Glenn Greenwald
Politics • Writing • Culture
As Biden Taps Billionaire Dem to Oversee Ukraine's Business, More Insiders Are Enriched From the War. PLUS: Gabor Maté on the Explosion of Anti-Depressants in the West
Video Transcript
September 19, 2023
post photo preview

Watch the full episode here: 





Rumble App: 




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.

It's not exactly a secret that while the vast majority of Americans are paying a real price for the endless war in Ukraine – higher energy prices, higher debt and debt servicing, threats to needed domestic programs – there is a tiny sliver of the richest Americans who are profiting greatly and will continue to do so for as long as Congress funds this war with no end in sight. Among them, the lucky ones, are the U.S. armed industry companies like Raytheon, Boeing and Lockheed, which donate massive amounts of money to both parties and have former top executives running key government agencies, including the Pentagon as well as the CIA and other parts of the Pentagon and intelligence agencies whose budgets, authorities and secret powers always skyrocket during U.S. wars. That illustrious list of those enriching themselves from the U.S.-funded war most definitely includes the various oligarchs, corporate power, corrupt politicians and other hangers-on who populate the power centers of Kiev and are responsible for the country's long-standing reputation as the most corrupt in Europe. The money is flying around and those are the people covering it up. Along with others, we have done substantial reporting on the show, documenting how Western arms dealers and corrupt elements in Kiev are enriching themselves greatly at the expense of the American taxpayer that's funding this war. 

However, there is another very powerful group of profiteers waiting in the wings like vultures to swoop down on Ukraine as soon as there is something resembling peace and they may end up being this war’s most successful profiteers. At the start of the year, it was revealed that the American hedge funds, investment corporations and investment banks such as BlackRock and JPMorgan were not so patiently waiting in the wings to exploit all of the very lucrative deals awaiting what will be called “the reconstruction of Ukraine.” After this war finishes its job of destroying most Ukrainian infrastructure, whenever that is, those financial institutions working in direct partnership with the notoriously corrupt Ukrainian officials under martial law, will swoop down and make hundreds of millions of dollars, probably billions of dollars in fees, by arranging all kinds of capital deals and other financing schemes to rebuild Ukraine. Most, if not all, of that will be accomplished with public monies from the U.S. and the West, of course, and much of it will be headed directly to the pockets and the bottom lines of these Western investment funds who pay millions of dollars each year, donations and other lobbyist activities to ensure their access to and subservience from the establishment wings of both parties exactly for moments like these. 

All of this is far from just a private sector initiative. The U.S. government, which will administer the funds and facilitate these deals using all of its diverse arms of power and influence – in Washington, in New York and Kiev – will be overseeing and controlling all of it and that in turn requires someone who is very comfortable with and welcomed by these oligarchs to grease the wheels of this reconstruction. Today, the Biden administration announced what seems to be the perfect person for that job, at least judging through the framework of all these corrupt interests, to oversee it all. Earlier today, the Biden administration announced the appointment of the so-called special representative for Ukraine's economic recovery – ”In this role,” the government said, “she will work with the Ukrainian government, the G7, the EU, international financial institutions, international partners, and one of our greatest assets, the American private sector, to help forge Ukraine's future as a prosperous, secure European democracy.” For this special role, Biden has tapped the multi-billionaire heiress, Penny Pritzker, who inherited billions of dollars, one of America's richest multigenerational families, the Pritzker's founder of the Hyatt hotel chain. She used her vast wealth to become one of President Obama's earliest and largest funders in the 2008 presidential election, who nonetheless denied her expectation to become appointed secretary of commerce in his first term. That's what she wanted, but he couldn't name her due to all sorts of unpleasantries about her company abusing its labor force and another touchy scandal involving a failed savings and loan that was bailed out by the government under her management and her families. But she finally received her rightful entitlement as commerce secretary. Once Obama was elected for a second term, he no longer needed any votes and then he anointed her to that position. Penny Pritzker, whose brother is the current Democratic governor of Illinois, Democrats really love their oligarchs, and she obviously fits right in. 

Democrats once cared about such tawdry motives for a war, or at least so they said, you may remember. For those of you who lived through the Iraq war, Democrats fixated obsessively on what they believed was a key motive for invading Iraq – namely that Halliburton, a company for which Vice Cheney Dick Cheney had worked years earlier and retained a profit motive, would financially benefit from the invasion and reconstruction. And the destruction and rebuilding of Iraq was indeed a huge boon for Halliburton – to the tunes of hundreds of millions of dollars in profit – but these days such discussions are considered distasteful, or even, now, “Russian propaganda.” But we will nonetheless look at today's announcement of Penny Pritzker as reconstruction czar to oversee all of this new business in Ukraine to understand how it fits within the broader profiteering aspects of the ongoing war in Ukraine. 

Then: Almost every warning sign for mental health pathologies had already been blinking bright red in the United States and the West for years and that was all before the COVID pandemic and its lockdowns and isolation descended upon hundreds of millions of people. The solution used by the medical and mental health professions seems clear if you look at the data: They wanted to simply dole out more and more anti-depression medications, specifically the class of medications known as SSRI – serotonin reuptake inhibitors – to simply treat these rising mental health problems as little more than chemical imbalances – kind of like what happens when your car doesn't work well – that takes place in the brain and that requires simple medical solutions. You just get medications that adjust the chemical imbalances and send the patient on their way. 

One of the smartest and most interesting critics of this approach is Dr. Gabor Maté, who has worked for over a decade in Vancouver's downtown East Side with patients challenged by both drug addiction and mental illness. He is a bestselling author of four books published in over 30 languages and has really become someone who routinely appears on and is favorably received on all sorts of television, radio programs and online platforms that span the political spectrum. Something not that easy to do these days. We've been a fan of his for quite some time and are very excited to welcome him tonight to our program. It may seem that this topic is a little bit off course for what we usually cover. If that were true, that would be fine. We want to cover a broad range of topics, but we actually see these pathologies that he talks about and works on as directly linked to many of the broader social, political and economic problems we cover on this show. We think that you will see the important connections as well between the mental health problems suffered by more and more Americans, the rotted political system and the rotted society it produces in which they live. 

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
What else you may like…
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.

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
5 minutes ago

What is going on here:
Iowa has the first-in-the-nation caucus, where Iowans will gather to pick who they want to see as their party's Presidential candidate. But things are a bit different this year. Learn more about what will happen on caucus night - Monday, January 15, 2024 (at 7 pm).

Only Republicans will pick and announce their Presidential choice that night. Iowa Democrats will still hold a caucus to conduct party business (like setting the party's issue priorities), but they will pick their preferred Presidential candidate using a mail-in preference card that can be requested now through February 19, 2024. Mail-in ballots will begin hitting your mailboxes on January 12, 2024.

I think Dave Rubin tried to associate himself with Eric Weinstein’s analysis, as a way of providing a response to being called out for his hypocrisy… his use of the word “we” and “people like us” is pretty funny and pathetic… as well as staged/pre planned

post photo preview
WEEKLY WEIGH-IN: We Want to Hear From YOU!
Weekly Weigh-In

Thank you so much for your continued support through another week of SYSTEM UPDATE with Glenn Greenwald! Any thoughts you’d like to share?

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

Glenn may even address some particularly interesting exchanges on our next supporters-only After Show.



Sleepy Sylvester works hard on some thoughtful responses with co-host Glenn on our Locals after show.

Read full Article
post photo preview
Weekly Newsletter

We are pleased to send you a summary of the key stories we covered last week. These are written versions of the reporting and analysis we did on last week's episodes of 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
Weekly Recap

Good Morning SYSTEM UPDATE Community,

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🎙️



Elon Meets Netanyahu in Israel—Why? Vivek Ramaswamy on Free Speech Debates, Ukraine, & More. Plus: CNN & Senate Dems Demand More Censorship Over Israel

Full transcript available for paid supporters here.




Intro (6:48)

Censorship Demands Continue (13:37)

Elon Visits Israel (32:09)

Interview with Vivek Ramaswamy (1:11:06)

Ending (1:34:58)



Americans Fired Since Oct. 7—What They Really Said. Is TikTok Censoring for China or the US? 

Full transcript available for paid supporters here.




Intro (9:38)

Canceling Israel’s Critics (14:58)

Who Does TikTok Really Serve? (55:29)

Ending (1:29:18)


Supporters-Only After Show for Tuesday, November 28

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



Almost none of the Arab countries will back up the Palestinian cause with any impactful political actions. And if a certain Arab country does decide to, they get destroyed literally or metaphorically. How can the Palestinians have any chance of statehood if these geopolitical conditions and order remains?  



Irish viewer here. Do you have any thoughts on the ongoing Irish hate speech legislation? Have you ever considered having MEP Clare Daly on the show? 


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!



Leading Palestine Expert Rashid Khalidi on Israel-Gaza, College Campuses, & More. Plus: Elon Musk’s Defiant Message to Disney

Full transcript available for paid supporters here.




Intro (4:18)

Elon’s Defiant Message to Disney (9:35)

Interview with Rashid Khalidi (24:53)

Ending (1:15:21)



The Murderous Life & Legacy of Henry Kissinger: Perfect Symbol of the Rotted US Security State

Full transcript will be available for paid supporters here.




Intro (10:40)

Henry Kissinger: A Murderous Legacy (16:30)

Ending (1:38:24)


Supporters-Only After Show for Thursday, November 30

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



Your shows on free speech have been very informative. You distinguished between state action and private company decisions in the context of firings for example. I’ve been wondering how to think about free speech at universities and in particular whether the rules are different for private vs. public/state universities. And even for private universities whether it matters if they receive government funding. Thanks.



Glenn, can we get a deep look at some of these 3rd party corporations involved in "Trust and Safety" i.e. censorship? Seems like platforms are outsourcing more and more censorship to 3rd parties and it is a massively booming business model.


Available for paid supporters here.



Taibbi/Shellenberger Clash with Censorship Regime in Congress (Again). DEBATE: Glenn & Israel Supporter, Max Abrahms Discuss War in Gaza

Full transcript will be available for paid supporters on Monday.




Intro (7:34)

Facing the Censorship Regime (12:04)

Interview with Max Abrahms (37:21)

Ending (1:48:26)


*Today’s show was brought to you by the Wellness Company. Go to and grab your prescription kits now–code GLENN saves you 10% at checkout!  


Thank you so much for your continued support—have a great week!

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