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A Case Study in the “New McCarthyism”

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Source: https://www.invaluable.com/auction-lot/original-1980s-soviet-anti-american-propaganda-po-200-c-61b495894d

You may remember the luminaries of the self-proclaimed “anti-imperialist left” from such greatest hits as ‘The CCP is putting Uyghurs in concentration camps for their own good’ and ‘The Hong Kong democracy activists are CIA-backed thugs.’ But what are these principled leftists doing when they’re not singing the praises of Bashar Assad, running interference for Chinese or Russian imperialism, or defending those Central and South American authoritarian regimes that just happen to be aligned with Moscow?

One of their pastimes is accusing other people of engaging in McCarthyism. Which is pretty rich coming from a group whose modus operandi often involves accusations of malfeasance undergird by guilt-by-association gambits.

We saw this in action yesterday, Donald Trump RTd Max Blumenthal – but later deleted the RT when Blumenthal changed his handle to “fire Jared free Gaza.” Between these developments, Casey Michel wrote a thread for the uninitiated, one which documented Blumenthal’s history – including Blumenthal’s famous and still ‘unexplained’ reversal on Syria after an all-expense paid trip to Moscow (see below) and the fact that the Grayzone’s finances are completely opaque.

https://twitter.com/cjcmichel/status/1273628512075821059?s=20

Never one to turn the other cheek, Blumenthal fired back – not by rebutting any of Michel’s charge but by… accusing Michel of being a CIA asset.

This is a standard tactic of this crowd. It exploits an asymmetry between honest and obfuscatory behavior. A major indicator of legitimacy is disclosing your funding sources. For example, my research has been funded by the Norwegian Research Council and the Norwegian Ministry of Defense.

I disclose that on relevant products precisely because I…. wait a minute. Is that?

Yes. Yes, it is.

Blumenthal appears to have, I dunno, done a Google search and pulled the headline on a blogpost that Rob wrote for The American Prospect. The post, by the way, concerns an ABC News report about how the U.S. Embassy in Bolivia tried to get Fulbright Scholars and Peace Corp volunteers to provide it information on any Venezuelan and Cuban nationals they came across? This is a violation of U.S. policy and seems to have gone nowhere – except to embarrass the Embassy.

So, anyway, this clearly proves Casey Michel is a CIA agent, an accusation which is not at all McCarthyite – using the kind of loose understanding that dominates all of these discussion – unlike the scurrilous claims Michel levels at Blumenthal.

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