Glenn Greenwald
Politics • Writing • Culture
Dems—And Bernie Sanders—Nuke Oversight Measure for Billions to Ukraine, Biden Admin Appeals Anti-Censorship Ruling, & CNN Mocks “Facebook Files” Revelations
Video Transcript
July 31, 2023
post photo preview

Watch the full episode here:

placeholder

 

Good evening. It's Friday, July 28. Welcome to a new episode of System Update, our live nightly show that airs every Monday through Friday at 7 p.m. Eastern, exclusively here on Rumble, the free speech alternative to YouTube.

Tonight, as the war in Ukraine drags on with no end in sight, the spigot of cash that goes directly from the U.S. Treasury into the coffers of the Ukrainian government and the U.S. arms industry continues to flow as lavishly as ever. Given that this money is sloshing around some of the most corrupt and unaccountable institutions on the planet – the Pentagon, Western arms manufacturers, and the Ukrainian government – it is no surprise that very few people, if any, have any idea where these billions of dollars in weapons systems are actually going. For that reason, last year, Republican Senator Rand Paul, of Kentucky, attempted to impose some basic oversight and auditing provisions on where this money was going and how it was being used. Not only was that effort overwhelmingly defeated, but he was accused by Senate leaders of both parties, Chuck Schumer and Mitch McConnell, as well as by the Ukrainian government, of being a Kremlin asset. Obviously, there's no reason why you'd want to have oversight on the whereabouts of American money unless you're working for Russia. A year later, Senator Paul this time has allies in his attempt to impose some basic safeguards in the flow of this money, namely most of the Republican Senate caucus, many of whom are emphatic supporters of Biden's proxy war in Ukraine but believe that some oversight is now necessary on this money, as well as two Democratic senators, Jon Ossoff, of Georgia, and Jon Tester, of Montana. 

Nonetheless, a proposal to establish an inspector general's office to monitor the flow of money from Washington to Ukraine was just rejected by the Senate: 51 senators voted Yes, in favor of this oversight, while 48 voted No. Democrats invoked what they often referred to as the “Jim Crow filibuster” – at least that's what it's called when Republicans use it – 60 votes rather than 50 were required for passage, leaving the amendment nine votes short of passage. Not only did all but two Senate Democrats vote to sink this oversight provision, but the radical anti-establishment, working-class hero, independent from Vermont, Bernie Sanders, joined the Democrats in doing so. Failure of this amendment, which in this case was sponsored by Mississippi Republican Roger Wicker, along with three other Senate Republicans and Arizona independent Kyrsten Sinema means not only that the U.S. role in the proxy war in Ukraine will continue at that end, but so too will the oversight free flow of billions of dollars. 

We'll examine the key aspects of how Senate Democrats, along with Bernie Sanders, ensured that there will be no real oversight on the billions they continue to send to Ukraine. 

Then: the Biden Justice Department filed a brief this week with the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, urging it to reverse a decision from a federal district court judge that banned the Biden administration from continuing to pressure Big Tech to censor dissent off of the Internet. That was a decision we reported on at length. On the one hand, this move is unsurprising and, of course, the Justice Department is going to appeal when a lower court rules that the administration is guilty of one of the most grievous assaults on First Amendment free speech rights in years, but on the other, this appeal highlights a core truth of U.S. politics: censoring the Internet of all dissent is a core weapon of the D.C. establishment in the Democratic Party. By appealing, the Biden administration is willing to incur the risk of an even worse precedent, one that could ultimately be decided by the Supreme Court but they are willing to do so because this court ruling endangers one of the most cherished weapons of the U.S. security state in the liberal establishment in Washington, namely, the ability to coerce Big Tech into silencing their critics. 

Lastly, we devoted last night's episode to the release of new emails from the House Judiciary Committee, proving how aggressively and continuously the Biden administration and the White House pressured Facebook to censor any and all dissent from its COVID policies and narratives. Still, more emails were released today by Committee Chairman Jim Jordan and we’ll review the most important of those but the reaction of the corporate media to all of this was as predictable as it was repellent. Most of them simply ignored these revelations as they often do when things are incriminating to the Democratic Party, while the few who deign to discuss them did so by mindlessly adopting the White House talking points that absolutely nothing inappropriate was done and all of this is just a right-wing conspiracy. There's no real censorship being exerted by the administration. We’ll look specifically at the so-called “news analysis” from one of the most dishonest partisan operatives in all of the corporate media – CNN's Oliver Darcy – to highlight one of the most surreal facts of American political life, namely the leading activists and most vocal agitators for the U.S. censorship regime is the liberal employees of the nation's largest media corporations, who still use the title “journalists”, and their corporate H.R. departments, even as they agitate ever more explicitly for more and more censorship of all political dissent. 

As a reminder, System Update is also available in podcast form. You can follow us on Spotify, Apple and all major podcasting platforms where you can rate and review each episode. That helps spread the visibility of this program for now. 

Welcome to a new episode of System Update, starting right now.

Only for Supporters
To read the rest of this article and access other paid content, you must be a supporter
4
What else you may like…
Videos
Podcasts
Posts
Articles
Watch Tonight's Monologue

Due to a connection issue, our stream was cut short tonight.
You can find the entire episode below.

We apologize for this technical difficulty - thank you so much for your continued support.

00:43:24
Listen to this Article: Reflecting New U.S. Control of TikTok's Censorship, Our Report Criticizing Zelensky Was Deleted

For years, U.S. officials and their media allies accused Russia, China and Iran of tyranny for demanding censorship as a condition for Big Tech access. Now, the U.S. is doing the same to TikTok. Listen below.

Listen to this Article: Reflecting New U.S. Control of TikTok's Censorship, Our Report Criticizing Zelensky Was Deleted
WEEKLY WEIGH-IN: Let us know!

What’s happening in politics that you want to talk about? Are there any topics you think Glenn needs to cover? Any thoughts you’d like to share?

This post will be pinned to our profile for the remainder of this week, so comment below anytime with your questions, insights, future topic ideas/guest recommendations, etc. Let’s get a conversation going!

Glenn will respond to a few comments here—and may even address some on our next supporters-only After Show.

Thank you so much for your continued support of SYSTEM UPDATE with Glenn Greenwald! Have a great week!

🏆Dog-of-the-Week:

Dog-of-the-Week goes to KIERA. Our cute-as-can-be cohost got some rest while Glenn and Victor did the heavy lifting of answering our Weekly Weigh-In questions. But, she wasn’t the only one, Toby – seen in our second photo – also got to nap.

UPDATE: Alan Dershowitz vs. Glenn Greenwald at The Soho Forum
15 hours ago

I’m impressed with how well informed and how IFORMING some of the audience here is! Someone offered a list of reports from Al Jesera that includes a report on the current use of the floating aid port and how it’s being received from the perspective of Gaza and the international community. It’s really important to know about! Thanks to who did this!

post photo preview
As the Daily Wire Publicly Negotiated a Debate with Candace Owens, it Secretly Sought -- and Obtained -- a Gag Order Against Her
Due to a prior restraint order against Owens, the much-anticipated Israel debate with Ben Shapiro appears to be off.

On April 5, Candace Owens publicly invited her former Daily Wire colleague Ben Shapiro to a debate about "Israel and the current definition of antisemitism." It was Owens' criticisms of U.S. financing of Israel, and her criticisms of Israel's war in Gaza, that caused her departure from the Daily Wire two weeks earlier.

Both Shapiro and Daily Wire CEO Jeremy Boreing responded by saying they would like to arrange the debate requested by Owens. That night, Shapiro appeared to accept her offer, writing on X: "Sure, Candace. I texted you on February 29th offering this very thing." The Daily Wire co-founder added: "Let's do it on my show this Monday at 5pm at our studios in Nashville; 90 minutes, live-streamed."

After Owens objected to the format and timing, she and Boreing exchanged several tweets in which they appeared to be negotiating, and then agreeing to, the terms and format for the debate. Owens had suggested the debate be moderated by Joe Rogan or Lex Fridman. Shaprio said he wanted no moderator. They ultimately agreed to the terms, with Boreing offering a series of conditions, including a no-moderator debate, and with Owens publicly accepting

Two weeks later, many readers of both Shapiro and Owens noticed, and complained, that the debate had not yet happened. On April 24, Owens addressed those inquiries by explaining that the Daily Wire had yet to propose dates, while reiterating her strong desire to ensure the debate happened.

But the debate was never going to happen. That is because the Daily Wire -- in secret and unbeknownst to its readers -- sought a gag order to be placed on Owens after she had called for a debate. They did this under the cover of secrecy, before a private arbitrator, at exactly the same time that they were claiming in public that they wanted this debate and were even negotiating the terms with her. To this date, the Daily Wire has not informed its readers, seeking to understand why the much-anticipated debate had not yet happened, that they had sought and obtained a gag order against Owens.

When seeking a gag order to be imposed on Owens, the Daily Wire accused her of violating the non-disparagement clause of her agreement with the company. To substantiate this accusation, the company specifically cited Owens' initial tweet requesting a debate with Shapiro as proof of this disparagement, along with concerns she voiced that Shapiro appeared to be violating the confidentiality agreement between them by publicly maligning Owens's views to explain her departure from the company. While the company claimed before the arbitrator that it did not object in principle to a "healthy debate," it urged the imposition of a gag order on Owens by claiming that the way she requested the debate constituted disparagement of Shapiro and the site.

To justify the gag order it wanted, the company also cited various criticisms of the Daily Wire and Shapiro on X that Owens had "liked." This proceeding took place as part of an exchange of legal threats between the parties after the public agreement to debate about Israel was solidified. Those threats arose from the fact that various Daily Wire executives and hosts, in both public and private, were castigating Owens as an anti-Semite. On March 22, Daily Wire host Andrew Klaven published a one-hour video that hurled multiple accusations, including anti-Semitism, at Owens. The Daily Wire cited Owens' response to that video -- her defense of herself from those multiple accusations -- as further proof that she needed to be gagged.

The initial tweet from Owens not only requested a debate, but also included a video from the popular comedian Andrew Schulz, who had mocked the Daily Wire for firing Owens over disagreements regarding Israel, and specifically mocked Shapiro for his willingness to debate only undergraduate students. The tweet underneath Owens's original debate request included a summary of Schulz's mockery of Shapiro which stated: Schulz now "realizes Ben Shapiro is only good at debating college liberals & can’t win debates against serious competition." 

After the prior restraint hearing sought by the Daily Wire and Shapiro, the arbitrator sided with them and against Owens. The arbitrator agreed with the Daily Wire that Owens' call to debate Shapiro, and her follow-up negotiations of the debate, constituted "disparagement" of the company and Shapiro. The company argued that any further attempt by Owens to debate, as well her suggesting that the debate would expose the Daily Wire's real "priorities," constituted criticisms of the site and of Shapiro, criticisms that the arbitrator concluded Owens was barred from expressing under her contract with the company.

The arbitrator thus imposed a gag order of prior restraint on Owens. Among other things, the order banned Owens from saying or doing anything in the future which could tarnish or harm the reputation of the Daily Wire and/or Ben Shapiro. Given that the Daily Wire had argued, and the arbitrator agreed, that Owens' offers to debate Shapiro about Israel and anti-semitism were themselves "disparaging," the Daily Wire has ensured that the debate with Owens that they publicly claimed to want could not, in fact, take place. Any such debate would be in conflict with the gag order they obtained on Owens from expressing any criticisms of the site or of Shapiro.

When asked for comment to be included this story, Owens replied: I "wish I could comment on this but I can’t." She added: "can neither confirm nor deny."

Boreing said: "your story is inaccurate to the point of being false," though he did not specify a single inaccuracy, nor did he deny that the Daily Wire had sought and obtained a gag order on Owens at the same time they were publicly posturing as wanting a debate with her. The confirmation we obtained of all these facts is indisputable. Boreing added: "I’m sure you can appreciate how fraught a high profile break-up like this is. For that reason, we are trying to resolve our issues with Candace privately."

It certainly seems true that the Daily Wire is attempting to achieve all of this "privately." Nonetheless, Ben Shapiro has constructed his very lucrative media brand and persona based on his supposed superiority in debating, a reputation cultivated largely as a result of numerous appearances at undergraduate schools around the country where he intrepidly engages with students who are often in their teens or early twenties. Both Shapiro and the Daily Wire have also predicated their collective media brand on an eagerness to engage in free and open debate with anyone, and to vehemently oppose any efforts to silence people, especially those in media, from expressing their political views.

It was the imperatives of this media branding that presumably led the Daily Wire and Shapiro to publicly agree to a debate with Owens over Israel and anti-semitism in the first place. Indeed, when it became apparent early after the start of Israel's war in Gaza that Owens had major differences with Shapiro, Boering responded to calls from Israel supporters for Owens to be fired by proclaiming in November: 

[E]ven if we could, we would not fire Candace because of another thing we have in common - a desire not to regulate the speech of our hosts, even when we disagree with them. Candace is paid to give her opinion, not mine or Ben’s. Unless those opinions run afoul of the law or she violates the terms of her contract in some way, her job is secure and she is welcome at Daily Wire.

But a mere four months later, Owens, despite being of one of the company's most popular hosts, was out. The company had concluded that her increasingly vocal criticisms of Israel, opposition to U.S. financing of it, and her views on anti-semitism were incompatible with the Daily Wire's policies.

All of those issues would likely have been the subject of the public debate that Owens sought, and that the Daily Wire claimed to want. Instead, the Daily Wire has succeeded in obtaining a gag order that, on its face, prevents Owens, in advance, from questioning or criticizing both the Daily Wire or Shapiro in any way.

 

 

Read full Article
post photo preview
THE WEEKLY UPDATE: MAY 13-17
Weekly Newsletter

We are pleased to send you a summary of the key stories we covered last week on SYSTEM UPDATE. 

—Glenn Greenwald

Only for Supporters
To read the rest of this article and access other paid content, you must be a supporter
Read full Article
post photo preview
SYSTEM UPDATE RECAP: May 13-17
Weekly Recap

Welcome to the SYSTEM UPDATE recap: your weekend digest featuring everything we’ve covered throughout the previous week. 

 

Prefer to listen to your daily news analysis? Reminder that FULL episodes of SYSTEM UPDATE are available anywhere you listen to podcasts🎙️


MONDAY, MAY 13 - EPISODE 269

Jen Psaki's Lies Expose the Fraud of "Disinformation"; Israelis Endanger Americans and Block Humanitarian Aid

Full transcript available for paid supporters: HERE

 

WATCH THE EPISODE

Intro (7:26)

Queen of Disinformation (14:11)

Israelis Block Gaza Aid (47:32)

Outro (1:12:12)

 

TUESDAY, MAY 14 - EPISODE 270

House Prioritizes Israel Over Funding U.S. Government; Seinfeld Commencement Debacle Fuels Antisemitism Panic; PLUS: China and Hungary's Close Ties Explained

Full transcript available for paid supporters: HERE

 

WATCH THE EPISODE

Intro (10:29)

House Prioritized Israel Over U.S. (16:19)

Media Meltdown (48:28)

Hungary and China Strengthen Ties (57:50)

Outro (1:17:07)

 

Supporters-Only After Show for Tuesday, May 14

We moved to Locals for our supporters-only, interactive after show where Glenn shared his thoughts on some audience questions and comments:

6-xv006CMAnh-Zmdbdg27j2YkFpj0z9bpEqx_P_eawzPqz_E5BtmMp9yr1Bvx8j-mmSNmJMagWINrE9azube7dv48M1XCbq32ct8JbIjl_w29_ai70U2t4I8Ff4GXZxZzNLyPUoIaJo-hBa0RWybDjo

Available for paid supporters here

Want to join us every Tuesday and Thursday for this supporter-exclusive, live after show? Become a paid supporter here!

 

WEDNESDAY, MAY 15 - EPISODE 271

INTERVIEW: Professor Jeffrey Sachs on Ukraine's Failures, Israel's War in Gaza, China, and More

Full transcript available for paid supporters: HERE

 

WATCH THE EPISODE

Intro (6:31)

Interview with Professor Jeffrey Sachs [13:12 - 1:10:23]

  • Ukraine (13:12 - 48:33)
  • Israel (48:34 - 58:40)
  • Columbia Student Protests (58:45 - 1:03:23)
  • China (1:03:24 - 1:10:23)

Outro (1:10:24)

Read full Article
See More
Available on mobile and TV devices
google store google store app store app store
google store google store app tv store app tv store amazon store amazon store roku store roku store
Powered by Locals