Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
December 16, 2019

Max Blumenthal Says He Is A "Cynical Salesperson Posing As Journalist". He Is Right.



In July 2017 we took on three "cynical salespersons" in the 'progressive' media who took part in a "disinformation campaign aimed at convincing Americans to support decapitating another Middle Eastern government and let Al Qaeda and co. fill the void." Those three "cynical salespeople" were then and still are "posing as journalists".

Five years after the war on Syria began those three "cynical salespersons", who had consistently propagandized for more war on Syria, turned around and started to write in favor of the Syrian government side while either forgetting to mention or even hiding their earlier position.

From our 2017 piece Syria - The Alternet Grayzone Of Smug Turncoats - Blumenthal, Norton, Khalek:

Max Blumenthal is a well connected and known author who has done work on the Palestinian cause from a somewhat leftish perspective. He is also an arrogant and ignorant showman.

Blumenthal currently edits the Alternet Grayzone project. In their recent writings he and his co-writers profess to dislike the al-Qaeda led opposition in Syria. Yet it is exactly the same opposition they earlier vehemently supported.

Yesterday the Real News Network interviewed Blumenthal on his recent piece about CNN's al-Qaeda promotion. The headline: Max Blumenthal on How the Media Covers Syria. During the interview Blumenthal laments the failure of progressive media on Syria:


Blumenthal is outraged, OUTRAGED, that "progressive" media peddle the Syria conflict along "the official line".

Yet in 2012 Max Blumenthal resigned as columnist from the Lebanese paper Al Akhbar English because the paper did not write along "the official line". He publicly (also here) smeared and accused his Al Akhbar colleagues for taking a cautious or even anti-opposition position on Syria.

The Al Akhbar writers challenged the mainstream narratives while Blumenthal, with his resignation and his writing about it, solidly aligned with the imperial project. Back then he himself went along "the official line".
Now Max Blumenthal has found an outlet that pays him for writing along the very line he condemned when he resigned from Al Akhbar. Nowhere do I find an explanation by Blumenthal for his change of position. No public apology for smearing his former colleagues has been issued by him.

From March 2011 to mid 2016 Max Blumenthal and his sidekicks Ben Norton and Raina Khalek were rabidly 'pro-rebel'. They were vehemently attacking everyone who had a different view. After five long years of cheering on Al Qaeda and consorts, who were all along killing Syrian people left and right, they turned their coats and started to write in favor of the Syrian government side of the war.

To hide their 'change of opinion' they deleted their old tweets and articles. Only after we and others continued to point out their dishonesty  did they publish a podcast to deliver a muddled Mea Culpa. That was in May 2018, two years after the three had changed their direction by 180°. Just like Max's old tweets and writings that podcast has since been deleted. But partial transcripts others made still exist. They are linked in The Turncoats Deliver A Poor Excuse - by Daniel, who listened to, quoted and commented on the podcast:

Yes, Max "didn’t take a serious look at what was actually going on" in Syria. And didn't for five more years.
It would also be nice for Max to explain why, once he changed his position on Syria after Russia had helped turn the tide, he, Ben and Rania scrubbed all their anti-Syrian/pro-"rebel" posts from the internet without explanation. How Orwellian.

But he "just haven’t really had the chance to sit down and write" an apology and explanation.

And once Russia stepped in, Max was "pretty relieved" he didn’t "have to engage in" the Syrian disaster and so he "sort of tapped out." Wait. I thought he just said that was when he finally "tapped in" and began investigating and writing about what had really been going on.

So, he goes on to say that after the "eastern Aleppo operation", he "started to come to" his "senses" "BECAUSE I STARTED TO REALIZE THAT AN INTERVENTION AT THIS POINT BY THE US WOULD BE A RECIPE FOR CATASTROPHE"! Wait! What? It was too late for "intervention", so Max changed horses? And then he finally took a few weeks to read what he could about Syria and do his "due diligence."

Today Max Blumenthal is at it again. He denigrates other 'journalists' for doing exactly what he himself has done, writing pro-war propaganda. Quoting a tweet by Professor Max Abrahms the turncoat Max Blumenthal comments:

Max Blumenthal @MaxBlumenthal - 5:01 UTC · Dec 16, 2019

It wasn’t a failure, it was a disinformation campaign aimed at convincing Americans to support decapitating another Middle Eastern government and let Al Qaeda and co. fill the void. After Iraq and Libya, this required real effort. And cynical salespeople posing as journalists.

Quoted Tweet

Max Abrahms @MaxAbrahms - 0:39 UTC · Dec 16, 2019

Media has failed in its coverage of the #Syria conflict.
In my life studying international relations, I’ve never seen anything remotely this egregious.
The #Iraq & #Afghanistan wars have nothing on Syria.
The discrepancy between the mainstream narrative & reality is gigantic.

I do not mind when people honestly change their opinions or standpoints. I do that too once a while. But deleting one's own former work from the public view while denigrating those who still stick to the talking points one had previously espoused is deeply dishonest. It must be called out.

Not being able to consistently explain why one's view has changed lets others assume that ulterior motives must be in play.

Salespersons get paid for selling the products they peddle. They change their company when a different one pays them more for peddling a different product. Some salespersons who sold Fords as "the best care ever" now sell Toyotas with a similar slogan.

It seems that money was the reason for Blumenthal & Co to change their view on Syria. They simply started to peddle a different 'product' because it was more profitable for them. As they are "cynical salespersons" they deleted their public record of peddling Fords. Their public record now only shows that they peddle Toyotas.

That is Orwellian, as Daniel remarked: We've always been at war with Eastasia.

Who by the way finances Blumenthal's Grayzone. Its website does not reveal that.

Will money also be the reason when Blumenthal & Co will do their next 'change of mind'?

Posted by b on December 16, 2019 at 19:22 UTC | Permalink

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NoOneYouKnow @100

Max Blumenthal is clearly untrustworthy. You probably haven't had the time yet to read the articles that Jackrabbit @97 referrs to.

Posted by: ADKC | Dec 17 2019 2:26 utc | 101

This storymask the story that Turkey has threatened to close two USA air bases what is behind that threat..
seems to me there is much more to that threat than just disagreement over s-400s..

Posted by: snake | Dec 17 2019 2:41 utc | 102

Given that J.L.Seagull | Dec 17 2019 0:19 utc | 73 has just shown that Max's 2016 podcast explaining his changed position on the Syrian War has NOT been deleted then I think we should accept that Max did not cover up his past mistaken position and accept that b erred.

Posted by: ToivoS | Dec 17 2019 2:50 utc | 103

It seems to me it is the intolerance of hypocracy which seems to underly so much great work here and elsewhere (the saker, Max et al and others come to mind.) I lap it up. (I plan to donate in my small way too soon.)

But that same intolerance is a two edged sword because no one can pass every test. We all have failings and faults and so if we must speak we should try to speak the truth as a Buddhist would: with kindness. I read Max's twitter and he's often calling out other journalists' hypocracy too. Also those on the left.

Maybe he deserves that same criticism. But we will consume ourselves if the eyes of Modor are not returned to the common evil that are wars, empire, capitalism run amok, etc. We have much bigger fish to fry.

Posted by: Bobzibub | Dec 17 2019 2:54 utc | 104

A simple explanation for the scrubbing is that their previous support for the anti-Assad Islamist rebels is, was deeply embarrassing to them, Journalists are only flawed Human Beings like the rest of us, No one has a total purchase on absolute truth .. Orwell also referred to the Stalinist intellectuals of his day as sniveling Orthodoxy hunters , picking up on minor flaws or lapses of doctrinal orthodoxy to crucify their opponents... Do Journalists have to be perfect, can they not be venal , opinionated, duped?

Posted by: Marb | Dec 17 2019 2:55 utc | 105

Max was 33 in 2010. His father's position had likely dominated his outlook for his entire life, at that time. People are not fully mature in their 20s: we are just starting out as fully cogent actors, and our first 10 years is mostly figuring out how to stand straight on a constantly shifting and sliding deck. Our hormones and emotions still gamble and rub, and it isn't til our early 30s that we settle into our mature selves.

It's hard, I think, for a young man to admit that his father has been a key player in war crimes. Harder still for such a one to publicly declaim a once-admired father who likely fed him key leaks and got his career started.

That is enough to explain all of the troubling observations b has made, here--and I agree with him that they deserve our attention, and warrant wariness.

Perhaps Blumenthal the Younger is far less craven and deceitful than he is pained by regret, and shame.

Posted by: Pacifica Advocate | Dec 17 2019 3:01 utc | 106

Bobzibub @104

See my comment @97.

Barbara McKenzie who looked closely into the "rebranding" of Max B. and gang believes the rebranding is a ploy to control the narrative - a narrative that got away from them as the war dragged on and then Russia intervened.

I see no reason to disagree with her analysis and every reason to be cautious about Max B. Including the unabashed hyping of his recent arrest.


Posted by: Jackrabbit | Dec 17 2019 3:01 utc | 107

A clear filtration b. Narrative control of the most highly funded propaganda outlet in the world has need to shift stories.

Posted by: NJH | Dec 17 2019 3:01 utc | 108

So maxie has tried to loose his sad little troll army on MoA eh? It's kinda droll watching their limp wristed attempts to take down a real journo.
What a mob of grubby little f+ckwits they are, esp the drongo who wants his $5 back which is a reflection of these types' thinking - ie they pay you to write what they want to hear b - so much for their belief in independent journalism.

Apart from the shamefully deceitful act of scrubbing one's 'inconvenient' posts something which has never happened at MoA, there is a larger issue which reminds me of Vietnam protests.

The Blumenthal slug didn't go truly public with his 180 until the creep in charge was a rethug. Maxie's agenda stick's out like the balls on a camp dog, he wants to be a pol - even better than dad, so doesn't upset the dem party hacks by criticising wars oblamblam & crooked Joe kicks off until the butchery can be blamed on a rethug.

The saddest part is the critical thinking-challenged mindset of his disciples who must be amnesiac or moronic since they fail to remember how, back in 1968 when a chunk of the most fervent backers of the dem party instigated slaughter of myriad indigenous clans of indochina, AKA in amerikaspeak, the war in Vietnam, suddenly became peaceniks once Richard M Nixon was made prez.

The likes of Hubert "the gelastic warmonger" Humphrey whose switch from butcher of decent people to pseudo-caring peacenik gained lotsa derisory laughter (kinda like the laugh old Huey had demonstrated when confronted by burning, napalm-soaked school children barely 12 months before - see also Hill the shill vis-à-vis Libya) but bugger all votes.

Nixon won, suddenly the most hardened "kill the commie slants" dem pols changed their stance. The move was so cynical that decent amerikans who had been resisting the push against Vietnamese nationalism for nearly a decade just could not accept the turnabout. Sure there was suddenly a lot more resources for opposing the war with, as long as the 'save amerikan boys' meme was emphasised, and not 'the innocents are being tortured' line which had been the impetus for opposition to amerika's invasion from the get go.
People didn't swallow the blatant hypocrisy from the likes of Humphrey, and the won't swallow Maxie's attempt at a dollar each way on Syria, if Hillary had won he woulda kept backing the jihadists out there, while making quiet criticisms on the down low.

In both instances it is the shift away from concern for the empire's real victims, onto pretend angst about the perps being the victims, the constant wail of dem party hacks, is what makes cruel imperial wars so easy. As long as the slaughter is sufficiently remote thanks to drones & proxy butchers, so the body-bags 'coming home' are sufficiently 'small', imperial wars cop an automatic uptick from both legislative arenas every time. That has been the legacy of dem hacks pretending to oppose vietnam, who knows what new horror meme will rise out of Blumenthal & the other dem hacks pretense to stand against the rape of Syria? Whatever it is, I betcha the occupiers of Palestine will be the ultimate beneficiary.

This is the cesspool Maxie is trying to slime into. F++k the scumbag.

Even as he scrabbles, scratches, claws and backstabs at anyone who he imagines may obstruct his shift from slimy neolib warmonger, to caring and sharing ersatz socialist peacenik.
What can one say of a low-life who treats the violent deaths of decent humans half a world away as an unfortunately needed stepping stone on his career track

Credibility = zilch

Posted by: A User | Dec 17 2019 3:12 utc | 109

@teatree (52) "If Max Blumenthal were interested in committing journalism he would begin by interviewing his father."

Oh I get it, the sins of the fathers shall be visited upon the sons, is that what you think? Might I ask if you follow your own father's or mother's path in every way? I suspect that you would answer "no," so why don't you allow for the possibility that Max Blumenthal and his father do not agree on all things. I would bet that the son's staunch opposition to the way that Israeli Jews treat Palestinians is rather different than his father's position on the matter.

Posted by: Rob | Dec 17 2019 3:30 utc | 110

Quite a read b, thanks for stirring the pot. All the pros are signing on tonight..

Posted by: ben | Dec 17 2019 3:36 utc | 111

I remember seeing him on Charlie Rose pimping Leviathan in 2013- in 2012 he left the Lebanese paper Al Akhbar, denouncing his colleagues as Assad supporters. Nuff said.

Posted by: Chris | Dec 17 2019 3:42 utc | 112

Copeland @99:

Max Blumenthal is a person who is manic after fame, and wants to align himself with the side that is winning.
Considering all the excellent takedowns of Guaidó and his golpistas I’ve read on Grayzone, I say: from Copeland’s mouth to God’s ear!

Posted by: David G | Dec 17 2019 3:44 utc | 113

Pacifica Advocate @106

You know there are other journalists who researched and went to Syria and saw and reported the truth and they were horrendously disparaged (Vanessa Beeley for one). When the time comes for these reporters to be recognised for having been right and being rewarded for acting like true journalists, for them to be vindicated, what happens? They are ignored and Blumenthal grabs the credibility that does not belong to him.

What about all those journalists Blumenthal disparaged at al-Akhbar News. Has he apologised to them? Has he withdrawn his smears?

And now he comes the raw prawn with other journalists, seeming to attack them for what Blumenthal actually did and they haven't actually done, and hijacking their narrative, exactly what Blumenthal did to Max Abrahams.

Blumenthal attacks journalists as just cynical salesman but fails to see that, in light of the history of his involvement and reporting of the Syrian Conflict and his relaunching as a someone opposed to Syrian intervention, this only makes sense if he is referring to himself and people he worked in consort with.

By your own bizarre mapping of Blumethal's emotional development, he knew and was fully mature and reponsible by the time the Syria conflict started in 2011 (when Blumethal was 34); so please don't try to fool us into thinking he was just a child at the time.


Crumbs! There are some wierd posts defending or excusing Max Blumenthal! Self-defeating I'm afraid, it's now very obvious that Blumenthal is some kind of project.

Posted by: ADKC | Dec 17 2019 3:48 utc | 114

this is a bit of an obsolete post for many here, it is merely addressed to those who find the Grayzone does good work and that one should forgive errors. Which is of course the most important thing, by the way: to forgive. But that's not what this post is about.

- The Grayzone does good work
- Amnesty International does good work
- WWF does good work
- Democracy Now does good work
- etc.

Still we choose which NGO we support, which media we trust. And reading other media outlets is always part of the job. b also cites the Washington Post, the Independent, the Guardian, etc.

I find it important what b writes in this piece. I read Ben Norton's reply to the 2017 MoA piece, and it was a very weak apology. b's reply to Norton's statement was correct in my opinion. Yes it may sound harsh and unforgiving what b writes, in his reply to Norton, and in this piece here. But it is important. Thank you b, excellent work.

Posted by: Phil | Dec 17 2019 3:57 utc | 115

Rob @110

No Rob, that isn't what teatree is saying. The point teatree is making, however hard this may be, is this:- if Blumenthal wants to be a journalist exposing the dark underbelly of America then he really has to tackle and expose his own father first.

Blumenthal doesn't have to this, he could train to a dentist for instance. Or he could just be a regular hack on the New York Times. But no he choose to pose as a campaigning journalist bravely exposing the truth of America's wars, fighting against the deep state, etc.

Posted by: ADKC | Dec 17 2019 4:05 utc | 116

Jackrabbit | Dec 16 2019 20:44 utc | 17

....implanted a similarity to Assange in the minds ...

" the minds". Curious words, those. Methinks you are on to something of great discovery.

Maybe scientists will get curious explain just what is this "mind" thingy. A working definition that suggests an even more workable definition would be helpful.

[Dr.] Wilder Penfield in the 1950s, to crown his long and fruitful neurosurgeon career, decided to put an end to speculation on "mind" and, as last effort prior to retirement, discover whether it is same as "brain" or separate "thing" with communication links to "brain". After years of brilliant work at McGill U. [specially funded by a Rockefeller entity] he concluded that he was unable to answer that question. And retired.

That was my introduction to "mind". Then hearing of .gov-related activities in late was no surprise. Only later learned of the Rockefeller involvement.

Posted by: chu teh | Dec 17 2019 4:44 utc | 117

What is shocking with some of the comments here,B, is the excuses provided on behalf of the inexcusable. For 5 YEARS these people advocated for the slaughter of Syrian citizens by Al Queda. You mean to tell me they didn't know that was WRONG?
I trust B. And I do Because his work is consistent in fighting mainstream narratives. He is consistently anti war and will admit a mistake and correct it. In this case and for me personally, the truth is far far more important to me than being right about someone's persona. If there is a history of lies promoting the slaughter of others I sure as hell want to know about it. I can't excuse that. And I will unfollow ALL of them. Thank you,B. I think what might be helpful to me is at some point in the future, if you get time, perhaps give us a list of those you follow and trust,

Posted by: Annie | Dec 17 2019 5:01 utc | 118

Today's posting reminds me of George W. Bush times, Good vs. Evil, with us or against us mentality. It's even more entrenched now by most Dems and some progressives (whatever that label means today) with OrangeMan Bad, so everything OrangeMan ever said is Bad (get along with Russia? Question giving Javelin missiles to Ukraine?)

Most readers here seem to be smart at sorting out good info from bs. It does require added research and seeing all media with a skeptical eye, until over time trust can be gained for reliable reporting (MoA has achieved that for me). I always try to promote what I consider valid and discard what I don't. During the Ukraine coup and afterwards Saker was my trusted go-to; but I didn't care for what I considered anti-gay irrelevancies that he would occasionally delve into. Tucker Carlson makes some right-wing arguments I think are awful; I applaud him for being the best on MSM re Syria, Douma false flag and OPCW, exposing Russiagate, etc. Last night on C-Span I saw Dan Ellsberg discussing his excellent work on the nuclear insanity we have made; he then descended into OrangeMan Bad, applauding the new "whistleblower" as a new American hero.

My point is IMO we should look at any action or journalism for whether it promotes the larger goals upon which most of us agree. I feel Max B has done that with much of his recent work, and I'll cut him a break on his past, and don't go along with the "purity tests" for the issues he does or does not cover.

Posted by: Kabobyak | Dec 17 2019 5:26 utc | 119

Publishing this attack was not a good idea, how about attacking Trump or Obama instead. What have you accomplished - NOTHING.

We're all grown up out here we can make up our own minds.

Maybe save your venom for Luke Harding and his type.

I really really do not like it when journalists force their intramural squabbles on the public, we don't care that much and it's a big distraction.

Posted by: Babyl-on | Dec 17 2019 5:42 utc | 120

My opinion is that it is always worthwhile to keep in mind that Max Blumenthal, Ben Norton and Rania Khalek were once avid supporters of what they imagined were freedom fighters and revolutionaries fighting to free Syria of what they thought was a dictatorship, until they discovered otherwise.

That they jumped very quickly away from their former stand might suggest (to B and maybe some of us MoA barflies) that their Damascus conversion (heh heh) might not be completely genuine. Most people tend to believe that a change in attitude and belief usually takes time, years perhaps, before a true and profound acknowledgement that one has been wrong about a situation and is truly sorry.

Max B and company could just as easily jump back to their former position if "evidence" arises to suggest that their present stand is "suspect". All that might be needed is the planting of a few "clues" that the current narrative they believe in might not be the "correct" one.

It's just as well that B reminds us of the Grayzone trio's past twists and turns.

One perhaps should compare Max B and company with Tareq Haddad who at least struggled to get his report on the OPCW suppression of its inspectors' assessments of the supposed CW attack on Douma in 2018 published in Newsweek and the problems Haddad had with his editors before he walked away from his employer in disgust. Where Haddad will go now with his career in investigative journalism, who can say - I daresay no-one in the MSM will touch him now.

Posted by: Jen | Dec 17 2019 5:47 utc | 121

Kabobyat @119

You don't, by implication, cut The Saker, Tucker Carlson, Dan Ellsberg any slack but you give Blumenthal a break????

And, it seems, George Bush and Donald Trump are misunderstood and okay by you too!

No one raised "purity tests" either, that's just made up, straw man stuff.

A very weak set of arguments.

What nonsence you are posting!

The issue is that, at best Blumenthal is a careerist hyprocrite, who can't be relied on, and who is trying to rescue a pretty shoddy reputation or at worst (and more probably) a bad actor who is seeking to establish a platform, position and profile which he will use to mislead and betray his followers at crucial moments.

Posted by: ADKC | Dec 17 2019 5:52 utc | 122

Kabobyak @119

That is sure some slick bullshit Kabobyak.

Such mastery of the "grey zone" suggests that you work for Max B.

<> <> <> <> <>

... we should look at any action or journalism for whether it promotes the larger goals upon which most of us agree.

Well, that's what propaganda is all about, isn't it?

Cut him a break

So you have NO INTEREST in hearing his answer to b's questions? I guess you're not as discerning of a media consumer as you pretend to be.

Or you're just biased because you work for Max B.

<> <> <> <> <>

Maybe if it was YOUR friends and family that were killed, injured, or displaced in Syria/Iraq/Libya/Palestine/Yemen, you'd have a different view toward the propagandists that helped to make it happen.


Posted by: Jackrabbit | Dec 17 2019 5:56 utc | 123

Thanks for posting, I've actually been following GrayZone mostly because of Aaron Maté, but had squelched some unpleasant thoughts about how easy it is for Max and other GZ'rs to be in all these global hotspots. I just chalked it up to my lack of sophistication as to how they had all the $$'s & visas to do what they do.

An easier tell that something might be afoot is "Rising With The Hill's Krystal Ball and Saagar Enjeti". They seem to be serving my favorite flavor of Kool-Aid, but their show's Production Values don't happen without an impressive budget. Who is bankrolling this?

I think that you are definately on to a new kennel of "media sheepdogs" being put in play...

Posted by: Enrico Malatesta | Dec 17 2019 5:59 utc | 124

fascinating post and comments which i have now read up to jen @122 - thanks jen - good post!.... b hits it out of the park with this post as i see it.. home run!!

this is to all the regulars that i am going to name as best i can.. while i generally always appreciate bevin and bens posts - @35 bevin question at the end " Why don't we leave it at that? " has an answer... but before i say, jackrabbit smelled a rat with max b with the past couple of months with his victimhood - assault story and was right to smell a rat..

@ 46 adkc gives the answer "Then, when he has established himself and a huge number of people read, follow and trust his opinions, there will come an issue, probably a war, and Max will tell you this is a war that Americans have to fight or support."

@ 109 a user - (debs) nails it as well and he answers @ 25 william gruffs critical question too if wg is reading...

thanks b... as always a fascinating read and fun to see how the many fine posters take up this topic! i am fine with people changing their tune, as ben notes.. however with max b, there are a number of outstanding questions that are hanging over him so that everything he says has to be carefully vetted... b's questions are all good ones and max b continues to hide by not answering them directly...

Posted by: james | Dec 17 2019 5:59 utc | 125

ps - greyzone and aaron mate - aaron mate, son of gaber mate - might have to distance himself from the baggage that max, ben and etc are carrying, until such time as they offer a response to b's valid question here.. i really like both aaron and his dad who do good work...

Posted by: james | Dec 17 2019 6:02 utc | 126

So he realized he'd been tricked and he was wrong, than he did some more research and changed his opinion. That's what an honorable trust-worthy person does. As far as deleting the older work, wouldn't you? He admittedly hasn't been doing this kind of journalism for many years and realized his work was incorrect so he deleted it, as he should. His work since than at the Grayzone and on Moderate Rebels has been commendable on subjects like the White Helmets, Russiagate, Venezuela, the OPCW fiasco, Israel..etc.etc. Yes the Grayzone can be annoying in it's gatekeeping and not delving to deep as it's audience is a bit transitional (meaning people just starting to wake up that don't have a lot of time to read) thats why I like to send it to my family that knows very little beyond MSM narratives because its sort of left-lite and puts things in easy terms for beginners. Also as others pointed out they often seem to throw in a little cringy sentence such as when making a video about the medias lies about the Douma incident and than Theodore Postol says he still has "no doubt Assad committed war crimes" or David Swanson mentioning some Russiaphobic talking points while promoting world peace. While these are embarrassing, I always thought they were just attempts to save face for the newly interested so they can get their point across without smashing their world view altogether. I get you're points here, but geez is Blumenthal really worth attacking when he's carrying some of the same important stories as you into more expansive audiences? Mate and Blumenthal are among the best 'mainstream journalist', as apposed to the propagandist and stenographers of the MSM in the world right now in my opinion. This is a bit of a disappointment because I could see you collaborating a bit in the future.

Posted by: jays2 | Dec 17 2019 6:05 utc | 127's getting harder to tell the good guys...

I like the way Edward Curtin puts it in a recent article...

'...the bread of truth is essential to conceal untruth...'

Some interesting things in that article...including the surprising fact that 'truth-teller' Chris Hedges recently presented the Emmy Award for a documentary about Bellingcat...

On a personal level, one of the prominent scientists mentioned in this thread is someone I have come to wonder about after I collaborated with him recently...

I really recommend that Crutin article...[yes it's on Unz Review, so what...Andre Vltchek is also on there regularly, as are others in whom I have confidence...]

There is a passage in there that reminds me very much of what I often see here in the comments that makes me suspicious of misdirection...where the 'trick' if you will is what Curtin calls 'mystification'...

After making what sound like sensible points, the concluding remarks tend to an idiotic generalization about the 'human condition'and such anodyne nonsense...

The idea of course is to muddy the waters and dilute the message...I think this is probably something that shills are taught...the good ones even argue the truth convincingly, only to then dilute the very message they have been distilling with inane generalizations as a conclusion [which is what tends to stick in your memory]...

As for Max B, I think it's a worthwhile discussion, and certainly fair game...for those very reasons that we have a lot of people that appear trustworthy, but turn out to be something else altogether...

I do think Max has done good work on a lot of issues lately...but I would say never say never...

I know I have been played and suckered in those I trusted blindly...your mileage may vary...

Posted by: flankerbandit | Dec 17 2019 6:06 utc | 128

whoever mentions 9/11 as Jihadi terror attack is a "cynical salesperson". the day I heard for the first time Max Blumenthal doing that sort of reference, I labeled him as "controlled opposition".

Posted by: nietzsche1510 | Dec 17 2019 6:08 utc | 129

Babyl-on @121: We're all grown up out here ...

Really? Because you POV is that of a child who doesn't care to know how the sausage is made.


Posted by: Jackrabbit | Dec 17 2019 6:09 utc | 130

@128.. that's @61 juliania's point you're making in the first part... they might be doing good work now, but read adkc and a user response/s to this... max has some 'splaining to do and until he does, his work will remain suspect as b rightly notes..

Posted by: james | Dec 17 2019 6:12 utc | 131

@128 jays2... numbers change which is why i like to include the name...

Posted by: james | Dec 17 2019 6:14 utc | 132

I'm sure this is only a coincidence but President Obama and the Democrats were in power from 2011-2016.

At some point there (2016) - the Republicans won an Election and Donald Trump became President since 2016.

Just saying......

Posted by: Julian | Dec 17 2019 6:48 utc | 133

I'm a little disappointed in some of the comments from the regs over the course of this past day. Blumenthal was probably stupid and easily swayed by career ambition at age 33, as was I. He might not have issued the proper mea culpas and "kids" try to cover their tracks even in the "digital age" (a dumb move, really), and his warmonger neocon daddy probably held a bit of sway over him in his early career when he didn't have much of a following. Who knows? But the over-and-over-and-over comments about the same things from some of the people (@jackrabbit, @james, @karlof, and newer guys like @adkc) in this thread worry me that perhaps there is controlled opposition right here at MOA.

I very much appreciate Grayzone's coverage of Venezuela, Bolivia and yes, Syria in the last 3 years. I also appreciate b's work, and have CONSIDERED donating except for the suspicions I have about controlled opposition and the past history here of deleting comments (albeit some deservedly like Craig Summers) and banning commenters (both of which are why the #___ in replies frequently refers to non-existent comments).

The amount of bile here directed at anyone who makes points similar to my own, and the outrageous allegations that "we" are trolls in service to MB is troubling. I have myself been mysteriously disappeared here in the past, under the same exact two user names - posts from my home IP address routinely disappear (so I copy them all to a word processor now - so I think that our host might be a bit too vindictive to match the image of a tireless seeker of truth. Let me also say that I AGREE WITH 99.99% of everything that b and the aforementioned commenters say! The other thing that bothers me is that William Gruff, perhaps my favorite voice here other than b, has taken a very (rightly IMO) restrained approach to this subject that smacks of vindictiveness and something other than what we're being told.

I'll keep reading; don't really care if my commentary offended the host and got me blacklisted/disappeared, but this thread has certainly given me some insight as to who cares a bit too much about this person/topic. Maybe I'm just much younger with a lot less free time than some of y'all. But this has kinda devolved into us eating ourselves and shunning perceived outsiders, which will drive down readership. My $0.02 from Texas until I am able to comment regularly, trust the system (at MOA) and donate.

-KC (LOOOOONG time reader, relatively long time commenter when they don't miraculously disappear, and all that).

Posted by: Tyrone Slothrop 2 | Dec 17 2019 7:06 utc | 134

Barbara McKenzie on the trio with lots of quotes:

Nov 2016: The Rebranding of the Anti-Syria Left
Jan 2017: The Rebranding of the Anti-Syria Left, part 2: The Gatekeepers

Posted by: b | Dec 17 2019 7:14 utc | 135

AKDC #123

Thanks for retelling back to me "by implication" and what "it seems" I believe. Sorry it wasn't clear to you, but I am in no way a supporter of Bush or Trump, and it wasn't about "cutting slack" for Ellsberg, Saker, or Carlson. The point, once again, is that these journalists and others can do what I consider good analysis in some areas and not good in others. I will still champion them for what I consider good, which is a lot in the case of these three examples. Sorry I have a different take than you on Max B, and I do understand his past works were very damaging.

Jackrabbit #124

Sad that opinions can't be posted without vitriolic responses and smears (I work for Max B?!) I won't respond with the hostility but just with my opinions of your postings, which as a longtime MoA follower I have read hundreds. I think many of your comments have been intelligent and thought provoking and have opened my mind, while some I have disagreed with.You sometimes seem to strongly attack others opinions, and I personally deem that to be counterproductive on this forum. But I wouldn't attack you with hostility for that, it's your choice to write what you like

Posted by: Kabobyak | Dec 17 2019 7:30 utc | 136

Great thread this one

As all journalists/writers know, what you write about is a personal conviction and vocation.

Whilst you may traverse your opinions and convictions half way through a career and still maintain credibility there is only 1 way to do that. That would be - instead of deleting your previous work - hang it out there and pro-actively self critique your past activities and bring them into your current view.

Failure to do so means zero credibility and a great big ? against anything you are currently covering.

Posted by: martin | Dec 17 2019 7:35 utc | 137

Very disappointing to hear. I find their work (now) interesting and informative. Can we hope that Max's resignation was a genuine conversion?

Posted by: CD Waller | Dec 17 2019 7:42 utc | 138

jays2 @128

"So he realized he'd been tricked and he was wrong"

I guess this is a repeat of the attempt to blame the Socialist Worker Party (what Blumenthal/Norton refer to as the Cliffite Trotskyites). This is just ludicrus - no way could an SWP member persuade you to do something you didn't want to, they are far too annoying. They also push positions that are transitional (achievable) and wave placards and chant when mixing with the general public AKA the workers (it's all very basic stuff), but tend to have more detailed discussions amongst themselves. Norton blaming the SWP only makes sense if Blumenthal and Norton were actually members and, I am afraid, if they were then they are unlikely to say so and can never really be trusted. Readers may be interested to know that Tony Blair was a Trotskyist but his admission was so minimal that it leads to the suspicion that his flirtation with Trotsyism was a lot deeper and a lot longer than he lets on. Blair does not reveal which Trotskyite group he was a member of (and leaves the mistaken impression that perhaps all he did was read a book on Trotsky - we've all read books on Trotsky, Mr, Blair) and none has come forth to claim him. All rather strange from a non-Trotskyite viewpoint. You cannot trust a Trotskyite unless you fully understand their background and association and you won't be in this position unless you are a Trotskyite yourself or the Trotskyite in question gives full disclosure. From their behaviour I would guess that it is likely that Blumenthal and Norton were/are Trotskyites. This would go some way to explaining the support they are getting on this thread.

Also, while the SWP were over optimistic about Syria being a geniune peoples uprising, they never AFAIK supported or advocated for foreign intervention.

It should go without saying but if Blumenthal and Norton were/are members of the SWP or any other Trotskyite group then they should disclose this.

"He admittedly hasn't been doing this kind of journalism for many years and realized his work was incorrect so he deleted it, as he should."

This argummet doesn't wash. Blumenthal was a grown man of 34 years when the Syria conflict started, he's 42 years now.

A true journalist should not delete their work. They should issue corrections, amendments, additions, apologies, etc. but they should not delete their work.

" others pointed out they often seem to throw in a little cringy sentence"

I wasn't aware, wasn't that concerned but thank you for pointing it out.

"Yes the Grayzone can be annoying in it's gatekeeping and not delving to deep as it's audience is a bit transitional (meaning people just starting to wake up that don't have a lot of time to read) thats why I like to send it to my family that knows very little beyond MSM narratives because its sort of left-lite and puts things in easy terms for beginners."

Interesting use of the Trotskyist term "transistional" and the unnecessary obscuring but nonetheless (on reflection) fairly accurate defintion of the term. [Transistional Demand - an agitational demand that links the currenbt situation to a future aim - a socialist society.]

And, it should be pointed out, The Grayzone is not a particularly good website - if has a horrible design and layout

"I get you're points here, but geez is Blumenthal really worth attacking when he's carrying some of the same important stories as you into more expansive audiences?"

Yes, because there are other sites/journalists that report the same stories that are more trustworthy. I note a repeated concern that Grayzone should be spread to wider audiences, this seems quite heavy-handed to me.

"Mate and Blumenthal are among the best 'mainstream journalist', as apposed to the propagandist and stenographers of the MSM"

Aaron Mate appears to me to be a focussed and factual interviewer and researcher and he has more credibility that Blumenthal. Are you hoping some will rub off?

"This is a bit of a disappointment because I could see you collaborating a bit in the future."

b, you've blown it - you could have collaborated with Blumenthal, you could have been a contender, but you had to go and publish this article!

Posted by: ADKC | Dec 17 2019 7:46 utc | 139

Ben Norton's Mea Culpa, and response to the 2017 article here is pretty comprehensive .. he apologizes for getting it wrong , so many ad hominems implied in comments here are clearly elitist virtue signalling of the first order including some of this article ...gloating a la, I/We were right all along about Syria , the belated train hoppers are careerist opportunistic little Rich Kids..scum in other words its a Nasty fucking tone.

One notices a lot more dissension and smearing of one another on independent websites lately..there is no reason to believe the Alternative Media was not infiltrated long ago ,mostly by trolls in comments sections... the tactics are simple take the most extreme position (example there were no planes in the 9-11 attack , or WT C7 was nuked or lasered) ... and You can then smear all people who doubt the official 9-11 story by association.

The Students for a Democratic Society, Black Panthers and other radical US groups were infiltrated and torn asunder, fragmented ,crippled by intelligence Psy ops back in the early 70's , using just such petty bickering,and fake turf Wars a its sad to see...

Here's Nortons rebuttal to the 2017 article ,any honest appraisal will see that he is making a genuine effort at pulling apart his earlier misplaced credulity ... what do You want the "Grayzone Three" to do kill themselves , flagellate themselves, never write another word or more to the point, genuflect in acknowledgement that moon of Alabama is the incontestable champion who was there first?? ..

Posted by: Marb | Dec 17 2019 7:55 utc | 140

We are all salespeople. Some sell a product, some sell a service, some sell an opinion and some sell their soul. Some are cynical.

As always, caveat emptor.

The truth isn't a popularity contest. Thanks b., keep up the good work.

Posted by: Symen Danziger | Dec 17 2019 8:05 utc | 141

Hah! It's as I've always believed - mainstream media journalists (and, it seems, some others!) are propagandists not journalists; their enthusiastic and knowing promulgation of regime-change lies has helped corrupt Western politicians and the military industrial complex to slaughter millions of people. Given that fact, MSM journalists are, indisputably, war criminals and should be tried, convicted and imprisoned as such...

Posted by: Richard | Dec 17 2019 8:08 utc | 142

Tyrone Slothrop 2 @134

It's because there are far too many comments that are just whitewashing, brushing over, forgiving and down right ignoring what Blumenthal did and how he behaved. Far too many comments that are just not being objective.

You give no thought at all to the journalists he disparaged, they have careers and ambitions as well, but they don't seem to matter.

Posted by: ADKC | Dec 17 2019 8:26 utc | 143

What we need here is a good TRAK ( Troll Abwehr Kanone)!
But b. provide us a very good track to follow, so don't waste your time.

Posted by: daube | Dec 17 2019 8:31 utc | 144

Richard that is ridiculous , anyone who examines even their early journalism can see that they were never actually calling for intervention... they drank some kool aide, but they were not advocating regime change as even b grudgingly admits...

The ridiculous reflexive knee jerk proposition rampant among intelligent people that because someone is wrong about something they can never be right is bullshit binary thinking ... good vs evil, us vs them .. its so tediously prevalent and that is where these witch hunts lead, we are better ... Stalinist attitudes , if You are not wholly in agreement with us You are controlled opposition , on the side of empire, capital and warmongering...

Posted by: Marb | Dec 17 2019 8:37 utc | 145

Tyrone Slothrop 2 @134

You too easily forgive Max B. who purports to be a professional journalist, and too quickly attack commenters (like ADKC and myself) that have pointed out that:

1) b has a point and has made a reasonable request (where does Greyzone funding originate?);

2) comments that support Max B. attempt to brush aside and negate b's comments/request.

Anyone that cares about quality journalism should be interested to hear Max B.'s response instead of issuing knee-jerk defenses of someone that WE KNOW was on the wrong side of the Syria conflict for much longer than is reasonable.

Lastly, Max B. supporters have strangely ignored:

1) pertinent analysis from Barbara McKenzie (linked by me @97 and b @135);

2) Max B.'s hyping of his arrest (which I wrote about @17).

The pro-Max B. responses here could well lead one to question if Greyzone is a media organization or a cult.


Posted by: Jackrabbit | Dec 17 2019 8:53 utc | 146

Marb @140

All Ben Norton's explanation does is blame others principally the "Cliffite Trotskyites" which I shall call the SWP.

This doesn't make sense to me. Either they are just blaming the SWP because they are easy to blame or, if they were as influenced and involved with them as they would appear to be suggesting, then they were either members themselves or very closely associated. It couldn't be just that they read a few articles on the internet penned by the SWP and thought that's the truth - Trotskysite writers tend to be turgid and their articles very difficult to read to the end.

So the Ben Norton's explanation is unconvincing, casts blames on others and doesn't ring true.

If they wish to regain trust this is what they need to do:

1. Reveal their funding.

2. If they were members of the SWP or other Trotskyite Group they need to reveal it.

3. If they were "only" influenced by the SWP they need to come up with a far more convincing explanation of how this was so.

4. If they were influenced by what a bunch of Trotskyists told them to think then need to explain why, as journalists, they didn't check and verify with a number of sources.

5. They need to explain why they condemed other journalists on the basis that they knew better when they were acting only on what some Trotskyists told them to think.

6, They need to apologise to those journalists they choose to condemn and inform us how they will ensure that they will not repeat such actions in the future.

7. They need to take responsibility and make restitution to the journalists that they have attacked and smeared.

8. They need to produce reliable, well researched and annotated articles for a considerable period of time.

9. They should refrain from "generalised" attacks on other journalists for what they themselves have done in the past.

10. If they have knowledge of a "disinformation campaign aimed at convincing Americans to support decapitating another Middle Eastern government and let Al Qaeda and co. fill the void." and that this was spread by "cynical salespeople posing as journalists" then they need to name the journalists and publish the evidence.

Posted by: ADKC | Dec 17 2019 9:03 utc | 147

Christ give it a rest.

Posted by: Kathy Woods | Dec 17 2019 9:28 utc | 148

Marb | 140

The link to Ben Norton's 2017 is interesting. I was not aware that the Trots had that much influence on otherwise sensible and honorable people.

It appeared to me in early 2012 that many of the people who I had previously respected but ended up supporting the jihadi insurrection in Syria were associated closely with the justice-for-Palestine movement. Many had personal contacts with Palestinians in general with those in Gaza in particular. This is not a point generally noted but it seemed to me a reasonable explanation for this weird support for the jihadi forces in Syria was caused by these people having established personal relationships with Muslim Brotherhood members and then assumed a mistaken solidarity with the MB's political views. This was most visible during the opening battle in the Yarmouk refugee camp in Damascus. That battle began with a rebellion led by Palestinian MB members. The battle resulted in much support and sympathy for the effected Palestinians as seen in the comments section at Needless to say too many blamed Assad for the suffering experienced by those Palestinians.

I assumed that Max and Ben had been influenced in this way: but if they were, they are not talking about it. That could be political decision so as to not spoil important contacts they have in Gaza.

Posted by: ToivoS | Dec 17 2019 9:30 utc | 149

Quoting Norton.. He is admitting to being "a lazy feelgood liberal" who ran with the crowd... so he is not blaming others , he says he was misled by certain articles on Trot websites and 95 percent of all other Western Media ... just like some people are misled by MSM, or any other media .. he is not Blaming them for his intellectual laziness.. he more or less admits to opportunism ... he is admitting to having been wrong, C'mon.. (Even Anarchists were rooting for Jihadists in 2012-3... just visit or other Anarchist Hubs )

"It took some time and I was late, but by 2015 I came to see that this position is nothing but opportunistic, soft-imperialist window dressing. It is lazy moral posturing that avoids actual politics and ignores basic facts on the ground while making lofty generalizations that have no roots in history, yet alone in dialectical materialism. It is the kind of feel-good liberal piffle that led to the dismemberment of Libya."

Posted by: Marb | Dec 17 2019 9:33 utc | 150

what is there to debate about?

max? why did you slant your articles so as to justify terrorists all over middle east? i don't need an answer to this ...... nor why did he have this change of heart.

i only see actions. if he wrote the syria girl and kids and white helmets are trash, it would be a start but i don't see anything resembling a least bit of that. more importantly.

1. if the media accepts him and uses this to further vilify russia in syria then.....
2. if the media doesn't accept and outright rejects him then......
3. if he comes clean and says i fked up then..(he doesn't need to say his father is fked up, that's too much to ask)....
4. the more people who stand up for this guy without max coming to debate himself for himself then......
5. fk max.......people get second chances.... unless you were writing your support for ISIS and terrorists which you should of done 3 outright openly regardless of media acceptance.

Posted by: jason | Dec 17 2019 9:42 utc | 151

I am rather disappointed to see MOA's b going after Max Blumenthal here. If you read the Grayzone, or watch any of Max's numerous news videos on YouTube, you will see that he is doing some damn good journalism. He went to Venezuela to cover the sanctions and attempted coup. The DC police even threw him in jail recently on false charges of assaulting a Venezuelan regime change asswipe, who made up the charge to smear him.

A common failing of the Left/Progressive camp (and b is part of this camp as is Blumenthal) is to attack and denigrate each other, as done here. Why? Why keep doing this when there is more than enough to write about being done by actual assholes in power who need to be exposed and brought to heel? This bitchy, petty squabbling plays into the divide and conquer plan that the corporate police state status quo has for progressives. Not good. Grow up children and play nice. Help each other out instead of stab each other in the back.

Posted by: deschutes | Dec 17 2019 9:43 utc | 152

Marb @150

Sorry, Marb, that cannot be the case. No serious journalist would research articles on a Trotskyite website unless the topic of research was Trotskyism itself.

Norton cannot claim to have been so heavily influenced by Trotskyists without ever being in close and direct association with them. There are only 3 possibilies:

1. He was actually a Trotskyskist (e.g a member of the SWP), or...

2. He was in regular contact (face to face) and close association with Tortskyists, or..,

3. He's lying and just trying to shift the blame onto Trotskyists.

Posted by: ADKC | Dec 17 2019 9:54 utc | 153

I don't care who it is, I always maintain a healthy skepticism. Nobody is infallible. Anybody can make mistakes and anybody can change their mind about anything at any time and for any reason. It could be money, it could be a sincere change of heart, it could be lack of due diligence, it could be the tug of old loyalties, or new, or some combination, whatever... I don't really care. Rule #1: don't take anything anybody says as gospel truth based on who they are.. make them make their case, provide evidence, background, context. And then decide for yourself. Another good rule of thumb: develop enough good sources with a reasonably consistent track record so that you have something to fall back on in case one cog falls through. Rule #3: don't necessarily exclude a source based on ideological differences... e.g., I can't stand libertarian economics but I'm very compatible with their foreign policy stance. In other words, don't "throw the baby out with the bathwater" just because you might disagree in certain cases. Deal with each issue substantively. And rule #4 (somewhat of a restatement of #1) NEVER LET YOUR GUARD DOWN.

In the case of Max Blumenthal and GZ, he has/they have done some good work on Venezuela, Bolivia, Nicaragua, and throughout Latin America, really... Mexico, Honduras... and I'm glad they've come around on Syria. I do consider them a good source. However, I never lose sight of Rule #4.

BTW, on Syria I'd like to recommend the reporting of Eva Bartlett and Vanessa Beeley... they have an excellent track record and I've learned a lot from them.

Posted by: Steve M | Dec 17 2019 10:23 utc | 154

B. - as in Blumenthal or Bernhard - could learn a few things from Glenn Greenwald. Greenwald can accept people despite them having flaws. You have to give these flaws a place without letting them grow to complete distrust. And yes i know what's been written about Greenwald.

Posted by: tuyzentfloot | Dec 17 2019 10:25 utc | 155

Ben Norton, in his article of 11th July 2017 "Initially getting the Syria war wrong, learning from past mistakes, and correcting lies", states that he, "Max Blumenthal and Rania Khalek came to similar realizations on a similar timeline. The three of us are close friends and colleagues who talk frequently. We discussed the issue at length; our views evolved together organically."

It seems highly implausible that all three views could change so "organically" and at the same time. You only have to consider how people were with their positions on Syria and how abusive became to realise that this is just a fairy tale that Norton is spinning.

And while the title of the article refers to "correcting lies", readers might be surprised to discover that the lies in question are the lies told by those who "ostensibly oppose" the Empire and that it is Moon of Alabama that is attacked for "telling flat-out lies".

In fact, Norton's article isn't a genuine mea culpa at all. "Initially getting the Syria war wrong" is blamed on the "Cliffite Trotskyites", "learning from past mistakes" is just not apparent (unless it is 'don't listen to Cliffite Trotskyites'), and "correcting lies" is just an attack on Moon of Alabama.

Posted by: ADKC | Dec 17 2019 10:37 utc | 156

Interesting. I didn't know about MB's propagandist past!

This blog post sheds some more light on Norton & Blumenthal's previous reporting on Syria. Found via MOA's twitter feed.

The Rebranding of the Anti-Syria Left

Posted by: d. | Dec 17 2019 10:55 utc | 157

@97 Barbara McKenzie has done good work on Bana Alabed. Unfortunately, she is also a right-wing nutcase. Please see , including my comments BTL.

Posted by: Cherrycoke | Dec 17 2019 11:12 utc | 158

Perhaps it is of interest that Blumenthal as early as February 25, 2014, denounced the US for supporting neo-Nazis in Ukraine. This was Clinton's policy and therefore presumably also his father's. What do we make of this?

Max Blumenthal's article in Salon is here.

Sorry about the botched hyperlink in my previous comment. Still, it works.

Posted by: Cherrycoke | Dec 17 2019 11:19 utc | 159

Rob @ 110

You're not quoting teatree. You are quoting me. Try reading comprehension.

Yes, that is what I think. It is not judgmental or cruel or mean. It is an accurate description of how the world works.

If the son has actively and loudly participated in the sins of the father the bar is going to be high.

Sidney Blumenthal is not some minor aide or sideshow intellectual. He is at the center of the action. Hillary's primary source of information for Libya, go-to guy, pointman. Max knows a lot.

As for my father, since you bring him up, we are at peace. I dug the hole where I was directed to dig and put his ashes in the ground, mixed with the ashes of my mother. Any further questions?

Posted by: oldhippie | Dec 17 2019 11:40 utc | 160

bevin @ 34 says:

That they were wrong is undoubted, that they have had the courage to become right is commendable. Why don't we leave it at that

for 18 years the Washington Post spewed every lie in the book in regard to the war in Afghanistan before recently releasing the papers. the Pentagon now dismisses these revelations, says let's look forward, not back. what a courageous stance, huh?

i'm suspicious(on principle) of anyone who changes his stripes, at any point in life, be it a mendacious journalist, a prevaricating politician, a reformed child molester, or even a new-age buddhist.

i yam what i yam, and you are what you is.

Posted by: john | Dec 17 2019 11:40 utc | 161

Long time reader, first time commenter!
I have some seriously unkind words for the weasel Max B. and his clique so in lieu of that I will be donating in a few days once I am back to my home country.
My goodness b, you certainly hit that pack of dogs with your stone!

Posted by: TIME POLICE | Dec 17 2019 11:50 utc | 162

MoA is warranted in noting the zionist propaganda of anti-Assad journalists, whether their motive was money, demagoguery, or tribal dependency. A reversal after weeks or months is understandable, especially from a prior position of uncertainty. A reversal after years of admitted error or uncertainty requires explanation. But a journalist banging the drum of war before changing sides, has been more than careless, and the motive is properly suspect. It is better than continuing in the propagandist role, but requires explanation.

Posted by: Sam F | Dec 17 2019 12:07 utc | 163

@ Posted by: tuyzentfloot | Dec 17 2019 10:25 utc | 156

Greenwald became a millionaire with the privatization of the Snowden files.

It's easy to be forgiving when you become a millionaire as a result.

Posted by: vk | Dec 17 2019 12:10 utc | 164

Thank you, b, for calling out Max Blumenthal. It is disgusting how these pretenders take people for a ride.

Posted by: Steve | Dec 17 2019 12:55 utc | 165

Pacifica Advocate | Dec 17 2019 3:01 utc | 106

It's hard, I think, for a young man to admit that his father has been a key player in war crimes.

I agree with that. It is much easier to play along.

Posted by: Norwegian | Dec 17 2019 13:15 utc | 166

Jackrabbit, were we not all fooled at one point in our lives? Usually the first half? Was your "enlightenment" a public affair? That would be difficult.
If the greyzone got their seed money from Soros, I highly doubt he got the returns he hoped for. Barbara McKenzie calling them a bunch of manchurian candidate journalists is a bit of a stretch. Yes they do know how to promote themselves/ and their org. They're millenials, what else would one expect?
They have done a lot of good journalism on Syria and other countries. When they cease doing good journalism they'll get plumb jobs in MSM and we'll ignore them. Life goes on.

Posted by: bobzibub | Dec 17 2019 13:24 utc | 167

It's fair to call out his hypocrisy, but ultimately the more turncoats the better. If MSM turned anti-interventionist tomorrow, it obviously wouldn't be due to some divine epiphany, but the result of a policy shift conducted by their corporate overlords. Presumably, such an unlikely development would best be explained as a general recognition that the current project of manufacturing consent has become unsustainable and in need of a reboot and that, for the time being at least, the alternative media narrative has prevailed. I certainly wouldn't argue in favor of forgiving and forgetting, but there would no doubt be reason to celebrate that a worthwhile message was reaching a wider audience.

Posted by: Skiffer | Dec 17 2019 13:34 utc | 168

What's interesting to me are the commenters here that are swinging for Max's head...because these are the same people that I have suspected of being disinfo agents...

Perhaps B is using some reverse pshychology here...?

If so, then the ones attacking Max even much more vehemently than the relatively mild [and valid] critique offered in B's article, is a way that they have outed themselves...

The clue for me is those who are clearly upset about Max's current work...nobody is upset about that, as far as I can see, because it has been very good...

Ergo...those that are grinding on Max are perhaps showing their true colors, because they hate his truthful message...not all here, mind you, but some comments here have confirmed for me those I have already been suspicious of...

Somebody made the point that Max is a good, gentle intro into anti-mainstream thinking...and I see this as a big plus can't just 'convert' people who are deeply indoctrinated...

I am going to give Max the benefit of the doubt until he proves me I see it, he has much much more on the plus side of the ledger than on his previous pro-establishment work...

As for scrubbing his history...well, it would surely have been better if Max had done it differently...if he had actually talked about his change of heart, it might have been a powerful narrative for others who are on the fence or could have done a lot of good...

In that I certainly see reason to be apprehensive...the 'Road to Damascus' conversion should have been played up, not buried...

Posted by: flankerbandit | Dec 17 2019 14:11 utc | 169

Journalists should in no way hold political opinion. Journalists should search and speak for truth.

Moreover, journalists, in my opinion, should spend more time in the search of truth instead of focusing on what other news media outlets are saying or trying to expose what their agendas are!

Posted by: Innocent Civilian | Dec 17 2019 14:13 utc | 170

It's not journalism if you don't tell the truth.

Posted by: Fran Macadam | Dec 17 2019 14:20 utc | 171

What's wrong with MOA's twitter site??!! According to twitter it isn't accessible due to technical reasons??!!

Posted by: Ashino Wolf | Dec 17 2019 15:13 utc | 172

@172 flankerbandit - Indeed.
@125 Enrico Malatesta
Re: The Rising, Krystal Ball, Saagar Enjeti

That is an interesting parallel example. Their publication, The Hill, is subtly Republican leaning (mirror of Politico, which has no subtlety about its Democrat party bias). Hill goes for the all-american centrist audience, but consistently gives a platform for Republicans to counter Democrats. Now the range of discourse is of course severely constrained (i.e. not allowed to criticize US foreign policy, nor deny Russiagate, etc etc), because we are talking about centrist domestic political media in the US.

The parallel I'm picking out is that they are now regularly hosting interviews with guests that relative to US Congress might be considered the far left (in reality of course they're the fairly mild left, but again, just to spell it out for critics, it is relative to the level of media we're talking about -- they aren't a micro-publication). It's fairly obvious that TheHill is doing this to try to undercut Biden.

But guess what? I support that. Biden is a worthless politician, Sanders may have flaws but I like him better, so if they put on pro Sanders guests, and in fact produce interviews that their audience will not find any other way, that works for me.

Where do Ball and Enjeti stand personally? Don't know, and while it would be super good to know we can live without knowing that. If Biden gets nominated their production might switch to supporting Trump and Ball and Enjeti will go elsewhere. More interestingly, on the chance Sanders gets nominated, I would not be completely surprised if this duo to starts shooting him down, in which case they would be out in my book.

Does that possibility mean I shouldn't link to them now? Heck no. They're one of the few media opportunities at their level (in this case, mainstream) available to a cause I support. No need to throw that away.

Does the fact that they have a budget and look good on camera discredit them? Also no. Its politics, that's how it works.

Should you take a few minutes to do a little research about who is sponsoring it? Obviously.

Anyway my answer to those who think Blumenthal is being cynical in switching to anti-war at the Grayzone: Just as with a Republican leaning press supporting a particular wing of the Democratic party, with obvious ulterior motives, can lead to good journalism being done, the same is true in other parts of the media. Corrections and information about the past that commenters uncover and distribute is 100% justified, but to try to work everyone up into an outrage, with the apparent intention of discrediting Blumenthal's current work without addressing its validity on its own is - IN MY OPINION - not wise.

Posted by: ptb | Dec 17 2019 15:27 utc | 173

Innocent Civilian @171

Journalists should in no way hold political opinion
It is not possible to not have a political opionion. One should be extra wary of journalists who claim to be neutral. What they need to do is declare their opinion openly and report the truth.

Posted by: Norwegian | Dec 17 2019 15:30 utc | 174

Some here have mentioned Alternet, from which the Grayzone project sprung...

'Open Society also funds the news outlet Alternet.

Max Blumenthal is a senior editor with Alternet’s Grayzone Project .'

That from a piece B linked to earlier...[interesting read]...

Like I said...never say never...or as the Gipper used to say 'trust but verify'...LOL

Posted by: flankerbandit | Dec 17 2019 15:54 utc | 175

Jackrabbit, 20

Nice summary and take on events surrounding Max's Big Embassy Adventure. Max comes across as a spoiled, little twit born to do great things. He is an opportunist who lacks sincerity. He wants to wear the medals of the great Progressives of his time but it's nothing more than stolen valor.

Posted by: RenoDino | Dec 17 2019 15:56 utc | 176

Sorry to say Mr B. but this article sounds a bit personal. Whats the real beef?

I am no journalist, but it also took me some years to really grasp what was actually going on in Syria. One of the first sources who challenged the narrative i inherited from the media was a German businessman who had many local contacts and had traded in the region for decades, a privileged position that allowed him to see past the western echo chamber and propaganda perhaps, I cannot imagine many Americans would have had that opportunity, let alone the objectivism given their own Gov't's involvement maybe. To be fair also, we are not talking about a clear black&white scenario when it comes to Assad, no matter how strong my disgust is with the Gulf/West's regime change barbarism carried out in Syria, there was and still is an element in Syria upon which the rebellion was built, no foreign army can succeed this long without some strong element of local support.

Either way, one must wonder, with all the sycophants out there still pushing regime change war and imperialism, why you chose to attack Max instead. Your takedowns of Tom Friedman made much more sense. Regardless of where Max may have stood on matters in the past, as his recent arrest on phoney charges demonstrates, he has put a target on his back, along with all other western journalists and activists providing the public with an opportunity to critically assess our Gov'ts policies, however since i took issue with your speculating on Max's motivations, i will refrain from making inferences about yours in writing this piece, lest i too appear hypocritical.

Posted by: Et Tu Brute | Dec 17 2019 16:06 utc | 177

About the kindest thing one could say about the absolute shitheel Mr Max Blumenthal is that :

    "At best, he's an opportunist . . . at best

Posted by: FuckMax | Dec 17 2019 16:28 utc | 178

Nice to see little shitheel Maxie's Troll army revealing themselves though

Posted by: FuckMax | Dec 17 2019 16:30 utc | 179

b and others--ADKC, Jackrabbit, Karlof1--may or may not be right about Blumenthal, much of whose work on the Grayzone and on Moderate Rebels I admire.

But I must admit that their suspicion seems justified to me unless and until Blumenthal issues a fuller explanation *both* for his conversion on Syria *and* for his subsequent attempt to erase this conversion from his record.

There are perfectly plausible and harmless explanations he might provide for both of these actions: naivete, prejudice, wounded pride, embarrassment, guilt, etc. And, speaking only for myself, I would be prepared to take him at his word were he to offer them.

But the fact remains that he has *NOT* addressed these questions. And because he has not done so, the scenario raised early in this thread by ADKC @46 or @47 cannot be ruled out. That scenario is a very common one. It describes an intelligence-asset-journalist's attempt to gain--as ADKC puts it--

credibility and trust by establishing a right-on position in a war that
has already been lost by the US and other issues that are not that important or
have not reached a crisis.

Eventually there will arise another pressing crisis for Israel and/or US imperialism--"probably a war"--and when this crises arises the intelligence-asset-journalist will use his established bona fides to persuade his left readership either that "this is a war that Americans have to fight or support" or--and this is the way Greenwald seems to be used--that regardless of whether we think that U.S. military intervention is in this case justified, we must all agree that the "regime" and/or "dictator" the U.S. proposes to attack is horribly evil, is probably guilty of all the bad things we accuse it/him of doing, and certainly doesn't deserve any positive defense--EXCEPT insofar as one is in principle opposed to U.S. intervention. (This strategy is obviously intended to weaken the zeal of the anti-war sentiment among those "informed" enough to read Greenwald on Syria, etc. And it obviously works.)

This is by no means a far-fetched scenario. And however much we might prefer NOT to believe it is true of Blumenthal, we would be irresponsible not to acknowledge the very real possibility that it is. So why does Blumenthal not simply address the question head on?

Finally--and regarding the Grayzone in particular--allow me simply to point out that US and Israeli intelligence have in spreading their anti-Syrian propaganda "cashed in" on several intelligence-asset-journalistic outlets: including Counterpunch, Democracy Now!, AlterNet. Prior to Syria, few of us would have suspected that these sites were in fact Western/Israeli intelligence-assets, but it is now clear that they were so, and were being used in precisely the manner of the scenario described above. Because these sites have now lost their anti-war anti-imperialist credibility, it is in the long-term interest of the intelligence agencies of the US/UK/Israel to cultivate *new* outlets to replace the old, which have served their purpose.

I am not saying that I am certain that the Grayzone *is* such an outlet. I am saying only that we must admit the *possibility* that it is so until and unless Blumenthal addresses the points that b is right to raise, whatever our personal feelings.

Posted by: WJ | Dec 17 2019 16:36 utc | 180

I don't know when it was that I realized I could not stand the leftist tradition of publicly attacking one's allies on their flaws and shortcomings. Perhaps it was a trait that I developed growing up in the weird world of the Freemason's youth groups; 'never attack your brethren in public, but provide quiet council in private' sort of thing. At any rate, posts like this (and the subsequent comment section) are a grim reminder of why the left is never going to be trusted with power by the general public. If this movement can not expunge this worthless practice as a whole it will forever remain on the sidelines. At least in a quasi democratic society like ours.

The libertarians are far from perfect, but at least they're hell bent on building a broad coalition of allies to put an end to the forever wars, and the state's ability to wage them. I've gladly thrown my lot in with them, and I hope more of you grow a pair and do the same.

I'm still going to be a dedicated reader B. When you're right your dead right.

Posted by: Rián | Dec 17 2019 16:49 utc | 181

@ 154 Do you know what a Trotskyist is?

Posted by: David | Dec 17 2019 17:14 utc | 182

My being as daft as I am, I was still able to see what the Syrian War was about in 2014 when I started reading thesaker's blog routinely.

That was 2014!

There is no excuse for a legitimate anti-war figure to wait until 2017 to start singing a different tune.

Once Mr. MAX saw the writing on the wall wrt to the war, that Russia's intervention three years earlier (!!!) had swung the result to an eventual government victory, then it became necessary to make sure he was on the right side of history.

It does absolutely stink of opportunism.

Posted by: Nemesiscalling | Dec 17 2019 17:20 utc | 183

#6 Oldhippie -- Right on... Painful experience 'waking-up' to the scum that sold their souls... But that slick sH*T veil is coming down - and FAST...

Posted by: Jayne | Dec 17 2019 17:44 utc | 184

From Wikipedia

Narcissism of small differences

The narcissism of small differences is the thesis that it is precisely communities with adjoining territories and close relationships that engage in constant feuds and mutual ridicule because of hypersensitivity to details of differentiation. The term was coined by Sigmund Freud in 1917, based on the earlier work of British anthropologist Ernest Crawley. In language differing only slightly from current psychoanalytic terminology, Crawley declared that each individual is separated from others by a taboo of personal isolation, a narcissism of minor differences.

Posted by: Rob | Dec 17 2019 17:46 utc | 185

WJ @182--

Thanks for supplying additional context to the overall situation and the universe which b, Blumenthal and the rest of us inhabit and interact within. My interpretation of the trio's behavior is made through my lens as an historian where as I've explained credibility and integrity of the witness/journalist is paramount. If this were a court of law and any one of the trio a witness testifying against my position (prosecution or defense), it would be incumbent upon me to bring forth their previous falsifications to impugn credibility and integrity of the testimony given. In my case, if one of the trio reports something, I must verify its veracity with at least one other unimpugned source; if I can't, then if I wish to remain credible, I cannot use that testimony.

To use another recent example, lets look at Bezos's motive for publishing the "Afghan Papers" as seen by Federico Pieraccini in this article, which amongst other things is also about credibility:

"Jeff Bezos, the owner of the Post, is a bitter opponent of Trump and wants the president to come clean on the Afghanistan debacle by admitting that the troops cannot be withdrawn. Needless to say, admitting such would not help Trump’s strategy for the 2020 election....

"The Washington Post performed a service to the country by shedding light on the disinformation used to sustain endless war. But the Post’s intentions are also political, seeking to undermine Trump’s electoral chances by damaging Trump’s military credentials as well as his standing amongst military personnel. What Washington’s elite and the Post do not know, or perhaps prefer to ignore, is that such media investigations directed against political opponents actually end up doing irreparable damage to the political and military prestige of the United States.

"In other words, when journalist do their job, the military industrial complex finds it difficult to lie its way through wars and failures, but when a country relies on Hollywood to sustain its make-believe world, as well as on journalists on the CIA payroll, on compliant publishers and on censored news, then any such revelations of forbidden truths threaten to bring the whole façade crashing down." [My Emphasis]

What the trio were doing was aiding the Outlaw US Empire's attempt to destroy yet another innocent nation that resulted in the deaths and displacement of millions of people--they abetted murder and mayhem--which is why I used the term confession as to what they must perform--become the informer/whistleblower in an overt manner, which as others have noted would be a very powerful action to take provided they're genuine.

The article's title also says something: "Never Trust a Failing Empire."

Posted by: karlof1 | Dec 17 2019 17:47 utc | 186

If Max Blumenthal had been nailed by D.C. SWAT his house would look like Gaza. If Blumenthal had been in actual prison he'd have a swastika burned onto his ass cheeks, and have been sold to the general population before taking a toothbrush shank to the chest. Read Blumenthal' books, articles, or watch his interviews, and you get the tone and commentary of a smug supercilious sycophant. Look deeper into Max Blumenthal based on links to articles and videos, and you find his father is Sydney Blumenthal a Clinton hatchet man, that Max is a self loathing blue blood, an imperialist war monger, a turncoat from the U.S. imperialist narrative that scrubs a history of articles to clean his slate, a plagiarist of Vanessa Beeley, an opportunist, and now he's a fake martyr for getting arrested for simple assault.

While in jail Max likely thought up how he could exploit his arrest then called his alternative media contacts and activist pals. Subsequently, Max martyred himself all over the alternative media by playing victim to make himself seem legitimate cause he'd braved the D.C. cops, and the imperialist system hell bent of shutting up reporters. In reality Blumenthal' charges are so minor D.C. prosecutors cut him loose cause they've real crimes to prosecute. If Blumenthal really wants to know what it means to get 'Banged Up' he'd better grow a pair like David Irving or Gary Webb. Blumenthal doesn't even deserve to say the name "Julian Assange" because he's done nothing to subvert imperialism and the aristocracy other than perfunctory info about South America and the illegal apartheid state, Israel. Actually, when Blumenthal discusses Venezuela or Israel it's only done to make himself seem like a legitimate alternative news journalist. Then he can jump back on the imperialist bandwagon when his hatchet man daddy, Sydney Blumenthal, or other well connected D.C. insiders call on him to legitimize more U.S. terrorism in the name of usury and Wall Street AKA free-dumb and dumb-ocracy.

Max is exactly the type of petty bourgeoisie that George Carlin would shit all over if he were still alive. Through his lies and seemingly planned deceit, Max Blumenthal proves Schopenhauer was right.

Posted by: Deathevokation | Dec 17 2019 17:58 utc | 187

Dear Max,

It's not the crime, it's the coverup. It will get you every time.

Richard "Tricky Dick" Nixon
Uncle Bill "The Penis" Clinton

Posted by: Trailer Trash | Dec 17 2019 18:01 utc | 188

Rob: Dec-17-2019-17:46-utc@187
"The term was coined by Sigmund Freud (who's theories have no valid method of scientific validation and should therefore be considered purely subjective at best, or a cult at worst) in 1917, based on the earlier work of British anthropologist Ernest Crawley." (I shall reserve my judgement until I do some more reading)...

Perhaps I'm just a narcissist...

P.s. Appreciate the tangent (Crawley) to learn/revisit something.

Posted by: Jon_in_AU | Dec 17 2019 18:22 utc | 189

I didn't fully understand how unredeemable the empire was until after the second Iraq war and even then it took a while to understand. I mean I knew the empire was bad, but I didn't quite believe it was that bad, or that the media are so radically dishonest, etc.. I struggle to explain to myself why I couldn't or wouldn't see what seems obvious to me now. To explain it to others seems impossible. Maybe it has something to do with struggling to escape the influence of a dominant, loved father? That seems to be Gabbard's story and it sounds like it might be Max's story too.

Posted by: paul | Dec 17 2019 18:28 utc | 190

I am a *long* time reader of MoA, one of my most trusted sources of information. I have never posted a comment here, however, until now. For me, this attack on Blumenthal et al., despite their despicable earlier work on Syria (which I truly detest), is a tactical mistake, not to mention depressing as hell.

First, thank you Marb @141 for linking to the Norton response (b kind of linked to a version of it in his post) and for your very reasonable comments there and elsewhere. I encourage everyone to read Norton's comments (and not ADKC's and others distortion of them). Some of you may not believe one can be duped in such a manner and then "see the light". As someone who has spent most of his life interacting with "liberal" and "leftist" academics and activists, I assure you one absolutely can. Group think is a powerful force, especially when you are convinced of the credibility or expertise of your sources. On that issue, I think ToivoS @150 might be onto something. I have also suspected the work of this trio with the Palestinians and related MB influence might have been a source of their early views. ToivoS's suggestion as to why they have not commented on this element makes sense as well.

Second, The Grayzone is currently one of the few good sources of information on US hybrid warfare on multiple fronts. Contrary to some critics on this thread, they *are* currently doing some good journalism -- naming names and connecting at least some of the dots. To the extent that this helps shine a light on our criminal behavior, I welcome it. In my view, it is a tactical error to undermine this source by implying that it is a deep state op. If the future shows this to be the case, then f**k 'em, but at the moment they are providing a useful service entirely lacking by the mainstream media.

Finally, I agree that Barbara McKenzie's articles are powerful. But as others here have noted, it is definitely a tactical error to rely on such a source - whose other not-so-believable work can be easily cited to discredit her claims (and by association, ours) about Syria coverage.

Like others here, I am not satisfied with Blumenthal's explanation (or lack of one) for his "conversion" experience, and I share the outrage over this trio's earlier contribution to anti-Syrian propaganda. They would also help their standing if they used their current forum to explicitly explain their changed positions -- and give credit to those (Vanessa, Eva, Sharmine, etc.) who have been fighting this battle all along. Nevertheless...

Lots more to say, but others here have said it better than I could.

Posted by: pjay | Dec 17 2019 18:35 utc | 191

pro-Max B commenters repeat the same points over an over, such as:

>> They're doing good work NOW

>> You're attacking your allies / squabbling is self-defeating

The stammering and hand-wringing aren't helpful and simply attempt to circumvent valid criticism and the important question that b has raised: from where does Max B.'s funding originate?

Why such resistance? Why aren't you all appealing to Max B. to clarify these things instead of wasting your time bickering about it here?

<> <> <> <> <> <>

It's not just that they rebranded, it's the manner in which they did so (aping on the work of others). One would think they would have had a more humble attitude after being so wrong and gladly credit those that led the way. But they didn't. Instead they have attempted to obscure their past and promote the notion that they have always been right - actions that seem designed to snooker the unsuspecting into thinking that they were always right (and thus more trustworthy).

It's not just that Max B.'s father is a powerful Clinton crony but that Max B.'s work in Syria and also in promoting the "anti-Islamic video" theory of the Benghazi attack were very much in service to the Empire. If Max B. broke with his father and his Empire project in some substantial way then we would likely have heard about it.

It's not just that Greyzone has obscured their past but they have continued to obscure their activities: not being forthright about their funding; not fully addressing how Max B.'s father may support or influence his work; Max B.'s unabashed hyping of his arrest.

These issues are not going to magically disappear by putting your head in the sand or pleading for understanding for Max B.


Posted by: Jackrabbit | Dec 17 2019 18:38 utc | 192

meh. as the saying goes "it's not where you're from - it's where you're at". i don't always agree with that but it increasingly seems to apply here.

considering his lineage he's come a long way. he parroted establishment opinions on syria but that may have been as much the (annoyingly) prevalent view among some on the "left" that "any leader is bad and any protest is probably legit as a result" as much as mainstream conformity. recently that irritating trend has been seen directed at maduro and morales and blumenthal (as well as the grayzone site in general) has done impressive work to its contrary.

i'd also add that while being arrested in a hostile nighttime raid (for charges he wasn't even aware of) might not be an "absolution" of his journalistic "sins" it could be a crystallizing moment in the formation of a hardened anti-establishment outlook. i doubt he'll go thoughtlessly with the DC consensus in the near future now that they've used their brainless brute force (known as "cops") to intimidate him. it all depends on where you fall on the opinion spectrum of "conman" vs "naive neophyte learning as he goes". i always assume anyone from the beltway is automatically full of shit on any subject but that may be my personal bias as much as any objective outlook.

in any case, if i can watch tucker carlson without throwing up in my mouth (unthinkable during the bush years) then i can easily tolerate the past naivete of these folks. i'm just getting tired of all the "purity" tests among people who would normally find solidarity should they shed their egos and personal agendas (not a comment on MoA at all - more the steady flow of "goddamn chomsky/hedges/___ for not being communist/left/___ enough for me!" articles oozing out of the internet.)

Posted by: the pair | Dec 17 2019 18:45 utc | 193

Meanwhile . . .

While the battle over the Grayzone and its proprietors rages, here's some very encouraging news from that site --

While Evo’s MAS Party Regroups, Bolivia’s Coup Leaders Are Eating Each Other Alive
Wyatt Reed 12/15/19

"Humiliating scandals are destroying right-wing leader Luis Fernando Camacho and the right is fracturing as a more militant MAS party readies for an uphill election battle."

Posted by: AntiSpin | Dec 17 2019 18:57 utc | 194

@135 Tyrone Slothrop 2.. thanks for your comments.. my first thought was some sort of dynamic between b and these others that i didn't really understand... @ 141 marb offers a link that gives ben nortons take, but after reading it, i feel something is missing... regardless, people do get the bottom line wrong and can change their mind and get it right after the fact.. however, there are a number of outstanding questions that could be easily addressed by this trio of people.. i believe it is in their best interest to do so and i feel adkc @ 45 is onto it and that can't be dismissed... the following 2 posters are onto the same issue which i, adkc, jr a user and some others articulate too..

@182 wg... and @ 188 karlof1 in response.. thank you both.. i hope others read your posts here!

lots of first time posters here on this thread.. that's cool.. why there's even a poster that shall go un named, that has been here before with a really strange track record that made me think they are some sort of cia asset... the fact they showed up again on this thread is very interesting...

Posted by: james | Dec 17 2019 18:59 utc | 195

This thread is rather peculiar.

1. If so many commenters here have such frothing-at-the-mouth hatred of Blumenthal, how come I don't recall any of them, with only one exception, ever so much as mentioning him before? If so many people here have long considered him such a paragon of treachery, surely his excoriation ought to be a constant theme.

2. If Blumenthal is to be condemned for having previously been a pro-war propagandist (and I agree, he shouldn't be trusted going forward, not till he's built a long unbroken record of a total anti-war position), why does Tulsi Gabbard, who was an actual member of the invading mercenary thug force in Iraq, get a pass because she now claims to hold a rather ambiguous anti-war position (opposing "regime change" wars; so presumably there are imperial wars she'd support)?

Posted by: Russ | Dec 17 2019 19:00 utc | 196

Interesting that this thread attracted so many people who never before commented on MoA. They seem to have a largely common view of the issue.

All are of course invited to stay on and to contribute. They will hopefully learn from it.

Posted by: b | Dec 17 2019 19:06 utc | 197

What a stupid topic.

Posted by: arby | Dec 17 2019 19:09 utc | 198

I didn't know this about Max, MOA, but I am glad you brought it to the fore. You are absolutely correct. In this age of information warfare, we have to be mindful of the "Limited Hangout" operators - they are very destructive. God on you for pointing it out. There are folks here who have gotten to like Max Blumenthal, so this will be hard for them to swallow. But I try to remind folks that they should follow "a cause", not the person speaking about the cause because humans are fickle and often prone to ulterior motives. Once again, thanks greatly MOA.

Posted by: Eugene Ashong | Dec 17 2019 19:18 utc | 199

Reading what passes for an apology from Ben Norton that was linked by Marb @141 above, I was struck by Norton mentioning that he was influenced by the International Socialist Organization (ISO). While I cannot speak for the SWP, which was also mentioned, I can say with certainty that the ISO was ("was" not "is" as it disbanded this year) a CIA front.

Additionally, as a former member of Trotskyist organizations I can say that ADKC's characterization of how they work, while not at all as sinister as the poster makes them sound, is somewhat accurate. Trotskyist organizations do reserve their technical discussions for internal meetings and their public positions are situational and less weighty with the deliberate intention of shifting discourse towards socialism... getting people to be able to take baby steps before expecting them to run marathons.

What this means is that if the trio really were heavily influenced by the ISO, then they were likely at least peripheral members. If they were at least peripheral members of the ISO, then whether they knew it or not they were working with the CIA.

This relationship requires a comprehensive explanation.

Posted by: William Gruff | Dec 17 2019 19:19 utc | 200

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