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For The Record

Weekly Shows, divided into two 30-minute segments, consisting of print excerpts and interviews.

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FTR #951 Fascism: 2017 World Tour

The events overtaking the United States are echoes of events occurring worldwide. This “2017 World Tour” examines aspects of ascendant global fascism, including historical and ideological trends stretching back to the World War II period.

Yet another of the fascist/Nazi/racist influences on Steve Bannon is French writer Charles Maurras. A doctrinaire anti-Semite, he was sentenced to life imprisonment for collaborating with the Third Reich.

Setting Maurras’s activities in an historical context, we recap an excerpt from FTR #372 (August of 2002) detailing the French Fifth Column that subverted the French military resistance to the armies of the Third Reich. Maurras’s L’Action Francaise was among the journals influencing French fascists, who saw the German invasion as a vehicle for eliminating democracy and, at the same time, blaming the defeat on government of Leon Blum, whose murder was advocated by Maurras.

In Italy, Bepe Grillo’s Five Star Movement is leading in the polls, and may come out ahead in the 2018 elections. Observers have seen the party as an heir to Mussolini’s blackshirts. We note, in passing, that the populist idealism officially endorsed by Five Star is similar to aspects of many left-populist agendas, while incorporating features of contemporary fascist politics.

Traveling northward, we observe the resuscitation of Slovakian fascism and the celebration of Nazi quisling Josef Tiso’s World War II collaborationist government. Social media/Facebook are a key element of the success of the “neo-Tiso’s.”

An American/Swedish axis, of sorts, manifests as a collaborative effort between Trumpenkampfverbande supporter Richard B. Spencer and Daniel Friberg, a key figure in the Swedish fascist milieu of Carl Lundstrom.

Traveling to Asia, we note the re-emergence of Japanese fascism, instituted in the Abe government by organizations like Nippon Kaigi. In addition to instituting revisionist teaching in the Japanese educational system, the Abe government is curtailing that country’s free press.

Several of Abe’s cabinet ministers are supportive of Hitler’s electoral strategy, seeing it as a blueprint for the implementation of Japanese reaction–among them Tomomi Inada, the new defense minister.

The program concludes with a look at Narendra Modi’s Hindu nationalist/fascist government and it selection of a hard-line anti-Muslim bigot to govern the state of Uttar Pradesh.

Program Highlights Include: review of Modi’s BJP as a cat’s paw for the Hindu nationalist/fascist RSS; discussion of the economic links between German and French industrialists that underlay the development of the French Fifth Column inspired, in part, by Charles Maurras; review of the links between Carl Lundstrom, WikiLeaks and Assange aide Joran Jermas, a doctrinaire Holocaust denier; review of the “Nazified AI” at the heart of Cambridge Analytica’s data manipulation engine.


FTR #950 Shock to the System: Further Reflections on the Breitbart Axis

This broadcast updates coverage of key aspects of the Nazi/fascist, oops, we mean “alt-right,” milieu that moved into government courtesy of the Trumpenkampfverbande and Breitbart.

Further developing the terrifying reality of what Artificial Intellligence (AI) can accomplish for the dedicated fascist, oops, we mean “alt-right” adherent, we note an important address given at SXSW. Microsoft researcher Kate Crawford gave a speech titled “Dark Days: AI and the Rise of Fascism.” The presentation highlighted the social impact of machine learning and large-scale data systems. The take home message? By delegating powers to Bid Data-driven AIs, those AIs could become fascist’s dream: Incredible power over the lives of others with minimal accountability: ” . . . .’This is a fascist’s dream,’ she said. ‘Power without accountability.’ . . . .”

Turning next to the political philosophy of Steve Bannon and the seminal influences on its development, we refresh our acquaintance with Curtis Yarvin, aka “Mencius Moldbug,” a herald of the Dark Enlightment.

Curtis Yarvin has actually opened a backchannel advisory connection to the White House.

Note that the Bannon influences all seem to agree that what is needed is “a shock to the system.” We may very well experience just that. ” . . . . . . . . Bannon’s readings tend to have one thing in common: the view that technocrats have put Western civilization on a downward trajectory and that only a shock to the system can reverse its decline. . . . ”

Fascist philosopher Julius Evola is another of the key influences on Bannon. Evola was an early occult fascist, with strong connections with Mussolini’s Italy. Eventually Evola established strong, lasting connections with the Nazi SS, both operationally and ideologically.

He is another advocate of the “shock to the system”/”blow it up” approach to the status quo. ” . . . Changing the system, Evola argued, was ‘not a question of contesting and polemicizing, but of blowing everything up.’ . . . .”

A revealing influence on Bannon is a French novel The Camp of the Saints by Jean Raspail. “. . . . The Camp of the Saints — which draws its title from Revelation 20:9 — is nothing less than a call to arms for the white Christian West, to revive the spirit of the Crusades and steel itself for bloody conflict against the poor black and brown world without and the traitors within. The novel’s last line links past humiliations tightly to its own grim parable about modern migration. ‘The Fall of Constantinople,’ Raspail’s unnamed narrator says, ‘is a personal misfortune that happened to all of us only last week.’ . . . . ”

In FTR #947, we highlighted Sebastian Gorka, a Breitbart alumnus and Hungarian fascist. Gorka is now the Trump administration’s point man working against Islamic terrorism. His view (and Bannon’s) that we are engaged in an historic clash of civilizations. That is precisely the point of view expressed by ISIS (and The Camp of the Saints) and will play into their hands.

That, in turn, will help propel the U.S. into more endless wars on the periphery of our empire, ultimately sapping the nation’s vitality and leading to the fall of the U.S. in a manner delineated in FTR #944.

After reviewing Gorka’s anti-Semitism, his profound connections to three generations of Hungarian fascism dating to the pre-World War II period and confirmation of his allegiance to the Order of Vitezi Rend, we highlight the fact that Gorka is part of the Strategic Initiatives Group, something of a parallel NSC formed by Steve Bannon. It reminds us of Hitler’s creation of a parallel general staff, born of a mistrust of his own senior officers and a desire to have a trusted cadre to obey his orders.

” . . . . In the United States, Gorka, who was appointed deputy assistant to the president on January 20, is known as a television commentator, a professor and an “alt-right” writer who describes himself as a counterterrorism expert. A close associate of Stephen Bannon, Trump’s chief strategist, Gorka is now part of Bannon’s key in-house White House think tank, the Strategic Initiatives Group. The newly formed group consists of figures close to Trump and is seen by some as a rival to the National Security Council in formulating policies for the president. . . .”

The conclusion of the program foreshadows discussion in our next broadcast, which will critically examine Bernie Sanders campaign and disturbing indications that his candidacy may have been generated by the Underground Reich as a vehicle for infiltrating and destabilizing the Democratic Party.

In FTR #941, we highlighted the push by Bernie Sanders and his prominent backer Tulsi Gabbard to have Keith Ellison, an African-American Muslim to be head of the DNC. He was not elected head of the DNC, but is now deputy chair of the DNC, the position formerly held by Gabbard.

Ellison is networked with the Muslim Brotherhood, and the Nation of Islam as well. ” . . . . Indeed, the June 21, 1998 article states that at that time – that is, three years after Farrakhan’s march – Ellison was a member of the Nation of Islam: ‘Ellison has been active in the community, but not within the established DFL party [the Democratic Party in Minnesota]. A member of the Nation of Islam, Ellison was the coordinator of the Minnesota participants in the Million Man March and the subsequent community group that formed.’ . . . .”

In a point of discussion that will be conducted at greater length in our next program, we conclude by noting that another of Keith Ellison’s supporters to head the DNC was Faisal Gill, a Grover Norquist protege whom we covered in FTR #467.

Program Highlights Include: review of Gorka’s formation of a fascist party in Hungary in the last decade; review of Gorka’s doctrinaire anti-Semitism; review of Gorka’s networking with members of the Jobbik Party in Hungary; review of Gorka’s supportive attitude toward the Arrow Cross Party, which allied with Hitler; review of Jobbik’s affinity with Julius Evola; review of Karl Rove’s and Grover Norquist’s seminal support for the creation of a Muslim Brotherhood branch of the GOP.


FTR #949 Walkin’ the Snake with Breitbart, Part 2

The title of the program refers to the Nazi tract Serpent’s Walk. The back cover of that book sums up the essence of the tome: ” . . . It assumes that Hitler’s warrior elite – the SS – didn’t give up their struggle for a White world when they lost the Second World War. Instead their survivors went underground and adopted some of the tactics of their enemies: they began building their economic muscle and buying into the opinion-forming media. A century after the war they are ready to challenge the democrats and Jews for the hearts and minds of White Americans, who have begun to have their fill of government-enforced multi-culturalism and ‘equality.’ . . .”

The “opinion-forming media” in 2017 has crystallized into a frighteningly dominant entity, the Breitbartian engine of Steven Bannon, Robert Mercer, Cambridge Analytica and the latter’s parent company SCL. An article from The Guardian sets forth this terrifying development.

Cambridge Analytica, and its parent company SCL, specialize in using AI and Big Data psychometric analysis on hundreds of millions of Americans in order to model individual behavior. SCL develops strategies to use that information, and manipulate search engine results to change public opinion (the Trump campaign was apparently very big into AI and Big Data during the campaign).

Individual social media users receive messages crafted to influence them, generated by the (in effect) Nazi AI at the core of this media engine, using Big Data to target the individual user!

As the article notes, not only are Cambridge Analytica/SCL are using their propaganda techniques to shape US public opinion in a fascist direction, but they are achieving this by utilizing their propaganda machine to characterize all news outlets to the left of Brietbart as “fake news” that can’t be trusted.

In short, the secretive far-right billionaire (Robert Mercer), joined at the hip with Steve Bannon, is running multiple firms specializing in mass psychometric profiling based on data collected from Facebook and other social media. Mercer/Bannon/Cambridge Analytica/SCL are using Nazified AI and Big Data to develop mass propaganda campaigns to turn the public against everything that isn’t Brietbartian by convincing the public that all non-Brietbartian media outlets are conspiring to lie to the public.

This is the ultimate Serpent’s Walk scenario–a Nazified Artificial Intelligence drawing on Big Data gleaned from the world’s internet and social media operations to shape public opinion, target individual users, shape search engine results and even feedback to Trump to craft his press conferences!

We note that SCL, the parent company of Cambridge Analytica, has been deeply involved with “psyops” in places like Afghanistan and Pakistan. Now, Cambridge Analytica, their Big Data and AI components, Mercer money and Bannon political savvy are applying that to contemporary society.

At the end of the program we note that Bannon had turned Breitbart toward supporting Narendra Modi’s BJP Party in India.

Program Highlights Include:

a) Cambridge Analytica’s parent corporation SCL, deeply involved with “psyops” in Afghanistan and Pakistan. ” . . . But there was another reason why I recognised Robert Mercer’s name: because of his connection to Cambridge Analytica, a small data analytics company. He is reported to have a $10m stake in the company, which was spun out of a bigger British company called SCL Group. It specialises in ‘election management strategies’ and ‘messaging and information operations’, refined over 25 years in places like Afghanistan and Pakistan. In military circles this is known as ‘psyops’ – psychological operations. (Mass propaganda that works by acting on people’s emotions.) . . .”

b) The use of millions of “bots” to manipulate public opinion: ” . . . .’It does seem possible. And it does worry me. There are quite a few pieces of research that show if you repeat something often enough, people start involuntarily to believe it. And that could be leveraged, or weaponised for propaganda. We know there are thousands of automated bots out there that are trying to do just that.’ . . .”

c) The use of Artificial Intelligence: ” . . . There’s nothing accidental about Trump’s behaviour, Andy Wigmore tells me. ‘That press conference. It was absolutely brilliant. I could see exactly what he was doing. There’s feedback going on constantly. That’s what you can do with artificial intelligence. You can measure every reaction to every word. He has a word room, where you fix key words. We did it. So with immigration, there are actually key words within that subject matter which people are concerned about. So when you are going to make a speech, it’s all about how can you use these trending words.’ . . .”

d) The use of bio-psycho-social profiling: ” . . . Bio-psycho-social profiling, I read later, is one offensive in what is called ‘cognitive warfare’. Though there are many others: ‘recoding the mass consciousness to turn patriotism into collaborationism,’ explains a Nato briefing document on countering Russian disinformation written by an SCL employee. ‘Time-sensitive professional use of media to propagate narratives,’ says one US state department white paper. ‘Of particular importance to psyop personnel may be publicly and commercially available data from social media platforms.’ . . .”

e) The use and/or creation of a cognitive casualty: ” . . . . Yet another details the power of a ‘cognitive casualty’ – a ‘moral shock’ that ‘has a disabling effect on empathy and higher processes such as moral reasoning and critical thinking’. Something like immigration, perhaps. Or ‘fake news’. Or as it has now become: ‘FAKE news!!!!’ . . . ”

f) All of this adds up to a “cyber Serpent’s Walk.” ” . . . . How do you change the way a nation thinks? You could start by creating a mainstream media to replace the existing one with a site such as Breitbart. [Serpent’s Walk scenario with Breitbart becoming “the opinion forming media”!–D.E.] You could set up other websites that displace mainstream sources of news and information with your own definitions of concepts like “liberal media bias”, like CNSnews.com. And you could give the rump mainstream media, papers like the ‘failing New York Times!’ what it wants: stories. Because the third prong of Mercer and Bannon’s media empire is the Government Accountability Institute. . . .”


FTR #948 Walkin’ the Snake with Breitbart: The Gathering Sturm

The title of the program refers to the Nazi tract Serpent’s Walk. The back cover of that book sums up the essence of the tome: ” . . . It assumes that Hitler’s warrior elite – the SS – didn’t give up their struggle for a White world when they lost the Second World War. Instead their survivors went underground and adopted some of their tactics of their enemies: they began building their economic muscle and buying into the opinion-forming media. A century after the war they are ready to challenge the democrats and Jews for the hearts and minds of White Americans, who have begun to have their fill of government-enforced multi-culturalism and ‘equality.’ . . .”

The “opinion-forming media” in 2017 has crystallized into a frighteningly dominant entity, the Breitbartian engine of Steven Bannon, Robert Mercer, Cambridge Analytica and the latter’s parent company SCL. An article from The Guardian sets forth this terrifying development. (Note that, due to the limitations of time, we were not able to read the entire story. The article will be the centerpiece of a follow-up program.)

Cambridge Analytica and its parent company SCL, specialize in using AI and Big Data psychometric analysis on hundreds of millions of Americans in order to model individual behavior. SCL develops strategies to use that information, and manipulate search engine results to change public opinion (the Trump campaign was apparently very big into AI and Big Data during the campaign).

Individual social media users receive messages crafted to influence them, generated by the Nazi AI at the core of this media engine, using Big Data to target the individual user!

As the article notes, not only are Cambridge Analytica/SCL are using their propaganda techniques to shape US public opinion in a fascist direction, but they are achieving this by utilizing their propaganda machine to characterize all news outlets to the left of Brietbart as “fake news” that can’t be trusted.

In short, the secretive far-right billionaire (Robert Mercer), joined at the hip with Steve Bannon, is running multiple firms specializing in mass psychometric profiling based on data collected from Facebook and other social media. Mercer/Bannon/Cambridge Analytica/SCL are using Nazified AI and Big Data to develop mass propaganda campaigns to turn the public against everything that isn’t Brietbartian by convincing the public that all non-Brietbartian media outlets are conspiring to lie to the public.

This is the ultimate Serpent’s Walk scenario–a Nazi Artificial Intelligence drawing on Big Data gleaned from the world’s internet and social media operations to shape public opinion, target individual users, shape search engine results and even feedback to Trump while he is giving press conferences!

We begin the program with a “sign of the times.” Something of a barometer for the present political climate is New York Times columnist Paul Krugman’s recognition that: “Are you angry about the white nationalist takeover of the U.S. government? . . . Does anyone doubt it? And given this reality, it’s completely reasonable to worry that America will go the route of other nations like Hungary, which remain democracies on paper but have become authoritarian states in practice. . . .”

After discussing Breitbart alumnus Sebastian Gorka’s role as the point man for the Trump administration’s counter-jihadist strategy, the program further develops his roots in Hungarian fascism, past and present. ” . . . . But an investigation by the Forward into Gorka’s activities from 2002 to 2007, while he was active in Hungarian politics and journalism, found that he had close ties then to Hungarian far-right circles, and has in the past chosen to work with openly racist and anti-Semitic groups and public figures. Gorka’s involvement with the far right includes co-founding a political party with former prominent members of Jobbik, a political party with a well-known history of anti-Semitism; repeatedly publishing articles in a newspaper known for its anti-Semitic and racist content; and attending events with some of Hungary’s most notorious extreme-right figures. . . . In the United States, Gorka, who was appointed deputy assistant to the president on January 20, is known as a television commentator, a professor and an “alt-right” writer who describes himself as a counterterrorism expert. A close associate of Stephen Bannon, Trump’s chief strategist, Gorka is now part of Bannon’s key in-house White House think tank, the Strategic Initiatives Group. The newly formed group consists of figures close to Trump and is seen by some as a rival to the National Security Council in formulating policies for the president.”

Turning to the well-publicized issue of what is portrayed as “anti-illegal” immigrant policy, we note DHS Secretary John Kelly’s recruitment of local law enforcement officers as federal immigration enforcers, a significant step from a standpoint of the constitution.

The Trumpenkampfverbande is moving to publicize crimes actually, or allegedly, committed by illegal immigrants, a tactic that was used by Hitler to maximize anti-Semitism in Germany. When the German populace proved insufficiently responsive to Nazi anti-Semitic policy, crimes committed by Jews became a high-profile propaganda feature of the Reich. “ . . . . In The Nazi Conscience, Duke historian Claudia Koonz notes that the Nazi newspaper Der Sturmer ran a feature called ‘Letter Box,’ which published readers’ accounts of Jewish crimes. When the Nazis took power, the German state began doing something similar. Frustrated by the failure of most Germans to participate in a boycott of Jewish businesses in April 1933, Adolf Hitler’s government began publicizing Jewish crime statistics as a way of stoking anti-Semitism. In Nazi Germany and the Jews: The Years of Persecution, the historian Saul Friedlander notes that, until 1938, Hitler’s Ministry of Justice ordered prosecutors to forward every criminal indictment against a Jew so the ministry’s press office could publicize it. . . .”

Program Highlights Include:The Trump administration’s apparent intent to stop monitoring the activities of domestic fascist and white supremacist hate groups; The League of the South’s formation of a paramilitary cadre, designed with an eye to being deputized as enforcers by federal, state or local governments; The Lithuanian celebration of Third Reich collaborator Kazys Skirpa, who was portrayed as Pepe the Frog, an American “Alt-Right” meme; The appointment of Chrystia Freeland as Canadian Foreign Minister–her grandfather was a major Ukrainian fascist and Nazi collaborator–this appears to have minted her anti-Russian dogma.


FTR #947 Evola on Our Minds

The entry point to our exploration of Julius Evola is top Trump adviser and first tier NSC member Steve Bannon. Evola is a key influence on Bannon. Evola was an early occult fascist, with strong connections with Mussolini’s Italy. Eventually Evola established strong, lasting connections with the Nazi SS, both operationally and ideologically.

Evola has also influenced Alexander Dugin, a prominent Russian ideologue and politician.

The broadcast recaps FTR #233, which details Evola’s work for the SS and Kevin Coogan’s theory that Evola was involved with an SS occult network incorporating important people and institutions in both the West and behind the so-called “Iron Curtain.” Later in the program, we further develop the story of Alexander Dugin, a Russian “Alt-right” thinker and politician prominent in the Russian government. As mentioned above, Dugin, like Bannon, has been influenced by Evola.

We wonder if, in the persons of Bannon and Dugin, we are seeing “Western” and “Eastern” manifestations of what Kevin conceptualizes as “The Order.”

Drawing on material from Kevin’s seminal work Dreamer of the Day: Francis Parker Yockey and The Postwar Fascist International (soft cover, Autonomedia, copyright 1999, ISBN I-57027-039-2), the program sets forth a hypothetical construct advanced in the book. Hypothesizing an international fascist milieu originating from (though not coterminous with) the ideological orientation of the Waffen SS, Kevin terms this milieu “The Order.” (This entity is not to be confused with the 1980’s American Nazi organization of the same name.)

Beginning with analysis of Kevin’s discussion of the work of fascist occultist Julius Evola in Vienna during the conclusion of World War II, the program documents Evola’s operations on behalf of the SD (the SS intelligence service.)

Like SS chief Himmler, Evola saw the SS as the successors to the Kshatriya class (the Hindu warrior caste.) Seeing Germany and Europe as succumbing to “barbarian invasion,” Evola saw a pagan, anti-Christian mysticism as necessarily antithetical to the Judeo-Christian culture which, he felt, had led the West to decline before the “Bolshevik hordes” of the Soviet Union and the “chewing gum imperialism” of the United States.

Kevin felt that this organization (reflecting the ideological stance of an element of the Waffen SS) would be pan-European in scope and orientation, and not necessarily entirely chauvinistic from a Nordic or Germanic racial and national standpoint. Nourished by bank accounts secreted abroad, this hypothetical organization functions in an underground fashion. (The funds that nourished this institution would necessarily have derived from the Bormann Organization.) The Order appears to have established ostensibly friendly relations with the West.

This organization may very well have begun working with the U.S. intelligence apparat after the war, as evidenced by, among other things, the collaboration between post-war SS elements and the CIA. Coogan hypothesizes that CIA director Allen Dulles may have played a primary role in such an accord.

Another influence on a Dulles/Order collaborative relationship may have been psychologist Carl Jung, who was connected to Dulles and to the Third Reich.

Significantly, the Order appears to have overlapped, and also worked with, elements of the East Bloc, including former Soviet and East German national security officials. The organization also maintained contacts with “anti-imperialist,” Third World liberation movements.

Steve Bannon’s discussion of Alexander Dugin gains significance in this context.

The Order appears to have exploited its contacts within both East and West blocs to further its own fascistic and elitist agenda, playing both sides against the middle during the Cold War.

The Dugin/Evola affiliation and the Bannon/Evola affiliation may be significant in that context.

Program Highlights Include: Sebastian Gorka’s manifestation of the heraldry of the order of Vitezi Rend, closely associated with Nazi Germany’s Hungarian allies;
Adbusters magazine’s publicizing of Alexander Dugin–we review the fact that Adbusters appears to have played a key role in jumpstarting the “Occupy” movement.


FTR #946 In Your Facebook: A Virtual Panopticon, Part 2

In FTR #718 (recorded on Independence Day weekend of 2010), we noted that the new social medium–Facebook-might very well be the opposite of the liberating, empowering entity many believed it to be.

On the contrary, we said–it received financial backing from the CIA, permits unprecedented gathering and databasing of users’ personal information, and might very well be a “panopticon”–a type of prison in which the interned can never see his or her jailers, but their keepers can see the interned at all times.

In particular, we noted the prominent position of major Facebook investor Peter Thiel in “Mondo Zuckerberg.” Of German (and probable I.G. Farben) origins, we opined that Thiel was Underground Reich. Opposed to democracy because he feels it is inimical to wealth creation and doesn’t believe women should be allowed to vote, Thiel has now emerged as one of the most prominent of Donald Trump’s supporters, transition team creators and influential policy wonks.

Whereas we explored the “virtual panopticon” concept of Facebook with a question mark in 2010, we now feel affirmatively on the issue.

A very important story from New York magazine sets forth Facebook’s role in the just-concluded election. ” . . . . Facebook’s size, reach, wealth, and power make it effectively the only one that matters. And, boy, does it matter. At the risk of being hyperbolic, I think there are few events over the last decade more significant than the social network’s wholesale acquisition of the traditional functions of news media (not to mention the political-party apparatus). Trump’s ascendancy is far from the first material consequence of Facebook’s conquering invasion of our social, cultural, and political lives, but it’s still a bracing reminder of the extent to which the social network is able to upend existing structure and transform society — and often not for the better. . . .

” . . . . Facebook’s enormous audience, and the mechanisms of distribution on which the site relies — i.e., the emotionally charged activity of sharing, and the show-me-more-like-this feedback loop of the news feed algorithm — makes it the only site to support a genuinely lucrative market in which shady publishers arbitrage traffic by enticing people off of Facebook and onto ad-festooned websites, using stories that are alternately made up, incorrect, exaggerated beyond all relationship to truth, or all three. . . .

” . . . . And at the heart of the problem, anyway, is not the motivations of the hoaxers but the structure of social media itself. Tens of millions of people, invigorated by insurgent outsider candidates and anger at perceived political enemies, were served up or shared emotionally charged news stories about the candidates, because Facebook’s sorting algorithm understood from experience that they were seeking such stories. Many of those stories were lies, or ‘parodies,’ but their appearance and placement in a news feed were no different from those of any publisher with a commitment to, you know, not lying. As those people and their followers clicked on, shared, or otherwise engaged with those stories — which they did, because Trump drives engagement extremely bigly — they were served up even more of them. The engagement-driving feedback loop reached the heights of Facebook itself, which shared fake news to its front page on more than one occasion after firing the small team of editorial employees tasked with passing news judgment. . . .

” . . . . Something like 170 million people in North America use Facebook every day, a number that’s not only several orders of magnitude larger than even the most optimistic circulation reckonings of major news outlets but also about one-and-a-half times as many people as voted on Tuesday. Forty-four percent of all adults in the United States say they get news from Facebook . . . ”

Symptomatic of Facebook’s filter of what its users see concerns the social medium’s recent non-coverage of the women’s march:

” . . . . We don’t usually post on Pando at the weekend, but this is too topical and too shameful to wait until Monday. As you certainly know, today is the day of the Women’s March on Washington in protest of Donald Trump. The main event is in DC, where something close to 500,000 protesters of all genders and ages have packed the streets — but there are also major protests in Chicago, New York and around the world. Including Antarctica.

You certainly know this because the protest march is the top story on every major news outlet, and because updates and photos from the event are flooding your Twitter and Facebook feeds.

And yet, here’s what Facebook’s trending news feed looked like at the height of the march…

And here’s its trending politics feed…

Notice anything missing?

Like, say, a half million women? . . .

In case you think I’m seeing something different from the rest of the world, be assured I’m not….”

Facebook has changed its algorithm, no longer factoring in “likes” and other personal preferences in determining its news feed.

This, however, does not bode as well as Facebook would like us to believe. Facebook has promoted, among others, Campbell Brown, to an important position in structuring its news feed: ” . . . . Brown has longstanding ties not just to the traditional news media, but also to conservative politics, although she describes herself as a political independent. She is a close personal friend of Betsy DeVos, the Republican megadonor who is Donald Trump’s nominee for Education Secretary, and is married to Dan Senor, a former top advisor to Mitt Romney who also served as spokesperson for the Coalition Provisional Authority in the wake of the 2003 invasion of Iraq. . . .

. . . . And alongside her mainstream media experience, Brown is familiar with the world of non-traditional news outlets springing up online. In 2014, she founded a nonprofit news site, The 74, which bills itself as nonpartisan but which critics have said functions as advocacy journalism, tilted in favor of charter schools and against teachers’ unions. The site was launched with money from donors including the foundation run by DeVos, Trump’s proposed Education Secretary. When the nomination was announced, Brown said she would recuse herself from The 74’s coverage of DeVos. . .”

Brown is joined by Tucker Bounds, a former John McCain adviser and spokesman for the McCain/Palin campaign.

Exemplifying the terrifying possibilities of the virtual panopticon, we examine the nexus of Cambridge Analytica, its principal investors, Robert and Rebekah Mercer and Steve Bannon, a key member of the firm’s board of directors and a political guru to Rebekah. ” . . . . For several years, a data firm eventually hired by the Trump campaign, Cambridge Analytica, has been using Facebook as a tool to build psychological profiles that represent some 230 million adult Americans. A spinoff of a British consulting company and sometime-defense contractor known for its counterterrorism ‘psy ops’ work in Afghanistan, the firm does so by seeding the social network with personality quizzes. Respondents — by now hundreds of thousands of us, mostly female and mostly young but enough male and older for the firm to make inferences about others with similar behaviors and demographics — get a free look at their Ocean scores. Cambridge Analytica also gets a look at their scores and, thanks to Facebook, gains access to their profiles and real names.

“Cambridge Analytica worked on the ‘Leave’ side of the Brexit campaign. In the United States it takes only Republicans as clients: Senator Ted Cruz in the primaries, Mr. Trump in the general election. Cambridge is reportedly backed by Robert Mercer, a hedge fund billionaire and a major Republican donor; a key board member is Stephen K. Bannon, the head of Breitbart News who became Mr. Trump’s campaign chairman and is set to be his chief strategist in the White House. . .

” . . . . Their [the Mercers] data firm, Cambridge Analytica, was hired by the Cruz campaign. They switched to support Trump shortly after he clinched the nomination, and he eventually hired Cambridge Analytica, as well. Their top political guru is Steve Bannon, the former Breitbart News chairman and White House chief strategist. They’re close, too, with Trump’s campaign manager Kellyanne Conway, who also has a senior role in the White House. They never speak to the press and hardly ever even release a public statement. Like Trump himself, they’ve flouted the standard playbook for how things are done in politics. . . .”

Bannon’s influence on Rebekah Mercer is particularly strong: ” . . . Another of the Republican operatives described Bannon as the ‘Obi-Wan Kenobi’ to Rebekah Mercer, and a third was even more pointed: ‘Svengali.’ Bannon is ‘really, really, really influential’ with Mercer, said the former Breitbart employee. The Mercers, the former employee said, made their wishes known through Bannon, who would sometimes cite the company’s financial backers as a reason for Breitbart not to do a story. Bannon didn’t respond to a request for comment about this. . . .”

In turn, the influence of Steve Bannon within the Facebook virtual panopticon is even more sinister considering Bannon’s political outlook: ” . . . . But, said the source, who requested anonymity to speak candidly about Bannon, ‘There are some things he’s only going to share with people who he’s tight with and who he trusts.’

Bannon’s readings tend to have one thing in common: the view that technocrats have put Western civilization on a downward trajectory and that only a shock to the system can reverse its decline. And they tend to have a dark, apocalyptic tone that at times echoes Bannon’s own public remarks over the years—a sense that humanity is at a hinge point in history. . . .”

One of the influences on Bannon is Curtis Yarvin, aka Mencius Moldbug, who has actually opened a backchannel advisory connection to the White House: ” . . . . Before he emerged on the political scene, an obscure Silicon Valley computer programmer with ties to Trump backer and PayPal co-founder Peter Thiel was explaining his behavior. Curtis Yarvin, the self-proclaimed ‘neoreactionary’ who blogs under the name ‘Mencius Moldbug,’ attracted a following in 2008 when he published a wordy treatise asserting, among other things, that ‘nonsense is a more effective organizing tool than the truth.’ When the organizer of a computer science conference canceled Yarvin’s appearance following an outcry over his blogging under his nom de web, Bannon took note: Breitbart News decried the act of censorship in an article about the programmer-blogger’s dismissal.

Moldbug’s dense, discursive musings on history—’What’s so bad about the Nazis?’ he asks in one 2008 post that condemns the Holocaust but questions the moral superiority of the Allies—include a belief in the utility of spreading misinformation that now looks like a template for Trump’s approach to truth. ‘To believe in nonsense is an unforgeable [sic] demonstration of loyalty. It serves as a political uniform. And if you have a uniform, you have an army,’ he writes in a May 2008 post.’It’s been a while since I posted anything really controversial and offensive here,’ he begins in a July 25, 2007, post explaining why he associates democracy with ‘war, tyranny, destruction and poverty.’

Moldbug, who does not do interviews and could not be reached for this story, has reportedly opened up a line to the White House, communicating with Bannon and his aides through an intermediary, according to a source. Yarvin said he has never spoken with Bannon. . . .”

After discussing Facebook’s new AI technology being employed to search users’ photos, the program concludes with the shift of Silicon Valley money to the GOP.

Program Highlights Include: review of Steve Bannon’s role on the NSC; review of the martial law contingency plans drawn up by Oliver North during the Reagan administration, involving the deputizing of paramilitary right-wingers; review of Erik Prince’s relationship to the Trump administration and Betsy De Vos, Trump’s education secretary.


FTR #945 Miscellaneous Articles and Updates

This program updates and/or introduces various points of inquiry:

Former Obama U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice was one of just a handful of mainstream politicians who (VERY belatedly) got things right. Speaking of Steve Bannon’s elevation to a position of primacy on the NSC, she observed: ” . . . . ‘Trump loves and trusts the military so much he just kicked them out of the National Security Council and put a Nazi in their place,’ she said. . . .”

Bannon’s ascension is noteworthy: “ . . . . But the defining moment for Mr. Bannon came Saturday night in the form of an executive order giving the rumpled right-wing agitator a full seat on the ‘principals committee’ of the National Security Council — while downgrading the roles of the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the director of national intelligence, who will now attend only when the council is considering issues in their direct areas of responsibilities. It is a startling elevation of a political adviser, to a status alongside the secretaries of state and defense, and over the president’s top military and intelligence advisers. . . .”

Bannon’s ascension to the NSC should be analyzed against the background of the martial law contingency plans drawn up by Oliver North and still on the books. This is discussed at length in AFA #32.

One of the key features of the martial law contingency plans involved the federal deputization of paramilitary right-wingers to maintain order. The military, even with the assistance of the National Guard, does not have the manpower to maintain civilian order. It is our suspicion that Bannon may be involved with the implementation of such activities.

Notorious troll, blogger and Nazi/white-supremacist fellow traveler Charles “Chuck” Johnson has substantive input in Trump’s cabinet selections. Worth noting is the fact that Johnson may be operating in tandem with Peter Thiel, whose database named the “Plum List” bears a striking similarity to a website “ThePlumlist.com,” apparently being used by Johnson to help staff Trump’s administration.

“ . . . . Despite his disregard for facts and reckless approach to publishing, Johnson, who was recently photographed at a dinner attended by white supremacists in Washington, D.C., built a significant following among many who self-identified as being a part of the ‘alt-right.’ Trump drew significant support from those same followers during the election. . . . .

” . . . . Johnson also helped create a database where potential political appointees could send in their resumes to be considered for government positions. He has access to the website ThePlumlist.com, and though the recently created website remains dormant, candidates have been told to send their information to an email account associated with that domain. In November, The Daily Mail reported that Thiel maintains a database called the “Plum List” to track potential hires and qualified applicants. Sources familiar with the situation described the list as an intake system for the team, and said it was separate from the version that Thiel and his closest associates use to track final selections that are forwarded to Trump. . . .”

Johnson had a very telling observation near the end of the following article: ” . . . Johnson attributed much of the work that he and others have done in support of Trump to being able to tap into voters’ emotions through memes, such as the Pepe the Frog cartoon that became an informal mascot for Trump supporters. . . .”

A sign of the times manifested in Kentucky, where a group of tan, military style vehicles flying a Trump banner was spotted. “ . . . . Davis said it would also violate regulations to run a military convoy with no unit markings on the vehicles, and said he did not think the vehicles belonged to any service branch. Per the report, he suggested that they were military surplus. . . . ”

The vehicles belonged to an elite SEAL unit. “. . . . ‘The convoy were service members assigned to an East Coast-based Naval Special Warfare unit driving vehicles while transiting between two training locations,’ Lieutenant Jacqui Maxwell, a spokesperson for Naval Special Warfare Group 2, told ABC News. Naval Special Warfare Units is the official Navy term for its elite SEAL special operations teams.. . . . ”

The founder of “the artists formerly known as Blackwater” Erik Prince has been serving as a back channel adviser on intelligence and security matters to Trump. “. . . . he may be making a comeback, this time as a backchannel advisor on intelligence and security matters to US President Donald Trump, The Intercept reported on Tuesday. It’s unclear when Prince made his way into Trump’s inner circle, but he has made sizable contributions to the pro-Trump Political Action Committee (PAC). The Federal Election Commission (FEC) filings for the PAC shows he made a contribution of $100,000 in September 2016 to their efforts. His mother Elisa Prince also gave $50,000 to the committee. Prince’s sister Betsy DeVos is Trump’s Secretary of Education choice. . . .”

In FTR #’s 941 and 942, we examined Tulsi Gabbard (D–HI), usually described as a “rising star” in the Democratic Party. Of substantively greater interest for our purposes is the fact that she was one of the driving forces behind the Bernie Sanders phenomenon.

This program updates that analysis, setting forth more about Gabbard’s behavior, associates and fascist/Underground Reich associations:

a)Gabbard received kid glove treatment from Pierre Omidyar’s Honolulu Civil Beat.

b)She recently took an unannounced, and possibly illegal, trip to Syria, during which she met with Bashar Assad. This further disrupts an already badly weakened Democratic Party.

c) Her trip was shepherded by: “. . . . Gabbard’s office claims her trip was funded by the Arab American Community Center for Economic and Social Services (Aaccess) – Ohio; however, the group has not reported any financial revenue to the US government since 2006. Bassam Khawam, the executive director of Aaccess who traveled with Gabbard, reportedly belongs to a pro-Assad Lebanese political party, the Syrian Social Nationalist party (SSNP). The party has dispatched its members to fight on behalf of the Assad regime during the nearly six-year war. . . .”

d) Bassam Khawam’s political affiliation with the Syrian Social Nationalist Party is “interesting”: ” . . . . They greet their leaders with a Hitlerian salute; sing their Arabic anthem, “Greetings to You, Syria,” to the strains of “Deutschland, Deutschland über alles”; and throng to the symbol of the red hurricane, a swastika in circular motion. These are the hallmarks of the Syrian Social Nationalist Party (SSNP), the oldest terrorist organization in existence today and one of the most secret and deadly. . . .”

e)More about Khawam’s political ally, the SSNP: “. . . . [founder Antun] Saadeh emigrated again to Brazil in 1938 and afterwards to Argentina, only to return to Lebanon in 1947 following the country’s independence from the French in 1943. On his way to Argentina, he visited Italy and Berlin, which increased the suspicions of the French that the SSNP might have been entertaining relations with the Axis. . . . Reeva Simon writes: “the party’s ‘leader for life’, was an admirer of Adolf Hitler influenced by Nazi and fascist ideology”.[55][59] The party adopted a reversed swastika as the party’s symbol, sang the party’s anthem to Deutschland über alles, and included developing the cult of a leader, advocating totalitarian government, and glorifying an ancient pre-Christian past and the organic whole of the Syrian Volk or nation.[52][55] . . . .”
Gabbard co-sponsored a bill that would classify anyone opposing Ukraine’s entry into the EU as a “terrorist.”

The program concludes with examination of another alleged Russian “hack,” which smells suspiciously like a “cyber-false flag” operation: ” . . . . Two new users showed up as registered administrators of the website: larisa@steamreal.ru and ewartumba@mail.ru. The ‘.ru’ suffix indicates a Russian origin, Benson said. The profile pages of the users had characters in the Russian alphabet in ‘Address’ and ‘About Me’ fields, she said. . . .She said she can’t say whether Russians were really involved or whether the addresses could have been faked by someone mimicking a connection based on what had been in the news. But it was important that police and the FBI become involved, to ‘make this information part of the body of information police and the FBI are compiling from the national investigation,’ she said. . . .”

Program Highlights Include: The inclusion of Gabbard’s associates in the Hindu nationalist/fascist RSS in a prestigious Indian literary festival, symptomatic of a phenomenon similar to the rise of Trump: “. . . . ‘We are acknowledging that the intellectual nerve center has shifted, and the seat of cultural power has shifted, because no one was interested in inviting these guys before 2014,’ said Supriya Nair, a writer and editor who has attended the festival for the last six years. In any case, she said, the shift rightward had already taken place in the larger society. ‘This is a last bastion,’ she said. . . .”; Narendra Modi’s rise in India, what Supriya Nair described as a shift of “the intellectual nerve center” has been fueled by “dark money;” Trump PR man Felix Sater’s role in shepherding Trump’s trips to Russia; review of Sater’s work for the CIA;
review of Pierre Omidyar’s role in financing the rise of Narendra Modi and the OUN/B fascist in Ukraine.


FTR #944 Fireside Rant: WTF Is Going On? The Caligulization of America and the End of the American Century

This broadcast is a (probably partly unsuccessful) summary attempt at explaining what will be the results of the ascendance of the Trumpenkampfverbande in the U.S. It is to be hoped that this description will go further toward explaining what is going on than the original program. In addition to the excerpts of articles presented in the program, we will summarize some of the central arguments in the broadcast, with links to other programs and lectures, where possible.

In AFA #37, we discussed the Gehlen “Org” and related elements as a Trojan Horse, using anti-communism to infiltrate the United States and, ultimately, destroy it from within. In this program we develop that analysis further, adding the role of the House of Habsburg and associates to the Trojan Horse metaphor. When the U.S. frustrated the de-Nazification of Germany, opted to ally with the remarkable and deadly Bormann capital network and the associated Habsburg royal family, and returned the Japanese and Italian fascists to power (with a civilian facade), this country signed its own death warrant.

America’s entry into two World Wars, after the combat had proceeded for years, decided both conflicts against Germany. The American revolution was the first successful revolt of a European colonial power against its colonial master. Both Germany and the House of Habsburg vowed never again! Never!

In this context, we observe that the Habsburgs (royal house of the Austro-Hungarian Empire) ruled for six hundred years. Six hundred years ago–1417–was three quarters of a century before Columbus sailed. To the Habsburgs, America is a blip. Democracy is a blip. They see things in an entirely different way. Because the U.S. was an unassailable military power and the most powerful economy on earth, the country could only be brought down by subversion from within. We gave the Underground Reich and the Habsburgs the keys to the kingdom, not unlike the Praetorian Guard–Germanic mercenary troops appointed to guard the Roman Emperor. Eventually they controlled the throne and preserved the Roman Empire for as long as it could make lucrative payments to the Germanic tribes who eventually defeated and sacked Rome.

The thrust of the broadcast is that the ascension of Trump–an American Caligula–is indeed the end of what Henry Luce called “The American Century.” The author of our first article is a former editor for Time magazine and a former State Department officer, so his literal take on Luce’s pronouncement is not surprising. What Stengel is talking about is the end of “Brand America,” to coin a phrase–the successful PR marketing of this country as the Land of the Free, Home of the Brave, etc.

That political mythology, which compelled much of Mr. Emory’s initial involvement in this research when he began in the early ’70s, will evaporate. That dissipation, however, will be eclipsed by the devastating economic, environmental, social and political devastation that will surely follow Trump’s policies.

As Mr. Emory forecast in FTR #’s 918 and 919, among other programs in the “Trumpenkampfverbande” series, Trump’s anti-NATO rhetoric and general disparaging of the Atlanticist alliances that have held sway during the better part of “The American Century” are focused on precipitating the Underground Reich goals of: an all-EU army replacing NATO, a German-dominate Europe assuming center stage in world affairs, and the forging of an economic alliance with Russia (following Russian concessions on Ukraine) that will give “Corporate Germany” economic domination over the Earth Island. A trade war with China, coupled with possible military adventurism against that growing giant, will simply enhance its commercial and diplomatic gravitas. Germany/EU will fill the vacuum, enhancing their economic ascension.

Our next article heralds Mr. Emory’s prognostications. We do not feel Trump is necessarily conscious of his role. In the age of mind control, what goes on between a given individual’s ears is impossible to gauge, past a point. Among the various and sundry disastrous outcomes of Trump’s policies may well be a cyber-terrorist incident from a nation-state actor or a lone malefactor, this the result of a federal hiring freeze. ” . . . On his first official day in office after inauguration, President Donald Trump has made good on his plan to institute a federal hiring freeze—part of his effort to slash the federal workforce. Details are sparse: Trump has said there would be exceptions for the military, and a White House memo notes the freeze would be waived ‘when necessary to meet national or public safety responsibilities.’ Some experts fear a temporary hiring freeze could exacerbate a chronic problem in the federal government: a widespread shortage of cybersecurity talent. A hiring freeze could signal to essential cybersecurity talent—especially those who might consider joining the public sector from higher-paying industry jobs—that there’s no need or desire for them in the federal government, Alan Chvotkin, executive vice president of the Professional Services Council, told Nextgov. . . .”

Exemplifying a disconnect that is sure to help bring our economy down, Labor Secretary Puzder lauds the value of machines over humans. While he is correct that machines do not do many things that he sees as counter-productive, he ignores the fact that machines don’t by food at Carl’s Junior or Hardees, the food chains for which he is chief executive. No machine has ever bought anything. ” . . . Fast food executive Andrew Puzder, who President-elect Donald Trump is expected to tap as labor secretary, has advocated replacing some human workers with machines as a way for businesses to reduce costs associated with rising wages and health-care expenses. While machines require regular maintenance and can sometimes malfunction, Puzder said, they are also easier to manage than humans and don’t pose the same legal risks. “They’re always polite, they always upsell, they never take a vacation, they never show up late, there’s never a slip-and-fall, or an age, sex, or race discrimination case,” Puzder told Business Insider in March. Puzder serves as the chief executive of CKE Restaurants, the corporate parent behind fast food chains Hardee’s and Carl’s Jr. . . .”

When automation, inflation of the price of consumer goods that are imported and have had tariffs slapped on them by “The Donald,” lack of health care forcing working people to devote increasingly scarce resources toward maintaining their and/or their families’ health, the subversion of minimum wage, overtime and unionization laws and statutes and increasing concentration of economic ownership have brought American consumers to their knees, our consumer-based economy will collapse.

Lastly, we note something that heralds poorly for the response of the American people to the chaos that is sure to envelope this country after the environmental, economic and social chaos that will inevitably result from Trump’s rollback of decades of necessary regulation, enormous budget deficits from the GOP’s tax cuts, neutralization of decades of progress on health care and rollback of the New Deal.

With Betsy De Vos appointed as Secretary of Education, the already dismal, frightening civic awareness of our public school students figures to get worse. In and of itself, that is cause for extreme pessimism. As our society disintegrates from the interplay of various economic, political and military factors, the calls for “someone to do something” to repair our dysfunctional society are likely to increase exponentially.

“. . . . When, 2011, the World Values Survey asked US citizens in their late teens and early 20s whether democracy was a good way to run a country, about a quarter said it was ‘bad’ or ‘very bad,’ an increase of one-third since the late 1990s. Among citizens of all ages, 1 in 6 now say in would be fine for the ‘army to rule,’ up from 1 in 16 in 1995. In a different national survey, about two-thirds of Americans could not name all three branches of the federal government or which party controlled the House of Representatives. In a third study, almost half of the respondents said the government should be permitted to prohibit a peaceful march. . . .”

Program Highlights Include: review of the Habsburg role in Ukraine; review of Karl von Habsburg and his UNPO; review of Karl von Habsburg’s marriage to Francesca Thyssen-Bornemisza and, through that, the Bormann capital network; review of the intimate proximity of the House of Habsburg and the House of Liechtenstein; review of House of Liechtenstein cousin Martin Wachter’s stewardship of a Bank al-Taqwa subsidiary; review of the Habsburg proximity to the death of Antonin Scalia, which may have helped to solidify the GOP behind Trump.


FTR #943 The Gehlen Gang, the High-Profile Hacks and the New Cold War

With a new Cold War gaining momentum and charges of Russian interference in the U.S. election, this program takes stock of information pointing in the other direction. After reviewing previous discussion of why the DNC, John Podesta and NSA “hacks” do not withstand scrutiny, the broadcast sets forth information indicating that Ukrainian fascists and related elements may well be the authors of a “cyber false-flag” operation.

Not only is the so-called “evidence” characteristic of a relatively clumsy false-flag operation–albeit one conducted on the internet–but the so-called “experts,” link to the milieu of the Reinhard Gehlen “Org.”

The joint CIA/FBI/NSA declassified version of the Intelligence Report on Russian hacking came out. There is no substantive detail in the report:“ . . . . To summarize, the report says that the CIA, FBI, and National Security Agency believe that Russian hackers—directed ultimately by Vladimir Putin—hacked email accounts belonging to the Democratic National Committee and to Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta and then passed the material they obtained on to WikiLeaks through a third party. This was done, the report asserts, because the Russians believed that Donald Trump would be friendlier to their country’s interests, as president, than Hillary Clinton. And … that’s about it. Not counting intro pages or appendices, the report is five pages long and does not include any description of the actual evidence that Russian actors were responsible for the DNC/Podesta hacks (an assertion that’s supported by publicly available evidence analyzed by third parties) or the assertion that Putin ultimately directed the release of hacked material in order to help elect Donald Trump (an assertion that’s harder to verify independently). . . . .”

The Bitly technology used in the hacks enabled the entire world to see what was going on! This strongly indicates a cyber-false flag operation: ” . . . . Using Bitly allowed ‘third parties to see their entire campaign including all their targets— something you’d want to keep secret,’ Tom Finney, a researcher at SecureWorks, told Motherboard. It was one of Fancy Bear’s ‘gravest mistakes,’ as Thomas Rid, a professor at King’s College who has closely studied the case, put it in a new piece published on Thursday in Esquire, as it gave researchers unprecedented visibility into the activities of Fancy Bear, linking different parts of its larger campaign together. . . .”

It should be noted that while this report is signed off on by the CIA, NSA, and FBI, the FBI never examined the DNC’s hacked server. Instead, according to the DNC, the job was outsourced to CrowdStrike! Neither the FBI, nor any other U.S. government entity has run an independent forensic analysis on the system! ” . . . Six months after the FBI first said it was investigating the hack of the Democratic National Committee’s computer network, the bureau has still not requested access to the hacked servers, a DNC spokesman said. No US government entity has run an independent forensic analysis on the system, one US intelligence official told BuzzFeed News. . . .The FBI has instead relied on computer forensics from a third-party tech security company, CrowdStrike, which first determined in May of last year that the DNC’s servers had been infiltrated by Russia-linked hackers, the U.S. intelligence official told BuzzFeed News. . .’CrowdStrike is pretty good. There’s no reason to believe that anything that they have concluded is not accurate,’ the intelligence official said, adding they were confident Russia was behind the widespread hacks. . . It’s unclear why the FBI didn’t request access to the DNC servers, and whether it’s common practice when the bureau investigates the cyberattacks against private entities by state actors, like when the Sony Corporation was hacked by North Korea in 2014. BuzzFeed News spoke to three cybersecurity companies who have worked on major breaches in the last 15 months, who said that it was “par for the course” for the FBI to do their own forensic research into the hacks. None wanted to comment on the record on another cybersecurity company’s work, or the work being done by a national security agency. . . .”

The FBI claims that the DNC denied them access to the servers! Right! Note the prominence of CrowdStrike in this imbroglio. More about them below. ” . . . . The FBI struck back at the Democratic National Committee on Thursday, accusing it of denying federal investigators access to its computer systems and hamstringing its investigation into the infiltration of DNC servers by Russia-backed hackers. ‘The FBI repeatedly stressed to DNC officials the necessity of obtaining direct access to servers and data, only to be rebuffed until well after the initial compromise had been mitigated. This left the FBI no choice but to rely upon a third party for information,’ a senior law enforcement official told BuzzFeed News in a statement. ‘These actions caused significant delays and inhibited the FBI from addressing the intrusion earlier.’ . . . The warring statements are the latest twists in an extraordinary standoff between the Democrats and federal investigators that reached a fever pitch over the bureau’s probe into Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton’s private email server. . . . The FBI announced it was investigating the hack of the DNC’s servers in July, after a third-party computer security firm, Crowdstrike, said it had evidence of Kremlin-backed hackers infiltrating its system. . . .”

The DNC responded to the FBI’s counter-assertion by reasserting that it’s giving the FBI full access to whatever it requested. If there’s a problem with the FBI getting access to that server, it’s a problem between the FBI and Crowdstrike: ” . . . The FBI had previously told lawmakers on the Hill that the DNC had not allowed federal investigators to access their servers. After BuzzFeed News reported on Wednesday that the DNC claimed FBI agents had never asked for the servers, congressional officials pressured the FBI for answers. A senior law enforcement official issued a public statement on the matter Thursday night. ‘Someone is lying their ass off,’ a US intelligence official said of the warring statements. But officials with the DNC still assert they’ve ‘cooperated with the FBI 150%.They’ve had access to anything they want. Anything that they desire. Anything they’ve asked, we’ve cooperated,’ the DNC official said. ‘If anybody contradicts that it’s between Crowdstrike and the FBI.’ . . .Without direct access to the computer network, another US intelligence official told BuzzFeed, federal investigators had been forced to rely on the findings of the private cybersecurity firm Crowdstrike for computer forensics. From May through August of 2016, the Democratic National Committee paid Crowdstrike $267,807 dollars for maintenance, data services and consulting, among other things, according to federal records. . . .”

An important article underscores that many tech experts disagree with the government’s so-called analysis: ” . . . . Yet despite the scores of breathless media pieces that assert that Russia’s interference in the election is ‘case closed,’might some skepticism be in order? Some cyber experts say ‘yes.’ . . . Cyber-security experts have also weighed in. The security editor at Ars Technica observed that ‘Instead of providing smoking guns that the Russian government was behind specific hacks,’ the government report ‘largely restates previous private sector claims without providing any support for their validity.’ Robert M. Lee of the cyber-security company Dragos noted that the report ‘reads like a poorly done vendor intelligence report stringing together various aspects of attribution without evidence.’ Cybersecurity consultant Jeffrey Carr noted that the report ‘merely listed every threat group ever reported on by a commercial cybersecurity company that is suspected of being Russian-made and lumped them under the heading of Russian Intelligence Services (RIS) without providing any supporting evidence that such a connection exists.’ . . .”

CrowdStrike–at the epicenter of the supposed Russian hacking controversy is noteworthy. Its co-founder and chief technology officer, Dmitry Alperovitch is a senior fellow at the Atlantic Council, financed by elements that are at the foundation of fanning the flames of the New Cold War: “In this respect, it is worth noting that one of the commercial cybersecurity companies the government has relied on is Crowdstrike, which was one of the companies initially brought in by the DNC to investigate the alleged hacks. . . . Dmitri Alperovitch is also a senior fellow at the Atlantic Council. . . . The connection between [Crowdstrike co-founder and chief technology officer Dmitri] Alperovitch and the Atlantic Council has gone largely unremarked upon, but it is relevant given that the Atlantic Council—which is is funded in part by the US State Department, NATO, the governments of Latvia and Lithuania, the Ukrainian World Congress, and the Ukrainian oligarch Victor Pinchuk—has been among the loudest voices calling for a new Cold War with Russia. As I pointed out in the pages of The Nation in November, the Atlantic Council has spent the past several years producing some of the most virulent specimens of the new Cold War propaganda. . . . ”

There was an update back in December from the German government regarding its assessment of the 2015 Bundgestag hacks (attributed to “Fancy Bear” and “Cozy Bear,” as mentioned in the Sandro Gaycken post above) that it attributed to APT28 and Russia: while it asserts the hacks did indeed take place, the leaked documents were later determined to be an insider leak (via Google translate). “ . . . . According to the report, federal security authorities are convinced that not hackers had stolen the 2420 documents published by the Internet platform Wikileaks in early December. There was certainly no evidence that the material had been stolen in the cyber attack on the Bundestag in 2015, it was called into security crises. . . . ”

Another article details at length the skepticism and outright scorn many cybersecurity experts feel concerning the report. ” . . . . Did the Russian government hack the DNC and feed documents to WikiLeaks? There are really two questions here: who hacked the DNC, and who released the DNC documents? These are not necessarily the same. An earlier intrusion into German parliament servers was blamed on the Russians, yet the release of documents to WikiLeaks is thought to have originated from an insider. [35] Had the Russians hacked into the DNC, it may have been to gather intelligence, while another actor released the documents. But it is far from certain that Russian intelligence services had anything to do with the intrusions. Julian Assange says that he did not receive the DNC documents from a nation-state. It has been pointed out that Russia could have used a third party to pass along the material. Fair enough, but former UK diplomat Craig Murray asserts: ‘I know who the source is… It’s from a Washington insider. It’s not from Russia.’ [We wonder if it might have been Tulsi Gabbard–D.E.] [36] . . . .”

Exemplifying some of the points of dissension in the above-linked story: ” . . . . Cybersecurity analyst Robert Graham was particularly blistering in his assessment of the government’s report, characterizing it as “full of garbage.” The report fails to tie the indicators of compromise to the Russian government. ‘It contains signatures of viruses that are publicly available, used by hackers around the world, not just Russia. It contains a long list of IP addresses from perfectly normal services, like Tor, Google, Dropbox, Yahoo, and so forth. Yes, hackers use Yahoo for phishing and maladvertising. It doesn’t mean every access of Yahoo is an ‘indicator of compromise’.’ Graham compared the list of IP addresses against those accessed by his web browser, and found two matches. ‘No,’ he continues. ‘This doesn’t mean I’ve been hacked. It means I just had a normal interaction with Yahoo. It means the Grizzly Steppe IoCs are garbage. . . .”

The source code used in the attacks traces back to Ukraine! ” . . . . In conjunction with the report, the FBI and Department of Homeland Security provided a list of IP addresses it identified with Russian intelligence services. [22] Wordfence analyzed the IP addresses as well as a PHP malware script provided by the Department of Homeland Security. In analyzing the source code, Wordfence discovered that the software used was P.A.S., version 3.1.0. It then found that the website that manufactures the malware had a site country code indicating that it is Ukrainian. [Note this!–D.E.] The current version of the P.A.S. software is 4.1.1, which is much newer than that used in the DNC hack, and the latest version has changed ‘quite substantially.’ Wordfence notes that not only is the software ‘commonly available,’ but also that it would be reasonable to expect ‘Russian intelligence operatives to develop their own tools or at least use current malicious tools from outside sources.’ To put it plainly, Wordfence concludes that the malware sample ‘has no apparent relationship with Russian intelligence.’ . . .”

The program concludes with a frightening piece of legislation signed into law by Barack Obama in December. It is an ominous portent of the use of government and military power to suppress dissenting views as being “Russian” propaganda tools! “. . . . The new law is remarkable for a number of reasons, not the least because it merges a new McCarthyism about purported dissemination of Russian ‘propaganda’ on the Internet with a new Orwellianism by creating a kind of Ministry of Truth – or Global Engagement Center – to protect the American people from ‘foreign propaganda and disinformation.’ . . . As part of the effort to detect and defeat these unwanted narratives, the law authorizes the Center to: ‘Facilitate the use of a wide range of technologies and techniques by sharing expertise among Federal departments and agencies, seeking expertise from external sources, and implementing best practices.’ (This section is an apparent reference to proposals that Google, Facebook and other technology companies find ways to block or brand certain Internet sites as purveyors of ‘Russian propaganda’ or ‘fake news.’) . . .”

Program Highlights Include: review of information from previous programs linking the disinformation about the high-profile hacks to the milieu of Ukrainian fascism; review of Alexandra Chalupa’s role in disseminating the “Russia did it” meme; review of “Eddie the Friendly Spook” Snowden’s role in the disinformation about the high-profile hacks; the implementation of a frightening new law authorizing the Pentagon and other government agencies to act to counter any information seen as “Russian propaganda.”


FTR #942 Who Is Tulsi Gabbard? (Part 2)

Continuing our analysis of Representative Tulsi Gabbard, Democrat of Hawaii, we begin with a lengthy exploration of the racist, fascist, quasi-Hitlerian views of Swami Prabhupada, the founder of the Hare Krishna cult and someone who has received the unqualified adulation of Gabbard.

We explore Gabbard in the context of her high-profile role as a supporter of Bernie Sanders and the incoherent nature of her stance on Muslims.

In a nutshell, Gabbard’s idol Prabhupada believed that: “ . . . . rape victims asked for it, Blacks are inferior and should be enslaved, Aryans are the supreme race, Hitler was right when attacking the Jews, and the ‘non-Aryan’ majority of the human race are useless eaters no better than dogs. The preferred form of government is an absolutist monarchy. Racism is apparently an integral part of the ideal Vedic society, since ‘shudra’ (the designation of the worker-caste) means ‘black,’ which in turn literally refers to blacks, a category which also includes Dravidians from southern India. . . .”
Prabhupada, not surprisingly, was a believer in eugenics.

Prabhupada also felt that Native Americans exemplified the inferiority of the non-white peoples of the world and their subjugation by white Europeans was proof of their inferiority. This is interesting because Gabbard garnered much publicity with her decampment to Standing Rock in support of the natives of the region. We wonder what the Standing Rock Sioux would feel about Gabbard’s unqualified admiration of Prabhupada?

The program recaps a five minute adulatory address by Gabbard on the subject of Prabhupada, in which she states in so many words that Chris Butler, aka Jagad Guru Siddhaswarupananda Paramahamsa is her personal guru.
The broadcast details the dominant role of the Hare Krishna sect headed by Butler in Gabbard’s parents, husband, in-laws and political milieu.

The broadcast concludes with rumination about the possible role of Gabbard in the high-profile hacks of the DNC and Clinton campaign manager John Podesta. Former British diplomat Craig Murray alleges that he got the information posted by WikiLeaks on a thumb drive given to him by a DNC insider “disgusted” by Clinton.

Gabbard was the former deputy chairperson of the DNC. Was she the “insider” Murray is referring to? If not, might she have provided information facilitating the hacks mistakenly being attributed to Russia/Putin?

Program Highlights Include: Review of Gabbard’s networking with Narendra Modi, his BJP party and the RSS, for which the BJP is a cat’s paw; review of Gabbard’s criticism of Barak Obama for not being sufficiently anti-Muslim; review of Gabbard’s resonance with the anti-Muslim views of Modi, his BJP and the RSS; review of the fascist RSS’s heritage, including its fundamental role in the assassination of Gandhi; review of Trump’s “Alt-right” advisor and former campaign manager Steve Bannon’s positive views of Modi and Tulsi Gabbard; review of Trump’s interview of Gabbard for a possible cabinet position; discussion of the segmenting of the Hare Krishna cult under the supervision of eleven different gurus; the former chief of publicity for the group’s assertion that the organization has a secret agenda and rules its subjects with an iron fist; elements of the Hare Krishna sect’s involvement in gun-running; racketeering and murder.


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