"Unauthorized Disclosure" is a weekly podcast with a focus on those willing to speak truth and confront power without asking permission. The hosts champion adversarial journalism and each week a new guest, often rarely heard or unheard voices, come on the show for an interview. A discussion portion…
In this free edition of the "Unauthorized Disclosure" weekly podcast, Rania Khalek and Kevin Gosztola talk with Grayzone assistant editor Ben Norton about the United States' hybrid war against Nicaragua that is entering a new phase as the elections in November approach.
In this free version of Unauthorized Disclosure, hosts Rania Khalek and Kevin Gosztola discuss Facebook's secret blacklist, as revealed by Sam Biddle of the Intercept. They also talk about a Facebook whistleblower (not the one who orchestrated a public relations campaign).
The episode first released to subscribers. This is a cut and edited version. Subscribe for full and uncut episodes of the Unauthorized Disclosure podcast. David McBride is a former military lawyer in the Royal Australia Regiment and Australia Special Forces. He completed two tours in Afghanistan and submitted an internal complaint against what he witnessed in the war. He immediately faced scrutiny and harassment. A few years later, David found journalists with the Australia Broadcasting Corporation who were willing to listen to him. They were interested in classified documents that showed the reality of Australia's involvement in the war. What David had to reveal was published as “The Afghan Files.” It was a “quite a big story in Australia,” according to him. But the Australia government responded by raiding the ABC and targeting David with a prosecution for an espionage offense. In this episode from the “Unauthorized Disclosure” podcast, which Kevin Gosztola typically co-hosts with Rania Khalek, Kevin speaks with David about his deployments to Afghanistan. He shares his view on how the last several weeks, as the United States withdrew forces and then mounted an unprecedented evacuation effort with a mostly cooperative Taliban. *For more on whistleblower stories, subscribe to The Dissenter: https://thedissenter.org/#/portal/signup
Human rights attorney Steven Donziger joins the "Unauthorized Disclosure" weekly podcast to talk with Rania Khalek and Kevin Gosztola about the push for a new trial in the corrupt Chevron-backed case against him. Steven was involved in a lawsuit that won (and was supposed to award) the indigenous people of Ecuador, who were victims of oil pollution, millions of dollars. Chevron turned around and targeted Steven, and this lawfare has been unfolding for over a decade. He'll mark two years on house arrest on August 6 with rallies demanding his freedom and end to this corporate co-optation of the U.S. judicial system.
*Please enjoy this free version of the "Unauthorized Disclosure" podcast.* Joining the "Unauthorized Disclosure" podcast this week is Ann Wright and Matthew Hoh. Ann is a retired U.S. Army colonel and State Department diplomat who was part of the small team that reopened the U.S. embassy in Kabul, Afghanistan in December 2001. She eventually resigned in protest against the Iraq War. Matthew served in the Marine Corps in the Iraq War and later worked for the State Department. He resigned from the State Department in protest against the Afghanistan War in 2009. Hosts Rania Khalek and Kevin Gosztola discuss in great detail what led up to the U.S. military's withdrawal from Afghanistan. Ann and Matthew respond to the panic around the Taliban and what will happen now that U.S. military forces are leaving. They speak about the sadness of what Afghans have endured and what is likely to come for them in the years ahead. They also contemplate what the war will look like now without U.S. military forces on the ground in the Afghanistan. Subscribe at Rokfin.com/UnauthorizedDis or become a patron at Patreon.com/UnauthorizedDisclosure
Matt Kennard, journalist and head of investigations for Declassified UK, returns to the podcast to discuss some of his recent reporting on the British security state. He also responds to latest developments in the extradition case against WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange. He discusses how his media organization was blacklisted by the Ministry of Defense and highlights a report published at Declassified UK on the British anti-crime agency that trained Colombia's repressive police. Matt also talks about documents Declassified UK obtained that show the British government "sought, in 2000, to integrate [Vladimir] Putin's Russia into the Western-ruled economic system." ***To support the show, go to Rokfin.com/UnauthorizedDis or Patreon.com/UnauthorizedDisclosure and become a subscriber. You'll help keep this show going and gain early access to episodes as well as access to exclusive content.***
Sara Flounders, a longtime activist and co-director of the International Action Center, joins the "Unauthorized Disclosure" weekly podcast to discuss the campaign to free Venezuelan diplomat Alex Saab. He was jailed in Cabo Verde while trying to obtain food and gasoline for Venezuelans from Iran. He faces extradition as part of lawfare by the U.S. to enforce crippling sanctions against Venezuela. Sara recently visited Cabo Verde with a delegation. She describes solidarity efforts that are underway, as well as some of the wider organizing she has done to show sanctions are not a peaceful alternative to war. She also outlines how the US is able to count on Cabo Verde to act as a client state and submit to their demands to violate human rights and international law.
In this free clip from a premium episode of the "Unauthorized Disclosure" weekly podcast, hosts Rania Khalek and Kevin Gosztola comment on the petty smear campaigning of the Young Turks of the past few weeks and what their attacks on journalist Aaron Mate for his coverage of Syria say about progressive media.
We hope you appreciate this free episode of the "Unauthorized Disclosure" podcast with Max Ajl, a postdoctoral fellow with the Rural Sociology Group at Wageningen University and author of the book, "A People's Green New Deal." During our interview, Max outlines what a People's Green New Deal would look like and why we need a People's Green New Deal instead of the Green New Deal that is favored by most progressive Democrats. Ajl addresses the flawed rosy proclamations from business leaders around technology being able to save us from climate catastrophe and the ways the capitalist class is co-opting energy around calls to action. ***Access premium content from the "Unauthorized Disclosure" podcast by becoming a subscriber at Rokfin.com/UnauthorizedDis***
In this free version of the weekly "Unauthorized Disclosure" podcast, Jordan Chariton, a journalist and co-founder of Status Coup, joins the "Unauthorized Disclosure" podcast to discuss YouTube's censorship regime, the importance of independent media solidarity, and navigating a media landscape dominated by establishment media gatekeepers.
Asa Winstanley, a journalist and podcaster with the Electronic Intifada, joins hosts Rania Khalek and Kevin Gosztola to discuss the latest cycle of Israeli government violence against Palestinians. Plus, later in the show, Asa highlights a report he produced on the British secret police and their infiltration of activist groups. To subscribe to this podcast, go to Rokfin.com/UnauthorizedDis
CODEPINK co-founder Medea Benjamin joins Rania Khalek and Kevin Gosztola to go through President Joe Biden's foreign policy agenda during his administration's first 100 days. Her organization put together a poll for people to grade the Biden administration. Medea gives the Biden White House a "D," which is barely a passing grade. Biden has pulled back from some of the extremism of his predecessor, President Donald Trump. The United States re-entered the Paris climate agreement, the new START treaty was renewed with Russia, the Muslim ban was lifted, and there are plans for a withdrawal of US troops from Afghanistan (though she notes Trump negotiated a withdrawal). But Biden has also failed terribly and instead promoted militarism and prolonged inhumane policies. As Medea highlights, crippling sanctions remain in force against Cuba, Iran, Nicaragua, North Korea, Syria, and Venezuela. The U.S. military continues to support the Saudi war on Yemen, and the administration has delayed returning to the Iran nuclear deal. Later in the episode, Medea discusses how it is harder to organize for peace under a Democratic administration and highlights some of the campaign work that CODEPINK is engaged in while Biden is in the White House.
"We know they're not a revolutionary party, but they're not even reformers. The Democrats are not even fighting for strong social reforms at this moment. They're managers," says Ryan Knight, a socialist, activist, and host of the "Amped Up" podcast. "They're trying to kind of manage this decrepit capitalist and imperialist system, despite the massive levels of suffering that it's inflicting in our country and throughout the world." Ryan joins Rania Khalek and Kevin Gosztola for this week's episode of the "Unauthorized Disclosure" podcast. He outlines the chief dilemma with progressives like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who fear confrontation with President Joe Biden's administration and establishment Democrats that control the party. [*NOTE: This is a free version of the episode. The episode posted at our Rokfin channel - rokfin.com/UnauthorizedDis - contains our entire discussion.]
Ollie Vargas, a reporter with Kawsachun News in Bolivia, and Leonardo Flores, the Latin America coordinator for CODEPINK, joins the "Unauthorized Disclosure" podcast to discuss the runoff election in Ecuador. Flores was in Ecuador as an election observer. Guillermo Lasso, a conservative banker supported by the United States and the International Monetary Fund (IMF), beat Andrés Arauz, the left-leaning candidate. It was a bleak development for the left, as this means President Lenin Moreno's destructive neoliberal policies will continue to wreak havoc on the Ecuador economy. Ollie describes each of the two candidates, who were in the runoff, and addresses the outcome. Leonardo highlights a poll from a right-wing firm called Cedatos that had some impact on the integrity of the election. Later in the episode, the two guests discuss the media in Ecuador, which played a role in demonizing Arauz. They describe some of the obstacles the left in Ecuador failed to overcome and confront some of the new personnel in President Joe Biden's administration, who will count on Lasso to serve US interests.
Kshama Sawant, a member of the Seattle City Council and Socialist Alternative, joins the "Unauthorized Disclosure" podcast to discuss the unprecedented recall effort against her. The state supreme court in Washington gave a green light to the Recall Swant campaign on April 1. It explicitly targets Kshama for promoting a tax on corporations like Amazon in order to help the city fund housing for lower income residents. Kshama is also unfairly singled out for attending a protest against Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan at her home, which was part of a push in June to defund the Seattle Police Department. The grassroots mobilization took place in the weeks following the murder of George Floyd by Minneapolis police. The news of Amazon's so-called victory in thwarting a union at a plant in Bessemer, Alabama, came right before we recorded our interview. Kshama reacts to the news and highlights the ways they corrupted the election.
Hosts Rania Khalek and Kevin Gosztola wake up early and discuss rich countries hoarding the COVID-19 vaccine, liberals who are uncomfortable with calling out New York Governor Andrew Cuomo's corruption, and a drone whistleblower who pled guilty to violating the Espionage Act. *For the full episode, subscribe on Rokfin at https://rokfin.com/unauthorizeddis
Rania Khalek and Kevin Gosztola are joined by Ehsani, who has spent his career in the financial industry and economics. He prefers to go by his Twitter handle. During this episode, Ehsani provides a deep dive into the roots of an intense financial crisis and outlines why the banking industry is largely insolvent. Much of it revolves around a fixed currency rate and the way in which banks acted as brokers for those willing to deposit their funds in the form of U.S. dollars. Rania and Ehsani offer a brief political history of the players involved, and Kevin asks Ehsani to address the role of international institutions like the World Bank or IMF in stifling Lebanon's ability to deal with the crisis. Finally, Ehsani shares his view on the economic outlook for Lebanon in 2022 and beyond. If you were looking for a message of hope, you came to the wrong podcast. This is the bleak reality for hundreds of thousands of Lebanese people driven into poverty by a scheme that enriched elites at the expense of the country.
Journalist Alex Rubinstein, a contributor to The Grayzone as well as MintPress News, joins Rania Khalek and Kevin Gosztola to discuss the "woke imperialism" of President Joe Biden's administration. He published a report this week that examined how the administration is weaponizing diversity at the Pentagon, CIA, State Department, and other agencies. It wokewashes the endless wars of the US government and helps the empire rebrand itself. During the episode, Alex highlights a couple slick promotional videos from the Pentagon and NATO that are examples of this deployment of intersectionality. Rania and Alex also have an in-depth conversation about the YPG, a Kurdish militia in Syria, and how they have wielded identity to build support for war.
Jen Perelman, the co-host of the podcast JENerational Change and a former congressional candidate in Florida, joins Rania Khalek and Kevin Gosztola for the latest episode of "Unauthorized Disclosure." During the show, Jen discusses the state of Florida's response to the COVID-19 crisis and her views on plans for re-opening cities throughout the United States. Jen reacts to the mediocre COVID-19 relief bill and the level of inaction that is part of the fabric of government institutions, which clearly serve wealthy and powerful elites. Later, Kevin plays a game with Jen and Rania. They also talk about the democratic socialists taking over the Nevada Democratic Party.
Journalist Todd Miller returns to the "Unauthorized Disclosure" podcast to discuss a report he co-authored on support President Joe Biden received from the border industrial-complex during his 2020 campaign. The money he raised surpassed former President Donald Trump. In the report, "Biden’s Border - Immigration Politics, the Democrats and the 2020 elections," Todd lists off the corporations that stand to benefit from Biden's endorsement of a "virtual wall." Todd helps Rania Khalek and Kevin Gosztola challenge the inordinate focus on Republicans and their anti-immigrant vitriol. It all too often leaves out the bipartisan nature of the deportation machine. In fact, as Todd highlights, more immigrants were deported under President Barack Obama than Trump. Few journalists have the expertise of Todd. He authored the books, Empire of Borders: The Expansion of the US Border Around the World and Storming the Wall: Climate Change, Migration, and Homeland Security. He focuses on how US border policy is exported to countries around the globe, and he has a forthcoming book, Build Bridges, Not Walls: A Journey to a World Without Borders, that can be ordered at City Lights.
Eugene Puryear, host of Break Through News' "The Punch Out," joins Rania Khalek and Kevin Gosztola to discuss the United States military strikes in Syria that were launched by President Joe Biden's administration. They respond to the praise for Biden and how the establishment media helped the Pentagon present it as a "measured" act. Given the news that Democrats will allow the Senate Parliamentarian to disqualify the raising of the minimum wage from the coronavirus stimulus bill, Eugene outlines the politics of the decision to not fight for working people. Later in the episode, Eugene highlights a new development involving an NYPD officer's letter that was written on his death bed, which backs up some of what has been said about the assassination of Malcolm X.
In this premium episode, hosts Rania Khalek and Kevin Gosztola highlight what has unfolded in prisons and jails in the failed state of Texas, as a result of a winter storm. Rania and Kevin respond to two clips: one of Yaku Perez, pseudo-left opposition candidate in Ecuador, and one from MSNBC's "Morning Joe," where they suggested President Joe Biden should abandon an agreement to withdraw US troops from Afghanistan. Finally, they wrap up the show with some discussion of Rush Limbaugh's death and a recommendation to watch "Judas and the Black Messiah," a film about Black Panther Party organizer Fred Hampton and how the FBI assassinated him. Enjoy this preview clip, and if you like what you hear enough to become a subscriber, find us on Rokfin at Unauth-Disclosure or Patreon at patreon.com/unauthorizeddisclosure
For this week's episode, Rania Khalek and Kevin Gosztola welcome Briahna Joy Gray, who is a co-host of the Bad Faith podcast and a former press secretary for Bernie Sanders. Briahna talks with Rania and Kevin about the aftermath of #ForceTheVote and her attempt to have a good faith debate with The Majority Report's Sam Seder. We ask her about the unwillingness of progressive Democrats to challenge the Democratic Party establishment, especially when it comes to third party campaigns outside of the Democratic Party. Later in the episode, Rania and Kevin discuss the unwillingness among many left-leaning pundits to reach out to working class people who are likely open to progressive, or even socialist ideas. We also raise the issue of political voids created by many of these same commentators who will not speak on matters that wind up becoming conservative or right-wing libertarian issues when they dismiss them as unimportant.
In this episode of "Unauthorized Disclosure" for subscribers, Rania Khalek and Kevin Gosztola play clips from the Senate confirmation hearing for Secretary of State nominee Antony Blinken. They highlight his support for military interventions and regime change policies in countries like Libya, Venezuela, and Ukraine. ***This is a preview clip. Become a subscriber at Rokfin.com to unlock access to the full episode.***
Journalist Yasha Levine, the author of "Surveillance Valley: The Secret Military History of the Internet," joins the "Unauthorized Disclosure" podcast to discuss the final days of President Donald Trump's administration and what we can expect from monopolistic tech companies under President Joe Biden. Yasha comments on the removal of Trump from Twitter and describes why he believes Section 230 should be abolished. Throughout the episode, Yasha grapples with the limits of social media when it comes to politics and organizing communities.
Journalist Roberto Lovato joins the "Unauthorized Disclosure" podcast to discuss his memoir, Unforgetting: A Memoir of Family, Migration, Gangs, and Revolution in the Americas. He also shares his view on what a Biden administration will mean for the communities documented in his book. As Roberto puts it, from San Francisco to El Salvador his memoir along a 2,500-mile chain of dead, forgotten, and devalued life. He travels in search of a better understanding of his personal past but also seeks a greater comprehension of the roots of violence. Roberto outlines what happened with a gang truce between the MS-13 and 18th Street gangs that did not last and was not supported by the United States. He comments on what he found in his search for why kids join these gangs. Also, amid a discussion of his book, Rania and Kevin talk with Roberto about Alejandro Mayorkas, who was part of the Obama administration and will likely be running the Homeland Security Department under Biden. Mayorkas was involved in carrying out mass deportations during the Central American refugee crisis at the tail end of Obama's presidency, and as an official he had to co-sign several horrible anti-immigrant policies that Trump enthusiastically embraced.
Comedian Jamie Kilstein returns to the "Unauthorized Disclosure" podcast to talk about his new comedy album, "25 Percent Capacity," which was recorded during the COVID-19 pandemic. He talks about muddling through the political landscape and writing personal and political material for the album. Kilstein moved from California to Arizona this year, and during our discussion, hosts Rania Khalek and Kevin Gosztola discuss what the left gets wrong about COVID. And what is the left? Rania tries to nail down our definition of this amorphous group of people to make it clear just who we're all really frustrated with. Kevin talks with Jamie about what was lost already, and Jamie shares a story about a venue that shut down in Austin, Texas, where he performed.
Kerry-Anne Mendoza, the editor-in-chief of The Canary in the United Kingdom, was targeted on Twitter and suspended. Her account has since been restored, but it was part of a larger campaign against left-wing voices in the UK. She joins Rania Khalek and Kevin Gosztola to discuss this censorship. Throughout the show, Kerry-Anne contextualizes her experiences on Twitter by recapping what happened to Jeremy Corbyn, who came very close to becoming British prime minister. She describes the blacklisting of Jewish voices affiliated with the Labour Party because they support Palestinian rights and breaks down this weaponization of alleged anti-Semitism to suppress the left.
Danny Haiphong, contributor to Black Agenda Report and host of the Left Lens podcast, joins Rania Khalek and Kevin Gosztola for this edition of the "Unauthorized Disclosure" podcast. They discuss what the Biden-Harris administration's foreign policy will look like, what kind of corporate consultants and hawks with ties to military contractors are advising him during the transition, and whether progressives have any hope of pulling Biden left on matters of war.
Grayzone editor-in-chief Max Blumenthal joins the "Unauthorized Disclosure" podcast to share his reporting from Bolivia. He was there as an election observer weeks ago, when the coup regime was defeated at the polls. Max offers his assessment of the outcome of the United States elections between President Donald Trump and Joe Biden, who eked out a victory against an incumbent. He describes what he saw in Miami, where Trump support dashed any chance Biden had of winning Florida. A documentary by the Grayzone on the Bolivian military junta was censored. Max describes how it was labeled "inappropriate or offensive." Later in the show, Max highlights he published, which exposed the censorship campaign that was waged against Michael Moore's documentary "Planet of the Humans." (Filmmaker Josh Fox was involved, as listeners may recall, we had Josh on our show right when he launched this campaign.)
The panic over fake news has reached another peak, especially in the run-up to Election Day on November 3. Media scholar Nolan Higdon, who recently authored The Anatomy Of Fake News, joins Rania Khalek and Kevin Gosztola to discuss the problem of fake news. Nolan has an expansive definition that implicates much of the establishment media. It singles out political propagandists, and it highlights state-funded outfits in and outside of the United States, recognizing there is an information war. In our conversation, Nolan addresses some of the history of fake news and how the government typically responds to fake news when it is a perceived problem. He describes whether the problem of fake news is worse than ever before. Nolan suggests ways in which the public can detect fake news in the mass media. Later in the discussion, we have a conversation about journalist Glenn Greenwald's resignation from The Intercept. And as a kind of case study, Nolan assesses what happened with the New York Post and their stories on the emails from Hunter Biden's laptop.
Hosts Rania Khalek and Kevin Gosztola talk with Ollie Vargas, a reporter for Radio Kawsachun Coca who was in Bolivia to report on the election. On October 18, Luis Arce of the Movement Toward Socialism Party won 55 percent of the vote against six candidates, avoided a runoff, and claimed victory over leaders of a coup that was backed by the United States. This means Bolivians can begin to reclaim their country from right-wing extremists. They can end the violence that has run rampant against activists opposed to the regime, and eventually President Evo Morales will be able to return to the country. In our interview, Ollie describes how the US-backed regime tried to shut down his outlet in Bolivia. He offers his reaction the election outcome and what lies ahead for Bolivians. Ollie also addresses the neoliberal constraints that could still be imposed via an IMF loan that the coup government took out in April. He recounts how state projects aimed at ensuring Bolivia controlled its own resources (e.g. lithium) were suspended and contracts dissolved, which helped create conditions for a recession. It was uncertain whether the regime would allow an election to take place, since they were going to lose. As Ollie makes clear, only by mobilizing the people were Bolivians able to take back their country.
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 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 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.
For this week's show, journalist , 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.
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.
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.
Ricardo Vaz, an editor and writer for , 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.
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 , "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.
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 and subscribe.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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 . 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.
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.
*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. 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.
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.
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 , "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.”
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.