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Dissent Episode Two: Judicial Adventurism

The North Carolina Supreme Court rejected a partisan gerrymandered congressional map drawn to heavily favor Republicans last year. The map violated the state’s constitution. The North Carolina legislature is now arguing before the U.S. Supreme Court whether the state legislature has the authority to override the court and ignore its own constitution. The case, Moore v. Harper, raises the prospect of the independent state legislature theory — a fringe theory that, if the Supreme Court rules in favor of, would give state legislatures unfettered authority, remove checks and balances, and undermine future elections. In the second episode of Dissent, host Jordan Smith and Elizabeth Wydra of the Constitutional Accountability Center closely examine oral arguments and unpack how a favorable or even a middle-ground ruling would radically change elections.


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More Episodes

Thursday, May 25, 2023

Henry Kissinger’s Bloody Legacy

An Intercept investigation, years in the making, reveals previously unpublished, unreported, and underappreciated evidence of hundreds of civilian casualties that were kept secret during the conflict in Cambodia and remain almost entirely unknown to the American people. This week on Intercepted, host Murtaza Hussain talks to Nick Turse, an investigative journalist and contributing writer for The Intercept, about his work to uncover the mass violence Kissinger ordered and oversaw in Cambodia while the U.S. carpet-bombed the country between 1969 and 1973. Turse’s investigation, “Kissinger’s Killing Fields,” is based on previously unpublished interviews with more than 75 Cambodian witnesses and survivors of U.S. military attacks in 13 Cambodian villages so remote they couldn’t be found on maps. Their accounts reveal new details of the long-term trauma borne by survivors of the American war.“It was very hands on. Kissinger was picking where bombs would be dropped in Cambodia,” Turse says. “The authentic documents associated with these strikes were burned and phony target coordinates and other forged data were supplied to the Pentagon and eventually Congress.” Experts say Kissinger bears significant responsibility for attacks in Cambodia that killed as many as 150,000 civilians — six times more noncombatants than the United States has killed in airstrikes since 9/11.Check out the full "Kissinger’s Killing Fields" project at TheIntercept.com.If you’d like to support our work, go to theintercept.com/join — your donation, no matter what the amount, makes a real difference.And if you haven’t already, please subscribe to the show so you can hear it every week. And please go and leave us a rating or a review — it helps people find the show. If you want to give us feedback, email us at Podcasts@theintercept.com.
Wednesday, May 17, 2023

The Biggest Whodunnit of the Century

On September 26, 2022, at approximately 2:03 a.m. local time in the Baltic Sea off the southeast coast of the Danish island of Bornholm, the Nord Stream 2 underwater pipeline was rocked by a blast. That explosion, followed by a series of other targeted detonations on the older Nord Stream 1 pipelines some 17 hours later, were swiftly assessed to be the result of deliberate sabotage. The explosions off the Swedish and Danish coasts set off an international mystery with unimaginably high stakes. There are a variety of international players, including powerful nation states, who would have had the motive, capability, and opportunity to conduct such an operation.This week on Intercepted, investigative journalist and author James Bamford takes us on a tour of what he calls “the biggest Whodunnit of the century.” Bamford is one of the most respected experts on U.S. intelligence operations and covert action. He is the author of several best-selling books, including “The Puzzle Palace: A Report on America's Most Secret Agency” and “The Shadow Factory: The Ultra-Secret NSA From 9/11 to the Eavesdropping on America.” His most recent book is “Spyfail: Foreign Spies, Moles, Saboteurs, and the Collapse of America’s Counterintelligence.”Last week, The Nation published a story by Bamford in which he argues that Ukraine and Poland should be viewed as the top suspects in the sabotage and that the U.S. government almost certainly knows exactly who bombed the pipelines and how. That story is titled “The Nord Stream Explosions: New Revelations About Motive, Means, and Opportunity.” Correction: May 17, 2023A previous version of this episode incorrectly numbered the initial blasts on the Nord Stream 2 underwater pipeline at 2:03 a.m. The show description and audio have been updated.If you’d like to support our work, go to theintercept.com/join — your donation, no matter what the amount, makes a real difference.And if you haven’t already, please subscribe to the show so you can hear it every week. And please go and leave us a rating or a review — it helps people find the show. If you want to give us feedback, email us at Podcasts@theintercept.com.
Wednesday, May 10, 2023

Frank Church, Deep State: The True Story of the Senator Who Took on the CIA and Its Corporate Clients

Nearly 50 years ago, the Church Committee began holding hearings to investigate the CIA and U.S. intelligence agencies’ lawless and secret efforts to spy on and plan assassination plots. This week on Intercepted, Jeremy Scahill is joined by James Risen and Thomas Risen to discuss how the CIA — without oversight from Congress and at times behind the backs of U.S. presidents — orchestrated coups against popular democratic governments from Guatemala to Iran and spied on anti-war activists and Black Power leaders inside the U.S. It was not until the Democratic Sen. Frank Church decided to take on this unaccountable, powerful, covert force within the U.S. national security apparatus that some of the CIA’s crimes and abuses came into public view. Sen. Church chaired a committee in 1975 that sought to reign in the CIA and impose laws and rules for their conduct. A new book by James Risen and Thomas Risen, called “The Last Honest Man: The CIA, the FBI, the Mafia, and the Kennedys — and One Senator’s Fight to Save Democracy,” tells the story of the man behind the Church Committee and how an unlikely hero emerged to battle the most powerful secret entity in the U.S. government.If you’d like to support our work, go to theintercept.com/join — your donation, no matter what the amount, makes a real difference.And if you haven’t already, please subscribe to the show so you can hear it every week. And please go and leave us a rating or a review — it helps people find the show. If you want to give us feedback, email us at Podcasts@theintercept.com.
Wednesday, April 26, 2023

Virtue Signaling as a War Policy

U.S. war planners have indicated that Ukraine plans to launch a spring offensive in an effort to retake territory lost in Russia’s invasion. Military analysts have also suggested that Kyiv, backed by the U.S.-led NATO alliance and its weapons shipments, is likely to attempt to purge Russia from Crimea. Russian President Vladimir Putin has indicated that he has no plans to cease his military operations, and the stage is being set for further bloodshed with no end in sight.This week on Intercepted, the Quincy Institute for Responsible Statecraft’s Kelley Beaucar Vlahos joins Jeremy Scahill and Murtaza Hussain for a wide-ranging discussion on the proxy war, the uniform support among Democrats for Joe Biden’s policies on Ukraine, and the growing opposition among Republicans to funding the war. Last week, a group of Republican lawmakers sent a letter to President Biden saying they will no longer support what they called “unrestrained” aid to Ukraine. And they added they “will adamantly oppose all future aid packages unless they are linked to a clear diplomatic strategy designed to bring this war to a rapid conclusion.” The letter, which was signed by 19 Republicans, included three senators: Mike Lee, Rand Paul, and J.D. Vance. Vlahos, Scahill, and Hussain also discuss the various factions comprising the current GOP and discuss how the enduring focus on Russiagate and the 2016 election has fed into the discourse on the war in Ukraine.If you’d like to support our work, go to theintercept.com/join — your donation, no matter what the amount, makes a real difference.And if you haven’t already, please subscribe to the show so you can hear it every week. And please go and leave us a rating or a review — it helps people find the show. If you want to give us feedback, email us at Podcasts@theintercept.com.
Wednesday, April 19, 2023

The Discord Leaker: The Case of the Most Unorthodox National Security Leaks in History

Last week, federal officials arrested Jack Teixeira, a 21-year-old airman in the Massachusetts Air National Guard, accusing him of having leaked hundreds of pages of classified Pentagon documents on a Discord server. The documents offer rare insights into the war in Ukraine and the extent of military casualties and reveal the presence of U.S. and other NATO nations' special forces clandestinely operating in the war zone. They also document how the conflict is spilling over into the Middle East and shed light on U.S. penetration of Russian military plans and U.S. spy efforts, including against American allies and the United Nations secretary general. This week on Intercepted, Jeremy Scahill, Murtaza Hussain, and national security editor Vanessa Gezari discuss the document leak and analyze what we know and don’t know about the young airman accused of distributing the documents, initially to a small group of gamers and gun enthusiasts in a private internet chatroom. They also discuss the media's role in identifying the suspect using open source clues left by Texeira and his friends in the months leading up to his arrest as well as what the accused 21 year old might face in an Espionage Act trial.If you’d like to support our work, go to theintercept.com/join — your donation, no matter what the amount, makes a real difference.And if you haven’t already, please subscribe to the show so you can hear it every week. And please go and leave us a rating or a review — it helps people find the show. If you want to give us feedback, email us at Podcasts@theintercept.com.
Wednesday, April 12, 2023

U.S. Counterterrorism Efforts Destabilizing African Nations

Vice President Kamala Harris wrapped a historic tour of Africa last week, where she positioned the U.S. as a reliable and trustworthy security and economic partner. This week on Intercepted, host Murtaza Hussain is joined by investigative reporter, Nick Turse, to discuss his latest reporting on U.S. counterterrorism efforts in Africa. Since the war on terror was launched, the U.S. government’s ventures in Africa have been more focused on military aid than economic support. Harris’s trip comes after a decade of China investing in infrastructure and critical resource mining throughout the continent and the administration’s concerns over the growing influence of the Russian mercenary Wagner Group. But America’s 20-plus years of counterterrorism support in the region hasn’t resulted in better security. In that time, terrorist groups have risen and U.S.-trained African officers have attempted at least nine coups, eight of which were successful. Hussain and Turse discuss the impact of U.S. military involvement and the influence of other foreign powers.If you’d like to support our work, go to theintercept.com/join — your donation, no matter what the amount, makes a real difference.And if you haven’t already, please subscribe to the show so you can hear it every week. And please go and leave us a rating or a review — it helps people find the show. If you want to give us feedback, email us at Podcasts@theintercept.com.