Jeremy Corbyn, a real progressive, could win UK’s elections. Max Blumenthal joins Pushback to discuss how powerful forces are trying to stop Corbyn with a Russiagate-fueled smear campaign — and why Bernie Sanders could be their next target.
Just before British elections, the UK’s military-intelligence apparatus is smearing Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn with evidence-free Russiagate allegations. NATO-funded “researchers” are claiming that leaked documents publicized by Corbyn that exposed secret US-UK talks over the British health service are in fact the result of a Russian disinformation campaign. The Russia-baiting against Corbyn comes as the Labour leader also faces an ongoing campaign to smear him with fake charges of anti-Semitism. The Grayzone’s Max Blumenthal discusses the British and US government-tied forces behind the anti-Corbyn effort, and how Bernie Sanders could be next.
Guest: Max Blumenthal, Editor of The Grayzone and author of The Management of Savagery.
Aaron Maté: Those of us on the Left who have been critical of Russiagate have long warned that it will be used to attack progressives and progressive values. In the US, we’ve seen that with attempts to tie Bernie Sanders, Jill Stein, Tulsi Gabbard, and other dissident voices to Russian influence. And now in Britain we are seeing perhaps one of the most blatant cases of Russia-baiting to date. Just days before British elections, the UK’s military-intelligence apparatus is smearing Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn with evidence-free allegations. This latest attempt began after Corbyn publicized leaked documents exposing secret talks between Britain’s Conservative government and the US to privatize Britain’s National Health Service (NHS) as part of the Brexit deal. The revelation undermined the claim of Prime Minister Boris Johnson – who is Corbyn’s opponent — that the NHS was not up for negotiation.
Jeremy Corbyn: We’ve now got evidence that under Boris Johnson, the NHS is on the table and will be up for sale. The U.S. is demanding that our NHS is on the table in negotiations for a toxic deal. It’s already being talked about in secret. That could lead to runaway privatization of our health service. Mega-corporations see Johnson’s alliance with Trump as a chance to make billions from the illness and sickness of people in this country.
Aaron Maté: No one has challenged the authenticity of the documents Corbyn exposed. Instead, the British government and its allies are turning to a familiar tactic: blaming Russia. Within days, a series of news reports on both sides of the Atlantic told audiences that the leaked documents were likely part of a Russian disinformation effort. The social media site Reddit, where the documents first appeared, made that allegation as well. But buried in these stories was a caveat: there is no actual evidence of Russian involvement. And although these allegations were said to have come from “independent researchers”, also hidden from these audiences is that they are anything but independent. The main expert cited here, Ben Nimmo, is funded by governments including the US, and the British Tory government. Nimmo’s firm Graphika, works with the Pentagon and the US Senate intelligence committee. Nimmo also works as a senior fellow at the Digital Forensic Research Lab at the Atlantic Council, NATO’s unofficial think tank in Washington. The British government is among the Atlantic Council’s biggest donors.
This Russia-baiting against Corbyn comes as the Labour leader also faces an ongoing campaign to smear him with fake charges of anti-Semitism. Reported, isolated incidents of anti-Semitism by members of Corbyn’s Labour party have been used to manufacture a so-called “anti-Semitism crisis” that supposedly afflicts his entire movement. In reality, that allegation serves the same purpose as the Russia allegations: to taint a progressive leader, and lifelong anti-racist, who has a strong chance of becoming Britain’s next Prime Minister.