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

For The Record  

FTR #947 Evola on Our Minds

Dave Emory’s entire life­time of work is avail­able on a flash drive that can be obtained HERE. The new drive is a 32-gigabyte drive that is current as of the programs and articles posted by early winter of 2017. The new drive (available for a tax-deductible contribution of $65.00 or more.) 

WFMU-FM is podcasting For The Record–You can subscribe to the podcast HERE.

You can subscribe to e-mail alerts from Spitfirelist.com HERE.

You can subscribe to RSS feed from Spitfirelist.com HERE.

You can subscribe to the comments made on programs and posts–an excellent source of information in, and of, itself HERE.

This broadcast was recorded in one, 60-minute segment

Julius Evola

Julius Evola

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Program Highlights Include: 

  • Sebastian Gorka’s manifestation of the heraldry of the order of Vitezi Rend, closely associated with Nazi Germany’s Hungarian allies.
  • Adbusters magazine’s publicizing of Alexander Dugin. We review the fact that Adbusters appears to have played a key role in jumpstarting the “Occupy” movement.
Julius Evola

Julius Evola

1a. The entry point to our exploration of Julius Evola is top Trump adviser and first tier NSC member Steve Bannon. Evola is a key influence on Bannon. Evola was an early occult fascist, with strong connections with Mussolini’s Italy. Eventually Evola established strong, lasting connections with the Nazi SS, both operationally and ideologically.

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

“Fascists Too Lax For a Philosopher Cited by Bannon” by Jason Horowitz; The New York Times; 2/12/2017.

Those trying to divine the roots of Stephen K. Bannon’s dark and at times apocalyptic worldview have repeatedly combed over a speech that Mr. Bannon, President Trump’s ideological guru, made in 2014 to a Vatican conference, where he expounded on Islam, populism and capitalism.

But for all the examination of those remarks, a passing reference by Mr. Bannon to an esoteric Italian philosopher has gone little noticed, except perhaps by scholars and followers of the deeply taboo, Nazi-affiliated thinker, Julius Evola.

“The fact that Bannon even knows Evola is significant,” said Mark Sedgwick, a leading scholar of Traditionalists at Aarhus University in Denmark.

Evola, who died in 1974, wrote on everything from Eastern religions to the metaphysics of sex to alchemy. But he is best known as a leading proponent of Traditionalism, a worldview popular in far-right and alternative religious circles that believes progress and equality are poisonous illusions.

Evola became a darling of Italian Fascists, and Italy’s post-Fascist terrorists of the 1960s and 1970s looked to him as a spiritual and intellectual godfather.

They called themselves Children of the Sun after Evola’s vision of a bourgeoisie-smashing new order that he called the Solar Civilization. Today, the Greek neo-Nazi party Golden Dawn includes his works on its suggested reading list, and the leader of Jobbik, the Hungarian nationalist party, admires Evola and wrote an introduction to his works.

More important for the current American administration, Evola also caught on in the United States with leaders of the alt-right movement, which Mr. Bannon nurtured as the head of Breitbart News and then helped harness for Mr. Trump.

“Julius Evola is one of the most fascinating men of the 20th century,” said Richard Spencer, the white nationalist leader who is a top figure in the alt-right movement, which has attracted white supremacists, racists and anti-immigrant elements.

In the days after the election, Mr. Spencer led a Washington alt-right conference in chants of “Hail Trump!” But he also invoked Evola’s idea of a prehistoric and pre-Christian spirituality — referring to the awakening of whites, whom he called the Children of the Sun.

Mr. Spencer said “it means a tremendous amount” that Mr. Bannon was aware of Evola and other Traditionalist thinkers.

“Even if he hasn’t fully imbibed them and been changed by them, he is at least open to them,” he said. “He at least recognizes that they are there. That is a stark difference to the American conservative movement that either was ignorant of them or attempted to suppress them.”

Mr. Bannon, who did not return a request for comment for this article, is an avid and wide-ranging reader. He has spoken enthusiastically about everything from Sun Tzu’s “The Art of War” to “The Fourth Turning” by William Strauss and Neil Howe, which sees history in cycles of cataclysmic and order-obliterating change. His awareness of and reference to Evola in itself only reflects that reading. But some on the alt-right consider Mr. Bannon a door through which Evola’s ideas of a hierarchical society run by a spiritually superior caste can enter in a period of crisis.

“Evolists view his ship as coming in,” said Prof. Richard Drake at the University of Montana, who wrote about Evola in his book “The Revolutionary Mystique and Terrorism in Contemporary Italy.”

For some of them, it has been a long time coming.

“It’s the first time that an adviser to the American president knows Evola, or maybe has a Traditionalist formation,” said Gianfranco De Turris, an Evola biographer and apologist based in Rome who runs the Evola Foundation out of his apartment.

“If Bannon has these ideas, we have to see how he influences the politics of Trump,” he said.

A March article titled “An Establishment Conservative’s Guide to the Alt-Right” in Breitbart, the website then run by Mr. Bannon, included Evola as one of the thinkers in whose writings the “origins of the alternative right” could be found.

The article was co-written by Milo Yiannopoulos, the right-wing provocateur who is wildly popular with conservatives on college campuses. Mr. Trump recently defended Mr. Yiannopoulos as a symbol of free speech after demonstrators violently protested his planned speech at the University of California, Berkeley.

The article celebrated the youthful internet trolls who give the alt-right movement its energy and who, motivated by a common and questionable sense of humor, use anti-Semitic and racially charged memes “in typically juvenile but undeniably hysterical fashion.”

“It’s hard to imagine them reading Evola,” the article continued. “They may be inclined to sympathize to those causes, but mainly because it annoys the right people.”

Evola, who has more than annoyed people for nearly a century, seems to be having a moment.

“When I started working on Evola, you had to plow through Italian,” said Mr. Sedgwick, who keeps track of Traditionalist movements and thought on his blog, Traditionalists. “Now he’s available in English, German, Russian, Serbian, Greek, Hungarian. First I saw Evola boom, and then I realized the number of people interested in that sort of idea was booming.”

Born in 1898, Evola liked to call himself a baron and in later life sported a monocle in his left eye.

A brilliant student and talented artist, he came home after fighting in World War I and became a leading exponent in Italy of the Dada movement, which, like Evola, rejected the church and bourgeois institutions.

Evola’s early artistic endeavors gave way to his love of the German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche, and he developed a worldview with an overriding animosity toward the decadence of modernity. Influenced by mystical works and the occult, Evola began developing an idea of the individual’s ability to transcend his reality and “be unconditionally whatever one wants.”

Under the influence of René Guénon, a French metaphysicist and convert to Islam, Evola in 1934 published his most influential work, “The Revolt Against the Modern World,” which cast materialism as an eroding influence on ancient values.

It viewed humanism, the Renaissance, the Protestant Reformation and the French Revolution all as historical disasters that took man further away from a transcendental perennial truth.

Changing the system, Evola argued, was “not a question of contesting and polemicizing, but of blowing everything up.”

Evola’s ideal order, Professor Drake wrote, was based on “hierarchy, caste, monarchy, race, myth, religion and ritual.”

That made a fan out of Benito Mussolini.

The dictator already admired Evola’s early writings on race, which influenced the 1938 Racial Laws restricting the rights of Jews in Italy.

Mussolini so liked Evola’s 1941 book, “Synthesis on the Doctrine of Race,” which advocated a form of spiritual, and not merely biological, racism, that he invited Evola to meet him in September of that year.

Evola eventually broke with Mussolini and the Italian Fascists because he considered them overly tame and corrupted by compromise. Instead he preferred the Nazi SS officers, seeing in them something closer to a mythic ideal. They also shared his anti-Semitism.

Mr. Bannon suggested in his Vatican remarks that the Fascist movement had come out of Evola’s ideas.

As Mr. Bannon expounded on the intellectual motivations of the Russian president, Vladimir V. Putin, he mentioned “Julius Evola and different writers of the early 20th century who are really the supporters of what’s called the Traditionalist movement, which really eventually metastasized into Italian Fascism.”

The reality, historians say, is that Evola sought to “infiltrate and influence” the Fascists, as Mr. Sedgwick put it, as a powerful vehicle to spread his ideas.

In his Vatican talk, Mr. Bannon suggested that although Mr. Putin represented a “kleptocracy,” the Russian president understood the existential danger posed by “a potential new caliphate” and the importance of using nationalism to stand up for traditional institutions.

“We, the Judeo-Christian West,” Mr. Bannon added, “really have to look at what he’s talking about as far as Traditionalism goes — particularly the sense of where it supports the underpinnings of nationalism.”

As Mr. Bannon suggested in his speech, Mr. Putin’s most influential thinker is Aleksandr Dugin, the ultranationalist Russian Traditionalist and anti-liberal writer sometimes called “Putin’s Rasputin.”

An intellectual descendant of Evola, Mr. Dugin has called for a “genuine, true, radically revolutionary, and consistent fascist fascism” and advocated a geography-based theory of “Eurasianism” — which has provided a philosophical framework for Mr. Putin’s expansionism and meddling in Western European politics.

Mr. Dugin sees European Traditionalists as needing Russia, and Mr. Putin, to defend them from the onslaught of Western liberal democracy, individual liberty, and materialism — all Evolian bêtes noires.

This appeal of traditional values on populist voters and against out-of-touch elites, the “Pan-European Union” and “centralized government in the United States,” as Mr. Bannon put it, was not lost on Mr. Trump’s ideological guru.

“A lot of people that are Traditionalists,” he said in his Vatican remarks, “are attracted to that.”

dreamer-of-the-day

1b. An article published more than a week after the New York Times story above highlighted Evola, stressing his occult, anti-Judeo Christian orientation.

“The Alt Right’s Intellectual Darling Hated Christianity” by Anna Momigliano; The Atlantic; 2/21/2017.

. . . . “Fascist-era anti-Semitic ideologues fall under two categories—biology-based racists and nationalism-based ones—but Evola was something different,” explained Valentina Pisanty, a semiologist at the University of Bergamo. “As an occultist, he was convinced that the world contained some mysterious truths that only the initiated could see, and one of those hidden truths was a Jewish conspiracy to rule the world.”

Evola believed in the power of magic and tried to use it to restore Roman pagan religion.

Further distinguishing Evola from other racist writers was the fact that he openly attacked the Christian religion, which he described as a “Semitic superstition” and as “one of the main sources of the decadence of the West” in his seminal 1928 essay “Imperialismo Pagano.” He opposed Christianity both because it was not native to Europe (“an Asiatic movement born to a Jew”) and because of its very message, which he deemed “incompatible” with fascism’s aggressiveness. “Which kind of State, not to mention Empire, can we build based on a Gospel preaching obedience … the pre-eminence of the humble, the abject, and the miserable?” he asked.

Evola’s fascination with esotericism wasn’t only abstract; he believed in the power of magic and tried to use it to restore Roman pagan religion. “He joined an esoteric group called the Ur Group and performed rituals with the specific aim of drawing [the dictator Benito] Mussolini away from Christianity and toward paganism,” said Simone Caltabellota, an editor and writer who researched the group’s archives for his historical novel Amore degli Anni Venti, set in Evola’s inner circle. . . .

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

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

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

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

Dreamer of the Day: Francis Parker Yockey and The Postwar Fascist International by Kevin Coogan; Autonomedia [SC]; copyright 1999; ISBN I-57027-039-2; pp. 319-320.

. . . . . Evola’s SD work at the end of the war is shrouded in mystery. Historian Richard Drake says that while he was in Vienna, ‘Evola performed vital liaisons for the SS as Nazi Germany sought to recruit a European army for the defense of the Continent against the Soviet Union and the United States.’ According to his own account, Evola spent his time living incognito while doing ‘intellectual’ research. But what kind of research? . . .

. . . . While Evola was in Vienna, the SD supplied him with a series of arcane texts plundered from private libraries and rare book collections. The SD bureau that provided him with these documents was Amt VII, an obscure branch that served as an RSHA research library. With this precious archive, Evola closely studied Masonic rituals and translated certain ‘esoteric texts’ for a book called Historie Secrete des Societes Secretes. It never appeared because Evola claimed that all his documents were lost during the Russian bombardment. . . .

. . . . But why would the SD actively involve itself in Evola’s arcane research at a time when hundreds of thousands of Russian soldiers were sweeping into the Reich? And why would Evola choose to live in Vienna under a false name and devote his time to such a strange project? Could the answer to this question be found in the cryptic reference to Evola’s ‘efforts to establish a secret international order’ in the 1938 SS report?

I believe that Evola’s Vienna project was intimately linked to the development of what I will call ‘the Order,’ a new kind of Knights Templar designed to successfully function sub-rosa. Well before the end of World War II, the intelligence and financial networks of the Third Reich were hard at work preparing underground networks to survive the coming Allied occupation. Escape lines to South America and the Middle East were organized. Bank accounts were created in Switzerland and other neutral nations to finance the underground with plunder the Nazis had looted from occupied Europe. But how was this secret empire to be managed, except by a virtually invisible ‘government in exile’?

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

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

 Ibid., pp. 320-1.

. . . . For years, Evola had been fascinated by knightly orders as expressions of the Kshatriya caste of warrior aristocrats. In the formal structure of the SS, he saw the precursor to a new Ordenstaat, a State ruled by an Order. He also understood the great advantages provided by medieval orders of chivalry due to their transnational composition. Crusading orders, like the Knights Templar and the Knights of Saint John of Jerusalem, were pan-European, with separate ‘national’ sections (‘langues,’ or tongues) unified through a Council presided over by a Grand Master. After the collapse of fascist state power, a new Order, an ‘invisible college’ of sorts, was needed not only to manipulate bank accounts and travel schedules but to have policy-making functions. Nor could it simply be run under the auspices of the Vatican, since Evola believed that Rome’s downfall had been caused by the acceptance of Christianity by the dominant faction of the Roman elite. The Emperor Constantine’s official embrace of the ‘gentle Nazarene’ in 313 A.D. had culminated, a hundred years later, in Alaric’s sack of Rome. With the American chewing-gum imperialists threatening in the West, and the new Huns sweeping in from the East, was the situation in1945 really so different? The Order was a vessel for those ‘Hermetic’ elements of the conservative Revolution, old ruling class, and new Nazi elite not entirely beholden to the political, cultural, and religious ‘Guelf’ wing of the European aristocracy which remained ideologically committed to the continued propagation of the ruling Christian mythology.

This account of the origins of the Order is obviously speculative, and I advance it as hypothesis, not fact. Yet if I am correct the SD really did have a need for Evola’s unique talents. With his extensive knowledge of matters esoteric and occult; his fascination with secret societies and knightly Orders; his Waffen SS transnationalism; his ties to some of the highest figures in fascism, Nazism, and movements like the Iron guard; and his loyal service to the SD, Baron Evola was a perfect candidate to help theorize a new underground Order. As the SD’s equivalent of Albert Pike, the former Confederate Army general who designed the rituals for the Scottish Rite Masons in the late 1800’s, Evola’s task was to help create the inner organizational and ritual structure for the Grand Masters of a secret Shamballah whose financial nerve center was carefully hidden away in Swiss bank accounts.

With the war rapidly coming to an end, however, the Order lacked the time to implement its plans. With support from the top RSHA leadership, a deception game was begun with both Allied intelligence and the Catholic Church. Utilizing Wall Street and Vatican fears of communism, some of Himmler’s top cronies, like SS General Karl Wolff, became Damascus-road converts to a ‘kinder, gentler’ SS eager to establish friendly relations with both the Americans and the Holy See.

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

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

Ibid., p. 334.

. . . . Behind the strategy of tension there lurked what appears to have been a devil’s pact between the Order and Allen Dulles. Until Dulles was named CIA director by President Eisenhower (and his brother, John Foster Dulles, became director by President Eisenhower (and his brother, John Foster Dulles, became secretary of state), operational links to the Nazi underground came primarily from the Office of Policy Coordination (OPC), headed by Dulles protégé Frank Wisner, the former chief of OSS operations in Bucharest, Romania. After the war, Dulles, Wisner, Angleton, and OPC’s Carmel Offie virtually ran covert operations in Italy as their own private affair. . . .

. . . . The OPC’s budget was $4.7 million in 1949. Three years later, when Dulles was still only CIA deputy director, it had reached $82 million. OPC personnel had humped from 302 to 6,954. OPC was officially incorporated into the CIA in 1952 as the Agency’s directorate of Plans. In1956, after President Eisenhower established the Killian Commission to investigate the Agency, it was discovered that more than half of the CIA’s personnel and 80 percent of its budget had been devoted not to intelligence-gathering but to psychological and political warfare programs. Throughout this entire time, the Dulles network was intimately involved in complex deals with factions inside the postwar SS. . . .

 . . . Did Dulles offer to protect elements of the SS in return for its support for CIA-backed anti-Soviet operations in Europe and the Third World? Did he think that granting the Order a certain amount of autonomy was a small price to pay for bringing it into the American camp? Might he even have been personally compromised in some way, or manipulated by the Dulles family psychiatrist, Carl Jung? Men Among the Ruins, then, may have been less a concession by Evola to American power than a signal that some sort of understanding reached by Dulles and Wolff at the end of the war was now fully operational. . . .

6. More about Jung, Dulles and Mary Bancroft, an OSS operative and Dulles’s mistress.

Ibid.; p. 340.

 . . . . Jung also treated Dulles’s wife, clover, for years. One of Jung’s assistants, Mary Bancroft, was an OSS operative in Switzerland as well as Allen Dulles’s mistress. Like Evola, Jung was an expert in myth, symbol, and psyche with a complex and ambiguous relationship to the Third Reich. . . .

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

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

Ibid., p. 369.

. . . . [Jan] Paulus then reported that the British had uncovered the fact that two Russian generals, Bulganin and Kubalov, were working closely with the Nazis; they also found that the Russians had set up a counterpart to General Matthew Ridgeway’s SHAPE, headed by a Generl Shugaev, in East Germany. The British had ‘conclusive evidence.’ That the [Werner] Naumann circle maintained close ties to General Vincenz Muller, the brains behind the East German police. Paulus thought that Churchill wanted to use this information both to warn Washington that Germany was unreliable and to gain leverage over Adenauer, even to the point of being able to topple his government if necessary.

He said that ‘Britain has an extremely extensive dossier about the Nazi activities which she will reveal later in case Eisenhower decides to push his broad German policy too far. For instance, the British have conclusive evidence that the Nazi activities have been financed by the Ruhr industrialists . . . Additional evidence that the Ruhr industrialists have been collaborating very extensively with the Nazis is the fact that when [former Nazi finance minister] Dr. Schacht opened his bank in Dusseldorf, the minister of interior and the minister of economics were present.’ . . .

. . . The British particularly feared the Naumann circle’s astonishing influence in the Middle East. According to a March 1953 report by the Non-Sectarian Anti-Nazi League (NSANL), Dr. Gustav Scheel, a Bruderschaft leader arrested with Naumann, maintained excellent ties to the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem. German corporations wishing to do business in the Middle East and Africa first had to approach Naumann, Scheel, Skorzeny, and the Grand Mufti. Scheel was especially close to Iran’s nationalist leader, Dr. Mohammad Mossadegh, and supported Iranian efforts to nationalize Western oil companies. . . .

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

Ibid. p. 360.

 . . . . Any purely secular interpretation of the divisions in the far right between the ‘pro-Russian’ and the ‘pro-American’ factions of the Black International that avoids the ‘occult’ would conclude that political differences divided the two tendencies. An Order, however, is not structured along conventional political lines. Such an organization can dictate sharp turns and reversals in seemingly fixed political logics because the ‘political,’ crudely understood, is not the motivating force. . . .

. . . . Whether Yockey or anyone else tilted East or West, and at what time, and to what degree, and for how long, and under what conditions, was essentially a tactical question. The Order, like any intelligence agency, was a kind of octopus with many tentacles, not jus a ‘left’ and ‘right’ one. While I believe that there were legitimate policy arguments inside the postwar underground, as might be expected, I am not at all sure that it is meaningful to conceptualize a split inside the Order along rigid ‘East’/ ‘West’ lines. An organization like the Order was necessary precisely to prevent the total domination of postwar Europe by either the Americans or the Russians. By playing off the U.S. and USSR against one another, the Order equally ensured its own ability to survive and prosper. In music, the basic theme can sometimes be quite simple. The real test is how well you play the complex variations. . . .

9. It should also be remembered that Francis Parker Yockey, Julius Evola and “the Order” considered the United States to be the greater threat.

Ibid.; pp. 359-60.

 . . . There was, in fact, little ideological difference between Evola and Yockey. Like Yockey, Evola believed that the American cultural threat to Europe was far greater than anything the Russians could come up with. . . .

10. Another Breitbart alumnus appears to manifest fascist influence and heritage. Sebastian Gorka wears a medal strongly associated with the Horthy/Arrow Cross allies of Nazi Germany.

In a comment on this program, Pterrafractyl contributed a comment that further develops Gorka’s fascist, excuse me “alt-right” views and background: http://spitfirelist.com/for-the-record/ftr-947-evola-on-our-minds/comment-page-1/#comment-118077.

“Top Trump Aid Wears Medal of Hungarian Nazi Collaborators;” Times of Israel; 2/14/2017.

A top aide to US President Donald Trump who recently defended the administration’s omission of Jews from a Holocaust Remembrance Day statement has on several occasions worn insignia tied to Nazi collaborators in Hungary.

Sebastian Gorka, a former editor at Breitbart News and now a deputy assistant to the president, was photographed and interviewed at Trump’s inauguration wearing the uniform and medal of Vitézi Rend, a Hungarian order of merit closely associated with Nazi Germany.

The order was founded in 1920 by Miklós Horthy, who served as regent of Hungary until 1944, and comprised his supporters. Horthy was an ally of Adolf Hitler and collaborated with the Nazis throughout most of World War II. During the war, confiscated Jewish property was distributed to members of the order by the Hungarian government.

Gorka, who is of Hungarian descent, may have inherited the medal and uniform from his grandfather, according to foreign policy site Lobelog.

The US State Department lists Vitézi Rend as a Nazi-linked group, which could render members ineligible for visas. Gorka became a US citizen in 2012.

Lobelog also noted that Gorka signed his PhD dissertation in 2007 as “Sebestyén L. v. Gorka” — “L. v.” being initials representing members of Vitézi Rend.

Other than at the inauguration, Gorka has worn the medal and uniform in the past, as seen in an undated photo on his Facebook page. . . .

11. In a post written shortly after the beginning of the “Occupy” movement, we noted the genesis of the movement with Adbusters magazine. edited by Kalle Lasn. Ethnic Estonians, Lasn’s family fled to Nazi Germany at the end of the Second World War.

Adbusters has touted Islamic economics as a viable alternative for the world’s poor!

Now, Adbusters is showcasing Alexander Durgin.

“Putin’s Rasputin: Modernity Has Been a Disaster for the Western Mind;” Adbusters ; 2/14/2017.

Excerpted from The Fourth Political Theory by Russian political scientist Alexander Dugin.

Modernity and its ideological basis (individualism, liberal democracy, capitalism, consumerism, and so on) are the cause of the future catastrophe of humanity, and the global domination of the Western lifestyle is the reason for the final degradation of the Earth. The West is approaching its terminus, and we should not let it drag the rest of us down into the abyss with it.

Tradition (religion, hierarchy, and family) and its values were overthrown at the dawn of modernity. All three political theories were conceived as artificial ideological constructions by people who comprehended, in various ways, ‘the death of God’ (Nietzsche), the ‘disenchantment of the world’ (Weber), and the ‘end of the sacred.’ This was the core of the New Era of modernity: man came to replace God, philosophy and science replaced religion, and the rational, forceful, and technological constructs took the place of revelation.

When we use the term ‘modernization’, we mean progress, linear accumulation, and a certain continuous process. When we speak of ‘modernization’, we presuppose development, growth, and evolution. It is the same semantic system. Thus, when we speak of the ‘unconditionally positive achievements of modernization: we agree with a very important basic paradigm – we agree with the idea that ‘human society is developing, progressing, evolving, growing, and getting better and better: that is to say, we share a particular vision of historical optimism.

This historical optimism pertains to the three classical political ideologies (liberalism, Communism, and fascism). It is rooted in the scientific, societal, political, and social worldview in the humanities and natural sciences of the Eighteenth and Nineteenth centuries, when the ideas of progress, development, and growth were taken as axioms that could not be doubted. In other words, this entire set of axioms, as well as the whole historiography and predictive analytics of the Nineteenth century in the humanities and the natural sciences, were built upon the idea of progress.

 

Discussion

16 comments for “FTR #947 Evola on Our Minds”

  1. Oh what a shocker: It turns out Sebastian Gorka has a long and extensive relationship with the Hungarian far-right, including founding a Hungarian political party with two prominent members of Jobbik:

    Forward

    Exclusive: Senior Trump Aide Forged Key Ties To Anti-Semitic Groups In Hungary

    Lili Bayer
    February 24, 2017
    BUDAPEST

    When photographs recently emerged showing Sebastian Gorka, President Donald Trump’s high-profile deputy assistant, wearing a medal associated with the Nazi collaborationist regime that ruled Hungary during World War II, the controversial security strategist was unapologetic.

    “I’m a proud American now and I wear that medal now and again,” Gorka told Breitbart News. Gorka, 46, who was born in Britain to Hungarian parents and is now an American citizen, asked rhetorically, “Why? To remind myself of where I came from, what my parents suffered under both the Nazis and the Communists, and to help me in my work today.”

    But an investigation by the Forward into Gorka’s activities from 2002 to 2007, while he was active in Hungarian politics and journalism, found that he had close ties then to Hungarian far-right circles, and has in the past chosen to work with openly racist and anti-Semitic groups and public figures.

    Gorka’s involvement with the far right includes co-founding a political party with former prominent members of Jobbik, a political party with a well-known history of anti-Semitism; repeatedly publishing articles in a newspaper known for its anti-Semitic and racist content; and attending events with some of Hungary’s most notorious extreme-right figures.

    When Gorka was asked — in an email exchange with the Forward — about the anti-Semitic records of some of the groups and individuals he has worked with, he instead pivoted to talk about his family’s history.

    “My parents, as children, lived through the nightmare of WWII and the horrors of the Nyilas puppet fascist regime,” he said, referring to the Arrow Cross regime that took over Hungary near the very end of World War II and murdered thousands of Jews.

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

    Gorka, who views Islam as a religion with an inherent predilection for militancy, has strong supporters among some right-leaning think tanks in Washington. “Dr. Gorka is one of the most knowledgeable, well-read and studied experts on national security that I’ve ever met,” Joseph Humire, executive director of the Center for a Secure Free Society, told the Forward. Humire has known Gorka for nearly a decade, and considers him “top-notch.”

    Born in London to parents who fled Hungary’s post-World War II Communist regime, Gorka has had a career that’s marked by frequent job changes and shifting national allegiances. The U.S. government is the third sovereign state to hire him in a national security role. As a young man, he was a member of the United Kingdom’s Territorial Army reserves, where he served in the Intelligence Corps. Then, following the fall of Communism in Hungary, he was employed in 1992 by the country’s Ministry of Defense. He worked there for five years, apparently on issues related to Hungary’s accession to NATO.

    Gorka’s marriage in 1996 to an American, Katharine Cornell, an heir to Pennsylvania-based Cornell Iron Works, helped him become a U.S. citizen in 2012.

    A Web of Deep Ties to Hungary’s Far Right

    It was during his time in Hungary that Gorka developed ties to the country’s anti-Semitic and ultranationalist far right.

    During large-scale anti-government demonstrations in Hungary in 2006, Gorka took on an active role, becoming closely involved with a protest group called the Hungarian National Committee (Magyar Nemzeti Bizottság). Gorka took on the roles of translator, press coordinator and adviser for the group.

    Among the four Committee members named as the group’s political representatives was László Toroczkai, then head of the 64 Counties Youth Movement. Toroczkai founded that group in 2001 to advocate for the return of parts of modern-day Serbia, Slovakia, Romania and Ukraine to form a Greater Hungary, restoring the country’s pre-World War I borders.

    In 2004, two years before the Movement’s involvement in the 2006 protests, Hungarian authorities opened an investigation into the Movement’s newspaper, Magyar Jelen, when an article referred to Jews as “Galician upstarts” and went on to argue: “We should get them out. In fact, we need to take back our country from them, take back our stolen fortunes. After all, these upstarts are sucking on our blood, getting rich off our blood.” At the time of the article’s publication, Toroczkai was both an editor at the paper and the Movement’s official leader.
    Gorka co-founded his political party with three other politicians. Two of his co-founders, Tamás Molnár and Attila Bégány, were former members of Jobbik. Molnár, a senior Jobbik politician, served as the party’s vice president until shortly before joining Gorka’s new initiative, and was also a member of the Hungarian National Committee during the 2006 protests, issuing statements together with extremist militant figures such as Toroczkai.
    Toroczkai currently serves as vice president of Jobbik and is the mayor of a village near the border Hungary shares with Serbia. Last year, he gained notoriety in the West for declaring a goal of banning Muslims and gays from his town.

    In January 2007, inspired by the 2006 protests and his experience with the Hungarian National Committee, Gorka announced plans to form a new political party, to be known as the New Democratic Coalition. Gorka had previously served as an adviser to Viktor Orbán, now Hungary’s right-wing nationalist prime minister. But following Orbán’s failed attempts to bring down Hungary’s then-Socialist government, Gorka grew disenchanted with Orbán’s Fidesz party.

    In his email exchange with the Forward for this article, Gorka explained: “The Coalition was established in direct response to the unhealthy patterns visible at the time in Hungarian conservative politics. It became apparent to me that the effect of decades of Communist dictatorship had taken a deeper toll on civil society than was expected.”

    Gorka co-founded his political party with three other politicians. Two of his co-founders, Tamás Molnár and Attila Bégány, were former members of Jobbik. Molnár, a senior Jobbik politician, served as the party’s vice president until shortly before joining Gorka’s new initiative, and was also a member of the Hungarian National Committee during the 2006 protests, issuing statements together with extremist militant figures such as Toroczkai.

    Jobbik has a long history of anti-Semitism. In 2006, when Gorka’s political allies were still members of Jobbik, the party’s official online blog included articles such as “The Roots of Jewish Terrorism” and “Where Were the Jews in 1956?”, a reference to the country’s revolution against Soviet rule. In one speech in 2010, Jobbik leader Gabor Vona said that “under communism we licked Moscow’s boots, now we lick Brussels’ and Washington’s and Tel Aviv’s.”

    In founding the New Democratic Coalition, Gorka and the former Jobbik politicians aimed to represent “conservative values, decidedly standing up to corruption and bringing Christianity into the Constitution,” according to the party’s original policy program. At the time, Hungary’s constitution was secular.

    The party’s founders did not see themselves as far right or anti-Semitic.

    “I knew Gorka as a strongly Atlanticist, conservative person,” Molnár, the former Jobbik vice president and co-founder of Gorka’s party, told the Forward in a phone conversation. He added that he could not imagine Gorka having anti-Semitic views.

    Molnár first met Gorka at a book launch event for Gorka’s father, Pál Gorka, in 2002. The younger Gorka and Molnár became friends, bonding over their shared interest in the history of Hungary’s 1956 revolution and the fact that both had parents who were jailed under the country’s Communist regime.

    Molnár became involved with Jobbik in 2003, in the far-right party’s early days, and quit in 2006. In his words, “Jobbik went in a militant direction that I did not like.”

    Gorka rejects the notion that he knew any of his political allies had connections to the far right.

    “I only knew Molnár as an artist and Bégány as a former conservative local politician (MDF if I recall),” Gorka wrote in response to a question regarding the Jobbik affiliations of his former party co-founders. “What they did after I left Hungary is not something I followed.” (MDF is an acronym for the Hungarian Democratic Forum, a now-defunct center-right party.)

    In fact, both Molnár and Bégány were members of Jobbik before, and not after, they founded the new party with Gorka. Molnár was Jobbik’s high-profile vice president until September 2006, before he, Gorka and Bégány launched the New Democratic Coalition in early 2007.

    Gorka appeared at a press conference with Molnár on September 21, 2006 — one day after Molnár resigned his position as Jobbik’s vice president. Gorka was also photographed on September 23, 2006, wearing a badge with the Hungarian National Committee’s logo as he was standing next to Molnár at a podium while Molnár briefed the press on the Committee’s activities. At the time Gorka was making these public appearances with the Hungarian National Committee’s leadership, extreme-right leader Toroczkai was already a top member of the Committee.

    Bégány, meanwhile, had indeed been a member of MDF for a time, but in 2005 he joined Jobbik and served formally as a member of Budapest’s District 5 Council representing the far-right party. Bégány’s formal party biography, posted on the Jobbik website in 2006, said it is his “belief that without belonging to the Hungarian nation or to God it is possible to live, but not worth it.” Like Molnár, Bégány left Jobbik only a few months before starting the new party with Gorka.

    Molnár, Bégány and the Hungarian National Committee were not Gorka’s only connection to far-right circles. Between 2006 and 2007, Gorka wrote a series of articles in Magyar Demokrata, a newspaper known for publishing the writings of prominent anti-Semitic and racist Hungarian public figures.

    The newspaper’s editor-in-chief, András Bencsik, is notorious in Hungary for his own long-standing anti-Semitic views. In 1995, the Hungarian Jewish publication Szombat criticized Bencsik for writing that “the solid capital, which the Jews got after Auschwitz, has run out.” That same year, Szombat noted, Bencsik wrote in Magyar Demokrata, “In Hungary the chief conflict is between national and cosmopolitan aspirations.” In Hungarian society, “cosmopolitan” is generally a code word for Jews.

    In December 2004, the U.S. State Department reported bluntly to Congress that, “the weekly newspaper Magyar Demokrata published anti-Semitic articles and featured articles by authors who have denied the Holocaust.”

    In the summer of 2007, Bencsik became one of the founders of the Hungarian Guard, a now-banned paramilitary organization known for assaulting and intimidating members of Hungary’s Roma community. The perpetrators in a spate of racially motivated murders of Roma in 2008 and 2009 were found to have connections to the Guard.

    Gorka’s articles for Magyar Demokrata focused not only on decrying Hungary’s then-Socialist government, but also on highlighting the perceived injustices of the Treaty of Versailles, the post-World War I agreement that led to the loss of two-thirds of prewar Hungary’s territory.

    “We fought on the wrong side of a war for which we were not responsible, and were punished to an extent that was likely even more unjust — with the exception of the dismemberment of the Ottoman Empire — than any other punishment in the modern age,” Gorka wrote in a 2006 article in Magyar Demokrata.

    Asked about his choice of journalistic outlets, Gorka wrote, “I am […] unfamiliar with Bencsik. I believe it was one of his colleagues who asked me if I wanted to write some OpEds.” Gorka told the Forward that his writing at the time shows “how everything I did was in the interests of a more transparent and healthy democracy in Hungary. This included a rejection of all revanchist tendencies and xenophobic cliques.”

    Gorka’s claim to be unfamiliar with Bencsik must be weighed against his deep immersion in Hungarian politics and Benscik’s status as a major figure in Hungary’s right-wing political scene. At the time, Gorka gave public interviews as an “expert” on the Hungarian Guard, which Bencsik helped to found. In one 2007 interview, Gorka clarified his own view of the Guard, saying, “It’s not worth talking about banning” the group. Despite its extreme rhetoric against minorities, Gorka said, “The government and media are inflating this question.”

    An Affinity for Nationalist Symbols

    It was in mid-February that Gorka’s affinity for Hungarian nationalist and far-right ideas first came to the American public’s attention. Eli Clifton of the news website Lobelog noticed from a photograph that the new deputy assistant to the president had appeared at an inauguration ball in January wearing a Hungarian medal known as Vitézi Rend. The medal signifies a knightly order of merit founded in 1920 by Admiral Miklos Horthy, Hungary’s longtime anti-Semitic ruler and Hitler’s ally during World War II. Notwithstanding this alliance, and the group’s designation as Nazi-collaborators by the U.S. State Department, many within Hungary’s right revere Horthy for his staunch nationalism during the overall course of his rule from 1920 to 1944.

    Breitbart, the “alt-right” publication, where Gorka himself served as national security editor prior to joining the White House staff, defended his wardrobe choice, writing on February 14 that, “as any of his Breitbart News colleagues could testify, Gorka is not only pro-Israel but ‘pro-Jewish,’ and defends both against the threat of radical Islamic terrorism.”

    “In 1979 my father was awarded a declaration for his resistance to a dictatorship, and although he passed away 14 years ago, I wear that medal in remembrance of what my family went through and what it represents today, to me, as an American,” Gorka told Breibart on February 15, as the controversy regarding his choice to wear a Horthy-era medal intensified.

    But the medal was not the first time Gorka expressed appreciation for symbols that many associate with Hungary’s World War II-era Nazi sympathizers. In 2006, Gorka defended the use of the Arpad flag, which Hungary’s murderous Arrow Cross Party used as their symbol. The Hungarian Arrow Cross Party killed thousands of Jews during World War II, shooting many of them alongside the Danube River and throwing them into the water. Gorka told the news agency JTA at the time that “if you say eight centuries of history can be eradicated by 18 months of fascist distortion of symbols, you’re losing historic perspective.”

    Gorka’s Unlikely Transformation

    After the failure of his new party in 2007, Gorka moved to the United States and over the past 10 years has worked for the Department of Justice, Marine Corps University, National Defense University, and Joint Special Operations University.

    Former colleagues in the States questioned the quality of Gorka’s work on Islam, and said that he shied away from publishing in peer-reviewed journals, according to the Washington Post.

    Retired Lt. Col. Mike Lewis told the Post that when Gorka was lecturing to members of the armed forces, he “made a difficult and complex situation simple and confirmed the officers’ prejudices and assumptions.”

    But Humire, of the Center for a Secure Free Society, defended Gorka’s worldview. “Since I’ve known him he has been emphasizing a point that is not properly understood by most conventional counterterrorism experts,” said Humire, “that the modern battlefield is fought with words, images, and ideas, not just bombs and bullets. If you study asymmetric war, this emphasizes the mental battle of attrition and the moral battle of legitimacy over the physical battle for the terrain. Dr. Gorka understands this at a very high level and has taught this to our war fighters for several years,” said Humire.

    Gorka’s friends and close associates in the United States do not believe that he is ideologically part of Hungary’s far right.

    “I am pretty certain that SG [Sebastian Gorka] has some major differences with aspects of what you call the far-right,” Alejandro Chafuen, who has known Gorka for nearly two decades, wrote the Forward in an email exchange. However, Chafuen, who serves as president of the U.S.-based Atlas Network, added that he does not know whether these ideological differences also include Gorka’s perspective on minority issues and historical memory.

    Meanwhile, Gorka’s former political partners in Hungary are pleased with his successes in Washington.

    “I am happy, because this could be good for Hungarian-American relations,” said Molnár, the former Jobbik vice president and co-founder of Gorka’s short-lived party, in his conversation with the Forward. “But I was surprised…No Hungarian public figure has ever been so close to the White House.”

    Gorka co-founded his political party with three other politicians. Two of his co-founders, Tamás Molnár and Attila Bégány, were former members of Jobbik. Molnár, a senior Jobbik politician, served as the party’s vice president until shortly before joining Gorka’s new initiative, and was also a member of the Hungarian National Committee during the 2006 protests, issuing statements together with extremist militant figures such as Toroczkai.”

    And despite all that, his Gorka’s friends and associates want to assure us that he’s not ideologically part of Hungary’s far-right. Sort of:


    Gorka’s friends and close associates in the United States do not believe that he is ideologically part of Hungary’s far right.

    “I am pretty certain that SG [Sebastian Gorka] has some major differences with aspects of what you call the far-right,” Alejandro Chafuen, who has known Gorka for nearly two decades, wrote the Forward in an email exchange. However, Chafuen, who serves as president of the U.S.-based Atlas Network, added that he does not know whether these ideological differences also include Gorka’s perspective on minority issues and historical memory.

    Well there we go: other than perhaps shared perspectives on “minority issues and historical memory”, two of the far-right’s biggest pet peeves, one of Gorka’s long-time associates is pretty sure Gorka would have major differences with aspects of “what you call the far-right”. That’s reassuring.

    Although it’s true that you can’t quite refer to Gorka as part of the Hungarian far-right these days. He’s clearly part of the international far-right at this point.

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | February 24, 2017, 3:32 pm
  2. Isn’t that cute: Steve Bannon unveiled what appears to be the latest catch phrase to describe the long-standing far-right agenda to defang government, gut regulations, and hand even more power over to the oligarchs (under the banner of ‘populism’): deconstruction of the administrative state

    The Washington Post

    Bannon vows a daily fight for ‘deconstruction of the administrative state’

    By Philip Rucker and Robert Costa
    February 23, 2025

    The reclusive mastermind behind President Trump’s nationalist ideology and combative tactics made his public debut Thursday, delivering a fiery rebuke of the media and declaring that the new administration is in an unending battle for “deconstruction of the administrative state.”

    Stephen K. Bannon, the White House chief strategist and intellectual force behind Trump’s agenda, used his first speaking appearance since Trump took office to vow that the president would honor all of the hard-line pledges of his campaign.

    Appearing at a gathering of conservative activists alongside Chief of Staff Reince Priebus, Bannon dismissed the idea that Trump might moderate his positions or seek consensus with political opponents. Rather, he said, the White House is digging in for a long period of conflict to transform Washington and upend the world order.

    “If you think they’re going to give you your country back without a fight, you are sadly mistaken,” Bannon said in reference to the media and opposition forces. “Every day, it is going to be a fight.”

    He continued, “And that is what I’m proudest about Donald Trump. All the opportunities he had to waver off this, all the people who have come to him and said, ‘Oh, you’ve got to moderate’ — every day in the Oval Office, he tells Reince and I, ‘I committed this to the American people, I promised this when I ran, and I’m going to deliver on this.’?”

    Bannon and Priebus shared the stage at the Conservative Political Action Conference for 25 minutes in a buddy routine that inspired flashbacks to Oscar and Felix in “The Odd Couple.” They strove to prove that they are not rivals in Trump’s competing power circles, as has been reported, but rather partners working from 6:30 a.m. until 11 p.m. each day, often in the same office suite, to muscle through Trump’s desired changes.

    Bannon framed much of Trump’s agenda with the phrase, “deconstruction of the administrative state,” meaning the system of taxes, regulations and trade pacts that the president says have stymied economic growth and infringed upon U.S. sovereignty. Bannon says that the post-World War II political and economic consensus is failing and should be replaced with a system that empowers ordinary people over coastal elites and international institutions.

    At the core, Bannon said in his remarks, is a belief that “we’re a nation with an economy — not an economy just in some global marketplace with open borders, but we are a nation with a culture and a reason for being.”

    Bannon repeatedly used the phrase “economic nationalism” and posited that Trump’s withdrawal from the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade agreement was “one of the most pivotal moments in modern American history.”

    Nigel Farage, the British politician who led the successful Brexit movement in the United Kingdom to withdraw from the European Union, said in an interview at the conference that Bannon has the right vision to reorder world powers.

    “I’ve never met anyone in my life who has such focus and is so clear in the direction that he intends to go in,” Farage said. “Steve is the person with an international perspective on all of this. He’s got a good feel for the direction that he wants to see across the West.”

    Bannon’s language goes beyond Reagan-era Republican talking points about cutting regulations and lowering taxes. It also sidesteps key elements of the state that Trump has pledged to maintain or expand, such as the Defense Department, Medicare and Social Security, two huge federal entitlement programs.

    Bannon used some terms that are more often heard on the political left as negative labels, such as “globalist” and “corporatist.” Such words are rarely heard in a traditional Republican platform and underscore how Trump’s populism and suspicion of the world economy are in some respects similar to that of Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), a self-described democratic socialist.

    “They’re corporatist, globalist media that are adamantly opposed — adamantly opposed to an economic nationalist agenda like Donald Trump has,” Bannon said.

    Yet some of the most powerful officials crafting Trump’s economic policies have deep roots in the global, corporate realm. Commerce Secretary nominee Wilbur Ross was a billionaire investor; Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin was a hedge fund manager; and National Economic Council Director Gary Cohn was president of Goldman Sachs, to cite three. And all are being tasked with carrying out an agenda that includes standard GOP fare, from cutting taxes for the wealthy to rolling back banking regulations.

    Nonetheless, Bannon’s appearance at CPAC signaled a profound shift in the conservative movement’s center of gravity toward Trumpism. Kellyanne Conway, counselor to the president, suggested during her appearance that by the time Trump addresses the group on Friday morning, the conference would be known as “TPAC.”

    Bannon and Priebus were interviewed jointly on stage by Matt Schlapp, chairman of the American Conservative Union, which hosts CPAC. Priebus celebrated Trump’s administration as “the best Cabinet in the history of Cabinets,” and Bannon said that many nominees “were selected for a reason, and that is deconstruction.”

    Bannon has emerged in the minds of many Trump opponents as a mysterious and menacing puppeteer, portrayed as a harrowing Grim Reaper on NBC’s “Saturday Night Live.” He is best known for being the former executive chairman of Breitbart News, a conservative news site. Bannon once called Breitbart a “platform” for the alt-right, a small movement whose adherents are known for espousing racist, anti-Semitic and sexist points of view.

    Former Ohio governor Ted Strickland (D) said Bannon is a “dangerous person driven by an authoritarian ideology who, I fear, has more influence than anyone in the administration.”

    “This is a mean, vicious, intolerant group,” Strickland continued. “I’ve never seen anything like this in my political life.”

    The scene at CPAC reflected Bannon’s sudden star status on the right. At the Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center at National Harbor, college Republicans spoke of him as an icon who embodied their own anger against political correctness on their university campuses.

    Writers for Breitbart, a main sponsor of CPAC, were treated as if they were ESPN anchors at a major sports event. Washington editor Matthew Boyle, who has scored several Trump interviews and counts Bannon as a mentor, was trailed by a photographer from a magazine that is profiling him.

    Bannon’s trusted inner circle, including his public relations adviser, Alexandra Preate, and GOP mega-donor Rebekah Mercer, were followed by an entourage of aides and friends. They fielded questions about “Steve” — and not just from reporters.

    But the air of secrecy remained.

    “I don’t comment on the record,” Mercer said flatly.

    “Bannon framed much of Trump’s agenda with the phrase, “deconstruction of the administrative state,” meaning the system of taxes, regulations and trade pacts that the president says have stymied economic growth and infringed upon U.S. sovereignty. Bannon says that the post-World War II political and economic consensus is failing and should be replaced with a system that empowers ordinary people over coastal elites and international institutions.”

    As we can see, with the exception of the turn against trade pacts, the Trump/Bannon agenda is basically the ol’ Koch Classic/Grover Norquist agenda: slashing taxes on rich, regulations, and getting rid of almost every government program that helps the non-wealthy. All under the banner of populism.

    And as a recent report about Steve Bannon’s message to EU reminds us, the “deconstruction” agenda isn’t limited to the “administrative state” governing the US. According to Bannon, deconstruction of the EU is on the agenda too:

    Reuters

    Exclusive: White House delivered EU-skeptic message before Pence visit – sources

    By Noah Barkin | BERLIN
    Tue Feb 21, 2017 | 1:10pm EST

    In the week before U.S. Vice President Mike Pence visited Brussels and pledged America’s “steadfast and enduring” commitment to the European Union, White House chief strategist Steve Bannon met with a German diplomat and delivered a different message, according to people familiar with the talks.

    Bannon, these people said, signalled to Germany’s ambassador to Washington that he viewed the EU as a flawed construct and favoured conducting relations with Europe on a bilateral basis.

    Three people who were briefed on the meeting spoke to Reuters on condition of anonymity due to the sensitivity of the matter. The German government and the ambassador, Peter Wittig, declined to comment, citing the confidentiality of the talks.

    A White House official who checked with Bannon in response to a Reuters query confirmed the meeting had taken place but said the account provided to Reuters was inaccurate. “They only spoke for about three minutes and it was just a quick hello,” the official said.

    The sources described a longer meeting in which Bannon took the time to spell out his world view. They said his message was similar to the one he delivered to a Vatican conference back in 2014 when he was running the right-wing website Breitbart News.

    In those remarks, delivered via Skype, Bannon spoke favourably about European populist movements and described a yearning for nationalism by people who “don’t believe in this kind of pan-European Union.”

    Western Europe, he said at the time, was built on a foundation of “strong nationalist movements”, adding: “I think it’s what can see us forward”.

    The encounter unsettled people in the German government, in part because some officials had been holding out hope that Bannon might temper his views once in government and offer a more nuanced message on Europe in private.

    One source briefed on the meeting said it had confirmed the view that Germany and its European partners must prepare for a policy of “hostility towards the EU”.

    A second source expressed concern, based on his contacts with the administration, that there was no appreciation for the EU’s role in ensuring peace and prosperity in post-war Europe.

    “There appears to be no understanding in the White House that an unravelling of the EU would have grave consequences,” the source said.

    “We are worried and we should be worried,” Thomas Matussek, senior adviser at Flint Global and a former German ambassador to the Britain and the United Nations, told Reuters.

    “No one knows anything at the moment about what sort of decisions will be coming out of Washington. But it is clear that the man on top and the people closest to him feel that it’s the nation state that creates identity and not what they see as an amorphous group of countries like the EU.”

    The worst-case scenario from Europe’s point of view was described by Ischinger in an article published last week, entitled “How Europe should deal with Trump”.

    He said that if the U.S. administration actively supported right-wing populists in the looming election campaigns it would trigger a “major transatlantic crisis”.

    “The sources described a longer meeting in which Bannon took the time to spell out his world view. They said his message was similar to the one he delivered to a Vatican conference back in 2014 when he was running the right-wing website Breitbart News.

    Yes, Steve Bannon apparently gave a rehashed version of his now-notorious 2014 Vatican speech EU officials. That, of course, is the speech where he talked about his admiration for fascist theoretician Julius Evola’s views on “traditionalism”. And how a Judeo-Christian West is an an existential war against both Islam and secularism. And how “enlightened-capitalism” and a confederation of traditionalist (Evola-style) nationalist movements is the only hope for the future.

    And what was that “enlightened-capitalism”, according to Bannon’s 2014 Vatican speech? Well, according to Bannon it’s capitalism that rejects both “crony-capitalism” and Ayn Rand Objectivism libertarian capitalism that views everyone as commodities. If if a rejection of Objectivism and libertarianism sounds like a rejection of the Koch brothers’ agenda, keep in mind that railing against “crony capitalism” is exactly the same language the Koch brothers have been using in their attempts to rebrand their own agenda and world view.

    So instead of Koch-style libertarianism, what Bannon wants to see is presumably capitalism that emerges from the Koch-style “deconstruction of the administrative state” of low-taxes, no regulation, and no safety-net run by capitalists who fancy themselves to be really big Christians. And the way Bannon sees this coming about is through a global collection of local ‘tea party’ movements that all simultaneously “deconstruct the administrative state” and create a united capitalist/traditionalist front that goes to war perpetual war with the Muslim world and secularism (Evola-style):

    BuzzFeed

    This Is How Steve Bannon Sees The Entire World

    The soon-to-be White House chief strategist laid out a global vision in a rare 2014 talk where he said racism in the far right gets “washed out” and called Vladimir Putin a kleptocrat. BuzzFeed News publishes the complete transcript for the first time.

    Originally posted on Nov. 15, 2016, at 3:40 p.m. Updated on Nov. 16, 2016, at 1:49 p.m.
    J. Lester Feder
    BuzzFeed News Reporter

    Donald Trump’s newly named chief strategist and senior counselor Steve Bannon laid out his global nationalist vision in unusually in-depth remarks delivered by Skype to a conference held inside the Vatican in the summer of 2014.

    Well before victories for Brexit and Trump seemed possible, Bannon declared there was a “global tea party movement” and praised European far-right parties like Great Britain’s UKIP and France’s National Front. Bannon also suggested that a racist element in far-right parties “all gets kind of washed out,” and that the West was facing a “crisis of capitalism” after losing its “Judeo-Christian foundation,” and he blasted “crony capitalists” in Washington for failing to prosecute bank executives over the financial crisis.

    The remarks — beamed into a small conference room in a 15th-century marble palace in a secluded corner of the Vatican — were part of a 50-minute Q&A during a conference focused on poverty hosted by the Human Dignity Institute that BuzzFeed News attended as part of its coverage of the rise of Europe’s religious right. The group was founded by Benjamin Harnwell, a longtime aide to Conservative member of the European Parliament Nirj Deva, to promote a “Christian voice” in European politics. The group has ties to some of the most conservative factions inside the Catholic Church; Cardinal Raymond Burke, one of the most vocal critics of Pope Francis, who was ousted from a senior Vatican position in 2014, is chair of the group’s advisory board.

    BuzzFeed News originally posted a transcript beginning 90 seconds into the then–Breitbart News chairman’s remarks because microphone placement made the opening mostly unintelligible, but we have completed the transcript from a video of the talk on YouTube. You can hear the whole recording at the bottom of the post.

    Here is what he said, unedited:

    Steve Bannon: Thank you very much Benjamin, and I appreciate you guys including us in this. We’re speaking from Los Angeles today, right across the street from our headquarters in Los Angeles. Um. I want to talk about wealth creation and what wealth creation really can achieve and maybe take it in a slightly different direction, because I believe the world, and particularly the Judeo-Christian West, is in a crisis. And it’s really the organizing principle of how we built Breitbart News to really be a platform to bring news and information to people throughout the world. Principally in the West, but we’re expanding internationally to let people understand the depths of this crisis, and it is a crisis both of capitalism but really of the underpinnings of the Judeo-Christian West in our beliefs.

    It’s ironic, I think, that we’re talking today at exactly, tomorrow, 100 years ago, at the exact moment we’re talking, the assassination took place in Sarajevo of Archduke Franz Ferdinand that led to the end of the Victorian era and the beginning of the bloodiest century in mankind’s history. Just to put it in perspective, with the assassination that took place 100 years ago tomorrow in Sarajevo, the world was at total peace. There was trade, there was globalization, there was technological transfer, the High Church of England and the Catholic Church and the Christian faith was predominant throughout Europe of practicing Christians. Seven weeks later, I think there were 5 million men in uniform and within 30 days there were over a million casualties.

    That war triggered a century of barbaric — unparalleled in mankind’s history — virtually 180 to 200 million people were killed in the 20th century, and I believe that, you know, hundreds of years from now when they look back, we’re children of that: We’re children of that barbarity. This will be looked at almost as a new Dark Age.

    But the thing that got us out of it, the organizing principle that met this, was not just the heroism of our people — whether it was French resistance fighters, whether it was the Polish resistance fighters, or it’s the young men from Kansas City or the Midwest who stormed the beaches of Normandy, commandos in England that fought with the Royal Air Force, that fought this great war, really the Judeo-Christian West versus atheists, right? The underlying principle is an enlightened form of capitalism, that capitalism really gave us the wherewithal. It kind of organized and built the materials needed to support, whether it’s the Soviet Union, England, the United States, and eventually to take back continental Europe and to beat back a barbaric empire in the Far East.

    That capitalism really generated tremendous wealth. And that wealth was really distributed among a middle class, a rising middle class, people who come from really working-class environments and created what we really call a Pax Americana. It was many, many years and decades of peace. And I believe we’ve come partly offtrack in the years since the fall of the Soviet Union and we’re starting now in the 21st century, which I believe, strongly, is a crisis both of our church, a crisis of our faith, a crisis of the West, a crisis of capitalism.

    And we’re at the very beginning stages of a very brutal and bloody conflict, of which if the people in this room, the people in the church, do not bind together and really form what I feel is an aspect of the church militant, to really be able to not just stand with our beliefs, but to fight for our beliefs against this new barbarity that’s starting, that will completely eradicate everything that we’ve been bequeathed over the last 2,000, 2,500 years.

    Now, what I mean by that specifically: I think that you’re seeing three kinds of converging tendencies: One is a form of capitalism that is taken away from the underlying spiritual and moral foundations of Christianity and, really, Judeo-Christian belief.

    I see that every day. I’m a very practical, pragmatic capitalist. I was trained at Goldman Sachs, I went to Harvard Business School, I was as hard-nosed a capitalist as you get. I specialized in media, in investing in media companies, and it’s a very, very tough environment. And you’ve had a fairly good track record. So I don’t want this to kinda sound namby-pamby, “Let’s all hold hands and sing ‘Kumbaya’ around capitalism.”

    But there’s a strand of capitalism today — two strands of it, that are very disturbing.

    One is state-sponsored capitalism. And that’s the capitalism you see in China and Russia. I believe it’s what Holy Father [Pope Francis] has seen for most of his life in places like Argentina, where you have this kind of crony capitalism of people that are involved with these military powers-that-be in the government, and it forms a brutal form of capitalism that is really about creating wealth and creating value for a very small subset of people. And it doesn’t spread the tremendous value creation throughout broader distribution patterns that were seen really in the 20th century.

    The second form of capitalism that I feel is almost as disturbing, is what I call the Ayn Rand or the Objectivist School of libertarian capitalism. And, look, I’m a big believer in a lot of libertarianism. I have many many friends that’s a very big part of the conservative movement — whether it’s the UKIP movement in England, it’s many of the underpinnings of the populist movement in Europe, and particularly in the United States.

    However, that form of capitalism is quite different when you really look at it to what I call the “enlightened capitalism” of the Judeo-Christian West. It is a capitalism that really looks to make people commodities, and to objectify people, and to use them almost — as many of the precepts of Marx — and that is a form of capitalism, particularly to a younger generation [that] they’re really finding quite attractive. And if they don’t see another alternative, it’s going to be an alternative that they gravitate to under this kind of rubric of “personal freedom.”

    The other tendency is an immense secularization of the West. And I know we’ve talked about secularization for a long time, but if you look at younger people, especially millennials under 30, the overwhelming drive of popular culture is to absolutely secularize this rising iteration.

    Now that call converges with something we have to face, and it’s a very unpleasant topic, but we are in an outright war against jihadist Islamic fascism. And this war is, I think, metastasizing far quicker than governments can handle it.

    Benjamin Harnwell, Human Dignity Institute: Thank you, Steve. That was a fascinating, fascinating overview. I am particularly struck by your argument, then, that in fact, capitalism would spread around the world based on the Judeo-Christian foundation is, in fact, something that can create peace through peoples rather than antagonism, which is often a point not sufficiently appreciated. Before I turn behind me to take a question —

    Bannon: One thing I want to make sure of, if you look at the leaders of capitalism at that time, when capitalism was I believe at its highest flower and spreading its benefits to most of mankind, almost all of those capitalists were strong believers in the Judeo-Christian West. They were either active participants in the Jewish faith, they were active participants in the Christians’ faith, and they took their beliefs, and the underpinnings of their beliefs was manifested in the work they did. And I think that’s incredibly important and something that would really become unmoored. I can see this on Wall Street today — I can see this with the securitization of everything is that, everything is looked at as a securitization opportunity. People are looked at as commodities. I don’t believe that our forefathers had that same belief.

    Harnwell: Over the course of this conference we’ve heard from various points of view regarding alleviation of poverty. We’ve heard from the center-left perspective, we’ve heard from the socialist perspective, we’ve heard from the Christian democrat, if you will, perspective. What particularly interests me about your point of view Steve, to talk specifically about your work, Breitbart is very close to the tea party movement. So I’m just wondering whether you could tell me about if in the current flow of contemporary politics — first tell us a little bit about Breitbart, what the mission is, and then tell me about the reach that you have and then could you say a little bit about the current dynamic of what’s going on at the moment in the States.

    Bannon: Outside of Fox News and the Drudge Report, we’re the third-largest conservative news site and, quite frankly, we have a bigger global reach than even Fox. And that’s why we’re expanding so much internationally.

    Look, we believe — strongly — that there is a global tea party movement. We’ve seen that. We were the first group to get in and start reporting on things like UKIP and Front National and other center right. With all the baggage that those groups bring — and trust me, a lot of them bring a lot of baggage, both ethnically and racially — but we think that will all be worked through with time.

    The central thing that binds that all together is a center-right populist movement of really the middle class, the working men and women in the world who are just tired of being dictated to by what we call the party of Davos. A group of kind of — we’re not conspiracy-theory guys, but there’s certainly — and I could see this when I worked at Goldman Sachs — there are people in New York that feel closer to people in London and in Berlin than they do to people in Kansas and in Colorado, and they have more of this elite mentality that they’re going to dictate to everybody how the world’s going to be run.

    I will tell you that the working men and women of Europe and Asia and the United States and Latin America don’t believe that. They believe they know what’s best for how they will comport their lives. They think they know best about how to raise their families and how to educate their families. So I think you’re seeing a global reaction to centralized government, whether that government is in Beijing or that government is in Washington, DC, or that government is in Brussels. So we are the platform for the voice of that.

    Now, with that, we are strong capitalists. And we believe in the benefits of capitalism. And, particularly, the harder-nosed the capitalism, the better. However, like I said, there’s two strands of capitalism that we’re quite concerned about.

    One is crony capitalism, or what we call state-controlled capitalism, and that’s the big thing the tea party is fighting in the United States, and really the tea party’s biggest fight is not with the left, because we’re not there yet. The biggest fight the tea party has today is just like UKIP. UKIP’s biggest fight is with the Conservative Party.

    The tea party in the United States’ biggest fight is with the the Republican establishment, which is really a collection of crony capitalists that feel that they have a different set of rules of how they’re going to comport themselves and how they’re going to run things. And, quite frankly, it’s the reason that the United States’ financial situation is so dire, particularly our balance sheet. We have virtually a hundred trillion dollars of unfunded liabilities. That is all because you’ve had this kind of crony capitalism in Washington, DC. The rise of Breitbart is directly tied to being the voice of that center-right opposition. And, quite frankly, we’re winning many, many victories.

    On the social conservative side, we’re the voice of the anti-abortion movement, the voice of the traditional marriage movement, and I can tell you we’re winning victory after victory after victory. Things are turning around as people have a voice and have a platform of which they can use.

    Harnwell: The third-largest conservative news website is something to be extremely impressed by. Can you tell for the people here who aren’t within the Anglosphere and they might not follow American domestic politics at the moment — there seems to be a substantial sea change going on at the moment in Middle America. And the leader of the majority party, Eric Cantor, was deselected a couple of weeks ago by a tea party candidate. What does that mean for the state of domestic politics in America at the moment?

    Bannon: For everybody in your audience, this is one of the most monumental — first off, it’s the biggest election upset in the history of the American republic. Eric Cantor was the House majority leader and raised $10 million. He spent, between himself and outside groups, $8 million to hold a congressional district. He ran against a professor who was an evangelical Christian and a libertarian economist. He ran against a professor who raised in total $175,000. In fact, the bills from Eric Cantor’s campaign at a elite steak house in Washington, DC, was over $200,000. So they spent more than $200,000 over the course of the campaign wining and dining fat cats at a steak house in Washington than the entire opposition had to run.

    Now, Eric Cantor, it was a landslide. He lost 57–43, and not one — outside of Breitbart, we covered this for six months, day in and day out — not one news site — not Fox News, not Politico, no sites picked this up. And the reason that this guy won is quite simple: Middle-class people and working-class people are tired of people like Eric Cantor who say they’re conservative selling out their interests every day to crony capitalists.

    And you’re seeing that whether that was UKIP and Nigel Farage in the United Kingdom, whether it’s these groups in the Low Countries in Europe, whether it’s in France, there’s a new tea party in Germany. The theme is all the same. And the theme is middle-class and working-class people — they’re saying, “Hey, I’m working harder than I’ve ever worked. I’m getting less benefits than I’m ever getting through this, I’m incurring less wealth myself, and I’m seeing a system of fat cats who say they’re conservative and say they back capitalist principles, but all they’re doing is binding with corporatists.” Right? Corporatists, to garner all the benefits for themselves.

    And that center-right revolt is really a global revolt. I think you’re going to see it in Latin America, I think you’re going to see it in Asia, I think you’ve already seen it in India. Modi’s great victory was very much based on these Reaganesque principles, so I think this is a global revolt, and we are very fortunate and proud to be the news site that is reporting that throughout the world.

    Harnwell: I think it’s important to understand the distinction that you’re drawing here between what can be understood as authentic, free-market capitalism as a means of promoting wealth that [unintelligible] involves everybody with a form of crony capitalism which simply benefits a certain class. And we’ve watched over the course of our conference, we’ve watched two video segments produced by the Acton Institute about how development aid is spent internationally and how that can be driven away from — it damages people on the ground but it also perpetuates a governing class. And the point that you’re mentioning here, that I think that you’re saying has driven almost a revolution movement in America, is the same phenomenon of what’s going on in the developing world, which is a concept of government which is no longer doing what it is morally bound to do but has become corrupt and self-serving. So it’s effectively the sa—

    Bannon: It’s exactly the same. Currently, if you read The Economist, you read the Financial Times this week, you’ll see there’s a relatively obscure agency in the federal government that is engaged in a huge fight that may lead to a government shutdown. It’s called the Export-Import Bank. And for years, it was a bank that helped finance things that other banks wouldn’t do. And what’s happening over time is that it’s metastasized to be a cheap form of financing to General Electric and to Boeing and to other large corporations. You get this financing from other places if they wanted to, but they’re putting this onto the middle-class taxpayers to support this.

    And the tea party is using this as an example of the cronyism. General Electric and these major corporations that are in bed with the federal government are not what we’d consider free-enterprise capitalists. We’re backers of entrepreneurial capitalists. They’re not. They’re what we call corporatist. They want to have more and more monopolistic power and they’re doing that kind of convergence with big government. And so the fight here — and that’s why the media’s been very late to this party — but the fight you’re seeing is between entrepreneur capitalism, and the Acton Institute is a tremendous supporter of, and the people like the corporatists that are closer to the people like we think in Beijing and Moscow than they are to the entrepreneurial capitalist spirit of the United States.

    Harnwell: Thanks, Steve. I’m going to turn around now, as I’m sure we have some great questions from the floor. Who has the first question then?

    Bannon: First of all, Benjamin, I can tell you I could hardly recognize you, you’re so cleaned up you are for the conference.

    [Laughter]

    Questioner: Hello, Mr. Bannon. I’m Mario Fantini, a Vermonter living in Vienna, Austria. You began describing some of the trends you’re seeing worldwide, very dangerous trends, worry trends. Another movement that I’ve been seeing grow and spread in Europe, unfortunately, is what can only be described as tribalist or neo-nativist movement — they call themselves Identitarians. These are mostly young, working-class, populist groups, and they’re teaching self-defense classes, but also they are arguing against — and quite effectively, I might add — against capitalism and global financial institutions, etc. How do we counteract this stuff? Because they’re appealing to a lot of young people at a very visceral level, especially with the ethnic and racial stuff.

    Bannon: I didn’t hear the whole question, about the tribalist?

    Questioner: Very simply put, there’s a growing movement among young people here in Europe, in France and in Austria and elsewhere, and they’re arguing very effectively against Wall Street institutions and they’re also appealing to people on an ethnic and racial level. And I was just wondering what you would recommend to counteract these movements, which are growing.

    Bannon: One of the reasons that you can understand how they’re being fueled is that they’re not seeing the benefits of capitalism. I mean particularly — and I think it’s particularly more advanced in Europe than it is in the United States, but in the United States it’s getting pretty advanced — is that when you have this kind of crony capitalism, you have a different set of rules for the people that make the rules. It’s this partnership of big government and corporatists. I think it starts to fuel, particularly as you start to see negative job creation. If you go back, in fact, and look at the United States’ GDP, you look at a bunch of Europe. If you take out government spending, you know, we’ve had negative growth on a real basis for over a decade.

    And that all trickles down to the man in the street. If you look at people’s lives, and particularly millennials, look at people under 30 — people under 30, there’s 50% really underemployment of people in the United States, which is probably the most advanced economy in the West, and it gets worse in Europe.

    I think in Spain it’s something like 50 or 60% of the youth under 30 are underemployed. And that means the decade of their twenties, which is where you have to learn a skill, where you have to learn a craft, where you really start to get comfortable in your profession, you’re taking that away from the entire generation. That’s only going to fuel tribalism, that’s only going to fuel [unintelligible]… That’s why to me, it’s incumbent upon freedom-loving people to make sure that we sort out these governments and make sure that we sort out particularly this crony capitalism so that the benefits become more of this entrepreneurial spirit and that can flow back to working-class and middle-class people. Because if not, we’re going to pay a huge price for this. You can already start to see it.

    Harnwell: Okay, I think we’ve got time for just one or two more questions for Stephen K. Bannon, chairman of Breitbart Media, third-largest news organization in the States. I know you’re a very, very busy man, so we’re very grateful for the time that you’ve agreed to put aside for this, to close this conference.

    Bannon: I’m never too busy to share with a group that can do as much good as you guys can.

    Questioner: What do you think is the major threat today, to the Judeo-Christian Civilization? Secularism, or the Muslim world? In my humble opinion, they’re just trying to defend themselves from our cultural invasion. Thank you.

    [Question restated by Harnwell]

    Bannon: It’s a great question. I certainly think secularism has sapped the strength of the Judeo-Christian West to defend its ideals, right?

    If you go back to your home countries and your proponent of the defense of the Judeo-Christian West and its tenets, oftentimes, particularly when you deal with the elites, you’re looked at as someone who is quite odd. So it has kind of sapped the strength.

    But I strongly believe that whatever the causes of the current drive to the caliphate was — and we can debate them, and people can try to deconstruct them — we have to face a very unpleasant fact. And that unpleasant fact is that there is a major war brewing, a war that’s already global. It’s going global in scale, and today’s technology, today’s media, today’s access to weapons of mass destruction, it’s going to lead to a global conflict that I believe has to be confronted today. Every day that we refuse to look at this as what it is, and the scale of it, and really the viciousness of it, will be a day where you will rue that we didn’t act [unintelligible].

    Question: Obviously, before the European elections the two parties had a clear link to Putin. If one of the representatives of the dangers of capitalism is the state involvement in capitalism, so, I see there, also Marine Le Pen campaigning in Moscow with Putin, and also UKIP strongly defending Russian positions in geopolitical terms.

    [Harnwell restates, but unintelligible]

    Harnwell: These two parties have both been cultivating President Putin [unintelligible].

    Bannon: I think it’s a little bit more complicated. When Vladimir Putin, when you really look at some of the underpinnings of some of his beliefs today, a lot of those come from what I call Eurasianism; he’s got an adviser who harkens back to Julius Evola and different writers of the early 20th century who are really the supporters of what’s called the traditionalist movement, which really eventually metastasized into Italian fascism. A lot of people that are traditionalists are attracted to that.

    One of the reasons is that they believe that at least Putin is standing up for traditional institutions, and he’s trying to do it in a form of nationalism — and I think that people, particularly in certain countries, want to see the sovereignty for their country, they want to see nationalism for their country. They don’t believe in this kind of pan-European Union or they don’t believe in the centralized government in the United States. They’d rather see more of a states-based entity that the founders originally set up where freedoms were controlled at the local level.

    I’m not justifying Vladimir Putin and the kleptocracy that he represents, because he eventually is the state capitalist of kleptocracy. However, we the Judeo-Christian West really have to look at what he’s talking about as far as traditionalism goes — particularly the sense of where it supports the underpinnings of nationalism — and I happen to think that the individual sovereignty of a country is a good thing and a strong thing. I think strong countries and strong nationalist movements in countries make strong neighbors, and that is really the building blocks that built Western Europe and the United States, and I think it’s what can see us forward.

    You know, Putin’s been quite an interesting character. He’s also very, very, very intelligent. I can see this in the United States where he’s playing very strongly to social conservatives about his message about more traditional values, so I think it’s something that we have to be very much on guard of. Because at the end of the day, I think that Putin and his cronies are really a kleptocracy, that are really an imperialist power that want to expand. However, I really believe that in this current environment, where you’re facing a potential new caliphate that is very aggressive that is really a situation — I’m not saying we can put it on a back burner — but I think we have to deal with first things first.

    Look, we believe — strongly — that there is a global tea party movement. We’ve seen that. We were the first group to get in and start reporting on things like UKIP and Front National and other center right. With all the baggage that those groups bring — and trust me, a lot of them bring a lot of baggage, both ethnically and racially — but we think that will all be worked through with time.”

    That’s right: in Steve Bannon’s language, groups like the Tea Party, UKIP and Front National in France are center-right (LOL!) and all part of a global tea party movement. But aside from describing them as center-right movements it’s hard to argue with the observation that there really is a global movement of local far-right ‘populist’ tea party-like movements. All united by “traditionalist” agenda of social conservatism coupled with a desire to “deconstruct the administrative state”. A desire that, aside from dropping trade agreements, is in lock step with the right-wing global oligarchy’s long-standing agenda of getting government out of the role protecting average people from the predations of cut-throat capitalism.

    And given the concerns expressed by EU government officials over the possibility of a “trans-Atlantic crisis” if the Trump administration starts trying to help the various far-right anti-EU movements, (like the AfD in Germany), note how Bannon refers to “a new tea party in Germany (which is almost certainly a reference to the AfD):


    And you’re seeing that whether that was UKIP and Nigel Farage in the United Kingdom, whether it’s these groups in the Low Countries in Europe, whether it’s in France, there’s a new tea party in Germany. The theme is all the same. And the theme is middle-class and working-class people — they’re saying, “Hey, I’m working harder than I’ve ever worked. I’m getting less benefits than I’m ever getting through this, I’m incurring less wealth myself, and I’m seeing a system of fat cats who say they’re conservative and say they back capitalist principles, but all they’re doing is binding with corporatists.” Right? Corporatists, to garner all the benefits for themselves.

    And that all suggests that “deconstructing the adminstrative state” is going to probably mean the US government is going to start helping the Front National and AfD and similar far-right EU parties. With Julius Evola’s concepts “traditionalism” acting as the unifying theme that brings unites a collection of newly divided societies under a pan-traditionalist Judeo-Christian new Western order:


    Bannon: I think it’s a little bit more complicated. When Vladimir Putin, when you really look at some of the underpinnings of some of his beliefs today, a lot of those come from what I call Eurasianism; he’s got an adviser who harkens back to Julius Evola and different writers of the early 20th century who are really the supporters of what’s called the traditionalist movement, which really eventually metastasized into Italian fascism. A lot of people that are traditionalists are attracted to that.

    One of the reasons is that they believe that at least Putin is standing up for traditional institutions, and he’s trying to do it in a form of nationalism — and I think that people, particularly in certain countries, want to see the sovereignty for their country, they want to see nationalism for their country. They don’t believe in this kind of pan-European Union or they don’t believe in the centralized government in the United States. They’d rather see more of a states-based entity that the founders originally set up where freedoms were controlled at the local level.

    I’m not justifying Vladimir Putin and the kleptocracy that he represents, because he eventually is the state capitalist of kleptocracy. However, we the Judeo-Christian West really have to look at what he’s talking about as far as traditionalism goes — particularly the sense of where it supports the underpinnings of nationalism — and I happen to think that the individual sovereignty of a country is a good thing and a strong thing. I think strong countries and strong nationalist movements in countries make strong neighbors, and that is really the building blocks that built Western Europe and the United States, and I think it’s what can see us forward.

    Let’s also keep in mind that while the European far-right and Team Trump clamors about wanting to break up the EU, that same global confederation of far-right movements would probably prefer it if the opportunity came around where the EU remained intact but basically becomes overtly far-right. If the whole EU (or a dominant ruling faction of countries) all elected far-right ‘populist’ governments there’s nothing stopping them from making the common EU rules “loose” enough placate demands for national sovereignty like letting nations reimpose intra-EU border and immigration controls and a roll-back a human rights standards. If almost every EU government veers far-right we just might the realization of the EU Clausewitzian super-state. Isn’t that the far-right dream?

    Just because Bannon and Trump want to see a Europe where any sort of shared pan-European identity is replaced by a patchwork of mutually hostile nationalism doesn’t mean you can’t have a pan-European identity of a network of far-right nationalist societies all bound by a common “traditionalist Christianity vs everyone else” identity. Instead of a “one Europe” identity, you’ll go back to a confederation of nations where each nation is dominated by its particular far-right “traditionalist” strain of conservatism but united by a loathing of everyone that isn’t in that traditionalist Christian umbrella. That a confederation that can still operate under a modified EU structure. A basket of deplorable governments united in a shared goal of fighting a war of civilizations between traditionalist far-right Christians and traditionalist far-right Muslims, while traditionalist Christians and traditionalist Muslims unite in crushing secular society everywhere. That’s a path forward that still fits Bannon’s rhetoric.

    So get ready for a grimly fascinating trans-Atlantic crisis (that’s really a global crisis) as the “deconstruction of the administrative state” accelerates. We just might see the EU dissolve under a wave of fascism that reunites as a confederation of fascism. Or maybe the EU just gets reborn as the Clausewitzian dream. Either way, Julius Evola is going to be spinning in his grave. With glee. ISIS should also be pretty happy.

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | February 25, 2017, 4:00 pm
  3. Here’s another example of the global nature of the “Alt-Right’s” attempts to rebrand far-right ideologies. Check out the image on the main banner used in a Lithuanian far-right march celebrating the WWII pro-Nazi collaborationist Kazys Skirpa: Pepe the frog. Or, more precisely, Kazy Skirpa as Pepe the frog:

    Jewish Telegraph Agency

    Lithuanian nationalists celebrate Holocaust-era quisling, Pepe the Frog near execution site

    February 17, 2017 7:29am

    (JTA) — Lithuanian ultranationalists marched near execution sites of Jews with banners celebrating a pro-Nazi collaborationist who called for ethnic cleansing and a symbol popular with members of the U.S. “alt-right” movement.

    Approximately 170 people attended Thursday’s annual march in Kaunas, Lithuania’s second city that is also known as Kovno, the website Defending History reported.

    The main banner featured a picture of the collaborationist Kazys Skirpa modified to resemble Pepe the Frog, a cartoon figure that was used by hate groups in the United States during the 2016 presidential elections, according to the Anti-Defamation League.

    The banner also included a quote attributed to the Pepe-like portrait of Skirpa, an envoy of the pro-Nazi movement in Lithuania to Berlin, that read “Lithuania will contribute to new and better European order.”

    Skirpa, who has a street named for him in Kaunas, “elevated anti-Semitism to a political level” that “could have encouraged a portion of Lithuania’s residents to get involved in the Holocaust,” the Genocide and Resistance Research Center of Lithuania asserted in 2015. But Skirpa “proposed to solve ‘the Jewish problem’ not by genocide but by the method of expulsion from Lithuania,” the center said.

    The procession passed near the Lietovus Garage, where in 1941 locals butchered dozens of Jews. Thousands more were killed in an around Kaunas by local collaborators of the Nazis and by German soldiers in the following months.

    “Kaunas is ground zero of the Lithuanian Holocaust,” Dovid Katz, a U.S.-born scholar and the founder of Defending History, told JTA on Friday. He condemned local authorities for allowing the march by “folks who glorify the very Holocaust-collaborators, theoreticians and perpetrators who unleashed the genocide locally.” Katz was one of five people who attended the march to protest and document it.

    Lithuania is the only country that officially defines its domination by the former Soviet Union as a form of genocide. The name of the state-funded entity that wrote about Skirpa in 2005 refers both to the Holocaust and the so-called Soviet occupation.

    The Museum of Genocide Victims in Vilnius, which until 2011 did not mention the more than 200,000 Lithuanian Jews who died in the Nazi Holocaust, was established in 1992 to memorialize Lithuanians killed by the Nazi, but mostly Soviet, states.

    “The banner also included a quote attributed to the Pepe-like portrait of Skirpa, an envoy of the pro-Nazi movement in Lithuania to Berlin, that read “Lithuania will contribute to new and better European order.””

    As we can see, the “Alt-Right” Pepe-fication of Europe is well underway, and it’s going to include Europe’s many WWII historical revisionism movements: all of those Nazi collaborators were actually misunderstood freedom fighters. And here’s a fun “Alt-Right” meme about them. But don’t call them Nazis.

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | February 27, 2017, 3:11 pm
  4. Remember how Donald Trump asserted that his “opponents” were behind the wave of anti-Semitic acts as part of false-flag plot to fuel outrage against him? Well, it sounds like he did it again. This time during a private meeting with state attorneys general:

    The Washington Post

    Trump questioned who is really behind anti-Semitic threats and vandalism, official says

    By Mark Berman
    February 28, 2017 at 8:11 PM

    President Trump questioned who was behind a recent spate of anti-Semitic threats and incidents during a meeting with state attorneys general on Tuesday, one of the people present said after the gathering.

    When Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro (D) asked him about the recent threats against Jewish facilities, the president responded by condemning the statements but then “suggested the ‘reverse’ may be true,” Shapiro said.

    “I don’t know what the president meant by that statement,” Shapiro said in a statement.

    Trump “made this reference that sometimes it’s the reverse” and then “used that word ‘reverse’ several times,” Joe Grace, a spokesman for Shapiro, said in a telephone interview Tuesday afternoon. Grace was relaying what Shapiro had said publicly during a phone call with reporters earlier Tuesday.

    Shapiro’s account of the meeting with Trump was first reported by Billy Penn. According to the Billy Penn report, a reporter asked if Shapiro interpreted Trump’s statements to mean that the president thinks his supporters are being framed, but Shapiro responded by saying he is unsure what Trump was implying.

    “The attorney general honestly does not know what the president meant by that,” Grace said, adding that Shapiro “hoped that there would be clarity on those remarks” when Trump delivers a speech before Congress on Tuesday evening. Shapiro said Trump told him he would address the anti-Semitic incidents during his speech.

    Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi (R), a Trump supporter during the campaign, also attended the meeting but declined to comment about what was said.

    “I know first-hand President Trump cares deeply about our Jewish community and is extremely upset by these attacks,” Bondi said in a statement. “His daughter, son-in-law and three of his grandchildren are Jewish. We pray these attacks, as well as any potential copycat attacks, cease.”

    Trump’s comments on the issue came after a wave of bomb threats at Jewish centers and schools on Monday and the toppling of more than 100 headstones at a Jewish cemetery in Philadelphia over the weekend. The bomb threats were the latest in a spate of such incidents nationwide so far this year, while the headstone episode occurred a week after similar vandalism at a cemetery near St. Louis.

    There have been a total of 100 bomb threats called in to Jewish schools and Jewish Community Centers since the beginning of January, according to the Jewish Community Center Association of North America.

    Last week, Trump offered his first public condemnation of the anti-Semitic incidents, relenting in the face of extensive criticism about his refusal to comment publicly. Trump was asked about the subject during two news conferences earlier this month, but he declined to condemn the anti-Semitic episodes, instead responding to one question by discussing his electoral victory and replying in the other briefing by criticizing the reporter who asked the question.

    The reports promised swift and sharp condemnations from groups that have already expressed unhappiness with Trump’s behavior on the issue. The Anti-Defamation League pilloried the comments on the origins of the threats, calling on Trump’s White House to offer further explanation.

    “We are astonished by what the President reportedly said,” Jonathan Greenblatt, chief executive of the ADL, said in a statement. “It is incumbent upon the White House to immediately clarify these remarks. In light of the ongoing attacks on the Jewish community, it is also incumbent upon the President to lay out in his speech tonight his plans for what the federal government will do to address this rash of anti-Semitic incidents.”

    The Anne Frank Center for Mutual Respect, a nonprofit organization targeting discrimination and a group that has criticized Trump, released an even more critical statement.

    “Mr. President, have you no decency?” Steven Goldstein, the nonprofit’s executive director, said in a statement. “To cast doubt on the authenticity of Anti-Semitic hate crimes in America constitutes Anti-Semitism in itself, and that’s something none of us ever dreamed would disgrace our nation from the White House. If the reports are true, you owe the American Jewish community an apology.”

    Trump’s reported comments would not be the first time he has suggested that racist, anti-Semitic or other “horrible” sentiment has been expressed by his political opponents seeking to make him or his supporters look bad, as Aaron Blake documents at The Fix.

    “But you have some of those signs and some of that anger is caused by the other side,” Trump said to a reporter during a news conference earlier this month. “They’ll do signs, and they’ll do drawings that are inappropriate. It won’t be my people. It will be the people on the other side to anger people like you.”

    Trump has often sought to blame issues on his political opposition. During the campaign, he accused Democrats of being behind violence at his rallies, stating that Hillary Clinton’s campaign and former president Barack Obama were behind such issues. (The facts don’t bear that out.) This week, Trump accused Obama of helping organize the swaths of protests that have happened during the first weeks of his presidency.

    Earlier on Tuesday, Anthony Scaramucci, a New York financier with ties to Trump who has accepted a White House position, posted on Twitter noting that it was not clear who was behind the Jewish Community Center threats. In his tweet, he included a link to a story alleging Democratic Party attempts to incite violence at Trump rallies.

    It's not yet clear who the #JCC offenders are. Don't forget @TheDemocrats effort to incite violence at Trump rallies https://t.co/uTBFGhI0Kh— Anthony Scaramucci (@Scaramucci) February 28, 2017

    When it was pointed out that he appeared to be suggesting Democrats were behind the threatening calls, Scaramucci argued otherwise:

    No, I'm saying until we know for sure it's highly irresponsible to jump to conclusions https://t.co/wynFuUCKyT— Anthony Scaramucci (@Scaramucci) February 28, 2017

    I have stood with and will stand for the Jewish People for my entire life. Those that know me know.— Anthony Scaramucci (@Scaramucci) February 28, 2017

    I did not. Let's not start with the Fake News now. I said no one knows yet who did it. https://t.co/wynFuUl9aj— Anthony Scaramucci (@Scaramucci) February 28, 2017

    Trump “made this reference that sometimes it’s the reverse” and then “used that word ‘reverse’ several times,” Joe Grace, a spokesman for Shapiro, said in a telephone interview Tuesday afternoon. Grace was relaying what Shapiro had said publicly during a phone call with reporters earlier Tuesday.”

    It sure sounds like Trump really wanted to get across the message the attorneys general that these bomb threats were part of some sort of left-wing plot against him.

    And keep in mind that the technology the perpetrators of these bomb threats are using appears to have given them the ability to act with impunity. At least so far. So it’s not impossible that a non-anti-Semite is behind this multi-month long wave of bomb threats that’s terrorizing the American Jewish community. Just as it’s not impossible that any unsolved crime has some sort of ‘reverse’ ulterior motive. But if this really is all part of some sort of ‘reverse’ plot of non-anti-Semites terrorizing the American Jewish community in order to make Trump look bad, it’s apparently being done by non-anti-Semites who don’t mind the fact that they’re terrorizing the American Jewish community. Or maybe Trump was suggesting it was Jewish community itself carrying out ‘reverse’ attacks? Who knows at this point. All we know for sure is that Trump really, really, really doesn’t like to seriously entertain the idea that legion of white supremacists enthusiastically backing his campaign might be behind.

    Also keep in mind that if this was all a plot to make Trump look bad, it’s a diabolically sneaky plot that must be carried out by individuals with keen insights into Trump’s psyche and the ability to predict how he’s going to respond. Why? Because the only thing making Trump look bad during this whole terror campaign was his response. First he didn’t respond at all, and then he gave a totally bizarre press conference where he claimed to be the least anti-Semitic person you’ve ever seen and suggested that it was his opponents behind it. And now he apparently told a group of attorneys general that they should really look into it being a ‘reverse’ plot. Did the ‘reverse’ bomb threat plotters know Trump was going to behave like that? Because their devious scheme wasn’t going to work unless Trump behaved that way. After all, it’s not like Trump couldn’t have forcefully condemned these threats right away and called for an aggressive investigation, in which case the bomb threats wouldn’t have actually been an attack on Trump at all but potentially a political boon. And Trump certainly wasn’t forced to de-list white supremacist groups from the counter-extremism federal task force, sending these groups over the edge with joy. He didn’t have to do stuff like that which totally plays into the ‘Trump pals around with white supremacists’ meme that the alleged ‘reverse’ bomb threat plotters apparently wanted to propagate. That was all Team Trump. Did the ‘reverse’ plotters know he was going to do that?

    In other words, if there really is a ‘reverse’ bomb threat plot by Trump’s political opponents designed to make it look like Trump unleashed a wave of unchecked white supremacy, the key individual carrying out this plot appear to be Donald Trump. It must be a very complicated plot.

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | February 28, 2017, 7:51 pm
  5. Awesome. I’ve been wondering when you’d tackle Dugin. As for Bannon–horrifying that All that strange third way fascism stuff I learned about from you last year is now controlling the White House.
    That’s why you figured prominently in this interview on I did on Iran/Contra WACL and my favorite researchers on Deep Politics which include Dave Emory, Peter Dale Scott, Doug Valentine, J. Patrice McSherry, and Sibel Edmonds. I should have mentioned Hospicker. I bought Coogan’s book along with the Beast ReAwakens by Martin A. Lee although I haven’t had a chance to read them yet.
    http://anti-imperialist-u.blogspot.com/2017/02/hugo-turner-on-deep-politics-of.html

    Posted by Hugo Turner | March 1, 2017, 12:42 pm
  6. Donald Trump gave his first speech to Congress, a speech that was largely and bizarrely hailed by the press and polls as ‘optimistic’ despite being largely a pack of lies that was only slightly less dark and inflammatory than his ‘American carnage’ inauguration speech. But if you’re a fan of a creeping Hitlerian agenda, it was definitely an optimistic speech:

    The Atlantic

    Trump Scapegoats Unauthorized Immigrants for Crime

    The president’s focus on crimes committed by members of one particular group singles them out for blame.

    Peter Beinart
    March 1, 2017 8:02 AM ET

    This story was updated on Wednesday, March 1 at 10:06 a.m.

    Donald Trump is worried about violence by unauthorized immigrants. When he spoke before a joint session of Congress on Tuesday night, he invited three relatives of people that unauthorized immigrants had killed to attend as his guests.

    In that speech, he called for the Department of Homeland Security to create an office focused on the victims of immigrant crime. And in a January 25 executive order, he instructed the Homeland Security Secretary to “make public a comprehensive list of criminal actions committed by aliens.”

    On its face, this is odd. As far as researchers can tell, unauthorized immigrants commit crimes at a lower rate than the American population at large. A 2007 National Bureau of Economic Research Paper by Wellesley College economist Kristin F. Butcher and Rutgers economist Anne Morrison Piehl found that “immigrants have much lower institutionalization (incarceration) rates than the native born.” (The discrepancy, they noted, could not be explained by the fact that the government deports some immigrant criminals, thus sparing them incarceration in the U.S.). A review of census data between 1980 and 2010 revealed that while non-citizens comprised 7 percent of the U.S. population, they comprised only 5 percent of those in America’s prisons.

    Trump’s allies may believe that sneaking into the United States, or using a fake social security number to get a job, predisposes people to rob, rape, or kill. But the evidence does not bear this out. So if Trump’s goal is increasing public safety, publishing a list of crimes committed by unauthorized immigrants is irrational. It’s like publishing a list of crimes committed by people with red-hair.

    If, however, Trump’s goal is stigmatizing a vulnerable class of people, then publicizing their crimes—and their crimes alone—makes sense. It’s been a tactic bigots have used more than a century.

    Using crime to incite hatred has a long history in the United States. Khalil Gibran Muhammad, a professor of history, race, and public policy at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government, notes that for at least a century after the end of slavery, northern newspapers generally identified African Americans accused of committing crimes as “negro” or “colored.” Southern newspapers generally referred to the offender as a “negro criminal” in bold—using the individual’s name and “the negro” interchangeably in the story. White criminals, by contrast, were not identified by race. (This tradition continues at Breitbart, which has a special category for “black crime.”)

    Government crime statistics reflected ethnic and racial fears too. In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, notes Muhammad, when native-born Americans were growing alarmed by mass immigration from Southern and Eastern Europe, big city police forces broke down crime statistics by European nationality: Russian, German, Italian, etc. As nativist fears receded following the shutdown of such immigration, the FBI began lumping all European nationalities into the category “foreign born” beginning in 1930. By 1940, the European foreign born were subsumed into “white.”

    In The Nazi Conscience, Duke historian Claudia Koonz notes that the Nazi newspaper Der Sturmer ran a feature called “Letter Box,” which published readers’ accounts of Jewish crimes. When the Nazis took power, the German state began doing something similar. Frustrated by the failure of most Germans to participate in a boycott of Jewish businesses in April 1933, Adolf Hitler’s government began publicizing Jewish crime statistics as a way of stoking anti-Semitism. In Nazi Germany and the Jews: The Years of Persecution, the historian Saul Friedlander notes that, until 1938, Hitler’s Ministry of Justice ordered prosecutors to forward every criminal indictment against a Jew so the ministry’s press office could publicize it.

    Trump’s defenders might claim that what he’s doing differs from these prior examples. He’s publicizing the crimes of a legal group—illegal immigrants—not a religious, ethnic, or racial one. But in the United States in 2017, talking about “illegal immigrants” is like talking about “welfare mothers” or “crack dealers” in 1987. The racial implication is clear. Trump made it so himself in his announcement speech when he said that, “When Mexico sends its people…They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists.”

    Trump is scapegoating in the classic sense. He’s taking the sin of crime and associating it with one, already stigmatized, group, thus allowing native-born Americans to consider themselves pure. In Leviticus, the high priest takes a goat, “confess[es] over it all the iniquities and transgressions of the Israelites” and then sends it into the wilderness so it won’t contaminate them. When it comes to unauthorized immigrants, Trump is reenacting that ritual. Americans will soon learn just how harsh his legal and moral wilderness is.

    “In The Nazi Conscience, Duke historian Claudia Koonz notes that the Nazi newspaper Der Sturmer ran a feature called “Letter Box,” which published readers’ accounts of Jewish crimes. When the Nazis took power, the German state began doing something similar. Frustrated by the failure of most Germans to participate in a boycott of Jewish businesses in April 1933, Adolf Hitler’s government began publicizing Jewish crime statistics as a way of stoking anti-Semitism. In Nazi Germany and the Jews: The Years of Persecution, the historian Saul Friedlander notes that, until 1938, Hitler’s Ministry of Justice ordered prosecutors to forward every criminal indictment against a Jew so the ministry’s press office could publicize it.

    A new DHS department that will be focused on immigrant crimes and “providing a voice to those who have been ignored by our media, and silenced by special interests” (yes, he managed to suggest that there’s a conspiracy to no report crimes by immigrants). And keep in mind that as chilling as the idea is of Trump using his new DHS program to demonize non-whites and immigrants and eventually blanket the airwaves with stories about immigrant crimes in his 2020 reelection bid, that office is going to be used by GOPers all over the country. Especially in TV ads reminiscent of the infamous ‘Willie Horton’ ad George H. W. Bush used to demonize African Americans as criminals in his 1988 race. And US elections have a lot more money spent on TV ads today than they did back in 1988.

    So get ready for ‘dangerous violent (non-white) immigrants are coming for you and your family’ to be the GOP’s theme for the foreseeable future. And get ready for the billions of dollars in political advertising to make sure that Americans receive that message over and over. Feeling optimistic?

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | March 1, 2017, 4:55 pm
  7. Here’s a reminder that Steve Bannon’s vision of an international network of Breitbart branches pushing a far-right, pro-corporatist ethno-nationalist agenda – in other words, corporatist globalism with an ethno-nationalist patina – isn’t limited to Breitbart’s expansion into Europe. Breitbart India is on the agenda too and has been for a while:

    The Daily Beast

    Inside Steve Bannon’s Failed Breitbart India Scheme
    Before he was the president’s right-hand man, Steve Bannon was bent on world domination of a different kind.

    Asawin Suebsaeng
    03.02.17 12:00 AM ET

    If Stephen K. Bannon had had his way, there would already be a Breitbart India.

    Well before he entered the Trump White House with an eye toward influencing and affecting foreign policy, Bannon was already trying to wield his Breitbart media empire to influence the politics of foreign democracies, in favor of right-wing nationalist upheavals.

    Until he became President Trump’s chief strategist, Bannon was on a mission to open new Breitbart operations in several European countries. According to multiple reports, he wanted these foreign offices opened for the purpose of backing nationalist, anti-immigrant political parties such as the National Front in France.

    Another country Bannon had eyed for setting up shop was India, so his right-wing news and propaganda network could lend its support to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, another nationalist, hugely controversial figure whom Bannon has come to admire greatly.

    “On November 17 2015, I sat opposite Steve Bannon in [a New York City] office as he asked me if I’d be interested in starting Breitbart India,” Mumbai-based writer Amit Varma wrote in a little-noticed blog post late last year.

    “A lady who was one of the funders of [Breitbart], and of certain leaders in the Republican Party, got in touch with [others] to ask if she could meet me. (It’s not fair of me to name her because she’s not really a public figure.),” Varma continued. “She’d been impressed by my speech, and thus this meeting [with her and Bannon].”

    Though Varma declined to name the “lady,” two sources, who requested anonymity, with knowledge of the meeting confirmed to The Daily Beast that the woman present in the room with Bannon was in fact Rebekah Mercer, the Republican megadonor with deep ties to Trump and Bannon. Last week, Breitbart confirmed that the Mercer family does in fact co-own Breitbart.

    Mercer did not respond to requests for comment on this story. Neither did Bannon.

    Varma blogged that he “didn’t know much about Breitbart” or the American alt-right, though he knew right off the bat that launching Breitbart India wasn’t the gig for him. Breitbart was a conservative vehicle, both in the United States and at its offshoots abroad. Varma identifies as a pro-immigration, pro-gay-rights libertarian. Moreover, he says that he advised them that there wasn’t even a point to having a website like Breitbart colonize India.

    “It’s incongruent,” he recalled telling Bannon and Mercer. “There is no analog of American conservatism in India. The Indian right is driven by bigotry and nativism, with no deeper guiding philosophy behind it. [Consider the irony of these words.] You will not find any Burkean conservatives here. Don’t come.”

    “Well, we think that Modi is India’s Reagan,” Bannon replied, according to Varma.

    Varma writes that he “laughed” in Bannon’s face when he said that, and had to tell them that “Modi was no Reagan.”

    Subsequently, “the lady” present attempted to convince Varma that she was “actually” a libertarian, as well, before launching into “diatribes” against same-sex marriage and “immigrants in America, and how the cultural fabric of Europe was being torn apart by their immigrants.”

    Following Trump’s election-night upset, Varma wrote that he is “still glad that I didn’t explore their offer further. I could have been somewhat richer, maybe even influential, if I’d taken it up—but I sleep well at night now, and that’s what matters.”

    In a brief phone conversation, Varma told The Daily Beast that he did not wish to comment further than what he wrote in his original post, but added that he found Bannon to be warm and “very nice to me.”

    Modi is a controversial nationalist, right-wing leader. The U.S., along with England and other Western countries, had imposed a visa ban on him after human-rights organizations implicated Modi in a 2002 slaughter of Muslims in his state. The Indian Supreme Court eventually exonerated Modi years later, but by then many witnesses had been tampered with, had died, or had been killed.

    During a conference held inside the Vatican in 2014, Bannon praised Modi, a Hindu nationalist, for being at the center of a transnational “revolt.”

    “That center-right revolt is really a global revolt,” Bannon said, according to BuzzFeed. “I think you’re going to see it in Latin America, I think you’re going to see it in Asia, I think you’ve already seen it in India. Modi’s great victory was very much based on these Reaganesque principles, so I think this is a global revolt, and we are very fortunate and proud to be the news site that is reporting that throughout the world.”

    The intersection of pro-Modi and pro-Trump sentiments within Trump’s inner political circle didn’t stop there. The Republican Hindu Coalition (RHC), which was very supportive of Trump’s presidential campaign and was favorably covered on Breitbart multiple times, has been in close contact with Bannon, via its leader and GOP donor Shalabh “Shalli” Kumar.

    In mid-October of last year shortly before the election, Kumar organized an RHC event in New Jersey featuring and celebrating Donald J. Trump. The event also included Kumar, as well as “Bollywood Stars, and major Hindu spiritual leaders,” according to the invitation.

    Kumar, chairman of the Republican Hindu Coalition, told The Daily Beast this week, that Bannon worked with him to get the event planned around the Republican presidential nominee’s busy schedule.

    “I have had several interfaces with [Steve Bannon] in person, as well as over the phone and over email,” Kumar said.

    Kumar said that he first met Bannon in late August 2016, and that he was a “very, very nice guy”—not the the “rude, angry-type person” he had seen portrayed in the news. During his August visit to Trump Tower to plan the Bollywood-tinged, pro-Trump event, Kumar met with Kellyanne Conway and Bannon.

    “Generally, we were talking about the reaching-out to Hindu Americans, and [Bannon] was all for it—I do remember him being interested in talking to the powers at be from India,” Kumar recalled. “At the end of the meeting, Kellyanne had to disappear for a moment into a different room, and I had forgotten to ask her some questions… So Steve went with me from room, to room, to room [in Trump Tower] to find her to get my questions answered.”

    Kumar said he chatted with Bannon multiple times regarding the importance of a “nationalist economy,” Indian politics, and taking “tough stands against radical Islamic terrorism.”

    “[Steve] had a clear philosophy that you could still be in nationalism, and still be a global power,” he continued.

    Kumar says he is still in touch with Bannon, and communicated as recently as last month. When asked about the former Breitbart chief’s plans to try to mount a Breitbart India, Kumar said he had not heard about them, but that it “would be great” if Breitbart did do that.

    “Steve Bannon is the guy who straightened out the Trump campaign in August,” the Indian-American businessman said. “He almost seemed like a military commander… One of my favorite guys in history is Gen. Patton, and—you know—he could be like Gen. Patton.”

    “Another country Bannon had eyed for setting up shop was India, so his right-wing news and propaganda network could lend its support to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, another nationalist, hugely controversial figure whom Bannon has come to admire greatly.

    Keep in mind that Narendra Modi is going to be facing reelection in 2019, so while Breitbart may not have set up its Indian branch yet we probably shouldn’t be surprised if one pops up over the next couple of years. Although probably not in the near future. It’s not the best time at the moment for a Trump-associated media venture in India.

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | March 2, 2017, 4:23 pm
  8. Well look at that: So not long after Donald Trump claims that his “opponents” were actually behind the wave of bomb threats of Jewish centers, Juan Thompson – the disgraced ex-reporter for the Intercept who was dismissed after he was discovered to be a serial fabricator – makes at least 8 bomb threats. Using his own name along with the name of an ex-girlfriend he was cyber-stalking while claiming that she was actually making the threats in order to frame him, which probably has a lot to do with investigators describing Thompson’s arrest as unrelated to much larger wave of over 100 “robo-call” bomb threats:

    CNN

    Fired reporter accused of threatening some Jewish centers, cyber-stalking

    By Eric Levenson and AnneClaire Stapleton,
    Updated 4:29 PM ET, Fri March 3, 2017

    New York (CNN)A former reporter who was fired for fabricating sources was arrested Friday and accused of making some of the bomb threats against Jewish institutions that have so rattled Jews recently.

    Juan Thompson, 31, was charged with one count of cyber-stalking for making at least eight threats as part of an attempt to intimidate a particular person after their romantic relationship ended, according to a criminal complaint filed in the Southern District of New York.

    The accusation against Thompson accounts for just a small minority of the 101 total bomb threats that have been received by Jewish institutions since 2017 began, according to data from the JCC Association of North America.

    “No one has been arrested for making the nationwide robocall JCC threats,” New York State Police’s Beau Duffy said. “That’s still an active FBI investigation.”

    The complaint alleges Thompson had emailed and phoned in threats to the Anti-Defamation League and other Jewish institutions. Some of those threats mentioned a “Jewish Newtown,” according to the complaint, an apparent reference to the infamous 2012 school shooting in Newtown, Connecticut.

    Thompson made some of the threats in the victim’s name, while others were made in his own name, according to the complaint. Thompson then claimed that those threats had actually been made by the victim in an attempt to frame him, the complaint alleges.

    It could not be immediately determined if Thompson has an attorney.

    Jewish community centers and schools have been the targets of a series of bomb threats made via telephone since 2017 began, sparking fears of rising anti-Semitism around the country.

    Thompson’s arrest, in St. Louis, was the result of the ongoing investigation into those bomb threats, officials said.

    “Thompson’s alleged pattern of harassment not only involved the defamation of his female victim, but his threats intimidated an entire community,” FBI Assistant Director-in-Charge William F. Sweeney Jr. said in a statement.

    Former reporter

    Thompson previously worked as a reporter for The Intercept, the online news publication, according to previous CNN reporting and a review of Thompson’s Twitter account.

    Several tweets from his Twitter account, @JuanMThompson, are referenced in the criminal complaint. That Twitter account is linked to articles bearing his byline at The Intercept.

    Thompson was fired from the website in 2016 for fabricating quotes, The Intercept’s editor-in-chief wrote at the time in a special note to readers. He had worked there from November 2014 until January 2016.

    In one story, Thompson quoted a man he identified as the cousin of Dylann Roof, the man convicted of killing nine people at a historically black church in Charleston, South Carolina. Intercept editors retracted that story after members of Roof’s family said they did not know of that cousin.

    Jewish groups react

    Evan Bernstein, the New York regional director of the Anti-Defamation League, praised the arrest of Thompson but noted that the threats remained an issue.

    “The diligence of law enforcement at such a critical time for the Jewish community is very reassuring,” said Bernstein. “Just because there’s been an arrest today around our bomb threat does not mean that the threats have disappeared or will stop.”

    “No one has been arrested for making the nationwide robocall JCC threats,” New York State Police’s Beau Duffy said. “That’s still an active FBI investigation.””

    As we probably should have expected, we get copycat of whoever is doing to the much larger wave bomb threats. Although it was somewhat surprising that the copycat appears to actually be trying to draw attention to himself as part of some sort of weird cyber-stalking thing.

    And the fact that it turns out to the be an former Intercept reporter is quite a twist. Especially since the specific fabrication that led to Thompson’s downfall was a fake quote attributed to Dylann Roof’s cousin claiming Roof’s racial animosity may have started after Roof’s love-interest left him for a black man, something with bizarre parallels to not only Thompson’s own relationship with his cyber-stalking victim but also the strange fabricated story he recently created in just the last week:

    River Front Times

    Before Bomb Threats, Juan Thompson Unraveled — and Terrorized an RFT Reporter

    Posted By Doyle Murphy on Fri, Mar 3, 2017 at 2:31 PM

    In the days before Juan Thompson’s arrest this morning for his part in a string of bomb threats to Jewish Community Centers across the U.S., the St. Louis native seemed a little extra crazy, which is saying something.

    This is a guy who took imaginary trips to Cuba and Senegal. He dubiously claimed he was with the Standing Rock protesters in North Dakota and that he’d bought a house in Detroit. He lied about the weirdest things.

    “My homemade kombucha and homemade kimchi both finished today,” Thompson tweeted in December with a picture of his handiwork. “I sound like a snob. But kimchi is sooooooo good. So fu cking good.”

    It took a 20-second Google search to figure out that Thompson had stolen the picture from a blogger.

    [see image]

    Tracking Thompson’s firehose spray of social media posts in recent months was always an exercise in “what the fu ck?” But today’s news that the FBI believes he was behind a string of bomb threats to JCCs and the Anti-Defamation League was still unsettling.

    The threats were a convoluted revenge scheme, meant to frame an ex-girlfriend in New York City, according to the federal complaint. The FBI says Thompson, 31, called in at least eight bogus threats. Sometimes, he warned law enforcement that the ex-girlfriend was making the calls, authorities say. Other times, he called them in under his own name, and then later claimed she had been trying to frame him, the complaint alleges.

    The events laid out in the complaint by federal prosecutors sounded weird and crazy — and uncomfortably familiar.

    At the Riverfront Times, we published a cover story about Thompson last February. He was a north St. Louis native who was once a reporter with a job at The Intercept in New York City, a news site best-known for its cache of documents from national security leaker Edward Snowden. But Thompson had been fired after the site caught him making up details and sending bogus emails, including some masquerading as the site’s editor.

    Thompson blamed racism and also claimed to have cancer. But we uncovered additional problems with his work, going all the way back to his college days with the student newspaper at Vassar College, a prestigious university in Poughkeepsie, New York. Thompson had overcome an impoverished background to attend college there, but failed to graduate. He still landed a few good media jobs — only to crash and burn when his sourcing didn’t check out.

    After our cover story, we followed up later with a short account of his brief tenure for an online news site. I wrote the stories. Thompson was pissed. He emailed my boss and tried to get me fired. When that didn’t work, he emailed me.

    “You are a white piece of sh it who lies and distorts to fit a narrative,” he wrote me in October. “Thankfully no one reads you or the rft and you will spend the rest of your career aggregating stories about shootings.”

    Things were quiet for a while after that, but then came the fake Twitter accounts. My wife and I were sitting on our couch one night when she tapped me on the elbow and showed me her phone. Someone had created a brand-new Twitter profile claiming I was a rapist. The person tweeted at her, my boss and other journalists around St. Louis. It was an insane — and, though it’s hard to believe I even have to say it — completely untrue accusation.

    For the next several days, we scrambled to get people at Twitter to pull down the account. They finally did. Then another popped up. We got it pulled down. Another popped up. This went on for weeks, account after account, day after day, and extended to Facebook. Someone created fake Facebook accounts and pages and regularly popped up on RFT stories, accusing me of rape. This person also made reference to my mother, using her first name, and published a social media profile picture of my wife that had been scraped from the internet.

    We finally contacted the St. Louis police department’s cyber crimes unit. I still remember the detective stopping me before I could get the full explanation out.

    “Does this have anything to do with Juan Thompson?” he asked.

    I had not even said Thompson’s name yet. I didn’t want to accuse him prematurely, although the fake accounts and the penchant for revenge had me fully convinced it was him.

    It turns out police were already investigating complaints Thompson had been harassing his ex-girlfriend in New York. They couldn’t tell me much about her case, but the pattern of weird cyberattacks was the same. I called one of Thompson’s old roommates, whom I had quoted in an earlier story. He too was under attack. Someone was sending anonymous messages to his employer and and graduate school, claiming he was a racist.

    All of it was garbage, but here’s an ugly secret about this kind of thing: There isn’t a whole hell of a lot you can do. Police told me I had, at best, a pretty weak harassment case. And I think they were right. He had not threatened to physically harm me. It was also hard to prove it was even him.

    To their credit, St. Louis Police sent requests to Twitter and Facebook for IP addresses linked to the accounts, but the companies wouldn’t cooperate. A phone number used to text me harassing messages was routed through a Canadian company, and they weren’t giving up the account information.

    All we could do was watch what Thompson was doing online, try to link it to the attacks on me and my family and brace ourselves for the next hit.

    Watching Thompson’s Twitter account on a regular basis makes for a strange pastime. After the kimchi incident, I was particularly interested any time he posted a picture. His supposed trip to Cuba was a good one. He posted a picture of his new Malcolm X tattoo. I searched “Malcom X tattoo” in Google images, scrolled down and found the image. He had simply reversed it. Same with scenes from his balcony of the Havana skyline at night.

    [see image]

    If you believed his posts, he was jet-setting across the world. He was also railing against capitalism, white women, police, liberals, Trump and so many others. Lots of the posts were just weird — until it was pulled down this morning, you could see the 10-point plan on a “Thompson for Mayor” GoFundMe page — but it often turned nasty.

    In the past week, a Twitter account that seemed to be created solely to retweet Thompson’s main account started tweeting a link to what was basically a fan fiction story — about Thompson. The writer claimed to have had a crush on Thompson since high school, but was angry when he chose a white woman over her.

    “I was a popular girl and could’ve had any boy in school I wanted, but I wanted him,” the supposedly jilted writer said. “He was dark, in skin and spirit, and smarter than anybody I knew. He was a nerd but knowledgeable and driven and worldly from all the old movies he watched.”

    Our protagonist in the story then names a woman she says is Juan’s ex-girlfriend and smears her as a racist “fetishist” who was spreading herpes across the land.

    The writer claims she was taking revenge on Thompson and had worked with a new lover, who happened to be a white guy with IT skills, to hack Thompson’s account and terrorize him and the girlfriend:

    “Me and the white boy fu cked with all of them for a while: sent messages, putting their names on racists 8ch and doxxxing them, calling and reporting jobs, messaging friends and family, tipping stories.”

    The story seemed to have multiple goals: to stroke Thompson’s ego, to cover any cyber misdeeds with a bizarre account of hacking, and to slime the ex-girlfriend.

    It was strange, over the top and kind of funny in a gallows-humor sort of way, but it also made me realize that whatever Thompson seemed to be doing to me, it was probably way worse for his ex.

    It also seemed to represent a turn for the worse. Thompson was posting attacks against the woman on his own Twitter page, claiming she was sending bomb threats in his name and trying to get him “raped in jail.” He even tweeted accusations to the Secret Service Twitter account.

    The speed and vitriol seemed to be increasing, and I wondered what was going to happen. But I was still learning things that were just plain strange.

    On February 23, he emailed St. Louis barbecue favorite Salt + Smoke and claimed to be a freelancer coming to St. Louis to write a food piece for the New York Times.

    “I’ve been told your place has the best bbq in the city,” he wrote from a gmail account he’d used before. “I wanted to ask if I could come in on Monday, around 7, for dinner? If the food is good, you get a great write up in the Times!”

    When the restaurant’s owner told him to feel free to drop by, he followed up with another email, claiming he’d somehow lost his wallet “along the way to JFK airport and STL.”

    “Could Salt and Smoke comp me tmrw, if I don’t find it, and I’ll reimburse?” he asked. Out of due diligence, Salt + Smoke confirmed with the Times that Thompson was not in fact on assignment for them. Once again, Juan Thompson was simply making stuff up.

    I dropped by his mom’s house in north city on my way to the office. Nobody there really wanted to talk to me, but Thompson’s stepdad chatted for a few minutes on the front porch. The FBI had stormed the place about 7 a.m., he said. They pushed open the door, confiscated various family members’ cell phones and searched the house.

    The stepdad told me that Thompson wasn’t staying there; agents had picked him up at his grandmother’s house. The others only saw him about once a month. The stepdad said he tried to stay out of Thompson’s business when he did see him.

    I told him about the charges and the fake restaurant reviews. He chuckled and shook his head when I mentioned a recent post about a loft apartment Thompson claimed he was renting downtown.

    “When he came back from New York, he wasn’t right,” the stepdad said. “He wasn’t that way when he left.”

    In the past week, a Twitter account that seemed to be created solely to retweet Thompson’s main account started tweeting a link to what was basically a fan fiction story — about Thompson. The writer claimed to have had a crush on Thompson since high school, but was angry when he chose a white woman over her.”

    So at the same time Thompson is engaged in this bizarre self-incriminating bomb threat plot that’s apparently designed to incriminate his white ex-girlfriend cyber-stalking victim he’s also creating a fake fan fiction site allegedly written by a woman with a crush on him who was angry when Thompson chose a white woman over her. And this was apparently all part of the larger plot to incriminate his ex-girlfriend:


    In the past week, a Twitter account that seemed to be created solely to retweet Thompson’s main account started tweeting a link to what was basically a fan fiction story — about Thompson. The writer claimed to have had a crush on Thompson since high school, but was angry when he chose a white woman over her.

    “I was a popular girl and could’ve had any boy in school I wanted, but I wanted him,” the supposedly jilted writer said. “He was dark, in skin and spirit, and smarter than anybody I knew. He was a nerd but knowledgeable and driven and worldly from all the old movies he watched.”

    Our protagonist in the story then names a woman she says is Juan’s ex-girlfriend and smears her as a racist “fetishist” who was spreading herpes across the land.

    The writer claims she was taking revenge on Thompson and had worked with a new lover, who happened to be a white guy with IT skills, to hack Thompson’s account and terrorize him and the girlfriend:

    “Me and the white boy fu cked with all of them for a while: sent messages, putting their names on racists 8ch and doxxxing them, calling and reporting jobs, messaging friends and family, tipping stories.”

    The story seemed to have multiple goals: to stroke Thompson’s ego, to cover any cyber misdeeds with a bizarre account of hacking, and to slime the ex-girlfriend.

    It was strange, over the top and kind of funny in a gallows-humor sort of way, but it also made me realize that whatever Thompson seemed to be doing to me, it was probably way worse for his ex.

    It also seemed to represent a turn for the worse. Thompson was posting attacks against the woman on his own Twitter page, claiming she was sending bomb threats in his name and trying to get him “raped in jail.” He even tweeted accusations to the Secret Service Twitter account.

    As we can see, there’s no shortage of twists in the increasingly strange tale of Juan Thompson. The kind of twists that must be filling the Trump administration and the perpetrators of the rest of the bomb threats with joy. Now the right-wing media can run around claiming that all those bomb threats were actually false flag hoaxes by Trump’s “opponents” despite the fact that authorities have made it clear that the this was a copycat actor who was not behind the vast majority of the threats.

    So get ready for a wave of stories trying to suggest that the anti-Semitic bomb threats were all part of some sort of ‘reverse’ plot, as Trump recently put it. And while this case only explains a small fraction of the bomb threats, it does indeed appear to be a ‘reverse’ plot. Except it’s actually a reversal of the ‘reverse’ plot Trump was floating: it was a plot designed to back up Trump’s ‘reverse plot’ assertions. Whether or not that was actually part of Thompson’s motivation and one of his goals, validating Trump’s ‘reverse’ claims was unambiguously part of his plot. It’s quite a twisted twist.

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | March 3, 2017, 3:51 pm
  9. Here’s the latest in the GOP’s attempts to frame Barack Obama as a super-villain and the source of all the Trump administration’s many current and future failures: GOP Congressman Mike Kelly told an audience recently that the reason the Obama family is still living in Washington DC is not because they are waiting for the their youngest daughter to complete high school. No, the the reason he remains in Washington is for “one purpose only … to run the shadow government that is going to totally upset the new agenda”:

    Associated Press

    Rep. Mike Kelly: Obama Stayed In Washington D.C. To Run A ‘Shadow Government’ (VIDEO)

    Published March 10, 2017, 2:10 PM EDT

    A Pennsylvania congressman has accused former President Barack Obama of staying in Washington solely to run a “shadow government” to undermine the GOP agenda.

    A video clip posted to YouTube shows Kelly saying that Obama remained in Washington for “one purpose only … to run the shadow government that is going to totally upset the new agenda.”

    The Obamas have said they would remain in the nation’s capital until their youngest daughter, Sasha, completes high school.

    Kelly’s spokesman said Friday the congressman was just “sharing the frustration of everyone in the room over how they believe certain Obama administration holdovers” are trying to upset President Donald Trump’s agenda.

    “A video clip posted to YouTube shows Kelly saying that Obama remained in Washington for “one purpose only … to run the shadow government that is going to totally upset the new agenda.””

    Beware the Obama shadow government. Apparently. And don’t forget that Trump himself has already claimed that all those anti-Trump protestors were Obama’s handiwork too. The shadow government is vast.

    So that looks like one of the go-to memes the right-wing is going to be pushing for the foreseeable future. Any government employee that isn’t a far-right nut job is going to be labeled part of Obama’s shadow government and a subversive who must be fired. And with that in mind it’s also worth noting that there is actually a real shadow government of sorts already in place. Trump’s “beachhead” shadow government of temporary unnamed officials who will likely need permanent positions eventually:

    ProPublica

    Meet the Hundreds of Officials Trump Has Quietly Installed Across the Government

    We have obtained a list of more than 400 Trump administration hires, including dozens of lobbyists and some from far-right media.

    by Justin Elliott, Derek Kravitz and Al Shaw
    ProPublica, March 8, 2017, 2:44 p.m.

    A Trump campaign aide who argues that Democrats committed “ethnic cleansing” in a plot to “liquidate” the white working class. A former reality show contestant whose study of societal collapse inspired him to invent a bow-and-arrow-cum-survivalist multi-tool. A pair of healthcare industry lobbyists. A lobbyist for defense contractors. An “evangelist” and lobbyist for Palantir, the Silicon Valley company with close ties to intelligence agencies. And a New Hampshire Trump supporter who has only recently graduated from high school.

    These are some of the people the Trump administration has hired for positions across the federal government, according to documents received by ProPublica through public-records requests.

    While President Trump has not moved to fill many jobs that require Senate confirmation, he has quietly installed hundreds of officials to serve as his eyes and ears at every major federal agency, from the Pentagon to the Department of Interior.

    Unlike appointees exposed to the scrutiny of the Senate, members of these so-called “beachhead teams” have operated largely in the shadows, with the White House declining to publicly reveal their identities.

    While some names have previously dribbled out in the press, we are publishing a list of more than 400 hires, providing the most complete accounting so far of who Trump has brought into the federal government.

    The White House said in January that around 520 staffers were being hired for the beachhead teams.

    The list we obtained includes obscure campaign staffers, contributors to Breitbart and others who have embraced conspiracy theories, as well as dozens of Washington insiders who could be reasonably characterized as part of the “swamp” Trump pledged to drain.

    The list is striking for how many former lobbyists it contains: We found at least 36, spanning industries from health insurance and pharmaceuticals to construction, energy and finance. Many of them lobbied in the same areas that are regulated by the agencies they have now joined.

    That figure is almost certainly an undercount since we only included those who formally registered as lobbyists, a process increasingly avoided by many in Washington.

    During the campaign, Trump said he would have “no problem” banning lobbyists from his administration. But they have nonetheless ended up in senior roles, aided by Trump’s weakening of Obama-era ethics rules that modestly limited lobbyists’ role in government.

    The White House didn’t respond to requests for comment.

    There are many former congressional staffers, several top officials from the George W. Bush administration, and even a handful of holdovers from the Obama administration. The list also includes at least eight staffers drawn from the Heritage Foundation, a conservative think tank that forged close ties to the new administration during the transition.

    Much about the role of the beachhead teams at various federal agencies is unclear. But close observers of the early weeks of the Trump administration believe they have taken on considerable influence in the absence of high-level political appointees.

    “If the public and Senate is in the dark about a team created without a Senate confirmation process, no one will be permitted to shed light on who is hopelessly conflicted or who is obviously unqualified — and who is both,” said Jeff Hauser, director of the Revolving Door Project at the Center for Economic and Policy Research.

    The beachhead team members are temporary employees serving for stints of four to eight months, but many are expected to move into permanent jobs. The Trump administration’s model is based on plans developed but never used by the unsuccessful presidential campaign of Mitt Romney.

    “The beachhead teams involve people with considerable authority over the federal government,” said Max Stier, the CEO of the Partnership for Public Service, a nonpartisan group that advises presidential candidates on smooth transitions. “We need clarity about what they’re doing and what their role is going to be.”

    The Obama administration also hired temporary staffers after the inauguration. But Trump has brought in many more, Stier said.

    The new list of names was provided to us by the Office of Personnel Management, the government’s human resources agency. We received additional names from other federal agencies in response to Freedom of Information Act requests. At least a few people on the list have changed agencies or left the administration, including, for example, the young Department of Housing and Urban Development staffer who was fired after his anti-Trump writings during the campaign came to light.

    Here is a run-down of some of the Trump hires.

    The Breitbart wing

    Curtis Ellis was a columnist for WorldNetDaily, a website best known for its enthusiastic embrace of the false notion that President Obama was born outside the United States. A column headlined the “The Radical Left’s Ethnic Cleansing of America” won Ellis an admiring interview with Steve Bannon, now Trump’s top aide. He is a longtime critic of trade deals such as the Trans-Pacific Partnership.

    Ellis was hired Jan. 20 as a special assistant to the secretary at the Labor Department. Asked about his role in a brief phone interview Tuesday, he said: “Nothing I can tell you.”

    Jon Perdue, a self-described guerrilla warfare expert and fellow at a little-known security think tank, wrote a book called “The War of All the People: The Nexus of Latin American Radicalism and Middle Eastern Terrorism.” He is also a onetime contributor to Breitbart.

    Perdue was featured on CNBC’s reality series “Make Me a Millionaire Inventor” for his invention, the Packbow, which Perdue came up with while studying “collapsed societies, and what people who lived in those societies came up with to either defend themselves or to survive.” It’s a bow and arrow that doubles as a compass, tent pole, walking stick, spearfishing rig, and water purification tablet receptacle.

    Perdue was hired as a special assistant at the Treasury Department. The agency didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

    John Jaggers ran the Trump campaign in Maryland and Virginia, where he made headlines for endorsing the conspiracy theory that Hillary Clinton was “very, very sick and they’re covering it up” As he put it last August: “The woman who seeks to be the first female president of the United States wears a wool coat at every single thing. Have you ever stopped to wonder why? It’s a big deal, folks.”

    Jaggers was hired Jan. 20 as senior adviser at the General Services Administration, which oversees tens of billions of dollars of government procurement every year. But records show he left the job on March 3. He declined to comment.

    Swamp denizens, including health care lobbyists hired by HHS Secretary Tom Price

    Alexandra Campau, hired at the department of Health and Human Services, was formerly a lobbyist in Washington for the law firm Cozen O’Connor. According to disclosure records, her firm’s clients included a licensee of insurance giant Blue Cross Blue Shield, and Fresenius Medical Care, a German company that specializes in medical supplies for renal dialysis.

    Timothy Clark, a senior adviser to HHS Secretary Tom Price, ran his own political consulting firm in California. His past clients included PhRMA, the powerful trade group that represents the pharmaceutical industry.

    Keagan Lenihan, also a senior adviser to Price, was a director of government relations at McKesson Specialty Health, a firm that supports independent health providers. Disclosure records show Lenihan directly lobbied HHS. For Lenihan, the new post represents a return trip through the revolving door between government and the private sector, and a reunion with an old boss. Before registering as a lobbyist, she was a senior legislative assistant for Price, when the now-HHS secretary was in Congress.

    Asked about the three HHS staffers, an agency spokeswoman said: “We are not confirming or commenting on personnel at this time.”

    Justin Mikolay, hired at the Department of Defense, was previously a registered lobbyist for Palantir. His title at the tech firm was “evangelist.” Mikolay lobbied for the “procurement/deployment of the Palantir Government software platform” throughout intelligence and defense agencies, according to disclosure records.

    Mikolay was a speechwriter to Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta between 2011 and 2013, according to his LinkedIn profile. Mikolay also previously served as a speechwriter for current Secretary of Defense James Mattis. He declined to comment.

    As we’ve previously reported, lobbyists for the construction industry trade association and financial services firm TransAmerica are on the team at the Department of Labor.

    Trump campaign vets — including very young ones

    The list also includes what appear to be dozens of former Trump campaign staffers, including several who graduated from college last year. One, Danny Tiso at the Department of Labor, graduated from high school in 2015, according to his LinkedIn profile. He worked for the Trump campaign in New Hampshire.

    Seth Harris, who was on the first Obama-Biden transition team and later became a top Labor Department official, said it’s not uncommon to bring in campaign staff to agencies — “as long as there are senior political people to direct the junior people.”

    “This is how you incorporate the people who are your strongest supporters into the government,” he said. “There are plenty of junior jobs in the government that these people can do — public-affairs jobs, special assistant jobs.”

    “Unlike appointees exposed to the scrutiny of the Senate, members of these so-called “beachhead teamshave operated largely in the shadows, with the White House declining to publicly reveal their identities.”

    Non-publicly identified temporary government officials operating in the shadows with significant influence:


    The beachhead team members are temporary employees serving for stints of four to eight months, but many are expected to move into permanent jobs. The Trump administration’s model is based on plans developed but never used by the unsuccessful presidential campaign of Mitt Romney.

    “The beachhead teams involve people with considerable authority over the federal government,” said Max Stier, the CEO of the Partnership for Public Service, a nonpartisan group that advises presidential candidates on smooth transitions. “We need clarity about what they’re doing and what their role is going to be.”

    The Obama administration also hired temporary staffers after the inauguration. But Trump has brought in many more, Stier said.

    The beachhead team members are temporary employees serving for stints of four to eight months, but many are expected to move into permanent jobs.”

    So as we can see, while the White House doesn’t want to name its shadow “beachhead” government teams, they’ll have to do so eventually if these people are going to get permanent positions. And that’s part of what makes turning Obama into a shadow government boogeyman so useful for this agenda: creating hysteria about Obama’s shadow government is probably going to make it a lot easier to create the hysteria needed to overturn federal employment protection laws so they can purge the government of all the non-Trump cronies and make way for the Trump shadow government:

    Reuters

    Exclusive: Trump could seek new law to purge government of Obama appointees

    By Emily Flitter | CLEVELAND
    Wed Jul 20, 2016 | 6:55pm EDT

    If he wins the presidency, Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump would seek to purge the federal government of officials appointed by Democratic President Barack Obama and could ask Congress to pass legislation making it easier to fire public workers, Trump ally, Chris Christie, said on Tuesday.

    Christie, who is governor of New Jersey and leads Trump’s White House transition team, said the campaign was drawing up a list of federal government employees to fire if Trump defeats Democratic rival Hillary Clinton in the Nov. 8 presidential election.

    Trump’s transition advisers fear that Obama may convert these appointees to civil servants, who have more job security than officials who have been politically appointed. This would allow officials to keep their jobs in a new, possibly Republican, administration, Christie said.

    “It’s called burrowing,” Christie said. “You take them from the political appointee side into the civil service side, in order to try to set up … roadblocks for your successor, kind of like when all the Clinton people took all the Ws off the keyboard when George Bush was coming into the White House.”

    Christie was referring to pranks committed during the presidential transition from Bill Clinton to George W. Bush in 2001. During that period, some White House staffers removed the W key on computer keyboards and left derogatory signs and stickers in offices, according to a report by the General Accounting Office, an investigative arm of Congress.

    “One of the things I have suggested to Donald is that we have to immediately ask the Republican Congress to change the civil service laws. Because if they do, it will make it a lot easier to fire those people,” Christie said.

    He said firing civil servants was “cumbersome” and “time-consuming.”

    WHITE HOUSE ATTACKS CHRISTIE

    Christie also said that changing the leadership of the Environmental Protection Agency, long a target of Republicans concerned about over regulation, would be a top priority for Trump should he win in November.

    Trump has previously vowed to eliminate the EPA and roll back some of America’s most ambitious environmental policies, actions that he says would revive the U.S. oil and coal industries and bolster national security.

    Christie added that the Trump team wants to let businesspeople serve in government part time without having to give up their jobs in the private sector. Trump frequently says he is better equipped to be president because of his business experience.

    The American Federation of Government Employees, the largest federal employee union in the United States, said while it was concerned about the practice of “burrowing,” current law protected most federal employees from at will firing.

    “The federal government is a serious undertaking. It’s not a reality TV show, with ‘You’re fired!'” said Jacqueline Simon, policy director at AFGE.

    “Just as we don’t want to hire anybody for political reasons, we don’t want anybody to be fired for political reasons,” she said.

    As of March 2016, there were a total of 3,164 political appointees, 852 of whom were presidential appointees.

    In its most recent report on the topic, the Government Accountability Office said in 2010 that 143 former political appointees and congressional employees converted to career positions between May 1, 2005, and May 30, 2009.

    The Republican-controlled House of Representatives Oversight and Government Reform Committee is investigating the practice of burrowing.

    It sent letters dated Wednesday to 23 federal departments and agencies, asking them to document all cases of burrowing that have occurred since Sept. 1, 2015.

    “”One of the things I have suggested to Donald is that we have to immediately ask the Republican Congress to change the civil service laws. Because if they do, it will make it a lot easier to fire those people,” Christie said.”

    We need to make it really easy to fire federal employees to stop Obama’s devious shadow government plot. That’s clearly going to be a meme. And look who they just might replace all these fired employees with:


    Christie added that the Trump team wants to let businesspeople serve in government part time without having to give up their jobs in the private sector. Trump frequently says he is better equipped to be president because of his business experience.

    That was the Trump team’s plan back in July: Let’s have CEOs serve in government positions…while still being CEOs. Have those plans changed? There’s certainly no indication of that.

    So get ready for a steady uptick in the “Obama’s shadow government” meme and an eventual overhaul of civil service jobs so the White House can clear everyone out of government that isn’t a far-right Trump crony and “part time” CEOs can formally become the actual “shadow government”. More so.

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | March 10, 2017, 5:00 pm
  10. Inside out

    It’s interesting how Trump – and other fascists – uses rhetorical distraction to keep the heat off himself, but also – I think – tips his hand and gives us a premonition of his future plans.

    https://www.nytimes.com/2017/03/06/us/politics/deep-state-trump.html?_r=1
    “WASHINGTON — President Trump’s allegations that former President Barack Obama tapped his phone and his assertions that the bureaucracy is leaking secrets to discredit him are the latest signs of a White House preoccupation with a “deep state” working to thwart the Trump presidency.”
    Now, we know that the term “Deep State” has been bruited about by Trump’s handler, Bannon. I think the idea is to bring it up first, to claim it, and when it later emerges eventually, Trump/Banoon can imply that the term was stolen from them.

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/post-politics/wp/2017/03/04/trump-accuses-obama-of-nixonwatergate-plot-to-wire-tap-trump-tower/?utm_term=.4529fbc1f117
    “President Trump on Saturday angrily accused former president Barack Obama of orchestrating a “Nixon/Watergate” plot to tap the phones at his Trump Tower headquarters last fall in the run-up to the election.”

    “While citing no evidence to support his explosive allegation, Trump said in a series of four tweets sent Saturday morning that Obama was “wire tapping” his New York offices before the election in a move he compared to McCarthyism. ‘Bad (or sick) guy!’ he said of his predecessor, adding that the surveillance resulted in ‘nothing found.'”
    Trump, on one hand, is again accusing his opposition of this pre-emptively, and revealing his admiration and respect for these power-grabs.

    “The English follow the principle that when one lies, one should lie big, and stick to it.”
    -Goebbels
    The English. Goebbels first accused the English of using the Big Lie, like fighting fire with fire.

    Posted by Uncle Grody | March 13, 2017, 1:46 pm
  11. Iowa’s far-right Congressman Steve King, who recenty recommended to Donald Trump that he ‘purge’ the administration of ‘leftists’ before they ‘sink us’, added some addition forms of purging he’d like to see for the US in tweet over the weekend:

    NLTimes.nj

    American politician under fire over Wilders tweet

    By Janene Pieters on March 13, 2017 – 08:11

    American Republican Steve King, congressman for the state of Iowa, is facing social media outrage following a tweet in support of anti-Islam PVV leader Geert Wilders.

    “Wilders understands that culture and demographics are our destiny”, King wrote on Twitter. “We can’t restore our civilization with somebody else’s babies.” According to the BBC, King is a strong advocate of ending birthright citizenship, which gives all babies born in the United States citizenship to the country, even if their parents live there illegally.

    Wilders understands that culture and demographics are our destiny. We can't restore our civilization with somebody else's babies. https://t.co/4nxLipafWO— Steve King (@SteveKingIA) March 12, 2017

    The tweet led to outraged reactions. Chelsea Clinton, daughter of former president Bill Cliinton, called King’s statement “painful”. “Clearly the Congressman does not view all our children as, well, all our children. Particularly ironic and painful”, she said on Twitter.

    CIA operative Evan McMullin wondered whether the Republicans will condemn King’s statement. “Congressman Steve King promotes the un-American ideas of white nationalism. Will any Republican congressmen condemn this bigotry?”

    Not all reactions to King’s tweet were negative. Former Klu Klux Klan leader David Duke praised King’s tweet with the words Sanity reigns supreme”. He later also tweeted “God bless Steve King.”

    GOD BLESS STEVE KING!!! #TruthRISING https://t.co/oDFel8JDrP— David Duke (@DrDavidDuke) March 12, 2017

    Wilders understands that culture and demographics are our destiny”, King wrote on Twitter. “We can’t restore our civilization with somebody else’s babies.” According to the BBC, King is a strong advocate of ending birthright citizenship, which gives all babies born in the United States citizenship to the country, even if their parents live there illegally.

    It’s not quite ’14 words’ in that tweet, but it’s close! Really, really close.

    So is Steve King suggesting that non-white babies are threat to Western civilization? Well, clearly yes, but if you ask him he’ll add a little clarification: it’s not that he’s opposed to these non-white babies coming to America because they’re non-white. No, according to King, he’s opposed these babies because of the cultures they come from and a sense that there’s no hope of these babies eventually culturally assimilating, which is similar to the comments he’s made in the past about there is no record of non-white groups making a significant positive contribution to “civilization” (he said this just last year). And then King added that part of his concern is that there’s an attempt to supplant American culture by promoting abortion in America and allowing non-white to illegal immigrants to “fill the void”. No hint of racist motivations there!

    Slate

    So Is Rep. Steve King a White Nationalist or What?

    By Osita Nwanevu
    March 13 2017 12:24 PM

    On Monday morning Rep. Steve King was invited onto CNN to explain a Sunday tweet that seemed to evince support for white nationalism. “[Dutch Islamophobe and nationalist Geert] Wilders understands that culture and demographics are our destiny,” he wrote. “We can’t restore our civilization with somebody else’s babies.” Surely, CNN’s Chris Cuomo asked, he couldn’t have meant what he said?

    Well, of course I meant exactly what I said as is always the case. And to expand on that a little further, I’ve been to Europe and I’ve spoken on this issue and I’ve said the same thing as far as ten years ago to the German people and any population of people that is a declining population that isn’t willing to have enough babies to reproduce themselves. And I’ve said to them, “You can’t rebuild your civilization with somebody else’s babies. You’ve got to keep your birth rate up and that you need to teach your children your values. And in doing so, then you can grow your population and you can strengthen your culture, and strengthen your way of life. That’s not happening in any of the western European countries.

    This is, straightforwardly, an argument that nonwhite immigration and procreation is a worrisome threat to both Europe’s existing ethnocultural composition and European civilization. “We need to get our birth rates up,” King said, “or Europe will be entirely transformed within a half century or more.” When pressed by Cuomo to address whether this comment squared with America’s conception of itself as a melting pot, King tried to clarify:

    Chris, we’re a country here that if you take a picture of what America looks like, you can do it in a football stadium or a basketball court and you see all kinds of different Americans there. We’re pretty proud of that, the different looking Americans that are still Americans. There’s an American culture, American civilization. It’s raised within these children in these American homes. That’s one of the reasons why we require that the president of the United States be raised with an American experience. But we’ve also aborted nearly 60 million babies in this country since 1973. And there’s been this effort to say we’re going to have to replace that void with somebody else’s babies. That’s the push to bring in much illegal immigration into America, living in enclaves, refusing to assimilate into the American culture and civilization.

    “[I]f you go down the road a few generations or maybe centuries with the intermarriage,” King went on to say later, “I’d like to see an America that’s just so homogenous that we all look a lot the same from that perspective. I think there’s far too much focus on race, especially in the last eight years.”

    What does all of this mean? Well, for starters, King is making a case for at least a kind of cultural nationalism premised on the notion that nonwhite immigrants from outside the West are culturally deficient by the West’s standards. He never says nonwhite over the course of the interview, but white emigrés raised outside the West have never been what Wilders and King by extension are talking about. He can pretend this is not about race by claiming to be pro-miscengenation—and in fact, later in the interview he says “it’s the culture” that he’s talking about, “not the blood”—but King leaves the door open for explicit racism at the end of the interview. “Individuals will contribute differently, not equally to this civilization and society,” he told Cuomo. “Certain groups of people will do more from a productive side than other groups of people will. That’s just a statistical fact.”

    If you can go anywhere in the world and adopt these little babies and put them in households already assimilated in America, those babies will grow up as American as any other baby with as much patriotism and love of country as any other baby. It’s not about race. It’s never been about race. And, in fact, the struggles across this planet, we describe them as race, they’re not race. They’re culture-based. It’s a clash of cultures, not the race. And sometimes that race is used as an identifier.

    In other words, “it’s not about race,” but race is often used as proxy for the judgement and exclusion of certain cultures. If Steve King were ever placed in a position to do anything about these supposed problems, it is safe to assume that he, too, would use race as a proxy, absent other ways of deeply assessing the internally held cultural values of different peoples.

    “Chris, we’re a country here that if you take a picture of what America looks like, you can do it in a football stadium or a basketball court and you see all kinds of different Americans there. We’re pretty proud of that, the different looking Americans that are still Americans. There’s an American culture, American civilization. It’s raised within these children in these American homes. That’s one of the reasons why we require that the president of the United States be raised with an American experience. But we’ve also aborted nearly 60 million babies in this country since 1973. And there’s been this effort to say we’re going to have to replace that void with somebody else’s babies. That’s the push to bring in much illegal immigration into America, living in enclaves, refusing to assimilate into the American culture and civilization.

    Undocumented immigration is part of a push to replace all the aborted American fetuses with the children of illegal immigrants. That’s how Iowa’s Steve King see it! Now you know why white nationalists love him so much. And loved him long before his latest tweet:

    Talking Points Memo
    Editor’s Blog

    Don’t Pretend We Didn’t Know About Steve King

    By Josh Marshall
    Published March 13, 2017, 1:10 PM

    Today people are apparently finding out and being terribly surprised that Rep. Steve King (R-IA) is a white nationalist and racist and has been that more or less openly for years. Before yesterday’s paean to “culture and demographics“, Steve King was saying that for every Dreamer who’s a valedictorian there are a hundred running drugs. The list of similar statements is all but endless.

    We’ve been on the King beat for years. You can go through our archives and find dozens of offensive, stupid and frequently outright racist comments from King. But there’s something more specific about King. King frequently speaks in the language of white nationalists and neo-Nazis who speak of ‘white genocide‘ and America being overrun by non-whites.

    Consider this tweet from just last September.

    @FraukePetry Wishing you successful vote. Cultural suicide by demographic transformation must end. @geertwilderspvv pic.twitter.com/Kp6uieaMDG— Steve King (@SteveKingIA) September 18, 2016

    “Cultural suicide by demographic transformation” – This is literally the kind of talk you can read from Richard Spencer and Stormfront.org any day of the week. Note also that King is there with Wilders, the rightist, racist Dutch member of parliament and Frauke Petry, the rightist nationalist leader of Germany’s Alternative for Germany party. These are the parties Trump’s top advisor Steve Bannon wants to help loft to power and ally with in a rightist north Atlantic political movement.

    This isn’t just one ‘controversial’ member of Congress. King is part of American white nationalist, far-right political movement. That’s not a softer way to say ‘racist’. He’s also a racist. But there are plenty of racists who have more conventional politics. He’s part of a movement. So is Bannon. So is Trump.

    “This isn’t just one ‘controversial’ member of Congress. King is part of American white nationalist, far-right political movement. That’s not a softer way to say ‘racist’. He’s also a racist. But there are plenty of racists who have more conventional politics. He’s part of a movement. So is Bannon. So is Trump.

    Yep, what Steve King tweeted might be controversial, but it’s also pretty typical. Typical for a far-right white nationalist like Steve King. Or Steve Bannon. Or, of course, the white nationalist in chief Donald Trump.

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | March 13, 2017, 2:33 pm
  12. House Speaker Paul Ryan responded to the uproar over the comments by fellow House GOPer Steve King about civilization was going to be destroyed by non-white babies: Ryan was hopeful King merely misspoke. That was it. And this statement from Ryan came of course after King already told reporters that morning, “I meant exactly what I said”.

    So with that in mind, you have to wonder what Ryan’s excuse is going to be for Steve King’s prediction of a black vs Hispanic race war in the next couple of decades:

    Policy.Mic

    Steve King, who can’t stop saying racist things, just predicted a race war

    By Emily C. Singer
    March 14, 2017

    Rep. Steve King, the Iowa Republican who made white supremacist remarks about “somebody else’s babies” over the weekend, was back at it again Monday, prophesying about a coming race war between “Hispanics and the blacks.”

    His comments came during an interview with an Iowa radio host on 1040 WHO, who asked King what he thought about Univision anchor Jorge Ramos’ comments that white Americans would be a minority demographic in the United States by 2044.

    King said it was more likely that “Hispanics and the blacks will be fighting each other” before white people become a minority in America.

    “Jorge Ramos’ stock in trade is identifying and trying to drive wedges between race. Race and ethnicity, I should say to be more correct. When you start accentuating the differences, then you start ending up with people that are at each other’s throats. And he’s adding up Hispanics and blacks into what he predicts will be in greater number than whites in America. I will predict that Hispanics and the blacks will be fighting each other before that happens.

    “King said it was more likely that “Hispanics and the blacks will be fighting each other” before white people become a minority in America.”

    As we can see, the idea of people of different races living together in harmony is a rather foreign concept to Steve King. Or rather, another reminder of what we already knew about Steve King.

    But there’s another aspect of this King-controversy that’s a reminder of something else that we should probably keep in mind that King/Trump/Bannon American branch of the global white nationalist movement proceeds towards enacting its vision of the future: when Steve King keeps talking like a white supremacist and framing the world in terms of race and tribal conflict, but then implausibly attempts to defend himself by saying things like “I’m just talking about culture, not race!” it’s a reminder of two critical points about the larger Trump/Bannon white nationalist movement controlling the GOP and US government at this point:
    1. When Steve Bannon warns/dreams about a looming WWIII/clash of civilizations scenario, he talks about it in terms of religious and cultural conflicts (primarily between Christians and Muslims). And it’s possible that some people expecting/pining for a giant clash of religions really do primarily view it in those terms. But for folks like Bannon and King, who have extensive histories indulging in outright racism, we really should recognize their cheerleading for a giant clash of cultures as cheerleading for race war.

    2. And if they do try to start this kind of WWIII scenario they’re not going to try to spark a ‘white supremacists vs everyone else’ kind of race war. They’re going to try to start an ‘every race vs every other race’ kind of conflict. That’s probably the plan and Steve King just reminded us of it.

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | March 14, 2017, 7:32 pm
  13. Sebastian Gorka is out there denying a new report by Forward that appears to demonstrate that Gorka was indeed a full fledged member the order of Vitezi Rend. And while we should expect these kinds of denials for a variety of reasons, the report by Forward lists a pretty big reason why Gorka would want nothing to do with these reports coming out: is could invalidate his immigration status:

    Forward

    EXCLUSIVE: Nazi-Allied Group Claims Top Trump Aide Sebastian Gorka As Sworn Member

    Lili Bayer and Larry Cohler-Esses
    March 16, 2017|Budapest

    Sebastian Gorka, President Trump’s top counter-terrorism adviser, is a formal member of a Hungarian far-right group that is listed by the U.S. State Department as having been “under the direction of the Nazi Government of Germany” during World War II, leaders of the organization have told the Forward.

    The elite order, known as the Vitézi Rend, was established as a loyalist group by Admiral Miklos Horthy, who ruled Hungary as a staunch nationalist from 1920 to October 1944. A self-confessed anti-Semite, Horthy imposed restrictive Jewish laws prior to World War II and collaborated with Hitler during the conflict. His cooperation with the Nazi regime included the deportation of hundreds of thousands of Jews into Nazi hands.

    Gorka’s membership in the organization — if these Vitézi Rend leaders are correct, and if Gorka did not disclose this when he entered the United States as an immigrant — could have implications for his immigration status. The State Department’s Foreign Affairs Manual specifies that members of the Vitézi Rend “are presumed to be inadmissible” to the country under the Immigration and Nationality Act.

    Gorka — who Vitézi Rend leaders say took a lifelong oath of loyalty to their group — did not respond to multiple emails sent to his work and personal accounts, asking whether he is a member of the Vitézi Rend and, if so, whether he disclosed this on his immigration application and on his application to be naturalized as a U.S. citizen in 2012. The White House also did not respond to a request for comment.

    But Bruce Einhorn, a retired immigration judge who now teaches nationality law at Pepperdine University, said of this, “His silence speaks volumes.”

    The group to which Gorka reportedly belongs is a reconstitution of the original group on the State Department list, which was banned in Hungary until the fall of Communism in 1989. There are now two organizations in Hungary that claim to be the heirs of the original Vitézi Rend, with Gorka, according to fellow members, belonging to the so-called “Historical Vitézi Rend.” Though it is not known to engage in violence, the Historical Vitézi Rend upholds all the nationalist and oftentimes racial principles of the original group as established by Horthy.

    Einhorn said these nuances did not relieve Gorka of the obligation, if he’s a member, to disclose his affiliation when applying for his visa or his citizenship.

    “This is a group that advocates racialist nativism,” said Einhorn. If Gorka did not disclose his affiliation with it, he said, this would constitute “failure to disclose a material fact,” which could undermine the validity of both his immigration status and claim to citizenship.

    “It’s a material fact that, if disclosed, would have provoked a significant inquiry into the specific post-war role of this organization and Gorka’s activities in it,” he said.

    Before serving 17 years as an immigration judge, Einhorn was deputy chief at the Justice Department’s Office of Special Investigations. The unit, which has since been disbanded, was charged with finding and deporting Nazis and members of other extremist groups who entered America illegally by lying about or hiding their background. He noted that individuals who apply for both visas and citizenship are specifically asked to name all organizations they belong to due to the government’s interest in scrutinizing those affiliated with extremist groups, and in particular those on the State Department’s list.

    If Gorka did not disclose his Vitézi Rend affiliation, said Einhorn, he thereby “foreclosed the opportunity for U.S. officials to pursue that inquiry with him.” No statute of limitations exists for such violations, he noted.

    Einhorn stressed that Gorka would have defenses in such a case; he might argue the chances were small that immigration and naturalization officials — who are not extremism experts or historians — would have recognized the nature of the group and questioned him even if he disclosed his affiliation. “There would have to be clear and convincing evidence that had he told the truth… it would have led to a meaningful inquiry that could have kept him out of the country.”

    But Einhorn stressed: “My view is that it would be a legitimate case — difficult and challenging, but I believe winnable.”

    Gorka, who is a deputy assistant to the president, first provoked questions about his relationship to the Vitézi Rend after he publicly brandished its medal on his lapel at a presidential inauguration ball January 20. When questions were raised about this in February on the news website Lobelog and elsewhere, he explained it as a gesture of honor to his late father.

    “In 1979 my father was awarded a declaration for his resistance to a dictatorship,” he told Breitbart News then. “Although he passed away 14 years ago, I wear that medal in remembrance of what my family went through and what it represents today, to me, as an American.”

    But the Forward’s inquiry into Gorka’s relationship with the Vitézi Rend suggests that Gorka’s explanation is, at best, incomplete:

    Gorka, who pledged his loyalty to the United States when he took American citizenship in 2012, is himself a sworn member of the Vitézi Rend, according to both Gyula Soltész — a high-ranking member of the Vitézi Rend’s central apparatus — and Kornél Pintér — a leader of the Vitézi Rend in Western Hungary who befriended Gorka’s father through their activities in the Vitézi Rend.

    Soltész, who holds a national-level leadership position at the Vitézi Rend, confirmed to the Forward in a phone conversation that Gorka is a full member of the organization.

    “Of course he was sworn in,” Pintér said, in a phone interview. “I met with him in Sopron [a city near Hungary’s border with Austria]. His father introduced him.”

    “In today’s world it is rare to meet anyone as well-bred as Sebastian or his father, Pali,” he added.

    If correct, Gorka’s membership in the order is notable because, as Pintér and other members explained, affiliation is possible only via a solemn initiation rite in which new members take an oath swearing undying allegiance to the Hungarian nation and the Vitézi Rend’s goals:

    “I, Vitez [name], swear on the Holy Crown that I know the Order’s goals and code, and based on the orders of the Captain and Order Superiors will follow them for the rest of my life. I never betrayed my Hungarianness, and was never and am not currently a member of an anti-national or secret organization. So help me God.”

    Several commentators also noted that in his 2008 doctoral dissertation at Hungary’s Corvinus University, Gorka presented his name as Sebastian L. v. Gorka. The “v.” is an initial used by members of the Vitézi Rend.

    But Gorka did not use the initial only in academic papers.

    In June 2011, Gorka testified in front of the House Armed Services Committee. His official testimony did not list his name as Sebastian L. Gorka, but rather as Dr. Sebastian L. v. Gorka.

    “Of course, only after the oath,” György Kerekes, a current member of the Vitézi Rend, told the Forward when asked if anyone may use the initial “v.” without going through the Vitézi Rend’s application process and an elaborate swearing-in ceremony.

    As the son of a member of the Vitézi Rend, Gorka is eligible to apply for membership. But membership is not bestowed automatically, and he cannot use the initial in his name without actively applying for membership and taking the formal oath to the organization.

    Gorka’s self-identification to a congressional committee as Dr. Sebastian L. v. Gorka thus indicates that Gorka either misrepresented his identity to Congress in 2011 or is currently misrepresenting his affiliation with the Vitézi Rend, potentially having taken an oath to Hungarian nationalist and racist principles.

    The Vitézi Rend, which was established in 1920 for Horthy’s loyal followers, is listed by the State Department as one of many groups in Germany and the countries it occupied as collaborationist “criminal organizations” with the Nazis as determined by the post-war International Military Tribunal at Nuremberg. The group was among those Horthy rewarded with real estate taken from hundreds of thousands of Jews his government deported to Nazi concentration camps.

    Dissolved in Hungary after World War II under the terms of the Allies’ armistice with Hungary, it was reconstituted by veterans’ groups in exile, including prewar members of the group appointed by Horthy. It was re-established inside Hungary after communism’s collapse in 1989. According to State Department guidelines, while Vitézi Rend membership “does not automatically render the alien ineligible for a visa, the applicant has the burden of establishing that, despite being a member of a designated criminal organization, he or she did not participate in activities that would fall within the purview of the Immigration and Nationality Act. The guidelines cite a provision of the act barring entry to the United States to “participants in Nazi persecution, genocide, or the commission of any act of torture or extrajudicial killing.”

    Gorka, who is 46, could not have been part of any World War II killings. But the provisions reflect the State Department’s understanding of the Vitézi Rend’s historical nature.

    The group’s mission emphasized not only loyalty to Hungary and nationalist ideas, but also an ideology of racial superiority. One of the original aims of the Vitézi Rend was to “ensure such might to the Hungarian race, which with tremendous power strikes every subversive state and anti-national movement,” Horthy said in a speech to new members in 1921.

    The Hungarian dictator, whom Vitézi Rend members still lionize on their websites as the order’s founding leader and ideological guide, added, “Let the Vitézi Rend be the pride of the Turan race and our homeland, but if necessary, its sharp cutting sword.” “The Turan race” refers to Turanism, a theory popular among the country’s far-right and fascist groups whereby Hungarians are thought to be a race descended from tribes that migrated from Asia.

    Members of the Vitézi Rend should practice “love of their race,” Horthy said in 1926, in a speech during a swearing-in ceremony for new members.

    “Whoever lets another take his place is committing a crime against his race,” Horthy emphasized eight years later, in a June 1934 speech to members of the Vitézi Rend.

    Nearly a century later, the Vitézi Rend has not left its legacy of racism behind. Horthy is revered among the organization’s members. His speeches are quoted on Vitézi Rend websites, and his original goals for the organization are highlighted.

    As historian Eva S. Balogh notes, the organization’s formal slogan — “I believe in one God, I believe in one country, I believe in the divine everlasting truth, I believe in the resurrection of Hungary” — advocates a return to Hungary’s pre-World War I borders; a territory that includes parts of modern-day Romania, Ukraine, Slovakia and Serbia.

    Today, the organization presents itself as a “conservative, right-wing” group independent of party politics. But some of the organization’s newer members also openly embrace racist and anti-Semitic views. Footage on YouTube of a 2012 swearing-in ceremony of new members reveals Zsolt Bayer, a publicist and writer known as one of Hungary’s most outspoken anti-Semites, being initiated as a member.

    In 2013, Hungary’s highest court formally ruled that one of Bayer’s articles was anti-Semitic. In a 2016 article that earned the protest of Israel’s ambassador to Hungary, the Vitézi Rend member asked, “Why are we surprised that the simple peasant” didn’t interfere with the deportation of Hungarian Jews to Nazi concentration camps “when the ‘Jews’ broke into his village and beat the priests to death or hung them from lamp posts, the judge and everyone they didn’t like…?”

    Though Gorka did not respond to inquiries about his relationship to the Vitézi Rend, when the Forward revealed in February that he had co-founded a political party together with former members of the Hungarian far-right Jobbik party and wrote articles for a Hungarian paper known for its anti-Semitism, the White House aide responded on Twitter by quoting a friend: “Sharing a room w Helen Keller does not make 1 blind; sharing a subway car w Albert Einstein does not make 1 a genius.”

    But Einhorn, the immigration expert, stressed a larger moral principle was at stake.

    “Gorka is part of an administration issuing travel bans against countries and people as a whole,” he said. “For someone who is part of this effort to not answer your question [about his membership] and yet support what’s gong on in the West Wing where he works is the height of hypocrisy. The administration that makes so much of protecting us from extremists while looping the guilty in with the innocent should at least require its officials tell the truth.”

    Gorka’s membership in the organization — if these Vitézi Rend leaders are correct, and if Gorka did not disclose this when he entered the United States as an immigrant — could have implications for his immigration status. The State Department’s Foreign Affairs Manual specifies that members of the Vitézi Rend “are presumed to be inadmissible” to the country under the Immigration and Nationality Act.”

    That’s quite an ‘uh oh’ for Gorka. And don’t forget, the only reason all this came to light is because Gorka just had to wear the Vitézi Rend medal on his lapel during a presidential inaugural ball:


    Gorka, who is a deputy assistant to the president, first provoked questions about his relationship to the Vitézi Rend after he publicly brandished its medal on his lapel at a presidential inauguration ball January 20. When questions were raised about this in February on the news website Lobelog and elsewhere, he explained it as a gesture of honor to his late father.

    It’s all a reminder that while the Trump administration might be part of one giant ‘dropping the mask’ movement of cryptonazis and fellow travelers it’s a slow motion process. Donning your cryptonazi-collaborator outfit (which included the ‘bocskai’ jacket too) during a presidential inaugural ball was, you know, maybe a little soon. Although that probably depends on the ball.

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | March 16, 2017, 2:56 pm
  14. It’s that time again. Time for another look into Steve Bannon’s psyche. It’s that deeply disturbing time again *shudder*:

    Mother Jones

    Stephen Bannon Is a Fan of a French Philosopher…Who Was an Anti-Semite and a Nazi Supporter
    Charles Maurras was sentenced to life in prison for complicity with the Nazis.

    Pema Levy
    Mar. 16, 2017 1:22 PM

    Stephen Bannon, President Donald Trump’s chief strategist, recently spoke approvingly of the ideas of an anti-Semitic French intellectual who was sentenced to life in prison for cooperating with the Nazis during World War II.

    In an article on Bannon’s interactions with European right-wing nationalists who want to break apart the European Union, Politico reported last week that Bannon has “expressed admiration for the reactionary French philosopher Charles Maurras, according to French media reports confirmed by Politico.” Recent articles in French media claim Bannon favorably cited Maurras to a French diplomat. Politico describes Maurras as a Catholic nationalist—like Bannon—and notes that Bannon has parroted several of Maurras’ ideas. A hero to members of Europe’s far right, Maurras is a natural fit for Bannon, who has expressed support for Brexit and France’s National Front movement and is known to hate the European Union.

    But Maurras was more than a nationalist. He was an infamous anti-Semite, whose anti-Jewish views were central to his outlook. From 1908 to 1944, Maurras edited the anti-Semitic paper L’Action Francaise, the organ of an eponymous movement that was anti-democratic and pro-monarchy. The movement was born out of the Dreyfus Affair, an international controversy in which an innocent Jewish soldier was convicted in 1894 of passing secrets to the Germans, a crime for which he was later exonerated. The movement’s “founding prejudice” was that Dreyfus was in fact guilty and that those who supported him were undermining France, according to Frederick Brown’s The The Embrace of Unreason: France, 1914-1940. Maurras spent years writing anti-Semitic articles. He referred to the French government, known as the Third Republic, as “the Jew State, the Masonic State, the immigrant State.”

    In 1936, Maurras served eight months in prison for inciting the attempted assassination of Jewish politician Léon Blum and other French officials. According to Carmen Callil’s Bad Faith: A Forgotten History of Family, Fatherland and Vichy France, Maurras penned numerous articles calling for Blum to be lynched and shot in the back and have his throat slit.

    Maurras blamed World War II on the Jews, faulting them for the German occupation of France. “The barbarous occupation of 1940 would not have taken place without the Jews of 1939, without their filthy war, the war they undertook and they declared: our occupiers were introduced by them, it was the Jews who launched us into catastrophe,” he wrote, according to 2001 article by Callil in the New Statesman. Callil also noted that Maurras’ newspaper supported the Nazis and “named names, hunted down enemies, and called for hostages, resistants, Jews and Gaullists to be shot.” In his political column during the war, Maurras wrote that “if the death penalty is not sufficient to put a stop to the Gaullists, members of their families should be seized as hostages and executed.”

    At the end of the war, Maurras was sentenced to life in prison for complicity with the Nazis. He reportedly called his conviction “Dreyfus’ revenge.” Due to his failing health, he was released from prison shortly before his death in 1952.

    According to Politico, Bannon approvingly cited Maurras’ distinction between what the French philosopher called the “real country” of the people and the “legal country” led by government officials. Maurras put Jews in the latter category, according to Brown, and referred to all Jews as foreigners.

    Maurras is not the only racist or anti-democratic intellectual Bannon has gravitated toward. According to Politico, he has been in contact with Curtis Yarvin, a blogger who believes democracy is a failed form of government and whose ideas are influential to the white nationalist “alt-right” movement. The Huffington Post recently reported that Bannon is a big fan of a racist French novel, The Camp of the Saints, about immigrants invading Europe. The White House did not respond to a request for comment.

    “According to Politico, Bannon approvingly cited Maurras’ distinction between what the French philosopher called the “real country” of the people and the “legal country” led by government officials. Maurras put Jews in the latter category, according to Brown, and referred to all Jews as foreigners.”

    Yes, Bannon approvingly cited a French Nazi collaborator’s “Us vs them” Nazi framing designed to “other” large swatches of society. To a French diplomat:


    In an article on Bannon’s interactions with European right-wing nationalists who want to break apart the European Union, Politico reported last week that Bannon has “expressed admiration for the reactionary French philosopher Charles Maurras, according to French media reports confirmed by Politico.” Recent articles in French media claim Bannon favorably cited Maurras to a French diplomat. Politico describes Maurras as a Catholic nationalis:if expand(“%”) == “”|browse confirm w|else|confirm w|endif
    t—like Bannon—and notes that Bannon has parroted several of Maurras’ ideas. A hero to members of Europe’s far right, Maurras is a natural fit for Bannon, who has expressed support for Brexit and France’s National Front movement and is known to hate the European Union.

    Trumpian diplomacy in action! That must have gone over well.

    And don’t forget that all signs indicate Bannon basically wants to start WWIII so he can create a new global far-right order, so at least we have a better idea now of how he’s planning on explaining the nightmare he’s trying to unleash: it was the Jews!


    Maurras blamed World War II on the Jews, faulting them for the German occupation of France. “The barbarous occupation of 1940 would not have taken place without the Jews of 1939, without their filthy war, the war they undertook and they declared: our occupiers were introduced by them, it was the Jews who launched us into catastrophe,” he wrote, according to 2001 article by Callil in the New Statesman. Callil also noted that Maurras’ newspaper supported the Nazis and “named names, hunted down enemies, and called for hostages, resistants, Jews and Gaullists to be shot.” In his political column during the war, Maurras wrote that “if the death penalty is not sufficient to put a stop to the Gaullists, members of their families should be seized as hostages and executed.”

    Although keep in mind that the way Bannon’s style of implement his far-right agenda means that Bannon himself probably won’t blame the Jews for the hell he’s trying to unleash. That will be left for his Nazi fellow travelers to do.

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | March 23, 2017, 8:31 pm
  15. Remember the Trump team’s talk of bringing in CEOs to work part-time running the government? Well, it looks like that plan is sort of coming to fruition. In the form of a new government agency, the White House Office of American Innovation, to be run by Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner. The office will be staffed by former CEOs who will meeting with current CEOs to brainstorm about ways to get more government services out of fewer dollars spent. And will have sweeping powers to put those ideas into place. Or recommend privatizing a government service entirely.

    So basically the CEOs are going to be given the job of finding things to privatize so those services can be run for-profit. That should save lots of money, LOL!

    The Washington Post

    Trump taps Kushner to lead a SWAT team to fix government with business ideas

    By Ashley Parker and Philip Rucker
    March 26, 2017 at 10:00 PM

    President Trump plans to unveil a new White House office on Monday with sweeping authority to overhaul the federal bureaucracy and fulfill key campaign promises — such as reforming care for veterans and fighting opioid addiction — by harvesting ideas from the business world and, potentially, privatizing some government functions.

    The White House Office of American Innovation, to be led by Jared Kushner, the president’s son-in-law and senior adviser, will operate as its own nimble power center within the West Wing and will report directly to Trump. Viewed internally as a SWAT team of strategic consultants, the office will be staffed by former business executives and is designed to infuse fresh thinking into Washington, float above the daily political grind and create a lasting legacy for a president still searching for signature achievements.

    “All Americans, regardless of their political views, can recognize that government stagnation has hindered our ability to properly function, often creating widespread congestion and leading to cost overruns and delays,” Trump said in a statement to The Washington Post. “I promised the American people I would produce results, and apply my ‘ahead of schedule, under budget’ mentality to the government.”

    In a White House riven at times by disorder and competing factions, the innovation office represents an expansion of Kushner’s already far-reaching influence. The 36-year-old former real estate and media executive will continue to wear many hats, driving foreign and domestic policy as well as decisions on presidential personnel. He also is a shadow diplomat, serving as Trump’s lead adviser on relations with China, Mexico, Canada and the Middle East.

    The work of White House chief strategist Stephen K. Bannon has drawn considerable attention, especially after his call for the “deconstruction of the administrative state.” But Bannon will have no formal role in the innovation office, which Trump advisers described as an incubator of sleek transformation as opposed to deconstruction.

    The announcement of the new office comes at a humbling moment for the president, following Friday’s collapse of his first major legislative push — an overhaul of the health-care system, which Trump had championed as a candidate.

    Kushner is positioning the new office as “an offensive team” — an aggressive, nonideological ideas factory capable of attracting top talent from both inside and outside of government, and serving as a conduit with the business, philanthropic and academic communities.

    “We should have excellence in government,” Kushner said Sunday in an interview in his West Wing office. “The government should be run like a great American company. Our hope is that we can achieve successes and efficiencies for our customers, who are the citizens.”

    The innovation office has a particular focus on technology and data, and it is working with such titans as Apple chief executive Tim Cook, Microsoft founder Bill Gates, Salesforce chief executive Marc Benioff and Tesla founder and chief executive Elon Musk. The group has already hosted sessions with more than 100 such leaders and government officials.

    “There is a need to figure out what policies are adding friction to the system without accompanying it with significant benefits,” said Stephen A. Schwarzman, chief executive of the investment firm Blackstone Group. “It’s easy for the private sector to at least see where the friction is, and to do that very quickly and succinctly.”

    Some of the executives involved have criticized some of Trump’s policies, such as his travel ban, but said they are eager to help the administration address chronic problems.

    “Obviously it has to be done with corresponding values and principles. We don’t agree on everything,” said Benioff, a Silicon Valley billionaire who raised money for Democrat Hillary Clinton’s 2016 campaign.

    But, Benioff added, “I’m hopeful that Jared will be collaborative with our industry in moving this forward. When I talk to him, he does remind me of a lot of the young, scrappy entrepreneurs that I invest in in their 30s.”

    Kushner’s ambitions for what the new office can achieve are grand. At least to start, the team plans to focus its attention on reimagining Veterans Affairs; modernizing the technology and data infrastructure of every federal department and agency; remodeling workforce-training programs; and developing “transformative projects” under the banner of Trump’s $1 trillion infrastructure plan, such as providing broadband Internet service to every American.

    In some cases, the office could direct that government functions be privatized, or that existing contracts be awarded to new bidders.

    The office will also focus on combating opioid abuse, a regular emphasis for Trump on the campaign trail. The president later this week plans to announce an official drug commission devoted to the problem that will be chaired by New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R). He has been working informally on the issue for several weeks with Kushner, despite reported tension between the two.

    Under President Barack Obama, Trump advisers said scornfully, some business leaders privately dismissed their White House interactions as “NATO” meetings — “No action, talk only” — in which they were “lectured,” without much follow-up.

    Andrew Liveris, chairman and chief executive of Dow Chemical, who has had meetings with the two previous administrations, said the environment under Trump is markedly different.

    After he left a recent meeting of manufacturing chief executives with Trump, Liveris said, “Rather than entering a vacuum, I’m getting emails from the president’s team, if not every day, then every other day — ‘Here’s what we’re working on.’ ‘We need another meeting.’ ‘Can you get us more input on this?’?”

    Kushner proudly notes that most of the members of his team have little-to-no political experience, hailing instead from the world of business. They include Gary Cohn, director of the National Economic Council; Chris Liddell, assistant to the president for strategic initiatives; Reed Cordish, assistant to the president for intergovernmental and technology initiatives; Dina Powell, senior counselor to the president for economic initiatives and deputy national security adviser; and Andrew Bremberg, director of the Domestic Policy Council.

    Ivanka Trump, the president’s elder daughter and Kushner’s wife, who now does her advocacy work from a West Wing office, will collaborate with the innovation office on issues such as workforce development but will not have an official role, aides said.

    Powell, a former Goldman Sachs executive who spent a decade at the firm managing public-private job creation programs, also boasts a government pedigree as a veteran of George W. Bush’s White House and State Department. Bremberg also worked in the Bush administration. But others are political neophytes.

    Liddell, who speaks with an accent from his native New Zealand, served as chief financial officer for General Motors, Microsoft and International Paper, as well as in Hollywood for William Morris Endeavor.

    “We are part of the White House team, connected with everyone here, but we are not subject to the day-to-day issues, so we can take a more strategic approach to projects,” Liddell said.

    Like Kushner, Cordish is the scion of a real estate family — a Baltimore-based conglomerate known for developing casinos and shopping malls. And Cohn, a Democrat who has recently amassed significant clout in the White House, is the hard-charging former president of Goldman Sachs.

    Trump’s White House is closely scrutinized for its always-evolving power matrix, and the innovation office represents a victory for Wall Street figures such as Cohn who have sought to moderate Trump’s agenda and project a friendly front to businesses, sometimes in conflict with the more hard-line conservatism championed by Bannon and Chief of Staff Reince Priebus.

    The innovation group has been meeting twice a week in Kushner’s office, just a few feet from the Oval Office, largely barren but for a black-and-white photo of his paternal grandparents — both Holocaust survivors — and a marked-up whiteboard more typical of tech start-ups. Kushner takes projects and decisions directly to the president for sign-off, though Trump also directly suggests areas of personal interest.

    There could be friction as the group interacts with myriad federal agencies, though the advisers said they did not see themselves as an imperious force dictating changes but rather as a “service organization” offering solutions.

    Kushner’s team is being formalized just as the Trump administration is proposing sweeping budget cuts across many departments, and members said they would help find efficiencies.

    “The president’s doing what is necessary to have a prudent budget, and that makes an office like this even more vital as we need to get more out of less dollars by doing things smarter, doing things better, and by leaning on the private sector,” Cordish said.

    “The White House Office of American Innovation, to be led by Jared Kushner, the president’s son-in-law and senior adviser, will operate as its own nimble power center within the West Wing and will report directly to Trump. Viewed internally as a SWAT team of strategic consultants, the office will be staffed by former business executives and is designed to infuse fresh thinking into Washington, float above the daily political grind and create a lasting legacy for a president still searching for signature achievements.”

    A new government agency run by Jared Kushner staffed by former CEOs to work with current CEOs to do figure out how to make government run more profitably efficiently *wink*. Just imagine all the profits efficiencies they’ll come up:


    The innovation office has a particular focus on technology and data, and it is working with such titans as Apple chief executive Tim Cook, Microsoft founder Bill Gates, Salesforce chief executive Marc Benioff and Tesla founder and chief executive Elon Musk. The group has already hosted sessions with more than 100 such leaders and government officials.

    “There is a need to figure out what policies are adding friction to the system without accompanying it with significant benefits,” said Stephen A. Schwarzman, chief executive of the investment firm Blackstone Group. “It’s easy for the private sector to at least see where the friction is, and to do that very quickly and succinctly.”

    Kushner’s ambitions for what the new office can achieve are grand. At least to start, the team plans to focus its attention on reimagining Veterans Affairs; modernizing the technology and data infrastructure of every federal department and agency; remodeling workforce-training programs; and developing “transformative projects” under the banner of Trump’s $1 trillion infrastructure plan, such as providing broadband Internet service to every American.

    In some cases, the office could direct that government functions be privatized, or that existing contracts be awarded to new bidders.

    “In some cases, the office could direct that government functions be privatized, or that existing contracts be awarded to new bidders.”

    And in case you feel like your memory is faulty because you have all these memories about Jared Kushner already getting assigned one Herculean responsibility after another, those weren’t false memories and if anyone’s memory should be checked at this point it’s Donald Trump’s. Just a double-check to make sure he’s aware that he’s made Jared Kushner responsible for just about everything at this point:

    The Huffington Post

    White House Announces Jared Kushner Is Now Responsible For Everything
    Donald Trump really needs to meet some new people.
    By Jason Linkins

    03/27/2017 03:40 pm ET | Updated 5 minutes ago

    The president of the United States has a very difficult job, and in recent weeks we’ve all been given to wonder whether President Donald Trump really wants to do it. Last week, Trump’s first big legislative initiative – the American Health Care Act – foundered, partially due to the fact that the president abruptly stopped trying to facilitate negotiations with members of Congress. Over the latter half of Thursday, we went from House Freedom Caucus Chair Mark Meadows (R-N.C.) extolling Trump’s efforts, to Trump suddenly bailing on the effort and demanding a Friday resolution to the matter – which all but guaranteed it wouldn’t be resolved to anyone’s satisfaction.

    But over the weekend, the president’s philosophy on running the country suddenly became more clear. Trump wants to get a lot of work done, he just wants his son-in-law, Jared Kushner, to do it.

    As the Washington Post’s Ashley Parker and Philip Rucker reported on Sunday, Kushner has been tapped to run an entirely new office with the “sweeping authority to overhaul the federal bureaucracy and fulfill key campaign promises – such as reforming care for veterans and fighting opioid addiction.”

    Okay, but let’s cast our minds back to Jan. 9, when the same newspaper reported this:

    Jared Kushner, the son-in-law of President-elect Donald Trump and one of his closest confidants, will join the White House as a senior adviser to the president, Trump announced Monday, while a lawyer assisting the family said that Kushner’s wife, Ivanka Trump, will not immediately take on a formal role.

    Kushner, who will not take a salary, is expected to have a broad portfolio that includes government operations, trade deals and Middle East policy, according to a member of Trump’s transition team. In a statement, the transition office said Kushner would work closely with White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus and chief strategist Stephen K. Bannon to execute Trump’s agenda.

    And on Feb. 10, The Washington Post reported:

    Trump said he wanted to explore the possibilities for making what he has called “the ultimate deal,” a peace pact between Israel and the Palestinians. He is deploying his son-in-law — and now senior adviser on the Middle East — Jared Kushner to the task.

    So, if you’re keeping track, Jared Kushner, who comes to Washington with no government experience, no policy experience, no diplomatic experience, and business experience limited to his family’s real estate development firm, a brief stint as a newspaper publisher, and briefly bidding to acquire the Los Angeles Dodgers, will be working on trade, Middle East policy in general, an Israel-Palestine peace deal more specifically, reforming the Veterans Administration, and solving the opioid crisis.

    Oh wait, that’s not all! Apparently, this new office will also be responsible for “modernizing the technology and data infrastructure of every federal department and agency; remodeling workforce-training programs; and developing “transformative projects” under the banner of Trump’s $1 trillion infrastructure plan, such as providing broadband internet service to every American.”

    We have certainly come a long way from “I alone can fix it.”

    How is Jared Kushner going to do all of these things? Simply “modernizing the technology and data infrastructure of every federal department and agency” is an enormous undertaking. In the United Kingdom, they had to create a whole new cabinet agency just to surmount that challenge. It would be great if Kushner would simply work on that one thing, or any one of these things. Instead, Kushner has now basically been saddled with several full-time jobs, in which he is responsible for fulfilling many, if not all, of his father-in-law’s campaign promises.

    Just imagine what Kushner’s daily schedule is going to be like:

    9:00-9:30: “Fox and Friends” debrief.

    9:30-10:00: Provide broadband internet service to entire nation.

    10:00-11:00: Stop working on providing broadband internet service to entire nation to focus on just providing it to entire government first.

    11:00-11:30: Elevensies.

    11:30-1:00: Working lunch to solve the intractable Israel-Palestine peace process that adults in government have been working on to no avail for decades.

    1:00-1:30: What do you mean there are other places in the Middle East that need tending to? FFS, people, I can’t possibly do everything!

    1:30-2:00: Daily “I can’t possibly do everything” meeting with POTUS. POTUS reminds Kushner that the AHCA went down because he was off in Aspen, skiing.

    2:00-2:15: Cancel all skiing vacations for the foreseeable future.

    2:15-2:30: Search for another samovar of coffee to push through the rest of the afternoon.

    2:30-3:30: Develop one “transformative project for America under the banner of Trump’s $1 billion infrastructure program.”

    3:30-3:45: Meeting with POTUS to discuss “transformative project.” POTUS says there is still something missing.

    3:45-4:15: WHAT IS IT MISSING? COME ON KUSHNER, THINK! YOU CAN DO THIS.

    4:15-4:30: Trump’s name added to transformative project. POTUS signs off.

    4:30-4:45: A brief wander through the White House. How did it come to this? Didn’t life used to be so much simpler? I could have done anything. I really would have liked to own the Dodgers. Oh, man, the crack of bat, fists pounding on leather, the scents of an afternoon ballgame? Heaven is a patch of well-manicured grass, the cheers of the crowd, fathers in the upper decks teaching their freckle-faced kids how to score the game, and nothing but the expanse of a hazy Southern California afternoon ahead of you. That should have been me. That’s what I was meant to do. How did I end up here? I only vaguely remember: My name, shouted in a certain dawn … a message … a summons … There must have been a moment, at the beginning, where I could have said – no. But somehow, I missed it.

    4:45-6:00: Fix the VA system, the opioid crisis, streamline government, and maybe do some trade stuff?

    6:00: Fifteen hours of weeping.

    Oh, hey, I nearly forgot: For the time being, Kushner is going to be wrapped up in the Senate Intelligence Committee’s investigation into “ties between Trump associates and Russian officials or others linked to the Kremlin,” so that’s going to cut into a lot of these activities.

    Now, the good news, if you’re Kushner, is that this latest thing he’ll be tapped to run may as well be called “the Office of Farming Out All This Work To Other People.” The Washington Post describes this agency as one that will “harvest ideas from the business world and, potentially, [privatize] some government functions.” (If you hate the VA hospital system now, just wait until it has a fiduciary responsibility to turn a profit for shareholders!)

    But who knows if Kushner is going to be able to successfully take on this immense pile of work all by himself. Even if all he’ll be doing is shuttling the half-baked ideas of Silicon Valley CEOs up and down the administrative ladder, at some point, people are going to remember all the things for which Trump made his son-in-law responsible and wonder if this arrangement really makes sense. And the longer that actual solutions to these problems elude the Trump White House, the worse it will be for Kushner.

    In the end, Donald Trump may have to do the one thing he’s long been loath to do: give his daughter Tiffany a job. (Also, he might have to take some personal responsibility for something.)

    “So, if you’re keeping track, Jared Kushner, who comes to Washington with no government experience, no policy experience, no diplomatic experience, and business experience limited to his family’s real estate development firm, a brief stint as a newspaper publisher, and briefly bidding to acquire the Los Angeles Dodgers, will be working on trade, Middle East policy in general, an Israel-Palestine peace deal more specifically, reforming the Veterans Administration, and solving the opioid crisis.”

    That’s going to be quite a political resume for Kushner…assuming he actually accomplishes something. Although even if Kushner doesn’t accomplish any of his growing lists of responsibilities at this point it’s not like he can’t fail up. It’s a Trump-family specialty. The bigly-er the better. Look out world.

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | March 27, 2017, 3:22 pm
  16. Given Donald Trump’s growing paranoia about leaks emanating from the intelligence community, one of the interesting questions regarding the Trump administration’s privatization plans is what on earth he’s going to do with the already extensively-privatized intelligence community. It’s an especially interesting question now that Jared Kushner has been granted his new role as the government privatizer-in-chief. So is the further privatization of the intelligence community a given at this point? That seems very possible since it’s hard to see the Trump team not privatizing everything it can get its hands on. But as the article below by Tim Shorrock reminds us, if Trump really does want to see fewer intelligence community leaks privatizing what’s left of the non-privatized intelligence community probably isn’t a very viable leak-minimizing strategy:

    The Washington Post

    Why does WikiLeaks keep publishing U.S. state secrets? Private contractors.
    By outsourcing key intelligence work, the government has made classified material more vulnerable.

    By Tim Shorrock
    March 16, 2017
    Tim Shorrock is the author of “Spies for Hire: The Secret World of Intelligence Outsourcing.”

    When WikiLeaks released more than 8,000 files about the CIA’s global hacking programs this month, it dropped a tantalizing clue: The leak came from private contractors. Federal investigators quickly confirmed this, calling contractors the likeliest sources. As a result of the breach, WikiLeaks editor Julian Assange said, the CIA had “lost control of its entire cyberweapons arsenal.”

    Intelligence insiders were dismayed. Agencies “take a chance with contractors” because “they may not have the same loyalty” as officers employed by the government, former CIA director Leon Panetta lamented to NBC.

    But this is a liability built into our system that intelligence officials have long known about and done nothing to correct. As I first reported in 2007, some 70 cents of every intelligence dollar is allocated to the private sector. And the relentless pace of mergers and acquisitions in the spies-for-hire business has left five corporations in control of about 80 percent of the 45,000 contractors employed in U.S. intelligence. The threat from unreliable employees in this multibillion-dollar industry is only getting worse.

    * * * * * * *

    The five market leaders are Booz Allen Hamilton, CSRA, SAIC, CACI International and Leidos. All of them are based in Virginia and are deeply involved in developing cyber and hacking tools. Other players in the cyber realm include Accenture, Raytheon and Northrop Grumman. The CIA, which has historically hired retired agents for its clandestine contractor force, has increasingly turned to corporations for its hacking teams.

    Despite the trust placed in them by the government and the public, private contractors — including the big ones — continue to make catastrophic mistakes in overseeing their employees. The most high-profile contractor leak was from Edward Snowden, who worked for Booz Allen at the National Security Agency. But the problems have persisted well after he absconded in 2013 with tens of thousands of classified documents about the NSA’s global surveillance programs and the Pentagon’s top-secret operations.

    Last month, a federal grand jury indicted Harold T. Martin III, a Maryland contractor with Booz Allen, in the theft of a massive cache of classified material from the NSA and other spy agencies over 18 years. Prosecutors called the theft “breathtaking in its longevity and scale.” Martin pleaded not guilty.

    Also last month, William Evanina, the nation’s top counterintelligence officer, disclosed that U.S. officials had recently discovered two more private-sector breaches. In one incident, a contractor stole more than 200 gigabytes of classified information from an unspecified agency and sold it to a foreign country, Evanina said in a public talk at the National Press Club. And in December, he added, government investigators learned that a contractor working for a company making engines for stealth fighter planes had stolen unclassified data that could allow “adversaries” of the United States to “reverse-engineer” the engines to understand U.S. capabilities.

    So contractors have been responsible for at least five major security lapses in four years. Even if some of these leaks revealed government wrongdoing (as some of the Snowden and WikiLeaks documents clearly did), shouldn’t the companies be held responsible when secrets are disclosed?

    I put the question to Evanina, the director of the National Counterintelligence and Security Center in the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI). “We’re all accountable,” he responded. Neither the Martin nor the Snowden case, he said, should make Booz Allen or any other contractor subject to special oversight. “This could happen to anyone,” he said. Instead of focusing on contractors, Evanina said, “we need to find common solutions” to ferreting out “inside threats” that are applicable to all players in U.S. intelligence.

    And it’s true that leaks come from inside as well: Chelsea Manning was a U.S. Army soldier when she provided WikiLeaks with nearly 1 million military documents in 2010. And just this month, a government imagery scientist was sentenced to federal prison for exfiltrating classified documents to his home in Maryland.

    Evanina was once the CIA’s top counterintelligence officer. He described the recent leaks as an inevitable result of a spy culture in which, he pointed out, contractors employ 800,000 of the 4 million U.S. citizens holding security clearances. “When we’re in the shop, we’re all agnostic,” he said. “We look at contractors as co-workers, not green-badgers.” He was referring to the identification cards that distinguish contractors from government employees.

    That rosy view of U.S. intelligence as one big, happy family is part of the problem. In 2015, a year before Martin was arrested, Evanina shared a podium at a high-level intelligence conference in Washington with Art Davis, Booz Allen’s director of corporate security. In his presentation, which I observed as a reporter, Davis boasted that his company had undergone a “metamorphosis of security” as a result of the Snowden leaks in 2013.

    Booz, he said, had doubled its spending on security and adopted a “full-scale counterintelligence program” focused on 2,500 employees with “access to the kingdom” — a reference to the highly classified documents that Snowden and Martin routinely handled. Such employees are subject to “continuous evaluation,” he said. “If they don’t pass, they leave their jobs.” Evanina then took the microphone. He praised Booz’s security plan and noted that he had met with Davis “a lot” about these issues.

    Clearly, that joint plan failed. Yet after Martin’s arrest, Evanina explained that the government had done all it could to prevent leaks. “I don’t believe there’s anything new that we have to incorporate” in government oversight, he told The Washington Post. With the latest leak at the CIA, that sounds hollow, if not downright risky.

    The crux of the problem may be privatized intelligence itself. That’s the view of veteran intelligence reporter Edward Epstein in his contentious but informative new book, “How America Lost Its Secrets.” Snowden chose Booz Allen specifically for its vulnerability, Epstein said at a recent talk. “He switched jobs to get access to the list of computers NSA had penetrated” and even took a pay cut to do so. Booz overlooked the fact that Snowden lied about education courses he was supposedly taking when he applied for his position at the NSA’s National Threat Operations Center, Epstein said.

    But Booz Allen didn’t try to verify Snowden’s claim and didn’t change its mind on Snowden’s job “even after it found out about the subterfuge,” Epstein said. As the holder of an NSA contract, he argued, the company had a financial incentive to “hire people as cheaply as possible,” so its personnel and clearance system broke down. For example, Snowden fraudulently obtained passwords from fellow Booz employees to gain access to 24 separate, highly classified NSA compartments. (Snowden has not denied these specific charges, but on his Twitter feed, he has hotly disputed other material from Epstein’s book. Booz has said little more than an assertion that “Snowden did not share our values.” Lately it has been silent as it awaits the results of an external review of its security practices by former FBI director Robert Mueller, whom it hired for the probe.)

    The case of Martin, a hoarder who allegedly snatched more than 75 percent of the NSA’s software tools to hack foreign computers, may be even worse. According to his 20-count indictment, eight of his thefts took place while he was employed by Booz Allen from 2009 to 2016. Before that, he worked for Tenacity Solutions, a Virginia company founded by former CIA officers that specializes — ironically — in training intelligence agencies and contractors in operational security. While working for Tenacity in the ODNI, which oversees the entire intelligence bureaucracy, he committed seven major thefts, the indictment says, including a document from the secretive National Reconnaissance Office that included details of “an unacknowledged ground station” for intelligence collection. He worked for seven companies during the alleged 18-year crime spree, including CSC, an important NSA contractor that is now part of CSRA.

    * * * * * * *

    Anybody with a security clearance, including government employees, is a potential risk. But government supervisors’ first loyalty is to the government they serve, not the companies that employ them — and, therefore, they are ultimately responsible for managing security risks.

    Surely the time has come to make private contractors directly accountable for leaks of classified material by canceling contracts or charging executives with negligence when leaks happen. Until the government and its intelligence leaders are willing to use their oversight powers to patch security holes in this manner and enforce greater separation between spy agencies and their contractors, privatized workers will never be a reliable way to accomplish the country’s intelligence goals. Without legal and financial accountability, the only way to strengthen security is to restrict high-level national security work to civil servants sworn to protect the Constitution.

    That may be disruptive to intelligence-services companies such as Booz Allen and would undoubtedly require a huge infusion of government workers. But it may be the safest option if the CIA wants to keep its secrets. Simply put, the outsourcing of U.S. intelligence operations has gone far enough.

    “But this is a liability built into our system that intelligence officials have long known about and done nothing to correct. As I first reported in 2007, some 70 cents of every intelligence dollar is allocated to the private sector. And the relentless pace of mergers and acquisitions in the spies-for-hire business has left five corporations in control of about 80 percent of the 45,000 contractors employed in U.S. intelligence. The threat from unreliable employees in this multibillion-dollar industry is only getting worse.”

    Yep, the profit motive doubles as a leak motive. Or rather, a don’t-spend-too-much-avoiding-leaks-because-that-reduces-profits motive:


    The crux of the problem may be privatized intelligence itself. That’s the view of veteran intelligence reporter Edward Epstein in his contentious but informative new book, “How America Lost Its Secrets.” Snowden chose Booz Allen specifically for its vulnerability, Epstein said at a recent talk. “He switched jobs to get access to the list of computers NSA had penetrated” and even took a pay cut to do so. Booz overlooked the fact that Snowden lied about education courses he was supposedly taking when he applied for his position at the NSA’s National Threat Operations Center, Epstein said.

    But Booz Allen didn’t try to verify Snowden’s claim and didn’t change its mind on Snowden’s job “even after it found out about the subterfuge,” Epstein said. As the holder of an NSA contract, he argued, the company had a financial incentive to “hire people as cheaply as possible,” so its personnel and clearance system broke down. For example, Snowden fraudulently obtained passwords from fellow Booz employees to gain access to 24 separate, highly classified NSA compartments. (Snowden has not denied these specific charges, but on his Twitter feed, he has hotly disputed other material from Epstein’s book. Booz has said little more than an assertion that “Snowden did not share our values.” Lately it has been silent as it awaits the results of an external review of its security practices by former FBI director Robert Mueller, whom it hired for the probe.)

    Just imagine how many future intelligence leaks are going to be enabled by the further privatization of the already profit-maximizing privatized intelligence complex. Now imagine Donald Trump’s paranoid mind imagining all those future intelligence leaks that are going to be enabled by the profit-maximizing privatized intelligence complex. That’s all part of what makes the looming hyper-privatization of intelligence under Trump so fascinating.

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | March 28, 2017, 3:42 pm

Post a comment