Glenn Greenwald
Politics • Writing • Culture
Rep. Dan Goldman Spews Hunter Biden Lies to Jake Tapper, Bill Kristol Sponsors Pro-Ukraine War Propaganda, & Sohrab Ahmari on Right-Wing Populism
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August 21, 2023
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Good evening. It's Friday, August 18. 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: when it comes to the censorship regime, the primary concept on which it all is based is that we are blessed to have major institutions of power that can be trusted to discern what is true and what is false, and we can therefore trust them to censor in order to keep us safe from other people’s disinformation – meaning that which they have decreed to be false. Among these benevolent institutions that have only our best interests at heart and are steadfastly devoted to ridding our society of the scourge of disinformation, are the nation's largest media corporations, the US Security State, Big Tech, and the leadership of the Democratic Party. These are the power centers that have united to set the bounds of what is and is not permissible speech, and, as polling data demonstrates, they have persuaded a large majority of Americans, particularly American liberals, to support their efforts to keep the Internet safe from false claims through their benevolent censorship power. 

One of the problems with this inspiring tale is that absolutely nobody lies more frequently, more glaringly and more deliberately than those very institutions. One major focus of this program System Update – and my journalism generally – is to identify and deconstruct the lies and disinformation campaigns that they routinely disseminate. Doing so is necessary precisely because they deceive so many people with that nonstop tsunami of falsehoods, but also because it is vital to understand what the real functions of these institutions are. When they lie, it is not because they have deviated from their mission or committed some sort of error. The opposite is true. They do that because they are fulfilling their mission. The reason that those who lie most withinside corporate media or the US security state are the ones who are most rewarded within those institutions is because their institutional mission, their institutional mandate, is to propagandize, deceive and thus control the thoughts and then the actions of the American population. 

Their lies are provable and clear, though sometimes they do require some time to demonstrate because oftentimes one must wait for the relevant evidence to emerge from the dark where they've hidden it in secret, as happened with the Pentagon Papers, the WikiLeaks publications, the Snowden reporting, the Twitter Files and so many other instances where we had a sense that they were lying but couldn't yet prove it journalistically because they sufficiently hid the evidence, often making it a crime for the evidence of their lying to be disclosed. That is what classified information, or the classified law, is for. Rarely, though, is their lie so blatant and immediate that one can show it the minute it comes out of their mouths. That, however, is what happened this week when the new rising star of the Democratic Party, Congressman Daniel  Goldman, the billionaire heir to the Levi Strauss fortune, who is from Manhattan, who was part of the Mueller team and who got elected because his family is good friends with the Sulzberger, the other billionaire heirs who control The New York Times – and he happens to have run for Congress in the one place The New York Times endorsement still matters, which is Manhattan, and that's how he won – went on CNN this week and was interviewed by Jake Tapper. The lie that Daniel Goldman told was so obvious, is so easily provable and so undeniable that even though it's not necessarily the greatest and gravest, the most consequential lie ever, we want to begin the show by showing it to you so that you can see just how glaringly and casually they lie. And because I know for certain that nobody at CNN will ever correct or retract this lie, no matter how dispositive the proof is, no matter how many times they see it, and I know they will, yet again, illustrating that their real function and the utter fraud of their claims about who they are and what they do will become so evident. They don't lie by accident; they lie on purpose. They don't lie in isolation; they lie systematically. 

Then, a new and genuinely excellent book was released this week that illustrates the crucial ideological conflicts taking place within the Republican Party and our political system generally. It illustrates a lot of the debates taking place, the vibrant debates within Western politics generally, and it also powerfully documents the way in which corporate power is being aggressively centralized and then weaponized to both impose a very menacing form of tyranny, as well as to abuse and repress America's working class. It's written by Sohrab Amari, who is a former editor with The Wall Street Journal and who ran the op-ed page for The New York Post. And now he's the founding editor of Compact Magazine, which is designed to explore what I think is the ample common ground between political populists of all types. The book is entitled “Tyranny Inc – How Private Power Crushed American Liberty – What to Do About It.” 

The way in which corporatism, along with militarism, is becoming the defining ideology of the American ruling class, it's been that way for decades, but it's gotten so much worse in the past several years in the process, crushing both core political liberties and the American working class is easily one of the most important developments of the last couple of decades. I was excited to blurb the book when I read it, when it was first in its draft stage, and now I'm really looking forward to talking with Sohrab, whom I consider one of the most interesting and independent-minded voices around about this book and his worldview in general. 

And then finally, time permitting, we will look at a new fraudulent political activism group started by supreme neocon Bill Kristol that he is calling Republicans for Ukraine, even though Bill Kristol is not a Republican any longer. He is for good reason, a person who overwhelmingly identifies with the Democratic Party and who continues to engage in all kinds of activism for Joe Biden's reelection and the reelection of Democrats all over the world. But he still uses this branding of him being a conservative because that's what enables him to propagandize. So, “I'm a conservative, and yet I agree with liberals,” that's how he shows how powerful their view is. The purpose of this new group, which has $2 million in funding already, is to run television ads during next week's Fox News Republican primary debate, which is aimed at Republicans, who, the polls now show, are turning against Joe Biden's support for endless war in Ukraine. It's designed to make a Republican argument. It's very patronizing how it does it. With these ads, Bill Kristol thinks they will get Republicans to come back on board supporting his latest war. We will examine the question of who gave Kristol this $2 million and why they're doing that and why Democrats continue to find themselves in bed with the very same neocons who just ten years ago were regularly calling fascist and racist and bloodthirsty Nazis. 

As a programming note, next week, as I indicated, the Republican primary debate, the first of the election cycle, will be held in Milwaukee, next Wednesday. Fox News is the television outlet that has the exclusive rights to air that debate. It will be hosted by two Fox hosts, Bret Baier and Martha MacCallum, but Rumble has the exclusive rights to stream the debate online. That is, I think, a watershed moment for independent media and independent journalism. The fact that the Republican Party did not turn to Google or Facebook or Twitter to exclusively stream the first presidential debate but, instead, it gave it to Rumble. As part of Rumble’s coverage of that debate, we will be going to Milwaukee to cover the debate, live, both before and after. We hope to be interviewing many of the people present, the presidential candidates and others. So, look for our programming next week. It may likely mean that we will be on the air at different times or more times than we normally are. So, we hope that you will tune in for that. And that's a good segway to the fact that we are encouraging our audience to download the Rumble app, which works either on phones or smart TVs, because that way, if you enable notifications, which we hope you will, the app will notify you the minute we start broadcasting, live, on Rumble at any time. That means if we do it at a time that's out of the ordinary or if we're a little late, you don't have to wait around. It'll be directly sent to however you ask it to be sent. 

As a reminder, System Update is available in podcast form. You can follow the episodes 12 hours after their first broadcast live, here on Rumble, on Spotify, Apple and every other major podcasting platform. If you rate and review the show, it helps spread the visibility of the program.

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

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CLIP: Glenn Greenwald Debates Alan Dershowitz on Iran

Glenn warns against waging wars during last week’s debate against Alan Dershowitz on whether the U.S. should strike Iran’s nuclear facilities.

Glenn argues: “We don't go around the world attacking other countries or trying to remove their government because we want to give those people freedom and democracy. We only [attack] when we see a government that doesn't do our bidding."

We are grateful to The Soho Forum and Reason for hosting the spirited debate. You can listen to the full debate here:

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You can find the entire episode below.

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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: We Want to Hear From YOU!

What’s happening in politics that you want to talk about? Are there any burning 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 through another week of SYSTEM UPDATE with Glenn Greenwald!


Dog-of-the-Week goes to SYLVESTER! Our beloved canine cohost ensured Glenn and Victor had moral support as they conducted the After-Show.

Are you able to do a segment on Evan Gershkovich? What the accurate vs. inaccurate accounts are and how it relates to US/Russian relations?

The duplicity of the congressmen and senators is staggering and sickening. They spew the same old talking points to disguise their actions in either faith or wisdom, even though it is neither. Whether blasphemous idolatry towards Israel, supporting the Ukraine Proxy War or even war with China over Taiwan, it is all both nauseating and a telling sign of being bought and paid for. I have yet to see anyone tell me in scripture where anything is said to worship anything other than God, yet these people all do or claim to.

If Ron Paul, Col. MacGregor and Judge Napolitano know about what is going on in Ukraine and Israel, all of Congress does as well. They know yet view AIPAC or MIC support as more important. They all need to be fired.

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GOP War Hawks, Corporatists Revolt Against JD Vance; Demanding Low-Wage Workers Be Fired for Online Postings
Video Transcript

Watch the full episode HERE

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Good evening. It's Wednesday, July 17. 

Tonight, JD Vance, the 39-year-old first-term Republican senator from Ohio and the Republican vice-presidential nominee, will take the stage at the Republican National Convention to deliver what will certainly be his most watched and most important speech in his short political career. The symbolism is obvious: by choosing the first-ever radical candidate to appear on a major party national ticket, Trump is clearly signaling where he thinks the future of his MAGA movement lies, and in whose hands he envisions its continuation. 

However, not everyone in his party is happy with Trump's choice, to put it very mildly. Two separate wings of the Republican Party – the neocons and war hawks from the Bush-Cheney era, as well as the Reaganite believers in corporatist economic policies – are making their opposition to Vance and, indeed, their anger over his selection, very clear. It has long been obvious that, unlike the Democratic Party – which is almost entirely homogenized, unified in lockstep – the Trump era has ushered in a vibrant and sometimes bitter and, I think, healthy intra-party dispute in the Republican Party over the direction of what is called “the conservative movement,” what updates its needs from the past, as well as both the domestic and especially foreign policy that party ought to be pursuing. The negative reaction to Vance, among some of the worst and most destructive factions in the country are highly illustrative of what the Republican Party had been, why Donald Trump succeeded so successfully in 2016 by running against it and where some people – such as JD Vance and obviously Donald Trump – are trying to take the party in the future. 

Then, since October 7, we have been continuously documenting here on the show the excitement and enthusiasm on much of the pro-Israel right for so many of the values, the tactics and the weapons they long came to despise. As the sole providence of the “woke” left. In the name of protecting Israel, they have caused the censorship, firing, legal restrictions and other punishments imposed on American citizens who are simply harsh critics of Israel and the U.S.’s financing of its wars and/or supporters of the Palestinian cause. Countless people since October 7, in media, government, business and academia, have lost their jobs or otherwise been punished for the crime of expressing opposition to Israel and to the acts of that foreign government. But now, quite predictably, those tactics on the part of that sector of the right are starting to expand into other areas of other issues and starting to find quite a dark expression. Anybody who – in the wake of Saturday's assassination attempt on Donald Trump – publicly lamented that the bullet missed him, in other words, people who were wishing violent death to Donald Trump or saying it was deserved and it would be good for the country, are obviously expressing a despicable and twisted sentiment that goes without saying. And to the extent those doing that are people who wield some sort of significant influence or power in this country, demands for them to be held accountable for such statements will obviously be reasonable. That's what it means to wield public power and influence. 

That is not what's happening. Just as has been true of the efforts by the pro-Israel right to punish ordinary people, people with no power or influence for their speech since October 7, the campaign to punish people for expressing such demented thoughts about Trump is being aimed at those who wield no power. People who are hourly-wage workers for giant retailers, low-wage cashiers at places like Home Depot and the like. And so, I think it provokes the question, is it ever just or noble to target the least powerful and economically advantaged people in our society for the crime of simply saying something that was ill-advised, untoward, or even reprehensible after they get home from a 12-hour shift at a miserable job and they post something like that to twenty or so of their friends on Facebook? Should their lives be destroyed over that, their job taken away, rendered unemployable, their reputations permanently marred? That is what some on the right are actually doing and, although we certainly agree that the opinions they're targeting are, as we said, quite repugnant, we really want to examine both the wisdom and ethics of aiming those weapons at ordinary citizens who have zero power influence of any kind – in fact, the least amount of influence of power in our country. 

Finally, the independent roving reporter Michael Tracy continues to rove around the Republican National Convention in Milwaukee, where he is manically conducting more and more interviews of influential Republican politicians and others who are present at the Convention. For our program tonight, we have his interviews with people like Sheriff Joe Arpaio, Reps Andy Barr and Brian Mast, as well as Senator Ted Cruz, of Texas. 

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

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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🎙️


Biden Cannot Be Forced Out of Race Democratically by Oligarchs; What the U.K. and French Elections Mean for Establishment Politics in Europe

Biden, though mentally unfit for office, clings to power as Democrats and corporate media fail to force him out of the race. Elections in the U.K. and France, proclaimed by the media to be a victory for the left center, in reality are a major loss for establishment centers of power. 


Full transcript available for paid supporters: HERE




Intro (10:27)

Under Pressure (16:25)

Centrist Collapse In Europe (1:00:33)

Outro (1:38:08)



Biden Administration Blames Russia for Age Concerns; Crackdowns on Israel's Critics Escalate in U.S.

The Biden administration resurrects the Russiagate conspiracy – once again – to shield him from growing calls to drop out. Speech crackdowns on U.S. college campuses reach new heights as three deans are removed at Columbia for texts that touch on “ancient antisemitic tropes.” 


Full transcript available for paid supporters: HERE




Intro (9:10)

Russiagate, the Sequel (13:57)

Campus Crackdown (40:25)

Death Toll in Gaza Rises Dramatically (1:22:50)

Outro (1:35:21)


Supporters-Only After-Show for Tuesday, July 9

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




Available for paid supporters here

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Full transcript available for paid supporters: HERE




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Full transcript available for paid supporters: HERE




Intro (10:31)

Oligarchic Coup? (17:57)

Racially Biased Resignation Calls (46:38)

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Michael Tracey LIVE at RNC in Milwaukee

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Michael Tracey LIVE at RNC in Milwaukee


All right. Our good, good friend of the show, Michael Tracey, who is, as I always say, a very independent, sometimes annoyingly independent, roving journalist, is in Milwaukee covering the Republican National Convention for us. He's there with our social media manager and producer, Meagan O'Rourke. They have been doing a great job covering the convention, doing interviews with all sorts of people. Rumble has a booth there, that's how we were able to get credentials. 

The last couple of days. Michael has talked to several different people with really interesting interviews. One of them is Mayor JonDavid Longo, who was present at the assassination attempt. He was a mayor of Slippery Rock, a city uptown, very close to where that occurred. He also was able to speak with Rep. Mike Collins, the Republican of Georgia, and Congressman Mike Lawler, the Republican from New York, who is not only probably one of the most vocal supporters of Israel in the entire Congress, but was the sponsor of that law that made it illegal in the educational sector to express all sorts of criticism to Israel that had been very common, the H.R. 6090, which passed the House and Senate by an overwhelming majority and went to the president, who then signed it, because pro-Israel views speed through the Congress with overwhelming majorities, for reasons we've covered many times, and hat was one of the gravest assaults on free speech in many years.  


Michael was able to talk to him about that as well. So, we're going to show you these interviews. 

M. Tracey: All right. We are on the floor of the Republican National Convention right now. Gaze out at the amazing sights. I've never had more fun in my life. I guess what we're going to do is just kind of poke around and see if there's anybody of note to speak to. Let's see who I can spot. 

Congresswoman Victoria Spartz of Indiana


M. Tracey: Oh. How are you, Ms. Spartz? 


Rep. Victoria Spartz: How are you? Good. 


M. Tracey: What's your reaction to JD Vance getting the nomination? 


Rep. Victoria Spartz: That's good, you know. But I think, you know, we have a lot of great candidates, we have a very long bench, but it's all about President Trump and Make America Great. 


M. Tracey: What do you expect for a second term for President Trump in terms of, Ukraine and Israel as compared to the Biden administration? 


Rep. Victoria Spartz: I think, you know, as President Trump said, you know, we need to restore peace. We need to restore our economy so that we have the ability for people to get wealth back and have growth in the economy because right now, inflation and this pattern is going to destroy a lot of people. And I think this is something about the future of the country and strengthen the country's sense of the borders, strengthen the people and really brings peace around the world. We have a disaster right now. It's awful what's happening. 


M. Tracey: President Trump has said that he has a good relationship with Zelenskyy, and some people question that because they think he's Putin's puppet or this kind of thing, which is silly. So, what is this relationship with Zelenskyy and Ukraine? 


Rep. Victoria Spartz: Listen, it's not too bad because […]


M. Tracey: Representative Spartz, you are Ukrainian, correct? 


Rep. Victoria Spartz: I originally grew up there, but I'll tell you, it's about peace through strength. And President Trump had a lot of peace around the world and aggressors didn't move. And his policy it's to bring peace and actually put pressure on countries like Russia and China. He never gets too much credit but what he created in the Middle East was the Abraham Accords, headed to Russia to move further. He was the one who actually put sanctions on North Stream 2, and forced more production of energy. He has put pressure on China, not to […] 


M. Tracey: Put any sanctions on Russia. 


Rep. Victoria Spartz: That's right. And he is the one who actually forced Europeans, Canada to step up to create more deterrence, to spend money to deter Russia. He doesn't get credit for that. But his foreign policy was pretty powerful. 


M. Tracey: Well, Trump continues supporting funding for Ukraine? I've spoken to other members of Congress, in the Senate, who said that he supported the National Security Supplemental in April to send many billions to Israel and Ukraine, will continue supporting that? 


Rep. Victoria Spartz: Listen, it's not about – We cannot be stupid how we spend money. We need to have strategy and oversight. The Soviet Union was defeated not by weapons, but by smart strategy, by smart energy policy. And that's what it takes. And financial policy. And that's what he can bring to the table. Not to have never-ending wars that cost a lot of money and a lot of lives. And that's what you have to be much smarter. And he's – it's he's a very smart man. 


M. Tracey: What about the Biden administration policy, where they allow Ukraine to use U.S. weapons to hit certain targets within Russia? But it's never clear what the parameters are. 


Rep. Victoria Spartz: It's all politics. And ultimately, you know, we have a serious war and we shouldn't be doing it. Biden. You know what? They did it and threatened Putin over Twitter or X and in reality, slow walk at the aid. Okay. We need to have a serious conversation that Putin understands he shouldn't have advanced and he can not what he's going to do but force Europeans to step up. 


M. Tracey: Do you think Trump would remove some of the constraints that Biden has tried to impose on Ukraine? 


Rep. Victoria Spartz: Trump will do whatever it takes to bring peace back and that's what we need. And he will stand with allies like Israel. He won't put pressure on a lot of countries like Europeans that actually being not serious about this situation and now it's become a problem for all of us. And also seriously dealing with China, playing games with Iran and Russia to destabilize the whole world and come here. So I think he's very serious and he's brilliant on his foreign policy because he's unpredictable. That deters a lot of aggression. 


M. Tracey: All right. Thank you, Congresswoman. 

Congressman Mike Lawler of New York


M. Tracey: So, I want to ask you a couple of questions about a forthcoming Trump administration and Israel policy. You spent a lot of time on that. Also, issues around antisemitism. Do you expect to for Trump to be more aggressive in combating antisemitism, using the mechanisms available in the federal government to pursue some of the initiatives that you've tried to advocate in Congress? What's your general synopsis of that? 

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