congress.

We begin the show with some background on the Unity Reform Commission and how recommendations changed the Iowa Caucuses. She addresses the changes that affected superdelegates. Nomiki talks about what unfolded with the Iowa Caucuses and how states determine whether to hold a caucus or a primary. She highlights one particular smear campaign that was fueled by Neera Tanden and Joy Reid.

Throughout our conversation, Nomiki consistently emphasizes that Democrats are fighting over conflicts of interests. They are fighting over the budget. They are fighting over who gets money and who doesn't. Battles over money carry more significance than ensuring superdelegates have influence on the party.

Later in the show, Nomiki discusses what fractures the centrist wing of the Democratic Party. What policies proposed by Senator Bernie Sanders terrify them the most? We talk about DNC Chair Tom Perez and how he lobbied for the Iowa Democratic Party to use the app from Shadow.

We dig into the cronyism plaguing our elections, and we look ahead to New Hampshire and the rest of the primary, getting Nomiki's views on Joe Biden, Pete Buttigieg, and Mike Bloomberg. 

Direct download: S7E5-Nomiki.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:53am EDT

Days away from the Iowa Caucuses, Rania Khalek and Kevin Gosztola spend this week's episode talking about evidence that indicates elites in the Democratic National Committee are working to rig the primary against Senator Bernie Sanders (again).

Kevin reported for The Grayzone on the corporate lobbyists, Wall Street consultants, regime-change agents, think tank board members, and former campaign staff for Hillary Clinton that were appointed by DNC Chair Tom Perez to convention committees.

A viral thread from Kevin featured bios on each of the individuals in this cartoonishly neoliberal cast. Only one of the people appointed to committees is a prominent Sanders supporter. Several are known for their open hostility to a presidential candidate, who has surged into first place in multiple state polls.

"The Jimmy Dore Show" read through this thread, trying to joke as they made sense of how these ghouls were elevated by the DNC this week. But even they were struggled to joke, as they were stunned at the brazenness of a political party that still engages in acts which are a slap in the face to working class people.

We now see the DNC changed rules for debate qualifications to help Mike Bloomberg make the stage for the next debate. Bloomberg donated the maximum to most of the party's state committees. The DNC is allowing a Republican billionaire to hijack their party to stop Sanders.

Even so, the Sanders campaign has a lot of strength going into the Iowa Caucuses on February 3, and Rania and Kevin spend the episode digging into these developments and what is at stake. 

Direct download: S7E4.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:42pm EDT

January 11 was the 18th anniversary of the opening of Guantanamo Bay military prison. It was opened by President George W. Bush's administration to hold detainees indefinitely in the "war on terrorism."

President Barack Obama pledged to close Guantanamo, but he failed, and when President Donald Trump was elected, there were still 41 prisoners at Guantanamo and Trump could whatever he wanted with the detention facility.

For this week's show, Rania Khalek and Kevin Gosztola welcome Andy Worthington, who is an investigative journalist, author, campaigner, and activist. He is the co-founder of Close Guantanamo, and his work can be found at
his website.

Each anniversary Andy makes a trip from the United Kingdom to the United States to participate in actions and speaking events aimed at shutting down Guantanamo. He's done this for 10 years and recounts his 2020 trip, describing what makes this political moment so bleak for prisoners still confined at Guantanamo.

Andy highlights what has defined Trump's policy around Guantanamo, and he also comments on
testimony from CIA torture architect Dr. James Mitchell during a Guantanamo hearing this past week.

Later in the show, Andy expresses his solidarity with WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, who published the "Gitmo Files," which Andy incorporated into his work telling the stories of the 774 prisoners brought to Guantanamo.

Direct download: S7E3edit.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:52am EDT

This week, Rania Khalek and Kevin Gosztola discuss examples of censorship by major tech companies that occurred over the past week. They are targeting postings that relate to Iran.

In The Now, which Rania works for, was censored and penalized with multiple months, where content on Facebook will be demonetized. The Grayzone experienced censorship. Wildly, Hulu took down an episode of Anthony Bourdain's CNN show, "Parts Unknown," where he traveled to Iran.

Rania and Kevin highlight a story indicating eleven U.S. troops were injured by Iran's missiles that were fired in response to the assassination of Iran General Qassim Soleimani.

Later in the show, Rania and Kevin cover what dominated most of the news cycle. Both believe CNN coordinated with Elizabeth Warrens campaign to some degree in order to boost their ratings and also strike a blow against Bernie Sanders' campaign by smearing him as "sexist."

CNN and Clinton Democrats dredged up their favorite myths about the 2016 election to attack Sanders again. But amidst all of this predictable behavior, progressive voters had a moment to rethink how they view Elizabeth Warren.

Direct download: S7E2.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:28am EDT

For the first interview of 2020, Rania Khalek and Kevin Gosztola are joined by Mohammad Marandi, a Tehran University professor in Iran.

We start the interview with Mohammad sharing his thoughts about the Iranian response to the U.S. assassination of Iran General Qassim Soleimani.

Mohammad describes why Soleimani was and is so revered by Iranians. He talks about the critical role Soleimani played in ensuring the Islamic State did not seize control of Baghdad, Iraq, as well as Damascus, Syria.

Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, a commander of the Popular Mobilization Forces in Iraq, was assassinated in the same strike that killed Soleimani. His assassination received minimal attention in the press. Mohammad talks about Muhandis and what he did for the people of Iraq.

Later in the show, Mohammad recalls volunteering at the age of 16 to fight in the Iran-Iraq War. He also discusses the impact of economic sanctions, as well as how the "Resistance Axis" in the Middle East appears to grow stronger with each act of war launched by President Donald Trump's administration.

Direct download: S7E1edit.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:44am EDT

Hosts Rania Khalek and Kevin Gosztola end the year with this episode featuring Katie Halper, co-host of Rolling Stone's "Useful Idiots" podcast and the host of "The Katie Halper Show."

Like previous year-end shows, Katie guest hosts for the full episode as Rania and Kevin highlight several major political developments in 2019.

They each offer predictions for 2020 in the latter part of the episode, looking ahead to the Democratic presidential primary and beyond. 

Direct download: S6E45.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:42pm EDT

Our initial plan for this week's episode fell through. We also had limited time in our schedules to record, since Rania Khalek was traveling across the world for work and to get home for the holidays.

So, to still give you all something, here is an episode from Kevin Gosztola's new show, the "Dissenter Weekly Update." It covers whistleblower stories as well as the most recent developments with WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange's case.

In this preview, Kevin
highlights how the United States government won its lawsuit against NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden and can now confiscate proceeds he earned from his book, Permanent Record, as well as his speeches.

The episode also highlights a
whistleblower report on medical care in immigrant detention facilities and how a federal judge backed a prison psychiatrist whistleblower in California.

Later in the episode, he talks about doctors who urged the Australian government to intervene on behalf of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, as his health deteriorates in Her Majesty’s Prison Belmarsh. There also was a significant procedural hearing in Assange’s extradition case, where we learned key information about how his extradition hearing in February will likely unfold.
Direct download: S6E44.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:59am EDT

Asa Winstanley, an investigative journalist for the Electronic Intifada who has covered Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn since 2015, joins Rania Khalek and Kevin Gosztola to talk about the result of the UK election.

Conservative Party Prime Minister Boris Johnson and conservatives won a resounding victory. Corbyn announced his resignation as Labour Party leader after a harsh defeat.

Much of the outcome is owed to Brexit and how it divided the working class. There were many working people upset that the Labour Party supported a second referendum on Brexit, which seemed anti-democratic to them. Asa addresses this in the interview.

But as Asa argues, from the very beginning, Corbyn failed—or refused—to forcefully reject the "Labour anti-Semitism" lying smear campaign directed at him.

Propaganda pushed by the Israel lobby, the UK military and intelligence agencies, neoliberals, and right-wing conservatives was initially rejected by voters. But as the smears continued, it soon became accepted—Labour has an anti-Semitism problem and isn't doing enough to address it.

By November, the campaign fully escalated to Corbyn is an anti-Semite.

Asa discusses many aspects of this smear campaign and warns supporters of Bernie Sanders: don't let the same smears that sank Corbyn tank the Sanders campaign.

Direct download: S6E43.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:56am EDT

For this week, Tom Mueller joins the show to discuss his book, "Crisis of Conscience: Whistleblowing In An Age Of Fraud." It was released in October.

Tom describes how he came to work on this book, which over 500-plus pages documents and explores whistleblowing in many different arenas—corporate, institutional, government, etc. He highlights common threads he sees in various whistleblower cases, such as what leads one to become a whistleblower.

We talk about the Hanford nuclear waste site in Washington state and the incredible dangers the site poses to humanity. According to Tom, more whistleblowers than any other site on Earth come from Hanford. Yet, very few citizens know about Hanford.

Later in the interview, Tom outlines how corporate executives responsible for waste, fraud, abuse, and illegality use universities and philanthropy to launder their reputations. He shares a whistleblower case related to this practice.

We conclude with some conversation on national security whistleblowing, what is at stake with President Donald Trump's administration, and how President Barack Obama's administration gave Trump many of the tools he has available for continuing a war on whistleblowers. That includes prosecuting truth-tellers with the Espionage Act.

Direct download: TMuellerPublicEdit.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:28am EDT

Hosts Rania Khalek and Kevin Gosztola welcome Margaret Kimberley, who is an editor and senior columnist for Black Agenda Report.

One of Kimberley's most recent pieces, which we discuss, is "Hybrid Warfare In Bolivia and Beyond."

Kimberley talks with us about how the United States empire navigates a citizenry that increasingly opposes deploying troops to intervene in countries and how propaganda seeps into our popular culture.

She explores how Democrats almost universally support American imperialism, along with Republicans, as well as the limits of liberal opposition to wars launched by the United States.

Kimberley comments on Bernie Sanders' foreign policy stances, including his latest comments on the coup in Bolivia.   

Later in the show, Kimberley highlights a piece she contributed to an anthology published by OR Books, "In Defense of Julian Assange." (It appears right after Kevin's contribution on WikiLeaks and Democrats.)

Direct download: S6E41_nonpatronedit.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:45am EDT

For this week's episode, Rania Khalek and Kevin Gosztola spend the full hour on the coup in Bolivia. The military and right-wing opposition forced President Evo Morales to resign after he won a fourth term.

The first half of the episode features Kevin Cashman, a senior associate for the Center for Economic Policy and Research (CEPR), who worked on a crucial report that analyzed the October 20 election returns and tallies. The analysis concluded there were no irregularities or fraud that affected the outcome.

As Cashman describes, the Organization for American States (OAS) put out a preliminary report that Western media relied upon to report there was "electoral fraud," when in fact it failed to prove there were “widespread or systematic irregularities."

The second half of the episode is spent highlight some of the figures who are seizing power through violence and the promotion of anti-indigenous hatred. The woman who appointed herself president of Bolivia, Jeanine Añez Chavez, believes indigenous ceremonies are "satanic." She is a religious zealot.

Luiz Fernando Camacho, as The Grayzone reported, is a Christian fascist. He stormed Morales' presidential palace. He held a Bible in his hand and a Bolivia flag in his other hand then pledged to purge the government of its native heritage.

Morales and several other government leaders from the Movement Toward Socialism Party were threatened and forced to resign. They managed to flee after Mexico agreed to grant them asylum.

In the final part of the show, Rania and Kevin recount how the United States Capitol Police showed up to Code Pink activist Medea Benjamin's home and attempted to arrest her for "assaulting" Representative Debbie Wasserman Schultz at a press conference held to promote congressional support for the coup attempt in Venezuela. The police did not even know if the allegation against Medea was true or not, and they did not have a warrant.

Direct download: S6E40.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:03am EDT

Hosts Rania Khalek and Kevin Gosztola welcome journalist Max Blumenthal back to the "Unauthorized Disclosure" weekly podcast.

Max is the editor of The Grayzone and co-host of the "Moderate Rebels" podcast.

In the first part of the interview, Max recounts how he was arrested by D.C. police essentially out of the blue. He was shackled and in jail for around two days before he was arraigned. He faces a charge of "simple assault" stemming from a baseless allegation from around five months ago when the Venezuela embassy in D.C. besieged by Venezuela opposition supporters.

Max talks about what unfolded in May of this year, as Code Pink and various other antiwar activists attempted to protect the embassy from being taken over by supporters of Juan Guaido, who mounted a coup attempt in Venezuela. He also describes the political cases that four embassy protectors face. They were arrested in a raid against a diplomatic building that violated the Vienna Convention.

Later in the show, Max and Rania talk about the familiar faction of people who enjoy seeing them attacked for engaging in journalism. They mention their recent trip to Syria and dissect the culture among reporters, who work for establishment media.

Direct download: S6E39.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:00am EDT

Hosts Rania Khalek and Kevin Gosztola are joined by Renato Velez, a leftist academic in Chile. He has been involved in the protests and talks with us about how they were sparked.

Renato addresses the way in which the military police cracked down on demonstrations and highlights the ties that President Sebastian Pinera's administration has to the regime of Augusto Pinochet.

"This is the first time since the end of the dictatorship that the military has been involved in cracking down on protest. We haven't seen military on the streets after an earthquake or a natural disaster. But this is the first time that you have actual army cracking down on protesters," Renato states.

Later in the show, Renato describes the role of Chilean students in the uprising and their grievances against the neoliberal policies promoted by the government. He also details how people are pushing for a new constitution in the country. And Renato outlines how the government has responded to political developments in Venezuela (Juan Guaido) as well as Brazil (Jair Bolsonaro).

Direct download: S6E38.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:55am EDT




In the first half of the show, Rania Khalek reports on the protests in Lebanon. She describes what sparked them and highlights what she has seen in the streets of Beirut.

Khalek also addresses the false idea in the press that somehow Hezbollah might turn the protests violent.

Later in the show, Kevin Gosztola provides an update on Julian Assange and Rania and Kevin discuss how Hillary Clinton attacked Tulsi Gabbard by labeling her a Russian asset.

Direct download: S6E37.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:07am EDT

For this week's episode, Rania Khalek and Kevin Gosztola interviewed Matt Taibbi, a Rolling Stone reporter and author of the recently released book, Hate Inc: Why Today's Media Makes Us Despise One Another.

Taibbi is also a host of the new hit podcast from Rolling Stone called "Useful Idiots." He co-hosts the show with Katie Halper, and it often has more listeners (per week) than "Pod Save America."

He starts by describing some of his experience in journalism and what led him to write this insightful and enjoyable polemic about the media.

Taibbi agrees that cable news is terribly grating on our nerves, and he talks about why that's the case. He also describes how the media sells us an identity.

Later in the show, we discuss what happens when media elites decide someone is or should be viewed as a pariah (like Tulsi Gabbard). We speculate on how Democratic presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren might do against President Donald Trump.

And Taibbi shares his opinion on the media's lack of solidarity with WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, who is the first journalist to be charged with violating the Espionage Act.

Direct download: S6E36.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:20am EDT

Hosts Rania Khalek and Kevin Gosztola welcome Carl Zha, the host of "Silk and Steel," which is a weekly podcast on the history, culture, and current events of China and the Silk Road.

Zha provides a primer on what has unfolded with the protests in Hong Kong. He describes how they started, the role an extradition bill has played, the poverty and inequality fueling protests, and the protesters' demands. He also provides a thumbnail history of the colonial history around China and Hong Kong.

He goes on to recall some of the incidents and flashpoints that have occurred, including violence that has been committed by Hong Kong protesters.

The National Endowment for Democracy and the Oslo Freedom Forum have provided tactical support. Zha addresses the way in which the U.S. government and U.S. groups are aiding Hong Kong protesters and what that means for the protests.

Later in the episode, Zha discusses the nativism inherent in the protests that is directed against mainland Chinese people, and he also highlights the controversy that erupted around the NBA in the past week.

Direct download: S6E35.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:14am EDT

Rania Khalek is back after a break. She talks about her trip to Damascus and the backlash that ensued.

We name names, and Rania pointedly replies to some of the worst attacks against her. Many of these were spread with the intent to make further toxic to publications and isolate her so she cannot make a living doing journalism.

Rania grapples with what it is like to endure this vitriol from the left. It is much harder when it comes from people who should be on our side. This is highly destructive to building solidarity within progressive or left-wing media.

Direct download: S6E34.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:23am EDT

Hosts Rania Khalek and Kevin Gosztola welcome CIA whistleblower John Kiriakou to the podcast. He is a writer and the host of the "Loud and Clear" radio show.

Kiriakou briefly recounts how he blew the  whistle on the Bush administration's use of waterboarding and was the target of a leak prosecution. He was in prison for nearly two years. 

He addresses some of the whistleblower's allegations, as well as whether it actually shows that President Donald Trump wouldn't provide military aid to Ukraine if the government didn't help him investigate Joe Biden's son. 

We get into the issue of impeachment and what led Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi to do an about-face and allow an inquiry to begin. 

Later in the episode, Kiriakou responds to the New York Times' decision to publish information that outed the whistleblower as a CIA employee, who worked in the Trump White House. 

We raise the issue of the military aid to Ukraine and how it is aimed at potentially provoking Russia, as well as how Democrats like Adam Schiff  have not been supportive of whistleblowers.

In the final part of the interview, Kiriakou discusses the case of Daniel Hale, an alleged drone whistleblower, and how the government uses his case to ensure whistleblowers cannot put on a defense when they face Espionage Act charges.

Direct download: S6E33.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:11am EDT

Host Rania Khalek, along with journalists Max Blumenthal and Anya Parampil, were condemned for traveling  to Damascus, Syria, to report on recent developments in the country.

Both Rania and Max have been targeted before by these individuals who have forced or  attempted to force the cancellation of their speaking events. They have rendered them toxic to publishers so their journalism does not reach a wider audience.

Previously, on "Unauthorized Disclosure" we've talked about this relentless unending campaign that Rania must confront.

Rania responded, "All the bullying and intimidation is meant to stifle attempts at  reporting the reality of the government areas where the overwhelming majority of Syrians live. If Americans saw the reality, the regime change narrative would collapse right away.”

This is a 37-minute segment where host Kevin Gosztola leads listeners through what unfolded.

It includes comments from Rania, but she was unable to participate in the production of this segment because she is busy producing videos and interviews that feature what she learned from her recent trip. Oh, and she's working to make sure this faction does not succeed in shutting her down.

Kevin goes through his article that documents who attacked Rania and Max and why their attacks have no merit. It synthesizes various streams from Twitter that reflect the meltdown.

We have to defend Rania and support the critical work she does, especially on conflicts and political developments in the Middle East.

If you want to challenge this faction that obsesses over Rania and diminish the effect of their smear campaign(s), become a patron here.

Direct download: S6-RaniaReturnsToDamascus.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:40pm EDT

For this week's episode, Rania Khalek and Kevin Gosztola spend the episode answering questions and discussing comments from patrons.

The show's hosts begin by talking about books. They share some of their favorites and talk a bit about what they they're reading currently. They get into whether it matters if you get your analysis of issues or politics from books or podcasts.

Later in the show, they discuss how Twitter has impacted their work as radical independent journalists. Rania responds to a question about the similarity between those who attack people for opposing regime change against Iran and those who attack people for opposing regime change against Syria.

The show concludes with further discussion of journalists and what leads them to be driven by narratives over more objective facts. And then there's a few minutes on Stephen King and horror films.

Direct download: S6E32.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:05pm EDT

*The episode was made available early for patrons. Thank you for making this show possible.

The backdrop for this week's episode is especially grim. Forests are burning throughout the global south from the Amazon to the Congo basin.

Rania Khalek and Kevin Gosztola discuss our burning planet. But the episode is far from depressing.

In the latter part of the episode, they discuss the media plan put out by Bernie Sanders' presidential campaign, which gives them hope because the collapse of journalism should be a political issue during the 2020 primary.

And in the first half of the show, the hosts talk about Dave Chappelle's Netflix special. They both laughed and enjoyed it and push back on much of the outrage while having a larger conversation about politics in comedy. 


Direct download: S6E31.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:09pm EDT

For this week's show, Rania Khalek and Kevin Gosztola welcome Jamie Kilstein, a stand-up comedian and host of "The Jamie Kilstein Podcast," to the show.

Jamie is a prominent performer and longtime friend of the show's hosts. He recently returned to comedy and podcasting after going through a transformation personally. We talk to him about what led to this dramatic change.

We have a wide-ranging discussion about identity politics and cancel culture, as it manifests itself within left-wing discussions of issues and current events.

Later in the show, Jamie talks about the difference between selling out and wanting to communicate with people who you think can be reached without sacrificing principles, even in the era of Donald Trump.

Direct download: S6E30.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:02pm EDT

Hosts Rania Khalek and Kevin Gosztola spend the hour with journalist Todd Miller, whose book, Empire of Borders: The Expansion of the U.S. Border Around the World, was released this month.

Miller's book is an exceptional and revealing work of journalism. He traveled to various border zones, particularly where security regimes are influenced by the United States, and he describes what he found over the past several years.

The United States government has developed a multi-layered border strategy that involves recruiting countries to help prevent refugees, asylum seekers, migrants, etc, from ever reaching the U.S. border. Miller outlines how border zones are increasingly internationalized.

There are more than "77 border walls, billions upon billions of dollars' worth of surveillance technology—including biometrics—and tens of thousands of armed agents guarding the dividing lines between the Global North and Global South." It is estimated that there are over 2,250 detention centers throughout the world that are crammed with people.

Miller recounts his trip to the Zacapa military base in Guatemala. He talks about freedom of movement—who is really free to travel—and the U.S. special operations unit, the Border Patrol Tactical Unit or BORTAC.

Later in the interview, Miller addresses how the security states that are developed around these border zones are designed to control poor populations. In fact, the very people who are likely to be oppressed by these systems are also the cheap labor making the tools for these state-of-the-art border zones.

The final part of the interview highlights Israel's role in pushing security technology that can be used against populations and the funding the U.S. has provided to Jordan to control the flow of Syrians fleeing their country.

Note: For those of you who are patrons, there is bonus material with Todd Miller for further listening. Thanks again for all your support.

Direct download: S6E29.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:06am EDT

For this week's show, Rania Khalek and Kevin Gosztola discuss the massacres in El Paso and Dayton, and Rania describes how the raids by ICE in Mississippi made her very angry. She also shares the rage she felt when she learned about this terrible story of a man's deportation to Iraq, which resulted in his death.

Rania highlights the seizure of a food shipment in the Panama Canal due to the United States' blockade of Venezuela.

Kevin provides an update on Chelsea Manning. A federal judge refused to reconsider harsh fines against her, and she remains in jail for refusing to testify before a grand jury investigating WikiLeaks.

Direct download: S6E28.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:56am EDT

For this week, we have a crossover episode with "The Katie Halper Show."

In our main episode, Katie joins Rania Khalek and Kevin Gosztola to discuss how the centrist Democrats were encouraged to gang up on Bernie Sanders by CNN. We highlight how Sanders and Elizabeth Warren stood their ground.

Katie shares some glaring examples of media bias against Sanders. Kevin highlights parts of his recent article at Medium, "A Guide To Bad Faith Arguments Against Bernie Sanders."

We discuss how questions were addressed to candidates and share some general critiques about how the debate unfolded over the two nights. We also mention how distressed we are that Vice President Joe Biden might be the nominee, given how unsteady and heedless his answers to questions have been in the first two debates.

In a second bonus section for patrons, we get into how Tulsi Gabbard confronted Kamala Harris and discuss Harris' criminal justice record. We also talk about Biden a bit more, as well as some of the candidates polling less than one percent, who were present on the stage. 

Direct download: S6E27.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:17am EDT

Hosts Rania Khalek and Kevin Gosztola are joined by author Jeremy Kuzmarov, who discusses his forthcoming book, Obama's Unending Wars: Fronting the Foreign Policy Of The Permanent Warfare State.

Kuzmarov highlights how President Barack Obama developed a brand and came up with a story that could be marketed to the masses to help him rise to prominence in politics.

As Kuzmarov argues, "Obama was especially perfect for an age when diversity was being celebrated as an exemplification of American progress, marginalizing critiques of capitalism and American imperialism."

During the episode, Kuzmarov compares Obama to President Woodrow Wilson, who Obama seemed to be influenced by when it came to foreign policy.

Kuzmarov calls attention to how Obama sold the war in Libya and the way in which he patronized populations throughout the continent of Africa. That helped pave the way for the proliferation of United States military bases and neo-colonialism.

From Somalia to the Congo to Djibouti, Obama presided over military action that further destabilized and ruined impoverished countries. He opened countries up to corporate predators that could exploit people.

The legacy of Obama looms over U.S. politics, with nearly every progressive politician unwilling to critique his foreign policy. But that record must be confronted in order to truly resist President Donald Trump. 

Direct download: S626.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:42am EDT

Hosts Rania Khalek and Kevin Gosztola interview Charlotte Kates, who is the international coordinator for the Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network. She's American and Canadian, and she lives in Germany.

Her husband, Khaled Barakat, was banned by German authorities from giving a speech on President Donald Trump's so-called "deal of the century," as well as the Arab and Palestinian responses to this proposal.

Barakat received an eight-page document that informed him he was not "allowed to give speeches in person or over video, participate in political meetings or events or even attend social gatherings of over 10 people." If he did, he could be put in prison for up to a year.

The attack on freedom of political expression is part of a series of attacks, which Kates describes, as she recounts how police stopped Barakat and her to block them from holding an event.

Kates addresses how the German government sought to tie Barakat to the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) to justify repressing him.

Later in the interview, Kates describes how the repression against individuals who support Palestinians or the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement against Israeli apartheid extends beyond activists to include artists and entertainers.

Direct download: S6E25.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:02am EDT

This week, hosts Rania Khalek and Kevin Gosztola discuss the new charges brought against Jeffrey Epstein, a former financial manager who socialized with prominent figures, like Bill Clinton, Donald Trump, Prince Andrew, Larry Summers, and Woody Allen.

Both address how the U.S. establishment press should have been more diligent in covering this case, especially as the #MeToo movement spread in 2017. Even though the Miami Herald published a major feature on disgraced former labor secretary Alex Acosta's role in shielding Epstein, there was not much interest in the case, even as survivors of his crimes pushed prosecutors to correct the injustice they had done in Florida.

Later in the show, the hosts talk about further evidence of a possible mass extinction event as a result of ocean acidification. They highlight about the casual indifference toward the very real threat of climate disruption.

The show ends with a discussion about past guest and friend Aaron Maté, who appeared on Tucker Carlson's show on Fox News and was shamed for it on Twitter.

Direct download: S6E24.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:44am EDT

Hosts Rania Khalek and Kevin Gosztola are joined by Katie Halper of "The Katie Halper Show." She is a writer and contributor to FAIR. Her work has appeared at various outlets like The Nation, New York Magazine, etc.

During the show, Katie, Rania, and Kevin cover many of the highlights from the first 2020 Democratic presidential debate—and then some moments that have gone under-reported and have not been discussed. They critique the . format.

Katie gets into the media bias on display against Bernie Sanders. They talk about John Hickenlooper and John Delaney and how evident it is that Sanders has pulled debates over within the Democratic Party to the left.

Later in the show, they celebrate Kamala Harris using her rhetorical talents to go after Biden over segregation and racism. Other Biden moments are discussed, like how he praised himself for passing a bill with Mitch McConnell that made the Bush tax cuts permanent as well as how he falsely claimed he ended the Iraq War.

Rania shares her view on why U.S. foreign policy was so overlooked in the debate, and they talk about the right-wing politics of Miami residents—particularly those from Latin American countries.  

*Note: This show is typically posted on Sunday. It is published early while what happened in the first debate is still somewhat of a fresh topic of interest. Enjoy!

Direct download: S6E23.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:22pm EDT

Hosts Rania Khalek and Kevin Gosztola are joined by Gareth Porter, an award-winning journalist whose work has been published at Salon, The Nation, and Consortium News.

He is the author of "Manufactured Crisis: The Untold Story Of the Iran Nuclear Scare," which was published in 2014.

Gareth talks with the hosts about what we know about the incident that allegedly occurred against a tanker in the Gulf of Oman, which President Donald Trump's administration says was attacked by Iran. He outlines what the Trump administration has not proven and some of the many questions that should be answered.

He reacts to news of Iran shooting down a U.S. military drone and addresses how Trump seems to be the only prominent official in the White House reluctant to go to war against Iran.

And later in the show, Gareth discusses what a war with Iran would look like and why the U.S. military remains extremely reluctant to commit troops and resources to an open-ended conflict.

Direct download: S6E22.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:28am EDT

For this week's episode, Rania Khalek and Kevin Gosztola interview a researcher for Food and Water Watch named Oakley Shelton-Thomas. He worked on the organization's recent report, "Fracking Endgame: Locked Into Plastics, Pollution, and Climate Chaos."

The report describes how fossil fuel companies are building a "wave of new gas-fired power plants" and relying on the proliferation of plastics plants to prop up business. Industry is propping up the fracking industry.

"Our latest research shows that their endgame is a world locked into plastics, pollu-ion and climate chaos. In addition to the buildout of a growing pipeline network, we’ve discovered that more than 700 new facilities have been built or proposed to capitalize off a glut of cheap fracked gas," according to the report.

In the organization's assessment, "These new projects [will] bring dangerous air pollutants associated with heightened cancer risks and respiratory illnesses, and color where they are most commonly located."

"If even a fraction of them come to fruition, they will condemn the planet to a future of climate chaos," the report declares.

Later in the show, the hosts stick with the issue of climate change and discuss a report from Brown University's "Cost Of War" project that details how the Pentagon is the world's largest producer of greenhouse gases.

They conclude the show by highlighting Bernie Sanders' "Democratic Socialism" speech and some of the reactions to the speech among Democratic presidential candidates and establishment media.

Direct download: S6E21.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:04am EDT

Rania Khalek and Kevin Gosztola discuss YouTube's purge of users, which was sparked by several complaints from Vox's Carlos Maza about right-wing vlogger Steven Crowder. They specifically highlight several examples of educational videos on Nazis and right-wing ideology that were taken down as part of the purge and once again share their concerns about encouraging Big Tech companies to make censorship decisions.

They respond to a patron's question about insane conspiracy theories and how seemingly respectable, level-headed, or smart people may come to believe such theories.

And since Rania finally watched all of the last season of "Veep," the show ends with a conversation about this unapologetic political satire, which they both enjoyed greatly and will miss.

Direct download: S6E20.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:55am EDT

For this week's episode, Rania Khalek and Kevin Gosztola begin the show by covering the superseding indictment against WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange. He became the first publisher in United States history to be charged with violating the Espionage Act, a development that was met with immediate condemnation from news editors and press freedom groups.

The rest of the show is spent
responding to questions and comments submitted by patrons of the show.

Rania and Kevin go through many of the reasons why Joe Biden should not be doing so well in Democratic presidential primary polls.

They also talk about the latest cycle of allegations related to the Syrian conflict and their significance, as well as the intensifying efforts on the part of President Trump's administration to provoke war with Iran.

Direct download: S6E19.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:23am EDT

For this week's episode, Rania Khalek and Kevin Gosztola discuss how officials in President Donald Trump's administration are threatening Iran with war. They talk about the raid against the Venezuela embassy in D.C., where four remaining embassy protectors were arrested in flagrant violation of international law.

Later in the show, Kevin comments on the latest prosecution of a drone whistleblower, who allegedly released the "Drone Papers" to The Intercept's Jeremy Scahill.

Direct download: S6E18.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:38am EDT

On this week's show, we have a crossover between the "Unauthorized Disclosure" weekly podcast and "Media Roots" radio.

In the first part of the show, we talk with Abby Martin and Robbie Martin of Media Roots about some of the projects they're involved in currently. Abby tells us about "Empire Files." Robbie mentions he is working on another documentary in his "A Very Heavy Agenda" series on neoconservatives.

Both Rania and Kevin talk about some of their recent work. Rania highlights a recent project for "In The Now." Kevin shares some of the work he is doing to cover Julian Assange's case.

Later in the show, they talk about the ongoing efforts by the Trump administration to force regime change in Venezuela, as well as the right-wing attacks backed by law enforcement against the Venezuela embassy in Washington, D.C.

***

This was a reward show for patrons who helped "Unauthorized Disclosure" reach a 200-patron milestone a few months ago. Rania and Kevin had Abby and Robbie record an additional segment entirely for patrons, where they talked about the threat of censorship and other media issues.

If you would like to hear this segment, become a patron.

If you are already a patron, go here to listen.

Thanks again to all of our wonderful patrons who help make our show a continued success, and thanks to Abby and Robbie for helping us make this week's episode possible. We plan to join forces on a more regular basis.

Direct download: S6E17.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:57am EDT

For this week's episode, Mark Weisbrot, economist and co-director of the Center for Economic Policy and Research, joins the show to discuss a paper he co-authored on United States sanctions against Venezuela.

The paper—released in April—showed at least 40,000 people died between 2017 and 2018 from sanctions. That was before Venezuela opposition leader Juan Guaido claimed he was Venezuela's true president and mounted a coup that that has persisted for the past months. Tens of thousands of more people in Venezuela will die as a result of recent sanctions.

During the interview, Weisbrot outlines some of the biggest impacts to the Venezuela economy, as well as how imports of essential medicines and medical equipment have been cutoff.

Weisbrot compares the Trump sanctions to sanctions imposed by President Barack Obama.

Later in the show, Weisbrot highlights a chief goal of the sanctions: to inflict pain and suffering and breed discontent among the people that results in the military turning against President Nicolas Maduro.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo declared on March 11, 2019, "The circle is tightening, the humanitarian crisis is increasing by the hour. I talked with our senior person on the ground there in Venezuela last night, at 7:00 or 8:00 last night. You can see the increasing pain and suffering that the Venezuelan people are suffering from."

The action on April 30 was viewed by many news outlets as a new attempt at a coup. However, it was part of a slow-motion, aggressive, and sometimes erratic push for regime change since January.

The attempt, one of several over the last few months, failed yet again. It by no means will be the last attempt, and every day this continues more Venezuelans will die.

Direct download: S6E16.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:40am EDT

Charles Derber is a professor of sociology at Boston College. He is currently collaborating on some work with Noam Chomsky, and he joins the "Unauthorized Disclosure" weekly podcast to discuss a book he co-authored, "Moving Beyond Fear: Upending the Security Tales in Capitalism, Fascism, and Democracy."

The
book outlines how elites manufacture security stories and protect their own wealth and power. Derber describes how this method of managing populations goes all the way back to the days of feudalism.

While it is abundantly clear how President Donald Trump names so-called enemies to solidify control over his base, it may be less obvious how establishment Democrats use this method to protect their power as well. Derber assesses how Democrats wield security stories and why they may find them useful.

Later in the show, Derber talks about the role of the "professional managerial class" and the reality that elites ignore particular threats that are real because to acknowledge them would threaten their power.

Direct download: S6E15.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:15am EDT

Hosts Rania Khalek and Kevin Gosztola are joined by Max Ajl, who is a doctoral student in development studies at Cornell University. He speaks to them from Tunisia, where he is conducting research on the environment and agriculture as it relates to decolonization and post-colonial development.

Ajl discusses the Green New Deal, backed by numerous progressives, and offers a constructive critique that takes into account the impact of climate change on the global south.

During the interview, Ajl describes the origins of the Green New Deal and the limits of what Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez are proposing. But Ajl notes that many issues like climate debt and developmental aid for countries is missing in this America-focused plan.

Ajl addresses how the Green New Deal fails to deal with the massive pollution from the U.S. military industrial-complex and contends that this represents a larger issue with much of the U.S. left, which can be Eurocentric in their support for global policies.

And Ajl assesses the impact of US policies that have exacted an impact on countries in the global south and then outlines the kind of considerations that need to be made so that a collective response to climate disruption is inclusive and internationalist in its goals.

Overall, Ajl maintains we should not fight the Green New Deal. We should struggle to put issues on the table and seize an opportunity to develop a much stronger plan for dealing with global climate change.

Direct download: S6E14.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:55am EDT

Hosts Rania Khalek and Kevin Gosztola spend the full episode going through parts of the indictment against WikiLeaks editor-in-chief Julian Assange. They react to his expulsion from the Ecuador embassy in the United Kingdom and how British police entered the embassy to drag him out to a police van.

Kevin, who has covered Chelsea Manning, Julian Assange, and WikiLeaks since 2010, addresses how much of the indictment makes the case that Assange "aided" and "abetted" "espionage," even though what was charged is a computer crime. Contrary to what much of the U.S. establishment press contended, the Justice Department is targeting the publication of information. This case has troubling implications for world press freedom.

Later in the show, Rania and Kevin talk about whether the US will succeed in extraditing Assange and Ecuador's betrayal. The country granted Assange asylum, as well as citizenship, and then discarded him to be snatched up by the United States. Clearly, they are no longer an independent state. Their rulers are serving U.S. interests and not the Ecuadorian people or global human rights.

Direct download: S6E13.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:18pm EDT

In one of their more free-ranging episodes of the year, hosts Rania Khalek and Kevin Gosztola discuss censorship against Max Blumenthal by owners of the Politics & Prose bookstore in Washington, D.C.

They talk about the latest developments involving Chelsea Manning, who has now been in jail for nearly a month as she continues her resistance against a grand jury investigation into WikiLeaks. Chelsea was in prolonged solitary confinement but released into general population this past week.

Rania and Kevin also comment on Joe Biden, including commentary from an Atlantic writer who attacked one of the latest people to accuse Biden of inappropriate touching by pointing out she loves Russia.

And during the middle of the show, they read a few comments and questions from patrons.

Note: There will be a break next week, but the show will be back after this short break.

Direct download: S6E12.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:38am EDT

Hosts Rania Khalek and Kevin Gosztola are joined by journalist Aaron Maté to talk about the end of Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into President Donald Trump's campaign. Mueller was unable to establish that "members of the Trump campaign conspired or coordinated with the Russian government in its election interference activities.”

Maté, a contributor to The Nation, was one of the few journalists who consistently questioned the Trump-Russia narrative, and he made the rounds this past week to several shows to discuss the death of Russiagate. We're very grateful that he stopped by "Unauthorized Disclosure."

This week he wrote, "RIP, Russiagate," for The Nation.

During the show, Maté talks about what it was like to be one of the few journalists in the United States media to cover the Mueller investigation responsibly. He highlights some of the media reaction to the end of the investigation, particularly among pundits desperate to keep the conspiracy alive.

We discuss how Russiagate will probably never go away entirely and why it was dangerous for Democrats to push it. Maté addresses how Democrats, especially staff from Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign, were so invested in pushing the Trump-Russia narrative.

And Maté reminds us that it was not only CNN and MSNBC that fueled this panic. To some degree, various progressive media outlets had journalists who bought into Russiagate as well.  

Direct download: S6E11.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:16am EDT

Journalist Ben Norton, who helps run The Grayzone, was in Venezuela for nearly 4 weeks from early February to early March. He talks with us about what he saw on the ground and how what he witnessed compares to what is reported in Western establishment news media.

Ben describes some of the enthusiasm among Venezuelans for political engagement in democracy. He also addresses some of the myths surrounding colectivos, which are self-defense organizations in communities in Venezuela.

Later in the show, Ben outlines "Regime Change Inc," which are the forces that are deployed inside and outside Venezuela pushing for the overthrow of President Nicolas Maduro. He discusses what Venezuelans would like the government to do with members of a right-wing opposition that are intent on destabilizing the country.

We wrap the show with some conversation about what may have happened with Venezuela's electric grid and the major power outages that occurred.

Direct download: S6E10.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:25pm EDT

In this week's episode, Rania Khalek and Kevin Gosztola spend the first half of the episode replying to patrons, who suggested topics for discussion, including strikes by teachers unions and the Ethiopian Airlines crash.

Then they talk about CNN and how they spent multiple days attacking Tulsi Gabbard after her town hall—all because she strays from the script provided to them by officials in the US foreign policy establishment, particularly when it comes to what she calls regime change wars.

And in the final part of the episode, they highlight how Chelsea Manning has been in a county jail for a week because she refused to testify before a grand jury investigating WikiLeaks.

Direct download: S6E9.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:21am EDT

In this discussion episode, Rania Khalek and Kevin Gosztola react to how the Democratic leadership in the House of Representatives singled out Ilhan Omar this past week. Many politicians and commentators spent several days attributing words to Omar that she did not say, all so they could attack her for anti-Semitism and discourage her from speaking out against the influence of AIPAC.

Later in the show, Kevin talks about attending Bernie Sanders' kickoff rally in Chicago for his 2020 presidential campaign. Rania asks if the powers that be would ever let someone like Sanders be president.

Direct download: S6E8.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:38am EDT

This is the second part our interview with Dan Cohen, a reporter for RT America who recently returned from Colombia, where he covered the forced aid delivery at the Venezuela border.

We talk to Dan about "Killing Gaza," a documentary film that he worked on with journalist Max Blumenthal. It was censored by the Bluestockings Bookstore in New York because a small group of people complained to the bookstore about Max's work on the war in Syria.

Later, we talk about state-funded media, and Dan highlights the report he co-authored for the Grayzone Project, "The Making of Juan Guaido: How The U.S. Regime Change Laboratory Created Venezuela's Coup Leader."

Direct download: S6E7_Part2.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:03am EDT

Hosts Rania Khalek and Kevin Gosztola are joined by Dan Cohen, a reporter for RT America who was at the Colombia-Venezuela border to cover the U.S. government's forced delivery of so-called humanitarian aid on February 23.

Cohen describes what he witnessed. He also talks about Venezuela Aid Live, the concert put on by billionaire Richard Branson the day before the confrontation over aid. 

Later in the episode, Cohen recalls his interactions with poor and working class Venezuelans in Cucuta, which spoke to him about why they left their home country. He recounts his attempt to question Elliott Abrams, special envoy to Venezuela, when Abrams walked by him in Washington, D.C.

Cohen specifically outlines why the U.S. government is intent to deliver aid—getting it across the border likely will mean the "political death" of President Nicolas Maduro, since it will show he no longer has sovereignty over the country. 

Direct download: E6S7.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:04am EDT

As a special presentation from "Unauthorized Disclosure," here is the full interview CNN correspondent Drew Griffin conducted with J. Ray Sparks, the chief operating officer of Maffick Media, and Rania Khalek, a contributor to In The Now, which is owned by Maffick Media.

On February 11, the interview took place in Berlin, where Maffick Media is based. Short clips from the interview were used in a video report, and several quotes were included in a print report that appeared on CNN.com on February 15 under the headline: “Russia backs a viral video aimed at American millennials.”

Maffick Media management became aware that CNN was contacting associates of Maffick. They reached out on February 5 to Curt Devine and Donie O’Sullivan, two reporters that were trying to uncover dirt on Maffick Media.

Sparks indicated they would be willing to make individuals available to CNN and shared facts with CNN that related to their funding from the Russia government and the editorial structure of In The Now.

The interview offers a rare window into the mind of a US establishment journalist, who only is able to see the world through the framework of "Russia must be responsible for pockets of dissent in the country" or "the Kremlin must be behind whatever is wrong with America's current politics."

We expect this to become an important artifact of the "Russiagate" era in US history.

Direct download: CNNInterviewMaffickInTheNow.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:51pm EDT

Hosts Rania Khalek and Kevin Gosztola put together this response to CNN's report on a Russia-backed video company, where Rania works.

A U.S.-funded think tank in Germany, the German Marshall Fund, went to CNN, and together, they convinced Facebook to suspend video channel pages that are owned by Maffick Media—including Soapbox. (You may have seen Soapbox videos from Rania, such as this one on Venezuela.)

Rania recounts how CNN went digging for dirt on Maffick Media. Management eventually reached out to CNN and informed them that they knew what CNN journalists were doing. They granted CNN access and agreed to answer just about any question CNN had about the company.

Kevin describes the German Marshall Fund, who is affiliated it, and why it is significant that the think tank came after In The Now. It is far less transparent in its promotion of a Hamilton 68 "tracker" to uncover alleged Russian influence operations than Maffick Media is with their videos.

Rania and Kevin note that CNN's investigation was pretty poor. They did not turn up much of anyhing, but they achieved censorship, which is what matters. This has real ramifications for Rania and whether she may keep her job.

Even more significantly, CNN keeps churning out reports that fuel panic over all things Russia because it is profitable. Russia and the U.S. control 90 percent of the world's nuclear weapons. Instead of contributing to a world that can support peace between these two powerful countries, CNN serves the agenda of U.S. intelligence and military officials.

***

Further Reading

How CNN Led Facebook To Censor The Pages Of Russia-Backed Video Company And Manufactured A News Story

Direct download: ResponseToCNNHitPieceOnRania-SpecialEpisode.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:06am EDT

Hosts Rania Khalek and Kevin Gosztola are joined by Christina Schiavoni, who is a food sovereignty activist and doctoral researcher at the International Institute of Social Studies in The Hague. She has engaged in solidarity work in Venezuela and focuses on food issues, and she lived in a working class community in Caracas from early 2016 to 2018.

Schiavoni describes how she became involved in activism around food sovereignty in Venezuela. She addresses the issues of food shortages and who owns most of the major food companies. She also grapples with the lack of diversification in Venezuela's economy.

Later in the interview, Schiavoni talks about food aid that is handed out to poor and working class Venezuelans by the government. She outlines the impact of sanctions and provides an explanation for why the government may not want to allow the humanitarian aid from President Donald Trump's administration to enter Venezuela.

Direct download: S6E6edit.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:47am EDT

Hosts Rania Khalek and Kevin Gosztola welcome author Barry Eisler to the show. He spent three years in a covert position with the CIA's Directorate of Operations, and he has written several best-selling espionage novels. His most recent book is The Killer Collective.

During the show, Eisler talks about developing the story for Killer Collective. He is an avid reader and supporter of independent news media and describes how news headlines and perspectives from these sources influence his work.

Eisler recently tweeted, "I could spend all day tweeting about Putin hysteria. It’s become that omnipresent. For many liberals, there are no other frameworks for understanding reality anymore. Putin the Puppet Master has eclipsed everything else." He talks about this framework, as well as "information laundering," which establishment news media outlets do constantly.

Direct download: S6E5.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:49pm EDT

Hosts Rania Khalek and Kevin Gosztola are joined this week by educator and journalist Roberto Lovato. In 2015, he wrote the article, "The Making Of Leopoldo Lopez," for Foreign Policy.

Recently, he contributed a piece to Latino Rebels on the appointment of Elliott Abrams to represent the Trump administration as special envoy to Venezuela (particularly, the opposition).

Lovato, who is of Salvadoran descent, describes the dread he experienced when the former State Department official implicated in massacres in El Salvador in the 1980s was given a job by President Donald Trump's administration to help advance their agenda in Venezuela. He recalls bearing witness to a mass grave.

Later in the show, Lovato recalls what happened to him when he went to Venezuela to report on Lopez, the opposition leader who is a folk hero to many international human rights groups and Western media outlets. He highlights when he was threatened by a member of the opposition. When he returned home, a State Department employee gave him a creepy phone call.

Lovato also highlights some of the individuals in the opposition, who have ties to neo-fascists.

*Thank you to our patrons for supporting our show, and thanks for listening to the interview. If you like what you hear,
become a patron.

Direct download: S6E4edit.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:41am EDT

In a special episode, hosts Rania Khalek and Kevin Gosztola stand up to a slew of smear attacks against Rania for speaking out on the attempted coup in Venezuela.

Particularly, journalists like Michael Weiss of The Daily Beast, Yashar Ali of Huffington Post, and Casey Michel of Think Progress attacked members of Congress who interacted with her tweets on Venezuela. They labeled her a "Russian propagandist" to further isolate and make them denounce her.

Rania's Wikipedia page was defaced around January 28. It was brought to editors' attention. A slanderous sentence was removed from the top of her page and then re-inserted further down. It was then locked making it difficult for anyone to remove what was added. She had to wait for nearly a half of a day before it was deleted altogether, and her page still going through maintenance so it conforms with Wikipedia's standards and does not attack her reputation.

This has lasted for about a week. In the words of Kevin, this sustained campaign of attacks are an effort to silence a strong and effective woman journalist who is unapologetic in her anti-imperial views. She agitated for members of Congress to come out against President Donald Trump's support for a coup in Venezuela, and it worked because multiple representatives responded to her favorably. That deeply upset those in media who despise her.

We spend nearly an hour going through several of the attacks. Most importantly, we give Rania space to deal with what she has endured. Nobody is going to shut Rania down on "Unauthorized Disclosure."

Direct download: S6_SpecialEpisode.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:38pm EDT

Hosts Rania Khalek and Kevin Gosztola welcome As'ad AbuKhalil to the show. He is a political science professor at California State University and a contributor to Consortium News.

During the interview, AbuKhalil comments on United States government's support for an attempted coup in Venezuela and what this reveals about the state of American empire.

He highlights what is unfolding around Syria, as a conflict that started in 2011 shifts to one with less US troops involved. Particularly, he addresses recent Israeli attacks in Syria against alleged Iranian targets.

Later in the interview, AbuKhalil talks about Israel versus Hezbollah and whether there may be a full-blown war against Hizbullah in Lebanon in the near future.

***

Further reading: "
The Unwritten Rule Between the US and Hizbullah" by As'ad AbuKhalil
 
Direct download: S6E3.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:08pm EDT

Hosts Rania Khalek and Kevin Gosztola talk about what is unfolding in Venezuela, where Juan Guaido and the right-wing opposition refuse to recognize Nicolas Maduro as president. They have the support of President Donald Trump's administration and aim to overthrow Maduro.

Later in the show, the hosts shift to Tulsi Gabbard's announcement on CNN in the past week, where she said she will run for president in 2020. Both of the hosts challenge the media's reaction, as well as the left's reaction, while breaking down several of her strengths and flaws as a candidate.

Direct download: S6E2.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:19am EDT

Rania Khalek and Kevin Gosztola are glad to be back for another season of the "Unauthorized Disclosure" podcast.

For the first episode of the year, journalist and Nation contributor Aaron Maté joins the show to talk about a recent article he
wrote, "New Studies Show Pundits Are Wrong About Russian Social Media Involvement in US Politics."

Maté highlights several aspects of reports on alleged Russian influence in the 2016 election that were co-signed by members of Congress. They show marketing campaigns were small, amateurish, and mostly unrelated to the election.

During the show, Maté addresses a recent story about Paul Manafort that was all but retracted entirely and how this happens frequently with "Russiagate" news reports.

The show opens with Maté and the hosts discussing how incredible it is that there were no sonic weapons attacking U.S. embassies in Cuba. It turns out the sounds supposedly making officials ill were
crickets.

Direct download: S6E1.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:01am EDT

Rania Khalek and Kevin Gosztola wrap up this year's season of "Unauthorized Disclosure" with MintPress News founder and editor-in-chief Mnar Muhawesh.

During the show, they reflect on some of the more pernicious social and political developments in the past year. Mnar talks about censorship by Facebook, Twitter, and other social media companies, and the impact it is having on independent journalists and alternative media outlets, especially the effect on MintPress News.

Later in the show, Mnar and Rania discuss the wars in Yemen and Syria. They take a moment to address the most recent development—President Donald Trump ordering the withdrawal of troops from Syria.

The show ends with Mnar, Rania, and Kevin each highlighting something they believe went significantly under-reported or virtually ignored in the U.S. press, including progressive media.

Direct download: S5E42.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:03am EDT

Hosts Rania Khalek and Kevin Gosztola discuss yet another round of blaming Russia for dissent. They highlight the protests in France. Then, Gosztola shares how he was accused of helping Putin undermine faith in the rule of the law and the justice system by a think tank in Washington, D.C.

The hosts pay tribute to William Blum. He died at 85 and published work that was essential for anyone interested in fighting U.S. imperialism.

Finally, the hosts talk about the successful Yemen war powers resolution vote in the Senate and how Paul Ryan served the war industry by ensuring the House could not hold a similar vote. 

Direct download: S5E41.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:02am EDT

We recorded last week's show, and then the news came hours later that former President George H.W. Bush died.

As much as people have largely moved on, we could not ignore the media's nauseating revisionist portraits of who Bush was as a public figure. So we spend a large part of the show offering a kind of antidote to what was broadcast and published about Bush.

Later in the show, Rania Khalek highlights a Pew Research Center poll that shows how young people's views on U.S. foreign policy and military dominance in the world are dramatically different from their parents and grandparents.

The show concludes with a bit of discussion about Beto O'Rourke and Clinton people insisting there's some conspiracy by supporters of Bernie Sanders to tarnish him before he runs for president in 2020.

Direct download: S5E40.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:35pm EDT

For this week's show, Rania Khalek and Kevin Gosztola rage against CNN for firing Marc Lamont Hill over comments he made before a United Nations committee on Palestinians and their struggle against Israeli military occupation.

They talk about a vote in the U.S. Senate, where a war powers resolution to end U.S. military involvement in the Saudi Arabia-led war in Yemen moved forward.

Later in the show, the hosts highlight a piece in POLITICO that was published by an unnamed author to promote a wild conspiracy theory about Russia planting a Paul Manafort-Julian Assange story in the Guardian.


[*Note: Unfortunately, we recorded less than 24 hours before former President George H.W. Bush's death was reported. We have plenty to say about his legacy and the response to his death. It will be nothing like what you're hearing on cable news networks, and we'll share our thoughts next episode.]

Direct download: S5E39.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:34pm EDT

Gregory Shupak, author of "The Wrong Story: Palestine, Israel, and the Media," joins the show to discuss his book that sharply critiques how establishment and left-of-center media cover the Israeli military occupation.

He organizes his criticism into three categories: how the media promotes this idea that "both sides" are equally responsible for violence, how the media pushes this idea that all would be resolved if extremists were eliminated from power, and how the media argue Israel has a right to defend itself to justify any sort of warfare against Palestinians.

Later, Shupak talks about recent examples of media coverage because this past week Israel launched more air strikes on Gaza.











 

Direct download: S5E37.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:17am EDT

It feels like it was way, way more than a month since host Rania Khalek was last heard from on "Unauthorized Disclosure." Finally, she is done making mini-documentaries and was able to do a show again.

Both Khalek and Kevin Gosztola discuss the 2018 midterm elections, including ballot initiatives that passed. They criticize the Democrats for not doing more to fight voter suppression and talk about how they lost several seats in the U.S. Senate.

Aside from the elections, they recap some of what they missed an opportunity to talk about in October. Both also have good rants in response to CNN's Jim Acosta, who had his White House press pass revoked.

Direct download: S5E36.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:28am EDT

Joanildo Burity is a lead researcher at the Social Research Institute at Fundação Joaquim Nabuco. He is near the east coast of Brazil. His work involves research projects and post-graduate teaching in the areas of Brazilian and Latin American politics and religion and politics.

During the interview, Burity provides his initial analysis for why the far-right candidate, Jair Bolsonaro, was able to win the election. He provides a brief rundown of what led up to the election, which includes mention of the police forces that were deployed to universities to investigate election materials that teachers unions were sharing.

He talks about the issue of how Brazil's democracy is young and faces a particular threat to its institutions, as well as the threats posed to the Amazon rain forest and other natural lands that Bolsonaro is intent to sell off to mining or logging corporations. He describes the threat to workers and their livelihoods.

Finally, Burity shares his views on whether or not Brazil could return to military dictatorship (whether the threat is real) and notes the role the American right, including Steve Bannon, played in Bolsonaro's rise to power.

Direct download: S5E35edit.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:59am EDT

Bernard Harcourt, author of The Counterrevolution: How Our Government Went To War Against Its Own Citizens, joins the show for a conversation on President Donald Trump and what Bernard calls the Counterrevolution.

He outlines counterinsurgency and its objectives and how it accelerated after the September 11th attacks to become a form of government in the United States.

We discuss how Trump and his administration is counterinsurgency on steroids and highlight Cesar Sayoc, who was arrested for allegedly sending mail-bombs to targets of Trump's vitriol.

Direct download: S5E34edit.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:20am EDT

For this week's episode, Rania Khalek and Kevin Gosztola discuss recent attacks on Max Blumenthal and his journalism on Nicaragua. They became especially vicious in the past couple weeks, as The Guardian and Buzzfeed wrongly accused Blumenthal of having a Guardian freelancer Carl David Goette-Luciak deported from the country.

Also, former Chicago police officer Jason Van Dyke was found guilty of second-degree murder and 16 counts of aggravated battery for killing Laquan McDonald. Gosztola, who is based in Chicago, highlights some of what happened during Van Dyke's trial.

Direct download: S5E33.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:01am EDT

In this week's episode, hosts Rania Khalek and Kevin Gosztola highlight some of what was said at the UN General Assembly, particularly by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and U.S. President Donald Trump.

They, of course, spend some time on the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing in which Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh testified.

Later in the show, the hosts talk about Democratic candidate for governor in Florida, Andrew Gillum, and what he had to say about Venezuela. They revisit the issue of progressives being progressive except when it comes to other countries in the world.

Both share some personal updates during the show as well.

Direct download: S5E32-Kavanaugh_UNGA_ProgressiveExceptForTheWorld.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:53am EDT

In this additional segment from Mike Prysner and Spenser Rapone, hosts of the "Eyes Left" podcast, we talk about the U.S. military's colonization of sports, particularly the NFL.

Then we discuss the Veterans Affairs Department and why it is important to care about the dysfunction and systemic problems with the agency.

Finally, Prysner updates listeners on the status of "Empire Files" with Abby Martin. He is a producer on the show, and the show recently lost all funding from Telesur in Venezuela as a result of sanctions from President Donald Trump's administration.

Direct download: S5E31-BonusMaterial.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:38pm EDT

Hosts of the "Eyes Left" podcast join the show to talk about creating the conditions for more resistance within the United States military.

Spenser Rapone, known as the "Commie Cadet," spoke out for NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick and expressed his support for left-wing politics. He was issued an other-than-honorable discharge nearly one year ago.

Michael Prysner is an antiwar activist, who enlisted in the military following the 9/11 attacks, and a producer of the "Empire Files."

Together, they share their thoughts on antiwar organizing under President Donald Trump and whether the terrain has shifted considerably since President Barack Obama was in office. They share their back stories, address the never-ending war in Afghanistan, discuss U.S. support for a right-wing coup in Venezuela, and more.



















Direct download: S5E31.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:30am EDT

In this week's episode, hosts Rania Khalek and Kevin Gosztola discuss latest developments in Idlib in Syria, where al Qaida "rebels" face attacks from Syrian government forces supported by Russia. President Donald Trump's administration, especially through US Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley, has pounded the table constantly in the past week and threatened war if those forces are attacked.

Later in the show, the hosts talk about national security adviser John Bolton and his attack on the International Criminal Court. Particularly, the hosts focus on how the U.S. government has never really supported the court and Bolton is, for the most part, hostilely expressing a policy that has been long-held by the government.

Direct download: S5E30.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:37am EDT

In Part 2 of our interview with investigative journalist Yasha Levine, we discuss the power Silicon Valley corporations like Facebook, Google, Twitter, etc, are claiming to engage in censorship and how troubling it is to see liberals cheer corporations.

Later in the show, Levine recalls attacks he experienced for investigating the Tor Project, a popular tool for protecting one's privacy on the internet. He addresses the issue of journalists and how they should respond to constant surveillance enabled by tech corporations.

Levine argues there needs to be a political solution that shifts the culture around privacy, but that cannot and will not come from Silicon Valley.

Direct download: S5E29-Yasha_Levine_Part_2.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:50pm EDT

Hosts Rania Khalek and Kevin Gosztola interview investigative journalist Yasha Levine about his book, "Surveillance Valley: The Secret Military History Of The Internet," which was released this year.

There are two parts to the interview. In Part 1, Levine describes how the origin of the internet is rooted in the United States military. It was developed for counterinsurgency and anti-communism efforts. This is a narrative that is typically missing when the history of the internet is told.

Later in the segment, Levine gives a brief history of Google and talks about the CIA's support for Google Earth. He also discusses the amazing power that Google's search streams give the corporation.

[NOTE: Part 2 will be posted for patrons later tonight. It will be made available for all listeners of the show on Wednesday.]

Direct download: S5E29-Yasha_Levine.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:40am EDT

Hosts Rania Khalek and Kevin Gosztola spend most of the episode assessing the media coverage of John McCain's death from brain cancer. They focus on the myth of McCain that was promoted and pretty much adopted across the spectrum from Republicans to progressive Democrats.

They read a few examples of the worst hagiography. Like did you know he wasn't only a "war hero" but also a "climate hero"? And he was even an "anti-racist hero" too?

Toward the end of the episode, Gosztola talks about the national prison strike, and in particular, media coverage by the Marshall Project that promoted the organization's bias against prisoner-led resistance.

***

Thank you to our patrons. At the end of August, we had 182 patrons. We're 18 patrons shy of our goal of 200 patrons. We believe we can get there by October. And we'll plan a special edition for patrons if we reach this goal.

Direct download: S5E28John_McCain_Died_For_Our_Sins.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:20am EDT


On the "Unauthorized Disclosure" weekly podcast, hosts Rania Khalek and Kevin Gosztola are joined by Sarah Smith, a Democratic Party candidate running for Congress in Washington's 9th District. She recently beat the Republican to qualify for the general election against the incumbent, Democratic Representative Adam Smith.

Sarah Smith is both a member of the local Democratic Party and Democratic Socialists of America. She's run a scrappy grassroots campaign that consists of all volunteers. She also has garnered a reputation as a rare antiwar candidate in the 2018 midterm elections because she views foreign policy as a top issue.

For Part 2 of our interview with Sarah Smith, she discusses her views about the Democratic Party, what she thinks about Democrats who claim corporate money does not influence them, and how she views the Democratic National Committee's recent decision to encourage donations from the employer political action committees of fossil fuel companies.

Later, she shares what she thinks about Democrats, who believe in climate change but will not act meaningfully to combat disruption to the climate. She also talks about why disability rights is a top issue for her campaign.

Direct download: S5E27_SarahSmithPart2.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:09pm EDT