Author: Max Blumenthal

Max Blumenthal is an award-winning journalist and the author of several books, including best-selling Republican GomorrahGoliath, The Fifty One Day War, and The Management of Savagery. He has produced print articles for an array of publications, many video reports, and several documentaries, including Killing Gaza. Blumenthal founded The Grayzone in 2015 to shine a journalistic light on America's state of perpetual war and its dangerous domestic repercussions.

Facebook Censorship of Alternative Media “Just the Beginning,” Says Top Neocon Insider

At a Berlin security conference, hardline neocon Jamie Fly appeared to claim some credit for the recent coordinated purge of alternative media.

By Max Blumenthal and Jeb Sprague

This October, Facebook and Twitter deleted the accounts of hundreds of users, including many alternative media outlets maintained by American users. Among those wiped out in the coordinated purge were popular sites that scrutinized police brutality and U.S. interventionism, like The Free Thought Project, Anti-Media, and Cop Block, along with the pages of journalists like Rachel Blevins.

Facebook claimed that these pages had “broken our rules against spam and coordinated inauthentic behavior.” However, sites like The Free Thought Project were verified by Facebook and widely recognized as legitimate sources of news and opinion. John Vibes, an independent reporter who contributed to Free Thought, accused Facebook of “favoring mainstream sources and silencing alternative voices.”

In comments published here for the first time, a neoconservative Washington insider has apparently claimed a degree of credit for the recent purge — and promised more takedowns in the near future.

“Russia, China, and other foreign states take advantage of our open political system,” remarked Jamie Fly, a senior fellow and director of the Asia program at the influential think tank the German Marshall Fund, which is funded by the U.S. government and NATO. “They can invent stories that get repeated and spread through different sites. So we are just starting to push back. Just this last week Facebook began starting to take down sites. So this is just the beginning.”

Fly went on to complain that “all you need is an email” to set up a Facebook or Twitter account, lamenting the sites’ accessibility to members of the general public. He predicted a long struggle on a global scale to fix the situation, and pointed out that to do so would require constant vigilance.

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Censored Documentary Exposes the Israeli Government’s Attack on Black Lives Matter

Exclusive footage from the censored Al Jazeera documentary, “The Lobby – USA,” shows Israeli government officials taking credit for attacks on Black Lives Matter and reveals an Israel lobbyist explaining how his organization shut down a BLM fundraiser

By Max Blumenthal

When the Movement for Black Lives released a platform in August 2016 that supported the BDS (boycott, divestment and sanctions) movement and identified Israel as an apartheid state engaged in a project of genocide against Palestinians, the Israeli government snapped into action.

Previously unreleased footage from Al Jazeera’s censored investigative documentary, “The Lobby – USA,” shows Israeli diplomats complaining about the Black Lives Matter “problem” and boasting about their cultivation of established black civil rights activists as pro-Israel proxies.

The footage also reveals how the Israel lobby orchestrated the sudden cancellation of a Black Lives Matter fundraiser at a New York City nightclub.

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Leaked Scenes from Censored Documentary Reveal Israel Lobbyist Noah Pollak Astroturfing an Anti-Palestinian Protest

Exclusive leaked scenes from Al Jazeera’s “The Lobby – USA” documentary show how Emergency Committee for Israel Executive Director Noah Pollak and the Hoover Institution astroturfed an inflammatory protest against the 2016 Students for Justice in Palestine national conference.

By Max Blumenthal

The Grayzone Project has released scenes from an investigative Al Jazeera undercover documentary, “The Lobby – USA,” whose publication was blocked by the government of Qatar under Israel lobby pressure.

The footage reveals how Emergency Committee on Israel Executive Director Noah Pollak and the right-wing Hoover Institution organized an astroturfed a protest aimed at disrupting the 2016 Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) national conference.

According to one Hoover Institution campus fellow, “This is the first foot soldier activity that I think we’ve been forced to do.”

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Who’s Behind Canary Mission’s Anonymous Anti-Palestinian Blacklisting Website?

Canary Mission has exploited its anonymity to smear college students with impunity. The Grayzone is investigating the forces behind the malicious anti-Palestinian organization’s web domain.

By Hamzah Raza and Max Blumenthal

Editor’s note #1: An attorney for Howard David Sterling has asserted that Sterling “does not own the website” of CanaryMission.org, “did not engage in any of the conduct” committed by Canary Mission, and “had never even heard of that website until he was asked about it by a reporter earlier this year.” Sterling’s attorney stated, “GoDaddy specifically informed us that Howard Sterling is not and never has been the owner of that domain registration.”

Editor’s note #2: The Grayzone has continued to investigate the forces behind Canary Mission. We have obtained a bank statement recording a November 21, 2018 donation to CanaryMission.org that was accompanied by a cellphone number that was registered in Sterling’s name until at least March 15, 2015 — a month after the Canary Mission domain was registered.

Editor’s note #3: As Ali Abunimah and Asa Winstanley first reported, the censored Al Jazeera documentary, “The Lobby – USA” identified pro-Israel oligarch Adam Milstein as “Canary Mission funder.” 

Since it first registered its website in February 2015, Canary Mission has been a source of mystery and menace. Dedicated to blacklisting students involved in Palestine solidarity activism, intimidating them and denigrating their public reputations, Canary Mission’s administrators have gone to great lengths to conceal their identities. The secrecy has enabled them to target legally defenseless students – who are mostly members of minority and immigrant groups — with total impunity.

A document supplied to the Grayzone identifies the person who was at least the initial owner of Canary Mission’s domain name as a wealthy lawyer who has been a fervent supporter of Israel. According to document provided to the Grayzone, his name is Howard David Sterling.

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Inside America’s Meddling Machine: NED, the US-Funded Org Interfering in Elections Around the Globe

Filmed inside the Capitol, this Grayzone special explores the National Endowment for Democracy (NED), a taxpayer-funded organization that has interfered in elections, mobilized coups, and orchestrated public relations campaigns against nations that resist Washington’s agenda.

By Max Blumenthal


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How Nicaragua’s ‘Left-Wing’ Opposition MRS Are NGO Opportunists Lobbying the West for Regime Change

The Sandinista Renovation Movement (Movimiento Renovador Sandinista – MRS) is the intellectual, left-sounding arm of reactionary politics in Nicaragua. Its popular base is minuscule, but it has been adept at courting Western support.

By Max Blumenthal and Nils McCune

On a recent episode of my Moderate Rebels podcast with Ben Norton, I asked Nils McCune about the role of the Sandinista Renovation Movement (Movimiento Renovador Sandinista – MRS) party in marketing the recent coup in Nicaragua as a progressive popular mobilization.

McCune, a longtime resident of the Nicaraguan city of Tipitapa, has worked closely with the country’s rural campesino movement and observed the coup from the ground. He is also an astute observer of the country’s politics and history.

Below is audio of our discussion and a transcript of McCune’s comments on the MRS, its collaboration with right-wing elements inside Nicaragua, and its importance in selling the coup to the Western liberal-left.

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An Exclusive Interview with Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega

Daniel Ortega claims his Sandinista government has just defeated a US-backed coup. In a candid and lengthy discussion with me in Managua, he discussed the violent unrest and the factors behind it.

By Max Blumenthal

Since the sudden outbreak of protests and violence last April, an uneasy calm had fallen over Nicaragua. President Daniel Ortega and his Sandinista government have claimed victory over what they call a coup attempt, but they now face condemnation from the US and its allies, who accuse them of unleashing lethal violence against peaceful protesters.

I spent much of July inside Nicaragua, speaking with supporters of the government and their opponents. I learned that Washington’s narrative of a despised dictator mowing down unarmed demonstrators wasn’t exactly accurate. Across the country, I observed widespread support for Ortega and the Sandinista movement. It also became apparent from the moment I arrived that Western media had covered up the brutality of the opposition, as well as its anti-democratic agenda.

In the midst of what seemed to be a misinformation campaign reinforced by right-wing members of Congress and the Organization of American States, I approached the Nicaraguan government for a chance to hear Ortega’s side of the story. He agreed, granting me one of his first interviews in eleven years.

Here are 13 takeaways from our wide-ranging discussion on July 25 in Managua:

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How Washington and Soft Power NGOs Manipulated Nicaragua’s Death Toll to Drive Regime Change and Sanctions

Did Nicaragua’s Sandinista government really kill 300+ peaceful protesters? A forensic analysis of the death toll exposes the claim as a dangerous lie.

By Max Blumenthal

A detailed study of the death toll that has been recorded in Nicaragua since a violent campaign to remove President Daniel Ortega and his Sandinista government shows that at least as many Sandinista supporters were killed as opposition members. The study, “Monopolizing Death,” demonstrates how partisan local NGOs conflated all deaths that occurred since April, including accidents and the murders of Sandinistas, with killings by government forces. Washington has seized on the bogus death count to drive the case for sanctions and intensify pressure for regime change.

The manipulated death toll was the centerpiece of a July 25 harangue by Republican Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen on the House floor. While drumming up support for a bipartisan resolution condemning Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega for supposedly ordering the massacre of demonstrators, Ros-Lehtinen declared, “Mr. Speaker, four hundred and fifty! That is how many Nicaraguans have been killed by the Ortega regime and its thugs since April of this year.”

The congresswoman’s portrayal of a dictatorial regime gunning down peaceful protesters like helpless quails in a canned hunt was designed to generate pressure for an attack on the Nicaraguan economy in the form of sanctions packages like the Nica Act. Her narrative was reinforced by Vice President Mike Pence, who condemned Nicaragua’s government for “350+ dead at the hands of the regime,” and by Ken Roth, the long-serving executive director of Human Rights Watch, who also suggested that Ortega had personally ordered the killing of “300 demonstrators against his corrupt and repressive rule.”

Throughout the past two weeks, I have been in Nicaragua interviewing scores of victims of the US-backed Nicaraguan opposition. I have met police officials who saw their colleagues gunned down by well armed elements while being ordered to stay in their stations, Sandinista union leaders whose homes were burned down, and average citizens who were kidnapped at tranque roadblocks and pulled out of their homes to be beaten and tortured, sometimes with the assent of Catholic priests. It was clear to me that the Nicaraguan opposition was anything peaceful in its bid for regime change.

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VIDEO: Congress welcomes an actual fascist as Nazi violence rages in Ukraine

I asked the Washington hosts of Andriy Parubiy, the speaker of Ukraine’s parliament and founder of two neo-Nazi parties, why they were legitimizing an open fascist at the heart of the extremism plaguing his country.

By Max Blumenthal

While racist violence raged through Ukraine, punctuated by a wave of attacks on Roma encampments by the state-funded C14 neo-Nazi militia, Congress played host to an actual Ukrainian fascist. He was Andriy Parubiy, and besides being the proud founder of two Nazi-like parties — the Social-National Party and the Patriot of Ukraine — he was the speaker of Ukraine’s parliament.

During a meeting hosted by the American Foreign Policy Society inside the Senate, I seized the chance to ask Parubiy’s hosts why they were welcoming a figure who was so central to the extremism overtaking Ukrainian society. I also put the question to Michael Carpenter, a former Pentagon official who helped deepen the US relationship with post-coup Ukraine during the Obama administration.

The responses I received reflected a semi-official policy of denying the very existence of Ukraine’s far-right plague in order to turn the heat up on Moscow.

The Ukrainian lawmaker appeared on a panel alongside fellow speakers of Eastern European parliaments eager to join the US-NATO crusade against Russia in exchange for handsome aid packages. At the top of the agenda was stopping the Nord Stream 2 pipeline between Russia and Germany, a project viewed in Washington as an existential threat to US economic leverage over Europe.

Earlier in the day, Parubiy held private discussions with the Republican Speaker of the House, Paul Ryan and enjoyed what Under Secretary of State for Arms Control Andrea Thomson described as an “excellent meeting” with a “proactive” leader.

Parubiy’s first meeting with Ryan, which Ben Norton covered for the Grayzone last June, was also treated as business as usual, without a single protest or critical word from the Beltway press.

Watch my exchange in the video report below, which I co-produced with Thomas Hedges.

Maquinaria injerencista del gobierno de los EE.UU. se jacta de ‘preparar el terreno para la insurrección’ en Nicaragua.

Mientras los líderes de las protestas estudiantiles nicaragüenses se reunían con neoconservadores en Washington DC, una publicación financiada por el brazo del gobierno estadounidense encargado en los cambios de régimen, la Fundación Nacional para la Democracia (NED por sus siglas en inglés), se jacta de gastar millones de dólares “preparando el terreno para la insurrección” contra Daniel Ortega.

Por Max Blumenthal

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