Intercepted with Jeremy Scahill
The Intercept
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The people behind The Intercept’s fearless reporting and incisive commentary—Jeremy Scahill, Glenn Greenwald, Betsy Reed and others—discuss the crucial issues of our time: national security, civil liberties, foreign policy, and criminal justice. Plus interviews with artists, thinkers, and newsmakers who challenge our preconceptions about the world we live in.

As Washington D.C. remains focused on the Trump impeachment, Daniel Jones, the former top Senate Intelligence Committee investigator into the CIA torture program discusses the years-long battle with the Bush and Obama administrations to make public the findings of his still-classified 7,000 page report. Jones, the subject of the new feature film, The Report, starring Adam Driver and Annette Bening, discusses his findings. He tells the story of how the CIA, under John Brennan, spied on the Senate investigators and accessed their classified computers. As a rebellion in Iraq forces the resignation of the country’s prime minister, Iraqi activist Raed Jarrar describes the roots of the protests, the impact of foreign intervention by numerous countries, and the history of the U.S. encouraging sectarianism in Iraq. Plus, "Bigger Than Baghdad" — we hear new music from Iraqi-Canadian hip-hop artist Narcy about the protests in Iraq.

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Jeffrey Sterling was indicted in 2010 on charges under the Espionage Act for allegedly leaking sensitive national security information to then-New York Times reporter James Risen. Sterling discusses his time as a CIA case officer and how his internal complaint about Operation Merlin, a half-baked CIA scheme that had tried to disrupt Iran’s nuclear weapons development, led to his firing. Sterling explains the discrimination suit he filed against the CIA and how there is no evidence that he was the source for Risen, who is now The Intercept's senior national security correspondent. Sterling also shares what it was like to be charged under the Espionage Act and comments on the appalling hostility toward whistleblowers in the U.S. Sterling’s new book is “Unwanted Spy: The Persecution of an American Whistleblower.”

Iranian-American author and analyst Hooman Majd discusses a century of history marked by intervention and threats from major world powers. Beginning with Britain, Russia, and Germany battling for control of Iran’s oil, Majd and Jeremy Scahill discuss the CIA coup against Mohammed Mossadegh in 1953, the Islamic revolution, and the seizure of the U.S. embassy in Tehran in 1979 and how Washington has repeatedly tried to bring down the government of the Islamic Republic. The Intercept’s investigative series The Iran Cables offers historical insight into Iran’s operations in neighboring Iraq, which are informed by the bloody history of the Iran-Iraq War, the U.S. invasion, subsequent occupation, and the shattering of Iraqi society.

Early Monday morning, a few minutes past midnight, The Intercept published a major series of investigative stories based on a cache of more than 700 pages of secret Iranian intelligence files detailing years of “painstaking work by Iranian spies to co-opt the country’s leaders, pay Iraqi agents working for the Americans to switch sides, and infiltrate every aspect of Iraq’s political, economic, and religious life.” On this special episode of Intercepted: The Intercept’s Murtaza Hussein and New York Times reporter Farnaz Fassihi discuss the revelations. The leak of these files is historic. The Iran Cables paint a picture of the actions of a rational nation state actor’s intervention in the affairs of a neighbor whose government once launched a devastating war against it with the backing of the world’s preeminent superpower, the U.S. For more than six decades, successive U.S. governments have waged military and economic war on Iran and Iraq. In the post-9/11 world, the U.S. overthrew the governments of two of Iran’s most threatening neighbors, Saddam Hussein and the Taliban, while simultaneously coming dangerously close to an all out regime change war against Iran. The 2003 invasion shattered Iraq and the documents in the Iran Cables tell the story of the secret activities of its neighbor Iran.

As right-wing forces attack indigenous Bolivians and allies of Morales, the Trump administration says the toppling of the democratically-elected government “preserves democracy.” Anthropologist and Bolivia scholar Bret Gustafson offers a nuanced analysis of how the coup unfolded, who benefits from the crisis, and what is at stake for the overwhelmingly indigenous population. Brazil’s former president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva is now free after spending a year and a half behind bars. He says he wants to run for president and fight the far right regime of Jair Bolsonaro. The Intercept’s Glenn Greenwald talks about his recent conversation with Lula, the threats against Intercept journalists in Brasil, and the latest on the corruption investigation into Justice Minister Sergio Moro.

On this special episode of Intercepted, Jordan Smith and Liliana Segura discuss the case of Rodney Reed. The state of Texas has set an execution date of November 20 for Reed. He has been on death row since 1998, following his conviction in the murder of a young woman named Stacy Stites in April of 1996. There is an overwhelming amount of evidence in this case that Reed is innocent, and a very compelling case to be made that Stites’s fiancee at the time of her murder should be the focus of this case. Her fiancee was a police officer at the time of her killing. He is also now a convicted felon himself with a shocking track record of violent assault and rape. Rodney Reed’s life is now hanging in the balance, and an unlikely coalition of high profile people are trying to halt this execution, including Texas Republican politicians and elected officials. Perhaps most prominent among them is Sen. Ted Cruz.  Jordan Smith and Liliana Segura are both journalists at The Intercept and the cohosts of Murderville. Check out all of their work on this case at The Intercept. If you like what we do, support our show by going to TheIntercept.com/join.

Organizer Astra Taylor, author of “Democracy May Not Exist, but We’ll Miss It When It’s Gone,” analyzes “minoritarian” rule in the U.S., how capitalism undermines democracy, and lays out concrete ideas for fighting back. Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor, author of “Race for Profit,” talks about the history of how the U.S. government and predatory lenders conspired against Black home ownership in the United States. She also explains why privatizing affordable housing initiatives is a recipe for continued disaster.

Amidst the grandstanding and partisan bickering, no one wants to talk about the decades of U.S. policy that helped give rise to ISIS and al Qaeda. Jeremy Scahill discusses how U.S. policy opened a Pandora’s box in Iraq and Syria. Islamic studies scholar Amanda Rogers discusses the actual founder of ISIS, Abu Musab al Zarqawi, and how ISIS adopted tactics from the U.S. “war on terror.” War reporter Mike Giglio talks about his time on the ground covering ISIS. He documents this experience in his new book,  “Shatter the Nations: ISIS and the War for the Caliphate.”

Legendary peace activist Liz McAlister has spent her entire life resisting U.S. war. The 79-year-old grandmother of six, who is on trial with her Kings Bay Plowshares co-defendants, explains why she and her friends snuck onto a U.S. nuclear base to deliver an indictment of the U.S. government. Rudy Giuliani has emerged as Donald Trump’s dollar store Roy Cohn and he has put himself right in the center of the impeachment inquiry. Journalist Johnny Dwyer, author of “The Districts,” chronicles Giuliani’s time as a prosecutor in the Southern District of New York, Giuliani’s connections to shady characters from a host of countries and why he may never face indictment. Journalist Emily Guendelsberger went undercover working at Amazon, McDonald’s and Convergys. She discusses her experience in the dystopic world of low wage work and her new book “On the Clock, What Low-Wage Work Did to Me and How It Drives America Insane.”

Adam Serwer of The Atlantic discusses the impeachment inquiry, the cruelty of the Trump presidency and the state of play in Washington D.C. As Turkey continues its brutal incursion into parts of Syria, U.S. politicians accuse Trump of “betraying” the Kurds. Jeremy Scahill and Dr. Kamran Matin of Sussex University discuss the long history of U.S. support for despotic regimes as they’ve waged genocidal campaigns against Kurdish people. Author Fatima Bhutto has two new books out, a novel “The Runaways” and “New Kings of the World: Dispatches from Bollywood, Dizi, and K-Pop.” Bhutto discusses these books, the role of the CIA in Hollywood and the evolving story of Pakistan in the post-9/11 world.

Jeremy Scahill is back. Well, sort of. He passes the reins over to Intercepted's producers. A recent report from Airwars investigates the incredibly thin media coverage of civilian harm during the U.S. war against ISIS. The author of that report, investigative researcher Alexa O'Brien, shares her findings with associate producer Elise Swain.  Lead producer Jack D'Isidoro interviews Wilfred Chan, who dives deep into the pro-democracy uprising in Hong Kong and explores the protesters' demands.  The Intercept's Jordan Smith discusses the first abortion case before the Supreme Court since Trump’s new appointments with producer Laura Flynn. They analyze the latest in the war against women's reproductive rights.

D.C. Bureau Chief Ryan Grim hosts and gives the long history of Hunter Biden in Ukraine.  Senior National Security Correspondent James Risen explains Donald Trump’s abuse of power, comments on the New York Times publishing information about the whistleblower, he calls for an end to leak prosecutions, especially under the Espionage Act.  Grim and Risen are joined by Edward Baumgartner, a researcher on Ukraine and Russia, and Kristofer Harrison, a former Defense and State Department adviser during the George W. Bush administration. They discuss Joe and Hunter Biden’s involvement in Ukraine, and the interests of various Trump associates in Ukraine including Rudy Giuliani, Michael Cohen, and Paul Manafort.  Reporter Murtaza Hussain asks why the moral outrage over Trump’s abuse of political power is so much greater than it is for America’s endless wars and rising civilian deaths.

Senior Correspondent Naomi Klein imagines what real climate justice could look like and talks about her new book, “On Fire: The Burning Case for a Green New Deal.”  The Intercept’s Sharon Lerner tells Intercepted’s Elise Swain about her groundbreaking reporting on toxic industrial chemicals. NSA Whistleblower Edward Snowden reads an excerpt from his new memoir, “Permanent Record,” and reflects on his time since revealing the broad scope of NSA surveillance with Micah Lee, First Look Media’s Director of Information Security.

Philosopher Srecko Horvat discusses the historical lessons we can learn from the guerrilla struggle against fascism waged by the Partisans in Yugoslavia during World War II. Horvat also talks about  the recent surge in extreme right-wing political forces in Europe and what that trend and Julian Assange’s case mean for the future of democracy. Intercepted is going on hiatus for the summer and will return with new episodes in September 2019.

Rutgers professor and co-host of the Uncivil podcast Chenjerai Kumanyika argues that demands for reparations should include challenging the driving forces behind slavery: capitalism and imperialism.  The Intercept’s Ryan Devereaux gives an update on the trial for humanitarian aid worker Scott Warren and discusses the dehumanization that has allowed the war on immigrants to continue for decades.  Artist and musician Nakhane reflects on growing up queer in South Africa and talks about his new record, “You Will Not Die.” This is our last episode of the season. Intercepted is going on hiatus for the summer and will return with new episodes in September 2019.

As the U.S. accuses Iran of attacking civilian ships while offering scant evidence, grave historical parallels are emerging with the Gulf of Tonkin incidents in 1964 that were manipulated to justify Lyndon Johnson’s dramatic escalation of the war in Vietnam.  California Democrat Rep. Ro Khanna is preparing legislation aimed at stopping an attack on Iran and he says he would not put it past National Security Adviser John Bolton to manipulate evidence.  Journalist Negar Mortazavi of The Independent analyzes what war with Iran would look like and exposes the State Department’s funding of propaganda operations against Iran.  Democracy Now! host Amy Goodman talks about the parallels with the build up to the Iraq invasion of 2003 and shares stories from her early life as a journalist.

In a bombshell series of reports, The Intercept Brasil has revealed dirty tricks used in the prosecution of the leftist former president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva on corruption charges and improper coordination among prosecutors and judges. Glenn Greenwald discusses the documents in the leaked archive and what this means for Trump ally Jair Bolsonaro.  Tiffany Cabán, a queer Latina public defender from Queens, New York, talks about her battle with the Democratic Party machine in her bid to become a prosecutor opposed to the carceral state. Chesa Boudin, whose parents were sentenced to lengthy prison terms when he was 14-months-old, is trying to overhaul San Francisco’s justice system and radically change the relationship between cops and the DA.  As paramilitary forces carry out a massacre against non-violent protesters in Sudan, we get a report from filmmaker Hajooj Kuka who was wounded in the raid in Khartoum last week. And we hear the music of Sudanese-American Ahmed Gallab, the lead singer-songwriter of the band Sinkane, and his experience of monitoring the major developments in his home country.

Fanatical opponents of a woman’s right to choose are pushing to criminalize abortion and women's healthcare providers. Historian Johanna Schoen, Rutgers professor and author, talks about when abortion was illegal and the history of coercive policies from forced sterilization to blocking access to sex education, birth control, and abortions. Whistleblower Reality Winner has spent more than two years in prison for allegedly leaking a top-secret NSA document on Russian cyber attacks on software used in some U.S. voting systems. Her mother, Billie Winner-Davis, describes her daughter’s prison conditions and makes the case for why she should be freed. As Donald Trump wraps up his state visit to the United Kingdom, we speak with philosopher and activist Srećko Horvat about the historical lessons we can learn from the guerrilla struggle against fascism waged by the Partizans in Yugoslavia during World War II, as well as the recent surge in extreme right-wing political forces in Europe. If you like what we do, support our show by going to TheIntercept.com/join to become a member.

As Democrats continue to debate whether to initiate an impeachment inquiry, Trump seems to be going nuts from the Democrats’ continuing probe into his possible obstruction of justice, corruption, and abuse of power. The Intercept’s Ryan Grim explains Nancy Pelosi’s rise to power within the Democratic Party, her political origins, and what her possible end game strategy is for Trump. Grim also weighs in on the large 2020 Democratic candidate field and talks about his new book, “We’ve Got People: From Jesse Jackson to Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, the End of Big Money and the Rise of a Movement.”