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‘Unauthorized Disclosure’ – Episode 22: Democrats And Their Ossoff Fail

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Hosts Rania Khalek and Kevin Gosztola highlight some pretty awful and horrible stories on this week’s show but not before talking about the Democratic Party’s latest epic fail with Jon Ossoff’s loss in Georgia.

After discussing what happened with Ossoff, the show moves on to the United States military and a network of torture chambers in Yemen. Khalek recaps developments in Syria. Gosztola describes a Supreme Court decision against Arab or Muslim immigrants rounded up in the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks. And the two hosts talk about the released dashcam video of Officer Jeronimo Yanez killing Philando Castile.

The show ends on a lighter note with a look at the Democratic challengers that have come forward to challenge Republican Speaker Paul Ryan in 2018. Particularly, the hosts roast David Yankovich and his “Meet David” campaign website.

To listen to the discussion, click the above player or go here.

Below are some highlights from the show.

On Ossoff:

“I was struck because he had no message. He was just some technocrat, like your typical sort of austerity-promoting, conservative fiscal neoliberal technocrat,” Khalek declared. “This is the perfect embodiment of everything that’s wrong with the Democratic Party and the direction that they continue to insist that they go in, despite the fact that it’s just not working.”

“There was a belief that there was a nice group of so-called reluctant Trump voters [in Georgia’s 6th congressional district] that could be peeled away and support Democrats, and it didn’t work. And the reason why is I don’t think that the Democrats are incentivizing any of these people to abandon their politics or challenge their politics or consider an alternative.”

On torture chambers in Yemen:

“This isn’t really [Donald] Trump. Trump owns this now because he’s president, and he’s wholly embraced it and will expand on it. But this is a legacy of Barack Obama, and it’s important to make that point, that when we moved away from torture as a policy he did not end rendition. He also didn’t end the process of these sort-of secret off-the-books interrogations that happen in ways similar to [CIA] black sites,” Gosztola stated.

“Who are they interrogating? Supposed al Qaida militants, they say. And they’re doing this in Yemen?” Khalek added. “So what is interesting is in Yemen the U.S. is currently funding a campaign that not only has led to the malnutrition and possible famine of lots and lots of children and people in general, millions of them, but also this cholera outbreak that is being led by the Saudi Arabia. But the fight is also supposedly against these Houthis in Yemen so U.S. allies that are doing this to Yemen are actually using al Qaida groups.”

“There is this contradictory policy, where you’re torturing al Qaida suspects in these really disgusting brutal ways.”

On Supreme Court against immigrants who endured post-9/11 human rights abuses:

“Periods of war and national security emergencies are the times when you most need to allow for challenges [to government],” Gosztola suggested. “I always thought that was the consensus among people, who were judges, who were in the legal profession. But there’s some really gross moral perversion that’s gone on among people and how they are basically authoritarians now. They’re imperialist, but they’re also authoritarians, like they’re taking out imperialism domestically, which was not always the case. And we remain on a permanent war footing, which is why this is so terrible.”

On police dashcam video of Philando Castile’s execution:

“You know it happens, and you know that police do this, but one of the things that I think is remarkable about this video is how we get to see the officer [Yanez] basically fabricating his story on the fly,” Gosztola said.

Khalek added, “There’s nothing [Philando] could have done differently. He did everything right. Not that there’s anything black people do wrong by going for their wallet, but looking back, there’s nothing he could have done differently.”

On David Yankovich and his “Meet Dave” campaign website:

“This guy is like the most uninspiring bland character ever. It’s like his picture matches his description,” Khalek said. It’s also he doesn’t stand for anything except that he isn’t Paul Ryan.

*Thanks to Philip, one of our regular listeners, for mentioning Yankovich to us because it’s both pathetic and hilarious.

Kevin Gosztola

Kevin Gosztola

Kevin Gosztola is managing editor of Shadowproof. He also produces and co-hosts the weekly podcast, "Unauthorized Disclosure."