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FTR #924 Technocratic Fascism, the High-Profile Hacks and The Obverse Oswald: Update on the Adventures of Eddie the Friendly Spook

Dave Emory’s entire life­time of work is avail­able on a flash drive that can be obtained HERE [1]. The new drive is a 32-gigabyte drive that is current as of the programs and articles posted by early winter of 2016. The new drive (available for a tax-deductible contribution of $65.00 or more.) (The previous flash drive was current through the end of May of 2012.)

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This broadcast was recorded in one, 60-minute segment [6].

Lee Harvey Oswald: Ersatz Communist [7]

Lee Harvey Oswald: Ersatz Communist

borisandnatashai [8]Introduction: On November 22, 1963, President Kennedy’s assassination fundamentally altered the American political landscape, neutralizing JFK’s peace initiatives in Europe, Southeast Asia and Cuba. Furthermore, LBJ was manipulated into pursuing the open-ended Vietnam commitment JFK had studiously avoided.

With the high-profile hacks and the clumsy (though well-accepted) disinformation fingering Russia as the author of the crimes, we are witnessing “Team Snowden” manifesting what we have termed “Technocratic Fascism.” The support for Donald Trump coming from Julian Assange/WikiLeaks/Snowden/Applebaum exemplifies what David Golumbia analyzed in a seminal post [9]: “. . . . Such tech­no­cratic beliefs are wide­spread in our world today, espe­cially in the enclaves of dig­i­tal enthu­si­asts, whether or not they are part of the giant corporate-digital leviathanHack­ers (“civic,” “eth­i­cal,” “white” and “black” hat alike), hack­tivists, Wik­iLeaks fans [and Julian Assange et al–D. E.], Anony­mous “mem­bers,” even Edward Snow­den him­self [10] walk hand-in-hand with Face­book and Google in telling us that coders don’t just have good things to con­tribute to the polit­i­cal world, but that the polit­i­cal world is theirs to do with what they want, and the rest of us should stay out of it: the polit­i­cal world is bro­ken, they appear to think (rightly, at least in part), and the solu­tion to that, they think (wrongly, at least for the most part), is for pro­gram­mers to take polit­i­cal mat­ters into their own hands. . .”

In past discussion of “Eddie the Friendly Spook,” we have characterized him as “the Obverse Oswald.” With their exercise of “Technocratic Fascism,” “Team Snowden” is destroying American democracy as definitively and effectively as the bullets in Dealy Plaza did on 11/22/1963.

Supplementing and summing up the exhaustive “Eddie the Friendly Spook” series, this program sets forth the Snowden “psy-op” and the high-profile hacks against the background of Lee Harvey Oswald, the U.S. spy infiltrated into the Soviet Union and then into leftist organizations in the United States. Oswald was framed for JFK’s assassination and then killed before he could defend himself.

borisandnatashaii [11]

Snowden: Is this the face that launched a thousand ships? [12]

Snowden: Is this the face that launched a thousand ships?

Whereas Oswald was portrayed as a villain, Eddie the Friendly Spook’s operation is the obverse, with Snowden portrayed as a hero, while decamping first to China and then to Russia. Snowden is not only a spy but a fascist, who advocates the elimination of Social Security and the return to the gold standard.

Snowden’s Russian sojourn appears to have been arranged by WikiLeaks [13], which also appears to have arranged his flight to China from Hawaii. (Snowden’s journey to Hawaii appears to have been facilitated by Jacob Applebaum, who may be behind the “Shadow Brokers” alleged hack of NSA cyberweapons.) It was Snowden’s journey to Moscow that threw Obama’s “reboot” with Russia under the bus. [14]

In that context, we again point to “The Obverse Oswald.” [15]  We strongly suspect that “Team Snowden” may have had something to do with this. Snowden in Russia and working for a computer firm. The (frankly lame) framing of Russia for the DNC hack and the “Shadow Brokers” non-hack of the NSA reminds us of the process of “painting Oswald Red.”

The program begins with analysis of some enigmatic tweets [16] that Snowden issued, shortly before the “Shadow Brokers” leaked the ANT and TAO cyberweapons. The mysterious tweets may well have signaled the release of the “Shadow Brokers” files. ” . . . . In any case, since the posting Snowden’s own Twitter presence [17] has been eerily muted. . . . [Barton] Gellman, who is currently writing a book about the Edward Snowden leaks, was previously embroiled in another recent post that sparked controversy after the former NSA contractor mysteriously tweeted [18]: ‘It’s time.’ . . . .

Next, we review information indicating that Russia has been framed for the “Shadow Brokers” alleged hack of the NSA, much as it appears to have been framed for the DNC hack. Indeed, with both the DNC hack and the “Shadow Brokers” non-hack of the NSA, the evidence points increasingly toward “Team Snowden” and Eddie the Friendly Spook himself.

Points of information reviewed include:

The program concludes with an examination of Donald Trump Jr. Many young people have come to see Assange and Snowden as heroes. With “Team Snowden” working for Trump, those young people may find themselves seduced by the younger Donald.

Program Highlights Include:

1.  The program opens with discussion of some cryptic, mysterious tweets that Snowden issued, shortly before the so-called “Shadow Brokers” released their supposedly “hacked” NSA cyberweapons.

Although none of the tweets was the “dead man’s switch” some feared, the possibility that the tweets (or one of them) may have been a signal to release the ANT and TAO files in the “Shadow Brokers” “hack.”

Consider the possibility the leaked NSA hacking tools really were part of the Snowden doomsday cache (a cache to which Bamford presumably never had full access). Note that since Edward Snowden sent out a cryptic tweet one week before the leak that could very easily be interpreted as a metaphorical push of the Dead Man’s Switch [16].

“Gellman, who is currently writing a book about the Edward Snowden leaks, was previously embroiled in another recent post that sparked controversy after the former NSA contractor mysteriously tweeted [18]: “It’s time.”

Taking stock: Snowden first cryptically tweets on August 3, “Did you work with me? Have we talked since 2013? Please recontact me securely, or talk to @bartongellman. It’s time. [18]https://t.co/AKmgF5AIDJ [41]

Snowden then tweets a very long cryptographic key of some sort. He then goes silent for a couple days and some start assuming he’s dead. And then a week later we get the Shadow Broker leak of NSA TAO hacking tools.

We have circumstantial evidence suggesting that the Shadow Brokers leak may be a consequence of Snowden issuing his cryptic tweets, along with circumstantial evidence that Appelbaum already had his hands on the kinds of NSA hacking tools that actually got leaked but those tools probably didn’t come from Snowden but a different, still unidentified, NSA leaker. Curiouser and curiouser… [42]

Recall that, in FTR #’s 891 [29] and 895 [30], we noted that Snowden was working for the CIA in the summer of 2009 when he decided to infiltrate NSA and leak its information. As will be reviewed below, Applebaum and much of the so-called “privacy” advocates have received funding from CIA-derived organizations such as the Broadcasting Board of Governors, Radio Free Asia and the Open Technology Fund.

“Is Edward Snowden Dead? Conspiracy Theory Claims Whistleblower Killed After Cryptic Tweet” by Jason Murdock; International Business Times; 8/8/2016. [16]

Rumours of his demise have been denied by confidante Glenn Greenwald.

Exiled NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden sparked intrigue on 5 August after tweeting a 64-digit code to his two million-strong Twitter following, which conspiracy theorists quickly assumed meant he had met his untimely demise. The fears were sparked by a Russian news website called Sputnik, which reported [43] the now-deleted tweet could have been a “dead man’s switch” – an insurance code set up to aid the release of another trove of documentation “if he did not check in to the computer at a certain time.”

However, the rumours of his death or kidnapping have been denied by Snowden’s close confidante Glenn Greenwald, who replied [44] to one concerned tweet with: “He’s fine.”

In any case, since the posting Snowden’s own Twitter presence [17] has been eerily muted.

Previously, Snowden has indicated he has such an insurance tactic in place should something happen to him while he is living under asylum in Russia.

In one report by Wired [45], published in 2013 after the initial NSA disclosures hit the headlines, Greenwald described the system in place. “It’s really just a way to protect himself against extremely rogue behaviour on the part of the United States, by which I mean violent actions toward him, designed to end his life, and it’s just a way to ensure that nobody feels incentivised to do that,” he said.

In response to the code, which appears on the surface to be a form of hash, journalist Barton Gellman also took to social media to note the tweet had a “private meaning” and was not intended for the general audience. “Everyone requesting proof of life for me and @Snowden, take a deep breath. Some tweets have private meaning,” he wrote on 6 August [46].

Based on this, it is likely the long code is a form of verification used to prove to a contact of Snowden that he is the legitimate sender or recipient of a communication. Using a direct mail to message, for example, would leave metadata, and therefore a record of the conversation taking place.

Gellman, who is currently writing a book about the Edward Snowden leaks, was previously embroiled in another recent post that sparked controversy after the former NSA contractor mysteriously tweeted [18]: “It’s time.”

In light of this, the use of a so-called dead man’s switch was used to protect his wellbeing. Additionally, whistleblowing outfit WikiLeaks, which has released sensitive files from the US government, also uses the technique. Most recently, the group’s founder, Julian Assange, uploaded a fresh 88GB file [47] to the internet – just prior to the leaks from the Democratic National Committee (DNC).

2. Understanding the process of “painting Oswald red” gives us perspective on the crude deception involved with the “Shadow Brokers” non-hack, as well as giving us an understanding of the DNC hack. Reviewing why Russia is an unlikely culprit [19] in the DNC hack:

“Blaming Russia For the DNC Hack Is Almost Too Easy” by Dr. Sandro Gaycken; Council on Foreign Relations Blog; 8/01/2016. [19]

 . . . A critical look exposes the significant flaws in the attribution. First, all of the technical evidence can be spoofed. Although some argue that spoofing the mound of uncovered evidence is too much work, it can easily be done by a small team of good attackers in three or four days. Second, the tools used by Cozy Bear appeared on the black market when they were first discovered years ago and have been recycled and used against many other targets, including against German industry. The reuse and fine-tuning of existing malware happens all the time. Third, the language, location settings, and compilation metadata can easily be altered by changing basic settings on the attacker’s computer in five minutes without the need of special knowledge. None of the technical evidence is convincing. It would only be convincing if the attackers used entirely novel, unique, and sophisticated tools with unmistakable indicators pointing to Russia supported by human intelligence, not by malware analysis.

The DNC attackers also had very poor, almost comical, operational security (OPSEC). State actors tend to have a quality assurance review when developing cyberattack tools to minimize the risk of discovery and leaving obvious crumbs behind. Russian intelligence services are especially good. They are highly capable, tactically and strategically agile, and rational. They ensure that offensive tools are tailored and proportionate to the signal they want to send, the possibility of disclosure and public perception, and the odds of escalation. The shoddy OPSEC just doesn’t fit what we know about Russian intelligence. . . . Given these arguments, blaming Russia is not a slam dunk [20]. Why would a country with some of the best intelligence services in the world commit a whole series of really stupid mistakes in a highly sensitive operation? Why pick a target that has a strong chance of leading to escalatory activity when Russia is known to prefer incremental actions over drastic ones? Why go through the trouble of a false flag when doing nothing would have been arguably better?. . . 

3. The apparent “non-hack” of the NSA by “The Shadow Brokers” also makes no sense [21]. Note also, the clumsy, Boris [48] and Natasha-like [49] broken English used to try and portray this as a “Russian” operation. In addition, as we will see, this doesn’t appear to be a “hack” at all. A skilled hacker would not signal his or her activities in the manner that the “Shadow Brokers” did, nor would they be likely to put the information obtained through their “exploits” up for auction.

“Here’s Why the Supposed NSA ‘Hack’ Is Unlike Anything We’ve Ever Seen Before” by Paul Szoldra; Business Insider Nordic; 8/16/2016. [21]

. . . Their claim to have ‘hacked’ a server belonging to the NSA is fishy. According to ex-NSA insiders who spoke with [22] Business Insider, the agency’s hackers don’t just put their exploits and toolkits online where they can potentially be pilfered. The more likely scenario for where the data came from, says ex-NSA research scientist Dave Aitel, is an insider who downloaded it onto a USB stick. . . . When hackers gain access to a server, they keep quiet about it so they can stay there. . . .One of the many strange things about this incident is the very public nature of what transpired. When a hacker takes over your computer, they don’t start activating your webcam or running weird programs because you’d figure out pretty quickly that something was up and you’d try to get rid of them. . . .

 . . . If the Shadow Brokers owned the NSA’s command and control server, then it would probably be a much better approach to just sit back, watch, and try to pivot to other interesting things that they might be able to find. . . . Instead, the group wrote on Pastebin, a website where you can store text, that “we follow Equation Group traffic. We find Equation Group source range. We hack Equation Group. We find many many Equation Group cyber weapons,” which immediately signals to this alleged NSA hacker group that they have a big problem. [Note the remarkable broken English used in the post, reminiscent of Boris and Natasha–D.E.] . . . People sell exploits all the time, but they hardly ever talk about it. . . . Most of the time, an exploit is either found by a security research firm, which then writes about it and reports it to the company so it can fix the problem. Or, a hacker looking for cash will take that found exploit and sell it on the black market. So it would make sense for a group like Shadow Brokers to want to sell their treasure trove, but going public with it is beyond strange. . . .

4. Notice, however, that Edward Snowden not only opined that this was, indeed, a hack, whereas the evidence points in a different direction, but that “Russia was behind the hack.” Do not fail to take stock of the fact that Snowden is foreshadowing a possible controversy over the hacking of voting machines, echoing the pronouncements of Donald Trump, the successor to Eddie the Friendly Spook’s Presidential candidate of choice, Ron Paul.

“Here’s Why the Supposed NSA ‘Hack’ Is Unlike Anything We’ve Ever Seen Before” by Paul Szoldra; Business Insider Nordic; 8/16/2016. [21]

 . . . If you ask ex-NSA contractor Edward Snowden, the public leak and claims of the Shadow Brokers seem to have Russian fingerprints all over them, and it serves as a warning from Moscow to Washington. The message: If your policymakers keep blaming us for the DNC hack, then we can use this hack to implicate you in much more. [23]

“That could have significant foreign policy consequences,” Snowden wrote [24] on Twitter. “Particularly if any of those operations targeted US allies. Particularly if any of those operations targeted elections.” . . . .

5. The dating of the code used in connection with the cyberweapons dates to 2013, when Snowden downloaded NSA files onto USB sticks and went to Hong Kong from Hawaii. Note, again, that Snowden points to hacking [25], rather than the much more likely scenario of someone downloading information onto USB sticks, as Snowden did.

There is an important legal principle that is worth considering, the concept of “consciousness of guilt.” If someone can be proved to have taken steps to cover up the commission of a crime, that is considered sufficient evidence to indict the person for the original crime. Here, we have Snowden saying “Yup, Russia did it” in spite of indications that such was not the case and “Yup, it was a hack” whereas that appears unlikely.

Evidence points in the direction of “Team Snowden,” the WikiLeaks/Snowden/Greenwald milieu we have been researching for years.

“‘Shadow Brokers’ Claim To Have Hacked The NSA’s Hackers”; National Public Radio ; 8/17/2016. [25]

 . . . . The code released by the Shadow Brokers dates most recently to 2013, the same year Edward Snowden leaked classified information about the NSA’s surveillance programs.. . . Snowden also noted that the released files end in 2013. ‘When I came forward, NSA would have migrated offensive operations to new servers as a precaution,’ he suggested [26] — a move that would have cut off the hackers’ access to the server. . . . 

6. Perhaps no other author/investigator has done as much writing about NSA as James Bamford. In his observations about “The Shadow Brokers” non-hack, he highlights [27] the actions of Jacob Applebaum, the WikiLeaker who appears [50] to have been deeply involved with getting Snowden from Hawaii to Hong Kong [51]. Applebaum is also a fierce opponent of Hillary Clinton. Of particular significance is the fact that WikiLeaks already had a copy of the ANT and TAO cyberweapons.

The “Shadow Brokers” also went after Hillary Clinton [27] in the Boris and Natasha-like broken English:

“Commentary: Evidence Points to Another Snowden at the NSA” by James Bamford; Reuters; 8/24/2016. [27]

 . . . . Experts who have analyzed the files suspect that they date to October 2013, five months after Edward Snowden left his contractor position with the NSA and fled to Hong Kong carrying flash drives containing hundreds of thousands of pages of NSA documents. . . .

. . . . Enter WikiLeaks. Just two days after the first Shadow Brokers message, Julian Assange, the founder of WikiLeaks, sent out a Twitter message. “We had already obtained the archive of NSA cyberweapons released earlier today,” Assange wrote, “and will release our own pristine copy in due course.”

The month before, Assange was responsible for releasing the tens of thousands of hacked DNC emails that led to the resignation of the four top committee officials.

There also seems to be a link between Assange and the leaker who stole the ANT catalog, and the possible hacking tools. Among Assange’s close associates is Jacob Appelbaum, a celebrated hacktivist and the only publicly known WikiLeaks staffer in the United States – until he moved to Berlin in 2013 in what he called a “political exile” because of what he said was repeated harassment by U.S. law enforcement personnel. In 2010, a Rolling Stone magazine profile labeled him “the most dangerous man in cyberspace.”

In December 2013, Appelbaum was the first person to reveal the existence of the ANT catalog, at a conference in Berlin, without identifying the source. That same month he said he suspected the U.S. government of breaking into his Berlin apartment. He also co-wrote an article about the catalog in Der Spiegel. But again, he never named a source, which led many to assume, mistakenly, that it was Snowden. . . .

. . . . Shortly thereafter, he turned his attention to Hillary Clinton. At a screening of a documentary about Assange in Cannes, France, Appelbaum accused her of having a grudge against him and Assange, and that if she were elected president, she would make their lives difficult. “It’s a situation that will possibly get worse” if she is elected to the White House, he said, according to Yahoo News. . . .

. . . . In hacktivist style, and in what appears to be phony broken English, this new release of cyberweapons also seems to be targeting Clinton. It ends with a long and angry ‘final message” against ‘Wealthy Elites . . . breaking laws’ but ‘Elites top friends announce, no law broken, no crime commit[ed]. . . Then Elites run for president. Why run for president when already control country like dictatorship?’ . . . .

7. Another piece of circumstantial evidence pointing in the direction of “Team Snowden” concerns the fact that the “Shadow Brokers” used a German e-mail provider.

Since Appelbaum is currently living in Berlin it’s worth noting that the email address that appears to be used by the Shadow Brokers is a German email provider with a policy of cooperating with legal authorities as little as possible and only handing over encrypted data when given a court order. [52]

In addition to Applebaum (who appears to have assisted Snowden in getting from Hawaii to Hong Kong), Laura Poitras (Glenn Greenwald’s associate), Sarah Harrison (Assange’s ex-girlfriend who assisted Snowden in his flight from Hong Kong to Moscow) and Peter Sunde (who founded the Pirate Bay website on which WikiLeaks held forth) are all resident in Germany at this time.

“Edward Snowden: Russia Is Chief Suspect In NSA Hack” by Thomas Fox-Brewster; Forbes ; 8/16/2016. [25]

 . . . He said Tutanota had only ever been forced to hand over encrypted data of its users a few times and it has a transparency report [28] where it discloses those cases. ‘However, we release data only in very, very few cases … And when we have to provide the data due to a court order, it is still encrypted,’ Pfau added, going on to explain the company’s stance on surveillance. . . .

 

8. Recall that, in FTR #’s 891 [29] and 895 [30], we noted that Snowden was working for the CIA in the summer of 2009 when he decided to infiltrate NSA and leak its information. NSA “non-hack” suspect Applebaum and much of the so-called “privacy” advocates have received funding from CIA-derived organizations such as the Broadcasting Board of Governors, Radio Free Asia and the Open Technology Fund.

“Inter­net Pri­vacy, Funded by Spooks: A Brief His­tory of the BBG” by Yasha Levine; Pando Daily; 3/01/2015.  [31]

. . . Jacob Appelbaum’s will­ing­ness to work directly for an old CIA cutout like Radio Free Asia in a nation long tar­geted for regime-change is cer­tainly odd, to say the least. Par­tic­u­larly since Appel­baum made a big pub­lic show recently claim­ing that, though it pains him that Tor takes so much money from the US mil­i­tary, he would never take money from some­thing as evil as the CIA [32]. . . .

. . . Appelbaum’s finan­cial rela­tion­ships with var­i­ous CIA spin­offs like Radio Free Asia and the BBG go fur­ther. From 2012 through 2013, Radio Free Asia trans­ferred [33] about $1.1 mil­lion to Tor in the form of grants and con­tracts. This mil­lion dol­lars comes on top of another $3.4 mil­lion Tor received [33] from Radio Free Asia’s par­ent agency, the BBG, start­ing from 2007. . . .

9. More about CIA-derived BBG, Radio Free Asia and Open Technology Fund and their financial backing for much of the so-called “privacy” advocates and the tools they recommend:

“Inter­net Pri­vacy, Funded by Spooks: A Brief His­tory of the BBG” by Yasha Levine; Pando Daily; 3/01/2015.  [31]

. . . . Though many of the apps and tech backed by Radio Free Asia’s OTF are unknown to the gen­eral pub­lic, they are highly respected and extremely pop­u­lar among the anti-surveillance Inter­net activist crowd. OTF-funded apps have been rec­om­mended [34] by Edward Snow­den, cov­ered favor­ably by ProP­ub­lica [35] and The New York Times’ tech­nol­ogy reporters, and repeat­edly pro­moted by the Elec­tronic Fron­tier Foun­da­tion. Every­one seems to agree that OTF-funded pri­vacy apps offer some of the best pro­tec­tion from gov­ern­ment sur­veil­lance you can getIn fact, just about all the fea­tured open-source apps [36] on EFF’s recent “Secure Mes­sag­ing Score­card” were funded by OTF. . . .

. . . . You’d think that anti-surveillance activists like Chris Soghoian, Jacob Appel­baum, Cory Doc­torow and Jil­lian York would be staunchly against out­fits like BBG and Radio Free Asia, and the role they have played — and con­tinue to play — in work­ing with defense and cor­po­rate inter­ests to project and impose U.S. power abroad. Instead, these rad­i­cal activists have know­ingly joined the club, and in doing so, have become will­ing pitch­men for a wing of the very same U.S. National Secu­rity State they so adamantly oppose. . . .

10. Quoting from a seminal article [9] by David Golumbia, THIS is what Julian Assange, WikiLeaks and “Team Snowden” are doing!

“Tor, Technocracy, Democracy” by David Golumbia; Uncomputing.org; 4/23/2015. [9]

. . . . Such tech­no­cratic beliefs are wide­spread in our world today, espe­cially in the enclaves of dig­i­tal enthu­si­asts, whether or not they are part of the giant corporate-digital leviathanHack­ers (“civic,” “eth­i­cal,” “white” and “black” hat alike), hack­tivists, Wik­iLeaks fans [and Julian Assange et al–D. E.], Anony­mous “mem­bers,” even Edward Snow­den him­self [10] walk hand-in-hand with Face­book and Google in telling us that coders don’t just have good things to con­tribute to the polit­i­cal world, but that the polit­i­cal world is theirs to do with what they want, and the rest of us should stay out of it: the polit­i­cal world is bro­ken, they appear to think (rightly, at least in part), and the solu­tion to that, they think (wrongly, at least for the most part), is for pro­gram­mers to take polit­i­cal mat­ters into their own hands. . .

11. Both WikiLeaks and Snowden are heroes to many young people. As we have seen, the “Alt.right” forces embodied in Donald Trump are the same embodied in Julian Assange, WikiLeaks and Eddie the Friendly Spook.  We conclude the program with brief discussion of Donald Trump, Jr.’s role in tweeting and re-tweeting Nazi dog-whistles.

“Trump Jr’s ‘Skittles’ Tweet Is Based on Two Different White Supremacist Memes — and Nazi Propaganda” by Travis Gettys; Raw Story ; 9/20/2016. [38]

Donald Trump Jr. drew widespread condemnation [53]for comparing Syrian refugees to poisoned candy — but his analogy isn’t a new one, and it’s based on two separate white supremacist memes with roots in Nazi propaganda.

Trump — the Republican presidential candidate’s eldest son and a top campaign surrogate — tweeted the image Monday evening in an apparent response to the dumpster bombing over the weekend in New York City, which his dad inaptly linked [54] to the refugee crisis.

“This image says it all,” reads the text. “Let’s end the politically correct agenda that doesn’t put America first. #trump2016,” accompanied by the official Donald Trump/Mike Pence campaign logo and slogan. The analogy isn’t new, and has been used for years by white supremacists to overgeneralize about various minority groups. “It is often deployed as a way to prop up indefensible stereotypes by taking advantage of human ignorance about base rates, risk assessment and criminology,” wrote Emil Karlsson on the blog Debunking Denialism [55]. “In the end, it tries to divert attention from the inherent bigotry in making flawed generalizations.” A spokeswoman for Wrigley Americas, which makes Skittles, whacked Trump’s dehumanizing comparison. “Skittles are candy. Refugees are people. We don’t feel it’s an appropriate analogy,” said Denise Young [56], vice president of corporate affairs. “We will respectfully refrain from further commentary as anything we say could be misinterpreted as marketing.”

Joe Walsh, a single-term congressman from Illinois and now a right-wing talk radio host who’s been booted from the airwaves for using racial slurs [57], bragged that Trump’s meme was nearly identical to one he had tweeted a month earlier.

The analogy, which has been used on message boards and shared as social media memes, originally used M&Ms as the candy in question — but that changed after George Zimmerman gunned down Trayvon Martin while the unarmed black teen was walking home from buying a drink and some Skittles.

A Google image search of “skittles trayvon meme” [58]reveals a horrible bounty of captioned images mocking the slain teenager, whose killer was acquitted after claiming self-defense under Florida’s “stand your ground” law.

But the poisoned candy analogy goes back even further, to an anti-Semitic children’s book published by Julius Streicher, the publisher of the Nazi newspaper Der Stürmer who was executed in 1946 as a war criminal.

The book tells the tale of “the poisonous mushroom,” and was used to indoctrinate children in hate.

“Just as poisonous mushrooms spring up everywhere, so the Jew is found in every country in the world,” the story’s mother explains to her son. “Just as poisonous mushrooms often lead to the most dreadful calamity, so the Jew is the cause of misery and distress, illness and death.”

So Trump’s appalling analogy isn’t just unoriginal and demeaning — it’s actually racist in four different ways.

12. Roger Stone and Trump, Jr. were portrayed in an Alt.right tweet endorsed by the Trumpenkampfverbande. Do not lose sight of the fact that Stone is now networking with Julian Assange and WikiLeaks.

“Trump Ally, Son Share Meme Featuring Symbol Of White Nationalist Alt-Right” by Allegra Kirkland; Talking Points Memo Livewire; 9/12/2016. [37]

Two members of Donald Trump’s inner circle shared memes on social media over the weekend featuring a symbol popular with the white nationalist alt-right.

Riffing off of Hillary Clinton’s remark that some of Trump’s supporters are racists, misogynists, and xenophobes who belong in a “basket of deplorables [59],” the meme shared by Donald Trump Jr. and Trump ally Roger Stone showed key Trump allies photoshopped onto a poster from the move “The Expendables.” In the edited poster for “The Deplorables,” those armed staffers and Trump boosters are shown alongside Pepe the Frog, a cartoon figure that first cropped up on the 4chan website and has since become associated with the white supremacist movement online.

Trump, Indiana Gov. Mike Pence (R), New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R), Ben Carson, conspiracy theorist Alex Jones, and alt-right figurehead Milo Yiannopoulos were among those in included in the image.

“Apparently I made the cut as one of the Deplorables,” Trump Jr. wrote on Instagram in a caption accompanying the meme, saying he was “honored” to be grouped among Trump’s supporters.

Informal Trump advisor Roger Stone shared the same image on Twitter, saying he was “so proud to be one of the Deplorables.”

Pepe the Frog has emerged as an unofficial mascot [60]of the alt-right, a loosely defined group of white nationalists who congregate online to debate IQ differences between the races and joke [61] about burning Jewish journalists in ovens.

Last fall, Trump himself shared a meme featuring himself as president Pepe. He has retweeted users with handles like @WhiteGenocideTM on multiple occasions.

@codyave [62]: @drudgereport [63]@BreitbartNews [64]@Writeintrump [65] “You Can’t Stump the Trump”https://t.co/0xITB7XeJV [66]pic.twitter.com/iF6S05se2w [67]“— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 13, 2015 [68]

Trump has disavowed support from the alt-right and white supremacists like former KKK Grand Wizard David Duke, though he hired Steve Bannon, chairman of the alt-right promoting Breitbart News, as his campaign CEO in August.

13. Trump, Jr. has political aspirations. The gravitas that Snowden and WikiLeaks have with young Americans may bear very bitter fruit, indeed.

“A Chip off the Old Block” by Digby; Hullabaloo; 9/21/2016. [39]

I wrote about Trump Jr for Salon this morning:In the beginning of the 2016 campaign the only one of Donald Trump’s five children with a high public profile was his daughter Ivanka who has her own celebrity brand just like her father’s. The two older sons were unknown to the general public but they made quite a good first impression [69] when the whole family appeared on a CNN family special. They are all so attractive and glamorous that many people came to believe they were Donald Trump’s best feature. Indeed, it was said that the fact he’d raised such an admirable family spoke so well of him that it smoothed some of the rough edges of his own personality. Unfortunately, as people have gotten to know them better, they’ve revealed themselves to be as rough edged as dear old Dad, particularly his namesake, Donald Jr.

For most of the primaries Trump proudly evoke his two older sons when he talked about the 2nd amendment, touting their NRA membership and love of guns. It was a little bit shocking to see the ghastly pictures of their African big game kills including a horrific shot of Trump Jr holding a severed elephant tail, but they seemed to otherwise be pretty ordinary hard-working businessmen devoted to their family. For the most part they kept a low profile, serving as the usual family props in a political campaign.

When Donald Jr spoke to a white supremacist radio host in March [70] it set off a few alarm bells simply because his father’s extreme immigration policies had been so ecstatically received by white nationalist groups. But most chalked it up to inexperience and let it go. Surely Junior wasn’t as crudely racist as the old man who was reported to keep a book of Hitler speeches next to the bed [71]. But just a few days later he retweeted [72] a racist science fiction writer named Theodore Beale who goes by the handle of “Vox Day” claiming that a famous picture of a Trump supporter giving a Nazi salute was actually a follower of Bernie Sanders. The apple didn’t fall far from the tree after all.

At the GOP convention in July, all four of the grown kids gave heartfelt speeches about their Dad, even as they made clear through their childhood anecdotes that the only time they ever spent with him was at the office and it seemed that Junior in particular had taken a more active role and was seen in a more serious light. people were talking about him as a moderating voice in the campaign.

Right after the convention, however, he let out a deafening dogwhistle that left no doubt as to his personal affiliation with the far right. He went to the Neshoba County Fair in Philadelphia Mississippi [73], best remembered as the place where three civil rights workers were murdered in 1964. But it has special political significance as the site of Ronald Reagan’s famous “states’ rights” speech [74] in 1980 where he signaled his sympathy for white supremacy by delivering it at the scene of that horrendous racist crime. (The man who coined the term “welfare queen” was always a champion dogwhistler.) Trump Jr went there to represent and represent he did. When asked what he thought about the confederate flag he said [75], “I believe in tradition. I don’t see a lot of the nonsense that’s been created about that.”

Since then it’s been revealed that he follows a number of white nationalists on twitter [76] and he’s retweeted several including a a psychologist who believes Jews manipulate society. [77] And in the last couple of weeks Junior has let his alt-right freak flag fly. First he got excited about Hillary Clinton’s “deplorable” comment and proudly retweeted a picture with the title “The Deplorables” [78] that had been making the rounds featuring Trump, Mike Pence, Rudy Giuliani, Chris Christie, Ben Carson, Eric Trump and Donald Jr along with conspiracy theorist Alex Jones, right wing hit man Roger Stone, alt-right leader Milo Yianopolis and white supremacist symbol Pepe the Frog. There’s no indication that any of them had a problem with that but a lot of other people found it to be revealing, to say the least.

A couple of days later Trump Jr stepped in it again, saying the media would be “warming up the gas chamber” [79] for Republicans if they lied and cheated the way Hillary Clinton does. He claimed he was talking about capital punishment but his association with virulent anti-Semites makes that claim ring a little bit hollow.

And then there was the Skittles incident. Donald Jr tweeted out a deeply offensive image of a bowl of skittles with the words “If I had a bowl of Skittles and I told you three would kill you would you take a handful? That’s our Syrian refugee problem.” [80] It’s a terrible metaphor, wrong in every way and Donald Jr took some heat for it. But it’s yet another window into his association with alt-right white nationalism. That bad metaphor has been around in various forms for a long time [81]. In this country it was usually a bowl of M&Ms representing black people. [55]. The people who traffic in this garbage fairly recently changed it to Skittles because that was the candy Trayvon Martin had bought on the night he was murdered by vigilante George Zimmerman. Yes, it’s that sick.

You hear pundits and commentators saying that Donald Trump is sui generis and his phenomenon won’t be recreated. They’re probably right. But perhaps they are not aware that his son also has political ambitions [40] and he is simply a younger, better looking version of his father with much more hair. If alt-right white nationalism is going to be an ongoing feature of American political life, they have their leader. He is one of them.

14. More about Trump, Jr. and his political aspirations:

“Yikes! Now Donald Trump Jr. Says He Would “Love” to Run for Office ‘as a Patriot’ ” by Sophia Tesfaye; Salon; 7/20/2016. [40]

After his questionable speech to the RNC, Trump Jr. said he “would consider” running once his kids finish school

Calling it “one of the most thrilling moments of my life,” Donald Trump Jr. brushed aside burgeoning controversy surrounding the second Trump family speech at the RNC in as many days while speaking with the Wall Street Journal Wednesday morning.

The oldest son of the Republican presidential nominee said that while he still has “a lot to do in my own career,” he would seriously consider following in his father’s footsteps out of real estate and into political life.

The 38-year-old New Yorker said that “maybe when the kids get out of school I would consider it.” The father of five explained that he’d “love to be able to do it, as a patriot.”

His seemingly premature flirtation with political office comes hours after he delivered a major address to the RNC Tuesday evening — a speech that has already been flagged as a potential second case of Trump family plagiarism.

https://twitter.com/TheDailyShow/status/755601024908300288 [82]

While Trump Jr. told [83] Fox News’ Sean Hannity that “We [the Trump kids] all took a lot of pride. We all wrote the speeches ourselves,” American Conservative columnist told [84] Vox News that the apparently lifted portions can’t be considered plagiarism because he wrote both the original column and the Trump’s speech.

So while he may not be a plagiarizer in the new conservative definition [85] of the word (my college professors always warned against recycling my own work for new courses) it looks like we may have another Donald Trump popping up on the political landscape very soon.