Glenn Greenwald
Politics • Writing • Culture
EU and The Washington Post Escalate Their Censorship Campaign with a New Fraudulent “Disinformation Study” About Twitter and Russia. Plus: The John McCain Institute Used to Promote Neocon Dogma on War
Video Transcript
September 08, 2023
post photo preview

Watch the full episode here: 

https://rumble.com/v3ffei8-system-update-show-143.html

 

Good evening. It's Wednesday, September 6. Welcome to a new episode of System Update, our live nightly show that airs every Monday through Friday at 7 p.m. Eastern, exclusively on Rumble, the free speech alternative to YouTube. 

Tonight: The rapid and well-funded emergence of the fraudulent industry of self-anointed “disinformation experts” is one of the most consequential weapons developed after the 2016 election of Donald Trump and therefore is a significant focus of the show. As we have repeatedly documented, these groups that demand the right to decree what “disinformation” is are almost always funded by the same small set of neoliberal billionaires – led by George Soros and Pierre Omidyar – Western security agencies and the arms industry and have a goal that is as obvious as it is nefarious, not just to denounce disinformation, but to demand the silencing and censoring of those whom they accuse of producing it. 

The way this typically works is that groups claim to employ “disinformation experts” – a brand new and fake expertise they created overnight – and then produce studies that purport to document who is either circulating harmful disinformation or who is permitting it to be heard. This latter accusation, permitting dangerous disinformation to be heard, always means that one social media company or another is failing to censor in accordance with the demands of the group and its funders. They then get corporate media outlets who crave censorship to melodramatically trumpet their accusatory studies using flamboyant headlines that claim a disobedient technology platform has the blood on their hands, knowing that it will spread virally, but very few people actually read the study to determine if the accusations have any validity. 

This entire industry and this specific practice are a thinly disguised tactic to elevate brute political censorship into something more noble, something more objective and academic, not something despotically intended to silence political dissent. Perish the thought. No, this is something that uses the high and noble fields of science and data to justify the silencing of people who are spreading demonstrably and objectively false claims. 

Last week, The Washington Post – one of the media leaders in agitating for online censorship by touting these fraudulent disinformation studies – published one of the worst attempts yet to disguise censorship demands as science and data from experts. In a predictable mega-viral tweet, retweeted by at least 10,000 people, liked by tens of thousands of others, the paper announced, “Twitter under Elon Musk's ownership has played a major role in allowing Russian propaganda about Ukraine to reach more people than before the war began, according to a year-long study released this week by the European Commission."

 The article itself made its barely hidden pro-censorship agenda manifest with this subheading: “X’s failure to slow the spread of disinformation on the Internet would have violated E.U. social media law, had it been in effect." Its central claim was described this way by the Post: “Over the course of 2022, the audience and reach of Kremlin-aligned social media accounts increased substantially all over Europe." 

The questions that emerged from this accusation in this article are obvious: What constitutes Russian propaganda about Ukraine? Does Russian propaganda about Ukraine mean anything other than those who dissent from the U.S. and NATO's narrative about the war? How are these determinations made? Can we see any examples of this “Russian propaganda”? What is a Kremlin-aligned account or a pro-Kremlin account? And how is that determined? Does it mean anything other than opposing us and NATO financing of the war in Ukraine? And – other than forcing Elon Musk to censor more in accordance with the war agenda of the EU and the Washington Post – what is Musk supposed to do about this supposed spread of propaganda on his platform?  Obviously, the answer is to censor.

Unsurprisingly, one can read the entire Post article or the accompanying EU study in vain for any answers to these questions – at least in the Post article. There are no examples of Russian propaganda provided in this article, nor any indications of how this accusatory category was determined. In the study itself, they purport to show examples, but none that actually illuminate what these terms mean. 

The Post, knowing that most liberals despise Elon Musk for refusing to succumb to the censorship demands of the liberal establishment, and knowing that American liberals continue to drown in paranoia about Russian disinformation spreading everywhere, simply threw the vague and unproven accusation out there, knowing it would be mindlessly spread by millions. And that's exactly what happened. 

This EU study and the Post’s promotion of it constitute one of the most vivid examples yet of how deceitful and fraudulent these “disinformation” studies are because it was conducted by a Pierre Omidyar-funded group commissioned by the EU – which from the start of the war has aggressively used censorship to shield this propaganda from dissent – we think it is really worth examining what they did here in this specific case. Doing so reveals the core tactics that now shape this joint state, media and corporate campaign, to seize the power to decree what is and is not “disinformation” as a means of controlling the spread of information on the Internet. 

Then: Washington is filled with institutes and think tanks that have benign or even inspiring names yet, which will have great policy influence often in the shadows. Such is the case for the John McCain Institute, named after the former prisoner of war in Vietnam, the GOP presidential candidate and a long-time beloved by the media as senator from Arizona. The institute devotes itself to advocating the same neocon commitment to endless war that John McCain championed his whole life. It's run by a former senior Obama Pentagon official and is lavishly funded by exactly the funding sources you would expect. We'll examine this institution to show you the role these entities play in the DC ecosystem of war, bipartisan consensus and propaganda. 

As a programming note, we're encouraging our audience to download the Rumble app, which works on both your phone and smart TV and will enable you to follow our program and other programs on Rumble as well and to receive notifications as soon as our program begins streaming live on Rumble – that means you don't have to wait around for a few minutes or trying to remember what time we're on. You'll just get notified immediately. And that also enables you to encourage friends and associates to download the Rumble app as well. There are still about 50 or 60% of Americans who don't yet use Rumble or know what it is, and that will obviously help Rumble as a free speech platform. 

System Update is also available in podcast form. You can find each episode 12 hours after they first are broadcast live here, on Rumble, and you can find them across all major podcasting platforms, including Spotify and Apple. If you follow or review the show, it really helps boost the show's visibility. 

As another reminder, every Tuesday and Thursday we do a live aftershow where we take questions and respond to your feedback which is available for our Locals subscribers. Locals is a community that is part of Rumble. In order to gain access to that community – which also gives you access to the daily transcripts of each show and the original journalism we produce, besides helping the independent journalism that we do as well – simply click the join button right below the video player here on the Rumble page and that will take you to our Locals community.

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
11
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: What’s New

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:

Dog-of-the-Week goes to Toby! This furry friend of the show is our zen-doggy as he always brings a calm vibe that helps Glenn with his aftershow questions.

Michael Shellenberger sounds the alarm over the threat of tyranny in Brazil, the US, & Europe. Please share this short (5+ minutes) video, which is on Rumble.

placeholder

If the Constitution requires a warrant for the government to investigate an American citizen, how does the renewal of Section 702 pass scrutiny under the Constitution? Is the case that this law is allowed because it has not been challenged in court as being unconstitutional? I hope you can provide information on how this is legal.

post photo preview
SYSTEM UPDATE RECAP: APRIL 8-12
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🎙️

Enjoy!


WEDNESDAY, APRIL 10 - EPISODE 254

Elon Musk Goes to War with Brazil’s Censorship Regime. PLUS: 19 Republicans Defy Speaker Johnson to Kill Renewal of Domestic Spying Bill

Full transcript available for paid supporters: HERE

 

WATCH THE EPISODE

Intro (7:48)

Internet Censorship in Brazil (15:52)

Spy Bill Rejected (44:09)

Outro (1:03:38)

 

THURSDAY, APRIL 11 - EPISODE 255

Endless War and US Security State: W/ Sen. Ron Johnson and Rep. Davidson

Full transcript available for paid supporters: HERE

 

WATCH THE EPISODE

Intro (7:53) 

Interview with Senator Ron Johnson (13:30)

Interview with Representative Warren Davidson (43:30)

Outro (1:22:33) 

 

Go right now to hillsdale.edu/GLENN to enroll for FREE access to more than 40 online courses. There’s no cost, and it’s easy to get started. 

 

FRIDAY, APRIL 12 - EPISODE 255

Mike Johnson Enables Warrantless Spying on Americans. War Between Israel/US and Iran? PLUS: Lee Fang on Ukrainian Smear Campaign

Full transcript available for paid supporters MONDAY

 

WATCH THE EPISODE

Intro (7:03)

House Enables Warrantless Spying (12:40)

War With Iran (46:26)

Interview with Lee Fang (1:06:18)

Outro (1:30:04)


*This episode was sponsored by the Wellness Company. Go to twc.health/GLENN and grab your prescription kits now–code GLENN saves you 10% at checkout! 

Read full Article
post photo preview
Endless War and US Security State: W/ Sen. Ron Johnson and Rep. Davidson
Video Transcript

Watch the full episode here: 

placeholder
 

Podcast: Apple - Spotify 

Rumble App: Apple - Google


Good evening. It's Thursday, April 11. Tonight, we speak to two members of Congress about a variety of issues involving the war in Ukraine, the war in Israel, the U.S. Security State, warrantless domestic spying and much more. 

The first is the Republican Senator from Wisconsin, Ron Johnson, who started back in 2022 supporting the idea of U.S. aid to Ukraine for its war with Russia but has since become one of the most vocal and stalwart opponents of sending more aid there. We'll talk about what motivated that change and his views of current U.S. foreign policy. 

Then we speak to Congressman Warren Davidson, the former Army Ranger who now represents Ohio's eighth congressional district, a job he has held ever since. His predecessor, former Republican House Speaker John Boehner, retired in 2016, where we spoke extensively not only about the evils of U.S. foreign policy but also his view on the vote that took place in the House yesterday that we reported on last night, show that blocked renewal of the FISA spying law without any meaningful protections, warrant requirements or reforms. 

As I've been arguing for some time, one of the most significant and one of the most overlooked developments in U.S. politics, especially when it comes to foreign policy and civil liberties, is the radical realignment among left and right, liberals and conservatives, Democrats and Republicans when it comes to who supports the military-industrial complex in the United States and who does not, who supports the U.S. posture of endless war and who does not, who support vesting vast and unaccountable powers in the hands of the U.S. security state, and who does not. Both of our guests tonight are in many ways highly illustrative of this realignment. Senator Johnson, for instance, is not just an opponent now of the U.S. role in the war in Ukraine, but also a thoughtful critic of imperialistic American foreign policy over the last several decades, which he insists Washington needs to study much more to understand its foundational mistakes. Meanwhile, Congressman Davidson has become one of the most scathing opponents of what he calls the neocon consensus in Washington. In some ways, his foreign policy critique of American wars and militarism could almost be called “Chomskyesk” and, notably, it's almost impossible to hear similarly fundamental principled critiques of U.S. foreign policy, the military-industrial complex and the U.S. security state from any Democratic member of Congress, it is almost impossible to note that this critique is, I should say, is not always applied with complete consistency. 

I asked each of these lawmakers why their arguments against funding the war in Ukraine, that we cannot afford to fund more foreign wars, that it brings no benefits to American citizens, that it jeopardizes our standing in the world and does not apply equally to our current policy of financing and arming Israel's war in Gaza, which most Republicans and most Democrats support. In other words, even if one sides more and empathizes more with Israel over the Palestinians, why shouldn't Israel pay for its own wars instead of having Americans pay for them? Both gave thoughtful answers, even if not fully convincing, and I appreciate how willing they were to reconsider and think about in the interview, their stances on those questions and how they might align or not align with their broader principles. 

Both of these interviews, I believe, are highly illustrative of the realignment I described and why these clear changes in the DC consensus are starting to become ever more promising. We recorded both interviews last night after our live program, and we are delighted to share them with you. 

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
Read full Article
post photo preview
Elon Musk Goes to War with Brazil’s Censorship Regime. PLUS: 19 Republicans Defy Speaker Johnson to Kill Renewal of Domestic Spying Bill
Video Transcript

Watch the full episode here: 

placeholder
 

Podcast: Apple - Spotify 

Rumble App: Apple - Google


Good evening. It's Wednesday, April 10. 

Tonight: a virtual war has erupted between Elon Musk and X on one side, and virtually the entire Brazilian establishment and the Brazilian left with which they're united on the other. As we have been reporting for two years now, the censorship regime that has been imposed in Brazil—the world's fifth most populous country—all centralized in the hands of a single Supreme Court judge, is more extreme, more repressive, and more lawless than anywhere in the democratic world. And that's saying a lot given how much censorship has spread. That's just one indicator of how extreme the Brazilian censorship scheme is. 

This platform Rumble decided last year that they would rather block Brazilians from viewing its content, despite having built a large and growing Brazilian audience, rather than face massive fines and even criminal threats of prosecution for failure to comply with the avalanche of censorship orders they were receiving virtually daily. 

H0sTO4njiaXEmS0x9Z1zaIVJWfr7igkP5oxfTGS6bzeskCmiQSD6UIpdXjA2bkgLhvrHrqrK1RoE-gEWssbALkuDIRqlmqQZqa-T7-ncaR5Beaqd3SWK5OEUGvWxK0b-2-Xf9IWY3_zE

That message is what people in Brazil now see when they try to access Rumble, a message saying Rumble is not available in the country because of censorship orders. Rumble announced that it would no longer serve as a weapon in the censorship regime and would block access for all Brazilians, at least for those who don't use VPNs, pending its judicial challenge of the censorship laws that it has now brought.

Last week, the independent journalist Michael Shellenberger, working with two separate Brazilian journalists, released the Brazilian part of the Twitter Files. It documented how internal Twitter lawyers in Brazil were growing increasingly alarmed at the politically motivated censorship orders from the court that they were being drowned with routinely, and they were worried about the consequences they might face from failure to comply. We interviewed Shellenberger last week about his reporting. He was in Brazil at the time, and he was interviewed by multiple media outlets in Brazil, usually in a very hostile manner, far more interested in attacking his character and methods than addressing the substance of his revelations. 

Elon Musk saw all of this—obviously, he pays attention to the Twitter Files—and responded to all of that over the weekend by launching a series of very vitriolic attacks on this one Supreme Court judge overseeing the censorship regime, calling him a tyrant and urging his impeachment. Musk also vowed that X would prefer to disobey unjust censorship orders and even leave Brazil than continue to be used as a weapon in service of this regime. The same decision that Rumble made concerning Brazil last year. That, in turn, provoked very aggressive threats from this judge. He declared Musk to be a target of a pending criminal investigation involving fake news and disinformation. He just inserted Musk into this pending criminal investigation as one of the targets of the criminal probe. He also ordered X employees in Brazil to be questioned by the federal police and explicitly threatened them in writing, with arrest and prosecution if X permitted any banned voices to return to the platform. All of this demonstrates the severity of the growing censorship regime, not only in Brazil but throughout the democratic world. Precisely because Brazil has been so extreme is why it's so relevant to Americans, because it's being used as a laboratory to see how far control over the Internet and online speech can go. Europe and the United States have embarked on their own online censorship regime. We have been reporting on that extensively to the point that it's now at the Supreme Court. What is being done in Brazil is a harbinger of what is coming to the West. We will report on everything that happened here and explore its quite significant implications. 

Then: Republican House Speaker Mike Johnson has long been a vocal and steadfast opponent of the U.S. Security State, generally in its attempts to censor the Internet and spy on Americans in particular. Shortly before becoming a speaker, we interviewed him on this show, and he was very clear about his views on these questions. Yet since being elected Speaker, Mike Johnson has seemingly changed his views in quite radical ways on many key issues. He was a longtime opponent of providing more U.S. aid to the war in Ukraine, yet now is working to ensure that Joe Biden's $60 billion request for Ukraine is approved in the House, even if that means relying on Democrats and Democratic protection to do so. Earlier today, Speaker Johnson tried to bring to the floor a vote to renew the domestic spying powers of the NSA and the FBI and to do so without allowing even a single reform, safeguard, or warrant requirement. In other words, Speaker Johnson worked hard to give the Biden White House and the U.S. Security State what they were demanding for renewal of their domestic spying powers and spying on Americans, which was originally enacted during the Bush administration in the name of the War on Terror, and to renew it without any reforms or protections at all. But Mike Johnson had a serious surprise today: his own caucus delivered a major and quite unusual defeat to the House Speaker, with 19 members defecting and preventing the speaker from bringing the bill to the floor. It is likely that some domestic spying bill will eventually pass, though it's not guaranteed and we'll explain what happened today in Congress that dealt a serious blow to the efforts suddenly led by Speaker Johnson, to hand the FBI all these spying powers they want without a single reform. We also will have various members of Congress on over the next week or so to talk about the war in Ukraine, to talk about the FISA law and related issues as well. 

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
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