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

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

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This broadcast was recorded in one, 60-minute segment [5].

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.

thinkbignkickass [6]MeinKampf [7]Introduction: 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 [8] 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 [9]), 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 [10] and one op-ed [11] 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 [12] about the election being rigged, Trump is setting the stage [13] 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. [14] . . .”

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 [15] 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 [9]–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 [16]”—a reference to the infamous creator of Nazi propaganda films. While insisting [17] 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 [18], 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 [19]. . . .”

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:

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. [8]

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 [9]), 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 [26] 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 [27] 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. [10]

. . . . “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. [11]

. . . . Just to make his pedigree clear, Donald Trump [28] is now suggesting [29] 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. [12]

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.” [30])

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 [31] 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 [32] 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. [13]

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. [14]

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 [33] 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 [34], here’s a reminder he’s not just mainstreaming the Alt-Right/neo-Nazi worldview [35]. Given the enormous amount of overlap between the Alt-Right’s far-right foundations and those of the sovereign citizen movements, Trump is [36]also [37]mainstreaming Cliven Bundy [15]:

Like Trump, sovereign citizens want “law and order” too. Remember the ‘citizen committees’ set up to try and hang public officials [38]. That’s sovereign citizen “law and order.” Increasingly, it is Trumpian “law and order, [39]” as well.

“Trump’s Speech: Dog Whistles to the Sovereign-Citizen Set” by Linda Tirado; The Daily Beast; 10/13/2016. [15]

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 [40] 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 [41]:

“Feds: Right Wing Militia Plotted Nov. 9 Attack On Somali Immigrants In Kansas” by Tierney Sneed; Talking Points Memo Livewire; 10/14/2016. [41]

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 [42].

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. [9]

. . . . .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 [43].

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 [44] and manufactured [45] 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 [46], 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 [46], 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 [47] 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 [48] 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 [49], 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 [16]”—a reference to the infamous creator of Nazi propaganda films. While insisting [17] 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 [18], 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 [50] 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 [51]” 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 [52] 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 [43] on the presidential ballot in that state this year.

On his 2006 campaign website [53], 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 jail [54]for 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 [55] with Trump last year, and Breitbart News was happy to spread the word. Unsurprisingly, Gilchrist endorsed Trump [56] 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 [19].

‘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 [57].) 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 [58] 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 [59], 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 [60] 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 [61], as well as the conspiracy theories [62] 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 [22]; 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. [23]

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. [20]

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 [21] (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 [63].

8a. Again, in FTR #’s 918 [63] and 919 [64], 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. [24]

. . . . Trump has said that he is proud of his German heritage; he served as grand marshal [65] of the 1999 German-American Steuben Parade [66] in New York City.[12] [67][nb 1] [68]. . . . .

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. [25]

. . . . “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. . . .