Spitfire List Web site and blog of anti-fascist researcher and radio personality Dave Emory.

For The Record  

FTR #928 The Trumpenkampfverbande, Part 7: Locker Room Eclipse, Part 2

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

NB: This descrip­tion con­tains mate­r­i­al not con­tained in the orig­i­nal broad­cast. Much of this will be high­light­ed at greater length and in greater detail in our next pro­gram.

thinkbignkickassMeinKampfIntro­duc­tion: Con­tin­u­ing dis­cus­sion and analy­sis from our last pro­gram, we note that the focus on Don­ald Trump’s abu­sive atti­tude and behav­ior toward women has eclipsed oth­er, more far-reach­ing con­sid­er­a­tions. As the num­ber of female accusers of Trump has grown and received increased media play, Trump coun­tered with a thin­ly-veiled nod to the “inter­na­tion­al Jew­ish con­spir­a­cy” meme, accus­ing Hillary Clin­ton of being allied with “bankers,” the “media estab­lish­ment” and “elites.” ” . . . . The speech was hinged to the orig­i­nal pur­pose of his cam­paign: to trade on the resent­ments of a restive rem­nant of white America—angry white men and the women who love them—and set the stage for may­hem in the wake of his like­ly elec­toral defeat. This was not your stan­dard, off-the-cuff Trump rant. This was a script­ed speech, deliv­ered with a teleprompter. It was craft­ed. It fea­tured the key words of right-wing com­plaints: “sov­er­eign,” “glob­al bankers” and “slan­der.” Real­ly, it came right out of a Nazi pro­pa­gan­da play­book. And when one con­sid­ers the themes com­mon between Nazi pro­pa­gan­da films and the films made by top Trump cam­paign staffers Stephen K. Ban­non and David Bossie (as ana­lyzed by Alter­Net), we should hard­ly be sur­prised. . . . The agen­da of the “media estab­lish­ment,” Trump said, was to elect “crooked” Hillary Clin­ton, in the ser­vice of “spe­cial glob­al inter­ests rig­ging the sys­tem.” There are a lot of ways in the land of Wingnut­tia to tele­graph that your tar­get is Jews, and these are two of them. Remem­ber them: You’ll be hear­ing a lot in com­ing days about the “media estab­lish­ment,” “glob­al spe­cial inter­ests,” oh, and “bankers.” . . . .”

The New York Times fea­tured one news analy­sis piece and one op-ed col­umn on the same day (10/15/2016) that not­ed the thin­ly-veiled, Hit­ler­ian anti-Semi­tism con­tained in Trump’s rhetoric.

As we have not­ed in the past, the Trumpenkampfver­bande is the man­i­fes­ta­tion of the Under­ground Reich as a broad-based, mass move­ment. Regal­ing his fol­low­ers with state­ments about the elec­tion being rigged, Trump is set­ting the stage for the move­ment that has coa­lesced around him to move for­ward. ” . . . . But to date, the ‘vot­er fraud’ scam has nev­er been ful­ly weaponized as a way to dele­git­imize and even resist a spe­cif­ic elec­tion, cer­tain­ly not a nation­al elec­tion. As Rick Hasen explains here, Don­ald Trump is doing that now. And he is suc­ceed­ing in as much as he’s con­vinced sub­stan­tial num­bers of his sup­port­ers that if he los­es it will be because the elec­tion was stolen. . . .”

Going for­ward, the Trumpenkampfver­bande will be pro­pelled, in part, by what we feel will be an accel­er­at­ing pro­gram of “lone-wolf,” lead­er­less-resis­tance acts of vio­lence and ter­ror. In effect, the Trumpenkampfver­bande is set­ting the stage for ongo­ing war­fare in this coun­try. Trump has been “dog-whis­tle” “main­stream­ing” the sov­er­eign cit­i­zens move­ment as well. “ . . . . I watched his speech Thurs­day, and if I closed my eyes, I could smell the camp­fire smoke at the Mal­heur refuge and feel the Ore­gon win­ter wind on my face. Here were the con­spir­a­cies, the ref­er­ences to the shad­owy inter­na­tion­al cabals, the whis­pers about the ille­git­i­ma­cy of the Depart­ment of Jus­tice and the Tri­lat­er­al­ist coopt­ing of the FBI. It was like lis­ten­ing to an immod­est Ammon Bundy. We have to pro­tect our­selves from not just the gov­ern­ment (because it is only a pawn) but from the peo­ple who real­ly run it. We should be watch­ful, resilient, ready—and though he is reluc­tant, he will sac­ri­fice him­self, for he is the only one who can save us from the ter­ror. Don­ald Trump shout­ed out every fevered dystopi­an fan­ta­sy I heard on the refuge . . . . I was out­raged by Trump before. But now I am wor­ried. . . . Thurs­day, Don­ald Trump trav­eled a step fur­ther down the path of mil­i­tant right-wing rev­o­lu­tion. It wasn’t a call to arms, exact­ly. But it was far past the point of com­fort. . . .”

It remains to be seen what hap­pens after the elec­tion, but some have already moved in the direc­tion of ter­ror: ” . . . . The feds arrest­ed three mem­bers of a right wing mili­tia for alleged­ly plan­ning to det­o­nate explo­sives at an apart­ment com­plex in Gar­den City, Kansas, with Soma­li Mus­lims specif­i­cal­ly the tar­get, law enforce­ment announced at Fri­day. . . . The attack was alleged­ly planned for the day after Elec­tion Day, law enforce­ment said at a press con­fer­ence. . . .”

Iron­i­cal­ly, even as Trump accus­es Hillary Clin­ton of being a pawn of “elites,” his deputy cam­paign–David Bossie–chair­man is the head of Cit­i­zens Unit­ed. It was that orga­ni­za­tion that filed the law­suit paving the way for the Supreme Court deci­sion per­mit­ting the ultra-rich to donate vir­tu­al­ly unlim­it­ed amounts of mon­ey to polit­i­cal cam­paigns in the U.S. Bossie and Trump cam­paign chair­man Steven K. Ban­non have chan­neled Hitler, Goebbels and Leni Riefen­stahl: ” . . . . The late Andrew Bre­it­bart, founder of the web­site Ban­non went on to lead, called Ban­non the “Leni Riefen­stahl of the Tea Par­ty move­ment”—a ref­er­ence to the infa­mous cre­ator of Nazi pro­pa­gan­da films. While insist­ing to a Wall Street Jour­nal reporter in 2011 that his work isn’t pro­pa­gan­da, Ban­non went on to cite Riefen­stahl among his main influ­ences. . .. Ivana Trump, the candidate’s first wife, told Van­i­ty Fair in 1990 that her hus­band kept a copy of Adolf Hitler’s My New Order, a col­lec­tion of speech­es that dis­play the Nazi dictator’s excep­tion­al abil­i­ty to manip­u­late real­i­ty, in a cab­i­net near his bed. . . . . The Nazi regime pro­duced a mas­sive amount of pro­pa­gan­da; it had an entire Min­istry of Pub­lic Enlight­en­ment and Pro­pa­gan­da, head­ed by Joseph Goebbels. A cen­tral tech­nique of Nazi pro­pa­gan­dists, accord­ing to the U.S. Holo­caust Memo­r­i­al Muse­um, was to cast Jews as out­siders and dan­ger­ous ene­mies of the Reich, ‘‘sub­hu­man’ crea­tures infil­trat­ing Aryan soci­ety.’ . . . In her analy­sis of Riefenstahl’s ‘Tri­umph of the Will,’ Price not­ed that ‘per­haps most crit­i­cal­ly, Germany’s come­back is por­trayed as well under­way; the view­er need only jump aboard. What is being said implic­it­ly is that there is no alter­na­tive.’ In ‘Bat­tle for Amer­i­ca,’ Ban­non and Bossie fol­low the same for­mu­la, posit­ing the Tea Par­ty move­ment as the band­wag­on to jump on. But the for­mu­la isn’t the only thing about the film that car­ries echoes of Goebbels: a researcher and coun­sel for the film was white nation­al­ist Robert Van­der­voort. . . .”

In our next pro­gram, we will be look­ing at some of those abroad who are allied with Trump, as well as return­ing to the sub­ject of his benign pub­lic pos­ture toward Putin/Russia/Ukraine/Crimea. Some of those sub­jects are touched on in the lat­ter part of this broad­cast.

Pro­gram High­lights Include:

  • An endorse­ment from Russ­ian “ultra-nation­al­ist’ Vladimir Zhiri­novsky.
  • Zhiri­novsky’s fund­ing by Ger­hard Frey, a Ger­man Nazi and head of the DVU.
  • Ger­hard Frey’s net­work­ing with Nazi spy chief Rein­hard Gehlen.
  • Frey’s “dis­clo­sure” of the dis­in­for­ma­tion that Lee Har­vey Oswald fired at Major Edwin Walk­er.
  • The sup­port giv­en Trump by Nigel Farage, a pri­ma­ry archi­tect of the Brex­it.
  • Farage’s Ger­man wife, seen in the con­text of her being a pos­si­ble case officer/paymaster.
  • The pos­si­bil­i­ty that Farage may have sought (and received?) Ger­man cit­i­zen­ship in the wake of his shep­herd­ing of the Brex­it cam­paign.
  • Brief dis­cus­sion of Britain’s exit from the EU as the removal of an obsta­cle to the for­ma­tion of a Ger­man-dom­i­nat­ed all-EU army and mil­i­tary force.
  • Trump’s asso­ci­a­tion with the Steuben Soci­ety.

1a. Where­as most of Don­ald Trump’s Nazi dog-whistling has been tweet­ing, some of it in the wee hours of the morn­ing, his recent speech accus­ing Hillary Clin­ton of being a co-con­spir­a­tor of “inter­na­tion­al bankers” and “the media estab­lish­ment” was read from a teleprompter.

The delib­er­ate nature of the talk is sig­nif­i­cant, giv­en that Trump is chan­nel­ing Hitler and com­mu­ni­cat­ing thin­ly-veiled anti-Semit­ic themes to his sup­port­ers.

“In Nazi-Like Speech, Trump Responds to Sex­u­al Assault Claims With Broad Con­spir­a­cy The­o­ry Designed to Foment May­hem” by Adele M. Stan; Alter­Net; 10/13/2016.

It would be tempt­ing to label as “unhinged” the speech Don­ald Trump deliv­ered in West Palm Beach on Thursday—a speech in which he dog-whis­tled a world­wide con­spir­a­cy against him (with­out actu­al­ly utter­ing the word “Jews”) and dis­par­aged the appear­ance of women who have accused him of sex­u­al assault and trans­gres­sions.

But it was not unhinged. The speech was hinged to the orig­i­nal pur­pose of his cam­paign: to trade on the resent­ments of a restive rem­nant of white America—angry white men and the women who love them—and set the stage for may­hem in the wake of his like­ly elec­toral defeat.

This was not your stan­dard, off-the-cuff Trump rant. This was a script­ed speech, deliv­ered with a teleprompter. It was craft­ed. It fea­tured the key words of right-wing com­plaints: “sov­er­eign,” “glob­al bankers” and “slan­der.” Real­ly, it came right out of a Nazi pro­pa­gan­da play­book. And when one con­sid­ers the themes com­mon between Nazi pro­pa­gan­da films and the films made by top Trump cam­paign staffers Stephen K. Ban­non and David Bossie (as ana­lyzed by Alter­Net), we should hard­ly be sur­prised.

Trump began with an attack on the New York Times (whose major­i­ty own­ers are a Jew­ish fam­i­ly), which he said was engaged in a con­spir­a­cy of glob­al pro­por­tions with the Clin­tons, inter­na­tion­al bankers and major cor­po­ra­tions, all to stop him from win­ning the pres­i­den­cy.

“For those who con­trol the levers of pow­er in Wash­ing­ton and for the glob­al spe­cial inter­ests, they part­ner with these peo­ple that don’t have your good in mind. Our cam­paign rep­re­sents a true exis­ten­tial threat, like they haven’t seen before. This is not sim­ply anoth­er four-year elec­tion. This is a cross­roads in the his­to­ry of our civ­i­liza­tion that will deter­mine whether or not we, the peo­ple, reclaim con­trol over our gov­ern­ment,” Trump told a cheer­ing crowd. A few beats lat­er, he said, “We’ve seen this first­hand in the Wik­iLeaks doc­u­ments in which Hillary Clin­ton meets in secret with inter­na­tion­al banks to plot the destruc­tion of U.S. sov­er­eign­ty in order to enrich these glob­al finan­cial pow­ers, her spe­cial inter­est friends and her donors.”

He then went on, at great length, describ­ing what he alleged was coor­di­na­tion between the New York Times and the Clin­ton cam­paign, not­ing the newspaper’s Wednes­day night report detail­ing alle­ga­tions by two women who said Trump had sex­u­al­ly accost­ed them. Of course, he con­tend­ed the women were liars. He also offered a dis­qui­si­tion on pre­vi­ous New York Times pieces about his behav­ior with women. It was all a grand con­spir­a­cy, he said, not just against him, but against the Unit­ed States of Amer­i­ca.

The agen­da of the “media estab­lish­ment,” Trump said, was to elect “crooked” Hillary Clin­ton, in the ser­vice of “spe­cial glob­al inter­ests rig­ging the sys­tem.” There are a lot of ways in the land of Wingnut­tia to tele­graph that your tar­get is Jews, and these are two of them. Remem­ber them: You’ll be hear­ing a lot in com­ing days about the “media estab­lish­ment,” “glob­al spe­cial inter­ests,” oh, and “bankers.”

“Any­one who chal­lenges their con­trol,” Trump con­tin­ued, “is deemed a sex­ist, rapist, xeno­phobe and moral­ly deformed. They will attack you. They will slan­der you. They will seek to destroy your career and your fam­i­ly. They will seek to destroy every­thing about you, includ­ing your rep­u­ta­tion. They will lie, lie, lie, and then again they will do worse than that. They will do what­ev­er is nec­es­sary. The Clin­tons are crim­i­nals. Remem­ber that, they’re crim­i­nals.”

When the crowd began chant­i­ng, “Lock her up!” Trump chimed in, “So true. Hon­est­ly, she should be locked up. She should be. Should be locked up.”

Of his accusers, Trump told his audi­ence to have a good look at them, imply­ing they weren’t good-look­ing enough to have attract­ed his atten­tion. Of the women inter­viewed by the New York Times, Trump said, “You take a look at these peo­ple. You study these peo­ple and you’ll under­stand also. The claims are pre­pos­ter­ous, ludi­crous, and defy truth, com­mon sense and log­ic.”

Speak­ing of Natasha Stoynoff, the Peo­ple mag­a­zine writer who Wednes­day night pub­lished an arti­cle detail­ing what she said was an assault by Trump against her at his Mar-a-Lago home, Trump said, “Take a look. You look at her. Look at her words,” he said. “You tell me what you think. I don’t think so. I don’t think so.”

Trump went on to say he has evi­dence to refute the claims made against him in the New York Times report, evi­dence he would reveal “at an appro­pri­ate time.” He also promised to take down the Times—put it out of business—with a law­suit he is prepar­ing against the news­pa­per. It is telling that one of his big sup­port­ers is Peter Thiel, who took down Gawk­er by back­ing Hulk Hogan’s pri­va­cy-vio­la­tion law­suit against the web­site.

Per­haps most chill­ing in all of the hate-stok­ing and con­spir­a­cy-mon­ger­ing Trump demon­strat­ed Thurs­day is his asser­tion that “this is war”—that the “media estab­lish­ment” and the Clin­tons are engaged in a con­spir­a­cy that is mak­ing war on the Amer­i­can peo­ple “no mat­ter how many lives they destroy.”

“For them, it’s a war,” Trump said. “And for them, noth­ing at all is out of bounds. This is a strug­gle for the sur­vival of our nation.”

Trump has learned well from his white nation­al­ist friends. After all, the guy who like­ly wrote Thursday’s script—Trump cam­paign CEO Stephen K. Bannon—is the one who boast­ed of pro­vid­ing “the plat­form for the alt-right,” that anti-Semit­ic, misog­y­nist move­ment from which Trump has derived such suc­cor.

With Thursday’s speech, Trump has bald­ly laid out his true agen­da: a post-elec­tion insur­rec­tion.

1b. Two sep­a­rate columns in the same edi­tion of The New York Times (10/15/2016) not­ed the Hit­ler­ian, anti-Semit­ic code-words used by Trump.

“Trump’s Bar­rage of Heat­ed Speech Has Lit­tle Prece­dent” by Jonathan Mar­tin; The New York Times; 10/15/2016.

. . . . “Hillary Clin­ton meets in secret with inter­na­tion­al banks to plot the destruc­tion of U.S. sov­er­eign­ty in order to enrich these glob­al finan­cial pow­ers, her spe­cial inter­est friends and her donors.”

— Mr. Trump at a ral­ly on Thurs­day in West Palm Beach, Fla.

Mr. Trump veers dan­ger­ous­ly close to the ter­ri­to­ry of “The Pro­to­cols of the Elders of Zion,” a fab­ri­cat­ed anti-Semit­ic text, in dis­cussing the Wik­iLeaks hacks that revealed some of Mrs. Clinton’s speech­es to finan­cial insti­tu­tions. . . .

1c. From the same New York Times (10/15/2016) edi­tion as the above analy­sis by Jonathan Mar­tin:

“How Dic­ta­tor­ships Are Born” by Roger Cohen; The New York Times; 10/15/2016.

. . . . Just to make his pedi­gree clear, Don­ald Trump is now sug­gest­ing that Hillary Clin­ton “meets in secret with inter­na­tion­al banks to plot the destruc­tion of U.S. sov­er­eign­ty, in order to enrich these glob­al finan­cial pow­ers, her spe­cial inter­est friends, and her donors.”

What was it the Nazis called the Jews? Oh, yes, “root­less par­a­sites,” that’s it. . . .

2a. Trump is posi­tion­ing what we have termed “The Trumpenkampfver­bande” to con­tin­ue after elec­tion day as a broad-based, fas­cist insur­rec­tion:

“Don­ald Trump Is Set­ting the Stage to Nev­er Con­cede the 2016 Elec­tion” by Chris Cil­liz­za; The Wash­ing­ton Post; 10/14/2016.

Don­ald Trump nev­er accept­ed los­ing in his busi­ness life. Even when he very clear­ly lost. He sim­ply declared vic­to­ry and moved on. (If you don’t believe me, watch PBS’s ter­rif­ic “The Choice 2016.”)

His rhetoric over the last 10 days sug­gests he is prepar­ing to fol­low that very blue­print in Novem­ber. Over and over again of late, Trump has indulged in the idea of a broad-scale glob­al con­spir­a­cy being orga­nized to keep him from being elect­ed. And he has repeat­ed­ly used lan­guage describ­ing the elec­tion as “rigged” by a Demo­c­ra­t­ic Par­ty and com­plic­it media play­ing dirty pool.

At a ral­ly on Fri­day in Greens­boro, N.C., Trump leaned into his “rigged” premise.

“This whole elec­tion is being rigged,” Trump told the roar­ing crowd. “The whole thing is one big fix. One big ugly lie. It’s one big fix.”

Giv­en that rhetoric, it’s dif­fi­cult for me to imag­ine that in 25 days time, if he comes up short to Hillary Clin­ton, Trump will sim­ply con­cede the elec­tion. He is active­ly foment­ing the idea that the results on Nov. 8 will be invalid no mat­ter what they say because of the “rigged” nature of the whole process. He is prim­ing the pump among his sup­port­ers to nev­er accept that he actu­al­ly lost but instead had it stolen from him by the Demo­c­ra­t­ic-media com­plex, which couldn’t deal with the truths he was telling.

Trump, despite the hopes of many Repub­li­cans, isn’t going to sim­ply dis­ap­pear on Nov. 9. This is some­one whose entire life has been in pur­suit of an ever-big­ger spot­light. Trump now has the biggest spot­light in the world on him. He isn’t the sort to will­ing­ly walk off the stage at the moment he has achieved what he’s always want­ed. And so, whether or not Trump actu­al­ly believes the elec­tion is rigged against him (it’s not!), he has sev­er­al self-serv­ing rea­sons to con­tin­ue to push the idea to and through Elec­tion Day.

Trump, I think, has two options for his future in pol­i­tics, assum­ing he los­es this fall. The first is that he works to keep his bloc of vot­ers togeth­er post-elec­tion and forms some sort of con­ser­v­a­tive alter­na­tive third par­ty that aims to bash Repub­li­cans and Democ­rats in rough­ly equal mea­sure. The oth­er is that he starts a con­ser­v­a­tive media/broadcasting com­pa­ny in an attempt to mon­e­tize the loy­al­ty his sup­port­ers have for him and the anti-elites, anti-par­ty mes­sage he has been push­ing through­out the cam­paign.

Nei­ther of those options is served by acknowl­edg­ing defeat at the hands of Clin­ton and shuf­fling off. Both are made more appeal­ing — from a com­mer­cial per­spec­tive — by nev­er con­ced­ing, by insist­ing that the race wasn’t lost, it was tak­en.

Trump has shown that he is a mas­ter of griev­ance pol­i­tics in this race. He now seems to be set­ting up the great­est griev­ance of all for the vot­ers who sup­port him: that their votes don’t mat­ter because Hillary Clin­ton and all of her media enablers have already deter­mined the out­come of this elec­tion.

2b. There has been a con­sid­er­able amount of cov­er­age of Don­ald Trump’s thin­ly veiled exhor­ta­tion for his pro-2nd Amend­ment fol­low­ers to shoot Hillary Clin­ton. Trump is also encour­ag­ing his fol­low­ers to show up at polling places to guard against the [fraud­u­lent] prospect of vot­er fraud. Many see this as an exhor­ta­tion to vio­lent­ly intim­i­date minor­i­ty vot­ers. If Trump los­es, it will be inter­est­ing to see how those fol­low­ers who have been regaled that the elec­tion is “rigged,” will act.

The bet­ting mon­ey, here, is that we will see a sig­nif­i­cant uptick in rightwing ter­ror and mur­der, much of it the “lone-wolf/lead­er­less resis­tance” vari­ety for which Glenn Green­wald ran legal inter­fer­ence.

Again, the point is that the Trumpenkampfver­bande is not going away. Whether led by a Don­ald Trump, Jr., who eschews his father’s lock­er-room ban­ter, or some­one else, the Under­ground Reich is mov­ing above ground.

“Dan­ger on Novem­ber 9th” by Josh Mar­shall; Talk­ing Points Memo Editor’s Blog; 10/12/2016.

I’ve been want­i­ng to dis­cuss this. But so much has been hap­pen­ing it keeps get­ting pushed back to the next day or the next post. Quite sim­ply, every­body needs to be pay­ing close atten­tion to what hap­pens on Novem­ber 9th.

It now seems quite like­ly that Hillary Clin­ton will win the Novem­ber elec­tion and become the next Pres­i­dent of the Unit­ed States. But Don­ald Trump has been for months push­ing the idea that the elec­tion may be stolen from him by some mix of vot­er fraud (by racial and eth­nic minori­ties) or more sys­temic elec­tion rig­ging by per­sons unknown. Polls show that large num­bers of his sup­port­ers believe this.

Now, here at TPM we’ve been writ­ing and report­ing about the GOP’s ‘vote fraud’ scam going back almost 15 years. It’s a huge­ly impor­tant issue. But to date it has main­ly been used to heat up Repub­li­can vot­ers and dri­ve state-based vot­er sup­pres­sion mea­sures. After a decade-plus push­ing the idea, Repub­li­cans passed var­i­ous vot­er sup­pres­sion mea­sures in numer­ous states after the 2010 midterm elec­tion. But to date, the ‘vot­er fraud’ scam has nev­er been ful­ly weaponized as a way to dele­git­imize and even resist a spe­cif­ic elec­tion, cer­tain­ly not a nation­al elec­tion. As Rick Hasen explains here, Don­ald Trump is doing that now. And he is suc­ceed­ing in as much as he’s con­vinced sub­stan­tial num­bers of his sup­port­ers that if he los­es it will be because the elec­tion was stolen.

It is a very, very dan­ger­ous step when a pres­i­den­tial nom­i­nee open­ly threat­ens to jail his oppo­nent if he wins. It’s no less dan­ger­ous when a can­di­date push­es the idea that an elec­tion will be stolen and lays the ground­work for resist­ing the result. That’s hap­pen­ing. It is dif­fi­cult to over­state the soci­etal ben­e­fit of being able to take it almost as an absolute giv­en and assump­tion that no mat­ter how intense and close-fought an elec­tion gets, vir­tu­al­ly every­one will accept the result the day after. Under­min­ing that assump­tion is of a piece with intro­duc­ing into the polit­i­cal are­na the idea that peo­ple who lose elec­tion might lose more than the elec­tion: loss of mon­ey, free­dom, or worse etc.

I’ll put a pin in the dis­cus­sion for now. But this is some­thing to watch very close­ly as the next thir­ty days unfold. It is a very, very big deal. Trump has been mak­ing this argu­ment explic­it­ly for weeks. As I said, we’re had the vot­er fraud rack­et for years. It’s nev­er been weaponized like this. As the pres­sure on him grows and his own anger mounts there’s every rea­son to think he’ll keep upping the ante.

3. Now that Don­ald Trump has for­mal­ly incor­po­rat­ed “inter­na­tion­al banker” con­spir­a­cies against him and the Amer­i­ca peo­ple into the dai­ly Alt-Right nar­ra­tive that fuels his cam­paign and repeat­ed­ly assert­ed that the elec­tion is all rigged by these elites and maybe the out­come shouldn’t be respect­ed, here’s a reminder he’s not just main­stream­ing the Alt-Right/­neo-Nazi world­view. Giv­en the enor­mous amount of over­lap between the Alt-Right’s far-right foun­da­tions and those of the sov­er­eign cit­i­zen move­ments, Trump is also main­stream­ing Cliv­en Bundy:

Like Trump, sov­er­eign cit­i­zens want “law and order” too. Remem­ber the ‘cit­i­zen com­mit­tees’ set up to try and hang pub­lic offi­cials. That’s sov­er­eign cit­i­zen “law and order.” Increas­ing­ly, it is Trumpian “law and order,” as well.

“Trump’s Speech: Dog Whis­tles to the Sov­er­eign-Cit­i­zen Set” by Lin­da Tira­do; The Dai­ly Beast; 10/13/2016.

Trump’s Thurs­day speech marked a turn­ing point. There is now no sce­nario in which this coun­try repu­di­ates him and mere­ly goes about its busi­ness.

It’s easy to for­get how sil­ly most peo­ple thought Don­ald Trump was, all the way back in Jan­u­ary. It was before any pri­maries or cau­cus­es. Trump led in most polls, but peo­ple still couldn’t real­ly quite believe that peo­ple were actu­al­ly going to vote for him.

I spent much of that month at the Mal­heur Nation­al Wildlife Refuge, report­ing for The Dai­ly Beast on the mil­i­tants who had tak­en it over. In the inter­ven­ing months, Trump has mor­phed from a vague joke or a thumb in the eye of the estab­lish­ment, depend­ing on your point of view, to a fas­cist mega­lo­ma­ni­a­cal wreck of a can­di­date who is unlike­ly to be elect­ed because he is fun­da­men­tal­ly inca­pable of see­ing past his own nose.

I watched his speech Thurs­day, and if I closed my eyes, I could smell the camp­fire smoke at the Mal­heur refuge and feel the Ore­gon win­ter wind on my face. Here were the con­spir­a­cies, the ref­er­ences to the shad­owy inter­na­tion­al cabals, the whis­pers about the ille­git­i­ma­cy of the Depart­ment of Jus­tice and the Tri­lat­er­al­ist coopt­ing of the FBI.

It was like lis­ten­ing to an immod­est Ammon Bundy. We have to pro­tect our­selves from not just the gov­ern­ment (because it is only a pawn) but from the peo­ple who real­ly run it. We should be watch­ful, resilient, ready—and though he is reluc­tant, he will sac­ri­fice him­self, for he is the only one who can save us from the ter­ror.

Don­ald Trump shout­ed out every fevered dystopi­an fan­ta­sy I heard on the refuge, with the excep­tions of Agen­da 21 and abor­tion as pop­u­la­tion con­trol. “They con­trol the Depart­ment of Jus­tice,” he said. “They have essen­tial­ly cor­rupt­ed the direc­tor of the FBI.” “This is a con­spir­a­cy against you, the Amer­i­can peo­ple, and we can­not let this hap­pen or con­tin­ue. This is our moment of reck­on­ing.” This is pre­cise­ly the log­ic that led a few hun­dred peo­ple to take up arms against the gov­ern­ment in Ore­gon, though at least Ammon Bundy start­ed with a rea­son­ably legit­i­mate premise. Don­ald Trump doesn’t even have two Amer­i­cans jailed twice for the same crime to legit­imize his quest.

What he has is a small but grow­ing fringe that talks about We the Peo­ple instead of Amer­i­cans. We have already seen the vio­lence at his ral­lies, we have seen the vicious street attacks, we have wor­ried about the rise of the right. What I have not until Thurs­day heard was some­thing that spiked my nativist upbring­ing, words deliv­ered in a very par­tic­u­lar order that made me want to go buy anoth­er rifle and check my food stor­age.

I was raised among white peo­ple, sent to an ele­men­tary school in which there were no black kids, and then moved to the moun­tains of Utah for high school, where the neo-Nazis recruit­ed at illic­it drink­ing par­ties because kids who would have a beer were already dis­af­fect­ed in an over­whelm­ing­ly Mor­mon cul­ture. There is a part of me that remem­bers the cod­ing, the tones, remem­bers the fear that the gov­ern­ment might come and mas­sacre us again as they had in times not that long ago. I reject it vio­lent­ly, but you don’t ever for­get what you were raised to believe even if you learn bet­ter.

It would take a lin­guist to comb through that speech and parse out which words came from where. I am only a writer steeped in the lan­guage of right-wing rev­o­lu­tion. I was out­raged by Trump before. But now I am wor­ried. There is no sce­nario in which this coun­try repu­di­ates him and then goes about its busi­ness; we allowed his rise and we have embold­ened the peo­ple that we ignored for so long. We have three weeks to go yet, more scan­dals and reac­tions and fear and ter­ror, and at the end of it, we will have an unknow­able num­ber of peo­ple who will absolute­ly and with­out ques­tion think that Hillary Clinton’s elec­tion is an unmis­tak­able sign that it is time for the gov­erned to with­draw their con­sent.

Not a major­i­ty; not even many, com­pared to the mil­lions of peo­ple who live in Amer­i­ca. But enough. Thurs­day, Don­ald Trump trav­eled a step fur­ther down the path of mil­i­tant right-wing rev­o­lu­tion. It wasn’t a call to arms, exact­ly. But it was far past the point of com­fort.

4. It is note­wor­thy that a Kansas mili­tia was caught plan­ning attacks on a local Soma­li com­mu­ni­ty, and any­one sup­port­ive of that com­mu­ni­ty, the attack for the day after elec­tion day:

“Feds: Right Wing Mili­tia Plot­ted Nov. 9 Attack On Soma­li Immi­grants In Kansas” by Tier­ney Sneed; Talk­ing Points Memo Livewire; 10/14/2016.

The feds arrest­ed three mem­bers of a right wing mili­tia for alleged­ly plan­ning to det­o­nate explo­sives at an apart­ment com­plex in Gar­den City, Kansas, with Soma­li Mus­lims specif­i­cal­ly the tar­get, law enforce­ment announced at Fri­day.

The men were Cur­tis Allen and Gavin Wright, both 49, and of Lib­er­al, Kansas, and Patrick Eugene Stein, 47, of Wright, Kansas, accord­ing to a Depart­ment of Jus­tice press release. Their arrests Fri­day morn­ing were first report­ed by CBS News.

The attack was alleged­ly planned for the day after Elec­tion Day, law enforce­ment said at a press con­fer­ence.

They are fac­ing domes­tic ter­ror­ism charges, which, if they are con­vict­ed, could result in a max­i­mum sen­tence of life in fed­er­al prison, law enforce­ment said.

“These charges are based on eight months of inves­ti­ga­tion by the FBI that is alleged to have tak­en the inves­ti­ga­tors deep into a hid­den cul­ture of hatred and vio­lence,” Tom Beall, the act­ing U.S. Attor­ney for Kansas, said. “Many Kansans may find it as star­tling as I have that such things could hap­pen here.”

The inves­ti­ga­tion uncov­ered stock­piles of firearms and explo­sive mate­ri­als, as well as a man­i­festo, Beall said.

“One of them said, ‘The bomb­ing would wake peo­ple up,’” Beall said.

The sus­pects alleged­ly planned to attack the hous­ing com­plex, where approx­i­mate­ly 120 peo­ple live and where one of the apart­ments was used as a mosque, the offi­cials said. They were part of a mili­tia group that called itself The Cru­saders, accord­ing to law enforce­ment.

They also con­sid­ered tar­get­ing church­es and pub­lic offi­cials who sup­port­ed the Soma­li com­mu­ni­ty, as well as the land­lords that rent­ed to the immi­grants, the offi­cials said.

5. An Alter­net piece com­pares movies made by the chair­man and deputy chair­man of Trump’s cam­paign to Nazi pro­pa­gan­da films, those of Leni Riefen­stahl, in par­tic­u­lar. It is note­wor­thy that David Bossie, the deputy chair­man of Trump’s cam­paign is the pres­i­dent and chair­man of Cit­i­zens Unit­ed, the orga­ni­za­tion whose law­suit opened the door to the vir­tu­al­ly unlim­it­ed fund­ing of Amer­i­can elec­tions by the ultra-rich.

How alto­geth­er iron­ic that Trump is point­ing the accus­ing fin­ger at Hillary Clin­ton for being a tool of the monied inter­ests, when he has Bossie as the num­ber 2 man on his cam­paign!

“Trump Cam­paign Lead­ers Made Movies Com­pa­ra­ble to Nazi Pro­pa­gan­da” by Alex Kotch; Alter­net; 10/06/2016.

. . . . .Ear­ly on, Trump court­ed the far right, retweet­ing posts from the Twit­ter accounts of white suprema­cists. He also received sup­port from some he appar­ent­ly didn’t court, win­ning praise from the likes of for­mer KKK leader David Duke, and even made the Cal­i­for­nia bal­lot as the nom­i­nee of a racist polit­i­cal par­ty.

See­ing how Steve Ban­non had craft­ed Bre­it­bart News, the right-wing web­site he ran, into a hub for young white nation­al­ists (the “alt-right”) to bat around con­spir­a­cy the­o­ries, Trump tapped Ban­non on August 17 to be his cam­paign CEO. As exec­u­tive chair­man of Bre­it­bart, Ban­non pub­lished decep­tive and man­u­fac­tured sto­ries to aid the right wing, and in the pres­i­den­tial cam­paign treat­ed his media com­pa­ny as a sur­ro­gate for Trump.

On Sep­tem­ber 1, Trump chose David Bossie, pres­i­dent and chair­man of the right-wing non­prof­it Cit­i­zens Unit­ed, as his deputy cam­paign man­ag­er. Bossie has pro­duced 25 films with Cit­i­zens Unit­ed Pro­duc­tions. Some of these films fea­ture Ban­non as writer, direc­tor and exec­u­tive pro­duc­er.

It was Bossie’s group whose name came to define the unlim­it­ed flow of cor­po­rate and union cash into elec­tions, thanks to the Supreme Court’s deci­sion in the 2010 case Cit­i­zens Unit­ed brought against the Fed­er­al Elec­tion Com­mis­sion. At issue was an anti-Clin­ton Cit­i­zens Unit­ed pro­duc­tion called Hillary: The Movie, which the FEC had deemed a cam­paign adver­tise­ment sub­ject to reg­u­la­tion based on cam­paign finance law. (The movie was pro­duced for air­ing in the 2008 pres­i­den­tial elec­tion, when many expect­ed Hillary Clin­ton to be the Demo­c­ra­t­ic nom­i­nee.) Now Bossie has joined Ban­non, his long­time team­mate, to run Trump’s cam­paign of lies and fear-mon­ger­ing against Clin­ton.

Accord­ing to the Wash­ing­ton Post, Bossie’s job in Trump World is “craft­ing attacks against Demo­c­ra­t­ic pres­i­den­tial nom­i­nee Hillary Clin­ton, min­ing past con­tro­ver­sies involv­ing her and for­mer pres­i­dent Bill Clin­ton, and cul­ti­vat­ing Trump’s bond with con­ser­v­a­tive activists.” Bossie has hound­ed the Clin­tons for decades, begin­ning in the ear­ly 1990s, when he dug up dirt about Bill Clin­ton when he was still gov­er­nor of Arkansas. A few years lat­er, U.S. Rep. Dan Bur­ton (R‑Ind.) hired Bossie to inves­ti­gate Clinton’s 1996 cam­paign fundrais­ing, a post he was lat­er forced to resign. Bossie went on to write a book that blamed the Clin­ton admin­is­tra­tion for the ter­ror­ist attacks of Sep­tem­ber 11, 2001, and to pro­duce Hillary: The Movie with Cit­i­zens Unit­ed. This year, the group sued the State Depart­ment for emails and oth­er records of those who served as aides to Hillary Clin­ton while she was sec­re­tary of state. Bossie is tak­ing a leave of absence from Cit­i­zens Unit­ed dur­ing the cam­paign, and also retir­ing from the Defeat Crooked Hillary super PAC, which he found­ed this June.

Bossie and Trump are no strangers; in 2014, Trump’s foun­da­tion donat­ed $100,000 to the Cit­i­zens Unit­ed Foun­da­tion, the same year that the group filed a law­suit against New York Attor­ney Gen­er­al Eric Schnei­der­man, who was suing Trump over the fraud­u­lent prac­tices of Trump Uni­ver­si­ty.

Some have wagered that Trump, along with Ban­non and for­mer Fox News chief Roger Ailes, is plan­ning a new, post-elec­tion media empire, which could help his brand whether he wins or los­es. Some think Trump doesn’t want to win the elec­tion, but the hir­ing of Ban­non and Bossie may show that Trump, one of the world’s loud­est ego­ma­ni­acs, thinks he deserves the White House and knows the only way to win it is through pro­pa­gan­da that rein­forces his giant moun­tain of fab­ri­ca­tions, con­spir­a­cies, racism and sex­ism.

The late Andrew Bre­it­bart, founder of the web­site Ban­non went on to lead, called Ban­non the “Leni Riefen­stahl of the Tea Par­ty move­ment”—a ref­er­ence to the infa­mous cre­ator of Nazi pro­pa­gan­da films. While insist­ing to a Wall Street Jour­nal reporter in 2011 that his work isn’t pro­pa­gan­da, Ban­non went on to cite Riefen­stahl among his main influ­ences, along with Sovi­et film­mak­er Sergei Eisen­stein and pro­gres­sive doc­u­men­tar­i­an Michael Moore.

Ivana Trump, the candidate’s first wife, told Van­i­ty Fair in 1990 that her hus­band kept a copy of Adolf Hitler’s My New Order, a col­lec­tion of speech­es that dis­play the Nazi dictator’s excep­tion­al abil­i­ty to manip­u­late real­i­ty, in a cab­i­net near his bed. “Per­haps his pos­ses­sion of Hitler’s speech­es mere­ly indi­cates an inter­est in Hitler’s genius at pro­pa­gan­da,” mused Marie Bren­ner, author of the arti­cle.

The Nazi regime pro­duced a mas­sive amount of pro­pa­gan­da; it had an entire Min­istry of Pub­lic Enlight­en­ment and Pro­pa­gan­da, head­ed by Joseph Goebbels. A cen­tral tech­nique of Nazi pro­pa­gan­dists, accord­ing to the U.S. Holo­caust Memo­r­i­al Muse­um, was to cast Jews as out­siders and dan­ger­ous ene­mies of the Reich, “‘sub­hu­man’ crea­tures infil­trat­ing Aryan soci­ety.”

Karen Eliz­a­beth Price, a film­mak­er who teach­es cours­es on doc­u­men­tary film at Duke Uni­ver­si­ty, told Alter­Net via email that “most suc­cess­ful pro­pa­gan­da films appeal to some­thing that already exists in the viewer—perhaps only as a feel­ing or germ of an idea—and help to ‘fill in the blanks.’” After Ger­many had to con­cede ter­ri­to­ries and accept blame for World War I and then was hit by the Great Depres­sion, peo­ple felt wound­ed and demor­al­ized. In Riefenstahl’s Tri­umph of the Will, which some regard as the great­est pro­pa­gan­da film of all time, “a solu­tion to that despair is pre­sent­ed in the form of a patri­ot­ic sav­ior [in this case, Adolf Hitler] already hard at work, promis­ing to restore Ger­many to its for­mer pow­er and glo­ry,” said Price.

To explore, in the con­text of pro­pa­gan­da-mak­ing, the kinds of elec­tion nar­ra­tives we’re get­ting from Trump and his lat­est cam­paign ros­ter, I suf­fered my way through three movies pro­duced by Cit­i­zens Unit­ed: Bor­der War: The Bat­tle Over Ille­gal Immi­gra­tion (2006), which had Ban­non and Bossie as exec­u­tive pro­duc­ers; Bat­tle for Amer­i­ca (2010), with Ban­non as writer, direc­tor and pro­duc­er and Bossie as exec­u­tive pro­duc­er; and Occu­py Unmasked (2012), writ­ten and direct­ed by Ban­non with Bossie as exec­u­tive pro­duc­er and fea­tur­ing Andrew Bre­it­bart.

All three Bannon/Bossie films cen­ter on an ene­my, either “ille­gal” immi­grants, “rad­i­cal lib­er­als” (a cat­e­go­ry that in these films includes Oba­ma and the Clin­tons), or the Occu­py Wall Street pro­test­ers. To exag­ger­ate the dan­ger of these pur­port­ed ene­mies and gar­ner sup­port for those the movies present as America’s defend­ers, each film uses var­i­ous pro­pa­gan­da tech­niques includ­ing omis­sions, jux­ta­po­si­tion, false asso­ci­a­tions, decep­tive­ly edit­ed footage, stereo­typ­ing and rep­e­ti­tion, all to appeal to view­ers’ fear and prej­u­dice. In two of them, the film’s heroes are framed as bat­tling a cor­rupt or inept polit­i­cal estab­lish­ment.

‘Bor­der War: The Bat­tle Over Ille­gal Immi­gra­tion’

The pur­pose of “Bor­der War” is clear­ly to cast undoc­u­ment­ed immi­grants as threats to Amer­i­can cit­i­zens. The film, from 2006, takes us to Nogales, Ari­zona (a town on the Mex­i­can bor­der), and South­ern Cal­i­for­nia, fol­low­ing five char­ac­ters, four of whom have antipa­thy for undoc­u­ment­ed immi­grants: a bor­der patrol agent whose par­ents emi­grat­ed legal­ly from Mex­i­co; a con­gress­man who wrote a bill to build a wall across the U.S.-Mexico bor­der and sta­tion guards all along it; a woman whose hus­band, a sheriff’s deputy, was killed by an undoc­u­ment­ed immi­grant he had stopped; a Mex­i­can-Amer­i­can woman who was molest­ed by undoc­u­ment­ed immi­grants and whose nephew was killed by one. In an attempt to feign bal­ance, also includ­ed is an orga­niz­er for immi­gra­tion reform who found­ed a group that pro­vides water and food to immi­grants cross­ing the U.S.-Mexico bor­der.

The selec­tion of these sub­jects alone makes clear the film is hard­ly a doc­u­men­tary but more a selec­tive argu­ment against undoc­u­ment­ed immi­grants. From the begin­ning, bor­der crossers are depict­ed as dan­ger­ous; an ear­ly scene con­tains footage of the after­math of a shootout between “rival gangs of coy­otes,” or peo­ple whom aspir­ing immi­grants pay to shep­herd them across the bor­der. Blood pools beneath a dead traf­fick­er, wrecked cars lie in ditch­es, and U.S. Rep. J.D. Hay­worth refers to those involved in the inci­dent as “ille­gals,” while threat­en­ing music under­scores his com­ments.

Through­out the film, efforts to brand undoc­u­ment­ed immi­grants as crim­i­nals abound. A ranch own­er near the bor­der recounts many undoc­u­ment­ed immi­grants leav­ing trash, which he says cat­tle eat and die from, on his land. Once some migrants “butchered a young calf,” he says. A woman says her hos­pi­tal in Dou­glass, Ari­zona, closed because it lost mon­ey treat­ing undoc­u­ment­ed immi­grants who couldn’t pay. A news broad­cast details a drug-smug­gling tun­nel that runs from Agua Pri­eta, Mex­i­co to Dou­glass, Ari­zona.

Lupe Moreno, whose nephew was killed by an undoc­u­ment­ed immi­grant, is part of a group called Min­ute­man, a cadre of vig­i­lante bor­der patrollers labeled a “nativist extrem­ist group” by the South­ern Pover­ty Law Cen­ter. The film doesn’t both­er to explain much about the group because if they did, they’d have to acknowl­edge its dis­turb­ing his­to­ry and ties to neo-Nazis and white suprema­cists.

One scene shows com­pet­ing ral­lies, one in favor of rights for the undoc­u­ment­ed and anoth­er for strict immi­gra­tion enforce­ment. At the lat­ter ral­ly, Min­ute­man co-founder Jim Gilchrist, who was run­ning for Con­gress at the time, spoke. In an inter­view there, Gilchrist claims that at the oth­er ral­ly, “[t]here’s not one Amer­i­can flag out there;” how­ev­er, he says that in the pro-immi­grant demon­stra­tion, a “com­mu­nist flag” and an anar­chist flag flew. Gilchrist was run­ning for office as a mem­ber of the Amer­i­can Inde­pen­dent Par­ty, the seg­re­ga­tion­ist par­ty of George Wal­lace. This par­ty, based in Cal­i­for­nia, has actu­al­ly put Trump on the pres­i­den­tial bal­lot in that state this year.

On his 2006 cam­paign web­site, Gilchrist claimed, “Although some [ille­gal immi­grants from Mex­i­co] pre­sum­ably have good inten­tions, at least twen­ty per­cent (20%) of south­ern bor­der-crossers are known crim­i­nals, drug deal­ers, sex traf­fick­ers, and gang lords.”

Chris Sim­cox, Min­ute­man co-founder, makes an appear­ance. He’s now in jailfor child molesta­tion.

Footage of pro­test­ers with ban­danas cov­er­ing their faces appears, some wear­ing all black, some yelling at mount­ed police, over brood­ing music that per­vades the film.

“We are in a bat­tle right now,” says Moreno. “We’re in a bat­tle for this nation.”

Moreno met with Trump last year, and Bre­it­bart News was hap­py to spread the word. Unsur­pris­ing­ly, Gilchrist endorsed Trump in 2015.

The film fea­tures many inter­views but few facts. In one of the only scenes to include a sta­tis­tic, an uniden­ti­fied agent from California’s Los Ange­les Coun­ty tells a crowd gath­ered for what appears to be a law enforce­ment memo­r­i­al for a sheriff’s deputy shot to death by an undoc­u­ment­ed immi­grant: “There are 801,000 sit­u­a­tions where peo­ple have been mur­dered in the state of Cal­i­for­nia.” It’s unclear what kind of sit­u­a­tions he’s talk­ing about and over what peri­od of time, but even so, that’s an insane­ly high fig­ure for any record of mur­ders in the state. Then he says: “Add up the oth­er bor­der states, now we’re up to 3,000.” If per­chance he mul­ti­plied the real stat for Cal­i­for­nia by 100,000, Cit­i­zens Unit­ed didn’t both­er to clar­i­fy or fix his error.

No jour­nal­ists or researchers were inter­viewed for “Bor­der War.” Ten years after the film was made, the anti-estab­lish­ment and “law-and-order can­di­date” Trump has made a promise to build that wall a sig­na­ture talk­ing point.

‘Bat­tle for Amer­i­ca’

“Bat­tle for Amer­i­ca,” a 2010 ode to the then-nascent Tea Par­ty, is more overt­ly pro­pa­gan­dis­tic than “Bor­der War.” The film devotes 30 min­utes to estab­lish­ing the ene­my (the “rad­i­cal left,” pur­port­ed­ly led by Oba­ma), anoth­er 20 min­utes to the nation’s prob­lems (osten­si­bly caused by America’s impend­ing “Euro­pean social­ist mod­el,” the poor econ­o­my and inter­na­tion­al rela­tions and ter­ror threats) and the final half hour to the cel­e­brat­ed brav­ery of Tea Par­ty activists and the cru­cial 2010 elec­tions. It’s all nar­rat­ed by a host of right-wing ide­o­logues includ­ing Dick Mor­ris (also host of “Hillary: The Movie”), Lou Dobbs, Ann Coul­ter and found­ing Bre­it­bart News edi­tor Michael Fly­nn.

“We’re being asked to choose right now whether or not the Unit­ed States is going to con­tin­ue to be a cul­ture of free enter­prise envi­sioned by our found­ing fathers or whether or not we’re choos­ing a new cul­ture, a Euro­pean-style cul­ture of social democ­ra­cy,” says Arthur Brooks, pres­i­dent of the Koch broth­ers-fund­ed Amer­i­can Enter­prise Insti­tute.

Employ­ing a repet­i­tive, syn­the­sized and dra­mat­ic orches­tral score and a remark­able amount of stock footage, the film often flut­ters between what Ban­non and Bossie see as good and evil: for instance, footage of Mus­lims pray­ing as for­mer Rep. Dan Lun­gren (R‑Calif.) warns of “ter­ror­ists out there that want to kill us,” then the Stat­ue of Lib­er­ty; a Pales­tin­ian ral­ly and 9/11 wreck­age fol­lowed by images of the flow­ing Amer­i­can flag and U.S. troops on the march.

The movie doesn’t hold back from race-bait­ing, often show­ing clips of black peo­ple char­ac­ter­ized as hav­ing bad inten­tions. Besides Oba­ma, the film depicts as the ene­my New York Rep. Char­lie Rangel, Cal­i­for­nia Rep. Max­ine Waters, Michi­gan Rep. John Cony­ers, South Car­oli­na Rep. James Clyburn, Flori­da Rep. Alcee Hast­ings, Mis­sis­sip­pi Rep. Ben­nie Thomp­son (“a rad­i­cal if there ever was one,” says Mor­ris), activist Van Jones—and even Harvard’s Hen­ry Louis Gates (shown hav­ing a beer with Oba­ma, Joe Biden and the police sergeant who arrest­ed him at his own home). There’s even a clip of a young black woman rejoic­ing at Obama’s inau­gu­ra­tion; it’s clear that the film­mak­ers do not intend the view­er to share in her jubi­la­tion.

List­ing the many prob­lems they have with Amer­i­ca under Oba­ma, the far-right nar­ra­tors bemoan what they claim is Amer­i­cans’ depen­dence on gov­ern­ment, the failed stim­u­lus and the president’s pur­port­ed “apol­o­gy tour”—replete with footage of burn­ing flags; Mus­lims in tra­di­tion­al dress; Mah­moud Ahmadine­jad, then pres­i­dent of Iran; the social­ist Hugo Chávez, then pres­i­dent of Venezuela; and aged video of Fas­cist troops march­ing in per­fect syn­chrony. Amidst the sea of most­ly unre­lat­ed footage, the hosts make absurd claims; for exam­ple, one asserts that expand­ing Med­ic­aid would “move pri­ma­ry care into the emer­gency room,” when the real­i­ty is just the oppo­site.

In the final third of the film, Ban­non lauds the Tea Par­ty, intro­duc­ing uplift­ing, trum­pet-heavy music and shots of seem­ing­ly all-white Tea Par­ty ral­lies where so-called patri­ots smile, cheer and wave flags, char­ac­ter­ized as stand­ing against social­ism and fight­ing for free­dom. In the last seg­ment, “How We Win,” the music shifts, and Newt Gin­grich, Dobbs, Coul­ter and oth­ers talk about “an unchecked, unstopped, unlim­it­ed Oba­ma rad­i­cal­ism” and how “the last, best hope of the world is at stake” in the 2010 elec­tions, over images of the doomed Titan­ic, burn­ing forests and col­laps­ing ice­bergs. Only the Tea Par­ty patri­ots can save Amer­i­ca, “where free­dom can flour­ish,” by vot­ing for lib­er­ty-lov­ing con­ser­v­a­tives.

In her analy­sis of Riefenstahl’s “Tri­umph of the Will,” Price not­ed that “per­haps most crit­i­cal­ly, Germany’s come­back is por­trayed as well under­way; the view­er need only jump aboard. What is being said implic­it­ly is that there is no alter­na­tive.” In “Bat­tle for Amer­i­ca,” Ban­non and Bossie fol­low the same for­mu­la, posit­ing the Tea Par­ty move­ment as the band­wag­on to jump on. But the for­mu­la isn’t the only thing about the film that car­ries echoes of Goebbels: a researcher and coun­sel for the film was white nation­al­ist Robert Van­der­voort.

‘Occu­py Unmasked’

Just two years after mak­ing a film lion­iz­ing the “grass­roots” Tea Par­ty, Ban­non and Bossie made a hit piece on anoth­er protest move­ment, this one com­posed of peo­ple con­cerned about income inequal­i­ty and angry at the big banks that wrecked the glob­al econ­o­my.

Nat­u­ral­ly, the pro­pa­gan­da duo resort­ed to its go-to method when mak­ing “Occu­py Unmasked”: depict­ing a war between a vicious ene­my and strong, patri­ot­ic Amer­i­cans. It’s a brash film with one obvi­ous goal: to dis­cred­it the Occu­py Wall Street move­ment and thus pre­vent con­ser­v­a­tives from car­ing about the country’s mas­sive wealth dis­par­i­ty.

The film opens with a suc­ces­sion of TV news clips about the nation­al debt, splic­ing select­ed seg­ments togeth­er over a sus­pense­ful sound­track in order to dra­ma­tize the “debt cri­sis.” We see an image of Oba­ma with the words “an orga­niz­er” float­ing next to him. Lib­er­als, as in “Bat­tle for Amer­i­ca,” are labeled as rad­i­cals ready to destroy Amer­i­ca as we know it. In fact, the movie has three acts, named after Bannon’s char­ac­ter­i­za­tion of strate­gies in Saul Alinsky’s “Rules for Rad­i­cals,” a guide for com­mu­ni­ty orga­niz­ers hailed by the left and scorned by the right. (Iron­i­cal­ly, how­ev­er, Tea Par­ty orga­niz­er Dick Armey and oth­er con­ser­v­a­tives used some of Alinsky’s tac­tics.) Ban­non frames Occu­py as an anar­chist group—even the “a” in “Occu­py Unmasked” is the anar­chist symbol—representing “the orga­nized left,” which is said to be set on secur­ing gov­ern­ment hand­outs.

The late Bre­it­bart him­self is the nar­ra­tor, estab­lish­ing this war as “the bat­tle for the soul of Amer­i­ca.”

“Occu­py Unmasked,” like Ban­non and Bossie’s oth­er films, uses strange, unre­lat­ed footage, often involv­ing peo­ple of col­or, and sets up black peo­ple as a rep­re­sen­ta­tion of evil. While defam­ing Occu­py in an extend­ed open­ing of the film, they inter­sperse news clips and footage of pro­test­ers with unre­lat­ed clips of a dark-skinned snake charmer, all while splic­ing in clips of “rad­i­cals” includ­ing Van Jones (“of the far left group, Col­or of Change”), Prince­ton pro­fes­sor Cor­nel West and actor Whoopi Gold­berg.

Next comes anoth­er com­mon pro­pa­gan­da tac­tic: using anec­dotes to make a gen­er­al argu­ment. Ban­non shows an inter­view with one Occu­py pro­test­er who men­tions drugs; he extrap­o­lates that the Occu­piers only want­ed to “cre­ate their own Wood­stock” with wide­spread drug use and sex. One woman says that sex­u­al assault occurred, so Ban­non por­trays Occu­py campers as a mob of rapists. “There’s rap­ing and there’s pil­lag­ing and there’s poop­ing,” spouts Bre­it­bart.

While “black bloc” anar­chists were a pres­ence at Occu­py, they by no means rep­re­sent­ed the move­ment as a whole, and pro­gres­sives crit­i­cized them. But Ban­non shows count­less clips of pro­test­ers wear­ing all black and cov­er­ing their faces, clash­ing with police, com­mit­ting van­dal­ism or march­ing while hold­ing black flags. Bre­it­bart says the pro­test­ers are social­ists who want to over­throw the gov­ern­ment and cre­ate ten­sion with the police.

No one inter­viewed on cam­era is a non­par­ti­san jour­nal­ist or researcher, yet Ban­non and Bossie present their com­men­ta­tors as author­i­ties, fail­ing to dis­close their ties to Bre­it­bart News. Pam Key, who worked at Glenn Beck’s The Blaze (she now writes for Bre­it­bart News) and is known for mak­ing mis­lead­ing videos, says, “These peo­ple have set off a pow­der keg, and what is gonna hap­pen, nobody knows … It has the poten­tial of becom­ing incred­i­bly vio­lent.” She claims Occu­piers planned their vio­lence “in tents at night with drugs and weapons.”

Oth­er guests include Mandy Nagy, known online as Lib­er­ty Chick, who was a writer and researcher for Bre­it­bart News; Bran­don Dar­by, who once served as an infor­mant for the FBI on left-wing pro­test­ers (he now man­ages Breitbart’s Texas ver­ti­cal); Chris­t­ian Hart­sock, a Bre­it­bart colum­nist who has worked with James O’Keefe on mis­lead­ing sting videos against ACORN and teach­ers’ unions; and David Horowitz, an author and speak­er whom the South­ern Pover­ty Law Cen­ter con­sid­ers an anti-immi­grant and anti-Mus­lim extrem­ist and who fre­quent­ly writes for Bre­it­bart.

Bre­it­bart him­self takes aim at the very con­cept of com­mu­ni­ty orga­niz­ing, paint­ing it as the dark province of bad peo­ple. “Com­mu­ni­ty orga­niz­ing is not the Amer­i­can peo­ple get­ting togeth­er to help your next door neigh­bor put food into the cup­board,” he fumes. “Com­mu­ni­ty organiz[ers] are rad­i­cals, anar­chists, social­ists, com­mu­nists, pub­lic sec­tor unions who are hell-bent on a nihilis­tic destruc­tion of every­thing that peo­ple in Amer­i­can care for.”

In the sec­ond seg­ment, “The Issue Is Nev­er the Issue,” Dar­by and Horowitz relate Occu­py to com­mu­nism and social­ism as the movie shows a flur­ry of clips of Vladimir Lenin, Mao Zedong, Joseph Stal­in, Fidel Cas­tro, the Black Panthers—and images of dead and starv­ing peo­ple. “Peo­ple who were in the left, like the Pan­thers, could be killers, and they would be pro­tect­ed by the rest of the left,” states Horowitz.

The film then plunges into full-on con­spir­a­cy the­o­ries, claim­ing there was a “secret coun­cil” lead­ing Occu­py that no one knew about; that Hillary Clin­ton and Oba­ma are out to destroy Amer­i­ca because of the “direct line” from Alin­sky to both of them.

The finale, fea­tur­ing a mix of cliché Hol­ly­wood orches­tral film music and elec­tron­i­cal­ly pro­duced indus­tri­al met­al, some­how ratch­ets up the alleged dan­ger of Occu­py, even throw­ing in scenes of Greek pro­test­ers hurl­ing bombs in Athens, because, hey, why not? “There’s def­i­nite­ly a mas­sive desire to sort of bring the vio­lence of Europe over to Amer­i­ca,” claims Key.

Unlike many pro­pa­gan­da films, this one doesn’t offer a glimpse of an Amer­i­ca freed from evil, or a dis­tinct enti­ty that will fight them and win, except per­haps Bre­it­bart him­self, shown yelling at pro­test­ers, “Behave your­self!” and “Stop rap­ing peo­ple!”

Now, Ban­non and Bossie, this estimable pair of pro­pa­gan­da pur­vey­ors, are Trump’s best hope in his decep­tive media cam­paign. Trump’s cam­paign ads, as well as the con­spir­a­cy the­o­ries he and his sur­ro­gates ped­dle, would seem to bear their imprint.

What an alliance: A candidate—the orig­i­nal birther, known for cre­at­ing base­less con­spir­a­cy the­o­ries, as well as busi­ness fraud, pay-to-play pol­i­tics and using his “char­i­ta­ble” foun­da­tion stocked with oth­er people’s mon­ey to pay off his company’s court settlements—and the mas­ter­minds behind some of the nation’s most shame­less far-right pro­pa­gan­da. They’re all work­ing togeth­er to put a sociopath in the White House.

6a. The con­clud­ing por­tion of the pro­gram intro­duces points of infor­ma­tion that will be dis­cussed at greater length and in greater detail in the next pro­gram.

One of Trump’s most vocal and vis­i­ble sup­port­ers abroad has been Nigel Farage head of the UK Inde­pen­dence Par­ty and a pri­ma­ry archi­tect of the “Brex­it.”

“Obscene Don­ald Trump Com­ments ‘Alpha Male Boast­ing;” BBC; 10/09/2016.

Obscene remarks made about women by US pres­i­den­tial can­di­date Don­ald Trump were no more than “alpha male boast­ing”, Nigel Farage has said.

The UKIP inter­im leader told Fox News the remarks were “ugly” but some­thing “if we are being hon­est that men do”.

Mr Trump’s remarks, made 11 years ago, have led at least 33 senior Repub­li­cans to with­draw their sup­port from his pres­i­den­tial bid. . . .

6b. Inter­est­ing, and pos­si­bly sig­nif­i­cant, is the fact that Farage has a Ger­man wife. In oth­er cir­cum­stances, this might well be insignif­i­cant. In the world of clan­des­tine oper­a­tions, how­ev­er, a wife or para­mour can be a case offi­cer and/or pay­mas­ter.

In this con­text, we note that Britain’s unwill­ing­ness to con­tribute forces to a Ger­man-dom­i­nat­ed, all-EU mil­i­tary struc­ture that was a sig­nif­i­cant ele­ment in gen­er­at­ing sym­pa­thy for the Brex­it in British pow­er elite cir­cles.

We won­der if Farage may have been car­ry­ing water for the Ger­mans in this regard. Cer­tain­ly, the Brex­it removed a sig­nif­i­cant obsta­cle to the all-EU army. The Brex­it fig­ures to dam­age Britain in the years to come. Was the intent of Farage’s move­ment to deal a sig­nif­i­cant blow to one of Ger­many’s most effec­tive oppo­nents in the Sec­ond World War?

“Alleged Sight­ing of Farage at Ger­man Embassy Sparks Cit­i­zen­ship Spec­u­la­tion” by John Hen­ley; The Guardian; 8/16/2016.

A report­ed sight­ing of Nigel Farage queu­ing at the Ger­man embassy has prompt­ed fevered, but prob­a­bly inac­cu­rate, spec­u­la­tion on social media that the Euroscep­tic for­mer Ukip leader could be apply­ing for dual cit­i­zen­ship.
A spokesman said he could not con­tact Farage – whose wife, Kirsten Mehr, is Ger­man – so was unable to con­firm whether he had even been at the embassy on Mon­day when a Face­book user report­ed see­ing him.
“There is absolute­ly noth­ing at this point to cor­rob­o­rate that he was actu­al­ly there,” the spokesman said. “So far, all there is to sug­gest this is one Face­book post. Since when does one Face­book post make a sto­ry?”
Sources close to Farage sub­se­quent­ly said the sug­ges­tion he might be apply­ing for dual nation­al­i­ty was not true. . . . .

 

7a. Trump has also received the sup­port of the mer­cu­r­ial, bom­bas­tic Russ­ian fas­cist Vladimir Zhiri­novsky, whose polit­i­cal career was launched with the finan­cial assis­tance of Ger­hard Frey, a promi­nent Ger­man Nazi.

“Putin Ally Tells Amer­i­cans: Vote for Trump or Face Nuclear War” by Andrew Osborn; Reuters; 10/12/2016.

Amer­i­cans should vote for Don­ald Trump as pres­i­dent next month or risk being dragged into a nuclear war, accord­ing to a Russ­ian ultra-nation­al­ist ally of Pres­i­dent Vladimir Putin who likes to com­pare him­self to the U.S. Repub­li­can can­di­date.

Vladimir Zhiri­novsky, a flam­boy­ant vet­er­an law­mak­er known for his fiery rhetoric, told Reuters in an inter­view that Trump was the only per­son able to de-esca­late dan­ger­ous ten­sions between Moscow and Wash­ing­ton.

By con­trast, Trump’s Demo­c­ra­t­ic rival Hillary Clin­ton could spark World War Three, said Zhiri­novsky, who received a top state award from Putin after his pro-Krem­lin Lib­er­al Demo­c­ra­t­ic Par­ty of Rus­sia (LDPR) came third in Rus­si­a’s par­lia­men­tary elec­tion last month.

Many Rus­sians regard Zhiri­novsky as a clown­ish fig­ure who makes out­spo­ken state­ments to grab atten­tion but he is also wide­ly viewed as a faith­ful ser­vant of Krem­lin pol­i­cy, some­times used to float rad­i­cal opin­ions to test pub­lic reac­tion. . . .
. . . . Zhiri­novsky likes to shock lib­er­al pub­lic opin­ion and he has fre­quent­ly heaped scorn on the West, which he and oth­er Russ­ian nation­al­ists regard as deca­dent, hyp­o­crit­i­cal and cor­rupt­ed by polit­i­cal cor­rect­ness.

His com­bat­ive style, rem­i­nis­cent of Trump’s, ensures him plen­ty of tele­vi­sion air time and mil­lions of votes in Russ­ian elec­tions, often from the kind of blue-col­lar work­ers who are the bedrock of the U.S. Repub­li­can can­di­date’s sup­port.

Zhiri­novsky once pro­posed block­ing off most­ly Mus­lim south­ern Rus­sia with a barbed wire fence, echo­ing Trump’s call for a wall along the U.S. bor­der with Mex­i­co.

Zhiri­novsky, who said he met Trump in New York in 2002, rev­els in his sim­i­lar­i­ties with the Amer­i­can busi­ness­man — they are the same age, favor coarse, some­times misog­y­nis­tic lan­guage and boast about putting their own coun­try first. Zhiri­novsky has even said he wants a DNA test to see if he is relat­ed to Trump. . . .
. . . .In oth­er com­ments that have delight­ed Moscow, Trump has ques­tioned the val­ue of NATO for Wash­ing­ton, has spo­ken ambigu­ous­ly about Rus­si­a’s 2014 annex­a­tion of Ukraine’s Crimea and sug­gest­ed that the Unit­ed States under his lead­er­ship would adopt a more iso­la­tion­ist for­eign pol­i­cy. . . .

7b. In an excerpt from FTR #94 (record­ed on 5/05/1998), we note that Vladimir Zhiri­novsky’s polit­i­cal career received fund­ing from Ger­hard Frey, who was very close to Rein­hard Gehlen and whose anti‑U.S./anti-NATO polit­i­cal stance res­onates with Don­ald Trump’s rhetoric. It was Frey whose Deutsche Nation­al Zeitung and Sol­dat­en Zeitung first pub­lished the dis­in­for­ma­tion that Lee Har­vey Oswald fired at Major Gen­er­al Edwin Walk­er. (Sup­pos­ed­ly this was first dis­closed to the War­ren Com­mis­sion in ear­ly Decem­ber of 1963. Frey pub­lished it in his paper on 11/29/1963!

Note that Frey’s anti-Amer­i­can and anti-NATO views dove­tail with the geopo­lit­i­cal goals artic­u­lat­ed in the Buerg­er Zeitung’s “Open Let­ter to Stal­in,” high­light­ed in FTR #918.

8a. Again, in FTR #‘s 918 and 919, we explored the Buerg­er Zeitung’s “Open Let­ter to Stal­in,” a gam­bit that we feel cor­re­sponds well to Don­ald Trump’s rel­a­tive­ly benign com­ments bout Putin/Ukraine/Crimea etc. In addi­tion to the “all things Steuben” ori­en­ta­tion of Trump advi­sor Joseph E. Schmitz, we note Don­ald Trump’s links to the Steuben Soci­ety milieu.

“Don­ald Trump;” wikipedia.

. . . . Trump has said that he is proud of his Ger­man her­itage; he served as grand mar­shal of the 1999 Ger­man-Amer­i­can Steuben Parade in New York City.[12][nb 1]. . . . .

8b. More about the con­tem­po­rary Trump/Steuben Soci­ety con­nec­tion:

“NY Restau­rant Takes Down Trump Pho­to Amid Yelp Com­plaints” by Sarah Tisinger; WQAD.com; 8/5/2016.

. . . . “He is also very involved with the Steuben asso­ci­a­tion and wished us luck when we opened the restau­rant 8 years ago with that pic­ture. Does not mean we sup­port his views. . . .

 

Discussion

8 comments for “FTR #928 The Trumpenkampfverbande, Part 7: Locker Room Eclipse, Part 2”

  1. It’s look­ing increas­ing­ly like the pri­ma­ry mes­sage of Don­ald Trump’s ‘clos­ing argu­ment’ in the final cou­ple of weeks is basi­cal­ly going to be “I’m actu­al­ly win­ning, and all those polls show­ing me not win­ning are from a lying media that’s try­ing to make me lose”. Or some­thing like that:

    The Guardian

    ‘Thieves and crooks’: Trump per­sists with attacks on media and polls

    Repub­li­can nom­i­nee appears in Flori­da to deride US media and false­ly claim hacked emails of Hillary Clin­ton cam­paign chair show poll rig­ging

    Ben Jacobs in Wash­ing­ton

    Mon­day 24 Octo­ber 2016 17.01 EDT

    Don­ald Trump esca­lat­ed his rhetoric against the media and against poll­sters on Mon­day, alleg­ing that both were part of a “rigged sys­tem” try­ing to under­mine his can­di­da­cy.

    Speak­ing in a ral­ly in St Augus­tine, Flori­da, Trump false­ly claimed that hacked emails of John Podes­ta showed that the Clin­ton cam­paign chair was “rig­ging the polls by over­sam­pling Democ­rats”.

    The Repub­li­can nom­i­nee, whose cam­paign is man­aged by the poll­ster Kellyanne Con­way, called this “a vot­er sup­pres­sion tech­nique”. Over­sam­pling is a method used by poll­sters to get bet­ter mea­sure­ments of spe­cif­ic sub-groups and is entire­ly nor­mal in polling.

    The state­ment fol­lowed a tweet from the Repub­li­can on Mon­day morn­ing in which he claimed: “Major sto­ry that the Dems are mak­ing up pho­ny polls in order to sup­press the the Trump [sic]. We are going to WIN!” Almost every inde­pen­dent poll has con­sis­tent­ly shown a steady lead for Clin­ton since late July and Con­way has repeat­ed­ly con­ced­ed in recent days that Trump is behind.

    Trump also esca­lat­ed his attacks on media. He said the press, which he described as being com­posed of “thieves and crooks”, may be even more cor­rupt than the rival whom he has repeat­ed­ly derid­ed as “Crooked Hillary”. The Ivy League-edu­cat­ed Trump, who lives in an ornate pent­house on Fifth Avenue in New York, also slammed jour­nal­ists as being out of touch with work­ing Amer­i­cans, say­ing: “The media is enti­tled, con­de­scend­ing and even con­temp­tu­ous of peo­ple who don’t share their elit­ist views.” He warned vague­ly of those who “rig the media” and said: “They can wield absolute pow­er over your life, your econ­o­my, and your coun­try.”

    In addi­tion, Trump com­plained at his ral­ly, which was broad­cast live on cable news: “Some­times I’ll have these great events and it isn’t cov­ered.”

    ...

    “The Repub­li­can nom­i­nee, whose cam­paign is man­aged by the poll­ster Kellyanne Con­way, called this “a vot­er sup­pres­sion tech­nique”. Over­sam­pling is a method used by poll­sters to get bet­ter mea­sure­ments of spe­cif­ic sub-groups and is entire­ly nor­mal in polling.”

    Yes, the lat­est evi­dence of mass cheat­ing with the polls is appar­ent­ly a Wik­ileaks leak show­ing a hacked 2008 email to John Podes­ta where Podes­ta calls for over­sam­pling of cer­tain groups in upcom­ing polls by the cam­paign. And, yes, over­sam­pling is a stan­dard tech­nique poll­sters use to learn more about spe­cif­ic demo­graph­ics and in no way “rigs” a polls unless the poll­ster is specif­i­cal­ly not account­ing for the over­sam­pling.

    So that’s an exam­ple of Trump’s ‘clos­ing argu­ment’: He’s actu­al­ly win­ning and the only rea­son this isn’t obvi­ous is because every­one, includ­ing poll­sters, are cheat­ing.

    And if you see any news arti­cles about how Trump appar­ent­ly does­n’t under­stand­ing how over­sam­pling works in polling, it’s because those reporters are a bunch of Nazis. That anoth­er meme that’s emerged, brought to you by Nazis for Trump:

    Buz­zFeed

    The Alt-Right Has Adopt­ed An Old Nazi Term For Reporters

    “A sly ref­er­ence,” says a white nation­al­ist leader.

    post­ed on Oct. 24, 2016, at 8:52 a.m.

    Rosie Gray
    Buz­zFeed News Reporter

    It’s become a famil­iar rou­tine by now: Trump sup­port­ers harangu­ing the press at ral­lies, boo­ing them and scream­ing at them.

    “Tell the truth!” and “CNN sucks!” have become sta­ples at near­ly every Trump ral­ly. On Sat­ur­day night, a new and for­eign accu­sa­tion came to the fore: “Lügen­presse!”

    The term, which means “lying press” in Ger­man, has a his­to­ry dat­ing back to the mid-1800s and was used by the Nazis to dis­cred­it the media. In recent years, it has been revived by Ger­man far-right anti-immi­grant groups. And on Sat­ur­day, it made an appear­ance at a Trump ral­ly in Cleve­land, Ohio.

    After the ral­ly fin­ished, one man approached the press pen and shout­ed insults, accus­ing the media of being in the tank for the Clin­tons and being “bought and paid for.” Anoth­er man, wear­ing a Make Amer­i­ca Great Again hat and hold­ing a sign with the same slo­gan, walked up beside him and began yelling at the press that we were “lügen­presse,” adding that the phrase means “lying press” in Ger­man. The first man start­ed shout­ing it too, then turned to the sec­ond and made a self-dep­re­cat­ing remark about not pro­nounc­ing it right.

    Friend­ly inter­ac­tion out­side the press pen. “Lugen­presse!” pic.twitter.com/MWUZynJ8jx— Rosie Gray (@RosieGray) Octo­ber 23, 2016

    The trav­el­ing press was quick­ly hus­tled out of the venue and on toward the next ral­ly; I didn’t have a chance to ask the man his name, or how he came across this term. I tweet­ed the video I shot of the two men and left it at that, not real­iz­ing how quick­ly and wide­ly the moment would be cir­cu­lat­ed.

    Richard Spencer, the white nation­al­ist leader who is con­sid­ered one of the lead­ers of the alt-right, was able to shed some light on this for me.

    “I see ‘lying press’ and ‘Lügen­presse’ all over the place,” Spencer said in an email. “It’s typ­i­cal Alt Right: seri­ous… iron­ic… and with a sly ref­er­ence to boot.”

    Spencer said the term had been in use in Amer­i­can alt-right cir­cles for “a year, at the least.”

    The web­site Occi­den­tal Dis­sent, one of the nodes of alt-right online com­men­tary, fre­quent­ly uses the term, and the #lugen­presse hash­tag on Twit­ter is fair­ly active and large­ly used by alt-right Twit­ter accounts:

    I look for­ward to the harsh crack­down on @CNN and oth­er #Lying­Press #Lugen­presse orga­ni­za­tions when DJT takes office.— The Rad­i­cal Sax­on (@Loyal_Laddie) Octo­ber 13, 2016

    It fun­ny how stu­pid the MSM is. Time after time they attack Trump, only to lat­er find out that it made him stronger. #lugen­presse pic.twitter.com/S8deHgGU3c— Neil Turn­er ?? (@NeilTurner_) Octo­ber 13, 2016

    With the inter­net, the Cit­i­zens can see how much the media lies and dis­torts. #Lugen­presse https://t.co/IyiMOi5AKF— #Fre­eR­icky Viking ?? (@thebasedviking) Sep­tem­ber 20, 2016

    Bre­it­bart News report­ed favor­ably on the term in an inter­view ear­li­er this year with the leader of the Ger­man far-right group PEGIDA, writ­ing, “It will come as no sur­prise to many that the main­stream media would lash out against a word that high­lights their own, inten­tion­al fail­ings. But [Lutz] Bachmann’s PEGIDA has pop­u­lar­ized the term to the point where it has become a pil­lar — even a ral­ly­ing cry — for the nation­al­ist, pop­ulist move­ments across the con­ti­nent.”

    A pan­el of Ger­man lin­guists, in response, named “Lügen­presse” the worst word of 2014.

    The alt-right has been embold­ened this year by Trump’s rise; the chair­man of Bre­it­bart News, who has spo­ken of his web­site being a home for the alt-right, is now Trump’s cam­paign CEO, and Hillary Clinton’s speech tying Trump to the alt-right launched the move­ment to new heights of noto­ri­ety. The embrace of a term like “lügen­presse” is, as Spencer says, clas­sic alt-right; the proud “shit­lords” of the move­ment take pride in embrac­ing edgy ter­mi­nol­o­gy, the more anti-PC the bet­ter.

    ...

    Mean­while, the hatred toward the press among the larg­er pop­u­la­tion of Trump sup­port­ers grows increas­ing­ly pro­nounced near­ly every day. In these final weeks of the cam­paign, at near­ly every ral­ly, Trump riles up his audi­ence against the press as reporters sit in the media pen, easy tar­gets for vit­ri­ol. Reporters dis­em­bark­ing the press bus at Trump’s ral­ly in Naples, Flori­da, on Sun­day, the day after the “lügen­presse” inci­dent, were imme­di­ate­ly greet­ed by boos and shouts of “Tell the truth!”

    Mean­while, the hatred toward the press among the larg­er pop­u­la­tion of Trump sup­port­ers grows increas­ing­ly pro­nounced near­ly every day. In these final weeks of the cam­paign, at near­ly every ral­ly, Trump riles up his audi­ence against the press as reporters sit in the media pen, easy tar­gets for vit­ri­ol. Reporters dis­em­bark­ing the press bus at Trump’s ral­ly in Naples, Flori­da, on Sun­day, the day after the “lügen­presse” inci­dent, were imme­di­ate­ly greet­ed by boos and shouts of “Tell the truth!””

    So there we have it: Trump is win­ning and the only rea­son this isn’t being reflect­ed in the polls is the crooked media that keeps mak­ing Trump look bad and does­n’t focus on all the great polls show­ing Trump win­ning. And if there are no polls show­ing Trump win­ning it’s because of cheat­ing poll­sters. And if comes up short with actu­al votes that will be due to the ram­pant vot­er fraud the Roger Stone/Alex Jones poll watch­ers are going to uncov­er. That’s the nar­ra­tive and the Trump team has got to “red pill” as many peo­ple as pos­si­ble with that nar­ra­tive and con­vince them that every­thing oth­er than the Trump move­ment is a lie designed to steer them away from Trump’s Truths if the “every­one is lying to you but Don­ald Trump” scheme is going to work.

    So get ready. There’s still two weeks left. That’s plen­ty of time for things to get extra weird.

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | October 24, 2016, 2:39 pm
  2. Here’s a sto­ry worth keep­ing in mind giv­en Don­ald Trump’s vows to dra­mat­i­cal­ly strength­en libel laws: The Amer­i­can Bar Asso­ci­at­ed com­mis­sioned a report exam­in­ing Trump’s use of libel laws to silence and pun­ish his crit­ics. And such a report label­ing Trump a “libel bul­ly” was indeed pro­duced. But it was­n’t pub­lished. Why? Take a guess. A very iron­ic guess:

    The New York Times

    Fear­ing Trump, Bar Asso­ci­a­tion Sti­fles Report Call­ing Him a ‘Libel Bul­ly’

    By ADAM LIPTAK
    OCT. 24, 2016

    WASHINGTON — Alarmed by Don­ald J. Trump’s record of fil­ing law­suits to pun­ish and silence his crit­ics, a com­mit­tee of media lawyers at the Amer­i­can Bar Asso­ci­a­tion com­mis­sioned a report on Mr. Trump’s lit­i­ga­tion his­to­ry. The report con­clud­ed that Mr. Trump was a “libel bul­ly” who had filed many mer­it­less suits attack­ing his oppo­nents and had nev­er won in court.

    But the bar asso­ci­a­tion refused to pub­lish the report, cit­ing “the risk of the A.B.A. being sued by Mr. Trump.”

    David J. Bod­ney, a for­mer chair­man of the media-law com­mit­tee, said he was baf­fled by the bar association’s inter­fer­ence in the committee’s jour­nal.

    “It is more than a lit­tle iron­ic,” he said, “that a pub­li­ca­tion ded­i­cat­ed to the explo­ration of First Amend­ment issues is sub­ject­ed to cen­sor­ship when it seeks to pub­lish an arti­cle about threats to free speech.”

    In inter­nal com­mu­ni­ca­tions, the bar association’s lead­er­ship, includ­ing its gen­er­al counsel’s office and pub­lic rela­tions staff, did not appear to dis­pute the report’s con­clu­sions.

    But James Dimos, the association’s deputy exec­u­tive direc­tor, object­ed to the term “libel bul­ly” and oth­er sharp lan­guage in the report, say­ing in an Oct. 19 email that the changes were need­ed to address “the legit­i­mate­ly held views of A.B.A. staff who are charged with man­ag­ing the rep­u­ta­tion­al and finan­cial risk to the asso­ci­a­tion.”

    “While we do not believe that such a law­suit has mer­it, it is cer­tain­ly rea­son­able to attempt to reduce such a like­li­hood by remov­ing inflam­ma­to­ry lan­guage that is unnec­es­sary to fur­ther the article’s the­sis,” Mr. Dimos wrote. “Hon­est­ly, it is the same advice mem­bers of the forum would pro­vide to their own clients.”

    Mr. Trump has made fre­quent threats in recent weeks to file more law­suits, includ­ing ones against The New York Times for pub­lish­ing parts of his tax returns and accounts of women accus­ing him of sex­u­al mis­con­duct.. On Sat­ur­day, he threat­ened to sue the women them­selves.

    Mem­bers of the com­mit­tee expressed dis­may with the bar association’s actions.

    “It’s colos­sal­ly inap­pro­pri­ate for the A.B.A. to spon­sor a group of lawyers to study free speech issues and at the same time cen­sor their free speech,” said Charles D. Tobin, anoth­er for­mer chair­man of the com­mit­tee.

    Mr. Dimos did not respond to a request for com­ment. Car­ol Stevens, an A.B.A. spokes­woman and a for­mer man­ag­ing edi­tor of USA Today, said the asso­ci­a­tion had only minor and rou­tine objec­tions to the article’s tone.

    “We thought it was an insight­ful arti­cle, and we asked them to con­sid­er minor edits,” she said.

    George Free­man, a third for­mer chair­man of the forum, dis­put­ed that char­ac­ter­i­za­tion.

    “I don’t think it’s fair to say ‘minor edits,’ ” he said. “Among the edits they want­ed to make were the title and the lede,” he said, using news­pa­per jar­gon for the article’s open­ing pas­sage.

    The arti­cle was titled “Don­ald J. Trump Is a Libel Bul­ly but Also a Libel Los­er.” The bar association’s pro­posed title was “Pres­i­den­tial Elec­tion Demon­strates Need for Anti-Slapp Laws.” The acronym stands for Strate­gic Law­suits Against Pub­lic Par­tic­i­pa­tion. In states with such laws, defen­dants can some­times seek ear­ly dis­missal of libel and sim­i­lar suits and recov­er their legal fees.

    Mr. Free­man, a for­mer lawyer at The New York Times Com­pa­ny, is exec­u­tive direc­tor of the Media Law Resource Cen­ter, a trade asso­ci­a­tion of law firms and media com­pa­nies. On Fri­day, the cen­ter post­ed the report on its site.

    Ms. Stevens, the bar asso­ci­a­tion spokes­woman, emphat­i­cal­ly denied that the fear of a libel suit had played any role in the association’s objec­tions. Ms. Stevens declined to com­ment when she was read pas­sages from Mr. Dimos’s email. “I’m not a lawyer,” she said, “and that wasn’t my fear.”

    Pre­sent­ed with the email, which indi­cat­ed that she had received it at the time, she point­ed to a pas­sage in it that raised anoth­er crit­i­cism of the study. “Mr. Dimos’s pri­ma­ry con­cern was the use of par­ti­san lan­guage,” Ms. Stevens said. “By pol­i­cy, the A.B.A. is strict­ly non­par­ti­san.”

    The study was pre­pared by Susan E. Sea­ger, a for­mer jour­nal­ist, a Yale Law School grad­u­ate and a long­time First Amend­ment lawyer. She found sev­en free speech-relat­ed law­suits filed by Mr. Trump and his com­pa­nies. They includ­ed ones against an archi­tec­ture crit­ic and his news­pa­per; a book author and his pub­lish­er; a polit­i­cal com­men­ta­tor; a for­mer stu­dent at Trump Uni­ver­si­ty; two labor unions; a net­work exec­u­tive; and a beau­ty con­test con­tes­tant.

    “It’s based on court records, all of it,” Ms. Sea­ger said in an inter­view. The report includes 81 foot­notes.

    The report con­clud­ed that Mr. Trump had lost four suits, with­drawn two and obtained one default judg­ment in a pri­vate arbi­tra­tion when a for­mer Miss Penn­syl­va­nia failed to appear to con­test the mat­ter.

    “Don­ald J. Trump is a libel bul­ly,” the report con­clud­ed. “Like most bul­lies, he’s also a los­er, to bor­row from Trump’s vocab­u­lary.”

    The bar asso­ci­a­tion sought to elim­i­nate that con­clu­sion, which Ms. Sea­ger said was the point of her report.

    “I want­ed to alert media lawyers that a lot of these threats are very hol­low,” she said.

    Ms. Sea­ger said the bar association’s action showed that Mr. Trump’s threats work. “The A.B.A. took out every word that was slight­ly crit­i­cal of Don­ald Trump,” she said. “It proved my point.”

    Mr. Tobin said the media law com­mit­tee, the Forum on Com­mu­ni­ca­tions Law, had been pre­pared to pub­lish the report with­out changes.

    ...

    Mr. Bod­ney said the country’s finest media lawyers had been ready to defend the bar asso­ci­a­tion with­out charge had Mr. Trump cho­sen to sue.

    “If push came to shove, as I recent­ly told an A.B.A. rep­re­sen­ta­tive, one could sure­ly imag­ine top-notch libel lawyers stand­ing in line to defend this arti­cle against a defama­tion law­suit on a pro bono basis,” he said. “Evi­dent­ly, that wasn’t assur­ance enough.”

    “Ms. Sea­ger said the bar association’s action showed that Mr. Trump’s threats work. “The A.B.A. took out every word that was slight­ly crit­i­cal of Don­ald Trump,” she said. “It proved my point.””

    Yep, by even­tu­al­ly issu­ing a watered-down report, the A.B.A. quite pos­si­bly made the strongest case it could have regard­ing Trump’s sta­tus as a “libel bul­ly”. The orig­i­nal report using stronger lan­guage like “libel bul­ly” would have no doubt made a pow­er­ful case giv­en the abun­dance of avail­able evi­dence. But hav­ing that report defanged like this over fears of a Trump law­suit, and then hav­ing the media report on it and dis­sect the forced edits, is just about the most dev­as­tat­ing report the A.B.A. could make.

    Now we get to see if Trump is going to sue the A.B.A. for iron­i­cal­ly mak­ing him look like an even big­ger libel bul­ly by pre­emp­tive­ly suc­cumb­ing to his pre­dic­tive bul­ly­ing. He obvi­ous­ly would­n’t have a very good libel case, but that’s half the point of the whole report: Trump wages libel law­suits that have no basis. Over and over. And los­es because it was a stu­pid case. So we’ll see!

    And in oth­er Trump-relat­ed libel news...

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | October 25, 2016, 2:47 pm
  3. The Huff­in­g­ton Post has a piece reveal­ing a rather odd aspect to Roger Stone’s plans to unleash an army of “vote pro­tec­tors” in inner cities on elec­tion day to con­duct what they are call­ing “exit polls” and watch for signs of vot­er fraud: Roger Stone’s web­site set up specif­i­cal­ly to recruit and instruct peo­ple for this scheme con­tains some rather con­tro­ver­sial instruc­tions. Any­one can sign up at the web­site and join, which is exact­ly what the Huff­in­g­ton Post’s reporters did to learn more about Stone’s plans after he declined to answer their ques­tions. And when the Huff­in­g­ton Post fol­lowed up with Stone with ques­tion about all the instruc­tions for Stone’s vol­un­teer army that they found on web­site — instruc­tions like cre­at­ing offi­cial-look­ing “Vote Pro­tec­tor” badges to add an authen­tic feel to the oper­a­tion and instruc­tions on how to video record peo­ple at the polls and upload them to the web­site — Stone denied any knowl­edge of those plans, and told the reporters he did­n’t approve of those plans and had them removed from the web­site. Also, he assert­ed that his anti-vot­er-fraud group is ‘Stop the Steal”, which is mere­ly work­ing with “Vote Pro­tec­tors” and his vote watch­ers had no such plans in mind (note that the ‘Vote Pro­tec­tors” web­site explic­it­ly states that it’s paid for by “Stop the Steal”) .

    So Roger Stone’s group was basi­cal­ly plan­ning on doing things on elec­tion day that the group could­n’t actu­al­ly get caught plan­ning to do before the elec­tion because that would look real­ly bad and pos­si­bly be ille­gal and the only thing that could thwart this plan is some intre­pid reporter vol­un­teer for Stone’s group and expos­ing it. So while Stone’s plans for con­vinc­ing Trump’s base that the elec­tion was all rigged is prob­a­bly very devi­ous from a psy­cho­log­i­cal war­fare per­spec­tive, there appears to be some holes in the plan:

    The Huff­in­g­ton Post

    Trump Loy­al­ists Planned Vot­er Intim­i­da­tion Using Fake ID Badges, Fake Exit Polling — Until Huff­Post Asked Them About It
    The “Vote Pro­tec­tors” are affil­i­at­ed with Trump advis­er Roger Stone.

    Christi­na Wilkie
    Nation­al Polit­i­cal Reporter

    10/25/2016 11:03 pm ET | Updat­ed 7 hours ago

    Vote Pro­tec­tors, the anti-vot­er-fraud group host­ed by Don­ald Trump ally and polit­i­cal dirty trick­ster Roger Stone, plans to send vol­un­teers to mon­i­tor polling places in nine cities with high minor­i­ty pop­u­la­tions on Elec­tion Day, Stone said last week. Untrained poll-watch­ers have intim­i­dat­ed vot­ers in pre­vi­ous elec­tions. But Vote Pro­tec­tors is going fur­ther than its pre­de­ces­sors.

    Stone’s group cre­at­ed an offi­cial-look­ing ID badge for its vol­un­teers to wear, and its vol­un­teers planned to video­tape vot­ers and con­duct fake “exit polls,” efforts that elec­tion experts say risks intim­i­dat­ing and con­fus­ing vot­ers. Or at least that’s what the group was plan­ning to do before The Huff­in­g­ton Post asked Stone about it on Tues­day. The con­tro­ver­sial Trump ally, long known for his bare-knuck­led polit­i­cal tac­tics, said that key pro­pos­als on his group’s web­sites were there with­out his knowl­edge, and assured Huff­Post that he would oper­ate with­in the con­fines of elec­tion law.

    Stone had ini­tial­ly refused to explain just how Vote Pro­tec­tors planned to accom­plish its goals. So on Mon­day, The Huff­in­g­ton Post respond­ed to the group’s request for addi­tion­al vol­un­teers to work as “Exit Pollers and Cit­i­zen Jour­nal­ists.”

    Once reg­is­tered, Huff­Post used the site’s “I.D. Badge Gen­er­a­tor” to cre­ate this badge, which could pass for an offi­cial cre­den­tial to peo­ple unfa­mil­iar with polling sig­nage and rules.

    [see image of exam­ple “Vote Pro­tec­tors” badge]

    Huff­Post also cre­at­ed a few more badges, like the one below. There was noth­ing to keep us from cre­at­ing unlim­it­ed ID badges.

    ...

    Vote Pro­tec­tors’ vol­un­teers “com­mit to go out in Novem­ber and post their YouTube and Periscope streams to the [Vote Pro­tec­tors] web­site, orga­nized by state and dis­trict, as well as enter actu­al exit poll sur­vey respons­es,” the group’s “mem­bers only” page reads.

    To help vol­un­teers broad­cast their videos direct­ly to the web, Vote Pro­tec­tors offers detailed instruc­tions on how to load livestream video soft­ware onto a smart­phone and how to post videos to the Vote Pro­tec­tors site.

    By con­trast, there appears to be very lit­tle infor­ma­tion on how Vote Pro­tec­tors are sup­posed to con­duct “exit polls.” The video below, illus­trat­ing how to get start­ed as a vol­un­teer with the group, con­tains lit­tle infor­ma­tion on how to con­duct exit polls but plen­ty of infor­ma­tion on how to stream videos of vot­ers to the web.

    Still, any­one reg­is­tered as a vol­un­teer with Vote Pro­tec­tors can tal­ly up votes at any time, for Trump or any oth­er can­di­date, in what the site calls its “exit poll.” Huff­Post acci­den­tal­ly logged two votes for Trump on Mon­day, vis­i­ble below, despite hav­ing nev­er entered an elec­toral precinct, and using a fake name.

    Reached for com­ment on Tues­day, Stone told Huff­Post he was “work­ing with StopTheSteal.com to con­duct exit polls for the pur­pose of com­par­ing the results to the actu­al report­ed results on a precinct by precinct basis.” He not­ed that this effort “is inde­pen­dent of the Trump cam­paign,” adding, “I don’t know what their elec­tion day plans are.”

    When Huff­Post asked Stone specif­i­cal­ly about the badges and the video­tap­ing, how­ev­er, he became defen­sive. “I know noth­ing about badges or video­tap­ing,” he wrote, adding, “Where do you get this from?”

    Even before Stone respond­ed, the “I.D. Badge Gen­er­a­tor” page had been removed from the Vote Pro­tec­tors web­site. When Huff­Post sent Stone images from the site show­ing the instruc­tions for badges and livestreams, Stone did not respond.

    A few hours lat­er, Stone emailed Huff­Post. “I have ordered them tak­en down. Bad idea, as is video tap­ing. First I have heard of it. I am only inter­est­ed in a valid, sci­en­tif­i­cal­ly con­duct­ed exit poll.” Stone lat­er not­ed that Vote Pro­tec­tors was col­lab­o­rat­ing with his group, Stop the Steal, but he said they were not one and the same.

    Stone said that unlike the mod­el cur­rent­ly run by Vote Pro­tec­tors, his group would “ask each poll work­er to sign a sworn affi­davit that the infor­ma­tion they turn in for tab­u­la­tion is true based on inter­views.”

    These affi­davits, Stone told radio host Alex Jones Tues­day, could then be used by the Trump cam­paign to con­test the elec­tion results.

    The goal of Vote Pro­tec­tors is to crack down on what Trump and his sup­port­ers call “vot­er fraud,” a sta­tis­ti­cal­ly nonex­is­tent phe­nom­e­non that the nom­i­nee has nonethe­less used to whip up fear among his sup­port­ers and dele­git­imize the com­ing pres­i­den­tial elec­tion.

    ...

    The idea that Trump, who in some polls trails Demo­c­rat Hillary Clin­ton by dou­ble dig­its, might lose the pres­i­den­tial elec­tion because of vot­er fraud is incred­i­bly far-fetched. Still, he has ped­dled false the­o­ries about how the elec­tion will be “stolen” from him because the Amer­i­can vot­ing sys­tem is “rigged.” And his calls to his sup­port­ers to watch cer­tain polling loca­tions has left elec­tion watch­dogs increas­ing­ly on edge.

    For Danielle Lang, the deputy direc­tor of vot­ing rights at the non­prof­it Cam­paign Legal Cen­ter, the Vote Pro­tec­tors’ empha­sis on post­ing livestream video of vot­ers to the inter­net is espe­cial­ly dis­turb­ing. “It’s inher­ent­ly intim­i­dat­ing and an inva­sion of pri­va­cy” to video­tape pri­vate cit­i­zens at the polls with­out their con­sent, Lang told Huff­Post. “When that’s being livestreamed to the inter­net, it ampli­fies the poten­tial­ly intim­i­dat­ing aspect of it, and vio­lates a sense of secu­ri­ty and pri­va­cy peo­ple have a right to enjoy at the polls.”

    Lang not­ed that while each state has dif­fer­ent rules about how many feet from a polling place polit­i­cal groups and cam­paign work­ers can set up, “Objec­tive­ly, intim­i­dat­ing vot­ers is unlaw­ful, no mat­ter where you do it.”

    But intim­i­dat­ing vot­ers is pre­cise­ly what 61-year-old Trump sup­port­er Steve Webb of Ohio plans to do. Webb said he plans to patrol his local polling sta­tions to look for, “Well, it’s called racial pro­fil­ing. Mex­i­cans. Syr­i­ans. Peo­ple who can’t speak Amer­i­can,” he told The Boston Globe. “I’m going to go right up behind them. I’ll do every­thing legal­ly. I want to see if they are account­able. I’m not going to do any­thing ille­gal. I’m going to make them a lit­tle bit ner­vous.”

    So far, the Vote Pro­tec­tors appear to have recruit­ed just a few hun­dred vol­un­teers. But Stone told Huff­Post that vol­un­teers are being recruit­ed “from sev­er­al sources,” and Stone seems to have ramped up his pitch for new recruits in recent days.

    “We’re going to have to assess the sit­u­a­tion imme­di­ate­ly after the elec­tion, and make a pre­sen­ta­tion to Don­ald Trump of exact­ly what we have found, [with] sworn affi­davits from each of the vol­un­teers,” Stone told Jones Tues­day, dur­ing the third hour of Jones’ radio broad­cast.

    “What we need right now, more than any­thing, is peo­ple,” Stone said. “We will train you, we will assign you, and we will help you through the process, but we … need an army of InfoWars war­riors to help us with this project,” he said, refer­ring to Jones’ con­spir­a­cy web­site, Infowars.com.

    “They have George Soros and his mil­lions,” Stone said. “We have the blood sweat and toil of the Amer­i­can peo­ple.”

    ““What we need right now, more than any­thing, is peo­ple,” Stone said. “We will train you, we will assign you, and we will help you through the process, but we … need an army of InfoWars war­riors to help us with this project,” he said, refer­ring to Jones’ con­spir­a­cy web­site, Infowars.com.

    An army of InfoWars war­riors is being raised by Roger Stone for elec­tion day. What could pos­si­bly go wrong? Well, accord­ing to Roger, because they’re all going to sign sworn affi­davits that every­thing they sub­mit is true. So noth­ing could go wrong:

    ...

    When Huff­Post asked Stone specif­i­cal­ly about the badges and the video­tap­ing, how­ev­er, he became defen­sive. “I know noth­ing about badges or video­tap­ing,” he wrote, adding, “Where do you get this from?”

    Even before Stone respond­ed, the “I.D. Badge Gen­er­a­tor” page had been removed from the Vote Pro­tec­tors web­site. When Huff­Post sent Stone images from the site show­ing the instruc­tions for badges and livestreams, Stone did not respond.

    A few hours lat­er, Stone emailed Huff­Post. “I have ordered them tak­en down. Bad idea, as is video tap­ing. First I have heard of it. I am only inter­est­ed in a valid, sci­en­tif­i­cal­ly con­duct­ed exit poll.” Stone lat­er not­ed that Vote Pro­tec­tors was col­lab­o­rat­ing with his group, Stop the Steal, but he said they were not one and the same.

    Stone said that unlike the mod­el cur­rent­ly run by Vote Pro­tec­tors, his group would “ask each poll work­er to sign a sworn affi­davit that the infor­ma­tion they turn in for tab­u­la­tion is true based on inter­views.”

    These affi­davits, Stone told radio host Alex Jones Tues­day, could then be used by the Trump cam­paign to con­test the elec­tion results.
    ...

    Yes, yes, Roger Stone had no idea about the Vote Pro­tec­tors’ plans. Plus, his group is “Stop the Steal”, not Vote Pro­tec­tors (again, Vote Pro­tec­tors states in its dis­claimers that Stop the Steal is pay­ing for it), so this isn’t real­ly his prob­lem. So don’t wor­ry, Roger assures us, his army of Infowar­rior poll watch­ers have no such plans to video tape peo­ple and con­duct bogus exit polls. No, they will instead sign sworn affi­davits that the infor­ma­tion they turn in is true to ensure that Stop the Steal’s find­ings can be used by the Trump cam­paign to con­test the elec­tion results. See, noth­ing to wor­ry about! At least for the GOP. Maybe.

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | October 26, 2016, 6:06 pm
  4. Here’s the lat­est group to call for vol­un­teers for elec­tion day poll watch­ing: the Oath Keep­ers. Of course. Although unlike Roger Stone’s poll watch­ing groups — which have already had their plans for aggres­sive video record­ing and non-sci­en­tif­ic exit polling exposed using fake “Vote Pro­tec­tor” ID badges — the Oath Keep­ers appear to be the oppo­site approach and encour­ag­ing their mem­bers to show up “incog­ni­to” and just covert­ly video tape any sus­pi­cious anom­alies they might observe. Sus­pi­cious anom­alies like peo­ple show­ing up on bus­es:

    The Huff­in­g­ton Post

    Oath Keep­ers Founder Says ‘Under­cov­er’ Poll Watch­ing Effort Won’t Intim­i­date Vot­ers
    The right-wing group will be look­ing out for “bus­loads” of vot­ers to make sure the elec­tion isn’t “stolen.”

    Ryan J. Reil­ly Senior Jus­tice Reporter,
    10/27/2016 03:55 pm ET | Updat­ed

    WASHINGTON — The founder of a fringe right-wing group issued a “call to action” this week ask­ing mem­bers of the orga­ni­za­tion to go under­cov­er to watch for vot­er fraud and vot­er intim­i­da­tion at polling places on Elec­tion Day.

    Stew­art Rhodes post­ed his call to action on the Oath Keep­ers web­site this week on “Oper­a­tion Sabot 2016,” to “help police ensure the free and fair elec­tion process is not stolen from the cit­i­zens of the Unit­ed States of Amer­i­ca.”

    In an inter­view with The Huff­in­g­ton Post, Rhodes said Oath Keep­ers wouldn’t intim­i­date any vot­ers because they are not going to be wear­ing any gear that would indi­cate they are a mem­ber of the orga­ni­za­tion. Rhodes’ post encour­aged vol­un­teers not to wear any Oath Keep­ers gear, and encour­aged them to go “incog­ni­to,” dressed to “blend in” with the pub­lic.

    “You won’t even know they’re there,” Rhodes said in the inter­view. “If some­one is just going about their busi­ness, have a nice day. But if it looks like they’re doing some­thing ille­gal, we’re going to record it.”

    “The ide­al would be to catch some­body — you know, a car­load or a bus­load or a van­load — of peo­ple going from one polling place to anoth­er,” Rhodes said. “That is obvi­ous­ly a smok­ing gun video we’d like to have, but clear­ly us being out there is hope­ful­ly going to put a damper on those kinds of activ­i­ties. So if noth­ing hap­pens, then great, we have a bor­ing day and just walk around and enjoy the out­doors.”

    In-per­son vot­er fraud in the Unit­ed States is very rare. Justin Levitt, a for­mer pro­fes­sor at Loy­ola Law School who now serves as a top vot­ing rights offi­cial in the Jus­tice Depart­ment, found just 31 cred­i­ble accu­sa­tions of vot­er imper­son­ation fraud out of one bil­lion bal­lots cast over sev­er­al elec­tions.

    Rhodes’ post encour­aged mem­bers to dress “to NOT impress” and in a way that would allow them to be “over­looked and for­got­ten” out­side of polling sta­tions. He sug­gest­ed they wear cloth­ing that would let them fade into their sur­round­ings.

    “That may mean wear­ing a Bob Mar­ley, pot leaf, tie-die peace sym­bol, or ‘Che’ Gue­vara T ‑Shirt, etc. (we have plen­ty of long-haired, for­mer ‘Hip­py’ Viet­nam Vet­er­ans, for exam­ple, who can eas­i­ly do that), or it may mean wear­ing work­ing-man Carhartt pants and a plaid shirt,” he wrote. “Dress in what­ev­er man­ner you think will help you blend in, depend­ing on where you live and your local social envi­ron­ment. But please don’t dress in cam­mo pants or shirt, like a wan­na-be mili­tia mem­ber.”

    In an Oath Keep­ers video, Louisiana Oath Keep­ers State Coor­di­na­tor Dun­can Sim­mons said they did not want to be viewed as infring­ing on the rights of vot­ers. “We’re there to doc­u­ment, not to inter­fere,” Sim­mons said.

    “If you start see­ing bus­loads of peo­ple get off at one poll ... just to get off the bus at anoth­er poll, report that to your local law enforce­ment,” Greg McWhirter, iden­ti­fied as a mem­ber of the nation­al board of direc­tors, said in the video. He encour­aged vol­un­teers to be “friend­ly” and non-con­fronta­tion­al.

    “Also, don’t be armed,” McWhirter added.

    Repub­li­can pres­i­den­tial nom­i­nee Don­ald Trump has been warn­ing about vot­er fraud over the past sev­er­al months, and has recent­ly been increas­ing his rhetoric as polls show him severe­ly trail­ing in the polls ahead of Elec­tion Day. Trump has been warn­ing of a “rigged” elec­tion process, and an anti-fraud group linked to his cam­paign has been encour­ag­ing cit­i­zens to cre­ate ID badges and ques­tion vot­ers out­side of polling sta­tions.

    But in his post, Rhodes encour­ages Oath Keep­er mem­bers to “covert­ly” observe and record, and to avoid film­ing in an obvi­ous man­ner.

    “When in close prox­im­i­ty to peo­ple, or when you need to get clos­er to catch audio, one way is to use your cell phone cam­era by hav­ing your cell phone tucked incon­spic­u­ous­ly into a shirt or pants pock­et, with the cam­era lens bare­ly vis­i­ble above the top of the pock­et, so that it acts as a low-pro­file body-cam­era, or use a well placed Go-Pro, or a pen cam­era, or oth­er hid­den cam­era,” Rhodes wrote.

    “Be sure your local police know that your intent is to NOT be a vig­i­lante,” he wrote.

    The South­ern Pover­ty Law Cen­ter con­sid­ers the Oath Keep­ers an “extrem­ist” antigov­ern­ment group that sub­scribes to “para­noid con­spir­a­cy the­o­ries.” Mem­bers of the orga­ni­za­tion were involved in the Cliv­en Bundy stand­off, and also showed up dur­ing the unrest in Fer­gu­son, Mis­souri, fol­low­ing the death of Michael Brown in August 2014. The orga­ni­za­tion is open to cur­rent and for­mer mem­bers of the mil­i­tary, law enforce­ment and first respon­der orga­ni­za­tions.

    Rhodes told Huff­Post that their oper­a­tion was inspired by an under­cov­er video pub­lished by James O’Keefe’s Project Ver­i­tas. A video put out by the orga­ni­za­tion ear­li­er this month fea­tures a Demo­c­ra­t­ic oper­a­tive talk­ing the­o­ret­i­cal­ly about how a vot­er fraud oper­a­tion might work. That video was a “smok­ing gun,” Rhodes said.

    “I think its an indi­ca­tor of what they’ve been doing for a long time,” he added.

    Huff­Post asked Rhodes whether he wor­ried that mem­bers of his orga­ni­za­tion might be inex­pe­ri­enced with poll watch­ing, point­ing to a recent Wall Street Jour­nal sto­ry in which a Repub­li­can poll watch­er indi­cates that vot­ers not speak­ing Eng­lish could be a sign that some­thing is amiss. (Plen­ty of U.S. cit­i­zens who are eli­gi­ble to vote do not speak Eng­lish, and in fact there are spe­cif­ic sec­tions of the Vot­ing Rights Act that pro­tect non-Eng­lish speak­ing vot­ers.)

    “We don’t have idiots like that in our orga­ni­za­tion,” Rhodes said. “They will be led by expe­ri­enced police offi­cers who’ve worked under­cov­er.” He said reports would be prop­er­ly vet­ted before they were sent to police to make sure that law­ful activ­i­ties weren’t being report­ed to the author­i­ties.

    “I don’t think the sky is going to fall,” Rhodes said. “The last thing we want to do is have false alarms and false reports that get the police doing stu­pid crap instead of focus­ing on the actu­al crimes.”

    ...

    The ide­al would be to catch some­body — you know, a car­load or a bus­load or a van­load — of peo­ple going from one polling place to another...That is obvi­ous­ly a smok­ing gun video we’d like to have, but clear­ly us being out there is hope­ful­ly going to put a damper on those kinds of activ­i­ties. So if noth­ing hap­pens, then great, we have a bor­ing day and just walk around and enjoy the out­doors.”

    And that, right there, is prob­a­bly one of the main the right-wing nar­ra­tives we’re going to start hear­ing on elec­tion day: “Look! We found the same bus with the same peo­ple at mul­ti­ple loca­tions!” Or, if there are no iden­ti­cal bus­es found, the nar­ra­tive will be “our intre­pid efforts clear­ly forced the Democ­rats to skip the bus­es this year!” And whether or not they do find any sus­pi­cious bus­es, you can also be sure that some­one is going to be watch­ing all this video of peo­ple get­ting off bus­es to find any instances where you have two sim­i­lar look­ing peo­ple at two polling loca­tion. So also get ready to be inun­dat­ed with videos show­ing what might be the same per­son get­ting off a bus at two dif­fer­ent loca­tions. Lots of videos like that.

    But, hey, if there real­ly is a secret Demo­c­ra­t­ic vot­er-fraud bus­ing oper­a­tion, hav­ing all these right-wing groups with video cam­eras should pre­sum­ably pro­vide evi­dence it. And that’s part of what’s going to make the GOP’s mas­sive poll watch­ing schemes so inter­est­ing this year: it’s going to be a lot hard­er to cry wolf with­out pro­vid­ing evi­dence, not that this stopped them in 2012:

    The New York Times

    Look­ing, Very Close­ly, for Vot­er Fraud
    Con­ser­v­a­tive Groups Focus on Reg­is­tra­tion in Swing States

    By STEPHANIE SAUL
    SEPT. 16, 2012

    It might as well be Har­ry Potter’s invis­i­ble Knight Bus, because no one can prove it exists.

    The bus has been repeat­ed­ly cit­ed by True the Vote, a nation­al group focused on vot­er fraud. Cather­ine Engel­brecht, the group’s leader, told a gath­er­ing in July about bus­es car­ry­ing dozens of vot­ers show­ing up at polling places dur­ing the recent Wis­con­sin recall elec­tion.

    “Mag­i­cal­ly, all of them need­ed to reg­is­ter and vote at the same time,” Ms. Engel­brecht said. “Do you think maybe they reg­is­tered false­ly under false pre­tens­es? Prob­a­bly so.”

    Weeks lat­er, anoth­er True the Vote rep­re­sen­ta­tive told a meet­ing of con­ser­v­a­tive women about a bus seen at a San Diego polling place in 2010 offload­ing peo­ple “who did not appear to be from this coun­try.”

    Offi­cials in both San Diego and Wis­con­sin said they had no evi­dence that the bus­es were real. “It’s so stealthy that no one is ever able to get a pic­ture and no one is able to get a license plate,” said Reid Mag­ney, a spokesman for the Wis­con­sin agency that over­sees elec­tions. In some ver­sions the bus is from an Indi­an reser­va­tion; in oth­ers it is full of vot­ers from Chica­go or Detroit. “Pick your minor­i­ty group,” he said.

    The bus­es are part of the elec­tion fraud gospel accord­ing to True the Vote, which is mobi­liz­ing a small army of vol­un­teers to com­bat what it sees as a force out to sub­vert elec­tions. Ms. Engelbrecht’s July speech in Mon­tana was titled “Vot­er Fraud: The Plot to Under­mine Amer­i­can Democ­ra­cy.”

    True the Vote’s plan is to scru­ti­nize the valid­i­ty of vot­er reg­is­tra­tion rolls and vot­ers who appear at the polls. Among those in their cross hairs: nonci­t­i­zens who are reg­is­tered to vote, those with­out prop­er iden­ti­fi­ca­tion, oth­ers who may be reg­is­tered twice, and dead peo­ple. In Ohio and Indi­ana, True the Vote recent­ly filed law­suits to force offi­cials to clean up vot­er rolls.

    Efforts to tight­en vot­er require­ments have become a major issue in the pres­i­den­tial elec­tion. Over the last few years, many states have passed vot­er iden­ti­fi­ca­tion laws, and many of those are being chal­lenged in court.

    Now, a net­work of con­ser­v­a­tive groups is wag­ing an aggres­sive cam­paign on the ground. In a report this month, the lib­er­al-lean­ing orga­ni­za­tions Com­mon Cause and Demos cit­ed True the Vote as the cen­tral play­er in this effort, which it called a threat to the fun­da­men­tal right to vote.

    “It is not about par­ty or pol­i­tics; it is about prin­ci­ple,” Ms. Engel­brecht said.

    While she por­trays True the Vote as non­par­ti­san, it grew out of a Tea Par­ty group, King Street Patri­ots, that she found­ed in Texas. An exam­i­na­tion shows that it has worked close­ly with a vari­ety of well-financed orga­ni­za­tions, many unabashed in their desire to defeat Pres­i­dent Oba­ma.

    A pol­ished and provoca­tive video, cir­cu­lat­ing among Tea Par­ty activists, seeks to raise a “cav­al­ry” to march on swing states and iden­ti­fies True the Vote as a par­tic­i­pant in the effort, called Code Red USA.

    In the past year, Amer­i­cans for Pros­per­i­ty, an orga­ni­za­tion found­ed by the bil­lion­aire Koch broth­ers, and oth­er Repub­li­can-lean­ing inde­pen­dent groups have spon­sored meet­ings fea­tur­ing Ms. Engel­brecht and oth­er True the Vote speak­ers. A spokesman for Amer­i­cans for Pros­per­i­ty said that the group had host­ed events includ­ing True the Vote speak­ers but that elec­tion integri­ty was not a focus of his group.

    Elec­tion integri­ty has become a focus for oth­er activists, includ­ing James E. O’Keefe III, a video pro­duc­er known for his under­cov­er stings of the now defunct com­mu­ni­ty orga­niz­ing group Acorn. He recent­ly aimed his cam­era on North Car­oli­na vot­ers in what turned out to be a botched attempt to show that for­eign­ers had reg­is­tered.

    Vot­er reg­is­tra­tion has occu­pied a con­tentious cor­ner of Amer­i­can his­to­ry for decades. The per­cep­tion that vot­ing is ripe for fraud stems in part from the con­di­tion of vot­er rolls in many juris­dic­tions. The Pew Cen­ter on the States issued a report in Feb­ru­ary find­ing that more than 1.8 mil­lion dead peo­ple remained on vot­er rolls and that about 2.8 mil­lion peo­ple were reg­is­tered in more than one state. Anoth­er 12 mil­lion reg­is­tra­tions con­tained flawed address­es, it said.

    Even so, there have been few cas­es of wide­spread fraud, accord­ing to the Jus­tice Depart­ment. A bipar­ti­san com­mis­sion in 2005 found lit­tle evi­dence of exten­sive fraud, even while rec­om­mend­ing the use of vot­er iden­ti­fi­ca­tion.

    While there have been some recent crim­i­nal cas­es involv­ing local elec­tions, the Jus­tice Depart­ment said in a state­ment that the record has not shown that sig­nif­i­cant “vot­er imper­son­ation fraud — the type of fraud that many states claim their vot­er ID laws are aimed to pre­vent — actu­al­ly exists.”

    But Ms. Engel­brecht said, “Any­one who tells you that elec­tion integri­ty efforts are a solu­tion look­ing for a prob­lem is way mis­in­formed.”

    True the Vote is now using pro­pri­etary soft­ware to accel­er­ate the process of chal­leng­ing vot­er reg­is­tra­tions. It says its data­bas­es will ulti­mate­ly con­tain all vot­er rolls in the coun­try. Using com­put­ers, vol­un­teers can check those rolls against driver’s license records, prop­er­ty records and oth­er data­bas­es, turn­ing the process into an assem­bly line pro­duc­tion.

    But when True the Vote vet­ted peti­tion sig­na­tures in Wisconsin’s recall elec­tion, the state’s Gov­ern­ment Account­abil­i­ty Board report­ed that the process was “at best flawed.” The group raised ques­tions about thou­sands of sig­na­tures that the board deemed valid.

    Roots of a Cause

    Ms. Engel­brecht, who at 42 is younger than most of the Tea Par­ty mem­bers she address­es around the coun­try, said that until four years ago she was apo­lit­i­cal, a church­go­ing moth­er of two who ran a suc­cess­ful oil field machin­ery busi­ness with her hus­band in Fort Bend Coun­ty, Tex.

    “Then in 2008, I don’t know, some­thing clicked,” she said. “I saw our coun­try head­ed in a direc­tion that, for what­ev­er rea­son — it didn’t hit me until 2008 — this real­ly threat­ens the future of our chil­dren.”

    The epiphany prompt­ed Ms. Engel­brecht to work as a poll watch­er in the 2009 local elec­tions along with oth­ers in the King Street Patri­ots, the Tea Par­ty group she found­ed. It was sup­posed to be a one-day assign­ment, but it crys­tal­lized the con­cerns of Ms. Engel­brecht and her fel­low vol­un­teers, who said they saw shenani­gans includ­ing out­right fraud. The group felt duty bound to con­tin­ue its activ­i­ties.

    In Hous­ton, the group tar­get­ed the Con­gres­sion­al dis­trict rep­re­sent­ed by Sheila Jack­son Lee, a Demo­c­rat who is black. Ms. Engel­brecht said the group set­tled on Ms. Lee’s dis­trict because thou­sands of address­es there housed six or more reg­is­tered vot­ers, which it took as an indi­ca­tion of inac­cu­rate reg­is­tra­tions. The method­ol­o­gy, which the group still uses, could dis­pro­por­tion­ate­ly affect low­er income fam­i­lies.

    Vol­un­teers spent five months ana­lyz­ing 3,800 reg­is­tra­tions in Ms. Lee’s dis­trict, dis­cov­er­ing more than 500 vot­ers that the group said were prob­lem­at­ic. More than 200 vot­ers were reg­is­tered at vacant lots, prompt­ing Ms. Engel­brecht to lat­er remark that those vot­ers had a “Lord of the Rings Mid­dle Earth sort of thing going on.”

    The real­i­ty was far less inter­est­ing.

    “They had one par­tic­u­lar case I remem­ber very well,” said Dou­glas Ray, the Har­ris Coun­ty assis­tant attor­ney who rep­re­sents the elec­tion reg­is­trar. “They had iden­ti­fied an address where eight or 10 peo­ple were reg­is­tered to vote. There was no build­ing there.” Mr. Ray found out that the build­ing had been torn down and that the peo­ple sim­ply moved.

    As a result of the organization’s work in 2010, 400 to 500 vot­ers were put on “sus­pense,” forc­ing them to pro­vide addi­tion­al infor­ma­tion ver­i­fy­ing their address­es. By the fall 2010 elec­tion, vol­un­teers again appeared to focus on minor­i­ty neigh­bor­hoods, this time as elec­tion observers, Mr. Ray said.

    “The first day of ear­ly vot­ing, at many of the 37 loca­tions, pri­mar­i­ly in minor­i­ty neigh­bor­hoods, dozens of poll watch­ers showed up sent by King Street Patri­ots,” Mr. Ray said.

    The influx of white elec­tion observers in black neigh­bor­hoods caused fric­tion with vot­ers and poll work­ers, bring­ing back mem­o­ries of a time when racial intim­i­da­tion at the polls was com­mon­place in the South, said Ger­ald M. Birn­berg, a lawyer and for­mer chair­man of the Har­ris Coun­ty Demo­c­ra­t­ic Par­ty. True the Vote has strong­ly denied that it has engaged in vot­er sup­pres­sion.

    “Whether that was the inten­tion or just born of some innate para­noia is large­ly irrel­e­vant,” Mr. Birn­berg said. “That’s how it was per­ceived by peo­ple at the polls.”

    Work­ing in Wis­con­sin

    The boil­ing polit­i­cal cal­dron of Wis­con­sin was the next stop for True the Vote. It teamed up with two Tea Par­ty orga­ni­za­tions to review near­ly one mil­lion sig­na­tures on peti­tions demand­ing the recall of Gov. Scott Walk­er, a Repub­li­can. The part­ner­ship called itself Ver­i­fy the Recall.

    “We have been hear­ing reports of dupli­cate sig­na­tures, ques­tion­able prac­tices and down­right fraud in the guber­na­to­r­i­al recall effort,” Ver­i­fy the Recall said in a pitch to vol­un­teers. “The integri­ty of Wisconsin’s elec­tions and asso­ci­at­ed process­es are at stake; free and hon­est elec­tions — the cor­ner­stone of our polit­i­cal process — are being threat­ened.”

    True the Vote began work­ing in Wis­con­sin in 2011, the same year it received a $35,000 grant from the Lyn­de and Har­ry Bradley Foun­da­tion, which is based in Wis­con­sin and is a major backer of con­ser­v­a­tive caus­es, includ­ing Amer­i­cans for Pros­per­i­ty. The foundation’s pres­i­dent and chief exec­u­tive, Michael Grebe, was Mr. Walker’s cam­paign chair­man for his 2010 cam­paign and for the recall elec­tion, which he won.

    Mr. Grebe said in an inter­view that the grant was for activ­i­ties unre­lat­ed to the recall. He said the dona­tion was ulti­mate­ly returned because it was giv­en on the premise that True the Vote would be grant­ed tax-exempt sta­tus by the I.R.S., which Ms. Engel­brecht said has not hap­pened despite sev­er­al attempts.

    Ms. Engel­brecht has said her goal was not to stop the recall elec­tion, which had been backed by labor unions, but to prove to those behind it “that unions can­not strong-arm Amer­i­ca.” She said thou­sands of vol­un­teers helped enter peti­tion sig­na­tures into a data­base, which was then ana­lyzed by the group’s soft­ware. Of the one mil­lion sig­na­tures, True the Vote said 63,038 were inel­i­gi­ble, 212,628 required fur­ther inves­ti­ga­tion and 584,489 were valid.

    The account­abil­i­ty board con­clud­ed that about 900,000 sig­na­tures were valid and, in a mem­o­ran­dum review­ing True the Vote’s work, crit­i­cized its meth­ods.

    For exam­ple: Mary Lee Smith signed her name Mary L. Smith and was deemed inel­i­gi­ble by the group.

    Sig­na­tures deemed “out of state” includ­ed 13 from Mil­wau­kee and three from Madi­son.

    The group’s soft­ware would not rec­og­nize abbre­vi­a­tions, so Wis­con­sin address­es like Stevens Point were flagged if “Pt.” was used on the peti­tion.

    Sig­na­tures were struck for lack of a ZIP code.

    While the board com­mend­ed the group for encour­ag­ing “a strong lev­el of civic engage­ment,” it found that True the Vote’s results “were sig­nif­i­cant­ly less accu­rate, com­plete and reli­able than the review and analy­sis com­plet­ed by the G.A.B.”

    On Elec­tion Day, poll watch­ers appeared to have slowed vot­ing to a crawl at Lawrence Uni­ver­si­ty in Apple­ton, where some stu­dents were attempt­ing to reg­is­ter and vote on the same day.

    Char­lene Peter­son, the city clerk in Apple­ton, said three elec­tion observers, includ­ing one from True the Vote, were so dis­rup­tive that she gave them two warn­ings.

    “They were mak­ing chal­lenges of cer­tain kinds and just kind of in phys­i­cal con­tact with some of the poll work­ers, lean­ing over them, check­ing and look­ing,” said John Lep­in­s­ki, a poll watch­er and for­mer Demo­c­ra­t­ic Par­ty chair­man for Out­agamie Coun­ty.

    He said that as a result of the scruti­ny, the line to reg­is­ter moved slow­ly. Final­ly, he said, some stu­dents gave up and left.

    Ms. Engel­brecht said the True the Vote observ­er at Lawrence Uni­ver­si­ty believed that stu­dents were being per­mit­ted to reg­is­ter and vote with­out prop­er iden­ti­fi­ca­tion.

    In Racine, con­ser­v­a­tive poll watch­ers also alleged fraud, includ­ing a claim that a bus­load of union mem­bers from Michi­gan had come to Wis­con­sin to vote ille­gal­ly. The Racine Coun­ty Sheriff’s Depart­ment deter­mined that the accu­sa­tion had been based on an anony­mous call to a radio sta­tion.

    “There is no evi­dence this bus con­voy exist­ed or ever arrived in Racine Coun­ty,” the Sheriff’s Office said.

    As for the bus­es her orga­ni­za­tion saw in Wis­con­sin, Ms. Engel­brecht could not pro­vide details. “It was report­ed to us that this had occurred,” she said. “I know these sight­ings were also being report­ed on the radio.”

    ...

    “Offi­cials in both San Diego and Wis­con­sin said they had no evi­dence that the bus­es were real. “It’s so stealthy that no one is ever able to get a pic­ture and no one is able to get a license plate,” said Reid Mag­ney, a spokesman for the Wis­con­sin agency that over­sees elec­tions. In some ver­sions the bus is from an Indi­an reser­va­tion; in oth­ers it is full of vot­ers from Chica­go or Detroit. “Pick your minor­i­ty group,” he said.

    The Democ­rats have stealth bus­es with shape-shift­ing vot­ers! And that was back in 2012. Just think of how much more sophis­ti­cat­ed it’s going to be this year. We’ll see if the Oath Keep­ers are up to the task of cap­tur­ing these mys­tery stealth bus­es on video, but since they’re stealthy some­one might want to let the Oath Keep­ers know that they can actu­al­ly get infrared cam­eras for their smart­phones now. Hope­ful­ly that will cap­ture the bus­es in stealth mode. And the zom­bie vot­ers with their low­er body tem­per­a­tures. Because there’s def­i­nite­ly going to be zom­bies vot­ing Demo­c­rat too. Pre­sum­ably in stealth mode.

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | October 27, 2016, 3:18 pm
  5. One hell of a Ger­man Day of Des­tiny. I hate to say it, but Dave Emory has been right about fas­cism for forty years.

    Posted by gk | November 9, 2016, 9:08 pm
  6. The fol­low­ing arti­cle shows how quick­ly the EU, which is dom­i­nat­ed ed by Ger­man inter­ests, is mov­ing towards hav­ing its own army. This is to avoid prob­lems with the Treaty that after WWII Ger­many could not have a mil­i­tary. This has occured after Brex­it. Britain was for­mer­ly a force to check on Ger­man pow­er and to be an antag­o­nist against a Euro­pean army. Now the “need” for a Euro­pean army for “self pro­tec­tion” argu­ment is strength­ened once Trump won the pres­i­den­cy because Trump has voiced his con­cern that we spend too much mon­ey on NATO.

    Arti­cle: Dai­ly Mail Novem­ber 10, 2016:
    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3923068/EU-chief-mounts-fresh-call-European-army-claiming-Americans-won-t-protect-forever.html

    EU chief mounts fresh call for Euro­pean army

    Don­ald Trump’s elec­tion as US Pres­i­dent has sparked fresh call for an EU army, amid a warn­ing that the con­ti­nent will not always be able to rely on Amer­i­can pro­tec­tion.

    The pres­i­dent of the Euro­pean Com­mis­sion, Jean-Claude Junck­er, voiced his con­cerns after the Repub­li­can’s sur­prise vic­to­ry was announced.

    He said a ‘com­mu­ni­ty of defence’ is required.

    Junck­er said: ‘We need more secu­ri­ty in Europe, and I do not mean just the anti-ter­ror fight.

    ‘Talk­ing about secu­ri­ty we need a dif­fer­ent way of orga­niz­ing a Euro­pean defense.’

    He said that the French Nation­al Assem­bly pre­vent­ed a pro­posed Euro­pean com­mu­ni­ty of defence being cre­at­ed in 1954 — a move that could have seen an army cre­at­ed, but was reject­ed amid con­cerns about nation­al sov­er­eign­ty.

    Junck­er said: ‘We need it now. The idea that the Amer­i­cans will eter­nal­ly see to... Euro­pean secu­ri­ty is not true.

    ‘Inde­pen­dent of the out­come of the US elec­tion, the Amer­i­cans will not see to Europe’s secu­ri­ty for­ev­er. We have to do it our­selves.

    ‘And this is why we need a new approach to the Euro­pean com­mu­ni­ty of defense, includ­ing a Euro­pean army.’

    In July, Trump cast doubts over his com­mit­ment to Nato agree­ments, telling the New York Times: ‘We have many Nato mem­bers that aren’t pay­ing their bills.’

    And he added: ‘You can’t for­get the bills. They have an oblig­a­tion to make pay­ments.

    ‘Many NATO nations are not mak­ing pay­ments, are not mak­ing what they’re sup­posed to make. That’s a big thing. You can’t say for­get that.’

    His com­ments echo remarks made by Ger­man Defence Min­is­ter Ursu­la von der Leyen, who has called on the EU should match Nato.

    She declared she was in ‘deep shock’ after Trump’s win, say­ing the Pres­i­dent-elect has cast doubt on Nato’s mutu­al defence pact.

    Mrs von der Layen said the con­ti­nent must now be pre­pared to stand for itself in secu­ri­ty mat­ters.

    Last week she said: ‘We have seen an enor­mous mod­erni­sa­tion dri­ve by Nato over the past three years because of the Kremlin’s behav­iour.

    ‘That was cor­rect and impor­tant, but I believe that we must invest at least the same ener­gy into a mod­erni­sa­tion of the Euro­pean secu­ri­ty and defence union.’

    How­ev­er, she claimed the increase should occur ‘know­ing that one can­not build up com­pe­ti­tion between the two bod­ies, but that they should work in a com­ple­men­tary fash­ion’.

    For instance, she said, the EU had a clear mis­sion in work­ing with Africa to stem the steady flow of migrants cross­ing the Mediter­ranean Sea.

    British Defence Sec­re­tary Michael Fal­lon rub­bished the idea of a shared Euro­pean army last month, stat­ing: ‘We con­tin­ue to oppose any new mil­i­tary struc­ture that would intro­duce a sec­ond lay­er of com­mand and con­trol. Com­mand and con­trol is a mat­ter for the mil­i­tary, it is a mat­ter for Nato.

    ‘When it was last dis­cussed by EU defence min­is­ters, there was very strong oppo­si­tion to any kind of EU mil­i­tary com­mand head­quar­ters from Swe­den, Poland, the Baltic states, even from the Nether­lands, which is some­times sym­pa­thet­ic to some of these EU pro­pos­als, they very strong­ly opposed that kind of dupli­ca­tion.

    ‘So this is not sim­ply Britain, there is wide­spread EU con­cern about any dupli­ca­tion.’

    Posted by Anonymous | November 10, 2016, 7:53 pm
  7. With all the con­cern about fake news and mis­in­for­ma­tion flood­ing the col­lec­tive psy­che of the Amer­i­can elec­torate, in par­tic­u­lar the right-wing elec­torate, here’s some good news from Don­ald Trump’s CNN media-proxy Scot­tie Nell Hugh­es: there are no facts any­more. Every­thing is just opin­ion. Some­times con­flict­ing opin­ions, but every­thing is real­ly just an opinion...even those things you may have mis­tak­en­ly thought of as facts. Phew! That means we don’t have to wor­ry about fake news any­more because noth­ing is real any­ways and every­thing is true:

    Raw Sto­ry

    Trump boost­er Scot­tie Nell Hugh­es gets blast­ed on NPR after say­ing ‘there’s no such thing as facts’

    David Fer­gu­son
    01 Dec 2016 at 13:08 ET

    In an appear­ance on NPR’s The Diane Rehm Show on Wednes­day, Trump spokesper­son Scot­tie Nell Hugh­es assert­ed that in today’s infor­ma­tion land­scape, “There are no such things as facts.”

    She was appear­ing along­side Atlantic edi­tor James Fal­lows, Politi­co‘s Glenn Thrush and Mar­garet Sul­li­van of the Wash­ing­ton Post in a dis­cus­sion of the role of jour­nal­ists in a prospec­tive Don­ald Trump pres­i­den­cy.

    Host Diane Rehm asked Hugh­es how she feels about pun­dits and media watch­ers call­ing out Trump’s fab­ri­ca­tions and lies.

    “Well, I think it’s also an idea of an opin­ion. And that’s — on one hand I hear half the media say­ing that these are lies, but on the oth­er half there are many peo­ple that go, no, it’s true,” Hugh­es said. “And so one thing that has been inter­est­ing this entire cam­paign sea­son to watch is that peo­ple that say facts are facts, they’re not real­ly facts.”

    She went on, “There’s no such thing, unfor­tu­nate­ly, any­more of facts. And so Mr. Trump’s tweet amongst a cer­tain crowd, a large — a large part of the pop­u­la­tion, are truth. When he says that mil­lions of peo­ple ille­gal­ly vot­ed, he has some — in his — amongst him and his sup­port­ers, and peo­ple believe they have facts to back that up. Those that do not like Mr. Trump, they say that those are lies, and there’s no facts to back it up.”

    Thrush respond­ed, “First I’ve got to pick my jaw up off the floor here. There are no objec­tive facts? I mean, that is — that is an absolute­ly out­ra­geous asser­tion. Of course there are facts. There is no wide­spread proof that three mil­lion peo­ple vot­ed ille­gal­ly. It’s been checked over and over again. We had a Pew study that took place over 15 years that showed peo­ple had more like­li­hood of being struck by light­ning than vot­ing ille­gal­ly in an elec­tion.”

    ...

    ““Well, I think it’s also an idea of an opin­ion. And that’s — on one hand I hear half the media say­ing that these are lies, but on the oth­er half there are many peo­ple that go, no, it’s true,” Hugh­es said. “And so one thing that has been inter­est­ing this entire cam­paign sea­son to watch is that peo­ple that say facts are facts, they’re not real­ly facts.”

    Well, that set­tles that! In that noth­ing can appar­ent­ly be set­tled because real­i­ty is deter­mined by what peo­ple believe.

    Also note that if you lis­ten to the entire exchange, Hugh­es then goes on to ref­er­ence the debunked Old Domin­ion 2014 study that keeps get­ting cit­ed by the right-wing to back up her asser­tion that mil­lions of peo­ple vot­ed ille­gal­ly:

    ...
    HUGHES: Hold on, hold on one sec­ond. Let me respond back to Glenn Thrush on this.
    10:24:46

    REHM: Sure, go ahead.
    10:24:46

    HUGHES: Now that I know that Glenn is lis­ten­ing. Actu­al­ly what you said was wrong. Let’s look at 2014 elec­toral stud­ies. The jour­nal showed that in ’08 and 2010, ille­gal immi­grants were high­er — and this was done by — ille­gal immi­grants were actu­al­ly vot­ing in it. These were done by four pro­fes­sors at Old Domin­ion.
    10:25:04

    THRUSH­Can you give me the num­bers? Just a — yeah, sor­ry.
    10:25:06

    HUGHES: As many as 2.8 mil­lion that these four pro­fes­sors at Old Domin­ion and George Mason came out and proved and said 2.8. Pew research poll, that same poll you cit­ed, actu­al­ly 53 per­cent of Democ­rats, Demo­c­ra­t­ic Par­ty, sup­port let­ting ille­gals vote. These are peo­ple that actu­al­ly mon­i­tor those polls. So this is why if any­thing we should have stronger vot­er ID laws in all of these states to make sure that we don’t have this type of con­ver­sa­tion going for­ward.
    10:25:35

    REHM: All right.
    10:25:36

    HUGHES: But because in many states you can mail things in, those were — so yes, there is facts to back up what I said and why Trump sup­port­ers believe it. You are wrong, sir.

    ...

    “...so yes, there is facts to back up what I said and why Trump sup­port­ers believe it. You are wrong, sir.”

    And that’s where we are: one of the pres­i­dent-elec­t’s top media prox­ies is argu­ing that there are no facts and every­thing is a he-said-she-said sit­u­a­tion. And then she cites a debunked study to back up her base­less asser­tion about mil­lions of ille­gal vot­ers, declar­ing, “so yes, there is facts to back up what I said and why Trump sup­port­ers believe it. You are wrong, sir.”

    So get ready for a world where noth­ing is real, because every­thing is real:

    Salon

    WATCH: CNN anchor debunks Fox report in which Don­ald Trump vot­er repeats fraud myth
    CNN’s Alysin Camero­ta did a lit­er­al facepalm after 1 Trump vot­er false­ly cit­ed 3 mil­lion ille­gal votes

    Sophia Tes­faye
    Thurs­day, Dec 1, 2016 10:35 AM CST

    The mis­in­for­ma­tion ram­pant­ly spread across a high­ly seg­ment­ed media land­scape has received increased atten­tion since the prop­a­ga­tion of so-called fake news has been wide­ly cred­it­ed with help­ing New York busi­ness­man and polit­i­cal neo­phyte Don­ald Trump win the White House. The prob­lem has now become so obvi­ous and wide­spread that a for­mer Fox News host now at CNN felt com­pelled to debunk a false report from her for­mer employer’s par­ent com­pa­ny while inter­view­ing a Trump vot­er.

    CNN’s Alysin Camero­ta sat down with sev­er­al long-time Trump sup­port­ers for a focus group-style inter­view on Thursday’s “New Day” and pressed them for their thoughts on the president-elect’s tran­si­tion and post­elec­tion per­for­mance.

    ...

    “How do you feel about the ‘white nation­al­ist move­ment,’ the alt-right, some neo-Nazi salutes that we’ve seen? What are we to make of what feels like a groundswell of that with the Steve Ban­non-Bre­it­bart con­nec­tion,” Camero­ta asked the group after one par­tic­i­pant claimed peo­ple “that Trump has appoint­ed or nom­i­nat­ed have all been top of the class, No. 1 in their field, extreme­ly tal­ent­ed, great lead­ers on their own.”

    “That’s been around for­ev­er,” Paula John­son, co-chair of the New Hamp­shire-based Women for Trump, pushed back against Camerota’s ques­tion­ing. “You know, if you keep report­ing on it, it’s going to grow like a can­cer. If you for­get about it then it’s prob­a­bly going to go away.” Using a favorite rhetor­i­cal device of her can­di­date, media bash­ing, she added, “The media has to harp on every­thing. And it’s wrong.”

    John­son con­tin­ued that many anti-Trump vot­ers had lit­tle room to com­plain if they failed to vote in the elec­tion. “Vot­ing is a priv­i­lege in this coun­try,” John­son said before adding, “And you need to be legal not like [in] Cal­i­for­nia where 3 mil­lion ille­gals vot­ed.”

    A con­fused Camero­ta asked John­son, “Where are you get­ting your infor­ma­tion?”

    “From the media!” John­son insist­ed. “Some of them were CNN, I believe.”

    An incred­u­lous Camero­ta asked, “CNN said that 3 mil­lion ille­gal peo­ple vot­ed in Cal­i­for­nia?”

    John­son then decid­ed to source her false report with Pres­i­dent Barack Oba­ma.

    “I think there was a good amount because the pres­i­dent told peo­ple that they could vote,” John­son claimed. “They said, ‘The pres­i­dent said I could vote. I’m here ille­gal­ly.’”

    To her cred­it, Camero­ta kept up her line of ques­tion­ing while seem­ing to hold back laugh­ter.

    “Did you hear Pres­i­dent Oba­ma said that ille­gal peo­ple could vote?” asked Camero­ta, to which near­ly all the par­tic­i­pants nod­ded their heads and replied, “Yes.”

    “Tell me, where?” Camero­ta demand­ed.

    At that point, anoth­er Trump vot­er direct­ed Camero­ta, “Google it. You could find it on Face­book.” So she did.

    Camero­ta, a for­mer long-time Fox News host, then read aloud a recent Medi­ate head­line to the group: “Fox decep­tive­ly edits Oba­ma inter­view to false­ly claim he told ille­gal immi­grants to vote.”

    The Medi­ate sto­ry referred to a Fox Busi­ness Net­work seg­ment on which its host, Stu­art Var­ney, false­ly claimed Oba­ma “appears to encour­age ille­gals to vote and he promis­es no reper­cus­sions if they do.”

    The Fox Busi­ness seg­ment, above, was selec­tive­ly edit­ed to con­flate Obama’s urg­ing of Lati­nos to vote with his response to a ques­tion about undoc­u­ment­ed immi­grants. The Fox seg­ment fails to acknowl­edge that the president’s remarks were great­ly edit­ed and leaves out his explic­it state­ment that undoc­u­ment­ed immi­grants can’t vote. The net effect is that it appears that the pres­i­dent urged undoc­u­ment­ed immi­grants to vote.

    Despite Camerota’s shar­ing of the Medi­ate sto­ry cri­tiquing the Fox Busi­ness Net­work seg­ment, the Trump vot­ers on CNN remained wed­ded to the mis­in­for­ma­tion near­ly a month after the elec­tion.

    “You, as you sit here today, think that mil­lions of ille­gal peo­ple vot­ed in this coun­try and you believe that there was wide­spread vot­ing abuse — in the mil­lions of peo­ple?” a clear­ly exas­per­at­ed Camero­ta con­tin­ued to chal­lenge the Trump vot­ers.

    “Cal­i­for­nia allows it,” John­son said.

    “They do not allow ille­gals — you mean vot­er fraud, Cal­i­for­nia allows?” asked a dumb­found­ed Camero­ta.

    “I believe there was vot­er fraud in this coun­try,” Joh­son insist­ed, remain­ing stead­fast to her false belief.

    And that is how a mis­in­for­ma­tion cam­paign can pro­pel to the White House a con man who lost the pop­u­lar vote, while his sup­port­ers con­tin­ue to believe that they were some­how cheat­ed.

    “Despite Camerota’s shar­ing of the Medi­ate sto­ry cri­tiquing the Fox Busi­ness Net­work seg­ment, the Trump vot­ers on CNN remained wed­ded to the mis­in­for­ma­tion near­ly a month after the elec­tion.”

    As we can see, the far-right’s end­less ‘Tri­umph of the Will’ assault on our under­stand­ing of real­i­ty has final­ly tri­umphed and the ‘Trump of the Will’ era is here. Or maybe not. It’s a mat­ter of opin­ion. Along with every­thing else.

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | December 1, 2016, 4:08 pm
  8. Well, that was quite a whirl­wind of red flags: First, in case you were curi­ous if the White House state­ment just hap­pened to acci­den­tal­ly leave out any men­tion of Jews in its Inter­na­tion­al Holo­caust Remem­brance Day state­ment, here’s your answer:

    CNN

    WH: No men­tion of Jews on Holo­caust Remem­brance Day because oth­ers were killed too

    By Jake Tap­per, Anchor and Chief Wash­ing­ton Cor­re­spon­dent

    Updat­ed 7:40 PM ET, Sat Jan­u­ary 28, 2017

    Wash­ing­ton (CNN)The White House state­ment on Inter­na­tion­al Holo­caust Remem­brance Day did­n’t men­tion Jews or anti-Semi­tism because “despite what the media reports, we are an incred­i­bly inclu­sive group and we took into account all of those who suf­fered,” admin­is­tra­tion spokes­woman Hope Hicks told CNN on Sat­ur­day.

    Hicks pro­vid­ed a link to a Huff­in­g­ton Post UK sto­ry not­ing that while 6 mil­lion Jews were killed by the Nazis, 5 mil­lion oth­ers were also slaugh­tered dur­ing Adolf Hitler’s geno­cide, includ­ing “priests, gyp­sies, peo­ple with men­tal or phys­i­cal dis­abil­i­ties, com­mu­nists, trade union­ists, Jeho­vah’s Wit­ness­es, anar­chists, Poles and oth­er Slav­ic peo­ples, and resis­tance fight­ers.”

    Asked if the White House was sug­gest­ing Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump did­n’t men­tion Jews as vic­tims of the Holo­caust because he did­n’t want to offend the oth­er peo­ple the Nazis tar­get­ed and killed, Hicks replied, “it was our hon­or to issue a state­ment in remem­brance of this impor­tant day.”

    The pres­i­den­tial ref­er­ence to the “inno­cent peo­ple” vic­tim­ized by the Nazis with­out a men­tion of Jews or anti-Semi­tism by the White House on Inter­na­tion­al Holo­caust Remem­brance Day was a stark con­trast to state­ments by for­mer Pres­i­dents George W. Bush and Barack Oba­ma.

    Anti-Defama­tion League Direc­tor Jonathan Green­blatt tweet­ed that the “@WhiteHouse state­ment on #Holo­caust­Memo­ri­al­Day, miss­es that it was six mil­lion Jews who per­ished, not just ‘inno­cent peo­ple’ ” and “Puz­zling and trou­bling @WhiteHouse #Holo­caust­Memo­ri­al­Day stmt has no men­tion of Jews. GOP and Dem. pres­i­dents have done so in the past.”

    Asked about the White House expla­na­tion that the Pres­i­dent did­n’t want to exclude any of the oth­er groups Nazis killed by specif­i­cal­ly men­tion­ing Jews, Green­blatt told CNN that the Unit­ed Nations estab­lished Inter­na­tion­al Holo­caust Remem­brance Day not only because of Holo­caust denial but also because so many coun­tries — Iran, Rus­sia, Poland, and Hun­gary, for exam­ple — specif­i­cal­ly refuse to acknowl­edge Hitler’s attempt to exter­mi­nate Jews, “opt­ing instead to talk about gener­ic suf­fer­ing rather than rec­og­niz­ing this cat­a­stroph­ic inci­dent for what is was: the intend­ed geno­cide of the Jew­ish peo­ple.”

    Down­play­ing or dis­re­gard­ing the degree to which Jews were tar­get­ed for elim­i­na­tion dur­ing the Holo­caust is a com­mon theme of nation­al­ist move­ments like those seen in Rus­sia and East­ern Europe, Green­blatt said.

    ...

    “Asked if the White House was sug­gest­ing Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump did­n’t men­tion Jews as vic­tims of the Holo­caust because he did­n’t want to offend the oth­er peo­ple the Nazis tar­get­ed and killed, Hicks replied, “it was our hon­or to issue a state­ment in remem­brance of this impor­tant day.””

    Classy. You can’t say the Trump admin­stra­tion isn’t sen­si­tive. Specif­i­cal­ly, sen­si­tive to all the groups that would have been offend­ed by the men­tion of Jews dur­ing Inter­na­tion­al Holo­caust Remem­brance Day. More specif­i­cal­ly, sen­si­tive to Holo­caust deniers and anti-Semi­tes. They were in fact so sen­si­tive to these groups that White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus lat­er dou­bled down on the lan­guage, argu­ing that they were com­mem­o­rat­ing “every­one’s suf­fer­ing” dur­ing the Holo­caust.

    So that’s one big shiny red flag: Team Trump just went out of its way to leave any men­tion of Jews out of its Inter­na­tion­al Holo­caust Remem­brance Day.

    And, of course, this was the same day the Trump admin­is­tra­tion pulled a sur­prise imme­di­ate trav­el ban for every­one arriv­ing in the US from sev­en Mus­lim-major­i­ty countries...especially Syr­i­an refugees...and with­out DHS hav­ing the time to review the order. And with Steve Ban­non call­ing the shots:

    CNN

    Inside the con­fu­sion of the Trump exec­u­tive order and trav­el ban

    By Evan Perez, Pamela Brown and Kevin Lip­tak

    Updat­ed 11:29 AM ET, Mon Jan­u­ary 30, 2017

    Wash­ing­ton (CNN)When Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump declared at the Pen­ta­gon Fri­day he was enact­ing strict new mea­sures to pre­vent domes­tic ter­ror attacks, there were few with­in his gov­ern­ment who knew exact­ly what he meant.

    Admin­is­tra­tion offi­cials weren’t imme­di­ate­ly sure which coun­tries’ cit­i­zens would be barred from enter­ing the Unit­ed States. The Depart­ment of Home­land Secu­ri­ty was left mak­ing a legal analy­sis on the order after Trump signed it. A Bor­der Patrol agent, con­front­ed with arriv­ing refugees, referred ques­tions only to the Pres­i­dent him­self, accord­ing to court fil­ings.

    Sat­ur­day night, a fed­er­al judge grant­ed an emer­gency stay for cit­i­zens of the affect­ed coun­tries who had already arrived in the US and those who are in tran­sit and hold valid visas, rul­ing they can legal­ly enter the US.

    Trump’s uni­lat­er­al moves, which have drawn the ire of human rights groups and prompt­ed protests at US air­ports, reflect the Pres­i­den­t’s desire to quick­ly make good on his cam­paign promis­es. But they also encap­su­late the pit­falls of an admin­is­tra­tion large­ly oper­at­ed by offi­cials with scant fed­er­al expe­ri­ence.

    It was­n’t until Fri­day — the day Trump signed the order ban­ning trav­el from sev­en Mus­lim-major­i­ty coun­tries for 90 days and sus­pend­ing all refugee admis­sion for 120 days — that career home­land secu­ri­ty staff were allowed to see the final details of the order, a per­son famil­iar with the mat­ter said.

    The result was wide­spread con­fu­sion across the coun­try on Sat­ur­day as air­ports strug­gled to adjust to the new direc­tives. In New York, two Iraqi nation­als sued the fed­er­al gov­ern­ment after they were detained at John F. Kennedy Inter­na­tion­al Air­port, and 10 oth­ers were detained as well.

    In Philadel­phia, a Syr­i­an fam­i­ly of six who had a visa through a fam­i­ly con­nec­tion in the US was placed on a return flight to Doha, Qatar, and Depart­ment of Home­land Secu­ri­ty offi­cials said oth­ers who were in the air would be detained upon arrival and put back on a plane to their home coun­try.

    Asked dur­ing a pho­to oppor­tu­ni­ty in the Oval Office Sat­ur­day after­noon about the roll­out, Trump said his gov­ern­ment was “total­ly pre­pared.”
    “It’s work­ing out very nice­ly,” Trump told reporters. “You see it at the air­ports. You see it all over. It’s work­ing out very nice­ly and we’re going to have a very, very strict ban, and we’re going to have extreme vet­ting, which we should have had in this coun­try for many years.”

    The pol­i­cy team at the White House devel­oped the exec­u­tive order on refugees and visas, and large­ly avoid­ed the tra­di­tion­al inter­a­gency process that would have allowed the Jus­tice Depart­ment and home­land secu­ri­ty agen­cies to pro­vide oper­a­tional guid­ance, accord­ing to numer­ous offi­cials who spoke to CNN on Sat­ur­day.

    Home­land Secu­ri­ty Sec­re­tary John Kel­ly and Depart­ment of Home­land Secu­ri­ty lead­er­ship saw the final details short­ly before the order was final­ized, gov­ern­ment offi­cials said.

    Fri­day night, DHS arrived at the legal inter­pre­ta­tion that the exec­u­tive order restric­tions apply­ing to sev­en coun­tries — Iran, Iraq, Libya, Soma­lia, Syr­ia, Sudan and Yemen — did not apply to peo­ple with law­ful per­ma­nent res­i­dence, gen­er­al­ly referred to as green card hold­ers.

    The White House over­ruled that guid­ance overnight, accord­ing to offi­cials famil­iar with the roll­out. That order came from the Pres­i­den­t’s inner cir­cle, led by Stephen Miller and Steve Ban­non. Their deci­sion held that, on a case by case basis, DHS could allow green card hold­ers to enter the US.

    There had been some debate whether green card hold­ers should be even allowed to board inter­na­tion­al flights. It was decid­ed by the Depart­ment of Home­land Secu­ri­ty they could fly to the US and would be con­sid­ered on a case-by-case basis after pass­ing a sec­ondary screen­ing.

    But the guid­ance sent to air­lines on Fri­day night, obtained by CNN, said clear­ly, “law­ful per­ma­nent res­i­dents are not includ­ed and may con­tin­ue to trav­el to the USA.”

    As of Sat­ur­day after­noon, Cus­toms and Bor­der Pro­tec­tion con­tin­ued to issue the same guid­ance to air­lines as it did Fri­day, telling air­lines that fly to the US that green card hold­ers can board planes to the US but they may get extra scruti­ny on arrival, accord­ing to an air­line offi­cial.

    Before the Pres­i­dent issued the order, the White House did not seek the legal guid­ance of the Office of Legal Coun­sel, the Jus­tice Depart­ment office that inter­prets the law for the exec­u­tive branch, accord­ing to a source famil­iar with the process.

    White House offi­cials dis­put­ed that Sun­day morn­ing, say­ing that OLC signed off and agency review was per­formed.

    A source said the cre­ation of the exec­u­tive order did not fol­low the stan­dard agency review process that’s typ­i­cal­ly over­seen by the Nation­al Secu­ri­ty Coun­cil

    Sep­a­rate­ly, a per­son famil­iar with the mat­ter said career offi­cials in charge of enforc­ing the exec­u­tive order were not ful­ly briefed on the specifics until Fri­day. The offi­cials were caught off guard by some of the specifics and raised ques­tions about how to han­dle the new banned pas­sen­gers on US-bound planes.

    Regard­ing the green card hold­ers and some of the con­fu­sion about whether they were impact­ed, the per­son famil­iar with the mat­ter said if career offi­cials had known more about the exec­u­tive order ear­li­er, some of the con­fu­sion could have been avoid­ed and a bet­ter plan could be in place.

    Admin­is­tra­tion offi­cials also defend­ed the process Sat­ur­day. They said the peo­ple who need­ed to be briefed ahead of time on the plane were briefed and that peo­ple at the State Depart­ment and DHS who were involved in the process were able to make deci­sions about who to talk and inform about this.

    Ban­non and Miller were run­ning point on this order and giv­ing direc­tives regard­ing green cards, accord­ing to a Repub­li­can close to the White House.

    But even after the Fri­day after­noon announce­ment, admin­is­tra­tion offi­cials at the White House took sev­er­al hours to pro­duce text of the action until sev­er­al hours after it was signed. Advis­er Kellyanne Con­way even said at one point it was not going to be released before even­tu­al­ly it did get sent out.

    ...

    “Ban­non and Miller were run­ning point on this order and giv­ing direc­tives regard­ing green cards, accord­ing to a Repub­li­can close to the White House.”

    Yep, Ban­non and Miller are already call­ing the shots. And when the shot they called led to imme­di­ate legal ambi­gu­i­ty that DHS had to resolve (like let­ting green card hold­ers trav­el to the US), Ban­non and Miller over­ruled them:

    ...

    The pol­i­cy team at the White House devel­oped the exec­u­tive order on refugees and visas, and large­ly avoid­ed the tra­di­tion­al inter­a­gency process that would have allowed the Jus­tice Depart­ment and home­land secu­ri­ty agen­cies to pro­vide oper­a­tional guid­ance, accord­ing to numer­ous offi­cials who spoke to CNN on Sat­ur­day.

    Home­land Secu­ri­ty Sec­re­tary John Kel­ly and Depart­ment of Home­land Secu­ri­ty lead­er­ship saw the final details short­ly before the order was final­ized, gov­ern­ment offi­cials said.

    Fri­day night, DHS arrived at the legal inter­pre­ta­tion that the exec­u­tive order restric­tions apply­ing to sev­en coun­tries — Iran, Iraq, Libya, Soma­lia, Syr­ia, Sudan and Yemen — did not apply to peo­ple with law­ful per­ma­nent res­i­dence, gen­er­al­ly referred to as green card hold­ers.

    The White House over­ruled that guid­ance overnight, accord­ing to offi­cials famil­iar with the roll­out. That order came from the Pres­i­den­t’s inner cir­cle, led by Stephen Miller and Steve Ban­non. Their deci­sion held that, on a case by case basis, DHS could allow green card hold­ers to enter the US.
    ...

    “The White House over­ruled that guid­ance overnight, accord­ing to offi­cials famil­iar with the roll­out. That order came from the Pres­i­den­t’s inner cir­cle, led by Stephen Miller and Steve Ban­non. Their deci­sion held that, on a case by case basis, DHS could allow green card hold­ers to enter the US.”

    Oh look, anoth­er bright shiny red flag! Steve Ban­non is run­ning point on hyper-polar­iz­ing sur­prise polit­i­cal stunts seem­ing­ly designed to defame the US and per­ma­nent­ly dam­age its rep­u­ta­tion), and when agen­cies like DHS arrive a legal inter­pre­ta­tion to imple­ment this stunt, Ban­non over­rules them to ensure DHS inter­prets it in an extra-dick­ish way.

    And in case it was­n’t clear that Ban­non & com­pa­ny knew that they were tread­ing on con­sti­tion­al­ly dubi­ous ground with their trav­el ban stunt that’s clear­ly intend­ed to be a Mus­lim ban, ser­i­al Trump-crony blab­ber­mouth extra­or­di­naire Rudy Giu­lianicleared that up for us:

    The Wash­ing­ton Post

    Trump asked for a ‘Mus­lim ban,’ Giu­liani says — and ordered a com­mis­sion to do it ‘legal­ly’

    By Amy B Wang
    Jan­u­ary 29, 2017 at 3:32 PM

    For­mer New York may­or Rudy W. Giu­liani said Pres­i­dent Trump want­ed a “Mus­lim ban” and request­ed he assem­ble a com­mis­sion to show him “the right way to do it legal­ly.”

    Giu­liani, an ear­ly Trump sup­port­er who once had been rumored for a Cab­i­net posi­tion in the new admin­is­tra­tion, appeared on Fox News late Sat­ur­day night to describe how Trump’s exec­u­tive order tem­porar­i­ly ban­ning refugees came togeth­er.

    Trump signed orders on Fri­day not only to sus­pend admis­sion of all refugees into the Unit­ed States for 120 days but also to imple­ment “new vet­ting mea­sures” to screen out “rad­i­cal Islam­ic ter­ror­ists.” Refugee entry from Syr­ia, how­ev­er, would be sus­pend­ed indef­i­nite­ly, and all trav­el from Syr­ia and six oth­er nations — Iran, Iraq, Libya, Soma­lia, Sudan and Yemen — is sus­pend­ed for 90 days. Trump also said he would give pri­or­i­ty to Chris­t­ian refugees over those of oth­er reli­gions, accord­ing to the Chris­t­ian Broad­cast­ing Net­work.

    Fox News host Jea­nine Pir­ro asked Giu­liani whether the ban had any­thing to do with reli­gion.

    “How did the pres­i­dent decide the sev­en coun­tries?” she asked. “Okay, talk to me.”

    “I’ll tell you the whole his­to­ry of it,” Giu­liani respond­ed eager­ly. “So when [Trump] first announced it, he said, ‘Mus­lim ban.’ He called me up. He said, ‘Put a com­mis­sion togeth­er. Show me the right way to do it legal­ly.’ ”

    Giu­liani said he assem­bled a “whole group of oth­er very expert lawyers on this,” includ­ing for­mer U.S. attor­ney gen­er­al Michael Mukasey, Rep. Mike McCaul (R‑Tex.) and Rep. Peter T. King (R‑N.Y.).

    “And what we did was, we focused on, instead of reli­gion, dan­ger — the areas of the world that cre­ate dan­ger for us,” Giu­liani told Pir­ro. “Which is a fac­tu­al basis, not a reli­gious basis. Per­fect­ly legal, per­fect­ly sen­si­ble. And that’s what the ban is based on. It’s not based on reli­gion. It’s based on places where there are sub­stan­tial evi­dence that peo­ple are send­ing ter­ror­ists into our coun­try.”

    It was unclear when the phone call Giu­liani took place and when the com­mis­sion began work­ing. An email to the White House press office was not imme­di­ate­ly returned Sun­day.

    Clips of the exchange between Giu­liani and Pir­ro quick­ly went viral Sat­ur­day night, with some claim­ing that Giu­lian­i’s state­ment amount­ed to admit­ting Trump’s intent had been to insti­tute a ban based on reli­gion.

    Oth­ers, includ­ing Trump senior advis­er Kellyanne Con­way and White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus, have insist­ed it is not a ban on Mus­lims, but rather one based on coun­tries from which trav­el was already restrict­ed under Barack Oba­ma’s admin­is­tra­tion.

    Priebus appeared on CBS’s “Face the Nation” Sun­day morn­ing to say it was pos­si­ble Trump would expand the list of coun­tries includ­ed in the trav­el ban.

    “You can point to oth­er coun­tries that have sim­i­lar prob­lems, like Pak­istan and oth­ers,” Priebus told host John Dick­er­son. “Per­haps we need to take it fur­ther.”

    Priebus also said there had been weeks of work and “plen­ty of com­mu­ni­ca­tion” between the White House, the State Depart­ment and the Depart­ment of Home­land Secu­ri­ty regard­ing the ban.

    “We did­n’t just type this thing up in an office and sign up,” he told Dick­er­son.

    Lat­er on the same pro­gram, Rep. Kei­th Elli­son (D‑Minn.) called out Giu­lian­i’s inter­view with Pir­ro from the night before.

    “They can’t deny that this is a Mus­lim ban,” Elli­son told Dick­er­son. “On the cam­paign trail, [Trump] said he want­ed a Mus­lim ban. ... Rudolph W. Giu­liani who helped him write it said that they start­ed out with the inten­tion of a Mus­lim ban and then they sort of ‘lan­guaged’ it up so to try to avoid that label, but it is a reli­gious­ly based ban.”

    Sen­ate Democ­rats vowed to draft leg­is­la­tion to block the trav­el ban.

    “We’re demand­ing the pres­i­dent reverse these exec­u­tive orders that go against what we are, every­thing we have always stood for,” Sen­ate Minor­i­ty Leader Charles E. Schumer (D‑N.Y.) said in a news con­fer­ence Sun­day morn­ing, not­ing lat­er that his mid­dle name, Ellis, was orig­i­nal­ly inspired by Ellis Island.

    “It was imple­ment­ed in a way that cre­at­ed chaos and con­fu­sion across the coun­try, and it will only serve to embold­en and inspire those around the globe those that will do us harm,” Schumer added of the ban. “It must be reversed imme­di­ate­ly.”

    Trump’s exec­u­tive order sparked mas­sive protests at air­ports around the coun­try Fri­day and Sat­ur­day, as reports sur­faced that dozens of trav­el­ers from the affect­ed coun­tries, includ­ing green-card hold­ers, were being detained.

    The Amer­i­can Civ­il Lib­er­ties Union filed a law­suit Sat­ur­day morn­ing chal­leng­ing Trump’s order after two Iraqi men with immi­grant visas were barred from enter­ing the Unit­ed States at New York’s John F. Kennedy Inter­na­tion­al Air­port.

    As Giu­liani was speak­ing, Fox News simul­ta­ne­ous­ly aired an alert that not­ed fed­er­al judge Ann M. Don­nel­ly had issued a stay to stop the depor­ta­tions nation­wide.

    Don­nel­ly wrote that there was a strong like­li­hood the order had vio­lat­ed the peti­tion­ers’ rights to due process and equal pro­tec­tion by the Con­sti­tu­tion.

    “There is immi­nent dan­ger that, absent the stay of removal, there will be sub­stan­tial and irrepara­ble injury to refugees, visa-hold­ers, and oth­er indi­vid­u­als from nations sub­ject to the Jan­u­ary 27, 2017 Exec­u­tive Order,” Don­nel­ly wrote.

    The ACLU hailed the vic­to­ry.

    “Clear­ly the judge under­stood the pos­si­bil­i­ty for irrepara­ble harm to hun­dreds of immi­grants and law­ful vis­i­tors to this coun­try,” ACLU exec­u­tive direc­tor Antho­ny D. Romero said in a state­ment. “Our courts today worked as they should as bul­warks against gov­ern­ment abuse or uncon­sti­tu­tion­al poli­cies and orders. On week one, Don­ald Trump suf­fered his first loss in court.”

    On Sun­day, the Depart­ment of Home­land Secu­ri­ty issued a state­ment say­ing it did not plan to back off enforc­ing Trump’s orders.

    “Pres­i­dent Trump’s Exec­u­tive Orders remain in place — pro­hib­it­ed trav­el will remain pro­hib­it­ed, and the U.S. gov­ern­ment retains its right to revoke visas at any time if required for nation­al secu­ri­ty or pub­lic safe­ty,” the state­ment read. “Pres­i­dent Trump’s Exec­u­tive Order affects a minor por­tion of inter­na­tion­al trav­el­ers, and is a first step towards reestab­lish­ing con­trol over Amer­i­ca’s bor­ders and nation­al secu­ri­ty.”

    The depart­ment said that less than 1 per­cent of dai­ly inter­na­tion­al air trav­el­ers to the Unit­ed States had been “incon­ve­nienced” on Sat­ur­day.

    ...

    “Trump signed orders on Fri­day not only to sus­pend admis­sion of all refugees into the Unit­ed States for 120 days but also to imple­ment “new vet­ting mea­sures” to screen out “rad­i­cal Islam­ic ter­ror­ists.” Refugee entry from Syr­ia, how­ev­er, would be sus­pend­ed indef­i­nite­ly, and all trav­el from Syr­ia and six oth­er nations — Iran, Iraq, Libya, Soma­lia, Sudan and Yemen — is sus­pend­ed for 90 days. Trump also said he would give pri­or­i­ty to Chris­t­ian refugees over those of oth­er reli­gions, accord­ing to the Chris­t­ian Broad­cast­ing Net­work.

    That sure sounds like a Mus­lim ban. Oh, wait, a ‘dan­ger’ ban. Yeah, that’s the tick­et:

    ...

    “I’ll tell you the whole his­to­ry of it,” Giu­liani respond­ed eager­ly. “So when [Trump] first announced it, he said, ‘Mus­lim ban.’ He called me up. He said, ‘Put a com­mis­sion togeth­er. Show me the right way to do it legal­ly.’ ”

    Giu­liani said he assem­bled a “whole group of oth­er very expert lawyers on this,” includ­ing for­mer U.S. attor­ney gen­er­al Michael Mukasey, Rep. Mike McCaul (R‑Tex.) and Rep. Peter T. King (R‑N.Y.).

    “And what we did was, we focused on, instead of reli­gion, dan­ger — the areas of the world that cre­ate dan­ger for us,” Giu­liani told Pir­ro. “Which is a fac­tu­al basis, not a reli­gious basis. Per­fect­ly legal, per­fect­ly sen­si­ble. And that’s what the ban is based on. It’s not based on reli­gion. It’s based on places where there are sub­stan­tial evi­dence that peo­ple are send­ing ter­ror­ists into our coun­try.”

    ...

    Oh isn’t that cute. So accord­ing to Rudy Giu­liani, Trump comes to him want a Mus­lim ban that would­n’t tech­ni­cal­ly be a Mus­lim ban. So Giu­liani puts a com­mis­sion togeth­er and they fig­ure out a way to frame their Mus­lim ban as a ‘dan­ger’ ban. Voila! Prob­lem solved. Appar­ent­ly. Although appar­ent­ly not since a fed­er­al judge issued a stay on the order right when Rudy was on Fox News blab­bing about how he helped Trump come up with his Mus­lim ban:

    ...

    As Giu­liani was speak­ing, Fox News simul­ta­ne­ous­ly aired an alert that not­ed fed­er­al judge Ann M. Don­nel­ly had issued a stay to stop the depor­ta­tions nation­wide.

    Don­nel­ly wrote that there was a strong like­li­hood the order had vio­lat­ed the peti­tion­ers’ rights to due process and equal pro­tec­tion by the Con­sti­tu­tion.

    “There is immi­nent dan­ger that, absent the stay of removal, there will be sub­stan­tial and irrepara­ble injury to refugees, visa-hold­ers, and oth­er indi­vid­u­als from nations sub­ject to the Jan­u­ary 27, 2017 Exec­u­tive Order,” Don­nel­ly wrote.
    ...

    So is that the end of Steve Ban­non’s sur­prise Mus­lim ban that was issued on Inter­na­tion­al Holo­caust Remem­brance Day? At least until it gets worked out in the courts? Well, not if you lis­ten to the DHS:

    ...
    On Sun­day, the Depart­ment of Home­land Secu­ri­ty issued a state­ment say­ing it did not plan to back off enforc­ing Trump’s orders.

    “Pres­i­dent Trump’s Exec­u­tive Orders remain in place — pro­hib­it­ed trav­el will remain pro­hib­it­ed, and the U.S. gov­ern­ment retains its right to revoke visas at any time if required for nation­al secu­ri­ty or pub­lic safe­ty,” the state­ment read. “Pres­i­dent Trump’s Exec­u­tive Order affects a minor por­tion of inter­na­tion­al trav­el­ers, and is a first step towards reestab­lish­ing con­trol over Amer­i­ca’s bor­ders and nation­al secu­ri­ty.”

    The depart­ment said that less than 1 per­cent of dai­ly inter­na­tion­al air trav­el­ers to the Unit­ed States had been “incon­ve­nienced” on Sat­ur­day.

    ...

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/post-nation/wp/2017/01/13/as-inspector-general-launches-review-rudy-giuliani-again-insists-he-received-no-fbi-leaks/?utm_term=.4401015851e7
    “On Sun­day, the Depart­ment of Home­land Secu­ri­ty issued a state­ment say­ing it did not plan to back off enforc­ing Trump’s orders.”

    So that hap­pened. That seems like that war­rants its own shiny Red Flag right there. But before that hap­pened on Sun­day, this hap­pened on Sat­ur­day:

    The New York Times

    Ban­non Is Giv­en Secu­ri­ty Role Usu­al­ly Held for Gen­er­als

    By GLENN THRUSH and MAGGIE HABERMAN
    JAN. 29, 2017

    WASHINGTON — The whirl­wind first week of Don­ald J. Trump’s pres­i­den­cy had all the bravu­ra hall­marks of a Stephen K. Ban­non pro­duc­tion.

    It start­ed with the doom-hued inau­gu­ra­tion homi­ly to “Amer­i­can car­nage” in Unit­ed States cities co-writ­ten by Mr. Ban­non, fol­lowed a few days lat­er by his “shut up” mes­sage to the news media. The week cul­mi­nat­ed with a bliz­zard of exec­u­tive orders, most­ly hatched by Mr. Bannon’s team and the White House pol­i­cy advis­er, Stephen Miller, aimed at dis­ori­ent­ing the “ene­my,” ful­fill­ing cam­paign promis­es and dis­tract­ing atten­tion from Mr. Trump’s less than flaw­less debut.

    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.

    In the­o­ry, the move put Mr. Ban­non, a for­mer Navy sur­face war­fare offi­cer, admiral’s aide, invest­ment banker, Hol­ly­wood pro­duc­er and Bre­it­bart News fire­brand, on the same lev­el as his friend, Michael T. Fly­nn, the nation­al secu­ri­ty advis­er, a for­mer Pen­ta­gon intel­li­gence chief who was Mr. Trump’s top advis­er on nation­al secu­ri­ty issues before a series of mis­steps reduced his influ­ence.

    But in terms of real influ­ence, Mr. Ban­non looms above almost every­one except the president’s son-in-law, Jared Kush­n­er, in the Trumpian peck­ing order, accord­ing to inter­views with two dozen Trump insid­ers and cur­rent and for­mer nation­al secu­ri­ty offi­cials. The move involv­ing Mr. Ban­non, as well as the boost in sta­tus to the White House home­land secu­ri­ty advis­er, Thomas P. Bossert, and Mr. Trump’s rela­tion­ships with cab­i­net appointees like Defense Sec­re­tary Jim Mat­tis, have essen­tial­ly lay­ered over Mr. Fly­nn.

    Sean Spicer, the White House press sec­re­tary, said Mr. Ban­non — whose Bre­it­bart web­site was a mag­net for white nation­al­ists, antiglob­al­ists and con­spir­a­cy the­o­rists — always planned to par­tic­i­pate in nation­al secu­ri­ty. Mr. Fly­nn wel­comed his par­tic­i­pa­tion, Mr. Spicer said, but the gen­er­al “led the reor­ga­ni­za­tion of the N.S.C.” in order to stream­line an anti­quat­ed and bloat­ed bureau­cra­cy.

    For­mer White House offi­cials in both par­ties were shocked by the move.

    “The last place you want to put some­body who wor­ries about pol­i­tics is in a room where they’re talk­ing about nation­al secu­ri­ty,” said Leon E. Panet­ta, a for­mer White House chief of staff, defense sec­re­tary and C.I.A. direc­tor in two Demo­c­ra­t­ic admin­is­tra­tions.

    “I’ve nev­er seen that hap­pen, and it shouldn’t hap­pen. It’s not like he has broad expe­ri­ence in for­eign pol­i­cy and nation­al secu­ri­ty issues. He doesn’t. His pri­ma­ry role is to con­trol or guide the president’s con­science based on his cam­paign promis­es. That’s not what the Nation­al Secu­ri­ty Coun­cil is sup­posed to be about.”

    That opin­ion was shared by Pres­i­dent George W. Bush’s last chief of staff, Josh Bolten, who barred Karl Rove, Mr. Bush’s polit­i­cal advis­er, from N.S.C. meet­ings. A president’s deci­sions made with those advis­ers, he told a con­fer­ence audi­ence in Sep­tem­ber, “involve life and death for the peo­ple in uni­form” and should “not be taint­ed by any polit­i­cal deci­sions.”

    Susan E. Rice, Pres­i­dent Barack Obama’s last nation­al secu­ri­ty advis­er, called the arrange­ment “stone cold crazy” in a tweet post­ed Sun­day.

    Mr. Spicer said the lan­guage the Trump White House used in its N.S.C. exec­u­tive order is, with the excep­tion of Mr. Bannon’s posi­tion — which was cre­at­ed dur­ing the tran­si­tion — almost iden­ti­cal in con­tent to one the Bush admin­is­tra­tion draft­ed in 2001. And Mr. Obama’s top polit­i­cal oper­a­tive, David Axel­rod, sat in on some N.S.C. meet­ings, he added.

    There were key dif­fer­ences. Mr. Axel­rod nev­er served as a per­ma­nent mem­ber as Mr. Ban­non will now, though he sat in on some crit­i­cal meet­ings, espe­cial­ly as Mr. Oba­ma debat­ed strat­e­gy in Afghanistan and Pak­istan. “It’s a pro­found shift,” Mr. Axel­rod said. “I don’t know what his bona fides are to be the prin­ci­pal for­eign pol­i­cy advis­er to the pres­i­dent.”
    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/middle-east/isis-donald-trump-muslim-ban-immigration-iraq-iran-restrictions-travel-islamic-state-us-visa-a7552856.html
    But Mr. Bannon’s ele­va­tion does not mere­ly reflect his grow­ing influ­ence on nation­al secu­ri­ty. It is emblem­at­ic of Mr. Trump’s trust on a range of polit­i­cal and ide­o­log­i­cal issues.

    Dur­ing the cam­paign, the sly and provoca­tive Mr. Ban­non played a para­dox­i­cal role — calm­ing the eas­i­ly agi­tat­ed can­di­date dur­ing his fre­quent rough patch­es and egging him on when he felt Mr. Trump need­ed to fire up the white work­ing-class base. The pres­i­dent respects Mr. Ban­non because he is inde­pen­dent­ly wealthy and there­fore does not need the job, and both men ascribe to a shoot-the-pris­on­ers cre­do when put on the defen­sive, accord­ing to the for­mer Trump cam­paign man­ag­er Corey Lewandows­ki.

    Mr. Ban­non is a deft oper­a­tor with­in the White House, and he has been praised by Repub­li­cans who view him skep­ti­cal­ly as the most knowl­edge­able on pol­i­cy around the pres­i­dent. But his stat­ed pref­er­ence for blow­ing things up — as opposed to putting them back togeth­er — may not trans­late to his new role.

    The hasty draft­ing of the immi­gra­tion order, and its scat­ter­shot exe­cu­tion, brought a mea­sure of Mr. Bannon’s chaot­ic and hyper­ag­gres­sive polit­i­cal style to the more pre­dictable admin­is­tra­tion of the fed­er­al gov­ern­ment. With­in hours of the edict, air­port cus­toms and bor­der agents were detain­ing or block­ing dozens of migrant fam­i­lies, some of whom had per­ma­nent res­i­dent sta­tus, until John F. Kel­ly, the new home­land secu­ri­ty sec­re­tary, inter­vened.

    Mr. Kelly’s depart­ment had sug­gest­ed green card hold­ers be exempt­ed from the order, but Mr. Ban­non and Mr. Miller, a hard-lin­er on immi­gra­tion, over­ruled him, accord­ing to two Amer­i­can offi­cials.

    ...

    “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.”

    Yes, a day after Steve Ban­non leads Trump’s now-infa­mous and con­sti­tu­tion­al­ly ques­tion­able Mus­lim ban fias­co he gets pro­mo­tion to the “prin­ci­pals com­mit­tee” on the Nation­al Secu­ri­ty Coun­til at the same time Joint Chiefs of Staff and the direc­tor of nation­al intel­li­gence both get knocked off that com­mit­tee. The next day DHS announces it’s ignor­ing the fed­er­al judge’s order to halt the ban. And this was all kicked off on Inter­na­tion­al Holo­caust Remem­brance Day with spe­cial atten­tion made to the sen­si­tiv­i­ties of Holo­caust deniers.

    Are we run­ning out of red flags yet? Well, these are metaphor­i­cal red flags so we can’t run out of them, of course. But if we ignore those red flags we can cer­tain­ly run out of some­thing else that’s very real: time. Time do actu­al­ly do any­thing about the sit­u­a­tion.

    So, are we run­ning out of time to respond to the red flags yet? Uh...

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | January 30, 2017, 4:19 pm

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