In FTR #718 (recorded on Independence Day weekend of 2010), we noted that the new social medium–Facebook-might very well be the opposite of the liberating, empowering entity many believed it to be.
On the contrary, we said–it received financial backing from the CIA, permits unprecedented gathering and databasing of users’ personal information, and might very well be a “panopticon”–a type of prison in which the interned can never see his or her jailers, but their keepers can see the interned at all times.
In particular, we noted the prominent position of major Facebook investor Peter Thiel in “Mondo Zuckerberg.” Of German (and probable I.G. Farben) origins, we opined that Thiel was Underground Reich. Opposed to democracy because he feels it is inimical to wealth creation and doesn’t believe women should be allowed to vote, Thiel has now emerged as one of the most prominent of Donald Trump’s supporters, transition team creators and influential policy wonks.
Whereas we explored the “virtual panopticon” concept of Facebook with a question mark in 2010, we now feel affirmatively on the issue.
A very important story from New York magazine sets forth Facebook’s role in the just-concluded election. ” . . . . Facebook’s size, reach, wealth, and power make it effectively the only one that matters. And, boy, does it matter. At the risk of being hyperbolic, I think there are few events over the last decade more significant than the social network’s wholesale acquisition of the traditional functions of news media (not to mention the political-party apparatus). Trump’s ascendancy is far from the first material consequence of Facebook’s conquering invasion of our social, cultural, and political lives, but it’s still a bracing reminder of the extent to which the social network is able to upend existing structure and transform society — and often not for the better. . . .
” . . . . Facebook’s enormous audience, and the mechanisms of distribution on which the site relies — i.e., the emotionally charged activity of sharing, and the show-me-more-like-this feedback loop of the news feed algorithm — makes it the only site to support a genuinely lucrative market in which shady publishers arbitrage traffic by enticing people off of Facebook and onto ad-festooned websites, using stories that are alternately made up, incorrect, exaggerated beyond all relationship to truth, or all three. . . .
” . . . . And at the heart of the problem, anyway, is not the motivations of the hoaxers but the structure of social media itself. Tens of millions of people, invigorated by insurgent outsider candidates and anger at perceived political enemies, were served up or shared emotionally charged news stories about the candidates, because Facebook’s sorting algorithm understood from experience that they were seeking such stories. Many of those stories were lies, or ‘parodies,’ but their appearance and placement in a news feed were no different from those of any publisher with a commitment to, you know, not lying. As those people and their followers clicked on, shared, or otherwise engaged with those stories — which they did, because Trump drives engagement extremely bigly — they were served up even more of them. The engagement-driving feedback loop reached the heights of Facebook itself, which shared fake news to its front page on more than one occasion after firing the small team of editorial employees tasked with passing news judgment. . . .
” . . . . Something like 170 million people in North America use Facebook every day, a number that’s not only several orders of magnitude larger than even the most optimistic circulation reckonings of major news outlets but also about one-and-a-half times as many people as voted on Tuesday. Forty-four percent of all adults in the United States say they get news from Facebook . . . ”
Symptomatic of Facebook’s filter of what its users see concerns the social medium’s recent non-coverage of the women’s march:
” . . . . We don’t usually post on Pando at the weekend, but this is too topical and too shameful to wait until Monday. As you certainly know, today is the day of the Women’s March on Washington in protest of Donald Trump. The main event is in DC, where something close to 500,000 protesters of all genders and ages have packed the streets — but there are also major protests in Chicago, New York and around the world. Including Antarctica.
You certainly know this because the protest march is the top story on every major news outlet, and because updates and photos from the event are flooding your Twitter and Facebook feeds.
And yet, here’s what Facebook’s trending news feed looked like at the height of the march…
And here’s its trending politics feed…
Notice anything missing?
Like, say, a half million women? . . .
In case you think I’m seeing something different from the rest of the world, be assured I’m not….”
Facebook has changed its algorithm, no longer factoring in “likes” and other personal preferences in determining its news feed.
This, however, does not bode as well as Facebook would like us to believe. Facebook has promoted, among others, Campbell Brown, to an important position in structuring its news feed: ” . . . . Brown has longstanding ties not just to the traditional news media, but also to conservative politics, although she describes herself as a political independent. She is a close personal friend of Betsy DeVos, the Republican megadonor who is Donald Trump’s nominee for Education Secretary, and is married to Dan Senor, a former top advisor to Mitt Romney who also served as spokesperson for the Coalition Provisional Authority in the wake of the 2003 invasion of Iraq. . . .
. . . . And alongside her mainstream media experience, Brown is familiar with the world of non-traditional news outlets springing up online. In 2014, she founded a nonprofit news site, The 74, which bills itself as nonpartisan but which critics have said functions as advocacy journalism, tilted in favor of charter schools and against teachers’ unions. The site was launched with money from donors including the foundation run by DeVos, Trump’s proposed Education Secretary. When the nomination was announced, Brown said she would recuse herself from The 74’s coverage of DeVos. . .”
Brown is joined by Tucker Bounds, a former John McCain adviser and spokesman for the McCain/Palin campaign.
Exemplifying the terrifying possibilities of the virtual panopticon, we examine the nexus of Cambridge Analytica, its principal investors, Robert and Rebekah Mercer and Steve Bannon, a key member of the firm’s board of directors and a political guru to Rebekah. ” . . . . For several years, a data firm eventually hired by the Trump campaign, Cambridge Analytica, has been using Facebook as a tool to build psychological profiles that represent some 230 million adult Americans. A spinoff of a British consulting company and sometime-defense contractor known for its counterterrorism ‘psy ops’ work in Afghanistan, the firm does so by seeding the social network with personality quizzes. Respondents — by now hundreds of thousands of us, mostly female and mostly young but enough male and older for the firm to make inferences about others with similar behaviors and demographics — get a free look at their Ocean scores. Cambridge Analytica also gets a look at their scores and, thanks to Facebook, gains access to their profiles and real names.
“Cambridge Analytica worked on the ‘Leave’ side of the Brexit campaign. In the United States it takes only Republicans as clients: Senator Ted Cruz in the primaries, Mr. Trump in the general election. Cambridge is reportedly backed by Robert Mercer, a hedge fund billionaire and a major Republican donor; a key board member is Stephen K. Bannon, the head of Breitbart News who became Mr. Trump’s campaign chairman and is set to be his chief strategist in the White House. . .
” . . . . Their [the Mercers] data firm, Cambridge Analytica, was hired by the Cruz campaign. They switched to support Trump shortly after he clinched the nomination, and he eventually hired Cambridge Analytica, as well. Their top political guru is Steve Bannon, the former Breitbart News chairman and White House chief strategist. They’re close, too, with Trump’s campaign manager Kellyanne Conway, who also has a senior role in the White House. They never speak to the press and hardly ever even release a public statement. Like Trump himself, they’ve flouted the standard playbook for how things are done in politics. . . .”
Bannon’s influence on Rebekah Mercer is particularly strong: ” . . . Another of the Republican operatives described Bannon as the ‘Obi-Wan Kenobi’ to Rebekah Mercer, and a third was even more pointed: ‘Svengali.’ Bannon is ‘really, really, really influential’ with Mercer, said the former Breitbart employee. The Mercers, the former employee said, made their wishes known through Bannon, who would sometimes cite the company’s financial backers as a reason for Breitbart not to do a story. Bannon didn’t respond to a request for comment about this. . . .”
In turn, the influence of Steve Bannon within the Facebook virtual panopticon is even more sinister considering Bannon’s political outlook: ” . . . . But, said the source, who requested anonymity to speak candidly about Bannon, ‘There are some things he’s only going to share with people who he’s tight with and who he trusts.’
Bannon’s readings tend to have one thing in common: the view that technocrats have put Western civilization on a downward trajectory and that only a shock to the system can reverse its decline. And they tend to have a dark, apocalyptic tone that at times echoes Bannon’s own public remarks over the years—a sense that humanity is at a hinge point in history. . . .”
One of the influences on Bannon is Curtis Yarvin, aka Mencius Moldbug, who has actually opened a backchannel advisory connection to the White House: ” . . . . Before he emerged on the political scene, an obscure Silicon Valley computer programmer with ties to Trump backer and PayPal co-founder Peter Thiel was explaining his behavior. Curtis Yarvin, the self-proclaimed ‘neoreactionary’ who blogs under the name ‘Mencius Moldbug,’ attracted a following in 2008 when he published a wordy treatise asserting, among other things, that ‘nonsense is a more effective organizing tool than the truth.’ When the organizer of a computer science conference canceled Yarvin’s appearance following an outcry over his blogging under his nom de web, Bannon took note: Breitbart News decried the act of censorship in an article about the programmer-blogger’s dismissal.
Moldbug’s dense, discursive musings on history—’What’s so bad about the Nazis?’ he asks in one 2008 post that condemns the Holocaust but questions the moral superiority of the Allies—include a belief in the utility of spreading misinformation that now looks like a template for Trump’s approach to truth. ‘To believe in nonsense is an unforgeable [sic] demonstration of loyalty. It serves as a political uniform. And if you have a uniform, you have an army,’ he writes in a May 2008 post.’It’s been a while since I posted anything really controversial and offensive here,’ he begins in a July 25, 2007, post explaining why he associates democracy with ‘war, tyranny, destruction and poverty.’
Moldbug, who does not do interviews and could not be reached for this story, has reportedly opened up a line to the White House, communicating with Bannon and his aides through an intermediary, according to a source. Yarvin said he has never spoken with Bannon. . . .”
After discussing Facebook’s new AI technology being employed to search users’ photos, the program concludes with the shift of Silicon Valley money to the GOP.
Program Highlights Include: review of Steve Bannon’s role on the NSC; review of the martial law contingency plans drawn up by Oliver North during the Reagan administration, involving the deputizing of paramilitary right-wingers; review of Erik Prince’s relationship to the Trump administration and Betsy De Vos, Trump’s education secretary.
In FTR #’s 941 and 942 we examined the political history and milieu of Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI), a “rising star” in the Democratic Party, one of the driving forces behind the Bernie Sanders phenomenon, and networked with Nardndra Modi’s BJP and the RSS, the Hindu fascist/organization that assassinated Gandhi. A “Huffington Post” article from “Civil Beat” seemed curiously unable to find a public statement by Gabbard about her membership in a Hare Krishna cult offshoot headed by Chris Butler. She states her association with Butler, aka aka Jagad Guru Siddhaswarupananda Paramahamsa, in a readily available video. “Civil Beat” is a publication founded by Pierre Omidyar (of “First Look Media”), who helped to finance Modi’s election.
With a new Cold War gaining momentum and charges of Russian interference in the U.S. election, this program takes stock of information pointing in the other direction. After reviewing previous discussion of why the DNC, John Podesta and NSA “hacks” do not withstand scrutiny, the broadcast sets forth information indicating that Ukrainian fascists and related elements may well be the authors of a “cyber false-flag” operation.
Not only is the so-called “evidence” characteristic of a relatively clumsy false-flag operation–albeit one conducted on the internet–but the so-called “experts,” link to the milieu of the Reinhard Gehlen “Org.”
The joint CIA/FBI/NSA declassified version of the Intelligence Report on Russian hacking came out. There is no substantive detail in the report:“ . . . . To summarize, the report says that the CIA, FBI, and National Security Agency believe that Russian hackers—directed ultimately by Vladimir Putin—hacked email accounts belonging to the Democratic National Committee and to Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta and then passed the material they obtained on to WikiLeaks through a third party. This was done, the report asserts, because the Russians believed that Donald Trump would be friendlier to their country’s interests, as president, than Hillary Clinton. And … that’s about it. Not counting intro pages or appendices, the report is five pages long and does not include any description of the actual evidence that Russian actors were responsible for the DNC/Podesta hacks (an assertion that’s supported by publicly available evidence analyzed by third parties) or the assertion that Putin ultimately directed the release of hacked material in order to help elect Donald Trump (an assertion that’s harder to verify independently). . . . .”
The Bitly technology used in the hacks enabled the entire world to see what was going on! This strongly indicates a cyber-false flag operation: ” . . . . Using Bitly allowed ‘third parties to see their entire campaign including all their targets— something you’d want to keep secret,’ Tom Finney, a researcher at SecureWorks, told Motherboard. It was one of Fancy Bear’s ‘gravest mistakes,’ as Thomas Rid, a professor at King’s College who has closely studied the case, put it in a new piece published on Thursday in Esquire, as it gave researchers unprecedented visibility into the activities of Fancy Bear, linking different parts of its larger campaign together. . . .”
It should be noted that while this report is signed off on by the CIA, NSA, and FBI, the FBI never examined the DNC’s hacked server. Instead, according to the DNC, the job was outsourced to CrowdStrike! Neither the FBI, nor any other U.S. government entity has run an independent forensic analysis on the system! ” . . . Six months after the FBI first said it was investigating the hack of the Democratic National Committee’s computer network, the bureau has still not requested access to the hacked servers, a DNC spokesman said. No US government entity has run an independent forensic analysis on the system, one US intelligence official told BuzzFeed News. . . .The FBI has instead relied on computer forensics from a third-party tech security company, CrowdStrike, which first determined in May of last year that the DNC’s servers had been infiltrated by Russia-linked hackers, the U.S. intelligence official told BuzzFeed News. . .’CrowdStrike is pretty good. There’s no reason to believe that anything that they have concluded is not accurate,’ the intelligence official said, adding they were confident Russia was behind the widespread hacks. . . It’s unclear why the FBI didn’t request access to the DNC servers, and whether it’s common practice when the bureau investigates the cyberattacks against private entities by state actors, like when the Sony Corporation was hacked by North Korea in 2014. BuzzFeed News spoke to three cybersecurity companies who have worked on major breaches in the last 15 months, who said that it was “par for the course” for the FBI to do their own forensic research into the hacks. None wanted to comment on the record on another cybersecurity company’s work, or the work being done by a national security agency. . . .”
The FBI claims that the DNC denied them access to the servers! Right! Note the prominence of CrowdStrike in this imbroglio. More about them below. ” . . . . The FBI struck back at the Democratic National Committee on Thursday, accusing it of denying federal investigators access to its computer systems and hamstringing its investigation into the infiltration of DNC servers by Russia-backed hackers. ‘The FBI repeatedly stressed to DNC officials the necessity of obtaining direct access to servers and data, only to be rebuffed until well after the initial compromise had been mitigated. This left the FBI no choice but to rely upon a third party for information,’ a senior law enforcement official told BuzzFeed News in a statement. ‘These actions caused significant delays and inhibited the FBI from addressing the intrusion earlier.’ . . . The warring statements are the latest twists in an extraordinary standoff between the Democrats and federal investigators that reached a fever pitch over the bureau’s probe into Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton’s private email server. . . . The FBI announced it was investigating the hack of the DNC’s servers in July, after a third-party computer security firm, Crowdstrike, said it had evidence of Kremlin-backed hackers infiltrating its system. . . .”
The DNC responded to the FBI’s counter-assertion by reasserting that it’s giving the FBI full access to whatever it requested. If there’s a problem with the FBI getting access to that server, it’s a problem between the FBI and Crowdstrike: ” . . . The FBI had previously told lawmakers on the Hill that the DNC had not allowed federal investigators to access their servers. After BuzzFeed News reported on Wednesday that the DNC claimed FBI agents had never asked for the servers, congressional officials pressured the FBI for answers. A senior law enforcement official issued a public statement on the matter Thursday night. ‘Someone is lying their ass off,’ a US intelligence official said of the warring statements. But officials with the DNC still assert they’ve ‘cooperated with the FBI 150%.They’ve had access to anything they want. Anything that they desire. Anything they’ve asked, we’ve cooperated,’ the DNC official said. ‘If anybody contradicts that it’s between Crowdstrike and the FBI.’ . . .Without direct access to the computer network, another US intelligence official told BuzzFeed, federal investigators had been forced to rely on the findings of the private cybersecurity firm Crowdstrike for computer forensics. From May through August of 2016, the Democratic National Committee paid Crowdstrike $267,807 dollars for maintenance, data services and consulting, among other things, according to federal records. . . .”
An important article underscores that many tech experts disagree with the government’s so-called analysis: ” . . . . Yet despite the scores of breathless media pieces that assert that Russia’s interference in the election is ‘case closed,’might some skepticism be in order? Some cyber experts say ‘yes.’ . . . Cyber-security experts have also weighed in. The security editor at Ars Technica observed that ‘Instead of providing smoking guns that the Russian government was behind specific hacks,’ the government report ‘largely restates previous private sector claims without providing any support for their validity.’ Robert M. Lee of the cyber-security company Dragos noted that the report ‘reads like a poorly done vendor intelligence report stringing together various aspects of attribution without evidence.’ Cybersecurity consultant Jeffrey Carr noted that the report ‘merely listed every threat group ever reported on by a commercial cybersecurity company that is suspected of being Russian-made and lumped them under the heading of Russian Intelligence Services (RIS) without providing any supporting evidence that such a connection exists.’ . . .”
CrowdStrike–at the epicenter of the supposed Russian hacking controversy is noteworthy. Its co-founder and chief technology officer, Dmitry Alperovitch is a senior fellow at the Atlantic Council, financed by elements that are at the foundation of fanning the flames of the New Cold War: “In this respect, it is worth noting that one of the commercial cybersecurity companies the government has relied on is Crowdstrike, which was one of the companies initially brought in by the DNC to investigate the alleged hacks. . . . Dmitri Alperovitch is also a senior fellow at the Atlantic Council. . . . The connection between [Crowdstrike co-founder and chief technology officer Dmitri] Alperovitch and the Atlantic Council has gone largely unremarked upon, but it is relevant given that the Atlantic Council—which is is funded in part by the US State Department, NATO, the governments of Latvia and Lithuania, the Ukrainian World Congress, and the Ukrainian oligarch Victor Pinchuk—has been among the loudest voices calling for a new Cold War with Russia. As I pointed out in the pages of The Nation in November, the Atlantic Council has spent the past several years producing some of the most virulent specimens of the new Cold War propaganda. . . . ”
There was an update back in December from the German government regarding its assessment of the 2015 Bundgestag hacks (attributed to “Fancy Bear” and “Cozy Bear,” as mentioned in the Sandro Gaycken post above) that it attributed to APT28 and Russia: while it asserts the hacks did indeed take place, the leaked documents were later determined to be an insider leak (via Google translate). “ . . . . According to the report, federal security authorities are convinced that not hackers had stolen the 2420 documents published by the Internet platform Wikileaks in early December. There was certainly no evidence that the material had been stolen in the cyber attack on the Bundestag in 2015, it was called into security crises. . . . ”
Another article details at length the skepticism and outright scorn many cybersecurity experts feel concerning the report. ” . . . . Did the Russian government hack the DNC and feed documents to WikiLeaks? There are really two questions here: who hacked the DNC, and who released the DNC documents? These are not necessarily the same. An earlier intrusion into German parliament servers was blamed on the Russians, yet the release of documents to WikiLeaks is thought to have originated from an insider.  Had the Russians hacked into the DNC, it may have been to gather intelligence, while another actor released the documents. But it is far from certain that Russian intelligence services had anything to do with the intrusions. Julian Assange says that he did not receive the DNC documents from a nation-state. It has been pointed out that Russia could have used a third party to pass along the material. Fair enough, but former UK diplomat Craig Murray asserts: ‘I know who the source is… It’s from a Washington insider. It’s not from Russia.’ [We wonder if it might have been Tulsi Gabbard–D.E.]  . . . .”
Exemplifying some of the points of dissension in the above-linked story: ” . . . . Cybersecurity analyst Robert Graham was particularly blistering in his assessment of the government’s report, characterizing it as “full of garbage.” The report fails to tie the indicators of compromise to the Russian government. ‘It contains signatures of viruses that are publicly available, used by hackers around the world, not just Russia. It contains a long list of IP addresses from perfectly normal services, like Tor, Google, Dropbox, Yahoo, and so forth. Yes, hackers use Yahoo for phishing and maladvertising. It doesn’t mean every access of Yahoo is an ‘indicator of compromise’.’ Graham compared the list of IP addresses against those accessed by his web browser, and found two matches. ‘No,’ he continues. ‘This doesn’t mean I’ve been hacked. It means I just had a normal interaction with Yahoo. It means the Grizzly Steppe IoCs are garbage. . . .”
The source code used in the attacks traces back to Ukraine! ” . . . . In conjunction with the report, the FBI and Department of Homeland Security provided a list of IP addresses it identified with Russian intelligence services.  Wordfence analyzed the IP addresses as well as a PHP malware script provided by the Department of Homeland Security. In analyzing the source code, Wordfence discovered that the software used was P.A.S., version 3.1.0. It then found that the website that manufactures the malware had a site country code indicating that it is Ukrainian. [Note this!–D.E.] The current version of the P.A.S. software is 4.1.1, which is much newer than that used in the DNC hack, and the latest version has changed ‘quite substantially.’ Wordfence notes that not only is the software ‘commonly available,’ but also that it would be reasonable to expect ‘Russian intelligence operatives to develop their own tools or at least use current malicious tools from outside sources.’ To put it plainly, Wordfence concludes that the malware sample ‘has no apparent relationship with Russian intelligence.’ . . .”
The program concludes with a frightening piece of legislation signed into law by Barack Obama in December. It is an ominous portent of the use of government and military power to suppress dissenting views as being “Russian” propaganda tools! “. . . . The new law is remarkable for a number of reasons, not the least because it merges a new McCarthyism about purported dissemination of Russian ‘propaganda’ on the Internet with a new Orwellianism by creating a kind of Ministry of Truth – or Global Engagement Center – to protect the American people from ‘foreign propaganda and disinformation.’ . . . As part of the effort to detect and defeat these unwanted narratives, the law authorizes the Center to: ‘Facilitate the use of a wide range of technologies and techniques by sharing expertise among Federal departments and agencies, seeking expertise from external sources, and implementing best practices.’ (This section is an apparent reference to proposals that Google, Facebook and other technology companies find ways to block or brand certain Internet sites as purveyors of ‘Russian propaganda’ or ‘fake news.’) . . .”
Program Highlights Include: review of information from previous programs linking the disinformation about the high-profile hacks to the milieu of Ukrainian fascism; review of Alexandra Chalupa’s role in disseminating the “Russia did it” meme; review of “Eddie the Friendly Spook” Snowden’s role in the disinformation about the high-profile hacks; the implementation of a frightening new law authorizing the Pentagon and other government agencies to act to counter any information seen as “Russian propaganda.”
In FTR #’s 891 and 895, we highlighted the Broadcasting Board of Governors, a Congressional fig leaf instituted to dilute CIA control over American foreign broadcast outlets such as Radio Free Europe, Voice of America and Radio Free Asia. In addition to the broadcast outlets discussed in the story that follows, we note that the change from a “board of governors” to a “CEO” to be appointed by Trump also gives the nominee power over Radio Free Asia’s Open Technology Fund, developer of numerous apps and other technological methodologies favored by the so-called “privacy advocates.”
The replacement of the governors is seen as a potential boon to the Trump administration. “ . . . . ‘There’s some fear among the folks here, that the firewall will get diminished and attacked and this could fall victim to propaganda,’ the Republican official said. ‘They will hire the person they want, the current CEO does not stand a chance. This will pop up on Steve Bannon’s radar quickly. They are going to put a friendly person in that job.’ . . . . ”
The change will affect domestic broadcast media as well. ” . . . . Because of the modification of the Smith-Mundt Act in 2013, the BBG can now broadcast in the U.S., too. But the influence on the domestic market could be even more subtle, the Republican official warned. A BBG CEO influenced by the administration could penetrate established media outlets with packages, series or other news products produced by the BBG’s networks but picked up and aired by traditional media like Fox News or Breitbart. Many U.S. outlets currently use content from VOA. ‘No money would even change hands, you’ve had no effect on the budget,’ the official said. ‘But it will denigrate the product. . . . ‘ ”
In the context of the changes made to the BBG, we review the political inclinations of Bannon: ” . . . The late Andrew Breitbart, founder of the website Bannon went on to lead, called Bannon the “Leni Riefenstahl of the Tea Party movement”—a reference to the infamous creator of Nazi propaganda films. While insisting to a Wall Street Journal reporter in 2011 that his work isn’t propaganda, Bannon went on to cite Riefenstahl among his main influences . . . ”
Next, we turn to the subject of free trade, on which Trump has had much to say, bashing China and Mexico as countries the U.S. should “put right” in their trade relations with the U.S. It’s worth noting we haven’t heard Trump mention a trade war with Germany despite all his tirades against China and Mexico. It raises the question of why, since Germany’s unprecedented and damaging surpluses make it such an obvious trade war target.
” . . . . There is one potential trade war, however, that few people have so far noticed — but which could soon be his easiest target. Germany. Given the size of its population, it runs a far larger trade surplus than China — and a massive surplus with the U.S. in particular. Even better, the industries to pick off are relatively simple to identify, and would actually have a chance of creating well-paid American jobs. . . .
“. . . . Germany’s trade surplus is absolutely massive, and unprecedented in modern industrial history. Last year it hit 8.9% of gross domestic product, and it is likely to break through 9% before the end of 2016. Globally, it is second in size only to China’s, but given that Germany is a far smaller country, it is only fair to measure it on a per capita basis — and when you look at it that way, Germany’s surplus is seven times bigger than China’s. . . . Much of Germany’s trade surplus is clearly the result of currency manipulation. The euro has depressed the real value of the country’s exports, allowing it rack up those huge exports. You can argue about whether China’s currency is really at its fair value or not — but no one can really dispute that Germany’s currency is way, way below what it would be if it still had the deutschemark. . . .”
Obviously, part of the answer lies in the fact that Deutsche Bank–a key element of the Bormann capital network and the Underground Reich–is owed hundreds of millions of dollars by Trump. Trump’s other connections run in the direction of the Underground Reich as well. (The Trump/Deutsche Bank connection is discussed, in among other programs, FTR #’s 920, 921, 922 and 927.)
We note in passing that Germany is preparing for a trade war with the U.S.–we don’t think one will really take place, but we may be treated to Trumpian “fake news” and/or propaganda. Germany is asserting that the factors behind its enormous trade surplus can not be altered, because it is due to naturally occurring circumstances like a rapidly aging population.
” . . . There are plenty of reasons for that. Germany’s current account surplus has never been as high as it is this year and never before has that surplus represented such a significant share of the country’s gross domestic product. Making matters worse is the fact that the US is the largest consumer of German exports. . . .
“. . . . As high as it is, though, the current surplus is likely to continue growing. The recent fall in the euro’s value relative to the dollar following Trump’s election makes German products and services even more competitive. And many economists believe that the value of the dollar will continue to climb, which means that the value of the euro against the dollar will shrink correspondingly. Their predictions are based on recent indications that Trump’s announced economic stimulus policies will push up both America’s sovereign debt load and its interest rates. . . .”
The program concludes with analysis of how Trump’s continued involvement in his business empire (through his children) leaves him open to manipulation. The Philippines is a good example: “ . . . . So, under the deal, Trump’s children will be paid millions of dollars throughout their father’s presidency by Jose E.B. Antonio, the head of Century Properties.
“Duterte recently named Antonio the special government envoy to the United States. The conflicts here could not be more troubling or more blatant: President Trump will be discussing U.S. policy in Southeast Asia with one of his (or his children’s) business partners, a man who is the official representative of a foreign leader who likens himself to Hitler. Also note that the Trump family has an enormous financial interest in Duterte’s deadly campaign: Rooting out crime in the Philippines is good for the real estate values. . . . Duterte recently named Antonio the special government envoy to the United States. The conflicts here could not be more troubling or more blatant: President Trump will be discussing U.S. policy in Southeast Asia with one of his (or his children’s) business partners, a man who is the official representative of a foreign leader who likens himself to Hitler. Also note that the Trump family has an enormous financial interest in Duterte’s deadly campaign: Rooting out crime in the Philippines is good for the real estate values. . . . .”
Program Highlights Include: Trump’s business dealings in India, where members of the BJP party figure in the disposition of the operations in that country; Trump’s consideration of Bernie Sanders supporter Tulsi Gabbard for a cabinet position; “Alt-Right” kingpin Steve Bannon’s high regard for Gabbard; Gabbard’s strong support for Modi and networking with the BJP; Gabbard’s networking with the RSS, the Indian fascist organization for which the BJP serves as a front.
In FTR #854, we noted John Perry Barlow’s background as Dick Cheney’s campaign manager and George Wallace supporter in 1968. In FTR #895, we discussed the fact that the Electronic Frontier Foundation embraced technologies developed by CIA-linked institutions. Barlow founded the EFF. It turns out that Barlow was invited to CIA headquarters in 1992 and advanced concepts that may well have lead to the development of social media–“. . . Let’s create a process of information digestion in which inexpensive data are gathered from largely open sources and condensed, through an open process . . . The entity I envision would be small, highly networked, and generally visible. It would be open to information from all available sources . . . It would rely heavily on the Internet, public media, the academic press, and an informal worldwide network of volunteers–a kind of global Neighborhood Watch–that would submit on-the-ground reports. . . . It would use off-the-shelf technology, and use it less for gathering data than for collating and communicating them. Being off-the-shelf, it could deploy tools while they were still state-of-the-art. . . .”
Continuing analysis of aspects of Donald Trump’s candidacy that have been eclipsed by his boorish attitude and behavior toward women, we note Trump’s use of thinly-veiled anti-Semitic rhetoric intimating that Hillary Clinton is in bed with an international Jewish cabal. ” . . . . The speech was hinged to the original purpose of his campaign: to trade on the resentments of a restive remnant of white America—angry white men and the women who love them—and set the stage for mayhem in the wake of his likely electoral defeat. This was not your standard, off-the-cuff Trump rant. This was a scripted speech, delivered with a teleprompter. It was crafted. It featured the key words of right-wing complaints: “sovereign,” “global bankers” and “slander.” Really, it came right out of a Nazi propaganda playbook. And when one considers the themes common between Nazi propaganda films and the films made by top Trump campaign staffers Stephen K. Bannon and David Bossie (as analyzed by AlterNet), we should hardly be surprised. . . . The agenda of the “media establishment,” Trump said, was to elect “crooked” Hillary Clinton, in the service of “special global interests rigging the system.” There are a lot of ways in the land of Wingnuttia to telegraph that your target is Jews, and these are two of them. Remember them: You’ll be hearing a lot in coming days about the “media establishment,” “global special interests,” oh, and “bankers.” . . . .”
Trump is also rhetorically invoking the prospect of turning to violence to right the wrongs of the “rigged” election he has bruited about. “ . . . . I watched his speech Thursday, and if I closed my eyes, I could smell the campfire smoke at the Malheur refuge and feel the Oregon winter wind on my face. Here were the conspiracies, the references to the shadowy international cabals, the whispers about the illegitimacy of the Department of Justice and the Trilateralist coopting of the FBI. It was like listening to an immodest Ammon Bundy. We have to protect ourselves from not just the government (because it is only a pawn) but from the people who really run it. We should be watchful, resilient, ready—and though he is reluctant, he will sacrifice himself, for he is the only one who can save us from the terror. Donald Trump shouted out every fevered dystopian fantasy I heard on the refuge . . . . I was outraged by Trump before. But now I am worried. . . . Thursday, Donald Trump traveled a step further down the path of militant right-wing revolution. It wasn’t a call to arms, exactly. But it was far past the point of comfort. . . .”
A major point of discussion concerns Trump’s deputy campaign manager, David Bossie. Even as Trump accuses Hillary of being a tool of the “elites,” Trump is utilizing Bossie, who is the head of Citizens United. It was a lawsuit by Bossie’s organization that opened the floodgates to virtually unlimited campaign funding by the ultra rich, when the Supreme Court ruled in favor of Citizens United. Bossie and Steven K. Bannon, Trump’s campaign manager, have utilized propaganda techniques pioneered by Hitler, Goebbels and company. ” . . . . The late Andrew Breitbart, founder of the website Bannon went on to lead, called Bannon the “Leni Riefenstahl of the Tea Party movement”—a reference to the infamous creator of Nazi propaganda films. While insisting to a Wall Street Journal reporter in 2011 that his work isn’t propaganda, Bannon went on to cite Riefenstahl among his main influences. . . . Ivana Trump, the candidate’s first wife, told Vanity Fair in 1990 that her husband kept a copy of Adolf Hitler’s My New Order, a collection of speeches that display the Nazi dictator’s exceptional ability to manipulate reality, in a cabinet near his bed. . . . . The Nazi regime produced a massive amount of propaganda; it had an entire Ministry of Public Enlightenment and Propaganda, headed by Joseph Goebbels. A central technique of Nazi propagandists, according to the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum, was to cast Jews as outsiders and dangerous enemies of the Reich, ‘‘subhuman’ creatures infiltrating Aryan society.’ . . . In her analysis of Riefenstahl’s ‘Triumph of the Will,’ Price noted that ‘perhaps most critically, Germany’s comeback is portrayed as well underway; the viewer need only jump aboard. What is being said implicitly is that there is no alternative.’ In ‘Battle for America,’ Bannon and Bossie follow the same formula, positing the Tea Party movement as the bandwagon to jump on. But the formula isn’t the only thing about the film that carries echoes of Goebbels: a researcher and counsel for the film was white nationalist Robert Vandervoort. . . .”
Program Highlights Include: The arrest of militia members in Kansas for plotting an attack on Somali refugees, scheduled for the day after Election Day; discussion of UK Independence Party leader Nigel Farage’s support for Trump; the support Trump has received from Russian fascist Vladimir Zhirinovsky; Zhirinovsky’s funding by German Nazi Gerhard Frey; Frey’s dissemination of the disinformation that Lee Harvey Oswald fired at General Edwin Walker; Frey’s close association with Reinhard Gehlen; Trump’s close relationship with the Steuben Society.
With Donald Trump’s sexual habits and speech dominating the headlines at the moment, we are seeing what Trump termed “locker room” banter eclipse far more important aspects of the Trump phenomenon. The GOP candidate continues to manifest Nazi-style beliefs, trumpeting the importance of heredity, breeding and genes to success, with his own German heritage having much to do with his own largesse. In that context, we note that his “genes,” in the form of Donald, Jr., may well be on the scene for some time.
Although Donald, Sr. would appear poised to lose the election in November, the Trumpenkampfverbande–the movement that has coalesced around him–is poised to continue, being (in our opinion) the transformation of the Underground Reich into a broad-based mass movement. Donald, Jr. appears to be a bird of the same political plumage as his father, with a penchant for racism and “Alt-right” tweeting. As one blogger put it: ” . . . And in the last couple of weeks Junior has let his alt-right freak flag fly. . . .” Junior also has political aspirations: ” . . . The oldest son of the Republican presidential nominee said that while he still has ‘a lot to do in my own career,’ he would seriously consider following in his father’s footsteps out of real estate and into political life. . . .” Donald, Jr. does not appear on the surface to share his father’s destructive sexual practices, and might become a standard-bearer for an Underground Reich in plain view for some time to come.
Another critical aspect of Trump’s political connections that has been overshadowed by the “locker room eclipse” concerns Trump’s profound, longstanding connections to Deutsche Bank, his go-to lender for his myriad real estate practices. Currently destabilizing equities markets around the world, Deutsche Bank holds the potential to collapse the global financial landscape. Having benefitted from a “rigged” ECB stress test, having benefitted from predatory lending practices during the sub-prime crisis, having benefitted from a Federal Reserve bailout following the collapse of 2008 and facing a potential $14 billion fine from the U.S. Department of Justice, Deutsche Bank holds 42 trillion euros worth of derivatives on its books, an amount 11 times the economy of Germany! Trump’s being in hoc to Deutsche Bank for upwards of $100 million raises interesting questions about his potential position as head of the U.S. government.
Another, related aspect of Trump’s candidacy concerns his threat to fire Federal Reserve head Janet Yellen and his advisers ranging from “Alt-right” ideologues to champions of a return to the gold standard–a move that would collapse the American and global economies. [This is against the background of the possibility that the Fed may have to extend another lifeline to Deutsche Bank to prevent another international financial meltdown] ” . . . In the first [group of Trump economic advisors] are Larry Kudlow and Judy Shelton, the intellectuals of the bunch, and both advocates of a return to the gold standard. While it has become popular among some Republicans in the past few years, returning to the gold standard is dismissed as a discredited, fringe idea by nearly all economists and market participants. And, for their part, gold-standard supporters typically reject the very idea of a Federal Reserve, so if Trump were to appoint Kudlow, Shelton, or another gold-standard supporter to the Fed, it would be the most radical and potentially damaging economic move since the dawn of our modern economic system, after the Great Depression. . . .”
Program Highlights Include: Review of “The Donald’s” affinity for the speeches of Adolf Hitler; review of Trump’s father’s possible membership in the Ku Klux Klan; Trump’s exhortations to his followers to disregard “the rigged” election and the possibility (probability?) that this will lead to “lone wolf,” leaderless resistance terrorism and murder; Donald Trump’s links to the Steuben Society.
Just as JFK’s assassination–pinned on the ersatz Communist Lee Harvey Oswald–destroyed JFK’s attempts at detente with the Soviet Union, the “op” fronted for by Edward Snowden–the “Obverse Oswald”–destroyed the Obama/Clinton State Department’s attempts at a “re-boot” with Russia. This program is the second in a series reviewing how Oswald was “painted red.” For purposes of convenience and continuity, we begin the discussion by reviewing and synopsizing information indicating that Russia has been framed for the “Shadow Brokers” alleged hack of the NSA, much as it appears to have been framed for the DNC hack.
Indeed, with both the DNC hack and the “Shadow Brokers” non-hack of the NSA, the evidence points increasingly toward “Team Snowden” (including WikiLeaks) and Eddie the Friendly Spook himself. The process of propagandizing the high-profile hacks as effected by “Russia” is analogous to the “painting of Oswald Red.” This broadcast details a visit to Mexico City by “Oswald,” in which the patsy-to-be of the JFK assassination went to lengths to reinforce the image of a Communist, linked to, among other elements, the KGB’s assassination expert Valery Kostikov.
The “Oswald” operating in Mexico City did not look like Oswald: ” . . . He was described as ‘apparent age 35, athletic build, circa 6 feet, receding hairline, balding top.’ In a CIA cable back to Mexico City on October 10, the Lee Oswald who defected to the U.S.S.R. in October 1959 was described as not quite 24, ‘five feet ten inches, one hundred sixty five pounds, light brown wavy hair, blue eyes.’ . . .” He did not speak like Oswald: ” . . . . Equally noteworthy in the October 9 cable is the evidence it provides that the “Lee Oswald” who made the October 1 phone call was an impostor. The caller, it said, “spoke broken Russian.” The real Oswald was fluent in Russian. . . .”
The “Oswald” in Mexico City had unusual credentials: ” . . . [Cuban diplomat Silvia] Duran was a little suspicious of Oswald. She felt the American was too eager in displaying his leftist credentials: membership cards in the Fair Play for Cuba Committee and the American Communist Party, old Soviet documents, a newspaper clipping on his arrest in New Orleans, a photo of Oswald being escorted by a policeman on each arm that Duran thought looked Phony. Duran also knew that belonging to the Communist Party was illegal in Mexico in 1963. For that reason, a Communist would normally travel in the country with only a passport. Yet here was Oswald documented in a way that invited his arrest. . . .”
The “Oswald” in Mexico City displayed unusual behavior: ” . . . He took a revolver from his jacket pocket, placed it on a table, and said, ‘See? This is what I must now carry to protect my life.’ The Soviet officials carefully took the gun and removed its bullets. They told Oswald once again they could not give him a quick visa. They offered him instead the necessary forms to be filled out. Oswald didn’t take them. Oleg Nechiporenko joined the three men as their conversation was ending. For the second day in a row, he accompanied a depressed Oswald to the gate of the embassy, this time with Oswald’s returned revolver and its loose bullets stuck back in his jacket pocket. Nechiporenko says that he, Kostikov, and Yatskov then immediately prepared a report on Oswald’s two embassy visits that they cabled to Moscow Center. . . .”
A CIA telephonic intercept of the “Oswald” appears to have been a fabrication: ” . . . . The CIA’s transcript states that the Saturday, September 28, call came from the Cuban Consulate. The first speaker is identified as Silvia Duran. However, Silvia Duran has insisted repeatedly over the years, first, that the Cuban Embassy was closed to the public on Saturdays, and second, that she never took part in such a call. ‘Duran’ is said to be phoning the Soviet Consulate. Oleg Nechiporenko denies in turn that this call occurred. He says it was impossible because the Soviet switchboard was closed. The ‘Duran’ speaker in the transcript says that an American in her consulate, who had been in the Soviet Embassy, wants to talk to them. She passes the phone to a North American man. The American insists that he and the Soviet representative speak Russian. They engage in a conversation, with the American speaking with the translator describes as ‘terrible hardly recognizable Russian.’ This once again argues against the speaker being Oswald, given his fluent Russian. . . .”
The net effect of the phony Oswald in Mexico City was to reinforce the notion that a Communist killed Kennedy, increasing pressure for retaliation against Russia and/or Cuba and escalating Cold War tensions. ” . . . . One must give the CIA (and the assassination sponsors that were even further in the shadows) their due for having devised and executed a brilliant setup. They had played out a scenario to Kennedy’s death in Dallas that pressured other government authorities to choose among three major options: a war of vengeance against Cuba and the Soviet Union based on the CIA’s false Mexico City documentation of a Communist assassination plot; a domestic political war based on the same documents seen truly, but a war the CIA would fight with every covert weapon at its command; or a complete cover-up of any conspiracy evidence and a silent coup d’etat that would reverse Kennedy’s efforts to end the Cold War. . . .” The propaganda blitzkrieg against Russia over the high-profile hacks, Ukraine and Syria have positioned Hillary Clinton in an analogous fashion. It will be VERY difficult for her to avoid being sucked into the New Cold War dynamics. Program Highlights Include: Review of the disinformation linking Oswald to the KGB’s alleged assassination of Stephan Bandera (head of the OUN/B); review of the role of Pierre Omidyar in the Maidan coup; review of Oswald’s altogether improbable activities in the U.S., given his supposed Communist status.
One of the nicknames Mr. Emory has bestowed upon “Eddie the Friendly Spook” Snowden is “The Obverse Oswald.” Whereas Lee Harvey Oswald was a U.S. intelligence officer infiltrated into the Soviet Union, repatriated and infiltrated into leftist organizations, given a “left cover” and then framed for the assassination of J.F.K. (and killed before he could exonerate himself), Snowden has been infiltrated into Russia and portrayed as a hero. Snowden, like Oswald, is involved in an “op.”
Just as Oswald was “painted Red,” Russia appears to have been framed in the U.S. media for the hack of the Democratic National Committee and the non-hack of NSA cyberweapons by the so-called Shadow Brokers.
In this first of two programs, we review the process of “painting Oswald Red,” by way of gaining historical perspective on the Snowden “op” and the framing of Russia for the high-profile hacks in the New Cold War.
After reviewing particulars concerning the framing of Russia for the hacks, we detail the framing of Lee Harvey Oswald and the Soviet Union for the assassination of Stephan Bandera, the head of the fascist Ukrainian OUN/B.
Supposedly executed by the KGB, the killing was almost certainly done by the West, with the BND being the most likely agency involved.
Elements of the W.A.C.C.F.L. (the forerunner of the World Anti-Communist League) disseminated the disinformation that Oswald was trained by the same KGB sub-group that managed Bogdan Stashynsky, the killer of Bandera.
After Oswald returned to the U.S., he was infiltrated into the Fair Play For Cuba Committee (he was its only New Orleans member). Oswald’s alleged pro-Castro stance received considerable exposure as a result of an interview he did with WDSU in New Orleans. That interview, arranged by the Information Council of the Americas, featured Oswald discussing his Marxist sympathies and his “defection” to the Soviet Union.
The Information Council of the Americas had close links to the U.S. intelligence community. The net effect of the painting of Oswald Red was to motivate liberals and President Johnson to cover-up the truth concerning the assassination, out of fear that if the American public believed that Kennedy was killed as a result of a Communist conspiracy, it could lead to a Third World War.
Program Highlights Include: Oswald’s WDSU gaffe in which he disclosed his relationship with the U.S. government while in the U.S.S.R.; the highly unlikely fact that alleged K.G.B. operative Stashynsky had the broken key to Bandera’s apartment in his possession when he went to trial two years later; the equally unlikely proposition that the other half of the broken key was still in the lock of Bandera’s apartment two years later!
Continuing our analysis of the high-profile hacks and “Team Snowden,” we begin with analysis of some cryptic tweets that Snowden issued, shortly before the “Shadow Brokers” announced their pilfering of NSA cyberweapons. The possibility that the tweets were a signal to release the information is one to be considered.
Much of the program reviews key points of information from FTR #923 and other broadcasts: Russia appears to have been wrongly fingered for the DNC hack released by WikiLeaks; the Shadow Brokers’ supposed hack of the NSA’s servers does not appear to have been a hack at all but the work of an insider who downloaded the files onto a USB drive; the files offered up by the Shadow Brokers were from 2013, when Snowden undertook his operation.
Snowden has supported the cover story for the NSA non-hack–that it was, indeed, a hack (it probably wasn’t) and that Russia was behind it, which was probably not the case.
A chief suspect in the release of the NSA files is Jacob Applebaum, the WikiLeaker who appears to have facilitated Snowden’s journey from Hawaii to Hong Kong. The program reviews Applebaum’s hostility to Hillary Clinton, comparing it to the so-called “Shadow Brokers'” hostility to Clinton, echoing the views of Trump, Assange and Applebaum. The broadcast reviews the fact that the “Shadow Brokers” used an e-mail account in Germany that has been recalcitrant to attempts at penetrating its users’ information.
The program reviews Applebaum’s presence in Germany, along with other key members of the WikiLeaks/Team Snowden cadre.
Program Highlights Include: review of the fact that Snowden (at the time he set out to subvert the NSA), Applebaum and other high-profile “privacy activists” have documented links to the CIA; a look at Donald Trump, Jr. who has been active in tweeting and re-tweeting “Alt.right” racist and anti-Semitic memes; Trump, Jr.’s expressed willingness to run for office.