Spitfire List Web site and blog of anti-fascist researcher and radio personality Dave Emory.
The tag 'Edward Snowden' is associated with 96 posts.

FTR #960 Update on the High Profile Hacks

As indicated by the title, this broadcast updates the high-profile hacks, at the epicenter of “Russia Gate,” the brutal political fantasy that is at the core of American New Cold War propaganda and that may well lead to World War III.

(Other programs dealing with this subject include: FTR #’s 917, 923, 924, 940, 943, 958, 959.)

As we have noted in many previous broadcasts and posts, cyber attacks are easily disguised. Perpetrating a “cyber false flag” operation is disturbingly easy to do. In a world where the verifiably false and physically impossible “controlled demolition”/Truther nonsense has gained traction, cyber false flag ops are all the more threatening and sinister.

Now, we learn that the CIA’s hacking tools are specifically crafted to mask CIA authorship of the attacks. Most significantly, for our purposes, is the fact that the Agency’s hacking tools are engineered in such a way as to permit the authors of the event to represent themselves as Russian.

This is of paramount significance in evaluating the increasingly neo-McCarthyite New Cold War propaganda about “Russian interference” in the U.S. election.

We then highlight the recent conclusions of the French cyberintelligence chief (Guillaume Poupard) and his warnings about the incredible dangers of cyber-misattribution–the ease with which any random hacker could carrying out a spear-phishing attack, and his bafflement at the NSA’s recent Russian attribution to the spear-phishing French election hacks.

Characteristic of the disingenuous, propagandistic spin of American news media on Putin/Russia/the high profile hacks is a New York Times article that accuses Putin of laying down a propaganda veil to cover for alleged Russian hacking, omitting his remarks that–correctly–note that contemporary technology easily permits the misattribution of cyber espionage/hacking.

We then review the grotesquely dark comic nature of the Macron hacks (supposedly done by “Russian intelligence”.)

Those “Russian government hackers” really need an OPSEC refresher course. The hacked documents in the “Macron hack” not only contained Cyrillic text in the metadata, but also contained the name of the last person to modify the documents. That name, “Roshka Georgiy Petrovichan”, is an employee at Evrika, a large IT company that does work for the Russian government, including the FSB (Russian intelligence.)

Also found in the metadata is the email of the person who uploaded the files to “archive.org”, and that email address, frankmacher1@gmx.de, is registered with a German free webmail provider used previously in 2016 phishing attacks against the CDU in Germany that have been attributed to APT28. It would appear that the “Russian hackers” not only left clues suggesting it was Russian hackers behind the hack, but they decided name names this time–their own names.

In related news, a group of cybersecurity researchers studying the Macron hack has concluded that the modified documents were doctored by someone associated with The Daily Stormer neo-Nazi website and Andrew “the weev” Auernheimer.

Auerenheimer was a guest at Glenn Greenwald and Laura Poitras’s party celebrating their receipt of the Polk award.

“ ‘We strongly believe that the fake offshore documents were created by someone with control of the Daily Stormer server,” said Tord Lundström, a computer forensics investigator at Virtualroad.org.’ . . .”

The public face, site publisher of The Daily Stormer is Andrew Anglin. But look who the site is registered to: Andrew Auernheimer (the site architect) who apparently resided in Ukraine as of the start of this year.

The analysis from the web-security firm Virtualroad.org. indicates that someone associated with the Daily Stormer modified those faked documents–very possibly a highly skilled neo-Nazi hacker like “the weev”.

Based on analysis of how the document dump unfolded, it’s looking like the inexplicably self-incriminating “Russian hackers” may have been a bunch of American neo-Nazis. Imagine that.

In FTR #917, we underscored the genesis of the Seth Rich murder conspiracy theory with WikiLeaks and Julian Assange, who was in touch with Roger Stone during the 2016 campaign. (Stone functioned as the unofficial dirty tricks specialist for the Trump campaign, a role he has played–with relish–since Watergate.

The far-right Seth Rich murder conspiracy theory acquired new gravitas, thanks in part to Kim Schmitz, aka “Kim Dotcom.” We examined Schmitz at length in FTR #812. A synoptic overview of the political and professional orientation of Kim Dotcom is excerpted from that broadcast’s description: “A colleague of Eddie the Friendly Spook [Snowden], Julian Assange and Glenn Greenwald, Kim Schmitz, aka “Kim Dotcom”] espouses the same libertarian/free market ideology underlying the “corporatism” of Benito Mussolini. With an extensive criminal record in Germany and elsewhere, “Der Dotcommandant” has eluded serious punishment for his offenses, including executing the largest insider trading scheme in German history.

Embraced by the file-sharing community and elements of the so-called progressive sector, Dotcom actually allied himself with John Banks and his far-right ACT Party in New Zealand. His embrace of the so-called progressive sector came later and is viewed as having damaged left-leaning parties at the polls. Dotcom is enamored of Nazi memorabilia and owns a rare, author-autographed copy of ‘Mein Kampf.’ . . .”

Program Highlights Include: dissemination of the Seth Rich disinformation by Fox News and Rush Limbaugh, generated by WikiLeaks, Roger Stone and Kim Dotcom; Kim Dotcom’s tweeting of an admittedly phony document about the Seth Rich BS; Dotcom’s refusal to retract his tweet of the phony document; review of the Shadow Brokers non-hack of the NSA; review of the Shadow Brokers use of white supremacist propaganda; review of the role of Crowdstrike’s Dimitri Alperovitch in the dissemination of the “Russia did it” propaganda; review of the role of Ukrainian fascist Alexandra Chalupa in the dissemination of the “Russia did it” propaganda.


FTR #959 Update on the New Cold War and the Nazification of Ukraine

In a long series of programs and posts over the last four years, we have chronicled the re-institution of the OUN/B World War II-era fascists as the foundational element of the Ukrainian government. Of particular significance in that regard is the Nazification of the Ukrainian intelligence service, the SBU.

Among the recent developments in the operations of the OUN/B-related elements in Ukraine is the posting of a call for the eradication of Ukraine’s Jews.

The call for a new Holocaust in Ukraine was made by Vasily Vovk – a senior officer in the SBU, former head of the SBU’s investigative unit and head of the SBU’s investigation into the MH17 probe. (Vovk’s pronouncement casts further doubt over the MH17 investigation.)

The SBU is also implicated in the bombing assassination of journalist Pavel Sheremet.

Next, we cover the latest attempt by Volodomyr Viatrovych and Ukraine’s Institute of National Memory to purify Ukraine of any memories that might portray “nationalist” groups like the UPA (the military wing of the OUN/B) as a bunch of Nazi collaborators: Ukraine is investigating a 94-year-old Jewish WWII hero over the death of a UPA propagandist/Nazi collaborator back in 1952 while he was working for the NKVD at the recommendation of Viatrovych as part of a package of new decommunisation laws.

Viatrovych heads the institute for National Memory, the Ukrainian government agency that is implementing the total perversion of Ukraine’s World War II history. The excesses of his department are being created under the aegis of “decommunisation.”

“Decommunisation” isn’t just going to cover investigations of Soviety-era incidents. As the following interview grimly describes, everyone is a potential target in Ukraine. And “decommunisation”, or simply being associated with anything ‘Russian’ at all, is enough to bring violence or worse.

We then highlight an article about the anti-Roma pogrom that was just implemented by a small village and apparently approved of by the rest of the government. The article was written by a journalist who traveled to that region and queried the locals about their views of the Roma. Almost everyone he talked to hate the Roma with a passion. It also turns out most of them had little to no actual contact with their fellow Roma citizens, at least not knowingly since many Roma hide their ethnicity due to rampant job discrimination.

Most locals simply parroted the anti-Roma lessons they were taught as children. Anti-Roma Lessons that are even found in Ukrainian textbooks. It comes as no surprise that the Azov Battalion is joining in on creating a climate of fear and intimidation.

Next, we note that Ukraine is set to be the world’s third largest food exporter some time in the next decade due to its incredibly productive arable land. This is undoubtedly a major factor in the push to incorporate Ukraine into the Western sphere of influence.


FTR #958 Miscellaneous Articles and Updates

Updating various paths of inquiry and opening new ones, this program highlights some terrifying possibilities, present and future.

After setting forth Yale historian Timothy Snyder’s opinion that Trump would try to stage a Reichstag Fire type event, we chronicle Trump’s desire to amend or eliminate the First Amendment of the Constitution and “loosen” the libel laws.

Much of the program updates terrifying developments in the area of what we have called “technocratic fascism,” including Facebook’s plans to implement brain-to-computer interface that would permit Facebook (and others) to tap into the network’s users thoughts. This technology is being overseen and developed by Facebook’s head of R & D–Regina Dugan–the former head of DARPA. Facebook’s Building 8 R & D program is patterned after DARPA.

Amazon is introducing the new Echo Look, which will put a camera, connected to an artificial intelligence, in people’s bedrooms, ostensibly to provide them with real-time fashion critique.

Next, we highlight the fact that artificial intelligence quickly absorbs human racial and gender biases, which bodes poorly for our future.

The broadcast concludes with a look at the latest alleged “Russian” hack–that of French president Emanuel Macron. The hacked documents contained Cyrillic metadata, something Russian intelligence would NOT have done.

Program Highlights Include: Facebook’s communication of intimate data on stressed and troubled teenagers to advertisers and other third parties; the complete lack of civil liberties and privacy oversight of the impending Facebook and Amazon technologies; review of the analysis of the alleged “Russian” hacks, documenting the ludicrous nature of the assertions; the latest alleged hack by the Shadow Brokers, involving the communication of white supremacist ideology and an assertion that the culprits are pro-Trump U.S. Deep State insiders.


What Was This Guy Doing at Glenn Greenwald and Laura Poitras’ Party?

In FTR #888, we detailed Glenn Greenwald’s years-long (pre-“journalist”) career running pro-bono legal interference for Nazi killers and the leaderless resistance strategy. At their party celebrating receipt of the prestigious Polk Award, Greenwald and Laura Poitras had Nazi troll/hacker Andrew Auerenheimer as a guest. Auerenheimer (pictured at right) is also the site architect for the “Daily Stormer,” arguably the leading white supremacist blog/website. All of the contents of this website as of 12/19/2014–Dave Emory’s 37+ years of research and broadcasting–as well as hours of videotaped lectures are available on a 32GB flash drive. Dave offers his programs and articles for free–your support is very much appreciated.


FTR #952 Be Afraid, Be VERY Afraid: Update on Technocratic Fascism

One of the illusions harbored by many–in particular, young people who have grown up with the internet, social networks and mobile technology–sees digital activity as private. Nothing could be further from the truth. Even before the cyber-libertarian policies advocated by individuals like John Perry Barlow, Eddie Snowden, Julian Assange and others became manifest in the Trump administration’s were implemented by the Trump administration and the GOP-controlled congress, digital affairs were subject to an extraordinary degree of manipulation by a multitude of interests.

We begin our examination of technocratic fascism with a look at the corporate foundation of Pokemon Go. Information about the background of Pokemon Go’s developer (Niantic) and the development of the firm is detailed in an article from Network World. In addition to the formidable nature of the intelligence agencies involved with generating the corporate foundation of Pokemon Go (Keyhole, Inc.; Niantic), note the unnerving nature of the information that can be gleaned from the Android phone of anyone who downloads the “app.”

Pokemon Go was seen as enhancing the “Cool Japan Strategy” of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. The “Cool Japan Promotion Fund” was implemented by Abe (the grandson of Nobosuke Kishi, a Japanese war criminal who signed Japan’s declaration of war against the U.S. and became the country’s first postwar Prime Minister) to “raise the international profile of the country’s mass culture.”

The Finance Minister of Japan is Taro Aso, one of the enthusiasts of Nazi political strategy highlighted below. The “Cool Japan promotion Fund” would have been under his administration, with Tomomi Inada functioning as his administrator for the program. Now serving as Japan’s Defense Minister, Inada is another advocate of Nazi political strategy.

Next, we turn to another manifestation of Pokemon Go. The “Alt-Right” (read “Nazi”) movement is using Pokemon Go to recruit kids to the Nazi cause. Consider this against the background of Niantic, the Cool Japan strategy and the pro-Nazi figures involved with it. Consider this also, in conjunction with the Nazified AI developed and deployed by Robert and Rebekah Mercer, Steve Bannon, Cambridge Analytica and the “Alt-Right” milieu with which they associate.

A recent “New Yorker” article by Jane Mayer concerning Robert Mercer keys some interesting thoughts about Mercer, Bannon, the Alt-Right WikiLeaks and the Nazified AI we spoke of in FTR #’s 948 and 949. In FTR #946, we noted this concatenation’s central place in the Facebook constellation, a position that has positioned them to act decisively on the political landscape.

We note several things about the Mayer piece:

She writes of Mercer’s support for the Alt-Right–Mercer helps fund Bannon’s Breitbart: “. . . . In February, David Magerman, a senior employee at Renaissance, spoke out about what he regards as Mercer’s worrisome influence. Magerman, a Democrat who is a strong supporter of Jewish causes, took particular issue with Mercer’s empowerment of the alt-right, which has included anti-Semitic and white-supremacist voices. . . .”

Mercer is racist, feeling that racism only exists in contemporary black culture: “. . . . Mercer, for his part, has argued that the Civil Rights Act, in 1964, was a major mistake. According to the onetime Renaissance employee, Mercer has asserted repeatedly that African-Americans were better off economically before the civil-rights movement. (Few scholars agree.) He has also said that the problem of racism in America is exaggerated. The source said that, not long ago, he heard Mercer proclaim that there are no white racists in America today, only black racists. . . .”

His work at IBM was funded in part by DARPA, strongly implying that the DOD has applied some of the Mercer technology: “. . . . Yet, when I.B.M. failed to offer adequate support for Mercer and Brown’s translation project, they secured additional funding from DARPA, the secretive Pentagon program. Despite Mercer’s disdain for ‘big government,’ this funding was essential to his early success. . . .”

In a 2012 anti-Obama propaganda film funded by Citizens United, Steve Bannon borrowed from “The Triumph of the Will: “. . . . Many of these [disillusioned Obama] voters became the central figures of ‘The Hope & the Change,’ an anti-Obama film that Bannon and Citizens United released during the 2012 Democratic National Convention. After Caddell saw the film, he pointed out to Bannon that its opening imitated that of ‘Triumph of the Will,’ the 1935 ode to Hitler, made by the Nazi filmmaker Leni Riefenstahl. Bannon laughed and said, ‘You’re the only one that caught it!’ In both films, a plane flies over a blighted land, as ominous music swells; then clouds in the sky part, auguring a new era. . . .”

Next, we return to the subject of Bitcoin and cyber-libertarian policy. We have explored Bitcoin in a number of programs–FTR #’s 760, 764, 770 and 785.

An important new book by David Golumbia sets forth the technocratic fascist politics underlying Bitcoin. Known to veteran listeners/readers as the author of an oft-quoted article dealing with technocratic fascism, Golumbia has published a short, important book about the right-wing extremism underlying Bitcoin. (Programs on technocratic fascism include: FTR #’s 851, 859, 866, 867.)

In an excerpt from the book, we see disturbing elements of resonance with the views of Stephen Bannon and some of the philosophical influences on him. Julius Evola, “Mencius Moldbug” and Bannon himself see our civilization as in decline, at a critical “turning point,” and in need of being “blown up” (as Evola put it) or needing a “shock to the system.”

Note that the Cypherpunk’s Manifesto (published by the Electronic Frontier Foundation) and the 1996 “Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace” written by the libertarian activist, Grateful Dead lyricist, Electronic Frontier Foundation founder John Perry Barlow decry governmental regulation of the digital system. (EFF is a leading “digital rights” and technology industry advocacy organization.)

The libertarian/fascist ethic of the digital world was articulated by Barlow.

Note how the “freedom” advocated by Barlow et al has played out: the Trump administration (implementing the desires of corporate America) has “deregulated” the internet. All this in the name of “freedom.”

In FTR #854, we noted the curious professional resume of Barlow, containing such disparate elements as–lyricist for the Grateful Dead (“Far Out!”); Dick Cheney’s campaign manager (not so “Far Out!”); a voter for white supremacist/segregationist George Wallace in the 1968 Presidential campaign (very “Un-Far Out!”).

For our purposes, his most noteworthy professional undertaking is his founding of the EFF–The Electronic Frontier Foundation. A leading ostensible advocate for internet freedom, the EFF has endorsed technology and embraced personnel inextricably linked with a CIA-derived milieu embodied in Radio Free Asia’s Open Technology Fund. (For those who are, understandably, surprised and/or skeptical, we discussed this at length and in detail in FTR #’s 891 and 895.)

Next, we present an article that brings to the fore some interesting questions about Barlow, the CIA and the very genesis of social media.

We offer Ms. Sunderson’s observations, stressing that Barlow’s foreshadowing of the communication functions inherent in social media and his presence at CIA headquarters (by invitation!) suggest that Barlow not only has strong ties to CIA but may have been involved in the conceptual genesis that spawned CIA-connected entities such as Facebook.

In FTR #951, we observed that Richard B. Spencer, one of Trump’s Nazi backers, has begun a website with Swedish Alt-Righter Daniel Friberg, part of the Swedish fascist milieu to which Carl Lundstrom belongs. In FTR #732 (among other programs), we noted that it was Lundstrom who financed the Pirate Bay website, on which WikiLeaks held forth for quite some time. In FTR #745, we documented that top Assange aide and Holocaust-denier Joran Jermas (aka “Israel Shamir”) arranged the Lundstrom/WikiLeaks liaison. (Jermas handles WikiLeaks Russian operations, a point of interest in the wake of the 2016 campaign.)

It is a good bet that Lundstrom/Pirate Bay/WikiLeaks et al were data mining the many people who visited the WikiLeaks site.

Might Lundstrom/Jermas/Assange et al have shared the voluminous data they may well have mined with Mercer/Cambridge Analytica/Bannon’s Nazified AI?

We conclude with recap of Microsoft researcher Kate Crawford’s observations at the SXSW event. Crawford gave a speech about her work titled “Dark Days: AI and the Rise of Fascism,” the presentation highlighted the social impact of machine learning and large-scale data systems. The take home message? By delegating powers to Bid Data-driven AIs, those AIs could become fascist’s dream: Incredible power over the lives of others with minimal accountability: ” . . . .’This is a fascist’s dream,’ she said. ‘Power without accountability.’ . . . .”

We reiterate, in closing, that ” . . . . Palantir is building an intelligence system to assist Donald Trump in deporting immigrants. . . .”

In FTR #757 we noted that Palantir is a firm dominated by Peter Thiel, a main backer of Donald Trump.

Program Highlights Include: WikiLeaks’ continued propagation of Alt-Right style Anti-Semitic propaganda: ” . . . . Now it is the darling of the alt-right, revealing hacked emails seemingly to influence a presidential contest, claiming the US election is ‘rigged.’ and descending into conspiracy. Just this week on Twitter, it described the deaths by natural causes of two of its supporters as a ‘bloody year for WikiLeaks.’ and warned of media outlets ‘controlled by’ members of the Rothschild family – a common anti-Semitic trope. . . .”; assessing all of the data-mining potential (certainty) of WikiLeaks, Pokemon Go and the (perhaps) Barlow-inspired Social Media world against the background of the Mercer/Bannon/Cambridge analytica Nazified AI.


“The Politics of Bitcoin: Software as Right-Wing Extremism” by David Golumbia

In previous programs, we have highlighted technocratic fascism, embodied in a text excerpted from an excellent article by David Golumbia. In other programs, we have detailed the anarcho/fascist politics underlying Bitcoin. Now, Mr. Golumbia has published a book about Bitcoin, as excellent as it is short (77 pages of text.) It should be noted that the apocalyptic, dystopian view of our civilization epitomized by the Bitcoin crowd is embraced by Steve Bannon and the philosophical influences on him.


FTR #946 In Your Facebook: A Virtual Panopticon, Part 2

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.


Supplement to the Tulsi Gabbard Analysis

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 Narendra 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.


FTR #943 The Gehlen Gang, the High-Profile Hacks and the New Cold War

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. [35] 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.] [36] . . . .”

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. [22] 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.”


FTR #938 The Trumpenkampfverbande, Part 12: Settling In, Part 2 (The Underground Reich Comes Into Plain View, Part 5)

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.