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Grayzone Editor Max Blumenthal Arrested Months After Reporting on Venezuelan Opposition Violence

Grayzone Editor Max Blumenthal Arrested Months After Reporting on Venezuelan Opposition Violence

Blumenthal has been arrested on false charges after reporting on Venezuelan opposition violence outside the D.C. embassy. He describes the manufactured case as part of a wider campaign of political persecution, reports Ben Norton. 

Max Blumenthal, the editor of the news site The Grayzone, was arrested on the morning of Oct. 25 on a fabricated charge related to the siege of the Venezuelan embassy in Washington, D.C., that took place between April and May.

A team of D.C. police officers appeared at Blumenthal’s door at just after 9 AM, demanding entry and threatening to break his door down. A number of officers had taken positions on the side of his home as though they were prepared for a SWAT-style raid.

Blumenthal was hauled into a police van and ultimately taken to D.C. central jail, where he was held for two days in various cells and cages. He was shackled by his hands and ankles for over five hours in one such cage along with other inmates. His request for a phone call was denied by D.C. police and corrections officers, effectively denying him access to the outside world.

Max Blumenthal.

Blumenthal was informed that he was accused of simple assault by a Venezuelan opposition member. He declared the charge completely baseless.

“This charge is a 100 percent false, fabricated, bogus, untrue, and malicious lie,” Blumenthal declared. “It is clearly part of a campaign of political persecution designed to silence me and the The Grayzone for our factual journalism exposing the deceptions, corruption and violence of the far-right Venezuelan opposition.”

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

A far-right US soldier arrested by the FBI for plotting domestic bomb attacks sought to join Ukraine’s neo-Nazi Azov Battalion, which was directly armed and advised by the American government

azov ballation us
Bomb-plotting extremist American soldier tried to join US-backed neo-Nazi militia in Ukraine

A far-right US soldier arrested by the FBI for plotting domestic bomb attacks sought to join Ukraine’s neo-Nazi Azov Battalion, which was directly armed and advised by the American government

A far-right soldier in the United States Army has been arrested by the FBI for plotting bomb attacks targeting American media outlets and Democratic politicians.

While serving in the US military, this right-wing extremist gave fascist militants in Ukraine and other countries information on how to build bombs, including what he called “cell phone IEDs in the style of the Afghans.”

The FBI said he had also planned to travel to Ukraine in order to join the Azov Battalion, a neo-Nazi militia that has for years been directly supported by the US government.

In its court filing, the FBI described the Azov Battalion as a “violent far-right paramilitary group.” Yet it failed to disclose that this fascist militia has been armed and advised by American military officials in order to turn up the heat on Russia.

Publicly available photos show US military advisers directly meeting with the Ukrainian neo-Nazi militia — but the complete lack of critical coverage from a compliant mainstream media has ensured that few Americans know about their government’s double game with fascists.

The shocking arrest of the US soldier is the latest example in a long list of cases of what intelligence agencies refer to as “blowback,” when US government support for extremist foreign proxies fuels violent terrorism back at home.

US Army soldier teaching far-right extremists how to make bombs

The FBI filed a criminal complaint in Kansas district court on Monday, September 23, revealing that it had arrested US Army infantry soldier Jarrett William Smith for the alleged crime of “Distributing Information Relating to Explosives, Destructive Devices, and Weapons of Mass Destruction.”

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Times admits it sends stories to US government for approval before publication

new york times building

NY Times admits it sends stories to US government for approval before publication

The New York Times casually acknowledged that it sends major scoops to the US government before publication, to make sure “national security officials” have “no concerns.”


The New York Times has publicly acknowledged that it sends some of its stories to the US government for approval from “national security officials” before publication.

This confirms what veteran New York Times correspondents like James Risen have said: The American newspaper of record regularly collaborates with the US government, suppressing reporting that top officials don’t want made public.

On June 15, the Times reported that the US government is escalating its cyber attacks on Russia’s power grid. According to the article, “the Trump administration is using new authorities to deploy cybertools more aggressively,” as part of a larger “digital Cold War between Washington and Moscow.”

In response to the report, Donald Trump attacked the Times on Twitter, calling the article “a virtual act of Treason.”

The New York Times PR office replied to Trump from its official Twitter account, defending the story and noting that it had, in fact, been cleared with the US government before being printed.

“Accusing the press of treason is dangerous,” the Times communications team said. “We described the article to the government before publication.”

“As our story notes, President Trump’s own national security officials said there were no concerns,” the Times added.

 · Jun 15, 2019

Do you believe that the Failing New York Times just did a story stating that the United States is substantially increasing Cyber Attacks on Russia. This is a virtual act of Treason by a once great paper so desperate for a story, any story, even if bad for our Country…..

Accusing the press of treason is dangerous.
We described the article to the government before publication. As our story notes, President Trump’s own national security officials said there were no concerns. https://nyti.ms/2FdpKV1 22K11:00 PM – Jun 15, 2019Twitter Ads info and privacy

View image on Twitter

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

WSJ Confirms: Trump-Appointed Venezuela Coup Leader Plans Neoliberal Capitalist Shock Therapy

Juan Guaido

WSJ Confirms: Trump-Appointed Venezuela Coup Leader Plans Neoliberal Capitalist Shock Therapy

Venezuela’s US-appointed coup leader Juan Guaidó plans to privatize state assets and give foreign corporations access to oil, the Wall Street Journal admitted.

The Wall Street Journal reported that Venezuela’s US-appointed coup leader Juan Guaidó has already drafted plans for “opening up Venezuela’s vast oil sector to private investment” and “privatizing assets held by state enterprises.”

The report confirms what The Grayzone previously reported.

“Juan Guaidó, recognized by Washington as the rightful leader, said he would sell state assets and invite private investment in the energy industry,” read the  Wall Street Journal’s January 31 article.

The paper noted that Guaidó plans “to reverse President Nicolás Maduro’s economic polices,” explaining:

“Mr. Guaidó said his plan called for seeking financial aide from multilateral organizations, tapping bilateral loansrestructuring debtand opening up Venezuela’s vast oil sector to private investment. It includes privatizing assets held by state enterprises … He also said he’d end wasteful state subsidies and take steps to revive the private sector.”

In other words, Guaidó plans to implement the neoliberal capitalist shock therapy that Washington has imposed on the region for decades.

Using funding from US-dominated international financial institutions like the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the Venezuelan coup leader seeks to adopt an aggressive “structural adjustment” program, enacting the kinds of economic policies that have led to the preventable deaths of millions of people and an explosion of poverty and inequality in the years following capitalist restoration in the former Soviet Union.

In a speech, Juan Guaidó even echoed rhetoric that is popular among US conservatives: “Here, no one wants to be given anything.”

It is clear that the coup leader’s priorities reflect those of Venezuela’s capitalist oligarchs and right-wing politicians in the United States. Economic liberalization is the Venezuelan opposition’s first and most important goal; democracy is just a pretense.

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Venezuela’s US-Backed Coup Leader Immediately Targets State Oil Company, Requests IMF Money

Juan Guaido

Venezuela’s US-Backed Coup Leader Immediately Targets State Oil Company, Requests IMF Money

Unelected US-backed coup leader Juan Guaidó immediately moved to try to restructure Venezuela’s state-owned oil company and seek financing from the neoliberal IMF.

The right-wing opposition leader that the United States is trying to undemocratically install as Venezuela’s president immediately set his sights on the country’s state-owned oil company, which he is hoping to restructure and move toward privatization. He is also seeking money from the notorious International Monetary Fund (IMF) to fund his unelected government.

On January 23, US President Donald Trump recognized the little-known, US-educated opposition politician Juan Guaidó as the supposed “interim president” of Venezuela. Within 48 hours, Guaidó quickly tried to seize control of Venezuela’s major US-based oil refiner and use its revenue to help bankroll his US-backed coup regime.

Guaidó is attempting to fire the directors of Citgo Petroleum, which is owned by Venezuela’s state oil company PDVSA, and seeks to appoint his own new board.

Reuters described Citgo as “Venezuela’s most important foreign asset”; Bloomberg calls it “the crown jewel of PDVSA’s assets.”

Citgo is the largest purchaser of Venezuelan oil, although crippling sanctions imposed by the Trump administration have prevented the company from sending revenue to Venezuela, starving the government of funding.

Citing US officials, the Washington Post reported that the Trump administration’s strategy “is to use the newly declared interim government as a tool to deny Maduro the oil revenue from the United States that provides Venezuela virtually all of its incoming cash.”

Move Toward Privatizing Venezuela’s Oil

Venezuela has the world’s largest oil reserves. But leftist presidents Hugo Chávez and Nicolás Maduro have over the past two decades resisted attempts by US oil companies to exploit the South American nation’s plentiful natural resources.

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

US Backs Coup in Oil-Rich Venezuela, Right-Wing Opposition Plans Mass Privatization and Hyper-Capitalism

Donald Trump rally

US Backs Coup in Oil-Rich Venezuela, Right-Wing Opposition Plans Mass Privatization and Hyper-Capitalism

The US has effectively declared a coup in Venezuela. Trump recognized unelected right-wing opposition leader Juan Guaidó as new “president,” who plans mass privatization and neoliberal capitalist policies.

The United States has effectively declared a political coup d’état in Venezuela, from abroad. Trump announced on January 23 that the US recognizes the unelected, illegitimate right-wing opposition leader Juan Guaidó as the supposed new “interim president” of Venezuela’s supposed new “government.”

Venezuela’s US-backed opposition has pledged to carry out a mass privatization of state assets and to implement harsh neoliberal capitalist policies. The opposition-controlled legislatures declared in its “transition” plans that the “centralized model of controls of the economy will be replaced by a model of freedom and market based on the right of each Venezuelan to work under the guarantees of property rights and freedom of enterprise.”

The citizens of Venezuela have suffered for too long at the hands of the illegitimate Maduro regime. Today, I have officially recognized the President of the Venezuelan National Assembly, Juan Guaido, as the Interim President of Venezuela.

The US has also hinted at violence in Venezuela. During a background briefing after Trump’s declaration, journalist Dan Cohen heard a US official declare that if the government of actual President Nicolás Maduro responds with any violence, “They have no immediate future, they have no immediate livelihood. One way or another they have their days counted.”

Trump administration officials added, “When we say all options are on the table, all options are on the table… Let’s hope Maduro and his cronies see the magnitude of the message.”

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

The US Has Military Forces in Over 160 Countries, but the Pentagon Is Hiding the Exact Numbers

The US Has Military Forces in Over 160 Countries, but the Pentagon Is Hiding the Exact Numbers

The US has 95% of the world’s foreign military bases, with personnel in more than 160 countries. But the Pentagon is leaving hundreds of outposts out of its official reports.

Editor’s Note: Nick Turse reports in TomDispatch that the US Department of Defense is operating “hundreds of off-the-books bases absent from the official rolls.” The Pentagon lists in its official property portfolio 4,775 sites, including 514 overseas outposts in 45 foreign countries. But Turse points out that this excludes hundreds of known US military bases in numerous nations.

DoD also publicly acknowledges that it has personnel in more than 160 countries on all seven continents. And the annual cost of deploying these US military personnel abroad and operating these foreign bases approaches $150 billion per year, Turse reports.

The US has 95 percent of the world’s total number of foreign military bases. And scholar David Vine tells Turse “the secrecy is mostly to prevent domestic debate about the money, danger, and death involved, as well as to avoid diplomatic tensions and international inquiries.”


Bases, Bases, Everywhere… Except in the Pentagon’s Report

The U.S. military is finally withdrawing (or not) from its base at al-Tanf. You know, the place that the Syrian government long claimed was a training ground for Islamic State (ISIS) fighters; the land corridor just inside Syria, near both the Iraqi and Jordanian borders, that Russia has called a terrorist hotbed (while floating the idea of jointly administering it with the United States); the location of a camp where hundreds of U.S. Marines joined Special Operations forces last year…

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

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