Unauthorized Disclosure

Janice Williamson, editor of the book, Omar Khadr: Oh Canada, and a professor at the University of Alberta, discusses the release of Khadr from Canadian jail. She reflects on his past history, from his experiences as one of the youngest children imprisoned at Guantanamo to his newfound freedom as the man he is now. She highlights the "sea of demonization" fueled by Prime Minister Stephen Harper, who has pushed counterterrorism measures in government that are inspired by anti-Muslim racism. 

During the discussion portion, the show's hosts, Rania Khalek and Kevin Gosztola, talk about a reparations ordinance that passed in Chicago for police torture survivors, Israel's Knesset becoming even more virulently right-wing and two federal appeals court decisions of significance. One involves three activists having their Sabotage Act convictions reversed, and the other involves the NSA phone records collection surveillance program being ruled unlawful. 




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Gadeir Abbas, an attorney for Yemeni Americans challenging the US government's refusal to evacuate them from the war-ravaged country, joins the show to discuss the filed lawsuit. What power do these Americans have to force the government to uphold their citizenship rights and launch an operation to evacuate them? Why does the government treat Yemeni Americans as second class citizens? 

In the second half of the interview, Abbas, who represents Gulet Mohamed, an American challenging his placement on the No Fly List, discusses a development in the lawsuit where the government claims it has made changes to the process. It will now tell Americans if they are on the No Fly List if they use the government's system to write to the government and ask for confirmation. But Americans easily can figure this out when they are not able to travel because an agent tells them they are on the watch list. 

What of the changes are meaningful? What does this mean for No Fly List challenges?


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Rania Khalek and Kevin Gosztola co-host this 40-minute episode, where they talk about Rahm Emanuel's re-election, the Saudi-led US-backed coalition bombing Yemen, Yemeni Americans stranded in a war zone, the Clintons getting Colombian oil money and various police abuse or brutality stories, such as the case of Walter Scott and the trial of Chicago police officer Dante Servin, who killed Rekia Boyd in 2012.


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Aviva Stahl, an independent journalist, and Abraham Paulos, executive director of Families for Freedom, address the growth of immigrant detention in the United States and United Kingdom.

Stahl highlights how hunger strikes are a key form of resistance for immigrants in detention and how detention centers in the US and UK shut down resistance by immigrants. (She wrote about this in her for Vice.)

Paulos breaks down how immigrants are equated with criminals and the US history of being unwelcoming toward immigrants. He particularly focuses on the Immigration Act of 1964. He also addresses how difficult it is for immigrants to win asylum.

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Contributing writer for The Intercept, Trevor Aaronson, joins the show as a guest to talk about his feature story, "The Sting: How the FBI Created a Terrorist." We discuss the FBI's target, Sami Osmakac, the FBI agent, Amir Jones, and a couple other of characters, who played a role in giving Osmakac the means, opportunity and desire to carry out a terrorism act. Aaronson also describes how this case fits into other similar cases and whether he has seen a shift in how the media or public react to the FBI manufacuturing their own terrorism plots that they can thwart and then pretend they had nothing to do with creating. 

During the discussion portion, Rania Khalek provides a rundown on the re-election of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. We both talk about the controversy at a New York high school involving the Pledge of Allegiance recited in Arabic. Discussion concludes with some climate disruption headlines and talk about the Obama administration censoring and keeping secret information at a greater rate than ever. 



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Researcher at UK CAGE 

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Page May of We Charge Genocide and Babur Balos of the Chicago Light Brigade join the show to talk about the Chicago Police Department and reports that the department has a "black site" for arrestees. They connect the reports to a push for reparations for police torture survivors that is ongoing in the city. Then, we talk about Mayor Rahm Emanuel being in a runoff primary and highlight a lawsuit filed against police and the city for the killing of 19-year-old Roshad McIntosh. 


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Co-host Kevin Gosztola interviews former CIA officer and whistleblower John Kiriakou, who was released from Loretto prison in Pennsylvania after 23 months in jail. He pled guilty to violating the Intelligence Identities Protection Act, but it was not until he spoke up about waterboarding being torture in an interview in 2007 that he became a target for prosecution. He maintains that, while what he did was wrong, he was the subject of a selective and vindictive prosecution. 

While in prison, he wrote at least 15 "Letters from Loretto," which Firedoglake published. We talk about how the Bureau of Prisons designated him a "dangerous" prisoner because of his crime, what he witnessed in terms of medical emergencies and unhealthy food and what it meant for him to be able to write letters from prison that were guaranteed to reach a wide audience. 

In the second part of the interview, we outline all the ways the CIA attempts to control information through prepublication review boards and secrecy contracts. We discuss whistleblowers like Jeffrey Sterling and Stephen Kim, who have similarly had their lives destroyed. 

Kiriakou is the guest for the full hour. 

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Kevin Gosztola and Rania Khalek are joined by Dahr Jamail, Truthout writer, to talk about his monthly "Climate Disruption" dispatches. He provides an overview of thresholds that have perilously been crossed as a result of human-caused climate disruption. He highlights methane blowholes, disease and even describes electromagnetic war games the Navy has engaged in to the detriment of wildlife and humans. As the talk becomes more gloomy due to the reality of climate disruption, Jamail talks about dealing with depression and how scientists, institutions and even governments are fighting back against these dangerous developments.

During the discussion, we talk about the Chapel Hill murders, the FBI targeting anti-oil sands activists and Chelsea Manning being granted hormone therapy by the Pentagon.

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Kevin Gosztola and Rania Khalek are joined by Baraa Shiban, a human rights activist and Reprieve project coordinator based in Yemen. He describes the significance of the US government's continued drone strikes, even when there is no person officially running Yemen right now. Shiban also recounts the rise of the Houthis and later addresses the effect the US has had on Yemen.

During the discussion portion, the hosts talk about a new weapon Ferguson police officers may be trying out soon, a Republican state representative's view on rape (we think he probably has raped his wife), Corrections Corporation of America inspecting the tampons of people who visit inmates in their facilities and US politicians' fact-free and fringe views on Guantanamo Bay. 

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Hosts Kevin Gosztola and Rania Khalek are joined by VICE News journalist Jason Leopold to talk about some of his latest scoops related to Guantanamo Bay prison. He highlights a military legal document recently obtained, which shows the Pentagon understands forced-feeding violates medical ethics and international law. Leopold also discusses his effort to get the uncensored executive summary of the Senate report on CIA torture released and how the full torture report may never be seen by the public if some officials in government have their way. 

During the discussion, the hosts talk about the FBI listing the brother of a US citizen challenging the No Fly List as a "most wanted terrorist," former CIA officer Jeffrey Sterling being convicted and a vile sex crime ring with influential people like Alan Dershowitz involved, who are working to cover up what happened.

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Marcy Wheeler, a journalist whose latest work can be found at ExposeFacts.org, appears on the show to discuss the Jeffrey Sterling trial. The former CIA officer has been facing charges stemming from allegations that he leaked details that exposed a botched CIA operation in Iran involving flawed nuclear blueprints. Wheeler recounts closing arguments and other aspects of the government's prosecution, which mostly relies on circumstantial evidence. She also addresses how this fits into the Obama administration's record of going after whistleblowers and undermining press freedom. 

During the discussion portion of the show, hosts Kevin Gosztola and Rania Khalek talk about the fawning over a dead tyrant, King Abdullah and Speaker John Boehner inviting Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to provide a rebuttal to the State of the Union. The first book published by a Guantanamo prisoner is highlighted and excerpts are read on air. And Khalek discusses her efforts to expose the propaganda in the film, "American Sniper." 

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The first episode of Season 2: 

Dan Cohen, a Palestine-based journalist and Mondoweiss contributor, appears on the show to discuss the impact of a recent winter storm on Gaza. Still feeling the after effects of Israel's assault last summer, the people of Gaza are struggling to find shelter and warmth. Cohen also highlights some of his experiences as a Jewish person and how Israelis react to him when they find out he visits and reports from Gaza. 

During the discussion portion of the show, hosts Kevin Gosztola and Rania Khalek talk about Guantanamo Bay being designated a "battle lab" for developing and testing torture techniques, the violent Islamophobic backlash after attacks in Paris and the arrest of a young Ohio Muslim, who was targeted in an FBI sting operation and allegedly plotted an ISIS-inspired attack against the US capitol. 



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Freelance writer Roqayah Chamseddine joined the show to talk about some of the more significant and/or underreported stories of 2014. 

For the whole hour, hosts Kevin Gosztola and Rania Khalek, along with Chamseddine, discuss Ferguson and police brutality, the "Torture Report" and US funding of torture states, the Islamic State and Israel/Palestine and the assault on Gaza. 

The show comes to an end with a few book recommendations, and we lash out at a couple movies released on Christmas. 


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Guest: Mara Verheyden-Hilliard, executive director of the Partnership for Civil Justice Fund (PCJF) appears on the show to discuss the release of three of the last members of the "Cuban Five," who were serving prison sentences in the United States. She talks about this victory for activists who had organized for their release. She also highlights what made the five Cuban spies political prisoners and discusses the larger context in which their case unfolded over the past couple of decades. 

Discussion: Rania Khalek and Kevin Gosztola talk some more about the shift in US policy toward Cuba. A story of police brutality involving a SWAT Team in and around Houston, Texas, is highlighted, and the results of a torture poll is discussed as well. 




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This week’s episode of “Unauthorized Disclosure” features an interview with Alka Pradhan, who is a DC counsel for Reprieve US and primarily represents prisoners who remain in indefinite detention at Guantanamo Bay. The organization has represented a number of detainees who were once in CIA custody and tortured.

Pradhan shares her reactions to reading the torture report summary and what details stunned her. She breaks down some of the broader aspects of the report and outlines what effect the new information might have on new efforts to achieve justice for torture victims.

Later in the podcast, Rania Khalek and Kevin Gosztola continue to dig into what was learned about CIA torture this past week. For example, we confront the grotesque use of "rectal rehydration" on detainees.

We also recorded an additional twenty minutes of material to talk about a USAID contractor trying to help the US government topple the Cuban government by co-opting the hip-hop underground scene. Palestinian American organizer Rasmea Odeh's release from jail until her sentencing is highlighted as well.

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Kevin Gosztola hosts this episode. 

Joey Mogul, an attorney with the People's Law Office and a part of the Chicago Torture Justice Memorials project, discusses the findings of the UN Committee Against Torture against the Chicago Police Department. She highlights the history of Chicago police torture, the importance of the UN Committee and the campaign to get reparations for torture survivors. 

In the discussion part of the episode, the latest delay of the release of the executive summary of the Senate intelligence committee report on CIA torture is covered as well as the US government's position that the FBI may impersonate repairmen and break into your private property to collect evidence against persons.  

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This not-an-episode thanks listeners for their support and also calls out Big Box retailers and other corporations, who hate families and are making them work on Thanksigiving. 



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Kevin Gosztola and Rania Khalek are joined by one of the attorneys for Palestinian American organizer Rasmea Odeh, who was convicted of an immigration fraud offense in Detroit on November 10. She was immediately arrested and jailed after the judge revoked her bond and will be in detention until her sentencing on March 10. 

Deutsch provides background on who she is, why the government knew who she was and allowed her into the United States, how she was torture victim who had been abused by Israeli forces, how the judge gutted Odeh's defense and sought to protect Israel and how the prosecutors, in many ways, pursued this like a terrorism case. 

In the discussion portion after the interview, we discuss the UN Committee Against Torture proceedings with the US delegation, journalists Max Blumenthal and David Sheen possibly being banned from German parliament, a Navy war games exercise threatening national park land with electromagnetic radiation and a US Marshal's Service dragnet spy program intercepting phone communications.



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Nathan Patches Pim, a Food Not Bombs volunteer, joins the podcast to highlight what has been happening in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, with people resisting a sharing ban against feeding the homeless. He recaps several arrests that happened in the past week and then discusses what is behind the city pushing laws to criminalize the homeless. 

During the discussion portion, the show's hosts, Rania Khalek and Kevin Gosztola, discuss the outcome of the midterm elections, the Pentagon learning from Israeli about how to prevent civilian deaths, the coup leader in Burkina Faso having US military training and a school in Huntsville, Alabama, placing its students under dragnet surveillance and expelling mostly black children. 

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Page May, organizer with We Charge Genocide, joins "Unauthorized Disclosure" this week to talk about the group's "shadow report" to the UN Committee Against Torture on Chicago police violence and the process of putting it together. She discusses police militarization, sexual assault by police, mass detention and harassment in the context of a system with a history that goes all the way back to the days of slavery in the United States. She also addresses where the name comes from, its historical basis and how it helps frame the group's organizing efforts in Chicago.

In the discussion portion, we discuss Israel closing the Al Aqsa mosque, US military plans to deploy "advisers" to the Anbar province in Iraq and the FBI impersonating repairmen and media organization, accused cop killer Eric Frein's capture, and Josh Rogin and Eli Lake's new job with Bloomberg. 


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Hosts Kevin Gosztola and Rania Khalek are joined by journalist and author of Goliath: Life and Loathing in Greater Israel, Max Blumenthal. He also shares his experiences in Israel and Gaza in the midst and aftermath of Israel's summer assault, which killed over two thousand Palestinians and damaged infrastructure more severely than Israel's two previous wars on Gaza.

He also talks about the fanatical protesters he encountered when he went to the Lincoln Center on the opening night of the Metropolitan Opera's "Death of Klinghoffer" and how Jewish people are perpetuating the "spirit of the Holocaust" to maintain their status in the world and preserve Israeli military occupation of Palestinians. 

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This week on the “Unauthorized Disclosure” podcast the guest is Cori Crider, a director for Reprieve and a counsel representing Guantanamo prisoner Abu Wa'el Dhiab. She describes the kind of treatment Dhiab has suffered in Guantanamo while he has been on hunger strike and why he decided to bring a lawsuit against the United States government. She highlights the significance of 32 videos of Dhiab's force-feeding and forced removal from his cell, which a federal judge has ordered be released (although the government is appealing). She also discusses the critical role she plays as an attorney who can publicly advocate for Dhiab while he remains in indefinite detention.

During the discussion portion, hosts Kevin Gosztola and Rania Khalek debrief and reflect on "Ferguson October," since they were both there in St. Louis last weekend to cover the "weekend of resistance." Then, the show highlights plans by the Obama administration to build a new rebel force for battle in Syria, a bill that passed in Pennsylvania which will make it possible for inmates and former offenders to be silenced if they want to engage in speech and a report that only 4% of US drone strike victims in Pakistan have been al Qaeda.

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Hosts Kevin Gosztola and Rania Khalek are joined by Montague Simmons, chair of Organization for Black Struggle (OBS). He provides an update on aggressive action by police against protestors. He talks about helping community residents feel they will be secure when they participate in actions and how "jail support" is being handled. He also offers a preview of an upcoming weekend of resistance, "Ferguson October," that will take place October 10-13. 

During the discussion portion, Gosztola and Khalek talk a bit about Ebola (they don't have it). Then, the war in Syria and Iraq is highlighted, particularly how Obama has abandoned the "near-certainty" standard, which was developed to prevent civilian casualties in the administration's covert drone war. We talk NSA spying and how the government has its own definition of "collection" that does not mean what you might think. And the show wraps with Khalek reflecting on a hashtag she and journalist Max Blumenthal started, which garnered quite a bit of attention: #JSIL. 

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Hosts Kevin Gosztola and Rania Khalek are joined by Peter Hart, the activism director for Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting (FAIR). Hart discusses some of the myths in media coverage of the escalated war in Iraq and Syria. He talks about Obama being treated as a "reluctant warrior" and the effect that has on news reports. He also highlights fear mongering that has been ongoing. 

In the discussion segment, Gosztola talks about Attorney General Eric Holder's resignation and how Holder presided over a Justice Department that is still investigating antiwar activists. He then gets into how an Alabama judge suspended the First Amendment for a little over a week and what is happening in Ferguson with an escalation in police targeting community organizers.

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Hosts Kevin Gosztola and Rania Khalek are joined by retired Army colonel and former US diplomat Ann Wright, who resigned from the State Department in 2003 in protest against the Iraq War. She discusses her organizing with CODEPINK, which spent the past week demonstrating in hearings on Capitol Hill on the Obama administration's plans to combat ISIS. She reacts to Secretary of State John Kerry calling out CODEPINK and also discusses an op-ed written by Chelsea Manning on what the US should do to fight ISIS. 

During the discussion portion of the show, we acknowledge the votes in Congress giving Obama the go-ahead to train and arm Syrian rebels. Khalek highlights a story she wrote this week on an Israeli drone conference. We talk about Israel's NSA scandal with Unit 8200 members blowing the whistle on spying against innocent Palestinians. Then, we move on to the Justice Department invoking the state secrets privilege to protect an anti-Iran advocacy group and wrap up our show covering the US response to the spread of Ebola in north African countries. 

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Hosts Kevin Gosztola and Rania Khalek interview Shane Bauer, who is a reporter for Mother Jones and recently attended the massive "Urban Shield" police meet-up and training exercise in Oakland, California. He had many following his reporting on the event on Twitter, and he interviewed vendors and snapped many amazing, if not also disturbing, photos of what was happening. And, before the five-day meet-up was over, Bauer had his media badge taken by police and he was booted.

During the discussion portion, we talk about going to President Barack Obama's announcement that America is going to war against ISIS—and how the Obama administration won't call it a a war on ISIS. Khalek highlights a report she did on a religious zealot Israeli general, who ordered an Israeli soldier to be killed by friendly fire rather than captured by Hamas. The episode concludes with some talk about District Attorney Sam Sutter. Sutter stunned environmental activists this past week when he had criminal charges against two men who engaged in direct action dropped because he sympathizes with their view that climate change is a serious crisis. 

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Hosts Kevin Gosztola and Rania Khalek interview Liz Spoerri, an assistant middle school teacher who has organized with environmental groups, and Patrick Mazza, a veteran climate activist who has been organizing for the last 15 years. Spoerri and Mazza recount the direct action they took on September 2 against oil trains that run through Seattle, which was coordinated by Rising Tide North America. They both were arrested and face misdemeanor charges for putting their bodies on the line. They share why they took the action and why they feel it is important for others, particularly in NGOs, to take action as well. 

During the discussion portion, we talk about the Islamic State in Iraq and potential plans by the United States to destroy the terrorist group. We also discuss a 2009 intelligence report provided by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden to journalist Glenn Greenwald, which contained a blueprint for spying to help US corporations maintain their dominance in the world. Then, we discuss journalist Ken Dilanian, who The Intercept exposed as the "CIA's mop-up man" while he was working for the Los Angeles Times. And, finally, we highlight how an appeals court, which opposed releasing photos of a Guantanamo prisoner who was tortured, sounded similar to Fox News' Bill O'Reilly.

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Kevin Gosztola of Firedoglake.com and Rania Khalek, who writes for the "Dispatches from the Underclass" blog, are joined by Keeanga Yamahtta-Taylor, who is a professor at Princeton University and also works at the Center for African-American Studies. Yamahtta-Taylor talks to us about why Ferguson erupted into anger and protest over the killing of Mike Brown by a white police officer, especially since this happens in cities all over the United States just about every other day. She also discusses issues of class and class position in black communities and how they factor into debates about how to win justice. 


During the discussion portion, the show stays on this topic and highlights an array of examples of police crimes that seem to have occurred or earned attention in the past week. Some insights are shared from Gosztola's reporting trip to Ferguson. The demands for justice from organizers in Ferguson are highlighted as well.  

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Kevin Gosztola of Firedoglake.com and independent journalist Rania Khalek are joined by Truthout contributors Dahr Jamail and William Rivers Pitt. They recently co-authored the book, The Mass Destruction of Iraq: The Disintegration of a Nation - Why It Is Happening and Who Is Responsible. Jamail and Pitt provide insights on the continuation of the US military's latest operations in Iraq, the new Iraqi prime minister handpicked by the US government, the role of the Kurdish forces and whether there is an endgame to what the US is doing in Iraq. 

During the discussion portion, we highlight the case of former Bagram prisoner Qandi Agha, who provided Amnesty International an account of torture he suffered after being detained by US special forces in Afghanistan. Then, the rest of the show is spent talking about everything in Ferguson, Missouri, that happened in the aftermath of unarmed black teenager Michael Brown being shot and killed by police. (Everything right up to the afternoon of August 15.) 


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Kevin Gosztola of Firedoglake.com and Rania Khalek, who publishes to the "Dispatches from the Underclass" blog, are the hosts of this podcast. 

This week, Gosztola interviews Jesselyn Radack, who is one of the defense lawyers for NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden and the director for the Government Accountability Project's National Security and Human Rights Division. She talks about the latest with Snowden, the one-year anniversary of Chelsea Manning's conviction, mass surveillance and its effects on whistleblowing, lawyers and journalists as well as various other stories from the past week that all have some connection to the government's efforts to control information. 

During the discussion segment, the case of oncologist Dr. Rafil Dhafir, is highlighted. He used his own charity to raise money for Iraqis affected by depleted uranium until the government criminalized his activity, put him on trial and had him jailed. He is currently in solitary confinement, and a phone number for the federal medical center where he is being held is provided to those who feel moved and want to urge the prison to let him out of solitary.


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Kevin Gosztola of Firedoglake.com and independent journalist Rania Khalek are joined by Hatem Abudayyeh, who is a national coordinating committee member for the US Palestinian Community Network. He has been involved in organizing demonstrations in Chicago in support of Palestinians and against Israel's ongoing assault on Gaza. He also had his home raided by the FBI in 2010 (along with 22 other activists) for his engagement in Palestinian solidarity activism and remains under a cloud of investigation that the Justice Department refuses to bring to an end, even though he has not been indicted or charged with any crime.

Abudayyeh discusses how the police handle Palestinian supporters versus the supporters of Israel, the upper-class gun-toting Zionist who was arrested in Chicago, efforts to suppress Palestinian solidarity activism and also the political case of Rasmea Odeh, who is a Palestinian on trial for alleged immigration fraud

Later, Khalek provides an update on Gaza and the West Bank. Gosztola highlights how CIA director John Brennan and former CIA officials are plotting to discredit the Senate intelligence committee's torture report and The Intercept's story on the National Counterterrorism Center's criteria for placing people on government watchlists.

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Kevin Gosztola of Firedoglake.com and independent journalist Rania Khalek are joined by Deepa Kumar, an associate professor in the journalism and media studies department of Rutgers University and author of Islamophobia and the Politics of Empire. Kumar explores how the US media has been covering Palestinians in Gaza, especially as Israel's assault has escalated. She also provides context for why five named Muslim Americans became targets of the NSA and FBI, as The Intercept reported just over a week ago.

During a shorter discussion portion, we talk about Israel's ground invasion and how Israel is blaming Hamas for all the civilians who die. We also highlight censorship news organizations like NBC News and CNN have imposed on reporters covering Gaza. 



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Kevin Gosztola of Firedoglake.com and independent journalist Rania Khalek are joined by Todd Miller, a journalist who has covered US-Mexico border issues for over 15 years. He is the author of Border Patrol Nation: Dispatches from the Front Lines of Homeland Security. He appears on the show to provide historical context for why tens of thousands of children and their families have fled Central American countries to the US-Mexico border. He also addresses how private corporations stand to benefit from detention centers that the Obama administration plans to develop or build. 

During the discussion portion, Khalek provides an update on Israel's assault on Gaza, and Gosztola provides some comments on the NSA spying on American Muslims.  

This week we highlight efforts to get water to Detroit residents, who have had their water shut off by the city. We highlight Wiley Gill, a victim of an American domestic surveillance system known as the National Suspicious Activity Reporting Initiative. 


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Kevin Gosztola of Firedoglake.com and independent journalist Rania Khalek are joined by The Nation's sports correspondent, Dave Zirin, to talk about the World Cup, FIFA, the sports "shock doctrine," Brazil culture and history, as well as the militarization of areas in and around the sites of the games. Zirin discusses numerous details from his book, "Brazil's Dance with the Devil," now available from Haymarket Books. We also discuss the protests and how they have pushed mainstream media to pay more attention to issues that arise from hosting mega-events like the World Cup or Olympics.

During the discussion portion, we talk about child refugees crossing the US-Mexico border, the Justice Department's decision to finally drop charges against Sami al-Arian and developments with Israel, particularly those related to the murder of a Palestinian teen. 

There's ten to fifteen extra minutes this week, as we talked to Zirin for about 40 minutes. Enjoy. 

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Kevin Gosztola of Firedoglake.com and Rania Khalek, an independent journalist, are joined by Nafeez Ahmed, who is a writer and contributor to The Guardian. His most recent articles have covered the militarization of social science; specifically, the Pentagon's funding of research into preparing for a civil breakdown as well as how both the security agencies in both the United Kingdom and the United States regard differnt types of activists and factions of the poor as threats. We talk with him for over a half hour about the implications of this militarized social science. 

In the discussion portion of the show, we talk about the memo released this past week - with redactions - containing the Obama's "legal" justification for targeting and assassinating US citizen Anwar al-Awlaki. We also discuss the victory thirteen US citizens placed on the No-Fly List won in court and the water shut-offs occurring in Detroit. 

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Dahr Jamail, a staff reporter for Truthout.org, is the guest this week. 

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Kevin Gosztola and Rania Khalek are joined by Josmar Trujillo, a writer and activist who organizes with New Yorkers Against Bratton. Trujillo talks about police raids that took place where alleged members of gangs in Harlem were rounded up by the NYPD in a show of force. He discusses organizing for police reform now that Bill Bratton is NYPD chief and Bill de Blasio has been elected New York City mayor. 

In the discussion part of the show, Gosztola and Khalek talk about the crisis of immigrant children crossing the US-Mexico border and the escalating conflict in Iraq. Khalek also recounts what happened at a Ta-Nehisi Coates event when she tried to get him to answer a question about reparations for African-Americans. 

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Kevin Gosztola and Rania Khalek interview journalist Max Blumenthal about his work covering Israel and the pushback he gets for be willing to report on Israeli military occupation. Blumenthal discusses the American left's reaction to his journalism and how Democrats like Rep. Alan Grayson are terrible on the issue of Palestine and Israel. 

In a shorter discussion portion, Gosztola talks about the Left Forum in New York and groups like police reform groups that seem to have given up on struggling now that Bill Bratton is NYPD chief and Bill de Blasio is mayor

Direct download: RK-KG-Ep._20.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:00am EDT

Kevin Gosztola of Firedoglake.com and Rania Khalek of the "Dispatches from the Underclass" blog are joined by Keane Bhatt, a DC-based activist and writer. He talks to us about a letter signed by individuals like two Nobel Peace laureates. The letter was written to pressure Human Rights Watch to close its "revolving door" and be more independent from the US government. Bhatt shares some examples of why those concerned with human rights should raise this issue with this organization, even as the organization is doing some critically important work on human rights. 

During the discussion portion of the show, Gosztola and Khalek discuss the UC Santa Barbara shooting, Venezuela sanctions, Obama as deporter-in-chief, proxy forces being used by the US government, a California Supreme Court decision on police secrecy around shootings, a lawsuit against an incident of mass detention in Aurora, Colorado, and Edward Snowden's NBC interview. 

Direct download: RK_KG-Ep_19.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:20am EDT

Kevin Gosztola of Firedoglake.com and Rania Khalek of the "Dispatches from the Underclass" blog are joined by Mary Wareham of Human Rights Watch. Wareham is the advocacy director for the arms division of Human Rights Watch and spearheads a global coalition to ban killer robots. She was recently in Geneva for the Convention on Conventional Weapons (CCW) meeting to discuss how countries should respond to the rise of this technology.


During the discussion portion of the show, Gosztola and Khalek discuss media organizations challenging secrecy around execution drugs for lethal injections, US citizens' support for the death penalty, a global survey that found 4 in 10 believe their governments would torture them if they were taken into custody, Guantanamo force-feedings and media coverage of Palestinian Nakba Day. 

Direct download: RK_KG-18.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:47am EDT

Kevin Gosztola of Firedoglake.com and Rania Khalek of the "Dispatches from the Underclass" blog are joined by Carlos Garcia, the director of the Puente Arizona, which is part of a global movement for migrant justice and human rights. Garcia joined others from several states to come to Washington, DC, to speak to representatives of Congress about Immigration & Customs Enforcement (ICE) "bed quotas." Every year, 34,000 beds have to be occupied by the bodies of immigrants in the process of deportation.

During the discussion portion of the show, Gosztola and Khalek discuss US forces sent in to Nigeria to help rescue kidnapped girls from Boko Haram, the US-Djibouti relationship that has helped make drone warfare and rendition possible, McClatchy journalist Adam Baron being deported from Yemen, James Clapper's massive gag policy on intelligence employees citing "known leaks" and Israeli stealing of US industrial secrets.

Direct download: RK_KG-Ep_17.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:42am EDT

Kevin Gosztola of Firedoglake.com and Rania Khalek of the "Dispatches from the Underclass" blog are joined by Rachel Meeropol of the Center for Constitutional Rights. Meeropol is a senior staff attorney, who argued in court this week that the FBI should not have rounded up Muslims in the immediate aftermath of 9/11 and former US officials should be held responsible. Meeropol also discusses developments in a CCR lawsuit involving Communications Management Units (CMUs) in two US prisons. The units impose restrictive conditions and disproportionately affect Muslims and prisoners who maintain their political beliefs while imprisoned.

During the discussion portion of the show, Gosztola and Khalek discuss John Kerry's now-blasphemous comment—his use of the word "apartheid" (oh my!), Prince Georges Police Department's plan to live tweet a prostitution sting, a rather troubling instance of larger organizations policing dissent during the May Day march in Chicago. We also share some thoughts on surveillance panels dominated purely by white men. 

Direct download: RK_KG-Ep_16.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:36am EDT

Kevin Gosztola of Firedoglake.com and Rania Khalek of the "Dispatches from the Underclass" blog are joined by Rooj Alwazir of the Support Yemen media collective. Alwazir is based in Sanaa, Yemen, and provides an update on the reported drone strikes and air strikes in country of which US and Yemen governments have been involved. She describes the cycle of violence along with what Americans are not hearing about the extent to which the attacks are unfortunately having the negative effect of making Yemenis more sympathetic to al Qaeda.

During the discussion portion of the show, Gosztola and Khalek discuss a prison hunger strike that was halted in Alabama, #myNYPD, a Jersey City man who was blinded after being shot by police but faces 30 years in prison, the FBI coercing Muslims to become informants by placing them on the No Fly List and James Clapper's gag order for intelligence employees so they don't talk to the press. 

Direct download: Episode15edit.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:02pm EDT

Kevin Gosztola of Firedoglake.com and Rania Khalek of the "Dispatches from the Underclass" blog are joined by Yousef Al Jamal, a young Palestinian from Gaza who contributed to a collection of stories called "Gaza Writes Back." The collection of stories were all written by young Palestinians and highlight Gaza, Palestine, Israeli occupation, life in Gaza, society, politics, love, hope and everything in between.

During the discussion, Gosztola and Khalek talk about Cliven Bundy, the Jewish center shooting by a white supremacist, Edward Snowden asking Putin a question and Vox.com, the new startup media outlet there to patronizingly explain the news to you. 


Direct download: RK_KG-Ep_14.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:40am EDT

Kevin Gosztola of Firedoglake.com and Rania Khalek of the "Dispatches from the Underclass" blog are joined by Pardiss Kebriaei, a staff attorney for the Center for Constitutional Rights, to discuss the Awlaki decision. She is the leading attorney on the case which a judge dismissed and addresses what the families of US citizens were seeking from their government after their sons were killed in drone strikes. She also outlines some of the most troubling aspects of the judge's decision. 

During the discussion portion of the show, Gosztola and Khalek discuss FBI agents on JSOC raids in Iraq and Afghanistan, the Albuquerque police, "Cuban Twitter" and President Barack Obama as this country's deporter-in-chief. 



Direct download: RK_KG-Ep._13.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:23am EDT

Kevin Gosztola of Firedoglake and Rania Khalek of the "Dispatches from the Underclass" blog host a special episode with voices sharing the experiences in the war on Palestinian solidarity activism on college or university campuses in America. 

Iymen Chehade, a professor who teaches the Israeli-Palestinian conflict at Columbia College Chicago, recounts how his academic freedom was violated by the college after he chose to screen the documentary 5 Broken Cameras to students. Farah and Suha, two University of Michigan students, discuss their struggle to get a divestment resolution passed and how the student government tried to silence and ignore them. And Tori Porell, a student at Northeastern University and president in exile for Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) chapter, describes how the university banned SJP and targeted Arab or Muslim students they thought were associated with the group. 

Direct download: RK_KG-Ep_12.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:50am EDT

Kevin Gosztola of Firedoglake.com and Rania Khalek of the "Dispatches from the Underclass" blog are joined for the interview segment by Molly Crabapple, an artist and writer who recently published, "Theater of Justice," for Vice, which described how trials she had attended to draw sketches were like performances. She discusses her work and how she chooses what to sketch next.

During the discussion portion of the show, Gosztola and Khalek talk about ABC News hiring former NYPD commissioner Ray Kelly, the White House launching a community channel on Buzzfeed, Mike Rogers leaving Congress to become Glenn Beck and how Obama rewrote the history of the Iraq War when denouncing Russia.


Direct download: RK_KG-Ep._11.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:03am EDT

Kevin Gosztola of Firedoglake.com and Rania Khalek of the "Dispatches from the Underclass" blog are joined for the interview segment by Aviva Stahl, a journalist and contributor to The Nation. Kayyali discusses her recent story on how the British government is stripping dual citizens of their citizenship. These individuals are subsequently being attacked or targeted by US drones or, in some cases, they are being subject to rendition. At least one man ended up in a US prison in Manhattan. 

During the discussion portion of the show, Gosztola and Khalek talk about former RT anchor Liz Wahl and the role that a neoconservative from Bill Kristol's think tank played in encouraging her to resign. They highlight the anniversary of the US invasion of Iraq and criticize the media for generally ignoring what the US did to the country and continues to do by supporting Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki's government and his brutal security forces. 

Direct download: RK-KG_Ep._10.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:52am EDT

Kevin Gosztola of Firedoglake.com and Rania Khalek of the "Dispatches from the Underclass" blog are joined for the interview segment by Nadia Kayyali, an activist for the Electronic Frontier Foundation. Kayyali discusses her role in the effort in Oakland to stop the proposed Domain Awareness Center (DAC), a surveillance hub. Activists and resident groups seem to have stopped it from metastasizing into the city. It will only monitor the area in and around the Port of Oakland. Yet, like any surveillance project, it could easily grow. 

During the discussion portion of the show, Gosztola and Khalek talk about the latest bombing of Gaza from Israel, the six US drone strikes in Yemen this month, corrupt prosecutors in the Justice Department, what happened when the US was confronted on its human rights record by a UN panel this past week and how the CIA doesn't want the fact that torture was official policy to be undisputed so it has fought the Senate. 




Direct download: RK_KG-Ep_9.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:01am EDT

Kevin Gosztola of Firedoglake.com and Rania Khalek of the "Dispatches from the Underclass" blog are joined for the interview segment by Dahr Jamail, a staff reporter for Truthout.org. Jamail discusses his latest reporting on what has happened with Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki's forces in Fallujah. He also outlines some of the residual effects of the US occupation that Iraq is still experiencing, including the fact that forces are responsible for rape, torture and executions.

During the discussion portion of the show, Gosztola and Khalek talk about RT anchors, who decided to protest, to varying degrees. They discuss what the US media conveniently ignored and make some larger points about RT and the US media. And then, the detention of CODEPINK co-founder Medea Benjamin in Cairo, where thuggish security officers broke her arms, is highlighted. 

Direct download: RK_KG-Ep_8.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:57pm EDT

Kevin Gosztola of Firedoglake.com and Rania Khalek of the "Dispatches from the Underclass" blog are joined for the interview segment by Eva Golinger, an American-Venezuelan lawyer and author of The Chavez Code. She puts the recent "crisis" in Venezuela into context by comparing it to the 2002 coup. She also highlights the role of private media in Venezuelan society, who are the leaders of the "opposition" and why the US government and American elites have considered the Bolivarian revolution a threat. 

During the discussion portion of the show, Gosztola and Khalek talk about a spat between Daily Beast reporter Eli Lake and national security journalist Joshua Foust. And, ahead of the Oscars, Gosztola calls attention to some of the films nominated that actually are worth seeing. 




Direct download: RK_KG-Ep.7.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:05am EDT

Kevin Gosztola of Firedoglake.com and Rania Khalek of the "Dispatches from the Underclass" blog are joined for the interview segment by Paula Swearingen, a mother in West Virginia an an organizer who shares details on the impact of a chemical spill. She opens up about the impact of coal on West Virginians and how the industry controls people's lives.

This was the show's pilot episode, recorded on January 18, 2014. 

Direct download: RK_KG-Pilot_1.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00pm EDT

Kevin Gosztola of Firedoglake.com and Rania Khalek of the "Dispatches from the Underclass" blog are joined for the interview segment by Raven Rakia, an independent journalist. She discusses the verdict in the Michael Dunn trial, respectability politics that black people are often expected to follow, colorblind prosecutors and racist violence that the justice system has a way of making legitimate.

During the discussion portion of the show, Gosztola and Khalek discuss a man being shot and killed by a Border Patrol agent after allegedly throwing a rock at the agent, the LAPD's new love affair with drones—in Israel, the decision in an NYPD spying lawsuit brought by Muslims and the decision in the David Miranda case that has profound implications for press freedom, especially in the United Kingdom, and gives security services permission to treat journalists like terrorists.



Direct download: RK_KG-Ep6.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:35am EDT

Kevin Gosztola of Firedoglake.com and Rania Khalek of the "Dispatches from the Underclass" blog are joined for the interview segment by Nima Shirazi, an analyst of US foreign policy toward the Middle East. Shirazi also an editor for Muftah.org and blogs at "Wide Asleep in America." Shirazi discusses the agreement over Iran's nuclear program, how AIPAC lost in its effort to win more sanctions against Iran and, in general, the charade the US and Israel has played to propagate myths about the country's nuclear program. 

During the discussion portion of the show, Gosztola and Khalek discuss the abduction of drone victim, journalist and activist Kareem Khan in Pakistan, Joint Special Operations Command's use of NSA metadata for drone killings and a Malaysian doctoral student's placement on the no-fly list and how the Obama administration abused state secrets and secrecy to get away with violating her rights. 

Direct download: RK_KGEp._5.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:32am EDT

Kevin Gosztola of Firedoglake.com and Rania Khalek, who publishes the "Dispatches from the Underclass" blog, interview Kade Crockford, a director for the Technology for Liberty Project of the ACLU of Massachusetts. We discuss what is known about how all levels of government in the United States use surveillance capabilities or tools to target activists as if they are terrorists.

Following the interview portion of the podcast, Khalek and I discuss Sodastream and Scarlett Johansson and a couple of very disturbing cases where cavity searches by police allegedly occurred. Then, I read from some transcripts of court proceedings in the 'NATO 3,' giving listeners a flavor for what it has been like to be in the courtroom doing coverage.

Direct download: RK_KG_Ep3.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:00am EDT